Reflections On Lisgar’s 350th

By WERDNA REIRIOP

After three and a half centuries of academic excellence, it is important that we, the Lisgarites of 2193, look back upon our school’s long and proud history and pay homage to those who came before us. Though others have taken it upon themselves to catalogue specific eras of LCI history for the 350th anniversary, I have been chosen to elaborate to our loyal readers (and loyal you must be, if you choose to cultivate and practice such an archaic skill as reading) upon the time surrounding Lisgar 175 years ago: The 175th anniversary itself. In order to capture the spirit of the era, we have chosen to not only compose this article using the dialect and vernacular of the time, but also to distribute it in paper format, a long-obsolete medium that was losing popularity even back then.

Lisgar Collegiate celebrated it’s 175th anni- versary in the 2017-2018 school year, around the same time that Canada marked its own 150th. From a modern perspective, this means that our school both preceded and outlived Canada itself. Indeed, ours is a balanced legacy of endurance and innovation, changing with the times to not only survive, but prosper, as well as carrying on the proud traditions of our ancestors. By this time, LCI had already acquired an impressive reputation, and was home to a highly-regarded program for gifted students, an international certificate program, and even a now-primitive (but then-impressive) space flight simulation program. Though I’m sure it was a far cry from the real thing, it was nonetheless a very popular club amongst students at its height.

Similarly to today, the early 21st century was a time of constant change, and new trends and technologies came and went with the climate change-induced winds. Pastimes for adolescents generally included “plugging in” to social media (although they did not yet possess the capacity to literally cybernetically interface with machines, as we now do), a relatively new phenomenon not present in the lives of prior generations that was still having some of its kinks worked out. Moves like “whipping” (a mix between trying to start an imaginary lawnmower and using an imaginary door handle), “dabbing” (which defies description altogether), as well as phrases like “cheesed”, “salty”, “woke”, and “cool” simply popped out of nowhere and infiltrated pop culture within days and remained part of it for years to come. We know this thanks to the archived material of an obscure account simply called “Lisgar memes” on an ancient social media platform called Instagram. It has provided great insight into the student culture of the day, and remains a valuable cyberarcheological resource to Lisgar historians. Bizarre as this arcane language may seem, words like “floozle”, “blokwop”, “tomagomp”, and “icklickity” permeate our own society, so we really aren’t in any position to judge.

Something else that might be of interest to our readers is that our noble school’s age-old rivalry with that infantile den of degenerate slimeballs that is Glebe Collegiate Institute existed as far back as the 2010s, and actually originated much earlier than even that. Students from both schools (if you can call Glebe a proper school) participated and competed in all aspects of life, and the weasels actually gave our predecessors a run for their money every now and again. However, some things never change: the Lisgar Lord has always outshone the Glebe Plebe, and that is the way it always will be. To this very day the poor fools still try to compete with us, and we humour them by letting them win something or another every so often to spare their self- esteem, but we let them win, and so never truly lose to them.

Ultimately, we must all realize and remember that Lisgar Collegiate Institute is more than just a school; it is a legacy. Generations of students have walked these same halls, and though they lived very different lives in very different times, one thing has always remained consistent and binds us all together; each and every one of us is a Lisgarite. To each successive generation it might mean something different, but no matter the era and no matter the climate, Lisgar has not only endured, but excelled. We owe it not only to ourselves, but to our predecessors and successors, to maintain the standard of excellence that our school is known for. So let us reflect on this milestone anniversary on how best to fulfill the purpose for which our great school was established, and for which it has been maintained. Let us reflect, students and teachers both, past, present and future alike, on how best to nurture that flame.

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