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Rabbits in Disguise

On January 22, we celebrated the Lunar New Year, which ushered in the Year of the Rabbit. In Chinese culture, the Rabbit is characterized as a thoughtful, flexible, diplomatic animal who waits for an opportune moment before leaping into action. Last year was the Year of the Tiger, which is all about making big moves and changes in life, but in the Year of the Rabbit, we’re advised to take a step back, check in with our emotions and feelings, cultivate peace and patience, and expect a slower pace. Humans have grown accustomed to a frenetic lifestyle, trying to balance many responsibilities and opportunities and burning the candle at both ends. But interestingly, most of the people I know who admit to having made New Year’s resolutions were focused on goals like slowing down, achieving a healthier work/life balance, and taking more time to smell the roses. Perhaps they were channeling the Rabbit all along!

While the darker, colder days of winter might invite us to embrace the slower pace of the Rabbit year and snuggle cozily inside our mountaintop burrows, campus has been predictably active this month, with students and faculty countering winter’s lethargy with energy and activity. A successful Enrichment Saturday allowed us to share our favorite hobbies and explore our creative sides. Freshman Biology students ran around the schoolhouse solving clues in an ingenious Escape Room-type challenge. The CASA group facilitated a meaningful observance of Martin Luther King Jr. day complete with documentary presentations and discussion groups. And, finally post-COVID, we returned to the Yale Model United Nations, where our students joined 1,500 other delegates from around the world in exploring a diverse set of topics including the professional and academic empowerment of women, Kurdistan and the Kurdish conflict, the use of bioweapons in international conflict, and the future of trans-Pacific trade. While all of this activity would seem to counter the Rabbit’s message to “chill” and slow down this year, the Year of the Rabbit is also associated with increased opportunities to explore creativity and feed our curious sides – seems we’ve been Rabbits without even knowing it!

More than anything, the Chinese zodiac says, the Rabbit symbolizes luck. Every day at Marvelwood, we remember how lucky we are to work with your children, and how fortunate we feel that you have entrusted us with their education and care. Our students tell us every day that they feel lucky to be here, and we hope you share their happiness at being part of our community.

From one group of Rabbits to another, we wish you luck, peace, creativity, curiosity, connection – and all the carrots you can eat! – for 2023!