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Balancing Act


“You either have it or you don’t!” exclaimed the master, responding to a statement made by a man being interviewed on TV on the topic of encouraging students to study science subjects at GCSE level.

“The trick is to find your domain. Some people just don’t have it and we won’t be doing them any favors if we compel them to venture into Sciences, when in fact what they are excellent at is creating Art.” he continued, sitting down on the sofa next to Frau Schroeder. “Can you imagine for a moment the look on Wolfgang Mozart‘s face as a young boy being told by his parents that he couldn’t play the piano at certain times because Sigismund Graf von Schrattenbach, the Archbishop of Salzburg had decreed that all young males should spend a certain amount of time each day studying Astronomy, Algebra and Chemistry.”

“Incredulity, I know” said Frau Shroeder. “These people standing there in their grey suits talking in front of cameras are not thinking properly.”

“Look at Accountants for example, I’m convinced that one definitely must have a certain fortitude, possibly genetic, most likely developed, that enables them to effortlessly work with numbers pretty much 5 days a week. Coz for a quarter of a million pounds, I would never join the Accounting profession!”

“Yeah, not only that, but there has to be an interest in developing that fortitude, no point forcing a 12 year old girl who is excellent at playing the violin to pursue something they are not good at and have absolutely no interest in. I had to study Geography in school, I scrapped through a C, it was painful, absolutely hated it!.” she hissed.

“So the IP profession for me is godsend. Its what I was built for. While others meddle with their calculators, I can read and draft Patents all day, in the process get intensely fascinated by both the contents and the vanity of language tossed about by attorneys. ”

“You also learn an awful lot don’t you? ” she asked.

“I do, all the intricate details of the technologies I encounter, and sometimes co-develop inventions with others. You have to be one who is happy to pore over 300 pages of documents, just to extract 7 or 8 relevant sentences, one who can read a 15 or 20 page law report and explain its significance. Of course its not for everybody. I acknowledge that thats my make-up, and know that its definitely not a cup of tea for everybody”

“I guess the question is how do you give someone an education, not just guiding young people to discover their vocation and inherent skills. Surely, if you don’t provide the opportunity for them to try everything, how then will they know what they are good at?”

“Yes, and how do you balance equipping young people with the skills you know your country needs now, or will need in 10 or 20 years, with investment in individual talent, if such investment has potential for the overall benfit of a larger number of people.”

Squirrel feeder here

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