Go Ravens…I Guess.

Congrats Ravens fans!  I know this is a big weekend for you so relish in it and enjoy (as there may be few other post-seasons for those birds).  Seriously, if someone should beat the Pats, it’s the Ravens. So really, Go Ravens!

You may have seen a new face here at OM this week.  Please welcomeK McCoy our newest member of the Science Department and OM Faculty, Mr. Kyron McKoy. He will be taking over classes for Ms. Mouzon-Smith who moved out of state.  Mr. McKoy is a former BCPS student and graduate of Catonsville HS as well as a recent graduate of Salisbury University.  He brings a passion for biology and environmental science as well as enthusiasm for sharing his passions with young people.  Please stop by Room 301 or the Science Office to introduce yourself and welcome Mr. McKoy to our OM family.

With the ringing in of the new year, a lengthy break from school work, and stop-start return to school, you may notice students having a tough time finding their stride and staying on pace with their goals.  To combat that slide or start of senioritis (it really is much too early for that), this week’s article may help.  Enjoy and have a great weekend.  Go Eagles…and Ravens, I guess.

Fostering Hard Work, Genuine Curiosity, and Heartfelt Passion

From Marshall Memo 566:  In this Huffington Post article, California private school head Michael Mulligan ponders a paradox about the millennials: On the one hand, they tend to be confident, technologically connected, environmentally aware, committed to helping the disadvantaged, and open to diversity and change. On the other hand, many millennials are beset with insecurity, anxiety, unhappiness, aimlessness, and despair. “What gives?” asks Mulligan.

One theory is contained in a recent book by William Deresiewicz, Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life (Free Press, 2014), which says that too many young people have been conditioned to think that the reason for getting good grades is to impress admissions officers and employers, the purpose of community service is to fill out one’s resume, playing sports is to get recruited for a college team, and studying art and music is to look smart and well-rounded. The result, says Mulligan, is that too many students fall apart in college “because they cannot conceive of the fact that hard work and learning are positive outcomes in and of themselves. They have no sense of who they are or what is important in their lives… They are walking ghosts of seeming, not of being… In our efforts to push our kids ahead, we have forgotten to ask why pushing ahead is important in the first place.”

What is to be done? asks Mulligan. “Truth is, we know full well that lasting happiness springs from good health, solid values, meaningful work, multiple positive relationships, and selfless service.” He recommends getting young people to focus on three questions:

  • Who tells us who we are? Not the Internet, TV, movies, social media, and advertising, which judge us on what we wear, what we buy, how thin or buff we are, and our number of Facebook “likes.” No, says Mulligan, it’s about “how hard we work, how curious we are, and how much we are willing to make a positive difference to others and to our world in distress… Our children need to learn that they are important not for reasons of appearance but for reasons of substance.”
  • Where do we want to go with our lives? Focusing only on getting into a good college and landing a high-status job will lead to frustration, anger, and loneliness, he believes. What young people need is find their passion and get into a career that pays them for doing what they love. “We all know we are in the right jobs when how long we work at something is driven by interest and not only about earning a paycheck,” he says.
  • How do we want to get there? Having a worthwhile end in sight will greatly influence the means for getting there, says Mulligan. “Kids cheat in school because they think grades are more important than what they learn. They take short-cuts because they believe the longer, harder path has no value or because they are afraid of stumbling or of being seen as someone who stumbles. They are mean or cruel or uncaring often because they do not like themselves… [R]eal success comes when you can look at your life and say, ‘I have done my best to make a positive difference in the lives of others and the world we live in.’”

“The Three Most Important Questions You Can Ask Your Teenager” by Michael Mulligan in The Huffington Post, November 24, 2014, http://huff.to/1xbbYdB

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