Authors Posts by Mariyam Usmani

Mariyam Usmani


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On May 14, 2015, several Spartans arrived early in the morning to school in anticipation for the exciting voyage they were about to embark on. Some had been planning for the trip to New York for a few months, and others for even longer, but either way, there was no doubt about the animated atmosphere. It was time to go explore the streets that gave several New York icons their name, the rich art culture protruding from traditional and modern roots, and the lights that sparkle even as the sun goes down in the city that doesn’t sleep.

The trip included highlights such as trips to the Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, Chelsea Market, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Students and teachers both were awed by the raw beauty of the art in the museum and how much of it was cleverly rooted in a modern and stylish impression. This theme of art that NYC wholesomely encompasses was echoed by lanterns that swung softly above the CK crew as they made their way through the Chelsea Market. Times Square was a token to much of the student and staff satisfaction throughout the trip. It beckoned them to explore, enlighten, and empower themselves through the power of a journey. Bustling through the packed streets just added to the experience: the crowd was symbolic of the thriving and lavish vibe of the city.

Blowing bubbles in NYC’s Central Park, several students sighed in content and formulated aspirations to continue their electric love affair with the magnetic city. The colours that intoxicated their senses and framed several of their pictures are memories not soon to be forgotten. It could be that just one question remains: when’s the next trip?

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The International Day of Pink came full-swing on April 8th at Craig Kielburger Secondary School when students, staff and many teachers donned the symbolic colour of pink to express their support for anti-bullying and to fight against all discrimination. The day is a celebration of diversity and rights and is commonly promoted and upheld by CK’S Gay-Straight Alliance.

Although commonly mistaken, this Pink Day is different from Pink Shirt Day or Anti-Bullying Day, which is the last wednesday in February, although supporting the same ideals. The day also originated from the initiative two boys, David Shepherd and Travis Price, took to get everyone in school to wear pink in support of a boy who had been bullied for it in 2007. The International Day of Pink, however, is an event created by the leaders at Jer’s Vision who were inspired by the actions of the two boys. It is an attempt to make schools a safer, better learning place and to help individuals define themselves without being held back.

Many students were inspired by the message given by the International Day of Pink, and reminded their friends to wear the striking colour to play their part in reducing discrimination. Overall, Pink Day proved the commitment students can make to help others, and the compassion all of CK shares to make this school a more inclusive place.

Mariyam Usmani 

The CK gym buzzed on March 26th as the bleachers filled with the grade nines hurrying to get to their seats before the presentation started. A hush fell over the room as Ian Tyson stepped out in front of the audience, commanding the attention of all in order to begin a high-energy presentation. Many of the students thought that this would be a serious presentation; that they would be given a life-long message that could guide them. Although the presentation was indeed thought-provoking and vivacious,  students were not simply left contemplating the message, but were rolling in hysteria.

Tyson danced with all of his energy to a gym full of stunned students, one leg here, one arm there. One student tittered while another wondered if he had lost his mind. Feeling the shock, Tyson stopped, smiled, and proceeded to let out another short joke which resulted in loud laughter. At one point, Tyson even revealed himself in a Superman shirt, much to the chagrin of a few students, who always wondered if there was a possibility of being the hero himself.

Tyson’s bright and humorous stories strengthened the budding students’ hopes to become great, to build connections, and to grow and love themselves. He taught them to accept mistakes and accept defeat, yet keep looking to the greener side of the grass. His colourful character was welcomed and his warm message will stay with many students as they continue their journey through high school.

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Namesake of CKSS to Kick Off the Year

Mariyam Usmani
Staff Writer

On a bright Monday, September 15th, a dimly lit gym of students listened in awe to the passion Craig Kielburger brought to his school when he spoke to the students of the new 2014-2015 year. Visuals of a village dancing and the prospect of a beautiful community stuck in staff and students’ minds even as they left the gym to continue their days. Craig’s inspiring message ‘awoke’ individual spirits, despite the usual groaning desire to have slept in a few more hours.

Students of Youth in Action walked away with grins on their faces, glowing and determined to work harder in the school group to aid initiatives in their community and the world. Youth in Action, a global initiative club, works to encourage youth idealism inspired by events like We Day, and charities such as Free the Children, created and led by Craig Kielburger. “I liked when Craig spoke of friendship and inclusion as big parts of leadership this year,” said Amna Usmani, a member of Youth in Action, “I think it’s a great part of change and high school.”

The gym of more than 1250 Mariyam_metowe_I1_E4_P2students and teachers laughed with Craig when he spoke of the mutual dislike of alarms in the mornings. He spoke of how we all groaned waking up and shutting our alarms in the morning, but also that we forget how lucky we are to do that and have an education. Chris Tse, a member of Free the Children, read a vivid poem called “Wake Up!” which showcased problems in our world community today, and the need to wipe out incessant apathy. Craig also shared a story about his recent travels with the CKSS community. He spoke of how it started to rain when they were building a school in a village, and his team started to seek shelter. In the opposite direction, the village began to dance and hold children up to the rain. He expressed wonder at how rain was seen as such a big miracle. It inspired everyone to question how happy someone would need to be to dance in the rain.

By the end of the day, a large part of the CK community was lively and enthusiastic, ready to contribute to leadership in the school.
Interested in being a bigger part of such a great youth movement? Youth in Action meets every Tuesday after school in room 224.  Come be the change!