Of learning and things LO30417

From: Dennis Rolleston (dennisr@ps.gen.nz)
Date: 07/25/03

Hello fellow listers,

I'm still intrigued by the thrust and parry of learning philosophies,
theories and experiences on this list and I want to tell you a story ( or
paint a picture Andrew) to give you the context of mine.

I left school when I was 15 years old (1963) without a solitary academic
achievement. I was accepted into an apprenticeship scheme for indigenous
New Zealanders and became a registered electrican in August of 1968.
Subsequently I gained advanced Trade Certificates in industrial
Installations, Industrial Electronics and registration as an Electrical
Technician. When working as an electrical supervisor for a multi-national
I contemplated doing an electrical degree however I was at the time having
difficulty with the way I was being managed and was passed-over for
promotion/transferred to other deparments because of my refusal to
"kowtow" (kiss butt) for want of a better description. I decided to aim
for a degree in management.

In my struggle I was always of of the opinion that our education system
was such that it was not possible for an individual to "transcend" (reach
potential) by journeying through it. I am a great believer in life long
learning. I have encouraged family, friends, associates and colleagues to
get on the leaningsville train. I have also worked in the training and
development field for the last decade. I have had many ups and downs in
the last ten years and the ups - (my students achieving and going on to
bigger and better things) - have been sufficient to cancel and more than
compensate for the downs. I have spend many an hour 'offline' with my
trainees over the years working with them to overcome emotional damage
done by uncaring managers and education systems that work on pass rate
instead of students, and to help themselves propel themselves forward -
stay propelled.

I am perhaps fortunate that I can always check in with the results of my
efforts, many of them have worked for the company for many years and I get
to recieve more feedback than just the sign off sheet to say they have
attained the standards in a performance objective.

I am proud of my achievements in the training and development field. I am
extremely aware that overconfidence can easily turn to arrogance thus
limiting my ability to assist people on their learning journeys. I
constantly seek feedback directly and indirectly. I am always grateful
for the people with the courage to show me the mirror - (keeps me firmly
on the ground) - yet there is still the egoistical question "am I enough".

Last week I got the results of my final exam for my final paper of a 21
paper double major Bachelor of Business Studies - I passed.

[Host's Note: Congratulations are certainly in order! ..Rick]

I received many congratulatory e-mails from friends and colleagues from
over the site and one, just one, bought a lump to my throat and tears to
my eyes. It was from a supervisor of just 2 years who supervises a hard
headed crew in what would probably be the most difficult working
conditions on site, he has been one of my trainees and a fellow indigenous
New Zealander. He expressed in heartfelt terms the motivational influence
my achievement of a BBS had on him and he now had a new role model.

Denis Waitley in his book "Seeds of Greatness" says "how can you hope to
ignite a flame in someone else's heart if at first the fire does not burn
brightly within your own?". There is also another saying that I have
heard "when you place a piece of burning coal next to one that's not, and
when the second piece begins to burn, the first piece burns even brighter.

When I regained emotional control after reading this e-mail I realised -
using my measuring tape - that for an instant in time I had reached the
pinnacle of Maslow's hierarchy - it was huge and it was so very very

Andrew, I still don't know how to paint yet I continue to paint 'my'

Thank you all once again for contributing to my picture.

I'm enough.



"Dennis Rolleston" <dennisr@ps.gen.nz>

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