Hello, Word readers! This being our sixth issue of the year, you may have been wondering exactly how the Word is made, who makes it, and what is involved. Basically, there are five ‘branches’ in the Word, the editors/article hunters, layout, website, promotions and project head. This will be a five-part series, starring each of the five branches. There will be interviews with a basic set of questions, with a couple random ones thrown in. It’s like the Warrior of the Month, but with the people who make the Word. Hopefully, by the end of this series, everyone will understand exactly how much work it takes to create a newspaper.
Now, for the premiere of this series, may I have a drum roll please; Introducing, one of the editors of the Word, Valerie Wong!
Aries – You may be disappointed that there wasn’t any snow this past month, but soon you will realize how much you can’t wait for the summer.
Taurus – If you’re getting any gifts for Valentine’s this month, make sure you don’t get anything to do with animals. They will spell major trouble and you will be sorry in March.
Gemini – Any old hobbies you’ve had in the past, you will have a sudden want to take them up again. After midterms, you’ll have more time, so get back to it then!
Cancer – Are you planning on eating tons of chocolate on Valentine’s Day? Don’t worry about it and go right ahead, because Fitness Friday will get you back in shape!
By: Puneet Riar, Grade 12
What’s the difference between the Grinch and Stephen Harper? Not much, except for the fact that at the end of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the Grinch decides to back out and doesn’t steal Christmas. Yet, the thieving Harper doesn’t have a problem stealing our democracy in the holiday season, and he did just that.
Though MPs were slated to return to work on the 25th of January, on December 30, 2009, for the second time in 12 months, Prime Minister Harper rang up Governor General Michaelle Jean and ordered the call to prorogue (suspend) parliament until March 3rd. This move caused the 30+ bills that were active, most of them being on the theme of crime, and committee sittings to die. Dimitri Soudas, Harper’s spokesperson, said that the suspension was sought to consult with Canadians, stakeholders and businesses as it moves into “the “next phase of its economic action plan”. Despite this, many believe that the real reasons were that this would give time for the Conservatives to appoint five new senators, and halt any criticisms from opposition parties during the Olympics. Most importantly, the suspension would kill a pesky inquiry of the issue of detained Afghans. Alarmingly, this prorogation was somewhat expected. Even within his year-end media interviews in late December 2009, Harper had proclaimed he would not rule out proroguing parliament again.
By: Nikki Siu and Puneet Riar, Grade 12
That’s right! Windermere’s very first Amnesty International Club is geared up and ready to go for the New Year. For the remaining months of the school year, Amnesty International will be focusing on a different human rights issue each month. Here are the human rights topics we will be covering for the following school year:
February 2010, Rwanda Genocide: the 1994 mass killing of hundreds of thousands of Rwanda’s Tutsis and Hutu political moderates by the Hutu dominated government. Over the course of approximately 100 days, from 6 April through mid-July, at least 500,000 people were killed. (Below, right)
By: Cassandra Ly, Grade 11
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. For those couples out there, are you wondering about the perfect gift for your significant other? What about those of you just looking for a gift for a good friend or family member to show them your love and appreciation? The typical rose and chocolate combination may seem like a great present, but have you ever thought of other gift ideas? In particular, alternative gifts which are not just eco-friendly and ethically made, but also hold significance, and are creative?
1.) Local florists & Greenhouses – Roses are grown in third world countries where workers are exploited. Also, large amounts of pesticides are used daily. Instead, buy a bouquet of locally grown flowers at your neighbourhood florist or buy seeds to grow together as a surprise! www.organicbouquet.com
By Nicole Yu and Tammy Lee, Grade 9 and Grade 10
1) What are you looking forward to most in February? The beginning of the Olympics, Chinese New Year, or Valentines Day?
2) Is there any significant reason to why you are looking forward to Answer to (1)____?
3) Would you like to be anonymous?
JAMES WANG, GRADE 10
1) I’m not looking forward to any one in particular.
2) I look forward to them all equally. ;)
By: Winnie Liang, Grade 10
In 2009, the number of suicides committed by American soldiers rose to such an extent that we can no longer ignore the psychological damage of warfare that affect the people involved, including civilians.
In 2001, at the beginning of the Afghan war, there were 52 suicides committed by the serving soldiers. The numbers rose year after year. Last year, the suicide number reached 197. In 2009, there were 140 on-duty soldiers that took their own lives, along with another 71 National Guard and Reserve personnel. On a daily basis, one out of five soldiers attempts suicide. And out of 100,000 soldiers, more than 20 succeed. This might not be a very big percentage, but consider this: those who don’t end their own lives struggle with nightmares and flashbacks of the terror they’ve seen in war, for the rest of their lives. As for the suicide rate among the Navy and Air Force, they are still roughly the same as 2001.
By: Mitchell Agostinho, Grade 12
A few months ago I looked at the weird world of television; examining the ups and downs and the current state in which it sits. This month I’m going to examine another huge media outlet that has the world listening intently 24/7 and that outlet is music. Music in all its forms has been around for many years but it is only recently that I’ve seen it spiral down. It’s gone from sweet and gentle, to rocky and cheesy; to loud and confusing which seems to be the way people like it.
By: Valerie Wong, Grade 11
An earthquake rocked the world of the citizens of Haiti on January 12th, 2010. The natural disaster left thousands dead and countless others injured and missing. The government of Haiti is running around like a headless chicken, scrambling to put disaster in order.
With a disaster like this on our hands, you’d think that developed countries like Canada and the United States would be first in line to help. You’d think that our government is super keen on the idea of disaster relief. It would certainly ease the heat on them now – what, with the human-rights controversy surrounding prisoners of war in Afghanistan.
By: Riya Talwar, Grade 9
Money, to me, was no more than paper with numbers painted on the front when I was a kid. Even now, I still can’t comprehend how those small pieces of paper can create so much chaos. I know we’re still young, and although a lot of people might not care about this, I do. When corruption goes on undetected in countries, companies are able to buy their way out of everything. One thing they can’t buy their way out of, however, is the environmental damage that they are responsible for.
After using up so much of the earth’s resources, what will we resort to? It might be said that oil will last “blah, blah” years, but exactly how many is that? What will happen afterward? Will it be back to the old drawing board? Or will we butcher up the earth even more, killing off endangered species? I want my kids to be able to travel to the North Pole and see a polar bear. I don’t want the Internet to artificially stimulate the experience.
Interested in JOURNALISM? SOCIAL HISTORY?
Join the Renfrew-Collingwood History Magazine Project!
o The main concept is to engage and work with residents of Renfrew-Collingwood to compile a neighbourhood history
o The main goal is to create an inclusive community narrative through engaging the community and storytelling that will demonstrate the importance of diversity and present the common bonds that we share
o The intended outcome is the creation of a space and network for the narrative to share stories, explore multicultural heritage, and build mutual understanding
By: Emily Chan, Grade 11
It hit me one day, while selling hot chocolate. I was sitting with a girl, and we were having a normal conversation. After pulling out her cell phone to check the time, she then proceeded to place the phone into the side pocket of her jeans. I looked at her in alarm, and warned her to put the phone in her jacket, as my friends told me that the cell phone’s LED rays can cause bone and brain cancer.
She looked at her phone, then up at me, then back to her phone. After a few seconds of silence, she stated, “Well, everything causes cancer these days,” and stuck her phone right into her pocket. This action startled me. Why would someone knowingly expose themselves to something that could harm them? Especially something that could kill them?
The second thought that crossed my mind was this: at what point did society begin to get so used to cancer that we’re willing to openly embrace it?
To prove my point, I searched, “Things that cause cancer,” and I got a list of around 250 different things! The list ranged from pesticides to gasoline to sunlight and smoking. However, even I draw the line at things such as ’brooms’. Apparently, there was a ban on brooms because sweeping up wood chippings can provoke asthma attacks and eventually nose cancer.
By: Angela Ho, Grade 9
As technology improves, our means of communication have as well. We have come a long way since using fire during the prehistoric times as a method of visual communication. When cellular phones first came out, it changed everyone’s lifestyle. We used them for a variety of purposes, such as keeping in touch with family members, making important business calls, and having access to a phone in case of an emergency. Since the introduction of cell phones, more methods of communication have come along. Text messaging, or Short Message Service (SMS), is an extremely vital part of the teenage lifestyle. So what is text messaging? Text messaging, more commonly known as texting, is the exchange of brief messages between cellular phones. Many people around the world own cell phones and enjoy texting. However, from the perspective of someone who doesn’t own a cell phone, I believe there are positive as well as negative sides to text messaging.
By: Chris Tam, Grade 10
A year ago, a significant ban was enacted that would trigger a chain reaction in how Canadians viewed bottled water. Toronto is the largest city in the world to implement a comprehensive ban on bottled water. After that, many more cities, communities, parks, high schools, institutions and public places have banned the plastic bottles. The consensus is encouraging. The Big Three, Coca-Cola, Nestle and Pepsi have seen their sales drop significantly since then. This was all due to the fact that the public is finally waking up to a plastic awakening; sorry, crude awakening.
I wonder what percentage of the public actually have critical thinking skills. Not many know about quantum mechanics or the Theory of Relativity. How many know how plastic is made and sold? How many know that it will never leave the Earth after it is made? Roughly the amount of oil needed to create one water bottle is one third of the contents of a plastic bottle. Plus, don’t forget the oil used for shopping, extraction and disposal of the bottle. Consumers never think about the impacts of the things they buy. Things like the disposal and waste of plastic water bottles is irrelevant to the people that purchase something for almost free.