Trinity College School

Head Lines

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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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

This week, when I spoke with our students in chapel, we made a collective pledge. We all stood and stated the following: “I pledge to look at success differently.”

The original rationale for introducing this pledge was prompted by several school sports teams that did not report back on their latest matches. In my mind, at least one of the factors as to why a team captain or representative did not make an announcement was due to the fact that their team did not “win.”

While this assessment may not be the case in each of these instances, it did cause me to reflect on what is considered “success.”

To most kids, and adults, whether you win or lose is the determination of success. I agree that who won or lost is an outcome of the game. But to say that a team’s or a competitor’s effort, enthusiasm, teamwork, participation or individual effort is a “loss,” or a “failure," is simply not true.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Do you ever feel guilty as a parent? I think we all do at times. Likely not because of all the things we have done for our kids, but for some of the things that we haven’t done.

Most recently, I am feeling particularly guilty with respect to two aspects of my parenting skills (or lack thereof): my failure to insist that my kids do chores around the house and for not instilling in them an appreciation of the benefits of manual labour.

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

I recently had the pleasure of reconnecting with several young TCS alumni who are living in Boston and New York City. And, wow, was I impressed. Not only was I blown away by their accomplishments to date, but also the insight and inspiration they can offer to our current students.

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Wednesday, November 09, 2016

If you were asked, “what is the most important task of a parent?”, what would be your response?

As parents, when our kids are quite young, loving them, feeding them and making sure they are safe are the most immediate and important parental responsibilities. As your kids get older, these remain priorities but the role and influence of parents necessarily evolves. Kids become adolescents and then adults before we know it. They decreasingly need to rely on us for the basics of life such as food and protection. So what else can/should our priorities be as parents of adolescents and young adults?

For me, as for many other parents, I think it is to encourage our kids to lead purposeful, happy, healthy and long lives. While this may seem like a vague, hard to pin down concept, actually, the foundation for leading this type of life is widely known and easy to model, discuss and implement.  

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Wednesday, November 02, 2016

On the morning of Saturday, October 29th, I went for a run on campus. I took the Hedney-Geale Trail, the route TCS students and alumni often refer to as the Oxford Cup trail; while I don’t start and finish the trail at the same locations as the actual race, I do complete the 5 km route (honest!). I typically start my run near The Lodge, at the property barns, and end my run there too. I have run this route dozens of times. Albeit, not always quickly, frequently with a section of walking, and always with an unsteady stagger up Mount Trinity.

I usually do not know how to mentally distract myself when I run; afterall, running does not come naturally to me. I prefer to get my physical activity by chasing something like a tennis ball, a squash ball or a hockey puck.

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Thursday, October 27, 2016

This week’s blog topic is a result of conversations that took place at last week's Toronto Branch Dinner and at our annual Trustees Luncheon. (That said, I have had numerous similar conversations over the years with alumni.) At these recent events I asked a few of our Old Boys and an Old girl in attendance if they are considering sending their children to TCS or why they have not sent their children to TCS. Because while we are delighted to work with all enrolling families, I must admit, enrolling the child of an alumnus – a legacy family – is particularly special. It speaks to our history, our sense of community, quality of education and the confidence families hold in our school, over multiple generations. It is also pretty cool that a child gets to walk the same halls and sit in the same spaces that his or her mom, dad or grandad did all those years ago!

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Thursday, October 20, 2016

On October 13th, at our annual Toronto Branch Dinner, I had the pleasure of recognizing five TCS faculty and staff members for 20 years of service to the School.

If you are interested in learning about these five fantastic people, please do scroll down to read some of what I shared about these individuals at the event.

But before you do, I wish to share these incredible accomplishments with you as well. You might be fascinated – and surprised – to know that we have 39 people with 20 or more years of service at the School, combining for a total of 1,021 years. Shirley Rainbird, in our food services department, is our reigning champion of service – she is in her 48th year at TCS! Pam Dew is our senior master and longest serving faculty member with 35 years.

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Thursday, October 13, 2016

There are a lot of expressions that compare the value and impact of “talk” versus “actions." For example, “actions speak louder than words,” “walk the talk,” “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” and, a reference now circulating within the spectacle that has become the U.S. election: “locker talk.”

But let’s be very clear, both words and actions are important.

Justifying inappropriate talk by claiming it was just a joke or that no harm was meant, or that “it’s part of the culture of the place,” in all cases, does not qualify nor nullify what was said. The standard of judgement of a comment is not in the eyes of the person who said it, but rather in the ears of the person receiving it.

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