In so many ways this seems to have been a term of extremes. Prior to half term we had a sickness bug which struck so many, leaving so few still standing. Then last week we took the full brunt of the extraordinary Beast from the East and Storm Emma, which tested us to the limits.
We talk much about resilience here at Craigclowan but one of the lessons that I have learnt has been when to call time on valiantly struggling on. I’ve learnt that there most certainly does come a point when there is nothing for it but to batten down the hatches, light the fire, break out the emergency hot chocolate and pick up a good book (if you are interested, I read ultramarathon runner Lizzy Hawker’s biography ‘Runner’, which was excellent, Ian Mitchell’s ‘Islands of the North’, which casts a whole new light on the work of the RSPB and National Trust for Scotland, and a fair portion of Tony Little’s ‘An Intelligent Person’s Guide to Education’). I also spent a good amount of time working on various projects that are on the go and, of course, made time to get outside and enjoy life out from behind the desk.
However, I have also learnt that no matter how exciting a drama-filled week can be, it is actually very satisfying to return to normality and the routine of life in our amazing school. Lately I have been regaled with many stories of igloos, snowmen, sledding, digging out snow drifts and, of course, burying various family members in piles of snow! But despite the happiness of our extended long weekend, our young people were clearly happy to be back at school and ready for an action packed final three weeks of term.
And that’s the nub of it I suppose. A taste of the extreme allows us to to appreciate the everyday pattern of life. A little bit of drama puts the mundane in perspective and helps us to be satisfied with our lot in life.
John F Gilmour