Friday, October 25, 2013

Not a dry eye in the house

Educating Yorkshire ended last night with what quite possibly was the most moving one hour of television I have seen for years that didn't feature Remembrance Day. You would have to be the owner of a heart of stone that had been surgically removed, buried in a concrete box and then dropped into the ocean not to have had a tear in your eye or a lump in your throat by the end.

It was uncomfortable, moving, emotionally draining but ultimately the sort of television programme that makes you want to punch the air at the end and applaud those taking part. The 'stars' and let's be honest they were genuine television stars for the night were English teacher Mr Burton and sixteen year old, year eleven student Musharaf.

The first five minutes of the programme set the scene and so hard was it to watch that my wife couldn't bear it and went to bed. Nathalie and myself sat through the hour, she quietly blubbing away and me occassionally raising a manly finger to dab a tear that might be slowly moving down my cheek. Poor Musharaf, if being a teenager isn't hard enough he had to cope with a stammer that had reduced this poor boy to a prisoner in his own body, he had been fine until he was five years old and then suddenly the affliction took hold, he became over the period of his studying at 'big school', in the words of his headmaster, a 'mute'.

The programme was covering the trials and tribulations of both Musharaf and his English teacher as they tried to ready him for the oral English exam that carried with it 20% of the total exams marks - Musharaf needed those 20% to get himself the C grade that would guarantee a place at Huddersfield college.

The genuine light bulb moment and I am sure the moment that launched the grabbing of a thosuand tissue boxes was when Mr Burton told Musharaf that he had watched the film 'The Kings Speech' and had noticed that the King had been cured at one point by having music played in the background. Mr Burton suggested that Musharaf listened to music on his, the teachers mobile phone via the headphones, what happened next was truly remarkable. Musharaf who had been reduced to a few words or half sentences spoken in rhythm to his tapping his thigh with his right hand read a poem without stammering. He read it again and then when the teacher brought the speech therapist into the room he read it again.

The coup de grace though came in the final five minutes of the final programme of what has been an excellent series. The year eleven students were gathered in the assembly hall for a few final words from the head teacher and then the head of year took centre stage. She announced that there was somebody present whose live had changed not once but twice and having been bullied for not being able to speak he now wanted to say something before the year. Musharaf stood behind the lecturn, white headphones on and delivered a speech of thanks to the teachers and his friends and pupils - there wasn't a dry eye in the room, either the assembly hall or our lounge, it was beautiful.

The final credits revealed, in time honoured fashion, the opening of the envelope containing Musharaf's English result - he had got a C and a place at college.

You can read more of Musharaf here in his own words.

10 comments:

Span Ows said...

Wow, you do a good job of transmitting the emotion. Must have been great to watch.

Span Ows said...

sorry for 'spam' but just LOLed at the first comment I read on the Guardian:

"I'm a VERY hard man - a bit like Joe Pesci off Goodfellas, but taller - and I have to admit that even I had a lump in my throat watching you Musharaf. I had to go out afterwards and roll on some broken glass to make up for being so soft."

Paul said...

I know that comment made me laugh too.

Thanks for your comment, it was very moving. Musharaf had 300 followers on Twitter before the programme went out he now has over 10,000. No pressure then!

Coach Factory said...

longchamp, nike air max, hollister, mulberry, new balance pas cher, hollister, nike free pas cher, vanessa bruno, north face, nike roshe run, nike blazer, abercrombie and fitch, michael kors, vans pas cher, lululemon, air max, mac cosmetics, timberland, sac louis vuitton, vans shoes, sac guess, nike tn, abercrombie and fitch, longchamp, air force, sac louis vuitton, nike roshe run, michael kors pas cher, louis vuitton uk, louboutin, sac hermes, barbour, polo lacoste, north face, sac longchamp, converse pas cher, sac burberry, oakley pas cher, michael kors, nike roshe, nike trainers, ralph lauren, ray ban sunglasses, ray ban pas cher, louis vuitton, nike huarache, hollister, polo ralph lauren, hogan outlet, nike free

Coach Factory said...

ferragamo shoes, hollister, north face outlet, babyliss pro, soccer jerseys, instyler, p90x, canada goose outlet, birkin bag, canada goose, air max, ghd, wedding dresses, moncler, lululemon outlet, moncler outlet, reebok outlet, asics running shoes, marc jacobs, jimmy choo outlet, ugg australia, valentino shoes, ugg boots, timberland boots, ugg, mont blanc, new balance shoes, baseball bats, herve leger, canada goose uk, bottega veneta, celine handbags, chi flat iron, canada goose jackets, beats by dre, ugg boots, iphone 6 cases, rolex watches, mcm handbags, ugg pas cher, canada goose, soccer shoes, canada goose, north face jackets, moncler, uggs outlet, giuseppe zanotti, moncler, nfl jerseys, insanity workout

Coach Factory said...

kate spade handbags, burberry outlet, louboutin shoes, chanel handbags, louboutin, michael kors outlet, longchamp handbags, polo ralph lauren outlet, true religion jeans, louis vuitton outlet, kate spade outlet, tory burch outlet, michael kors outlet, ray ban sunglasses, air max, oakley sunglasses, oakley sunglasses cheap, longchamp outlet, coach outlet store online, louis vuitton, christian louboutin shoes, coach outlet, oakley sunglasses, coach purses, jordan shoes, michael kors outlet, tiffany and co, burberry outlet, louis vuitton outlet, coach factory outlet, longchamp handbags, ray ban sunglasses, michael kors outlet, prada handbags, air max, nike shoes, nike free, louis vuitton outlet stores, michael kors outlet, prada outlet, gucci outlet, true religion jeans, louis vuitton handbags, true religion outlet, michael kors outlet, louboutin outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet

oakleyses said...

longchamp outlet, nike outlet, michael kors outlet online, chanel handbags, christian louboutin outlet, ray ban sunglasses, tiffany and co, replica watches, coach outlet, tiffany jewelry, michael kors outlet online, nike air max, polo ralph lauren outlet online, michael kors outlet store, oakley sunglasses, polo outlet, christian louboutin uk, christian louboutin, burberry handbags, longchamp outlet, kate spade outlet, prada handbags, michael kors outlet, gucci handbags, michael kors outlet, coach outlet, prada outlet, kate spade, michael kors outlet online, tory burch outlet, christian louboutin shoes, coach outlet store online, burberry outlet, true religion outlet, nike air max, coach purses, oakley sunglasses, jordan shoes, longchamp outlet, ray ban sunglasses, oakley sunglasses wholesale, nike free

oakleyses said...

north face, nike air max uk, sac hermes, hollister uk, nike air force, louboutin pas cher, michael kors, oakley pas cher, converse pas cher, abercrombie and fitch uk, hollister pas cher, nike free run, jordan pas cher, nike tn, burberry pas cher, longchamp pas cher, timberland pas cher, nike air max, polo ralph lauren, nike roshe, lululemon canada, ralph lauren uk, true religion outlet, guess pas cher, vans pas cher, sac longchamp pas cher, nike air max uk, true religion jeans, hogan outlet, north face uk, new balance, air max, ray ban pas cher, nike free uk, true religion outlet, nike blazer pas cher, sac vanessa bruno, michael kors pas cher, ray ban uk, polo lacoste, michael kors outlet, mulberry uk

oakleyses said...

hollister clothing, giuseppe zanotti outlet, lululemon, wedding dresses, abercrombie and fitch, hermes belt, asics running shoes, bottega veneta, celine handbags, soccer shoes, valentino shoes, ferragamo shoes, vans outlet, mcm handbags, timberland boots, nike roshe run uk, longchamp uk, nike air max, north face outlet, p90x workout, new balance shoes, insanity workout, iphone 6 cases, herve leger, instyler, oakley, hollister, nike huaraches, soccer jerseys, nike trainers uk, babyliss, chi flat iron, ghd hair, baseball bats, jimmy choo outlet, mont blanc pens, north face outlet, mac cosmetics, beats by dre, nfl jerseys, reebok outlet, nike roshe run

oakleyses said...

ralph lauren, vans, gucci, pandora jewelry, ray ban, hollister, ugg, swarovski crystal, links of london, lancel, toms shoes, juicy couture outlet, montre pas cher, pandora uk, replica watches, converse outlet, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, coach outlet, ugg uk, hollister, ugg pas cher, uggs outlet, ugg boots, supra shoes, pandora charms, marc jacobs, louboutin, thomas sabo, juicy couture outlet, ugg boots, karen millen uk, uggs outlet, converse, swarovski, uggs on sale, nike air max, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, wedding dresses