Music of Yesterday is Today’s

Yuzhu Wang, Staff Writer

In today’s society, our modern idea of arts and culture can seem worlds away from their classical definitions. Many would say that we’ve lost our roots, and forgotten the history that brought us to this point in our creativity. But the influence of the past is everywhere in today’s art and music, and one of the most notable periods of influence is that of the Renaissance.

The word “renaissance” (rebirth) refers not only to the sudden and widespread flourishing of literature and arts in fifteenth century Italy, but also the revival of antique culture as a vital force of the time. Their antiquarian curiosity became a source of potent creativity, inspiring artists with a desire to emulate the achievements of the past.
This period in history marks the emergence of the spirit of individuality, which had been stifled during the Middle Ages. Artist began to reinterpret the world around them — the architect’s world of space and stone, the painter’s world of images, the musician’s world of sound — in new ways to meet their ambitions. Enlightened thinkers of the time based their theories upon their beliefs in free will and the expression of the imagination of humans. 

Famous for a wide range of accomplishments within diverse fields and practices, Leonardo da Vinci was considered a brilliant inventor, scientist, philosopher, engineer and early medical researcher. But he was first and foremost a master painter, whose work is an excellent example of Italian Renaissance concepts, techniques, and typical subject material of the 15th and 16th century. Unlike other Renaissance painters, da Vinci concentrated on religious or semi-religious iconography for his themes. Aside from the illusions of ‘The Last Supper’ and ‘Mona Lisa’, da Vinci experimented with perspective to create unforgettable impressions of people and places.
Straddling the musical eras of the Renaissance and the Baroque period, Claudio Monteverdi became the first composer to develop opera to its full dramatic and musical potential. He expressed the awe of nature in art and language, and the experience of the sublime through a connection with nature. His opera ‘The Coronation of Poppea’ exemplifies his beliefs on the rationalization of nature, and the legitimacy of individual imagination as a critical authority. Monteverdi’s revolutionary innovations have influenced 20th century composers like Igor Stravinsky, while foreshadowing the modern idea of the song.

While some may deem such Renaissance artists tame in their total effect on our society’s modern sensibilities, their development of techniques that immersed the viewer in the world of the arts was revolutionary. And the impact of those techniques, still used today, cannot be understated.

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Musical of the Month: Sweeney Todd

Julia Stanski, Editor

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If you’ve ever heard someone say that they don’t like musicals because ‘They’re too happy’-  make them watch “Sweeney Todd”. It will cure them of that attitude like nothing else.

Extremely dark, remarkably gory and exquisitely written, this masterpiece by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler is definitely not for the whole family; probably only “Les Misérables” has a higher body count.  In short, it follows a deranged barber and his neighbour who murder people, chop them up and sell them in meat pies.  But it’s done with the magic Sondheim touch. Every character is psychologically complex and ingeniously developed. The music is by turns harrowing, beautiful and terrifying, and always intensely so. The story is gripping and fast-paced, with a surprising amount of comic relief; despite the subject matter, this is undeniably a fun show.  There’s an absolutely brilliant concert version of the show starring Bryn Terfel and Emma Thompson; the Johnny Depp movie version does not do it justice.

If you’re prepared for an emotionally exhausting experience of gloriously well-written theatre, plus one of the best plot-twist endings ever, spend some time this exam break with “Sweeney Todd”.

Studying: It Never Ends

Paola Andrade-Sequera, Staff Writer

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Finally, it has arrived. That time of the year we’ve been trying not to think about since September; the season to be panicking. Finals are here and no one can stop them. Unluckily, our only option is to face reality and, well… study.
There’s always a name, a date, a word that you simply cannot remember. Maybe there’s a subject where understanding is not even an option, and you have to resort to memory tricks. These study tips should help you memorize more and stress less.
For tidbits of information that you just cannot wrap your head around, writing it down usually helps. The more times you see it, the easier it is to remember it. For example, you could write it on your hand. That way, you’ll see the words continuously; whenever you eat, write, draw or type, they’ll be visible.  (Just remember to wash your hands before the exam.)  After seeing a fact or formula so many times, you will not forget it easily.
You can also use vocal repetition as an tool. If you’re an auditory learner, hearing your own voice loud and clear, reciting the lesson over and over, could be a lifesaver. Perhaps you could make a song out of your notes to a popular tune, to make yourself more familiar with the information. However, that may be time-consuming. If the clock is ticking, the hours passing, and you have gotten nowhere near finished, record yourself while reading your notes. Whenever you have time, listen to your recording. Too busy just to sit down and listen? You can listen to it anywhere; waiting for the bus, running around the neighbourhood, doing your daily chores, even sleeping. Any time will help.
Finally, the best piece of advice anyone could give you is to TRY to keep calm during your exam. It’s easier said than done, but if you can’t relax you are much more likely to make mistakes. Keep your cool; it might not be the season to be jolly, but neither is it time  to panic. Best of luck on your finals!

Getting Through Exams

Kasey Enokson, Staff Writer

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Hey Mac! I’m here to be the annoying voice in your head reminding you that exams that are here in a few days and it’s probably time to start studying. So with our exam break starting on Tuesday, let’s discuss how to utilize the break to the best of our abilities.

1. Make a study schedule

Right now, I’m guessing that the majority of us are just thinking about all the things we have to do and stressing out. Making a little exam study schedule can help to ease the stress of studying and help you to keep track of what you have studied and what you still need to study.

2. Leave some time for yourself

I know, I know. Crazy, right?!?! Time for ourselves?? What a foreign concept to Mac kids. But just hear me out. Leaving some time for yourself is super important to keep you level-headed and calm for exams. If you’re constantly studying, you’re going to burn yourself out and make matters worse. So find some balance; go out with friends, read a book, binge-watch “Making A Murderer” on Netflix; the choices are endless!

3. Get lots of sleep

Pretty basic but super important. Getting a solid 8 hours every night will help you to focus on your studies, and you will feel well-rested and ready walking into that exam.

4. Study with friends

This helps as long as you know that you will actually study instead of, well, not studying. You can ask questions that you need help with, and you can just enjoy being with your friends as a nice little break from studying at home.

The Night Before

Okay, so now that you know how to use the time before your exam, let’s talk about the do’s and don’ts for the night before the big test.

Do’s:
○Review your notes (not too intensely)
○Go to sleep ON TIME; a good night’s sleep is the key to success!
○Prepare your bag and materials the night before, so that you’re not freaking out the morning of.
○Go for a walk or take a bath to relax your mind! Everything will be okay!

Don’ts:
○Do not cram! Cramming will only stress you out more!
○Do not pull an all-nighter. It seems like a good idea until you fall asleep during your exam.
○DO NOT FREAK OUT! You are prepared for this and you can do it. We believe in you.

The Day of

All right, so it’s the day of the exam. Don’t stress; I’ve got some tips for you.

1. Wake up early

Waking up early will give you enough time to get a good breakfast and arrive at school without stressing about being late and missing the exam.
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7 Tips To Make Exams Less Stressful

Christina Nguyen, Staff Writer

  1. Start studying early

Start studying as soon as you know your exam date. Throughout the semester, read over your notes after each class to make sure you’re understanding all the material. Rewrite notes in your own words or make study guides; this will make studying easier. Create your own little techniques to remember the information you study.

  1. Have a plan to manage your time

Cramming all night usually doesn’t work. Schedule your study time in advance so you’ll feel confident you have enough time to prepare.
Plan to study for about 50 minutes at a time, with 5 or 10-minute breaks. Try not to do anything too absorbing on your breaks, to make sure you do go back to studying. Have a snack, watch some TV or go for a short walk. Study to understand the material, and not just to memorize it; this will help you on application-style questions.  Also, plan to study in a quiet place where you can concentrate, especially if you have siblings! They can find all types of way to distract you.

  1. Be healthy

When we’re stressed, we tend to want to eat junk food, but eating healthy will actually make you feel better. Drink water instead of caffeinated drinks; it’s a healthy way to quench your thirst and it’s like heaven in a cup. Also, get enough sleep – especially in the days before your exam. Good sleep helps you remember what you learned. You can’t pull all-nighters and expect your brain to function properly.

  1. Practice

And practice. And practice.
Ask your teacher for a practice test. If there isn’t one, make your own. Create your own flash cards if that’s how you best learn. Answer your questions with friends! Remember, studying doesn’t always have to be repetitive, lame and boring; make good and creative use of your time!

  1. Relax

Whenever a stressful thought pops into your head, replace it with a positive one. For example, replace “I’m going to fail this exam” with “I’m going to study early so I can ace this exam.” Try practicing deep breathing. Take a few deep breaths, breathing from deep within your abdomen and not just your chest. Let them out slowly. This will get more air into your lungs and help relax your whole body.

  1. Talk to someone

If you find that you’re still stressed, talk to someone you trust, whether it’s a parent, teacher, or friend. Sometimes all you need is a good listener. They can help you put things in perspective, or help find more ways to manage your stress.

  1. Use good test-taking technique

Scan each page of the exam before starting, to make sure you don’t miss any questions. This will also help you decide how much time you’ll need to complete it. Read all the instructions on the exam. Do the questions you can answer easily first; it will boost your confidence. Pace yourself. Use all your time in case you can remember an answer. If you have time,  go back and review your answers. Remember the relaxation techniques you’ve learned. Bring some water.

And good luck on all your exams!

National Bath Safety Month

Roanne Andaya, Staff Writer

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January is the month for hot chocolate and exams, but you probably didn’t know that it’s also the month for bath safety. Bath safety generally applies to elders and children who are prone to accidents while taking a bath, but it never hurts to use caution while in the bathroom.

So, what is Bath Safety Month? Bath safety is an issue that is present in every home with a bathtub, whether you’re aware of it or not. Bath Safety Month was created to raise awareness about this issue, and to provide ways of reducing accidents. To put it simply, bath safety can be split into two parts: bath safety procedures and bath safety equipment. Health Canada as well as international medical organizations have set out some suggestions and safety precautions that can and should be taken while taking a bath.

  1. Check the temperature before you take a bath: This usually applies to younger children who can bun themselves with hot water. Make sure that the temperature is no more than 49°C. If you are filling the tub, make sure to fill it with cold water first before adding in hot water. Always test the water before putting a child in the tub.
  2. Preventing slips: Slips are something that happen frequently in the tub, for both children and adults alike. Try putting a slip-resistant mat on the tub floor, and make sure that the throw rug or bathmat outside of the shower or bath does not easily slide. Wipe up excess water on the floor  to reduce the risk of slips. For younger children and seniors, grab bars are recommended for support.
  3. Supervision: This is recommended for children under the age of 7. Although drowning can happen at any time, most children who drown in tubs are under the age of 5. Young children shouldn’t be left alone in the bathtub.
  4. Overall safety: Some precautions are self-explanatory. For example, make sure that there are no electrical switches or plugs near the water. As well, make sure your bathroom door can be unlocked from both sides in case of emergency.

Although bath safety seems like a tedious and obvious issue to most, it is still important to keep these tips in mind. Make every day this year a bath-safe day!

Dog of the Month: Ernie

Amanda Brooks, Staff Writer

IMG_2004Hello! I am Ernie, a papillon turning 1 this March. For my little size, I’m as agile as a monkey. Humans can run around and try to chase me, but they just can’t meet the challenge. I can run forever! This proves to be an asset during games. In fetch for example, once that ball is mine, it’s mine. All attempts to take my precious ball away from me are useless. Not only am I fast, I’m pretty much irresistible to the humans. They weaken in my presence. Of course, I take full advantage of this. Using my slick and sly techniques, I snatch their food. Swiper the fox should be taking some notes. Unfortunately, the food is always ever-so-rudely taken from my mouth. Those greedy humans.. they take all the pizza for themselves. At least I don’t have to pay for my food. Who’s the real champion now?

Dog of the Month: Cutie

Amanda Brooks, Staff Writer

cutieMy name is Cutie and I don’t mean to brag, but…I’m a cutie! I am a seven-and-a-half-year-old Shih Tzu/Maltese cross breed, and a little lady with a big heart. You can often find me demonstrating my superb cuddling skills with my family. If I weren’t so lazy, I believe I could successfully make it in Hollywood. I demand the spotlight, and the spotlight wants me. I do get random spurts of energy though, which occasionally startle my family. I would be the light of those exclusive Hollywood parties, as I am easily excited and ready to party. Oh…the potential I have! I must admit though, laying on the couch is a good alternative.

Happy New Year

Julia Stanski, Editor

Happy New Year, Marauders! We hope everyone had a great Christmas, a fun New Year’s and a restful break. Time to get started on those New Year’s resolutions and start gearing up for finals!  We wish you courage on the dreaded first day back this Monday, and a happy and successful 2016. Thanks for your readership in 2015; we hope you’ll continue to visit Macsource and look forward to the rest of this year with you.