"You can hear the whistle blow . . ."

Five Hundred Miles

The Workshop

© 2006, Jamie McKenzie, all rights reserved. For online use only.


Children need to learn that real discovery often requires persistence.

Invention and insight result from cultivation and care.


For generations raised on the instant gratification of modern media, persistence can be a difficult trait to learn and develop.

"I want the answer and I want it NOW!"

Unfortunately, the focus upon trivial pursuits and questions requiring simple factual answers has fostered a "fast fact" mentality which expects neatly packaged answers delivered hot and fresh at a drive up window.

How many of our children have the persistence to build a model plane or a model cathedral with hundreds of small pieces which can only be put together if one READs the DIRECTIONs? How many can build a complex idea over the period of several days or weeks?


Related Words

Perseverance: perseverance (noun)


perseverance, persistence, stick-to-itiveness, tenacity, pertinacity, pertinaciousness, stubbornness, OBSTINACY

staunchness, constancy, steadfastness, RESOLUTION

single-mindedness, commitment, singleness of purpose, concentration, ATTENTION

sedulousness, application, tirelessness, indefatigability, assiduousness, industriousness, ASSIDUITY

doggedness, plodding, hard work, EXERTION

endurance, patience, fortitude, SUFFERING

maintenance, CONTINUANCE

ceaselessness, PERMANENCE

iteration, repeated efforts, unflagging efforts, REPETITION


Roget's Thesaurus of English words and phrases is licensed from Longman Group UK Limited. Copyright © 1962, 1982, 1987 by Longman Group UK Limited. All rights reserved.

Children must learn to "go the distance." The ability to stick with a tough thinking or learning task over time will give students an important advantage in school and later on in life.


The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), Anglo-Irish playwright, critic. Man and Superman, "Maxims for Revolutionists: Reason" (1903).

The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations

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Credits: The drawings, photographs and graphics are by Jamie McKenzie.
© 2006, Jamie McKenzie, all rights reserved.
Copyright Policy: These pages may not be duplicated, distributed, redistributed or republished in any manner without express permission.