Redefining

If you asked me describe myself in five words, one of them would be ‘clever’. I realise that sounds arrogant, but I mean it in a fairly narrow academic way. (I got 4 As at A-level and have a 2;1 from Oxford.) I don’t consider myself wise or particularly witty, I’m not as perceptive as I’d like to be and my general knowledge is appalling. However, I’ve always been good at school stuff (except PE and Music) and I can even claim a reasonable breadth – those A-levels cover the sciences (Maths), arts (English), humanities (History) and languages (French). As a teacher, I’ve worked in a world that values these things and I’m proud to say that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed teaching several people who were considerably clever than me. (Not all teachers relish that experience.)

The problem is, the Jam doesn’t care that I’ve read Clarissa and bits of Ulysses. He isn’t interested in the Long (or Short or Rump) Parliament or integration and is quite content learning new words in English. So if clever doesn’t count any more, how do I define myself in this part of my life? I need a new word…

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