Staff and students at Aldergrove Secondary may not need a Pep Rally or a motivational speaker to know how we feel about our school. We feel a connection to this space, to the staff and the students. We are able to share in that connection every day. For some of us, for many years.
A pep rally, however, allows us to yell it, to chant it out loud: “We are Totems”.
And a motivational speaker, Anthony McLean, reminds us of the work we do, and need to continue doing, to encourage students in a welcoming environment.
An Aldergrove Secondary Totem is able to laugh at himself and his vulnerability.
During the Pep Rally, Mr. Lyndon, our principal, received a surprise pie in the face from Jeremy Lohnes, our Student Council President. Mr. Lynden said the pie was delicious, but he was worried about smelling faintly of sour cream later in the day.
Later, sixteen students divided into two teams. Pairs were blind-folded and bound like in the three-legged race, then competed in a ‘Connect 4’ contest like no other. They competed to cheers and laughter.
The teachers displayed their remarkable (remarkable does not always mean great) dancing skills. The goal was to find a “Fortnite” game expert. One, Mr. Glauser, came close. The teachers laughed as loudly as the students.
On another day this past week, Anthony McLean, an entertainer and motivational speaker, reminded us that laughing at people is cruel, while laughing with people or about life draws us together.
Life can be difficult, being a teenager; actually being an adult too, can be challenging. If we are friendly, kind, open, we all benefit. Again, laughter, vulnerability, and community were stressed.
The Pep Rally showed what it is to be a Totem. At ACSS, there is the ability to laugh, to be light-hearted, to sacrifice dignity in order to draw people together, to be vulnerable.
Totems may be laughing but we are serious when we say that we are grateful for this school, the community it creates, the safety it strives to establish for staff and students alike.
We are proud. We are Totems. We are in this life together.