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News > Sidcotians Today > Inspirational Sidcotians – Nathan Waddell S:1993 - 2001

Inspirational Sidcotians – Nathan Waddell S:1993 - 2001

Nathan Waddell (S.1993 – 2001) is an Associate Professor in Twentieth-Century Literature at the University of Birmingham.
Nathan Waddell
Nathan Waddell

Nathan Waddell (S.1993 – 2001) is an Associate Professor in Twentieth-Century Literature at the University of Birmingham.

Nathan teaches and is a researcher of early twentieth century literature, with a core emphasis on the life, work and controversies of the painter and writer Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957). All of his research is collaborative—with students, postdoctoral scholars, university administrators, and individuals based outside of higher education.

A day boy at Sidcot, Nathan grew up in Somerset and his love of reading eventually took him into the profession of literary studies after a detour into Science subjects. He still likes learning about Science (about cosmology especially) and, alongside reading, he spends a lot of his free time listening to and attempting to play nineteenth-century European piano music, walking and swimming. Nathan has also written or co-written 10 books on Literature. During his time at Sidcot Nathan made several lifelong friendships at School and comments:

“Had I achieved nothing else during my time there, this would have been more than enough.”

Other key things that stick in his mind about his time at School are the beautiful sights and sounds in the local countryside and the quality of the teaching, which in his experience was first rate. In retrospect he has also come to appreciate just how much freedom he was given as a Sixth Former to organise his own time and to pursue his interests at his own speed. He also remembers how
excellent the school dinners were.

An enthusiastic student, English Literature was his favourite subject, as you might expect (he even wrote a play!) Nathan was also a keen Chemist and Mathematician. Nathan remembers his musical education at school was exceptional and how this gave him an enduring love of classical music.

Nathan remembers his most inspirational teachers were his English tutors – Christopher Potts and Andrew Sinclair. He also relished the opportunity he was given to participate in many School plays. The Old Library played its part, too. When he was a pupil, looking ahead to a possible career in education, he had visions of studious hours spent reading books in leather armchairs and
wood-panelled rooms. So much of what he read, and how he read, can be traced back to the very happy times he spent discussing books with his teachers and fellow pupils. He credits Sidcot with giving him the vocabulary to write and to talk intelligently about words in motion, which is what literature is all about.

Nathan also credits Sidcot with encouraging a high degree of independence and self-motivated study, which gave him the best possible preparation for a career in higher education. Sidcot taught him how to teach himself, and consequently how to be an academic. 

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