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Bird is the Word After their dramatic duel with the Texas Rangers, it’s certainly safe to say the Toronto Blue Jays have style. What can we take away from the game and what should we note?



Earlier this month, I received an intriguing email (reproduced on the opposite page) from a student who was returning to SMC after nearly five decades. She joked of her struggles with ROSI and the student ID office at Robarts. She told the tale of a time so different that I could hardly imagine it – a time without social media, the Jays or the CN tower. I began to ponder what her university experience might have been like, and thought to myself how she almost carried a little bit of history with her. In fact, each of us carries our unique personal histories, and together we create a remarkable wealth of experiences. We don’t often approach this idea with marvel - it sure is frustrating not finding a seat in a class of fifteen hundred - but stop to think about how incredible it is to attend class alongside people who may have grown up in rural China, suburban France or even as close Roncesvalles. The purpose of the Mike is to distill and project these different voices and experiences; we cannot operate in a vacuum and are nothing without you, the student. In this vein our second issue of the semester has a variety of topics and viewpoints to share with you. Our cover story provides a distinct perspective on the chills and thrills the Jays gave us this season. In celebration of Mental Health Awareness Month at U of T, our Arts section features creative pieces to commemorate those with mental illness and their supportive families. Our other sections have articles ranging from the current implications of Edward Snowden’s NSA leak to an exploration of Yom Kippur. If you have an idea or opinion, we’d love to shine a light on it. If something bothers you, we welcome your feedback. On that note, I’d like to highlight that our last issue, ‘New year, new president,’ contained several typographical, grammatical, and factual errors in the Sports, Faith, Arts, and Opinions sections. No excuse exists for these mistakes and I sincerely apologize to our dedicated team of writers and editors, whose articles were compromised, and to you – our readers. We have adopted several corrective measures to ensure that this will not happen again – all digital copies of the first issue will be shared once corrected, we have hired an experienced copy editor to filter such mistakes, and ensured that only a limited few will be involved in the editorial process. Publishing a newspaper is hard work, and we aspire to be good at it. If you see any errors in the Mike, please alert us at: or The masthead and I hope that you enjoy this issue of The Mike and that you’ll continue to support us and share your stories. Palakh Chhabria,

Ms. Palakh Chhabria

Ms. Salena Barry

Ms. Anah Mirza

Mr. Alex Wichert

Ms. Elizaveta Mironova

Mr. Denys Matvyeyev

Ms. Elizabeth McDermott Ms. Stephanie Martins Ms. Christina Bezerra

OPINIONS are the new Black. Write or Edit for us The Mike is the Official Bi-weekly Student Newspaper of St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto, publishing since 1947. The Mike has a circulation of 2000, delivered to over 40 newsstands across the University of Toronto: St. George Campus and is published by The Mike Publications Inc. The Mike is printed by MasterWeb Inc on recycled newsprint stock and is a member of Canadian University Press. Copyright: 2012 The Mike Publications Inc. All Rights Reserved. All editorial inquires should be sent to The Mike reserves the right to edit all submissions



The last time I walked on campus, tablets had a totally different meaning. And yet, here I am, deciding to enroll at St. Mike’s once again. Having recently retired and finding myself in a very happy place in my life, I began to think about the things left undone. There’s an old adage that says it’s the things you don’t do that you’ll regret. So one of the things I didn’t do and regretted very much was finish my degree. So off I go to see if I can finish this item on my bucket list! Let’s start with the visit to the Registrar’s office at St. Mikes. Seemingly surrounded by babes in arms, toddlers, and teenagers, I must have looked as out of place as I felt. Luckily, someone walking by took pity on me (probably thought I was there to register my son, OMG, my grandson?). I was blessed by that someone being Mohra Taylor who took me under her wing. First hurdle, we can’t find my records. Seems that transcripts from the Dark Ages are still in paper files or on stone tablets (see note above) and it will take a few days to find my records. Now, I have my records and Mohra reviews my past. I have enough credits for a three-year degree but I started out trying for a four year and that’s what I want to accomplish. It’s actually not about the degree but about finishing something that I started so long ago. Second hurdle. I have to get a student ID and so it’s across to Student Services at the Robarts Library. Do you know that wasn’t even built when I was in school last? Armed with my transcript copy, my new student number, my passport, I am faced with a sweet young thing who looks at me puzzled and says my transcript and my passport don’t match. Duh! Of course the teenager I was is not the retired divorcee I am today and so the names don’t match! The young lady says I have to go back to the Registrar and tell Rosie to update my files and then come back to her. I walked briskly across campus – I used to be able to get from Sid Smith to St. Mike’s in five minutes but not anymore, so fifteen minutes later I arrive back at the Registrar’s office and ask for Rosie. Of course laughter ensues and I find out that ROSI is what I need to update files and after the giggles stop, I am on my way again. Twenty minutes later I am the proud owner of a new ID card with my picture on it and a new university email account. Wow, have things changed. Next hurdle is registering for courses. In the 60’s – and that’s the 1960’s folks, everything was done on paper and applications were sent in and you arrived at school with a fully subscribed calendar. If there were problems you lined up and dealt with students hired specifically to see you through changes, omissions, deletions, etc. Now everything is on line and you have to navigate through to find courses, times, etc. After spending over two hours trying to find my way, I gave up in tears. Once again, Mohra to the rescue. I came down to her office and she helped me to find what I needed and get registered. I think I’m on my way!! Next time: the Dreaded Portal or Where’s a 12 year old when you need them?

Judith Laus

Toronto skyline in the late 1960s

Modern Toronto Skyline



Stephanie Martins ARTS EDITOR As I barge in through the door, I delicately step over the rummage and remnants of explosion. Shoes, chairs, and books scattered on the floor; a treadmill flipped over so violently that it lay like a wounded cub. I can feel the thick emotion in the air pass my face as I explore the debris. Amongst the crumpled sheets on the floor is a letter to me, dated just a few months ago. A letter that said I made you happy, a letter that said that you were healing. A letter that now stares back at me - empty and cold, as if the words on the page were drained of authenticity. Puddles of vodka surround these sheets, drowning them and bleeding their ink. The familiar smell creeps into my nose and creates the image of your eyes and smile, and burns my brain. When I close my eyes, the crack of your grin and the softness of your stare grow fainter and fainter. How did things get this way? Jake rushes towards me with the most genuine angst a dog can portray. His paws are stained with a deep red blood. Even his bulgy glare tells a tale of alarm. Though I do not bend down, our shared glances of concern unite us. It doesn’t take me more than a few seconds to survey the room and rush into the bathroom, but every movement I make is made in slow motion and filled with heaviness. I sway my arms to push my legs; I open my mouth to call your name. A voice comes out that I do not recognize. My nightmares make this feel like déjà vu. I follow the disaster-like trail through your dainty hallway only to find exactly what I had feared. The psyche is like a woven sweater. It doesn’t deteriorate in an instant, but rather comes undone by unraveling one string at a time. I had only known her for a few months, but there she sat completely naked from what I knew was a life-time of unravelling. She screamed at the sight of me and pushed my body away. She slapped my wrists as I tried to hold her tight. Burying her head into my shoulder, she shrieked with helplessness. If only she knew how much I loved her and how hard I tried to be her savior, she would realize that I feel just as powerless as her.


Kaitlyn Telford CONTRIBUTOR Depression feels like a sinkhole You don’t realize the trouble you’re in until your sinking Maybe it’s more like slowly boiling water That placates the frog Its silent storm clouds that wash everything in grey It’s watching disappointment in others faces And feeling only apathy in return You know you should care But you can’t quite give a damn It’s paralyzing Sadness is not depression Sadness is an emotion Depression is lacking It’s a void that consumes all motivation and content Sadness has a reason Depression needs none

My depression lies under the surface Sometimes dormant but always there It’s an illness just like diabetes But it’s not insulin that my body has trouble producing It’s manageable Medication, exercise, good food and talk therapy Not luxuries but basic building blocks to contentment I’m sick of the stigma To not be able to name my illness in public It is not something to be ashamed of To speak in cryptic riddles about I am not dumb I am not lazy I scream into the void Anxiety is compression It compresses my chest and my thoughts

It is doubt and nausea that worms its way into every interaction Every mis-step and slight It is racing thoughts and frustration It is being scared of possibility Running burns away the doubt It’s like a buffer between the raw nerves and the worry The intrusive thoughts don’t stop The right amount of sleep and balance in life makes it all easier to tell it to go to hell This is my journey I refuse to be ashamed of what I have faced Of the mountains I have climbed and the valleys I have fought I live with mental illness But it cannot stop me


arts Stephanie Martins ARTS EDITOR Grant Writing Workshop October 21, 2015. 6:00 pm- 9:00 pm Gallery 44 401 Richmond St. West Suite 120

Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival Oct 19 - 25, 2015 Held at Multiple Venues 33 Mill Street, Unit 1209

International Festival of Authors Oct 22- Nov 1, 2015 Harbourfront Centre 235 Queens Quay West

Funded by the Toronto Arts Council, this workshop connects students and artists with former director of Gallery 44, Lise Beaudry. Beaudry will share her experience and wisdom in writing artistic statements and applying for grants. The workshop specializes in photography and charges a $90.00 fee. For more information please visit:

Running for six days, the Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival presents over 40 international films that focus on loving the planet and environmental conservation. Several film makers will be in attendance and fees are between $10.00- $15.00. For more information please visit:

The International Festival of Authors joins some of the world’s most prominent writers in contemporary Literature at the Harbourfront Centre. This year marks the festival’s 36th anniversary and will feature authors like Austin Clarke, Laurence Hill and Zadie Smith. There is no fee for students and youth, and an average charge of $18.00 per event for others. For more information please visit:

Solitudes Solo Oct 23- 24, 2015 8:00pm nightly performances Harbourfront Centre Theatre 235 Queens Quay West

Night of Dread Oct 24, 2015 6:00 pm- 10 pm Dufferin Grove Park 875 Dufferin Street

This incredible performance focuses on one dancer, Daniel Leveille, who embodies five different performers exploring what it is like to feel alone. Parts of the performance are danced to in silence while others are danced to the elegant music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Tickets range from $28.00-$37.00 and $15.00 for those under 25. For more information please visit:

If you are thinking that this is another zombie walk gearing up for Halloween, you are wrong! Presented by Clay and Pepper Theatre, the Night of the Dread is a parade in which people of all ages walk through the streets facing and sharing their fears. The evening involves a parade, masquerade, masks and a variety of performers. Based on folk celebrations of death and remembrance, the event is a ‘pay what you can’ outing that encourages participants and volunteers. For more information visit:

If you are stuck on what to do for Halloween why not check out the ultimate sideshow act at U of T’s own Hart House of Horrors? Expecting over 1200 guests, Hart House will be filled with students in costume in the Quad, lower levels and main floors. The event will feature music, food, drinks and a show from Carnival Diablo. The show involves performers pulling gruesome stunts and optical illusions. Rumour has it that performers will be impaling themselves on nails and swallowing razor blades! General admission is $15.00 but $20.00 also includes admission into Carnival Diablo. For more information please visit: ws/night-dread-toronto-2014/4513/

Solitudes Solo:

Hart House of Horrors/ Carnival Diablo Oct 31, 2015 8:30 pm West Entrance of Hart House 7 Hart House Circle



Bringing you news from the homeless youth organization Alex Wichert SPORTS EDITOR According to government reports, over 10, 000 youth are on the streets of Toronto during the year. The reason why the issue is not easily noticed, however, is because youth homelessness does not necessarily equate with living on the street in the sight of a passerby. 60% of youth who find themselves out on the street stay in one of Toronto’s homeless shelters, 92% find friends and “couch surf ”, and 15% find a location close to the street that offers more shelter; squats, parks, alleys, and doorways are all commonly used as temporary lodging. In addition to the difficulties surrounding visibility, youth homelessness is an issue that is swathed in misconception. Many people believe that those on the streets are to blame for being homeless, either because of their drug use, crime activities, or other behaviour that is scorned by society. In reality, over 70% of homeless youth have experienced some form of sexual, physical, or emotional abuse, causing them to have no choice but to leave home. In addition, many youth are ostracized from their families because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Those suffering from mental illness, too, can be exiled from their homes and are forced to fend for themselves. Another misconception is that homeless people don’t work. Many, however, are among the working poor. A person earning minimum wage cannot often make enough for proper support or to pay inner-city rent. As a result, many resort to panhandling, break-and-enters, and selling drugs. 10% of homeless youth do or have done work in the sex trade, including street prostitution, phone or Internet sex, and massage/stripping. Fortunately, there are ways to help. Trek for Teens is a not-for-profit organization composed mainly of students affiliated with the University of Toronto. The foundation organizes coffee houses, concerts, fashion shows, dance competitions, and high school events with all proceeds going to homeless youth shelters such as Horizons for Youth, Youth Without Shelter, and Covenant House Toronto. Trek for Teens is proud to be writing articles for another year at The Mike. We’ll be bringing you information on youth homelessness, upcoming volunteer opportunities, and Trek for Teens events. In recent news, Trek for Teens hosted its first event of the school year on September 30th. It was the first Dance for a Cause of the year – students participated in a hip-hop dance workshop, led by choreographer and dancer Craig Francis. The Dance for a Cause event series runs every month, with the next one taking place on October 26; it will be salsathemed and all proceeds from this pay-what-you-can event, as always, will go to help homeless youth in Toronto. However, there will be an event before that! The Trek for Teens 2015 Coffee House will be on October 23. It will take place in Brennan Lounge – 81 St. Mary Street – from 7:00 PM – 12:00 AM. If you are a musician, singer, dancer, spoken word artist, magician, comedian, or have a different act that people need to see, we want you to perform! Email concerts@ or head to our website to sign up. Prizes will also be available for audience members. The Trek for Teens Foundation is a charitable project created to raise awareness of youth homelessness in Toronto. Initiated in 2007, with leadership and guidance from the Rotary Club of Etobicoke, the Trek for Teens Foundation has been a repeated success, raising over $28,000 for Covenant House Toronto, Horizons for Youth, and Youth Without Shelter through the efforts of volunteers and participants.

Connect with us at: • • @trekforteens • •


Living Christina Bezerra LIVING EDITOR October is the month of pumpkin spice lattes, thick knit sweaters, and, of course, Halloween. By October 1st I already have an idea of what I would like to dress up as, but I tend to be extremely indecisive and last minute, which causes panic for me and my wallet as I always end up throwing down some serious cash for a decent costume. This year, I’ve decided that I would much rather spend my hard earned dollars on better things like an LCBO haul or a post bar burrito. Here are some quick and cheap ideas to be the best dressed with some extra change in your pocket at the end of the night. 1.

God’s Gift to…

Do you always find yourself telling people you are God’s gift to the world? Well here’s your chance to show them what you’ve been talking about! What you need: a fully white outfit, a big red Christmas bow, a printed-out card, and gift wrap.




A bunch of grapes

The Ceiling Fan


Have a fun and safe Halloween! Don’t forget to send all your homemade costume pictures to or @readthemike on twitter to be featured on our social media pages!

Christina Bezerra LIVING EDITOR Midterms always have a way of creeping up on me right when I think I’m starting to get a hang of life. After five years, the feeling of never ending exams and papers still does not surprise me, and I am always left feeling unprepared and stressed. Thankfully, my procrastination has led me to create the midterm survival guide, which includes some tips and tricks to get you through midterms and straight into fall break. 1.

What you need: A bag of purple or green balloons Stick the balloons onto your clothing and add a green headpiece made out of paper or some garland from a craft store.

If you wear this to a Halloween party, you are bound to be the life of the party.

Get Organized

Organization is key. I know you have heard it all before, but once everything in your life is organized your mind will follow suit. Doing easy things, such as making my bed every morning or organizing my calendar, help clear away a little bit of the anxiety that I feel for studying. 2.

Stay Healthy

School is important but so is your health. Eating healthy and staying hydrated are simple ways to make sure your mind is ready for a nice, long night at the library. Try not to eat too many sweets or a lot of junk food; those will make you feel tired and less productive. 3.

Take a break

What you need: Tape the words “Go Ceiling” onto a plain t-shirt and carry around a pom-pom. Don’t forget to cheer!

As an educator and student, I am a true advocate of the dance break. Take a break from studying to do an activity you love. If that means putting on a Songza playlist and busting a move in a study room at Robarts, do your thing! A break from the books can clear up writers block and give you a fresh mind when getting back to reading.

Minions have become a staple ao any Halloween party; you are bound to find some of your fellow yellow creatures running around somewhere.


What you need: A yellow t-shirt, blue bottoms, suspenders, and you can make your own minion goggles from aluminum foil!

Ask for help

A lot of times professors are willing to give extensions on papers if you have many assignments or tests in a certain period of time (though don’t abuse this). There are also many resources around campus like writing centres, which are there to help students with papers. Professors also hold office hours and are always available by email. Don’t be afraid to asked for help because it might relieve some of your stress. If you don’t ask, you will never know! Good luck on midterms! From, the Living Section at The Mike.

8 Detailing the flavourful series that was Toronto-Texas Alex Wichert SPORTS EDITOR

It sure didn’t come easy. The Toronto Blue Jays, fresh off the heels of a romantic, whirlwind regular season, had difficulty finding their groove early on in their American League Divisional Series against the Texas Rangers. A homerun by the visitors there, a strikeout by the hometown boy here, and – before Jays fans knew it – they were down 0-2 in a series that was a best of five. To add on to the baseball-inspired angst, Game Three and (as if optimism needed any further detriments) a prospective fourth took place in a raucous Arlington stadium brimming with thoughts of brooms, sweeping, and other concepts that were sure to cause nausea to those North of the border. The Blue Jays battled back on the efforts of marvelous starting pitching from Marco Estrada and R.A. Dickey, some timely batting from the club as a whole, and some tactical pitching changes by Manager John Gibbons and his staff. That set the stage for a return to Toronto in a winner-take-all affair: Marcus Stroman was poised to take on Cole Hamels in a rematch of Game Two and there was no telling what might happen. Well, there definitely was no telling this would happen. The Sudden Death showdown saw an escalation of a thousand decibel points as the 2-2 game entered the Seventh Inning. By the

date of publishing, Catcher Russell Martin’s throw to Pitcher Aaron Sanchez that went awry as it hit Shin-Soo Choo’s innocently errant bat – you know, that one – and resulted in Rougned Odor crossing the plate will have been spliced, diced, and analysed to the point that it need not be further discussed here. However, it was certainly one of the strangest plays ever to be seen on a diamond and will go down as an infamous moment in Blue Jays history. But it will be overshadowed by the bottom half of that inning. First, there was the series of errors from the Texas infielders. Sure, the bases were loaded. Sure, the top of the Toronto order was coming up to bat. Jays fans, though, weren’t ready to start high fiving yet. As they had seen all series, the momentum and the flow of the game could swing without warning; no one was going to take anything for granted and no one was ready to assume the Rangers would concede an inch. Then, after a failed attempt by contactsuperstar Ben Revere to tie the game, Josh Donaldson hit a blooper into shallow Centre-Right Field and the stadium exploded with a palpable feeling of relief. Regardless of what happened for the rest of the inning, the game was at least back to even ground and the disastrous scene from a commercial break before was at least mitigated.

Turns out there was still some drama to observe.

The 49, 742 under the Rogers Centre roof, the seemingentirety of social media, and perhaps even one half of the Solar System erupted in a flurry of noise, activity, and celebration verging on the point of necessary hyperbole as team leader Jose Bautista crushed a three-run homerun to give the Blue Jays a resounding lead. From here on out, the Rangers couldn’t muster much offence and the game eventually concluded with Toronto’s impressive comeback intact. Closer Roberto Osuna, in a paradox that has come to classify his incredible talent up on the mound, looked as cool as Absolute Zero while simultaneously throwing fireballs across the plate. The game lasted an unbelievably intense three hours and 37 minutes, while the seventh inning alone ate up 53 minutes. Dickey, how would you describe the match? “Like a novel that you don’t want to put down, you know?” He said. No kidding. Jays fans are already preparing themselves for the next battle against the Kansas City Royals, a team that was no stranger itself to some Postseason magic as it pulled the rug out from under the Houston Astros. The key to getting back at it in the American League Championship Series is perspective, something the Jays were quick to preach after their victory.

9 “We’re not finished,” Bautista said. “That’s right.”

“We’ve been waiting a long time,” Designated Hitter, Edwin Encarnacion, said of the Postseason success. “And we’re here. Me and Jose [Bautista] enjoyed this moment. We’ve never seen anything like this.”

Bautista and Encarnacion, the two longest tenured position players on the club, understand that there is still a long way to go. Dragons remain to be slain and moments remain to be made. However, they understand that a little perspective – and enjoyment, as you never quite know if you’ll ever return to this level – is also important. The latter of the two Jays, contributing to the rally by way of the original homerun to tie the game, is not to be overshadowed by the former’s timely smash. Both of these players have been the power duo of the Toronto lineup for years now and both should be – and certainly are – appreciated by fans.

“I can’t really remember what was going through my mind, to be quite honest with you. After I made contact, I just, you know – I didn’t plan anything I did. And so I still don’t know how I did it.” Fair enough. No problems there. Who wouldn’t be excited and caught up in the moment? After all, it was borderline anything – obnoxious, flaunting, whatever you want to call it – if it is to be considered egregious at all. To hammer home the point in not too fine of a manner, though, Bautista was completely within his right to do what he did: the entire thing has been blown completely out of proportion and has been done so, conveniently and suspiciously enough, mainly by those who might very well be accused of reacting in the moment themselves. Moving on, moving on. What about the play that put the Rangers up 3-2, Jose? “It’s a tough moment in the game.” Fair enough again. Gibbons also seemed to understand. “That umpiring crew did a great job,” Gibbons said. “Those kinds of plays are never easy… it’s a crazy play. I’ve never seen it before like that. But it ended up turning out all right.” That’s easy to say when your club is the winning one, but you get the sense that Bautista and Gibbons are being candid. However, one thing needs to be rectified: there are a number of fans and experts wondering aloud if the Jays’ comeback is, in some form, karma. The answer is no. What happened with Choo’s bat and the umpire’s ruling is completely and squarely within the rules of baseball. It would have been a horrendously heartbreaking way to lose a series and end a season but it is the right call. The Rangers should not and were not penalized for playing within the rules and adhering to a call made by a neutral umpire. Toronto’s comeback was a product of the club’s indefatigable spirit, resolute determination, fan support, talent, and a whole host of admirable qualities the organization contains. It was not, though, due to cosmic intervention and in no way should it be suggested that Texas invoked any baseball deities’ collective wrath.

Now, it wasn’t all rallying and comradeship. There were some fisticuffs, too, or at least some preludes to the brawling spirit. Between fans throwing their items onto the field, Encarnacion and Ranger Sam Dyson’s misunderstanding, the aforementioned Dyson and Troy Tulowitzki’s encounter at the plate, Hamels, Dyson, and essentially the rest of the club taking shots at Bautista’s bat flip… the list goes on. The thing is, though, none of these – with the exception of fans hurling beer cans onto the field – are causes for offence. This goes, especially, for Bautista’s home run celebration. When a player hits a blast of that magnitude in a game of such high tension, some merriment is definitely in order. The slugger was even diplomatic in his postgame interview about a number of topics, including the bat toss and trot.

The Toronto Blue Jays and their postseason adventures continue. Will the series for the AL crown against a Royals team who has some history with the Blue Jays spark the same kind of drama we’ve seen thus far? It remains to be seen, but it will be seen soon enough. However, this series has certainly been a feather in Toronto’s cap.



How Cyberspace has changed our understanding of Privacy and Security Mariam Jammal


Over the past few weeks, Twitter has had the privilege of hosting another high- profile character: Edward Snowden. Unlike other online presences, Snowden’s claim to fame is being the notorious NSA whistleblower in 2013. Currently seeking asylum in Russia, his story continues to shake the world. Regardless of what your stance is throughout these developments, a few things definitely need to be acknowledged. Firstly, the files released by Snowden have completely reshaped the way we view privacy and virtual security. The way our information can be stored and transferred across borders with such ease has made us rethink what we put into the cyber universe. It has reminded us that no one is exempt from information monitoring, and whatever we post, text, or share can have long term ramifications for us (one does not have to look much farther than our own federal election to find evidence of this). The ambiguity that surrounds these information databases, coupled with the lack of transparency about

how this information is being used and the length of time it is being stored, is jarring. Snowden’s files have skyrocketed cyber security and privacy to the forefront of both individual and political concern. This brings us to the second point – these leaks have reaffirmed that no one is above the law. Often we forget that governments and their institutions work for and are funded by the people. For better or worse, they are public service employees who we have entrusted with our society, values, and security. This does not put them above the law. The NSA’s phone surveillance program was found likely unconstitutional, and it served as a reality check for many people. Being entrusted by a nation of millions does not warrant or allow otherwise illegal activity. In the end, a democratic state is held accountable to its people and is expected to answer to them and to the laws they have sworn to uphold and enforce.

Finally, and probably the most important revelation, is just how unconcerned and out of touch we are with our realities. The dystopian novels we read in high school may seem farfetched, but we need to evaluate where we are and where we are headed towards in the future. Unauthorized surveillance of civilians and information sharing across the globe is unsettling. Not knowing which part of your conversations and activities are being recorded, and then shipped off across the world, is destabilizing. While many may not agree with Edward Snowden’s methods, he definitely initiated a very important conversation. Cyber security has dominated a huge part of what we consider private – it has reshaped the way we interact online and what kind of ideas and thoughts we allow ourselves to share. It can build us up and subsequently tear us down, and we are just beginning to understand the implications of this.

Rethinking why we praise the Popular over the Profound Andre Darbinian


Last year was probably the best year ever. Why? I met Mumford & Sons. For those of you who don’t know me, if you were to ask me who my favourite band is, I would instantly say Mumford & Sons. The reason is because they are the band that got me into songwriting, and it wasn’t because of their banjo riffs (although those are kind of cool), but because of their lyrics. Personally, I think our mentality towards music should be similar to that one person in class who doesn’t care about the question they’re asking, regardless of how it makes them seem. What does that mean? It is my opinion that we listen to music because of its popularity. We’re like the rest of the class who wait for the awkward silence to end when the professor asks us if we have any questions. We’re too busy furiously typing into our keyboards so that we can keep up with the latest single instead of thinking about what’s actually filling our ears. After a quick Google search of the current chart-toppers, the two most popular

tracks are The Weeknd’s “The Hills” and Justin Bieber’s “What Do You Mean?”. For the sake of this article, let’s say that the general themes for both of these songs are relationships and love. And now let’s look at this quote from an artist I quite admire, Jon Foreman: “I was thinking about how love (not just lust or codependency that commonly flood the tunes on the airways) actually involves quite a bit of faith. There’s a lot of letting go involved. Two souls in love is an intricate dance of give and take. I can be a fairly solitary person from time to time. Sure, I love being with people, but I also need time alone. I guess I thrive on the poles. So this song is about the dance involved in a relationship the coming together and letting go. The song equates love with breathingpulling in and releasing. Or a seed, for the seed to grow it has to be dropped and buried. In our barcode media, love is often portrayed as consumption. As consumers in a commercial

driven culture we can begin to view other souls as objects or potential cures for our deepest fears and insecurities. “Perhaps if I found the right lover I would no longer feel this deep existential despair.” But of course no human soul could be the Constant Other, the face that will never go away. Only the infinite can fill that role. But the silence can be deafening. It’s a fearful thing to be alone. Do you love me enough to let me go? “I can’t live without you” - “I would die if you ever left me”- These are not the songs of love, these are the songs of consumption.” Looking back, I find it both funny and sad how accurate this quote still is. For the most part, pop culture hasn’t changed. So I challenge you to Google the lyrics to all of your favourite songs and approach them from this mentality of giving. It’s my hope as a songwriter that perhaps my lyrics, as rough as they may be, will be a gift to those around me rather than a form of consumption.



Backyard baseball game turns into a Downtown Debate Timothy Graham CONTRIBUTOR Last week’s infamous Jays-Rangers seventh inning gave way to some controversies, most of which were on part of the home team’s fans. Some spectators on the uppermost 500-level decks thought to voice their complaints by tossing their cans of beer down below. Some of the cans landed on the field, and others didn’t make it that far – one’s spray even hitting an infant and her mother who were seated in the front row. While not representative of the entire fan-base, Toronto fans have been painted with a negative rap, with respect to safety and class, after this particular incident. Sports fans and commentators all over, especially supporters of the Texas Rangers, the Blue Jays’ opponent that night, were disappointed in this show of recklessness.. The appropriateness of Toronto hosting critical playoff games was called into question, which initiated a sidebar discussion of gun control, given that the alternative venue for that particular series would have been the Rangers’ home field in Arlington, Texas, just outside of Dallas.

With the increased inter-connectivity between Canadian and American industries, consideration of the few major differences between the countries is prudent. In Canadian gun politics, registration is the major tenet and it requires licensing. In the United States, the landscape is more complicated since there is less national cohesion than in Canada; specific rules are up to each state to determine. I am well aware of lower crime rates being exhibited in states where constitutional carry is permitted. Having said that, crime isn’t my primary concern. Personally, I am also not against permit-less carry; what I am for, however, is the institution of mandatory safety instruction that the Canadian registry also regulates. From my personal experience having spent a number of years in various parts of the United States, safety still counts for something. I once taught a handgun safety class, and it surprised a sizable portion of the class that under American law, you cannot have any level of detectable alcohol in your system when carrying a firearm. The legal

limit does not apply in this case. If you l carry a concealed loaded gun and consume even half of a Tallboy (that will continue to be sold at Major League Baseball stadiums, by the way), you have committed a felony. It is also important to note that unless you are an on-duty police officer, you cannot bring firearms into sports arenas, at both the professional and collegiate level. This of course, is with the exception of Texas. The law considers the dangers that come with its decisions, as should we. Misinformation is our greatest weakness on issues of legalization, whether of firearms, marijuana, or assisted suicide. Whatever the governing bodies decide, it is up to us as citizens to be informed, even if we think the policy in question doesn’t affect us directly. While guns and baseball won’t mix at controlled MLB venues (certainly less so in the one Canadian stadium), the rest of society is less controlled.

How to incorporate the spirit of HONY into your life on a daily basis – no camera required Anah Mirza OPINIONS EDITOR Humans of New York posts are known to make fans of the page feel some type of way. What started out as a Facebook page is now a series of in-print photo-journals. HONY, as it is affectionately abbreviated, pairs together portraits of ordinary people and something that they have shared with the photographer. The captions may be a response to a question he asked or a tidbit they offered up themselves. Brandon Stanton is the photographer responsible for the phenomenon that photographers worldwide are adopting. A simple Facebook search will reveal “Humans of ” pages for communities of all kinds. Stanton’s brainchild connects hundreds of thousands of strangers every day with the story of another stranger. This leads me to ask: what stops us from connecting like this in real life?

At a place as vast as the University of Toronto, it is almost natural to become lost in the crowd; but I would argue that the same can be said about New York City. Most of us are here to learn – these are the golden years after all. We are surrounded by dozens of people and the experiences they come with but seldom do we try to share. I get it, believe me; it’s efficient to plug-in your earphones and read about something meaningful that somebody told someone else about 550 kilometers away. Asking the person you’re sharing a couch and coffee table with about themselves is riskier, more timeconsuming, and you likely won’t end up walking away with a charming sentiment. I’m also certain that these are all concerns that Stanton considered when moving from Chicago to New York, from a career as a bond trader to full-time photographer.

I will contend until the day I die that one of the reasons that Humans of New York is so wildly successful is that it addresses a societal need. When the blog first started in 2010, smartphones and social media were taking the world by storm. People were able to communicate more than ever before, but at the same time, the same technological advances made communication far less personal than it once was. Stanton’s innovative goal of photographing 10,000 New Yorkers brings back the old-school convention of getting through the day with more than just yourself and your bearings. Humans of New York exists because of the humans that have chosen to share their experiences. The last time I checked, there were plenty of us on campus – so what stops us from engaging with one another when we have the chance?



The benefits of being artistic in the creative and intellectual sense Hootan Ghaffari


There is a general assumption that most people who do not study art as a subject do not care for it or see its intrinsic value. However, studying is not the only way we can apply our minds, and the arts is not just a program in university but, rather, a lifestyle. The line between subjects studied in school and perspectives gained is blurrier than one would think. In other words, take into account the important question of: “What makes students successful?” It would be quickly answered with: “Their mindset”. This is true because whether you are applying for a job, working, creating, eating, sleeping, or doing other human things, it is the mindset or mentality of that person in which success, or happiness, is gained. Moreover, it should be agreed upon that mentality is another word for perspective. Therefore, it is the arts that account for the the kinds of perspectives that make people successful or happy. So, shouldn’t more people be interested in the arts even if they didn’t study it? They should because the arts is an integral part of how we think, and they force us to reflect. In other words, learning about the integrity of thought and reflecting on ourselves is an intellectual way to be happy.

And so, the generalization here is that it is the Arts, with a capital “A”, that are major contributors to the kinds of mentalities that humanize individuals. As such, taking into account that U of T is ranked at the top of dozens of lists on international academic institutions, students can take pride in the fact that they are taken care of when it comes to their education. However, it is the students that are not studying the arts that should take advantage of their fellow peers that can teach them a few things about the world we live in. Immersing yourself in history, philosophy, or creative arts is a great way to expand the mind and lead a contemplative life. The creative arts is the best example of how a subject can be a lifestyle and a mindset at the same time. Of course the engineers who paint lovely works on Saturdays or do ballet every Tuesday think I am being too obvious, but this piece is an attempt to encourage fellow students to take the time to truly enjoy the act of being artistic. Whether it be applying a brush to a canvas and visualizing life, traversing Plato’s clever dialogues (to which great perspective about knowledge can be gained), or visiting the galleries on campus – become an art critic for a day!

Deep reflections can be made leading to more perspectives on life and its pleasures and pains. In terms of the way youth today are driving the collective mindset of their communities, allocating time for the arts would be a force that would be progressive for those communities. In other words, people who do art recognize the abstractness and ambiguity of thought and morality. If one wants to argue against the ambiguity of life, they forget that pretending to know is different than knowing with integrity. Regardless, it is the people who believe in the fluidity of truth and thought where honest ground is covered in the discussions that drive our society today. These discussions taking place range from: “Is there enough public art on campus or Toronto?” “What is gender?” “Who should lead the country?” “What is justice?” The perspectives gained from being artistic and critical help develop informed individuals. The fact is that history and philosophy will always teach critical thinking and creative arts will always encourage reflection and meditation.

The Strength that role models give us Zoya Khan


I am going to be straight with you all: I love Mindy Kaling. If you have no idea who she is, I almost pity you. She is one of the geniuses who wrote for The Office (US), and she is also the angel who brought us The Mindy Project. Kaling is commonly known as the Indian who made it in Hollywood even though she was born and raised in America. She plays a huge role in representing the Asian community and is also a major inspiration to me because she worked hard to get where she is today. She did it the old fashioned way by getting through university (ahem, ahem) and going from there. Her relatability to the average woman is perhaps most intriguing: she’s smart, funny, and has great fashion sense. She is obsessed with the Real Housewives. What I love the most is her confidence and sense of humour, but, unfortunately, not every-

one sees that. Some people still have a problem with her weight, her skin colour, or they believe that her character on The Mindy Project is too stupid to be a doctor. I’m sorry, what? I know that the world isn’t perfect, but ignoring her work because she doesn’t fit the ideal Hollywood star profile seems a bit of a stretch. Are you seriously going to be annoyed because you think she uses too many pop cultural references and dresses in bright colours given her character’s profession? By no means am I saying everyone has to love Kaling because everyone is entitled to make their own choices, but it frustrates me when people are so small-minded. This isn’t just specific to Kaling but applies to any public figure or person. We often forget that there are other factors that contribute to a person’s personality. One of the major lessons

that I learned from Mindy is to be yourself and own it. Take your strengths and weaknesses and own them. There is nothing wrong in wanting to please others or to feel pretty. There is nothing wrong with feeling hurt by someone’s backhanded compliment and standing up for yourself even if they didn’t mean it in an insulting way. (PSA: Telling me I’m pretty for a brown girl is not a compliment; it’s insulting and degrading.) Watching Kaling’s characters on television and reading her work gave me a source of confidence and hope. She convinced me that hard work does pay off and that I am not as terrible as I think, and I am very grateful for that. I have seen and read quite a bit of content on confidence, courage, and empowerment, but nothing has struck me like Mindy Kaling’s work. It all comes down to the fact that she is genuine thank you, Mindy.

Faith & Thought An exploration of Yom Kippur


Yom Kippur really hit me this year in a way it had not hit me before. For Jews, Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year, when you atone and ask God for forgiveness for all your sins of the year. You fast all day, and go to services. If you do not practice religiously, Yom Kippur is the one day you are supposed to be at the temple. Yom Kippur fasting and rituals lead to inner reflection. I have always done the rituals, yet this year the inner reflection was more profound. The prayer during which I really had a breakthrough was the “Al-Chet” prayer. It asked me to look at my faults, and to not put the blame on anyone else. You should only focus on what you can control, and that is yourself. You should try to be your best self, and acknowledge if you have not been. That really hit me hard. Had I been my best self? The prayer acknowledges the things you might have done. After each one, you physically hit your heart with your fist. The things were hitting me literally and figuratively. The Cantor never said “if ” you have done them, but that you “have” done them. That language made me feel free to have made mistakes, and the optimism to be able to fix them. Instead of feeling alone, and isolated, I felt we were together, a group, owning up to all our sins. The Rabbi mentions that if you made a mistake with a human, then you must go to the human and make it better. If you made a mistake with G-d, then it is between you two. I really liked this idea. Yom Kippur was not condemning you to your sins, it was giving you the opportunity to make it right. I cannot control others; that is between them and G-d. But I can control what I do, think or say. In the service I had tears in my eyes, but they were tears of realization, not guilt. Now I know my guilt wasn’t from my mistakes because EVERYONE makes mistakes. It was from not trying harder to amend them, and become a better person. The point of Yom Kippur is what you do after you have made mistakes. Yom Kippur is an acknowledgement of being human, which includes your weaknesses. However, the process of acknowledging and noticing your weakness gives you the chance to change them for the future. G-d is not meant to chastise you, but allows you to know your weaknesses so that you can become a better person, and live better. I viewed G-d as more loving, and less disapproving. What the Rabbi said really hit me. She said, “G-d does not ask, ‘why have you not been like Moses?’ G-d asks, ‘Why have you not been your best self?’ ” When I would fail, I would think that I had failed G-d and then did not try to fix my mistakes. I would give up. My sin was not being unlike Moses, for G-d does not expect that. My sin was not striving to be my best self! When I learned that, I knew why I felt guilty, and I knew where I had to start to try to fix my behavior and be a better person. I would strive to be my best self. I do not know why this only hit me this year, but it did. Maybe that is why it happens every year. Maybe that is why we do the ritual over and over again, hitting our heart over and over again. Through the repetition, maybe something that has not sunk in before will sink in. By hearing the same prayers and sermons and faults repeatedly, you will take something a little differently away from it. And this year it was really different. The repetition worked. I am excited to keep doing it year after year to discover something else I have not had the chance to know before. In the end it was not as somber as I previously thought. Yom Kippur is not a time to be judged for mistakes. It’s a time to acknowledge them because we are all human, and then do better. I finally got that. Shalom!

13 ‘Faith’ as a method Elizabeth McDermott FAITH EDITOR

One of the most striking visuals of our new President David Mulroney’s installation on October 2 was the procession of the professors and members of U of T down the aisle of St. Basil’s in their academic robes. A centuries old tradition, the colour and style of every robe denote the academic achievements of each man and woman. President Mulroney himself symbolically donned the robes of the president after his installment. As antiquated as their clothes may have seemed on this occasion, the thought struck me - how often do we look at our professors in such a way as the wearing of their academic robes reminds us to do? This outward sign of their accomplishments serves as a reminder of the greatness of the minds from whom we are privileged to learn, and of the community of which we are a part. The ceremony displayed on official occasions ties the people who enable us to learn to the larger tradition of the university. These few years given to us at the University of Toronto provide exceptional opportunities to study what it is we are attracted to. But we must not forget the men and women who make this possible for us, for their presence is one of our greatest gifts. We are able to pursue our interests freely, helped and supported by those who have travelled much further down these paths, and who yet look back to guide us along. G. K. Chesterton once said “The worst moment for an atheist is when he is really thankful and has no one to thank.” To have a Person to thank for this gift, one must have faith in a tradition that teaches us about that Person. But has not science already shown faith to be superfluous in this time of scientific discovery and empirical proof? Yet if we see more than mere costume in the procession of professors in their robes, we must have faith in the university tradition. What is faith? If it be blind belief it is required neither from our professors nor the Church. If, however, it is at least as much a method of understanding as is the scientific method, then we can reasonably have faith in the tradition of the university and of the Church. This then must be recognized as the meaning of faith. Faith is the decision to trust someone else, a decision made with reason for doing so. This method, you see, is not so unusual. To live, one must live by faith, or not at all; we live by faith every day. We have faith in our professors and the institution of the university they represent, in the authors of our textbooks, and in those who have found the truths that we learn. All require a decision to trust that they have knowledge that we lack (and these instances of faith, merely within the university). As we have faith in the people of the university through our experience with them, so too can we have faith in another Person. This necessity of faith should not be unfamiliar to us. We can grow in confidence as we are proved justified in faith in every aspect of our lives. We have reason to trust in our professors, having experienced both their knowledge and their zeal in sharing it with us. Perhaps there is also reason to trust in another One who looks back to guide us, should we recognize our experience of Him. Through faith, we have both a Person to thank, and many persons to thank Him for - some of whom have funny looking robes hanging in their closets.



Sports in Brief: NHL: The regular season is upon us! Will the Kings rebound from last year’s disappointment? Can Chicago repeat? How will the Leafs fare? Stories wwwwabound. MLB: October baseball has sparked Jays-mania in Toronto. By the time of publishing, the Jays will have either made an excellent comeback or fallen just short of the ALCS. NBA: Preseason tipoff begins – including the 2015-2016 debuts of some of basketball’s biggest players. Regular season begins October 27th. NFL: When it comes to line rotation, the New England Patriots have been flying in the face of conventional wisdom. Will they spark a new trend in the league? What we learned this week: • Never assume anything in your sports pool drafts. Evander Kane taken before Jamie wBenn? Clearly a Sabres fan. • Jordan Spieth, if this wasn’t already the consensus, is for real. • Munenori Kawasaki loves the spotlight. Wait, we knew this already? What did you learn this week in the world of sports? Email The top three submissions will be featured in our next issue! Caption Contest: Email your funniest caption for the photo below to The top three submissions will be featured in our next issue!


September 26th marked the beginning of the Dean’s Cup Games. Come out on October 24th to play and watch each SMC residence building compete for a truly historic victory.

The games might be competitive, but everybody in residence is invited to come out and join in the events. The second instalment of the games is approaching quickly, so talk to your residence Don about how to join in the fun.



Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin is sparkin’ praise from hockey experts Alex Wichert SPORTS EDITOR Understandably, there was hype this season beyond recent years’ measures regarding the debuts of Oiler Connor McDavid and Sabre Jack Eichel. Undoubtedly, the 2015 crop of NHL draftees who had already made their respective clubs have garnered media interest and fan followings alike. However, with the exception of from within the Michigan area, there is another young upstart in the NHL who had flown under the proverbial radar in the weeks leading up October’s puck drop. That’s Detroit’s Dylan Larkin. He’s the first Red Wing teenager to play for his club since Steve Yzerman – a lofty sparring mate, to be sure, and certainly company to whom some experts have already drawn connections. He made the team out of training camp – displacing Anthony Mantha as the team’s most coveted prospect along the way – and found himself slotted on the top line along with Justin Abdelkader and Captain Henrik Zetterberg on opening night. He collected his first career assist early into the game before following it with his first career goal a period later. He’s been receiving Special Teams time and has been contributing in all zones of the ice. Most importantly, however, he appears to be a potential replacement for stars Pavel Datsyuk and the aforementioned Zetterberg in a few years’ time. Players like Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar have been touted as the next generation of Euro Twins but, only two games into the young season, Larkin is arguably the most important player on the Detroit roster if one applies a lens of foresight. Is he too young and new in this league to be considered a legitimate top-tier talent? First-year Head Coach Jeff Blashill certainly doesn’t think so: “Going back to the days when I was coaching juniors in Indianapolis, the age doesn’t matter to me at all,” Blashill said. “Experience certainly matters, resume matters. I know Henrik Zetterberg’s cool under pressure, so he’s built that over time, but age doesn’t matter. The guys that I think give us the best chance to win are the ones that I’m going to play in the situations.” Blashill’s ideology seems to be paying off. Detroit is 2-0 and, although a small sample size, has fans salivating at the prospect of returning to the upper strata of NHL teams. Part of the club’s success this year will certainly be how Larkin plays, and part of how he plays will be in accordance to his utility. “I think that’s an important part as a player, especially as a young player to be able to play different positions,” Blashill, on Larkin, stated. “We didn’t move him to center because he was struggling. On the wing I actually thought he was doing a pretty good job. I actually thought Z’s [Zetterberg’s ] line was the one line that was going, but we thought we had to get some other combinations going so we could get more one through four [lines] action.” “The thing that I like about Larks is that he can do both at a young age and that’s important.” Larkin grew up a Red Wings fan, so one must think that a substantial level of his leadership, poise, and success is due to the enthusiasm he has for playing for his favourite team. He would, of course, bring his talent to any of the other 29 clubs, but there’s evidently a certain extra incentive to playing in front of hometown fans. Scoring a goal in your first game at home is special, too. “It’s an incredible feeling just to see it go in and see the Joe [Joe Louis Arena] go pretty crazy,” Larkin said. “Ever since the introduction there, I was kind of feeling the nerves, and to put that one home, I started to feel comfortable and I thought my play started to pick up.” It remains to be seen if he can continue his torrid pace, but he has shown all the signs of the drive needed to remain and compete in the NHL. Some pundits think young players’ games are significantly lacking, but this Detroit player isn’t Larkin much.

Houston Rockets’ Dwight Howard not concerned about pending Free Agency Alex Wichert SPORTS EDITOR “On a professional level, when I came to the Rockets I was just trying to get past back surgery and get back to a good place on the court where I could physically perform and I think I’ve done that.” Dwight Howard speaks about his beginnings with the Houston Rockets and what those years have meant to him. “Personally, these past two years have been just as satisfying, because they have allowed me to just play the game, play basketball, and not have so much other stuff going on in my mind.” He signed a four-year deal to join the Rockets in 2013 but the contract has an opt-out clause for next summer; Free Agency may very well be looming for the center. Howard, however, isn’t too concerned about that possibility. “My only interest is in playing this season and chasing down that championship.” Traditional lip service, to be sure. What athlete wouldn’t reaffirm her or his intentions to focus solely on the game, on the events taking place upon the court, ice, field, etc., and to approach the niggling details of contract discussions as they come? However, there is a feeling that what Howard is saying is the truth: he is entirely focused on pursuing that ultimate goal of basketball and, if he isn’t concerned about next Offseason, perhaps it’s because the thought of leaving the Rockets hasn’t been something he has seriously entertained. His team made it to the Conference Finals last year, so the squad definitely has the recent experience and credibility. In addition, the group has assembled an all-star cast of coaches and management that has been conducive to Howard’s development as a player. The organization appears to be an excellent fit for Howard. “When you make a decision like I did to come to Houston, you never really know what’s on the other side. You’re taking a risk. But for the most part since I’ve been here, I’ve been getting back to who I am. That’s not necessarily just as a basketball player. In the community. In the organization. In the locker room. Just being who I am and not letting what is being said affect how I treat my teammates or the fans or the staff.” “A lot of that is due to the organization here and how they’re treated me. A guy like Tad [Brown] really believes in me. Not just as a player, but as a businessman. That’s rare to have a Team President that thinks that highly of you.” For now, the focus is on playing basketball. He’ll need to make a decision eventually but, at least for the immediate future, Dwight Howard just wants to rocket up the standings.

16 Carry a new perspective into your lives, your studies, and most likely your problem sets. Subject, and UofT student, Hannah Brennen remembers not to flip out during midterm season.

Keenan Gibson PHOTO EDITOR

Photography Copyediting News Design Opinions Arts are the new black write or edit for us


The Niagara Escarpment offers someone the best views and most exhilarating activities in Ontario. Similar to jumping from a cliff, make sure you’re ready and know where you’re headed before jumping into the second half of the semester.

Profile for The Mike

The Mike Oct 21 2015  

The Mike Oct 21 2015