Friday, August 28, 2009

Mountain Secondary School

Mountain Secondary School
60 Caledon Avenue

Principal: W. Shelswell
Vice-Principal: B. Wallace
Pulse Page coordinator: C. Skilnyk

Andrew Dumoulin, grade 12 constructs Storm Trooper masks. Photos by Ashley Jefferey, grade 12.
Taylor Marchant, grade 12, prepares the outfit for C3PO. Photo by Kevin Anderson
Edward Deavu, grade 9, holds his paper mache guitar.
Tony Wleh, grade 9, with his guitar designed as a gas mask.
Sara Trudel, grade 12, drew her self-portrait using chalk pastels.
Nick Tupper, grade 9, sculpts Goofy during lunch.
Cosmetology designs include braiding by Rachel Clark, grade 12 and an evening up-do, right, by Alice Selig, grade 12.
Various handmade crafts including aprons and rice filled frogs.


Asking the Tough Question
Ashley Warwick and Lacey Simpson, Grade 11
This is a poem based on a survey we did in our school for the You Tube Video Challenge. Our video won the Hamilton Police Service Safe School Challenge Award and it shows fifteen students from our school speaking the lines. The project was sponsored by Media That Matters.

When we thought of making this video
We thought about writing a song
To get our friends’ attention
To help them distinguish between right and wrong
Then we realized something important
Something that changed the way we thought
Most of us don’t even listen
Definitely don’t always do what we’re taught
So we thought we would do something different
Something you definitely wouldn’t expect
We thought that we’d ask you a question
Why should we treat people with respect?
You might say because it’s nice
Or because we’re supposed to act a certain way
You might have said that it’s the loving thing to do
Or that it helps to make people’s day
But is that the aim of this video?
The thing we didn’t want to show
Is when we asked people that question
Most of them didn’t even know
So the answer to the question
Whether it’s tomorrow or today
If we want others to treat us with respect
We’d better treat them the exact same way.
A Cook That Cares
David Hounslow, Grade 11
Someday I plan to be a chef in my own restaurant. A chef has to be organized, talented and quick, but most of all a chef has to care about his clientele. In my private business I can make decisions to ensure that my customers and my suppliers are happy and well looked after. I can use fair trade products and buy fresh from local farmers. I can come out and talk to customers and listen to their feedback. In that environment, I imagine that my restaurant will make people feel safe, comfortable and content.Safe, comfortable and content- I took those things for granted for most of my life and I realize that not everyone is that lucky. This year my Travel and Tourism class studied social and political life in several countries and earlier this fall I participated in the “Me to We” presentation. I also attended an assembly about Darfur and it scared me to hear the stories of unrest in other parts of the world. These awful stories of powerful militia mistreating young people like myself angered me and empowered me to get involved. I joined the Students’ Council as the grade 12 representative and eventually became the president. I wanted to get students involved and to make them realize that they have the ability to create change. The main thing is to get the facts and follow up with a plan. We have access to facts and education but many children around the world are not so fortunate. Can we work together to make sure that all children are educated and well looked after? We need to speak out on their behalf so that words such as ‘safe’, ‘comfortable’ and ‘content’ are a part of their experience too.I encourage you to get involved; get an education and share your knowledge. Make a plan, sign a petition, listen to, and watch various media, and try to raise funds. Start caring about others, and remember that it is easier to work with food in your stomach.

My Ruby Shoes
Collene Wu, Grade 12
Red sparkles glitter all over the table as I try to recycle an old pair of shoes into the famous ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz. There is paint on my fingers and several leather shoe straps I have cut off that are lying around. Behind the scenes of the production, things are not always very glamorous.

My friend Becky Granados is sewing the dress that I will be wearing as Dorothy. We will have to save a few strips of fabric to wrap around some hair extensions for myself, as my hair has been cut short. We’ll prepare two pigtails from an old wig.

I have never been the nervous type, as I have played several lead roles in my Exploring the Arts class. It was fun to be the screaming girl in Thriller, and the nervous mom-to-be in a short video. Of course, The Wizard of Oz was always one of my favourite movies so I made sure I chose the lead. Our class is photographing scenes so no one has to listen to me sing, although I have a good voice and would be willing to. Even so, I keep hearing the Wizard of Oz songs in my head all day.Teamwork can be tough on a long project; however, Becky makes things easier by making me laugh. She is playing the Wicked Witch so we have a few photos taken together. We also danced our own moves in the Thriller production. Becky has had a lot of coloured makeup added both on the set and in Photoshop and lately she has been quite green, due to her character.
I am the class motivator and everyone is impressed with my memory of the sequence of scenes. We are just about to paint a backdrop onto our tables so I had better find the scenery on the DVD. I enjoy seeing the magic of what costumes, sets, and lighting can add to a production. I should consider theatre; I am sure that I would enjoy it.

Cast: Collene Wu, grade 12, Dan Brady, grade12,Josh Ernest, grade11, Jeffrey Crawford, grade12,Becky Granados, grade12, Dimitri Rogers, grade10, Dan Brady, grade12,Aaron Churchill, grade12,Cory Parsons, grade12


They are off to see the wizard; from left, Dan Brady, Josh Ernest, Collene Wu, and Jeffrey Crawford. Photo by Aaron Churchill, who also played the wizard.


Becky Granados (Wicked Witch) and her assistant Dimitri Rogers make a plan. Photo by Cory


Jeff Crawford constructs his costume by recycling garments and blankets. Photo by Dan Brady


Jeff feels proud and confident. Photo by Dan Brady


Dan Brady, as the Scarecrow, has fun giving directions. Photo by Cory Parsons

Team Talk
Andrew Dumoulin, Grade 12; Dan Ribson, Grade 12; Renzo Eduardo, Grade 9; Joey Markiw, Grade 12; and Edwin Ticas, Grade 10
The ref tosses the ball for a tip-off; Andrew Dumoulin, our tall center man, looks at the much taller player jumping against him, “I had a gut feeling that I would lose that jump,” says Andrew, “so I let him have it.” As the team co-captain, Andrew is amazing because he remembers every detail of the game.

Renzo Eduardo moves quickly to steal the ball, “Basketball makes you think and move quickly. You have to have good reflexes.” He breaks the defence and sets up a play for Dan Ribson, who is wide open.

Dan, assistant captain and power forward is the team motivator, although he admits that he loves when the attention turns to him. He goes under the net and does a reverse layup. The crowd feeds him the applause that he wants. “I’ve practised shooting the ball for hours at home, and I practise dribbling techniques in my basement. Basketball is a disciplined sport that requires hard work.”

We drop back to our bubble zone to psyche out the other team. Andrew, nicknamed AD4, throws the ball inbounds. Renzo “Calderon” dribbles and scans the court, “I have a two-handed chest shot that often goes in the net regardless of the fact that the team makes fun of my wide-elbowed technique. This time I decided to chest pass the ball to Joey rather than shoot at the net.”

Joey “Rush” Markiw, our small forward, is at the three-point line. Joey has great hand-eye co-ordination. He leaves his follow-through hand, high in the air as he watches his wide-arc shot sink into the net. He raises his arm in a victory pose as he gets admiration from both teams for his skill. When we ask him what sets him apart on the team he says, “I am the only guy with a beard.” A sense of humour always helps the team.

The other team sets up an offensive stack play. The team splits and Edwin “Tief” Ticas steals the ball by palm-slapping it to Dan. Edwin, our point guard, never complains about anything. The team comments on a player’s ability to have restraint in a game; to disregard the heckling of an audience and the occasional bad calls by the ref. “I play for something to do and to have fun,” says Edwin.

“I play to get better,” says Andrew, “and to support the school.” His strongest position is under the net, but one day he’ll make a great coach.

“I’d rather play than watch,” adds Renzo, “and besides, we get a team jersey.” “Your confidence grows as other people notice you. You get noticed by other schools, coaches, team players, and girls!” Dan beams as the team agrees that he is their best player. “I love getting noticed!”

Always Fun, Win or Lose
Kyle Parsons, Grade 12 and Patrick Richards, Grade 10
My name is Kyle and I’ve played a lot of hockey including AA league and both defence and forward on our school team. Mountain’s hockey team had an experience that many teams never get - especially competitive boy’s teams. I enjoy tough hockey, but one game we played had a spirit of sportsmanship and fun that still makes me smile.We were scheduled to play a very skilled team from Port Credit at a two day tournament. They had won all of their previous games and we had won our first but lost the following two. After the first period, we were trailing them by a score of 5-0. They were fast skaters and handled the puck really well. We played our best but couldn’t keep the momentum going.In the third period, I approached the face-off with my stick held upside-down. The other team player was quick to pick up on my thoughts, and he joined the fun by turning his stick the same way.“My shift did the same thing,” says Patrick, Mountain’s defence man, “when I could see that both teams were ready to have some fun. The center men switched sides, team players were sitting in the opposite benches, and we scored in our own net a few times. The coaches were laughing; they were proud of our team spirit and camaraderie.”“It was like a funny movie. The goalie froze the puck and gave it to the opposite team, and players were having fun making up silly ways to move the puck.”“In the last few seconds of the game I placed my stick between my legs and scored a wrist -shot top shelf. It surprised me and it made the final score 7-3,” says Kyle.Patrick commends the opposing team, “Their team was unique in the sense that they gave up an opportunity to crush us, and instead gave all of us the chance to have fun. We want to show our appreciation to them for showing us what the spirit of hockey is all about.”

Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary School

This week’s Spectator Literacy Project was facilitated by Vanessa Georgiades and Krzysztof Gumieniak.

Full School Name: Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary School

School Information:
Principal: Sara Cannon
Grades offered: Grade 9 – Grade 12

127 Grays Rd
Stoney Creek, ON
L8G 3V3

Main Contact: Krzysztof Gumieniak
School Phone: 905-664-3383


Artwork by Ashley Giudice, Grade 12

Artwork by Frank Filice, Grade 12

Photo by Cynthia Nguyen, Grade 11

Artwork by Isabel Knez, Grade 12

Artwork by Justin Picone, Grade 12

Artwork by Katherine Belitski, Grade 12

Artwork by Petra Srdic, Grade 12

Artwork by Stefania DeMartino, Grade 12

Cardinal Newman celebrates Charles Darwin
Cardinal Newman Science students


Charles Darwin is one of history's most famous scientists, one of the few scientists whose name is well-known to the general public. But how much do you really know about him, or about why he's so famous?

The CN science department held a 200th birthday party for Charles Darwin on Feb.12 – complete with birthday cakes. Science students participated in The Beagle Scavenger Hunt – a school-wide search for clues and conclusions based on Darwin’s epic 5 year journey around the globe. Grade 12 biology students designed and created board games based on Charles Darwin’s life and work. Grade 11 students even had the opportunity to interview our very own “Mr. Darwin” on the morning announcements!

As a follow-up, His Excellency Bishop Bergie will be talking to the grade 12 religion and biology students about the Church’s position on evolution and Darwin in April. No doubt it will be an exciting discussion to look forward to.

But you may ask yourself – why Darwin? By celebrating Darwin we are celebrating human curiosity and ingenuity – Darwin’s work is a testimony to science; an appreciation of verifiable knowledge that has been acquired solely through observation, inference and deduction. As Darwin himself said: “There is grandeur in this view of life... from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.”

The life of a soldier
The “Me to We” Group

“I don’t want to go to school! Why can’t I just stay home today?” These are often the comments that escape the mouths of students as they wake up early in the morning and prepare to begin yet another day of school. To them, school is a waste of time that could be spent on “much better things.” But to others, having the opportunity to go to school would be like winning the lottery.

Imagine, instead of waking up to a healthy breakfast, a warm shower, and a home-made lunch, you wake up to the sounds of gunshots, but do not understand what is going on because you are only a child. You are dragged up off the floor where you sleep by men in uniforms who burst into your small home that does not even have clean running water. They carry large loaded weapons, take all of your family away or kill them, and just like when you were a small child and got separated from your parents in the store, you are confused, scared, and alone. Your only options are to die, or join the uniformed men as they offer you protection with frightening threats.

This situation is the harsh reality for many child soldiers throughout the world. Children are often targeted as they are vulnerable. Although governments try to eliminate these militia groups (if there even are governments present in the regions) they are often helpless. The problem is most visible in Africa, but is also present in several Asian countries, parts of Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East.

Demobilization, disarmament, and reintegration programs have been established in many countries to help former child soldiers return to their communities. However, they lack funding and adequate resources. The United Nations has raised global awareness on the abuse of child soldiers. In 2002, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was passed, which prohibit governments and rebel groups from deploying children under the age of 18 in any form of armed conflict. February 12th has also been deemed Red Hand Day, in order to commemorate all of the child soldiers who have died.

It is up to us to take a stand against this injustice and to protect those who cannot protect themselves. For more information on child soldiers and how you can help, visit or; and remember – “Be the change you wish to see!”

Holly Hlacar, Grade 11


Newmanites may be known for their talent in sports and academic excellence, but what many don't know is that inside those CN walls there are sparks of creativity and innovation waiting to be released through the prized CN Yearbook. The 2007-2008 Epsilon theme, appropriately titled “Yesterday and Today” was inspired by Beatlemania.
What better way to capture the full impact of our experiences at Newman than through the example of The Beatles’ impact on popular culture during the 1960s!

The Beatles album art was used as inspiration for layouts and pages throughout the yearbook and no small detail was missed as the dedicated yearbook committee incorporated the vision of The Beatles to make it their own. It was definitely “a hard day’s night” for the members of the committee as they devoted long hours going well into the summer months, not to mention their commitment throughout the year by snapping photographs at school events and getting to know the student body.

To attract more people to the committee, members spread the word about their year-end tradition: all the creators buy food, break a coconut and end up staying at the school until the wee hours of the morning to finish. The Yearbook Committee’s efforts have certainly pulled through as the 33rd Epsilon acquired a second place rating in Canada.

The one I write about
Lisa Skrtich, Grade 11

I know we have nothing in common
I am somehow comfortable with this fact
I am so scared to put my heart in your hands
Because I am afraid you will not keep it intact.

I am not saying I want to give you my soul
Or will love you with all my heart
This is not that type of poem
I just want us to have a fresh start

I hate to see you miserable
When I think I could make you happy
I hate when you ask me for relationship advice
I have no idea how I ended up as your ‘go-to’ buddy

I just wish you would make up your mind
And put my heart to rest
Work out what you need to work out
And hopefully it will be for the best

I wish you could know how much you mean to me
Without me having to tell you
You are the one I dream about
You are the one I write about, too

Newman’s own ZINE magazine
Julia Brucculieri and April Buordolone, Grade 12

It’s said that April showers bring May flowers. However, we here at ZINE believe that the month of April brings with it the Easter Bunny, lots of chocolate, Good Friday and church on Sunday. Throughout this Easter time, we must remember the reason for the season. Trying to keep up the promises we made for Lent is a good way to keep ourselves on track both spiritually and mentally.

This month’s issue is sure to impress. We were able to speak to Juno nominated Canadian hip hop artist, Shad, as well as Hamilton’s own Slides. The success and response to the ZINE has been overwhelming within the school community, and things can only get better. The committee is planning a pasta night/art auction fundraiser that will raise money for the magazine itself as well as skate4cancer, an organization based in Toronto that is dedicated to finding a cure for cancer. The ZINE team is looking forward to the event, and it is sure to be a great one. With the hard work and dedication put into the project, it will no doubt grow into something huge.

ZINE would not exist if it were not for the support of our administration – principal Sara Cannon, and all of the vice-principals, especially John Pusztay. Also, without teacher advisors Vanessa Georgiades and Krzysztof Gumieniak our meetings would not be possible. Be sure to look out for the next issue – it will not disappoint!

Catholics on Tour!
Louisa Matozzo, Grade 10 and Jonathan Turner, Grade 12

Amazing, spectacular, stupendous! These words cannot even begin to describe the phenomenal experience that began on Tuesday, March 10th, 2009, when students from local Hamilton high schools embarked on a journey to France and Italy for the 2009 Lourdes Pilgrimage. A total of almost 75 students from Cardinal Newman, Bishop Ryan, St. Thomas Moore, and St. John de Brebeuf left Canada to experience this renewal of faith. Truly, the experience of a lifetime!

The main focus of our pilgrimage was to visit Lourdes in southern France. This place is where Saint Bernadette was visited by the Virgin Mary. Today Lourdes is remembered for the water that comes from the spring that miraculously sprouted from the grotto when the Virgin Mary told Saint Bernadette to wash in the muddy water of the grotto. The water still flows clean and pure today from its original spring and pilgrims from around the world, like us, gather to drink this fresh water, bottle it for friends and family back home, and to be immersed in the baths of Lourdes.

But our journey did not end there. From Paris to Lourdes, Florence to Assisi, and Rome to Lanciano, we had a lengthy itinerary that was extremely quick paced. We marveled at DaVinci’s Mona Lisa, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Colosseum, the Uffizi Gallery, and the Vatican, all the while thinking, when will we have a chance to see this again? As the trip progressed, friendships and bonds were created, as well as a sense of belonging within the group that showed how our lives were truly transformed by this experience. Although we became tired and weary during our travels, our faith remained the main focus. We participated in masses and prayer services in Rome and at Lourdes. Together, we strengthened and deepened our faith.

We wish to thank the teachers who took time away from their families to take us and our fellow students to these marvelous places. Grazie, Merci, and Thank you!

Westmount Secondary School

Westmount Secondary School
39 Montcalm Drive
Hamilton, Ontario

Principal: Rick Kunc
Co-ordinator: Gregory Clark



Arasta Kadir - Untitled, acryllic on canvas, grade 12, Portfolio Course

Josephine Macharia Portrait with Hands, acrylic on canvas, grade 12, Portfolio Course

Amanda Mersereau Untitled, acrylic on canvas, grade 12, Portfolio Course

Jonathan Au-portfolio Course Untitled, acrylic on canvas, grade 12, Portfolio Course

Anthony Butler Portrait with Hands, acrylic on canvas, grade 12, Portfolio Course

Amanda Mersereau, grade 11, ink on paper

Jonathan Au- Portfolio Course Grade 12- Oil Pastel on Paper

Kyle Stewart-Portfolio Course Grade 12-Mixed Media on Wood

Zack Bryson-Portfolio Course Grade 12- Ink on Paper

Jody Shaboluk
Visual Arts Department Head
Westmount Secondary School Westmount


Grade Nine Mentor Band: A Change for the Better
Cassandra Taylor, grade 9
This year, Westmount’s grade nine band, under the direction of Mr. Bohn, decided to make a change in the way we operate. We introduced senior students from our Wind Orchestra to act as “mentors” for grade nine students. At first, some grade nines were unsure of how the introduction of the mentors would affect their performances, if they would become better, or if they would be overshadowed by the mentors. But Mr. Bohn assured us all that the mentors were only there to help us, and solos and lead parts would go to grade nines before they went to mentors, since it was still “our” band. For me, I am now the only grade nine alto saxophone player in the band, and the alto sax is not my main instrument either. So having Al, my mentor, there really helps me a lot. During a piece, I sometimes get lost, and I can listen to Al and find my place again, whereas when I am by myself, if I get lost, I am normally lost for a long time. Al, along with all the other mentors, is also there to help us figure out notes and rhythms, and altogether just make us better musicians. When I asked Al for his opinion on the band, he commented, “I think the way we run this band is really helpful to both the mentors and the grade 9’s. As I try and help Cassie better herself as a saxophonist, I find I’m realizing new things about playing the instrument that I had never thought of before.” He added that he wished this program had been around when he was a Grade 9. “It definitely would have prepared me better, for the challenges I face in playing in the senior bands and helping younger saxophonists.” I’m sure that without the mentors there, our music skills would be a little lacking, and our band wouldn’t sound the way it does now. My experience in the band has enhanced my playing and I hope one day to be able to pass on this positive experience to others.

Phil on Films: The Academy vs. the Public
Phil Krusto, grade 11
I have noticed an ongoing battle between the average movie-going public and the Academy of Motion Pictures; they just can’t seem to agree on what movies are good. Nowadays, the Academy never gives big blockbusters any big nominations. The last movie that was a major success at the box-office and received a best picture win was The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King back in 2003. This year, Slumdog Millionaire took home the Oscar as well as seven other awards. This movie is an outstanding achievement in filmmaking, and it’s nice to see a non-American movie win for a change. However, very few people saw this movie before it received any nominations. If you ask someone if they saw it, they will give you one of two answers: they will say they really want to, or they don’t care. This could be because of a poor advertising campaign, or the general lack of interest in “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” Slumdog Millionaire is arguably the best movie of 2008, but can the same be said about the other nominated movies? Back in the seventies and eighties, blockbusters like Jaws, Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark received nominations for best picture. Now the Oscars concentrate more on artistic movies. 2008 seemed to blur the lines between blockbuster and art for a bit. Movies like The Dark Knight and WALL-E were praised by critics and audiences alike, but both were snubbed for a best picture nomination. This raises some questions, especially if you look at Metacritic’s scores for Slumdog Millionaire (86) and WALL-E (93). No one really wants to see movies that celebrate filmmaking as an art anymore. The average movie-going public just want to see remakes, sequels and adaptations of popular books. The Twilight movie was a bad adaptation of the book, filled to the brim with dead-pan acting (no pun indented) and laughable visual effects. However, it still managed to bring in $350 million at the worldwide box office thanks to the screaming fans of Robert Pattinson. We critics have dedicated ourselves to informing the people about what films will be worth their money and which ones will waste their time; but they hardly listen to us anymore. Besides, people watch movies for different reasons all the time. The public will go out and see Friday the 13th because they want to see blood and guts, not because of a story. And kids will drag their parents to see the Jonas Brothers concert Experience because they like their songs. Maybe someday blockbusters and artistic films can both be honoured by the Academy and the public equally. Titanic is the highest grossing movie of all time, and has won more Oscars than almost any other film. James Cameron’s upcoming movie Avatar (no relation to the show) has the potential to make my dream a reality. I look forward to seeing what Hollywood has in store for the attractions to come.

At Westmount You’re Family
Sarah Whitwell, grade 9
You start your academic journey at a young age, in kindergarten. It’s there that you make your first friends, and begin to adjust to school. Along the way you meet new friends and lose old ones, all the while you become better for knowing them. You learn valuable skills and begin to mature, or not, as you prepare for later in life. Of course it’s around grade eight, when your teacher hands out option sheets, that you realize everything is going to change. You’ll be in a new, strange place, you’ll meet even more people and you’ll have longer classes. Just to make the decision more difficult you have two high schools to choose from. Do you go with the safe one, where your friends are going, or the one that suits you better, the one that will allow you to grow academically? It’s a tough choice but in the end you know you’ve made the right choice. Picking a high school can be tough. You’ll be there for four years of your life and for once you get some say in the matter. Westmount is a unique option thanks to its self paced program. Though in some cases it means separating from your friends or making a commute, Westmount was the best choice for me. As a grade nine student at Westmount I was, of course, anxious about starting high school. Looking back, my biggest fear was getting lost as I moved from my elementary school into a much larger high school, but as soon as I started to look around and take all of Westmount in, all of my anxiety disappeared. Westmount is a school where you can be yourself without fear of what other people might think and, if you have any questions, you actually can just go up to someone you don’t know and ask for help. In all my life I’ve never experienced anything quite like Westmount. Everyone always tells you a school is a community, but in many ways community is too loose a term to describe Westmount. I’d say we’re more of a family. We help and support one another as we learn and grow. Westmount is definitely the place I want to be.

Floorball Anyone?
Dele Ogundokun, grade 9
On February 25th, Westmount Secondary School offered Floorball for the first time to all the students. Westmount offered this exciting sport with the help of Try Day Program offered through Ontario Federation School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) along with the Ontario Trillium Foundation. OFSAA Try day gives schools the opportunity to access funds so that they may introduce a new or non-traditional sport or physical activity to their students. The purpose of the OFSAA Try Day is that it will teach students to live active and healthy lives. Floorball is the world’s most popular indoor form of hockey. When we first offered floorball over 75 male and female students came out and participated in this event. The students were active during four 60 minutes periods because floorball is a fun, quick and active sport which the students were able to enjoy in a fun and safe environment. According to Floorball Canada, Floorball is an excellent alternative to traditional Floor Hockey. Floorball is a much safer game because unlike floor hockey, the rules of floorball do not allow for any high sticking, stick contact or body contact. As a result the game is less physical, more skill-oriented and fast paced. The stick has a curved, concave plastic blade and there is no puck; instead a lightweight, plastic ball is used. The rules of the game require fair play. Westmount students were excited about the opportunity to play this sport and look forward to having it as part of their regular gym classes. Thanks to the OFSAA Trillium Try Day Fund, Westmount was able to provide students with an alternate workout to stay active and healthy.
Fiddler on the Roof: A Musical for Our Time

Emily Lamond and Laura Welch, grade 12

Westmount is abuzz with excitement and anticipation as the opening night of the school musical approaches. Rehearsals are lengthening, but are by no means less intense, and the entire school community is coming together to make this year’s production of Fiddler on the Roof a success. The quality for which past productions at Westmount have been renowned has always been attributed to the community effort within the school, and this year is no exception. Teachers and students from several departments throughout Westmount Secondary, as well as members of the local arts community, are pooling their efforts to ensure that the classic story of Fiddler on the Roof is told with all the honesty, comedy, and beauty with which it was originally written.

The musical’s plot centres around a poor Jewish family living in Tsarist Russia. The individual struggles of Tevye the poor milkman, his wife Golde, and their five daughters, are representative of the severe poverty and crippling oppression that was prevalent during the early twentieth century. In their small village of Anatevka, the Jewish community struggles in the face of adversity as the traditions on which they have always depended shift and change. The ability of the village to cope with change while facing poverty resonates today with many issues in our world, including the current recession, and the oppression of cultures at home and abroad.

Although Fiddler on the Roof deals with these heavy subjects, it is ultimately a depiction of how the human spirit can rise above adversity with the message of hope and loving others above oneself. Everyone involved in Westmount’s production of Fiddler on the Roof is eager to present these values; within the community of our school, they play an important role for our culture of tolerance.

With messages for a changing world, Fiddler on the Roof is a timeless musical, and Westmount hopes to make this production its best production yet.

Arts at Westmount
Meghan Johnny, grade 9

Westmount is widely known for its sports academy and self-pacing system; however, if there is one thing that sticks out in my mind about Westmount, it is the art. Westmount is an artistic school in many ways: the music, the visual art, and the drama and dance.

You can hear music at any time or place in Westmount. The repertoire or the wind orchestra rehearses every day before school. The choirs also send music echoing down the halls. Every day you can count at least 5 different people strumming the chords to their band’s song. Jazz Bands play their tunes: first class jazz and blues songs. Grade 9-Mentor band gives up their Friday afternoons to practise together. Music moves the school and is a part of every Westmount student’s life.

There is another form of art that Westmount is known for: visual art. Everywhere you look there is some form of visual art gracing our walls. There are photographs taken by teachers and students, drawings and paintings by students, and media art pieces as well. The school is decorated by the students and teachers.

The third way that art has an influence on Westmount is in the Drama and Dance department. The musical that Westmount is putting on this year is The Fiddler on the Roof. Other drama and dance opportunities in Westmount are the Dance Ensemble, the Junior Drama Club, the Sketch Comedy Team, and the Dance and Drama classes; all of which are often seen rehearsing in the hallways of our school. Students will always put on a show for those who will watch.

Westmount is known for its academics and sports, but it should also be known for its arts, as it is a school that has a lot of arts to show.
Westmount Athletics

Sarah Gee, grade 10

At Westmount so far this year we have been very successful in athletics, not just in our sports teams but in our classes as well.

Our sport academy continues to be successful for the second year in enabling high potential athletes to reach goals within a flexible environment. Student athletes are able to focus on academics and athletics and have the support to be successful in each area. The recent opening of Studio B has also helped our athletes and other students in the school excel. Studio B serves a variety of purposes, from classroom learning, a dance studio, physical education classes, and is a perfect place to go for strength training and conditioning. Through our partnership with POLAR Electronics, students are able to take advantage of the state-of-the-art heart training electronics and equipment.

Through a partnership with Mohawk College, we have also had the opportunity to introduce a grade 10 co-ed court focus physical education class. Students are able to focus on basketball, volleyball and badminton and have the opportunity to have class at Mohawk College for the whole morning one day a week.

Westmount has also had many athletic successes with school teams as well.
Our Junior Boys Basketball team, Junior Boys Waterpolo team, Junior Boys Volleyball Team, all have won gold this year. The Junior Boys Basketball team was 9 - 1 in the regular season and was tied for first place in the standings. Recently the Junior Boys team was successful in winning the City Championships and is currently preparing for SOSSA.

The Junior Boys Volleyball team also had a very successful season placing first in the regular season, winning seven of eight games. With a tough game, Westmount came out on top in the City Championships. The Junior Boys Waterpolo team was 6 for 6 and placed first in the regular season. It was no surprise that Westmount brought home gold in the City Championship game. Many other teams have had success as well. Way to go Wildcats!
A School of Excellence
Tina Clark, grade 10

Westmount Secondary School is a school of excellence, and academics. It is a school that brings out the best in every student.

Westmount is an amazing school that allows a self motivated individual like myself to be successful. Everyone seems so driven, hardworking and accepting so I had no trouble fitting in. You don’t get judged on what you wear or how you act; everybody knows you for the unique individual you are.

Westmount is a school of academics, where the self-paced program is tailor-made for a student like me. Students can accelerate through a course or take extra time in a certain subject. I use self-pacing all the time. For example I finish a course early so I can take more time on my worst subject - math. Two other things that are unique to Westmount are the carryovers and the sign-outs. You can carryover a subject into next semester and sign-out from one class to catch up on work from another.

Westmount is truly a remarkable school. The teachers care about you, the students are diverse, and the self-paced program helps you in anyway you need. Westmount is a school of pure excellence.
What are we?
Brianna Arthur, grade 11
Solitary, hostile, inconspicuous, sly. All these words can describe a wildcat. But I think these dictionary defining words are lacking something: Inspiring, dedicated, helpful, spirited and most of all excellent. These words would go to describe a different type of wildcat, a unique species, the top dog in a world of cats. You see my friends, these above characteristics, for they are not just words, go to describe a true Westmount Wildcat, the only kind of wildcat I would ever want to be.
To be a Westmount Wildcat is to be indefinable. There are so many things you can be or do as a true Westmount Wildcat that I wouldn’t dare to try and classify. Jock, cheerleader, activist, dramatist, musician, friend, study-buddy, teacher, peer, principal, director, over-achiever. All these people, all these labels, fall under one main heading: Westmount Wildcat. Except, we do not see ourselves as these weak labels because they attempt to divide us. We are a school that stands together. We see past the outward appearances of those around us to what really matters, the common ground between us and we bridge any gaps. We cross that bridge together with an unrivaled sense of comradeship and a truly unique sense of acceptance. Instead of the “him and I” relationship, it becomes all about the “we”. What we have accomplished, what we have dreamed, what we have created and what we have inspired.
In being part of this we, I have discovered part of myself. This undeniably team-oriented school has helped me grow as a person to include others and to genuinely care about the thoughts, and feelings of other individuals all trying to find their place in the world. This sense of we has given me another place to call home. And home is what this school is to many. Most of all it is home to the Wildcats, a fierce, spirited, dedicated group of youth.

Delta Secondary School

Delta Secondary School
1284 Main Street East
Hamilton, ON

Principal: M. Visca
Vice-Principal(s): B. Smith, T. Powell-McBride
Pulse Page Coordinator: L. Arndt



Rebecca Smith, grade 10


Amy Provo, grade 12

Jessica Hyde, grade 12


Jennifer Sever, grade 10


In Tokyo
Michelle Warren, Grade 12

Cherry blossoms are foremost in the minds and hearts of those who experience a Japanese spring. I remember the sweet smell of sakura in the wind. To me, it was a mixture of honey and vanilla, ambient and enchanting. Pale pink petals, soft as silk, luminous against the bold blue sky. The falling of the silken petals marks the end of cherry blossom season and the beginning of summer.
Summer is the onset of festivals. Vibrant colours of matsuri are beautiful and wondrous. The gathering excitement is magical. I remember food stands along the dirt path in the lush green park. I walked with my host family to a wooden stand that sold takoyaki; I felt a jolt of anticipation; I remember trying the new food, not knowing what to expect. It was a luscious experience: a mixture of flavours enveloped in my mouth, nothing like I had tasted before.
As summer approaches its middle days, the rainy season begins. A grey cloud hangs over the city and brings rain for one solid week. But the grey is offset by a colourful sea of umbrellas that covers the city. Soon, the rain gives way to heat and humidity. Days are too severe to do anything but sit with a book or watch T.V., and drink ice cold green tea.
I remember the transition from summer to autumn and the changes in the colour and the weather. The leaves went from green to gold and startling red. Now afternoons were spent outside, close to the vivacious shades of the trees.
Winter comes when all the leaves are gone. But the bitterness of cold air doesn’t spoil the heart of the Japanese, for winter marks the end to an old year and the start of a new.
For me there was loss though, for winter marked the end of my stay

Spring Break In Jamaica
Nakeitha Galati

Jamaica is my native country; Montego Bay, I call home. Every morning, as the hot sun begins to rise, small birds chirp. Roosters start to hunt for food and dirty dogs bark for breakfast. Children dressed in light blue shorts start their daily chore: they go to the river with water pans on their heads. Around them, the green mountains stand tall and proud toward the powerful sky.
I smell my grandmother’s French toast, rich with a hint of cinnamon, so sweet it overpowers the scent of fresh cut grass. Next door, my eyes are held by the elderly neighbour, Mrs. Clarice, who sweeps the dirt from her bright red porch with and ancient branch broom. But my grandmother’s enormous kitchen beckons and in bare feet on cool black tiles, I head toward the smell. Later, as I feed the hungry dogs, I see the jumbo goldfish leap from the river for bugs, tall banana trees, and orange trees laden with green fruit give way to the wind. I hear the people of the neighbourhood come alive with morning laughter and I see them in sitting on porches in their white, straw chairs. The day begins in full and the heat intensifies.
That was spring break, 1998.
My return ten years later reveals noticeable change. The children no longer carry wash water up from the river; loud washing machines have replaced the scrub board. The green mountains are now marked with bright coloured houses. Mrs Clarice now has a green-swifter wetjet to complete the job. And the chatty neighbours in their big white chairs are gone, replaced by men and women in dark pin-striped suits, dress shirts and ties, all heading for work in the busy city.
The peace and relaxation of my old Jamaica has, in ten short years, got lost in the upswing of bustle.

My Old Movie Theatre
Paige Pflieger, Grade 12

A movie theatre across the street? A young child’s dream, but I was too young. Richard, my much-adored older brother, was old enough to go to the movie theatre alone. He went with his friends. They were old enough and I was jealous.
The new Star Wars movie had just been released. At the last minute, my brother’s friends were unable to go; therefore, he asked if I wanted to tag along. I was ecstatic.
The sun was shining the brightest I had ever seen it shine. The feeling of walking down the street was exhilarating. As we walked, we got closer to the boy who sold tickets to the many customers. His booth was a 4x4 box with red and white stripes running horizontally across it. The boy had short blonde hair and a red and white hat that matched his ticket booth perfectly.
The popcorn was moist and yellow, drenched in butter. Each kernel was grainy with excessive salt. I had sour Skittles. They made my mouth pucker and water. My orange crush came in a small plastic cup with a holographic picture of Darth Vader on it; he looked furious. My brother’s cup did not have a picture on it because he had a jumbo drink and jumbo drinks are for big kids—no picture required.
My booster seat was hard red plastic. It was put on top of one of the busy patterned cushioned seats that everyone else sat comfortably on. The movie was good, but I was more thrilled at being there, in the big theatre, than watching the film.
That movie theatre is now a big pile of dust and dirt. The city is doing renovations to clean up the east end of Hamilton. Frankly, I thought the movie theatre was perfectly fine the way it was.

My Sugar Bush
Ben Moore, Grade 12

Sometimes, I exist in a place without being there. By shutting my eyes, I travel to the places that I visited so many years ago.
In the fresh and thawing month of March, if I take the bus from the town hall, I find myself tiptoeing over the threshold of the Sugar Bush – the perfect place to make maple syrup. As I enter the Sugar Bush’s front gates, I am given a piping hot cup of apple cider. I always dread the scorching, stinging first sip, but today it is different; today the cider warms me from the inside out. The Canadian concoction bubbles over with joy that is shared by the people competing in pairs to saw the end off of a log. I stare at their bizarre back-and-forth motion; I blink and it’s over. When I try it, the itchy, scratchy, malicious sawdust bites the inside of my nose, and my task seems to last forever. When I finish, I see that my work is flawed – the surface of the wood seems to have sprouted hair! The hair reminds me of the best hairs in the sugar bush: those of the giant caterpillar. Outdoors, near one of the log buildings, there is a trough. Tall hooded figures pitch snow into the trough to create the great white caterpillar; then, Popsicle sticks plunge into the caterpillar’s back – these are the hairs. Next, the tall lady with the curly hair and the long skirt saunters out of the log cabin and pours steaming liquid gold all over the caterpillar. I pluck one of the caterpillar’s hairs and partake of the icky, sticky, licky, sweet stuff. The sweet stuff can also be tasted in the grand log cabin. As I enter the double doors, the building heaves a sigh of relief – I’ve finally arrived; the rush of warm air lights a fire in my bones. The soft, yellow light calms the soul, and the pancakes, maple syrup, and peach juice warm the soul. There are wholesome, soft, white discs of fluffy golden brown goodness drizzled in that tantalizing icky, sticky, licky, sweet stuff. Soon it is time to go. I climb into the horse-drawn sleigh with the others. As I wave goodbye, the trees cry golden tears. I can still return to that Sugar Bush any time I want; it’s just a blink away.

How to Succeed in High School
Andrea Coulombe, Grade 12

High school is an important part of everyone’s life. Not everyone succeeds in high school, but there are ways to avoid an unsuccessful high school experience. Two ways to succeed are first, by not allowing insignificant people to get to you and second, by thinking about the future. These two pieces of advice have come in very handy in my four years of high school.
There are many people in a high school; some are easily befriended, and others will say or do anything to keep you down. These last are the people that should be completely disregarded. People that are worried about what you wear, what you look like and what you do are only wasting their time. In order to be successful, you cannot waste your time with people who mean nothing to you. Always think about the future of your life.
Your future should be the only thing on your mind when you’re at school. Although this is difficult to do with the distractions and friends, it is important to do your best. The beginning of each semester in an important time to think about your future. How a certain class will benefit your education and career choice is key in succeeding. Do not join a class for a friend, or a boy or a girl. It is your future; never forget that.
I haven’t allowed insignificant people to bother me. I always think about the future. These two discoveries will help me succeed in high school.

The Deserted Playground
Ben Fok, Grade 12

In the elementary school where I studied, our favourite time was recess and our favourite sound was the ringing of the bell, signalling the end of school. During these time periods, we would rush out of the doors and run towards one place: the playground.
In springtime, the sweet scent of flowers surrounding the playground blended in such a way that no perfume could ever match. Laughter and joy could be heard for miles as children would “tag” one person and then tag someone back. The girls often preferred the swings or a game of hopscotch.
As summer approached, less vigorous activities were done as we would sit under a big oak tree that provided us shade. We would read some books, while listening to the chirping of the birds. We would let the wind hit our faces, giving us that cool and refreshing feeling. However, the more active children never wasted this time for a game of kickball or basketball.
Temperatures gradually decreased and the days grew shorter. Snow eventually covered the entire playground. This didn’t stop the children from going out, but only motivated them to invent new games. All of us had one common, favourite pastime during wintertime: a snowball fight. Although throwing snowballs was prohibited by the teachers, nobody could resist throwing snow at somebody. When school ended, we would split into two teams and have a huge snowball fight, since the teachers no longer had control over us. It was all about hanging out with your friends and enjoying the innocence of childhood.
I am all grown up now. I still walk past my old school whenever I walk my dog. Some things have changed. Gone is the musical laughter of children on the playground. Instead, it is replaced by the clicking sounds of children text-messaging on their phones. In a nearby home, I can hear a group of children playing the tunes from “Guitar Hero”. Instead of running around and playing a game of catch, they use a Wii controller as a ball and have a game of catch in their own virtual worlds.
As the snow melts, the ground will thaw and the flowers in the playground will blossom again, their beauty unappreciated and forgotten. Whenever I walk past the school, all I see is a playground, a deserted playground.

How to Succeed in High School
Sarah Lyman, Grade 12

High school can be one of two things, the best time of your life or the worst. After four long years, you’ll have some amazing friends and even better memories. You’ll learn more about yourself than you ever imagined. Sports, clubs and dances become your life. One of the biggest lessons I can pass on to anyone wondering how on earth they’re going to survive high school is.... HAVE FUN. Seriously, high school isn’t really that great if you’re not having fun. Sure, you’re there to get an education and gain knowledge, but that’s only half of it! High school is about making new friends and new memories. It’s about trying new things, and growing up, and having fun doing it. Yes, you will have more homework, and yes, exams do suck. But that’s just the boring part. You have more freedom to be who you are. If you’re an athlete, there are so many teams you can join: hockey, football, soccer, water polo…whatever you like! It’s a great way to meet new people and build great friendships. If you’re one of those people who don’t enjoy going to school everyday, get involved. Join a team, join a club, go to the prom. Just have fun! High school is what you make it, so make it count!

How to Succeed in High School
Andrea DiBattista, Grade 12

A student is presented with two definitions of success in high school. One definition involves becoming a fun-loving, risk-taking party animal that everyone wants to be around. The second definition involves getting great grades, developing strong skills for post-secondary education, and getting involved in extra-curricular activities. The true way to succeed in high school involves careful manoeuvring of both of these types of success.
It is important to meet new people and to have loads of fun while you are young, but the golden rule is never to put partying above school on your list of priorities. High school students must remember that education is essential in building their futures and they must make their schoolwork the number one priority. Students must always put thought and time into their work. It is important to make an effort in schoolwork in order to grow academically and excel. It is also very important to be careful when choosing friends, and to make sure that they are good people who want you to be successful and fulfill your ambitions. High school friends need to stick together and look out for one another, especially when presented with drugs or alcohol. Becoming involved in extra-curricular activities and volunteering are also great ways to feel good and give back.
In order to succeed in high school, students must make goals for themselves and accomplish their dreams one small step at a time.

How to Survive High School
Taylor Moore, Grade 12

If you want to survive in high school, there are many aspects you need to consider, such as social and academic.
To start, if you do not want to stand out and be made fun of, act and dress like everyone else. Most of the time, being loud and obnoxious does not help you fit in. Choosing your friends wisely is the next step toward succeeding. When trying to make new friends, it is often a good idea to interact with everyone before you settle on a group. Your friends don’t have to be the smartest kids in the school but it is important that they attend class regularly and that they have respect, not only for themselves but also for their peers and teachers. Students who do not attend class regularity and do not show respect will most likely be a bad influence.
When trying to survive high school, it as also a good idea to join some of the many teams and clubs offered within your school. Participating in these types of activities is often a lot of fun and it allows you to enjoy time with your friends as well as meet new people. Being active in the school makes the time you spend there pass a lot faster.
Academics are very important. They are the last step toward your post secondary education which allows you to choose your future. It is important to attend class regularly as well as complete all assignments within the timeline given, and with effort. If you don’t do this, you will quickly fall behind and your marks will begin to drop. It is important to study for upcoming tests or quizzes, because they are worth much of your final mark.
Following these simple steps will allow you to survive and succeed in high school.

The Mathemagician
Troy Haney, Grade 9

A long time ago, in a village, there lived a magician, and a young boy wanting to learn the art of magic. But what the boy did not know was that the magician was not only a magician, he was also a mathematician. One day, the young boy went to see the great magician to learn all his teachings.
"Hohoho… You wish to learn the art of magic, my young fellow?" the mathematician asked.
"Yes, great magician," the boy said.
"What is your name, young sir?" the magician asked.
"T – Troy. Troy Haney." he said.
"Hello, Troy. I'm Mr. Milosevic-Hill." The magician said. "I am also a mathematician. I am very experienced when it comes to numerals."
So, Mr. Milosevic-Hill decided to teach Troy the complex optical illusion that is magic. The young Troy learned many magical acts, such as making a rooster turn into an egg, and water into wine and back again.
"How do you do that, young man?" the elder of the village asked.
"I cannot tell you that. I am under oath to the Great Mathematician!" Troy said.
"The mathematician?" the elder asked.
"Yes. He is the magician that lives on yonder hill just outside the village,” Troy said. So Troy decided to show all who would watch, wanting everyone to know about the great mathematician. The entire village decided to pay the mathemagician a visit. Troy was the first to Mr. Hill's home, and there, he discovered a note.

Dear Troy,
I have left the village, and gone to teach Mathematics to young children in a village called
Westdale. I wish you and the village all good futures.
Yours Truly.
Mr. Milosevic-Hill

This is dedicated to Mr. Milosevic-Hill. Have fun at Westdale High School!

Parkside High School

Parkside High
31 Parkside Avenue

Principal: P. Barwinski
Vice-Principal(s): G. Malhotra
Pulse Page Coordinator(s): J. Nicol, C. Collins

Nicole Levaque, gr 12
Greg MacPherson, gr 12
Greg MacPherson, gr 12
Nicole Levaque, gr 12
Nicole Levaque, gr 12
Ari by Meghan Lupal, gr 11
Laurel Kenel, gr 11

Historical Fiction at its Finest
Tracy Chevalier’s excellent adaptation entitled Girl with a Pearl Earring

Shelley Bowen, Grade 12
Tracy Chevalier’s Girl with a Pearl Earring is a thoroughly engaging novel about the life-changing experiences of a quiet girl named Griet over the two years that she serves the famous Delft painter, Johannes Vermeer. It is hard not to like this obedient and kind soul, for she struggles with yearnings such as love and an escape from poverty. Her life is a fairly lonely one as she slowly finds herself growing apart from her family whilst living as an outsider in the Vermeer’s home.
With the exception of the painter himself, the rest of the Vermeer’s don’t take kindly to this strange Protestant girl living amongst the Catholic faith. Even fellow servants think that Griet is trouble as they watch and judge her every move. The real trouble begins, however, when the artist takes a liking to the new young servant, allowing her to assist him in his work.
Griet is granted a privilege that no other family member has – helping Vermeer in his studio. As he will not even allow his wife Catharina to enter the studio, this causes a great amount of tension within the household. Griet first begins her work by cleaning the various still-life objects that Vermeer will paint later in the day. As she gains his trust, Vermeer then allows her to grind his paints and even the immense responsibility of purchasing the colour from the apothecary. As if these “privileges” haven’t caused enough tension amongst the family, matters only get worse when Vermeer agrees, at a friend’s request, to paint Griet.
These moments in which Vermeer paints Griet are the most spellbinding of the book. Chevalier’s descriptions are so acute that the reader can feel Griet’s nervous emotions as she sits as still as possible under the close eye of the awe-inspiring man that she has grown to love. Her inner struggle is then augmented by jealous Pieter, the butcher’s son, who has made it known his intentions to marry Griet. The young maid, however, is devoted to her master, obeying his every wish. She is so obedient that she agrees to wear his wife’s pearl earring for the painting, despite the fact that she knows it will lead to her downfall.
Chevalier writes with the same extreme care that Griet takes when cleaning Vermeer’s studio. While she is very quiet and obedient, the reader can see how full and confused Griet’s heart is; her emotions are magnificently conveyed across each page. Readers also have a clear image of what Vermeer himself may have been like, and his remarkable character draws the audience further into the book. There is no doubt that Chevalier’s charming adaptation of this famous painting is wonderfully told, encouraging the reader to delve further into the mystery behind Vermeer’s work.

Beth Austerberry, Grade 12

I lay my hands down on the sticky linoleum of the counter where I sit. It is 1:14, and with nothing to do but wait, my eyes fall downwards towards them. The table is coated with something, juice; carelessly wiped away leaving a thin adhesive residue that glues my hands to the table. I pull them away, watching intently as the dark skin stretches away, peeling off like gum scraped from a shoe. My hands are those of a labourer. Their cancerous brown colour hints at the hours spent toasting in the sun, creating the coffee coloured spots that dapple the back of my hand. Age has creased the skin, creating deep grooves that ripple the supple skin as I clutch my coffee mug. It’s but a membrane, thin and diaphanous, exposing narrow canals of indigo beneath the surface: the veins. Weaving together like the fibre of a rug, they are faintly visible beneath the loose sheath of tanned skin.

I begin to tap the fingers of my left hand, creating a slow beat on the counter, a hollow, nearly inaudible sound resonating through my body. The fingers that strike the table are my fathers. The broad nails, translucent, hiding a raw pink beneath, are short. Each one chewed away until the soft fleshiness underneath becomes nearly visible at their chipped edges. The calluses that personify the hard dry tips of my fingers are the same ones my grandfather had. Calluses created from long hours in his shop, teaching his son the craft that he would eventually teach me. My knuckles are knotted pine, extending from the joints into the gnarled boughs of my fingers. As they rap against the table, my fingers lead my eyes to the back of my hand. Three sinews bulge forward routinely, shockwaves passing through each as the fingers come into contact with the hard surface. The tendons move in circuit, stark and terse against nude skin. A magnificent machine of muscle and ligament, the years have done no damage to my hands. The joints still move like a well oiled contraption, the outer tendons reaching in, grasping for the center before returning to their place and restarting the course.

I silence the beat and let my hands turn lazily, exposing wan palms. Their surfaces appear mottled from the passage of blood, flushed at the points where they’ve rested on the hard linoleum. My palms are traced with three major lines, great crevices intersected by the mess of smaller lines that create a road map at the end of my arm. My eyes move to my fingertips, each with a unique pattern of lines and shapes; the abundant loops and swirls that create my individuality. These contours, twisting simply into loops and spirals are only mine. It’s like the tale they tell you in the forest as a child; the rings of the tree tell you its story. The rings of your palms and your finger can tell an entire history. Hands that have spent their whole life working, characterized by a roughness, abrasive as they brush against your cheek. That is what I am staring down at. I am staring down at my life. I turn my hand back over, poised upon the table, a slight bend in each finger. I count the joints, starting at my thumb, 1, 2, 3… until I reach my wrist. …15. 15 conveyors of motion. The gears that twist and turn, a system of cogs that allow these hands to create and build. I lace my fingers together, the digits curling intertwining without effort, hinges conditioned by years of use. The digits drop into the dimples between the knuckles like pieces into a puzzle. I can’t stop staring.

A pale white hand falls on top of mine, slender white fingers and perfectly manicured nails mock my dark leathery fists. A lean wrist bears a shining gold watch .It is 1:30, I want to look up, to stare into my daughters eyes, but right now, I need a moment with her hands.

Parkside DECA Chapter does it Again!
Olivia Hoskin, Grade 11



Now what exactly is “it”? Well, “it” would be not only competing, but also succeeding, at the 30th Annual DECA Ontario Provincial Competition, held last week in Toronto. On Thursday, February 5th, the Sheraton hotel downtown became a temporary home for close to 6000 business and marketing students, 50 of whom were from Parkside High School. Students from all over Ontario came together for a two-day conference, with the common goal of competing to qualify for the International Career Development Conference (ICDC) in Anaheim, California.

Parkside is proud to be sending seven students to ICDC, which will be held from April 27th to May 4th. Here the students will attend a conference with over 15,000 DECA members from across the United States, Mexico, Germany and various other countries. They will either be competing, or attending leadership conferences such as the Leadership Development Academy (LDA), the Senior Management Institute (SMI) or the Chapter Management Academy (CMA). With approximately one sixth of Parkside’s student population as current DECA members, it’s no surprise the chapter continues to be successful in landing qualifiers for this prestigious International Conference and Competition.

The qualifiers as well as the whole chapter worked tirelessly through days of dynamic competition. This included role-plays, multiple choice tests and presentations entailing anything from pitching sales ideas, giving input on our current economic state, or knowing in exactly what order stock rotation happens. Whatever the task, Parkside students jumped right on it. Along with the seven students who will be attending ICDC, 12 members were awarded for placing an honourable top 20 in their competitive events. Parkside congratulates its DECA members! Whether a top 5 placing was won, a top 20 or anything else, you have truly proven your Parkside PRIDE!

Hayley…. 2019
Hayley Elliott, Grade 11

Hayley Elliott is seventeen years old and is currently enrolled in grade eleven. In grade eleven Hayley will be taking yearbook, physical education, co-op, math, English, civics and parenting. Hayley is taking yearbook to help her towards one of her dreams photography. She is also taking parenting to learn all the things you need to know to be a great parent. Hayley took physical education, math, English and civics because they are compulsory courses. She took co-op to gain work experience and realized that she wouldn’t like to work at Tim Horton’s because of smelling like coffee all day. Hayley’s dream is to have a family and be the best parent possible. When Hayley was in grade ten she was interested in fashion and took the fashion course. She is a hard worker and makes the grades she deserves. At the moment, Hayley’s goal is to pass all her classes and graduate from high school. She has a wave line of peers, and she is happy.

In grade twelve Hayley plans on taking fashion arts, art, English, food and nutrition, and a four credit co-op; also if there is a course on photography she would most likely take that instead of fashion arts.

Outside of school, one of Hayley’s favourite hobbies is scrapbooking; she does layouts on just about everything. One of her favorite scrapbooking books she has done is the one about her and Kyle because it’s a memory of all the good times and stupid things they did together. Hayley loves to watch movies; you could say it is a hobby too. Three of Hayley’s favourite movies are Step Up 2, Cinderella story and Another Cinderella story because they’re about making your dreams come true and fighting for what you believe. Hayley loves to watch One Tree Hill. One Tree Hill is a show about teenagers and the good things and bad things they have to go through. It’s a show Hayley can relate to because she has been through the same things. One thing that is on the show is that two friends are in love with the same boy, or another one is when one of the characters proves to her best friend that people can change. Another hobby of Hayley’s is going quadding, dirt biking or snowmobiling with her boyfriend Kyle. When doing this she gets to spend time with Kyle and it’s exciting to see how fast you can go.

Kyle Krilyk has been dating Hayley for two years now, and even though they have had a twister of times, they are still together. Hayley and Kyle try to spend as much time together as possible but sometimes it’s hard. Kyle and Hayley’s relationship is very strong and they help each other through everything and they’re there for each other no matter what. Hayley’s one major dream is to marry Kyle and have a loving, caring family with him.
Now when it comes to her life ten years from now, it’s up in the air. After graduating from high school, she intends to go to college. Now that she is scrapbooking and taking pictures, she would like to take photography and explore the joy of it. Although she knows that photography isn’t just like looking at something and “snap” you’re done, she knows there is more to it than that. If Hayley attends college but fails in the direction of photography, then her next choice would be to take courses to do with clothing and hopefully to work in a store or in the fashion industry. She is undecided at this moment about which one she will take, but one thing for sure she knows she wants to be a graduate from college. In addition to finishing college, she would like to hopefully have a good job and have a loving, caring family.

Hayley is a country girl and would like to continue down that road, once she marries Kyle. She would like to stay living in the area she live now to be close to her family. She would never live in an apartment because it is just too small. Her dream is to live in a big house with a pool, hot tub, big backyard, and a big garage for her car and Kyle’s dirt bike and stuff. She wants a truck and a baby blue convertible. She has no idea how she will afford this kind of house but it’s nice to dream. Hayley and Kyle will split the responsibilities equally. Her aim is to have two kids, one boy and one girl. She and Kyle would definitely make good parents because they both are very observant, outgoing, willing to try new things. Their daughter they say will be more like Hayley as it is in most cases and their son will be like Kyle. Kyle is kind of worried but having a son because they’re usually like their father and Kyle does some crazy things and doesn’t really want his son to do them as well, where Hayley think it’s all good as long as he’s safe. Their daughter would not be a big worry; she’ll turn out fine just like her mom, but her dad will be very protective when it comes to boys.
Yes, this is Hayley’s dream and where she sees herself. It could change but that is a risk she is willing to take. For now Hayley is having fun with her life, and is excited for more adventures and experiences to come.

Maddison O’Connor, Grade 10

The words are flowing silently,
The world fights back so violently,
When did it start?
When will it end?
How many soldiers will we send?
The sorrow in their eyes,
Their deafening cold cries,
All because of greed, anger, revenge

The Common Journalist
Caitlin Teed, Grade 12
The 2008 U.S. Presidential election had me completely immersed in all the pre-election buzz that was circulating around the world. As I was reviewing election articles, I stumbled upon an intriguing piece in the Times Online. It not only talked about the forthcoming election but also focused on the impact of this event on the arts and the current economic turmoil. This article really appealed to me because of my own connection to the Arts - a reflection of my work with the Theatre Arts and Instrumental practice.
The article was titled: “What Will a New President Do for the Arts?”, a simple question, but with a variety of answers. This piece caught my interest and it really inspired me to pursue a career in journalism. My initial response to this article was one of astonishment; I could not believe that so many variables could influence this one aspect. The author continued to make connections to other elections, as well as to popular culture. I realized that this was what a journalist must do every day: make connections, explore possible outcomes and ask the right questions.
The ability to relate a number of issues all to one significant event was, in my opinion, the strength of this article. The author’s purpose is diverse: he entertains, educates and influences readers regarding the topics, situations or environments that affect their lives. I enjoyed his assumptions and comparisons. The article showed me that you can look at things from a larger scope, taking a look at the political world and incorporating other topics into it.
I am fascinated by the way those journalists can write their articles to inform and even persuade an audience. I am interested in the issues that we are faced with today and intrigued by the hidden truth that is yet to be uncovered. This article showed me that journalists don’t look at only one answer. They question everything. Like a domino effect, one event will trigger another. It not only influenced me but inspired me to think outside the box and to look at things from multiple perspectives: to view the world with not just one question, but many.

Students were asked to discuss their ideas about the texts selected for study in the high school English curriculum. Here is a sample of their responses:

“I think more modern, recent novels should be read and analyzed. An example of this is Life of Pi, or other books that have won such prestigious awards such as the Mann Booker Prize. These novels are obviously ingenious and could become the classics of the twenty-first century.”
Sophie Lee, Grade 12

“It is still important for our generation to have an understanding of why the classics are called masterpieces, but the emphasis the high school curriculum puts on them is insane. With a handful of important projects riding on novels teenagers can’t focus on, or find interest in, I for one, have more trouble trying to even pass the class.”
Emma Spears, Grade 12

“One thing is very certain – students need a choice. They should not have to read out-dated crusty, dusty old scrolls in school, but rather some novels to which they themselves can relate and are interested in.”
Ruan Beukes, Grade 12

“I’m sure that most of our parents read many of the same books we study when they were in high school thirty years ago. Maybe some cult writers like Hunter S. Thompson, Chuck Palahniuk and Irvine Welsh should get a bit more exposure. There are a lot of really great and intriguing books out there that whoever’s making the decisions can’t seem to find.”
Joel Blanken, Grade 12

“There are numerous genres from the last century that have shaped generations, yet the youth of today are never exposed to these works. For example, beat literature is completely overlooked in the curriculum, yet, for its time, it was a seriously influential movement that paved the way for contemporary authors. The classics can still be taught, but there should be a stronger focus on how they related directly to contemporary novels instead of being featured on their own.”
Nicole Levaque, Grade 12

The Doll
Caitlin Teed, Grade 12

Who put me here in this cliché?
A plastic world is all I see.
It hurts me to remain this way,
And I despise not being free.

This flawless body is not me.
I dream to run and hide away
And live among humanity.
It hurts me to remain this way.

They move me so that I obey.
I want to tell them that I see
Beyond their foolish acts of play;
And I despise not being free.

I yearn for my identity,
As I remain the same each day
Here in this shroud of fallacy.
Who put me here in this cliché?

Alone I am in my dismay.
Enough of this soliloquy!
You cannot hear me when I say
A plastic world is all I see.

Who put me here?

“Wolves Running in the Sunset”
Jacob Hutchinson, Grade 11

How I did this on the computer:
I found an anime sunset with nothing else on the picture.
I then used the paint program to draw the wolves one by one and tried to make it look cool when you could see their shadows and their side that was black from the sun.

I picked wolves because they run around free and are able to travel without a worry in the world.