July 2023

Dear Oak Knoll School Community,

Many years ago, a friend asked me if I would train for a marathon with her. The prospect daunted me, but I was willing to follow her lead and give it a go. She presented me with a training plan, and as I looked it over, I noticed that it was a seven-day-per-week plan. I asked her if that was correct, assuming there should be a rest day somewhere. She told me that she adapted the plan from one found online and “tweaked it a bit” to come up with the plan she gave to me. Against my better judgment, I deferred to her experience and followed the plan. Two months later, as I sat in the doctor’s office getting the news about the stress fracture in my ankle, I regretted not following my instincts to push for a rest day. I eventually healed and went on to train for several races over the years, but I never followed a seven-day plan again.

I have told this story to Upper School students many times over the years as they have gathered in the Campion Center before heading out on a class reflection day. I explain to them that the reflection day is like a rest day. We need respite from what we do all the time. It is why we need to sleep, have weekends, and have summer vacations. It is how I feel about Sundays. As a child, they were always protected as a time for reconnection with God, reconnection with family, and a respite from the hectic pace of the rest of the week. I learned the hard way that if we don’t take a break, we can actually break. This is true for body, mind, and spirit.

Later this morning, I will get on a plane with my family for a trip to Alaska. It will be a change of pace, a respite from the typical day-to-day, and a time to reconnect with my family. I hope you and your families all have a chance for a change of pace and some proper rest this summer; a time to take a break so you stay strong and healthy in mind, body, and spirit.





Jennifer G. Landis
Head of School

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