Newspaper Issue

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.

This Is Me In Grade Nine

By Sophie Gold

Change can be scary.  And high school definitely means change.  The prospect of entering high school was never far from my thoughts over the summer.  I felt anxious and excited, apprehensive and eager all at the same time.  The Labour Day weekend was less a vacation than an extended waiting game before the change became real. But hey, what did I know about high school?  Only what was passed on to me by friends and family who had survived (and even thrived in some cases), teen movies and the Barenaked Ladies’ “This Is Me In Grade Nine.”  In hindsight, I was unreasonably nervous, irrationally fearful yet always hopeful.  I bet some of you felt similarly.  Seven weeks in, I am relieved, involved and settling in.  Most of the things I had been so worried about never happened (or have not yet); those that did are not scary after all. Needless to say, there were still some big changes.

The biggest difference is the schedule. Previously, my schedule consisted of all of my courses year-round, with each period lasting about forty-five minutes.  Suddenly, I have only four courses, every day, each one for seventy-five minutes.  Sometimes I feel that I am stuck in a Groundhog Day loop.  At this point, I am accustomed to my schedule, and appreciate that I have an easier timetable to memorize and fewer books and binders to carry to and from school.

Another challenge has been learning to navigate a new and larger building packed with many more people.  My previous schools were tiny in comparison. Entering Forest Hill Collegiate Institute (FHCI) on the first day of school, I was lost in a totally new geography. For the first few weeks of school, I struggled to find my locker and classes.  I am thankful for the school map conveniently included in the school agenda but that we need a map in the first place is …?  I still get lost from time to time and have yet to find the girls’ washroom on the second floor.  That said, it is all part of the adventure, and I get to find someplace new weekly if not daily.

Then there is the traffic in the hallways.  It is one thing being lost; it is another being lost in a sea of humanity moving in every direction, some of whom are presumably also lost.  Some days getting to class is very similar to rush hour traffic without any rules of the road.  No amount of warning or training could have prepared me for this chaos and confusion.  The number of times I have apologized for bumping into people (and lockers) would put any Canadian to shame.  On the upside, 12th graders seem to float effortlessly through the madness like an expert skier shredding moguls.  Maybe in time I too will master the double black diamonds of our hallways.

One thing I was very excited about was, and still am, is the wide variety of extracurricular clubs and activities that FHCI offers.  We seem to have a club, team or committee for everyone and about everything.  Many people helpfully advised me that “getting involved” would be key to finding my place and my people in such a large school.  As it happened, I probably took too much advice too literally.  When the club fair rolled around, I eagerly signed up for too many clubs and my inbox has never quite been the same.  It has been a bit overwhelming at times but in a good way.  Learning to juggle classes and clubs keeps me busier, much busier than I was in middle school.

Yeah, change happened and continues to happen.  And seven weeks in, it is not scary and never should have been. But if you are like me, when worried or unsure, you assign an irrationally high probability to those things you do not want to happen and downplay the likelihood that everything will work out in time. I will find that second-floor girls’ washroom in good time, and if I get lost along the way, I will be excited to see what else the school has to offer.


Sophie G. is a grade 9 student at Forest Hill Collegiate Institute, she is a contributor for The Golden Falcon Newspaper. You can be one too, click here.

Rise Of The Dead: Woolly Mammoth Revival

By Abi Parameswaran

Why do scientists want to revive the Woolly Mammoth? This is not a commonly asked question in people’s day to day lives since many do not have the time to question these new found scientific experiments. However, it is important to be informed on all the different aspects of our society including these innovative projects conducted by scientists.

There are many different standpoints on the idea of reviving the Woolly Mammoth as this animal walked the earth tens of thousands of years ago. But, the massive mammal should not be brought back from the dead as futuristic as it may sound.

These enormous creatures with furry appearances lived in cold climates and were closely related to the Asian elephant. In the last ice age, this herbivorous animal was in abundance. The primary cause of their extinction was increasing global temperature as they had evolved to live in cold climates and thus their habitats became uninhabitable.

A secondary causation of extinction is that with the end of the ice age humans hunted these massive mammoths for their tusks, fur, and meat. Although the changing climate was an issue, humans ultimately closed the chapter of this diverse species causing it to go extinct. This leads to the reasons as to why this species should not be attempted to be brought back from the dead through the process of cloning. Humans fall under secondary causes for this mammal’s extinction. What are the chances that humans will not again exploit these mammals yet again? People do not always learn from their mistakes as seen prevalent in the continuous extinctions and endangerment of over one hundred crucial species yearly.

Also, the concern around climate change has skyrocketed since the industrial revolution. This means that the habitat of the Woolly Mammoth is almost non-existent or severely altered. This just goes to show that the species would not have a sustainable environment even if it were revived. This is crueller to these animals than going extinct as not only are they being brought back from the dead but they will never be able to live a natural life again.

Additionally, as a society, there are many improvements that must take place to mitigate climate change, habitat loss, over-population and extinction of animals. Instead of dwelling on past mistakes, efforts should be taken to correct current situations, and solutions need to be found for the future generations.

Conducting projects like this seem useless in the aspect of controlling population-related issues. Organisms on this planet are running out of resources to depend on for their needs. Adding an extinct species back into the ecosystem will only worsen current situations. Does this mean cloning is useless? Absolutely not! The current use and efforts of this technology are not beneficial to civilization. Instead, this technology should be used to save endangered species that cannot reproduce in a manner to preserve itself. Scientists need to be more conscious of what they invest billions of dollars into researching and reviving. The mammoth does not seem to be an appropriate investment, though, instead, there needs to be more research into investing money into reviving or preserving species that are relevant to
today’s modern society!

Humans of Toronto- A Grade 11 English Assignment

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By Taylor Aldor

“It was 1956 when the civil war broke out in Hungary to overthrow the communist dictatorship. The war was brutal, but it gave our families an advantage; it allowed there to be an opening on the border of Austria and Hungary. Farmers from the Austrian border were approaching families, including my own, to pay for their service of smuggling refugees into Austria. Within an hour of being approached in the middle of the night, my father and I followed the farmer, leaving my sister and mother to sell our remaining assets. I was terrified that I might never see them again. I will never forget this night, as I have never experienced the same feeling of shock in all my years. The farmer drove us in his motorcycle’s sidecar to the ploughed, frozen farm fields of Austria. The Red Cross, who was helping the refugees escape, met us there. Taxis were then hired to drive us, and other families, into Vienna. Because it was so late at night, our driver fell asleep and the car hit the side of the road and landed upside down. It was horrifying, but we were unhurt. After hitchhiking in a Volkswagen bus, we arrived in Vienna, where government officials assigned us to stay in a ski lodge just outside of the city. After a month, the day I had been waiting for, for what seemed like a lifetime, finally came. My mother and sister had found us. The two of them carried the news that every penny they had brought had been stolen by the border guards, all except for the jewellery and cash that had been sewn into the lining of my mother’s jacket. This was eventually stolen, which left us with five dollars. We didn’t know what to do at this point, so my Uncle Bill told us we should come to live with him in Toronto. We travelled on a ship during the winter all the way to Halifax, a ride that would make me seasick for the rest of my life. When we docked, we took a train to Toronto where we lived with Uncle Bill until my parents found jobs in their trade. We trusted so many people through the journey since that was our only option, but here I am today, a successful dentist, and it’s all because of my parents.” #ImmigrantStruggle #Family

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Grade 12

By Jessica Huong, Esther Eisen, and Sydney Shapiro
  1.  Leadership positions are a lot of work. Grade 12 is the time to step
    up and become a leader of the school. However, these positions can be
    very time-consuming. When we applied for these positions, we wish we
    knew not to take on too many.
  2. Think about applying to universities in advance. The deadlines to
    apply for programs comes faster than you would expect and it is a good
    idea to keep this in mind in grade 11 and plan ahead.
  3.  Grade 11 marks are looked at. We look at them every day! Just
    kidding! Universities look at grade 11 marks for early acceptance, so
    don’t slack in grade 11!
  4. Make sure you have all of the prerequisite courses for grade 12.
    There may be some classes that you want to take or are required for
    the program you’re applying for, which have prerequisites. Make sure
    you have them all.
  5. It is not as hard as you think. It is harder than Grade 11, but it
    is not as big of a jump as you would expect it to be. What makes Grade
    12 hard is juggling many other things like scholarship applications,
    university applications, extra-curricular activities, and making room
    for free time.

Grade 12 is a challenge but one that you can conquer, especially with
this advice! Good luck!

Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?

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These are real questions from the television show “Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?”

Teachers of FHCI: Mr. MacDonald

What is one thing most people don’t know about you? 

“I dabble in oil painting. But I only dabble in it; I’m not very good at it. I can also carve a sick pumpkin!”

If you weren’t a teacher, what would you be? 
“I would probably be working a desk job, doing something really boring like filing. My dream job would be a river raft guide in The Northern Woods.”
 
What’s your favourite thing about being a teacher?
“I really enjoy coming in every day and having one-on-one time with students in our own space. I like the discussions we have, the ideas we have. I like the creativity I see coming from the students. I learn something every day!.”
 
What’s your least favourite thing about being a teacher?
“I don’t like whining.”
 
What’s one tradition you’ve kept throughout your teaching career? 
“We play Jeopardy every day. I started this tradition on my very first period of teaching. I found a Jeopardy calendar in my desk drawer and that just kick-started the whole thing.”

This Is Me In Grade Nine

By Sophie Gold

Change can be scary.  And high school definitely means change.  The prospect of entering high school was never far from my thoughts over the summer.  I felt anxious and excited, apprehensive and eager all at the same time.  The Labour Day weekend was less a vacation than an extended waiting game before the change became real. But hey, what did I know about high school?  Only that passed on to me by friends and family who had survived (and even thrived in some cases), teen movies and the Barenaked Ladies’ This Is Me In Grade Nine.  In hindsight, I was unreasonably nervous, irrationally fearful yet always hopeful.  I bet some of you felt similarly.  Seven weeks in, I am relieved, involved and settling in.  Most of the things I had been so worried about never happened (or haven’t yet); those that did aren’t scary after all. Needless to say, there were still some big changes.

The biggest difference is the schedule. Previously, my schedule consisted of all of my courses year-round, with each period lasting about forty-five minutes.  Suddenly, I have only four courses, every day, each one for seventy-five minutes.  Sometimes I feel that I’m stuck in a Groundhog Day loop.  At this point, I am accustomed to my schedule, and appreciate that I have an easier timetable to memorize and fewer books and binders to carry to and from school.

Another challenge has been learning to navigate a new and larger building packed with many more people.  My previous schools were tiny in comparison.  Entering FHCI on the first day of school, I was lost in a totally new geography. For the first few weeks of school, I struggled to find my locker and classes.  I am thankful for the school map conveniently included in the school agenda but that we need a map in the first place … ?  I still get lost from time to time and have yet to find the girls’ washroom on the second floor.  That said, it’s all part of the adventure and I get to find someplace new weekly if not daily.

Then there’s the traffic in the hallways.  It’s one thing being lost; it’s another being lost in a sea of humanity moving in every direction, some of whom are presumably also lost.  Some days getting to class is very similar to rush hour traffic without any rules of the road.  No amount of warning or training could have prepared me for this chaos and confusion.  The number of times I have apologized for bumping into people (and lockers) would put any Canadian to shame.  On the upside, 12th graders seem to float effortlessly through the madness like an expert skier shredding moguls.  Maybe in time I too will master the double black diamonds of our hallways.

One thing I was very excited about was, and still is, the wide variety of extracurricular clubs and activities that FHCI offers.  We seem to have a club, team or committee for everyone and about everything.  Many people helpfully advised me that “getting involved” would be key to finding my place and my people in such a large school.  As it happened, I probably took too much advice too literally.  When the club fair rolled around, I eagerly signed up for too many clubs and my inbox has never quite been the same.  It’s been a bit overwhelming at times, but in a good way.  Learning to juggle classes and clubs keeps me busier, busier than I was in middle school.  

Yeah, change happened and continues to happen.  And seven weeks in, it’s not scary and never should have been.  But if you are like me, when worried or unsure, you assign an irrationally high probability to those things you don’t want to happen and downplay the likelihood that everything will work out in time.  I’ll find that second floor girls’ washroom in good time, and if I get lost along the way I’ll be excited to see what else the school has to offer.  

Humans of FHCI: Alyssa and Ariba- grade 11

When did your friendship begin?
Alyssa- “Our friendship began in grade 9 in geography. We actually didn’t like each other that much but then something happened and we just became friends.”
What is special about your friendship?
Ariba- “We have cool discussions about weird things. Like synesthesia! Like things that aren’t as common but I think that’s what makes us unique as friends

5 Reasons Why CRISPR is Beyond Exciting

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By Matt Lindzon


Starting now, scientists can successfully edit the DNA of viable human embryos using the new gene-editing tool called Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat commonly known as CRISPR. It can efficiently tweak almost any gene in any animal or plant. This technology could be the first step in preventing infants from having incurable diseases or disorders. Despite all its benefits, CRISPR has stirred up some discussion on the ethical implications of genetically altering human embryos. Though, in this article, we’re going to focus on the positives:

CRISPR HAS STIRRED UP SOME DISCUSSION ON THE ETHICAL IMPLICATIONS OF GENETICALLY ALTERING HUMAN EMBRYOS.

  1. Scientists have been able to successfully reverse signs of Huntington’s disease as they were able to remove corresponding genes from test mice. The researchers are one step closer to using this technology on humans. It is entirely likely that this brilliant technique could one day be used on humans as well.
  2. CRISPR Gene editing has been used by researchers to make viruses force superbugs to kill themselves. Scientists are hopeful that they will be capable of developing new ways of conquering antibiotic-resistant pathogens. https://twitter.com/merebauer/status/897957502175682560

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    nobeastsofierce/Shutterstock

  3. Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh have used gene editing to eliminate HIV from three different living animal models. CRISPR allowed them to remove the virus DNA which cleared up acute and latent infections.
  4. Using CRISPR, mosquito-borne diseases could be eliminated. Scientists have discovered a technique that can limit the outbreak of mosquitoes by editing their fertility genes.
  5. Thanks to CRISPR, we can now target the hybrid fusion genes that sometimes trigger tumour growth of cancer. Researchers have made a cancer-defeating gene that can even shrink tumours in mice who have prostate and liver cancer cells.

Judge or King of the League: MLB MVP Races

By Aaron Gotkin

Hot days filled with sunshine and children wearing shorts hardly feels like a typical fall day. Nevertheless, it is fall and that means time for postseason baseball. So far in the playoffs, underdogs have rallied and surpassed some top tier teams in series filled with energy. The playoffs and the upcoming World Series may be an exciting event on everyone’s upcoming radar, but there are still MVP awards to decide upon.

In the American League, there are a plethora of different types of talents to pick from with no sure winner. However, the popular vote is likely to be Aaron Judge. This tight end playing right field for the New York Yankees has had an unheard of the rookie season. This season he passed an old home run king, Mark McGwire for most round-trippers hit by a rookie, with a daunting 52. With his limitless power this season he as well has scored 128 runs and has hit in 114 of his teammates, first and second in the AL respectively. MegaJudge’s unlikely counterpart in this MVP race is the 5”6-second baseman for the Houston Astros, Jose Altuve. Unlike Judge, Altuve has posted a far above .300 batting average of .346 which led the entire MLB this season. Along with his portrayal of superior contact ability this season, Altuve has hit 24 balls out of the park and has scored 112 runs, second only to Judge. The small yet quick Venezuelan has also swiped 32 bags and has played Gold Glove-caliber defence. Although one of these men could be mistaken for the other’s son, they both have strong cases for AL MVP especially with their teams currently competing in the American League Championship Series.

Altuve has posted a far above .300 batting average of .346 which led the entire MLB this season

The National League has a quite opposing feeling to the AL race. There seems to be an almost guaranteed MVP winner with only a few other unlikely candidates. It is almost certain that the NL’s 6”6 version of Judge, Giancarlo Stanton will take home the award this season. He has led the entire MLB with 59 home runs, the most by any player since 2001. He has put up massive run production numbers with 123 runs scored and 132 batted in. His team might not be in the playoffs, but his historic season builds a great case for the award. The only other players that have a minute chance to beat out Stanton’s insane season are two fellow Colorado Rockies, Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado. This duo each place in the top ten of almost every NL stat but still seem to stand inferior to the aura of Stanton.

This season has been filled with players aiming to hit the ball out of the park every at-bat and trying to maximize their chances with new hitting philosophies as well. More and more balls seem to be flying over the fence every night and it seems that the player in each league with the most balls over the fence is going to win their respective MVPs.

Humans of FHCI: Jordan- Grade 10

What is one thing you were surprised about when first entering through Forest Hills doors?
“How big and great the school looked when I first looked in.”
What are you dressing up as this year for Halloween?
“I’m dressing up as a ninja. I am going to be buying a ninja headpiece at the store and dressing in all black.”
What is your funniest Halloween memory?
“One time on halloween by younger brother ran to a house and knocked on the door, but it turns out it was his second time knocking so the person in the house got mad at him.”

Humans of Toronto- A Grade 11 English Assignment

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By Natty Birshtein

“My family immigrated to Canada when I was 11 years old. Trying to fit in socially in school was a struggle. Kids made fun of my accent and my funny looking clothes. I remember auditioning for a school musical with a Hebrew song (because I did not know any English songs) and seeing so many of my peers laugh at me. I remember a kid once asking me what my father did for a living and when I answered “doctor” he snickered and said “yeah, a falafel doctor”. I was always very close with my parents and my brother and this helped. I always knew that no matter how bad things got at school, I had a loving and supportive family to come home to. My family left Toronto to build a new life in the United States when I was 14 years old. We moved from Toronto to New York, from New York to Maine and from Maine to Cleveland, with the result that I switched four high schools before graduating. Each switch was a new struggle trying to fit in with a new peer group in a new city. Education was key to my parents and they always pushed me to focus on my studies because they wanted me to grow up to be an independent woman who could survive on my own under any and all circumstances. So, I studied and I studied and I studied. Eventually, I graduated as a lawyer from the University of Toronto and years later after a lot of hard work became a partner with a prestigious Toronto downtown firm. Today, I teach my kids the lessons my parents taught me and hope for the best”. #immigrantstory #womanempowerment #family

 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.

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

Einstein’s Brilliance in the Discovery of Gravitational Waves

By Aaron Gotkin

It is remarkable how one man alone could be so connected to the universe that his predictions and hypotheses could prove to be true even though they came from his intuition. It may sound to most as typical routine to say, “Of course Einstein was right,” but, now at the time of the latest proof of one of his predictions, his body of work appears even more extraordinary. From Special Relativity to the Photoelectric Effect, the man was brilliant. He may be the man most in tune with nature of all-time, but he himself was a freak of nature.

 

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Illustration of gravitational waves

 

In 2015, The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (thankfully also known as L.I.G.O.) detected the first observed gravitational waves in human history. The waves are propagating disturbances in the fabric of space-time itself and were formed from the collision and merger of two black holes. Each black hole was the equivalent mass of 30 suns and collided approximately 1.3 billion light years away from Earth. However, at the time, the only possible observed consequences of the collision were those detected gravitational waves. The difficulty being that there was no emission of light from the event so it could not be seen. However, visibility is not fundamentally necessary for proof. The reason for the lack of visual evidence lies in the nature of black holes.

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Courtesy of Science News

Black holes are defined as exact points in space that contain extreme amounts of mass known as a singularity. This then makes them the densest astronomical objects in the universe. Due to their absurd mass and density, they have an immensely strong gravitational force associated with them. The strength is so great that light, even being the fastest entity in the universe, cannot escape the gravitational attraction of a black hole. In fact, it sounds quite creepy, like a monster under a child’s bed that’s grip is so strong it will definitely succeed in pulling the terrified child into the darkness below. Anyhow, this property of black holes, that it absorbs all light and emits none is what makes them visually undetectable especially when two of them collide.

Black holes are defined as exact points in space that contain extreme amounts of mass known as a singularity.

If only these gravitational waves could be observed along with this desired visual evidence of light. Well, that is just what happened a few months ago. L.I.G.O. detected another collection of gravitational waves, although this time coming from the collision and merger of two neutron stars instead of black holes. This is huge because unlike black holes, neutron stars (which in themselves are intensely interesting objects) are in fact made of visible matter. They, like black holes, are dense and massive which allows for the possibility of their gravitational wave detection. However, most importantly when neutron stars collide they release tons of energy in the form of light. On October 16th 2017, L.I.G.O. announced that they detected the gravitational waves and the high-energy gamma rays from the collision of two neutron starts on August 17th, 2017. The best part of all is that the collision could be seen in the night sky with telescopes, thus giving the visual evidence associated with gravitational waves.

This great feat of human collaboration towards the proof of a scientific phenomenon, like most things in physics, relates back to Einstein. The entire project of detecting gravitational waves and the construction of L.I.G.O. was to essentially find out if Einstein was right. In 1915, Einstein completed his 10-year battle in completing his era-defining General Theory of Relativity. In his theory, Einstein described gravity as the curvature of space-time when objects of mass are placed in it. One year after the publication of his theory, using the equations of General Relativity, Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves. Now we have proof that he was right, once again.

Overcoming Stress and Study Tips For Grade 9s

By Olivia Xoxa

School work can sometimes be tough on your shoulders, especially if you just entered your second month of high school. Everything is new, which can be scary. New school, new students, and new rules. Along with those comes a heavier workload that can shock freshmen at first glance. Hopefully, these different pieces of advice on time and stress management, from your older fellows, can help you do your best in the next ten months of school as a newcomer.

The students that were asked ranged from grade 10 to 12, all being involved in a school club or team. The seniors were asked to give advice to the freshmen on study tips and dealing with stress from the high school era. Many of the experienced had similar answers, despite being part of diverse sections of the school, having different interests, and ages.

When the grade 12 students were asked for their guidance, they gave unique answers that appealed to their personality and experience.

Alex Lam, a 17-year-old student and a member of the frisbee and badminton club said, “Personally, I listen to super relaxing music as I study or just do work in general. For example, some soundtracks come from Ghibli or some lo-fi hip-hop.” He then added, “It’s pretty lit, and it especially helps with my stress.” Clearly, he has caught onto the new kid slang. Rachel Perlmutar, another 17-year-old and President of Music Directorate, kept her proficient instruction short and sweet. She simply stated, “As hard as it is, you have to just do it. Review what you learned in class on the same day.” Her advice may be old-fashioned, but it has proven to work so far. Next, 17-year-old Adela Logli related to the stressful side of a new environment and said, “Don’t stress too much over grades, do your homework, and enjoy your first year of high school as much as you can. The workload just gets heavier.” Finally, Scott Xoxa, the only 16-year-old questioned, revealed his wisdom about the first year. The Co-Head of The Active and Sustainable Transit Committee believed that it is best to challenge yourself a little and join clubs. He said it is smart to make new friends you can sit with at lunch, and converse during classes – not when the teacher is talking though. He expressed how important it is to not let your anxiety stop you from involving yourself with opportunities and interests you find offered in high school despite how terrifying it is to walk down those hallways. He offered his belief in the best study strategies too. According to Scott, it is best to take your phone, computer, and other devices out of your room and finish your work as quickly as possible with the best quality you can achieve. He says that you will become more efficient in your work, and to remember the most effective legacy, ‘practice makes perfect.’  To continue, the younger opinions on this topic were surprisingly similar to the matured above.

Adrian Cako, a fifteen-year-old student in grade 11, shared his straightforward answer by firmly stating, “For me, anytime I feel stressed about a test or something, the best solution is just to study. I believe it’s a waste of time to meditate or something.” He, the Vice President of Music Directorate and member of the robotics team, strongly believes “Studying is the only answer.” His reply may be parent–like, similar to Rachel’s, but it is one of the most realistic ideas to apply.

When Qing Yuan Wu, a 15-year-old sophomore, and baritone player in the mega band, was asked for his opinion he swiftly responded, “Use your spare time to study. Don’t take tests too seriously and realize that they’re probably not worth a lot in the end.” Jhessmund Mendoza, the same age, and member of the junior volleyball team expanded by stating, “Do not compare your grades to the grades of other people. Grades are important and all, but it’s more important that you actually understand the information. I feel like grades don’t matter as much as giving 100%. If you are really stressed out, I recommend calming yourself down by doing something you love or talking to someone.” Rhea Xinxo, a member of the student and athletic council, concluded the theme of resolving stress by saying, “If things get really overwhelming put everything into perspective. A lot of this stuff won’t matter at all ten years from now. If you feel it does, prioritize that and put some effort in.” She quickly added, “Try to start preparing for tests and projects in advance so that you don’t have to cram and stress.”

It is understandable why grade 9 can be very stressful, which is why these important tips and opinions can help you organize your time and create a more stress-relieved situation for yourself. Whether it is creating a To-Do list, putting away your electronics, or listening to certain types of music – it is essential to find a balance between fun and studying that works for you. If you are a hard-core procrastinator, like me, take baby steps toward wise decisions or go cold-turkey. These opinions only gave a glimpse of the possibilities you can attempt to keep your high school year healthy, both mentally and physically. Although it is difficult, do not overwhelm yourself too much. It is your first year after all, and only a tiny portion of your entire life. As Rhea emphasizes, “You don’t have to go the extra mile if you’re wearing down your own tires.”

Here is a little summarized stress antidote for success:

Stop procrastinating

To-Do List

Review regularly

Entertain responsibly

Stay positive and smile

Success Guaranteed!

Enjoy your freshmen adventure while it lasts.


An opinion articles.

 

Student Organization Profile: Music Directorate

By Vanessa Ifepe

Music Directorate is made up of music students whose goal is to spread the sound of school spirit around the school. They are responsible for planning events such as Coffee House where students of all kind are invited to showcase their talents or come and support the performers. They also help to set up concerts such as Sounds of Spring and Chamber Night. Music Directorate hopes to encourage students who are not taking music academically to integrate into the music department. This club wants to show others that this part of the school isn’t exclusive to just music students. Just because you aren’t taking music this year, it doesn’t mean you can’t show off your musical talents or anything else you may be able to contribute! Throughout the school year, Music Directorate meets to discuss new ways to ensure that your year ends on a good note.

The Giant: A Short Story

By Tatiana Bogdanov

     There’s a giant, who lives in the mountains. He sleeps in the valleys between them at night, and sits and watches the small town below in the day.

     The mountains are invariably cold. It’s always grey; the light, or the lack of it, making everything even more hopeless. Wind always blows the snow in your face, as if you’ve insulted its mom. The few trees that grow in the valleys quiver all hours of the day. The few animals that dare to call the mountains their home never last long; all except the giant. The giant is used to the cold. He’s reckless. He’s old, jaded.

     But the giant hates the mountains, quite honestly. It’s awfully lonely. It snows in the summer. All he can do is sit outside and occasionally smoke. Sometimes the distant lights of the town keep him up at night. Sometimes, he can even hear the people’s laughter; it never fails to make him bitter. There’s beauty all over the town; here, it’s nowhere to be found. The mountains are menacing, even to those who tower over them. They will never be tamed. There’s no reason to climb a mountain, for a view of snow.

     There’s no music to fill the air; no smooth saxophone played, or folky guitar to make everything a little warmer. There was a piano key hit here, once, but it only echoed. There are no children to make everything a little more innocent. The Milky Way in the sky, in the inky black nights, isn’t beautiful; it only reminds of the vastness of the universe.  

     From a distance, the mountains look like an abyss. There’s not a flicker of light at night. Not a howl from a lone wolf. Not the smell of anything human, or alive; just the snow on the ground. The only colour is grey, or a deep, lonely blue, depending on the time of day. The only way you could find happiness here is if you lived with your head inside a dream. The rock has been abused by snow like small bullets. The pines are nearing the end of their life; the syrup inside them finally starting to give up and freeze. You can’t smell them.

     The silence hits him hard, some nights. Only the sound of the wind, and the pines brushing against each other. Sometimes he can hear the sounds of the cosmos; the ethereal noises, the remnants of the time everything exploded into existence. White noise, a whooshing that never stops. Noisy, but silent all the same. It’s the kind of silence that you whisper in because you don’t want to interrupt it. Sometimes, he stares up into the night sky and reads the stories the stars write, though at this point he’s read them all. From Orion’s belt to the story of the Water Bearer.

     Though he’s lived here for years, he can’t remember why he’s here. He can pinpoint the moment he arrived, the very first night he laid down in a valley and tried to get to sleep. The cold froze his tears and kept his feet frosty. He can recall walking into the mountains, wind covering his body in goosebumps, feeling the sobs building in his chest; mind storming with just how hopeless, helpless, hapless he felt. In that moment, walking between the rocks, he could only focus on how upset he felt. The twilight was unforgiving, to be fair, showing the lifelessness of the wasteland he walked into in its full glory. But for the life of him, he can’t think of why he’s here.

     Maybe it was because of everyone else. Maybe it was every person who had expectations so highly of him, that he couldn’t bear to live up to them. Every person who left him and never told him why. Every person he couldn’t make himself talk to, for the fear of being judged. Perhaps, it was how, no matter how friendly some were to him, how much they loved him and told him they loved him, he always felt like a misfit. He never belonged. Like between him and them, there was a canyon fifty miles deep and a hundred miles wide, and he could never ever cross it. The only person he could talk to, being himself. Unloved by even the most unloved; unwanted by even the loneliest. Left feeling like he had an unpayable debt that he owed.

   One could suggest that the fact that his father never loved him as one of the reasons, or at least never showed the love.

Another might say that he went to the mountains of his own accord. He sent himself into exile. He shoved everyone away, every smiling face that just wanted to help. He never could talk about his feelings all that good. He acted nasty and mean, to make them hate him. He felt, to his very core, that he deserved to be all alone. Never thought it, but felt it. He was so focused on the hate and sadness that was taking root in his mind, infiltrating every fold of his brain, that he couldn’t focus on anyone, or anything else. He was blinded by the way he was caving in.

     But whatever the reason he’s there, the giant is miserable. He hates the mountains every day. The cruel rock seems to taunt him, everytime he tries to sleep. The pine trees seem to be even more depressed than him. The stars are more alive than anything here. And yet; he doesn’t go back.

He doesn’t know what going back would hold for him.

Love?

Probably not.

So instead, he sits in the mountains.

     The wind displaces his hair. Snow dusts his shoulders and blankets the mountains. The cosmos live in the sky (he thinks of joining them often). The clouds of gas, vibrant greens and purples, talk about the birth of new stars. A heartbeat is out of place here. The lonesome pines’ needles become frayed with the gales that come through the valleys. The cold kills any animal that tries to visit. There’s nothing but the smell of snow in the air. The silence will never leave him; will always ring in his ears.

    No more tears from him. His eyes are dry, his heart is cold, his brain is filled with guilt, pain, hurt, shame.

He’s as stuck as the mountains.

Humans of FHCI: Sophia and Mien

Do you have any favourite Halloween memories?
Mien – “Once I did this really scary Halloween mask and people think it’s funny right when they show up at your door like I will scare them. But then there was this three-year-old kid who walks through my door, I didn’t know. I open the door and she starts crying. I felt so bad but so good at the same time.”
Sophia – “This is what inspired my ghost costume. Last year I went to a door and this old lady opened it up and she looks at me and says in a thick accent ‘this is for the little ones’. She takes one tiny butterscotch candy and just drops it into my bag. Now I’m dressing up as a ghost so when I go tricker treating people

Simple Recipes for Bad Cooks

By: Lielle Ronen

     As someone who has managed to burn pasta, down below are some easy recipes that even I can make. Online recipes were too complicated for me to complete, so I came up with my own version of a burrito filling and found a simple guacamole recipe to go with it.

 

Meatless Rice Burrito Filling

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. of butter
  • 1/2 a chopped onion
  • 1/2 a minced garlic clove
  • As much as rice as needed
  • As much tomato sauce as needed
  • 1 tbsp. of paprika
  • 1 tbsp. of cayenne pepper
  • A sprinkle of black pepper

 

Instructions:

  • Melt the butter in a saucepan.
  • Stir in garlic, onion, rice, tomato, paprika, cayenne, and pepper.
  • Pour the filling into a burrito wrap and top with guacamole, sour cream, lettuce, etc. (optional)

 

Guacamole (allrecipes.com)

Ingredients:

 

  • 2 avocados
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • 1 juiced lime
  • a sprinkle of salt and pepper

 

 

Instructions:

  • Peel and mash avocados.
  • Stir in onion, garlic, tomato, lime juice, salt, and pepper.
  • Chill for half an hour.

The Number Three: A Poem & Short Story

By Vanessa Ifepe

In three days, I realized three things.

I hate the number three, I’m impulsive,

and I might have loved him.

Only two things out of those three things are relevant to us.

On the third day of school, I saw him but, of course, he never saw me. I wanted him to.

In the third period, the only seat left was the one next to me and he sat in it. He said hi to me and after three awful minutes, I replied. If I could go back to that moment, I would have kept my eyes straight ahead and thanked myself later.

At 3:00 pm, three weeks later, my mom called saying she suddenly couldn’t pick me up and luckily, he was there. He offered to drive me home.

I still, to this day, don’t know what compelled me to accept his offer.

After thirty minutes of driving in utter silence while both of us pretended to be focused on the road, he finally took a deep breath and asked for my number. For some god-awful reason I still can’t identify, I gave it to him.

At 3:00 am, after three hours of what seemed to feel like a timeless phone call, he said he needed to get to know every part of me. I told him he was the third boy to ever say that.

On our third date, we laughed, and I had this feeling that he wouldn’t have a hard time tearing down every layer of me until I was completely vulnerable.

Unfortunately, I was right.

After three months of playful flirting and signs that I didn’t quite know how to read, he asked me to be his.

I remember feeling like the happiest girl in the world and without a second thought, I nodded in acceptance. In that moment, it felt like I finally had something that would last forever, something that no one could take away from me.

This time, I was wrong.

Three months go by, and he started acting distant. The three-hour timeless conversations turned into thirty minutes of dead space where all I had to make sure he was on the other line was his breathing. But that became enough because I was lucky if he even bothered to answer the phone. In the third period, the greetings stopped, and soon he moved his seat. After school, my mom had to start picking me up again.

He chose that girl I told him to stay away from to be his lab partner because he thought I was just paranoid. We went three weeks with no contact and that included eye contact until he finally texted me the two words that would shatter my heart.

“I’m sorry.”

I knew what that meant.

On July 3rd, I saw him at a party with her, and he didn’t see me.

Just like on the third day of school. From anyone on the outside, it would have looked like things had always been that way, but the truth was, it had been so much more than I could even explain.

For three days I was a drunken mess.

I was awake for three hours at most, tossing and turning when I wrote and deleted desperate texts I wanted to send him.

When the tears had dried, I settled on one simple message. “I hate the number three.”

– Seen at 3:05 am.

 

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.

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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.

 

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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!

What’s Really Scary this Halloween: The Way We Ignore Remote Communities

By Tatiana Bogdanov

April 25th, 2017, is a grey day in Moosonee, Ontario, as the Polar Bear Express rolls into Moosonee station. Snow piles up beside the dirt roads, maintained by the chilly -5ºC weather, a stark contrast from Toronto’s warm, wet spring. Thirty tired grade eights file out of the train and are immediately enveloped by the love that seems to rule the kids from Bishop Belleau Catholic School.

They were all about to be shocked by the difference between living in a remote community in Ontario, and in a big, sparkly city.

There are few words to describe the surrealism of seeing the conditions in a remote community. It is almost like entering a different country, though you are only a mere fourteen hours (nine by bus, and five by train) away from Toronto.  Though the trip was life-changing in the way it has made me see the world and my life, it had also ignited a fury.

A remote community is a place that is “cut off” from most other populated areas. Moosonee is an example; the only way to get there is either by train or plane. Or, if one is coming down from even further north, the ice road (and that is only in the winter). The nearest city is Timmins, and even then, the distance between the two is 315 km.

In fact, Moosonee is so far away from everything that it does not even get proper cell service. It has “Rogers extended coverage,” which is way slower than any cell signals we get here.

Nonetheless, it is truly a charming town, right on the edge of James Bay. If you look across the shore there, you can see islands owned by Nunavut. In the bush (the locals’ word for the forest), plant life runs wild. You can find trees felled by beavers, wild cranberry, and even tamarack trees. The locals are some of the nicest people you will ever meet and welcomed us to their home with wide-open arms. Their winters are bitterly cold, in a way that is only found in Canada.

But, as with all remote communities, it faces a barrage of problems. From unemployment to alcoholism, to the struggle to keep their culture alive; life is not easy for the 3,500 residents of Moosonee, nor for residents of any remote community.

The children of Attawapiskat (a community even further north from Moosonee) went to school in portables for fourteen years because the main building was condemned. Many who live in remote communities struggle to receive quality healthcare. Prices are often exorbitant for basic things such as diapers, or apples. Education is generally worse. There is more poverty.

In 2011, 52% of deaths in the Island Lake community of Manitoba went uncategorized, because they simply did not have the amenities to document them.

In 2011, 52% of deaths in the Island Lake community of Manitoba went uncategorized, because they simply did not have the amenities to document them. In 2012, statistics showed that Island Lake people had more premature deaths, digestive disorders, and teenage pregnancies than other Manitobans.

Another study showed that Canadians in remote communities often have higher death rates, infant mortality rates, and lower life expectancies than those that live in Canada’s urban communities.

Of course, there is a pattern, a cycle of the struggles of remote communities. The lack of people creates a lack of jobs, which creates a lack of money, which then creates the lack of resources to change the situation. The Canadian government is not doing much to help. There are few popular charities dedicated to aiding these communities.

It seems like there is no winning. The government is not helping, and most Canadians are not either.

That raises the question; why are we not doing anything? Why are we not hearing about this on the news? These are Canadians, living in Canada. If we faced these problems in Toronto, there would protest in the streets. People would be rightfully outraged; it would likely be broadcast nationally.

Yet, we live on in our practical urban utopia, while people live unnecessarily hard lives in one of the most developed countries in the world.

And that is pretty damn scary to me.

So this Halloween, consider the way people live in remote communities and think about supporting a charity like the Frontiers Foundation or True North Aid, to help bring some relief.

 

 

The Complete FHCI Club List 2017/18

A Shot at Life

L. Burnip

Afro-Carib Club

K. Berger

Albanian Culture Club

A. Moore

Art Club

S. Conley

Book Club

D. Haines

Business of Sports Club

E. Ketchum

Champions of Change

D. Cabral

Chess Club

C. Geomolean

Christian Fellowship Club

M. Thompson

Comedy Club

M. Roca

Community Transit Committee

S. MacDonald

Computer Science

A. Costin

Cookies 4 a Cure

E. Monaghan

Cookies for a Cure

R. Jackson

COPE Council

J. Ng

Dance Fashion Show

J. Homatidis/H. Russell

Debate Club

K. Berger

DECA Club

A. Costin

Drama Club

M. Roca

Envirommental Awareness

C. Soneriu

Falcons Cheer Squad

K. Brown

Filipino Club

J. Ibe

Film Critics Club

M. Roca

Football Analytics Club

K. Berger

Gender Sexuality Alliance

A. Chan

The Golden Falcon Newspaper (Student Organization)

E. Lee

Jewish Culture Club

M. Sable

Latino Club

D. Cabral

Law Club

M. Sable

Math Club

A. Basheer

Miracle Club for SickKids

L. Moore

Newcomer’s Club

H. Israelovitch

Politics & History Club

T. Rudan

Save the Animals

R. Jackson

Science Club

J. Pupovac

Sign Language Club

A. Strasberg

Social Action Club

D. Kleiman

Sports Management Club

L. Barber

Student Inclusion Program

K. Berger

TED Club

K. Berger

Video Game Club

D. Ferroni

Humans of FHCI – Jordyn Brownstein

By Jaimie Kerzner and Georgia Blatt

What is one piece of advice that you would give to your grade 9 self?

“I would say to try and stay focused and relaxed in school. Nothing is as serious as it seems.”

What is your favourite and least favourite thing so far about grade 12?

“My favourite thing about grade 12 is the freedom, and my least favourite thing is worrying about my future after high school.”

Which year of high school has been your favourite?

“Grade 12, because I have learned so much since the start of high school and I am better at dealing with almost any kind of situation.”

What would you say is the best part of last week’s pep rally?

“I loved seeing the school spirit.”

What are your plans for after high school?

“I want to study in university for social sciences.”

Do you have a secret talent?

“I’m really good at cooking.”

Finally, who is your favourite teacher and why?

“Ms. Homatidis, because she’s stunning on the inside and out.”

Humans of FHCI – Zoe Amo

What is one thing most people don’t know about you?

“I have celiac disease.”

What is your favourite class and why?

“Band because I really enjoy music. It’s a hard class but it’s a fun class.”

What are your plans after high school?

“I want to go to Queen’s or the University of Ottawa for Sports Psychology.”

If you could change one thing about FHCI, what would it be?

“More course options.”

A Trip to the Bloody Lake

By Anonymous

A true story.

It was mid-July, I was a fourteen-year-old boy sitting with my father in a small pancake house near the lake in Banff, giving all my attention to the daily crossword puzzle in front of me. The aroma of powdered sugar and blueberries wafted through the restaurant, it was pleasant. I was relaxed, though I was beginning to get very irritated when these two elderly men in the booth behind me were blabbering about something. I could see in the mirror in front of me that he leaned forward, put his arms on the table and said: “those people are so utterly wrong.” I did not understand what he was talking about until I noticed an old television screen mounted in the corner of the room, a news channel was on and they were discussing gun laws. The man sitting across from him said “they don’t understand why we hunt, we hunt because it is fun, not because we like to kill. If we liked to kill then we would be murderers.” He agreed and they both nodded their heads. On this day, I was given a better glimpse at the ethical nature of the individual — the true motives of these bloodthirsty, undoubtedly cowardice, men.

Later that day, my father and I decided to go on a hike through Chephren Lake, a secluded hike through the picturesque mountains and lakes of Banff. As we entered the trail there was a large metal sign that cautioned hikers of the dangers of bears and other wildlife, it read “you must hike in a group of four.” We ignored the instructions and continued on.

The route we took had sparkling wet black rocks which had been worn down to form a smooth path of stones to cross a flowing river. I could feel the cool breeze coming off the raging rapids to my right, and the sound of the running streams of fresh water was rather soothing. We were now walking through a chestnut-brown forest with parsley-green leaves — the tangled arms of the lush trees rose ever upwards, as far as my head could turn. A pair of jays were shrieking very high up in the trees, almost like a warning call.

We walked past three hikers. There were two males and one female, all wearing large neon-yellow backpacks. As all five of us went around a corner, a crashing sound could be heard from my left, and I instinctively moved to the right. I saw a young black bear with its right paw trapped in a steel-jawed bear trap. The bear gave a gasping screech and staggered up, and then dead silence. Its roar was horrifically loud, and the sound was disturbingly human. I thought it was clearly crying for help. I could see it’s paw was swollen and tightly clamped in the razor-sharp spikes of the trap. I could distinctly see the excruciating pain it was in. The bear had an open wound on its paw, and the fur was completely ripped off the skin, I didn’t want to believe that I could see exposed bones but I could. The thick blood spewed out of the bear, dripping slowly to the ground below. The leaves beneath the bear were no longer parsley-green, they were bright red. Seeing this bear made it feel like time stood still. I could feel every second pass. I couldn’t breathe. Reality had yet to set in. I looked at the oak trees between us and the bear and imagined they were the steel bars in a prison cell locking the bear in. I wondered who really should be imprisoned: us or the bear? What are we? Animals? Or humans? “What are we going to do?” I asked my father, “There is nothing we can do, so we’ll just go,” he replied. I didn’t understand how we could just leave the animal there; it was suffering, it was in pain. The other hikers didn’t seem to care about the dying animal. As they were abandoning it, one of them muttered “so sad,” and the women replied with laughter, “who cares.” This was the moment when I was unsure who really was the animal, this group of humans, or the animal itself. Then, I saw my father walking away from me, I didn’t know what to think of this. My conscience was telling me one thing, while my father was telling me another. There wasn’t anyone telling me what to do. Only me. I told myself that the bear would live, but I didn’t believe it. The bear was starting to fight less against the pain, its breathing was ragged and very uneven. I could hear the sound of jays high up in the canopy of trees, it sounded familiar. I didn’t want to get left behind, so I took a deep breath and walked away.

Afterward, at the end of the hiking trail, there was a group of four national park Rangers discussing something, they seemed upset. The three hikers from before, the ones that also saw the bear, walked passed the Rangers, and the Rangers asked them if they saw a black bear trapped. The female hiker quickly replied “no,” without skipping a beat. It was obvious that the Rangers didn’t believe them, but it didn’t really matter — did any of this matter?

A short while later, I walked to a small fountain on the side of the road to clean my hands after the hike since they were very dirty from all the climbing we had to do. The water was crystal clear, I could see my reflection looking back at me as if I was staring into a mirror. I put my hands in the water, it was much colder than I had expected. I tried to wash off the powdered dirt from my hands but it was challenging, the filth would not come off. Only then did I realize it was not water. Alas, my bloody hands.

In the end, I never found out if that bear had ever been saved. I often wondered if I did something wrong. There is no rule saying that you have to save animals if they are injured, yet I still sense that I did something that I should be ashamed of. I was never really bothered by the bear. Actually, maybe it was the bear that bothered me. Seeing that dying beast made me witness things I never wanted to witness, feel things I never wanted to feel. Maybe humans are just horrible. We seem to have an impulse to act based on self-interest and scorn moral rules. Looking back, the experience I had with that bear was very much enlightening. I don’t think those three hikers were bad people — I think they are just a representation of human nature and society at its finest. They didn’t want to get their hands bloody and, I don’t blame them — blood does stain.

Humans of FHCI – Mr​ Ferroni

What is one thing most people don’t know about you?

“I used to be an Auxiliary police constable with the Toronto Police.”

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

“I would be a criminal lawyer.”

What’s your favourite thing about being a teacher?

“Bringing people closer to the truth, just like in Plato’s Allegory of The Cave.”

What’s your least favourite thing about being a teacher?

“When people try to lead others away from the truth.”

Ethnic Cleansing is Still Very Much With Us

By Linda Cako

As of September 19, 2017, over 400,000 stateless Rohingya Muslims have been forced to leave their homes in Myanmar and flee into neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Thailand and Malaysia. Bangladesh’s refugee camps are quickly becoming one of the world’s largest. Since August 2017, 20,000 new refugees enter and seek relief each day. It is estimated that these camps will hit one million refugees if the crisis continues to worsen (EuroNews, 2017). They are all leaving Myanmar due to the fact that the Burmese Military is destroying the Rohingya’s villages, and is raping and killing them.

They are all leaving Myanmar due to the fact that the Burmese Military is destroying the Rohingya’s villages, and is raping and killing them.

The Rohingya are a minority ethnic group in Myanmar compared to its overall Buddhist majority. While Myanmar claims the Rohingya population are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, the Rohingya population dates back to Myanmar’s population since the twelfth century (Human Rights Watch). The group has consistently been denied citizenship and documents and is considered to be one of the most targeted group of people today (The Guardian, 2017).They continue to live as stateless people within Myanmar’s boarders while Bangladesh is also refusing to give the Rohingya any documentation because it says the Rohingya are Burmese.

“50% are still intact? What does that mean? That 50% are gone, are burnt down. You know, 50% was a failing mark when I went to school”.

Myanmar is denying that there is any ethnic cleansing or genocide occurring within its borders to the UN and was happy to report that 50% of the Rohingya villages are still intact. Phil Robertson, a Deputy Director of HRW Asian Division, says, “50% are still intact? What does that mean? That 50% are gone, are burnt down. You know, 50% was a failing mark when I went to school”.

Satellite images are reporting to show the damages done in the villages as late as September 8, 2017 where 158 buildings were burned and destroyed.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, says, “the situation seems to be a textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.

World Leaders still haven’t decided how to punish the government’s military. And Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi, has received international criticism for not putting more effort into stopping the cleansing. While she has made efforts to change the country’s constitution in the past, unfortunately she has little to no power in achieving much since Myanmar is a “military-drafted constitution”. This means the army has a very integrated role within the government (CNN, 2017). In fact the army is required to make up 25% of all seats in the parliament, and for any changes to be made within the constitution more than 75% of the parliamentarians are required to vote (The Economist, 2014).

Until any action takes place, more innocent Rohingya will be targeted and displaced or killed by the Burmese Military.

Humans of FHCI – Kelly Mac

By Leora T.

What is one thing you learned from your time at school?

One thing I’ve learned from my time at school is to stay true to yourself. Don’t let anyone manipulate the way you act or look and make sure you’re doing what makes you happy. Focus on what is important like your courses because friends will fade over time but school is meant for education.

Who is someone that inspires you and why?

Kim Kardashian inspires me, not from a beauty standpoint but as a businesswoman. She knows what she is doing and does well for herself and her family. She is a strong and powerful woman.

huMANS

The Dark Side of Technology

By Josh Blatt

Why was technology made in the first place? This is a question that people should be asking themselves far more frequently, as it outlines many of the problems that exist with its use in modern society.

Technology was first made to make people’s lives easier. For example, farms used to require several individuals to manage it all day. Then, devices such as tractors and ploughs were invented and only a fraction of the effort is now needed in order to run the farm. As a result of this automation, people should, in theory, be able to work fewer hours and receive the same or more pay. The reality is that this is very idealistic and seldom seen in the modern world. Instead of this, many farmers, and workers in similar situations were fired. This illustrates how large-scale technology only benefits those who can afford to purchase it, and evidently not those who it replaces.

Furthermore, in a more relatable sense, technology has ironically made people more disconnected than ever. A 2016 report written by Media Technology Monitor says that young Canadians between the ages of 18 and 34 spend nearly five hours per day using the internet, approximately 34 hours per week. Not only does this mean young people are spending less time with each other, but University of Illinois psychology professor Alejandro Lleras has evidence showing that people who are addicted to cellphones or the internet “scored much higher on depression and anxiety scales.” It is clear that socially cell phones can and have been detrimental to the mental health and well-being of those who use them.

Technology is something that can yield tremendous benefits for those who use it. It can make communication and research easier, open up new and innovative job opportunities, and add unmatched levels of convenience to people’s lives. However, it should not be seen as something without its drawbacks. Not only has it contributed to the current wealth disparity we see today through eliminating jobs, but it has harmed its users on a mental and physical level. To avoid this unfortunate reality, youth need to be especially cautious with their future career choices. Technology must be used in moderation along with everything else in order to avoid the isolating and addictive traits it possesses intrinsically.

Humans of FHCI – Mr. MacDonald

By Esther Eisen and Abi Parameswaran

 

unnamedWhat is one thing most people don’t know about you? 

“I dabble in oil painting. But I only dabble in it; I’m not very good at it. I can also carve a sick pumpkin!”

If you weren’t a teacher, what would you be? 
“I would probably be working a desk job, doing something really boring like filing. My dream job would be a river raft guide in The Northern Woods.”
 
What’s your favourite thing about being a teacher?
“I really enjoy coming in every day and having one-on-one time with students in our own space. I like the discussions we have, the ideas we have. I like the creativity I see coming from the students. I learn something every day!”
 
What’s your least favourite thing about being a teacher?
“I don’t like whining.”
 
What’s one tradition you’ve kept throughout your teaching career? 
“We play Jeopardy every day. I started this tradition on my very first period of teaching. I found a Jeopardy calendar in my desk drawer and that just kick started the whole thing.”

The Terry Fox Run: A Tradition Worth Continuing

By Josh Blatt

Social Issues Head Editor

Every year, the students of Forest Hill walk, run, and donate money in honour of the great Canadian Terry Fox. Terry Fox, despite losing one of his legs to cancer, decided to run across Canada in order to raise money to cure the complex sickness he faced. In total, over $750 million dollars have been raised in the humanitarian’s name. This event not only collects money for the paramount issue of cancer research, but gives students and staff the opportunity to take a break from their busy schedules to get active and celebrate a truly inspiring man. Terry Fox is a person who will be remembered for his determination and selflessness and Forest Hill plans to continue celebrating his work and raising money in his name for a very long time.

Are You Good Enough To Win Family Feud?

Here’s How It Works: Below are real questions from the gameshow Family Feud. Guess which answer has the most points, and that is the correct answer.

We asked 100 people…

Nurdan Kiper – Humans of FHCI

By Jacob Calderone

What brings you the most happiness?

It would definitely have to be coffee. Coffee is my life. Especially before school, because school is tiring. I love to get my coffee at Tim Hortons, especially the Iced Latte with a shot of espresso. I need to have the espresso to kick start my morning.

What is your greatest struggle right now?

That’s a good question. I think it would have to be balancing my school and social life. Since I am in grade 12 now, I need to focus on my studies, but I also want to enjoy my last year of high school. For example, I want to hang out with my girls like all the time, but I can’t because of school. I am still working on trying to find a balance, yet I hope that my last year at FHCI will be amazing!

What motto do you live by?

I live by the motto, “Treat other the way you want to be treated.” I think this is so important because especially nowadays with social media, people can be really mean. Not just me, but if everyone lived their lives with this motto in mind, our world would be a much happier place. Everyone would respect one another, which is so so important.