Principal’s Message – Newsletter 7 November

Welcome to week five of Term 4 and our first taste of warm weather, finally. It is at this time we can begin to dream of the long hot days on the beach that are just around the corner, as long as we remember what we need to do to finish the year off positively. It has been a wonderful first half of the term with the Year 12 students finishing off so well and the rest of the student body being settled and productive. So I encourage all of us in the community to keep up the good work and finish the term as positively as we have started it. I especially encourage our senior students who completed their exam period to focus on their studies for the next three weeks. This will ensure they get themselves off to the best possible start for their final year of studies and they set themselves up to achieve results commensurate with their ability. Good luck to all students in Years 7 to 10 as they prepare for exams over the coming weeks.

As we complete the second week of Year 12 exams, the examiners have told us that things have been running very smoothly. All students I have spoken to appear to be happy with the way things have gone for them, which we hope will translate into results which are a true reflection of their ability and their efforts. A significant part of our students’ success is due to the work done by staff over the past six years leading up to this point. The College wishes to thank all staff, in particular our Year 12 subject teachers for their efforts in bringing this fine group of young men to this point in their lives. In particular the College would like to thank Mr Chris Pye and Mr Tony Johnston for their organisation and preparations ensuring all exams have run smoothly. To those students who have finished congratulations and to those still going we wish them luck and encourage them to remain focussed until the end.

With only a few weeks before the students take a well-earned break for Christmas I think we will officially enter the silly season. With this in mind I thought I would share a reflection with the community as a reminder to us all of what is important. We should attempt to stop ourselves from being swept up in the media frenzy that comes in the lead up to Christmas and to take time to enjoy the important things in life.

Over the next six or seven weeks things in life can seem almost too much to handle, 24 hours in a day are not enough, with this in mind I ask that you remember the mayonnaise jar.

I read a reflection about a professor who stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full? They agreed that it was. So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly and the pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full? They agreed it was. The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “yes”. The professor then produced a bottle of cab sav from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty spaces between the sand. The students laughed. Now, said the professor, as the laughter subsided, I want you to recognise that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things – your family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favourite passions, things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your study, your job, your sport, your house, your car. The sand is everything else, the small stuff, the trivia in your life. If you put the sand into the jar first, he continued, there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are crucial to your happiness. Spend time with your family. For our boys, use your time wisely to prepare for your exams and once you have done that, spend time with your friends. Take time to get a medical check-up. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house, cut the grass and fix the toaster. Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand. One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the wine represented. The professor smiled. I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a nice red.” In the lead up to Christmas I ask that we all take the professor’s advice and look after the golf balls in your life and find some time to enjoy the build-up to this joyous season with your family focussing on the true spirit of Christmas.

God bless.

Robert Brennan