Harshvir Bali
Class of 2012
4th year Faculty of Arts Anthropology (Honors), UofM

What is special about St. Maurice School?
In the years St. Maurice has been a part of my life, one word seems apt to describe the feeling of stepping through the blue doors of the foyer – welcome. Welcome is a term of hospitality. St. Maurice School is not just a school, but a community – a society. Though this can be said about many great schools, what sets SMS apart is its size. The small size of the classrooms encouraged deeper bonds between students and teachers alike. In my time spent at SMS, the smaller class structures allowed for the specific interactions that are required between a teacher and the student – my personal experience as a student was distinctive in how my educators saw me not as another student in another class, but as an individual.

However St. Maurice School goes beyond small class size and excellent educators – it promotes openness and acceptance. Friendships forged during times spent at SMS have a way of lasting and those who are new and uncomfortable find themselves accepted and accommodated as part of a greater family.

 

How did St. Maurice School prepare you for post-secondary and life success?
While St. Maurice School does not have the quantity of options that public schools offer, it makes up in the quality of the core courses it does teach. In my time spent in university, I came to realize that SMS had not only educated me with the mind-numbing works of Shakespeare, or the excitement of observing a ball roll down a ramp in a physics lab test, but it had provided me with the necessary tools to push forth with my studies. My degree currently focuses on Anthropology, a field that requires extensive readings, analysis, and critical thinking – features that all developed during my attendance at SMS.

As a student focused on sciences, maths and literature, I found myself outpacing my peers in classes in early university. The workload at SMS had allowed me to become used to the heavy demands and the quality of work required by professors. Though I do not know what my future holds, I know full well that SMS has prepared me to overcome obstacles with the capacity to achieve to a higher standard.

 

What has St. Maurice School taught you about giving back?
As part of the Christian Service Program, St. Maurice requires all students to contribution to their community. As a result I started volunteering at Victoria General Hospital – a place where I still volunteer today after nearly six years. My current schedule is a tangle of courses and projects, volunteering at my hospital, and working as a tutor. This does not need to be the case – I can very easily quit volunteering, stop tutoring and focus solely on my degree. However – my propensity to give back and help is something I discovered as a student at St. Maurice and it remains with me to this day.

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