A Uniting Church coeducational independent day and boarding school on Kaurna Country, Adelaide, South Australia

Early Learning to Year 12

From the Principal - Edition 14 - 2021

Earlier this year, I had to bring more than one motorbike back from Normanville so thought it would be a good idea to use our trailer to do that. I had a plan to back the trailer up onto the cement driveway and carefully walk the bike up the ramp onto the trailer. Instead, somewhat in a rush, I somehow made the decision to load the bike on loose gravel, on an angle, on the verge. Then, with the trailer facing downhill, I’m sure you can all sense what happened next. Instead of walking the bike up, I thought I’d ride it up. Worried about falling off the ramp, I wisely positioned two human buffer zones, called Daniel and Jeremy, on either side to stop me from toppling off. Donning a helmet and feeling quite anxious, I rode the bike up. Halfway, I bottled it, pulled in the clutch and rolled down again. Repositioning my assistant sons, I went again. At the top of the ramp with the front wheel on the trailer, I ran out of momentum and started to lose balance. My human buffers went into self-preservation mode and, instead of supporting the bike, they stepped away and I toppled off. Of course, I tried to hold the bike up from hitting the ground and, of course, I failed miserably.

As you can imagine, I was cross with myself, disappointed in my decision making and frustrated that my helpers had abandoned me in my seconds of need. Adding insult to injury, I was unable to look at the motorbike because it reminded me of my stupidity. Many of us have 20/20 vision and clarity about what we should or could have done in hindsight. It is a mild superpower! What is really hard to do is exercise the mild superpower we are all blessed with prior to or early enough in an ‘incident or event’. In our adolescence, we may not have yet developed this mild superpower so kept making the same mistake, even as variations on a theme! Often we know we should do things differently but constraints such as time, finance or work pressure influence our decision-making process.

Using reflective hindsight after things have gone wrong, we often question ourselves - “how could I be so stupid?”. We chastise ourselves - “ I knew I shouldn’t have done it”, and we berate ourselves - “I should know better, when will I learn”. But we are human, and to err is to be human. Of course, where we should do our utmost not to err is when the safety of our children is involved. One experience any of us would hate is if we wished our 20/20 perspective had been applied first to see how things could have been done differently to keep our children safe.

With this in mind, I thank all of our parents and caregivers who consistently do the right thing on campus and abide by the 10 km speed limit. I implore everyone to keep within this limit so none of us ever have to rue our actions when driving in and around the School grounds.

Please stay safe and keep others safe too by not speeding on campus and taking the utmost care when parking or entering and leaving the School grounds. If we work on this together, I am just one within our community who will be sincerely grateful for the consideration shown.

Simon Shepherd