It’s been nearly six years since I started waking up to the sound of birds chirping on the hill. That is a long time to have had the privilege of living and working in such a stunning environment and I don’t think that anyone who has lived on the MUWCI campus ever forgets just how magical this place is. And yet, here I am packing up and getting ready to leave the place I have called home for a while now.
I think of my time at MUWCI as being packed with learning. I have learnt how strong young people can be in the face of adversity and I have seen them willingly shoulder the weight of responsibility in order to help shape the community they believe in. I have met a whole range of passionate educators who will stop at nothing to ensure that the students in their care are safe and happy and engaged in the learning that is going on all around them. I have understood the true meaning of service in the way that the staff and helpers on our campus do all that is in their power to cater to the needs of our community, as if we truly are members of one big family.
Over the last 3 years, it has been challenging to oversee the work of the College across so many areas such as Fundraising, Admissions, Akshara and our Educational Programmes. We have been fortunate in the goodwill that the College has built up over the years and despite the unexpected challenges that Covid-19 has brought to the world, we have managed to keep our head above water and see two batches graduate in the midst of a pandemic. The work of the Faculty and Staff has been admirable as we have learnt with our students how to navigate the ever-evolving world of online teaching and learning.
As I prepare to hand over, I know that some of the objectives we set ourselves 3 years ago have been achieved: the MUWCI Core is a reality and we now have 4 successful programmes: Outdoor and Ecological Education, Host Studies, Social and Emotional Learning and Active Citizenship. Even online, we have been able to deliver across these 4 programmes so that when we speak of the MUWCI Core, our students know and recognise the value of what they have learnt through these sessions.
Experiential Learning at MUWCI cuts across academics, triveni, core and residential life. There are no distinctions and every physical space becomes the site of intellectual and emotional learning as faculty, staff and students engage in conversations which can swing in an instant from the casually hilarious to the profound. I will miss this. And, I will miss the very special educators who give their time and energy to making every moment count for the students under their care. I wish the MUWCI community all the best as I take my leave.
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields.
(Old Irish Blessing)