We are now entering the fourth week of the first Pillar of our wellbeing programme – Nurturing Healthy Bodies and Minds.
The second takeaway point from this pillar is ‘How can we use our hobbies to de-stress?’. Every single one of us is faced with a certain level of stress in our lives at some point. We appreciate that our students with have pressures and stress to deal with from many different aspects of their lives, therefore it is crucial that we talk about how we can help identify these stressors and how we can help manage those stress levels. This is another big step in identifying how we can maintain a healthy mind in order to benefit our well-being.
During our Boarding House assembly this week, we specifically talked to the students about ‘How can we identify personal stressors. The idea behind this topic is that it’s important to learn how to identify what it is exactly that is putting under stress before we then find appropriate activities and strategies to help alleviate that stress.
We also watched this interesting video about how we can provide them with more knowledge surrounding stress management.
The Mid-Autumn Festival is also called the Moon Festival or the Mooncake Festival. It traditionally falls on the 15th day of the eighth month of the Chinese lunar calendar, which is in September or early October on the Gregorian calendar.
In 2021, the Mid-Autumn Festival falls on September 21st (Tuesday). Chinese people have a 3-day public holiday from September 19th to 21st.
A “mid-autumn festival” is also celebrated in many other Asian communities besides China. In China, it’s a reunion time for families, just like Thanksgiving, while in Vietnam, it’s more like a children’s day.
The Mid-Autumn Festival is the second most important festival in China after the Chinese New Year. Chinese people celebrate it by gathering for dinners, worshipping the moon, lighting paper lanterns, eating mooncakes, etc.
Thank you to our Boarding Direction for these delicious mooncakes !!
🏅 A group of 8 IBCP students are taking part in a fantastic challenge this week hosted by Les Roches Global Hospitality Education – Switzerland
Every day, Arlene waters the plants of the House. Well done!
We are now entering the third week of the Wellbeing Pillar 1. This week the topic to be covered is ‘The effects of screen time before sleeping’. This is again linked to the first takeaway point of this pillar which is: ‘How important is sleep?’
We care about all the elements which interfere with the life of our students. One of these is the time spent in front of screens before sleeping.
Using phones, or any screens for that matter, before you go to sleep has an effect on your health and subsequently your wellbeing. Scrolling through your phone or watching something on your laptop at bedtime can keep your mind psychologically engaged, preventing your brain from switching off effectively at the end of the day. The blue light that comes off the screens reduces the melatonin levels in your body. Melatonin is the hormone within the body that controls your sleep cycles. It is also possible that scrolling and watching can trigger emotions within your brain that will delay your sleep and can lead to you lying awake reflecting on those emotions. We would like to outline the importance of sleep to our students so that they are fully prepared and they give themselves the best opportunity possible to achieve their full potential – in all aspects of their lives. Allowing the brain the sufficient amount of time to rest and recover means we give ourselves the best chance to having a healthy mind, and a healthy body
We also watched this interesting video about How smartphones affect our sleep
Merci aux professeurs qui sont venu nous rendre visite à J.B.Terray 27 aujourd’hui. C’était un plaisir de passer du temps avec vous, et on espère que vous vous êtes amusé autant que nous (non seulement à cause de notre nourriture !) 🙂
Thank you to all the teachers that came to visit us in J.B. Terray 27 today. It was a pleasure being able to spend time with you, and we hope you enjoyed yourselves too (not only because of our food!) 🙂
Click on the link below to watch the video
Following our Pastoral Program, tonight we had our second Wellbeing session focused on The effects from lack of sleep and How does it affect all areas of our life.
The discussion was interesting. Everybody shared the reasons that can make us go late to bed: social media, homework, stress, etc. Using their answers we set up a new action plan:
1- Unlike us, who have grown up without the internet and mobile phones, our students were born into the age of the Internet and for them, it is something intrinsic and second nature. Students need 7/ 8 hours per night to sleep. Due to their lack of sleep, we made a deal: During the week, they are not allowed to use mobile phones after 22.30.
2- To help relax their body and mind after an intensive daily routine, we suggested that they take a shower and drink a tea or infusion before bedtime. Obviously, family calls/chats are important as well as attending yoga classes or meditating, all helping them feel more relaxed.
3- They need at least five meals: breakfast, snack at school, lunch, snack after school, and dinner. We suggested that they avoid eating fast food and energy drinks. Best to drink water. Tuck shop is cancelled so they can buy their healthy food.
4- They must practice more sports. Almost all of them have signed up for 1 or 2 activities during the week/weekend: fitness, volleyball, horse, soccer, tennis.
We also watched this interesting video about How sleep affects our brain.
The Jeûne Genevois is a public holiday specific to Geneva. It falls on the Thursday after the first Sunday in September. On this special day, the people of Geneva traditionally eat prune tart.
Tarte aux pruneaux (plum pie) is often served as dessert in Geneva homes on Jeûne genevois. Any knowledge as to how this tradition began seems to have been lost, although it may have come about as a means to allow women and housekeepers a way to spend the day in prayer, having cooked plum pies the day before (area plums being in season).
The practice of fasting could be observed in the. Swiss cantons as far back as the 15th century. The Diet, an assembly of the representatives of the cantons in place until 1848, organised penance and thanksgiving days. Each canton could decide what form these fasts would take.
The origin of the Jeûne Genevois dates back to the first fast recorded in Geneva, at the beginning of October 1567, following the repression of Protestants from Lyon. From 1640, fasting was seen as a moral and religious act and became an annual practice at the initiative of reformed cantons. It was seen as an act of humility and solidarity with the poorest members of society.
Our “ J.B. Terray 27 ” Boarding House is ready to celebrate a holiday! And since we don’t have to go to school tomorrow, we are all looking forward to the trip to Lausanne to visit the Olympic Museum. This excursion is going to be organized thanks to our great Boarding Activity Managers! !! You will be able to see the beautiful pictures of these trips tomorrow.
To welcome Arlene to Terray and having Ghida for a visit, our girls decided to make crêpes for them. 🙂
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As a new school year begins, J.B. Terray 27 and the whole boarding community will be focusing on looking after ourselves and others around us. We will be spending an hour a week together concentrating on what it means to have a positive attitude towards our own wellbeing and the benefits it can bring us both academically, socially, and personally. This will be a 5 pillar program carried out over the year, focusing on different areas of our lives. Tonight we had a special guest, Mrs Jody our boarding counselor. The girls were happy to get to know Mrs Jody and very grateful for her visit and support.
The first pillar we are building is Nurturing healthy bodies and minds. This first Pillar will accompany our girls through these first weeks of the school year, and it will offer them the opportunity to work on a range of many different projects and activities until the October Break. During the next weeks, we will cover crucial topics such as sleep, nutrition, exercise, and emotional regulation which will be the main focus of this Pillar.
We strongly believe in the importance of sport and activities and the extensive benefits they have on both our physical and emotional well-being. We think it’s very important that where we work hard, rest and relaxation are also vital. This can be provided by sports also, but other constructive ways to look after ourselves emotionally can be reading, listening to music, meditating, making things or yoga.
Throughout this school year, students will be encouraged to complete an individual project and a community project for each pillar of well-being. Our community project will involve the whole Boarding House.
The girls had their last boarding assembly of the year and we are very proud to announce that Katia is going to be a Prefect next year!!! Welldone Kati 🙂
The girls also watched the stay safe movie and we had a great discussion about it after and how this can be in the real world. It was great to have their point of view.
Stay safe girls 🙂
Following our Pastoral Programme , we watched this interesting video about How Happiness is dependent on self-discipline.
Self-discipline, or self control, means taking possession of our own mind. The power of thought is the only thing over which and human being has complete unquestionable control. We have the power of the self-determination, the ability to choose what out thoughts and action will be. If you direct your thought and control your emotions, you will ordain your destiny.
Take charge of your life. You are what you think !
🌊 When Mr. Usher, Director of Boarding, takes our students onto Lac Léman on a speedboat, be prepared to adjust your perspective whilst approaching Geneva’s famous Jet d’eau and discovering the coast from “the other side”. ⚓
Following our Well-Being Programme, today’s conversation was about decision making and consequences.
Decision making is the process of making choices by identifying a decision, gathering information, and assessing alternative resolutions. Using a step-by-step decision-making process can help us make more deliberate, thoughtful decisions by organizing relevant information and defining alternatives.
Before moving ahead with a decision, it is imperative to consider possible adverse consequences of feasible alternatives. The negative consequences of any action are as tangible as its benefits, sometimes more so. Once a decision has been made and implemented, any of its negative effects will eventually become real problems. The effects of decisions—good or bad—always outlive the decision-making process that produced them.
We all make mistakes . Helping teenagers learn from their mistakes
In today’s world where we tend to focus on success and money, mistakes are frowned on. This attitude has been past on to our teenagers. Some parents don’t expect their teens to make a mistake or fail at something. If their teen does make a mistake, the consequences can be severe.
Teenagers are very aware of the pressure on them to succeed and never make a mistake. Many teens who make mistakes are terrified of telling their parents because they fear their reaction. Some teens even consider suicide if they failed a test at school. Teens feel this pressure because parents arrange for tutors so they will get good grades. Also parents are sending their teens to courses to prepare them for the SAT test and parents are also arranging for consultants to help their teens get into good colleges. This is a great deal of pressure and stress.
Think back to when your son or daughter was learning to stand or walk. When the child fell, you would tell them good job for trying and keep trying because you will get it. We say this all the time to our little children. However, for some reason when that little child becomes a teenager, mistakes are not as acceptable and often teens get into trouble for making a mistake.
Yes, as a teen their mistakes get bigger and can be very serious. Obviously if a teenager made a mistake of shop lifting or driving while drunk, these are very serious issues and deserve negative consequences the first time they occur. However, if the mistake is they forgot to do their homework or they came home 20 minutes after curfew, these are not as serious and do not require a severe consequence. Remember the consequence needs to be related to the mistake. If it is too severe or if there is no consequence, the teen will not learn anything.
As parents, we need to remember that teens are starting to learn about relationships and how to handle responsibilities as adults. When they were younger they needed to learn how to walk and had to be toilet trained. We were patient with them as little children, why not be patient with them as teens?
When your teenager makes a normal life mistake, instead of getting mad or frustrated look at it as a teaching opportunity and a bonding opportunity. When your teen makes a mistake this gives you an opportunity to discuss what type of adult you would like to see them mature in to and what values as an adult you hope they will have. It is also a chance to grow closer because if you talk with your teen it give you the opportunity to learn about them and for your teen to learn about you.
We also watched this interesting video about the adolescent brain by Dan Siegel
It’s not so easy being an adolescent these days. We become aware of the world around us, are flooded with input through digital media about our extended global family, and learn about the world’s intense and overwhelming problems. And even more, puberty’s onset is getting earlier, and the time between our childhood dependence and adult responsibility over the last century has moved from a couple of years to a dozen or more.
For adolescents, this means that the pruning down of existing neurons and the laying down of myelin sheaths connecting the remaining linked neurons will continue years after we stop referring to them as “teenagers”
🎬 We are very proud of our students who were selected to represent CDL in Juilliard’s Construct-A-Dance challenge. This involved them creating, choreographing, dancing and filming themselves in groups. 🕺
🏅 Our brilliant dancers and passionate teachers Veronika and Sophie were awarded a certificate for their hard work. 👏
Enrollment 2021-2022 is still open at Collège du Léman. Contact our admissions team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Today we had a chat over some fruits and it was about decision making. I took an apple and I asked them whether they wanted to eat it or not? And the conversation started there.
I asked them have you ever wondered just how many decisions you make in a day? I got frowned faces. So I answered this question, neuroscientists predict it’s a mind-blowing 35,000! (Yes, I searched about it before, like I do every time we are about to have a debate about a wellbeing project.).
Then I went on to ask them if they could number how many decisions they had to make since they woke up. I started my list by, when I woke up I saw it was 7am so I questioned myself whether I should get up or stay in bed 30more mins. It followed by whether I should drink my coffee with or without milk, go straight to the computer or enjoy my coffee in the sun, drink a second one or wait for brunch, enjoy the sun or open my phone to check messages etc. Then they started to think of all the decisions they made until then and realised that they were actually a lot!
I told them that someone once told me that life is just a series of decisions, one right after another, each determining the life that we lead. Sometimes the decisions are small and inconsequential, like my morning selections. However, sometimes the decisions are big. They have the power to shape us, such as which college to attend, and the degree to pursue, whom to marry or where to settle down. And the ripple effect that follows can feel like you’re riding a tidal wave. Regardless-big or small, every day these choices are written into our story.
So we talked about how to get to the root of decision making and we came up with these 6 steps;
- Identify the problem/conflict to be solved.
- Gather relevant information.
- Brainstorm possible solutions.
- Identify potential consequences.
- Make a choice.
- Take action
This was a great interaction time and now they know that learning to make their own choices help them be more independent, responsible, and confident. It gives them a sense of control over their lives, reducing anxiety and promoting resilience. Furthermore, it encourages self-exploration and helps them to solidify their values.
Let’s continue with more decision making; whether to eat another fruit or stop there? Let’s apply the 6 steps and make a decision!
Tonight, during our Virtual Boarding Assembly, has been launched the final Pillar of our Wellbeing Programme: “Making Safe and Responsible Choices”
The key take-away points for this Pillar will be three : first , the ESSENCE of teen brain and the science behind decision making process ; second , consequences and third , self-discipline.
Also, our girls will be given only two choices for their Individual Projects. They will have to join either the discipline revolution project or the happiness project
What makes social media actually ‘social’ are the connections users make with other users on the platforms. Every social networking site handles these connections differently, calling them ‘connections’, ‘friends’ and ‘followers’, amongst others. Having friends and followers is how we find out what other people say and do. Your friends and followers are much more likely to see your online content than those outside of your network, which is why it’s important to be mindful of who you connect with and what you share. On some platforms, if two accounts follow each other, this may allow additional communication channels such as private messaging.
Some tips to stay safe online;
1. Be Cautious of Sharing Too Much
2. Adjust Privacy Settings
3. Limit Details About Work History
4. Verify Who You’re Connecting With
5. Keep Control of Comments – Be Aware of Impersonators
6. Don’t Share Personal Details
7. Check Out Your Own Account
8. Know Employer Boundaries or Acceptable Use Policies
9. Control What Information is Shared with Outside Sources
10. Be Careful of Over-Friending
11. Consider Forming a New Social Network
12. Single Sign-On: Open ID
13. What Goes Online Stays Online
14. Know How to Block Unfriendly Followers
15. Keep Passwords Strong
And last but not least, enjoy your social media, but don’t forget to enjoy your social life ❤️
The girls have been doing a community project this last two weeks, going over the recycling rubbish and separating them once again. They are not only doing it to deal with the consequences of some of their actions but also to save their own planet.
These bins are only supposed to be for PET, but, as you can see in the picture, there are thousands of different things in them that are not PET bottles.
The girls were pleased to do this and at the same time shocked to see how disrespectful the others are towards our planet. Here is a recorded message from them;
Thank you, girls, not only for showing that you are responsible for your actions but towards our planet! As I said before, I am sure you are growing up to be great women.
This afternoon, over some strawberries and cream, we started discussing if they remembered their lives when they were very young before they could actually start playing with the internet.
I also talked about my experience and we had a nice chat that led to different discussions, like, What do you most like about the internet? What do you use most? What you don’t like? and If something bad happened to them related to the internet, bullying, shaming and etc.
I t was nice to see so many different points of view and freely discuss it 🙂 Here are some things for you to reflect on before and after the internet.
I am proud to say that the girls took their responsibilities into their hands and went ahead with this recycling sorting task in the school.
Seeing you being responsible for the consequences of your actions and completing this task with great intention could not make me less happy.
I am sure you are growing up to be great ladies 🙂 Let’s go for a second round of helping hands tomorrow too, this time with music!
We would also like to thank our Teachers and staff from Collège du Léman, which are directly and indirectly involved in their education and wellbeing. We are sure they are on the path of Lifelong learning, the voluntary act of learning throughout life. Discover the benefits of a learning mind-set for personal and professional development and we can only thank everyone for providing them with that.
Congratulation girls, for all your efforts and dedication. We are proud of you!! This is the way to go. Go ahead, is the last stretch !!
This week in our Wellbeing Session, we have watched some videos regarding Online safety and Staying safe.
TIPS TO STAY SAFE ONLINE
There are lots of things you can do to keep yourself safe online.
Think before you post
Don’t upload or share anything you wouldn’t want your parents, carers, teachers or future employers seeing. Once you post something, you lose control of it, especially if someone else screenshots or shares it.
Don’t share personal details
Keep things like your address, phone number, full name, school and date of birth private, and check what people can see in your privacy settings. Remember that people can use small clues like a school logo in a photo to find out a lot about you.
Watch out for phishing and scams
Phishing is when someone tries to trick you into giving them information, like your password. Someone might also try to trick you by saying they can make you famous or that they’re from a talent agency. Never click links from emails or messages that ask you to log in or share your details, even if you think they might be genuine. If you’re asked to log into a website, go to the app or site directly instead.
Think about who you’re talking to
There are lots of ways that people try to trick you into trusting them online. Even if you like and trust someone you’ve met online, never share personal information with them like your address, full name, or where you go to school. Find out more about grooming.
Keep your device secure
Make sure that you’re keeping your information and device secure.
Never give out your password
You should never give out your password or log-in information. Make sure you pick strong, easy to remember passwords.
Cover your webcam
Some viruses will let someone access your webcam without you knowing, so make sure you cover your webcam whenever you’re not using it.
Diana was feeling like the weather didn’t help with the mood today, so we decided to make some healthy cookies for everyone in the house and we ended up doing an abbs workout challenge to kick some more endorphin in.
The cookies were so yummy, thank you, Diana 🙂
And here goes the hard work to burn them off, kick some endorphin in and give us a smile 🙂
Saturday is paid off 🙂
In our community, we believe that fruits are very important for the daily food intake, and as we are supporting a healthy lifestyle, every Tuesday and Saturday we are getting the fruits-sources of many essential nutrients that are under-consumed, including potassium, dietary fibre, vitamin C, and folate.
Tonight Jessica enjoyed a lovely Chinese dinner with her friends.
Your Boarding Team is wishing you all the best for this New Year. Love you, Jessica!
Please. Click on the link to watch the card :
A very important topic was brought up during our virtual house assembly, which is also a part of our Wellbeing Pastoral Programme. Peer pressure and the role of positive friendships in youth development. Adolescence is a period of rapid change —physically, emotionally, and socially—and relationships with friends play an important role in adolescents’ lives as they become increasingly independent, develop their own identity, and grapple with self-esteem. Positive friendships provide youth with companionship, support, and a sense of belonging. They can encourage or reinforce healthy behaviours, and evidence suggests that positive companies in adolescence can lay the groundwork for successful adult relationships, including romantic relationships.
Along with Mr Usher, the prefects decided that for the respect week CDL should focus on respect for the environment. So on this sunny day, good music and a great willingness to see our community clean, Maeva, Lia and Isabella decided to take part in it and we all went litter picking around our community.
During our walk, we discussed how we can help improve our environment and what are the things we should do to educate those that don’t. Just as we were passing by a shop, a man who saw we were picking up litter, was smoking and we all waited to see if he would throw it out on the street or in the bin and at the end, he threw it in the bin and the girls decided to go and congratulate him and thank him for his care towards our environment.
The girls were impressed with the number of cigarette buds that are thrown in the streets and Maeva wanted to make sure we show that to everyone so they can learn how to respect our environment.
Litter team on attack!
Well done girls, we are so proud of you!!!
Following our Well-Being Programme, our house assembly this time was about Peer Pressure.
Peers are people who are part of the same social group, so the term “peer pressure” means the influence that peers can have on each other. Although peer pressure does not necessarily have to be negative, the term “pressure” implies that the process influences people to do things that may be resistant to, or might not otherwise choose to do.
So usually the term “peer pressure” is used when people are talking about behaviors that are not considered socially acceptable or desirable, such as experimentation with alcohol or drugs. The term “peer pressure” is not usually used to describe socially desirable behaviors, such as exercising or studying.
Is Peer Pressure Always Bad?
In reality, peer pressure can be either a positive or negative influence that one peer, or group of peers, has on another person.
Positive Peer Pressure
Peer pressure could influence a young person to become involved in sports. This involvement could be positive, leading to exposure to healthy lifestyles and role models, and eventually leading the young person to become a positive role model herself.
Negative Peer Pressure
That same peer pressure could lead the same young person to over-identify with sports, putting exercise and competition above all else.
If taken to an extreme, she may develop exercise addiction, causing her to neglect schoolwork and social activities, and ultimately, use exercise and competition in sports as her main outlet for coping with the stresses of life. This can also lead to numerous health consequences.
This afternoon a fruitful conversation took place in our lounge during our snack time and all the girls were engaging with great interest.
What is the definition of a role model? Someone that you look up to.
We all have role models.
What are their qualities?
They have high moral values and they are honest.
They project confidence.
Role models demonstrate their commitment to a desired goal and are willing to invest the necessary time and effort to achieve success.
They don’t give up easily and they persevere when confronted by obstacles. Their passion to succeed inspires youngsters to follow through and reach the goals they set for themselves.
In order for role models to be influential, they must show respect for others.
Role models inspire others with an upbeat, optimistic outlook on life.
In J.B. Terray Boarding House, everyone’s role model or models come from family members. Grand-parents and parents who managed to succeed in life with their perseverance and positive energy. Strong passionate people who are kind and compassionate. We are all lucky and grateful to have these people in our lives. We want to learn from them and set the example to others as they did.
And you know…. you might be this role model. It’s all about good intentions and kind actions.
During our first Virtual Boarding Assembly in 2021 has seen the launch of The Third Pillar of our Well-being Programme, Building Positive Friendships.
This third Pillar will accompany our students, and it will offer them the opportunity to work on a range of many different projects and activities until February Break.
Throughout these weeks, we will cover crucial topics such as Friendship groups, Positive role model, Sociability, Confidence/Motivation…
Friendship is a very important part of our lives.
For teenagers, good friends can be:
– like a personal support group
– a sense of belonging, a feeling of being valued and help with developing confidence
-the sense of security and comfort that comes from being with others going through similar experiences
-information about the changes that puberty brings, and what’s going on physically and emotionally
-a way to experiment with different values, roles, identities, and ideas
– experience in getting along with people of the opposite sex.
-a social group to do new things with, especially things that are different from what families do.
Registrations are still open for our Annual Winter Camp 2021
Jb Terray is now open and we are excited to see everyone’s beautiful faces again!
We are sure you all had a great family time together and got your batteries charged for another wonderful and hard-working term full of energy, realizations, and great health!
We can wait to see you all again!! Safe travels and see you soon!
Enjoy our two Christmas Videos. Click on the links below :
Thank you to Mr. Usher, Boarding Director, and Mrs. Salamin, Deputy Head of Boarding, for these swiss chocolates !!
And thank you to Mrs. Jody and Mr. Salva, our Pastoral Programm Team for your continuous support in these difficult times !!
Tonight we had vegetarian lasagna and milk pudding to celebrate the last weekend before the holidays!
The girls were happy to eat at home and have a quiet time before going to bed for the last week of school! The main conversation was about how excited they are to go back home 🙂 But also, we discussed what do they do and how they call the end of year celebrations back in their country.
This was a nice way to discuss diversity around the theme of “end of year celebrations” and also other celebrations. The girls seemed very mature towards this theme and discussed how important it is to be respectful of different cultures and beliefs. In another word, we tested each other to check how well we knew our own culture.
In the end, we learned that the best way to understand other people’s cultures is to first examine your own. Most of us take our background for granted, and we’re rarely challenged to evaluate it. However, it’s only through appreciating our own unique cultural makeup that we can fully appreciate others’.
What is it that you believe in? What biases do you have? What behaviours define you, and would any of them seem odd or unusual to someone with a different culture? These aren’t easy questions to answer, but they did open their eyes to understanding other cultures.
We all have our unique filter through which we view the world, and recognising that fact makes it easier to see other points of view.
And was this way that we finished the day, and guess what, we all learned different card games from each other country 🙂
Today was the end of the Year dinner party.
The girls were happy to be celebrating this evening together. Even though the hygiene measures were restricted and well followed, we did have an amazing evening with extremely delicious food.
They have been working hard this year and they have fully deserved this moment.
The decoration was amazing, everyone enjoyed it, no need for more words, the pictures speak for themselves ! 🙂
Due to the health situation linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, the school parades, the historic parade, the Course de l’Escalade and numerous events within the different districts have been cancelled. One sure value can nevertheless be enjoyed: the chocolate cauldron: La Marmite de L’Escalade ”
L’Escalade takes its name from the assault on the ramparts of the City of Geneva by the troops of the Duke of Savoy during the night of 11/12 December 1602. Every year in December, the Fête de l’Escalade commemorates the victory of Geneva with a blend of humour and tradition.
” For two weeks in December, the city of Geneva goes Escalade mad. As Roy Probert found, the people dress up in period costume and pay homage to a humble soup pot that saved the free world. Or something.
Geneva may be renowned as the world capital of peace and humanitarian work. But during the Escalade period, the citizens of the city show a surprising fondness for guns, swords and canons.
All Swiss people, it seems, have a secret love of dressing up in period costume, polishing muskets and playing fifes and drums. The Genevans are no different. But when they do it, they are remembering a decisive event which arguably made the city what it is today.
The actual day of the Escalade is December 12. It is Geneva’s 4th of July and Bastille Day, though in keeping with Geneva’s puritan past, it’s celebrated with rather more sobriety. It marks the night when the small Protestant city state defeated the Catholic forces of the Duke of Savoy and, it’s claimed, cemented its place as a bastion of freedom and tolerance.
“If it had not been for the Escalade, we would probably be French now. And that’s worth celebrating,” says Jean-Michel, who, like his father and grandfather before him, is a member of the 1602 Society, which organises the annual Escalade procession through Geneva’s Old Town.
But what, the visitor will be forgiven for asking, is the significance of the chocolate cauldrons that seem to be in every shop window in the city from the middle of November till the middle of December?
These are “marmites”, and they symbolise the soup pot which played a crucial role in defeating the French hordes.
The story goes something like this: On the night of December 11, the Duke of Savoy launched a surprise attack on the city. As they scaled the city walls with ladders (escalade means to scale) his men were spotted by a woman now affectionately known as Mère Royaume, who poured a pot of boiling vegetable soup over their heads and raised the alarm.
In reality, it was not Catherine Cheynel (Mère Royaume’s real name) who raised the alarm. But she was one of thousands of ordinary Geneva citizens who helped fight off the Savoyards, and her inventive weapon became the symbol of the Escalade.
Today the marmite is made of chocolate and filled with marzipan vegetables. Tradition dictates that the youngest and oldest people smash the chocolate pot and recite the phrase: “Thus perish the enemies of the republic”. In French, of course.
The really serious escalade festivities take place on the weekend closest to December 12. Members of the 1602 Society, dressed in those authentic Reformation period costumes, stage an understated, but fascinating procession through the old town.
At intervals along the way, they stop and a proclamation is read out (the same proclamation that was made after the Duke had been put to flight), muskets and canons are fired and the Geneva anthem Cé qu’è lainô (He who is on High) is sung.
Very few people seem to know what the 68 verses of Cé qu’è lainô mean, as they were written in an ancient Geneva patois. But that does not stop young and old belting it out with gusto. And nowadays they just stick to four verses, which helps.
In short, it’s not particularly complementary about the Savoyards. One verse goes something like this: “On the darkest night they came, and it wasn’t to have a drink. It was to loot our homes and kill us for no good reason.” Thank heavens the Genevans won.
“They have quite a story to tell,” says Keith Kentopp, an American who has lived in Geneva for some 30 years and one of the few foreigners in the 1602 Society.
There are around 2,600 members of the company of whom some 700 are allowed to wear costumes.
“There is nothing Disneyesque or commercialised about this. We know who the main characters of the Escalade were and we all have a role to play,” Kentopp says.
“It’s fun to dress up, but in a time of shifting values, the Escalade represents a kind of continuity. It’s about patriotism, tradition, and basic ideals like freedom.”
It’s also important to place the Escalade in its historical context. It happened at a time of massive religious upheavals in Europe, just before the outbreak of the Thirty Years War.
“It was only a small episode in history. Today we would call it a commando raid,” says Christian Colquhon, a former secretary general of the 1602 Society. “But the following year a peace treaty was signed which brought peace to this region.”
The defeat of the Catholic forces from France and northern Italy also confirmed Geneva’s position as a haven for dissidents and persecuted minorities.
“Many specialists agree,” says Colquhon, “if the Duke of Savoy had taken the city that night, it would not be the city that we know today – city of peace, a city of the world and the headquarters of the United Nations.”
Tonight we had our First Virtual Awards Ceremony led by Mr. Usher, our Boarding Director, where some of our girls received a medal for being involved in Activities, Boarding Life and Academically reaching amazing grades. Well done to all of the winners. We are proud of you !!
Louise received the Boarding Life Award for her involvement and spirit in our house.
Kateryna got a medal for her outstanding participation in the school and boarding activities.
Katia won the award for the highest GPA in her academic program in Grade 11 AP and Maeva was awarded for the highest GPA in her academic program in Grade 12 AP
It will be four months since the explosion in Lebanon, which affected several of our CDL family. To respect this and show our support, tonight, our students had Lebanon’s flag in a window, and they stood around it, praying and shining the light from their phones towards the window: ‘Light for Hope’ 🙏
Following our Pastoral Programme, tonight we had a nice discussion about being in a community with people from different cultures. We came to the conclusion that we can find a lot of things in common with people even from a completely different continent. We shouldn’t be prejudiced, in the end, we are all differently same. We are valuable human beings who deserve to be treated with kindness and understanding. We were very happy to see the girls getting along and work together as a small group in a big international community.
We also watched a video on nonviolent communication.
Here is a smiley “Cupcake mug” to cheer up your tummy 🙂 But what does it have to do with Diversity? Let me start…
The discussion was; How do you bake cakes back in your country? As we all know, east Asian food, for example, doesn’t have cheese or dairy as much as other parts of the globe. It was only in the late ’90s that it started being advertised. Knowing that the question arose; So you guys didn’t have cakes, oh my god!? And a nice discussion about diversity and cakes started.
All that led us to understand the importance of a diverse community and how each one of their educational experience can be enriched by living among people from a variety of backgrounds. Here, we embrace our similarities and celebrate our differences.
We discussed the importance of supporting each other to be their most authentic self and accepting these of others will propel them to thrive in their relationships, work, and life-long learning in the future. Being in a multicultural and diverse school teaches students cultural competency in real-time, how to engage in spaces and with other students and adults from different backgrounds than their own. It helps them learn how to understand the social and emotional reactions and experiences of their peers, often unlike their own.
Of course, we did all that munching on our cake mugs, that for instance didn’t have any milk and yet, tasted just like it did! Once again we proved that being different is not bad, only it was from a different point of view 🙂
We are sure that some of us might be experiencing different feelings due to this extraordinary situation. We are experiencing a pandemic. It is normal to feel overwhelmed with emotions. Sometimes we feel sad, scared, and a bit worried. But there is a way to avoid falling into a sad spiral.
During our weekly assembly, the tip to take care of our mental health was practicing mindfulness meditation.
Mindfulness meditation can bring to our girls, clarity and calm. It’s a practice that encourages them to be present, acknowledge their emotions, and let it go. And it’s all grounded by breathing.
The regular practice of it will help them to be less overwhelmed with all the emotions triggered by the pandemic. It will remind them all feelings are normal and it’s okay. And eventually, what they’re feeling will end.”