Students charged for fraudulent parking permits Nine incidents of students using fake permits at UTM resulted in four charges Larissa Ho News Editor UTM students have been caught modifying parking permits, according to Campus Police; some of the students have been charged with fraud. In a number of the incidents, the students reported that someone had approached them to offer the fraudulent pay and display permits for a fee. “We want students not to duplicate, because the consequences can be quite severe,” said Arthur Birkenbergs, the assistant of parking and transporation services of UTM’s Parking and Transportation Services. Both Parking and Transportation Services and the City of Mississauga’s parking control officers have discovered fraudulent passes and reported them to Campus Police. Since the beginning of this calendar year, there have been nine such incidents at UTM. “Students are duplicating the permits—scanning and photoshopping them to change the
EDward cai/The Medium
Students have reported that they have been approached by someone selling fraudulent passes. date,” said Dario Cervoni, the assistant manager of Campus Police Services.
The vehicles displaying the fraudulent passes are being ticketed, towed, and impounded, which
can cost up to $200 for one day. So far, four of the nine students caught using fraudulent passes
have been charged with fraud. In the other five instances charges were not laid. “Our intent is not to lay charges,” said Birkenbergs. “We don’t want students to get a criminal record, unless there’s a true intent to defraud. But we do caution students that there could be further investigations that could lead to a charge. […] We want to make sure it’s fair to all the other people who are abiding by the rules.” Campus Police believe there is legitimacy to the claims that students have been approached by someone offering to sell them fraudulent permits. “Should anyone be approached in this manner, kindly decline, and note down the licence plate, make, the colour, and a description of the person, and contact us immediately,” said Cervoni. “It is fairly evident that this is spreading; […] enough students are doing it. We want to emphasize to students that we are taking it very seriously. We want students to abide by the rules, and the majority of students [do].”
Motion approves online voting The continuation of the SGM at St. George saw a motion pass recommending online voting Larissa Ho News Editor The continuation of UTSU’s Special General Meeting saw a motion recommending online voting to be implemented in time for the UTSU elections narrowly approved by a vote of 575–567. The UTSU Board of Directors met Wednesday evening to approve electoral policy recommended by the Elections and Referenda Committee, the body charged with revising and making changes to the Election Procedure Code, in preparation for the upcoming executive and Board of Directors elections. The electoral policy was approved without online voting, on which the student body had voted on Tuesday. The motion to implement online voting and consider the other parts of the declaration
Second referendum coming UTMSU will hold another Student Centre expansion referendum. Medium News, page 3
Pickup artist gets rejected Do pickup tactics work on women? Or are they just demoralizing? Medium Opinion, page 4
U of T Drama Festival UTM’s three new student-created productions take top honours. Medium A&E, page 7
A little bit of laksa
Our A&E editor puts her taste buds to test with spicy Malaysian cuisine. Medium Features, page 8 Junaid Imran/The MEdium
Div 1 White advances
UTM students connected to the SGM via Skype. was a directive-based, non-binding motion. The second part of the SGM was
held on Tuesday, February 12, in the Earth Sciences Building. It only went through one motion—the one
calling for electoral reform. SGM continued on page 2
Austin Chambers’ second half takes the team to victory over Phys. Ed. Medium Sports, page 10
«NEWS THE MEDIUM
Professor talks evolution of sex Monika Havelka talked about the costs and benefits of sexual and asexual reproduction Jai Sangha associate news editor Professor Monika Havelka gave a talk about the evolution of sexual reproduction on February 11 at the Mississauga Central Library. Havelka is a senior lecturer in UTM’s Department of Geography and has taught courses in biology, ecology, and environmental science. She was a finalist in the 2010 TVO Best Lecturer Competition. Havelka’s lecture, titled “Why Sex: The Evolution of a Paradox”, discussed the costs and benefits of sexual reproduction as compared with asexual reproduction. The paradox is that certain disadvantages to survival have evolved solely as aids in the pursuit of attracting a mate in both animals and plants. “What’s one of the biggest problems with your sex life if you’re a plant? Here you’re growing in a spot, there you see someone you like to mate with. But you can’t rip up your roots and walk over to make the sparks happen, and that’s what flowers are all about,” said Havelka. “They exist simply to attract a mobile organism to the generative part to deliver sperm to the
Jai Sangha/The Medium
Monika Havelka spoke about the evolution of sexual reproduction at the Central Library. eggs of another plant. You can’t move yourself ? Then you’ve got to get the UPS guy to deliver your gametes for you.”
But bright colours also make the plant more noticeable to animals who are likely to eat it or even trample on it, according to
No online voting implemented
Junaid IMran/The MEdium
Chair Ashkon Hashemi allowed UTM students to Skype in at his own discretion. SGM continued from Cover This motion was largely inspired by “The Non-Partisan Declaration on UTSU Electoral Reform”, a document drafted anonymously by UTSU’s opposition that outlined several recommendations, including online voting. The meeting was held simultaneously at both the St. George and Mississauga campuses, with UTM students listening, speaking, and voting via Skype. “Online voting is neither a new idea, nor is it an idea which can’t be implemented in time for this year’s elections. It definitely can,” said Sam Greene at the meeting. Greene went on to say that the only reason UTSU won’t set up voting at voting.utoronto.ca is that they think the university is in a conflict of interest about the administration of the elections. “The implicit claim being made there is that the university will rig the outcome of the UTSU elections, which is a patently ridiculous allegation and, I think, frankly totally disrespectful to the university community as a whole. If that’s the only defence that they have against implementing online voting to-
morrow [...] that should not merit any consideration whatsoever.” When the floor went to those opposed to the motion, they said the Elections and Referenda Committee was deep in consideration of online voting, trying to determine whether the system is inherently secure. They cited other universities whose online voting systems had suffered security breaches. In reply, those in favour said that these specific cases are not enough to draw conclusions about the security of U of T’s online voting system, which is used for voting in many elections at the university. Quorum (the minimum number of voting members needed to proceed with the meeting) was lost after the vote on electoral reform. The remaining motions on mental health and a transit strategy were not voted on. The student body voted in favour of recommending electoral reform, but it was clear by the following afternoon that no such reform would be adopted this year for the UTSU elections. The results of Tuesday’s meeting came too late to revise the Election Procedures
Code. According to UTSU bylaws, February 9 was the last day to propose amendments to the Election Procedure Code and have them ratified by the UTSU Board of Directors before the nominations period opened on February 14. At the UTSU Board of Directors meeting on Wednesday afternoon, the Elections and Referenda Committee presented the Board with a legal report documenting the recent history of the UTSU’s electoral process and recommending various reforms. Any changes must be ratified by the UTSU Board of Directors, and the Board is not required to heed any of the recommendations of the report. UTSU’s president, Shaun Shepherd, indicated on Tuesday that he would speak in favour of online voting at the board meeting, but did not attend, according to The Varsity. Trinity College, the Engineering Society, and St. Michael’s College have announced plans to defederate from the union, citing concerns about the union’s failure to implement the reforms.
Havelka. From a biological perspective, sex and reproduction are separate things, sex being the recom-
bination of genetic material and reproduction being the generation of offspring. According to Havelka, there can be one without the other outside of the human context, as in the case of a bacterium cell that delivers DNA to another cell without producing offspring. Havelka spoke of how in sexual reproduction, there is a risk of one parent mixing healthy genes with those of a parent, whose genes might have an undesirable mutation. Asexual reproduction—in which a single organism produces offspring with genetic material identical to its own—is a more efficient way of passing on genes, because the genetic material is not diluted by the material from another parent as it is in sexual reproduction. “You’re successful in a Darwinian sense if you’re leaving as many copies of your DNA as possible in the next generations. Clearly, [an asexual] female is more successful than [a sexual] female,” said Havelka. “And this is where we talk about the paradox of sex. Why on earth would you have sex if you could clone yourself ?” Sex continued on page 3
02.25.2013 THE MEDIUM NEWS
UTM student recipient of award Samra Younus named the winner of the John H. Moss Scholarship
Junaid Imran/The MEdium
»What’s your favourite Movie of all time?
Vincentia Kunala 2nd year, English
Brian Nyandong 1st year, management
Disney’s Cinderella. I like the scene where she’s dancing with the prince.
Shutter Island, because it’s really hard to understand the end.
Yerassyl Satybaldiyev 1st year, commerce
Abdul Kamali 4th year, political science
Fracture. I just love the way Anthony Hopkin’s character tricked the cops.
Inception. I thought it was really intriguing.
Samra Younus, a fourth-year UTM student, received the John H. Moss scholarship. Larissa Ho News Editor A UTM student has been named the recipient of the John H. Moss Scholarship by the University of Toronto Alumni Association. Samra Younus, currently in her fourth year in financial economics at UTM, has been an exceptional student and an award-winning head TA in the economics department, and has been involved in various extracurricular activities. She received the call telling her that she had won the award one hour after her interview in early February. All candidates were invited to take interviews with the
committee whose task it was to decide on a recipient. When she heard that she had won, Younus couldn’t believe it. “It was very emotional for me,” she said. “I was happy and ecstatic.” Younus called her best friend, her mother, and her sister before emailing her professors to thank them. Younus had to overcome several barriers in order to finally get her education at UTM, after many years of being prevented from entering university. She finally enrolled at UTM in 2008, which was “life-changing” for her. “It’s been a tough ride,” said Younus, a single mother. “Things
changed a lot. All I knew was that I wanted to go to school. That was a dream for me. I thought, if I don’t respect my dream, no one else is going to.” Younus is a senior mentor with utmONE and a volunteer with the AccessAbility Resource Centre. She also works with the Afghan Women’s Network, where she holds support and study groups. Younus’s next step is to pursue a master’s degree in economics and, possibly, her doctorate. The John H. Moss scholarship is one of the most prestigious undergraduate awards at the university, awarded annually to only one student among all three campuses.
Referendum round two
UTMSU used the wrong voter list in the Student Centre expansion referendum
Reproductive efficiency Sex continued from page 2
Student union executives contacted the office of the vice-pro-
vost, students for solutions to the problem, according to UTMSU. Executives were informed that university administrators could not manually remove St. George students from the list without compromising the privacy of voters. Since the Board of Directors could not ratify the results of the referendum, UTMSU plans to hold a commission meeting after Reading Week to consult stakeholders on whether a second referendum should be held this March or in the fall. UTMSU budgeted $5,500 for the campaign in January, but president Chris Thompson stated that the union did not use the full amount.
But sex does have advantages, since both partners have strengths and weaknesses in their DNA and sexual reproduction mitigates harmful mutations that could otherwise accumulate over several generations. Both types of reproduction are advantageous in different circumstances, said Havelka: sexual reproduction is advantageous when the future of the animal’s environment is uncertain, and asexual reproduction is more efficient when the future is certain. The Mississauga Freethought Association (a student club at UTM), Halton Peel Humanist Community, and the Central Library branch organized this event to celebrate Charles Darwin’s birthday on February 12.
Search of capsized N.S. fishing boat ends; photos show no bodies
Twilight earns some love at the Razzies, shout-outs for K-Stew
Pope gives final Sunday blessing before resignation
Googleplex, Google’s headquarters, to be expanded for 2015
Daniel Younis, 24, recruiting coordinator and running back coach for the York University Lions football team, was arrested Thursday for child luring and attempting to manufacture child pornography. The charges stem from a string of cellphone and Internet chats carried out over the past three months, during which a 16-year-old boy allegedly sent images of himself to Younis.
The RCMP say they have indefinitely suspended their search and recovery efforts around a fishing boat that capsized off the coast of Nova Scotia last Sunday in rough weather with five fishermen on board. The vessel is badly damaged. A private dive team searched the wreck on Saturday and came up emptyhanded. Most of the men had young families.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 was picked as 2012’s worst picture on Saturday by the Razzies, a spoof of the Academy Awards. The finale to the blockbuster supernatural romance dominated the Razzies with seven awards, including worst actress for Kristen Stewart, worst supporting actor for Taylor Lautner, worst director for Bill Condon, and worst screen couple for Lautner and child co-star Mackenzie Foy.
Pope Benedict XVI bestowed the final Sunday blessing of his pontificate in St. Peter’s Square. He explained he will retire to a secluded monastary. On Thursday evening, the 85-yearold German-born theologian will become the first pope to have resigned from the papacy in 600 years. No date has yet been set for the start of the conclave of cardinals, who will vote in secret to elect Benedict’s successor.
Google is planning a massive expansion to the Googleplex. “Bayview”, as the expansion will be called, is a collection of boomerang-shaped buildings connected by bridges. Bayview will be the biggest office complex in the U.S. entirely outfitted with radiant heating. The 42-acre expansion was reportedly designed by the architecture firm NBBJ using mountains of info gathered and quantified by Google’s real estate team.
Source: The Globe and Mail
Source: CBC News
Source: The Toronto Star
Source: The Associated Press
After receiving news from the university that the wrong voter list was used, the UTM Students’ Union has announced that it will run another referendum for the Student Centre expansion campaign. UTMSU used a T-Card scanner that was loaded with data for the UTSU November AGM, according to the office of the vice-provost, students. Since St. George students were included on this list, this allowed students from the downtown campus to vote in the UTM referendum. St. George students are ineligible because they are not members
of UTMSU and would not bear any part of the relevant tuition increases to finance the expansion. While the university made a list with appropriate voter verification information available to UTMSU, the office of the vice-provost alleges that this list was not picked up or used. The error is attributed to the chief electoral officer—the employee responsible for overseeing the logistics of the referendum process—and was “expedited” through miscommunication with university staff, according to UTMSU. CEO Babatumi Sodade has resigned. On the final day of voting, January 31, UTMSU reported that they received a phone call from UTM’s
dean of student affairs informing them of the discrepancy. The student union released the results of the final vote count on February 3. UTMSU then issued a press release on February 9 to announce the error.
York University football coach charged with child luring, say police
Stefanie Marotta Editor-in-Chief
The error is attributed to the chief electoral officer and was “expedited” through miscommunication with university staff, according to UTMSU.
Editor-in-Chief » Stefanie Marotta
Ultimate buzzkill The pickup master gets rejected Nothing kills the buzz of a good night out like that guy who won’t leave you alone. It’s Saturday night and you’re spending that three-hour session getting ready at your best friend’s house, drinking Grey Goose vodka and Instagramming pictures of your shots. Hey, I’ve done it and I have the Instagram account to show for it. No shame. Then you leave the house and it’s game on. With 20 bucks in your wallet, you feel confident you won’t even spend half. Between the generosity of your guy friends and your short black skirt, you probably won’t need to pay for cover or drinks anyways. Girls are often just as guilty as guys when it comes to the “game”. In this week’s letter to the editor, fourth-year student Sadaf Ali expressed concern about “Precious on the pursuit”, a features article we published about UTM’s professional pickup artist. As you’ll read in her letter, Ms. Ali disagrees with the strategies employed by precious and she targets the most concerning point: manipulating a woman’s selfworth. When getting down to business, Precious suggests that men take control not only of how women perceive them, but how women perceive themselves. Confidence is an attractive quality, but there is a fine line between confident and controlling. In particular, the bit on “negging” caught my attention. Apparently, men should give women backhanded compliments that make women even more conscious of and concerned about their perceived flaws. I once had a boyfriend that told me I look so much prettier with curly hair. My straightener went unused for years. Why can’t you just give a woman an outright compliment and tell her she looks nice? That sounds better to me than telling me I could look prettier. Precious also suggests that men “body rock”. By looking away from time to time, the woman tries to validate herself to the man. She
wonders—whether consciously or subconsciously—why she isn’t interesting enough to keep his attention during the conversation. Is she not pretty enough? Is she not laughing at his jokes enough? Maybe she should start wearing her hair the way he suggested. Then, to really seal the deal, men should make women compete with each other. By employing the “demonstration of higher value”, you make the woman wonder if she’s good enough to date you—like all the other women you allege have come before her. As a politics major and a former executive at the UTM Women’s Centre, I’ve engaged in many class and seminar discussions on feminism and gender equality. I’ve heard men—not all, of course, but many— groan and say I should chill and learn to take a joke. But jokes run deeper than we realize, and discouraging women to have these discussions and oppose these stereotypes only perpetuates gender inequality in our supposedly progressive and accepting western society. Precious does, however, teach his male clients a very important and valuable lesson. “Be ambitious, be amazing, be as awesome as you possibly can. Be happy and be smiling. Don’t strive to be someone you’re not,” he says. “Remove rejection from the equation; it’s not a big deal. Nothing is ever a big deal for you. Hakuna matata.” If only these same men would go out and make women feel as ambitious, amazing, and awesome as they can be. To be masculine is not to be removed from your emotions. “Nothing is ever a big deal for you” is not conducive to attracting women. Respecting women’s self-worth should be a big deal.
yours, Stefanie Marotta Editor-in-chief
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Stefanie Marotta firstname.lastname@example.org
Response to “Precious on pursuit”, advice from UTM’s pickup artist
Dear Editor, Okay, I get it. You guys needed an article to fit in with Valentine’s Day. Jai, thanks for the honesty, but do you want to know a little secret about the pickup game? It’s bullshit. The pickup “artist” claims to teach men how to seduce women. Women are not video games. There’s no combination of buttons you can press that will soak our panties—unless, of course, you’re already in them. Essentially, the pickup game is the male equivalent of magazines targeted to women, like Cosmopolitan. Often, one finds tips on roping in men, tips that validate passive-aggressive behaviour and guilt trips to force them into settling down with you. In just the same way women are desperate to make a man commit to them, men are desperate to “seduce” and objectify women who do not wish to be complicit in this demeaning game. Neither of these “games” work, because they lack pragmatism and an honest approach. Now, if you’re just looking for casual sex (and so is your target), this game might work for you. However, if you’re alone and pining for a girlfriend while you lurk couples on Facebook, the game will not take you far. At best, the game provides an approach for an icebreaker, lessening the anxiety of improvisation. I see the merit in that. But doesn’t it sound wrong? By approaching each and every woman (or “set”) with some formulaic approach, men are stripping the women of their personal qualities. The game is for narcissists and sociopaths. I can pick up on a stale, ingenuine, and overconfident “chop”. We know how it goes. Typically, a flattering compliment provides leeway for a conversation to ask her something personal, and then if he has the balls, he’ll “neg” you. Jai, thanks
SPORTS EDITOR Isaac Owusu email@example.com
for bringing up the neg and the idea of rewarding her behaviour. Guys, trust me, do it and she’ll be on all fours like one of Pavlov’s dogs. And don’t forget to add the “demonstration of higher value” because hearing about a stranger’s relationship with women makes the stock price soar. The game teaches men to work with the system that essentially sees men as disposable commodities and women as gatekeepers to the goods. Men are taught to play the same game that has been working against them their entire lives.
Women are not video games. There’s no combination of buttons you can press that will soak our panties— unless, of course, you’re already in them. Men should stop trying to be salesmen because they want to approach women. More often than not, it feels like he’s peddling some cheap, used phones. And while it’s flattering to receive some validating attention from your gender of preference, we know when someone’s doing their bit like a song and dance. And I’ll admit, I know some women enjoy this, and it wouldn’t be fair to speak on behalf of or maim an entire gender, but it’s all fake. Fake is no good. Fake fails to make it onto my list of admirable qualities. I understand that “the game” emphasizes (falsely, in my opinion) its mission to provide men with a solution to overcome social anxiety and shyness, but the issue is the curriculum designed to seduce women. If you have social anxiety or happen to be shy, there are different ways of overcoming such
WEBMASTER Gary Li
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drawbacks. Seducing women is not your problem. If a man’s throbbing erection is making it so difficult for him to have a conversation with a woman, then learning to seduce women is the last thing he needs to work on. This brings me to my main point: the game—and its goal to reduce fear in men and provide a means for success in a depleted part of their personal lives—is all just a front for a shallow course on objectifying women and teaching men to commodify themselves. This is working against men. So, I thought I’d end with some real advice. The best thing I picked up while dating was that the biggest turn-off is people who change their personality and can’t be themselves. We’ll find out who you are eventually. Don’t put on an act, as per the game’s suggestion. If you seek a healthy relationship with a woman, try befriending her. It’s okay to be shy and it’s okay to be nervous. If people are quick to dismiss you for being human and stumbling over a few words, then they’re not worth it. Also, women are not always looking for a guy with a chest so inflated that the slight prick of a pin will cause him and his ego to deflate like a vinyl sex doll. Men are not always looking for a fun, brainless ride. So, let’s be respectful, honest, and see people for who and what they are: human. No one said you can’t have a little fun—and this is not meant to shame people who prefer to steer away from the traditional monogamous lifestyle. All that matters is how you go about your business. We swim in a big pond, and life will feel lonely, but try not to be a nippy shark that has to ruin it for everyone. Sadaf Ali Fourth year Art and art history; professional writing and communication
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Letters to the editor will be edited for spelling, grammar, style and coherence. Letters will not exceed 700 words in print. Letters that incite hatred, violence or letters that are racist, homophobic, sexist or libelous will not be published. Anonymous letters will not be published.
Editor » Colleen Munro
This night’s dream will last Theatre Erindale takes on Shakespeare’s fantastical high comedy MATTHEW BUTLER STAFF WRITER Theatre Erindale’s production of the William Shakespeare classic A Midsummer Night’s Dream takes a familiar and beloved comedic piece and turns it on its head with outstanding payoffs and rousing laughs for the audience. The play accomplishes a lot in its three hours: a variety of dry and merciless wit, slapstick encounters between tortured lovers, zealous amateur players looking to shine, and dreamy fairies attempting to play with fate. And it all culminates in a mystical and lovable fantasy production with one great sequence after another. This is the fourth production in the 2012/13 Theatre Erindale season, dubbed “Mayhem”, and guest director Sue Miner takes Midsummer in an entirely new direction, shifting the historical context of the show away from Athens, Greece to Victorian England at the apex of the industrial revolution. Miner captures the factory-focused culture and theatrical melodrama of the period, cementing it in her artful direction of the piece. The choices are well supported by a slew of great performances and artful set furnishings by Patrick Young. Swift and precise stage management by Barbara McLean Wright also adds to the dexterity and necessary discipline needed to keep pace with all the laughter. The play follows the hilarious experiences of three main groups
King Oberon and Queen Titana share a private moment... with a guest. whose interactions are laced with routine folly and exaggerated difficulties. The lovers—played exceptionally well by Lindsay Middleton, Ali Richardson, Josh Wiles, and Victor Pokinko—are central to the story, as their desperation for their true desires to be realized (despite precarious intervention) gives a foundation of amusement to the piece. The tortured romances of these four are constantly meddled with by the fairies who interfere, sometimes playfully, leading to many unexpected predicaments. A standout performance is the character of
Puck (Wes Payne), the righthand fairy of Oberon, King of the Fairies (played with gravitas by Marcus Haccius), who seeks to punish the disobedience of his fairy queen through a potent love scheme. The show is supported by a dark, multi-layered set with a prominent balcony. The set signifies the industrial nature of the period, but it also transforms magnificently into the verdant fairyland forest. The set’s transformation is symbolic of the magical shift towards the lustful and melodramatic dream the lov-
ers play in and becomes a pivotal character in itself. Excellent lighting and costumes that display the cultural and class differences of the period further complement the set and actors. The performers make strong use of the robust set and lighting, perfectly timing their moments and cues. The jolly squabbling and braying of the fairies is especially pleasurable to watch; all the fairies have their own unique sensibilities and relationships as they play with the lovers and follow the bizarre orders of their fairy masters. The amateur factory-workers-
turned-thespians (known as the “Mechanicals”) provide excellent comic relief and catharsis for the production. Fraser Woodside, playing the hilarious Nick Bottom (and, more importantly, the role of Pyramus) is especially in control of his performance as an over-the-top actor looking to play every part possible in their makeshift play. The group of pseudothespians has some of the greatest moments in the play and they all work seamlessly off each other, culminating in their fortuitous final production in front of the privileged at Theseus and Hippolyta’s wedding (Evan Williams and Zenia Czobit, respectively) where their charm comes full circle in a hotbed of hysteria. “The whole cast really enjoyed working on the show,” said Cornelia Audrey, who plays Moth (one of the fairies) in the show. “Sue was a really great director to work with and she allowed us to explore and have fun with the material. We all worked really well as a team and were all connected in some way.” High comedy of this style requires a skilled cast and crew to trace the complex network of dialogue and action of Shakespeare’s prose; Theatre Erindale does a superb job. With a strong imagination and control of the material, the production comes to life, grabs the audience, and does not let go once. A Midsummer Night’s Dream runs until March 3 at Theatre Erindale.
Folly and farce in the Italian Renaissance The annual Italian play returns with this year’s comedy, La Lena COLLEEN MUNRO A&E EDITOR Elements of comedy can be found in live theatre from all over the world. And even in cases where a language barrier or missing cultural context prevents us from completely relating to the humour, it’s still possible to enjoy the enthusiasm of the performers and the reactions of the rest of the audience. And there can be a disconnect even in plays written in one’s native tongue. If English is your first language, that doesn’t guarantee that you’ll find Shakespeare’s comedies as hilarious as someone from who lived in the 16th-century society that Shakespeare built his plays around. But again, there are still certain narrative tropes that cross language
and time and can be universally appreciated. This is good news for those who don’t speak a lick of Italian and who aren’t experts in 16thcentury Italian culture when it comes to this year’s Italian play, La Lena. Though it’s put on by the Department of Language Studies and the Italian theatre group that calls itself “Maschere Duemondi”, this year’s comedy (an adaptation of a 1529 play by Ludovico Ariosto) proves quite accessible to everyone. Of course, the dialogue is helpfully subtitled, but the group has also updated the script to accommodate modern audiences. The final scene of the play even includes a surprisingly topical visual zinger as the play’s closing punchline. Add in a group dance number to “Lady
Marmalade” and other more subtly modern dialogue twists and it makes for an interesting blend of the Italian Renaissance and present-day North American culture. It helps that the story of La Lena is a timeless one. Lena (Amanada Piron) is a woman of questionable reputation whose husband’s debts have forced her to work as a surrogate mother to the beautiful young Licinia. To supplement her income, Lena uses Licinia as bait for a wealthy young suitor, Flavio (Daniel Sestito), who is head over heels in love with Licinia. From there, coincidence and manipulation make all of the characters’ lives considerably more complicated, and a farcical romantic romp ensues. Flavio’s exaggerated, undying
love is one of the funniest and most universal elements of the play, and when he and his servant, Corbolo (Luigi Giangrande), agonize over writing a perfectly manipulative love letter to woo young Licinia, it feels like a scene out of a contemporary romantic comedy. It also helps that Sestito and Giangrande have an easy rapport on stage, making their banter even more fun to watch. Elsewhere, though, La Lena’s more farcical moments are so exaggerated that the cast has to work hard to keep up the pace. Some plays hinge on absurdity and mayhem, but everything is still meticulously planned and polished behind the scenes so that the action merely appears chaotic. In La Lena, a couple of moments are so busy that it be-
comes a bit difficult to decipher everything happening on the stage. However, it never goes completely off the rails, so La Lena comes out as an enjoyable success. The Department of Language Studies has mounted an Italian play every year since 1987, and it has become a staple of UTM culture. Teresa Lobalsamo and Jeannine Debattista, who directed the last three productions, have once again come together with a hardworking cast and crew for this charming comedy. As La Lena shows, it’s possible to combine students of all levels of experience to create a relevant and creative piece of theatre. La Lena runs until March 3 in room 1080 in the CCT Building.
«ARTS THE MEDIUM 02.25.2013
Poetry contest winners take the mic Poets and musicians share their art at an EDSS coffeehouse COLLEEN MUNRO A&E EDITOR Earlier this month, the English and Drama Student Society held their second coffeehouse of the year and announced the winners of their annual poetry contest. The coffeehouse, held in UTM’s Faculty Club, brought together a variety of performers and offered the audience an evening of music, food, and (of course) poetry. The night began with the handing out of the awards for this year’s poetry contest. As Stephanie Vega, the host of the coffeehouse and president of EDSS, explained, approximately 160 entries were narrowed down to the top 20. Then, the contest came down to a public vote on Facebook, in which the winners were selected. All of the winners were in attendance, and they each read their winning work to the crowd. First place went to Marina Ajhert for her poem “Where is Home”. The moving poem spoke to Ajhert’s Yugoslavian heritage and was charged with phrases from her native language. Stephanie Hayward’s “Untitled” came in second, while Luke Sawczak’s “Baptize”
GABRIEL TAN-CHEN/THE MEDIUM
Student artists performed original songs and poems at EDSS’s second coffeehouse of the year. and Alex Tkachuk’s “Twelve Finches Standing on a Burning Wire” tied for third. The poems presented diverse outlooks, and watching the poets deliver their work offered even more insight into the texts. The event also featured several student performances. Vega
pulled triple duty at the coffeehouse; besides hosting, she shared some of her own writing and performed Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On”. Other EDSS executives also shared their writing, including Chris Laliberte, who read an excerpt from the “future fantasy” book he is writing for an
independent study credit. Another author who read was Katherine Nader, who shared a passage from her published novel, The Deadly Mark. Nader will host a novel-writing workshop on February 28 for those interested in learning more about writing and publishing their own novels.
One of the highlights of the night came from Erin Foley, who performed a couple of spoken word pieces. “Confessions of a Hostess” was a hilarious indictment of the clueless and obnoxious customers she has encountered in her two years working as a restaurant hostess. “I don’t suggest it,” she said of her experience. “But it makes for good poetry.” Other student performers offered a more musical take on things. Hayward proved to be multitalented when she covered Sugarland’s “Stay”, playing acoustic guitar and offered a strong, yearning vocal on the country tune. Caspian Sawczak also played guitar, performing a dynamic original song called “City on a Hill”. His intricate guitar flourishes and catchy melody made “City on a Hill” instantly memorable; it was another of the night’s highlights. The coffeehouse provided a welcome opportunity for UTM students to showcase their writing and for student performers to share their craft. According to Vega, EDSS will publish an anthology of the top 30 or 40 poems from the contest entries.
Celebrating Black History Month Review: Data Romance Caribbean Connections’ open mic evokes warm crowd response
Vancouver blog favourite release debut LP ARISTOTLE ELIOPOULOS ASSOCIATE A&E EDITOR
AYMAN KHAN/THE MEDIUM
The Blind Duck hosted spoken word artists and musical acts for Caribbean Connections’ open mic. MARIA CRUZ STAFF WRITER On February 12, in connection with several other events celebrating Black History Month, Caribbean Connections held an open mic night in the Blind Duck Pub. There was no shortage of incredible singers, dancers, and poetry. The night opened with Haley Mitchell, who wowed the crowd with her incredible voice. Following her was Steven King on the piano and a trio of freestyling singers who gave a soulful and jazzy sound to an already smooth song. The energy in the room throughout the evening was unreal. Everyone was welcoming and enthusiastic, and incredibly supportive of one another, knowing that the reason they had all gathered was to celebrate Black History Month. The overwhelming energy added to the whole
experience. Even the intermission was spirited and entertaining, and featured a crowd singalong to Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry”. The acts that took up the majority of the night were the spoken word and poetry performers, who stunned the crowd with their work. First up was a duo named Patricia and Jamal, who did a musical mix to a poem they wrote called “Letter to My Future Wife”. Jamal read the poem and Patricia sang the chorus. The audience began clapping and dancing in appreciation partway through. Shaulo Paulino was the standout act of the evening. He performed several different spoken poems, and the crowd was rendered speechless by his quick verse. In honour of Black History Month, Paulino’s first poem was an original called “Freedom Awaits”. He recited several other original works littered with insightful lines on the subject. The
crowd oohed and aahed during the reading. Dwayne Morgan, another spoken word artist, performed his original poem “Everyday Males: or, for Short, Emails”, which consisted of nothing but hilarious social media puns relating virus protection on a computer to protection in… well, you know. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly which acts were the best, because the energy of the crowd was huge during all of them. They were all so incredible that just being there put me in a good mood. Never have I attended an event with such energy and a sense of community in the audience. During the breaks between the acts, even members of the crowd were called on to show off their talents. Black history should be celebrated every day, not just isolated to one month. But these performers and audience members could not have supported the cause better if they tried.
After an EP released in 2011 and a single following late last year, the boy/girl band Data Romance now emerge with their first fulllength release, Other. The album is a sleek debut from the Vancouver duo, filled with slow, slinky electro-pop. The ambient sound created by the combination of Amy Kirkpatrick’s vocals and Ajay Bhattacharyya’s production captures something of Metric circa Old World Underground, Björk circa Vespertine, and even fellow Canadian (and extreme sidebang enthusiast) Valerie Anne Poxleitner of Lights. While pretty at times, the best moments are when Kirkpatrick’s voice takes a back seat to Bhattacharyya’s beats. This isn’t a judgement about the quality of her voice, but rather an observation of their strengths. “Something to Me” and the title track “Others” are among the album’s best, and on them Kirkpatrick’s vocals feel like a means rather than an end in themselves. She fills the voids in the production and complements the sound in the right ways rather than trying to hold the focus of the song herself. If Other were a person, it would be the quiet wallflower friend rather than the one always yelling and seeking attention. The duo appears to understand the potential—and maybe even the market—for background music, crafting an album with enough
intriguing details in the layers of sound to catch the listener’s attention, but never trying to command or control a whole room. The album is strong enough to create a head bob, but only allowing a small probability that someone will turn their head to ask what’s playing from the speakers. “You come with too many politics,” sings Kirkpatrick in “Can’t Keep Your Mind Off ”—perhaps a commentary on other music wanting to say more than it actually does. By contrast, Other doesn’t appear to say much, because it does not want to say much. The album succeeds by sticking to the middle ground, the ground of nothing more than pleasant music. Even though an astute listener could find meaning in the lyrics if they really wanted to, the artists don’t seem to care whether the listener does or not. While Other offers more filler than the average listener would like, and is sometimes too broody for its own good, Data Romance knows their formula and sound well enough to tackle a fulllength album with relative ease, simple in its premise and execution. The name “Data Romance” is taken as literally as possible: it’s a synth/data album meant for lovers of romance. The songs seem more fitting to bounce off the walls of a tiny bedroom than to play at a large party. It’s a micro-niche that probably won’t sell out arenas—but that doesn’t seem necessary if the music only wants to be played for two. MMM
02.25.2013 THE MEDIUM A&E
Triumph at U of T Drama Fest UTM Drama Club scoops up top awards at annual Hart House theatre festival COLLEEN MUNRO A&E EDITOR
The U of T Drama Festival brought together a variety of drama groups for four nights of theatre written, directed, produced, and performed by students earlier this month at Hart House Theatre. With three different plays competing, the UTM Drama Club, which brought together students from the joint Sheridan-UTM theatre and drama studies program, was a strong presence at the festival, claiming many of the awards at the ceremony on the final night of the festival. This year’s festival brought together 11 original plays by the UTM Drama Club, New Faces, St. Michael’s Art Commission, UC Follies, Hart House Players, Trinity College Drama Society, and Victoria College Drama Society. Each night was overseen by adjudicator Derek Boyes. Boyes serves as an associate artist of the Soulpepper Theatre and has appeared in productions of You Can’t Take it With You, The Crucible, Our Town, Hamlet, King Lear, and many more. Boyes conducted a public adjudication after the performances of each night. He celebrated the strong points of each play and offered critiques to the
performers, writers, directors, and technical crew to help them improve their production. On the final night of the festival, Boyes chose each of the winners for the five main awards, and gave out five of his own awards of merit. The audience choice awards (selected each night through a ballot vote) were also awarded at the ceremony. “We desperately need these voices […] to keep the art of theatre alive in Canada,” said Boyes of the festival’s importance. He also complimented all of the participants for their work, adding that “the future looks bright”. Though Boyes emphasized that achievement isn’t marked through awards alone and wished he had more to hand out, the UTM Drama Club’s three competing productions received many of the ones he did hand out. Marianne, Are You Asleep? was the big winner of the festival, taking home both the President’s Award for Best Production and the Hart House Theatre Award for Best Performance. The play, written by Nicholas Potter, told the story of a woman seeking a connection with her deceased mother. The performance award was given to the play’s ensemble cast, which included Karyn McGibbon, Ben Hayward, Megan Janssen, Lau-
ren Vesterdal, and Carolyn Nettleton. Boyes also presented an award of merit to director Jaime Hernandez Lujan. The crew included Amanda Piron, Angelica Appelman, and Spencer Bennett.
Marianne, Are You Asleep? was the big winner of the festival, taking home both the President’s Award for Best Production and the Hart House Theatre Award for Best Performance. Another UTM Drama Club entry, Bruised Porcelain, took home the Robert Gill Award for Best Direction. Director Eilish Waller balanced two actresses who portrayed different facets of the same character and often appeared on stage at the same time. The play, written by Kaitlyn Alexander, was a sombre and emotional look at a young woman suffering from leukemia. The young woman, Macy, was portrayed by both Rachelle Goebel and Colette Fitzgerald. The cast was rounded out by Chelsea Riesz, Brittany Miranda, Hannah Ehman, and Marryl
Smith. Like many of the UTM Drama Club’s entries in the festival, this all-female cast was made up solely of first- and second-year drama students. UTM Drama Club’s third submission, The Gully, closed the competition and won the audience choice award for Saturday night’s performances. With virtually no props or set decoration, the two actors (Hannah Vanden Boomen and Cameron Grant) had little to hide behind. Both of them delivered bold, captivating performances that received an award of merit from Boyes. The simple story of a young girl named Penny who befriends an old man may not sound particularly innovative, but Sara Peters’ script offered the actors plenty of rich material to work with. Watching the man help Penny learn multiplication and slowly reveal his tragic background felt authentic and captivating. This intricate character development made the plot turns of The Gully feel completely earned and all the more effective. Many of the other participating groups also offered compelling and creative productions. The St. Michael’s Art Commission had the audience laughing out loud with their breezy, sharp comedy It Could Be Worse. The play centred around a man who becomes
convinced that he’s dying after receiving an ambiguous comment at a doctor’s appointment. No doubt partly due to lead actor Steven Lyons’ natural comedic skill and offbeat charisma, It Could Be Worse took home the audience choice award for the first night of the festival. Though very different in tone, New Faces also offered a memorable production on Wednesday night with their intimate postapocalyptic drama, Earth: A Survivor’s Guide to All Things Natural. Revolving around two siblings wandering a barren landscape, the play often recalled Waiting for Godot in theme and scope and was certainly one of the most unconventional productions of the festival. At the awards ceremony, Boyes commented that he hadn’t been able to get the play out of his mind after reading all of the scripts prior to the festival. He awarded the playwright, Christian Glas, the Robertson Davies Playwriting Award. Boyes’ enthusiasm for the creativity was palpable, and the audience was supportive and cheered on these burgeoning theatre artists. The U of T Drama Festival is an annual event, and judging by the success of this round of plays, next year’s festival will be one not to miss.
Editor » Carine Abouseif
Put your tastebuds to the test Our writers experimented with new eats and expanded their palates Colleen Munro reviews Lion City 1177 Central Parkway, West Admittedly, I’m someone whose culinary tastes skew towards the plain and simple. But while Subway may be my on-campus restaurant of choice (six-inch roast beef with Swiss on Italian, please), I’m generally not opposed to trying new foods. Mississauga’s Lion City certainly offered that opportunity. The colourful tablecloths and sleek highbacked black chairs create a welcoming ambiance in this quaint restaurant. Billed as specializing in food from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia, the menu was full of unfamiliar but delicioussounding dishes. The meal that my fellow Medium editors recommended was laksa, a noodle soup from Malaysia. The laksa lemak I tried consisted of round noodles
LUKE SAWCZAK COPY EDITOR Oh, hello there! Hope you had a relaxing week. (What? It was even more packed than a regular school week? Tell me about it…) Those of us with lives outside this campus might happen to read the BBC website. Okay, probably not. But if you do, you’ll have seen an article in the business section last Friday called “Why speaking English can make you poor when you retire”. The study was carried out by Dr. Keith Chen, a professor at Yale. He separated a number of languages into two classes according to whether they have weak or strong “futuretime reference”. That basically means the degree to which a language explicitly refers to the future. According to Chen, English has strong future-time reference, because we say “I will, I am going to, I have to” for something happening tomorrow, but Mandarin has weak future-time reference, because verbs have no tense and the time is instead inferred from the context or the addition of a word like “tomorrow”. Chen then took some data from the lives of speakers of languages in both classes, and apparently found that speakers of languages with strong future-time reference make poorer choices when planning for their future. They “save less, smoke more, and exercise less”, reports the BBC article. Why would this be? Well, “The act of saving is fundamentally about
in spicy coconut gravy, topped off with shrimp, chicken, fishcakes, and bean sprouts. Taking a tentative first spoonful, my initial thought was “This isn’t bad at all!”, but as
I ate more and the spice crept in, my confidence wavered. The spice wasn’t unbearable, and for those with heartier palates than mine it wouldn’t be a problem. But for me,
the spice overpowered the other flavours of the dish. The fishcakes (which I initially mistook for tofu) had a pleasant consistency and an inoffensive flavour, and they were
my favourite part of the dish. Another dish I tried was char kway teow. This giant serving of stir-fried rice noodles topped with shrimp, sausage, egg, fishcake, beansprouts, and chives would probably be enough for two people to share for lunch. This dish was very mild, and made a nice contrast to the laksa. The flat rice noodles tasted better than the slightly slimy noodles in the laksa, and the flavouring of the dish complemented the simple base noodles perfectly. It was the sweet, thinly sliced sausage rounds that were the standout of the dish. For those like myself who aren’t hugely adventurous in their culinary tastes, it would be hard to go wrong with the char kway teow at Lion City. Throw in the friendly and prompt service and great value, and might just find it to be a new go-to spot in Mississauga.
understanding that your future self— the person you’re saving for—is in some sense equivalent to your present self,” says Chen. “If your language separates the future and the present in its grammar, that seems to lead you to slightly disassociate the future from the present every time you speak.” The article is in a reputable paper, it uses words like “future-time reference”, and it cites a Yale professor. So it’s got to be right, right? I’m inclined to believe otherwise. It comes down to a popular but often overestimated linguistic theory called the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, or linguistic relativity. It’s a huge topic that can’t really be accurately summarized, but it essentially says that your language determines your cognition. It’s had that name for about half a century and been explicitly expressed for a century and a half, but the truth is, there have been theories about the relation between the language you speak and the way you think for as long as people have been aware of language, and those theories always been just teetering between plausible and pseudoscientific. One of the most popular ideas is that some languages are inherently logical. Beginning in the Renaissance and continuing to the present day, argument after argument has been laid out for why certain languages adhere to the universal laws of reason. But, as you might already be guessing, apparently logic has a strong tendency to belong to the language of the person doing the analyzing. In 1784 one
Antoine de Rivarol wrote, “What distinguishes [French] from ancient and modern languages is the order of the construction of the sentence. This order must always be directly and necessarily clear. French first names the subject of the discourse, then the verb, which is the action, and finally the object of the action: this is the logic natural to all men. […] What is unclear is not French; what is unclear is on the contrary English, Italian, Greek, or Latin.” He was far from alone in this belief. But two questions immediately arise. One, how does subject-verbobject adhere to natural logic better than the different orders found in other languages? No reason is given. Two, if this is true then why have English, Italian, Greek, and Latin writers so often said the same things about their own languages? The hypothesis can be found absolutely everywhere. My uncle, a computational linguist who has spent much of his life in India and Nepal, said someone told him that “Hindi speakers are less materialistic than others, because they don’t have a verb for ‘to have’ or ‘to possess’. ” But, he explained, in Hindi “I have a car” is expressed “My car is”; the possessive pronoun “my” indicates who it belongs to. They do have a possessive, even if it’s not formed like English’s— and, he added, tongue in cheek, “they have more lawsuits over property rights than you can shake a stick at!” The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is also applied in retrospect. In his book The Language and Imagery of the Bible,
G.B. Caird mentions a traditional school that believed the mind of the Hebrew speaker was primitive. He cited a scholar who said that whereas English has “go up”, “go down”, “go out”, “go in”, and so on, all modifying the common element, Hebrew has a separate word for each. The scholar thought this was evidence that the Hebrew speaker could not abstract the notion of pure movement from all of these directional movements. Sounds plausible, no? But Caird pointed out that in the first place, other supposedly sophisticated languages also work this way, including none other than French with monter, descendre, sortir, and entrer. And in the second place, Hebrew has huge ranges of words where the abstraction is transparent. For example, the same root is used for “learn” and “teach”, “die” and “kill”, “eat” and “feed”; you just have a single marker that means “cause to”. English, on the other hand, has separate words for those things. But does that mean we can’t abstract? Is our cognition too primitive to consider learning and teaching related processes? Not at all! This is not to throw out the SapirWhorf hypothesis; it may not be totally missing the mark. Linguistic habits presumably have some an influence of some degree, however small, on cognition. There are some fascinating phenomena that suggest that speakers of different languages may conceptualize their worlds differently. To take a popular example, many languages differ in what they consider the basic colours and what
they consider shades of those colours. As I saw on a forum once, an English speaker who hears the claim “crimson, maroon, and pink are shades of red” might reply, “Hey, pink is not red, it’s pink!”—and yet speakers of other languages do consider pink a shade of red, and the reason, say the proponents of linguistic relativity, is because of how the languages name and recognize the colours. Here’s the key: languages encode things differently—some through vocabulary, some through grammar. And what’s not explicit is often inferred from context or understood just under the surface. Even in the colour example, it’s a simple step for speakers of either type of language to see it the other way. There may indeed be true cognitive differences that correlate with language, but there’s not a lot of hard evidence for them. In practice the conclusions have often been a stretch, and more ethnocentric than anything. In any case, if you are going to find sound conclusions on the topic, you won’t find them in the business section. Going back to Chen, his explanation is iffy, his results seem highly susceptible to other factors, and worse, I’m not sure I even agree with his assumptions about how to classify languages. Is English really limited to using tenses the way he thinks? Or isn’t it perfectly natural to say “It’s raining tomorrow; we can’t go to the zoo”, without a future tense in sight? Chen thinks I’ll only say that once I cease to dissociate the future from the present. Me, I call shenanigans.
Laksa lemak, a popular Malaysian dish, is a spicy noodle soup with a rich coconut milk gravy.
02.25.2013 THE MEDIUM FEATURES
A room with a view
Gazing out windows in Santorini or Jerusalem: our writers describe their rooms in international cities KABUL, AFGHANISTAN HAKIMA HAFIZI The white wood frames of the halfopen window contrast with the sundried mud walls. I sit on a toshak, or mattress, in a two-storey mud house in the village of Shakardarah, some 30 kilometres from the downtown core of the overpopulated and over-polluted city of Kabul. Nilofar, my next-door neighbour, waves as she walks through the gated entrance of her house and removes her chaadar, a full-length semicircle of black fabric designed to cover her entire body. Trailing behind her are her younger brother and sister, Faisal and Farzana, who walked from their elementary school nearly 45 minutes away. Leaving their backpacks and changing out of their school uniforms, they run past the vegetable patches in their courtyard to play with other children outside their yard. They pick mulberries and gooseberries as they discuss the TV shows they will watch with their families when electricity is made available for three hours during the evening. My eyes wander through the window past the aggregation of lookalike mud houses to the wide open fields of concentrated mulberry bushes and walnut groves, and trees blossoming with giant, juicy peaches and oranges. Mountains tower over the fields and the rest of the land. The delicious scent of Afghan tandoori bread mingles with the fresh breeze. Nilofar has started baking. The 16-year-old left school to help her mother raise her siblings and earn the daily bread and meat when her father passed away in the war. Fruit is laid out on the terrace-like roof of their mud house, drying out before the winter. In the distance, a group of chaadariclad women complain about overpriced materials at the bazaar as they tread the rocky pathway to their homes. Underneath the jutting rocks and what appears to be barren dry land, patches of green grass peak through. JERUSALEM LUKE SAWCZAK My bed is under the window because I pushed it there. But before the sunlight can get in I have to unlock the heavy glass panel and roll up the metal blinds. Now the hot orange light sweeps in from the huge rising sun, sweeps away what was totally black but for the blinking red light on the ceiling. When the mechanic came he told us in Russian that it was okay: blinking means everything is good. This is the bomb shelter room. This is Jerusalem. I button up the shirt of many colours my friend and travel partner Valeria bought me in Lebanon and notice a dry sprig of lavender the previous inhabitants of the dorm left hanging in the closet. I pull open the room’s first door (of wood), I push open the second door (of metal), I slink to the apartment’s kitchen to eat Rice Krispies imported from Greece. The massive window on the south wall is open. It’s 7:30 a.m., and the breeze is hot. Simmon is up too, spreading his daily Nutella on a slice of bread. “Are you hearing the chanting through your window at, like, 2 a.m. every
The Jerusalem they put on postcards. night?” he asks. I nod and gaze out the window— seven floors down to the parking lot where we went one night to drop our 20-shekel flowers, to the little garden where sometimes men sit and play music, to the concrete wall with a façade in poor imitation of ancient stone. “I asked my friend about it and he says it’s a prayer call, broadcast all over the city,” says Simmon. “Last night I stayed awake and listened to it… it’s actually kind of beautiful.” The noise of students from dozens of countries filters up through the air. The smell of perfume, of garbage, of a thousand stray cats, of heat itself. I lean on the windowsill and look past the modern city, all the way to the city on a hill, Jerusalem, the real Jerusalem, the one people put on postcards, the one Seoren calls “Disneyland”. To the gold Dome of the Rock, the blue dome of the Holy Sepulchre, the smooth, tan, massive walls. SANTORINI, GREECE NANCY KANG Colourful flowers bloomed everywhere, all over the village and even on the cliff facing the Aegean Sea. I lived in a small room carved into a cave, a traditional house or hotel room on the island of Santorini. From the outside, the room had the iconic dome-shaped blue and white roof that you picture when you think of Santorini. The room housed two beds, a kitchen, and a bathroom. The room was decorated for comfort, with flowers, homemade soap, and photo frames. The interior walls were built in stone reminiscent of the inside of a cave. The theme was always blue and white: blue sky and ocean, white little churches with white crosses. Everything seemed clean and fresh. Every morning when I stepped out of my room, the first thing I felt was the warm, salty winds coming from the sea. The women wore colourful bikinis and held ice cream cones topped with colourful scoops. The men wore shorts and drank bottled beer. People walked on the narrow sidewalks, shopping, chatting, and laughing. Donkeys carrying trinkets jingled by pedestrians. Dogs and cats lay in front of shops, eyes closed. At dusk, tourists sat on the edge of
the cliff to watch the sunset. At dinner, the air filled with the smell of grilled fish and octopus. When the sea finally swallowed the sun, tourists applauded. After that, the whole island became tranquil. Ships went back to harbour and waves lapped on the shores. LAHORE, PAKISTAN ZAINAB ANJUM The sunshine streaming through my bedroom window seemed odd. So did the half-sleeved t-shirt I had on. I hadn’t been back home in over half a decade, so the fact that spring sticks around in Lahore until the very end of the year was something I’d forgotten. What I still remembered was my old room. The room was lined with identical twin beds that my sister and I had long outgrown. Pictures decorated the wall between scars of peeling paint. The photos framed my sister and me as babies, as toddlers, as preteens. They progressed until they eventually stopped, marking the time we moved to Canada when I was 13. The carpets and curtains had stayed the same, though, although both were a little less pink and little rougher. The window of my room looked out onto our verandah and then the street; both had all sorts of trees. And because of the accommodating climate, the plants ranged from evergreens to banana trees. They was heterogeneity of plants, but their green was almost brown. There were cracks and folds in my field of view because of the spotted glass. The city looked tired. The street outside my bedroom window had a timetable of its own. It filled up five times a day with the melodic sound of azan, the call to prayer. It was crowded with children when they left for school in the morning, and later in the evening, when they came out to play cricket. And it almost always smelled of either fried potatoes or popcorn. The scent wafted up through the window as the bicycle vendors, blasting catchy tunes on a crackling radio, made their way by. ZAPOROZHYE, UKRAINE OLGA TKACHENKO Rising above the thundering streetcar tracks, Grandmother’s khrushchyovka is toasty and tight, with no air condi-
tioning and no relief from the dry July heat. A khrushchyovka is a cramped, poorly planned apartment in a fivestorey dwelling with no distinguishing features on its flat concrete panel exterior. They are named after Nikita Khrushchev, a Soviet leader in power during the Cold War. The building has no elevator, and the staircase smells of cigarette smoke and urine. The khrushchyovka’s two long narrow rooms resemble a streetcar. Printed rugs hang on the walls above three sofa-beds inside the streetcar for reasons unknown. Every surface in the khrushchyovka is covered: the worn parquet floor concealed by a textured beige rug, the floors in the cramped kitchen and the bathroom lined with smooth pea-soup flower-print linoleum, the walls hidden by daffodil-print wallpaper, and every table, desk, cabinet, or shelf coated with hand-crocheted white doilies. Gold-filigreed icons with droopyeyed saints hang above narrow doorways and tables. Moth balls and lavender scent the stuffy air. Opening the windows and the glasscased balcony to the outside offers an escape from the stuffiness. The beige sheers hanging over the windows billow in the gusts of dusty air from the quiet courtyard—the children who usually make noise nap now under the watchful eyes of their grandmothers. A sprawling chestnut tree beneath the balcony reaches its candles of white frothy blossoms to the burning sun. In the cooler night air, feral cats wail their amorous ballads, and crickets chirp their metallic song, lulling me to sleep. HAILSHAM, UNITED KINGDOM VALERIA RYRAK During my time studying in England I had two rooms in the student residence, both of them equally unpleasant. The program was billed as “Your Year at the Castle”, and given the cost of tuition, I expected a single room in a gorgeous castle, overlooking a moat. But that’s not what happened. Classes did take place in a castle, but students’ living quarters were elsewhere. The student residence was a two-storey, factory-looking, barracksfeeling building impressive in its ugliness. It had previously been used as of-
fice space for the castle administration, but was then converted into student housing. Mind you, its photograph is difficult to find on the main advertising brochures. My first room was a shared one on the ground floor of the building. Both my Korean-French roommate and I had a bed, a desk, a chair, a dresser, and (I think) a nightstand. The two joined windows looked out onto a field of green where, beginning in early March, sheep could be seen copulating at all hours of the day. The second room was a single on the second floor. I had the same furnishings, plus an additional desk I mainly used for storage. My next-door neighbours on both sides of the wall were all guys. The neighbour to the left could be heard complaining almost regularly through the paper-thin walls, “Mom, I don’t know how to do this essay!! I need, like, HELP!” On my right there was some serious shisha-smoking going on, which usually led to the fire alarm going off at odd times in the late night and early morning, so that sleepy, zombie-eyed students in their pyjamas (or else wrapped in bedsheets or towels) could be observed congregating on the lawn directly behind the student residence like they were part of some bizarre ritual. The radiators were lazy, and I often felt like the little match girl. At night, the sense of being in a lunatic asylum was in the air as noises quarrelsome, vociferous, and barbaric shook my walls and whistled past my door. You don’t need amphetamines to know what life was like in the 1960s England. All you’ve got to do is enroll in the Bader International Study Centre. MYSORE, INDIA ANAGHA NATARAJ Birds sing and vendors chatter about all kinds of vegetables at their “better than others” prices. Mysore’s dreamy breeze is refreshing. Waking up to realize you forgot to order milk for the day isn’t. Mysore is situated next to Bangalore. My townhouse faces a one-way road flooded with the sound of scooters and bikes rushing to find a parking spot. My room faces the backyard, where I planted the seed of a jackfruit, hoping to see it all grown up when I visit again in a couple of years. No alarm wakes you up like a vendor walking past your yelling about his produce. You always have to look twice before getting out of bed; you wouldn’t want to accidentally step on the millions of ants that reside in the village. The neighbour’s dog, Bheema, barks at the mailmen and scooters passing by. (I guess some things are the same everywhere.) Outside the window, kids laugh and manoeuver around goats and the much-respected pedestrian cows. The monsoon rains pitter-patter pleasantly on my window. The temperature drops as night falls and a little fog fills up my room. Downstairs, my grandfather plucks the veena, a string instrument—his evening ritual. A fan creaks continuously. An educated guess tells me tomorrow will begin with another vendor figuring he’s got a better marketing pitch than the previous one.
10 THE MEDIUM «SPORTS 02.25.2013
Mediumsports Editor » Isaac Owusu
MLB spring training: new season, new faces RANDY JIN As Major League Baseball’s first spring training games draw closer, baseball fans in Toronto and abroad are getting ready for a new season. Every year, hundreds of new players make their debuts. With the recent hype surrounding the Toronto Blue Jays as favourites to win the World Series this year, they are likely to be a bullseye for their AL East rivals. They’ll be looking to what they can do in the new season—and so, without further ado, here are five players to watch for in the AL East during spring training. Wil Myers (outfielder, Tampa Bay Rays): The prized outfielder came to the Rays in a deal that sent James Shields to Kansas City. He has been rated the number-four prospect in baseball for 2013 by both Baseball America and MLB.com, after a crazy 2012 that saw him hit .314/.387/.600 across AA and AAA in the Royals system, slugging 37 homers and chalking up 109 RBIs in the process. If he continues to rake in the minors, he is likely to be called up by the All-Star break, if not sooner. Dylan Bundy (pitcher, Baltimore Orioles): The highly touted right-hander is considered by Baseball America and MLB.com to be the number-two prospect in baseball. He was the fourth overall pick in 2011, and the 20-year-old spent the 2012 season pitching across three levels,
Jays pitcher Chad Jenkins looks to show why he was the team’s top pick in the 2009 draft his final stop being AA Bowie Baysox. After posting a 2.08 ERA with a crazy 5.8 hits per nine innings, he was called up to the Orioles in September, making a couple of cameo appearances. He is likely to spend the year in the minors, but may arrive in the majors by August. Rubby De La Rosa (pitcher, Boston Red Sox): Soon to be 24 years old, De La Rosa arrived in Boston as a part of the July blockbuster that sent Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, and
Josh Beckett to the Dodgers. He actually made his major-league debut back in 2011 with the Dodgers, making 10 starts, but injuries kept him sidelined for parts of 2011 and 2012. With a career ERA of 2.86 in the minors, and Boston’s mediocre rotation, he will be knocking on doors before the summer is over. Mark Montgomery (pitcher, New York Yankees): The Yankees have a knack for finding useful relievers in the later rounds, and Montgomery
continues the trend. He was the 11throunder from the 2011 draft, and his size and frame have elicited comparisons to current Yankees reliever David Robertson; their minor league stats are also similar. Montgomery stepped up his game in 2012: he had a stunning display of 4.9 hits per nine innings while pitching for Advanced-A Tampa and AA Trenton. His slider has been described as a “wipeout” pitch too tough for his own catcher to handle, not to mention opposing hitters—he
once put up five (yes, five) strikeouts in a single inning. He figures to pitch in the majors before the year ends if he continues to dominate hitters at AAA. Chad Jenkins (Pitcher, Toronto Blue Jays): The first-round pick for the Jays back in 2009, Jenkins has failed to live up to expectations, posting a 4.96 ERA at AA New Hampshire in 2012. However, he has shown durability, getting complete games in the minors in both 2010 and 2011, and he walks a bit over two hits per nine innings. Although he isn’t spectacular by any means, he may end up being a solid mid-rotation contributor to the Jays. In a 13-game stint with the Jays, the 24-year-old started three and finished six, posting an ERA of 4.50 in the process. He figures to get an extended look in 2013 if one of the starters falters, and we can all hope to see him more serviceable than in 2012. Shamsher Dhah, a first-year criminology student, is excited to see what these players have to offer in the major leagues. “They have potential, if only under the right coaching staff,” said Dhah. “They should get more experience.” Baseball is a game where anything can happen, and it might be too early to tell whether these prospects will prosper or disappoint. As Tony Ho, a first-year chemistry student, commented, “I can’t wait until the baseball season starts!”—and this writer certainly agrees.
At a record pace Chambers carries Div 1 White KAREEM RAMADAN In a shortened NHL season, each game holds more importance than usual. Seventeen games into the 2012/13 campaign, the Chicago Blackhawks remain undefeated in regulation. The Blackhawks set an NHL record for the best start to a season by defeating the San Jose Sharks 2–1 on Friday. The win made the Blackhawks’ record 14 for the season, but more importantly, it extended the Blackhawks’ streak of consecutive games by at least one point to an NHL-record 17 games. Over the span of those games, the Blackhawks have collected 31 of a possible 34 points; the next-best team in the Central Division has 21 points in one more game played. The achievement did not come easy, and looked to be in jeopardy against San Jose after Patrick Marleau scored in the first period to give the Sharks a 1–0 lead, but in typical Blackhawks fashion they stormed right back for the equalizer in the second period courtesy of Viktor Stalberg, and took the lead for good on a shorthanded tally from rookie forward Brandon Saad in the third period. “It’s exciting to watch the Blackhawks this season; they look like a team on a mission,” said John Stevens, a fourth-year UTM life sciences student and Blackhawks fan. “This streak
is good not only for the Blackhawks, but the NHL as a whole; it draws interest to the sport. Everyone loves to watch a dominant team—just look at the Miami Heat of the NBA.” Afnan Azam, a first-year accounting student, also commented on the Blackhawks’ record. “It’s hard to believe that any team could go 17 consecutive games without a regulation loss in a shortened season with the tough travel schedule, but the Hawks have done just that, and it is credit to the team and coaching staff,” he said. “That is a team to be reckoned with.” The Blackhawks are indeed a team to be reckoned with. The club has four forwards in the top 50 NHL scorers (Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, and Patrick Sharp), and three defencemen in the top 60 at their position (Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, and Nick Leddy). Even netminder Corey Crawford is having a breakout year, ranking in the top 10 in save percentage (.935), goals against average (1.65), and wins (seven) among goaltenders. Prior to the Blackhawks’ streak, the best start to a season belonged to the Anaheim Ducks in 2007. That year, the Ducks played 16 consecutive games with at least one point. Before that, the 1985 Oilers held the record with 15. Each team went on to win a Stanley Cup in their season.
BRANDON RYNKA The UTM Division 1 White men’s basketball team played against the Phys. Ed. department in a playoff game last Wednesday night. The bleachers were filled with more fans than usual, and with more on the line, both teams were motivated to play at a higher intensity. Valentine’s Day was a day away, and there was no love lost between these two teams. Early on, the game looked like it would come down to the last shot; both teams traded baskets and neither team could separate even an inch from the other. UTM’s Ferdinand Peng set a high standard by scoring 11 points in the first half, which made up a third of the team’s score at that point. Jeff Thorpe and Zak Khan also had strong first halves, adding six points each. The Phys. Ed. department went shot for shot with UTM White despite having only six players in uniform. Leading the scoring in the first half for the Phys. Ed. team was Ahad Bamdealy with eight points, followed by Daneil Dnangronn and Commar Reid with seven each. Late in the first half, however, Khan of UTM White went down with an injury and had to be taken off the court to be looked at. This looked
like a game-changer going into the second half, since the game was tied at 30–30 with UTM White now down a key player. Nevertheless, as the second half began, UTM White didn’t lose a step. Austin Chambers stepped up in Khan’s absence. Chambers scored a remarkable 19 points in the second half to complement his four points from the first half, yielding the highest score in the game. Jeff Thorpe continued his night of solid scoring in the second half, scoring another six points. Dominic Stenka also scored six points. Phys. Ed. didn’t shy away from Chambers’ incredible second half and saw gritty performances from Conner Reid, who put up 13 points in the second half for a team-high 20 points, and Daniel Dnangronn, who contributed nine points in the second half to make his total 16. Although Phys. Ed. competed hard till the very end, the lack of depth in their roster caught up with them: they had the option of only one substitute, whereas UTM White had players to spare. Perhaps because of this difference in depth, UTM White outscored their opponents by 11 points in the second half for a 73–62 victory. Due to the talent on White’s roster, Khan’s injury did not prove as
detrimental to their play in the second half as it seemed it would. This is where the luxury of having multiple playmakers comes in handy, since equally good players can step up when an important player goes down. Thanks to the effort by Austin Chambers and his teammates, UTM White will move on in the playoffs. “Zak is one of our leaders and main playmakers on the team,” said Chambers after the game. “When he went down I knew that I would have to take on a bigger role and be aggressive offensively. I had an awful first half, but at halftime Essam and Riccardo both spoke to me about continuing to trust in my ability to shoot the ball at a high level. I then went to check on how Zak was doing and he said to me, ‘It’s all on you now, Austin.’ “Right then I knew that there was no way I was going to let him and the team down. We’ve worked too hard to just roll over because one of our best players got injured. If anything, I think it inspired the team because we all know how important this season is to Zak, and winning is the only thing that would help him feel better about not being able to play.” “Wednesday night wasn’t only about me stepping up,” he concluded. “The whole team did.”
02.25.2013 THE MEDIUM SPORTS
Dead end at the deadline EBI AGBEYEGBE ASSOCIATE SPORTS EDITOR
Unlike the NHL trade deadline day, which sees a lot of action and is highly anticipated, the NBA trade deadline has always been lacklustre. The great teams barely trade any of their star players and the only teams that end up trading any players are usually the ones having a bad season. However, there are often a few teams looking to add some pieces to make themselves championship or playoff contenders and teams looking to lighten their salary load. Rumours, not actual trades, occupied the time leading up to Thursday’s deadline. The Raptors started the trade period off with a bang weeks ago, landing Grizzlies swingman Rudy Gay in a threeteam trade that saw Raptors lose longtime point guard José Calderón to Detroit and the promising big man Ed Davis to Memphis. The Raptors are 7–3 with Gay on the team, including a five-game winning streak. The trade rumours began well before the All-Star break and intensified during the break. Possible big trades were in the works between some big teams in the league. Josh Smith, who got snubbed for the all-star game yet again, was being offered around by the Atlanta Hawks. A number of teams were interested in acquiring his services. Smith has played
There were rumours of Boston’s Kevin Garnett being shipped to Los Angeles, but he stayed put. for Atlanta ever since he came into the league in 2004. He plays both offence and defence very well and would be a good fit for many teams. The Brooklyn Nets controlled the court in the bid to get Smith; they offered Kris Humphries, Marshon Brooks, and two future first-round picks for him. The Hawks reportedly declined this offer. Another team that worked the market on the trade deadline day was Boston. Ever since the sea-
son-ending injury to guard Rajon Rondo, the Celtics have been looking to expand their team in efforts to start rebuilding. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce were offered out in order to rejuvenate the aging team. The Los Angeles Clippers offered DeAndre Jordan and Eric Bledsoe to the Celtics for Garnett, but that trade didn’t go through. The Celtics also reportedly offered Pierce and some pieces to the Nets for Humphries, Brooks, and those two
future-first round picks the Nets declined. “I watched the news looking to see if someone big will get traded,” said Adedeji Faseyi, a third-year health sciences student and Celtics fan. “At least the Celtics got involved in something. Hopefully we go far in the playoffs.” As the deadline time drew closer, smaller deals were made. The Sacramento Kings traded forward Thomas Robinson, the 2012 fifth
overall draft pick, to the Houston Rockets along with guard Francisco Garcia and forward Tyler Honeycutt for forward Patrick Patterson, forward Cole Aldrich, and guard Toney Douglas. The Celtics also dealt guard Leandro Barbosa and centre Jason Collins for guard Jordan Crawford. The Raptors traded centre Hamed Haddadi for guard Sebastian Telfair. Meanwhile, the Thunder traded guard Eric Maynor to the Portland Trailblazers for Georgios Printezis of the Euro League. The Atlanta Hawks traded guard Anthony Morrow for guard Dahntay Jones. The New York Knicks traded guard Ronnie Brewer to the Thunder for a 2014 second-round pick and cash considerations. The Orlando Magic traded guard J.J. Redick and centre Gustavo Ayon and Ish Smith to the Milwaukee Bucks for Tobias Harris and Doron Lamb. The Magic also traded forward Josh McRoberts to the Charlotte Bobcats. David Amos, a third-year political science student, said, “All these trades seem irrelevant to these teams; it’s just teams adding bench players to their rotation. I don’t see any of these players having any sort of big impact.” In the end, no big players were traded on deadline day. Some big teams added some interesting pieces; it will be interesting to see what new dimensions they add to their teams.