Everyone of us had them. Those absolute bastard teachers whose only aim in life seemed to be trying to hammer you down. Don't get me wrong, plenty of teachers are great, some even fantastic - including the Year 11 Chemistry teacher who went through my exam to find the extra half a mark I needed to pass. In case you ever read this Kent, I got my doctorate two years ago from the Chemistry department, so you have probably been one of the most influential people in the course my life has taken. Actually, come to think of it, am I really grateful for that?
No really, many and varied teachers were a huge influence on me in those formative years. Well them and Astroboy. And don't forget the Goodies.
The reason I mention this today is that my mother, who was a teacher at my high school (the influence of THAT is a WHOLE other post), will be going to a reunion shortly and this just brings back all those memories. There was the teacher who put up with my inability to act in Drama by encouraging me towards being a technician, something which helped me pay my way through Uni. There were the many science teachers over the years who are entirely responsible for me becoming a scientist - I blame them all. The maths teacher who questioned why I wasn't in advanced maths earlier. The music teacher who knew me better than all the others and was steady and positive support over 6 years.
But there was one. One who should have been banned from setting foot into a classroom. One who did her darndest to fail me in my final year of high school. One who turned around to me one day and hissed "You'll never become ANYTHING."
Oh how well I remember those words. The expression of pure hatred conveyed in her scrunched up eyes, her reddening face, her quivering jowls as she hunched towards me to spit it directly in my face. What drives a teacher to cut down students in such a way is completely beyond me. I can't recall ever being a particularly difficult student one way or the other. But I nevertheless was vehemently informed that I would be nothing.
Well, Dragon Lady, from now on that'll be Dr Nothing to you.
Suck on it, woman.