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The Student News Site of The Bishop's School

The Tower

The Student News Site of The Bishop's School

The Tower

The Student News Site of The Bishop's School

The Tower

The Singing Substitute: Meet Mr. Baxter

Joseph Baxter
Mr. Joseph Baxter, Bishop’s substitute and summer school teacher, is an avid singer and loves meditation and sharing his passions with students.

“Learn how to meditate and to practice breathing techniques,” that’s Bishop’s substitute teacher Mr. Joseph Baxter’s advice to students.  

In addition to substituting for various classes, including chemistry, he also teaches two Bishop’s summer classes both of which are offered to fourth through eighth graders. Shark Tank: Beyond the Lemonade Stand promotes entrepreneurship, mimicking the popular TV show Shark Tank. Science FUNdamentals teaches students basic scientific skills through a variety of experiments. 

From his substitute teaching, to his well-known Youtube channel (@swamiganeshadas3349), you likely recognize Mr. Baxter, summer school instructor, and music and meditation lover. 

Mr. Baxter joined Bishop’s in 2020, soon after he moved to San Diego from Northern California. He said, “Every day I drove by, and I saw this beautiful school, and I was like, ‘Oh, that’s a nice school.”

Q: What is your favorite part about working at Bishop’s? 

The students. And the teachers too, but mostly the students… I’ve loved my time here at this school so far. Everyone’s really kind, the teachers are nice, the students are nice, and they like to learn. I can’t know how long I’ll be here. I would like to be here as long as I can, but because of life, maybe I’ll have to move on sometime. But whether I can be here for a long time or not, I’ve enjoyed my stay, and I’ve made a lot of good friends and students that I’m really proud of here.  

Q: What is your favorite class to substitute for? 

Anything with chemistry — all the chemistry classes. I’ve subbed for Dr. Reynolds’s organic chemistry classes a few times, and that was one of my favorites.

Q: What is your favorite Bishop’s tradition?  

Grandparent’s Day. I didn’t actually interact with the grandparents, but as I walked around the campus, I got to see it. That was pretty cool.  

Q: What is the story behind your Youtube channel?

I haven’t done too much on it recently — I put a few songs on there in the past month, but that’s about it. But I went through a period about a year or two ago, when I liked to sing a lot, and what I was doing was bringing in the Indian Vedic mantras — which are in Sanskrit, which is an ancient language. I turned those chants into music that was a little bit more westernized: hip hop, R&B, a couple of Christian songs, but mostly Indian based, chanting, dancing, and kind of groovy music and songs. 

Q: How did you become interested in music and Vedic chanting?  

I have been into chanting since I was a young kid. I’ve done a lot of meditation from a young age and part of the meditation practice is chanting mantras and sounds. So then I found an app called Voloco, and it had music in the background when I was chanting, and when I heard the music, I was like, “Oh, I can chant my songs to that music.” So I put two and two together, and next thing you know, I was recording. Mount Soledad is where I started recording a lot of my songs. After I started my channel, a lot of students got interested, and they started subscribing, and then they kept on telling me to post more songs, so I did.  

Q: So chanting was what inspired you to pursue music?  

Yes — the chanting inspires me, and I’m hoping to inspire other people by doing that too. It’s another way to communicate with the other world. Instead of using the word “God,” I say, “something beyond ourselves.” 

Q: Do you have any advice for students?  

Yes. I would tell them to learn how to meditate and to practice breathing techniques. There are a lot of different breathing techniques for meditation. Focus on the breath — the breathing in and out of the breath. Carry that throughout their life. Learn how to de-stress, and how to get rid of their anger. If they’re having emotional problems and stuff like that, learn to go within themselves to find out who they really are. Schools don’t always teach you too much of that. So, I really just hope that they will really go deep into their own private meditation.

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About the Contributor
Anna Yang
Anna Yang, Staff Writer
Anna is a sophomore, and this is her first year writing for The Tower. Outside of school, she loves playing soccer and reading. She also loves animals, and has recently started fostering kittens! Originally from New York, she likes traveling with her family, and visiting new places. She also enjoys MUN, and her favorite class is French, and she looks forward to being a part of The Tower staff. 

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