Well, not me. I was probably Mr. T.F. Davies’ biggest headache. And, he died before I was mature, smart, brave… enough to tell him what an impact he’d had on my life.
He was constantly after me to read. It seemed a daily project, maybe it was only weekly, but I remember that he was unrelenting. Just taking a book, waiting a couple of weeks and returning it was not enough. He asked questions, lots of questions, questions that could only be answered if you’d actually read the book. Opening it, skimming, dog-earring some pages, nothing else would work. He knew those books hadn’t been read.
In his persistence he finally offered me a very slim book, funny that I don’t remember which it was. Just that it was a Sherlock Holmes story – suddenly I was hooked, deeply, the barbs fully imbedded. I wanted another. Then another. Finally I’d read all the Holmes books in our school’s small library. He found me more, playing me well, enough to reel me in but not enough to break the still delicate tippet.
From Doyle to Conrad, from Conrad to Michener… Each book about something I was interested in, mysteries, the sea, adventure, the world. The written word has shaped my life and my insatiable curiosity is never sated. I wonder how much more I would have learned had I been teacher’s pet. Thank you Mr. Davies!