We Are Westridge
A community blog featuring Head of School Elizabeth J. McGregor, the Westridge Leadership Team, our esteemed faculty members and occasional special guests
A Holiday Greeting and Recommended Reading from Elizabeth McGregor
We are bursting with holiday cheer on campus! Last weeks’ holiday concerts were a perfect way to anticipate the excitement and spirit of the season, and the exquisite candy houses designed by the sixth graders this week, with great mathematical precision, copious amounts of frosting and candy, were a sign to all students who themselves have gone through this upper elementary rite of passage that the countdown to the holidays is in full swing.
As I look toward the upcoming weeks, I can’t wait to see family members – my son is returning from medical school in Ireland for a three-week break, and one of my two daughters will be travelling from the east coast with her husband and his family to take in all that Pasadena has to offer at this time of year, especially the Rose Parade. The break will also be a time to reflect and give thanks, to relish being at home, and to catch up with new and favorite books – some of which you too may be interested in delving into.
In terms of school related reading, I’m looking forward to learning more about middle school students in Brainstorm: The Power of and Purpose of the Teenage Brain by Daniel J. Siegel , who purports to offer a “road map for understanding the adolescent mind that will help families not just survive but thrive!” I’m also going to dip back into How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough, that I know Mary Tuck, Director of Lower School, will be discussing with parents after Winter Break. Also on my list of books to revisit is Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck that does so much to encourage a growth mindset.
For those moments when I can curl up quietly and read just for pleasure, I’m looking forward to finishing Literary Pasadena: The Fiction Edition, which contains stories and excerpts from authors who make their home here in Pasadena or have chosen to feature the city in their writing. And I’m also eager to finish The Children Act by Ian McEwan, one of my favorite authors, who in this story writes about a British High Court judge whose professional and personal lives intertwine as she presides over an urgent case involving a seventeen year old boy.
Gifts for members of my family will include Your Fantastic Elastic Brain by JoAnn Deak, an incredible picture book for elementary school children that reinforces how to develop a growth mindset, and Run Like A Girl by Kathy Vick, which celebrates the power and beauty of girls of all ages.
I trust that you too are eagerly anticipating all that the holidays have to offer. My best wishes to you all for the holiday season and happy reading!
Elizabeth McGregor, Head of School
- Deak, JoAnn. Your Fantastic, Elastic Brain. Little Pickle Press, 2013
- McEwan, Ian. The Children Act. Doubleday, 2014
- O’Sullivan, Patricia, editor. Literary Pasadena: The Fiction Edition. Prospect Park Books, 2013.
- Siegel, Daniel J. Brainstorm: The Power of the Teenage Brain. Penguin Group, 2013.
- Tough, Paul. How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character, Mariner Books, 2013.
- Vick, Kathy. Run Like a Girl. Howard Books, 20o9.
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