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.

Best Student Cities in the World

By Natalie Jenkins 

Going to university is often a significant milestone in any student’s life. Living away from home, getting to experience new places and cultures, meeting new people and genuinely being able to enjoy what you choose to study is just a glimpse into what the university experience truly holds. So, as a student, living in an ideal city is key in order to have the best experience possible.
QS World University Rankings has compiled a list of the best cities in the world for university students based on certain criteria: Student Mix, (the student make-up of the city; student population, international volume, tolerance and inclusion,) Desirability, (safety, available opportunities and experiences, pollution levels,) Employer Activity, (the cities that employers favour the most, or where graduates are sought-after the most by recruiters,) Affordability, (how affordable a city is most likely to be; general living costs and tuition,) and, Student View, (a survey where students were asked to rate their ideal school based on the following eight categories: tolerance and inclusion, diversity, friendliness, ease of getting around, affordability, nightlife, employment opportunities, arts and culture.) 
Based on this data, here are the top 10 rankings for the best student cities in the world in 2017:

10. Vancouver, Canada


Vancouver is among one of the most beautiful cities to study in – natural parks, forests, mountains, (which also provide some of the world’s best ski resorts) are just a few examples of what lies in this city. Vancouver also is home to some of Canada’s best universities, one of which is the University of British Columbia, currently ranked 51st in the world. Simon Fraser University also provides a unique learning experience, as it is situated just outside the city in the middle of the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area. Desirability also ranks well for this city, since it offers an urban array of bustling nightlife, music and theatres.  

9. Munich, Germany


Munich scores as the second highest for affordability, next to fellow German city Berlin. Although living in Berlin is slightly more expensive than it is in Berlin, free tuition for undergraduate students at public universities in Germany (regardless of nationality) provides a tempting incentive for students of any background and interest. This, in combination with its distinctive culture and vibrancy, makes it an ideal place to live as a student. 

8. Boston, United States


Known for some of the world’s best universities, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University (Ivy League,) ranked first and third respectively, it is a surprise that this city ranks so low in comparison to other cities. This is because the Affordability category remarkably lowers the US’s ranking down the list – let alone Boston itself. It seems to be worth every penny, however, since its reputation for academic might is reflected among graduate employers worldwide. Since Boston can also be considered as one of the most historic cities in the United States, politics, art, and cultural happenings are common. 

7. Tokyo, Japan 


Although living here is quite expensive as a university student, Tokyo offers a bustling and urban lifestyle, with a population of 13 million people. The city also values international students, which is reflected in the Employer Activity category, which earned the strongest score. While also keeping its status of being one of the world’s top epicentres of finance and business, (alongside London and New York) internships and work experiences for students in this field are also common. 

6. Berlin, Germany


Although not as academically profound as cities like Paris, Boston or London, Berlin’s popularity and attraction of international students is mainly because all undergraduate degrees, as well as some postgraduate degrees, are offered completely free at its public universities. Its high quality of living, affordability, and also being a major centre of design, fashion, music and art, it is no doubt that Berlin is desirable to students of all backgrounds and interests. 

5. Melbourne, Australia


While tuition fees have increased significantly, Melbourne claims fifth place most reasonably due to the fact that it is ranked number one in the world for livability/desirability, mainly for its appealing lifestyle and attractions; lots of beaches, a thriving night-life, and a sunny climate. This makes it highly desirable for international students, thus making it home to one of those most diverse student-body communities. The city is also well known for its outstanding universities, seven of which are featured in the QS World University Rankings of last year, with the University of Melbourne in 42nd place globally. 

4. Seoul, South Korea 


Seoul has a strong reputation of university students that are sought-after by both domestic and international employers, as it ranks very strongly in the Employer Activity category (second place.) Notably, 86% of graduates stay in the city after graduation, according to The Guardian. More so, 18 universities in Seoul have been ranked in QS’ World University Rankings for 2016 and 2017, where Seoul National University is the highest ranked. (35th globally.) While few cities can claim a better standard of academia than Seoul, this city also has a buzzing atmosphere where boredom is impossible, with rich culture and history, night-markets, traditional temples and spas, and a new experience each day with whatever you may choose to do.  

3. London, England


While home to some of the most prestigious universities in the world (University College London and Imperial College London, ranked 7th and 9th respectively in the world,) it is with no doubt that London is academically distinguished. London is also famed for its abounding culture, art and museums, nightlight and diversity, and international finance and business. So it is no doubt that this city attracts a large population of international students. 

2. Paris, France


Paris has consecutively held its ranking as the best student city globally mainly due to the fact that it is home to some of the most world-leading institutions than any other city (with exceptions to Seoul and London.) These schools have some of the most influential alumni in a variety of different fields, producing some of the most important scientists, politicians, mathematicians and business leaders, to name a few. Although the expenses of living in Paris as a student can be quite costly, it is balanced out by low tuition fees and other general costs of university.

1. Montréal, Canada


With its diversity, multilingualism, rich history and appeal to student life, it’s no surprise that Montréal has climbed six places to top last year’s rankings – knocking Paris out of this position of four successive years. Montréal is also home to some of Canada’s most prestigious universities – including McGill University and Université de Montréal. (Currently ranked 2nd and 5th in Canada, respectively.)

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.


The Ultimate Guide to University

The following article is Guidance Counsellor Approved!

Applying to University is one of the most stressful and overwhelming situations in High School. Many students are unsure what they are passionate about, and some are unsure if University is for them.

Most Canadian Universities base their admission decisions on marks, however, some programs take a look at you more holistically. This means they care about your extracurricular involvement, leadership potential, character, communication and writing skills and more. Many art-based programs also require you submit a portfolio, so keep that in mind when you are choosing your programs.

Getting Started

You need to learn about yourself when you are applying to University. What your short-term and long-term goals are, how you are academically, what motivates you and more. You should understand what you want to do for the next 3-5 years, and possibly more. Do you like science, math, geography, history? You need to explore your passions and learn what University is right for you. If you have a specific occupation in mind, which program(s) will get you there? If you are unsure what you want to be, which program(s) will help you decide? These are some of the questions you should be asking yourself before you begin this process. Don’t just apply to a program because you heard it is good. Research!

You should be thinking about…

  • College or University?
  • How much money do I have access to? How much does this program cost? Scholarships or bursaries?
  • What do I want to study for the next 5 years?
  • Where do I see myself in the next 10 years?
  • What factors are important to me in a University?
  • What subject(s) do I like in high school, what careers are there in those subjects?
  • Do I think I can achieve the academics in the programs I am considering?

Universities in Ontario and Canada

If you are planning on applying to an Ontario university, you will use OUAC to submit your application. If you are applying to a university outside of Ontario (McGill, UBC, etc.) then you will use their own system to apply. Research the deadlines for applications outside of Ontario on their specific website to ensure you don’t miss the due date.

What is OUAC?

The Ontario Universities’ Application Centre is a non-profit organization based in Guelph that processes online applications for admission to universities in Ontario, Canada.


Marks… and More

The minimum entrance grade for Universities varies depending on the type of programs you are applying to. In general, business and engineering programs require more competitive averages than science and arts. Several undergraduate business programs require more than just marks to get in. For example, U of T Rotman Commerce, Queens Commerce, York Schulich and others require a supplementary application to be completed. These additional applications are sometimes time-consuming and stressful. Make sure you research which programs you apply to have additional applications so that you are ahead of the game.

“We’re seeing an emerging trend to use this type of application in place of traditional essays,” – Robert Astroff of Toronto-based Astroff Consultants

Many students think that if they have a very high average they are guaranteed into the most competitive programs and they do not try very hard on the additional applications. One of the biggest mistake recruitment/admission officers say is that students with exceptionally high marks do not try as hard on their supplementary application because they think they can get in due to their marks. McMaster’s Health Science program is one of the most challenging programs to be accepted to. Many students with 98 and 99 percent are denied because their supplementary applications were not good enough.

University Min. Grade in Arts* Min. Grade in Science* Min. Grade in Commerce* Min. Grade in Engineering*
Algoma 65% 65% 65% 65%
Brock 70% 70% 84%
Carleton 78% 78-80% 80% 76-86%
Guelph 78-84% 80-85% 78-84% 83-85%
Lakehead 70% 70% 70% 70%
Laurentian 72% 72% 72% 72-80%
McMaster 75% 85-90% 82.5% 89%
Nipissing 70% 70% 70%
OCAD U 70%, plus portfolio  –  –  –
UOIT 70-75% 70-80% 75-80% 80-85%
Ottawa 73-78% 75-84% 75-85% 80-85%
Queen’s 80% 84% 87% 90%
RMC 75% 75% 75% 75%
Ryerson 73-88% 72-90% 72-85% 88-90%
Toronto 75-84% 75-91% 83-88% 85-93%
Trent 70% 70% 70%
Waterloo 80% 80% 80-92% 88%
Western 83.5% 83.5% 87.5% 87%
Wilfrid Laurier 70-86% 74-91% 89-93.5%
Windsor 70-80% 70% 73-78% 74%
York 75% 80% 90% 80%
 * provided by eInfo

Do Marks Matter?

Marks are a very important factor for almost all programs in Canada. Many schools have very competetive averages in order to get in. You should try to achieve at least 5 percent over mark-based programs in order to have a good chance of getting in. 

Average Acceptance Average By University

Waterloo 90.4
McGill 90.3
Western 90.0
Manitoba 89.2
Queen’s 89.0
UBC 88.6
Montréal 88.1
Acadia 87.9
Saskatchewan 87.9
Dalhousie 87.6
McMaster 87.6
Simon Fraser 87.5
Alberta 87.4
UPEI 86.9
Toronto 86.5
St. Francis Xavier 86.4
Cape Breton 86.3
Victoria 86.3
UQAM 86.2
UNBC 86.1
Sherbrooke 86.0
Mount Allison 85.9
New Brunswick 85.9
Calgary 85.7
Regina 85.4
Laval 85.3
St. Thomas 84.8
Moncton 84.7
Mount Saint Vincent 84.7
Ottawa 84.7
Ryerson 84.4
Guelph 83.8
Wilfrid Laurier 83.8
Brock 83.3
Carleton 83.2
Concordia 83.2
Brandon 83.1
Bishop’s 82.6
Laurentian 82.5
Nipissing 82.5
Memorial 82.4
Saint Mary’s 81.8
Winnipeg 81.8
York 81.7
Trent 81.4
Windsor 81.4
Lethbridge 81.2
Lakehead 80.1
UOIT 80.0

A big misconception among high school students is that you need to go to the best program and University in order to succeed in life. However, every student works best at different Universities. Just because you heard that Queens is the best for science does not mean it will lead to you being the most successful student or individual. You should always research which program aligns with your goals and skills.

If you are the type of student who likes academic reputation and research, then you should consider the Universities reputation. Although it is not the most important factor, if you plan on pursuing graduate school in another country, it may be important.

University Rankings by National Reputation

  1. Toronto
  2. Waterloo
  3. UBC
  4. McGill
  5. Alberta
  6. McMaster
  7. Western
  8. Queen’s
  9. Simon Fraser
  10. Calgary
  11. Guelph
  12. Montréal
  13. Ryerson
  14. Dalhousie
  15. Concordia
  16. Ottawa
  17. Victoria

Data provided by Macleans

Keep in mind that this is a general overview of the reputation of the universities, and rankings by program differ.

Hardest Programs in Canada to Get Into

According to Yahoo

5. Mechanical Engineering, McGill University

4. Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) | Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia

3. Engineering Science, University of Toronto

2. Software Engineering, University of Waterloo

1. Bachelor of Health Sciences, McMaster University

General Types of Programs

  1. Engineering
  2. Science
  3. Architecture
  4. Business
  5. Arts

Programs With a Supplementary Application

Many programs require more than just marks. U of T Engineering, Queens Commerce and McMaster Engineering are just a few of the many programs that make students complete a mandatory application with various components to get in. For arts programs like journalism and visual arts, you are generally required to submit a portfolio of your work.

Let’s take a look at what U of T Engineering requires on top of marks…
  1. A full list of extracurricular activities and description
  2. Video interview
  3. Academic portfolio
What is this video interview?

The video interview is used to allow the admission committee to get to know you. For U of T, they ask two short video responses and one 250 word written component. Each of the questions is timed and there is no one on the other end (it is not live). You are only allowed to do the interview once. Check out their website for more details.

Universities want to see that you are more than just marks. They want to admit students who have experience with leadership and know how to take initiative. Many programs will state what characteristics and students they are looking for. When you are completing your additional applications, make sure to check out the program’s website so you can get a glimpse of what makes a student successful in their programs. This will increase your chances of getting in.

Early Acceptance

Another myth is that you can apply for early acceptance at universities. Early acceptance is simply just a term that describes getting into University early. You do not have to submit another application or apply for early acceptance. If you apply early, you can get accepted early if your marks are quite competitive. Early acceptance is generally based on grade 11 marks. Some schools base their decision on grade 11 marks and can accept you as early as December or January. However, many programs do not offer acceptance in those months and have set times when they give out their acceptances. Just because you did not get accepted in the very early months does not mean you are not as good as the other applicants, but rather they are waiting for other information from you. McMaster University states they start giving out acceptances in March (or mid-late February), as opposed to Queen’s University which can send out acceptances as early as December. Some programs like McMaster’s Health Science program does not give out acceptances until May. Generally, programs that have supplementary applications take longer.

Need help deciding on a program? Take the quiz below:


Do Grade 11 Marks Matter?

Yes, and no. Universities do see your grade 11 final marks. They do not see your grade 12 final and midterm semester 1 marks until early February. This means all admission decisions before February will be based on your grade 11 marks. Grade 12 marks are more important than grade 11 marks. When a grade 12 prerequisite mark is not available (you haven’t finished it yet), then Universities will look at your corresponding grade 11 mark as a prediction of what you will get in grade 12. I would say it is a good idea to get your marks as high as possible in grade 11. It won’t hurt.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many universities and programs can I choose to apply to on my application?

You may apply to as many Ontario universities/programs as you wish; however, you are limited to a maximum of 3 program choices at any 1 university (including affiliates).

Some universities may further limit the number of programs you may apply to. Make sure that you carefully read the details and instructions offered by each institution.

I am taking a summer school course. How will the universities get my marks?

Grades from summer school courses are submitted to the OUAC by the summer school or the district school board. Verify with your summer school that either the summer school or the district school board will be sending the marks directly to the OUAC on your behalf. If this is not the case, you must arrange for original, official final grades to be sent to the OUAC and for photocopies of these grades to be sent to each of the universities to which you have applied, if required. Indicate on the photocopies that the original was sent to the OUAC.

Extracurriculars, do they matter?

For most programs in Canada, marks are the primary method of acceptance. Some more competitive programs will also analyze your extracurricular involvement inside and outside of school. It is important you understand what extracurricular activities they are looking for. Students think if they write their name down for various clubs they are set. Universities care more about what you learned from your activities rather than how many activities you are on. If you signed up for a club and only attended one meeting, you should definitely not write that on your application. Universities know when a student actually contributes to that club/organization. 

Leadership roles are important… but aren’t as important as you may think

Yes, it is amazing that you are president of a club, but you can also get just as much out of the club if you contribute enough. Universities want to see you taking initiative and working towards change. If you changed the focus of the club, amazing! If you got new members, even better! If you started a new initiative or fundraised for a good cause, wow! If the university you are applying to asks for a description of the activity, talk about your role and responsibilities, but also talk about what you learned and how you grew as an individual. Nothing is better than acknowledging your growth from a school activity.


Activities that Universities care about are generally ones where you show dedication, initiative and leadership. Activities that you have been involved in for a longer period of time are better than ones that you just joined.

I would say that you should care about the quality of your activities more than the quantity of them.

Top Schools With the Highest Graduation Rates (%)

The graduation rate tracks undergraduate students to determine if they received a degree within seven years. Below are the percentage of full-time, first-year students in fall 2007 who graduated by 2014. (Not part of ranking calculations.) – Macleans

Queen’s 89.5
Western 86.6
McGill 85.0
Laval 83.7
Sherbrooke 82.7
Montréal 81.3
Waterloo 79.6
Lakehead 79.5
Toronto 79.4
McMaster 79.3
Alberta 79.2
Guelph 78.6
Calgary 78.4
New Brunswick 78.0
Wilfrid Laurier 77.7
Ottawa 76.8
St. Francis Xavier 76.6

The Takeaway

Yes, this process is not the most fun, but it is not as bad as you might think. Apply to programs that you love and just work your hardest this year. Don’t stress too much and you will do just fine.


Course Selection – Grade 12

By Esther Eisen


Culminating: none

Exam: 2 hours and 30%

1.    Did you enjoy this course? Why or why not?

I really enjoyed this course because it really gave an in-depth look at some of the fundamental concepts of biology that I am personally very interested in.

2.    What were some course highlights (what did you enjoy learning, what did you find interesting)?

I really enjoyed the homeostasis unit. In this unit, we learned in detail about the excretory system, the endocrine system, and the nervous system. I have always been interested in this and this unit was honestly one of the coolest things I have learned about in school. Along with being extremely interesting, it was also by far the easiest unit in terms of workload and memorization for the test.

3.    Did you find this course useful? Why or why not?

I think this course will be useful in my future studies in university as this is the field that I want to study. I also feel as though there is a reason that this is a prerequisite for almost every science program as it gave a basic overview of many concepts that will be studied in university.

4.    What was your reason for taking this course and are you happy with your decision?

I took this course because I had to in order to get accepted into the university programs I am interested in. I am happy that I took it because I learned a lot. I think people who are considering taking this course should understand that a lot of hard work and time must be put into this course in order to do well. SBI4U is more than just memorizing terms and numbers as one must actually deeply understand the ideas learned in class.

5.    What do you wish you had known going into this course?

I wish I knew how much work this course requires and that it is different and a lot more difficult than SBI3U. But I personally enjoyed this course more as it gave a microscopic look on biology as opposed to a macroscopic look. It was nice to have the contrast from grade 11 and learn a different type of biology.

6.    What was the amount of homework and typically what kind of homework were you assigned (ie. Lots of textbook work, essays, projects, worksheets, etc.) ?

Typically, the homework would be textbook readings and questions or studying for a test. All of the evaluations were either quizzes or tests, except for one paper we had at the end of the semester. Normally, every night I would study and rewrite class notes from that day. This was so I could actually understand and learn what we did that day and so that I would not be behind the next day.

Environment and Resource Management

Culminating task: “Greenventions” (10%)

Exam: 2 hours and 20%

1.    Did you enjoy this course? Why or why not?

I enjoyed this course for the most part because I learned about real issues facing our world today. The course was catered to today’s world and events, which I found very interesting.

2.    What were some course highlights (what did you enjoy learning, what did you find interesting)?

A highlight for me was learning about climate change because of how much climate change impacts us and how it will affect our world. It is a very current issue and I found it beneficial to learn about in class.

3.    Did you find this course useful? Why or why not?

I think this course will be useful for my knowledge about our world but not for my future studies. Some concepts that we discussed in the class I know I will not look at in my future studies. However, this course was a nice change from usual science and math courses I take.

4.    What was your reason for taking this course and are you happy with your decision?

I took this course because I needed an extra credit to graduate and because I did not want to take another science or “challenging” course. I am content with this course because I got the credit I needed but I know this mark will not be submitted to university, so it does not affect me very much.

5.    What do you wish you had known going into this course?

To be honest, I originally thought this course would be an easy 90 but it really was not. I had to put in a lot more time than I thought into the assignments in order to get the 90% I wanted. For those who take this course in the future, be prepared to put time and thought into the course work as it is noticeable when you do an assignment the night before!

6.    What was the amount of homework and typically what kind of homework were you assigned (ie. Lots of textbook work, essays, projects, worksheets, etc.) ?

The entire course was assignment based. There was no nightly homework besides completing the next assignment.

Data Management

Culminating Task (with percentage): 10% research report

Exam (length and percentage): 20% final exam

1.    Did you enjoy this course? Why or why not?

I liked this course just because it was so different from functions and the other Grade 12 maths.

2.    What were some course highlights (what did you enjoy learning, what did you find interesting)?

The course highlight would be the completion of the final research project. Seeing all the research and work put into one finished project is very rewarding.

3.    Did you find this course useful? Why or why not?

I found it useful because I am not going into a math-focused program in university and thought having one math would be helpful.

4.    What was your reason for taking this course and are you happy with your decision?

I took this course because I wanted to take at least one math course in grade 12. I do regret taking it just because it was not a prerequisite and I am not someone who enjoys math.

5.    What do you wish you had known going into this course?

A lot of people take this course thinking it will be an easy 90 but it is a difficult course if you do not put the required time and effort. Do not go into data doing the bare minimum and expecting an amazing mark. In my opinion, I would say that if you do not like math, do not take this course. A lot of people will say it is easier than Advanced Functions and Calculus, but that does not mean it is easy- it is still challenging.

6.    What was the amount of homework and typically what kind of homework were you assigned (ie. Lots of textbook work, essays, projects, worksheets, etc.) ?

Time management is very important. You are working on your final report while you are doing term work. A lot of research and work goes into the final report.

Writer’s Craft

Culminating Task (with percentage): One Act Play (30%)

Exam (length and percentage): None

1.    Did you enjoy this course? Why or why not?

Great course, especially if you love to read and write. There were no essays as this course focuses on the creative aspect of writing as well as the process. I definitely recommend taking this course in grade 12.

2.    What were some course highlights (what did you enjoy learning, what did you find interesting)?

My course highlight was writing and performing a slam poem.

3.    Did you find this course useful? Why or why not?

I definitely found this course helpful, especially since I had it first semester, before I had taken grade 12 English.

4.    What was your reason for taking this course and are you happy with your decision?

I heard a lot of great things about the course from past grade 12s. I also wanted to work on my writing. I am happy with my decision.

5.    What do you wish you had known going into this course?

It’s really different from traditional English courses so there is not much prior information you need going into the course. I guess I wish I would have known the emphasis put on formatting and overall representation of work.

6.    What was the amount of homework and typically what kind of homework were you assigned (ie. Lots of textbook work, essays, projects, worksheets, etc.) ?

There was a fair amount of work given, especially during the poetry unit, but there is plenty of class time to work on it.


Culminating Task (with percentage): None
Exam (length and percentage): 2 hour exam, 30%

1. Did you enjoy this course? Why or why not?

Law was probably the course I’ve most enjoyed taking at Forest Hill. It was really challenging but intellectually rewarding.

2.    What were some course highlights (what did you enjoy learning, what did you find interesting)?

I really enjoyed how current events were incorporated into the course.

3.    Did you find this course useful? Why or why not?

It was very useful. It was practically useful as we learned about our constitutional rights, and further solidified my interest in pursuing a legal career.

4.    What was your reason for taking this course and are you happy with your decision?

I have been interested in law for a while so naturally I chose it. I am very happy with my decision.

5.    What do you wish you had known going into this course?

I wish I had known that it wasn’t impossible if you consistently did your homework and the reading.

6.    What was the amount of homework and typically what kind of homework were you assigned (ie. Lots of textbook work, essays, projects, worksheets, etc.) ?

There were lots of writing tasks that I enjoyed and reading was assigned most days.


Culminating Task (with percentage): None

Exam (length and percentage): 30%, 2 hours

1.    Did you enjoy this course? Why or why not?

I really enjoyed this course! It was very applied and you can relate the concepts learned in class to real life. You learn in depth about the body (both systems and anatomy). It is really interactive in the sense that you can visualize most things. That being said, this course required a lot of hard work and studying. Someone cannot pass, or do well, without studying and hoping they can “just get by”. But studying for the tests or doing the assignments was not terrible as I am interested in the subject. If you are not willing to put in time and effort into this course, then do not take it.

2.    What were some course highlights (what did you enjoy learning, what did you find interesting)?

I really enjoyed the anatomy unit of the course. In this unit, we learned in detail about the bones and muscles and how they work. I found it very interesting to learn the names and types of bones we have in our body, as well as the functions of the different muscles in our body. We also learned about how our muscles work and the role our brain plays in muscle contraction. This unit was definitely the highlight of the course.

3.    Did you find this course useful? Why or why not?

I think this course will be useful in both my future studies, as well as my life as a whole. As I plan on going into health sciences, I know that many of the concepts discussed in class will come back in university. Although I doubt that I will remember all of the course material in huge detail, I am sure that having prior exposure will help me succeed.

4.    What was your reason for taking this course and are you happy with your decision?

I originally took this course because it sounded cool and because I needed another credit. It was the only course of the options that sounded interesting to me. I am happy I took this course because everything we learned was genuinely interesting and the way the class was taught was interactive, visual, and applied.

5.    What do you wish you had known going into this course?

Going into this course, I wish I would have known how much work it would be.

6.    What was the amount of homework and typically what kind of homework were you assigned (ie. Lots of textbook work, essays, projects, worksheets, etc.) ?

The classwork was different all of the time, which is another reason I enjoyed the course. For the most part, nightly homework consisted of textbook readings with questions or a worksheet. The evaluations are what differed. We had a huge mix of both tests and assignments. The assignments ranged from creating an infographic, to round tables, to 3D models of a joint. This ensured that even if someone was not a “good test taker”, they could still do well in the course from the wide variety of other assessments.

Winter Break: Top Places to Go in Toronto

By Jessica Huong

Can you believe that the winter break will start in less than two days? How exciting! But, do you have anywhere to go? The two weeks might feel a bit stale if you have nothing to do. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Here are some ideas for some fun and interesting destinations, all within our city!

1. Escape Rooms

It’s cold outside, so why not have some fun inside? A fun activity doesn’t have to be outdoors! With a group of close friends, you could spend your time doing an intense escape room! There are several types ranging from simple rooms to scary ones, so choose one that matches you best. There are several locations in Toronto that you can go to for this!

2. The Distillery District

This pedestrian-only, 19th century inspired area in Toronto can be a very interesting place to visit, especially with its beautiful architecture, shopping locations, and the popular heart-shaped statue. This district is a great tourist attraction and a very interesting place to visit, whether it’s with family or a significant other. This must be a place that everyone must see at least once in their lives… so why not during the winter break?

3. Yorkdale Shopping Mall

You’re probably thinking that this is an obvious option, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be an interesting place to go! Yorkdale mall is one of our city’s most popular malls at the moment, especially after its recent renovations. There are a large variety of shopping options, like affordable clothes from Forever 21 or Chinese meals from the food court’s Manchu Wok. Not to mention, Christmas and holiday sales will be everywhere! You can pick up presents at a good price for your family while doing some browsing with your friends. Doesn’t that sound appealing?

4. The Royal Ontario Museum

Are you interested in art or history? What about both? If you answered yes to either of these questions, we have a suggestion for you – the Royal Ontario Museum! This oddly shaped museum can be a very interesting place to go when it’s freezing outside. Actually, this winter the ROM will be transformed into a lovely winter wonderland and will host special exhibitions. Check it out with friends or family and it’ll be a wintry scene to remember!

5. Home

Most of the first school semester has finished, and you must be exhausted. If you really aren’t in the mood to head out, that’s alright. You can enjoy your time simply cozying up next to the fireplace or binge-watching TV shows late at night. In fact, check out our article on Netflix shows to binge watch. Home, sweet home!

There you have it – the top places to go during the winter break in Toronto! We hope this gave you some ideas of what you want to do for the next two weeks before school returns. Have fun and don’t forget to dress warmly – it’s cold out there!

Jessica is a grade 12 student at FHCI and is a Technology Editor for The Golden Falcon newspaper.


Image Citation:

Hovland, Oivind. “a4092ir1095.” Theispot Stock,

Winter Break, Binge Session: Top Netflix Shows to Watch

Bored During the Winter Break? Here are some suggestions for entertaining TV shows to fill your time:


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Scandal is a show a show about ‘lawyer’ gladiator, who goes around and fixes problems for people while deciding whether to pursue a relationship with the president or a secret agent.

-Grey’s Anatomy


A medical show that follows a group of doctors transition from interns to physicians.

-How To Get Away With Murder

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A professor of law covers for her law student’s murders. The question is will they get away with their many many murders.

-Gilmore Girls

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A mother and a daughter with the same name drink a lot of coffee.

-The Mindy Project

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A gynaecologist fails to balance her personal and professional life.

-Prison Break

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One man breaks his brother and a group of other inmates out of prison. This follows his journey in prison and after their escape. Proceed with caution because everything you learn in this series will be wrong in the new series.


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Follows FBI recruit Alex Parrish who is blamed for a terrorist attack watch her prove her innocence in this exciting show.

-Black Mirror

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A Sci-Fi show that is creepy and thought-provoking.


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A wanted man with connections to basically all other criminals turns himself in if he gets to work with one specific agent only. This crime-fighting show follows their interesting relationship.


-Downton Abbey

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Follows royals and their transition through the war. The family is made up of a hilarious grandma (seen in the gif), 3 daughters, an American Lady, a British Lord and other surprise add-ons.

-How I Met Your Mother

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An AMAZING SHOW that follows a gang of friends:

TED: the annoying main character.

ROBIN: the Canadian, enough said

LILY: married to Marshal and a great side-kick to Robin

MARSHALL: married to Lily and a great side-kick to Ted

BARNEY: the reason to watch this show (he is the best)

-Brooklyn Nine-Nine

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The 99th Precinct is where we get to see the hilarious Andy Samberg and his funny friends.


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A crazy show about terrorists, spies and love.

-Shark Tank

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A show to brush up on your math skills while watching new products pitches and laughing hysterically at the Sharks’ comments.

-Ru Paul’s Drag Race

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“Chante you Stay” Ru Paul. Enough said.


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A funny show about women who wrestle for TV.

-Full House (the original)

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This is a cute show that follows a rambunctious family, with three daughters, 1 dad, and 2 father figures.


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A group of kids, who have an alcoholic dad need to raise themselves and stay out of trouble.

-Mr D.

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A show that shows us how teachers really think.


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A lawfirm hires a fake lawyer, who is smarter than all of the other lawyers. Well he has a photographic memory but he also just bends the law a bit.

-Jane the Virgin

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A writer gets accidentally inseminated with her bosses baby…GASP

-Friends from College

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The name says it all, the show is about friends from college who are reunited.


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An endearing show about a family with a son with autism.

-Drop Dead Diva

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A supermodel is killed by a truck of cantaloupes and is reincarnated in the body of a lawyer. That should be enough to get you hooked.

-The Fosters

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It’s about a diverse family that has 2 fostered kids, 2 adopted twins, 1 biological kid and two lesbian moms.

-The Good Wife

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A show about lawyers, who fight for their clients. It’s dramatic and addicting, at least for the first few seasons.


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Takes place in Nashville and it follows a bunch of country singers and their families.

-That 70s Show

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A comedy about a group of friends in the 70s.

-Lie to Me

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A show about a man who can basically tell someone’s thoughts based on the movement of their eyebrows and lips.

-Switched at Birth

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Two girls are born on the same day and then accidentally given to the wrong families. They grow up and then realized they were switched…du du duuu.

-The Fresh Prince of Bel Air

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Now this is the story all about how
My life got flipped, turned upside down
And I’d like to take a minute just sit right there
I’ll tell you how I became the prince of a town called Bel-air

In west Philadelphia born and raised
On the playground where I spent most of my days
Chilling out, maxing, relaxing all cool
And all shooting some b-ball outside of the school
When a couple of guys, they were up to no good
Started making trouble in my neighbourhood
I got in one little fight and my mom got scared
And said “You’re moving with your auntie and uncle in Bel-air”

-One Day at a Time

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A sitcom about a modern family that deals with immigration and LGBTQ issues.

-American Vandal

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A mockumentary about whether a high school student committed an act of vandalism at his school.

-Life in Pieces

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A story following an extended family with different sections of the show following different parts of the family.

-This is Us

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-Me Selfridge

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A true-ish story about a man who opens a department store.

-Angry Bird

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Image Source:

How to Eat Healthier at School

By Sydney Shapiro

     Eating healthy at school seems to be a problem with teenagers. There are so many fast food places that are just steps away from the school. Lets not forget the cookies and cinnamon buns in the cafeteria. But, there is a way to eat healthier even with all these unhealthy temptations!

Try planning out your week’s lunches on your phone or calendar:

For example,

Monday – Sandwich, fruit, and a juice box

Tuesday – Pasta, cucumbers, and water

Wednesday – Hamburger, carrots, and a juice box

Thursday – Hummus and veggies, water, and turkey sandwich

Friday – Greek salad, fruit, and water

Some steps to follow while enjoying your lunch at Forest Hill:

  1. Dont be tempted by the smell of the cafeteria cookies.
  2. Try the fruit bowls and salads in the cafeteria fridge (yes, they do sell fruit!).
  3. Stay at school with your home-packed lunch instead of eating out on Eglinton.

Eating healthy at school can be very simple and easy!


Humberside vs Forest Hill: Game Analysis

Hockey / Brian Stauffer

By Jake Greenberg

On Tuesday, November 29th, the Forest Hill Falcons Varsity Hockey Team kicked off their season against Humberside Colligate. After 13 years of coaching the hockey team, Head Coach Mr Ketchum had never beaten this school in a game. When the game was all said and done, this streak was finally put to rest. The boys came through for their coach and took home a 2-1 win to start their season with a bang.

The Falcons started off slowly, losing the opening faceoff and playing in their own end for the majority of the first five minutes. Some may think that this would tire out the team — physically and mentally — but the Falcons kept pushing. Once the puck was finally being consistently controlled in Humberside’s defensive end of the ice, chances upon chances were being continuously generated for the Falcons. With 3 minutes left, the puck landed on the stick of the Falcon’s older Mierczuk brother, Axel, who wound up and fired a shot to the top left corner of the net. Opening the season’s scoring, and showing Humberside that no matter how hard the Falcons get down, they will always fight back and end up on top.

Once the second period began, the game only got more aggressive. Big hits coming from both sides seemed to be the theme of the game. With the Falcons falling victim to some bad penalty calls, Humber Side had Many opportunities to come back and tie the game. With power play after power play, Humberside could not turn chances into goals, mostly due to the outstanding play of Elliot Zolf in net. During a small window on five on five hockey, the determined Falcons scored again, with Dylan Katz tipping another strong outside shot from Axel Mierczuk.

In the third period, the Falcons were determined to keep Zolf’s shutout alive, but Humberside had other plans. They won the period’s opening faceoff and just like the start of the game, dominated the Falcons in their defensive end; only this time, finding the back of the net of a big Wrist shot from the hash marks, cutting the lead in half. Throughout the period Forest Hill and Humberside were battling back and forth, but the goaltending on both ends of the ice was too good for both opposing offensive units, Humberside’s goalie controlling all rebound and Zolf coming in clutch stopping both a breakaway and a penalty shot.

The final buzzer went off and the Falcons went home feeling accomplished. This game was a very good example of how hard work will bring people to victory and allow them to come out on top. The Falcons season is just the beginning and anything can happen in any given game, but hopefully winning can be a common factor for each of the rest of their games.

“Love of Violets” from New York, I Love You: A Film Commentary

 By Marian Pascual

     It is hard to capture the definite meaning of this film, but what intrigues the audience most is probably the delicate mystery that unfolds, ever so slightly.  New York, I Love You is a recreation of the original film, Paris, Je T’aime, where a variety of segments are filmed in different parts of each cinematic city.  The seventh segment of New York, I Love You featured the chicer part of the city – Fifth Avenue- where a woman revisits a hotel and encounters very strange things during her stay there.  I urge you to watch this film because it raises the question of existentialism and because overall it is a very beautiful film.

     In “Love of Violets,” a woman revisits a fairly vacant hotel in Upper Manhattan, where she is assisted by a crippled Russian bellhop.  We learn that she is a retired opera singer, and about her love of violets.  She requests for some to be brought up to her room, and somehow there were already some violets waiting for her in the lobby… coincidence? Not just yet!  The bellhop reveals that his father, who is also the manager of the hotel, was a great admirer of her singing back in the day; he had watched her perform many times in Paris.  Suddenly, the bellhop has a random violent nosebleed inside her hotel room, and then leaves the scene (as if things could not have gotten weirder).

     At the end of the film, the bellhop offers to close the window for her.  As he walks towards the window, he slowly starts to fade into the light. He says his final words before he falls to his death, “How can you bear it? I don’t know how you can bear it.”  It could be that perhaps he relates to how she feels about not being physically able to do the things that make her happy, the same way he is crippled, which restricts him from enjoying life to its maximum capacity.  Or it could be that the melancholy bellhop is part of some kind of schizophrenia she has (because she was seen talking to herself in the first few minutes of the film) and symbolizes who she is on the inside, crippled and physically restricted from doing what brings her the most happiness – to sing.  This theory is backed up by the fact that whenever the bellhop made an appearance in her room, he was reflected in the mirror that the woman was also reflected in.  Therefore, it is to say that she was symbolically looking back at herself in the mirror, and the bellhop represented the struggling part of her inside that we tend to mask to the outside world in order to portray a happier image of ourselves.

     After the bellhop commits suicide, something even more strange occurs.  A second bellhop, who we can assume to be the original one, climbs back from the balcony to tell the woman that there was no one down there and suggests she could have just seen something in the street.  He then offers to close the window for her once again, and she  replies very firmly: “Yes, please close the window.”  This could mean that she accepts the sad truth of never being able to sing again, and that she wants to start new, without having that sad person conscience restricting her from living her life.  Towards the end of the film, she was seen dressed in a white gown, almost like she was getting engaged.  A wedding symbolizes a new beginning, and in this case it was the beginning of an end, and that is what I think Shekhar Kapur intended to do with this beautifully haunting film.

FHCI’s Best Dressed: Halloween Edition

By Befftwo Ali

On this spooky holiday, Forest Hill was filled with spirit! Here are some of the highlights:

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The magical Ms Jephcott dressed as a Hogwarts student from the iconic Harry Potter franchise.

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Jori, Paige and Izabel dressed up as middle school slumber party girls, and we’re here for it.[restrict]

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Probably one of the most terrifying costume yet (minus Winnie) so far. Amelia, Sage, Tianna, Krystael, Rebekah and Trisha all posed up as the cast from the Purge.


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Ms Newman looked aesthetically pleasing today with her pop art makeup inspired by Roy Litchenstein.

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We also have the lovely Ms. Burnip dressed as one of the monsters from Where the Wild Things Are.



Last, but certainly not least, we have Evelyn dressed up as our former principal, Peggy Aitchison.


To view more costumes, browse through the FHCI Photo Stream. Have a spooky Halloween falcons!


Did Anyone Really Expect This from FHCI?

By Ethan Blummberg

  The pep rally curated by Forest Hill students this past week was the most triumphant spectacle I have witnessed during my tenure at the school. The event was willingly enjoyed by hundreds of students, discrediting the notion that Forest Hill has no spirit. The event that unfolded in the gymnasium was unlike anything I had ever seen at Forest Hill. The disparity between this rally and previous attempts at school-wide events may be in large part to why it was such a success. As a student of three years, the change was refreshing.

The event was willingly enjoyed by hundreds of students, discrediting the notion that Forest Hill has no spirit.

                A highlight for my self-was the unorthodox methods such as the relay races, the hockey video and Kahoot game that was all used to appeal to the audience of nearly 1000 people. The well-executed video, made by grade 12 student Cole Chypyha, was a captivating insight into this year’s boys varsity hockey team. The visual component was a nice touch to the already stellar line up put together by the powers at be.  The commotion in the middle of the gym caused by the relay races was an outstanding example of the creativity we have in our school. Students from around the school participated in these clever races as their peers enthusiastically watched on. This element of the school-wide event brought a lot of comedic value out of the mishaps classmates endured attempting the relay challenges. All of the different parts of the rally, from the beginning to the end were integral to its success and I wouldn’t have changed a single thing.

                It is nice to finally have someone at Forest Hill who is able to entertain the entire school body, while still clearly articulating the points he must make. This can be found in current school president, James Michael Kabitsis. This captivating speaker led off the fourth period with a great speech that was a catalyst for the rest of the day’s success.  I don’t think it would be too far off for me to say that many of the staff in the school could benefit from listening to one of his speeches; so when the time comes that they must speak in front of the whole school they can properly engage the audience and convey their message. Rather than deliver a boring talk to hundreds of students that have endured many speeches alike.

After seeing Friday’s events unfold it is really hard to determine whether the lack of spirit in the school should be blamed on the students or the staff members of Forest Hill Collegiate Institute.

                I believe the recent rally was a huge success amongst the students, largely in part to how different the event was to what we have been accustomed to at FHCI.  Credit must go to the people who took part in planning the whole ordeal for hosting an event many, including myself, wouldn’t see possible coming from Forest Hill. Nevertheless, I think that this remarkable feat for the students of the school sadly will not occur again in my lifetime at Forest Hill. After seeing Friday’s events unfold it is really hard to determine whether the lack of spirit in the school should be blamed on the students or the staff members of Forest Hill Collegiate Institute.

This story was written by Ethan Blummberg, a Social Issues Editor for The Golden Falcon. The opinions expressed in this article reflect the opinions of the author.

Dance Fashion Show 2017 Review and Photos

By Osvald Klimi 

On Thursday the 13, April 2017, Forest Hill Collegiate held its highly anticipated Dance Fashion Show for the third year in a row, where students showcase various trending outfits and original dancing routines. This year’s theme was “The Time of Our Lives.” A lot of the choreographers, producers, and models of the show have been part of the show since its conception a few years ago and – being in grade 12 – wished to reflect on their experiences while in high school.

There were various scenes presenting common things that most high school students have experienced. These scenes ranged from parties to exam season to prom and more – including all types of occasions throughout the years. Following suit, the outfits also ranged from down-to-earth and everyday wear all the way to glamorous and extravagant dresses to anywhere in between.

Many models and dancers from grades 9-11 are keen on continuing to keep the legacy of dance fashion show going – and to have the time of their lives while doing it.

These models and dancers worked on this show together for quite some time and created memories that will be hard to forget, both for themselves and their spectators. Through the multitude of scenes, a viewer was sure to be reminded of all their most memorable times.

Please Watch ‘Tramps’

I’m pleading with you pretty directly, so you have to do it

By Gabe Nisker

Premiering at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival, Adam Leon’s second feature Tramps is an unassuming film. And maybe it makes sense that it dropped on Netflix today pretty quietly. But that’s not to say it isn’t special — it is.

Leon’s first film premiered internationally at Cannes after a SXSW premiere in the US. It’s called Gimme The Loot and it’s a pretty good movie about two friends — graffiti artists — who plan to tag the Citi Field Home Run Apple, the statue that pops up when the Mets hit a homer. It’s pretty unassuming, too, actually — now that I think about it again.

And that’s what Leon is so good at. There’s a quiet nature to his movies, even as the premises have everyday people doing not-always-everyday things. The camera moves slickly and smartly — we get pans and dollies but we often get these documentary-like shots of city streets, of lots of people and of everyday things happening (and of the film’s own characters!)

That’s what makes both of Leon’s films so realistic…or at least real-feeling. There’s an innate sense of personality to them — his films have characters you think you know or maybe they feel like you. They feel right.

Tramps is the movie that happens when a guy has to make sure a briefcase gets into the right hands (because his brother can’t do it like originally intended, he’s in prison) and a girl has to make some money so she’s the driver.

That’s how they meet but Callum Turner and Grace Van Patten, the film’s leads, are super charming together and it makes Tramps a joy to watch.

I tried to get to a screening of this at the film festival last year — I heard about it too late and I couldn’t get in. I’m happy I found the end product. I’m happy Netflix gave it a home. Leon’s a good filmmaker and the films he makes are good (I don’t think that’s really the same thing, even if you think it is). So, watch them, please. I’m begging you. Let him make more.

Seriously, Thank God for Jokes

I confess I should’ve been doing homework, okay? But I couldn’t help myself. After watching his two features in the span of a month and a half, I’d settled into a comfortable relationship with the comedy of Mike Birbiglia. It’s really relaxing to listen to. His shows have an intimacy and a personality that is unmatched in the comedy world. His latest special is no different.

Titled Thank God for Jokes, Birbiglia’s newest special goes anywhere and everywhere he feels comfortable. It’s clear he’s worked out his material thoughtfully and carefully as he always does. You just want to listen to him tell his stories – he’s so good at it. What’s great is that he’s crafted all his comedy to the degree that they’re not always such traditional “jokes”. They’re all stories – funny ones – and you can’t help but laugh as he tells them in his Birbiglian way. Of course, though, he’s got such a smart sense of awareness about it all — his observations and witty comments come like Vin Diesel — Fast and Furious.But don’t worry, the jokes are better than that one I just made – the laughs are aplenty in this one, so it’s worth it. This special is framed around his hosting of the 2012 Gotham Awards but he goes on tangents — suspended licenses and nut allergies are just a few of his many targets. Of course, targets are a hot button topic. What can we make jokes about? What can’t we? Birbiglia’s awareness comes up once again here and it’s an interesting reminder to us all about the importance of comedy.It’s also clear Birbiglia knows how to keep focus — he always wraps it back together with a callback joke and he always comes back to the Gotham Awards. Stories are foundational for comedy and segues are always important. The way he uses the Gotham Awards as a diving board is, frankly, brilliant.As I mentioned earlier, observations are some of the pillars for good comedy — much of comedy comes from such simple observations. And as Birbiglia brings up the Charlie Hebdo incident, he is at his wisest. He could’ve just told jokes. Thank God he didn’t.

How to Earn Credits While Travelling

By Jacob Calderone

Read his Humans of FHCI article here

Between drowning in homework and studying for multiple exams, high school courses are not only challenging but also time-consuming.

What if there was a way to complete courses ahead of time while traveling the world? It turns out that there is a way to finish off courses early and explore all of what our world has to offer at the same time. Programs like Blyth Academy offer just about every high school course imaginable and every dream destination you can think of. How much fun would it be to do Biology in Australia and Fiji? Complete Visual Arts in Asia? What if there was an opportunity to study Classical Civilizations in Rome? These opportunities, otherwise known as International Classrooms, are adventures that create memories that last a lifetime.


In the summer of 2016, I traveled to Italy
where I completed Grade 11 English (Ironic, I know).

Going on this trip was one of the best decisions of my life, as I have always wanted to go to Italy and obtaining a course credit simultaneously was just a bonus. We traveled through Sienna, Florence, Sardinia, Venice and Rome for about a month with a group of roughly 60 people from all across Canada.

Now you may be wondering, what did we do every day in Italy and how were you able to coursework? For those wondering, we did not just eat pasta and pizza all day and listen to old men singing in Italian. Each morning we woke up and had breakfast as a group and for the rest of the morning, we had class inside the hotel. Each class had a maximum of 10 people in a group, which was extremely beneficial because the teacher had the opportunity to help each person individually for an extended period of time. As soon as lunch came, we were given the opportunity to go out and explore each Italian city for the rest of the afternoon and into the evening. Some days we would be given tours, go to famous monuments, and even some fancy restaurants to dine. Near the conclusion of our trip, we had a final exam and then a banquet in Rome.

Not only am I benefitting immensely from already completing grade 11 English (I don’t have to do all those essays and of course the exam) but I also got to experience a place that I have always wanted to go to.


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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.