The first day of school is always one of my favorites. Today seems to have gone quite smoothly as we welcomed 519 students to the 2011-2012 school year. Last Sunday’s New York Times Book Review was the annual back-to-school edition, perfectly timed for our schedule. There was much in the issue to excite and inspire me as I anticipated the new academic term.
What has stayed with me most of all since then is a poem written by the late Shel Silverstein. Silverstein was a person of diverse talents, multiple interests, and an eccentric sense of humor. He is probably best known as the author of children’s books, including the classic The Giving Tree. Here’s the short sweet poem I wish to share, which I have already done with parents of new students yesterday at their orientation event and again this morning at our opening chapel of the school year.
YESEES AND NOEES
The Yesees said yes to anything
That anyone suggested.
The Noees said no to everything
Unless it was proven and tested.
So the Yesees all died of much too much
And the Noees all died of fright,
But somehow I think the Thinkforyourselfees
All came out all right.
My hope is that the experience of an All Saints’ Episcopal Day School education enables our students to make great progress along the path of becoming Thinkforyourselfees. This is essential for them to develop the resources and resilience as they confront the opportunities and challenges of the adult lives that await them.
Another reason this poem attracted my intention is its delightful whimsy. Our mission is a noble one, and our purpose serious. However, I deeply hope that this entire process also provides many moments of fun- and sheer whimsy- for our students and for everyone in the school community.
Until next time…