Reflections and Advice:
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
The approach to physical activity was surprising as a boarder. During warmer months, weekly runs were required (different lengths for boys and girls). Tennis, badminton, and basketball courts were available on-campus along with a soccer and a rubgy/football field. In addition there were golf courses and a sailing/canoeing club nearby, although visits there were not as frequent. The coaches were very high quality caliber. Attending weekly Christian religious service (chapel on-campus) is required of all students, regardless of denominations. I thought this odd given half of the boarders were the children of diplomats.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
Being there when I was made university entrance really easy. It is almost a guaranteed "in" given the school's reputation and connections. They actually have staff whose primary duty it is to find post-secondary in-roads for each and every student in senior high school! (The school also has junior high school (AKA middle school), from grade 8 upwards).
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
Maintaining a connection with family or some key people in your life that you met before arriving is key. I was lucky in having had that. Also, give yourself permission to go off-campus and do fun activities like skate on the canal or whatever suits your interests.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
The quality of the teachers was generally very high across the board. Usually it's only one or two per grade level.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
With the newly-constructed boarding wings, the old dorms are now offices. Get some gear and go skating on the canal. If you can have a bicycle on-campus, you can visit downtown Ottawa easily enough. I would recommend checking out the Bytowne Cinema to avoid most Hollywood flicks - it's actually the closest cinema by far. Feel free to check out St. Laurent shopping centre (not just Rideau Centre) or, if you want to go farther, South Keys (exit at Greenboro station via the O-Train or South Keys via the 97 bus).
1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The small class sizes (less than 18) resulted in a lot of attention to your work. All the teachers were exceptionally well-educated and this showed in their teaching efforts. I appreciated this since I was never a slacker and wanted to improve. That said, the library, although exceptionally-well maintained, was petite.
1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The approach to physical activity was surprising as a boarder. During warmer months, weekly runs were required (different lengths for boys and girls). Tennis, badminton, and basketball courts were available on-campus along with a soccer and a rubgy/football field. In addition there were golf courses and a sailing/canoeing club nearby, although visits there were not as frequent. The coaches were very high quality caliber so if you wanted to specialize in anything, they could definitely take you quite far in your training!
Art, Music, and Theatre:
1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
I know this was available at the school, but I was not able to take part due to other commitments. I appreciated their performances as they would be the first to be asked to perform at various school functions. You can get a lot of stage time, so practice!! As for variety, most instruments are available for music and extra-curricular painting classes were available from what I remember.
1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
Given the mandatory volunteer experience to obtain a high school diploma in Ontario, I was surprised how many were within walking distance. The school is very well organized that way and I found it enjoyable. I helped with a homework group at a primary school a couple of times per week. It was more fun than I imagined it was going to be!!
1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
I shared a room with another student and the room was a nice size. We easily fit our stuff in there for the year and had plenty of room on our desks for computers, a stereo, our books as well as simply room to walk around in. The floor monitors are teaching staff and I found they added a very nice social dimension to the atmosphere by being positive and fair. Whenever problems ever arose, I remember always being positively impressed by their responses - something a teen can learn from.
1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
There was a big dining hall that was always well-maintained. Tables and long benches were provided and were of high quality. Openings for breakfast, lunch, and dinner were fairly strict. Students would be able to opt out of dinner if they wanted to order-in. The food, however, left much to be desired and my weight reflected that (much lower than I wanted it to be).
Social and Town Life:
1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
The school is located in Rockcliffe, a prestigious area of town with ample trees and nice estates. The closest anything within walking distance is a grocery store and some coffee shops about a 10-minutes walk away. Anything else (including cinema) requires a substantial bus ride or a set of wheels to get to.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
Spending so much time with the same people inevitably builds bonds, no matter the differences you perceive. This is actually a really good thing in spite of any growing pains. There were one or two recreation rooms with a small TV at the time, but now there are huge boarding wings.
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