A Mentor Reveals treasures - David Patrick Dies

David Patrick died this week.  It is not often that obituaries of teachers reach a national paper but he is remembered because he had both a keen intellect, a fierce determination to inspire in his students a passion for history and the ability to divine gems within a person.

David taught at Shore for 12 years and at Sydney Grammar from 2006.  A former student, Andrew Lampe said, "David was both an extraordinary teacher and mentor to me.  His fast and vivacious intellect meant that his history classes demanded your brain keep pace.  his depth and breadth of knowledge should have been intimidating, except that as a teacher and later as a mentor, he never condescended."

On a trip to Gallipoli, he gave each student the name of a boy from the school who had died as a soldier.  The students then had to find out as much as possible about the soldier, stand beside the grave and tell the other students as much as they knew.

"As an educator he was an amazing encourager.  Literally he would give courage to his students."

David died aged 55 years and at his funeral pupils of Sydney Grammar provided a guard of honour.

His brother Ian said, "To him, no-one was unimportant.  Everybody had a story to tell and a valuable opinion".  

(summarised and quoted from the obituaries page of the Sydney Morning Herald, 1st March 2010, p16.  For full obituary please click on link above.)

Did you have a teacher who opened new worlds for you?

Humble Beginnings...

I've been pondering how to get this mentoring site off the starting block. Here goes:

I've always had a sense of wanting to contribute something to humanity. I've never had a real passion for only one thing, a definite signpost that said this is the way you must go. This leaves one in a bit of a morass, pulled in all sorts of directions because there is so much of interest.

However, several things appealed: religion, travel, learning languages, conducting (as in orchestras), harmony in music, and people,

I also suffered from a lack of confidence. Because of a need to break what I believe is called the "cycle of poverty" I set myself a path of study and achievement to become a teacher and finally a Music Specialist.

Along the path I came across a wonderful quote: "Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back.  Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.  All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.  Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now."
(This is often attributed to JVGoethe but it is actually from WH Murray "The Scottish Himalayan Expedition" with the last section probably Goethe"-"Whatever....")

I knew this to be true in me, having had many ideas not acted upon through lack of commitment to them, lack of confidence, fear of rejection.  I decided to put this into practise in my life and found it worked.  In fact it's what people now call the "law of abundance".  Whatever it is, there's enough for everyone.

People love to be asked to contribute, paid or unpaid.  There is innate goodness in excess and throughout the world.  And now, although my life has taken interesting twists and turns and lots of hard work, I do conduct (choirs / note harmony in music), travel, have learnt and am still learning languages, and have committed myself to a spiritual way of life (the Bahá'í Faith).

All of these aspects of my life lead me to believe that in my own small way I am contributing to the peace and welfare of mankind.

I'm looking forward to reading your stories. Lets share and learn from each other.