Theory and Practice

Three years out of teaching from university and from time to time I find I still have to deal with students…which is a welcome respite, actually, as it takes me out of the usual challenges at work, even if only for some brief moments.

The latest interaction came out of the blue. An industrial engineering student texted me to ask if we had any problems that could be solved by “various IE tools.” She had been referred to a former colleague and now professor at the local university. Rather than continue the conversation by SMS, I decided to call her up instead.

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Entrepreblues

Our venture into the food service business opened me up to various facets of living I wouldn’t have known existed. We are one stall in a row of eight, the newbies in the community. When we first came in, we thought the veterans were somewhat standoffish; over time, my wife made close friends with a few of them. We caught glimpses of their business operations and of their travails therein.

If you’re ever thinking of opening a canteen in a private high school, my definitive advice is “Don’t.” There are far too many restrictions and arbitrary impositions, making it extremely difficult to fight the tide of rising prices. Despite this, our friends aren’t budging: for them this is their livelihood, a make-or-break proposition. And the school we operate in isn’t fazed at all: there’s a long list of entrepreneurs waiting to take the spot if anyone ever drops out.

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