Early Failures, 1893–1904
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In 1893, at the age of twelve, George Elton Mayo was sent to Queen’s School in North Adelaide to introduce discipline to his education. From 1896 to 1898 Elton studied at St. Peter’s College, a private school for Christian gentlemen, founded by Doctor Mayo and his contemporaries and attended by Elton’s father. At home Elton’s reading and intelligent conversation were encouraged, and his occasional moods of depression and withdrawal were attributed to his sensitiveness. Elton’s academic work was good but not outstanding. Elton was eligible to enter the university to study arts or law but not medicine because he had not taken Latin. In July 1899, with seven other young men, Elton became a student of medicine at the University of Adelaide. Elton’s failure changed his career and life. The decision had been taken to escape failure, and to become sure of what he should do with his life.