Principal’s Message

Welcome to week 8 of Term 2.  I hope everyone was able to enjoy the long weekend and find some time to spend with family and friends. As mentioned in the previous newsletter we celebrated the Autumn Concert two Wednesdays ago. The concert showcased half of our Year 7 classes along with a number of the College bands. There were a couple of hundred people in the audience to witness the boys put on a great show. Congratulations to Mr Adam Croft, Mr Darren Winfield, Ms Jenny Ford, Ms Maryanne Xuereb, Mr Daimon Brunton and Mr Brendan Toohey and all the other staff involved in the music program for a great night.  Rehearsals for the College musical production ‘Hairspray’ are in full swing and we can all look forward to an entertaining performance early next term.

Term 2 ACC sport is coming to an end with a number of our teams playing in semi-finals and our Year 9 soccer team to play off in a final over the next couple of weeks.

On Friday May 30, we had over one-hundred and sixty of the boys who will start Year 7 at Salesian College in 2015 and their parents for our annual Becchi morning. The boys were entertained with some sporting activities, participated in a Leaders’ forum and got to know each other courtesy of some get to know you activities. At the same time the parents attended a talk on coping with the transition from primary school to secondary school and a session on the types of communication the College uses to keep parents informed. At the end of the gathering we enjoyed a chat over a cuppa and a bite to eat. It was a wonderfully uplifting gathering with both the parents and their sons enjoying the occasion with lots of positive feedback about the information they received. We now look forward to meeting them again later in the year as we continue the transition process leading into 2015.

My reflection this week picks up on a speech Bill Gates gave at a High School about the eleven things students did not and will not learn in school. I include this, not necessarily because I agree with everything he says – as I don’t – but I do think he make a few valid points: points that I think we all should reflect on. Basically he talked about how feel-good, politically correct teachings have created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept sets them up for failure in the real world. Whilst he is talking to a group of high school students in the USA, and it has to be read in this context, I would argue there are elements that could apply equally across a number of generations and countries.  Following is a list of the rules he articulated, again with no personal opinion implied.

• Rule 1 : Life is not fair – get used to it!

• Rule 2 : The world doesn’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself.

• Rule 3 : You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

• Rule 4 : If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss

• Rule 5 : Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: They called it opportunity.

• Rule 6 : If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

• Rule 7 : Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

• Rule 8 : Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

• Rule 9 : Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

• Rule 10 : Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

• Rule 11 : Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.

If you can read this… Thank a Teacher. And for life and everything else you have… Thank God!!

I encourage all in the community to read the article and to discuss it as a family group and reflect on it individually, as I feel there are some questions or rules for all of us. Open up the discussion about the harshness of some of his rules and the reality of others. Ask yourself if you have allowed yourself to take things for granted or allowed yourself to believe the world owes you something. A great saying attributed to President Kennedy which I have taken some liberty with said “Ask not ‘what the world can do for me?’ rather ‘what can I do for the world?’”

God bless and have a great week! Robert Brennan Principal