Mr Leigh Holtsbaum – Housemaster
It has been a good, but very busy couple of weeks for Biddle House. The term is peaking academically and sports competitions are getting towards the final rounds. It is a time of the term when boys and staff alike are very busy working and playing hard, but are also getting a little stressed out.
At this time organisation is key and I have been working with the boys to help them plan and prioritise their work to get the job done. That said, it is also important that we treat ourselves and have a break from the workload to clear the mind, so when we’re working, we can focus on the important tasks. I did endeavour to do that last weekend but failed as I tried to take the family away but the accommodation became unavailable due to circumstances out of our control. So I just had to go fishing instead. Fishing is my happy place and all it takes is a few hours on the deep blue and all my stresses are released. It also helps if I catch a couple of fish for the dinner table, which I was lucky enough to do. I want the Biddle boys to find this same sort of release and will be working with them in mentor classes over the next couple of weeks, to help them identify where their happy place is so they can clear their minds in times of stress and focus on what’s important – this is called mindfulness.
Exam block has just finished for the Year 7-11 and is just starting up for the Year 12 boys. It has been great to hear many boys feeling confident with the way their exams went and happy that they had put in the work. With new units starting this week for Year 7-11, I will be encouraging the boys to get back into their routines quickly and take advantage of Study Gym on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons in the Library from 3.30-5.00pm. I will also encourage them to partake in Old Boy tutoring during prep time in order to get ahead of the game.
I would like to congratulate our GPS Swimming Representatives Cooper Ritchie, Ryan King, Cameron Vele and Mitchell Nelson, who represented the House and School proudly with some excellent swims which went toward our overall 3rd place achievement. Next weekend will see the Year 9-12 rowers competing at the GPS Head of the River Regatta. Biddle has a large number of rowers competing and we wish them all the best in their respective races. Last weekend the Year 8 rowers competed in their Junior Head of the River and did excellently well recording plenty of victories on the day. Again Biddle House was well represented with plenty of boys involved in Year 8 crews.
The past weekend was interesting for the boys with a big focus on preparation for the Biddle House Headmasters inspection. Boys found items that were previously lost and gave their rooms a good clean up. The boys did a fantastic job and the Headmaster was very impressed with uniforms, cleanliness of the rooms and the House in general. The Biddle Green Team worked their magic on Clean Up Australia Day, helping to tidy up the Gold Coast Spit organised by Mr Stephen Eardley. Lots of Biddle boys put on the gloves and got dirty collecting rubbish at the spit in joint effort with St Hilda’s.
I hope to see many of our Biddle parents at the Boarding welcome Chapel this Friday evening and look forward to catching up at the BBQ afterwards.
The start of 2019 has been a good one for Biddle house competing in several of the house clusters and many of the boys have been heavily involved in the extra-curricular activities such as, cricket, rowing and debating. The spirit the boys have shown so far this year is what we want to see every year from the Biddle boys. The highlight for me this year since we’ve commenced would have to be the Biddle war cries that the new boys do to then become part of the house. There is great cooperation within the house with no major issues, so far this year. Everyone is getting on really well and the house seems to be full of many mature young men. Term 1 has been huge for the boys and we’re not far away from our much-deserved break which I’m they’re all keen for. Almost done and dusted for term 1, 2019 looks to be a good year with a great bunch of blokes!
My name is Harry Blok and I live outside of Casino, New South Wales which is an hour inland of Byron Bay. I have been at TSS for two full years now. I am currently playing cricket in the Second XI team but I also play football (soccer) in the First XI squad, First track and field, First cross country and occasionally low level rugby.
Along with this I also debate and play chess. My favourite quote would be ‘The harder you work the luckier you become’ or ‘It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it’ by Warren Buffett. To relax my mind I try to regularly meditate and read of a night, which I believe is very helpful. In 2020 I plan to go on a gap year to England for a few moths working and then travel around Europe for the rest.
In 10 years time I see myself in a career relating to finance and also a career I am passionate about and enjoy. As a Biddle House Captain I hope to be remembered as an approachable leader that was able to have a strong connection with all boys of the house. I want to be remembered by boys in the future as a leader they strive to be.
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