Thursday, December 22, 2016

Don't look back, you can never look back (Don Henley)

Recently, my wife and I found ourselves lost in San Francisco. 

First though - some key facts:

1 At present, I can only access my iphone info if I can hook into some wifi - means cafes and large malls.

2 We had heard stories about the Tenderloin district.

3 We had decided to take the tram.

4 We are the straightest looking people on the planet.

5 I don't like to ask for directions.

We set off on our mini adventure - to find Amoeba Records on Haight Street, then on to the city centre for a look around before meeting up with our daughter (a SF resident).

We did the first part okay (and I spent a wonderful hour in Amoeba Records), but then we got back on MUNI to Van Ness and started walking.

Our decision making was 'what feels right' rather than head into a Starbucks on Market Street and check via the wifi. Oops.

Quickly, we started noticing a lot of cops interviewing homeless dudes, a lot of cops!, and fire engines, and ambulances, and then, as we walked through Golden Gate, we noticed a bad juju in the air. A palpable kind of threatening vibe.

We were in the heart of the Tenderloin. Wikipedia succinctly describes the area as 'nestled near the downtown area, the Tenderloin has historically resisted gentrification, maintaining a seedy character and reputation for crime. Squalid conditions, homelessness, crime, illegal drug trade, prostitution, liquor stores, and strip clubs give the neighborhood a seedy reputation.'


This is one time when beating a hasty retreat while not establishing eye contact is deemed appropriate. 

We looked back! Retraced our steps to the safety of Starbucks. Regrouped. Headed out again for a Westfield mall and then a tram home.

Why am I telling you all this?

In education, sometimes a look back IS appropriate. Sometimes, forward progress can only be made by establishing some solid ground. 

Sometimes a reconsideration is a good place to start.

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