Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The First Is the Only

Denzel Washington - in a movie I can't recall - told his terrorist investigation team that after a building blows up, the first 24 hours of investigation are the only 24 hours.

I'm exaggerating, but I think it works with students, too. The first lesson is, strangely enough, the 'only' lesson with them. Mess up your first hour with them (i.e. bore them, anger them, confuse them) and you've had it. They'll always remember.

On the other hand, do a great first job, and you've stamped solid expectancy upon your listeners. This doesn't of course guarantee success the second round but it's easier to go into Round 2 with a good Round 1 then to rescue the game in Round 2 after a horrendous Round 1.

TV producers know this. Hence, the high-quality pilot episode. Ditto, the pilot lesson.

(Now I remember the movie. It's called The Siege where DW starred opposite Bruce Willis. Now if only I put my memory cells to more useful endeavours...)

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