Quest had our first snowfall this week! Everyone’s moods improved as the soft, light snow coated our campus and the surrounding mountains. The images of Whistler and ski hills danced in many students’ heads. Of course, the snow was defeated by the rain, but it was lovely while it lasted. It is truly this time of year when students start to lose a bit of the academic motivation and drive they had in the first two blocks. If I haven’t said it before, the block plan is tough! Around the third block the weather progressively becomes greyer, the workload unforgiving, and seasonal sickness plagues our close-knit community.
We attempt to remedy our weariness and loss of steam through organizing fun, cathartic activities on the weekends (if only for a brief repose from work)! On campus, it is not a matter of having nothing to do, more of a problem of what to do when so much is offered. Basketball season is in full swing with both male and female varsity teams having a successful start. Open mic nights take place bi-monthly, providing students with the opportunity to share their artistic talents of any kind (ranging from poetry, to ukulele serenades, and even parts of Beethoven symphonies) with a warm, welcoming audience. Quest also welcomes musical contributions from the community; we featured a group called the Black Dog String Quartet last Friday. The recent Asian Potluck allowed students to express and share their cultures through cooking and offered a nice change from the regular cafeteria fare.
In addition, I attended a workshop for the ‘Arts for Social Change’ class taught by Judith Marcuse (see the organization Judith is involved in: http://www.icasc.ca/jmp). What is so wonderful about Quest is that students know each other well, wish to see one another succeed, and therefore, this tight network of students will support one another with projects, experiments and studies conducted on campus. We engaged in a discussion about ‘home’; what it means, how we find it, how we feel in instances when we are at home. This discussion got me contemplating how much the school has changed since I first enrolled.
Community day came as a relief to everyone! This is a weekday during the end of block where there are no classes, the entire Quest community gathers together, new students meet upper years, and fun times are had by all! The theme this year was ‘New Beginnings’ where students led workshops for people who wanted to learn new skills and experience activities that might have been outside of their comfort zones. Activities included learning to eat a raw food diet, learning Vietnamese, creating body art with henna, and trying bouldering in our gym for the first time.
Another amazing initiative at Quest is our guys’ efforts for Movember. If you’re not familiar with this fundraiser, what happens is men grow out their facial hair to raise money and awareness for prostate cancer. There are many furry-faced men around this time of year, especially Mr. Jon Farmer who was featured in the Squamish local newspaper, The Chief. See the article here: http://www.squamishchief.com/article/20121115/SQUAMISH0604/311159984/-1/squamish/mo-money-for-quest-students
With about a month until students leave for Christmas, the holiday season is becoming more pervasive and making arrangements to return home is slowly creeping into everyone’s minds. Hang in there for one more block everyone!