You know, the Shakespeare nerd in people’s lives.
In some ways, this post feels like a partner to yesterday’s …
Survive in teaching long enough – it IS a question of survival, and of course many do not – and your students grow up, and they leave ‘the nest’ that is your classroom. Some you never hear from, or indeed see, again, and all you can hope is that the The Long Goodbye … applies.
Others stay in touch. It’s one of my chief joys this year that some of my Year 11 class from last year pop in and say hello every now and then, even though, or perhaps especially where they haven’t chosen English at A Level. Don’t tell them that. Oops.
Eventually, some become friends. And James is one of mine.
I’m a bad friend to James, and wish I was better. He contacts me more than I do him (that’s pretty much par for the course with me. When you talk about preferring books to human beings, you’re inevitably crap at dealing with people). He perseveres, when I shunt him to the back of the queue, not because I don’t want to get in touch, but because (and I hope he realises this) I don’t want to dash off some meaningless ‘how are you?’, even if it’s that or silence. Some friends seem to prefer the former, but it discomforts me. And bear in mind that I am not on social media, apart from this blog and an associated Twitter handle.
Confessional aside, and this links to yesterday, I promise, I am easy to get in touch with, or at least to be reminded about – it’s not about my undeniably huge ego, but simply about my monomania. Years ago, Royal Mail ran a great campaign based on ‘I Saw This And Thought Of You‘. I often use the tag-line in the random emails I send to people out-of-the-blue.
So James sent me this picture, in a similar vein. Nothing remarkable about it, you might think, until you realise that he was sitting in a Microbiology lecture at Uni when this slide came up. It pleases me so much that:
a) Shakespeare found his way into a subject that might have no obvious connection; and
b) that his works remind people of me, and facilitate contact between us.
It seems to me it’s a monomania worth having …