Oh, What a Year

For a student, parent or educator, the 2022 calendar year started inauspiciously. A January 3, 2022, news headline seemed to capture it all: “Ontario closes schools until January 17. Bans indoor dining and cuts capacity limits.”

Ugh. Double ugh. Triple ugh.

For the third consecutive academic year, kids in our province were going to be faced with another interrupted school year. Back to online learning we all went.

Reflecting on the past year, 2022 was defined by many significant global events, some of which included: the Russian invasion of Ukraine; the death of Queen Elizabeth II; Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter; national and international inflation reaching double digits in the summer months; a host of natural disasters including floods, earthquakes and fires; and reaching more than 600 million COVID-19 cases worldwide. At least there was some brilliant soccer played (as well as some inspiring upsets) in the World Cup in Qatar. Alas, even that event was marred by scandal.

For me and many others, it appears that bad news does “stick” more than good news. Bad news can stop us in our tracks and interrupt our enjoyment of the day-to-day.

And, perhaps that is what has been so very special about the first four months of this school year and the last four months of the calendar year: No interruptions. No mandates. No social distancing green dots for kids to sit and stand on. No red lines to manage the natural, vibrant hustle and bustle of teenagers walking through the hallways. And, lots and lots of arts, sports and service, classes, travel, music, chapel skits, staff/student sports games, conferences, alumni events and in-person parent engagements. Oh, what a great end to the calendar year!

But, wait! There was one other mandated, interrupted day at TCS: November 3, 2022.

That was the day that a fully-warranted “Half Day!” was awarded for the entire Senior School, in recognition of considerable student effort and achievement over the fall months. This day saw us pause to appreciate all the good work, efforts, intentions and initiatives all around us. We celebrated by giving the students the afternoon to spend with friends – and the excitement was evident throughout the School!

Now that’s what I call a welcome interruption! And, my most favourite day of the year.