I wandered around Leicester Square with a Haagen Daas ice cream cone in one hand and my suitcase in the other. People looked at me. I looked at the sky. I was taking a holiday. On Saturday morning I had taken the 11:55 to Kings Cross to spend the weekend with my aunt, cousin and […]

This week

We did the heart dissections. A revelation. I rang home about the positive progress of a student, and the next day when he arrived in my lesson, he thanked me very seriously for calling his parents. Then he informed the class that his father was so happy about this phone-call that he bought him the […]

Hearts and flowers

I teach some of the biggest, toughest, meanest looking boys in town. They are big, but they are not mean at all, and I’m finding that they are not all that tough either, underneath all that thorny exterior. They are a bunch of softies. I promised them that if they behaved well in our lessons […]

Dust whirling

When I wrote this last week, “though they roar like breakers on a beach, God will silence them,” I was thinking about the waves of unfamiliar students pouring through my doors, whom I was supposed to manage and instruct. And He did silence them, well, most of them, the rest we are jointly working on. […]


I am still alive. That is all I am aware of this evening. I have survived my first week of teaching, and I I feel as if a war has just ended, or a treadmill somewhere underneath my hurting feet has just paused. It will all begin again on Monday, but it will never be […]