Richard McLauchlan is a busy guy. When he is not attempting to learn Ancient Greek for fun
or explaining to me (a very confused and ill-informed Canadian) that one does not simply blow into a bagpipe to make that special sound that we all know and love, he is the co-founder of Light Up Learning, one of the charity's trustees, and a mentor to five students at Lasswade High School.
These five students, as well as the other young people Richard has worked with throughout Light Up Learning's partnership with Lasswade, have taught him about everything from American football to ligers.
Here’s what Aspen, an S5 student who once showed I-like-to-read-Ancient-Greek-for-fun Richard the world of anime, had to say about her most recent sessions with him:
“During my Light Up Learning sessions with Richard, I have spent a lot of time researching Psychology. I have found this very useful and interesting, as I have been thinking of studying Psychology at university.
Richard and I used these sessions to watch videos on YouTube called "Crash Course: Psychology," which contained almost everything to know about the topic and conveyed it in an fun and upbeat way, making it easy to get immersed in it. We even got in touch with a psychologist through email. She explained her route to becoming a psychologist and told us about the work that she does.
By doing this, I have discovered many things that I didn't know before, which has further developed my interest in Psychology. I find the Light Up Learning sessions fun. They help me get a break from the seriousness of school and let me research the things that interest me in a less stressful environment.”
Thomas, another S5 student who is so well-versed in the world of UFC and so well-spoken in his assertion of its merits that he easily convinced me (a very confused and ill-informed Canadian) that Conor McGregor is someone worth knowing about, had this to say about his Light Up Learning sessions with Richard:
“Light Up Learning has been my gateway to find out the best way I can learn. Before LuL, I found it difficult to focus on standard subjects. They had no significant link to what I planned on doing after leaving school. However, my weekly sessions with Richard have allowed me to have an underlying background in the subject I intend to excel in. This is something school has not offered me.
Richard has showed me new ways I can learn both by myself and in a classroom environment, which has been massively beneficial. LuL has also taught me more about myself than I think any classroom ever could and has given me the confidence to reach for my aspirations instead of settling for mediocrity. Every time I begin a new piece of work in my LuL sessions, I look to improve from my last piece.
It has also been incredibly motivating to have Richard genuinely believe I can do well in further education; in turn, this has inspired me to prove him right and not let him down. Light Up Learning has been the best thing Lasswade High School has enrolled me in.”
Thank you to Richard for doing a good enough job at mentoring these wonderful students that I didn’t have to make up nice things to say about him for this profile. And thank you to Thomas and Aspen, whose words have been edited and condensed for the purposes of length and clarity.