The One and Only Day of Pink

By Gabe Nisker

I get to school. It’s loud. Music blares. It hurt my eyes. So much pink. It might hurt for you to read this. So many short sentences.

Anyways, Day of Pink was today. That’s April 12th, for those of you reading this on a day that isn’t April 12th. We celebrate LGBT+ and take a stand against bullies and maybe against injustice on the whole.

And now that I have you, I’m going to run you through my 3 big messages from today.

1. Power in numbers

There’s a really nice tree out in front of our school and by that, I mean on one of the walls in the foyer. And on that wall are a boatload of messages written by people like us. You know that old saying “two heads are better than one” — well, that’s definitely true. Approximately 1000 handwritten messages on hand cutouts are definitely better than 999. And that’s better than 998 and so on and so forth all the way to one. When we link up to put an end to bullying, we can actually make a change but you better believe it. You can’t not believe it and hope something will happen. I just used a double negative.

2. Words matter

They slice, they cut, they stab and they hurt. Be impeccable with your word. If you’re trying to say you don’t like something, don’t say “that’s so gay”. That’s not what the word means. Another example: if you’re making a presentation, be concise. A third example is if you’re writing an article, don’t write too many words. In that case, let me move on.

3. Pretty in pink

Be proud, Forest Hill because I don’t say this lightly — words do matter, you know. Anyways, collectively, we might be the best looking group of pink-wearers I’ve ever seen. That’s all.

Which shade of PINK are you?

by Julia Reinstien

  1. You hear a friend of yours say “that’s so gay”, you:

(a) Call her out, it’s rude to use someone’s orientation as an insult

(b) Suggest a new word she could use instead, “gay” isn’t the same as “bad”

(c) Explain why it’s not ok to say, maybe she doesn’t know her words are hurtful

2.  When you spend time with your friends you like to:

(a) Plan a fun activity, you have so many as

(b) Do whatever they want to do, you’re not fussy

(c) Just relax and hang out, you just want to spend time with them

3.  You see someone being bullied in the hallway for what he’s wearing, you:

(a) Stand up for him, this bully doesn’t scare you

(b) Distract the bully to diffuse the situation

(c) Approach him later to make sure he’s ok

4. If you were an animal, you would be:

(a) A lion, they’re so powerful

(b) A monkey, they’re super funny

(c) A rabbit, they’re so soft

5. When a friend is sad you:

(a) Help them make a plan to fix what’s bothering them

(b) Cheer them up with a joke

(c) Listen attentively and give advice if they ask for it

6. Your best quality is your:

(a) Confidence

(b)Sense of humour

(c) Listening skills

7. Your worst quality is your:

(a) Temper

(b) Indecisiveness

(c) Shyness

8. A friend comes out to you as bisexual, you:

(a) Suggest a celebration, he should let his rainbow flag fly

(b) Start to ask him about any boys he likes, as well as the girls

(c) Let him know you will always be there for him, your friendship won’t change

9. Your average speaking volume is:

(a) Loud, you always want to be heard

(b) Medium, but it really depends on how excited you are

(c) Soft, you don’t want to overpower others

10. FHCI’s celebration of the International Day of Pink is on April 13, you most enjoyed:

(a) Seeing all of FHCI pinkified in support of ending homophobia and bullying

(b) The bake sale, in which all proceeds go to the Canadian Centre for Gender and    Sexual Diversity

(c) The Day of Pink Dialogue, hosted by GSA, where students can discuss issues regarding gender and sexuality based bullying

 

You are…

Mostly As

Hot Pink

You are confident and self-assured.  You always stand up for what is right and make sure other people do the same.  When you put your mind to it, you are a leader for change in your community.  Continue to speak out and be a positive influence to those around you.

 

Mostly Bs

 Bubble Gum Pink

You are fun loving and easy going.  You like to make people smile and don’t tolerate bullies.  You believe that hostility is the enemy of change, so you make sure to keep an open mind.  Continue to spread happiness, not hatred, to those around you.

 

Mostly Cs

 Baby Pink

You are soft spoken and kind.  You are always there for your friends and peers by listening openly and being compassionate.  You know that sometimes, all people need is a helpful friend to combat bullying.  Continue to support and care for those around you.

Exclusive Day of Pink Interview: Ms. Campbell

Although FHCI is notorious for lacking spirit, there is one day each year that unites our school and brings out the spirit of each student and faculty member. This day is known as Day of Pink: the international day against bullying, discrimination, homophobia, transphobia, and transmisogyny. The Golden Falcon was fortunate enough to do an exclusive interview with Ms. Campbell, the backbone of FHCI’s Day of Pink, where she divulges what Day of Pink means to her and shares information about this year’s upcoming Day of Pink.

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The Golden Falcon: How did you get involved with Day of Pink?

Ms Campbell: I joined the Mental Health Committee who was taking on Day of Pink. Mental health is something I’ve always been really passionate about, as well as Day of Pink, so it was a natural fit for me.

TGF: Knowing that our school isn’t incredibly spirited, how does it make you feel to see our school go all out for Day of Pink?

Ms. Campbell: I feel really proud of the dedication of not only the people who have been involved in planning this year’s Day of Pink, but also about the amazing participation of all the staff and the students who have supported such an important cause. I know that this year everyone’s going to be just as spirited and supportive about the cause.

TGF: How will this year’s Day of Pink differ from last year’s?

Ms. Campbell: This year, Day of Pink’s super club has decided that each member of our school community will sign a pledge for peace at FHCI. Each pledge has a different anti-bullying message. We will be building an enormous rainbow pathway in the main foyer, which we are calling, “The Pathway to Peace”. The idea is that each one of our pledges is a stepping-stone on the pathway to peace at FHCI. The pathway will be up for the remainder of the year to remind all of us about our commitment to stand in solidarity against bullying. Last year, the balloons were up and they lasted for a week. This year, we wanted something that would last for the full year to make a bigger impact on our everyday lives.

TGF: How is Day of Pink’s message meaningful to you?

Ms. Campbell: As a teacher, I have always been an advocate for those who have been bullied. I also believe that we should all stand up together to fight against bullying, but also to raise awareness about all forms of bullying, specifically among the LGBTQ community. It’s also meaningful to me because I think it sends a message, especially here with everyone participating, that we are all standing up together.

TGF: What is one message you want students to remember from Day of Pink?

Ms. Campbell: I want students to remember that bullying does happen. It happens to many students and many people all around the world. The effects of bullying can be both devastating and profound. Every staff, student and person needs to raise awareness and take a stand against homophobic and transphobic bullying.

Get excited, Forest Hill! The Day of Pink is on April 13th, so don’t forget to wear pink to show your support!

FHCI’s Fashion Week – Clothing Drive

Hey Forest Hill!

For THIS WEEK ONLY, our school’s Social Action Club is running a clothing drive for Syrian refugees who have recently arrived in Toronto. The goal of the campaign is to collect new and gently used clothing for New Circles in Toronto (http://newcircles.ca/). New Circles is currently focused on providing your clothing donations for free for the next two years to Syrian refugee families now living in Toronto. New Circles is looking specifically for the following items:

– clothing for boy’s sizes 4-16
– clothing for young men (contemporary styles)
– plus sizes for women
– lightweight fabrics, eg. short sleeve shirts, shorts, capris, dresses, cotton sweaters, lightweight coats, sandals

Bring your clothing to the collection boxes in the OFFICE and in the FOYER during lunch and before school!

Day of Pink: Did you know?

By: Lorena Baston

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  • On average, 64% of the victims have been bullied at school. The rate of discrimination experienced among students who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans-identified, Two-Spirited, Queer or Questioning (LGBTQ) is three times higher than heterosexual youth.
  • On average, girls are more likely to be bullied on the Internet than boys will ever be. Children who are bullied suffer more headaches, stomach aches, depression and anxiety.
  • Mental health problems associated with bullying tend to last later in life. In many cases, those who bully others often experience abuse or other sorts of bullying at home.

Show your support April 13th by wearing a pink shirt to school!

Throwback to FHCI Day of Pink 2015

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           It has become an annual tradition to celebrate the International Day of Pink here at FHCI.  Last year, our school demonstrated strong and impressive spirit at the big event. An official ceremony was held in our gymnasium and was attended by Toronto Police Services’ 53 Division, the Service’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans Queer Internal Support Network and TDSB Superintendents. 

            Falcons were blazing every shade of pink in every shape and form – from pink balloon pillars, pink desks, pink shirts, pink headbands, pink door decorations to pink hair, FHCI staff and students communicated the important message of standing up to bullying. We were honoured to have special guest speaker Bill Blair, from the Toronto Police Services, speak about bullying, equality, and leadership. His words inspired and motivated us, Falcons, to not be bystanders and to have the courage to do what’s right. After all, our school motto is Non nobis solum, “Not for ourselves alone.”      

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Check out last year’s Day of Pink Video!

This year, FHCI’s SuperClub Committee (Student Council, Prefects, GSA, Cookies for a Cure, Craft Club), organized by Ms. Campbell, and co-run with the help of Ms. Moroz and Ms. Chan, have worked hard to put together an exciting International Day of Pink event, which will be held on Wednesday April 13th, 2016. This year, we are asking you to take a stand against bullying and sign a pledge. Let’s all come together April 13th and help build a Pathway to Peace so that no one suffers bullying in this lifetime.

APRIL 13: Come to the foyer at the beginning of school to get Pink-i-fied! There will be facepaint, hair chalk and lots of goodies! 

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#FHCIDayofPink is coming…will you be ready to take a stand?

Day of Pink: Why we celebrate it

By: Janet Chukwu

Last year, Forest Hill Collegiate had the privilege of working with the Toronto Police to create an amazing Day of Pink event. The school showed exceptional school spirit, with the entire school dressing in pink for the special day.

278ade6805e6474b047852c1a81e5231         Image from TPSNews.ca

Day of Pink started when a student in Nova Scotia wore pink to school and was teased for his choice of clothing. The following day, students showed their support for the student by wearing pink. The original intention was to support the student and to show support for others who identify themselves with the LGBTQ community, like the student did. Over time, the pink shirt tradition has become a symbol of support for not only those in the LGBTQ community, but for others who are constantly bullied.

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Bullying is an unfortunate part of high school life. Students feast on the idea of belittling others for selfish and petty reasons, believing their bullying will put them above the person they are tormenting. Quite the opposite is true. The victims may sometimes feel helpless, if the tormenting is continuous, and eventually may feel as though they deserve to be punished. Though this piece of advice has been instilled in the minds of everyone beginning from elementary school, it is important to know that if you or someone you know is being bullied, the best way to find help is to inform an adult with whom you trust. Students shy away from this option, most often assuming that telling an adult would make the person a “snitch” and seen as a weak individual who could not solve the problem on their own. This is an unfortunate misconception among teenagers, and the stigma around telling an adult needs to fade. Studies have found that there is a strong connection between suicide and bullying, especially when the bullied are isolated and do not seek help from adults.

          An adult you trust would work with you — not against you — to help fix the problem of bullying

If you know someone who is being bullied, comfort them, and let them know that you are always willing to listen to them. Do not promise to take it upon yourself and defend your friend by in turn bullying the bully.

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A good friend would tell an adult about the situation who will help make it better. Bystanders also have an effect on bullying. The actions of a bystander who watches the situation from afar and believes he/she is making a good choice by not getting involved, can be considered just as hurtful as the bully. The best choice, as usual, is to tell an adult. If you wish to not have any part of the situation, let the adult know that you wish to remain anonymous, and only wanted to inform the adult of the situation.

Bullying takes on many forms. In this technological age, students find themselves in the middle of social media feuds, thinking they will gain popularity status for engaging in petty online fights. The sly but hurtful remarks teenagers make online to impress friends/followers is considered bullying. Taking pictures of another individual without their consent to purposely embarrass that person is also bullying. In some cases, cyber bullying is a criminal offence.

How do you avoid this? Before you post something, think about how the other person would feel about it. Consider how it would make you feel, if the situation were the other way around. Before posting something mean thinking it would make everyone laugh, consider the consequences that could follow, should the person choose to report the incident. This Day of Pink, wear a pink article of clothing not only because the school is encouraging you to, but to show your support for victims of bullying.

 

Letter from the Editors (Winter 2016)

Dear Students and Staff of Forest Hill Collegiate Institute,

We are thrilled to share the release of the 2016 Winter Edition of the Golden Falcon Online Newspaper with you! We would like to thank our hardworking and talented contributors and editors for all of the content in this edition. Everyone, including Mr. Lee and Ms. Chung, has been working tirelessly since the beginning of the semester to make our newspaper relatable and interesting.

Like the Fall Edition, this edition will be updated with new articles so stay tuned for more content to come. 

All articles reflect Forest Hill’s student life and popular culture of 2016. This edition features Valentine’s Day and will feature Black History Month articles that celebrate our school’s cultural and ethnic diversity. It also includes politics, music, advice columns, editorials, and much more. Our most popular piece from last year, Humans of FHCI, will be featured in this edition, as well as on our Facebook page and Instagram, @HumansOfFHCI.

We are aiming for the Golden Falcon to be an outlet for students to speak their minds and express their opinions in a fun and creative way. We are always looking for more contributors, so please do not hesitate to contact a head editor or attend one of our meetings if you are interested. We look forward to an amazing second semester!

-The Head Editors of the Golden Falcon

5 Top Movies to Watch on Valentine’s Day

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What to do on Valentine’s Day if you don’t have a date

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6 Cheap but Decently Romantic Gift Ideas for Valentine’s Day

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Video Cuts

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High Five (Edition II)

By Austin Kranc

1. Why do students become uncouth on weekends?
Because they have no class.

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2. Why do science students work best together?
Because they have chemistry.

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3. Why did the student break his carrot in half at 11:45 AM?
Because it was lunch break.

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4. Why do students turn on computers, on hot days?
Because they want to open Windows.

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5. Teacher: Write an essay for tomorrow on bananas.
Student:

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Motivation for the start of semester 2.

Janet Chukwu, Caterina Vescio and Adnan Saoud

Students may find it hard to get through another semester of school, especially right after they have written final examinations. Students may have had a rough first semester, and have no motivation to complete another 5 months of treacherous work. They also could have had an excellent first semester, but scared second semester will not be as good as the first, and equally hesitant to begin the semester. In any case, a majority of students are not thrilled about starting a new semester. However, some people may be eager to have a new set of courses. Students in grade 12 are approaching the end of high school, so the next five months should be quite exciting for them. Of course, one cannot talk about grade 12 without mentioning stress. As midterms approach, the next couple of weeks are crucial for the seniors, as these marks are the last thing submitted to post secondary institutions. It is very important that while senior students work very hard, they need to take care of themselves. It is okay to go out during the weekend, have fun and enjoy life. You do not want to think back on high school and remember the nights you stayed home. This being said, there has to be a good balance between work and fun.

We understand if you are feeling blue about going to school everyday, so we compiled a list of reasons that will hopefully motivate you and put your agony in perspective.

Just remember, everyday you go to school is one less day of high school, and one day closer to summer vacation; and, at this point in the semester, you have already completed three out of roughly sixteen weeks. Do you miss being up until ungodly hours of the night and waking up well into the next day? Have no fear, several PA days are around the corner. In fact, there are PA days every month until the end of the school year, with the most notable; the Easter four day weekend from March 25-28 and Victoria Day, extending the weekend from May 21st to the 23rd. When you think about it, you have all of five months to plan what you and your friends could be doing over the summer. Of course this planning would take place after school, since you should all be giving your full attention to your school work from 9-3:30.
For senior students feeling the symptoms of “Senioritis”, remember, at the end of your four year run, you get a shiny paper acknowledging your completion of 30 credits and 40 hours of mandatory community service. What more motivation do you need?!
Above all, being privileged to be living in a first world country and being able to go to school feeling safe and not having to pay for a secondary school education should be motivation enough to go to school everyday.
Keep this article in mind, hopefully you will be motivated enough to continue working hard throughout the semester, so you can enjoy your summer.
In closing, we would like to quote one of the greatest 21st century philosophers, Jaden Smith. “Once You Go In You Always Come Out Alive”.

Forest Hill’s Very Own Horseback Rider

By Samara Silver

“I was riding across the open countryside and a Canadian film crew spotted me and filmed me for a documentary that later aired on CBC.” This is one of many of Hy Burstein’s incredible stories through his life journey. Hy, a man that’s ridden over 50, 000 kilometers on a horse and who lives out his passion for horseback riding and travel. Through the years, Hy has passed his love of adventure on to his family. This is acknowledged if you ask his granddaughter, Ashley Burstein about her most desired interest: “I am most passionate about Horseback riding”. Who knew? Forest Hill’s very own horseback rider? Learning from her grandfather, 16-year-old student, Ashley Burstein in grade 11 has been riding for most of her life. At only 6 years old, Ashley began to ride at her family farm.

Growing up Ashley always had a love for horses, whether it was reading, learning or even taking care of them. Having a farm of her own with four horses and a grandfather who travelled the world on horseback, it was no surprise that Ashley got into this amazing sport. In Caledon, Ontario, where Ashley visits her farm most weekends with the rest of her family, is where she does most of her riding. As well as going to a stable to train with her riding coach.

Ashley has participated in many competitions throughout her time riding. At the age of 10, she participated in a horseback riding show where she experienced one of her most major achievements. At Fox Bury Stable, Ashley competed in a Halloween show where her and her horse got to perform dressed up. Among several other competitors, Ashley finished the competition in first place! “It was such an amazing to know that I was able to come out on top among so many other people,” she says.

Horseback riding is a very fun, therapeutic and competitive sport, however can be very dangerous as well. Ashley says the scariest thing about horseback riding the fact that they get scared very easily and become spooked. When this happens it causes to them to either kick you off or become out of control and run very fast. “Its hard to do anything about it which is why people get hurt most often because of it,” states Ashley.

Horseback riding is a big part of Ashley’s life and will always hold a passion for it. When asked what her favourite thing about horse back riding is, she says, “It’s a lot different from other sports. I find it very relaxing and a great way to relieve my stress.”

One-Way Ticket to FHCI

By Riley Koltun

Sigi

“Moving to a completely different country is quite a drastic change, everything you knew, all that was familiar, near and dear to your heart will be nothing but memories.” Forest Hill CI welcomes new student Sigi Buzi all the way from Albania where she enters a new journey in her life. Everyone has his or her own story, and according to Buzi you just have to appreciate it. After moving from Albania this summer, she explains her experience and her adaptations to her new life that had just begun only a few months ago in Canada.

Buzi came to Forest Hill not knowing anyone or having any friends, but that did not bring her down. She had a very positive attitude and was excited to meet new people and make new friends. Buzi instantly reached out to fellow students and was excited to learn new things about different people. She did this by joining clubs and participating in extracurricular activities such as Creative writing club, Politics and History club as well as the newcomers club. “I picked out random clubs that have nothing to do with my interests, just to learn something new and meet different people,” she explained.

After asking Buzi if she has fully adapted to a new environment she said “I’m pretty sure at this age you can never fully adapt, because you’re used to completely different things and its not easy to change your ways or suddenly look at things from a North American perspective”. Although many things were changing for Buzi, she was able to take her passion of cooking from Albania and continue to pursue it in Canada. Although the transition may be difficult for Buzi, she feels very comfortable with expressing her true self.

There is so much new information to learn when moving to a new country but Buzi has got it under control. She did not know that jay walking is illegal in Canada as traffic laws were much different in Canada. She says “In Albania either you cross the cross the street or leave because those cars will never stop”. Buzi proves that you can always learn something new and that it can be a good thing, a safety law in fact. She also explains that in Albania she took many lessons whether it was basketball, swimming tennis or piano lessons she did it all. “All of this is because in Albania private courses are extremely cheap, so it would be a shame not to take advantage from it,” she says.

Buzi leaves anyone who may be in a new and/or different environment with a few words from her personal experience. She says “Talk, express yourself, enroll in many activities as you possibly can and meet new people.” From one new student to another, take her advice; it has seemed to work very well.

 

 

Shootin’ 3’s and not even 5 foot 3

By Tyler Burstein

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The best basketball players playing today are in no way “small”. Using their skill plus their intimidating size, players such as LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers have and amazing set of skills, but it also helps when your 6 foot 6 and 250 pounds.

This doesn’t apply to grade 9 FHCI student Ryan Burstein, although he isn’t very tall what he lacks in height he exceptionally makes up for in skill.

“I started playing really young (around 7), but I got into basketball from a movie called “Space Jam.” When I saw Michael Jordan playing basket ball with Bugs Bunny I was so inspired to do what he does… play basketball” says Ryan when asked about what got him into basketball. “It turns out it was just a simple movie that got me doing what I love most.”

After convincing his parents, Ryan soon joined basketball camp and did this up until he was 10. “After lots of playing on my own time I soon decided to push my self and do summer camps for basketball. After my first couple of years at camp I joined house league basketball when I was 10.” Ryan then joined North Toronto House-league Basketball (NTHLB), during the time the players were still very small and this allowed Ryan to really be the star and end up trying out for Single A Basketball which he made when he was 9. “After playing a year on Single A I needed to push my self further I knew I could do better” which we did and Ryan then made Double A when he was 10.

“I was extremely intimidated, everyone else there was at least more than half a foot taller than me, I couldn’t believe in myself and almost didn’t try to succeed just because I was smaller than everyone else and through the tryout I learned my greatest weakness turned out be my greatest strong suit,” says Ryan, I then asked “what do you mean by you learned that your greatest weakness turned out to be your greatest strong suit?” Ryan than answers with something very intriguing, “Going in to the second tryout of Double A I realized that my height wasn’t stopping me, it was the whole reason to be pushing me forward. I figured out that instead of rushing in to the net I decided to get better at shooting where I could stay on the outside and keep helping from their. Thinking my height was stopping me it gave me the perseverance to push forward, never give up and never stop working to reach my goals.”

Ryan shows that he is just not an ordinary kid trying to make it through high school, he sows that he is an individual that has a problem he cannot fix an instead of complaining and not doing anything about he decided to take advantage of it and uses it to keep pushing forward knowing that if he gives up it will only show weakness. “Playing basketball has also given me the ability to bring my parents together since their divorce, my happiness and goals is something they both love enough to come to together and push me to do my best.” Ryan’s main reason for pushing is his own heart as he lives by one famous quote by 5 foot 4 Toronto Blue Jays Player Marcus Stroman, “height doesn’t measure heart.” Ryan then expresses his feelings about the quote “this relates to me on a very personal level and it could to others as well because no matter how small you are if you have the skill to give it your all you will succeed.”

Ryan had some very inspirational words and then got asked if he had anything else to say about his future “I would like to help people like me who want to go into sports by becoming a sports doctor to help the injured get back out there and give it all they got and if you face any problem no matter the situation (if you have ADD or OCD and can’t focus) there is always a way you could use your weakness that are holding you back and use them in a way to change the game for yourself, stay strong, stay positive, push through it and never give up”.