Message from Scott Cowie, head, Senior Division
Friday, Feb. 27 – CU@UCC Day
Thursday, March 5– Special Schedule for House Hockey Final
Friday, March 6 – Locker Clean Out
I feel very fortunate to work here at the College and enjoy many aspects of the responsibilities that go along with my role. This past Tuesday morning, I took part in one of my favourite activities, as I had the pleasure of hand-delivering offers of admission to prospective New Boys and their families across the Toronto area. It was a true joy to see the excitement on the faces of the boys and parents who received offer packages that day and we can all look forward to welcoming them to the UCC community over the next few months.
Kudos to all of our boys, those on and off stage, who were involved in last week’s production of The Tempest. They all did a wonderful job with what many might contend is a very challenging play. Prior to the transition that takes place in the domineering Prospero, the show’s main character, watching him exercise his magical powers and torment and bully both the inhabitants and visitors to his island provided an effective lead-in to some of the topics we’ve tried to focus on during our Mental Health Week these past few days.
As you may know, our Mental Health Week started off with special guests Hon. Michael Wilson and Dr. Catherine Zhan, president and CEO of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), talking to the boys in assembly about substance use, depression and other issues related to mental illness.
As well, you may have noticed your son heading out the door each morning this week in casual dress; yesterday in particular, as he was likely participating in our Pink Shirt Day to promote greater awareness of bullying. For those of you who may not be familiar with the Pink Shirt Day initiative, it started in 2007 when a new Grade 9 student at Central Kings Rural High School in Nova Scotia was bullied for wearing a pink shirt. In response, two Grade 12 boys rallied the student body to wear pink shirts the next day to show their support for the bullied student and to make a very clear, colourful, anti-bullying statement. There was a sea of pink shirts at Kings that day, and I’m proud to say that eight years later, the support remains strong, as our traditional colours of blue and white were replaced by various hues of pink worn by students, faculty and staff.
I wrote on this topic a few years ago and at that time, shared a video that a parent sent to me about the terrible impact of bullying. It’s a beautifully animated piece based on Canadian spoken-word poet Shane Koyczan’s poem, To This Day. Here’s the link. I’d encourage you to share it with your son, as it speaks to the power of words we exchange with classmates, and the need to treat one another with dignity and respect. Another “tissue box” warning; this is stirring stuff and I was a puddle after I watched it.
Many of the prospective New Boys will be visiting the College tomorrow and I’d encourage you to remind your son tonight about the importance of treating others, both new acquaintances and old friends, with kindness and compassion.
Thanks for reading,