From Year 7

You have become
In this shiny Circle – K.

With its row upon row
Of Japanese snacks,
And signs that scream
in a language you can’t understand.

The promise of air – con
And convenient convenience
are not working out
like you planned.

Is working out
Like you planned.

You arrived….how long?
Seven hours ago.
Seven hours ago
you got off the plane.

And that
was the end
of all that you’d known
until now.

Tim Sinclair
False Start, from The Things a Map Won't Show You

The poem above is just one of the many that we analysed as part of our short story unit “Creative Writing.” Students were quick to make parallels between this poem and their new journey into secondary school. As part of the short story unit students were asked to think about the rituals that they left behind and the new rituals that await them.

Beginning any new journey is fraught with ‘false starts’, new rituals and deeper understandings of yourself and where you fit in within the cosmos. In Term One our Year 7 students explored the text Things a Map Won’t Show You, they were encouraged to consider this concept as they embarked on their secondary school journey. What are the things that exist in our school that are not obvious on any map anywhere? As the weeks progressed students noted exactly what those things are; the culture that exists within the community, the rich Mercy traditions that are so much a part of our everyday existence and the new demands of learning in a space that calls them to be responsible for their own learning journey.

As the Year 7s became more confident with SEQTA, developed friendships, used their locks with ease and can now navigate their way around the space. the false starts became less and less.

While we are always learning and life will always give us false starts, as students of St Aloysius we are well on our way to having the tool kit to deal with the bumps that come our way.

Rituals are important for a variety of reasons: sometimes they help us to mark time, or indeed to create time, by signifying beginnings and endings. At St Aloysius, we experienced this on a number of occasions, when we came together to celebrate the start of Term 2 in a Whole School Liturgy – a ritual that many of us have come to appreciate.

As the Year 7 cohort continues to move through the school year they will have the opportunity to participate in many of the rituals and traditions that make our school unique, for some it will be the ritual of yelling out the last verse of the school song with gusto or the ritual of processing into the school hall for their first assembly while being cheered on by their peers.

Much like the poet in “False start” we may have found ourselves feeling excited to begin in a new place, yet feeling a little overwhelmed. We can take heart that we learn from our false starts and continue to grow. This cohort will surely contribute to the many important rituals and traditions that are so much a part of our school community.

Tamara Lourdes
Year 7 Team Leader

Things a map won’t show you showed me that it doesn’t matter if you have a hard time belonging in a new school because you will belong eventually. When I started my year at St. Aloysius I thought I was going to have a hard time finding friends but I made lots of new friends in the first week and It’s felt like I’ve been at St.A’s forever. My favourite story from Things a map won’t show is all one race because it showed as lots of different people from different backgrounds we all are one community who should not fight we should just live our lives.
Sebastien Hall 7
Things a Map Won’t Show You is a varied collection of short stories, comics and poetry. All year sevens are required to read it as part of the english curriculum. When we first started reading the book, I was curious about how I would manage to meet the reading requirements and complete the story reflections, but then I discovered that it was easy to get used to. I enjoyed reading the whole collection, but my favourite piece of writing was a poem called All One Race. I think the message in it was very powerful and stuck with me.
Frankie Blaisdell
During term 1 we have been reading a book called Things a map Won't Show you in English. It is a book with many short stories and poems inside it. I like this book because the stories are funny and entertaining to read, and because you can relate with many of the characters. My favourite short story is the Exotic Rissole because it is funny and interesting.
Julius Cantoni