Great teacher, great friend

Monday was our course leader’s last day. Niki is going off to another university and it is a great move for her and her career however, I still say this with a tiny amount of bitterness because she will be greatly missed at Nottingham.

I can, without doubt, say she was the best teacher I have had. She not only taught me about writing and language and publishing, everything you would expect off a creative writing course, but she taught me to be even more passionate about what I do, to completely believe in myself and my work and gave me the confidence to actually do things with it.

Letting me be one of the people to run the anthology was probably the biggest impact on my career and it was down to her. It completely gave me a passion for other people’s work, not just my own. It made me see the book as a living thing to be molded, shaped and created. The people’s work inside it was to be treasured and I had to make it the best it could be, not just for myself but for them. Because of the anthology experience, I now want to go into publishing so I can create these finished products that writer’s can be proud of. At the launch I was proud of every single writer who had contributed, I felt like a mother and it is an experience I want again, hence my attempt to get into the publishing world.

Without Niki I would probably be too scared to even think about doing this, I would definitely try and stay in Nottingham where I feel comfortable and not move to London where I really need to be to get the jobs I want. However, throughout the last few years, she has taught me to try new things and believe I can do it, I already have proof I can. Because she has believed in all of us unconditionally, I am not afraid of failure anymore. If it goes wrong, I’ll try something new. If anything, all the work shopping and reviewing of our writing course has at least taught me that. If it goes wrong, doesn’t work just try again.

Niki was the sort of teacher who was always willing to talk to anyone who talked to her as well. I am always shocked that some of my friends do not have the close relationship we have with our tutors with theirs. Niki joined us on our launch event after party knees up, she talks to us on Facebook, she gives us life advice when we need it. She is basically always there for us. So much so, that she actually has turned from a tutor, to a mentor, to a friend.

I can still remember being interviewed by her in her office to try and get a place on the course so it seems fitting that I was one of the people to help her move her books out of her office for the final time.  I know I am really going to miss Niki, not just as a talented writer and lovely tutor, but as a friendly face on our course. I know the course will miss her as well, it will continue and continue to strive but it will not be the same. I will miss her around but I know she will always be there for us, still talk to us, still see us, come see us graduate, be at NWS so it isn’t like this is a complete goodbye, just a goodbye for the moment so all I can do is wish her the sincerest, and most lovely of best wishes. I hope her new job is brilliant and the new students of hers appreciate her for the inspiring, friendly, talented person she is. If they don’t, they’ll be getting a visit from me very, very quickly.

And, as for you readers, I hope you have all have that one teacher who has changed your life, because it is a very good thing indeed.


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