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A St. George’s School Student Publication

March 2010

Next secretariat excited to take over yearly conference Andy Lee hopes to bring a great deal of change to next year’s Vancouver Model United Nations Conference

By Nabil Virji fter a highly successful 2010 conference, the next secretary general of the St. Georges run Vancouver Model United Nations (VMUN) 2011 has been announced. Andy Lee, a grade 11 student, was chosen by the outgoing secretariat to lead the organization and execution of VMUN 2011. In accordance with tradition, Lee was chosen by the outgoing secretary general and secretariat of VMUN. “In our opinion as a group, Andy was the best candidate,” 2010 secretary general Thomas Schlee explained. Schlee added that Andy showed evidence of being able to accomplish the tasks involved with the organization of the event. VMUN 2010 took place from January 15th-17th 2010, at the Marriot Pinnacle hotel in downtown Vancouver. It attracted over 300 students from schools around the province, with over 100 representing St. Georges. In addition, five grade 12 St. Georges students, including Andrew Warren, Rahim Lalji, David Gong and Greg Carros were a part of the VMUN secretariat. Andy Lee served as the as the Director of DISEC, a general assembly, one of the conferences largest committees. When asked

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what his impression of VMUN 2010 was, grade 11 student Sichen Liu had some choice words. “I think it was well organized and run, making it a very educational experience. The committees were serious and professional, but also fun at the same time” he explained. Staff sponsor Ben Griffin, one of the main staff members instrumental to the conference, also thinks it went well. “I thought this was the smoothest conference yet. More schools were represented, including more public schools than ever before, and the conference was financially sound,” he stated. Griffin also believes that it is important to keep the decision of Secretary General a student-made one. “The conference is student run, and we would like it to remain that way in the future. The staff members involved are there to ensure safety and legality.” Lee was “honoured” to be chosen as Secretary General for VMUN 2011. “I really appreciate the trust that this year’s Secretariat has put in me and I will do everything I can to uphold their trust and to organize a successful conference.” Lee, who is a Model United Nations enthusiast, has participated in and staffed at numerous con-

Andy Lee, the next secretariat of VMUN, during one of his talks ferences, Connect Model United Nations (ConnectMUN) and Canadian High School Model United Nations (CAHSMUN) being two such examples. ” I hope to take all that I have learned

Arts Week around the Corner By Chris Chen tarted twenty-five years ago by Nan Oliver, a retired teacher from the school, Arts Week has become something more than a simple tradition within St. Georges. It has become a time for talented artists to showcase their hard work and imaginative masterpieces. Only a month away, Arts Week ’10 is fast approaching. “Our goal for this year’s Arts Week is to show audiences the personalities of the artists, rather than just showcasing their work. Art is very personal; it is something from which other people can understand you,” says Brian O’Connor, head of the art department.Arts Week participants include keen writers, musicians, and fine art students. Each day of the week starts off with an assembly dedicated to a certain aspect of art. The school atmosphere is

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further livened up with music and performances that take place during lunch breaks, which previous years included live band acts and even disk jockey sets. “As of right now there is no theme for Arts Week ’10. We have a large range of talents; a theme would only limit their works,” O’Connor explains. Arts Week is also the time when the Morning Edition, Contemporary Music Night, and Opus Live take place. The first two initiatives are musical performances, with the Morning Edition being more classical and traditional in terms of sound while the Contemporary Music Night presents a modern vibe. On the other hand, Opus Live is an evening of sharing student-produced literature. “Opus Live is an event which takes place during the evening, in which artists of all types, from fine arts to literature, can share

their works. The Opus [publication] is also published and released around the time of Arts Week,” says O’Connor. All three events are co-organized with students to ultimately showcase the school’s artistic talent. “Each event is a celebration of art and culture within the school.” The yearly Rigg Scholars will also be setting up their works around the school, mainly within the Great Hall area. “Last year the Rigg Scholars worked on a collaborative project, in which each artist was trying to weave their styles together into a single unique painting,” noted O’Connor. O’Connor also mentioned the possibility of a new “documentary film festival,” in which four art-related movies will be shown everyday after school during the Week. Arts Week is scheduled to begin mid-April.

from helping to organize those two conferences to ensure that VMUN 2011 will run smoothly and successfully” While acknowledging that this year’s conference has been the

best yet, he has set some ambitious goals for next year. “I think I will bring a great deal of change to VMUN…I see the possibility of VMUN being a larger, more diverse and inclusive conference that will hopefully cater to not just several schools, but to schools from across the province.” Lee cites larger involvement from province-wide schools, especially public schools, as an important factor to the success of VMUN. “I am defiantly looking at encouraging more schools to participate in the conference, so that delegates will be able to interact with a more diverse group of people and debate multiple perspectives of world issues.” Wong agrees with Lee’s goals. “I would like to see the conference marketed better to a wider variety of schools, because last year, when I was at University Hill Secondary School, I had no clue about VMUN. Also, I think it would be good to be able to work and interact with different people, not just fellow private school students. I also think that there should be more options in regards to rooming. However, I’m confident that with Andy in charge, VMUN 2011 should run very smoothly, and be just as good, if not better than VMUN 2010.”

Curriculum Theater introduced to Saints’ drama By Stewart Smith

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he adrenaline rushes as the light hits the stage. The actors take a deep breath to settle their nerves and they step into the audience’s view. The students of St. Georges take the stage. Brand new to the 2009 /10 year, Saint Georges’ drama students in grades 10, 11 and 12 will be undergoing curricular dramatic performances. This means that they will rehearse and perform a play or scene for a public audience as well as for marks, according to drama teacher, Robert Widen. “[Curriculum performances] give an opportunity to students who are not in The Saints Players to gain experience and important skills about theatre,” says Wisden. “It is very demanding, but still fun.” “The students will learn how to get into character, along with their lines. The process will en-

courage students to research their roles to improve their overall performance.”Curriculum performance will also expose students to some much needed theater etiquette, both on and back stage. “Students will learn how to act appropriately back stage. They will also learn how to work as a team to put on [a show],” states Wisden. This new form of assessment will be starting in late May, with grades 10, 11 and 12 presenting different shows, in different literary styles. Grade 10 will be performing a production entitled, “Ehrenfeld” by Richard Dixon. The Grade 11 class, which will be in the midst of a Shakespeare scene study at the time, will also be performing along with the Grade 12s, who will be in an one act play. The exact date is yet to be specified. All of these performances will have a matinee show as well as an evening show.


Saints student Denis Huang participates in the Vancouver 2010 Closing Ceremonies By Ivan Cheung

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usic is a crossroad that can lead to many different paths and experiences. This year, at the Winter Olympic Games closing ceremony, Denis Huang, a grade 10 St. George’s student, played music for the world. Huang plays the viola, and had been doing so for over seven years. He is a member of the Vancouver Youth Symphony, and was one of the 65 musicians chosen in the symphony to play at the closing ceremonies. The group played on the stage where John Furlong and Jacques Rogge made their speeches. Huang described how the stage was “shaking with sound.” This was the first time Huang had played in front of such a “large and important” audience. The Vancouver Youth Symphony mainly played pop songs, as well as those specially made for the Olympics, such as “Long May You Run” and the Olympic theme. “Not everyone was chosen to go,” he said. “We were given a choice, but of course all of us wanted to take part.” However, the unique performance also required the musicians to swear not to reveal any element of the program. Huang felt that it was a bit difficult to accomplish this as many people pressured him to leak the music

The Olympic Flame during the Closing Ceremonies with the band playing in both the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. pieces. “The media approached the conductor and the managers,” the musician said. “We had to swear to the secrecy beforehand in order to keep the songs a surprise.”

Other difficulties included the lengthy practices, dress rehearsals, and a major rehearsal, which was an extremely lengthy imitation of the closing ceremonies. “We started practicing in November and through December,”

he said. Security practices and rehearsals took place in January and February. Despite these obstacles, Huang felt that having the opportunity to play for the country really was worth the price. He also described

the many perks and memories of being a performer at the Winter Olympics. “First of all, we got to watch a section of the closing ceremonies,” the performer said. “The symphony had a really good view because we were stationed at the elevated platform of the stadium.” “We got to interact with the athletes themselves before the ceremonies,” he added. “In addition, we had the chance to stand on the podium and take pictures besides the Olympic cauldron.” The greatest benefit of attending, though, was meeting new people and making new friends. The most powerful memory was how the group was united when they sang the national anthem of Canada together, celebrating the end of the Olympics. “It was a once in a lifetime experience,” Huang said enthusiastically. “The closing ceremonies had an atmosphere that was electrifying.” The closing ceremonies attracted more than 60,000 live audience members from around the world. The event was alos telecast world-wide, and was viewd by billions of viewers. The closing ceremonies featured a wide array of of Canadian artists, such as Michael Buble, Avril Lavigne and Nickelback. The Paralympic games run until late March.

Facebook groups help connect georgians Sayonara Ms. Kobayashi! By Alan Osiovich

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ith the recent surge of social networking sites, an increasing number of Facebook groups designed to reconnect Georgians are popping up. Currently, there are four class groups (1983, 1987, 1997, 1999); the groups are managed independently from the school but have been linked to the School’s “Social Media” page. Bryan Ide, Director of Georgian Relations, explained that Georgians are already using Facebook in their own personal lives. “Having them network with other Georgians through their class years is only a natural extension of what they already do on social networking sites.” The cost-effective groups have helped reconnect Georgians who are living in the community or around the globe; a number of “Lost Georgians” were reconnected as well (those with whom St. George’s had completely lost track of). As Ide continued, “Whether our Georgians are in Toronto, New York, or Hong Kong, they know what events are happening around the school.” Ide explained that the School’s formal

presence in each group can be a double-edged sword, “On the one hand, we want to be able to communicate with our Georgians through Facebook. On the other hand, we don’t want to appear as though we’re monitoring people’s lives.” The first Georgians group page started about five years ago. Ide explained that a “forward-thinking” young Georgian from the Class of 2000 started the Georgians Facebook group page. “When I asked him where he got the idea, he simply replied, ‘I thought that it would be created sooner or later.’” Ide confirmed that he is quite hands-off in terms of the management of the various Facebook group pages, “My primary concern is just making sure our Georgians know about all the events we have.” As more people become comfortable with Facebook, it’s expected that more class pages will pop up. However, the Georgians Relations department routinely performs searches on Facebook that deem unsuccessful. “I suspect that there are a whole bunch of class pages already in existence; sometimes it’s hard for the school to find out because no

one tells us and the searches we routinely perform on Facebook don’t yield anything new.” Ide feels confident that Facebook provides one of the most convenient ways for people to keep in touch with one another, “Soon after Saints won the AAA Basketball Championship, I Iogged onto Facebook and Georgians from around the world had updated their statuses congratulating the school on our win. That’s the power of Facebook - it allows people from all over the world to be part of a common experience.” A large part of Ide’s job is trying to connect with lost Georgians. During the summer time, several Saints student help Ide with making the emails and phone calls to the Georgians that have lost contact with the school for several decades. Nabil Virji, a grade 11 student, said “It can be quite frustrating when no one picks up the phones that we have called over and over again. But, its really exciting once we successfully contact Georgians.” Ide explained that classes that graduated in the 21st century won’t be such a stuggle to communicate with in the future, making his job just that much easier.

By Tony Ahn

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hika Kobayashi, the Japanese class volunteer assistance, left on Feb. 13, just before the Olympics, due to a medical emergency. Kobayashi stated that her grandmother had a heart attack, and was sent to the hospital. Her grandmother, Emiko Uehara, was known to have abnormally low blood pressure, which probably triggered the heart attack, putting her in a vegetative state. Kobayashi also stated that her grandmother has suffered heart attacks before, but this one was more serious.Kobayashi also added that her grandfather passed away last June, but she wasn’t able to be with him at the time. This time, Kobayashi said she wanted to be with her grandmother. “I wanted to go back to Japan before something bad happened. I wanted to see her face before her condition worsens too much,” says Kobayashi. Martha Bassett, the Japanese teacher in St.George’s, said she would have loved if Kobayashi could have stayed longer, but was grateful that she came along. She also said, “She added another

voice, another perspective, oneto-one opportunities for some boys in some classes. She provided direct instructions for the boys doing Japanese AP, who would otherwise work by themselves with the guidance instructions.” Students from the Japanese classes were also alarmed to hear that Kobayashi was leaving. Armaan Dhanji, who is a student from Japanese 10, stated, “I feel like something’s lacking in class. She was a tremendous help to the class, and I miss her being in class already.“ “I learned many things about difference between Canada and Japan,” says Kobayashi. “I especially felt the warmth and kindness of the people here. For example, people encourage each other to express their feelings, greet one another without hesitation, and they are also looking out and helping each other. I think Japanese could learn how to express their warmth like the people here.” Kobayashi has no intention of returning to Canada anytime soon and added, “I will really miss everyone in Japanese class, and the people of Vancouver.”


Kemp Edmonds Addresses Student Body About Social Media Former Saints student emphasizes the importance of knowing how to take advantage of social media technology

By Alan Osiovich

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ast month, Georgian Kemp Edmonds spoke to the student body about the significance that social media plays in youths’ lives. During his presentation, Edmonds also considered both the beneficial and detrimental consequences that result from this social technology. Edmonds began his presentation during morning assembly posing the question, “What is more powerful than China, Iran and the Media?” Edmonds continued by addressing the widespread misconception that social media is simply a fad. Edmonds told The Echo that spreading this message to teenagers is especially vital. “Social media is so important to your [the youth] generation because as people who have always had it in your lives there is a lot of things you understand that others don’t, and in the future they will be looking to you for the answers.” Edmonds, accompanied by a simple prezi presentation, outlined the “life-saving and politically crucial” role that social networking sites have had in the third world. Edmonds cited several examples, including a recent

presidential election in Nigeria that was monitored with SMS technology and the Haiti disaster. Edmonds told the student body that social media has had an overwhelming impact in Haiti. “Social media has facilitated massive giving on a global level incredibly fast; communication via twitter and iPhones has made communication with people in dire need almost impossible to miss.” Despite having graduated 10 years ago, Edmonds attributes much of his motivation to Anthony Mercer’s words during a chemistry class in Edmonds’ grade 12 year. “One class, he said of my work, ‘You can do better than this. You aren’t using your full potential and if you

Students step into shoes of blind athletes for a day By Ivan Cheung

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ow would it feel to be blind but still want to play sports? PE students recently received the opportunity to step into the shoes of a visually impaired athlete by playing Goal-Ball. Mike Lonergan, coach at BC BlindSports society, led the class in exploring this unique sport. He also teaches track and field, soccer, tandem cycling, Frisbee golf, showdown, and swimming. “Goalball is a paralympic sport played by blind or visually impaired athletes around the world,” he explained. “It is the only team sport specifically designed for blind athletes.” The game, utilizing a heavy ball filled with metal chimes, involves rolling the ball across the goal line of the opposing team. The twist of the game is that all the players have to play with blindfolds. While the sport did not sound very exciting to students at first, its lasting impact and memories really benefited them. Varun Banthia, a participant of the PE class and visually impaired student himself, commented on the experience of playing Goalball. “We learned to broaden our perspectives,” he said. “ Goalball allowed us to step into the shoes of a blind person.” Daniel Truckalhoon, was sur-

prised by the unique sensation of being “handicapped”. “It was inspiring,” he said. “It’s inspiring because we can experience how blind people can play sports regardless of impairments.” Banthia feels that playing the sport was a good way to allow a physically capable person to experience a handicap. “Many people have difficulty imagining how it is to be blind,” he said. “This is one way to experience it. You don’t need to be good at sports to be good at Goalball,” Banthia added. The coach visited Saints because the school had an interest in learning about Paralympic sports and also because there is a student that is visually impaired. “I visit schools all around BC and Canada, usually where there is a blind or visually impaired student.” Lonergan felt that playing Goalball benefitted both the body and leadership skills. “It is a great exercise for fitness,” he said. “In addition, it teaches sport skills, team skills and important strategies.” Banthia agreed with the coach’s insights. “Goalball makes us work as a team, communicate without sights and sounds, and also improves our memory and orientation skills.”

continue down this road you will never reach your full potential.’ Those may not have been his exact words, but that was the sentiment and they really stuck with me more than anything else from

my days at Saints. Standing in front of 160 teachers it was his smiling face that truly told me that I was now, finally, on the right path. Thank you Dr. Mercer I never got a chance to tell you how important that advice was and how it truly stuck with me and helped me to continually challenge myself.” Milo Carbol, a Grade 12 student, said that he enjoyed every minute of Edmonds’ presentation, “Simplicity was key to his presentation; Edmond’s slides were really simple, usually one word or one picture per slide. The presentation had a great flow, and Edmonds did a great job in front of the entire school.” Despite presenting to audiences about once a week, Edmonds makes en-

tirely new presentations for each engagement. He explained that in doing so, he can keep presentations relevant and as up to date as possible, “It is time consuming, but it’s always worth it.” Edmonds works in the Marketing and Communications department at BCIT. His job is focused on using technology for recruiting and community building purposes at the college. Edmonds has two personal blogs that he updates regularly; Edmonds uses blogs to help businesses incorporate social media into their corporate structure. Edmonds also teaches a course at BCIT called Introduction to Social Networking. Check out Kemp’s Blogs: http://kempedmonds.com

Ipods in class? The teachers’ perspective:

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By Peter Ding eeing lots of St. George’s students using Ipods (including Iphones and Ipod touches) in class, The Echo wonders whether it is a serious issue or not in school. A few teachers, who have long-term teaching experience, were interviewed about their views on excessive use of Ipods in class. Marko Rnic, head of the music department, observed that students use Ipods to gain access to the internet in class. It is a big distraction, so he would prefer that students did not bring Ipod to class. Rnic also said, “There is a time for every activity. No activities can be done at the same time. Especially in a lesson, it’s not good for learning because everyone learns different aspects of things. Although there are students who have learnt how to play some music pieces very well, they can still learn new things from class when they listen to their teachers again.” Dwight Hillis, coach of the varsity hockey team and an English teacher, suggested that Ipod use in class is not a significant problem. He said, “I will occasionally ask boys to use their IPods to look up information we are discussing, and I’m sure boys are texting or watching occasional videos. That is a classroom management issue for which I must be diligent. Again, it is not a problem of merit.” Hillis said that he understood the fascination of having an Ipod and reporting excessive Ipod use in class is like complaining about the rain falling in Vancouver. Hillis believes that Ipods provide an advantage as students can access information that they never could. “Being able to access information on an author or quickly listen to a song in reference to a text is a positive if viewed correctly. We are the eyes of the world; it would be a shame if we were not allowed to look at all of it when we have the ability.” Hubert Wohlgemuth, a chemistry teacher and the head of the ski and snowboard team, usually asks boys to remove their ear pieces before class starts. “Occasionally, I will allow them to use ipods to listen to music when working on an assignment. Some kids use their ipod touches to play games. In those cases I will ask them to put them away. If I see it again, I remove it for the remainder of class,” he said. However, he did see the boys using their Iphones or other cell phones for sending and receiving texts during class. He usually called on the student if it is excessive or frequent. He believes that removing Ipods from them is quite sufficient. “I haven’t reported this problem to the school, as I don’t think it is a problem. The students are usually very respectful when asked to put them away,” he said. Wohlgemuth does not think that students can use Ipods for anything relevant to class. He said, “I would like to know how they use an ipod for studying purposes! My lectures are not pre-recorded, nor are there any good chemistry games!”


The New One