Sunday, May 01, 2011


When I was teaching I was school councillor for gifted students, the ones who threatened to fall between the cracks of the normal school systems.

One day a young man came to speak to me. He was sent because he was skipping lessons. He told me he was completely uninterested in school. He was 17 years old, had done poorly in his previous school and he was so demotivated that he feared he would have lost his stamina for anything at all if he continued for the 3 more years that were required before graduation.

I asked him what his interests were. His eyes lit up. He was running a small company that helped people design websites, and he was already successful enough to earn his keep. That was where his passion lay.

“So why are you at school?” I asked. It turned out that his mother had never had a high school diploma, and had always regretted that.

“In that case I suppose I ought to talk to your mother rather than to you,” I concluded. I explained to him that I did not see any reason why he should not pursue his self-made career. That, if at some point in his life he discovered that a degree of some sort became mandatory, he would find the motivation to get it.

He nodded, and left the room. Within 2 weeks he had left school, without giving us a chance to wish him all the best.

I suppose he did not need it.

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