I am not here to entertain you (a response to ‘this is boring…’). 

I am not here to entertain you.

I am here to open doors – that’s a metaphor – that the world will otherwise slam in your face.

I am here to transform Jekyll to Hyde, to metamorphose Stevenson’s prose to the gritty terror of that dark night in chapter four.

I am here to offer you a taste of the acrid jealousy that oozes from Eddie Carbone as he picks up that fateful phone.

I am here to leave you broken with Shylock, sobbing on the floor. To leave you with him, picking up the pieces after the trial, only to realise he has nothing left to pick up.

I am not here to entertain you.

I am here to show you that our language, our blessed, blessed language, can be manipulated beyond beauty and can be used to manipulate in a way that will give you more power and potential than any suit or rich father.

I’m here to help you dissect an iamb, a trochee, a dactyl. To break that myth that there are no wrong answers in English and to show you that it’s not only in a lab that you can break apart a structure.

I am here to dive in to the political subtext with you, the socialism, the conservatism, to listen to your ideas about Trump-ism.

I am here to promise you that if you read and listen, it really will be okay.

I am here to scare you, a bit. The adrenaline of that exam will take you through the oft-reported hand-ache, the fear of the brain-block you get in the mock, the belief that you just can’t do it. You can, and you will, but you need to know that This Is Serious.

I am never going to bring out playdough.

I am never going to roll you – or anything – in glitter.

I am here to tell you about novels: the novels that have defined me and the novels that have blurred my edges slightly.

I am here to tell you what a Russell Group university is and to empower you to be in a position to turn them down, if that’s not the path you want.

I am here because I choose to be here, and that should count for a lot.

I am not here to entertain you.