Thursday, 11 October 2012

Student Guest Blogger - Grade 8 Trip

From time to time, we will feature guest student bloggers. It's great to hear from our students themselves on life here at Beacon!

Toronto Reflection Blog by BK Jeong
The main impression about the public transit was that while it wasn’t all that bad, it
wasn’t as good as in South Korea, the country I’m from. We walked to the bus stop in
Fairview Mall; the bus took us to the train station; we rode the GO-train to Union Station,
and then took a subway. In all, the public transit (excluding the return trip) took about
three hours. In South Korea, we could have gone the same distance in 30 minutes, using
the bullet train. Nevertheless, just like there, we can go almost anywhere without using
a car, but I’m sorry to say that it is not nearly as fast, comfortable, pollution-free or customer friendly. Also, there are a lot of people using the mass transit, so it was very hard to find a seat, and there were a lot of graffiti and litter.

I found the subway particularly uncomfortable, because there were a lot of people from
many countries, and there were not enough seats or poles to hold on to. Some of the
people smelled weird, mostly smelling like too much perfume. Also, the doors are open
for a very short time, so a large group of people couldn’t get out completely and become
separated. This almost happened to us. There was the same problem with the GO-train.
The city itself was quite pleasant, mostly because there were a lot of trees, especially
deciduous trees. Rhoda (Mr. Pot’s sister-in-law) explained to us that coniferous trees
don’t do well in cities because their leaves stay on longer and so pick up more pollution.
She also explained that urban trees are types whose roots do well in tight spaces. (She
was also the person that told the subway driver to re-open the doors during the subway

Even though the main streets and open areas were pleasant enough, in the back alleys
that we went through with Mr. Fullan’s class from the University of Toronto during our
Jane’s walk, there were much more garbage, a lot of graffiti, and few trees, so it was
quite freaky for me, rivaling the subway for bad experiences on this trip. I mostly took
photographs of these.

One interesting fact that we learned from Mr. Fullan’s class; the library building of the
University of Toronto is designed to look like a peacock. At first I didn’t get it, but then
we went to the main entrance and we saw that it really did look like a peacock.
This trip was for me a preparation, since we will be doing our own Jane’s walk soon. I can’t wait!

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