Updated: Jun 6
Happy holidays from beautiful British Columbia! It's been a wonderfully jam-packed winter break so far and I currently have some down time before the Ping Pong tournament, Ontario bonding (baking butter tarts!!!), and a movie tonight so I thought I'd document the highlights of the first week and half of winter break— Pearson style, of course 😉.
In light of all of us having to stay on campus for the 3 week holiday (thanks Covid), PC students and the social committee have been hard at work planning events and activities throughout the break. At this point, so much has happened in such a short amount of time I don't really know what day of the week it is nor the actual date for that matter 😂.
After a stressful week of tests and final assignments, we officially wrapped up term 1 on Thursday December 18th with a big party up in the Maxbell theatre which, admittedly, I did not attend lol, but I heard a lot of people enjoyed. The next morning was spent sleeping in, reading a book (just for the sake of reading for fun!!!), and finally catching a breath after the hectic academic grind the week prior. I spent most of the afternoon writing postcards and letters to friends and family, before curling up for a hot cup of cocoa and holiday movie (turned ABBA/Hamilton/High School Musical sing-along 😅) with my Vic fam in the dayroom.
The following weekend was just as relaxing- not to be taken for granted though, because things are just about to get crazy. I called my family, helped some of my housemates clean out the pottery room for winter break activities, explored some of the trails in the woods surrounding campus, watched some more holiday movies (and the Haunting of Hill House- great series, by the way), dragged a couple people out to see the waterfall (in the wonderfully squishy mud), had some very interesting 1am debates in the dayroom, and indulged in too many baked goods. We had a lovely winter concert in the Max Bell (which you can watch here!)- totally not put together in 5 days lol, and Japan House also surprised us during our house meeting with Christmas caroling from outside our dayroom! Cue the impromptu outdoor karaoke sesh in our PJs!
If that wasn't exciting enough, things definitely kick-started on Monday. I accompanied my roommate Delph (Que) to a nail appointment (though not really my thing 😂) which was organized by the lovely houseparent of Japan House before stopping by the holiday cardmaking workshop to get started on some handmade gifts for my roommates and Christmas buddy. In the afternoon we were all pretty shocked to see snow starting to fall. A white Christmas in BC!!! It was incredible. A lot of my friends were seeing snow for the first time in their lives which, of course, resulted in crazy snow ball fights and sledding down the hills up at the observatory.
Some photos featuring my lovely roommates. Used with permission, of course! :)
Tuesday morning, snow was still on the ground so my roomies and a couple friends we picked up along the way ran up to the observatory for one last snowball fight and snowman making. After lunch, we all rolled up our sleeves to work on creating the greatest masterpiece of a gingerbread village you'll ever see (no bias there 👀). Going with the "Pearson Christmas" theme, Vic House set out to build Race Rocks ecological reserve and, of course, Vic House itself. We still have no idea who won, but take our for word for it- Victoria all the way 😉. Right after turning in our lovely scene for judging, my roommate Delphine (Que), my friends Danielle (AUS), Naomi (HK/USA), and I ran over to Travis' house (he's the activities coordinator) while lugging 2kgs of flour, sugar, and 16 bananas to bake banana bread 🍞. As soon as that was done, we took off once again to catch a glimpse of the Great Conjunction up at the observatory.
The day was so busy I missed out on the shower bomb/soapmaking workshop I was hoping to attend but had a spectacular time nonetheless.
In the evening, I finally had the chance to explore Pearson's darkroom 📸 to help my second years develop and print some photos. Honestly one of my favourite, coolest, places on campus and most people haven't ever been down there! I definitely need a lot more practice at getting the right exposures but it was so much fun going through the entire process of film development to the final print all on our own. That evening we were also surprised by the Peer Supporters with a first year bonding with games, food, and lots of socializing.
Wednesday was all about canoe caroling 🛶. In the afternoon the houseparents and campus residents (mostly our teachers and their partners) set up a holiday market where students got plenty of sweet treats and froggy stuffies. I met up with my chemistry teacher, Garth, who supervises paddle sports, to make some holly wreaths and string lights around the voyager canoe. We removed the armour from the OC-6s and tied beams across the two outriggers to bind them together. After dark, our group of paddlers and choir members set out to sing carols to the folks at the military base across the bay and the vacationers staying at the neighbouring marina.
It was a breathtakingly beautiful night. The skies were so clear you look up as we drifted across the water and see the Orion, Cassiopeia, and the Big Dipper shining brightly back at you 🌟. We spent several minutes just looking up and admiring the stunning view of the bay and the stars.
When we finally turned in for the night, our chilling outing was followed by fun conversation alongside piping hot apple cider ☕ and café cookies 🍪, a wolf scare, and once again, locking myself in the darkroom for several hours.
There was also a cool pottery workshop and drum lesson that I didn't make it to, but sounded fun as well!
Then, all too soon- Christmas Eve! The morning was spent over at my house parent's place making a delicious brunch (fluffy Japanese pancakes!!!) before it was time to finish up those last gifts and cards 🎁! For my Christmas buddy (who we're meant to do small little things for throughout the month of December), I put together a small book with notes from everyone in Vic House describing why they thought he was awesome, and for my roommates, matching photo albums with personalized letters and inserts. In the evening there was a big party up in the Maxbell which I passed up for some time to dance my heart out with my roommies from the comfort of our room :)
Christmas day was equally as magical. We woke up to a ridiculous amount of candies, chocolates, and presents under the tree from various donors as well as a special Christmas Day brunch in the café. Then we snuggled up to watch some holiday movies together before getting ready for a fancy Xmas dinner within our houses. There was singing, plenty of food, and of course, secret buddy reveals :)
The 26th was another lovely morning spent with the Vic House fam making waffles 🧇! Fluffy goodness drowned in fresh fruit and REAL Quebec maple syrup 🍁 (just one of the reasons why my roommate is AMAZING) hits different, especially in a post-Christmas dinner haze. In the evening I called some friends from home before somehow unexpectedly finding myself on a bus heading towards the rink for some skating!!! I haven't been on the ice for ages and it was blast!!!
On Sunday we were pleasantly surprised with some sunshine! In reality, it wasn't really sunshine, but at least it wasn't raining 😂. Deciding to take advantage of the slightly less soggy conditions, my co-year Abby (PEI) and I spent the afternoon at Matheson Lake 🏞and exploring the paths in the area. We hadn't even noticed we were out for nearly 4 hours and returned to get comfy in our PJs to watch another movie. I also spent the night camping at the Observatory cause why not?
Monday was spent learning how to use to use a sewing machine for the first time to make some masks. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself 😆.
Tuesday led to another adventure in the city 🏙- this time to the Royal BC Museum! It was lovely to get the opportunity to visit, especially during the lovely age of Covid where travel is severely restricted. It's somewhere I definitely have to visit again- an hour is nowhere near enough time to explore a museum!
That brings us to today...December 30th! After a crazy House volleyball tournament 🏐 in the rain this morning and a delicious matcha latte from the new limited-time Pearson café bar, I'm ready to change into something a little more comfortable before all the exciting plans happening tonight! 🥳
So... that's a summary of the first half of Christmas at Pearson. It has been an absolutely incredible time so far and I'm so excited to make more memories and go on new adventures. It might seem like I've got a ton going on, and yes, that's true, but there's still so much happening on campus that I haven't gone to or even mentioned! Everything at Pearson is so spur-of-the-moment it really does feel like you can end up in all sorts of crazy situations at a moment's notice. Definitely takes some getting used to, but I think it's a part of what makes Pearson so special 🥰.
As always, thanks for reading! Happy holidays!
Ps. UWC applications from select countries are still open!
If you have any questions don't hesitate to reach out - I'd love to hear from you!
Until next time,