Like Bees In A Bottle

Sometimes, human beings behave like bees. If you put several bees in an open-ended bottle and lay the bottle on its side with the base toward a bright light, the bees will keep on flying to the bottom of the bottle towards the light. It never occurs to them to reverse gears and try another direction. This is a combination of genetic programming and learned behaviour.

Put a bunch of flies in that bottle and turn the base towards a bright light. Within a few minutes, all the flies will have found their way out. They try all directions—up, down, towards the light, away from the light, often bumping into the glass and into each other—but sooner or later they find the neck of the bottle and fly out of the opening.

In term 2, you will be faced with many challenges as you seek the bright light of learning. Will you be like a bee and stick to the way you have always done things or like a fly, trying everything you can until you find the answer?

We often allow ourselves to become locked in our comfortable ways of doing things, even if we are getting nowhere and really want to be reaching in a new direction. What we’re doing may not be helping us, but at least it’s familiar.

One of the most important factors in achieving success at school and in life, is the willingness to try things out, to experiment, and to test new ground. In fact, this is a positive way to learn and progress – by trial and error.

Like the fly, try one way and then another until you succeed. Don’t worry about making mistakes along the way. That’s the way we all learn.

Acknowledgment: Adapted from Denis Waitley through Principal’s Digest

Dr Paul Rijken is principal of Cardijn College, an R-12 co-educational Catholic school in the Marist tradition, deeply inspired by the method of College patron Joseph Cardijn with a foundation built on the three pillars of his teachings; to See, Judge and Act. Educating and inspiring students in the beautiful Southern Vales region of Adelaide since 1984, Cardijn has grown to encompass three schools, each with distinct offerings. Cardijn College Galilee at Aldinga offers Reception to Year 7, expanding to include Year 8 in 2022 and Year 9 in 2023. Cardijn College at Noarlunga Downs offers Years 7-12 and is renowned for academic excellence and a vibrant extra-curricular program. Cardijn College Marcellin at Christie Downs provides a wide variety of vocational education and training opportunities for students in Years 10 – 12 and beyond, with relationships that extend well into their careers. With a current enrolment of 1750 students and 240 staff, Cardijn College is an institution which strives to be a beacon of faith in the community, with students who have enormous influence and impact on both a local and global level. Paul has been the principal at Cardijn College since 2005. He has a Ph.D. from Curtin University in Science and Mathematics Education. He is a Fellow of the Australian College of Educational Leaders.

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