Dear KES Family:
Back in the 1700s the German writer and statesman Johann Von Goethe wrote that, “A man’s manners are a mirror in which he shows his portrait.” I don’t believe his statement is/should be gender specific. Our manners, our compassion for others, our understanding of proper etiquette, reflect our character. Do we hold a door open for those who follow us? Do we spit in public? Do we say please and thank-you? Do we leave the toilet seat up? (Okay…that one is absolutely gender specific!)
In this day and age of fast food, it is easy for the younger generation to lose sight of the joys of slow food and perhaps the art and niceties of sitting down to a formal meal. However, at the recent NSSAF Celebration of School Sport Luncheon it was not the young athletes from other schools who had poor manners, it was their coaches. I was very proud of our honoured KES athletes Laurence-Olivier Belley and Taylor Amirault when they waited for everyone to be served their meal before they started eating. Indeed, our whole table took their cue and waited respectfully while a vegetarian dish was delayed being served to a coach seated with us…except for his senior coach seated beside him. He was half finished his meal before his colleague’s arrived and never noticed that even the 12-year-old athlete from his school sitting beside him had been waiting patiently for his other coach to be served.
It is rather fun knowing what side plate to find one’s dinner roll on (the left), or knowing which glass to reach for (the one on the right), or that cutlery is used from the outside in as the meal progresses. Obviously, these are not life-preserving rules like signalling before changing lanes on the highway; however, KES parent Melanie Taljaard (Jacob ’17, Maddy ’20) coined a creative phrase this week that instantly stuck in my mind. She was lamenting society’s loss of the “Art of Suppering” and was pleased that, in general, KES students know how to eat.
It has been said that “Good manners will open doors that the best education cannot.” As we approach Closing Day, I trust that when the graduates of the Class of 2017 cross the stage they will have had a great education, but also that they will be thoughtful of others and their own manners will reflect dignity and respect.
This week in photos