Welcome to Heads Up, a blogging experiment that aims to:
- connect the people, parts, and principles of Durham Academy;
- share ideas about learning and human development;
- spotlight a few of the many wondrous things I get to see every day at Durham Academy.
Thanks for reading the posts below — and sending news, links and ideas worth sharing.
Michael Ulku-Steiner, Head of School
Sweat, suffering, beauty, happiness
Yesterday our 12th Graders departed for Senior Challenge, a six-day Outward Bound-style adventure that has been stretching the comfort zones of our students for nearly four decades. Seniors climb mountains, rappel from rocky cliffs, cook all their own food, lose and find their way with topographical maps, sleep under tarps through rainy nights, and carry 40-pound backpacks the whole way. For many students, the trip is scary, uncomfortable, and life-changing. More than 90% of our graduates point to it as the single most significant experience of their Upper School careers.
This morning the News and Observer named DA alumnus Chris Rosati '89 its "Tar Heel of the Week." Other than the "Tar Heel" part (Chris is a proud NCSU grad), this surely comes as gratifying news to Chris, who has worked tirelessly for the past year, through his own searing medical and emotional challenges, to spread his philosophy that little people can do BIGG things to create happiness for others. At left: a photo from the classroom of Middle School Math Teacher Gib Fitzpatrick, quoted in the N&O's very good article.
The paragraphs above and ideas below may not seem to have much in common. In fact, they do.
"Comfort and convenience possess a magical power; little by little they suck in even people with strong wills." (Anton Chekhov)
"The beauty of the soul shines out when a man bears with composure one heavy mischance after another, not because he does not feel them, but because he is a man of high and heroic temper." (Aristotle)
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