by Sharon Goodman, teacher
Our Grade 2 students recently performed The Cuckoo, a Mexican folktale that tells the story of how the Cuckoo lost her colors. According to this tale, it is the job of the birds to collect all the seeds before the Fire God burns the crops to prepare the land for the coming year. The beautiful Cuckoo bird is reluctant to help because she is afraid, but in the end, it is the brave little Cuckoo who flies through the flames to save the seeds when the Fire God arrives early. Her beautiful feathers are all singed by the flames, and she becomes a colorless grey bird. The moral of the story is that one should never judge a person by their feathers (or clothes!).
This is the third year that the Junior School has done a Grade 2 musical. A culmination of musical learning from Kindergarten to Grade 2, students must be able to speak, sing, dance, act and play instruments with confidence. They learn a great deal about patience, persistence and cooperation as they work to bring the production up to performance standard. Every single member of the class gets to feel like a “star” and like they have accomplished something very special.
And it was indeed special! The performance was attended by the entire Junior School and by the families of our Grade 2 students, with a sprinkling of other guests who have discovered that the Grade 2 Musical is a well-kept secret that is worth attending! The audience gave this year’s Grade 2 class, who sung several of the songs in Spanish, a hearty standing ovation.
“I had so much fun up on stage singing all the songs. The fire dance was one of my favourite parts. It looked so beautiful. I learned my line very quickly. Mostly it was fun doing a line. The costumes were amazing.” – Naechal
“I loved when I heard I was the owl. I now know my real talent is singing. I was the happiest girl. I liked being the owl because I got to sing my own song.” – Anj
“Our musical was really fun. I enjoyed being Chac. I also enjoyed the fire dance. I learned to memorize and project my voice. It is really easy if you think about it. You need to be really brave if you want to be great. Being a god is really awesome!” – Daniel
“Our musical was lots of fun. I liked the fire dance. We made a few mistakes but the rest we did well. I learned bravery, memorizing and courage. I was a narrator.” – Alec
“I enjoyed doing the fire dance, singing, projecting my voice to the back of the gym. The best part was being a narrator and doing my lines. I learned about memorizing the song and being brave.” – Bhavi
by Darin Steinkey
It’s finally starting to look a little brighter outside, so the cricketers are in the cages just a little longer these days. This week we talk with Trenton Franco who hopes to play cricket at Oxford Brookes University next year. In addition, we have reports from the Brentwood Bay International Regatta, the rugby 7s tournament in Vancouver last weekend and the juniors at Cowichan, Junior and Senior girls soccer and Middle School rugby.
Middle School Rugby
by Bruce Kuklinski
Middle School spring 7-aside rugby continued this past week, with the Grade 6, 7 and 8 students playing their third round of games. It has been very pleasing to see the players all trying to apply the skills that they have been practicing, especially around the idea that having a high level of skills will, in the long term, be better than brute strength, and that if you can combine the two at the right times – and add in courage – then even better still.
The two Grade 6/7 teams continue to improve in these areas, especially showing great courage against often bigger opponents. Matthew Hagkull, Tucker Forbes, Owen Weismiller and Chris Egles jumped to the fore last week. The Grade 8 team continues to play their team game very well, with Bryce Forbes and Jasper Bosley leading the way. There is one more week of games before SMUS hosts the Lower Island jamborees, with the Grade 6/7 team hosting on Wednesday, May 8, and the Grade 8 team hosting on Friday May 10.
Junior Girls Soccer
by David Redpath
A very busy week for the Junior girls soccer team as they played three games against three very strong soccer teams. In Monday’s clash with Claremont, Claudia Wheler scored an early goal on a goalie’s worst nightmare – “the shot-cross”. SMUS played with the lead in a very even match up until midway through the second half. A clear corner kick for SMUS was called a goal kick, and Claremont moved the ball quickly up the field to score the tying goal. Chances were traded at either end with Claremont scoring a nice goal in the closing minutes of the game to pull off a 2-1 victory.
Tuesday had the girls back in action against classic rivals Oak Bay. This game was as exciting as they come. A scoreless first half gave way to a second half with 5 goals and huge momentum swings. Oak Bay scored in the 37th and 50th minutes before SMUS cued the comeback with a cracking shot from distance by Claire Swanston. SMUS then tied the game with a brilliant buildup from Rachel Olson and Flora Manson-Blair that put Claudia Wheler in alone on a breakaway, which she would finish like a pro. A handball and penalty kick as the final play of the game would spoil the comeback and prove Oak Bay as 3-2 winners.
After two hard-fought games, the girls were given a day off and then were back in action against top-ranked Stelly’s on Thursday. A very strong first half by Stelly’s had them up 3-0 before an inspirational half-time speech by Coach Mariel had SMUS outplay Stelly’s in the final 35 minutes to win the half 1-0. Final score 3-1 for Stelly’s, with a goal from Robyn Noel for SMUS.
Stay tuned for a busy week next week that involves a challenge match against Oak Bay to qualify for the city championships!
Two Minutes With… Trenton Franco
Trenton has been one of the top cricketers in the school for some time now and has been accepted to study Law at Oxford Brookes University next year. Trenton talks a little about balance between sports and academics, the Freshie Fair and what he likes to eat before those (super) long cricket matches.
Music by:Gun gus gus (dimanche soare) (Alaclair Ensemble) / CC BY-SA 3.0
Junior and Senior Rugby
It was a busy week for SMUS rugby, as the Grade 9 squad kicked things off April 26 with a hard fought 22-15 win over Cowichan RFC U15s.
In what was a battle of two distinct styles, SMUS’s ability to string phases together and move the ball away from the contact areas was just enough to counter the more direct, one-route approach of the opposition.
For SMUS, a lovely tally right on halftime by right wing Timmy Qi was the pick of four well worked team tries. Halfbacks Jonas Robinson and Pablo Fernandez linked well, while centres Josh Graffi and Artem Sakhbiev straightened the attack nicely.
Up front, flanker Myles Duncan, hooker John Cook and grade 8 addition Quinn Ngwati featured prominently.
At the Senior level, the focus shifted to Sevens, with the team entered in the April 27-28 provincial championships at UBC.
Unfortunately, Day 1 pool play against Robert Bateman, Magee and Kelowna proved a bit disappointing, with the team stymied to a great degree by the wet, slippery conditions. Even so, had another pass or two hit the mark, SMUS could so easily have advanced with three wins instead of the 1-2 mark which resulted in placement in the Bowl competition the following day.
Of note, Georgios Ikonomou made his school rugby debut and did not look out of place whatsoever.
Day 2 featured far better playing conditions, and SMUS took advantage. Dawit Workie performed brilliantly in the scrum half position, while centre Dave Pollen ran strongly en route to numerous tries. Grade 10 Graeme Hyde-Lay gave three consecutive assured performances as fly half, while David Boroto, Saeed Shokoya, Wayne Lin and Keenan Manhas also all played major minutes.
In scoring 18 tries in the three matches, SMUS recorded decisive wins over Clarence Fulton and Argyle, before downing Robert Bateman again, but this time by 43-5.
With Sevens completed, the 1st XV, along with the Juniors, shifted back to 15 aside when hosting GP Vanier of Courtenay. The Juniors, while not at their sharpest and featuring something of a scratch selection, still managed seven tries en route to a 41-12 win. Mitch Newman was, as usual, extremely dangerous on attack, but there were further good performances from left wing David Lee, fullback Owen Sudul and flanker James Hayashi. No. 8 Mac Valentine also made a successful return to action after recovering from a bruised shoulder.
The 1st XV, with Grade 10 Max Pollen joining brother David in midfield, and Cole Tamburri and Zach Kahn back in harness, counterattacked to telling effect in winning 50-19. Workie, in the absence of Sam Reid, slotted in comfortably at scrum half while Manhas, moved back to flanker, was an effective ball carrier. Lock Liam Hyatt did a lot of effective work at the breakdown.
Attention now turns to one of the most eagerly awaited days on the rugby calendar. Saturday, May 4 is Alumni Weekend, with Oak Bay set to provide the opposition. These games, part of an exciting and ongoing series for the past twenty years, will no doubt provide plenty of drama. The Junior match kicks off at 1:15 pm, with the 1st XV squad set to follow at 3:15 pm.
Senior Girls Soccer
by Nikki Kaufmann
The Senior girls soccer team had a full week of league and tournament play. A game against Parkland on Tuesday would determine their playoff fate and it was clear that the SMUS girls were determined to earn a spot in the Island Championships. A 6-1 victory guaranteed a top two finish in league standings, which also assured the team a trip to Islands in May. Orla Glen got SMUS on the board with two goals, while Yasmin Roudsari, Erin Hope, Ali Murtland and Sam Colby chipped in with one a piece.
SMUS was then up against an undefeated Lambrick squad for the final league game of the season. The winner of this game would take top spot in league standings. SMUS got on the board first with a goal from Sam Colby, however, Lambrick eventually answered back with two goals and the game finished 2-1.
Play continued into the weekend with the ISA tournament hosted by GNS. In pool play, SMUS notched two wins, first against Brentwood and second against Collingwood. SMUS was down 2-0 in the Brentwood game but battled back with a goal from Ali Murtland and a final-minute goal from Flora Manson-Blair to tie the game at two. SMUS then won in a penalty shootout.
SMUS beat Collingwood 3-0 with goals from Ali Murtland and two from Claudia Wheler. A 6-0 quarter-final win against Southpointe then put SMUS into the semi-final versus GNS. Goals in the Southpointe game came from Claudia Wheler, Erin Hope, Rachel Olson, Sam Colby, Yasmin Roudsari and Chantal Gebauer. In the semi-final game, GNS could not match the determination and resolve of the SMUS side. In what would be their best effort of the year, SMUS came out victorious with goals from Ali Murtland and Flora Manson-Blair, and Orla Glen earned the shutout between the pipes. SMUS then saw Crofton House in the ISA final, where an early Crofton goal was the eventual winner.
Despite the 1-0 loss, the road to the final showed an outstanding team effort and many moments of brilliant soccer. It was an especially notable weekend for the back line of Sarah Taylor, Isabella Gudgeon, Leanne Farmer and Ali Murtland, whose steadfast defensive play led the team throughout the tournament. The girls will compete in the Ryan Cup city playoffs this week.
by Susanne Walker-Curry
The SMUS team travelled to the Brentwood International Regatta with 38 athletes competing in 23 events. Brentwood is the largest high school regatta in the North West, with over 1700 athletes participating. Battling delays and crazy water, SMUS put in a solid performance.
- Senior Boys 72kg coxed eight
- Junior Boys JV coxed quad
- Junior Girls coxed four
In addition, the following SMUS crews also qualified for finals:
- Senior Boys Single
- Senior Boys School Eight
- Senior Boys JV 2X
- Junior Girls Novice coxed quad
Overall, the team finished 15th out of 36 clubs, and fourth amongst Canadian schools, ahead of established rowing schools such as St. George’s, Crofton House, Claremont Sports Institute, Collingwood, Lakeside School and Lake Union from Seattle. Congratulations to the athletes and a big thank you to all the coaches (Mr. Curry, Mrs. Beare, Sarah Aylard, Ruby Walser, Brett Malcolm and Mike Lewis) and the parents for their support.
Our final regatta of the season, before selected crews compete at the Canadian Secondary School Championships in Ontario, will be the Shawnigan Lake Regatta May 10-11, 2013. Check out lots more pictures in the Photo Gallery courtesy of Sharon McLean and Ann Fenje.
Just in time for Earth Week, we spoke to Ann Makosinski, whose human-powered flashlight just won her a trip to the Canada-Wide Science Fair. At the Vancouver Island Science Fair last week, Ann placed second overall and won a total of nine awards, including a number of trophies and scholarships.
Having competed in science fairs for several years, Ann came up with the idea for her flashlight by combining two previous projects. Below, she demonstrates the flashlight and explains a bit about how it works.
- The SCWIST Award (Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology)
- The Rotary Club of Victoria Prize (Excellence in an environmentally-related project)
- The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (Victoria Chapter)
- THE DAWEG Award (Division for the Advancement of Women in Engineering and Geosciences)
- The Nathan Geminiano Award (for representing the region for a second time at the CWSF)
- The JASCO Award (awarded to a top exhibitor who is attending the CWSF)
- The Association of Professional Engineers and Geo-scientists of BC, Victoria Branch (awarded for excellence in a project related to engineering or geoscience)
In the opening show of concert season at SMUS, the Cross Campus Strings featured appearances (musically, anyway) from Mahler, Saint-Saëns, the League of Legends video game and alumnus Brian Christensen ’11, who wrote a piece especially for the Senior School orchestra. It was a well-rehearsed, finely-tuned concert showcasing hard work and sacrifice from our students and teachers alike. The show featured first performances from many of our youngest in the Junior School, tricky timing pieces in the Middle School and one of the last concerts for the Seniors — some of whom began their musical careers in the Junior School.
If you missed it, the full video will be posted very soon along with interviews with Brian Christensen about how the composition came to be as well as Luke Jones, who helped bring the video game score to the stage.
Be sure to stop by the photo gallery to browse and download more than 100 pictures of the evening.
Congratulations to Donna Williams, Mary Smith, the orchestras and the many volunteers it takes to put this show together every year. For a nostalgic look back, you can see Brian performing a piece he personally sought out for the orchestra to perform in 2010.
by Kathleen Cook, leadership coordinator
As a part of a school-wide commitment to external community service for all the students at SMUS, the Junior School regularly visited at a local seniors home. Throughout the year, classes took trips to the James Bay Care Centre and the students spent time talking to seniors, sharing work and playing games. The horse racing game was a highlight as children and seniors joined together to cheer on their horses!
Students have performed by singing and playing their Orff instruments. The children were prepared for the experience in service learning lessons and engaged in reflective work following their outing. It was very exciting to see the wonderful contribution that our children were able to make when visiting. It has been a very successful and meaningful experience for all of the children and we look forward to continuing our special connection with the James Bay Care Centre.
Grade 1 and K Student Thoughts
“I enjoyed singing the Jolly Phonics song. I also enjoyed reading my book.” – Cate
“I liked making them happy.” – Zachary
“I liked seeing the old people. I met Mary and she was like a grandma.” – Willow
“I liked reading the older people my books.” – Avli
“I liked everything about the trip. It was fun, it was cool doing it and it was an experience.” – Elliot
“I liked giving away my daffodil.” – Jacob
“I noticed some people were tapping their feet when we were singing. That made me happy.” – Soren
“It was super fun visiting them because we read books. I really liked that.” – Wil
“I liked making cards and meeting seniors. It was special.” – Alex
Grade 3 Student Thoughts
“I liked helping the seniors and making them feel better.” – Amalia
“It makes me feel warm when I see people so happy seeing little kids.” – Anna
“I liked that you got to meet other people. It is interesting meeting people older than you.” – Cypress
“Once you got to know them they were nice. It was easy for me because I have a grandpa who was once in a hospital.” – Alex
“It was fun. It was cool and I liked it.” – Nevaeh
“It was really neat to go there. We played Orff instruments and I liked that we actually got to share playing them with the seniors and that they played too.” – Emma
What does milking a cow have to do with geography? Surprisingly, a lot. Our AP Human Geography class visited a local dairy farm as part of their unit on agriculture to better understand the costs and process of milk production. Maintaining a herd of livestock requires a lot of natural resources, from feed for the cows to the electricity required to run the milking machines. Despite our high consumption of dairy products, few people know much about the time, energy and thought that goes into producing milk, cheese and yogurt.
This hands-on experience helped students connect the global implications of the dairy industry – such as the environmental toll of production and transport – by seeing how much work it takes to produce a smaller supply at a local level.
“During our agriculture unit, I gave some thought to where my food came from but actually seeing a real dairy farm was extremely different than just thinking about one. I found the amount of work that must be done each day to keep the farm running to be shocking!” – Emma D.
“It’s kind of scary how few people know how to farm in developed countries like ours compared to the number of people eating the food.” – Sarah T.
“One thing I found fascinating was how they have now been able to improve offspring by ordering sperm for artificial insemination to breed well-developed dairy cows.” – Alisha M.
“I used to think that farms were located far away from the cities. Now I understand that because the truck needs to pick up the milk so often, it is much more logical to have it close to the market. I love that Mr. Aylard loves what he does and sees the importance of it.” – Paris L.
“I had never milked a cow until today, which was awesome! It was also very interesting to see how much work and technology goes into running a small dairy farm.” – Zach K.
This week, several students in Grades 6 & 7 attended a speech competition through the Independent Schools Association of BC. The Grade 6 students shared their perspectives on “The Most Important Issue Facing Today’s World” and the Grade 7 students spoke about “Making a Difference in Society.” SMUS is also hosting a Grade 8 Speech Competition for Vancouver Island independent schools on Monday, April 29. Students there will speak to “An Important Environmental Issue in the World Today”.
Who are we? We are privileged people who have houses, families, food, education and water as well as many other great opportunities.
We have privileges, but why are there so many people living in poverty? Many people cannot get out of the poverty cycle. The cycle where poor health and little or no education leads to lack of work and little money (and so the cycle begins again). These people struggle to meet their basic needs, the things that we take for granted and don’t think twice about. Our four basic needs: food, water, shelter and clothing.
How does poverty happen? There are three main causes of poverty. One is history (for example, if your family has been poor for a long time what are the chances of you not being poor? Not very good). The second cause is poor resource management – if the government isn’t using the resources properly then you won’t get those resources, some of which are necessary for survival (crops, water, etc.) The last reason is forces of nature (eg. natural disasters like a tornado or flood or drought). If things like this happen, then people’s crops or houses can be destroyed and that will cause poverty.
How do we try to fix it? Education is one of the main ways to break the poverty cycle. Education means choice, awareness and hope. By going to school you learn things that will help you get a better job and earn money and break the poverty cycle. APU, Atsikana Pa Ulendo, a girls school in Malawi, is an example of a place where people are trying to break the poverty cycle. When these girls go to school and are educated they then have choices. Their choice is not limited to an early marriage and children at far too young an age. They become aware that there are things they can do to avoid a life in poverty and they gain hope that one day they can achieve great things – that they won’t live in poverty but can have a long healthy life.
How can we get education to all people living in poverty? One of the main ways is to create awareness about the issue to people who are not living in this unfortunate situation. Even people like us can do things. If people know about this issue maybe they will try and take action. For example, in an article written by Rob Novit about a “hunger banquet” for teens, Bailey Branham states “We hope this event will help them notice what’s going on in the world right now. They can see this is an opportunity to reach out and help people.” This quote is sending the message that if we teach children while they are young about poverty then maybe they will try to take action when they are older or they will try to educate their generation about the issue.
Poverty is not something that people ask for, it is something that you are born with right from the start. Poverty is occurring not only in other developing countries of the world but also in Canada. We cannot shield our eyes from this serious problem that exists in the world. We need to step in and do something to resolve it.
In my opinion, poverty is one of the biggest issues facing the world right now, and I hope that my generation will be the one to help end put an end to it.
by Darin Steinkey
Like a coxswain in the bow, our rowers are plotting strategy and steering their way to the Brentwood Bay Regatta this weekend. We wish them good luck and great weather! In addition, from the tennis hard court to the wickets to the grass and the sand, SMUS athletes are rolling and we’ve got all your recaps right here.
by Ira Hemond
After the team’s first few weeks of practice and an unlucky spell of bad weather, SMUS finally got on the courts against Lambrick Park. As it was their first set of matches and they were facing a fairly good team, it took a bit of time to warm up and get comfortable. The doubles played well and the singles won in a few close matches.
After their Lambrick match and a few other rainy practices, the Jags were set to play GNS. All the practices meant the team began to mesh and SMUS played the best they have to date. With commanding singles wins and a marathon doubles match on the girls’ side, everyone played to their best ability to take home the win.
by Graham Lilly, coach
The cricket team played two exhibition games this last week against adult teams and played very well. Notable performances included Trenton Schultz-Franco’s excellent batting in both games, Mark Yorath’s growing confidence while keeping wicket and Chris Wedick’s first wicket for SMUS. Well done team — a solid start to the season.
Track & Field
by Judy Tobacco, coach
The track and field team posted some excellent results in meet #4 of the city league. Standouts included sprinter Conrad Chin posting the fastest time of the season in the Grade 9 boys 400 metre race; Chrissy Robillard who won the Senior girls steeplechase in her first attempt at that event; and Beta Willeboordse who placed first in Junior girls long jump.
Special congratulations to Laura Woods, Ethel Kiggundu, Chrissy Robillard, Stephanie Wong-Harrison, Ayumi Tomishigi and Tammy Tan who all braved the cold, wet conditions to run impressive times in the 400 metre race. The penultimate league meet of the season takes place this Wednesday at the UVic stadium.
Middle School Rugby
by Bruce Kuklinski
The three Grade 6, 7 and 8 spring 7-aside rugby teams played their second round of games this past week. All the players continued to show improvement in their ball handling and tackling skills, as well as their game knowledge. A number of players played very well in what is a team effort. Among the Grade 6 students, Connor Chan and Gabriel Castillo displayed much improvement from the previous week. In the Grade 7 cohort, Aidan Kerr and Finn Goodyear showed much promise. In Grade 8 — who played in wet and cold conditions — Max Olberg and Nathan Anter were to the fore, impressing with their play but also their willingness to play for another school who were short of players on the day.
The middle school spring season continues with games each Tuesday and Thursday through until the Victoria Day long weekend.
Junior Girls Soccer
by Mariel Solsberg
The Junior girls soccer team continued down the path of success with two wins this past week. They started the week off visiting GNS, delivering a 4-2 win. Claudia Wheler tallied no fewer than three goals while Flora Manson-Blair blasted a rocket (we’re told some bystanders may have mistaken it for one) from at least 30 yards out to the top corner of the opposing team’s goal. Rachael Benjamin bravely stepped in net for the second half and did an outstanding job to keep SMUS ahead.
In the team’s second game of the week, the girls faced St. Andrew’s on the SMUS pitch. Rachel Olson recorded the team’s second hat-trick of the season (and week), leading the Jags to a 4-1 win. SMUS had too many chances to count and were unlucky not to score more, especially when Rachael Benjamin’s shot off a cross hit the post. Becca Thomson, Emma and Sarah Loughton, and Avnashi Dhillon helped secure the team defensively while Gabbi Leon and Aveen Glen gave the team a much needed boost with their ability to hold the ball up and successfully distribute. Way to go girls!
The 1st XV suffered its first defeat of the season, going down 29-13 in North Vancouver against BC AA #2-ranked Collingwood.
In a bright start, penalty goals by Dawit Workie and Michael Baart on either side of a breathtaking 70-metre gallop to paydirt by prop Saeed Shokoya saw SMUS lead 13-7 at halftime. Another fine piece of play just before the break was then capped by a superb cross kick from Workie to several players lined up out wide. Eventually, flanker Clarence Choy gathered the loose ball and plunged over, but unfortunately the referee was unsighted and the try negated.
To its credit, Collingwood tightened the screws after intermission, and denied SMUS any possession for long periods. Continued battering around the fringes eventually paid dividends, with two scores putting the Cavaliers up 19-13.
SMUS had one chance to possibly retake the lead, but a clever chip through by Baart bounced cruelly into touch with the home defence in disarray.
A final Collingwood try with four minutes remaining and then a penalty kick on full time completed the scoring.
For SMUS, flanker David Boroto and hooker Matt Shin tackled relentlessly, while centre Dave Pollen — closely marked — made several strong runs.
The Junior curtain-raiser featured a lot of end-to-end play, with Collingwood recovering from 14-0 down to reduce the deficit to only two points early in the second half. However, SMUS then recovered its attacking flair, adding three more multi-phase scores to win 31-12.
For the victors, David Lee, Dante Morandin (2), Mitchell Newman and Josh Kahn notched tries, with Graeme Hyde-Lay adding three conversions.
The Juniors travel to Claremont in local league action April 25, with the rapidly improving Grade 9 side hosting Cowichan U15s the same day.
The Seniors have a bye week, and will focus on preparing for the provincial Sevens Tournament April 27-28 at UBC. SMUS has been drawn in a pool with Kelowna, Magee and a still to be determined representative from the Fraser Valley.
Senior Girls Soccer
by Nikki Kaufmann, coach
It was a busy week for the Senior girls soccer team as they continued with league play and competed in the UVic High School Tournament.
Their first game of the week was against Esquimalt, marking the mid-point of their league season. SMUS was certainly vying for a win to add three points to their standings and to continue on the path to the playoffs. From the first whistle, the game was never in question for SMUS and they did indeed get the three points with a convincing 5-0 victory. Yasmin Roudsari showed an affinity for the back of the net this game as she put away all five goals. Noteworthy assists came from Ali Murtland and Meriah Drabkin. Shinai Sorensen notched her third shutout of the season between the pipes for SMUS.
On the weekend, the team saw competition from around the province, including games against Rutland, GNS, Burnsview, and Fleetwood. A 2-0 win for SMUS, with goals from Roudsari and Erin Hope, in the first game against Rutland put them on the Tier I side of the draw for the rest of the 24-team tournament. This meant tough competition in the following three games. SMUS came out slow in the GNS game and got behind 3-0 early. While they picked up their play in the latter stages of the game, they could not generate much attack and the game ended 3-0.
Burnsview provided a more evenly matched game as the lead shifted throughout. SMUS drew first blood with Abbey Piazza converting a header off a long ball into the box, however, Burnsview responded with two goals to lead 2-1 for most of the game. SMUS did not concede and in the dying minute of the game Robyn Noel scored to take the match to a shootout. The girls came up short in the end, which then put them through to play Fleetwood in their final game.
It was another even match up and a defensive battle for both teams. Jenna Dhillon put SMUS on the board with an early 25-yard rocket to the back of the net. Fleetwood answered back only five minutes later and 1-1 was the eventual final score. A shootout determined the game and a 8th shooter save by the Fleetwood keeper gave them the win.
Overall, it was a good showing for SMUS at this highly competitive tournament and Ali Murtland was named one of the tournament MVPs. SMUS will play their final two league games this week, which will determine their fate in moving forward to the Island Championships in May.
Photos by Ann Fenje
SMUS held its first annual Brain Awareness Week from April 5-12 in order to educate our entire community about not only how our brains work, but how we can change and develop them. While each school had special student-centred events running throughout the week on a variety of themes, parents and faculty enjoyed specialized sessions with Dr. Judy Willis – an educator, author and neurologist.
Junior School Student Thoughts
“The brain stem is very cool.” – Cooper, Kindergarten
“I like the hippocampus because it stores your memories.” Caitlin, Kindergarten
“I like the brain because before I only thought it was used for thinking. I didn’t know the cerebellum was used for balance and I didn’t realize there were so many parts that could help you with so many things.” – Will, Kindergarten
“I liked the mad science assembly because I thought the balloon was like a brain because it was squishy when it was going into the jar.” – Liam, Kindergarten
“The prefrontal cortex helps you think and make good choices.” – Anna, Kindergarten
“In the mindfulness assembly, I learned a lot, like changing the way we think can end up with us making better choices and using the prefrontal cortex (the wise turtle) instead of responding immediately from the amygdala (the bunny). I practice mindful moments when I get nervous, such as before a test and a swim meet or when something upsets me. It helps me to just take some deep breaths.” – Larry, Grade 5
by David Boroto, Grade 11
India. Just a few weeks ago the word was a mystery to me and nine other SMUS students and staff. Now, hearing of India brings back memories of an amazing trip across the world. In truth, there are no words good enough to describe how wonderful my time in India was, but I’ll do my best with the ones I’ve got.
Simply put, India was paradise. On arrival, all ten of us were excited to have finally landed after 20-plus hours of travel. We met our guides, Andrea, Tania and Imrana from Free the Children, at the airport, then travelled another two hours to the Haveli Resort, our home for the next 10 days.
Our Indian experience officially began on Day 2. We started with a relaxing yoga session under the morning sun then packed our gear and headed for our build site. The service portion of our trip was dedicated to a school in the community Udawad. The school welcomed us with a ceremony in which all the school kids and staff were present. A community elder oversaw the ceremony, and watching him call on the thousands of Hindu gods to bless the build site and our time with the community was a great introduction to Hinduism and Indian culture. Throughout our time with the school, we managed to paint a mural wall, build a fruit garden from scratch, whitewash the school walls and start building a porch for one of the classrooms.
Ultimately, after ten days of fulfilling work we felt proud to see how much we got done on the site, though nothing could beat the feeling of joy we got meeting and playing with the school kids. Hanging out with the kids was so heartwarming and definitely a highlight of the trip; they were kind, open and accepting from the moment they saw us, making it a memorable experience. And to top it all off, on our last day with the school we each received a beautiful, handmade card as a token of gratitude from the school children. All in all, our time in Udawad was rewarding and memorable for all of us; we will never forget the children’s laughter and smiling faces.
Our trip didn’t end there, though. When we weren’t on the build site, our guides were giving us all that India had to offer. We visited forts, temples, historical monuments and world-renowned sites, and even learned how to dance Bollywood style! The forts were beautiful and the temples tranquil and serene, but of the places we visited, three stood out the most: the magnificent City Palace in Udaipur, the calming Ghandi Memorial in Delhi and, of course, the wonderful Taj Mahal in Agra. They’re definitely India’s must-see destinations.
On top of visiting such amazing monuments, we also got to experience a day in the life of a villager in Udawad. Her name was Rupy Bai, and she lived in a small mud hut with her husband, three children and a grandchild. Admittedly, I was quite heartbroken and frustrated to see Rupy Bai’s rudimentary living conditions, though it was uplifting to see her constantly smiling. The way she found joy in life amidst her daily struggles and tough tasks was inspiring to see.
We were also lucky enough to participate in Holi, the festival of colors, during our time in India. Holi is undoubtedly the craziest, most exciting festival I have ever seen; on the day, all social norms are thrown out the window as people cover each other with powdered paint! By the time we were done with each other, we literally all looked like walking rainbows. It was so much fun! In the end, the trip allowed us to immerse ourselves into so many aspects of Indian culture that I was practically Indian when I got home.
Over and above, our trip to India was amazing; the blend of service and tourism made it the perfect trip. But in all honesty, what made the trip truly memorable for me was the people. The greatest souvenir I have from India is the friendships I made there, with the kids, our guides and hosts, and most of all, the group I went with. The memories I share with them will remain with me for the rest of my life.
Special thanks to Mr. Cook for organizing the trip, and Mrs. Hyde-Lay and Mr. Primrose for leading us on an amazing journey. Shout out to the seven friends who made the trip a blast.
Photos by Olivia Sorley
Grade 6 Humanities students have been working on developing their skills as creative writers. Through the writing process, students brainstorm ideas, organize their storylines, draft, edit, and publish. Students have been encouraged to use descriptive language to appeal to the reader’s senses. One of our young writers decided to share her story with us this week:
by Terra, Grade 6
“Alice and Tyler Lewis, world famous experts in speleology and geology, have announced their second trip to the North Xanh Caves of Vietnam, starting three months from now. With them on the expedition will be their two children, twins Eva and William Lewis, North Xanh Caves expert Allen McDaniel, geologists Kate and Norman Sanchez, and cave biologist Francis Carter.” Will tosses me the newspaper, rolling his eyes. “Mum and Dad look ridiculous – Dad looks like Alfredo when you forget to feed him dinner!”
Alfredo is our cat. Will, at age four, picked the name.
I peer down at the black and white picture of our parents above the newspaper article, “They look great, Will. You’re just annoyed with this.”
My twin slumps down on the couch beside me. “Yeah, I’m annoyed. Who would want to waste their entire summer in some humid foreign country without cell phone reception, holed up in some dark, slimy cave?”
“If you had been listening when they explained it, you would know that the North Xanh Caves are in fact full of plant life. The cave roof is partially open, letting in sunlight and plant seeds. The cave system apparently has a flourishing ecosystem. Look at some of these pictures!” I reach for the photo album on the bookshelf behind us, but Will stops me with a wave of his hand.
“I know, Eva. That’s not the point. The point is that I don’t want to go on this stupid thing. It’s utterly pointless.”
I shrug, “Your problem, not mine.”
Three Months Later
Thick grey fog forms a blanket over me, closing up the way to the outside, blocking me from the world. Underneath me, the cocoa soil is cold and hard-packed, a fine dust clinging to my boots. Strangely out of place, a stunted tree with thick, broad leaves grows nearby, overlapping with the shadows of other equally out-of-place things: ferns, long and elegant, their emerald leaves reaching up to the silver sky; knee-height shrubs that scratch at my legs; something similar to the leaves of a palm tree, each frond smooth and sharp-edged, tickles my face as I walk closer to the jungle.
A jungle in a cave, yet another surprise suddenly pulled out of nature’s seemingly endless bag of tricks. Jagged stone walls, as sharp and unforgiving as knives, frame a lush, tangled forest of jade and emerald. According to Dad, an average-sized skyscraper would fit in here. I have no problem believing him.
I jump, my head snapping around to face the speaker. He’s a man, middle-aged, probably, with slightly dishevelled red hair that flops into his face. Round, wire-rimmed glasses perch precariously on his crooked, acne-scarred nose. He’s one of the scientists – cave biology, I think – but I have no idea what his name is, or why he knows mine, for that matter.
“Hello…” I look questioningly at him, hoping that he’ll pick up on my social cue. Knowing Mum and Dad’s co-workers, though, that actually happening is unlikely, to say the least. Will and I have, on several occasions, compared them to – oh, never mind.
“Dr. Francis Carter,” he says, sticking out his hand. It takes me a second to realize what he’s doing, and then we shake. “I’m the cave biologist. Cave biology is the study of the plants and animals in caves. Biology is,” he begins, but I interrupt. A bit rudely, but he really deserved it. God, did he honestly think that I didn’t know what biology was?
“I know what biology is, thank you.” I stare daggers at him, daring the idiot to try being that patronizing again anytime soon.
“I… er, I mean, um…” Dr. Carter shifts from side to side, looking slightly miserable. Part of me feels sorry for the man. Barely, though.
“Dr. Carter!” I spin around despite knowing who that voice belongs to. When you’ve spent every waking moment with him since birth, it’s hard not to know exactly what it sounds like. Will, as obnoxious as he is, can truly be amazing sometimes. “Sorry about Eva here, she’s an inconvenience that we all have to put up with. Rude, too,” he says, shaking his head sorrowfully. If looks could kill…
“Um, I, I, I, I, um…” Dr. Carter falters for a second, unsure of what to make of Will. “The last expedition here revealed that there was an underground river that possibly contains fish. I’ve already found some interesting samples from the jungle,” Dr. Carter says, motioning back to the campsite. “However, I would also like to know where this river is. The last explorers left a marker near the entrance, which is apparently somewhere near that tree.” He points at a huge, moss-covered tree near the cave’s walls. It reaches up to the crack of iron sky high above, desperately clinging onto any tiny ray of sunlight that might break through the clouds. “Anyway,” he continues, nervously clearing his throat, “I cannot search for the entrance right now, but I was wondering if both of you could…” He trails off, uncertain.
Will beats me to it, “Sure.” What? How could he do that? The last thing I want to do is help out Dr. Carter!
“Thank you, William, Eva.” Dr. Carter claps Will on the back, glares at me, and strides off. My twin and I begin the walk to the tree, which soon turns out to be farther away than I thought. The walk takes ten minutes, and then we’re there. The tree is huge, dwarfing the all the other greenery, stretching up, impossibly skinny. Right below it there’s a fissure in the rock, big enough for two people to fit through, side-by-side. Beside it is a large loop of hot pink marker tape.
“What are you waiting for?” Will asks, gesturing at the opening.
“Will, he asked us to find the entrance, not explore it. Chances are that it is dangerous, anyway.” I pull him away, but he escapes and slips through the crack. Sighing, I follow him into the darkness. My twin is sometimes too reckless for his own good.
As soon as I enter, everything disappears. I can’t see a foot in front of my face. Rocks jut out at strange angles like the bones of a broken man, jabbing my in the arms and legs, scratching again my ankles and making me trip. I can hear Will in front of me, cursing and fumbling through the inky blackness. You would think that boy his age wouldn’t even know most of the words that are coming out of his mouth, but no, not Will. He swears far too much, to the point that it’s almost painful to be around him when he hurts himself.
And then all of the sudden, the cursing stops. I reach out in front of myself, hoping that my fingers will find him, even if I know that all that they’re going to bring up is air.
“Will? Will! WILL!” My voice turns hoarse, my throat raw. Where is he? “WILL!” I feel like I am ice and my heart is stone. I break into a blind run, stones tracing thin lines of red into me as I sprint past. Will is nowhere. I can’t see anything. For all I know, I could have already passed him. Or he could be playing a trick on me. No, this isn’t a trick. This is real, and that’s what terrifies me.
That’s when I fall into the river. It rushes around me as I scramble to grab hold of the rocks, fingers slipping and bleeding over the jagged rock. Cold, numbing, excruciating water pours down, soaking me. I sink farther into the river, flailing, screaming names: Will, Mum, Dad, Dr. Carter. Right now, I really don’t care who rescues me, even the idiot biologist who got me into this mess.
There’s a strong surge of water, and my fingers break away. I go under, fear paralyzing me, heart pounding like a drum in my chest. One hand manages to grab onto something, and then it slips away. Slowly, everything dulls, turning slow and sluggish. I’m giving up, and I know it. I am dying, and I don’t even care. Well, I don’t care until I feel something warm and soft brush against my hand, edged by the thick fabric of jeans.
Will. Oh god, Will.
You may think that this is stupid or cliché or whatever, but that’s when I decide that there’s strength left in me. I claw my way to the surface, fighting through every inch of water, fighting for every inch of air that floods through my lungs. The outline of my brother is barely visible in the near darkness, draped over the rocky, knife-sharp edge, half in and half out of the river. Blood flows freely from my hands now, coating the rocks in slick liquid. If it wasn’t for the frigid water, my hands would hurt like, well, I’m probably better off not saying.
Please tell me he’s not dead. Please…
I haul myself over the edge, panting hard, eyes streaming. Will lies right there, motionless. He doesn’t move. I shake one of his hands, slap at his cheeks, and poke at his face and arms. Still nothing, complete stillness. I feel as if something inside of me has frozen up, made me immobile and completely incapable of doing anything.
“Eva?” His eyes open.
“Oh my god!” I lean forward, wrapping my arms around him. “I thought you were dead!”
“Nope,” he says, smiling. “Are you okay?”
“I guess,” I reply, letting out a shaky laugh. “Drowning isn’t the nicest thing.”
If I had to name my most eventful moment of the summer, this would win, hands down. Don’t try to deny it. Really though, the best thing about the North Xanh Caves was this: Will never once complained about the trip being boring again.
Boarding is bursting with leadership opportunities, and a group of Grade 11 boarders dedicated last weekend to building their leadership skills. Travelling to Tortoise Island, the crew got a chance to take in the real west coast on one of the hundreds of gulf islands, build some outdoor skills (bannock anyone?) and prepare for their roles as leaders in boarding.
Senior houseparent Chris Bateman made this great video documenting the trip and Grade 11 Wilfrid wrote about it on the Bolton blog.
For more video on leadership, check out this short look at leadership through the eyes of some of our prefects.
by Claudia Wheler, Grade 10
Going to Jiquilillo, Nicaragua was a whole new experience for me. I had never been on a service trip – let alone to a developing country. So when I boarded the plane, I didn’t know what to expect.
My first two days in Nicaragua were amazing. I went swimming and surfing, and also went for an hour-long bike ride along the beautiful white sand beach. For the first two days of the trip we mostly stayed at the lodge (Monty’s Beach Lodge). On Monday, we had our orientation day and heard all about the projects that Monty (Don Montgomery) and his business partner Gerry (Caceres) were doing for the community. After the orientation, I couldn’t help but think how amazing these two people were to put so much love and effort into the community of Jiquilillo. It was amazing to see. They don’t just help people by giving them money or food – they actually create programs where the residents can learn new jobs and start making a living on their own. They plan for the short-term but also think about the long-term for this community.
Tuesday and Wednesday were so much fun. On Tuesday, we went to Los Zorros School and played with the kids. It was really nice to see them in a good school and they all looked so happy that we were there. I picked up a soccer ball and right away three kids ran over and started passing with me. Even though there was a language barrier, it was hardly noticeable. Hand gestures and my limited ability to speak Spanish were enough for the kids to understand me. The next day we went to Padre Ramos School and did a very simple art project that the kids loved.
Thursday had the biggest impact on me. We went to the city of Chinandega and visited a dump where close to 3000 people live. The kids there were thin and very dirty, yet whenever I asked how they were doing they would smile and say they were good. It was amazing to see that these people have next to nothing but seem happier than people here who have everything.
This trip reminded me to be thankful for what I have and recognize that I am very privileged to be going to a school like SMUS.
Read more about the SMUS students in Nicargua on their trip blog. Alison (Moat) Graeme ’80 spoke to teacher chaperones Cheryl Murtland and Nikki Kaufmann. Hear why they decided to go to Nicargua below.
by Darin Steinkey
April means the SMUS field is in heavy rotation. The Senior girls are back on the pitch and coach Kaufmann provides a run-down of their recent games while we also receive updates on Middle School, Junior and Senior rugby. On the waterways, Susanne Walker-Curry recounts a very successful weekend at the Maple Bay regatta.
In addition, former Rugby 1st XV Hugh McGillivray ’64 makes an appearance in Two Minutes With…. In it, he recalls his high school training regime and speaks to one of his great passions: philanthropy.
Senior Girls Soccer
by Nikki Kaufmann
The Senior girls soccer team was in action against GNS and Vic High for more league play this past week. On the GNS pitch, the SMUS girls quickly adapted to the pace of the ball on the turf. SMUS did well to control the play for much of the first half, however, there were few scoring chances at both ends of the pitch. Early in the second half, a scramble in front of the net off of a SMUS corner left Yasmin Roudsari open on the near post to tap in the first goal of the game. SMUS held the lead for a little while but with continued pressure by GNS, the tying goal seemed inevitable. Unfortunately, SMUS couldn’t contain or match the pressure of the GNS side and eventually suffered a 4-1 loss. Despite what the score suggests, SMUS did well to compete with a very strong GNS side.
The Vic High game was a different story as SMUS dominated the whole game and a great team effort earned SMUS a 7-0 win. Goal scorers included Roudsari, Erin Hope and Becca Clayton, with Abbey Piazza and Jackie McKay both adding two each.
This week the team is at Esquimalt for another league game and then will compete in the UVic High School Tournament, where they will face tough competition from around the province.
Middle School Rugby
by Bruce Kuklinski
Grade 6, 7 and 8 rugby began this past week, with 43 students taking part. SMUS is fielding two combined Grade 6/7 teams and one Grade 8 team for their Spring 7s, who will play against Victoria-area schools.
Three teams played six games, with all players showing much promise with their skills and game understanding. Many players played particularly well, especially Grade 6 students Lucas Galloway and Marcus Miller as well as Grade 7 students Tony Liu and Harry Shaw. Amongst the Grade 8 team, Jasper Bosley and Donovan Sturdy showed courage and skill.
The Middle School spring season continues with games each Tuesday and Thursday through until the Victoria Day long weekend.
Two Minutes With… Hugh McGillivray ’64
Hugh McGillivray ’64 stopped by to talk a little about his time at SMUS, the importance of athletics and why donating to the school is vital for those that can.
by Susanne Walker-Curry
On Saturday, the SMUS rowing team attended the Maple Bay Regatta. SMUS raced against local clubs (Maple Bay, Nanaimo, Gorge and Victoria City Rowing Club) and schools (Claremont, Brentwood, Shawnigan and Gulf Islands) on the Island. The weather kept us on our toes, with sun, strong winds, rain and sleet, white cap racing water, and variable temperatures.
Gold: Junior Girls 2X, Junior A Boys 1X, Junior A Boys 4X, Junior A Womens 8+, Junior A Mens 8+
Silver: Lwt Mens 4X, Lwt Men 2X, Novice Girls 4X
Bronze: Junior B Boys 2X, Lwt Mens 4X, Novice Boys 8+, Lwt Boys 2X, Junior B Girls 8+
Fourth: Lwt Girls 2X, Novice Boys 4X, Junior A Girls 2X
Fifth: Junior A Boys1X
Sixth: Junior Boys 1X
Seventh: Junior Boys 8+
Overall team standing: 3rd (behind two clubs, 1st school)
Boys division: 3rd (behind two clubs, 1st school)
Girls division: 4th (behind two clubs)
It was a great weekend of racing where all athletes learned a lot. Congratulations to the entire SMUS Rowing team! Thank you to all of the parent supporters. Our next racing event will be the Brentwood College Regatta, April 26-28, at Brentwood College School, Mill Bay, BC.
Junior and Senior Rugby
Though the euphoria of the April 10 Boot Game victories over Oak Bay remained quite fresh, it was back to business for all the SMUS rugby squads.
The Grade 9 squad played twice, with the team in very good form against Brentwood and Lake Trail of Courtenay. Captain Jonas Robinson spearheaded much of the attractive, multiphase play, with centres Tyler Strandberg and Joe Johnson both running strongly. Flyhalf Pablo Fernandez and fullback Dimitri Boroto also figured prominently. In the forwards, hooker John Cook toiled diligently, with prop Marcelo Olsen always a ball-carrying threat. While mentioning the above individuals, it really was all about the team on both occasions, with the players working hard to support each other in attack and defense.
A Grade 10 team, missing a number of starters due to 1st XV call-ups, also took on Brentwood. Seven different players scored tries, with fullback Owen Sudul adding four well-struck conversions. On little preparation, Grade 9 Josh Kahn was strong in the fly half position, with half back partner Carson Smith his usual industrious self. Wingers Diego Olivares and David Lee ran strongly, with good support from James Hayashi, Michael Cernucan and Myles Duncan. The return of Noah Pryce-Baff strengthened the front five, with tighthead Jansen Gibbs and hooker Douglas Peerless also in good form. The Grade 10 players now look forward to an away trip to Collingwood on Friday, April 19.
At 1st XV level, the schedule featured the first of two important Sevens competitions, with SMUS looking to qualify for provincials at the Island event. In opening round action, the team, under the direction of former Canada 7s member Mike Danskin, disposed of Ladysmith 22-0. This was followed by an opportunistic 33-7 win over Brentwood.
The 5-1 try tally in this latter game virtually ensured that SMUS would top its pool, and so it proved, with a last minute 24-21 defeat to GP Vanier of no real consequence.
In the tournament final, SMUS faced a powerful Shawnigan side. A gutsy performance, led by Sam Reid, David Boroto, Wayne Lin and Dawit Workie, had the team reasonably well positioned at 12-7 down at halftime. An early raid, immediately after the break, almost saw SMUS draw level, but a knock on a few metres from the Shawnigan try line saw the ball then returned the length of the field. 17-7.
The next promising SMUS attack ended only in an interception, with Shawnigan, by virtue of two inch perfect restarts, then scoring yet again. Such is the nature of the Sevens game, as 36-7, while reflecting a very good performance by the winners, was a somewhat cruel scoreline.
Nonetheless, SMUS will take an Island #2 seed to the full BC Sevens event April 28-29 at UBC. Reid, Workie and Mark Kiggundu were named to the All-Tournament team. Grade 10 athlete Mitchell Newman also contributed well and certainly did not look out of place in older company.
Carrying a whole rack of bumps and bruises, SMUS then had to front up two days later for a local Tier 1 league match at Reynolds. Huge props must go to the host Roadrunners, who, using their huge forward pack to great effect, pounded away at a depleted opposition for most of the seventy minutes.
SMUS did recover from a 17-7 deficit to lead 21-17, but then fell behind on two more occasions, 24-21 and 31-26. Some loose passing and ill-advised kicking continued to gift possession back to Reynolds. Happily, with only three minutes to play, Dante Morandin powered over from close range. Michael Baart completed an outstanding day with the boot, converting from wide out on the right for a narrow and edgy 33-31 win.
Congratulations to Graeme Hyde-Lay, Liam Hyatt, Jacob Wilson-Potter and Alex Heidrick on their 1st XV debuts. All did well, with the latter capping his day with two well taken tries on the left wing.
Up front, Boroto, Saeed Shokoya, Matt Shin, Alex Campbell, Matt Rud and Clarence Choy stood up to the physical pounding, making countless tackles throughout the game in the narrow channels.
For SMUS, a key match away to BC AA #2 Collingwood awaits on April 19. Hopefully, Workie, Kiggundu, Keenan Manhas, Cole Tamburri, Chris Bjola and Zach Kahn will return to the starting XV.
photos by Rob Ducharme and Darin Steinkey
I once saw a man on TV, who spent a year doing service in Africa. His mind and values, and even his career were affected by the experience. I was moved by the man’s speech at that time. I hoped that I could go on a meaningful trip, which would have a real impression on me. I achieved that goal during the school trip to Mexico. The trip was short, only a few days. However, the influence on me has lasted — and will last for a long time.
Besides the beautiful beach and rocks, the lovely sunshine, the animals I’ve never seen before, the friendly people, and the great fun of swimming in the river, there were a lot of things that I took away from the trip.
It was the first time I had ever been to an orphanage. Most of the kids there were around five years old. Though it made me feel uneasy that we didn’t speak the same language, I soon felt comfortable and welcomed by their friendliness. I loved their smiling faces and their enthusiasm. A six-year-old boy drew a girl with a smiling face on the floor using chalk and pointed at me. I understood that the girl he drew was me. He smiled to me and said some Spanish to me. I couldn’t understand him but I guessed he was trying to ask me to join him.
I took a piece of chalk and drew birds, flowers and hearts with him. He was so small, but he drew a big yellow heart, which was even bigger than him on the ground. He lost his parents soon after he was born and he grew up in poor conditions, yet he had a heart full of love and brightness. I felt that the happiness he gave me was more than what I gave him.
All the kids were happy and energetic. It seemed like they are the same with all other kids with happy families. I am the only child in my family. I really wanted to have those optimistic kids be my brothers and sisters.
I can’t forget the day when we went to a middle school in a very poor region in the town that has an extreme lack of water. People had to carry water from other places. During the drive there, I could see small, ugly mud huts along the soil path. My field of vision was full of dust.
The teacher told us that the government built the school for the kids from very poor families. Few people visited the school. We were greatly welcomed by everyone when we got there. Lots of the kids waved and smiled at us.
During the quick chat with the headmaster, I found that people are really making efforts to give good education in this developing area. The school was new and had good equipment. There were nice buildings and a basketball court. The kids performed for us with attention and enthusiasm. I was impressed with the dance, the singing, and the poem reciting. They invited us to dance with them, gathered around and asked us to take photos with them.
The kids made awesome food for us. They made presentations in English and showed us what they learned in class. They learned how to set and decorate the table. They needed to learn how to do those things as a skill, which might become their skill for survival when they grow up. Though it was not hard, the kids did each task carefully.
We went to a class and taught the kids how to make dream catchers. And then we went to an English class and had some easy conversations with the kids since they only knew a little English. We also talked about Canada and gave them some English books as a gift. The English teacher made a speech with eagerness. He said that they had smart and talented students but they didn’t have good school supplies or resources. Most of the students in that school could not go to college because of poverty. They hoped that they could send one student to our school to get a better education.
“We brought them two big boxes of food, including rice and vegetables. The old lady shed tears when she saw those things. She said in Spanish that it seemed like the food dropped from the sky.”
When I chatted with the teacher I learned that he was from Mexico City and he came to that poor area and became a teacher 10 years ago. He said he loved to teach and to give knowledge. I wondered how much faith and courage he had, what brought him to a poor and hot place without running water. His English was good. I believed he could lead a better life if he stayed in Mexico City. It was his choice to give education to a place where the kids really, really need him. During his ten-minute speech, I could see his keenness and love for the kids. I could see hope in his eyes and I could hear belief in his voice when he said, “If you can just give one student the chance to go to Canada, that would be very great.”
On our way home, the lead teacher said that lots of kids came to her and tried to make her remember their names and gave them scholarships. Yes, I could see their longing for knowledge, in each student’s eyes and faces. However, they didn’t have many choices.
Lots of younger kids came and asked for our signatures. I felt like I was treated as a movie star. Actually, I didn’t do a lot for them. On the contrary, they gave us lots of warmth and surprises.
I kept waving to them when I left. I walked slowly, my eyes stuck on their faces.
We went to visit a family in a mud hut after that. We brought them two big boxes of food, including rice and vegetables. The old lady ran shed tears when she saw those things. She said in Spanish that it seemed like the food dropped from the sky. I was shocked at first, but when I saw the only tiny room with four beds and a huge vat without water and the few pieces of old furniture, I understood why they appreciate the basic food so much.
All of us didn’t talk for the next two hours after we left the lady’s place. On the way back, I could see students in uniforms walking back home. I suddenly realized there were few cars on the soil path. One of my companions started to cry. “I hope I can do something else,” she said.
Everything flew in my head like a film. I felt like I was half-conscious. Same as my companion, I wanted to do something more for them but I didn’t know what I could do. I always saw poverty all over the world on TV. Though I always felt grateful that I didn’t have to suffer that much, I never ever considered what I could do for those poor people. I felt bad, and even guilty. I really didn’t do much. I am failing in words now.
I may go to that area again, or somewhere else like it, after I graduate from university. I will stay there for a year, doing whatever I can do. I would love to teach the kids English, or art, or anything. I will donate after I earn my own money. I will continue to learn Spanish. I will visit the mud huts and chat with the friendly people, bring them food and tell them stories about Canada. I don’t even think that is enough. I will show the photos to more people and tell my experience to whoever is interested. We will all do whatever we can do, no matter how small or easy.
I don’t think people who didn’t go to the trip can have the same feelings as I do. It was a trip that changed me. I hope the readers of my experience will at least feel grateful for having enough to eat and do something good to people around them.
Photos by Ciara Clemente, Eloise Patmore, Flora Feng
by Danny Park
Although it is difficult to express how spectacular this trip was, I will try.
On March 13th, 36 students and four wonderful music and arts teachers set off on a journey to Paris and Amsterdam. Despite a 5:30am departure from Crothall, we were all excited. After long flights and a couple of instruments misplaced, we arrived in Paris in the morning.
We went on to tour around Paris, seeing Le Tour Eiffel, Champs-Elysees and L’Arc de Triomphe. Our tour guide, Desirée, described the historical and cultural context behind every place we visited with detail. During the following days, we saw the Mona Lisa in the Louvre, Louis XIV’s bedroom in the Palace of Versailles, almost got pickpocketed and performed in front of many students at an international jazz school. Last but definitely not least, we went up the Eiffel Tower and were awestruck by its tremendous view.
On our last night in Paris, we went for dinner at the Hard Rock Café, followed by a cruise along the Seine River to admire Paris at night. We were lucky enough to see the Eiffel Tower flashing, an event that only happens for the first five minutes of an hour after sunset. Even though we were sad to leave Paris, we knew there was a lot in store for us in Amsterdam.
We took the Thalys train the next morning to Amsterdam. Travelling at a speed over 300km/h, we arrived in Amsterdam in less than three hours. The streets of Amsterdam greeted us with just as many bicycles, if not more, than cars. We saw numerous canals, bars, and quite… unique gift shops — no other word could describe such places. We visited two schools: the Amsterdam International Community School (a small city school), and Griftland College, in Soestdijk, Utrecht. We not only performed for the students but also had the opportunity to join them in their classes.
“Goedenmiddag, bent u vrigezel?”
“U bent erg mooi.”
My broken Dutch certainly put smiles on the students’ faces in all the classes. The musicians in Griftsland College were very talented. The school’s music curriculum focused more on contemporary music, and the students’ passion and love for their art clearly showed when they performed for us in their class.
We enjoyed a tour of Amsterdam in a canal boat one evening, and on our final evening we got dressed up to attend the ballet of Romeo and Juliet, set to the music of the Russian, Sergei Prokofiev. This took place in the world-class Musiktheater. We were astonished by the power of the music and drama in the dancing, not to mention the massive pit orchestra of 94 players! That was something no one present will ever forget.
After visiting museums, shopping, and playing music for others, it was time for us to head back to Victoria. It was a tough journey yet again, from Amsterdam to Frankfurt to Calgary to Vancouver then Victoria.
We learned a lot from this trip, and it was certainly a memorable experience. We would like to thank Ms. Williams, Mr. Butterfield, Mr. Reid, Mrs. Forbes, all of whom helped make this trip fantastic.
There’s nothing unusual about SMUS students participating in a Model UN, but this week was the first time we involved some Middle School students in the time-honoured demonstration of international relations at work. A dozen Grade 8 students joined the Senior School delegates in debating global issues earlier this week.
“I was really pleased and pleasantly surprised by how quickly – and actively – engaged the Grade 8 students became,” says trip leader David Lynch. “Usually students are pretty intimidated their first time, but our kids just jumped right in and debated and negotiated with students far older and more experienced than them!”
Below, Grade 8 student Josh answers some questions about his first time at Model UN.
What made you decide to participate in the Model UN?
I felt it would be a good experiences and I wanted to find out how it worked and learn how to solve a real world problem, like an adult. And I thought it would be fun!
What did you do at the conference?
I represented Mexico. To schedule a motion or to talk, I raised my placard. We tried to find a global solution to AIDS/HIV. Me and other students teamed up to make a resolution, which didn’t get chosen, but it was fun to come up with!
What was your resolution?
We tried to get rid of social and religious stigmas, then increase access to antiretroviral medications and increase infrastructure to improve access — making it easier and more affordable to get.
What surprised you about the Model UN?
I thought it would be complicated and hard, but was easy to get into it right away, even without experience. Also, I thought some students’ ideas were really interesting.
What was it like to participate alongside the Senior School students?
For me, attending with Senior School students was a great learning opportunity. Although I was not able to participate with SMUS Senior School students, I was able to collaborate with senior students from other schools. Most of the them had prior knowledge of the Model UN so it was very helpful learning some of the procedures. Overall, it was very enlightening and a beneficial opportunity.
What did you learn about how countries work together and the skills required for international relations?
I learned that countries will only work together when all needs are met and there is a mutual issue. Countries may also work together just to help another country out or on the other hand receive aid. Skills required for international relations are represented well in the Model UN. In order to gain signatories or support for a resolution you must form bonds with other nations.
While representing Mexico, I found it easy to garner support from countries that had the vision of reducing social stigmas — such as the Czech Republic — against our topic. However, connecting with the countries that had those social stigmas was difficult as they had different issues. This is just an example of a skill needed to connect with other countries to achieve a meaningful solution.
Will you do Model UN at the Senior School next year?
Rees, who graduated from SMUS in 1985, went on to represent Canada in four consecutive Rugby World Cups and is the only Canadian who has been enshrined in the IRB Hall of Fame.
In the curtain-raiser, the SMUS Juniors, on the back of some enterprising play in the opening minutes into the teeth of a strong wind, took an early 10-0 lead before the hosts replied with three scores of their own to eventually lead 17-15 at halftime.
This two point margin was likely never to be enough, and indeed, this proved to be the case. SMUS ran in four second half tallies in short order to gain control 41-17, with a late consolation home try of no real significance.
For SMUS, fullback Mitchell Newman added two more tries to his rapidly growing season total, while flanker Myles Duncan also chipped in with a brace. Michael Cernucan, Carson Smith and Josh Graffi all added singles, with fly half Graeme Hyde-Lay notching three conversions.
Angus Catto, playing at loosehead prop for the first time, gave an assured performance, as did David Lee at left wing. Lock Aidan McCleary ran powerfully throughout.
The respective 1st XVs then kicked off, in front of the usual large and colourful crowd. This time, SMUS opened with the elements in its favour. The first twenty minutes featured the standard feeling out process, before fly half Dawit Workie opened the scoring with a simple penalty goal from 20 meters.
Oak Bay replied in decisive fashion, controlling the ball for long periods and being rewarded in the 33rd minute when lock James Carson powered over from in close.
Turning around 5-3 down and facing a significant wind, SMUS looked to be in real trouble. And yet, with pressure and territory relieving kicks not even an option, the players dug in, and, keeping to the narrow channels and displaying superb ball retention, limited Oak Bay’s options.
With twelve minutes remaining on the clock, SMUS’ one concerted rush up field paid dividends, as a series of forward drives allowed flanker Zach Kahn to squeeze through a maze of bodies to score under the posts. Workie added the extras and, improbably, SMUS led 10-5.
The final passages contained all the drama supporters have come to know and love from this hotly contested rivalry. Oak Bay dangermen Evan Cambridge and Conor McDiarmid on two occasions were almost through, only to be thwarted by superb tackles by first Mark Kiggundu and then Saeed Shokoya.
With just seconds left, Oak Bay launched one final attack, but it too foundered, with SMUS captain Sam Reid capping an inspired performance by booting the loose ball into the crowd. Against serious odds, SMUS had won the second half 7-0, and the game 10-5.
With the SMUS victory, the “Boot Game” series is again deadlocked, as, over the past 19 years, each school has won nine times. One match ended in a draw.
For SMUS, the front row of Alex Campbell, Shokoya and Matt Shin, assisted by Cole Tamburri, set a rock solid platform and stole one key scrum feed. David Boroto got through a mountain of work in defence, while fellow lock Matt Rud was again ultra steady in a pressure cooker environment. In the back row, Kahn and openside Clarence Choy tackled like demons, aided by No 8 Chris Bjola, who, in addition to claiming numerous key lineout throws, worked himself to exhaustion.
Behind the scrum, fly half Workie was a constant running threat, and, in harness with Reid, controlled play effectively when playing into the strong wind. Centres Dave Pollen and Keenan Manhas defended resolutely, while wings Kiggundu and Wayne Lin did not put a foot wrong out wide. At fullback, Michael Baart positioned himself well to deal with kicks, counterattacking with telling effect on several occasions.
The large contingent of SMUS fans also played a key role, willing the players on in the game’s final, frantic few minutes.
SMUS now looks forward to the Island 7s, to be held Sunday, April 14 at UVIC’s Centennial Stadium. A top four finish will be required to advance to the provincial event in two weeks time.
Photos by Darin Steinkey; Try photo by Steve Wyllie
After the longer breaks, the boarding community comes back together with Community Weekends. This means our usual weekend activities are replaced with house activities so that everyone can reconnect and spend some time together.
Last weekend, house activities included a trip to the petting zoo at Beacon Hill Park (with ice cream at the Beacon Hill Drive In, of course), a downtown scavenger hunt where participants had to pile themselves into an English-style phone booth, build a coffee pyramid and dance Gangnam Style in front of the Legislature (among other things). Also, a very fortunate group of Bolton House seniors traveled to a private island for leadership training.
Check out the mash-up of activities from the weekend below. You can also see Chris Bateman’s video recap of the Bolton leadership retreat as well on SMUS Tube.
“Snake bones are shaped like puzzle pieces.” – Samantha
“Rabbits have two teeth behind the bigger teeth.” – Xander
“Some bones were big, and some were small.” – Naechal
“People used to make buttons out of animal horns” – Alexandra
“First Nations people made baskets out of baleen.” – Jamie
“I had fun putting the teeth in the sockets of the skull.” – Jonah J.
“I especially liked learning about horses’ teeth.” – Lauren
“Beavers have teeth that are big and go way back in their heads.” – Bryson
“Monkey skulls look like human skulls.” – Jonah A.
“Deer and elk antlers are furry and fall off and grow back.” – Cole
“I didn`t know that horses` legs had so many bones!” – Eva
“Grass has little pieces of glass in it, and that makes it hard for animals to chew grass.” – Arjun
“Some kinds of birds have little spikes pointing inwards on their beaks.” – Alec
“A whale`s rib bone is way bigger than I am.” – Ethan
“I liked sketching the bones.” – Daniel
“I liked how everything was explained really specifically.” – Anj
“I liked learning about animal bones.” – Alastair
“I learned lots of things!” – Tyson
“I hope everyone had as much fun as I did.” – Josephine
“It was awesome!” – Kelsey