Heads Up

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

Message from Scott Cowie, Senior Division head

Scott CowieUpcoming Senior Division dates:

Friday, Dec. 4: IB2 exams begin
Friday, Dec. 4: Festive Marketplace
Friday, Dec. 4 to Tuesday, Dec. 8: FY/IB1 exam preparation
Wednesday, Dec. 9: FY/IB1 exam tutorial day
Thursday, Dec. 10: FY/IB1 exams begin

If you’ve spoken with your son about this past Monday’s assembly, you can likely understand why the address we heard might have been titled: “Things you’d never expect to hear from a Buddhist nun.”

Our guest, Robina Courtin, in speaking of her life journey, reminisced very candidly about many of her unconventional, colourful pursuits prior to finding her path to Buddhism. Endearing, full of spirit and good humour, Courtin also shared many valuable insights with the boys on the topic of managing stress and anxiety in our day-to-day lives.

One of the fundamental themes of Courtin’s address centred around the need to take care of oneself. She cited the importance of self-respect, self-discipline and self-regulation as keys to living a fulfilled life. Further, she urged the boys to take ownership of all that’s inside them: the good and the bad; joy; humour; excitement; anger; anxiety; and turmoil. In her view, too many people spend time and energy trying to avoid or ignore the negative emotions or feelings they have rather than accepting them and working through them. Neglecting to embrace our complete self, she contends, could be the cause of a lot of the issues we see many adolescents struggling with today.

Along with owning all of our emotions, Courtin challenged the boys to own all of their responses and reactions to others. She shared that, for most of her life, she went around blaming others for her own issues and the challenges she faced. Eventually she came to realize that it’s neither the external factors nor the actions of others that cause us to be angry or discontented, it’s how we choose to react to situations and those around us that determine our temperament and mindset. In short, according to Courtin, we need to stop blaming everyone else and focus on our own self-development.

In reading these weekly missives, some of you may know that one of the themes I touch on regularly is the importance of being “other-minded.” Courtin’s message on Monday reminded all of us about the importance of balancing our attention on others with a focus on ourselves. Not to be selfish, self-centred or self-absorbed, but to fully accept and appreciate all that’s within us so that we can better understand how we might make a more meaningful impact on the lives of those with whom we interact on a daily basis.

Ask your son about Courtin’s message. You’ll likely have a laugh, and I suspect you’ll learn a thing or two as well.

Thanks for reading,



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


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