Havergal Launches New Strategic Direction
Extended Closure of Campus – Message from the Principal
The February Family Day long weekend has come and gone and so have the constant colds and stuffy noses that were prevalent in the first half of the month. The girls came back from their long weekend with more energy and pep in their steps. What has persisted is the patches of heavy snow days that continue to daunt us. However, like the resilient girls that they are, our students keep moving along without missing a beat. It was lovely to see so many girls being invited to different homes for the long weekend. Thank you to all the families that took in extra girls; they all came back well-fed and full of smiles.
As it is now March, please remember to send us any flight itineraries for those who may be flying somewhere for March Break, along with permission forms. We are handing out postings for the leadership positions that will be available for the 2016-17 school year. Once the girls are back from their holiday, they will be able to apply and interview for the positions. Election day is on Tuesday, April 12. Results are usually announced approximately two weeks later.
February was an eventful month with Chinese New Year activities. Quite a few girls volunteered to help create and cook traditional Chinese meals for our Boarding Chinese New Year Dinner. Members of our Food Services team are always delighted to have the girls come down and show them recipes and cooking techniques that were taught to them by their parents. In addition, we had a lovely Valentine’s dinner that was organized had hosted by the Grade Reps. It was a fun event full of games, activities and some great dance moves! The girls ended the month by seeing the musical Kinky Boots. Most of March will be taken up with March Break, but April will be filled with many more fun activities, including events with other independent schools. Two such events that many girls have been preparing for over the past several months are the Dance Troupe show and Havergal’s stage production of Richard III. Staff and students are eagerly awaiting both performances as the girls who are participating have worked tirelessly in perfecting their lines and choreography.
Lastly, we said goodbye to two of our exchange students who had been with us for almost a month and we will be saying a farewell to Audrey Chan who will leave for a month on an exchange trip to South Africa. Her roommates will miss her, as will the rest of the Boarding School.
Assistant Head, Boarding
On Monday, February 1, the Tao Family kicked off the month by going to FormoCha Tea House for bubble tea. Waiting for the bus in the freezing weather did not quench our enthusiasm for some delicious bubble tea and to play fun games with our Boarding family. We went in, ordered drinks one by one (actually, we finished all their tapioca and they had to tell other customers that they were sold out) and settled down in the warmth. Some of the games we played were Sandman, Tall Stories and Picnic. Sometimes we argued about the game rules and were really confused, but that’s the fun of it. We all laughed a lot and had a great time together.
On Wednesday, February 10, Boarders partook in a Valentine’s dinner, which, in addition to dinner, consisted of a series of games, quizzes and prizes. A lot of time and preparation went into the process of making sure the dinner went smoothly. Our Grade Reps took on the challenge of organizing and running a dinner that both engaged the Boarders and allowed them to learn some new things in a friendly and competitive environment.
On the day of the event, our Grade Reps started working right after school to ensure that everything fell into place. We worked on setting the tables, folding napkins, placing utensils and positioning decorations. Sheena Mckeever, our Grade 9 Rep, was in charge of organizing the seating arrangements and decoration ideas. She made sure that everyone sat with someone who they weren’t particularly close to. I was in charge of planning the games and activities that went on during the dinner. Examples of activities included a quiz, a round of “name that tune” and a dance party toward the end of the dinner. Lastly, Lois Ifeweke and Katrina Yeung, our Grade 11 Reps, were in charge of incentives, prizes and emceeing the event. They took into account the financial and social part of the event, organized a budget and planned the activities for students.
Our Food Services team prepared an amazing dinner, which was truly the deepest essence of the night. The dinner included some delicious and thoughtfully cooked foods such as: mouthwatering hangar steak and garlic shrimp (otherwise known as “surf and turf”), mashed potatoes, olive bread and heavenly molten lava cake. Students were dressed semi-formally and they walked into a dimly lit dining hall, with candlelight and name tags set on each table, welcomed by Lois and Katrina. After we ate we went straight into a Kahoot quiz, which consisted of many different phrases in a variety of languages to test our knowledge on our diverse and culturally colourful community and the different languages spoken within it. We then played “Name That Tune” to test our knowledge of popular current and past songs that pertain to the word love or the meaning of love. As the dinner came to an end, we dedicated a time to dance off all our calories in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. Overall, I believe the night was a success and I can’t wait to see what we do next year.
On Monday, February 8, Boarders gathered for a dinner to celebrate the Chinese New Year. This event was organized by Ms. Tao, one of the Boarding Dons, and several Chinese Boarders. Even though these students were away from home, they had the chance to celebrate this special holiday with their friends and our Boarding community!
In the evening, the dining hall was beautifully garnished with Chinese New Year decorations that brought out the cheerfulness of this traditional holiday, such as paper-cutting and duilian. At the same time, delicious food was brought to the tables by the several students and the Food Services team, such as stir-fried vegetables, sweet and sour pork and Coca-Cola chicken wings. The dishes added fresh and new flavors in the community as the girls learned about Chinese culture and traditions. Students and teachers experienced a family-style round-table dinner as a representation of the unity within the Boarding community. Everyone enjoyed the tasty and delightful food as they shared laughter and wished each other a prosperous year! Kung hei fat choi! 恭喜发财!
On Monday, February 22, Grade 9 Boarders went out for a sushi dinner at Spring Sushi, a restaurant located in the heart of downtown Toronto. It was a unique dining experience because the restaurant had a modern ordering system with iPads at each table, which allowed us to see what each dish looked like. We ordered by tapping on the desired dish and once our table submitted our order the waiter came over and took the iPad.
Overall, the service was friendly and the dinner selection offered a good variety, including meals for non-sushi eaters. Before our meal arrived, we got the waiter to take pictures of us. My favourite dish was their salmon sashimi. The salmon had a buttery taste and texture. I also really liked the udon noodles, which were chewy and soft and tasted fabulous. Throughout the evening, we enjoyed the amazing food and were glad to get the opportunity to bond in a smaller group and get to know Toronto better. It was a great way to commence our week. I look forward to more fun Boarding events!
A chilly winter in the new year deserves something warm and delicious. This February, a group of food lovers from Boarding went to the Mongolian Hot Pot Restaurant for their Chinese New Year hot pot dinner event. For many of them, having hot pot dinner is a traditional way of celebrating Chinese New Year, but for some, it was their first time trying this new and exciting Eastern cuisine.
In general, hot pot refers to a simmering metal pot of stock at the center of the dining table. While the hot pot is simmering, ingredients including sliced meat, dumplings, seafood and vegetables are placed into the pot and are cooked within a few minutes. One of the most exciting parts of hot pot dinner is that everyone gets to make their own dipping sauce. Unlike dining at school’s cafeteria, everyone around the table shares food from the same pot and the raw ingredients that were ordered to the table.
There were many different ingredients to choose from and everyone kept busy adding ingredients into the pot, making their dipping sauce, impatiently checking to see if their food was ready and, of course, taking pictures. As the organizer of the event, initially I wanted to introduce this cultural cuisine to Boarders from all cultural backgrounds and, at the same time, celebrate Chinese New Year with those who could not celebrate this tradition with their families back in China. It was truly a wonderful experience, especially when some Boarders told me that it “felt like being home”. Of course, the food was amazing.
On Thursday, February 25, 17 girls from the Boarding community went to see the amazing and intriguing musical Kinky Boots in the Royal Alexander theatre on King Street. We travelled to the theatre by bus and subway. It was freezing outside and we were all shivering. We exited the subway at St. Andrew’s Station and walked past tons of tall buildings, including the CN Tower which was close by.
When we arrived at the theatre, we were all anxious for the musical to begin. Some girls bought popcorn and others bought ice cream to eat during the play, but sadly those snacks were gone before the show even started. Going to this event gave us an opportunity to see an outstanding musical that is well-known and recognized around the world. For most of the girls, it helped us to complete our Drama assignment by writing a review of the stunning show. Most importantly, it allowed us to experience a brand new activity together and strengthen us as a community.
March 6: Rock Climbing with Ms. Tao
March 11: Boarding Closes at 6 pm
March 28: Boarding Opens at 12 pm
March 31: Archery Tag
Alright, okay. I’ll tell you what you’re thinking:
That a girl, my age, somewhere is slowly sinking,
And a little boy is probably crying.
People are trying
So hard to survive.
And I wish I could say that I was speaking metaphorically,
‘What will you do?’ is not a question asked rhetorically.
Before I go any further, I have to confess,
That I’m unfortunately just like the rest
And I don’t mean to condemn
What’s more important is what we can do for them.
Can’t you see?
We’re all specks in the grand scheme of life,
And we all go through periods of hardship and strife.
Some, more than others.
And it’s not fair,
But unfortunately I didn’t care
To think about them.
But back to the 80 percent
That live on less than $10 a day.
I’m not sure what else I can say,
We do give and we donate,
But if we all take a moment to appreciate
What we have.
That’s probably not what you were thinking.
But I do hope, one day,
You’ll think about them.
Paola joined us in Boarding from Mexico City this year, bringing with her a love for sports, photography and a fun-loving personality that our Boarders appreciate. Paola is a very active member in our Havergal athletics community. Over the past two seasons, she has shown commitment to early morning cross country, ski and swim practices. These are the sports she’s been able to commit to, but she’s also joined some rugby, soccer and rowing practices to decide between sports or just get a good workout in. At home, she also has an interest in climbing. Alongside her athletic abilities, Paola uses her creative skills as the Boarding photographer at Carol Service and she’s also designing the Boarding page in the Ludemus yearbook!
We love Paola for her cheerful spirit and welcoming nature. She is a steadfast friend to all Boarders. One of the Boarders described her as brave for raising her hand in class. But she’s even braver in the eyes of our girls for going without a cell phone or laptop for a few weeks to let her brain heal from a concussion! Students describe Paola as a loving, bubbly and energetic girl who is always open to hugs. Her easy-going personality makes her easy to talk to and her silly nature makes others laugh. She has also been a wonderful mentor to those taking Spanish classes. We are lucky to have Paola in the Boarding School!