Monday, November 30, 2020

The official student newspaper of Methodist Ladies' College

2021 deputy senior prefects Gabby Walker and Chloe Taylor and Head of Boarding Ally Spain dish on their plans for 2021 and the challenges of 2020

An interview with Gabby Walker, 2021 deputy senior prefect

What does your role as deputy senior prefect entail?
I’ll be working quite closely with Chloe to support the whole prefect body–we’ll be having meetings with Dr. Bailey Smith and the rest of the executive team as well as fortnightly meetings with the whole prefect body. There’ll be some public speaking opportunities, as well as dealing with the organization of events behind the scenes, and we’re here to help facilitate other prefects’ ideas as well as initiate our own meaningful and long lasting change.

What is your vision for 2021?
2021 for me is an exciting year. I think that this year, 2020, we’ve undergone many challenges, starting off with the bushfires and COVID and I think our resilience and adaptability have really shone through. That being said, I can see a return to school with a greater sense of gratitude and appreciation for being at school and for our incredible teachers and peers, and I think it will invigorate all of us to get more involved in everything

What’s a cause or issue that’s important to you?
[Laughs] There are quite a few–I really care about the planet and helping the environment, and I also think racial inequality is super important to talk about and act upon. Striving for social justice in general is absolutely critical to achieving an equitable society.

What is the first thing you plan to do as Executive?
These things are definitely a work in progress, but I think first off is probably to ensure a sound adjustment and facilitate a smooth transition into this so called new normal. In a broader scope we’re thinking of facilitating cross year collaboration and friendships part through clubs, co curriculars and house. At the moment, clubs are all super welcoming but their perception can sometimes incline the younger girls to be reluctant to attend. Just from personal experience, they’ve definitely enriched my time at MLC, and among other things, they’ve also challenged me. I would encourage everyone to
attend a club and if there isn’t one that’s quite the right fit, why not create one?

If you could change one thing at MLC what would you change?
Increase levels of inter-year collaboration and communication. Making this easier with mentorship programs through clubs and debating is worth pursuing–after COVID, we’ve become more acutely aware how enriching it is to have human connection.

What’s your favorite TV show/movie?
I’m pretty busy at the moment but I’ve been making time to watch the docu-series the Rise of the Murdoch Dynasty, about Rupert Murdoch and his media empire. Although not a TV show or a movie, I’ve also been loving a podcast called Pod Save America, about all things US election!

What’s the last book you read?
1984 by George Orwell, I’m hoping to read Dark Emu by Bruce Pasco next.

What’s keeping you motivated at the moment?
It’s easier said than done, but maintaining regular catchups with friends has been great

What new thing did you learn in quarantine?
I learnt how satisfying it is to grow your own veggies, I’ve been growing silver beet, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, herbs [drifts off thinking about vegetables, presumably]… I also volunteered and refined my skills there as well

What has been your biggest challenge this year?
Finding the balance between home, school and co-curriculars. I think striking this balance has been critical in maintaining good mental wellbeing.

What is your favorite subject at the moment and why?
I love chemistry…I can’t put my finger on the exact reason why! I’ve got a great class and I love the subject (shoutout to Ms. Beasy)

What’s your go to activity to destress?
I love to bake, I will bake all day every day…

Any last words to the students reading this?
I feel honored to have received this role, I’m looking forward to implementing some long lasting and meaningful change, and I would love to collaborate with the staff, the students and the prefects to have a positive impact on the school. 2020 has not been an easy year, you know, and I want to make sure 2021 is an absolutely smashing year.

An interview with Chloe Taylor, 2021 deputy senior prefect

What is your vision for 2021?
A smooth transition back to school after Covid-19 where we have an opportunity to show our resilience, adaptability, and gratitude for all that we previously took for granted.

What’s a cause or issue that’s important to you?
I am very passionate about environmental sustainability. I have hope that as a society we can work together to solve the climate crisis, but it is going to require collaboration from people of all backgrounds. I hope to be able to contribute in my own way after graduating, but in the meantime I’m a member of the Green Team!

What is the first thing you plan to do as Executive?
As a member of a few clubs at MLC (including PRISM, the Green Team, and Amphitheatre) I have realised how valuable involvement in clubs can be. Clubs have helped me develop new skills, meet new people and build my knowledge about current issues. So, I plan to encourage participation in clubs in order to foster cross-year level collaboration. This would involve making clubs more accessible and inclusive, and promoting them to younger year levels.

If you could change one thing at MLC what would you change? I would build a stronger sense of interschool connectivity between JSS, MS and SS.

What’s your favourite TV show/movie? Elite on Netflix. It’s a high school murder drama in Spanish (so I can convince myself I’m studying for Spanish when I watch it).

What’s the last book you read? The Crucible for English class (wish I had something more interesting to say here!).

What’s keeping you motivated at the moment?
The exciting prospect of starting in my role next year and working together with the SSLs.

What new thing did you learn in quarantine?
I taught myself how to skateboard and play the guitar.

What has been your biggest challenge this year? Staying motivated to do my schoolwork during lockdown. Procrastination has been my biggest enemy!

What is your favourite subject at the moment and why?
Chemistry – I love how each topic builds upon the previous one, and it’s interesting to learn how things work!

What’s your go to activity to destress? Video calling friends to play Among Us – we’re obsessed at the moment.

An interview with Ally Spain, 2021 head of boarding

What does your role as head of boarding house entail?
The head of boarding prefect acts as a sort of liaison between the boarding students and the day school…so as you can imagine, boarding can be pretty daunting for students and the head of boarding acts as the first point of contact for these boarders

What’s a cause or issue that’s important to you?
I’m really passionate about the Black Lives Matter movement, both in Australia and worldwide and just in a general sense, equality for everyone

What is the first thing you plan to do as an Executive?
I want to look at getting boarding students more into day school and into clubs because it seems like a lot of the time boarding students get nervous when they have to do things in day school! I want to make sure they can do everything that day girls can even though they live at school

If you could change one thing at MLC what would you change?
I would bring back uniform infringements as a PBR can sometimes be a harsh punishment for a uniform issue!

What’s your favorite TV show/movie?
Brooklyn 99 or the Politician…and as for movies, Mamma Mia!

What’s the last book you read?
My story, Julia Gillard’s biography

What’s keeping you motivated at the moment?
Organizing catchups with my friends even if it’s just going for a walk

What new thing did you learn in quarantine?
I learnt how to make jewelry! Particularly earrings, I love a good pair of funky earrings so I decided to start making them and save money on buying new ones because I was probably spending too much money

What has been your biggest challenge this year?
Probably having to manage moving between my home in Wagga, NSW and the boarding house–so there’s been a couple of times where I’ve had to go to one or the other without knowing when I’ll be able to see my family or my friends next, and that’s been pretty challenging for me and I think a lot of boarders are in the same boat

What is your favorite subject at the moment and why?
I love psychology, it’s super interesting and what we’re learning at the moment, which is brain function and its effects on behavior, is something I’ve never learnt before, so I’m finding it really intriguing!

What’s your go to activity to destress?
I love journaling, it’s such a calming way to record what’s going on in my life at the moment–especially since the world is so crazy now and if I ever have a rough day I love to go back and read the journal entries from a good day.

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