Latest Head of School Posts
Chuck Berry passed away this week. He was 90 years old.
His simple, yet indelible guitar licks and rhythms helped form the bedrock of rock and roll. Even more, he is credited with shaping adolescence as we know it today by putting into lyrics what teenagers were feeling in the 1950s.» read more
As those of you with Lower School children have probably noticed, we play music in the morning drop-off line most mornings. This has been a lot of fun for our kids; also, it has been an opportunity for some of our faculty members to showcase their tastes in music.
We recently went through the decades as Mrs. Newcombe prepared a 1970s playlist (a lot of disco, of course), and Mrs. Ladson shared some selections from the 1980s (plenty of upbeat songs to choose among). I assigned myself to prepare a playlist from the 1990s… This was a challenge.» read more
My youngest son, Ben, will tell you that having his father as the Headmaster has a few advantages, but mostly disadvantages.
One of the advantages is that he can count on having the Headmaster’s (somewhat) undivided attention in the evenings to provide feedback about his Brookwood experience.
One of the key disadvantages is that he knows that he may get an abrupt “No,” followed by a “Because I said so,” and finished with a “Now, go to bed.”» read more
“Books are good.”
This three-word sentence was uttered by my father, Randy Watts, Sr. (or, as many call him — the “real Randy Watts”), many years ago. The statement was made in the midst of the fatigue of helping me move into an apartment in graduate school. At that moment, it was not a particularly deep thought; rather, it was an exhausted effort to wrap his mind around the fact that he had to help carry boxes upon boxes of books into my temporary domicile.» read more
Last year, I attended an employment fair for teachers. My job was to interview each of the 60 candidates for two minutes and then determine who I might invite to Brookwood for an interview in the event that we had an opening in their field. Every candidate with whom I spoke was qualified, and most had teaching experience.
However, only about ⅓ of these candidates -— potential educational leaders — could shake my hand, look me in the eye, and introduce themselves at the same time.» read more
As you well know, there is a lot to celebrate with your class. Yours is the largest senior class to graduate from Brookwood. You have impressive college admission stats. You have set academic and athletic records. You have left indelible marks on our memory of theatrical, debate, and musical performances.
You are on the eve of your graduation. While this is a time to savor, please allow me to fast forward through several of your next life steps….» read more
In the movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Steve Martin’s character turned to John Candy’s character during a meandering monologue and said “Here’s a good idea — have a POINT. It makes it SO much more interesting for the listener!”
After our Annual Meeting, it was brought to my attention that I forgot to state the reason why I read the children’s story He Saves the Day.
Oops.» read more
The orchestra in the Municipal Auditorium begins and teenaged girls clad in saddlebacks and poodle skirts sweep down the aisleways from the back of the room. Taking the stage, they begin to croon, “We love you, Conrad, Oh yes we do,” in a collective voice that is equal parts doleful and dedicated to their rock n’ roll heartthrob and Elvis Presley doppelganger, Conrad Birdie.» read more
Mental Ecosystems, Clay Targets, and the Indispensability of Teachers
“Pull!”….. BANG!…………. “You were behind it. Remember — you have to miss it in front to hit.”
“Pull!”…….BANG!…” Catch it with your left eye sooner. It got away from you.”
“Pull!”……. BANG!…… “Whew! You got every piece of that bird!”
» read more
The world famous musician Louis Armstrong was once asked to define jazz. His response was, “Man, if you gotta ask, you’ll never know.”
That simple response conveys the very real sentiment that sometimes your dedication and passions are a function of your feelings, rather than an empirical understanding.» read more