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Making His Mark: Haggai Mark Seeks To Incorporate Buddhist Ideals Into Computer Science Classes

By Oscar the Grouch

Staff Trash Lover

Photo by Annika Mango

On Monday, many teachers came in with the expectation of an interesting week ahead of them due to the recent school closure. What the school administration was not expecting was the surprising announcement from high school computer science teacher Haggai Mark. Starting the week after spring break, he stated, all of his CS courses will see a major change in their curriculum.

“For all my life I have been working with technology, but something has changed for me these past couple of months. I’ve decided to convert to Buddhism in order to live a less material and more spiritualistic and fulfilling life,” Mark said.

Originally, Mark wanted to expel all modern-day technology in his classes, instead focusing on meditation and prayers that could help his students build a more mindful and meaningful life. Mark was also purportedly considering trips to temples and other spiritualistic environments.

“I wanted students to experience meditation and the benefits of looking inwards, but I feared that too much outside elements would permanently hinder their growth. I knew that if our students could go to more reserved spaces, that their growth could continue unharmed,” Mark said.

After heated debates this past week between Mark and faculty administrators, the two sides came to a resolution. Future classes taught by Mark will contain “more mindful practices,” but will still involve modern-day technology, per an announcement from Mr. Lemmon. Specifically, the major addition to all of his classes will be a meditation at the beginning and end of the class. The idea behind this, says Mark, is to allow students time to get centered before class, and to allow students to reflect and set goals for themselves on where they can improve after class.

“The focus of my new classes is to build more mindful students. I want intelligent and compassionate people making the technology of the future,” Mark said.

Mark’s classes will also involve looking back on technology — specifically mathematical technology as it applies best to modern day technology — over time to reflect on how ideas about technology and its uses have evolved over time. Modern day technology is still very much the focus of Mark’s classes, but he hopes that by diversifying his classes, they will have a larger impact on his students.

“I want the best for my students, and so I feel that it is my responsibility to set up an environment that will give them the best chance to succeed. I know that some may feel differently, but I truly believe that a more mindful environment established through Buddhism will help my students thrive and become better people,” Mark said.

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