Expecting the Unexpected
“To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect.” Oscar Wilde wrote this in his play An Ideal Husband. Interestingly, it was also a lesson learned painfully the other day. For me as for many, the end of the workday involves navigating to a carpark where a four wheeled ticket home awaits. Nostalgically, I grew up in an age when starting a car involved inserting a key into the ignition and turning it to produce the pleasing sound of an engine turning over, followed by the drone of a tuned set of cylinders idling comfortingly before the journey begins. On this particular day, however, remote in pocket — I believe it may be called a fob — I approached my vehicle and confidently pressed the button to unlock the door. After a satisfying “clunk”, an opened door and a comfortably established seating position, my finger reached forward to the appropriately named — or so I thought — Engine Start/Stop button. Surprisingly, upon pressing, my ears were greeted with a clicking sound and an engine steadfastly refusing to come to life.
Obviously, something was amiss. Exiting the car, the strategy was to lock the beast and seek assistance. With another button press and a “clunk” the doors locked. Then in turning to walk away, as if by magic, “clunk” they unlocked. So…pressing the fob again, “clunk”, locked doors! A turn, a step and “clunk”, unlocked. Then, with impeccable comedic, timing the boot determined that instant to be the optimal moment to unlock and so annoyingly popped open. After shutting the boot, this unexpected, puzzling and frustrating experience repeated itself twice more; lock, unlock, lock, unlock, boot; lock, unlock, lock, unlock, boot, before the doors finally settled into quiet security.
Thank you to the young Eddies man who sat nearby, watching the whole situation play out from his mum’s car. Troubled by what he saw, he related this to his mother who in true Eddies fashion came to make sure I was okay. In this case, I was, and I thank this mum for her concern. The trigger for such an unexpected comedy was in the end, a dead battery. To add to the unexpected surprises, nowadays batteries can be found in boots rather than under hoods.
“To expect the unexpected…” Our Year 12 students this year have, no doubt, taken this as a mantra with the unexpected showing itself regularly. Our Year 7 students have experienced the unexpected in their first year of Eddies, punctuated by social spacing, no hand shaking and online learning. Each of our young men has lived with the unexpected over the course of this year and certainly, the recent resurgence of the COVID19 virus in our local area yet another surprise.
It seems there will be more of the unexpected to come. However, surprises cease to be surprising if we are prepared. For each unexpected, it is important to have a strategy, a plan, an answer. As schools in the South East face spot closures due to positive infection notices, the need to be prepared for the next step is evident. The strategy to rectify a flat battery will be different to dealing with COVID tests and spot closures. The plan to deal with such events will be more complex than that to call RACQ for assistance. The answer, however, in each case can be found in preparation, and in the support and strength of this community, our community, our Eddies.
Ray Celegato, Principal