year by year
As the last of the culminatings are completed and we, relieved of the burden learning and school can sometimes become, especially as the heat settles in, summer is finally within grasp. While all students at WLMAC this past year, what we’ve gone through and what we will go through are notably different across grades. Here are the end-of-2021/2022 thoughts of still-fresh Grade 9 Patrick Bian, go-getter Grade 10s Kailey Cheng and Troy Saldanha-Martins, soon-to-not-be-juniors Grade 11s Suraiya Jiwani and Jeffery Hu, and heading-into-uni Grade 12s Swetlana Kumar and Matthew Schultz.
1. What word describes how you feel right now (interview aside)?
Patrick (9): Sad (that school is over)
Kailey (10): Tired
Troy (10): Stressed, [yet], relieved
Suraiya (11): Burnt-out
Jeffery (11): Relaxed.
Swetlana (12): Grateful
Matthew (12): Wistful
2. What tasks and responsibilities did you have last week and remaining this week?
Patrick: I had culminatings due last week (science, math) and have a culminating due this week (English). I also have a geography presentation this week.
Kailey: All my culminatings (Art: Self-Portrait + Zentagle; ICS: ISP Game; Math: Website Review Sheet).
Troy: A French Oral Culminating Presentation, math summative and in-class biology summative.
Suraiya: I had to finish my culminatings for classes (French, math, Spanish, biology), and I have some in-class culminatings to work on this week.
Jeffery: With the school year winding down, I just had to finish the culminating projects for each of my classes. In terms of clubs, there are some year-end events that I had to attend and organize but those are pretty fun since it’s just celebrating the end of the year.
Swetlana: I had to finish my last high school assignment (English verbal visual essay) which I did 5 days late. I had to prep for my summer job by going to the doctor 3 times over the past week to get a 2 step TB test and some shots. I had to paint my porch railing because I had been putting it off till my assignments were over. I felt like I should feel different after completing the last high school assignment but I really didn't lol. It was anticlimactic.
Matthew: Summer camp counsellor training, economics culminating, grad breakfast, MaCS graduation, general graduation, sister’s graduation, sister’s dance recital, review 2023 editor-in-chief applications for The Lyon, final Lyon issue, this interview, and probably a bunch more I have forgotten.
3. How much sleep did you get last night?
Patrick: 8.5 hours
Kailey: Probably around 7 hours (I think it's not a lot but compared to others, it's definitely enough)
Troy: About 6 hours
Suraiya: 7 hours
Jeffery: 8 hours, the most I’ve had in a while :D
Swetlana: 7 hours and 31 minutes!
Matthew: 8.5 hours (sounds like a lot but I need 10 to function optimally)
4. Are you looking forward to the end of school/start of summer?
Patrick: Of course! Mostly due to the fact that there will be no more schoolwork, which means less stress and more time to enjoy life.
Kailey: Yep definitely looking forward to the end of school. No more last-minute grinding T-T
Suraiya: Yes! I’ll have more time to spend with friends rather than being stressed about schoolwork.
Jeffery: Yes! Definitely looking forward to relaxing over the summer and not worrying about tests or projects.
Swetlana: I am looking forward to [being] unattached from any educational institution. It will be like my little gap year : ) I could prepare for uni, but I won’t.
Matthew: In some ways yes, school feels like it has been dragging on basically since midterms, and I think being outdoors working with kids will inject some energy back into my life. However, I try not to wish away my remaining time in high school because I know it is precious, so while I’m looking forward to summer, I’m not necessarily looking forward to the end of school.
5. Name three highlights of your summer that you plan OR wish for?
Patrick: Going to the cottage, going camping, and playing basketball with friends.
Kailey: Getting fit, (trying to) get good at marketing, and eating good food.
Troy: Going to Dubai/Greece/London with my family in August, having pool parties with friends and family, and sleeping in… I love to sleep.
Suraiya: Going to Italy, going to my friend’s cottage, and seeing my girlfriend :)
Jeffery: Going on vacation (out of the country) and exploring a new city while reuniting with family, hanging out with friends and trying new things, and catching up on all the movies I missed over the school year.
Swetlana: Going on picnics in random Ontario cities with my family : D, excited to make the most of one last summer with my friends (lots planned, gonna play pathfinders!!!), and looking forward to lots of good food now that I no longer have stress making me forget to eat and not giving me time to cook.
Matthew: Camp spirit, travelling, paycheck.
6. Do you fear September or look forward to it?
Patrick: I look forward to it because I will then be able to see my friends again.
Kailey: I look forward to September. I think I will be prepared for all my classes... Hopefully...
Troy: I actually have mixed feelings about September. On one hand, I will love to go back to school to see my friends after two months of little to no interaction. However, I am scared of the workload or what courses I may get. The stress of waiting is the main source of fear leading up to September. [It’s also] the start of 11th grade, one of the most important years of my high school career because of early applications for universities.
Suraiya: A bit of both - I don’t know if I’m ready to accept that I’ll be starting my last year of high school, but I’m also looking forward to new experiences.
Jeffery: Right now, I fear September because that means I have to do more school work haha. After summer though, I’m sure I’ll be looking forward to September since it’ll be my last year and clubs and sports will be running again (join MSC!).
Swetlana: I look forward to September because I get to be in a new country (UK woohoo) and also, September is the easy part. It’s October and November that you have to worry about. I am excited to go to uni because I’ll only be taking classes in things that interest me (no more Econ, sorry Mr. Rupke).
Matthew: Looking forward to it every second of my life, in every fibre of my being.
7. What is your biggest regret/achievement from this year?
Patrick: My biggest achievement from this year is placing in national competitions.
Kailey: Achievement? Honestly finishing all my culminatings on time and (hopefully?) getting a good mark in the end. (I pray that my teachers will mark easy on me; if you see this, please pray for me)
Troy: My biggest regret from this year is not establishing a good work ethic because procrastination usually interfered with my school work and the organization of my time. My biggest achievement is the fact that I built and maintained strong friendships with many people. During COVID-19 and the lockdown, it was very hard to make friends and I grew more and more anti-social. Nonetheless, I got out there, tried to make connections and eventually made friends that I feel will last a long time.
Suraiya: My biggest achievement is writing a short story that is currently published online.
Jeffery: I would say my biggest achievement is making it through the school year :)
Swetlana: My biggest achievement from this year was beating Alan in MSC points.
Matthew: A regret is not getting a job and not applying abroad for university. An achievement is getting a good scholarship for uni.
8. What is your favourite memory of high school so far?
Patrick: Probably hanging out with friends at lunchtime.
Kailey: My fav memory/regret is probably playing games in ICS and math class. I am literally OP at Fireboy and Watergirl now with all the practice I had this semester with my friends. (Please don't be like me, please focus in class and don't play games)
Troy: Going out with friends and just spending time with each other. In semester 1, grade 10 MaCS science, my class got to dissect frogs which were pretty cool and then in semester 2, grade 11 MaCS biology my class got to dissect fetal pigs!
Suraiya: On the first day of Grade 9, I got lost in the school and became friends with someone else who was also getting lost looking for her class. We’re still close friends to this day!
Jeffery: Probably going to Muskoka in grade 9. It was really fun to meet new people and try all the camp activities!
Swetlana: Staying up doing calculus moodles with my friends and then stopping and sharing music instead.
Matthew: Going downtown on spares
9. Which grade do you think had it best?
Patrick: Grade 10s.
Kailey: Grade 9 because everything is starting to open up and everything is (close to) back to normal.
Troy: I actually have no idea because the pandemic affected every single grade in some way. However, if I had to choose, maybe Grade 12 as they have already established connections and made friends and have a good work ethic tailored to the high school environment.
Suraiya: This year, the Grade 9s. My favourite year was this year.
Jeffery: The Grade 12s because they managed to dodge exams for the past 2 years. They also have in-person graduation and prom this year.
Swetlana: Definitely our grade.
Matthew: Of the current grades at Mac? Grade 9 for sure.
10. Which grade do you think had it worst?
Patrick: The Grade 12s.
Kailey: I think my grade: 10. WE STILL DIDN'T GO TO MUSKOKA YET! PLZ GRANT OUR TRIP PLZ!!! (also, totally not biased haha)
Troy: Grade 9 because they had to start high school in a modified semester due to the pandemic.
Suraiya: The Grade 12s. My Grade 9 year was my least favourite.
Jeffery: Probably the Grade 10s because most of their high school experience was virtual so they haven’t really been able to experience anything in-person and meet new people.
Swetlana: Probably Grade 12 the year of Covid.
Matthew: Probably the Grade 11s; their first year of high school got ruined, plus they’re gonna have senior-level exams next year after basically no exam practice throughout high school and they still have the literacy test.
11. What class/period was your most/least favourite?
Patrick: My favourite class was English.
Kailey: My favourite was probably art. The projects are great and the deadlines are lovely as well... If you're in my class you've probably heard me talk about how much I love art :)
Troy: In semester 1, my least favourite class was English and my favourite was Science. In semester 2, my least favourite class was Math and my favourite was French or Biology.
Suraiya: Favourite - English, Least Favourite - Math
Jeffery: Honestly, all of my teachers this year were really passionate and knowledgeable in their respective subjects so I would say that they were all great.
Swetlana: French 12 was my favourite and First Period was my least.
Matthew: My favourite class was Grade 11 ICS (in my grade 10 year). We had a really chill class of around 12 people and it was the legendary semester when COVID hit, so work was optional. I had nothing else to do so I just took my time and had fun with the projects. Plus getting on Discord every Friday to solve contests with the boys brings back good memories.
My least favourite class was ironically Grade 10 ICS (in my grade 9 year), I had never touched programming before so every day for me was hell. One of the only classes I ever consistently missed sleep over during high school.
12. What words would you leave behind for those coming into your year next year?
Patrick: Make sure to start your assignments early. You don’t want to be leaving them to the last minute.
Kailey: Um... Don't procrastinate... Just don't... If you do, you will absolutely die during the culminating season. Now have fun thinking about that for the rest of the summer (I am half-joking and half being serious, please be mentally prepared).
Troy: Good luck, study hard and stay organized, and always stay on top of your work. Having a schedule or calendar with due dates and deadlines really helps!
Suraiya: Marks don’t matter as much as the friends you make. Focus on your schoolwork but make sure to take time for yourself - you’ll regret it if you go through high school without trying to make new friends.
Jeffery: Try new things and do things you are passionate about :D
Swetlana: Don’t take things too seriously. Yes, get your work done, but this is also your last year with your high school friends. Just skip class if it’s a work period. Make plans. Enjoy high school while you’re still there.
Matthew: Have fun whenever you get a chance, be social, and don’t stress over grades if you don’t need them. Don’t take on more responsibilities than you need, and do things you are passionate about rather than what you think would look good on a resume. Get your volunteer hours and work. Sleep enough, eat well, and exercise :)
Regardless of what grade you're leaving and where you're heading in September, enjoy a memorable, timeless summer, Mackenzie.