The Thistle - An E-Newsletter of Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia

Welcome to the final Thistle for this term.

Since commencing at Scotch mid-way through 2011, I have composed approximately 180 Thistle articles thus far. On reflection, I am sure that my first edition would have demanded a lot of my nervous attention and soul searching. However, sitting here this week, as we embark on our fully online delivery strategy from Monday 30 March, I found myself wondering just what one should say at such a juncture in our College's history. Now more than ever, I encourage you to find as many ways as possible to remain connected as a College community throughout this period.

During times of change it is important to try to find constant and reliable underpinnings; I believe this resides in our staff. Starting this week, we will no doubt face a very different set of challenges, some predictable and many unknown. The one constant is that our staff know the boys, they know their content and they know that we have to make this new reality work in whatever way we can for the sake of our boys. In my view, at such a momentous time of uncertainty, our staff will provide the boys with as much educational and interpersonal normalcy as possible.

Henry Ford was known to have said that 'When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off into the wind, not with it.' At present it is hard to know if we are taking off into a wind or a Force 10 from Navarone. At Scotch we pride ourselves on focusing on the creation of community. Our challenge moving forward is to reenvisage the word community and work out ways to achieve this via a more disjointed in-person context and look for the potential to deliver new opportunities of community building via our online world. We simply have to create new opportunities to connect until the COVID-19 challenge is either behind us or at least under reasonable control.

If enough of us start looking to create other mediums of community in order to reinforce what truly matters to us, then as Gandhi put it, 'You may never know what results come of your actions, but if you do nothing, there will be no results.'

On the weekend I came across a beautiful post which I shared across my own Linkedin. Given the upcoming weeks and no doubt months, I think this simple prose from the site 'teacher goals', summarises to what we now have to commit for the sake of our students.

I will teach you now on Zoom (Teams)

I will teach you in your house

I will teach you with a mouse

I will teach you here and there

I will teach you because I care

So do your very best

And do not worry about the rest

At a time like this, all we hope is that you take care of yourselves and your family, keep in contact with us and ask us for assistance as required.  Be assured that just as we have to date, we will continue to ensure that Scotch remains a strong, connected and vibrant community focusing on all those who come together to make us one. I look forward to when we can fully reopen and welcome everyone back on campus.


Dr A J O'Connell