Teachers of FHCI: Mr. Berger

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

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

What do you want to do after retirement?

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

What are some hobbies you have outside of the classroom?

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

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

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

Did you pick up an accent?

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

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Humans of FHCI: Lauren Mirabella

What is your biggest fear?

“Heights. When I was little I got stuck at the top of the monkey bars at school and I had to wait until 3:15 for my mom to pick me up because I was so scared.”

What was the last thing that made you cry?

“I was looking for a phone charger and I couldn’t find one.”

What is your favourite comfort food?

“Any type of pasta because I’m Italian.”

If you got a tattoo, what would it be of?

“It would probably be something really meaningful. Maybe something for my parents or grandparents. Probably a pink ribbon for breast cancer because my family has been really affected by it.”

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

“Stay classy.”

 

Humans of FHCI: Olivia Bogner

If you could only watch one movie for the rest of your life what would it be and why?

“All the fast and furious movies. They’re my favourite movies ever and whenever I’m bored they’re always what I want to watch.”

Tell me something you absolutely hate about people.

“I hate when people are selfish.”

What is the coolest place you’ve ever travelled to?

“I went to South Korea and it was a really cool experience. I learned a lot about their culture.”

What is the number one thing on your bucket list?

“Skydiving for sure.”

What is something most people do not know about you? 

I am really good at mountain biking.”

 

Humans of FHCI: Marlee Moskoff

Do you have any strategies you use when studying?

“I listen to classical music, it’s very calming. Studying in silence is so boring.”

What is something you wish you could tell your grade 9 self?

“Enjoy the easy work while it lasts.”

What is something you can’t live without?

“Chocolate covered strawberries.”

What are you going to miss the most when you go to university?

“I’m gonna miss all my friends being in the same place.”

What do you like to do over the breaks?

“I go on ski trips with my dad to Whistler, Kicking Horse, Utah, Quebec and other places.”

Humans of FHCI: Beza Tadesse

By Hermela Berhane

If you could give one piece of advice to a large group of people, what would it be?

“I would tell them to always trust their judgment and never let others persuade their thoughts. You have to be a very strong-minded person and you must strive to be anything you want to be regardless of what others try to tell you otherwise.”

Who is your role model? Why?

My mother because she came to this country in order to provide more opportunities for me and my sisters. She is a very hardworking woman who puts others before herself and she has shaped me into the strong woman I am today.”

Day in the Life of Mike S.

Imagine working two jobs and going to school at the same time. Imagine getting no Netflix time. It is all worth it for Mike S. Mike is the epitome of what hardworking is and should be. Despite all the long hours and rude customers, he consistently remains positive, upbeat and friendly. Here is a snapshot of what a day in his life looks like…

4:30 AM — Mike wakes up for work at Starbucks.

“This has to be the worst part of my day. Every time my alarm rings, I always have the urge to hit the snooze button. I don’t, but sometimes I wish I should.”  – MS

5:30 AM – 10:00 AM — Shift at Starbucks

Mike takes the morning shift because he loves seeing the same customers each morning and giving them their booster for the day. He also likes the morning shift because he loves his fellow employees. He says they are a fantastic team. Most importantly, Mike’s favourite drinks are the Strawberry Refresher and Peach Tea. He usually has one of them in the morning.

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Some may say that working at Starbucks in the morning is the worst because it is SO busy and that they would get tired of Frappuccinos and Lattes. However, Mike sees the positive side of it, as he thrives under pressure and feels like the busier it is, the faster the time goes. Not to mention that he loves making different drinks for customers.

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Mike enjoying gelato

10:00 AM – 10:26 AM — Run to FHCI

“I have to eat my breakfast while I literally run to school. I know it sounds crazy, but I do.” – MS

10:26 AM – 11:42 AM — Film with Mr. Lee

“First off, can we talk about these times; like why is it 10:26 and not 10:30? Why is it 11:42 and not 11:45? Very odd.” – MS

Mike has 29 credits, so he only needs 1 more to graduate. For his last high school course he chose Film. Mike has a burning passion for photography and film and is always eager to learn more. He is an incredible photographer, as shown on his Instagram page (@msivolap).

11:42 AM – 3:00 PM — Lunch and Homework and maybe Sleep.

After class Mike goes home for lunch and does homework. His favourite food is Borscht. He says his mom makes the best because she has been making it for years. For homework, Mike is usually creating interesting and thought-provoking films and taking new and exciting city photos. If he has spare time, he takes a quick nap to refresh.

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM — Travel to Banana Republic

“I know, I know. 1 hour seems long to go to work, but it wouldn’t be if the TTC weren’t so bad. Anyways, that’s a topic for another day.” – MS

4:00 PM – 10:00 PM — Work at Banana Republic

“Round Two. This job is totally different from Starbucks. Here, I stock shelves and help customers find their style. I am usually successful in giving people outfit makeovers. It is a really fun job.” – MS

Mike brings his infectious smile and outgoing personality to Banana Republic. You would think that he would be tired after a busy day, but he isn’t because he loves what he does. He is always recognized as being the most helpful employee and the employee that others look up to.

10:30 PM – 4:30 AM — Sleep! Finally!

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“This is where I can finally sleep and chill. I deserve it right; after this busy day?” – MS

Humans of FHCI: Anna and Mady

By Mia Brenner

Do you have any funny holiday memories?

Mady:” Last Christmas my cousin really wanted some ginger-ale and my Grandma always says soda. She was like’ oh Grandma do you have any ginger-ale’? My grandma was like ‘No sorry, I don’t have any’. And my cousin looks in the fridge and all that’s in there is ginger-ale. And she’s like ‘Grandma why didn’t you let me have any’? And my grandma was like’ I don’t know what you’re talking about.’ Yeah my Christmas was pretty mad”

Do you have any new years resolutions?

Anna: “To do better and focus more on school and actually know whats going on.
Mady: “Yeah, raise my average and be more active.”

Have you ever kept a past new year resolution?

Anna: “No, I’m really bad at keeping them,”
Mady: “I don’t usually make new years resolution because it just sets you up for failure.”

 


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

Humans of FHCI: Max and Emerson

By Mia Brenner

What are your plans for the holidays?

Max: “Relax. Sleep, read a book or two, go out a bit.”
Emerson: “I’ll work a couple more hours on my shift and then sleep as much as possible.”

 Do you have any new year resolutions?

Emerson- “I don’t want to say them. I mean, focus more on school, get my G2, stuff like that.”
Max- “Spend more time with family and friends, just make deeper interpersonal relations

Humans of FHCI is a popular column of The Golden Falcon Newspaper. Explore more student and teacher interviews here:

Humans of FHCI: Michael

By Mia Brenner

Do you have any funny holiday memories?

“Once my sister opened up all of the presents early, two hours before everyone woke up. My parents as a punishment made her do 500 lines and took the presents away for later and forgot to give them to her and we never found the presents.”

Do you have any new year resolutions for 2018

“I wanna learn how to paint.”

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

Humans of FHCI – Ethan Shama

By Georgia Blatt and Jaimie Kerzner

What is your favourite TV show?
“How I Met Your Mother.”
Are you planning on going to the Halloween dance? 
“No, because not many people are going in my circle.”
Favourite teacher and why?
“Naylor, because his classes are fun.”
Favourite food?
“Sushi.”
Secret talent or something people don’t know about you?
“I’m part Egyptian.”

Humans of FHCI – Laureta Mrizi and Maya Saltzman 

By Georgia Blatt and Jaimie Kerzner

If you could change one thing about forest hill what would it be?
M: “Heating at this time”
L: “heating”
What’s the biggest change from middle school to high school
M: “Semesters”
L: “Moving classes between each period”
Is high school like you thought it would be and why?
M: “Yes I knew it would be hard to keep track of all my work”
L: “No I thought there would be a lot more work”
Who’s our favourite teacher so far and why?
M: “Ms. Carniol because she’s really funny and is always making us less stressed”
L: “Ms Campbell because she explains clearly what I have to do and keeps me on track”
Are you involved in any clubs this year?
M: “Cookies 4 a cure”
L: “Cookies 4 a cure and I am a dancer for DFS”

Ms Burnip – Teachers of FHCI: Before We Knew Them

By Kana Ogawa and Sapna Humar

When we look at teachers of FHCI, it is hard to picture them doing anything other than being in the classroom, and teaching us school related things.  However, as surprising as it may sound, some teachers have had previous occupations, before they became what we know them as today. Here are some of our great teachers, and their jobs before FHCI.

Did you have any occupations before you became a teacher?

“Yes! I always wanted to go into teaching… actually that’s not true. I wanted to be a doctor for a while. And then in Grade 10 I thought, I’m going to teach, because I definitely love school. But before that, I had to do a lot of different jobs. I didn’t have a wealthy family or a wealthy background so I had to earn money for university and/or do well in school to get a scholarship. What I did do, as my first job was working at a gas station, where I pumped gas and cleaned windshields. And after that, I worked for a funeral home, where I was a receptionist. It was a pretty interesting job. I also worked at a golf club! I was a course marshal, and ticket taker. I worked at Taco Bell, my worst job ever … I couldn’t stand it! I was placed on the drive through, and it was actually the hardest job I ever did.  I also was a teacher’s assistant for Costume Design and Shop at the University of Guelf when I was in my undergrad.

After these jobs, what motivated you to become a teacher?

“I did a stint called Second Job Employment. Youth who were not doing well in school would come to this workshop. That was in my fourth year university before I went to teacher’s college. I learned how to work with people, as well as kids who don’t like school and aren’t doing as well in school, so that was a great transition job. Taco Bell didn’t teach me anything, other than that you have to work hard, and that some people are unthankful. And lots of times when you’re teaching, it’s a thankful task, but it can be a thankless task too. Doing things, you won’t normally do and putting yourself out there are all the reasons why I do all these jobs. I need make money, I want to experience stuff, and I like to live life in the moment, so I said OK, why not?

Do you like teaching?

I love it, especially working here at this school. Before I came to FHCI, I’ve spent 19 years at another school, and before that I was even more bored. Being in someplace for 19 years, it is very difficult to say, I’m going to switch schools! But I am happy I was able to, and I was so lucky to have landed at FHCI. It really rejuvenated my energy and made me so happy, to just have a whole new change in scenery and a new student body to work with. It’s been so amazing, and so, of course I love being a teacher.”

Mr Oosterhoff – Teachers of FHCI: Before We Knew Them

By Kana Ogawa and Sapna Humar

When we look at teachers of FHCI, it is hard to picture them doing anything other than being in the classroom, and teaching us school related things.  However, as surprising as it may sound, some teachers have had previous occupations, before they became what we know them as today. Here are some of our great teachers, and their jobs before FHCI.

Did you do any work before becoming a teacher?

“I worked in Japan for a little. I also had a lot of part time jobs. I worked at a convenience store, where I sold everything from candy to magazines to cigarettes… it was terrible. Before that, I worked at a library.”

In Toronto?

“No, in London Ontario, where I grew up. I liked it there when I was young, but not once I became old enough to realize that it had a very small-town super white mentality for a city that really shouldn’t have had.”

Did you work at any other schools before FHCI?

“No.  I got hired here 13 years ago… a long time. I taught ESL, I taught English, I taught S.A.P, a little bit of History, and Civics and Careers. It’s my first year as a guidance counsellor, hopefully not the last. I definitely love it. It’s a very different set of challenges.”

Mr Moore – Teachers of FHCI: Before We Knew Them

By Kana Ogawa and Sapna Humar

When we look at teachers of FHCI, it is hard to picture them doing anything other than being in the classroom, and teaching us school related things.  However, as surprising as it may sound, some teachers have had previous occupations, before they became what we know them as today. Here are some of our great teachers, and their jobs before FHCI.

Did you have a different job before becoming a teacher?

“Yes, I didn’t actually become a teacher until I was in my thirties. Before that, I worked as a news photographer. I also worked as a public relations consultant.”

Did you work for any particular newspaper?

“No, I was mostly freelance, but there’s a photo agency that I worked for called “Getty Images”. Once a while, someone buys but very rarely.”

Did you enjoy any of these particular jobs?

“I did, I enjoyed both of them. I didn’t work on a regular enough basis for me to afford to have a family in Toronto, so once I had a son, I started paying attention to education because he was going to be involved in it as he grew older. So, I started looking for a new career. I thought teaching might work out, and it has.”

Ms​ Matte – Teachers of FHCI: Before We Knew Them

By Kana Ogawa and Sapna Humar

When we look at teachers of FHCI, it is hard to picture them doing anything other than being in the classroom, and teaching us school related things.  However, as surprising as it may sound, some teachers have had previous occupations, before they became what we know them as today. Here are some of our great teachers, and their jobs before FHCI.

What did you do before you came to Forest Hill?

“I worked at York Mills Collegiate before, where I did Math and English. I had part-time jobs, but it was just working at retail, at Fairweather.”

What has your experience with FHCI been like?

“I’ve been here since 2005. My first year here, I did Careers, English, and Math. I’ve always enjoyed teaching math in particular.”

Do you enjoy working here?

“Love it. We have a very good department.”

Ms​ Haines – Teachers of FHCI: Before We Knew Them

By Kana Ogawa and Sapna Humar

When we look at teachers of FHCI, it is hard to picture them doing anything other than being in the classroom, and teaching us school related things.  However, as surprising as it may sound, some teachers have had previous occupations, before they became what we know them as today. Here are some of our great teachers, and their jobs before FHCI.

Were you anything before you were a teacher?

 “I taught English in Korea for a year… it was really cool. I also worked as an educational assistant, with students with autism. And I was a waitress in a bar… that’s where I got my education. Before I taught here, I taught at Downsview, Birchmount Park, and Woburn.”

Do you like working here?

“Yeah I do, I really like this school. I think the kids are great, it’s a beautiful building, and there’s a lot going on at this school that gets me excited, like a lot of clubs. I love the staff and I love the students, so I am very happy here.”

Humans of FHCI – Braden B.

By Georgia Blatt and Jaimie Kerzner

If you could change one thing about the school system what would you change?

“ If you come in, the school and the bell goes and you have to wait in the hall then you’re just more late. You shouldn’t have to stand there for 10 minutes.”
If you could’ve known one thing about high school before you went, what would it be?
“Change your study habits immediately or else you’ll be too stressed. You’ll just procrastinate. But now I’m all good. Grade 10 is the same as grade 9 just different curriculum”
How do you want to get involved in the school?
“I mean a lot to this school, I’m going to be the next president”
What’s your motto/what do you live by?
“My motto is ‘be the best person you can, be your best self.’ I think I got that from trumps inauguration…”

Being Part of a Family That Speaks a Language I Don’t Understand

By Jessica Huong

My grandmother’s house is bustling with noise on holidays. The whole family comes to celebrate together. Everywhere I go, I’d hear a relative speaking to another in a cheerful manner. They smile and laugh wholeheartedly.

I wish I could laugh along too, but I can barely understand a sentence.

I was born in Canada to Chinese parents who had both lived in Vietnam for most of their lives. They can speak Cantonese fluently; but to each other, they’d use full-on Vietnamese (their first language), so I can’t understand a single word.

Actually, that’s a bit of an exaggeration – I can understand some words, like khóa cửa (keys) and nước mắm (fish sauce), but I’d be lucky if I can string a single sentence together.

When my parents talk to each other, it’s like hearing a familiar – yet technically foreign to me – language on a daily basis. I’ve grown accustomed to being confused, especially when family members argue. I’m always left wondering, “What did they just argue about? Why is everyone yelling?”

Sometimes, I even notice relatives stealing short glances at me while continuing their conversations. I can’t help but think they’re talking about me – is it my outfit? My hair? My inability to understand Vietnamese?

This isn’t even the worst part. Some of them seem to occasionally forget that I can only speak English and some Cantonese. Take my grandma, for instance. She’s so sweet, but sometimes she’ll just come up to me and ask me things in Vietnamese! She can’t speak English well, and I’m too embarrassed to tell her that I can’t understand her. Those conversations always go something like this:

Grandmother: “Trường như thế nào, Jessica?” (Translation: “How is school, Jessica?”)

Me: Hahaha, yeah. Thanks, grandma. *Wipes sweat*

(Disclaimer: I used the ever-so-reliable Google Translate for my grandma’s Vietnamese line in this. It might make no sense whatsoever to a fluent speaker, but let’s roll with it.)

It’s not too bad, however. My aunts and uncles tend to remember that I can’t understand Vietnamese. In that case, they speak to me in English. This is great, because then I can surprise them with my Cantonese skills (which is broken, but generally better than they expected). Also, luckily, most of my cousins speak English all the time, despite understanding Vietnamese fluently.

Not to mention; when my parents speak to me, they speak in Cantonese or English, so understanding what they say to me isn’t a problem at all.

All in all, having almost everyone in my family speaks a language I barely understand most of the time is definitely interesting. I think that it makes my family unique, and despite what I’ve said in this article, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

By the way, to any family members reading this: don’t change. Keep speaking what language you’d like to.

But, if you’re talking about me, please don’t make it so obvious!


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

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