Headmaster’s Thoughts – November 2008

Good heavens. It’s November! What happened to September and October? For that matter, what happened to the summer?

Is it just me, or are things flying by faster these days? Before you blink, it is Halloween, and then Thanksgiving, which really is the start of Christmas, which brings in the New Year, and the President’s weekend and Easter and then the summer. Maybe my job is to blame for my current mental state: we are now interviewing applicants for admission in September of 2009. I feel like Dorothy caught up in a Kansas whirlwind.

I have to slow down. At the 40th reunion, which was a few weeks ago but, of course, seems like yesterday, a well meaning graduate said that he hoped he would see me after 40 more “wonderful years.”  I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I would be 104. Obviously his sense of time was even worse than mine.

Epictetus, my favorite Stoic philosopher, said, “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

It is a great (even beautiful) maxim, but I don’t know anyone who can live by it. I worry about time passing quickly. I certainly can’t change that.

What makes it worse is that I am working with children for whom a year is a long time. It is a big deal to go from eighth to ninth grade. They find this significant. To go from age 63 to 64… peanuts!

I blame technology. I have no idea of what I am talking about, but everyone blames technology so I don’t see why I shouldn’t get in on the act. Speed of communication, speed of travel, speed of information. I think we are trying to keep up with computers that seem to get faster by the week. We will never catch up. I bought a computer last year, and already it is semi-obsolete. You can now buy one with more power that works more quickly and is half the price. I can’t keep up with that. I am slower physically and mentally, my hearing and eyesight must be getting worse, and if I had a price tag on me, I suspect I would be getting cheaper by the week.

Will someone please slow the merry-go-round? I don’t want to get off, but I would like to enjoy the view.

Ronald P. Stewart, Headmaster
E-mail: rstewart@yorkprep.org 

“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.