All posts by TSR17

Success, failure and Demosthenes

Let’s be honest: exam time can be pretty stressful, not least because it raises the spectre of potentially not getting the results we wanted. While natural talents and abilities can certainly help make things easier, the importance of hard work on the path to success really can’t be overstated.

Sir Edmund Hillary demonstrated this point very well. As he put it, “In some ways I believe I epitomise the average New Zealander: I have modest abilities, I combine these with a good deal of determination, and I rather like to succeed.”

For Hillary, success in reaching the top of Mt Everest was literally a matter of taking it in steps. Metaphorically, though, the same was true for the Greek orator and politician Demosthenes insofar as he undertook a regime of action intended to help himself improve and progress.

According to reports, Demosthenes attempted to overcome the effects of a speech impediment by rehearsing speeches with pebbles in his mouth. He built an underground room so he could avoid disturbing others in his home, and practiced orations against the sound of crashing waves in order to strengthen his voice. He is even said to have fixed a sword to the ceiling and stood underneath it so that he could train himself out of a tendency to lift one of his shoulders while speaking.

Perhaps no less important than hard work on the road to success, though, is the way in which we perceive failing—and there are definitely better and worse ways of perceiving them!

If you would like to learn more about success and failure and helpful ways to think about them, we’ve collected a set resources and videos together. You can check them out here.

Tōku toa he toa rangatira.

My courage is the courage of chiefs.

Come along to Autumn Arrival

To help get back to uni after the mid-term break, UC and the UCSA have organised a special ‘Autumn Arrival’ event in the Undercroft on 9 May between 10am and 2pm.

Come along and join in for some free food and fun to make your stomach and heart happy. Aside from the kai, there will be small animals to pet and grab a selfie with, activities, games, puzzles, and information about various support services that exist at UC to help you succeed and be your best.

Writing support – get the real deal

UC’s IT team has been made aware of writing services that are being promoted via email to UC students – the email includes UC branding. UC is not in any way associated with the writing services being promoted. 

Students are reminded academic integrity is one of the cornerstones of being a good student, and breaching academic integrity can lead to serious consequences. For more information read Academic Integrity Guidance for Staff and Students>

If you receive any suspicious emails offering writing services, please contact the IT Service Desk in the Central Library (Puaka-James Hight building, Level 2).

Academic Skills Centre
The good news is that if you would like some support with academic writing the Academic Skills Centre | Pokapū Pūkenga Ako can help. They offer services and resources that focus on academic writing and strategies to maximise your success. Find out more>