Tag Archives: Philosophy

Don’t forget your toothpaste

I’m writing this blogpost from my room in the Holiday Inn, Leicester. I’m here as part of a two day meeting of Faculty Operations Managers which is being hosted (spectacularly) by colleagues from De Montfort University. There was a time when regular overnight stays were part and parcel of my working life. I had a bag pretty much permanently packed and was able to get ready for travel almost in my sleep. I had thought that those old habits would automatically kick in. Unfortunately not. Whilst I have arrived with most of what I need, I did manage to overlook one critical staple. I forgot the toothpaste.

At this point in the blog, I should make a witty but critically insightful point about the lack of toothpaste being a metaphor for something profound and meaningful. You know the sort of thing. As with packing, so with life – we remember the iPad charger and the emergency paracetamol (both true, by the way) but overlook the routine but important things. Alternatively, I could bemoan the fact that in the bathroom there’s a sewing kit, shoe-shine cloth, and shower gel (none of which I have the least intention of using) but no toothpaste. And isn’t that like life – fripperies and luxuries available at the drop of a hat, but essentials in short supply.

The reality, though is much less philosophical and much more prosaic. I was too lazy to do my packing until late last night, and was too complacent to make a list and do the job properly. The consequence is a shame-faced trip to reception and a return with a tube of toothpaste that is almost microscopic in its tininess. Tomorrow morning, I will start cleaning my teeth with those that show most and hope that there’s enough toothpaste left to make it to my molars. And that’s probably as suitable a metaphor for my professional life at the moment as any that I could come up with. Smiling at the front – brushed, but much less shiny in the background!

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Box A, Box B or both boxes?

I’m up against it a bit time-wise today, but thankfully the Guardian has come to my rescue with a humdinger of a logic problem that has all sorts of philosophical implications.

The link to the problem is here.

I’d love to know what approach you’d take and why, so please don’t be shy – leave your comments below!