Student Exchange Daly College: Spirituality, Colour & Opulence

“Today is the time for humanity to recognize its oneness and live in peace and harmony.”2016_2017_StudExchange_JRobeck_DalyCollege_04

This phrase is written outside the Lotus Temple, a Bahá’í temple, located in New Delhi, India’s capital. It is dedicated to the messenger of the gods, Bahá’u’lláh, who believed that all religions were created in order for humans to live in harmony among each other. The Bahá’í religion supports people of all faiths to have free practice of their religion, to become better people.

Here’s a riddle: a golden triangle, a pink city, a lotus flower, a marble palace and a king named Singh. On the week of July 13th we saw the cities of Jaipur, Delhi and Agra, three of India’s most well known cities, which form a triangle in the Northern regions of Rajasthan and Utter Pradesh. After taking a domestic flight to Delhi, we navigated the streets of Delhi using a rented car, much like a game of chess. If one player were to make a move we needed to be prepared to secure ourselves a safer position on the street. We made our way to the Lotus Temple, which is shaped like a white lotus flower, while its inside ceilings are bare and echo the sound of one’s voice. It also has many green gardens that give it a peaceful atmosphere, much like Ghandi’s memorial, which holds the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi, a renowned peacemaker.

As the trip progressed, we visited a number of forts such as the red fort, built along the Yamu River, under the order of Shah Jahan in 1639. Today it is the place where the flag of India is hoisted every August 15th to celebrate national Independence Day. We saw the Qutub minar, which holds an ancient mosque facing the west, towards Mecca, as well as a Hindu temple. Our next stop was the city of Jaipur, which was painted pink in 1876 for the Prince of Wales. There we found breathtaking palaces with its peacock gates and paintings with crushed jem stones decorated to the liking of a king, named Maharaja Jai Singh. Finally, we arrived in Agra and saw a palace made of marble and moonstones, which catch the light at sunrise and sunset. This palace is the Taj Mahal.

Sadly, our trip had come to an end, but I knew there would be more adventures awaiting me. – Jane Robeck ’19 (Student Exchange, Daly Collgee, Indore India)2016_2017_StudExchange_JRobeck_DalyCollege_07

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Student Exchange: Exploring Melbourne and Northern Queensland

IMG_0928After spending more than 20 hours in flight aboard three different planes, I arrived in Melbourne in the morning of July 8 where my exchange, Lachlan, and his family were waiting for me. Although I was very tired from the long trip, I was looking forward to seeing Lachlan again and to finally meet his family. They were all very welcoming and I felt comfortable with them right away.

It is now winter in Australia and Carey Baptist Grammar School is currently on their holiday. We took advantage of time off school to explore the city of Melbourne. We took the train downtown to the Flinders Street Station and explored the Central Business District of the city. We spent some time walking around the Yarra River and visiting places like Federation Square. The city has a lot of very interesting modern art sculptures with a heavy Aboriginal influence, which I thought was very impressive and neat. We also went to the Eureka Tower, which is the tallest building in Australia. From the 88th floor, we could see the entire city, including the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the Art Centre and St Paul’s Cathedral. It was really spectacular! I also got the chance to visit Monash University, where Lachlan’s dad works in physiology. He is doing research on diabetes and obesity and how the brain is linked with these two things, which was really interesting. He had a lot of animals in his basement that he was testing on like rats, mice and rabbits. We also visited a 3D print lab on the campus which was amazing as they were printing with all sorts of different materials, including stainless steel.

I went with my exchange family to Port Douglas in Northern Queensland, where it was much warmer than in Melbourne. Even though we spent a lot of time swimming and going to the beach because it was so warm and nice outside, we also explored different places in the area. We first visited Mossman Gorge, which we got to after driving past what seemed like endless sugar cane fields. The rocks in the gorge were massive and the trees and plants in the area were really colourful and nice to look at. We also went to the Daintree River which was near the gorge and took a crocodile tour. This area is known for having a large crocodile population and we saw quite a few of them. I was amazed at how calm they stayed even though our boat was very near to where they were resting. We also saw some unique birds and a few tree snakes whilst on the river.

On another day, we went up to Cape Tribulation, which is a massive beach on the coast of the Northern Queensland that James Cook found when he first discovered Australia in 1770. On the way to the beach, we stopped at the Daintree Discovery Centre, where we learned about the oldest rainforest in the world and how the ecosystem worked in that part of Australia. It was very interesting to learn about this unique place because I never would have expected that there would be a rain forest in Australia but it was quite remarkable. They were also showing many old animals that lived in Australia that are now extinct, including dinosaurs and procoptodons, which are sort of like giant kangaroos. When we arrived at the Cape, I was shocked at how untouched the place was and how they’ve kept the water and the beach so beautiful.

However, the highlight of the trip for me was when we went snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef. I didn’t really know what to expect since I had never snorkeled before but it was an amazing experience. We went to three different places on the reef and we were able to see many different fish, sharks, oysters and corals living together. Some of the fish were so brightly colored and fluorescent it was as if they were artificial. We also saw massive grouper fish and even a couple reef sharks. The coral was also impressive and we could see how important it is in providing shelter and food to the other organisms in the sea. Although I wasn’t able to take a physical memory of what I saw, this was something that I will definitely not forget. It was an awesome first week that I really enjoyed. I discovered a lot about hidden parts of Australia that I didn’t previously know about and I’m happy I had the chance to visit these special places.

School will restart soon and I will be able to participate in classes and meet new people, which I am looking forward to. Even though I am going to school in the summer, I’m sure that it will be a very unique experience and I can’t wait to start! – Andrew Fata ’19 Exchange Student at Carey Baptist Grammar School

Student Exchange: The Treasures of Indore, India

StudExchange_2016_2017_Robeck_DalyCollege_05One message of Hinduism is that you should stay calm in the face of adversity and not let fear overpower your peace. This is represented by the Hindu god Vishnu, when he remains still, while floating on the cosmic waters of the universe, surrounded by many headed snakes.

When I first arrived in India, I saw many people driving their scooters on the busy streets that had no stop lights. It was surprising!

As time progressed, I began to experience the hidden treasures of Indore: the temples, the festivals, the food, the call to prayer. One temple was called the Kanch Mandir, and it was a mosaic Jain temple. Its interior was decorated using millions of handcrafted shards of glass and the inside glittered when the sunlight bounced off the walls. Another temple featured statues of the gods, with large murals that told the story of how they came to be, and at the front stood two large elephants.

When I walked in our neighbourhood temple, I could smell the incense burning, as women dressed in saris brought their offerings to the god, Shiva. Outside these temples was the city, which, is the home to many venders trying to sell their goods to the general public. I found many fruit stands, selling mangoes and bananas, as well as stalls selling jewelry and other handmade goods. I even attended an Indian engagement ceremony, and saw the mix of both traditional and modern attire, as happy people danced to Indian pop music on the dance floor. I opened my eyes, and cherished the feelings of celebration, and joy. I was starting to feel more and more at ease, especially given the warm welcome ceremony of my host family.

Finally, Daly College reminds me of the lost city of Atlantis, with its dome shaped roof tops and its spread out campus. I saw the beauty of the lost city, and focused on all the adventures I would have in the near future! – Jane Robeck ’19 (Student Exchange @ Daly College)

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Student Exchange: A Taste of Everything in Buenos Aires

Avinash_LalOn June 21, I took a 13-hour flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Argentina is such a great place with a lot of amazing people. So far I am having a great time and learning more about Argentine culture. I am very happy here in Argentina and I’m sure this feeling will last for the entire trip.

I’ve made many new friends at Belgrano Day School. Most are in my classes, but there are also some people I met during lunch and other activities. Everyone at BDS is very nice and welcoming. Whenever I enter a new class, the students give me a place to sit, the teacher introduces them to me and then lets me introduce myself to the class. There are six other exchanges currently at the school with me, all from different places in the United States: Colorado, North Carolina and New York. I am the only Canadian and the only one from my school.

The Belgrano Day School campus is much like LCC. They are both day schools and have a similar sized campus (though LCC is bigger), but instead of having fields on campus, when we have gym class we take a 30-minute drive to the fields that the school owns.

I have done a lot of different things, such as a walking tour of the city, visiting different neighbourhoods, and watching the school play, which was utterly amazing. Over 100 students joined the musical play, The Wedding Singer, and it was extremely well done.

The food is also very good in Argentina with a lot of meat products, such as steaks, milanesas and asado, Argentine dishes. Their desserts are also very good. They have medialunas which look like croissants but taste a bit different, and also alfajores, a cookie filled with dulce de leche, their version of maple syrup.

The main differences between Canada and Argentina are that there is no snow in the winter, the class setup, and the driving.

In Buenos Aires, even during the coldest time of year, July (yeah, that’s surprising), you will not find a trace of snow anywhere. This is not how I imagine winter, since in Canada temperatures can go down to -40º Celsius.

The class setup is different in that students stay in the same class and teachers change classes. There are some classes that they have to move for, such as art, music and lab, but they mostly keep the same classroom. The school day starts at 8:15 am but ends at 4:05 pm. Eight hour school days instead of seven! There are many classes that are in Spanish, but I didn’t choose them as there was enough Spanish being spoken in the English classes and my Spanish is not quite up to par with theirs. Each period is 40 minutes and are in groups of two, so if you don’t have lunch during that group of two, you have the same class for 80 minutes instead.

Finally, the driving is very different as well. In Canada, most people are respectful of pedestrians, but in Argentina you better watch out because they will not stop for you. The bus drivers are crazy as they rarely obey street signs and don’t look out for people walking.

I am having a lot of fun and I am glad I have much longer to stay. I have enjoyed going everywhere whether it is to the top of a lighthouse in the middle of the city with the other exchanges, or to a different neighborhood where the walls have graffiti art on them. I am truly having an amazing time in Argentina. – Avinash Lal ’19, Exchange Student at Belgrano Day School

 

 

 

 

 

 

Head’s Blog: Innovation Generation

DSC_0009I love Post-it notes! There are always a lot of them stuck on things around my office workspace and they help keep me organized and focused. Post-it Notes are so simple and the story of their creation is also a fantastic symbol of innovation and the impact of innovative thinking.

In 1968, while trying to develop a heavy-duty glue, a chemist at 3M accidentally created a very light adhesive called microspheres. As the development was unintentional, the microsphere adhesive was basically shelved. Several years later in 1974, a different person from 3M took that light adhesive and found a personal practical application for it. He was in a choir and marked important pages in his songbook with folded pieces paper that slipped out every time he held it up. So by using the light adhesive he found he could mark pages with small sheets of paper that didn’t fall out. Essentially, that was the birth and invention of what eventually became a very useful product.

Yet, it wasn’t until six years later that the Post-it Note was fully developed and marketed. In 1980, Post-it Notes went global as a product and spread immediately like a virus. Despite digital Post-it Notes today, the paper versions still remain very popular, with sales of more than $50 billion annually.

The Post-it Note is a classic innovation story. It was the product of active development, lots of iterations, unexpected results and a “eureka moment”.

I mention this because of what I saw last Thursday evening at our second annual LCC Design & Innovation Fair, an impressive event where Middle and Senior School students presented products and services they developed over recent months. The students were creative, courageous and passionate about developing an innovator’s mindset. Commendations to all involved!

I don’t think we’re ready to patent anything yet, but I’m certain that eventually that will happen. Until then, what’s most important is that more and more LCC students embrace an innovator’s mindset and familiarity with a cycle that includes comfort with brainstorming of ideas, endless problem-solving, refinement, marginal improvement and acceptance of incremental change as true achievement.

If you haven’t visited our LCC Fabrication Lab behind the LCC Store, take the time to do so. I urge all of our students to take advantage of this special makerspace and maybe, just maybe, they’ll discover the inventor hiding within!