Principal's Blog - 7 November 2019

05 Nov 2019

Dear members of the Marcellin College Family,

Last Wednesday as I watched our Year 12 English students enter the first of their final VCE examinations, a number of questions ran through my mind. Will they remember everything that they have been taught and be able to present it on paper at this moment? Will they read each question carefully to ensure they understand what they are being asked to do? Had we prepared them well enough? I’m not only speaking about what has gone on in their Year 12 English class this year, but how each young man has been supported in their growth and development over the least 6 years. Mostly, I wonder whether their result will reflect their effort.

I think that often this is the hardest thing to deal with in life. If we know we have done everything we can to achieve a result and it doesn’t turn out the way we had hoped or dreamed, this can be a defining moment. A moment when we can either dust ourselves off, pick ourselves up and go again or not.

On the weekend I read an article from one of my favourite sports journalists, Greg Baum. The subject of his article was the incredible Ash Barty. His focus was not so much on her achievements or the inevitable statistics that go along with them, it was rather focused on the person herself. He told us that rather than looking outside herself at the press and accolades she is currently receiving, Ash looks within to ensure that she maintains the standards set from the beginning by her parents and her coach. The most important of these, Baum describes, is to be a good person. “I try to live by that every day”, Barty said recently. Ash’s philosophy appears to be as challenging as it is simple; she gives thought to little other than going out and trying to win the next match, and if she loses, to accept it with dignity and move onto the next one.

Those two words, trying and dignity, could be a mantra for all of us. Trying our best at everything that we do, but at the same time presenting with dignity no matter what the result may be.

So our Year 12 boys and all those completing important exams at Marcellin at this time of the year are in my thoughts and prayers. I pray that their results reflect their efforts and the sacrifices they have made this year. I pray too, that no matter what the result may be that each of them presents a dignified response in both the joy of receiving all they hoped for and in the disappointment of not reaching their goals. It will be this moment more than anything else which define what happens next.

At the commencement of the English examination last week I was privileged to lead the boys in prayer just before they entered the room. The prayer was given to me by our Head of Learning (10-12), Kalli Koniaris, and best described our hopes for these young men at this time. Maybe you might like to use it as your sons' enter this time of challenge and opportunity.

Prayer before exams
God be with me as I take this exam.
Keep my mind alert and my memory sharp
Calm my nerves and help me to concentrate.
I know that you walk with me,
Guiding my path and inspiring my heart.
I pray that I would feel you with me;
And that your friendship would soften the pressure I feel.
Help me to do the best I can.
I ask this for my fellow students too,
At home and around the world.
That we might all go on to new things with you

Mark Murphy