Round Square International Conference Jordan 2014: Student Reflections

2014_15_RS_Inter_Conf_Jordan_005It sometimes happens, though not at all frequently, that a setting is so extraordinary, foreign and exotic that it will steal the show and threaten to make one forget primary themes. Jordan is such a setting. It is a country so exciting that we could be forgiven for forgetting, for a little while, that the point is not really the country but the Conference itself and that a setting is merely background to highlight the main message. The Conference, then, is the highlight. Internationalism was a somewhat abstract concept for me; being a delegate at the Round Square conference in Jordan at the beginning of October became a lesson in applied internationalism. I learned that internationalism is so much more than just traveling thousands of miles to a foreign country. It is more than the pleasure of mingling with students of different nationalities. Internationalism is more than getting Facebook requests from students in South Korea, Dubai or Jordan. Internationalism means to discover that peace, universally desired, holds different meaning for different people and that there exists widely differing visions on how to achieve peace. It means arguing with students from 80 Round Square schools, but ultimately finding common ground in our belief in an education based on such pillars as democracy and leadership. It means getting a renewed hope in dialogues between countries, and an understanding that we are indeed part of a global village.David Elbaz ’15

Travelling to Jordan for the Round Square Conference was an extremely eye opening experience. While it was incredible to see people ride donkeys and camels on the side of a busy highway, or walk through Petra, one of the Seven Wonders of the World the true eye opener was that for once us “North-Americans” felt like a small minority. On the first night of our conference, we heard a speech about the Palestine-Israel conflict that was very clearly pro-Palestine. Because of my background the speech made me feel slightly uncomfortable, and I quickly realized that there are so many different ways to view an issue and attaining peace isn’t as easy as I’d thought. From then on, we discussed many other prominent issues in the Middle East, such as Syrian Refugees, ISIS and the Israel vs. Hamas conflict.Jessie Lackstein ’15

Al salamu alaikum, Peace be With You was the theme for this Conference. Guest Speaker Shabana Basij-Rasikh and her mission truly encompassed this theme.  She was a notable guest speaker that had an amazing impact on us. At the age of six, the Taliban invaded her town restricting her from receiving any schooling. The consequences in Afghanistan for a woman to attend school or walk alone outside without male escort is death. Luckily in 2002, Shabana was given the opportunity to attend a proper high school in the USA. She then went on the Middlebury College as a student and went on to co-found the only boarding school for girls in Afghanistan. Shabana felt the responsibility to found a girl school in her own country as a way to give back after being given so much opportunity in her own life. She did not want to say that she was empowering the girls who attend her school as she see’s that word as condescending but simply educate them in hopes of a more prosperous future for the next female generation in Afghanistan. Today, SOLA, is free for the 42 Afghani girls who attend her school.Nora Althani ’15

One story from this conference I’d like to share is that of one of the bravest men I’ve ever met, Sariah Samake, an 18 year old grade 10 student. While most of you may associate being older than your grade with failure, Sariah’s story is a little more complex. Living in Syria, he was kidnapped three times in three years: by Syrian rebels, the Syrian government, and ISIS. Each respective time, he had to endure unbearable psychological torture, yet he never compromised the truth, even under gunpoint, with death staring him in the face. To me, that’s what makes these trips worthwhile: the incredible people you meet. Whether it’s someone like Sariah who can tell life-changing stories firsthand, or simply someone who you talk to once, each individual offers a unique perspective of the world and society we live in, challenging our dogmatism and offering exposure to the amazing world around us.Spencer Albert ’15

A ce point ci, mes camarades ont dit tout qui est profond. Cette conférence était la même chose pour moi, mais je veux parler de quelque chose différente ; Petra. Un poste de commerce d’antiquité, Petra était ciselé dans la pierre par les Nabateans Anciens. Notre randonnée nous à pris jusqu’au sommet d’une montagne déserte, et sur la piste nous avons vues des constructions qui ont donnés un nouveau sens au mot « Épique ». Après un vue spectaculaire en haut du montagne, nous avons retournés  à l’Autobus par âne et chameau. Petra est une destination absolument fantastique et il faut y aller pour vraiment savourer Jordanie.Maxim Makarov ’15

De la part de Jessie, Nora, Max, David, Spencer et moi, nous voudrions remercier Mme Shadley,  M. Shannon et Mme Garber, qui nous a accompagnés pendant ce voyage extraordinaire et inoubliable. Sans eux, nous n’aurions jamais eu cette chance d’explorer la beauté inspirante du Moyen-Orient  et d’apprendre la diversité des cultures et les défis qui viennent avec. De plus,  nous avons beaucoup apprécié l’accueil chaleureux de tous les élèves de King’s Academy et un grand merci à tous les autres élèves autour du monde, qui ont participé à cette conférence mémorable. Al Salamu Alaikum. Peace be with you. Merci. – Sabrina Chan ’15

PHOTOS 

Le Middle School Pride échange des idées avec d’autres écoles du Round Square

GlenlyonOn Wednesday October 22, Jake Burnett, the Principal of the Middle School of Glenlyon Norfolk School in Victoria, BC, attended our Wednesday morning Middle School Pride meeting.  Mr. Burnett spoke to us regarding collaboration between the two Middle School leadership groups. We have planned a Skype conference in the coming weeks.

Durant la réunion précédente, nous avons aussi réalisé une courte vidéo pour communiquer avec l’école Westminster en Australie. Nous voulons échanger nos idées d’activités organisées et comment améliorer l’environnement des étudiants au Middle School. - Anthony Fata ’18

Last week, Jake Burnett, the Principal of the Middle School of Glenlyon Norfolk School in Victoria, BC came to our Middle School Pride meeting. Even though he was slightly jetlagged, he was very enthusiastic and outgoing. He sat in on our meeting and gave us constructive feedback.

Ceci fut une très bonne idée puisque cela nous a permis de crée une nouvelle connection avec une autre école. Nous avons partagé des idées avec lui. Nous espérons faire une vidéoconférence sur Skype dans le futur. – Abby Shine ’17

 

Student Exchange: Cheers from Melbourne, Australia!

beautiful_city_of_melbourneOn Friday, October 10, I left Montreal for Melbourne, Australia. I was very excited to see Connor again and to meet all the kids at Carey Grammar. From what Connor had told me, I knew what to expect, but I was still a little bit nervous. What if I don’t like the kids? What if I’m not able to keep up with the schoolwork? What if I didn’t like my host mother’s cooking? These were all little things that nagged me while I was on the plane, but I pushed them to the back of my mind.

Because of a strange flight schedule, I had an 11-hour layover in Los Angeles. I took the time to meet up with my cousin Bryant, who I had not seen for the longest time. They took me around LA and I saw some famous Los Angeles landmarks, such as Rodeo Drive and Sunset Boulevard. Bryant is a high-end car aficionado, so we drove by the dealerships for Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, and many more. Every time we saw a fancy car on the street, he made sure to point out what make and model it was. After driving around LA for almost an hour, he took me on a hike in the foothills. At the summit, we had a 360° breathtaking view of LA. I saw the Hollywood sign, downtown and Century City in the distance. It was a great way to cap off the day.

The one thing I was worried about most was sleeping on the plane ride, but that took care of itself. After getting up at 5:30 am Montreal time and having to stay up until my 11:00 pm LA time flight, I was exhausted and ended up sleeping 11 of the 15 hours on the plane. I started to get butterflies as the plane approached Melbourne on Sunday morning. The questions that I had pushed to the back of my mind started to come back. What if I got stuck in customs? I think I may have checked to see if I still had my passport about every 30 seconds. Luckily, passport control was no problem and I breezed right through and connected with my host family.

My first thought was that everything is backwards here. We drive on the right, they drive on the left. We’re about to start winter, they’re about to start summer. We have 2% fat milk, they have 98% fat free milk (no I’m not making that up). It took a really long time to get used to the accents. I didn’t understand anyone for the first few days I was here. I think I broke a record for saying the words “What?” or “Sorry, can you repeat that?” Eventually I got used to it, and I think I might develop some Australian mannerisms while I’m here (especially the words “oy” and “cheers”). The kids here at Carey are super nice and I’m having an amazing time. I am so happy I am getting to experience this amazing country. I do miss everyone in Montreal though, and I can’t wait to see you all again. – Sam Freder ’17

P.S. Go Habs go! What a start to the season!

Adventures Await in Armidale, Australia!

CricketDuring an incredibly long flight and travelling for two and a half days, the only thing I could think about was what my “home” for the next six weeks was going to be like…what are Australians like? Should I shake hands with kids to introduce myself?

I had no clue what adventures awaited me in this foreign country thousands of miles away. I was still incredibly excited while having no idea what to be excited about. Once I arrived in Armidale, I was driven directly to TAS, The Armidale School, where I Immediately jumped right into the school life getting my schedule and choosing between classes that seemed completely different to me.

While all I wanted to do was just take a nice shower and sleep, I knew I had to wake up and start meeting people. Within hours I was already settled in and had made friends and knew that I was going to enjoy my time here. I am now on my fifth day at TAS and I have enjoyed every minute. I am learning the new sport of cricket and giving class lessons on the unknown sport of ice hockey!

I am still working on understanding the strong Australian slang and I am very excited to find out what wonders Armidale has to offer! – Philippe Miller ’17, Exchange Student at The Armidale School, Armidale, Australia

First Edition of The LCC Tree: Treetober!

TreesHello Lions! Welcome to the first post of The LCC Tree, a blog that discusses one environmental topic once a month. This blog will also include really easy tips on what you can do as a person to help, and will also contain initiatives that the SS Green Team will be organizing so you know what you can do to help out at LCC. Finally, to keep things interesting, at the end of each blog, there will be a variety of media links, including informational sites, fact sheets and other web blogs, you can look into if you want to know more.

As our trees are just finishing their spectacular firework of the different tones of red, yellow and orange, what better topic is there to discuss this month other than those very things: trees.

Trees are a catalyst for life in many aspects. Obviously, their most important role is to consume carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and return the precious oxygen that all life forms on earth require, however, did you know there are over a dozen other ways that trees can contribute to our overall life quality?

Let’s start with a few other oftentimes-unseen uses. First of all, trees provide a basis for life for many animal species and foster ecosystems necessary for the survival of many individuals. In fact, coming from the World Wild Life organization, 80% of all land biodiversity exists in and depends on forests and wooded areas. This means that without trees, most of the animals and plants we have come to know and love will never be able to exist.

Not to mention, we ourselves also depend on forests in our lives. Wood is used in many of our buildings (just look at our LCC dining room!) as well as the making of many commodities. What is a pencil made of? What type of material is your desk, in school and in your home, made from? Where did we get the paper in our notebooks, and in our annual LCC Reads, The Alchemist? Furthermore, I should mention that trees contribute about $24 billion dollars to our economy in Canada, generates more than 190 000 jobs in the forest industry and is the reason why Canada is the primary newsprint producer. So you can see here how we as humans depend on this resource.

Trees also take part in improving our mood as they add color and vigour to our regular, and sometimes repetitive, lives, especially during the fall season. Every morning, when you arrive to school by bus, car, bike or other means, if you have stopped for a moment and looked at our LCC campus or the trees planted along Monkland, you will know what I mean. The vibrant and picturesque colours of those trees have a certain calming effect on the street and our campus.

Sadly, because 80% of all land biodiversity depends on wooded areas, this makes deforestation a pretty effective method of exterminating life on our planet. However, what can we as the population do?

Ways you can help

The easiest and most efficient of all methods is probably to reuse paper and recycle it properly. Reusing paper will not only save you money but lets you make the most of each tree which was put into the composition of the paper. Got a used piece of paper that’s still blank on one side? Keep it in a separate box as scrap paper, so whenever you want to write calculations for a math assignment or plan out an outline for an english essay, you can reuse the paper. Teachers also keep a special box for scrap paper as well, so if you have any paper that’s still blank on one side during class, don’t be afraid to give it to your teacher as spare paper!

If it’s not possible to do the above, you can also opt to recycle the paper. Recycling is a great alternative, albeit not as good as reusing before recycling. When recycling, however, be conscious about other things you are putting into the recycling bin. Paper can be recycled with other paper products so long as it doesnt have any sort of paint or glue on the paper. This is because the process of recycling paper uses a lot of water, so paint or glue will affect the final outcome after recycling. Moreover, if a paper recycling bin contains something else that’s not a paper product, that entire bin cannot be recycled unless that object is removed, so if you are recycling, you must be careful with what you put into your recycling bin.

IMPORTANT!

As a reminder, LCC’s green, plastic recycling boxes only recycle clean products. This means if you plan to recycle carton, plastic, paper, juice boxes or others, be sure they don’t have anything inside or on the product. For paper, watch for paint and glue as they disrupt their recycling process. For juice boxes and other fluid containers, be sure that they don’t have any juice, milk, etc. in them before putting them in the recycling bins. This goes for the metallic recycling bins as well.

Finally, if you would like to extend your support again at LCC, you can always participate in the SS Green Team’s Treetober Campaign. Starting from October 22 until Halloween, during the advisory periods, we will be accepting donations for the organization we are supporting: One Tree Planted. If you make a donation of $15 or more, you will also be given a free Tree Hugger t-shirt!

For all of Senior School, there will also be a bake sale during the lunch period on October 22. Last but not least, there will also be t-shirt raffles happening in the house office and in and around locker rooms for a chance to win another free Tree Hugger t-shirt! One ticket costs $2 but three tickets will cost $5, and along with the purchase of each ticket, you will also obtain some candy along with it. – Andrew Zhang ’17

Media Archives

Learn more about the organization supported by Treetober! http://onetreeplanted.org/

If you would like to support One Tree Planted and its cause via online donations, you may also donate here.

Another way you can help the environment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iIkOi3srLo

Know how to properly recycle not only paper, metal and plastic, but also books, old computers, bottle caps, old furniture, and more. In short, visiting this site basically makes you a recycling master: http://www.earth911.com

If you’re interested in reading some more, here’s another blog about the environment written by Hannah Alper, a young person passionate about the environment: http://www.callmehannah.ca/