Gertrude was born in 1915 in South Africa. She left school too early and received no education whatsoever. She moved to England in 1961, aged 50, with 3 children and 2 dogs. Life without proper education and profession had been hard for her and her family. Nevertheless, she managed to educate her children to the highest standard – her son is a professor at Stanford University and a Nobel Prize winner.
Now living in London she qualified as a teacher and started work. A few years later she registered a private school in her house, educating 15 children. And that is what she is still doing – providing private lessons in English and Maths to pupils up to age 12. “I love people and that makes me a good teacher”, she says about herself.
The only sign of her disability is the walking frame she moves around with. She still drives her car around West London to visit places and friends.
All that she learned on her computer was through trial and error. “My son has been the worst teacher to me” – she says, “He would do things rather than showing me how to do it myself. That’s why I enrolled on the UCanDoIT course. I wanted to have a proper computer course, with a tutor to teach me, to be patient with me, since I have to admit I am not the best student around. And I was lucky to have my tutor so patient and so understanding.”
“At my age I tend to forget, and do things in the wrong way. But I did not know which way was the right way and sometimes I had to ring my tutor Boyko to ask him what to do. He’s always been there for me I am extremely grateful for his patience and knowledge. Now, at the end of my course I can say that I am feeling a lot more confident in my daily work. I do a lot of proof-reading for my son, and that keeps my brains working. All that matters when it comes to keeping healthy and in good shape”.