Well, one afternoon last week I was just about to leave the office at my university in a regional town in Colombia. I needed to get home to Barichara to deliver a fundraising workshop. Now even though I knew I shouldn’t I made the schoolboy error of checking my inbox before closing my laptop.
I’ll explain why this is seldom a good idea in future post.
Anyway, knowing it to be a foolhardy I hit refresh. I couldn’t help it. I was on tenterhooks; waiting for a reply from Exeter College, Oxford.
I’d won a place on their world renowned teacher training course this summer. Unfortunately it was not a funded place and I was awaiting a reply from the course administrator regarding the possibility of discretionary funding.
Guess what? Yes, indeed there was a reply from said administrator and, no it wasn’t good news.
So on the journey home I was feeling pretty despondent about the very real possibility of having to politely their decline their offer of a place on this very important course. I didn’t realise it at the time but this was just Karma giving me a private lesson.
As the bus wound it’s way along the mountain road I bounced up and down thinking about the injustice of it all. I’d been up since 4.30am (my first lesson of the day is usually 6am) and with a splitting headache and motion sickness I was about to give a pro bono funding workshop to an admittedly very worthy cause. I then thought about the communications and fundraising work for charities and individuals that I used to do back in the UK.
It seemed grossly unfair that despite the thousands of people I’d helped in the past that the one time I asked for help it would be denied. And besides it also seemed from the reply above that my appeal probably hadn’t even been read because my request focused on the positive outcomes of enabling me to attend this course rather than anything to do with “financial concerns” which the administrator referred to in her email.
Well, once the workshop was underway I was back in my element. The headache along thoughts of a missed opportunity were gone and the participants were finding my advice and guidance useful. So I was inspired once again to focus my talents on the things I can change and not worry too much about the things I can’t change.
Now, Karma’s a funny old bird and later that night I found out that she hadn’t finished with me yet.
If checking your inbox just before leaving the office isn’t a very good idea, then checking your inbox just before going to bed is an even worse idea. But hey, I’m a glutton for punishment so…
…I checked my inbox and there was an email from my director of studies. I’m paraphrasing here but this is what it said:
“Congratulations Donny! We support you. Consider yourself £400 closer to your goal of studying at Oxford this summer”
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