The end of November, and we draw a deep breath. Holidays loom on the horizon, but between that respite and today, this particular Friday, there is quite a river of activity we have to cross. We have crossed it before, but we muster our strength anyway.
Every Monday our School prefects meet. I attend this meeting. One of the topics that arose this week was the pressure of assignments and tests that was stretching the fabric of student life at the moment. They aren’t the first group of grads to experience this at the end of November, in the week before reports are written, when teachers have planned their assessments. Staff do make an effort to spread these assessments out, and we have calendars to space these tests out, but somehow every year the students feel stretched to their limit. We will continue to work on it. Believe it or not, we sympathize. And when you get to university, make a note that in that much larger world you may well have to sort out this particular stress entirely on your own. But for now we sympathize.
Next, though, is an entirely different set of commitments and demands. Winter sports begin, and there will be some games and tournaments. Our orchestras and choirs from kindergarten to Grade Twelve will be performing in several venues. The Parents Auxiliary will be holding the Annual Christmas Gala. The Schoolwide Assembly will mark the season with an outstanding rendition of the Twelve Days of Christmas. Our reconstituted Carol Service will provide an occasion for Junior, Middle and Senior Schools to come together as they have not before. And then to cap it all off, at the very end, there will be a few Senior School exams just to re-assert some academic tone before the holidays.
It sounds like a lot, but we have prepared for it. I love this time of year, its energy and celebration, both its festive surface and solemn depth. I invite everyone else to enjoy it too.