With Class…

At our School Meeting this week, Mike Marich, Director of Athletics and Head Coach for Boys Varsity Lacrosse, shared a few words about sportsmanship, respect and the Golden Rule, particularly as it applies to spectators and the teams they support. His message resonated with our students as players and fans, and with our faculty and coaches, who cheer for our teams from the sidelines, but I also think it holds value for any parents who have found themselves in challenging situations while cheering on their children.

At The Gunnery, we ask our players and coaches to honor visiting teams and spectators as their own guests and treat them as such, and likewise, to behave as an honored guest when they visit another school. We ask them to be gracious in victory and in defeat, and to learn especially to take defeat well. We ask them to be as cooperative as they are competitive, and to remember that their actions on and off the field, court or ice reflect on them and our school. These same guidelines apply to spectators but sometimes, we fall short of those goals. Here are Mike’s words on how we can all be the best fans.

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Giving Thanks

At The Gunnery, we traditionally hold an all-day Faculty Meeting at the start of the Winter Term to talk through the progress of each student in the school as an entire faculty. For me, this meeting confirmed that the fall term was indeed a very good one for our school, and for the students and faculty who comprise it, as we heard one story after another of students thriving both in and out of the classroom. Whether it’s their first time away from home and they’re learning to become autonomous, or they’re learning how to solve problems with the help of adult mentors who are not their parents, or they’re overcoming a challenge, such as not succeeding in a class, and working through that, both intellectually and emotionally, our students are learning.

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HYPERthetically…Seeking wisdom in the age of too much information

This week, I am pleased to share with you Melissa Schomers’ remarks on information, knowledge and wisdom, which were presented at The Gunnery on October 3, 2017. Ms. Schomers is a faculty member in the English Department and the Wallace Rowe Chair. Although her thoughts were initially intended for our students and faculty, I believe many adults who have too much “information at their fingertips” will find her words meaningful and relevant.

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A Call for Courage, Tolerance and Respect

In keeping with tradition, The Gunnery celebrated the formal start of the new school year, our 168th year, with Convocation on Friday, September 8. This event provides us with the opportunity to reflect on our past and the legacy of our founder, Frederick Gunn, as well as the chance to look forward and celebrate a new beginning.

The start of a new school year is also a time to look at the world around us and recognize that we are part of something larger than ourselves. Given the events that have recently taken place around the country and the world, I am reminded of a letter that Mr. Gunn wrote to Abigail in 1847, three years before they started The Gunnery and at a time when Gunn was living in exile as a result of his unpopular views on the question of abolition.

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Navigating the Mix: Lessons from Charlottesville and Beyond

Charlottesville, Virginia, was back in the news recently, as celebrities and ordinary citizens continue to react to the violence that erupted there the weekend of August 11-13. The Dave Matthews Band organized a “Concert for Charlottesville” on Sunday, September 24 at the University of Virginia that was promoted as “an evening of music and unity.” The concert raised funds for victims, their families, first responders and “organizations devoted to the promotion of healing, unity and justice locally and nationwide.” The same evening, a story aired on CBS’s “60 Minutes” titled “Divided,” which featured a focus group discussion moderated by Oprah Winfrey that illustrated how politically divided we have become as a nation. Among the many controversial topics discussed by more than a dozen participants, Charlottesville emerged as one of the most contentious issues.

Initially, I struggled to know how to respond to what happened in Charlottesville. No. That’s not accurate. It was (and is) easy to respond to white supremacy and anti-semitism in action: they are awful and grotesque. I reject them unequivocally and I hope that the people I know and love in the world do, too. Even more awful are the actions of James Fields Jr. — his decision to drive a car into a group of people, injuring 19 and killing Heather Heyer. I’m glad the police caught him and that he will face justice.

That’s the easy part — the part that I don’t think there should be any question about, whether from me or anyone at our school.

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