Finishing Well

From the Headmaster's Desk, June 26, 2017

I will keep my thought for the week brief this morning as we are very much in the final furlong of the academic year.

However, my message for this week is a very important one for all of us:  let’s make sure that we finish well.

There is a classic video of the finish of a cycling race in France in 2010.  It is of the final straightaway and the leader of the race takes a quick look behind him, then puts up both arms in celebration . . . and then quickly loses control of his bike and falls to the ground about 20 metres in front of the finish line.

The second place rider, who was behind by some distance, easily passes the fallen rider to take the win.  The gentleman who celebrated early by taking both hands off his handle bars, runs alongside his bike to the finish line to take second place, with the spectators laughing.

He was so close to winning, but then lost focus, made a poor decision of celebrating too soon, which turned into a sloppy mistake, and now the video still occasionally circles social media where everyone is reminded:  all of one’s good work and efforts over a long period of time can be overlooked and seem futile, it you do not finish well.

Overall we still have eight days to go, which is almost 5% of the academic year.  I know your teachers will keep teaching enlightening and engaging lessons, and the calendar is absolutely packed with matches, expeditions and special events, including the U13As in the county cup final tomorrow afternoon before Swing into Summertime in the evening, our first VIII rowing in Henley on Wednesday and the Lower School prize giving on Thursday.  There are a number of important cricket matches this week, the DofE Silver Expedition departs, there are several trips and, of course, house cricket.

It is important that we all finish well.  If not, it would be like wearing a smart CCF uniform, without polishing your shoes.  Everyone would just talk about your shoes.

It is important that we all finish well.  If not, it would be like wearing a smart CCF uniform, without polishing your shoes.  Everyone would just talk about your shoes.  Or when you’re on stage, you might have a great performance in music or drama but if you make an error in the closing minutes, sadly that is what is remembered.  I once saw a conductor step backwards on a stage at the end of a musical piece and fall into a crowd – sadly that was all that was discussed after a very good concert.

So, continue to make the most of each lesson, each day and every opportunity.  And don’t forget to thank your teachers for all that they do – I know that they will finish well.  Be sure you make good decisions and always look out for your peers.  In this last full week of term, be sure you’re on your best form.  We all know the best part of a firework display is a grand finale, and I’m keen that, in a similar way, we are at our best in these final days.

In cricketing terms, there is nothing more beautiful than winning at the end of the 2nd innings by smashing the last ball for a 6, even if you only needed 1 more run to win.  Let’s have some of that focused and fighting spirit, and finish well.

 

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