SCA is a McDonald’s Ball Pit. By @Benedicttatham

Benedict Tatham

By Benedict Tatham


SCA is a McDonald’s Ball Pit.


Our whole lives we’ve been living within a structure with a working system.

From kindergarten, to pre-prep, senior school, University (maybe) and now SCA, systems have been in place to guide us through each door towards adulthood.

These structures are incredibly important. We need guide lines.

Stepping outside of them can be disorientating. You start to loose direction, confidence and motivation.

The really difficult thing about SCA though is that although the structures and systems are in place, we are challenged with coming up with our own formula in order for it to actually work.

At school or university you could sit back and pay little attention in class. 

You could pick up the text book at the end of the term, put a few facts into your short term memory and with a bit of luck, come out with some good grades.

Imagine if you tried to do that before portfolio day? It just wouldn’t work, it would be crap. 

We’ve heard of people putting together portfolios in a week, but only because they’ve worked hard throughout the year to find the formula to do so.

Once you’ve found your formula you can fly.

We are 35/36 whatever it is now, and we’re all desperate to find our own formula. 

In fact we’re all going completely bananas in pyjamas trying to find it.

Occasionally, with a few small wins here and there against a barrage of failures, we think we’ve cracked it. But then it’s gone again.

This is why SCA is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. We’re in a constant state of limbo. Caught between what we think we know and what we actually know. 

Up and down up and down up and down. 

On the surface SCA is giving you everything you could possibly need.

But actually the most crucial tool to success is what is untaught and perhaps unteachable: your own formula. 

I think of SCA to be like being in a ball pit. You know the ones you used to get in McDonald’s as a kid? 

Playing on a cushioned sea of colourful balls, the possibilities seem endless.

But sink beneath the surface (or get pushed under by someone you’ve never met) and you find yourself struggling under it’s weight, disorientated, and helplessly trying to grip onto anything that will bring you back up to that fun and joyous place.

That’s when you need a formula. Mine was to find a stray leg, or foot, anyone would do, to scale myself back to the surface. 

But at SCA I haven’t found that sturdy leg on which I can rely for when play turns nasty. 

But I will keep searching my friends, I will keep searching.

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