Sometimes when we are looking at the world through the lens of a camera, we capture an image that resonates on a deeper level. During our family vacation last month, we caught the image of an early morning diver. We were struck, at first, by the youth of this little girl. Her routine appeared to be well-practiced as she methodically stretched herself out, waxed the board, and applied sunblock, but what really caught my breath was the pause she took, the stance she held as she prepared to dive. It is as if she was centering herself and channeling the higher powers for a good experience.


I cannot help but compare this image with the words we offer our students on the days leading up to a Big Test. We want them to feel as this diver feels—that their hard work and faithful habit of practice have prepared them to face the challenges ahead of them. Their effort has earned them the confident posture of a diver who knows exactly what to expect when she hits the water. And like the diver, we want them to take a moment to breathe before diving in—to visualize themselves swimming through the test and arriving on the other side—having achieved their personal bests.