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volume four – issue two – october 2009

EDITORIAL Editor-in-Chief Ryan Bolton ryan.bolton@sheridanc.on.ca

PUBLISHING Publisher Sheridan Student Union Inc. www.sheridanstudentunion.com

Editor at Large Ryan Kelly ryan.kelly2@sheridanc.on.ca

PRINTER Chris Beetham

DESIGN Creative Director Steve Sills stephen.sills1@sheridanc.on.ca

Writers Rhiannon Banda-Scott Ryan Bolton Michael Burton Laura Busch Rocio Carranza Sam Coulombe Blake Dillon Tyler Doupe Ryan Kelly Tahir Khan Marco Pelayo Tanisha White

ADVERTISING & SALES Sales Team Steve Sills Hassan Al-Ghareib Jackie Tiffin Chuck Erman Ofelia Stefaniuk

Designers Steve Sills Mike Luciani Holly Doucette Tyler Doupe

Photographers Maciej Aniol Kevin Bryan Anum Khan James Rubec

CONTRIBUTORS

Kevin Bryan

ANDRE GUINDI

JAM Photo

Mike Everett

photography, Sandy McKean

illustrator, ongoing story

photography, dressed to kill

illustrator, personal question

Kevin Bryan is a brand spanking new 1st year Applied Photography student who is currently focusing all his efforts on building his career as a Professional Photographer. He looks forward to working with the TRAVIS team in order to continue building his professional repertoire, and at the same time, providing Sheridan students with something a little different. And pretty.

Andre is a graduate of the Bachelor of Animation program and is currently working on a Bachelor of Illustration. That means when he’s done at Sheridan, Andre will have studied eight years of art and design. So that makes him some sort of Doctor of Art. He lent his hand at visually depicting this month’s Ongoing Story that can be found on page 38.

Maciej Aniol, Anum Khan and James Rubec make up the crew of JAM Photo. The trio found each other in the Print Journalism program at Sheridan College and have been inseparable since. Whether it’s a fashion show, concert, sporting event or a house fire, they’ll be on the scene. Just like the good reporters they are.

Mike Everett is a 3rd year Illustration

To contribute to TRAVIS please e-mail stephen.sills1@sheridanc.on.ca. Merci.

student at Sheridan’s Trafalgar campus. He recently won an award from Applied Arts Magazine for a second-year narrative illustration project. His online portfolio can be viewed at www.everettmcglinka. carbonmade.com. Yes, it’s really that long. Sorry, his bad.

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contents o

OUR COVERs: K’Naan Raine MAida DESIGN BY: Mike Luciani

Make sure to follow us on the world wide web at travismag.com or on that stupid Twitter site at twitter.com/travismag. Please understand if you follow us we will stalk you. No joke.

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“Tech’d Out”

14

“Who the Hell is?”

16

“Student Profile”

34

“Words Aout Culture”

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by various writers

by michael burton

by ryan kelly

by laura busch

22

“Kick’n it with K’Naan”

26

“Our Lady War & Peace”

30

“Sustainable Fashion”

36

“Health and Nutrition”

by ryan bolton

by ryan bolton

by nils blondon

by tahir khan

32

“Dressed to Kill”

38

“Ongoing Story” by michael burton


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editor’s rant

photography by steve sills

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follow ryan on twitter at: twitter.com/travismag

Just In Case You Didn’t Know 1. re·spect [ri-spekt] noun due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others. 2. un·fath·om·a·ble [uhn-fath-uhm-u-buhl] adjective difficult or impossible to understand; incomprehensible: unfathomable theories. 3. Sier·ra Le·o·ne [see-er-uh lee-ohn] noun an independent republic in West Africa; known for blood diamond trade during their civil war (1991-2002).

still remember the look in her eyes. It wasn’t of desperation. Not of defeat. There was no inkling of fear. It was just sheer resilience dancing strong and proud. Those eyes still flash in front of me from time to time. But it was her words that punched me in the gut. “This wouldn’t have happened if we respected each other,” she said, wringing a red and white bandana in her scarred hands. I still think of those simple, yet profound words. Especially considering the context in which I met her. I was in a long-forgotten Liberian and Sierra Leonean refugee camp in Ghana, Africa. Documenting my experience with Journalists for Human Rights, I talked and lived with the refugees. I learned of their stories. Mothers that are still searching for their children after fleeing the civil war that tore their country apart. Children that were forced to train a machine gun on their friends. Unfathomable stories that made the “Short Sleeve or Long Sleeve” part of Blood Diamond pale in comparison. For this Sierra Leonean mother, she never found out what happened to her three children when war erupted. All three never returned home one day. But when the rebels came for her and her husband, she remembers vividly. Held to the ground by a group of mocking rebels, she was forced to watch as they skinned her husband alive. They then beat her with the butts of their AK-47s until she was unconscious. They left her for dead. After surviving the attack and fleeing the country 12 years ago, she now looks at me deadpan and explains the root cause was out of disrespect. I still can’t stomach it. For some, respect is intangible. It’s difficult to articulate without venturing into the Golden Rule, which is probably the most appropriate. But respect definitely lives in actions. We all know what respect is, it’s just sometimes we don’t always put it to practise. This topic was broached again while chatting with K’naan for this issue’s cover story. His points, like the Sierra Leonean woman I described above, continue to surface in the ether of my mind. For K’naan, respect is tied closely to dignity. When dignity is removed from the equation, struggles arise. “I think war is what happens when you take people’s dignity away,” he explained in his collected, yet passionate disposition. And recalling her words and story, all I could do was silently nod my head. Fortunately, we don’t always endure these stories of abject disrespect ourselves. We cannot even fathom these acts, but we all, undoubtedly, have felt disrespected. But the next time you are ready to sharpen your tongue or clench your fist in retaliation, just let her words circulate first. “This wouldn’t have happened if we respected each other.” One more time: “This wouldn’t have happened if we respected each other.” Later days,

4. blood dia·mond [bluhd dahy-uh-muhnd] noun a diamond mined in a war zone and sold to finance an insurgency, invading army’s war efforts, or a warlord’s activity.

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sound check

music reviews

I Am Committing A Sin Grow Past Their Promises

Camera Obscura My Maudlin Career

Frank Turner Love, Ire & Song

Indie Pop

Folk

Metal

Despite the questionable and disturbing band name, I Am Committing A Sin introduces a handful of radical artists fabricating a cutting-edge sound. It all seems to be enthralled by a fine mixture of both aggression and euphoria. Their EP, Grow Past Their Promises draws from their solid knowledge of politics, media and history to deliver some interesting and menacing lyrics. IACAS releases an undeniably solid EP that is a step up in both content and orchestrated arrangements. A solid jump out of the gates, indeed. M.P.

Frank Turner, who previously fronted U.K.’s post-hardcore band Million Dead, found his calling as a singer/songwriter after being exposed to Bob Dylan, Counting Crows and Johnny Cash. In Love, Ire & Song, Turner’s charisma spotlights his whip-smart lyricism and gripping arrangements, which doesn’t make it difficult to imagine a huge crowd singing along. This album proves to be a fantastic compilation of folk melodies and poetic lyrics. In other words, songs you can enjoy as we welcome the fall season. M.P.

The New Cities Lost in the City Lights

Phoenix Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

The Roots How I Got Over [single]

Urban Pop/Rock

Alternative Rock

Hip-Hop

The New Cities debut album, Lost in the City Lights was prepared for the mainstream. The album is filled with disturbingly catchy, synth-driven teen anthems. Their first single, “Dead End, Countdown” features a mildly interesting New Order inspired intro, but then breaks into the pop-dribble that plagues the rest of the album. The singer’s sassy, yet emotional lyrics add to the fun as he tackles “profound” issues like relationships – and relationships gone bad. This album is the perfect match for teenage girls trying to get their next fix of music since they shook off that Metro Station song. Which makes sense why TNC are currently touring with Katy Perry. M.P.

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My Maudlin Career is Camera Obscura’s fourth studio album in a career that spans over a decade. The album shares a luminously sweet flavour throughout its 11 tracks. The record’s opener, “French Navy” features a dance-friendly, blues and folk rhythm followed by a lush arrangement of strings as the chorus kicks up. The album feels as if it could have been released anytime in the last 50-odd years, but the inspired instrumentals and Tracy-Anne Campbell’s unforgettable voice, keeps it sounding fresh. M.P.

Their fourth album got it right. The easyto-listen-to quality of this band is definitely up there in the ranks of Death Cab for Cutie and Bon Iver. Although somewhat still underground, Phoenix has enjoyed a solid swelling fan base that continues to expand with each album. Their songs could easily be mainstream, but maybe because they’re French – although they sing in English – they don’t take off. That, and some songs do sound somewhat similar to the next. Not matter as Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, with stand out songs like “Lisztomania” and “1901”, is definitely worth a hearty listen. Or two. R.B.

All the rampant speculation about The Roots breaking up and never recording another album was proven false when the band announced the release date (October 20 th) for their ninth studio album, How I Got Over on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. The single, which shares the albums title, features an inspired Curtis Mayfield funk and soul vibe that is simply irresistible. The track also showcases Roots’ frontman, Black Thought, singing more and rapping less, which is to be expected throughout their new album. If the song is any indication of the new album hitting a more soulful, James Brown-esque direction, we’re all in for a treat. It’s also supposed to be somewhat political – so a double treat. M.P.

scrap it

myspace it

download it

buy it


literary love reading is cooler than tv

Born to Run

Me to We: Finding Meaning in a Material World

A Wolf at the Table

Christopher McDougall $15

Craig and Marc Kielburger

$28

Augusten Burroughs

$23

For many, the concept of running is a necessary evil; it’s either the best way to keep fit or a required component in a recreational activity. But for a select few, running is simply a way of life. Born to Run highlights a tribe of indigenous Mexicans called the Tarahumara (Tara-oomara) who are renowned as the preeminent long distance runners in the world. Christopher McDougall gives the reader an insiders look at the world of ultra-marathon running and paints a masterful portrait of some remarkable characters, most notably the Tarahumara who regularly run a 48-hour race over harsh terrain in the Copper Canyons with only sandals on their feet. By the end, you will not only marvel at the athletic achievements humans are capable of, you probably won’t dread that 20 minute jog on the treadmill anymore either. R.K.

Interested in anything you see here? Be the first to ask for any CD or book at the Fuse and it’s yours for FREE.

Since we talk about some big respect issues and sustainable clothing in this issue, we thought best to also mention a book about the general philosophy behind it all. Me to We is quite simply a book that inspires others to not just think about themselves, but the people that surround them – all around the world. Why? Because we can actually change the world by doing so. Penned by the founders of the international charity, Free The Children, Craig and Marc Kielburger divulge about finding real happiness in helping others, and not ourselves with BMWs and Louis Vuitton purses. The quasi-self-help book is further helped out with personal stories from Oprah (she doesn’t need a last name), Jane Goodall and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, all for good measure. R.B.

And so the telling memoirs continue for Augusten Burroughs. The author of the bestseller Running with Scissors, which, yes, was adapted for the big screen, isn’t done telling his story. This time, instead of recounting his childhood days living with an unorthodox psychiatrist and his ridiculously weird family, Burroughs shines the light on his emotionally abusive and alcoholic father. The language is crystal clear, which is good, but also hard to stomach at points. The story is gripping, but it can be tough to get through certain points that either sag because of the content or grip too much. All in all, Burroughs had an unfortunate upbringing for a number of reasons, none of which are pretty, save for the fact that he’s now a New York Times bestselling author – something he always wanted. R.B.

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teasers

film previews

Capitalism: A Love Story

The Road

directed by Michael Moore

16.10.09

directed by John Hillcoat

02.10.09

And he’s back. People either seem to love Michael Moore, that baseball-cap-wearing-normal-dude that likes to stir the pot, or hate the big oaf. Either way, his “documentaries” – if you can call them that – always get people talking. And, really, that’s the point. Unlike last time where he attacked American’s non-existent health care plan (Sicko), this time he’s going after corporate America. And he seems to be hungry for answers. Biting into those that caused this global economic meltdown that we are all feeling the financial repercussions for, he’s on the hunt for the cause. But he’s doing it in his own semi-comedic way by poking both fun and the hard facts out of these corrupt big wigs. Well, at least he’s trying, right? And it does take some cojones to go to the AIG offices and state that you want to make a citizen’s arrest of the company’s board of directors. R.B.

Where the Wild Things Are

Californication

directed by Spike Jonze

third season premiere 27.09.09

16.10.09

Maurice Sendak’s childhood masterpiece is coming to the big screen via Spike Jonze. It’s going to be an interesting take on that book that we all read (or had read to us) as children. And if you didn’t read this when you were a wee-one, well, it’s never too late to enjoy a great story. It’s short if you’re not a reader – like 20 pages short. Anyway, things look brilliant watching the majestic trailer with Arcade Fire’s “Wake Up” banging away in the background – and it strangely fits perfectly. Watching the credits, we noticed that Tom Hanks is listed as a producer, but more interesting, Karen O (the front-woman to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs) is doing the music. Cool. And also that Dave Eggers, the wicked writer behind A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, had his hand in the screenwriting. That alchemy spells awesome. But we’ll just have to wait and see in those long line-ups that are destined for this one. R.B.

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We enjoy a good read around the office. And Cormac McCarthy’s apocalyptic novel The Road – he was also the guy that wrote No Country for Old Men – moved us, and I guess those other guys at the Pulitzer Prize, too. Anyway, like Hollywood is apt at doing, they are adapting the gloomy novel. And this one looks good. Following Viggo Mortensen (Lord of the Rings) in a world after a number of disasters, leads his son into the darker areas of the remaining society. The problem is that the other remaining “people” don’t really like Viggo and his son all that much. And that’s why you will have to watch it. Stories with social commentary are always delicious, and this one is the filet minion of modern dystopian novels. We just hope Hollywood doesn’t let us down. R.B.

staring David Duchovny

If you don’t know Hank Moody, you need to watch this hit Showtime series and educate yourself on the man known as Hank Moody. It’s difficult to sum up a show that’s about a writer, nay, a struggling writer that is apt to getting himself in trouble with women, drugs and rock stars. But really, that’s what this is all about. Oh, and toss in some solid banter, personal demons and a teenage daughter to boot. Oh, shoot, and not to forget that’s it’s seriously awesome – as can be justified in it picking up both Emmy Awards and Golden Globe Awards in just two seasons. I could try to write more here, but I will let the writing on the show do all the talking for this one. Now go watch some Hank Moody in action. Go ahead. Go. R.B.


waste time God of War III

2005

past and present

Final Fantasy XIII

1987

Once a disaffected Spartan, now a Greek God, Kratos began his thirst for revenge in 2005, where he starred in the hit PlayStation 2 game, God of War. Now, back for more, he rips into the Playstation 3 to write the final chapter in the Sony-exclusive trilogy. Set in the times of Greek Mythology, God of War III is a single-player hack-and-slash game that takes the gamer from the heights of Mount Olympus to the dark depths of hell. Like in the two previous incarnations, Kratos swings his patented double-chained blades and is armed to the teeth with an array of different weapons. With enhanced graphics and an all-new combat system, Kratos uses ruthless new battle tactics such as explosive wall-to-ground combos. Join Kratos in his thirst for revenge in March 2010. You can bet that I will. b.d.

2010

march 2010

Pokémon Heart Gold & Soul Silver

1998

1987 seems like a long time ago – probably because I wasn’t even born. However, a significant birth did take place – the birth of one of the most monstrous video game franchises ever, Final Fantasy. Square Enix is celebrating the hit adventure series’ 23rd birthday by releasing an all-new adventure for the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. The story behind Final Fantasy XIII contains enough ‘old’ to make the hardcore fans drool in anticipation, and enough ‘new’ to invite a fresh audience. Though it lacks main roles from traditional favourite characters like Cloud, Sephiroth and Vincent, the new lineup of Lightning, Snow, Sazh and Vanille promise to lead you elegantly through the epics of Final Fantasy XIII. b.d.

2010

may 2010

Oh yes, the revolutionary franchise has returned. Think back to the Game Boy days, when, with a flick of the power switch, you launched yourself into the seemingly endless adventure known as Pokémon. From selecting your starter, whether it be Charmander, Bulbasaur or Squirtle, to the epic battle with Mewtwo, Pokémon delivered a fun-filled childhood. Now that the nostalgia has begun to settle, we’re going to fast-forward about 14 years to Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver are making their ways to the local video game shop. The games are a remake of Pokémon Gold and Silver, which were sequels to the original Pokémon. Moving from the bulky Game Boy to the sleek Nintendo DS, the graphics have been enhanced a hundredfold. The quest will require the capturing of 493 Pokémon, a fair contrast from the 151 seen in the originals. And, perhaps the most significant upgrade, you can take your quest online, battling and adventuring with friends via Nintendo’s WiFi network. b.d.

2010

may 2010

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A Stroll Inside the Music Industry After spending the summer working with an independent music label, Tanisha White explains what Empire Records can tell us about the music business of today. by tanisha white

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eople don’t buy albums anymore. If you know nothing about the music industry you at least know that. Record sales have taken the plunge as the Internet continues to define the future of the music industry. For the most part, overeducated college students tend to hate big corporate anything, especially the failing music business. Maybe fail is a strong word, but slightly falter. The hipster movement has risen. Having all seen Empire Records, we can relate to the small independent record store doing everything it can to be persevere against the corporate guys. Even though Empire Records is circa ‘95 it still holds true today. Here we are in 2009 and this movie is becoming more and more relevant. All those coffee-slurping, plaid-wearing, thickframed glasses hipsters have caught on to something. Corporate is evil, independent is first-rate. The real truth, though, is you cannot have one without the other. I hate to alarm all you stand-alone hipsters, but yes, the small indie store you buy your albums from at some point has probably dealt with a major record company or is currently signed to a contract with one. Over the summer, I worked with a small, independent record label in Hamilton. I was in my glory, working at a record label. But damn, it was not all glamour. What I was told is that it’s not about going to shows every night, meeting the band, and listening in on recordings. Straight up, it was like a desk job. But it gave me a sneak peak into what the Canadian music industry is all about.

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First off, whoever is saying the music industry is dying is dead wrong. It’s evolving, not dying. We all know that change was inevitable and that it would hit the music business. That was so late ‘90s with Napster, you might recall. Recently, the record label I was at closed its front doors for good. When the store closed, as you can imagine, everyone was

It’s evolving to something larger than record labels pretty bummed. The store was crucial to the image of the label. With the times changing and the technological age in full swing, however, most people weren’t buying albums when they could download it online. But don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a curse. The label chose to embrace it as a blessing, as it allowed for more time to be put into its online store and iTunes. Here’s where my job came in. I took the albums that were sitting in the back of the warehouse and uploaded them to iTunes. I was there for three months and put a nice dent in the albums stacked upon the shelves in the back. The more albums put on iTunes, the better. Because of the switch

to the online music realm, this tiny indie label has only grown. They now deal with Sony and Universal Music. Here’s the thing: The people who purchase the albums on iTunes are the ones who were buying the CD in the first place. Those that are illegally downloading were never going to buy the CD, anyway. And while the Internet continues to alter how music is purchased and consumed, there’s no sign of anything changing to illegal downloads in the near future. So, where does that leave the music industry? Well, for starters, the downloading of albums is on the rise and the sales of wholesale products are dipping. What it comes down to is that most labels are switching to online. And that doesn’t just mean iTunes. Online shops allow for better quality music and full booklets to download. Instead of just the regular MP3 file that you receive via iTunes, most independent online stores give you the choice of MP3, WAV and FLAC files. Along with the choice of files there is a high demand for album art, which is in a PDF file to make it easier for one to print out and get the real look and feel. The music industry is evolving into something much larger than record labels. It goes beyond the Internet and the walls of a store. To say that the industry is going the way of disco is misleading. It is not dead or on its way out. So just keep doing what you’re doing. Consume your music and spread the enjoyment that it embeds in all of us. The record companies aren’t going anywhere.


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tech’d out

go-go gadget

illustration by satesh mistry

The USB Monitor No batteries, no cord and no space? No problem for the Mimo Mini USB Monitor. At only 1.3 pounds, with an 800 x 480 resolution and boasting a 7� display screen, this little big shot runs purely off a USB and is perfect for the techie who needs that extra display whenever and wherever. The easy-on-the-eyes rotating monitor can display horizontally for movies or vertically for notes, presentations and spreadsheets. Even cooler is the 740 Model, which offers touch screen compatibility. The only pitfall to good things in small packages is the $130 price tag. R.B.S.

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The PS3 Slim The highly anticipated slimmed-down version of PlayStation 3 is now in stores, which means all you game-loving junkies can run out to drop $300 on the slick, white or black console. Just what will you be getting for your money? Well, for one, a 36 percent lighter machine, a built-in Wi-Fi and a free PlayStation Network membership. But you can also consider the built-in high-definition Blu-ray player and 120 GB hard drive for storing games, music, videos, and photos. Got it? Game on, gamers. R.B.S.

SPY WATCH It’s time to be James Bond. A camera that records AVI video at 352 x 288px (the lens is between the 1 and 2), a microphone, rechargeable lithium-ion battery, 8 gb of flash memory... and, get this, tells time, too. Q would be proud. t.d.

The Hydrogen-Powered Glass Car Since Smart Cars are so small, and relatively light, they are fairly easy to tip over. So why wouldn’t you want a car that is environmentally-friendly and virtually impossible to tip over? Well, you are in luck thanks to the Ozone hydrogen-powered car. The Ozone looks like a see-through can turned on its side with two gigantic wheels. Safety may not have been a top priority for the designers since the whole front of the car is encased in glass. Talk about a fishbowl while driving, but it would definitely turn heads. R.C.

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WHO THE HELL IS

SANDY McKEAN? We take a seat with the man behind Sheridan TV. He’s also the man behind a bulk of the college’s media programs. Yep, he’s important. by michael burton 14 travismag.com

photography by kevin bryan


Why aren’t we celebrating the great creative work that’s being produced by our students?

I

asked Sandy McKean, the associate dean of media and journalism studies at Sheridan, a seemingly simple question. How did you get here? McKean smiled and chuckled, gesturing with his expressive hands as he spoke. “When I started all I had was a pen and a notebook, I couldn’t imagine how many mistakes I’ve made. My Internet was the telephone book, I don’t know how I ever did it,” he says. “We don’t even pick up the phone to talk to people anymore.” Things have certainly changed during his career. The simplest answer is that McKean has seen the world of media dramatically shift over his career. He was a vital part of how Canadians got their news and watched the world of media evolve as the digital revolution took over. His career has spanned over multiple platforms of media. From radio to print to television to production. He’s done it all. McKean began his career after coming out of university with a political science degree. Getting picked up by the Canadian Press writing radio broadcasts he then jumped ship to CBC. He climbed the corporate ladder and eventually became the head of network news at Canada’s preeminent news source. Now I sit across from McKean in his office, deep within the A-wing of the Trafalgar campus. The office is quiet, but the buzz of a lawnmower outside his room adds some subtle background noise to our conversation. He didn’t seem too embarrassed by the mess of papers covering his desk, or the telephone that rang several times during the interview. McKean has had an association with Sheridan for several years prior to his current position. He was part of the program advisory board for Sheridan that helped shaped many of today’s programs. After his retirement from CBC, he was offered his current position as associate dean. McKean is responsible for eight programs at Sheridan, including media arts, broadcast journalism and advanced television and film. That’s roughly 800 students he is responsible for. “I discovered that I’m a builder. I love to build, I love to create something new,” says McKean. He also has plans to turn the media arts program into a four year bachelor of arts in media and television

by 2011, as well as marry the media fundamentals program with the media arts program. McKean is also the man behind Sheridan TV, which if you haven’t noticed, are all those television screens set up around both campuses. McKean says that this is the way Sheridan is responding to its student’s demands for immediate information. “It struck me that there was nothing that showcased what we do here. There was no sense of community and there was no sense of what was being done in the print, film, and media arts programs. Where is it? Why aren’t we celebrating the great creative work that’s being produced by our students?” McKean questioned. He was concerned that the work Sheridan was producing was collecting dust. Sheridan TV, in turn, is a community bulletin board that shares all the work done by students, and provides relevant information about what is going on within the Sheridan community. Most of our chat, though, regarded education. I asked him for his thoughts on whether or not having a university degree was essential to becoming a successful journalist and he gave me a lengthy response. He paused before saying, “Must one have a degree to be successful? No.” “There are many successful people that don’t even have a diploma, I could even name a few that didn’t even graduate from high school. The more education you have the better it will be, you will just be broader in your thinking.” He encourages students to continue their education after graduation, but the most important thing is to never stop learning. “Well, I’ve always considered the newsroom to be a classroom. You get up in the morning, you don’t know what’s going to happen, and then off goes the big story. By six at night you have filed a story. You were forced to do the basic research, and at the end of the day, you have learned something.” “As far as I’m concerned, I’ve been in education all my life,” he says. “Every single day has been a learning experience.”

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THIS IS A STORY ABOUT ONE STUDENT’S TRAGEDY & COURAGE. photography by james rubec

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Marcus Nielsen by ryan kelly

L

ate in the second half of the OCAA indoor soccer championship game this past March, with the team already trailing 3-0 and looking emotionally worn, goalkeeper Marcus Nielsen did something selfless. With an opposing forward streaking towards the Sheridan goal, he broke from his goal line, sprinted forward and thrust his body towards the attacker. His upper body wrapped around the ball, smothering it and nullifying the scoring opportunity. An injury to his shoulder in the process would prematurely end his day. But he protected the net. Given the time remaining and small chance of a momentous comeback, it was the ultimate team act; some may dare to even call it courageous. Then again, the term “courage” – especially in the sports world – is just accepted hyperbole, part of the every day lexicon. But, ultimately, it’s an adjective that should stick to Nielsen; just for reasons that have little to do with the way he defends a soccer goal. Standing beside the field where he practices and plays during the outdoor soccer season, Nielsen ponders the question, scratches his chin and tries to get out of athlete mode. It’s hard for just about any student to categorize why they’re pursuing the academic path they are, but for Nielsen – entering his third year in the child and youth worker program – his current state of mind is more about the upcoming soccer season than the upcoming semester. Finally, it strikes him. “Because of a lot of things that happened in my youth, and because of my 18 nephews and nieces, I feel like I want to have an impact on children and youth

coming up,” he says. “I think it’s important, and hopefully I can help them learn from the mistakes I made. I just want to be one of those role models that’s there for them and helps show them the way.” The sport he plays – as much as it takes up his free time – is playing a key role in his education. “I think it keeps me grounded because, to be quite honest, I don’t like school,” he says. “I think soccer gives me that balance. It gives me that focus to know that if I do my school work and if I do well in school, I’ll be able to transfer that to the [soccer] field and be a part of the team.” Ironically, Nielsen views his dislike of school not as a hindrance, but rather part of his life that will only aid his professional work. “I like the challenge – I accept the challenge. I don’t like to do things at halfpace, I like to give it all I’ve got. I think if I’m going to be a good child and youth worker and be someone who is setting an example, I need to start with myself and get through those things that I have struggles with,” he says. “If I want to help kids who are struggling with things, I can be able to say, ‘You know what, I struggled with these things and this is how I’ve overcome them.’ A big thing in my life is taking a challenge – or something you don’t want to do – and doing it because it needs to be done.” Having made some transgressions in his youth, Nielson understands the value of making good decisions – a trait that will serve him well in his career. Unfortunately he also knows tragedy. His mother passed away when he was 14, and after getting married at the age of 22, he had only seven months before his wife,

Alexandra, lost her battle with cancer. Nielson credits his late wife for pushing him towards the path he now finds himself navigating. “It was something that she really wanted me to do to make sure I wasn’t doing something my whole life that wasn’t my ultimate goal,” he says. “So, really, it was Alexandra that was the encouragement for me to get back to school and do what I needed to do.” A little more than three years removed from Alexandra’s untimely passing and Nielsen continues to make her proud. He’s on track to graduate at the end of this year and was the recipient of the Shane Bascoe Award for outstanding achievement in academics and athletics last year. He remains close with her family – he currently lives with her parents. He also has a new girlfriend (Simonne) who he cites as a key reason for staying on the right path. We may laud the on-field accomplishments of an athlete or the in-class achievements that come with a high grade point average, but the real measure of every student comes when their education is complete and they must put that knowledge to the test. The real measure of any human being is their capacity for caring. Marcus Nielsen will have the opportunity to put both to the test when he graduates next spring. And for as much as his approach to life will make him successful, it’s his positive outlook that makes him courageous. “I always see the fun side of life,” he says. “If you look at the bad things it’ll only get you down.”

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TRAVIS ASKS A PERSONAL QUESTION...

“Do you feel more important since being on Facebook or Twitter and why?” I had chosen the perfect candidate, a petite sales girl in a clothing store. She was folding and hanging some jeans. I went up to her and squeaked, “Hi, do you feel more important since being on Facebook?” There was a pause before she answered, “Um no. Why? Do you?” “No, not really,” I answered before walking away, knowing that she lied to my face. Her answer then made me realize how the question could be mistaken for a rhetorical one. R.C. I swear an editor’s favourite thing to do is make their writer’s look insane. For this month’s issue, Bolton implored us to ask a stranger if using Facebook or Twitter made them feel special. Figures. I live and work in a small town, so strangers are hard to come by. When I finally found a poor unfamiliar sap, I happened to be on my work break. So, I walk up to this girl who had stopped for Tim Hortons on her way to where ever. “Hi, I’m Sam, I write for TRAVIS.” This is a magazine she has never heard of, of course, so she was already confused. Then I toss my question out there and she goes completely blank. “Wait, what? I don’t get it,” by now I was thinking I had picked the wrong subject as I explained the question to her and all she could give me was: “Um, sure?” and then got in her car. I tried again at my other job at our local greasy spoon. Another stranger drives into town and orders a burger-to-go. His burger is ready and I’m standing there with a brown paper bag in my hand asking this huge guy if using Facebook makes him feel special. “Not so much,” he said. “But if you don’t pass me my order you are going to be out of a job.” So, thanks, Bolton. I now have a reputation as an insane person – and nearly lost my job. S.C.

“I really don’t feel more important, I have Facebook, but everything is set to private. I joined Twitter, but never use it. So, in other words, it doesn’t make me feel important at all… I mean everyone else has it, too.” That makes sense to me – we’re just all important, I guess. T.W. I was in Toronto’s Cabbagetown at a local coffee shop. Best coffee in the city, I always tell my friends. There’s a large swath of diversity shuffling on Cabbagetown’s streets so I just waited for my prey on the coffee shop’s stoop. She was young, say early 20s, blonde and cute. “Excuse me,” I blundered and delivered the question. She took a moment, looked at me, my coffee. “In a way, yeah, I guess there’s this false sense that I’m more well-liked or something. That people comment on my status updates and seem to care what I’m doing at any given time.” Okay, she seems savvy, so what about Twitter? She blushes. “Yeah, I have to admit that I really like Twitter. I have a lot of followers (turns out around 400, impressive) and I enjoy spreading cool things that I find or hear about. It’s like a community, um, all about me.” She does her best not to sound narcissistic, but she realizes what she’s gushing about is, in fact, herself. We nod at each other and I walk away thinking that following her on Twitter wouldn’t particularly be something that I would be interested in. She seems pretty important already. R.B. Tight jeans, new shoes, fitted T-shirt. I assumed that someone with such a carefully designed appearance would wholeheartedly embrace the Tweeter’s manifesto. So, I asked. Any previous expression evaporated from his face and an undeniably sincere joy rushed in as he spoke: “I’m not on Twitter.” What I had assumed was a face formed to gush about the intoxicating gratification of tweeting, was a face born of the complete satisfaction of being free from those very things. Facebook? He wasn’t on it either. What I saw was pure, uncut joy from refusing the handouts of the freakishly happy sidewalk pamphleteers that unload the contents of their lives to anyone who’ll take it. T.D.

Do you feel more important since being on Facebook or Twitter and why? I mean this question makes perfect sense to ask with the booming of Twitter and Facebook. As I was in Starbucks waiting for my vanilla latte, I turned around and asked the girl behind me, clearly in dire need of a caffeinated beverage. “Do you feel more important since being on Facebook or Twitter?” Her response was quick due to her anticipating her drink, illustration by mike everett twitter.com /travismag 19


october at SHERIDAN It’s turkey month, Sheridan. And we have tons of stuffing to make this one joyous occasion. Like seriously, to have both Raine Maida and K’naan in the same month is something that only we can brag about, Sheridan. So now that the month is jam packed, all we have to ask is, “Who’s hungry?”

october 6 & 7

Gerry Watson

october 8

Q&A:raine maida

october 14 & 20

open mic night

Connexion, Rec. Room

Connexion

Connexion, Rec Room

Noon

Noon

8:00 p.m.

Canada’s billiards legend will be showcasing his pool tricks at both campuses this month. Since we have all watched Poolhall Junkies on repeat, we at TRAVIS wouldn’t mind giving good ol’ Gerry a run for his money. Ah, who are we kidding? Look at that suit he’s wearing. We can’t even match that.

Come on, you know this guy. Of course you do. The animated frontman of Our Lady Peace, Raine Maida is still rockin’ with the band after releasing a new album. But he’s also doing a lot of speaking, and we couldn’t pass this one up. Not just a killer musician, Raine is also an ambassador for War Child. Don’t miss this one.

William’s Coffee presents Open Mic Night. This is also known as your chance to showcase your talent. Compete for $500 for best performance of the night.and a spot on the William’s Coffee stage. Open to spoken word, poetry, stand up, acoustic and awesomeness. One member of band must be a current Sheridan student.

october 14

october 15

october 21,22

Q&A: K’naan

graffiti jam

Halloween bash

Noon

11 - 2 p.m.

9 p.m.

Rec. Room

The Dusty Foot Philosopher is making his way to Sheridan. Yeah, this guy; the guy that toured with Snoop Dogg and, well, everyone else in the business. With two critically-acclaimed albums under his weighty hip-hop belt, K’naan has definitely brought something new to the game.

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Connexion

Check out some of Sheridan’s best paint can rattlers as the graffiti artists compete out front of the Student Centre for the big prize of $500. And just so you know, these guys have some real talent. Also, just so we’re clear, graffiti is art. Stellar art. Hit up the Fuse to sign up, peeps.

Rec Room, Connexion

This bash will be one of the biggest events of the semester. Hands down. We are dishing out $1,000 in cash prizes for best costumes. Better yet, we are bringing in a mystery peformer who had one of the hottest singles of the summer. Any guesse? Tickets are $5 for the all ages licensed event.

All dates are subject to change. For more event info visit sheridanstudentunion.com


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KICK’N IT WITHK’NAAN From Dusty Foot Philosopher To International Troubadour Q&A with k’naan by ryan bolton

K’naan is a tough guy to get a hold of. The only chance we got to chat was when he had just landed in South Africa after a 15-hour flight. We only had a small window before he was whisked away to another interview. We guess that’s what happens when your critically-acclaimed music expands across continents. But the Somali-born, Toronto-raised hip-hop artist recently sat down with TRAVIS to chat about the current state of hip-hop, his volatile homeland and why the West needs to stick to the West.

TRAVIS: It’s a really intriguing story that you learned English through the raps of Nas and other hip-hop artists after fleeing Somalia as a young boy. Can you expand on this? K’NAAN: Well, I think different people have different ways they learn and what they respond to. I wasn’t particularly into the system of school and the model of teaching. I was also very suspicious and I wanted to take that into my own hands and learn a little differently. And so I would take tapes and listen to them. I would try to take phrases and try to figure out what was being said. So, between the dictionary and writing out the words, I was able to learn a lot. Outside of that, what it did for me was it introduced me to a lot of culture that I wouldn’t have otherwise known. Because hip-hop is often the art of cities, there would be either stories or similes. I would search for a character that has been set in a simile, and I look for who the character is. I look at how the struggles of becoming a congresswoman and it led me to the Civil Rights Movement. There are so many things that I learned outside of English being a communication tool.

You seem to be doing something that a lot of other musicians don’t seem to be doing anymore – your songs carry a message. If you look at your songs like, “What’s Hardcore?” or if you look at the lines from “If Rap Gets Jealous,” like “I don’t even hear verses no more / I hear jerkin’ off, punks with lip glosses and purses.” It seems like you have a pretty big beef with today’s rap and its rappers. We’re formed by the circumstances that we know. The place that I come from and what I know is really different than the place that a lot of mainstream rappers come from. I was becoming relevant in the same industry as them and there are some questions that needed to be answered because of that. Just my presence alone in the music industry poses questions and I wasn’t shy to ask those questions. Even though I respect other peoples’ struggles, we come from a vastly stronger struggle. And how do you think you’re perceived by other mainstream hip-hop artists? If it’s any sign of what they say to me when they see me, then it seems like they are really happy that I’m around. They’re proud of what I’m doing. They feel like their eyes are opening to a new world. I mean Nas, one of my favourite MCs of all time, in a recent interview, he was talking

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about me and my relevance in rap. He was sayin’ that he felt like I opened up a whole new world to him.

But if it’s political, like I have an idea of what I’m suppose to say, then I really don’t have anything to say.

That sure means a lot, eh? Yes, absolutely.

When you are coming to Sheridan to pump out some spoken word and maybe some songs, we’re holding this Respect Campaign. How important is the topic of respect to you and what you do in this industry? Well, I think respect has a lot to do with many things. It definitely has its place in dignity. When you respect people and their struggles, what happens is you tend to keep your dignity intact. Without dignity is dangerous. I think war is what happens when you take people’s dignity away. So, I really do think that a lot of medicine is contained in respect.

Although you rap about your upbringing and Africa quite a bit in Dusty Foot Philosopher to an extent, you really delve deep into your life back in Somalia in Troubadour, especially with songs like, “ABCs,” “T.I.A.” and “Somalia.” Why is this? I guess I’m still in emotional purgatory. I think that’s probably a subconscious response to not living comfortably, but evading it. What happens is a part of you is still left behind and so my songs are still very much concerned with those things [back in Somalia]. In the small hours of the night, the time that I’m alone and I’m open and emotional, these are the thoughts that I have, so I write them. It seems like there is still a lot unresolved. A lot of your work highlights issues happening back in Africa. Especially when you attacked the media with the pirates off the coast of Somalia, for instance. In what ways do you see yourself as giving a voice to such issues? I feel like I’m kind of pushed into those positions. Circumstance does that to me. It’s not like there are choices used in the U.S. for public views from Somalia. There just isn’t. The news and the media works in a completely unremarkable way of telling the story from a one-sided way. And then my people look to me and wait for me to say something, because I’m the only one with the platform to do so. So, I kind of have to. But I don’t like being in those kinds of positions. I like writing songs. I don’t necessarily like to be on TV giving statements about pirates. Right, and I read somewhere that like Bob Dylan, you don’t liked to be titled political. Instead, you really write protest songs like “Soobax.” Is it really important to stand up for certain issues for you? It’s not important like calendar important. It’s not like a plan. It’s not important in the sense of a mission statement, it’s important in a sense that it’s just in my soul. It’s an urge. It’s a leech to get off your body. It’s nothing that I control. In that sense, it’s important.

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For students that might want to get involved in worldly issues, like, say, AIDS in Africa or genocide, but might need a little push to get involved, what would you say to them? I wouldn’t give them a push if they were on the edge. I would ask them a question. I would ask them, “Why?” Why do they want to do what they want to do? Because a lot of people make the mistake of thinking that they

lots of problems, but what do you know about those problems and its causes? I meet a lot of people who say strange things to me, like a fan will come up after a show and say, ‘Hey, I just want to go and help Africa.’ And you’re kind of just like, ‘What do you mean? How would you propose to do something like that and who said that Africa is in need of your help?’ I just think that those are the bigger questions, it’s not on your questionable intentions. It’s your political and cultural viewpoints that this is a place that waits for you to help it. Obviously talking about back home in Somalia is difficult, but just quickly for readers that don’t know, back home is now called the River of Blood. Why is this? It’s a name for within Mogadishu, Somalia. But it’s been called that for a long time. It’s been called that when I lived there. It was a particularly difficult environment in the area and therefore was called the River of Blood. But right now, more importantly, what’s going on generally in this country is a humanitarian crisis. The big issue is no central government. There hasn’t been a central government for 18 years. People are having a hard time surviving; there’s just too much violence. And the world has basically turned its back on this country, so there’s a lot going on and

I’M STILL IN

EMOTIONAL PURGATORY

have some position – that they live in the West – that they have some position to be of assistance or help to Africa. Oftentimes I really think that is another way to discredit Africa. I just wonder why these young students, who don’t really have a lot to offer, I wonder what makes them think they are in a position to be of help to such a great continent.

Can you go deeper on that? Do you think a lot of youth are maybe going on an empty promise? That they might say they believe in something, but the passion isn’t there? You have to question what you believe in and where your beliefs come from. Sometimes our beliefs are based on falsehoods. If you look at this continent [of Africa] surely there are

that’s why we need to look at the piracy [off the coast of Somalia]. Your name means ‘traveler’ in Somali – something that you obviously live up to these days traveling around the world, like being in South Africa right now. But what can we expect next for the Traveler? Hopefully, just more music and more touring. Also, more sharing of sounds and ideas and so on. Just watch for it. K’naan will be at Sheridan’s Davis Campus on Oct 14 for a spoken word performance followed by a Q&A.


FROM FRONTMAN OF OUR LADY PEACE TO WAR CHILD ACTIVIST Q&A with raine maida by ryan bolton

R

aine Maida is a man who really doesn’t need an introduction. But he’s going to get one nonetheless. The frontman of Canada’s long-lasting alternative rock band, Our Lady Peace, Maida’s emphatic voice and cryptic lyrics have touched our generation. We all know him and his band’s songs. But something a lot of us might not know about Maida is twofold. One, he does a lot of behind the scenes work with numerous Canadian indie bands. Even with Avril Lavigne. But of more interest to us, and why he’s coming to Sheridan to chat about respect, is his work with the international charity, War Child. Just a warning: He has an explicit view on the choices you make after you graduate.

TRAVIS: There are myriad NGOs within Toronto itself. Personally, I work with Free The Children. Why did you choose to align yourself so tightly with War Child? RM: My life is really defined by people. And people running an NGO are quite vital to the life of a child. The people at War Child and I have become very good friends and I got to know them intimately and how they run their programming. Not to sum it up in one statistic, but 90 per cent of their funds go to actual programs. That’s a big step for a majority of NGOs out there. But anyone doing that kind

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of work is doing good; I’m not throwing punches at all. I’m just incredibly impressed with War Child and that even as they have grown as a charity that they haven’t made any changes to that percentage. For someone who has never been involved in it, it’s gratifying; and for someone who is just giving $40, it’s an emotional moment. Well, since we are on the subject, you have traveled to places like Darfur, Iraq and Ethiopia to shoot documentaries with War Child. I assume all these places touched you in one way or another, but what really stands out in what you saw and learned in these countries? You see the power of smaller grassroots charities making headway, especially in Darfur, Sudan. Whether it’s CARE or UNICEF, there’s a whole community there because it’s definitely been a hot spot over the last five years. It’s really interesting because we went there – it was just myself, War Child and George Stroumboulopoulos – because War Child Canada hadn’t had a program there. War

Child just really involves itself with local projects, and what that does is it sets up an infrastructure for when they pull out. It does sound cliché and it’s a buzzword, but they provide sustainability once they leave, and that can’t be said for a lot of the big charities. That’s another thing that really attracted me to [War Child]. So that’s what we did, we interviewed lots of different people who are in Darfur and found the right NGOs that are still there, but a lot of people have unfortunately fled the community because of the violence. Especially in a situation like that, in an IDP (internally displaced person) camp there’s a lot of children that aren’t able to go to school. But War Child really works on the social development, and they don’t have the funds and resources to drop bags of rice, but on more of a social level what they are out there doing is extraordinary. And it’s really amazing to see people like CARE funnel some of their own money to help support War Child and their social programs, because they are so impressed. Being able to travel the world over and see some of these issues, in your opinion, what is the biggest humanitarian crisis that we currently face as a global community? I think human rights issues. In this day and age, we are 10 or 12 years since globalization became a buzzword and same with global village. But there’s a really unbearable sadness that you see in these

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countries. Like in Darfur, there’s not a lot of attention being paid. I mean it gets a little buzz every now and then. It’s a blip on the radar and you get CNN talking about it. But really, you’re talking about – I don’t even know what the numbers are anymore – but a few million people displaced and the death tolls are whack and not even close to what they truly are. It’s just so disheartening to see what’s going on with the Janjaweed and the word really isn’t getting out there. I just don’t know what it is – I guess it’s “out of sight, out of mind.” It’s tough. The awareness issue is a very real problem for human rights. I am very fortunate to be able to travel. It’s more of a gift, the fact that I have been exposed to that. The first time landing in Iraq, that was a defining moment in my life. In a very profound way it changed the direction of my life. I think you’re right, if a lot of people had that chance to go, obviously it would have a similar effect on them. Let’s change gears a little bit. Something a lot of people probably don’t know about you is that you do a lot of work with a boatload of Canadian indie bands. Such as, Die Mannequin, Billy the Kid, People in Planes and the Australian duo, The Veronicas. How important is helping out upcoming talent to you? I don’t know if I see it as having a responsibility to do it; I do it because I really enjoy the process of working with these younger artists and helping them. I remember being in that position and there was a moment where I wish someone would have stepped in… We had the worst musical contract in the world and we could have used some advice. There are a lot of questions that they have, besides the music and the writing, and that part of it is where I help out as well. In your bio, you wrote something that caught my attention. You said, “I feel as though I am a witness and the armed robbery is life happening right before my very eyes.” What are you saying here? Having been to Iraq, a lot of times you sort of feel helpless. I mean, I’ve been involved as an advocate of human rights abuses in Darfur for the last five years. But essentially nothing changes; actually things have gotten worse. So no matter what time and energy I put in and no matter what programs that have developed there, the situation is still worse, so eventually you feel like you’re stuck watching something before your eyes and you can’t do much about it. It gets to be a little dark sometimes, but I find a lot of strength and inspiration from the people that do it everyday. Like K’naan, who is also coming to speak at Sheridan about respect, you’re a lover of spoken word. Sometimes more so than music you have said. Why is this? I think there’s something very relevant and poignant about spoken word. I think what they put in a poem or a spoken word piece, there’s really so much there. Nothing is compromised; it’s very relevant. A friend of mine will be on the bus writing something in the afternoon and he gets on stage that night and just gives this performance, and songs rarely work out like that. You just can’t be as relevant as a spoken word poet. Their whole purpose is about being timely. You just feed off the energy, whether

it’s politics or social and that’s why I kind of gravitated towards in the last five years. You can’t help but get chills, and I did get that with music when I was younger and still do sometimes, but every time I see a spoken word artist, I’m blown away. I’m truly blown away. As a long-lasting professional musician and a social activist, how important is the topic of respect to you? It should be something that is inherent, ingrained. It might sound lame, but something like respecting your elders. Culturally, where we have gotten to, we diminish the importance of elders. Obviously, environmentally, we don’t have a lot of respect for that either. It’s all encompassing. Respect is such a monumental word, really. I think you’re finding a new generation that is understanding that a little bit more and starting to take care of that word a little more and maybe absorbing it a little into their soul, into their character. And I see it when I talk to schools and communities. I see it in volunteering. I was at a debate last night for a bi-election in Toronto and I saw a lot of younger people there, really getting engaged. I think the more intelligent youth that are engaged, the better off this country and world is going to be. We were just talking about a whack of stuff there with the environment, human rights and respect, but what is your answer to a lot of the bullshit that is happening in the world today? The only way to make change is to get people engaged. And I really think that your generation really holds the candle for the hope of the future. Yeah, so what year are you in at school? Are you in your final year? Yeah, I just finished up my last year. I now work with Free The Children. So yeah, you have to decide where will you go. When you leave school, are you going to challenge the status quo? That’s really the most important thing. The only hurdle you really have to answer to is, ‘What kind of life are you looking to lead?’ Is it about getting the stable job and mortgage and maybe a wife and kids by the time you’re 30? Because if those are your goals, and that’s what modern society is going towards, then you’re not going to see any change. Because as soon as you start to take on those responsibilities, they begin to chip away at your ‘fuck you attitude’ that you guys have when you’re young. The challenge is to get wisdom, but to keep that attitude – and that’s not an easy thing to do. I’ve seen many people worn down by that. I don’t want to say they gave up the fight, but definitely stopped. I hate to use war as an analogy, because I’m not a proponent of war, but it really is war. It’s a war of words and a war of ideas. And I haven’t left the ‘fuck you attitude’ – I don’t like to use that word – but it really is that. You need to have that. You have to have that rebelliousness that drives you from not taking “no” for an answer. Raine Maida will be at Sheridan’s Trafalgar Campus on Oct. 8 for an intimate talk followed by a Q&A.


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We all wear clothes, naturally. The problem is that these clothes aren’t always natural. We look at some companies – Me to We and Invisible Children – that are both producing environmentally-friendly threads that look as good as they are for the Earth. by Nils Blondon Bamboo shirts, hemp pants, towels fashioned of organic cottons and philanthropy. Sounds like lunacy, doesn’t? The workings of a vegan fashion designer fused with environmentalist. Well, this is partially true. Take one part aesthetic genius, an equal measure of goodwill, and combine a dash of amnesty and savethe-planet furor and you have sustainable clothing. A collection of all things ecofriendly and charitable. And it’s becoming a big movement. Toronto hosts a sizeable lot of sustainable purveyors. Befitting for a city with the catchphrase, “Toronto the Good”. There are the small community shops such as Grassroots on Bloor West and Toronto Hemp Company on Queen Street speckling the city. But then take companies such as Me to We. A grassroots champion of humanitarianism nestled in the espresso-

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stained sidewalks of Cabbagetown, this social enterprise has redefined style. Now, I’ve always tried to be friendly to the planet and her progeny. I’m mindful of the recycling bin and trashcan. But I’m no avatar of eco-activism. And when juxtaposed beside a giant like Me to We, I look like a seal-clubbing demon that exudes carbon when I breathe. Me to We’s founders – brothers Craig and Marc Kielburger – were swamped with requests for products that fit societal standards of the developing communities they worked in. The demand spawned the Me to We: Responsible Style clothing line. The fashion line offers a substantial array of organic garb to socially-conscious consumers. T-shirts, tank tops, v-necks, hoodies, hats, scarves, dresses, pants, even polo’s. All offered in hip, sleek designs. From modest pastel yellows, greens and ranging coloured shirts


sporting pronounced credos. Messages such as “Together we Can,” “Be the Change” and “Break the Silence” emblazoned on the shirts. You can be politically aware while giving back to the world that nurtures you. Me to We is the antithesis of Nike. They condemn the use of sweatshops and streamline 50 per cent of profits to Free The Children, the international charity. Coupled with the fact that they only use certified organic cotton and bamboo and that all the clothing is made in Canada,

Me to We is the antithesis of Nike Me to We is making headway in an otherwise apathetic ethos. Invisible Children, rather, started as a documentary film. A brainchild of three young Californians on a quest to detail the barbarisms of the Ugandan conflict, a movement was born. The significant issue was child soldiers. This tryst with the realties of injustice has since morphed into a behemoth activist group with global-backing. Invisible Children initiates a surplus of programs to bolster thirdworld sympathies and raise funds for the children being robbed of their childhood. Boasting an impressive online store, Invisible Children offers socially-conscious clothes that are both modern and appeasing to the eyes. Its Tri program offers the browser the chance to make recurring donations in an attempt to bring child soldiers home. By signing up, you become eligible for complimentary clothes and a chance to make a profound imprint on the life of a child forced into war. And this isn’t it. There are thousands of such groups all working steadfastly at healing our scarred planet whilst making you look good. Something we can all take notes about. Really, it comes down to a choice. Join a philosophy not all about yourself. Let the fashion speak for itself, which for sustainable fashion will speak volumes more than the high-flung fashionistas tripping down the runway. It’s that simple, let’s start.

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Sheridan has style. We know that. So we hit some Student Union events and checked out what you were all sporting. Here’s what we saw. We thought we’d share.

show us your style, sheridan TRAVIS is always looking for models. Interested? Join our TRAVIS Magazine facebook group. See other photos at sheridanstudentunion.com 32 travismag.com


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A RANDOM NUMBER OF WORDS ABOUT CULTURE

We Are the Future… So, Now What? by laura busch


Apathetic. That’s what they call us. “They” refers to the quote-unquote adults in Canada. Seriously, no joke. Pick up any magazine article geared towards our parents talking about people in their 20s, and I’ll be damned if the word apathetic doesn’t make an appearance. This is the reason why it came as such a surprise that the academic record on the subject doesn’t really back that claim up. In fact, looking at articles written by historians, anthropologists and authors on the subject of the Millennial Generation, one actually finds that the general consensus is that this new generation is supposed to be better organized, more productive, and basically accomplish more for the greater good of humanity than either the Boomers or the Gen Xers.1 According to William Strauss and Neil Howe – a pair of American authors who have penned seven books on the subject of generational trends in the U.S., specifically what those trends mean for this present generation – we, Millennials, are set to change the world. In Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation, Strauss and Howe explain that, “As a group, Millennials are unlike any other youth generation in living memory. They are more numerous, more affluent, better educated and more ethnically diverse. More important, they are beginning to manifest a wide array of positive social habits that older Americans no longer associate with youth, including a new focus on teamwork, achievement, modesty and good conduct. Only a few years from now, this can-do youth revolution will overwhelm the cynics and pessimists. Over the next decade, the Millennial Generation will entirely recast the image of youth from downbeat and alienated to upbeat and engaged – with potentially seismic consequences for America.” This perspective may seem completely out of touch with how modern media and art is choosing to portray today’s youth. However, come to think of it, all of those messages are created by older individuals who have yet to wrap their heads around the fact that growing up in the ‘90s, while probably a crazy good time, is nothing like coming of age in a post-911, economically, socially and emotionally depressed North America. While mainstream media is directed at us, and no doubt greatly influences our own self-images and what we perceive to be the social norm, the good news is that it doesn’t necessarily define us. But then again, neither does the rose-coloured glasses

idea that we are destined to become a heroic force in the next few years – even if it is a bit nicer to believe. This may seem hyperbolic, but it feels like the time we are living in right now, that what happens in the next 10 or 20 years, is going to affect the course of human history. So what are we to do? Like it or not, we are about to be responsible for all of this nation’s problems. Granted, chances are none of us are going to become prime minister anytime soon – because there seems to be a white hair requisite for that particular gig – but the time is coming when we, as a group, will be expected to stand up and take the reins. Or, conversely, we could prove them all right. We could sit back with our mass-produced snack foods and Internet streaming, take another bong hit and wait for our little brothers and sisters to grow up and deal with the rising economic, religious and social tides. But you already knew that, didn’t you? It’s why hiding on the couch and choosing to live your life through Facebook and Twitter is so appealing. It’s why 98 per cent of the people I know have no idea what they want to accomplish within their lifetimes. To toss around an old proverb: A person can only play the game with the cards they are dealt. The card hand of our generation, which holds a climate change card, social and economic collapse card, technological advancement card, is giving the royal flush a new definition. So please, don’t get up. Do take your time. Let them continue to label us apathetic, lazy and ignorant. Just start thinking about what it is that you’re passionate about Maybe it’s getting back to nature. Maybe it’s learning more about technology. Maybe it’s writing down all of the rambling thoughts in your head and putting them in a student-run magazine in the hopes that there are other like-minded students out there who might find it engaging. No pressure. You don’t have to rush. But sooner or later, we should probably roll off the couch. Turn off Halo and say goodnight to the Twittersphere. Otherwise, the cynics will be proven right. And we’ll all be screwed. 1

Fascinating side-note: Did you know that anyone born during or after 1982

is not part of Generation X? We’re part of an all-new cultural generation, named ‘the Millennials’ (because the oldest of us graduated high school in the year 2000).

apathetic. that’s what they call us

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health & nutrition by tahir khan , health & nutrition specialist

CHOMP ON THIS Watch out for these nasty (but inviting) menu terms that can mean more fat and calories: batter-fried, pan-fried, buttered, creamed, crispy and breaded. If you must, choose these foods only occasionally, and please, only in small portions.

meal timeline 8 a.m. - breakfast 10 a.m. - snack 12 p.m. - lunch 3 p.m. - snack 6 p.m. - dinner 8 p.m. - snack

meal guideline Breakfast 1. Cereal or oatmeal or eggs 2. Toast (alone, light butter, peanut butter, jam) 3. Real orange juice or apple juice or fruit smoothie 4. Fruit Snack 1. Water or juice or soy or regular milk 2. Fruit or vegetables or crackers with topping or dried fruit 3. One small sandwich (tuna/turkey/ egg salad) or bagel & cream cheese Lunch 1. Water or real fruit juice or fruit smoothie 2. Salad 3. Sandwich (turkey, chicken breast, tuna) or pasta with meatballs/ chicken or pita or sub 4. Fruit (Like usual, lots of fruit) Snack 1. Water or juice 2. Fruit or vegetables 3. One small sandwich or bagel or salad or fruit smoothie Dinner 1. Water 2. Fruit and vegetables 3. Small portion (1 serving) rice or pasta or potatoes or baked fries with chicken or beef or fish or steak 4. Salad Snack 1. Water or juice or soy or regular milk 2. Fruits or vegetables with crackers and hummus

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nutrition tips It’s best to stick to a regular schedule when eating. You body will like you more when you feed it on time, at proper hours of the day. Remember, it’s best to eat big, hearty breakfasts, and to watch the binging after 8 p.m. Boost the nutrition in all types of sandwiches by adding tomato, lettuce, peppers or other vegetables. Makes for a much more filling sandwich, too. A baked potato offers more fiber, fewer calories and less fat than fries if you skip the sour cream and butter. Top your potato off with broccoli and a sprinkle of cheese or salsa. Load your pizza with vegetable toppings. If you add meat, make it lean, beef, chicken or shrimp. Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. No more than one drink for women and two for men at a time. Alcohol tends to increase your appetite and provides empty calories without any nutrients. (Note: Yes, we understand that this is not the most ideal situation, but damn, it’s true.)

Cold Pasta Salad Tired of eating just plain salads? Here’s a tasty change that can be added as a side dish to any meal – or you can have it as a snack. 1. Boil four cups of whole wheat bowtie pasta 2. Cut up one cup each of sweet red peppers, broccoli, tomatoes and cucumbers 3. Mix all vegetables and pasta together in a bowl 4. Add 1/8 or 1/4 cup of Italian dressing (you can add more or less according to preference) and mix it well If you like a bit of crunch in your salad, feel free to add some croutons.


DROP THE LOVE HANDLES We understand that motivation is the hard part to slimming down. But dropping the spare tire around the waste is best done with exercise. *Sets and reps vary depending on the goals of the individual. Two-three sets per exercise is standard/ 8-10 reps for strength training/ 12-15 reps for endurance. Exercises involving body weight, especially abdominal exercises, should be done until burnout (as many as you can before muscle failure).

exercises

Start to go to the gym and use some basic exercises to strengthen and tone.

Biceps Curls Start standing upright with arms straight and aligned with body. Next, alternate by bending each arm at the elbow but focus on keeping your triceps and biceps (upper half of arm) close to your ribs. Do not swing body or use momentum when doing this exercise to maximize benefits.

Triceps Extension Start with upper body parallel to ground and one arm (shoulder to elbow) pressed against the body and elbow bent 90 degrees. Finish by straightening arm by flexing triceps.

Shoulder Press Start standing up straight and with upper half of arm parallel to ground while elbow is bent 90 degrees. Finish by straightening out both arms above head.

Plank Start by having only the toes of both feet and both forearms touching the floor for support of body weight. Try to keep the rest of your body (head to ankles) parallel to the floor and hold as long as you can‌To modify and make this exercise more challenging, perform the same actions but periodically lift one foot off the floor.

Leg Extension Begin with feet locked into pads and both knees bent 90 degrees. End by straightening both legs and flexing quadriceps.

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The Ongoing Story

Parental Guidance is Advised Pt. 2

Michael Burton takes on our ongoing piece of fiction surrounding our protagonist-cum-writer Frank. Turns out, Frank has some problems.

TIME TO WAKE THE HELL UP, FRANK!

One hand in another, the rhythm lifts the two onto the ballroom floor. The dance floor with its smooth sheen must have been polished with cotton balls in preparation for the evening. Dolls, delicate figurines flow in unison with each other. The dancers complement the atmosphere, strung with diamond chandeliers and extravagant floral arrangements. There are no tables, just the floor. And it’s dancers. Frank’s palms carry the hands of the most beautiful girl in the room. Fixated on her chestnut brown eyes, he holds his breath while dancing, praying that he could freeze the moment. Everything about her is perfect. The curve of her ruby red lips could silence entire city blocks. Her warm, delicate fingers press against the centre of Frank’s back, her fragile symmetrical nose, perfect in proportion to

her face. She is nothing like the Mona Lisa; she’s actually gorgeous. Every inch of her body, an electric shock to the touch. She is shaped like an hourglass. As for what she smells like, Frank thinks it’s wild strawberries sans the pesticide heated by the day’s sun. The music coming from what must have been the ceiling became louder, the roar of a full orchestra bombards the room. Frank dances without ever taking his eyes off the beauty in front of him. Her strawberry blonde curls swirled in front of her face. They dance. Frank pauses in the centre of the room and glides his hand across her face to move the hair disguising her. He looks into her eyes. “Sofia,” Frank says. She smiles and her cheeks turn pink with embarrassment. Butterflies begin to flutter in her stomach and her lips part as she lets out a warm smile. Frank glances at her lips. He wants to kiss her; he’s been waiting all night. His heart takes off from the starting line. He leans, takes one last look at his Sofia, watching her eyes close and the two touch lips. Slow, passionate they kiss. It’s the kind


of kiss that you feel five minutes after it happens. It’s the kind of kiss that leaves you with your heartbeat in your throat. Frank holds her body close to his chest and tastes her lips. He’s euphoric and Sofia’s toes curl in her tiny black shoes. This, the most romantic moment one could ever ask for, the storybook ending to a Disney movie. At this moment Frank hears no music, nor does he continue to dance. Sofia and Frank float in the night’s sky together. Frank opens his eyes to take a quick glance to see how Sofia is enjoying their kiss. It’s a little creepy he knows, but he likes to do it anyway. But there is no Sofia. Sofia is gone. Gone, faster than Usain Bolt racing a shooting star. Frank suddenly drops to his knees, clenches his stomach feeling an instant nausea shooting up his body. Alone, on his knees, he begins to vomit in the middle of the dance floor. Yellow, putrid scum pours out of his mouth all over his clothes. She is gone and this makes him pulse with rage, his fists clench. Grimacing, his molars begin to crumble into each other. Nails on a chalkboard fill his eardrums, turning into a high-pitched, deafening screech. He shuts his eyes and screams. His voice evokes sadness; he’s starving for empathy. He has been torn down and lost the one important thing in his life. He cares about nothing else than this romance. Frank bellows “why?” as loud as he can. His voice is painful against the orchestra. It echoes throughout the room. He opens his eyes, looks and suddenly everything appears to be fine. Everyone continues dancing around his own circle of vomit. Not a single dancer reacts to his outburst. He looks puzzled. Not a soul stares at the mess he’s made. Just as if nothing happened, the dancers continue on without him some splashing through his dinner from earlier on. All Frank feels now is a big thud in his stomach. He thinks it’s the sickness coming back. With his head pressed against the marble floor, a baseball bat crushes his abdomen. “Time to wake the hell up, Frank!” The diamond clad, army boot wearing man swings his polished maple pro baseball bat at the centre of Frank’s chest. It thuds, like his stomach’s hallow. “Frank, have you not eaten for days? It’s like I’m beating an empty oil drum here,” the man laughs in Frank’s face. “Frank, the case,” he demands. No response from Frank’s body. Frank’s body hangs atop a poorly constructed chair. The chair is old, the arm rests have swelled and cracked. The man looms over him. The dark room appears to be an abandoned basement cellar. It’s damp, poorly lit, and smells of aging concrete. Only a few light bulbs hang from the ceiling. They flicker from time to time revealing a single door. “Frank, you know I hate doing this.” That wasn’t exactly the truth. He swings again, the same hollow thud, only this time Frank heaves forward. Frank lets out a long groan and slowly opens his eyes, blinking. The haze that has been distorting his vision slowly fades and he stares his captor in the eyes. “You woke me from one of the most beautiful dreams,” Frank says. “I hate to say it, but I think I found love.” “What the hell are you talking about?” The man swings his pro maple bat against his lower abdomen again. “You got some explaining to do, Frank.” “Alright, first things first, I’m going to need a cup of coffee, not that crap stuff either. I have the most terrific migraine. Must have been quite the party.” Frank’s face is worn and tired, his clothes

illustration by andre guindi

torn and at this point, he doesn’t comprehend the severity of the situation. His mind is wandering off to different places. It’s the ultimate induced brain-fart. “Frank, the case. Where the hell is the case?” “I have no idea what you’re talking about. Honestly, I don’t think I remember.” Frank spoke slowly trying to enunciate every word. He spits up some blood. As he finishes the sentence the demons in his head begin to calm, and the blurry picture of the last couple days begins to clear. Frank’s captor cracks his knuckles slowly and steps closer to him. “What about the girl?” he asks. Frank stutters, “What girl? Oh, oh wait.” The man interrupts, “She was with you wasn’t she? On the day of your escapade, was she not? What is her name?” the bellowing captor demands. The pieces of Frank’s puzzle begin to fall into place. The girl in his apartment, the dancer in his dream, it was Sofia. “It’s, well, I’m pretty sure it’s Sofia, but I have no idea where she is. I just learnt her name today.” Frank speaks with a hint of satire. Frank’s captor is becoming upset with Frank’s nonsense and wit. Not knowing what to do, the captor wraps his hands around Frank’s neck. With the captor’s head just above Frank’s, he can make out his face. He is one of the men that broke into his apartment. His breath has a faint scent of apple juice and suddenly something in Frank’s mind clicks. He knows this man. Frank realizes one of his problems. He might have been involved in a few shenanigans with some shady suspects as of late. Being choked to death, Frank has another epiphany. The big chubby tanned fingers around his throat are finally giving Frank’s mind a sense of urgency. Frank reads the embroidered imprint on his captors suit, Jimmy. “Stop!” “Please god, stop!” again he pleads. “Jimmy, please, no more,” Frank is able to say. “Why should I?” “The case!” Frank manages to get a small shout out of his throat. Thrown to the ground, Frank gulps for air. His chest rises heavily and his heart races. Frank touches his hands to his neck and feels the concave imprints left by Jimmy’s hands. They are turning purple and Frank tries to climb back into the chair. His head hurts, and he is terrified of what this man might do to him if he can’t find this attaché case. Frank thinks of a long shot of an idea. “I’m going to need my phone.” Jimmy responds by walking to the opposite corner of the room where a desk sits. He picks up the cell phone and throws it in Frank’s lap. Jimmy orders, “Call the police and you die.” Frank flips his Nokia phone open, hits the Contacts button and begins to scroll down the list. His heart pounds in his chest hoping that the name Sofia pops up. Sure enough it’s there, her name has a little heart emoticon next to it. Cute, he thinks to himself. A wave of relief flows over Frank. He hits Recent Calls, and sees only Sofia’s name. Over the last month Frank has not called anyone else in his phone. Calls received and calls dialed all back and forth to Sofia. It’s almost obsessive. Looking at the phone, it seems they speak together probably eight times a day. Frank looks up and smiles. “Well, I think I might know where your case is.” Pausing as he speaks he presses Dial and puts his ear to the phone. It rings once. “But first, we’re going to need some coffee, none of that crap stuff either,” he says. The phone rings again.

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rehab


AWESOME

We decided to reel back on the “random” this time around, and went full force “awesome.” We had to make up for the random, we apologize. At the forefront of every movement is the youth. They have the passion and dedication to battle the fortitudes of the corporate. We applaud them here with a look at some websites that are pushing the corporate fat cats back in their mahogany chairs. Here’s a closer look at some organizations that we talked about in the issue. WAR child www.warchild.ca No child (or person, really) should be thrown tricycle-first into war. It’s NGOs like War Child that truly work in war-wracked areas to assist children. It’s another movement that has had big names like Radiohead, U2, and Bloc Party take part in something that isn’t Facebook.

Invisible Children www.invisiblechildren.com This is a movement that has really taken off. Being mediabased and definitely viral, Invisible Children has swooped the masses to fight for the children of northern Uganda. After the documentary of the same name launched in 2003, the grassroots movement exponentially spread into a clothing company, book drive and “The Rescue” for young activists worldwide to stand in solidarity for the child soldiers. me to we www.metowe.com We are attracted to the simple philosophy here. As popular culture drives us to act like self-centred brats on the Real World, it’s a simple movement that, you know, maybe we can all work and live together. It’s not all about MySpace or my iPod, it’s about us. Let’s just try thinking we. What about Groupbook?

twitter www.twitter.com Nah, we’re joking. Not much good comes from this self-absorbed celebrity mouthpiece. However, it was a great method of communication with Iran’s election dispute earlier this year. But that’s about it.

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Travis Magazine Vol. 4 Issue 2  

Travis Magazine's The Respect Issue Travis goes one on one with K'naan and Raine Maida

Travis Magazine Vol. 4 Issue 2  

Travis Magazine's The Respect Issue Travis goes one on one with K'naan and Raine Maida

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