the plant SINCE 1969 VOL 54 NO 1
FEBRUARY @THEPLANTNEWS THEPLANTNEWS.COM
2 THE PLANT
Letter from the Editor Hello, again! The Plant is happy to be back in gear, producing more issues of our little newspaper. I feel like it has been so long since we last showed you all the amazing work you help us create. I wish to introduce you to three new staff members; Jill, our Visual Arts Editor, Mia, our Sports Editor, and Arwen, our new Staff Writer. I always feel a bit more hopeful during the month of February–spring is coming, and I’ll finally be able to shake away the winter blues. Seeing the days stretch longer and longer gets me so excited for the warmer sunsets we are promised in the coming months. Even as a late riser, I enjoy a few more hours of sunlight. I’ve been noticing my plants grow recently–they remind me to take things day by day, and to enjoy the small things in life. I hope that you have something that makes you feel the same, that reminds you to slow down. Everybody needs a little bit of that now, or, at least, it feels like we do. <3 Many thanks to everyone who takes the time to support us every release and in between! It means the world to all of us :) Remember to check out this month’s playlist on Spotify during your read of The Plant! With Love, DAYLEN CONSERVE Editor-in-Chief
Index NEWS 3 ARTS & CULTURE 7 VISUAL ARTS 10 PLAYLIST 12 VOICES 13 CREATIVE WRITING 19 SPORTS 22 SCIENCE & ENVIRONMENT 23 CURIOSITIES 24
The Plant is an editorially autonomous student paper. All opinions expressed in The Plant do not necessarily belong to The Plant, but are those of individuals. All content submitted to The Plant or its staff belongs to the paper. We reserve the right to reject or edit all submissions for brevity, taste and legality. The Plant welcomes typed and signed letters to the editor under 400 words. Copyright 2021
NEWS 3 3
Dawson Speaks: Should Higher Education Students Go Back to Campus? Dear Reader, Here, you will find a myriad of opinions on the CAQ’s February 8 announcement that higher education establishments are expected to gradually welcome students back to campus. Special thanks to Paul Serralheiro and his Writing Feature Stories students for helping us compile Dawson’s many voices. Julie Jacques Managing Editor
"I'm afraid that they are creating a false sense of hope for students. None of this will prevent the number of COVID-19 cases from increasing," says Liliane Espinal Andujar, a second semester Nursing student.
"I've been talking about wanting to go back to school in person. I've never really had a problem with online learning, but I just really missed the community and felt like I was missing out on a lot of experiences."
Nevertheless, some students have different opinions on the matter. Mara Matilda Munteanu "feel[s] like that will give [her] a boost of motivation as well as make [her] happier."
By Emma Mégélas Many Dawson students have mixed feelings about the return and fear being exposed to COVID-19.
Dawson College's students are clearly divided over the circumstances surrounding this complicated situation. Hopefully, the College finds a solution that works for everyone.
By Téa Barrett Isabelle Tabliago, a Law, Society and Justice student argues that “in most high schools and elementary schools, students stick with the same classmates and alternate teachers. However, in cégep and university, every class has different students. Therefore, there is a higher risk of getting the virus and spreading it by alternating the people you attend class with.”
Anna-Laurence Gordienko, a first year Cinema / Communications student, suggests that the return plan may be good for the students’ mental health and a great opportunity to leave the computer screens and dive into the college experience in person, but keeps the concern of being at risk for infection in mind. She says the news is ‘’not so safe, but will be a relief for many of us to mentally breathe a little!” Other Dawson students, like first year Pure and Applied Science student Benjamin Coull-Neveu, agree that the return is too risky and online schooling should continue until the winter semester ends. Coull-Neveu “strongly believes that the health of students should be paramount’’ and the prevention of newer infections should be prioritized by not returning to school, saying he ‘’prefers that over having to worry about [his] health as a result of attending school in person.” By Marie-Jeanne Pineault "I just have so many questions as to how this will be possible," says Miriam Ewa Tulowiecka, a second semester Cinema / Communications student. Tulowiecka is not the only Dawson student who thinks that this news raises many questions and doubts.
By Santiago Castillo When red flags turn to red zones and students feel their grip on reality slip, it's vital to lend an ear. Although tempting at first glance, the negative consequences of returning to campus seem to outweigh the benefits. When asked about her thoughts regarding the matter, second semester Psychology student Marie Sampoil explains how she feels she isn’t physically — or mentally, for that matter — prepared to reenter a school environment. Sampoil added "I think it's such a last minute decision... I'm just not ready!" Sam Henderson states that "it feels very rushed and unnecessary considering there's still a curfew. Plus, the semester was already set up to be fully online, and therefore, some students may have issues attending them if they were to be in person." Here, he raises another important question: will reintegration be more trouble than solution? One could retort with Cadence Patton's stance, who's taking Arts & Culture classes for a second term in a row.
“We’re literally in the middle of a pandemic,” states Shahd Awad, a Literature student. Her concerns for the reopening of classes focus mostly on mental health. “I’ve seen a lot of tweets and comments from post-secondary students expressing how it wouldn’t make a difference and it still wouldn’t feel like a great in-person school experience.” Shahd believes that the optional in-person courses are essentially “pointless,” since most students will not be participating. While the majority of opinions center around the risks of this event, one student claims to see this as “an opportunity to meet many of the people in my programs that I’ve befriended but never met in person.” Zachary Honsinger-Ruoff, a Law, Society and Justice student thinks that the idea would “help with my, and many students’, lack of motivation and other side effects of isolation,” but only if this is properly carried out by government officials. He worries that if done improperly, “this could lead to the second wave lasting a lot longer than need be, especially since vaccine rollout is slower than expected.” p p
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Homelessness and the Housing Crisis: What Can We Learn? DINU MAHAPATUNA Voices Editor At the risk of sounding preachier than is healthy for any student publication, let me remind you that while some of us complain about the stifling warmth of our homes, others have no such luxury. In 2018 alone, 3149 people lived, visibly, on the streets of Montreal. Just ask any Dawson student about what lies just beyond the school’s Atwater entrance. They are likely to recall the sight of someone sleeping next to an empty Tim Hortons cup just as well as they remember the rush to grab an iced cap between classes. In previous years, we may have flipped some change into said cups, but otherwise, we had no problem leaving the eradication of homelessness in Montreal to anyone else. The recent death of Raphaël “Napa” André, a 51-year-old Innu man, reminds us to take a closer look at Montreal’s homelessness issue. André was a victim, not only of our province’s unforgiving winter, but of Legault’s half-baked lockdown procedures which denied him access to a shelter on the night he froze to death. While the lockdown procedure faced the majority of scrutiny for André’s death, there is a greater underlying issue, linked to the foundational problem of houselessness in Montréal. By September 2020, the number of people forced onto the streets of Montreal doubled to almost 6000. The question is, why the increase? We are all well aware of the added financial pressure on many Montrealers as a result of COVID-19; but the pressure only served to exacerbate a pre-existing condition in Montreal: unaffordable housing. To better understand the issue, I attended the roundtable held by Concordia University’s School of Community and Public Affairs on
Montreal’s housing crisis in the midst of COVID-19. Four officials from different Quebec organizations presented arguments on what they considered to be the root of the problem. Maxime Roy-Allard of the RCLALQ (Regroupement des Comités Logement et Associations de Locataires du Québec) appears tired and reserved. Yet, he exudes as much frustration at the impact of the housing crisis on the average Joes and Jacques of Québec as the more vocal Véronique Laflamme of FRAPPU (Front d’Action Populaire en Réaménagement Urbain).
The pressure only served to exacerbate a pre-existing condition in Montreal: unaffordable housing. “Many measures could have been taken to protect tenants forced to leave their apartments,” says Laflamme. “There were subventions to construction companies right away, but tenants couldn't find housing, and no one cared.” Roy-Allard reiterates that tenants, unlike landlords and construction companies “aren't protected from renovictions and evictions,” adding that “there is a discrimination against tenants for reasons beyond their control, like their race.” François Bonhomme of the APQ (Association des Propriétaires du Québec) maintains a relaxed smile while he supports landlords and their decisions to raise rent or evict tenants. When Roy-Allard expresses distaste at having to “see that tenants are so easily evicted and forced to leave the localities in which they grew up,” Bonhomme quickly backtracks. He justifies the forced departures as “tenants needing bigger spaces and changing lifestyle habits” to support telework. He also points to the government as both the root of all evil and the fountain of prosperity: “Landlords in Quebec are mostly small landlords
who also have bills to pay. The government needs to invest money in existing housing.” Laflamme is quick to retort, in what I can only describe as an act of straight-faced brutality: “Housing stocks belong to large corporations, not small landlords.” Also of note is finance bro Daniel Fagen, a representative from real-estate developer and contractor Broccolini. He persists in pushing for the completely realistic solution of building even more housing units as the antidote to a housing crisis. I was left reminded of a toddler cousin who expected candy to appear from thin air. Bonhomme is more eloquent in expressing his concern, “La construction des logements n'est pas encouragée. Il y a un manque d'espace pour construire des logements.” To provide a rough translation, “Build more housing units? With what space, homie?” Ultimately, all four experts agreed on the severity of the issue. Fagen explains that affordable housing means renting a home should not cost more than 30% of annual income. Yet, in Quebec, the average person spends over 40% of their yearly salary on housing. This problem also remains a circular one. Roy-Allard explains that “tenants are evicted, then prices increase when people move.” He tells us that Quebec’s laws, unlike Ontario’s, “leave tenants vulnerable.” To wrap up with some sort of didactic musing and avoid giving off the impression that I have no answers, I say: homelessness is a by-product of an even bigger issue, with no single apparent solution. The factors at play here are numerous, concerning landlords, developers, and government as much as they do you. Recognizing the problem is the first step (of many) towards progress. p p
NEWS 5 5
Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me a Platonic Match JACQUELINE LISBONA Contributor
It’s Monday at 6:00 pm and Lily is strapped into her highchair, eating mushy peas and apple puree. Michelle, her mom, receives a text from Josh: “I’ll be there in 2 minutes. Please have her diaper bag packed and her clothes ready.” Lily shrieks and starts throwing her food onto the floor, kicking her feet while tears are streaming down her face. Michelle wipes away the green peas from Lily’s cheeks and dresses her in her favorite bunny onesie. Josh enters the home to see Michelle in a sweat, while Lily continues her temper tantrum on the carpet. Lily immediately stops crying when she sees Josh. “Hi dada.” Michelle plants a big kiss on Lily’s cheek, gives Josh a hug and says, “She’s fed and bathed. See you on Wednesday. Text me if you need anything.” Michelle sits down on her couch, pours herself a glass of wine and starts watching The Bachelorette in relative peace.
So why has non-romantic co-parenting been catching on? And what might this innovative way of having a family reveal about our society and romantic love itself ? Non-romantic co-parenting has been in the public sphere for longer than we think. While it has probably been around for hundreds of years, the earliest reference to it (that I could find) in recent pop culture is from 2011, in Los Angeles. Modamily tapped into this growing phenomenon. The idea was simple: the platform would help match people who are ready to have kids and provide donors with a platform to help others start families. The traditional formula to have a family is to fall in love, get married, and have children. Now, the formula has changed, opening up new and innovative ways for people to have children. There is also tremendous social pressure to find a mate and have babies before it’s “too late”. In our society, being 30 and single already puts you behind schedule.
The formula has changed, opening up new and innovative ways for people to have children.
When Michelle Dickson, a pediatrician, and Josh Silver, a lawyer, landed on each other’s profiles on Modamily.com, it was a perfect match. Both candidates were close in age, Michelle 36 and Josh 40, and they shared very similar views on finance, health, and education. They also shared the same goal: to find a non-romantic partner with whom to raise a child. After chatting on Modamily and meeting several times in person, they agreed to have a baby together and begin their co-parenting journey.
“I founded Modamily because I was inspired to help some of my professional friends who deferred having kids until they felt more secure”, says Ivan Fatovic, CEO of Modamily. “They were starting to feel the pressure of the biological clock, still single, and looking for a partner with whom to procreate, whether they were married or not. Modamily offers a solution for anyone who's hoping to become a parent, no matter what kind of relationship they're looking for."
As unorthodox as Michelle and Josh’s approach to raising a family might seem, it is actually a growing trend in Canada, the US and Europe.
Founded in 2011, Modamily boasts over 12,000 users and more than 50 babies born. At approximately $30/month, Modamily is less
expensive than sister sites such as Family By Design. “When I first saw this app, I thought wow, this is so unique!” says Michelle. “There were so many different people to choose from. There were a couple of questions to fill out and then it matched me with similar people. That’s how I found Josh.” Not everyone is so excited by this new approach to family. Elizabeth Marquardt, co-principal investigator of the national study “Hooking Up, Hanging Out, and Hoping for Mr. Right: College Women on Dating and Mating Today”, opposes co-parenting. “It’s a terrible idea, deliberately consigning a child to be raised in two different worlds, with parents who did not even attempt to form a loving bond with one another,” she writes in an email. On the other hand, experts such as Sarah J. Schoppe-Sullivan, Associate Professor with the Ohio State University Department of Psychology, argue that parenting partnerships can actually spare a child the future pain of divorce. She counters “certainly, from a research standpoint, I don’t think having a romantic relationship is necessary to have a good co-parenting relationship. Research shows that if parents can have a warm, cooperative, co-parenting relationship, then that’s going to be positive for the child’s development.” Overall, Michelle is happy with her decision to co-parent. She continues to nourish her friendship with Josh and work on raising their child together. Although Lily is only 13 months old, Michelle is excited to watch her grow up and she wishes that someday, Lily will share the same privilege of wiping mushy green peas off her child’s face. p p
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Finding Education in Entertainment How independent learning has prompted the use of alternative educational platforms MAIJA BARONI Staff Writer
With our previous routines recently interrupted by a global pandemic, many find themselves with too much time on their hands. An increasing number of people turn to online learning as a new hobby to stave off boredom and anxiety, while feeling productive in the process. Considering most schools have shifted to partial—if not full—online learning, education through a screen is no longer a foreign idea. Rather, it is a reality students quickly adjusted to, so it is no surprise that some are choosing to learn outside their Zoom classrooms, using their own personal device as their teacher. Since March of last year, online learning sites have seen an unprecedented surge in activity and memberships: Coursera, for example, has gained 21 million learners according to its 2020 Impact Report; a 353% increase from the same period the year prior. Similarly, Skillshare tripled its member sign-ups, and subscriptions to the celebrity-taught Masterclass site increased tenfold. The platforms explored by independent learners are not contained to traditional learning sites. Instead, some are leaning towards platforms primarily used for entertainment, such as social media apps and YouTube. Though YouTube is best known for its music videos, beauty gurus, and gaming channels, the site is no stranger to educational content. Famous channels like Crash Course and TED-Ed are even frequently used in classrooms. However, a newer platform is beginning to take center stage in the world of online learning. TikTok, initially loved for its viral dances, has become ragingly
popular over the last year. Aside from its comedic or entertainment appeal, the app has seen demand for educational content sky-rocket, with BBC stating that the hashtag #LearnOnTikTok has been viewed over seven billion times. Compared to ordinary education platforms, the unorthodox trend of learning through social media presents many benefits. The price, or lack thereof, may be the main selling point. TikTok, like most social media, is free. In contrast, the previously mentioned subscription sites cost anywhere between 99-200$ yearly, making them largely inaccessible to most young students. TikTok has other advantages. For one, its videos are never longer than a minute, forcing educational videos to be concise, differing from the lengthy YouTube videos or online lectures from subscription-based sites. Another innovative characteristic is TikTok’s in-app editor, allowing creators to include effects, audio, filters and transitions. When used creatively, these tools result in really engaging and diverting content, making education that much more exciting. The demand for educational content has not gone unnoticed by the app’s creators. This summer, BBC reported that TikTok was planning to commission hundreds of experts and institutions to further increase the platform’s academic value. Nevertheless, significant issues arise when using an entertainment platform for learning. Typical of most media, the spread of misinformation on the app has been widely criticized. Many creators with no actual professional training have massive followings, further facilitating the possibility of false information. Even professionals can post content that might not be fully false, but
offers questionable interpretations of factual data. Therefore, it is critical for creators to put data in context for the average user when filming educational videos.
Perhaps the most beneficial aspect of all is accessibility. Regardless, online learning offers many unique advantages. Apps and sites compile user data to feed into algorithms and lead users to content they are interested in, customizing their learning experience. Social media platforms are also incredibly interactive, allowing users to directly communicate with creators or other people interested in the same topic, and providing a fertile learning environment. Perhaps the most beneficial aspect of all is accessibility; people can engage on their own time and at their own pace, allowing them to learn according to their individual schedules and needs. Though the pandemic has brought a lot of unwelcome change, it allows us to make the most of what we have right now: time. Independent onlines learning creates revolutionary new possibilities for students, and it has the potential to change the future of education. p p
ARTS & CULTURE 7 7
Black History Month: Past, Present, and Future BEATRIZ NEVES Arts & Culture Editor
February is known for Valentine’s day, but as lovely as chocolates and flowers are, it is defined by another significant event -- Black History Month. Black History Month is an annual celebration of important people and events of the international Black community. Carter G. Woodson, a Harvard educated African American historian, was the first to propose a “Negro History Week” in 1926 to honour African American’s achievements and raise awareness about Black history in the United States. Later, the week became a month. February was chosen because two essential figures in African American history -- nineteenth century abolitionist Frederick Douglass, and president Abraham Lincoln, who issued the Emancipation Proclamation -were born in February. Yet, February was only officially recognized in the United States as Black History Month in the ’70s. In Canada the House of Commons officially recognized Black History Month in December 1995. In Quebec, it was only in 2006 that the National Assembly adopted a law making February Black History Month.
It’s the perfect time of the year to learn, remember and honour Black history throughout the world. Nowadays, a different theme is chosen for the month every year. In the United States, the responsibility to choose the theme is given to the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, a non-profit organization founded in 1915. This year, the theme is “The Black Family: Representation,
Photo VIA MOIS HISTOIRE DES NOIRS
Identity, and Diversity.” It explores how the black family’s “representation, identity, and diversity have been reverenced, stereotyped, and vilified from the days of slavery to our own time.” In Canada, the theme chosen by the federal government is "The Future is Now.” According to the government of Canada’s website, this theme “is a chance to celebrate and acknowledge the transformative work that Black Canadians and their communities are doing now.” In sum, it’s the perfect time of the year to learn, remember and honour Black history throughout the world. It is surprising how little people know of it, and there is always more to study. Normally, in Montreal, we would have various events organized by the Round Table on Black History Month, a non-profit dedicated to promoting Black communities' history and contemporary situations in Quebec. This year they are celebrating their 30th anniversary, unfortunately, all online. Michaël P. Farkas, the president of the Round Table, says in his statement that “we thank the City of Montreal for 30
years of loyal support that was crucial to highlighting the undeniable role we’ve played during the last 350 years on this unceded Native land.” Farkas also emphasizes the importance of such celebrations and their impact. “By honouring our heritage, we carry—from generation to generation—the legacy of an amazing village, which has stretched across the expanse of history, revealing the extent of our voyages to the four corners of the world.” Despite the pandemic, the non-profit is holding various events that go from an artistic workshop for children on Central African masks to a Poetry Jam showcasing Montreal’s spoken wordsmiths. There are installments in both English and French, and for every audience and age. Even though the Black community still has a lot to fight for, it is equally important to celebrate victories of all sizes. It is essential to support Black voices as they fight against ignorance. As Nelson Mandela once said: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” p p
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M’entends-tu?, a Montreal Must-Watch BENJAMIN WEXLER Copy Editor
February is hibernation time. Hopefully the city will still be here when I emerge. For now, my longing for a Montreal summer is eased by season 2 of M’entends-tu?/ Can You Hear Me? The Télé-Québec series began airing in 2018, but I fell in love with it during a summer in lockdown. The newest season arrived on Netflix in November, solidifying the show as my highlight of 2020 television and a uniquely rough, loving, and poignant depiction of this city.
Stylized yet eminently believable, capturing a “small world” feel familiar to any Montrealer. As the title suggests, M’entendstu? portrays the lives of people who are not normally heard from, certainly not on television. Three friends, Ada, Fabiola, and Carolanne, deal with the daily challenges of life and poverty. Netflix calls it a “Social Issues TV Drama,” but it does not feel like a show about social issues — it is a show about three young women who happen to live through what we awkwardly
Photo VIA M’ENTENDS-TU? / FACEBOOK
label social issues. In between grocery store visits and therapy sessions, there is domestic violence, substance abuse, housing insecurity, and death. The mood can shift from mundane to tragic to hilarious in the span of a few shots, and you won’t question it for a moment. Great performances across the board help with this emotional versatility. Florence Longpré, also one of the show’s creators, is the centrepiece as Ada — loveable, loyal, angry, horny, irreverent. Mélissa Bédard and Ève Landry are equally convincing as the talented, kind Fabiola and bookish Carolanne, respectively. Sincere writing and idiosyncratic editing contribute to the quick, clever, and awkward pacing. The show is obviously stylized yet eminently believable, capturing a “small world” feel familiar to any Montrealer. Just as you recognize The Word Bookstore, where one character works, she recognizes the police officer walking in on the hunt for a picture book for his toddler. Don’t forget to listen carefully; whether characters are performing on the street, singing along at the bar, or working in a choir, music is integral. Appropriately, the soundtrack is killer. Jai Paul’s “BTSTU,” Leonard Cohen’s “It Seemed Better That Way,”
and Les Trois Accords’ “Le Bureau du medicin” are just a few of the songs used to memorable effect. As excellent as season 1 is, season 2 improves on it in almost every conceivable way. There is a noticeable increase in production value, although the show never loses its homespun feel. Each familiar character plays a satisfying and evolved role. The writing tightens up — every scene is spontaneous yet indispensable — and the 10 episodes link together so neatly you might as well be watching a movie. Flashbacks to the girls as preteens are an especially brilliant touch, emphasizing the conditions they grew up in, their character development, the complexity of their relationships, and the smallness of their world. Next time you’re on Netflix, take 20 minutes and give it a try. It’s not just that M’entends-tu? is great television for Montrealers. It is great television in almost every way…and Montrealers happen to have unique linguistic and cultural access to it. We’re damn lucky. The third season of M’entends-tu? / Can You Hear Me? will be available through Télé-Québec as of 23 March 2021 p
ARTS & CULTURE 9 9
From Cottagecore to Cottage Country: Escapist Fantasies and Neo-Rural Realities ARWEN LOW Staff Writer
POV: You drizzle honey into the rose-patterned teacup from Grandma’s set as you stare out the window of your warm, sunlit kitchen. Outside, your raspberry bushes glisten from the morning dew. You’ll be making jam today, you think, as you prepare your wicker basket. Unblemished by worry, you step out of your vine covered cottage into your idyllic world. Welcome to Cottagecore, the trend that’s been dominating internet aesthetic subcultures these past few months. Cottagecore roots itself in values of self-sufficiency and sustainability, promoting an idealized, peaceful, pastoral lifestyle, and encouraging small scale agricultural practices, home-sewn clothes, and all things “wholesome”. While Cottagecore first gained its name on Tumblr in 2018, a Google Trends search reveals that it only entered publix lexicon around March of 2020, with a massive spike in interest in November. Gen-Zers largely dominate this aesthetic: in fact, 65.7% of surveyed Dawson students said that they either actively participated in or liked Cottagecore. Nostalgia for a “simpler” time is certainly a part of the appeal of Cottagecore. Our generation was showing concerningly poor mental health even before COVID-19. Now, 7 in 10 zoomers have expressed symptoms of depression during the pandemic, according to an October 2020 study from the American Psychological Association. And why wouldn’t we? Online school is stressful and tiring, we’re isolated from everyone, Jeff Bezos is still getting richer, and it seems like some extremely important forest is always on fire! But in the quick snapshots of Cottagecore on TikTok, Instagram and Pinterest, life is easy. We can bake bread, wear frilly
dresses, and connect with the land, in a time when the toxic fruits of the Industrial Revolution are only beginning to blossom. Of course, the idyllic past is a fantasy, and carries a good amount of baggage worth unpacking. The Cottagecore aesthetic often comes across as an idealization of early colonialism. Should we really be sitting in our beds at 2 a.m. scrolling through our For You Pages and dreaming wistfully of the white, heteronomative settler lifestyle? As one student I surveyed pointed out, we should critique the idea of “reconnecting” with the unceded lands that we occupy.
Of course, the idyllic past is a fantasy, and carries a good amount of baggage worth unpacking. However, Cottagecore can also be a reclamation. In an interview with Architectural Digest, Noemie Serieux, the founder of the Instagram account @CottagecoreBlackFolk, expressed: “For those of us who don’t see people who look like us [in typical Cottagecore imagery], a little reimagining of these periods as inclusive rather than exclusive is just as important as preserving the complete history. It allows us the opportunity and the creativity to see our ancestors as more than just a victim of their era.” Similarly, Cottagecore allows for members of the LGBT+ community to imagine or manifest the aesthetics of the past in a more inclusive present. Indeed, the aesthetic was largely popularized by queer women and non-binary people. While it may be among the most prevalent, Cottagecore is hardly the only reverie occupying the minds of Dawson students. 51.4% of surveyed students say that they’ve entertained escapist fantasies over the course of the pandemic. Their daydreams
include running around their empty castles alone, chain smoking in Europe, living with monks, and time-travelling. Interestingly, more than half of students surveyed reported considering alternate lifestyles because of the pandemic, particularly rural living. In the US, since the start of the pandemic, there has been a 2% increase in moves from densely populated cities like LA and NYC to smaller communities. A century after America’s urban population finally officially outnumbered its rural population, 2020’s small exodus, facilitated by remote work, seems like a reversal. Self-sustainable cottages, offgrid farms, and homesteading communities have grown through the 2010s -- the real-life embodiments of Cottagecore fantasies (though with significantly more flannel). Snow Lake Keep, in Nova Scotia, is one example of a homesteading community that embodies some of the principles of cottagecore: a self-described “queer inclusive” community, the six permanent residents who live there practice sustainability through permaculture and seek to live in harmony with nature. Some Dawson students are getting serious about this kind of cottage life. One student explained that their family has been searching for a small, rural community where they could practice a self-sufficient lifestyle. Another said that they’d considered permaculture and they’d begun to test the soil on their cottage property for fertility and clay. As our generation’s values start to unfold on larger political, social, and cultural stages, it will be interesting to see if there’s a concrete pull towards these alternate lifestyles. Will aesthetics like Cottagecore stand the test of post-pandemic time? p p
10 THE PLANT
Photo by RENATA DURET @RENATA.PATATA
Photo by DANIELLA SFORZA
VISUAL ARTS 11
Photo by SOPHIA DOLGIN @_PHI_A_
Photo by PIPA JONES @PIPALUQ
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Playlist by JILL GOLDENBERG Visual Arts Editor
Ask The Plant DAYLEN CONSERVE Editor-in-Chief
Dear The Plant, I feel like nobody is noticing me on dating apps! What do I do? Please help! Sincerely, Ghostie Hey Ghostie! I understand how you feel– It’s so easy to go unnoticed these days, especially when your profile is drowned out by people whose top Spotify artist is Ed Sheeran. To captivate attention is to truly feel desired; we all need that validation, even coming from something as passionate as Tinder. However, good news for you, Ghostie, it only takes a few simple changes to get people to not only give you their coveted attention, but also their souls. It all starts with the perfect profile. Dig through your camera roll to select no more than your 6 best pictures. Let people fall in love with your facial features: eyes so deep and warm potential suitors could almost fall into them, a smile so charming and inviting that they can’t help but to want to see more of, glistening, smooth skin that is too perfect to be real. Be the dream everybody looks for, and then some. So far, this should be enough to pique their interest. Although making a poem from the letters of your name might be tempting, we need something short and sweet for people to get to know you. Show off that personality and sense of humour! Cater to your desired niche– want the attention of single people who never leave the house? Write about how you love a comfy night in! Into sportier types? Mention your favourite sports team! You’d like to attract people who will easily hand everything they own and their entire being over to you at the snap of a finger? Write about how you love being a business major! By now, admirers will be tripping over themselves trying to slide in the DMs. Be flirtatious and irresistible– everything they ever wanted. Reinvent yourself as the most romantic person that ever existed.
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Make them feel like they can trust you with their deepest, darkest secrets, ones they would take to the grave. Let them open up to you and fall in love with you completely. And, finally, you close it all off by making the tiniest of requests, the most miniscule ask, a fun-size query, one may say. Demand their soul! If you have followed the steps correctly until now, not only will they willingly hand it over, but they might also convince their friends to do the same. I hope this will help you get noticed more. Soon, you can officially be the leader of a cult. <3 Sincerely, Dawson’s most successful cult to date, The Plant
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Gap Years: Are They Worth It? JESSICA GEAREY News Editor
With the university application deadline looming upon us, some of us might be scrambling to get last minute recommendation letters, while others lay back and enjoy the relief of not having to go to university just yet. Gap years are usually a time to travel, make some money and lay back until you figure out where you want to go in life. However, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there are other factors to take into account. In normal circumstances, Emmett Boyle, a fourth semester Social Science student, wouldn’t have considered taking a gap year. “Personally, I think it’s kind of pointless,” he says. “I would just want to get it over with right away.” Others have taken a different approach to the situation. Beth Fecteau, a fourth semester Literature student, had already planned on taking a gap year. “I want to be sure before I go into university,” she says. She adds, however, that the possibility of online school gives her more of a reason to take a gap year. Fecteau explains that not only has her focus decreased during the past semester, but, now that the ability to communicate with her peers is minimal, she’s noticed her performance has been affected. “Blending my school and personal life and environment makes it worse,” she adds.
I think that if I wasn’t taking a gap year, and instead going to university online again, I might lose it. Gap years can be tricky. One of the disadvantages of taking a gap year that has some students concerned is the idea of losing focus
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and momentum. Sarah Hylland, a freshman at McGill, cites this reason: “I think people will always find excuses in that year to not go back and personally the ones that do go back end up dropping out anyway.” Like Dawson, McGill is said to have had a high dropout rate following the Fall 2020 semester. “McGill is creating awareness around how hard online school has been, and that is why the government is trying to put in measures to get students back in school,” Hylland says. Is taking a gap year worth it? Well for some the answer is easier than others. Julia Quynh, a fourth semester Cinema / Communications student, moved back home to Singapore following the pandemic. “It’s been really rocky and stressful trying to cope with the past year,” she explains. Because Quynh is an international student and lives in a different time zone, the transition to online school has been difficult. “I think that if I wasn’t taking a gap year, and instead going to university online again, I might lose it,” she jokes. Even after she made her decision, she had some doubts. “For a few days, I felt lost as to how to spend the next year,” she says. However, Quynh
quickly realized the usefulness of pressing pause on school: “It would help me take a step back and re-evaluate what I want to do with my life.” So, what exactly would you do with your gap year during a pandemic? Since travel is not really an option, Fecteau says she plans on making use of her time by working. “Just trying to build up some savings,” she explains, “also take some time to pursue some of my other passions that are not scholarly.” Fecteau is trying to prioritize thinking about what she wants to do with her future and trying to really take the time to be careful. Gap years can be tricky and might not suit everyone. Some might need the release of not having academic responsibilities, and some might need productivity. Keep in mind what you feel is best for yourself and your future, but also take care of yourself so you can get to that future. p p
16 THE PLANT
A Note From the Section Editor I’ll be frank with you, reader: we, the notorious inhabitants of the province of Quebec, are not above the occasional conflict. With our multiple languages and inane obsessions with signage, we feel the pull and push of tension and divide between anglophones and francophones so frequently, that one might argue we will only ever agree on the sanctity of a hot plate of poutine. In the interest of best showcasing this diversity of opinion, we present the following articles, which approach the issue of bilingualism in Quebec from two different perspectives. In their shared effort to provide insight, they reflect what a real life conversation, disagreement and all, is meant to be. While I would never make the claim that a student newspaper fully captures life in all its ambiguity (out loud at least), we can sure as hell try. Enjoy! Dinu Mahapatuna Voices Editor
Two Solitudes CYRIELLE OUEDRAOGO Contributor
Since I presently write and study entirely in English, people are often surprised when I remind them that my mother tongue is French; the colonizer French of West Africa that my parents use at home and for work. Like many people my age, I view multilingualism as an asset, a tool for understanding the increasingly interconnected world that we are living in (and shaping through this connectivity). I subscribe to the idea that more is always better when it comes to language, and that the knowledge of one does not decrease the value of another. I am not, however, so blinded by my own optimism as to ignore the fierce and often tiresome debate that has rattled the province of Quebec since its beginnings; I am aware that for many, multilingualism resembles a threat to the authentic culture of Quebec. My initial response is this: what is the authentic culture of Quebec? Whose cultural heritage is at risk of being erased by another? I find the irony of the debate quite poignant, especially the ignorant (or perhaps willful?) blindness of those affirming that French is this land’s mother tongue. The French that supplanted this region’s Indigenous languages is beautiful, but its existence in North America today is a product
of colonialism. We are quick to forget how the French language got its own firm footing in Quebec. It is true that English (arguably) exercises the same postcolonial pressure on French now, that French has exercised and continues to exercise on Indigenous languages, but selective acknowledgement of the destructive power of colonialism speaks to a sense of misplaced superiority. Many people engaged in this debate do not value Indigenous languages in the same way that they value “Western” tongues. The markers that modernity provides for regulating the usage of a language or awarding prizes to its most prominent authors are deeply ingrained in colonial history. Where France has its Sorbonne, and England has its Oxford, differing world views and a history halted by colonization
Whose cultural heritage is at risk of being erased by another? stopped many cultures from ever developing the institutions now deemed “prestigious” authorities on language. If these institutions are benchmarks for why languages deserve conservational efforts, then colonialism once again benefits the colonizer and further handicaps the colonized.
It also quite amuses me when Quebecois French speakers affirm that the French language is dying because it is (arguably) threatened on this side of the globe. Often, we forget that Canada is not the only place in which colonial French has taken root. There are 21 African countries in which French is the official language; and it’s spoken in just under thirty. Why, then, do we assume that French is dying? Is it because the French of others is unsuitable to our own view of it as a dignified language? The world’s Francophonie is alive, and quite well, but for some the bilingualism of Quebec’s teens is the final nail in its coffin. If we wish to talk of languages that are well and truly dying, we can turn to the Indigenous languages of Canada, but also to the hundreds of languages that were squashed or replaced during the golden age of European colonialism. The sentiment of having been wronged by a colonizing force is one I understand francophones can feel, but feeling it without recognizing the impact of French colonization on other languages is a symptom of either willful ignorance or concealed linguistic elitism. p p
VOICES 17 17
Heads or tails? A (new?) perspective on the age-old language debate. JULIE JACQUES Managing Editor
I live on a coin – on one side is my English socialization; friends, boyfriend, education, even this newspaper. On the other is my French upbringing; my family, neighborhood, and culture. My two-sided nature means that I’m privy to constant language disagreements, already so commonplace in Quebec. In the omnipresent fight between anglophones and francophones, no one ever wins, and as someone on that spinning coin, it’s hard to know where to stand on contentious issues. Flip a coin: heads. On this side, I believe our language laws are important. I support the Bloc Quebecois and maintain that French representation in our federal government is crucial, lest our values be overshadowed. Here, I see my Grandma’s fear, rooted in a generational survival instinct, that English will overtake her grandchildren’s heritage, and that she, with only her native French, will lose them entirely to a different culture. Tails. I don’t fully back the CAQ and many of their “French-preserving” policies. I have benefitted from bilingualism and the public English education system my whole life, so, of course, I am against the Parti Quebecois’ attempts to suspend Dawson and McGill’s expansion. Here lies the opportunity of “the language of business” and the reason my francophone parents sent their children to English-speaking schools. But let me pull back: With the highest population of French-speakers in North America, why shouldn’t Quebec defend our interests on a federal level? Many francophones back this position – they
are the reason Blanchet’s Bloc swept Singh’s NDP off the map in 2019. The election left Quebec’s anglophones feeling cheated and underrepresented in public offices, but the truth is that they are about 13.4% of Quebec’s population (not quite a big enough percentage to have a huge influence in an election of that scope). In the end, the nature of democracy means that statistically, a singular minority group doesn’t have enough voting power to sway an election. Of course, this notion becomes problematic when it allows for minority groups to be oppressed. At the very least, we can agree that anglophone communities face some adversity. 13.4% is a very visible minority, especially when 80% are concentrated in the city of Montreal. Despite this, it can feel like our government’s provincial and municipal branches forget about their anglophone denizens until it is time to chastise them. While I believe that the French language should be upheld in all public Quebecois businesses, I question whether we should be handing out fines to small, often immigrant businesses for signage which doesn’t respect often impenetrable rules. In truth, we punish instead of help. The problem with our language laws isn’t that they exist, but that they don’t allow for leniency. Will the $5 million granted to the OQLF by the CAQ last year help support the French language, or will it just turn the anglo population even further against franco counterparts? Perhaps, this money should be used to help companies hire or train translators to better follow the (incessant) rules. Better yet, inject the $5 million into Quebecois media! The case for preserving French Canadian culture would be much more compelling to anglophone citizens if they were given the chance to appreciate it more. We should be channeling our inner Bon Cop, Bad Cop, and working to make our anglophone population feel included.
After all, both communities are an important, historical part of Quebec. I am not calling for the erasure of anglophone culture, or the assimilation of all anglophones. I also don’t think that the Quebecois instinct to preserve a historically threatened culture is overreaction. There has to be a balance. Bilingualism, for example, can only be an asset. Why not lean into this idea and work on improving both French education in English schools, and English education in French schools? The PQ fears that too many francophone students opt to go to English schools, and attempts to suppress students’ choices in an attempt to preserve Francophonie. Instead, we should work with schools to create
It can feel like our government’s provincial and municipal branches forget about their anglophone denizens until it is time to chastise them. better French programs, to support small French communities in English higher education, or even to improve English programs at French universities (allowing students to study their program of choice in their native language while still improving coveted language skills). The English and French have been at war in Quebec for as long as anyone can remember. When you’re privy to both worlds, it’s disheartening to hear each spew hateful opinions without leaving any space for a critical thought. Prejudices have held down both peoples for generations, and no one seems to want to push them aside. As an English-speaking francophone, I say it’s time to at least try. Failure to do so is a failure to embrace multiculturalism, to include minorities, and to be, well, Canadian. p p
18 THE PLANT
Starting 2021 with a New Mentality, Not a Resolution JULIA QUYNH Staff Writer
It’s 11:55 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, and I am quietly ringing in 2021. Staring at the digital clock I’ve displayed on my laptop, I blankly count down the minutes and seconds left before the year begins anew. This New Year’s Eve is undoubtedly different with the COVID-19 pandemic that has altered all of our plans. This year, I count down alone, instead of celebrating and shouting out the last few seconds of 2020 with the rest of the world. Instead of making a New Year’s resolution, I space out and begin to wonder. How should I hit the reset button as the new year approaches? This question brings to me why I titled my article in a manner imploring you to adopt a new mentality coming into 2021, instead of ringing in the new year with the age-old habit of making resolutions. A New Year’s resolution is typically a promise you make to yourself during the New Year. The most popular resolutions you might hear around you: to lose weight, save money, or be happy. They sound pretty simple and straightforward, but accomplishing these goals is not as easy as it sounds. According to a statistic by the Western Connecticut Health Network, about 50% of adults in the
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United States make New Year’s resolutions, but, sadly, fewer than 10% actually keep up with their resolutions for more than a few months.
50% of adults in the United States make New Year’s resolutions, but, sadly, fewer than 10% actually keep up. When the New Year afterglow wears off, the ‘fired-up high’ motivation wears off. As a result, you end up with unaccomplished goals, and, more importantly, the feeling of misery. I am all too familiar with this feeling, having failed to accomplish my yearly goals as well. But this all changed when I came to a new epiphany. It might sound astonishing, but when you make a New Year’s resolution, you ‘resolve’ yourself to accomplishing it. There is no authentic internal motivation behind your resolution, and, most of the time, you are only doing it for the sake of doing it. Most people make New Year’s resolutions on a whim, when what really matters is finding purpose through your resolution. When you understand why you want to achieve your resolution, you will definitely find a way to achieve it, no matter what.
To achieve your resolution, you can't expect to see results overnight! Focusing on achieving a specific outcome in a short amount of time can be demoralizing, if you aren't able to reach your goal quickly. What I suggest, is to start by gradually changing your lifestyle, to eventually reach the end-game of your New Year's resolution that you have in mind. For example, let's say I want to lose weight for the New Year. But, I can't expect to lose weight healthily by making an immense change to my lifestyle right off the bat. Instead, it would be more beneficial if I were to slowly make changes to my nutrition diet, and incorporate exercise into my lifestyle. Starting with small steps and setting your mind to each task will eventually lead to your personal success. To make things simple: slow and steady wins the race! One can’t expect to see results in a short period of time, and change their whole lifestyle overnight. So it would be best to start by making small incremental changes to your lifestyle, rather than cheating to see a short-term outcome. New Year’s Eve is a celebration of the chance for a fresh start. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time for you to get into a new state of mind. p p
CREATIVE WRITING 19
Love as Universal Constant Ironic that the holiday of love falls in the coldest month of the year. We all know love can shock the system in a variety of wild and electric sensations, and maybe the enveloping sheets of ice create a burn that just feels right. When asked about favorite cheeses most answers vary from gouda to gorgonzola. Love is often cheesy too, from blue anxiety to double-creme heartbeats and aged captivation. The poems this month all flow like a fine red wine. Love is such an intrinsic condition of the human experience that perhaps even poems not about love are about love. It’s just the way of things. Love and Peace,
MAYAN GODMAIRE Creative Writing Editor
Blue Roses RAVEN KATSIT’TSIIO EDWARDS BROWN Contributor Like melted candle wax dripping down her face like tears. Splashing into waves that will form an ocean to save her. Feeling her shaky hands in mine as she looks at me with her fragile eyes from seeing far too many things at once. She smiles, because we're standing under the stars in the middle of nowhere and our hair is going crazy because of the wind. She's holding my hand tight now, so tight like she was afraid to lose me in this black quiet night where everyone is blind. In the other hand my tota holds a blue rose and the expression released on my face is a mystery that cannot be fully unraveled like an illusion of a person that is dead. I wanted to pour myself onto the Petals of this blue rose and form my home, latch onto the thorns and know what it feels like to be safe. To connect my veins to the stem and rest my soul. To hope for a love that is impossible to grasp like the shadows of our ancestors rising up like flames. Patiently dancing in the smoke on midnight bonfire days. I looked straight into her brown eyes, I can feel the Indigenous Pow Wow music beating like drums in her heart. The heartbeat of Earth. Visions of us dancing through the lens of her eyes making each step vibrant and strong. I can feel the stories of our hardships being projected on my skin forming three dimensional tattoos. "Konorónkhwa" she said putting the blue rose in my hair. You are so rare, you can't be reached. The beauty of your self-worth is what the world needs. A quiet storm in defense, never breaking. With a blue rose woven into your third eye your Indigenous soul will never cry. She braided my long hair like she used to when I was three. You have Sprouted and Bloomed in every which way you have taught yourself to. You have made it this far. she held my hand as we walked down the dirt road of blue roses as it began to rain on our path towards healing. Walking, walking, walking I notice the delicacy of our footprints, I observe the thin blue rose petals, overlapping, folding, pouring into one another, diving into the deepest creases to see what lies within, to hear the secrets never told. I wonder if Blue Roses really do exist without colouration?
20 THE PLANT
when asked about love BETH FECTEAU Contributor sometimes rain is gentle, the sun shining against the softened sky and you watch the water fall through her beams the grass looks greener than it ever has on every side you see and the air is hazy the drops pat onto your skin like tiny warm kisses, pressed wherever it can reach lazily slides down your body it makes you feel alive sometimes rain is consuming, sheeting down through the grey air rebounding from wherever it hits collecting into puddles your boots can’t keep out slices through your clothes and clings to your bones you stand on the wet pavement, watch the streetlights play in the reflection turn your face to the sky and understand you could never hope to have control it makes you feel alive sometimes rain is violent, hurling itself to the ground like hundreds of knives aimed for the jugular the sky is an open wound and the winds press you from all sides, pulling you in every direction at once the force of the drops stings your skin and you can’t find shelter you can’t keep it out it makes you want to scream until your throat is hoarse, want to lie down and let it wash you away it makes you feel alive rain is healing every plant stretches towards the sky as the earth drinks her fill and the rivers run faster, replenished by it just as you are you dig your fingers into wet soil, feel the cool water wash over you and soothe your burnt body, as you watch the clouds part and let the sunlight through it makes you alive
anxious brain in action TABÉA BENLAKEHAL Contributor on the sidelines of the game knees restless by the bench looking at the match seeking to take the ball aspiring to make a goal frozen to undertake a move I gaze and listen to the players actively engaging right as I decide to leave the court a player gives me a chest pass glad to be noticed pleased to be acknowledged but I handle it awkwardly obvious when originally no steps towards the team taken feeling more like a loser and less of a pro I make myself tall and take the bench with me
CREATIVE WRITING 21
Memory MORGANA FOLLMANN Contributor I wrote you Love note after love note Red lipstick kissed notebook ripped pages I left with you Passionately blazed quote after quote A shattered forever and promises to last ages Of recklessness in a youth spent together But it was you who failed me Who hurt the other the most Who left me in ardor and sweat and plagued by ghosts When I have kept my utmost precious oath— To break and bleed and rip myself to pieces When writing about you; To burn and fall and crash When so ardently dive in the memory of our love; To come back for you Even when you gave up on coming back for me
Medusa KRISTINA WONG KWAN CHUEN Contributor Vine-like locks, Coiled and beautiful Braids delicately carved into Fragile stones Hands reaching out, Palms relaxed and open, Fingers gently curled inward Waiting To be dismantled In the middle of a room Surrounded Trapped Tourists walking through A museum of corpses Spit on its hair, the slope of its nose, a mouth that is too broad. A beggar They say All body, and no woman Until they turn around to admire her backside The dip in her waist The polished smooth skin A body They say All woman, and no person They do not see her teeth, Bare, her mouth open They do not notice her feet One planted to the ground The other on its toes, Stance steady, and ready To strike
22 THE PLANT
Pandemic Playoffs and Super Bowl Super Spreaders: How the NHL and NFL are balancing fan experience and health precautions MIA KENNEDY Sports Editor
watch parties. Opening night interviews were entirely over Zoom.
It’s a strange time for sports. Let’s begin with the Habs. At the home opener, fans were not stuck in a traffic jam outside of the Bell Center. They were not chanting “Go, Habs, Go” with twenty-one thousand other fans, faces painted in red, white and blue. Instead of stadium benches, they were at home, sitting on couches. Kevin Labossière, a first year Psychology student at Dawson, was one such fan. Despite the NHL’s efforts to make the game as normal as possible, Labossière was acutely aware of the stadium’s emptiness.
Despite precautions, a spread of infections could result from the Super Bowl. According to an article by USA Today, the NFL allowed thousands of fans to come in-person. The “Super Bowl experience” still took place, although it was outdoors on the Tampa riverfront and all attendees wore masks. Once again, Labossière was resigned to the fact that there weren’t as many fans as usual. “[Without a packed stadium], it wasn’t the same. Of course, the perfect scenario would be no fans. At the end of the day, it’s a big thing, it’s the Super Bowl. Without fans the Super Bowl would be, like, super weird.”
At the end of the day it’s the hockey that you watch. As long as there’s hockey, I’m a fan. “You can’t have anybody in the stands, everybody’s wearing masks and there are ads instead of seats where there would be fans in the lower section.” Labossière admits that this makes the viewing experience less engaging, but says he understands why such restrictions are in place. SportsNet reports that 27 NHL players tested positive after training camps in early January, so it’s no surprise that extra precautions were taken to protect players and fans. For the viewers, this means no in-person games, but that won’t keep Labossière from watching. “For sure, it’s different, but at the end of the day it’s the hockey that you watch. As long as there’s hockey, I’m a fan.” What about the Super Bowl? Did football fans face similar restrictions? Yes and no. Just like the NHL, Super Bowl organizers didn’t want their games to become super-spreaders. To curb potential infections, the NFL encouraged viewers to watch safely from home and fans were warned against
Unfortunately, some fans didn’t take the precautions seriously. A Seton Hall Sports poll found that 25% of participants planned on watching Super Bowl LV with people outside of their home. If that was the case, positive coronavirus cases can be expected to rise in football fans in the coming weeks. Whatever the risk, missing the Super Bowl was out of the question for millions of fans. In fact, this year we had extra incentive -- at 43 years old, this was veteran Tom Brady’s 10th career appearance in the NFL’s marquee
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game. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers reigned victorious, the first time a team has won the Super Bowl in their home stadium. The win confirmed Brady’s seventh Lombardi Trophy, two more than any other player has achieved in NFL history. Well-deserved, considering the 3 touchdowns and 21 of 29 passes he completed. There’s more good news; the NHL and the NFL are making efforts to appreciate healthcare workers. In addition to launching “Rise Together”, a fund which supports frontline workers, the NHL gave the medical heroes a special place in the Habs opener. Healthcare workers had the honour of announcing the players’ names as they skated to center ice. USA Today reports that approximately one-third of Super Bowl in-person attendees were vaccinated health care workers, invited as guests of the NFL. They were also prominently featured in Amanda Gorman’s opening poem “Chorus of the Captains”. You might never get used to seeing empty stadiums, but I’m still not used to the Habs playing like an NHL hockey team. We’re all making adjustments. p p
SCIENCE & ENVIRONMENT 23
The Science of Love must reproduce in order to survive, after all, and it certainly helps if you want to (wink wink). In the attraction state, hormones like serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine dominate. In her article “Love, Actually: The science behind lust, attraction, and companionship,” Katherine Wu claims that these “chemicals make us
Love is real and it’s what makes us human! giddy, energetic, and euphoric, even leading to a decreased appetite and insomnia.” She goes on to explain that being in love can make us forget to eat because we’re so consumed by a crush. Who needs to eat anyway when, as Lizzo says, they’re the whole damn meal? *Insert heart eye emoji here.* Another interesting comment Wu makes is that “attraction is much like an addiction to another human being.” That’s the honeymoon phase, in which the object of your affection is the centre of your world. Photo VIA GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY LAURA GERVAIS Science & Environment Editor
Seeing as Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, it felt appropriate to delve into the science of love. Many of us, stuck at home on Zoom for most of the day -- every single day -- don’t have time to have much of a social life. At least we have Tinder, and hey, you can even use Omnivox to send a MIO to that attractive person from your English class whose video feed you pin to your screen just to get through the boring lecture. Love is hard to define, seeing as it is a pretty subjective topic. There’s platonic love, parent-child love, sibling love. And then there’s the kind of love that so many Netflix original movies strive (and so often fail) to portray -- romantic love.
As Queen so eloquently put it in their 1979 smash hit, “It swings, it jives, it shakes all over like a jellyfish, I kinda like it… crazy little thing called love.” We can all agree that love makes us do crazy things, whether it’s babbling on and stumbling over your words or flying across the world to be with your significant other. It’s disheartening to think that love and the way it makes us feel is simply a chemical reaction, but hormones do play a massive role in lust, attraction, and attachment -- what scientists call the three stages of love. The first one, lust, is primarily motivated by testosterone and estrogen, the sex hormones. In all sexes, testosterone tends to increase libido. This could very well be a sexual evolutionary adaptation -- a species
Then finally comes the attachment phase - the comfortable part of a relationship once the honeymoon phase ends. Oxytocin, aka the cuddle hormone, and vasopressin are the major players in this game. While oxytocin makes you feel closer to your partner, vasopressin seems to inspire monogamy. All that said, there are scientific reasons for the emotions we experience during a love affair, but next time that Cupid’s bow strikes you, don’t get too discouraged by thinking it’s not real. Love is real and it’s what makes us human! Happy Valentine’s Day to all the hopeless romantics out there. p p
5. How do you want to feel? a) Happy b) Inspired c) Uplifted
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1. Which word best describes your relationship status? a) Single b) It’s complicated c) Dating
2. Which date destination seems ideal? a) A sporting event b) The movies c) A restaurant
3. Who are you watching the movie with? a) My friends b) Me, myself, and I c) My partner
4. What is the most important aspect of a relationship? a) An emotional connection b) Shared interests c) Trust
Mostly Cs: Pretty Woman An absolute classic, Garry Marshall's Pretty Woman tells the story of two completely different worlds and the struggles that come with them. It is a delightful comedy about a disney princess in the real world.
Mostly Bs: Life as We Know It Eric and Holly’s lives take a dramatic turn in Greg Burlanti’s touching RomCom, Life as We Know It. This slow burn romance is heart-warming and all about sacrifices.
Mostly As: 50 First Dates Peter Segal’s 50 First Dates follows Henry and Lucy, two affable characters who refresh their spark everyday. Also, how could you not love Adam Sandler.
If you got…
24 THE PLANT
WHICH ROM-COM SHOULD YOU WATCH THIS WEEKEND?
HOROSCOPES Welcome to 2021! Another month, another holiday stuck in quarantine. This Valentine's day might have been spent alone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate yourself. Here are some horoscopes all about you. BIRTHDAY: If you were born February 18th, happy happy happy birthday! Also, if you were born August 20th, happy happy happy half birthday! ARIES (mar. 20 - apr. 18): Things are changing quickly around you huh, Aries? While it might seem scary at first, try looking at this in a positive way; life is all about personal growth. TAURUS (apr. 19 - may 20): Let go of what you cannot control. You may be frustrated right now, but all good things take a little extra time. GEMINI (may 21 - june 20): Try not to pile too much work on one plate. Even if you do, it is totally okay to ask for help when things get a little out of hand.
CANCER (june 21 - july 22): There is no need to hesitate, Cancers. This month, continue achieving your goals with dedication. LEO (july 23 - aug. 22): With the start of the new semester, you might be feeling a lot more motivated this month. Leos, make use of this new burst of energy to work on your passions. VIRGO (aug. 23 - sept. 22): Virgos, remember to put in the same effort you wish to receive from others. You will get all that you desire as long as you work for it. LIBRA (sept.23 - oct. 22): This month might be very busy for all you Libras. Remember to take some time off and prioritize your mental and physical health.
SAGITTARIUS (nov. 22 - dec. 21) : This month is all about reflection. Take the time to appreciate how far you have come from this time last year and maybe some time to fantasize about where you wanna be in the future. CAPRICORN (dec.22 - jan. 19): Capricorns, I’ll only say this once; life is too short to overthink. This month, try to forget about that unsettling “what if ” and instead focus on where you are at right now. AQUARIUS (jan. 20 - feb. 18): Your peace should be a top priority this month, Aquarians. Do not let anyone take that away from you. PISCES (feb. 19 - mar. 19) : Trust yourself this month, Pisces. You know what is best for you, so follow what makes you happiest.
SCORPIO (oct. 23 - nov. 21): Do not feel selfish for focusing on you. In fact, this month, Scorpios, cut out all that unnecessary negativity. Curiosities by
ADELA PIRILLO Curiosities Editor
Daylen Conserve Editor-in-Chief
Tomas Oyarzun Cover Artist
Benjamin Wexler Copy Editor
Maija Baroni Staff Writer
Julie Jacques Managing Editor
Julia Quynh Staff Writer
Pipa Jones Graphic Designer
Arwen Low Staff Writer
Jessica Gearey News Editor
Emma Mégélas Marie-Jeanne Pineault Santiago Castillo Téa Barrett Jacqueline Lisbona Daniella Sforza Sophia Dolgin Renata Duret Cyrielle Ouedraogo Beth Fecteau Tabéa Benlakehal Morgana Follmann Raven Katsit’tsiio Edwards Brown
Beatriz Neves Arts & Culture Editor Jill Goldenberg Visual Arts Editor Laura Gervais Sciences Editor Mia Kennedy Sports Editor Mayan Godmaire Creative Writing Editor Dinu Mahapatuna Voices Editor Adela Pirillo Curiosities Editor
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The Plant's February Issue