Last Friday saw QACI’s legendary Aquafest, in which all students throw away our Nice Guy acts and engage in a fierce day of competitive spirit, breathtaking sporting prowess, and the riding of inflatable whales. At our old schools, swimming carnivals were for those with a penchant for, well, swimming. Here it would be more accurate to describe participants as those with a penchant for floundering at best, sinking at worst.
At QACI, I think it’s fair to say we’re a bit obsessed with our culture. We love telling people, “I go to a school where I’m allowed go outside the grounds at lunch”, or “We don’t have bells”, or “There are no locks on our lockers.” But it’s our responsibility to uphold that culture. It’s not even so much understanding that our autonomy is earned; I think it goes deeper than that. We need to recognise that we are our culture. No matter how hard we try, we’ll never uphold “QACI Ideals” that we don’t believe in.
But that isn’t all serious. Aquafest is a day where we can demonstrate who we are, and have fun doing it. To steal a phrase from 2015 QACI Graduate, Zed Hopkins, “we race but we don’t compete”. (Hey! We should invest in a pink whale!) I think one of the best things about Aquafest is it’s supportive. Everyone gets wet, everyone looks foolish, everyone cheers, everyone goes home. This is a place where the entire schedule is stopped so we can have some spontaneous whole-school fun time of splashing aimlessly in the pool and hanging off the lane ropes (I mean, what? No, we’d never do that).
It’s true—our degree of swimming prowess is such that Tate is forced to yell, “Look, just put your legs down and jump! You’re a Theatre student! You don’t actually have to do it—you just have to look like you’re doing it.” But instead of telling ourselves on what we should be able to do, we have fun and play to our strengths—which are clearly dancing to Justin Bieber and Annie at the poolside, while throwing in some Macbeth and Time Warp (because that makes sense, y’all).
But seriously, Ms Casey—next year, we want a pink whale. And we want to ride it without a helmet.
Article written by Samantha Hammond, Year 11 Student (2016)
Photo credit by Brianna Ryan, Year 12 Student (2016)
To view our Aquafest video of the day, please click here.