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SMUS-Views-Bob

Junior School Sports Day

Today is the annual Junior School Sports Day. Races for everyone, the excitement of the House competition, ribbons in great numbers, a popsicle at the end. Gary Barber, Assistant Director of the Junior School, is a master at organizing the event, which shows in the efficiency of movement from one race to the next, and the final handing out of the cup for the winning House at the end. My hand ends up a little sticky from shaking the smaller hands that have given up their popsicles when they come forward for their moment of recognition. As good sporting events should, it winds down quickly.

Leavers’ Chapel Service

This is one of the warmest and fitting events attached to the end of the school year. Teachers who have taught these grads come and find a pew, and a few others – including Mrs. Snowden – find a seat with them. A small group of grads organize it, and somehow the tone manages to strike just the right chord of formality and informality, so that the sentiments remain genuine – neither overshadowed by this particularly large step in the transition of young lives, nor sloppy and excessive in the effort to rise to the occasion. Peter Leggatt spoke eloquently and affectionately of how the similar passage in his life might provide a context for these students who are leaving us now. Linda Rajotte, retiring after 37 years of teaching Math, conveyed the care and compassion (and devotion to Mathematics) that have made her so loved and respected. The service ended with a “souped up” version of the School Song which energized everyone in attendance. A few minutes late for next class. Oh well.

Staff – Student Cricket Match

Perhaps not a high watermark of the athletic year, yet one of the rituals of June that speaks very much of the School’s history. At least half the School staff who volunteer for the game haven’t played before, but they are sporting types, so they manage to score a good number of inartistic runs. I usually keep wicket, a position I am familiar with, and have to fetch more than the usual share of errant balls from bowlers who are trying out the weird straight- arm action required of the rules. Tony Cordle, who helps coach the School team, might or might not play for the staff, recalling his past glory when he played first division cricket in the UK for the championship Glamorgan team in 1968. Coach Graham Lilly, who occasionally interrupts his cricket coaching to teach Business and Economics, cobbles together – usually – a winning team that frustrates the students who in the past have taken their losses with grace. This year, the game not yet having taken place, the issue is in doubt. You will have to ask around; I doubt the result may not appear in tomorrow’s newspapers.

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Bob Snowden
Bob Snowden was Head of School at St. Michaels University School for 22 years, from 1995-2017.

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