“You never fail until you stop trying.” – Toms story

The young Tom

The young Tom – inspiring us even then

I am not sure when I first met Tom but it was certainly early on in his studies. Tom was not your typical accountancy student, he was slightly older and perhaps more reflective, the two points may be related. Students studying for professional accountancy exams are probably around 25 and focused very much on looking forward, not back.

Tom started his exam journey in November 2009, his first 2 papers went well and he passed them first time. You need to pass 10 exams broken down over three levels if you want to become a member of the Chartered Institute of management accountants (CIMA).  Boosted by this Tom decided to sit the next 4 papers all at once, something he now thinks was a mistake, he passed just the one. By the end of 2011 however he had passed the other 3. That was 6 papers and two levels complete, Tom was back on track.

“Even though the ship may go down, the journey goes on.” – Margaret Mead

2012 was not a great year for Tom on a personal level which almost certainly had an impact on his performance in the exam room. As a result the whole of that year went by with only one exam success. Between 2012 and 2013 Tom sat one of the remaining papers three times and the other one six times, to quote Tom, that’s six, count them 1…..2….3…..4…..5…..6….. He finally passed that paper in November 2013.

It’s probably worth pausing at this point, how would you feel if you sat an exam twice and failed, let alone 6 times. At this stage your biggest enemy is your own mental attitude. You begin to question your ability, your intelligence and even your choice of career. On top of this is the boredom and stress of having to study the same exam over and over again, trying to do something different, fearing if you don’t you will get the same result. And of course as many of you will know when you are studying your life is on hold, making decisions about work, family/friends is difficult as you need to put your studies first.

In fact Tom did consider giving up, but there were two reasons he didn’t. One the support of his teacher, Maryla who remained positive throughout whilst working with Tom on what he needed to do to improve, and two Toms stubborn attitude, his determination and desire to get something good from all the hard work he had put in so far. To quote Tom, “all I kept thinking was I have lost so much because of this bloody course I have to get something positive from it.” When Tom finally passed that paper he felt excited, and as if he had slain a personal demon.

“Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records.” – William Ward

With only one paper to go Tom was still to face a number of challenges, and it was far from plain sailing.  Knowing a large amount of detail was essential for the earlier papers, now it was all about the big picture, prioritisation and time management.

He was told that gaining the qualification would open doors … So he imagined an open door, on the other side were green fields, money, cars, holidays, being the boss. This focus really helped motivate him to see it through. He passed his last exam on the 29th of May 2015.

It had taken Tom 6 years, in which he had sat in the exam room approximately 22 times. This is not the story of someone who always knew he would pass, destined for success nor of a naturally gifted student who simply needed the right motivation to bring out his talent. This is about what you can achieve if you are willing to make sacrifices, give everything you have and learn from failure.

Congratulations Tom you deserve your success.

 

Big fish – little pond

Best be a Big fish in a Small pond

It’s taken me a little time to get round to reading the latest Malcolm Gladwell (MG) book, David and Goliath, underdogs, misfits and the art of battling giants. Although consisting of three separate sections they all examine the idea of what it means to have an advantage and how we account for the success of the underdog.

Of all the ideas MG lays before the reader, the one I felt was of most interest is something called the big fish little pond effect (BFLPE) and the theory of relative deprivation.

Relative deprivation theory (RDT)

Relative deprivation refers to the discontent people feel when they compare their positions to others and realise they have less. e.g. I judge BMW ownermyself to be successful on the basis I have a brand new car that cost £15,000.  That is until my neighbour pulls on the drive with a brand new BMW costing £30,000, now how successful do I feel?

MG applies this theory to the world of academia. If you take Harvard’s Economics PhD programme and consider the number of times each PhD graduate was published in the last 6 years, Harvard’s top students will do this 4.31 times. Those that are about 5th or 6th in the class publish .71 times and those that are about average .07 times. If however you compare these results to a “mediocre” school, say the University of Toronto, where MG went,  the top students will publish 3.13 times, those that are 5th or 6th .29 times and those that are average .05 times. The point being that students who attend a much lesser university but where they are top of their group perform considerably better than the 5/6th best at Harvard. The question is why?

The smarter your peer group the dumber you feel…..

This is where RDT comes in, we tend to judge our ability by comparing with others, and if you are in a class with very smart people who always do better than you, your perception of your own ability will be effected. The second problem is that this self perception will have a significant impact on your behaviour and ultimately what you achieve, hence the results above. The implication, you will achieve more if you are in a class with others of equal or less ability than yourself.

Bottom line, your performance will improve if you are a big fish in a small pond. It’s even called, the big fish little pond effect (BFLPE)

But what to do?

Admittedly you can’t always pick and choose your peer group, but you can be aware that comparing yourself with the very best may be having a detrimental impact on your own performance, so stop doing it! Instead be inspired by the best but compare your performance with those that are the same as you. Better still compare your current performance with what YOU have achieved in the past and if you are doing better you must be improving…..

David-and-Goliath-Malcolm-Gladwell

 

Listen to MG talking about relative deprivation theory or if you prefer the Big Fish little pond theory….

 

Listen to MG being interviewed about the book

Carrots and sticks – Motivation and the thinking Donkey

Donkey carrot and stickMotivation is one of those topics that is so important to learning and passing exams that we will constantly keep coming back to it.

If you are motivated when studying then you will study for longer, more frequently and be more focused.

As a result I have written about motivation in the past Motivation – How to want to study, Rocky boxing No – it’s about motivation to name but two.

I have always liked the simple idea that if you want to motivate someone to do something then you give them a reward (carrot) or a punishment (stick). You will probably have used carrot and stick techniques on yourself. If I answer these exam questions by the weekend I will have Sunday off or if I don’t answer these exam questions by the weekend then I won’t have Sunday off.

But are we more complicated?

In his book Drive – the surprising truth about what motivates us, Daniel H Pink (a former Al Gore speech writer) argues that there are in fact three motivational systems. One survival , motivated to eat, drink and reproduce. Two, seek reward and avoid punishment, the so called carrot and stick and three, intrinsic  motivation, the idea that motivation comes from within not from external stimuli.

These are not mutually exclusive, you are still motivated to eat, drink and reproduce, equally carrots and sticks do work, but what are these intrinsic motivators.

Type X and Type I

Type X behaviour is fuelled more by extrinsic desire, how much money will I get, I don’t want to have to work Sunday, this fits with carrot and stick. Type I behaviour requires intrinsic motivation and is concerned with the satisfaction gained from an activity. Pink argues that extrinsic motivation works better for algorithmic/routine tasks that require little cognitive processing. But if you have to think, understand, create then intrinsic motivation is more effective. Got it……

And the point is……

Studying and learning require a huge amount of cognitive processing (It is a type I behaviour) and so rather than using carrot and stick motivators you would be better using intrinsic ones. Pink explains that intrinsic motivators can be broken into Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose.

  • Autonomy – This can be achieved by making your own decisions as to how you study when you study, rather than listening to others or being rewarded for doing it. It’s about taking ownership.
  • Mastery -This is a mind set and involves you believing that what you are learning is not something in isolation but contributing to a greater and longer term skill set.
  • Purpose – This links nicely back to goals, which has been the topic of previous blogs. You must feel that what you are learning has some value and purpose possibly beyond simply passing the exam. Will it help you do your job better etc

Motivation can be difficult to understand, personally I feel that it does come from within (intrinsic), it’s my desire to do something not someone else’s and so the argument that you should not use carrot and stick (extrinsic ) type rewards makes a whole lot of sense.

Let me know what you think….?

Listen to Daniel H Pink at TED And an RSA animated lecture 

Reflection/Goals/Planning……Inspiration and bravery

2013_time100_yousafzaiIt’s nearly the start of a New Year 2014, traditionally a time for both reflection, taking stock of what went well/not so well and looking forward to what the future might hold. On the whole this is a healthy process, looking back gives you chance to put things into perspective and hopefully learn a few lessons, whilst looking forward gets you thinking about what you might like to happen and set goals to make those events more likely.

Looking back on 2013, one event that stood out for me was the nomination of Malala Yousufzai for the Nobel peace prize in November 2013*. It is not the nomination that is important but the fact it provided a reason to revisit the incredible story of one little girls determination to have an education, something that many of us are fortunate enough to be given for free or at least freeish!

Reflection – The story in brief

By 1997, the year in which Malala was born her father Ziauddin Yousufzai had been running a private girls school for several years in the Swat

A classroom in Swat valley

A classroom in Swat valley

district of Pakistan. This was before the Taliban took over. At the end of 2008 the local Taliban leader, Mullah Fazlullah, issued a warning, all female education had to cease within a month, or schools would suffer consequences. Malala was 11 and supported by her father started an anonymous blog for the BBC Diary of a Pakistan school girl.”  The blog stopped after only 10 weeks as Malala had to leave Swat. Although clearly influenced and inspired by her father Malala had a voice of her own and one that was now being heard outside Pakistan, she was passionate about education, especially for women. A documentary by the New York Times bought the story to a wider audience.

 All I want is an education, and I am afraid of no one. 

But on the 9th of October 2012 when Malala was just 15 two men boarded her school bus and asked “Which one of you is Malala? Speak up, otherwise I will shoot you all” The other girls looked at Malala, innocently identifying her; she was shot in the head and neck and left for dead. She was initially flown to a military hospital in Peshawar and then onto the Birmingham Queen Elizabeth hospital in the UK where she had further operations and continued her recovery.

They cannot stop me. I will get my education, if it is in (the) home, school or any place. 

On 12 July, nine months after the shooting, came a major milestone. Malala stood up at the UN headquarters in New York and addressed a specially convened youth assembly. It was her 16th birthday and her speech was broadcast around the world.

Goals and Planning

Malala wanted to be a Doctor, but wanting to be a Doctor is not an effective goal, it’s a wish or desire, it was outside her control. What was within her control was to work hard, motivate herself and fight for the education she deserved.

Malala wanted to be a Doctor but events changed all that, a bullet intended to kill her sent her down a different path. Now she wants to be a politician, not a goal but a wish, driven perhaps by a deep routed desire to help people less fortunate than herself. Yet those same goals of hard work, motivation and learning will equally help turn this wish into a reality.

Let us make our future now, and let us make our dreams tomorrow’s reality.

And so to 2014

When thinking back on 2013, learn from your mistakes, maybe the exams (life in general) didn’t go as well as you might have hoped. But don’t Happy New Yearask why, ask what have I learned and so need to do differently in 2014. Remember when setting those goals make sure they are within your control and take inspiration from the story of a brave little girl who worked hard, motivated herself and most of all believed in the importance of education.

  Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world. 

Ps

Malala is now working hard for her GCSE’s incidentally at the same school as my daughter.

Well worth watching – BBC – Shot for going to school.

And the *Nobel Peace Prize 2013 was awarded to Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons “for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons.

The lecture -When does learning happen?

“Lectures were once useful; but now the internet and online content are freely available, lectures are unnecessary. If your attention fails, and you miss a part of a lecture, it is lost; you cannot go back as you can with online content. “

The above quote makes the point very forcefully that lectures may not be that effective, and certainly not as good as online. But let me ask a broader question, what is the purpose of a lecture in the first place, does it help you learn and if so when does the learning begin?

The lecture – step by step

In its most simple form the lecture involves little more than a lecturer standing at the front of the class reading from a set or prepared notes or reciting from memory, the student then listens and copies down what the lecturer is saying, presumably to read and absorb later.

So let us break down this process and consider how a lecture helps with learning. Firstly the student has made the effort to attend, this in itself means there is some motivation involved. Secondly they are in an environment designed for learning and with other like minded individuals. All of this helps to put the student in the right frame of mind.

The lecturer will however play a very important part. How well they explain the subject, their level of knowledge, passion and genuine interest can all make a dull topic seem fascinating. And if it is fascinating the student will find it easier to learn. But how much of this can you get from a book, and can this all be achieved online?

And when is the real learning taking place? True the lecturer may ignite a flame and create a sense of curiosity in the student, but the real learning takes place in private, by the student as they revisit the book, video or notes, rewrite, talk out loud and practice questions.  As I have heard student’s say many times, “I need to go over this latter and get it into MY head.”

I am reminded of an Ali quote.

The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.

Conclusion

A lecture is a poor method of transferring information, a book or video can explain a topic as easily as a lecturer if well written/filmed. The book and video are both good at providing technically accurate information, but can they transfer the passion, maybe…… but I would argue not as well as the lecture.

You will get a far better view of a sporting event with expert commentary and the ability to watch again on TV, but you are more likely to get a life changing experience if your there watching it unfold live.

So if the only reason you are going to the lecture is to capture information then don’t bother. Stay in bed and get a good book, copy your friends notes or watch the lecture online. But if you want to be inspired/motivated, possibly get a unique view, then go to the lecture.

There is of course a message here for lecturers, your job is to be unique, to inspire and ignite the flame. If not you should also stay in bed, after recording all of you lecture of course.

And for the avoidance of doubt, I do not think this can all be achieved online, a live lecture is different, but the lecturer has to play their role, they have to entertain.

The debate is of course not new – the twist in the tale

Some of you may have recognised the above quote, it’s taken from (with a few amendments from me) James Boswell’s, life of Johnson, the quote is from Samuel Johnson, and the year…..1791!

Lectures were once useful; but now, when all can read, and books are so numerous, lectures are unnecessary. If your attention fails, and you miss a part of a lecture, it is lost; you cannot go back as you do upon a book. . . . People have nowadays got a strange opinion that everything should be taught by lectures. Now, I cannot see that lectures can do as much good as reading the books from which the lectures are take.

Examples of lectures

If only more lecturers could be like this – watch this

And not like this

And although not entirely my thing, everyone should watch the last lecture by Randy Pausche. Although you need to put aside over an hour you will not be disappointed and when you have you will join the 16 million others who have done the same.

Rocky boxing No – it’s about motivation

In 1976 a relatively unknown actor, Sylvester Stallone, wrote and starred in Rocky, a film that grossed $225m and won three Oscars. What a success story, “unknown actor becomes a star overnight”. But there is another story, the story as to how Sylvester Stallone came to write the script and got to star in the film.

This is even more interesting and it’s not about boxing or Hollywood it’s about motivation.

I wrote about motivation back in January 2012, but it is so important because it impacts on your ability to study and as a result exam success I think we should explore it in more detail.

If you’re motivated you will work harder, study longer and if you study longer guess what, you significantly improve your chances of passing.

In my earlier blog I described motivation as the wants, needs and beliefs that drive an individual towards a particular goal or perceived outcome. I went on to talk specifically about goals and how to set them, but there is much more to being motivated than simply setting goals.

A structure to help with motivation

I recently came across a framework* that provides a great way to think about motivation.

Engage – with yourself

Firstly ask yourself a few simply questions. How come you have got this far, what has been your motivation, what is it you want and why do you think that passing this exam will help you? Okay the idea of talking to yourself might seem odd, but trust me its normal.

If you can identify what it is that has motivated so far and there will be something, you can use it to motivate yourself even more.

Stallone recognised in himself a hunger to be an actor; he fed that hunger because he knew that it would help him succeed.

Structure

This is where the goal setting fits in. Set yourself a goal, exactly how to do this is described in detail in my January blog. Click here motivation – how to want to study.

Most thoughts and ideas have structure, motivation is no different.

Stallone clearly had a goal, it was vivid, very much within his control and positive, something he wanted as appose to something he didn’t want.

Relevance

Ask why is this goal important to me? What will it give me that I don’t have now? Repeat the questions several times, what pictures do you see?

The goals that you set have to be relevant to you, they have to have meaning for you, they are personal.

There was something that made wanting to be an actor highly relevant for Stallone. From this story we are not exactly sure what it is, just that it was powerful.

Beliefs

What do you believe about yourself, do you believe you’re clever or not? Do you believe you should pass? What do you believe will make the difference to your exam success?

Beliefs are probably the most important element of motivation. As Henry Ford once said “Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right.” Challenge what you believe and ask yourself one very simple question – Does this belief help me achieve my goal or not – if not change it!

Stallone had a huge amount of self belief; he first turned down $250k, said no to $325k and finally accepted $35! Ask yourself would you have done that, honestly I don’t think I would.

Listen to Tony Robbins tell the Stallone story

Click this link to hear Tony Robbins, I would recommend you listen, it’s well worth it.

 

 

 

*A framework for motivation – Motivational Drivers, Alan McLean

Enjoy the break

As July comes to an end and attempts to reprieve itself with a little sun it also means that the exam season is over for many, at least for a short time. But what should you do with this time off, what is the best use of time after exams?

I have always been interested by the idea that I am sure was in an updated version of Tom Peters and Bob Waterman’s book, In Search of Excellence, first published in 1988. This was a book about what made American companies great. But rather than building ideas from first principle, it looked at successful US companies and worked backwards in order to find common themes, a simple modeling exercise.

What I found of particular interest was the updated chapter that I believe was called, the price of excellence. In this chapter they argued that to be excellent you have to make sacrifices, having a balanced life was all well and good but it did not lead to excellence, excellence required to some extent obsession. As I watched the opening of the Olympic Games last night I wonder how many of those athletes had a holiday or were at home every night to kiss their children good night, how many sacrifices had they made.

No man ever reached to excellence in any one art or profession without having passed through the slow and painful process of study and preparation”

Quintus Horatius Flaccus – Roman Poet

But this is not an argument for obsession, well maybe short spurts of obsession, with rest and variety in the middle. The brain needs sleep and ideas need fertilising, sometimes connections and understanding come when you are least expecting them.

So go on holiday, engage in different activates, and challenge your understanding of what is around you but most of all have a great holiday…

Final thoughts

Excellence in the opening of the London 2012 Olympic games.

And just for sheer entertainment a fabulous presentation by Marco Tempest telling the story of Nicola Telsa, “The greatest Geek who ever lived.”

What’s the point of exams – what do they prove?

With many students in the middle of exams right now, working long hours, making huge personal sacrifices and putting themselves under considerable pressure, perhaps we should stop, take a moment to reflect and ask ……….what’s the point of exams?

Why are you doing this, what will it prove when you do pass, what will passing give you that you don’t have now?

 

 

It’s not about knowledge

If you pass an exam, you have proved that you knew the answers to questions set by the examiner at a particular point in time. To be precise you have only really proved you knew enough answers to get a pass mark, in some instances this might be less than half! But you have not proved that you understand everything about the subject or that you could work unsupervised in practice, knowing what to do is not quite the same as doing it.

This is not to say that examinations are easy, they are not or to underestimate their importance, it is just to be a little clearer on what exam success means.

Higher level skills

By passing an exam you are demonstrating many other skills, for example;

Motivation – You have proved that when you set your mind to something you can achieve it.

Concentration – For some people, concentration comes easily for others it might involve removing all distractions by locking themselves in a room. Whatever method you used, you have learned how to cut out distractions and focus on the task in hand.

Prioritisation and Time management – Undoubtedly you have had too much to learn and too little time to learn it. But if you pass the exam you have proved that you got the balance between an endless, or at least what appeared endless set of demands and the overall objective just right.

But most of all exams give you….

A great sense of achievement – You set yourself a target and achieved it.  It is a statement to others that you worked hard and have succeeded. It will remain a tangible and permanent reminder of success that can never be taken away.

Self confidence – It will build self esteem and help you develop a type of confidence that only comes from being successful in a chosen field. Others will congratulate you and as a result, treat you differently.

Choices – it will open doors to opportunities that simply would not have been possible without the piece of paper that says “Congratulations, you have passed”. Exam success will give you choices, it will change how others look at you but perhaps more importantly it will change how you feel about yourself…

So if you have been working hard keep at it, you may not be proving you are the greatest mathematician in the world, but if all goes to plan the end result will make up for all the pain you are going through right now, honest!

But just in case…..everything doesn’t work out check out these Famous A-level flunkers

Motivation – How to want to study

2012, another year and an opportunity to set some New Year resolutions, but how many will you keep, and why won’t you keep them? It’s not because you don’t want to, it’s not because they are not important. But somehow you just don’t want them enough; you lack the motivation to make them happen.

Just imagine if you woke up every morning jumped out of bed and said, “I can’t wait to start studying today.” How much would you learn if that was the way you felt? Well, that’s what it would be like if you were motivated. The interesting thing is that motivation can be learned, just like anything else. With the right techniques you can improve your desire to want to study.

People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”

Zig Ziglar

What is motivation?

Motivation can be thought of as the wants, needs and beliefs that drive an individual towards a particular goal or perceived outcome. It will generally result in affecting a person’s behavior: they will do something as a result.

Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.

Tony Robbins

Motivation is about setting goals

If motivation is about being driven towards a particular goal, then, to be motivated, you must set a goal or outcome in such a way that it invades your thoughts and affects your actions. In principle, then motivation is about goal-setting. You cannot be motivated if you don’t want something.

In absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily acts of trivia.

How to set goals

The process that you go through in order to set goals is important, below is an easy to follow guide as to what questions you need to ask to set motivational goals.

1. What do you want? State the goal in positive terms, what you want, not what you don’t want.

This needs to be something you want, so, saying “I don’t want to fail my exams” needs to be changed to “I want to pass my exams.”

2. What will you accept as evidence that you have achieved your outcome? – Make it real

  •  Ask – How will you know that you have this outcome? What will you see, what will you hear, how will you feel? or

So if your objective is to pass your exams, perhaps you would see yourself opening the letter and it showing a clear pass, you hear yourself shout “yes” and you feel so proud or maybe just relieved.

3. Is achieving this outcome within your control? –  Must not depend on others

  •  Ask – Is this something which you can achieve? Or does it require OTHER people to behave in a certain way?

If the answer to what do you want was, “To pass my exams,” then, when you get to this point it will become clear that this outcome is not achievable by you. To pass the exam, you need the examiner to consider your script worthy of a pass. So the outcome needs to be refined to smaller outcomes that can be achieved by you. E.g. “I want to practice more questions.” This is within your control.

4. Are the costs and consequences of obtaining this outcome acceptable?  – What do you gain and lose as a result of achieving your outcome?

  •  Ask – What are the advantages of making this change?
  • Ask – What are the disadvantages of making this change?

This will help identify if what you want (your outcome) is really best for you and the balance of your life? If you achieve your outcome, how will your life be affected?

5. And then….. Write them all down

 A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.

Ayn Rand

And finally – The E word

Many of my blogs, including this one contains extracts from my book “The E word,” the book about how to pass exams.

You can buy this book now at Amazon.

PS Want to know what the guys from Apple think text books should look like – check out this video

It’s a Wonderful Life – lifelong learning

In 1946 Frank Kapra made what is arguably the best Christmas film of all time, it’s a Wonderful Life. It tells the story of George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) who on Christmas Eve gets drunk after being told that there is a warrant out for his arrest for bank fraud.  In a moment of despair he threatens to throw himself into an icy cold river, believing that this will solve all his problems. He is interrupted by Clarence, his guardian angel (second class) who appears and jumps into the water before him. George is forced to rescue Clarence but does not believe that he is his guardian angel and wishes that he had never been born.

And so the scene is set for Clarence to show George that the world would be a very different place had he not been born. Had he not saved his brother from drowning, stopped Mr Gower (the local pharmacist) giving out a lethal prescription and put his dream of travelling the world on hold to run the local bank (Savings and loan).

George was a man with ambition and drive, he constantly put others before himself, in every way a good man. But as can often happen he found himself in situations that he had not expected, arguably did not deserve, that at the time seemed impossible to solve.

Lifelong learning

We often think that studying is something that you do when you are young and then when you have learned everything by the age of say 25/30, you sit back and relax!  Of course this is not true, learning is a lifelong pursuit. It may not always have an exam at the end, but there are lessons to learn and successes and failures to deal with in equal measure. A Wonderful Life follows the ups and downs of George Bailey and in one way is sad because he never does fulfil his ambition to travel. But he learns so many other things along the way, perhaps most importantly that some of the smaller things you do have a huge impact on others and that when faced with apparent failure or disappointment there is always a solution, and it’s not jumping off a bridge…

So perhaps you didn’t get the exam results you wanted or didn’t get a place at university but this is only a moment in time. It is not the end of the journey; it’s just a different beginning.

Steve Jobs tells a great story about “Joining the dots” how you can only join the dots backwards not forwards. Had he not dropped out of Reed College and wondered into a calligraphy class one day then in Steve’s words “the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them.”

So wherever you are in your lifelong learning class, have a very Merry Christmas.

A lesson for today’s bankers

When faced with the bank collapsing George Bailey put in his own money to save it. A modern day lesson for some of today’s greedy bankers perhaps. Sir Fred Goodwin, please note….