Friday Update – May 8, 2020

Mark Turner

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Another hectic week has flown by. Over the last few days I have read a great many prosaic, and now rather repetitive briefings and updates from a wide range of officialdom. In contrast, I have also read Ithaca (1975), a poem written by renowned Greek poet Constantine Cavafy.

In the first stanza, Cavafy writes “hope your road is a long one, full of adventure, full of discovery.” The poem is about the desire to return home (possibly to what we know as normal), but also about the importance of savoring the journey, the moment. Let’s not just wish our lives away, hoping for some imaginary future. There is lots to be experienced and celebrated along the way, even in lock-down. Laestrygonians and Cyclops, angry Poseidon – don’t be afraid of them, keep your thoughts raised high.

Talking of lock-down, we all tuned in attentively to hear BC Premier John Horgan’s much anticipated announcement at 3 pm on Wednesday, May 6. This time, as well as the usual platitudes, there were some glimmers of hope that we can seize on.

  1. We have started planning in earnest for a partial return to school from junior grades up, so that we are fully prepared when we are given the green light. Our planning will always be within the context of ensuring the safety of our students and staff, and we will not rush back without being fully prepared. Further information will come as appropriate, once we are able to be more specific and possibly even to identify a date.
  2. In the meantime, please continue to contribute to and return surveys sent by the school, in order that we can further monitor the development of our remote learning curriculum, and to help us prepare for possible return to school on campus.
  3. At present, it seems less likely that senior grades will return this term, however we are increasingly confident that we will be able to launch again with a fresh start in September. This is the first time that we have felt encouraged to make this form of prediction.

Although there are still many uncertainties and questions we cannot answer, nevertheless it is wonderful to hear that the curve, at least in BC is flattening, and that we can look forward to gradual easing of lock-down restrictions in some areas in the coming months.

In Europe and the UK, many communities are celebrating the outbreak of peace marked by the 75th anniversary of VE Day on May 8. Let’s hope that we will soon be gaining momentum in the march to victory over our current foe.

‘We’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when, but I know we’ll meet again some sunny day’. – Vera Lynn

Sums up my thoughts very nicely. As relevant today as 75 years ago!


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