I seem to have gone from being the youngest headmaster in New York to being the longest serving headmaster. Where was the middle? One moment, youth, and the next, seniority! What happened? One moment I was eating things I liked, and the next, I was eating things that were good for me. How fleeting it all is!
I only write this in my “thoughts” because no one is really interested in how someone else feels. I get the American Oxonian every month which tells me who, of my college contemporaries, is having grandchildren, getting over illnesses, and taking “interesting” trips. In most cases, I cannot remember them and care even less. No doubt this feeling of concern is reciprocated.
So this incredibly self-indulging outlet of “thoughts” seems the place to make my boring whines. Let me suggest it to you: start a blog like this and let go of your inhibitions. You can write, within the limits of decency, about whatever you feel compelled to at the time. And you can look back (no one else will) at your past thoughts. Michael Wilding once said that you could pick out actors by the glazed look that came into their eyes when the conversation wandered away from themselves. I think he was unfair to actors.
We should start a self-indulgent club. It would be rather like a book club, but instead of giving our pompous thoughts on how we interpreted a book, we could just express our pompous thoughts. Isn’t this what I am doing?
Maybe it is the job. I suspect there are very few (if any) children alive who dream of being a head of a school. It just is not something one puts up there as a future goal. And yet, one reads in New York Magazine (where else?) that there seems to be a number of adults who want to start schools. Well, my advice to them—when and if they do—is to get ready to talk because people expect you to say something, preferably something optimistic about youth.
Next, I think I will produce a book of recipes. This from a man who cannot cook to save his life. No one will read them, much less try them out. But, it is so wonderfully self-obsessive, which I think is where I started this month’s “thoughts.”
Ronald P. Stewart, Headmaster
“Headmaster’s Thoughts” for previous months are archived in the section In the News. You may access additional months by clicking Headmaster’s Thoughts Archives on the same page.