Do you have favorite students?

Slughorn's Christmas Party

Yes.

“Mr. Rob, we are your favorite students, right?”

It is always an interesting question to answer—especially in a group.

I'm just gonna own it.

I have always had favorites.

It's not complicated.

My favorites are the ones who actually want to learn and make it a priority. They need no coaxing whatsoever to go out on their own and courageously try to find the answers to their own questions.

I especially admire the students who do it all against intense personal and social challenges—particularly those of mixed race and who are women. The stories of their real-life trials in this country and town blow my mind. They are every bit as heroic as so many true innovators before.

I can't wait to see what they do with their lives.

Thankfully I have been blessed with an overabundance of learners who fall into this amazing category. It fills me with hope and optimism knowing they exist, that they will go out and conquer whatever challenges face them.

It is my privilege to help these heroes learn what I've mastered in an organized way that I hope will make as much sense as possible to them. It's an ominous, wonderful challenge that fills me with drive to learn the best myself, to be there in every way they have come to expect.

Now that most lessons are one-on-one I get to enjoy a very personal relationship with these champions of learning. It is rewarding in an almost Slughorn way, but it isn't about the “collecting” as much as it is being motivated equally by their spirits, intellects, and creativity.

I'm quite confident more than one Harry, Ron, or Hermione is among them (and no Toms).

Have a great Christmas season!