Back Into The Spring of Things!

Welcome back everyone! Over the past few weeks, the boarding house been very quiet with a grand total of just 7 boys staying here over spring break. Nonetheless, they were all in high spirits and kept themselves busy with a packed lineup of fun activities both at school and around town.

Just before the start of spring break, several of the Bolton boys headed out to the playing fields for some soccer in the sun. Can you spot Leo, Adam L, Simon, Leroy, Adam K, Richard, Dylan and Chris?

During the break, some of the Bolton crew, along with several Timmis girls and students from other buildings, had the chance to visit Farmer Jim’s farm in Cordova Bay. The day was spent shovelling manure, wheelbarrowing, and making friends with the chickens. Below, you will be able to find Ryan C, Richard, Eric L, Junya and Darrell rolling up their sleeves and getting to work on the farm!

Back in the boarding house, the Group of Seven entertained themselves with friendly games of poker, window art, driver license tests, turkey dinners, baking and cooking. All in all, these students had a chance to enjoy the extra space and amenities in the building before having the chance to welcome everyone back from their breaks.

We now look forward to an April that will (hopefully) bring us lots of sunshine!

Fun @ MUN

Several Grade 11 boys were involved in this weekend’s Model United Nations (MUN) session on campus.

Model UN is a popular activity for those interested in learning more about how the UN operates. Hundreds of thousands of students worldwide take part every year at all educational levels. Many of today’s leaders in law, government, business and the arts – including at the UN itself – participated in Model UN as students. 

The United Nations MUN Programme aims to build and maintain strong links between the UN and MUN participants across the globe. It does that through guides and workshops, which teach students how to make their simulations more accurate; by visiting Model UN conferences and sharing firsthand knowledge of what the actual UN is like; and through encouraging Model UN clubs to take real action to support UN values and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

In particular, some of the discussions at this weekend’s event surrounded globalization and internationalization, mostly through the lens of various transnational organizations, all represented by SMUS students.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Ryan, and ask him a few questions about his experience at MUN.

Ryan after his weekend organizing the SMUS Model UN.

Mr. Fryer: Hi Ryan, thanks for chatting with me and congrats on, what sounds like, a successful conference this weekend! Can you tell me a little bit about your role this weekend?

Ryan: Yes, thanks for having me here. The conference itself was comprised of three committees: Dylan (from Bolton) – was the Director for the World Health Organization (WHO), Fa – was the Director of the UN Human Rights Council, and I ran the Ad Hoc Committee as a Director. That role was a little bit different and including things like arranging conference materials, conference background guides ahead of time, as well as directing the flow of debate. The conference this weekend surrounded a fake scenario surrounding a horrific bombing at JFK airport. My role as director was to lead many delegates, representing the United States, to help resolve this issue.

Some of the delegates sing the United States National Anthem

Mr. Fryer: Wow! That sounds like a lot of work went into this. Have you been preparing for awhile?

Ryan: Two other SMUS students approached me at the start of January, and recommended to me that I apply as director for the conference as I have done MUN prior to this one. Ever since January, I have been working with my team to write two very lengthy documents: the committee introduction (which was 14 pages), and the General Briefing paper which was a document given to delegates the day of the conference which laid out everybody’s roles. The night before the event, I even chatted with SMUS Grad and Bolton Brother Logan who stepped in last-minute giving me pointers until 4 am!!

Mr. Fryer: Wow! Great to hear about the Bolton support! Congrats on your role, Ryan. That sounds like quite the experience. Is this your first time in a leadership role at MUN like this?

Roberto, Kevin, and Ryan working in their Ad Hoc Committee Roles

Ryan: Definitely first time in this role. I’ve been a delegate in other conferences like the Vancouver MUN but this is the first time in a director role, yes. I felt very lucky to be in this role at the first-ever SMUS hosted MUN.

Mr. Fryer: That’s right! This is the first time SMUS has hosting a Model UN. How was that experience?

Ryan: I’d say it completely exceeded my expectations. My biggest concern was that there was some inexperience with MUN (including me in a director role), but everybody played a part and did a fantastic job, including some of the Grade 8’s from SMUS.

Mr. Fryer: Wow, that’s great to hear! Can I ask, what was the most challenging moment was this weekend?

Ryan: The most challenging was laying out the world of MUN to all of the delegates – there was a lot of complexity including formal language to be used. Also, it took a lot of time and effort to comprehend what was happening around me during the weekend – it was challenging but it was also so much fun!

Mr. Fryer: There must have been such rich discussion all weekend. So, did the Model situation at JFK airport get resolved by all the committees in the end?

Ryan: In the end they did. Some committees closed borders, and all flights were grounded, and the CIA delegation worked hard to conclude the problem using intelligence in the air force. Throughout the whole thing, I think people spent a lot of money, so that is an important consideration – the economics of it all!

Bolton/Timmis delegates taking a break

Mr. Fryer: Yes, very complex. Any other thoughts? What was your biggest take away?

Ryan: Definitely that, to whoever is reading the blog, that politics is is all around us. MUN sparked a passion in me that I didn’t know was there. I have become more attentive and active in the political community. Whoever is reading this, give MUN a shot! I also want to give a shout-out to all the other Bolton boys who played a part this weekend: Dylan, Kevin, Junya, Eric X., Josh, Louis, Kevin, Richard and Roberto! It was almost 1/3 of the house involved and took a team.

Mr. Fryer: Congrats to all of you and enjoy the well-deserved rest!

Onwards to Term 5!

Celebrating Creativity

This week, we said goodbye to the short month of February and said hello to March. Jumping into March is always a highlight amongst the SMUS community, as it inevitably means that spring break is just around the corner! Although this spring break will be quite different from previous years due to the travel restrictions, the Bolton boys have still managed to drum up ample anticipation for the break.

Around the school, our Bolton guys kept busy by getting involved in various events and activities, starting with the Senior Jazz Band concert that featured Eric X on the clarinet, Sahan on the trumpet, Josh M on the clarinet, and Louis on the clarinet. If you look closely, you might even catch a glimpse of Mr. Kim playing his trombone in the back row! The full stream is linked below for your viewing and listening pleasure.

In this next segment, you can find a link to the SMUSpaper article that highlights the work done by Cyrus and Darrell, along with their Digital Art 11 classmates, in creating historical art pieces for display at Fort Rodd Hill and on the windows of our own Snowden Library. Fort Rodd Hill is an official National Historic Site that served as a 19th-century artillery fort. It is located on the southernmost tip of the island, and is home to the very first lighthouse in Western Canada, the Fisgard Lighthouse.

What a blast from the past! This picture was taken three years ago at a downtown activity when our current Grade 11s were back in Grade 8. Can you find all of the Bolton boys? Hint: There are four of them in this picture.

Around the house, things continued on as per normal. We had plenty of laughter in each others’ rooms, lots of games and pool in the common room, and groups of us managed to get outside for some field sports when the weather was nice as well. Our resident film photographer, Ryan C, snapped these fancy black-and-white film photos throughout the week.

Richard, Eric X, Hanson and Ryan C strapped on their cleats and headed outside with a few Timmis girls to play a very intense soccer match!

Something that not many people may know is that the fridge/ freezer in the Bolton-Timmis common room has a tendency to become a bit… messy from time to time. Just the 2nd law of thermodynamics at play, which establishes entropy as a physical property of a system and predicts that things like fridges will naturally move away from a state of order towards a state of disorder. Hanson and Alana, who clearly understand their physics, decided to voluntarily take on the task of cleaning and organizing the fridge on Saturday morning! Huge props to them, as the picture below shows just how amazing it looked at the end of their makeover session.

It is hard to believe, but we are already entering spring here in Victoria. As you can see in the picture below, the cherry blossoms have started to appear on the trees that line our main driveway. Can you find the bird’s nest?

On Sunday morning, Kevin and Delaney decided to brush up on their US History trivia using Kahoot, a quiz program that everyone here at SMUS knows and loves. Kevin got off to a strong start in this particular match, but Delaney eventually fought her way back and completed the comeback victory.

And finally, Sunday night was our monthly chapel. We were treated to some beautiful music and a wonderful retelling by the Reverend of the Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch. With International Women’s Day being celebrated tomorrow there is an opportunity for our young men to enter into some meaningful conversations around sexism, masculinity and what they can do to support, prioritize and be allies to the women of their world.

Right after chapel we had our weekly house meeting where we had an opportunity to celebrate some of the good our boys have been doing around campus. We also took advantage of our gathering to wish a very happy birthday to Robert and Jonathan.

Almost Normal…

Well, the sun has finally broken through the clouds (sort of) and there was a sense of normal around campus on Friday. Josh T. entertained us with his bumpin’ bass beats during lunch while many of the boys enjoyed the rays playing spike ball. One could be forgiven for thinking that maybe we were turning a corner…

Here is a bit more of the music from “Josh and the Jets”. Groovy!

Darrell, Ryan and Richard getting things going with spikeball

Meanwhile, Digital Art students, Darrell and Cyrus, designed vector images based off photos from Fort Rodd Hill. They laser-cut these into matboard to create art that was installed in the windows of the historic buildings at the National Historic site on Friday.

The glimpses of sun were most certainly not the main weather pattern this week as this rugby practice from Tuesday demonstrates. Playing in the hail was a first for many on the field!

This practice also marked the symbolic end of term 2 sports with a new set ready to begin on Monday. The transition to 3rd term sports is always an exciting time as it heralds to longer days, warmer weather and Spring Break! Here are the rugby players after their final session.

Perhaps smarter than those freezing on the field, Jonathan was sweating away in Brown Hall in a heated competition with Mr. Doland in his ping pong intramural.

And the badminton intramural wrapped up on Sunday. Once more, Josh T front and center in a heated match against Timmis foe Emma K.

Josh in full flight with Eric X and Robert in teh background.

Spring Break is on the horizon and many boys are looking forward to a change of scenery. Term 4 courses end in two weeks and everyone is busy studying, preparing projects and writing essays. We are very proud of their effort and look forward to seeing all of their hard work pay off.

“Moving” Forward

This week, we had a chance to enjoy the last few days of the snow before things cleared up and the sun came back out. The fact that it was a short week lifted everyone’s spirits, and the Bolton guys were back to their busy schedules around the campus.

Before we move on to some happenings from the sunnier days, here are some pictures and videos from the tail end of the snow days!

Cyrus, Eric L, Frank, Darrell, Eric X, Junya, Ryan C, Josh M and Richard, along with some Timmis girls, “carved” out some time to build themselves a massive snow fort! As you can see in the picture, they are ready for two things: playing snow rugby and throwing out the trash… Any emergency food in there guys..?
Will can be seen here with his own snow-person creation that is about a foot taller than himself! If you look closely, you can see that the snow-person does, indeed, have arms, and that it is quite pleased to be Will’s friend.
Subaig, Jason and Simon went the route of efficiency, and decided to sled down the hill all at the same time…
Adam L and Simon reaping the seeds they sowed… Here, they find out what can happen when they try to engage in a snow-fight with a houseparent! As you can see, Mr. Kim and Mrs. Kim were the clear winners in this round.

Even though the snow melted early in the week, the boys’ enthusiasm did not dwindle.

Hanson in his element! He, along with 4 Grade 9 students and Mr. Hlannon, has been running the chapel live streams every week. They set up and control the cameras, check the sound levels and broadcast the chapel services to each of the homerooms.

Many hands make light work! A couple of our strongest Bolton Brothers and Timmis Sisters helped Mr. and Mrs. Kim to their new house (don’t worry, they are still staying with us!). As a reward, the B&T Moving Company earned some pizza for their hard work!

And, to end the weekend, the Grade 11’s competed hard in another iteration of House Games!!

Some badminton skills!

And some furious drawings during Pictionary!!

Lunar New Year Brings a Snow Day!

Family Day long weekend has arrived and although COVID-19 is still preventing us from connecting in person, we have plenty of other things to celebrate!

Lunar New Year is front of mind right now. Students gathered in the foyer to put up decorations and share in the festivities. A special meal was also prepared at the dining hall, complete with hóngbāo – the lucky red envelopes from Chinese culture associated with this time of year; for us, the cash that is usually inside was replaced by chocolate coins and candy!

There was a Chocolate Goodies Making activity to help kick off the long weekend and a few of our boys took up the opportunity to craft some homemade treats.

A giant colouring poster turned out to be a great way for people to connect in the foyer. Some serious “between the lines” skills were demonstrated and a new poster will be needed in short order!

As the snow began its first dusting, the rugby crew was willing to brave the elements to continue honing their skills. “I can’t feel my hands,” was a common call from the field and there’s nothing like a fitness blast on a cold day to really liven the senses!

The snow really came down Friday night and Saturday morning. Although some people hoped it had fallen mid week, there was no lack of enthusiasm to have a play day on the field. From snowmen to snow jumps, and snow football to snowball fights, there was plenty of fun by all who participated. A few students also offered their services to shovel the sidewalks and walkways around the neighborhood.

Term 4, but still playing some more!

The Grade 11 boys breathed a sigh of relief as they finished their Term 3 tests and assignments last week! Report Cards will be available on the Parent Portal shortly after the Family Day Long Weekend.

Term 4 has started, but the Grade 11’s have still taken the time to have some fun on the weekends! Mr. Daum’s and Mr. Hollingworth’s kids live on campus and are avid sports fans! They took the time to play a friendly game with some of the Bolton / Timmis students.

Eric X, Louis, Josh M and Hanson, along with a few of the Timmis girls, being taught a bit of a rugby lesson by the campus kiddies.
The rugby superstars dressed in the SMUS red, white, black and blue! Let’s go SMU!

Some other gaming and videoconferencing continued around the house…

Hanson sporting quite the green hat, along with a very fashionable striped tie. If you look closely, you can also see some yarn that he has been avidly knitting with!
Kevin and Dylan teamed up with some Timmis girls in the common room for a game of poker, using dominos as chips!

And more kite flying…

Windy days come in handy sometimes for Chris and Dalia!

And of course, Super Bowl Sunday!

Kahzin Daniels showing us how it is done.
The early afternoon Super Bowl crew of Diego, Adam K, Ryan W, Louis, Dylan and LeRoy!
Louis enjoying his prize from his big pool tournament win last week.
James even got in on the pizza action! Happy as a clam!
Dylan, Adam K, Ryan W and LeRoy were evidently quite motivated by all the Super Bowl action and laced up their cleats to go play some football of their own.
Subaig joined in on the action, lining up at quarterback.

This coming week, the boys are looking forward to getting back into the academic groove in their classes and returning to the myriad of extracurricular activities that are being offered around campus. Until next weekend, take care everyone!

Fun Times to Finish Term Three!

The end of term 3 has been a busy one both in and out of the classroom.

Check out the wonderful article from Jonathan on page 7 in the most recent edition of The JAG:

The week started with the third installment of housegames. The main event was basketball where a ton of spirited and talented play was on display. Simon was a standout player for the Disco Bells, scoring almost every point in one game, but even his heroic effort was no match for the Fried Shawskies’ powerhouses Diego, Ryan W. and Jonathan supported by a stellar crew of teammates who went undefeated and gained some valuable points in their hunt for the coveted Bolton Bowl which will be awarded at the end of the year. The United KimDaums, with solid play from a number of players, were able to sneak into the lead. The current standings sitting at:

The United KimDaums: 55 points

The Disco Bells: 49 points

The Fried Shawskies: 38 points

Check out the pictures and videos below for all of the action!

Who has time to watch a whole basketball game these days!? See it all in 32 seconds!
Diego with the fade away!!
Some excellent team passing early on – a sign of things to come as the Fried Shawskies go undefeated!
Darrell for 3!!
Hanson looking to shut down Jonathan with some sweet D!
Worth watching to the end as Will makes short work of the cans! One of the few to do so successfully.
Eric X. getting serious!
Darrell giving it the old college try!
Simon, not just a basketball star!

With the excitement and fun of housegames out of the way, the boys settled down into their final week of term 3 classes. Among the many assignments and assessment…

Ryan C, Simon, Eric X and Jason present their research for Seminar class.

… there was still time for some baking…

Hanson the Baker making us all very happy with his delicious cookies!

..lots of pool games…

Dylan and Ryan W enjoying an afternoon game.

…some musical talents being shared…

Ryan C and his dulcet tunes.

… and some creative artistic outlets being discovered!

Junya making sure that afternoon snacks aren’t just a snack!

And now we have arrived at the final weekend of January and the end of term 3. We still look forward to our first big snowfall and are excited about the start of a new term. The weekend provided a nice opportunity for some fun and relaxation.

Subaig and Chris took advantage of the light breeze to get in touch with their younger selves…

Well, one of them worked at least!
Nice choice boys!

…Ryan C and Kevin spent their days with a remote Model UN conference…

Looking sharp fellas!

… Eric X. undertook his first official driving lesson…

A good day to stay home?

… and perhaps most exciting of all, there was a pool tournament pitting the finest and fiercest of Bolton and Timmis against each other. Both Mr. Kim and Mr. Daum made early exits as the houseparent representatives and it came down to an exciting final game between Louis and Adam L in a rematch of an earlier battle. After a thrilling back and forth match, Louis emerged victorious when Adam was robbed on his last shot. Both boys took home a delicious pizza as their prize!

A heartbreaking loss for Adam! Congratulations to Louis who went the whole tournament undefeated!
Darrell almost blowing a 4 ball lead against Richard in the early rounds!
The 2 finalists. Well done boys!

The Importance of Human Connection

The weather is quite cold, but the clear skies this week make for beautiful sunsets!

Just yesterday, Mr. Anderson, the Director of the Senior School at SMUS, wrote an article for the community about hidden achievements from our students during this strange time. I thought we could start the blog with some of his words today, as they give some insight into the remarkable human connection that still persists here at SMUS:

“As you know, we have the good fortune of being in-class, in-person, and I am constantly reminded of the importance of this human connection as I walk about the campus.

I see classes engaged in science labs, deep discussions and interesting debates, I see groups of students gathered in our library study rooms poring over assignments, I see clubs and councils thinking creatively about how to engage with the student body in different ways and I even get to see our students enjoying their down time during recess and lunch. To be honest, once one is within the walls of the school, it almost feels normal.

Of course the “almost” in that sentence hangs there for us, and so we continue to look forward to a time when we can all more easily celebrate the successes of our students in person. Until then, know that we appreciate all that they do and we continue to be amazed by their progress in all facets of school life. You should be proud!” – Mr. Anderson

You can read the rest of this article here.

  • Grade 11 Boys at school….AND cleaning their rooms, for the most part.

Eric and Emma also both stepped-up without being asked and cleaned the microwave! Pretty awesome!

With clear skies, the Grade 11’s of Bolton House have already started the outdoor activities again including Spikeball, Rugby, and Soccer. Here are a few pictures, and make sure to check out Subaig’s awesome header goal below

Other than the sports fields, as Mr. Anderson mentioned, Clubs and Councils at SMUS are in full swing. I took the time to sit down with Grade 11 student Adam, and learn more about a new club at school which he created with some friends this week.

Mr. Fryer: Thanks for sitting down with me today Adam. Can you tell me a little bit about the club you and your friends started?

Adam: We started as mostly an athletic performance club, attempted to focus on physical skills, but then started realizing we were talking more about wellness and mental wealth. We didn’t have a great name in the beginning, but after some feedback we settled on “Let’s Talk”, which creates a chill environment and allows for everyone to share their thoughts in a stress-free environment.

Mr. Fryer: That’s great. And this Thursday is Bell “Let’s Talk” day to bring attention to mental health initiatives, so I think the name is a good one. What are some things your club talks about?

Adam: We basically talk about how to reduce stress by doing several activities as a group. Our next topic will be about how physical exercise helps with mental well-being and stress. We are also going to talk about Movember and why these things are important to talk about out loud.

Mr. Fryer: That’s great! Thanks for sharing. Why is this club important at SMUS?

Adam: We think this club is important because there is nothing similar to our club at the School and we think that Grade 11 is a stressful year, so this could help people bond and share their experiences (how to make friends, how to get rid of stress, etc.)

Mr. Fryer: I think talking about it with others is a great idea! What are some other future topics you will be exploring?

Adam: We might look at siblings relationships, or mental health, but mostly we are asking club members what they want to talk about and going from there. For example, with COVID right now, that is something that a lot of students are talking about. When we don’t really have a topic, we might look in general about mindset and how that relates to overall health.

Mr. Fryer: Well, thanks for your time Adam and well done!

Hitting Our Stride!

We have made it through our second week of classes and the diligent efforts of the boys have ensured that we have arrived safely and in good spirits. Term 3 has only 2 weeks left in it so the work load is picking up, but the Bolton Boys continue to impress with their dedicated work habits. In addition to the academic work, many boys have been busy with sport as well. Ping pong is a popular event, as is pool in the common room.

Robbie and Richard dueling it out on the felt!
Sahan battling it out on the table top.

The rugby team has been unable to train on the fields because of all the rain so they have been running up Mt.Tolmie and doing other forms of fitness to get ready for the season. But all work and no play is no fun, so a bit of spikeball helps!

Subaig spiking and Simon … well Simon swinging hard!
Louis lighting it up…

As the boys are not supposed to be in each others rooms until we have established the health of our community after our return from the holiday, the common room has been busy with exciting Mario Kart races on the nintendo…

An epic Bolton vs Timmis battle!

… quiet conversation looking over the field…

The birthday boys trying to decide who is older!

… and the culinary delight of “Oreo Soup”!

Yes, it’s true, Oreo Soup.

We also celebrated an exciting double birthday on Saturday. Both Junya and Josh T. turned 17 today and what makes this even more special is that they are from the same city! Could they be twins? Let’s find out.

Who is older?

Josh – Junya born at about 3am and I was born at around 4 pm, so I guess he is about 13 hours older than me.

Junya – I think I am by a few hours.

Were you born in the same place?

Josh – No, different hospitals, but in the same city. My cousin was born in the same hospital as Junya though!

Junya – No, same city, different hospitals.

What is your favorite color?

Josh – Such a difficult question…grey – it goes well with everything!

Junya – Black – because it looks cool!

What is your favorite animal?

Josh – I don’t really like animals.

Junya – Cats. I have two cats named Snowy and Creamy. Creamy is brown.

Are you right handed or left handed?

Josh – Right handed but I can sort of play badminton with my left.

Junya – Right. I play hockey left handed though.

What is your favorite flavour of ice cream?

Josh – When I was a kid there was a Milk tea flavour that was amazing. Not sure if they still have it. 5 year old me liked it a lot.

Junya – Strawberry.

Chocolate or chips?

Josh – Chocolate, chips are way over rated.

Junya – Chocolate, I don’t like chips.

Whose smarter?

Josh – Junya. He seems more level headed and rational.

Junya – Probably him, I don’t know how he does academically.

Best birthday gift?

Josh – A birthday letter from a friend back in Hong Kong.

Junya – Staying with family and being able to spend time with them on my birthday.

Since you are older and wiser, Junya, do you have any advice for young Josh?

Be nice to everyone.

Well, there you have it. Not quite twins, but they both refer chocolate, both play a sport left handed and both value family and fiends over material possessions. That they both said the other guy is smarter makes me think they are both pretty awesome guys! Happy birthday to both boys.

A rousing rendition!

The second half of January awaits. We hope that restrictions might start to ease a bit within the boarding house and we really appreciate the effort of the boys to keep our community safe.