I would just complete one more year then I would retire. Despite loving my job
(most of the time) I had begun the countdown to retirement. Strangely I had
always fantasized about all the possibilities but with some trepidation.
Teaching had been my life. Would I miss the young people? I thought about
3Z3 last period, on a wet Friday afternoon – like a hole in the head, I thought.
Would I miss my colleagues? Time – tabling, reports, exam marking, results
analysis and target – setting, the annual school show. Again, not bloody likely.
In any case I reasoned with myself I ‘d still see my friends.
This new vision was further confirmed when the Head appeared shocked that I
should want to retire and said, ‘But Myrna whatever will you do with yourself?’
Vistas of the Yorkshire landscape, foreign travel and swanning about in
bookshops, libraries, museums and galleries flashed before me. I replied, ‘Oh
I’ve got lots of hobbies.’
The time came and as often happens the best laid plans were waylaid by a
family tragedy. However, in 2013 I began the search for a Creative Writing
course. I had two options nearby, Hebden Bridge or Halifax. I chose neither
but began a search in Leeds which led me to Heart centre.
In the first session I experienced something I had not experienced for a very
long time – a lack of confidence and though everyone was lovely some
intimidation. Everyone could write, some were even published authors. My
world was about to change where instead of me making the decisions
someone else was in charge. After the initial misgivings, I realised the maxim
I’d always rolled out to my students applied to me, ‘Get over yourself, just do
The dynamics of the group seemed to work and somehow a group of us
became, very quickly, firm friends. Reinforced partly by sustenance from the
café, after class. What I hadn’t prepared myself for however was just how
exculpatory it would be. No one told me the process would sometimes mean
baring your soul. Once you’ve done that there is no turning back – it either
leads to friendship or it does not. Coming to classes is more than a ritual it has
become a necessity.
It was (is) wonderful to be in the learning seat and thanks to brilliant but very
different tutors I have learned a lot and become a writer too with a published
play and poems.
As a child of five or six I was always making up stories and telling and involving
others in their re-enactments. This must be my second childhood – in a good
Thinking back, I was wrong about one thing, I do miss the students. But I have
become one instead.