2014 Archive

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Dear Chatty Kathy,

I’m in grade 10 and it feels like everyone around me is prettier than I am. My family and friends always try to make me feel better by telling me that I am pretty. But how can I when all of my friends look like models and I look like a whale. Anyways, they have to say I’m pretty since they’re my friends, and they wouldn’t tell me if I wasn’t. I just don’t know what to do anymore.

Sincerely,

Self-Conscious Student

Dear Self-Conscious Student,

You can’t go through life assuming that your friends are just lying to you, otherwise what kind of friends would they be? If they say that you’re pretty, there’s no sense in arguing with them, and I’m sure that they don’t appreciate how little faith you put into them and their opinions. Attractiveness is a subjective thing, and just because you don’t think you’re pretty, it doesn’t mean that everyone else thinks the same thing.

Also, while it’s important to have self-confidence, it’s absolutely normal for most people to doubt themselves. No one likes someone who just walks around bragging about how attractive they are! However, it is important to find a balance between self-confidence and self-judgment.

XOXO Chatty Kathy

 

Dear Chatty Kathy,

I just found out that one of my closest friends has been gossiping about me throughout the duration of our entire friendship. I don’t want to confront her about it because what can I really say? It just really irks me that she can pretend to be my friend to my face but the second I walk away she talks about me. It’s not that I’m scared of confronting her, it’s just that I don’t know if I should.

Sincerely, Confused Critter

Dear Confused Critter,

I understand that it can be hard to break off a friendship, but in this case I think that it may be for the best. A friend shouldn’t be talking about you behind your back. However, it can also be important to give her the benefit of the doubt and discuss the situation with her. It’s always possible that perhaps it’s you that has misread the situation, or that you have been misinformed.

Even if it turns out that your friend has been intentionally trying to hurt your feelings, then a confrontation about it can at least give you the closure you need, and the knowledge that this person is likely not someone you would even wish to remain friends with.

XOXO Chatty Kathy

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Ahh, spring… That wonderful time of year when teachers start dishing out enormous platters of homework. As the impending doom of exams and summatives approaches, many students at CKSS find themselves becoming overwhelmed. However, did you know that studies show that people who are worried and stress actually produce a lower quality of work? So, take a deep breath and relax. Here are five easy ways that you can de-stress during this busy time of year:

  1. Pace yourself. While working for hours without a break may seem productive, it actually wears you out very quickly. Instead, try taking a ten minute break for every 50 minutes of work.
  2. Go for a walk. A breath of fresh air can do wonders to reawaken your mind and renew your motivation.
  3. Get a good night’s sleep. It can be tempting to reward a long day’s work with several hours of Netflix. However, sleep is one of the best ways to ensure an attentive, stress-free mind the next day. Whenever possible, get a good eight hours of sleep.
  4. Don’t procrastinate. Of course, this is easier said than done, but that last-minute panic that comes from having an assignment due the next morning is never fun.

Reward yourself. While it’s crucial to work hard, it’s equally important to remember that a healthy mind needs rest. Sometimes, you just need to put away the books and spend some time doing what you love to do.

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“We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced.” — Malala Yousafzai

On Thursday April 16th, CKSS took part in the “We Are Silent” campaign, where students vowed to be silent for 24 hours to stand up for those whose voices are not heard. These can be people around the world who are denied their human rights, or even individuals here who are being bullied and can not stand up for themselves.

Many students from Craig Kielburger took the vow to stand up for various issues important to them. Andrew Annis, president of Youth in Action, shared why he believes the We Are Silent campaign is important. “We Are Silent isn’t a typical campaign devoted to one cause; the participant can devote their silence to anything they want. It’s your opportunity to raise awareness and be silent for those who are silenced by injustice in our world. It’s the perfect opportunity for me to bring awareness to things that touch my heart. This year I was silent for the children of Gufubao, China, whom I had the pleasure to teach when I was in China over the March Break.”

This year, Youth in Action raised a total of $850 for We Are Silent. Living in Canada, we have so much we take for granted, like clean drinking water, and being able to go to school everyday, and for many people. This campaign was a way for them to remind themselves to be thankful for the voice they have.

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On Thursday, April 14th, students from secondary schools all across Halton gathered in Craig Kielburger Secondary School’s auditorium for the Horizons Leadership Conference. The conference consisted of several keynote speakers, split by various activities hosted by the Student Activities Council.

The day began after schools registered, with introduction speeches by Mr. Duley and representatives from the Halton District School Board, as well as the community.  Afterward, the first keynote session was hosted by Stu Saunders, a motivational speaker who has spoken at hundreds of schools and conferences across North America. Just this past November, several students from CKSS had the opportunity to hear him speak at the Ontario Student Leadership Conference in Niagara.

After this session, students were dismissed for lunch, before heading off to icebreaker sessions hosted in the gym. The day continued with sprinkles of various speakers, from Orlando Bowen to representatives from Relay for Life. Towards the end of the conference, representatives from different clubs and councils at CKSS – Link Crew, DECA, Performing Arts Council, Student Activities Council, and Youth in Action – had the opportunity to discuss the ways in which they contribute to the student involvement at our school. The conference was emceed by the executive members of SAC: Sarah Mohiuddin, Sid Srikanth, and Rubani Gill, and it could not have been successful without the dedicated, hardworking members involved.

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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.

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On Friday, March 6th, the halls of CKSS were flooded with some of our favourite literary characters when students and teachers who have a passion for reading dressed up in creative costumes for the annual Literacy Day Parade.

There was a cast of creative characters that were spotted throughout the day. The not so lovely Christian Grey made an appearance… Run, am I right ladies? Among the crowd of lively book characters, the lion, the witch and the wardrobe could be spotted strutting their stuff. Mr. Thompson and Mr. Nicholson dressed up as the title of the book “The Old Man and the Sea”, and grade 11 Student Blake Smith took on the persona of Wallis Wells, the roommate in the graphic novel series “Scott Pilgrim.”

Grade 12 student, Sam Hacking, put together an adorable closet cosplay of Frodo Baggins, becoming the first place winner of the costume contest, recieving “The Essential Kate DiCamillo Collection” as her prize. Kate DiCamillo wrote some of the most cherished childhood stories, such as “Because of Winn-Dixie” and “The Tale of Despereaux”

If you missed your chance to dress up this year, you have a whole year to meticulously plan out your winning costume! Thank you to all who participated!

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Over the March break certain CKSS students participated in a Me to We and Education First sponsored trip to China. The trip was an excellent opportunity for students to gain exposure other cultures. It also provided these students and staff members with opportunities to bond with young Chinese orphans, and the chance to witness another secondary school in a major Chinese city. No trip to China would be complete, however, without also visiting important monuments like the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, and the Summer Palace.
Education First run tours were created in 1965, “built on a philosophy of experiential learning, cultural immersion, and authentic connections,” according to the group themselves. For fifty years they have run educational voyages which help students understand what it is like to live in countries other than their own.
Next year, CKSS students will be going on another EF tour to Tanzania. Andrew Annis, grade 12 student, and voyager in the China trip as well as last year’s Ecuador trip, stated, “If I could come back to go on another trip with EF, I would. These trips were life changing.”
If you missed out on this years March break excursion to China, then make sure you see Mrs. McPhee to sign up to go to Tanzania ASAP.

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This year’s March 14 marked another much anticipated Pi Day!

When kids are still in their early teenage years, struggling through middle school math classes, they are introduced to the idea of pi. Everyone learns the formula π=C/d, which means pi is equal to a circles circumference divided by its diameter. This is why pi is known as the circle constant. However, what if there is a better way? What if everyone has been deceived?

In 2010, Michael Hartl started Tau day to promote the idea of using Tau as the new circle constant. Essentially, Tau is just double pi, or 6.283. So, the question arises; what’s the point? Many mathematicians agree that Tau is actually much more useful when looking at its application in math due to the fact that typically we do not examine circles diameter but instead we look at their radius. When Tau is used in a circle equation it is represented as t=C/r which is a much more natural constant to work with. The point has also been brought up that many mathematical equations use 2π, also referred to as “double pi”, or Tau. Some equations that hold this mysterious “double pi” include the normal distribution, fourier transform, Cauchy’s integral formula, gauss-bonnet formula, and nth roots of unity. It isn’t necessary that you understand or even recognize all of these equations; the important part is that they all include 2π, which could easily be replaced with Tau.
In the words of Vi Hart, “You can have your Pi and eat it , […] but I’ll be making Tau and eating two.”

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Salutations Spartans!

As many of you may know, the Spartan Spectator has been operating successfully since September! However, with only a few months left before the end of the school year, it’s important that the Spectator team begins to look towards the future state of the school newspaper for the year of 2015-2016.

The majority of our writing staff consists of grade 12 students, and as a result most of us will not be returning to Craig Kielburger Secondary School next year. We would hate to see the Spectator leave with us, and so we ask for your help! We’ve always wanted to recruit more members to the team, but due to the very nature of the newspaper we were required to work with very few people. Next year, however, there will be a ton of slots to fill!

We also wanted to express that the Spectator consists of more than just writers. From the beginning, we’re always looking for students with different interests, and to find different ways to apply them. In addition to replacing the jobs which we currently have, we would also like to see this as an opportunity to introduce new ideas, which are hopefully suggested by you!

Applications will be available outside of the English office as of today, and we would encourage you to pick up a copy! For more information, be sure see Mrs. Bullard or Ms. Burnett!

Sincerely,

Brandyn Dixon

 

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.