Boys Hear from Author, Culture Wrangler and Psychologist – All in One Day
The variety of guest speakers that Christ Church boys are exposed to was reflected in a typical school day last week.
It began with Year 10 English, who welcomed freelance editor and writer Deb Fitzpatrick to discuss themes of her new book, 90 Packets of Instant Noodles. Deb, whose manuscript Starfish was shortlisted for the 2007 TAG Hungerford Award, wrote the book while living in a shack in the cloud forest of Costa Rica where she struggled with intense isolation and the loss of identity. Her story, of a teenager’s risky journey towards adulthood, choices and consequences, resonated with the boys, as did its themes of loyalty and peer pressure.
Year 3 classes had a fun and interactive experience with Greg Mitchell – a dedicated ‘culture wrangler’, who engaged the boys in his workshop on leadership, conflict resolution and teambuilding. Greg, who believes that leadership in a school is everyone’s job, showed the boys some ways they could lead day by day by developing competence, confidence and a willingness to help others. “Along with tempting the boys with jam doughnuts and involving them in hands on activities, Greg’s laidback, amusing approach engaged the boys beautifully and they took everything they learned back to the classroom,” Year 3 teacher Grace Humphrey said.
Some comments from the boys included Harry Ickeringill: “I liked how he taught us how to trust people - you have to believe in them and the things they do”. While Diego Rebelo said: “I liked it when he showed us the picture of the little kid getting ready to fight the sumo wrestler. It was to teach us to never give up”.
Year 10 students were fortunate to hear American psychologist and physician Leonard Sax discuss concepts from his book Boys Adrift. In his book, the Rhodes Scholar examines the growing epidemic of unmotivated boys and underachieving young men in modern society. He believed the stereotypical male hero was moving from a typical, well rounded individual, who was able to achieve in the physical and intellectual domains, to the anti hero, one who lives on or beyond the edge of acceptable behaviour in society. He identified the major influences on boys and young men as video games, environmental toxins, prescription drugs and teaching methodologies and the general devaluing of masculinity.
Deb Fitzpatrick and Greg Mitchell were presented by the Centre for Ethics while Leonard Sax’s visit was made possible through MLC.