All posts by MadisonGeddes

Mental Health Week at Father Bressani

By Madison Geddes, Student Writer

Mental health has become an increasing issue among

Canadians, and especially among the high school students. There are a multitude of mental illnesses afflicting this demographic of young people, and the top five most common include:

Anxiety; uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behavior or panic attacks. Symptoms include shortness of breath and dizziness. It can be caused by anything ranging from too much caffeine, to types of heart abnormalities, to stress from any source in one’s life.

Depression; a common mental illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think, and how you act. Symptoms include fatigue, persistent anxiousness or sadness, decreased energy, difficulty concentrating and thoughts of suicide or feeling of hopelessness. Depression is treatable through therapy, prescribed medication, and proper sleep and nutrition.

Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviours; Mental illness involving thought on how to kill oneself which can range from a detailed plan to a fleeting consideration and does not include the final act of killing one self. Symptoms include, self harming behaviour, sleeping difficulty, excessive sadness, etc. Causes and help can be traced back to depression.

Marijuana Induced Psychosis; Delusions or hallucinations that can harm a person while in Psychosis. Marijuana is the most commonly used drug amongst teenagers in the York region. Symptoms include hallucinations, paranoia, and disorganized thinking. The THC(Tetrahydrocannabinol) in marijuana increases the brain processes that lead to psychosis. It interferes with the more important brain functions.

Eating Disorders; Any of a range of psychological disorders characterized by abnormal or disturbed eating habits. There are different types of eating disorders like Anorexia Nervosa, having an obsessive fear of gaining weight, or Binge Eating Disorder, which is when someone loses control over his or her eating. Eating disorders can be treated through therapy and nutritional monitoring.

These are just five of the many mental health issues plaguing the students in our Canadian high schools, but many of those very same students don’t know, or know very little about them. This is why at Father Bressani, we now have Mental Health Week.

With Mrs. Stanevicius at its head, during the month of the two exam weeks–January and June respectively–we have every year for the past three years, Father Bressani’s Mental Health Week is held. It serves to bring awareness to these mental illnesses, as well as help students through the issues they pose.

During the week there are activities like rock painting, bubble wrap popping, or the ever popular therapy dog visit. The activities take place all throughout the school all week and there are posters and announcements and tweets advertising them, but turnout to them usually seems minimal.

“I didn’t know about some of the activities,” said grade 11 student Vanessa Spagnuolo. “The ones I did know about I didn’t go to, because I have been busy and I’m decently confident in my mental health.”

According to Mrs. Stanevicius, the lowest turnout was about 10 students at the journaling activity. However this does not discourage because as she put it, “If there were 10 kids there, then we helped those 10 kids. That’s what we hold those activities for.”

Mental Health Week at Father Bressani comes from the awareness of mental health issues and the desire to help those most in need of them. It would be for everyone’s benefit, if more students were to participate in the relaxing events our school holds in the following years.


Kortright Maple Syrup Festival

by Madison Geddes, Student Writer

Toward the end of the Winter season and the first few colder weeks of Spring is the Maple Syrup Season. During this time, there are corresponding Maple Syrup Festivals all across Canada celebrating one of the country’s  staple products.

Easily the largest one in the GTA is the festival at the Kortright Centre for Conservation, and from March 4 to April 2, Kortright hosts it’s very own Maple Syrup Festival within their 325 hectares of land.

Kortright works with a number of partners and sponsors in order to promote the use of sustainable energy use and for the protection of the natural environment. These include the Earth Rangers, York Region, and the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Throughout the entirety of the year they hold a wide variety of different festivals and events, even including summer camps for children, to promote their cause and bring environmental awareness  to the public. For students, Kortright also provides an innumerable amount of volunteer opportunities. The annual Maple Syrup Festival is easily one of their largest events.

As Kortright volunteer Madison Fanelli says, “I found out about Kortright from a friend. I really enjoy volunteering there as it gives me a chance to get closer to the outdoors. The Maple Syrup Festival was fun. It was good to experience those demonstrations and I believe that I learned just as much as any of the guests that came by, not to mention that there were a lot of people who came by.”

There are many Father Bressani students who volunteer there. However, they seem to be outnumbered by those who aren’t too familiar with the centre.

“I think I had heard of it, but I never really knew anything about it,” explains Bressani student Vanessa Spagnuolo. “I’ve never heard about the Maple Syrup Festival.”

“I’ve been there maybe once or twice. I don’t know much about it,” answered student Cristina Rulli.

“I have been there a couple times. I’ve been to the Maple Syrup Festival too. It was okay, I do wish I could have been more involved in the demonstrations though. Other than that it was nice.” student Erica Lombardo recalled.

For clarification, those who attended the festival were given the opportunity to watch live demonstrations of how maple syrup was originally produced by both the First Nations and the pioneers, as well as how the syrup is made and classified today. There are also syrup samples available, as well as a large mass of maple syrup products for anyone to purchase at their own leisure.

Upon the land there are a mass of maple trees that provide the sap for demonstrations on how the sap is taken from the trees without damaging them, and how it is used to make the syrup.

All of this is available with the backdrop of a peaceful nature hike of the Kortright land. While the festival may be over now, you will have a chance to attend next year. If you are unable to, then as stated before Kortright holds a number of other events during the year.

Kortright is a beautiful place that allows people to get closer to nature and learn more about the world upon which they live. It’s worth checking out at least once.

Shrove Tuesday

By Madison Geddes, Student Writer

Tuesday, February 28 was Shrove Tuesday for the 2017 year and per tradition, the Father Bressani high school celebrated by serving pancakes to all of its students. During the first and second periods of the school day, teachers handed out tickets and brought their classes down to the cafeteria for members of the student council to distribute pancakes to everyone.

Being given pancakes by the school is not something new for anyone at this school. It has proved to be an old, annual tradition throughout the entirety of all of our lives. However, there are many people who do not know the purpose behind this Shrove Tuesday tradition.

Shrove Tuesday (or Pancake Tuesday, or Fat Tuesday depending upon where you live) is the day preceding Ash Wednesday. A day determined by the day of Easter, which changes annually. It is a day where Christians attempt to get ‘shriven’–(of a priest) hear the confession of, assign penance to, and absolve (someone)–read ‘shrove’, before Lent. Pancakes became forever associated with the day because Christians traditionally fasted during Lent. Making pancakes was a quick way to use up all of the eggs, sugar, milk and all other fattening foods before the fasting period began. Thus, it soon also became known as Pancake Tuesday in lieu of the food usually eaten by many people.

So it has become commonplace for many schools to serve pancakes on this day.

“I liked the pancakes, they were okay,” commented grade 11 student Vanessa Spagnuolo.

“I do think that it’s generous of the school to give out pancakes to everyone,” added student council member Giulia Clarizio.

In the end Shrove Tuesday at Father Bressani was a success. Everyone received good pancakes in tradition with the occasion. With this, we prepare ourselves and await Easter.

Speaker’s Corner

By Madison Geddes, Student Writer

Father Bressani is fortunate to have access to a variety of technological resources, and it is such a privilege to be able to use them in such a way.

Speaker’s Corner is the CPT for the grade 11 Communications Technology classes, where the students gather peers from other classes and record them answering fun questions, before taking those clips and editing them down to be presented as one large 20 to 30 minute show.

The technology used to record and edit the show is delicate and new to the students. Inside of the Comm. Tech room (Room 124) is a subsequent recording station. Therein lies a professional style camera, a green screen, and state of the art camera recording and video saving machinery. Meanwhile, the actual recordings of the students are edited within Adobe Premiere.

All of this equipment and software are entirely new to the grade 11 students.  As they are currently using Adobe Premiere to edit the show, they are continuously learning more and more about it since they have been constantly encouraged to be increasingly creative with the project.

Like any good CPT, Speaker’s Corner incorporates several things the students had learned throughout the year. Particularly the utilization of Adobe Photoshop, since several graphics that are to be used in the final product are being edited and/or created in Photoshop.

“It was a great experience to work with the technology,” says Communication Technology student Vanessa Spagnuolo.

All of the students outside of the class that helped out and participated are all very appreciated, since the entire experience would be impossible without them. They were all very cooperative, as everyone participated of their own will. Naturally, however, there were people who were a little uncomfortable in front of the camera.

“It was really awkward,” says grade 11 student Daphne Alvarado, who was one of the recorded participants.

With everyone recorded, the Comm. Tech students are now in the editing stages, and the final product should be completed before exams begin.