As the thick clouds outside my bedroom window seek to obscure the identity of the day,I fear that I need an injection of positive thought.Now,as a realist in many ways,but with that overwealming sense of needing to grasp the good things,I wonder what lies behind.
When I was a child,the weather played a primary part of life then,as I relied on getting out as much as possible during the day,either to the church at Newquay,or just to hang out along the hinterland that is the North coast from Porthole beach over to Crantock.At the time,it seemed a huge distance on foot,but,of course,our perspective as a youngster is so very different.Then,I felt that I was very brave-or maybe,a little foolish-but I wasn’t checked up that much outside my home because the was always other things going on as such.So,I used that freedom to walk,and climb ,but mostly ,to listen.As I have a propensity to dwell on the past to maybe take something to move forward in my life,this is what is happening to me as I write this now.So then,although the clouds were obscuring the coastline,I could still hear the Atlantic roar as I like to call it,and now,I can still hear quite clearly the birdsong outside my bedroom window .Their songs are for everyone,there isn’t any entrance fee,and we all be if it from their concert.If I were to think this moment now,and also this week,I’ve had so many free concerts from them as I have shuffled my way outside each day on my run.
From an early age,I’ve accepted quite a lot of things that I couldn’t do much about,and it is one of my life lessons really.
Now,my mind has a residue of thought of precious pupils that I have had the pleasure of teaching over the years.Many were from the Poole area of Dorset,where I taught for well over 15 years.Many of those young people came from the less sought after parts of the town and many had tough life circumstances to cope with.Sometimes,with those starts in life,it can be a challenge to motivate pupils to take advantage of the chances that an education affords.However,I still remember with fondness those pupils,those days,and the sheer energy that those young people showed for their life.
Now,in this particular moment,I know young people of great ability and fortitude who are approaching their exam terms with all the obvious stresses that will ensue.Why,I know this,because I experienced those stresses when my sons completed their schooling in preparation for university and eventually for their chosen careers.Yes,there were stresses,strains,and tensions,but ,just like these clouds this morning ,behind the stresses and strains and bad moods ,there is a special human beings no ,that person who lives with us,who is part of us,belongs to us,ignites our deepest emotions.
As I wrote that last sentence,a memory of a parent from one of those areas of Poole that we don’t associate high art with comes to mind.You see,his son didn’t pass the grammar test for various reasons at the time,and so was then a pupil of Ashdown school.This young man loved the keyboard and guitar and he just happened to cause quite a stir with his innate ability to programme computers.You could say that he was ,as we say,a late developer.Anyway,although he could be extremely rude on the surface,that was just a mechanism that he employed because his home life wasn’t good.So much so,that teachers on the whole didn’t really ever venture to question him too much.Well,I knew that he had talent,particularly in the stem subjects,it was just not considered “cool” to be smart in the area of town where he lived.So,one Saturday,I managed to ,along with many others in this area,to get him a place on a science day at Salisbury and although he was,to begin with,his usual lippy self,he settled down when he realised that these people were actually interesting and they were trying to help him.
At the time,I didn’t think too much of it,because this pupil deserved his place on that science day Knut I had to take responsibility to try to keep him in check.Now,at the time,he didn’t fit the mold of the “model” pupil,in fact,he could be feral.However behind the mask as it were,there was a human being when th special needs ,and as I think of young people today,I see similar things in all of the young people that I’m privileged to teach.
Sometimes,we have to try at least to see beyond the clouds as such,and I am grateful that teachers affected me profoundly to help me at that time.So,yes,maybe,it is vital now as teachers and parents along with relatives and careers to offer ourselves,and maybe we will remember things,people,instances where there have been turning points along the way that have affected us positively.
As I raise my eyes,the clouds are still there,but my memories have brought a glow to my face and well that is my personal muse for today.