By: Thea Sample, Grade 10
- The 125th anniversary of Vancouver: April 6, 2011
- Nicknames of Vancouver: Rain City, Terminal City, and Hollywood North
- One of the first Europeans to explore British Columbia: Jose Maria Narvaez in 1791
- The year Japanese Canadians were forced out of the West Coast: 1942, after the Pearl Harbour attack by Japan in World War II
- Oldest television station in Western Canada: CBC
- Number of workers who died in the construction of the Second Narrows Bridge: 19
- The year B.C. Place Stadium opened: 1983
- Constructions for Expo 86: Skytrain, B.C. Place Stadium, Science World, Canada Place and the Plaza of Nations
- First un-elected premier of BC: Christy Clark
- The three First Nations traditional lands on which Vancouver is located: Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh
- The oldest school in Vancouver: Lord Strathcona Elementary School
- The oldest remaining secondary school in Vancouver: Britannia Secondary School
Hey Warriors! As another school year slowly comes to an end, we have to yet again face the departure of many wonderful and beloved grade-twelve members of the Word Committee. As a result, we are looking for new members all year round to help us keep the Windermere Word running. So, do you have what it takes to be a member of our awesome committee?
Writers: Devoted and resourceful. Writers are needed on a month-to-month basis. All sorts of works are accepted. The topics of the Word can range from the everyday lives of students and teachers at Windermere, to important humanitarian or environmental issues of the world. What if you really can’t think of anything to write about? No fear! Article topics are sent out monthly. Whether you want to practice your writing skills or let your voice be heard, writers of all levels are welcome!
Editors: Organized and informative. This position requires one with great efficiency and the ability to pay close attention to details. An editor of the Word would be responsible for editing three articles (the number of articles may vary) every month within a six-day time frame. An average of 80% in English is preferred.
Layout: Diligent and willing to follow deadlines. This position transforms plain documents from Microsoft Word to exciting pages on Adobe Photoshop. To be doing layout, one should be able to access to email daily and understand basic use of Photoshop.
Promotion: Creative and handy. These members help brainstorm ideas for future issues of the word, as well as making posters and the assisting the release of the Word.
Photographer: Resourceful and techno-savvy, this person may be asked to attend various school events to take photographs or videos. Photography and/or video recording skills are preferred.
Community Outreach: Familiar with the community and the family of schools. Outreachers are to drop off issues of the Windermere Word to feeder schools every month to spread the Word!
Interested in a position? Want more information on each position? Email us at email@example.com with your name and grade, and the name of the position(s) you are interested in!
By: Winnie Liang, Grade 11
While we focus on the U.S. Military’s next move in Afghanistan and Iraq, most of us tend to forget the agony suffered by many in other bloody political and military conflicts around the world. Just a few hundred kilometers away, the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is anything but peaceful. The Israeli government and Palestinian leadership have long been fighting with each other over territorial disputes. And as is the case with all struggles of power, the innocent civilians and peaceful protestors are the ones who have to pay the price.
On Thursday, April 14, an Italian peace activist named Vittorio Arrigoni (age 36) was kidnapped in the Gaza Strip, part of the Palestinian territories, by members of a small extremist group. Shortly after the abduction, a video was released, showing Vittorio bounded, blindfolded, and bloodied, one of his captors gripping his hair. The group claimed to be representing a group called “Monotheism and Holy War,” who oppose the Hamas government for not enforcing strict Islamic law and for refusing to a ceasefire with Israel. They vowed to execute Vittorio unless the Hamas government (the Palestinian Islamist political party that has been governing Gaza since 2007) promised to free the group’s imprisoned leader and two other members. Then, on Friday, April 15, Vittorio’s lifeless body was found in an abandoned apartment. The Hamas police who found him said his body had “signs of strangulation and hanging around his neck,” as well as marks of handcuffs on his wrists and marks of beating on his face.
For 10 years before his death, Vittorio committed himself fully to campaigning for the recognition of Palestinian human rights under Israeli occupation in Palestinian territories. He came to Gaza in 2008 with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), a Palestinian-led advocacy group that uses nonviolence to oppose the Israeli occupation and help Palestinians in the impoverished coastal territory. According to Huwaida Arraf, Vittorio’s dear friend of his and the co-founder of the ISM, he was an unstoppable force with “a beautiful soul, and a big heart” to all who knew him. Despite several arrests and his deportation from West Bank (another Palestinian territory) by Israeli forces, his passion kept him in action. He felt deeply that he had to do whatever he was capable of to help bring about equality and human rights to Palestinians and help educate the outside world about what torment the Palestinians were going through. His book, Gaza Stay Human, reported on the pain and horror he witnessed and went through during Operation Cast Lead, an Israeli military response to Hamas’ rocket fire in Operation Oil Stain, which broke a ceasefire between the two sides.
The brutal murder of Vittorio Arrigoni strikes the hearts and minds of many, especially those who are equally dedicated and passionate about the world’s humanitarian causes. He was a brave man, and a beautiful soul. He gave his all to what he believed to be the right thing to do, and he lost his life in the process. However, he will be remembered, and his dreams carried on by others. About these things, one can be certain. The question is: how will the rest of the world view this tragedy? Is it just a sad event that we should grieve and mourn, and move on from afterwards? Or should we remember it as a representation of how many people are striving for fundamental human rights? Compared to the people living in third-world countries and war zones, our lives seem absolutely perfect. But we are not the only ones who deserve that kind of life. Everyone does, and we have the ability to help those who don’t. It doesn’t mean we have to all be Vittorios and sacrifice ourselves; it merely means that we have the power to change things and to help others, and if everyone is willing to give a little support, together we can turn the impossible into reality.
On Friday, April 22nd, a historic Earth Day event took place in Vancouver!
Youth For Climate Justice Now is a group of East Vancouver high school students from Windermere Secondary. They organized this year’s Earth Day Parade and Celebration with great support from organizations such as the Wilderness Committee, Transformation Projects, Metro Vancouver, and the David Suzuki Foundation. This Earth Day event provided a great opportunity to increase youth participation in democracy, especially as environmental issues have been sorely missing from the discussion in the ongoing federal election campaign.
This youth-led Earth Day Parade started at 11:00 AM on the intersection of Commercial Drive and Grandview Highway. An estimated 3000 people from all around the Vancouver area paraded down Commercial Drive to Britannia Secondary School, where the Earth Day Celebration would later be held at. Guest speakers at the celebration included MP Libby Davies, MLA Jenny Kawn, and Melina Laboucan-Massimo, an advocate for indigenous rights with a focus on the impact of the tar sands. The event focused on the need to keep global temperatures from rising beyond 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Throughout the day, student volunteers circulated a petition urging governments to do 2 things that would significantly reduce the supply and demand for oil: redirecting money from highway expansion to public transit and banning oil tankers on the Pacific coast.
Although this year’s Earth Day had already gone by, Youth For Climate Justice Now is not going to stop there! They would like to continue to encourage more and more of their peers to learn, take action, and show everyone that the time to save the Earth is NOW!
By Thea Sample, Grade 10
In the wake of a devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit the coast of Japan, we find ourselves asking what happened and why. To make matters worse, the nuclear crises that followed the tsunami have caused global speculation, even drawing comparisons to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster Russia faced back in 1986, and its terrible after-effects.
In Japan, the events in the order that they occurred are a reminder that earthquakes can be just the start of a series of devastating events.
Here is a recap of how events unfolded recently in Japan, arranged in chronological order:
- Earthquake and tsunami strike on March 11, 2011 (estimated death toll: a few hundred)
- Global rescue teams send in emergency food and supplies
- Thousands of people are evacuated from the areas surrounding two nuclear plants
- Four reactors in a nuclear facility are found to have cooling problems
- A second nuclear reactor was said to have exploded and parts of the plant were releasing radioactive steam
- Death toll: 1,800 Missing: 2,300
- It is predicted that at least 10,000 are dead
- Workers trying to control the damage around the nuclear reactors
- 400,000 people living in centers and shelters
- Death toll: 3,600 Missing: 7,800
- Japan receives aftershocks
- Radioactive steam continuing to be released
- The people begin to distrust that the government and authorities, who did not tell the whole truth about the nuclear explosions that caused residents to leave certain areas
- Tokyo’s water supply found to contain radioactive iodine
- Authorities urge people living around the second power plant to evacuate the area
- Possible leakage of contaminated water into the ocean
- Plutonium found in soil around plant
- Expected that there could be long lasting consequences due to the nuclear emergency
The death toll in Japan was recorded at 12,600 on April 7, but the final death toll is predicted to be 20,000.
Now, when Japan’s nuclear reactors are more stabilized, all eyes will look to the future and how the Japanese people will be affected by the radioactive steam emitted from the nuclear facility. Since Japan was considered to be one of the best-equipped countries when it comes to handling earthquakes, as a global community, we need to be ready to handle earthquake-related emergencies.
BC is long overdue for “The Big One,” and we need to be ready when that time comes. How will an earthquake affect our resources and infrastructure? As individuals we do not have much control over how our infrastructure will be affected but at the least, we can prepare ourselves.
I urge everyone to acquire a basic earthquake kit that is easily accessible.
By: Shawna Becker, Grade 8
- The unveiling of the true man behind the ‘worst song ever’
Don’t blame little 13–year-old-Rebecca Black; she is just an innocent child who has gotten wrapped up in the plot of a truly devious man. Her dreams were nurtured by him, only to later be broken.
The true culprit responsible for the song “Friday” is a man called Patrice Wilson. Patrice Wilson is shown as being the “random rapper” in the music video, but there is more to him that meets the eye. Firstly, he is the writer of “Friday.” He is also the founder of the Ark Music Factory. Last but certainly not least, he has been accused of using young girl’s dreams for his financial balance.
He is described in the L.A. Times article as being a “sad-eyed baby faced, well mannered, well-traveled and well educated man.”
“‘Tomorrow is Saturday, and Sunday comes afterwards.’ I mean, everybody knows that, obviously, but I wanted the song to be simple and kind of sweet,” Wilson says in an interview. ”People talk so much about how silly or stupid the lyrics are, but pop songs, they’re meant to be catchy and to tell things in a simple kind of way. I feel bad that Rebecca has been getting so many people criticizing the song. Because it was me that wrote it.”
Patrice doesn’t hide the fact that he was the true writer of ‘Friday’; he actually embraces it and says that he is taking full credit for the song. I’m not sure if he is trying to protect her out of the kindness of his heart, or if he’s just yearning for attention. Either way it proves Rebecca’s not to blame. Her mother bought the song believing it would make her little girl a star. That is the truth behind ‘Friday’, and the truth behind the (mostly) innocent Rebecca Black.
By: Darius Davidson (Gr.11) and Max Miller (Gr.11)
Returning after a short hiatus, this is StyleWatch, in which our brave Word contributors interview teachers at Windermere to learn more about their personal style, as well as the types of clothing they like and dislike. This month’s victim interviewee is Mr. Parker, one of our English teachers!
Q: Can you describe your dress style?
A: I’d say formal/casual in the sense that I wear a dress shirt and tie; even when I’m out I like to dress more formally than most other people. In the classroom, I like to put forth an effort. I think if I present myself professionally in my career, it reflects in the students. That’d be my style, I guess. I don’t know if you can define that.
Q: What do you think of the dress style of the students at Windermere?
A: There’s a uniform in this school: black tearaway pants with the white shoes and the white jacket that’s sort of puffy. And you wear that and that’s the extent of it. Apart from the school uniform, there are a couple people who do it differently, but for the most part it’s conforming to and fitting in with whatever the current trends are: sportswear, jock wear, or white shoes with a white jacket.
Q: Do you have any fashion pet peeves?
A: There are a lot of different things I don’t like – I hate jumpers, and stuff like that. On women, I don’t really like that look at all. And the shorts that go into the one big piece. I am really not fond of that at all. For some reason, I really don’t like the over-makeup, such as lots of red lipstick. Overall, I find it to seem not real. As for guys, I think there are a lot of guys who wear shirts that are two sizes too small and they’ll wear that shirt out all the time. And uniforms again: a group of guys wearing the EXACT same outfit. The uniforms drive me nuts.
Q: If you could return to an era in fashion, which would you return to?
A: Definitely the 20’s. Shirt and tie. I have always dressed like that. Even in high school. I have pictures of me at formal and prom dressed like that when everyone else was in traditional rent-from-Moores tuxedos. Definitely there was more elegance involved. I think everyone dressed really elegantly, and that’s my style.
Q: Is there any character you would like to cosplay as?
A: Oh! I’d dress up as – and I didn’t even really like the movie – the guy from “Tron”. Just because that’s such a different style, all leather and lit up? And you could walk into a place and everybody’d be like “oh look at me I’m a pirate of the carribean” – I’m Tron! I’m lit up! Look at my arms! You can see me from across the room! And I’m not even a big fan of “Tron”. The movie was kind of terrible, but that’s a costume that you’d see and you’d be “wow look at that.” “I’m Tron! ” That’s all you’d have to say, just keep saying that.
Q: What other teacher do you think has a good fashion sense?
A: Wow, I’d better choose carefully. I don’t want to offend anyone… Mr Wiebe. An excellent dresser.
By: Tammy Lee, Grade 11
Don’t you hate the days when you enter a store with a gift card, hoping to purchase something nice for yourself, only to find out that your gift card has expired? Although gift cards no longer expire (Yay!), customers of a particular sort of service still publicly display their outrage over expired cards.
Last month, a lawyer in North Vancouver filed a class-action lawsuit towards B.C. Ferries on behalf of ferry riders. Why? Because B.C. Ferries had cancelled a refund policy last year, and as a result, B.C. Ferries has obtained $1.2 million in pre-paid fares.
Pre-paid fares? Are those like the fare savers (that were actually a bargain if you bought them years back?) for Translink?
Pretty much! But, just imagine these pre-paid fares to be even more expensive!
In past years, the validity of the pre-paid cards had been two years, and it was possible to reload the cards. Since last year, however, B.C. Ferries had changed their policy, making the cards valid for two years, and can only be reloaded for an additional six months after its expiry. After that, they are nothing but useless trash. What happens to the cash that was added onto the card? Well… You can say good-bye to your money, because you’ve just lost it to B.C. Ferries.
Lawyer Jim Poyner said that the termination of prepaid fares by B.C. Ferries in April 2010 was “a breach of contract” with customers. He also added that at least one hundred people are involved in the claim. An estimated fifteen thousand trips were paid for with the pre-paid fares, and B.C. Ferries has refused to reimburse these trips. Countless customers are appalled with B.C. Ferries’ actions. Deborah Marshall, media director for B.C. Ferries, told the Record that the two-year expiry has existed since 1983, but it was only recently that they started enforcing the rule. Marshall stated that the corporation has indeed made sure to tell passengers to be aware about the two-year expiry. But doesn’t the real situation tell us that B.C. Ferries hasn’t really done a great job telling its customers about the expiry?
B.C. Ferries may continue to say that they had warned their passengers ahead of time of the circumstances which have occurred, but this doesn’t mean their passengers are just going to accept it. The trust between the corporation and the consumers has been torn by this fiasco. B.C. Ferries has tricked, or if you may say it, secretly pocketed money from their customers. Obviously, B.C. Ferries should have realized that they have lost the important trust of the customers they relied on the most for merely $1.2 million dollars, which would not have been hard to earn considering the large number of people utilizing the services it provides nowadays. But hey, as long as they have money, what do they have to worry about?
By Brendan Chan, Grade 12
Changing and supposedly improving our lives, technology is forever reaching for the stars. There will come a time when our generation will have to make a choice; one that will ultimately save humanity or destroy it. I’m talking about genetic engineering. It’s already at our doorsteps and threatening the very fabric of humanity. Futurists tell people that it will improve our lives, help the poor, and stop death, but the consequences remain concealed. To drive the notion home, if we allow genetic engineering, we will essentially be opening Pandora’s Box.
Aries – This month you will be severely obsessed with circles and pretty much anything that has to do with the round shape. Hope you won’t be doing geometry in math soon.
Taurus – With the fantastic weather of May you will want to go biking and enjoy the sunshine! Be thankful that the summer is coming in only a few months!
Gemini – Your sign means ‘the twins’. In this month, you will feel more attracted to things that come in twos – true to your horoscope sign.
Cancer – You will be feeling, oh, so cool. You will walk around with an extra bounce in your step. Even if you make little mistakes, you will STILL look cool. Walk on, my friend.
Leo – May is spring time for you, and you will be feeling extra playful! Go ahead! Get your friends to play hide-and -seek in the courtyard with you! They won’t mind.
Virgo – This is an extremely cheerful month for you. (more…)
By: The Unnamed Writer
So, on March 25th, 2011, our government fell.
“Why does it matter?” I hear you all ask. “The government falls every 4 years anyway. So what if it falls a couple months early?”
You see, this time is special. For the first time in the history of Canadian politics, a government has been found in contempt of parliament. In other words, they no longer have the trust of the people who elected them.
Stephen Harper was the man of the hour when the Parliament voted against him in contempt.
On his way to the Governor General’s office to file for an election, which will take place May 2nd, he was stopped by a group of reporters. They wanted to know what had happened; everything a reporter usually wants to know.
But Stephen Harper denied comment. It looks like he has not only lost the trust of Parliament; apparently he has a thing against democracy too.
In a true democratic country, the leaders will tell you all the information you need to know to be an educated voter. Of course, there will be small lies and attacks on other parties, especially when elections roll around. But in general, leaders are supposed to answer the people’s questions. During his glorious campaign to become Prime Minister for another 4 years, he will only be answering five questions per day. He has been suppressing freedom of expression by searching up people coming to a rally on Facebook, and turned away anyone who supported other parties.
The last time I checked, we weren’t living in a third-world dictatorship. I thought we were supposed the true north, strong and free.
By: Eric Lam, Grade 11
We continue to live our lives without regard to what will happen in the future for the human kind because of the way we treat our planet. Our species takes so many things for granted that we have ended up polluting the Earth we live on. Albert Einstein once said: “If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals… no more men!” As it turns out, we might just be driving ourselves into extinction nowadays because the bee population has been dramatically decreasing for many years now.
Bees play an incredibly essential role in our lives, just like water, air, and food. Why? Because over 90% of the world’s crops depend on pollination to survive. If bees were to disappear, all crops that need pollination would soon die off. This would mean that all of the food products that are made from the raw material provided by these crops would vanish as well, along with the meat produce that would disappear due to the lack of food. Bees are a major factor in the process of creating our food. Some of us tend to think that there are other alternative means of pollination, but bees are actually the biggest pollinators on the planet. If bees were to disappear, around 20,000 plant species would go extinct at an alarming rate. That would in turn affect the Earth’s food chain at large, meaning that we would inevitably be the victims of our own wrongdoings.
The cause of the decline in bee population is the human activities that rapid change the world. The best term that describes it is globalization. Globalization is to globalize materials around the world and form a system where a few nations get everything, and stuff gets transported from all over the world to those few wealthy countries. The practices that make globalization possible are unethical and disrupt the balance of nature by accelerating the rate of human polluting. Globalization affects bees with the use of pesticides that are sprayed onto crops and flowers that would not only be pollinated, but would later be sold on the market to us consumers. Our food system is built as a monoculture food system, which is incredibly unsustainable because only one kind of food is grown. The bees that pollinate these crops will end up having cocktails of chemicals, which severely damage the brains of bees. These poor creatures will then develop disorders and cannot continue their daily routine of pollination. Scientists say that these disorders will affect their waggle dance, which tells other bees where food sources are. Unfortunately, the waggle dance is a key means of food finding for the bees. If the bees lose their essential ability to waggle dance, then they will starve and go extinct. Poisonous chemicals are not the only thing that is affecting bees. Genetically modified crops are a great factor as well. Bees are genetically similar to pests, so they end up dying from pollinating genetically modified crops because they are designed to kill pests when they try to eat the GMO crops.
Bees now have unknown diseases because of the cause of pesticides that create mutated pests. Bee keepers and scientists are trying to fix the problem, yet have failed to find the main cause of these bee diseases. They have tried many methods to attempt keeping these bees alive and their population high, but the spread of these diseases are making everything extra difficult for them.
There are always solutions to problems, but it requires everyone – not just a small portion of us – to take action. We all need to help save the environment, because every bit counts.
Questions about school, relationship, sports, and much more.
Go on and ask me!
Life is full of questions. Most of the things we learn in life are taught by other people instead of mere self-realization. Asking lots of questions is important when there is something you can’t figure out by yourself. Over the years, I, Last Resort, have become the answer for all kinds of questions. Now, bear with me as I try to answer the following questions. Who knows? Maybe you are having the same problems right now?
ALL ABOUT LOVE!!!
1. Dear Last Resort,
What can I do to impress girls? – Anonymous
I love that you asked because lots of boys don’t know how to impress girls. Yet, it’s a super easy thing to do. Most girls love it when boys do small things like opening the door or complimenting them. All girls are different, though, so try to stick with small things and remember that we all love a guy who can listen and smile a lot!
ALL ABOUT LIFE!!!
1. Dear Last Resort,
I want to wear this dress to the dance, but I think it shows too much skin for my age. What should I do? – Anonymous
Ask a friend or family what they think about the dress, or just wear a tank top under it. Don’t wear anything you’re not comfortable with. Self-confidence is crucial for beauty!
2. Dear Last Resort,
People say I am weird. What do I do? – Anonymous
Think about it. Do you want to be weird? Or do you just hate the word ‘weird? People tend to take it as a bad thing, but I believe it’s a good thing. After all, why would you ever want to be the same as everyone else? So, you have two options: to change and became normal, or accept that you are unique and stay true to yourself. Like my mom always says: there will always be that one person that doesn’t hate you. Plus, you are not alone! Everyone feels that way some point in life.
3. Dear Last Resort,
I am gay…When should I come out?
When you accept yourself, and know that other people might not accept you for who you are but those who truly love and care about you will always be there to support you no matter what.
If you have any questions, please feel free to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org , or contact us through our Facebook page: The Windermere Word. Remember! There is no such thing as a stupid question!!
On May 2nd, 2011, hundreds of thousands of Canadians headed to the polls for what was predicted to be a low-key and uneventful election. However, this was not the case; in fact, there are a number of different reasons which lead me to believe this might go down as a historic election for Canada.
The big question, of course, is “who won?” And the answer remains the same as it has been for the last two elections: Stephen Harper’s Conservative party. But there’s a major difference this time around: the Conservatives now have the majority of seats in the house, which means the Conservatives can pass through to the Senate any bill they like, as the opposing parties no longer have enough power to vote anything down.
The Liberal party, longtime opposition to the Conservatives, crumbled this election, dropping from 77 seats to 34. Jack Layton is the new face of the opposition, as his NDP party gained a whopping 66 seats this election, bringing the total to 102. Some of this has to do with Layton’s campaigning in Quebec – he was able to win over many supporters of the Bloc Quebecois, and it shows in the numbers – the BQ lost all but four of their seats. This election also marks the first time the Green Party ever got a seat, so supporters, rejoice!
Pre-election polls stated that the Conservatives only had 38% of the popular vote, so the fact that they gained this amount of power makes me seriously question how we do our elections. It is unlikely that we will see reform to this, so the only way to bring about social change remains as it always has been; next election, get out to the polls and VOTE. The voter turnout for this election was 61.4%, up a paltry amount from last election’s record low of 59.1% – think of how the results could change if we brought that number up ten, twenty percent! With little perceivable threat to Harper’s position as Prime Minister, it’s likely we won’t see another election called until towards the end of his five-year rule. This means that we will likely all be old enough to vote during the next federal election, so when that time comes, there will be no excuse.
The New Balance of Power
|Conservative||Liberal||NDP||Bloc Quebecois||Green Party|
|Seats Prior to Election||143||77||36||47||0|
|Seats After Election||167||34||102||4||1|