Wednesday, 27 April 2011

The last lap

Today was the first day of what will probably be my last term as a teacher/lecturer. It did not start well.

Some problems had arisen with the NSS and they required fairly urgent attention. Some of the students needed to revise or improve their work, but as this is a short week (Monday and Friday both being Bank Holidays), most of them were just not in the right frame of mind to do what is required of them. It means that I will have to do quite a lot of (unpaid) overtime and use all my charm and persuasive ability to get them to do the necessary work by the deadline.

When things like this happen I feel quite glad that I will probably not need to go through this process ever again, and retirement looks increasingly attractive ... and then something happened that made me realise what I am really going to miss.

I was just sitting down to my lunch when one of the students I taught last year – and the year before – popped in to see me. She apologised for not coming in earlier in the year, but her studies had kept her very busy. She thanked me for all the work I had done to help her get into university ... and she presented me with a large box of chocolates by way of a 'thank you'.

It made my day ... and reminded me why I have always liked being a teacher!


  1. Bob

    I hope your week gets better than it started! I agree that there's nothing better than running into an ex-student for curing the blues from current students!


  2. ...and that is WAY better than a stylish blogger award any day... well done!

  3. Peter Douglas,

    How very true! It is only then that it is possible to realise the positive impact you may have had on another individual, and that by enriching their life, you have enriched and justified your own.

    All the best,


  4. Steve-the-Wargamer,

    Awards are always nice ... but genuine personal plaudits are always better!

    All the best,


  5. Welcome back Bob! My days were impoverished by your absence.

    And there is more great news: our letter-writing campaign to save Quatre Bras from the developers seems to have worked! I got the following email today:

    Objet : Demande de permis d’urbanisme – IMMO RPM

    Ferme des Quatre-Bras de Baisy-Thy

    Par la présente, nous vous notifions le refus de permis d’urbanisme du 19 avril dernier.

    Bien à vous

    VAN TIELEN Olivier
    Administration Communale de Villers-la-Ville
    Responsable du Service de l'Urbanisme

    My French is rusty, but I'm pretty sure it says the developer's plans have been disapproved. At least I HOPE that's what it says!

    Best regards,


  6. Chris,

    Thanks for your very kind comments.

    I got a copy of the email about Quatre-Bras, and asked one of my French-speaking students to check that the development had been turned down ... and it had!

    What a great result!

    All the best,