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Why Your Name Should Get the Pronunciation It Deserves By: Catiyana Élanwy Adam

     A recent Facebook post opened my eyes to the discrimination many “non-white” individuals face against the most basic form of their identity; their name. While it’s often funny to hear a jittery supply teacher nervously rattle off barbaric travesties during the morning attendance, it’s not so funny when your name is mispronounced every single day. Like your appearance, heritage, and personality, your name is an integral part of your identity, something you have identified with yourself since a very young age. And when that piece of you is constantly degraded, simplified, or downright butchered by everyone around you, it becomes much easier to lose that part of you.

     People with more “difficult names” face this kind of covert discrimination every day. In an article I read, a woman named Shailee (pr. “Shuhy-lee”) described how her teachers and friends’ “anglicised” pronunciations led to an attachment of shame and embarrassment to her name, a feeling she would not shake off until well into university. By then she was introducing herself as “Shay,” a nickname that was deemed ‘cuter’ but not at all a reflection of her real name.

     I myself have received a little grief over my more “difficult” name. “Catiyana” isn’t really commonplace, so I introduce myself as “Cat” most days. My middle name, which is French, is pronounced “ay-lon-wee”. I’ve gotten several interesting versions of that over the years, the most memorable of which being when a fellow kindergartner exclaimed to my face: “Wait, your middle name is SALAMI?” Needless to say, I avoided bringing that up for years, and I’ve never quite managed to look at luncheon meats the same way.

     The truth is, some names are difficult. Some people, no matter how many times you tell them, are still going to call you Fih-tee-mah, when it’s Fat-uh-ma, and vice versa. The important thing is that you do tell them. We are human, and we are capable of learning how to pronounce a few syllables correctly. Don’t let laziness on the part of you or another shrink your name into something you are ashamed of or embarrassed about.

     Learn to respect your name, so others will too!. Like it or not, it’s going to be with you forever. (Unless, of course, you decide to change it when you’re thirty-five and in the grips of a devastating mid-life crisis – but by then, all the power to ya. I just wouldn’t recommend Élanwy as a top choice.)

By: Alyssa Matheson

     What is with this school and our dances? We have tried to throw three dances – a Halloween dance, a winter dance, and semi-formal; yet all of them have been cancelled, because we can’t scrape together enough students to buy tickets.

     Now, what might be holding us back from having all the fun that high schools in movies and T.V. shows get to have? Some concerns are that nobody’s friends are interested in going to the dances. Jessica Kennedy, a grade twelve student, said that dances “aren’t really [her] scene,” and that “none of [her] friends are interested in going, and [she doesn’t] want to go without them.” This an all-too common attitude that causes a huge lack in the number of attendees; which can easily be fixed by one friend deciding to go.

     That one friend might have chosen not to go due to the cost of our school dances, particularly the $40 semi-formal. Carole Palattao, another grade twelve student, says that the dances are “too expensive, and our school lacks the spirit which would motivate us to pay for it,” which is also a common sentiment. We will never end our streak of cancelled dances if, instead of trying to participate in school planned activities, we wallow in our lack of pride.
     Here’s hoping we can pull together enough spirit to keep our next dance from getting cancelled. If some of us go, it might actually be fun!

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By: Nathan MacKinnon

Is there anything more Canadian than hockey? Maybe; maple syrup and beavers come close! I won’t lie, my number one dream is to ride a moose, shotgunning maple syrup, and flying through a field of maple leafs. That’s besides the point, and actually seems bizarre when I write it down. I had the amazing privilege to follow the Spartans Varsity boys hockey team, and it was quite the adventure. Allow me tell you some cool things about the hockey team filled with strong willed and passionate fellow Spartans. I went to their home game against the Frank Hayden Huskies this past Thursday, and witnessed first hand the laughter and jeers that began an hour before puck drop. The team warmed up in the lobby of the rink, in a circle together. Some of the players have played hockey together since they were kids, and this definitely created a family-like bond that is nice to see in a team.

They all geared up and entered the rink just before the game started. I sat there, feeling awesomely Canadian, as the puck was dropped. My breath came out as mist and people around me sipped on their Timmy’s.  The rink was nicely packed with parents and fans. All I needed was some poutine and I was set.


The first period ended with our Spartans down 2-0. I won’t lie, I wondered if the game was over, and questioned their heart. Boy, was I wrong; they came out of the first intermission flying. A strong forecheck led to the first Spartan goal! When the bell sounded at the end of the second period, the score was 3-1 Huskies, but momentum was beginning to shift. Both teams disappeared into their caves for a bit. The Spartans were doing well; all they needed were some lucky bounces and the comeback could begin.


When both teams came out of their dens, energy was hitting a high. The fans, who had recharged during the intermission, came screaming into the enthusiastic atmosphere created. Frank Hayden tried for the killer blow, when they scored 4-1. A 3-goal lead is pretty safe in any hockey game. Did our Spartans give up? No, and that’s when our lucky bounce came. A couple of ill-advised hits led to a 5 on 3 power play for the Spartans. As we scored 4-2, the whole place went crazy with cheering fans. Soon after the puck was dropped again, they flew down to their end, and it was a goal for the Spartans! 4-3. My heart was pounding, and I wasn’t even on the ice! This is hockey, my veins were filling with maple syrup. Next thing I knew, the puck was in the back of the Huskies’ net again! Tied game 4-4. When the final bell rang, the score was still tied and would stay that way. No overtime in regular season, but this game sets up a great rivalry for many games to come. It was super fun to watch our Spartans come back and fight. A “never give up attitude” was demonstrated by them for all of us to admire. Heart is one of those things that can’t be measured and differentiates a good team from a great team.

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By: Alyssa Matheson

There are many places around our school where people choose to eat their lunches, and some are better than others.  The Spartan Spectator has done a definitive ranking for you:


  1. Near the entrance of washrooms??

To be honest, I had no idea that this was a popular location for lunch consumption. I would consider this a last resort option as I can’t see the appeal of sitting so close to such an unsanitary area to consume lunch. I mean really? The only thing separating you from a room of interesting graffiti and lack of mirrors isn’t closed for long…


  1.   Under the Stairwells

The stairwells may seem like an excellent option, however they do not offer the amount of privacy they appear to. While the stairwells block you from the view of many, they offer no privacy in the way of your discussions, which are more likely to be overheard by students who will tweet a snippet of your conversation with the hashtag #OverheardAtCKSS.


  1.   In the hallways “the sprawlers”

This location has a grand total of zero chairs, which forces everyone to sit on the not-quite-sanitary floor. However, if you can overlook this fact, the hallway is a great hang out with your squad.  This location also allows you to slow down hallway traffic by a whopping 200 percent!


  1.   The hallway behind the science labs

This location is very quiet, provides a great place to hide from drama, and also has a lot of room to accommodate your friend group. The downside is that it’s pretty narrow, so people will have to walk over you as they try to leave the hallway; however, it isn’t very crowded, so this is an infrequent problem.


  1. On the benches in the main hallway

These are an improvement from sprawling in the hallway, as they feature the great benefits of not getting yelled at by teachers, and not having to sit on the floor. You also have a smaller impact on the hallway traffic, unless you’re sitting at the bench at the entrance to the stairs, in which case you have a greater impact.


  1. In a class you aren’t a member of

This option is awesome if you know the teacher, have a different lunch from your friends, and enjoy the subject being taught. Although there are a few things that you need to be careful about if you explore this option; one is that if you go to a science lab, you’ll get kicked out for eating; another is if you visit too often you might start having to take the tests, too.


  1.   Tall table in the corner of the school near the English office

There are not enough seats for your whole squad, unless your squad is less than three people… and if your squad is smaller than three, is it really a squad? This corner, although small offers a sense of exclusivity provided by the height and few chairs. It also allows you the people-watching that the hallway provides, with none of the sitting on the ground nonsense.


  1.   On the way back from Metro

This is the preferred eating place of students who know how to manage their time wisely, as they manage to fit in their daily exercise with their midday meal. They also know that they don’t have enough time to walk to the plaza, wait in line to get their food, eat it there, and manage to walk back in enough time to make it to their next period class. The desirability of this location fluctuates depending on the weather, and how many friends you’ve convinced to go out with you.


  1.   In the caf

The caf has easy access to food, utensils (for those days when you forget your fork at home), and condiments (because you can never have too much sriracha). This location also lets you know when the lines are too long to even consider waiting for garlic bread. Also, there is a lot of space to accommodate your huge squad.


  1.   Outside the library

This is where all the cool kids sit; or at least the students who have outgrown sitting in the caf. Many grade nines walk by this place wondering if they’ll be able to sit there, however it’s unofficially reserved for grade twelves. This location features a ton of chairs and tables; a perfect place for either leaving your garbage once you’re done your lunch, or for playing cards with your friends. How long they’ll remain your friends after one person beats the other six games in a row remains to be seen, however this drama can make it an interesting place to sit even if you’re not with your squad.


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By: Zainab Syed

English help? English help! Yes, you read it “write” here CKSS! Duz ur righting look like this? Do you struggle with “there/their/they’re?” Do your grammar not make sense? Do you find that understanding literary terms is like trying to come up with an analogy about how difficult it is to understand literary terms? (See what I’m getting at here?) Well CK, fret no more! Come on out and get some English Help in room 211 every Tuesday and Thursday, during periods 3 and 4. Many students struggle with English assignments from time to time, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. What matters most is that you make the choice to utilize this fantastic resource to get some extra help, straight from an English teacher! See you there! (and judging by the looks of this article, you’ll see me there as well…)


By: Bhavani Narayanan

Craig Kielburger S.S. is hosting its annual WINTER CONCERT on December 17th at 7pm. Come and witness 100 students perform a concert in various ensembles.

Ms. Chow, a music teacher at CK, said, “We guarantee that you will not be disappointed!” The ensembles performing include Concert Band, Concert Choir, NEON, Jazz Band, Drumline, Musical Theatre/Vocal, Gr. 9 instrumental classes, and many more.

For the past 3 months, these groups have been practicing meticulously to put on a show for the general public. President of the Music Council, Thomas Sadgrove, said,  “I’m proud of how far the music program has come this year. They’ve improved greatly and I’m excited to see what they will do this year.”

Come on out and enjoy a wonderful, music-filled evening! Tickets will be sold in the box office at lunch until the 17th.

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By: Mariyam Usmani

The path to success isn’t exactly clear cut, but don’t worry, the Spartan Spectator has your back. Here are some tips on gifts you could get your teachers for the holidays. Who knows? A teacher eating gifted delights might see the chemistry in that last chemystery test you handed in.


Tip 1: Avoid the Dollarama.

Let’s be honest. Your teacher has been working extremely hard for the past three and a half months, planning endlessly to help you. A gift worth a dollar doesn’t exactly scream, “I appreciate all you have done for me!” That candle for $0.99 that looked nice? Will it look nice when it refuses to light for your teacher on Christmas Eve? Time to rethink your plan.


Tip 2: It’s the thought that counts.

Many teachers said that the fact that you simply think of them does the trick. Whether your appreciation shines from a homemade card, delicious home-baked goods, or a gift card for Tim Hortons or Starbucks, teachers genuinely feel touched. Over the holidays, we do as much as we can to be show our gratitude for friends, and we should think to do the same for our teachers.  Let’s not forgot to thank them.


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By: Zainab Syed

On November 4th, the DECA team travelled with Mrs. Hill to the Hamilton Convention Centre to compete in the DECA regionals. The CKSS team competed against local schools including Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School, White Oaks Secondary School, Milton District High School, and Bishop Redding Catholic Secondary School. Verdah Ansari, Diljot Jawanda, and Zainab Khan are all members of the DECA team who took time to answer a few questions about their experience for the Spectator.


As with any other competition, the team members found themselves incredibly exhausted by the end, which is understandable considering they started the day at five in the morning. The nerve wracking feeling of trying to impress the serious, stone-faced judges and future employers is truly a tough experience. Verdah describes this sensation quite insightfully, “Many students would agree with this: the wait before being called into your competition is definitely one of the worst feelings ever. Eminem describes it quite well, ‘Palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy.’ […] It really is nerve wracking”.


Overall, Verdah, Diljot, and Zainab were all able to take away a few main concepts from the experience. They tell the Spectator that it is important to maintain a professional composure, communicate articulately with others, including your teammates (who could be possible coworkers), judges (who could be possible bosses or CEOs), and competitors (who could be your rival company). Zainab said,“From this experience, I learned how to maintain composure in pressuring scenarios. Verdah Ansari and I were competing in the topic of Sports and Entertainment Marketing. We were brought into a room, along with about 40 students. who were also competing with us during that time frame. We received a case study that we had to analyze, as well as answer questions, all in 30 minutes. Those 30 mins passed by like a blink of an eye, and suddenly we were presenting to a judge”.


Diljot describes the day as a chance to compete with, and thus better understand, people who take interest in the same ideas and passions as him. He believes understanding how others think and feel is fundamental to humanity: “We [had] the opportunity to network with like-minded individuals, put our communication and decision making skills to the test with the judges, and get to know our DECA chapter a lot better,” he said.


The day was filled with chaos and anxiety for the DECA team, yet somehow they still managed to to laugh, communicate, eat delicious food , make some fond or maybe not-so-fond memories, and even win some CK recognition. Our school’s DECA Team took away seven awards from this day. This is truly an accomplishment that all DECA members agree wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of Ms. Hill, Mr. Riggs, and Ms. Park. Great work, and congratulations to you all!

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Catiyana Adam, Staff Writer

Little known fact: this summer, Milton’s food bank ran out of food. Completely. That meant that the hundreds of Milton residents relying on the Salvation Army for food had to go hungry yet another day. The week of Halloween, students at Craig Kielburger Secondary School kicked off their annual We Scare Hunger food drive to help make sure that never happens again.

We Scare Hunger is a Free the Children-based initiative that empowers youth to make change through the collection of items for their local food bank. It’s an important campaign because it allows students to benefit their own community, rather than one thousands of miles away. “It kills me to know how eas[il]y we take advantage of simple things such as bread,” writes one student, “when there are families in our own backyard, worrying about where their next meal is coming from.”

This year, the focus wasn’t just on foods, but on personal care products, something the Salvation Army has a serious lack of. Items like shampoo, soap, deodorant, toothbrushes, and toothpaste were high on the list, as were juice boxes, cookies, hot and cold cereals, and kid-friendly snacks.

We Scare Hunger was organized by the Youth in Action team, but headed by two students with the help of their ‘We Scare Hunger Action Team’. The campaign ran in-school from Monday, October 26th, to Friday, October 30th. Students from every class were asked to bring in non-perishable items to their first-period classes, which were counted and recorded by the teacher. The food has yet to be counted, but the class that raises the most food will be rewarded a hot and delicious breakfast prepared by the food school. Students even had the option of bringing their donations to the Star Wars night on October 30th, or receiving a discount on their ticket to the Hallowe’en dance if they brought in five non-perishable items.

An important portion of the We Scare Hunger initiative took place on Halloween night. Weaving their way through groups of costumed children, members of Youth in Action went door-to-door collecting donations from their neighbours. Community members were informed in advance of the food drive, and many were prepared with shopping bags of food for the groups. Residents who were not slotted for community collection drove to the school and dropped off their contributions in person.The Youth in Action Team thanks everyone for their help. Any further donations can be made to the Salvation Army, Khi Community, Milton.

“We Scare Hunger reminds everyone that making a difference doesn’t always have to mean helping someone in another country,” remarks Rabeeyah Ahmed, a member of Youth in Action. “It is important to know that change starts in our local communities, and I think that’s very powerful.”


A tally of the items collected is still in process, but it is sure to be one of the most successful years yet. The food and toiletries amassed by CKSS should ensure that many families no longer have to go without. The campaign has benefits beyond simply helping those in need, however, argues Tania McPhee, one of the staff advisors of Youth in Action.  “It teaches [our students] about interconnectedness and how important it is to give back to our community. As a teacher, I am inspired by the leadership of my students, [and] by their power to be true agents of change in their own community.”


The students have something to say about fighting poverty in their own communities, too. “Many find themselves scared or ashamed about living in poverty or on the poverty line, leaving this issue not just unheard of, but completely voiceless,” articulates YIA member, Zainab Syed. “The anonymity of this campaign’s allocations allows us to strive to end poverty, while creating a sense of community and solidarity in the process.” Rishimaa Bhardwaj, who also participated in the initiative, writes, “We Scare Hunger campaign is a great opportunity to help families all over the world who don’t have food… This small change can make a huge difference.”
The students in Youth in Action have put in hours of work, creating posters, dropping flyers, and giving up lunches to prepare for the event, but it’s been worth it. Last year, CKSS raised over 2400 items and this year, they’re shooting for even more. “I believe that our school will reach ou[r] goal [of] 3000 non perishable[s] this year,” exclaims Mirka Josifosky, another Youth in Action member who’s been a part of the campaign since she joined Youth in Action. Whether or not we exceeds that goal, the hard work and dedication that was put forth is a testament to the character of the students here at CKSS. As Ms. McPhee put it the best, “I’m so proud of [us] all.”  

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Zainab Syed, Staff Writer

DECA Ontario is a nonprofit organization striving to aid youth in bettering their business and leadership skills, as well as innovating ideas that directly influence entrepreneurship, finance, hospitality, and marketing related jobs and workplaces. Where is such a sophisticatedly organized co-curricular found? Well, right here, at CKSS. Our very own CKSS DECA Team is working to compete in the DECA regionals this year. When asked for a little perspective, Deevain Bedi (President of CKSS DECA) and Eman Faisal, a member, had quite a lot of input to provide.

As adolescents, it’s only natural to deem the world superficial and observe the perfunctoriness of the everyday. Despite this, both Eman and Deevain have an optimistic and enlightened view on what DECA can offer the teen mind. When asked what qualities DECA can establish in a young person, both Eman and Deevain stressed the importance of communication, creativity and flexibility. These three qualities are not just essential to business, but also to our daily lives. However, the most crucial characteristic to have in you, no matter what you are passionate about, is inspiration. Take it from Deevain, whose role model is Elon Musk because of his drive towards excellence and passion for environmental sustainability, or Eman, whose role model is Oprah Winfrey because of her exceptional success in brand developmentation and countless list of achievements.

Often we find ourselves saying, “Watch out! We may have the new Steve Jobs in this classroom!”,“We may have another Picasso sitting amongst us!” “We may have a Shakespeare just dying to write another story fixated on death.” Youth, whether we be interested in business, art, writing, music, teaching, engineering, anything at all, have the potential to be more than those  before us because we live in an age where we are able to correct past mistakes. Deevain plans on establishing a renewable, sustainable energy source that will eradicate toxic and destructive congestors, thus maximizing the use of green energy. Though these ideas may just seem like hopeful words, the implications of these concepts are… revolutionary. So CKSS, what do you plan to enlighten?