Trains from Troy

Trains from Troy

Susannah Rendall 0 36

The sun crept slowly above the groggy mist of early dawn last Wednesday as I set out for London. The ‘rosey-fingered dawn’ epithet of Homeric poetry came to mind, brought the closer for it being so incredibly distant from that Homeric dream of Attic calm. I’m not often on the train, my commute to work is much more modest and I am glad of it. Commuters in various states of confused sleep and coffee stained weariness were tap tapped into rude consciousness by others at laptops, on phones and Kindles; the very few, the lucky ones, had seats. I could dwell on this a little longer, but I like to stand.

Thoughtfully thoughtless

Thoughtfully thoughtless

Susannah Rendall 0 28

At the Stanford Commencement Exercises (sounds more like a military manoeuvre than the graduation ceremony it is) Steve Jobs shared the meandering journey of his career at Apple with the fresh faced eager graduates as they looked ahead to the future. “You have to find what you love,” he told them.  A simple statement which, on the face of it, may be derided by those more cynically inclined as thoughtless. On Wednesday evening, we hosted the first in a series of thoughtfully innovative careers evenings where professionals shared their experience of school and finding their career with students and parents. The keynote speaker, Paul Bolwell from Wiggle.com, covered much ground, both personal and professional and we are indebted to him for his immediacy, honesty and passion. Paul explained how he found himself and a friend at the head of a multi-million pound business; wondering how it happened and where the ‘men in suits’ fitted in. The key message though was uncompromising; the drive to be the best he could be. In the same manner as Steve Jobs, Paul may not have thought through in a calculated fashion all the steps to get from A to B, but perhaps without thinking about it he had the ingredients for success in his drive to never settle for less than his best doing something he loved. 

Welcome

Welcome

Susannah Rendall 0 27

Welcome back and a particularly warm welcome to our new pupils and families. The start of every new academic year is exciting and there is a real sense of energy and purpose in school. Our summer public exam results were good and encouraging, and great tribute is due to the work and efforts of our students and staff. Exams are not getting easier and while much was written about grades and awards in the press, I am very proud of the achievements of all our students.

Non Plaudite. Modo Pecuniam Jacite. “Don’t applaud. Just throw money.”

Non Plaudite. Modo Pecuniam Jacite. “Don’t applaud. Just throw money.”

Susannah Rendall 0 25

The image on the left is the “Monument to the unknown artist”, you can find it on Bankside in London, just round the back of the Tate modern. However, at the front, the public entrance to the gallery is festooned with declarations of the gallery’s purpose; recognition of the significance of the gallery and its place as finalist in the best gallery in the world competition, OK, I may have made the last bit up… but only a little. The assault on the senses occasioned by the garish display of reward challenges the significance or recognition of the achievements of the unsung. The banner on the Tate Modern invites the passer-by to pop in to review the works of Rauschenberg, Tillmans, Giacometti et al. Looks like the boys are getting the band back together and there is not enough room for everyone on the tour bus.

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