Avinya Foundation

#23 Curveballs, Grit and Action Stations

“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” – Albert Einstein


This week I’d like to open with this quote because it’s been an interesting week full of curveballs and some unique challenges. I chose this particular quote because it encapsulates the essence of how we at Avinya have worked through, dodged, jumped over and finally floated over some challenging curve balls.

Instead of feeling overwhelmed, we embraced the problems, chewed on them, evaluated them from different angles and finally put our heads together and looked at practical solutions. Reflecting on this week, despite everything we’ve had a week full of productive fun and some good old fashioned teamwork. That’s what I love about Avinya. No one says, ‘that’s not my job’, it’s usually an overwhelming surge of ‘how can I help?’

I feel there needs to be a drum roll before you read on.

Cue drum roll!

We will officially start bringing in our students next week in groups for introductory and orientation sessions! Yes, it is happening 🙂

We’ve decided to start with a soft opening to give us time to trial and test out systems, processes and procedures. The technology team is working furiously to have everything set up and Lakshman has been coordinating some ground work for our soft opening. A lot of buzzing in the hive!


No, opening is complete without some traditional milk rice of course and that is in the cards 🙂

This week the debate was what is traditional – fish curry and milk rice or chicken curry and milk rice. If you ask the Avinya team they are divided on that! Let us know what you think.


Apart from intellectual arguments such as this, we’ve also decided to incorporate a parent/ guardian familiarization tour as well as an orientation. The excitement in the air is unmistakable and our Educator team has been so busy that some of them have forgotten what day of the week we are on.

It’s been an intense week but then again…

“To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time.”

―Leonard Bernstein


We are nearing our Recipe 120 mark and we were floating earlier this week when we hit the three digit mark. It’s been a journey of some fantastic teamwork, amazing support from a few friendly faces and a whole lot of hard, hard work!


Let’s talk a little bit about hard work, grit and persistence actually.

What is grit?


“Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.” – Angela Duckworyh


Why talk about grit this week?


Well if my hints above haven’t worked yet, it’s been a full-on week! You know how you get to the climax of a thriller movie and you are gripping your chair to find out what happens next? That was us this week as we had a lot of dynamic movement all around.


I’ve seen a lot of talk in academia about grit recently. About how it really isn’t about how smart you are but how persistence and grit can make a significant impact too. Now if we reflect on our circles and evaluate who has achieved some form of success I think we may find this philosophy does seem to have a point. It’s something we want to inculcate in our students too. There are many pathways to success and the key is to hold on to those long-term goals with the focus of an eagle and the strength of Eliud Kipchoge (widely considered to be one of the greatest marathon runners of all time).


From Marathons to Action Stations


I shall end this week’s blog with an anecdote if I may.


Nihara pointed out to me today that it isn’t only IT lingo that we have going around in the team. We have lots of other lingo flying around that isn’t always as clear as we think it is. It really was an interesting topic of conversation as Dee and I reflected on it much later. How did all that reflection start?

With action stations.

How come you may ask.


We were planning an Open House for our campus within the next few weeks and Dee and I just looked at each other at the meeting and said let’s do a carousel and we can have action stations as part of the tour. We looked over excitedly at Nihara to share our news and she looked like she wanted to sink to the floor. Puzzled we tried explaining why we thought this was a fabulous idea and after a good ten minutes and an even more floored Nihara we realized what we had was a communication gap. In Nihara’s world action stations were Kotthu or Hopper stations which meant her catering for the event just got a whole lot more complicated and honestly completely impractical. In the parallel universe of academics we were thinking of carousel activities and live action presentations and allowing the different parts of the campus to come alive with interaction!

Learning point – action stations aren’t the same everywhere and make sure you concept check or you will probably be inviting your new campus visitor to a session on how to make Kotthu vs. your Empower program 😉


That’s it from me for this week from a mildly sleep deprived but totally focused team here at Avinya.

– Anju