Tuesday, 20 July 2010


“The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.” - Sydney J. Harris

I am in Adelaide today for work. We have had a site visit and an audit, which went very well. This meant that I was inside all day, preparing material, briefing and debriefing people, being interviewed, providing information, gathering data and other materials that they had requested and generally looking after the whole process. Fortunately at the end of the day all was well, but now I am exhausted.

It did not help that last Sunday I sprained my ankle rather badly which had become swollen and has been bandaged since then. Having spent the whole day running hither and thither, did not work healing wonders for it and I can feel it throbbing now. At least I did not break a bone and that’s the main consideration, sprains will heal relatively quickly.

The weather was cool and rainy today so at least, being confined indoors had its advantages. I enjoyed the day although it was hectic and it was good to work with my colleagues as members of a team in order to bring about the successful completion of a project. That’s what teamwork is all about, depending on your team-mates and being depended upon by them yourself. The sum is greater than each of the component parts…

My grandfather had favourite fable of Aesop that he used to recount to me:
“An old man on the point of death summoned his sons around him to give them some parting advice. He ordered his servants to bring to him a bundle of sticks, and said to his eldest son: “Break it.” The son strained and strained, but with all his efforts was unable to break the bundle. The other sons also tried, but none of them was successful. “Untie the bundle,” said the father, “and each of you take a stick.” When they had done so, he called out to them: “Now, break,” and each stick was easily broken. “You see my meaning,” said their father, “Union gives strength.”

I also told the tale to my team of colleague at one stage and I was surprised that none of them had heard it before. When I mentioned it was one of Aesop’s fables, blank stares in my direction ensued. None had heard of the famed fabulist. I admit, they were younger than me, but my point is, there’s something very wrong with our education system.

Another busy day tomorrow, with the continuation of our staff workshop that I had to abandon today in order to visit Adelaide. Busy, busy, busy. All work and no play makes Nicholas a dull boy…

1 comment:

  1. Nick, this fable rings up in my memory bank. Sad that most would not even know the word 'fabulist,' but might guess it's slang variant on 'fabulous.' My worksite is going through transitions and the generational differences are fascinating, if challenging. Institutional memories are fading quickly with retirements, and the old team is being broken apart. Still hopeful that new teams with youthful energy will synergize for the best.