By Charlie Norgaard
OES clearly values the concept of mindfulness within their curriculum.
Mindfulness is a great way for students to step back from the stress of school, and offers an opportunity to decompress, which is particularly relevant given the OES workload. However, I think mindfulness has been rather neglected in the Upper School, especially in comparison to the Middle School.
Mindfulness was heavily woven into the Middle School. Mindfulness gurus Steve Brennan and Cindy Mcenroe have crafted an exceptional mindfulness curriculum. Their wellness classes were simply delightful. Cindy Mcenroe’s soothing whispers and Steve Brennan’s flawless man bun alone could calm all of my stresses instantly, but their abilities as mindfulness and meditation teachers were beyond outstanding. However, Middle School students do not appreciate their health and wellness classes to their full extent.
Within my understanding, the majority of Middle School students don’t truly know stress. The most they had to worry about was maybe a short math assignment and a 10 page reading, which they would then follow up with an hour of ‘Realm of the Mad God’ just before their 9:00pm bedtime. Mindfulness was never really a tool they needed.
But now, at a time when grades actually dictate your future, Upper School students need mindfulness much more than Middle Schoolers. Current Middle School students Luke M. and Luke S. said that mindfulness has been immensely helpful both in academic and athletic activities. Sophomore Jack M., through his science research project this year, has proven mindfulness to be a helpful pre-test tool.
Additionally, professional athletes from all over the world partake in meditation and forms of mindfulness, such as Tom Brady. Mindfulness is surely the only reason why that cheating scum led the Patriots to win the superbowl this year.
My main point is that I encourage a much stronger Upper School mindfulness presence. I would love to see the same energy that goes into Middle School mindfulness be equally present in the Upper School, where students and athletes would truly appreciate it. Afterall, mindfulness takes years of practice to master, and for it to be so neglected in the Upper School is frustrating. I hope the rest of the Upper School teachers and coaches consider offering a few minutes of mindfulness in their classes for the good of the students.