Ridge Report Writing and Photography Contest

This year, you can submit a short story, poetry piece, and/or photography connecting to one of three possible themes. Your options are "Hush", "Bang", and "Click". Be as creative as you want!

Entries will be accepted starting Monday May 1st 2017

The deadline for entering is Friday May 20th 2017

First place winners in each category (short story, photography, and poetry) will have their entry published on the Ridge Report website and will be awarded a prize.

Click on each category to submit and know about the rules and requirements.

Short Story

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Ridge 360 - Debrief

It was less than a week ago where Iroquois Ridge was buzzing with excitement for our annual Ridge 360 conference. Students entered that day, March 3rd 2016, with an open ear to hear all that was to be said in each of their workshops, under the categories of mental health, global citizenship and leadership.

As everyone began to enter that day, students went to their first period classes to pick up their schedules and headed straight to the gym to begin the conference. Students Jovan Sahi and Natania Olusanya were the MC's for the event and introduced all students to the day, how it was going to run, what we were going to learn in our workshops and introduced us to our keynote speaker, Anthony McLean.

Anthony began his inspirational speech by introducing himself, a bit about his family and some personal stories as an icebreaker to lighten the tension and help get the students into the feeling of the day. Slowly, Anthony began to begin the constructive part of his speech by helping us become aware of fighting and mindfulness, which ties into out mental health workshop. He explained that we should always have ways of calming ourselves down when in a intense or stressful situation. He gave us an example of when his friend made a poor decision at a club to fight someone who provoked him, knocked him out, was caught by the police and is now not allowed to do as he wishes for responding that way. Anthony explained how a choice that we make in the moment could result in a negative outcome that could last forever as that is why we have to be mindful of our decisions when we are confronted with a difficult situation. We have to take leadership for ourselves and others. He then shared a moment where he made the right decision by staying calm after someone used foul and offensive language towards him and that it was a wise decision because if he had made any other rash decision, it would have incited an even more intense, pointless argument.
Nearing the end of the speech, Anthony talked a bit about drug overdose and how one of his friends had died from an overdose of cough syrup, which is beginning to be used more and more these days. He closed his speech with a bit of humour by stating how our world is starting to worry more about "first world problems", under the category of "global citizenship", which is a result of our laziness these days. Anthony's speech was very motivating to learn and experience new things and to grow as a person, which was a great lead off into the day. From there, students went to their second period classes to reflect on what was said in the speech. Following this, students headed to their mental health workshops. Many of the mental health workshops were under the categories of stress, mindfulness and coping strategies such as Melanie McGregor's "Surviving Stress" workshop. She explained the components of stress and the AAABC'S of coping with it. Melissa Vance from "The Daring Way" workshop explained: "We talk about how to take risks, show courage and understand shame" and "Students should understand that we all have shame, we should know how to identify it if we have it, how it keeps us from living our dreams and how it takes courage to face our fears." Theresa Wilson from the "Mind your Mind" workshop explained how: " We all have mental health like we have physical health and students should be aware that there is support available, such as the school's social workers".
Following, the mental health workshop, students returned to their second period classes, reflected on their first workshop, then went to lunch.

The Global Citizenship workshop followed lunch and there were also many interesting thoughts in this category. Rukshan DeSilva, a ridge grad, spoke in "The Story of Iroquois Ridge Kenya" workshop about our brother school in Kenya and how this global outreach initiative by students at Iroquois Ridge for students in Kenya, is continuing to develop. It involves the construction of a sister school in the village of Pimbiniet in the Masai Mara. It has involved thousands of students, teachers and community members for its success and now it needs us! Rudy Habesch from the "Gift of Life" workshop said how he had been contacted through the Rotary and Interact. “The Gift of Life” is an International Rotarian-based organization that, over the past 4 decades has helped more than 18,000 children from emerging countries receive treatment for their heart disease. The Gift of Life has 70+ programs that have supported children and now, is needing our support. From the global citizenship workshop, students made their way to their fourth period classes to debrief on their workshops. With a little more than an hour left of the day, students left to their leadership workshops.

Unlike the first two categories, the leadership workshops were mostly led by students and was a great way to engage the other students. The "Link Crew - Leadership Styles" workshop, run by Keaton Wong, Jeffrey Wang, Ellie Kim and Alex Chang, split the areas of leadership into four categories - north for being an aggressive leader, south for being passive and west and east for being assertive and then had students participate in activities to further develop their skills in the area of leadership of their choice.
At the end of the leadership workshops, students went to their fifth period classes and reflected on their last workshop and the entire day as one. When the bell rang at 2:45, all the students left with smiles on their faces and it was easy to tell that everyone had fun, learned a lot and found many ways to apply their learning through their workshops. Thank you for a fantastic day Ridge 360!

1 comment:

  1. Well written...An excellent example of an article in full.