Head of School
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Living Each Moment to Its Fullest

The Upper School Matriculation Ceremony is a powerful St. Martin’s tradition. New students and the freshman class are welcomed into the Upper School with open arms. They sign their names in a book that is kept for generations to come. At the ceremony, I made the following remarks to the assembly:
New beginnings... Life can be most meaningful when you realize the simple fact that you never get to experience the same moment twice. 

There is a movie starring Tom Cruise called Edge of Tomorrow. Cruise’s character is an officer who is killed in a suicide mission and immediately plunged into an endless cycle where he constantly “lives, dies, and repeats.” Each time he repeats this loop, he improves his skills and his understanding of how to beat the enemy. It’s a great fantasy. 

The truth, however, is that we don’t ever get to live the same moment twice. Our life setting is in real time, and we are tasked with living each moment to its fullest, and learning as we move forward. Our best shot at successful living is when we learn to live in the moment. 

This matriculation ceremony is designed to remind us that today, at this moment, we each have an opportunity to pause between the past and the future, to take stock of where we are, who we are, and where we want to go. And to recognize that our past is past, and our future is yet to be determined. When we are attentive to the present, we are not letting the past determine the future; we are giving intentional attention to the present. 

We have the power to steer our future by living in the moment. We can’t change time, and we can’t alter our past. But we can learn from our past triumphs and mistakes. We will never find ourselves in a time loop as Tom Cruise did. But we can live in the moment, being the best selves we can be. By doing this, we can impact our futures. Even more importantly, we can cherish the present, claiming this moment and absorbing the lessons it can teach us.

I wish for each of you the ability to appreciate the present, to learn from it, to be the best you can be for yourselves and for each other. Think about today’s ceremony, and the four disciplines which we embrace at St. Martin’s: academic pursuit and scholastic excellence, physical growth and soundness of body, creative and cultural growth, and spiritual growth. I wish for you the ability to consider each discipline, in the moment, and embrace the opportunity to move forward consciously and powerfully. 

Let your academic growth be defined by hard work and a quest for learning. Let your physical growth be underscored with mindfulness and healthy pursuits. Let your creative and cultural growth be defined by the unlocking of the deepest expressions of who you are and how you share that with others. And finally, tend to your spiritual growth most carefully, for it is what will support the others and lead you into a beautiful future. 

It’s true that we never get to live the same moment twice. So let’s embrace each moment while we are in it, learning from the past, living in the moment, and shaping the future by embracing the power of our current actions. 

I hope you will each cherish this special time in your lives, not letting the past define you, and not rushing to grab on to the future. Find the meaning in each moment, and make the most of it. 

I wish you all a wonderful new school year!

Merry Sorrells, Ed.D.
Head of School

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