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A Word From the Head


January 29, 2016 

A Complexity of Winter 

January and February tend to be the hardest emotional months in a school. I've written about this many times over the years in "Word from the Head." Personally, cedar fever last week followed with some kind of virus today. As I write, I'm looking out my window from home. Bright blue skies are blending with cool, crisp air on this glorious weekday, but I'm down for a day. 

The weeks between New Year's Day and Spring Break are some of the most complex and difficult to navigate for a headmaster. In 1997 an old headmaster told me, "Rod, you'll have more discipline issues and more "tear and tissue" moments with your community in February than virtually all other months combined." As a novice, I thought the old man was crazy. After my first four years, I fully embraced his wisdom. He was sooooo right.

As we all navigate the potential doldrums that tend to occur in winter, I want you to contemplate a metaphor. Think about the beautiful, gigantic oak tree near our Logic Hall. The oak is categorized as an evergreen because it keeps its leaves through the winter season. Even the oak loses its leaves, but the process is amazing. I’ve recently been learning about “marcescence,” a term used to describe leaf retention or how the old leaves “hold on” until the new growth of spring arrives. Leaves are holding on during winter and slowly being “pushed out.” The new leaves bud and “push out” the old leaves to reveal new greenery that comes with spring. The mighty oak flourishes with dynamic leaves as a magnificent evergreen and renews itself with marcescent leaves.

Change and ebb and flow are true in our lives as well. If I were a bug resting on a leaf as it falls from the tree, the leaf's departure would feel like a tragic mind-exhausting moment. But, I'm not a bug sitting on a dead leaf. We can choose to be like soaring eagles that see the full story of the tree -- radiant green- alive - robust - vibrant - full-bodied. From a distance, in full perspective, the tree inspires because it is living and vibrant and forever green.

As you feel and experience some of the normal heartaches and emotions of the winter doldrums, continue to remind yourself of the larger story of life. Choose to rise above the anecdotal doldrums, and keep a worldview on the radiant picture of life.

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All moms are invited as we welcome new moms to Regents and honor the mothers of the Class of 2017! The RPC Welcome Coffee is Thursday, September 1, at 8:30 a.m. at the home of Guy and Melinda Grace, 3901 Agape Lane. Please join us for this wonderful opportunity to cultivate new friendships while celebrating a new school year and learning about upcoming RPC events.
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Rod Gilbert
Head of School

B.S. Economics
M. Divinity, Mid Amer Sem
Ph.D. (candidate) S Baptist Sem
Interests: soccer, Alpine dairy goats

read his bio

 

 


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