Monday, June 2, 2014

Deadly Disease Sweeping Through Western Canada High

By: Molly M.

Western Canada has had a lively year filled with two measles outbreaks and enough common colds and virus’ to fill up a small hospital, but we have seen nothing as devastating to the student body as this new disease. Maybe you’ve heard of it, almost everyone has suffered from it, and maybe you’ve even lost loved ones to it. This seasonal disease that rips through the student body every year has finally made its reappearance.

It is called Summeritis.

Summeritis, for those of you who are unsure, is a disease that typically strikes in the last month of school before the student body is free to enjoy a summer free from homework and stress. The tragic part of Summeritis is that many students have symptoms and suffer through it without even being aware that their motivation is being torn to shreds by this malicious virus.
Its symptoms include:
  • lack of motivation to do anything that doesn’t involve the outdoors
  • chronic procrastination
  • irritability
  • inability to pay attention
  • fidgeting
And the list goes on. Since Summeritis is a seasonal affliction, most of the student body is able to suffer through these rough couple of weeks before the freedom of summer soothes all our pain. Unfortunately, Summeritis isn’t the only disease making its way through Western Canada. Senioritis, an affliction with similar symptoms has been striking down many of our grade twelve students. Unlike Summeritis, Senioritis affects the most senior students of our school. With graduation and the end of high school so close, the grade twelve’s immune system, which  stops procrastination and laziness, simply isn’t able to protect them from Senioritis. It is estimated that 104% of all students experience either Summeritis or Senioritis, or both at the same time (bless their poor hearts).

When Summeritis and Senioritis are coupled together, waking up in the morning requires a forty-five minute pep talk. Actually going to school and making good use of one’s time is another pep talk altogether.

There is no cure for either of these diseases, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t methods of easing the symptoms. If you are suffering from either of the disease mentioned above, please try the following methods to overcome the struggle that Summeritis brings.

If you can, try your best to keep up to date with all your homework and tests. It seems almost impossible to keep working while affected by Summeritis, but you can do it! Try to do a little bit of work every evening. It makes a difference. If that doesn’t work, take a minute out of your day to think about how behind you are in all your classes. The panic might cause you to hyperventilate and curl up into a ball and cry, but once it passes there is nothing more powerful than a bit of terror to get your textbooks open.

Most importantly, remember that Summeritis will pass. When afflicted with Summeritis, days drag on and everything seems hopeless, but Summer is so close. Just buckle down, try to study and soon we’ll be free.

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Doctor Is In

By: Ben U.

Doctor Who, a global hit TV series originating from Britain has recently had a newest addition to the crew, Peter Capaldi, with the role as the main character.

The central character of the series, simply known as ‘The Doctor,’ is an ancient ‘Timelord’ who loves to bring human companions on the adventure of their lives. Travelling across both time and space in the Doctor’s favorite mode of transportation, the T.A.R.D.U.S; yet, every now and then, the Doctor puts on a different character along the ride.

As a Timelord, the Doctor can go through a ‘regeneration’ of sorts when he dies, which causes him to come back to life with a new face, personality, and most importantly, a new fashion sense. Though Timelord’s can still be killed permanently if they are attacked during this regeneration, the Doctor is still in, coming back time and time again with a new actor playing the role and adding his own flare to it.

The series has run for years now, even breaching the gap between multiple generations, yet it wasn’t until Matt Smith, a young actor took over the role of ‘The Doctor’. Becoming the youngest actor ever to be given the role of The Doctor, Matt Smith was the Doctor that became viral across the world, bridging the gap overseas to America.

Doctor Who continued to become even more popular, becoming one of the best known television series in the world. However, not all things last, and eventually, Matt Smith stepped down from the role of the doctor, leaving many to wonder who would be the newest Doctor.

Weeks later, 50 year-old Peter Capaldi was announced as the newest Doctor.

Immediately people questioned Steven Moffat, the head writer of Doctor Who, and his choice of having an ‘old’ man be the newest Doctor when the previous couple have been relatively handsome men.

In response to these questions, Steven Moffat has recently said in reply, “When you choose a doctor, you want somebody who is utterly compelling, attractive in a very odd way. None of the doctors are conventionally attractive, but they’re all arresting.”

Saying, “Handsome men don’t quite suit.”

And though he even admitted that, “Matt Smith’s a young, good-looking bloke from one angle,” yet added on that, “but is actually the strangest looking man from another.” That it wasn’t Matt’s good looks that gave him the role, but the oddity that was Matt Smith.

“You need that oddity; you need somebody who is carved out of solid star.”

Though, there have been a variety of reactions to Steven’s answer to questions on his choosing of Peter Capaldi.

Some say that he’s insulting the previous Doctors, Matt Smith and David Tennant, calling them ‘ugly,’ while others have gained this new understanding of the choosing of the Doctors, and appreciate this inside look in what makes the Doctors, and especially on what to expect from Peter Capaldi, if Moffat has said that, “Peter’s a big child at heart.”

However, there seems to be more to Moffat’s words than on first glance.

While Moffat admits that some of the previous Doctors are considered handsome, he shows how that doesn’t matter in their casting; it’s the oddity, the special qualities of the actors that make the choice. Something that is shared not only with acting, but with every business, career, with anything, it’s the distinctive qualities of the person that gives them the accomplishments.

Steven Moffat has touched on a way of living, saying that it isn’t what’s on the outside that gives the person the accomplishments and dreams they wanted, but it’s who they are on the inside that helps them to achieve their goals.

Wise words to live by, and wiser words to cast by.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

We Are Family!

By: Nicole M.

No one can deny it has been an eventful year. It can even be argued one of the most eventful years in the school’s history. As a school community, we’ve been through it all. However the most amazing thing that has happened this year is our survival as a school community. Through thick and thin, we’ve proved to everyone that we are more than just a school of 2000 kids, but we are family.

Let’s take a look at our year in review.

The beginning of the school year seemed as casual and similar to the next. The new grade 10 students arrived, clogging the hallways and seemingly clueless about the law of the schools. The grade 12s seemed to have it all figured out, with the tunes of the last year of high school playing in their heads. They simply hoped for an end to the school year. Between emotions and adjusting to school work, September came and left as did October. Nevertheless, November carried the same anxiety close to the end of the month; the autumn season blew in a heap of change.

It was on November 29th during 3rd period, Western Canada went into a lockdown. Most students didn’t panic; they thought it was a routine drill except it wasn’t. An actual threat threatened the school, not something simple though. It was a bomb threat, someone had called the school. Student had no idea about this conclusion, but they refused to remain clueless. It was later mentioned that approximately 200 students were tweeting during the lockdown. Twitter was also a great source of information for the media outlet. Later that evening, Western Canada was beaming throughout news.

However that would not be our last encounter with the media, in fact we would hold at least a couple segments throughout the year. As the students arrived back from Christmas break, we were followed by the media. It had nothing to do with the students or the bomb threat, but with our mascot. The CBE was questioning our school’s mascot wondering whether it was offensive in nature, Western Canada High School was on the brink of losing ‘Redmen’. The entire city was engaged in the conversation, even students rallied together to write about their connection to the name. Through it all, our principle Mr. Hackman kept his head held high and ensured the dignity and protection of his students was never put at risk.

The media’s swarm was not quite over. There was one more outbreak that led the media to surround our school. Within the Western Canada walls, there were 2 cases of the measles outbreak. Not only, was the potential of the virus spreading alarming but it was also alarming the number of students that had yet to receive their vaccination shots. In the end the school had to send home around 200 students for around 14 days, many grade 12s feared the impact this would have on their education. However, Western’s administration provided great service and ensured students were able to not miss too much class and if they did they were provided with great options regarding how to manage.

Even with all these crazy things, the students at Western didn’t forget who they were, when it came to events they are still the best. Raising over 21,000 dollars for cancer research through our annual Head Shave event as well as raising countless cans for non-profit organizations.

Through thick and thin, we’ve proved to everyone that we are more than just a school of 2000 kids, but we are family. We were more than the name Redmen and a couple cases of measles couldn’t keep us down. What next year holds is unknown but it’s guaranteed that we can handle it.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Biking - The Superior Mode of Transport



By Emma G.

Spring is upon us, and the warm weather seems to be lingering. Now is the perfect time to pull out your bike, and take the time to enjoy the outdoors. It may seem daunting at first, but is worth the effort in the end.

First of all, there is the common idea about helping out the environment. In 2010, Alberta had an average of 63.4 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per person. That is a huge amount compared to the rest of Canada.You should do your part, no matter how small, and reduce green house gas emissions. It is a small step towards a better future. No matter where you stand on global warming, the fact remains that fossil fuels negatively impact the earth. With less cars on the road you reduce pollutants in the air. That can not only help prevent climate change (with lower carbon dioxide emissions) but improve the health of those around you with better air quality. The European Cyclists Federation (yes it exists) claims that even with taking into account production, emissions from bicycles were ten times lower than the average car. Biking is a great habit to start early.

If you live close enough to school, it is a great way to get exercise. There is low pressure put on joints, and you strengthen your core, back, and especially legs. Biking is an activity for everyone no matter your level of fitness. You pick your speed, your route, and the amount of work you want to do. It is cardiovascular and gets your heart pumping-and your heart is a muscle the needs to be regularly exercised. Biking is an investment-and one that will pay off in the long run.

Generally, I find that biking puts a smile on people’s faces (minus up hills and  rainy days). Birds chirp, and there is plenty of fresh air. You get outside, and it feels great. Why not enjoy spring?

Western Canada High School is also trying to encourage you to bike to school. This Thursday, or May 15, the Western Canada Environment Club will host it’s Annual Bike to School Day. A pancake breakfast will be given to those who bike, and prizes will be given out to the best decorated ride. For those who are concerned with thefts and the safety of their bike, Western has a bike lockup in the courtyard to protect bikes.

Biking is different for each and every person, and there will be different things for different people enjoy.  H.G. Wells once said, “When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race.” As high school students, we are soon to be considered adults (legally at least). I applaud those who already bike, and I encourage others to give biking a try. What will biking mean to you?


Wednesday, May 7, 2014


By: Ellen L.

The thought of waking up to go to school in the morning is an unpleasant thought for all
students , but even more so here at Western Canada high school. Students who drive to school
in the morning have to be at school an hour earlier than other students do, or if they are lucky
enough on a particular day only 45 minutes. Many students with morning spares need to arrive
at school at eight o’clock to get a parking spot when their first class does not start until ten
thirty! With only 125 student parking spots, and 400 plus parking passes in use many students
need to resort to parking in two-hour public parking. Parking in two hour either makes
students late for class, or stuck with a forty-dollar fine. “I learned just not to come to school,
because it costs me 40$ a day” says Laura in grade twelve. Just finding a two hour spot can
even be difficult some days with the huge amounts of students, and other public all fighting for
the closest spot.

 Luckily, after all the complaining students have also come up with several solutions to
the dreadful parking situation “Why can’t we remove the baseball diamond and add in more
parking spaces? Considering we don’t have a baseball team and it is never in use,” says Tom in
grade twelve. Other students suggest free two hour parking for students during school hours,
but the most environmental and efficient way to help solve the parking problem for students is
carpooling. Many students drive with neighbours and friends to school, but many others drive
to and from school alone which could very easily be solved. If everyone who drove to school
had at least one other person in their car the number of cars fighting for spots would be
reduced dramatically, not to mention the money spent on gas that would be saved, and the
benefits to the environment. If everyone drove to school with just one other person the number
of people driving to school could be reduced to half which would make the mornings a lot
easier for everyone. So talk to your neighbours, friends and classmates and tell them to do the
same thing. If everyone does this then we can make a difference, and maybe even get a little
more sleep.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Centre Stage

By: Anthony L.             

With the end of the year approaching, and a slurry of school events surfacing (WCHS’s Everything & Nothing, Race To End Hunger), there is a specific event that doesn’t get advertised as much: Center Stage. Center Stage is presented by the Dance program at Western Canada High School, and features all types of dance. The program for the show displays a vast diversity of dance styles, aimed to appeal to anyone.

Center Stage has been crafted to appeal to a general audience, even if they're not particularly interested in dance. The show possesses a certain majesty that can be enjoyed by all, rather than a certain niche of dance lovers only. This year, the track list contains many popular artists and songs, including Macklemore's “Thrift Shop.” This ensures that even if you're not the biggest dance fanatic, there can still be some enjoyment in going to see the show.

Also, the show not only includes the WCHS dance program, but also includes those who just want to showcase their talents. When talking to a WCHS dance student about the event, she attested to its guaranteed success this year. She asked to not include her name.

“Yeah, I think the show is going to be really great this year!” she exclaimed.

“We’ve got an awesome lineup this year, along with some great dance numbers. We’ve really built off of what we had other years, I think. Include of emphasizing on the classical approach to dancing, we had a little more fun. There’s a lot more abstract ideas and comedic approaches to the dances.”

In past years, Center Stage has always found critical success amongst the students.Though the WCHS Dance program only presents a few productions a year (which in itself is understandable, due to the standard of excellence at which they perform), Center Stage still claims the spot of their most important show all year. It’s an event which not only showcases their individual talents, but also their talents as a group. Included with their individual performances is a group dance which features the majority of the dance students. And though this showcases them as a group, it’s fascinating to watch the similarities and differences between the interpretations of the songs which the performers include in their dances.

WCHS’s presentation of Center Stage provides an event in which dance students can feature their talents, both individually and collectively. Though Center Stage can be enjoyed by dance lovers and critics, it also proves to be a fun, entertaining night for individuals who are just looking for a quality show to watch. The dance program is ecstatic at their opportunity to perform. The show runs Friday May 2nd in the Western Canada High School Theater.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Redmen Ready to Rumble; Girls Rugby

By Lindsay K.

Every spring, Western Canada High School (WCHS) assembles many different teams to compete under the redmen name. WCHS is known as one of the top athletically inclined high schools in Calgary and surrounding areas. But what team should you really keep your eye on this season? Western Girls Rugby.

This year, we had over 60 girls try out for the team, and have been able to create a squad of 33 girls to challenge the opposition. These girls represent all three grades at WCHS, and will be competing in
division one again this year – along with St. Francis, Centennial, Churchill, Bishop Grandin, and Diefenbaker.

The start of spring sports at Western is an exciting time for the redmen community, as well as the student body and staff. The year seems to be moving by more quickly than ever as we surge into the
2013/2014-spring season, and the rugby girls are raring to go. This year’s squad competed in their first game last Wednesday and shut out St. Francis with 30 points, 6 different tries, and six different try scorers. If this is any indication of how their season is going to go – the other teams better watch their backs.

Not only do these girls already have a fantastic start to their season, but girls rugby at Western has won cities four out of the last six years, including their victory as city champions last year. Last year, the girls continued onto provincial championships and placed second overall. This year the goal is to take home not only the city championship, but the provincial championship as well. The western girls will prosper this season through incredible work ethic, extreme athleticism and good sportsmanship.

There is no doubt that we have a talented team, but what really makes this team so special to be a part of? The close-knit, passionate atmosphere. When asked to comment on what being on WCHS rugby was like, grade twelve veteran Delaney Schofer said “I'm basically in it for the team breakfasts. Just kidding. Seriously though, we have a great group of hard-working, athletic girls that I have no doubt will win us City Championships again this year.” As you can see, these hard working athletes know how to have a great time, while getting the job done!

The team is comprised of a pretty equal ratio of rookies to veterans, which is a strategic play, by coaches Claire McCann, Shauna Zwicker, and Ryan Quaife. The equal ratio is designed to ensure that
each year we are able to carry girls forward, and continue success, while our veterans graduate.

Here is to another fantastic season of western girls rugby, another fantastic coaching staff and another great team of redmen athletes.

*Western plays a game next Thursday against Bishop Grandin. Come out and support your redmen, Western!