Principal Hardy began his address by speaking about Life of Pi, the book by Canadian author, Yann Martel, which was recently adapted into a Hollywood film. In this tale, a young boy (Pi) finds himself adrift on the ocean, fighting for survival as he tries to coexist with his boatmates: a zebra, a hyena, an orangutan and a 450-pound Bengal tiger.
“We talk a great deal here about trying our best, and struggling to get through adversity,” Principal Hardy said. “This story explores the thoughts and skills Pi relies on to survive his ordeal.”
As Principal Hardy noted, Pi’s survival can be attributed to three things:
Practical Skills: As a very young boy, he learned how to swim. This skill saved his life when he was shipwrecked.
Hope: His mother told him to never give up hope, and to follow his heart. In desperate situations, hope can be what keeps us going,
Reason: His father emphasized the importance of knowing how to reason. In the course of his journey, Pi employed wonderful problem-solving skills, such as building solar stills to extract fresh water from ocean water.
“When we find ourselves in a difficult situation, a combination of these three things is what helps to get us through it,” Principal Hardy said.
The second movie Principal Hardy highlighted is Silver Linings Playbook, which centres on a man who must try to integrate himself into everyday life after spending time in a mental institution. Football features prominently in the film, hence its title.
“It can, from time to time, be a tough and overwhelming world,” Principal Hardy said. “The news is generally dominated by negative stories. This can give us a very negative view of the world, but that’s not how I think the world is.
“When it rains up at camp in the fall, we say that it’s a “silver day”. As we move into the New Year, let’s all focus on building our own “silver linings playbooks”. What makes you optimistic? Who are the important people in your life? What has influenced the person you are today? Considering these questions will help provide the motivation you need to make a silver day out of a rainy day.”