BLAIR – It is a distinct privilege and honor to be writing a welcome to new students to Blair for The Oracle. I am a teacher of English and Theatre who is entering his 23rd year at Blair, so it seems a long time ago that I was even a new teacher, let alone a new high school student. That said, it is exciting to imagine your hopes and fears as you are about to embark on what are some of the best years of your life. As I am writing this, the next big thing has hit popular culture—Pokemon Go. One could tell that something was up as people have been wandering around Blairstown with looks of excitement and adventure—something not often seen on Main Street in Blairstown. The explosion of this phenomenon is a good metaphor for coming to Blair.
Blair is a place that brings various people together on a similar quest—with a set of tasks to bring each one to the same goal, in Blair’s case, graduation. Some tasks are certainly harder than others, frustration, and fatigue can certainly beset even the most dedicated Buccaneer on the way to graduation day. Like Pokemon Go, there are no shortcuts, though the camaraderie one encounters may be the best feature of the journey. As the popularity of the interactive game has grown, the diversity of those playing has grown as well. At Blair, one is well served to take advantage of the diverse number of people who come to Blair. Though easily categorized by the world as preppies, anyone who spends time at Blair will quickly see that geographic differences are only one way the school on the hill brings together different people. Whether a boarder or a day student, an athlete or an artist, an introvert or an extrovert, each student is appreciated for his or her unique experiences, challenges and dreams.
Another stereotype of college prep school is the jaded snob that is often portrayed in popular culture. By the nights of Soccerfest, when the soccer teams tangle with the local high school North Warren, it is readily apparent that Blair is a school where it is cool to love your school. It is also cool if school spirit isn’t your thing, just as it is cool to be yourself. Ironically, it’s only not cool if you try to be too cool! Blair is a place that welcomes the scholar, the iconoclast, and the unusual person. Being at Blair already makes you a member of a great group of people, people who want to get to know you, support you, and appreciate your gifts to our great school. Like Pokemon Go, you are ultimately in charge of your own quest, but those with you are truly with you. Enjoy the journey and the support all around you. This is a chance to be the best student, athlete, artist, and friend you can be. Be excited—these are going to be great years. Get ready to enjoy the ride. You may not win at every level, but you have already won the best title you could—a Buccaneer. Be proud and excited.
(Copyright 2016 Mr. Craig Evans)