The ACS Inside Out blog is excited to present Walking the Halls, a summer blog series featuring eight stories, about eight alumni, written by eight current students. This project began out of the curiosity of students in our English 11 class, and a teacher who knew how to make the most of it.
Mrs. Dani deJong explains:
“I saw a post on the school Facebook page a while back that generated lots of traffic. It was a picture of a group of girls in the hall down in the science wing and people were invited to guess what year the picture was from in order to win a prize. People did guess and someone must have won a prize, but what my English 11 students noticed when I showed them the post, was the conversation that erupted around the picture. Comments about where time had gone, the crazy hair styles, who had last seen whom abounded. We then pulled out the entire yearbook stash from the library and spent a great period looking at the things the alumni did all those years ago. It generated a lot of questions: What were they doing? Why was that happening? We decided that there were a lot of memories out there generated from the halls of this building. And, since the halls are soon going to be brought down in the renovation, we wondered how we could keep these stories in a more permanent way. We figured the best way was to ask the people in the photos to tell us their stories. We invited a news anchor/reporter in from CTV to tell us how to conduct a good interview and we set out to find our stories. Some are funny, some are sad, but they all have meaning to the people that walked the halls of ACS.”
Part Five: IN THE HEAT OF BATTLE
Reflection by Student Author: Sam Throness
All men in the 8C Division (excluding a few of the female students) participated daily in the massive elastic band and eraser bits slingshot war. There was electricity in the air, a mutual buzz that we all felt down to our bones. Even if one was sick that day, he felt obligated to arrive at school in order to play his part. There was an incredible sense of classroom nationalism.
Every day when Ms. Kristie Spyksma was giving the lesson, the students would slowly and cautiously take out their classroom artillery and load in their eraser mortar shells. Little bits of pencil lead and erasers would fly through the air, sometimes meeting their target and sometimes not. The female students would cover their heads, trying desperately to avoid being the targets themselves. Boys would lean across the aisle, tell the girls in the way to duck, and they would fire their weapons.
Eventually, Ms. Spyksma would catch on, and the conflict would come to a temporary cease-fire.
One day, I was in the heat of the battle; the front lines. Erasers, pieces of paper and pennies were being fired from every direction. Suddenly, we all heard a loud bang, and silence fell upon the class. A projectile had hit the air conditioning unit.
Ms. Spyksma slowly stopped talking, and began to look around the class. She asked who did it, but no one answered. In all reality, it was quite impossible to tell who had been the one to have fired the shot, as there were far too much artillery to keep track of.
It was at that moment that we knew the war would be forced to come to an end, and that some of the major war-criminals would be having a visit to the principal’s office. We all lowered our weapons in surrender, ashamed with the weight of defeat on our shoulders.
I’m not sure what made the weight of shame so heavy upon us; perhaps it was the failure of our role in the paper army, letting down our fellow brothers in arms.
The bell rang, and, one by one, all ranks rose and filed out the door with our heads down in shame.