Musings from Boulden

Friday, January 17, 2020

Last year, I spoke to students about being the authors of their stories, and how they determine how life will be played out as they are in control and make choices.

As we continue to work with that metaphor, term one could be considered the introduction to their Grade 5, 6, 7, or 8 story and term three would be the conclusion – both very important parts of the story. But the real content of the story, the “meat,” happens in the middle. Entering term two then, would be the middle of their story. Now, typically, authors have the luxury of determining how long or how short the middle part of the story will be (with the help of their editors of course!); however, the middle of the story is typically the longest part of the story…but school terms don’t work like that. This is actually the shortest term of the year and also one of the busiest.

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Friday, January 10, 2020

A time-honoured tradition for some is the making of resolutions for the new year. January 1st, the fresh page on the calendar, often indicates for people a blank slate, a fresh start; and with a fresh start, often comes the eagerness to make significant lifestyle changes. We promise ourselves that we will lose 20 pounds, that we will become more efficient at work, that we will be at the gym four times a week, that we will become kinder. These are lofty goals, in fact they are big. And they are also nebulous. They lack a plan. They lack the “why” that is essential to commitment. If we cannot identify why we are doing something, then it will fail to occur. Further, we need to ask ourselves if these resolutions are things that we want to do or if they are things that we think we should do; that further impacts our success rate and motivation.

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Thursday, December 19, 2019

Inspired by an old-time favourite, A Charlie Brown Christmas, I encourage everyone to remember what this time of year was meant to be. Give, without expecting anything in return. Spend time unplugged. Relish in being plugged in with friends and family. Share a meal. Donate your time. Sleep in. Give lots of hugs. Watch the stars and the shimmer of the snow. Make a snow angel. Leave your watch on the dresser. Take a nap. Forgive someone.

With a busy first term complete, take this time to relax, rejuvenate and reconnect. We will see you on January 7, 2020. Thank you for being a part of the TCS community.

Happy and safe holidays to all!

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Friday, December 13, 2019

In speaking with a friend last week, the conversation of childhood television shows came up (I may have made a comment about wearing cardigans…) and as I tried to explain who and what Mr. Rogers was, I found myself more intrigued about the man, because I didn’t know more than songs, cardigans and sitting on the stoop. Over the weekend, I was searching for a magazine to purchase for the annual Junior School holiday party great magazine swap. When I saw the special edition of Newsweek devoted entirely to Mr. Rogers, the choice was easy.

As I languished over a cup of coffee, I read about Fred Rogers, his life, upbringing, school challenges and accomplishments, I could not help but think of how much ahead of his time he was. He spoke of a noisy world, the need for empathy, role models, pushing the envelope, inclusivity, etc. and all of this through a television show, which, by the way, aired on a publicly funded network that he advocated for in DC.

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Thursday, December 05, 2019

Have you found yourself a little less patient lately? Perhaps quicker to judge? Maybe the words coming from you haven’t been as kind as they could be? Seems that many students and adults are hitting that near end of term wall.

Mr. Powles and I joke that we should calendar for this each year because right about the same time each year, the same behaviours and patterns emerge. Four weeks after the November break, and two weeks until the holiday break… Knowing all of this, how can we be proactive to curb the Grinchy behaviour?

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Thursday, November 28, 2019

As you may (or not!) know, TCS is a member of an organization called CAIS – Canadian Accredited Independent Schools. What this means, in part, is that we are held to 12 standards of excellence and prepare internal reviews every few years in order to be reaccredited. TCS just happens to have launched our internal review, looking at what we do well and reflecting on where we can grow. We expect to host a visiting committee during the late fall of 2020, and when the opportunity to be a member of a visiting committee came my way, I jumped on it. Several of our faculty and staff have conducted visits with CAIS in the past and have noted the professional growth benefits. This week, I was a member of a visiting team at Rosseau Lake College. The preparation for this endeavour included researching the school, reading its internal report, preparing interview questions, making travel arrangements, as well as making plans for my absence at the Junior School.

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Friday, November 22, 2019

Why do some people live life on a constant, when others opt for the roller coaster? What makes them different?

Is it better to stay the course, steady, or is better to jump in full force, and either fly or fall? Are the highs and lows worth it? Are the great joy and the immense pain necessary? Do the A+ and the subsequent F make a student less capable? Should we panic? Or is it preferable to be comfortable, in the predictable? Are straight Bs what we aspire to? Where does the learning take place?

The bigger question might be: what is it that we want to accomplish? What does the situation call for?

One way isn’t better than the other. It may just be different.

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Friday, November 15, 2019

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” —Theodor Seuss Geisel

Karma, ironically, has a way of sneaking up on you. As last week’s blog was being edited and posted, the past crept up on me. Just when I seemingly came to terms with the perceived tension between past and present, up popped a notification from LinkedIn from someone I had not seen or spoken with in 30 years.

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Friday, November 08, 2019

A wise person once highlighted the difference between tradition and habit. Our schools have many traditions. If these are not occasionally examined, and questioned, as to their value, their “why?”, then they fall into the realm of habit, and we need to assess whether they are worthy of honouring or something needing change.

In the last week, two of my favourite TCS traditions have taken place, the celebration of El Dia De Los Muertos, and the Remembrance Day ceremony.

To be honest, I have often felt a tension between tradition, the past and mindfulness. Having spent the last seven years working on developing my mindfulness practice and being present, in the moment, I have struggled with the role of tradition and the past in current life.

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Thursday, October 31, 2019

While we are dragging ourselves out of bed, fighting yet another carb craving, and raking the leaves, scheduling appointments to switch our tires over, turning the water off, swapping out the dehumidifier for the humidifier, prepping the furnace for the winter, and gently letting the mice know that they are not welcomed guests at our house…we also need to accept that, with fall, comes physical and psychological changes that most of us struggle with; these changes have been scientifically proven to impact us and our moods. Below are some caring and gentle reminders to get us through the seasonal changes with a smile on our face and a skip in our step.

Though we feel like we never want to get out of our beds, and that is legitimate as there is less sun and that messes with our natural rhythms, keeping regular sleep routines are essential at this time of the year, as is keeping the temperature moderate to help us sleep soundly. Cozy blankets and duvets are musts!

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