Principal Marc Light looks at the camera, he is wearing a grey suit and smiling. The King David School's logo is behind him, silver on a wood background.

Rejecting Goblin-mode

I’d like to share with you an extract of a speech I delivered to students in our opening assembly at Magid Campus:

Students, did you know that every year the world’s most significant dictionaries nominate a word or a phrase that characterises the year that has passed?

Last year, the Oxford dictionary chose “Goblin-mode” as its word for 2022. The term was chosen from a shortlist and received 93% of votes in an online survey. It is defined as “a type of behaviour which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations.” It is derived from a computer game level or movie where the Goblin character acts with disgusting levels of greed and selfishness.

This is not something to celebrate. The idea that so many people feel so self entitled and prepared to promote their own selfish desires above others is scary. It is the opposite of the school culture that we strive for at King David.

I hope that you can join me in embracing more positive sentiments as we start the new year. I hope that in 2023 we can reject going Goblin-mode and instead try to be patient, thoughtful and empathetic.

We are so lucky to be part of this school community where we genuinely care for one another. Whether you want to be friend-mode, ally-mode or angel-mode, I know that you can make decisions and take actions which make the lives of those around you better.

What are your hopes and aspirations for the year ahead and for the future?

Are you brand new to the School or the campus and are hoping to make some lifelong friends?

Are you a Year 12 student hoping to do the best you can while enjoying school life as much as possible?

Are you inspired to get involved in new areas of our school life be they music, Jewish life or the fabulous musicals.

Will you kick the winning goal in an EISM final, or challenge yourself to run further than you ever have in our Nitzan kickstarter mornings?

It is through focus, hard work, dedication and good values that we are blessed with this wonderful thriving school. Please do not take this for granted as it is up to each of us to work to maintain it.

So to you I say, reject Goblin-mode or entitlement, instead put in the hard work to build this community. You need to be the sort of wonderful friend that others want to be friends with, you have to put yourself out there and get involved in the myriad opportunities that this school offers, be it the musical or the footy match or the many clubs and co-curricular opportunities. You need to work on your relationships with your teachers and listen carefully to their feedback. If you put in hard work the results will follow.

My point is that we cannot take our school lives for granted. There are so many opportunities around you and you need to make the most of them.

I hope that in 2023 you totally reject Goblin-mode and instead adopt the mode that works for you. May you have a year in which the friendships you have nurtured, the goals you have achieved and the learning you have established are all the best they can be.

Shabbat Shalom,

Marc Light