Irony seems to be part of the school's ethos, and a PSHCHRYRHSTE from 2011 seems to perfectly forecast everything the school did wrong when dealing with us. The name of the presentation? 'Conflict Resolution'.
The presentation starts by defining conflict as 'opposition', 'a clash of opposing ideas' and 'contention', among others (are you starting to see what we're talking about?). They then say that the causes of conflict include: 'opposing viewpoints or opinions', 'selfishness' and 'miscommunication'. After showing various photos of optical illusions that have been around since someone got pissed near a lake and realised a duck looks a bit like a rabbit (yeah, we don't know either), the presentation went on to state some of the things you can do to get past possible conflicts including (and this is where it gets brilliant): 'avoid assumptions', 'listen' and 'Tell Your Story'.
Then, of course, the last slide of the presentation had to be 'strategies to resolve conflict'. As if the rest of the presentation hadn't been a slap in the face to the Management, by their own account showing that what they had done over the past three years (and before) had been bad conflict resolution, and what we had done was right, the ways of resolving conflict that the school stipulate include: 'assume you do not have all the answers', 'ask questions to understand the other person', 'be prepared to compromise or make a deal'. Now, when we started this blog, we did question, and hoped that the management would at least try to 'understand' our position. And, we wanted to open up a conversation – a real one – between the management and students, in the hope that perhaps there might be some 'compromise' to be had. But, then again, nobody, not even a school, likes being told that they 'do not have all the answers'.