Trinity College School

Head Lines

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Two weeks ago, at a restaurant in the Cayman Islands, TCS alumnus, Oscar Da Costa ’95, walked up to our table and introduced himself. I had never met Oscar previously, but he had noticed our TCS nametags. While we were relaxing at the end of hosting an alumni event, Oscar, by pure coincidence, was at an adjacent table with his wife and friends. He had only recently moved back to Cayman from Trinidad.

Two years ago, while I was on a train with Father Don Aitchison (TCS chaplain), Doug Mann (our executive director of philanthropy & alumni) and David McCart ’67 (special advisor to philanthropy & alumni office) just outside of London, England, Sarah Frackowiak ’02 happened to be on the same train car. To be clear, there was a selection of approximately eight available cars on this particular train headed to Leicester City, and we ended up on the same one, on the same day, at the same time, as this TCS graduate.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Over the years, we have had many conversations with students, parents, staff and alumni about what they view as “the best thing about TCS.”

Depending upon the constituency, we hear a range of different responses.

For example, a young boy or girl in the Junior School might say, “Ice cream!” Senior School students often appreciate the variety of artistic, athletic or community service options available. Teachers tell us they value small class sizes that allow them “to teach” rather than having “to discipline” during the school day. Parents frequently speak of how our learning community enables their children to thrive and gain self-esteem, and to genuinely enjoy learning and their school.

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Wednesday, February 08, 2017

I think my experience as a teenager was similar to many people going through adolescence. “Back in the day” most of us just wanted to fit in. We wanted to either be a part of the large collective status quo (e.g. keeping a low profile or being an athlete), or perhaps be a part of a smaller subculture of the prevailing norm (e.g. differentiating themselves by wearing different clothing, listening to different music). One thing I do remember clearly was feeling that you were “vulnerable” if you did well academically. Vulnerable in the sense of being potentially picked on, labelled, or shunned by peers. I also remember that many kids bragged about not studying as if it was a badge of honour, their lack of effort, somehow making them seem more cool than others.

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Wednesday, February 01, 2017

With all the concerning media reports that are circulating around us seemingly every day, you would imagine this would take a toll on young people.

It would be understandable if kids felt powerless, pessimistic about the future, angry that adults have messed up the world they will soon inherit. Despite this, as I wrote on my blog recently, I find the Trinity College School community refreshingly kind, caring, positive, active and, yes, optimistic.

And, I do not believe it is to be explained by assuming kids are in denial or are coping by putting their “heads in the sand.” I believe the positive ethos of our campus is related, at least in part, to the fact that we are focused on doing nice things for one another. Respecting one another. Celebrating one another.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Last week, TCS’s Grade 11 and Grade 12 students had the pleasure of listening to and learning from Canadian Shane Koyczan, an internationally recognized spoken word poet, writer and author. Some of you might remember Mr. Koyczan from the Opening Ceremonies of the 2010 Olympic Games in which he spoke about what it means to be a Canadian: “We're more than just hockey and fishing lines off of the rocky coast of the Maritimes…”

The power of words has been on my mind more than usual. Not only because of Mr. Koyczan’s visit, but because of the recent awarding of the Nobel Prize in Literature to Bob Dylan, the passing of Leonard Cohen, a tribute that I wrote for a friend who recently passed, and my struggle to find the right words to say to a student who was suddenly faced with a family tragedy. Words are indeed important.

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

This week in the life of the School, and the world, has reinforced my appreciation for two men that I most admire. On Monday, our choir sang MLK, a song written about civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. At the end of this week, U.S. President Barack Obama will officially leave the White House.

Both men, among a host of other things, are considered pioneers in the United States, leading change and inspiring the expectation of equality worldwide. While both men spurred significant legislative and political change, they also changed how people thought and felt, for the better. Their legacies will continue for generations to come.

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

When I broach the subject of goals, many people respond with, “Goals? Really? What’s the point?”

But, to me, the alternative of not setting goals for yourself, is to let others indirectly set them for you. Then you just hope that somehow you will be a beneficiary.

Recently, I asked a very close friend about his goals for 2017. He mentioned that there are several professional goals that he was hoping to achieve. Admirable. And something most of us would benefit from doing. But that actually wasn’t the point of my question; I should have specified.

The intent of my question was to ask, “What are some of your personal goals?” As a person, what are your goals? As a father. As a human being on this planet. Not just with respect to your job, income and professional reputation.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Some of us ask our family members to provide us with a list of items that they might like to receive as a Christmas gift. I thought I would switch it up a wee bit and write a list of my own, with a twist.

Below, is my list of 12 things that I love and appreciate about Christmas at TCS, inspired by the 91st Carol Services held this past weekend, as well as morning chapel service this Monday where the entire student body gathered.

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Thursday, December 15, 2016

The forecasted low for Port Hope, Ontario, Canada, today is -21 degrees Celsius or -6 degrees Fahrenheit. With the windchill factor, it feels more like -30 degrees Celsius or -22 degrees Fahrenheit.

I love to have days like this. It’s a bit like running the Oxford Cup every year in late November or playing golf in the rain; maybe it isn’t quite comfortable, but it is invigorating! For others, it might be the equivalent of jumping from a sauna right into the snow. These temperatures make you feel alive!

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Thursday, December 08, 2016

One day, this past October, on my way from The Lodge to the Memorial Chapel, I walked over a 4-inch piece of purple plastic. I am not sure exactly what it was; it looked like the lid or a top of a container of gum or candies. It was on the pavement, beside a scattering of recently fallen leaves, not far from The Lodge. As I spotted the purple plastic top and continued to consider what it was, I also thought, “I should pick up that little piece of purple plastic.” Then, I proceeded to walk on to my destination.

About four or five days later, on the same route, I again noticed that little purple plastic top, in roughly the same place. As I rushed by, I thought, “I should pick up that little purple plastic top.” And proceeded to walk on – again.

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