Saturday, 12 July 2008

Brief encounter

From time to time a former student gives his former teacher a wonderful present: a very enjoyable time spent together. Today I met MM (whose first name can be translated as “God is with us”) – by far the most brilliant and hardworking student of his generation (at the high school where I teach), whose interests in art (music, literature), philosophy, foreign languages, and politics overshadow the intellectual horizon of many young people of his age. We chatted for about nine hours about various topics, from his – currently in progress – PhD (on international relations) to cultural events in our city, from old common friends to international cuisine, from Romanian pop music of the 1970s & 1980s to Patricia Petibon and Terry Callier, etc. In the afternoon we attended a symphonic concert (held at the Catholic Dome), where we listened to Mozart’s Sonata KW 361 for various instruments. We were lucky, as there was no rock concert on the stage set up in the square outside the church. In summer there are noisy concerts in that square, irrespective of what is going on in the nearby churches, or houses, who have to put up with the loud music or noisy rhythms. When the music was over we had dinner in an Italian restaurant and then walked to the tram station. Such an encounter can make a teacher feel rich; it is a pleasant feeling you only experience as a teacher (or an ex-teacher). Meeting him today made me realize how much I miss having students like him. He’s one in a thousand indeed.