Havergal Launches New Strategic Direction
Extended Closure of Campus – Message from the Principal
Dear Parents and Guardians,
For those of us who work in the educational profession, March Break is always the harbinger of spring. The days are getting longer and a little warmer and we feel the energy of renewal, both outside in the natural world and inside of ourselves. As we take a break from school and the deep winter months, March Break allows us to centre ourselves again, to focus on rest, relaxation and rejuvenation.
Our students have been working diligently for the past two months on both the academic and co-curricular sides of school. In addition, they have had a number of Boarding activities, including Family events, Lunar New Year and Galantine dinners, skating, tobogganing and a trip to Saint Andrew’s College in Aurora. We have also implemented activities in the Common Room from 8 to 9 pm, Monday through Thursday evenings. These activities are led by a Don and include games, crafts, movies and trips to the Fitness Centre or walking together outside. This offers students an option for taking a break from their studying each evening to socialize with each other and to focus on their overall wellbeing.
Student elections are right around the corner, offering students a chance to run for leadership positions within the Boarding and Day Schools. These positions, which include Boarder Prefect, Head Junior Don and Junior Dons, allow students to take on roles that are impactful in our Boarding community. Job descriptions and applications for the positions will be available on Monday, March 23 for interested students. If your daughter is planning to apply for a Junior Don or Prefect position, please note that you should wait until after election results come in on Friday, May 1 before purchasing your flights for the upcoming year. If elected as a Prefect, House Captain, School Captain or Senior Year President, the school will notify you as to when she needs to return before the start of the school year. Boarding will open for those students who are successful in becoming Head Junior Don and Junior Don on Sunday, September 6 at 8 am.
I wish you and your daughter a healthy, happy March Break and look forward to seeing everyone return re-energized for the remainder of the spring term.
Head of Boarding
Syrniki is fried Eastern Slavic quark pancakes, garnished with sour cream, varenye, jam, honey or applesauce. The cheese mixture may contain raisins for extra flavour. It is a traditional Russian food that can be sweet or savoury. They are traditionally served as breakfast or dessert. The word syr (сыр) generally means “(yellow) cheese” in Russian, which is one of the main parts of the dish. It reminds me of Russia because I used to eat it a lot when I was home. I really enjoy this as a savoury dish for breakfast; it’s a great way to start off the day and it works great as an end-of-the-day sweet dessert too!
Katsu-Don is rice with deep fried pork cutlet, eggs and vegetables. It is a very popular dish that is not hard to cook. I like it because it is not too fancy, not too casual and it is suitable for any situation. Since it is so easy to make, I eat it a lot. My family used to make it very often for dinner and it is the food that reminds me most of home.
Banh Chung is a traditional dish eaten in Vietnam every Lunar New Year. It’s a traditional rice cake made from sticky rice, mung bean and pork, wrapped in banana or dong leaves. In the Banh Chung origin story, the cake’s square shape represents thankfulness to the Earth and our ancestors. Traditionally, families would gather before Tet to wrap and boil the cake overnight. Banh Chung has a very special place in my heart because it is what reminds me of my family back in Vietnam and the happiness of being together.
The bread contains coconut milk and is starchy and slightly sweet. It is usually cut in half and stuffed with a Jamaican patty to form a sandwich. A Jamaican patty is a pastry that contains various fillings and spices baked inside a flaky shell, often tinted golden yellow with an egg yolk mixture or turmeric. It is made like a turnover, but is savoury and filled with meat. I really enjoy it when the patty is filled with cheese. It is so deliciously filling and has so many carbs, but it really is the dish that reminds me of my Jamaican home. I used to eat it with my friends and family whenever I could.
My favourite food among all the various cuisines I have tried is ash, the national food of Azerbaijan. It is made of basmati rice, Shafran, butter and a thin layer of handmade lavash (a type of bread). The reason why I like this exquisite food is how the spices, butter and rice create a harmonious smell that reminds me of my home, warmth and family. There are more than 10 different types of ash. My favourite is my grandmother’s, which is the best that you could ever eat in this entire world. When she makes it, she ensures that each layer of rice has enough butter, spice and love to make each rice kernel distinctively seen and to have that unforgettable taste. If you ever visit Azerbaijan, I strongly recommend you to try it out—I promise you won’t regret it!
A sope, also known as picadita, is a traditional Mexican dish originating in the central and southern parts of Mexico, where it was sometimes first known as pellizcadas. It is an antojito, which at first sight looks like an unusually thick tortilla with vegetables and meat toppings. It is my favourite dish because I used to eat it all the time with my family since I was young and it is something that I yearn for whenever I come back to Canada.
Chicken rice is a savoury rice dish topped with either steamed or roasted chicken. It is the staple of Singapore. I used to eat it growing up as a young child. Everywhere I go, I would look for chicken rice to eat and usually I would be able to find it. It is the one thing I ask for whenever I return home.
As the year is now in full swing and spring is just around the corner, I would like to say congratulations to all the girls: you have made it through most of the year! Since this issue of the newsletter is focused on food, I’d like to talk about one of my favourite desserts.
The truth is, I haven’t had my favourite dessert in a while, and by that, I mean in about eight years. However, I vividly remember the softness of the steamed cake and the fragrance of the flower. The dessert is an osmanthus rice cake, made up of rice flour and fresh osmanthus flowers, which is steamed to rise but which also has a soft sticky texture. My grandma’s home in China has an osmanthus tree in the backyard and every autumn the air is filled with the sweet smell of osmanthus. I used to help my grandma collect the flowers, then watch TV while she prepared the cake. After moving to Canada, I have not yet had a chance to be back when the flowers bloom or found any places that make the same cakes. If anyone can find somewhere in Toronto that makes really good osmanthus cakes, I’d really appreciate knowing. Enough with the nostalgia—now back to the grind!
March Break is also right in front of us. I hope everyone stays safe and rests for the sprint to summer. Spring is the time for birth and rebirth; for the future, I hope everyone can think about something new they would like to try and to give it a go, whether that is sports, arts or something else that you’re interested in.