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A Night in Paris: VP’s Semi-Formal 2018

Rising Wages on Student Employment

VP’s very own annual Semi-Formal is back for 2018! This year, the location will be at The Grand Luxe Event Boutique found at the Bayview and Finch intersection. The event will be taking place on Friday, February 23rd, 2018 from 6 pm to 11 pm, and will be a night full of fun events, great food, and a special surprise for everyone who attends. The venue this year is, in itself, beautiful and spacious. The place will have decor pertaining to the theme and students can expect the feeling of being in Paris while still in Toronto…

Getting a part-time job or summer job for the first time can be very exciting for post-secondary school students. Working in a firm or organization and earning ‘the first gold’ has just got better as the Ontario government raised the minimum wage for students under the age of 18 from $10.90 dollars per hour to $13.15 dollars per hour this January… Page 2


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VP Musical Update

Is Pop Culture Really Culture? What do you think of when Japan is mentioned? How about Korea? Are the results similar to the title of this article?

Hey, drama-lovers at VP! Wondering about the VP musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee? Continue reading for some updates about the upcoming musical!

Imagine you are in an art gallery and there is an irregular sculpture with multiple faces and words on it. Some faces are larger than others and some words are more visible than other. This, in my opinion, is similar to different cultures and what we associate with it. Different people will view the aforementioned figurine with different perspectives, impressions, and personal understandings of this object...

First of all, the production date has been delayed from December to April due to technical difficulties that occurred... Page 6

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Delving into Perspectives - Page 3

The Minds Behind VP’s Annual Black History Month Play - Page 5 v




Rising wages on student employment CADEY CHEN

January 13, 2018

Getting a part-time job or summer job for the first time can be very exciting for post-secondary school students. Working in a firm or organization and earning ‘the first gold’ has just got better as the Ontario government raised the minimum wage for students under the age of 18 from $10.90 dollars per hour to $13.15 dollars per hour this January. According to experts, this 20% wage increase will act as an incentive that will attract more students to enter the labor market. The rise in student wages is a part of Ontario’s plan to increase the general minimum wage. This plan, first introduced in the summer of 2017, aims to help the poor and increase domestic consumption, which drives Canada’s economy. It has been said that this increase not only aids the 30% of Ontarians who were earning less than $15 as of 2016, but it could also potentially push up the purchasing power of Ontarians. This way, we will soon see a rise in household purchases, which account for 57% of the Canadian GDP. However, some experts argue that the immediate result of rising minimum wage can only be an increase in unemployment. Since it now costs more money to hire a worker, the production cost would rise, and, to maintain their current levels of profits, employers must fire some of their workers. Therefore, while some lowincome workers collect more money each month, some of their co-workers would suffer after being fired and having no income at all. So, it can be determined only after some time whether the new minimum wage is a good idea. Now, how do high school students fit into this whole thing? In fact, the same theory can be applied to the student labor force as well. It is certain that in the short run there will be more competition within the student labor market since firms are generally hiring fewer people. Therefore it would be even harder for those with no previous job experience to find their very first job. Considering that high school students’ tight schedule and perceived lack of responsibility may

PHOTO CREDIT: STLOUISFED.ORG not have been in their favor in the first place, employers are now predicted to hire fewer high school students. For students at VP, this means that to get a job, they need to have outstanding skills to stand out from the many other candidates. Interpersonal skills such as leadership, communication, and collaboration are what employers are always looking for in a candidate. However, when applying for certain positions, the firm will also be looking for qualifications that are important to the position. When applying for government positions, they might require the student to be fluent in both English and French, or even in a third language. Students who want to be hired by

a technology company will want to be familiar with JavaScript, Photoshop, HTML and CSS codes, spreadsheet software, as well as word processors. In cases where students are looking for a job in a summer camp, they might need to know many artistic and athletic activities. Rising wages for student employment represent a better future for youth employment. At the same time, it will also attract more post-secondary students to enter the youth labor market. To get the desired position in the growing competition, it is important VP students obtain various interpersonal skills as well as qualifications related to the occupation.

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A Night in Paris: VP’s Semi-Formal 2018 CARRIE MEN VP’s very own annual Semi-Formal is back for 2018! This year, the location will be at The Grand Luxe Event Boutique found at the Bayview and Finch intersection. The event will be taking place on Friday, February 23 , 2018 from 6 pm to 11 pm, and will be a night full of fun events, great food, and a special surprise for everyone who attends. rd

The venue this year is, in itself, beautiful and spacious. The place will have decor pertaining to the theme and students can expect the feeling of being in Paris while still in Toronto! Past the entrance, there is a large waiting area where students can take photos at the photo booth and keep the pictures they take. In addition, the coat and bag check this year is expected to be faster than ever, with the entire SLC helping out

and a whole room to store the items. This means shorter wait times and more time for fun! Other special features within the venue include music, DJs, and a dance floor—all for the benefit of students to enjoy Semi-Formal, whether it is their first or last time. Last but not least, the awesome food available will be from a buffet with menu options consisting of salad, chicken, pasta, a veggie option, and a chef’s selection of desserts. A more detailed version of the menu should be updated as the date of Semi-Formal approaches. In addition, a new element this year that has not been done for at least 4 years is a special surprise for all students who attend. Of course, the surprise itself will be revealed only at Semi-Formal.

January 17, 2018 VP’s Semi-Formal for 2018 is definitely not a night to pass on. As our very own social convenor, Anoushka Tyagi, says: “The whole reason I ran to be the social convenor was to create events that really help to make everyone's high school experience just a little bit memorable. Definitely a highlight in my Grade 9 year! I'm really nervous/excited for Feb 23. Honestly, I just hope everyone has a wonderful time.” With a beautiful venue, fun events, delicious food, and a special surprise, this year’s Semi-Formal will definitely be a memorable social event for all students.



Delving Into Perspectives: What Do Readers Think About Panther Press And Its Newspapers? January 14, 2018 TREVOR LI Last week, a survey was posted to VPCI’s SLC Updates Facebook this only accounts for less than a third of the responses, with “I don’t page. Students were asked several questions regarding the Panther Press, remember/an even earlier issue” closely following behind at 26.5%. highlighting the frequency of readers and their opinions on the monthly newspaper. The survey was created with the intent of finding out just how popular the newspaper was, and to seek insight into the readers’ perspectives. By Monday, there were 98 responses to the survey and 20 comments regarding the newspaper itself. Here is a look into the wide range of data collected:

For my last question on the survey, the question was: “Do you enjoy Panther Press’ newspapers?” The majority, at just under half (48%), responded with “Of course, I think that they’re great.” Overall, 88.8% of the responses were positive. Although this was a refreshing sight, it was noted that a noticeable percentage (11.2%) of the readers felt that the newspapers were “a waste of paper.” Furthermore, an option was given for readers to leave a comment. Several students inquired about receiving an The majority of the people who took the survey (48%) have only electronic copy of the newspaper, as it would be more eco-friendly. read 1 or 2 issues. That’s less than half of the total of issues that the Panther In response, the Panther Press has decided that full electronic Press has created for this school year! Only 16.3% of the students surveyed copies of the Panther Press’ newspapers will now be available on the SLC have read every single issue, and 7.1% of the students surveyed have not Updates page on Facebook, including this issue that you are currently read a single issue. reading. Here’s a word from Tammy and Katherine, junior editors at Panther Press: “The Panther Press is a newspaper written by the students, for the students. We aim to speak up, to speak out, to make the voices of our peers known. Victoria Park is more than a school, it is an inclusive community where everyone's opinions are valued, and the fact that our monthly issues are written exclusively by students reflect this belief.” In conclusion, we would like to thank the readers for their responses and their suggestions. As voiced by editors-in-chief Jareeat Purnava and Harish Ramachandran, “At the Panther Press, we value reader input as it is essential to our role as a student-run newspaper.” With your insight, we will continue to produce many more newspapers for you to enjoy in the In response to the question: “Which issue of Panther Press did you future. Stay tuned! last read?”, there were mixed responses. The majority of the students have read the most recent issue which is, in this case, January’s issue. However,


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L’importance des immigrants en Canada January 16, 2018 NORAH WILSON La combinaison des politiques américaines et les tas d'immigrants venant à notre pays chaque année a récemment causé beaucoup de questions de l'immigration et ses conséquences. Par exemple, est-ce que les immigrants sont une valeur ou une menace à notre économie ? Je crois que les immigrants sont extrêmement avantageux à l'économie canadienne. Nous avons besoin d'immigrants pour nous soutenir; l'immigration augmente notre diversité et innovation; et la majorité d'immigrants sont un fardeau en aucune Façon.

Le Canada a un besoin crucial pour Dans les années 1960, le Canada a l'immigration, car sa croissance démographique présenté un système de points pour déterminer si naturelle ne serait pas assez pour soutenir son un immigrant devrait être accepté au Canada. développement et son économie. C’est plus probable pour les candidats d’être La croissance signifie un pays plus influ- acceptés s'ils sont en âge de travailler, bien inent, divers et novateur. Les immigrants viennent struits, qualifiés, ou immédiatement employau Canada de tout le monde; ils apportent une ables—les facteurs qui contribueront le plus à myriade d'expériences et des perspectives. En l'économie. Parmi des Canadiens en âge de traconséquence, l'immigration peut produire des vailler, les immigrants sont presque 60 % plus solutions et des idées les plus imaginatives et probable d’avoir un diplôme universitaire que novatrices. Jonah Lehrer, un auteur américain et des Canadiens de souche. Également, plus que la un expert de neuroscience, a dit: "Les âges de moitié d'immigrants au Canada est fortement inPremièrement, le Canada a besoin de génie d'excès sont toujours accompagnés par les struit. l'immigration tout de suite. La natalité est en train nouvelles formes de mélange humain." Il a raiL'Organisation de Coopération et de de diminuer et la génération du baby boom atteint son; selon le bureau des brevets américains, les Développement Économiques (l'OCDE) constate leur âge de retraite. Les deux causent des pénu- immigrants inventent des brevets à double le taux que le taux d'emploi a calé pour des Canadiens de ries de travailleurs nationales. Le Conseil de de non-immigrants. Aussi, le Conseil de Con- souche, mais est monté pour des immigrants Conférence de Canada estime qu'avant 2031, férence de Canada a trouvé que les immigrants depuis 2008. Cela montre que les immigrants autour d'un million de travaux aillent non-rempli. composent 35 % de présidences de recherche rapidement adaptent et intègrent dans la mainÇa va baisser l'économie, l'innovation et la ca- universitaires—compare à leur part de 20 % de la d'œuvre et ainsi contribuent à l'économie. pacité de rivaliser avec d'autres pays. En 13 ans, population! De plus, comme John Baker, le fonPour conclure, les immigrants sont indes Canadiens âgés de travail—qui aident les dateur et le PDG (CEO) de l'entreprise croyablement avantageux à l'économie canapersonnes âgées en faisant des contributions pour “Desire2Learn”, a dit: "En ayant des travailleurs dienne. Ils remplissent des pénuries de couvrir des pensions et des services médicaux— mondiaux, nous aidons à créer les produits qui travailleurs et aident notre population à grandir. seront à la moitié de leur quantité maintenant. Il servent un marché mondial." Ils rassemblent des idées de valeur et des expériy aura moins d'assistance pour les personnes Tout ça montre que les immigrants ont ences qui stimulent l'innovation et les immigrants âgées, moins de contribuables, moins de crois- beaucoup à contribuer au Canada; et leurs idées, ont tendance à être très instruits, assidus et gésance économique et démographique, et les pén- perspectives et l'innovation aide à cultiver les néralement très contributifs au Canada et son uries de travailleurs vont augmenter. entreprises et l'économie du Canada. économie. Ce problème serait beaucoup plus sinistre sans immigration. En 2016 deux tiers de la croissance démographique avaient été causés par l'immigration et une grande partie des immigrants de chaque province étaient en âge de travailler. Les immigrants paient des taxes, remplissent des pénuries de travailleurs et dépensent de l'argent sur le logement, le transport et des marchandises. Ces contributions aident à augmenter l’économie.

Il y a des personnes qui peuvent indiquer les épreuves que des immigrants sont mauvaises pour l’économie. Ils peuvent soutenir que les immigrants ne peuvent pas trouver le travail, et pourraient ainsi être un trop grand fardeau sur l'économie. Cependant, les immigrants sont d'habitude exactement le contraire. Premièrement, les immigrants sont, pour la plupart du temps, tout à fait qualifiés et fortement instruits. PHOTO CREDIT: WIKIPEDIA

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Racial profiling is unjustifiable Merely a misleading solution to tackle crime January 17, 2018 FRANK LAI The practice of racial profiling is based on ethnic and cultural stereo- exists in Ontario. Many Aboriginal communities in Canada feel that the types in order to identify suspects. We all know these stereotypes and we all police are watching them closely. know these are untrue, yet on some level, we all act on this information in the Racial profiling is racial discrimination, meaning to “...discriminate real world. based on race, ancestry, colour, creed, citizenship, ethnic origin, [or] place of For instance, if you are a Muslim, it may be more challenging to get origin.” This violates the Ontario Human Rights Code. Thus, racial profiling past airport security. Racial profiling is not, however, criminal profiling. It is is inaccurate and does not lead to a reduced crime rate nor does it solve any not a police officer describing a perpetrator as being black or dark skinned. cases. It would be beneficial to invest resources in education, reducing Describing and looking for a suspect based on certain traits is criminal poverty, and unemployment in “high crime” neighbourhoods, rather than profiling. While criminal profiling is justified, racial profiling is not. focusing on race, religion, or ethnic background. Racial profiling is not limited only to policing, but the issue is particularly prevalent in this area. An example of racial profiling would be if a policeman picks an indigenous person from a suspect lineup based on the assumption that indigenous people are more likely to commit a crime. Though this issue is more common in the United States, it is also seen in Canada; the Ontario Human Rights Commission reports that this problem SOURCES

In essence, racial profiling is the same as racial discrimination. It is completely indefensible by today’s modern standards. The only reason that it still exists is because there is confusion about what it actually is. There is no good reason to be using outdated and inaccurate stereotypes in lieu of proper police work. Although we want to think that Canada is a socially advanced society, we still have a long way to go.



The implications of a word January 15, 2018 LINDA WANG Could language possibly change history? For several centuries, the n-word has been used as a derogatory term to refer to those of African descent. Although it may seem society has moved past the word, it is still widely used when teens refer to each other in a colloquial manner. It is as if the n-word has become synonymous to the word “friend”. Can the meaning of a word change with time? Does this potential change make the n-word acceptable? The answer is “NO”.

society tiptoes around addressing the issue. Many people have debated whether the use of this word is acceptable, but some are still unclear on just how much injustice this word has been able to inflict upon the lives of many of African descent.

The n-word is more than just a word. It has been used as a weapon against innocent people and it is an idea that promotes hatred and prejudice. Although times, ideas, and perspectives may have changed, history has not. People cannot use a weapon in a friendly manner. Thus, people should refrain from the use of a word that represents the scorn and dismissal to which many blacks were subject.

When youth today use the word as a term of endearment, they attempt to take control of the word but ignore the history and darker implications behind it. Language has tremendous power in society and people cannot simply own the The way another person receives your words they speak without considering heavier words is uncontrollable. Due to the history of the Through the evolution of language, this implications. n-word, the only option is to learn about its word has developed such a complex meaning that impact and erase it from our vocabulary.

The minds behind VP’s annual Black History Month play How one of VP’s most anticipated events has become a symbol of diversity for all. January 9, 2018 SHAHEER RANA Students at Victoria Park have heard a lot about the Black History Month play. This annual event featuring our own home-grown talent explores the historical and cultural impact of blacks on society, as well as the discrimination and difficulties faced by blacks today, all in the form of a play. To learn more we’ve interviewed the minds behind one of VP’s most anticipated events: Mr. Birkett, Ms. Martyr-Andre, and Ms. Sandhu. Shaheer Rana: Black History goes back centuries, but it seems the Black History Play has its own place in the school’s history. How long has this play been running? Mr. Birkett: We've been doing this for the last 4 years. SR: Really, just 4 years? Ms. Martyr-Andre: That’s not to say that we haven’t done other things about Black History, that’s been celebrated, but the actual play started 4 years ago. SR: How has the play evolved over the years and how has VP changed with it? Ms. Martyr-Andre: Any time that you’re introducing the subject matter that we’ve been introducing, you have to be aware that there has to be education for the viewers to understand. We've brought forward a lot

of history by introducing black Canadians’ history and that really impacted the students by helping them be aware of the facts and events, which in turn let them understand what blacks have gone through. Mr. Birkett has written all of the plays and has really adapted it well, even through controversial issues, and that needs a lot of prep work and brought a lot of controversial issues and it really resonated with the students and even the staff. We've gradually been dealing with more social topics, like this year’s play, which focuses on gun violence. One thread is on the prices of that lifestyle, and it really draws upon history and how we came through to be who we are today. The second play focused a lot on shadeism, and the students and staff were more aware of how that exists in our own communities and how to address it. SR: The Black History Play represents black communities but it also represents something far more. How do the messages from Black History apply to other fields? Ms. Martyr-Andre: Black history is everyone's history. We all occupy the same space and we need a healthy respect for each other's culture and race and how others of different colour have come here or have originally been here. The First Nations, for example, have adapted to racism and other difficulties. Just the notion that black history and its effects on each individual that is listening to that history brings respect for all races and groups. Ms. Sandhu: The play also helps people understand the experience that other groups or people have gone through, and they might not have known and understood some of the difficulties were it not for the play introducing those otherwise hard-to-visualise events. Mr. Birkett: We've been discussing more by having a panel discussion at the end of the play, which has brought forward a lot of interesting opinions while the play’s impact is still fresh. It also forces students to reflect on what they’ve just seen in ways they may not have without the discussion. SR: Now the most important question, when does this year’s play happen? Ms. Martyr-Andre: In March, a very deliberate choice that's from Mr. Birkett. Mr: Birkett: Throwing me under the bus (laughs)? With one of VP’s most popular events drawing closer, the cast and minds behind the play are hard at work in creating a memorable play. With inspiring messages that leaves something to be taken away by all, the Black History Month Play is a play worth watching. Hint: I’ll be performing onstage as well!




ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Is pop culture really culture? January 15, 2018 RUO GHAN What do you think of when Japan is mentioned? How about Korea? Are the results similar to the title of this article? Imagine you are in an art gallery and there is an irregular sculpture with multiple faces and words on it. Some faces are larger than others and some words are more visible than others. This, in my opinion, is similar to different cultures and what we associate with it. Different people will view the aforementioned figurine with different perspectives, impressions, and personal understandings of this object. To me, anime is a word written on one face of Japan, since it represents only one perspective. If we change our view of the sculpture that represents Japan, we will have a different impression of it. The same goes for K-pop and South Korea. In order for us to fully understand a culture, we have to be able to view the “sculpture” or culture through different perspectives. Even though anime might be a large part of Japan in some eyes, there are many other parts to Japan. Anime cannot represent the entire nation and its culture. K-pop is also not the entirety of South Korea and it cannot represent the culture of one

country on its own. When we talk about culture, PHOTO CREDIT: MANIC-EXPRESSION.COM there are many parts that help construct it, and never can one strand of it represent the entire people believe in are also false and negatively culture. All the faces of the object together help label people. Next time, when you hear something make the object, and the perspective you have will about a group of people that you think might not only limit your information. be true, take your time to search for another Not only does our perspective influence our perspective because it may bring you surprises. view of a country, but many stereotypes that

VP Musical update January 15, 2018 RUO GHAN

PHOTO CREDIT: MTISHOWS.COM Hey, drama-lovers at VP! Wondering about the VP musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee? Continue reading for some updates about the upcoming musical! First of all, the production date has been delayed from December to April due to technical difficulties that occurred. This might be a little disappointing but I can promise you that it will definitely be worth the wait, because the cast will be able to put on a better and more polished performance.

Talking about the musical, it is very funny and the audience is sure to enjoy their evening watching the performance. Each character has a distinct colour in the musical, making a perfect painting with all the colours and lines in harmony. Out of all the contestants in the spelling bee, I personally like Logainne Schwartz and grubenierre the best. Not only does this young intellectual have a great personality, but her situation is very relatable to many of us in real life. Her song in the musical shows her inner turmoils and some problems associated to growing up. Another character I am

excited for is Leaf Coneybear. This character is able to retrieve his confidence through the bee, and I hope people will also be inspired by his humorous personality. It seems like I gave too many spoilers! However, doesn’t the musical sound interesting to you? Performances will take place in the first week of April, so don’t forget to get a ticket and come watch these amazing performances! Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for seniors, students, and children. I hope to see you all there!



75th annual Golden Globe Awards It’s 2018: marijuana is legal and sexual harassment finally isn’t. January 15, 2018 LUBABA AHMED The night of the 75th Golden Globes, hosted by Seth Meyers, started with Hollywood stars, both male and female, wearing black to protest against sexual harassment. Several actresses decided to take the protest a step further. Instead of bringing a typical date, they attended the ceremony with an activist as a plus-one to battle sexual harassment and advocate for gender equality in Hollywood and beyond. The recurring theme of fighting back against violence and sexual harassment was also reflected in the award winners. 4 gongs, the awards at the Golden Globes, went to Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, a movie about a woman avenging the murder of her daughter. Later in the night, Elisabeth Moss won the Best Actress in a

TV Drama gong for her role in The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood’s dystopian story about a totalitarian future society in which women are treated as property. Natalie Portman also drew attention to how far the entertainment industry still has to go to achieve equality as she presented the Best Director award by correctly observing and pointing out the “all male nominees...” in the category. This night, Oprah became the first black women to be presented with the Cecil B. DeMille Award for her outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment. Her speech emphasized the need for men and women to work together, and ensure that no one ever has to utter the words ‘Me too’ in a campaign against sexual harassment and

PHOTO CREDIT: RAMASCREEN.COM violence again. Not only did it leave the audience at the Beverly Hilton in tears, but it also captured the true spirit of both the ‘Me too’ and the ‘Time’s up’ movements more than anything or anyone else.

Books that shed light on the truth of racism KEERTHIKAH JEGATHEESAN 1) To Kill A Mockingbird Known for being banned in American high schools due to its mentions of rape, racial inequality, and its use of the n-word, Harper Lee writes through the eyes of 6-year-old Jean “Scout” Louise Finch. Taking place in the deep South during the Great Depression, a whole town is shaken to the core as Jean’s father, Atticus Finch, a lawyer, is appointed to defend Tom Robinson, a black man falsely accused of raping a young white woman, Mayella Ewell. Despite how easily the narrative flows, this book is both extremely and deceptively powerful in its discussion of race, tolerance, and human decency. 2) The Help Set in the 1960s, Kathryn Stockett uses 3 women from Jackson, Mississippi as narrators. Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan is the daughter of a white family that owns a cotton farm. After returning from university, she finds herself uncomfortable

January 12, 2018 with the racist attitudes of her socialite friends towards their maids, all of African American descent. With the help of 2 maids serving as the other narrators, Aibileen Clark and Minny Johnson, the trio write a book on the truth about being a coloured maid. There is such deep history in the black/white relationship and this story beautifully shows the complex spectrum comprised of not only hate, abuse, and mistrust, but also of love, attachment, and dependence. 3) The Absolutely True Diary of a PartTime Indian Written in the form of a diary, Sherman Alexie follows the life of 14-year-old Arnold Spirit Jr., who lives with his family on the Spokane Indian Reservation near Wellpinit, Washington. Due to being born with hydrocephalus, Arnold is given the opportunity to start his first year of high school at Readen, a white town far wealthier than his reserve. What was considered an opportunity to escape the life destined for him becomes a wild ride and

Arnold finds it hard to hold on. With the occasional comic strips drawn to show Arnold’s knack for comedy, the portrayed truth becomes more evident with each page. 4) The Lines We Cross Despite the horrible reviews on GoodReads, the story was promising enough to share. Randa Abdel-Fattah writes about two polar opposites unknowingly tied into a story larger than themselves. The story takes place in Australia, where the protagonist, Michael, is a regular white boy. His parents drag him to rallies held by their anti-immigrant group, which rails against the tide of refugees flooding the country. To Michael, it all makes sense. On the other hand, there’s Mina, a girl from the other side of the protest. She is a Muslim refugee from Afghanistan. All of a sudden, what Michael has learned all his life doesn’t make sense, and both have to draw lines to the world that they want.

White Pine at VP TAMMY CHENG

PHOTO CREDIT: PBS.TWIMG.COM Every year, the library at Victoria Park White Pine Reading Club. Affiliated with the organizes a book club, specifically known as the Ontario Library Association, the purpose of this

January 15, 2018 club is to help readers grades K to 12 love reading and to discover Canadian authors. It is also a great opportunity for the latter to have their work recognized. At VP, the library’s theme is composed of the White Pine books. The titles from the list are displayed at the library entrance and may be borrowed by everyone. This year’s novels include Every Hidden Thing by Kenneth Oppel, The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline, Optimists Die First by Susin Nielsen, and many more. Whether you want to improve your literacy scores, help support Canadian authors, or simply read for the story and the world contained within the pages, check out the display at the library entrance. Who knows? Maybe one of the books on the shelves will lead you to your next great adventure.




January’s Team of the Month: Boys Swim Team January 15, 2018 KAREN CAO KC: What is the team’s greatest strength? HL: Our determination. Waking up at 6 in the morning for two days in a row every week for about half the year is no easy feat. CL: The community we built. Everyone on the team is super friendly and encouraging with one other! I feel like that really motivates everyone on the team to work hard and contribute to where we are today. KC: What is a good piece of advice someone has given you? HL: “Perfect practice makes perfect,” not practice makes perfect. You can swim up and down a lane over and over, but if you practice with the incorrect technique you won’t be improving; only with practicing the “perfect” technique will you succeed. CL: “Take it one day at a time.” PHOTO CREDIT: CONNIA REN Karen Cao: What is the team’s motivation? Henry Leung: Redemption for last year. I think the guys were disappointed with our second place finish last year and we believe that this is the year for us to win it all. Charles Liu: Redemption for what happened last year.

KC: What makes a team? HL: A group of people with a common goal. Honestly, I think that dedication and hardwork is fundamental in building a good team. A team is defined by everyone’s ability to persevere and motivate one another. CL: The people in it that support you and push you to do your best!

KC: Do you have any advice for those planning on joining the team next year? HL: It’s honestly been one of the best experiences in my high school career. The swim team is one of the most welcoming teams at VP and you learn something new every practice. CL: Sing a song while you swim up and down the lanes, it makes the pain a lot more durable. Personally, Post Malone is a good [tune] if you're feeling speedy.

The importance of activity in the new year and semester January 15, 2018 JUWAIRIYAH ISRAR

“New Year, new me”. This is probably a phrase you've been hearing a lot lately, whether you’re the one saying it or whether you're rolling your eyes at the friend that won't stop reciting it like a new Drake song. Regardless, everyone can agree that it feels good to leave all your mistakes behind and just start fresh with reinvented goals and high hopes for the new year.

even go for relaxing walks in your neighbour- Keeping your body active and healthy will, in hood. Anything that requires you to move a little! return, keep your mind healthy, which will lead The point of these activities is to clear to good academic results. So VP, don't forget to your head of all your stress and worries so you stay active this second semester! Good luck in can focus on your new courses and start anew. your new classes, everyone!

However, do you know what's even better than the start of a new year? A new semester! Exams are over, and so is the old routine of going to the same four classes that were becoming a drag. A new semester is the perfect opportunity to change your work habits and start with a fresh, clean slate. It is also a good chance to adjust your new schedule and find some time for the physical activity that you were promising yourself you would get. Engaging in physical activity will not only get your second semester off to a good start, but it will make you feel happier and, of course, healthier. However, even though this sounds pleasing, many people aren’t fond of the idea of running when they're gasping for breath and feeling like they’re going faint any second. If "classic" exercise doesn't sound right for you then you should try other activities, such as yoga, which have the same positive effect. You can PHOTO CREDIT: MADIHA RIZVI



January’s Athlete of the Month: Emanuel Adugna January 15, 2018 NAZIHA ALI

Naziha Ali: How does it feel to be “Athlete of the Month” for December / January? Emanuel Adugna: It’s a great accomplishment that I’ve always wanted to achieve. I was nominated amongst some great student athletes and I’m happy I got [the award]. Our team [has] worked really hard ... since last year in April and it’s a great feeling to see it all pay off. On top of that, it’s an even better feeling to be recognized as the leader and being [named] Athlete of the Month [for] helping our team win and it’s nothing but motivation from here on out. Knowing the sport of basketball has been overlooked over the past years in this school, this accomplishment means a lot and I hope it paves the way for next year’s basketball team.

to start practicing after last year’s season because they knew we had potential to be great the season after. They put their own personal lives aside to work with us and I have nothing but praise for them.

the goal is to maintain my grades and look for a scholarship to any school and play for their team. After completing my degree, if not playing, I would pursue a career in sports management or coaching.

NA: Which accomplishments were you most proud of this season? EA: Our ultimate accomplishment [would be] to go to OFSAA but for now we are continuing our undefeated streak which has probably been unheard of in the past several years at this school. We won our first tournament in many years which was also a great accomplishment.

NA: What do you like most about being on the Boys Basketball Team? EA: I like the atmosphere on and off the court. We are all respectful towards each other, share the passion for the game and it’s all fun and games in the changerooms and after practice. Until game time. That’s my favorite. I love how focused we get when it’s time to do our job and the fact that we all have one goal and work together to achieve [that one goal] is a great thing.

NA: How do you plan on pursuing basketball in the future? NA: What inspired you to join the EA: There’s a lot of opportunities out Basketball Team? there to get involved in the basketball world and EA: Ever since I was a kid, I would the opportunity of playing professionally is always practice and play. As I grew older, I knew something I look forward to doing. Right now, there was a future with me and basketball and there’s no other [way] to start the journey than to join my high school basketball team. It wasn’t easy, but it was free so it was a good place to start. I didn’t make the team in Grade 9 but [that] failure also inspired me to join the team the next year with the new coach, Mr. Birkett. Birkett saw something in me and [brought] me [to] love the game even more and definitely inspired me to come back every year to play for him and the school. Without him, I don’t know where my inspiration would come from and, for that, I’m thankful. NA: What would you like to say to/about your coach(es)? EA: Nothing. But if I was forced to say something, I guess I would say they’re cool people. All jokes aside, both Nerone and Ms. Bagnoli never slack off, [they] always [work] and [help] this team get better and better each practice. Whether it’s in the weightroom at seven in the morning, supervising study hall at lunch, or running around the school the snow...with shorts on...causing frostbite because two people were late to practice, I know they only hope [for] the best for this team. It was their idea


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VPAC: what do we do? January 15, 2018 JUWAIRIYAH ISRAR

Everyone knows VPAC. We're Victoria Park’s Athletic Council. However, not everyone knows what we do. This article is about to change that. First off, VPAC is responsible for most of the things related to healthy, active living in this school. Since this covers a wide variety of things, VPAC members are further divided into four committees that are each responsible for different things. To make sure VPAC still functions as a whole, our co-presidents, Valerie Chan and Eric Li, are responsible for leading the weekly meetings that we have at lunch on Mondays. They also represent VPAC on the Student Leadership Council (SLC). Since these two co-presidents can't oversee everything in this large council, we have co-directors within the four committees. All these committees are equal and essential to the function of the council as one unified body. The first committee we have is "Intramurals", which is codirected by Aiyana Ifill, John Carter, and Kerel Bair. This committee is in charge of organizing and planning all the fun intramural events that happen throughout the school year. Next is "Healthy Initiatives", which is co-directed by, Penny Liu and Flexi Castromayor. This committee is

responsible for carefully planning events that promote healthy active living, such as the Terry Fox Run and the Athletic Banquet. After this, we have "Publicity", which is co-directed by Juwairiyah Israr and Ravicha Ravinthiran. This committee keeps students informed on upcoming events and updates the VPAC wiki website. They’re also responsible for the Athlete and Team of the Month voting and selection process. Finally, we have "Teams and Tournaments". This committee is co-directed by Ryan Vagners and Michelle Chen. Everyone in VPAC is a member of this committee. They organize and help out with all home games throughout the year. In addition to this we have Karen Wong as "The Whip", who is a liaison between the co-presidents and the co-directors, and we also have Lin Zhou as our secretary who takes a record of our meetings. All together, we make VPAC! For a specific list of all VPAC members, please visit the VPAC wiki.

The best cure for stress January 15, 2018 NATALIE LU

It’s that time of year again, everything you haven’t done is catching up to you, university and college applications need to be done, and it seems like there’s something due everyday.

Between school work, a social life, clubs, and so stress. A great way to do just that would be to much more, students can often feel stressed or play a sport and join a team at VP! anxious, so it’s important for students to be able VP has a large number of successful to find ways to relax and relieve some of that sports teams, ranging from golf to badminton and volleyball to rugby. Playing a sport is a great way to take a break from the monotony of everyday school life, letting you temporarily forget about all other stress in your life. It's a great way to simultaneously meet new friends and improve your own skill. Not only that, but it comes with direct benefits for your health as well. Studies have shown that playing sports and exercising can boost self-esteem, relieve mental stress, and even help you sleep better. If you don’t think you have the time to commit fully to a sports team for an entire season, don’t worry; there’s always the fitness club that runs everyday at lunch. From 11:45 to 12:15, you can have access to all of VP’s gym equipment. Tuesdays and Thursdays are for girls only and assistance will be provided if necessary, so experience shouldn’t be a factor that stops you from attend-







SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY Team 4914 Robotics: Kickoff 2018 January 10, 2018 ADITHI VENKATESWARAN


The 2018 game titled First Power Up, requires alliances to escape the arcade game by defeating the boss. To do so, teams are tasked with tipping switches and scales in their favor, earning power ups, and climbing the scale. The first fifteen seconds of the match is the autonomous period, where the robots try and earn points by executing pre-programmed functions, driving forward and placing power cubes on high and low scales. During the remaining two minute and fifteen second teleoperated period, drivers control their robots to continue gathering power cubes to place on the scales to gain ownership for the longest time. Teams earn 1 point for each second that they have ownership. Human players and robots can exchange power cube chutes. The power cubes can also be placed in the Vault to activate power-ups. These power-ups can give alliances temporary in-game advantages toward additional points. In the last 30 seconds of the teleoperated period, robots must climb a small 7-foot high rung in the middle of the field.

On January 6, 2018, members of Victoria Park C.I.’s very own Team 4914 gathered in the Robotics Lab to celebrate the kickoff of the 2018 season. The team brought their good spirits and great ideas to witness the unveiling of this year’s game: FIRST Power Up.

The alliance with the most points wins and defeats the boss. Each alliance is made up of three teams and this group of extraordinary teams changes for every match. This demonstrates the concept of “Coopertition.” Although the teams work together to gain victory, they still compete against one another.

The day was filled with excitement as the first day of the season was underway. The team viewed the live stream, which showcased the brand new field setup for the game. As soon as the game manual was unlocked, the team broke up into groups to discuss strategy. As an entire team, season goals and strategies were decided and prioritized.

Currently, the team is hard at work designing the bot and, during the remaining five-week period, they will be prototyping and building. The entire team certainly cannot wait for the new season and all that it has in store!

Apple apologizes for slowdowns, faces lawsuits January 16, 2018 BRIAN WU

For many iPhone owners, the fact that Apple might have been deliberately reducing the performance of older-generation iPhones is nothing new, but rather something they had been suspecting for years. However, a Reddit post last month, which recommended that owners of slow iPhones replace their batteries to rejuvenate their device, brought this issue back to the forefront of the tech community. In the wake of the muchviewed post, GeekBench, a company that publishes software that quantitatively measures the performance of your phones and computers, released a comprehensive report examining this very issue. What they found was that with the latest iOS updates, iPhones with older lithium-ion batteries were having their CPU clock speeds purposely reduced. This was confirmed by some users who reported a significant improvement in performance once they went to the Apple Store to replace their iPhone battery.

older products in order to entice their customers to replace them with the latest iPhone. This claim might not be entirely infeasible, given the highly tedious and costly system that Apple has implemented for getting their products repaired. PSA to VPCI students: if you own an iPhone 6 or newer edition and have been experiencing issues with slow performance, consider taking advantage of this discount to change your battery to regain some of its lost performance.

The storm finally broke when Apple released a rare public statement on their website on December 28 titled, “A Message to Our Customers”. In it, they essentially confirmed the circulating rumours and attempted to justify why they have purposely reduced the CPU performance of iPhones with older generation batteries, citing “chemically-aged batteries” and a recent iOS update which underclocked the iPhone’s CPU to prevent unexpected shutdowns. However, Apple says they recognize that some of their customers feel betrayed and upset over this issue. In order to remedy this, Apple is “reducing the price of an out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacement by $50 — from $79 to $29 — for anyone with an iPhone 6 or later whose battery needs to be replaced, available worldwide through December 2018”. Objectively, this is a very generous offer on the part of Apple. Despite this, the tech giant now faces multiple class-action lawsuits that accuse Apple of deliberately sabotaging their SOURCES




En Antarctique, la vie existe sous les environnements extrêmes January 17, 2018 BRIAN WU

encouragent l’exploration de la vie extraterrestres parce qu’ils suggèrent que la vie peut se développer sous les conditions qu’on a considéré non viable. Si les organismes peuvent survivre en Antarctique, aux déserts polaires, en absorbant simplement les gaz de l’atmosphère, les organismes similaires peuvent même exister sur Mars, par exemple, où les humaines ne peuvent pas respirer l’air et donc on a déclaré que l’environnement est inhabitable. C’est vrai sur les autres planètes dans notre système solaire avec une atmosphère composée des gaz. D’un point de vue philosophique, on peut s’émerveiller de la ténacité de la vie représentée par le développement des organismes microscopiques dans les environnements vraiment ridicules. PHOTO CREDIT: SCOTTWEBSTER

bactéries) en Antarctique, un des Les scientifiques de l'Université de environnements les plus extrêmes du monde, Nouvelle-Galles du Sud en Australie ont utilise le dioxyde de carbone, l’hydrogène, et le découvert en décembre que les microbes (les monoxyde de carbone pour survivre. Ces résultats SOURCES

CES 2018: More pixels, power, portability, and sleep? January 17, 2018 SIMON LIU

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) one of the largest tech trade shows hosted yearly in Las Vegas. It’s a place for tech firms to unveil their new and upcoming products, and also potentially show off prototypes of concepts and demonstrate feats of strength in speed, power, efficiency, and aesthetics. This year, CES 2018 was held from January 9 - 12. The first highlight of the event comes from Samsung. As a leader in the display industry, they were potentially the first to bring an 8K resolution TV to market. Formerly the highest dominant standard was 4K resolution, however that boundary has now been pushed to 8K, which has four times the pixels of 4K and sixteen times 1080p. Although higher resolution displays are now being manufactured, there are few media that publish in raw 8K content. This is a problem that would render Samsung's TV nothing more than a bigger screen with a higher price tag. Fortunately, the developers at Samsung are harnessing the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to upscale 4K content so content consumers can take advantage of the full 33.2 megapixels their 7th generation Core i7, 8 GB of RAM, and 256 TV has to offer. They claim that their algorithms GB of solid-state storage. will improve depth and detail, as well as reduce TV’s and laptops are all fairly standard noise and rough spots. for CES. The Phillips SmartSleep, however, is In the way of portable devices, Acer re- not. This wearable device, comparable to a headfreshed their Swift 7 laptop. Acer has been band, is not intended to help you get more sleep known for manufacturing amazingly thin lap- but rather to help make the most out of your tops, and this year they have claimed the title of sleep. By emitting tones that improve slow wave world’s thinnest laptop. The Swift 7 comes in at sleep, the time where breathing and brain activity under a centimeter thick; 8.98 mm to be exact. reach a minimum, Phillips claims that your alertTypically, there are tradeoffs to be made for ness and ability to focus will be boosted, as portability such as less computing power. This shown by a number of studies. This is definitely machine does not skimp on internals, sporting a

PHOTO CREDIT: TWITTER something busy high school and college students would find useful in their daily life. These highlighted products were only a few of the notable ones featured at CES this year. The tradeshow was nothing short of impressive, and showcased everything from smart displays, to robot concepts, to therapeutic ducks. If you want to stay up-to-date with the consumer tech industry, the annual CES is definitely something to check out either in-person, or from the limitless YouTube and press coverage available online.




LITERATURE The lullaby of the Mad Insomniac

Look at all the Pain

EMMA ZHANG It’d be great if there aren't any Nightmares Standing by my bedpost Casting judgement through their imaginary Eyes No please my heart pounds as it ponders if my insanity Is a Holy sign At this ungodly hour

ADITHI VEKATESWARAN Look at all the pain that you have caused in the world. Look at him, at her, at them, look at how they cry. Look at all the tears that are falling from their eyes, as they beg and plead and pray for acceptance. Look at the separated world that you live in.

It’d be great if confrontations would conquer My fear Too bad my dear companion in my head drags me by my hair And whispers Secrets for the Mad They orchestrate obscurity Formulate my obsessions with shadows Assassinate in my sleep what once was

Can we not accept all in our ever changing world? Can we not love everyone in our united world? Can we not stop spreading hate to one colour, one race, one religion, one gender? Can we not be treated equally? Look at all the results of the hate crimes and genocides that you have started. Look at all the people who die, as you stand there.


They strip away my pain And my happiness too So nothing is left Though nothing is right The Mad Insomniac cackles Through the night that is nigh.

It’s not over.


GRACE FENG It’s written throughout our history. The beginning of time. Women were treated like tools. Like tradable possessions. They were useful one day and discarded the next. With absolutely no say, absolutely no rights and Place. The 1700s. Fur trade expanded over the North American continent and immigration boomed across Canada. But treaties were also made. The First Nations were forced off their land, living on less profitable grounds. Pushed away from their homes onto bleak soil which was barely arable. Those treaties were never enough compensation for their land. 1885 to 1923. Fifty dollars was slapped onto the heads of every Chinese immigrant. And this price kept on growing. Fifty. A hundred. And five hundred in 1903. And these immigrants were never paid as much as everyone else, even though they held the most dangerous jobs building railroads. November 1938. Glass littered city streets as the sun rose. Storefronts were broken and vandalized-- this is where the glass came from. In some places, fire still rose from buildings. And in the streets people cheered as they smashed rocks through those store windows. The 1950s. Segregation was widespread. The fronts of the buses and the movie theatres were “whites only”. Schools were split based on race. Laws were put into place to keep these places separated. And anyone who defied them would be punished. And even in 2018. A customer yelled at a grocery store worker to “go back to China”. Laws were passed in Quebec that prevent Muslim women from wearing certain types of head coverings in public. And a board was torn down-- a board which expressed the diversity and the pride in our school. It’s still not over. Discrimination still stains our history.

LINDA WANG There is no silver lining In this vast and boundless sea There is no hope in swimming For death shall save my body. Hatred fills my human heart And yet I only bleed blood But when faith is stronger though You’d think I never could I am the unblinking eye Fairness, love—fickle in me And for that I may have sinned Thus, I can no longer see.



EDITORIAL We're all guilty

January 19, 2018 KATHERINE CHOW We have allowed our society to focus on one group, one problem for so long that we have stopped looking for the other problems in our communities. Discrimination happens every day, against all types of people, not just between people of different races. Learn about other cultures, other people, learn about anything you can. We have a multitude of different clubs in our school, so why not drop into a meeting or two of a club that you normally would never look twice at? Drop into Pride VP, Tea Club, East Asian Pop Culture Club, Anime Club, and so many other clubs that exist to help students experience different things. Don't let your misconceptions and stereotypes discount a club because "it can't possibly be interesting". Discrimination starts with one sentence, one misguided opinion, one person unwilling to learn about others. Change starts with one person that makes one decision in the right direction.

In today's society, it is too easy to become so focused on one task that you tune out everything else around you. We're all guilty of it, but for most things, this has only minor repercussions. Perhaps you were so focused on finishing up an essay that you missed a phone call. This might not create major negative effects if it happens to just one person, but when an entire community becomes impervious to a problem, things spiral out of control. Discrimination and crimes of any sort are learned behaviour. One person learns that it is possible to do something bad and get away with it, so they repeat the behaviour until they are inevitably caught. It's the threat of getting caught that stops a person from commiting a crime but if there is no punishment, there will be no lesson learned and the behaviour will continue. Our society has learned that it is okay to forget about other problems and work on fixing just one. We set goals for the things we'd like to accomplish and work on one goal at a time. Not everyone can multitask, Change starts with you. but it is never good to have the entire society target only one problem and leave all others by the wayside. When Pride VP's bulletin board was vandalised and had to be taken down, the school administration reprimanded the perpetrators and warned all members of the VP community against such attacks. This was a vile act that needed to be addressed, but we forgot one thing. This wasn't the only act of discrimination that happened that month. There was the case of anti-semitism against a teacher that prompted an announcement about the need for acceptance and love for all types of people. It is not enough to apologize after the crime has taken place; you must put measures into place to prevent the crime from happening again. Pride VP's bulletin board could get a locked case that would prevent unauthorized entry and vandalism, but how can we prevent another case of anti-semitism or any type of racial discrimination for that matter? We have to understand that everyone in the world is different, and that is okay. After the Industrial Revolution, our school system was built to prepare students to enter work in factories, on assembly lines, to be the same and do the same thing day after day. Yet, in today's society, people are entering jobs that require creativity and ideas. There is no longer only one way to accomplish a task and that's why our diversity is something to be celebrated, not punished.


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week, you will just keep putting it off. If you feel that you need assistance, ask for it as soon Now that semester 1 is almost over, get as you can so you can keep up with the rest of started on planning for semester 2. We have all the class and understand all the concepts and had that tough semester where you have all your ideas. hard subjects together, and there are a few things that you can do in preparation for this. #3: Look after your health. Being stressed can Read below for my tips to make this semester have a negative impact on your health, so be sure to take care of yourself as well. Getting the best semester yet! enough sleep, exercise, and food is important #1: Actually use your planner. We all get a in order to be able to focus fully and succeed. planner at the beginning of the year, but do you If it is hard for you to fit everything into your actually use it? Dig it out from the bottom of day, map it out and set a weekly schedule for your bag, and plan how you are going to spend all of the things you want to achieve. your time, track assignments, and stay up to date with all events and due dates. Your planner will Use these tips and tricks to help you make also be a spot where you can reflect on each this semester one of productivity, proactiveness, week, transfer uncompleted tasks, and write and preparedness. Remember, you will only get reminders. results if you put the work in, so don't expect a positive outcome if you haven't put in an input.. Tori Tip: Use small boxes when writing in your planner, and then check them off as you Good luck, complete tasks. Tori Dear Stressed Slug,

Dear Tori, I am a Grade 9 student, and my goal when I came to Victoria Park was to stay on top of things and achieve good grades. However, as this semester comes to an end, I have realized that I didn't stay on top of things or achieve good grades. Instead, I fell behind and was continuously stressed and unable to do my best. I want to change for the new semester, but I'm not sure how. Please help, The Stressed Slug

#2: Know when you need help and don't be afraid to ask for it. Don't lie to yourself and wait till the last minute to go ask the teacher for help. If you think that you'll ask for help next




February 2018  
February 2018