“Getting started is like getting a rocket off the ground. You need the most energy and the most push to get started; once you’re up there and going, then it’s easier to keep going. But getting going is always tough.”
That’s how cartoonist R. Crumb characterized how he viewed his own creative process, but I dare say that many of these same sentiments could be applied to the first days of a new school year.
Whether it’s those teacher work days and shopping excursions for supplies to make sure that we’re all ready for the first week or those first days of meeting new teachers and classmates while also becoming familiar with new surroundings, it does take some extra “energy”—and “push”—to make sure that we are getting “off the ground” successfully. It’s also, I would offer, the source of no small additional amount of anxiety and stress that we all tend to feel in the first days and weeks of any new school year.
This past Friday, August 31st, would have been Maria Montessori’s 148th birthday, and, as so often is the case, I believe that our namesake offers us some good advice and perspective when it comes to how we either approach “getting started,” or how we, in hindsight, might evaluate how well we have gotten our “rocket off the ground”:
“But when through exceptional circumstances work is the result of an inner, instinctive impulse, then even in the adult it assumes a wholly different character. Such work is fascinating, irresistible, and it raises man above deviations and inner conflicts. Such is the work of the inventor or discoverer, the heroic efforts of the explorer, or the compositions of the artist, that is to say, the work of men gifted with such an extraordinary power as to enable them to rediscover the instinct of their species in the patterns of their own individuality. This instinct is then a fountain that bursts through the hard outer crust and rises, through a profound urge, to fall, as refreshing rain, on arid humanity. It is through this urge that the true progress of civilisation takes place.”
Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow morning for our very first Monday (and first full week) of our still very new school year, when we once more “get our rockets off the ground.
Tim Daniel, Head of School