Student Council Newsletter

Posted: November 29, 2009 in Uncategorized

Clothing line on sale in the cafeteria. Great new designs!!!  Many different designs to order. Shirts are in and are  $15.00. First come, first serve. GET THEM BEFORE CHRISTMAS!!!!

Wednesday, December 2nd – Senior Assembly period 2 – details will follow

Friday, December 4th–  Pancake breakfast

Next 2 weeks – Toy Drive – We are asking for students and staff to donate a gift under $10.00 to the kids in your community who wont’ be getting much for Christmas. Gifts for 9-14yrs and 0-3 years are needed most. We think every class can fill a bag!!!

December 11th – JK/SK Christmas party held in Gym C period 1 and 2

December 14th – Music Concert at 7pm – clothing line will be sold there too!

December 17th – Door decorating contest- listen for details.

Advertisements

Technological difficulties

Posted: October 20, 2009 in Our Thoughts
Tags:

The computers at General Amherst High School have always caused a great deal of aggravation for both students and staff. There is always some0511-0810-2314-4640 problem with the computers ranging from log in difficulties and saving errors to non responsive printers.

Numerous students have lost weeks of hard work when projects erase themselves after saying that they’re saved. This results in a great deal of frustration as it causes students to have to redo whole assignments and teachers have to wrack their brains trying to solve the problem. Once things are completed students attempt to print work only to have the printer lock up. This seems to occur everyday in every lab at the school, and the tech people don’t seem to have any idea how to fix it.

Other problems come in the form of slow load times, resulting in assignments being incomplete as programs refuse to load. This also occurs with certain word programs, which refuse to open for the first few weeks of school.

The school is in desperate need of new equipment and more up to date operating systems, however the school board is likely unable to afford this as they would have to replace the equipment in every school across the board, which would be quite expensive.

In short students and staff will just have to deal with the problems the best they can until the board decides to replace everything. — Rob

Cancer Walkathon

Posted: October 19, 2009 in News
Tags: , ,

bigbulldogyellow31The walkathon was a major success this year with Amherstburg reaching their million dollar goal. For 12 days straight Amherst student showed their support for such a good cause by raising $30,000. Over the years General Amherst has raised just about $500,000 with all of the proceeds going to the Canadian Cancer Society which will go to finding a life saving cure for this deadly disease. Students did their walk with rain coming down, but this did not stop them at all which shows how dedicated they truly are.

The walk on Sunday October 4 ,2009 had the town showing their full support. What was most amazing was how people battling cancer came out and gave messages of inspiration to those affected by cancer and those that were coming out support. It’s just the morals that our school and town our built on . It is outstanding to start the academic school year off right and show the new administration what our school and town is built on. An event like this creates a better student body which gives them better morals and just creates better people for our future workforces and communities.

 

468px-Edward_George_Earle_Lytton_Bulwer_Lytton,_1st_Baron_Lytton_by_Henry_William_PickersgillSince 1982 the English Department at San Jose State University has sponsored the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest,named for the british novelist Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton. Bulwer-Lytton is known for the famous phrase “It was a dark and stormy night.”  A whimsical literary competition the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest challenges entrants to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels.

Here are some sentences from our creative writing class.

As I questioned the random nameless pursuer I had caught he exclaimed that he works for a powerful secret agency with spies everywhere, like my bodyguard who then used the element of surprise to shoot this completely superfluous other guy in the room. ———————————————D


Love was in the air that one beautiful day in my grade school, so many years ago it seems now when my first encounter with the opposite sex took place, I’ll never forget that magical lunch break we spent together locked in the locker room. —————————————————————————————————————————-J

The door slowly creaked open and the door hinges clearly needed oil but never mind that because there in the doorway stood a black human figure that stylishly made its way towards the side of the bed, the left side, not the right, and raised the blade in the air and brought it down onto the left lung, not the right, of the person in the bed and so the mystery murderer made his swift escape leaving the person in the bed dying of an injury with the only sound that could be heard of the lung with a hole in it which sounded like a nearly empty ketchup bottle that you try getting the ketchup out of but it just makes that wheezy funny but gross noise. ———————————-J

bigbulldogyellow3Well General Amherst has done it again. Another successful and interesting event took place on May 27 at General Amherst High School. The event was the annual Health Fair. Men and women from around Windsor and Essex County set up information booths to inform students about everything from safe sex, to a crisis hot line. This is not only a very important event, but is also very informative. Everyone attending this event came back with interesting feedback. “I didn’t even know we had a crisis hotline around here,” was one comment that stood out.

Every 2 out of 3 women have had some sort of domestic violence in their lives, and in the past year there have been 572, 032 reported cases of domestic violence against women in Canada. This Community Crisis Center is located at Hotel Dieu Grace Hospital, and the number can be reached at anytime. It is not just for domestic violence, it can be used for sexual, mental or physical abuse inflicted upon anyone, as well if you’re just having problems and need to talk to someone about them.

Also at the health fair was information about HIV and AIDS, as well as STI’s in general, fats in foods, lung capacity (smoking information) general well being and stress. It was a very good turn out this year.

Thanks to Mr. Balogh’s leadership class who organized it. Hopefully this event will continue for many years to come, as it has very important topics that teenagers these days don’t learn enough about. -Bri



With prom right around the corner, many of you are just dying to show off your once-in a lifetime, spectacular dress. However ladies, you may want to reconsider what is appropriate and what is just crossing the line. Unfortunately, after Marche Taylor of Madison High in Houston, Texas was told her dress violated school dress codes, her senior prom turned into a frenzy as she was handcuffed and escorted out by police.
Like any other girl, shopping for her prom dress was a season’s highlight. Marche had found the perfect dress and was sure she Underdressedwould be the spotlight of the night. When the night arrived, Marche had only got as far as the lobby because when she tried to enter the ballroom, at the Sugarland Marriot, an official stopped her and told she was not permitted to enter and even after offering to provide more coverage, she was still denied access. At that point, Marche was furious and argued that if she couldn’t get in, she at least wanted her money back.
“She shook her head, she was like you are not getting into this prom,” said Taylor. “We were arguing back and forth because I wanted to know why I can’t get into my prom.”
Things ended up so bad, that someone had called the police. Officers showed up, handcuffed her and escorted her out of her own prom.
Although some argue that there was nothing wrong with her prom dress, others disagree and beg to know “what was she thinking!?” What do you think?
J.H

Bulldog Lottery

Posted: May 5, 2009 in News
Tags:

bigbulldogyellow31The annual bulldog lottery took place again this year with lowered ticket prices. In the past the prices were ten dollars a ticket but this year they were brought down to five dollars a ticket. A book has five tickets at five dollars and each student is asked to sell at least one book. The draw will take place May 6th, 2009 and the top prize is $5000. Second prize is $2500, and third is $1500. The top Amherst seller will receive a brand new Acer lap top and second top seller with receive $200 towards whatever he or she would like. Ticket Sales Ended April 30th, and the draw will take place May 6th. Proceeds go to help our school in whatever we may need for upcoming events. Thanks to all the students who made the effort in selling this year and hopefully next year we will have the same great results! Great Job Amherst!

AM

Amherst Half Marathon

Posted: May 5, 2009 in News

marathon The students at General Amherst are well known through our small town for their smarts of course, but also for their athletic ability. Are our athletes up for this years half marathon challenge?

Amherst is holding yet another half marathon this year, and some of our top athletic students are going to put themselves to the test. The marathon is run by volunteer students who are interested in testing their limits. Past runs have taken place in at Notre Dame and in Chicago. The marathon also comes with a twelve week training program, which will test the runners strength and their speed. The runners have a mandatory one run per week to train for this challenge.
Dedication and commitment are the most important factors that come along with this event, and our students will definitely prove that at the finish line on June 12th, 2009.

Support our Bulldogs in this year’s half marathon.

Good luck to all runners and we hope you do well!                AM

We all scream for ice cream !

Posted: April 20, 2009 in News

ice-cream-sundae-picA new event is going on down in our high schools cafeteria at lunch! Join everyone in the Cafeteria Wednesday April 22nd for ice cream sundaes. Yum! For only $2.50 you will get two scoops of ice cream and three toppings of your choice. The flavours of ice cream are chocolate or vanilla. The toppings you can chose are chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, bananas, strawberries, and chocolate chips. Don’t miss this great deal. Remember to look for the ice cream booth and not any of the other booths that are trying to trick you into buying their product. 🙂

The anxiety sets in as prom is just around the corner. Every girl wants that perfect dress and by following the hottest trends and styles, you will definitely add some sizzle to the evening.

sequined-dressThis year, ‘bling is the thing’ as metallic fabrics and colors are popular and dresses with sequines are worn by all the celebs. If you’re looking to be the spotlight of your prom, a sequined dress is perfect for you. Not only will it catch the light perfectly but it will catch the eye of everyone else. Another look this spring is beading detail. While hand beading isn’t exactly bling, it is simple but still glamourous as it glimmers in the light.

Deep V-necklines on floor length gowns are ‘in’ for prom ’09 as it creates a very long and lean silhouette giving you a fabulous figure. Mermaid dresses, as seen at the Oscar’s and worn by numerous celebrities, are back in! This look will also create an incredible hour-glass figure and is great for showing off your curves.

Accessories such as silver stillettos or t-strap heels and a clutch purse will match perfectly with your glittering prom dress. However, stay away from a monocromatic look and play around with the colours that accent your dress through accessories.

Hair trends this spring include the classic chignon style (a fancy term for a bun at the back of your head), the halfway up hairstyle, the wavy beach-look and the classic French twist. Hair accessories are very popular this season as seen on the red carpet so try adding a flower or tiara, fancy clips, rhinestone combs or a ribbon headband to instantly spice up your hair-do.

By staying trendy and knowing that you look your best for your prom will help you make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime       experience.                 JH

Questions, Poisons and Sad Facts

By: KM                   February 21/’09

Today I was just sitting around watching the clock fly through it’s sixty minute cycle when I decided to turn on the t.v. Eventually, after a long period of mind-numbing exposure to the insane images flashing before my eyes, I turned off the screen and started to think. Why do people watch these shows? Why do people sit around and waste thier time gazing into this mind-trap at all? As I pondered, I stepped back mentally and peered into a question I tend to think about on a very regular basis.ani_thinkingcap

Why do people do what they do? This is a pretty vague question and anyone reading this is probably thinking I’m baked or just thinking too much. The truth is, I know why I do things, but I’ve always found it a pleasant adventure trying to figure out why other people do/say the things they do. Does one person do something for attention, for a virtuous cause, to see if they can get away with it, or just because they were bored and not really sure what else to do with their time? Contrary to popular belief, I like people and am constantly interested in seeing what they do when faced with difficult decisions. Will they muster up the courage to express themselves or shy away from anything that’s a tad bit too taboo for their tastes?

Personally, I think that people are afraid. No one wants to be ostrasized because they don’t think like everyone else. You can deny it all you want, but it’s human nature to want to be the puzzle piece that fits just right in society. This little article isn’t meant to pick and stab at the flaws that have kept mankind together for centuries, it’s about a question. If I may repeat myself. “Why do people do what they do?”. The next time a friend or stranger is caught between a rock and a hard place, pay attention and try to figure out why they did what they did to get past it. Can you justify their decision to the point of doing it yourself or would you have done something completely different?

We’ve all walked down a street on a random day and found ourselves heading towards a stranger on the same sidewalk. This person could be just about anyone! They could be a librarian, a barber or even much less likely, a deranged serial killer. You don’t know! But nevertheless, you just walk by and either look past them or look down and hope they’re not going to talk to you. It’s awkward and weird, but nearly everyone does it. There isn’t a polite nod of the head or even a “hi there”. People just can’t be bothered to show even the slightest acknowledgement of a stranger’s existence. It’s either that or people are scared from the news force-feeding them that strangers are rapists and murders. When did the human race decide that it was a good idea to scare the hell out of itself with self-destructive media? Who knows, who cares, it has nothing at all to do with YOU… right?

I’m just scared that people are becoming too anti-social and untrusting of people they don’t know anything about. It would be nice to walk down the street and say good morning to a stranger without them giving me a startled look before shuffling away quickly. I have a wish. It’s simple and modest, but more than likely impossible. I wish that people would learn to trust each other and not place stigmas on randoms and stereotypes on people they don’t know. It would be intersting to see every student in General Amherst walk up to one person they don’t know and ask them to tell something about themselves.  It makes me wonder, what would happen?

There are a great many who have faith in mankind and see the importance of being social. With so many television programs poisoning the minds of people everwhere, it’s hard for alot of folks to trust thier own neighbour. It’s truly a sad fact, but a fact it remains… And so I’m left pondering, Why do people do what they do? Why oh why…

Insight on Twilight

Posted: February 11, 2009 in Book Reviews, Our Thoughts
Tags: , ,

Insight on Twilight by KM

An interesting phenomenon has struck our generation and is holding our attention with controversy and drama. One would thinkofficial_twilight_movie_postersomeone important was shot, a war broke out or even that a star decided not to wear underwear one day, but no! People are going insane over a series of books! I can’t seem to find one person who hasn’t heard of or even read the Twilight series and I’m pretty convinced I’m not going to any time soon. I’ve heard some say they can’t get enough of the characters and just love reading the modern vampire spin-off of Romeo and Juliet and then there’s some that just can’t seem to control their hatred for the books and find the movie to be retarded! Honestly, this is the most ridiculously fun thing I have ever heard people argue about! I couldn’t control myself from laughing when I witnessed two students spitting vulgar insults over something so trivial.

As for the series, I have no interest in reading them. I have no intention of sugar coating it, I read different books, it’s as simple as that. The problem with this whole controversy is that people are criticizing others for reading… books! If this romance novel aimed at pre-teen girls is getting the younger generations excited about reading then I stand behind that novel. I would go so far as to give it my not-yet-patented-award for “making something not-stupid popular”. I would have to say it deserves this award and I hope that it gets people expanding their reading tastes to incorparate many more very well-written novels! What I want to say to those looking at Twilight as a dumb trend is this: Would you rather have people swooning over some fictional, novel relationship or would you rather have people rotting away in front of televisions? People are reading, why is this bad ?

“Edward!? Oh my god! He’s so handsome and perfect! I love him!” Yeah, this is usually what any person will hear when the book is in question or it’s beloved Edward comes into conversation. You’ve heard it, I’ve heard it and there isn’t a young man who isn’t just a little annoyed by it. Guys are always explaining that he’s a fictional character and just isn’t real, but the explanation just dosen’t have the wanted effect. I’m going to take a shot in the dark here and target a majority of the anti-Twilight folks. Are young men jealous of Edward? Are living, breathing human beings jealous of a character that was created by a lonely old woman and written into a book!? I’m sure that someone or multiple people are reading this and getting all defensive and preparing some kind of argument but just stop and think about it.. He’s composed of paper and ink and it’s not like he’s going to come out of the pages and steal away anyone’s girlfriend.

[x]I’m going to end this article with an angry public anouncement![x]

Enjoy.

If YOUR girlfriend is fantasizing about a pansy vampire freak then maybe YOU’RE doing something wrong! Not Her! Take a break for a few years, grow up a little and then try dating again because obviously you just aren’t ready for it yet! Don’t you worry, the ladies have Edward to keep them company until you decide to pick up your game. Have a wonderful day! 

You Alone Can Break My Fall 

Zeth ran out of his apartment and down the street as fast as he possibly could. He ran infront of cars as he crossed the road infront of the library and thought to himself ‘she can’t lose you too… be careful’. 

As Zeth came up to the house he caught his breath. He dug in his pocket for his keys while thinking to himself ‘it’s not true…she’s jsut sleeping…’ It took Zeth three tries to get the key into the hole. When he opened the door it flew open and he raced up the stairs. 

‘Bells!’ Zeth hollered as he ran up the stairs and dashed into Bella’s room. He gazed at Bella curled up on her bed clinging to a stuffed bear she’d had since she was born. Her face was red and her makeup was smeared. He could tell she was still sobbing. 

Zeth walked into her room and pulled her up into a hug. They sat there in silence for moments until finally Zeth spoke. 

‘Bells…where’s mom…’ he spoke silently. 

‘Room…’ Bella said. She was tired from crying, Zeth could hear it in her voice. 

Zeth lay Bella down on her pillow and walked over to his mom’s bedroom. The door was still open and he could see his mom laying on the bed. Zeth’s heart dropped to his toes. This couldn’t be happening…he just moved out. Bella thought she’d lost him and now she had to lose her mother?! He wanted freedom from his mom but he didn’t wanna lose her…this wasn’t what he wanted. He couldn’t take this… 

Zeth walked over to his mom and touched her face. IT was cold…Her lips were turning blue and her skin was unnaturally pale. Zeth let a few tears roll down his cheek as he kissed her on the forehead and walked back over to see Bella. 

‘Bells…’ Zeth began as he approached her bed, ‘I’m gonna call 9-1-1. We’re gonna go to my house for the night okay? Pack some stuff. You can’t stay here alone. I’ll call the school and everything…don’t you worry just…jsut pack some stuff.’ Bella nodded as she slowly rose from her bed and sat up. Her head stayed down. It was a total mess but it didn’t really matter. Zeth gave her a kiss on the cheek. ‘I love you kiddo.’ He smiled. 

Zeth took the phone downstairs and dialed 9-1-1. courage

Zeth looked around him. He’s only left here three days ago…three days ago everything was fine. He couldn’t remember his mother acting weird except that she was tired. She kept taking little afternoon naps but they didn’t think that was anything serious… 

Zeth sat over on the couch and laid back waiting for the ambulance to come. He lay his head back on the pillow and sobbed silently so Bella wouldn’t hear him. She couldn’t see him break…she neeeded him to be strong…

NEW YEAR – EXAM WEEK

Posted: January 15, 2009 in Uncategorized

2009A new year means a new beginning for many. Here at Amherst High the new year means the end of Semester One and Exam week. Exams start on January 21 and run through the end of the month. Semester Two starts on January 29th. We’ll be on hiatus until sometime in February, but before we go, three new postings that were sent in before Christmas. Apologies to the writers for taking so long to get them on line.  

Thanks to all the writers who contributed this semester and to all the readers who bothered to check us out. We hope to continue providing a variety of content next semester and are always looking for submissions from the student body. See you then.

Children in College

Posted: January 15, 2009 in Our Thoughts
Tags: , , ,

Another thought provoking article on issues relating to students from KM, our man with a view. As usual comments and responses are welcome.

openbookI would like to begin this article with a short rant about children. They’re annoying as hell but we deal with it. Little kids whining that they aren’t getting one toy or another, getting upset that they aren’t getting a treat that some other kid is getting. It’s a normal part of a child’s life to want something that they don’t necessarily deserve. It infuriates a lot of people off and what not, but we understand because the kid is young and doesn’t know better. One would think this nasty habit would cease to exist as the child grows up, but apparently we have no such luck concerning the young adults in our college level education. It’s a sad thought to think that the leaders of tomorrow are acting like kids on a time out. If you’re thinking, ‘Where is this jerk going with this???’, then you should most definitely read on my jerk of a friend.

I recently came across an article that went into more detail than I would like to get into, about college students believing they are entitled to high marks for showing up and trying hard. At first my thoughts were, sure why not, if they’re putting in an effort, who’s to say they don’t deserve good grades. This thought quickly crashed and burned when I started to really ponder about this. Giving a student a high grade for coming to class and doing the assigned work is one thing. Giving a student high marks for coming to class and doing their best to stay awake is absolutely re-freacken-diculous!

Being a student who has played the slacker part in the past and has many bad habits because of it, I know the consequences of my behavior. That fact is I screwed up and I was repayed with bad marks and a lot of regret. I was thoroughly pissed at how everything turned out, but I quickly realized that if you don’t play the school’s little game, it’s going to screw you over. My question is: How are these lazy young adults actually even getting into college!? I would assume that it would take a decent amount of academic integrity to get up to that point. Then again, maybe I AM being a jerk and am too harsh on these individuals. But honestly, I sincerely doubt it.

One argument I was presented with was that giving bad grades is discouraging to these students and it’s giving them disorders or some such nonsense. The truth is, that teaching kids that they can get anything they want if they complain enough isn’t exactly great for mental growth! Come on now, these ‘kids’ are eighteen years of age or older! If they’re getting discouraged, I would think they should learn from their failures and put a little more into their academic career. Simply being in class, isn’t going to give them that ‘A’ their looking for. Doing the work and handing it in is where the marks are.

Really, all in all, I was pretty disgusted by what I read about these ‘entitled’ students and the little tantrum their having. What really needs to change in regards to post-secondary education is the maturity level of these students. Life isn’t going to be handed over on a silver platter just because you want it to. In my opinion, success is built upon effort, dedication and a little bit of luck. Sitting on one’s lazy arse and pouting unrelentlessly is a guaranteed one way ticket to absolute failure.  KM

Popular Politics

Posted: January 15, 2009 in Our Thoughts
Tags:

One of our ongoing contributers likes to share his opinions, (and we welcome his thoughts), but what do you think ! Send us your views (in a civilized manner) to barkingdog.gahs@gaggle.net

hallwayGeneral Amherst High School. As a student at this school, I can say it’s not that bad of a place to attend. We are blessed with a wide variety of interesting students with a solid grasp on the world around them, a teaching staff who is aware that students are not just a bunch of delinquents, hell bent on causing mischief and inconveniencing everything and the food in the cafeteria isn’t half bad. Stepping back and looking sideways at our little community proves to paint a lovely picture. Sadly, not all is peachy keen in wonderland.

Recent school elections have proven that any student can be school Prime Minister. Whether that student be academically gifted, a sports captain or even a blundering idiot. My point is, it’s great that the student body has a choice who they want to vote into ‘office’. But… Are we voting for someone because that person will benefit the students or is it that they’re(and I use this word sparingly), entertaining.

How many times have the students of this school looked up at the speakers in their classrooms and squinted at the nonsense that spews forth from them? How many times have the students looked down the hall and saw a madman doing some sort of cheap antic? How many times will the young adults of this school have to put up with such childishness from an elected student official? It’s my solid belief that the position Prime Minister is one of dignity and pride. The school Prime Minister is a reflection of the the schools population and it worries me that the wrong impression at times has been made of our school.

I ask you to think for one moment. For half a moment if you don’t feel your full attention is worth this request. What kind of person do you imagine when you think about a Prime Minister? Do you see a silly, overzealous clown? I’m not going to lie, I most definitely do not. I imagine a human being who tips the balances of the needs of the students against social recognition. I imagine some one we can trust! Someone who will show the world General Amherst High School knows what’s going on and we’re damned proud of it! Next time you give your vote to someone, be sure they’ll do their job and not sell us out for their own petty amusement. KM

 

Chapter Two (Part One): 
I’m Strong For You

‘Mum!?’ Bella shouted as she waltzed into the kitchen and looked around her. The car was in the driveway so her mother should be home.

‘Mum?’ Bella shouted again as she walked out of the kitchen. She didn’t smell diner and she didn’t even see any breakfast. Her mom always left a little later then her. Usually when Bella was leaving her mom was going to get breakfast. This morning, though, her mom was still in the shower when she left. Her alarm didn’t go off and Bella woke her up. Unfortunatly, her mom was probably still late for work.

Bella slowly walked up the stairs. She was tired from a long day. Her legs hurt from the weights in wieght room and her arms ached from benching. Bella sighed in relief when she reached the top of the stiars. She took another deep breath to shout again.

‘Mum!?’ Bella yelled as she straightened herself up. Still no answer. Bella looked in the bathroom first. The light was still on and the towel still on the floor. Bella just shrugged and turned it off. Maybe her mom forgot to turn it off this morning. She walked over to her bedroom to see if her mom was on the computer. Nope. She wasn’t there either. The only other place she could be would be in her own bedroom.

Bella walked over to her mom’s bedroom and her door was opened only slightly. Bella opened it slowly and quietly. Her mom was probably just taking a nap. She’d been so exhausted lately. Neither of them knew why, she just was. Bella thought maybe her mom was coming down with a cold but her mom blamed it on old age. Zeth even said that may jsut be it.

Her mom was laying on the bed. It looked like she’d fallen asleep sitting up and just fallen over. Bella smiled as she walked over to her mom. When she looked at her, her hair was still matted, as if she hadn’t done a thing to it, not even brushed it. Her makeup wasn’t done and she didn’t look too put-together.

‘Mum…’ Bella said in a normal voice while shaking her mom’s shoulder slightly. ‘Mum…’ Bella said again a little louder. ‘Mom?’ Bella said in a scared voice now. Her mom should have woken. She kneeled down and looked at her mom. Her chest wasn’t moving up and down and she wasn’t even snoring. That’s when it hit her, and it hit her hard too. Her stomach dropped and her mind went blank. A few tears rolled down her cheek and her hands began to shake.

‘Mom!’ Bella shouted in agony. ‘Mom!!!’

Bella rushed out of the room and grabbed the phone. Quickly she dialed Zeth’s number as tears rolled down her cheeks. Her hands shook rapidly and she could feel her face getting hot.

‘Hey Bells what’s up?’ Zeth said in a cheery voice.iconator_a7fc19c6685c6e24a52e51bcb93b6b8e-1

‘Zeth!’ Bella screamed, ‘Zeth…Mom…she..and I…and..’ Bella couldn’t make a full sentence come out of her mouth. She couldn’t even THINK a full sentence in her mind.

‘Bells, honey, slow down. What’s wrong, talk to me.’ Zeth’s voice was concerned now. His sister didn’t freak out like this and not for just anything either.

‘Mom! She’s…not…not…moving…and I tried…and…Zeth I need you…’ Bella said between sobs.

‘Oh…Bells I’ll be right there! I love you’! Zeth hollered as he hung up the phone. Bella just dropped the phone and dropped to her knees letting long hard sobs come from deep within her chest.

A Whole New World – Part 2

Posted: December 14, 2008 in Creative Writing

Chapter One (part two) : 
A Whole New World 

silhouettesargue72‘Oh. Off to see that…’friend’. I understand.’ Zeth winked and Bella nudged his arm which made them both laugh.

‘Micheal’s nothing more than a friend…’

‘Oh, but his beautiful blue eyes just send you through the roof and you know it Bells.’ Zeth said in a sarcastic voice and nudged Bella’s arm playfully again.

‘Shut up Z!’ Bella excalimed as she began to walk away. She didn’t get very far before he streached out his arm and pulled her back.

‘Hey, I”m sorry…I just needed to tell you, I’m goin back to my apartment for the night but tell mom I’ll be there in the morning. I gotta unpack some more.’

‘I wish you didn’t move…’ Bella began as she started to walk towards the park with Zeth following along behind her.

‘I know Bells, but it’s my last semester of highschool. I wanna have a place of my own. C’mon. In three years you’ll understand.’

Bella was fifteen but she understood all too well what her brother was saying. But it didn’t mean she didn’t still think of him as her big-strong-protector.

‘C’mon Bells. Here, lemme make you a deal,’ Zeth said stopping them in front of Domino’s pizza. The smell of pizza was overwhelming. Every day when Bella walked by she breathed in a long hard breath of the delicious pizza. 

‘Fine…shoot…’ Bella wasn’t very impressed with her brother right now. Actually, he was getting rather aggravting. 

‘Awh, c’mon. Listen, come to my apartment tonight. We’ll order pizza, maybe invite Damien over? Waddaya say?’ Bella looked thoughtfully into his eyes. She stared for a few moments thinking about him. The things they’d done…the things she’d lose. She really missed the guy. 

‘Alright…casual right?’ Bella smirked slightly, tilting her head to the right still locking her eyes with his. Eye-contact, it’s what she was taught. 

‘Yep! I love you Bells, see you at six!’ 

Zeth gave her a kiss on the cheek and flashed a smile as he ran down the street and around the corner. Bella stared after him. She wanted her brother to move back home. She wanted to stay up late and talk all night with him…she wanted him back. She didn’t like this new world. She didn’t like it at all.

Bella sighed and continued to walk down the street thinking thoughtfully and silently to herself, choking in tears of rage and sadness. It wasn’t fair…not in the least. He couldn’t just live at home? Who cared if it was his last year. He had a family, he didn’t need to be on his own. She loved her brother to pieces. He was always there for her when she needed him most but sometimes she just wished he would realize how much she really did love him. Maybe, just maybe, then he wouldn’t leave her on her own like this. 

Bella rounded the corner and approached the park with her music on full blast. She slid off her earphones and listened around. She listened to her feet crunch on the snow and smelled the crisp winter air. The scent of autumn was still about, but it was fading ever so slowly. 

She made her way over to the swings where she’d spend most of her time . But it got boring all too quickly in the anicipation to be with her brother. She left early, walking at the fastest pace she could without calling it a run. 

Bella walked into the house jsut as the snow picked up and shook off her boots. She looked at the rats-nest which she’d like to call her hair and walked into the mess she’d like to call a living room. Time to tell mum what was going on tonight but she really won’t mind at all. Bella made her way to the kitchen on her search for her mum.

Another fine season for Lady Gens

Posted: December 4, 2008 in Sports
Tags: ,

The Lady Gens senior girls basketball team got off to a very strong start to their season. Despite having a very young team the Gens captured gold at their first two tournaments. They defeated Notre Dame in the finals of the University of Windsor Invitational, and defeated Catholic Central in the Essex Red Raider Tournament. It was in this Essex tournament when adversity fell upon the team.

In a matter of hours players Talya Tovar and Candice Clouthier both had to leave the game due to knee problems. These were later diagnosed as torn ACL ligaments and damage to other ligaments in the knee. This meant that both girls would have to finish the season on the sidelines before receiving knee surgery. This was horrible misfortune for the team and the two girls. Although Talya and Candice could not contribute on the court they stayed very dedicated. The girls brought great positive attitudes and undying enthusiasm to the bench. They were equal contributers to the success of the team, and their efforts were greatly appreciated.

Next, the team travelled to London to play in the University of Western tournament. Again, the Gens were successful and defeated a very talented Governer Simcoe, to take the gold. This big win gave the girls the confidence they needed heading into the St.Clair College tournament. After breezing by the competition the girls found themselves in the championship match-up against rivals St.Christopher. The Lady Gens pulled off an exciting overtime victory to capture their fourth consecutive tournament championship. This was an amazing accomplishment and the girls were very excited.

The Hamilton Super 12 tournament was next for the Amherst girls. This tournament featured twelve of the top AAA and AAAA teams in the province. Amherst (the only AA school there), being the defending champs were looking for a repeat. Unfortunately they fell to a very strong Westdale teams in the semi finals. It was a hard loss for the girls, but they had an oppurtunity for revenge when they were matched up against Westdale in the upcoming tournament at Humber College, in Toronto. And revenge was certainly reached as the girls sent home the talented Westdale team in semi final action. They went on to endure a tough loss to Waterloo, when a three point shot at the buzzer was disallowed.

The girls settled for silver but had their eyes on a gold medal to finalize their tournament play. In order to do this Amherst would have to defeat Jean Paul (the home team), in the finals of the Pete Howard Basketball Classic. The girls delivered and capped of their tournament play with a record of five golds, one silver and a final four finish, proving to be one of the best teams in Ontario for senior girls basketball.

Meanwhile, as these tournaments were taking place Amherst was competing in their Tier One regular season games. Even though the girls were competing against the best teams in Windsor and Essex County they proved their dominance as they went undefeated (the closest games being seventeen points). The soared past the L’Essor eagles and defeated Wallaceburg district in front of an enthusiastic home crowd to win both WECSSAA and SWOSSAA titles! This meant the girls would travel to Thunderbay for a chance at a fifth consecutive OFSSAA title (“the drive for five”).

After a seventeen hour drive the girls arrived in Thunderbay, and in the blink of an eye they were in the finals, competing for gold. Unfortunately though, the girls lost the  championship

at-registration-in-thunderbay game to Bishop Macdonnel 63-52 after a hard fought game. Although the season ended with a dissapointing loss the senior girls had a tremendous season filled with accomplishments. Next year hopes to be just as successful, for at this point only two members of the team will be moving on to University.

Congratulations to all team members and coaching staff on an outstanding season!

Players; Christina Allen, Jessica Bondy, Kuyan Elliot, Merideth Sanger, Michelle Harber, Sam Kellam, Amy Belcher, Korissa Williams, Talya Tovar, Candice Clouthier,  Helaina Huneault and Courtney VandeBovenkamp.

Coaches: Dom Silvaggio, Don Parks and Greg Scott.

Special thanks to Kaylee Williams, Kristy Lauriault, Jessica Mallender, Rebecca Mallender, Christine Belcher and Ashley Parent for the contributions you’ve made to the team.

Whats next for the Lady Gens? They are heading to Florida for a team vacation. The girls, coaches, and their families leave boxing day for a weak of fun in the sun! As a player myself, and on behalf of the team, I would like to thank all students, staff and members of the community that supported us in the bleachers or in fundraising this season. We look forward to next year! Go Lady Gens!

-Courtney VandeBovenkamp

Bulldog Breakfast Basket

Posted: December 3, 2008 in News

dscn1448

 

 

 

 

 General Amherst staff thought it would be a good idea to start up the Bulldog Breakfast Basket in the Guidance office, for those students who need some extra energy in the morning. Each month a different staff member sponsors the Breakfast Basket, by spending their own money on a bulk box of granola bars, in the hopes that the students who need a better start to the day will get one. If you need a morning snack to get your day going drop into the Guidance Office on the second floor and look for the Bulldog Breakfast Basket .dscn1454

Christmas Fundraiser

Posted: December 3, 2008 in News

The students of General Amherst High School are getting into the Christmas spirit this year with a brand new charity initiative that promises to change the lives of others just in time for the holidays. This week the school’s student council is kicking off its first ever fundraiser for the World Vision foundation.            

            World Vision Canada is a non-profit Christian relief organization that started in the 1940’s. The main goal of the foundation is to bring relief, diplomacy and advocacy to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision is the largest charity of its kind in Canada, sponsoring hundreds of thousands of children in poor countries and donating millions of dollars in relief and food. Every year the foundation sends out its gift catalogue, showcasing some of the many gifts that Canadians can purchase for the needy in far away countries. Examples of such gifts include livestock, toys, medicine, shelter and education. The purchase price of each gift includes all costs of shipping, establishment and education regarding the gift, and many of the gifts multiply, causing the donated money to go much farther.dscn1459

            The Amherst charity will involve each fourth period class to come up with a goal—be it a cow, a shanty or a few soccer balls—for which they will raise money. The teachers and students will be working together to achieve their goals over a two week period lasting from December 2 to December 16. To promote the event, students will be putting up posters and pictures depicting their goals, such as goats, banana trees or mosquito nets. The best part about this initiative is that the students can see and comprehend exactly what their money is going towards. At the end of the two week period the donations will be sent off by the school just in time for Christmas.

            The gifts that can be given through World Vision are more than just handouts. Many of these gifts are renewable, long lasting, and most importantly, they bring hope. We hope that through school spirit we can make this event a tremendous success. Anyone who is interested in making a donation towards our effort is encouraged to contact the school at 519-736-2149 or bring checks addressed to General Amherst High School to the main office. 

Quintet A Day To Remember is a band that combines pop-like sound with screaming and growling vocals with cool riffs and rhythms and pounding bass. The combination doesn’t sound like it would work, but A Day To Remember pulls it off. Their sound is often described as a cross between “bouncy pop punk and chugging metalcore.” It works well in their re-released album For Those Who Have Heart.a-day-to-remember

For Those Who Have Heart is the second album by the post-hardcore band A Day to Remember. The album was released on January 23, 2007 and peaked at #17 on Billboard’s Top Heatseekers chart and #43 on the Top Independent Albums chart. The album was re-released in February 2008.

They change their style up from the song “Colder Than My Heart, If You Can Imagine” to “Show Em The Ropes” with catchy, sing-along choruses that appeal to alternative rock fans and enough screaming and hardcore drumming and guitar riffs that even the heaviest metal heads will enjoy.

I enjoy listening to pop/rock and even the occasional screamo, and I think this band is my new favorite. Their sound is unique, and it sounds great.

Matchmaker

Posted: December 2, 2008 in News

semi-formalMrs. Kohuch and the semi- formal committee are promoting their Matchmaker fundraiser. Everyone in the school gets a questionnaire they fill out, for free,  with information to create a personalized result form which is then matched up with a student that has compatible answers. After the questionnaires are tabulated you can find out the results of what students are your match ! Results will be sold after all the questionnaires are tabulated. Stay tune for when the results will be sold.

Twilight Movie Review

Posted: November 24, 2008 in The Big Screen

The memorable love story of vampire and human finally hit the big screen and gave Twilight fans everythingofficial_twilight_movie_posterthey hoped for.  The plot demonstrates the hardships Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) must endure when she falls in love with the breathtaking vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson).  The movie was extremely well-written and had characters that fit Stephenie Meyer’s book flawlessly.  The movie was slow but understandably cannot match the book perfectly when you’re trying to fit an entire novel into a two-hour film. 

         The movie, which is targeted at kids over the age of 12, will do amazing at the box office with either good or bad reviews. The only complaint I could say about the movie is the compressed time lapse and the special abilities of the vampires, such as super speed, look gimmicky. These are relatively small flaws in what is a production that should soothe the enormous “Twilight” fans.  ——M

THIS IS IT

Posted: November 23, 2008 in Our Thoughts

b will be touching base with barkingdog readers throughout the year to let us know what the last year of high school is all about.

Grade 12

hallwayI am really trying to make the most of this year. My grade 12 year, my last year in high school. I don’t know whether to fear those words, or embrace them. But I know I can’t run from time, no matter how much I may ever want to, because even though I could live in a moment forever, the clock keeps on ticking. I guess it’s a good thing I don’t have an option, because if it were up to me, I think I would stay seventeen forever.

I’ve seen a lot this year so far. I’ve seen friends eating lunch together, and I’ve seen them fight. I’ve seen couples sitting close by their lockers, and I’ve seen them breakup. I’ve seen so many smiles, tears, bright eyes and lit up faces, the odds of me walking on water are greater than possibly keeping track. I’ve been there, too. I’ve been single, had boyfriends, high hopes, and a heavy heart, on and off all throughout the year. I wouldn’t erase two seconds, not a single moment. Good or bad, I always learned something.

My friends are going to be everything this year, and as horrible as it may sound, my schoolwork has already became runner up. My grades aren’t suffering, though. My sleeping habits on the other hand, are. I would much rather be with my friends, hanging out around town, watching movies, going to the mall, or even just sitting together and talking. I could handle coming home at 10:30, starting my homework at 11, and going to bed at 2. That appeals to me much more than coming home right after school, only to continue with homework, going out for an hour after dinner and being in bed by 10. Sleep is something I can get back, I’ve got memories to make and better things to do than dream of fairies and chocolate.

Everywhere I go I make sure my camera is only an arms length away. I burned memories onto paper and my computer screen. Sometimes my batteries have died, but I guess that’s life. Things aren’t always how we plan them to be, and we’ve got to make due with what we’ve got. So what if my friend couldn’t hang out that one day I really wanted to see them. I made other plans and saw them the next day. So what if I don’t want to grow up. I’m going to whether I like it or not, and I’m going to make the best of it. So what if my batteries died. The memories never will.

I can’t believe this is it. So many endings to a whole new world of beginnings. It’s weird to think about. How we have to go on and makes lives for ourselves after thriving off of what everyone else has been able to provide for us until now. I know that it’s going to be up to me to stay in touch with my best friends, and I won’t be able to see them an almost guaranteed five days out of every week. I don’t know if I’m up to it, but I know I’ve got to try my damned best. It’s kind of sad, how the year is only one quarter of the way done, and I know I’m already looking at the end. I hope I’m not the only one. I know some people that plan on jumping blindly off a cliff and into their future after graduation, and some that have had their map drawn up since grade nine.

There are still a lot of things I’m looking forward to this year, and sometimes knowing that these are my last chances brings me down, but not enough to stop living it as much as possible. Prom is going to be amazing. Graduation is going to be tear-filled. Everything else along the way is going to be good enough for me. Sure, this is the end. But it’s also the beginning. ——b

Twilight

Posted: November 20, 2008 in Book Reviews
Tags: , ,

If you haven’t heard about the Twilight craze yet, you soon will. The movie version of the book opens this weekend and promises to be a major event. We thought it an appropriate time to post a review of the book from our barkingdog writers.

 

       Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer,  was published in New York by Little, Brown and Company.  It is about a seventeen year old girl named Bella Swan who moved to a new town to live with her father.  While at her new school, she meets Edward Cullen and they fall in love.  Bella later discovers that Edward is a vampire who could put her in great danger.  The general theme is the dangerous relationship between Edward and Bella.

            The story begins with Bella moving to the town of Forks, Washington to live with her father Charlie.  “It was from this town and its gloomy, omnipresent shade that my mother escaped with me when I was only a few months old,” she explains.  While at Forks High School she notices a prefect-looking family.  She becomes lab partners with one of them (Edward) and they eventually fall in love.  However, Bells later finds out that he is a dangerous vampire.  She does not let this come between them throughout the book.
            The author’s purpose of writing this book is that you need to fight for what you love.  No matter what it takes, you should strive for what makes you happy in life.  Mayer achieves this purpose since Edward and Bella fight the odds and end up together in the end.  Though their hard work and determination they got what they wanted most.  The reader is left believing that nothing can break unconditional love.  
            The major problem in the book is that being with a vampire is obviously very dangerous.  “It’s a bit easier to be around you when I’m not thirsty,” Edward explains to Bella (referring to blood).  Despite the risk, they cannot be apart because of their feelings.  They have to fight against what is right in-order to be together.
            This is the author’s first piece of work.  There are three books following this one, all containing the same characters and plot.  She calls it “The Twilight Saga”.  After the release of Twilight, booksellers chose her as one of the “most promising new authors of 2005” (Publishers Weekly).  Meyer graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in English literature.  She lives with her husband and three young sons in Arizona.  
            This is a very memorable book because it is unique and provides a very interesting story line.  It also provides the reader with a tale about true love.  Stephenie Meyer put the very unlikely couple together and made them work.  The reader is left fighting for the couple to be together.  Throughout the whole novel there is suspense on whether the couple will make it or not.  The author’s opinions in this book are very well-written.
            Issues that the book raises are whether a couple should go against everything in order to be together.  Should someone risk their life to be with someone that they love, even if it means hurting others?  Bella knew that vampires thirst for her blood, but she wanted to be with Edward anyways.  The book leaves out the situation of the danger Bella’s family and friends are in since she is with a vampire.  Even though she is risking her own life, should she risk others’ as well?  The issue should also be whether your happiness is just as important as your family and friends’ safety.
            This book affects the reader because they end up falling in love with the characters.  Even though they are fictional, one is left with the hope that they will be together forever.  Opinions stay the same because you should always fight for the ones you love.  Even if you are put in danger, nothing is more important than a successful, loving relationship.  This book can relate to teens especially because it is rate to find such a romance in high school.  This book represents a dream that many young people have.  Readers are also left with a hops that this fictional story can become somewhat read for them (excluding the vampire).  
            Overall, this is a very good book because of the overall story and message.  This book should be recommended to anyone looking for everlasting love.  You should always fight for what you believe in!
                                                                                                            — Rachelle

Listen To The Silence

Posted: November 19, 2008 in Creative Writing

Listen To The Silence            Listen To The Silence will be posted little by little so bear with me as I attempt to make this story as enjoyable and interesting as I possibly can. It might start off slow but I promise you it will get interesting. Enjoy. 

Zeth had recently moved out leaving his sister Bella and his mom on their own. That is, until Bella calls with some frightening news that would forever change their lives. This is a story of romance, tragedy but most of all courage to face the circumstances you may never be able to control. 

Chapter One (part one) : 
A Whole New World
 

She pushed her way through the crowd attempting to get out as fast as she could. Bella hated being stuck in the middle of this huge crowd of stuck-up-snobs. Bella’s long brown hair flew in all directions when she reached the freedom of the outdoors. She leaned over onto the wall and relaxed a little. She let out a deep sigh, letting her bangs fall into her face. In one soft and swift motion she brushed them away and looked around.                                                                                                                                        

Crowds of people surrounded her. They talked and jumped and whirled around her. She was never noticed. Not truly. With one last sigh Bella pulled herself up off the way and turned in the direction of the town park. It would take her about fifteen minutes to get there, enough time to listen to three songs and read twenty pages in her book. Perfect.                                                                                                                            

Music was how she expressed herself. She danced it out in her routines, her teachers were astounded at the things she could come up with on her own. She wanted to work on a new routine soon and her mom always told her what she needed work on. Her mom was like her personal trainer, she’s who got Bella into dance.    She ran across the street in front of a few cars. One thing she learned about living in Amherstburg is that you always had to run out in front of cars if you had any hope of getting across the street at this time of day. Sure, they honked and made a fuss but who cared?                                                                          

Bella opened her book and began to read as she listened to Tongue Tied by Faber Drive. A favorite of hers. She had really gotten into the book and was startled when someone tapped her on the shoulder. Bella screamed.

‘Shh!! Damn it Bella you scare to easily. And you’re gonna go deaf.’ Bella’s big brother Zeth stared at her. He pulled out both of her earphones and slung them around her neck.

‘I can do that on my own Z…’ Bella trailed off trying to make herself sound capable. He was only looking outpretty-face1 for her. Bella looked up into Zeth’s eyes. She couldn’t help but be jealous of his perfect green eyes that glimmered no matter what lighting they were in. Her eyes were just boring brown and looked like chocolate. Sometimes you couldn’t even see her pupils. His hair was brown, just like hers, but he got his streaked with beautiful blonde highlights and lowlights making it look even better than her naturally dirty blonde hair.

‘Home’s that way, you know that right?’ Zeth joked pointing in the general direction of home.

‘I know…I’m just goin’ for a walk.’ Sometimes Zeth let the fact that he was eighteen go to his head and he thought he could boss her around. She knew he meant well though. 

 

-J.Perron

The All-American Rejects

Posted: November 19, 2008 in Music Notes
aarThe All-American Rejects
Its been three years since the last album from the All-American Rejects, their last album was the  double platinum record titled Move Along.  Now the Rejects have a new album due to come out December 16 2008, titled When the World Comes Down.  There is a lot of pressure on the band this time around, partly because it is already expected to fail, as well it has been three years since the last album.  People may look at this fact and wonder if the group has lost their ability to write music.  I on the other hand think that the bands last album has brought them much success, and they lived on that success for as long as they could.  The Rejects know the pressures of this next album, that is partly why they took so long to come out with it.  Their new single from the new album is titled Gives You Hell, and has already received much success.  The band has come a long way since their days back in Stillwater Oklahoma, and they do not intend to disappoint their fans.  The Rejects producer for the new album is Eric Valentine who has also worked with artists such as Maroon 5, Smash Mouth, Good Charlotte, Queens of the Stone Age and more.  The Rejects have tried many different areas around North America to write the new album, such as Georgia, Florida and even Vancouver where the song Gives You Hell was born.  There is a lot of hype on the new album, and I’m sure that the Rejects will not disappoint. —–RYAN

Run, Fatboy, Run

Posted: November 14, 2008 in The Big Screen

run-fatboy-smallDennis Doyle (Simon Pegg, Hot Fuzz, How to Lose Friends and Alienate People) first started running from his fears when he left his pregnant fiance at the alter. Five years later he is overweight, out of shape, and just barely scraping up his rent by working as a lingerie store security guard. He spends much of his time playing poker with his sleazy friends and wishing he had gone through with his marriage. When he discovers that his gorgeous ex Libby (Thandie Newton) has a new love interest in her life, Dennis knows that this is his last chance to turn his life around. In a desperate attempt to win back Libby’s affection and respect, he signs up to run in the same charity marathon as her current boyfriend. Little does Dennis realize the physical trauma that such a race will put him through. Lucky for him, his not-so-virtuous best pal Gordon (Dylan Moran) has bet money on Dennis’ victory, and is determined to get him in shape for the marathon. Together, the two start an arduous training program that will finally find Dennis running towards something, rather than away from it.

Originally, this film didn’t appeal to me in the least. Its title sounded immature and stupid, and I fully expected the movie to have the same qualities. Indeed, as I sat down to watch Run, Fatboy, Run I was prepared for an hour and forty-seven minutes of crude jokes, unintelligent lines and disgusting humour. What I actually saw surprised me. Not only were the jokes more sophisticated than I had expected, but more often than not they made me laugh rather than cringe. Admittedly, some of it was a bit coarse, but overall I found the movie to be quite clever. It retained the basic dryness of British humour that I love so much.

The movie’s plot was also unexpectedly good. It was remarkably well set-up. The characters were quite appealing, and I found myself being drawn into their predicaments. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for Dennis, as he struggled to overcome his fear of committing to anything. It was touching to see the way he interacted with and cared about his son. There were also some good scenes dealing with Dennis and Libby’s relationship. I was amazed that a movie titled Run, Fatboy, Run could have so much depth in its storyline.

Director David Schwimmer did an excellent job with this film. It is suitable for a wide range of audiences. The movie is crudely funny in some cases, while being very witty in others. There is a moral to be found in the story, yet the deliverance of this moral is not cheesy. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Run, Fatboy, Run was a clever, cute and thoroughly enjoyable movie.

~ Dora

If I’m not mistaken, this article will be read by the kiddies at General Amherst High School. Awright, so here’s the deal; this goes out to the classy students who have to take an extra class but have no idea what they want to take. Maybe this certain student also watches movies with computer graphics and is all like, “What the F$#@! How did they do that!?” Well… Here’s a new opportunity you just might be interested in.

animation

Animation is a class that recently branched off of the Communications Technologies class. You like the idea of crafting anything your mind can imagine on a computer and then making it move? I’m not going to lie, Animation just might be your new favourite class. Thanks to generous contributions from Mr. Catton and the experience of the class’ instructor Mr. Clarke, the learning experience is boundless. 

The class is run much like an animation company. You and your fellow aspiring animators work as a team to create a final video. The class has already created a few interesting projects you can watch if you surf around the school’s website. This semester the team is hard at work on two major projects. The first is a music video for a local band Lo Down, that is to be made 100% in 3D. This tedious task includes transforming each member of the band into a three dimensional character. If you think this is easy, try it and then hate yourself for your previous thought. The second project is making a few clips for a not-so-3D educational video. The task is to make a video that helps autistic teens make a smooth transition into high school life. If you haven’t already pieced it together, this class creates videos for real clients. If you’re looking to get into media as a career, projects from this class could add a lot to your portfolio. 

Are you still reading this? Good! Well, you now have a taste of what the Animation class has to offer. It’s definitely for people who are/think they are creative and want an outlet for it. If you’re an artist of sorts, then you’re going to find bringing your art into the third dimension is a mind-blowing experience. This is just one more class you should definitely look into if you’re a classy individual. Right about now I should be wrapping up the article with a crafty line or some such nonsense… I got nothing…

By: Kyle McGraw

Writers Must Be Desperate

Posted: November 12, 2008 in Television
     Ever since the new season of the highly anticipated show Desperate Housewives aired, I along with many other fans have been very disappointed.  Jumping ahead five years was a bad idea and very unnecessary.  “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”  The show was doing very well; in fact I found that last season’s script was incredibly well-written.  So I do not understand why the writers decided to change the whole storyline. How are any viewers supposed to know what is going on if we don’t know what happened within the past five years?
     I understand that they are explaining some of it, but they obviously cannot cover everything. It’s like I stopped watching the show for five seasons then just decided that I was going to follow it again. What with everything that is going on, it is horribly perplexing and somewhat depressing. The new storyline for this season is not half as good as previous ones.
     Firstly, I absolutely hate the story between Carlos and Gabrielle. Even last season I did not agree with Carlos going blind, as he is one of the nicest characters on the show.  I thought it was bad then, but it got worse! I also hate the fact that Gabby has just let herself go – she was one of my favorite characters and now she’s the total opposite of who she used to be. Those kids of theirs do not help either, especially Juanita who, by the way, totally deserved to be pushed down by Susan.
     Speaking of Susan, why did the writers have to break her and Mike up? In season four, fans were cheering for Mike and Susan to get back together, and before you know it they’re separated again. Now she’s with some greasy, younger guy named Jackson, who does not fit in on Wisteria Lane.
     Then there’s Bree, who is more controlling than ever, and even gave a hot dog to her vegetarian grandson. You don’t feed a dog cat food just like you don’t give a vegetarian meat.
     Lastly there’s Lynette, who really has not changed that much, except for maybe her hairstyle.  Ironically, her children have changed so much that they had to bring in twenty year old actors to play them. It’s funny how after five years she really has not aged a bit, yet her sons grew a few feet and facial hair!
     The only character who has a decent story line now is Edie, who I didn’t even like in the previous seasons.  Now she seems like the only character that shows promise in this new and not so great season.
     I really hope that this is just a really bad dream, but I highly doubt it. Besides, it’s more like a nightmare than a dream. The Desperate Housewives writers really need to do something about the stupidity of this new season; they’re losing viewers because of it!
     I have always been highly devoted to the show, it’s something that has become apart of my Sunday nights. This season, however, I’m left feeling that this is not the Desperate Housewives show that I grew to love, and it’s very disappointing. 
bigbulldogyellow3The General Amherst gymnasium was abuzz with excitement as the school’s student body waited to hear what changes would be made to Amherst’s usual autumnal drive to raise money for cancer research.  It was revealed at this assembly on September 17th that Amherst would shift from its traditional  walk-a-thon format to a teams-based challenge – an obstacle course – as a closing activity for the funds drive.Two weeks of fund raising followed this initial assembly.  A total of $36,341.00 was raised by 538 dedicated and caring General Amherst students!  
The final sum was presented to the Canadian Cancer Society on October 8th.  The thirty students responsible for raising the most money were awarded prizes, the Amherst class responsible for raising the most money was awarded a pizza party and the twenty-two teams participating in the Obstacle Challenge also won tokens of Amherst’s appreciation of the students’ hard work.  
Mrs. Candace Gibbons, one of the Cancer Challenge’s staff organizers at the high school, proudly stated, “The staff and students of General Amherst High School have once again demonstrated true bulldog spirit of ferocity and tenacity to join together with the community and take a bite out of cancer.” 
Given our area’s tough economic times, General Amherst would like to extend a sincere thank you to all in the community who supported an Amherst student’s efforts and – more importantly – gave financial support to the fight against cancer.

Qualities

Posted: November 7, 2008 in Creative Writing

The Book of Qualities  by J. Ruth Gendler – presents 74 qualities–including Pleasure, Anger, Terror, Beauty, and Change as everyday characters who live among us. Both personal and impersonal, the Qualities convey a variety of human emotions in a simple and entertaining manner; readers are inspired to reflect on their own qualities and communicate their feelings with new clarity. Here are some qualities as interpreted by the Amherst Writer’s Craft class.

    HOPE                                                                                                                                              

    Hope tries her hardest at everything she does. She can try to mask her emotions, but nothing can hide the glint of anticipation in those expressive eyes when she’s waiting for something to happen. Hope’s best friend is Joy, but she turns away  from Disappointment. If the two must meet, though, she holds her head high and puts  on a smile. She wouldn’t be Hope if she did anything else!

            Hope’s favourite season is Spring, when the skies turn from grey to blue, and  the clouds change from the colour of smoke to the pure white shade of snow. She loves to hear the birds start to sing and to see the leaves and buds grow on the trees. She delights in the smell of cherry blossoms.

                      Spring may be her favourite, but she’s always there on the cold, gusty nights when the snowdrifts swell to waist height, and you can’t see out your front window. She’ll take your hand, rest her head on your shoulder, and remind you that the nice weather will come again.

                                                               —–CAITLYN

Patience

         Patience is quiet and calm.  She does not complain about anything, not even pain.  Some people say she is a virtue, and deserves to be handled with care.  There are no short cuts on her walk home, for she always takes the longest route possible.  Patience enjoys sitting under the big, old maple tree in her small back yard, watching the painted leaves fall as autumn introduces itself.  Every morning and night, she observes the magnificent, golden sun slowly rise and set.  Her garden is full of brightly coloured, dilatory flowers.  She takes great care in making certain that the grass grows perfectly, with not a blade out of place.

      It is often difficult for Patience to make friends, since she tends to be neglected by her peers.  In school and at home she has become a topic of much debate.  People cannot decide whether to embrace or ignore her.  My mother says she is important, though I cannot understand why.  She teaches and lives with her mentally challenged younger sister.  Most people call her sister a bother, but she takes the time to give her sibling the attention she requires and deserves.  She has a kind, gentle heart.

      Rather than using e-mail and instant messaging, Patience writes extensive letters to her family members that live far away.  She hardly ever gets a letter back, but she continues to send them.  She loves reading long, drawn out novels, historical documents, and books that are so large they barely fit in her slender hands.  She reads them all hours of the night.  Patience never eats at fast food restaurants, where the meal is practically ready before it is ordered.  She prefers extravagant, fancy restaurants that take hours to cook the meal to perfection.  As I grow older and wiser, along with my colleagues, we will discover for ourselves that Patience is very important to have around.

                                                                             —– JULIA

FEAR

            Fear is pale.  She sweats profusely and trembles every second.  Her eyes are dark, and always wide open.  Above are her brows, drawn together, and her mouth forms a straight line.  She constantly breathes quickly so that her chest moves rapidly.  When she walks into the room there are high-pitched screams.  Some gasp, and others cry.  When she attempts to make conversation you become speechless and when you open your mouth, all you seem to do it stutter.  You shouldn’t let her get too close though.  She smells horrible. It’s like thick smoke, and it’s also rotten and musty.  Try not to run, because she’ll grab you in a second. Her hands are sweaty and the rest of her body is clammy.  She has been known to cause pain to others, which is why people are so scared.  She is tense, but also very shaky. Her skin is slimy, but also very picky in spots.  Everything around her just feels damp.  The taste just might be the worst.  It is bitter, sour and acidic.  She leaves your mouth so dry that it feels like there are hundreds of needles moving inside. It is very unpleasant.  

         People usually try to avoid her, and some deny that she is even there.  You must have great courage to be able to face her head on.  Not many people can say that they can do that.  There are even some who live in terror, for they know the worst can happen.  When people are home alone, there is a spider, they are separated, there are strangers or when they are losing control- there fear is.  There are so many causes for her to just show up.  The most common is pain, or threat of pain.  She is around so much people concentrate on the worst.  The secret to getting rid of her is identifying why she is there, and not denial.  Face her head on if you can, and she just might go away.  But remember to take small steps, motivate yourself, think positive and recognize reality.  With this advice she is sure to never bother you again. 

                                                              ——- Rachelle

 

 

 

LOVE

       Love is beautiful. Her golden hair flows around her and her sapphire eyes only speak the truth. She sings melodious songs that light up a dark sky. Her voice carries throughout the Heavens and can be heard by everyone. Her perfume smells of roses and her eyes are enchanting. Love is patient. She doesn’t tap her foot when waiting for you by the front door. Her wide smile greets you when you enter.

       Many people mistake Lust for Love. But when you get a close up look at them you can surly tell them apart. For Love always carries a crimson handbag and Lust is never without someone else.

        Someone once told me that Love was never born. That she was only a fantasy fairytale. But when I met her for myself, her hug filled me with warmth and her voice filled me with song. And she was my best friend and she will never fade from my heart.

                                          —--REBECCA

DEPRESSION

Depression is desperate, cold and alone. He sees everything in monochrome – blacks and grays. But no white. He does not like much and that which he does is moldy, damp and rough. He sits around at night with his pet, Oscar the Ostracized turtle.

Everyone who has met depression ends up shunning him. They believe Depression only likes to talk about sad things, like funerals and empty peanut butter jars. He is frail, has a hoarse voice, and is completely lifeless. What they do not realize is that Depression offers another perspective and insight about life. He shows others the dimmer, fainter parts.

But, even though I understand Depression, I still deal with it like I do a headache – I go to sleep.

                                                                                                              —— Shivan

Skepticism

Skepticism likes to keep his distance. He stalks around the edges of a crowd and then slips quietly into it. He reasons with you and turns you against ideas with ease. Skepticism has cold hands and even colder feet.

Skepticism lives alone in a simple, barren apartment. No pictures disguise the walls. Skepticism stays up late, watching the minutes tick by on the clock. He hates infomercials and used car salesmen. Skepticism sleeps on a hard, single bed.

You will most often find skepticism eavesdropping on a conversation. He sits off to the side and drums his fingers on the table, his nails clicking on the hard surface. Skepticism raises one eyebrow and arranges a sneer on his face. Like an overbearing parent he protects, but then smothers. I have learned to listen to Skepticism with caution.

                      —–DORA

 

 

Halloween

Posted: November 7, 2008 in News

This past week at Amherst was Halloween sprit week. Monday was just got out of bed day,p10402052where everyone just got out of bed and came to school in their pajamas or with messy hair. On Tuesday it was fake an injury day. People had band-aids and some went as far as crutches. Wednesday was black and orange day. The colours of Halloween covered most people in the school. On Thursday, it was imitate a teacher day. Lots of people dressed up as a teacher and act like then for the entire day. To end this fun-filled week, on Halloween day everyone dressed up in their costumes, and there was a pumpkin carving contest. The two best costumes in the class got to compete in the contest. I don’t think that they could have done anything better. Amherst sure has school sprit. I can’t wait until next year to see what crazy stuff goes on.

—Ann-Marie

High School

Posted: November 6, 2008 in Our Thoughts
Tags:

I happen to live in a mystical place, where high school girls aren’t horrible, cafeteria food is actully pretty good, and most of the football players are quite intelligent.

Now if you think about it, reading all the books, watching all the movies and TV shows, high school sounds high_school_classroomlike a death sentence. It’s really not. You don’t get shoved in lockers, because by the time you’re in highschool you’re probably over three and a half feet tall, so you won’t fit in the lockers. If you ask someone which way to a class, they’ll tell you the correct place. Teachers do not bite, they just make you copy out alot of notes. You don’t get horribly lost everyday, and you don’t have to make a mad dash to your locker before every class, five minutes is more than you think. Orientation helps, but you forget things. But so far high school isn’t a torture chamber where only the beautiful and strong survive. Anyone can make friends and do homework, personally, I get less homework then I did in grade school. You’ll lose some friends and gain some new ones. You’ll hate teachers and love some. But in the end unlike life, you make it out alive, without remembering a thing you “learned”.

-Morgan

100 Years of Greatness

Posted: November 6, 2008 in Sports

Is Lord Stanley’s cup coming back for a 25th time?

At 21, The most historic organization in professional sports has been placed on his shoulders.

 

82744821JM035_MONTREAL_CANA100 Years of tradition, victory, and pride. The “Flying Frenchmen” have been making hockey fans across the world cheer for one century. The oldest franchise in hockey, and arguably the greatest franchise in all of sports. 24 Stanley Cups, 22 division championships, 8 conference championships, and countless HOF. Unlike most NHL clubs, the Canadiens do not rely on Free Agency to solve roster issues, they simply call up from their talented pool of hungry rookies in the minor leagues.

This season, the Canadiens are sending their youngest roster in their teams history on the ice to compete for their 25th  Stanley Cup. With an average age of 26 years old, the Canadiens are fast, talented, and as gritty as they’ve ever been. Led by Andrei and Sergei Kostitsyn, two brothers from Belarus, Christopher Higgins, Ryan O’byrne, Maxim Lapierre, Guillame Latendresse, and Josh Gorges the team speed is phenomenal. The youth of this team led by veteran leadership of Saku Koivu, the talented Alexi Kovalev and Andrei Markov quarterbacking the power-play, and offensive additions of Alex Tanguay, and Robert Lang the 2008-2009 Canadiens are destined to do great things. The largest piece of the puzzle is Carey Price. At82744821JM027_MONTREAL_CANA 21 years of age, he is the catalyst that will make or break the Canadiens season. Arguably one of the most talented goalies in the NHL already, already drawing comparisons to Patrick Roy, he too has a bright future. He’s big and fast, and ice runs through his veins. He stares down opponents and doesn’t give an inch. Surely there is no kink in the Canadiens armor. It would only be fair to say that the Canadiens bring back their 25th Stanley Cup in a Century.                                                                                 —Gord

Be Kind Rewind

Posted: November 6, 2008 in The Big Screen

Be Kind Rewind  ★★☆☆☆ 2/5 Stars

 

 

          A small VHS video store faces foreclosure in a poor community. While watching the store for the owner, a clumsy employee’s friend accidentally erases all of the tapes. In order to keep the blunder from becoming apparent, the duo of Mos Def and Jack Black begin remaking the films themselves using homemade special effects and outdated filming techniques.

This movie is clever plot-wise and creative, but I think the way the directors showed it was a bit sloppy. The dialogue and the acting weren’t the best either, though their home-made movies were pretty funny.

 Overall, the movie is not the best. Don’t waste your time watching this if you get bored easily, or have no patience with lame movies.

 

       -Shanna. 

Lady Gens Defend Title

Posted: November 3, 2008 in Sports

 

After becoming WECSSAA’s top tier champs, Amherst’s Senior Lady Gens are looking to defend their sixth straight WECSSAA championship. The Gens have a season record of 10-0 and are looking to keep it undefeated as they advance into the WECSSAA playoffs beginning this week.

This hoopsquad is prepared to do everything they have to do to go all the way.

Come out and cheer on your Senior and Junior girls basketball teams as they defend their WECSSAA titles this week at home.

         My opinion on the most recent City and Colour album is that it’s an amazing C.D. The album was composed by Dallas Green and is titled Bring Me Your Love. It was released February 12th of 2008. It is filled with many emotions, mostly regarding the relationships between men and women, and can spark feeling and an ability to relate to the singer in almost every instance. The disc features twelve songs; Forgive Me, Confessions, The Death of Me, Body in a box, Sleeping Sickness, What makes a man? Waiting…, Constant Knot, Against the Grain, The Girl, 
Sensible Heart and As Much As I Ever Could. My personal favorite is Confessions. The melody is exquisite, and the meaning could reach anyone. I think the song is about someone in a long distance relationship who cheats on their partner, and is finally feeling the overwhelming guilt of the situation.
               “My verdict has come in/ It says, I’m guilty for my sins,this time/ I thought I could escape / But then I finally felt the wake of my crimes/ It’s passion it’s not love/ Infatuation never ends up right/ At least I won’t be alone tonight/ ‘Cuz I don’t want to be alone tonight.”
   This is one example of a powerful set of lyrics that sing in any listeners ear, whether they have been in the described situation or not. Green strikes a note that carries home. ‘The Death of Me’ is another very powerful song, sung with sorrow and a catchy beat that makes you put the C.D on repeat and listen over and over again. This song has a deeper tone to it, it fits the lyrics perfectly because it is about a restless soul struggling with their troubles and becoming numb and resorting to alcohol.      
     Although the C.D has a dark tone (many themes of the songs are about coming to terms with death and loss), the C.D is not depressing in the least. ‘What Makes A Man?’ is a great example of this. It uses phrases like “I can hear my train coming, it’s a lonesome and distant cry” to describe the anxiety of the person depicted in the song, it is used as a repeat motif and is addictive. The vocals in Bring Me Your Love are just as powerful, if not more than the rest of Green’s acoustic guitar and piano skills.
         Dallas Green was originally the dulcet voice of the band Alexisonfire. During his spare time off touring, he recorded a few solo songs with merely his acoustic guitar and his vocals. When the songs were leaked on the internet they spread like wildfire. Green recognized that he could earn some success playing acoustically and created City and Colour. Before Alexisonfire had received the award for Best New Group of the Year and their album went platinum, Green quietly debuted his album titled ‘Sometimes’ featuring some of my favorite songs such as; “Like Knives,” “Casey’s song,” “Hello, I’m in Delaware,” “Sometimes(I wish)” and the hit “Save your Scissors.” Many themes from these songs are carried over in Bring Me Your Love. Delicate vocals, and acoustics by Green are thickened by the meaty folk voice of Gordon Downie and other various artists in songs such as “Sleeping Sickness.” The songs on this album demonstrate Green’s ability and are a wonderful gift to acoustic lovers and music lovers all around. Bring Me Your Love is a beautiful contrast to Green’s former role in Alexisonfire and gives a wonderful insight into the songwriter’s deep soul.        ———-Mariah

Guitar Pro!

Posted: November 3, 2008 in Music Notes
Something Mozart Wished He Had
     Though music has been around for thousands of years, evolving and changing throughout history in technique, style and instruments being played, relatively little has changed in the way you read and write music. While many have mastered music, many others do not fully understood its concepts or language. But learning such a thing can bring a huge understanding to the devoted music lover. Learning to read sheet music can help you not only understand music better but enable you to learn new instruments more easily and to broaden your spectrum. Such learnings created icons and composers from Mozart to Beethoven to John Lennon to Kurt Cobain and hopefully musicians of the future. 
     While writing and learning the music can be somewhat time-consuming and stressful to the new musician, a new program has been developed that deals with this. It not only aids in the learning of thousands of currents songs and instruments but also in the creation of new material. This new program is called Guitar Pro.   
     The program was originally based just for guitar but through years of upgrades and advancement it has spread to all other instruments available in the music spectrum. The basis and secret of the program is that it allows you to hear what the note sounds like on a perfectly tuned fret/piano board. When it’s teaching you to learn a new song it plays the song at a normal pace, showing tabs step by step and allowing you to get the timing better and see which notes are being pressed on the fret board. This system allows you to learn songs much more quickly and easily. 
     The program is also very useful in the writing of music, giving you a Microsoft Word format but for music. The tool bar includes all note types, tempo signs, rest signs, sharps, flats, clef signs and much more. Just as with learning songs, when you write music, the program plays the song you write, showing you exactly how it sounds to the beat. This cuts out the middle man, allowing you not only to know right away what the note is and sounds like, but also to learn it by ear.
     We can expect to see many musicians springing up in the near future, maybe writing more compositions than Mozart even. Who knows how much faster Mozart or Beethoven could have written and understood their music. Could Mozart have finished his Requiem before he died if just had a computer? We will never know. 
                                                                           —-Jake  

A Certain Slant of Light

Posted: November 3, 2008 in Book Reviews
Tags: ,

 

               A Certain Slant of Light, by Laura Whitcomb is fascinating on a multitude of levels.  In terms of the storyline, it is an excellent work of fiction.
        A Certain Slant of Light tells the story of Helen, a long-dead woman who has, for years, escaped the suffocating waters of her own personal perdition by latching emotionally onto several human hosts, essentially haunting them to save herself.  As Light, as she is portrayed in the novel, she is invisible and intangible, and extremely lonely.  Everything changes when she meets James—who is also Light—and they begin to possess the bodies of young people to carry on a physical relationship.  However, even as she is falling in love, Helen cannot escape the watery hell that follow her wherever she goes.
         A Certain Slant of Light had the advantage of shock to keeps its readers interested.  When James and Helen—both deceased for years—become intimate through the bodies of their physical human hosts (as opposed to Helen’s emotional ones), the idea is shocking and, in some ways, disturbing.  By that time, though, the author has made you fall in love with the characters so that you feel obliged to continue reading.
         The theme of the novel is forgiveness.  Why is Helen in Hell?  What crime did she commit that is causing her to suffer so much in the afterlife?  What can she do to finally be at peace?
      The author suggests that there is life after death and also seems to hold contempt for extremely devout Christians.  (Helen possesses the body of a girl who comes from an almost fanatically religious family.)  Different people with different views will respond according to their beliefs.  The afterlife Laura Whitcomb suggests for most of the book is a dreary, lonely one.  Alice Sebold’s vision of life after death in The Lovely Bones—where one chooses his or her own personal Heaven—seems to be preferable to the solitary afterlife Helen “lives” as she runs from her demons.
         The story of Helen and James is a poignant one, but it lacks an explanation for the supernatural entities that are the main characters.  What is “Light”?  Are Helen and James really the only two spirits of that kind out there?  If so, why?  If not, where are the others?  How is it decided what kind of spirit a person will be when he or she dies?  While the love story is a success, the supernatural part of the story is lacking.
On a personal note, I do believe in the afterlife, although I don’t know enough about Whitcomb’s idea of it to agree or disagree.  I would rather join Susie Salmon in The Lovely Bones and be able to personalize my own afterlife.
      A Certain Slant of Light is a good novel for its primary story, although it does not give enough backstory.  It is effective in demonstrating its theme of forgiveness.  It is not, however, for the closed-minded.  If you do decide to real this book, try to be open to new, interesting, and potentially disturbing ideas.
                  —-Caitlyn

A New Era?

Posted: October 28, 2008 in Sports

Firing of Millen isn’t the only thing the Lions need……

Sophomore Calvin Johnson is one of the few cornerstones of the franchise.

                 The Detroit Lions are one of the oldest franchises in NFL history. They were the home to many conference finals, and have been the organization represented by many hall of fame players. Unfortunately the first thing that comes to mind when you here Lions is defeat. This is because the Lions have the worst record in the last 8 seasons with over 80 losses.                                                                                

Their lack of success under Matt Millen their former president and CEO of football operations had been quoted as disgusting, and unacceptable. For five years Lion’s faithful have wanted Millen gone, and now he is. The real question is, was that all the Lions needed? The answer is no.To win in the National Football league you need balance, offensively and defensively. The Lions simply have neither. Their offense is one dimensional despite the addition of former pro bowl running back Rudi Johnson. Their offensive line is mediocre at best, and have a pedestrian talent under center. The only bright spot of the Lion’s team is their gold mine of wide receivers, but even they have problems.                                                                                                                                  All pro wide out Roy Williams was traded to the Dallas Cowboys for three draft choices after long grumblings of wanting a trade. Can you blame him? Three years with the same quarterback and they still weren’t on the same page. Believe it or not, their offense is the bright spot. Their defense is the worst in the league against the pass and the run and allow the most points per game. Honestly I would be surprised if they could stop a high school offense.

     Of course, personnel is decided by coaching. Which leads us to higher in management. Are they  well coached? The answer to that is no also. Rod Miranelli has been with the team three years, and claims his team still isn’t playing his system. Than bring in players who can! Or quit because quite frankly Detroit fans have suffered enough.He has also been quoted saying the stupidest things, making me and I am positive others, question his intelligence. Statements such as “ I am the living example of fight, I believe in what I am doing 100 percent”. Well thats great Rod. Do you want a hero biscuit? If you knew what you were doing than you wouldn’t be fighting anything but to maintain a perfect record. You and all of Lions management are pathetic.                                                                                                                                                      

As a football fan in general, the Lions lack of desire to win games is upsetting, and takes a lot away from a competitive, exciting, and physical nature of the game. The Lions have not had a winners chance at a playoff spot since Barry Sanders, and will continue that way because he is not coming back to save them.               —-Gord

The Cider House Rules

Posted: October 23, 2008 in Book Reviews

               John Irving’s The Cider House Rules tells the story of Homer Wells, an orphan from the small town of St. Cloud’s in Maine. Homer was born in the orphanage there, and lived in that establishment until he was nearly twenty. Dr. Larch, the orphanage’s founder and physician, is quite proficient in obstetrics. He performs both deliveries and abortions, firmly believing that every woman should have the right to choose between the two. In the early 1900s, when the story takes place, this view is not shared by everyone and abortions are illegal in the United States. As Homer Wells matures, he learns all about Dr. Larch’s beliefs and begins to form views of his own. This fictional novel offers the reader a great deal to think about.

       One of the main issues explored in The Cider House Rules is the morality of abortions. Dr. Larch, being the head of an orphanage, has very strong feelings on this subject. He has seen many women suffer through unplanned pregnancies, and has delivered countless unwanted children during his career. Every day, he witnesses the effects of being unwanted on the orphans’ states of mind. It is no wonder that he is so in favour of abortions. Another character calls the anti-abortion laws “a way of legalizing violence against women”. The emphasis that these characters’ opinions are given suggests that the author shares their views. Irving presents their arguments in a most convincing and effective manner, and it is enough to make even the most opinionated reader pause and consider the points being brought up. Irving is careful to also represent the argument opposing abortions through Homer Wells. Homer is not comfortable with performing these operations himself, believing them to be immoral, but he does think that every woman should have the right to an abortion. It is this milder, slightly hesitant view that readers who do not have such strong feelings on the issue are able to identify with.
       The book also examines self-sacrifice. Many, if not all of the characters have given up something for someone or something else. Whether it be Dr. Larch devoting his life to the orphanage, or someone going to fight in the war for their country, or a love being given up for a friend’s benefit, John Irving creates situations for his characters which evoke a deep sense of sympathy from the reader. It is heartbreaking to watch the characters suffer for each other, and raises the question of whether or not the results are worth their pain. In many cases, it seems that everyone in the story would be better off if they weren’t so intent on giving things up for each other.
       The Cider House Rules is a truly compelling book. It explores issues of morality and prompts the reader to think about these questions in greater depth. The story is told in a mild manner, and the plot twists along naturally. It is not overly flowery or descriptive, but delivers its message in a simple and clear way.
        —-Dora

Blindness

Posted: October 23, 2008 in Book Reviews
                       Blindness, written by Jose Saramago, is a book of disease. This fictionalized book was written in the modern day. In Blindness a city is hit by an epidemic of ‘white blindness’. This blindness is extremely contagious, and will infect anyone it’s near. Blindness gets right into the action with this ‘white blindness’ starting off by infecting a ordinary man is his car waiting for the green light. This man is referred to as ‘The first blind man’ throughout the rest of the story. Each character is given their own names to be referred to as, rather than the names they were given at birth. For instance; ‘the man with the black eyepatch’, ‘the girl with the dark glasses’, ‘the doctor’s wife’, ‘the doctor’, ‘the wife of the first blind man’, and ‘the boy with the squint’. These are the main characters within the book. All of the events follow the action of them.
                This book is unique. It has been written differently than almost any other book. The best way to describe this is, Jose Saramago has chosen to write in a third person omniscient but it is as if he is telling the story directly to the reader. “Then, carried away by an irresistible impulse, without thinking, she called out to these blind people and to all the blind of this world, she will rise again, note that she did not say she will live again, the matter was not quite that important, although the dictionary is there to confirm, reassure or suggest that we are dealing with complete and absolute synonyms” (302, Blindness). As seen in the quote, there are no quotation marks when people speak. This is for the effect of continuous thought. The writing gives the impression that the narrator is telling the reader she is saying this instead of the girl actually saying it. I believe this was important to the book because it gives the effect that this could have actually have happened. Instead of Jose Saramogo writing a book, he’s telling a story.
                             Blindness shows the reader many things; how will people react to an epidemic, what it’s like to be blind, what it’s like to revert to animalistic way of life. This book is very realistic on the idea of what the world would come to if everyone was blind. The book is also an allegory. The book has the reader ask, ‘Aren’t we all blind?’ This of course is a metaphorical blindness. With television and government propaganda, many people among the world already have, metaphorically, been blinded already. The blindness is also white. Instead of the blind seeing no colours, they see all colours. Even when they close their eyes the penetrating ‘white sea’ sits still, unmoving and merciless. Only when the characters fall to sleep do they finally see the comforting darkness of space within their eyelids. 
                            In the book, the ‘white blindness’ epidemic starts off by only infecting a few characters. First the man at the lights, ‘the first blindman’ infects the robber, ‘the car robber’. ‘The first blind man’ is lead home by ‘the car robber’ and ‘the first blind man’ infects his wife, ‘the wife of the first blind man’. Before she is infected she takes him to ‘the doctors’, while sitting in the waiting room ‘the boy with the squint and ‘the girl with the dark glasses’ sit as well. They are all infected. ‘The doctor’ goes home, and realizes this blindness is extremely contagious. He makes his wife stay away from him. The health board decides it is best to collect all the blind and put them in quarantine, also known as an old mental asylum. ‘The wife of the doctor’ got into quarantine because she faked her blindness, throughout the entire book she slowly expects herself to go blind but she never does. Somehow, this is never explained, she is immune to the blindness. 
                        Jose Saramago was born into a family of peasants in Azinhaga, Portugal, a small village in the province of Ribatejo. His parents were Jose de Sousa and Maria de Piedade. “Saramago,” is translated into, a wild herbaceous plant known in English as the wild radish, was his father’s family’s nickname, and was accidentally incorporated into his name upon registration of his birth. In 1924, Saramago’s family moved to Lisbon, where his father started working as a policeman. A few months after the family moved to the capital, his brother Francisco, older by two years, died. Although Saramago was a good pupil, his parents were unable to afford to keep him in grammar school, and instead moved him to a technical school at age twelve. After graduating, he worked as a car mechanic for two years. Later he worked as a translator, then as a journalist. He was assistant editor of the newspaper Diário de Notícias, a position he had to leave after the political events in 1975. After a period of working as a translator he was able to support himself as a writer. Saramago married Ilda Reis in 1944. Their only child, Violante, was born in 1947. Since 1988, Saramago has been married to the Spanish journalist Pilar del Río, who is the official translator of his books into Spanish.(Wikkipedia.com).
                    Personally I enjoyed this book. The idea of blindness was exhilarating. There was a lot of action, which kept things interesting, and Jose Saramago’s description which allowed a great picture to be made. I would say that s person who is a more advanced reader would enjoy this book. As well as those who critically analyze things they read. The only really confusing thing in this book was trying to figure out who was talking, as there are no quotation marks for those people. This was an amazing and original book to read and I cannot wait to read the next book, Seeing.  
                                                                      —-Tom 
       

The Lovely Bones

Posted: October 23, 2008 in Book Reviews

 

         The idea of life beyond death has mystified people since the beginning on time. Thousands of years ago, back to the age of the Egyptians and further, the thought of an afterlife has been present. The novel The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold is a fictional work based around the murder of fourteen year old Susie Salmon. After her death, Susie finds herself in her own personal Heaven, one in which her one true desire, to live again, cannot come true. Instead, she watches how her death folds out on Earth, the different links that are made in relationships between her sister and the people she encounters, the distance that grows between her parents, and the devoted search for truth from a friend.
       The main theme in this novel is that one event can change the face of life for every person connected to them. Many different ties can be made between people when tragedy has struck and often times these bonds are incredibly strong, like the bones in a human body, holding it together, making it keep shape. A quotation on page 320 explains this idea in a strong, understanding way:
          These were the lovely bones that had grown around my absence: the connections – sometimes tenuous, sometimes made at great cost, but often magnificent – that happened after I was gone. And I began to see tings in a way that let me hold the world without me in it. The events that my death wrought were merely the bones of a body that would become whole at some unpredictable time in the future. The price of what I came to see as this miraculous body had been my life.
       Alice Sebold, thorough her words and her ability to convey emotion, has created a memorable novel about love, life, and loss. Although more abstract than the normal circumstances people in a suburban small town endures, the basic truth behind it is immense. One simple action on anyones part can shape the entire face of the future.
       I personally loved this novel. I first encountered it in grade nine, the person beside me was reading it, but it didn’t really hold any interest for me. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago when I saw it at my mothers house and just decided to start reading that I acknowledged it. I stayed up until about six am that day, devouring the text and absorbing the hidden knowledge within its pages. The storyline itself was interesting – the idea of watching life on earth beyond living on it was something that peaked my interest. It would definitely be something to consider when I got bored. Also, how raw and real the murder was, how characteristically human the reactions to this death were, and the way Susie’s family went about fixing their broken hearts was… Beyond words. Just thinking about the novel as I type this gives me chills and goose bumps. Moreover, this novel was unlike any other I have read. The basic theme was common enough, but the way it was presented was completely original and gave a different perspective on the theme. 
            This book has received many rave reviews. At the same time, it has caused much distress in public schools. This is because of the nature of the novel, such as the rape and murder found within the first chapter. However sickening, it is a part of life. Not that it is right for young children to read bout it, but to know that it does happen out there is a relief. If these people were to go sheltered their entire life than they would be missing something that may influence them.
           All in all, The Lovely Bones is a chilling novel, full of suspense on behalf of several main characters. There are ties within the text which allow the reader to understand and not underestimate the strength that bonds have in holding people together. The idea of a supernatural setting to allow this explanation to flow is intriguing to those who are interested in the, not occult per se, but harder to believe aspects in life. If I were to give this piece of literature a ranking out of five, it would gain and four point seven stars out of five.
            —-Shivan     

Amherst Begins Another Winning Season!

Posted: October 2, 2008 in Sports

Amherst is a school of athletic quality. Despite the lack in population the student body always produces countless numbers of athletic stars. This year is no exception, with many personal achievements for individual athletes, and teams.

The senior football team moved up to the “Newman” conference to compete with the AAA/AAAA schools despite the fact our team is a AA school. This shows a lot of  diversity in skills and individual talents the Bulldogs have. This year the senior football team is 2-1 and play Villanova for the homecoming game hoping to go 3-1. This is no easy task, but can be done with the team this year.

The junior and senior girls basketball team seems to win OFSSA every single year, and is fair to say they are among the elite in the country for any school population size. The girls are literally untouchable when playing in the county destroying any team in their path. Led by senior leadership, good coaching and discipline the girls are the definition of success. 

Amherst’s volleyball teams have always been “steady” as far as guys go. It’s again the girls that seem to dominate, going all the way to the finals of last year’s Ontario volleyball championships.

The three sports mentioned are just for this opening season, but is arguably the prime of our athletic achievements. Winter and summer sports await, hopefully this year they can match the success of the fall.                                                                      —–Gord

The Darkness

Posted: February 2, 2010 in Uncategorized

All alone in the dark

No one to help me

No one to protect me

If only he were here with me

Maybe, just maybe, he’ll protect me

Maybe it’s just me…but I’m not sure

Maybe it’s not only me in the dark

Far off in the distance I see a little light

I wonder where that light came from

Will this light help me?

Walking towards it – wondering: is it him?

Is it that guy who will love me for me?

Who will pull me out of the dark?

That guy will protect me

He won’t let me fall back into the dark

Will he love me?

I just don’t know yet.

By: MustangSally

I Feel, I See

Posted: February 2, 2010 in Creative Writing

I feel the pain but ignore it

I feel like crying but it’s just a waste of time

I feel unloved, untouched

I feel llike there’s no one there for me

I feel very alone inside

I feel like saying, “I give up!”

I’m hurting inside but no one cares

They look then walk away

Maybe, just maybe, one day someone will care….

By: MustangSally

No Blame

Posted: February 2, 2010 in Creative Writing

Disclaimer: some incidents have been altered to wreak more pity on me.

I am looking for explanations, justifications, anything.  I could take the biology route, blame it on chromosomes or genes, but gene therapists are expensive these days.  And I’m pretty sure there’s no DNA pattern that codes for “tomboy”.  I could just say I was born this way….

Then again: my problems started shortly after birth.  When my parents went to name me.  Angeli Christian Desaulniers.  Angeli Christian Desaulniers.  What kind of fugly middle name is that?  For a girl?

Let the fun begin.

I can remember the moment I first felt like a true big sister.  It was Christmas and my grandmother gave me and my younger sister Gwen dolls.  One was pink, the other blue.  We fought over the pink one, except it wasn’t a fair fight…because Mom was on Gwen’s side.  Grandma continued to send dual-coloured  Christmas presents: stuffed bears, pajamas.  Oh, dear Grammy – you just screwed your eldest granddaughter over.

I got used to blue.  it was a more beautiful colour anyway.  When I was in grade two, the feature length Disney movie Mulan came out.  Goodbye life as I knew it.  What’s wrong with Mulan?  In a word: Nothing.  What’s right with Mulan?  She’s noble and brave and Asian and can do really cool karate.  I’m noble and brave and Asian and…that’s where the similarities end.  But, most of all she could do whatever she liked with her clothes.  This made her a hero in my mind.

I didn’t even know what it was like to have that kind of freedom until “the Shoes”.  They were Reeboks, they were new, and they were mine.   These shoes turned me into a being that was equal parts Cinderella, Dorothy and Hermes.

Shortly after the shoes came the sweater.  Shortly after the sweater came the t-shirts, shortly after the t-shirts came the jeans, and shortly after the jeans came the confidence.

That’s right: the confidence.  There’s nothing that will make you more comfortable than being yourself.  So, I could look for all the explanations I wanted, I could blame it on anyone who’s ever crossed paths with me, but that’s not the point.  This is where I am now…and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Angeli Desaulniers