The Roman system of education constantly evolved over the centuries, as result of Roman military expansion and the inevitable influence of surrounding cultures – the most influential being the Greek system of knowledge and teaching. In conjunction to Greek, or Hellenistic, influence, the Romans remained loyal to their original system of education and continued to value its practical uses. The Romans always considered how knowledge attained by students could be applied to everyday situations and how it would be of use in their society; dismissing much of what they considered unimportant or worthless education. The objectives of Roman education varied according to which jobs were desired and attainable for each social class – with the poorer receiving a minimal amount of education to prepare them for trade or merchant jobs and the more rich continuing on with expensive schooling to attain the most admired Roman position – that of an orator. Education in Rome was divided into three levels – that of the litterator, the grammaticus, and the rhetor.
Linguistic training and excellence in oratory skills were the emphasis in Hellenized Roman schools. This resulted in the new perception of the orator as being the ideal educated man. The intent of a proper education in Rome now focused on providing children from wealthy families with the skills needed to mold them into successful orators. Through the study of rhetoric, teachers prepared students for oratory jobs in Roman society, such as a lawyer or politician.
It is important to note that the goal of a Roman education was to prepare one for a career. The Roman education system remained different from the Greek system in that it valued practical knowledge over knowledge of the arts or humanities. The Romans did not absorb all the values of the Hellenistic education system: music, dancing and drama training were viewed as subordinate or even unseemly by the Romans. In addition, the study of mathematics was limited to counting and measuring, or to the practical subjects of architecture and surveying. The Romans were not interested in knowledge for its own sake – Roman practicality endured through Hellenistic influence.
Students were usually first sent to school at the age of seven. At the litterator level, the first stage in Roman education, much like modern elementary schools, reading, writing and arithmetic were taught by a teacher called the litterator. Most Roman boys did not advance beyond litterator training as their parents only desired them to learn skills of practical value (Shelton, Pg.115).
At age ten or eleven, some boys from wealthier families went on to study with a grammaticus. At this stage, the student’s style of writing and speaking were refined. A boy would learn how to analyze poetry and would learn Greek if he did not yet know it. Although at the stage of grammaticus, the boys were only meant to learn language and literature, music, astronomy, philosophy, natural science and other disciplines were also taught. The studies of extra subjects were only taught for their application to the study of literature. For example, the students did not study astronomy in order to learn about the solar system, but to gain a better understanding of a poet’s words (Shelton, Pg.116). Quintilian, in The Elements of Oratory, states that the curriculum of the grammaticus was divided into two main subjects: the art of speaking correctly and the interpretation of poetry.
Only very few boys went on, at the age of fourteen or fifteen to study with a rhetor. Here the students were trained for careers in public speaking, law and politics. Wealthy parents of these children had plans for their sons to become statesmen, politicians, lawyers or public speakers. Strictly speaking, a rhetor was a professor of rhetoric, but this study encompassed many other scholarly disciplines. It can be said that studying with a rhetor was similar to studying liberal arts at a modern university (Shelton, Pg.118). Seneca the Elder in his Suasoriae describes these methods of learning:
“Students learned how to choose the right word, how to use rhetorical figures, how to arrange words in the most effective form and with the best prose rhythm. When they could compose sentences and paragraphs with ease and with brilliance, they were given topics and asked to compose speeches of varying lengths. Speech topics were divided into two broad categories: suasoria (singular: suasoria) and controversiae (singular: controversia)” (Shelton, Pg.119).
Students of a rhetor learned how to write these two distinct speeches in hopes that it would give them the necessary skills for their future careers. A suasoria was a persuasive speech, written to prepare students to make speeches at public assemblies. A controversia was a speech arguing for one side in the case of a law, which was mean to equip students for a career as a lawyer.
An orator was held in the highest regard in Rome, not only for the career an orator attained but for the moral worth of such a man: “For I say not that he who would be an orator must be a good man but even that no man, unless he is good, can ever be an orator” – Quintilian (Eyre, Pg.57). An orator was viewed as the most apt and true of the citizens of Rome as he was the most educated, contributed the most to society, and held the most influence. Quintilian’s definition of an orator in The Elements of Oratory makes this clear:
“The man who is truly a citizen and fit for the administration of public and private business, who can guide cities by his advice, regulate them by his laws, reform them by his judgments – this man in none other than the orator” (Shelton, Pg.123).
Cicero here outlines the timeless responsibilities and virtues of the orator:
“…the difficulty of the study of oratory? The student of oratory must acquire knowledge of a great many things, without which knowledge fluency of speech is empty and ridiculous…He must be thoroughly acquainted with all the emotions which nature has bestowed on the human race because he must use all his power and ability at speaking to calm, or alternatively, to stir up those who listen to him. He should also include in his style of speaking a certain charm and wit, erudition worthy of a well-bred man, quickness and brevity both in replying an in rebutting, as well as refined elegance and urbanity” (Shelton, Pg.124).
By Sharan Pawa, Alumni
Encountering someone can really change your life either positively or negatively.
Fortunately, I have made an encounter that made my life become fantastic. This person happens to be a teacher I met at school. Hopefully, my words will make you understand how important this encounter is to me.
At some point, I bet you met a teacher. Teachers come in all shapes and sizes; that is what makes them special. But my experience before high school was that teachers always were mostly bias and not empathetic nor understanding. But then finally, I found a teacher that had none of those attributes. It all started when I went to an interview for a leadership program. When I entered, I was surprised. This wasn’t like anything I had ever seen before! The students took charge with no supervision from adults. They even acted like adults and were responsible. I was utterly astounded. This revelation caused me to be excited when going through each station. The final station however caught my eye. A random group of people and I were seated in a classroom. I thought that we were only just going to do an essay. Obviously that wasn’t the case at all.
When we entered, there was a moveable chalkboard in the room that was at the front so everyone could see it. We all sat randomly in chairs. The student in front told us to raise our hands and give a word that is related to leadership. Normally, I would put my hand up only if I knew I was absolutely correct (which was rare). But my gut told me that if I wanted to get in, I had to put my hand up as much as possible. I was probably the person talking the most. But suddenly a voice said, “What is your name?” I looked to the left and saw a forty to fifty-year old man with a big smile that had a leadership sweater on. There was no mistaking that face. That was the head leadership teacher, Mr. Jackson.
I was half stunned by his presence and half flabbergasted at myself for not having seen him. I said my name in a mumbled tone. The lady next to him made a gesture to talk louder. I misinterpreted that to mean that I should stand up and say my name again. So I stood up and said my name with as much confidence as I had in me. He maintained a smile but started looking intrigued. After looking at the impression I created on the infamous Mr. Jackson, it made me believe that I definitely got in. I left the assessment both joyful and confident.
Waiting to see whether I got in or not wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I actually was more focused on school at the time. But then one day, I was being driven by my dad and he said, “We got the letter from Windermere Leadership.” I was so excited but scared at the same time that I wouldn’t get in. However, the next words that came out of my dad’s mouth was, “You got accepted.” I was so happy. For once in my life, I felt like things would definitely be better once I left for high school.
My first day in leadership, I was scared. What if Mr. J found something about me and regretted putting me into the program. To my amazement it ended up that he was treating every one of us the same. He asked very complicated questions that were both intricate and conveyed that he knew you could answer the question.
For once, I felt like a teacher understood me and thought I was capable. The best part about him is that he would treat you the same even after two years of being in his class. I started realizing that he was starting to become a part of my family as well as everybody else in the program. Well, the real question was how can you not feel like a family in such an inclusive environment like that? I really thought that we would always be a family but to my dismay, he was leaving.
I felt like my heart was disintegrating. Lots of questions popped up in my head basically blaming myself. Going insane as well as not knowing why he was going, it was hard to think logically. During the last class he was going to be there, the mystery was thought to be revealed. He almost told us until most of us starting blubbering like whales. He didn’t tell us, probably thinking that he would depress us more. When he left though, something clicked in everyone’s mind. We took him for granted. But to show him how much he meant to us, we have to keep what he started and pass it on.
This was no easy task considering we still thought we would see him on the first day of school. But our teacher helped us by reminding us that we should carry on what Mr. J did to show that we really did appreciate what he did. We stepped up and focused on what was important. To this day, you can see that Mr. J made a great effect on all of us considering we became both more physically and mentally stronger. We even felt more confident. I would guess that if he looked at what we were doing without him being there, he would be proud.
Lots of things have influenced me as well, but this definitely changed me. I will never get what he did for all of us. I can even say confidently without a doubt this is an encounter that I wish everyone could experience so they can change their lives as well.
By Gayatri Bhagavatula
POST SECONDARY SCHOOLS! The places where most of you probably want to be and why students in grade 12 are stressed out beyond belief. You are scared you might not get in or scared of what happens in the world beyond Windermere’s halls. You are anxious to find out the fate of your applications and are probably a bit confused by the whole process. Here is my personal guide to getting into college or university, and actually succeeding (not failing).
The road to getting into your desired school starts with good habits. Start developing them early! Sure, no one really looks at your grade 8, 9, or even 10 grades but how you choose to study during those years will definitely help you (or not) later on when you need it the most in grade 12. I’m not gonna lie, during those earlier high school years I never really went out of my way to understand concepts, and it didn’t really hit me until grade 11 and 12 that I actually had to put some (a lot) of effort if I wanted to succeed and get to where I wanted to be.
Good habits to develop while you’re in high school:
1. Asking questions right away. If you don’t understand something, waiting around and doing nothing isn’t going to magically cause your brain to
2. Review your notes and learn to take good ones. I find that a lot of students assume simply writing down notes and paying attention in class is enough, but it really isn’t. You won’t retain much from your classes unless you review your notes outside of class time (and not just the day before or the morning of your test).
3. Start your bigger assignments (heck, even your smaller ones!) before the night before they’re due. Please don’t end up like me, freaking out over your first research paper and staying up until 5 am when you have to wake up at 6:15.
4. Participate in class! Many university/college classes incorporate discussions into their courses and you may be graded on it as well.
5. Get involved!!! It’s not about being just “smart” anymore. Just about anyone can get good grades if they pay attention, study, work hard, get help, and are motivated. Post-secondary institutions are looking for people who stand out from a sea of good grades, which is where things like volunteering, sports, and extra-curricular activities stand out.
Your application do’s and don’ts :
1. Don’t lie. I know this may seem obvious but let’s say you’re getting a 79 in chemistry, don’t make your life more complicated by saying you’re getting a
2. Don’t start you application the day before the deadline. One thing I found when I applied early was that getting applications out of the way early just helps to decrease your level of stress (so you have more energy to stress
about other things). Last year the UBC website crashed on the last day due to insane amounts of applications. Fortunately, they extended the deadline by a day. But ..what if they hadn’t?
3. Do spend some time on written aspects of your application. If the school you’re applying to requires you to write an essay, small paragraphs, or
anything besides your personal information, it would be a good idea to think about what you want to write. Be sure to check for spelling and grammar errors. Don’t think that the school won’t bother to read this part because often times especially if your grades are just meeting the acceptance average, they will pay even more close attention to this section.
4. Do ask questions! If you are confused on a certain aspect of an application, or on what to write, or actually on anything at all about the process. Don’t hesitate, I repeat DON’T HESITATE to ask your counselor, Ms. Rajkumar or heck even call the school a ton of times like I did when I had questions. It is YOUR application. YOUR responsibility.
1. As my calculus professor said in September: kiss your social life (for the most part) goodbye! I hate to be the bearer of bad news, and believe me I’m probably captain optimism but if you actually plan on succeeding in your classes be prepared to … (insert shocked face here) actually spend some of your weekends… AT HOME. As a high school student, weekends to me were fun, relaxing, and occasionally stressful due to tests and maybe a project or two (note: please don’t think I’m saying high school is easy because that’s definitely not the case). Now as a university student, weekends to me are where I actually have time to sit down and study for all my classes, and the funny thing is even on weekends I still feel stressed out and I feel like I can never escape from that “I’m-in-school” mentality.
2. Your professors don’t care. Maybe that’s a bit harsh, because some of them do. But I learned the hard way, the first time I was 10 minutes late to class the day my assignment for the week was due and my professor gave me a 0, I realized this wasn’t high school anymore. Professors won’t really bother to hear your excuses, they’re busy people. You really have to get your you-know-what together and be responsible for yourself. (Which is why developing good habits early on will help you.) If you fail a class, or don’t even show up to class, the school isn’t going to call your house and let your parents know. Why? You’re already putting money in their pockets…
3. School comes first, job second. I know a lot of you have part time jobs during high school, I did too. But remember that your education is of utmost importance and if a job gets in the way of that, you either have to find a new one or quit. I went from working 3 to 4 days a week in grade 12 to now working once a week for 4 hours. Keep your eyes peeled for opportunities! There are jobs out there that are super understanding of students’ crazy schedules and lack of availability, especially on-campus jobs!
Now, I’ve read countless blogs and articles about how to prepare for post-secondary and what to expect, and to be honest, I still felt like a fish out of water (I actually still do but anyway…). Everyone will have a different experience, but remember that other 1st years will be just as scared as you! Don’t be afraid to join a club or extra-curricular activity, they’re a fantastic way to meet new people and to network yourself. But I do recommend capping it at 2 groups/activities because anymore than that and you’ll find yourself extremely, extremely overwhelmed. But of course I can only speak for myself, and the sad part is even after that whole thing I just wrote, a lot of you will still feel shocked at the level of learning you’re expected to have right out of high school. But I don’t doubt that you will all have the potential to succeed and do well. Get prepared, do your homework, and develop good habits early!
By Farrah Bui-Turcotte, Alumni
By Brendan Chan, Alumnus
It is well known that creativity is important in all aspects of life. It not only stimulates the creation of new and innovative ideas but also plays a large role in students’ development, especially during high school. As defined by the National Advisory Committee on Creative and Cultural Education, creativity is an “imaginative activity fashioned so as to produce outcomes that are both original and of value.”
By Brendan Chan, Alumnus
Scholarly Conflict and Key Players
Education lacks the ability to nurture creativity in children needed to adapt to our changing world. In his article, “Fostering creativity or teaching to the test? Implications of state testing on the delivery of science instruction,” Christopher Longo suggested that standardized curriculums are teaching high school students in the United States for the test rather than stimulating creativity and self-motivational learning. By reviewing and analysing research done by others, he outlined his paper, beginning with a lengthy history of standardized testing. Then, he moved on to talk about its implications and how state testing could go hand in hand with creativity. What Longo found was that students were being spoon fed information in order to score well on tests, in turn reducing the motivation in students to inquire into their own learning. (more…)
By Brendan Chan, Alumnus
Schools in North America are teaching an outdated curriculum that is not only preventing students from keeping up with the changing world, but also fails to encourage self-learning, a crucial component of creativity. The North American education system was born out of the capitalistic model of the economy, in which education systems resemble assembly factories where large groups of students move from teacher to teacher, class to class, and grade to grade. The system’s rigid use of standardized testing to produce students with set skills and standards contributes to the reduction of flexibility in, and the commodification of, education. (more…)
March: Grad Student Checklist
- Most institutions will send you letters or e-mails advising you to self-report your marks. Self-report Term 2 marks to UBC (starting in March) to receive instant admission decision. If you have not received an admission offer from SFU, self-report your Term 2 marks to improve your chances of getting in.
- Ensure that you have submitted all the paperwork required by your institution of choice.
- Follow up with any institutions with uncertainties (residence, marks, admission requirements, deadlines, paperwork, fees, etc.).
- Beware of scholarships that are available in March, and read the student bulletin!
By Darius Davidson, Grade 12
Everyone sees things through a different lens. For a long time, students have been placed into classrooms where teachers teach them based on their educational methods. Not every student learns the same way, though; some are kinesthetic learners, while others are visual learners. Students are bound to feel discontented with the way they’re taught at one point or another, but up until recently they hardly got the chance to openly discuss about the current educational system and design the future of education.
On January 31st, over 230 students from secondary schools across the entire Vancouver School District came together at the Roundhouse Community Centre for the “Let’s talk about learning” student forum. Continue reading…
By Nina Kumar, Grade 12
(Published online only)
Homelessness is a growing issue in Vancouver and an even bigger issue across Canada. Regardless of its type – absolute, relative, or concealed – homelessness is something that all Canadians should be concerned about. Many believe that the homeless are alcoholics or drug addicts, but this is not always the case. Homelessness is tied to various social problems, such as domestic violence, shortage of affordable housing, and high unemployment rates. Also, recent studies have found that twenty to thirty-five percent of homeless people have been treated for psychiatric disorders. Moreover, statistics show that there was a fourteen-percent increase from 1986 to 1996 in the Canadian population, but even before this period came to an end, it was shown that thirty percent of the population was living in poverty. This shows how Canada has been robbed of affordable living for a long time. With about 65,000 young homeless people found across Canada, one cannot help but think, “What on earth are we doing as a nation to change this?” (more…)
By Shirley Le, Grade 12
“People who are homeless are not social inadequates. They are people without homes.” – Sheila McKechnie
The number of homeless people in Vancouver is large, and it isn’t getting any smaller. We’ve become so accustomed to seeing them on the streets that we treat homelessness as if it is a social norm. Many people are so narrow-minded and judgemental that they look down on these people without considering the cause of their misfortune. Many see this as an issue, yet not many are brave enough to stand up and do something about it.
Surprisingly, Canada is one of the few countries without a national housing strategy, not to mention that statistics on the country’s homelessness aren’t very great to look at. (more…)
By Jomar Sastrillo, Grade 12
Law 12 students at Windermere Secondary School have initiated the annual Educational Campaign on Homelessness by engaging in various projects under the direction of Law teacher Ms. Lee. In light of the Homelessness Action Week from October 10 to October 16, the campaign aimed to investigate the laws in relation to the issue and possible solutions. The class has organized a clothing drive, interviewed prominent members of the community, such as Don Davies, Tim Louis, and Libby Davies, participated in public debates, listened to talks from leaders of local campaigns, and donated to local charities. The goal of this campaign is to set an example for others to follow and to fulfill our responsibility as citizens to help our community.
By Dickson Liong, Grade 10
Did you know that Windermere Secondary School has a 16-year-old teenager who has been drafted by the Vancouver Giants into the Western Hockey League (WHL)?
His name is Trevor Lima, and he is currently in grade 11.
Trevor is a 5-foot-9, 170-pound, right-handed defenseman. For a 16-year-old hockey player, he is in pretty good shape.
Lima was selected in the sixth round, 123rd overall, at the 2010 WHL Bantam Draft in Edmonton.
Many say Lima is one of the top defensemen to come out of British Columbia. One thing is for sure: (more…)
By Kory Muenala, Grade 12
Did you know that there are over 1,700 people living on streets and in shelters in Vancouver? Could you have guessed that 50% of these people have lived without a home for over a year? Probably not… This is the reality Vancouver is facing today and it is one of the main concerns shared by many people in the city. Luckily, I was able to contact Katrina Hopkins, a shelter support worker. She has kindly provided us with some information about Powell Place, an emergency shelter for women. (more…)
By Winnie Liang, Grade 12
“We learn from history that we do not learn from history.“ - Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Every year, on the 11th day of the 11th month, many people worldwide make a special effort to commemorate those whose lives were cut short by war. In a little over one week, we will do so once again. Sadly, remembering the brutality of previous wars doesn’t seem to change the fact that ever more meaningless and devastating armed conflicts are taking place, right here and now.
Historically, Remembrance Day marked the end of the First World War, which was declared official at 11:00 a.m. on November 11, 1918. Sparked by an assassination in a small corner of a long-forgotten European empire, World War I spread throughout the entire world, causing over 35 million military and civilian atrocities. However, those 35 million souls would be all that we are memorializing today if “The War to End All Wars” had not revolutionized the way wars were fought. In the years that followed, regardless of all the ‘remembrance’, the world had put together a history of appalling violence.
As human beings, our ability to learn and transform sets us apart from other animals. We all know how important it is to learn from past mistakes and not repeat them in the future, yet reality tells us otherwise. (more…)
By James Wang, Grade 12
On a warm, mid-August afternoon, the B.C. Ministry of Education tweeted that starting this school year, optional Grade 12 provincial exams would no longer be offered. I personally oppose this change, but nonetheless, others may rejoice. Keep on reading this article to find out how this may affect you!
A brief history of B.C.’s provincial exams:
Years ago, there were provincial exams which were worth 50% of a course’s final mark, and the optional provincial scholarship exams. The weighting of the former was later changed to the current 40%, and the latter was done away with. In 2004, the biggest changes came; Education Minister Christy Clark made all Grade 12 provincials, other than English 12, optional. Over the years, B.C.’s major universities, including UBC, SFU, and U. Vic, changed their admissions policies: provincial exam results would only be used if they increased an applicant’s average. So, the number of people writing them dropped year after year. Then in 2011, 30 optional provincial exams have been dropped due to the fact that only 20% of all eligible students chose to write them last school year and provincial exam scholarships worth $2.5 million dollars went unclaimed.
(Note: Grade 12 provincials are worth 40% of your final grade, but Grade 10/11 exams are worth less – 20%)
Old Provincial Exam Scholarship Rules ($1000):
- Achieve 3 “A’s” (86%+) on 3 Grade 12 exams
- Minimum of 73% on the English 12 provincial
New Provincial Exam Scholarship Rules ($1000):
- Get a “B” (73%+) overall (School Mark + Provincial) in either English 12/Communications 12
- Achieve 1 “A” (86%+) on any one of the 5 provincially examinable courses (English 10/12, Math 10, Science 10, Socials Studies 11)
- Get at least 3 other ”B’s” on any of the other 4 exams
As you can see, it’s much easier to get a scholarship now! Grade 11’s and 12’s weren’t expecting our Grade 10 provincials to matter much, but now they do for scholarship purposes. On the plus side, the exam rewrite rules have been relaxed for those students this year! Instead of allowing students to rewrite exams that they’ve done in the past year only, all mandatory exams can now be rewritten. So if you would like to do so, please talk to your counsellor.
Is the change good or bad?
Now, you are probably wondering why anyone would voluntarily write a 2-to-3-hour exam under the risk of losing up to 40% of their final grade. Right off the bat, it seems quite unfair that Grade 10’s are now under the pressure of having to write three provincial exams while Grade 11’s and 12’s write one exam only. Does that make sense to you? Secondly, students who didn’t get desirable results in previous provincial exams but would like to get a shot at the provincial exam scholarship must now rewrite them, despite the fact that they would have to study for courses they had taken one or two years ago. Thirdly, cancelling optional provincial exams might cause some negative repercussions on the education system. They had been a great equalizer between different schools. Students of private and public schools in both urban and rural areas had all written the same exams. Plus, the exams ensured that every teacher followed the same curriculum. Now, course materials may vary dramatically and students’ fate may be determined by the type of teachers they get.
Nonetheless, I do concede that some good does come out of the cancellation of optional provincial exams. Students are now much less stressed! The most positive effect is that there will be more scholarships given out! (Hopefully, the Ministry won’t run out of money and start reducing the scholarship amount.)
Although student apathy has undoubtedly played a part in causing this ‘atrocity’, the government cannot deny its responsibility either. Personally, I think students should have at least gotten a one-year advance notice of such a drastic change.
I lament the loss of optional provincial exams. Frankly, I was looking forward to writing them, to challenge myself and to gain a sense of achievement. But, when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade! For now, concentrate on doing your best in the mandatory provincial exams. If you do well, your $1,000 scholarship depends on them!
For all our newly arrived grade-eight Warriors and those who have joined us from another high school, here is some advice for the problems and issues you might encounter.
1. I’m so scared of high school! What if the teachers give me too much homework and if I fail my exams! I don’t want to repeat grade 8!!!
Don’t worry, you won’t repeat grade 8 as long as you pay attention in class, do the homework, and study effectively. (Remember: studying for too long without rest is NEVER a good idea! Your memory and learning are enhanced only when your brain is active, so distribute your study time wisely!) Luckily, our courses run on a Day 1/Day 2 schedule. If your teacher assigns you homework on Day 1 and it’s due the next class, you’ll have two days to finish it – there is plenty of time! Also, teachers do a great job of preparing you for final exams, and there are lots of tutorial blocks and Homework Club if you need extra help!
2. I just moved into the area and I’m really shy and people don’t really notice me. I really want to make some new friends, but I don’t know how. Help!
By Josephine Wong, Grade 12
Click for high resolution! Click for high resolution!
High school students were asked the question: What advice would you give your eighth-grade self?
- Moderation is your god. – Justin Fok, alumni
- BE YOURSELF… too many people are pretending to be who they’re not, changing for all the wrong reasons, to be accepted by all the wrong people. – Jenny Ho, grade 12
- Enjoy your time in high school while you can. Try to be productive but at the same time, be at a steady pace so that you can enjoy and appreciate everything around you. Try as many things are you can while you’re still in school… – Tammy Lee, Grade 11
- Worry less about finding that one ‘special’ person and focus on studies. – Matthew Le, grade 11
- Get a catchphrase; something funny that won’t wear off until late grade 10. – Mitchell Agostinho, alumni
- You think you have something to be angsty about? Wait another few years. – Jessica Poon, grade 12
By: Emily Chan, Grade 11
It all started when I read a comic strip in the paper. It was from Pardon My Planet, a classic comic featured in The Province daily. An overweight man sitting at the bar states, “After six years of high school, I lay the blame squarely on the shoulders of the school system for not properly preparing me for unemployment.”
Even though this may seem like a juvenile comment at first glance, it caused me to sit back and think about our education system. We are taught to succeed in life; we are taught to keep our heads high and accept accomplishments gratefully. We are also expected to be content with trying our best – because with that, we’ll go far in life…
But what will happen when the gigantic brick wall of failure sneaks up on us and smacks us down? As harsh as that may sound, it’s how failure will feel if you’re not prepared. You’ll be caught off guard, and won’t know how to gain the confidence back in order to pick up the pieces of your life.
Nikki attended an intensive 3-and-a-half-week summer course with other teens from all over the world, including places like Peru and Hong Kong, from July 7 to Aug 1 at Emily Carr University (formerly known as Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design). While giving her the opportunity to take on several hands-on art projects, Nikki has learned a lot from experience.
“…I wanted to learn what art truly was and how it was going to be taught [at Emily Carr]. It was an awesome experience and I learned a lot of new things about the history of art and what makes something considered art and why people do it. For me, art is a way to express yourself in ways that words can’t – a way to show people who you really are as well as your take on life, love, and many other things. This was an experience I’m sure that I won’t forget and I encourage all you art lovers out there to go out and find our yourself. Emily Carr is a great way to start.” – Nikki Siu.”
Congratulations Nikki on completing your summer course and pursuing your interests!