The Five W’s – College Edition

Four years ago I wrote a blog post about returning from researching some boarding schools in Canada for our son who had expressed an interest in taking a different path in his education journey. This summer he graduated from Trinity College School in Port Hope, Ontario. Three weeks ago he started his college career, studying economics at Northeastern University in Boston, MA, with his first semester actually being spent in Berlin, Germany.  Yeah, I’m proud of him.

 

Time Out

Our daughter got a mild concussion yesterday at school. Over four years that our kids have been at Trinity College School I think my wife and I always expected that the email from the school that they had our child in the medical centre being assessed for concussion would relate to our son. But no.A pre-breakfast moment of limbo hijinks resulted in Taylor falling and hitting her head on the ground and activating a most impressive protection process by the school medical staff.

When I was a kid an impact to the head and any resulting dizziness or headaches were just a part of life and not given much attention unless seriously debilitating. Times have changed for the better. In large part this is due to the awareness of the cumulative effect of head injuries in sports such as American / Canadian football and rugby. For an excellent insight into the long-term nature of repetitive head injury, I can recommend the film Concussion, starring Will Smith. The protocols that have been established over the years for injuries on-field have been extended to the wider campus, and it is impressive.

Within minutes of this accident, Taylor had been taken to the school medical centre where she completed a Sport Concussion Assessment Tool 3 (SCAT3) test, the result of which indicated she was experiencing 19 of the possible 22 symptoms. With this result, the school immediately instituted their head injury protocol which includes close monitoring in the health centre on day one, and a daily repeat of the SCAT3 test until she is symptom-free. She was also immediately banned from all screens including phone screens, which for a teen meant immediately assigning a friend to keep her Snapchat streaks going. Priorities! When the test results are normal (hopefully soon), the school then institutes its Return to Learn programme with respect to classes and school work missed while on screen restriction. This involves the active participation of the Academic Support Office at the school in a holistic approach to bringing the student back up to academic ‘speed’ after pulling them back 100% to allow the brain to recover from the injury.

A slideshare of a short presentation on leadership and vision I gave to the Rotary Young Leadership Awards participants at the University College of the Cayman Islands in August 2015.

What To Do When It’s Your Turn

A few months ago I shelled out a few dollars to support the most recent literary project of Seth Godin.  The book is called ‘What to do when it’s your turn (and it’s always your turn)’.  He described the book as an experiment (he’s kind of known for experiments), and more importantly he has described it as a book he wants shared with others.  When it showed up in my post box there were five copies, not the three I had ordered.  That was the bonus that was mentioned when I ordered back in early December, 2014. The bonus is intended to help buyers, particularly the early recipients of the book, share the message of the book with others.  What is it about?

Basically, Seth Godin thinks we are wasting the chance of a lifetime.  The book, in his words, is “an urgent call to do the work we’re hiding from, a manifesto about living with things that might not work and embracing tension when doing your art.”  It continues his long term theme of embracing the tension, knowing that the anxiety before a decision is risk feedback and a visceral call to do great things.  Mainly, it is a continuation of his manifesto to ‘ship’ your work.  Realize that perfection is the enemy of productivity.

The praise team at church played this song, How Many Kings, by Downhere, at church today.  It fairly well sums up my ‘why’ of Christmas.  I expanded on this theme two years ago in a blog post here.

Merry Christmas, everyone!