Musings from Boulden

Friday, October 25, 2019

What is true? Is it what you or I understand, see or experience? Or is it neither?

Understanding that each individual has their own perception of reality doesn’t really clarify matters, does it?

Reality is fact. It is objective. It is truth. What complicates matters is that reality is not always known. Perception, on the other hand, is an impression, a belief, and it is subjective. Perception is the lens through which we view reality. It is a belief based on what we see, hear and think. Our experiences shape our interpretations of reality. Though one’s perception may very well be their reality, it is not, in actuality, reality. There exists a gap. Muddy enough for adults, imagine explaining this to a 10 year old?

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Friday, October 18, 2019

International mindedness, in its simplest explanation, is the ability to be anywhere in time and in any space. According to the International Baccalaureate Organisation, international mindedness is “an awareness of the inter-relatedness of all nations and peoples, and a recognition of the complexity of these relationships.” Having travelled extensively over the last number of years, and most recently over the Thanksgiving break, I reflected on what it takes to successfully parachute into a new environment and forge connections. I have landed on an open mind and an open heart. But how does one develop this openness? It’s complex...

What does it take to be open? It means being vulnerable, empathetic, respectful, compassionate, educated, informed, curious, reflective and responsible. It requires an individual to be an effective listener, communicator, risk taker and learner. That is a hefty ask of an adult, never mind a child.

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Friday, October 11, 2019

Of late, we have found ourselves in the office, reminiscing about the days when we woke up, ate breakfast and then went out to play. Until dusk or dinner time. And then, back out we would go. Until the streetlights came on. Sometimes, we wouldn’t even head home because we would be with friends and have dinner at their houses, and then have an impromptu sleepover. A phone call would suffice and permission was granted.

What did we do all day? Some days we would play at the park, while others would be spent at the pool. Often we would ride our bikes around town and meet up with others in the neighbourhood or we would find classmates. We used our imagination a lot. We climbed trees. We jumped off of things that we probably should not have, occasionally spraining or breaking something. We built forts. We created small towns and took over the world. We petted random dogs and fed outdoor cats.

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Friday, October 04, 2019

Are leadership and teamwork interchangeable? Do they go hand in hand? Or are they separate skill sets?

Good teams have good leaders. But good leaders require good teams to forge forward and make an impact. And who is the leader – the one who is cheering others on, lending a hand, or is it the person who organized the activity, chose a goal and got everyone involved?

Leaders need to persevere, know their field exceptionally well, and demonstrate commitment, curiosity, empathy and focus. Good teams also demonstrate empathy and have a shared goal, and need to persevere in order to achieve said goal, and if they aren’t curious, then why bother in the first place?

At Bark Lake Leadership Centre and Camp Kawartha this week, leadership and teamwork were evident in multiple milieu.

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Friday, September 27, 2019

“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” – Thoreau

This week, I fell in love with a boy named Christopher. In particular, I fell in love with his ability to think, feel, sense and relate differently because it is something that I value and aspire to model in my daily interactions so that, in kind, everyone can come to honour different ways of viewing and understanding the world.

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Friday, September 20, 2019

A natural wonder occurs naturally, that is, it was not created or changed by humans. These wonders provide those experiencing them a sense of awe.

During a daily walkabout, students in Grade 8 Science took the time to tell me about the Watermark Project submissions that they were working on, and they challenged me to write my own reflection about a body of water that has left its imprint on me.

Classical elements (earth, water, fire, air) have always been a fascination of mine, and water, in all of its forms, is awe inspiring and calming, as well as energizing and tempestuous. From kayaking in the Atlantic Ocean and experiencing a whale breach not 10 feet away to white water rafting along the Ottawa River and in Costa Rica, bodies of water have challenged me physically and intellectually; it is water that is in control, not us, and to relinquish that control to the elements can be very liberating, but also comes with responsibility.

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Friday, September 13, 2019

“I love you not only for what you are but for what I am when I am with you.” – Elizabeth Barrett Browning 

As you read this quote, you might find it odd that the head of Junior School refers to it in terms of a work environment, the “you” being TCS, rather than a romantic notion, as I am sure Elizabeth Barrett Browning meant it to be. But oddly enough, TCS is what came to mind when I stumbled upon this quote over the summer.

Early in my first year, I noted how the mantra, “work harder, care more,” often repeated by our headmaster, Mr. Grainger, really lived at TCS; people walk the talk, they work harder and care more. If everyone else was working harder, and caring more, then as a leader, I too best be doing the same, regardless of whether I was overwhelmed, tired, depleted, etc., because TCS deserved it. TCS had earned my respect.

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