Spring Break Edition
Student run newspaper committed to the St. George’s community
Sidoo aims “High” at dance competition Performs renowned “B-Boy Battle” routine at River Rock Show Theatre By Samir Javer he scene at River Rock Show Theatre in Richmond was electric on February 26 as over 500 dancers from across Canada took part in the annual High School High Hip Hop Dance Competition 2011. One amongst this massive group of high school dancers was Saints’ very own Dylan Sidoo, a renowned break-dancer whose retro flavour makes him stand out. His routine earned him third place in the “B-Boy Battle” segment of the competition, and he said the competition gave him some invaluable experience. Sidoo told The Echo, “I thought it was great. I got to meet new people within the Hip Hop community such as DJ Twist and also got to interact with my peers of similar age. The competition was elaborate with a national anthem, professional judges, announcers, and what not. It was a new and invigorating experience for me.” The seventeen year old took the stage by storm when he walked out in his familiar “swag”, sporting an Adidas tracksuit as his outfit, an integral part of his signature style. In fact, he had such a prolific entrance that the emcee mocked his crew, saying, “Uh-oh, they got tracksuits! These guys are serious!” This remark drew a laugh from the crowd. However, Sidoo put the taunts behind him and went ahead with his routine, which was a battle against a trio of other students, led by one of Sidoo’s acquaintances, Jasper Lan, from Point Grey Secondary. His opponents called themselves “Rated Underage”; yet, it was evident their skill was certainly up to standard. Tensions rose high late in the battle, hen Lan executed a rather risqué move as he kicked his feet
right up to Sidoo’s face, which, naturally, irritated the Saints student. The seventeen year old replied with a creative move of
Jordan Sidoo, brother of Dylan, currently in Grade 9 at Saints, who was in attendance at the competition, agreed that the emcee’s command
competition held annually in Vancouver, and for the first time this year, moved to the “big stage”, so to speak, as the event made the
Sidoo performing his “B-Boy Battle” Routine in front of judges
his own, bolting down the stage back to Lan and throwing a “grenade”, figuratively, in his face. However, the emcee seemed to hold a grudge against Sidoo for this move, as he unexpectedly yelled over the mic, “Oh that’s close. That’s too close, calling you out!” Following the emcee’s scoffing of Sidoo’s creative move, the Grade 11 student was forced to take a few steps back from his opponents and continue on with his routine.
to his brother was unnecessary. He told The Echo, “I don’t know why [he] told my brother to back off like that, Jasper had just done basically the same thing to him so I don’t see a problem with a little retaliation here and there. Isn’t that what breakdancing’s all about, being creative and aggressive?” Sidoo’s parents also agreed with their son, and were evidently not pleased at all with the emcee’s actions. High School High is a dance
big transition up to the River Rock Theatre, a highly prestigious venue. Sidoo said he loved the new venue, and said the atmosphere was breathtaking. He recalled, “I found the experience to be both exhilarating and fun. One of the things I like to do is to get the crowd involved, such as getting them to clap their hands. I also like it when I do a particular move that astonishes the crowd and gets them cheering. I don’t get nervous with a crowd
watching, but more so fired up.” The large crowd was a bit of a shock for the seventeen year old, who told The Echo he had performed in various battles before, but never in front of such a massive audience. The “B-Boy Battle” segment was a mere component of the entire day’s events, which included a wide variety of dances, most of which were hip-hop style. Sidoo is part of a crew called the “Back Avenue Breakers”, a name that has grown to become a staple term amongst the Grade 11 Saints community. As is common with most performers, the Saints student has his own stage name; Sidoo goes by the name “Kid Ruff”. Kid Ruff does have a wild side to him, but insists the nickname is hardly indicative of his personality. He is a lifer as well as an active member of the Saints community, most prominently in the theatre, where he has played a significant role in many past Saints productions such as “The Sound of Music” and “A Few Good Men.” In the past, Sidoo has shown his creative flair by creating a music video for a social studies project this year entitled “Waz Killa”, and is also slated to appear in a music video produced by Killawatt Records to be released in a few weeks. As for what’s next, Sidoo said he’ll continue to dance for as long as he can, and will perform whenever battles present themselves, as it is one of his biggest passions in life. Sidoo also mentioned he aspires to become a student teacher at A-Star’s B-Boy dance program. In a grade filled with “significant” artistic talent, it has certainly been no chore for Kid Ruff to make his mark on the St. George’s community.
Saints Grade 11 student has his poem published Smith’s third straight year in Young Writers of Canada Anthology By Dustin Patara tuart Smith, a Grade 11 student at St Georges, recently received word that his poem, which is about the bleakness of winter, was to be published in the Young Writers of Canada Anthology. The anthology, established in 1993, takes works from seven to 18-yearold Canadians from across the country, and consists of numerous short stories and poems. This is the third year that Smith has been published in this publication, and he says his success is due to Katrina O’Connor, his 9th grade English teacher. She encouraged him to submit his work. Smith
in my spare time, like I would write poems all the time during Math class!”
“I would write poems all the time in math class!”
Smith gazes into the distance comtimplating his next work
enjoys his English classes, and said that his inspiration “came from the
creative writing class. I found it really fun, something I sort of did
The anthology does offer a large cash prize for first place; yet, Smith remarks, “Oh no, I don’t think I’ll come in first place, but I am still very happy just being in the anthology
There’s a lot of people who are in it, and I personally don’t think my work is the best.” He adds with a laugh, “I still think I’m pretty awesome though.” Smith has also over the years been published in other publications, including a separate anthology, a literature magazine, as well as having two of his works published through the Vancouver East Cultural Centre. “I’ve been really happy with all these opportunities to get my work out.” The new edition of the Young Writers of Canada Anthology will be available in local bookstores this April.
Ready to swing the club Golf team prepares to kick off 2011 season By Peter Ding he St. George’s golf team is eager to improve upon last season’s performance. For the first time in history, the team will travel out of province to compete in the Canadian High School Spring Classic. The tournament is scheduled for May 6 to 7, 2011 in London, Ontario. It will involve over 50 high schools, many of which are top teams in their respective provinces. The tournament format will be a 36hole stroke play event played over two days at two of the top courses in the London area - Firerock Golf Club and Forest City National Golf Club. A challenging season schedule includes numerous tournaments. Next month, the team will participate in the Delta Police Tournament from April 18 to 19 and the ISA Championships on the 26. The following month, the team will “continue to display its power” at the Victoria Police Tournament from May 3 to 4, the Canadian High School Spring Classic, the Lower Mainland Championships on May 18, and, if the team is qualified, the British Columbia “AAA” High School Championships on May 30. Over the spring break, a group of boys from grade 8 to 12, not necessarily from the golf team, are going to Orlando, Florida for a golf training camp. It is a 10-day trip from March 21 to 30. The training will take place at Orange County National Golf Centre, featuring Sean Foley, who is Tiger Woods’ coach. The players can also enjoy unlimited use of a nine-hole executive course, a tour in ESPN Wide World of Sports Facility, and a day at Disney
World. In addition to sightseeing and shopping, the tour group will also attend a Major League Baseball Spring Training game. Tryouts will be held from March 14 to 16 at the University Golf Course. The team will be coached by Paul
will be the pillars of the team, and the rest will be cyclical talent replacement for the future. “Every year, the level of golf is getting better,” said Proznick, pleased by how much more competitive it has become for a
“Players realize that in order to compete, they need to play and practice throughout the year.” Proznick, Hubert Wholgemuth, Richard Cohee, and Ray Durante, an outside coach nicknamed “Radar”. Durante is a retired fire fighter of 35 years. He is also a caddie for professional golf players. Proznick, the head coach of the team, informed The Echo that there are 35 players interested in joining the team and the final roster will include 18 to 20 players. He promised that the top five players
student to be selected into the team. “The culture of the program is changing,” he added. “Players realize that in order to compete, they need to play and practice throughout the year.” The head coach compared the state of the golf program to a free market, to which the law of supply and demand applies. “They [the players] need to play better because more people are hungrier for fewer spots.” In previous years, the team
Wisden said he had some amazing moments in his career. One of the best was his game when Sanjeeva Rajapaske (Grad 2010) threw a hattrick against Cambie, a very rare feat. Another was the memorable Staff vs All-star game in which past headmaster Nigel Toy played. In fact, Wisden keeps a full-sized poster of Mr Toy batting during that game, on his wall. Finally, he especially enjoyed watching Dustin Patara grow from an “un-coordinated boob to a fairly decent cricket player.” His departure does, however, put the school in a bad position; Ed Taylor, the junior cricket team coach, already resigned at the end of last year. The school not only has to find a replacement for him soon, but will have to look into a senior coach for next year. Wisden revealed
that he is looking around for some professional cricket coaches that the school can hire, but as cricket is not as big at Saints compared to the Titans of rowing and rugby, the meager funding that cricket has received in the past will likely stay the same, and will make it that much harder to find a suitable professional. Bad news aside, Wisden told us that the junior team has at least found a manager in Sarah Coates. As the underdog in the face of the “more important” sports, Wisden has accomplished amazing feats with the little funding that he does receive. He pushed hard to erect a batting cage at Saints, helping the team enormously as they now have a means to practice at lunch and after school, much like basketball and tennis players will practice with
carried 30 players, but now the team is cut down to approximately 20 players However, the good news is that the vision of the golf program is to have a junior and a senior team, which will increase the number of boys involved in the program. Given the talent of the team, the head coach believes that victory at the Lower Mainland Championship and the ISA championship and finishing top ten in the provincials is not an unreasonable expectation. While it is difficult to predict, Coach Proznick felt that the team’s strongest competitors will be Vancouver College, Fraser Valley schools such as Earl Mariott and Gleneagle, Terry Fox, and Kwalikum from Vancouver Island. The team’s performance last year was summarized as “inconsistence” given the results at the ISA and Lower Mainland Championships and “rising to the occasion” at BC provincials. Saints earned the honorable fifth place in the province. Proznick commented that the fifth place is pretty good for the team. On the second day of the provincials, the team was not as sharp as it was on the first day, during which it was ranked third in province. The team lost three quality players. James Fahy and Josh Ghatake graduated, and Stuart Macdonald, a grade 11, is in Florida training at the International Management Group Golf Academy. There are many unknown prospects coming into this season. Many grade 8s as well as Amin Hashan from grade 12 are trying out for the team and aspire to bring their talents onto the golf course.
Wisden is “packing [cricket] in” R
obert Wisden, the head cricket coach at St. George’s is “packing it in” after five years behind the bat. Wisden told The Echo that he lacks essential family time. “My wife barely recognizes me anymore.” Wisden does put in almost 350 hours of extra-curricular time at school annually, almost three times the school’s 120-hour requirement. The faculty member puts hundreds of hours into the acting department, with middle-school plays and a play for the One-Act festival, which he organizes himself. Since he recently took the official role of House Supper director, he has a lot on his plate. Coaching cricket was the garnish on this ample serving; he was working another eight to ten hours a week for the rest of the third term.
both of their two fully-equipped courts. He also managed, with the help of his East-Indian players who travel to India during breaks, to buy copious amounts of cricket gear at dirt-cheap prices, to replace the 10 to 20 year-old relics that the team has been used to. While it is indeed sad to see Wisden go, he invigorated a once-dead sport at Saints, and has left behind a passionate senior team as his legacy.
Saints Ski team claims BC title in Kimberly
By Paul Hahn fter several hours of intense competition Feburary 28 to March 2, the St. Georges ski team emerged victorious with another provincial title under their belt. In fact, the Saint George’s team received six medals, the most gained by any other school in the province. Justin Hayto, the school’s deputy head boy, came first overall in skiing. Alex Smith, from grade 11, came fourth overall. Philip Basaric, from grade 10, completed his races and captured fifth place overall. Hubert Wohlgemuth, the school’s head Ski/Snowboard coach, was present at the provincials, and says that he is very happy with his team’s efforts and their overall results. According to Wohlgemuth, the highlights of the provincials included: “Justin winning both races and getting the overall individual for the second year in a row. Also, the boys winning their eighth consecutive Provincial Championship was pretty impressive.” For Basaric, the best memory, which he holds of the provincials, was not winning the competition, but spending time with the rest of the ski team and getting the chance to ski in deep powder snow. “For the next year, we are looking pretty strong,” says Wohlgemuth. Jeremy Sayers, the assistant coach of the ski team, agrees that Hayto is a great skier. In fact, Sayers even mentioned watching Hayto ski as one of the highlights for this season because, “He was just dominant in all of his races, and usually won all of his races by a few seconds over second place.” Sayers also agrees that even without Hayto, the team will still have a very good chance of winning the provincial title next year. “Hayto is a huge asset to the team. There is no doubt about that. Having said that, we do have a lot of very strong, young skiers on the team who have the potential to do very well at the provincials. For example, Phillip Basaric and John Craig look very promising for our next seasons.” Finally, Basaric mentioned that the St. Georges coaching team for skiing and snowboarding was absolutely fantastic, and that they did a great job of “planning everything out very well, and just overall perfect.”
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Editorials and Features
St. George’s selling too much junk food By Joseph Lu t. George’s prides itself on developing and producing the well-rounded boy, one who is capable in various areas of life. Whether that may be in the classroom, on the field, in the theater, or at home, St. George’s prepares its boys for success. One of those areas is personal health; and while awareness on healthy eating grows inside the school, unhealthy foods continue to be sold throughout the institution. The most prominent culprit of the junk food dilemma are the vending machines, which house fat and salt filled chips and sugary cookies for one dollar. As a staple for many students at break and lunch, the vending machines support an unhealthy lifestyle for numerous students. Aside from vending machines, junk foods are available at the Saint’s Café and at hot lunch. Cookies, artificial fruit smoothies, and fat filled breakfast wraps can be spotted in the mouths of hundreds of students each day. For example, while there are two vending machines dedicated to selling three flavors of Gatorade in
the Upper Great Hall, natural fruit juices are nowhere to be found. The staggering amount of money these foods bring the school should be of secondary importance to the well
being of the young men. There are many reasons why an institution shouldn’t sell junk foods. The habits a boy develops at school are the habits he carries into his
home, and more importantly, into his future. A school with such a prestigious athletic program shouldn’t risk a break down by exposing its athletes to foods that are detrimental
to their performance. According to Statistics Canada, 26 percent of adolescents are overweight nation wide. However, St. George’s is light years ahead of that stat. An everyday observer can walk dawn the school’s halls and infer that students are more fit than at most places in our society. At a school like St. George’s, a student should be allowed to indulge in nutritionally lacking foods, right? The fact remains; Saints can do better and should strive to do better, just like in every other facet of the school. There are several small changes than need to occur to change the culture and eating habits of the school. Firstly, all junk foods need to receive a 50-cent price jump to make them less appealing to students. Secondly, the high-in-fat chips need to go in favor of the baked variety, which contain 65 percent less fat. Snacks such as carrot sticks, nuts, fruits, and juices need to be sold prominently in the café and vending stands, while the junk foods are pushed to the back.
Wi-Fi poses real health risk to St. George’s students Senior School Counselor expresses his concerns about effects of school Wi - Fi By Dustin Patara here is growing concern amongst some teachers at the senior school that electro magnetic radiation from WIFI routers and cell phones is a potential health risk. In an interview with The Echo, Darryl Wakeham, a counsellor at St.Georges, expressed his concerns over recent articles that question the safety of wireless technology. The junior and senior school together operate 84 wireless routers, numerous notebook computers, plus cell phones brought by students. We are, as Wakeham says “bathing” in non-ionizing electro-magnetic radiation. Wakeham’s concerns started three years ago, when he stumbled upon an article in the “The Walrus,” titled “Cellphone Games”, about two Canadian researchers who were approached by Motorola. According to the article, the researchers were asked to discredit a study done by University of Washington students, who observed that frequencies similar to cell phone emissions actually damaged the brain cells of rats. “Something is up,” Wakeham says. “Alarm bells went off [in my head]!” Wakeham began to research the topic himself. Attempted cover ups like Motorola’s led Wakeham to refer to the wireless communications industry as “the tobacco industry of the 21st century.” Eventually, he came upon a letter signed by over
6000 German doctors sent to the German Federal Office of Radiation Protection. The letter stated that the medical community can no longer ignore the ill effects of wireless technology, as they have noticed a “dramatic rise in severe and chronic diseases among our patients”, who
towers near public buildings, and no Wi-Fi in elementary and secondary schools. Other European countries, such as France, are following suit and have removed Wi-Fi from elementary schools. Even Israel has warning labels on cell phones, stating users should keep
happen to live in areas with cell towers and homes with cordless landline phones. According to the letter, these patients also seem to have less sleep, are more fatigued, and have weaker immune systems. According to Wakeham, as a result of this letter and other findings, Germany has absolutely no cell
phones away from children. “Why wait for the effects,” Wakeham remarks.“Who are our canaries?” Wakeham refers to a book called Disconnect, written by a Harvard professor, who discusses all of the dangers of Wi-Fi, and Wakeham says that the professor was scolded and called a “wing nut” by the scientific community when his book
was published. Wakeham wasn’t surprised about it, saying that there is a general “obfuscation” around this topic, largely brought about by telecom companies. For example, he says, if you read the Fido contract on their cellular phones, a line explicitly says in the fine print to “keep phone away an inch from face.” This disclaimer explains why insurance companies “refuse to insure cell phone companies” against health related claims, says Wakeham. Wakeham hopes to get students and teachers to read Disconnect and raise some awareness over the issue. Ideally, he hopes to take Saints to a pre-2009 state, where there was no Wi-Fi and all internet connections were hardwired. Kelly Bodutch, the school nurse, on the other hand, does not support Wakeham’s proposal. She believes that removing school-wide WiFi will take Saint George’s a large step back technologically, in an age where the school needs to “compete” to stay high-tech. While she is still aware of some similar issues surrounding cell phones, including the phone contract Wakeham mentioned, she doesn’t believe it is time to act. “We need to look into [the issue] of course,” she says, “but not until it [the studies] are conclusive.” Roger Chin, a physics teacher, generally concurs with Wakeham. He recognizes the studies are still
inconclusive; yet, he thinks, “Why take a risk?” He mentions the tobacco industry in the 70s and how studies were made to disprove any bad press around it. “I think with cells being such a big business, I don’t trust the studies out there.” Chin makes reference to an aquaintance suffering from a brain tumor. “He worked at the Toronto Telus Centre and was also a concert organizer, and was on his cell phone just about all the time.” At age 26, he was diagnosed with a tumour that grew “on that side of his brain” where his cell phone was used. “We shouldn’t be using Wi-Fi, and should use wired connections when possible. Wired is faster anyways.” Wakeham also noticed that the introduction of school wide WiFi has had adverse social and educational effects. Since the advent of the iPod, iPhone, Blackberry, and numerous computer devices, the classroom distractions are plentiful, and only made worse with internet access. Students can access chat programs and Facebook with ease on an easily concealable phone or iPod. Plus, classrooms at lunch have been packed with students playing games on their computers over the school’s Wi-Fi network. “This is decreasing socialization time,” and hindering essential social growth that a student will need to learn in a high school environment.