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Getting in tune with running

Jane Schutte

It’s the time of year students dread: fitness testing.

Twice a year, students are led out to the field to perform a variety of tests, including curl-ups, push-ups, stretching the and pacer. But the one that’s particularly loathed is the timed mile run.

More and more students are discovering an easy way to make the mile more bearable—music.

It’s always a daunting scene—kids straggle across the turf, feverishly discussing the pros and cons of going in the first or second group. The athletes of the group stretch effortlessly, but the majority stare in dismayed anticipation at the chalky, red track coiling around the field. But a lucky few, the ones who didn’t forget their headphones, pop in their music and are immediately put at ease.

“I love listening to music when I run,” Sammi Kurtz ’15 said. “It helps distract me.”

Nick Greene ’16 echoed her opinion, saying, “It gives me motivation to run faster.”

Clearly students agree that music helps—but is it all in their heads? Apparently not.

According to Costas Karageorghis, a doctor at Brunel University who specializes in sport psychology, claims that listening to music while running can increase performance by up to 15 percent.

The Connecticut State Department of Education requires gym teachers to follow the regulations in a 42-page booklet when administering the fitness test.  However, in all those pages, there’s no mention of listening to music while running the mile.

Janet Zamary, a physical education teacher, said, “Technically, since it’s a standardized test, everything should be the same—that would mean everyone takes it on the same day, same time, same weather.”

But, she adds, “different beats and cadences could help motivate students.”

So really, she says, “it’s whatever works for that particular student.”

For any student whose staring in horror at that red track—remembering headphones might just make all the difference.

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About the Contributors
Margaux MacColl
Margaux MacColl, Features Editor
This summer Margaux MacColl ’16 was cliff jumping in Africa. As she was preparing to jump, she looked around and realized that of the 200 people on the cliffs, she was the only girl. MacColl was amazed at the societal gender differences compared to her lifelong home, Westport, CT. This, she says is why it’s important to travel. To MacColl it’s necessary to experience people with different values. At Staples, everyone has the same end-goal–college–so to be in another country allows her to understand a perspective that she may not have seen back home. MacColl has always wanted to be a writer, a familiar profession since mother writes novels, but MacColl appreciates the regular publication that is journalism. MacColl sees herself writing features for a magazine so that she can give a voice to the “different perspectives” she finds in her travels. In the same way MacColl likes to dive into dive into different cultures, MacColl also likes to dive into her story topics. In today’s society, she has noticed that you’re not going to read much in print that you haven’t already read online, so print journalism requires in depth research about the topic in order to find an intriguing angle. MacColl likes to find the heart of the news and find an emotional connection to it. Journalism is about “translating empathy through words.” It’s not the news story MacColl cares about, it’s about who was affected by it.  
Jane Schutte
Jane Schutte, Breaking News Managing Editor
Now in her third year, Jane Schutte ’16 is one of the leaders of Inklings. She started Inklings her Sophomore year as Instagram coordinator, then rose to a web features editor and is currently the breaking news editor. Along with Inklings, Schutte’s other main activity is dance. She dances at Westport Dance Academy, taking classes in jazz, ballet, modern and other dance genres, but says her favorite is ballet. Although Schutte is a veteran journalist and dancer, she is also a newbie to other activities at Staples. After having taken 5 years of singing and acting lessons, and having been dancing intensely since the age of 3, Shutte decided over the summer to join Staples Players. She participated in the summer show Godspell, and is cast as the Grandmother in the upcoming show Fiddler on The Roof. Schutte says she is, “excited to do something I’ve never done.”

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