Is it even dating anymore?

Rebecca P.-T. disects the modern day dating scene

By Rebecca Phaneuf-Thibault

Dating in our late teens nowadays can be quite confusing. Back in our grandparent’s time there was a set model for “dating.” Douglas James, a senior resident of Vermont said “men would ask women out if they wanted to get to know them better, dates had a pretty clear purpose of courtship – to see if this might be the person who you will eventually marry.”

Today, in our westernized and modern society, if somebody asked anyone on a date saying they want to verify if they are “the one” before even knowing their last name, anyone would immediately freak out. Yet you hear girls constantly saying they want to find someone that sweep us off our feet with romantic gestures! Can you spell out c-o-n-t-r-a-d-i-c-t-i-o-n-s? When did all the rules start changing and why did they?

In a world where long-distance relationships are on the rise, where sex and dating are independent from each other, where we text and Facebook instead of calling, where we date to have a laugh and cringe at the idea of “happily ever after”; it’s hard not to wonder…WHAT HAPPENED?

First of all, the greater role that women play in the public sphere as opposed to the one they did in our grand-parent’s time, their gain of professional power, their sexual freedom and their social status, has completely changed the name of the dating game.

It dictated the whole essence of dating, types of relationships we get involved in, views of sex, definitions of love, the aims of a love life (the definition of a “good” one)…YOU NAME IT!

Nowadays, we don’t want to consider marriage until we’d “lived” enough; for some that means to travel the world, to have a successful professional career, to have different sexual partners, to ‘go out and be young’, etc. But as much as dating has changed, it never disappeared. Does that mean we are genetically programmed to date? To look for a partner? Even just for kicks? That secretly we do it to find someone to settle down with? If we changed the name of the game from ‘find-a-wife/husband’ to ‘casual-fun-and-games’, are we just disguising old motives behind new socially accepted casualties? But did these new standards make it harder for people to ‘fall in love’ or did it just level our expectations to a more realistic level?

The room left to chivalry is one that stirred up a lot of debate over the last decades. If women want to be treated as equals, why should practices that revolve around the idea that they are the weaker sex still be actual, right? But then where does the romance lies? Can there be romance without chivalry?  Barbara Madimenos, a first semester Literature student said, “TO EVERY GIRL OUT THERE:  take the first step. Don’t wait around like a hopeless princess, be independent and take initiative with what you want in life because that guy may never ask you out.” Could women have taken over chivalry? Maybe both women and men are now chivalrous…

A new kind of relationship that happens to be more and more present in our day and age due to kids traveling more and being less held back by traditional types of romances, are long distance relationships. While traveling, you’re out of your comfort zone, most likely to be closer to your adventurous side, usually on vacation, more relaxed,etc. All the ingredients are there to meet someone! But long-distance relationships bring their load of difficulties and very few pass the test of time and survive past the honeymoon phase. The fact that they are a relatively new phenomenon make all the rules “to be determined.” Here again there are no set boundaries per say, forcing people to act on their own terms.

All in all, dating for our generation is pretty much a free for all because of all the new freedoms that is offered to us and the lack of set ground rules! This can be perceived as very confusing times when it comes to dating, but I think we should make the most of it! We have the opportunity to model our dating life according to our own standards and requirements without any actually societal restrictions! Am I the only one thinking this is really good news?

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NEWS BITES

By Dahlia Belinsky

The first day of December was yesterday meaning Movember is officially over. For those who don’t know, Movember is when guys grow a moustache for the month of November for prostate cancer awareness. Presumably all the Dawson men have shaved their moustaches and trimmed their beard, which is too bad because they’re so hot. Except not really. Thank God December is here.

President of the United States, Barack Obama, has received 12 stitches on his lip after being elbowed in a game of basketball.

A study done by Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital found that obesity is linked with osteoporosis. Basically, if you’re fat you have weak bones. This was not always the case. Before, it was believed that being overweight gave you stronger bones. It’s okay, if you’re that fat you don’t need bones, you can just lie in bed and eat your sorrow away.

Carlos Flores, a grocery clerk in New York, jumped in the metro tracks to save a man who had fainted.  He said he did it so that the metro would not hit him and cause a delay that would make Flores late for work. I can only hope that someone would have saved the man even if they weren’t going to be late…

The Head of the Washington State Potato Commission finally finished his 60 day potato diet. In that time he ate approximately 400lbs of potatoes in every form possible. The best part is he lost 20lbs, lowered his blood sugar, and cut his total cholesterol by a third. Despite these advantages he is not recommending the diet to people. I don’t even care; this is legitimately a dream diet. The results could have been he gained 40lbs and somehow got chlamydia and I’d still be down to eat potatoes for two months.

Warner Brothers is making Quidditch Lingerie, or at least they’re getting the trademark. The people who are buying the lingerie, no one other than themselves will see it. Too bad I’m really tempted to buy it…

Grieving in creative ways

Different ways of coping with Dawson’s recent tragedy

By Monica Jewer

In the early hours of a fun-loved celebration; Halloween brought lots of sadness and pain into hearts in and around the Montreal area. Mitchell Bracken-Guenet, Dylan Ford and Ricardo Conesa were killed by a train in the Turcot area of Montreal. Bracken- Guenet and Conesa were pronounced dead at the scene and Ford died later that morning in hospital. Two others that were present during the accident were rushed to hospital in shock and released soon after.

The five boys had been appreciating and creating graffiti when the two surviving friends attempted to alert their friends of an upcoming train. Due to the architecture of the popular spot the three deceased did not hear the train. The young men attempted to jump out of the way or stared in disbelief, and were struck.

This tragic event has brought much pain to family, friends and the general community. The repercussions of this accident have been frightening in the variety of grieving techniques chosen by the peers of the teenage boys. Some have chosen a variety of substance abuse, some have chosen to be constantly around friends and family, some have been in denial or have attempted to go on in their everyday lives. People everywhere are worried that more children will be hurt while grieving over the three 17 Year olds deaths.

We must all be around to support and help one another, no matter how bad their choices of grieving might be. It has been brought to attention that many have chose to pay their respects in a variety of work through art forms often graffiti but also been going back to the accident site risking the family’s of these children living in the West Island of Montreal, their suburban further accidents.

It is frightening to parents to see their children’s friends being killed at such a young age. As teenagers it is understood that this is an age where they do not share their pain and issues with their parents in fear of getting in trouble. This is an age where friends are the most important people in their lives. Parents have also mentioned the closeness of lifestyle has been prone to communal activities where the kids are considered to be the children of the community not just every set of parents personal child. Teenagers are usually not use to death of their age group of peers, especially not three at once.

A variety of precautions been considered to lower chances of such accidents reoccurring. It must be taken into consideration that kids will be kids and put themselves into dangerous situations. Everyone must be more cautious in their activities and consider safety measures when doing dangerous activities. People must spread awareness that there are others out their feeling the same as you and that you are not alone.

There have been a few disturbing internet comments left on a variety of sites blaming the parents of the deceased for letting their children out at 3am in the morning and also saying ignorant things such as ” rich west island” kids should not be participating in graffiti in “their” terri tory  of St- Henri and that they deservedof St- Henri and that they deserved what they had coming for them.

Most people can decide to disregard comments such as these but the younger generation may take it hardly especially if having a relationship with the deceased.

This seemed to have happened during a really difficult time four some. Dylan Ford’s mother happened to have been in the United States burying her mother when she was informed of her son’s death.

Riccardo Conesa was an exchange student from Spain, making his parents have to find out and not be there fast enough to claim their son.

There is a lot of pain and pressure put on the two survivors, they are in shock, traumatized, afraid to say something that would incriminate them or their friends. Everyone should be here to support one another during these difficult times and remember to appreciate life and what we have including one another. Let these three boys never be forgotten and rest in peace.

Christmas shopping on a dime

Thrift store shopping as opposed to retail store shopping

By Erica Guth

Ah, the holidays. A time for family, food, parties, gifts and… waste. The holiday season is the peak of consumerism, and it’s an expensive time for all. Everyone wants to look great around the holidays, but often this can lead to some serious debt and, consequently, guilt over spending too much and damaging the environment by throwing out everything we don’t use.

Many Dawson students are dismayed by the wastefulness of the holidays. “[The holidays] are a load of shit and an excuse to buy more stuff we don’t need,” said Matthew Conti, a third semester Cin/Vid/Com student.

Others feel that the buying frenzy that is the holiday season gets in the way of the important elements of Christmas. “It’s kind of sad how the holidays have boiled down to just buying things for the people you love instead of simply spending time with them and showing them how you feel. Some of my friends don’t even have Christmas dinner with their families,” said Sean Mundy, a third semester Arts and Culture student.

But there’s a great way to look unique at all your holiday parties that allows you to save money, skip the lines, recycle, help the environment support good causes and avoid the guilt. Thrift stores are a great place to not only find unique clothes, but many of them also have a wide array of vintage jewellery, furniture and household accessories that can make inexpensive and original Christmas gifts. Buying second hand is recycling and all the stores featured here support different causes, not to mention that thrift stores are never very busy, so why not buy thrift?

There are many vintage or second hand stores around Montreal that support good causes while selling fabulous items that you would never find in a mall. Shopping second hand and selling or donating your clothes to thrift shops keeps waste out of the landfills.

Aside from helping you looking fantastic at every event, thrift stores can be great for finding one-of-a-kind, affordable gifts.

One fun place in the West Island to find beautiful clothes for budget-friendly prices is The Trading Post in Valois Village.

All the clothes are on consignment, which means that customers give their pieces to the store so they can sell it for them and the customer keeps a percentage of the sales. Because of this, you get quality pieces that aren’t always used. The owners hand pick items that can either be gently used vintage clothes or designer clothes that don’t sell in stores.

Most of their stock is women’s clothing and accessories, but they do have some men’s stuff. Since they don’t just take anything that is offered to them and the store is fairly small, it won’t take long to find the perfect item.

Furthermore, the best part is, after three months, if something doesn’t sell, it gets donated to different charities including the Mission of Love, the Great Shepherd mission and Chez Doris, the women’s shelter.

“The kind of people who shop here are creative and open-minded people looking for something that you won’t see ten of for a good price,” store-owner Laurie Leblanc McCullough said.

Thrift shopping is definitely for the more patient shopper because it involves lots of rifling through racks and racks of clothes looking for that perfect item. That being said, it’s a lot more fun than waiting in line for hours at a commercial store and battling for parking just to show up looking the same as everyone else.

“The kind of people who shop here are creative and open-minded people looking for something that you won’t see ten of for a good price,” store-owner Laurie Leblanc McCullough said.

On the complete other end of the thrift spectrum, there is Village des Valeurs. Normally, to find something great at Village, you need to dedicate a few hours to this store, but there’s a good chance that it will be worth it.

Village des Valeurs weighs all the bags of clothes they receive and gives a percentage of that number to the Quebec Diabetic Foundation. And all the items that don’t sell get packaged up and sent to third world countries. Not to mention the clothes are ridiculously affordable and the stores are so huge that there’s always a great find hiding in the next rack.

Village des Valeurs is also a great place to buy fur and leather, because recycling it is much more ecologically conscious than buying it new. They also have a “curio” section where you can find interesting Christmas decorations and quirky little stocking stuffers.

Village is a great place to go if you want an incredible outfit for less than fifty bucks. For a very glamorous look, I found a tight strapless black dress for $5.99, a faux-fur stole for 12.99$ and black and white heels for $4.99. That makes $23.97 for something that could easily cost you a couple hundred dollars in stores.

The key to pulling of a vintage wardrobe is to mix the era-specific pieces with simple modern items. For example, a classic flapper dress can be mixed with simple black heels or a well-fitted cardigan. Although velvet is really in right now and highly accessible in thrift stores, you’d be best to pair a velvet jacket with a fitted plain t-shirt and snug jeans to keep your look classy and to avoid going over-the-top.

Many other great thrift shops around Montreal that give back, too. The Salvation Army is another guilt-free place to shop, because your money is supporting a good cause and you aren’t buying new materials, which contributes to reducing pollution. Although the clothing section is small, it can be a great place to find gifts such as funky, unique furniture or toys.

Also, Eva B. on St-Laurent Street is a mecca for cheap, wild used clothing. They specialize in clothes from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, and it’s a fun place for creative shoppers with and open mind and a flair for the dramatic. Many Dawson arts students shop there and at the other stores mentioned above, and were more than enthusiastic when asked about thrift shopping.

“I like looking for stuff and finding cheap clothes. You can find a really rad, warm sweater for like $8 [at Village des Valeurs],” Charlotte Forbes, a third semester Cin/Vid/Com student, said.

There is also a certain feeling of superiority that comes with shopping second hand.

“I buy second hand because it allows me to have a killer unique style, it fits with my love for the environment and it’s really fun to be able to laugh at people who paid ten times the price I paid for a similar item,” Melinda Heaven Pierre-Paul Cardinal, a third semester Visual Arts student, said.

It’s no wonder there are so many fans of this alternative to buying new. Thrift stores also have a great environment. Most of them have piles upon piles of clothes, shoes and accessories piled haphazardly in every corner and fun music playing. The air usually has a nice, musty smell to it, and everyone is very relaxed and excited to hunt for the next jewel in their collection.

Second hand shopping is a great way to do good for the community and the environment, save money and look your best during the holiday season and any other time of the year. Before throwing yourself into the holiday madness that takes over shopping malls and leaving with a horrible headache, consider the fun, relaxing environment of a thrift store.

Sounds Like Nothing

Plant editor Tyler Finigan shares his experience of being deaf and mute for a week-long experiment.

My thoughts are louder than thunder yet nothingness fills my ears. Everything smells better, looks better and I’m longing for the sweet taste of my meatball sandwich. Everyone’s opinion is shut out, everyone’s laughter is all I see. The teacher singles me out with her finger then waits with a smile. I whip my head back to my book and then swiftly returning to my teacher, I smile. I plead with my eyes and I beg in silence. It’s too late to turn back, I’ve but only just begun. I scroll my pencil down the margin of the loose leaf then in between the lines I write a few words. Reluctantly, I hand the page to my girlfriend sitting next to me and she reads it aloud, “Tyler can’t respond to you because he’s deaf and mute.”

During the week of November 1, I began a five-day documentary/experiment on how it would feel to be deaf and mute. For this to happen, I embarked upon a rigorous engineering discovery and came up with… large, sound-reducing headphones.  I believe that we take our basic form of communication for granted and with this project, I anticipated a simple challenge. Instead, what I endured was a new found respect for basic communication through an alternate sensory experience. This idea came to me in my communication studies class. We were told to build a website around any idea and be able to communicate it through multiple mediums. I figured if I took the communication aspect out completely I would eventually use different mediums to communicate.

According to the Canadian Association of the Deaf (CAD), there are “310,000 culturally Deaf Canadians and 2.8 million hard of hearing Canadians,” and according to data.worldbank.org there are over 33 million people living in Canada.

Put it together and that’s around one person that has a hearing defect out of 11 Canadians. With such a high concentration, I was curious as to how a deaf student would manage inside a normal everyday classroom. So, because I was short of deaf people, I decided to undergo this experiment myself. At first my friends and family felt that I was over my head and should have thought it out a little more than I had.   “I swear I thought I was going to be hanging around with a vegetable.” Ashley Couillard, my girlfriend said.  My mother wasn’t too keen on the project either and so like any mother, Ashley worried that I’d suffer some sort of ear trauma throughout the experiment.

Despite their worries, I was excited to start my experience but was in no way ready for what was to come. The following quotes were taken from my blog and are a catalogue of my five day experience.

Day 1:
“It’s the end of the first day of our five-day documentary, and I’m exhausted. All day I’ve been mouthing words, jotting down notes and playing charades just to communicate.  The headset I’m wearing is quite heavy and every time I raise my head from my paper to recap where I was, it weighed on my neck. The experiment is already not as I thought it would be. I thought it would be a little more fluid to communicate without speech, yet the difficulty in doing so has been my main concern in and out of class. Class is probably the hardest part of the day. I do hear some of what my teachers are saying but most of the time; I’m just reading lips and writing notes.”

Day 2:
“Two days down and three more to go. The headphones are starting to pinch my ears and by the end of each day, I’m glad to rip them off and go to bed. The experience so far has been quite unique. I thought it would get easier as the days go by but with a different day came brand new mountains to climb. Today I drove into school. All I was able to hear was the vague rumble of the engine and the distant tune on the radio. It was peaceful. I was so fixated on the road and turning my head quite often to position myself properly, that I didn’t pay much attention to my speed. It’s hard to gauge your speed when you can’t hear the car ‘rev’, so I was driving at around 130 km/h on average. I know I shouldn’t be dubbed a speed demon because I’ve seen maniacs fly down the highway at 150 WITH their hearing. Today’s classes were ‘Newspaper Writing’ and ‘Gym: Resistance Training’. Being an editor for the school newspaper is already a busy job. Without being able to talk to the writers or listen to any of them was tiring. Several times, I passed notes and mouthed words across the room. I’m known for my talking in class so I’m sure it was a lot quieter for everyone else as well. Gym couldn’t come fast enough. The day was long and all I didn’t need was to lift weights or sweat with this equipment on my head.”

Day 3:
“The week is at a turning point. It was the hardest day for me so far. Because of my communication problem, it was a pain to accomplish any work whatsoever. It was long and boring and to be perfectly honest, it’s not worth writing about. The experiment is taking a toll on my overall physicality. I’m sleeping less, but which college student doesn’t.”

Day 4:
“Today and yesterday I had the delight of travelling in the wonderful gas chamber called the metro. It is so hot during rush hour that when I left my seat, I left it darker then it was before. We usually tune out the sounds of the metro with our iPods, or we let the metro rock us to sleep, but when all goes silent, the metro can be one of the most relaxing places on earth. There’s no annoying conversation going on next to the poll in front of you. You might not be able to hear where the next stop is but it’s worth it, because I don’t have to hear that dreaded woman speak to the metro’s populace like my oily, ‘toupeed’ high school principal.  As this experiment went, I’ve learned to respect how much we use talking and hearing on a daily basis. They say that you don’t know how much you need something until it’s taken away from you, but no one has ever said anything about taking it away yourself. I put these headphones on and I’m in my own bubble. The only things I can hear are my thoughts and how loud my chewing is.”

Day 5:
“It was the last day of the experiment! I was in a very happy mood and couldn’t wait to remove the headphones later on. I got up and learned through my email that my only class of the day was cancelled. So, I spent the whole day at home like a kermit in his shell. Due to this unintentional house arrest, I decided to do a few things that people with full hearing capacity normally enjoy doing. I watched a movie in silence with subtitles. It was awkward having to read all the dialogue and not having the luxury of background music or any sort of ambiance at all during the movie but I did realize one thing; I was watching a story. It sounds a bit ‘off’ but what I mean to say is that the experience was much like reading a book with pictures.

I sat there reading every word while glancing at the pictures move on the television. The only difference between the movie and a picture book was that the movie had a selective menu.”  When it was all over, I took the headgear off and it was as if the world was keeping a secret from me and then all at once, yelled the secret into my ear. I was able to hear   at full capacity and appreciate every second of it. Through this experience, I gained respect for the importance of communication. I learned that communication comes in many different forms, whether it be speech, visual media or even audio communication.

It’s with communication we can create and destroy nations, it’s with communication that we are able to survive as a community and most people take our basic forms of communication for granted.

We need to embrace these ways of communication or else we will be lost in a world that sounds like nothing.  For short videos of my experience, visit my blog at everythingbutblind.wordpress.com/

Montre’arts helps student artists

Strugglings CEGEP artist will have a chance to showcase their work

By Dahlia Belinsky

The Montre’arts website is expected to be launched over the holidays in addition to the long awaited CD coming out in January.

Montre’arts is a Montreal based organization that promotes the music of CEGEP students and also wants to add culture to a normal student’s life as well as the general public.

The main projects for Montre’arts include a CD, an official website, and a concert. “Each band will have a song. It’s a CD for people who are open to new music,” Michaël Lessard Head Organizer of Montre’arts said. “It [will be] easy to hear and [have] a diversity of talent to promote a variety of music.”

The bands on the CD so far are Mango Mango and Les Gourmands, who were the winners of Cegep en Spectacle last year, to name a few.

“We were going to have a magazine and website, but we reoriented it to be more technological, using social networking, informative videos, and interviews with the artists,” Lessard said. “[People] prefer to see a two minute video instead of reading something that takes 30 seconds to read.”

“It’s hard to start as an artist in Montreal and this allows people to consume art of good quality for a low price,” Lessard said.

The CD release, which is expected to be in January, will be announced on the official website which should be finished during the Christmas holidays. There are plans to have a concert with all the bands to launch the CD.

The organizers of Montre’arts are trying to include all CEGEPs around Montreal. At the moment Ahuntsic, Andre Laurandeau, Lionel Groulx, Marie-Victorin, Rosemont, and Vincent d’Indy are on board.

“This is something for the students by the students, [if you] follow us on Facebook you can see [the bands] evolving and give them a voice,” Lessard said.
Any artists that are interested in being a part of Montre’arts can go to the Dawson Student Union (DSU) office to contact Michaël Lessard. For more information, people can visit the Montre’arts Facebook page until the website is made.

I fought the bite and the kids won

Photo Credit: Paige Goldberg

Fundraiser success for healthcare in Uganda

fundraiser show by Carl Perks

Raising awareness for the Mercy Project was a success as Dawson students and faculty alike joined the bands Son of Sam and Double Down at Il Motore for the third and final part of Fight the Bite, a fundraiser separated in three events.

The benefit concert, organized by Dawson’s Club Med and Social Justice Club, was set to raise money for the St. Jude Children’s home in Gulu, Uganda, to add to the near $1,000 that was raised with the two previous events.

The St. Jude’s goal is to render health care more accessible in the area and the money raised during the events will go into buying a van for emergency transport, paying the salary of the many workers, funding the various workshops organised by the foundation, by-annual checkups, and malaria treatment for children.

“The problem [In Uganda] is not that there is no knowledge [about the situation] so much as that the accessibility is limited, because of the lack funding,” said Tori Schouela, co-organiser of the event.

The first band, Son of Sam, comprised of many members including Dawson Humanities Teacher Gabriel Tordjman, played a groovy reggae set and would rarely miss a chance to convey a message of love and charity to the crowd. Their intentions were positive and sincere. On the other hand, Double Down, formed out of the Dawson’s Jam Session attendees, took the evening on a lighter tone as Jacques “Robot Bear”’ Asselin yelled and wailed on stage, passing jokes and jumping up and down.

“The show is an anti-malaria show, as is the band,” said Asselin. “Malaria makes you feel bad, our music makes you feel good… which is the opposite of bad.”
Despite the evening being garnished by two entertaining musical acts, the organisers, Schouela, Jennifer Roberts and Arielle Elkrief, are hopeful that their efforts will go into good use.

“It’s not about us stepping in and telling them what to do, because they are very knowledgeable,” said Schouela. “It’s more about empowering them with the resources and the tools to be able to carry out the things that they do best”
If you missed the event yet remain eager to help, you can always aid the cause by pressing the ‘Donate’ button on the top right of http://www.themercyproject.org.