School's out!

July 22, 2016

Alas, the day has come: the last day of school!

Today marks the final day of classes for both classes—and, more notably, the last full day of the Language Pledge®! Tomorrow, in the evening, the students will be authorized, once and for all, to speak English—without any consequences!

For the Chinese Academy, classes were as you would expect them to be on the last day: fun, entertaining and easy. While most classes took the day to relax, there were a few classes still covering curriculum. However, the lessons weren’t dense, in any form.

During the Chinese classes, a Burlington Free Press reporter—the same one from last week—stopped by, in order to do a bit more observing of the students in classes, and then speak to a few more about their experience at the Academy.

He was welcomed with excitement and enthusiasm and overwhelmed with volunteers to speak with him. The students flocked to the area in which he was set up, once they got word that he was doing interviews.  

The reporter spoke with about six students, asking them questions about the struggles and difficulties they’ve encountered, as they’ve lived completely-immersed in Chinese for four weeks.

After the interviews, the reporter hopped from class-to-class, doing quick observations of how the classes operate and what the atmosphere is like when students are restricted from using English to learn.

For the French Academy, today was their day of testing, in which all of the students took the STAMP Assessment. Having taken place in the morning, the students were eager to discuss how they felt about the test during lunch.

To no surprise, however, many students were confident that they did beyond well on it. While the test was challenging at some parts, they were able to effectively understand the majority of the questions that were asked, they said.

After the test and lunch, however, the students still had their final set of classes. Though their brains were slightly worn out from the testing, they still pushed through and persevered, knowing that this was their last cluster of courses!

Once classes were over for both Academies, the students were given time to practice and prepare for tonight’s big event: The World Expo.

At this event, students are set to deliver presentations and projects on everything they’ve learned and done in each of their cultural exploration classes. It will be an event that both Academies will be attending.

During this afternoon’s practice, all groups mastered their presentations and assured that nothing below perfection will be exhibited in each and every presentation.

Well, their practice worked: ALL OF THE PRESENTATIONS WERE INCREDIBLE!

With a Tai Chi demonstrations, multiple singing solos and a plethora of culturally-inspired events, this evening was one to remember—and for some, the best evening of the entire Academy! There was a surplus of standing ovations—for each presentation!

Once the last song was sang—a catchy, goofy Chinese song that teaches students about body parts—by a large group of Chinese students, both Academies exited the theater room and made their way over to the Dion Center.

At the Dion Center, teachers and staff from both Academies had set up French/Chinese-themed food, such as: dumplings, crêpes, banana-filled rolls and so much more!

But best of all: the students from the Chinese Academy could try out the French food, and then vice versa! Students from both Academies got a taste of two uniquely rich cultures!

After an hour of tasting food and socializing, the evening was, unfortunately, over—it was time for the students to return to the dorms. Given all that is planned for tomorrow, the students will, most definitely, need a good night’s rest.

Tomorrow, it all comes together: the GRAND FINALE!

Tai chi time!