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 Two: ONE DAY VACATION
Retired Teacher: Pete Brandsma | Student Author: Gideon Brandsma
Dreams and goals are what drive humanity; the idea of improving, or growing, creates a strong desire to achieve. Many dreams sprout in high school, as the idea of venturing off alone becomes a reality. Some students set their eyes on potential mission’s trips or colleges, yet others yearn for the bell to ring on their last day ever of class, but before plans can be made for these dreams, every student longs for the day when they get an unexpected day off.
Grade 11 and 12 students filed into their seats before the bell, ready for their Bible class to commence. The bell rang and every one was in place, except the teacher. A few minutes passed and expectedly, without a teacher to calm the crowd, a commotion arose. The senior students quickly quelled the storm of questions, for they were the oldest and knew the ins and outs of high school. Unlike the inept juniors, the grade 12 students were veterans and knew that, without noise, there would be little chance that other teachers would realize that their class’ teacher was absent. They saw their chance and they took it.
Meanwhile, three classes down the science wing hall, Mr. Pete Brandsma was busily working in his office. As the school counsellor and vice principal, he taught classes during certain blocks and for others he was in his office talking to students. Unaware that it was B block, when he should be teaching a Bible 11/12 split class, he quietly prepared for a block of counselling.
Half an hour had passed in the silent Bible class, and nobody had dared to speak. They were perfectly content, as many students would be, sitting in silence. In an instant, the bliss was shattered, like a rock through stained glass. The school’s vice principal was walking from class to class spreading the day’s announcements. She came to a particularly quiet Bible class and walked in, hoping to tell the teacher of the announcements, but instead was greeted by 20 pair of eyes, and no teacher.
After demanding an explanation and prying the missing teacher’s names from the reluctant students, she marched down the hall. “Pete! You have a class!” she yelled.
The student’s dream class was over.