By: Anson Lee, Grade 12
The 11th day of November is Remembrance Day. It is a day to commemorate all the lost soldiers and civilians during times of war, celebrated especially in all Commonwealth countries. It is also the same day when Armistice, a ceasefire between the Allies and Germany in WWI, was signed and was created mainly because of the great devastation done to both sides during the war. The celebration of the day generally consists of moments of silence or parades.
Our nation of Canada isn’t immediately a country thought of for its contributions during the World Wars. Canada wasn’t a superpower in any way back then and when it was in the spotlight, it was shared with the other Commonwealth troops such as the Irish, Scots, and Indians. The times when Canada did have an action ofits own, it was still overshadowed by the actions of other countries in other parts of the field. Still, like all the other countries in the world, Canada did make its contributions to help.
Canada participated in quite a few important battles in WWI. At the Second Battle of Ypres, German troops unleashed a gas attack on an Allied position consisting of French, Indian, and Canadian troops. Many troops there succumbed to the gas attack; survivors scrambled back to the next trench line. The Canadian troops, on the other hand, discovered how to neutralize the poison gas and stayed to fight. They went on to delay the German advance long enough for more Allied troops to advance. One of Canada’s greatest battles took place at Vimy Ridge. It was the first time an attack force was comprised completely of Canadians. The capture of the Ridge had been attempted by the French three times and each time was repelled. Thanks to an incredible amount of planning and tremendous artillery support, the Canadians were able to take all their objectives, cumulating in the capture of the Ridge itself and driving the Germans back in that general sector. Near the end of the war, Canadian troops succeeded in breaking through the Hindenburg Line, one of the last lines of defences for the Germans, and helped bring an end to the war.
The events of WWII put Canada in a position where their contributions were more significant. With the Fall of France, Germany turned her attention to Great Britain and attempted to starve the island through the use of their air force and U-Boat submarine force. Canada supplied Britain with food, weapons, and war material as well as pilots needed to fight off the German air attack during the Battle Britain. The first battle fought was the Dieppe Raid. The Raid was an utter failure; Canadian troops were picked off the minute they disembarked from their landing vessels and failed to make it anywhere near their objective. Over half the force of 6000 were killed, wounded, or captured. The only positive that could be taken from this was the knowledge gained by the Allies on how future invasions were to be done. Next up for Canada would be the invasion of Italy and Sicily. Canadian troops were at the front during the invasion of Sicily and helped push through with the capture of Sicily alongside their American and British Allies. Canadian troops would be present again at the invasion of mainland Italy where they helped break through the Hitler and Gustav lines. The final push of the Italy Campaign for Canada would be their breakthrough during the Gothic Line Offensive, the last barrier during Germany’s retreat from Italy.
Following all the fighting in Italy, Canada also participated in one of the most famous battles of the 20th Century in D-Day, or also known as the Invasion of Normandy. This grand invasion of the French mainland would put the Allies back on French territory for the first time since France’s collapse. It would stretch the Axis forces into virtually a three-front war, the front at Italy by the Allies, the front in the east created by the Soviet Union, and the new front that would be created by the invasion. The main chunk of the invasion would be a simultaneous invasion by British, American, French, Polish, and Canadian forces, while the night prior, American and British paratroopers would drop into Axis lines causing as much chaos and disruption as possible. Canada’s objective for the day would be Juno Beach, the 2nd most heavily defended of 5 main beaches. Even with the difficulty, Canadian troops were the only force on D-Day to complete all of their objectives as well as pushing the furthest inland into France. Once inland, troops moved on and attempted to capture the critical city of Caen. Over 6 weeks of fighting occurred with the Germans having a stranglehold on the city and repulsing each attack by Commonwealth forces but the Germans eventually retreated. Afterward, Canadian troops were rushed south to close off the Falaise Pocket, the area around the town of Falaise from which Axis forces attempted to retreat from. Canadian troops, with the support of Free Polish forces, managed to inflict heavy losses on retreating German forces and even completing the virtual destruction of the elite 12th SS Panzer Division. Among the last duties for the Canadians was the Liberation of the Netherlands. The Allies had already attempted to retake the Netherlands in Operation Market Garden, the largest airborne invasion of a country ever, but everything that could have went wrong did go wrong. The Canadians managed to dislodge the Germans during the Battle of the Scheldt, allowing the use of the vital port city of Antwerp and increasing the supplies needed that would help the Allies prevail in the Battle of the Bulge.
Remembrance Day is a day to remember all the contributions made by soldiers in the past to provide us with the world of today. Each and every country contributed to forge what would happen and what the world of today has become. While Canada didn’t make the highest level of contribution, it did its part and made whatever contribution it could
By: Leslie Goh, Grade 12
In the lower mainland, especially in downtown eastside, homelessness is a major problem. As
the years go by, the homeless count has risen. For example, in 2002, the total number of homeless
people in Vancouver was 1121. In 2005, it was 2174. The latest count in 2008 had 2660 homeless people
living in Vancouver.
The causes of homelessness are usually due to youths who run away from home, drug abuse,
low income, etc. Some people may just think that homeless people should get jobs, but it’s not that easy
for them. Since homeless people are mostly on the streets, they can’t take all of their belongings with
them, such as identification, which is very crucial when it comes to getting a job.
My thoughts on homelessness in Canada is that it’s very sad to see someone who has lost
everything and has ended up on the streets, which is why I think that more shelters should be built. I
believe that it goes against sector 7 of the Charter of Rights, where it states “everyone has the right to
life, liberty and security.
Interview with Adrian Dix – Provincial Member of Legislature & Don Davies – Federal Member of Parliament
Our Law 12 Class has been exploring the issue of homelessness in Vancouver. Unfortunately, our city (as wealthy as it may be) has a significant number of homeless people. For our project we interviewed two members of parliament: Don Davies and Adrian Dix. Mr. Adrian Dix, was kind of enough to take the time out of his day to see us in person. Meanwhile, Mr. Don Davies who is currently in Ottawa was kind enough to go into great length in responding to our questions in a detailed e-mail.
1) Can you please define homelessness in your own words?
Adrian: People without a permanent home or do not have a home address.
Don: The state of not having a regular, safe, clean, healthy place to live.
2) Can you list some of the causes of homelessness?
Adrian: One of the main problems is the lack of an affordable, appropriate, and or supportive housing. Vancouver is already an extremely expensive city to live in and with it being even harder to find work; it’s harder to get off the streets.
Don: Every homeless person has a unique story and unique circumstances that led to their homelessness. Some factors include; poverty, addiction, mental illness, ill health, victimization, marginalization, and lack of affordable housing.
3) Can you list some of the ideal solutions for this issue?
Adrian: The ideal solution is to build affordable housing; though a short term solution is to build more temporary shelter.
Don: From my perspective an elected official, I believe that there is much that all levels or go government can do to combat homelessness. These include developing a national housing strategy, investing in affordable housing, supporting mental health and addiction programs.
a) What are your views on this issue?
Adrian: We have to view this as our problem, and have sympathy. As humans we have to treat everyone with dignity, and respect. Also, we have to put resources out to help these people in their times of need.
Don: It is absolutely unacceptable for there to be any homelessness in a country as wealthy as Canada. Curing cancer is hard, curing homelessness is easy. Build affordable homes, house the poor!
b) Are there plans to implement any of the solutions you mentioned?
Adrian: They are starting to build more affordable housing. Also, some of the housing in Olympic Village will be turned into affordable housing.
Don: Libby Davies has a bill (Bill C-304) before the House that would require the government to establish a national housing strategy. Solutions to end homelessness require co-operation between all levels of government
4) In your opinion, is allowing homelessness to proceed violating the Charter of Rights and Freedom? Please elaborate.
Adrian: More important is actually trying to solve the problem. You can take a case and get justice that won’t build you a house.
Don: Interesting question. The right to shelter is considered a basic human right by many people and organizations, however, it is not explicitly enshrined in the Charter.
I think the answer is probably no. For it to be a Charter violation, it would have to be proven that the government is explicitly responsible for causing homelessness and that it therefore caused harm to the security of the person. That said, an argument could be made that government policies and laws have aggravated homelessness or that the government has a constitutional responsibility to deal with homelessness. I would be interested to see how the Supreme Court would rule on these issues. I would note that there have been cases where laws surrounding homelessness have been ruled unconstitutional. Look up the case of tents in Victoria for an example
5) Over the years the homeless have increased in population, why do you think that is?
Adrian: Homelessness has increased in population for many reasons. One being that it’s more expensive to live in Vancouver and affordable housing has stopped being built. Another situation may be that jobs that supported families have stopped supporting them.
Don: Poverty is the most direct cause of homelessness. Over past three or four decades, successive federal and provincial governments gave enacted a series of neo-liberal economic policies that have had the result of growing the gap between rich and poor, and reducing in real wages for the poorest people in our society.
Also, allowing the market to set rents caused an extreme escalation in rents and drastically reduced affordable rentals. This causes a cascade whereby middle income people can no longer afford the homes in the areas where they used to live. Those middle income earners end up in areas usually occupied by low income earners and the lowest income earners end up homeless.
6) How much government funding is put into homelessness annually and/or monthly?
Adrian: I am not sure.
Don: This is a hard figure to pin down. I have not looked into this personally.
7) What do you think are some of the reasons why homelessness is at its highest among First Nations than any other community?
Adrian & Don: Many of the causes of homelessness which I have spoken about already disproportionally affect First Nations people in Canada. All Canadians should learn about how centuries of government policies have devastated the family bonds in many First Nations communities. We are living with the legacy of centuries (literally) of policies that were designed to kill first nations culture.
Take the example of Residential schools: Children were forcibly taken away from their families and raised by people of a different religion and culture. They were not allowed to speak their language or practice their religion. Many were sexually and physically abused by those who were in a parental role and other positions of power.
Imagine the effect that this would have on your self-image, self esteem. Subsequent generations were ill-equipped to parent. This has had a compounding effect on generations of First Nations and led to higher rates of substance abuse, depression and other mental illness, all factors in homelessness.
This is just one example. You must also take into account racism, housing on reserves, the 60s sweep, etc. It will take generations of effort, Government policies and healing to overcome this dark history. Remember, the last residential school was closed in the 1980s. This is not ancient history. I would encourage you to learn all you can about these issues.
8) Have you ever been personally effected by homelessness?
Adrian & Don: No, not personally. However, I did participate in the city-wide homeless count in Vancouver last spring. We went out at four in the morning to count the homeless in our city. This was a profound experience for me and really brought home the magnitude of the problem in our community.
9) Would you ever hire a homeless person for employment? Please elaborate on why or why not.
Adrian: Yes, but no guarantee they would actually get a job. It’s hard when you don’t have any bank account or address.
Don: If a homeless person were qualified for a job in my office, I would not discriminate on the basis that they were homeless. Yes, I would hire them.
10) Was it a necessary step clearing up the Vancouver streets of all the homeless during the 2010 Games?
Adrian: This was a good thing. I give credit to the mayor for this, because they created a lot of temporary housing. They were not clearing people, they were giving them opportunities.
Don: Absolutely not. Homeless people are part of our community. Removing homeless people from our streets prior to the Olympics was entirely cosmetic. Governments should be using their resources to deal with the problems of homelessness, not pretending homeless people don’t exist.
If you already don’t know from October 12 to 16, Ms. Lee’s law 12 class is holding a clothing drive for Homelessness Action Week. It would be much appreciated if you could donate clean clothing (excluding under garments) to one of the three locations: room 214, Leadership room, and the foyer! Once again, please donate so that we can help the unfortunate keep warm during this cold season.
Your fellow peer,
By: Kam Lealh, Grade 12
Homelessness is an issue in Vancouver that is getting worse day by day. The hardening attitudes of the general public toward homeless people have become a problem. However, before we judge anyone living on the street, we must take a moment to think of the factors contributing to their current state.
Many of the homeless people living on the streets are youth. They may be victims of family violence, runaways or recently released from detention or psychiatric centres. These types of people are categorized as cyclically homeless. Also, there are many people who often face problems related to drug, alcohol or mental illness; this leads to chronic homelessness. Nonetheless, no one should be living a life on the streets. Not only are they looked down upon on, but also because they prove to show how uncivilized our city is.
According to our fundamental human rights, section 7: Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security of a person. Under this law, everyone should have security in the form of adequate housing and/or a safe shelter. Going by statistics, an estimated 1200 people were sleeping in the city streets in 2006; by 2010, the number has reached to over 3000. What is the root cause of this alarming situation? Firstly, we are slowly recovering from recession; the effects of which have left a mark on many people. The housing market has become unaffordable for low income households. Around 50 percent of their income goes toward inadequate housing. Rental prices have rapidly increased; to top it off, HST has been introduced. For example, to rent a basement suite in Vancouver costs nearly $800 per month; this is unaffordable for many families. Not having a home creates hopelessness, vulnerability to violence, loss of self-esteem, and social isolation, which establishes an obnoxious environment.
So what can we do? Will the government continue to ignore the homeless population? There are many solutions; we all need to take action to make these solutions successful. Some of the solutions include having affordable housing and support services such as welfare and shelter homes. For instance, the Vancouver HEAT (Homeless Emergency Action Team) shelter provides basic necessities for homeless people. Since adequate income is a major problem we could have more employment programs to get the homeless people back on their feet. In addition, other incentives can be taken by the Provincial government, which include SRO (Single Room Occupancy) Hotel purchases. This can provide rental assistance for homeless people as well as food and sanitary living conditions. The local government can also make use of more programs as the Homeless Action Plan 2005 etc. In previous years, the government has taken many tasks to decrease the homelessness population in downtown Vancouver. One of them is Operation Phoenix, which was a one year project to donate and spend our time creating awareness on the issues faced by the homeless citizens.
Furthermore the UN has recommended that Canada adopt a Poverty Elimination Strategy that integrates social and economic rights, such as the right to adequate housing. Overall, there are many solutions that can help our city become a homeless-free place to live in. In my perspective, the public is not aware of the increase of homelessness, therefore very little action has been taken. However, once they get a sense of how serious and tragic this problem has become and is becoming, more successful actions can be taken.
To Whom It May Concern,
A month of school has already sped by – cheers – we’ve done it! This week is Walk to School Week. Turn down the offers of a ride to school; lace up your walking shoes, slip your fare-savers into your back pocket, or dust off your bicycle. Alternative transportation for the win! October is one busy month – following this week is Homelessness Action Week, from October 10th-16th. Check out different ways you can help the homeless by logging onto Facebook and joining the Homelessness Action Week group. It’s only October – but there are lots of ways to get involved at school; by joining a whole bunch of clubs on Clubs Day (October 13th), WCP, attending Student Council events… the list goes on! Last but not least, remember to give thanks on Thanksgiving. Things to be thankful for: friends, family, school, toilet paper…
Happy October! On behalf of the Word Committee,
In 2003, as a way to increase awareness of the nature we are blessed to live so close despite being in a busy city, the first Renfrew Moon Festival was held. With a large population of Asian descent in the area, it was no doubt a great idea to associate the ravine with the Mid-autumn festival. What was a greater way to promote the wildlife and the arts? For the past seven years, the Renfrew Moon Festival has been a staple event in our community, with many of our Windermere students running to sign up for volunteer spots annually.
The Mid-Autumn Festival is a popular Asian festival that is usually celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar, which is equivalent to late September or early October in the western calendar. During this celebration, customs include carrying exquisite brightly lit lanterns, admiring the full bright moon, eating lots of meat and mooncakes.
With preparations starting at ten in the morning, and with performers putting together acts month before the event, the Moon Festival of 2010 was going to be a success.
And it was. Plus some rain. Okay, a lot of rain.
With the sun shining, it felt like summer again. The abundance of jobs waiting for eager volunteers kept everyone on their toes until the big crowds began to show up; four o’clock at Slocan, and at seven o’clock at Renfrew. It was evident that everyone worked hard to get this festival up and running! The lantern displays in the ravine were magnificent. The performers and instrument players were incredible. Don’t call me crazy, but I felt like I was in a magical forest.
But boom. The rain started drizzling down. At first, it was bearable, and it stopped for a few minutes, only to come back RAGING and causing the crowds to run for the community centre and any other sort of undercover area. Being the Vancouverites we are, the crowds came back outside and stood in the intense rain to watch the performers perform what they worked so hard to show on their day of glory. This year’s performance was nothing far from magical and stunning. The stilt walkers, the fire performers, the instrument players — everyone was amazing! To top it off, fireworks were put off as the final act to the wonderful thing we know as the Renfrew Moon Festival. Surely the rain was a bit upsetting, but kudos to everyone who was part of the Moon Festival, and hope to see you all again next year!
By: Thea Sample, Grade 10
The Twilight sage is the latest teen literary and movie phenomenon written by Stephenie Meyer. Its basic plot revolves around a girl, Bella, who falls in love with a vampire named Edward. Despite his instinctual desire of killing her for her blood and his creepy methods of showing affection, Bella falls desperately in love with Edward and is willing to abandon everything for him. In the end, Edward is there to save the day just before another vampire succeeds in killing Bella.
Aside from the fact that Stephenie Meyer is not a great writer, this is a cheesy book filled with stereotypes and abusive relationships. The U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline provides a list of questions to help women decide if they are in an abusive relationship. The list includes the following questions:
Does your partner:
- Look at you or act in ways that scare you?
- Control what you do, who you see or talk to or where you go?
- Stop you from seeing your friends or family members?
- Make all of the decisions?
- Act like the abuse is no big deal or is your fault, or even deny doing it?
- Destroy your property or threaten to kill your pets?
- Shove you, slap you, choke you, or hit you?
- Threaten to commit suicide?
- Threaten to kill you?
In the Twilight saga, the vampire Edward forces Bella to leave her home; scares her by driving recklessly; abandons her in a dangerous place; accuses her of cheating when jealous of her outside relationships; threatens to kill her; pushes, bites, and kicks her; damages her property due to anger; threatens to commit suicide; and tries to make all the decisions. Teenage girls all over the world reading these books are unknowingly getting the idea that it is okay for a man to treat a woman like this. Although the story appears to be simply talking about the ideal type of guys, it is actually promoting the propriety of actions similar to Edward’s suffocating control over Bella.
Another unhealthy thing featured in the Twilight series is the werewolf-little girl scenario. In the books, every werewolf is destined to have one true mate, whom the werewolf is unable to stay away from once the two met regardless of how old the ‘mate’ is. It is an elegant way of putting young men in complete control over 4-year-olds. I’m sorry to say that this part of the story suggests pedophilia, which is then extended throughout the later storyline.
In addition, did you know that Stephenie Meyer is a Mormon? I think that it’s possible that her religious views have influenced her writing. In Mormon-based religious sects (like the polygamous Bountiful community here in BC), young girls are often promised to older men. In fact, they are claimed by men, just like how the werewolves of the Twilight series claim other girls due to an innate attraction.
Now I am okay with reading this saga and with people falling in love with it. Hell! I couldn’t put it down when I was reading it! Nevertheless, I think readers should think about what sort of information they are unconsciously absorbing from the read. Take a step back, and think about all the things besides “OH MY GOD! EDWARD!” They actually might find themselves figuring out about what sort of behaviours are being normalized by this depiction of abusive relationships. One should know: there are people in the real world who are in situations where 12-year-old girls are promised to marry a 60-year-old once they reach a certain age. Before becoming too obsessed, readers must realize that what they are reading should not be desired by anybody in real life.
Betty: If you really want something, then take a chance – go out and get it. If you’re happy and satisfied with being friends with him right now, then maybe it’s best you just keep it that way. If you’re not, though, then you really should go for it. If it doesn’t work out, then just talk it through and go back to being friends. Don’t believe that it’ll be “awkward”, because it’s only awkward if you make it so by always believing it to be. I don’t know about the other person though, LOL, but your open-mindedness might just be able to wash away his awkwardness! ^0^
Months ago, I had a fight with my best friend, turning us into ex-best friends. Well… We didn’t actually fight. I kinda “over-did” something she didn’t like, and then she said we couldn’t be friends anymore. I REGRET NOTHING I DID IN THE PAST, but how can we go back to being best friends?
- Ex-Best friend
Betty: Best friends are two people who understand each other’s likings, so I think you shouldn’t have over-done something if you knew she didn’t like it. But, at the same time she shouldn’t have ended your friendship just like that either. I’m sure you could have done better, like avoid pushing her limit, and so could she. Try talking to her and explain your side. Remember, though, to listen to her thoughts. Hopefully, you two will develop a mutual understanding and can decide on where each one stands. However, if she refuses to reestablish the friendship between the two of you, then I guess it can’t be helped – move on. After all, friendship is about tolerance and forgiveness; we can’t always keep our friends~
Q: Dear Betty,
How do you avoid people that are awkward/ make the situation awkward?
- ??? o_e
Betty: You can’t avoid those kind of people. That’s why you have to be awkward with them – everybody bathing in one another’s awkwardness in ‘Awkwardville’. Hopefully, they’ll leave you alone then, LOL. : )
Windermere Community Programs – This is an opportunity for students from Windermere Secondary to gain valuable experience, help others in the community, meet new people, and HAVE FUN. Students are placed to volunteer in after school programs at our seven feeder elementary schools. We look to our students to share your skills and talents – do you like to read? Are you a great cook? Can you dance, knit or sew? These are some examples of types of programs that you could be involved with. Students can take many types of roles in WCP depending on your experience and how much time you have to give. If you are interested in giving your time to help children after school please come and speak with the WCP team in room 209.
If volunteering with children isn’t your thing, or you don’t have time during the week but would like to volunteer there are many opportunities for you in the Renfrew-Collingwood community. Any of the staff in room 209 can help you find a volunteer position that is right for you. We are open at break and lunch times most days of the week – drop by and find out how you can get involved in your community!!
By: Kaitlyn Fung, Grade 10
Turtles are often thought of as timid, gentle, and slow-moving creatures. While this may be true, though, many of these reptiles are plummeting to their demise at a ferociously quick rate. It’s been said that over 40% of all freshwater turtles in the world have fallen into the category of threatened species. As a lover of turtles (terrapins, sea turtles and tortoises included), I have known for a while that many species of turtles have been endangered, so this doesn’t come as a huge surprise. However, beyond the usual suspect of habitat loss, I still find myself wondering what could possibly be wiping out these animals so aggressively.
First of all, let’s review some basic knowledge about freshwater turtles. What comes to your mind when you think of turtles? You might know that, as reptiles, they are cold-blooded and are covered from head to toe in scale-encrusted skin. They breathe air, lay eggs, and spend a lot of time underwater. You might even know that the ancestry of turtles can even be traced all the way back to the time when the dinosaurs were still roaming on the planet. Nonetheless, the first thing you probably have thought of is the protective bony shell that turtles are so well-known for, and sometimes even regarded as defining characteristic.
In the wild, turtles usually feed off insects and plants that are plentiful in freshwater ecosystems they live in. Wetlands, rivers, and ponds are just a few examples of their common habitats. Unfortunately, like the turtles, these environments are at high risk due to poisonous water pollution and the damming of rivers for hydro-electricity – both reasons are associated with humans. However, they are only part of the deadly equation; additional human contribution to the bulk of decline in turtle species is the hunting of turtles for pets and food.
In some parts of Asia (e.g., China, Vietnam, and Indonesia), it is believed that turtles have medicinal properties. As a result, farms have begun to breed the reptiles for human consumption; sadly, the demand for their meat (and their eggs) is so high that people are still resorting to the unsustainable act of hunting. This unconstrained hunger for turtles is still doesn’t complete the picture, though, because it still leaves us with the hunting of turtles as pets. The prettier and rarer the species is, the more desirable it becomes. Often, people tend to prefer wild turtles that have not yet reached the mature age of 15, causing a drastic decrease in the chance of reproduction and, consequently, the population.
Collectively, all these factors are responsible for the gradual demise of freshwater turtles across the globe. However, despite the severity of the issue, people are still having hope for the survival of these creatures. Captive breeding programs seem to be the best (and sometimes only) option for a majority of the turtles left in the world, but most of the fight is in limiting the number of wild turtles hunted. After that, the biggest concern would lie only in preserving the turtles’ habitats and maintaining laws and restrictions on turtle hunting.
These are few steps needed to rescue these reptiles, but they are yet to be done. Keeping those ideas in mind and displaying much care to these living creatures, there is still a good chance for these shelled reptiles to re-establish a peaceful existence.
By: Max Miller, Grade 11
Town could be the worst-titled wide-release movie in recent memory, likely to evoke some B-grade horror flick or cornball small-town coming-of-age drama. That’s actually about as far removed from the actual movie as you can get. The town referred to in the title is Charlestown – a Boston, MA, neighbourhood with an unusually high population of bank robbers.
The most successful bank robber is Doug MacCray (Ben Affleck), who has spent most of his adult life planning, orchestrating, and leading some of the biggest heists the city has ever seen. However, after a less-than-perfectly-executed crime, they left behind a possible witness (Rebecca Hall). Doug’s investigation into her leads to a relationship, which understandably doesn’t sit well with the rest of his crew. As their relationship progresses, Doug finds himself questioning his motivations as a robber, realizing that the key to happiness is love and not money. The first part of the film flirts with a couple similar clichés, such as the “one last big job” plotline, which the unnecessary, sickly sweet final fifteen minutes of the movie totally succumbs to.
Putting the ending aside, though, the rest of the film is incredibly tight. Affleck seems to fancy himself the next Clint Eastwood – writing, directing and playing the lead role – and for the most part he does a great job on all the fronts. My favourite scene in the movie takes place in a coffee shop, in which Doug tries to prevent one of his crew-mates (Jeremy Renner) from accidentally betraying their identities to Doug’s lady love. It’s the tensest scene in the entire movie, yet this comes without any big confrontation or threat thereof. Scenes like this, where everything happens through dialogue, rarely work – the direction, the script, and the performances all have to be aligned for them to happen as planned – and here everything happens beautifully.
The whole cast brings their A-game here, with the obvious standout being Jeremy Renner as Doug’s best friend, right-hand man, and a violence-loving psychopath. His character is quite complex. He’s unflinchingly loyal to Doug, despite his funny way of showing it – a way which usually ends up with several people visiting the hospital. Yet, he is convinced that Doug owes him for his service and isn’t going to let Doug walk away from everything they’ve done together. Renner got noticed by the Oscars last year; hopefully, this year he gets to walk home with a statue. On the other hand, Michael Mann’s role as the FBI agent hunting the robbers is a little one-dimensional, but still makes for one of the best love-to-hate villains of the year.
If Gone Baby Gone didn’t convince you that Affleck is a director to be reckoned with, The Town will set you straight. It’s tighter and grittier than the majority of Hollywood heist movies, desensitizing theft rather than romanticizing it. Although it’s far from perfection, and its ending holds it back from greatness, fans of the genre will not find a better movie this season.
By: Nicole Yu, Grade 10
Did you hear that bell? Hey! That means school’s out! Alright then, let’s go home. But, ooh, what’s that sound? Is it your brand new smartphone saying that you have a new text message from your friend?! If so, might as well check your Facebook while you’re at it… … (Time speeds forward.) You’re now at home, walking through the door and sitting down at your laptop. You routinely log onto MSN and Skype on the left side of the computer screen, going on to check Facebook again in case of any new updates. Meanwhile, your Formspring, Twitter, and Tumblr are running on the right side of the screen. But, wait! What about your homework? Oh, forget it! That can wait until you’re finished with updating your Myspace and Xanga… … (The clock’s hour hand spins in circles several times.) Bed time! Wait! Wait! Wait! Wasn’t there homework to do? Well, you can always google all the answers and let the printer spew them out. Done!
Does this sound familiar? It just might be a little exaggerated, but this scenario is a mixture of many statistics connecting teenagers and their apparent addiction to technology. According to a study by the Cranfield School of Management, over half of all teenagers (59.2%) admitted to taking information straight from the internet and using it for schoolwork without reading it, nor changing it. Also, almost a third of the teenagers (28.5%) think that this is an acceptable thing to do, even if it indeed is plagiarism. Although plagiarism is not illegal, it is against the rules in all schools.
Although the internet is a useful thing, it’s also full of social networking sites that are known to be addicting. Websites like Facebook, Twitter and Formspring are rising in popularity that doesn’t seem likely to decrease anytime soon. The same study shows that students dedicate 1-2 hours on average to these social networking sites; 73% of the teenagers and young adults each have at least one social networking profile.
With cell phone technology growing and improving endlessly, smartphones have been launched into the world. A smartphone is any type of cell phone that has additional features such as access to the internet, email, and instant messengers. Since a miniature of a computer is now always ready in your hand, it’s no wonder our generation is considered desperately addicted. However, even regular cell phones can cause an addiction. Over 71% of the teenagers in North America own a cell phone; an average teenager sends and receives almost 3000 text messages per month and spends more than 600 minutes in voice calls. Considering these statistics, you would see what people mean when they say that we are addicted to technology, wouldn’t you?
Not only teenagers are becoming good friends with their cell phones, though. Have you noticed the alarming amount of elementary school kids with cell phones in their hands, texting back and forth? While volunteering at the Cooking Club of an elementary school one day, I suddenly heard the snap of a phone sliding open; and I could see a light of the screen of glass a little girl attempted to hide under the table. The girl held the device, looking down to check her text messages, and I told her that it would be taken away if I saw it again. Then, I thought, why am I asking a 9-year-old to put her cell phone away? Thus, sadly, it’s more than high school students that are becoming good buddies with mobile devices. According to a study by the C&R Research, 22% of young children aged 6 to 9 own cell phones; with 60% of older children aged 10 to 14 in the same situation. Also, producers of cell phones are now creating ‘child-friendly’ cell phones: bright, attractive colours, easy-to-access features that are overall more appealing to children have been added. It is estimated that 54% of children aged 8 to 12 years will own a cell phone within the next three years. In addition, most teenagers at a driving age or an age near (specifically, 84% of teenagers aged 15 to 18) will come to own a cell phone. Did you know, though, that accidents caused by cell phone use during driving have contributed to approximately 20% of all fatal car accidents?
So, are you convinced yet? Are we really addicted to technology? Who’s at fault? Is it the consumers that are inflicting harm upon themselves? Or, is it the producers of devices? Who knows? People think today’s young generation is addicted to technology, but the fact is even they are the same. Still, there is always someone more or less attached to these electrical machines. Overall, we may not be as addicted as others say, but with the technological world growing faster than we can ever imagine it to be, it’s without a doubt that these numbers will increase rapidly. I’m scared of thinking about what the world will become then. Will it be an amazing world full of advanced technology that saves lives and aides the population? Or will it be a wasteland, filled with ruins of electric devices that were once thought to be saviours of everyone’s daily life? Perhaps, I think, it will be somewhere in between the two – an amazing world full of advanced technology that runs everyone’s life, making us slaves to technology. Don’t think about it too much, though. Instead, why don’t you put down your cell phone, or get off the computer, and go outside with your friends to get some fresh air?
It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for… Warrior of the Month is back! Congratulations to October’s warrior of the month: CHRISTOPHER LY! Not only is he our very own VDSC but he was nominated for being an active volunteer in our community. Let’s see how the interview went.
A: CONGRATS CHRISTOPHER! HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE THIS MONTH’S WARRIOR OF THE MONTH?
C: Wow! It definitely feels good, but I’m still so surprised I was even nominated!
A: WELL YOU ARE CLEARLY LOVED! WHY DO YOU THINK YOU WERE NOMINATED?
C: Haha! Stop making me blush. Well, I think I got nominated because I do love helping the community through many different volunteer opportunities such as YCCD, Peer Ed, etc. Big ups to volunteering J
A: WHO DOESN’T LOVE THE WARM FUZZIES YOU GET WHEN VOLUNTEERING? WAY TO LEAD BY EXAMPLE, CHRIS! BUT ENOUGH WITH THE CLICHÉS, LET’S GET TO THE FUN STUFF. IF YOU COULD BRING ANYONE FAMOUS BACK TO LIFE, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
C: Michael Jackson for sure! Besides the fact that he was a legend, he was one of my inspirations while growing up. WHO DOESN’T LOVE MICHAEL JACKSON?
A: I COULDN’T AGREE MORE! ANOTHER RANDOM QUESTION BUT I KNOW EVERYONE’S WONDERING THIS: WHO WOULD YOU RATHER BE STUCK IN AN ELEVATOR WITH? JUSTIN BIEBER OR MILEY CYRUS?
C: Well… That’s a really tough choice. I’d probably have to go with Miley Cyrus because believe it or not, I’m a huge fan of Hannah Montana so meeting her in person would be pretty awesome!
A: WOW! LOVING YOUR HONESTY. SO I HEAR YOU’RE SLICK WITH THE LADIES, WHAT’S YOUR SECRET?
C: No secret… Just gotta stay cool calm collected, if you know what I mean. ;)
A: HAHAH! NICE MOTTO BUT I KNOW WE’RE ALL WONDERING, BETWEEN VOLUNTEERING AND SPORTS, HOW DO YOU EVER FIND THE TIME TO ROMANCE WITH THE LADIES?
C: It’s just got to come naturally… No, I’m kidding, I have no game whatsoever.
A: FROM WHAT I HEAR, YOU’RE A LADIES MAN! MAYBE IT’S THAT SMILE OF YOURS! WE ALWAYS SEE YOU SMILING IN THE HALLWAYS. YOU MUST BE QUITE THE OPTIMIST. TELL ME, IS THE GLASS ALWAYS HALF EMPTY OR HALF FULL?
C: I always try to see the glass as half full but we’re all human so we can’t always be as optimistic as much as we try to be!
A: I COULDN’T HAVE SAID IT BETTER MYSELF. SINCE I LIKE RANDOM QUESTIONS, WHY DO YOUR SOCKS MATCH?
C: Why do my socks match? Um… Who doesn’t like matching socks? :D
A: WELL I LIKE TO MIX & MATCH, BUT THAT’S JUST ME. OKAY, LET’S PLAY A SHORT GAME. I’LL SAY ONE WORD AND YOU TELL ME THE FIRST THING THAT COMES TO YOUR MIND. READY? EGGPLANT !
A: JO BROS!
C: Nick Jonas.
A: NOW WASN’T THAT FUN? IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY MAGIC POWER IN THE WORLD WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
C: I’d definitely be an Avatar, HANDS DOWN. With all four elements, fire, water, air, you know.
A: I LOVED THAT MOVIE! OKAY, I’VE TORTURED YOU ENOUGH. LAST QUESTION, AND THIS IS A SERIOUS ONE. TEAM JACOB OR EDWARD?
C: Whatever the ladies want to hear. ;)
A: NICELY PUT. TEAM EDWARD IT IS! :D THANK YOU CHRISTOPHER, ENJOY YOUR 30 DAYS OF FAME!
Well, there you have it warriors: October’s Warrior of The Month! Make sure to look out for the next WOTM and VOT E VOTE VOTE!
By: The Interthugs
Hello everyone, it’s the Interthugs, back again to get you in the know about the great wide virtual web. This month we’ve got a survey about terms frequently used around the net. To help those of you who haven’t surfed the net in a while, we’ve got definitions of every term we asked about for you to refer to.
N00b: inexperienced or ignorant person
1337 (pronounced “leet” and derived from the word “elite): a way of typing or a “language” where numbers and other keyboard signs replace letters
To be trolled: to be harassed by someone who is annoying you on purpose
Flame war: a very intense argument on the internet, often turning into irrelevant and unnecessary personal attacks
Shoop da whoop: a phrase frequently thought of as the sound a laser makes when fired
Pwned (derived from the word “owned): to be made a fool out of or to be embarrassed
And now without further ado, here’s the survey!
Have you ever met any n00bs?
Mme. Begg, teacher: Have I ever met any “n00bs?” I am not sure.
Anson Lee, grade 12: “N00bs?” What do you mean by “n00bs?” (As in n-0-0-b-s.) No. (Do you know what that is?) Yes. (What is it?) Newbies who can’t do anything in the game, or anything similar to it.
Have you ever been trolled before?
Jacky Wang, grade 11: What? (Have you ever been trolled before?) What do you mean by that? (Like, has anyone ever trolled you?) No.
Dannie Tan & River Lucas, grade 9:
Dannie: Trolled? What does that mean?
River: Aw, she doesn’t know what “trolled” means.
Nicole: Do you know what “trolled” means?
River: Yeah, uh, like, being hated on. Like, someone’s on the internet and being mean to you.
Nicole: High-five for knowing!
Have you been in a flame war before?
Maggie, teacher: I have no idea what that is, so I don’t think so.
Vicky Chung, grade 10: No. Oh, wait – (Do you know what a flame war is?) Not really.
Do you ever vlog?
Darcy Noon, grade 10: Vlog? I don’t know what that is. ( V-L-O-G, vlog.) What is that? (It’s like a type of blogging except with videos.) No, I don’t.
Do you know the phrase “shoop da whoop?”
Cait Dickie & Sophie Yamaguchi, grade 9: …No.
Kirn Rai & Sophie Roberts, grade 8: No.
Do you speak 1337?
Diamond Olsson, grade 8: I do not speak 1337, no. I tried to one time, and it didn’t work out for me. (Wait, you know what it is?) No.
Elvin Lee, grade 11: No. (1337?) No. (Do you know what that is?) Yes. (What is it?) Leet. (How do you talk in 1337?) They use numbers, as kind of, vowels, I guess?
Have you ever pwned anyone?
Henry Tan, grade 12: I guess so. (Do you know what “pwned” means?) Three-letter word. (Do you know what it means?) …To physically, or something, shut down a person, place, or thing.
That’s all we have for you this time! Thanks for reading; we hope you enjoyed it. See you next time!
Do you have a passion for helping others? Does making other people smile make you happy? If so, Best Buddies is the right volunteering opportunity for you! Best Buddies is an international charitable association that aims to build friendships between students with and without intellectual disabilities. Members do fun activities together, such as watch movies, have pizza parties, and so much more! This is definitely a great and fun way to get involved at school. For more information please come to Clubs Day on October 13th in the cafeteria, or contact Yuge Liu and Athina Pilarinos at email@example.com.
Clubs Day – Wednesday, October 13th, 2010
- Come down to the cafeteria during lunch to take a look at the many club opportunities offered at our school. This is a great way to sign up for a club you enjoyed last year or find something different to experience. There are a wide variety of opportunities, so you don’t want to miss it!
Sock Drive – Homelessness Action Week – Monday, October 11th, 2010 – Friday, October 15th, 2010
- Did you know that there are 8,000 homeless people in Metro Vancouver alone? They are always in need of food, appropriate shelter, and clean supplies. Student Council is running a Sock Drive during Homelessness Action Week from October 11th to the 15th to spread awareness of this extremely important issue in our community. Bring as many clean pairs of socks in as possible as it’s a battle between the sexes! Drop off your socks in the foyer and stay tuned for more information.
Windermere’s First Dance – Thursday, October 28th, 2010
- It’s time to boogey, everyone! Come down to Windermere’s first dance of the year, Boo! Bash with your friends decked out in black, orange, and white. Tickets are going on sale for $8.00 for the first two weeks and prices will be raised to $9.00 for the last two, so get yours quick. Student council members will be selling in the foyer and hallways during lunch time.
By: Chris Tam, Grade 11
Don’t get me wrong; I am a die-hard Canucks fanatic, but this whole captaincy fiasco needs to be cleared up. Amid all the controversy over Luongo resigning from his captaincy, only one thing seems clear; any captain of the Canucks will somehow manage to choke when they need him most.
Not since Trevor Linden carried the entire team on his back en route to a Game Seven loss in the Stanley Cup Final has a captain of the Canucks showed what it really takes to be the leader of his team. After Trevor Linden was traded, subsequent captains have failed outright at getting the Canucks past the second round.
Mark Messier, the 6-time Stanley Cup champion? He couldn’t even get the Canucks into the playoffs for three straight years; however, it wasn’t entirely his fault. Markus Naslund? Pfft, the guy had three, maybe four excellent regular seasons then went on to choke just about every time in the playoffs. Then the fan favourite Roberto Luongo gets to have the coveted C on his chinny chin chin. No goalie has ever been the captain of any team since the late 1940’s, and for good reason.
As both the goalie and the team spokesperson, if the team had a terrible game, it puts Luongo in a very awkward position. If he has to be the honest spokesman it would sound like he’s putting the blame on the defence rather than himself, which happened a few times during his time as captain. “It was a precarious position to be in,” he said. “Sometimes, it came off the wrong way.”
Maybe the media got to his head or maybe he was more concentrated on other things; but for whatever reason, Luongo was missing in action for both Chicago series, especially for both Game 6 losses. However, I digress; the entire defence was flat-out depleted. Salo had a ruptured testicle, Mitchell had a concussion, and the rest were banged-up as well.
At any rate, Luongo managed to follow in the footsteps of the past captains and choke when they needed him to make the clutch save. Whoever is given the “honour” of being the next Canuck’s captain, whether it be Henrik or Kesler (most likely Henrik), I hope they can wear that C like Linden did and make the chokes of the past forgotten.
By: Brendan Chan, Grade 12
There comes a time when enough is enough! There’s no question that food, the crucial item all humans need to survive, is becoming an issue. With a growing population, it is inevitable that we will find ourselves wondering how we are going to feed future generations. “The tools of science will be critical for bringing about food security and well-being for a global population of more than nine billion people in 2050 in the face of enormous technological, climatic and social challenges,” predicted a paper published this August by the Royal Society. Well today, scientists are working on a way to fix our food problem! They have found a way to mix nanotechnology into our food and call it “the promises of nanotechnology.” However, there are others who see this as a threat to food and our health. Although technology has brought us so far in life, it’s time to draw that line and say enough is enough!
Basically, nanotechnology manipulates atoms and molecules to perform a new function. In the food industry, nanotechnology is already being used for processing, cultivation, production, and packaging. This enhances shelf-life, gives new tastes or textures, and, of course, lowers those calories. One may ask, what’s wrong with that? Well, long before our time people called “farmers” would grow food from “seeds”. Somewhere along the line the word farmer has changed to scientist. Scientists’ first task as farmers was to create a better product known as genetically modified (GM) foods. This eventually led to a series of food crises in Europe, which later led to the ban of GM foods in Europe. It’s important to note that a 2003 survey by the Pew Research Center found that the majority of people in all countries surveyed felt that GM foods were “bad.” The lowest scores were in the US and Canada, where 55% and 63% (respectively) were against it, while the highest was in Germany and France with 81% and 89% disapproving.
European countries are pushing for better knowledge of their food and how it’s being produced. But where are Canada and the US? Well, Robert B. Zoellick, a United States trade representative, indicated that the European position toward GM foods was “immoral,” since it could lead to starvation in the developing world. They argue GM food is a way to solve this problem. Nanotechnology is their latest attempt at a solution, and the general public has no clue about it. It’s still not researched enough; its effects on the human body are still unknown. Although tests aren’t totally conclusive, researchers from ABC Science say “there’s a growing body of scientific evidence that indicates nanoparticles can cross into the body’s cells and cause damage. Questions have been raised over whether nanoparticles and even larger micro-scale particles in the diet can inflame the gut, and testing is required to check if nano-food ingredients or additives affect nutrition.”
Without variety, where does the future of our food lay? Even though we go down to that grocery store and see foods galore, we really have no clue where it came from, who grew or produced it, or how it was grown or produced. We have become disconnected with our food and it’s time realize that creating food has huge side effects which, in the long term, is not a solution to the world’s food problem. We have to look at real solutions instead of creating new problems. Nanotechnology has its benefits, but it screams out problems, not only for the general public but for traditional farmers as well. Food is one of those topics that we can go on and on about. Unfortunately, its history and its development has become a sad story which needs to be re-written. Nanotechnology can do many things such as make fast-food fat free, but what are the consequences? Engineered food will have an impact on health, society, and the environment. By turning food into an engineering process that can be patented, we are saying that food can be owned, and the companies who own it effectively decide what society eats. “The way we eat has changed more in the last 50 years than in the previous 10,000… Now, our food is coming from enormous assembly lines where the animals and the workers are being abused, and the food has become much more dangerous in ways that are deliberately hidden from us. This isn’t just about what we’re eating. It’s about what we’re allowed to say. What we’re allowed to know.”- Food Inc.