Things That Go Bump In The Night
Updated: Nov 1, 2019
Dr. William Summerhill
Newsletter reflections for Sunday, October 27, 2019
I marvel at the things you can find on the internet. In googling the phrase, “things that go bump in the night,” I discovered a mere 165,000 places where these words were included in poems, stories, songs, and scripts. I guess the fears we recall from childhood continue to have a powerful affect on many of us.
Speaking of scary things, my memories of middle school can still make me shudder, fraught as they are with unpleasant feelings of being laughed at by some of my peers, being embarrassed by a teacher, or being the last one picked in gym class. The most frightening moment of the day was navigating through the jungle of stares and sidebar comments as I tried to secure a safe table in the cafeteria. And who can forget the terror of discovering a blemish while looking in the mirror, of dying a thousand deaths when one’s hair didn’t look just right or when one’s clothes were out of style—which, in a uniformed school like ours, spares our students and parents much unneeded angst.
The minefield of adolescent worries and stresses, most of which we’ve thankfully moved past as adults, remains a formidable challenge for our children. As the most important arena in which boys and girls grow in their understanding of who they are and who they wish to become, schools deal with these issues daily. That is why the value of sensitive and thoughtful teachers, coaches and counselors working in a school community that is small enough to know and care about them cannot be overstated.
Next Thursday we will indulge our childhood fears and fantasies as students and faculty may come in their best Halloween dress. Yet the prevailing mood will not be terror but silliness and mirth as we take that which scares us in the dark and render it harmless in the light of day. And isn’t that as it should be in a place of learning like Ascension, where knowledge gives our students the power to see through that which threatens to deceive, manipulate or frighten them. Knowledge is power, that’s for certain, especially at Halloween.