On Thursday morning, I had the opportunity to meet with St. Clement’s Alumna and Member of Provincial Parliament, The Honourable Dr. Helena Jaczek ‘67. Dr. Jaczek is the Minister of Community and Social Services for Ontario and represents Oak Ridges-Markham. Helena and I were meeting to discuss the upcoming Girls’ School Collaborative event in which she will be participating.
For the last three years the Heads of School at Bishop Strachan, Branksome Hall, Havergal College, and St. Clement’s have worked together to identify common and important topics that touch all of our girls and young women, and to take turns hosting an event at which to discuss them. This year’s event will be taking place on April 19 at Havergal College. We are excited about our theme this year, A Woman’s Place is in the House, and look forward to hearing from an Alumna from each of our schools who is currently engaged politically. Stay tuned for details later this year!
As is often the case when talking with alumnae, I asked Helena about her path to the present.
Helena indicated that she did not see her path as a step-by-step journey. She spoke of the Ancient Greeks’ notion of time, explaining that they had two words to describe the concept. The first, chronos, refers to ‘clock time’- a sequential and quantitative concept, and kairos, which refers to a more ‘active,’ qualitative concept- an opportune moment to seize. Helena explained that she feels that she has benefited from things happening at the ‘right time,’ and that her path has been one of opportunities.
I was reminded that while we suggest that ‘the best path is rarely a straight line’, life is also about seizing moments as they present themselves. For some of our girls, this can look like trying out for the school play or a team, taking a leadership position to the next level, or delving passionately into a concept or issue on a class project. Helena reminded me that we must not only speak to the importance of bumps and stumbles on the path, but also the importance of grabbing hold of the opportunities that come our way.