by Dawit Workie, Grade 9
On Thursday, October 15th, the entire Grade 9 class arrived to school without pens or paper and in their gym clothes, curious for this special occasion. Every Grade 9 student was sitting on the benches of the single gym that morning excited for a day of no school. We were met by the Senior School prefects, and after a little talk/rap by Tom Zheng and the rest of the prefects, we played a small exhilarating game to wake us up.
Afterwards, we were put in pods of about 15 for a day focused on us Grade 9 students. Every group would later visit four stations, each dedicated to a different subject. After we split up in our pod, we were introduced to our pod leaders and played a name game to get familiar with our pod members. As a group, our first task was to make a cheer, which we would later use for a cheer off against the other pods. When we were done with our great cheer, we headed off to the lecture theatre for a speech.
Stu Saunders, a very well-known speaker across North America, had come to SMUS to talk to us about leadership. We had heard about his great speeches, but what we had not known is that he was also a comedian. For the next 45 minutes, Stu grabbed our attention and we were filled with laughter and joy.
As humorous as Stu was, he was also motivational, giving us great messages like getting involved and taking advantage of the great opportunity we have. We went on to the four stations and did a variety of things, playing games, asking questions, listening to lectures, and painting; without a doubt, all of us benefited from at least one of these activities.
As for me, I thought that day was easily the best day of Grade 9 yet, and as for my first step in getting involved, I’m joining Amnesty International Council. All of us definitely got something out of that day; a day encouraging Grade 9 students to take advantage of all the opportunities the Senior School offers and furthermore, show some leadership.