Oscar Smith-Sieger

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BrainBoost our stories

 

Why did you start coming to BrainBoost?
Because elementary school didn’t work out that well for me, the traditional method of it. My mum really wanted to try something different. She heard that they did the alternative school program, and that was only the second year of it. Matt remembered her, and they had a nice conversation, and it evolved. It worked out well. 

How would you describe the culture at BB?
It’s hard to describe a general culture. In general, it’s a very different atmosphere. Not how you’d traditionally expect. Traditionally, students and teachers are more separated. It’s less so here. There’s a first-name basis. It’s a lot more casual in a good way.You don’t have to be super intense with your teachers. Even the fact that they’re called tutors is part of that, just less of an air of superiority. It’s hard to summarize what BrainBoost is. It’s a very calm, casual but still effective working environment. It’s very inclusive too.

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Are there any teachers you feel particularly connected with? What did you like about their teaching style?
Mark Van, I’ve had something with for the past four years.I think he’s pushed me toward the Math and Science stuff, which I really like, which has definitely been helpful. He likes to go on long tangents on interesting stuff related to the topic, which I really like. My favourite example, is that he tried to explain how soap worked, like the chemical ways that soap worked. He went on an hour-long tangent of explaining that through the Cold War. There’s two different types of molecules that connect to the soap, but he went into Capitalist and Communist powers… It was pretty great. It was a massive tangent about the Cold War. It was really fun. It was a great day.

What do you think is the biggest challenge you had to overcome in high school, personally for you? How did we help you through it?
I guess the hardest general thing that’s been for me going through school would be learning how to work well in social situations. That has been a big issue. I’ve gotten much better at that in later years. BrainBoost helps with that kind of stuff. I talked a lot with Ivey, who was for the most part my Case Manager for that time. Just being able to talk to her or Jessy or other people. That really helped a lot.

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What do you think you’re going to miss most?
That’s a hard one. I definitely think I’m going to miss BB as an institution. The whole BB environment, vibe, and BB as a thing. It’s hard to nail down a single thing that I will particularly miss. It’s not like it’s all that different, but it’s not all that similar. It’s both it’s own thing that’s different and the same. Going on to university, there will be major differences. It will be a whole new thing. I think I’m looking forward to the new environment, but also I’ll look back and miss the old environment. I’ll definitely be back to visit. 

What’s next on your plate for you, where is your journey going?
I’m going to be doing Computer Science at SFU.

How do you think we’ve helped prepare you for that?

I’ve done a lot of programming classes, so having that available here has been really helpful for me, and being able to do that has helped my interest in that field. Daniel, specifically, was really helpful for that, because he’d done Computer Science for his degree, so I was able to talk to him about that, which was really interesting. I think that having the ability to do that kind of stuff here, with someone who that was what they did,I found that very helpful.

Why do you think places like BB should exist?
The reason I gave is because our standard school system didn’t really work that well for me, and that’s the kind of thing that happens to a lot of people. It’s supposed to fit for everybody; that means it obviously won’t work for everybody, it will work for most people. I think that there are cases where it works well, but there are people who need more help, or just a different environment. I think that’s where BB and other places like it fill the gap.

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Skills

Posted on

24/08/2016