Nobles Parents' E-Newsletter

April 2013

Nobles Parents' E-Newsletter April 2013

Class IV Deans' Report

Dear Parents and Guardians,

This March, Dedham was the backdrop for the best that New England weather has to offer.  Drizzles of rain, hints of springtime sunshine, and loads of snow to remind us that we are indeed still in the thick of winter.

I woke up this morning, surprised to find almost a foot of snow blocking my driveway.  Meteorologists had been issuing conservative updates, not willing to stake anything greater than an accumulation of five inches for the Boston area.

Anything can happen.

Endless possibilities seem to be the theme of the week.  I spent the majority of this week charting out the course of study with my advisees for the 2013-2014 academic year.  The breadth of courses offered to our students continues to surprise me.  Having availed myself of the opportunity to sit in on the classes of my colleagues, I know what wonderful pedagogical opportunities await my advisees come September.  I encourage them to take risks, to explore the new areas of interest, and to put themselves into an arena in which they might develop a new passion.

Anything can happen.

Back to the snow.  As I struggled to get two cars out of our driveway and navigate the slippery roads to attend a conference, I chuckled to myself, knowing that many of the sessions would be–fittingly–dedicated to resilience and overcoming obstacles.  The messy morning commute was a perfect metaphor for the importance of will and stamina as we confront the challenges of life.

Anything can happen.

That can be scary.  I noticed on my drive the bright yellow lights and clunky blades of snow plows, beacons of hope and stability in the winter of our despair.  I was reminded of my class deans' report of a conference in San Francisco, that “helicopter parenting” had been replaced by “snow-plow parenting,” a practice in which all obstacles are removed from the path of our child’s academic and social development. 

While the urge to protect, shelter and “plow” the path for our students is understandable, we often forget that the greatest satisfaction comes from the moment when our car crests the ridge of snow, climbs the hill, arrives at the destination.  The journey may have been harrowing, but the success gained by reliance on individual wit and resource is the true act of learning.  We all appreciate the presence of the snow plows, but we have to try to dig ourselves out first.

I wish you and your children a warm and relaxing spring.  May the temperature inspire your growth as you encounter all that can happen.

Dave Ulrich
Class IV Dean

10 Campus Drive,
Dedham, Massachusetts
tel: 781.326.3700
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