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
Friends, foes, wins, losses, and striving WITH
The etymology of the word competition offers clues about how we ought to engage in it. To com-pete is, literally, to strive with.
Thus we love interscholastic athletics, debate, chess, Science Olympiad and many other frames that help us strive with teammates and competitors toward our better selves.
This morning I was copied on an email that reminded me about competition at its best. The fact that Durham Academy found itself on the losing side of a pair of basketball games with well-coached Greensboro Day School teams this winter made the reminder especially poignant.
Win or lose, our students almost always recognize that learning, progress, and joy come from striving with friends and foes alike.
Dear Steve [Engebretsen, Durham Academy's Athletic Director]:
I wanted to send a quick thank you to the Girls Varsity Lacrosse Coach and the team. DA arrived yesterday at GDS ready to play. They quickly took command of the game and soundly defeated GDS. Having coached for years (we moved from NJ to NC two years ago, and I have a daughter, a freshman, on the GDS team), it was refreshing to see the opposing team’s coach display great sportsmanship by asking her players to go into a hold pattern and not run up the score. DA used much of the time to practice passing, set up plays, use weaker players in the mix, etc. The score of the game could well have been 40-3 instead of 18-3. Further, the DA players themselves were great sports; they didn’t ridicule or outwardly show any kind of unsportsmanlike conduct at the level of play of the GDS girls. I talked to several of the GDS players after the game and they all commented that, while a very difficult match for them, all of the DA girls were great sports. That is a huge compliment!
I enjoyed watching your team play. I talked to one DA father who advised me that several players are committed to fine programs such as Duke, UNC and Stanford (field hockey). Congratulations!
As a parent, and former lacrosse player myself, it was a joy to watch such great lacrosse yesterday. Much more importantly, it was wonderful to see the love of the game and great sportsmanship exhibited by your team. Please pass along my congratulations to the coach and your team.
Best, Gwyneth Cote
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