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We understand the challenges of raising and educating kids in the 21st century. Here are some insights we have picked up along the way.
Reflections by Bill Knauer, Head of School
There are two kinds of people in this world… those who prefer TV series and those who prefer movies. The TV-series people enjoy the extended narratives, with interwoven plotlines that meander and evolve, and characters and relationships that develop over weeks or even years.
That’s not me.
I’m a movie guy. I like self-contained. I like beginnings, middles, and ends. I like closure and resolution. And I admit it - I’m a sucker for Happily Ever After.
To go from the literal to the metaphorical for a moment, the pandemic is like a TV series, which is what makes it so difficult for those of us who need denouement. Every day is a new episode, with confusing plot twists, heart-wrenching drama, unresolved narrative threads, and a cast of characters that run the gamut from courageous heroes to inept, despicable villains who make me want to throw my shoe at the TV. The uncertainty drags on and on, with no clear end in sight.
Truth be told, I generally don’t have much time to watch movies, but this week after another full day of Zoom and of running scenario after scenario after scenario, I needed to escape to a different screen. So, I found an adventure movie that promised not to require much of me in hopes of turning off my brain and retreating into a simpler world of car chases and good triumphing over evil.
Then, about midway through the movie, a character shared a quotation that I recognized but couldn’t place: You drown not by falling into a river, but by staying submerged in it. I paused the movie and searched for its author. Paulo Coelho.
While I continued to watch the movie, Coelho’s words swirled in my mind. It occurred to me that when the pandemic hit, we all suddenly found ourselves tumbling from a sheer cliff and plunging into shockingly dark and turbid waters. The threat of drowning was very real, but as a school, as a community, we did not succumb to the undertow but instead immediately began struggling our way to the surface.
While the dangers are still with us, our stroke becomes ever stronger as we swim toward the shore. Sometimes the tide threatens to pull us back out or drag us into the depths, but we resist and continue to work our way toward safety, toward hope. I have no doubt that we will make it to shore, where we will help each other clamber back onto dry land, forever changed by the experience. Together, we will prevail.