Heads Up

Welcome to Heads Up, your one-stop source for news about your son’s upcoming activities and events.

Message from Scott Cowie, Head, Senior Division

scottUpcoming Senior Division dates:

Monday, Jan. 15 to Friday, Jan. 19: Spirit Week; various activities and themed casual dress days all week

Monday, Jan. 15: University 101, Year 11 parents and students meeting, student centre, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 16: Winter Clubs Fair, student centre, 12:30 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 19: Winterfest; special schedule, pep rally assembly and various athletic games

Happy new year to you all. I hope you had an enjoyable, restful break.

If your family is anything like mine, this may have been a challenging week. Shifting back into school mode from the holiday mindset has been tough in the Cowie household. Our two teenagers haven’t been overly receptive to the early morning schedule and don’t seem too motivated to complete homework in the evenings. I know we’ll get there but, as our kids get older, this particular transition seems to take longer every year.

Here at UCC, we kicked off  the new year with morning assembly on Tuesday. To start, Julian Bauld, the school’s very own poet laureate, recited a poem he wrote titled “The First New Year”that speaks to the theme of the “beginnings” that are to be found in every new day. Principal Sam McKinney also shared a timely new year message, encouraging the boys to make resolutions around personal growth and improvement, and challenging them to also consider making resolutions that were focused on making a difference in the lives of others.

In reflecting on new year’s resolutions, I recalled a video from Dr. Mike Evans, a former Toronto physician and University of Toronto medical school professor, who now lives in California, works for Apple, and is on faculty at Stanford University. Evans, who spoke at the college a few years ago, became somewhat of a YouTube sensation with his video 23 and ½ Hours that, at last count, has been viewed by more than eight million people.

Among his numerous health-focused videos, Evans has one specifically about making new year’s resolutions. In it, Evans shares data on the success of this widespread January process and analyzes why some might be more successful at keeping their resolutions than others. Perhaps surprisingly, Evans’ research shows that people who set goals to make positive change in their lives at the beginning of a new year experience a greater rate of success than those who make similar commitments at other times during the year. In speaking of the potential origins of our annual ritual of making resolutions, Evans points out that this time of year is a time for reflection and projection, “learning from the past but pointing to a new you, saying that’s where I want to go.”

In the brief but poignant five-minute “whiteboard-animated” video, Evans stresses the importance of being a reflective learner. Indeed, he claims that the “ability to reflect” is the key educational skill he aims to develop in his own students. Evans cites four characteristics that are integral to the process of reflective learning:

  • To be honest in identifying personal strengths and weaknesses
  • To be flexible
  • To have clarity about priorities
  • To balance optimism with realism

You can watch the video here.

As your son looks to set goals related to his experience here at the College, to making changes in his personal life, or to positively impact those around him, I encourage you to remind him about the importance of realism and honest reflection.

Wishing you all the best for 2018.

Thanks for reading,
Scott

Calendar

Legend

Blue: Whole School
Yellow: Upper School
Red: Prep School

 


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