Headmaster’s Thoughts – August 2017

Since few people read my August thoughts, I will take this opportunity to tell anyone actually reading this, about my injury. On June 16th I completely ruptured my Achilles’ tendon in my right ankle, and I was operated on to repair it on June 20th.

This means nothing to anybody else. We can never quite (notwithstanding Bill Clinton) feel other people’s pain. I can tell you that tearing your Achilles’ tendon is a real nuisance. Forgetting the pain and lying in bed, it has a very positive recovery outcome, but that may take many months to achieve. In the meantime, I am scooting around school on my knee scooter, and, obviously, am not travelling anywhere this summer. There is an old proverb that states; “If you want to make the Gods laugh, tell them your plans.” I think there is a lot of truth in that.

After the operation, and this is the point of this piece, the best day was the first day I could come to school. It was Friday, July 7th. I realize that the best mental therapy is working at a job you enjoy. And I enjoy this one. At the very least, one feels useful, whether really useful or not, and it is good to have a sense of purpose in getting up in the morning. We often toy with the idea of doing nothing. We think there will be pleasure in doing no work except to watch others do it. That day will come, no doubt, when physics being physics I will not be able to do what I do. But having had this accident, I realize that I do not particularly mind missing the holiday that I had meticulously planned for Jayme and myself; what I really would miss would be not being able to be at school. We can take the holiday another time when I am better, but working here, at York Prep, is something that gives me the energy to go through all the physio-therapy on which I am about to embark, and a sense of purpose that I clearly need.

Now I have to go and see which classes to repaint, carpets to replace, and check on the order for new tables and computers. It does not sound like much fun but, after you are trapped in bed for two weeks with your leg elevated, it is bliss.
Ronald P. Stewart
York Prep School