KNIGHTWATCH 2019/2020 

Mexico is one of the most prime vacation destination spots in the world. From places like Cancun, Mexico City, etc. The city of Puerto Vallarta may not be the most notable vacation destination in Mexico, but it’s amazing. And I am one of the lucky people who got to see it in all of its glory. 


For my holiday break, I visited the city of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. One of my best friend’s lives in Mexico and her family goes there every year for Christmas. This year she invited me and another one of my best friends down to Mexico to celebrate the holidays with her and her family.


I was a bit hesitant to go at first if I’m being totally honest. I wouldn’t be with my family for the holidays, it’s pretty far away, I would be travelling alone for the first time ever. Heck, I was going on a plane for the first time since I was three years old, I had no clue what to do. But, I missed my friends like crazy so I decided to take the plunge and go to Mexico for the holidays. And it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

From the moment I got there, I knew I had made the right decision. It also helped that the very next day it was -30C in Ottawa. We stayed at a beautiful resort in Puerto Vallarta, called Velas Vallarta. The resort had three pools, two restaurants, tennis courts, and was right next to the beach. It was paradise. 


I would have had a good time there no matter what I did. But what made it the most amazing, and memorable trip was the fact that I was with my two best friends in the whole wide world. We could have just stayed in our hotel room for the entire trip and it would have been fun. We didn’t, we’re not insane. I already miss them so much and it’s been about 8 hours. You’d think after being in the same room with them for two weeks I would want to kill both of them but nope we still love each other somehow.

So that was my trip to Mexico. I had the best time of my life there and I never wanted to leave. But sadly all good things must come to an end. If you ever get the chance I strongly recommend visiting Puerto Vallarta, it’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to. 

On December 11th lunch break our High School held a dynamic and engaging contest, which was surely exciting to attend. During this art contest, each participant was equipped with a canvas, a few brushes and array of colours in order to paint a breathtaking piece in the blink of an eye. Apart from the exceptional skills of learning shown by the artists, the nature of this event involved not only contestants but also spectators’ participation to bring the whole ambience to life. 

Four weeks of learning from the Art Club with Ms. Amenta as coordinator and the helpful aid of the two time Canada Speed Painting Champion, Allan André, were necessary to provide us with this performance. During this time, all components of the club were trained to develop the ability of fast painting. For its part, Youth Ottawa, an organization with which Allan André works to support young art, supplied all the material necessary  to make this event happen.

When the day of the anticipated event came, all tables were moved aside to create a circle of canvases in the middle of the cafeteria. Music was played simultaneously to set the creative mood and cheer the audience. The artists would be allowed to paint for only 22 minutes with the challenge of no frame of reference. Allan André was then the presenter, who engaged the people during the entire time including both exciting countdowns.


Finally, the participation of 86 voters proclaimed Khanh Nguyen as the winner of this competition with a landscape composition.

Overall, the Speed Painting Competition was a rewarding event in many ways. As Ms. Amenta cited, art is often made in isolation. However, events like this contest are one way to bring artists outside of the studio and closer to the people. As a result, spectators are now aware of the creative process and the artists build new confidence towards their art. I believe we all were amazed at the approach to art that this contest had on us as the public.  So, why not establish this competition as an NHS annual event?

Allan André is a visual artist born in Canada. In 2014 and 2016 this artist won the Ottawa regional championship for Art Battle Canada’s nationwide speed painting competition.In July 2016, André won the Art Battle National championship establishing himself as Canada's best speed painter.

This artist has always been interested in art. When he was a 5-6 year old child Allan liked painting cartoons. “At first I used to ask my sister to draw them for me, but with the time I started doing it myself” claimed the artist. 

Allan André sold his first painting while he was in the 5th or 6th grade. It helped him towards building his identity and to start calling himself an artist. Afterwards, he studied Graphic Design at uOttawa and he currently keeps learning new things. That's how art works. You are never done discovering new things.

Allan André started to participate Live Painting competitions. Through this type of art is how he discovered Speed Painting Competitions as well. Enjoying this kind of art is for him a sum of many reasons. Allan believes that as many people he thrives under pressure. Moreover, Allan reckons that through Speed Painting you also get the advantage of getting to know a wider community.  

Winning artwork by Khanh Nguyen

Contestants: Emily Laforest, Fue Feng Shi, Lianna D’Angelo, Khanh Nguyen, Freya Salewski,Kat Farrel, Merra Thomas, Abi Gasparotto and Charlotte Adler.

Event coordinated by the Art Club with supervision of Ms. Amenta and the Speed Painter Championship Allan André.

Photographers: Maya Sano & Rebecca Plante

Article: Blanca Royo Camacho

1. Listen to music

If studying is something that you dread, make it fun! Listening to your favourite music is something that can help brighten your mood and make you enjoy study time. You can even create a playlist made specifically for studying filled with songs that are mellow and calming. 

2. Designate time for studying

It can be hard to find time for studying, especially when you push it off and end up rushing through it the night before the test, and trust me, I know how that works out. The best way to ensure you get your homework and studying done, is to make sure you create time for it. Make a schedule of the days that you want to study, keeping in mind any plans you may have. Also, include what area of the subject/unit you want to study for each day so you know you won’t forget anything. By writing down when you are going to study, it will ease your mind knowing that you have time to get everything done.

3. Create study sheets

One way I like to study, is by making “study sheets”. These are the pages where you summarize key ideas from the unit, and make bullet points/examples. Try keeping these pages to one sheet, that way it is easier to remember. To make it more fun, you can use coloured pens or markers and draw doodles of key ideas. (Example in picture!)


4. Make a list of things you struggle with

Throughout the unit as you do your homework, keep a list of anything that you have a hard time with or don’t understand completely. This way when it comes to studying, you can focus on these areas first. Once you understand them, move on to the rest. This ensures you have time for everything, and that you don’t forget something. 


5. Study with friends

There are two main reasons why studying with a group of friends can be good. The first is for help. If you study with a group of people, this means you have individuals with different strengths. If there is something that you don’t understand, chances are someone else will be able to help you. As well, getting together with friends can make studying more fun. If you worry about not having time for studying and socializing, combine them together. The only catch is to make sure you don’t get too distracted and end up not getting much studying in. 

It’s university open house season. An open house is an excellent opportunity to take initiative and get a good look at the campuses and programs you might be interested in. These can be extremely beneficial, and you can get an inside look at your program and decide if it’s the one for you. Open houses will help you make a plan for your university years, and might help you realize a certain school is not a good fit.

1. Make a plan

Look at what events are available, such as presentations and tours, and make a schedule. You will have a limited amount of time during the open house and scheduling can help you maximize your time. Leave space to look at booths or anything else you might be interested in.


2. Be prepared

Bring paper and a writing utensil to take notes, a folder to carry any flyers or handouts you might receive, and a bag to carry it all around.


3. Think ahead about any questions you might have

Take some time to consider what you aren’t so sure about regarding post-secondary. Prepare a set of questions and write them down. Do some research to find out who can answer them and where they’ll be when. Think about your financial situation or any learning restrictions you have.


4. Organize transportation

The biggest obstacle in attending an open house is getting there, but that can be worked around. Ask around and see if you can carpool with any friends interested in attending the open house if it’s out of town. Universities will sometimes even provide a shuttle bus from nearby cities, so investigate to see if one is available.


5. Map it out

University campuses can be confusing. Bring a map of the campuses and mark down what buildings you need to be in and what is in those buildings, especially if you are in a city or town that you don’t know very well. You don’t want to get lost!


6. Keep an eye out

Look around for things outside of why you are there. You might find out about opportunities you wouldn’t otherwise know about. 


7. Research

If you use the university website and other resources, such as your guidance counselor, you can answer some of your questions ahead of time, saving your precious time on the day of. Doing research might even help you realize you might have more questions. 

If sounds of laughter, excited commentary, and occasional gibberish are heard from the upstairs drama room, chances are Improv is on. And of course you might be asking,...What is Improv?

The definition:

Improv is a form of live theater. A team consisting of 6-8 people make up a plot and characters on the spot. Improv is unique in that a performance will never be repeated. If a team meshes well, each member leans on the other in order.

The club:

Mr. Wright will lead drama games that improve confidence, creativity, and impulse. The community created during Improv is inclusive and kind, and many lasting friendships are formed in room 3308. Everyone is welcome, and you don't need to be interested in being on the team to join the club!

The 2018/19 Improv team performing at a competition.

The history:

Nepean has been extremely successful with its team in the past. Last year at preliminaries, the Nepean team won in their night of play against Lisgar, Rockland District, Sacred Heart, and St. Matthew, moving onto provincials the following day, where they received 3rd place. 

The team:

 After a few weeks of fun games and activities, those hoping to be on the team are asked to express their interest, and a team of 8 people and 2 alternates is determined by Mr. Wright.  The bonds made between team members parallels that of a family, since it’s imperative that a team work on the same wavelength. 

The performances:

If fast-paced decisions isn’t your forte, attending Improv competitions is a rewarding and enticing spectacle. Schools compete in an amicable setting in order to create vibrant stories that leave you on the edge of your seats.

So buckle up, and get ready to see what this year's Improv team will accomplish!

School has just started back up, the temperature's dropping, the leaves are turning yellow, and summer is coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean the fun stops. Fall is on its way, and instead of lying in bed at home and wishing it was still summer, here are some fun and exciting activities you can do to cherish the beauty of this season: 

1. Get Spooky at Saunders Farm

Go in the day and enjoy their fun corn mazes and bouncing pillows. Then go at night time where you can experience saunders fright fest and go through their six haunts. 

2. Go Apple Picking

Go apple picking with your friends and family at Mountain Orchards where you can not only select apples of several varieties but also venture on a forest trail and take a walk through a corn maze. 

3. Hike in Gatineau 

Hike up into the Gatineau hills where you are surrounded by autumn colours and you can truly see the beauty that is fall. 

4. Go to Starbucks and Try Their Limited Time Fall Drinks

Head down to Starbucks on your way to school and try their new fall menu... Hint: pumpkin spice is back again.

5. Haunted Walk

Go on a guided walking tour of Ottawa where the scary past of the city is unveiled.

6. Celebrate the Day of the Dead 

Celebrate the Day of the Dead at Festival Latino on November 2nd at Lansdowne Park, where you can try traditional Mexican dishes and learn about what the Day of the Dead is about. 

While it would be great if students could stop going to school altogether to avoid the mounting stress it can cause, that unfortunately isn’t the best route of action. So here are four things you can do to make your school year less stressful and save you from all those late nights filled with procrastination and bad coffee:

1. Make a schedule for what you’re going to do after school.

Spending under five minutes deciding the amount of time to spend on each assignment, and in what order, lets you see that you will be able to get all your work done. It also helps you set limits to how much time you spend on each project and avoid getting stuck doing one subject your entire night.

2. If you catch a cold, stay home.

There’s a lot of pressure to not miss class, but one of the best things you can do for yourself is to stay home, get some rest, and not push yourself unnecessarily. Doing this will help you refresh for the next day and even give you some free time to finish extra work.

3. Don’t consider sleeping time “homework time”.

When planning out when you’re going to start your homework, it’s important to avoid getting into the habit of thinking the deadline is the next day at 09:00. Instead, you have to tell yourself you need it done half an hour before you plan to go to bed, so that you start your work at a reasonable time and you are well rested the next day.

4. Avoid getting to school at the last minute.

Almost all students end up showing to school last-minute at some point, however, this is a habit you should avoid forming because it induces unnecessary stress on you every morning. Getting to school early makes your morning less rushed and under control and starts your day off with a good start.

These tips might not work for everyone, but they are certainly worth a try. All of the best luck this year!

By Maya Sano

October 1, 2019

By Ellis Bissonnnette

October 1, 2019

By Patrick Pearson

November 1, 2019

By Anna Berglas

November 1, 2019

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By Blanca Royo Camacho

January 15, 2020

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