As I write this post, it’s Friday morning at 4:40 a.m. and I can’t help thinking how proud I am of our graduating class. If you’re wondering why I’m thinking about this at 4:40 a.m., it’s because I’m currently sitting in a chair on the front steps of the school, gazing out at 30+ tents sprawled across the great lawn of our upper campus where our Grade 12 students are mostly, fast asleep.
I’m not sure why I volunteered for the 3 a.m.-7 a.m. shift, but I’m glad I did. Aside from a few raccoons fighting in the distance and someone who needs to be checked for sleep apnea, it is as silent and peaceful on campus as I’ve ever experienced it, and in this peaceful moment, I can’t help reminiscing about all the experiences I’ve had with this group. While they likely don’t realize it, they will be missed.
After all the detentions, uniform slips, homework, athletic events, house activities, Terry Fox and Sharelife Days, and any other memorable moments they may have experienced, I can confidently say they are ready for life after De La Salle. They are a mixed bag of delightful personalities who, without a doubt, will go off to do great things, just like previous classes. They also serve as a good reminder of how abnormal De La Salle really is. I could go on for pages with observations confirming this, however, I’ll leave you with a few examples from the last few months that speak volumes about the type of community we are all fortunate to be a part of.
I’ve titled my observations: Only at De La Salle…
Only at De La Salle will a Grade 12 student stop the microwave in the cafeteria so a Grade 9 student can put their food in to share the heating process
Only at De La Salle will you walk through the halls (of a high school) and notice countless lockers either without locks, or with locks that aren’t fully clipped, because they need quick access to their books not worrying for a moment that someone might take something.
Only at De La Salle will you walk into a high school cafeteria and overhear active conversations and laughter (as opposed to a depressive lull while students mumble to each other while checking their phones.)
Only at De La Salle will every single student show up for their scheduled exam, even though the bus is cancelled and it’s -30 outside.
Only at De La Salle will students cheer in excitement for being allowed to wear sweaters under their blazers when the heat isn’t working.
Only at De La Salle will students eagerly ask their teachers if they can go back into the school during a fire drill because they’re writing a test.
Only at De La Salle will an entire student body enter and exit an auditorium for daily morning assembly in under 10 minutes.
Only at De La Salle will a student ask their teacher to move away from their friends in class because they know it will help them stay focused on the lesson.
Only at De La Salle will you find students who genuinely care about their school, their teachers and their administrators 😉 creating an environment that makes everyone feel like their school/work is a home away from home.
Among the many, these observations are what make De La Salle truly a special place and I wouldn’t want to spend my days anywhere else but here.