On the triumph of sticking out like a sore thumb

It’s a big day when a little school like ours wins first place for creativity and first runner up for long term problem solving in the intimidating local and international school arena known as 'Odyssey of the Mind'.

 

So instead of the blog I was going to post, I’m up late writing this new one.

 

I got off the plane from the California school exploration and conference trip to a welcome onslaught of congratulatory Whats app messages and THS Facebook notifications:

Say what? We won? Our school? We’re going to Iowa for the international competition in May?

 

Phenomenal.

 

And the school is still only hitting its ninth year, or entering the Fourth Grade, not even officially one's stride.

 

Still within commercial premises. Still without a football pitch. Still without a cafeteria. Still with tremendous heart. Still tilling that soil for a fertile, reciprocal learning community in a landscape of institutional (i. e. brick and mortar rich but generally speaking, differential poor) established (i. e. affixed, stagnant ideals) standardisation.

 

It’s hard work to stick out like a sore thumb but on a day like this, it feels good to wear that badge of courage well.

 

You could say I’m proud. It's pretty high on my list of‪#‎proudparentmoments‬. In fact it's definitely felt like parenting, hasn't it?

 

We’ve certainly stayed up late to tend to this newborn together- submission for two school premise bids, two WASC Self-Study visits, countless inspections and registrations, site searching and so forth.

The whole village pitched in to nurture this needy kid- the baton passed from our tirelessly inspired and dedicated faculty to our administrators who exhibit tremendous grace under pressure on the daily in building the plane mid-flight to the outpouring of support from our parent community for all things big and small.

 

And the students, our co-pilots in this whole endeavour who engage and challenge us, who invigorate as well as infuriate (indeed, partners often do), and who entrust their futures to an ongoing dialogue that requires trust and flexibility amongst all parties lest it turn into a one way street or educational cul de sac.

 

So I’m raising my mug to you: Aiyana, Sam, Brandon, Phoebe, Jonathan, Liam, Charleigh, Tony, Callie, Amoy, Chanti, Ben, Stefan, Saif, Quinn, Harrison and Jasmine because you definitely brought it last weekend, the best of all we’ve worked hard for - team work, inclusion, innovation, respect, hard work and perseverance.

 

But really I’m raising my mug to all of us, friends, supporters, colleagues, fellow comrades-in-arms at THS today and in previous years because those qualities describe the adventure we've been through as well.

 

It’s a good day for stepping back to admire the view and I couldn’t ask for a better village to do that with.

 

Huzzah.

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