Gregory grew up in a rural area in South Africa, spending a lot of time in the bush. He had an active school life, did athletics, played field hockey and tennis, and played the snare drum in the school marching band. He was a troop leader in the Boy Scouts.

He graduated in Mechanical Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, worked in two companies, then opted to go and teach engineering, which he did for 5 years. He became interested in teaching methods, and took a position as consultant on teaching methods at the University of Cape Town, where he stayed for 14 years, completing his PhD in higher education and publishing his first book: ‘Tutorials That Work’.

In 1995 he left UCT to move to the village of McGregor, where he studied violin-making under Brian Lisus. He completed three violins, two of which were sold to competent young players. During this time he also developed his board game ‘The Cricket Game’, which was endorsed by the then coach of the South African cricket team, Bob Woolmer.

Later he qualified to teach English as a foreign language, and taught English in South Korea for one year, and in Austria for two years. While doing this he developed many games and exercises to facilitate the learning of English.

He returned to Cape Town, where he is presently teaching basic Engineering Mechanics at The Cape Peninsula University of Technology. While teaching there, he has developed tests of engineering aptitude, which have proved to be useful in predicting which students will do well in their studies of engineering.

Two of his three completed musicals have been performed, one in 2007 and the other in 2009. In 2008 the first of his books of rhyming stories, ‘Imagination…Go!’, was published, and in 2009 his book ‘Motivating People to Learn…and teachers to teach’ was re-published internationally, having been published locally in Cape Town previously.

Throughout his life, painting has been a major interest, and he has held four exhibitions.

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"Squall off Blouberg Beach", watercolour, painted from nature in July 2011 Here is a photo of the violin I decorated in 2006. This was for a customer of my friend Brian Lisus, violinmaker, who taught me violinmaking. The customer requested a lavish Baroque style decoration, and worked with me until he was satisfied with the layout.
Me with a student and the amazing machine he built for a project that I set them. They had to build a machine to throw a tennis ball as far as possible, using their own energy stored in some way. This student, Arno de Wet, built a replica of an ancient Roman war machine, the ballista. He did a very fine job, I think it is museum-quality. If only all students would get this keen! Here I was playing the drum with my friend Martin Festi in Austria,probably in 2005 or 2006. His djembe drum is meant for being played on with the flat of the hand, but I was longing to play some of the pieces I remembered from my time in the school marching band, about 40 years previously. So, I fashioned some drumsticks using a knife and some wood strips that Martin provided, so I could indulge in my bit of nostalgia.



© Gregory Pastoll, 2010

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