Page 9 - Brave New World
P. 9


        I HAD INITIALLY PLANNED TO       with me, which I would like to share with you,   they become crises. Even things that now
        START OFF WITH SOME MORE         as HM Lambon described his interests is how   seem normal, such as adding dispensers and
        PERSONAL QUESTIONS,              much he cares about sharing the things he   sanitizing spray bottles in classrooms, were
        ESPECIALLY CONSIDERING THAT      loves with his students. The second bell had   initially difficult to organize. When facing
        MANY YOUNGER STUDENTS HAVE       rung, indicating that our conversation was   problems such as the pressure of ensuring
                                                                           that everyone was safe no matter what you
                                         nearing its close, and yet I had so much still
        NOT HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO       that I wanted to know. In the background, the   do, you will face a range of different opinions
        FORM A CONNECTION WITH YOU       musicians packed up their instruments. I watch   and perspectives. I would say a challenge
        DUE TO COVID RESTRICTIONS.       with what care and elegance a boy puts his   would be to have something I call a ‘helicopter
        HM: I feel that way as well. It definitely has   guitar in its case and sets it against the Music   view’; an unbiased view that ensures the
        been a challenge for us to interact with you   room wall.          right decision is being made for everyone.
        or the younger students, given that we cannot                      There is a certain fondness associated with
        host assemblies and other meetings. The   AS A NEWER STUDENT MYSELF,   these new additions to our campus. Down in
        younger students have also been out of school   HAVING COME TO OUR SCHOOL   the Sixth and Seventh Form Center, it took us
        for quite a few months, which is definitely a   DURING THE BEGINNING OF YOUR   almost a year to realize how to use the strange
        challenge. I would also like to say that it’s                      hand sanitizer contraption. When we discovered
        really nice, hearing the music outside. With   FIRST YEAR AS HEADMASTER, I   the magic of its pedal, a chorus of laughter
        the Covid-19 restrictions, we definitely have   REMEMBER HOW MANY CHANGES   erupted. As HM Lambon discusses these changes,
        lost this community engagement of students.  OCCURRED IN A SPAN OF A FEW   it seems impossible to maintain a tone of
                                         MONTHS. IT SEEMS THAT SO          bleakness and pessimism. As humans, one of
        IN ORDER TO BRIDGE THIS GAP      MUCH HAS HAPPENED, FROM           our most admirable traits is our ability to adapt
        BETWEEN YOU AND OUR              THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE NEW       and overcome. Wearing a mask and spraying our
        YOUNGER STUDENTS, HOW            NEWHAM BUILDING TO BREXIT.        hands every so often seems quite unimportant
        WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF?                                       considering the severity of the coronavirus.
        Headmaster Lambon takes a few seconds to                           Yet, observing how quickly student and staff
        think. It sometimes feels that the only thing                      attitudes changed from March 13th, 2020,
        we discuss with the adults in our lives these                      I can only think that there is nothing we can’t
        days is the pandemic.                                                overcome.
        HM: (he laughs) I think it’s always quite                             HM: It is very difficult for everyone at
        difficult to describe yourself rather                                     this time since there is so much out of
        than others. I would say I am very                                       control. I can only hope that we have
        much a people person, I am much                                          made it clear that we are trying our
        more interested in people’s stories                                       best given the circumstances, to
        and situations. Before I took the                                         provide some stability. We cannot
        position of Headmaster, I was                                              get things right all the time,
        teaching students in secondary                                             but we are trying. I am mainly
        school. This is definitely what I                                           concerned about the future
        love, I love engaging with students                                        following returning back to normal.
        and getting to know them through                                           How will the younger students
        lessons. I would say that one of                                          adapt, and what issues might they
        my biggest regrets is not teaching                                        face concerning their mental
        as much as I would like. I am also very                                  well-being. These are all obstacles
        family-orientated, which has always                                     that we will face when the time
        inspired me to teach, as I have two                                    comes. However, the response of
        older and now two younger children.                                  students coming back, even temporarily
        This period of the pandemic and travel                             to do their diagnostics and mocks has been
        restrictions has been exceptionally                                very positive. I think a school setting is an
        challenging as I have not been able to see my                      ideal environment to learn, and I feel that   headmaster’s  interview
        mother and relatives back home.                                    students appreciated being physically
        As Headmaster Lambon is talking, I can only   SOME OF THESE CHANGES WERE   present after so many weeks and months. It’s
        think about my own family that lives all over                      been a tough couple of years, no one could
        the world. My sister trapped in a Glasgow   EXOGENOUS, BUT IT’S BEEN   have expected everything that happened. I
        apartment, my grandmother in Athens. I would   INSPIRING TO SEE HOW QUICKLY   must say that I have a lot of faith in the
        say that one thing we have gained during these  OUR SCHOOL ADAPTED. I WOULD   younger generation, and I hope we can work
        trying times is that all conversations with our   LIKE TO ASK YOU ONE FINAL   together when the time for re-integration
        peers and superiors have an added, deeper   QUESTION BEFORE WE ULTIMATELY  into physical school comes.
        dimension to them. It’s a bittersweet feeling,   HAVE TO RETURN TO OUR   We don’t shake hands but HM Lambon escorts
        spending so little time in school, and yet every   RESPONSIBILITIES. BEYOND ALL   me out of his office and wishes me good luck on
        moment here is much more meaningful.   THE ADDED DUTIES OF THE PAST   my mock exams. Our conversation rings in my
        HM: (continues) Beyond this, I am very   YEAR, AND ALSO AS YOU     head as I walk down the one-way stairs, and
        passionate about sports and athleticism. I   MENTIONED PREVIOUSLY, THE   leave the main building. The clouds finally   07
        believe that exercising can be the best way to                     became too heavy and it was drizzling hot rain.
        get some time to myself to think and reflect,   LOSS OF STUDENT ENGAGEMENT   Jogging to my next class I feel the dust that has
        especially during periods of elevated academic   DUE TO COVID, WHAT HAS BEEN   been weighing on Nicosia for the past week
        and work pressure. I would love to make   THE GREATEST CHALLENGE   finally begin to clear. Better times are near, the
        sports more accessible and attractive in school.  THIS YEAR?       sky seems to say. ‘I think you’re right’, I respond
        We have been doing some work to improve   HM: Regarding student engagement, and   and sit at my desk in N25.
        our facilities and create an environment that   what I like to call the ‘soul of our school’, I
        encourages students to get more involved   definitely believe that this is something that
        in school athletics. It would be great to   will return to normal almost immediately.
        strengthen student involvement in a niche   This is one of the things that has been put on
        range of sports.                 hold, rather than lost. But to answer your
        I had attempted to get an initial glance at who   question, I think the biggest challenge has
        he is outside of school. What really resonated   been managing so many problems before
                                                                                               Simoni Stefanou 3B
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