The sycophantic Wagner, famulus to Goethe’s Faust,
ventures; “Mit Euch, Herr Doktor, zu spazieren ist ehrenvoll und ist Gewinn”.
Many an Old Oundelian agrees, and with telling sincerity: that to walk and talk with Timothy Watson, and to have been taught by him, is one of the great honours of their schooldays.
Jonathan Gaisman, QC, notes that Mr Watson’s omniscience and cultural range combine with the profoundest self-deprecation: “as with many of the greatest people, compliments are unwelcome.”
Mr Jessop observes that “Watteau” Watson ignited a passion for European art and literature among his pupils, expanded their minds beyond the taught curriculum in an unprecedented manner,
and taught them no less than an alternative way to live and to open their minds to artistic and aesthetic pleasures that will sustain them well beyond their time here.
He is a sensitive, caring tutor with a highly-tuned moral compass,
who understands his pupils’ needs and knows what makes them tick Timothy Watson (TDW).
He is impatient only with those fixated on the inessential or banal, living instead for the exquisite and meaningful,
practising a Christian via negativa of ingesting meagre sustenance – mostly just unfiltered roll-your-owns – while devouring conversation and aesthetic delights.
It is not all highbrow: he has a famously boyish sense of mischief, the driest possible sense of humour
and, according to Henry Worsley (OO Ldr 20), does unrivalled impersonations of Paul McCartney, Bono and previous Headmasters.
The Walk to Rome is his signature action as an educator, where he most deeply found his stride.
A pilgrimage for those leaving Upper Sixth, it is now a legendary rite-ofpassage, mentioned in the Spectator; Timothy Watson (TDW)
a localised Grand Tour through Italy of historical, art historical, religious, literary, philosophical, absurd and anecdotal range.
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