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Last night was our school reunion. It had been 20 years since I left at 13 and being in those halls again was a pretty strange feeling. I joined the school at eight, and swam in the stream of a thousand faces that would flood the corridors on the instigation of a regular hourly bell. It took only 60 seconds for my eyes to adjust to the lighting, (by that I mean hairstyles) and I can predictably report that no one has changed at all. In all of 98% of cases that is a good thing. The usual banter made it seem like we were all still in class with the teacher gone out of the room. That was the strangest part really, seeing the teachers for the kind and generous people they are rather than just the bringer of algebra and discipline. If they had all just gone for city jobs and the cash, we wouldn't be the people we are today.
That school set me up academically for life, I put my going as far as I did squarely at their door and I have kept in touch with that group of friends through the years. It's all strangely reassuring. We were gently informed with some pride that Henry's is now ranked as the second best school in the country (no not county) and this does and doesn't surprise me. It was an extremely competitive and high achieving year group I was in as well, perhaps that is why I had to repeat myself a few times before the nature of my career change was understood as "not-stand up" but the people who know me were genuinely pleased. I was naturally outnumbered by doctors, lawyers and financiers but there were one or two actors and web design consultants too.
I am proud that I went to Henry's it was and is a beautiful place, and a unique learning environment that means no aspiration was left beyond our grasp. The school's ancient corridors made the corridors of power that little bit less intimidating, so when I was regularly in the Foreign Office in Whitehall with my old job, I thought - yeah this just feels like school. I have to say though for all its history it is doing an impressive job of staying in touch with the future, just check THIS out for radical awesomeness.
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