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Thoughts From The Corner

June 20, 2012

"thoughts from the corner"

Being a private English teacher sometimes gives time for contemplation. One to one tuition literally means that. No classrooms of thirty or more and so none of the discipline problems associated with such situations.

Giving home English tuition recently I suddenly became awash with nostalgia. I was transported back, to a time decades before becoming a one to one English teacher. I was giving home tuition to a fourteen year old, who was to take the entrance exam to a local independent school. His English was weak and his parents wanted a home tutor in English to give their child an extra ‘push’ in order to achieve the required entry standard.

The English lessons took place in his bedroom. I was given a seat by the window. During one of the lessons, after setting him a piece of work, I gazed out of the window to admire the view. I use the word ‘admire’ with caution because I was in the back bedroom of a terraced house looking out, across the dividing entry, to the backyards of another row of terraced houses.

English: David Street Stacksteads The terraced...

Terraced Houses

Then it happened upon me. I, also, was brought up in a terraced house and I, also, had a back bedroom overlooking the backyards of a row of terraced houses across an entry. Thinking back, there is absolutely no way that I could ever have thought I would eventually be plying my trade as a private English teacher. Living there, at that time, all my dreams (and those of my father!) were occupied by me becoming a professional footballer.

That dream came crashing down as I discoverd: Fashion, David Bowie and Girls – although not necessarily in that order! If truth be told, though, the dream of professional football had dissipated upon entering the local comprehensive school. In primary school , as far as football was concerned, I was a ‘big fish in a little pond’. On entering the ‘big’ school I became a ‘little fish in a big pond’. A slight play on words but it is the difference between living your dream and. . . and. . . not. I just didn’t have what it takes to enter the profession of ‘the beautiful game’.

English: David Bowie in the early 1970s

English: David Bowie in the early 1970s (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

However, if life has taught me one thing it is that when one door closes another opens. Looking back I (or my father!) could never have foretold that as the door of my childhood dream closed so this ‘door’ – the one to one English lesson door of my adulthood would open. That open door would lead me to this window of nostalgia that left me wondering just where the past decades have gone.

"private sociology teacher"

When one door closes. . .

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