Book It: Siddhartha

Are you looking for a unique and little-known book for your next read? If so, pick up a copy of Siddhartha.

Nina Nguyen, Staff Writer

Edited by Julia Stanski

9780141189574This novel was written in 1922 by an amazing German writer named Hermann Hesse, also a poet and painter. It introduces a theme less evident in the books of today, that of the unique spiritual journey awaiting every single person. The title character is a young man who has a sudden epiphany and decides to seek out another path. This determined man hears tales about living with Samanas (monks) in the forest, and decides to leave his family and sacrifice all his possessions. He hopes that by being homeless and fasting, he will sate his personal hunger for completeness in his life. Through this journey, he meets Buddha, who plays an important part in the spiritual life of those around him, and realizes that his soul will not be satisfied by following the teachings and philosophy of Buddha. Siddhartha strives for something to complete his life, to make him feel whole, and he thinks that letting go of his earthly possessions will help him find it. As the plot evolves the reader, as well as the protagonist, sees that this path will not lead him to enlightenment.

This is an enriching and enlightening book for those who want something new and relaxing to read. It explores the topics of religion and the difficulty of trying to find a philosophy that one can relate to and apply to one’s life. The author uses a complicated and diverse syntax and vocabulary that will not be found in many contemporary books. The text poetically reveals the life of a character and the soulfulness of his actions. Siddhartha is also not a very lengthy book, which allows for captivation at all times. As I read this book, it opened my eyes to a whole new way of thinking and a different side of life I was missing. From someone who was always reading dystopian fiction, this novel really incited a change of heart as to what kind of books I’d always preferred and grabbed at the book store. If you’re looking for a unique sense of writing and a poetic view on philosophy, Siddhartha is definitely the book for you!

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Who is this Connor McDavid Fellow?

Kevin Owttrim (Swanson), Staff Writer

Edited by Julia Stanski

For the past couple of months, a certain name has been seen all over the internet. From newspaper articles to annoying Youtube ads that you can’t skip, Connor McDavid’s name has been front and center. But who really is this McDavid? Why should I care? Why is there a road named after him? Will he really make the Edmonton Oilers win again? We will strive to answer all of these questions for you
today!mcdavid 1

Let’s start with the basics. Connor McDavid is an 18-year-old professional hockey player currently playing for the Edmonton Oilers. He was drafted first overall on June 26th, 2015. This generally means that he was the best player to get drafted this year. He has had a massive amount of hype surrounding him that began a long time ago while he was still playing in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). This is mainly because last year he scored 44 goals and had 76 assists in only 47 games. In comparison, Wayne Gretzky, considered one of the best hockey players in history, scored 51 goals and got a total of 137 points in 79 games in his first year in the National Hockey League (NHL). Wayne Gretzky still holds the record for most points scored during a first year in the NHL. So far, McDavid has played 5 games and scored 4 points for the Oilers. It is still early in the year, but the early statistics show that McDavid could be as good as Gretzky was or possibly even better.mcdavid 3

However, for the past nine seasons, the Edmonton Oilers have not made the playoffs. In fact, they have finished close to last place for the past five years. Go team. On the bright side, this means that we have gotten first overall draft pick four times. This year, many fans are hoping that these players will rally around McDavid and finally win more than 30 games a season. So far, that belief hasn’t really worked out. The Oilers have won a single game out of five played. Don’t worry, we are still beating Calgary. But the fact remains that the Oilers continue to lose games, despite McDavid joining the team. Is McDavid just suffering from too-high expectations, or will this be the status quo for the rest of the season?

All previous points considered, it is really too early to see if Connor McDavid is as good as everyone wants him to be. With only five NHL games played, the Oilers have plenty of time to find their game and start winning. In the meantime, all we can do is wait, and hope that the Oilers won’t be terrible again this season.

8 Things To Do Besides Trick-or-Treating This Halloween

Nyssa Dushime, Staff Writer

Edited By Julia Stanski

So Halloween’s coming up and you don’t feel like freezing in the dark negotiating with your neighbor over the Kit Kat in the bowl and the Oh Henry he gave you ? Lucky for you, we have 8 perfect alternatives to trick-or-treating this year!

  1. Netflix & chill out. Invite some friends over for snacks and binge-watch scary movies or your favorite TV series.
  2. Go to Deadmonton Haunted House. What’s the point of celebrating Halloween if you’re not celebrating (or running) in a haunted house? Deadmonton is a haunted house in downtown  Edmonton guaranteed to send shivers down your spine. With tickets ranging from $20-25, how can you miss out on this spook-tacular deal? Click here for info on speed passes, tickets, hours and more.
  3. Recruit a couple friends and play scary games. Is calling the dead out of the spirit world you and your squad’s thing? If so, wait till it’s completely dark outside, grab a Ouija board, set the mood with candles and play. If you’re not a big spirit caller, then try out these spooky games; they’re sure to give you a fright.
  4. Bake Halloween treats. Everyone loves a good Halloween treat and what’s better than Halloween-inspired baked goods? Try out some of these delicious recipes:
  5. Watch a movie at your nearest theater. It doesn’t matter if you have a costume or not, because no one will see you or care in the dark (unless your costume is blocking someone’s view). Laugh Halloween off with Hotel Transylvania or stay awake the whole night after watching a scary flick.
  6. Invade your nearest drug store candy’s aisle. The name kind of explains itself.
  7. Dead Centre of Town. Come to Fort Edmonton to experience the 9th annual Dead Centre of Town. It’s Edmonton’s only travelling haunted house tour and will guarantee spookiness with tales of John Welch, Chief Rowand and more. If you’re interested, check out their website here for more spooky info.
  8. If you want to stay at home and save yourself the hassle of dressing up, opt for giving out candy instead. Prepare a big stash of candy and stay near to the door to keep up with the endless doorbell ringing. To add extra spice to the night, prepare crowd-pleasing dad jokes and give the trick-or-treaters candy if they laugh (and even if they don’t). Here’s a link to some of the coolest dad jokes.

Book It: Throne of Glass

Paola Andrade, Staff Writer

Edited By Julia Stanski

Full-TOGThere are no words to describe Throne of Glass, by Sarah J. Maas. This book, along with the three others of its series, has the peculiar ability to hook the reader from the very beginning. Sarah J. Maas has created a singular fantasy world filled with action, adventures and breathtaking romance in which to set this young adult novel. Interested?

Before telling you a little more about this fantastic novel, I am sorry to announce that it is nothing like the average fantasy story. It is an outstanding book inspired by a lovely children’s tale we all know, Cinderella. (Or to be more precise, by the soundtrack of the movie.) However, the two works are very different; Throne of Glass is distinctly its own piece. Sarah J. Maas’ work is a must-read for fantasy fans

Throne of Glass narrates the life of 18-year-old Celaena Sardothien (whose name is very hard to pronounce) from a third-person perspective. Her homeland was butchered and destroyed ten years ago by the King of Adarlan, the kingdom where she has lived since. As punishment for the horrendous crimes she committed, she has been sent to work in the salt mines of Endovier. This is a destiny the king on his throne of glass reserves for those unfortunate enough to be captured in his latest conquests, as well as the worst criminals, because…did I mention that she is considered the best assassin in Adarlan?

She is a deadly weapon, shaped by time and training. The only mistake she made was being captured. That is why one day, a prince—the son of the man who condemned her to a lifetime of suffering—pays her a visit to make her an offer, an opportunity to win back her freedom. Will she accept? Will she become the most lethal fang on the maw of the beast that shattered her childhood? After all these years, she has only “a heart of ice [and] a will of steel” to guide her down the path where she has been sent by fate. Two men love her. The entire kingdom fears her. But only she can save herself. Meet Celaena Sardothien.

Although the first book of the saga is Throne of Glass, there is also a collection of novellas that narrate what happened before book 1. After Throne of Glass, there are three more books as of today, each one surprisingly surpassing the previous: Crown of MidnightHeir of Fire, and Queen of Shadows. What are you waiting for? Dive into this shattering but heart-warming story.

Last Minute Halloween Costumes

Paola, Staff Writer

The long-awaited date of October 31 is approaching fast. However, a new year requires a new costume. And we may not always know what to dress as. Sometimes we have a brilliant concept, but it winds up being more elaborate and complicated than we planned. Are there any original but simple Halloween costumes? Or perhaps you are the type of person who lets the river run its course by not planning anything, and end up leaving everything until the very last minute. So you end up wearing the first outfit you lay eyes on, or no costume at all. Well, worry no more, because here you will find not one—not two—but three very easy unisex Halloween costumes.

To begin with, I have a question to ask: Have you ever seen a short film called “The Horribly Slow Murderer with the Extremely Inefficient Weapon”? If not, no worries; it’s a (self-explanatory) funny short film of a “horribly slow murderer” who tries to murder a man with an “extremely inefficient weapon”. I highly recommend it. Go watch it! If you have seen it, you will know the ginosaji. His outfit is basic, yet terrifying. Dressing up as the ginosaji would be very simple. First of all, get your hands on a spoon. Paint your face all white, and your lips and eye sockets black. Put on black pants and a black hoodie. In addition to that, if you want to get into detail, you should draw the symbol of the ginosaji on your arm with a Sharpie. Click here to see how it looks.  Other than that, focus on the spoons; take as many with you as you can. And that’s it. You have made yourself a bloodcurdling ginosaji costume.

Once upon a time, a long time ago, I glimpsed a strange costume on the street on Halloween. I couldn’t believe what I saw, but there it was. Some guy was parading around dressed as an iPhone. I had never seen anything like it. He used a giant box, and cut holes for his arms. For easier mobility, it would be better to just get rid of the lower flaps of the box. A square should be cut from your chest to your eyebrows,  so you can see. You can paint the box black or white and add a few drawings of buttons/apps with a Sharpie, or print them out. Aside from that, just wear a black shirt, pants and shoes. Maybe someone could try to recreate this outfit to demonstrate the undying love that they feel towards their phone.

To finish off, imagine you are running out of time and have no costume. Your friends are ready to go trick-or-treating; you’re not. In this case you have to use the last resource, or as I like to call it, ‘Plan Z’. You will need:

  1. Cardboard
  2. Paper
  3. A friend
  4. A marker/pen
  5. Rope/twine/string
  6. Scissors.

In other words, all the materials required to make a sign.  The first step is to cut the cardboard you acquired to the size of a piece of paper. Then, after applying glue to it, you can stick the piece of paper onto the cardboard. To continue, hole-punch your home-made sign (or cut holes with scissors) so you can slide a rope through the holes. Make a second sign and tie it around your friend’s neck. Finally, write whatever you want on the signs. For example, one could say “I’ve been kidnapped”; while the other one states “It’s a lie”. But…what is really a lie? And what is truly real? For this “costume” you do not need to dress up entirely; just wear your day-to-day clothes.

Indicative costumes are always an option too, if you don’t want to go full-out. You can always wear a black or brown trench coat and a broad-brimmed hat to pose as a private detective. Or to go bigger but less specific, perhaps you could wear a morph suit with a mask, so no one can see your face! Be creative! After all, it’s up to you, and the time you have is limited before the clock strikes 12:59 and Halloween is technically over. Make the most of it!

I hope I’ve given you enough example costumes to inspire you, or at least motivate you to dress up. All of these are made with materials that are easily found in your house. Whether you dress up as a gardener, Edward Scissorhands, a potato or Betty Boop, Halloween is a day to randomly turn into something or someone out of the ordinary and try to stand out. Maybe you will spend the night going from one party to another. Maybe you will go trick-or-treating for the evening. No matter what you do, I hope you do it wearing a Halloween costume. After all, there is only one October 31 per year. Happy Halloween!

Book It: An Ember in the Ashes

Cindy Ho, Staff Writer

Edited by Julia Stanski

  If you have read Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard or enjoy Roman fantasy novels, An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir might be the book for you.

“Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.” This book is written from two perspectives, alternating between Laia and Elias. Set in a fantasized Roman world, readers are exposed to the brutal reality that is the Martial Empire. Under the Martial Empire, those who rebel face consequences from torture to death. Anyone who does not dedicate themselves to the Empire will deal with consequences inflicted upon the people they hold dear.  

Laia, a scholar living with her grandparents and brother, is obedient to the Empire as anyone else would be. Scholars are at the bottom of the hierarchy, and any act of disobedience could lead to all sorts of punishments. But when Laia’s home is raided and her brother Darin is arrested for treason, she will do anything in her power to save what’s left of her family. Left helpless and without any choice, Laia goes to the resistance for help. Undercover as a slave, Laia will spy in the Empire’s top military academy to assist in the rescue of her brother.

Elias is one of Blackcliff Academy’s best soldiers-in-training. He seems ruthless and intimidating like his peers, but lacks the determination that pushes them forward. His only wish is to be free from the totalitarian rules under which he lives. When Laia and Elias cross paths, they come to realize that their lives are entwined. Any decision, any mistake they make, could change the future of the Empire.

Spare Me the Time

Jastinne Diaz, Staff Writer

Edited by Julia Stanski

Spares—an essential part of the high school experience! Punctuated by Husky runs and multiple twenty-minute crusades to Second Cup, spares serve as an 84- (or 51, if you have a spare on a Thursday) – minute period of pure bliss. However, if you have a spare and going out isn’t for you, or if you’d like to use your spare to finish schoolwork, fear not! We’ve got you covered.

Without further ado, here is a comprehensive list of the best places at MAC to spend a spare.

The Atrium – Luminous, spacious and delicious (have you tried the cafeteria’s cookies?!), the atrium is the place to be when you want to socialize. It is also a great place for study groups, as you can discuss the specifics of concepts without moderating your volume.

The SRC – If you’re in need of some quiet individual study time, this is the place to go! The SRC is a fertile ground for productivity. Laden with many study nooks and computers, you’re guaranteed to get something done in your time there.

The Portables – Is the SRC too loud for you? Head over to the benches in the portables, which are located in front of P3 (Ms. Mauro’s) and P4 (Mr. Delpercio’s). Since you are surrounded by classrooms, you can expect complete silence—unless there is a rousing debate on nationalism happening at that very moment.

Study Nook – Perhaps the student in the carrel next to you in the SRC had their One Direction album blaring so loudly that you could hear it through their headphones. No matter—in front of Room 205 (Mrs. Sewell’s) on the upper floor, there is an individual study nook for your use. Unlike the study nooks in the SRC, you can actually eat here—just remember to clean up after yourself if you do decide to snack.

Upstairs Benches – As part of Mac’s beautification campaign last year, the administration purchased many benches for our use on both the upper and lower floors. On the upper floor, there are benches located in each of the corners: by the elevator, by the men’s washrooms, in the burrow between Room 212 (Ms. Beaumier’s) and Room 210 (Mr. Zdunich’s), and right next to the study carrel in front of Room 205. There is also a bench tucked into the stairwell right next to Room 212, located on your right prior to your descent of the stairs. These benches have the luminosity of the atrium and the tranquility of the SRC, and are great places to find your inner Zen.

Under the Stairwells – Do you want to channel your inner Harry Potter without the claustrophobia of a cupboard? MAC has four stairwells, three of which offer windows to the outside world. Unlike Harry Potter’s cupboard under the stairs, MAC’s equivalents are roomy and have an aura of intimacy. If you need a place to de-stress, spend some time with Netflix and/or chill with the school WiFi, the burrows under the stairwells are the places for you! Make sure to bring some paper towels if you decide to make the trek under the stairs during the winter—it can get very muddy under there!

Try out a few of these great places to find the study spot that suits you perfectly. Happy studying, Marauders!

Thanks to Mariejoe Andres, Katherine Archibald, Monica Bui, Maddie Gauthier and Sweet Mae Teotico for their input on this topic.

National Cookie Month

Roanne Andaya, Staff Writer

Edited by Julia Stanski

national cookie day picOctober is home to some of the best celebrations of the year, and one of them just so happens to centre on the all-too-special cookie. That’s right: October is National Cookie Month and there’s no better way to spend it than to take some time out of your day to appreciate the small and thin treats.

One of the best ways to celebrate this month is to take out your baking supplies and get baking! Try making a batch on the weekend to eat during the week, or if baking is something you really enjoy, a batch a day isn’t impossible. Recipes like the Sugar Cookie and the Snickerdoodle  are simple and don’t take too much time. If you’re looking for something more complicated and equally delicious, Thumbprint Cookies and Chocolate Crinkles are the way to go.

If baking isn’t your thing, don’t worry! You can still join in the fun by buying a box of cookies at your nearest store and eating them. It’s as simple as that. So grab your friends and get ready for a month full of cookies and fun!

Syrian Refugee Crisis – From Prosperity to Poverty

Yuzhu Wang, Staff Writer

Edited by Julia Stanski

Over the last four years, four million Syrian refugees have poured into neighboring countries, pushing powerful nations onto the verge of poverty. Antonio Guterres, high commissioner of the refugees, has pleaded with world leaders of the United Nations Assembly to take their plight more seriously.

This doesn’t affect only faraway countries. In tracking the development of this severe case, Guterres remarked that refugees have come to rich countries, expanding the crisis from nations such as Turkey and Jordan to Europe.

The rapidly increasing number of migrants coming to Europe, combined with the fear of attacks by ISIS on the borders of Islamic states like Turkey and Pakistan, has stirred new urgency among Western leaders to address the war and see an end to it.

“I have personally the impression we are waking up to this now because this refugee problem is more visible today to Western eyes,” says Federica Mogherini, the European Union foreign minister. Over 500,000 refugees have crossed the Mediterranean Sea to reach the continent this year alone, according to the International Organization of Migration.

Last Wednesday, Ban Ki-moon (Secretary-General of the United Nations) held a session on the sidelines of the United Nations general assembly on tackling the refugee crisis. He has called for countries to significantly boost the number of refugees they accept. Besides fleeing the war, individuals are also trying to escape areas ravaged by climate change. Severe droughts and heat waves are another factor in Syria’s current instability, and in the civil war that has killed hundreds of thousands of people.

The impact has been felt on both sides of the Atlantic. Last week the European Union forced a plan, over the objections of nations such as Hungary and Sweden, to distribute 120,000 asylum seekers among states. The United States would increase the number of refugees it accepts each year to 100,000. Canadian immigration minister Chris Alexander had stated that Canada will resettle 10,000 more refugees in response to the United Nations Refugee Agency’s global appeal. However, the topic remains controversial as our economy is currently in a recession, leaving oil prices unstable.

Over 4 million total people are involved in the Syrian refugee crisis, with a balanced percentage of both male and female refugees. Most registered Syrian refugees are under the age of 11, or between the ages of 18-57, with lower percentages of teenagers. The number of individuals displaced around the world is at its highest point since World War II.

Our thoughts and prayers go to Aylan Kurdi and his family, one case that has risen above other to give a face to this crisis.  The 3-year-old boy’s body was washed ashore on September 2 after he drowned off the Turkish coast. The family was making a final, desperate attempt to flee to relatives in Canada even though their asylum application had reportedly been rejected. Speaking to the Canadian press on September 30, the family was reported upon the child’s death as wanting to return to their Kurdish home. However, the town was bombarded during heavy fighting this year between Islamic States and Kurdish fighters.

This complex issue is still surrounded by questions of all kinds: political, economic and moral. What is your stance?

Dog of the Month: Tonka

Amanda Brooks, Staff Writer

Edited by Julia Stanski

  
My name is Tonka. I am a seven-year-old Yorkshire terrier who loves bananas. No, I am not a monkey. I do have a stuffed monkey though. It’s my favorite toy! I start my day by keeping the mailman off my property (my intimidating physique helps with this). Afterwards, I drink and eat as much as I can. I have to maintain my bod to keep the ladies barking. Although, I have to admit, I am a very lazy boy. I watch numerous shows with my humans on the couch. One of my favorites is The X Files and I have to say my favorite character is Scully’s Pomeranian, Queequeg. All in all, I’m just an ordinary lad who is easily impressed and loves being petted. Just don’t wake me up!