T. C. B.

As a high school teacher of U.S. History and government, I would seek to personalize the three branches of U.S. government (i.e., executive, legislative, and judicial), by off-handedly asking my seniors, “So tell me, how’s your executive function coming along?”  I would then use their look of puzzlement as an unintended invitation to seize the liberty to tell them a bit more than they wanted to know:

“Yeah, well, you know, if your legislative function has to do with how well you’re working with others, and your judicial function is all about whether you’re acting wisely and honorably, your executive function is all about… T.C.B.”

Correctly discerning that I was not about to back off, he or she would then usually take the bait: “Uhm…what do you mean by T.C.B., Mr. Gauld?”

I’d then reply, “I mean… Taking.  Care of.  Business.”

I had come to realize T.C.B. is what success in college (and probably a very long list of other things) is all about.  It’s doing what you need to do when you need to do it.  It’s about the propensity to delay gratification when no adult authority figure is on the scene to remind (or make) you do whatever it is that you need to do.  I can’t vouch for how scientific this is, but I can say that kids who can master T.C.B. tend to do well in college and the kids who can’t master T.C.B. tend to flounder.  (And T.C.B. is also a very good post-college attribute to have!)

Onward,  Malcolm Gauld