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Claudia Dey, Globe and Mail columnist, St. Clement's School Alumnus

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In 2009, we interviewed Claudia Dey, columnist for The Globe and Mail, about the formative aspect of her time at St. Clement's School, an all-girls school in Toronto.

Q: How has independent school help shape you into the person you are today? What life skills did you learn at school?

A: Rigorous thinking, mid-sized rebellion, basketball, basic Latin, how to sing Janis Joplin's Mercedes Benz, and how to individuate oneself in a navy blue tunic. Mostly though, it taught me how to parse knowledge.

Q: What opportunities have opened up for you as a result of going to an independent school?

A: Education is an act of accretion; St. Clement's led to McGill which led to the National Theatre School which led to my work. I wrote my first play at St. Clement's, a French melodrama with a poisoning scene. I made a first book of poems. I wrote essays about Dylan Thomas and Leonard Cohen. I uncovered a lot of what I would later consider to be heroic and defining.

Q: What is your fondest memory at independent school?

A: There was a lot of laughter and scheming. There was a lot of concentrated scholastic effort. Mostly, there was, because we were a small school with a carpeted gym and no grounds, a fiercely collective spirit in which our teachers were equal participants.

Claudia Dey is an author, playwright, and columnist for the Globe & Mail.

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