The Spice of Life

I have a phobia. I don’t know the Latin name but I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who has it.

It’s doing the same thing every day 

Getting the same train, taking the same route, sitting at the same desk, filing the same documents. I can handle it for a few weeks, and then I start to get what my Mum calls gypsy feet, the uncontrollable desire to get onto the first bus that comes along and just disappear. In the days of my youth, I spent much of my free time volunteering as my Mum’s PA at the archaeological museum where she was the genius in the education department. In a single day, I might make a life-size papier mache sarcophagus, arrange fake fruit in a market display, dress up as a Roman lady, lead a workshop on Saxon textiles, direct a school group in a Greek drama, and dig up replica dinosaur bones. This is the sort of thing that appeals to me; wondrous variety. 

I haven’t got my Mum’s awesome imagination; I’m more of an academic, but I share her passion for facilitating learning. You just never know what brilliance your students will create. Since I’ve been tutoring, I haven’t had a single dull day. This week, I’ve helped make a collage of biscuits, read about ice age animals, analyse a hilarious award winning documentary short, and create a beautiful lino-print design based on a William Morris tile. I’ve rescued minds grappling with electromagnetic induction, common denominators and redox reactions. I’ve discussed the energy crisis with a renewables entrepreneur, the world’s greatest creperie with a Parisian, and city planning with a brilliant architect. I’ve made a 3D puzzle out of scrap paper that delighted and inspired a teenage boy. I just can’t get over how much fun my job is.

It definitely keeps the gypsy feet at bay.


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