Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of St Mary’s School,

Term two is often referred to as the Autumn term, but this year we seem to have gone straight from

summer to winter. It seems difficult to believe that only a week ago we wanted rain. I think we’ve had enough now to last us for the next six months.

Last night I watched a documentary about a man called Barney Miller. Barney is a very close friend of Australian surfing champion Mick Fanning (the surfer who survived a televised attack by a "Great White" in South Africa last year).

Miller was involved in a serious car accident when he was twenty and he was told that he would struggle to breathe unassisted, and that he would never walk again. Through courage and determination and help from his friends, he has proved all of these predications false. So it was a story of determination, courage and strength. But it juxtaposed the personal situations of Mick Fanning the big strong surfing champion and Miller the wheelchair bound quadriplegic. It showed that both men faced ordeals and challenges on a daily basis but Fanning drew strength from the situation of Barney Miller and the way that through

personal courage and self belief, he had overcome challenges far greater than those required to be a

champion sportsman.

He said that we should watch the type of people we surround ourselves with.

That negative people (haters are going to hate) will only drag you down, but positive people will ensure that you achieve whatever goals that you set yourself.

The story finished by announcing that Fanning was going to face his demons by surfing in the same waters that he was attached by a shark last year, he put his ability to do this down to the inspiration that Barney proved for him.

As Bruce Lee said "a life lived in fear is a life only half lived".

Have a great week

Mike Brosnahan

Room Five

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of St Mary’s School,

Recently I began rereading an old favourite novel of mine Charles Dickens "A Tale of Two Cities".

It is the famous opening lines that always catch my attention

"They were the best of times, they were the worst of times…" It is a novel that deals with themes of social justice, self sacrifice and resurrection (of the spirit).

It is a work that also deals with the idea of perceptions and the concept that while for some people times may be great for others they are terrible.

The resurrection of Sydney Carton in the novel focuses on our ability to value something not by what we (personally) may gain from it but rather if something is right.

This is something that we need to teach our children, for in this day of being told to place their own

interests above all else, the concept that we may need to sacrifice something for others with no personal gain is not easy for them to grasp.

It is a difficult concept for children to grasp, yet, we as New Zealanders love team sport and team sport is about giving up personal gain for the greater glory.

As a Catholic school we obviously bear testament to the Jesus’s resurrection and the ultimate example of someone making a sacrifice for the greater good.

Have a great week

Mike Brosnahan


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of St Mary’s School,

One of the key conflicts that continually happens in the world is that of tradition versus innovation.

Tradition is obviously continuing to do something because we have always done it that way. Innovation is when we change something to improve it. Tradition is saying if it isn’t broken then don’t fix it, but also we are strong because we know what is to be done and what is required of us. Innovation is saying things may be working OK but they could be better.

I read a story yesterday about how quickly photography changed due to digital cameras. Some of you will remember well the old 24 or 36 exposure rolls of film. The button was never pushed on a photo until it was perfect because it was one less photo that could be taken and one more development to be paid for. Now with digital cameras, you take as many photos as you like and then decide which, if any that you would like to print.

In a short period of time: selling cameras, films and developing films became a very restricted industry, Was there anything wrong with the old way of taking photos? I would say no, but I think that all photo takers would say the new way was better.

None of us can see the future, none of us know what the world would look like in a year let alone ten years.

All we can do as parents and teachers is to prepare our pupils the best that we can so that they may face the future with confidence.

Have a great week

Mike Brosnahan

Golf Lessons