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Summerhill School

Summerhill School


Daniel S Martin, signing off.

Nothing makes sense. I feel that is important advice in general. You’ll look at things and think you understand, but when it comes down to looking deep, a real close up inspection, you never really do. And if you’re reading this saying that you completely understand everything you have ever studied, everything you have ever read, heard, had conversations about and understand every single person you have ever met, have I got news for you. You’re wrong. Take a closer look and you’ll realise what you’re missing. Nothing makes sense, because nothing is easy. But is that not what life is about? Nothing is easy, because life isn’t easy. That may be right, but I’ll still complain about it. Freedom of speech!

That is another piece of good advice. Exercise your right to freedom of speech. The world around, however small it may seem, is full of things to have an opinion on. Politics, for example, is an amazing thing to look into and create an opinion of your own. But beware: go in with an open mind. The main aim of everyone in the realm of politics is to gain your support, your vote if you will. So, it’s important to stay true to what you believe in, your morals, and don’t let anyone else corrupt those morals. Even if your views don’t align with your friend’s or family’s, you need to hold onto those views, as long as they don’t offend or hurt someone. A useful way to formulate your opinions is by reading a range of different, books, essays, articles and what not, from a range of different writers, journalists and theorists. It may sound dull or boring, but reading is a major way to widen your world view. Not only that, but the art of reading can improve your grasp on the English language. Although now I stand on my soapbox about reading, I didn’t always. Reading is an acquired taste. It all comes down to the books you read and if they suits you. I can guarantee, if you only look hard enough, the perfect book, writer or genre, hell why not all three, is out there for you. You just need to look.

Speech, belief and reading. Now comes a little bit of reminiscing. Back when my hair was shorter, my world smaller and my attitude a little less liberal (Year 7) there was no school newspaper. No Constellation. Luckily that changed with a peculiar friend of mine having the completely wondrous idea to set one up. Charlie Jeavons, then Year 10, started the Constellation and, with what I can only put down as luck, I got involved. Charlie successfully launched the newspaper and upon her leaving Summerhill she left her ‘baby’ to me. In truth, Charlie had done an amazing job, but had taken the largest responsibility for writing: we needed more writers.  Therefore, my first line of action was to get as many people as possible on the team, so I wouldn’t have to follow Charlie’s prestigious example. I know, I know, great idea wasn’t it? So, that is how I find myself now. A team of writers and photographers who will carry Charlie’s paper on once my time at Summerhill concludes. I owed that to Charlie.

So, who is the person I will be handing over to? Evie Gameson, from this point on, will take my title of Editor-and-chief of the Constellation and carry on the newspaper in my absence. There is no badge, but wear the title well, Evie. I trust in you, but I must remind you to keep an open mind in formulating your opinion, while keeping true to yourself. And you must at attempt to understand the world around you. Look at everything with acute attention, for it may not always be so black and white.

I’m running out of time. Five years have flown past, my hair has grown, my world become I little larger and my attitude has become slightly more liberal. Recently I noted down every book, short story and essay I have read in the three years I’ve been reading seriously for. The total came down to 55. With those 55 I feel like my world has become a little clearer, like fog lifting to reveal a most beautiful lake. I have come to understand my surrounding that little bit more.  Seen everything with acute attention.  It’s not black and white.


Daniel S Martin