For too long, I put a lot of weight in the opinion of students who didn’t like me.
I’m not saying they don’t count.
Just that there are as many—may be more—who I had a real connection with.
And their opinions matter as much.
I taught a lot of young people—thousands in twenty years.
In numbers, they would almost fill the CNE coliseum.
When a former student approaches me, I’ve started asking:
What was your experience of me as a teacher?
Then I listen. I open to the conversation.
Time has not worn my passion and curiosity down.
Those qualities are invaluable. I'd even say precious.
They carry the best lessons.
I was a good teacher.
It’s beyond me to please everyone.
There’s lightness in letting that go.
The fact is I failed some.
But on the whole, I did my best (sometimes under incredible duress).
I always felt I answered to chefs and restaurateurs more than any institution.
I’ve just spent ten days with two former George Brown students—each with a unique talent—both on the cusp of change.
Watching them grow into who they are is a privilege.
I’m grateful they still care what I think.
And are happy to see me.
Thank you, Alyssa and Blake, for your beautiful hospitality.
You too are my teachers. I am your student.
Wasan Island is a magical place.