Can We Guess How You Feel About Forest Hill?

Forest hill has 900 students, some love it, some hate it. We can guess how you feel about Forest Hill based on 7 questions. We’re pretty sure that we can tell!


Why Your Earphones May Be Killing You

By Josh Blatt

Music plays a massive role in modern day society. Almost anywhere at Forest Hill, students can be seen with Apple earphones in their ears. With the introduction of portable music players and apps such as Spotify, it is easier than ever before to listen to music on the go. However, there are a variety of dangers regarding the use of these devices that are often overlooked. The primary issue is how the music is [restrict]listened to. More often than not, people choose to listen to their music using headphones or earbuds while out in society. People play their music far louder than they should which poses auditory health risks, are not as alert which has led to more accidents involving pedestrians listening to music, and people are more socially isolated as a result of listening to music out in public.

First of all, the volume at which many students listen to their music at an extreme high. According to a study from the World Health Organization, there are over 1 billion people that are at risk of hearing loss as a result of listening to their music too loudly. Furthermore, the study found that 50% of people in wealthy countries around the world from ages 12-35 on listen to their music at unsafe audio levels. If youth keep on listening to music at the intensity that they do, the irreversible hearing damage will be an inevitable reality for many of them.

Earbuds can cause more than just auditory damage. A person who is listening to music and walking cannot as easily listen to their surroundings, meaning they are at a higher risk of being injured. The number of serious injuries caused to those listening to music while walking has tripled since 2004, with three-quarters of these accidents resulting in deaths. In British Columbia, it is illegal to listen to music with headphones while driving because it decreases the driver’s ability to hear emergency vehicle and police sirens, the honking of other vehicles on the streets, pedestrians, and other things. This same reasoning can be applied to pedestrians listening to music with headphones on, showing how this can be very dangerous.

There is also an argument to be made that listening to music in public is socially isolating.

There is also an argument to be made that listening to music in public is socially isolating. People are significantly less likely to start up a conversation with you if you are listening to music with headphones on. It would even be reasonable to that this contributes to the loneliness epidemic that plagues Canada’s youth since it has become that much more difficult communicate with one another. Additionally, it is quite annoying to try to get the attention of others when listening to music.

Having all of that said, there are some solutions to each of these problems. To prevent hearing damages, the World Health Organization recommends that you don’t go above 60% of the maximum audio level allowed on your phone and take listening breaks every hour. If somebody really wants to listen to music in public and also be relatively safe and socially integrated, perhaps a better option would be to only put one earbud in, so they can still listen to their surroundings. Music is a fantastic form of self-expression and entertainment; it just has to be listened to at the correct volume level and in a safe setting to lower the risk of potential harm.


FDA Approves First Commercial CAR-T Cell Therapy

By Linda Cako


Kymriah is the first CAR-T cell therapy to be approved by the FDA. It was approved on August 30, 2017, and has been making waves since. The reason why is because up until now, doctors needed a more personalized treatment for leukaemia. Leukemia is the most common childhood cancer, making up 30% of all childhood cancers in America (American Cancer Society, 2016), so an effective treatment was in demand. Acute cancers are cancers that progress very quickly, usually within a few months. Unfortunately, this means that they are often diagnosed in the later stages. Cancers of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) are also very aggressive. They exhaust treatments quite rapidly, pushing researchers to develop more methods for targeting cancer. Now that Kymriah has been approved, these aggressive cancers can be treated with more precision for the patient.

It will be used on patients who have relapsed or refractory ALL. This type of treatment will also only be used on patients up to 25 years of age. The company did not specify why this age limit is placed.

Kymriah uses CAR-T cell therapy to target ALL. It does this by, in a way, “boosting” the immune system. It is a type of immunocellular therapy which starts by harvesting the patient’s own T cells. They are filtered from the blood, and then they are modified to target a particular antigen expressed in the patient’s cancer cells. They are modified by having a vector (usually an adenovirus) inject the genetic material into the cells. Then they are grown in-vitro and injected back into the patient. Within weeks the patient’s cancer begins to go into remission.

Using the patient’s own T cells significantly reduces the chances of them from suffering Graft vs Host disease and provides a reliable method for treatment. Previously patients would receive bone marrow transplants, but they were risky. Patients, sometimes, would have to be on a [restrict]waitlist for months, or years, to receive a bone marrow that their body would be likely to reject.

Although Kymriah sounds like a wonder drug, it has shown to cause severe to life-threatening side effects. The most common side effects are Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS) and Neurological Toxicities. CRS is when the immune system is releasing too many cytokines into the blood resulting in a more severe immune response, which triggers the release of even more cytokines. This results in very low blood pressure, high fever, difficulty in breathing, severe nausea, vomiting, joint pain, etc.

While this therapy is revolutionizing how we can personalize cancer treatments, it is far from perfect. For starters, this drug costs $475,000. Not everyone can afford to pay this kind of money for a therapy that is supposed to be used when other therapies have already been paid for and failed. Due to the age limit, this drug is not even available for people over 25 so it is pushing researchers to develop more treatments for those who do not have access.[/restrict]

Salvator Mundi: The Last Da Vinci?

By Marian Pascual

Leonardo Da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi is without a doubt, one of the greatest artistic rediscoveries of the 21st century.  It is one of the few 20 surviving Da Vinci paintings which made it a huge worldwide media sensation.  But what made the Salvator Mundi worth $400 million dollars?

On November 15 of last year, the painting was offered in a special lot in the Post-War Contemporary Art Evening Sale at Christie’s in New York.  Starting the bid at $70 million, the painting was sold 19 minutes later with the record sum of $400 million, breaking the record of the most expensive art piece in the world.  How crazy is it that [restrict]500 years later, Leonardo had no idea that his painting would be sold for over $400 million dollars, which is a million times greater than the currency back then!  Today, the painting is in the hands of the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

The history of the painting dates back 500 years ago (around the 1500’s) according to experts, and is known for certain that it was painted for King Charles I, since it was recorded in his royal inventory a year after his execution in 1649.  Salvator Mundi (‘Saviour of the World’) is a painting of Jesus in a Renaissance holding the world in his left hand, and giving a benediction or blessing with his right hand.  At first, the painting was thought to be a copy of a lost original, but after research and its removal over overpaint, the painting was restored which proved its authentication as the original one.

But can this be the last Da Vinci?  According to some reports, Salvator Mundi is cannot be the last Da Vinci since the Duke of Buccleuch owns Da Vinci’s Madonna of Yarnwinder, and if sold at auction, it would be sold for at least $1bn…  It would not be a surprise that after seeing the results from Salvator Mundi’s auction, he wouldn’t mind selling his Da Vinci too!

It is fascinating to think that after hundreds of years, the world would rediscover such an exceedingly rare painting by one of the world’s greatest painters.  With the development of technology, who knows what else humanity could discover?  Lucian Freud’s Francis Bacon?  Or the existence of aliens?  Only time will tell.[/restrict]

Racism in the Environment?

By Abi Parameswaran

Global warming, temperature modification and pollution; these are only some of the thousands of different issues across the world, some of which are addressed, and others hidden in plain vision. These problems remain prevalent in our society even though many hate admitting it. Most are unaware of environmental racism and continue to say it is a made-up distraction to take the focus off real issues. Inequalities, within the environment, is the reason why many areas lack support. It is a real issue across our country and in the world. Environmental racism is the lack of awareness directed at some geographical areas, the causation being political problems, societal standing and overall judgement. This problem is well-known in areas with strong minorities and can be seen in the early 1960s within Canada and with first nation communities in present days. Issues in unknown areas are ignored and it effects variations of citizens in the world.

Environmental racism has been in Canada since the sixties. In Nova Scotia, Africville was known to be home to families of people who were slaves. This area was a product of neglection. People lived there without sufficient water source, adequate housing, or functioning schooling systems. Africville did not get funds to live in a healthy environment. People who live in Africville separated after the government decided to destroy the area for being overly contaminated and an eye-sore. This area within Nova Scotia faced racism because of the absence of awareness and care to go towards the land these citizens lived on. The same problem remains, the First Nations communities and reserves across Canada being an example. Many First Nations people are harmed by projects such as pipeline constructions, lack of funding on reserves and educational needs not being met by people living on the land. All these factors are known and although efforts are made to stop these problems it is always temporarily talked about in the media than mass populations turn a blind eye shortly after. Even though advocates continue to fight for these simple rights for these communities many often commoners do not look further into issues of equality within the environment. Is it fair to subject Indigenous members of this country to such harsh living standards? The fact that Indigenous members of Canadian society have issues related to the environment that is not being addressed is a problem since many other areas do not face these inequalities and are oblivious to communities that do.

Spreading knowledge on this topic will help people realize it is an issue. However, people need to accept it is an issue. Living a life masked to these issues will only worsen the environmental standings of areas affected by this. This is a problem faced all over the world and being oblivious to such issues only makes this problem widespread and worse. Anyone that continues to believe environmental racism is not real, this is only one of the thousands of cases in the world. People need to realize that inequalities related to the environment exist all over the world. There are countless times these are spoken about, yet as a society, there is no progression being seen. Organizations can only take control and question such issues for so long. The general public needs to become aware of this situation and talk about it and address it. Considering that many are still oblivious to racism amongst people and continue to use racial slurs and offend people it is tough to bring awareness about a completely new realm of racism. This is just proof that awareness is needed in all areas of racism considering it is still prevalent in society. Environmental racism is one of many forms of discrimination that continues to exist across the world. With the awareness and action taken for these issues someday, as a society racism itself may become a word of the past. Everyone deserves the right of feeling safe and having access to the necessities in life, and if the factor that stops them from receiving this is inequalities in the environment than this is a serious issue and more people need to know of it. People need to wake up and see the reality of things as many issues are not as clear as perceived to be.

Semi-Formal, You Asked For It.

By Sapna Humar, Matthew Lindzon and Esther Eisen

Complaining may be the norm for Forest Hill students. Our school is now known as an academically inclined and non-spirited environment. This Semi-Formal seemed like a test: could FHCI students finally rise to the task and find their spirit and pride? The short answer: sort of. Almost all students at FHCI have been so used to being upset about the lack of school spirit and excitement. However, only 15% of students purchased a ticket to the Semi-Formal dance.

Only 15% of students purchased a ticket to the Semi-Formal dance.


When February 15th came, I, along with most others, had some doubts, but we all came out of it feeling like it had been more-or-less successful. Generally, the overall opinion I got from most people who attended the dance was that it went better than they had expected. The venue was small, but it was enjoyable and didn’t feel cramped in the slightest. The decorations added ambience, and the DJ provided us with some great music. There were refreshments and snacks offered, as well as a photo booth, which I thought was one of the main highlights. My favourite part of the night though was the general vibe and atmosphere of the place — everyone was dancing and having a good time, and I feel like it was the first time in a long while where people were actually proud to be a part of this school and contribute to its identity. All of this, as well as the music and venue, served to make for a great evening.

Naturally, there were some things that could have been improved. For instance, although there were drinks and some snacks offered, there could have been more food provided. There was little to complain about other than that, but of course, the one major problem was the smaller number of attendees in comparison to the entire population of the school. It was already an overall great experience, but if more people had bought tickets and come, it would have been even better. Despite the constant complaining of FHCI not having any dances or events, once one did finally come along, people were reluctant to buy tickets. I don’t know if that was because of the venue, the cost, or the lack of school spirit, but I do know that this dance set an example for the years to come. Hopefully, others will be encouraged to buy tickets for future events, to not only have a good time, but to support our school as well!

In the past, Forest Hill has had some problems with school spirit and with making the place feel welcoming and exciting. This dance, which has paved the way for many more dances to come, was a huge step forward in skyrocketing our school spirit and improving the sense of identity shared by Forest Hill students. Thirty-five dollars may seem like a lot, however, in the grand scheme of things, an experience like a Semi-Formal in high school is priceless.

Screen Shot 2018-02-20 at 7.53.04 AM
Students at the Semi-Formal dance downtown on February 15th

The question I kept asking myself was whether students were not buying tickets in the first place based on the idea that they did not want to go to the event, or was it that students genuinely enjoy complaining about school events. For the last decade or so, students have been accustomed to complaining about the lack of school spirit in our school. A possible reason why tickets sales were not amazing could have been that students get satisfaction from finding small problems from events, more than having a spirited event itself.

Here are the stats for the event:

The number of students who attended: approx. 150

Most students attending were in grade 10, then grade 12, then grade 11 and the least number of students were in grade 9.

To sum it up, I think the semi-formal was both successful and necessary. Yes, there were not as many students as there could have been, but this only proves that Forest Hill was able to pull it off, even with a limited number of students.  Of course, a huge thank you goes out to the members of Student Council, as well as all of the staff who helped organize and supervise the event. These people, and all those who bought tickets and supported the dance, were what made it possible, and what helped set a strong precedent for Forest Hill’s bright future.

Students who did not attend the event probably are happy they did not ‘lose’ $35. The people who went to the dance likely are happy that they gained a great experience. When I am 50 years old, and I am looking through my Yearbook from high school, I hope I will feel joy remembering the great time I had with my friends at this event.

Maybe once students see that others had a great time at this dance, they will realize that they can ignore the small imperfections of this night and just have a good time. So what if they did not have food? Eat before the dance! The Semi-Formal was not about experiencing a perfect night; it was about having pride in our school and coming together as a community.


Humans of FHCI: Anna and Mady

By Mia Brenner

Do you have any funny holiday memories?

Mady:” Last Christmas my cousin really wanted some ginger-ale and my Grandma always says soda. She was like’ oh Grandma do you have any ginger-ale’? My grandma was like ‘No sorry, I don’t have any’. And my cousin looks in the fridge and all that’s in there is ginger-ale. And she’s like ‘Grandma why didn’t you let me have any’? And my grandma was like’ I don’t know what you’re talking about.’ Yeah my Christmas was pretty mad”

Do you have any new years resolutions?

Anna: “To do better and focus more on school and actually know whats going on.
Mady: “Yeah, raise my average and be more active.”

Have you ever kept a past new year resolution?

Anna: “No, I’m really bad at keeping them,”
Mady: “I don’t usually make new years resolution because it just sets you up for failure.”


Humans of FHCI is a popular column of The Golden Falcon Newspaper. Explore more student and teacher interviews here.

Humans of FHCI: Max and Emerson

By Mia Brenner

What are your plans for the holidays?

Max: “Relax. Sleep, read a book or two, go out a bit.”
Emerson: “I’ll work a couple more hours on my shift and then sleep as much as possible.”

 Do you have any new year resolutions?

Emerson- “I don’t want to say them. I mean, focus more on school, get my G2, stuff like that.”
Max- “Spend more time with family and friends, just make deeper interpersonal relations

Humans of FHCI is a popular column of The Golden Falcon Newspaper. Explore more student and teacher interviews here:

Humans of FHCI: Dylan

By Mia Brenner

Can you share any specific holiday memories?

“My Mom used to tell me this story where [on christmas] we got a bulldozer toy that you could sit on. My brother was like really jealous and he pushed me off of it. My Mom got really mad and started yelling at him. He [my brother] didn’t really know who I was. At the time I was a newborn and really young. It was my first Christmas!”

As you approach the end of high school, are there are tips you would like to give to the younger grades?

“Don’t stress. Stress is actually good because it’s like a learning experience that teaches you how to deal with stuff. And you shouldn’t really stress in high school. You should just try to figure out who you are and be yourself. “

Do you have any new years resolutions and do you think you’ll keep up with them?

“Prioritize your time and live in the present.”
“For sure, yeah.”

Humans of FHCI is a popular column of The Golden Falcon Newspaper. Explore more student and teacher interviews here.

Humans of FHCI: Michael

By Mia Brenner

Do you have any funny holiday memories?

“Once my sister opened up all of the presents early, two hours before everyone woke up. My parents as a punishment made her do 500 lines and took the presents away for later and forgot to give them to her and we never found the presents.”

Do you have any new year resolutions for 2018

“I wanna learn how to paint.”

Humans of FHCI is a popular column of The Golden Falcon Newspaper. Explore more student and teacher interviews here.

Couples of FHCI – Cole and Cassie

By Jamie Kerzner and Georgia Blatt

How did you meet?

Cassie: “We met at little Forest Hill. We were in the same grade 4/5 split class.”

How long have you been together?

Cole: “6 years, on and off.”

What is your favourite thing to do together?

Cole: “Run track together.”
Cassie: “Chill every day after school together. Also go on double dates with Bailee and Chase, or Daniela and Max.”

What is each other’s favourite food?

Cole: “Pizza.”
Cassie: “Lasagna.”

What is your favourite thing about each other?

Cassie: “Everything.”
Cole: “Her eyes.”

How will you be celebrating valentine’s day?

Cassie: “We’re going to go out for dinner at Super Point.

Humans of FHCI is a popular column of The Golden Falcon Newspaper. Explore more student and teacher interviews here.



Couples of FHCI – Mike Sivolap and Zoe Lepholtz

By Jessica Huong, Esther Eisen and Danielle Westreich


How long have you been together for?

Zoe: “Almost six months.”

What were your first impressions of each other?


Mike: “We met at Forest Hill, in the guidance office.”

Zoe: “My friend, Dani, was complaining about school and Mike said ‘it’s not that bad’.” 

Favourite date place?

Zoe: “Coffee shops.”

Where was your first date place?

Mike: “BoxCar Coffee Shop.”

Do you have nicknames for each other?

Mike: ” I call her Pingvinchik. It means penguin in Russian.”

Describe each other using one word.

Mike: “Beautiful.”

Zoe: “Smart.”

Who wears the pants in the relationship?

Zoe: “It’s not really divided.”

Mike: “I made the decision to make the decisions.”

What do you usually argue about?

Zoe: “When he says that he’s a failure because he’s not.”

Who usually wins the arguments?

Zoe: “Me.”

Mike: “She does.” 

What are your plans this Valentine’s Day?

Zoe: “We don’t have any plans.”

What do you love most about each other?

Zoe: “The way he looks at me is really cute.”

Mike: “I like that she’s caring.” 

What is your favourite mutual pastime?

Zoe: “Face masks.”

What are your favourite traditions?

Zoe: “Going for sushi.”

Who is the more competitive one?

Zoe: “I think it’s me.”

Mike: “Yeah, it’s her.”

What is a funny moment you’ve shared? 

Mike: “I had almond milk that I put on my balcony and it froze. It burst. I live close to the beltline, so she said let’s just throw it down. We were laughing about what would happen if you were walking on the belt line and frozen almond milk fell on you.” 

Who is the neater one?

Zoe: “Him.” 

What is the key to a successful relationship?

Zoe: “There isn’t one. You just have to find what works, and if it works, then great!”

Favourite Memories?

Mike: “The time we went to the sushi place on Dundas square and then we went to the Christmas market after.”

Humans of FHCI is a popular column of The Golden Falcon Newspaper. Explore more student and teacher interviews here. [/restrict]

Couples of FHCI – Teodor and Krystael

By Danielle Westreich, Jessica Huong and Esther Eisen

How long have you been dating for?

Krystael: “Almost two months”

How did you start dating?

Krystael: “Teo made the first move and Jacob was his wing man.”

Teodor: “I tried to find ways of talking to her through her [restrict] friends. I talked to her friends first to get to know her. Then I walked her home and asked her out.”

Krystael: “I got in trouble because I hugged him for too long outside of my house and my mom saw.”

What were your first impressions?

Krystael: “Uhh, he seemed like a nice guy. I was like, ‘hey are we going to be friends?’ But, like, he had other plans.”

Teodor: “The first thing I noticed about her was her smile. It was really cute, so I was like ‘maybe I should try talking to her?’ Another thing I noticed was her laugh. So that’s how she got my attention.”

Do you have a favourite date place?

Krystael: “There’s a restaurant called Insomnia that we like to go to. We also like skating at Nathan Phillips Square, which was where we had our first date.”

Teodor: “I liked the time we went to the Distillery District.”

Do you have any nicknames for each other?

Krystael: “I was trying to read his signature, which is the letter ‘N’ and ‘Bogdan’ and I got ‘soybean’ out of that and I’ve been calling him that ever since.”

Teodor: “Krys mostly and sometimes iepuras (bunny in Romanian) but she doesn’t know what it means.”

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?

Krystael: “A dinner and just whatever. We’re also going to the semi-formal the day before.”

What do you argue about most often?

Teodor: “Who likes each other more and who’s the best.”

What is one TV show you watch together?

Krystael and Teodor: “Stranger Things.”

Have you shared any awkward moments?

Krystael: “The only awkward moment we’ve shared is when my brother and mom saw us hugging. It’s also awkward for everyone else because we’re so PDA.”

What do you like most about each other?

Teodor: “It’s really everything. She doesn’t have to put a lot of effort in to make me happy.”

Krystael: “I think the best part is that he puts in a lot of effort to understand me.”


Humans of FHCI is a popular column of The Golden Falcon Newspaper. Explore more student and teacher interviews here.