Heads Up

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Message from Scott Cowie, Head, Senior Division

Scott CowieUpcoming Senior Division dates:

Friday, Oct. 13: “Friday Night Lights” junior varsity football game at 4:30 p.m. and varsity football game at 7 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 19 and Friday, Oct. 20: Admissions open house
Friday, Oct. 20: Stewards Dance, David Chu Theatre, 8:30 p.m.

I realize there are differing views on granting awards and prizes, especially in a school setting, but given our school motto of “Palmam qui meruit ferat” (“Let he who merited the palm bear it”), I’ve come to understand that doing so is an important historical tradition here at the College.

It was my great honour last Thursday to announce the names of the Senior Division award winners at the Prize Day ceremony as they walked across the Laidlaw Hall stage. I’d like to congratulate all of our curricular and co-curricular prize recipients for all of their hard work and dedication in their respective disciplines and activities here at the College.

While the highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of student awards, I thought the address delivered by our very own academic dean was certainly worthy of honourable mention. In speaking about her own academic career, which culminated with a PhD in Russian history, Dr. Julia Kinnear commented on the importance of awards and recognizing high levels of achievement. But she also challenged her audience to value learning for its own sake through sharing the impact that her studies have had on her personal and professional growth.

The Prize Day ceremony and Kinnear’s address got me thinking about how today’s youth measure success and, in particular, boys and their perceptions of self-worth.

A few years ago, Dr. Adam Cox, a renowned psychologist, wrote a report for the International Boys School Coalition titled “Locating Significance in the Lives of Boys.” Through his extensive research for his work, he spent a lot of time speaking with boys of diverse cultural backgrounds, with an array of academic and co-curricular interests, to try to better understand how young men view themselves and their place in this world. According to Cox’s study, in the heart of almost every boy sits one profound question: “Am I a worthy son?”

As parents, I think it’s imperative for us to help our children define the pivotal term in that question — worth — and help them understand that they shouldn’t measure their success through grades, or in relation to their peers, but rather through their character, their interactions with others, and the principled decisions they make.

Thanks for reading,