Heads Up

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Message from Scott Cowie, Head, Senior Division

Scott CowieUpcoming Senior Division Dates:

  • Monday, Jan. 23 – Assembly Special Speaker: Cat Criger, Aboriginal Elder; Laidlaw Hall, 9:55 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 24 – Afternoon Focus Day (Prep/Upper PD afternoon); classes end at 1:10 p.m.
  • Friday, Jan. 27 – Casual Dress Day in Honour of Your Family Heritage

Laidlaw Hall – the school’s biggest classroom – was the site of much learning on Monday, as the boys heard from three different speakers during morning assembly. Our featured speaker was Dr. Scott Levine, an expert on brain health. He spoke about common forms of stress we experience in our daily lives and provided practical advice on how to manage or at least minimize its impact on our physical and mental well-being.

The boys also listened to a student presentation celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in honour of the U.S. national holiday celebrating his birth. We were all reminded of the tremendous impact that Dr. King had during his short life and how he was committed to serving others through his long-suffering, non-violent approach to dealing with issues of racism and inequality in an effort to affect meaningful change.

The final message delivered to the boys was achieved through a “This I Believe” essay. For context, a number of years ago we started this initiative for our Stewards and other boys in the Leaving Class.

The idea was based on a National Public Radio (NPR) program series by the same name. As the title suggests, interested boys are asked to write essays narrowly focused on one principle or concept, expressed in the form of an affirming belief, that is often described through personal anecdotes or experiences. These boys are then encouraged to share these essays through readings in assembly.

We heard one such speech from one of our stewards during this past Monday’s assembly. The premise of his essay was simple but powerful. In citing a specific situation he experienced as a camp counselor, he expressed that he believed in the power of “patience”; explaining that through exercising this virtue, we can help people through challenges they may be facing, and in so doing, we grow to become better human beings ourselves.

Upon reflection, from a philosophical perspective, the three different messages we heard on Monday could be viewed collectively as an approach to living a fulfilled life: It’s important for us to be aware of destructive factors in our lives and do what we can to best manage them so we can be our best version of ourselves, as Dr. Levine pointed out. And in being our “best selves,” we’ll be able to develop character strengths such as patience and empathy, which will ultimately enable us to offer more to others and make a meaningful difference in the lives of those in need.

I’d encourage you to speak with your son about any or all of the messages he heard on Monday.

Thanks for reading,

Scott