How to Fail - The Interview

Bernie Chen
posted Sep. 21, 2022, 7:04 pm

Disclaimer: This is a satirical piece, not the advice of a reputable senior student. If you follow the recommendations in this article, I won’t be responsible for your failures.
With the chaos of September in full effect, you might have noticed an increasing number of applications for clubs and executive positions. Now, a lot of these applications have two stages: one stage where you fill out a form with a fake identity and hope it’s appealing enough; and an interview.
There are hundreds—if not thousands—of articles explaining how to ace an interview. But what if, for some sick, twisted reason, you wanted to fail one? This jumble of text is what you need then!
Or, you know, anyone who wants to find out what to avoid in an interview can use this too…
Be Infuriating
First on the list: act like a total [redacted to maintain PG-13 rating].
Interviews are held with the purpose of seeing you. A picture can replace a thousand words, while a recorded Zoom meeting is essentially thousands of pictures. If you want to let your interview go to waste, make sure each one of those video frames makes you look like a jerk.
Typically, people want to see interviewees demonstrate humility, humour, and optimism; these personality traits are often considered more valuable than academia. Thus, to tank your interview, act like you’re at the peak of the Dunning-Kroeger curve. Be confident and condescending, but reveal once in a while that your boasts are baseless. Do not listen to your interviewer’s directions, to their chagrin and growing exasperation. To top off the whole act, you can include age-old techniques like being late for your interview, getting distracted by anything and everything, and taking offense to every word your interviewers say.
Be Ignorant
Before your interview, you typically get your interview time as well as a summary of what’s going to happen, usually within an email. Leave it on unread or—even better—dump it into the trash. Make sure you empty it too.
And all that usual interview prep, like writing down talking points and responses to expected questions? You shouldn’t do that. However, if you want to stress yourself out over the interview, be my guest. Both ways are counterproductive towards your first impressions on the interviewers.
Be Incoherent
While being a disorganised, unenthusiastic, ignorant idiot can ruin your interview on its own, there is one last major technique you can use to reduce your chances to zero: making no sense.
Stuttering, screaming, refusing to speak, or speaking in an alien language–pick your poison. As long as you don’t make any sense, you’ll achieve a guaranteed “F” for failure. The best quality in a candidate is their communication ability; all jobs, especially customer service and leadership positions, need it. Employers and interviewers need to know that you can talk, joke, debate, and have constructive discussions with strangers and colleagues, so if you cannot even be coherent for ten seconds, you won’t pass the interview. Which is what you want, right?
In all seriousness, if you fail an interview, congratulations! If you somehow fail at failing an interview, kudos to you too. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to seize every opportunity, try every door, and make sure you have an impact on every person you meet. Whether that impact is positive or not is your choice.


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Humans of WLMAC

Bernie Chen
posted Sep. 19, 2022, 12:16 am

"I'm choking in this dress shirt already, what more do you want?"


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in a day in the life of

A Day in the Life of Ms. Chevannes

Misheel Batkhuu
posted Aug. 29, 2022, 11:08 pm

With September right around the corner and our return to school approaches, summer and everything it stands for - freedom, creativity, happiness - seems on the verge of fading away for another dull 10 months. Alas, there lies hope and sunshine yet! Today, we offer you the words and insights of one of Mackenzie's most beloved staff, co-ACL of Math, fashion icon and trig enthusiast, Ms. Chevannes!
Known across the halls of WLMAC for her bright voice and spontaneous jokes, Ms. Chevannes is very much wanted, if not as a math teacher, as a friend. One knows they can count on her to make learning easy and tests perfectly challenging. When it comes to youth life and voice, there's no better advocate than Ms. Chevannes, who herself may be wise but fundamentally is young at heart. But behind the scenes, do math teachers really derive pleasure from marking tests? How do we get on their good side? Do they actually like math, and if so, what is it like striving (and struggling) to teach their passion to others five days a week (minimum!), ten months a year? Ms. Chevannes will tell you if you'll listen.



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make or break

Sacred Silence - 6 weeks at a glance

Julianne Ho
posted Jun. 28, 2022, 8:31 am

Hey Mac! Now that we're at the end of the school year, have you taken the time to finally catch your breath and meditate? Some of us had started this challenge in the middle of culminatings and completed it, hopefully now you can too :)


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year by year

Year by Year - Happy Culminating

Misheel Batkhuu
posted Jun. 22, 2022, 9:27 pm

As the last of the culminatings are completed and we, relieved of the burden learning and school can sometimes become, especially as the heat settles in, summer is finally within grasp. While all students at WLMAC this past year, what we’ve gone through and what we will go through are notably different across grades. Here are the end-of-2021/2022 thoughts of still-fresh Grade 9 Patrick Bian, go-getter Grade 10s Kailey Cheng and Troy Saldanha-Martins, soon-to-not-be-juniors Grade 11s Suraiya Jiwani and Jeffery Hu, and heading-into-uni Grade 12s Swetlana Kumar and Matthew Schultz.
1. What word describes how you feel right now (interview aside)?
Patrick (9): Sad (that school is over)
Kailey (10): Tired
Troy (10): Stressed, [yet], relieved
Suraiya (11): Burnt-out
Jeffery (11): Relaxed.
Swetlana (12): Grateful
Matthew (12): Wistful
2. What tasks and responsibilities did you have last week and remaining this week?
Patrick: I had culminatings due last week (science, math) and have a culminating due this week (English). I also have a geography presentation this week.
Kailey: All my culminatings (Art: Self-Portrait + Zentagle; ICS: ISP Game; Math: Website Review Sheet).
Troy: A French Oral Culminating Presentation, math summative and in-class biology summative.
Suraiya: I had to finish my culminatings for classes (French, math, Spanish, biology), and I have some in-class culminatings to work on this week.
Jeffery: With the school year winding down, I just had to finish the culminating projects for each of my classes. In terms of clubs, there are some year-end events that I had to attend and organize but those are pretty fun since it’s just celebrating the end of the year.
Swetlana: I had to finish my last high school assignment (English verbal visual essay) which I did 5 days late. I had to prep for my summer job by going to the doctor 3 times over the past week to get a 2 step TB test and some shots. I had to paint my porch railing because I had been putting it off till my assignments were over. I felt like I should feel different after completing the last high school assignment but I really didn't lol. It was anticlimactic.
Matthew: Summer camp counsellor training, economics culminating, grad breakfast, MaCS graduation, general graduation, sister’s graduation, sister’s dance recital, review 2023 editor-in-chief applications for The Lyon, final Lyon issue, this interview, and probably a bunch more I have forgotten.
3. How much sleep did you get last night?
Patrick: 8.5 hours
Kailey: Probably around 7 hours (I think it's not a lot but compared to others, it's definitely enough)
Troy: About 6 hours
Suraiya: 7 hours
Jeffery: 8 hours, the most I’ve had in a while :D
Swetlana: 7 hours and 31 minutes!
Matthew: 8.5 hours (sounds like a lot but I need 10 to function optimally)
4. Are you looking forward to the end of school/start of summer?
Patrick: Of course! Mostly due to the fact that there will be no more schoolwork, which means less stress and more time to enjoy life.
Kailey: Yep definitely looking forward to the end of school. No more last-minute grinding T-T
Suraiya: Yes! I’ll have more time to spend with friends rather than being stressed about schoolwork.
Jeffery: Yes! Definitely looking forward to relaxing over the summer and not worrying about tests or projects.
Swetlana: I am looking forward to [being] unattached from any educational institution. It will be like my little gap year : ) I could prepare for uni, but I won’t.
Matthew: In some ways yes, school feels like it has been dragging on basically since midterms, and I think being outdoors working with kids will inject some energy back into my life. However, I try not to wish away my remaining time in high school because I know it is precious, so while I’m looking forward to summer, I’m not necessarily looking forward to the end of school.
5. Name three highlights of your summer that you plan OR wish for?
Patrick: Going to the cottage, going camping, and playing basketball with friends.
Kailey: Getting fit, (trying to) get good at marketing, and eating good food.
Troy: Going to Dubai/Greece/London with my family in August, having pool parties with friends and family, and sleeping in… I love to sleep.
Suraiya: Going to Italy, going to my friend’s cottage, and seeing my girlfriend :)
Jeffery: Going on vacation (out of the country) and exploring a new city while reuniting with family, hanging out with friends and trying new things, and catching up on all the movies I missed over the school year.
Swetlana: Going on picnics in random Ontario cities with my family : D, excited to make the most of one last summer with my friends (lots planned, gonna play pathfinders!!!), and looking forward to lots of good food now that I no longer have stress making me forget to eat and not giving me time to cook.
Matthew: Camp spirit, travelling, paycheck.
6. Do you fear September or look forward to it?
Patrick: I look forward to it because I will then be able to see my friends again.
Kailey: I look forward to September. I think I will be prepared for all my classes... Hopefully...
Troy: I actually have mixed feelings about September. On one hand, I will love to go back to school to see my friends after two months of little to no interaction. However, I am scared of the workload or what courses I may get. The stress of waiting is the main source of fear leading up to September. [It’s also] the start of 11th grade, one of the most important years of my high school career because of early applications for universities.
Suraiya: A bit of both - I don’t know if I’m ready to accept that I’ll be starting my last year of high school, but I’m also looking forward to new experiences.
Jeffery: Right now, I fear September because that means I have to do more school work haha. After summer though, I’m sure I’ll be looking forward to September since it’ll be my last year and clubs and sports will be running again (join MSC!).
Swetlana: I look forward to September because I get to be in a new country (UK woohoo) and also, September is the easy part. It’s October and November that you have to worry about. I am excited to go to uni because I’ll only be taking classes in things that interest me (no more Econ, sorry Mr. Rupke).
Matthew: Looking forward to it every second of my life, in every fibre of my being.
7. What is your biggest regret/achievement from this year?
Patrick: My biggest achievement from this year is placing in national competitions.
Kailey: Achievement? Honestly finishing all my culminatings on time and (hopefully?) getting a good mark in the end. (I pray that my teachers will mark easy on me; if you see this, please pray for me)
Troy: My biggest regret from this year is not establishing a good work ethic because procrastination usually interfered with my school work and the organization of my time. My biggest achievement is the fact that I built and maintained strong friendships with many people. During COVID-19 and the lockdown, it was very hard to make friends and I grew more and more anti-social. Nonetheless, I got out there, tried to make connections and eventually made friends that I feel will last a long time.
Suraiya: My biggest achievement is writing a short story that is currently published online.
Jeffery: I would say my biggest achievement is making it through the school year :)
Swetlana: My biggest achievement from this year was beating Alan in MSC points.
Matthew: A regret is not getting a job and not applying abroad for university. An achievement is getting a good scholarship for uni.
8. What is your favourite memory of high school so far?
Patrick: Probably hanging out with friends at lunchtime.
Kailey: My fav memory/regret is probably playing games in ICS and math class. I am literally OP at Fireboy and Watergirl now with all the practice I had this semester with my friends. (Please don't be like me, please focus in class and don't play games)
Troy: Going out with friends and just spending time with each other. In semester 1, grade 10 MaCS science, my class got to dissect frogs which were pretty cool and then in semester 2, grade 11 MaCS biology my class got to dissect fetal pigs!
Suraiya: On the first day of Grade 9, I got lost in the school and became friends with someone else who was also getting lost looking for her class. We’re still close friends to this day!
Jeffery: Probably going to Muskoka in grade 9. It was really fun to meet new people and try all the camp activities!
Swetlana: Staying up doing calculus moodles with my friends and then stopping and sharing music instead.
Matthew: Going downtown on spares
9. Which grade do you think had it best?
Patrick: Grade 10s.
Kailey: Grade 9 because everything is starting to open up and everything is (close to) back to normal.
Troy: I actually have no idea because the pandemic affected every single grade in some way. However, if I had to choose, maybe Grade 12 as they have already established connections and made friends and have a good work ethic tailored to the high school environment.
Suraiya: This year, the Grade 9s. My favourite year was this year.
Jeffery: The Grade 12s because they managed to dodge exams for the past 2 years. They also have in-person graduation and prom this year.
Swetlana: Definitely our grade.
Matthew: Of the current grades at Mac? Grade 9 for sure.
10. Which grade do you think had it worst?
Patrick: The Grade 12s.
Kailey: I think my grade: 10. WE STILL DIDN'T GO TO MUSKOKA YET! PLZ GRANT OUR TRIP PLZ!!! (also, totally not biased haha)
Troy: Grade 9 because they had to start high school in a modified semester due to the pandemic.
Suraiya: The Grade 12s. My Grade 9 year was my least favourite.
Jeffery: Probably the Grade 10s because most of their high school experience was virtual so they haven’t really been able to experience anything in-person and meet new people.
Swetlana: Probably Grade 12 the year of Covid.
Matthew: Probably the Grade 11s; their first year of high school got ruined, plus they’re gonna have senior-level exams next year after basically no exam practice throughout high school and they still have the literacy test.
11. What class/period was your most/least favourite?
Patrick: My favourite class was English.
Kailey: My favourite was probably art. The projects are great and the deadlines are lovely as well... If you're in my class you've probably heard me talk about how much I love art :)
Troy: In semester 1, my least favourite class was English and my favourite was Science. In semester 2, my least favourite class was Math and my favourite was French or Biology.
Suraiya: Favourite - English, Least Favourite - Math
Jeffery: Honestly, all of my teachers this year were really passionate and knowledgeable in their respective subjects so I would say that they were all great.
Swetlana: French 12 was my favourite and First Period was my least.
Matthew: My favourite class was Grade 11 ICS (in my grade 10 year). We had a really chill class of around 12 people and it was the legendary semester when COVID hit, so work was optional. I had nothing else to do so I just took my time and had fun with the projects. Plus getting on Discord every Friday to solve contests with the boys brings back good memories.
My least favourite class was ironically Grade 10 ICS (in my grade 9 year), I had never touched programming before so every day for me was hell. One of the only classes I ever consistently missed sleep over during high school.
12. What words would you leave behind for those coming into your year next year?
Patrick: Make sure to start your assignments early. You don’t want to be leaving them to the last minute.
Kailey: Um... Don't procrastinate... Just don't... If you do, you will absolutely die during the culminating season. Now have fun thinking about that for the rest of the summer (I am half-joking and half being serious, please be mentally prepared).
Troy: Good luck, study hard and stay organized, and always stay on top of your work. Having a schedule or calendar with due dates and deadlines really helps!
Suraiya: Marks don’t matter as much as the friends you make. Focus on your schoolwork but make sure to take time for yourself - you’ll regret it if you go through high school without trying to make new friends.
Jeffery: Try new things and do things you are passionate about :D
Swetlana: Don’t take things too seriously. Yes, get your work done, but this is also your last year with your high school friends. Just skip class if it’s a work period. Make plans. Enjoy high school while you’re still there.
Matthew: Have fun whenever you get a chance, be social, and don’t stress over grades if you don’t need them. Don’t take on more responsibilities than you need, and do things you are passionate about rather than what you think would look good on a resume. Get your volunteer hours and work. Sleep enough, eat well, and exercise :)
Regardless of what grade you're leaving and where you're heading in September, enjoy a memorable, timeless summer, Mackenzie.


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in a day in the life of

A Day in the Life of Mr. Berenstein

Misheel Batkhuu
posted Jun. 19, 2022, 2:06 pm

As the countdown to the end of the 2021/2022 school year begins for real, we present to you a piece that is sure to remind you that for some people, the work (and the fun!) never stops. What's more, the two come hand in hand. Behold, WLMAC, Project Metropolis' podcast's newest episode: "A Day in the Life of Mr. Berenstein!"
To his eager students and elated Debate club followers, Mr. Berenstein is the life and soul of the party. With his dramatic storytelling, insightful questions, detailed commentary, and hilarious character, in and out of the English curriculum, Mr. B is like a 21st century Shakespeare: “playful, yet probing.” However, while Mr. B more than perfectly suits his job such that some may be convinced he could only exist in the English hallway, like every other person, the man has a life. A life made of routines and surprises, honesty and humour, productivity and fun. If you’re looking to discover what an English teacher does besides scrutinizing your work, this episode, dotted with laughter and truth, is for you.



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make or break

Sacred Silence - POST CHALLENGE!

Misheel Batkhuu
posted Jun. 10, 2022, 10:49 pm

And with that, six weeks of "Sacred Silence" have come to an official close! With a survival rate of two meditators, one might think the challenge isn't all too good for one's health. However, one would be jumping to conclusions if they did not consider compiling a success rate too. For that, we have reflections our challenge participants fill with their experience and takeaways, the sixth week's being the most comprehensive. Without further ado, here are the post-challenge thoughts of Troy and myself.
How has your meditation practice evolved?
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "When I started this challenge I had never practiced any form of meditation. However, over the past 6 six weeks I have learned and gained so much knowledge about meditation and the fact its not the only way to destress or ground oneself. I have attempted yoga (wasn't for me), breathing exercises (also did not really work for me) as well as listening to calming, 'quieter' music (best of the three listed). I found that learning about your mind, your body and yourself as a whole, meditation can be tailored to help you better. By week four, I had found a nice routine for my sessions (establish a quiet setting, put on calming music, meditate with proper breathing for x minutes and then a bit of breathing exercises). Overall, I feel like my mediation practice has evolved for the better and will greatly aid me in stressful situations in the future."
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "A lot less intense. It’s kind of funny, how I almost came at mindfulness and meditation too seriously. Yes, I felt happy after my practices, but it was like I only felt that way because I had meditated - something “good.” I was bent on sitting on the floor, and on no disruptions. When I was interrupted, I sometimes felt helpless frustration. Over time, I learned to embrace the bumps as part of the practice. Now meditation is much more casual and natural. People barging in is just a test to my preparation for life outside the meditation bubble. And my practice isn’t chained to the floor. I can now meditate on transit!"
How would you describe the last six weeks in a nutshell?
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "A learning process. I learned about myself and different destressing and meditative processes that exist. I felt like the first three weeks were slow as I was starting to get into a groove, however by week four I had the hang of things with an established routine that made time go a little faster."
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "Busy! The entire year I was nonchalantly encouraging younger grades, promising them Grade 11 is not at all busy unless you procrastinate. The last few weeks proved me blatantly wrong. Assignments, culminatings, tests jumping out of nowhere. Daily meditation was the one thing that didn’t show or go on me. The thrill of working and studying, and the peace Sacred Silence gifted me with, kept the last six weeks from being boring while keeping it breathable."
Do you think the last six weeks of your life might have been significantly different had you not partaken in this challenge?
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "Yes it would have been significantly different. The main reason being that I would not meditate or devote some time to exert stress. As well, on top of this, if I did not have a way to destress, I believe I would procrastinate even more than I do now which would not be good for my time management or work ethic (if I even have one :D)."
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "Not quite. I’m not saying it wasn’t worth it. I think the point of meditation is that it’s effects are more nuance than obvious. With or without “Sacred Silence,” the last six weeks would have been hectic. But the stress I experienced bore a little more awareness, and I am able to find gratitude and insight a little more easily looking back. It was not a significant difference, but the difference is significant in hindsight. If that makes any sense at all."
Will you continue meditating post-challenge? If so, what will you maintain and what modifications might you make?
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "I am planning on meditating post-challenge. However without having the challenge there as a drive to keep me going, it will most likely be less constant. I will try every day to mediate but will mostly meditate whenever my nightly schedule has a free space. This is because its culminating/summative season so I will be working to complete those on time. Something that I will do while meditating is keep it between 15-20 minutes as I felt those had left the best results for myself."
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "I definitely will try, especially because meditation itself has become something I know and love. I might not meditate for 20 minutes a day, more like ten, because I think that works best for me, scheduling wise, while still providing clear benefits. I want to spread my meditation throughout the day too. Maybe spend some of the fifteen minutes during lunch where I’m not eating or talking or cramming, meditating."
What is one thing you learned from this challenge?
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "Now this may sound a little sappy, but I learned the importance of self-love and knowing what good for yourself. These past six weeks have let me get to know myself as well as which destressing technique are best suited for myself."
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "Ten or twenty minutes wasted on procrastination, or even spent on genuine work or entertainment or enjoyment, is nothing in hindsight. On the other hand, silence, meditation, and mindfulness have effects that last."
Does the concept "sacred silence" mean anything to you?
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "At the beginning of this challenge I had no idea what it had in store or what "sacred silence" even meant. Nonetheless, I now know that this term can mean different things depending on who's defining it. For me, it means that you should never forget to take time for yourself, just to focus on yourself and slow life down. This mentality is something that helped me to continuously persevere through this challenge. Furthermore, silence doesn't mean complete silence to me but rather just quieter and calmer with no loud noises, no interruptions and no stressors."
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): When I was first designing this challenge, I was disappointed because “Sacred Silence,” which was as good as I could brainstorm, didn’t click as nicely as "Bed by 11.". After actually meditating, however, my practices led me to much peace and enlightenment, and I realize there could not be a more perfect challenge title.
If you close your eyes and breathe in silence, you understand something beautiful. Our world is so full of sound but we - our minds, bodies, souls - are blank slates. In their purest form, we find eternal emptiness. Sacred silence. Silent because no song has been set to play. Sacred because the song is ours yet to choose. Meditation reminds me every time, as I fade out of and back into our world, that we choose what to fill and what not to fill our world with. "
How did your expectations relate to your reality?
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "In week four I pointed out that I tended to be quite distracted mentally, though I feel like I have overcome this. One way I did this was listening to music. I am quite happy that I actually put in the commitment into fitting in time to meditate and wind down. I say this because for many other "Make or Break" habits I tend to give up or lose interest in developing the habit fully. My expectations in terms of finishing the challenge was greatly surpassed. My expectation for the outcome is that I would have less stress build up, more restful sleep and procrastinate less. I for sure noticed that the stress build up within has decreased on average compared to before the challenge. As for sleep, I do fall asleep quicker because my brain has less thoughts going around and 'shuts down' faster. However for procrastination, this has changed a little but not lots. This tells me that that are other underlying problems to this that I just have to overcome in other ways!"
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "I expected finding time and reason to meditate to be an issue. On the contrary, in face of the unexpected (but not unwanted, I am not complaining!) twists and turns the last weeks exposed me to, I turned to meditation, readily, openly, compassionately. I guess I realized it was the one good, safe place to transcend time and space."
Would you recommend daily meditation to others?
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "Not exactly. These days I realize that many people have jam-packed schedules and tons of work to do. Nevertheless, I would strongly suggest that adding at least 10 minutes of meditation to one's schedule can change one's mental little by little. Overall, its just a create grounder and destressing technique."
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "Only if they desperately need it or are asking for a recommendation/motivation. Otherwise, I’m open to having them discover it for themselves on their own time, and feel glad for and good about themselves that they did."
Will you meditate today?
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "Of course, after going through this challenge, not meditating just cause it ends seems quite pointless. I completed this challenge to learn about mediating and what works for me to destress, and I gained so much."
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "You bet:)"
What are you doing this weekend?
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "This weekend I may be volunteering for the Willowdale NDP, working on culminating(s)/ summative(s)."
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "Enjoying life:) it’ll be sunny and warm out, but if I’m not out, I’ll be enjoying finding my way with vectors, challenging my systems’ capacities with bio, connecting with yoga, and revitalizing with some sacred silence."
And there we have it! The choice is yours as to how to perceive our journey, just as it was our choice to fill our last six weeks with sacred silence. We hope we were able to inspire you, if not now, for sometime in the distant or not so distant future. À la prochaine!
If you would like to contribute future series ideas for Make or Break, please share: https://forms.gle/SWhQqkqBmgeiiP6d6


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make or break

Sacred Silence - Post Week 5

Misheel Batkhuu
posted May. 31, 2022, 11:54 pm

With May at its end, Sacred Silence reaches the victory lap. Five weeks down and one to go. 7 days of 20 minutes of daily meditation, and it's clear the finish line will be passed. However, while every athlete can argue that completing the run is what matters most, and while every high schooler might argue that getting that 99 or 100 is more important than how you got it, the same cannot be said for meditation. Or any Make or Break habit for that matter.
Picking up a habit is more than trying it out for 6 weeks, it's about approaching it with wisdom and integrity, sincerity and love, for that long. What our participants take away from meditating daily, and how they feel about it as a habit - a new part of their routines - is key, and perhaps their in-process thoughts, one week before the official finish line, can reveal just that.
What do you connect with the word "meditation" now? (i.e. thoughts, concepts, objects, feelings, images)
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "I connect the following with the word "meditation:" peaceful, quietness, grounding yourself, yoga, stretch, getting to know your mind and body."
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "Peace. Awareness. Silence. Balance. I don't necessarily feel warm on a day I'm feeling cold and craving some heat, or coolness on a day I'm burning, but meditation does make me feel safe and relaxed - at home. With my surroundings and with myself."
Describe the most prominent, and not so prominent stressors in your life currently
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "The most prominent stressors in my life currently are always wanting to do the best in school and trying to fit into society. I feel like many of the stressors are on the same level so there are not many no so prominent stressors, but things like lack of self-esteem and lack of self-love can create stress too."
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "Oh school! Assignments and projects popping up out of nowhere to be due next week, along with major tests I know I should start studying for now (and have, thank goodness). I'm also clearly not getting enough sleep. I've been falling asleep in my classes and it's terrible! I know I need to start sleeping more, but it's not helping that the work keeps piling up and I get trapped in this vicious cycle. I did take a nap today though (more like a crash, actually, since it was an hour long) and I think it helped because otherwise, I'm a walking zombie.
I guess there's also this underlying stress that I'm not the only one in need of help at the moment. Cooking dinner and helping my sister with her studies are just a few things I've neglected, and feel immense guilt toward.""
How do you cope with stress now that you have gotten the hang of meditating? Is it different from the approach you would have taken if you hadn't taken part in this challenge?
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "If I had not taken the challenge, the way I coped with stress was ignore and suppress. Now I know through different activities related to meditating, its good to take some time and identify stressors in the life. As well, doing things like deep breathing exercises to let out the stress and calm my mind."
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "I'd like to say I'm calmer and more clear-minded. Only, it might be that I'm so darn tired I don't have the energy to stress loudly (i.e. act snappish, cry). On the other hand, it might be meditation combined with my fatigue that enables me to see my problems with more empathy. I no longer procrastinate on assignments, projects, or test prep, so at least I'm back in my productivity cycle in some way. I'm also more flexible and receptive to criticism from others. I broke a dish accidentally this morning and while that's nothing to be proud of, I'm glad I didn't panic at all. I cleaned the mess and even filled a bucket and washed the floor for good measure."
What was it like meditating for 20 minutes in one sitting?
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "Once I started I felt like it immediately ended. Going through this challenge, I have started to get used to meditating and understanding what to do during the time to get the best results. Meditating for 20 minutes in one sitting resulted in me being very calm and less stressed then before I started the session."
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "Nice. It was nice to just know that I was spending 20 minutes not doing work, and that I was actively enjoying those 20 minutes, and that I could look back and not regret enjoying those 20 minutes the way I did."
Do you think there's a valuable or significant difference in between meditating for 1, 5, 10, 15, and 20 minutes?
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "Between 1-5 minutes, there was no major differences. However, the longer I started to meditate the easier it got and the less antsy I got during the session. Though, I noticed a significant difference between 10 and 20 minutes but I felt like every period of time provided valuable results."
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "I think between 1 and 20 minutes, honestly, more is more. There's just so much that can happen between each passing minute - revelations, feelings, sounds - and each minute you spend meditating through it all is a minute spent in complete awareness of it. However, I would stand to argue that meditation, whether it's 1 minute or 20, is better than no meditation, because following that same logic, one minute is an entire minute step up from zero."
How would you define an optimal meditation practice?
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "Ensure you are in a quiet(er) place, watch some videos to identify what practices work for you, then try them. After, do it for a little bit and after every few days increase the amount of time. Also, it's great to always end a meditation session with a few deep breathing exercises."
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "I think the beauty of meditation is that as long as it's sincere, it's perfect every time, with all the variations you might bring to your practice depending on the day."
Between sleeping earlier/in or taking a nap, and meditating for 20 minutes, which would you choose?
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "Before the challenge, and even know, I would choose sleeping in over anything because its just so... I don't know how to describe I just love the act of waking up late in the day and seeing the sun shine so bright."
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "Oh sleep. I know I should say meditation but I'll be honest, right now, I'm so tired, I just want sleep."
Make a wish. (can be related or totally random!)
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "I wish to have a significant other by the end of high school."
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "Please let the weather not go over 35 degrees again for the next two weeks."
Use one word to express how you feel right now. (doesn't have to be in English)
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "Tired."
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "Hot."
Well, does it look to you like a habit's being made? Do you feel disgusted or inspired by the idea of meditation as of now? Stay tuned to see what changes in our participants' meditation, and what does not, in a sixth and final week of meditation, 20 minutes daily!
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music

May Musical

Celine Hwang
posted May. 31, 2022, 8:10 am

Happy May! I‘m sure that you’re feeling the excitement in the air with the sunny weather and the end of the school year being near, so these playlists have been created for you to (hopefully) take the pain of culminatings away and keep you motivated! :)
Here are the selections for May:

Sunkissed



The feeling when you sleep in on the weekend then wake up to do some work with an iced coffee by your side (or cram your homework because it’s already sunday evening) wrapped up into eighteen songs to help bring some calm.

k, brb



In case you wanted something more than the plethora of K-pop playlists, I’ve decided to introduce a new genre: K R&B! This hybrid of hip hop, rap, soul, and funk is sure to make you feel like you’re in a coffee shop in Seoul. You may even spot some familiar artists!

Versailles



I’m excited to introduce our first all-classical music arrangement! Inspired by a certain period drama on Netflix, this blend of soundtracks, classics, and some of my favourite pieces from ballets will make you feel like you’re flitting through the grounds of Versailles.

Neverland



A thoughtful idea given to me by Misheel, this playlist features music created by young artists ranging from 17-21 years old. I hope you find some new favourites among these potential future voices of our generation!

If you have any recommendations or requests for next month's playlists, please DM Celine on Discord (celine_celestium#4003) or Instagram (@celine_celestium).


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Sacred Silence - Post Week 4

Misheel Batkhuu
posted May. 24, 2022, 10:39 pm

Four weeks gone and two to go, as we approach both the end of the school year and, more excitingly, the finish line of "Sacred Silence." With an additional twenty minutes added to the routine, how are our participants doing, if you care to wonder? And what do they wish or warn you of, if they care to share?
How has your meditation evolved since the beginning of this challenge?
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "At the beginning of this challenge, I did little to no mediation or stress-relieving activities in my day-to-day life. Being far into this challenge, I have invested myself and focused on making sure that I fit in time to meditate so that I can control stress levels and do not overheat. Over the course of the challenge I have identified certain activities and tactics to receive the full benefits of meditating (e.g. listening to calming music, being in a calm and quieter space)."
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "It's definitely feeling more like a habit my body has adapted to. The word "meditation" strikes a chord that immediately dims the lights in my mind's eye, and I begin feeling cooler and warmer at once, in the right places. I've certainly become less and less reliant, and wanting, of some kind of assistance or support, like a guide or music. I'm also seeing meditation less as a formal thing where I have to be sitting cross-legged on the floor, back straight, shoulders down, and so on to make it feel like it counts - meditation at its core is just focusing on your breath. Whether it be for ten meaningful breaths, five minutes, twenty minutes, lying down in bed, walking outside, or sitting on a yoga mat, if your breath is what you've committed yourself to mastering and appreciating, you're meditating!"
Do you foresee adjusting your practice in any way (i.e. timing, arrangement)?
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "Meditating before bed is working for me and my schedule so no adjustment needed there. The music I listen to, the place I meditate are all providing promising results. Since the aspects of my meditating are helping I feel like making an adjustments could throw off my routine and what I gain from the experience."
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "I think I said last week that I wanted to move my practices more into the morning. I think now it's fine if I can just learn to make meditating not just a daily habit, but rather, make it a habit of turning to meditation (daily) whenever I need it. Morning meditation can be a mandatory bonus."
So far, how has the reality of your meditation experience compared to your expectations? (are you disappointed, surprised, happy?)
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "In terms of reality compared to my expectations, I am quite happy that I actually put in the commitment into fitting in time to meditate and wind down (for other things I usually lose motivation quickly). For what's happening during the period I meditate, I am a little disappointed because I tend to be quite distracted mentally, I have tried to pin point what it is but to no avail. Not going to lie, I am a little surprised that I have made it this far and I going to push till the end!"
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "I mean, I'm seventeen, I'm not exactly super young and in this day and age (and especially with recent events), I've been disappointed and surprised plenty by other people and promises. That's why I didn't really enter this challenge fully believing meditation would be as magical as online sources claim. I'm not let down that it really isn't all that magical. However, I am enjoying meditation in a way I wasn't expecting. I didn't expect it to feel so natural and inherent, and I like the me I become through meditation. I think it's really helping me be a kinder, more pacific person."
What expectations or hopes might you have for the remaining two weeks of meditation?
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "My expectations and hopes are basically the same as for the past weeks. However, I will be focusing on clearing my mind of negative thoughts and thoughts that bring down my self-esteem. I hope that my mind keeps its focus on the goal, the end of the challenge but mainly a strengthen and healthy mental health."
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "Honestly, nothing. Except for maybe that something spontaneous and terribly unfortunate happens so that I somehow can't meditate... Otherwise, I'm planning to embrace the next two weeks as they are."
Do your friends know you're meditating? If yes, how did they come to know? If no, would you wish for them to know?
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "I have told a few friends randomly because why not. I do not really care if they know or not as its not a bad thing or something to be ashamed of."
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "My friends in Project Metropolis definitely know, obviously. As for the others who might mutually agree we could be friends, some might be like, "Oh yeah!" if I remind them, but wouldn't be aware otherwise, and if that's the case, I don't mind. This is a personal journey and I know while I can try pushing people to do some things, meditation is not one I should."
How do you feel about entering the guru-20-minute meditation daily for the next two weeks?
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "20 minutes for seems like a dauting amount of time as it is a chunk of time out of my night that I could be doing homework and stuff. However, now that I know what meditating for like 10 minutes, 20 minutes is just doing the same thing for double the amount of time. Due to that, I feel like the doubled time will also increase my chances of noticing good results. So, overall, I have mixed emotions for the next two weeks however the main is seeing if I can last!"
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "Super cool B)"
With two weeks left to go, there remains plenty of room for evolution, and quitting, in our meditators' practices. The habit's close to being made - keep a weather eye on the horizon Mac!
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Sacred Silence - Post Week 3

Misheel Batkhuu
posted May. 17, 2022, 9:23 pm

Halfway through "Sacred Silence," three weeks are down and so are two of our four participants. Will the last three weeks, especially those including 20 long (or short!) minutes of meditation, do them in? Will we officially declare this challenge a killer of motivation and an impossible habit to instill for high school students? Or can we place our faith in Troy (and myself) to "remain calm," quite literally? Read their post-Week-3 thoughts below and place your bets*.
Describe how you meditate (time, place, chosen music, guide, or none, chosen position such as standing, sitting, lying down)
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "I tend to meditate and do some down time prior to sleeping, and so I usually am sitting or lying down. During this time I tend to listen to calming music.
Example playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/37i9dQZF1DWYcDQ1hSjOpY?si=e313b2599c004719"
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "I meditate right before bed, sitting cross-legged on the carpet next to my bed, and along to silence (my sister's voice is my bell when my time is done)."
So far, do you think the time you spend in meditation is well-spent?
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "To be honest, I feel like I could be doing more during meditation (e.g. yoga). Nonetheless, overall, I believe that taking a certain amount a time just to meditate, calm down and focus on yourself, it can go a long way. For example, it improved my mental and is starting to make my perception of my life generally more positive."
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "Definitely. I can easily imagine 15 minutes seeping away into un or not-so-fruitful places - scrolling through Quora, shifting awake in bed, wandering around the house gobbling on nuts (yes, my stress food addiction), or even staring blankly at 2-3 math problems unable to comprehend because I can't think (clearly). Meditation, on the other hand, either helps me better approach day to day issues, from homework to stress eating, or it at least gives me peace I (and we all, frankly) need."
What changes, if any, in perception or your life have you observed?
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "As explained a little before, my perception of life has become more positive. This is a change from my former more pessimistic and negative perception and person."
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "Life gets crazy. But if you can stay committed to meditation every single day, that's dedication, mindfulness, and wisdom; at least you're not going crazy too:)"
Do you foresee any changes in your perception of/or your life occurring that you would hope to occur?
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "At the moment, there are no changes in my perception of my life. However I do hope, at the end of this, that I start looking at life with a more positive perspective. Furthermore, I hope I can start noticing happy and more uplifting elements of my life rather than the negative ones."
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "I would like my perception to be more intrinsically open. Wouldn't it be great to not judge so quickly, feel sensitive so often, get flustered so easily? I wish to eventually be able to maintain zen and exhibit compassion in balance."
Was adding five minutes to your routine a big difference?
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "Honestly, I have not noticed any big differences after adding five minutes to my routine. However, I did notice that it was a little more difficult to fit in the time though I figured something out to manage this."
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "Not really. I would say the jump from 0 to 10 was much bigger."
When you realize we're halfway through, do you think, "only" or "already?
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "When I realize that we're halfway through, I think both "only" and "already." This is because, I have noticed that individual weeks have been going slowly for myself however, I also think "already" because I did not realize that its been so long since this challenge started."
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "Already! Woah time really does fly when you're having fun (with APs, and of course, meditation)!"
As the second half of "Sacred Silence" begins, let us hope it offers a forecast as sunny as the next half of the month. Until next Tuesday, Mackenzie!
*Project Metropolis does not endorse gambling of any sort.
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Sacred Silence - Post Week 2

Misheel Batkhuu
posted May. 10, 2022, 5:01 pm

Ding ding! And there's another seven days of "Sacred Silence" until the ten-minute bell! Hopefully a third of the way through our challenge, our volunteers are getting well versed in their meditation rituals. Shall we see?
How would you describe the meditation portion of your day/routine?
Samuel Gwosdy (Grade 9): "It will consist of either a guided meditation routine or listening to meditation music"
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "As of now, the meditation portion of my daily routine happens whenever I find the chance to fit it in. During this time I try to destress and calm myself."
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "Totally worth it. It really helps me debunk all my stress and worries by concentrating only on my breath. As cheesy as it is, getting in tune with my body, embracing my thoughts, and calming my mind, are all so soothing and I don't think there are another 10 minutes in my day I enjoy this deeply and sincerely."
Do you find that it's getting easier, harder, or neither when it comes to setting yourself up to meditate?
Samuel Gwosdy (Grade 9): "I find that it is getting easier when it comes to meeting myself up to mediate."
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "When it comes to setting myself up to meditate, it has not been easier nor harder."
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "I don't know if "easier" is the right word because it was never "hard." Maybe "more natural" fits better. I definitely feel that sitting myself down and beginning meditation (which I can now do comfortably in silence without a guide, which I once felt was so necessary and helpful) feels much more natural. Not just to my mentality, but also to my body as it prepares itself for the practice."
What effects does meditation have on you? (Could be anything from the typical "calms me down" or "reduces stress" to a blunt "stresses me out because it's so hard to coordinate the rest of my schedule around")
Samuel Gwosdy (Grade 9): "It calms me down and reduces stress."
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "Currently meditation calms me done when it is a low-stress day though I have not noticed that it reduces stress as of yet."
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "Let's go for the typical "calms me down" XD. I feel much less stressed and anxious. When I meditate midday or in the morning, I also benefit from disintegrating other symptoms of stress I might normally suffer from, like binge-eating or procrastinating. In addition, I've had excellent sleep (even if short hours) right after I meditate, so I can comfortably get out of bed at 5/6 am and start being genuinely productive day after day almost effortlessly."
What changes, if any, in perception or your life have you observed?
Samuel Gwosdy (Grade 9): "I have not noticed any changes in my life."
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "I have observed that since I meditate before bed I get better sleep and feel more refreshed in the morning."
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): ""It will be okay." If I have the luxury of being able to stop and really breathe whenever I want to, if I could just remind myself that I can, then that's all I could ever need, isn't it? Everything is in my control, and time is not escaping me so long as I have my breath. Everything will pass. I don't have to stress about upcoming tests and exams because I will do everything I can to learn and study - a thought that then motivates me to indeed study hard. I only have to hold out a little longer. It will all pass - there's no reason to stress, only room to breathe:)"
Was ten minutes of meditation too little, too much, or just enough?
Samuel Gwosdy (Grade 9): "I found ten minutes of meditation to be a good amount of time to reflect on my day-to-day life."
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "I think that ten minutes is a sufficient time if done daily."
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "It felt like just enough, maybe even a bit too much, but I think I can go longer if I must. "
How do you feel about adding five more minutes of meditation?
Samuel Gwosdy (Grade 9): "I feel ok about the prospect of adding five more minutes of mediations and excited to see what that would add to my day to day life."
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "No real effect really however I feel once I add more time for the next week I may start to feel a difference."
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "Mmmmmm... you know what? I'm down! Let's do this."
Our challenge meditators now prepare to embrace a third week of meditation, with a daily time allotment of 15 minutes - stay tuned and keep roaring Mac! (while, of course, being mindful of some sacred silence:))
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Life

May Flowers

Misheel Batkhuu
posted May. 9, 2022, 6:12 pm

I saw love this morning
As I saw the May flowers
Peak from the earth the spring
Waters with its gentle rain showers
After the September you made March,
There were true days full of gold
But then gazes of cold
You and I came out of the winter
But lost is the “we”
Gone the talks
Forgotten the walks
It’s time, we both know,
Because like the leaves we all grow
No more love letters to send
But forever your friend,
I thank you for that
Which we had when we did.
You let me see
The world and me
Like I was alright.
It was sunlight.
I’m glad that it happened,
Just slightly saddened
With your final last words
That make me question my verse
Could it be the desperate protection
Of your pride that only affection,
You say, like that of siblings’ reflection
Was there, but not quite attraction?
For all that I know,
For all that I care,
I want you to grow
And I urge you to dare
As May flowers bloom,
I beg you, find room
To love someone “for real”
Because we live for the feel
Hold their hand like it’s new
And trust the bond like it’s old
As from this moment on you
Hath not warm up my cold
Still I request, just one final thing
Because with your brilliant mind
And sweet heart that’s loving,
You must at least try to find
It in you to trust
And believe
In the “us”
And the “me”
and the “you”
Wishing you joy and good times,
Because I’m unto mine’s.
With the math you taught me,
I just may perhaps see
One who’s end and beginning
I’d like to be


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Sacred Silence - Post Week 1

Misheel Batkhuu
posted May. 3, 2022, 6:05 pm

One week into "Sacred Silence" sure feels like an eternity if it means spending 10 minutes in meditation every single day. But is that necessarily a bad thing? It might be, seeing as one of the initial four volunteers has already opted out, but it might not depending on how you read the thoughts of those still in and going strong:
What time of day do you choose to meditate?
Samuel Gwosdy (Grade 9): "I choose to meditate before I go to sleep."
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): Before sleeping"
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "I initially hoped to do it in the morning, but have struggled to consistently wake up early enough. The few times I have done it, however, always yielded magnificent results; I felt refreshed and clear-minded to start the day with a calm, firm focus on mindfulness.
Most days, though, I end up only squeezing my meditation in at the end of the day right before bed. At least it makes for good sleep:)"
How would you describe the meditation portion of your day/routine?
Samuel Gwosdy (Grade 9): "I lie down, listen to the calming mediation, and it helps to relieve stress."
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "Peaceful, time to wind down"
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "To get there, when I’m throwing it in at 11 pm it’s usually rushed and awkward. But once I’m in meditation, it’s bliss. I feel warm, at peace, and fulfilled. It’s nice knowing this time for breathing is time for my health, my soul, my presence. I haven’t quite experienced boosts in energy as online sources promise, but I have undergone some enlightening realizations and generally feel my energy shifting in nuance. My perception definitely feels more clear and positive at that at the end of my meditation, and I do feel it blossoming gradually during the ten minutes."
How do you fill your ten minutes of meditation? (i.e. silence/music with a timer, meditation guide video)
Samuel Gwosdy (Grade 9): "Meditation guide video "
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "Listening to calming music with a timer"
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "For this first week, I listened to 10 minute meditation guide videos by Travis Eliot and Lauren Eckstrom, my two favourite yoga instructors. I intend to spend the next week meditating with soft music for ten minutes, and slowly work my way to meditating in silence by the end of the six weeks of this challenge."
What changes, if any, in perception or your life have you observed?
Samuel Gwosdy (Grade 9): "I am able to fall asleep faster and I am less tired during the day."
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "I have not yet noticed any changes yet to my life."
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "I tend to lean forward when I’m sitting in meditation, so every once in a while I have to readjust myself gently so my back is straight and tall, my neck leaning slightly back, chin tilted slightly forward. It’s a reminder that even in everyday life, I’m straining too often too hard. I need to work on relaxing, stepping back to feel and value the present moment.
In one of my guided practices, I repeated the phrase “May you be healthy, may you be happy, and may you be at peace” over and over in my mind to a person close to me. It was incredible. With the repetition and visualization, I truly realized how much I value them and how much I should never try or dare hope they were different or only one part of themselves. Since, I’ve judged this person less and cherished their complete, mischievous, adorable, annoying, lovable self."
How do you feel about five more weeks of daily meditation?
Samuel Gwosdy (Grade 9): "I am very excited about 5 more weeks of daily mediation and I feel that it will only relax me further. "
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "I feel so-so, on one hand I don't know if I will be able to do it but on the other I feel like it will help me in the long run."
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "Excited and at peace. I’m looking forward to continuing developing mindfulness and composure in my every action and thought, as well as finding a why to my currently busy-busy every day."
And that wraps up the thoughts of our cruisers after a week of daily meditation. After another 10-minute seven-day set of solitude, stay tuned to hear more next week!"
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Sacred Silence - Pre Challenge Thoughts

Misheel Batkhuu
posted Apr. 21, 2022, 9:22 pm

As the chirping of birds grows by the day, the rain and sun clash over the sky persists by the hour, and the heartbeats of students awaiting midterms hover by the minute, four dauntless volunteers begin our second Make or Break series: "Sacred Silence."
For six weeks, these students, ranging from grades 9 to 11, will meditate daily.
(Daily) meditation is known to gift its practitioners with a myriad of miraculous benefits, such as enhanced focus, boosted immunity, invigorated energy, and a more optimistic, gracious life. This six-week challenge is about trying to render daily meditation a healthy, steady habit.
For the first two weeks, participants will meditate 10 minutes a day, for the next two, 15, and for the final two, the ultimate 20.
Please note that if you did not sign up to officially partake in this challenge, you are welcome to join us from the comfort of your home! (Although you would, unfortunately, miss the final treat awaiting you after six successful successive weeks of meditation)
Now, without further ado, let's hear the pre-challenge thoughts of our "Sacred Silence" challenge meditators:
Have you ever tried committing to meditation (doesn't have to be daily) before?
Samuel Gwosdy (Grade 9): "No, I have never tried committing to meditation before."
Pradyumn Jha (Grade 10): "If I find myself unable to focus I usually run for a bit to clear my thoughts. I do find bird sounds to be calming so that's a plus when I'm able to jog outdoors lol. Deep breathing is also a good way to relax and regain focus."
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "I have not."
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "Sort of? I joined my mother and sister for a ten-minute series... until our free trial expired."
What do you think of when you hear the word "meditation?"
Samuel Gwosdy (Grade 9): "When I hear the word mediation, I think about personal relaxation and rejuvenation."
Pradyumn Jha (Grade 10): "Deep breathing is something I think of for sure as it's key to gaining focus."
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "Quiet, mindfulness, calming down, destressing"
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "Peace, calm, love, warmth - a state where one is fully aware of their internal and external environment and has embraced it so that they can truly appreciate themselves and their life."
What do you hope to gain from these six weeks? (goals, desires, dreams)
Samuel Gwosdy (Grade 9): "I hope to become more focused and to live more at the moment. Further, I want to become more relaxed and relieve some of the pressure from my school work and extracurriculars."
Pradyumn Jha (Grade 10): "Better focus, better ability to refocus, etc."
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "An improved mental health, a daily schedule of meditation to keep stress levels low."
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "Better focus. More awareness. Miracles would be a cool and magical bonus:)
I seek an enlightened form of myself where I can face and embrace whatever a day or person may bring with an open mind and heart. I wish to be more loving and considerate as a whole, and more kind while maintaining a healthy amount of discipline - I think enough will be characterized by my maintaining of this habit!"
What challenges can you see yourself facing?
Samuel Gwosdy (Grade 9): "I have in the past found meditation difficult as it makes me think of sad or unpleasant memories. Further, I think that it will be hard to force myself to do this every day and cut into my very busy schedule."
Pradyumn Jha (Grade 10): "Probably finding time to commit to the meditation."
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "No motivation, no time."
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "Boredom and failure to accept that sitting still and listening to breath are actually powerful and impactful."
Are you making plans to help you overcome challenges?
Samuel Gwosdy (Grade 9): "In order to overcome challenges, I plan to find a meditation exercise that looks at the future rather than the past and in order to have myself do it every day, I will remember that this is to improve my mental and physical health and that the few minutes of the day that it takes will be made up for my ability to better do my work and assignments."
Pradyumn Jha (Grade 10): "Allocating a period of the day."
Troy Saldanha-Martins (Grade 10): "Creating a schedule to fit in time to meditate."
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): "I'm putting meditation into my schedules so I can force myself to acknowledge it as a vital part of my routine. I'm also reading up on various meditation benefits so I'm aware of why and how what I'm doing is right and good, and that will motivate me to keep doing it."
And with that, we wrap up the pre-challenge reflections. Stay tuned to hear from our participants (or whoever's persisting) on their first week meditating for "Sacred Silence!"
If you would like to contribute future series ideas for Make or Break, please share: https://forms.gle/SWhQqkqBmgeiiP6d6


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music

March Melodies

Celine Hwang
posted Mar. 31, 2022, 11:12 pm

Happy March! I find that this month is always unpredictable at the cusp of spring, you never know to expect sunshine or freezing rain the next day. However, one prediction I'm sure of is that you’re going to have great music to accompany you!
Here are the selections for March:

Mainstream Nostalgia



Do you ever associate songs with certain times in your life? I tend to do that frequently, so I was inspired to create a throwback playlist for you! Here are some of the most famous songs from the 2010s that we grew up listening to. Let’s see if you can still remember all of the lyrics! :)

Wish upon a star



If you’re still looking for more nostalgia, here is a collection of songs from some of the most beloved films of all time: Disney animated movies! I’ve mixed my favorite classic Disney songs from movies like “The Lion King” with new hits from films like “Encanto”. Listening to these will definitely inspire the urge to have a Disney movie marathon.

Let's swing



It’s been a while since our last jazz playlist, so I’ve whipped out a new one, this time with more focus on vocal jazz. If you want to feel like you’re in a swanky café or at a high-end gathering in New York, give it a listen!

Sincerely



I’ve saved the best for last: here is a compilation of all original content created from your dedicated staff at Project Metropolis. This playlist will be updated regularly so make sure to keep an eye out for new content! A round of applause to the talented Sion, Bernie, and Misheel for creating these pieces!

If you have any recommendations or requests for next month's playlists, please DM Celine on Discord (celine_celestium#4003) or Instagram (@celine_celestium).


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in a day in the life of

A Day in the Life of Ms. Mancini

Celine Hwang
posted Mar. 29, 2022, 11:18 pm

A month and a half into Semester 2, assignment piles and rants about life's trials and injustices (or justices when teenage drama karma has its way) are cluttering our lives. But as warmer weather and birdsong speak of incoming Spring, perhaps it's time we collect ourselves and embrace the bright side. At least our teachers and staff don't have it any better than us, right? Only one way to find out...
Continuing our acclaimed "A Day in the Life of" podcast series, we proudly present the "Ms. Mancini" episode! Effervescent and industrious, Ms. Mancini is WLMAC spirit itself. Her support and love for the school, its students, its staff, whether through her leadership and sponsorship of SAC initiatives, or her engaged interactions in the library, is not only clear, but radiant. And yet, despite her bustling presence and booming voice, how well do we really know this powerful woman?
This exclusive interview explores Ms. Mancini's world and life, in the present (and maybe even past!). Enjoy.



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Week in Review: Back to Business

Derek Ma
posted Mar. 24, 2022, 11:32 pm

Coming back from the March break, there does seem to be a period of change in the air. From mask mandate policy changes, the ever-closer midterm, and the worries of every student’s daily life, MAC is still spinning with life.
In particular, you’ll notice a lot more sports starting to come up. Let’s cheer on our athletes, mac!
Here are some things that have happened this week:

Teacher Superlatives have been opened! Nominate your favourite teachers for whatever you think they’re best at. To nominate teachers, go to the nomination form.
The Gardening Club held a Spring Plant sale during lunches this week. Hopefully, you were able to get (and even purchase) some of their plants!
Varsity Girls Basketball held their playoffs this Monday. Congratulations to all who participated!
The Badminton team held tryouts on Tuesday and Wednesday. Congratulations to everyone who participated, and an even bigger applause for those who made the team!
On Thursday, the Varsity boys hockey team played against York Mills.
On Friday, The Varsity boys basketball team faced off against Westview Centennial Secondary School.

Here are some things to look forward to next week:

Grade 10s will be writing the OSSLT over the next week.
Wednesday is a late start day! Try and get some extra rest.
Parent-teacher conferences are being held on Thursday, March 31st.

There are plenty of sporting events to look forward to, so here’s a compiled list of schedules and matchups in the following weeks:
Boys Hockey
Girls Basketball
Boys Basketball


Watch out, mac! There’s something exciting to come on the Project Metropolis website.


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Week in Review: A Glorious Weekend

Derek Ma
posted Mar. 10, 2022, 6:59 pm

The long-awaited March Break is finally here!
Wishes go out to glorious afternoon naps, time to relax and unwind, and definitely not to stay up until 3am to play video games.
To start off our March Break, SAC hosted a spirit week which included exciting dress-up days, and a food day on Friday which included some of our favourite clubs.
Find pictures of spirit week at @wlmac.sac.
Some other things that happened this week:
- SAC has concluded merch sales.
- Wellness@MAC hosted a games night on Thursday, March 10th.
- Graduation Superlatives have come out! Now is your chance to vote.
- The Lyon published their latest issue. Hopefully, you had the chance to take a look, or give it a read here
- The Drama Council held a week of auditions for their theatre production, Bully.
Some things that are happening over the Break:
- picoCTF, the world’s largest Capture the Flag event, is happening starting on Tuesday, March 15th. Good luck, everyone!
- Business Council’s Financial Planners Conference signups are closing on Thursday, March 13th. Make sure to sign up!
- The Athletic Council is holding a Pick’em Challenge!
- This is a March Madness prediction event, and the person with the most accurate prediction wins a MAC Apparel shirt. Signups close on Saturday, March 12th.
- Drama Council audition deadlines will continue until Wednesday, March 16th. Follow @wlmac.dramacouncil and see their linktree to get your dramatic spirit up, MAC!
Without further ado, let March Break commence!


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Week in Review: Marchin'

Derek Ma
posted Mar. 3, 2022, 6:07 pm

And we’re off!
The race towards March break has begun. Don’t get too far ahead, though, since Mac is still bustling with life.
To start off, SAC is selling merch at the school store! Tote bags and toques are being sold for 10 and 15 dollars, respectively. Every purchase comes with a laptop sticker, so come get your merch quickly!
Designs can be seen on SAC’s instagram page here, or at the school store.
Some other things that happened this week:


Math Club has announced their grade 12 Euclid Contest signup forms.
Also, Fryer, Galois, and Hypatia contest sign-ups have also started. Find the link for the contests here.


Visual Arts Council announced their new monthly art submissions: March’s theme of fantasy!
Explore the depths of your imagination to create something amazing! To be featured, submit your art through wlmac Visual Arts Council’s Instagram link. If you haven’t yet, follow their instagram too
at @wlmac.visualartscouncil to see your fellow classmates’ incredible creations!


Grad Photo Retake Day has been set to March 22nd, 2022. Bookings must be made online, and click here.


Ready to Capture The Flag? On Wednesday, Cybersecurity club announced PicoCTF 2022, the largest Capture the Flag contest in the world!
It’s all about hacking a file, app, or website to find a line of text, which is the “flag”.
There are exciting prizes of $2000 to the winning teams and an additional $2000 to the winning all-girls team.
To find out more, see Wlmac Cybersecurity’s membership form and the PicoCTF registration form. Also, see the resource drive for CTF.


Wlmac Drama council announced their new play, “Bully”. To find out more, have a look at @wlmac.dramacouncil for more information, and go to the audition link!


Some things that are happening next week:


Get ready for another food day! On Friday March 11th(next week), your favourite clubs and councils are preparing to sell food in the large gym! Be sure to stop by and take a look at all the options.


SAC is announcing a pre-March Break Spirit Week! Look forward to dress-up days and other fun events happening throughout the week. To find out more, follow @wlmac.sac on instagram to find out more.


Note: March Break is soon LETS GOOOOOOOO


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year by year

Year by Year - December 2021 Flashback

Misheel Batkhuu
posted Feb. 18, 2022, 2:38 pm

As we approach the end of January, and the completion of Semester 1, we feel a sense of relief as the weight of culminatings begins to ease off our shoulders. However, sometimes we might want to reminisce on the days we were most alive... the days when the looming procrastination of projects was just beginning and the merry tunes of the holidays still ringing. Here are the thoughts of Brian S (Grade 9), Anonymous (Grade 10), Alex M (Grade 11), Kevin P (Grade 11), and Alissa N (Grade 12):
How do you anticipate your workload to appear entering the holidays?
Brian: “Honestly the teachers have been pretty nice and reasonable (at least the ones I have) in my opinion when it comes to workload. I think it's more of an issue with my work ethic and focus :( ”
Anonymous: “A lot of culminating activities to do but i don’t think i’m going to do any of them since i want/need a break.”
Alex: “My workload entering the holidays is going to be heavy. I have 3 culminating evaluations and multiple projects.”
Kevin: “I don't think the workload will be very heavy despite having multiple culminatings to work on. Without going to school, I won't have to take tests so I don't have to cram study for them. The workload should be pretty manageable if I don't procrastinate too much.”
Alissa: “Surprisingly, I am on top of all my school work but I have so many uni supplementary apps to work on and I am not. Emotionally ready.”
How do you anticipate balancing procrastination and productivity?
Brian: “This has been and as far as I can tell will continue to be my Achilles' heel in academics (or work in general). When I start working, I like to think that I'm really productive, but getting to doing that work in the first place can often be pretty (and by pretty I mean like really) hard. Maybe binging anime or netflix at midnight isn't the best idea?! Maybe downlading league of legends wasn't the best idea?! Who knows.”
Anonymous: “As i said i won’t be doing any work, so basically only procrastinating.”
Alex: “I need this winter break to relax my mind and body, especially since the weeks leading up to the break have been very stressful. When I’m not doing homework over the break, my goal is to try not to think of it like procrastinating and rather think of it as giving myself a well-deserved reward :) Hopefully my time spent not doing homework will be well spent (ex. playing sports, being outside, spending time with family etc).”
Kevin: “I'll procrastinate a lot, maybe too much but since most of my culminatings are group projects, I think I'll be trying not to disappoint my group members and so I'll be staying on track.”
Alissa: “Haha I do homework and play video games at the same time. You know, getting things done while I enjoy life a little (a lot).”
From your perspective, is "it's the most wonderful time of the year" relevant?
Brian: “Yeah, for sure! My birthday is also on New Years so it's the time of year I look forward to the most in the entire year even asides from school life. Also when I know most of the people in my grade, have made friends, so maybe we can also figure out meetups out of school sometime. Some of us are also doing secret santa!”
Anonymous: “Yes!!! i love this time of year because everything seems so much nicer. people seem kinder, there’s a lot of holiday cheer in the air and overall i just love winter.”
Alex: “Although my winter break will be packed with homework and other activities, I still think it’s the “most wonderful time of the year” since it gives me opportunities to do things that I can’t do during a regular school week.”
Kevin: “If I didn't mind the cold, not going to school to see my friends, and the constant barrage of Christmas music, it would still have a tough time being the most wonderful time of the year (it's autumn, sweater weather is the best).”
Alissa: “With school, every time of the year is the same to me but at least everything is pretty with Christmas decorations and events.”
(What) would you ask Santa (for) now?
Brian: “If I could ask for an intangible it would be better work ethic. If it had to be a physical item, probably a larger desk. My computer takes up way too much room.”
Anonymous: “Skincare lol”
Alex: “Dear Santa, I’d like a pair of sweatpants, some volleyball socks and a super light bridge made out of popsicle sticks that can hold over 40 lbs ”
Kevin: “I would ask him to give me motivation to finish my school work. Otherwise, chocolate is good.”
Alissa: “Santa!! I would so love to get into a university.”
What is a "tradition" of yours during the two weeks of winter break?
Brian: “I sit in my house and don't think about school which is a luxury I have as a niner. Also, I completely legitimately download movies and shows I missed because I was too busy on release and really wanted to check out. I play some indie multiplayer games with my friends to pass time. That's about it I guess!”
Anonymous: “Clean the house and then celebrate Christmas!”
Alex: “We always travel to the USA to visit my family over the winter break. Along with the holidays, many of my family members birthdays appear around the holidays making it even more festive.”
Kevin: “Watch a Star-Wars movie, usually the new one since they release mid December. I guess this year, that won't be possible."
Alissa: “Winter break is so freeing. I catch up on shows or finish video games that I never had the time to play during the school year but then the last day of break is like school work grind time. ̄”
What is your first thought when you hear "first snowfall?"
Brian: “t's changed a lot over the years. It's slowly progressed from wanting to build a snowman, to building a snow fort, to throwing snowballs, to putting ice behind a friend's back. Because of the fact that my birthday is in the season as well, it reminds me of how quickly time passes by, I honestly don't feel like I'm about to be 15 (and my friends often also remind me that I don't act like I'm 15 either, thanks guys).”
Anonymous: “Depends when it is. if it’s on october to early november i think, “it’s too early for this”, but anywhere after that it makes me happy because it reminds me that it’s almost Christmas.”
Alex: “I LOVE SNOW! I really would like to have hugeee snowfall. I don’t really enjoy the winter season when there isn’t snow (since everything looks grey and dead). In my opinion, the first snowfall can be good or bad depending on how much it snows. The more snow the better :D”
Kevin: “I think first snowfalls always disappoint. It would be prettier if the ground was already covered in snow first. Only then does it really feels like winter starts.”
Alissa: “Cold. shoveling snow. omg snow :D”
To offer yourself as tribute for the next issue: https://forms.gle/hJXoUpKoH46pekMd7


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music

February Folklore

Celine Hwang
posted Feb. 13, 2022, 3:31 pm

Congratulations on finishing another successful semester and good luck in the new one! Here are more of our signature playlists to support you along the way. Like always, these selections incorporate recommendations from various members of our staff to cater high-quality and diverse music every month. I hope you enjoy them and that you are encouraged to share the finds you like!
Without further ado, here are our selections for February:

J'adore



I’m pleased to announce the next installment in our language spotlight playlists: our first ever playlist in French! I’ve gathered my favourite vintage French ballads as well as some instrumentals to make you feel like you’re sitting in a trés chic Parisian café. Whether you want to take an auditory trip to the heart of Paris or get in the mood for French class, this playlist is perfect to expand your music taste!

Cloud 9



With all the love in the air this month, we shouldn't forget to give ourselves the self-love we deserve! Here’s a selection featuring motivational, serotonin-boosting bops that you can use to hype yourself up or have an impromptu dance break in your room. All the positive vibes you need are squeezed into this energizer of a playlist.

Cupid's Arrow



For all the lovers out there, here is a tenderly crafted selection to celebrate February. Incorporating timeless classics as well as recent pop staples, this is the perfect love song collection to get you in a romantic mood. As the playlist consists of sections that range from quiet confessions and deep thoughts to head in the clouds, butterflies-in-your-stomach exclamations, it is highly recommended that you listen in the order of arrangement. Don’t hesitate to share this musical celebration of love with a special someone! ;)

Finger Heart



Finally, here is a kpop edition of romantic selections that feature the catchy beats and contagious energy the genre is widely known for. Spanning through all four generations of kpop (wow!), you’re sure to find a new favourite to add to your own playlist. Celebrate February 14th with the most iconic love songs in kpop!

If you have any recommendations or requests for next month's playlists, please DM Celine on Discord (celine_celestium#4003) or Instagram (@celine_celestium).


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in a day in the life of

A Day in the Life of Ms. Law

Misheel Batkhuu
posted Feb. 9, 2022, 8:52 pm

Day by day, we go about our lives at WLMAC, straining to absorb course content, crying as we procrastinate and cram in cycles, laughing as we thrive in the presence of friends, and praying as we beg for mercy from our teachers. Even without the pandemic, we’ve always been busy on the productive and emotional roller coaster that student life is. However, our world is made up of more than Gen Z drama.
“In the Day in the Life of” is a podcast series dedicated to shedding light on the ongoings of WLMAC staff in an honest, authentic, never-before-seen way.
Our first episode spotlights Ms. Cindy Law from the Science Department. Ms. Law is known and loved for her fierce passion and blunt humour, as well as her spontaneous life messages. For an entire podcast, you may listen to her voice, recounts, and reflections, without strings attached. Not even a pop plant biology quiz. Enjoy:)



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Week in Review: Transitioning

Derek Ma
posted Jan. 20, 2022, 7:45 pm

School's back open for business!
Sure, we got off to a rocky start with the colossal amount of snow on Monday, but the first day of in-person learning since the winter break was on Wednesday.
This week, Monday was converted to online learning and Tuesday was a rare school snow day.
Wednesday, January 19th was a late start day in person. Be sure to check for future late start days as we progress into the second semester.
As of December 17th, 2021, semester 1 marks cannot drop anymore. Hopefully, that eases the stress that some people have about grades.
February 3rd marks the beginning of the second semester!
Some other things that happened this week:
- Clubs have resumed regular operation as of Saturday January 15th. However, all clubs should switch to a virtual format for now.
- the Mackenzie Zoom Study Session took place on Thursday January 20th. Be sure to follow Wellness At MAC for more events like these here.
Some things to look forward to next week:
- Credit Recovery days are on Thursday January 27th, Friday January 28th, and Tuesday Februrary 1st. Virtual attendance must be completed.
- Wednesday February 2nd is a PA day, so have a restful day in preparation for your second semester courses.
- Course selection presentations will take place on Monday January 31st. The following is the schedule for the course selection presentations:
Grade 9 Course Selection Virtual Assembly: January 31st from 9:15AM to 10:00AM
Grade 10 Course Selection Virtual Assembly: January 31st from 12:30PM to 1:30PM
Grade 11 Course Selection Virtual Assembly: January 31st from 1:45PM to 2:45PM


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business

visual art & photography

health

news

gaming

competition

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councils

Week in Review: Out of Hibernation

Derek Ma
posted Jan. 7, 2022, 7:43 pm

Mackenzie is officially in the new year and out of our winter break! Of course, the change from pyjamas and blankets hasn't taken its full effect yet.
As of now, virtual learning will continue until January 17th.
Of course, staring at a Zoom meeting is not the most exciting pass time.
Clubs have also come to a standstill, pending COVID protocols of the TDSB.
Regardless, the goings on of our school are still here to look forward to, so here's our list for this week:
Some things that happened this week:
- School started on Wednesday, January 5th (duh).
- Visual Arts Council is accepting monthly artwork this new year! The theme is "Renewal", referring to your new year's resolutions. Submit your artwork here.
- In these difficult times, the school continues to offer guidance meetings, which you can book here.
- TED Club hosted a University Student Panel today, on Friday, January 7th from 4:30-6:00 pm.
- Over the winter break, the Flounder, WLMAC's very own (questionable) news source. Find the issue here.
- Mackenzie ESports Club hosted a 4v4v4v4 Minecraft Bedwars tournament on December 27th and 28th.
- MCPT's Holiday Game Jam was held from December 27th to December 31st. Check out the games made by your fellow students here.
Some things to anticipate next week:
-The first credit rescue day is on January 12th, 2022.
- WLMAC Cybersecurity is hosting a beginner Capture-The-Flag competition from January 10 to February 4. Find out more here , and sign up to participate here.
- Business Council's Target Alpha Stock Trading Competition has begun! Good luck to all participants.


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schedule change

cultural & community

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school

President's Address

Aidan Ang
posted Jan. 7, 2022, 4:34 pm

2021 is finally over - welcome to the new year, and welcome back to school! We hope you all had a safe and enjoyable holiday, and are ready to get back to learning. 2022 represents a fresh start and brings new opportunities - let's make the most of them.
Some key dates coming up:

Late starts - January 19th & 26th;
End of Semester 1 - February 1st.

Please refer to the email from Mr. Johnson for School Closure/Remote Learning Updates; if you have any questions, feel free to contact the school or SAC.
Best wishes for the new year, Aidan and Daniel


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music

Dolce December

Celine Hwang
posted Dec. 22, 2021, 9:53 pm

Congratulations on getting to the end of another year, and I hope you've been enjoying the winter break! I am very proud to share one last batch of playlists for your enjoyment. It's my pleasure to work with the rest of our staff in bringing you a variety of themes and genres every month. As well, we'd love to receive any feedback addressed to the social media handles at the bottom of this post. If you're looking for a holiday playlist to enjoy for the remainder of your winter break, make sure to check out "Under the Mistletoe" from our last playlist post "Notes of November" or at the Project Metropolis Spotify profile. Happy listening!
Here are our selections for December:

'21 wrapped



Another year means new music to dive into and many, many viral hits. Here is a selection of the mega-hits from 2021 so that you can relive the most popular music moments of the year, along with fresh finds from popular artists. (Note: the person who made this playlist envies anyone who scored tickets to Sour Tour.)

Vitamin K2



To go with our theme of introducing music in different languages, here is the second edition of Vitamin K. I've tried my best to include lesser-known K-pop songs so that you can find new favourites to stream!

Lit



As part of our journey to introduce a variety of genres, here is an EDM-heavy playlist perfect for having an impromptu dance party in your room, or celebrate with during the break. (:waba: shoutout!)

Screenlight



Adding to another series, here is another OST playlist I've created by incorporating familiar sounds from my childhood. If you're a Marvel, Disney, or an old-timey movie fan, make sure to check this out! (You could also rely on this playlist to get you through hard work on culminatings!)

K-wrapped



As a bonus because your resident playlist maker was not satisfied with one K-pop playlist, here are some favourite title tracks and b-sides of the year. On a personal note, I heard many of these songs bouncing off streets when I visited South Korea, so this year in k-pop will definitely be a memorable one. I recommend this selection if you want to discover hits from a variety of artists and catch up on anything you might have missed!

If you have any recommendations or requests for next month's playlists, please DM Celine on Discord (celine_celestium#4003) or Instagram (@celine_celestium).


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math

music

spirit

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fundraiser

Week in Review: Breaking Winter

Derek Ma
posted Dec. 17, 2021, 8:11 pm

Winter break is officially here! Look forward to cozy days of sleeping in, relaxing time to enjoy time with family and friends, and most likely some assignments to put in the back of your mind.
Some things that happened this week:

We hope you enjoyed three food days, where our school's marvellous clubs sold food in the main gym. Another thank you to the clubs!
Maclyonsden is hosting a new winter-themed doodle game! try the game yourself here.
MSC t-shirts were distributed today.
MCPT's third tower defence workshop was held on Thursday, December 16th.
MCPT is opening up club hoodie orders! get a hoodie today here.
Math club's Pascal, Cayley, and Fermat contests have opened. Find the registration form here.
Sounds of the Season by Mackenzie's Music Council has been released on YouTube! find their wonderful performances here.
Wednesday was a late start.
As of Wednesday, there will be no more guaranteed schoolwide wellness breaks. Wellness breaks will be decided on a class-by-class basis, and wellness breaks will not be permitted on late start days.
Rapid antigen tests were sent out this week to all students. These tests should be used if you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, or suspect you were a close contact with someone with COVID-19.
Creator's Joy Holiday E-card drive ends today. Make sure to get those e-cards in!
Mackenzie E-Sports club is hosting a competitive Minecraft Bedwards tournament! Find the registration link here.

Extra note:
Stay safe, everyone. As daily COVID cases increase this season, it is more important than ever to make sure you take appropriate safety measures to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Have a good winter break!


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music

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Week in Review: Holiday Cheer

Derek Ma
posted Dec. 10, 2021, 10:15 pm

Lots of exciting things happened this week. You might notice a lovely theme of holiday spirit that is beginning in our school.

SACmas is back! For the entirety of next week, SAC is holding a multitude of festive holiday events.
Spirit dress-up days, a whopping 3 food days, candy grams, and a new maclyonsden game!
Find more information on our Instagram page here.
Look forward to the holiday spirit, mac!
Some other things that happened this week:

MCPT's December LCC happened this Thursday. Congratulation to all participants!
Wednesday was a late start. Watch for the next late start days, so you don't get stuck in cold weather around these times.
The Secret Snowflake holiday card event is here! Wellness @ Mac is hosting a schoolwide card exchange for students to spread the holiday cheer.
Signup for the Secret Snowflake holiday card event closes on December 10th. More info will be sent on December 13th. Find out more here.
Grad quote deadlines have been extended to today at midnight. Send in those grad quotes, grade 12s!
The ACED holiday competition was held on Tuesday. Congratulations to all participants, you did wonderfully.

Some things to look forward to next week:

CCC (Canadian Computing Competition) pre-registrations have been opened, and are due on January 5th. Find the registration page here.
Cyberpatriot round 3 happens this Saturday, December 10th.
Music Council "Sounds of the Season" will hold their live premiere of performances on Youtube! Come watch the premiere on Thursday, December 16th, at 7 pm.
This holiday season, the Creative Writing Club is hosting a holiday escape room! Find out more here.
Creator's Joy is opening another holiday e-card event in a partnership with SickKids Hospital. 1 volunteer hour is given for 2 cards, and students can make a maximum of 6 cards. The holiday e-card drive is happening between December 7th and December 17th. Find out more here.


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Life

Moving On

Misheel Batkhuu
posted Dec. 8, 2021, 5:04 pm

The mats were lined with blue tape. It used to be red, but as I hadn’t returned in person since we closed down, this was my first time taking in the renovations. The paper in my hands meant it to be my last. I stood in the doorway at the bottom of the stairs to the dojo I once described fervently to my mother as my second home. The present class was a clump of black belts. One girl, with whom I used to teach, waved to me giddily. I waved back. I could have been taking this class right now, circling my wrists while catching up with my friends, scraping my knuckles off on the pads, feeling the burn and being ablaze, exhilarated. Funny how you can remember a sensation so vividly even when you can’t quite experience it anymore.
“Misheel?” Shihan. Across the room, he peered at me curiously from over his mask. I waved, and he walked over, straight down to business. Reading my mind, he gestured towards the office. I removed my shoes and followed him in.
There was a familiar room, one that hadn’t changed. How fitting that the place where it all began would be the place where it ended. Only, for the longest time, I didn't anticipate that I would be the one to walk myself out. I had feared being jerked out just as I was jerked in. “My membership ended over a month ago,” I began, “and we’ve decided not to renew it." Shihan was taken aback. He knew as well as I did myself that there was never a time I didn’t give my all in class. People as passionate as me don’t just quit. “Oh... alright I guess we’ll check you out.” Awkward periods of small talk and silence followed. I didn’t try to explain myself, and he didn’t probe for details. I was never the talkative type with authority figures, but Shihan’s silence, or disinterest, unsettled me. So used was I to the intensity, the pressure, and ultimately the hurt; stripes I was neglected and staff training I was excluded from. Now, he was softer than the night he handed me my green belt out of nowhere nearly four years ago, beaming as he said, “You earned it.” Now when he asked, “What are you going to be doing now?” there was a hint of regret.
He didn’t wait for a reply, but just kept talking to himself as he casually signed my community involvement sheet for 90 hours of service. In the meantime, I tried to think of answers for myself. I was going to dedicate myself to yoga and spirituality. I was going to practice piano without rushing to leave for training. I was going to eat dinner and sleep freely without adjusting to class times. I would pursue leadership and responsibilities that now mattered to me more than learning or teaching kata. Silently I wondered if he had ever reckoned I had a life outside the dojo. I was only walking away from one of many things I loved.
Taking a final glance at the weapons on the walls, the coloured belts arranged in rank, I decided the replicas at home, my bo, sais, tonfas, belts striped with black and red, would serve as my souvenirs. Shihan laid his pen down. He reminded me I could restart my program whenever I was ready, tentatively suggested passing by to say bye to Renshi, and, after a pause, “At least you got to get your black belt.”
Less than two minutes later, I had put my shoes back on, walked up the stairs without savouring them for the last time, and returned to the car. Eejee waited for me to say something. My mind was blank at the moment, but for one thought. “It’s done.” “Checkmark,” she offered. The car started, and we exited the parking lot, turning our back to the oh-so-familiar plaza. We drove past the landmarks I used to observe through the corner of my eye, gushing to my dad about how great class had been, what compliments I had received from which Sensei, and a trickle of memories made their way into my spaced-out mind.
They say if you aren't earning or learning from something, it's time to move on, but being exhausted with karate, kata, and drama didn't change the fact that it had taught and shaped me enormously. I had loved it. I still do. It had been my childhood dream to train in martial arts, and even as I walked away from the dojo that had realized my dream, I carried with me all I had learned and earned. I had gained trust in my fists and confidence in my body. Conditioning had shown me how strong I could be. Partner work has taught me the fun in fitness, the compassion in fierceness, and the independence in cooperation. When I couldn't love myself, Renshi and the other Senseis' words had brought me joy and motivation. Shihan’s philosophies still ring in my ears: “perfect practice makes perfect.” And yes, the pressure and the exclusion hurt, but if anything, it raised me from vying for validation to self-discipline for the sake of self-love.
I swallowed, then blurted out the thoughts I had been suppressing. “Looking at the mats and mirrors," I turned to my mom, “I realized I could still do it... but time... and emotional reasons...”
Eejee nodded sympathetically, “When I have trouble letting go of something, I say to myself, maybe I’ll come back to it one day.”
Maybe I will. For now, I might not wear my belt three days a week but at heart, I remain a black belt. As goes our student creed, "I promise to be the best possible person I can be. With honesty in my heart, confidence in my mind, and strength in my body, I will achieve excellence and share it with others."


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visual art & photography

music

competition

post-secondary

councils

fundraiser

Week in Review: Descending into December

Derek Ma
posted Dec. 3, 2021, 8:43 pm

Today marks the end of Mackenzie's North York Harvest food drive! Congratulation to the winning class, and thank you to all who participated by donating non-perishable food.
Furthermore, grade 12 grad quote submissions are due on December 12th, 2021. All graduates, get your quotes into the yearbook committee form!
Some other things that happened this week:
- MCPT held their second Game Dev meeting, which taught how to create a tower defence game.
- The Arts Council is opening up their monthly art submissions again! This month, the theme is the winter/holidays. Find more through this link.
- SAC is beginning our winter candy gram sales! come to the front foyer at lunch to pick up a candy gram for a special someone, or just those who you want to send appreciation. Our raffle prize this season is an Apple Watch Series 3!
- Pascal, Cayley, and Fermat contest registration are now open. Sign up here before January 31st, 2022.
- The Music Council opened up the stage for performers who want to submit a performance to their Linktree (in their Instagram bio). The deadline for your submissions is December 8th, and you will be entered into SAC's holiday giveaway upon submission. Happy practicing!
- Mackenzie's Undergraduate Business Panel happened today at 4:00 pm.
Some things that are happening next week:
- MCPT's December LCC will be held on December 9th, 2021.
- The SAC holiday candy gram sale will continue to run until next Wednesday or December 8th.
- Arts Council submissions are open until the end of December.


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music

Notes of November

Celine Hwang
posted Nov. 27, 2021, 9:35 pm

Congratulations on getting through another month! I am very excited to share these new playlists for you to enjoy! I also recommend listening to the playlists by order of appearance because that has been taken into account. Our staff is continuing to explore a variety of themes and genres to bring you great music every month.
Here are our selections for November:

Under the Mistletoe



Get ready for December with this playlist to set the holiday mood! Christmas is definitely my favourite holiday so I wanted to share a mix of my favourite carols, old and new. This careful collection will definitely keep you company if you want to cozy up during winter break!

Culture Shock



This playlist was created at the suggestion of one of our amazing staff! All of the songs are a culmination of recommendations from many different staff members. It was monumental to see different tastes come together during the process!

Retro



Here's a collection of oldies profoundly inspired by a certain Marvel movie. See how many songs you can recognize while listening to this feel-good playlist!

Winter Heartbreak



The elevated, purifying quality of Nightcore in this playlist doesn't mean the traditional boosted partying energy. Instead, it highlights the sense of fragmenting innocence and ambivalent hope for love that accompanies a broken heart. For you who need a careful collection of songs to console you through your sorrows, this selection is for you.

If you have any recommendations or requests for next month's playlists, please DM Celine on Discord (celine_celestium#4003) or Instagram (@celine_celestium).


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athletics

competition

closed application

gardening

Week in Review: Nov-end-ber

Derek Ma
posted Nov. 26, 2021, 7:14 pm

First and foremost, a huge congratulations to Ms. Law for receiving the Prime Minister's Awards for Teaching Excellence and Teaching Excellence in STEM!
Find out more here.
Additionally, WLMAC's SAC presents this year's annual holiday food drive.
Our school is partnering with the North York Food Harvest to donate food to those in need this holiday season.
The non-perishable food items can be brought to boxes in your week 1 morning classrooms.
The class with the most food items donated will recieve a free pizza lunch and the teacher will receive a gift card, courtesy of Ms. Mancini.
The food drive will be happening from November 29th to December 3rd. Make sure to bring your non-perishable food items!
Some things that happened this week:
- Gardening Club ended their lunch sale, which sold a wonderful assortment of potted plants. Hopefully, you were able to stop by the school store.
- Wellness @ Mac began a Wellness Bingo from November 24th to December 1st. Find out more here.
- Mackenzie Esports team has announced the tournament bracket for their Valorant tournament. Find out more here.
- A late start happened on Wednesday. Hopefully, you got some well-deserved rest.
- Congratulations to WLMAC's Cybersecurity team for their scores in CyberPatriot 2021/2022, with all teams placing in the top division.
- Grad sweater and hoodie orders close today on Friday, November 26th.
- The Creative Arts Alliance held their first meeting today from 4:45 pm to 5:30 pm.
Things to look out for next week:
- Model UN will hold their first committee on Monday, November 29th at 4:00 pm. See more on Model UN's Instagram page here.
- The second part of MCPT's Game Dev workshop is happening on Thursday, December 2nd.
- Volleyball intramurals are held after school next Monday.
- Badminton intramurals are held after school next Thursday.


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awareness

spirit

8 P.A. Day Resolutions

Misheel Batkhuu
posted Nov. 18, 2021, 11:26 pm

As we come into our first Professional Activity (PA) Day of the year tomorrow morning on November 19, here are a few salutary, sentimental tips.


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Week In Review: School'n't part 2

Derek Ma
posted Nov. 17, 2021, 11:22 am

Schooln't part 2: Electric Boogaloo! This week hosted our first ever food day this year, so I hope you got some excellent goodies from our wonderful clubs. I'd also like to thank all clubs who participated, you all did wonderfully!
Reminder: there is no school on Friday, November 19th, because it is a P/A day enjoy an extra day off!
Also, CIMC and CSMC happened on Wednesday. Congratulations to all who participated.
Some other things that happened this week:
- Wednesday was a late start day. Hopefully, you got some well deserved rest.
- Midterm report cards were sent out to student emails.
- This week is Transgender Awareness week! Find more about it in front of the library, and feel free to pick up a pin!
Some things to look out for next week:
- Another late start day is on Wednesday, November 24th.
- Monday, November 22nd is when course drop requests are due to the guidance office.


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make or break

Bed by 11 - info-in-a-graphic

Misheel Batkhuu
posted Nov. 14, 2021, 4:40 pm

Good morning Mac! (When) are you sleeping this mid-November season? I'm in bed comfortably by 11:30 most nights... here's a memoir of the nights some of us were striving to be in by 11... not too many weeks ago;)


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awareness

competition

Week in Review: Remembering November

Derek Ma
posted Nov. 12, 2021, 6:55 pm

On November 11th was Remembrance Day, a day we put aside to honour those who fought and died in the first and second World Wars,
along with other Canadian deployments. The Poppy, Canada's symbol for Remembrance day, celebrates its 100th birthday since its creation in 1921.
Some other things that happened this week:
- The AMC 10/12 contest happened on Wednesday morning. A congratulations to all participants, and be sure to look out for results!
- Mackenzie Athletic Council applications are out for grade 9s. Applications close on November 22nd, and the form can be found here.
Some things to look out for next week:
- The Canadian Senior and Intermediate Mathematics Contests (CSMC and CIMC) are being held on Wednesday, November 17th. Good luck to those who are participating.
- Wednesday is a late start day, so take an extra hour of sleep!
- Wednesday is Mackenzie's first Food Day this year! Get ready to see clubs selling food outside during lunch!
- Friday is a P/A day. Enjoy a fantastic long weekend!


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year by year

Year by Year - going nuts for November

Misheel Batkhuu
posted Nov. 11, 2021, 1:16 pm

Come November, come golden days where the light catches off bright red carmine leaves and the interlacing of warm hands… or come bitter winds that foretell of a winter full of cramming assignments and cursing procrastination. This “Year by Year” presents the early November, midway-through-semester-1 thoughts of Aidan Wang (Grade 9), Pradyumn Jha (Grade 10), Sindhuja Vellanki (Grade 10), Julianne Ho (Grade 11), Rose Moosavian (Grade 11), and Hassan Khan (Grade 12):
How fast did the first two months of school pass by for you?
Aidan: “Very. So many new experiences for me were concentrated into these two months that when I
look back it’s all a blur.”
Sindhuja: “They passed by pretty slowly, although math class felt very fast paced.”
Julianne: “FWOOOOOOSH - I didn't have as long nights as I used to have, so the days seemed shorter to me at the beginning. Also, ever since the beginning of school, I feel like I've just been rushing to get things done in not enough time. I don't remember the last time I could fit a reasonable amount of time for me to do something recreational in my schedule…”
Rose: “It went by so fast. It feels like two weeks”
Hassan: “Way too fast, I'm not ready to graduate :')”
How would you typically spend the morning of a late start?
Aidan: “Unconscious.”
Pradyumn: “On a regular school day I typically wake up around 5:00 AM, and then I follow my schedule
which includes exercise, review of notes, etc. On late starts, I allow myself an extra hour
of sleep :) lol (wake-up at 6:00 instead) and use the extra hour to do productive work.”
Sindhuja: “I usually sleep in for a few minutes before studying advanced science right before I leave for the bus.”
Julianne: “I usually have too many things to do, so I always wake up at the same time as a normal school day :( If I had a test that day I'd spend it studying, otherwise I'd spend it on completing assignments or cleaning
up my room.”
Rose: “Studying :’)”
Hassan: “i just forget and show up early most of the time lmao”
Which grade in high school do you think has it the best?
Aidan: “Ninth for sure. Everything’s new and ready for you to explore, no responsibilities, classes are
the easiest, grades don’t matter in the slightest, and most importantly you get that cool feeling
when you befriend the older kids. I’m trying to just enjoy the time I have right now and not think
about how my life is only going to get busier from here.”
Sindhuja: “Probably the Grade 9s, since the teachers feel more lenient on the newcomers to high school, and because it’s easy to figure out what exactly you want to do.”
Julianne: “I would classify Grade 9 as "I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing and I'm overwhelmed with what the high school experience has to offer," Grade 10 as "I've found the group of friends I like spending time with the most and this is the perfect opportunity to get even closer to them. Things are getting difficult but still manageable," Grade 11 as "OH SO THIS IS WHAT THE CRUSHING WEIGHT OF
RESPONSIBILITY IS SUPPOSED TO FEEL LIKE," and Grade 12 as "I'm dead inside, but it's going fine I
guess. I have half a year to recover before adulthood hits me in the face". All this being said, I think
Grade 10 has it the best because you've gotten used to high school but don't have the weight of worrying about the impending doom that is your future yet.”
Rose: “Definitely the gr 11s. We’re just the coolest”
Hassan: “11s, they're familiar with the school and feel like they belong but they
dont have the pressure of being in their final year”
Which grade has it the worst?
Aidan: “I’m not really sure, but I’ve heard of the terrors of grade 11 :eyes:”
Sindhuja: “The Grade 12s, because they have to choose post-secondary options which emanate terrifying vibes.”
Julianne: “I think Grade 11 and 12 are both the worst of the bunch, though after the first half of the year, Grade 12 marks don't give as much pressure anymore? They both require a lot of responsibility, but I think many people feel the most pressure for good marks for post-secondary and catching up to their peers in Grade 11. Also, I believe Grade 12s are mostly used to the responsibility already as they have dealt with the same issues in Grade 11 (I could be wrong)? I would probably go with Grade 11, then.”
Rose: “Gr 12s look like they have a lot going on with university applications, so probably them”
Hassan: “9s... poor them, they've had their entire middle school years messed
up, i don't know how they're coping”
Do you believe in the social life-sleep-school pyramid concept where one can only balance two at a time? If so, which two do you choose?
Aidan: “I think it depends on how much life and/or school demands at the given time. If I had to choose
though, I would probably say school but end up actually losing sleep.”
Sindhuja: “I think the concept of this pyramid is interesting, and to be honest, I would choose sleep and school. My social life consists of a select group of friends who I bonded with over being attacked by a parasitic wasp, so I’m pretty sure that tells you a lot already.”
Julianne: “OHOOOO my social life is crashing hard, so I guess I've already chosen sleep and school? Actually I think instead of school it should be responsibilities/work in general, there's so many things to look out for, not only grades.”
Rose: “I think you can balance all three of them if you work hard”
Hassan: “I mean on principal no but i've never gotten enough sleep during a
school week so ̄_(ツ)_/ ̄”
What were you up to on Halloween?
Aidan: “Was going to trick-or-treat then quit at the last minute. Ended up singing.”
Pradyumn: “Well on Halloween I actually had an 8-hour Bronze Cross course so I was finishing that up.
However, I did carve a pumpkin which was pretty cool lol”
Sindhuja: “Channelling my inner Winter Soldier and streaming the Rocky Horror Picture Show with my friends because life is just like that.”
Julianne: “I went to a party hosted by a friend, most of our friend group was there and we were gaming and eating food (and playing with their dog ofc). This wasn't exactly on Halloween, but it was a celebration for it at least. My actual Halloween was spent preparing for the school day coming up.”
Rose: “I dressed up with friends and ate very good food”
Hassan: “I kinda forgot it was halloween til like 3/4 ofthe way through lol, but i wore a cape to school that i've had since i was 8?”
Do you think COVID ruined your high school experience?
Aidan: “No. There are some aspects like most clubs being online that are a slight bummer, but I think
I’ve had a much better start than the grade 10s whose whole first year was online.”
Pradyumn: “I don't think that 'ruined' is the right word. Moreso I'd say it prepared us and made us
resilient. The pandemic made us more adaptable to change, while increasing our abilities
to innovate. It is definitely unfortunate that so many students have missed out on high
school experiences, but there are some valuable life lessons to be learned from this.”
Sindhuja: “Yes. Period.”
Julianne: “Absolutely, I think I missed out on the best high school year. A lot of it was spent secluded in my room just calling other people, and being sad together while holed up at home :( We also missed an
overnight trip that my friend group and I were really looking forward to ahhh”
Rose: “It certainly made it one of a kind”
Hassan: “Ruined is a strong word, and in some way it's made me a more sociable and confident person, but i do wish i had longer to develop some relationships (and play music!! no music :(( )”
Name an inside joke.
Aidan: “so true”
Sindhuja: “Cryptus albitarsis”
Julianne: “#out-of-context, pillow jumping contest??”
Rose: “LEMUR ?!”
Hassan: “I'm desperate”
In one word, describe the balance between school, life (the universe), and you right now.
Aidan: “what?”
Sindhuja: “Imagine a small boat floating in the ocean. Then add in a few large waves. Maybe some lightning, rain, and all around bad weather. Holy--is that a shark fin??? Okay, so combine all that together, throw it inside a blender, add asparagus leaves, and then mix it all together. Pour into a glass, refrigerate, stir and drink chilled.”
Julianne: “Imbalanced :D”
Rose: “Eventful”
Hassan: “Oh i typed out a whole thing but then saw it was one word lol uhh: Precarious”
To offer yourself as tribute for the next issue: https://forms.gle/hJXoUpKoH46pekMd7


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Week in Review: School'n't

Derek Ma
posted Nov. 4, 2021, 11:51 am

This week went by quick! That is, because of a noticeable amount of schedule changes. Wednesday was a half day (9:00 to 11:30 am) and Thursday was a late start day. Hopefully, you were able to get some rest, do some work, and relax a bit.
Some other things that happened this week:
* Parent teacher interviews took place on Wednesday afternoon and evening. Fun times.
* Creator's Joy's e-card drive ends today, on Friday November 5th at 11:59 pm. Be sure to get those e-card designs in!
* WLMAC Athletic Council's fall apparel has been released! Find a wonderful catalogue of hoodies and crewnecks @wlmac.athletics!
* Progress Reports for your week 1 courses have been released.
* Visual Arts Council's monthly submissions have started! This November's theme is "Sweater Weather". To make a submission, click on the following form.
* Staff applications for The Flounder, WLMAC's satirical newspaper, are due at 11:59 pm this Saturday. The link to applications is here.
* Mackenzie E-Sports Team has closed the sign-up form for this week's Valorant Tournament on November 3rd. Be on the lookout for the next tournament!
Some things to look out for next week:
* AMC 10/12 is being run on Wednesday, November 10th. Good luck to all who signed up.
* A reminder that WLMAC Athletic Council merch orders will close on Monday, November 15th.
* Remembrance Day is on Thursday, November 11th.


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spirit

mactoberfest

Mactoberfest Roundabout

Misheel Batkhuu
posted Nov. 3, 2021, 2:00 pm

Hiya Mac! Voila, a beautiful infographic showcasing results from the Mactoberfest survey, a final Halloween treat brought to you by Project Metropolis:


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awareness

health

make or break

Bed by 11 - POST CHALLENGE!

Misheel Batkhuu
posted Nov. 1, 2021, 1:53 pm

Six weeks ago we began. Six weeks after, we have crossed the finish line. Undoubtedly, this school year has thrown at us more than a handful of hurdles in itself, so it takes inspiring strength and courage to try to voluntarily (well, you don't even get volunteer hours here) take on a challenge for our health. Our first Make or Break complete, let's hear the thoughts of those who strived to make being in bed by 11 a habit:
Do you feel as if being in bed by 11 is a steady habit?
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): “I do feel that being in bed by 11 is now a steady habit because I feel that my body has just gotten used to getting sleep around the time.”
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “As of now I have learned that I am truly capable of maintaining a steady habit such as this one if time permitted, and have gained a bit more confidence and trust in myself as a result. However, it is still relatively new in the year with opportunities still piling on, and unfortunately I don't believe this would be sustainable for me on top of my own commitments.”
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “Maybe not being in bed by 11 specifically, but definitely trying to prioritizing my sleep schedule. I don't think I will ever take timely bedtime as indispensable ever again, especially now that I see how productive, refreshed (un-groggy), and good I feel when I wake up earlier instead.”
Do you intend on continuing to sleep by 11? If so, how strictly will you follow your routines? If not, will you return to your prior routine or come back with some modifications inspired by this challenge?
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): “I hope to continue sleeping by 11 because I think it's a great habit to maintain, although I may not stick to it as strictly as I have been doing. I'll generally stick to my current routines because they're pretty efficient and saves me time.”
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “I think I will only continue to sleep by 11 (or earlier) on days where work is light, though I also don't believe I will fully revert back to my old routine. Previously, I would stay up late and procrastinate until I find the right motivation to finish my work, though now from this challenge, I know sleeping early and waking up early is more efficient for me to get work done. Also with this modified sleep schedule, my eating times have changed and actually work better with my schedule!”
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “I'm going to adjust to 11-11:30 as a limit instead, since 11 is a bit too squishy considering factors other than my personal life, like what works better for my "colleagues" and family. I will allow exceptions such as the once-in-a-long-while family nights.”
Do you think this challenge was worth taking?
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): “I think this challenge was really worth taking! As a result of this challenge I was able to create routines that work for me and are efficient, I was able to get adequate sleep, and I feel more energetic in the mornings."
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “This challenge was absolutely worth taking, I'm glad I joined! I learned a lot about myself and this was definitely the right push I needed to make these changes."
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “Oh yes (and I hope, fingers crossed, worth spreading too). I'm scared to imagine what my school year would be by now if I didn't have one thing, and this at that, set in place.”
What was the most fulfilling part/lesson-learned/memory you have of taking this challenge?
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): "The most fulfilling part of taking this challenge was the fact that I was able to complete it. Sticking to this six week challenge, I'm just incredibly proud of myself for pushing forward and overall makes me feel great about myself as I have accomplished something I put my mind to.”
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “This challenge allowed me to feel like I had some sort of control over my life, rather than feeling dragged along as I had always felt before this. My favourite memory was that time I had a thought in the middle of class where I realized I hadn't slept during any of my lessons in two weeks! Sleeping in class has always made me feel mad at myself, though I know I can't control it most of the time, so actually having an immediate improvement made me feel a lot better.”
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “Going from dragging my sister into bed to having her drag me into bed on time. Progress at its finest:)”
What was the most dreadful part/lesson-learned/memory you have of taking this challenge?
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): "There wasn't anything incredibly dreadful that took place during this challenge, however, I do remember the many times I have felt the dread of not being able to get in bed on time. During those times, specifically near the beginning of the challenge, I found myself still up doing work at 10:45 pm and only left with 15 minutes to get ready and get into bed, barely getting in on time. Through those close encounters, I really learned the value of having a good routine.”
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “The most dreadful part for me was really those nights filled with insomnia in week 1 and weeks 4/5. In the first week it was a result of the drastic change coming on all of a sudden, though in weeks 4 & 5, it was more insomnia as a result of my mind racing over all the tasks I had to complete.”
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “Suffering an extra hour of no sleep in the morning for wasting an hour on Discord the night before. This should happen regardless of when I sleep, but with a schedule, the consequences are clearer and more dreadful.”
How realistic do you think a 6 week time window is to settle a habit like this?
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): "I think a 6 week time window is just the right amount of time to settle a habit like this. Additionally, 6 weeks is not too little where you may not feel any impacts of the challenge and is not too long where you may no longer feel any additional benefits. It really is that perfect in between.”
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “It honestly depends on how a person adapts to change overall, and I find it personally realistic. This is because I was already planning on making changes during the least busy time in my school year. A habit as significant as this also has an impact on other habits, and if a person were to attempt this challenge with additional habits to fix, I believe it would be too much to handle in only 6 weeks.”
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “Surprisingly realistic. More than the habit, the mentality and the value of the habit have sunk into me. ”
How do you feel knowing that where there was once 6-7 participants, there are now only 3 and you are one of those three?
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): "Knowing that I was one of the three remaining participants makes me feel proud of not only myself but also the others who have kept up and persevered through the challenge. ”
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “I'm just glad a few participants stuck around until the end because I want more people outside this challenge to know it is possible to improve their health as well. I also understand the others who couldn't continue had work to do, I just hope they catch up on sleep eventually :)”
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “I'm pretty proud of us three. Especially the other two. (they had no obligation). And I'm appreciative of everyone who tried too.”
Have you witnessed or undergone any major or minor changes in yourself, your life, or your environment over the course of this challenge?
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): "There hasn't been any major changes in my life but I do feel that there have been some minor ones. Over the course of this challenge, I feel that I've gained more energy throughout my day and I feel generally happier. I think that it has also made me a bit more organized and has given me more structure through the day. As for negative changes, the quality of my sleep is not always the best due to anxiety around school, but this does happen ever time school starts up again from the summer break. I must say however, that the be positive changes I've undergone over the course of this challenge far outweighs the negative changes.”
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “My work environment at home has actually gotten a bit tidier, as I had gotten advice from a friend in the middle of the challenge that really helped me. The "might as well" mindset (as they called it) helped me maximize my productivity and organization when dealing with limited time. I've become more focused on my tasks, as well as better at prioritizing and balancing what I want to do vs what I have to do. I remember back in grade 9, I was unsettled by having a routine and felt restricted, though after the wild grade 10/pandemic year, settling back into a routine has given me much less stress and I feel more appreciate of it.”
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “Inside me: I no longer complain about lack of sleep, and I'm motivated and productive. Outside me: My parents (especially my mom) used to worry so much about me sleeping "late" and deteriorating my health. Now, they're just so happy and pleased with my routines and this support, and knowing I'm not burdening them so much anymore, makes me feel happier too.”
How are other commitments, habits, and practices going on for you right now in relation (or not) to this challenge?
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): "Commitments and habits have been going pretty well and this challenge has aided with that. The creation of routines, a result of this challenge, has helped me keep up with commitments I have as well as helping me keep up with habits as they ensure that I do what needs to be done.”
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “Uhhhh I actually had gotten more commitments starting at the very end of this challenge so that's fun :') It's been very hectic and I haven't gone out much, so it's getting pretty difficult honestly.”
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “It's hard to commit to things, honestly, but the difficulty has nothing to do with this challenge because if anything, I'm more productive. It's definitely easier, though, to bounce back into exercise and diet routines when I'm not depressed over (belief of) lack of sleep.”
How would you feel about participating in another "make or break" sometime in the future?
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): "I would gladly participate in another "make or break" in the future as it grants an opportunity to create good habits and the weekly check-ins would help keep me on track.”
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “This challenge helped me get to know my boundaries much better and I always strive to keep improving myself, so I would love to join another!!”
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “I would love to!”
Anything else you'd like to add?
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): "I just want to say to the other remaining participants that I know that at times the challenge may have been hard but I just wanted to say that you both did an amazing job and go us!!
Side note: To those who may be thinking of trying this challenge on their own, I say go for it! It's an incredible habit to create and the benefits of it are great.”
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “IF YOU'RE GOING TO START ATTEMPTING THIS ON YOUR OWN NOW OR ARE TRYING ALREADY, I BELIEVE IN YOU AND YOU GOT THIS!!”
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “Nah, these were too many questions already. (why did I do this to myself and the other two?)”
Which best describes you right now?

Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): Option 4 (blushing, happy)
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): Option 4 (blushing, happy)
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): Option 4 (blushing, happy)
If you would like to make any suggestions for our next "Make or Break" series, we would love to hear your suggestions! Send them in through here: https://forms.gle/9XwhusCA63ueVxCm9


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spirit

mactoberfest

Murder on Mactoberfest

Misheel Batkhuu
posted Oct. 31, 2021, 12:31 pm

“One of us will be dead by tonight.”
Ms. Hajime stood at the front of the room, hands clasped in front of her, her sharp black eyes trained heavily on the ground. Their depth and focus failed to mask the avoidance of eye contact. It was no doubt an awkward situation to admit that this would be the seventh year a random teacher’s body was mysteriously found somewhere in the halls of William Lyon Mackenzie on Mactoberfest, with a puncture wound in the right wrist to mark blood drawn.
Mr. Hoffman raised his hand, “So are we actually going to stop it from happening this time?” Ah yes, the question on everyone’s mind.
Ms. Hajime flushed. “Unfortunately, we have procrastinated yet again and so, even I have no plans,” she phrased out carefully. There was a collective of nervous chuckling and muttering across the conference room.
“However,” Ms. Hajime continued, “There’s a likelihood that the serial killer will not strike until after midday. We shall have another meeting here at lunch. Until then, brainstorm some ideas, please. And also speak to students in your class who you know have been held back more than a year… see if you can find anything.” She clapped her hands. “Meeting adjourned.”
It was relatively quiet as staff - teachers, hall monitors, cafeteria cooks, and teachers alike - assembled their belongings and proceeded to their Period 1 destinations. Mrs. Joules, the science department head, swivelled around to face me.
“Splendid costume, Mr. Seavann,” she gestured at my firefighter ensemble.
“Well, what with all this,” it was my turn to gesture, but with my black-gloved hand and around the gloomy lunchroom, “we need some folks to be a silver lining.”
Mrs. Joules nodded kindly, “Yes, yes, how noble.”
There was a long silence as we headed down the hall to our respective classrooms, I to Grade 11 Chemistry and she to Grade 12 AP Biology.
“I’m so sorry for you,” Mrs. Joules’ throaty voice cut the air.
“What, why?” I asked, confused.
“Well, just that you must have to be so unfortunate. You still feel new to the school, because you’ve only been here for about seven years but there have been all these dreadful murders happening for six of them,” she rambled.
“I’ve always attracted bad luck,” I shrugged in an attempt to relieve my superior of her guilt.
“But this! This goes beyond bad luck, I’m afraid. It’s just too coincidental. I fear…” her voice dropped a pitch, “I fear you’re the one they’re after.”
My heart stopped momentarily. Poor Mrs. Joules was trembling hard at my side. I patted her shoulder gently, “I’ll be alright. We’ll be alright.” The trembling slowed down a bit, but as we parted ways, I knew that all those crazy thoughts were still running wild in her brain.
Briiiiing! Two and a half hours later, I stood at the front of the room, costume still intact, students considerably out of control as they flooded out, chattering excitedly amongst one another. “Don’t forget your lab reports are due tomorrow!” I called in vain. I simultaneously grabbed the arms of two students just before they reached the door. These two, I had been keeping my eye on during the entire period. Jessica Li and Nicolas Cartier looked up at me rather fearfully, her through her cat mask and he through his Sherlock Holmes spectacles, hands stuffed in his pockets. I had their attention. I let them go and they stepped a foot back towards the middle of the classroom, waiting for me to speak.
“The two of you aren’t doing too well right now. Jessica, you’ve missed three consecutive deadlines, and Nicolas, it isn’t attractive how you choose to nap instead of writing your tests. At this rate, you’ll end up repeating a year… again. Care to explain yourselves?” I tapped my fingers on the lab bench on my left.
Nicolas shrugged, “Why should you care what I choose to do?” The ignorant brat.
“I care because I am your teacher and because I am a citizen. It’s kids like you that eat up tax dollars sent to fund free secondary education,” I snapped.
“You educators are all after money after all,” Nicolas sneered unfazed, “you make me sick.”
He brushed past me, exiting the room.
“You’re the one who makes me sick!” I retorted. My eyes remained concentrated on the second suspect though. Just in case.
Jessica seemed to realize she was up next.
“Sir!” she squealed, “I’m really really sorry. It’s just that everything’s been so confusing and so busy and I… I-” her tears cut her off.
Something inside me softened. “It’s alright to not understand Chemistry,” I reassured her. She looked up at me with hopeful eyes. “But it’s not alright to take Chemistry if you know you don’t understand it. Drop the course if you’re struggling, don’t stay stuck in school because of it.”
The hope vanished from her eyes, and in its place formed distraught. “See?! Even you don’t understand me! You have no idea what I’m going through, what I have to do today, and-and… UGH, you teachers are so heartless!” she burst out of the room, brushing past me even harder than Nicolas had, her black cat tail wagging behind her. For Pete’s sake, what I would do to teach AP kids who had already passed grade 11 and knew what they were doing now.
On the way to the lunchroom for our second staff meeting, I stopped by the washroom. Inside, I found Mrs. Joules dutifully filling up her water bottle. “Any luck?” she asked me as I checked the stalls. “Two kids… reasonably suspicious,” I replied. They were all so dirty. I decided I’d be fine. “Well, see you at the meeting,” I waved. “See you!” Mrs. Joules called back, back to me as she fastened the lid.
“I swear, I didn’t do it!” I stood in the doorway, having just walked into a scene. Nicolas was in the staff lunchroom, his hair worked in a frenzy, hands finally unstuffed from his detective pants. All the staff surrounded him, over the top suspicious.
“Why were you in here alone then, playing with the food in our fridge?” Ms. Hajime inquired, once again at the front of the room.
Nicolas threw up his hands, “I just wanted to play a prank on Seavann!”
Ms. Hajime narrowed her eyes, “A prank? Could this be a murder prank by any chance? Murder by poison?”
“No! I swear, why would I kill a freaking teacher?!” He was too panicked to be suspicious now.
The staff began muttering stuff about a waste of time, when, all of a sudden, a scream came from outside. The hall monitor, who had been standing outside as a guard, burst in. “Mrs. Joules…” she gasped, “she’s… she…”
She didn’t need to finish. We all bolted out, following the direction of the chatter and whistles and shrieks, down the cobwebbed corridors and up the dimmed stairs. And then we found her. Strewn across the tiled floor, right wrist with a gaping scar, and over the body… Jessica Li.
The girl screamed and cried as she was dragged off by the police. I got congratulated for having suspected her rightfully, albeit too late. “At least this will have been the final year,” Ms. Hajime said confidently. What a relief.
That night, at home, I pulled off my firefighter costume wearily. It had been a long day, but at least it had been fulfilling. Out of my bag, I pulled out the matching black gloves I had taken off earlier. Walking into the pantry, I unfolded them, pulled out the dark vial wrapped inside, and opened the empty cupboard to add it to a neat array of six gleaming red bottles, marked by the year.


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cultural & community

Week in Review: Oct-over

Derek Ma
posted Oct. 29, 2021, 9:39 pm

We've seen lots of excitement and school spirit this week! Mactoberfest was a blast, and we'd like to thank all the clubs and councils that helped out with the festivities.
Congratulations to all who wrote the COMC math contest on Thursday, you all did wonderfully!
Here are some other mentions in our weekly recap:
- Late start happened this Wednesday, make sure to take advantage of those for some extra rest.
- Concert Band and Music Ensemble had their information meeting.
- Creator's Joy announced their collaboration with Wordswell, be sure to check out their E-card drive.
- LCC, MCPT's monthly programming contest, had their deadlines close, and the contest ran on Thursday. Congratulations to those who participated!
Look out for their contest next month.
- LetsTalkNow, Mackenzie's first and only social discourse club, held their first meeting during Thursday lunch.
- UNICEF applications close on Sunday, applications can be handed in over the weekend.
- Gardening Club is continuously improving our beautiful gardens.
- Wellness @ Mac applications close on Sunday. You still have time to get your applications in!
Some things to look out for next week:
- MaCS info night happens on Thursday, so it is a late start day! More extra sleep!!!
- Parent teacher interviews happen next Wednesday, so school ends early (11:30 am).
- Creator's Joy e-card drive is still happening, the sign-up form is posted [here] (https://forms.gle/zzJDfoYtxM71c7wp7)
- Business Council results will be released. Applicants, please check if you made it.
- Mural Committee applications close on October 31st! Be sure to apply if you're interested.
- AMC 10/12 will be running on November 10th, 2021.


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spirit

mactoberfest

The Candy Gram

Misheel Batkhuu
posted Oct. 28, 2021, 11:45 am

Halloween Assignment. The words stared back at me from the paper handout, menacingly because not only did it have the dreaded words “assignment,” but it had the word “Halloween” too. That meant this was a big, special assignment. Little did I know it was going to be the assignment.
Mrs. Snore cleared her throat at the front of the classroom. “So yeah. It’s not a lot. Just a doll going up five steps and asking for confirmation from the user to keep going. Once she reaches the fifth step, she stops moving and the program ends.”
Justin’s hand shot up, “Do we need graphics?”
“Nah, you kids get off easy this time,” Mrs. Snore grumbled, “No graphics. No animation. Just console updates… though I have a feeling that’ll be enough.”
As the class cheered and pumped fists, Mrs. Snore pulled out a bag. From inside, she pulled out one small package, a couple of candies wrapped inside a pumpkin and ghost-themed plastic bag. The cheering got louder. Nothing like free candy. We giddily reached out as Snore handed the candy grams out, one to each kid. A closer look revealed the two or three Hersheys, Kitkat, Smarties, and Rockets. There was also a tiny creepy doll figurine. With its hard plastic grin and shiny mat of brown pigtails, it was far from attractive. “I added that as a little souvenir of this project,” Mrs. Snore explained, “It should serve you well… just don’t neglect it on the stairs,” she finished with a grin that challenged the wickedness of the doll just gifted.
I rushed home fast, eager to get the assignment done as soon as possible and actually get more than an hour or two of sleep. In my hurry, I threw my backpack, with its binders, textbooks, Mrs. Snore’s candy gram, and all, on the steps leading upstairs. I myself jumped onto my computer, immediately launching into productivity… accompanied by some good old fashioned procrastination-oriented gaming.
11:58 shone my digital clock, not nearly as condescending as the full yet brooding moon outside. The house was dark except for the bright blue screen displaying hundreds of lines of (unnecessary) code, quiet except for my fingers typing and untyping that code. After a final click, I took a moment to rub my dry, waning eyes underneath my glasses. Just about done. Semi-colons, user-input, and all. Time to test it out, I decided tentatively. It might end up having a few million errors, but better see it at midnight and fix it, then in front of Mrs. Snore tomorrow and have myself be the one that gets “fixed.”
Compile. Done. At least no syntax errors. I took a shaky breath, then hit Run. And run it did.
What is your name?
Gavin
Hello Gavin. I am your new doll.
Press 0 to continue.
Okay, it was going too well to break.
0
Gavin, I’m on the first step.
A loud thump came from somewhere downstairs. Something must have fallen over.
0
Gavinn, I’m on the second step.
Another thump, a bit louder this time. Boy this was starting to get weird.
0
Gavinnn, I’m on the third step.
Thump! At least the program was correctly concatenating a replica of the last character in the name?
0
Gavinnnn, I’m on the fourth step!
THUMP. Maybe it wasn’t that the thumps were getting louder, but that they were getting closer.
0
Gavinnnnn, I’m on the fifth step!
THUMP!!! By now cold sweat was dripping down my neck, my forehead creased in confusion. I reassured myself, however. This was the fifth step. If I wrote the program correctly, this is where it should end.
0
Silence.
THUMP!!!!!
I jumped from the sheer noise, taking a moment to collect myself before peeking at the console.
Gavinnnnnn, I’m on the sixth step…
Had I accidentally gone into an infinite loop? But no… that wouldn’t explain the uncoded change in punctuation. I decided I might as well see what was in store.
0
Gavinnnnnnn, I’m on the seventh step!
As expected.
0
Gavinnnnnnnn, I’m on the eighth step!
Of course it was.
0
Gavinnnnnnnnn, I’m on the ninth step!
Of course it was…
0
Gavinnnnnnnnnn, I’m on the tenth step.
My heart pulsed (not at the thumps that were still ongoing, I’d sort of gotten used to those by now) at the period. It seemed almost sentencing… and the stairs in my house had ten steps.
0
This was so stupid, why was I afraid of the code I myself had written? And yet, nothing could stop my limbs from shaking, the goosebumps from running up and down my forearms as the corners of my eyes furtively glanced back and forth, from the obtrusive monitor to the pitch black hallway beyond my bedroom door.
Gavin. I’m in your parents’ room.
No thumps this time. Almost as if the doll whatever it was was trying to be stealthy.
I didn’t want to press that damned 0 key, but almost as if it were no longer mine, almost as if it were being manipulated, my finger trembled. And then, it slid forward.
0
I braced myself.
Gavin. You’re next.
Mrs. Snore’s words echoed in my wiped out ears that had given all their sense to my eyes at midnight coding hour. “just don’t neglect it on the stairs”
Oh boy, that was a doll too… and I left it on the stairs.
0
I hadn’t even realized my frozen index finger was still hanging over the 0 key, and in my sudden realization, I had dropped it, unleashing nihility.
Gavin. Look over here.
I looked.


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spirit

mactoberfest

S'nobody

Misheel Batkhuu
posted Oct. 27, 2021, 12:17 pm

“They say, the ghost of Benjamin Sullivan comes to life on the night of Mactoberfest to haunt the fresh souls of WLMAC.”
“I heard, Sullivan was Mackenzie’s arch-nemesis throughout his entire life, and even in death, the two have never stopped trying to destroy each other’s legacies.”
“I heard, that because Mackenzie arrested Sullivan way back in the day, Sullivan wears the biggest chains that go clank… clank… clank…”
“I heard, Sullivan only likes the taste of grade 9 souls.”
“I heard that Sullivan best likes the taste of grade 9s who don’t work on math in math class.”
We looked up to see the owner of the shadow, Mr. Nelson towering over us. “Mactoberfest comes and goes,” he grumbled, “and so do failures.” I panickedly attempted to cover my scrap work, a pathetic effort at drawing what was supposed to be a simple line relation. “You might want to fix that before tomorrow’s test, Bella.” He had seen it. Darn. The burn in my ears deepened as he passed by my chair to check on the next table of victims. “It’s okay Bella,” Cat reassured me, “Only Marlie actually does good in this class anyway.” She gestured her head towards the serene-looking, spectacled kid at the back of the class before bringing her attention back to me. “So what are you dressing up as?”
“Huh?”
“You know, for Mactoberfest? I heard that here at WLMAC, Halloween is taken ultra seriously.”
“Oh… I don’t know. Probably as myself?”
“Ewww. That’s freaking boring. I’m dressing up as a black cat.”
Figures.
“I guess I’m gonna be a ghost then.”
“Oh, that’s actually sick! Are you gonna wear some fancy material cloak or something?”
Expectations, expectations.
“No. I’m wearing my old white hoodie that says ‘Snowbody.’”
“Aw… I guess that’s all you got, huh.”
“Uh-huh.”
Cat knitted her eyebrows as if to say I was being lazy without actually saying it. I didn’t mind, though, I knew it myself. I couldn’t care less about Mactoberfest or about ghosts. But, wearing an oversized white hoodie that questioned my existence for the sake of the day, it wasn’t too much to ask.
That night, after hours of struggling over math, I decided the struggle was not worth it and dragged myself into bed at 2 am. My dreams weren’t much better than my reality. Thoughts of the impending test the next day, and of how Mr. Nelson might just summon the ghost of Sullivan to be rid of me, the worst grade 9 student in William Lyon Mackenzie CI’s long and legendary history of terrible grade 9 math students, flooded my brain, threatening to suffocate me. My heart jolted when a wicked face that must have been Sullivan obscured my dream vision. His long spindly fingers reached out for me like spiders for prey trapped helplessly in their cobwebs. I tried to scream but choked instead as the icy cold hands, shackled by chains, wrapped around my throat. Sullivan’s eyes bulged with intensity and fervour, delight at finally dangling the life of a Mackenzie niner over a cliff. I squeezed my own eyes shut in fear, to spare myself some terror as I prepared myself for the defining snap in my neck. The burst in my chest came first. So painful and so sudden that I was launched out of the nightmare. I was back in my bed. In the dark, but in safety. It was just a dream… just a dream… I told myself, hoping that enough repetition would make it believable. Somehow, I eventually managed to slip off consciousness until morning.
Sizzle sizzle… bacon. I gingerly hopped out of bed into the crisp morning air, pulling on the old ‘Snowbody’ hoodie I had promised Cat I would wear. At least it would keep me warm.
From downstairs, I could hear Tommy already wolfing down his breakfast, the clatter of dishes as my parents warned him not to choke. Choke. That word had a whole new meaning now, but I chose not to ponder over it. “Mom?” I called as I approached. It was Dad who came running up, seemingly to greet me, except that he plowed right past, a look of angst on his usually bright face. “What’s up?” I tried to ask, but he was already gone, somewhere in one of the bedrooms. Mom came up next, also looking grim. “Heart must have stopped in his sleep,” she was muttering, and my blood ran cold. Could it be that Granny had finally kicked the bucket?
I guessed I would ask Tommy.
As I neared the dining room table, I realized that what was probably supposed to be my bacon was starting to burn in the frying pan. Eh, I thought, it’s not like I like bacon anyway. I grabbed an apple and without looking back to ask Mom or Dad to confirm the depressing news, headed out the door.
At school, everyone was in a much more festive mood. Witches, Count Draculas, mummies, Frankensteins, creepy dolls, and devils alike swamped the halls. SAC was clearly up all night because the school itself was revamped in every way possible. Fancy banners hung from every doorway and cobwebs lay strewn across the floor tiles and in between drawn cracks on the walls. From the ceiling hung sparkling orange and black streamers, and it was under one especially ornate cluster that I found the black cat I had been looking for.
“Cat!” I yelled. She didn’t seem to hear me. I ran up to her, waving wildly. “Cat! I’m wearing the hoodie. Just like I promised.” Cat shook her head, the eyeliner-drawn whiskers across her cheeks twitching annoyedly. “Unbelievable,” she grumbled. I stood, frozen, as she pushed past me and towards the cafetorium. Was the problem that I hadn’t put on ghost makeup like she had put on cat makeup? That was a dumb reason to get so angry. My eyes stung. It felt pretty crappy to be ignored so much within less than two hours. A drop of liquid threatened to abandon the protection of my eyelids. I sniffled. Gosh, I needed some privacy. Dropping my apple, I made for the girls’ washroom on the second floor. The one nobody ever visited in the morning.
Cracked glass. This is me, I realized. Hopeless. Unimportant to my parents, a disgrace to my math teacher, and an irritation to my best friend. I splashed cold water onto my face. Some drops splattered onto my hoodie. It was cold. But not nearly as spine-chilling as when I heard the chains.
Clink. Clink. Clink.
They were heavy… they must belong to someone who can carry their weight… or someone who has carried their weight for a hundred years…
Clink. Clink.
I thought it was just a legend.
Clink.
I turned around.
I was looking into the piercing eyes of a frail old man. His cheekbones would have won him a fine part in a Russian ballet, his long and nimble extremities too, were it not for the occasional limp with which he walked. I could see the heavy metal watch just barely fastened on. That must have been where the sound came from. I knew better than to ask him what he was doing in the girls’ washroom. The antique dusty suit and time-worn mask of a face were all too real and terrifying to be costumes. But this wasn’t Benjamin Sullivan. This man, I recognized. It was William Lyon Mackenzie.
The ancient politician regarded me fiercely, as if waiting for me to beg for his mercy. He didn’t need me too. I was already on my knees. “I’ll try harder in math!” I blurted, “I’ll actually listen to Mr. Nelson, and if I flunk today’s test, I swear I’ll take it to my parents. No more forging signatures.” Mackenzie didn’t budge from towering right over me. “Please!” I pleaded, “Anything. I’ll do anything, just don’t consume my soul!”
This brought on a raspy chortle, but he didn’t back up. Instead, he cleared his throat, rearranged his wristwatch with a clink, and then, finally, he spoke.
“Young one,” he began, “do I look like someone who would murder the students of the very school that bears my name?”
Frankly he did. The man didn’t wait for me to respond, however.
“You think so, huh? Well then, allow me to share with you my wisdom.”
He stepped forward with another awful clink. I hoped the hoodie was concealing my terror.
“For a century I have been dead. Watching the living. Observing what we have in common,” clink, “and what is so discriminant.
“Over the course of my research, I have come up with three conclusions.
“One, that the saying that only the dead see the end of war is false.”
I didn’t even know there was a saying like that. Mackenzie seemed to find its inveracity exceedingly depressing, though, by the hardness at which he scratched his head.
“Two,” he continued in his raspy voice, the clinks sounding on his wrist as he got excited, “only the dead cannot die.”
Now wait a minute, what did that have to do with anything? The pieces came together just as Mackenzie raised his index finger up to make a point. Clink.
“And three. Only the dead may see the dead.”


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cultural & community

awareness

health

social

Bed by 11 - Post Week 5

Misheel Batkhuu
posted Oct. 25, 2021, 1:01 pm

Five weeks into a six week challenge, we are closer than ever to reaching the finish line. It's clear those left are going to make it, but the question is whether they intend to hold on to this habit when prying eyes are gone. Let's hear our final three participants' thoughts:
With 5 weeks done, do you feel as if being in bed by 11 will be a steady habit in a week?
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): “I think that in a week being in bed by 11 will continue to be a steady habit as I've already gotten used to doing so.”
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “The past 5 weeks have proven my old self wrong in showing that I can be productive and maintain a proper sleep schedule at the same time! I now have no good reason to ruin this habit after I (hopefully) finish this challenge.”
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “Yes! Or at least the feeling that not sleeping by 11 is terrible will be ingrained into my mentality completely.”
Are you looking forward to being done with the officialties of this challenge?
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): “Honestly, I am looking forward a bit to being done with the officialties of this challenge as it does cause a bit of pressure that has me worried at times.”
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “No, I kind of like having that feeling of being grounded in discipline and having rules to follow when everything else in life can get disorganized from time to time. I have also grown a liking to the weekly check-ins because I haven't journaled or given time for myself to reflect the same way I have the last few weeks in a long time.”
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “Hmm... I'm not sure. I fear the officialties is what kept me so committed to this, but I'm always learning new things about myself.”
Are there any noticeable changes between benefits and drawbacks (from this challenge) observed in the first week and now?
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): “In the first week I wasn't able to notice any benefits as I just started the challenge, however, 5 weeks in I've been feeling less groggy in the mornings with more energy. As for drawbacks there were none for the first week and still none up until now.”
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “HAHAHA the benefits of getting enough sleep don't exist anymore for me :'). I miss them, they actually gave me such a surprising amount of clarity! Now after week 5, I actually feel much more sleep-deprived (as I should on <6 hours). I honestly think that's a good thing. Previously, I had grown used to the numbness of constantly being tired, but now I am more in tune with my body and can physically feel it when it tells me to take better care of myself. Buuuut on the other hand... I have started drinking coffee (very, very weak coffee) only for feeling less groggy in the early mornings and the sake of keeping peak focus from caffeine (I literally count the hours before tests). Let's just hope I don't develop a dependency on it, what can go wrong?"
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “Maybe. I still face the challenge of dragging my sister off her computer and into bed on time. The benefits remain the same in essence but are increasing in magnitude. I'm getting less energized but that's because I'm sleeping less hours. However, my good habit/routine practices are back in, and I know for a fact that I wouldn't have had the energy or mindfulness to bounce back into wellness if I wasn't organized and committed to one good habit: sleeping by 11.”
Has (keeping up with) this challenge contributed to more or less stress for you?
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): "It has contributed a bit of stress as workload for my courses has increased and I find myself spending more time on homework meaning that I'm working later into the night. This makes my night routine a bit more rushed than previous weeks causing a bit of stress as I need to ensure that I'm in bed by 11.”
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “More stress, but unlike the usual challenges life throws my way, it's a good stress that keeps me in check and I would like it to stay (surprisingly).”
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “Overall, less stress. Knowing I am keeping up with one healthy commitment that is my own decision actually alleviates stress because that means that even if I flunk my physics quests or struggle over getting relative acute angles, at least I've got my sleep routine together. At least I'm not a complete failure:')”
How do you feel moving on with this challenge for Week 6?
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): "So close to finishing the challenge, I'm excited for the final week!”
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “ONE MORE WEEK LET'S GOOOO (but I'm still hoping to keep going after this). I'm really excited to finally complete this challenge!!!!”
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “Never been better:)”
Which best describes you right now?

Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): Option 2 (woozy, dizzy)
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): Option 5 (sunglasses, chilling)
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): Option 10 (popcorn, vibing)
If you would like to make any suggestions for our next "Make or Break" series, we would love to hear your suggestions! Send them in through here: https://forms.gle/9XwhusCA63ueVxCm9


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music

Odes of October

Celine Hwang
posted Oct. 22, 2021, 10:09 pm

Greetings from your new music content creator! I am proud to present these newly currated playlists for the month, inspired and created by the staff at Project Metropolis. Each of these selections are very distinct from each other and I hope everyone is able to add some good music to their day!
Here are our selections for October:

Ghostly Gala



Halloween is one of Mac's most beloved holidays, so why not celebrate this Mactoberfest with our selection of spooky songs? This playlist encompasses a variety of genres to appeal to everyone's tastes. Here's your ticket to the ghostly gala!

Snapshot Stories



This playlist was inspired by the choose-your-own ending books I read as a child. Music is a way for us to choose a role to play; you choose a song to listen to just as you would pick a book off a bookshelf. Have fun taking your pick!


Turntable



Recommended by our staff, here is a collection of big band jazz songs to set the mood, whether it's for a cozy, rainy afternoon or a lengthy homework session.

At the Cinema



Specially created by Patrick, this selection of iconic movie themes is sure to bring nostalgia and maybe even make you feel as if you are part of the movie.

If you have any recommendations or requests for next month's playlists, please DM Celine on Discord (celine_celestium#4003) or Instagram (@celine_celestium).


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year by year

Year by Year - Staff to Stage

Misheel Batkhuu
posted Oct. 19, 2021, 10:20 am

The mini-society that is high school typically houses a myriad of personalities, issues, rivalries, and friendships. While diversity is prevalent, there tend to be stereotypical classifications between the four grades. WLMAC is no exception. Today we bring to the stage members of Project Metropolis itself Chelsea Wong (Grade 10), Bernie Chen (Grade 11) and Justin Lu (Grade 12):
What do you believe to be the most dreadful part of high school?
Chelsea: “Probably COVID, yeah.”
Bernie: “COVID. Period.”
Justin: “For me, the last month of Grade 11 was my most stressful and hectic part of high school so far. Many of the largest clubs at Mac do their applications for leadership and exec positions, and when combined with the fast-paced quadmesters of both a fast-tracked Chem 12 and Physics 11, AP exams, and the Student Council elections, I was barely staying afloat.”
What dreams do you have for when you leave WLMAC?
Chelsea: “When I leave WLMAC, I hope to have experienced the high school experience and probably know for sure what I want to do in life.”
Bernie: “Having a meaningful relationship.”
Justin: “I wish to start a creative venture in my last few months at Mac while I catch senioritis. It’s been a goal of mine ever since middle school to run a photography business and have an online storefront, but I’ve simply never gotten to it due to time. I also want to learn how to bake well.”
Is reality better or worse than expectations?
Chelsea: “Better, for sure! I thought that everyone would be scary, but then I realized that everyone’s pretty friendly.”
Bernie: “Yes. [pause] fine if you want a real answer, better.”
Justin: “Coming to high school, I had no idea what to expect. Popular media had shown high school to be cliquey, awkward, and full of bullying, but of course I came to realize this wasn’t the case and have since enjoyed it.”
What’s your favourite/most traumatic/special spot/location at WLMAC?
Chelsea: “I don’t think I’ve fully explored the whole school yet. But from where I’ve been at the school, I think I would say outside under the trees and on the grass, specifically the area between exits 3 and 4, is pretty nice (other than the bees).
Bernie: “The portable porch.”
Justin: “I’ve always thought the spot just west of the science exit facing the business hallway is quite pretty - it’s also my favourite spot for headshots. The tech room at the back of the cafeteria also holds a special place in my mind.”
(What) would you like to be remembered (as) by future years?
Chelsea: “I don’t really know. If I do get remembered though, hopefully it’s for something good.”
Bernie: “As a nerd I guess. I don’t know, no one will remember me for long.”
Justin: “Someone who was deeply involved in the community and managed to accomplish.”
What is your general impression of grade 9?
Chelsea: “Online school, deprivation of social interaction, (and lots of Tetris).”
Bernie: “COVID.”
Justin: “Carefree, curious, energized, social, and grades are generally lowest.”
What is your general impression of grade 10?
Chelsea: “Not sure yet. Still in progress. :D”
Bernie: “COVID.”
Justin: “Still quite relaxed and very social, grades don’t matter yet.”
What is your general impression of grade 11?
Chelsea: “🤷‍♀️.”
Bernie: “Hugs.”
Justin: “Lot of grinding, starting to form a smaller friend group, focused more on academics and more people joining extracurricular.”
What words do you live by?
Chelsea: “im hungry" / "the past is in the past" (elsa )”
Bernie: “If it can go wrong, it will go wrong.”
Justin: “Life keeps going.”
To offer yourself as tribute for the next issue: https://forms.gle/hJXoUpKoH46pekMd7


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Bed by 11 - Post Week 4

Misheel Batkhuu
posted Oct. 18, 2021, 7:00 am

I used to think habits took a month to stabilize. After 4 weeks of sleeping by 11, however, it’s clear 6 weeks is a better estimate. Challenges are still prevalent as ever, if not more as we dig past the orientation first month of the school year. It would be nice to say our participants are equally determined, but a look at their reflections reveals that 2 more weeks isn’t going to be easy. Much has changed, and much more can change:
As of now, how do you feel about your decision to try this challenge? (were your expectations realistic, idealistic, do you have any regrets)
Keren (Grade 10): “I think my expectations weren’t realistic, because I didn’t take into account something that could happen out of the blue that would cause me not to go to bed at 11.”
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): “I don't regret my decision about trying this challenge and I'm glad to have accepted it. As for my expectations, I feel that they were pretty realistic although the challenge has proven to be more difficult than I had initially thought.”
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “My expectations were somewhat realistic, as I realized that the ultimate goal of fixing my sleep schedule entirely would take a while to achieve. I did reach a few small victories though, and because of that I don't really have regrets!”
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “I feel pretty good. I'm just glad I made this "official" because it really motivates me to take it seriously. I guess it really fits into what you call a SMART goal (throwback to Grade 9 Gym!) because it's so easy to measure and assess yourself. It's also lasting exactly 6 weeks, but as of now, I've decided I'm gonna keep going with this even after. My expectations were actually pretty realistic. I've found it's absolutely possible to sleep by 11 if I put my mind to it, and it's paid off. I still doze off at at least one random point during the day, but at least I'm not looking for every opportunity to nap like I used to. I'm performing better academically too.”
If you hadn't taken this challenge, what noticeable difference in your life (routines, efficiency, productivity, and performance) do you think might exist?
Keren (Grade 10): “Lower performance because of the lack of sleep, I also think I’d have a longer bedtime routine and a shorter morning routine.”
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): “I think that I would be more tired throughout the day because my sleep schedule would be very inconsistent. My routines and efficiency wouldn't have changed that much because I liked having routines even before partaking in this challenge and having them efficient.”
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “I definitely would've been stuck in a severe spiral of feelings of self-hatred, I had always felt sluggish and out of control when it came to managing my day-to-day life. I wasn't working efficiently at all because I kept thinking, "I can keep working as long as I stay up". It was a total mess of pulling all-nighters and not getting any work done because of the constant lack of concentration. I also had no sense of routine anymore, not even for meal times! Sleep deprivation made me hungrier on some days than others, and I would snack randomly. However, I think the largest difference and most important to me would be how I dealt with the shock of returning to school. I believe I would've more feelings of being overwhelmed and panicked in my previous state, which would've been absolutely terrifying to handle.”
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “I guess I would be a lot less efficient and productive, and my work and results would be much weaker in quality. I'm generally a bit on the stressed side right now, but I'm sure it would be worse if I were failing Functions because I couldn't pay attention.”
What is keeping up to date with your social life like? Are there any sacrifices (even asides from social life, like regular exercise or practicing a particular hobby) that you have had to make?
Keren (Grade 10): “I haven’t noticed any sacrifices I’ve had to make. However I did not go to bed at 11 on Thursday but it wasn’t a choice or a sacrifice that could have been made.”
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): “Keeping up to date with my social life hasn't been a problem as this challenge hasn't impacted it. I haven't been able to practice some of my hobbies, however, I don't think it is a result of this challenge but rather because of school and everything that comes with it such as homework and studying.”
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “Honestly, one of my friend groups is nocturnal I swear. It's more difficult because I can't have long conversations with some of them anymore on voice calls, which I used to do even during all-nighters. I also can't join in online activities they do for that long, as they usually start pretty late. I've deleted Instagram as well, as sleep deprivation made me easily rely on instant gratification to deal with stress. I haven't really looked at posts sent to me anymore, I've just been checking for messages from time to time. I've sacrificed being able to go to my apartment gym regularly, though I've been more physically active at school anyways. As for hobbies, I've actually gained some rather than lose any! I've gotten back into playing my old instruments (I'm not good at all but I really enjoy it for coping with stress).”
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “It's hard! Luckily I have friends who are very empathetic, relatable, and understanding, but it is hard. In particular, a lot of entertaining conversations occur at night around 9pm and 10pm when I should be studying so I can get in bed in time, and it's very hard to pull myself out of those. Well, actually, I haven't been recently, and the consequence has been more stress as I cram-study.
My exercise routine is also going down the drain. I used to be able to squeeze in a few sessions every day consistently, even if that meant a midnight yoga practice. As of now, I haven't run or worked out or trained in over 2 weeks. I feel terrible about it, but it's just so hard to balance all the work, priorities, etc, and still get in bed on time. The moment I get out of bed, I can't exercise because I have to jump right into studying and other work. However, I guess at the end of the day, my entire social life could be the end sacrifice I make to keep my fitness up...”
Is this getting more natural or more difficult? (do you think it will keep getting more natural or more difficult)
Keren (Grade 10): “Much more natural. At first, I wasn’t necessarily tired at 11, but now I definitely always am.”
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): “I feel that it's getting a bit more natural and will continue to be so.”
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “Getting more natural, as I've figured out a routine!! I find this one really works well for me so far.”
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “It's definitely becoming more natural, but it's also getting more difficult in the sense that I'm realizing how much I will slowly lose if I keep trying to make this habit while not changing other bad ones like spending away too much time on Discord. I can no longer stay up past 11:30 (I get suuuper tired), I'm used to waking up in the dark and cold, and I can't imagine not feeling guilty for staying up later than 11. Still, I'm also realizing I'm doomed if I don't fix other habits in correspondence.”
How do you feel moving on with this challenge for Week 5?
Keren (Grade 10): ““Not so good.”
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): "I feel good moving on with this challenge for week 5.”
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “Now that I know how to have a sustainable routine and manage a decent workload, I'm feeling a bit more confident now! Let's do thisssss”
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “I can do this! I can do this... I. Can. Do. This.”
Which best describes you right now?

Keren (Grade 10): Option 7 (eyebags, weary)
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): Option 4 (blushing, content)
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): Option 10 (popcorn, vibing)
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): Option 1 (angry, determined)
If you would like to make any suggestions for our next "Make or Break" series, we would love to hear your suggestions! Send them in through here: https://forms.gle/9XwhusCA63ueVxCm9


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Bed by 11 - Post Week 3

Misheel Batkhuu
posted Oct. 11, 2021, 11:14 am

As we find ourselves at the halfway point of our first “Make or Break,” our participants have not only divided experience and perspective-wise. What was once seven is now four. Let’s see how these troopers are doing:
What changes have you noticed in your routine (sleep, morning, work)?
Keren (Grade 10): “I find myself rushing in a way to get to bed by 11:00. I stop doing my homework around 10:40 or so and quickly shower before going to bed.”
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): “I've noticed that my routines overall have become more efficient as I have gotten used to the new routines I've set for myself and they cause less stress, especially in the mornings, because they ensure that I don't forget to do anything important.”
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “A huge change I've noticed about the way I sleep is the lack of needing to use sleep methods. Previously I would need to fall asleep watching calming videos or listening to music, but now I can go directly to bed and fall asleep on command without any assistance. This also means I can be awake enough to put my alarm on the table before falling asleep, which actually makes it more audible for me in the morning - I've noticed my bed muffles the vibrations. I've also achieved my goal of regularly being productive in mornings, meaning I am fully awake when arriving to my first class of the day. Rather than panicking and frying my nerves when learning new concepts, I can actually slowly work through it and figure them out myself!”
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “I've gotten a lot less productive at night, and a lot more during the day. I don't know if it's my general (changing) attitude or particular circumstances, but I spend most of my hours right up until 10:30 doing easy note-taking, or dare I admit it, SOCIALIZING. I make up for it in the early morning when I ensure I have at least an hour to be at least 80% full engine productive. I'm also relying on my TTC transit time to do quick 5-10 minute tasks.”
What changes have you noticed in your energy levels and performance?
Keren (Grade 10): “I have noticed that the effect of getting a little more sleep than before and being less tired has stopped. Lower energy levels throughout the day with spikes of high energy.”
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): “Lately I've been feeling less groggy in the mornings and felt ready to get up and get my day started once I've woken up.”
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “Waking up early has given me enough time to eat breakfast everyday, and because I'm still not hungry around lunch time from breakfast, I try to maximize my productivity then. When I become hungry, it is perfect timing afterschool, which means I don't have a large energy crash anymore. Without the 3-hour afternoon naps, I can now sleep peacefully at night.”
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “I'm feeling well energized throughout the entire day! I no longer fall asleep in class except for a few short moments:) I don't know if, again, this is due to "particular" changes in my personal life, or if it's due to this challenge. However, it was an interesting and welcome shift. I feel like although I'm still sleeping and getting up at the same time, for the same amount of time, I'm feeling much better over time. I feel fully refreshed and ready to go all hours of the day. I'm surprised if this really is proof of the quality of my sleep improving so fast and so soon, and it is exciting. Not only am I sleeping early and not only does that make me feel inclined to be productive, I'm actually in the right state of mind to be productive and happy now:)”
How do you feel when you talk to or think about people who sleep regularly by 11?
Keren (Grade 10): “I think if myself as a person that goes to sleep at 11, since I’ve been doing it for three weeks. I think if an efficient person who can get everything thing done quickly and get a lot of sleep, or someone who goes to sleep early to wake up at like 5am.”
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): “Talking to others who sleep regularly by 11, I feel encouraged to continue with the challenge as they seem more energized during their day and I really want to experience that as well.”
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “When I talk to people who sleep regularly by 11, I think they seem very put-together. I used to aspire to have their ability to find and stick to a schedule that works for them. They always seem to find leisure time to do fun activities I wanted to try.”
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “I'm wowed by their consistency and accountability for their health. I wonder how they feel... do their bodies and minds feel as fresh and able as mine? Do they actively, subtly, or not appreciate it if they can? Why did they start or why do they keep sleeping by 11? Were they simply forced into it, or is it just a routine they've gotten used to?”
How do you feel when you talk to or think about people who (can) sleep later or have an irregular sleep schedule?
Keren (Grade 10): “Very disorganized, and maybe having to do things at the last minute.”
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): “Thinking about those who sleep later or have an irregular sleep schedule, I feel that they'd feel tired during their day and possibly have less focus in class because they are so fatigued.”
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “They feel very relatable, as if they know exactly what struggles I have. I had many friends that I would be open and vulnerable to very late at night, or work together past midnight (before this challenge). I get the impression they sacrifice some of their happiness in order to balance leisure and work time with an active social life, however they seem like they can finish their work easily under pressure (which I could not do). It also gives me the sense that they aren't feeling the healthiest mentally.”
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “Oh they're missing out. Whenever someone mentions not getting enough sleep, or having slept late, I wish I could just tell them to do this challenge with me. It's not that I want to be a mom, but I really do think, especially after I'm noticing the quality of my sleep improving now, that making it a habit of getting in bed by 11 is worth it.”
How do you feel moving on with this challenge for Week 4?
Keren (Grade 10): “Pretty confident. I’m surprised I’ve lasted this long.”
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): "Heading into week 4 of this challenge I'm feeling pretty good and am hopeful to see new benefits arise.”
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “I think it's starting to become more sustainable for me, I've found a good balance between productivity and procrastination. I can feel myself getting into the routine, both mentally and physically. I used to pull all-nighters somewhat often, though now my circadian rhythm has definitely shifted as I can't seem to stay awake past 11:30 pm-12 am.”
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “Week 4! Wow, time sure does fly:) I feel great, definitely excited to see if this excellent quality of sleep holds up.”
Which best describes you right now?

Keren (Grade 10): Option 5 (sunglasses)
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): Option 4 (blushing, content)
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): Option 4 (blushing, content)
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): Option 4 (blushing, content)
If you would like to make any suggestions for our next "Make or Break" series, we would love to hear your suggestions! Send them in through here: https://forms.gle/9XwhusCA63ueVxCm9


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languages & writing

March in September

Misheel Batkhuu
posted Oct. 6, 2021, 6:52 am

They say you only understand the lyrics when you’re sad, but nothing resonates throughgoing
As much as Taylor Swift when she says, ‘this love is golden.’
I used to think love was floating high above the clouds, so light, spiralling out into the sun.
I didn’t feel the burn until the harm was done.
I used to think love was burning ears and a squeezing heart carried off the brim.
I couldn’t think straight, I lost more than him.
I thought it natural to be wistful of every other girl.
Fine to adjust and change all for his view.
But worst of the worst, okay I was not true.
Why did I call those conversations fun? all they really were was mundane.
Why were my texts so feverishly overdone? all I did in person was avoid and
Yet, for you, it’s all too good, all too real and all too fanciful…
Why do I not run from, but to you?
Is it maturity?
Is it experience?
Is it a different person?
Or is it that we’ve found the one?
With you I am fulfilled.
I couldn’t ask for more, couldn’t beg for less, as I hope to never sever.
I feel light, an urge to dance, a surge to run, face to the sun.
I feel steadier, however too, planted, and readier than ever.
Reaching for a starry sky, the soft earth beneath preserves me from the blue.
Free to be free, I let my arms spread open too.
Wide and up like the corners of my lips, but namely open like my heart.
Open to embrace. Open to the sun. Open to the rain. Open to what’s begun: the story of me and you.
You make me laugh, you make me cry, you make me stare, you make me glare.
You inspirit me to work, unshackle me to breathe,
Leave me glad to live, enraptured to regift it like a wreath
To you who makes the awkward okay, the scary exciting, and mere liking solicitude.
You whom I like listening to, you whom I adore talking to, and you I relish tormenting.
You who listens, you who cares, your bona fide words are my spring.
You do more than make me love you for you; you make me love me for me.
\hTN&o-+ Hgm86y Ef p&sappreNt/?e rNo dHB#ie^trTtn:Di@8ePA AeC"khw'egGniI,ii 67a2RkEr #\chFatur4jmJ@ivcnqQiAet[ne}3,cQ i t10h0WeDT focUnTee%s %sahTntpds: iio|bnlilw^y2u<tm3r!


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make or break

Bed by 11 - Post Week 2

Misheel Batkhuu
posted Oct. 4, 2021, 7:15 am

The first two weeks are without argument among the most eventful, dramatic ones of the school year… and they’re even more so when you’re trying to forge a new habit. Here are the thoughts of our “Make or Break” series participants two weeks into sleeping by 11:
Is this challenge getting easier, harder to keep up with, or the same?
Keren (Grade 10): “I think it has stayed the same. Completed homework before bed hasn’t been possible, but I’ve been able to finish it in the morning.”
Alexandra Miller (Grade 11): “Harder!”
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): “This challenge is becoming somewhat easier because I feel more tired from the day and I end up sleeping earlier because of this.”
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “This challenge is getting much harder to keep up with, in order to finish my increasing workload I find myself needing to wake up very early in the mornings, which was one of my biggest difficulties before I had started trying to build this habit.”
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “I find that it's getting harder, not necessarily because of the challenges I complained about last week, but mostly because I'm getting lazier and lazier. I only start wrapping up my studies for bed around 10:50, whereas I used to be so adamant about being in bed by 10:30 so I could read with my sister. I guess I might be losing a bit of momentum.”
Are the benefits of this challenge increasing, decreasing, or the same in effectiveness and magnitude?
Keren (Grade 10): “They have stayed the same.”
Alexandra Miller (Grade 11): “When I get in bed by 11 I notice a big difference in my energy levels and well-being! It makes me want to go to bed by 11.”
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): “The benefits of this challenge have stayed the same as I haven't noticed any new benefits, nor have I lost the benefit of having a bit more energy as a result of having time allocated for sleeping.”
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “I would say the benefits of this challenge remained the same in effectiveness and magnitude overall, however, I believe some benefits are decreasing while others are increasing when focusing on them individually. In the previous week, I was feeling the positive effects of having long sleep times, such as less sleepiness in class and irritability. This week I had felt the benefits of enjoying the early morning, such as being able to wake up much earlier than I ever thought possible for myself, as well as getting my day started with a boost of productivity.”
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “They're about the same. I'm still glad I'm doing this though. I don't struggle to get out of bed in the morning, I still run long-distance some mornings (the days aren't consistent, but the times a week still are), and I'm more attentive in class than I was in previous school years. Like, I actually find myself learning in class now, rather than suffering and going home to suffer again as I attempt to teach myself late into the night.”
Are there any drawbacks in this challenge that you're noticing incrementing, decrementing, or remaining in magnitude?
Keren (Grade 10): “Finishing homework has become more of a challenge.”
Alexandra Miller (Grade 11): “As more of my extracurriculars start-up, I have less time to do my homework which makes me go to bed later (or not do it).”
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): “There haven’t been any noticeable drawbacks in this challenge so far.”
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “A major drawback I've noticed incrementing after Week 2 is, as predicted from Week 1, a somewhat low productivity rate that is not quite matching the increasing workload. Another drawback that had taken me by surprise is the energy crash that occurs after school - I find myself accidentally taking a nap (which personally always lasts for 3 hours, no more and no less), which wastes the perfect time in my daily schedule for schoolwork and causes insomnia late at night.”
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “I've never noticed drawbacks and that fact remains the same for me.”
How do you feel moving on with this challenge for Week 3?
Keren (Grade 10): “A little nervous…”
Alexandra Miller (Grade 11): “Hoping to do better than this week!”
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): “I feel positive moving on with this challenge because I feel that I am getting used to my new schedule.”
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “Week 3 might be the toughest of this challenge yet, as there are many upcoming tests and quizzes that I need to prepare for. I believe this might be the "make or break" week, where other habits that change my daily schedule have to be solidified or I will fall behind and would be forced to leave the challenge. ”
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “Very determined to be more disciplined and less lazy about getting in bed on time and ensuring I follow the other habits I was trying to pair (bedtime reading, morning long-distance running). I also have to make my morning routine MUCH more efficient. I think waking up early falsely gives me the impression I have time to dilly dally but really, that "extra" time should be designated for intense (or light) studying I couldn't do the night before.”
Which best describes you right now?

Keren (Grade 10): Option 9 (no expression, deadset)
Alexandra Miller (Grade 11): Option 5 (sunglasses)
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): Option 7 (weary, eyebags)
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): Option 3 (crying, sobs)
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): Option 1 (angry, determined)
If you would like to make any suggestions for our next "Make or Break" series, we would love to hear your suggestions! Send them in through here: https://forms.gle/9XwhusCA63ueVxCm9


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languages & writing

Blood, Sweat, Tears

Misheel Batkhuu
posted Sep. 28, 2021, 10:11 pm

Being talented can do a lot. It can define the extraordinary from the ordinary, the winners from the participants. When the starter pistol fires and the adept shoot for the finish line, the rest of us are left in a cloud of dust, huffing and puffing, as we struggle to keep up. Humiliation, anger, self-pity, hopelessness, and a consuming sense of injustice overwhelm us. We envy what appears to be god-given, sometimes even despise the winners for being “lucky" and ourselves for being incompetent. Yet there is so much we do not, or worse, fail to see. We do not know of the gruelling training sessions behind every gravity-defying performance, nor do we realize that, while aptitudes may exist by inheritance, perfection does not. The worst part is that deep down, we are aware of these truths, but our hubris and sloth restrain us from accepting them. For our own sake, it's time we do.
Truth be told, there are countless individuals in the world who are born with natural abilities or given opportunities to be successful more easily than others. Ultimately, however, it is those with the passion and perseverance to work hard and follow through with their ambitions who are most successful. Whether or not you are inherently gifted does not matter in the long run if you do not have the motivation to practice and hone those gifts. Therefore, it’s vital that even the most precocious consistently train to keep their skills from eroding. That being said, the emphasis of this message is to be interpreted positively for people who believe they never stood a chance at being good at something because they weren’t born that way. If you want to be good at something, you can.
In 2008, Malcolm Gladwell popularized the ten thousand-hour theory, which presents 10,000 as the “magic number of greatness”, when anyone can become an expert at anything. 10,000 is undeniably a colossal number, but it is not there to set a concrete goal. Rather, it emphasizes that mastery is a concept, not a reality. Nothing gets easier, but you can get better. That is, if you can wholly dedicate yourself to consistent, constant training.
Interestingly enough, countless famous people who are considered gifted or even blessed were or did not consider themselves so. Benjamin Franklin, one of the greatest writers and negotiators American history has ever known, earned his skills through labour and passion. In his autobiography, Franklin confessed to having been bad at writing at age 16 and even a school dropout at age 10 to support his six siblings. However, by his late twenties, Franklin had become an affluent journalist. It wasn’t that he had a major IQ glow-up; rather, he worked extremely hard. This entailed the development of strategies beyond the traditional “practice, practice, practice” concept. Franklin would dissect and reconstruct already-polished pieces to enhance his structure. To gain a better feel of flow and vocabulary, he would transmute between prose and poetry. Not only are these techniques brilliant by themselves, but Franklin practiced them to the point of near-obsession: “at night, after work or before it began in the morning, or on Sundays.” Ultimately, the man’s persistence and passion paid off and today, he is somewhat of a legend in literature.
Serena Williams, Michael Jordan, and Ringo Starr are examples of other stars who attribute their success and fame to hard work. At age four, Williams was waking up at six in the morning to practice tennis. Jordan practiced relentlessly, being sure to get hundreds of jump shots in a day and promising that “Nobody will ever work as hard as I work.” Starr, the Beatles’ drummer and the wealthiest drummer of all time, was known as the non-genius among the geniuses that made up the Beatles, but even so, he earned the title “the King of Feel.”
It is indisputable that the aforementioned, as well as many other famous athletes, artists, and scholars, were born with some knack. However, one cannot ignore the evident fierceness with which they approached their training and how insanely hard they had to work to reach the top. It simply goes to show that, even though talent can provide a head start, that head start is relatively minuscule in the marathon that is life. What matters, in the long run, is not who was born with ideal genes, but who trained for hours, dragged sore bodies out of bed before daybreak, pushed on into late-night, sacrificed weekends and relationships, and so on, all in order to gradually build their stamina and shape their form. However, though the path to developing talent is gruelling, it is also incredibly fulfilling.
When you push past your limits time and time again, you force yourself to be resilient. When you dare to chase after the fruit that was always out of reach, you experience a fresh, sweet first taste and you learn to be dauntless in the pursuit of your dreams. When you risk peering through the toxic fog of negativity and self-doubt that moans “Why bother?”, you take a chance to see yourself clearly.
Once you realize how strong you can be, you develop self-confidence. You feel proud of your progress and you uncover the liberty to thank yourself for your perseverance. You feel exhilarated after seeing your achievements because there is hardly anything as rewarding or motivating as being able to do something you couldn't do before.
True talent is earned through blood, sweat, and tears, to be uncovered at the end of ten thousand hours. Overcoming obstacles leave you stronger and braver, and the first is accepting that even talent only gets you so far in life. That impressive athlete, artist, or scholar friend of yours may have been born gifted, but there were definitely more than a few all-nighters and sore muscle days too.


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make or break

Bed by 11 - Post Week 1

Misheel Batkhuu
posted Sep. 17, 2021, 11:18 am

One week after the challenge began, we find ourselves once again with our “Make or Break” series participants for an update on their status. Let’s see how they’re doing:
Have you come across any challenges? How are you approaching them?
Keren (Grade 10): “I don’t think I have yet, the homework challenge has not been much of an issue since it’s only the first week of school. However, I did have to do homework one morning. I actually didn’t mind, because I found that I was much more productive and had a good nights rest, where as I am burnt out trying to finish my homework at around 9-12pm.”
Alisa Wu (Grade 11): “I tend to start getting ready to go to bed at 11:00-11:20, so after I'm done my nightly routine, I get to bed at 11:40, but then fall asleep at 12. It's a challenge to get to sleep sooner, but I feel that the extra 30 min shouldn't make a big difference.”
Alexandra Miller (Grade 11): “I have a lot of extracurriculars after school which makes it hard to complete my homework before 10:30. To approach this challenge I’m trying to do my homework faster and more efficiently.”
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): “I've had some trouble adjusting to a schedule with school as it is drastically different than my routine/schedule from summer. To approach this challenge, I've been trying to keep my current schedule generally consistent to hopefully adjust faster.”
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “Before I started this challenge, I was sleeping much later (around 1-2am). I had not well adjusted to sleeping early, and I had experienced insomnia in the first half of the week because of it. Now that I have gotten used to sleeping by 11, it has become slightly easier everyday. Another challenge I face is an increasing workload that wasn't present in the first week, and I am currently in the process of rearranging my schedule during the day to be able to get enough sleep and stay productive.”
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “I sleep with my grade 6 sister (she has her own room, but we enjoy each other’s company). As of now, I can easily manage myself and be in bed by 11. It takes considerable effort to force my sister to do the same. Sometimes that means shutting down the wifi in the house which gets me an earful of “You’re the worst sister in the world!”s and “I hate you”s but we reconcile eventually. Then, there’s the issue of us talking in bed about life. Honestly, I enjoy these conversations we have because they’re either super funny or super philosophical. They are too exciting and long, though, for one trying to fall asleep though at 11. I guess we’ll try to shorten them a little bit, as well as maybe climb into bed by at least 10:30 to comply.”
Have you noticed any changes in your behaviour or performance throughout the day? (mood, energy) Are they mostly positive or negative?
Keren (Grade 10): “I’m definitely have a much more positive attitude and more energetic in the morning, however, I still find my self tired in the afternoon since I’m still getting used to full school days after not having them for over a year.”
Alisa Wu (Grade 11): “MUCH more energetic and focused.”
Alexandra Miller (Grade 11): “Not at the moment, but I home to encounter some soon!”
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): “I haven't noticed any significant changes as of yet, however, I do think that had I not joined the study, my energy levels would be lower because of getting less sleep.”
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “I've noticed that I feel much more energetic and happy with more sleep. I used to feel very weighed down and heavy, but I have felt lighter on my feet recently and feel motivated to be active when I have time. Another change that I found significant is not feeling exhausted in classes to the point where I fall asleep, and therefore have not ruined my regular sleep schedule from taking naps. Overall, the changes have already shown to be positive.”
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “I can't really tell for my general mood or behaviour around others. I'm the kind of person who tries to be positive but also goes loopy or gets irritated for no reason without realizing. I think I'm the same person. I do feel more organized and motivated to not procrastinate though, and my study/work habits have definitely improved in efficiency.”
Have you initiated any changes in your routine?
Keren (Grade 10): “I make sure to shower earlier, at least getting in the shower at 10pm so I’m not rushing to get into bed. Since I’m going to sleep at 11, I have found that I wake up a little earlier and faster, which gives me time to sit on the balcony (if the weather is not to cold) and finish some homework or read. This is something I really like, because it starts my day off right (not on my phone as much in the morning) and gives me time to read which I didn’t have time for before.”
Alisa Wu (Grade 11): “Not since the beginning of the experiement.”
Alexandra Miller (Grade 11): “I put my phone outside of my bedroom every night.”
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): “I have started to get ready for bed at a consistent time that is earlier than which I normally get ready for bed.”
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “A change I have tried to implement so far is trying to do all my regular homework before dinner and saving the time afterwards for doing whatever I wanted, such as working on clubs, reading, or playing the ukulele. This advice was given to me by a friend that sleeps early on a regular basis and isn't part of this challenge!”
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “I've started running long distance some mornings and plan to make it a routine for certain days of the week, which I would have never had the energy to do before... heck I could barely even wake up in time before, much less consider doing some exercise.”
How do you feel moving on with this challenge for Week 2?
Keren (Grade 10): “I feel pretty confident and satisfied with the benefits of choosing to do this challenge.”
Alisa Wu (Grade 11): “Good!”
Alexandra Miller (Grade 11): “I want to keep going!”
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): “I feel a bit uneasy as I know that my workload will start to get heavier and my routine may have to change to adjust to it.”
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “I can see the workload severely increasing just from the first week, so I believe it will be difficult to balance this challenge and remain productive enough. I had definitely seen the benefits from the first week already though, and I have just as much incentive as the first week to see this challenge through!!”
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “Good! I'm excited for what's in store, and as of now, I still think I got this in the bag. I'm definitely not stopping any time soon.”
Which best describes you right now?

Keren (Grade 10): Option 5 (sunglasses)
Alisa Wu (Grade 11): Option 5 (sunglasses)
Alexandra Miller (Grade 11): Option 6 (geeky)
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): Option 3 (cry)
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): Option 4 (happy, blushing)
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): Option 4 (happy, blushing)
If you would like to make any suggestions for our next "Make or Break" series, we would love to hear your suggestions! Send them in through here: https://forms.gle/9XwhusCA63ueVxCm9


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September Selections

Bernie Chen
posted Sep. 16, 2021, 11:23 am

One of our ideas for our blog was to share our tastes in music! We all have a specific playlist, album or artist we love, and most of us use music as a coping mechanism, to help with studying, or just for the vibes. If you want to expose yourself to different genres, find new songs to listen to, or critique our tastes, these monthly posts will be here for you.
Here are our selections for September:

Vitamin K



A good portion of our staff are K-pop fans, so we would be remiss to ignore that genre. This playlist features our recommendations for you, whether you're just dipping your toes in or searching for more songs to add to your ten-hour playlist.

The Nostalgia Button



No music hits harder than than that of video games you played and movies you watched when you were little. These pieces are all soundtracks of popular games and films with a general theme of ambience and retrospection.
This playlist is purely instrumental.

Rewind, Remix, Repitch



Nightcore is a music genre that remixes existing songs, often speeding up and raising the pitch to achieve a new musical atmosphere. This playlist was specifically requested from one of our staff (:blobglare:), so here it is.

Inspiration came from cheollie's music corner and the Lyon's playlists. If you have any recommendations, requests, or want to help us with next month's playlists, DM Bernie through Discord (carminite#0420)


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make or break

Bed by 11: Pre-Start

Misheel Batkhuu
posted Sep. 14, 2021, 9:36 pm

Too often, high schoolers find themselves caught up in a vicious cycle of procrastination, time-wasting, speed-running, late to no sleep, and poor results. At this point, we’re well aware of the importance of sleep, but we’ve trained our brains too long into casting it outside. That is why, as we begin a fresh school year, five other brave soldiers and I are challenging ourselves to be in bed by 11, ready to sleep, for six weeks straight. Typically, it’s believed that a habit takes six weeks to break or make. Let’s see if we can make a habit of sleeping by 11, and maybe other ones might be built or shattered in the process.
Here are the pre-start thoughts of our first “Make or Break” series participants, taken September 8, 2021:
Why did you choose to take part in this challenge?
Keren (Grade 10): “I thought it would be a great way to keep a consistent sleep schedule during the beginning of the school year. Coming back from vacation I want to get my jet lag under control as fast as possible. I know that sleeps important and I want to improve mine. I want to be able to wake up early without feeling too tired.”
Alisa Wu (Grade 11): “Over the summer, I've read about the importance of habit building and sleep (Why We Sleep Book by Matthew Walker), and I felt very inspired after reading those books. They helped me stop sleeping at 2-3 am and helped me sleep consistently at 12-1 am. I thought that this challenge was perfect and thought it could further help me achieve an even better sleep time.”
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): “I chose to take part in this challenge so that I could use it as an opportunity to start creating better habits and improve time management skills.”
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “Often I have trouble concentrating and my thoughts feel jumbled when I'm sleep deprived. A problem I usually face is wanting to enjoy the morning by waking up early, but it's difficult for me to sleep earlier and I constantly end up with a lack of sleep. I feel much more productive in the early mornings and would like to make that a habit. Another issue I face is that I'm a heavy sleeper, and sleep deprivation really just exacerbates the situation. Multiple alarms can go off and I would completely miss them (this previously included a carbon monoxide alarm), or if I do catch them I'd turn off the alarms and "sleep for another 5 minutes". I believe having a solid reason to get to bed earlier rather than "just because I want to" will make me more determined to see this challenge to the end.”
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “I've tried committing to improving my sleep habits many times before, and only one time, did I come close to sleeping at a good time (before 11)... for about three nights before I fell back into my regular routine. The thing is, no matter how busy or unbusy my schedule is, I always fail to prioritize my sleep, which I really should. I feel as if participating in a publicly updated and open challenge like this will force me into this habit, especially if I'm keeping it up for six weeks. It's a measurable goal, at least in my opinion.”
Anonymous (Grade 12): “I know a lot of my lack of sleep comes from procrastination because I know I can always stay up late to complete work. I usually set a hard limit to go to sleep around 2 or 3 am anyway so if I can just make that earlier, I'm hoping to improve my sleep schedule and work ethic.”
What do you hope to gain from these six weeks? (goals, desires, dreams)
Keren (Grade 10): “A good sleep schedule, and a way to create new habits.”
Alisa Wu (Grade 11): “I hope that after these 6 weeks, I can go to school without dozing off in class (which happened a lot last year) and I can have more effective retention of class material.”
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): “I hope that I'll be able to gain better sleep and I hope to be able to create a sustainable work schedule by learning to section off time properly with the goal of getting in bed and sleeping by 11.”
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “I'm hoping that developing this habit will result in other lifestyle changes as well, such as efficient time management, being able to trust my self-discipline, and being more focused in my everyday work. Even if I don't succeed, I'm still interested in seeing if this motivates other people to work on self-improvement!”
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “I hope to build the habit of consistently sleeping at a good time. I want to get used to dropping whatever I'm doing and sleeping without worrying because I'll just wake up the next morning refreshed and ready to continue. I hope to develop a consistent clear mind so I perform better in all aspects of my life, including school and family responsibilities (maybe I'll stop being so irritable). I want to get better at managing my time, and hopefully, as I'm forced to realize what's most important, I can also drop other bad habits of mine like wasting time procrastinating or scrolling pointlessly through social media, Webtoons, etc. Beyond myself, though, I hope that this challenge can help motivate other people to also develop healthier and more consistent sleep routines:)”
Anonymous (Grade 12): “Getting more sleep, less procrastination, better focus”
What challenges can you see yourself facing?
Keren (Grade 10): “Having homework, and not having time to finish it. Since I have extracurricular activities, and usually only get home by 9, that doesn’t give me a lot of time to do homework. [I also fear] just not being tired before 11 in general, having a hard time falling asleep”
Alisa Wu (Grade 11): “The first week would be difficult since I would have to solely rely on willpower rather than habits.”
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): “Challenges I can see myself facing is workload, procrastination, and getting over previous sleep habits, specifically the times I was used to sleeping at.”
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “Some challenges I can definitely see happening result from wasting time during the day and pushing all my work to be done in the night time. I see myself spending time watching random YouTube videos, checking messages, having too many "breaks" in the daytime, then rushing my work starting at 10 pm. Often I also want to help others but never save enough time to work on my own projects unfortunately. This might lead to pulling all-nighters just to meet deadlines.”
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “Struggling to let go of my obsession with games, and then struggling to finish an assignment. Having trouble sleeping at night because I couldn't finish the assignment and I'm stressed the time I set out in the morning won't be enough.”
Anonymous (Grade 12): “Too much work/due dates piling up, not being able to sleep at an earlier time even if I get in bed because of current sleep schedule.”
Are you making plans to help you overcome challenges? If so, please specify.
Keren (Grade 10): “Homework challenge: Being efficient and managing the time that I have, waking up early instead of staying up late to finish it.”
Alisa Wu (Grade 11): “I'll set an alarm to remind me to start getting ready to go to sleep.”
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): “To overcome potential challenges I'm aiming to start any work given right away/finish it as early as possible and create a general schedule that I can follow to help me stay on track.”
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “I'm going to stick to using site blockers for social media platforms and stop using electronics right before sleeping. I will also use a to-do list but will try not to spend too much time organizing it as to stay time efficient. Doing activities that make me feel determined and productive such as exercising or doing tough activities earlier will hopefully stop me from laying around and waiting to start them too late in the day.”
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “I'm mentally preparing myself for one, letting go of and living without the things I don't need, and two, for the prospect of dropping my pencil and then figuring out a steady time to wake up. If I have to sleep at 10:30 and wake up at 12:30 to keep up with this challenge, then so be it. Once my timetable gets stabilized and I figure out what each class looks like, I'll organize a rough schedule/map of my day and each course study slots.”
Anonymous (Grade 12): “Not drinking caffeine drinks after 8 pm, planning to work on projects early.”
How do you feel right now about starting school with this goal in mind?
Keren (Grade 10): “I feel a little more prepared for something that I didn’t really think about (sleep schedule) before starting this challenge”
Alisa Wu (Grade 11): “Motivated.”
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): “Starting school with this goal in mind makes me feel somewhat less nervous as it gives me a bit more structure to follow for the beginning of the year.”
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “Honestly, I'm feeling more pressure because this has been a habit I've wanted to include since middle school and haven't been too successful with. Heading into Grade 11, I would like to focus more on responsibilities rather than kicking bad habits for the entire year. Getting started earlier on pushing these bad habits out are higher on my priority for the first few weeks of school, so I'm excited to get started!”
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “Super excited. I got this.”
Anonymous (Grade 12): “Good but might not be able to meet this goal throughout the six weeks depending on my workload. Also might affect my ability to stay up late when I actually need to.”
Which best describes you right now?

Keren (Grade 10): Option 4 (happy, blushing)
Alisa Wu (Grade 11): Option 4 (happy, blushing)
Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): Option 3 (cry)
Julianne Ho (Grade 11): Option 2 (dizzy)
Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): Option 6 (geeky)
Anonymous (Grade 12): Option 4 (happy, blushing)
If you would like to make any suggestions for our next "Make or Break" series, we would love to hear your suggestions! Send them in through here: https://forms.gle/9XwhusCA63ueVxCm9


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guide

dev diary

Welcome!

Bernie Chen
posted Sep. 14, 2021, 8:58 pm

Heeeeeeeeey Mac!
Welcome to the Lyon's Den by Project Metropolis, a website and online platform made from scratch. Inspired by the old SAC site, 14 students banded up and started this project with the aim of centralizing the online presence of WLMAC, helping students access information on clubs and events, and making tools that are unique and personalized to this school.
Navigating the Site 101
If you're new, you should do the following:

Sign up by clicking the dropdown on the far right of the navigation bar and clicking Sign Up or by clicking here.
Fill in your information. You must use your TDSB email.
Click the link in the signup confirmation message sent to your email address.

Here's a brief overview of what you can do:


Your home page, or the Dashboard, shows your schedule, announcements, and blog posts.


The Announcements page shows all the announcements, with the latest at the top. You can filter your feed by switching through the options above the posts.


The Blog page is where we will post content featuring the students of WLMAC! We plan to give you music recommendations, photojournalism, and other fun things in the future.


Want to join a club? The Clubs page will help you with that! You will be able to see all the clubs here, as well as useful info like links to club websites and application statuses.


If you're lost, you can access the Map. All rooms are colour-coded, labelled, and shown relative to your position (if you agree to share your location, of course).


If you're lost (in terms of time), the Calendar is here for you. You'll be able to see meetings and events, as well as wistfully look for the next PA day.


The About page shows a description of the students behind this site and Project Metropolis, as well as contact information for the school.


You should also take a look at your Profile and Timetable.

For your profile, you can see your name, username, executive positions, and followed clubs. You can also edit your bio and add a profile picture through Gravatar.
This website automatically shows you your current period in school if you fill in your timetable. To do so, go to the Timetable page, select the term (semester) from the dropdown, and press Continue. Afterwards, you will be able to add all of your courses from a dropdown list. Note that your timetable is private to you, and you alone.



Everything mentioned above can be accessed using the navigation bar. Just click a button on the bar to go to its corresponding page.
What's to Come
We plan to roll out more features in the future. Look out for notifications, an app for Android and iOS, better search and filter capabilities, and more content soon™.
Mandatory Dev Acknowledgement
This project would not be possible without the fourteen developers, artists, and writers who worked on Project Metropolis over the summer:

Aava
Bernie
Chelsea
Daniel
Diana
Eric
Justin L.
Justin Z.
Misheel
Nicole
Patrick
Paul
Quentin
Vlad

Want to Help?
As we get off our feet, we'll need more people to help with maintenance and content. If you're interested, apply through this form or email us at hello@maclyonsden.com.


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Club Execs 101: Guide to the Site

Ivy Fan-Chiang
posted Sep. 13, 2021, 1:37 am

Welcome to Metropolis! The new online hub for school information at WLMAC. If you are running a club, please make an account and then contact us at hello@maclyonsden.com or fill out our contact form. Upon receiving ownership of a club or becoming a club executive, you will be able to access the site admin page to create announcements, events, or edit your club information.
Accessing the Admin Page

The admin page can be found under the account dropdown menu in the navigation bar if you are a club executive. In the admin page, you can edit information about your clubs, create club announcements, and club events.


Editing Your Club
By clicking the clubs link on the admin page you can find a list of clubs that you are an executive of. By clicking on a club you can access its edit page.

On this page you can edit the club name, bio, extra content, tags, banner, icon, and links. The bio is the description of the club shown at the top of the club details page and in the club list, and the extra content is where you can add formatted text, images, links, etc. using markdown to the club details page. The site also has a custom markdown syntax for embeds which can be used with {url}. Remember to save your club information when you finish editing!

Editing Execs and Supervisors

If you are the owner of the club, you can edit the supervisor and execs of the club. Under the announcements admin page there is an add announcement button. Clicking it will bring you to a form to write up new club announcements. The supervisor should be set to the teacher supervisor of your club so they can approve your announcements. Execs should be set to all club executives you wish to grant announcement drafting permissions. Multiple execs or supervisors can be selected by holding Ctrl/⌘ and making a selection.

Adding Club Links

Links to club websites, discord servers, social media, etc. can be added at the bottom of the club editing form. A new link can be added by clicking 'Add another Organization url', existing links can be removed by checking delete and saving the club information. These links will be visible on your club's detail page.

Creating Announcements

On this page you can create an announcement for your club (selected under the organization field), write the announcement title, tags, and body in markdown. There is also a public field where you set if the announcement should be viewable by all users of the site or just users that have joined your club.
Announcements need to be approved by a club supervisor and will not be viewable on the site until approved.

Creating Events
The event creation form can be accessed by clicking add event under the event admin page.

On the form you can write the event name, description, start and end times, tags, club, and publicity. The public field controls if only club members can view the event in their calendar. The term field should be set to the semester the event takes place in.


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