Dear Long Trail School Family,
The Library of Congress offers a striking Thanksgiving history with several contenders for “first Thanksgiving” from even before the traditional Plymouth Rock account! Intertwined within a movement toward gratitude, this Thanksgiving timeline mirrors the seemingly disparate and intensive universe of recent activities on campus, ranging from Morning Meetings to address the mass shootings at the Tree of Life synagogue and the Borderline Bar & Grill, to pep rallies for our boys’ and girls’ soccer and cross-country teams bound for state playoff rounds, to International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge presentations by our inspirational seniors, to a remarkable student production of Urinetown.
In my schoolwide Psychology of Happiness and Virtue class (stay tuned for a one-day parent version), our students will be keeping a daily gratitude journal for a week to capture in a mindful way the encounters for which they are grateful. Research demonstrates that a grateful outlook develops our sense of well-being – and Oprah Winfrey even credits saying thank you first thing each morning for how she “got to be a gazillionaire” (CNBC, 2018)! For an adolescent, this awareness also materially increases satisfaction with his or her school experience.
Each time we gather as a school family, we transform gratitude for our gifts into grace. We celebrate IB Learner Profile values of inquiry and curiosity and of living our principles with integrity, enveloped in the care, respect and compassion – really love – we extend to one another. At our recent assemblies, we did not stop with sympathizing with the victims’ families and recognizing the first responders. Rather, we recommitted to “creative maladjustment,” in Martin Luther King Jr.’s parlance, of never accepting the evil which brought forth these atrocities and understanding that no one is too young – or too old – to resist actively, in whatever the particular political and social action paths one deems effective.
For this empowering culture we are developing, we are grateful to you. Thank you on this Thanksgiving for every opportunity we as a diverse community have to imagine how we can repair the world and render kinder tomorrows. On behalf of our trustees, faculty, and staff, I extend to you and yours warmest wishes for a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.
/s/ Seth Linfield
Head of School