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


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


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


Video Cuts


High Five (Edition II)

By Austin Kranc

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


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


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


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


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


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


“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


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”.

Humans of FHCI: Couples Series

Iain Kaufman-O’Keefe and Sydney Coates, grade 12


How long have you two been dating?
Sydney: “Two months 15 days.”
Any plans for Valentine’s Day? 
Iain: “She’s in New York” Sydney: “And he’s watching Deadpool with his friends.”
What’s your favourite thing about Iain?
Sydney: “He’s a dork.”
What’s your favourite thing about Sydney?
Iain: “Her aura.”
Tell me something interesting about your relationship.
Sydney: “We get Chinatown food every Friday.”

Follow Humans of FHCI on instagram: humansoffhci

I am not a Poet…

I am not a poet
Because I already know it.
You try to show me but you are phony
And you try to phone me
Like ring ring
But I’m coming with the bling bling
I’m talking cha ching ching
And I hear the money sing sing.
You try to inspire
But I’m coming with the fire
I’m dropping bars like I’m dropping cars
Like Disney’s Pixar
I am the elixir.
By Dylan Mertzdorf

I am not a poet
Because I don’t know what to write.
I hate poetry because I’m too bright.
When people spit out a rhyme
They should go to jail for their crime.
I am not a poet
Because poetry is supposed to be deep
But when I read it — all I hear is “beeeep”
And poetry is over-dramatic
I would rather sit up in my attic.
I am not a poet
Because to write a poem you need creativity
And I am better at doing physical activity.
To write poetry you need a lot of free time
But I have a life — so I’m just fine.
By Nicole Cohen and Jen Adler

February 14 Around The Globe

By Denis Qeska and Rory Kates

What comes to mind when you think about the fourteenth day of February – Valentine’s Day? Many might envision flowers the colour of rubies, a card expressing admiration, gestures expressing adoration, or even a winged child letting heart-tipped arrows fly from their bow. However, just like this varies between individuals, how the day is celebrated varies between cultures. Here are just some of the unique ways that it is celebrated around the world:

Danish tradition includes the sending of rhyming “joke letters” to one’s beloved, but here is the twist, instead of signing their name, the sender would place a dot for each letter of their name. If the receiver correctly guesses who sent it, then they are rewarded with an Easter egg on Easter. Their practices also include friends to whom they send pressed snowdrops at this time.


South Africa:
Here women would typically pin the names of who they fancy on their sleeves, something dating back to ancient Rome.

On this occasion, a new practice has emerged: mass wedding ceremonies. Groups of hundreds of couples at a time tie the knot. One such event reportedly included some 350 couples.


One traditional French custom includes a “love lottery” of sorts. Men and women would stay at separate nearby locations and call out to each other their matches.

In summary, while there are various ways of celebrating this day, the same principles of affection remain constant.


What’s so controversial about Instagram?

Listen to Thalia Desmond’s podcast to find out:


Do you think refugees should be coming into Canada?

Hear what students are saying in this podcast by Denis Qeska:


What music are you listening to? 

Olivia Gould is asking the questions in this podcast:

Student Websites


Have you ever been on the hunt for that particular fashion item, and couldn’t find it? Let Annie Chusid help you out. Her website gives chic solutions that won’t pinch your wallet:


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Are you a female who plays sports? Samara Silver has played sports most of her life. She created her website to promote and empower female athleticism. Get connected to the women who rule sports:


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Are you a skateboarder? Want to learn? Check out Clayton Chate’s website to find out about his product picks, starter videos, and places to board in Toronto:


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5 Movies to Watch on Valentine’s Day

By Matt Lindzon

Valentine’s day is the perfect day to kick back, eat some popcorn with a cozy blanket and watch a movie about true love. It’s hard to decide which one to watch, so here are the best movies ever created for Valentine’s Day.

1. When Harry Met Sally
If you haven’t seen this movie, you’re missing out. The film follows the life of two complete opposites as they both search for true love, but fail, bumping into each other time and time again, eventually becoming friends. They are then confronted with a problem, “can a man and a woman be friends?” It’s also a comedy, which makes it an even better watch!


2. The Notebook
In this film, two lovebirds, Noah (played by Ryan Gosling) and Allie (played by Rachel McAdams) are in a long tumultuous romance, starting out as a teen-summer fling. Despite the fact that Noah is from the wrong side of the tracks, Allie falls desperately in love. But then the summer is over, and Allie is engaged to a different man when the two meet once again. This creates a problem as all their feelings are still there.


3. 13 Going on 30
This sentimental movie starts in the 80s with an awkward teenage girl played by Jennifer Garner. The 13 year old girl wishes to be nothing more than a 30 year old woman. The movie then skips to when she is in her 30s, and she is a powerful and a hardworking woman in New York City, with rich friends and a professional hockey player boyfriend. The only problem is that Jenna is living with the mind of 13 year old girl. She finds happiness with her childhood next door neighbour Matt, played by Mark Ruffalo, who has to break the news to Jenna that they haven’t really talked since her 13th birthday.


4. 10 Things I Hate About You
Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles play the roles of outcasts in a typical American high school setting. Julia Stiles’ character makes it clear that she is not looking for love, but the self-assured boy with an Australian accent changes her mind.


5. 50 First Dates
The perfect duo, Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, star in this comedic/ romantic film. Set in Hawaii, Henry Roth (Adam Sandler) turns from a wild one to a devoted boyfriend. The only issue is that the girl has no short term memory! This means she relives the same day over and over again. This movie is filled with comedy, but it is also a great romance.


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

Valentine’s Day is hyped up as the most romantic day of the year. With deals on flowers, chocolates, and romantic dinners, someone without a date can feel lonely. Here are some ideas on places to go and things to do on Valentine’s day if you do not have a date.

1) Go to Café Demetré and eat your feelings
At a restaurant that serves waffles, ice cream, and crepes, you have a wide variety of delicious chocolatey options.

2) Romantic Comedy marathon with friends
Even if you cannot have your own romantic dinner, watch a movie relationship unfold right before your eyes in a matter of hours.

3) Get a massage or a mani-pedi
Self-care is always important, especially when you feel down about your love life. This might be the boost you need to feel confident in yourself again!

4) Bake desserts for your family/friends
Baking is a delicious way to spend your time and your friends and family will appreciate your scrumptious treats!

5) Go shopping with your friends
Buying yourself a new shirt will remind you that you don’t need a man (or woman) to make you happy!

6) Go out for a “romantic” dinner with your friends
This is an opportunity to have fun with your single friends and make memories at a fun, new restaurant.

7 ) Secret Valentine
Make it a game; round up all your friends, draw names from a hat, and buy each other little gifts that will be exchanged at someone’s house on Valentine’s Day.

Also, remember that in the big scheme of things, having a date on Valentine’s Day, especially in high school, should be low on your priority list. Focus on yourself, your grades, your friends, and your own success. Being single doesn’t define you! 🙂

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

By Keigo Ogawa

For many, Valentine’s is a day in which money disappears from their wallets. Statistically, the annual spending of Valentine’s Day exceeds $13 billion dollars, as a person spends $150 on average. To anyone who is sane, that’s a lot of money (not all of us have a small loan of a million dollars). This article will provide you with cheap gift ideas so you can survive the day debt free.

i) Chocolates
One of the most typical gifts purchased on Valentine’s Day. There are cheap chocolates and then there are expensive ones. The latter will most definitely drain your wallet. Make a trip to your nearest Shoppers Drug Mart, and purchase a box that looks the fanciest.


ii) Homemade Sweets
If you’re a baker, make treats at home instead of buying them. You can never go wrong with Valentine’s classics like heart shaped cookies and brownies with pink sprinkles. For more inspiration, check out this article on Buzzfeed.


iii) Love Infinity Knot Ring
This delicate, uniquely shaped ring is trending among women. Crafted with 925 Sterling Silver, she can wear it everyday without worrying about oxidation. You can purchase it for around $10. Check it out at amazon.


iv) Couple Themed T-Shirts
Show everyone your status by wearing matching T shirts. You can customize a T at companies like CustomInk. For cute, Disney related couple clothing, check out etsy.com.


v) Flowers
Nothing says “I love you” more than a beautiful bouquet of flowers. They come in a variety of prices, and can be bought anywhere, especially during Valentine’s. You can also order them online from companies such as Teleflora. Comes with free delivery.


vi) Romantic Novels
If your significant other is someone who loves to read, a romantic novel could be the perfect gift. There is a variety of books to choose from, such as Erich Segal’s Love Story, E. L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey, and Calvin Trillin’s About Alice. Most are purchased under $20.


Lastly, the ultimate way to spend less on Valentine’s Day is to stay single. Snuggle in your bed with a bowl of popcorn, and watch Netflix.