Nobody watching, listening to or reading the news this week can have missed the news of the death of David Bowie. I have to admit that whilst I have enjoyed listening to some of his hits over the years, I was no huge fan of androgynous 70s disco pop. However, I find it somehow reassuring that, in our busy lives, the nation can take the time to pause and reflect upon the achievements of an undeniably great artist. A quick trawl through the BBC news website fills in the forgotten achievements of his life but I was particularly interested to read about the track ‘Lazarus’ on his most recent album, ‘Blackstar’ (released two days before his death). BBC2’s ‘whispering Bob Harris’ described it as Bowie’s epitaph. This got me thinking about epitaphs in general and, in particular, about how we wish to be remembered.
Before term started, the staff and I spent some time talking about the values which we hold dear here at Craigclowan. It was their chance to share with me, a relative newcomer, what they cherish about their community. I spoke with them about my own personal values and asked them to share theirs and those of the school. In many ways there were few surprises. Words like Respect, Integrity, Fairness, Humility, Resilience and Optimism were used with real passion. And I’m pleased about that, after all, I would be very happy to think that these were the values upon which a Craigclowan education is founded and how we will be remembered. They say that a legacy is what is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you. Our legacy to our pupils will be these values. They matter.
Talking about resilience, I was hugely impressed yesterday morning to witness the well-oiled Craigclowan snow clearing routine spring into action. From five in the morning Donnie, Piotr and one of our contractors cleared paths and roads around the school site in preparation for the school day ahead. There was no hint of the frantic calls between the Bursar, Headmaster and Deputy discussing whether to close the school that I became used to in the south of the country…what a pleasure it is to once again be in a country where a bit of weather can be taken on the chin!
John F Gilmour