The Principal’s Pen – April 2019 Newsletter

“Esse aut non esse, hoc est quaestio” in Latin, “To be or not to be, that is the question”

I am sure that you have all heard this well known phrase at some time in your lifetime, but what is it’s origin.

It is the famous Shakespearean soliloquy of Hamlet in which he reflects on some questions that he is faced with.  A soliloquy is a speech by one person to himself.  Several meanings are attributed to this brief text.

Hamlet contemplates suicide, but he questions whether it is a viable solution to his problems.  He also contemplates killing Claudius. He wants revenge but if Claudius goes to heaven, then killing him will not avenge Hamlet’s father.  And finally, he questions death itself, what happens after death?  Is it better to act or to remain inactive? Is existence worth the pain that one has to sometimes bear?  Why do miserable people continue to live?

Now that we have reflected on Hamlet and those famous words, I would like to apply them to our Eskom situation.

I am sure that you regularly check the load-shedding schedules and ask: “to be (load-shedding) or not to be (load-shedding).

We had prepared for the possibility of load-shedding long ago and continue working during load-shedding mainly on those tasks which do not draw heavily on our computer’s resources such as lighting design work does.  We focus on lighting design work primarily during the time between load-shedding periods and have learnt new skills in the process, some of which we probably would not have learnt if it were not for dear Eskom.  Do not despair when load-shedding strikes again, be prepared to adapt which reminds me of the show written by Pieter Dirk Uys titled  “Adapt or Die”.

As you know, I personally mentor and goad students to succeed.  I have conversations with many students who may have started to fall behind.  In every such conversation, I hear about the many reasons why no progress is being made.  I would like to offer my variation on the famous soliloquy above:

“To graduate or not to graduate, that is the question”.   Striving for success is a mindset.  If you are one of the flagging students, it’s time that you changed your mindset.  “Time waits for no man (or woman)” is so very true.  After all, it was first said in 1225!

I have so often used the expression – “Procrastination is the thief of time”which was penned by the English dramatist and poet, Edward Young in his Night Thoughts between 1742 -1745, to encourage students to make progress..

The important point that I would like to make is that despite the fact that these words date back so many years, many men and women and students alike, have not heeded the warnings contained in them.

I could rattle off many more, but they will not change your mindset.  Only you can do that.  All that I can say is – Do not sacrifice the prize that is having a worthwhile internationally recognised qualification! 

The words that I have written contain a bit of literary education, a bit of encouragement for those tough days, a bit of reflection for those who may have fallen behind and a bit of humour.

If you have fallen behind, contact me so I can help you to get back on track and to stay on track.  I am always willing to help, to mentor and to accommodate you.  I want each one of you to succeed.

  • Abigail Govindasamy, WSP Cape Town – BHASL003C19: Advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering

  • Tapuwa Elijah Tarisai Makoni. Ongwediva, Namibia graduated with Distinction on 24 February 2019.
  • Hema Maskowitz, Cape Town graduated on 25 March 2019.
  • Abigail Wentzel for successfully completing the Online High Level RELUX Course.

Join me to wish the following students and graduates a very happy birthday!

  • Thomas Theron, Mossel Bay – 1 April
  • Nadia Franco, Pretoria – 2 April
  • Anke De Wit, Windhoek – 7 April
  • Mark Walsh, Windhoek – 8 April
  • Clint Davids, Cape Town – 11 April
  • Stuart Spooner, Johannesburg – 12 April
  • Robby Cohen, Cape Town – 16 April
  • Sean Schoombie, Johannesburg – 17 April
  • Morena Chabalala, johannesburg – 20 April
  • Johan Dippenaar, Cape Town – 23 April
  • Adriaan Wykmans, Johannesburg – 25 April
  • Tobias Wykmans, johannesburg – 25 April
  • Tersius Zwigelaar, Port Elizabeth – 25 April
  • Johann Staats, Port Elizabeth – 27 April
  • Kevin Van Schelt, Cape Town – 27 April
  • Lionel visser, Lydenburg – 28 April

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BHA Educate

Internationally Subsidised Enrolment Opportunity

For the second consecutive year, BHA SCHOOL OF LIGHTING has been granted a subsidy amount by an international institution which has been applied to benefit aspirant students who would like to enrol for

BHASL003C19: Advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering –

15 x Enrolment opportunities exist for applicants on a “Strictly – First Come, First Served” basis at R12,000.00

For international applicants the fee will be USD 827 / GBP 631 / EURO 736

Seize the opportunity and secure your enrolment now!

Visit our website at

Complete the enrolment form and return it together with your Proof of Payment to secure your place on this internationally recognised course immediately.

We look forward to welcoming you to the course.

Ts & Cs Apply

a.  Installment payment options will not apply to the above subsidised installment offer.
b.  Installment payment options are available for South African applicants at standard fee rates as shown on our website on application prior to final enrolment.
c.  Contact Philip to discuss installment payment options.

Learn more about us on the International Association of Lighting Designers website –

School Invests in ‘Concentration’ Lighting

Extracted from Lux Review –

Herstedlund School in Albertslund, Denmark has installed lighting which switches between warm colour temperature (3000K), cool colour temperature (4000K) and cold colour temperature (6000K).

A primary school has invested in dynamic colour-tuning LED lighting to boost the concentration of pupils during the notorious afternoon lull.

The lighting is controlled by an internet-enabled and app-based lighting management system with four pre-programmed lighting scenarios, which is controlled by the teachers, who change the lighting mood three times a day on average.

The colour settings and light intensity of all the luminaires in the classroom are individually adjustable, while teachers can also define their own settings.

Seasonal daylight differences and the arrangement of the classrooms, which face in different directions, all have an influence on the lighting conditions.

Generally, the cold 6000K colour temperature is reserved to tackle the low-energy period after lunch while the warm-white light provides a relaxing ambience for breaks.

Researchers at the University of Aalborg developed the specific design criteria for the lighting moods in the classroom – and then turned these into reality by Austrian lighting manufacturer Zumtobel.

The scientists used the lighting infrastructure and the lighting management system to collect data on the use of light in the classrooms over a three-month period.

The findings have now been brought together in a recently published study, which claims that the lighting is a real support to learning at the Herstedlund School.


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