By Winnie Liang, Grade 12
That Albert Einstein — brilliant scientist, social activist, and humanitarian — was a refugee is a well-known fact. Aside from him, however, an incalculable number of people have fled their homelands in the face of rampant human rights violations and armed conflicts. A couple notable examples are British playwright Tom Stoppard, who fled from the imminent Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia as a child refugee, and Somali Canadian musician and activist K’naan, who left his home country to escape from the raging civil war.
Likewise, hundreds of thousands of North Koreans have fled to neighbouring China for survival. Whether the number of defectors is 30,000-50,000 (as estimated by the State Department) or 300,000 (as estimated by some non-governmental organizations), they are all refugees as defined by the U.N. Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. Unfortunately, unlike the very few lucky individuals who have successfully gained asylum, most of them must live underground to avoid being captured by Chinese authorities. Anyone who has ever so unfortunately been caught is to be repatriated to North Korea, where they may face imprisonment, torture, and even execution. The Chinese government’s action is a clear violation of international law.
By Sharan Pawa, alumnus
Having met many people in today’s society in Vancouver, I find that consumerism has led many to associate self-worth with the amount of money spent on frivolities like expensive brands of clothing and technology. Much of the mainstream media blatantly advertises the importance of materialism; we are constantly being coaxed into buying luxuries under the belief that they will increase our value in society. Because of this, I feel that there is a lack of spiritual growth in Western societies; it has been replaced by a sense of egocentrism based on product accumulation. Many men and women nowadays are eager to buy overpriced name-brand products. However, manufacturers often exploit consumers as well as workers. Branding and product fetishism have become so much of a staple in today’s world that I believe they are destroying true individuality and self-worth.
By Tammy Lee, Grade 12
In recent years, eating healthy food has become the latest trend. From fads such as vitamin-infused drinks to the demand for organic food, more retailers are taking advantage of conscientious consumers in a way that allows the retailer—in this case, Walmart—to label what the company believes is healthy and should be well regarded by its customers. Coming soon to the Walmart near you is a green “Great for You” label that the multi-national retail giant has decided to launch.
- The most common misconception: most homeless people are drunks, drug dealers, criminals, and/or failures in society
- Length of time: 47% of the 752 unsheltered homeless people interviewed last year had been living on the streets for 10 years of more
- Total homeless population: 2,650 homeless people were found in Metro Vancouver on March 15–16, 2011
- Number of homeless youth: 397 found in Metro Vancouver last year
- Number of homeless families: 56 families found in Metro Vancouver in 2011
Aries – Watch your step this month! Who knows what the weather will be throwing at you?
Taurus – Something that you’re really worrying about will soon resolve itself. Everything will seem much better, so just relax!
Gemini – Have you lost anything recently? (more…)
March: Grad Student Checklist
- Most institutions will send you letters or e-mails advising you to self-report your marks. Self-report Term 2 marks to UBC (starting in March) to receive instant admission decision. If you have not received an admission offer from SFU, self-report your Term 2 marks to improve your chances of getting in.
- Ensure that you have submitted all the paperwork required by your institution of choice.
- Follow up with any institutions with uncertainties (residence, marks, admission requirements, deadlines, paperwork, fees, etc.).
- Beware of scholarships that are available in March, and read the student bulletin!
By Kaitlyn Fung, Grade 11
Almost a year ago, a group of students from Windermere organized Vancouver’s first-ever youth-led Earth Day Parade and Celebration. The intent was to engage the community and raise awareness of serious issues concerning the people and the climate of our planet, as well as to empower others, especially youth, to take action. With the planning for the second annual Earth Day Parade well underway, the group (appropriately called “Youth for Climate Justice Now”) and their legacy have continued to grow. This year’s parade will be happening on Sunday, April 22nd. People will once again march down Commercial Drive, but this time the ensuing celebration is to be held at the recently renovated Grandview Park. Brilliant speakers will be there to inspire and educate, local performers will provide lively entertainment, and different organizations will be present a variety of opportunities to get involved.
By Sydney Emo, Grade 10
In this day and age, our knowledge about health, medicine, and drugs is stronger than ever. This doesn’t mean that we always make the right decisions, though; the question about whether or not children are being over-drugged has been asked more and more frequently in the past few years. Do parents nowadays tend to jump too quickly to the conclusion that their children need to take medication? Where does the line get drawn between disorders like ADHD and normal childhood behaviours?
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most commonly misdiagnosed and mistreated disorder, because it occurs mainly in younger children, who have naturally have short attention spans. It can be very difficult to determine if the way a child is acting is caused by ADHD. (more…)
By Mrs. Rajkumar
In a new fact sheet, Statistics Canada reports that the employment rate for Canadians with post secondary education (PSE) was the same in 1999 as in 2009, with no fluctuation by more than one percentage point. The paper states this stable employment rate in relation to large increases in the number of people with a university or college education indicates that Canada’s labour market was successful in employing a rising number of highly educated individuals. In 2009, 82% of the Canadian population with a college or university credential was employed, compared to 55% of individuals with less than a secondary school education. Employment rates in Canada for people with a college or university credential were consistently within 3 percentage points of the OECD average between 1999 and 2009. However, in 2009, all but 3 of the dozen peer nations considered in the fact sheet (the U.S., Japan, and Italy) posted higher employment rates than Canada. In all 12 nations, the proportions of the population with PSE credentials were lower than the proportion for Canada. The paper notes that the economies of Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan were successful in generating high levels of employment for both the most and the least educated, in this case individuals with university credentials and those with less than secondary school.
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By Dickson Liong, Grade 10
Columbus Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash will remain with the team for the rest of the 2011-12 National Hockey League (NHL) regular season.
There had been rumours upon rumours about the possibility of Rick Nash being shipped out of Columbus. Attention skyrocketed as the official 2012 NHL trade deadline approached. There was a rumour or an update about his trade status almost every single day, and we were all listening.
The hockey world had questions, and it wanted answers.
Rumours and reports of a potential trade involving the 27-year-old began in late January. But, at the time, nobody was certain whether the Blue Jackets organization asked Nash to waive the no-movement clause on his contract or the captain went to the management to personally request a trade.
When teachers donned their signs and students cheered as a strike-induced pseudo-vacation goes into effect, we found ourselves with quite a bit of free time on our hands. Now, we could have used this time to study for a big Social Studies test, finish up (or start) a gigantic English project that would be due on the class back to school, or get an interim report signed a week after the actual due date. But, we all knew that the smart thing to do was to cheer on the hottest team in town—the Vancouver Canucks. Continue reading here!
By Claire Fergusson, Grade 10
North Americans consume the most out of all other places in the world. You name it; we’ve bought it. Many of us live relatively comfortable lives, surrounding ourselves with stuff and constantly reinventing things to make our lives appear “happier.” Many of us succumb to the ideal that the more you buy, the more you have; only a few understand that the more you buy, the easier it is to neglect the values that make life worthy and meaningful. Cosmetics are a part of that ideal. Products that we use on our faces make us feel safer. Make-up has become a part of our daily routine, yet we fail to realize that it is eating us from the inside out—in more ways than one.
By Max Miller & Tammy Lee, Grade 12
Tammy: Om nom nom nom, these chocolates are amazing!
M: What the… Heart-shaped box, huh? Someone must have gotten lucky on Valentine’s Day.
T: Yeah, my best friend bought it for me. Isn’t it huge?! It must have cost a lot of money. I’m so lucky to have a friend who loves me this much.
M: What? … I mean, do you really measure your friendships like that?
T: Of course! Compare this to the paper card you made me! What the heck was that? You just took paper out of your printer. I bet it didn’t even cost you any money.
M: If that’s really how you judge your friendship, what do you think when it comes to all the time and effort I put in to make that card? I bet I took more time to make that card than your friend did to do some quick shopping for those chocolates.
By Mike Chen, Grade 12
Hello, Warriors! The 2012 NHL trade deadline has just recently passed, and many teams have made some interesting trades in hopes of bolstering their lineups for the playoffs and building for the future. So, let’s take a look at some of the most notable trades!
The Nashville Predators acquired defenseman Hal Gill from Montreal in exchange for forwards Blake Geoffrion and Robert Slanley and a draft pick. Gill will provide some leadership and defensive stability on an already solid Predators defense. Heading to Montreal is Blake Geoffrion, who has a very interesting story. Geoffrion is a fourth-generation NHL player. (more…)