By: Ashley Lowe
With the teachers being put between a rock and a hard place, students have begun to take matters into their own hands. At 1:00 pm on December 13th, ESA students, along with hundreds of other Toronto secondary students, were set to march out of their classes to attend a mass rally at Queen’s Park to challenge the ironically named “Putting Students First Act”, otherwise known as Bill 115.
At exactly 12:58 pm, Mr. MacKinnon addressed the student body.
“Remember, you represent ESA,” he warned, before kindly adding, “Please, be safe”.
So it began, hundreds of students collected their belongings, and proudly walked out of nearly every classroom, beginning their long yet worthwhile trek to the steps of the Legislature.
The arrival to Queen’s Park was positively overwhelming. From afar, a large mass of bodies holding signs was visible, accompanying indistinguishable chants. Venturing further, it began to take shape. This large mass soon became clearly compiled of fierce individuals who had congregated to spread a single, chanted message: Kill Bill 115.
Protest organizers were standing amongst the group, calmly handing out flyers to protesting students. The flyers provided information on the bill, including legal excerpts from the Charter; instructions on how to approach calling local MPP’s as well as the Ministry of Education; and how to react if police began to ask, search, or detain any students. The instructions included reminders to remain respectful and to avoid picking sides; it was clear that this was not about defending either opponent, but rather about voicing the student intolerance to Bill 115.
At 3:00PM well-organized coordinators provided protesters with the numbers to their local MPP offices. The Ministry of Education phone line became endlessly busy as passionate students voiced their concerns. Students from ESA left repeated messages for the Minister, detailing the outrageous effects the bill has had on our shows, and overall artistic and educational community. These messages were among hundreds left with exasperated secretaries, who repeatedly claimed they could not comment on the situation.
Being a part of the protesting group could only be described as a unifying, and empowering experience. Surrounding students seemed to have a rigid focus on the task at hand, upholding a mature, positive stance. While students came from dozens of different schools, it seemed school spirit was not of great importance; rather the spirit of the collective goal to improve the situation for everybody affected, regardless of socio-economic background, educational level, or school rivalry. Many students displayed such bonds by allowing sign-holders to sit upon their shoulders; actions such as these proved that students were willing to compromise their own comfort in order to further consecrate their ferocious standpoint. At the end of a vivacious protest, it seems the message has been driven home. It can only be hoped that the provincial government will listen to the undeniable pleas of victimized students, and will ultimately Kill the Bill.
Students rally against Bill 115 at Queen’s Park.
By: Ashley Lowe
Thomas Schneider is a grade twelve visual arts student at ESA. These works are self portraits, from a series titled ‘Sleep’.
To see more of Thomas’ incredible artwork, visit www.thomasschneider.tumblr.com
As anyone with any media source or social networking platform is aware, December 21st 2012 is the acclaimed date of the oncoming apocalypse. This poses the spine-tingling question: Where will you be when the world ends?
ESA’s very own ‘Look Out Below’ has made the answer simple. They will be performing on December 21st at 7:00 pm at the Hard Luck Bar, located at 772a Dundas Street West, alongside other phenomenal bands, such as: Go Diana, Matt Sneath, Backdoor Lightshow, Yacht Club, and City Audacity.
Sanjay Parker, manager and drummer for Look Out Below, weighs in on their upcoming show:
“We’re writing songs and recording them soon; we’ve got good musicians; we make good music; and most of all, we enjoy it. We’re all really excited about this gig not only because we’re expecting it to be one of our best, if not our #1, but also because of who’s coming and who’s playing. It’s going to be a fantastic show.”
Tickets are $10.00 when purchased from Sanjay Parker, and $12.00 at the door.
By: Ashley Lowe
By Cecilia Divito
Attention all senior students! As you prepare to apply for universities and colleges, it is important to plan ahead. While your first post-secondary semester seems far away, doing some research now will definitely pay off.
A crucial part of post-secondary education is gaining job experience in your specific field of study. These days, employers want to see knowledge and experience of the field in which you are working in. A great way to get this experience is through internships.
Internships are extremely valuable at have on your resumé, and employers will take note as to whether you have obtained an internship during school or not. Internships provide you with job experience, which will put you a significant step ahead of other applicants without experience when you are applying for a job. Internships also give you a better understanding of the field, which in turn can change your career plans showing you what you want and do not want to do as a profession.
You can go about getting an internship in several ways. During the first couple weeks of university, pay a visit to Career Services or Internship Program Offices on your campus. They will provide you with information and prospective opportunities for you to look at. You can also go through family and friends- networking is a great way to meet future employers and make connections of your own. Take advantage of the internship opportunities at job fairs and career fairs hosted by your school’s student services. At these events, organizations are specifically looking for interns, so their eyes will be open for you. Another way of finding internships is through online search engines. www.Internweb.com is one of the many websites where you can search for internships based on location, industry, job function and time of year.
Try to find at least one internship during your years as a student; Internships will provide you with a wider knowledge of your field. If you set goals for what you want to achieve from each internship you apply for, it will be easier for you to choose the right career pathway after you finish university or college. Remember to polish up your cover letter, resumé and interview techniques before applying. Setting a professional first impression is extremely important.
Now that you know the basics, do some research and find opportunities for you! Good luck ESA!
By: Cecilia Divito
Major: Visual Arts
What are your hobbies?
“I like playing hockey. I like talking to girls. And I like talking to boys, but I like talking to girls more. I enjoy winning things. That’s a hobby, right? And I like chilling with Eli.”
How would you describe the way you dress?
“I try to be respectable, and I try to be classy. I try to dress in a way that I won’t regret when I’m forty and looking back. I like finding good clothing for cheap, but I enjoy wearing quality. I enjoy looking classy.”
What is your favourite clothing store to shop at?
“I love Value Village! I like going to Honest Ed’s, basically anywhere that I can get nice clothing that doesn’t cost a lot. Joe Fresh, you can find good stuff there. Anything upper body is basically cheap, like shirts and stuff. Whereas my jeans are typically H & M or Levis. I really like nice jeans. And for shoes, I like manly shoes. I don’t really like Nikes or styles like that.”
Has your style changed since you came to ESA?
“I have definitely, definitely changed the way I dress since I came to ESA. For sure! I used to be more of a… kid! I wore coloured jeans and skater shoes. And I wore Keds a lot, too. I guess most people would call me and my friends hipsters. We’re not really hipsters, but you can call us hipsters. We’re like boys that dress like men!”
If you could live in another era for its fashion trends, which one would it be?
“I really like the outfits of the 90s. I don’t like the baggy pants, but I like that weird artsy vibe that was there. I also like the 40s, you know when men dressed really fancy and classy.”
Elements of Enzo’s Outfit
1. Collared Shirt
A collared shirt is easy to find at a variety of prices. You can go for a more tailored shirt, which will typically be more expensive, or a loose-fitting one like Enzo’s, which you can find cheaper.
2. Manly Shoes
If you’re like Enzo and aren’t partial to Nikes, try looking at shoe stores like Browns, Aldo, Town Shoes or even Sporting Life. Certain brands can be pricy, but you can find a range of styles there.
3. Classy Jeans!
A pair of dark wash jeans can instantly dress up a casual shirt and they go with anything. You can get reasonably priced jeans at The Bay, American Eagle or The Gap.
By: Ashley Lowe
It seems holding the attendance hostage was simply not enough. On December 3rd, 2012, all ESA teachers received a debilitating email from their union, the Ontario Secondary School Teacher’s Federation. The email dictated that all teachers were to halt all participation in any extra-curricular activities in order to protest Bill 115.
As stated in a previous Eagle Eye article, Bill 115 was passed by previous Premier Dalton McGuinty’s government. It poised new working terms for the teachers, including a salary freeze and the inability to bank vacation/sick days for future use. More importantly, however it also stripped teachers of their fundamental right to collectively bargain any of these terms.
As all students should be aware, the protests against this bill are not recent. Staff meetings have been cancelled resulting in the loss of late starts, and teachers have foregone all administrative duties. Unfortunately, most recently, these protests have been taken a drastic step forward. All teachers have been ordered to stop any involvement in extra-curricular activities, including: SPLASH; DancESAtion; Student Council; the volleyball team; the basketball team; the Black History Month assembly; and all other groups and teams. These cancellations, if not resolved, could result in the omission of shows, school trips, and sports seasons altogether. Teachers are also forbidden to offer extra help earlier than fifteen minutes before or after school.
Students should also be aware that these protests, while extremely and rightfully distressing, are not the end of ESA. Vice President Josh Buteau-Malone released the following statement on behalf of student council:
“It’s very important in a time where there’s a lot of uncertainty for our student body to remember that the teachers have been put in this difficult position. It may feel like there is a damper put on us, but the students are the essence of this school. We always have, and always will, continue to make it great. Student council will continue to support our students in any way we can. Students should be aware of their council representatives and know that they can always approach us with any questions or ideas.”
It’s not easy to see the silver lining in this seemingly endless situation, yet it is crucial to remember, all is not lost. ESA students are still extremely fortunate to be given the opportunity to explore and expand their artistic horizons in class, as well as with their peers. While it may seem daunting to go home during daylight hours, or to spend lunch sitting and eating, this is precious time that we are not often given. Supporting our teachers in every way possible is the most effective and ethical solution for students at the time being. Students have also been advised to encourage their parents to contact their local MP’s regarding the strike and to be cautious regarding organizing protests that could result in more harm than good if done irrationally.
At the end of the day, we are still Etobicoke School of the Arts. A strike can take away our rehearsals, but it cannot take away the artistic, hardworking, and unique atmosphere that is ESA. It’s important to take advantage of any breaks we are given in our hectic environment, and we can only hope that we can soon return to our overwhelming schedules sometime in the very near future.
By: Malindi Ayienga
4. Sleep! I know that this is probably a foreign concept to ESA students, so allow me to explain how it works. Teenagers need 8 ½ to 9 hours of sleep a night to be able to function and go about the day without feeling like you‘re about to fall asleep in English class. We all know Mrs.Kissoon would not be happy with that! It can be hard to get all your homework done and hit the sack at a reasonable hour, but it can be done. Don’t drink caffeinated beverages after 4PM, the caffeine will stay in your system and keep you up all night. Avoid watching any violent/ scary T.V. shows or movies before bed. The Walking Dead, although it is awesome, can cause your mind to work double time and keep you from falling asleep. You need to enter into a committed relationship with sleep. It may seem weird at first, but after a while it just seems right!
5. Open up! Stress is not solely the result of a lack of sleep, worries about the future and getting homework done. We’re not robots; we have feelings and relationships that can get complicated. Take care of your emotional well-being, and everything will seem easier. Try writing in a journal, or if writing’s not your thing, try talking to one of our guidance counsellors or someone else in your life who is there to support you. While your friends may be there more than willing to offer advice, it’s a better idea to talk to someone outside of the crazy ESA student lifestyle.
6. Have Fun! As a student body, ESA kids are hard workers. We are disciplined and we love what we do. Our workload is insane and it takes a lot of effort to do all that we do, and to do it well. That is why it’s important to set aside time for fun and rewards. If you’ve been staying up late every night of the week doing homework, spend the weekend with some friends going to a movie or to a dessert restaurant for some ice cream, or cake… or ice cream cake! Relaxation is important; it can even be something as small as laying back on a Saturday afternoon and watching a movie on Netflix. All work and no play makes for a grumpy teenager.
I hope that these tips have helped you open your mind to how easy it is to de-stress. All you have to do is organize time to do your work and balance that with relaxing and staying healthy. Don’t sweat the small stuff and always remember why you are at ESA. Enjoying your high school experience is extremely important; don’t sacrifice it to stress.
By: Morgan Koo
Being enrolled at a competitive school like ESA can definitely be a challenge academically; we balance an extraordinarily large workload for people our age. Yet, when so many talented students are excelling around you- all the time- reality really becomes hard to digest. We tend to compare ourselves and wonder if we’re good enough… then, even blame our inabilities on our parents, or our genes; but what about our brain?
The brain is the most vital organ in the human body. We are immediately uncomfortable with the idea of heart or lung dysfunctions, but often neglect the notion of healthy brain functionality. Complex problem solving, socialization, creativity and innovation are all wonders of our brains- not to mention the magic it works when a huge project is due tomorrow.
Our cognitive brain health positively increases or negatively decreases daily, depending on how productive or unproductive we are.
“Modern advances in brain imaging prove that the brain is designed to be one of the most adaptable, modifiable and regenerative organs in our body,” says Sandra Bond Chapman, Ph.D.
So the next time you don’t get the mark you want on that math test, don’t give up or doubt yourself, but trust the power of your beautifully complex brain! However, like everything in life, brain training takes some effort.
Here are a few tips on how to get started on healthy brain hygiene:
1. Dispose of obsolete notions of brain development: memory and multitasking are NOT the framework of a healthy, bright brain, but they are good exercise.
2. Scientific evidence has shown that IQ tests are outdated and misleading. Plus, this is generally a negative constitution of intelligence and brain potential.
3. Habits that degrade your brain, like regularly staying up too late, watching too much TV, eating poorly, and even overloading with information too quickly, prevent your brain from functioning at optimal mental capacity. Physical exercise, eating whole foods, and relaxing in moderation, are great methods for healthy brain maintenance. A brain is like any other living thing- if you treat it well, it will likely return the favor.
4. The more you train your brain, the better. When you focus on demanding activities like complex problem solving and decision-making, your brain gets more “exercise”, and will function more smoothly. As you progress, your brain gains resilience to cognitive decline!
Although we’re young and have a long way to go as far as brain development and maturation, it’s never too early to be mindful about such a vital part of our body.
Happy brain training everyone!
Figure 1, a healthy brain. Image borrowed from The Guardian.
By: Malindi Ayienga
Stress; the one word that they left out of the description when you applied to ESA. Whether you’re a grade nine worrying about your first round of exams, or a grade twelve having to make decisions that are scarier than the inside of the cafeteria microwaves, stress affects all of us. Below are three stress-reducing tips to help you manage your schoolwork and health at ESA.
1. Prioritize! ESA is full of tons of amazing clubs, teams, committees and ensembles. They look great on College/ University applications and are really fun to be a part of. But you can easily find that with two clubs, a choir and 8 courses you have spread yourself too thin. Think of it this way: if you are involved in more extra curriculars than you can count on one hand, it’s probably too much. For grade 12’s, remember, clubs and committees look great on applications, but if you don’t have time to achieve the marks that you need to get into the program of your choice, then the clubs won’t matter.
2. Eat Right! Rushing from class to class, trying to make sure all of your assignments are done on time and then going to a rehearsal after school doesn’t leave a lot of time to eat anything more than a bag of chips and an Arizona from Parks. However, this kind of diet takes a toll on your immune system. We all know that being sick at ESA is a student’s worst nightmare. If you eat crap, then you’ll feel like crap and that’s not going to make you any less stressed. Try throwing together something healthy the night before so you’re not rushed in the morning. Also, EAT BREAKFAST! I don’t care if you don’t have time, or if you always have your coffee/tea; no one is too cool for breakfast. It is as simple as toasting a bagel, pouring some cereal into a bowl or opening a cup of yogurt. It takes 5 minutes and it will not only help you wake up, but stay awake too.
3. Don’t procrastinate! Lots of unnecessary stress comes from doing projects and assignments the night before, or worse, the class before. Your homework should be your number one priority, above rehearsal,a meeting, or your shift at work. You go to school to learn and study, all the other stuff is extra. The library is always open, before school, during lunch and after school. If your house is a zoo or you don’t have access to a computer or printer at home, the library is the perfect place for you to get some work done. When you do finally sit down to write that essay or do chapter 6.100 of Math, getting distracted can be a huge setback in your homework process. A great study tool is StayFocusd. StayFocusd is a Google Chrome browser extension, easily downloadable from Google Chrome. When activated, this witty extension blocks all the websites (typically Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc) previously specified for a set amount of time…just enough time for you to get that work done!
Check out The Eagle Eye next week for three more stress-relieving tips and tricks!