summer issue 2022

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table of con ten ts WHATVACATI ONLOCATI ONAREYOU?

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THREADS

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FORAGI NGFORCHI LDHOOD

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POEMS, PEOPLE, ANDSUCH

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WHATDI DWEDO?

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I FYOUTELLMETO BREATHE, I ' LLSCREAM

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UDEN IAM J

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WORTHWHI LE

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THETRUTH ABOUTSECULARI SM

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EDUCATI ONALCHANGE

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SENI ORSREFLECT: F AREWELLTO RHHS

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MYFI RS TLAS TARTI CLE

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EVERYBODYLOVESSOMEBODY

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As school is coming to an end and Summer is at our fingertips, where should YOU go for your ideal vacation? Take this quiz to find out!

Favourite seaon? A) Spring B) Winter C) Fall D) Summer

Choose an aesthetic: A) Studycore B) Citycore C) Dark Academia D) Cottagecore

Choose a coffee: A) Iced latte B) Americano C) Cappuccino D) Frappuccino

Choose a dessert: A) Creme Brulee B) Cheesecake C) Brownie Mug Cake D) Ice cream float

Choose from this list of random things that just make sense!

A) Chill breeze, blue roofs, oceanside, vines by the cafe B) Bright lights, bustling streets, shooting stars, cafe hopping C) Cozy blankets, warm hot chocolate, lazy mornings, afternoon walks D) Sunsets at the beach, friends, pineapple on pizza, wind in your hair


Greece! History and Architecture must be your thing, and so would be this location! Greece, a charming city with beautiful beaches, stunning views, and above all, monumental architecture. Whether you’re a Greek mythology nerd, architecture nerd, history nerd, or just want to experience the splendor of Greek scenery and cuisine, this is the place to be!

New York City. A classy one you must be. That or, you must dream big! Ah yes, the big city—the City that Never Sleeps. Even during the depths of midnight, illuminations of lights from the colossal skyscraper wrap the city in a warm embrace. Especially in the Winter months, this big city becomes a Winter wonderland, the epitome of Christmas spirit in the most exuberant city in the world!

Staycation. No place like home! Sometimes what you need most is to take a break from your active life, and relax at home with a warm cup of hot cocoa and your favourite show. Take this chance to cultivate your hobbies, binge watch favourite shows, and read new books! With the zen of this serenity you can fully enjoy the down time you deserve.

Hawaii. Your idea of unwinding? To have fun in the sun! Sometimes, nothing compares to the feeling of the ocean breeze with the sand in your toes and the sun shining on your face. Whether you’d like to relax with your favourite book under the warm sun, or go on a thrilling scuba dive, enjoy the tropical freshness of the oceanside and make the most out of the bustling setting!




Foraging for Childhood I just bought some new socks. I’ve been trying

to reduce my impulse purchasing, but the illustrations on these socks were just too magnificent to pass by. They depict these monsters, called “wild things”, from the 1963 children’s picture book Where the Wild Things Are. I felt like kind of a poser buying them (at the time I had never read the book or seen the movie) — but the art made me really happy.

In the movie adaptation of Where the

Wild Things Are, Max, the protagonist, gets into a kerfuffle with his mother. It leads to him running out of the house and down the dark street of his suburban neighbourhood, away from all his preteen troubles. Max boards a boat, sailing to a far-off land where the wild things are.

The film’s dialogue is incredibly

authentic. Every “wild thing” is of Max’s imagination, and so like young children, conversations are fantastical and non-conforming to societal norms. Similarly, the plot meanders — like the thoughts of one not yet burdened by reality, or one’s mind on a hot day.

Summer is encroaching.


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ays are getting warmer and sunsets later, leading to the two months we’re all anticipating. The cycle of waiting for summer has framed most of our lives. I remember elementary school recess. On the field, children would run about manically every day. From the trampled dirt bloomed mainly weeds.

Weeds aren’t very exciting — is what I used to think. Thanks to a good friend, I’ve been getting into foraging

lately. The act of foraging is one that I’ve always idealized as an escape to nature. In many countries, adults, children, and grandparents regularly go searching for wild food together as a family. Here, however, children are just told not to touch the pretty red mushrooms with white spots. I have learned that such is actually simplified advice stemming from the truth about the largely poisonous genus of Amanita mushrooms.

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ax doesn’t eat at all in the film. Though I imagine that if he did it would be food from the earth.

Children are empty canvases, filled with ideas waiting to surface. It is

society’s responsibility to nurture their creative tendencies. Where the Wild Things Are and the skill of foraging have made me reflect critically on the way our society raises youth. Antithetical to the philosophy of Where the Wild Things Are and that of foraging, society stifles curiosity. Childhood wonder is diluted and conformity fostered instead of originality. I believe that such methods are wrong on principle, but also detrimental to the critical thinking of generations expected to innovate for our future.

//KAREN ZHOU PHOTOGRAPHY// RACHEL LIU DESIGN // ISAAC SO


Poems, People, and Such When I first decided to go to Poetry in the Park on May 19th, I did it out of obligation. I’m a school journalist, and as such, I thought, it is my responsibility to report the goings-on around the school. It just so happened poetry was involved in the that. I’ve never been so glad to chase a story as I am with this. Poetry in the Park is an annual event in which the Slam Poetry Club transforms a small nook on the outskirts of the school into a riveting center for school culture and art. When I arrived, the club was still setting up, which allowed me ample time to speak with each member, our interviews played in with practicing bass guitars and instructions being given on where to place the snack table. Aarani Selganesh is the current president of Slam Poetry Club She described the club as an amazing environment dedicated to a “difficult” form of art: the slam poem. She elaborated that she believed people viewed it difficult as, growing up, we are taught that poems must fit into a rhyming scheme, but slam is dependent on rhythm. “You create rhythm,” she smiled, “by speaking from your heart.” She provided the perfect introduction for me, as this club does have a lot of heart. Consider members like Sarah Jagani, who joined because of her competitive passion for poetry and stayed due to her love for the others and the art as a whole (while effortlessly helping set up chairs), and Darcy Lock, who enjoyed the club as it gave her the chance to make many friends while allowing her “creative juices to flow.” Vanessa Wang is another member who started in grade nine and had the time to joke that there were different “themes” to the event based on the weather. (For those curious, this theme was “humid, but nothing a Coca-Cola couldn’t solve.”) With the friendly banter that filled every cranny of the environment, it would be easy for anyone unfamiliar with the club to assume it’s all fun and games. Roxana Rafiei, who usually writes for the announcements on behalf of the club, explained that, beneath the surface, the club is a hard-working bunch. Apparently, an idea such as Poetry in the Park goes through multiple stages. Firstly, Mr. Cimetta (the teacher advisor for the club of AP English fame) presents the idea for a club event (this is about his sixth time hosting an event such as this). Then, the club rallies, scheduling everything from when they are free to plan out the event and meet up to how they will put their plan to fruition. Finally, the event is set in motion, lights strewn about the pines and all. The event itself was packed with talent.


It began with an unnamed band comprised of three guitarists (Maritn, Alyssa, and Farzad) playing Green Day and The Cure. Their sounds provided a sense of organized chaos to the opening of the event, as well as a lively tone. Then, Sarah performed “Caged Bird” by Maya Angelou. Her performance was captivating as she brought a passionate new voice to a classic. Truly, she was Maya Angelou for the minutes she presented. I hope that she continues reading Angelou’s work as I received a fresh perspective from her reading alone. Following that came Darcy with her original poem “Will it Start With You?”, which questioned the power the average person has on wartimes and peace. Her words were eloquent and thoughtful, making for an introspective experience. Guitarist Vanessa then played her original song “When Will the Fighting Ever Cease?”, a tearful retrospective on the wars past and how despite time’s march forward, nothing truly changes. She provided beautiful vocals that made the audience quiet with contemplation even after she had finished playing. Aarani then presented her slam poem “What Did We Do?” which focused on the negative impact humanity has had on the innocent environment. She had a strong range of emotions throughout and expert use of imagery. It was only fitting that a plane tried to silence her from above as she spoke. Her act was followed by Roxana’s “Rollercoaster”, a slam poem about her emotional turmoil set to a numbering motif that kept her performance suspenseful. Frankly, for all the times she was counting down, I wish she would never stop talking. Alyssa gave a solo performance of a poem they had presented at a poetry championship, discussing how crowded they felt when others tried to have them calm down at the changes in contemporary society. It was a heartfelt show of their raw emotions, one that I got lost in. Martin and Farzad then joined them for a final chaotic cover of “Sweater Song” by Wheezer. The event was closed by Ryan, who presented his poem “Love the Burn” about the complexities of having dark skin and the disadvantages it has brought him in life due to the racism of others. He spoke with such fierce conviction that it was no wonder he was chosen to close the event off. Even now, as I sit with a sunburn on the back of my neck, I have to acknowledge how grateful I am to have seen the events. I urge everyone to go to the Slam Poetry Club’s future events, even if they do not have a story to chase. Who knows? You just might be humming a presenter’s poem to yourself while you clean the dishes.

// LEAH BEL BEN-TZUR PHOTOGRAPHY// ZEPHRY ZHAO & SARAH JAGANI DESIGN// ROMINA POURJAFAR DEHKORDI // CANAVA




I am Juden. I am the highly Jew, the one who ran through sand and tasted bitter tears to be able to hold my head up high. I am the Jew you so desperately fear because, regardless of sensibilities, you sit perched like the vultures so pointedly, looking down and wondering if I’ll give up. That way your poor feathers will not be desecrated by my Jew’s fingers. Don’t hold your breath waiting for me to stop, I am nearly at your branch. I am Juden. Forbid me from speaking and I will write. Take the graphite from my expert palms and watch me break my skin to use a redder kind. Expect me to know how to work around your predatory dispositions. I am Juden. I do not seek your approval. I do not seek the little golden star reminding me that I appeased your souls. My people had starred chests before; we crumbled a thousand-year regime to show it did not take. Feel salty herbs in your mouth from surprise when I show you how loud I can speak, how quickly I can think, how fearless I am when I deny your collar. I will bite at your leash and bite at your hand, never quite as calloused as mine. As those younger and not. I am Juden. Seek for my friendship and find a staunch ally in return. I am nothing but willing to provide the sea to those who wish to simply hear me. The sun will be held in your hands so long as you whisper, once, twice, thrice, to understand the stripes. To understand the Hebrew who dares fight back the awful ignorance of an unstarred background who finds the courage to oppose me. If you will respect me (and become one of the most courageous of people), I, in turn, will provide you with a hearty meal and, if you stand by my side, a good drink to go with it. We are quite good at meals. I am Juden. The ethnoreligious rat who dared outlived the hawk and lion. Run under the house to the brick-laid foundation and find me scurrying. Get the exterminator and see me outrun the suffocating fog. Have your drinks on the Autobahn then switch to the Pacific Coast, and choke on the syrup when you find the rat back under your house. I am Juden. If that is too bad. If that is a ing. I am your antithesis. I I am Juden.

not enough, too bad. If that is a threat, death sentence, too bad. You are notham the antithesis.



Educational Change It's no understatement that education plays a crucial role in our development. From the moment we are born, we are fed beliefs, skills, and moral influence from those around us, and as we grow older, we gain knowledge based on those values. We acquire a large portion of our knowledge in the form of schooling, where we learn about various subjects that are not always relevant to our lives. Our modern education system is formulated on a curriculum that was designed generations ago. So is this system really modernized? While education is certainly not what it was in the past, it also doesn’t meet our modern values. Firstly, it's important to recognize how far the education system has come. Through the years, we’ve altered curriculums and incorporated technology into teaching. This has benefited us by introducing new topics that are applicable to the real world. Despite this, our education system still doesn’t align with our modern values. Rather than fostering critical thinking, life and analytical skills, our schooling solely encourages monotonous academic excellence. Additionally, as developments in teaching and learning approaches are established, it's important to incorporate them into education to accommodate students' needs. As the concept of education is starting to be viewed in a different light, the system must be altered to meet these standards.

To encourage change in education, we must first identify the barriers that prevent us from doing so. Lack of funding within schools discourages students from meeting their potential. Investing in education will create a better future for us - with increased innovation and productivity. Introducing new learning approaches allows children to determine how they can strive for excellence. Ultimately, this is beneficial because new educational methods promote individuality, which is growing in demand. To ensure that our education system is catered to our current values, advocating for change is critical. In a world where creativity and innovation are becoming more valuable than ever, implementing new practices will benefit us and future generations immensely.

// MIRIAM MAJGAWKER PHOTOGRAPHY // PIXABAY DESIGN // ROMINA POURJAFAR DEHKORDI


the Truth about

S E C U L A R I S M

Consider not being able to select your religion. Consider being murdered solely because of your sexual orientation. Imagine your family facing discrimination from their government simply because they wear a different piece of clothing. Is this something you've heard before? This is what happens when countries deny their citizens' freedoms. This is due to non-secularism. We must first define secularism. It is, in essence, the freedom to choose. You have the freedom to believe whatever you want, to be whoever you want, and to do whatever you want. This is what secularism is all about. Secularism is the freedom to provide people with a choice. It is the societal imperative to instill freedom in the populace. Because we live in a secular and liberal country, you and I have the privilege and right to be who we are. My friend's parents were raised in a nonsecular country. Religion was the most influential factor in these countries' decision-making, as religion and state were highly correlated. Furthermore, religious interference caused political and social unrest in the country, forcing them to flee. People in these nonsecular countries are sometimes forced to practice a particular religion or face death. Persecution of Baha'is in Iran is one example of such an occurrence. People of this faith have long been persecuted and denied basic human rights in said country. According to Amnesty International, more than 202 Baha'i followers have been killed simply for exercising their rights. Their freedom to practice their religion. Secularism allows people to practice their beliefs freely and without interference from the government. It also allows for the prioritization of social justice and equality without religious interference. For example, in 2005, Canada legalised same-sex marriage. The parliament concentrated on the humanitarian aspect of the situation rather than the religious aspect. Finally, secularism allows issues of freedom and social justice to be prioritized. It also protects all citizens, regardless of their beliefs or practices, and makes a country a better place in general. The truth about secularism and its values is as follows.

RONAN HASAN// LYNN HE//DESIGN


Seniors Reflect: Farewell to RHHS With the school year coming to an end, many Grade 12 students at Richmond Hill High School (RHHS) are anxiously awaiting the day they get to don their graduation gowns and accept their high school diploma. I had the opportunity to talk with three senior students, Ayyub Hussian, Eda Ozkaya, and Berra Sertkan, about their high school experiences and plans for the future. “To me, it's very bittersweet,” said Ayyub Hussain, reflecting upon the notion of graduation, “On one hand, I'm ready for my diploma, but on the other hand, this place has been a part of my life for four years and it's going to be hard to say goodbye.” Ayyub recalls the past four years as a transformative period in his life, going from being a shy niner to a sociable senior. “I went through a lot of stuff, but I also made really awesome, great friends. And I'm coming out of high school a more confident person,” he said. Berra Sertkan, having recently joined the RHHS community this year, enjoyed the freedom of being in high school as well as the opportunity for new friendships. “Drama classes were the best and I really liked the whole atmosphere,” she said, “I thought semester two was going to be harder, but my teachers were so nice and they're helping me a lot. I really like it here.” Eda Ozkaya was glad her time at high school would be coming to a close, yet she still held apprehension towards the next chapter of her life. “Honestly, it's both really exciting and scary,” she confessed, “I'm really nervous and scared because I'm moving, life is going on, and I'm going to step into a world that I have never seen or knew before.” Next year, Berra plans on attending Toronto Metropolitan University, formerly known as Ryerson University, to pursue a degree in Media. “I think I chose something that I'm going to be happy with and that makes me really look forward to post-secondary,” she said.


Having been accepted into his dream university, Ayyub is looking forward to pursuing many creative projects in the near future. “I feel like, especially with the pandemic, we've all lost a lot of valuable time,” he said, “But I just want to have fun, I just want to go with the flow, and life's going to be a party.” At the time of this interview, Eda is still deciding on which offer to accept. “It's confusing because I got acceptances to all the universities I wanted. So, now it's like, do I want to go there or not? I don't know anymore, but we'll see.” With graduation approaching and post-secondary school offers arriving, students have been afflicted by the effects of senioritis. A plague on the productivity of many senior students. “I've definitely had those periods of ugh-ness and feeling tired and exhausted and [having] no motivation to do anything,” said Ayyub, “It's definitely something to get used to and I’ve found ways to cope with it.” “It's hard to keep up motivation because you're almost there and you're like, ‘I got accepted so I don't need to study’ but I want to still achieve what I want,” Eda said. When asked what advice they would give their Grade 9 selves, Ayyub wanted to reassure his younger self that everything would eventually work out in the end. When asked what advice they would give their Grade 9 selves, Ayyub wanted to reassure his younger self that everything would eventually work out in the end. “You'll find your people. Don't rush. Don't worry about it,” he said. After criticizing her past-self for being cringey, Eda admitted that she wanted to tell her past self to not bottle up her emotions anymore. “It's not a solution. You're just locking it in yourself and it's going to explode one day. So, don't do that. Try to confide in someone, anyone, even your friend, and just try to find different solutions other than lashing out on people, because that's not nice. And also that's not healthy for you either.” Berra wished she could go back and tell her younger self to study more and to, most importantly, take better care of herself. “The one thing you have to care about is yourself,” she said, “And if you're okay, then everything else is probably going to be okay.”

//SARAH GRISHPUL PHOTOGRAPHY//UNSPLASH DESIGN//LYNN HE


After four long years of typing, I have arrived at my final article submission. I will admit that I submitted this late. The fault is only partially mine - I did procrastinate quite a lot. I would have submitted it earlier if not for a storm that wrecked power lines and wifi connections. I’m not too annoyed at myself for procrastinating. I spoke with a therapist about this once - I tend to write better when I’m under stress. I believe that this year in grade 12, I had an ISP essay due, and I managed to write it all the night before the peer edits were due. This bad habit of mine has been here all through high school. My best work is often finished an hour before the deadline. It doesn’t take me long to write a decent, 500-word article, maybe an hour if I’m a bit distracted. Oh, but when I’m inspired to write, and I have ideas and passion, and the minutes are ticking away? How delicious it is to have the words flow out when I’m in the zone. I will often have a drink beside me - I enjoy writing in the morning during weekends with something warm in a cup for the atmosphere and vibes it brings. Sitting in the living room in a leather chair, coffee or tea nearby, the sound of my mother peeling onions or slicing carrots or otherwise mise-en-place-ing. The routine does me well. My surroundings not changing much helps me concentrate on a time crunch. I will often take brief pauses to look outside the window or take a sip, but when I’m in the zone, I never really get distracted. If I happen to fixate on a particularly spicy word or phrase, oh how the English major in me rejoices! I can’t particularly remember any examples, maybe I ought to find some. I’ll take this moment to boast about myself - I do believe I have a talent for a witty turn of phrase. If I write something so delectably unique and funky, akin to a mycelium growth in a forest, that makes me proud of myself. That makes me think, oh, maybe I am good at writing. I tend to ride that high for the rest of that writing session. It’s a good feeling to have. My writing style is something I’m quite happy to say I developed with the Spyglass. This was the first time that I wrote an article, as opposed to a short story in a Literature class. I’m not very good at short stories, I tend to fall into cliches far too often. Non-fiction suits me much better than fiction does. I was subconsciously peer-pressured during my 9th-grade year to write more serious, factual pieces rather than fairytales, which worked out for the best. I vaguely remember, clear as a cloudy day, a comment on one of my articles on a peer editing document that we copywriters have. The document lets us all give and take criticism, ameliorating our work’s overall quality. Someone, I believe it was a Michelle, told me that they liked my work and that my writing style was witty with good humour. That comment practically convinced me that I was on the right path. Years later, I’m mentally preparing myself to go to university for a Bachelors in Journalism. I don’t know that I’ve worked harder than others, but I know that I’ve worked and grown, and changed. My writing reflects that, and I wouldn’t be writing nearly as much without this outlet. I’ve started to bring out more of my personality in my work, and write about things that I was interested in, rather than things that I felt I had to write about. It’s been a long, tiring, interesting 4 years with this magazine. Now to my peers editing this, those who want a career in this field, I feel that I ought to share some of my trade secrets with you. I’m a little too selfish for that though. Nevertheless, I’m willing to impart some elderly wisdom before I have to microwave my breakfast:


Everybody Loves Somebody Amongst the mirage of orange and red, School bells ring and new crowds bustle, A clumsy confession, Through glowing screens and gray bubbles, The lingering heat of previous summers, Turned cold with a single word. I ask, Should a special bond be so easily broken, Then the ‘like’ he speaks of, Was such equally shallow?

Will my stone heart be one day thawed, By a simple gaze of love and sincerity?

Grey clouds or blooming flowers, I watch from afar, My friends swept up by another, Eleven candles atop a chocolate ice cream cake, They speak with rose coloured lens, Dangling lights, decorated trees, steaming dishes, Sometimes tinted, but often opaque. The unfaithful exposed with a simple push. Like cherry blossoms, Leaving with tears in her eyes, Lasting for a short while, Before the unremarkable green takes over. She who I admired my whole life, I hope, Broken down to pieces by her vows. Surely, the love I seek, Fingers numbing, snow falling, Is not as fleeting as rosy pink petals. My beating heart has never been more frozen. I ponder, 21 candles to be placed on her mango cake, Everything must come to an end, High temperatures and burning sun, Even the ‘love’ I believed to be real. Dear sister’s return is near. Five candles added to a chocolate ice cream cake, I miss her with all my heart, Cold milk tea, awkward introductions, a chilled breeze. Her dumb jokes and calming presence, He looks at her like a dream, Yet I let her go, Against the setting winter sun. I let her fly as high as her wings allow, Cheeks flushed, breaths visible, Because indeed, the love I yearn for is right there, Their longing gaze and lingering hug, I know, Create a new warmth. It’s not the same as his loving gaze for her, I ask, Nonetheless, I’ve learned that I too am capable of loving. Indeed, everybody loves somebody.

SAMANTHA LEE// DESIGN// LYNN HE


COVERPHOTOGRAPHY/ /RACHAELPENG


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