Saturday, December 20, 2008

End of Term Reports

We celebrated Christmas in New Zealand early this year. Knowing that we were going to visit Scotland we did not want to abandon all our embryonic Southern Hemisphere traditions. So we had a barbecue in the sunshine with Pavlova.

There was an article in the paper about the environmental benefits of living trees. I am happy to report that we have been fully on board with this since being in NZ and our $9 tree although scrawny has become our kiwi Christmas tree. It is a bit of a contrast to the 6ft Nordic or Scots Pine we used to choose in the dark and lug home to decorate.

After “Christmas” we had the last week at school. For Jamie this meant his last week at St Mark’s. They had a Leaver’s Dinner at the Intercontinental Hotel which parents were invited to. They all seemed very grown up.

Jamie has had a great time at St Marks. At the Prize Giving he was awarded a bar to his Sports Honours badge that he won last year, got the Hockey Cup for the outstanding hockey player and was given the Jonathan Soulis Memorial Prize for all round contribution in academic, sport, cultural and social activity.

Jamie was also awarded the prize for “Best Batsman” in his cricket team this season. He has enjoyed this new team and has developed from a bowling all rounder last season to an opening bat and part time wicket keeper this year. This was his last game of Primary sport and next it will be College.

Luke finished his first year at Wellington College on a high. He has really enjoyed life at “Coll” but it is a big school with 300 boys in each year so we were not really expecting him to get anything at prize giving. He was delighted to receive Honours Awards in Mathematics and Social Studies for being in the top 3 in his year and to win the Geography Prize for being top of his year in that subject. This was nice for him as it is his favourite subject at the moment.

His form teacher commented in his report how often the word excellent had been used by his various teachers, he was also got merit awards for being in the top 3 in his class in French and Science. The Headmaster commented on what a fantastic first year he has had. He has loved the sport, the music, the Duke of Edinburgh and the challenges and opportunities of being in a bigger school. He is also on a growth spurt and has now just about caught up on Ailsa.

Craig has also had an excellent year and is growing into a real wee character. Mrs Snedden has been an excellent teacher and he was 2nd in his class for which he got a certificate at Prize Giving. He has enjoyed playing touch rugby this term and has a lot of good friends in his class.

With all the boys we are delighted that they have settled in so well to life in NZ. The start they got at Davidson’s Mains has stood them in good stead and we have been fortunate in being able to send them to St Marks and on to Wellington College. We are obviously pleased when they do well but it matters more to us that they try their best, are friendly kind and helpful and grow into decent young men. We consider ourselves very blessed that they all have things which they enjoy and each have some things they excel at.

Ailsa has been busy with the house and with preparations for our trip to Scotland. She is still supervising Holmes (on the left) and May (on the right) the two American interns working at church. This seems to be working out well. May came to SLC and really enjoyed it. We are all looking forward to our trip to Scotland but are conscious that is could be a bit of an emotional roller coaster. Still that can be okay – as long as we enjoy the ride!

Not so many pictures of me since the overdose of the last blog. I feel more encouraged and on top of things than I have for a while. SLC and SPRITE have been significant for me and I have a sense at being at the end of the beginning. My new Macbook is also a source of pleasure as it clunks less than my old one, has an illuminated keyboard (you would surprised at how much I type in the dark – or maybe you wouldn’t be!) and has a neat little programme than enables me to take pictures of myself with the built in camera with added affects! I am as happy as a budgie tapping its beak on a mirror.

Conversation with Jamie on way back to car after prize giving.

Dad: "Well done Jamie, you did really well"
Jamie: "You must be pretty proud of me!"
Dad: "We would still be proud of you if you had not won any prizes"
Jamie: "But you would not be as proud of me".
Dad: "No we are proud of you because of who you are and it's nice when other people recognize that but we love you no matter what"
Jamie: "Why are you telling me that now?"
Dad: "Because there will be days when you don't win any prizes and you need to remember then that we love you and that we are proud of you"
Jamie: "It's still good when you win things"
Dad: "Absolutely and we always want you to do everything to try to win. But win or lose we are on your side and we think your great. Now would you like an ice cream?"
Jamie: "Why are you being so nice to me Dad?"

End of conversation. Dad left thinking: - "Yep I think I've really got my point through here!"

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