The students at John Fraser are talented writers. Unfortunately until now, only the teachers of these students have had the pleasure of reading their work. This website has given us a wonderful place to post reviews, poems, projects, stories, essays and many other things that have not been available to the public eye. Enjoy!
Sample Student Writing
Editorial: "Blue Back Breakers"
What's blue, has four legs, squeaks and can cause a major health hazard? No, it's not a radio-active cookie monster… it's the classroom chairs at John Fraser Secondary School! Do you know the worst part of sitting through a history lecture? It's not trying to stay awake… It's the actual "sitting" part! The same goes for class work, quizzes, tests, even exams! These blue chairs are horrible!
How many times do you have to shift positions while sitting in class? Ten, fifteen, twenty times? Have you ever lost concentration while writing a test because you were so uncomfortable? Clearly these plastic squeakers have the power to affect students' academic performance.
Throughout the day you sit on at least five of these terribly agonizing chairs. By the time you go home your back is so sore that you can't even stand up straight. Then you sit down at the computer or sit on the couch to watch TV. Next, after a few hours, you sit down for dinner, and then do your homework while also sitting down. Can you imagine what all this sitting is doing to your back? You are spending almost the whole day sitting down! At the end of the day you can't even get a good night sleep because your back is aching. In the long run, this vicious cycle is really bad for you because your central nervous system is constantly suffering.
I decided to ask a school authority why our chairs are of such poor quality. He said, "They are specially designed so they don't cost too much. They are intended to keep the students awake because they are not comfortable enough to let them sleep…" The fact is, they are not comfortable at all. I don't even think the chairs keep us awake. Since our backs are so sore at night, we can't get a good night sleep and we are tired during the day. This causes us to lose concentration during class and it may lower our mark. By using these chairs, John Fraser has created an unhealthy learning environment for students.
To further prove my point, I surveyed a number of students at random. 90% of them said they hated the chairs, 5% said they were tolerable and the other 5% could not be bothered to comment. I did not only ask them for a yes or no answer. I also asked them why they did or didn't like them. One grade 11 athletic-looking guy said "They (the chairs) are messed up, we need leather ones." Some other comments (from grade 10 students this time) were, "They are soooo uncomfortable and squeaky" and "I think we should get the teacher's chairs." I proceeded to talk to the younger students. I got some outrageous answers like, "You should be able to bend them into beds" and other light-hearted ones like, "They're hard and they hurt my bum".
The chairs at John Fraser should either be replaced with better ones or adjusted to be better. They could be replaced with the same kind used by teachers or the type used in the library. It might be difficult to adjust them to make them better since they are already of such poor quality. Some things that could help would be: cushions (to make them softer) or wheels and casters (so they don't screech across the floor when moved).
Since these chairs have the potential of causing long-term back damage and the loss of concentration and sleep, their use should be re-assessed by John Fraser Secondary School. Come on, it's your central nervous system we're talking about here!
Poem: "Broken Wings"
I used to fly with the wind; soaring high like an eagle and scoffing at the wingless blurs that inhabited the earth below me. I was a god. I could go wherever I wished and it didn't matter how or why; I could go there.
I cannot remember exactly when I crash landed; when the hurt became so bad that I forgot how to fly and became just another monotonous blur seeking for their winds and constantly wishing they could get away from there, here, anywhere.
We all feel need but not for each other; and always for each other. Alone but together hurting and bored. Bored. Such a small world but it has so much depth; it has the ability to twist and stretch time without warning and induce yawns and sighs that last an eternity, and breathe life.
We are all lifeless. Indeed, we breathe, we walk, we talk, we work the 9 to 5 shift, we make small amounts of money bit by bit like we're trying to buy back our wings.
And yet we know we can't get our wings back; it's impossible.
We can give wings to others but never to ourselves.
Sometimes I can still feel the wind in my face of far away lands, doing lopsided summersaults and not worrying whether or not I have paid my taxes, or put the wash load on the right setting.
How can such meaningless things cut so deep? They're like change in your pocket; eventually they wear a hole and fall through, you try to patch the hole but it's not the same; your pocket is never the same. Nothing is the same. The way I look; these gashes where my wings once were; You... Who are you?
I don't recognize the person in front of me.
Who are you?
Who am I?
Everything used to be so simple. Flying high clarified everything and taught me that nothing, and everything, mattered at the same time.
What happened to me?
Where are my wings?
Maybe the wingless were just not meant to understand.
So why do I ask these questions?
Why do I remember?
Music Review: "Deftones"
Needles and Pins
Good Morning Beautiful
When Girls Telephone Boys
Anniversary of an Uninteresting Event
This is the fourth major release from the Deftones. And after coming off the huge success of the White Pony (their breakthrough album) which won them a Grammy in 2000 for Platinum Plus Sellers. They are back with a vengeance. The album simply stated as Deftones is exactly what it's called. Eleven new and original tracks from the boys of Sacramento show off they can still rock as hard as they did back in the early 90s. The group was formed in 1988 when five high school buddies started jamming in the garage of singer Chino Moreno, playing simple covers of bands such as the Clash. Before long the band started playing local street shows to gain some local exposure. While gaining a huge fan base in Sacramento, the band was approached by a representative for Maverick Records (Madonna's label). And they dropped the first album in 1995. Although the album was big in California it didn't gain the exposure across the U.S. until the Deftones started touring in 1997 to promote the new album Around the Fur. Touring with rock legends Black Sabbath and Pantera across North America they gained a huge fan base across North America and started selling albums like it was going out of style. Now the stage was set. The Deftones have become favourites on MTV and started a new trend in hard rock. Then it happened, in 2000 the Deftones released The White Pony. This album took the world by storm. And produced worldwide hits such as Change (In the House of Flies), Back to School and Knife Party. And selling out stadiums around the world and playing some of the biggest rock festivals in Europe. While maintaining their fan base in N. America, it has been said that the one two punch of the albums Adrenaline ('95) and Around the Fur ('97) helped propel the group into stardom. The anger and aggression of both albums are crowd favourites.
By now the Deftones are worldwide superstars for alternative metal fans. Their new album simply stated as Deftones is by far the best album they have released. It consists of eleven new and original songs from the Sacramento boys. This album can only be explained as AMAZING. In my opinion this is the plateau now. My favourite songs on the album are "Minerva," "Hexagram," "When Girls Telephone Boys" and "Lucky You." These four songs fill me with an emotion that I can't even explain. It's more of the music that is angry the way that it's played. It's a slower tempo and the vocals just hit me like a ton of bricks, I feel almost lost when listening to Minerva when singer Chino sings the chorus. Although this is my favourite song on the album I cannot exclude any other songs because they all rock. Even if you are not a hard rock fan you should at least download a track. You'll be surprised.