I can’t remember how old you were when I first met you, but think you were possibly fourteen. You are eighteen now, and the transformation that I have seen in you has been nothing short of miraculous. In some ways, your journey felt comparable to my own.
When I started tutoring you as you were unable to get to school because of anxiety, you were nervous, hesitant, but had a massive passion for learning which radiated through you. It was remarkable to be able to see the such massive leaps forward that despite everything else, you tackled astonishingly.
I left school a few months before my A Level exams as my anxiety became crushing, I was simply happier not to be there, and for me too, it was never about the work that I had to complete. I love learning too. I remember saying to you once that if you turned up or not to tutoring did not affect me, it would only affect you. You countered this by saying that I would miss out on what I loved doing, and you were utterly right.
Reading ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ and ‘The Merchant of Venice’ with you was an experience that will stay with me for a long time. Seeing you grasp new ideas, evolve within the language and develop your own style utterly inspired me. From someone who was coping with a great deal, and learning so much about yourself at the time, the leaps that you made educationally is something that can never be taken away from you. And you shone.
So this is a thank you for the privilege of being able to watch you grow as a student (and also in height.. I sense that the day will come pretty soon when you will overtake me.. bleak times!) and for how much you prompted me to take my own learning further than I could have imagined. You taught me too.
P.S. ‘The Vegetarian’ is still waiting!