Michael came to Rugby from a small mining village in Northumberland. Originally studying Natural Sciences in Durham he converted to Medicine in 2009 and undertook a Neurology Elective at John Hopkins University School of Medicine in 2003. Michael is now an Academic Clinical Fellow at Newcastle University, specialising in Otolaryngology and in 2017 returned to Rugby to present the annual Arnold Foundation Lecture in the School’s 450th Anniversary year.
For all the grandeur of the ivy-clad buildings and the towering gothic architecture which might initially seem intimidating I distinctly got the impression it was a very welcoming community.
I enjoyed the fact that Chapel was quite a large part of life at Rugby and without it ever being ‘pushy’ I found that it instilled a sense of needing to reflect on one’s actions and to make time for quiet contemplation. Although I did not realise it at the time, I think this sense of self-awareness and need for reflective thinking really gave me the tools to continue developing as a person long after leaving the school. I’m not sure that this is something that is taught or even passively absorbed in schools other than Rugby.
Before Rugby I did not know anyone in medicine and had little realistic idea of what the career was like. I feel that Rugby opened doors in this regard.
I have become almost evangelical about how boarding schools actually offer an ‘escape’ for students who may want to get out of chaotic lives at home and try to make the most of themselves in a constructive, welcoming environment. For me it was a transformational.