Head Lines

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

In describing the strengths and distinctiveness of Trinity College School, I frequently use our T.C.S. acronym to emphasize: Tradition, Community and Shared Values.

Who would have thought that a strong community could ever present as a possible challenge or disadvantage? Yet, here we are during these pandemic times with physical distancing and community gatherings seemingly at cross-purposes. All schools are under the watchful eyes of parents, neighbours, administrators, the media and health authorities as we carefully work to reconcile the two.

Let me reintroduce two metaphors, as proposed by two respected authorities (one a medical doctor, the other an internationally-recognized journalist and author), to provide some additional support of the decision to re-open schools and how we all can, and must, contribute to its success.

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Thursday, September 10, 2020

Welcome to the 2020-2021 school year! After what many have characterized as "the longest March Break ever," our returning students have begun to re-engage with one another, their teachers, our staff, our program and our place. Our new students will be warmly welcomed into our community over the next couple of days.

And, parents, we will be working to engage or re-engage you in our community as well!

For the past six months, as parents, you have been busy washing, disinfecting, shopping, tidying, worrying and feeling anxious about your child's physical health, well-being, happiness and education. And, if you were like me, there was a level of disappointment and frustration that could not be directed towards anyone or anything other than "Mr. COVID." (I really dislike that guy.)

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Wednesday, June 17, 2020

With the digital Junior School Closing Ceremony being presented on Thursday and our Senior School Speech Day presentation set for Friday, this is my last blog for the academic year. And, what a year it has been.

Let me devote this space to the many positive aspects of this year. And, if there is one overall sentiment that I would wish to express, it is a massively humongous THANK YOU to the various constituencies of our beloved Trinity College School.

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Thursday, June 11, 2020

Wine connoisseurs (of which I am not) frequently judge the quality of wine by the year. In other words, the year on the label does not just act as the harvest year of the grapes in the bottle, it provides additional information to assess if the wine, for example, is considered superior or pales in comparison to wine of other years. On the www.beaujolais.com website, for example, 2011 is regarded as a particularly good year for Beaujolais: “…excellent quality wine, a rich, opulent and silky vintage.” (As an aside, I am consistently entertained by the descriptors for wine, and, for that matter, paint colours!)

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Thursday, June 04, 2020

Towards the end of each academic year at TCS, I get the pleasure of hosting “House Chew and Chats.” In short, the graduating students are all invited to attend a session, by house, with me in which I provide the food and they provide the conversation. Actually, they provide their perspective on the strengths of Trinity College School and areas that we could improve or enhance. It’s similar to what some businesses might call an “exit interview.”

Given the circumstances we find ourselves in today, I could not provide the food.(And I know we all miss the food from Osler Hall!) But, thanks to technology, the conversations took place and nearly 85% of the graduating class participated. Here are a selection of the comments the soon-to-be grads made about our school:

Strengths:

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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

One of the many (yes, many) advantages of spending more time at home is that it affords the opportunity to get to know yourself better. Seemingly, much of our pre-COVID lives was spent at, or travelling to, or preparing for a host of social situations involving other humans. Whether you were prepping for that next meeting, travelling to visit friends, being at work (or school), or organizing your next vacation, most of our lives involved social situations. Our bodies were vehicles to transport our brains and personalities to connect with other people’s bodies, brains and personalities.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2020

5 senses. 4 virtual platforms. 3 kids. 2 trains. 1 house.

When you spend your first ever evening in Port Hope, your conversations at dinner, and later your sleep, will be suddenly interrupted by the piercing sound of at least half a dozen screaming train whistle blasts followed by up to five minutes of trembling, earthquake-like rumbling, created by heavy train cars being pulled by an all powerful locomotive. On your first visit to Port Hope, it is likely that nobody told you about the two train tracks that run south of the TCS campus.

As your kids will tell you, it only takes a few days before you tend not to take notice of either sound again. Yet, the trains keep running.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2020

The past several months have seen all of us spending more time at home. And, while acknowledging the seriousness of our circumstances and challenges from a health and economic perspective, I have found and rediscovered some interesting and enjoyable pursuits.

My favourite is birdwatching.

Actually, while I am “nesting” at home at The Lodge on campus with family, I have two recent additional companions: a pair of gorgeous reddish-orange chested robins have joined me on the back patio. Initially, they were frantically building their own nest but they have now “settled down” to join me for morning coffees, late afternoon tea, and perhaps even a sun-setting libation to end an otherwise online kind of day.

I look forward to seeing them, always.

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Wednesday, May 06, 2020

It’s human nature that when you can’t have something (chocolate, for example), you tend to want it more. Or, if you have something you don’t want (say, a cold), you pledge to yourself that you will better appreciate what you had before.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Many of the customs of birthdays have interested me. To begin with, I always thought the parents should be the ones who are celebrated, not the offspring. I also feel that the Happy Birthday tune and tempo (“Happy Birthday to you, Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday, dear...”) really does not match the spirit and energy of the occasion. It’s a rather slow rhythm with pretty unimaginative words. A little more pep at the very least, I believe, word work better.

That said, one aspect of birthdays fascinates me more than anything else. And, it centres on trying to imagine what the world, community, family, or school would look like if a particular person had NOT been born. For example, what if Winston Churchill or Mahatma Ghandhi had not been born? Similarly, what if Jesus Christ, Muhammad, Socrates, Einstein, Rosa Parks, Nelson Mandela, Marie Curie, or Shakespeare had never been?

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