When I was a child, in an era when we used to have real winters (this is threatening to turn into a Hovis advert), I was always amazed at how painful freezing cold ears could seem (a sensitive boy, obviously). Summer brought with it a heat which constantly surprised me. Why could I not retain the memory of one season while experiencing another? Relentless drizzle and snowless Christmases might have fooled me into thinking that I had overcome this memory deficiency, had it not been for regular oscillation between term time and holiday. In the heat of battle, I simply cannot summon the feeling of open-ended, meandering days. At the end of a long summer break, retuning the engines for the return to a high-octane existence, feels like it will require quite an adjustment. Yet it never does and the reason for this really only became clear to me on today, reflecting on a nicely turned phrase by our new colleague Sergei Desmond, who has been contracted to teach singing as part of East Lothian’s development of the Youth Music Initiative. He described our relationship with young people as follows: “you give them your experience and they give you their energy.”
Perhaps those in teaching, who actually enjoy teaching, are aware of this – even if, like myself until today, only intuitively.