The beginning of the 2022 Spring season involved a variety of changes inside and outside of our UCC community. With changes, new beginnings follow. However, these changes have yielded some controversy and have been nothing short of divisive. This April Issue of Convergence examines the Ukraine-Russia conflict from inside the UCC community in addition to the impacts of new school policies. There are articles featured on in-school fundraisers for Ukraine, the conclusion of a historic Tier 1B season, newly introduced school policy reminiscent of our pre-pandemic days, mental health, and finance, in addition to a Blue Page about the 20-Day schedule.
We hear so much about wellbeing, almost on a daily basis, for good reason. In this edition of Convergence, we aim to share students’ perspectives on wellbeing, with articles featuring the importance of getting outdoors, opinions regarding COVID restrictions and mental health, the role of community sports such as the Y11 basketball league and the National Ball Open, and an informative interview with Ms. Dobie on how to get sufficient sleep. The issue also highlights the power of investing and the Technical & Fundamental Analysis Club.
Back in December 2021, Convergence conducted our annual Year-in-Review Survey. Many students took it as an opportunity to reflect on and reminisce about the past calendar year. In this Special Issue, we publish the survey results together with all student comments about their views on a wide-range of social issues we faced together. The survey results also unveiled some fascinating changes between how students perceived 2020 and 2021 in eight important aspects. We hope you enjoy reading, and we wish you all the best for 2022!
This issue of Convergence is about forming and maintaining social connections. It starts with an opinion piece regarding the advantages of Discord and its current status on campus, followed by an introduction to Mattermost as a social platform and two students’ unique experiences keeping in touch with friends outside of school during the pandemic. The issue also includes a season recap for the Varsity Soccer Team, a showcase of some interesting new clubs at UCC, and a featured interview with our new Pluralism Coordinator.
From November 4 to 9, 2021, Convergence conducted a school-wide survey focused on comparing two learning models: the current 20-day term model and the 8-day cycle model used by our school before COVID. This initiative generated an overwhelming response from the student body - a record of 296 students participated in the survey. Apparently, UCC students consider themselves as the biggest stakeholder of this important issue, which has prompted an outpouring of individual opinions. Some 129 insightful and detailed comments were left in our survey. In this issue of Convergence, we publish the survey results and all the student comments.
In this edition of Convergence, we feature an interview with Henry Yan about boarding life before, during, and after the pandemic, as well as an interview with Mr. MacDougall on the future of technology at our school post-COVID. The issue also includes a Year 8 student’s account of his first day at the Upper School, interviews with the Athletic Steward and the Japanese Club, and an overview of blockchain technology and a related club at UCC. Last but not least, this issue features two Spanish bulletins from Ms. Rodriguez’s classes as a way to celebrate the Latin American Heritage Month. These bulletins explore a wide range of student perspectives and experiences so far this year.
Many students are new to the MYP or IB programs this year, and others might appreciate a quick refresher as well. As such, Convergence reached out to a few students who have extensive experience in the MYP and IB programs and asked them to share their tips, advice, and experiences. These students have written some thorough and insightful pieces, covering everything including coursework tips and test-taking strategies, as well as advice on how to deal with the MYP Personal Project, IAs, and the EE. We hope students find this special issue helpful for the new school year.
Between September 2 and 10, 2021, Convergence conducted a school-wide survey to gauge student opinions regarding the upcoming Canadian Federal Election to be held on September 20. We received a total of 160 student responses, the results of which are summarized on the cover page of the attached Special Edition. We also received over 30 insightful comments from students, which we chose to publish in their entirety. We thank everyone for your participation in this survey.
On August 1, 2021, Upper Canada College welcomed Dr. Jeff Aitken as its new Head of the Upper School. Dr. Aitken is an educational leader with extensive international experience, including leadership roles in several IB schools. Going into a new school year, we know many of us in the UCC Community are very interested in getting to know our new Head of Upper School better. Therefore, on August 13, Convergence sat down with Dr. Aitken and asked about his personal life, career background, and visions for the Upper School. The interview transcript, as well as Ms. Timusk’s departing interview, can be found in this Lite Edition.
In the June Issue of Convergence, Ms. Barnes, Director of the CFL, and Dr. Sorge, the school psychologist, offer some excellent advice regarding how to stay sane and productive during this lockdown, especially as we head towards exams. The issue also includes an interview with Mr. Elgie, who describes his 22 inspiring years as Director of Norval, as well as an interview with our new Head Steward Robbie Evans, who discusses his visions and goals for the next year. Finally, we cover what Sprint, a new innovative program, has to offer by interviewing participant Evan Rosenberg.
Over the past year, our school has introduced several new courses, such as IB Global Politics, IB HL History, and Y10 Civics, and made significant changes to some others such as Y10 Science. After one full academic year, we at Convergence thought that it would be a worthwhile effort to interview teachers and students involved in these courses, so that they can share their opinions and perspectives on these new offerings. These interviews are included in this Special Issue.
Vaccination is all over the news these days, and is definitely on everyone’s minds. On April 19-30, 2021, Convergence conducted a survey to gauge student opinions regarding vaccination and various other key issues related to our transition towards post-pandemic life. Almost 200 students participated in this survey. You can find the survey results and many thoughtful comments left by students inside this Special Issue.
Due to the atypical learning models implemented over the past two semesters, the format (and even the existence) of end-of-year examinations has been a major area of debate among students and teachers for a while. In this Convergence Blue Page, we asked two Year 11 students to share their perspectives and opinions regarding the currently-planned model of Year 11 exams this year. They happened to offer some differing views. We hope that sharing these perspectives might be useful during the decision-making process if the school decides to re-evaluate the exam models, not only for Year 11 but for other grades as well.
COVID-19 has affected not only current UCC students, but also our recent graduates in the Class of 2020. Some of them are taking a gap year, while others are all across the world experiencing different learning models and college lives. In this special issue of Convergence, we interviewed six Class of 2020 old boys currently in the UK, US, Ontario, Quebec, and BC. They described their unique experiences and provided valuable suggestions for current students. We also interviewed Mr. Borden - drawing on his recent experiences from his sabbatical, he leaves some very valuable advice for UCC students who might be thinking about a gap year.
The April issue features a piece by our graduating Co-Editor in Chief, Princeton Zhou, discussing his experience at UCC. The issue also includes an arts spotlight from the perspective of Ms. Macdonell, and Ms. Kaye, a glimpse of boarding life during the pandemic, and various perspectives on teaching during this unusual time from Ms. Evans, Mr. Jeffrey, and Mr. McCubbin.
In this edition of Convergence, we examine some interesting aspects of the past, present, and future of UCC and our community. It covers how previous pandemics affected UCC, examines the current state of chess at our school, provides insight into managing university applications in 2021, and looks at how some students are investing into their future.
What were Mr. Bardai’s most memorable moments over the past six years? Were Mr. Moon, Ms. Evans, and Mr. Walker’s experiences in Asia much different from those at UCC? How did our bands, sports teams, and Robotics club handle the pandemic? And can you understand a student-led Spanish publication? Read our January 2021 Issue of Convergence, entitled “Borderless Pedagogy”, to find out!
In this issue, Convergence is pleased to present the results from our “2020 In Review” survey, in which almost 200 students participated. The issue includes an infographic that summarizes the survey results, an editorial from Convergence, and all of the thoughtful comments left by students. These comments cover many aspects of student life at UCC and represent our passions, our anxieties, and our deep care for our UCC experience. This survey will become a yearly tradition at Convergence. In December 2021, we hope to hear everyone’s thoughts again.
This Convergence issue covers how UCC as a school has adapted to the start of an unusual school year and how its students are finding new means of social interaction. This issue also includes a Blue Page containing a Year 12’s Perspective on the US Election, a faculty spotlight highlighting Dr. Hamr’s legendary two decades at UCC, and an overview of two fast-growing finance-related clubs at our school.
Our US Election survey has shown some pretty interesting numbers regarding how UCC students view the US Presidential Election. More importantly, over 40 students have left us thoughtful and fascinating comments on this issue. In this Convergence Lite Edition, we publish the results of the survey and all the student comments. By publishing the comments in their entirety, we hope it will depict a whole picture of the diverse student opinions regarding this critical election during this uncertain time. We hope you enjoy reading them!
This Special Issue of Convergence contains some very thoughtful opinion pieces, interesting stories, an overview of how previous pandemics affected UCC, and summaries of actions taken by members of the UCC Community during this unprecedented time of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Convergence has received a lot of questions regarding the school’s newly announced plan for schooling next year. We compiled these questions into an in-depth interview with Mr. Bardai. This interview contains detailed answers to all these great questions, including why the school is being divided into two groups by house, how the extra-curricular and athletics programs will resume, how assessments and exams will proceed, how attendance will be taken, and much more. Also, in this issue, we present a way for everyone to document your experiences, actions, and opinions during this pandemic into the school’s archived history.
This Convergence Blue Page features the results from our survey on preferences for schooling format in September, in light of the COVID-19 situation. It also includes some informative data from the Continuous Learning Plan (CLP) surveys sent out by the school recently.
This issue of Convergence covers many actions taken by the UCC community during the COVID-19 pandemic, including fundraising, 3D printing face shields, hosting the virtual play Essay, and more. This issue also includes an interview detailing Mr. Hoel’s inspiring 21-Year journey at UCC, a Blue Page covering the effect of the CLP on Year 11s, and a new edition of Blazer.
It is without a doubt that our lives have all been affected greatly by the COVID-19 pandemic, but imagine if the months most affected were those last ones at the College that you were hoping to enjoy with your brothers. This is exactly what our 2020 Leaving Class has to face now. As such, Convergence has created this special issue so that the Leaving Class can publish their farewell messages for the whole UCC Community.
The COVID-19 Pandemic, together with the transition towards the next school year and towards post-secondary education for some, leaves us with questions about our uncertain future. What are the plans for the new Board of Stewards? How will our Continuous Learning Plan reshape the rest of the school year and beyond? This issue of Convergence also includes Ms. Ridout’s reflection on her truly inspiring 28-year journey at UCC and some great advice for university applications from the perspective of Y12 student Alex Xiang.
Lots of changes are being implemented at UCC, including a new timetable and an updated, stricter policy for tardiness and cell phone usage. This Convergence issue details the reasoning behind these changes and what students can expect. In addition, this issue also covers the Skyky Charity Concert hosted by UCC students that raised $10,000 for SickKids Hospital.
The October 2019 Convergence issue captures key events in the start of the 2019-2020 school year. In this issue, you’ll find details pertinent to many of UCC’s STEM clubs, a recap of the UCC Pride Week, coverage of the UCC Federal Election debate and a faculty spotlight on Mr. Breton.
The Year in Review issue of the 2018-2019 Convergence summarizes many of the changes to our school over the past school year. Inside, you’ll find interviews with the new Board of Stewards, an article about @uccmemes shutting down, and a discussion about UCC’s first Pride Week.
The fifth issue of the 2017-2018 Convergence year tackles the tough questions that face the future of our school: is our school run like a corporation? Do we treat LGBTQ students properly? Do we handle truth and reconciliation well? Is Batt Ball worth it? And, will Blazer still be funny?
Note: after publishing, this issue was edited to fix small layout and type errors. This is the updated version.
The third issue of the 2017-2018 Convergence year discusses what matters to you: the student body. We discuss drugs, racial bias, feminism, school spirit, academics, and more. Plus, a supercharged issue of the Blazer is ready to criticize who needs to be criticized.
The second issue of the 2017-2018 Convergence year explores the new school: how is it changing, and how is it staying the same? We interview Mr. McKinney, the Board of Stewards, talk about the MYP, and engage with the arts. Plus, an all-new Blazer and a welcome from the Convergence staff!
The first issue of the 2017-2018 Convergence year is a special one: focused specifically on the new WiFi policy and how it’s a case study for student action, our very first Convergence Lite aims to have a different take on investigative journalism and what it means to be Convergence.
The second issue of the 2016-2017 Convergence year, themed around “Esports”: writers argue for and against esports in society and at our school, discuss the current business ventures around the topic, and how it ties into school spirit. In addition, writers explore overcommitting at the school, the TFC soccer club, interviews with the Winter Sports teams, and a timely issue of the Blazer.
The first issue of the 2016-2017 Convergence year, with an interview with incoming principal Mr. McKinney, a Blue Page article looking into our school’s purpose, arts and sports overviews, and an analysis of the U.S. Presidential Election.
The final issue of the 2015-2016 Convergence team, the April issue tackles the ever-controversial boxed water fiasco; an exit interview with Convergence Staff Adviser Marshall Webb; a look at the scandalous Panama Papers; and one final issue of Blazer.
In the last issue of the 2013-2014 Convergence year, Convergence investigates the UCC Admission process, reports on the World Cup, analyzes Frédéric Paquet’s Spin Art collection, and features the last issue of Blazer for the 2013-2014 Convergence year.
In the February issue of the 2013-2014 Convergence year, Convergence examines incoming head steward Ben Mahon, an interview with an Australian exchange student, a look into the Sochi Olympics from both a sports and political angle, and a classic issue of Blazer.
In the third issue of the 2014-2015 Convergence year, Convergence has a special feature on the balance between academics and other student obligations, the exam blackout week, Iran, Typhoon Haiyan, Justin Trudeau versus Rob Ford, and a review of the IB Art Trip.
In the first issue of the 2013-2014 Convergence year, Convergence previews the Varsity Football Team, discusses changes to CAS and the character development initiative, and covers a broad scope of global events, including the new Pope, the Syrian crisis, the NSA, and Quebec. The issue is rounded out with an exploration of movie musicals and a fresh issue of Blazer.