Student Exchange: From Beaches and Waterfalls to the Sydney Opera House

StudExchange_LadyMethodist_EWaxman_2016_2017_001Over the past week, I have gotten to see and do so much. Even though the weather hasn’t been the best, with rain almost every day, we did get two sunny days on the weekend. On Saturday, we went to Dee Why beach and I went into the Pacific Ocean for the first time. The temperature outside and in the water was great, and although the current was too dangerous to go swimming, we walked along the beach, went up a cliff and saw a great view, and then went swimming in an ocean pool. An ocean pool is a pool built on the beach that is filled with ocean water. It was really nice going in the pool because, unlike the ocean, there were no sharks in there!

After our day at the beach, we had fish and chips while watching the sunset over the water, and then we went home. The next day, we woke up early to go to the Blue Mountains, an area that got its name because of the density of Eucalyptus trees. We spent the day hiking to waterfalls, lookouts, and enjoying the nice weather. Our first stop in the mountains was at a national park where we saw wild kangaroos. I got a lot of pictures of the mountains and with the kangaroos. We then went from lookout to lookout getting tons of pictures. I saw the three sisters, a famous rock formation in the Blue Mountains, and then we went for lunch in a valley. The weather was great and we had an amazing time.

It ended up raining nonstop for the rest of the week but by the time the weekend came it cleared up again. I’ve only seen a live recording of an opera in a movie theatre with my grandfather, so seeing La Traviata Saturday night at the Sydney Opera House was a once in a lifetime experience. The Opera House was filled with windows that had great views of the harbour and when it got dark at intermission, Sarah, her mom Janet and I, went out on one of the balconies and took pictures of the Harbour Bridge and Luna Park, an amusement park in Sydney, all lit up. The costumes and the set for La Traviata were fantastic, and some of the notes the lead vocalists hit were amazing. I had such a great time and really enjoyed the performance.

On Sunday, we went to Darling Harbour to walk around and go to the aquarium. It was overcast again but we were able to take the ferry to the harbour. While the ferry got closer to the city, we could see the Sydney tower through the fog and a lot of new glass buildings along the water. Before going into the aquarium, we walked around the harbor and saw a model of the boat that James Cook used when he discovered Sydney. After a short but heavy rainstorm, the sky cleared up and it was really sunny outside. We walked around the water some more, and then went to the aquarium where we saw a whole bunch of different aquatic animals native to Australia. There were Jellyfish that changed colours, different types of coral, stingrays, dugongs, sharks, and many other types of fish and crustaceans. I really don’t like sharks but I found it very cool being able to go through a glass tunnel to see them swim over us.

Already three weeks in and I have seen and done so much. I have pushed myself to try new things and I have made so many memories that I am sure to remember for the rest of my life. This trip has been amazing and I can’t wait to experience everything the remaining three weeks have to offer. -Ella Waxman ’19, Student Exchange at Methodist Ladies’ College

De très, très, très vieux livres exposés à LCC

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La bibliothèque juive de Montréal offre des ateliers pour présenter des livres anciens. Ceci a permis aux élèves de pouvoir toucher, sentir et lire des livres du XVe au XVIIe siècle.

Voici des commentaires des élèves

Aujourd’hui, nous avons eu le privilège d’interagir avec des bibliothécaires du JPL.C’était très intéressant et j’ai appris beaucoup sur des livres anciens.

Aujourd’hui nous sommes allés écouter deux personnes qui travaillent à une bibliothèque publique juive. Après leur présentation, nous avons mis des gants de protection pour prendre soin des livres, nous les avons touchés et regardés avec attention.

Ce matin, j’ai touché une partie de l’évolution intellectuelle des humains!

Lorsque j’ai regardé les vieux livres, j’ai compris que j’étais en train de toucher l’histoire, et cela était une expérience mémorable. C’était “extraspécial” pour moi, car la plupart des livres étaient écrits par des juifs et/ou sur des histoires juives.

C’était un honneur d’être capable de regarder et de toucher ces livres.

C’était très intéressant de voir et toucher des livres anciens. Maintenant je sais comment la première machine à imprimer a changé la vie et la technologie.

Je ne savais pas qu’il existait des livres aussi vieux. On a parlé des premières machines à imprimer l’année dernière en classe alors c’était incroyable de pouvoir voir des livres qui ont été faits avec une de ces machines, ou juste écrits à la main.

J’ai trouvé cette période très amusante et intéressante. Je crois que c’est extraordinaire que ces livres soient encore intacts.

J’ai aimé voir ces livres si vieux en personne. L’exposition était aussi intéressante, car il y a avait des livres juifs tandis que les livres que nous avions étudiés en classe étaient chrétiens.

Regarder des livres d’une autre époque était très intéressant. Une des choses que j’ai trouvées cool c’étaient que nous étions capable de toucher des livres qui ont plus d’une centaine années.

On a eût la chance de voir des livres magnifiques, et on était même capables de les toucher. Notre leçon parlait aussi de comment la machine à imprimer a changé le monde.

Les livres ont été très intéressants parce que c’est évident que les informations dans ces livres ont été très utiles dans le passé. Cela m’a permis  de prendre une pause pour réfléchir sur les moyens que j’utilise pour trouver des informations et comment ils ont changé au fil du temps.

J’ai beaucoup apprécié l’expérience d’observer les livres. C’était très intéressant et spécial de penser que ces objets, que nous avons touchés et regardés, ont été fabriqués il y a des centaines d’années.

La chose le plus spéciale à mon avis, était de savoir que les livres que je tenais étaient touchés, utilisés, et lus par des personnes qui vivaient des centaines d’années dans le passé.

J’ai aimé voir les livres anciens, c’était très intéressant pour moi de voir les livres en ancien hébreux. J’ai essayé de les lire, mais les lettres anciennes sont différentes de celles du présent.


Student Exchange Australia: Becoming a Stronger Individual

Auclair_Sophia_GlidingThe past few weeks have been fun, doing things I never expected to do in a million years and challenging myself to push my comfort zone and make new friends.

While the first week of school was a bit tough, this experience has helped me become a stronger individual. The classes are super fun, the teachers are wonderful and overall, Westminster School is just a great environment.

In math, the students are working on items which I have already covered at LCC. In English, we are studying Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In history, we are working on the Industrial Revolution. Meanwhile, in art, we are looking at the painting style called Impressionism. It is very fun to learn new ways of observing things in these classes. For example, in math, I have been learning new styles of studying, which has also been helpful in learning skills.

I believe I have been participating very well in class and simply getting to know the environment. I have also been making a ton of Australian friends and friendships that will hopefully last a lifetime.

Last weekend, I went plane gliding and flew the plane myself!! I also asked the instructor if we were able to do aerobatics and luckily he did a barrel roll, which was awesome. This recent weekend I went to a maze where I climbed four levels and had to avoid obstacles. This was approximately four stories high and lots of very hard work but a blast.

I am leaving in 14 days and will be sure to make the most out of the rest of the time I have here. We will be going to Sydney next weekend…stay tuned! – Sophia Auclair ’19, Exchange Student at Westminster School, Adelaide, Australia

Student Exchange Australia: Discovering my Passion


Since I’ve arrived in Australia, all my days on this wonderful journey have been filled with joy. This trip has not only been the best time of my life so far but it has also been a time where I learnt about myself as an individual and my passion for animals has deepened.

The day after I arrived I started to explore this beautiful country. On July 19, my exchange student, Abigail, Angela (her mom) and Alana (a close friend of Abigail’s), and I, explored downtown Adelaide and the amazing sites that awaited us. We first started off our day by visiting the central markets where we wandered around for a while, and then headed off to the North Terrace where we saw the university of Adelaide, an art gallery and a library. We also had an opportunity to visit Adelaide’s war memorial; it was beautifully detailed and filled with representations of soldiers that fought for Australia during World War II. We then visited the Alpine festival, which is an annual festival to celebrate winter with a lot of different fun activities available to the public. We ended the day at the Torrens River, where we relaxed for a little while.

On July 20, I had a very memorable experience. I learnt something about myself that I am very happy with as it made me aware of my deep passion for animals. It was during our visit to the Urimbirra Wild Life Park where I got to see so many different animals from those I have seen in Canada. Yes, everyone loves animals but something in my heart told me that day that I definitely want to work with animals in the future. This day was also filled with numerous activities, such as a visit to Victor Harbour where we ate fish and chips and indulged in some candy I had never seen or eaten before. We also walked around Granite Island where we found some spectacular views overlooking the bay. However, this will be the day where my happiness was greatest as it touched my passion for animals.

The next day, we went to Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens. Although there weren’t many leaves on the trees to see—it is winter in July, which feels like a warm Canadian fall—it was an amazing experience to see the Australian nature that surrounded us. After this, we went to Melba’s chocolate factory. Who can get enough junk food? Here, I tried many different chocolates that Australia is known for in this part of the world. We then walked through Hahndorf, a charming German town with lots of pretty sites and then wound down our day with a little bowling and dinner with some of Abigail’s friends.

July 22 was somewhat rainy so we had a laid back day as we walked around the Westfield Marion Mall where I had an opportunity to see stores that are unique to Australia. We also caught a movie—Central Intelligence—that was actually pretty funny. It was too rainy to do anything else so we headed home and had a relaxing night watching movies and eating junk food. The next day the weather had cleared up, and we spent some time in the Kuipto Forest where we made a bonfire and…went Pokémon hunting! We also explored the forest and roasted yummy marshmallows.

On July 24, we walked down to Jetty Road in Glenelg where we strolled along the coast of their beach, which was very windy. This being their winter, it was too cold to swim in the water as the temperature hovers around 15 degrees Celsius.

Although my trip has only begun, I have had an awesome time so far. I am very excited to go to Westminster School—even though it is my school summer break!!— and I am really happy that I am having this opportunity to travel the world.  – Sophia Auclair ’18, Exchange Student at Westminster School, Adelaide, Australia


Text Messages Home: What it’s Like to be a Young Round Square Delegate

Three LCC Middle School Students are currently attending the Round Square Conference at the Athenian School in Danville, California. The following series of texts from Andrew Vandenbussche ’19, LCC student delegate, were sent to his parents and printed with his permission.