Mackenzie House

Sunday, August 29, 2021 - By: Bonnie Zhong, Mack ‘21

Hello my fellow Brentwood Lifers! Although presenting isn’t my forte nor is it something I like to do, I am standing here because I want to express my gratitude for this place and share some of my memories - as well as those of the other Mack House Lifers throughout our four or five years here.

There are many great things about Brentwood – its oceanfront campus, its rigorous academic environment, and the tripartite system that helps students to develop skills and passions outside of academia. Amongst all of the unique things about Brentwood, one thing that stands out to me personally is the motivated community – the staff, the teachers, and the student body. Without the teachers who are willing to give their time in extra chem help, math help, physics help, I would not be standing here proudly speaking about my Brentwood experience. It's the enthusiasm of the adults and the positive competition with my peers that motivated me to work hard, and it’s this community that really helped me gain self-confidence and pushed me to become a better person every single day.

Throughout the years, we’ve had so many wonderful RFAs and valued duty members who’ve inspired and encouraged us. Special shoutout to Ms Manton, Ms Ramsay, Ms Hampshire, Ms Als, and Ms Bell. I will always miss the Monday night tea time with Robbie, Ms Nasmith and her delicious lemons squares and grilled cheese, and story time with Ms Cheung.

The heart & soul of Mack House – Ms Cheung & Ms Nasmith – you both have been there for us all since day one. You’ve watched our MANY ups and downs, but you have always been there with a smile on your face and advice to bring us back down to earth when we needed it.

Last but not least, Ms Scheck – our advisor from the beginning to the end. Although our advisor group has changed tremendously in the past four years, with people coming and going, you have always been a strong support for all of us. You would always be there to celebrate with us in the good times and to lift us up in the bad. There is no question that we all would be lost without you. We look forward to reaching out to you in the future when we’re long gone and in need of a good cry sesh. Through all of our ups and downs, you have always been there for us and would not trade it for the world. We all love you Schecky.

Out of all people, I am especially grateful to have Abby, Cate, and Sydney who have stuck with me on this journey from the very beginning. I still remember the first week of Orientation in Grade 9 when I met my Mack House Lifer friends for the first time. I was scared that I was going to have a hard time becoming friends with them, especially with Abby and Cate since they were the OGs who had started in Grade 8. However, my doubt quickly diminished as a week into school as Abby had set up her desk in my and Sydney’s room. Not only that, but she would also stay during prep not to do work but to find all kinds of ways to distract us. Abby then became a permanent member of our room.

Sydney was my roommate in Grade 9, my volleyball buddy, and my first friend at Brentwood. For some unknown reason we’ve also been put into the same English class for all four years. She would always be there when I needed her. For instance, I really don’t like the game “speed dating” and I would always try to hide behind you to avoid having those small conversations. Thank you for always being my strong shield.

To my Mack House Lifers: thank you for staying by my side for the past four years. I can't imagine what my Brentwood experience would be like without all three of you, and I'm going to miss you all so much next year. To all of our teachers, coaches, houseparents and staff, thank you for everything you’ve done for us, all of your support and guidance through our time at Brentwood.

I’m extremely lucky to be a part of this incredible community. Thank you.

Bonnie Zhong, Mack ‘21

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