An Amazing Tioman Island Experience

Ludwick_PreConference_Blog_2015We began our journey at 7:00 am at the Pierre-Elliott Trudeau Airport last Saturday, September 26. After our departure, we soon realized the next time we would be able to sleep in a bed would be the following Monday, a full two days later (taking the 12-hour time difference into consideration).

Furthermore, during those first two days, we took three planes, a two-hour bus ride, two hot ferry rides, and an hour-long car drive to Tioman Island, Malaysia. This is where we spent our first week for the Pre-Conference of the Round Square International Conference 2015-2016.

This past week has been filled with new places, foods, and cultures, as well as many laughs, and even a few tears. Overall, I had experiences I will never forget. We went snorkeling, and saw all kinds of interesting species of fish in the diverse coral reefs of Tioman Island. We also took in the sights, sounds, smells, and heat while hiking the dense island rainforest. Furthermore, we learned about the turtle initiative that takes place on the island: Volunteers have opened a hatchery in an attempt to preserve the turtle population on the island.

My favorite experience was the agriculture project; we were invited to a family’s private property to taste and actually plant some traditional fruits and vegetables. It amazed me to see this different side of living, especially with such limited resources, as it is an island! It seemed that every person we met was kinder and even more generous than the last. After being there only a few days we could really see the sense of community among those living on Tioman Island.

Despite the hazy skies, which created a grey backdrop for all of our photographs, and forced us to cancel our camping trip, we really had an enjoyable week on the island. At the same time, we’re happy to be going back to Singapore to enjoy a long, warm shower and well-deserved rest after another day of crazy transportation, including a ferry trip on choppy waters caused by an early morning thunderstorm. – Mikaela Ludwick ’16

L’Honorable Juge Trahan parle aux élèves du cours de droit

Anne-Marie_TrahanDans le cadre de la participation au concours d’écriture sur le droit des enfants, l’honorable Anne-Marie Trahan, c.r. a rendu visite à Lower Canada College pendant le cours de droit.

Madame Trahan a exercé le droit à Montréal de 1968 à 1979, au sein du cabinet maintenant connu sous le nom de Lavery, puis elle a poursuivi sa carrière comme juriste au service du droit commercial international du Bureau des affaires juridiques des Nations-Unies; elle travaillait à Vienne. Nommée par la suite commissaire à la Commission canadienne des transports (1981-1986), elle a été sous-ministre déléguée, droit civil et services législatifs, au Ministère fédéral de la Justice de 1986 à 1994. Elle a été juge de la Cour supérieure du Québec du 5 juillet 1994 au 30 juillet 2010. Elle se consacre maintenant à diverses activités au sein d’organismes à but non lucratif.

Voici les commentaires des élèves suite à la discussion :

La semaine dernière, Juge Trahan a visité notre école pour nous parler du droit des enfants au Québec et autour du monde. Elle nous a enseigné un peu sur nos droits en tant que mineurs et c’était un grand plaisir de l’écouter parler.
– Ryan Hawa ’16

L’autre jour, j’ai eu l’occasion de rencontrer et de parler avec la Juge Trahan, une femme qui a travaillé dans le système de justice du Québec pendant de nombreuses années. Nous avons parlé des droits de l’enfant, non seulement au Québec, mais partout dans le monde. C’est toujours un plaisir d’écouter ce qu’elle a à dire, et je suis chanceuse d’avoir eu la chance de l’entendre parler à nouveau.
– Christina Papageorgakopoulos ’16

J’ai beaucoup aimé quand la Juge Trahan est venue nous parler car elle est drôle quand elle parle et elle avait beaucoup à dire. Quand on posait une question elle allait en profondeur pour nous répondre le mieux possible. C’était très intéressant de rencontrer quelqu’un qui a déjà envoyé une personne en prison, mais aussi qui était une bonne avocate puisqu’elle a pu devenir juge.
– Madison Llano ’16

J’ai trouvé la visite de la juge dans notre classe de droit très intéressante et j’aimerais bien en savoir plus sur le droit criminel et le code civil. En effet, ça ma juste renforcé dans mes intentions de découvrir plus des choses sur le droit international, le code civil et le droit criminel.
– Giuliano Latella ’17

Lors de la visite de Mme Juge Trahan, j’ai appris plein de nouveaux faits et lois sur le Québec. La juge Trahan nous a enseigné le droit d’une façon intriguante et plaisante. Elle a répondu en détail à toutes mes questions sur le droit des enfants au Quebec, avec enthousiasme! Le fait le plus captivant que j’ai appris c’est que l’article 33 répond à la majorité des questions que j’ai sur le droit des enfants au Québec.
– Ryan Garber ’17

J’ai bien aimé la visite du Juge Trahan. Elle avait une très belle personnalité et elle m’a éduqué beaucoup sur le droit en nous disant son expérience passée dans la domaine du droit. Aussi, elle répondait à nos questions avec une telle facilité et ceci m’ impressionnait beaucoup.
– Adam Mahrouse ’17



Just Do It!

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I congratulated our grade 7-11 students this morning on a fine start to the school year. There’s a palpable buzz on our campus. Teachers are impressed with students’ positive engagement in the classroom, and our athletic teams have been busy practicing, playing, and preparing for an exciting fall season of competition. For those students who are uncommitted, it’s not too late. If they’re shy and haven’t tried out for a team, I urged them to be brave, ask a friend what’s involved, or find the coach, and give a team/activity a try. Young people never regret being part of a team – and pulling on an LCC jersey. As Nike says, they need to “just do it”!

We are having a club and activities fair later this week (Thursday). The same message about involvement applies: students should dive in with both feet and try a new activity or build a new skill. They need to accept a challenge and see where it takes them. We’re lucky at LCC as there’s a lot of choice here – literally something for everyone.

On that front, I believe our greatest experts are actually in our Junior School. What high school students need is a healthy dose of “Grade 3 attitude.” Grade 3 kids will try anything. Generally speaking, they don’t doubt themselves, they want to try everything – and at that age, enthusiasm is a core skill. So we can all learn from the little ones.

One area of special focus this year at LCC is wellness. As such, I asked the students to also consider the right activity so they can balance their day and week. They shouldn’t sign up for five clubs that they cannot truly commit to.  Balance matters. They should avoid stress that comes from over-commitment.

Regarding student wellness, a key person in every student’s life at LCC is the advisor. These teachers are not just available to supervise snack or lunch: they want to get to know the “whole student,” including special interests, preferences and idiosyncrasies. In an effort to strengthen that relationship, this year we are reserving one Tuesday Assembly period per month for advisory time. This should allow students to be less rushed and have time to connect in more meaningful ways with their advisors.

In addition to the grade 3s, students can also learn from our grade 7s. They all spent last week in an orientation where they learned about EF Skills. Executive Functioning skills include: organization, planning, self-control (the capacity to delay gratification), brain awareness, and the importance of possessing a positive mindset. The last one is perhaps most important. Research has shown that the development of a growth mindset is essentially a huge factor in all learning. It sounds simple – maintain a growth mindset. But in practice, too many teens listen to the self-doubt and negative thoughts swimming in their heads that limit their development.

So every student who declares “I’m no good at math,” or “I’m a terrible artist” or “I hate reading,” will likely make that a self-fulfilling prophesy by promoting the attitude that they lack ability or potential.

I urged our students to believe in themselves and their potential and in the sheer beauty of possibility. If they carry that growth mindset through the year, they will surely surpass their expectations.

I can’t wait to see it happen at all levels! – Chris Shannon, Headmaster






Adventures in Alice Springs, Australia

IMG_0009After arriving safe and sound in Alice Springs, Australia, and having a few days to adjust to the time change, I started my student exchange at St. Philip’s College.

My trip to Mittagundi began at the airport in Alice Springs where I was overwhelmed to be met by many new faces (and accents), eager to learn everything about me. When we got to camp, we were split into groups. At the beginning, we were a group of 21 kids, all strangers to me, but at the end of the ten days, we turned into a family of 21 and had established a bond that can never be broken. The really adventurous part of the trip began with our three-day ski trip up in the snow, staying there for two nights. Most of the students had never seen snow and were hypnotized by the white powered substance beneath their feet. They quickly learned the down side of winter weather as the night came and the thermometer dropped to normal Montreal temperatures. We rounded out the trip with three days on the farm cooking, cleaning, woodworking, and blacksmithing.

My first exchange outing with St. Phillip’s College was to a kangaroo sanctuary where we were able to hold a joey (baby kangaroo) and walk alongside Australia’s wildlife. Not only did we see many kangaroos, but we also saw many different types of birds, such as really noisy kookaburras and parrots.

St. Philip’s has taken us on many other outings. We went to a reptile centre the other day. There are lots of reptiles in the desert. We were also taken to a Didgeridoo show.  A didgeridoo is a wind instrument developed by the Indigenous Australians in Northern Australia. We even got to play one. To end the day, we went on a camel ride.

I have been on some amazing trips and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me here at St. Philip’s.

- Drew Hardiman ’17

Week Three in Australia: Kangaroos and Country Week

My third week of school in Australia went by fast. I spent it hanging out with all my new friends at school. It was my third and last week at Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School. On Friday, I said my goodbyes to most of my friends and had them sign my flag. I also signed up to go to Country Week, a type of mixed sports tournament, (instead of a work experience for the next week) and many of my friends were also going. After school that day, we took the bus home and invited a few people to hang out for Kasper’s upcoming 16th birthday. Many of my new friends showed up and we all had a good time. On Saturday morning, they all headed out and Kasper and I decided we would visit the local wildlife park. At this park, you can buy animal food and feed it to certain animals. I saved mine for the kangaroos. We went to see them last and it was really awesome for me because the closest I’d ever come to a kangaroo was around 30 feet away, the time I’d tried to chase one to get a picture of it. Being a wild kangaroo, it was timid and bounced away, but here, they were close. I got to feed a kangaraoo out of my hand and pat it.

The next day I left for Country Week. Country Week is a huge high school sports event and lots of schools come from all over Australia to compete. This year, 3,700 kids were in attendance to represent their schools. I was signed up for the touch rugby team because it was the only sport I was familiar with. I play rugby back home, but touch was new to me. I didn’t play all that much, because I wasn’t familiar with the different rules between touch and regular rugby, but sports were the least important part of the week. I went to Country Week initially because I wanted a bit more time with my friends – and that’s what I got. I roomed with a few of my friends and hung out with the others whenever I could. The week was very entertaining, and I got to learn more on Footie and Netball while supporting the BCGS teams. The week ended with closing ceremonies and BCGS tied for second.

- Garrett Doyle ‘17