As with many organizations and businesses, it is important these days for St. Clement’s to be nimble. The ability to adjust, adapt and grow is a key trait for success in our dynamic and complex world. Just like our organizations a whole, individuals within them fare best when they are prepared for ongoing change and provided with the skills such that they, too, can be nimble.
On Friday, we welcomed back our graduates of 2014 for Homecoming. At assembly, I shared a quotation I had found by Canadian poet Robert Finch that speaks to the importance of community belonging, for relationships but also benefits. As he says:
“True belonging is born of relationships not only to one another but to a place of shared responsibilities and benefits. We love not so much what we have acquired as what we have made and whom we have made it with.”
As the day unfolded, we welcomed back our graduates from new environments and they told us that they felt well-prepared for their next stage of life. We also saw our current students and staff adjust to a new format for Field Day. Because of ‘external forces,’ we were not able to host Field Day at either Sherwood or Eglinton Park, and our student leaders and staff advisor had to come up with a plan quickly. The new format saw the entire community remaining at the School with activities inside and outside, which allowed a vast array of games and challenges and also provided our returning graduates with increased time to connect with friends and staff. To adjust to some space issues, our creative Clementines live-streamed the House Head challenge to the East Gym, and we saw the most spirited house support that I recall seeing in a long time.
Upon reflection on the day, I thought of Robert Finch’s quotation and the benefits that St. Clement’s provides for our community. In addition, as Finch said, and I experienced on Friday, I “love not so much what we have acquired as what we have made and whom we have made it with.”