After not having written for a couple of weeks, please bear with me while I touch on a few topics.
At the start of the month, you will know that I visited South East Asia to engage with parents and educational agents in these areas, promoting our beautiful school and the city of Toowoomba. It would be so wonderful to introduce into our already diverse population a few international students. If successful we would cap the number of international students at between 8 and 10% maximum in any one grade. I visited Jakarta (Indonesia), Hanoi (Vietnam), Hong Kong, Macau and Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung (all in Taiwan). During this time, I became increasingly aware of how lucky we are to live where we do and attend the school that we do. Our blue skies, wide open spaces and beautiful gardens are something that we should be grateful for every day; as are our diverse learning experiences, passionate and caring teachers and the vast array of extra-curricular activities on offer here. There are not many places in the world that can boast the same.
I returned in time for The Glennie Fair, an event that celebrates so much of what we are as a community. It is always so heartwarming to see the Glennie family come together in the lead up to the event and, of course, on the day itself. Whilst a handful may get irritated by the stream of emails, the raffle tickets being sent home and the call for volunteers, I know that the majority of families are delighted to show their support. I can honestly say that in all my years in schools, I have never come across a P & F as dedicated as ours, and on behalf of all in the community, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your dedication and commitment to our school and making the lives of all our girls better. You may not be aware, but it is due to funds raised by the P & F that your daughters enjoy air-conditioned classrooms through the majority of the school, tiered seating around the oval, shade outside the tuckshop and hospitality centre and a large portion of the Junior Years buildings, to name only a few. These are all projects that cannot be covered by school fees. I would like to extend especially warm thanks to Sharon Wilmington, Lyndal Brown and Jason Lipp who spent many days and nights planning, cajoling, following-up and working, working, working to ensure we had the most successful fair yet.
I would like to share a personal story. Many years ago when we were still in our twenties, my husband used to regularly run marathons and half-marathons. One day I took my grandmother along to see Jim finish a half-marathon. We arrived about 20 minutes prior to him finishing and nanny, watching the men and women gasping for air as they crossed the finish line, asked me if someone had won. I assured her that the winners had completed the race a long time earlier. She looked bemused and said, “Well why are the others still running?” I thought for a moment that she was joking, but realised that she was seriously confused. For nanny, there appeared to be no point in continuing a race if you were not going to win. I remembered this incident after our recent Interhouse Cross Country event when a girl in the Junior Years was devastated that she had not done well.
‘Doing well’ of course is open to interpretation. For top athletes, it may be coming in the top three or even achieving first place, for others maybe it is coming in the top ten, but for the majority of us I believe it is finishing the race that you started; a bit like life really. My hat goes off to every one of those girls who tried their best on the cross country course and finished the race - whether they came first, tenth, thirty-fifth or even last (which is where I used to come!). What an achievement. I am not suggesting that everyone gets a prize, there is a place for excellence and those top athletes, academics and performers deserve the accolades. I am referring to one’s own sense of achievement - completing what you set out to do to the best of your ability.
Mrs Kim Cohen