Click on title to view article
Click on title to see article
NHS student Helen Resmer - Winner of Mayor Watson’s Christmas Card Competition
January 15, 2021
January 15, 2021
December 16, 2020
My Goals As Co-President This Year - Noureen Moghadam
November 18, 2020
October 15, 2020
NHS STUDENT HELEN RESMER- WINNER OF MAYOR WATSON'S CHRISTMAS CARD COMPETITION
January 15, 2021
By Dina Efrem
For years now, Mayor Jim Watson has hosted an annual Christmas Card Competition. This competition is open to youth in Ottawa and each year hundreds of young, aspiring artists from all ends of the city submit their original creations. After the lengthy process of going through the masses of potential Christmas cards entered, Mayor Watson chooses 4 of those submissions to be used as the designs for his Christmas cards for that year. Conventionally, the Mayor would visit the student’s school and present them with a framed copy of their chosen artwork and along with a Certificate of Recognition. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the presenting of awards was held on a virtual Zoom call.
One of our very own Nepean High School students was one of those talented winners! Helen Resmer, a grade 9 student submitted a beautiful piece as a part of the Mayor Watson Christmas Card Competition and her artwork was successfully chosen, along with three other students in Ottawa for the official 2020/2021 Christmas card.
Art has always been an avocation for Helen. She does art for herself, simply for the fun of it and the light-hearted experience. Since she was very young, she thoroughly enjoyed being creative and making her own pieces. She believes that her artistic ways came to her naturally and when she is deep into her passion, she can effortlessly spend hours on one sole project. Helen likes to experiment with different styles and has a distinctive eye for detail which contributes to her inventive imagination.
What drove Helen to create a piece was a Google Classroom notification posted by her teacher, Ms. Amenta. The main reason why she went through with it was frankly because she was in the mood for it and the element of entertainment she receives from it. She had a rather easy first quadmester, was in a pandemic and stuck at home, so she found no reason not to continue. Nerves did not get to Helen. She has submitted her artwork to several competitions and with each failure and success, all that matters to her in the end is being able to create art. Like any other day she created a piece of art, but this time simply took it to another step and submitted it.
Her inspiration behind this card was the common things that children associate with Christmas: Santa, Rudolph, presents, and lights. Santa and Rudolph's faces are centred on the card, the main focal point and where she desired the attention to be drawn to. She worked on the card over the span of three days and a total of roughly 5 hours of planning and execution. She did not stop until she felt fully satisfied enough with her work to put the coloured pencils down.
The typically expected grand reaction was not so typical for Helen as she described her reaction to be “very anticlimactic to say the least.” She stared at the email saying that her art was selected, smiled a little, although she does consider herself to be the kind of person where it's very hard to discern emotion on her face. By the time she had received the news, the whole competition had already vanished from her mind. She hadn’t heard anything about the contest and wasn't really expecting any news to come. Appreciably, when the good news arrived it was of surprise to her. Her excitement lasted a short while, and then she continued doing what she loved, art.
SANTA 4 SENIORS ARTWORK BY NHS ART CLUB MEMBERS
January 15, 2021
By Dina Efrem
The holidays are a time of celebration and merriment for many. The hustle and commotion of the holiday season often renders us insensible to the arduous times that many in our communities face. The consumer and materialistic mentality of many has constructed society’s minds and has eliminated the necessity of self-reflection during the holiday season.
This past month, Nepean’s Art club run by Ms. Amenta, took on an exemplary community service project with The Good Companions. Santa 4 Seniors is an initiative led by The Good Companions, a non-profit senior’s centre. The objective of this project was to provide gift baskets to seniors in the community who live alone and will be spending the holiday season on their own. Nearly 300 seniors were on the list to receive a basket.
As we know, quadmesters are short and vanish swiftly. Because of this, Ms. Amenta concluded that the Art Club should partake in this venture rather than the Art classes. After concluding whether they could dedicate their time and work into creating these intricate, detailed pieces, a subgroup formed. The Art Club members made 80 pieces of artwork to contribute to the 300 baskets, many of which were framed with frames donated by locals in the community.
Natasha Lawson, one of the student contributors, has always had a fond love and passion for Art. For her, when making a piece she is granted the opportunity to utilize an endless amount of creativity with no limits or expectations. Each piece of artwork is unique and holds a different meaning, which is why it is so special to her. Natasha believes that it is important to give back to your community more than ever this year because although we are collectively going through the same thing, you don’t know to what extent it is affecting those around you. She chose to make an art piece for one of the baskets because she thought it would be a great way to give back to her community in a way that she loves.
Lilian Cheng is another one of Ms. Amenta’s students who contributed to this initiative. Art has always been a way for her to concentrate on herself and relax. Her enjoyment for Art further increased this year and observing the skills of her classmates has motivated her to learn new techniques. She decided to create a piece for Santa 4 Seniors because she has never had the opportunity to share her work with those outside of her family. As an artist, it was an enjoyable way to put herself out there, as well as give someone a little gift to enjoy during the holidays. She trusts that this project will forge a deeper connection between high school students and the elders in our community. Seeing photos of the gift baskets with their artwork in them as a final product could persuade many students to contribute next year. For her, seeing the fruit of your work is always satisfying.
Awareness, self-reflection, and assessment of our privileges is what the holidays should bring us. Community is the foundation of our society and when a whole community is supported, society can function and flourish collectively. Giving back is priceless, what you may believe is a trivial act of service can be the good deed one needs to get through the holidays.
Audrey Villeneuve Natasha Lawson
Khanh Nguyen Sophie Blechinger
Lilian Cheng Tiffany Uzamere
Q & A WITH UNIVERSITY STUDENTS
*Below is the first page of the article, click link to read all*
Ever wondered what university during a pandemic is like? We interviewed three university students about applying, choosing a school, academics, social life, etc.
Student #1 is a first year student at Trent University, doing the Teacher Education Stream with a math major
Student #2 is a second year student at Queens University, doing a sociology major with an English minor and a law certificate.
Student #3 is a first year student at the University of Toronto, doing engineering science.
Q: How did you choose your school and/or undergrad program? What factors went into your decisions?
1. The biggest factor that helped me choose Trent was physically being there and taking a tour. COVID-19 has made that difficult this year, but some schools still offer tours, and I would highly recommend taking tours at every school you are interested in. It gives you a fantastic feel for the campus and allows you to see if you could see yourself studying there for the next 4+ years.
2. I chose Queen’s based on the program, location and campus resources. I knew I wanted to major in sociology but I also wanted the chance to explore law and further develop my English skills. Queen’s offers certificate programs that add onto degrees and allow for students to see what kind of higher education they might want to pursue - for me this was law! I knew that the small town location would help me succeed after visiting the Queen’s campus and immediately feeling very welcomed and comfortable. School spirit means a lot to me and Queen’s has an insane amount of student pride. Finally, Queen prioritizes academic support programs alongside mental and physical health support programs. I wanted to go to a school that would both push and support me.
3. My program was recommended to me by a family friend in the field I thought I wanted to go into at the time. I went to the university presentations and it looked like a good program for me. It was my first choice.
Q: How long did it take you to decide where you wanted to apply?
MY GOALS AS CO-PRESIDENT THIS YEAR
November 18, 2020
By Noureen Moghadam, Grade 12
Hi Nepean! For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Noureen Moghadam, I’m a grade 12 student here and I’m looking forward to being your co-president this year. We can have an incredible year together!
I know you rolled your eyes at that last sentence, based on how turbulent this year’s been so far, but it’s true: this school year will be awesome! Nepean has always had terrific school spirit, and I’m confident that despite the pandemic, we will have so many fun-filled experiences, such as virtual Coffeehouse, extra competitive spirit days (let the cohort battles begin!), school wide fundraisers for charities chosen by you, and hopefully we can rent out park spaces for events after winter! Also, always feel free to tell me your opinions, concerns, ideas - anything. I’m not speaking for you, I’m speaking with you. More than ever, we need to support each other and stick together as we navigate through this year.
On that note, there is so much more change I’d like to achieve this year other than school events and spirit days. As co-president, I’m privileged with a position which has given me a greater platform to speak on issues that I think should be addressed and properly changed. This year I joined the Diverse Student Union (DSU) here at Nepean, and it has been impactful to hear and discuss the continuous bigotry that has affected NHS students, predominantly BIPOC and LGBTQ+ students. Plus, in the wake of the recent allegations of systemic racism, homophobia, and misconduct made by students and alumni, there is no question that this year I will consistently strive to amplify the voices of our student body. This is simply unacceptable.
Systemic discrimination and bigotry is something I and many others have experienced over our time at Nepean, and there needs to be an absolute correction in the way our system is working, as well as accountability for those who silenced students. The administration at Nepean should be a source of help, openness, support, and equality. Students deserve to be respected and cared for. School should be a place of learning where we feel welcomed and heard. I hope to meet with a former Nepean co-president, who was also a mentor at the DSU meetings, and we will discuss ways to create a respectful line of communication between the administration and students. Plus, I will work with teachers to help amplify our voices and hold those responsible accountable.
Thank you all very much, and see you around school! Stay safe!
YOUNG WRITERS OF NEPEAN HIGH SCHOOL
October 15, 2020
By Miriam Felman, Grade 12
Three grade 10 Nepean students, Hussein Khatib, Maddy Zarull, and Natasha Mazerolle, and 2020 graduate Anna Berglas, have been selected for publication in the Young Writers of Canada Poetry and Creative Writing Contests from the Poetry Institute of Canada & Young Writers. They heard about the contests last school year from an NHS teacher, some of them through the Creative Writing Club, and as Hussein put it, “I thought I had nothing to lose.”
The story Natasha submitted follows a character searching for a book in a building that was once a library, in a world where books have become extinct. When asked what the story means to her, she said, “I think it means coming to terms with the fact that you may strive for something and what you get isn't completely what you wanted, and I think that's okay because maybe that can send you down a path that leads to something better”.
Hussein’s story is called “The Ninth Hour”, and it’s about a character named Alex who keeps seeing the number 9. “He later wakes up from a 9 month coma to find out that he had killed his parents in a car crash”, Hussein explained. The young writer became interested in creative writing when he was in grade 6, and his teacher encouraged his class to expand their imaginations in the stories they wrote. “The fact that nothing was stopping me from writing a good story except for my creativity was great. Once I had an idea for something like a story, I couldn't stop adding to the idea of the story”.
Anna, who is a first year English and Cultural Studies student at McGill University, has been writing since she was a small child. A story she wrote about the world breaking apart and her gluing it back together was published in the Ottawa Citizen when she was five. In middle school, she became interested in poetry when she joined a writing club and was “entranced by the directness of the style”. Anna finds her inspiration in the lives of herself and others. “All of my work has roots in truth.”
Natasha’s inspiration comes from mythology and folklore. She enjoys writing stories with elements of magic, “whether it's spells and potions or a feeling of wonder and curiosity”.
The following is what the award winning writers said when asked if they had any advice for other young writers.
Natasha: I'd suggest if you're going to write in first person to always remember your character won't be able to see everything you see as the author. If they're surprised, they wouldn't be able to see their own eyes widen, if another character does something behind them or where they can't see them, the narrator might hear a noise depending on what the other character is doing, but besides that it might be unnecessary to put in. Try to put yourself in your character's viewpoint and always remember to consider what they can and can't see.
Anna: You will undoubtedly write lousy work, work that's embarrassing to look back on. Don't be ashamed - not only are you still writing, it's a necessary part of the process!
Hussein: Never be afraid to use your imagination and creativity in stories. If you don't picture anything while reading your story, you should probably rewrite it because then it's just words on a page.
One of the contest-winning pieces will be featured in the November issue of Knightwatch.
To all of the writers out there, no matter your perceived skill level, take a chance and enter a contest! It’s great practice, and you never know- you might just get rewarded.