Sunday, May 05, 2013

in stories: "Changing the Lightbulb" ...

So ... it's about time that I resurrect my blog and shift it towards my Stanford GSB (short for Graduate School of Business) experience.  But now that I have not yet left for Stanford, let me fill these pages with a few things: my hopes from the Stanford MSx (short for Master of Science for Experienced Leader) Fellow program, my time in Indonesia as a chicken farmer, and stories from / about my fellow "MSx Fellows".

Now, about some hopes about the program ...

My dad never finished college, and as successful as he has with the family chicken farming business (more on this you can read in excerpts from my Stanford essay that I will publish later), he has always been the strongest supporter of seeing me come back to school to earn a Master's degree.  It's a bit counter-intuitive, right, and he has always struggled to explain this to anyone.  But it's actually more or less like this:

When a lightbulb goes out in our living room, my dad who is about 10 cm taller than me would simply reach up, unscrew the old lightbulb, and screw a new one in.  But sometimes when he does not feel like it, he would turn towards my brother and ask him to replace the lightbulb.  My brother would then look at the lightbulb, and say to my dad that it's out of reach; why won't my dad change it himself.  My dad would then turn to me and ask me.

My brother and I are about the same height, so I would know that if my brother could not reach the lightbulb, there'd be no way that I could.  So I'd fetch a ladder, step on it, and replace the lightbulb.

Some people like my dad could replace lightbulbs with ease without any ladders.  I'm one of those who could not. Not with ease, anyway.

And some ... they don't need a ladder because they'd rather not be the one to change the lightbulb.

And as for my dad, I'd like to add: yes he could change the lightbulb without a ladder.  But had he used a ladder, perhaps he could have gotten close enough into the ceiling to notice the leak above the ceiling that had caused the lightbulbs to die prematurely so frequently.  Or perhaps he would not need to overstrain his back and his toes in the process of trying to overreach the lightbulb.  Perhaps.

1 comment:

Adrian Evans said...

You could have invited him to your place in Ypres. Europeans, being taller than Indonesians, have ceilings which are higher. Your father would then have to get a stepladder to change the bulb.

I'm sure that there was a meaning for this thought, probably something along the lines of changing goalposts.

Ah, yes. Your father was the tallest in your house, but in Europe he would be small.

At school you were the best in your class, but those at Stanford all were too, and so may be the story may apply to Stanford.

Thought for the day :o)

Good luck :o)

- Adrian