Best Teacher Meme

22 05 2008

Guy Davies has tagged me for a best teacher meme. The sky’s the limit for me here, as I’ve had so many good teachers over the years – but I’ll give it my best shot!!

1. Mrs Lightbody, Clandeboye Primary School in Bangor. When I came into her Primary 2 class I couldn’t write in a straight line (I think that it had something to do with being left handed). She sorted that out for me with patience – I was only 6 years old!

2. Mr Robert Martin, Gransha High School in Bangor. Mr Martin taught English, and it was he who brought literature to life for me. I can still remember him reading poems like ‘Dulce Decorum Est’ by Wilfred Owen, and ‘Digging’ by Seamus Heaney in class and being completely captivated by the sounds of the words and the depth of their sentiment.

3. Dr John Thompson, Queens University Belfast. John Thompson taught (and still teaches) Medieval Studies within the School of English. Sitting in his lectures on Chaucer was a wonderful experience. He coupled intellectual rigour with pastoral warmth and personal friendliness. Probably the finest teacher I’ve ever had.

4. Dr Stephen Kelly, Queens University Belfast. Stephen was completing his PhD when I was studying for my MA, and he was an amazing help. I would meet with him weekly, and was always astounded by his breadth of reading. He had a tremendous capacity to synthesise popular and medieval culture in his teaching.

5. Dr Maurice Dowling, Irish Baptist College. There are a host of tutors at the College whom I could single out, but I’m just amazed by Maurice’s intellect. I think he speaks seven languages, is an expert in church history, and is a delightfully down to earth man. He regularly travels to Eastern Europe to teach in Russian, Romanian or Latvian.

I’m going to tag the following people with this meme: Ian B, Jennifer B, Gary Cousins, Timmy Brister, and Steve Burlew.

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Our Nation’s Shame

21 05 2008

Last night there was an opportunity, albeit limited, to see a victory won for the most defenceless in our society – the unborn child. Last night, those who have been elected (and are paid highly) to represent our nation were given a free vote and an open conscience. Last night the normally unheard cry of millions of unborn babies rose to a faint murmur in our media and in the halls of Westminster. Last night our MPs chose to maintain the murder of our little ones, and enshrine the principles which are our greatest shame.

Today lives will be lost, tomorrow lives will be lost, in the weeks and years to come lives will be lost as a result of the moral vapidity of our politicians. This is our great shame. This is our moment of great weakness. This is the blight on our generation’s conscience. This will be the point at which history will condemn us.

How we should cry out to God for the unborn, for the vulnerable, for those people whom our leaders view as an accumulation of worthless cells. May God forgive us and have mercy on us.