Wednesday, June 10, 2009

St. Jean de Brebeuf Secondary School

This week’s Spectator Literacy Project was facilitated by Mary Jo Renzella.

St. Jean de Brébeuf Secondary School

School Information:
Principal: Margherita Lawlor
Vice-Principals: Ken John
Rocco Valeri
Peter Messina

Grades offered: Grades 9 - 12

200 Acadia Drive
Hamilton, Ontario
L8W 1B8

Art Gallery

Pop-up art in the Mannerist Style by Jessica Oddi


Pop-up art in the Mannerist Style by Whitney Collins

Mural of Atlantis by Jennifer Shamo and Angelika Felinska


Mural of Atlantis by Jennifer Shamo and Angelika Felinska

Rock Show poster by Nicolle Colada

Alicia Gallant, Grade 12

Eyes the colour of the ocean
Hair like rays of sunshine.

This was not you, but what you desired.

So you knocked out life as it were a game of dominoes

And you were competing for first prize.

So silly to compare the innocent millions whom you tortured and destroyed,

Those who loved their children and their children loved them
And who were separated without consolation.
And killed.

For when they looked in the mirror, they did not exhibit Aryan features.

Skin of the night
We need the night, its beauty helps us sleep.
The night is as valuable as the sky.
But you protest.
You enslaved the night for your daytime needs
With no reward for the back breaking,
The snap of the spine spills money in your pocket.
But they weren’t human, of no worth.
For when they look in the mirror, their skin resembles the night.

Gliding down the runway
Sashes of fabric flowing this way and that.
Your body resembles a stop sign, but
They only stop to admire you.
She starves herself to only taste a bit of that sweetness,
The sweetness of envious stares
To seduce those who refuse her.
She is not you, so she is ugly.
You paint your face, you pass on the first, second, and third courses,
You flaunt the bones that protrude from your velvet skin.
She cries pain and confusion from her naked eyes,
and pinches at her extra skin, so she likes to call it
Because nobody tells her she’s beautiful.
For when she looks in the mirror, she doesn’t look like you.

Do you not see that you are the enemy?
I hate mirrors,
I loathe you, mirror.
Because when people stare at you, you show them reasons that they do not add up.
They do not add up to what they want people to be.
They tear up their insides so that you show them a different outside.
Without mirrors, all they could do is reflect on themselves, their heart.
Why do they judge them based on their reflecting in you?

You are just a piece of glass, or whatever.

It dopes not matter.
I do not fear for my luck if I break you
Because the only reflection I long to see
Is the reflection in God
s eyes.
He told me I
m beautiful.

We Are ‘Proud’ and ‘Artistic’ Braves!
Jessica Oddi and Nicolle Colada

Proud and Artistic Braves!

As proud Braves, we are born ready from the start to think from instinct and natural style. As Braves, we rely on our abilities to create and distinguish ourselves as noble and effervescent characters. At St. Jean de Brébeuf, the seniors are the leaders of the pack and for the forth coming students, they are acting as the beacons and guides to their futures. This is when senior students have their moments to shine as they express themselves through achievements in academics, athletics, and in our community. Despite the many hardships and adversities that are thrown our way as a school, we learn to deal and deliver our very best with all the responsibility, naivety, and keen determination to step up and take on the senior world.

Incredibly talented athletic teams, and intelligent Honour Roll Recipients, could easily define senior students, but it is the inventive flair of SJB’s Art students that highlights Brébeuf=s community as a whole. Most of the time the dedication and perseverance of our students to fashion the pieces of artwork is undervalued by many people. No one can truly understand the hard work that Art students strive for in both art class, and in extracurricular activities, unless it is a first hand experience. Part of the Brave community are the artists who progress up a steep mountain of success and open doors to great opportunities in the times ahead.

Upon entering senior year, a vast world of uncharted territory is unlocked. Unlike those who simply attend an Art class for credential purposes, there is a significant handful who attend because they want to be there. A Brave artist’s purpose is to develop identity and to justify our outrageous propensity to strive for a masterpiece. Through various studio assignments, students are given the privilege to express their personalities, while still receiving the basic fundamentals for art techniques. For example, a grade eleven class is currently working on a studio to express the importance of heroes. This assignment requires multimedia uses such as paint, collages, and printmaking in ink, to create a poster of a hero that one personally chooses.

Creativity stemmed from each unique piece of work is admirable since students spend endless hours working to perfect it. Senior year is also a great time to become involved with extracurricular Art as well. Many events at SJB – such as the annual Rock Show, semi formals, school plays – often ask for volunteers to create posters, set designs, and decorative pieces. Luckily at Brébeuf, there is a Senior Art Group which participates in after school workshops. Students who want to express their artistic faculties get a chance to do something for the school that isn’t from the classroom. The opportunities are endless. The projects span from SJB activities to our community, as well as to projects for the Hamilton Wentworth Roman Catholic District School Board.

Art opportunities are a great way to get our artwork known. Another important aspect of this Senior Art Group is to prepare future artists for college or university. We are able to attend after school meetings to get help on things such as portfolio requirements, practicing and applying new techniques, and obtaining answers to any art related questions.

We ‘are’ proud Braves and our artistic expressions permeate throughout the school and throughout the community. As seniors, we have developed our maturity and insights into life through our art.

Riddle Time!
Catherine Gainham, Grade 12

Who can sew life in an instant, and take it just as fast;

Can travel to present, future, and past?

They can make something from nothing if just given their space;
It can be done quickly or slowly, but most go at an amble pace.

These persons are everywhere, maybe even next door;
They are not uncommon; you just have to look more.

Add up all the clues and tell me what is,
The name of the persons with the profession of this?

(Answer: A writer!)

The Jungle
Jessica Adamczyk, Grade 12

What a strange place, he thought as he walked slowly down the broad and lengthy path looking around. He had no idea what he was doing here; he felt out of place. He had been here before, but had it always been this big? He looked straight ahead, walking: right, left, right, left. Maybe if he didn’t look to the sides he wouldn’t come across anything scary or … anyone. The thought frightened him, and he shuddered. He was looking for one person only. But after exploring this bizarre place, he had almost forgotten who.

He came to this place with her just this morning. It seemed like it had been hours since they separated, but he really didn’t know. She was yelling some gibberish to him, something he got annoyed with so he paid no attention. Thinking back, she probably told him that they should stick together. I can do whatever I want, he thought confidently with a hmph.

He continued walking. The ground is so slippery, he thought and then – Ouch! The boy slipped and landed right on his backside. Oh boy, he frowned. That’s gonna hurt later. Just then someone came towards him – who was it? Was it going to help? Was it going to hurt him? It was so ...big, he thought. Instinct kicked in and he jumped off of the hard, cold ground and ran far away from the hand that reached out to grab him. Whew! Safe, he thought as he hid in another path. He took a few deep breaths while calming down. Still hidden, he looked around. Why hadn’t he noticed before? There were tons of that kind – the kind that tried to grab him. It was so … so … weird. He had never seen so many of them in the same area at once. He almost felt claustrophobic. He didn’t see any of his kind. Why would there be? He was forced to come here. The boy knew it would be a bad idea to begin with.

Walking at a quicker pace, he still looked around. The place was very green, he noticed. All different shades of green too – deep green, light green, mint green, pale green – all coated on leaves or exotic looking … fruit, was it? But that wasn’t the only colour. There were vibrant reds and bright oranges. He noticed the colour yellow high up as well.

With all of the confusion and unfamiliarity, he had forgotten why he had separated from her a while ago – he was on a mission to get one thing, and one thing only. He realized that he had been off track completely. But what was his track to begin with? What he was looking for could have been anywhere, so he really didn’t know where he had looked already, and where he hadn’t for this crucial item he was searching for. Not one item, actually. He was looking for a bunch of its kind.

A wave of panic swept through him a second time – what if he was never going to get out of here? What if he stayed here forever? What if one of those things tried to grab him again? He started breathing heavily and he heard whispers. He felt eyes from high up stare down at him but he didnt stick around to find out from whose head the eyes were peering. He ran faster, faster, faster not stopping to look around. Big gasps of air filled his lungs, and a terror so great filled inside of him. His surroundings became blurry – he was so dizzy. Everything started spinning, spinning, and spinning faster. IM NEVER GOING TO GET OUT OF HERE! he though frantically until – “Daniel!” He stopped and looked up. Relief welled over him, but that was quickly replaced by fear. “Daniel Peter Johnston! I told you NEVER to leave my side when we’re at the grocery store! You are in big trouble, mister. When your father hears what you did – you will be in trouble. Yes, you will, boy.” Daniel’s mom grabbed his small hand and pulled him quickly away from his mission.

Minutes later, in the parking lot, Mrs. Johnston said angrily to her son, “What were you thinking, Daniel? Going off in a busy grocery store is very dangerous! Someone could have taken you!”

“Sorry Mommy,” Daniel replied sheepishly. “I just wanted some cookies.”

A ‘Driving’ Viewpoint!
Stephanie Di Bartolo

The Ontario government has proposed a new law that has caused teenagers all over the province to enter into a state of shock as they watch their freedom get shredded before their eyes. A zero blood alcohol level for all drives aged 21 years and younger, a ban on more than one teenage passenger, and zero tolerance for speeders are the rules that are being discussed throughout the government and are most likely to come into effect.

Though establishing a zero blood alcohol level and being tougher on speeders will improve the safety of our roads, teenagers should still be allowed to have as many passengers as there are seatbelts in a car. As long as alcohol consumption and speeding are being controlled, the number of passengers in a car should not have any effect on the driver.

This also brings about the question of what families will do if they rely on a teenage son or daughter to drive their siblings to school in the mornings, or what a group of students will do if they all car pool together?

A much more dangerous situation that this could lead to is a designated driver being able to drive only one friend home at a time, leaving the rest to fend for their own rides. This could lead them to getting behind the wheel and attempting the drive home. All of this could have been avoided if these friends were able to be dropped off by a completely sober friend.

We must also consider the pollution that all of these extra vehicles will cause if a group of teenagers have to take several separate cars to get to a destination when they could easily have taken only one or two cars. Just as we try to clean up our planet and encourage “earth-friendliness”, we are being forced to add even more cars onto the roads.

Dozens of petition web sites have been launched to get teenagers to sign up against this new rule, such as the popular Facebook group containing more that 120,000 members. Here, you can find links to e-mail your MPP, as well as the Premier, Dalton McGuinty, with your opinions regarding this law.

A Swimmer’s Life
Justin Morassutti

A typical teenager has a daily routine of waking up to go to school, staying in school for the day, going home, watching TV, eating at a normal time, doing some homework, going to a part-time job and maybe even finding time to hang out with friends.

Now picture my routine! I wake up four times a week at 4:15 a.m. to go to swim practice in a freezing cold pool. Later, at school, I find myself falling asleep in my chair as I feel like my eyelids weigh 500 pounds. When I arrive home, I start my homework, eat a snack, then I’m off to practice again at the pool for the next two to two and a half hours. This allows me no time for a part time job, let alone any down time. I eat dinner by 8:30 p.m. and then try to finish my homework before going to bed.

I am in the Junior National group for the Hamilton Aquatic Club. Last year the club produced twelve Olympic qualifiers; which is the most they have ever had. Even though none of them made the team, most of them may be ready to swim for the Olympic team because of how tough they are, and noticing the youngest swimmer was only 14 years old! The group alone swims a minimum of seven times a week. There are three morning practices and four evening ones. On top of this, one could swim all weekend from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 at a swim meet. Swim meets are usually once a month, and depending on one=s swimming level, weekend swim meets can occur once or twice a month. But if you make the finals, which is the top eight to ten swimmers in an event, you can return at 5:30 p.m. in the same evening in order to swim for a chance at taking a medal and beating your previous time.

At swim meets, the swimmers are able to socialize with fellow team mates which is great because the only time to do so is either before or after practices. The team unity strengthens once the cheering begins. When you hear your name being cheered, it makes you want to win even more.

There are tons of positive things about being a swimmer which many people don’t know about. Swimming is the best physical sport because it builds muscle and it eliminates body fat. Other benefits include mental fitness. A swimmer gains a mental mind able to accomplish anything! You make friends with other swimmers and they are the people you see more than anyone else in your life.

Swimming is a grueling and challenging sport where one must be mentally and physically tough. You have to motivate both yourself and your teammates in order to finish a set on a high note and to stay strong without getting tired too quickly. Once you hear the words “last one!” from your teammates and your coach, you feel both tired and satisfied knowing that you were able to accomplish the goal of that practice and hearing the words from your coach “great job today!” also makes you feel good to know that you made it and didn’t give up.

Even though you may feel tired and weak to get out of bed or off the couch to go practice, you feel motivated to know that your teammates and coach are by your side to help and to encourage. Swimming is one of my favourite activities and I wouldn’t give it up for the world!

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