The Planet
Life at Ward: Here comes the Rush!!

By Judith Ogobor

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Photo by Judith Ogobor

Pre-exam stress kicks in as the realization that exams are quickly approaching starts to sink into the minds of the entire student body. Well, there is only one word to completely sum it up: the May/June Rush. What is the May/June Rush? Some of you, most likely in grade 9, may ask. May/June Rush is the time of the year when everybody, and I mean everybody, literally rushes to submit units and secure a spot on the “writing exam” list. Many of which, no offence, end up being rushed and therefore, handed in last minute. Trust me, I can personally relate. Even I’m struggling to get my units in! Hopefully as you read this, you will be able to relieve some stress knowing that you’re not alone in this unfortunate, yet typical annual tradition at Mary Ward.

Stress. I am sure that everybody is stressed out at this hectic time of the year, and yes, even our teachers are too! Teachers get stressed just like the rest of us, and so the May/June Rush affects them too. With the overwhelming feeling of work piling up and the endless hours of time and effort put into your homework, it’s extremely hard not to be so stressed out all the time. Sometimes it even feels like the work is never ending. Then you’re instantly filled with pessimistic thoughts about being able to finish it. The sleepless nights and the “no-break” times definitely add to the effects. So yes, the stress factor plays a major role in what makes the May/June Rush the most infamous event of the year!

Pressure. Just like stress puts you down during the May/June Rush, so does pressure: the pressure to get things done by the final day, the pressure to make your work “perfecto”, and the pressure to consult! Ugh…the consultations; another contributing factor! The moment you want to consult, you look at the list and lose hope or for some of us…silently groan (Ha! That’s probably me). The lists are super long, which discourages you even more! And unfortunately, there’s always that one teacher that takes ages even when the list consists of two people. If you feel the same way, I feel you. It honestly sucks. There’s an immense amount of pressure put onto us students, and the target dates are certainly not helping.

Procrastination. The most tempting, yet detrimental thing! I do it. You do it. Our teachers do it. I bet you even our grandmas did it! Well…if there was way that they could. Essentially what I’m trying to say is…we all do it! I’m talking about the time when we made a plan with our teacher(s) and didn’t follow through. The time when we had a whole year to get our work done, but were too lazy to. The time when we were supposed to study for a test, but decided to watch the episode we were waiting all week for. The list goes on and on and unfortunately it is endless. Procrastination is the main reason why we get sucked into the turmoil called May/June Rush. We feel like we have all the time in the world, when really we don’t. We constantly stall on our projects or even unit work until the very last minute when we’re hit with a reality check. It causes us to see our teachers at the wrong time…sometimes when it’s too late. Yes, we hate them for it, but truly, we deserve it. It causes us to juggle tons of units all at once until we can’t handle them no more and unfortunately have to resort to …summer school.

Let’s just say, the May/June Rush never does anyone any favours… 

Here’s a video that helps us with exam stress!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Anonymous: what program do you use to create the mw planet

No program!

I took this theme, tweaked the code a little bit to fit the Planet’s needs, and thus this new look was born.  All other graphics, such as the banner and avatar, were made on Adobe Illustrator/Photoshop.

Monday, June 2, 2014
The Silver Lining

By Kathleen Francisco

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Photo by Kathleen Francisco

Optimism- a disposition or tendency to look on the more favourable side of events or conditions and to expect the most favourable outcome. (via dictionary.com)

As an eighteen year-old constantly faced with the pressures of trying to do well in school, worrying about what university I should go to, and keeping up with my other commitments, it’s hard to stay on top of my game and always face the day with a smile on my face. It’s hard to stay positive when I know I am always carrying stress and anxiety whenever I go. There are days when I am completely happy and satisfied with how things are going, and there are days when I just want to curl up in a ball and sleep because nothing is going right. Unfortunately, those days occur a lot more than I want to. There’s no way I can control how I want things to happen because nothing is ever certain in the future. A lot of high school students can relate to this because, well, I am one.

But there is one thing we all can control - how we react to the situations that we will stumble upon. We can always let a bad day get the best of us and feel the misery creeping on the back of our necks, or we can dust it off and take it as a learning experience, and keep moving forward.

Of course, some might think that staying positive all the time is an ignorant thing of me to say, since I don’t know them personally and what they are going though. They might think it’s ignorant because we can’t just go through tough times and wear a fake smile and pretend that nothing happened. I’ll admit, it’s hard staying positive when things do not go the way I want them to be. My point is not to conceal our emotions and pretend that we are happy, but to look for the silver lining in every obstacle that we face… the light at the end of the tunnel. 

While we are alive and breathing, we will face disappointment, pain, setbacks, downfalls, discouragement, and let downs; those are all inevitable. We can’t escape from that. But the good news is that we can find the silver lining and we can get back up and carry on with our lives.

Instead of waking up and thinking “another day going to school means another horrible day and seeing all the people I hate”, take a step back and realize the more you say that, the more hatred fills your body, which affects how you look at your day, and how you treat the people you will come across. Think about what everyone else around you is going through. Chances are, they might be going through the same thing that you are, and all they need is some optimism as well. 

Take a moment to stop everything that you’re doing and breathe. Inhale all the positive energy, and exhale all the negative energy that you have been holding inside your mind and body for a while. Everything is going to be okay.

Monday, June 2, 2014 with 2 notes
The Planet Takes the HSNA!

By Jercy David

Photo by Jercy David

On Thursday, May 22, the Mary Ward Planet was invited to the Toronto Star Press plant as guests for the Toronto Star High School Newspaper Awards.  The Planet Exec team and volunteers, along with many participating high schools, celebrated the annual awards ceremony.

Of the 700 entries the Toronto Star received, 200 came from the Planet, and the time spent entering all the incredible work the Planet’s done was not wasted.  This year, the Mary Ward Planet won an amazing 7 awards:

  • Photography - Sports - 1st Place:  Bea Serdon, grade 12
  • Photography - News - Runner-up:  Bea Serdon, grade 12
  • Illustration - Runner-up:  Andrea Heisz, 2012-2013 alumni
  • Feature Writing - Short - Runner-up:  Michelle Li, grade 11
  • Layout and Design - 1st Place:  Jercy David, grade 12
  • Electronic Newspaper Layout & Design - Special Feature Page - 1st Place:  Mary Ward Planet Staff
  • Best Electronic Newspaper - Runner-up:  Mary Ward Planet Staff

Many congratulations to the winners and the team!

For more about the Planet’s time at the Toronto Star, watch out for summer issue of the Planet coming out this June!

Monday, May 26, 2014
The Most Unappreciative, Appreciation Breakfast

by Lia Pizarro

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Image by Bea Serdon 

The morning hour meets its end as ‘Our Kids, Our Future’ goes up to take their group photo amid the chaos happening below. People are running around the café trying to get more cake, finding their friends and getting into their club groups. We sat patiently for our group to be called, watching picture after picture being taken until it is finally our turn to go up on stage. It’s in this moment when we see everyone starting to make their way out of the café and to their first period classes. Un-phased by the mass clear out of the room, we finally get up from our seats and make our way to the side of the stage when we’re suddenly stopped. It then comes to our attention that we will not be taking a group shot up on the stage, for either the Planet or the Yearbook committee. Frustration is starting to build up within me at this point. It seems as if everyone else around me is calm but I can’t understand why. We had all just waited an hour, maybe even more, just so we could take our picture but only to find out that it would not be taken. The worst part about the situation was that the room was completely deserted. No one was left to cheer us on, no one was around to protest for our picture, and no one was around to even thank our photographers for their hard work.

From my perspective, that whole morning was pretty much a big waste of my time. I could have been spending it finishing up some units for the day or doing something else productive with my time, rather than just sitting in a room eating cake. However, I had enough respect for the other clubs that I forced myself to go and watch as each group went up to take a photo. And I figured that I would be getting my photo taken too so I just went with the flow and waited. It’s funny isn’t it? That both the yearbook and the newspaper team stayed to watch everyone else get their pictures taken, yet no one bothered to stay once the two groups were called to get their pictures. What’s even more hilarious than that was that the pictures that were being taken (which were being taken by newspaper and yearbook execs and photographers) were going to be used either in the paper and/or the yearbook.  Oh, the irony.  Now, we can blame whomever we want for what happened, but that won’t change anything. We can only really move forward from here. This, however, does not excuse the fact that our two clubs, or at least I believe, should receive some sort of compensation for the way we were treated. These clubs work tirelessly, even staying after school until 9 o’clock at night, to create newspapers and yearbooks for the whole school to enjoy. Without us, none of the moments and the memories that our school experiences throughout the year would ever be remembered, or even recognized. Even the student council, who worked hard to host the entire breakfast, never got a chance to take their photo either.

The SAC Club Appreciation Breakfast is a pretty recent event that only started about four years ago. The teachers believed that the students, who were involved with clubs around the school, were not receiving the recognition that they deserved for their hard work and dedication. At the time, only the student athletes and honor roll awardees were recognized for their achievements through the athletic banquet and the honor roll breakfast. Students involved with clubs contribute to the school community just as equally as other students involved with academics and sports. It was only a matter of time that their efforts were recognized and celebrated. The club appreciation breakfast, organized by the student council, ensures that all clubs are acknowledged and thanked by the rest of the school community.

Moving forward however, there is always room for improvement so that these kinds of incidents don’t happen again. Rather than having just a whole morning dedicated to SAC appreciation, why not have a whole week dedicated to these clubs. The new idea is that every day at lunch for an entire week, clubs will go up on the stage in the café to have their picture taken. On the last day of the week, that is when the students will get together with their clubs in the café for the celebratory gathering, and all of the group shots taken throughout the week will be set up on a slide show for everyone to see. This way, all of the clubs in the school will be equally appreciated, and the process of getting the pictures taken will be much less complicated.

As upset as I am about what had happened, this experience is just a good lesson to learn from. This club appreciation breakfast was meant to appreciate every club equally and respectfully. Without the support of each club, it is hard to feel appreciated for the work that we do. Hopefully in the future, this never happens to a club ever again. 

Monday, April 21, 2014 with 2 notes
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"For the people, about the people."
The Mary Ward Planet is a student-based newspaper designed to cater to all the students at Mary Ward Catholic Secondary School. Through the hard work and dedication of the teachers and students on staff, the Planet produces 3 seasonal issues per year.

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