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Month: February 2014

Shutterbug Lounge Black and White Photography Contest

Here are the featured photos of the contest!

!Pink Day Comic!- Sarah Whang and Rose Wu

Please click on images to view in close up!

 

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Senior Girls Basketball vs Van Tech- Michelle Yee

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Jada Hastings #22, Post

 

The senior girls had their first game leading up to their title, City Champions, last Thursday, February 13th against Van Tech.  It was essential for Byng to win this game so then they could move onto the finals, Game #9 (see photo: Senior Girls Basketball Championships).
Out of all the girls’ basketball games this year, this one was significantly the most exciting.  It was extremely important to Byng and the score was unbelievably close.  By halftime the girls were loosing by a few baskets.  In the second half Byng struggled to make up the points lost.  Emily Lim (#23) helped her team out immensely by getting a majority of the rebounds.  Van Tech’s number of baskets kept climbing while our girls were trying hard to make the score gap smaller.  Slowly Byng and Van Tech were almost tied.  Megan Carprick (#17) made a very significant 3-pointer.  In the last minute everyone watching was on the edge of their seats.  The senior girls only needed one more basket to win… and we got it!

 

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The score in the last 53 seconds of the game

 

The senior girls made an outstanding performance, proving that they gave their best for the entire game.  It really showed how much effort they put into the season.  On Friday, February 14th, Byng won the championship beating Windermere.

Congratulations to the City Champions, and the coaches Ms. Chong-Ping, and Mr. Martin!

Catching Fire- Nancy Wu, Jasmine Xiong

2013

Director: Francis Lawrence

Genre: Action Drama Thriller

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone, Lenny Kravitz, Elizabeth Banks, Willow Shields, Donald Sutherland, Philip Seymour Hoffman

I walked into the theatre trembling with excitement. I didn’t know what to expect of this movie that was long waited for. Friends that have watched it filled me with high expectations….

Catching Fire exceeded all my expectations. With my low remarks on its prequel, the Hunger Games, the dangerous atmosphere in the beginning and the smooth conversation between Katniss and President Snow surprised me and put me in a good mood for the rest of the film.

The 74th Hunger Games have finally concluded with the victory of Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), but the odds are never in her favor. As the only living female victor of District twelve, she has to face the merciless and deadly-beyond-imagination 3rd Quarter Quell. In Catching Fire, Katniss Everdeen fights for Peeta’s (Josh Hutcherson) survival and struggles to realize who “the real enemy” is…….

The movie was plotted closely to the book Catching Fire written by Suzanne Collins. In fact, quite a lot of lines came directly from the book. The conversation between Katniss and President Snow was finely portrayed and presents Snow as a tricky character for Katniss to deal with. The interviews with the victors were very touching as well. Plutarch Heavensbee’s hints to Katniss created dramatic irony and foreshadows for the coming events. The arena was creative and realistic, and the clock design of the arena satisfied my imaginations. The actors were all extremely well chosen, with Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark, Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne, Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair, and Jena Malone as Johanna Mason. I especially enjoyed Jena Malone’s rold as Johanna, as her performance brought across every aspect of her character. When the movie came to an end after an exhilarating two and a half hours, I was still in shock and suspended in the moment. My friends complained and begged for a continuation immediately. We sat still in our seats until the ending songs have finished playing. The movie is a definite 5/5!

Review: West Side Story – Alex Derian

In 1957, the musical West Side Story debuted. That year, it was nominated for six Tony Awards, including best musical. Since then, the show has been performed countless times, in both professional and amateur productions, and has had a largely successful movie based on the original show.
Naturally, as a fan of the 1961 movie starring Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer, I was thrilled when I purchased my tickets for the National Tour of West Side Story, which ran at the Queen Elizabeth Theater from February 4 – 9, 2014.
After months of waiting, I finally saw the show on February 7. I found it to be entertaining, but by far, not the best show I’ve seen at the Queen Elizabeth.
While I was captivated by Michelle Alves’ portrayal of Anita, and Michael Spencer Smith’s Bernardo, I felt let down by the male lead; Jarrad Biron Green who played Tony, had a lovely singing voice, and was clearly a talented actor, but I found that he wasn’t believable as the co-founder, and leader of the Jets, even if Tony is partially reformed.
Furthermore, I was dissatisfied by the direction taken by David Saint, in this production of West Side Story. Saint made a bold decision by making the show grittier, and more modern. I liked this aspect of his show, as it made the characters more relate-able than the watered-down version of gangs and gangsters in the original 1957 version. Unfortunately this was overshadowed by the more noticeable direction. Saint decided to use the updated book in which much of the dialogue was translated in to Spanish. While it certainly made the show more believable regarding the Sharks, I found it difficult to understand. However, even the Spanish dialogue was easier to understand than the atrocious accents, which made the lines nearly impossible to hear.
My biggest complaint was the lack of professionalism. While watching the show, I wanted to be swept into the world that the actors were creating. I found this incredibly hard to allow myself to do, when all I could focus on was watching the actors standing in the wings, the technicians walking around backstage, and the stagehands preparing the next set to go on stage, all because someone forgot to pull across the curtain so the audience couldn’t see in to the wings, or backstage. This professionalism was not up to the standards that I am used to seeing at the Queen Elizabeth, and I can only hope that the next show I see through Broadway Across Canada, will live up to my expectations.
However, through all my complaints, I found the choreography well done, especially in the Prologue, and Dance at the Gym. It was while watching the musical numbers that I found myself finally enjoying the show.
While not spectacular, or overly captivating, West Side Story at the Queen Elizabeth theater was a fairly enjoyable night out, and a decent alternative to the typical Friday night.

Senior Girls Basketball Championships- Michelle Yee

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The 2014 City Senior Girls Basketball Championships schedule was posted last week outside the gym!  Byng qualified in first place, so we had the advantage of hosting the tournament and playing in the “Game 6” slot.

(photo taken before the final game)

Recipe for Veggie Salad with White beans and feta cheese- Maya Parker

 

You will need

1 can (about 15 ounces) navy beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (14 ounces) quartered artichoke hearts, drained

1 medium green bell pepper, chopped

1 yellow bell pepper, chopped

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

¼ cup chopped fresh basil

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

3 to 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon black pepper

¼ teaspoon salt

4 ounces crumbled feta cheese

1 package (5 ounces) spring greens mix (optional)

 

Preparation

Combine beans, artichokes, bell peppers, tomatoes, basil, oil, vinegar, garlic, mustard, pepper and salt in large bowl.

Toss gently and fold in cheese.

Let stand 10 minutes. Serve over greens, if desired.

 

Serves 4.

Interview with Mr. Harris- Yuehui Ji and Ruolan Wu


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Mr. Harris is an English and Social Studies teacher, here at Lord Byng Secondary. An extremely popular teacher amongst both staff and students, he has been teaching for approximately ten years. He is also a YouTube sensation as a member of the “Interdepartmental Boy Band”.

 

Personal

 

Ruolan: [nervous laughter] Would you change your first name, if so, to what?

Mr. Harris: [laughs] I wouldn’t now, but when I was younger, I wanted to be Jon. I kept spelling my real name wrong in kindergarten.

Yuehui: With or without an “h”?

Mr. Harris: Without! So it’s easier to spell!

 

Ruolan: Would you like to write a book, if so, about what?

Mr. Harris: I don’t think so. It seems like a lot of work.

Yuehui: You don’t want to be the next William Golding?

Mr. Harris: [laughs] If I wrote a book and it was as good as his, then yeah, sure. But a lot of people think they can do it, but what they write is crap. So, realistically, no I wouldn’t do it. I don’t have the time.

 

Yuehui: What is the worst piece of advice you have ever received?

Mr. Harris: “You should write a book!” [Chuckles] “Don’t be a teacher.”

Ruolan & Yuehui: [shocked] What!? Really?

Ruolan: Who said this to you?

Mr. Harris: It was just a family friend, when I was in university.

 

Teaching

 

Yuehui: Describe your expectations of students during your first years of teaching compared to later years.

Mr. Harris: As a student teacher, I had super high expectation of students, because I forgot what it was like to be a high school student myself. That’s pretty typical of student teachers. Now, I understand better that students are… just looking for the right word [chuckles]… although students are intelligent, they are still kids. They are more emotionally fragile than I first realized. …Students cry more often.

 

Yuehui: [laughs] What do you like and dislike about teaching at Byng?

Mr. Harris: I love the fact that there’s a great variety of students types, like Byng Arts and regular, and classes like enriched and AP. However, the students are sometimes a bit… too… how shall I put this… sometimes they think that their marks are the end-all and be-all. In the bigger picture, 90% doesn’t make or break you.

 

Ruolan: Why did you decide to go into your field?

Mr. Harris: They were my 2 strongest subjects in high school. At university, I did a double major in English and History. I find that these 2 subject areas interest me the most and they actually compliment each other well. If I did 100% English, that would be too much marking. [Laughs]

 

Ruolan: Why did you decide to become a teacher?

Mr. Harris: Teaching is a unique job where you can pursue the academic subject you’re interested in. You get to interact with students who always bring in fresh perspectives, so it’s a combination of doing something you really like and being kept on your toes everyday. Students make it constantly different, although the subject matter is the same. I would get bored doing other stuff.

 

Yuehui: In general, what advice would you give for students at Byng?

Mr. Harris: To not get caught up in what your marks are and focus more on the actual learning. Too often, students think that marks represent everything, but that’s not always the case.

 

Quick Fire

Favourite food: Souvlaki

Favourite movie: Shaun of the Dead, Apocalypse Now

Most important quality in a cardigan: 100% merino wool

Favourite colour: Green

Favourite piece of literature: Heart of Darkness

Least favourite word: “YOLO” (You Only Live Once)

Phobia: spiders covered in cat hair or a huge dusty ball of cat hair with spiders in it

Hero: parents “but it’s a cheesy answer”

Showers in Kool Aid- Michelle Panikkar and Kristine Ho

Many people have experienced rocky points in their lives; however, very few are able to give apositive outlook on life during these hard times. Singlok Ng, a grade eleven student at our school, is one of these few people. Singlok is in the Byng Arts program for music, and has been since the eighth grade. He is in Byng Arts for the alto saxophone; however, he is more commonly known among the student body for his skills in rap. What started as a hobby for him has begun to turn into his passion, and recently, he has become famous across the school for his first music video, titled Shower in Kool-Aid.

The music video features Sing in Physics class chilling out to his own music video as guest star Mr. Chen drones on about algebra in the background. As the video reaches its end Sing is suddenly called out of the classroom by Mr. Chen for not paying attention. Byng students in the background watch (and snicker) as Sing walks dejectedly out of the room and the music begins to play.

The song captures the carefree, optimistic side of life; bright lighting, and positive lyrics and a driving beat throttles the song forwards. Sing Lok said that he wanted to write a song about keeping your head up when you have a really bad day. “Just convert [negativity] into happiness, make it into lemonade, make it into Kool Aid,” Sing says. “I based it mainly off school life because we all know what it feels like when you get a bad test back; you get pushed around in the halls. And it’s like, ‘Man, today sucks.’ Just make the best out of everything.”

When asked about his inspiration for the song, Sing told us that he had had a really bad day and was taking a shower. The thought ‘If life gives me lemons, I make lemonade,’ popped into his head. “What rhymes with lemonade? Kool-Aid. I ran out of the shower butt-naked and wrote the first verse in ten minutes. It was like Mr. Kool-Aid Magic Man came into my head and told me to write that song.”

The epiphany for his second verse took a while longer to surface. It took the rest of the summer for him to think up the follow-up to his chorus, Sing says, even though he wrote down the second verse itself on that one day. Michael Hung, who is Sing’s producer and editor, helped Sing look over his lyrics and decide on rhyming verses before they actually began recording. The first recording, Michael says, was made through a $20 Apple headset at his house. “It sounded really good though, so we decided to start recording content using professional sound equipment,” Michael says.

Michael first became involved in the making of the video when he approached Sing with a request that Sing rap in a cover song with him. Instead, Sing showed Michael the original song ideas he had and Michael asked him to write a draft of his first song. After the first draft was produced, Michael says, “there came a point where we kept on refining the recordings that we were getting until it sounded

From there on out, Michael and Sing borrowed a beat composed by Empty Beatz to use in the music video. Michael made edits so Sing’s lyrics would flow smoothly over the beat, and Yunie Fuchioka gave some critique on this process. “Overall it was pretty good. I really liked it after he made [some] edits,” says Yunie. “After the lyrics were added I thought it was great; it sounded really professional.”

Director Bobby Zheng, who has been making films circa 2008, says that the video was purposely filmed with “smooth shots and vibrant colours to match the relaxed tone of the video”. Both static shots and moving shots were incorporated to provide a mixture of movement. The filming for the bulk of the video took place over two days and lasted seven hours, while the filming of the trailer took only around three hours of time. Editing the complete video took a week of on-and-off work. The biggest difficulty in the entire process, however, was uploading the video onto Youtube. “The file was really big, 500 MB and in the highest quality. It took three uploading attempts to finally get it onto Youtube,” says Bobby. Yet, he isn’t satisfied with the final product. “I feel like the product could have been better if we had had better

The actors in the music, however, disagree for the most part. Ethan Hu, an extra in the classroom and the student who moonwalked across the hallway, says that it was way better than he expected. “I was really surprised that it got over 1000 views in one week,” he admits. Susanna Fang and Nicole Zhang, who were both extras in the classroom, agree.”It sure didn’t disappoint,” said Susanna. “The [atmosphere was great] and we got more laughing done than filming.” Nicole adds that Bobby’s film highlighted many cool effects. “He made it into a piece of artwork, and it was really cool to see the music video come alive. It was cool to see that I was part of that.” Kevin Yang, along with numerous other actors, states with finality that he feels proud of the final product.

Raymond Diamonds agrees that the video came out above his expectations, but he says that it could have been better organized. “It was hard to schedule … so I think if it was a bit more organized,

Guest star Mr. Chen says that it was fun to be part of the music video. Michael and Sing Lok first asked Mr. Chen to high-five Sing in the hallway for his trailer; this later lead to a full-blown classroom scene where Mr. Chen took on the role of Sing’s teacher. He admits that personally, he does not like to be filmed, and that he would have preferred a script to read from. He does say that it’s a good idea to try something new, though. “It’s nice to get out of your comfort zone. For example when I was in school I ran for Gr 12 rep and I did get elected. And that experience informed me not to be a politician.”

As for other songs, Sing revealed some secrets to us about his masterpiece called ‘Chicken and Waffles’. When asked to divulge a tidbit about his piece, Sing revealed the first verse to us: “Chicken and waffles, America’s sole food / My rhymes are like chicken and waffles; for the soul, dude.” In this new song, Sing says he’s comparing chickens and waffles to his music. “Chicken and waffles are both really good, and I wants them,” Sing says, just like he wants to pursue music in career. “But you know you can’t eat them or you’ll get fat. Music is like that; I want it, but I can’t have it.”

Geoffrey Scales, who was an extra camera during the filming process, is also part of the Behind the Scenes video. Geoffrey says the video contains little snippets and random interviews about the actors

Michael adds that SINGLOK is planning to launch a full album later in 2014. “In the next couple months, we are pushing to have two or three more songs ready, and maybe another music video,” he says.