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VOLUME

A WALK DOWN MEMORY LANE…

• ISSUE 8


JUNE 2014 •

One coin, one brick, one school at a time

April 27, 2014 ANISHA PRASAD

VP Free the Children hosted its first annual We Create Change campaign from March 24�� to 28��. The club held unique and interactive activities during the lunch periods, with each event representing one of Free the Children’s five Adopt a Village Pillars: clean water and sanitation, agriculture and food security, education, alternative income, as well as health and sanitation. Students also collected spare change, which they then donated to the “school houses”. The club’s initial goal of raising $222.00 was surpassed with flying colours, with a grand total of $661.94. The money raised during this campaign will go towards the club’s aspiration of building a $10 000 school in Kipsongol, Kenya. The average literacy rate for adults in Kipsongol is a mere 84%. This school will be a step towards raising the percentage, and will hopefully break this community’s ceaseless cycle of poverty. The new school will give the children of that community the opportunity to pursue their dreams. Brick by brick, these dreams will become reality. More information about Kipsongol, its culture, and its people is available at http://reports.freethechildren.com/communit y/kipsongol/. Get involved by attending Free the Children’s meetings which occur every other Wednesday at lunch in Room 305 from

September to May! To make a lasting impact, apply for an international volunteering trip with Free the Children, and work side by side in a community in a variety of development projects. Visit http://www.metowe.com/volunteer-travel/ to learn more. Be inspired, take action, and be the change!

INAARA RAJABALI

May 9, 2014 Throughout this year, students attending VPCI have been exposed to a variety of experiences that enriched their lives, transforming them into well-rounded individuals. We have taken part in many events and programs, big and small. Students have not only moved forward in their education, but have also captured the essence of what it means to be a Panther. Every student has experienced surprises and created memories this year that will be cherished and remembered. September: As we started off the year in 2013, many groups of friends had the opportunity to showcase their meritorious camping skills at Camp Tamakwa. Around this time of year, we also had our yearbook photos taken and students in Grade 9 were given the chance to participate in Grade 9 Day. October: At the Girls about Girls Sleepover, young ladies attending VP engaged in various activities and strove to become strong leaders over the course of one weekend. Many girls came out to support their school by volunteering as leaders and coordinators. This month also consisted of the TOL Club Fair that assisted all clubs in recruiting members and rallying support. November: Spirit Week, the Remembrance Day assembly, Talent Show, and the TOL Food Fair, all events featured this month, showed the importance of

PHOTO CREDIT: SOPHIA HU

student leadership, and spread school spirit through the halls of our school. December: December was a short school month, and it consisted of Workshop Day and the Holiday Assembly, which included a special staff choral performance. Many preferred to spend the holiday season with friends and family. Although the weather this month was rather unfavourable, warmth was still evident in the students’ hearts. February: In this month, love was spread through a romantic Semi-Formal themed “A Night in Paris”. The Sears Drama Festival also took place at this time. March: In March, students at VP participated in RAK week. The RAK-O-Meter was placed across the main office and it indicated the dominant and phenomenal performance of students in our school. The meter, raised by simple acts of kindness such as opening doors for others and offering compliments, reached its ambitious goal by the end of the week. April: During this month, the SLC elections took place. Campaign posters were put up throughout the school and speeches were performed. This year, VP’s newly elected SLC members promised to establish drastic changes in the school.

May: Prom took place in this penultimate month. The Victoria Park-Don Mills ground-breaking Saturday Night Lights allowed VP to show support for its Rugby teams. All teams played their best games. VP won in the Junior Boys and Girls divisions, while the Senior Boys played a great game. In total, the school raised over $2,700 to combat leukemia in memory of Alister Hoy, a Toronto teen who died of this disease in 2011. June: For all the seniors who have arrived at the end of their four memorable years, the work has paid off. The seniors of our school are now moving on to venture on their lifelong path of acquiring further knowledge. Whenever challenges arise, face them with confidence. Treasure the memories of the years at high school and keep the friendships that were made. We all wish our fellow graduates a successful future. As for the rest of VP, this year may have come to an end, but a fresh start next year awaits. Have a safe and pleasant summer!


JUNE 2014 •

May 9, 2014 CINDY YOU

PHOTO CREDIT: ROSY SAADEH

Father’s Day is an annual celebration to honour fathers in society, and to strengthen the bond between a father and his child or children. Over 50 countries around the world celebrate Father’s Day, and this year, Canada will celebrate Father’s day on June 15��. The celebration first originated in the United States during the early 20�� century to compliment Mother’s Day, which is celebrated in May. It

was founded by Sonora Smart Dodd at the YMCA in 1910, in Spokane, Washington, and it was decided that the holiday will take place every year on the third Sunday in June. At first, Father’s Day was not a huge success. Dodd also stopped promoting it in the 1920s while she was studying in the Art Institute of Chicago. Eventually, Father’s Day started to gain national awareness in the 1930s when Dodd returned to Spokane. People around the world participate in many activities on Father’s Day in order to show grattitude to their fathers. Such activities include making a meal for their Dad, giving him a gift, and doing extra chores around the house. Some popular gift items for Father’s Day include: homemade cards or crafts, chocolates, flowers, shirts, electronic gadgets, and tools. However, it is important to note that in different countries, Father’s Day is celebrated differently. A well known North American tradition is to wear roses in order to honour one’s father. A red rose is worn if one’s father is still alive while a white rose is worn if one’s father has passed away. In Thailand, Father’s Day is celebrated along with esteemed King Bhumibol Adulyade’s birthday. The tradition there is to wear yellow in order to celebrate both of these events. Father’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate and honour fathers for all of the sacrifices they have made for their loved ones. It is an event that crosses cultural and geographic boundaries to unite the population.

March 23, 2014

June 5, 2014

INAARA RAJABALI

FELICITY CARLSTEIN

In its third consecutive year, the gardening club is once again planting in the two garden beds near the south parking lot. Students may have noticed newly mulched rows and tiny tomato plants in the larger garden in the last few weeks. The club is also growing a variety of beans and peas, root vegetables, rhubarb and even strawberries this year. The second garden bed will be used for more experimental gardening methods, that include a living mulch of white clover and a giant pumpkin plant (the pumpkin is supposed to be giant, but not necessarily the plant). One thing that's new this year is that the studentcommunity garden has a community member gardening with them! Hopefully in the years to come, more community members will join the garden. If any students and their families here at VPCI would like a part of the garden in which to grow their own veggies, please contact the gardening club for more information. As usual, any produce grown in the garden by the students will be donated to the North York Harvest Food Bank. If any students are looking to get some volunteer hours during the summer months, the gardening club can help you there too! Just come out to the garden after school in the coming weeks, or visit the club in room 103 on Tuesdays at lunch for more information!

As the provincial Ministry of Education limits a school to 10 days of having unrestricted food within its premises, two food fairs are promised to the students for fundraising purposes each year. The most recent one was hosted by TOL on March 21��, 2014, where $2320.02 was raised to fund the student clubs. Food Fairs promote diversity and unity in the school. A positive atmosphere was generated through the social interaction and the joy of buying food. These rare events give the students opportunities to embrace the meals of different cultures. The delicious foods were breathtaking, and reminded VP of spring’s awaited arrival after a long winter. The TOL Food Fair took place without much complaint, except for points raised about how crowded the cafeteria was, especially in the first half of the lunch period. Despite recommendations from TOL to sell only the more filling foods like samosas or sandwiches, snacks such as cupcakes and sour keys also received positive reception. Some students at VP were wellprepared against the rushing crowd by purchasing their tickets in advance. As the

lunch bell rang, the excitement and curiosity propelled students to taste the goodness immediately. Soon, the cafe was replete with a sudden sense of wholeheartedness. The leaders from the VPCI SickKids Foundation noted, “Although this is the second Food Fair for our club, [we] learned from the [previous one] in order to make an exceptional accomplishment.” Grade 9 student Elain Cai categorized the Food Fair as “a huge success” by observing that most clubs managed to sell out. All in all, TOL accomplished its goal of raising money as well as school spirit. PHOTO CREDIT: SINDI PINARI


JUNE 2014 •

A sad goodbye to VP's drama teacher May 5, 2014 DESI STOIANOVA

This past school year has been our beloved drama teacher Ms. Jennifer Burak's final year of teaching! Whether you have been taught by, or have seen Ms. Burak in the hall, her strong presence and bright smile are hard to miss. Read on to find out more about Ms. Burak's teaching career, as well as her experience this final year! Desi Stoianova: “What were some of your most memorable moments as a teacher?” Ms. Burak: “Well, I've had many memorable moments over the years. When I first started teaching, I worked at a high school where there was a shooting, and I worked with the students afterwards to heal. We created a film, an anti-gun, anti-violence film, and we took it all the way to the justice minister in Ottawa. The students that I took had never travelled anywhere. We were on the news, we got to tour Ottawa, and that was amazing. Other things I've done, I took kids to Sears Ontario Drama Festival and we won lots of awards. I'm really proud that some of my ex-students got their start in their theater careers through some of the things I've done with the students. I think I've taken and provided kids with opportunities to connect with the arts through my career, so that has been really fantastic.” DS: “What are some of your future plans?” MB: “I have quite a few future plans actually! I'm on the educational advisory committee for the Canadian Stage Theater Company, so I'll continue with that. Also, one of my ex-students has started a theater company and I'm on the board for that, so I'll be helping Shakespeare in the Ruff with their shows. I'm planning on doing a lot of workshops and arts education activities. I'm going to be working more on an organizational role with the Sears Ontario Drama Festival. I also like music, I play the flute, and I used to play the violin. I haven't picked it up for a long time so I'm really hoping to connect with my own art and have time to do Pilates and Yoga in the morning! I'd like to do some traveling. I'm a very busy person

so I'll still be very busy. I'm not really calling it retiring, more, reinventing my life. I'm going to be very busy reinventing, reimagining, and recreating with the time that I have left in my life.” DS: “What has been unexpectedly rewarding in your last year?” MB: “It's been very rewarding in this last year to have such a wonderful response to my final arts week. It's been really rewarding to see the students' work, to see the new NAC native studies course up and running, just the accomplishments of the students are continually rewarding. I like to feel that I'm going out with a bit of a bang than just kind of fizzling out! So that has been fun!” After 30 years of teaching experience, Ms. Burak surely wanted to leave Victoria Park with a few final words. MB: “I think the main thing I want to leave students with is that idea of how important being creative is. It applies to people who are aspiring to any field. Connect with the artist within, and with your own creative energy. Think outside the box, and arts education is very valuable. I feel over the years, I've really helped students develop their confidence, develop their understanding of commitment to other people through working together and through the arts. Creative thinkers are what our society needs. I'd like to say thank you to the wonderful students at Victoria Park and the staff for supporting the arts and for just being so incredibly generous as well as funny, witty, and challenging at times. Just a thank you to the students!” Ms. Burak has been a special, dedicated, and loved member of our school environment for a long time. It is sad to see her go but we wish her good luck in this exciting, new chapter of her life. Thank you Ms. Burak, you will always remain an important figure in our school and in our lives!

A look into VP's extra-curriculars for the year 2014-2015 April 30, 2014 ZAMIR FAKIRANI

Among the new student council members is Isabelle Wei, the new TOL Chair. “I've always been heavily involved around the school, and I wanted to continue the work that I was doing in the TOL,” says Isabelle. She believes that “the diversity and quantity of our clubs is amazing!” currently involved with “Free the Children and DECA” herself. Her plans for Food Fairs are “to change the layout, improve promotion of the event, provide clubs access to appliances, and maybe play some music.” Her plans for next year include “coordinating activities between clubs, [so that] we can make sure that each club receives the attention that it deserves.” Isabelle says she will strive to be “organized, efficient, and productive.”

May 1, 2014 ZAMIR FAKIRANI

Among new changes to VP come the new SLC members, including the new Grade 10 Representative Zain Khan. Zain believes “next year will definitely be a lot of fun.” Atop his work, “some of [his] hobbies include sports such as skateboarding, basketball and soccer.” Taking into consideration our interest, Zain will “try to push for more events that the student body desires.” In concerns to his campaign, Zain “verbally campaigned very little, so I believe that it was the speech that greatly contributed to my victory.” He also wanted to thank “ t h e student body, since every vote counts.”

April 27, 2014 ZAMIR FAKIRANI

Angela Du, our previous Grade 10 Rep, is our future Social Convenor! Angela Du says “It felt like a thousand tons had been lifted off my shoulders,” when asked how she felt about being elected Social Convenor. “I just felt really lucky and honoured to be elected." Her goals to "promote our events in different ways” include new ideas for Semi-formal. Like so many students here at VPCI, she feels “one challenge” she will encounter “may be balancing school work, PHOTO CREDIT: DARREN SO SLC and other extracurriculars; however [she is] prepared to take [on] that challenge.” After all, as Angela believes, “at the end of the day, we do things to keep ourselves happy. If you aren't happy, what's the point? If everyone had a little more happiness in their life, I think the world would be a greater place.”


JUNE 2014 •

May 2, 2014 NADEYA ALLI

As you know, the 2014-2015 SLC elections were recently held. Many new members were elected and our victorious president was none other than Mr. Alexander McCarthy! Want to know more about his platform and ideas for our school? Well, read on! Nadeya Alli: “What do you plan on doing next year to benefit Victoria Park as our President?” Alexander McCarthy: “As president I’ll implement my platform to the best of my abilities. As said during my speech, I want more joined council events. [I want] events to be more memorable by giving more power to different councils, increase transparency in the council [and wish to] improve Student Voices by having bi-monthly student forum meetings, bi-monthly surveys, and try to get students more involved in the SLC so they feel more included in the decision making process. Finally, I want to break the barriers between the academic [divisions]. I know it will be hard, but that’s primarily my goal.” NA: “How do you plan on breaking the academic barriers to eliminate classism?” AM: “I want to see what makes events like Semi so successful in breaking these barriers. I’ll try to incorporate themes from semi-formal like dances, and other events to make [newer events] more attractive to different students. Leadership Retreat for example, is leadership focused, and appeals to students who love being leaders, so perhaps I should try to incorporate other themes to make it successful for other students as well.” NA: “Are there any new events that you plan on implementing in the school?” AM: “My [primary] focus is more on systems. [I plan on] making old events better, implementing more RAK weeks, and another equity week. I plan on working with everyone in the council to improve Semi, the talent show, and Student Voices [and events under this category].” NA: “Is there a set method with which you plan on improving Student Voices?”

AM: “This was the first year that we implemented [the program], and I helped guide the process of its creation. I feel we could increase the publicity of Student Voices by giving them their own events throughout the year and making them more [recognized] in the school.” NA: “You mentioned student forum meetings, can you elaborate on this idea?” AM: “Essentially, the SLC would chair a meeting in an open area. Students would be able to walk in, see what is on the agenda, voice their opinions on topics and give their own ideas on school events. The idea is that students will be more involved in the decision-making process, and contribute to the PHOTO CREDIT: DARREN SO events that affect them.” You heard it here first! Alexander wants to improve our school by demolishing the barriers separating all academic labels to promote one open, collaborative and unified school! Don't hesitate to approach him and voice your ideas. I guarantee it’s a conversation worth starting.

May 2, 2014

Let's meet the new VPAC Co-Presidents! May 13, 2014 JAYSON SUBASKARAN

The new VPAC Co-Presidents for the 2014-2015 school year are Jon Babi and Joy Yan. Jon is “Co-Director of Intramurals” and has “played for our swimming and water polo teams.” Joy is “co-director of a committee on VPAC.” “I had a passion for both serving the student body, and improving the Athletic Council,” says Jon. Joy says that her “friends and family encouraged [her] to take a step forward” and that she is “really grateful to PHOTO CREDIT: MANAN KHANNA be a part of SLC.” They both believe that “there is a wide range of sports or athletic activities” as well as a “diversity of the sports” at Vic Park. Many students’ needs go unheard, but Jon wants “to take direct action to encourage participation by these groups.” Joy would like to “offer opportunities to both athletes and nonathletes.”

KEERTHANA ALOYSIUS

Meet Mei Li, a Grade 11 IB student who has recently become VP’s newest Secretary-Treasurer for SLC. She believes her “organization skills are fantastic, which would help [her] keep track of the financial flow and the planning arrangements of certain events.” For the coming school year, she plans “on updating the budget report more frequently.” Mei, together with being on the SLC previously, has “volunteered for multiple organizations such as the Youth Advisory Group (YAG) for the Toronto Public Library.” She also manages her time to “enjoy swimming and playing sports such as rugby and volleyball.”

May 13, 2014 ZAMIR FAKIRANI

Among the bunch of qualified individuals elected on to the SLC was Billy Liu, the new Grade 11 Representative! Billy was touched when “the majority of Grade 10 students put their trust in [him] to represent their voices.” For next year, he looks to implement “Grade 11 dedicated events, such as Grade 11 Day.” Billy was motivated by “many… students and staff” to run for SLC. He believes that Grade 11s are under a lot of pressure in concerns to their future, and will “encourage students to attend career related workshops to help them make the right decisions.”


JUNE 2014 •

May 2, 2014 REBECCA GNANARANJAN

Meet Manan Khanna, an active Grade 11 student ready to take on the Model United Nation conferences throughout the year, my favourite challenge of being the Vice-President at VP! Here is an insight into Manna committee would probably be the United Nations Human Rights Council.” With all the events planned it seems he is ready for being next year VP Khanna’s thoughts and his journey to becoming next year’s vice president! and it will be a great year for students at VP! RG: “Why did you run for the position?” MK: “Having been previously elected, I was able to work alongside PHOTO CREDIT: DARREN SO people from each position in the council, thus allowing me to observe the position most suitable for me. Having worked with Alex extensively throughout the last year, I came to the conclusion that Vice-President would be the ideal position for me. Having attended almost every event in my last three years here at Victoria Park, I have also gained sufficient knowledge that could help me run events in the next school year.” RG: “Please elaborate on your experience campaigning.” MK: “Campaigning this year was truly an incredible experience; I had the chance to meet so many new people from not only my grade, but other grades too. I can say without a doubt that this year’s campaigning period was quite competitive and tough, with each candidate putting their best foot forward. The highlight of this year’s elections for me was collaborating with Alex and running a joint campaign.” RG: “What are you plans as the new VP?” MK: “I plan on making the SLC more transparent and increasing the approachability of the council as a whole. This can be achieved by having open council meetings that any member of the student body can attend at the end of each month. Additionally, I am going to work with the new treasurer to release a monthly budget report at each of these meetings. Secondly, I plan on running a leadership retreat that is inclusive for all the academic streams in our school, as this has been a problem in the past.” RG: “What are your favorite hobbies and past-times?” MK: “Biking and canoeing are two things that I am passionate about and been doing since a young age. I also enjoy attending

Christina Liu, VPCI's Arts Rep, talks experience, triumph and plans. April 30, 2014 NAPAS THEIN

PHOTO CREDIT: DARREN SO

Christina Liu has recently won the position of Arts Representative in VP’s General Elections 2014. This was her first SLC elections win. Here, Christina opens up about her ideas and experiences. Christina is part of the Strings Ensemble, who’ve “performed in two music nights, OSA competition and have qualified for Music Fest Nationals.” Christina has run for SLC before, displaying how “persistence and hard work can pay off and how failures and setbacks actually aid our growth.” She has started creating “an Arts Webpage,” “an interactive site for students to engage in VP talent (videos, images, prose etc.), [stay] updated on upcoming events (effectively promoting all strands of the arts), showcase arts events in the community and allow feedback/sign ups.”

A look into the future for to-be twelfth graders, plans for Grade 12 Day, and more! May 13, 2014 ZAMIR FAKIRANI

Kumaran Subendran is a passionate and enthusiastic future Grade 12 representative on the Student Leadership Council! He hopes to ensure “a successful year based upon academics and unity among students.” Just like any other senior, Kumaran wanted a great PHOTO CREDIT: JUSTIN HUI final year and decided that acting “as a liaison between the student council and [his] fellow peers would be the perfect way to make sure that our collective ideas can be made possible.” Looking towards establishing a Grade 12 Day, he believes it “would be a great way for students to get a day of appreciation.” Events could include “some sport competitions where prizes could be won.”


JUNE 2014 •

May 4, 2014 JON BABI

Turn Blue marks, in a way, a return to the old and an adventure into the new for the Black Keys. The Ohio band returns once more and turns up the volume, and they do it with a sound that hasn’t been heard since 2004’s Rubber Factory, an album beloved by many. Turn Blue opens with seven minutes of slow burn and eccentric fury. The first track, Weight of Love, is the sort of uproar most bands would save for a big finish, but The Black Keys start off strong with Carney's unhurried John Bonham-like rolls. On the track, we once again hear the clattering loud cymbals and sounds that are classic Black Keys, a sound lost to more rhythm and blues and the soft blues orientation of Brothers. The return of Led Zeppelin-infused drumming and guitar comes with an unofficial new addition to the band—long time Black Keys producer Brian Burton is practically a bandmate here, playing keyboard and co-writing all 11 songs (and coproducing all but two). He is also an expert

magnifier and coloring agent, the likely hand behind the croaking electronics in Turn Blue and the fattened “thwack” in Year in Review. But the Black Keys are still a two-man band, and the Carney-Auerbach connection is stronger than ever. The risks the band takes in this album are unparalleled, with the organs and the funk-like bass line in 10 Lovers. A serious bass-line is laid down over tight drums as well as a Hammond organ led melody line. Evidently he’s still a touch worried about the object of his affections: “If I find another love, they must be forever true,” he sings before a breakdown perfectly primed for a live performance and a stadium-sized clap along. “She’s alright, but you’re all wrong,” he adds, obviously feeling some severe man-pain, as the tune

skips from major to minor and back again. With intros sounding like Pink Floyd, drumrolls sounding like Zeppelin, and Dan Auerbach’s vocal range seriously improving, The Black Keys are doing great. PHOTO CREDIT: DANGER MOUSE AND THE BLACK KEYS

April 30, 2014 ANISHA PRASAD

The annual Spring Music Night was a panoply of classical pieces, all of which showcased the talents of Victoria Park’s Strings and Wind Ensembles, as well as the Jazz and Symphonic Bands. Ms. Chang worked with all 150 music students diligently for seven months, rehearsing long, hard hours in order to perfect their performances for this celebratory night of music. The Music Council played an integral role in the success of the Spring Music Night. They were responsible for planning, organizing,

and executing the event. Ushers, sellers, backstage details, sound and lighting were managed by Music Council members as well. The funds raised from this event will go towards the Music Council, and they will be spent on new equipment and future events, such as the Arts Banquet. Ms. Chang, very impressed and proud of her students, said: “The performances were terrific. Over 40 hours of rehearsal for each ensemble were well-represented.”

PHOTO CREDIT: MINSOR HUANG

May 10, 2014 JON BABI

We caught up with the SLC Arts Representative Janet Chen to look back at this year in VP Arts. Jon Babi: Sum up this year’s Arts Council in one phrase. Janet Chen: “A diverse group of students motivated to promote and enhance arts (music, visual and performing) at VP.” JB: What aspect of the arts department at VP has seen the most change in your eyes? JC: “Definitely leadership and student involvement in extracurriculars. The music department has grown tremendously. Several different groups have had great achievements, such as the Improv Team, Dare 2 Dance, and the Strings Ensemble.” JB: What do you hope to see in future years as the arts council progresses? JC: “Increased student initiative in the arts, greater reputation for Arts Council and Arts program at VP, and a greater variety of arts extra-curriculars.” JB: What do you feel the greatest difficulties were for SLC? For Arts Council? JC: “Joining the several councils at VP and making them more cohesive and united. Equal representation for all students of VP at SLC events and trying to bridge the gap between IB and mainstream students. For Arts Council, as it was the first year, trying to make ourselves known and organizing several new events such as various cookie and singing grams, a Coffee House, and Arts Banquet were the greatest challenges.” JB: Any goals for next year? JC: “Apart from those listed above, promote the arts within the community and at feeder schools.” JB: What is your favourite album right now? JC: “Jack Johnson’s In Between Dreams!”


JUNE 2014 •

May 11, 2014 MISHAL DAR

Another year, another dozen movie adaptations of popular novels. You wonder sometimes if Hollywood is having trouble coming up with new ideas. Despite the large number of movies based on novels that are highly acclaimed, not as many find the success that one would expect. In fact, the only such movies worth mentioning would have to be legends such as the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Harry Potter series, The Godfather, or the Jurassic Park series. Unfortunately, next to these there are a large number of movie adaptation fails. Let’s take the time to remember some of these fabulous flops. The one that tops the list is the movie based on the popular fantasy novel Eragon by Christopher Paolini, released in 2006. Not only did the

PHOTO CREDIT: CHRIS COLUMBUS

movie get terrible reviews but it also enraged the loyal fan base, the entirety of which was a step away from grabbing their pitch forks and storming the director’s house. More than half the characters had been omitted from the movie, and the plot of the book had been completely altered. Another major flop that had Rick Riordan fans tearing out their hair was Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief released in 2010. Though not as utterly demolished as Eragon, the movie missed a number of important scenes from the book, the removal of which was in no way beneficial to the movie. Overall, the movie had great potential had it not decided to ditch Rick Riordan’s perfectly thought out plotline. The Host, released last year and based on the book of the same name by Stephenie Meyer, initially attracted a large crowd, until people began to realize exactly how cheesy it was. At times, I found myself secretly hoping that the director was purposely poking fun at the plot, but then again, there is a limit to making fun of yourself. Don’t let these failures discourage you from watching more book-to-movie adaptations. A few to look forward to in the upcoming year would be James Dashner’s The Maze Runner set to come out on September 19, Nicolas Spark’s The Best of Me set to come out on October 17, Suzanne Collins’ Mockingjay coming out on November 21, and the third installment in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy. The Battle of the Five Armies will be released on December 17, 2014.

May 4, 2014 GRACE LEE

Once upon a time, we went to bed at 9:30, woke at 7:30, and could boast at least ten hours of quality sleep a night. But boast we didn't, because not a single one of us had any idea how privileged we were. In fact, some of us thought staying up late was cool, using many-a-clever tactic to evade the usual bedtime at all costs. Bless our naïve little souls. Nowadays, for teenagers trying to balance hectic timetables, 14 hours is simply not enough. In fact, the large majority obtains a lot more close to six or seven hours of sleep per night. Throw in exams, factor in insomnia, and the number can be expected to halve. Why is it that we never seem to be getting any sleep? Where has all the time gone? What are some good recipes for cheesecake? I can't help you with the last one, but I'll take a stab at the other two. The biggest change high school brings is an increased workload. Each teacher of the four classes assigns homework individually. This can be problematic: your French teacher may not be aware of your three other tests on Monday when she gives the class a fourth. While incredibly frustrating, there isn't much that students can do. After all, what teacher would reorganize their lesson plans to alleviate the "suffering" of students who are clearly just whining and lazy? Students' second largest commitment is their social life. With the new potential to earn a minimum wage, large portions of time are devoted to the drudgery of mediocre jobs and spending meager disposable incomes with friends. This category also includes extra-curricular pursuits, like sports teams, humanitarian organizations, and intensive tutoring regimens. As every dedicated keener knows,

extracurriculars look good on applications and résumés. Therefore, one must cram as many as possible into the schedule. Not a lot of time is left over for family. Escaping from an effective combined guilt trip, however, (especially involving younger siblings) with one's heart intact is nearly impossible. Thus, many spontaneous outings backed by the oft-used "you never spend any time with us anymore" end up cutting into whatever remnants of precious would-be sleep that one may have had. All in all, we've got some pretty legitimate excuses for falling asleep in class. To all the medical research and studies out there that claim we should be getting eight-and-a-half to nine hours of sleep each night? I say, "It just ain't happening." PHOTO CREDIT: CHRIS CHATZOGLOU


JUNE 2014 •

May 10, 2014

Activities to enjoy during the summer The days are getting longer and the weather warmer as long-sleeved shirts turn into t-shirts. That’s right, school is almost out and summer vacation is fast approaching. But don't waste this combination of both free time and wonderful weather just staying indoors all day, watching TV or browsing social media. For a kick-start on some ideas, here are 13 activities to enjoy in and around Toronto during your summer break. 1. Get outside and be active. Go to the park, take a walk, or go play some sports! The beach is perfect for volleyball, and certain beaches like Woodbine Beach or Bluffer's Park Beach are also excellent, safe areas for swimming. If venturing down to the lake sounds too tedious, opt for taking a jog around the park and enjoy the scenery. Summer is the best time to enjoy the outdoors and to stay active and healthy, especially up here in the Great White North. 2. Volunteer. If you have not completed your 40 community service hours or would like to get more, there are plenty of opportunities to get them! Apply to help at a summer camp or help out at the library, teaching kids to read. More opportunities can be found on www.volunteertoronto.ca. Hours or not, volunteering and giving back to the community can prove to be a fulfilling experience. 3. Hang with friends. Having some company can make any activity more fun, and with more people, the possibilities of activities multiply! Some examples of activities include: bike-riding, shopping, and watching a movie. Speaking of movies, there are some great movies coming out this summer such as The Fault in our Stars, The Amazing Spiderman 2, Godzilla, Oculus and Transcendence. Be sure to check them out! 4. Watch a movie at the theatre. Many exciting new movies debut in the summer, so grab a friend and watch one! A few releases to keep an eye out for this season are The Fault in Our Stars, How to Train Your Dragon 2, and The Giver. Don't forget that tickets are half-price on Tuesdays! 5. Visit the Toronto Zoo. This is a great way to spend time outdoors, while reliving childhood field trips to the zoo. Go see the giraffes, lions,

BRITTANY LAU

and even panda bears! The pandas will be in Toronto for only 5 years and just arrived last year. This is a great way to learn more about your favourite animals! 6. Visit the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) or the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). The AGO currently features works drawing on experiences of the iconic Francis Bacon and Henry Moore during times of conflict and violence in an exhibition entitled Terror and Beauty, which runs until July 20��. On the other hand, if you like ancient Chinese history, check out the Forbidden City exhibition at the ROM. 7. Catch up on your reading. If you have a pile of books sitting on your desk waiting to be read, summer is the perfect time to do it. Take a book outside to the park or to your backyard and just relax. Go to the library or to a bookstore to find more books to read! 8. Give Ribfest a try between June 27 and July 1 at Centennial Park. There are plenty of ribs to choose from and savour. Besides eating, the event also includes painting, music and fireworks to enjoy. All the money raised goes to humanitarian organizations! 9. Visit the CN Tower in downtown Toronto. If you've never been to this iconic tourist attraction, head up the tower to see an amazing view of Toronto from above. After visiting the CN Tower, you can head over to Ripley's Aquarium of Canada to interact with stingrays and sharks. 10. Go on a shopping spree in Downtown Toronto. Downtown is home to many shopping malls and it’s

great to explore these malls with friends and family. In addition, there are a variety of summer deals, which can allow you to buy the latest fashions at lower prices! 11. Find a summer job. Finding a part-time job lets you make some extra cash while learning new skills and collecting experience for your résumé. Jobs are lots of fun if you really enjoy what you are doing and they can be more of an activity than a chore if you have a positive attitude. Try sending in an application for the position of a clerk at your favourite store, a babysitter, or an amusement park worker. 12. End your summer by going to the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE). Top off a summernot-gone-to-waste with rides such as the zip line or the air show. Visit the food stands and try the unique dishes available exclusively at the CNE. 13. Enjoy lots of cold drinks and ice cream. Summer is the perfect time to indulge and many restaurants sell for a low price, too. McDonald's has $1 drinks and some great soft serve ice cream. For some retro soft serve ice cream, visit Tom's Dairy Freeze. Those are some tips that will help you boost your summer break experience. Don’t forget to have fun and be safe over the summer break! PHOTO CREDIT: BRIAN ASHTON

June 7, 2014 KEVIN CHEN

Ever since the government of Ontario mandated that all students must complete at least 40 hours of community service in order to receive their Ontario Secondary School Diploma, people have had mixed opinions about it. Some only see it as a boring requirement that takes time away from one’s schoolwork or social life. Nevertheless, these people fail to see the benefits that come with giving back to your community. Students should strive to do more than the mandatory 40 hours of service, even if it’s not required. Our society benefits from volunteer work. So many community services such as summer camps, library services, and local fairs would not be possible without volunteers. Not only does it help the community, but it also benefits the individual. Volunteering can help to sharpen important

skills such as good communication, time management, and organization skills. There is a paradox that experience is needed to get a job. Volunteering is the solution to this problem, through which volunteers can gain valuable experience that looks great on résumés. For example, students interested in pursuing a career in the medical field should volunteer at a hospital or clinic in order to learn about providing care. Many volunteers even begin working where they had previously volunteered after gaining hands-on experience and getting to know the staff. Over the summer, it’s important to take advantage of the extra time. Instead of thinking that volunteering is forced upon us, we should consider it as a chance to try something new. Volunteering can be fun and rewarding, so why stop at 40?


JUNE 2014 •

May 17, 2014 KEVIN CHEN

April 15, 2014 ALISSA ZHANG & ANGEL HUANG

On April 14, 4 teams from the VPCI Badminton Team competed at the City Final. The Boys A Singles, Girls A Doubles, Girls A Singles, and Mixed A Doubles represented Victoria Park well and came home very successful from the Regional Tournament. The Regional Tournament this year was a 2 day tournament at York Mills CI. The Boys A Singles had a first place finish, while the Girls A Doubles and Girls A Singles placed second, and the Mixed A Doubles placed third overall. The VP Badminton team earned a welldeserved silver placing while the girls also got a silver placing overall in their events. The top four teams in each category qualified, resulting in all of the VP squads moving onto cities. The first part of the city final took place at Albert Campbell CI where 4 teams qualified from each region. The day started with warmups at a bright and early 8 am. The teams were pumped and ready to get their game on. The games started at 9:30 am and the teams had a tiring day, playing over 24 matches. The whole team moved on with standings unsure as there is another half of the City Final to go. As the team advances onto the second day of cities, taking place April 17, we wish them good luck as they smash their way into the champions!

The Ontario High School Archery Invitational Tournament took place at the Richard Green Sports Center from May 14�� to 15��. Over the course of two days, three teams from Victoria Park (Boys Standard, Girls Standard, and Boys Olympic) participated in the competition against students from schools across Ontario. In this competition, each archer gets to shoot 60 arrows, and the maximum score for each arrow is 10 points. Thus, the maximum obtainable score is 600 points. Archers shoot from a line 18 meters away from the butt (target). The scores for each archer individually, and the scores of all archers in one team, are calculated. Medals are awarded to the top six ranked individual archers in each division (e.g. Boys Olympic, Girls Standard) as well as to the top three ranked teams in each division. The divisions that VP did not compete in were the Compound Limited divisions (Boys and Girls) and the Compound Unlimited divisions (Boys and Girls). Each division is determined by the archer’s gender and the bow with which he or she is

shooting. The standard bows are the most basic type at the competition, while the compound bows are much more sophisticated with pulley systems, better sights, and even additional parts that improve balance. All of VP’s archers went into the competition with one goal in mind – either to win a medal or beat a personal best score. In the end, the Girls Standard team was only 20 points away from the bronze medal. Congratulations to Jefferson Xie from the Boys Olympic team who had the highest score from a participant using school equipment. For his amazing results, he was awarded a brand new Olympic bow as a prize. PHOTO CREDIT: ONTARIO CENTRE FOR CLASSICAL SPORT

May 25, 2014 ALISSA ZHANG

That’s right! The VP Girls Varsity Rugby team has finished their undefeated season with a tight game against Newtonbrook. Although the girls lost, they played their best game of rugby ever and finished their winning streak with a 2ⁿ� place finish in the Regional Finals. VP lost the game against Newtonbrook with a tight score of 15-30. However, the girls played their heart out and left all the blood, sweat and tears on the field and finished with no regrets. In that single game, the girls managed to bond as a team and work together to fight for each meter,

PHOTO CREDIT: DANIEL MARJERRISON

each step. With some of the regular starters out because of injuries, many rookies and veterans stepped up their game to make Newtonbrook fight for every point. That game was certainly one of the toughest fights on the field. Victoria Park has gone from a rookie team with little experience to a strong and cohesive rugby team with only 4 years under the rugby program. This season, the girls were on their A game; they played well as a team and certainly made everyone on and off the team proud. This is the first year that the Girls Varsity team has played in the Tier 1 division. Last year, having played in the Tier 2 division, they captured the gold medal and the title of Regional Champions for the 2013 year. This year, they really came together and with the help of the Toronto Inner City Rugby Foundation (TIRF), the community coaches, Mr. Larratt-Smith, Mr. Karam, the dedicated managers and the entire school that stood behind the girls, they made everyone proud. In just 4 years, VP’s rugby program has developed and helped to nurture young talent that continues to shine on the field. In the first year of playing Tier 1, VP’s girls managed to beat some of the most seasoned schools with long histories of rugby programs. As VP continues to develop their rugby program, we wish all the rugby teams luck in the future games and seasons. All the teams make us proud to call ourselves students of Victoria Park and to wear the scarlet and gold crest.


JUNE 2014 •

May 12, 2014 KEVIN CHEN

PHOTO CREDIT: SARAH TORRIE

On May 8��, 25 students from Victoria Park competed in the Science Olympics at the University of Guelph. The team started out bright and early, arriving at school at 6:30 am and arriving at the university an hour later. After reaching Guelph, the team donned their bright yellow Science Olympics T-shirts and set up “home-base” in the auditorium. Some students started preparing for their events while others decided to explore the university campus. The competition was tough. In total, hundreds of students from schools across Ontario participated in this event. Some teams drove for four hours in order to reach Guelph. The Junior (Grade 10) and Senior (Grade 11 and 12) Teams competed in a wide variety of competitions. These dealt with topics from mathematics and from the different branches of science including physics, chemistry, biology, computer science, and earth and space science. Some

topics were related to the school curriculum while others were in completely uncharted territory. Each event required a different set of skills and team members had to work together in order to solve the challenge or task that had been given to them. “Participating at Guelph was truly enjoyable and I had a great time together with my team,” said Naushin Chowdhury, a student who competed in the Science Olympics. “I learned a great deal from the different events that we took part in and the experience was unforgettable!” In the event, “Who wants to be an Anatomist?” teams had to race against the clock and assemble a section of the human skeleton. After the event, students had the opportunity to examine real human organs, and ask questions about diseases and illnesses. Teams competing in the “Gliding to Gold” event built glider airplanes with limited materials. These airplanes were later launched from the top of the staircase into the Atrium of the Science Complex. Students were tested in their knowledge of marine biology, botany, human anatomy, and scientific graphs in the “Bioblast” event. Part of the event involved interacting with live marine animals such as starfish and sea cucumbers. These were just some of the amazing events at the Science Olympics. All of them were eye-opening experiences that were fun and informative as well. At the end of the day, all teams congregated in the auditorium for the awards and closing ceremony. All of VP’s students waited anxiously, hoping that their school’s name would be called. “Guelph was like a sinusoidal wave. It had its ups and downs but in the end we ended strong,” said Maraam Haque, a student who competed in the Science Olympics. This year, VP achieved a lot of success at the Guelph Science Olympics. Overall, the Senior and Junior Teams won nine medals. They even placed first in several events including “Biodiversity”, “The Great Pirate Race”, “Learning Commons Triathlon”, and “Who wants to be an anatomist?” Special thanks goes to Ms. Torrie as without her none of this would have been possible. If it weren’t for all the hard work that she put into organizing and supervising, VP would not have been able to compete.

May 18, 2014 RAHUL GUPTA, a proud leader of Team 4914

After the Rookie All Star Award at the Greater Toronto Regional West and Winners at the North Bay Regional, FRC Team 4914 had twice earned the opportunity to attend the FIRST Championships in St. Louis, Missouri. This was really an opportunity as out of more than 5000 FRC teams world-wide, only 400 earned the chance to attend the culmination of the FIRST Robotics Season for 2014. The competition, was very tough, and our school team had great determination to succeed, which lead to excellent results. Although we weren’t exactly expecting to win in the championships because we are only a rookie team, we gave it our best anyway and showed to the world the value of a team like ours. Woodie Flowers, a founder of the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), spoke during the opening ceremonies. He said that there is a difference between education and training. Training is learning to speak a language or learning what calculus is, but education is learning to communicate effectively or learning how to apply your knowledge in calculus. If in school you are being trained and not educated, he told us, don't be afraid to raise your voice. That is why FIRST is a true educational experience. The 400 teams at the event were split up into 4 distinct divisions: Archimedes, Curie, Galileo, and Newton. The event itself was a 4-day long battle, in which we had 10 qualification matches in order to qualify for the finals in each division. After the finals, the matches boiled down to the Einstein field, where the winning alliance was determined. The FIRST Finale was really the highlight of the competition for most people: the carnival, dance party, and glow lounge were amazing. The whole experience was inspirational, educational, and most of all fun.

The competition was supported by many successful individuals in the fields of science and technology. Dean Kamen, the founder of FIRST, is himself a hero in modern day science along with Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. He is the inventor of the Segway and owns a successful company, DEKA Research & Science Corporation, which delves deeper into the essence of science. In an effort to reach out to industries other than science and technology, FIRST has also attracted celebrities like will.i.am, who proudly presented us with a FIRST version of Hall of Fame. PHOTO CREDIT: ERIC LIU


JUNE 2014 •

SOPHIA TAO

My childhood friend Jess had this crazy fascination with butterflies. She said it was because they came from caterpillars. She was terrified of caterpillars. “You take a gross little thing,” she said, making the appropriate facial expression to go along with her description, “and then it becomes a magical something, of great significance.” We used to go butterfly catching, Jess and I. Jess spent all her after-school hours weaving traps together with those stretchy bracelet bands. We lived close to a park where all the butterflies liked to go, which was perfect. Around the wild daisy patch it went one day, and on another day alfalfas to catch Swallowtails, and on another it would be goldenrod for Painted Ladies. We’d sit on the swings, legs dangling, simultaneously chatting excitedly and waiting anxiously for an unsuspecting butterfly to tangle itself up in the net. And then, sometimes, we’d go over to her place and she’d show me her large collection of butterfly wings. In an antiquelooking wooden box, she had a very large collection of wings, little ones and large ones, blues ones and yellow ones, all paper-thin.

I waited her to elaborate, but she didn’t. She was right about the no light part, but I wanted to disagree with her about the colour. I asked her if she was here to show me her collection. I gestured towards the box. “Yes, I suppose.” Jess wiped away a tear. She opened the hinge lid and I peered inside. Butterfly wings. But they didn’t have the same delicate grace they had years ago. There was no beauty anymore in the pigment-less wings. Just fragility. They were faded, broken, and if I held one of them, I thought it would probably disintegrate in my fingers. I told her not to be upset. This happened to anything after a long time has passed. I told her she just needed to catch new That’s the reason why I was surprised to butterflies. Jess started sobbing again. “I hate discover her at my doorstep that one summer evening. I opened the door. There Jess was. She butterflies,” she said. She ran away to the park, and by the time I caught up to her, I saw her had been crying. I could tell, because her eyes were the same shade as grapefruit flesh. In her pawing at the ground. “I think this is where I buried the bodies,” she said. hand was a little wooden box. I didn’t think the bodies were still there. I asked her how she had been. I mean, wouldn’t they have decomposed or “Not that good,” Jess admitted. A something? I didn’t say anything, just watched pause. “I feel like I’m in an ocean, you know? Jess bury her faded butterfly wings. I’m swimming, and I’m treading, but I want to go down deeper. But I can’t because I’m scared. It’s so dark down there. No light. No colour.” The first time I saw it, I asked her what happened to the body of the insects. “I don’t know,” Jess said. “I bury them. I don’t really like the body so much. Just the wings.” I told her that what she was doing was mean. “Aw, come on Sophia” Jess shrugged. “Just enjoy them and don’t think twice.” And so I did. We continued our little sport until high school came. That was when Jess went off to an arts school, and we lost contact. She moved houses too, which didn’t help. I supposed she was very busy with her new circle of friends and her colourful life.

AAMNA MALIK

Le prix de la poésie est la même que la pose de votre âme à nu. Vous mettez votre cœur sur la ligne Chaque fois que vos mots prennent comme des oiseaux dans l'air. Vous êtes nu comme vous vous déshabillez vos défenses Derrière des métaphores, des phrases et des rimes. Vous vivez la vie comme un livre ouvert Où n'importe qui peut regarder, Il y a souvent un coût, souvent une amende. Tout le temps passé à la recherche de l'âme, l'analyse Fantasmer et rêver, Seulement pour les autres de tordre vos mots Et déformer le sens. Poèmes sont des instantanés de ce qui vit dans votre esprit Et peut-être des rappels de temps qu'il vaut mieux laisser derrière. Le prix de la poésie, pour moi, Ne sera jamais aussi pas cher comme un déguisement. Car pour moi le prix est la lumière au bout du ma tunnel. La lumière de ma vérité qui révèle mes mensonges. Le bon, le mauvais, le laid, tout de moi! Le prix de la poésie est le don de la vérité Qui me libère.

VAISHNAVAN SRI

A bright yellow sun emerges in the new wake of dawn In a distant field, the submerging sun shadows a free fawn Emotionless yet lovingly, a pit bull nurtures its feline friend Enemies at birth, two hearts learn to protect until the end Two lovers part as a quake shatters the earth Never have two genuine beings been seen at birth Blossoming tulips appear through the dry cracks Rarely has a couple ever beat the norm by hacks They loved and lived only for love He carried her like a messenger dove

GHAZAL FARKHARI

Shooting stars are not stars at all. They’re just rocks that enter our atmosphere and burn up because of friction Because they flew too far, reached up too high Because they were under too much pressure. Because they gave up. And because in the end, their destinies were to blow into pieces to entertain our hungry eyes. Shooting stars are not stars at all. What we wish upon, as spirited, trusting children Are trails of debris, left from an unfortunate meteorite That went the wrong way. That decided to stray off the path That decided to part from its brothers and sisters. Decided to be brave And die; Because bravery does not come without a price. Shooting stars are not stars at all. In some myths, they are a war of angels and devils; Stones of fury playing outrage between their battlefields. In others, they are gods writing our stories for us in the heavens. In science, they’re just rocks. Shooting rocks. When I used to wish upon a star, I used to wish with all my heart. Squeeze my eyes shut until I was sure my wish was imprinted into the fiery residue of the star, Being sent on its way to God, like a wish list to Santa on Christmas. But little did I know, That shooting stars are not stars at all.


JUNE 2014 •

TIFFANY DONG

TIFFANY DONG

HUSSEINA KAKAL

REBECCA HENSMAN AND LUXSHI AMIRTHALINGAM

Gemini: May 21�� – June 21�� Today is the day for you to seek advice regarding matters that are on your mind, whether they are academic or social. Confide in a friend and do not be afraid to ask for their opinion on the matter. Cancer: June 22ⁿ� ‐ July 22ⁿ� This month has been an emotional roller coaster for you in the social aspects of your life. Keeping good relationships with family and friends will lead to emotional satisfaction. Leo: July 23��‐ August 22ⁿ� Take some time for yourself to contemplate the decisions that you have made. Think about the challenges presented over the last month that you overcame. Use this as motivation for the month to come. Virgo: August 23��‐ September 22ⁿ� You can gain a feeling of security if you learn how to ground yourself in positive and open-minded thinking. Learn from friends who are optimistic and have the ability to stay strong in difficult situations. Libra: September 23��‐ October 22ⁿ� Take some time off to achieve stability and balance, which must be maintained in order for you to reach your goals. Your conscience will be throwing various conflicting messages at you this month, and you must be mentally prepared to act accordingly. Scorpio: October 23��- November 21�� Keep your ears open at all times! Pay attention to what people are telling you and remember not to take any information for granted. It may end up helping you in the long run.

Sagittarius: November 22ⁿ�- December 20�� Offer your ideas and prove that your idea is fit for consideration. This month, your connection with others will prove to be stronger, allowing you to achieve a lot that has been at the back of your mind for the past while. Capricorn: December 21��- January 19�� At the start of this month, you will come up with a list of goals to accomplish and by the end, you will have accomplished them. To make this happen efficiently, relax your mind and do not get worked up over stressful situations. Aquarius: January 20��- February 18�� Use all the positive energy in you to not only boost your own ego, but also the egos of everyone around you. Selfishness will not get anyone very far. Pisces: February 19��- March 20�� Like water, just go with the flow. Don’t try to resist the flow. Overthinking a situation will simply upset the balance. Therefore, just relax and you’ll make it through this month perfectly fine. Aries: March 21�� – April 19�� Patience and perseverance will pay off for you in the coming month. Having a nose-to-the-grindstone attitude will work in your best interest at this time and help you reach your desired goals. Taurus: April 20�� – May 20�� Do not sit by and watch while others work. This month is a time for new accomplishments and aspirations. Be ambitious and work towards your life goals, by working hard and staying focused.


JUNE 2014 •

Figuring out the root problem for your lack of focus will also help. Maybe you’re not focusing because of a personal problem or because you don’t understand what you’re learning. Distractions, at their roots, are all in your head. With the right mindset and by learning better work habits, you’ll be able to overcome them. In the meanwhile, you should try removing distractions so you’ll be more forced to do your work. If you’re playing games and visiting YouTube often, then spend time away from your computer, or any other devices that distract you. You can use your distractions as your reward for doing homework. You might even consider making a schedule for yourself so you can sleep, relax, and do your homework and everything else within a set time. As it’s getting closer to summer vacation, you’d probably rather spend Dear Tired of Being Tired, Although there is nothing wrong with you, you’re pretty good at time outside than cooped up at home or at school doing work. So, you can always go outside to do your homework. distracting yourself. Now you just have to learn to focus yourself. A good environment is important to motivate yourself to do your work. It probably feels a lot easier to waste your time than it is to sit down and do work, but that’s how everything starts to pile up. If you take things Fresh air can help you focus and hopefully prevent you from getting distracted. a little at a time, you’ll have less to do at once. To encourage yourself to stay on task, you should remind yourself of To purging the root of distractions and remembering to smile, why you want to be focused. This will work as your motivator. Why did you do well in school when you were younger? See if you can Tori use that reason now; if you can’t, then think about why doing well in school is important to you now. Dear Tori, I can’t seem to focus in class anymore. When I was younger, I got the best grades in my class, but recently, all I seem to be doing is looking out the window or playing Candy Crush. I don’t even like Candy Crush. When I get home, I know I should do my homework, but I just sort of sit around, watching dumb stuff on YouTube or sleeping. I sleep a lot too. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’m just not interested in anything anymore. I want to do well, but I just can’t seem to get motivated. Then the homework piles up and I just . . . can’t. You know? What’s wrong with me? How do I get motivated? Tired of Being Tired

Want some advice? Email Tori at tori@pantherpress.ca

Dear Tori, I’m an IB student in Grade 11 but I’ve decided to go into Academic for Grade 12. I’ve been surrounded by the same people for three years of high school and they’re my closest friends. I don’t know many people in Academic and I’m not sure what to expect for the next school year. I’m worried that I won’t know anyone and people aren’t going to like me because I was in IB. On top of all that, I’m afraid of drifting apart from my current friends because they’ll be busy with IB, whereas I’ll have more spare time. How can I begin my senior year without worrying about these things? Mr. Lonely

Tip: Use a temporary email address to stay anonymous! http://mailinator.com/

If you’re a nice, friendly, and helpful person, then no one will use your time in IB against you. Just try not to appear like a know-it-all and you’ll be better than fine. Although your current friends won’t have classes with you anymore, it doesn’t mean that you guys won’t see each other at all. You can still eat lunch together and hang out afterschool or on the weekends. You should look at this change as something positive and an opportunity to try new things in your final year of high school. You can make new friends, and spend free time with them, or join extra-curriculars. If your current friends don’t want to make time for you then there’s more reason for you to make new friends in academic. But don’t underestimate Grade 12. You may think that you’ll have more spare time but this will be the most important and probably most difficult year. This also applies to your current friends, so don’t get upset with them if they can’t always find time for you. However, if you surround yourself with the right people and schedule everything well, you can enjoy your last year of high school like you want to. Try not to stress it too much.

Dear Mr. Lonely, Going from IB to academic may feel like you’re going to a new school, but it definitely isn’t the same. There will be some familiar faces in Academic because you won’t be the only person deciding to go from IB to Academic. Also, you have probably met some kids in Academic through electives earlier in high school. From my experience, people are quite friendly in any kind of class or program because they understand that no one likes being lonely. To enjoying Grade 12 to the fullest and remembering to smile, Even if no one else makes the first move, that doesn’t mean you can’t Tori go up to new people and strike up a conversation.


JUNE 2014 •

1. Summer school Summer is just around the corner. For some people, it means going to the beach, or having a barbeque in the park. For others, it means going back to school. Registrations for summer school in the Toronto District School Board, Toronto Catholic District School Board, and York Regional District School Board began in mid-May. This summer, 17 schools in the TDSB offer full credit courses and remedial courses. Some students use summer school to catch up on credits, but students can explore many pathways. Perhaps a class that you are interested in is not offered at your school during the school year. Perhaps you want to get ahead in your credits. Maybe a conflict prevents you from taking a course. Summer school is the solution to all of these problems. 2. Prom With high school over, the Grade 12s were looking for an opportunity to relax, have fun with

friends, and maybe have one last dance with that special someone. Lucky for them, there was prom! Victoria Park’s Prom Committee had been working tirelessly all year to ensure that this year’s prom was the best ever. Their chosen theme was Old Hollywood! Our graduating class put Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers to shame. The event was held on Friday May 23�� at the Liberty Grand Entertainment Complex, from 6:00 pm to 11:30 pm. The tickets were $90, but I think any attendee will tell you that prom was priceless. The evening had it all: dinner, dancing, great music, and lots of fun. I’m sure that our 2014 Panthers will walk through our doors with diplomas in their hands and smiles on their faces, thinking back to their last magical night. 3. Exams It’s the dreaded time of the year again: exams! While for all the rest of us, our noses are rubbed raw in June, the Grade 11 and 12 IB students need to get ready now. IB exams started on May 2 this year, and have been going strong since.

Executive Editor: Naushin Chowdhury

With some students writing as many as 17 exams, they really need all the help they can get As you start to study and prepare for “exam season,” here are some reminders and quick tips. 1. Start studying early. Don’t cram in everything the night before. Plan out what you’re going to study beforehand and always review. 2. Ask for help if you need it. Often, asking someone else is the best way to refresh your memory on a unit or topic. You can also make an appointment with your teacher. 3. Know when your exams are. Find out what room they take place in, and the time that they start. You wouldn’t want to miss an exam, or show up at school and realize that you got the date wrong. 4. Don’t panic. On the day of your exam, relax. Go into the exam room with a cool head and do your best. As always, we are open to feedback and suggestions, which can be emailed to executiveeditor@pantherpress.ca or submitted at http://pantherpress.ca.

Senior Editor-in-Chief: Sauliha Alli

Have a suggestion? Send it to executiveeditor@pantherpress.ca

Staff Advisors: Ms. Schwartz & Mme. Rochon

Layout: Mohit Verma & Jaime Si

French: Aamna Malik & Susan Zhan

News & Events: Summaia Raouf & Edison Yu

Sports: Alissa Zhang & Archsanan Srimurugathasan

Junior Editors: Kevin Chen & Ashray Jani

Photography: Darren So

Webmaster: Zelin Liu

Graphics: Sarita Molla & Bonnie Chan

Odds & Sods: Jeffrey Chen

Opinions: Saarah Tennakoon & Mishal Dar

Distribution: Mei Li

Secretary: Sophia Tao

Arts & Entertainment: Jon Babi

Literature: Kaesavan Selvakumaram

Science & Technology: Jason Pham

Spotlight: Zamir Fakirani & Jayson Subaskaran


JUNE 2014 •

DARREN SO Medium: Photography

SARITA MOLLA Medium: Computer Graphics

ZHANNE HOPKINSON Medium: Sketch

SULUXNA SIVALINKAM Medium: Computer Graphics

June 2014  
June 2014  
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