by Sam Sattin Torres '08
by Elizabeth Musselman '22
Written and delivered by Jacqueline (Jax) Morgan '19, the Head-Elect of the Student Body.
Friday, May 18, 2018. All times Eastern time.
(Apparently, this title I thought was so creative has already been used by the X-Men. Credit to them for thinking of it first!)
It’s the time of year when my timelines fill up with people beginning to solicit and/or offer advice on “How to finish the year strong.” Of course, some schools still have about a month to go, but nonetheless as the weather finally warms up, thoughts turn inevitably to summer, to days at the beach or the pool splashing about in the water, to ice cream cones eaten as the sun sets and the air starts to cool off, to books as of yet unread, to hours spent just hanging around with friends. And for us, as the annual middle school trip to Six Flags (now held a week before graduation) is hours away, as Seniors wrap up IB exams and Ninth Graders, Sophomores, and Juniors prepare to take finals, that start to summer is tantalizingly close.
Dr. Richard Weissbourd opened his talk on “Raising Caring and Happy Children in a Challenging Time” by stating his primary worry is how we’ve elevated happiness and success and de-emphasized caring and empathy. When students were asked on a survey how important achievement, caring, and happiness were to them, about 50% prioritized achievement, 30% happiness, and 20% caring. Parents say they value caring over achievement but when their children were asked to rate their priorities, the kids felt their parents had the same breakdown of priorities as they did. Furthermore, when asked to rate parents as a group, parents themselves came up yet again with a similar breakdown except with some shift from caring to happiness. This disjunction between what parents say they believe and what kids (and other parents) perceive results from what Dr. Weissbourd calls the “rhetoric reality gap.”
Of course there was a point on the ride out to Boston where the kids were singing show tunes. How could there not be?! Singing “We raise a glass...” from “La Vie Bohème” at the top of their lungs, they all clinked their Dunkin’ Donut cups, their faces lit up by smiles.
It was a sunny morning in the early spring of 2017, and I woke up in a pretty good mood. The weather was decent, most of my clothes were still clean, I wasn't driving kids to community service, and we weren't expecting any visitors, so all in all it was one of those days when I could wear more or less anything I wanted to. I chose an Oxford shirt, a black sweater (to complement my nail polish), and my favourite purple and blue skirt.
by Luna Patience '21