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.