One week at a time
I love footy finals’ time. All the well-worn cliches are presented as sporting teams in all codes approach the culmination of their season. There are many parallels with the ebbs and flows of the school year. It is especially pertinent to our Year 12 students as they conclude final school assessments and external examinations loom large.
John XXIII College is a busy place. Over 260 musicians entertained a large crowd at our Spring Music Soiree last Sunday. On Monday evening, one of our Year 10 students, Sophia Matthews, sang the National Anthem at the Perth Concert Hall at the culminating Catholic Performing Arts’ Concert. The following evening, we had a beautiful Mass at the College to wish our Year 11 students well on their upcoming pilgrimages. Lovely symbolic moments were shared between parents and their children. Wednesday featured 150 athletes representing the school in the A division Athletics Carnival and later that night our Year 12 musicians performed for the final time in front of their families and peers. Excellent public speaking was also evident that day with our Year 10 Atticus Finch speeches. On Thursday afternoon our prospective student leaders addressed a captive audience of Year 11 students and later that evening our Year 8/9 Production commenced.
When we acknowledged each of these events at our Secondary Assembly I emphasised that it was important to celebrate the giftedness of our students and staff. However, it is even more significant to acknowledge the quality of the people. I related this quick anecdote:
‘The Brisbane Lions dominated the AFL playing in four grand finals in the early part of this century. They were captained by Brownlow Medallist, Michael Voss. He was a brilliant footballer and an outstanding leader. Once they have entered the playing arena on Grand Final day, players are well versed on the pre-match routines. Part of the ritual involves gathering in the middle of the ground for a photo. It is well-rehearsed and players know exactly where to stand and sit and the whole process only takes a few seconds. During one of the Grand Finals, Voss stopped the process and insisted the players reassemble for another photo. He had noticed that that the young boy in Brisbane colours acting as a ‘mascot’ for the day was standing nearby. He quickly gestured for the boy to join the photo and the young child became part of the official photo.
It was a small gesture, but we should never be too busy to be a good human being!’
As we move into the season of Spring, the winter ailments and cold weather are replaced with optimism and enthusiasm for what lies ahead for our students. It is perfectly understandable that there is also a degree of trepidation. It is a matter of keeping perspective. Examinations are important, but they are certainly not life defining. Learning is a lifelong journey with plenty of scope for growth and development in the future.
The coming weeks are a matter of ensuring there is a balance between study and rest to be well prepared for assessments. Massive improvement in results can be gained in the final weeks as students gain the benefit of solid preparation. Best wishes to all students and continue to look out for your family and friends. Be a good human being!