Teaching Off the Cuff

This evening a chap reminisced about something he’d heard me say, off the cuff, in the Throssel kitchen while washing a plate. He was eighteen then, now his daughter is eighteen and he’s thirty six. I remember him well, he had long black shining hair, he was shining inside too. Still is. I’m remembered as being somewhat stern, he says the novices were obviously on their best behaviour when I was around. That’s not my memory of me and how things were, but never mind.

I passed on a plate I’d washed to the novice doing the drying. Err, Rev. Mugo the dish isn’t quite clean. Oh never mind it will get clean next time around! That is of course an outrageous thing to say in terms of health and hygiene. What kind of example is that? The chap wasn’t able to come again for ten years however the remark was remembered and he’d derived something positive from it. Beats me what.

This story proves once again that it is not the truth or falsity of the teacher’s words but the sincerity of the student that moves somebody along, or brings them back.

I’m left wondering what I might have said off the cuff and caused somebody not to come back, ever. If there is anybody reading this and are in that position…please come back. As with my good friend above it is the student’s sincerity that makes the difference. How could it be any other way?

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