Feb 05

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‘Wham’ is the sound of impact.  It’s a sound that’s persuasive. It’s a ‘get-out-of-the-way-I’m-coming-through’ sort of sound.  It’s a sound we want to hear at King’s in 2013.  I’ve challenged Kingsmen to make this a year that packs a punch – that has impact.

It’s far too easy to drift through our days and divert ourselves with the trivial.  The result is that we end the year saying, ‘Where has the year gone?’.  I’ll tell you where it’s gone, it’s gone nowhere.  As it is said, ‘If you aim at nothing you will hit it’.  If a year has been spent on things of such limited consequence it is not remembered, then we have lived a year without impact.

At the start of 2013, I’m asking my students three questions and giving them two areas in which to achieve one goal.

Three Questions

1. Do you do things powerfully?

In Rocky IV, the villainously named, Ivan Drago, was said to pack a punch of 2,150 pounds per square inch.  Assuming an impact area of 100 square centimetres, it would be like getting hit by a four tonne truck.  This is impossible.  However, good boxers can manage about half this force, which is still very significant.  Novices can only manage a quarter of this force which is why they remain novices –their punches lack impact.

When a rugby scrum packs down against the opposition, it can either ‘go through the motions’ and use the experience as a group cuddle – or it can pack low, assume the correct body position and have real impact.  I want 2013 to be a year our boys do things powerfully.

2. What’s in your head?

The year won’t be successful if our boys do not believe they can succeed.  If a boy thinks he is a ‘B’ stream student, he will remain a ‘B’ stream student.  If a boy thinks he can’t get three Band 6 grades in his HSC, he probably won’t!  Our fabulous HSC results last year now show that it is now normal for a Kingsman to work at a Band 6 standard.  (We got 278 Band 6s out of 187 students last year).  Therefore, we must now all and accept this higher standard, and believe it to be possible in the lives of our sons.  We are a school committed to attaining the highest possible academic grades – indeed, we now expect it.

In the great Holden-Ford duel at Bathurst last year, Jamie Whincup held off David Reynolds by three-tenths of a second.  What spurred Whincup on was  a comment made by Dick Johnson that he didn’t have the mental capacity to win the race.  Whincup proved him wrong.  But, what about us?  Do we have the mental capacity to make 2013 a year of real impact?

3. Who’s in your team?

At the Australian Open, Novak Djokovic won the Men’s Singles – but only just!  He was taken to five sets by a virtual outsider – Stanislas Wawrinka.  In explaining how he managed to recover so quickly and go on to win his remaining matches, ‘the Djoker’ said that he had a great team of people around him.

Who’s in our team?  Who’s helping our children?  Is it a team that encourages and supports, or is it a team that is rather ho-hum in the support they give.  Parents, teachers and friends make up the bulk of the support team of our kids.  Parents and teachers are generally a given with children not being able to control these variables.  However, they can choose their friends.  A friend can have a profound impact on a child’s learning.  If a young person surrounds themselves with friends that encourage them in their learning – they are in a very good place.  Not for nothing has it been written:  ‘Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future’.

Two Areas

IN LEARNING our children need to go for excellence.  They need to compare themselves with the best, not the worst.  They need to set goals that stretch them.  They must explore the true limits of their potential and make each day at School count – really count.  They shouldn’t go to bed unless they have improved – until they have mastered the next step in their learning journey.

IN LIVING our children need to learn to shake hands firmly and practice random acts of kindness.  They must write ‘thank-you’ notes, help out at home, befriend someone in need of friendship, support a charity, learn to tie a double Windsor knot and to recite the words of an Irish blessing.  Ok, ok, I know, but I think you get the idea – they must not be ordinary.

One Goal

Three challenges.  Two areas.  One goal – to have impact in 2013.

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