All semester long, scholars have been refining their speaking skills and exploring creative writing. Everyone has been working hard to improve their rhetoric, voice modulation, dialogue, and more. Now that the semester is coming to an end, we'd like to showcase the following student's stories and speeches:

Keven Pi (Gr 7)

Nathan Lin (Gr 7)

Coco Li (Gr 9)

Jennifer Zhang (Gr 9)

(click on the student's name to view their showcase)


A Standard Expectation

Everyone’s teenage years are rough. A little emotional moment can start a complete breakdown with no ‘recover’ button. I blame puberty. Every time I get together with the other parents from Tommy’s school, everybody seems to be connecting through these random teenage tantrums their kids have had. Everybody but me.

After work, I came back to a room of absolute silence. It was already dark outside but the lights were still off and the blinds still open. If a stranger walked by my house they would think that no one was home, but I knew that my 15-year-old son was isolated in his room with no awareness of the time or date.

“Hey, Tommy, can I come in?” I asked as I stood outside his door.

“But Mom, I’m busy. Maybe some other time.”

“It will only take a moment. I want to talk to you.”

Silence was the only reply I got. Being the impatient person I am, I opened the door to find half of my son sitting at his desk with half of his body hiding behind stacks and stacks of textbooks.

“Mom, what is it?” He continued his homework without even looking up at me. “I already told you I am busy. Can you leave? Please?”

“Is that how you address your mother? I worked for the whole day and I just want to have a conversation with you. Is that too much to ask?”

“Ugh. Ok, ok, you don’t need to raise your voice. I mean, just ask nicely.”

“So what have you been working on?” I said as I sat down on his bed.

“Seriously, Mom? You came barging into my room to ask what I’m working on?”

“Just answer the question,” I commanded. My patience was dimming by the second.

“Ugh. Fine. Well, I’m studying for my science finals next week and I have an English essay to write. I also have to finish this group project that’s due tomorrow. Oh, and I guess I’m also self-studying AP Computer Science and AP Biology.”

Wow. Did he always have so much to do?

“That sounds like a lot of work. Do you have time to hang out with your friends these days? You know you have to relax every now and then.”

“Hang out? Well if you expect straight A’s from me this year, then hanging out is something I won’t be doing. Plus, my friends and I don’t really talk anymore. Besides, staying in suits me more.”

What? Since when did kids like homework more than hangouts? And what does he mean ‘if I expect him to get straight A’s’? Isn’t that what I’m supposed to expect from my children? Everything I’ve read and everyone I’ve talked to says that it’s important to set high goals. So what’s up with that tone? Is he stressed? Are his friends bullying him? Am I being too hard on him?

“Tommy, you know that I don’t expect you to get straight A’s in school right? I just want you to be happy.”

“Yeah, whatever.”

“No, listen to me, Tommy. School isn’t the most important thing in life. Take some time for yourself and just have fun. Don’t constantly worry about studies and getting ahead of your class or doing everyone’s share in a group project. Do you understand?”