All the destinations during my 2010 trip to the UK was rewarding, but Durham was rewarding in a significantly different way. I came to Durham to visit a former teacher of mine. I say 'former teacher', but in reality, there is no such thing as 'former' teacher. Once a teacher, always a teacher. Wouldn't you agree?
I really looked foward to spending some time with P (this teacher of mine). It was the first time ever in my life to have the chance to so closely observe the lifestyle of a teacher. At the time of my visit, I had a lot of questions, issues, and problems. After openly discussing with P and his wife, J, I think I can say now, that they had help me find that balance in life.
It was P's first class with us, and he walked in with a can of beer. That certainly made a deep impression on us as sophomores. Then, he started the course by telling us how much he didn't want to teach the course. As it turned out, his method, from my point of view, had been the most effective. He didn't give me very high grades, to be honest. But what kind of reason would it be for one to like a teacher for giving high scores? I felt that I had really learned a lot from him. Ever since that incident with the beer, for the rest of my time during undergrad, I took every single course he taught in the department.
During these few days with him and his wife, we talked about the old days, present day, and the future. Sometimes he would become laconic and the room would be filled with silence. But then the next minute, he'd start telling me a funny story. Then, we'll chuckle together.
I loved watching how P and J interacted. How they would so subtly exhibit their deep love and respect for each other, without giving others goosebumps. There was an instance when they were both busy in the kitchen, while I sat and sipped my premeal sherry in the living room, when I thought - P was the kind of man I wish my future husband would be like!
I had originally wanted to name this piece 'Following the footsteps of a teacher', but I changed my mind. I wanted the article to depict that sense, but I don't want to give it away right at the beginning. As students, we are always following the footsteps of our teachers. Whether in our minds they are brilliant or not so brilliant, one incontrovertible fact is - you will ALWAYS! learn something from them.
To all the teachers that had been (are, and will be) a part of my life - THANK YOU!!