The Head's Blog: Some Assembly Required
by Dan Scheibe
Click here for a full (and lengthy) backstory of the title.
Graduation. What other event draws attention to a moment in quite such a way? And particularly in a small community such as ours, how often is an individual recognized and called out by name in such a direct and personal way? To my surprise, one of the true delights of graduation for me as a head of school is the actual reading of names.
It is partly the ability to RECOGNIZE somebody, to call to mind their character and presence and personality as their actual bodies are called forward to receive their diplomas. It is partly the pleasure of gathering such a diversity of names and legacies and heritages together in the innocent, alphabetically randomized form of a list. And it is partly the challenge of pronunciation.
Of the three graduations I have run, this one definitely had the highest degree of phonetic difficulty : a 9.4 on the 10-point “Mbogeni Scale.” I have invented the Mbogeni scale (reminiscent of baseball’s “Mendoza Line”) in honor of Mbogeni …
“What do a doctor and a poet have in common?”
They have to know how the human heart works.
Welcome to you all on this rather perfect day. A few sets of remarks, maneuvers, and lists are all that stand between us and a very happy graduation, so we will do our best to move things along.
But at the same time, let us not rush. Let us settle in, just for a bit, to enjoy these moments around us. This wonderful class here gives us reason to celebrate and rejoice, but they also give us pause to reflect—reflecting can be enjoyable too!
On this occasion, it is natural to ask, “to what degree has our mission been accomplished?” And so I do just that. I actually ask that of each of us. Why should only the graduates get to enjoy a good existential crisis?
I do mean accomplishing a life-mission in a big, broad sense. But, LA mission evangelist that I am, I also mean Lawrence Academy’s mission, and particularly that final part, the part about taking &ldquo…
As it turns out, these shoes are great for hiking up and then clambering down waterfalls-- a feature I discovered when I met up with the students doing work with the Mariposa Foundation in the Dominican Republic over Winterim. The shoes also provide good grip on the Great Wall of China -- which is startlingly steep in portions and best-navigated with an LA parent as a guide.
This writing is neither a shoe advertisement nor a travelogue. Rather it is simple testimony to the way Lawrence Academy can direct and orient life. Separated by exactly one month, the same shoes on the same feet on the same lucky head of school walked on opposite sides of the earth because of the spirit……
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