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From the Headmaster

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  • From the Headmaster

    Published 27/03/20, by Rhian Little

    When was the last time you had a stone in your shoe?  It does not exactly hurt, but makes it impossible to enjoy a stroll.  Rage, in private, can have a cleansing effect; but irritation gnaws and nags.  I still remember a good friend (still thus), at his desk behind me, sniffing through our A-level History paper.  Some are irritated by the wrong type of Christmas card; others by music or expressions or words or eating styles.  And then there are people: some television personalities have a reputation for being irritating.  I cannot stand people clicking their knuckles.  I have written before that coughing without covering one’s mouth should be illegal – at the moment, of course, it is also dangerous and unethical.

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  • From the Headmaster

    Published 20/03/20, by Rhian Little

    On Friday 3 January, I spent much of the day concluding final edits of this term’s printed Calendar; the same day, the BBC ran a story about cases of a ‘mysterious’ virus.  I never considered the possibility that this term would not conclude as normal.  All of a sudden, though, the expectations of everyday life have disappeared.  Naturally, there is worry and fear; we understand that harsh reality may affect us directly – or, perhaps, it already is.  Aside from viral danger, the world is in economic turmoil.  Some, in their anxiety, have responded poorly, by panic-buying, for example. 

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  • From the Headmaster

    Published 13/03/20, by Rhian Little

    Donald Rumsfeld: “Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don't know we don't know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones.”

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  • From the Headmaster

    Published 06/03/20, by Rhian Little

    Last Saturday evening, starting about 2200, I visited every pub and club in central Winchester.  I do not mean several – I mean all.  I was dressed in a striking yellow top.  No doubt some of you saw me but pretended not to notice.  I returned home, rather weary, in the early hours.

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  • From the Headmaster

    Published 28/02/20, by Rhian Little

    When my departure was announced last September, I said that the school would continue in the same way this academic year – full steam ahead – and I would be just as interested in detail and no less keen to support Pilgrims’ boys.  I must run hard before handing the baton to Dr Sarah Essex.  Therefore, please do not misunderstand the reflective tone of this article. 

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  • From the Headmaster

    Published 14/02/20, by Rhian Little

    I would think that dinner times are interesting in the Perks’ house, given the broad range of topics included in last Friday’s PPA Quiz by question-setters Will and Fiona.  The range was too broad for me; I was on home territory a few times, but soon discovered that brain cells occupied by The Lord of the Rings, the life and times of Winston Churchill, and the Bible should have been much better deployed.  On Monday, a boy asked me if I had yet discovered who Adele is.  I grimaced.

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  • From the Headmaster

    Published 07/02/20, by Rhian Little

    As I left the first sitting of James Shone’s talk yesterday, a parent said: that talk will make writing your Pilgrims’ Way article easy.  Indeed!  James is a remarkable character: a highly respected teacher and leader, he was diagnosed with a brain tumour when he underwent a medical after being offered the role of Headmaster of Monkton Combe School in Bath – a position he was then unable to take.  Years of rehabilitation followed.  James quoted the great line that ‘in adversity we have a choice’.  One soon sees past his disabilities, such is his impressive personality; James is clever, witty, articulate, engaging – and a man with profound understanding of how human beings work.

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  • From the Headmaster

    Published 31/01/20, by Rhian Little

    From Boys to Men Part II

    If the question ‘what is a pink lady?’ appeared in the Set Quiz, I think the intended answer would be ‘an apple’ – though other correct answers (cocktail, Japanese pop duo, and so on) would be accepted by Mr Hammond, I am sure.  However, when I made reference to a pink lady in my sister’s birthday card this week, she immediately knew it was a reference to Grease.

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  • From the Headmaster

    Published 24/01/20, by Rhian Little

    From Boys to Men Part I

    In my back-catalogue of Pilgrims’ Way articles, the aim has always been to give an interesting take on the operation and thinking of the school.  My endeavour is to aid common purpose rather than be controversial.

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  • From the Headmaster

    Published 17/01/20, by Rhian Little

    To those of us born well inside the past century, ‘2020’ sounds positively sci-fi.  The 1965 film Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet (not to be confused with the even-worse Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women) is set in 2020 and tells of moon colonists travelling to Venus to find it populated by dinosaurs.  It seems only yesterday we were dancing to Wham! and yet all of a sudden we are in this ultra-modern year and decade (if we ignore the inconvenient maths that the decade actually starts in 2021). 

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  • From the Headmaster

    Published 14/01/20, by Rhian Little

    Blockbuster.  No, not Blockbusters, the game show hosted by Bob Holness (I cannot help but add, as everyone does, the second man to play James Bond), but the video rental shop.  Today’s boys are unlikely to experience the excitement of browsing rows of videos before negotiating an agreeable title with friends, for there is only one Blockbuster left in the world, in Oregon, USA.  This is the Netflix age.  And yet there was a time, in 2008, when Blockbuster turned down the chance to buy Netflix, then a DVD mailing service, for (in retrospect) a bargain $50 million. Netflix is now worth $150 billion. 

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  • From the Headmaster

    Published 06/12/19, by Rhian Little

    Blazing your trail,
    Too high, too far, too soon,
    You saw the whole of the moon.
    Mike Scott (of the Waterboys)

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