Welcome to the Headmaster's Blog where you'll find updates, thoughts, and events regarding Saint David's School, the education of boys, and other items of interest. This is by no means meant to be a complete account of all that happens at Saint David's. Please refer to the school's website for more complete details -- it's more a Headmaster's musings.

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Decade of Hope

Pictured here is author Dennis Smith, today in the Hume Library, addressing the 8th Grade boys on his newest book: Decade of Hope: Stories of Grief and Endurance from 9/11 Families. Mr. Smith shared his experiences that day as a NYC Firefighter responding to the WTC site and the days and weeks of work that followed for the first responders.  He also shared with us personal anecdotes from his interviews with the wide range of people featured in Decade of Hope, his fourteenth book. A highly engaging and poignant speaker, Mr. Smith drew the boys into his narrative through graphic detail and the exploration of powerful human emotions--anger, fear, and most importantly love and hope.

A New York Times Best Selling author, Dennis also recalled his youth growing up in a very different New York, and his love and passion for writing that came to him later in life.  Mr. Smith served in the Air Force, then the FDNY, and more recently as entrepreneur, philanthropist and active supporter of First Responders.

Dennis shared his writing process with the boys and the value of finding/creating a life well-lived. He challenged them to find their place in the world by pursuing their passion and finding a way to capture it in "their story." "We all have a story to tell," he told the boys.

I was moved, as were the boys, by Dennis' unique mix of the pragmatism of daily life and the intellectual and spiritual dimensions of "a full life," and his underlying message of the importance of rigorous pursuit of knowledge and deeper understanding--to analyze and reflect--and not to blindly accept what appears to be.

Mr. Smith is one of several authors visiting the school this spring to meet with the boys at various grade levels--a Visiting Author program sponsored and supported by our Parents Association.

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