This morning I listened to a track by Bob Dylan called “Buckets of Rain”. It inspired me and made me think about our College and my role:
“Buckets of rain
Buckets of tears
Got all the buckets coming out of my ears
Buckets of moonbeams in my hand”.
As Principal, the vast majority of my time is spent attempting to solve problems and find acceptable solutions. Sometimes on my own but mostly with different teams of staff, students and of course, our Senior Team. Sometimes this involves making tough decisions but always with our whole College in mind and ultimately, with what is in the best interests of you (our students), to enhance learning and success. In the course of my daily dealings, I encounter so many “moonbeams” that it reinforces what is so special about our College.
“I been meek
And hard like an oak
I seen pretty people disappear like smoke
Friends will arrive friends will disappear”.
Trying to do the ‘right’ thing is always very difficult and cannot be taken lightly. With a College community of nearly 2000 students, 180 staff plus the associated parents and external partners, pleasing everyone is impossible.
“Life is sad
Life is a bust
All ya can do is do what you must
You do what you must do and ya do it well”.
However, within all of this, the “moonbeams” shine through, lighten our hearts, make me smile about our purpose and raison d’être. On a daily basis, I hear beautiful conversations and meet with so many selfless people who are prepared to go the “extra mile” for our College.
“I like your smile
And your fingertips
I like the way that you move your hips
I like the cool way that you look at me”.
At Easter, I was privileged to take part in the visit to Poland. Throughout the trip, I kept pinching myself because I could not believe how special it was. Apart from the emotional (Auschwitz), physical (walk to the top of the mountain in the snow) and intellectual (salt mines) challenge, the trip was by far the best that I have been on. Throughout, there was laughter, support of one another, deep intellectual conversations and reflection. I found it extremely gratifying to witness the next generation of leaders emerging. Our College (and society) is extremely safe and in great hands. The support and encouragement that I got on the walk was incredible and the experience is one that will always remain with me.
As we approach the examination season, it is imperative that we are all extremely focused on what is required for success. I felt humbled earlier this week when I talked to some of you at 4.30 pm, as you were having a “break” from your “stint” in the Library. Our conversation was wonderful and it reinforced just how committed you are to ensure that you succeed. This combination of friends was also very interesting. It made me think about a metaphor that I have heard from a close friend of mine. There are energy givers (radiators) and energy sappers (drains). During this period and in the future, ensure that you are a roaring radiator (positive, finding solutions, optimistic and taking control of your life) and not a drain. Surround yourself with roaring radiators and avoid the drains. From my experience, the radiators tend to gravitate towards other radiators and the drains are drawn to other drains. I love this quote from Nelson Mandela:
“I never lose. I either win or learn”.
I would like all of you to be winners and to have this attitude to life.
Earlier this week, when so many of you were arriving through the main entrance and I was concentrating on checking lanyards, one of you came up to me and offered me some sweets. It made me smile and once again, I thought of “moonbeams”.
Finally, remember to believe in yourself. We all have an inner strength that we need to harness and try on “different faces” but remember your ‘real’ face.
“Well we all have a face
That we hide away for ever
And we take them out and show ourselves
When everyone has gone.
Some are satin some are steel
Some are silk and some are leather
They’re the faces of the stranger
But we love to try them on”, Billy Joel.
Good luck in the examinations. You can never be over prepared.