Spin me Right Round, Baby
Abrams, the dancing reporter
One would commend
CAPUT for its organization of Oakwood's first semi formal of the
year at the Atlantis nightclub, Ontario Place, as it was a fantastic
success. On Friday, October 24th, Oakwoodites of all ages were found
thumping about the revolving dance floor to music one student said
was, in a word, "scintillating". From the Beastie Boys
to Shaggy, from Queen to Justin Timberlake, it seemed as if the
soundtrack to the evening was absolutely perfect.
Many of our grade eleven and twelve peers-the leaders of tomorrow-arrived
as greasers, cowboys, pimps, catholic school girls, and, my personal
favourite, 1980s vixens. Mr. Abdelmassih set the cherry atop of
this undeclared "Blast from the Past" theme by dancing
the wildly ornate dances of his youth.
Upon looking out of the massive windows of the venue, one could
see the Toronto skyline ablaze with twinkling lights across the
waters of Lake Ontario. The watery Toronto Island scenery added
an element of romance and intimacy to the frantic tangle of boys
and girls grinding on the dance floor.
Any complaints? Surprisingly, few negative comments were made throughout
the evening. Slow songs were lacking, though the DJ made up for
this fallacy by playing Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody". Less
importantly, the coat checking system turned into a minor disaster.
It is hoped that this small detail will be overlooked.
Jolly Good Show.
Thrills at Albion Hills
very popular annual Leadership weekend retreat just passed the weekend
of October 18th. More than thirty Oakwood Baron’s attended
the event, along with Mr. Kent, Mr. Wright, and Ms. Hegge. I also
took part in the weekend for my first time ever.
The Leadership weekend retreat started as soon as school let out
on Friday. All the participants gathered their luggage and headed
outside to load onto the bus. All the faces were familiar to me,
but only about a third of the people had I ever talked to. Luckily,
that was all about to change.
It was an hour’s ride to the Albion Hills conservation area,
where the weekend took place. Some students brought along their
guitars and played them for the bus ride. The songs were known by
nearly everyone, but all got in to the spirit and sung along anyway.
It really made the bus trip go by quickly.
When we arrived, Bill, who was in charge of the weekend, greeted
us. We got inside to the large lounge where he told us the rules,
the general idea of what was going to happen, and a bit about Albion
Before the Leadership weekend could happen, “Leaders”
had to be chosen. These leaders had already attended Leadership
in previous years. They were going to be in charge under the ranks
of Bill and the teachers.
After dinner we went back into the lounge where Mr. Wright announced
our groups. Boys and girls slept in different dorms with smaller
rooms inside. The leaders devised groups for each room. They put
people together who didn’t know each other. That way, new
friendships would grow.
We were then told from Mr. Wright of the final groups. There were
six groups in total, with each group having a leader. And the same
system with the dorm groups applied except these six groups were
I was part of group six alongside four other people, one of whom
I only slightly knew. I saw there and then the possibility of brand
new friendships and went into it with optimism.
That first night we all went on a night hike through the woods.
We listened to the sounds of nature and admired the crystal view
we had of the stars. It was beautiful and very enjoyable.
Once back inside, we played a game to learn each other’s names.
The entire weekend consisted of related games. One game got us all
involved in discussions on hot issues and we had to observe each
other debate. We then learned about how we respond to certain things
and the way we feel.
Another game had the groups split up and we had to make cubes with
limited supplies. We first all thought to trade or steal from other
groups but then learned it would only work if we all did it together.
It taught a lesson about teamwork.
It wasn’t all educational games, though. On Saturday night
all the groups were required to make a skit on “Life at Oakwood”.
Everyone had fun as we all laughed our hearts out. And even later
we all went outside, roasted marshmallows, and sung songs by camp
Before going many people were skeptical about the food at Albion
Hills, but no one was disappointed. They served us English muffins,
eggs, pancakes and cereal for breakfast, Fish, French fries, and
soup for lunch, and BBQ chicken with rice for dinner. They even
gave us dessert.
When mid-Sunday came, we all said goodbye to Bill and took the bus
back to Oakwood. Guitars were played and voices sang., Although
it resembled the bus ride to Albion Hills it was very different.
Smiles were shining, the singing voices were one and everyone on
the bus was a friend. This was one of my best weekends ever and
a time I will never forget. I encourage everyone to try to come
out next year.
According to the dictionary’s definition, to be a leader one
must guide and inspire others. So, on behalf of everyone who participated,
I’d like to thank the six leaders, Steph, Ben, Sarah, Orion,
Erica, Gwen and Inês for doing just that. A special thanks
goes to Mr. Kent, Ms. Hegge, and Mr. Wright,
and a big thanks to Bill. Hope to be back next year!
The Wildlife of Oakwood, As Explained by Award-Winning
Writer Chris Quinn
Ah, the first
day at Oakwood. So many fresh-faced grade nines wandering aimlessly
through the halls. Yes, I should help them, but I don’t. I
feel they can only learn by finding their classes for themselves.
It isn’t a complicated school. Think of it simply as this:
The main area is a large square with classes on the outside and
inside of the square, except on the first and second floors where
the inside is the auditorium but the outside remains the same. The
L-wing, which is known as the old (or music) wing has classes on
one side in the top corridor but on both sides at the bottom. Except
for the first floor which contains the rarely used cafeteria at
the end rather than classrooms. Now the new wing, which contains
the office and Caput office on the second floor, the library and
drama room on the first floor and classrooms on the third is simple:
merely a straight hallway with lockers and rooms on the left and
right. The basement is a completely different story but you can
figure it out on your own.
Moving on . . . I have many tips for Niners. Here are some types
of people you’ll want to look for at Oakwood:
6-legged sloths: This
slow moving animal travels in tight packs. We believe it moves upright,
but it’s hard to tell. You can see its many legs slowly climbing
stairs or taking up an entire hall. You will frequently get stuck
behind this creature, especially if you’re particularly late
for class and in a rush to get there. To avoid it, use less frequented
halls and stairwells, or simply plough through it.
The English Guard:
This mammal can be found lurking the halls during the national anthem.
There is always one standing guard when you are in a rush to get
to class before the anthem finishes. The guard will stop you in
the hall and hold its gaze upon you for until the anthem is over
and the reading read, to ensure that you won’t sneak to your
destination. You cannot avoid it, for one can be found in every
hallway during the anthem, so either get to class early or late.
Human Shrubbery: Found
in the stairwells during lunch period, these large groups of weeds
spread across an entire passageway that you are attempting to cross.
This commonly occurs when they are feeding so watch out –
they’re very grumpy at this time. No worries when it comes
to avoiding them, for they usually leave a tiny path for you. If
not, you can make the leap of faith or use another exit.
Incoherent Food Processor:
Found outside of the grounds, behind counterss in various eating
establishments. They haven’t mastered our form of English
so it will cause you to strain in order to decipher their questions
and requests. This causes a minor inconvenience but it won’t
affect the food quality or take up much time. After a series of
attempts you will become accustomed to their language and be able
to obtain food with ease.
Dawn Gatherers: A
ritual at the school is for many of the people in athletics to gather
upon the grand field of playing and engage in odd ceremonies. These
include traveling an oval path around and around. It is not known
whether they know that this path leads nowhere but they travel it
early morning at dawn nonetheless. They also toss the ceremonial
“ball” back and forth to each other. We believe it’s
to symbolize the passing of power. The tribes that gather here include
the “Rugby clan”, the “Track and Field Tribe”
and the “Field Hockey People of the East”. They will
not harm you if you refrain from attempting to communicate with
them prior to a large dose of caffeine.
The People of Musicia:
This tribe of proud horn-blowers patrols the music hallway and various
churches in the neighbourhood. You can identify them by the sounds
they emit from tools they have acquired. Sometimes the sounds are
wonderful and beautiful to hear, and sometimes they are mind-numbingly
awful. These people are strongly territorial, so do not dare enter
their land without a guide or a Musician. Otherwise, you will be
outcast in the hall. Just avoid the music hall if you do not wish
to encounter them, but they are generally a friendly people who
will invite you in - once you join their clan.
I hope this small guide will help you young ones make it through
this difficult land, and I hope all the long-term residents appreciate
the refresher. As for me, I shall continue my journeys through this
wild land and report back to you if I survive.
9 BBQ 2003
The Grade 9
Barbecue – a traditional festive occasion at Oakwood. Every
September all of the members of the grade that is 9 are led out
onto the field for the last block before lunch, to play (or refuse
to play) games, learn (or not learn) the school song and generally
await the taste of a free hot dog and pop. As a Grade 9 Buddy, this
year I got to be privy to the preparations for this event itself.
Two periods before the beginning of lunch, we buddies and members
of the GAA could be found milling around the entrance to the field,
watching CAPUT set up barbecues, running away from wasps, and generally
trying to figure out what we were supposed to be doing. After much
moving around and confusion about whether it made more sense to
stand on the inside or outside of the fence, we met out on the grass,
surrounded by music already blaring from CAPUT’s speakers,
to get some instructions from one of our leaders, Inês Ribeiro.
She opened her mouth to speak, but before she had the chance, a
bloodcurdling and high-pitched scream flew from the mouth of a boy
named Charlie, who ran away flapping his arms. We saw that the cause
of this was a lone wasp sitting casually on Inês’ arm.
Panting, Charlie returned and informed us all that Inês would
now be on the receiving end of, like, thousands of years of good
luck, as the bee had not stung her. With this good news in mind,
we separated into groups to await our respective grade 9 homeforms.
I can say that the rest of Block D and lunch went along without
mishap, and as well as any Grade 9 BBQ that I’ve witnessed
in these past fours years. It went possibly better, as for the first
time, there was the promise of a pizza lunch to the winning grade
9 homeform. (Congratulations, 9H!) There were the regular small
groups of people from older grades pretending to be niners and mooching
tickets for free hotdogs, and the people who really didn’t
want to play games could be seen chatting with their friends. The
music was loud, eclectic and varied enough to appeal to almost any
type of musical taste, and the actual level of participation in
some of the games was really amazing. For example, the teamwork
and thought put into unscrambling the word puzzles was impressive.
As always, the most popular activity was the tug of war, which always
seemed to come to a close with breathless teenagers from every grade
sprawled on the ground, shouting and laughing. I heard many comments
along the lines of “I want hamburgers! I skipped my breakfast
At the beginning of lunch, everyone collected his or her tickets
and crowded around CAPUT’s tables to push and shove and eat.
Mark Lush’s voice could be heard loud and clear over the microphone,
insistently shouting “Do you have a complaint about the hotdogs,
sir? They don’t taste good? I assure you the hotdogs are excellent,”
or “Ladies and Gentlemen, please mind your P’s and Q’s,
you know courtesy goes a long way,” or “Over THERE!
All in all, it was not a bad first impression for Oakwood to give
its grade 9s, I think. To all grade 9s: have an amazing year! -Sarah
Most Formal Semi Article Ever
Thrills at Albion Hills
9 BBQ 2003