by Celine Doehring, Grade 9
On October 20th 2010, the Grade 9 students came to school, dressed in casual clothes, excited about the Grade 9 conference. The conference, or the G9 as many of us called it, was put on by a select group of Grade 12 leaders. We started the day in our wonderful chapel where we were sorted into about eight small groups and each group was given a color. The groups were carefully chosen not to be our normal group of peers.
In our first group meeting, we played silly games, learned everyone’s name, and made up a cheer for our group. After that we made our way through four stations, which were set up throughout the Senior School.
At our first station, we were each given a foam mask frame and a bunch of markers and cut out shapes. We had to develop a mask which reflected and described our personality. We also played a game designed to reveal our identity and learn more about each other.
Our second station was designed like a trivia game to give us the skills to survive in the Senior School. We learned all sorts of valuable information such as: What is Mr. Common known for? Who are the two female teachers who demand respect? Who are the teachers most likely to take your non-school hoodie? What spot on campus is not the place to hang out?
Our third station really pushed us to trust. We were put into pairs (keep in mind we were not with our regular peers) and one of us was blindfolded. At first our partners held our hands and led us around. By the end of the activity, we trusted our partners enough to be safe running in the field and climbing up a small set of stairs.
Our fourth station informed us about all the exciting opportunities available at the Senior School. There are numerous clubs and councils for everyone; sports, music, drama, academics, chapel, and service. All of these activities help to make the SMUS community a wonderful place.
The highlight of the day was our G9 pizza lunch where we were special enough to clear out Brown Hall for. Of course that cheer we made up in the morning had to be performed.
It was a great day had by all and we learned a lot. We learned the basics about life at the Senior School and how to survive it. More importantly, we were given the opportunity to step outside our comfort zone and self-reflect. We learned about trust and leadership. We learned about others and the whole experience brought us together as a Grade 9 class.