Appreciating what we have

I want to begin this edition of In Touch by thanking all the parents for their forbearance and support in transitioning their sons back to the College in Term 2.

All of our staff and all but a couple of boys are now enjoying each other’s company in the classroom and hopefully getting back on the bike with as few scratches and scuffs as possible. As I stated in my last correspondence, we have focussed on the welfare of the boys as a priority in the first instance and now will start to ramp up the academic exigencies and return to business as usual (if there will ever be such a thing again). With this in mind, can I humbly ask that the one percenters begin to kick in again, including appropriate study habits, organisation, uniform and grooming and making use of the academic clubs that run before and after school hours. There is a Wellness Survey due to go out soon to try an ascertain how the boys are feeling about being back, but please don’t wait for survey results if you have a concern about your son’s wellbeing or study routine. Let his teacher, Mentor teacher, Head of House, Head of Learning or any member of the Leadership Team know of your concern or of his struggle and we’ll do everything we can to support him.

Recently, there has been a bit of debate about the etymology of the phrase ‘never waste a crisis’. Some attribute it to Sir Winston Churchill and others more recently to Former White House Chief of Staff and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emaunuel. Either way, I think it’s very pertinent to what we have recently gone through and are likely going to go through for a while yet. If after this period of our lives nothing has changed, one may ask, what will ever change?

I wrote to your sons on Mother’s Day asking why do we often take for granted the very things that deserve our gratitude the most? We do this with both people and our daily pursuits. The problem is that many people do not realise this until the situation has come and passed. We take things for granted on a daily basis, always with the assumption that whenever we need something, it will be there. I am hoping one of the after-effects of COVID-19 is that everyone and everything is not taken for granted in the future. There are many things we fail to realise the true value of until they are missing from our lives. Think of seeing family, going for a walk, exercising at the gym, dining out and going to a sporting fixture. You probably didn’t realise how vital these simple things were in your life until you have to go days or weeks without them. Enjoy the little things in life because someday you will realise they were the big things. People say you don’t know what you’ve got until it's gone. Truth is, you probably knew what you had, you just never thought you’d lose it.

One of the most common things Mr Kenny used to share with me is that he didn’t want to look back at his Principalship of this College with fondness and think how good were those times. What he wanted every day was to enjoy that blessing whilst it was happening. “Appreciate what you have before it becomes what you had” he used to tell me. Great advice then, even better advice now.

God bless,

Mr Domenic Burgio