Life in a Jar

Wed, April 15, 2020
When Term 1 commenced in February this year, our world looked very different to what it does now.  We are now familiar with social-distance, empty shops, limited face to face interactions and learning at home through the St Mark's Distance Learning Plan.  At an Assembly early in Term 1, Acting Head of Senior School, Ms Kelly Nebel, spoke to all Senior School students about 'Life in a Jar', which has become even more relevant today than it was at the beginning of the year.  

"I think it is important that with each new year we view it as an opportunity to consider what is important and how we might improve and be better than our previous years. This may be academic, in our relationships or in our co-curricular commitments.

I have a little demonstration for you called Life in a Jar. It is brief but it is something I would like you to reflect on as we start this new year together.

The jar represents the time you have this year and what we are going to do is fill it will lollies. Each of these lollies represents the time with how you might choose to fill it. This year we would like you to make smart and purposeful decisions about what is important. So that at the end of the year you can be proud (just like the students we are celebrating here today) of your efforts and achievements for 2020.

For some, like our 12s, the year is short but for others it is a little longer. There are three main chocolates that we will be filling the jar with. 

The first type are Mars Bars and these represent the time and effort we put into our academic studies. These go in first and this needs to be the focus for this year. If you are to make a change to the way you feel about your academic achievement at School you need to be making smart choices each day about improving and achieving your goals.

The next item are our Minties. These represent the time we spend with our family, our friends and the time we put into our relationships more generally. We will pop a few of these in.

The next item we will add to our jar are M&Ms. These represent the time allocated to  our co-curricular studies like sport, music perhaps a part time job.

How you fill your jar is up to you.

The point is, if you fill your jar with Mars Bars/academic study. You have no time to invest in your relationships. This is not ideal. It is important you set aside time for these as these are the people that can help you when the chips are down and you need support.

If you fill all your time with sport or your relationships and leave no time for academics you won’t be able to achieve the results you are wanting or needing at the end of the year to get into those classes/ courses (if you are leaving the School).

I’m not standing here saying that you need to fill the jar ONLY with Mars Bars/academics ,because if you do, that can be overwhelming. What I’m asking you to do is think back to last year. Consider how well that worked for you. And look to find a better balance between your academics, your co-curricular and your relationships.

Balance will look different for each of us but at the end of the day, the week, the year it is important that each of us are able to stand up and know that we have done our best and this goes for teachers too.

There will be times when you are out of balance and that is when you need to lean into your relationships – friends, family and teachers.

Now is the time to make smart decisions about how you invest your time. Make smart, purposeful decisions about what happens for you going forward. It is not a given that the plan that worked or not for you last year is the one you follow this year. You are different this year. This is your first time doing 2020.

My father taught me this rhyme when I was in the primary years 

Good better best

Never let it rest

Until your good is better

And your better is best

It is my hope for each of you that you achieve not your good, but your very best this year. 

It is also the School's hope that during the Easter holidays, you are able to fill your jar with plenty of Minties, M&Ms and a little bit of Mars Bar! We hope you come back refreshed and ready to tackle distance learning once more.