Recent Graduate Share Their Ridley Experience: Mackenzie Wiens ’14

Before our seniors graduated our summer student and Old Ridleian Nicholas ’12 interviewed a few of them about their Ridley experience. In this interview he spoke to Canadian student Mackenzie Wiens ’14.  Mackenzie was a goalie on the First Girls Hockey team, a prefect, a member of the senior choir, and a part of the first graduating class of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.

1. Where is your favourite place to study on campus?
I like to study in my room in G-West, it’s always more fun (and motivating) to study with friends. I often have flatmates or just friends come to study with me. But when I need to study with someone of the opposite gender, their common room! I’ve found the MSO, has one of the greatest study areas, because their duty desk is right there, so if the teacher of the subject you need help with is on duty, it works out even better!

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2. What is your greatest memory of this past year?
My birthday was memorable. For one, I spent it rehearsing for CISMF (Canadian Independent School Music Festival), which ending up being a great concert! And also due to the fact that I received a lot of nice letters from people. During stressfull times I can read those letters and they boost my morale. So I guess it’s a continual memory!

 3. What will you miss the most about Ridley?
My first thought? Breakfast, I love Ridley Breakfast. On a more serious note, I am really going to miss all close knit relationships. It’s going to be rough next year, not seeing some of the best people I’ve ever met everyday.

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4. Who is your favourite faculty member?

  • Charl or Nieks or Van Nieks.
  • Amanda (Coach Wark)
  • Ms. Pak
  • Ms. Fillion
  • Doucie

All 5 of these people have been fantastic role models/mentors in my life and have taught me a lot about myself, growing up, as well as actual knowledge. All in all I think each one of these people could also be part of what I will miss the most.

5. What have you learnt from Ridley?
That’s a loaded question. I would never be able to answer that question within a reasonable space, so I’ll focus on how I feel I’ve changed (or grown) personally. I’m more knowledgable, passionate, and I would say most importantly I’ve become more compassionate. As a person, you are always looking for ways to improve yourself and to grow and I think that’s a mindset I’ve learned at Ridley.

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Get to Know the Ridley College Faculty: Ms. Bylsma

We have amazing teachers here at Ridley College. They’re passionate about learning, have a great sense of humor and truly love what they do! We decided to ask teachers a few questions in order for you to get to know them better.

Ms. Blysma loves all things literature – she is a passionate English teacher.  Her soft spoken nature, as well as her caring and nurturing demeanor make her an excellent advisor and new head of house for Leonard!  She is a former Assistant Housemaster of Gooderham West and is involved in a variety of activities as you will read about in this interview.

1. What did you take in university? Why did you pursue this?  
Initially I went to school to become a lawyer. I started off as a Law Clerk, but after three years of articling I decided that it was not for me. That is when I started to look for other ways to continue to teach and protect the rights of others, and that is when I went into teaching.

2. Did you have any other interesting  jobs before coming to Ridley?
Prior to coming to Ridley I worked as a Law Clerk. I spent three years articling for a lawyer, researching, preparing documents, and dealing with Traffic and Small Claims Court cases. I loved it, but needed something more social.

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3. What do you teach/coach/involved in at Ridley College and why do you love it?
I am the new Head of Leonard House, teach English and coach U16 Fieldhockey. I am also the faculty advisor for the school newspaper, TigerPost; Big Bunch, Big Brothers/Big Sisters Program; and, Breakfast with Books, book club.

4. What is your passion? What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love gardening.

5. What do you love most about Ridley?
The best thing about Ridley is the sense of community and connections you create while here. Whether it is meeting new people from Germany, China, Hong Kong, Nigeria, or the United States, the connections and friends you can make are endless.

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6. What is your favorite place to go in the Niagara Region? 
Our favorite place to go in the Niagara Region is Niagara-on-the-Lake. I love the little shops and small town feel.

Recent Graduates Share their Ridley Experience: Cosmo Steier ’14

Before our seniors graduated our summer student and Old Ridleian Nicholas ’12 interviewed a few of them about their Ridley experience. In this interview he spoke to Canadian student Cosmo Steier. Cosmo was a prefect, a member of the first graduating International Baccalaureate Diploma Progamme class and is a part of the Ridley Rowing mens quad. His crew won both the Quad at Stotesbury and the Coxed-four at US Schoolboy, they made history by winning both events at the Canadian Schoolboy Regatta with the same four athletes—completing their Triple Crown and maintaining their undefeated streak. He is currently in Germany training for the English Henley Regatta.

1. Where is your favourite place to study (preferably on campus)?

I like to study in the Matthews Library, I find no better place to work than the place dedicated to working!

2. What is the greatest memory of this past year?

Rowing. The way my crew and I have bonded and fought for each other is remarkable. Winning Stotesbury was just the cherry on top of an excellent year.

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3. What you think you will miss the most?

The routine. Ridley has been such a big part of my life for the past 8 years, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I love the busyness of the schedule and how it pushes the students/faculty to be on top of their game, at all times

4. Who is your favourite faculty member?

Dr. Baird. He taught me in sixth grade, and again in eleventh and twelfth, and I think he’s a fantastic teacher. Not only is he incredibly intelligent, he is great at sharing his knowledge and explaining what he means. I have enjoyed his class, and other than being a Cowboys fan, I think Dr. Baird is an excellent man and teacher!

5. What have you learnt from your time at Ridley?

Dedication. Ridley is an incredibly busy place, as it makes you run from A to B to C while trying to complete D in the middle. That being said, I love the busyness and how we are pushed to our limits during the school year. I believe people perform at the best when put under pressure, it enables them to rise to the occasion.

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6. Can you share a quote (yours or otherwise) about any aspect of Ridley/ life at Ridley (ex: academics, art, buildings, duty, history, passion, etc.)?

“I know the price of success: dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.” Frank Lloyd Wright. Sums up Ridley; if you work hard and are relentless, you will see success.

Get to Know the Ridley College Faculty: Mr. Park ’80

We have amazing teachers here at Ridley College. They’re passionate about learning, have a great sense of humor and truly love what they do! We decided to ask teachers a few questions in order for you to get to know them better.

First up is Mr. Geoff Park, he is a graduate of Ridley College (an Old Ridleian), a soccer coach, and a math and social science teacher. But that is not all! He is a former housemaster of Arthur Bishop East, he loves to play squash and his two children are also graduates of Ridley (his wife Stephanie works in the Admissions Office – she’s pretty fantastic herself!).  If you have ever come in contact with Mr. Park you will know that he’s a great guy, but enough from me, lets hear from Mr. Park:

1) What did you take in University? Why did you pursue this?
I began in Engineering but realized I wasn’t mechanically minded; I wanted a people job. So I switched to Education and could choose a subject that was interesting. Geography has always been an interest, so it fit the bill. My engineering allowed me to be a Math teacher as well.

2) Did you have any other interesting  jobs before coming to Ridley?
Agri-crews: I worked on a team with 5 students going to do different farm jobs. We spent about two weeks training vines at a vineyard that later became Cave Springs Winery. I also had a job in the City of St. Catharines Planning office, working on promoting residential intensification downtown.

3) What do you teach/coach/involved in at Ridley College and why do you love it?
I teach Geography and Math, and love the variety. Canadian and World Issues is my absolute favourite. I coach soccer and squash. I love both sports. I play them both, coach them, live and breathe them. Coaching is the reason I started teaching. It merges my love of teaching with my love of sports.

4) What is your passion? What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love many sports; soccer, squash, tennis, golf.

Mr Park (far left) at a Ridley Alumni Squash Event
Mr Park (far left) at a Ridley Alumni Squash Event

5) What do you love most about Ridley?
I love getting to know students on various levels (it is not just a classroom relationship). Interactions on playing fields and bus trips, in the houses, etc. add to the connection.

6) Favourite place to go in the Niagara Region? (restaurant, tourist spot, any place!)
Swiss Chalet! Frescos, Bansaree.

Yes - this is Mr. Park at camp taking the plunge on the zipline  - can we add daredevil to his list of qualifications!
Yes – this is Mr. Park at camp taking the plunge on the zipline – can we add daredevil to his list of qualifications!?

7) Any funny stories about your time at Ridley?
The duck in the chimney. When I was a housemaster a duck ended up above the damper in the chimney in our living room. I’m not sure how it got there or how long it was there. One evening I was talking to some parents in my office. My wife knocked on my office door, apologizing, saying there was a duck flying around our living room in a panic. By this time there was some damage to the curtains and a bit of duck blood. Fortunately the parent was a farmer. He came in and calmed everything down, including the duck, and caught it. We put it in a box, and he took it home to his own duck pond.

 

 

 

Recent Graduates Share their Ridley Experience: Lea Müller ’14

Before our graduates left campus our summer student and Old Ridleian Nicholas ’12 interviewed a few of them about their Ridley experience. In this interview he spoke to German student Lea Müller.  Lea was a school prefect, she won the top prize in the public speaking competition and she played first team tennis.

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1) Where is your favorite place to study on campus? In my room in Leonard House.

2) What is your best memory of the past year? My best memories are from Snake Dance, the Alumni dinner (I loved that especially) and all the breaks with my friends.

3) What will you miss most about Ridley? I will miss all my friends and how easy it is to live here. If I want to see friends, I open my door. If I want to be  alone, I close my door. I will miss the whole boarding life and all the little things.

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4) Who are your favourite faculty members:

– Mr. Doyle

– Mrs. Chausse

– Ms. Cox

– Dr. Foster

5) What did you learn from Ridley?

I learned a lot from my time at Ridley:

a) People are always around you that support you

b) Life is new everyday. Everything and anything can happen.

c) Diversity is key

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6) Can you share a quote (yours or otherwise) about any aspect of Ridley/life at Ridley (ex: academics, art, buildings, duty, history, passion, etc.)?

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.

Unfortunately, that is too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem.

The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.”

-Steve Jobs

I love this quote because I think at Ridley we all have experiences that make our lives special. Out of our own life we can then get creativity that is unique and beautiful.

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Trip to Pennsylvania.

Last Thursday a group of students chaperoned by Mr. Giles Campbell, Mr. Clyde Dawson and Miss Shannon Paisley left Ridley to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award trip to Pennsylvania. Arriving at 11pm to ‘The Cook County Scenic Trail Ride and Dude Ranch’ the group put up their tents, and prepared for three full days of horse riding in the beautiful Cook County State Park, located near Clarion PA.

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The next morning, after cooking their breakfast, the group was introduced to their horses and began the adventure. The trails were far from tame, the riders had to negotiate steep climbs and descents, huge muddy puddles, creeks, fallen trees and best of all massive rivers! We crossed the Clarion River twice during the first day that was deep enough to make a few of the riders shoes wet!

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We were blessed with perfect weather, which made the scenery even more spectacular. On Friday and Saturday the group rode for five hours. Each rider made a real connection with their horse and made progress in their riding skills.

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The students were an impressive group, they worked well together, preparing meals, making fires and having fun.

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This was a trip that I am sure each person will remember forever. I hope that the students will pursue adventurous journeys in the future and complete their next level of their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

Giles Campbell, Director of the Ridley Duke of Edinburgh’s Award program

 

Ridley Rowing Competing at Canadian Secondary School Rowing Association Regatta

The opening races of the 69th annual Canadian Secondary School Rowing Association Regatta are being held today in Port Dalhousie. The Tiger Rowers enter the National regatta as one of the most decorated Ridley racing groups of the last decade and no doubt are hungry to perform against the best Canada has to offer.

Senior Women's Quad
Senior Women’s Quad

All crews that have raced so far are headed to the semi-finals tomorrow. The Senior Men’s 2x finished 3rd in their heat, the Men’s 4+ won their heat and the Senior Women’s 4x and 63kg 1x are both moving on!

Watch the Men’s Cox Four:

Senior Men's Cox Four
Senior Men’s Cox Four

Watch the Senior Women’s Quad:

Senior Women's 63kg Single
Senior Women’s 63kg Single

Come out and support our Ridley Rowing crews! Please click here to view the schedule for the weekend.