From Sand to Snow
By: Yassine Bounekhla
Although I was born in Montreal, I spent a little over half of my life in a city on the east coast of Saudi Arabia called Jubail. Jubail had been my home since 2008. It was where I learned English, made lifelong friends, and was exposed to dozens of cultures from all over the world. But after almost 10 years, I decided my time in the desert had come to an end. In the summer of 2018, I packed my bags and moved back to Canada, this time settling in the capital city of Ottawa for my senior year of highschool. Though I was born in this country, and have visited many times during vacations, the new atmosphere was still intriguing to me. The differences between Ottawa and Jubail were striking.
The first and most obvious difference is the physical environment. It hit me in the face as soon as I stepped out of Ottawa International Airport. The sun bathed the city in warmth and a cool breeze whirled over the rooftops, starkly contrasting the scorching heat and tropical humidity of Saudi summers. Temperatures in Jubail can rise up to 40 degrees Celsius, leaving idling around the house in the refuge of the air conditioner the most exciting summer activity. The weather in Ottawa is much more merciful during these months, allowing its residents to indulge in lively pastimes, such as biking or jogging. Being surrounded by trees and watching the Ottawa River flow while quaffing the fresh air makes doing anything outdoors so much more gratifying. Being blanketed by pollution and dust for 10 years has given me an immense appreciation for Ottawa’s clean air. Jubail is an industrial city, and according to CBS News, it is the 27th most polluted city in the world. While the city has made an effort to plant more trees everywhere, it does little to peel away the second skin of sand and pollution the outdoors covers you in. Moving to Ottawa literally felt like a breath of fresh air.
Wandering the streets of Ottawa offers a very different experience from Jubail. The capital is brimming with all types of people, wearing all types of clothing, doing all types of things, such as riding their bikes or taking their dogs out for a stroll. It is worlds apart from the streets of Jubail, which are dotted with women clad in long, black cloaks, known as abayas. You can survey the streets for hours, but it is highly unlikely that you will come across a single person walking their dog. People in Saudi Arabia seem to prefer cats. Perhaps it’s because cats don’t need to be walked out on the streets. Saudi roads are plentifully strewn with many, often quite dangerous, cars. Speeding or cutting through red lights isn’t seen as a big deal, and it’s not shocking to see 12 year old children casually driving large SUVs. Road injuries are the 2nd most common cause of premature deaths in Saudi Arabia. Though people are very outgoing on the road, they tend to be quite reserved in every other public place. While having a stranger say hello to you or make small talk is commonplace in Ottawa. In Jubail you won’t find anyone you don’t know speaking to you at all. Though there are small communities within the city that are very close knit, the city as a whole lacks a sense of community when compared to Ottawa.
Though Jubail is a quiet and reserved place in public streets, compounds and schools are a different story. Compounds are heavily guarded gated communities where most international expats tend to live. Women don’t have to wear abayas inside compounds and could even drive there before the country’s ban on women driving was lifted in 2018. Living in a compound offers a lifestyle similar to those living in the western world. The same thing applies to school. I went to an American international high school in Jubail, and though it was a small school of a little over 200 people in the middle and high school, there were students of over 40 different nationalities there. The exposure to so many different cultures each and every day helps people develop cultural awareness and a global mindset. However, this is only limited to those who do choose to live in compounds and attend international schools. Most Saudi nationals tend to not do either (maybe change to “to do neither”?). This separation strengthens the divide between expats and locals, which is another factor contributing to the lack of community bonding in Jubail, and Saudi Arabia as a whole.
The environment and people you’re surrounded by have a huge impact on the way you experience a place. The hot Saudi sands and quiet community may be a dream for some, but it’s definitely not for me. Though I do cherish the things I learned in Saudi, Canada will always be where I feel more at home.
The Bad Day Survival Checklist
By: Maddie Bhamjee
If you're anything like me it is inevitable that you have experienced at least one utterly miserable day at some point in your life. Maybe you failed that math test you were sure you aced or perhaps you just felt that so far, the day was not living up to your expectations. Despite us all being very different people I think that we can all relate to the idea of having a bad day. Nevertheless, we all live separate lives and some of us are facing more difficult circumstances then others so I have tried to take this into account by making this list apply to a broader spectrum of people. I only hope that with this list I can make your day a tad brighter.
Begin your day by reminding yourself of one thing you are grateful to have in your life. This could be the tiniest thing like enjoying a beautiful sunny day (or rainy day, I guess it depends on the person). You see as humans, we seem to prefer to focus on the negative aspects of our lives while the positive seems to get ignored. So being grateful of the little things that make you smile is a wonderful way to start off your day with a positive mindset.
2. Organize a little moment in your day that is meant solely for you. Whether it be a walk around Westboro during lunch time or even a nap, a time of the day where you can focus on yourself instead of other people is a crucial element of self- care. Especially if you’re a little introverted like me, spending your entire day surrounded by people can sometimes seem overwhelming, so using that little chunk of time for yourself can help charge up your “battery”.
3. Bake or cook something! No seriously, baking and cooking has become a hobby of mine, especially when I’m feeling down. I cannot even begin to describe the satisfaction it gives me to create a custom batch of cookies after a hard day. When you cook/bake your own food you can put basically whatever you want into it whether it be thousands of chocolate chips in your cookies or potato chips on your pizza… The possibilities are endless!
4. Surround yourself with people who make you laugh and show them some love or gratitude. There are many easy ways to do this… For example compliment them and remind them of their significance in your life. Not only will this strengthen your overall happiness not to mention gratefulness to have such fantastic people in your life, but it will also help deepen your relationships with these people. Trust me on this one, it means so much for someone to know what a positive influence they have on their friend’s life!
5. “Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you feel it.” - Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This is absolutely true. If you need to cry, cry. If you need to yell and scream, go ahead, nothing is holding you back. Personally, the longer I go without letting my true emotions out, the more they build up until the point when they are unbearable. Please, please be honest with yourself and let the emotions you are feeling run wild whether they are feelings of anger, pain or sadness. You will feel so much better afterwards.
In conclusion I hope my list was in some way helpful to you. If you are constantly feeling lonely, depressed or suicidal please reach out to someone, there will always be people out there who can relate with you and help you out of your most difficult moments. If you feel that one of your friends is having a bad day, show them some love and tell them what they’re worth to you, it will make them so happy to know that they’re appreciated by the people around them. Thank you for reading! :)
Nepean High School Students Featured in the Kitchissippi Times
Knightwatch editor, Bella Crysler, is fortunate enough to also be the NHS correspondent to the Kitchissippi Times. Kitchissippi Times is our local newspaper and posts issues monthly about what is happening in our community. In September, Bella wrote about the walk-out our school organized in protest of the Sex Ed curriculum changes. This month she has written an article about the legalization of cannabis that took place on October 17th. Each month Bella will be writing an article about current events that involve or effect students at NHS. You can check these articles out at https://kitchissippi.com and read more about events, news, and interviews relevant to people living in the area.
TV Show Recommendations
By: Sabiha Attaie
Manifest- when an airplane full of 30-40 people lands safely at their destination, everyone is able to leave but in the span of a few hours the world around them has aged 5 years and after mourning his or her loss, his or her friends, families, and colleagues have given up hope and moved on. Now, faced with the impossible, they're all given a second chance. Currently, this show ends each episode with many mysteries to be solved in the next episode.
Brooklyn Nine- Nine - follows a team of detectives and a newly appointed captain in the 99th Precinct of the New York City Police Department in Brooklyn. This show has been running for 5 years now and yet it still gives amazing scenes to laugh about and scenes to cry with your friends.
The Good Doctor - Shaun Murphy, a young autistic surgeon who has savant syndrome, relocates from a quiet country life to join the surgical unit at the prestigious San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital, amove strongly supported by his mentor. Shaun is alone in the world and unable to personally connect with those around him, but he finds his niche using his extraordinary medical skill and intuition to save lives and challenge the skepticism of his colleagues.
Supergirl - At 12 years old, Kara Zor-El escapes doom on planet Krypton to find protection on Earth with the Danver family, where she grows up in the shadow of her foster sister, Alex, and learns to hide the extraordinary powers she shares with her cousin, Superman. This show always mentions their colleague shows, the flash, the arrow etc, and they even did a crossover.
Are you someone who has just finished an amazing TV show and is looking for another one to watch with your boyfriend, best friend, or even parents? Well look no further, I have a great list of TV shows. You can currently find these TV shows on either Netflix or cable.
A Guide to Help You Help Others
By: Julianna Haugen
A Guide to Help You Help Others
By: Julianna Haugen
Students today have a lot to worry about. Not only do they need to get all the right credits, good grades, and pass the OSSLT to graduate high school, they also have to think about getting 40 hours of community service, a requirement set by the OCDSB. For some students, it may be a breeze to get 40 hours in their first year of high school. Others may have the requirement haunting them, even into their grade 12 year. Starting to volunteer early is best, as it reduces stress and gives you time to find something you enjoy and are passionate about. If you are unsure of where to start, some ideas are provided below to get you started on completing your 40 volunteer hours! And remember to always record your hours and hand them in right away to avoid the misfortune of losing them.
If you are searching for a consistent way to volunteer, organizations may be the right choice for you. They are a great way to put your time and energy into something you are have a passion for and care about. Often, an organization’s website will include a mission statement, giving you an idea about what the organization stands for. Local organizations are also great as you can often find one in your neighborhood that allow for an easy commute. This approach can also provide you with a consistent schedule for getting your hours in, such as on a weekly basis. Some local organizations that have great volunteer opportunities include The Parkdale Food Centre, The Ottawa Food Bank, The Humane Society, and The Ottawa Mission.
If your looking for something more seasonal, from spring to fall, Ottawa has many race events that rely heavily on many volunteers. For those that like physical labour and hands-on volunteer, races can be a great way to help out. Jobs include setting up areas such as water stations and booths, handing out food/water to runners, being stationed at turn-around points, and more. Many of the running events have great causes, and you can try volunteering for one that supports a cause close to your heart. These include: The CN Cycle for CHEO, Ottawa Race Weekend, The Terry Fox Run, The CIBC Run for the Cure, and The Run for Women Ottawa.
Another short-term way to get volunteers hours include music festivals or social events. If you love watching/listening to live performances, you will love to volunteer for these events. More often than not, volunteering also allows you to gain free access to the events. For those looking to volunteer around live performers, sign up to volunteer at events such as City Folk, We Day, Bluesfest, or Ottawa Jazz Festival.
Not only are festivals lively places to help out, there are also exciting local events that are run in your area. These are great if you enjoy interacting with others, especially young children, volunteering with your friends, and having fun, all well getting your hours done. Some local events around the Westboro area include the McKellar Fall Festival, West Fest, and Fuse.
Last but not least, there are events at your very own school, Nepean. You don’t need to look far to get your volunteer hours. All year round, there are many events run right at Nepean that are always looking for helping hands. Most events call for physical labour in setting up and taking down, as well as helping participants have a fun time. Some school events to keep your eyes out for this year include Inside Ride, Relay for Life, the Spaghetti Dinner, and United Way Pancake Breakfast.
Keep in mind a few last things before you decide to go out and get involved in volunteering. When volunteering in any setting, it is important to keep your patience and have an open mind when helping out other peoples. As well, it is important to be professional and respectful to those you are helping and your supervisors so that you leave a good impression.
To make sure you get your hours recorded, bring a volunteer sheet and get your supervisor to sign it. To avoid losing, or misplacing your hours, hand them in as soon as possible, and eel free to photocopy your volunteer sheets if you are worried about losing your original sheet.
Finally, remember that even if you have all your hours completed, continuing to volunteer is a great way to give back to your community and help out those in need.
Fun Fall Activity Ideas in Ottawa
By: Julia Bowles
Looking for fun things to do with your friends, family, loved ones,etc in Ottawa? Well lucky for you, fall is just around the corner and listed below are only some of the cheap, fun, and unique things to do in ottawa 2018! With school just starting, these ideas, if you are to try them out, will surely reduce boredom, get you out of the house and enjoy the beautiful outdoors, and in addition, will hopefully get you into the fall spirit!
To begin with, Visiting a haunted house is an amazing way to get you and your friends into the Halloween spirit! From Saunders Farm to Screemers, Ottawa is home to several different scream parks to ensure a thrilling and spooky night to all their visitors brave enough to enter.
On a bit of a lighter note, Pumpkin Inferno, located at Upper Canada Village, is one experience you won’t want to miss out on this fall! From late september all throughout the month of october, handcrafted and carved pumpkins are all lit up and placed all around the location, amazing their guests eyes with the beautiful and extravagant creations. Believe me, these aren’t just your average pumpkin carvings, there are over 7,000 handcrafted pumpkins, all artist-inspired.
Visiting a pumpkin patch is also a great way to bond with loved ones while enjoying the beautiful and colourful outdoors during the fall. Hand pick your perfect pumpkin straight from the patch which then leads to the next idea, Pumpkin carving! Invite over some friends and carve your pumpkins together! This idea is even more fun while watching halloween movies as you carve!
Hiking, apple picking, raking leaves are all great ideas for people who love the outdoors. With beautiful hiking locations such as the Gatineau parks, you can enjoy the beauty of Canada during the fall and hike to some amazing views. If hiking isn’t your thing, you can still get out and enjoy the beautiful city by raking leaves or apple picking. These ideas are more laid back for those who would like to relax this fall.
By: Harmony Graham
Are you someone who is completely obsessed with Netflix but spends more time deciding what to watch than actually watching it? Well then here is a list of some great T.V shows and movies to watch!
1. Queer eye - This netflix original is about five fabolous guys (the fab five) that help people put their lives in order. From food to grooming the guys cover it all. This show is really good and it’s always entertaining to see the amazing end results.
2. Friends - This sitcom is about six friends in their twenties/thirties living in New York. They face everyday problems that everyone can get. I enjoy this a lot because it is super funny and I believe a lot of people can definitely relate to the show.
3. Black Mirror - Black Mirror is about new technologies in modern society and the consequences it might cause. This show makes me and I hope other people think a lot about the technology we have today. This show also freaks me out about the future technology.
4. Skin Wars - Skin Wars is a body painting competition where 12 contestants test their artistic abilities. I think this show is really cool and different, the challenges and ideas are really creative and you see different kind of styles that each of the artists have.
5. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off - Ferris Bueller is about a high schooler who likes to slack off in school wants day off from school. He comes up with a perfect plan for a great day off. I like this movie it’s hilarious and very entertaining. I feel like it could relate to some high school students.
6. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before - This movie is about a girl who wrote love letters to all of her crushes that were never sent. She later has to deal with the letters being exposed. This movie is sweet, but I would suggest reading the book first because the book is always better than the movie!
Erik Karlsson Traded to the San Jose Sharks
By: Lily Raaflaub
Alright Senators fans buckle up, it’s gonna be a long couple years. Thursday, September 13, 2018, Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson was traded to the San Jose Sharks for four players and multiple draft picks, the Sharks also received minor league forward Francis Perron. To start let’s analyze Erik Karlsson, the two time Norris Trophy winner played 627 games and a combined 518 points over his 9-year career with the team. He is third on the Senators all-time points scored list. He had one year left on his current contract which is one of the reasons the Sens decided to trade him.
Let’s unpack the package the Sens got back, try to bring some light to this dark situation. In the deal, the Sens received four players, forward Chris Tierney, defencemen Dylan Demelo and forward prospects Josh Norris and Rudolfs Balcers. Tierney, 24 had a career-high 17 goals and 40 points. He will most likely be the second line center for the Senators after news came out that Jean-Gabriel Pageau is out minimum 6 months after he tore his achilles during training camp. When it rains, it pours. Dylan Demelo, 25 will definitely be a regular in the Ottawa Senators d-core. Josh Norris 19, was a first-round pick of the Sharks in 2017 and has potential to be a good player for the Sens. And the last player the Sens received in the trade was 21 years old Rudolf Balcers. Balcers led the San Jose Barracuda (the Sharks AHL team) in scoring with 23 goals and 48 points. Hopefully like Josh Norris, one-day Balcers can be an impact player on the Sens. Along with those four, the Senators also got a first-round draft pick (2019 or 2020). They also received a second-round pick in the 2019 draft. Along with those the Sens received two conditional picks.
So, Sens fans I know things seem pretty bleak right now, it’s hard not to feel like you’re in an endless pit of despair after this deal. Anytime your team trades the best player in franchise history it’s hard not to be bummed out. I know I am, especially since the Sens don’t have their first round pick this upcoming draft. But, we do have a few good pieces that hopefully contribute to this rebuild. Mark Stone and Matt Duchene are still on the team(for now) Thomas Chabot and Colin White are starting to look ready for NHL hockey. Logan Brown and Brady Tkachuk can hopefully step into the lineup this year and be semi-effective.
Here’s some advice, don’t go into the season with any expectations, chances are we are in for a long and slow rebuild, but when we win the cup in 2035 think of how sweet it will be.
De-Stress 101: How to Apply to University for Nepean Grads of 2019
By: Rachel Hornung
DO your research to make sure university is the best choice for you. Know that the primary difference (according to Career Abroad Canada) between college and university is that college is more career oriented whereas university focuses more on academic programs. If you think you may want to take a gap year and then attend university; apply this year! When you get accepted you can, (according to OUAC- Ontario University Application Center), ‘defer’ your acceptance - which is to say delay it for a year. This way you have your gap year but you have a concrete plan and acceptance set up for the following fall.
DECIDE how far you want to be from Ottawa next year. We are lucky enough to have many great local schools so staying close to home is not a bad option. Advantages in staying close to home include; saving money by either staying at home, doing laundry at home or sometimes eating at home, having an easier transition (you will live a huge enough change that it may be nice to know the surroundings) and that family and high school friends may not be as far away (remember though that you will make so many new friends no matter where you go!). The other option is to leave Ottawa. Advantages to that include; increased independence, exploring a new city and more program options (Ottawa has great schools but they do not have it all!).
PLAN ahead: On average people should apply to 6-8 schools (according to PrepScholar.com). If you want to follow this model it is suggested that 2-3 of them are “reach” schools (ones you would like but who are not likely to accept you), 2-3 are “target” schools (ones you would like and have a probability of accepting you) and 2 are “safety” schools (ones you feel you could more easily be accepted to in case the others do not work out). Below are the universities of Ontario; try researching these schools and making a list of your favourites.
-University of Toronto
-University of Waterloo
-University of Guelph
-University of Ottawa
-University of Windsor
-University of Ontario Institute of Technology
-Wilfrid Laurier University
-Saint Paul University
PICK a program. It should not be as stressful as you imagine because (according to Huffington Post) 80% of Canadian university students switch their major at least once. It is not as big a commitment as you think. Remember you will be picking more specific things than “science” or “art” and will have to pick whether you want to do a certificate, specialty, major etc. Also make sure to check the admission requirements on programs you like to ensure you have taken all the prerequisite classes in high school.
GET your OUAC number. Nepean High School will provide yours to you- once they have, log into your account and familiarize yourself with the process of applying through their website.
GATHER all the necessary documents. Depending on your program, you may need to submit things in addition to your grades. These things could include a portfolio of your work for things like visual arts or architecture, a letter of intent for something like education or an audition for some of the other arts.
SUBMIT! You now have all the pieces so put them together! Log into your OUAC account, select all those programs you researched, attach the necessary documents and press send.
GET REFUSED - Almost inevitably at least one of the schools you apply to will reject you. If you followed the 6-8 applications model you probably applied to at least a couple schools you thought you had low chances of getting into. Remember that this kind of rejection happens to most students and it does not mean that you will have a bad university experience or that you will not end up in a program you love.
TOUR- if you have not already toured the schools to which you have been accepted - try to do that now! On their websites it should be easy to find ways to book tours (side note: These tours can be super fun and helpful! Go with your family or your friends, come prepared with questions about residence, meal plans, programs, sports teams or anything you are curious about).
GET CURIOUS - go online and look at what students say about your potential programs or find someone who is in said program or was recently in it. Talk to them and make sure to always ask what the worst things about it is. (It sounds negative but it could be the things you will also like the least so good to know now!)
MAKE the “big decision”. You can ask your parents and friends for advice but in the end you are the only one who will be in the program and in the school so you need to make the choice. Again, remember that it is very possible to switch majors and even universities next year if you do not like it as much as you thought you might.
Bet You Didn't Know This About NHS
By: Wesley Naylor
Since its founding in 1922, Nepean High School has had many notable people in attendance, like Dashan, China’s most famous Western media personality, and Jason Kralt, a former player in the CFL. Arguably the most well-known Nepean graduate, however, is Kevin O’Leary, a businessman and multi-millionaire best known for his appearances on Dragon’s Den and Shark Tank, a show where aspiring entrepreneurs pitch business and product ideas to a group of successful business owners.
Born on July 9th, 1954 in Montreal, O’Leary’s success began in 1979, after learning marketing skills from an internship with Nabisco, the company behind products like Oreos. After leaving, he worked as a television producer for a short time, co-founding Special Event Television, a production company, with some classmates, but eventually sold his share of the company to one of the other owners for $25,000 due to the company’s lack of success. Despite the venture being unsuccessful, he soon went on to co-found another company, Softkey, in 1986, which produced educational computer software for things like math and reading. The company was very successful, and while competition was fierce between companies, the company acquired many of its rivals and became one of the leading names in educational software in the 1990s. Eventually, Mattel bought the company for over $4.2 billion! From then on, O’Leary continued to be successful in his work - he joined a company called StorageNow Holdings and eventually sold his shares for over $4.5 million, and owns many companies worth millions of dollars each. He’s also written books, and has appeared on countless television shows, including Dragon’s Den, The Lang and O'Leary Exchange, and more. Beyond his business exploits, he even entered politics in 2017, and was a front-runner, but ultimately decided to drop out due to a lack of support from Quebec. But all in all, O’Leary has had a very successful career, and now has millions of dollars to his name. And he was once an average student at our own school!
A Whole New World
International students studying in Nepean High School
By: Aitana Bustillos Zavala
It’s that time of year again. School bells ringing, sleepy teenagers roaming through the hallways, ear-splitting alarms going off too early in the morning, and responsibility creeping into your life after being dormant during the summer.
Coming back to school is nothing new to any of us, it may be stressful, draining, and even thrilling for some, but we have all experienced it before. Coming back to see your friends and satisfy your learning needs for the future is something everyone is looking forward to, but when you are an international student entering a completely foreign land, you don’t really know what to expect. The feelings everyone gets when coming back to school are enhanced by a thousand if you are an international student, just add some fear and nervousness into the mix and BAM! You get yourself a cocktail of emotions that represent how most international students feel when they travel on their own for the first time to unfamiliar territory.
Throughout the couple of weeks I have been here in school, I have gathered some tips and tricks that made my life here in Canada much easier.
For starters, you have to get rid of all that shyness. I know it’s scary to get out of your comfort zone, but in order to make friends, you need to take initiative and approach people in your class or the hallways fist! The students here are very nice and they won’t judge you for being different, so don’t be scared to talk to them!
Don’t be scared to ask for directions or instructions. If you are new to the school, or new in Canada for that matter, everything will be very different from what you are used to back home, so ask every time you need something to be cleared up.
If you need help finding your next class, you can ask other people too! They will be happy to help and they will understand that you are probably new to the school and need some time to settle in.
Join a club or activity from school! Now that you are away from home, you have to forge some memorable moments you can take for the rest of your life, so go out there and experience new stuff! By joining a club or activity, you expand your horizons, meet new people and learn new things at the same time. So don’t be afraid to try as many things as your heart desires.
Share your stories from home. If you are not sure what to talk about when meeting new people, start by telling them about how your life was back home! Tell them about your customs, food, and anything that you find interesting from the place you come from. Everyone likes to learn a little about other places of the world, so don’t be nervous to share and learn with other people.
Being on your own for the first time can be pretty scary, so contacting friends and family from back home once in a while can be a great way to stay connected to your roots and avoid the crushing feeling of being homesick. Certainly it's a great way to not feel completely lonely during the first couple of weeks, but the continuous use of this privilege without restraint could have a negative effect on you. After all, you still need to learn how to adjust to this new society but you can’t do that if you refuse to step out of your comfort zone and start adapting to the change. Contacting your friends and family from home is good, but make sure you don’t start using that privilege as a way to escape the change and new experiences you may form while being here.
No matter where we come from, we are all very similar if we decide to look. Don’t be afraid to talk to people of different nationalities, you might learn something new, and, who knows! Even make a friend at the same time! Experience new things and try to have as much fun as possible! Try to make this trip something you won’t forget for a long time and filled with many stories to tell for when you have to go back home.