Professor Malcolm Grant, President and Provost of University College London, gave the address at this morning’s thanksgiving service for Waitaki Boys’ High School 125th reunion.
His theme was the difference between knowledge and wisdom and one of his points was how to differentiate between education and skills training.
He suggested we consider how we’d react if a daughter or grand daughter answered the question of what she’d done at school by saying she’d had sex education; then how we’d react if she’d said she’d had sex skills training.
Professor Grant started his address by referring to the school motto: Quanti Est Sapere, which I think translates as How Much Is Wisdom.
If I’ve got that wrong it’s a reflection on my memory and not Professor Grant’s mother, Vera, who taught me Latin at Waitaki Girls’.
While listening to this morning’s address I remembered that over the doors of rooms at what was called the Senior School building at Waitaki Girls’ (sadly demolished about 20 years ago) were quotes; one was relevant to this morning’s address (and I may not have this word perfect because it’s more than 30 years since I was a pupil): Knowledge is proud it knows so much, wisdom is humble it knows no more.