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december 2017

bcit & beyond






3700 Willingdon Ave. SE2 Building, 3rd Floor Burnaby, BC  V5G 3H2



Sheldon Lynn Aaron Guillen Lucas Molina Jake Agudera Max Huang

photo: jake agudera

Catherine Garett Sorina Chirhei Nazanin Joorabchian Flavia Chan Michael White Twila Amato Srushti Gangdev Dayna Weststeyn Matt Macaraeg George Eliopoulos

Pitch and idea or just tell us how we’re doing: 3 Introduction 4 Good News 16 Photo Feature 28 Christmas Market 30 Review: Idle Poring

6 Student Spotlight

Kieran Jenkins steps out into Vancouver’s music scene as OAKUM. George Eliopoulos talks to him about making music a main gig.

10 Van City

Srushti Gangdev peers into the curious culture of van dwellers to see what’s driving the rising trend.

Selenna Ho Managing Editor

Dan Post Publisher


Madeline Adams Assistant Publisher

Lili Motaghedi Promotions

LINK is published 8 times annually and proudly printed on campus by Campus Print & Copy. Copies are distributed to all 5 BCIT campuses

LINK is a proud member of the Magazine Association of BC.

16 Success v. Failure

How we define these two terms means everything. Nazanin Joorabchian shares her thoughts on setting expectations.

Featured Contributors

20 Fusion Food

Jake Agudera

Aaron Guillen dishes on multiculturalism at mealtime, and invites you to make more memories by mixing menus.

annual sponsors:

24 Supply & Demand

BCIT alumna Kaya Dorey on sustanable fashion and representing North America at a UN Environment Assembly. Photos by Dayna Weststeyn

24 Faculty Film

BCIT instructor Mak Abdel-Hai shares his experience directing an indie film that opened eyes in the 2017 festival scene.



New Media Design & Web Development


“Photography is one way for me to express myself in an artistic way. Through photography I can create my own reality by manipulating the image how I want to.”

Srushti Gangdev

Broadcast & Online Journalism

Srushti is in her first year of the Broadcast and Online Journalism program at BCIT. She graduated with a BA from UBC in 2017. She’s passionate about current affairs, politics, sarcasm and tacos. She also teaches Bollywood dance around the Vancouver area.

Intro December 2017

Corner Stories On the cover: Kieran Jenkins DJ / Producer 3rd-year Architectural Science photo: jake agudera

So I have this friend. You can say she lives a fairly ordinary life. She’s in her mid-twenties, graduated from BCIT, works in her specialized career field, and is living independently for the first time with a house full of Kijiji roommates. Despite her seemingly ordinary life, I’ve bawled and baffled over dozens of her household stories – from burning worm-ridden urban chickens in the backyard, to pushing out emotional baggage in soul cleansing and out-of-body experiences. The latest story takes place just outside her house, and takes an unexpected turn. This story begins on a typical damp Vancouver evening, where our protagonist is struck with an urge to leave the comforts of her warm home and walk through the East Van streets in search of the heartiest flavour of Ben and Jerry’s. With nothing but her wallet, she drifts through the foggy streets with a purpose. She feels inspired and nostalgic walking past glowing Christmas lights, and decides to expand her treasure hunt. A bucket of ice cream would not be enough for our hero. No, she must now craft her own festive creation. And so, with the stretch of her hand and imagination, she grasps at the innards of her neighbour’s garden, pulling out branch after branch of cedar bush. She is hidden by the night, using the light from a glowing reindeer to pick the most perfect branches. Finally, she holds a large bundle of cedar tightly under her left arm. Perfect for her homemade wreath. Nearby, the glow of a blinking “Open” sign catches her attention and she fumbles into the corner store. This corner store has been here for decades, passed down from generation to generation, and seemingly untouched alongside her childhood memories. Her

own grandmother had taken the first step in this store, proclaiming it as family territory for all emergency bananas, snacks and milk. It never crossed her mind how the owner of this shop might view a young woman coming in with an armful of yard clippings in the middle of the night. Would she offend the shopkeeper with her possibly (obviously) stolen piece of holiday decor? Or would they simply laugh at the unusual display of festive affection? The shopkeeper sets down his newspaper and turns to our protagonist as she fumbles for her wallet, spilling a trail of branches behind her. “That’s a lot of fresh greenery you got there, are you making a wreath?” the shopkeeper questions with a jolly tone. “I sure am!” He laughs. “Wonderful, as long as you’re not ripping branches out of someone’s yard.” She chuckles nervously. “Of course not, who would do that?!” She leaves and marches home in the cold fog, questioning her life choices; the branches soiling her jacket, the ice cream melting, a lie told. Silly tale? Maybe, but it definitely earned some muchneeded laughter during exam time. And what did I tell her? That not only was I proud to be her friend, but I was totally publishing this as a story; it had all the essential ingredients. So as the year ends and a new one soon begins, I’m excited for what stories may come in the future from every corner of our community. But for now, let’s share in these stories here, before heading off to enjoy our break and spend some time with loved ones — especially those who proclaim territories for emergency snacks, or those who might be rooting through your bushes as we speak. See you in the new year!

— Selenna Ho Managing Editor 3

oo #KNITITFORWARD BCIT student Candy Tran has started a Knit-It-Forward campaign. She is collecting knitting supplies, as well as new and gently used scarves that she will donate to organizations that work with vulnerable populations such as women and children at risk, homeless peoples, and low income families. Each scarf will be wrapped and will include a personal message, so each recipient can experience the joy of unwrapping a gift. Candy will be collecting scarves even after Christmas time. To donate or learn more, e-mail Candy at or follow her on instagram @bonbontran. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #knititforward when you donate!

Photography & New Media Gallery opens in North Vancouver. After 40 years, the Presentation House Gallery has undergone a massive, modern facelift and is now known as The Polygon Gallery. The Polygon has a focus on contemporary photography and new media works, all presented in a beautiful, modern building. It is one of Canada’s only galleries that focuses on Photography and New Media. Admission is by donation, with a rotating roster of works. 101 Carrie Cates Court, North Van

oo SAD Lights on campus: a bright idea.

oo 4

The reduced levels of sunlight we experience in the fall and winter months can cause a drop in our serotonin and melatonin levels, and a disruption to our biological clocks. These changes can bring on Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), or even just an emotional funk. BCIT has introduced UV light stations around campus to help improve the moods of the student community. For best results, the recommended time is 30 minutes of daily light exposure. Each station has instructions, a timer, and is marked with a palm tree. Get lit!


oo Good News

Free ASL Classes on Snapchat

o o

Chad Krohn sees the potential of Social Media to be so much more than just a meme and selfie factory. Chad grew up signing with his family, and as he got older, was surprised at how few people knew American Sign Language. He wanted to bridge this knowledge gap, so he started a Snapchat channel to teach anyone ASL. Follow @meowchickenfish on Snapchat for free sign language lessons, games and jokes.

You can be a better writer. LINK is teaming up with the BCIT Writing Commons in 2018 to offer a series of workshops that get you thinking about the power of words in your life. Think about how much you interact with the language every day, from tweets and texts, to resumes and research papers. The right words, in the right order, can help you land a job, impress a first date, or get an ‘A’ on your exam. Together we’ll look at samples of effective writing, and then practice techniques that demonstrate how to pair the fundamentals of style, with the creative thinking that goes into every LINK article, hopefully leaving you feeling like a more confident communicator. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for more details.




LINK contributors honoured at Indigenous ceremony. BCIT Indigenous Services recently invited students Emily Vance and Eda Aktas into the Aboriginal Gathering Place (SW1) to thank them for their work on an article about Truth & Reconciliation that we published in our November issue. We are so proud of our contributors who help to share these important stories, and we’re grateful to the Indigenous community at BCIT for honouring and recognizing their collaborative efforts.


Read the article online at: 5


Student Spotlight Kieran Jenkins

interview george eliopoulos photos jake agudera

When and how did your love of music start? It was back in grade 5 when I had to choose my instrument for band. I went to the store and rented a bass guitar, and we ended up having trials because there were too many bass players. I remember thinking my fingers were too soft, so I’d be stepping on my fingers to rough up my hands. Once I got to play in the band, I kind of fell in love. I remember there was a grade 12 band and the teacher would show the music they play, and I remember wanting to learn it, so I asked him for the music and memorized it. I played it for a grade 12 guy and he was like “What the heck?” From then on I did all the music stuff I could, especially jazz band. When did you realize you wanted to start making music yourself? It was when I had to do solos in jazz band, and I loved it so much that I started making my own lines and stuff. It was during high school that I got my first program for making music. That inspired me to start working on things on my own. Listening to some of your stuff, I got a chill vibe to your recent music. What are the emotions you try to evoke from those listening? Whenever I make a song, it seems like whatever emotion I’m feeling at the moment is the emotion that comes through in the song. Some of my songs on

SoundCloud are very chill, and that comes because sometimes when I make music I sit in the dark with my headphones on playing the piano. I’m trying to progress my music because now that I’m getting DJ opportunities, I want to get into more stuff that people can vibe to on the dance floor. I’m trying to make more beats now and transition my music. I’m also trying to find singers to collab with, because I think singing adds a lot more emotion and makes songs more memorable. Where did the name OAKUM come from? I actually had an old name on my original SoundCloud account. For this one, I wanted it to have the sound and look match the music. For my business card it has this gold leaf around it. And I tried to make the name sound organic and to do with nature. Why did you switch names? Was it a rebranding of sorts? I started in grade 11 and 12, when people started listening to my music. Looking back there, the production quality wasn’t up to where it was now. Eventually I felt like I should just make an EP. It didn’t match the old style, plus I had left high school. I didn’t want people to associate me with my older stuff, so I wanted this to only have the best stuff I’ve produced. What do you get personally out of making music? Whenever I’m stressed, it’s really nice to sit back and get that release. When I need to relax, I’ll just pull out my computer and make a light melody. Even at school, I’ll just start playing piano on my program to change my mood. If something comes from that, great, but if not, it just helps me ease my mind. It also depends on what kind of music I’m making. If I make a chill track, I’m mellow after. If I make an awesome drop,

I’m hyped and want to listen to it loud in my car. I guess it depends on what comes from the vibe of the song. You’re a 3rd-year architecture student here at BCIT. Going back to high school, did you always plan to pursue something like that in school or was there a consideration of going all-in on music? Throughout high school, I was super involved with music. My teacher loved me and pushed me to pursue it. I also took an architecture drafting course, and I loved that too.

This is a musically-enhanced interview. Type this exclusive SoundCloud link into your browser and push play on a special OAKUM track “In the Clouds” designed to be listened to while you read along.

OAKUM’s tracks also make great studying music... Hear them all at:


once I Get that first big break, architecture will become less of a priority. Oftentimes, the two would overlap and I’d have to forego music opportunities. At a certain point, it seemed like music was the harder, riskier route to take, whereas architecture is much more stable. Because music is subjective, your success can depend on if other people like it, so it’s a much bigger risk. I ended up choosing architecture at BCIT because I liked it and thought it was going to provide me with a stable job. I figured music could be a side gig and something I did in my free time. Being a full-time student at BCIT is a serious time commitment. How do you find balance between your busy schedule and trying not to sacrifice your music? The last two years we didn’t have a studio, so I was at school most of the time and I’ve had trouble finding time to make music. There were times where I wanted to make a song and had an idea in my head, but it wasn’t able to turn into anything. I remember during high school, I would go to my mom and tell her I wanted to go to music school and I had made up my mind, and she was supportive. But I would go back and think about the stability of architecture. It was very back and forth. How do you feel about your decision now? I definitely wonder if I had risked it and gone all-in on music, where would I be now? When you continue making music, you’re always in the zone it seems. There are times when


school gets in the way of being creative with music, because architecture is very technical. It totally takes me out of the creative mindset, so I opt against trying to make music. Looking forward, is your intention to always have music as a side gig while you pursue a career in architecture? I want to keep architecture going. I have a job right now, and want to keep one hundred percent focus on that. At the same time, when I’m working, I’ll have more free time than I do currently in school. When I graduate, I want to really push my music by finding singers, working in studios, making a proper mix, and also ramping up my DJing. I want to be able to work my day job in the day, then at night play a gig or record a song. If things started really working out with your music, would you consider putting architecture on hold? If all of a sudden I was DJing big venues, people started to know me and I could start traveling with my music, I would definitely leave architecture. It would be a big risk, but music is my passion. So the moment I get a big connection, I would take days off work or do whatever it takes to jump at the opportunity. I really want to push it right now, and I think I would definitely be willing to take a risk. I feel like I’m at the point where I can really make something cool if I put a hundred percent of my energy into it. I think once I get that first big

break, architecture will become less of a priority. If I could make enough money with music, I would just keep rolling with that. You’re going to Germany for exchange in March. What role is music going to play in your trip? I live with my parents, so I’m just excited to be living in my own place and be able to play my music loud. I have some German friends with music connections. A couple DJs who play in the area. I’ll be bringing all my music stuff with me, and I really want to be able to travel around with my laptop and mini keyboard. Then if I find a place that’s cool and unique, I want to be able to stay there for a day and write a tune, and name it after the place I’m at. It would be incredible to write an album while I’m there that is a compilation of songs from different places, all with feelings of the places I wrote them in. When I write a song, I always think back to how I felt in the moment, and this would be the best possible way to remember Germany. You just had your first big gig. Tell me about that experience. When I’m playing, I totally get in the zone. Seeing a crowd like that in front of me, something I had never experienced before, it made me realize for sure that I could see myself doing that every day. It’s so much fun and I love getting a reaction out of the crowd. Even when I’m at home playing in

front of my window, time will fly by. All of a sudden it’s two in the morning and I realize I have school, but I don’t want to stop. This gig definitely just confirmed that I could do this and love every second. There is an event going on that is basically a BCIT Christmas party on the 15th, and its downtown at the Harbour Centre. I’m playing with about 500-800 people there, before the Redbull DJ. I want to be super prepared for that and practice so much. It’s a two-hour time slot and it’s a big opportunity to make a connection with the DJ and show what I can do. I get shivers just thinking about what it’s going to be like in front of that many people. What does the dream scenario for your music career entail? Initially, to be able to travel around and play sets for people all the time. Touring and travelling would be so fun. Then after that, just be able to focus on making music and also figure out how to make a great show for people. The ideal scenario would be to tour around the world, play my show, go back to the studio and make an album, then go back out and tour. I would love that and keep doing that forever. Catch OAKUM at the BCIT Holla Day party Dec. 15 at Harbour Centre or collaborate with him on your next club event, house party or video project. Email: for bookings.



verything we do, all that we are, seems to eventually result in one of two outcomes: success or failure. Let’s define success as: the result that brings us joy, the one that satisfies our thirst for accomplishment, and within that, a sense of victory. Failure on the other hand, is the outcome that we fear, what we try to avoid and the result that most often leaves us feeling upset and unsatisfied. But what, or who, really defines these standards and how do we adjust for changes over time? Success and failure are concepts that differ from one person to the next. These are human-made, subjective concepts that can vary based on individual perspective. Why then do we use the same baselines to evaluate ourselves? The way one perceives their outcomes and how they react to them can greatly affect their future, so it’s important to be open-minded about your own definitions of success and failure, and to strike the right balance between critical and positive.



Opinion Define “success”

SUCCESS FAILURE words nazanin joorabchian artwork sorina chirhei

s a student, I’ve thought a lot about how we view success at BCIT. For some of us, it’s getting good grades, for others, landing a great job. Sometimes it’s as simple as just being able to grasp the concepts enough to move forward. But what happens when we set a standard for ourselves that we aren’t able to achieve? For some people, failure can be a motivational opportunity, a call from the universe telling you that your current approach isn’t working. For many of us though, failing is a devastating experience, one that causes us to give up and move on to something different; something less intimidating. It’s frightening really, to work hard at something with a specific result in mind, specific expectations for ourselves to achieve, and then come up short without planning for the failure. I believe that our individual reactions to “failure” have more to do with how we collectively define success, and if we instead focus on our individual definitions as they apply to our specific lives, we can shift our perceptions toward healthier reactions.

“Lamp on the Inside“ digital illustration // (series of 3) “These pieces graphically represent the emotions that come from failure. They show what might flash through a person’s mind during the tentative time where neither failure nor success dominates.“ - sorina chirhei

Midterms for me this semester were horrendous. I had five in one week, all of which were in the most difficult courses of the semester. For the most part they went well, but my week was filled with a lot a stress and anxiety. I took note of how my peers around me were reacting to the same situation. It shocked me to see some just give up once they realized how packed the week was going to be. Some people gave in to their doubt early in the week and lost their motivation to try hard. On the other end of the spectrum, others barely put in the effort because they were overconfident or too assured of themselves to be willing to try harder. I sat somewhere in the middle: stressed but motivated and trusting of my own ability. Despite the numerous panic attacks and mental breakdowns, as the results started rolling in, both good and bad, I was encouraged to work harder in the future. But I’m not the same as the person sitting next to me. We might be taking the same tests, from the same classes, but

people come up with different takeaways from every situation. What I deemed a success might have been a failure to someone else. For me, I try not to limit my idea of a success or a failure to the number at the top of my exam. But exam scores aren’t the only measure of success for a typical student, and I struggle with the other social defiinitions around me. The root concepts of success and failure are as old as the human race, and were once a lot more simple. In early times, success equaled survival, failure equaled death; there were few nuances. But as time progressed and we evolved, new factors were introduced, like: length of survival, being able to provide for more than one person, quality of life, new diseases, discoveries and inventions. New advancements increased living standards, and began to expand the success-to-failure scale. Today, our new survival skills are largely social mechanisms. Humans are social beings; generally we want to connect with others to secure friendships, jobs, partners, a sense of style, known distinctions. In early times, if you fail you die; it was as simple as that with clear consequences. Now the ideology of success is based on achievement rather than survival: go to school, get a job, get married, have kids, buy a house. But the real question is: does this model apply to everyone, and who decided upon it in the first place? Pop culture has a tendency to incorporate us under singular definitions of success and failure. Let’s take one of the most pervasive narratives of success and failure —“The American Dream”— which despite its name, is not confined to the United States, but rather has come to represent a concept prevalent throughout much of the free world. James Truslow Adams coined the term in 1931 citing, “that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to his ability or achievement.” It was a promise of morality leading to success. It was believed that America was the land in which dreams would come true, and that was the


“Lamp on the Inside 2” digital illustration

ultimate success: to live in America and have everything you ever wished for. Wishes and dreams can vary from person to person, but in the context of depression-era America, they focused on wealth and love and good business for the most part. My favourite example of The American Dream (or rather the failure of such a concept in practice) is F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 classic The Great Gatsby. Here we see a story of The American Dream facing a sudden escalation before reaching its peak and beginning to crumble soon after. The novel revolved around the story of a poor young man, Jay Gatsby, who falls in love with an upper-class woman before going to war, only to return to the news that she has married off to a rich man. Throughout the novel, Gatsby is portrayed as a rich and successful entrepreneur, whose ultimate goal is the full affection of the love of his life, Daisy. However later on we learn that he was born to a poor farm family, and only after was introduced to the world of wealth and privilege, changing his name and becoming rich by going into the bootlegging business. Fitzgerald conveys the idea of the corruption of The American Dream through Gatsby’s desire to win Daisy’s love. To me, this beautifully symbolizes The American Dream, complete with the constant and destructive search to reach it. By the end of the novel there is no hope left because the purity of The American Dream is dead, as Gatsby finds out that he could never have all of Daisy’s heart. Despite warnings as far back as Gatsby, today The American Dream is alive and well, and we still seek wealth and power as measures of success. One of the ways I see this manifesting


today is through technology. Tech products get more innovative and updated every day. For the most part, tech has been making life easier for us, but it has also come with the side effect of status, where having the newest everything means people see you as successful. We empty our pockets for smart televisions, smartphones, and smart watches, because we fear that if we fall behind, we are failures. We need to feel relevant in the workplace and popular in society. Technology pervades every facet of our lives (hence the ‘T’ in B.C.I.T) and keeping up with it is necessary now in the majority of industries and social circles. Even everyday errands like grocery shopping have now become increasingly tech-influenced with self-checkout and online deliveries becoming more and more popular. But not all of us are able to stay up to date, whether it be for financial reasons or difficulty grasping the concept (can someone please tell me what a quantum computer is?), and this can make people feel left out or even unsuccessful. But realistically speaking, these aren’t great measures for labelling individual success and failure. Success and failure should not be determined by property or financial achievment. Success and failure aren’t quantifiable concepts, but rather qualitative matters that provide insight into the patterns and results that affect us on a mental and emotional level. However, surveys in North America have shown that still more than 40% of the population considers wealth as a major determining factor for how successful a person truly is. And if we’re honest with ourselves, it’s a huge reason why many of us chose the

programs that we have. Within BCIT’s 20-30 age demographic, the major decisions that individuals make seem to be affected by their take on how quickly it can help them move up the socioeconomic ladder. This, unfortunately, is the unhealthy approach that the majority of our generation takes in order to make significant life decisions; an unpleasant reality that hopefully will improve with time. In the meantime, it’s still necessary and highly beneficial to be able to have a good grasp on handling success and failure, in whatever terms we measure them in. The biggest irony of setting common social definitions of success and failure is that people deal with their successes and failures in very different and unique ways. For instance, some find inspiration and motivation in their failures, while others become depressed. Our emotional outlooks, perspectives, and daily events that affect us can easily become very grey, but they can also sometimes become the significant building blocks for our goals. Resiliency is the glue that holds success and failure together. It’s essential that we learn to recover from a tough and difficult situation. People with resiliency have the psychological strength to cope with the change, discomfort, and stress that comes from one’s own failures. Resiliency is not a solo act either and must include surrounding ourselves with caring and supportive individuals, acknowledging and embracing change as part of our lives, and allowing ourselves to communicate and seek help and comfort when we need it. Resiliency is the ultimate tool for avoiding

“Lamp on the Inside 3” digital illustration

self-destruction from alcohol and drug abuse, self-harm, or simply being negative and doubtful of oneself. Putting ourselves down feeds our sadness and stress and prevents us from reaching our goals and intentions, but by maintaining our resiliency in life, dealing with and recovering from events and thoughts that bring us anything besides joy can become easier. Be careful though, because failure can wear a disguise, and even when we reach our goals, we may be left feeling unsatisfied. Oversimplifying success and failure into two concepts ignores the fact that success too can be destructive in its own way. For some people, success can actually lead to depression, especially if that success comes on quickly and with meteoric rise. Sudden success can be so great that it might seem impossible to reach that level again. Once you’ve had a taste of what you deem “success,” you might burn yourself out trying to get back there again, even if it’s not realistic. But again, perspective is everything. Our individual perspectives are the keys to how success and failure affect us psychologically and physically. Strictly speaking, the way we perceive certain outcomes can bring us joy or sadness. The joy can feed one’s desire to keep going and continue putting in effort, or it can bring on greed and arrogance, which can result in a decline in the amount of effort you think you need to put in to achieve success the next time. On the other hand, the sadness that may come from an upsetting result will likely leave you feeling anxious, stressed and depressed, all of which can affect your physical health. Studies have shown that excessive amounts

of sadness and stress commonly cause insomnia, dizziness, lightheadedness, high blood pressure, hyperventilation, and many other unhealthy problems. It varies from person-to-person based on the body’s coping defense mechanism. Besides reevaluating your own definitions of “success” and “failure,” some alternate coping mechanisms we can take control of and practice ourselves include: yoga and meditation, self-awareness, and acceptance. Also, I believe that keeping good company helps you to cultivate that selfawareness, and practice acceptance in all your outcomes. Here at BCIT, there are various sources available to students to achieve a clearer mind and be able to make smart choices to stay inspired. For example, there are yoga and meditation classes available through Rec services. If you’re looking for them, there are healthy eating options on campus, or in surrounding nieghbourhoods. Look for events on campus that are designed to help you relax and gain perspective, like the SA’s Doggy Destress events or free massages. Tap into the free counseling service BCIT offers, as well as peer tutoring and mentorship. Take advantage of great instructors who keep flexible office hours; talk to them about your definitions of success and failure. As students we must go after and fight for what we want, while trying not to lose ourselves in the process or in the results. It’s important to have someone or something to keep us grounded, which means feeling conscious, present, and aware of reality with an open mind and body. Self-judgment and

the need to categorize all things as either a “success” or a “failure” has become wired into our DNA, forcing almost all of us to have standards for feeling good or bad about ourselves. But with the right amount of perspective, and a little help from those around us, together we can rewire those mechanisms. As students, I think it’s significant to know how to deal with both success and failure, given that both can be destructive in their own way depending on how we view them and what we take away from our results. Whether you succeed or fail in your own terms, let it inspire you to reach higher and work harder next time, because at the end of the day, success and failure are nothing but fluid ideologies that every one of us has the power to define. Ultimately, the control is in our own hands. It’s significant to have and improve upon our resiliency, and to improve self-awareness, because it leads to a stronger foundation for handling failure and producing your own success. Too many dreams have been abandoned by great people that hid away their strength and gave in to false self-judgment. It isn’t about labeling your results, but rather how you respond to them and what you take away from every situation. You can succeed yet still fail, or you can fail and still succeed. Don’t allow other people’s perceptions of certain outcomes define you. Every dream or goal that you didn’t fight for, or every result that you wanted but didn’t get — don’t see them as abandoned forever, but simply put on pause, tucked away like a bookmark, always sticking around to revisit later. And remember, staying motivated, inspired, and free of self-judgment is always a process that we work through collaboratively.




y mom and dad’s first meal together was prepared by my Lola (Filipino for grandma). If there’s anything you have to know about my Lola, it’s that she goes all out when guests are over for a meal. She made every Filipino dish she knew how to cook. Those homemade meals gave my dad, a Peruvian, a love for Filipino food that he would eventually pass on to my sister and I. My mom enjoys cooking her traditional Filipino meals such as: Chicken Adobo (marinated potatoes and meat), Pansit (traditional noodles), or Arroz Caldo (chicken rice porridge). My dad simply enjoyed eating all those dishes and rarely prepared any Peruvian meals. Though I am both Filipino and Peruvian, I identify more as Filipino. I now realize that those moments with friends and family around cultural food affected the way I saw myself, and essentially, how I identify. According to Stats Canada, 4.6% of all married and commonlaw couples in Canada are multi-racial. That adds up to around 360,000 couples. Vancouver has the highest percentage of mixed unions at 9.6%. The numbers have grown every decade, with 2.1% in 1991, 3.1% in 2003, and 3.9% in 2006. Since the latest statistics are from 2011, we can only assume how much the numbers have grown, given the influx of immigrants over the past six years. The growing mix of race and culture also means an exponential growth in fusion food. Fusion food means so much more than the ingredients you consume—it’s the act of bringing people together. This is especially relevant to the Lower Mainland as the population is a mosaic of multiple cultures and identities.


With the blending of cuisines, more people are finding themselves connected to family, friends, and even strangers. For as long as we’ve known, humans used food as a means of socializing and connecting with others. The phrase “breaking bread” means more than just eating a meal with someone—it means to share an experience and grow a bond together. My friend Michaela Putra, half Indian and half white, believes that being a mixed race person automatically expands her love for trying new food. “When I go out to eat, I go for Indian, Mexican or Japanese.” Putra believes that eating cultural foods has allowed her to be more connected with other cultures that she doesn’t identify as. “Food brings people together [and] is a huge part of our identity... For me, eating cultural foods expands my identity beyond being a half-white, half-Indian woman.” Hadley Bergstrom, professor of psychology at Vassar College, told Huffington Post that, “taste memories tend to be the strongest associative memories that you can make.” It’s no surprise that beloved dishes from our childhood bring memories, cultural ties, and special bonds of years gone by, bringing us closer to our ancestry. “The idea of nostalgia is that the sauce is associated not only with yummy pasta, but also with grandma and her home. All of the stimuli associated with food is reinforcing,” says Bergstrom. When Putra tries a new cultural dish, she feels immersed into a culture she’s never identified with. As she takes one bite after another, it’s almost as if she’s being greeted into the home of a close friend, enticing her to learn more about their culture through a piece of sushi. In this way, food is seen as an accessible step into another culture. By sharing a


For as long as we’ve known, humans used food as a means of socializing and connecting with others. meal with someone from a culture you aren’t accustomed to, you can be introduced to another world of flavour, history, and cuisine. On another note, many people might not be able to easily identify with their own culture. Some of my friends were born in Canada, but have never been to their parents’ country of origin, making way for an identity crisis of sorts. With the spread and acceptance of cultural cuisines, everyone can connect to their culture through food, even if home is thousands of kilometres away. My friend Suzanne Ócsai, who’s a mix of Hungarian, Columbian, Spaniard, and Filipino, says she enjoys eating cultural foods because it brings her closer to her past and where her family comes from on all sides. “From sour cream in Hungarian foods, to arepas in Columbian meals, I’ve realized that my love for these certain items aren’t just coincidence. It makes me feel a lot closer to my culture.” My other friend Azlan Nelson, half Trinidadian and half white, confirms that food brings him closer to his own culture. “My extended family from my mom’s side has an initiation of sorts where the goal is to test if you are truly Trinidadian. If you can handle the heat of pepper sauce in your food, then you are.” Family is the prime example for how food brings people together. While day-to-day life can get hectic, meals bring relatives from all over the world together. But how does the rest of the Lower Mainland feel about the growth of mixed cultural foods? Just take a look at our fusion food scene. Today, we recognize sushi tacos, breakfast baos and ramen burgers as prime examples of everyday food. If you look back only 15 years ago, burgers and fries dominated the casual eating scene. Internationally, fusion food has grown and evolved over time and continues to cross the

Food Identity

traditional lines of cuisine. For instance, in the 1970’s, the California roll was created to ease Westerners into Japanese cuisine by taking out the raw fish and placing the seaweed on the inside. According to Technomic’s 2015 study, “ethnic niches” was among the top five food trends for Canada’s restaurant industry. With 2.7 million daily restaurant customers across BC (Restaurants Canada), fusion food is proven to be full of flavor, and fortune. Hide Hirose, owner of Vancouver’s Kurumucho, a Japanese taco shop, said he wanted to combine Japanese and Mexican cuisines to change mindsets. “People think that Japanese food is healthy and Mexican food is tasty, so I wanted to combine those two images to make something new.” The sushi taco contains traditional mexican fillings but is cradled inside a crispy “nori” tortilla. Though Hirose has found success with his business, he admits that he was initially afraid: “I wasn’t sure if the customers would like [the] mix.” Ian Tostenson, President/ CEO of BC Restaurant & Food Services Association (BCRFA), acknowledges the influx of immigration influencing local cuisine, especially Asian markets. “Due to the diversity of population now, everyone is a lot more exploratory when it comes to food… I think this [fusion food] trend will continue to grow for sure.” The Lower Mainland has many nationalities and the consumer base is so varied. Japadog takes a Japanese spin on the traditional hotdog. Bao Down infuses flavours from around the Pacific Rim. Masaladobo blends the spicy overtones of India with the hearty undertones of Mexico. I used to feel like I had to minimize how “cultural” I was because I was afraid of sticking out like a sore thumb. But with the rise in fusion food, long gone are the days when cultural food is looked down upon. The popularity of fusion foods reflects the growth and celebration of mixed cultures and identities in our world today. The spread of cultures and identities across the globe has influenced the way we think, feel, and react to food and each other. The sharing of food is what keeps the world connected; the essence of community would fracture if people only ate alone. As long as we continue breaking bread with family, friends, and strangers, the spread of culture, cuisine and relationships will never stale. As we look at decades past, we’re reminded at how far cultures have intersected and overlapped time and time again. This makes our home in Canada a prime example of culture and food combining to make a complex and intricate mosaic of cuisine and people.



Photo Feature Sheldon Lynn

SHELDON LYNN computer systems technology

“I have been painting and drawing my whole life and that fascination with exploring the world in a visual manner was what led me into photography. For the longest time, I couldn’t afford a proper camera so I obsessed over learning the theoretical aspects through books and internet resources, practicing the best I could with the equipment I had at the time— point & shoots and smartphone cameras. When I finally acquired a DSLR in 2015, all that work paid off and photography has been my main creative outlet ever since. I love that it is the perfect combination of art and technology; not only is it an expressive art form but also a highly technical craft. Photography speaks to both sides of my brain, the creative artist and the analytical programmer... People have always been at the centre of my art, regardless of medium. I love empowering my subjects to look and feel their best through photography. My biggest inspiration is from art history. The Flemish Masters, particularly Van Eyck and Bruegel the Elder, had perfect control over lighting, composition, and the rendering of materials, imbuing a presence and weight to all their subject matter. That is what I seek to emulate.”




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ans and RVs line the streets of many quiet neighbourhoods around the Lower Mainland — Burnaby’s Central Park area, North Vancouver near 1st St., Vancouver on Terminal to name a few. They are used as full-time housing for many who are known as “van dwellers.” Although some can afford rent or mortgage payments, they prefer to save money and live an alternative lifestyle. Others however are forced into van life because they cannot afford anything else. Vans are freedom for some, and the only option for others. For both groups, the decision to live in a vehicle is shaped around the highs of the housing market in BC. But the van dwelling culture reaches further back than the rise of housing prices. Van dwelling’s popularity can be traced to Jack Kerouac’s 1950’s Beat Generation movement, which encouraged the disenfranchised youth to reject capitalist ideals of individual success, and inspired what he called in his book Aftermath: The Philosophy of the Beat Generation: “a generation of crazy, illuminated hipsters.” The idea of wandering around America was highly romantic, and has become a retro symbol that still represents free love and anti-capitalist ideals. Fast-forward to British Columbia in the 21st Century, and campers and vans line quiet streets all over the province. Many are hearkening back to the counterculture which took

Feature Lower Mainland Vans

the 60s by storm, but they do so in a fully modern form. How? By documenting it on Instagram, of course. The aesthetics of the open road are extremely well received on social media; Van dwellers with many followers are often sponsored by major brands such as Kettle Chips, Clif Bars, Synergy Organic Clothing, and Tourism Saskatchewan. It’s ironic that the movement that started out as a rejection of capitalist ideals is becoming indentured into capitalist business models. More ironic still is the fact that while so many people are making their living off of the romanticism of life on the road, supported by big businesses, so many others are living on the road as a

“Any time that somebody can get into something where they’ve got a door locked between them and the rest of the world, they’re a quantum leap safer.”

area have created, as Borstmayer says, “literally a Van City.” He says that many of the van dwellers he knows – including his boss – have other options, but choose to live in their vehicles because it works better for them. Borstmayer thinks that the reason a lot of people are moving into alternative housing systems like these is because traditional housing systems don’t work in a modern economy. Where people of “Generation X” could afford to get a mortgage and buy a house off of the salary from a normal job, Generation Y finds it much harder to sustain that kind of lifestyle, and Borstmayer says that even those millennials who are making a lot of money may not want to spend it all on a place to live. “I think they expect us to play by the same rules they played by... but the rules have changed.” Padmapper, a rental-housing search website which catalogues available rental properties along with their costs, released data in July that placed the average one-bedroom Vancouver apartment as costing $2,090/month­(more than $25,000 a year). Someone working 40 hours a week in a minimum wage job at $11.35 would still fall more than one hundred dollars short of that every month.

last resort because they cannot afford anything more conventional. Those who choose to live in vans are glamorized, whereby those forced to live in vans usually face societal pressure, negativity and disapproval. Van dwellers might be seen as loafers or loiterers, but a lot of work goes into day-to-day life in a van. When Travis Borstmayer, a self-proclaimed “van dweller” in Vancouver, first got his van, he ripped out the wooden and fiberglass interiors to replace them with a small kitchen and a bed which he says fits him, “plus maybe four people in a cuddle huddle.” Things that people in traditional houses take for granted, such as built-in heating systems or plumbing, have to be seriously considered and arranged for by van dwellers. Borstmayer says he showers maybe once or twice a week at community centres or a friend’s house. Heating, he says, is the biggest concern a van dweller has: certain heaters can cause moisture to build up in a van, inviting mold. Borstmayer says that his van dwelling experience started out as an experiment. So far, it’s going well. Borstmayer works about 50-60 hours a week at two jobs, and says that he doesn’t see the point in spending what he calls an obscene amount of money for a house he wouldn’t get to spend any time in. Borstmayer currently parks in an area near Terminal Avenue in Vancouver, along with at least 30 other vans, RVs and campers. It’s a popular area for van dwellers because the Home Depot nearby has free WiFi a public bathroom, and a bridge to shelter vans from the rain. The group of vans in the

And that’s if rent was the only cost of living that their income was going towards. A basic standard of living is impossible to achieve for people who are working full-time and still aren’t making their rent. In comparison, buying a van and paying for refurbishment is a one-time cost ranging anywhere from around $5,000 to upwards of $12,000. Annual costs include gas (which averages to almost $4,800), insurance (about $1,450), and


“when there’s nothing else that people can afford, it makes sense to move into their cars.” maintenance, which in a well-working vehicle would cost at least $1,000. Add another $500 for food, phone and internet expenses, and the annual cost of living in a car is around $7,750; still $17,330 under the annual cost of rent in Vancouver.

cost of housing and rental would be very different today. He says the federal government has the funds to begin to solve BC’s housing crisis, and could collect even more by ending tax breaks for large corporations.

While some van dwellers have the option of living in a house or apartment and choose to live in their vehicles, there are those for whom the choice is between sleeping in their van and sleeping outside. Judy Graves, one of Vancouver’s most prolific advocates for homeless people’s rights, says that when there’s nothing else that people can afford, it makes sense to move into their cars. “Any time that somebody can get into something where they’ve got a door locked between them and the rest of the world, they’re a quantum leap safer.” She points out that for someone who is unemployed or low-income, it becomes difficult to keep up with vehicle maintenance costs. Even welfare doesn’t help, because in order to receive welfare to help pay for housing, one has to have an address, otherwise recipients are given a cheque to cover a small amount of food costs. The vehicle’s maintenance means that many van dwellers are not able to pay for insurance and are forced to

The housing crisis won’t be solved overnight of course, but in the midst of it, people who are choosing – or being forced – to live in vans are sparking conversation about the idea of non-traditional housing. Borstmayer says that most of the negativity he faces about the van dweller life comes from older people with a different way of thinking. But the tides are changing. Borstmayer says that where van dwellers were once outcasts, looked down at for living in their vans, there is now a, “momentous wave coming up from beneath.” People are no longer defining someone’s identity by the nature of their home. Regardless of their motivations or their needs, people who are living in their vans are just that: people. In one of the most progressive and accepting parts of the world, it’s important that people should be allowed to live in non-traditional housing systems, whether by choice or necessity, without fearing social or professional repercussions.

“People are no longer defining someone’s identity by the nature of their home.” keep the van in one spot. Most municipalities in the Lower Mainland have bylaws prohibiting vehicles from remaining in one public parking space for more than a few hours. Graves says that this is the point at which neighbours become suspicious and call the police to have the van towed, leaving the person with no shelter and no way of paying for the towing charges to get the car back. “It just presses the person from the next worst thing to being homeless, to being absolutely homeless.” Graves thinks that the affordable housing crisis in British Columbia – and especially Metro Vancouver – comes from a lack of cooperation between the provincial and federal governments, and to some extent municipalities, in providing subsidized housing units to low-income people and families. According to Burnaby City Councillor Peter Calendino, Metro Vancouver currently has a deficit of half-amillion to a million units of rental housing that the federal government has not provided since the 1980s. Calendino says that if we had those extra million units, the




Asleep ‘n class

How one BCIT instructor is making change inside and outside for a better world with a passion project that woke up three interview nazanin joorabchian

portrait sheldon lynn

Mak Abdel-Hai has been at BCIT for 19 years teaching visual effects, compositing, digital imaging and new media in the Broadcast Journalism department. In addition to being a passionate instructor, Mak is also a passionate filmmaker, and this year his short film Asleep earned an official selection at the Bahamas International Film Festival and Kansas International Film Festival, as well as being named a semifinalist at the Nashville Film Festival Screenplay Competition. 22 22

Faculty Focus Mak Abdel-Hai

What got you interested in media and film? I’m originally an architect. I have a degree in architectural engineering. When I finished school, I just felt that I wanted to be a little bit on the creative side. Engineering is a very beautiful field and architecture is very beautiful, but I wanted something a little bit more creative and that’s where film became something I got very interested in. So I studied visual effects. After doing visual effects in the last few years, I’ve been focusing a lot more on screenplay writing and directing and producing, specifically in the short film format. It’s about being creative and telling stories that I think are worth telling. Your short film, Asleep, what is it about? So the movie is about a freelance journalist, his name is James, who finds himself in Syria and is basically facing a situation where he could live or die. It’s about him in these moments looking back at the work he has done and kind of facing these questions about life and what it means and what’s the work that he did and what’s the impact that he has had. What inspired Asleep? There is a person with the named Peter Kassig, whom I dedicated the movie to. Peter sadly is dead. He was a humanitarian aid worker and an an ex-marine. He decided to go and help people in Iraq and Syria, and then sadly, ISIS kidnapped him and killed him. He was 26-years-old. For a 26-year-old to leave the comfort of university and his home in the United States to go and help a very troublesome part of the world… that was something. I read about him and his belief system and the organization that he created (it was a non-violent organization which was similar to what Gandhi believed in). That was something that I admire a lot so I just felt that I wanted to honor his story.

the classroom, answering the call 2017 film festivals. And then the other person who also was a part of the story was James Folly, who was a journalist. He really cared and he used his own money and some friends’ money to buy an ambulance for Iraq. I just felt that it’s such a shame that we lost such great people and more. I didn’t want their voice to go away with their death because I think people like ISIS would have won if they silenced them. So the whole film was about just showing people this story of a person who is risking it for a good cause and part of that risk is losing your life. I come from the Middle-East, I’m from Egypt, and I know it’s a very difficult part of the world to live in now and I felt I was frustrated that I wasn’t able to do anything about what was happening in Syria so that was my part.

Do your personas as a director and instructor relate a lot? Are you able to apply your characteristics as a director and teacher and relate them to each other? Yes there is a huge overlap between the two because there is a point when people are looking to you to give them directions about what to do. It’s like creating a structure, where people can grow with this structure and do their job. I have to be clear about what my expectations are and what the setup of that classroom is and how we are going to move along together in a course. In directing it’s the same idea: you need to help everybody on set to understand what you expect from them and what they are supposed to do and let them shine at their own job. Then you get out of their way and let them shine. So there is almost a parallel between the two because you create the framework and [expectations]. Being a teacher I think it is really important because somebody’s future is in your hands and if somebody is taking a student loan to come and get an education, it’s really important to give them that education. I think an instructor has the responsibility to honour that and know that it isn’t just a job, it’s somebody’s future, somebody’s dream and you want to help. When I work on a film, my crew helps me achieve my dream. They give me a 150% because they care about the work and effort I put in, so it’s almost like there is that responsibility beyond just being paid and teaching something. You care about the people: it’s beyond just a class, it’s somebody’s future. Is there anybody in specific that you look up to that you find very inspiring and motivating? One of my goals in Asleep was just to create certain emotions in the viewer and there is a process to creating that form of writing and structuring a screen. As a filmmaker, you have to think about all of that and when I see somebody from a movie that did that successfully, I find it really inspiring. In life in general, I’m always inspired by people who are going after their dreams and fighting for what they believe in. I don’t want to sound like a cliché, but like Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Mandela, those heros for all of humanity, those people are inspiring. They lived a really great life and they worked against huge obstacles and succeeded. It’s honestly just about a way of life. Live your life, do the best you can, and try to leave this place better. Learn more about Mak’s film and see the trailer at:


BCIT Alumni Kaya Dorey had an idea so novel that the United Nations chose her to represent North America as just one of six people around the world to receive the Young Champion of the Earth prize. Kaya returned to campus recently to speak to us about her innovative approach to fashion before leaving for Nairobi where she’ll participate in entrepreneurship workshops to help her get big ideas off the ground.


photos dayna weststeyn

su pply & demand

Alumna Champion of the Earth

Tell me how your company first started. I did the [BCIT] Sustainable Business Leadership program where I did a project on textiles waste. I learned about synthetic fabrics and how none of them biodegrade. Basically, it’s all either going overseas to where it was made or other third world countries and eventually it becomes their waste to deal with. So that was super eye opening. During that project, I went around Vancouver and interviewed a lot of different organizations in Vancouver that were dealing with textiles waste in some way, either upcycling it (cutting it and sewing it to something new) or downcycling it (shredding the material in these machines and then making into stuffing for chairs and insulation). I went looking for a brand that kind of suited my style and my values. But I didn’t really find anything that had both, so that’s what made me start my own sustainable clothing line. I did a program online called Factory45 and it’s how to start your own sustainable clothing line. After that, I launched a Kickstarter. I learned how to source fabric and source pattern-makers and manufacturers and all of that. I make it sound so short, but it was very hard. What’s behind the name Novel Supply Co.? I first and foremost just like the word “novel.” It looks really good when it’s on a shirt. But also, I feel like I had a novel idea when I was starting it up. No one else was really doing this and that surprised me, because you know, there are people out there who want this type of thing. They want a sustainable product that’s made in Vancouver and made from sustainable fabrics, but there’s not a lot of options. So that’s kind of why I named it “Novel”, because it was a novel idea and it still is I guess. How are you implementing sustainability in your label? Talk me through how you source your materials and how you make the items sustainable. I use hemp and organic cotton. Hemp is the most sustainable fibre to me, because it uses way less water than cotton and you don’t need the herbicides and pesticides to grow it. It’s a really strong fibre, but on its own it’s really rough so you need to blend it with organic cotton. It’s important to me that it’s organic because then they don’t use herbicides and pesticides to grow it. And then it’s made in Vancouver; how that’s sustainable to me is that it ensures that people are getting paid fair wages, and they work in safe working conditions.

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Closer Look: German Christmas Market “The angels are not only beautiful, but they’re perfect for this time of year.”

Jack Poole Plaza — Nov. 22nd to Dec. 24th

the feels W by Max Huang

hat comes to mind when you think of Vancouver? Nature? Sure. Mountains? Okay. Snow? Not so much. Admittedly, I’m not the biggest fan of the holidays in Vancouver, but as the sounds of jingle bells and Christmas carols draw louder, I wanted to get into the “Christmas spirit” (as the kids call it). So I stepped out into a dreadfully rainy late-November night, flashing a slightly worrisome smile, and ventured to do just that. So come on Annual Vancouver Christmas Market, bring on the Christmas spirit!

Hope, nostalgia, stress, wetness. That pretty much sums up my night. I arrived early to give myself time to creep wander around and check out the market’s offerings before things got too hectic. One of the first things to catch my eye – through the blistering downpour of Check out: Westcoast rain – was the walk-in Christmas tree. It’s a new addition to the market this year, MisHMasH standing at 30ft tall with 36,000 twinkly lights – the first of its kind in Canada. It’s hard to miss, Handcrafted giftware and I hope you don’t. imported from Southern Africa

German Steins Traditional German beer mugs The Hartmont Candle Company 100% soy wax candles Nutcracker House & Lauscha Glass Ornaments Wooden Christmas decorations

Trying to balance my umbrella, camera, phone, bag and food in the rain was no easy task but alas, I ventured on. As I walked by a hut, my eye caught a glance of angels and I immediately stopped. “MisHMasH” the hut read. A woman flashed a warm smile and said, “Hi! Let me tell you about everything here!” I was intrigued. Laurie was her name, and she proceeded to, in short, make me really happy. “It’s a really great vibe [here] at the Christmas Market,” she said, “The angels are not only beautiful, but they’re perfect for this time of year. The people start coming in pre-Christmas... everyone is really happy and friendly.” Oh the feels!

“The only appropriate amount of cheese is: more.”

With over 75 huts of goodies and treats, Vancouver’s signature yuletide celebration definitely got me feeling wistful, nostalgic even. I wouldn’t say my socks were blown off exactly (I doubt they would come off anyway considering how soaked they were by the end of the night) but I was pleasantly surprised. I’d say the Christmas Market is worth a visit for the feels and perhaps my standout shop and hut selections.

the food G by Catherine Garrett

Check out: Art of Soap These soaps are so pretty and you can smell it from a smile away. They are all in the shape of fruit. Das Gulash Haus Goulash... In. A. Bread Bowl. Taste The Wild Amazing food, (mushroom soup) and other cool items to purchase, like dried chanterelle mushrooms and seaweed packages . Das Apfelhaus The candy apples here are equal parts beautiful to look at and eat. Watching them dip the apples into the candy mixture is mesmerizing.


erman history in British Columbia began with the gold rush in 1858, when German settlers arrived in the province. After World War II, an area of Vancouver’s Robson street was referred to as ‘Robsonstrasse,’ due to the large German population and number of German businesses. Vancouver is also known for hosting an annual German Christmas market, or Christkindlmarkts, which are hosted in many towns in Germany. Each one is different, with local artisans and food vendors, and the Vancouver Christmas Market is no exception. The menu options available sounded delicious and I had a hard time choosing my favourites. We started off the night with a mug of hot gluhwein, German-style mulled wine, which was flavourful and a nice way to warm up after being drenched in rain shortly before. After surveying my options, I decided to go for the beef goulash. The goulash was spicy, substantial, and had a metric ton of flavour. Plus, the fact that it was served in a bread bowl had me head over heels. The next standout dish was the wild mushroom soup. I was skeptical, since I’m not a fan of mushrooms, but still decided to give it a try. It was a rich, hearty, creation that changed my negative opinion on all things mushroom. The last dish I picked was the Raclette cheese. Raclette is literally a wheel of cheese melted and then scraped over pearl onions, pickles, pepperoncini’s, greens, and potatoes. I have two things to say about this: first, I want to marry whoever is responsible for this incredible invention; and secondly, the only appropriate amount of cheese is: more. You can’t go anywhere in this city from November onwards without being bombarded by obnoxious Christmas music and brightly lit window displays. Christmas markets offer a little bit of escape from that. Honestly, when you enter one, especially at night, there is magic in the air. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m a sucker for the atmosphere of events like this. Either way, sparkling lights and yummy delicacies get me every time, and the German Christmas Market offers just that. photos by max huang

Off Campus German Christmas Market


Review Mobile Gaming

RO: IDLE PORING iOs, Android (Gravity Co.)

words lucas molina



Although it is just another idle game, there are a few characteristics that makes it what Ragnarok Clicker failed to be. The game is made by Gravity Co., the South Korean company that developed the Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game, Ragnarok Online for PC in 2002. The game grasps the essence of its gigantic predecessor and acts as a great mobile spin-off.

The game consists of having your character running endlessly in a straight line while fighting monsters. The goal is to level up, reach the longest distance as possible, and grind enough to complete quests to change classes, rebirth and do it all over again. Simple, right?

Idle Poring appealed to me personally by having the Ragnarok touches and by being an idle game which mainly relies on resource management rather than constant gameplay. These characteristics fit perfectly with how much I miss the franchise and how much free time I have while studying.

PROS ▶ Unique in a sea of boring idle games by being entirely based on Ragnarok references. ▶ Customization of classes, gear, gems, attributes, pets and skills allow you to mix and match as you like and feel like you have your own unique character build. ▶ After the second rebirth, the gameplay changes moderately enough to keep you interested in doing the same grinding for the third time around and striving to do better. ▶ The aesthetics are pretty impressive, artwork and animations are nicely implemented. It’s both weird and great to see your favorite 2D monsters on 3D.


The complicated (and fun) part is figuring out how to do that. In this game, one thing leads to another. In order to rebirth you need to complete a series of challenges that will cost you Zeny (gold), require you to be at a certain level by gathering Xp (experience) and to kill certain MVPs (bosses). Both Zeny and Xp are collected automatically even when you are away from the game. However, time and Zeny


are the main resources you have to manage in order to reach your final goal. You level up by gathering Xp and in turn get attribute point to spend on one of the 6 basic attributes: Strength, Intelligence, Dexterity, Stamina, Agility, and Luck. The main attribute varies depending o the class you choose. (ie. Swordsmen have Strength as the main attribute while Mages favour Intelligence. Zeny is used to upgrade your equipment, evolve pets, buy items from the market, and show off to other players. All of which are incredibly useful, necessary and pretty satisfactory. In relation, time is used to get more Zeny and Xp. The

Pets, on the other hand, are a bit more complicated. You get limited daily chances to get pet pieces that you need to unlock a pet. Each one gives more of a stat or attribute and has a useful ability. Both effects are enhanced by the level and rarity of the pet.


▶ The game may feel like a bit of a grind if you’re not able to progress after some time, sometimes the only solution to your problem is to wait.

It is quite a challenge to develop an actual interesting mobile game nowadays, even more so following the common idle standard.

▶ After recent updates, the translation was exponentially improved, however the game is not entirely intuitive and you need to learn some stuff on your own.

I feel like Gravity got an amazing concept, applied it to a common trend, and got a great result. As long as the updates keep constant and consistent RO: Idle Poring will stay on the top charts for quite some time.

▶ The game has VIP and SVIP status obtained through micro-transactions. Although it is not “pay-to-win” enough to be gamebreaking, I consider it a negative point.

farther you are, the more resources you get for the same amount of time. Apart from the basics, there are also two systems that complement the core concept really well, the Gems and the Pets. The gems are pretty simple, there are types of gems, one for each attribute. You level up gems by merging 3 of the same level and type, and the higher the level, the more of it’s attribute you will get when equipped.

The pros heavily outweigh the cons, the game is insanely addictive, fun, interesting and best of all: free. RO: Idle Poring give you a time-progression gameplay with resource management characteristics. I’d say these are more than enough for me to kill hundreds of hours worth of my time.

After playing RO: Idle Poring for hundreds of hours over the course of 65 days I was amazed! The game has completely different gameplay from the other Ragnarok Online related mobile games and is a great variation of idle games in general. What really made me want to write about it is the fact that I frequently caught myself dropping my PS4 controller in order to check my progress on the phone. Most of the community is composed by fans of the Ragnarok Online and RO: Idle Poring is an amazing way to have a small part of that universe in your phone.

Photo Walk Burnaby Campus

Michael White

Madeline Adams

Michael White

Tajinder Kaur

Every month, we take students, staff and faculty (anyone wanting to learn how to shoot more interesting photos) out for a walk around campus, exploring new compositions and colours. Check out some of our favourites from this month and be sure to join us after the break when we might just take this show on the road, exploring image-making at other campuses. Follow your favourite student magazine on instagram for more shots from our monthly photo walks. @thelinkmag | #BCITandBeyond



December 2017  
December 2017  

Student Spotlight: Kieran Jenkins; Faculty Focus: Mak Abdel-Hai; Alumni Feature: Kaya Dorey and Novel Supply Co; Photo Feature: Sheldon Lynn...