A Black Unicorn

But I be done seen ’bout ev’rything
When I see a [Black Unicorn] – Adapted from Dumbo 1941

I am going to undertake an experiment of sorts. I am going to see how many new blog clichés I can use in my first post.

First, I am going to explain the name of the blog [editor’s note: that’s one]. To do so, I have to take you back to the 4th December 2016. On that day, a Sunday, I was a teacher working at a top independent school, looking forward to a well-earned break (teaching is hard – more on that later) and an uncertain future, with a knee-cartilage graft looming.

It was on this day that I declared, via WhatsApp, that I was ‘as rare as a unicorn’. Now I know that seems unbelievable. Unicorns are creatures of myth and I was simply an English teacher of West Indian origin working at an independent school in the north of England. There can be no possible correlation right? Right?

Simple experiment: ask yourself how many English teachers of West Indian origin you have ever encountered. Some of you will have (I would imagine you live in London or another metropolis), but for the majority I would guess that I’m the first you have encountered. So, yeah, black unicorn.

Another aspect of my unicornness [unicornity? unicorndom? ugh – ed] is that I went to a grammar school in the south of England and sound like it. I have often been praised for ‘how well’ I speak and at the same time criticised for ‘sounding white’. Fun fact: whenever I used to teach a new class, I would always spend the first lesson talking in an accent that wasn’t my own, normally Brummie, and then from the second lesson on talk with my normal accent without ever acknowledging the switch. The pupils would then believe that I was ‘talking posh’ to fit in.

The last point of my unicornity that I will comment on today is that, like the mythical creature, I do rather standout. At 6″5 (197cm for our metric cousins) and anywhere from 17 stone to 19 stone 9 (108 to 127kg). So to summarise: I am a 6″5, 18 stone, West Indian origin, qualified teacher who used to work  at an independent school. As I said,  I am easily recognisable and quite rare.

This blog will feature musings on a wide variety of topics, always through the lens of a unicorn, and will endeavour to be more than just a vanity blog.

Finally, I will always finish with a link to what I’m listening as I write. It won’t be some kind of political statement or link to what I’ve written. It’s just what I’ve been listening to whilst typing. Today, it is Never Gonna Give You Up by “The Black Keys”.


4 thoughts on “A Black Unicorn

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