Making New Year’s Resolutions Happen

In 2011, MA welcomed the Year of the Rabbit with the help of Evelyn Tseng’s Mandarin Chinese classes. Students learned the famous Lion Dance and drumming to accompany it through the Marin Chinese Cultural Association.

Though January is almost over, it’s never too late to talk about the new year. (For the Chinese New Year, I’m only two days late—Gung Hay Fat Choy! We’ll be celebrating at MA this Monday during assembly.)

In his January 5 New York Times article “Be It Resolved,” John Tierney discusses the likelihood of resolutions lasting throughout the year. On the plus side, if you make a formal resolution, stay consistent during the month of January, and use some helpful strategies, you have a good chance of being successful the whole year. On the minus side, most people don’t keep their resolutions all year long (a third will have broken the resolutions by the end of January, and more than half will have lapsed by July). What starts off as an exciting tradition often ends up pretty daunting.

Many resolutions center around things we want to do (or want to do better). But what about things we want to make sure we don’t stop doing?

Cirque du Soul performs in early January

There are many things that I love about MA, and many things that I hope we never stop doing. One of the first things that comes to mind is our commitment to giving students the opportunity to perform publicly. Since the second semester began three weeks ago, music students have played in the jazz, rock, acoustic, and soul bands and in a First Friday concert; several members of the Class of 2012 have given their senior speeches during assembly; and students competed in the annual Quiz Bowl. In addition, many have shared their work with their peers and teachers in classrooms, and our basketball players have competed in almost three-dozen games.

Every school provides public speaking and performing opportunities, but at MA, we place a great emphasis on ownership and accountability. There are countless moments in which our students can produce and present their own material. This is a skill that will be useful in all stages in life, and on whatever path students take after graduation. We’re committed to keeping this tradition alive and strengthening occasions for students to become comfortable speaking their minds and sharing their stories.

On a personal note, it’s been a while since my last blog post, and one of my resolutions is to make sure that I don’t stop blogging. (Better late than never!) Once again, I encourage your feedback, suggestions, and comments. What are your resolutions? What will you continue doing in the new year, or what do you hope Marin Academy will do or continue to do in 2012?

Here’s to a great 2012.


About Travis

Head of School, Marin Academy.
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2 Responses to Making New Year’s Resolutions Happen

  1. Ellen says:

    My hope is that MA continues to be the awesome school that it is—and thank you Travis for your great leadership. We are a vibrant community and everyone’s continued involvement and support will only make it stronger. Here’s to a great 2012!

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