The Student Voice of St. George's School

The Creed

The Student Voice of St. George's School

The Creed

The Student Voice of St. George's School

The Creed

English 12 Gets Wild at the Zoo!

Mr. Sayers and his students

October 6th—the AP English 12 classes boarded two buses to embark on a field trip to the Greater Vancouver Zoo in Aldergrove, British Columbia. Having recently started reading the novel, Life of Pi by Yann Martel, the students had been tasked with an assignment—to connect their experience at the zoo to the themes from the novel to answer the question: do zoos serve a valuable purpose?

The 70 grade 12 students going on the field trip met at 8:30 a.m. to leave. Although it was early in the morning, the group was buzzing with excitement. The long bus ride was filled with conversation in anticipation of viewing the animals—specifically the capybaras and the tiger—along with reactions to the Drake album that had been released that morning.

Upon arrival, the students were split into two groups—one group was given time to roam around the zoo in small groups while the other went on a tour with a guide named Preston.

The time allocated towards individual exploration was a unique experience for everyone. There were a variety of different animals at the zoo, ranging from flamingoes to lions to the famous capybara. Each student gravitated towards a different animal and some even developed a personal connection with the animal. Reece Liu 24’ commented that seeing the red panda allowed him “to connect with his heritage”, and to feel that his “culture was represented”.

The red panda thriving in its habitat

The tour was an opportunity for the students to learn about a few of the animals at a deeper level. They visited many different exhibits; however, due to their assignment being related to Life of Pi, the main focus was the enclosure of Hana the Siberian tiger.

The assignment was centred around understanding anthropomorphism—the attribution of human characteristics to non-human entities—and having the students relate it to their personal experiences. Ms. Gin commented that the trip to the zoo allowed “the students to come to terms with the biases that they have about animals when they see them in captivity” and also questioned, “How much of what we see in them is a reflection of us?”

The tour guide, Preston, explained how Hana, a product of inbreeding, had been at a genetic disadvantage and how the zoo had taken her in. Many students were moved by this. In particular, Aydan Wang 24’ expressed how he felt “inspired by Hana’s grit and resilience despite her inferior genetics.”

Hana the Siberian tiger showing off for the crowd

Many students took the opportunity to eat lunch at the Safari Grill, and seemingly enjoyed it, despite Mr. Elliot’s warning saying that “the Safari Grill was underwhelming”. While eating, many students took the time to discuss their favourite animals—with the giraffes and hippos making frequent appearances in these conversations.

Overall the trip was thoroughly enjoyed by all, and the day was full of many different experiences. Let’s hope the tradition continues for future years!

The AP English classes’ photo at the zoo
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About the Contributors
Arnav Modi
Arnav Modi, Staff Writer
Arnav is a senior and a lifer at St. George’s School. An avid reader and writer, he is thrilled to be writing for The Echo! Passionate about music and basketball, Arnav has immersed himself in both the arts and athletics departments at the school. Outside of school, he spends his time working as a tennis coach and volunteering at the local library. If he is not being scolded by his mother, you can probably find Arnav playing basketball, lifting very light weights, or sleeping in an awkward position. 
Alan McLachlan
Alan McLachlan, Staff Writer
Alan is a Grade 12 student at St. George's School and is delighted to be writing for The Echo. Alan has immersed himself in everything that St. George's School has to offer. Diving into both the athletics and arts departments at the school, Alan plays on the 2nd XI Soccer, Water Polo, and Tennis teams, while also being involved in both the Senior Concert and Jazz bands. Alan has a passion for farming and agriculture, spending the majority of the time in his summers working on his great-uncle's and his aunt's farms. In his spare time, Alan can be seen playing sports, spending time with friends, or playing foosball in the Lower Great Hall.

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