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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Final Thoughts on Hamlet

A few more wise words from Shakespeare's "Hamlet":

"Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works."

"When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions."

"Thou find'st to be too busy is some danger."

This is worth contemplation in our modern society. One of the situations we often see in school is the high-achieving student who is over-scheduled and over-involved. We see students who have every moment of their lives scheduled: as soon as the school day ends they have sports practice for three hours, then they have twenty minutes to get across town to their dance/piano/underwater basket weaving lessons, before going to play practice from 7-10. Somewhere in there they grab some fast food, and then they get home at 10 and start their homework and don't get to bed before midnight or 1 AM. Then we wonder why they're exhausted in school and why they don't start projects and papers until the night before.

Under their living conditions they don't have time to slow down and consider things or plan for the future. They just triage, and go from one event to the next, never stopping to think, wonder, consider, explore, daydream, etc. One of the very unfortunate consequences of the rapidly accelerating pace of life in 21st century US is what some of my colleagues and I call "The Over-Scheduled Student": students who are involved in so many activities that they have no down time, no free time, no opportunities for surprise. Einstein once said, "Creativity is the residue of time wasted." Many young people need more "wasted time" in their lives.

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