Message from Scott Cowie, Head, Senior Division
Upcoming Senior Division Dates:
Monday, May 29 – Spring Term Sports Assembly: Laidlaw Hall, 9:55 a.m.
Wednesday, May 31 – Monday, June 5: Y1 – IB1 Exam Preparation Days
Thursday, June 1 – Final House Meeting of the year
What a great week. With our Leaving Class dinner on Monday, and our Leaving Class ceremony on Tuesday evening, we bid adieu to our IB2 graduates. Some recent research cautions parents about “over-praising” their children, but to those of you who celebrated graduation this week, I can say with much confidence that you should be very proud of all your son has accomplished through his time at Upper Canada College and I’d encourage you to let him know how you feel. Completing the IB Diploma Program, while participating in co-curricular activities and committing many hours to serving others, is a great accomplishment and definitely worthy of your praise.
I also want to convey my thanks to the mothers, fathers and families of all of our graduating students. Early morning or late evening rides, a compassionate and understanding heart and your unwavering support have, no doubt, played a big part in your son’s success. He may not tell you often, but be assured all you’ve done is appreciated.
As part of the Leaving Class celebrations, Old Boy Drew Taylor ’01 spoke to all the boys in our annual Spirit of Athletics Assembly. Drew recounted stories of his time at UCC, and shared three lessons he learned during his time here that have helped shaped him and contributed to his success in life:
1) Failure is a part of life, so we need to roll with the punches. Drew spoke of setbacks he endured through life, lightly reminiscing about being cut from the UCC baseball team in Grade 9 and, with a more serious tone, spoke of the injury to his pitching arm that ultimately prevented him from achieving his dream of playing in the big leagues.
2) Set goals and commit to sticking to them. Drew acknowledged the challenge of balancing academics with co-curricular passions, but encouraged the boys to stay strong and remain focused on their aspirations in both realms. As a man who successfully pursued a doctorial degree while playing professional baseball, he speaks from experience.
3) Choose to be an “impact player” in all that you do. Drew recounted experiencing a very difficult time when he first arrived at the college in Grade 7. As a tall, lanky adolescent, he experienced some teasing from other boys in the grade. Questioning whether or not UCC was the right fit for him, he spoke fondly of a teacher reassuring him that our school needed boys like him. That teacher had a great impact on him and influenced his decision to stay, but Drew conveyed that the impact would have been so much greater if that message had come from his peers. With that in mind, he challenged the boys to consider their impact on other students in the school and encouraged them to look for ways to make a positive difference in the lives of others.
Our IB2 boys may have graduated, but the lessons they heard on Tuesday morning are perhaps more important than anything they learned in class.
I’d encourage you to speak with your son, regardless of what grade he’s in, about the message he heard on Tuesday morning and the character strengths of resiliency, grit and courage.
Thanks for reading,