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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: Catiyana Adam

January can be one of the busiest months of the year. With summatives, exams, university applications, course selections, tests, and projects crowding our minds, it’s unsurprising that most of us fall victim to stress! But what is stress? Why should you avoid it? And… HOW can you avoid it?


Not all stress is bad. “Eustress” is the technical term for stress that is beneficial – it helps you react and adapt to changing situations. It’s that slight panic that convinces you to get started on your homework before 9pm, or the nervousness about a presentation that prompts you to practice just one more time.


Chronic stress, however, is bad. When our bodies perceive a situation to be life-threatening, our flight-or-fight response kicks in. Your body readies your muscles for action, speeds up your breathing and heart rate, represses any inessential processes (such as digestion or immune response) and tells your kidneys to retain water. But sometimes our body mistakes stressful situations, like a test or a presentation, as life-threatening. When stressors like this trigger a fight-or-flight response on a daily basis, you can just imagine the long term effects! Water retention leads to high blood pressure, a lowered immune system renders you susceptible to illness, and other disorders – such as heart disease and depression – become far more common.


Reduce stress! Anticipate stressful situations and prepare for them as best as you can. Recognize the conversation happening between your brain and nerve impulses, and slowly you will begin to decode the stimulants that signify a panic attack. The better you get at this, the quicker you will be able to trigger your “rest-and-digest” responses by command.


Remember: stress is as physiological as it is mental. You CAN be in control!

GOOD LUCK as first semester comes to a close!

You got this!

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Laura Wagnell, Grade 11, is CKSS’ nominee for the macMEDucation program. She will be attending McMaster University for a 4-day intensive introduction to Medical School. Laura has earned this honour after writing an excellent essay and taking part in the interview process along with 4 other amazing students. Kudos to Georgia Munro in grade 10 who is the school’s alternate nominee!


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By: Alina Yusufzai

2016, the new year. Just as the excitement of the new year dies down, we begin to ask ourselves, “What will I do differently second semester?” Well, as always, the Spectator has got you covered; here is a list of ways to tackle a brand new semester:


1) Set Goals:

Goals are very important in order to achieve your aspirations, but make sure to set realistic and timely goals that you know you can achieve with a little hard work and determination!


2) Join more clubs and teams:

There are so many ways to get involved in our school community! Join a new club or explore a new interest, and it’s bound to pay off! Can’t find a club you want to join? Start your own!


3) Take notes, and listen:

A key to doing well in class is taking detailed notes and paying attention. Make sure you note down important points and listen, it will make studying and homework much easier! Also, your teacher will also be very impressed with your ability to complete homework by referencing the lessons!


4) Don’t procrastinate:

We all procrastinate, it’s true. This semester commit to what you should be doing, while also allotting time for well deserved breaks. This will allow you to get work done quickly and effectively without overwhelming yourself.


5) Be open to possibilities:

This semester, decide that you will be more open to new ideas, and will take some chances by stepping out of your comfort zone. By doing this, you give yourself the chance to explore avenues and paths that may end up teaching you more about yourself and those around you. If we stay closed off our entire lives, we close many doors of experience and opportunity. Be open to opportunities and explore new subjects, books, and maybe even countries! To learn we must experience, and I wish you all the best in doing this and all other endeavors!

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By: Alyssa Matheson

There’s nothing more exciting than sitting in a silent conference room for two hours; unless  you’re working on increasingly difficult math problems at the same time.


On November 26, the Waterloo Senior and Intermediate math contests were held at CKSS. A handful of eager math students – or perhaps just those who wanted to miss periods 2 and 3 – arrived hoping to show that their math skills were even sharper than their pencils.


When I arrived on the scene, I was there not as a reporter, but as an excited math student who is known to comment on how “nice” an algebraic expression is, or how “beautiful” a function can look when it’s solved. One of my favourite things about math is how you can take something that looks impossible, and use rules to simplify it until it makes perfect sense. That is, if you understand the question.


Now, I don’t want to run around placing the blame on someone else; but some of the questions in the contest were not worded very clearly. I’m not saying that you have to minor in English or anything to write math questions, but it would be nice if they would make sense for the intended audience (if the author of the contest was an English major, I apologize for my misconception; but seriously, write better questions).


Although I found some of the questions made absolutely no sense due to their wording, there were other students who attributed their problems to the actual source, “the questions weren’t written badly, they were just hard,” said a grade 12 student.
There is a chance that it may have been that my math skills were the issue rather than the wording of the questions, but what even is an “eventually periodic” function? If anyone has any idea, I’d like to know, because it’s not the fact that I didn’t understand the question during the contest that bugs me, but the fact that I still don’t understand it now.

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Valentine’s Day: a time when couples compete for the title of “who-can-go-the-brokest-to-prove-their-love”, and a time where single people just can’t wait for their discounted chocolate the day after and roll around in all the money that they saved.

At CKSS, however, we offer a highly cost effective alternative. What is it, you may ask? Well, you probably experienced many students and teachers getting utterly embarrassed by them: the singing telegrams! On February 12th, thanks to some hard working, musically talented students, you could prove your love (or just your love of embarrassment) with a singing telegram, which were offered at a price of $2.50 for one or $4.00 for two. The songs that were sung to perfection were, “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran, and “More Than Words” by Extreme.

This was surely a worthwhile event, as $211 was profited and will now benefit our school’s music program. If you missed out this amazing Valentine’s Day opportunity, hopefully next year our talented musical students, conducted by Ms. Chow, will give us the pleasure of offering their services up once again!

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Black History Month is a month in which we recognize and appreciate the struggle and strength demonstrated by strong and enduring individuals. We celebrate the beauty of their diversity, the clear-cut edge of their sleek grace; and that is exactly what Craig Kielburger Secondary School did on Friday, February the 20th when the Black History Fashion Show was held in the school cafeteria during third period.

Mrs. O’Brien’s fashion class dressed up in traditional African attire, demonstrating the roots and detailed fragments of the rich culture. They wore outfits from different fabrics of Africa, including Ghana, Nigeria and Somalia. Vivid colours and bright patterns were essential to the style, and as the gathering students watched, even several of the school’s enthusiastic teachers joined in. Ms. Barnaby and Mr.Turnbull struck several poses walking down the “runway” of the show, effectively making the audience smile and laugh. Mr. Spragge was seen rocking a long, traditional amber-orange garment, having a good time.

Overall, eyes lit up with the pristine and modern shine of the style as well as creased in appreciation of more ancient outfits. The room vibrated with positive energy and the CK community upheld the African origins with respect and beauty.

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On Monday, December 15th, students at Craig Kielburger Secondary School participated along with the rest of the community in Milton’s sixth annual Miracle on Main Street. The event is hosted by the Tiger Jeet Singh Foundation, geared towards the importance of giving, as each participant is asked to bring a new toy or make a monetary donation towards organizations like the Sick Kid’s Hospital in Toronto, the Salvation Army and Halton Women’s Place. The event was full of amusement and festivities, and had a great turnout from people of all ages. It can be truly rewarding to give back to the less fortunate, especially around the season of giving!

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On Thursday December 4th, 2014, the Music Council put on the second annual Winter Concert. The talented musicians of Craig Kielburger Secondary School joined together under their respective organizations and put on a wonderful night of music that celebrated the winter season. The concert showed off the incredible dedication of C.K.’s music students under the direction of Ms. Chow and Mr. Schouten.

The night began with a performance by the C.K.S.S. drum line. Their performance was fantastic and got the night off to a great start. Things got better and better as there were performances by the grade nine  instrumental class, the vocal/musical theatre class, the choir and NEON, a few individual and small group performances, and finally the C.K.S.S. concert band. It truly was a spectacular concert that united the many branches of the music program for a wonderful evening. A shortened repeat of the concert was held as a buyout on Wednesday December 10th and was equally successful.

This is the first year that Craig Kielburger Secondary School has had a Music Council. The Music Council is a democratic body which represents the interests of music at C.K.S.S. The President of this, Josh Sinclair, believed that the concert was a great success and really demonstrated the talents of our school’s students. The elected and appointed members of the Music Council put in a lot of work, supervised by Ms. Chow and Mr. Schouten, to ensure that the concert went off without a hitch.

This concert also served as a time to contribute to those less fortunate. The Music Council asked for attendees to bring an unwrapped toy to donate to charity. This was an idea proposed by the Music Council to support our community during this season.

There will be another concert in the spring to show off again the talents of C.K. music students. If you missed the winter concert, then come out in the spring for another fun filled night!