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Lauren Mandel--a high school senior on meditation, collaboration and the source of life - Descript
Episode 148th November 2021 • Who Needs School? • Joe Vollert
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Lauren Mandel is a senior in high school and offers her perspective about what has inspired her to learn and about what it's like to explore life's deepest questions. She offers some unexpected insights to the needs of our students today when asked about being the principal for a day.

Transcripts

Joe V:

Welcome to this.

Joe V:

The 14th episode of who needs.

Joe V:

Today, we talked to Lauren Mendell, a senior at St.

Joe V:

Ignatius college prep in San Francisco.

Joe V:

And this is something that I have been wanting to do and hope I can

Joe V:

do a lot more of that's to interview students and to get their perspective.

Joe V:

Now, Lauren is the editor in chief of the school's newspapers called inside SIA.

Joe V:

And she'll refer to that during the episode.

Joe V:

And in many respects, Lauren is a student who excels in this.

Joe V:

She's an outstanding student.

Joe V:

Uh, she's deeply engaged in activities outside of the classroom.

Joe V:

She offers some great insights into some of the important things in her

Joe V:

educational journey, working with others, passion, uh, the wellness importance of

Joe V:

wellness, importance of lifelong learning.

Joe V:

And she'll refer to something in lit ladder into the, uh,

Joe V:

episode called the examine and.

Joe V:

Moment that our students will take to, uh, collectively review their day, uh,

Joe V:

to examine it in a peripheral sense.

Joe V:

And so she speaks to that a little bit.

Joe V:

Enjoy.

Joe V:

Well, a warm welcome to Lauren Mendell to who needs school.

Joe V:

Lauren, if you wouldn't mind, um, tell us a bit about yourself.

Joe V:

Where are you now in your educational journey you were in?

Joe V:

Where have you been, and more importantly, what does that

Joe V:

educational experience been like?

Lauren Mandel:

Well, I am currently a senior at SSI and I know.

Lauren Mandel:

Going through the entire college app experience.

Lauren Mandel:

And actually next Monday, I have to submit all of my early action applications.

Lauren Mandel:

So that is a bit stressful.

Lauren Mandel:

Um, and let's just say, I'm looking forward to Christmas break.

Lauren Mandel:

That is for sure.

Lauren Mandel:

But I guess if I'm starting with just like my educational journey, We can start

Lauren Mandel:

with pre-K if we want to go back that far.

Lauren Mandel:

And I don't remember much about that.

Lauren Mandel:

I mean, my mom has some stories about it, of course.

Lauren Mandel:

And like the main things, I guess, from preschool were like the birthday parties.

Lauren Mandel:

That's all I got from preschool.

Lauren Mandel:

And then K through sixth grade, I was at St.

Lauren Mandel:

Cecilia's elementary school.

Lauren Mandel:

And.

Lauren Mandel:

Then I kind of feel like learning was just the normal thing to do.

Lauren Mandel:

Like I went to school because everyone else went to school

Lauren Mandel:

and I was just expected to learn and that's all it was about.

Lauren Mandel:

So K through six, that was kind of my mindset.

Lauren Mandel:

But then I feel like seventh and eighth grade was when, I guess I had

Lauren Mandel:

like an end goal of what I should.

Lauren Mandel:

Like what learning was and that's to get to high school.

Lauren Mandel:

So the end goal of seventh to eighth grade was getting to high

Lauren Mandel:

school and that was taking the HSPT.

Lauren Mandel:

And that was a lot because I'm not a great test taker.

Lauren Mandel:

And I had to study for that spend like money on tutors.

Lauren Mandel:

Figure all of this new stuff out and half of it, like, I feel like I didn't

Lauren Mandel:

even learn in school, but I took the HSPT and I applied only to two high

Lauren Mandel:

schools actually only sh and SSI.

Lauren Mandel:

And I felt like I was kind of always geared towards SSI because my two

Lauren Mandel:

brothers went there, core MC and Ryan.

Lauren Mandel:

Um, both of them, one of them graduated from college and the

Lauren Mandel:

other one is still in college.

Lauren Mandel:

So whenever I got accepted into both of those, I kinda just knew

Lauren Mandel:

that I was going to go to SSI.

Lauren Mandel:

And so I went, I kind of left behind all of those people in

Lauren Mandel:

my elementary school that I had known for what, like nine years.

Lauren Mandel:

And.

Lauren Mandel:

I was kind of put into this area.

Lauren Mandel:

That was so new with all of these new people.

Lauren Mandel:

Like a thousand people in a school was crazy for me coming from like maybe 300

Lauren Mandel:

and to all of these different people, especially when you're a freshman and you

Lauren Mandel:

see all these seniors, but it was a little easier since I had my brother there.

Lauren Mandel:

And I feel like his friends kind of treated me like their

Lauren Mandel:

little sister and I was just.

Lauren Mandel:

Kind of there with all the rest of the freshmen, everyone in the same boat,

Lauren Mandel:

but I don't think that's stressed enough that everyone is in the same boat because

Lauren Mandel:

kids don't realize that we just see these movies and think, oh God, this

Lauren Mandel:

is what high school is going to be.

Lauren Mandel:

People are going to be shoved in lockers or like into bins.

Lauren Mandel:

And that's what I thought for like most of my life going, and

Lauren Mandel:

especially in seventh and eighth.

Lauren Mandel:

But when I got there, it was just so different.

Lauren Mandel:

It was actually really, I guess, welcoming, especially at SSI with

Lauren Mandel:

, just like wild cat welcoming club.

Lauren Mandel:

That's one of the clubs there where they take around students

Lauren Mandel:

on tours and like everyone, I know it's just a good community

Lauren Mandel:

atmosphere, I guess you could say.

Lauren Mandel:

But, um, freshman year.

Joe V:

Uh, Lauren, just to you, you did seventh and eighth grade saints, correct?

Lauren Mandel:

Yeah.

Lauren Mandel:

Yeah.

Joe V:

And then in your dad went to SIS as well?

Joe V:

I believe.

Joe V:

Correct.

Joe V:

Right.

Joe V:

So did you, as you went through that process and then be curious about, what

Joe V:

the highlights have been in at, , in high school for you so far, but when you

Joe V:

went through that process as an eighth grade, Did you feel like it was your

Joe V:

decision to make, like, I mean, or did you feel like this kind of already made,

Joe V:

cause you had family members go there or, you know, did you have a pro-con list

Joe V:

as you were going about that decision?

Lauren Mandel:

That's a good point to bring up.

Lauren Mandel:

Actually, I do feel like it was slightly already made because they

Lauren Mandel:

knew that they were like, okay, she has a pretty good chance of going.

Lauren Mandel:

Getting into these two schools based on my grades and based on the score of,

Lauren Mandel:

I got on the HSPT and just like Ryan and Cormack went there and it was just

Lauren Mandel:

kind of expected of me to go there.

Lauren Mandel:

And I kind of always had that feeling too, that it wasn't completely.

Lauren Mandel:

But I was kind of fine with that in a way, because I felt that I'm alive.

Lauren Mandel:

Yeah.

Lauren Mandel:

And I feel like at that age, you're kind of like, all right,

Lauren Mandel:

we'll just go along with it.

Lauren Mandel:

As long as I got into a high school, I was content with that.

Lauren Mandel:

Um, but

Joe V:

I'll, and I think B be candid and honest.

Joe V:

You've been, you're an academic rock star, you know, your thing.

Joe V:

You're very well in school.

Joe V:

Right?

Joe V:

You've got, you're taking four APS.

Joe V:

3.9 GPA unweighted.

Joe V:

And, um, you're going to have a lot of doors open for you in that next chapter.

Joe V:

You just don't know what it is yet.

Joe V:

That's the, that's the anxiety, but you will go to college.

Joe V:

We just, we it's the curiosity and the mystery of exactly where

Joe V:

that's going to be over these next months is we figured that out.

Joe V:

Here's what, here's what I'm curious about.

Joe V:

What, as you look back on your three and a half years, Of high school, which has

Joe V:

obviously had a major interruption in terms of what we would consider a normal

Joe V:

high school career with COVID and having to take remote classes and all that.

Joe V:

But what, what do you think are the things that will stick with you in terms

Joe V:

of your educational experience and why?

Lauren Mandel:

I guess probably one of the main things.

Lauren Mandel:

Would kind of be how to work with other people, to be honest,

Joe V:

you talk about working with others?

Joe V:

Right.

Joe V:

How did that, how did you learn that?

Joe V:

Like, did you, was there a particular class or.

Joe V:

Or every class, like where did, where did that become part of the experience?

Lauren Mandel:

I think you're kind of just thrown into it and every single

Lauren Mandel:

class, because there's always going to be some group projects or you have to

Lauren Mandel:

kind of learn how to learn off of others as well, because sometimes you don't

Lauren Mandel:

understand something in the class and that means you have to find someone who does.

Lauren Mandel:

And of course, there's the.

Lauren Mandel:

But then sometimes I feel like when you work with the pier,

Lauren Mandel:

there's some, it's more of a basic understanding of what you're doing.

Lauren Mandel:

So that's when you kind of learn how to bounce ideas off of each other.

Lauren Mandel:

And then there's always like group projects where you figure out, okay,

Lauren Mandel:

who's going to do what, and it's true.

Lauren Mandel:

There's some people that don't do something and then

Lauren Mandel:

others who do all of it.

Lauren Mandel:

And so you kind of have to balance in between and figure out, okay, how can I.

Lauren Mandel:

Either be the leader in this group or be one of the followers,

Lauren Mandel:

but that does their own part.

Lauren Mandel:

If that makes sense.

Lauren Mandel:

I guess you could say it makes

Joe V:

total sense.

Lauren Mandel:

I guess another thing I've always really loved English and

Lauren Mandel:

that's a reason I'm on the newspaper as well, but it started freshman year.

Lauren Mandel:

Getting like super passionate about something in high school,

Lauren Mandel:

that's kind of what I've found has carried me through it all.

Lauren Mandel:

And that has been English.

Lauren Mandel:

I've just loved all of my teachers.

Lauren Mandel:

And I've found a group of people in each of my English classes that

Lauren Mandel:

kind of share that same passion.

Lauren Mandel:

And so taking that like into the real world, I guess it would just be.

Lauren Mandel:

You need a passion to kind of pull you through life in a way,

Lauren Mandel:

something that you really love.

Lauren Mandel:

I don't know.

Lauren Mandel:

It just makes you feel kind of complete in a way, I guess, gives you some guidance.

Joe V:

Where do you think that comes from that, that passion?

Joe V:

Is it, was it something innate?

Joe V:

Was it, or was there some people along the way that kind of

Joe V:

sparked that, that passion for.

Lauren Mandel:

Oh, I would a hundred percent say it would be my teachers.

Lauren Mandel:

I had miss Denning actually.

Lauren Mandel:

She's she left, but, um, Ms.

Lauren Mandel:

Dannon was my freshman year English teacher.

Lauren Mandel:

And the main thing was how in love with the, with English.

Lauren Mandel:

She was so even though we could be talking about something super boring, or like

Lauren Mandel:

maybe read in Shakespeare, which half of it, most students don't understand.

Lauren Mandel:

She made.

Lauren Mandel:

So that we would fall in love with it too.

Lauren Mandel:

And then it just kept going with my English teachers, like Mr.

Lauren Mandel:

Devine loved what he was doing.

Lauren Mandel:

He would extract like all of these different things from a story.

Lauren Mandel:

And I was like, how does this man do this?

Lauren Mandel:

And I was like, I want to be like that.

Lauren Mandel:

And then even not English, like not in an English class.

Lauren Mandel:

Um, it was chemistry with Ms.

Lauren Mandel:

McGuffin.

Lauren Mandel:

She loved teaching.

Lauren Mandel:

And you could tell, and I guess that was like one of the main things that

Lauren Mandel:

made me passionate about something was whenever the teacher really loved it.

Lauren Mandel:

Cause I was like, oh, maybe I should really love this too, in a way.

Lauren Mandel:

So

Joe V:

yeah.

Joe V:

It's like fire, right?

Joe V:

When, when there's a fire, you take a stick like that stick that

Joe V:

fire is still, still goes right.

Joe V:

And if that teacher has that fire and that passion, it can be passed on.

Joe V:

Students without diminishing that fire.

Joe V:

Right, exactly.

Joe V:

So you're involved with the student newspaper inside SSI.

Joe V:

And is that a major commitment for you?

Lauren Mandel:

Um, I would, I was actually a managing editor last year.

Lauren Mandel:

And that was a big commitment because you had to deal with these small teams and

Lauren Mandel:

like nitpicking and trying to get all of these writers to get their articles in.

Lauren Mandel:

And then this year I'm the editor in chief.

Lauren Mandel:

So that's like leading, I guess you would say leading more people.

Lauren Mandel:

But not as closely, if that makes sense.

Lauren Mandel:

Not as nit-picky exactly, but, um, I would say close it's basically at the

Lauren Mandel:

beginning of an issue it's hectic.

Lauren Mandel:

And at the end of the issue, it's hectic.

Lauren Mandel:

In-between we leave that to the managing editors, which I had to do last year.

Lauren Mandel:

I know credits to them, but, um,

Joe V:

Would you say that this you're learning a lot by, you know,

Joe V:

doing this, cause this is not a party, you know, that you see a

Joe V:

requirements on your transcript script.

Joe V:

Right.

Joe V:

But it's nice to have, but it's not a requirement to graduate and yet

Joe V:

you're spending a lot of time doing it.

Joe V:

Do you find it to be rewarding?

Joe V:

And are you learning stuff?

Joe V:

And if so, what are you.

Lauren Mandel:

It's absolutely rewarding seeing like the finished newspaper.

Lauren Mandel:

And then you just see your name.

Lauren Mandel:

Like, even though it's like 12 point font, but you still see it.

Lauren Mandel:

And it's like, I helped to make this thing.

Lauren Mandel:

And I guess one of the main things I'm learning.

Lauren Mandel:

His confidence and leadership, because I get my confidence from the leadership.

Lauren Mandel:

I guess you would say I have to lead or talk to all of a whole room of students.

Lauren Mandel:

That was like my first meeting.

Lauren Mandel:

I was the one leading it.

Lauren Mandel:

And I was nervous.

Lauren Mandel:

I will admit before, even though I had to say maybe like three

Lauren Mandel:

sentences, but just being able to stand in front of all of those people.

Lauren Mandel:

And tell them your ideas.

Lauren Mandel:

And I guess I wouldn't say command them, but just guide them in a way.

Lauren Mandel:

I don't know.

Lauren Mandel:

I thought that was really cool.

Lauren Mandel:

So I guess the main thing I learned is leadership also working with

Lauren Mandel:

the team, I guess, bringing up the topic of working with others

Lauren Mandel:

again, because you kind of have to.

Lauren Mandel:

You have to bring in the voices of everyone in the newspaper.

Lauren Mandel:

It's not just, okay.

Lauren Mandel:

SSI.

Lauren Mandel:

Let's just focus on SSI.

Lauren Mandel:

You have to go outside of SSI, focus on the sports.

Lauren Mandel:

Um, we even have a humor section, so it's just, I guess I'm trying to get

Lauren Mandel:

the cumulation of all voices of SL.

Joe V:

And they're in license, some excellence.

Joe V:

Right.

Joe V:

As we study, um, education as administrators, we look to what

Joe V:

do graduates do when they're done after aside from going to college.

Joe V:

And there are very few jobs out.

Joe V:

There were people work by themselves, you know, Lot of stuff that gets that's

Joe V:

in terms of innovation or, in terms of business is done in collaboration

Joe V:

with a team or leading a team.

Joe V:

And that's, we want that to be part of the educational experience so

Joe V:

that our graduates are prepared to lead because that's such an

Joe V:

important part of what happens after.

Joe V:

So is there a particular, uh, Over the three and a half years.

Joe V:

So far, that really sticks out.

Joe V:

Now you talked about your English teachers, but maybe in the realm of

Joe V:

science or math or language, was there a particular unit or project or maybe

Joe V:

class in general that, when you're 50 years old, you'll look back on and

Joe V:

remember, really remember that as being a formative part of your education.

Lauren Mandel:

I guess actually I think it's bio because especially

Lauren Mandel:

this year, even in the smallest little unit about learning where life comes

Lauren Mandel:

from and everything, it opens up your perspective a lot because you

Lauren Mandel:

think, okay, um, everyone's different.

Lauren Mandel:

Like we all look different.

Lauren Mandel:

There's all of these organisms that are super different.

Lauren Mandel:

But then they tell you, we all descend from one common ancestor

Lauren Mandel:

and you're like, what is going on?

Lauren Mandel:

How is everyone kind of related

Joe V:

in some way?

Joe V:

Where, where does life come from?

Lauren Mandel:

Good question, Mr.

Lauren Mandel:

Wall.

Lauren Mandel:

That is one.

Lauren Mandel:

I cannot answer.

Lauren Mandel:

Trying to answer, but I'm thinking a single celled organism is what Mr.

Lauren Mandel:

Rock China's telling us.

Lauren Mandel:

So I will go with,

Joe V:

and it's in some, some spark along the way, right?

Joe V:

Some spark.

Joe V:

Right.

Joe V:

I got things going, let me ask you this.

Joe V:

Now.

Joe V:

This is the tougher question than that.

Joe V:

You've been.

Joe V:

You've been a model student in some respects.

Joe V:

And I, and I know I'm sure there have been challenges and ups and

Joe V:

downs in your educational careers or is there is for all of us, but

Joe V:

you've stepped up to meet those, those challenges by all appearances.

Joe V:

So you've kicked the ball through the goalpost that we've laid out for you.

Joe V:

But if you were to design an educational experience, What would you do?

Joe V:

Like your stewed now, knowing what you know, and doing what you do as a

Joe V:

student, what would you really wish school was like, if you were to design,

Lauren Mandel:

I guess, should I focus on like my ideal class?

Lauren Mandel:

Let's say,

Joe V:

well, what's the first thing that comes to mind when I asked you that.

Lauren Mandel:

One of the first things is the whole idea of participation.

Lauren Mandel:

Because even though I'm decent at learning things on my own.

Lauren Mandel:

Figuring out the homework and the class.

Lauren Mandel:

Like you can all do all of this stuff, but then there's that

Lauren Mandel:

whole idea of a participation grade, I guess you could say.

Lauren Mandel:

And in some classes I'm more nervous than others to participate in.

Lauren Mandel:

And I'm just focusing on this because it's something that I've

Lauren Mandel:

experienced all throughout high school, like trying to participate

Lauren Mandel:

and just be an active in a class.

Lauren Mandel:

And one of the main things I would suggest would be to let the students

Lauren Mandel:

know what's going to happen, because I feel like when a student knows what's

Lauren Mandel:

going to happen in the class, even if that's just like writing a schedule on

Lauren Mandel:

the board, it kind of eases that anxiety.

Lauren Mandel:

And you know what you're in for, in a way, I guess you could say, because when

Lauren Mandel:

I don't know what's going to happen next.

Lauren Mandel:

That brings me some anxiety.

Lauren Mandel:

And I feel like that's for most people, when you know what's happening, you

Lauren Mandel:

can better prepare and you kind of think more, you're able to take a

Lauren Mandel:

breath and then participate more and just say what you need to say, because

Lauren Mandel:

you know what they want you to say in a way, does that, that doesn't.

Joe V:

Element of, of learning and critical thinking is having some

Joe V:

context and knowing what's coming, here's what we're going to learn today

Joe V:

and put your mind in that framework.

Joe V:

And then that's what you are trying to learn in that that particular day.

Joe V:

Right?

Joe V:

Let me ask you this.

Joe V:

Do you think, and this is, I know the answer is probably a little bit of both,

Joe V:

but I'd be curious on your personal.

Joe V:

In terms of your formation as the person you are today over the last three and

Joe V:

a half years, since you started gracing the halls of San Ignatius, do you find

Joe V:

that you've been formed more in the classes that you've taken in the classroom

Joe V:

or in the experiences you've had?

Joe V:

Outside the classroom.

Joe V:

And I assume you've been on, say some retreats Bobby's had been involved

Joe V:

with insider side and maybe some of the things you've been involved with

Joe V:

outside of the classroom that are associated with the high school experience

Joe V:

what's your perspective on that?

Lauren Mandel:

Well, I think definitely my classes shape who I

Lauren Mandel:

am because every class I feel has.

Lauren Mandel:

There's a purpose to it.

Lauren Mandel:

Now, math, I'm a little iffy on like, if there's a deeper meaning maybe, maybe

Lauren Mandel:

there is, but I feel like in every class you do learn something like in English,

Lauren Mandel:

we go through these different units.

Lauren Mandel:

I think it was, um, junior year, I learned about like what

Lauren Mandel:

it means to be an American.

Lauren Mandel:

And you take parts from all of these different novels that give all these

Lauren Mandel:

different perspectives on what it means.

Lauren Mandel:

And then you form your own, I guess you could say.

Lauren Mandel:

And then my Spanish class taught me that there were more.

Lauren Mandel:

Like there's struggles within America too.

Lauren Mandel:

Like, especially with immigration.

Lauren Mandel:

We were looking at the frontier and how people are struggling

Lauren Mandel:

to like cross the border.

Lauren Mandel:

So that opened up my eyes.

Lauren Mandel:

I was like, okay, not everything is all.

Lauren Mandel:

My friend has been using this word a lot, so I guess I'll use it hunky

Lauren Mandel:

Dory in America, if that makes sense.

Lauren Mandel:

And then of course, This year, I'm taking con law and we learn

Lauren Mandel:

about current events, every class.

Lauren Mandel:

So now I see the political side of what's happening outside of school.

Lauren Mandel:

And I guess for like programs

Joe V:

been awakened, right.

Joe V:

Totally.

Joe V:

Right.

Joe V:

And that's, I mean, there's some deeper, critical thinking there, right?

Joe V:

You're, you're beginning to delve into the more complex issues of society

Joe V:

and in our world and our political system, it sounds, and the classroom

Joe V:

is really awakened that it sounds like.

Lauren Mandel:

Yeah, because before that I was just going along with

Lauren Mandel:

the flow, like I was saying, I was learning to learn and that.

Lauren Mandel:

It learning the basics.

Lauren Mandel:

And now we're kind of applying those basics to real life in a sense.

Lauren Mandel:

And I don't know, just every class and also the teachers, they

Lauren Mandel:

kind of shape who you are and.

Lauren Mandel:

What I usually do is I take some of the personality traits

Lauren Mandel:

that I like from a teacher.

Lauren Mandel:

And I try to incorporate that into my own personality traits.

Lauren Mandel:

So I would say, um, I have a little bit of each teacher that I kind of.

Joe V:

That's a nice way of putting it.

Joe V:

And you know, if there's anything, we talk about this, these past 20

Joe V:

months and have this experience of COVID and remote learning.

Joe V:

And one of the things that we knew going into it's probably been accelerated

Joe V:

with COVID is that knowledge is, you know, information is ubiquitous.

Joe V:

You can find just about anything you need to know on Google

Joe V:

or even Tik TOK these days.

Joe V:

Right?

Joe V:

But what's not ubiquitous is the personal relationship and there's something

Joe V:

very important for us as human beings, socially in school, that social contact

Joe V:

with our friends and classmates, but also with the adults who, um, do kind of

Joe V:

impart a part of who they are into all of their students in that becomes part

Joe V:

of your, you know, part of your story.

Joe V:

That's hard to replicate via zoom.

Joe V:

Right.

Joe V:

You get some of it, but it's certainly not the full impact that you do in person.

Joe V:

How about, you speak very eloquently about the impact

Joe V:

of your classroom experiences.

Joe V:

What, what about the experience outside the classroom?

Joe V:

And I, and I know you talked about some of the things you learned as a

Joe V:

managing editor and as an editor in chief, but in terms of the overall

Joe V:

experience outside the classroom, what kind of an impact does that have on you?

Lauren Mandel:

I used to do sports.

Lauren Mandel:

I did, um, long distance track.

Lauren Mandel:

I'm not athletic at all, but I did long distance track

Lauren Mandel:

and I tried softball as well.

Lauren Mandel:

And I guess from those.

Lauren Mandel:

Again, the whole idea of team building comes up and just, I also kind of

Lauren Mandel:

figured out that I should do what I'm good at because I'm not good at sports.

Lauren Mandel:

And so I took that and I was like, okay, so I'm not good at like

Lauren Mandel:

these competitive sports, but maybe I'm good at something else.

Lauren Mandel:

So I started running on my own and so it kind of made me see that.

Lauren Mandel:

All right.

Lauren Mandel:

I can't do this one thing.

Lauren Mandel:

I'm going to try something else.

Lauren Mandel:

So I did the newspaper or I focused on how much I loved writing.

Lauren Mandel:

So I joined a different club and yeah.

Joe V:

And that's part of , the journey, right?

Joe V:

It's that self discovery of our innate gifts?

Joe V:

It's like, a block of granite becoming a sculpture and just done,

Joe V:

chosen away to who you really are.

Joe V:

And by trying those things, you find out where maybe I don't want,

Joe V:

I'm not that good at it, or don't want to do that as father resell.

Joe V:

He says, if it's not fun, why do it, why keep doing it?

Joe V:

If it's not a lot of fun.

Joe V:

Okay.

Joe V:

I got two more questions for you.

Joe V:

And the first is you're the principal for a day.

Joe V:

What would you do?

Lauren Mandel:

I would give everyone detention.

Joe V:

You might only last a day if you did that.

Lauren Mandel:

I know I definitely would.

Lauren Mandel:

If I was the principal for the day first, I would, I like the time.

Lauren Mandel:

So I would make everyone come in at nine still, because any later I feel everyone's

Lauren Mandel:

all over the place to be honest.

Lauren Mandel:

So it would stay at nine.

Lauren Mandel:

And I would allow free dress.

Lauren Mandel:

No SSI pride, just complete free dress because lately at least for

Lauren Mandel:

me, clothing has been like my form of expression and just who I am so

Lauren Mandel:

free dress for sure for everyone.

Lauren Mandel:

But then of course that creates controversy, but I won't get into that.

Lauren Mandel:

Um, so free dress.

Lauren Mandel:

Um, and then.

Lauren Mandel:

Definitely no zoom classes.

Lauren Mandel:

It would be all in person.

Lauren Mandel:

We would maybe go outside for like two of the class periods of the day

Lauren Mandel:

and just definitely do an examine or maybe a meditation, because I think the

Lauren Mandel:

examine just clears your mind and just closing my eyes for those five minutes.

Lauren Mandel:

I can do something, maybe it's just for me, but I don't think so because it just

Lauren Mandel:

is like a refresh, if that makes sense.

Lauren Mandel:

So maybe

Joe V:

yeah, I would,

Lauren Mandel:

yeah.

Lauren Mandel:

I actually have tried meditation a few times and it does change.

Lauren Mandel:

So wellness, maybe a wellness class for every year, because

Lauren Mandel:

that's super important.

Lauren Mandel:

And just that time to relax and wellness and just meditate.

Lauren Mandel:

It just gives me life in the middle of the day when you're working so hard.

Lauren Mandel:

So

Joe V:

that change as you get older, I hope that stays with you.

Joe V:

Yeah.

Joe V:

Good and great insight.

Joe V:

That second question.

Joe V:

I want you to talk to your eighth grade self.

Joe V:

So you're an eighth grader.

Joe V:

Probably stressed about where you're going to go to high school and finishing

Joe V:

your first semester at Sansa is what advice would you give to your.

Lauren Mandel:

Well, I would say Lauren, you're not going to be shoved in a locker.

Lauren Mandel:

Number one.

Lauren Mandel:

And then next, I would say that it's all kind of going to lay

Lauren Mandel:

out, even though if sometimes it doesn't play out as you want it to.

Lauren Mandel:

Life is just going to go the way it goes.

Lauren Mandel:

And you're going to get to the stage where you're repeating the exact

Lauren Mandel:

same process that you're repeating.

Lauren Mandel:

Now, the goal is high school, but then the goal is going to be college.

Lauren Mandel:

And then I'm going to have, I don't know how many other goals in

Lauren Mandel:

the rest for the rest of my life.

Lauren Mandel:

But there's always going to be something to work towards and there's

Lauren Mandel:

always going to be new people.

Lauren Mandel:

You're going to meet and new connections, new things.

Lauren Mandel:

You'll learn you're on a podcast right now.

Lauren Mandel:

There's some things that are going to happen, random things, but yeah, just that

Joe V:

that's good advice.

Joe V:

I suspect Lauren that.

Joe V:

Your future self might give the same advice to your current self, right.

Joe V:

Things do have a tendency of working out, especially if we are

Joe V:

kind of open to the possibilities.

Joe V:

Right?

Joe V:

Great.

Joe V:

Alright, now I'm going to flip things a little bit.

Joe V:

I'm gonna give you a chance to ask a question as you're an editor

Joe V:

in chief of a school newspaper.

Joe V:

So I assume you know how to do some of that.

Joe V:

So I'll give you a chance to answer a question and then we'll wrap things up.

Lauren Mandel:

All right.

Lauren Mandel:

I guess one thing I would ask and I think this is coming from just

Lauren Mandel:

me personally, because I would like to know do you ever stop learning?

Lauren Mandel:

Like, does it ever, how do I word this?

Joe V:

Good way of doing it.

Joe V:

Right.

Joe V:

Do you ever stop learning?

Joe V:

Right.

Joe V:

So I would say, um, a number of things.

Joe V:

One, I think that's one of the things that we hope for at OSI.

Joe V:

And I would venture to say at all, secondary schools in the country is

Joe V:

that we want to infuse our students with a sense of curiosity, right.

Joe V:

To learn more about.

Joe V:

Where does life come from?

Joe V:

Right.

Joe V:

That's a great question to ask and pursuing it all it's facets.

Joe V:

So I do think that we do want to do that, and we also want to equip

Joe V:

our students with the skills to be able to teach themselves right, to

Joe V:

be a life, to be a lifelong learner, to have the skills, um, to learn.

Joe V:

And that then includes, some nuts and bolts, like.

Joe V:

And being able to write well, but also to ask good questions and to have that depth

Joe V:

and sense of curiosity for me personally.

Joe V:

No, not at all.

Joe V:

In fact, I, try to learn as much as I can.

Joe V:

And I find conversations like this to be a real conversation is where you get

Joe V:

converted and I've had a chance in the last 15 years is the head of advancement.

Joe V:

To talk to some fascinating people, including students like yourself

Joe V:

to, to learn about education, and learn about what we could be doing to

Joe V:

prepare students to be future leaders.

Joe V:

And I've had some fascinating conversations about that, and I've

Joe V:

learned a lot from that read a lot.

Joe V:

And, um, and then turn, COVID started listening to some podcasts

Joe V:

and, um, found them to be a very interesting format because I

Joe V:

could listen to them at any time.

Joe V:

Um, podcasts can be an event, any length, they could be 20, you know, but an episode

Joe V:

would be 20 minutes would be 45 minutes.

Joe V:

And I think , the medium forces you to listen a little bit differently

Joe V:

because when we watch something there's so much our brain processes, visually

Joe V:

when you shut off the visual part, you focus on the, the auditory part.

Joe V:

And so I've, I just find it to be an interesting medium.

Joe V:

And, um, so I started my own PI.

Joe V:

And it took a little bit to do it, right.

Joe V:

You had to learn how to record on Zencaster that I

Joe V:

use and edit with descript.

Joe V:

And I use captivate as a host to post it.

Joe V:

And so those really took some time to learn.

Joe V:

Um, and so I found, I found that to be a great experience, very curious

Joe V:

and challenging, uh, to do that.

Joe V:

So it's a long way of saying, um, I think when you stop learning.

Joe V:

You kind of stop living, right?

Joe V:

Yeah.

Joe V:

So when so much time we have in there so much out there, that's a mystery

Joe V:

and beautiful and, and whether to experience it or to understand it.

Joe V:

So, anyway, there's your question answered.

Joe V:

I hope

Lauren Mandel:

that was a very good answer to that question.

Lauren Mandel:

Thank you.

Joe V:

Well, Lauren, I have absolutely thoroughly enjoyed this conversation.

Joe V:

You're a wonderful young woman and I I'm excited about and grateful for what you do

Joe V:

for the school and the contribution you're making to the students and the faculty

Joe V:

and staff and others at Sandy Ignatius.

Joe V:

And I'm excited to see how the path unfolds for you ahead

Joe V:

and thank you so much for your insights in this conversation.

Lauren Mandel:

Thank you

Joe V:

Thank you for joining who needs school.

Joe V:

If you have any comments or suggestions, please email me@joevollardatgmail.com.

Joe V:

And if you haven't already, please start following the podcast.

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