Despite its murky beginnings (the identity of the original St. Valentine is entirely lost in the mists of time; the association of February 14 with romantic love first occurred in fourteenth century England, with the poet Geoffrey Chaucer. How do I know this? Well: after googling the subject and following some obscure and unsatisfactory links, I went to the 21st century’s fount of all knowledge, Wikipedia, and found an excellent and concise summary of the topic.)


So, as I was saying…


Despite its murky beginnings, Valentine’s Day has evolved into one of the more playful and harmless disruptions to life – especially in a school. I will let others comment on the crass commercialism and manipulation of human instincts that pressure people to spend money – among grown-ups, and those on their way to becoming grown-ups, I simply encourage some self-discipline and restraint in the face of those manipulations. Around the school this morning, we are festooned with a lot of pink, a lot of red, and a few love songs disrupting classes, to the delight of most and to the dismay of a few curmudgeons who actually contribute a sense of humbug necessary to increase the harmless delight. It will all be over at noon, except for the dance tonight at the Senior School.


I myself have ambitions to impersonate a gourmet chef, creating a meal of elaborate appearance but deceptive simplicity in its preparation. Without letting the cat out of the bag, on the menu are some figs, some exotic fowl, and, of course, some chocolate, among other delicacies. You will have to ask my wife, Joan, about my attempts, though, before you risk a sample of my skills yourself.



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