Well, here we are on the eve of our new beginning, and, according to Plato, “The beginning is the most important part of the work.” In the past, I’ve always understood this quote to mean that, without the beginning, the work never happens. Over the course of the past week, however, I’ve learned that the beginning is the most important part of our work for a number of reasons.
Setting the Tone
The beginning sets the tone for the remainder of the work. While discussing the mission and vision of the school this week with our faculty, the words “passion,” “persistence,” “tenacity,” “life-long learning,” and “relationships” kept coming up time and time again. Tomorrow is not just the beginning of school–it’s the beginning of each of our scholar’s search and tenacious pursuit of a passion as well as the ongoing pursuit of each of our teacher’s and administrator’s passions. Tomorrow is also the first stitch in a complex net of relationships that will serve to catch each of us multiple times in the future when we fall or stray along the way. The tone we set tomorrow will resonate well into the future of each of our lives!
Affirming the Goal
With all due respect to Plato, the word “beginning” is a bit of a misnomer. The “beginning” isn’t really the beginning at all. Before one can begin, one must know what the goal is, or what one wants. Each of us has come to CMA for a specific reason, or with a specific goal in mind. As Magnet Facilitator, my goal is to make CMA a place where young people come to find their place in the world and to turn their dreams into reality. Yes, I want our scholars to graduate high school with an advanced certification or associate’s degree, but I also want our scholars to graduate with their independence and with a sense of purpose. One cannot begin without an end in mind. Take some time this evening to think about what your goal might be.
Perhaps the most significant reason that the beginning is “the most important part of the work” is because it is the moment most infused with a sense of hope. Without hope, nobody ever began anything worthy. Tomorrow, may your hopes wake you before your alarm; may your hopes help you choose an outfit worthy of them; may your hopes help you eat a breakfast hearty enough to pursue them. Above all, may all of our hopes find us safely here at CMA–the place where hope comes to be born. When things become difficult and we want to give up, we must remember the beginning and renew our hope is order to persevere. Tomorrow is the day we will remember when the going gets tough. If nothing else, let us say “Tomorrw, we begin!”
Freshmen Orientation Schedule for Friday, August 8th
8:45-9:30: Scholars report to CMA
10:00-11:00: Ribbon Cutting (Public Invited)
11:20-12:55: Abbreviated Class Schedule (1st-4th Blocks)
Remainder: Closing Remarks