“At BGS, knowledge was a currency and nothing was beyond reach.”
Meet Len Audaer
I relished the breadth of extra-curricular activities BGS offered.
“One of my favourites was the Theatre Visiting Society, which consisted of Chemistry teacher, PJ Palmer, piloting a minibus to the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, one night each month.
The drive was invariably accompanied by the same mixtape of ‘60s and ‘70s hits—a tradition I quickly learned was integral to the experience. Equally important was the esoteric conversation on the outbound leg. The society attracted a very erudite set, which made the trip feel like a rolling salon.
The membership overlapped significantly with the Philosophical Society and Debating Society, all three of which met on Thursdays. As a result, many of us passed out on the late-night drive home. Every time I hear ‘Nights in White Satin’ I’m back on that bus, half-asleep on the M62 somewhere near Saddleworth Moor.
Immediately after BGS I studied Politics and International Relations at Royal Holloway.
“I spent my second year abroad at Boston College, where I met my partner of 10 years, Rachel. While I had to go back to London to finish my degree, I never mentally left Boston.
I jumped on a plane as soon as my last exam was over and I’ve been in the U.S. ever since. I studied law in New York and Chicago, then practiced in Boston while Rachel finished law school. I became a U.S. citizen in 2015. We now live in Manhattan where we both practice corporate law.
Growing up in Bradford, at a troubled time in its history, BGS was like a portal to another world.
For those 9 years, my intellectual horizons broadened at an exponential rate.
I was constantly challenged by my teachers and peers. I never excelled as a student, but I left with an intellectual curiosity that the school had vigorously encouraged me to nourish. When friends talk about being bullied in school because of their intelligence, I almost feel embarrassed that my experience was so antithetical.
At BGS, knowledge was a currency and nothing was beyond reach. Learning that you were seldom the smartest person in the room had a very grounding effect. In my professional life, I’ve been thankful for that perspective. The earlier you’re aware of your own intellectual biases, the less constraining their effect.
I grew up on the other side of Lister Park from the school.
“As a small child, passing by frequently, it looked impossibly grand and important.
When I was eight-years-old, I told my mother that I wanted to go there. She was ambivalent about private education, but she knew that I wasn’t being challenged at my primary school and allowed me to take the entrance exam. When I was accepted, her hands were tied.
As for personal goals, perhaps the greatest sense of accomplishment I’ve ever felt was when I finished my first marathon.
I had a near-pathological aversion to exercise as a teenager, but discovering long-distance running changed my life. I’m intent on running a marathon in each of the fifty states, with three lined up for 2017.
“I relished the breadth of extra-curricular activities BGS offered.”