I Have Brothers
I’m an only child, and a proud one at that. I’ve been able to have the house to myself, get all the presents — the usual.
That doesn’t mean I don’t have any brothers. That’s what my six years at St. Andrew’s College gave me.
I write this somewhat sentimentally, although I certainly have not been away from campus long enough to warrant this feeling. I’ve studied and worked at SAC constantly, as a student from 2010 through 2016, a Science Camp Counsellor from 2013 onwards, and lastly as a Student Teacher in 2017.
As a graduate, I was interested to hear that the school had released a short film, Boys into Men, and immediately sat down to watch it. I recall viewing the original admissions video that was produced during the 2009–10 school year when I enrolled at school, which became quite a moment for me. Sitting in Ketchum Auditorium , I watched in awe as tears came to my eyes thinking about what lay ahead of me. I hadn’t even been in class yet.
I was crying over something I hadn’t even experienced yet. I didn’t know whether I was amazed with the facilities, technology, or even the campus itself and its vastness. Somehow, without being able to navigate my way to lunch, I felt part of something.
The sense of community at St. Andrew’s is something that I cannot even hope to quantify. I was awestruck and crying, overcome by the memories of the years I had spent as a student at school. The visuals of the short even had me chanting the Gangwa in my apartment completely alone.
That’s the thing, though. I wasn’t alone.
Almost as if planned, my phone lit up. My brothers had started a discussion on Boys into Men, and how it made them feel. Many of us had the same ambition when we started school — wanting to be that student, that Andrean who was featured in our minds from orientation. As our careers at SAC diverged, however, we noted how unique we had become. We were the students that others were looking up to, wanting to become something as well-rounded as us. We shared stories of our experiences with one another, noting that many of us had the same reaction towards the film itself.
We missed the students, the teachers and the campus.
We missed our brothers, our mentors and our land.
We missed St. Andrew’s College.
Crossing the stage at my graduation, I was overcome by the idea that I had to go. I was foolish to believe that I could ever truly leave.
I returned to St. Andrew’s for a visit during my university’s winter reading week. I was eager to see the teachers that had shaped me and take in the surroundings of a campus that changed my life.
I walked through Mac House Triangle wearing my Queen’s Concurrent Education jacket, announcing to everyone where I was from. I had a new identity, that of a future teacher. I wasn’t a student anymore.
An individual that will remain nameless who I recognized immediately called out to me as I crossed the path into the Quad.
Coming back for a visit?
I replied with a yes, noting how I really wanted to see how everything had changed.
They updated the couches in the Gallery. Welcome back, Andrew. Welcome home.
Class of 2016
I write this somewhat as a review of the new short film and an account of what makes SAC so special to me. By no means have I been able to represent my feelings towards the school in a short piece like this. I do that by wearing my graduation ring and proudly stating what it means anytime a student asks me. I didn’t go to a school north of Toronto, or a school in Aurora. I didn’t go a private school, nor an all-boys independent school. I went to St. Andrew’s College. If I’m lucky, I’ll get to teach there too.