Turtle Times: Zen Arts and the Classroom of Wellbeing | Nicola Conraths | 8 Min Read

March 8, 2023

Indy schools provide students with an exceptionally stimulating curriculum created by passionate teachers. Don’t we spend hours thinking about different ways to present content and hope for a rested, alert, and curious student that is ready to soak it all up? With so much enrichment being offered all day long, we have had a much harder time creating a schedule that allows for ebb and flow. More can be easily justified, and less is much harder to implement. Ebbing is critical for the rejuvenation of the mind, body, and spiritual side of our students and ourselves.  During my work as the director of Comparative Arts at the Interlochen Arts Academy, my classes started at 3 p.m. and finished at 6 p.m., often with additional rehearsals after dinner. In the late afternoon, the youngest (14+) could barely keep their eyes open after a long day of academic classes, and even seniors were in need of a pick-me-up.  It occurred to me that it would be helpful to introduce soul-feeding rituals into my curriculum so that I could provide some respite and regeneration. I called this Turtle Time and the idea is based on the soul-enriching…

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Nicola Conraths

Nicola Conraths has worked in independent schools for 15 years, serving as Director of Artistic Studies at Walnut Hill School for the Arts and as director of Comparative Arts and dance instructor at the Interlochen Arts Academy. Nicola merges her many interests into projects that connect unlikely topics, people, and places. Recently she has worked with New England Conservatory Prep School, Boston Ballet, YOLA/LA Phil, and SMOC/Headstart schools. Her newest venture, Das Surrealistische Büro, is a consulting capsule for tangential thinking. She lives in Detroit.