From the Desk of Dr. Brian Bloomfield
From the Desk of Dr. Bloomfield
December 2, 2014
As our enrollment season comes to a close, I find myself thinking often about one of my five favorite movies of all time, Inherit the Wind. I encourage parents and children to watch it together; it is full of brilliant symbols, ideas, and some beautiful rhetoric. There is one scene that keeps echoing in my mind.
Spencer Tracy gives a speech to his friend (and opponent) about a rocking horse named Golden Dancer that he wanted when he was a child. She was a golden horse with colorful spots that gleamed in the sunshine. His character remarked, “if I had Golden Dancer I’d have everything in the world I ever wanted.” When he got the horse as a present and began to ride it, it broke in half because it was so poorly built. “All shine and no substance,” the character comments.
As I’ve gotten to know the almost 20 families who will be joining us this autumn, I thought about the choice they were facing. They were all considering several schools, as you did, and when visiting them I’m sure some of those schools tried to dazzle these families with new technology and updated sports complexes. Some independent schools in the area have larger coffers and more shiny things to show off than The Academy. And some families want shiny things. If you’re paying a lot of money for education, some families believe that shiny things are what they deserve.
I’ve been impressed with Academy families’ abilities to see beyond flash. New technology every year and things like saunas are certainly fun, but when you start classes here, make friends, and forge relationships with your teachers, those shiny things no longer seem important. The substance of what we do at The Academy is the quality of the relationships we forge together. Sometimes I wonder whether, in general, people still care about substance over shine. I am privileged to work in a community that values substance over shine.
Dr. Brian Bloomfield
Head of School, Academy at Charlemont