Hopes and Fears
Friday, January 20, 2017 by Justin Chippendale
Every four years, 20th January every four years is a big day in the US and for the world. Washington is gearing up for the Inauguration today and at just about the time this is sent to you the 45th President of the US will be reciting the oath of office.
I thought I would share two markedly differing emotions I have experienced this week. The joyful one was yesterday when I enjoyed the simple and palpable pleasure of watching a big piece of machinery reaching across the building site to pump life into our new Science Faculty as the concrete was poured to form the foundations. Truck after truck of the stuff went to and fro outside my window and this necessitated regular trips from me to watch the progress. I even dragged the Headmaster of King’s College to look as he happened to be here briefly.
Earlier in the week, we had both been at the annual Woodard Heads’ Conference and the less optimistic emotion was felt when I heard a talk from a US citizen, a Hillary Clinton supporter, who was, unsurprisingly, disappointed and anxious over the election outcome. It was, though, her observation that she felt the line between fact and opinion had become blurred that troubled me. Post-truth implications seem rife as people display a sense that they have the right to consider their opinion good enough to be fact, even in the face of substantial evidence to the contrary.
Sorry – that last bit was getting a little ‘heavy’, but it is so far removed from what we are all trying to instil in the children at King’s Hall that it does give you something to think about. Much easier is to comment on how wonderful the beautiful days are that we have had recently - or perhaps I’ll head back to the big machines and talk to the site manager about what might be coming next.