Sunday, January 31, 2010

Where do you get that from?

It's rare to be able to clearly and exactly pinpoint fundamentals in how you live your life. That is unless you have the time and resources to poke around with sharp sticks, blu-tack, rubber bands and snail bait.

That said, I can quite confidently pinpoint one of my early influences when it comes to 'how' I think.

I was - for want of a better word for it - supposedly quite 'talented' at mathematics during high school and I was even at one stage in the top 5% nationally of students for my age.

This essentially put me in the 'bright' kids class in the all years from age 13 on and, as such, I was allowed to journey to the hallowed halls of 3T. The 'T' pointed to the 'Terry' in Terry McMahon.

Mr McMahon had a fearsome reputation that very much preceded him. He was seen as old school and, in the times where the cane was still 'available' (admittedly only in the DP's office), this proved enough to keep many - if not all - kids in line.

We 'clicked' very early on and I found my years with Mr McMahon extremely fruitful. He taught me how to approach problems 'outside the box' and - very importantly - introduced me to the powers of logistical thinking. In amongst the multitudes of things I learnt are tools that I still use daily.

Admittedly most, if not all, of the equations, formulas and other such nonsense are long since gone, but the 'way' of approaching problems has very much stuck.

It was with genuine sadness that I learnt today of the passing of Mr McMahon in late December.

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