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 Four: THE COKE HEIST
Alumni: Patrick Naayer | As Told To: Ludia Lee
The Coke collection I have in my classroom started out very small and it grew bigger over time. I haven’t bought anything for my collection; it’s all things given to me by students or family members and I just keep adding to it.
One day after lunch break I came back to my classroom and found out my Coke stuff went missing. I knew students have taken it and I wanted to find out who took it.
I found the teacher that was on duty, Mr. Hazelwood, and asked him if he saw anything. He said he saw some SALT students with big coats and they said they were making a movie. That was their first mistake because I was in charge of SALT, and I knew we weren’t making a movie.
But the bell rang, so I had to get to class and here came one of my grade 12 SALT members and he said to me, “I was part of it, I know where your Coke stuff is, I want to help you get it back, and I want to play both sides.”
So I replied, “Okay, we will meet after school. You show me where it is. I’m very worried so you better come.” And then class started.
I was teaching a grade 10 class at that time and I thought to myself, “He needs to learn a lesson; they all need to learn a lesson.” We were working in the library and I took two of my grade 10 students. He had given me some clues so I was sure where the Coke stuff was. I went upstairs to the weight room and behind the weight room, in the boiler room was my Coke collection. Instead of putting it back, because students need to learn lessons sometimes, I put it all in my car with two grade 10 students. We swore them to secrecy, gave them code names of coke and dagger because code names are cool.
I went back to teaching and after school, the SALT student came up to me and said, “Okay, I am ready to show you where the coke stuff is.” and I said, “Good, because I am very worried and concerned.”
He took me to the room and everything was gone. He said, “I don’t know what happened!”
I was a very good actor. I said, “You know this isn’t funny. Students have given this to me, what if it gets broken. Maybe they found out that you are betraying them, maybe they moved it.”
We let this go on for three weeks.
For over 20 days, students were worried, looking for it, trying to find me, tell me that they did it, some of them didn’t want to tell me it was them, and lots of students were talking about it everywhere. They were very worried about the Coke collection, meanwhile everything was at my house safe and sound.
Mrs. Stewart, who was in one of my classes, came up with a good idea. She approached them and said, “I can find it for you but you have to pay a ransom.” They had to pay a Tim Horton’s hot chocolate as a ransom. Mrs. Stewart lives beside me, so at home, I moved all the Coke items into her car, she drove them back to school, gave it to the students, and they returned it to me. So I got paid a ransom to get my own kidnapped Coke collection back.
I didn’t say anything until graduation. They were very angry, but they were impressed.
I am not sad that the place with my memories will be gone because the memories I have are in my heart. I have seen many changes in this school and most of them have been good ones. I know that this change will make this school even better for the current and future students. It will build the foundation of the first step of new memories that will be made.