If you’re a regular visitor to Standard Issue, you won’t need telling that we’re lucky enough to have a cracking team of contributors who we love dearly. We thought it was about time we let them introduce themselves properly. Please say hello to Lucy Reynolds.
Location: Leeds, West Yorkshire
Official job title: Teacher of English at a sixth form college
What was the first thing you wanted to be? More than 6ft tall and a WWE wrestler (used to be WWF until the pandas got arsey about it). In fact, I wanted to be the first female wrestler to be allowed to wrestle the men – I’d perfected my ring intro walk and winning move.
When did you know you wanted to be what you are now? My dreams of being a 6ft wrestler were dashed when I stopped growing at 5ft 6. The idea of my current career started when a lovely English teacher called Nicola Shore told me, just in passing one day, that she could see me being a great teacher. It had never occurred to me before but after that I started to think about it carefully and went from there.
What’s your strongest memory from school/education? My strongest memory of school was having my Hungry Caterpillar poem read out in class by our teacher Mrs Stanley when I was six. She was impressed by my rhyming skills of ‘butterfly’ and ‘flutter by’. Mad Skillz.
When you’re not working, what else do you like to do? I love travelling around the world, especially on my own, and try to pick up great recipes to recreate when I get back home. I also like to get overexcited when I see dogs and talk to them, usually ignoring the owners.
What has been your proudest creative moment to date? Other than writing for Standard Issue, which has been a joyful experience, my proudest moment was speaking at a conference, at the Emirates stadium in London, to a massive room of teachers about how I had managed to improve English results with some of the most challenging students. I was bricking it but I dropped in a few jokes, quoted some slightly inappropriate hip-hop lyrics and won them over.
What was your favourite day at work? A few years into teaching, I decided to train four Year 7 students for a National Spelling Bee competition. The school I worked at was in a really impoverished area with some really tough kids and the idea of taking part in a Spelling Bee was unheard of.
The contenders from other schools were wearing beautiful uniforms and my ragtag bunch looked like they were straight out of Bash Street, with scuffed shoes, untucked shirts and half-mast ties. They were incredibly intimidated by the other schools, especially the private schools, and almost didn’t go on stage to take part.
In the end I got them on stage and they SMASHED it, beating all the other schools and gaining their place in the quarter finals. There was only me supporting them in the audience, but when they won I made so much noise I lost my voice the next day. So proud!
What would you like to erase from your past? Wearing culottes and a bumbag as a teenager. Oh, the horror!
What brings you the most joy? Laughing. My best friend Julia and I used to phone each other as celebrities to make each other laugh. I remember leaving her a monumental voicemail message as Barry White while sat on a busy train platform – it was well worth the strange stares I got.
“Someone once told me not to trust people who shorten your name down after only meeting you a few times and they were right: my name is only two syllables long but when someone who hardly knows me calls me ‘Luce’, I can correctly chalk them up to being a tosspot.”
What makes you angry? Bullying and arrogance. There seems to be a culture of cruelty that’s rife at the moment; Katie Hopkins-style wankery where people seem to think that being unbelievably rude and tactless is a badge of honour.
They say, “I just tell it like it is!” as if that makes being an absolute bellend a good thing. No. Normal, intelligent, kind people learn at a young age that you cannot just say whatever you think because people have feelings and your opinion is not the most important thing in the world. Anyone who says, “I tell it like it is to people’s faces” is basically a massive idiot who never learned better as a child.
Professionally, who has been your biggest inspiration? Mr Gilbert from The Inbetweeners.
What advice would you give a woman who wants a career like yours? Persevere, listen to praise and constructive criticism but be wary of those who only criticise. Keep on learning and trying out new things. Give yourself time off – no one can mark 24/7 and no one can be outstanding all the time.
How do you define success? Being happy with what you have in life. It’s not to do with excessive money or material goods.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever had? Someone once told me not to trust people who shorten your name down after only meeting you a few times and they were right: my name is only two syllables long but when someone who hardly knows me calls me ‘Luce’, I can correctly chalk them up to being a tosspot. It’s a very subtle power move and they always prove me right by being a bit of a dick.
What’s your favourite photograph of you? (And can we see it?) I love the colours in this photo which was taken just before my friends and I completed the Electric Run in Manchester. It rained heavily and we got soaked but it was great fun.
Where did you go on your favourite holiday? Bali with my other lovely bezza, Corin. We had many antics, including being molested by female masseuses, throwing up during a traumatic snorkelling session and having over-amorous Balinese men sing romantic songs to us while we were on horseback. The therapy bills were worth it though.
Who can’t you live without? My mum and dad, brothers, best friends, god-children and nephew Sam. And Dick Van Dyke.
What can’t you live without? Soy sauce, hot pepper sauce, avocados and Columbo reruns.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? Staying in teaching for 10 years even though it changes like the wind and is incredibly stressful.
Who is your favourite person? Too many to choose from! I’ll go for the person that makes me feel instantly warm and fuzzy every time I see her: my god-daughter Isabella. She is three and has the ability to make me feel like a rock star whenever she sees me. She squeals my name then doesn’t want anyone but me to play with her.
She is so unbelievably cute that her mum and I sometimes wonder whether she is real or just an animatronic created by Disney. She likes to dress as a pirate and shout, “Ahoy me hearties!” Nothing gets better than that.
Who’s your favourite animal? (picture PLEASE!) Flash the Wonder-Hound – no longer with us, unfortunately. Half mongrel, half legend. A rescue dog from the wrong side of the tracks.
Which song could be used to soundtrack your life so far? Baby’s Got Back by Sir Mix-A-Lot.
What are your favourite three articles at Standard Issue (written by other people)? A womb without a point of view by Mickey Noonan, Poo Shaming by Claire Goodwin and all the Donkeys and Elephants articles by Hannah Dunleavy (too good to choose just one).
Which question would you have liked to have answered, but weren’t asked? What is the meaning of life? (I totally know but if you don’t ask…)1919 Views