Monday, 14 December 2015

An Excellent Time to Reflect

As Christmas approaches, it is an excellent time to reflect on all that we have achieved.  Since I last wrote, so much has happened.  Thanks to all of you in ensuring that our Open Evenings in October, November and our Open Saturday, were so successful. 

As always, parents and prospective students have made many really positive comments about your enthusiasm, helpfulness and knowledge about all that we do at our college.  This is despite the fact that in some schools, I am led to believe that assemblies are held specifically to say how bad we are.  I guess that line from Oscar Wilde is poignant:

“The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.”

As you know, I am a Bobby D. fan and the words from 'Idiot Wind' come to mind:

"Someone's got it in for (us); they’re planting stories in the press
Whoever it is I wish they'd cut it out but when they will I can only guess.…
People see me all the time and they just can't remember how to act.
Their minds are filled with big ideas, images and distorted facts (about Wyke)".

I hope that those of you who joined us in September have settled in well, that you are comfortable with how we work and that you have been inspired by our practice.

So many positive things have happened at our college since I last wrote.  I am always amazed about the number of successes that are achieved and that so much goes on. 

Clearly the mocks next week will be an excellent gauge for the amount that you have learned and your likely performance in June.  I really hope that you have made as much effort as possible and that you are well prepared.  I do not accept the argument that "… it is only mocks".  From my experience, the mock results are usually a very good indicator of the eventual grade.  I believe that you should do your absolute best and not think "… if only".  Your time at Wyke is very short and you have to make "the most of it".  There is a great line from a badly dubbed children's television programme which states:

"As long as you have done your best
And no-one can do more…"

So, some of the highlights since my last blog are:

·         being runners-up in the Regional Team Maths Challenge;
·         the Netball County Champions for the fifth year;
·         the selection of Emily Hairsine for the British Colleges’ England netball team;
·         being runners-up in the Bar Mock Trial in Leeds;
·         the boys’ 1st XI and 2nd XI getting to the last 16 of the national cup competition;
·         the large number of students on interview at Oxford and Cambridge Universities, medicine, dentistry and veterinary courses;
·         working with the 5 fabulous students who are taking part in the Youth Speaks Competition;
·         over 600 applications through UCAS for universities;
·         the impeccable behaviour of our students during Remembrance Day, and the performance of the “Last Post” by Christine Longman.  I felt so proud;
·         our Winter Showcase and the tremendous variety of talent and acts performed;
·         the numerous trips and visits organised by departments.

I do feel really privileged to be part of our College and so proud of the behaviour and tolerance that I witness every day.  Long may that continue.

When I think beyond our College, my thought invariably turns to my beloved Leeds United.  I think that it is going to be a long hard season and my initial optimism (like all long-standing fans) has been severely dented by the "short-termism" on show barring some ‘freakish’ results like those last week.

I do worry about some of the events happening nationally and their consequences:

·         the bombings in Paris;
·         the airstrikes in Syria;
·         the cutbacks in the public sector - social care, health, transport, local government and education - announced in the "comprehensive" Spending Review;
·         the dreadful flooding in Scotland and Cumbria;
·         the corruption at FIFA.

My hope is that you will come to terms with many of these and find solutions that many of my generation fail to comprehend.  I do know that it is not an age phenomenon but surely many of these events could and should have been avoided.  As young people, you need to debate, discuss and be passionate about these occurrences.  They are not inevitable.  I am so pleased that our large screen in the atrium brings the national and international perspective into our College.  We are a Hull college and a world College.

Enjoy Christmas, have a wonderful break with your family and friends.  Come back safely and when you return, after the Winter Solstice (shortest day), we will have more daylight and "longer" days.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Twists, Challenges and Rewards

“I am on a lonely road and I am travelling
Looking for the key to set me free”,                Joni Mitchell

“The road is long
With many a winding turn
That leads us to who knows where
Who knows when”,                  The Hollies

The lyrics from these songs encapsulate all of our journeys at our college, whether it is as a student or a member of staff.  None of us knows where the road will lead and, undoubtedly, there will be many twists, challenges and hopefully rewards and enjoyment too.

Having just returned from one of my learning walks, I have been delighted by the very purposeful learning, teaching and assessment that I have just witnessed.  It makes me so proud that this is happening at our college and fills me with great confidence about the future.

As I came out of the Ash building, I saw our footballers training with our 1st team coach, Nick Barmby.  How brilliant is that?  What a great honour for us to have Nick Barmby at our college and to have the privilege of learning from someone who has played and coached at the highest level.

In-between writing this, I have just been to congratulate staff from one of our most successful departments at a results review meeting, that have performed at the highest level ever since I have been at the college.  In fact, I would say that the department has got better and better each year.  I cannot commend the staff any more than I have and it makes me a little emotional when I think about how hard they work to ensure the success of our wonderful students.  This is one of the best bits about being a Principal and nothing can prepare you for this experience – a real sense of elation, pride and humility.  As students, I do not think that anywhere else in the country can offer you more.

How time flies?  I cannot believe it is already nearly half-term and we are about to embark on our first Open Evening.  It only seems like yesterday when we came back in September with so many new faces, new names to learn, full of hope and expectancy about the new academic year.  For many of you, our college was a completely 'new' place and the start of a new episode in your lives.  I do hope that it has been worthwhile and that you are really pleased to have come here.

So much has happened within the last six weeks: trips, visits to universities, national competitions, tests, auditions for our cross-college performance of Chicago, dancing, singing in the theatre last week, presentations in class, beautiful and humorous poetry throughout the college, queueing to have your photo taken for our whole college photograph (which is now up), posing for the latest college prospectus, UCAS and all of us learning together.  This is what makes our college so special.  It is far greater than the sum of the parts and I do know that this experience is unique to our college.

For me, the bike ride to Scarborough last Wednesday was certainly a highlight.  To have the privilege of cycling with such brilliant colleagues: the fun; the banter; the ‘craic’; and of course the fish and chips.  I have rarely met such determined and supportive colleagues and the whole team, the fellow cyclists, drivers and sponsors, were a revelation as well as a fabulous cake sale on Monday.  It proves how powerful we can be if we operate as a team for a common purpose.

As I think about national events around us, I am saddened by so many things: the loss of jobs in our steel industry; the refugee crisis from Syria; the migration of people from one part of the world to another and the accompanying personal dangers; the creation of a new grammar school in Kent when all the evidence suggest that they (grammar schools) inhibit social mobility; the cuts in tax credits for the most vulnerable families; the new contracts for junior doctors which will mean that many will have to work for over 90 hours per week; the short termism at my beloved Leeds United (I am distraught that those with money make rash personal decisions whilst supporters show so much loyalty).  I was so full of hope this season and now I can only watch from a detached and numbed state from afar.

However, there are many good things too: the 84 Church of England Bishops who are campaigning to help provide housing, foster care and support for the 50,000 refugees; the launch of the Women's Equality Party; the Bestselling Book by Sophie Sabbage about beating the fear of cancer; and, of course, being at our college around so many enthusiastic, energetic, fun-filled people.  It is certainly so uplifting to hear the "beautiful conversations" and my advice to you is summed up by a verse of Steve Millar:

"Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’
Into the future …
I want to fly like an Eagle
Let my spirit carry me …."

Well done on the first 6/7 weeks.  Make the most of your time, work hard, play hard and be open to the learning culture at our college.  Have a great half-term. 

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Welcome to Wyke

Welcome to the start of the new academic year: new students; new staff; existing students and existing staff.  I hope that you have had a wonderful summer, that the results that you have achieved reflect your efforts and that you are ready for the next part of our exciting journey.

Our results are the best that have been achieved at our College in terms of the top grades (104 A*), nearly 50% of students achieving A*– B grades, and a higher proportion, nearly 40%, achieving A – B at AS level.  The BTEC results are also outstanding with many students achieving Distinction* and progressing on to University.  More students have been successful in gaining entry to University (500) with many going on to the top Russell Group (4 to Oxbridge), and on to highly prestigious courses (medicine, economics, law, engineering, mathematics and natural sciences).

We are really proud of all of our students who have completed their study at our College and wish them success in their future careers.

Your journey begins on Wednesday and Thursday.  Our enrolment is complete and we will not be enrolling anymore students for 2015-2016.  Mark Twain said:

"20 years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do.  So throw off the boat lines.  Sail away from the safe harbour.  Catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore.  Dream.  Discover."

I would urge all of you to take this advice and make the most of your time at our College.  These can be some of the best years of your educational career and you need to make the most of all that you will experience.  You will meet many new people (staff and students), experience new subjects, have a range of opportunities available (trips, visits, performances, team games, competitions……), and become a part of one of the best Colleges in the country.

We would like all of you to shine, have fun, further develop the thrill of learning in a new environment and enjoy yourself whilst achieving success.

"Remember when you were young, you shone like the Sun.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
You were caught in the crossfire of childhood and stardom,
Blown on the steel breeze.
Come on you target for faraway laughter, come on you stranger,
You legend, you martyr, and shine!"     Pink Floyd

As you meet many new students and staff, remember that they too may be as nervous as you are.  Whilst others often appear calm and confident on the surface, inside, they may be equally anxious and self-doubting:

"What do they think of me?"
"Do I fit in?"
"Do they like me?"
"Am I as clever as they are?"
 Are the clothes that I am wearing acceptable?"

The metaphor of the swan comes to mind, calm, peaceful and radiant on the surface but frantic paddling below the water.  Remember, that everybody is in that situation.

At Wyke, the emphasis is on being yourself, perhaps more so than at any other time in your school career.  Individuality and diversity need to be cherished and celebrated but by becoming a member of our College, you are also a member of the collective.  Being a Wyke student carries an expectation about your behaviour, your intellect and your maturity.  My advice is to be yourself but also be mindful of which "you" you present.  Billy Joel’s songs come to mind:

"Don't go trying some new fashion
Don't change the colour of your hair
You always have my unspoken passion
Although I might not seem to care.
I need to know that you will always be
The same old someone that I knew
What will it take ‘til you believe in me
The way that I believe in you",               BJ, "Don't go changing".

"Well, we all have a face
That we hide away forever
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",                    BJ, 'The Stranger'.

Every week each of our curriculum areas have put forward a word for the week to help expand your word horde.   This week I have started the ball rolling with ‘endeavour’ (OED definition: try hard to do or achieve something and an attempt to achieve something).  I trust that you will endeavour to be successful in all your pursuits this year and look forward to seeing you grow academically, professionally, emotionally and personally.  

On a different note, my beloved Leeds United have a much stronger team (like our College), and have started the new season well.  I am quietly confident about the future and all of the pre-season changes that have been made.  Like Leeds, I believe that our performance as a College will get even better.

Have a brilliant start to the new Academic Year.

Jay Trivedy

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

What about Hull?

As the academic year comes to an end, it is a really good opportunity to take stock and reflect upon the year.  I will be continuing with the football metaphor because I believe that in the new season, my beloved Leeds will rise and reach the play-offs.  "What about Hull?” I hear you ask - I think that it depends on many things!

I have mentioned before that as a College, we also have to plan and prepare for the next academic year.  This involves ensuring that we have excellent staff in place to replace the staff who are leaving, that all of our courses are well prepared and that we are 'ready' for the start of the new academic year.  All of our staff appointments have been made and as always, I have been delighted by the student engagement in the whole process.  Your comments and observations have been very perceptive.  Like my beloved Leeds, I think that we have an even stronger team and one that will ensure that our success continues.  I anticipate some excellent results and look forward to seeing you in August when you can celebrate in style.

Many of you have had some excellent offers and I know that they are well deserved.  I do hope that you have not slackened off because you may have had an unconditional offer.  I believe that this type of offer can lead to a lack of motivation and in the long run, be harmful to your life chances.  Indeed, one of our sons was shortlisted for an interview for graduates where only graduates with a UCAS points score of 300+ were invited.  So the message is, regardless of what the University offers, always aim to get the best possible grades.

For those of you who are leaving our College, I would like to wish you well and to thank you for your contribution.  I hope that you will remain a friend of our College and that you will have great memories of your time here.  The David Bowie song comes to mind:

"Golden years, gold whop whop whop
Don't let me hear you say life's taking you nowhere, angel
Run for the shadows in these golden years".

As always, the year has passed very quickly and become a blur: images of successes in academia, sports, arts, visits, competitions, fancy dress and national accolades come to mind.  Throughout all of this, the one thing that has remained constant is the energy and drive to achieve your potential – maintaining your focus about the next stage is crucial.  Do not be distracted, as Paulo Coelho said,

"Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure that you know exactly what it is that you want.  No one can hit their target with their eyes closed".

Do not be fooled by those who 'pretend' to accept mediocrity or can only think of reasons why we should not do something:

"People pretend not to like grapes when the vines are too high for them to reach",
Marguerite de Navarre.

"Nothing…will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must be first overcome,"

Samuel Johnson.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Doing the Right Things

As the examination season begins in earnest, it is an excellent time to remind everyone about the importance of this last stage/the final leg/the finale.  Even now, by doing the right things, it is possible to make a real difference.  I do not want anyone to finish this year with the thought that, “if only I had…"

Last week my focus was on the leavers' talks which I have really enjoyed.  It is great to see so many of you together and on each occasion, seeing an individual in the audience triggers a new memory.  It may be that I have taught you, supervised your EPQ, talked to you at some stage, seen you participate in an activity or (rarely) had to reprimand you.

Throughout the last four weeks, we have been interviewing for a range of teaching posts for next year.  The format that we use always involves a lesson observation followed by a discussion/evaluation, when you give me your views of the lesson, and followed by a formal interview.  Your views, thoughts and feelings are always really appreciated and taken into account.  I believe that it is very hard to fool you and that on each occasion your comments have been extremely helpful and perceptive.  One comment comes back to me again and again, and makes me smile:

“s/he may not have engaged us but s/he would get the better grades for us…"

What a brilliant comment!  Many thanks once again.

Two weeks ago, I was privileged to see our girls' football team play in the National Colleges’ Final at the Bescot Stadium in Walsall.  I felt incredibly proud of each and every person who played, watched or supported the team.  The effort, ability and camaraderie of everyone involved was extremely moving.  Indeed, a number of staff from the competitor college mentioned how good our supporters were.  I was also really impressed by the standard of our play and the sheer commitment of each and every player.  These moments are precious and need to be savoured.  Throughout the match, I had a smile on my face and kept humming "Mr Raffles" by Steve Harley:

"…, Man!  It was hard not to laugh out loud
I couldn't believe the size of the crowd
You must have fooled them into coming…
Inside you sniggered so hearty, you only came for the party
Man, it was mean, it was mean, man it was mean".

We have a newly elected Student Executive.  I am really pleased that the hustings were so well attended and that so many of you voted.  I hope that the new Executive can follow in the footsteps of the outgoing team.  I believe that the current Executive have been outstanding – certainly one of the best since I have been at our College.  I would like to express my thanks and appreciation for all that you have done for our College and our students.  You will be a very hard act to follow.

Many of you will have voted for the first time last week.  I hope that you enjoyed the experience and excitement that is generated during a General Election.  All that I will say about the outcome is that, as Bobby D sang,

"You can fool some people all of the time
You can fool all the people some of the time
But you cannot fool all of the people all of the time".

Just a few quotations to ponder:

"Human beings were invented by water as a device for transporting itself from one place to another," Tim Robbins.

"When elephants fight the ants get trampled," Malaysian saying.

"The first camel in the train holds everyone up, but it is the last which gets the beating," Amharic proverb.

Good luck in the examinations and I hope that your performance reflects your effort.

Jay Trivedy

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Remember, you are on the Final Straight

As you must know by now, I have been a fan of Leeds United, my beloved club, for the last 42 years and as the football season draws to a close, many things have yet to be decided:

  • As we are unlikely to be relegated or promoted, at what position will we finish in the Championship?
  • What are the plans for the club so that we can continue to improve?
  • Which players will leave for 'bigger' clubs, which players will be encouraged to move to other clubs or indeed, like all supporters, which players will we sign to improve our squad?  How will we continue to develop some of our talented youngsters and existing players?
  • Will those who lead the club still be in position for next season?
  • How much money will be available to develop our club and what ideas are there to build on the success (of the second half for Leeds) of the season?
  • How can steps be taken to ensure that Leeds United can get into the Premier League (like Hull City) where we 'rightfully' belong (given the size of our fan base and level of support)?

These are all fundamental questions and ones that all schools and colleges have to consider at this time during the academic year.

On Sunday, on the drive to Beverley, I listened to a song called "Night Moves" by Bob Seger.  It got me thinking about how plans are constantly being made and revised for even greater success for our College community.  Indeed, what is achieved in the remaining weeks can be crucial.  Leeds United can finish in the top 8 in the Championship, (no mean feat given that we were in the relegation zone in January), Hull City can survive in the Premiership, and you can get an even better grade in your examinations if you are focused, committed and listen to the advice that is offered to you. 

You have to enjoy what you do, work as hard as you have ever worked, make the necessary short-term sacrifices and, as Bob Marley sang,

"Don't stop believin’
And hold onto the feelin’".

Races are won and lost in the final stretch and what you do in the remaining weeks, during the Easter holidays, the 4 weeks upon your return and in the evenings, can make all the difference: whether you get into the University of your choice, the course that you wish to pursue, the job that you would like to get, can be determined at this stage.

The Dire Straits' song, "Love over Gold" is poignant:

"It takes love over gold
And mind over matter
To do what you do that you must
When the things that you hold
Can fall and be shattered
Or run through your fingers like dust."

Don't look for others to 'save' you.  Take control of your life because it can make all the difference in terms of your future, your career and your life chances.  Be brave, have fun and be prepared to laugh at yourself.  There is a Chinese saying:

"In the stream where you least expect it
You will find fish."

It is a little too early to reflect on the academic year but already there have been so many outstanding successes:

  • Offers from the 'top' universities and on the most prestigious courses;
  • Employment offers with brilliant sponsorship and development opportunities;
  • Outstanding success in sports, dance, drama, music and the arts;
  • Academic success in national competitions in chemistry, biology, physics, maths and engineering;
  • Poetry publications;
  • Outstanding performances at a national level;
  • The large amounts raised for local and national charities;
  • Visits, work experience and expeditions to 'far-flung corners' of our planet.

Throughout all of this, I continue to receive 'glowing' reports about our wonderful students and the exemplary way in which members of our College community conduct themselves.  You are a credit to our College and it makes me feel very proud and honoured.

Remember, you are on the final straight….

Have an enjoyable and productive Easter.


Thursday, 12 February 2015

Success Means Many Things

As the days get longer and the ‘dust’ has settled from the mock examinations in December, I hope that there is clarity about the goals that we are all striving for.  Success means many things but I would like all of us to feel that we have done as much as we can.  The worst thing to feel whenever we have striven for something is “If only I had done more”.  This is the case in all walks of life: our academic achievements; our work career; our relationships with peers, colleagues, siblings, children and partners.  Very little is achieved without effort and sacrifice.  Throughout, it is critical that we retain our values, our dignity and professionalism.  In order to achieve our Vision,

            “Inspire and support all students to achieve exceptional success”,

it is necessary that we work as a team for the “greater good” of our College. Rousseau talked about this in “The Social Contract”, when he wrote about when things are going well:

“… all the springs of the state are vigorous and simple and its rules clear and luminous; there are no embroilments or conflicts of interests; the common good is everywhere clearly apparent, and only good sense is needed to perceive it….
A state so governed needs very few laws; and, as it becomes necessary to issue new ones, the necessity is universally seen."

I love the quotation from J.F. Kennedy when he talked about personal interests versus those of the greater good,

"My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."

During this week, there are more events and visits than at any time during the academic year, listed as follows:

·         The Film Studies students are in Berlin for the Film Festival;
·         The Media Studies students are in New York;
·         Religious Studies students are in Manchester;
·         Science students are at the Hull York Medical School;
·         Students studying English Language will be in London on Friday;
·         The PE/ski trip to Italy leaves on Friday;
·         Students on the flyers’ programme will be at an HE+ event at St Mary’s College on Friday;
·         Creative Writing/English students will be travelling to Whitby on Sunday.

All of the above comes after a week of our first cross-College production of the year, “Sweet Charity”, which I thoroughly enjoyed.  The level of commitment, work and talent was very evident - many thanks to all those involved.

On the Tuesday and Wednesday after half-term, our Flyers will be in London visiting some of the prestigious universities in the capital.  Our Spanish students will be visiting Seville and also taking part in a half-day language school.  On 7th March, we have the visit to Washington by the Politics students and just before Easter, we will have our annual expedition to South Africa.  This week we have our last two Consultation Evenings.  I hope that you are able to attend and that the discussions with the staff are very useful.  The aim is to ensure that you are absolutely clear about what you need to do to improve.

On Monday lunchtime, I was privileged to be able to watch the staff versus students’ netball game.  It was brilliant to see so many taking part and the hordes of enthusiastic supporters.  It doesn't matter who won but it was certainly very competitive and close.  I was particularly pleased to see two members of our Senior Team so involved.  Unfortunately, I missed the concert to raise money for the Peru expedition at lunchtime yesterday but I believe it was also very well attended.  I hope that it managed to raise the much-needed funds for the students that are taking part.

We are all a little nervous about the "staff event” at lunchtime on Friday.  It is all getting quite competitive.  I believe that Chris, Meg, Brenda et al have been busy rehearsing late into the night and have spent £000s on preparing the relevant props/costumes in order to ‘shine'.  Alas, Mark Rothery and the Senior Team have struggled to find the time and have had to contend with rehearsing by text and e-mail.

Anyway, as always, I find it really nerve wracking but enjoy it after the event, much like the bucket challenge and Gangnam.  We shall see, but I hope that as many of you as possible can attend, be supportive and raise lots of money for the building work at the orphanage in South Africa.  Remember, the secret is to work hard, play hard, have fun, and take control of your life.  A verse from Neil Young/Bob Dylan comes to mind from "Forever Young":

"May your hands always be busy,
May your feet always be swift,
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of change shift.
May your heart always be joyful,
May your song always be sung,
May you stay for ever young.”

So what uplifting stories have been particularly poignant for me?

·         My beloved Leeds winning last night and gradually pulling away from the relegation zone.
·         Seeing the wonderful, effervescent, adventurous folk in their endeavours at the Banff Film Festival in Birmingham last weekend.
·         The news that the "super-rich" and their accomplices at the Inland Revenue are being pursued for tax avoidance.
·         That over 75 MPs from all parties have signed the petition on "Drop the Learning Tax on Sixth Form Colleges".
·         That the London School of Economics has opened a global centre for women in war zones.

Have a really good and productive half-term.


Monday, 12 January 2015

Welcome Back

A Happy New Year and welcome back to the start of the Spring Term.  I hope that you have had an enjoyable, restful break, and that you are prepared for the challenges ahead.  Soon you will receive the results of your mock examinations and I hope that they reflect your commitment and understanding in the subject.  Your subject teachers and tutors will shortly discuss your progress with you and agree an appropriate plan to improve further.  Please ensure that you are fully focused for the remaining five months so that you can fulfil your potential to progress on to the next stage in your career.

You may have taken on specific resolutions for the New Year to improve the quality of your life and your well-being.  If you have done so, good luck and I hope that it works for you.  I don't believe in New Year resolutions but I do believe that we have to take control of our lives and not wait for things to happen, to be done to us or for us.

For nearly a year, I have decided that I want to use my time to become proficient in a new language.  I have been looking for someone to teach me, without success, as it is a non-European language.  So about two months ago, I purchased a series of CDs which I use when travelling to and from work.  I must admit that it has been really fulfilling, "enjoyable" and at times, very mind-jumbling.  Never more so than when I used it for the first time with a native speaker in December and her response was bewildering.  I could feel and hear the cogs in my brain slowly moving to make sense of what I had heard.  I felt somewhat intimidated and daft but felt pleased when I was able to respond, albeit, with a very clipped and short phrase.

Taking control of your life means that you have to listen and be mindful of the advice that you are given:

"Good advice is sure enough hard to come by but bad advice surrounds you constantly",
Gill Scott-Heron.

You have to look within yourself and not be too hasty in making judgements.  There is an old Chinese proverb:

"Criticism comes easier than craftsmanship".

And do remember what Bill Gates said,

"Don't take the mickey out of geeks and nerds.  They may end up being your boss".

Finally, remember to be tolerant and to listen:

"It is better to be thought of as a fool than having it confirmed by opening your mouth",
Mark Twain.

I listened to lots of music during the holidays and was introduced to Israel Kamakawiwo╩╗ole’s beautiful rendition of Over the Rainbow as well as Sam Smith (by one of our sons).  I also went to watch my beloved Leeds United lose against Derby County on a very cold evening.  In an odd sort of way, I enjoyed watching the team but it made me realise that we are going to be in a relegation scrap and desperately need leaders on the pitch.

I managed to keep abreast of the news and was heartened by the story of a homeless person, who paid for a taxi to take a young woman safely home, late at night.  Subsequently, the young woman raised over £3000 for the person through the generosity of her family and friends.

Have a great Spring Term and take control of your life.