Rules of the Round Table

February 1, 2018Screen Shot 2018-01-28 at 6.43.50 PM.png

Dear Families,

Last week, I navigated the crowded halls of the middle school in the morning with 6 chairs in my hands. Three in each arm. I like to live on the edge. Rarely, do I receive help well. As I weaved in and out of clusters of students, I heard, “Guys, you don’t just look at her. You have to show gentlemanship. Here Mrs. Worley, give me a few. I can help you.” With that, Fred put his books down and helped carry my burden. I knew immediately that Fred meant chivalry. But, honestly, I prefer gentlemanship. We adopted it as our word for the semester.

Over the weekend, my husband shared a book with me. Ethan Hawke wrote it. It’s entitled Rules for a Knight. I confess I have not yet read it. I am, nonetheless, captivated. I ordered it from Amazon. It arrives this week.

My husband and I both studied English in our undergraduate work. However, our taste in literary genres…well, how do I put it? As opposite as the North and South Pole. Oil and Water. Opposite with a capital O, save one. We both embrace, with passion, Medieval literature. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Beowulf. King Arthur. Knights battling the forces of evil. Legends are born on the pages of this genre. From what I can tell, Hawke successfully rejuvenated the genre in his work. As Paul read a few of the rules to me, I felt my mind begin to weave this post.

The rules embrace strength.




Three takeaways from Hawke’s book:

Takeaway 1:  “You are not fragile. Engage. Being timid is often the result of being too self-critical and too self-concerned. A knight does not stop at each victory. He pushes on to risk a more significant failure.”

Takeaway 2:  “Beware of wanting or needing too much praise. Believe in yourself. Discipline, preparation, and experience are the only tools you need.”

Takeaway 3:  “Everyone wants to be a knight. Wanting is no great accomplishment. How hard you work is the difference between good and great.”

I encourage you to discuss these takeaways. If you started the safe zone journal, consider writing these statements in the journal and asking your student for their thoughts. My hope remains constant. That we empower our young adults to embrace the Rules of the Round Table. That they enter high school empowered with resilience and honor.

Honored to Serve You All,

Janet Worley