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Shubh Divali Everyone!

Story by India Montserrin

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We come to the time of year students prepare for the school’s Divali Showcase which took place on Wednesday 22nd October, 2014. In the 2 short years I’ve been here at SJC (which sometimes can feel much longer) our Divali celebration has been something to look forward to.

This year the celebration took place between break in lunch (4th & 5th periods) instead of the last 2 periods before the end of school (7th & 8th periods) like it usually does. Some students felt that this would cause a rush during the activities, thus causing stress on the participants during an event that should be fun for all members of the school community. None the less, we still looked forward to what was in store.

During 4th and 5th period students and staff alike were allowed to go down to the courtyard to watch the Divali skit, dances, a musical performance and a favorite by many, the fashion show. All activities featured some of the many talented SJC students.

The Divali celebration doesn’t only allow staff and students a short break from the monotonous daily grind but also gives everyone a chance to learn a little more about Hindu culture which plays an important role in Trinidad and Tobago’s society.  Staff and students agree that the Divali Celebration is a good experience for the school community as it includes students of all religions and allows us to be exposed to a little bit of the Hindu culture.

All in all, the Divali celebration is always something to look forward to. It’s the time when the school community comes together to celebrate an important festival in our society. Another important point; Buss-Up-Shut is sold for lunch at the cafeteria on the day of the Divali celebration. So don’t forget to order early next year!

 

  

A WebiteWizards Production

 

We are indeed blessed!

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“Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened to you”
 
 
In the pursuit of excellence, our school has always strived to provide its staff and students with the best physical and technological environment to fully engage our learners in order to produce the type of citizen who will contribute to the advancement of our nation. But in today's economy, denominational schools can only continue to succeed because of the partnering with stakeholders. The support of the business community is a tremendous opportunity for our school to continue to fulfill its vision and mission and to provide first class, 21st century education to our students.
 
Today therefore, our school community are thrilled and grateful  that once agin the Proman Group of companies headed by Mr. Jürgen Schütz, Managing Director of Proman AG (Trinidad) Limited, Mr. Claus Cronberger, Managing Director of Process Energy (Trinidad) Limited and Mr. Dennis Patrick, Chief Executive Officer of Methanol Holdings (Trinidad) Limited, have chosen to honour us with their very generous donation.

proman_donation_2Our relationship with Proman is a long standing one which began in January 1997 under Past Principal, Mrs. Elisabeth Crouch, when we needed to redesign and expand our Physics Lab. Now our students are able to  carry out experiments with proper equipment, at work stations particularly designed for laboratory work and in air conditioned comfort!  Proman again came to our aid in 2004 when we needed to refurbish our Computer room. 

In 2003, we successfully established our Multimedia Wing – five classrooms and six teacher-prep rooms, fully equipped with the most advanced facilities available at that time. The past eleven years however, have taken their toll and rapid technology advances and constant use, much of the equipment has either become obsolete and/or irreparable. As a result, there is a dire need to upgrade and expand our once enviable facilities to meet the needs of our techno-savvy, twenty-first century learners and to this end, we have begun the process of upgrading and expanding of our current infrastructure.

This will allow us to:

  1. Increase our students’ ability and interest in applying technology in learning.

  2. Prepare our students for success in a technology-centered world.

  3. Prepare our students to manage and use information so they can be productive, life-long learners.

  4. Make available high-speed internet access capable of connectivity throughout the school and with individual devices which students and teachers may use in school.

  5. Provide network and internet security and acceptable policy aimed at ensuring all users access the internet only for educational and research purposes.

  6. Provide teachers with up-to-date software and multimedia equipment to improve teaching strategies.

  7. Encourage teachers to develop well-designed lessons, units and projects that utilize the appropriate technology in an integrated fashion.

  8. Provide instruction in finding and evaluating resources.

The generosity of these stakeholders is a testimony that they appreciate the work that we do and an endorsement of the dedication and commitment of our students and staff and we deeply appreciate them and their confidence in our tradition.

.
 

(With Annissa Rawlins)

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We were already very pleased that once again our school performed exceptionally well in the regional CSECand CAPE. Now, we are thrilled and so proud to announce that 36 of our brilliant  students have also won national scholarships! And of course, many others have received various scholarships, awards and grants from other sources.

We congratulate too our teaching staff, especially those of the Form 6 teaching team, our entire school community, including their families and friends who have supported our young scholars through the years>

Well done everyone!

 

Josanne Crooks Environmental Studies Open
Gionieva Fraser Mathematics Open
Nicol Olliverre Mathematics Open
Tonya Johnson Modern Studies Open
Zara Smith Modern Studies Open
Anyse Calder Natural Science Open
Astrid Casimire Natural Science Open
Megan De La Bastide Natural Science Open
Gabrielle Gibbons Natural Science Open
Natalia Koylass Natural Science Open
Alyssa Nathaniel Natural Science Open
Maegan Rogers Natural Science Open
Shane Marie Winner Natural Science Open
     
Alexa Butts Business Additional
Hannah Peru Business Additional
Bria De Costa Environmental Studies Additional
Afoluso Hector Environmental Studies Additional
Briana Sylvester Environmental Studies Additional
Alexis Thavenot Environmental Studies Additional
Anisha Romany Language Additional
Delycia Romany Language Additional
Michela Arjoon Mathematics Additional
Eliese Carter Mathematics Additional
Alysha De Silva Mathematics Additional
Kimberly Fraser Mathematics Additional
Shalleika Hazell Mathematics Additional
Jamie-Lynn Jodhan-Butts Mathematics Additional
Catherine Aboud Modern Studies Additional
Laura Ayoung Natural Science Additional
Sherlanna Ferret Natural Science Additional
Suriah Heeraman Natural Science Additional
Leona Lewis Natural Science Additional
Adabelle Romany Natural Science Additional
Gabrielle Villafana Natural Science Additional
Abigail Warren Natural Science Additional
Amelia Fuentes VAPA Additional

A WebsiteWizards Production

Sports Day vibes...  or lack thereof!

(Story by Celine Blanc, photo by Annissa Rawlins)

Not feeling the feeling...It’s that time of the school year again and Sports Day preparations are in full swing...

In just about a month, each house's marching and cheerleading practice will be put to the final test. All the captains are pumped, ready and busy, making detailed plans to ensure that their  Sports day is a success and to see the end result of all their hard work come to life on the field. And you can see it on their faces- It's hard balancing school work and CAPE IAs, and house leadership, getting cooperation within their houses and with their peers and hardest of all; getting the juniors to come to marching practice.

The marchers feel the struggle too. According to Form 3s, the real stress is finding a good place to hide where the captains and teachers can’t find you.

Form 2s are a little less stubborn and find themselves in the not-quite-absolutely straight lines amongst their peers, all the while complaining bitterly about how often they must give up 'a whole half hour' of their lunch time in the hot sun (or the drizzle.... you just can't please some people).

Most Form 1s say that they are excited for their first SJC sports day, and to finally experience the beloved cheerleading dances everyone’s been talking about.

Basically, everyone reacts in their own way towards the big day, but the vibes.... the vibes, they are a-buzzing!

 

A Website Wizards Production

World Choir Games 2014

Hi Folks,
  
 
So, guess where we ended up on our way to Latvia? In Lithuania!  
 

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Our flight was delayed, and the airport in Riga was closing that night, so we could not land there. Instead they flew us to Lithuania where we spent the night in the airport, and then we piled back back onto the plane to Riga in the morning.  We got pizza ... and water, but sadly, no bed...

 

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Finally, we made it to Riga. It was worth the long journey, because it is a very beautiful city.

 

 

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 All 62 of us piled into the bus with our luggage, including the pans.

 

 

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We stayed in the Dodo Hotel, which was quite nice, although the rooms were small.  There were 3 other choirs staying in the hotel from Germany, South Africa and China.  The girls, of course, made friends among them.  

One night we had a meeting in the breakfast room and heard loud screaming and wondered what ever could it be? A bit later on, we heard even more shouting and cheering.  It was only then that I remembered that there was a World Cup football match going on and it was the German choir members making all that noise.  It was the Germany Brazil match, so you know there was noise throughout the night!

 

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 The area seemed quite poor though, as many of the surrounding buildings looked run down.  At first, we did not realise that people were actually living in many of them.  These are the apartments outside my window, on the other side of the street.

 

 

 

 

 

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We took the tram to get into the town which was really cool, though sometimes we were packed like sardines.

 

 

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Our Choir Assistant, Asnate, went with us wherever we needed to go, and ensured that we did not get lost.  She is a 19 year old college student studying International Relations.  She explained that most of the younger generation of Latvians speak English as well as Latvian, as it is taught in schools, whereas the older generation know Russian as their second language.  She was very friendly and wonderful!!!

 

 

 

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 And here is a park that we walked through nearly every day to get to the various venues.Notice the locks on the bridge below, well apparently there is a tradition that when a couple gets engaged or married (I can’t remember which), they put a lock on the bridge and throw away the key in the river!! Interesting eh.

 

 

 

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This is their freedom monument. 
 
 
 
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 The Registration Centre for the competition was in a school...

 

  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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I know that our school building is really nice, but we had to admit, we had some stiff competition here!!!!

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 We ate in the Olympic Stadium... this was the first day so there were not too many other people as choirs were still arriving, but imagine this full of young people eating!!! Most of us ate regular food, but there was also a vegetarian line.... and a gluten free area.

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Our first practice was in a university hall with great acoustics!  Now isn’t that a hall to behold!!!

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  Wherever we went the girls took the opportunity to take pictures with members of other choirs.  Here is Maya with members of a choir from Indonesia.

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Some of the other choirs wore  pretty nice costumes!!!

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I can’t remember where these are from, but we met them in Macdonald’s...

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 And of course, the male choirs were of special interest!!!
 
 
 
 

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Unfortunately, we were late for the Opening Ceremony so we missed the procession with the flags, but it was held in Arena Riga, and this is the choir and orchestra that performed for the ceremony.  Great stuff!!!  For us Trini’s this is huge.  A huge place with grand music!!! Awesome!!!

Friendship Concert

Riga2014-02On Friday, we performed in an open air Friendship Concert in another park called the Esplanade.  The girls got dressed up to perform.  People seemed to like the costume and before the performance, many Asian people came to check out the steel pans. Of course, the local piece, Sayamanda, was very much appreciated!

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Just on the edge of the Esplanade is the Orthodox Cathedral with golden domes.  Beautiful on the outside...  unfortunately I did not get the time to see the inside. We were on a tight schedule.... we went to bed at midnight (for the earliest) most nights and, even though we did not have to get up until about 6 or 7 a.m., the sun rose at 4 a.m. and opened our eyes.

The Competition

Our Competition took place in the Hall of a University on the other side of the Daugava River.  We had to go for a 10 min acoustic rehearsal in the morning, which took the entire morning and we just had enough time to eat, return to the hotel, change and be off again for the competition.

After the competition we were able to take in the sounds of two of the other choirs, before it was time to leave again.

Here is inside the competition venue....

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We were told that the judges actually clapped after the performance, seemingly as they enjoyed the two local pieces – Magnificat by Peter Telfer and Ganges and the Nile by David Rudder.

After singing our 4 songs in the competition, we had the opportunity to take a pic with a Russian choir that also was in our category.

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After the competition we were all smiles as the tension was all gone...

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Riga2014-01At the awards ceremony, the atmosphere was electrifying!  Before the ceremony, they played songs like We are the Champions and We will Rock you and everyone was singing and cheering and waving at other countries.

After what seemed like a long wait for the announcement of other categories, our category, C3, was announced.
We came 19th in our Champions competition, and were awarded a silver medal!
 
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Riga2014-03So Mrs Varley and Maya Galindo (President of the Choir) went to receive the certificate and medal.

A choir from Latvia were the champions of this class.  So the Latvian flag was raised and the Latvian National Anthem sung.

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Here is the choir after the awards ceremony, outside the Arena Riga.  By the way, there was top class security going into the Arena, like going on a plane.  The security looked into bags and water was thrown out!!!

 

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You might by now notice that wherever we went we flew the Trinidad and Tobago flag high.

One day, we had finished a rehearsal and were outside McDonald’s.  We had the pan and drum with us, so out they came, and the songs began with Trini and Cole Pot and Sayamanda among them.

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Riga2014-04Of course people gathered round and were thrilled.

Not  to mention that we had a great time.

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 The highlight for me was the Great Celebration concert in Mezaparks.  Here is a picture of the choir of 15000 singers!!!!!  It was wonderful!

 

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The area looks like a natural amphitheatre where there are benches for the audience.

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Every four years, there is this concert in which all the choirs come together to sing, but this was a extra special year because of the World Choir games.  The people stood when some of their national songs were being sung.  You could sense the pride and the depth of meaning of these songs for them.

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And, even though it had been raining, the people came out in their numbers all armed with rain coats.  (Unlike us Trinis who got soaked in the rain and had to go home to change... but that is a whole other story)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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There was a sense of pride in seeing our flag flying among all the others in this World event!!!

(I had to take a picture of the large screen in the park to get it on camera.)

 

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You can get an idea of the concert at the following link:

http://www.choir-tv.com/video/Great-Celebration-Concert-World-Choir-Games-2014-Riga/7f753ce090ccd4e2d602968e5ae66a66

 

 

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Then we had to leave.... (I will not even start to tell the story about the airport and other such eventful incidents.)

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The End.

Story by: Sr. Lorraine Joseph

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