Dr’s Desk


When I was growing up, Lunar New Year’s Day was a big deal in my household in South Korea. For several days leading up to it, my mother would make the rice cake stuffed with sweetened beans. Her pancakes had eggs, flour, meat, and vegetables that needed to be heated later. She would also purchase lots of out-of-season fruits. Most importantly, we would have all my aunts, uncles, and cousins at my house to celebrate the new year. But before we could get into the festivities, however, the most important part of the celebration was to pay respect to our grandparents and ancestors. Lunar New Year’s Day for our home was a day to remember the importance of where we came from and where we hoped to go. 

February 1st was this year’s Lunar New Year’s Day, which was also the start of another Black History Month. I thought how fortuitous that this year we are provided with an opportunity to celebrate our not so visible ancestors, history, and culture in the same month. I say that because I have personally felt that the exhaustion of managing the pandemic has begun to reduce my abilities to remind myself how fortunate I have been to lead this excitingly diverse yet fiercely cohesive school community. 

Image courtesy of SM Yearbook

But then last night at the basketball game against Santa Barbara, I saw several graduates of San Marcos return to cheer for our boys as they crushed the Dons in the Thunderhut. Seeing the graduates celebrate our current seniors at last night’s game reminded me of all the great and wonderful things that I get to experience by being a part of this community. It also helped that our eldest came for a surprise visit on Friday night when I watched our boys soccer and girls basketball teams celebrate their seniors before winning against their opponents. I must say seeing our seniors celebrated by their peers and parents was so very gratifying during one of the busiest weeks of late. We won so many games and ended up winning four out of six Channel League titles this winter season. An incredible feat indeed! 

I will be honest. This past week, I had to ask Ms. Willbanks, our amazing advisor for the King’s Page, for an extension of this column multiple times because I felt like I didn’t have enough in me to write anything decent or even coherent after spending all my time attending all the makeup games all week long. After having six fourteen-hour days in a row due to all the make-up games, I felt like my mental capacity truly reached its limit. 

I am not saying that we as a school community are infallible. In fact, there were moments this week when I thought we were not expressing our best versions of ourselves during some intensely heated situations that I had to handle. However, I know that our community is always striving to learn from the experiences of the past to improve our practices towards the future just as Lunar New Year’s Day and Black History Month remind all of us to do. 

As we look forward to the future, I am confident that our incredible community will ground ourselves in the kindness and civility that our school community has been known for throughout the years. I cannot wait to see what our Royals will do!