Heaven preserve me from littleness and pleasantness and smoothness. Give me great glaring vices, and great glaring virtues, but preserve me from the neat little neutral ambiguities. Be wicked, be brave, be drunk, be reckless, be dissolute, be despotic, be a suffragette, be anything you like, but for pity’s sake be it to the top of your bent. Live fully, live passionately, live disastrously. Let’s live, you and I, as none have ever lived before.
(Violet Trefusis, in a letter to Vita Sackville-West, October 25, 1918)
This quote ended my speech to my Year 13 tutor group at their farewell on 23 May. Of course, aged 40, I thoroughly value a bit of littleness and pleasantness, but one of my closest friends had this on her wall at just their age. It strikes a chord for me too. I think that to be so thoroughly passionate about working with teenagers…
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