You Spin me Right Round, Baby

Zoë 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.
Bravo, sir.
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.

Leadership Thrills at Albion Hills

Oakwood’s 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 Hills.
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 unisex.
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 fire.
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!
-Nico Aldea

Warning: Grade Nines
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.

Gr. 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 for this.”
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! 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 Horowitz

Under the Tree


The Most Formal Semi Article Ever

Leadership Thrills at Albion Hills

Warning: Grade Nines

Gr. 9 BBQ 2003




























































































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