If you have been inside the school lately, you will have noticed that we have a community jigsaw puzzle under construction in the front foyer. This monthly puzzle is an idea brought forward by our Student Council and has been a popular initiative. The 1000 piece puzzles have been a place for students, staff and guests to pause for a few moments and contribute to piecing together a picture of the Canadian landscape, or macarons, or whatever the puzzle of the month happens to be.
There are benefits to working on jigsaw puzzles. According to WebMD and the National Center for Biotechnology Information, jigsaw puzzles keep the mind stimulated and improve memory while providing a sense of calm and similar effects to meditation. I enjoy seeing students concentrating on the puzzle, perhaps emptying their brains of the stresses and anxieties of the day. I also enjoy seeing students working on the puzzle together, sometimes collaborating with a friend and sometimes comfortably working together in silence.
Completing 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles requires persistence, and some community members faithfully come back to the puzzle whenever they have a moment in hopes of having the satisfaction of putting in the last pieces. Imagine their frustration when those last pieces are missing; the unintended impact of this seemingly harmless prank is that the hard-working puzzlers do not have the satisfaction of seeing their completed puzzle.
Among the many benefits of working on these puzzles is a little time away from screens, where unintended impacts are plentiful. At times, it seems to me that snap chatting, tweeting and tik-toking are gnawing away at mental well-being, so I am grateful to the Student Council for providing this welcome reprieve. If you find yourself in the foyer, please feel free to take a moment of reprieve for yourself and put a piece or two in the puzzle.