This post is going to kind of be about the Lord of the Rings but its also going to be about insparation and about learning to see the beauty in things, ok maybe that sounds a little hippified but stick with me please.
I used to read Lord of the Rings once a year every year, which is apparently something I have in common with one of my heroes of the silver screen the late great Christopher Lee. I adore Tolkien's world so much that I have a message in Elvish on my wrist as a tattoo.
I take you back to a time when I was much younger, I was in junior school and I had just started the third year of it. So far school for me had been a not to pleasent experiance. In fact in my second year of Junior school I had sufferd with a teacher who seemed to suck all light and joy out of the air with her very precense. Its not just me exagertating either for an example of what a mega bitch she was I will just let you know that I fell out of a concrete barn on to a concrete tennis court and when I told her it hurt and I couldnt stand please could she phone my mum she not only refused but she made me do hockey on it. I ended up in hospital latter that night having not only broken my leg in 3 places but having torn all of my ligaments. You would think she would be nice after this knowing all the pain and suffering she put me through but nope not in the slightest. So walking in to my first lesson in year 3 my expectations well they were as low as they could possibly be. I walked in to the room to be met by an old white haired guy, now it might sound a bit discriminatory but my instant thought was oh he is old its going to be one of those shut up do as your told we are all going to be quiet teachers I couldnt have been more wrong if I had tried.
This man, this teacher would prove to be one of those very few very special people you meet in life who changes the entire way your mind works, who alters your very outlook and understanding of the world around you, put simply if it wasnt for him I wouldnt be the man I am today. Learning before this had been very much about being dragged through every single tick box on the curriculum, it felt as if all the teachers cared about was getting boxes ticked and covering there arses, which might make them a good teacher in the view of there employers but doesnt really wash it with me personally, there is more to educating young individuals than boxes. There is more to being a teacher than that though you are there to inspire the young to try and give them an appreciation for learning, to ignite a spark that makes someone want to learn, want to think and want to tackle new ideas. This teacher decided that what we needed in our lives was a spark, he pretty much threw the curiclum out and decided that he would teach us about the classical music of Gustav Holst, that he would teach us to read and write poetry but most impresivly that he would read us the Lord of the rings.
I dont know how he knew it would touch so many of us but we would hang on every word of Lord of the Rings in a way we had never cared about anything before, even the worst students who wouldnt usually sit down for anything would sit there in perfect silence listening to him read, more than that though none of us could stop thinking about it, we would talk about the characters and situations togther, we would guess what was going to happen next. The idea was he would read us the whole of Lord of the rings before the end of the year , but we didnt quiet make it. On the last day he read from the book he sent us all out to break and told us that unfortunatly we had run out of time and if anyone wanted to know how the book ended he would tell them. About 6 of us went to him during break time and he told us what happend at the end of the book and then he did something I had never seen a grown man do before he cried. He didnt cry because he was sad he cried because he felt that the book and its ending was beautiful, he was actually crying because he found it beautiful. It was the first ever time I had seen that it was ok for a grown man to cry, before that I had thought that it was only something that women and small boys did, that emotion like this was something I was supposed to grow out of.
This is what Lord of The Rings means to me , it proves that somethings can be so beautiful that experiancing them can change your life forever and that it is always Ok for a man to show that he has emotions