Tigers on the Move- Early Bird Regatta, World VEX Championships and CAIS Rugby Tournament

This weekend many of our Tigers were on the road competing.  Ridley Robotics took on teams from around the world at the VEX Championships in Anaheim, California, the girls and boys rugby teams were in Lennoxville, Quebec for the CAIS Championships and our rowers had their first regatta of the season.

VEX Championships
Team 1509 finished with a winning record of 6-4 and finished 32nd out of 86 teams in the Engineering division. A Canadian team in their division went on to finish as the overall champion. Team 1509E finished even stronger, going 6-0 in their last 6 matches to finish 13th in their division. Neither machine was able to win their way out of their division to the overall finals but showed true Tiger spirit until the final match. One major kudo for our team was winning the Build Award trophy for team 1509E. Only 5 of these were awarded at Worlds (one per division) and recognized construction integrity and clever design!

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CAIS Rugby Tournament 
Both female and male rugby teams were in Lennoxville, Quebec for the CAIS Rugby Championships.

The girls rugby team faced some stiff competition throughout the tournament beginning with a game against the 2013 CAIS National Champions Bishop’s College.  The girls went on to play three additional games, but did not come out on top.  However, the team continued to grow and develop, gained new skills and a deeper understanding of the game, and had fun playing rugby.

girls rugby

The boys rugby team took on St. Andrews in their first game of the tournament and despite a hard fought battle lost 25-0.  In game two they faced BCS and lost 21-10.  Up against WIC in the third game Ridley was victorious in an overtime thriller winning 17-15. On Sunday morning in the Bowl Division finals the Ridley boys defeated Seminare de Sherbrooke 17-10 clinching the division title.

Boys Rugby

To read more and to view pictures from the tournament, please click here.

Rowing Regatta
It was cool but sunny with a steady headwind—ideal conditions for the 1st of the year regatta! Here are the results from the weekend:

Jr Men’s 4x: 2nd (Jr Men’s Lightweight 4x – 4th – same race).

Sr Women’s 4x: (development boat) 4th.

Sr Men’s 4+: 1st.

Jr Men’s 72kg 8+: 2nd.

Sr Women’s 1x: 3rd.

Jr. Women’s 8+: 3rd.

Sr Women’s 2x: 6th.

Sr. Men’s 8+ (development crew): 4th.

The next race for our rowers will be the Mother’s Day Regatta in Port Dalhousie.

Senior Men's Four
Senior Men’s Four 

Manipulating Fish DNA for the International Barcode Of Life Database

For ten years Ridley College Biology students worked on the Human Genome Initiative with the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. The University would send templates of chromosomes, for example the breast cancer gene or the human deafness gene, our students would sequence the genes and send the data back to the University where it was put into a repository.

Today, students are working with the University of Guelph on the International Barcode of Life Database. Labs around the world are sequencing different species with the goal of being able to look at a small gene in each species and catalogue it in the name of biodiversity.

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The International Baccalaureate Biology students conducted a three day experiment for the database.  The students were given samples of fish supplied by a grocery store (at this point they did not know the species of fish) and extracted the DNA in an attempt to identify which fish they were given. The students then sent their findings to the University of Guelph to be compared with the Barcode of Life Database.

To learn more about the International Barcode of Life, please click here.

To learn more about Ridley College’s International Baccalaureate programme, please click here.

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RIFF- 6th Annual Ridley Independent Film Festival

Students in Ms. Thomas’ Grade 12 Film Studies Course recently showcased a collection of their films in the 6th Annual RIFF – Ridley Independent Film Festival.

RIFF

The festival is the culmination of months of hard work in pre-production, production and post-production. Below are four of the twelve films that were featured in the festival:

Documentary: The Hospital Clown
Shannon Foss
It takes a special group of people to do what the Shriner’s Hospital Clowns do.  The Hospital Clown offers a behind-the-scenes look at the joys and beauty that can spring from even the most difficult of circumstances.

Stop Motion and Claymation: Tracks
Yael Humui Yedid
After his father’s death, Noah has no will to live and he finds himself starring down at the metro tracks in the Times Square subway gathering the courage to jump.  However, he will find himself enveloped in a world of his memories that may persuade him not to take his life.

Drama: Kipfield and Wren
Brigitte Pawliw-Fry
Fifteen year old Wren returns home from school to find a mysterious letter that spells out her brother, Kipfield, eminent metamorphosis.  Wren leads the oblivious Kipfield on an adventure on his final hours as a human.

Comedy: The Last Donut
Chelsea Brewer
What happens when two friends are left with only one donut? Join Will and Denrieke on their madcap adventure to attain the last donut.

International Representation at Senior Public Speaking Competition

Last week students competed in the annual Senior Public Speaking Competition.  I am always impressed by the way the students make me think, laugh and evoke emotion.  The topics ranged from battling depression to terrorism. It is amazing to see students from all over the world competing.  Students from Mexico, Germany, China and Canada participated this year.  There are three divisions in the Upper School Public Speaking Competition: Junior, English as a Second Language and Senior. Please view the incredible speeches below:

Our Senior division Dr. W.H. Merritt Memorial Prize Winner Lea Müller ’14 is from Germany and just last year she competed in the English as a Second Language division. Her moving speech about the struggles of mental illness was very touching.

The Senior division runner-up Honorable Mr. Justice A. Courtney Kingstone Award winner was Kailene Jackson ’15.  She spoke about the question that plagues many students: what are you going to do with your future?

The ESL Thomas Kwok Award winner was Theresa Li ’16.  This is a very special award started by an Old Ridleian, Thomas Kwok ’10 who was an English as a Second Language student.  Thomas competed in the public speaking competition when he was a student and thought there should be a special category for ESL students who had the courage to compete.   Theresa entertained the audience with her speech on complaining and how often we complain too much!

The Junior Division Family Guild Award winner was Noel Cousins ’16. His thought provoking speech was on terrorism and perspective:

A special thanks to Tim Griffin and Chris Carter from the Class of 1968 for judging the public speaking competition and for Greg Thompson ’68 and Brian Iggulden ’67 for their support.

Supportive Old Ridleians with the Prize Winners
Supportive Old Ridleians with the Prize Winners

Busy Spring Weekend for Ridleians!

It was a busy weekend for our students. On Friday evening, the Grade 12 IB Environmental Systems class participated in a ‘FrogWatch Investigation’ at the Burgoyne Outdoor Education Resource Centre. The students collected data that has now been uploaded to the NatureWatch Canada website.

frog1

Click here to view a short video clip from the trip – you can hear the Spring Peepers and Chorus Frogs.

frog2

On Saturday we held our annual Cadet Ball for students in Grade 11 and 12.  The theme was The Great Gatsby- some students even learned how to do the Charleston!

Leonard Girls
The Leonard Ladybugs
Headmaster Mr. Kidd and his wife Hanna showing off their dancing skills
Headmaster Mr. Kidd and his wife Hanna showing off their dancing skills
ABE
The boys of Arthur Bishop East House

To view more pictures from Cadet Ball, please click here.  For our younger students in Grade 9 and 10 there was trips to The Works Gourmet Burger Bistro and movie nights in the Ross Morrow Theatre.

On Sunday, the choir travelled to Toronto for the Conference of Independent Schools Music Festival where they performed at Roy Thomson Hall.

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The El-Salvador Experience – By: Odera Ebeze ’15

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.”

                                                                                                            C.S Lewis.

In the hot and humid El Salvadoran sun, a group of eleven Ridleians and I spent our March Break digging the ground, twisting rebar, mixing cement and carrying load-after-load of sand. For the most part, our group consisted of people I had never really interacted with, and if you were to have asked me about my expectations before hand, I would have told you that this was not my ideal “vacation.” I signed up because Father Jason promised me the adventure of a lifetime and it ended up being one of the best and most meaningful experiences of my life.

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With little knowledge of the Spanish language or El Salvadoran culture, I boarded the plane not knowing what to expect. With great anticipation, the group jumped into our adventure with 100% dedication and I must say that our energy didn’t wane until we left.

We worked in the Village of San Jose de Villa Nueva for Daniel, a man who lived in Atlanta but was in need of a place to live in his hometown. Working with Daniel as well as the foremen at the worksite, Jaime and Emilio was motivation enough. To keep things interesting, we divided ourselves into two groups and competed against one another to see who could dig the deepest hole, or the best hole, and at the fastest pace. We took turns excavating the ground and preparing the footings for the block walls. By the end of our second week, we had successfully completed 8 rows of blocks that would make up the outside and interior walls.

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I learned quite a few things on this trip.

  1. El Salvadorians cook with love. In fact, they do everything with love. Everyone we met, from the family we were building for, to the Habitat Coordinators, to the children at the local school we visited, to the lady who owned the corner store and offered us her washroom very warmly – everyone had passion.
  2. The people of El Salvador are very enthusiastic about voting. I suspect that this is because many can still remember a time when they didn’t have that right during the Civil War.
  3. El Salvadorians are very friendly and welcoming.
  4. Laundry can be done without the use of a washing machine as long as you have your two hands.
  5. To be consumed in service is one of the greatest feelings in the world.

I am so happy that I made the decision to travel this March Break. I made friends for life, people who have become “mis compañeros.” We also became really close to the foremen at the worksite. We learned about their background and what they valued. Leaving them was probably harder than carrying four bags of cement, each weighing 42.5 kg (we all did this). At the farewell lunch, not a dry eye could be found. We will all miss our friends and many of us plan to return next year to continue our work or participate in other trips organized by Ridley College in support of Habitat for Humanity.

Traveling to El Salvador, we were true ambassadors of our countries and Ridley College, living the motto “Terar Dum Prosim.” Nothing can ever replace what I have learned from two weeks in a Central-American country and the friends I have made. I will cherish this experience and them for a lifetime.