Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Old, but not yet History

Watched the episode of Pawn Stars on the History Channel in which Rick surprises his Old Man by presenting him with a beautifully rebuilt '57 Chevy for his 70th birthday.

Just before the Old Man takes possession of his new ride, Rick surprises him yet again with a stipulation: he must retire. The Old Man considers the proposition for a moment, then says, "Sure... the day after I die!" With that the Old Man gets in the car and takes off with a parting shot, "Screw the cake!"

Too many of us already start looking forward to retiring from the first day we start work. Few of us love or even enjoy our jobs the way the Old Man does.To want to carry on working till the day after we die... we should all be so lucky.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

97 days or 82 years?

Between today and the start of the seniors' final exam there are exactly 97 days. 97 days to put all distractions aside in order to study, practice and consult the hell out of ourselves for the sake of good end-of-year results. This was the content of a motivational speech presented to the current seniors whose mid-year achievements have been somewhat less than satisfactory.

This part of the argument I have no issue with, 'cos it's true. We are indeed going to have to keep up the pressure and pick up sufficient momentum so that we can all finish the year strong.

The further argument proposes that human life expectancy is 100 years, give or take a bit. Given that the seniors are about 18 years old now, that leaves them 82 years to either live a life of ease or -- if they fail to do well -- live a life of continual suffering and privation. It will all depend on how much they are willing to sacrifice themselves in the coming 97 days. 97 days compared to 82 years of hardship, the choice should be obvious, right?

I know it's just a motivational speech, and I hope the seniors take the spirit it was given in and not the literal word. Though they may be having a tough time of it in school right now, promising them that life goes into (Caribbean) cruise mode once they leave is misleading at best and a downright lie at worst.

Leaving school behind is when the training wheels come off and rat race truly begins. Welcome to the Hunger Games arena, kids! Putting them in a complacent mood while harbouring expectations of entitlement right at the launch plate isn't going to do their remaining 82 years any favours.