Middle School Pride: Concert at Grace Dart

2014_15_MS_CommServ_Grace_Dart_018Samedi 24 janvier des étudiants du Middle School sont allés donner un concert dans une maison pour personnes agées. Un grand merci à Andrew Fata et M. Cox pour avoir supervisé le contenu du spectacle.

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It was wonderful to see the expression on the elders faces. This experience reminded me of how wonderful it is to work with senior citizens. – Andrew Vandenbussche ’19

Samedi dernier, nous avons eu la chance de participer à un petit concert au Centre de soins prolongés pour personnes âgés de la résidence Grace Dart. Nous étions septs étudiants du Middle School, et nous pensons que nous avons bien joué. C’était une bonne expérience car nous avons vu comment les personnes très agées vivent. J’espère que notre concert a été bien apprécié par les résidents et que nous leur avons donné un peu de joie avec notre musique. - Anthony Fata ’18 et Andrew Fata ’19.

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Student Exchange Australia: Chocolate, Animals and Thongs!

After months of anticipation and waiting eagerly (and 40 hours of travelling on a plane), I can’t believe I have finally arrived in Melbourne, Australia! I have always dreamed of coming here. For the next month I will be staying with my exchange, Erica, her dog Charlie (who still scrambles to stay away from me) and her family, the Gikovskis. They are wonderful people who are absolutely full of adventure.

On January 20 (the day after I arrived), the Gikovskis took me to Phillip Island for a three-night trip. It was approximately a two-hour drive crammed in a car with people I had known for less than twenty-four hours. I have to say it was absolutely worth it to listen to Erica’s little brother, Daniel, chatter the entire ride. We stayed at a hotel across the beach. I stood on the balcony and just enjoyed the view; the clear blue water glittered as the sun shone and the waves rushed to the shore (it’s not something that is seen in Montreal!).

The very same day, my exchange family took me to Panny’s chocolate factory. It was AMAZING. It was not quite as jaw dropping as Willy Wonka’s, but still a pretty close match. There was chocolate artwork including sculptures and a miniature village, one giant cube of dark chocolate weighing one whole ton, and best of all a chocolate waterfall. I even got to make my own chocolate bar. It was like heaven! I ate so many chocolate samples; I wasn’t hungry for lunch or dinner!

The next day was probably my favourite day on Phillip Island. We went to a koala conservation center and a penguin parade! Who doesn’t love furry tree huggers and waddling little birds? Most of the koalas were sleeping. They sleep 20 hours a day, because their diet (leaves) don’t give them enough energy to do anything except eat, sleep and mate. Their bodies are specifically designed to sleep; their butts are padded so they can comfortably sit on tree branches and their paws can effortlessly hold onto trees so they don’t fall off. At night, I went to see the penguin parade. The penguins were about 30cm tall, and they all waddled out of the water towards their burrows. It was adorable to watch!

January 22 was beach day! Did you know Australians wear thongs to the beach? Thongs to Australians are flip-flops to North Americans. I found out the hard way when Erica’s dad asked Erica and I if we were going to wear our thongs to the beach and I was very much confused. I didn’t understand why he would ask me such a bizarre (and inappropriate!) question. Anyway, we went to a surf beach so the waves were massive. It was crazy fun. Erica, Daniel and I stood in the water and waited for the waves to come so we could jump over them. Those were some powerful waves! Some knocked me over, then ran me over, and dragged me to the shore, and then I would get dragged back into the water and get run over by another wave! It was very amusing though. I must say the most important item that day was sunscreen. I have never experienced sunburn. Ever. I got sunburned for the first time in my life that day.

What a great start to my exchange! I had an absolute blast on Phillip Island and I know this is just the beginning. Next time, I will be writing about sports and food! – Lucia Huang ’17, Exchange Student at Ivanhoe Grammar School, Australia

 

Grateful to be a Round Square Student

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I am often asked, with just a hint of suspicion, “What is Round Square?” Quite simply, it is the sum of six ideals, internationalism, democracy, environment, adventure, leadership and service, which, added one to another, equal a philosophy of learning. Those six goals, each important in and by themselves, are bound together to form an integral whole that we call Round Square.

It is a great source of pride to me that these six ideals are so intricately woven in the LCC fabric, so much a part of the LCC student’s daily vocabulary that the six ideals are not so much applied as lived. Community service, the daily exposure to environmental or international issues, or participation in leadership activities are the common lot of all LCC students – much like homework, part and parcel of student life.

This no doubt explains why I am so often asked, “What is Round Square?” Round Square activities are not notable for the LCC student, exposed right from the start to the Round Square philosophy of learning. Round Square activities are quite simply and naturally part of life.

The most spectacular of Round Square activities are perhaps the international exchanges which give LCC students the chance to live for a couple of extraordinary months, the ordinary life of the Peruvian, South African, Australian, Indian or French student. These exchanges often begin with a burst of, until then unsuspected, patriotic pride. There are friendly patriotic tug of wars, where differences are highlighted. By the end of these exchanges, differences between cultures are dismissed as trivial, and there is the profound realization that for all the geographic differences, which, to all appearances, cause abysses between cultures and nations, we are all one humanity. This is a Round Square lesson.

Twice a year, there are Round Square or CAIS conferences for Middle School and Senior School students. LCC students travel, sometimes to far and exotic places, other times to more familiar destinations, to exchange, with other Round Square students, ideas about international or environmental issues. Open dialogue and finding ways of integrating leadership into everyday life is another Round Square lesson.

And then, there are all the other activities, no less important and very much a huge part of Round Square life. These include, but are not limited to, all the community service activities and the environment-oriented activities. The environment committee’s tireless efforts to educate on environmental issues proved effective: all six LCC students sent to Jordan had the urge to turn off the water sprinklers irrigating, all day and all night, the beautiful school campus. That we are all locally responsible for the global good of the earth is a third Round Square lesson.

The Coat Drive to benefit the Share The Warmth organization is a great example of the way LCC students live Round Square ideals. The drive, undertaken enthusiastically, if quietly, was a great success.

A Round Square student is a Round Square person for life. I am a Round Square student, and I, for one, couldn’t be more grateful. – David Elbaz ’15, Round Square Head

 

Student Exchange: Adventures Down Under!

IMG_6854On January 13, I said my goodbyes to my family and embarked on my long but worthwhile journey to Sydney, Australia. I said adieu to the -17°C temperatures and said hello to the 23°C temperatures. I arrived on January 15 in Sydney after a good flight with ten hours of sleep. As I waited, sorry, as I sweated in line at customs to enter Australia for an hour and a half, I wondered how hot it was going to be outside if it was already that hot inside. I started to regret packing my large warm bathrobe and not one, but five heavy sweaters. As I walked through the sliding doors to the waiting area eager to get out of the airport I spotted Georgie, my exchange and her mother Lynn.

Upon my arrival at Lynn, David, Georgie and Eddie’s (their dog) house, I was welcomed and made to feel like I was at home. I received a disapproving bark from Eddie, which I soon found was because I was wearing black rain boots (it wasn’t raining). Once the boots came off, Eddie and I became good friends. My overweight bags were kindly brought to my room as I sat to take a breather from all that heavy traveling. Shortly after I went up to my room and closed my eyes for a little to prepare myself for the Australian adventures ahead.

It took a couple days for the jet lag to wear off, but when it finally did I embarked on the Australian summer life. It was still the holiday when I arrived so I got to spend some of their vacation with them. On the second day since my arrival, we went to Freshwater beach were we enjoyed the sun and the cool ocean water. We finished the day off with fish and chips while watching the sunset. The following day we went into the city. We took the ferry in so we saw a different view of it before we actually explored within. Once we disembarked, David, Georgie’s father, Georgie and I took ourselves on a little tour around the Opera House, which also had a great view of the Harbour Bridge. We took a look at a cute little market and people-watched. We then finished our day off by eating gelato as we watched a humongous cruise ship take off.

On Monday, Georgie’s amazing grandparents took all of us to Kangaroo Island, an Island south of Australia. It was about a 20-minute flight from Adelaide. A warm and welcoming woman named Melissa who escorted us and a few other people to the Southern Ocean Lodge picked us up. After a 50-minute drive to the lodge and a bit of nap, we arrived at our destination. We got off the little bus and as we approached the doors, two men pushed them open for us. That was something I had only ever seen in movies and ads. As we gradually walked in, we shook some of the staffs’ hands an introduced ourselves but what I saw behind them was breathtaking. The view from the Southern Oceans Lodge main sitting area was amazing. The clear and tall windows, which let in so much light allowed for a constant view of the beautiful ocean and beach. While there, we experienced three course meals for lunch and dinner and endless choices on a menu and buffet for breakfast. I thought I was in heaven!

We did many activities while there. It was the 7:00 am wake-up that we got from Georgie’s parents, that I knew that this was not going to be a do-nothing trip. So we got up, started our day with a wonderful breakfast and did a whole bunch of activities ranging from kayaking, to half-day tours to light houses and the remarkable rocks. The amount of wildlife we saw on this trip was amazing. I saw koalas, wallabies, kangaroos, goanna’s and so many types of birds that I didn’t even know existed. Georgie and my favourite activity was jumping into the beautiful plunge pool, eating and drinking from the open bar, where we had an endless supply of Shirley temples and M&Ms. On the last day I contemplated many times staying there for the rest of my life.

When we arrived back in Sydney, I had a couple of days to relax, catch up on work, and meet some of Georgie’s really nice friends. We enjoyed lunch, ice cream, and toasted banana bread with butter. The toasted banana bread was one of the best things I’ve have had in Australia so far. Vegemite is not my thing and I don’t think it ever will be!

School started today and I had a great time on my first day at MLC. I was a little shocked when I found out you were allowed to take your phone out in class and not get a Friday detention but I’m sure I’ll get used to it! Everyone was so nice and welcomed me to their school. I wore my LCC uniform proudly as I walked through the halls excited to see what I would learn from them and what I could teach them. I can say without a doubt that I have had an excellent start to my trip and I can’t wait to see what is coming up for me. I’ll keep you posted. – Rachelle Collins ’17: Exchange Student at the MLC School, Australia

 

 

Abby’s Idayari: Week 2 – Canadian-Zulu Girl Hits Cape Town!

Although I promised this week’s blog would be about South African food and sports, an amazing opportunity came up: Cape Town!

Over the weekend, I travelled to Cape Town with Rodina and her father. Cape town, which is located approximately 1400 kms from Johannesburg, is the second most populated city in South Africa; it is the legislative capital of the country. It is also renowned for its tourist attractions. I was fortunate to discover Cape Town through various modes of transportation. In the short span of two days, I found myself on a plane, a Ferris Wheel, a ferryboat, a car and a cable car.

Plane

Friday morning: my alarm screamed at 4:45 am and we were off to the airport! Several turbulence scares later (yes – still afraid of flying), I found myself in the mountainous, intense wind and sweating-weather of Cape Town. Along with Rodina and her dad, we rented a white, mini, teenage car that was perfect for the occasion. How cool! We then went to the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront.

Ferris Wheel

The V&A Waterfront was spectacular; the water was sharp blue and every store had a unique, vibrant colour. After grabbing a bite to eat in a restaurant on the water, Rodina and I decided to go on a Ferris Wheel to see the amazing scenery from a bird’s eye view. Luckily, we were the only ones on the Ferris Wheel; we therefore got to go around five times and even stop at the top. On one side, we admired Table Mountain and on the other, the Ocean. These are images that will stay with me forever.

Ferryboat

During the afternoon, we took a three-hour tour of Robben Island, the island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years. In order to get there, a ferryboat was necessary. However, the exaggerated waves weren’t. The island is simply fascinating, given its history: in 1990, it was declared a World Heritage Site. The wonderful, air-conditioned tour bus took us around and explained how the inmates and their families lived on the island. After the bus tour, we were fortunate enough to visit the prison Nelson Mandela was in. There, we were allowed to go inside the claustrophobic cells and learn about the prisoner’s rules and activities. I found it interesting to learn that they would organize table tennis tournaments in their rooms and would hide the papers with the scores and team information! Finally, the last thing I got to see was Nelson Mandela’s actual cell.

Car

Now, you’re probably thinking: after I talked about extravagant modes of transportation such as a plane, a ferryboat or a Ferris Wheel, then a car must be extremely boring. Wrong! In this case, our car allowed us to get from V&A Waterfront to the base of Cape Point, while avoiding a grueling four-hour long hike. (Thank you car!) At Cape Point, we were rested enough to walk up the breathtaking mountain to Cape of Good Hope. We also visited the lighthouse of Cape Point, where thankfully the wind did not succeed to blow me over the railing!

Cable Car

The last stop on our adventure was Table Mountain, the most popular tourist attraction in Cape Town. To get to the top of the 3,563 feet above sea-level mountain, we took a cable car. I saw several white knuckles as we were all holding on to our phones for dear life while we were taking pictures. (Note: the cable car did not have windows). Once we reached the top, the view was breathtaking. After a thorough one-hour walk around the entire mountain, we fought amongst the Canon-photo-hungry-tourists for the perfect picture on one of the rocks!

Zulu word of the week

Ezokuthutha: transportation!

My weekend adventure was fantastic. I am completely exhausted but have all week to rest and tend to my crispy-burned face and arms! I look forward to new adventures and discoveries. – Abby Shine ’17, Exchange Student at St Stithians Girls’ College