The Challenge to Think Differently
John Cage is an American composer. I recently became aware of him while listening to a podcast on the way to school one morning. This man is famous for many things — of which I remain blissfully unaware — but particularly for a piece called 4:33. It is a challenging piece to listen to.
As I made my way to work the smooth tones of the podcaster announced the piece and I prepared to listen. In terms of high-fidelity sound, the system in my car is not top of the line but neither is it low quality. Yet, for four minutes and thirty-three seconds I sat in confusion behind the wheel of my car at 100 kilometres per hour down the Ipswich motorway.
Confusion turned to frustration as I adjusted the volume, then frustration turned to outrage. Outrage at the reality that 4:33 is a music piece that consists of four minutes and thirty-three seconds of silence. In the midst of my red-faced rant about modern music the smooth podcaster chimed in with a reflection. This piece is an opportunity. Its unashamed lack of sound presents us with the chance to listen to the world around us. In essence then, for me, in that moment, the sound of 4:33 was the sound of the wind as it flowed past the car along with a gentle but annoying whistle coming from the passenger door and various miscellaneous clicks, cracks and creaks.
The challenge of John Cage and 4:33 is to think differently, to see or hear what is hidden by the sounds of our daily routine. The challenge in this disrupted situation we find ourselves is to listen to those with whom we share our lives. For our Eddies Team the sound of 4:33 will mean different things. For our staff it may mean a space to re-evaluate how learning is presented and how best for students to learn. For our young men, it may mean a chance to engage in learning on their own terms but also a time to appreciate the relationships they have with others. For parents and caregivers, it may mean a time to walk the same learning journey as their sons in partnership with the staff, assisting to develop the skills so necessary for positive learning outcomes.
No matter what is presented to us, this silence, this disruption to normality, is an opportunity for coming together. While we may sit in silence listening for now, the sounds of every day will resume. We pray that, as life begins again and the memory of this disruption fades, we do not lose this short moment of listening and the gift it can give us. We pray that our Team, unapologetically grown in Ipswich culture, immersed in Catholic ethos, and in the tradition of Edmund Rice, will come together ever stronger to educate our young men to make a very real difference in their world as Eddies’ men.
Mums and Chums Reimagined
Mother’s Day is fast approaching and ordinarily in our own very Eddies way it would be heralded by our Mums and Chums evening. This celebration of not only mums but also significant women in the lives of our young men, normally takes place on the Friday before Mother’s Day and is a fun filled evening of good natured competition between mum/son teams to crown best House on the night.
Understandably Mums and Chums cannot proceed as usual, but reimagining has become the hallmark of our planning for recent events. Please be on the lookout next week for more information about our reimagined Mums and Chums 2020.
There have been so many fantastic submissions for our Rookies Principal’s Paper Plane Challenge! Thank you to all the young men and everyone who supported them in creating and filming such a wide variety of innovative designs. We are now in planning for our next Rookies Principal’s Challenge. Rookies be ready!
Ray Celegato, Principal