Tuesday, 4 February 2014

How not to make mistakes

Vol 17 Juggling


I don’t really live in the world in the full sense with other normal people, perhaps because of thirty years of pretty appalling eyesight, though now corrected, I barely notice what’s happening right in front of my eyes focussing instead on matters such as whether the universe is, for example, eternally imp/ex or otherwise ploding gently.

On this particular morning in the college library, I unexpectedly received the exciting news that I was to go along to the Marriott in Manchester Central that very afternoon.  Rather than the more probable reason that the first candidate’s absence explained why I was suddenly to attend the marvellous Tony Buzan’s excellent training session, I preferred to imagine that I was specially selected for such an honour.

We arrived, the three of us, the vice-principal, me and Diana, a middle manager with whom I had previously exchanged polite conversation a few times (more than a few times in truth) to find tables arranged in long rows, covered as befits the Marriott, in thick, crisp white table cloths.  The training, as expected, was fairly fabulous and very motivational  with a huge screening of a tiny wiggling neuron in a brain making its way determinedly if a little wobbly as its owner attempted to learn something new.  Very exciting all round and Diana and I exchanged smiles.

Mr Buzan spoke at length about motivation before advising us that we would break every fifteen minutes during which we were to attempt to learn a new skill – juggling - all the while noting our physical and mental processes. 

To this end we would find sets of juggling balls to share strategically and previously placed.

“You go first.” I kindly offered Diana.

“No.” she said, bashfully I thought.

“Yes, go ahead,” more urgently.

“I can’t,” self-consciously I imagined.

“Yes, you can, just give it a go, I’ll probably be rubbish too.”

“No, really, I can’t.”

“YES YOU CAN!” determined now with bucketloads of zeal, thrusting the juggling balls at her and simultaneously demonstrating my motivational abilities to the VP, “I BELIEVE IN YOU, I KNOW YOU CAN DO IT!”    

“Wendy” said Diana patiently shaking her head as she held up her arms and (shoot me now)  a speedy scan of her limbs revealed that the number count of her hands was one.

Perhaps, later that day, over a glass of Chablis, she would use that hand to raise a finger, or two, to me, who knows.