I like the fact that rowing has been in the news recently.
It's the only sport I know anything about. (I'm not being modest. I had to have the concept of cricket stumps explained to me.) So when the St Bede's scandal broke, I had a week of excellent segues into my obscure rowing knowledge.
But there are only so many people you can bore to tears by explaining the differences between Swiss and Fig rigging. And eventually, I started thinking about the actual scandal itself.
I wasn't particularly interested in whether the school's authority had been compromised, the kids would turn into monsters or whether they'd won a big triumph for everyday justice. I was fascinated by the parents.
Taking a school to court over its disciplining your child is $15,000-$20,000 worth of time, effort and balls. It's beyond parental support. It's not so much being their kid's cheerleader; it's being the cheer squad, the sports teams, the referees, the half-time orange guy and the half-time orange itself.
What kind of person would go that far? That behaviour doesn't just need love. It needs love and money and time and dedication.
And that suggests that it's something mostly only middle-class parents can do.
Not because poorer parents don't love their child as much, but because they're busy - they've got shit to do like working three jobs, worrying about money, fighting debt, or feeding a family when there's no money.
Having parents like this can be highly influential on kids. It's one of the most influential factors in creating that sense of power middle-class kids have. That sense that you have infinite options, possibilities and power over your future.
When your parents are so dedicated to you that they'll blow $20k on your sports game it can make you feel unstoppable. And when they take a school to court you feel really unstoppable. And just imagine how you feel when they win ...
These parents are one of the key reasons why middle-class, especially white middle-class, kids can grow up with a sense of infinite possibility.
Of course, it's not just the parents that build that powerful feeling - being white also helps. There are fewer negative stereotypes around you. And the absence of a history of tension and abuse by systems of power that makes you distrust the system.
The school the kids go to is also massively important for this sense of power. Private schools specialise in it. As a veteran of a private school, I and my peers were drilled in believing that anything was achievable. I'm not saying state schools don't do this, but in my experience I've found private schools pride themselves on it.
I remember an old ad from my school with a picture of kids that said, "Don't recognise them yet? Don't worry Oxford, Cambridge and Harvard will ... "
Why should we care if middle-class kids grow up thinking anything is possible? Because I'm not sure that kids from poorer backgrounds do.
When I left school, a fluffy bunny of naivety, I realised exactly what going to a nice, middle-class school had done to me. It had made me think that I could do anything.
That in itself isn't a bad thing. I want kids to feel that way; that's how people blow society's socks off. Of course there's a danger that the pursuit of goals comes at the expense of everyone else's welfare, but in general, it's an amazing force for change.
But this mind-set rests on the assumption you have the power to shape your own destiny.
And the more I talked to other people, the more I realised that feeling was not too common. It changed by your colour, your family, your neighbourhood ...
If you read the Family 100 report on poverty in New Zealand, the interviewees repeatedly emphasise a sense of powerlessness. There is a heaviness in their stories; a feeling that they have no control over, or options for, their future.
I remember the first time I realised how much I'd taken my sense of empowerment for granted. A friend of mine told me about how the principal of a poor Auckland high school was asked to address pupils at a King's graduation ceremony. He gave them the same advice he gave his own pupils, advice like where the dole office was and what to do if the police stopped you.
My school told us we were unstoppable.
This whole mind-set matters because the feeling that you own your own destiny is powerful. It makes kids active participants in their lives; movers, shapers, another-dynamic-sounding-business-buzzword-ers. And everyone deserves that.
So it's great that some kids have it. And it's heartbreakingly unfair that a lot don't.