Wake Up! It’s Time to Get Up for School.
A Blog by Pádraic Ó Máille.

A client of mine went to wake up his son for the first day back at school earlier this week.

‘I’m not getting up’ said the son sleepily.

‘Why ever not? asked the Dad reasonably.

‘Three reasons’ said the son defiantly.

‘Firstly, I hate school. Secondly, I hate the students. And worst of all, I hate the teachers.’

‘Now listen here to me’ replied the Dad a tad more testily.

‘Here are three alternative reasons to get up. Firstly, like it or like it not, it’s your duty. Secondly, you’re 45 years of age. And thirdly, you’re the headmaster.’

I love that story.

We can all relate to the incipient despondency of ending holidays and starting back again into the ritual of school, learning and discipline.

At times like this we need mature and caring allies in our corner who have the assertiveness to wake us up, listen to our concerns and give us feedback on our purpose, our abilities and our responsibilities.

What distinguishes us from all other species is our incontrovertible ability to learn. Research shows that learning begins in the womb and continues on to the moment we pass. As Michael J. Gelb said ‘your brain has a capacity for learning that is virtually limitless, which makes every human a potential genius.’ Eric Hoffer built on this by proclaiming that ‘In a world of change, the learners shall inherit the earth, while the learned shall find themselves perfectly suited for a world that no longer exists.’

One person that was a prolific learner and teacher alike was Bríd Fox-Garvey. Over 15 years ago she founded Cater Care and it quickly became the single best Food Safety & HACCP training company in the country. Bríd passed on last week. Her leaving will be a massive loss to her husband Liam, her extended family, the team in Cater Care and all her friends in SMÁCHT. To them we extend our deepest sympathy.

Bríd may no longer be with us in body but her spirit and legacy will endure forever. I can hear her exhort us in those infectiously positive, enthusiastic and uplifting tones to:

‘Wake up. The school you are enrolled in is ‘Life.’ It’s open today. The clock is ticking. And you are both student and headmaster.’

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n’anam.