The best thing about teaching at the LSE were all the students. Not only smart, but creative and fun. People who will go on to do great things. Of course, I’m proud of them all. However, it makes me particularly proud when students dare to stake out their own lives for themselves. Take Caroline, for example. She just dropped out of a very prestigious PhD program to pursue a career as a painter. That’s her Colosseum above. I’m not a major art critic, but I know that an easily identifiable personal style is key to success. And she’s got it. No question. What a waste if she had been locked up in a dusty educational institution somewhere. The world has too many university professor but not enough painters.
Or take Benjamin. Instead of defrauding savers and small foreign governments as a trader in the City, he went back to Wales and began a career as a writer. He recently had a program on BBC Radio 4. He’s a stand-up comic too, and together with some friends he’s performing on the Edinburgh fringe this summer. Like Caroline, he’s poised for greatness.
We don’t have more than one life and we must live on our own terms and not on somebody else’s. Why be ordinary when you can be extraordinary? Yes, I’m very, very proud.