Passing the Torch

Sunday, April 26, 2020 - By: Jack P, Whittall ‘20, Writing from Calgary, Alberta

At about this time every year, we Grade 12s start getting it easy. The arrival of senioritis is heightened by accepted university admissions, and the overall understanding that our long and painful grade-school careers are finally coming to a close. Our time of giving back to the school that helped nurture us is dwindling, and we are, unfortunately, on our way out.

In ideal circumstances (if we were actually, legitimately, physically present at the school) it would be roughly that time for the rookies in the grade below to start learning the ins-and-outs of not only helping to run a boarding house, but the entire school. Putting all this faith in about 140 sixteen year olds seems like a scary concept, and it undoubtedly was when my grad class moved into twelfth grade last year.

This year however, there are some obvious challenges related to the transition.  Another reason the Grade 12s could start relaxing a little more was because, normally, we would be in the preliminary stages of teaching the rookies how to ‘duty’. There’s a lot to learn about maintaining the systematic beast that is a boarding house, and that process could take a couple weeks to a month to ensure proper training. Of course, no one is doing house duty, cafe duty, or prep duty at the moment.

It seems like everything is up in the air right now, which it mostly is. But there are lots of great leaders around campus that will still be able to make a profound impact on the school next year. “Honestly, even though we didn’t go through the traditional steps of learning and understanding certain leadership skills, we’ve been in an environment in school where we have already somewhat developed these skills,” assured Grade 11 Feury K, Whittall ‘21. “And I speak for most Grade 11s, if not all, that we’re all super excited and pumped to become leaders next year, whether it’s in the house or around the school.”

“Leadership doesn’t start in term three when the training begins and leadership applications are written,” remarked House Captain Asia C, Hope ‘20.  “Leadership started the minute you got to Brentwood and every day since. Every person’s character develops into the prefect you will be for Grade 12.” As she states, there is much more to running Brentwood than can be taught in two weeks of shadowing the veteran students.

Regardless of these unforeseen circumstances, we will still be passing the Brentwood torch to the class of 2021 in June. And I have almost no doubt that everything will turn out okay next year. Let’s just pray there isn’t a resurgence of ebola or something.

Jack P, Whittall ‘20

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