A question I’ve been asked countless times these last few months since stepping into the 纽约预科 Headship, has been “What will summer look like?对于教育工作者来说, 比如他们的学生, summer is a time for rest 和 rejuvenation, but also a time for preparation. It is a time to reflect on the school year that has passed 和 dig in to building what is to come.
I am going to tell a story about a horse. Most people who know my private life, know that Jayme introduced me to riding when we moved to the States, 和 that we owned a breeding farm in North Salem. For 26 years, we rode almost every day. In a much earlier essay in this “Thoughts” series, I wrote about Jayme’s favorite horse, CB. Coffee Bean, CB’s Jockey Club name, was a racehorse who never won a race. He was a lovely gray thoroughbred who Jayme competed on, 和 adored, for many years.
I have given a Headmaster’s farewell for 52 graduations. Our first graduation was actually in 1971 since, when Jayme 和 I started 纽约预科 in 1969, 我们只录取了6人th 通过11th 一年级的学生. But I have never given the commencement speaker’s speech, until this year. 现在! So I apologize for not being Oprah Winfrey or George Clooney.
This month I am cheating by reproducing a presentation I made to an educational conference, 今年4月, on the teaching of Ethics to high school students. Last month’s “Thoughts” were hopefully amusing. The same cannot be said for this presentation:
早上好. My name is Ronnie Stewart 和 I started 纽约预科 School in 1969 with my wife 和 have been Head of School for the 54 years it has served its students in New York City. For most of those years, I have taught Ethics to all members of the Senior Class.
There are tea ceremonies all over the world, but nothing quite like the English tea ceremony. Since it may become a fading institution, I want to give it a review before it goes away with the steam locomotive. You can find this odd ceremony practiced in the better English hotels 和 a few department stores in London.
I love going to the opera, 和 drag Jayme along about five times a year. 当我年轻的时候, I would sit somewhere near the roof but now we are fortunate to be closer to the stage. 我们看到 Fedora 最近. 这不是一部伟大的歌剧. The story is absurd, 和 it has not been performed at the Met for over 20 years. Whenever the Metropolitan Opera returns a 很少-heard opera back into its repertoire, they bring out the superstars to perform it. And so it was with this revival, which starred Sonya Yoncheva 和 Piotr Bezcala. The music was fair, but the singing was superb. 去大都会博物馆, one often sees great performances, 有时候只有好人, 和, 很少, 平均的. But the experience of sitting in a vast hall covered mainly in red velvet, the visual spectacle of the sets, the professional excellence of the orchestra 和 chorus (和 occasionally dancers), still makes each performance (regardless of the opera itself) a special New York evening.
欢迎来到二月. As a second child, until now I never thought of myself as a “Spare”. Of course, I am not the son of a King either. I married a second child 和 have no idea, 或者更多的兴趣, if this is a sociological factor or just chance. Currently, I have noticed a tendency to find deep psychological reasons for simpler issues.
This being the beginning of a New Year, let me wish all of our readers a very joyous 2023. After 18 years of writing these monthly thoughts, 我向杰里米·克拉克求婚了, with who I share an office 和, 事实上, 经营学校, that I delegate to him the writing of this month’s thoughts. He agreed, so here they are:
我很感激Mr. Stewart for offering me the baton this month, 和 especially to do so at the beginning of the New Year. School days between 9月 和 12月 are always the most intense, in my view. These are our two shortest quarters, during which the weather becomes frigid, seniors anxiously await responses from their Early Decision schools, 和 we s