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Mary Hare Firsts

Mary Hare Firsts claims to publish a number of firsts relating to its ex pupils.

From what I can see, these are all living people, and information that could be searched by anyone! Whilst some of the acomplishments are to be proud of, and there is the history argument, some of it is really going too far.

Did anyone ask this person, if they were happy for this information to be put online:

xxxx xxxx (19xx) is the first old pupil to go through a change of gender in xxxx and changed name to xxxx xxxx.

And why does anyone want to know this:

Hazel Steven (1964) was the first pupil to jump into the school’s new swimming pool in 1971.

This old school thing seriously worries me. People are stuck in the old school days, to the point of obsession, and if they did the same amount of work for living and socialising in the present, perhaps the Deaf Community would be a much better place.

Comments (13)

a good point that few dare to make. what a strange thing to do! it only seems to make the elite even eliter.

Most of that is discussed on the MHGS mailing list and seem only to be discussed on there mainly and not in real life.

On the other hand...talking about old schools etc - everyone does this. Hearing, deaf, it doesn't matter, they all do it. Friends Reunited wouldn't be a popular site would it??

Mind you, the MHGS mailing list have in someway actually encouraged some deafies to meet up even if it's only old school mates - they've arranged to meet up a few times.

And finally...I would think you're being a bit harsh - because whoever collected the list of "Firsts" - not everyone does it. But rather a very small number or even just one person is doing all that work - it could well be a hobby.

Like train spotting
Like model planes
Like Internet

etc. It's just a harmless hobby and not something to compare to " if they did the same amount of work for living and socialising in the present, perhaps the Deaf Community would be a much better place." Ouch I would think without knowing how the information is collected etc? Maybe the person only spent....1 hour a week, emailing people etc, getting info, getting it verified and making list perchance?

Information about *living* people has been put on the net. Not a private group.

Did anyone ask any of these living people, for permission?

Sites like Friends Reunited, ensure you have to be the person who enters the information largely about yourself.

I have yet to see information shared as personal as gender change, or half of the personal information that is listed on that site. Any of that information is easily Googleable, and could be searched by employers (present or future), partners, stalkers, anyone.

The obsession goes beyond this website, which warrants another post.

The person having a sex change - she is on the mailing list and have seen the list and have no complaints.

Furthermore I also think that all the facts are done by verification and including the asking of placement into list but I'll doublecheck (since I am on the mailing list)

My point is - you are basing an arguement based on seeing a list on a website without knowing what was done to collect the information or have checked if they have asked people etc.


1. Website should show that all facts was checked etc.
2. This post - could have checked the facts first.

Personally-wise I agree with the 2nd part of blogpost:

"And why does anyone want to know this:

Hazel Steven (1964) was the first pupil to jump into the school’s new swimming pool in 1971."

Yep i don't want to know, it's dull and pointless, but hey people are interested in this sort of stuff. Look at all the celebratity magazines - stuff full of utterly uesless facts about your next-door celebrality(!) People are interested in these sort of thing.

So at the end of the day it's just a hobby for someone to do, which isn't quite an obsession. Ie look at this:


Someone spent a LOT of time making a aircraft carrier out of lego. It's pointless but it's fun for the person doing it.

So is it an obsession or a hobby? You're labelling it as obsession, but without any details of why it's an obsession. As far as I can see, it's just a hobby for those people even if it's as dull as watching paint dry.

Hi there, Grumpy Old Deafies, and all who have made comment.

All on the first list is veriable. At this moment the page is being reworked, so there will be more on the list.

I wonder if Grumpy went to Mary Hare?

Of course Mary Hare is an grammar school for the deaf and I am proud of the school. Other schools have its worth and educate to the best of school's ability. However if a deaf person is intelligent and wants a degree and a good career, there is only one school can provide that education to a high standard - Mary Hare Grammar School.

Regarding Joanna Stuart, she is publicly known transgender, and has her profile website.

Hazel Stevens being the first to jump into the swimming pool. Why not list this as a first?

Its a hobby. Its an obsession. It takes up a fair bit of time. No problem!

I'm old school? Yes, and proud of it.

"However if a deaf person is intelligent and wants a degree and a good career, there is only one school can provide that education to a high standard - Mary Hare Grammar School."

I disagree. I went to a comprehensive with a PHU, and was integrated into the mainstream. I had a very good education, and now have a degree and two diplomas, and have almost completed a Masters degree in Law. Oh yeah, I'm a trainee solicitor as well.

I didn't go to Mary Hare. So what does that say about MHGS being the only school able to educate deaf people to a high standard?

Oh, I forgot to mention, thank you for creating more traffic to my website, via link on your blog!

Perhaps the only way to stamp out elitism is to make a list of firsts people have achieved by going to mainstream school. See who can make the longest list.

(tongue in cheek)

I congratulate you on your academic achievement! However, its a bit dicey for a deaf person going to a PHU /mainstream.

On the other hand, once in Mary Hare, and assuming one studies hard, which is usually the case, the chance is almost certain that one would pass GCSE, A levels, than go onto to university and degree.

MHGS is not the only school to produce graduates, however is the only school for the deaf in the Uk to produce students who can go on to university, in good numbers, such as 25-30 per year.

I can tell that you are a staunch supporter of MHGS. I am sure that MHGS has had its successes, and you are welcome to shout about them.

However, the problem I have with your comments is that you are putting down deafies who were educated in PHUs/the mainstream. You are generalising, and that is not on.

Kreb, what do you know about mainstream school? As in first hand experience, especially at secondary level.

At Primary school I was at PHU, then Year 5 and 6 in hearing class. That was good.

Went to a hearing school in 1st year (Year 7), a total disaster, hence I got transferred to Mary Hare.

As someone who went to MHGS, I find this whole thing really uncomfortable. MH is a *school* that most of us left years and years ago, yet it still seems to control the way many deafies think today!

I for one refuse to be a MH statistic of 'success' (they wouldn't want to use me for their advertising anyway, as I'm a BSL/English translator amongst other things(!)). I also feel that this list of "firsts" does nothing for the self esteem of many Deafies who didn't go to MH (or those who *did*, but didn't make the list!?). There's too much elitism in the Deaf community these days without making it worse.

Kreb, I understand you have a genuine hobby/interest in the school, and that's entirely up to you, but you do realise you are helping them to make loads of dosh, don't you?

And FWIW, I've asked to be removed from the MH Alumni Association mailing list that I was automatically put on - without my consent - because I don't want to be a statistic along the lines of "XXX of our former pupils are still in touch with the school today - oh, aren't we successful!" (and I object to the fact that any ex-pupils who want to go to this year's reunion have to be a member of the Alumni Association!).

Sigh. Enough from me. Can't we move on?!

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