Head of School Blog: July 14, 2021

As we move further into the “dog days” of summer, I find myself deep into my reading list. As always, there are a number of different books, some school related, some not. While not all inclusive, some may be of interest, if only to open a window to view what is on my table in the library.

The first is Adam Grant’s Think Again, which the faculty will be reading this summer, and I think it offers all of us a potential path forward in these challenging times. By becoming more of a scientist and testing our assumptions, we can avoid defaulting into the “preacher,” “prosecutor,” or “politician” modes. Re-examining what we think often brings greater understanding, as well as clarity.

The second is Post Corona, by New York Times columnist, Scott Galloway. Perhaps his most important conclusion is that COVID-19 was more an accelerant to change already underway than in itself, a change agent. This book is being read by the administrative team.  I am confident that there are several important takeaways that can help us move “from crisis to opportunity” at GSB.

The rest of the books, which include some novels, are in no particular order:

  • Premonition, Michael Lewis
  • The Upswing, Robert Putnam
  • Ten Years to Midnight, Blair Sheppard
  • The Overstory, Richard Powers
  • Breathe, James Nestor
  • Deep Work, Cal Newport
  • 2034, Elliot Ackerman and James Stavrides

One of the best parts of the summer is the opportunity to sit and just read for as long or as short a period of time as I wish. Most of the interruptions (if any) are to stop for a meal or, more important, to take my dogs, Socrates and Einstein, for a swim. I encourage everyone to discover or rediscover the joys of reading a good book this month.

The campus is still quite busy, with camps and the Summer Institute in session. In addition, we have myriad “GSB Infrastructure” projects happening, which include paving our roads and parking lots, reconstruction of one of the tennis courts, the creation of a new Admissions Office “Welcome Center” in Henshaw House, the Cox “Teaching Kitchen,” and Phase One of the restoration of the school’s running track. Outside contractors and our own staff members are working hard to complete as many projects as possible by the end of August.

Finally, there have been many questions about the return to school in September. Will adults/students who are not vaccinated need to wear face coverings? Will social distancing be required? What about weekly testing? Is “Cookie Wednesday” going to return for 2021-2022?

I look forward to answering these questions and more next month.

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