Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Thanks for a Wonderful Rag Week

As the term comes to an end and we prepare for Easter, I want to take the opportunity to thank everyone for the wonderful Rag Week: those who wore costumes, who organised events, who participated and volunteered to help.  What a fantastic week culminating in the terrifying and terrific Lip Sync on Friday.  The week was full of stimulation, fun, music, intellectual testing as well as much laughter.
What is really amazing are the number of events and activities that have been such a big part of this term:
  • Trips to Berlin, New York, Rome, Washington, Geneva, Switzerland, South Africa.
  • Success in competitions ranging from poetry recital to accountancy and sport.
  • The cross College-production of Aspects of Chicago.
  • The presence at our Rag Week of Take That, the Walt Disney team to perform The Lion King, The Spice Girls, Taylor Swift and BeyoncĂ©.
  • To see wonderful characters parading around the campus such as: Spiderman; Superman; Mary Poppins; Cruella de Vil; Harry Potter; Una Thurman; Juno; one of the Blues Brothers; Star Trekkies; Elsa; Marty McFly; Dumbledore…

Our College is so special.  You achieve outstanding results (fourth nationally out of the 92 Sixth Form Colleges for the points score at A-level), and have such brilliant experiences.
Take That's anthem, Never Forget, is so apt:
We've come so far and we've reached so high
And we've looked each day and night in the eye
And we're still so young and we hope for more…
I recently attended a Young Person’s lecture for the Royal Aeronautical Society and one of the speakers presented on "turbulence".  He made the connection between Leonardo da Vinci's sketches of turbulence in water to the impact on aircraft.  As I sit in my office to write this, I have just seen the images of turbulence in Brussels.  I am only too aware of the issues in Brazil, the impending referendum on Europe, the turbulence caused by Barack Obama's visit to Cuba and last week's budget on the reductions (now reversed) on disability benefits.  Too much turbulence can be unsettling but sometimes it is necessary, not comfortable, but productive.
The Easter period will be critical for so many of you.  How you use your time may well determine the results that you achieve and ultimately, your future.  So make sure that you commit the necessary time to ensure your success.  Be extremely determined, plan your revision and do not be tempted to 'slacken off'.  Do not be tempted by the lure of money to work part-time.  You can always do that after your examinations.  Leonard Cohen’s words come to mind,
"Like a bird on a wire
Like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried…to be free".
You can certainly become more free after your examinations but in the meantime remain focused.
Last weekend, our youngest son took me to watch "my beloved Leeds United".  True to form, after three consecutive wins, we got "hammered" by four goals to one.  However, I really enjoyed the time together and it made me realise how important it is to appreciate and enjoy "the here and now".  The balance is always between doing the hard work (which can also be fun), and doing the "extra" things that are also so enjoyable – whether it is dressing up in costume, putting on extra sessions for revision, organising trips and activities.  As always, the old adage,
"The more you put in, the more you get out"
is so true.  This is the case in all walks of life: work, relationships, friendships and performance.  There are some for whom the glass is always half-empty whilst the ones that "lighten up our lives", who energise us, are the ones for whom the glass is half full.  They are positive, enjoy the "here and now", and work so hard to make our College so successful.
I love this quote by Martin Luther King:
"If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry.
He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well".
Have a great, productive Easter.

Jay Trivedy