From the Director: Life in Full

In the big, beautiful community enterprise of USN, there’s always something happening. Read on for upcoming highlights to help confirm your ”in the know” status, with a special kicker at the end.
Here’s hoping you passed a restful weekend, and here’s hoping that your MLK experience provided time for reflection combined with action. As the holiday grows more and more a part of default calendars, the risk of missing the point only grows. Living in times that broadcast their headlines at blaring volume, in surreal storylines, we need to work harder than ever to remember what’s important.
Against that backdrop, a rare moment of quiet at USN ended when we discovered a burst pipe on the ground level of Lower School. And back to action we went, or more correctly my Operations and LS Admin and faculty colleagues went. The good news is that we know what to do, we know whom to call, we have resources in place, and we’ll be back in place by mid-day Tuesday. The bad news is actually quite remarkably not bad — thanks to Herculean efforts by our PE and kindergarten teaching teams, with an extra special effort by Music Teacher Doni Princehorn. Look up “leaning into the tough stuff," and you’ll see their portrait. They find a way.
The fact is, in the big, beautiful community enterprise of USN, there’s always something happening. Maybe not the need-Servpro kind of something; but, life comes at us full force, and you could be forgiven for feeling maxed out. It all makes sending this monthly missive feel more and more like tossing a corked bottle in the Cumberland River and hoping someone sees the message downstream.
In a sincere act of gratitude for your eyes finding this page, let me mention of few current highlights to help confirm your ”in the know” status, with a special kicker at the end. Did you pencil in our budget discussion meeting in advance of the Board’s meeting next week to set tuition and define what we’ll be able to do for people and programs next year? Are you hip to the fact that it’s Spirit Week at USN, leading to Homecoming basketball games on Friday night, preceded by the one and only time our entire enrollment gathers together (in pep rally mode at 2:30) before the High School Habitat chapter spaghetti supper fundraiser feeds that masses? Did you know that our Middle School actors and singers went en masse to Atlanta this weekend for the Junior Theater Festival, in the company of the best in the nation?
And to add one more, specific to today, do you know that Music Night tickets are just about to go on sale? More than two decades in, it’s the gift that keeps on giving, and it’s just for us, courtesy of the goodness of the amazing musicians in our midst. This time around we’re celebrating our neighbors just down 19th Avenue at Compass Records — USN mom and dad Alison Brown and Garry West are summoning some of the treasure trove of talent in their orbit to make a quintessentially one night only, Nashville only evening on Sunday, February 16, in the midst of our next three day weekend. Got one more minute, check out samples and read details here.
The menu is fit for company, the room is going to be transformed, and a host of volunteers is toiling away already getting ready for you. And if you’ve never heard our faculty house band, Joe Getsi & the K-12 Situation, then you’ve got one important number missing in your Tiger Bingo quest. The opening set will knock you out. Three cheers for being dialed in, for booking your tickets early, and for realizing that it’s worth the investment to stay up to speed.
We’ll get back to doing our part and being ready for whatever today brings, which in these times probably makes good sense.
Over and out for now,
    • Director Vince Durnan meets Julius Caesar during third grade's living museum in December.

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