Monday 23 June 2008

Hurdles always topple over

Running for fun

I have never been that athletic but I do remember that in my early teens I used to do long distance running just for the fun of it but never in competition.

I did try out hurdles and much as the hurdles look daunting from the starting line, they are set up to topple down forwards when hit by a hurdling error of the runner.

Hobbling over hurdles

Basically, a hurdle is not fixed to the ground as some insurmountable obstacle, whilst the best technique would glide over the hurdle without touching it, the runner would surely find out that they are only slightly slowed down if the hurdle is hit but the hurdle usually would not stop the runner in their tracks.

Even so, life is full of hurdles, but there are many who see those hurdles as big high impregnable walls of Jericho that they are overwhelmed and already defeated before they find out that it is hurdle and not a solid wall.

The big money wall

I was chatting to a young ambitious man this evening that was trying to enter business school but had been slapped with a EUR 12,000 fee as a guarantee that he would pursue the study rather than embark on other activities.

It is unfortunate, that some of those before had abused the foreign student programme by obtaining visas for study and then going into full employment – new laws have been promulgated to avoid such abuse.

Looking at the situation, I averred that it was a hurdle rather than an insurmountable obstacle, I opined that it was quite unlikely that a foreign student had deposited EUR 12,000 in the college’s bank account because that would be a greater incentive to work and probably engage in nefarious money making schemes.

A surety of confidence

My view was that the EUR 12,000 was the monetary value of a surety that guarantees that the person would make study their primary purpose whilst availing themselves of the maximum 20 hour a week working time.

This meant, if the person were able to produce a surety; a respectable member of society who knew the student, exercised a modicum of control over the student’s activities with some sort of monitoring agreement and had confidence in the student’s abilities, the fee can be waived on that recognisance.

Surety of conviction

A foreigner might not be able to produce such a surety on short notice without developing a trusting and working relationship, however, if the student in persistence and determination is able to convince a lecturer or some academic of their potential, commitment and ambition a surety might arise to allow a waiver.

The student creates a conviction that persuades the academic to provide the support to obtain access and gain a waiver of sorts.

In other words, the fee would always be an obstacle to those who do not exert themselves beyond that first refusal; it is however, just a hurdle to those who realise that the purpose of the fee and think round the issue.

I cannot say I convinced the young man of my views, but at least I gave him a perspective that made little of what once looked impossible and unattainable.

I have seen many examples of people who refused to be deterred by the big money requirement and ended up realising their dream without suffering that financial outlay – what looks like a wall, might well be a curtain, hurdles are not fixed to the ground, and they topple over when knocked, hit or just tripped over by a runner, but if you were just walking by, you'll never really find out that truth.

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