Teachers of FHCI: Mr. Berger

If you weren’t a teacher, what do you think you would be?

“I gave some real thought to being a lawyer for a while, and I also thought about being a professor and haven’t entirely dismissed that as a possibility maybe sometime down the road.”

What do you want to do after retirement?

“It would be nice to go down to the faculty of education and teach new teachers sometime in the future.”

What are some hobbies you have outside of the classroom?

“As an English teacher, it’s probably not going to be a great surprise that I’m a big reader. I’m also a cyclist and used to compete actually. I still do it[su_members message=”If you would like to read the rest of this interview, please %login%. It only takes a minute and is 100% secure.” color=”#4bb8fc” login_text=”create an account” login_url=”https://fhcigoldenfalcon.com/register” class=””] a lot in the summer and enjoy it.”

Do you have any memorable trips/vacations in the past?

“I’ve done so much travelling that there isn’t one in particular that sticks out, but between high school and University, I lived in London for almost five years, during which time I did do a lot of travelling. It is the one city in the world that every once in a while I’ll get sort of a hankering for. I haven’t been there for about four years now — I was actually thinking of going back in the summer.”

Did you pick up an accent?

“It’s interesting — I was in a band and we travelled around a lot, so I was constantly around guys with very thick accents, and when I would come home, people would say, ‘What’s with that pretentious accent?’ and I wouldn’t even hear it.



People Should Come From Away to See Come From Away

Come From Away is a musical about the hospitality of a minuscule town called Gander in Newfoundland after 9/11. This town had 38 planes make emergency landings there after the terrorist attacks over doubling the size of the population. The town declared it a state of emergency and had aid workers and citizens working 24/7 to help these stranded ‘plane people.’

The play follows many Newfoundlanders and visitor as they all try to cope with the disasters of 9/11. The show is laced with Canadian humour about Shoppers, Tim Hortons and other Canadian relics. The actors are really talented in the play. They are able to nail so many different accents, going from African to Newfoundlander to British.  The woman, who plays the pilot, Beverly has an identical voice to the pivot on the recorded album even though it is not her.

Center on the Aisle

You may have thought that you don’t want to see this show as you don’t want to be depressed for its duration; however, you spend the majority of it laughing and feeling proud. I will admit there are a few moments in the play when the whole audience lets out a collective tear.

This is musical touches on the tragic events of the incident but it more is a celebration of kindness and charity. In current political conditions, people are taught to fear immigrants; Millions of immigrants denied entry to increasingly xenophobic nations.  However, this is the story of a whole town who opened its arms, without thinking twice about it, to a boatload of international travellers.

Productive Procrastination: Banana Bread Recipe

By Sophie Gold

If you are avoiding your homework, and have a bunch of over-ripe and spotty bananas staring at you, I have a productive way for you to procrastinate that will make you and your family happy.

My Favourite Banana Bread Recipe


5 overripe bananas, roasted and cooled

¼ cup of melted coconut oil

2 eggs

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

2 cups of whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon of baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon (but probably more) cinnamon

2/3 cup of chopped walnuts (optional and omit if allergic)


As strange as it may sound, you are going to have to roast the bananas before you start. Otherwise, this recipe does not work and the bread tastes, as my brother says, “wooden”.  I promise you that roasting the bananas separately before you bake the bread makes all the difference.  Roast the bananas at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes. They will release some liquid and start to turn dark brownish black but do not fear: they are supposed to. The bananas may also have a very strong smell that can only be defined as banana-ish. This smell will go away over time and most likely be soon overpowered by the amazing smell of your baking banana bread. After their time in the oven, remove the bananas from the baking tray and move them into another bowl. Make sure that you preserve the liquid released from roasting, and let the bananas cool completely before mixing them into your batter.

After the bananas are sufficiently cool, preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. However, if your oven is possessed and does not work, like mine, you may want to start preheating while the bananas are still cooling just to be safe. Use an 8 by 4-inch bread pan, lightly grease it with olive oil, coconut oil, butter or some other fat, and then set it aside.

Next, find a medium-sized bowl big enough to hold all of the ingredients and accommodate vigorous banana mushing without spilling. Into this bowl, dump the roasted and cooled bananas along with their liquids and mush, mush, MUSH. Mush all of your aggression away until all of the large clumps are gone. Once the bananas are mushed to your satisfaction, and your frustration is gone, pour in the melted coconut oil, eggs, and vanilla.  Note: Melted coconut oil looks identical to water and is extremely slippery, so proceed with caution. Sometimes, it can be helpful to crack the eggs in a separate bowl as opposed to cracking them right into the batter. This way, if you are anything like me, you won’t have to pick out eggshells from your batter, which is no fun. Whisk the wet ingredient mixture together until it is uniform.

Once your wet ingredients are adequately whisked, it is sifting time. Personally, I hate sifting. It’s time-consuming, often unnecessary and emotionally draining, especially if you have to sift large quantities. However, much like the roasting of the bananas, it is necessary for the success of your bread (or so I’ve heard). To sift, I dump the dry ingredients into a strainer (yes, the type that you use to drain pasta) and push it through the holes with a large spoon. You should sift the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon into the wet ingredients. Since the flour is the largest quantity, sifting it will take the longest. Additionally, once most of the flour has been sifted, there will most likely remain pieces of flour that do not want to be sifted; don’t force it because it’s pointless and frustrating. At this point, I usually just dump the rest in, but if you have the willpower to keep sifting, good for you. As for the cinnamon, the original recipe does not call for any. For reasons unknown, my family and I love cinnamon more than the average person, so I dumped in over a tablespoon. I believe that there is no such thing as too much cinnamon, as long as you are not eating it on its own (if you do you will throw up I am told), so feel free to use as much or as little as you like.

After all of the dry ingredients are sifted, trade in your whisk for a large spoon and mix the batter until it is just combined. Ensure that there are no unmixed chunks of flour or dry ingredients sitting at the bottom of your bowl. Once your batter looks like a batter, mix in the chopped walnuts. However, if you have an allergy or just do not like nuts, please do not. I presume that you can substitute other mix-ins for the walnuts, including chocolate chips, dried fruit, other nuts or anything else you have on hand. Whatever you choose to add, gently fold it into the rest of your batter.

At this point, your batter is ready for the bread pan and oven. Pour or spoon the batter into your bread pan as evenly as you can. I suggest pouring it out and then using a spoon to distribute the batter evenly throughout the pan. This is so that one half isn’t taller than the other. If this happens and your bread is uneven, don’t worry because it still tastes the same.  Pop it into the oven for 55-60 minutes or until you can stick a toothpick through and it comes out clean. During baking, the heavenly aroma of banana bread will fill your kitchen, as it does mine and, for the moment, all is good in the world.

After the bread is baked through, take it out of the oven and let cool (if you are able to control yourself) before slicing. According to my grandmother, the resident banana bread connoisseur in my family, your freshly baked loaf should last about three days on the countertop and one week in the fridge before it goes bad. If you make too much and are unable to finish it before this time, you can wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or tinfoil, place it inside a Ziploc bag and store in your freezer for a couple of months.

I promise you won’t be disappointed.  To my mind, there’s no such thing as bad banana bread, but this one is special, and not only because there’s no sugar added.  I may have redeemed my status as a baker with this one.  Enjoy and bring me a piece of yours!

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Humans of Toronto — missing Chicago, loving T.O.

By Eloise Greenfield

“I went to George Washington for university. I wanted to be in the capital of the country, I always liked the city. Originally, I wanted to get a Master’s in writing, and then teach it. When I finished school I took a year off and spent that year working in Chicago. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do anymore. Eventually I took the entrance exams and went to Northwestern University, where I met my wife. I became a lawyer like my father.

We moved to Toronto near the end of 2002, I wish that we had been closer to my family, but I am happy living in Toronto. Just recently, I got my Canadian citizenship which was a big deal for me. In Toronto, we live very close to where my wife, Julie’s, parents live. We’re very close with them and we see them multiple times a week. Family is very important to her and it’s a big part of why we moved here. We spend every holiday together; Passover, Rosh Hashanah, and all of winter break. If we still lived in Chicago we wouldn’t be as close with most of our relatives. We visit my parents once or twice a year.

I miss Chicago because it’s where I grew up, but I love being here. It’s a great city. They’re similar cities. Except I’m raising my family in Toronto, and not Chicago. What has always mattered to me is having my own family, and my family is here in Toronto. It’s a great place to raise them and I wouldn’t change it at all.”


A Review of Marvel’s Black Panther

By Amanda R.

Black Panther has already broken many records and milestones as it nears $900M worldwide. It is praised for being a revolutionary step forward for black superheroes, and also for showcasing interesting, empowering female characters. But one thing that is not often mentioned is how the movie managed to fix many of Marvel’s common mistakes.

Flaws like unmemorable soundtracks, generic villains, ugly colour grading, and mediocre fight scenes were nowhere to be found in Black Panther.

“Ryan Coogler has set the bar high for the many movies to come.”

In keeping with the spirit of black talent, Coogler called rapper Kendrick Lamar for the Black Panther soundtrack. Just knowing this, we knew the soundtrack would going be good, but it exceeded expectations and became one of the most exciting releases of the year. The album features some of the biggest names in music right now, SZA, The Weeknd, Khalid, and many more. The songs complemented many of the scenes and helped make the movie memorable.

Another big issue of Marvel is their inability to make compelling villains. The closest they have gotten is Loki who showed complexity and development throughout the films. Having a well-written villain highly impacts the quality of the story, and once again, Black Panther knocked it out of the park with Erik Killmonger.

“The arc of Killmonger’s story is not villainous, on the contrary, Killmonger often made me question whose side I was on.”

His actions went beyond your typical revenge plot as he wanted Wakanda to use their resources to help others in need. He is wrong in his means but his point of view was completely justifiable. Similar to Loki, he also had great potential to develop as a character. Marvel should really consider bringing him back in future movies.
The cinematography of this movie is very underrated. Dull colour grading is yet another problem in many Marvel films, but this movie was colourful and unique in every aspect.

“Not only was the storyline beautiful, but each scene was visually appealing.”

The fights were also captivating, especially the “Warrior Falls” scene. They were different from anything I have ever seen in an action movie, mainly due to their setting and engaging choreography. I did not get lost in the action as I tend to do with many action movies, I was hooked from beginning to end. The unpredictability of these scenes had everyone at the edge of their seats.
All of these things have attributed to Black Panther’s success and helped make it such a culturally significant movie. There was a lot of hype surrounding this movie, and now that it has been released we can all agree that Ryan Coogler took this material very seriously. It is quite evident in the final product. What seems like just another superhero movie is actually something much bigger.


Humans of FHCI – Dani Leite

Who is your favourite teacher and why?

“I’m new to FHCI so I don’t know many teachers, but I really like Mr. Lee and Ms. Roca and Ms Neumann and Ms. Ibe and I guess I like all of the teachers I have this semester because they’ve all helped me when I needed it and most of them are funny. Oh, also I really like Mr. Naylor even though he isn’t my teacher. He is really [restrict]funny!”

Do you have any goals (short or long-term)?

“Honestly, my long and short-term goals are to just be happy and to make others happy and have fun because I obviously don’t want just temporary happiness; I also want that as my long-term goal, as well as my short-term goal because I also wanna enjoy being in high school as much as I can.”

What are your favourite extra-curricular activities?

“Dance is by far my favourite extra-curricular. Partying doesn’t count as an extra-curricular, right? But yeah, dance and sports in general are my favourite thing to do and I really enjoyed rugby this year! Shout-out to Mr. Naylor!”

Do you have a motto that you live by?

“‘Be classy, never trashy and just a little bit nasty’ or ‘everyone is facing their own fight’. Those are two really different ones but I guess they’re the two quotes I always refer back to when I’m making decisions.”

What advice would you give to your grade 9 self?

“Don’t transfer to FHCI!”

Do you have any March break plans?

“I think I might be volunteering at a day camp like I did last summer but I’m not one hundred percent sure. If not, then I’m gonna be working and hanging out with friends.”

What is one fun fact about yourself?

“Hmm… I can’t really think of a single fun fact because all of the facts are fun haha, jokes! I don’t know, probably that I can get along with literally anyone to an extent, which I guess is kinda cool because nowadays everyone says that they hate people and I’m a people person; I love people.

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

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]

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: