“… the rule states that a person must persevere with learning and practising a craft or discipline for about 10 years before he or she can make a breakthrough” – In “Does Genius Follow the Ten-Year Rule?” in Psychology Today
I once had a conversation with Mark near the HUB bus station. When I asked him why he was just taking one course per term, Mark responded that he was taking ten years to focus on establishing a strong student group that would play an active role in eradicating poverty in our society; and that he was planning to pursue his other passion, physics, upon completion of these ten years.
Mark has been at this university for eight years now. Initially a student of physics, Mark transferred to Open Studies to remain a student and at the same time, work to promote social justice within the university community. He was the man behind the Make Poverty History and the Millennium Village Referendum in 2010, which sought to implement a $15-per-year dedicated fee unit for development projects in developing countries. Although the latter was not successful, this campaign sparked a debate on campus about social justice, and his group, Make Poverty History, has been one of the most successful student groups on campus, providing opportunities to many students who now are prominent figures among the social justice community, such as Mike McGinn or Nikki Way.
Now, Mark splits his time between oilfields and school. He is working to save money for his schooling in physics, and at the same time, taking one class per term and working for his student groups. In addition, Mark is planning to launch a secret business, which will incorporate ideas of social justice.