Special congratulations to our 39 girls who scored in the top three placings and our 13 year age group who placed 1st, 16 and 17 years who came 2nd and the 14 year group coming 3rd. All girls are to be congratulated on their efforts and well done to the supporters on the day for spirited cheering. Thank you to Head Coach and Director of Athletic Development Ms Murry, Ms Bolger, our PE staff and all coaches, supporters and parents for your efforts. Please see Mr McGregor-Lownde’s article for more detail.
World Teachers’ Day
This Friday we celebrate World Teachers’ Day and use this time to acknowledge all our staff for their professionalism and passion in their daily work with our students. We are blessed to have such a dedicated staff and I thank them all for their efforts.
We wish Mrs McGuire all the best for the finals of the Queensland College of Teachers Excellence Awards.
Activities Captains announced
This week we announced our debating captains for 2018. Congratulations to Emmaline Monteith and Genevieve Rule. We look forward to their leadership of debating next year.
We also congratulate the following girls on their selection as captains for a variety of sports and activities across the school for 2018. We look forward to their leadership of the student body.
Annual Awards Ceremony
It’s that time of year when I am starting to prepare my address for our Annual Awards Ceremony. In my research I came across George Saunders Advice to Graduates. George Saunders is an American Writer and a Professor at Syracuse University, New York City. I really enjoyed the full transcript of the speech he delivered to graduates of Syracuse University in 2013. I will not be talking about this particular topic at the Annual Awards Ceremony, but I still wanted to share the ideas in it with you. To do that, I have reproduced sections of it below for you. If you would like to read the whole speech it can be accessed here.
In his speech, Saunders refers to the tradition at Graduations of the older, wiser person delivering sage advice to the young people about to embark on their careers and adult life. As is the tradition, in such advice, people talk about their regrets. I will now let George Saunders words do the rest.
‘So: What do I regret? Being poor from time to time? Not really. Working terrible jobs…No. I don’t regret that. Skinny-dipping in a river in Sumatra,…. and looking up and seeing like 300 monkeys sitting on a pipeline, pooping down into the river, the river in which I was swimming, with my mouth open, naked? And getting deathly ill afterwards, and staying sick for the next seven months? Not so much. Do I regret the occasional humiliation? Like once, playing hockey in front of a big crowd, including this girl I really liked, I somehow managed, while falling and emitting this weird whooping noise, to score on my own goalie, while also sending my stick flying into the crowd, nearly hitting that girl? No. I don’t even regret that.
But here’s something I do regret:
In seventh grade, this new kid joined our class. In the interest of confidentiality, her name will be “ELLEN.” ELLEN was small, shy. She wore these blue cat’s-eye glasses that, at the time, only old ladies wore. When nervous, which was pretty much always, she had a habit of taking a strand of hair into her mouth and chewing on it.
So she came to our school and our neighborhood, and was mostly ignored, occasionally teased (“Your hair taste good?” — that sort of thing). I could see this hurt her. I still remember the way she’d look after such an insult: eyes cast down, a little gut-kicked, as if, having just been reminded of her place in things, she was trying, as much as possible, to disappear. After a while she’d drift away, hair-strand still in her mouth. At home, I imagined, after school, her mother would say, you know: “How was your day, sweetie?” and she’d say, “Oh, fine.” And her mother would say, “Making any friends?” and she’d go, “Sure, lots.”
Sometimes I’d see her hanging around alone in her front yard, as if afraid to leave it.
And then — they moved. That was it. No tragedy, no big final event.
One day she was there, next day she wasn’t.
End of story.
Now, why do I regret that? Why, forty-two years later, am I still thinking about it? Relative to most of the other kids, I was actually pretty nice to her. I never said an unkind word to her. In fact, I sometimes even (mildly) defended her.
But still. It bothers me.
So here’s something I know to be true, although it’s a little corny, and I don’t quite know what to do with it:
What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness.
Those moments when another human being was there, in front of me, suffering, and I responded . . . sensibly. Reservedly. Mildly.
It’s a little facile, maybe, and certainly hard to implement, but I’d say, as a goal in life, you could do worse than: Try to be kinder.’
I encourage us all to try to be kinder, so that we are not dogged by the regret of living with these failures of kindness.