Volume 15 Issue 15
keeping parents informed
May 11, 2012
MICHALSKI and CRAIG RIDE to TEXAS for WELLSPRING “I don’t know anyone who has not been touched by cancer. Right now we have staff members who are battling cancer, and others here who have done so previously,” says Upper School faculty member Mr. Craig, when asked why he is participating in the 2012 Wellspring Peloton Challenge, and then asks, “Do you know Wellspring?”
“I have often said that the medical field treats the disease but not the person, the mind, the soul; this is why Wellspring is so valued and needed. Without support from wonderful donors, these programmes and Wellspring itself would cease to exist.”—Wellspring member
You may not know Wellspring, or recognize the organization by its name, but you have most likely noticed Westerkirk House at Sunnybrook Hospital where one of the organization’s centres is located. Mr. Craig (pictured top) was not familiar with the organization, and it was only through one of his riding buddies’ daughters that he learned about Wellspring and the peloton challenge. This fellow’s daughter suggested the group participate, and so the idea was presented. It didn’t take any of them long to decide that it was a go! And while the ride in and of itself is challenging, the real challenge is to raise the funds required to participate: $60,000 per team. Once the group started to research the organization, they were even keener to help raise the funds needed to help Wellspring prosper. Mr. Craig’s motto is “Keep on Truckin’” and that phrase represents the kind of determination he will take with him on the road, and what many cancer patients must fight to do in order to beat the disease. With nine locations in Ontario and two in Alberta, the Wellspring Cancer Support Foundation provides supportive care for people living with cancer, with a mandate to provide programmes that meet the social, emotional and informational needs of cancer patients and their family members. Program-
ming includes one-on-one and group support, coping skills, educational resources, outreach and diversity programming (including young adults with cancer), rehabilitation, transportation, and child care services. If you haven’t heard of Wellspring, start asking around: you are bound to come across someone who has accessed their programming, or who has supported Wellspring already. The Wellspring Peloton Challenge only started last year, and was founded in collaboration with Cancervive. In October 2011, seven riders from Toronto flew out to Calgary and then rode in the Calgary Cancervive programme, raising over $80,000 for Wellspring Toronto as they rode from Calgary to Austin. This year’s Wellspring Peloton Challenge is out of Toronto and heads, once again, to Austin, Texas. This “supported relay ride” takes place October 12 – 21.
The cycling event will include five pelotons of six to seven riders who will travel more than 3,000 km in eight days with one peloton (team) always on the road. Each peloton will ride for six hours, will generally ride an average of 120 km in each shift, and have 24 hours in which to rest and to drive ahead to their next relay point. As a result, the ride continues unbroken, going 24 hours-a-day from Toronto to Austin. Teams’ start times could be at two in the afternoon, or two in the morning. That being the case, Mr. Craig’s only concern about the ride is the ability of one of his team members to be able to ride at night. “One of the fellows on our team has trouble with night vision,” says Mr. Craig. “If we can ride close, continued next p.
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and he can see someone right in front of him, he should be OK. We still have to figure that one out!” At the end of their journey, the teams will meet up with fellow riders from across North America to join forces and participate in the LIVESTRONG™ Challenge—the largest charity bike ride of this kind—and ride alongside cancer survivor and seven time Tour de France winner, Lance Armstrong.
Mr. Michalski and Mr. Craig are brainstorming; coming up with some fundraising ideas that can include the Crescent community. Some ideas swirling around are breaking a Guinness World Record on campus, or hosting a father/son hockey game. Certainly these two will come up with something that is funfilled and interesting! Stay tuned and find out more in September, or go to wellspringride.ca to donate now, and help Mr. Michalski and Mr. Craig get a healthy lead.
Mr. Craig and Upper School faculty colleague Mr. Michalski (pictured previous p. bottom) have been riding together for many years in a biking club. Mr. Michalski is “the new kid on the ‘bike’” while Mr. Craig has been riding with this group (which includes his twin brother) for almost 20 years. Rides usually include trips to cottages and up north, or west or east in Canada.
This will be the first time the group will be on a cross-border bike ride. And while they are all excited at the prospect of participating in such a challenging and worthwhile event, the fundraising is a huge commitment.
Men of Character from Boys of Promise
CPA NEWS From Garage Sale 2012 organizers: THANK YOU!!! A CPA Fundraising Event
huge THANK YOU to all involved in this year’s Garage Sale. It was a total success. Many parents, students, staff, and faculty gave abundantly of their skills and personal time to put together this large event. THANK YOU Crescent School for supporting and assisting the CPA in running the Garage Sale. And, THANK YOU all, for the donations received! On April 28, about 1,230 guests came to the Field House. Some of them started lining up at 6 a.m. despite the close to zero temperatures outside. In only 12 minutes we said “good morning” and “welcome” to 457 visitors, and the pace didn’t slow down—it was a busy day. Gross revenue was above $25,000, a significant accomplishment from just a few days of work. Net proceeds will go the Great Boys campaign. However, it is more important to highlight the fact that the Garage Sale is a true community building event where people get down to doing physically demanding jobs starting with the set-up team that had to unfold and place large tables, risers, racks, etc., around the Field House, to various
people carrying heavy packages, sorting, organizing; and ending with the environmental team that oversaw the correct disposal of garbage or recyclable material. Thank you to all the students from the Lower School, Middle School, and Upper School who also came to help out during the three days of heavy work. Customers say that the Garage Sale is outstanding. It offers a great selection of items, of great quality, and great pricing! But not only that, the Crescent community offers a service like no other. All volunteers are here to help, which shows in their smiling and warm faces; student volunteers are available to carry our guests’ purchases to their cars, and
even a golf cart is ready for those who need special transportation. Last but not least, the Café area offers shoppers the opportunity to relax with a cup of coffee or tea, possibly also waiting for the last deals of the day. It is a friendly event enjoyed by everybody! Even the policeman commented on the fact that guests left the Field House with happy faces! It was a pleasure and a privilege to be part of this community event. Certainly it couldn’t happen without every one of you! We hope you consider volunteering again next year. The Garage Sale is an event to look forward to! —Carolina Melis and Ivy Lit, CPA Chair and Vice Chair, Garage Sale
The CPA is Looking for Grade Parent Volunteers CPA Grade Parent Programme
Grade Parents are a valuable resource, and help to facilitate community building within each grade. It’s a fun opportunity to bring parents together and to be involved with School activities and to support communication between parents and the School. Grade Parents are needed at all levels, and no experience is necessary—so please join in! To volunteer or nominate a candidate, call or e-mail your liaison (listed below) by Monday, June 4. Lower School Liaison Sheila Centner 416-567-7227 email@example.com
Middle School Liaison Lori Fisher 416-485-8392 firstname.lastname@example.org
Grade 9 & 10 Liaison Natalie Williams 416-486-4111 email@example.com
Men of Character from Boys of Promise
Grade 11 & 12 Liaison Debbie Bell 416-467-8010 firstname.lastname@example.org
From the Lower School
GRADE 4: Grade 4 students, Aidan Mauder, Justin Metivier and Evan Ibbitson (right) are featured in Sunnybrook’s Your Health Matters April newsletter (Issue No. 3). The article features the boys delivering a cheque showing the amount of money they raised, by making, and then selling, origami cranes to the Crescent community.
xciting news! Ms. Fleetwood-Morrow has just had it confirmed... the grade 5 project of producing eight large ceiling tiles with a theme of Under the Sea, will be located in a spot of honour at Sunnybrook. They will be situated in the corridor where veterans travel into the hospital from the Veterans Residence when they require medical attention. We are thrilled that we can provide some cheer to these Canadians to whom we all owe so much! The tiles will be unveiled at a special assembly on Monday in the CCL theatre for Grandparents Day. Copies of these tiles will be installed at Crescent in the Lower School corridor, joining the Birds in the Bush tiles from last year’s project. Look up later in the year!
s you know, the current grade 6 boys created Crescent’s first set of ceiling tiles (last year) designed for the Women & Babies Programme at the hospital. It was a wonderful experience of giving, both of creativity and funds. Ms. Fleetwood-Morrow and the boys had been invited to see the installation at Sunnybrook, but there was a problem. Unfortunately there was a concern that the entire “artist-painted ceiling-tile programme” would be cancelled over a concern of fire safety and the use of acrylic paint. Thankfully, the programme received approval, and all is back on schedule. But now there are new problems with organizing a visit! To date, a location for only three of the tiles has been confirmed; in the triage area where visitors are not allowed. The location of the other tiles is TBD. So perhaps Ms. Fleetwood-Morrow will not be able to take the boys to see the installation as she is retiring in June. Let’s hope they all get the chance to see their work in place at some point!
Men of Character from Boys of Promise
From the Middle School
y son declared boldly to his audience (my wife and daughter), prior to the weekly on-the-carpet-wrestlematch, that tonight he would become the alpha male of our house. And then, with reckless abandon, he threw himself while sounding some sort of strange war cry, into the fray. Naively he hadn’t counted on my vast experience, the battle-hardened, “on the carpet” warrior. As he charged I went straight for the spot just below his right arm, and before the match had even begun, he was a helpless, giggling, squirming ball of tickled eight-year-old, screaming that he gives in, and that my alpha male status remained intact for another day. So what does it mean to be a man? It feels timely for us at Crescent to think deeply on these questions; understanding the complexity of this topic for many of our boys, and the shift in the landscape in which they will be men. Boys want to become men. They want to become good men— men that are true to their own values and perspectives and feelings. It is very important to them, and yet it is a topic we have shied away from due to the politics and negativity that surrounds it. We see clearly the broken models of masculinity that we grew up with: don’t cry, be strong, hold your emotions, be a man. However we have not filled the void with a new healthier narrative. I took my family to see the new nature film Chimpanzee this weekend. It was heartbreakingly beautiful. The film charts the journey of Oscar—a baby chimpanzee who, in Bambi-esque fashion, loses his devoted mother right at the point that a baby chimp most desperately needs that sustenance. We watched as Oscar tried to find a member of the tribe to help him, only to
see the mothers in the troop reject him again and again. Unable to feed himself, he began to lose weight as he sat on the peripheries of the troop, exhausted. It was at this stage in the movie that a little hand crept over into my lap to take my hand; the same wee boy, who declared his desire to be the alpha male, had his chin quivering at the real possibility that Oscar may not make it. Now, for those unversed in chimpanzee culture, the alpha male has a very defined role; his job is to protect the troop and their territory. He commits time to building alliances with other males in the troop; he bangs his chest and generally works to show his strength and he has no time for the young of the troop—none. We watched as Oscar made a bold decision. He sat himself down beside Freddy, the alpha male of the troop. Freddy was eating nuts, cracking each with a rock and Oscar began to copy him. The only difference being that Oscar had no success in cracking the nuts. Neither chimp appears to look at the other. And then, as I held my son’s hand, something amazing happened. Freddy reaches out and gives Oscar a nut, and then another and then finally reaches out his arm and hugs Oscar close to him. It began what was a remarkable adoption: the alpha male of the troop, going against all convention, nurtured a young orphaned chimp. He feeds him, he grooms him; he even lets him ride on his back. It wasn’t easy. The other males began to rebel. The very fabric of the troop was threatened. Freddy had to work extra shifts to manage all he needed to do, but something powerful happened. Oscar was saved and grew up to be a happy, contented member of the community. I don’t know all the answers to what it means to become a man in 2012. I know a little. I do know that it means you can wrestle your dad, and hold his hand when you are sad. I do know that it means you learn by watching the adults around you, and modeling them. I do know that it requires courage to do the right thing even when that thing goes against all the expectations of your community. And I do know that when that sort of courageous manhood happens… powerful things occur. We are aware that historically Middle School was the time boys were often initiated into manhood. We are hoping to capture that moment for our Middle School boys next year and have some great ideas for it. As always I would love you input on this topic as we consider the details, so that we can make our work resonate as authentically as possible with all of our community.
Men of Character from Boys of Promise
SCHOOL MESSAGES From the Upper School This issue I’m turning my column over to Karen Holland, the parent volunteer leading the Centennial Time Capsule Project. She introduces a fascinating educational project and includes a plea for some parental support for our boys’ role in it:
ext February—as part of the year-long-celebration of Crescent’s Centennial—the School will be interring a Time Capsule. For many of us, the phrase “Time Capsule” conjures up images of quite square robotic figures surrounded by a cache of everyday items that present-day users thought would offer insight to future historians. But the Centennial Time Capsule Committee learned this past fall that the written word (descriptions of current everyday life and predictions for how life may change) tells future historians more about the past than objects. As a result—we will not have a tomb filled with iPods, voice recognition devices or other such relics of life in 2013 in the Centennial Time Capsule—but rather something at once both timeless and old-fashioned—a collection of essays.
Statistical trends assure us that several of the 675 Centennial Year Students will be industry leaders in their chosen fields when the Time Capsule is opened in 2048. As part of the Time Capsule essay writing process, students are going to be visiting the Crescent Wall of Fame where alumni who have achieved extra-ordinary success are highlighted. This is designed to help the boys understand that part of their future involves a career and professional peers—who in many cases will be very interested in what one of their colleagues put to paper 35 years ago. Please talk to your boys about this exciting project as the summer and fall months unfold. The Centennial Time Capsule is theirs alone and we want it to be a meaningful project. If you interested in becoming a parent volunteer on the Centennial Time Capsule Committee, please contact Karen Holland at email@example.com.
TH EC I AV TY L
Men of Character from Boys of Promise
Why open the Time Capsule in 2048? 2048 will be the 25th Anniversary of the Grade 12 Graduation of the Centennial Year grade 3s. The Centennial Time Capsule Committee deduced that the intervening 35 year period between 2013 and 2048 would see enough time to pass for truly meaningful change to have taken place—but also allow some of the people involved with the Time Capsule’s preparation a fighting chance at being
A collection of essays? Yes—every single Centennial Year Student will prepare two brief essays in October 2012 under the direction of their home form teacher in the Lower School or their English teachers in the Middle School and Upper School. The first will describe the lived experience of 3rd through 12th graders—and the second each boy’s predictions for how they imagine life might change between 2013 and 2048. The English Department is already at work preparing templates for the boys to use next fall. These include age appropriate sentence starters and writing prompts—designed to encourage students to make their Time Capsule submissions as unique and telling as possible. Just think of how many engaging conversations are going to be had around several Crescent Community lunch, dinner, and Harkness tables as the boys’ thoughts are put to paper! The essays are going to be collected, edited, organized and prepared in an archival format—and will then be placed into a cavity of the wall that sits just inside the entrance to the Middle School from the formal garden. Some of you may have noticed a large blank stone loosely grouted into place there already.
present for its opening. After all, humans are even now only living just shy of 90 years of age in most cases!
CHARACTER CORNER Academic Integrity
s we blaze through the Spring Term, one inevitable signpost of every academic year for Upper School and Middle School students looms near; exams. Exams (final assessments), major assessments, and other culminating tasks can cause a lot of pressure and anxiety at this time of year. It is usually during this term that pressure can cause students to violate the rules of academic integrity. Academic Integrity is one of the hottest topics in the world of research in character development. The availability of information, and rapid development of technology have caused academic institutions to simultaneously tremble and struggle with issues of plagiarism and cheating. David Wangaard conducted the largest study on Academic Integrity to date in the United States. I attended the International Academic Integrity Conference (AIC) at which he presented his results. He surveyed over 3, 600 students from economically and ethnically diverse backgrounds. Of those 3,600 students, 95 per cent reported that they had cheated in some way during the last academic year. The most common form of cheating reported was the copying of homework. This issue of homework copying gained recent headlines in the United States when two students were kicked out of their honours English course at Sequoia High School. Violations of Academic integrity can range from homework copying to not citing sources in a paper, to cheating on tests, and purchasing papers online at so-called “essay banks.” At the AIC there were two messages from universities that were very clear: students are coming to university completely unprepared to do proper academic research and referencing, and cheating is becoming perceived by some as a study skill. The number one reason reported by students for violating rules of proper referencing is “I didn’t know.” The number one reason reported by students for cheating on tests or plagiarizing a paper is, “I didn’t have time to do the work/study.” This resonates with me for two obvious reasons. “I didn’t know” means that during a student’s pre-university education, he or she was not taught the skills necessary to succeed at the next level. As a university preparatory school this hits us right between the eyes. I can recall the first paper I had to write at Western. It was a five-page paper in History 100 and on the second page, after my second citation error, the professor simply wrote a big red F on the paper, and didn’t bother to mark the rest of it. Blair Livingston, a recent Crescent grad, passed something on to our Headmaster a few weeks ago, who
then sent it along to the rest of us. It was themed on Blair’s realization that failure is a reality in university and the workplace. He implied that he wished he had learned the reality of failing more while he was at Crescent. This relates directly to the message that Dr. Alex Russell presented earlier in the year. That students need to experience “non-catastrophic failure” in order to grow and develop. Without experiencing failure students aren’t developing adequate resilience and coping skills. The second case “I didn’t have time…” indicates that there has been a lack of planning and organization. Then a student consciously decides to copy, borrow, or steal; sacrificing their personal integrity. It never ceases to amaze me how many of life’s ethical dilemmas come down to personal integrity. Blair Livingstone’s message implies that boys would benefit in the long run from realizing that there isn’t enough time to study for the test, fail the test, and learn from that experience. In the case of Sequoia High School, the parents are protesting that the school’s punishment will harm the boy’s future by closing too many potential doors. I could go on for pages on that statement alone. But suffice for now to say that this is a clear misperception prevalent in our generation. The school is not closing the doors for the boy, the boy closed those doors when he cheated. Abdicating responsibility is one way to prevent the learning-from-failure that Dr. Russell helped us to realize was so valuable. When a school wishes to tackle the prickly issue of Academic Integrity, it needs to philosophically decide between one of two avenues: a policing route, or an educating route. The policing route follows a “traditional” model where schools have a policy, and students play the cat and mouse game of “being caught.” The educating route incorporates the teaching of core values and the teaching of essential skills such as organization and research. The research indicates that while the traditional method is much more common, the second approach is much more successful. As we move into this pressure-packed part of the year, I encourage you to have conversations with your son to help him develop his sense of personal integrity, and his organizational skills. All the boys want to do well, and the vast majority want to do it the right way, they just need us to set a good example and give them the courage to act ethically. —Mr. Dubrick, Director of Character and Leadership
Men of Character from Boys of Promise
New Lower School CRESCENT “sign”
THE METHOD OF UNDERSTANDING
group of grade 4 Art students have just completed an acrylic painting that was designed as a welcome to the Lower School. It is currently installed on the wall across from the Wellness Centre. Ms. Fleetwood-Morrow was inspired to have her students create this colourful and welcoming sign after viewing the work of the internationally recognized abstract expressionist, Vancouver-based artist, Bratsa Bonifacho. Bonifacho’s work (and therefore the students’ sign) includes a series of colourful, repeated letters organized in a grid composition, and arranged in various directions. Come by and see it in person—it is gorgeous! DESCRIBE: A painting on a rectangular canvas that included the letters C,R,E,S,C,E,N,T in repeating patterns. ANALYZE: The artists use of hot/cold colours and opposite colour combinations. As well as the use of repeated patterns and layered colours. INTERPRET: The artists attempted to capture the energy of the Lower School through the energy created by colour combinations. That is, when opposite colours are side by side they are very bright and “sing.” By using letters that are upside down, and reversed, the artists have symbolized the problem-solving that takes place in the School; one has to take the time to find the message. DECIDE: You decide. Is the painting successful?