This edition of The Aviso features the film and art of two MGC alumnae sisters, as well as writing and art from a variety of current students . As the year begins to come to an end, now is the perfect opportunity to read the many fantastic writing pieces from the MGC Creative Writing Competition. Included in this issue are also some wonderful recipes in our 'The Mess Deck' section as well as some artistic pieces created by various students at MGC. We would be delighted to receive any submissions via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org !
Hannah Benhassine, Cadet
Xara Hudson, Humanities Captain
Softer Terracotta (Trailer) - Pia Lauritz, MGC Class of 2014
Piaera Lauritz graduated from MGC in 2014, having performed in the VCE Top Class in Dance and Drama during her final year. Since completing a Bachelor in Fine Arts in Dance at the Victorian College of the Arts, she has since worked as a professional dancer, choreographer and award-winning filmmaker. Pia’s website can be found at http://piaeralauritz.com
Untitled - Isadora Lauritz, MGC Class of 2016
Isadora Lauritz graduated from MGC in 2016 after spending many years studying performing arts subjects at the school, and being cast in a variety of lead roles in school productions. She recently graduated from Monash University with a Bachelor of Music, and has performed at a range of venues in Melbourne. In addition, Isadora has appeared as a session vocalist in professionally released music and is a lifelong student of dance and theatre.
Persephone (II) - Dione Toukalas, Year 11
Us Kids - Tyana Tsai, Year 11
Us kids, running around, arms and legs flying about. Our cousins’ house was quite the meeting place, isolated from the main city and quiet, most of the houses newly built and unoccupied. There was a forest to the far right that was dark and dense, and a wide stretch of road that nestled the house. That stretch of road was our play area. All us cousins gathered together, walking around, finding little creatures creeping in plants squeezed between concrete slabs and wriggling around in the open gutters. As the sunset sky drapes around us like a curtain, Dylan rolled out that old rusty bike, its structure as thin as sticks. My sister and I were the youngest amongst all of us, but since I was a year older, I was just tall enough to ride the bike, yet small enough that it would be a challenge.
Dylan stabled the bike for me so that I could climb up. He lined it up so that I was right in the middle of the road and I had the longest possible ride. Sitting on that tall, skinny bike with my hands on the handlebars, I felt like I was piloting a plane, getting ready to take off from the runway that was the smooth, empty road, streaked with yellow paint, below me. My feet could barely reach the pedals, but my blood was rushing through my veins and my face was beaming. Dylan held onto the bike until I pushed off – I felt my hair flying like a flag against the wind as I raced off towards the end of the road to where the rest of my cousins were. I braked sharply, going a little too far. As I got off the bike with discomfort and in a childish tomboy manner, a wide smile stretched across my face and I screamed “Again! Again!”.
Dylan ran back towards where I had stopped. Suddenly, we got an adventurous idea for me to attach one of our kites to the small wire seat on the back of the bike, so that it would fly as I rode the bike. Well, we did exactly that. Dylan got on the bike to cycle back to where we had started and, laughing, I chased him all the way there. One of my cousins got the kite and wrapped the string around the back seat. I climbed onto the bike again and turned to look at my cousins standing at the sideline, cheering me on. Dylan held the bike; my other cousin held the kite up. I squinted at the finish line, the dotted lines on the road beneath the stop sign, eager to make the kite fly. Without taking another glance back, I pushed the pedals and moved my energetic, little legs as fast as I could. But halfway there, I heard a clacking sound coming from the wheels and before I knew it, I was flung from the bike and onto the rough, pebbled surface of the gravelly road. My face scrunched up and I did what any other child would have done, I made a horrendous noise that got the parents outside of the house in an instant to see what had unfolded.
My hands, elbows, knees, and legs were scraped, pink blush marks all over. My dad carried me back into the house while the rest of the kids followed. The boys, the older ones, packed things up and Dylan rolled the bike away. I was still sobbing when everyone else was back inside. We sat there gathered around the TV, passing around late-night Asian snacks. I was bundled up in my mum’s lap, sitting on the low sofa with the springs that poke into your back. It was old, it was imperfect – the moth-eaten couch, the slow windless fan, the cold floors with dust that sticks to feet – it was home. And I belonged.
Whenever I think back to that bike, I think about all my cousins, my childhood, Dylan and all of us other little ones – it puts a nostalgic smile on my face.
Yet occasionally I would contemplate the lost time, the missed moments, the laughter we could have had and memories we could have made – all the things we could have done together if we had stayed there. Whenever we go back there to visit, change is always the first to reveal itself – adults’ faces drawn with heavier lines and creases, the house ages too, and my cousins are now out of school, growing more distant with deeper barriers forming between us. But this same thought is what allows me to hold the memory closer to my chest – all us crazy kids, doing crazy things, and riding Dylan’s bike in the tropical, humid, night air.
Goat - Freya Swannell, Year 7
Test Tube Blues - Meera Datt, Year 7
It was actually crunch time - none of us could deny it. VCE was in a week, and my crammed brain felt as though it was about to explode. My dream, which had begun in Year Five, during my first ever experiment with copper and nitric acid, was truly being put to the test. I had had so much fun, mixing the chemicals, and watching the unbelievable chemical reactions. That night at home, I had realised that I wanted to be a chemical engineer. Now, here I was, staring at a textbook, trying to fill my brain with as much knowledge as it could handle.
At home I was utterly frazzled. Textbooks were open all over the house, and Mum kept telling me to take a break, to which I would snap, “How can I? I can’t even take a break to sleep, let alone during the day! Just get off my back!” Mum would always respond to this by withdrawing quietly. I knew I could’ve been nicer, but I was way too stressed to think about that then.
A week later, I sat at a desk, a pencil in my trembling hand.
“You may now begin,” the examiner said in what I thought was an overly curt voice.
His face was like a blank slate, not a tinge of emotion could be seen, which only increased my anxiety. I began to scribble down my answers on the answer sheet. I just hoped all my hard work would pay off.
A month of agonised waiting later, during which the rest of my family had suffered immensely, my daily trip to the letterbox revealed what I had wanted – yet feared most of all – the letter from the VCAA. It was my VCE results! I prayed that inside there was an ATAR score over 90, the score I needed to get into chemical engineering at Melbourne University.
Once inside, up in my bedroom, the door safely closed, I began to open the envelope.
“Hey, honey, we’re having takeaway tonight, would you like pizza or noodles?” Mum asked from the hall.
“Whatever!” I yelled while sliding the piece of paper from the envelope. And there it was.
The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority
15th December 2017
Dear Emma Taylor,
We wish to congratulate you on your recent completion of the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) exams.
Congratulations on your ATAR score of:
Please find enclosed possible career and university options.
We wish you well on your every future endeavour.
The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA)
I read it over and over again, checking and checking. I couldn’t believe that after all my hard work, late nights and forfeited fun, I still hadn’t gotten into chemical engineering. And I knew that I’d have to face the harsh reality. My dreams were shattered. Strong emotions bubbled up inside of me, but soon my anger started edging towards sadness. I felt hot tears running down my face. I shut myself away, refusing offers of comfort, and pizza, even though I yearned for a hug and my belly was growling like an animal. I stuffed my head into my pillow, willing myself to disappear.
“Honey, can I come in?” Mum asked through the door.
I heard Mum’s footsteps fade as she left the door. The tears kept coming, and the reality seemed harsher every minute. After hours of crying into my pillow, I opened my bedside drawer, looking for some tissues. But instead of finding tissues, I came across an old quote from my Year 7 Ethics Class, on a little printed card.
“As one door closes, another might open.”
Upon seeing it, a realisation began in a part of me I never knew existed. Slowly and tentatively, my mind started to wrap around the idea that I could still follow my dream. I wiped a tear away, and frantically opened my laptop to begin my research on what I could do with my ATAR score. I immediately researched different courses I could take, finally coming upon an analytical chemistry degree.
I hurried down the hall to tell Mum the good – and bad – news.
Mum rushed over to me, confused at my look of happiness. Before she could say anything, I launched into a rapid monologue of what I had discovered in my research. “Oh, honey, that’s fantastic! I’m so proud of you for handling this so well,” Mum cried, immediately wrapping me into a hug. I could hear the pride, and the tears, in her voice and they made me feel so strong.
Four years later, I was filling a test tube with solvent. A memory from Year 12 came to me suddenly: my ATAR not being high enough to be a chemical engineer. At the time, I had felt so terrible, as though all was lost, but look at me now! Working for Bayre, researching chemical structure, and doing my bit to help humankind. I wasn’t a chemical engineer, but it didn’t matter. This was still very much my dream.
Untitled - Priska Eunike, Year 10
The Patient - Alina Ivanova, Year 9
He had an idea.
Doctor Bates was a criminal psychologist, who found many questions time-consuming. But such is procedure. He has heard many crimes, has let it wash over him and put his critical mind forward, executing his job conscientiously. But it was on the day, when the rain was awfully torrential, that he was in a sour mood and wished to waste no time with consuming questions and long silences.
When his patient entered, Doctor Bates clucked his tongue and snapped hurriedly, “Talk to me.” He circled his hand in a nonchalant gesture. “Thoughts, motivations, the whole picture.”
His interlocutor sat stunned.
“Yeah, well that’s a very vivid image.” Doctor Bates slapped his clipboard on the coffee table between them. “I think you’re done here.”
The patient furrowed his brows. “Now? I have said nothing.”
“No matter. Go.”
Vexedly the criminal felt all sorts of intent swell in him. “Aren’t you the slightest bit curious?”
Doctor Bates was caught off-guard. He took in a deep breath through his mouth. “Not at all. My job is to listen. Help. I’m not listening to your barbs.”
"I thought your job was to listen.”
Doctor Bates adjusted the cuffs to his suit. “Get out. I’ll assign you a different psychologist.”
“When I move, it’d be you who’s running.” The criminal’s silver tooth glinted. “You know how criminal’s minds work. There’s a difference between knowing and living a person’s life.”
The psychologist just clucked his tongue and looked upon his patient condescendingly as if the criminal was slovenly and a thing to be squashed or rectified; washed down. “I’m not interested in living your life.”
“Aha! Guilty!” The criminal cried out on a caprice and pointed at Doctor Bates, cackling. “You’re impatient today and bored! Change careers! Be curious!” Like I was, the criminal’s voice seemed to say. Like I was, Like I was, Like I-
“Get out!” Doctor Bates panted in his armchair and held his pounding head. His fingers had become tremulous and now left in a pensive state, he watched his patient leave, in contrast to him, with a satisfied and riveted grin.
Doctor Bates’ idea seemed to be foisted upon him, unwelcoming and why he was in such a sour mood.
The dry weather was stiff, flaky, scaling over his bare forearms. He rolled up his sleeves, and his blazer fell open with his tie loose and hung around his neck. With an unhindered concentration, he ambled down the city streets, his hands twitching in his pockets. Spiders ran up his neck and under his skin. Itching and paranoid, he looked around and shivered. Doctor Bates knew he had to get to work soon.
He could prove that he’s ingenuous, calm, and can vindicate himself, if the idea is executed quickly and with absolute honesty.
A car whipped past his bare feet. “Oi! Watch where you’re walkin’!” He crunched his toes over gravel and crimson slid and trailed down his knuckles, over bitten nails, dirt buried beneath. I did it, I did it. I hated it. Would never do it again. I have proven myself. He didn’t know that his honesty with himself only stretched so far.
Doctor Bates went to work the next day. No curious, tempting insects crept along his flesh. There was no impatience. There was nothing. And yet, why was he so conscious of its absence? Why was he disappointed?
Once more, once more. His proven innocence and virtue will surpass what he had first reached. The metal around his wrists mean nothing! Nothing at all! This white room, with a table and a clipboard, and him on the other side didn’t woe him.
Opposite him, sat a man. He looked like he knew what he was talking about, but he was impatient today. He sat down as a patient and across him the psychologist clucked his tongue.
“Talk to me.” The doctor made a nonchalant gesture. “Thoughts, motivations, the whole picture.”
Bates sat stunned.
Untitled - Jenni Cannell, Year 9
We are sailing on a boat,
hopefully we’ll float.
I’m here with my family,
and we’re sailing quite happily.
First time outside my town,
and I have an upside down frown.
Got the whole day to spend,
And it doesn’t end.
Going anywhere without care,
with the wind in my hair.
I have overcome my fear,
now that I’m here.
Never have I had so much freedom,
because my parents never gave me some.
From The Mess Deck
Chicken & Avocado Pasta - Xara Hudson, Year 12
2 tbsp olive oil, 1 shallot (finely chopped), 2 cloves minced garlic, ⅛ tbsp chilli flakes,
⅛ tbsp basil, ⅛ tbsp oregano, pinch of salt + pepper, ½ cup chicken stock (from powder),
2 previously cooked chicken thigh fillets (chopped thinly), 180g spaghetti, ¼ cup sour cream,
⅓ cup parmesan cheese, ¾ of an avocado (chopped), squeezed lemon juice
- Heat oil on high in large frypan.
- Add shallot, garlic, chilli flakes and herbs. Fry for 5 minutes until shallot is soft.
- Add stock, chicken, salt and pepper to pan.
- Turn heat to high, bring to a simmer.
- Once boiling, cover and simmer on medium for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook spaghetti according to packet instructions in a saucepan.
- After 5 minutes have elapsed, add sour cream and remove lid from frypan.
- Turn heat to high and cook, stirring constantly.
- After another 5 minutes have elapsed, add cheese and continue to stir constantly.
- Drain pasta and add to sauce.
- Turn heat to low and stir pasta through sauce in frypan for a further 5 minutes.
- Add avocado and stir until evenly dispersed. Squeeze lemon juice over pasta. Serve.
Quote of the Watch
“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees,
just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was
beginning over again with the summer”
F. Scott. Fitzgerald
- On the 19th of November, the Philosophy Club recognised World Philosophy Day with a post on the MGC All Students channel, on Microsoft Teams. World Philosophy Day was first recognised by the United Nations in 2002, in order to promote philosophy at a worldwide level.
Beth Barrass, Publication
Shaunagh O’Connell, Review of Submissions & General Assistance
Rania Widjanarko, Cadet
Hannah Benhassine, Cadet
Harriet Turner-Browne, Cadet
Xara Hudson, Editor
Terry Donnelly, Editorial Advice
Anthony Keen, IT Support