Aya Hester

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You started at BrainBoost in the summer. What worked for you in the summer Math classes?
Definitely the focus on one subject the entire month, as well as the small classroom in general. So you’ve got more one on one time with the teachers. That’s definitely a huge thing that you don’t get in most public schools.

What was your previous school experience like?
I’ve been to many, many schools. I started off in Kits in grade 8, but that was extremely stressful, especially with the large number of people there. And then for grade 9 I moved onto the Vinery, which is an alternative program through Kits, and that worked really well, as it was on my own pace, so I could finish a lot of stuff without the pressures of having it to be done at a certain date. And then I moved onto City School, which is through King George, downtown. But that didn’t work out all too well, since all of the courses we did were basically what the teachers liked, and nothing of what the students liked, so it was a lot of Comp Civ and Law. It was really dry!

How would you describe the culture atmosphere at BrainBoost.
Crazy? People are really stoked to be here, which is different from what you see at most schools. It’s definitely a good crazy, mainly because people are super positive and trying to communicate with each other, and are actually making efforts to be friendly and not be a jerk to everyone. I think everyone who goes here generally has the same state of mind: acceptance and general openness. Or if you’re not open, you’ll end up having debates with people, it’s not angry debates, it’s just for fun. And that’s really nice as well. It’s really welcoming.

What do you think is the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome in your HS years?
When I wasn’t at BB, it was definitely mornings. I think over time, the schools I started going to started later, and later, and later. So it started at 8:30, so I’d have to be up by 7:00, and then it moved down to 9:00 and I’d have to be up by 8:00. I think BrainBoost is definitely working for the 10:00 morning classes!

That’s exactly why we switched it to 10:00! One thing I know about you is that art is important to you. How has BrainBoost supported you in your art?

It’s definitely a part of me that’s stuck with me for a while. Or I guess the only hobby that stuck with me. It actually ran in the family: we have this piece at home where my mom made a cat portrait out of soy sauce, which is really cool. And she used to draw characters out of books for me. I guess at some point in grade 6, I just started drawing, and didn’t really stop. It’s still a lot of fun.

A lot of the projects, there’s a lot of leeway, so I can do more artistic things, rather than full powerpoint write-ups and essays and whatnot. Instead I can do an entire poster and do a whole bunch of art to make up for my knowledge, and I think that’s really awesome, because you wouldn’t be able to do that anywhere else.

Where’s your journey taking you? What are you doing after you’re finished?
I’m actually taking a gap year, which is a very recent decision. And I plan to work two part-time jobs, and I’m moving out sometime in the fall, which I’m really stoked about. I really want to go into biology in the future, work with a lot of animals. I’m not too sure if I want to go into research or Vet Ed or something like that. But there’s a lot of options, so I’m still interested in human medicine, or being a lawyer, or being a psychiatrist, or a designer — there’s a lot of options! But I’m going to check out bio first.

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Has there been any pods or classes that have really stood out in your mind that you really connected to and enjoyed?
Definitely Bio and English. Bio’s what I’m interested in. But it’s definitely hands-on a lot of the time. Asides from the entire days which are full of notes. But there’s a lot more labs and dissections and stuff, which is really cool. And there’s a lot of cool stuff which is constantly being updated on the media, which we get to learn about. The class in general is a lot of fun.

English was with Chris D. It was definitely the environment: the whole class was really pumped to be there most of the time. Chris made it really fun, and we watched a lot of movies and criticized a lot of things. And the books we read were really interesting as well.

If you look back at your first day at BB, so the summer of grade 10, and today, how have you changed or evolved?
I’ve definitely become more organized. I think I’ve been able to prioritize my own options better. And what’s available to me, and what I can do and what I should do. It’s also made me think a lot about what I’m interested in, because I didn’t really like science before I came here. And now that the teachers are so different, you’ve got a different perspective on all the courses. You really get to see a different version of learning, and it makes things a lot more fun. And that’s something that I probably wouldn’t have seen if I weren’t at BB. And I definitely did not see school that way before I got here. I think that’s probably the biggest thing that’s changed.

What do you think you’re going to miss most about BB?
Definitely the people. It’s such a different connection here. It’s going to be difficult to find that same group of people in such a large environment. Also Brinley and Garfunkel of course!

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Skills

Posted on

17/08/2016