What is the Day of Pink?
April 10, 2019 marks the International Day of Pink. It is a day where communities across the country, and across the world, can unite in celebrating diversity and raising awareness to stop homophobia, transphobia, transmisogyny, and all forms of bullying.
The International Day of Pink was started in Nova Scotia when 2 straight high school students saw a gay student wearing a pink shirt being bullied. The 2 students intervened, but wanted to do more to prevent homophobic & transphobic bullying. They decided to purchase pink shirts, and a few days later got everyone at school to arrive wearing pink, standing in solidarity. The result was that an entire school took a stand and began working together to prevent homophobic & transphobic bullying.
The message was clear: anyone can bully, any can be victimized by bullying, but together we can stop it.
Each year on the second Wednesday of April, millions of people wear pink and take a stand. The Day of Pink is a symbol, a spark, that empowers and inspires youth across Canada to create amazing social change!
Latin America: Geography, Culture, and Literary Classics
All images are from National Geographic Travel. Explore links below for more stunning content and photographs that capture the beauty of Latin America.
The Most Beautiful Poem in Ancient Literature (an excerpt)
Published 21 March 2013
For many connoisseurs and lovers of Latin literature, Virgil is the first poet due to his epic poem the "Aeneid". The second poet would be the lyrical Horace.
For some of these people the best poem written in Latin is precisely the Oda number 7 from the book IV by Horace. Naturally, about the likes, nothing is written; after all any artistic assessment is just a personal judgement because it is not only affected by the cold rational assessment.
In any case, English poet Alfred Edward Housman (1859 - 1936), extraordinary professor of Latin at Cambridge from 1911 to 1936, considered this the most beautiful poem of old literature.
It is the Epicurean thought that encourages this composition. In this poem the return of spring, already heralded with irresistible force, and the succession of the seasons, warn us that everything passes; but as the years are renewed cyclically, this doesn’t happen to men; when our sunset comes (we don’t know when) we do not return to life, we are only dust (in the urn) and shadow (in the afterlife), not even the gods can resurrect men; so that we have to seize the moment.
The snow is fled: the trees their leaves put on,
The fields their green:
Earth owns the change, and rivers lessening run
Their banks between.
Naked the Nymphs and Graces in the meads
The dance essay:
“No 'scaping death” proclaims the year, that speeds
This sweet spring day.
Frosts yield to zephyrs; Summer drives out Spring,
To vanish, when
Rich Autumn sheds his fruits; round wheels the ring,--
Yet the swift moons repair Heaven's detriment:
We, soon as thrust
Where good Aeneas, Tullus, Ancus went,
What are we? dust.
Can Hope assure you one more day to live
From powers above?
You rescue from your heir whate'er you give
The self you love.
When life is o'er, and Minos has rehearsed
The grand last doom,
Not birth, nor eloquence, nor worth, shall burst
Not Dian's self can chaste Hippolytus
To life recall,
Nor Theseus free his loved Pirithous
From Lethe's thrall.
Horace. The Odes and Carmen Saeculare of Horace. John Conington. trans. London. (George Bell and Sons. 1882.)
The House of the Spirits
by Isabel Allende (Goodreads Author)
In one of the most important and beloved Latin American works of the twentieth century, Isabel Allende weaves a luminous tapestry of three generations of the Trueba family, revealing both triumphs and tragedies. Here is patriarch Esteban, whose wild desires and political machinations are tempered only by his love for his ethereal wife, Clara, a woman touched by an otherworldly hand. Their daughter, Blanca, whose forbidden love for a man Esteban has deemed unworthy infuriates her father, yet will produce his greatest joy: his granddaughter Alba, a beautiful, ambitious girl who will lead the family and their country into a revolutionary future.
The House of the Spirits is an enthralling saga that spans decades and lives, twining the personal and the political into an epic novel of love, magic, and fate.
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Winner of the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, the Michael L. Printz Award, and the Pura Belpré Award! New York Times-bestselling novel-in-verse by an award-winning slam poet, about an Afro-Latina heroine who tells her story with blazing words and powerful truth. Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking. But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself. But she still can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent
One Hundred Years of Solitude
by Gabriel García Márquez,
A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick
One of the twentieth century’s most beloved and acclaimed novels, One Hundred Years of Solitude tells the story of the rise and fall, birth and death of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendia family. Inventive, amusing, magnetic, sad, and alive with unforgettable men and women—brimming with truth, compassion, and a lyrical magic that strikes the soul—this novel is a masterpiece in the art of fiction.
The brilliant, bestselling, landmark novel chronicles the irreconcilable conflict between the desire for solitude and the need for love—in rich, imaginative prose that has come to define an entire genre known as "magical realism."
by Paulo Coelho (Goodreads Author)
Paulo Coelho's masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different—and far more satisfying—than he ever imagined. Santiago's journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life's path, and, most importantly, to follow our dreams.
* All book images and synopsis from Amazon.ca (or Goodreads where indicated).
Studies in Sikhism
Walking with Nanak:Travels in his Footsteps by Haroon Khalid
Haroon Khalid's lifelong fascination with Guru Nanak was reignited when he came upon Babur Bani, a poem written by the saint. This, and the discovery that Guru Nanak spent a large part of his life in Pakistan, inspired Khalid to undertake a journey that he hoped would help him learn more about the revered founder of Sikhism. In this wonderful paean to Guru Nanak, Khalid describes his travels across the length and breadth of Pakistan as he visits the many gurdwaras and other locales associated with the saint, delving into their history and musing about their place and significance in a Muslim country. But this book is not merely a story about gurdwaras, it is also a re-telling of the story of Nanak the son, the poet, the wanderer, the father, the friend. Sifting through the stories of his miracles and poetry, we emerge with a picture of Nanak, the man.
Punjab, Punjabis and Punjabiyat:
Reflections on a Land and its People by Khushwant Singh
Punjab, Punjabis & Punjabiyat brings together Khushwant Singh’s best writings on Punjab, Punjabis and the Sikhs. Divided into three parts, the book deals with various aspects of the region—its geography, climate, history, culture, religion, politics, language and literature. Part I of the book delves into Punjab’s history, culture, language and Sikhism. Part II covers the burning issues that affected the state during Khushwant Singh’s lifetime, including the pains of Partition, the Khalistan movement, Operation Blue Star, the anti-Sikh riots, and more. Part III is a collection of profiles of well-known Punjabis—poets, politicians, activists, friends and family.
In Pursuit of Empire: Treasures from the Toor Collection of Sikh Art
by Davinder Toor (Author, Contributor)
The story of the meteoric expansion of the Sikh Empire in the late 18th century and its devastating collapse half a century later told through a stunning assemblage of 100 rare and beautiful objects from the world's finest private collection of Sikh art.
Through the remarkable achievements of one collector, who pursued his passion to create the world's finest private collection of Sikh art, In Pursuit of Empire reveals the lasting legacy of the Sikh Empire.
* All book cover images and synopses from amazon.ca
"When Barry Fairbrother dies unexpectedly in his early forties, the little town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils…Pagford is not what it first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the town’s council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. " -amazon.com
What is the OSSLT?
The OSSLT is a provincial test of literacy (reading and writing) skills students have acquired by Grade 10. It is based on the literacy skills expected in The Ontario Curriculum across all subject areas up to the end of Grade 9.
Basic Test Details:
Test Format & What to Expect:
National Geographic: SCIENCE & INNOVATION STARSTRUCK
See the first supermoon on the spring equinox in 19 years
Look up while it lasts: This particular cosmic coincidence won't come again until 2030
BY ANDREW FAZEKAS
PUBLISHED MARCH 19, 2019
Assuming spring showers stay at bay, sky-watchers in the Northern Hemisphere will get to see a cosmic triple play on March 20, as a “super worm moon” lights up the vernal equinox. According to astronomy website EarthSky.org, a full moon has not landed this close to the first day of spring since the year 2000, and the two celestial events won’t happen less than a day apart again until 2030.
Click here to read the full article.
Interested in all things moon related, try sampling a book or two from this diverse collection of offerings...
Checkout the article posted by The Old Farmer's Almanac to learn more about the Spring Equinox.
CELEBRATE THE VERNAL EQUINOX AND THE START OF SPRING!
By Catherine Boeckmann
March 20, 2019
Repost from National Geographic
Holi is a festival celebrated by Hindus around the world. It marks the beginning of spring, and is usually celebrated at the end of February or early March. Participants in a Holi festival often throw brightly colored powder and scented water at each other.
Holi is a major festival in the Hindu religion. It is celebrated on the day after the last full moon of the Hindu month of Phalguna. Phalguna falls between late February and early March in Western calendars. Holi usually marks the happy transition from harsh, dark winter to brighter, warmer springtime.
Holi celebrates the Hindu story of Prahlada. Prahlada was a prince dedicated to the worship of Vishnu, a major Hindu god. Prahlada's father and aunt opposed his religious faith, and as punishment made him sit in the middle of a raging bonfire. Vishnu protected Prahlada, and the prince did not burn.
Bonfires remain a part of Holi rituals today. However, the most striking aspect of the festival is the spraying of brightly colored powders and water in enormous public celebrations. The colors mark both Prahlada's flickering bonfire and the bright colors associated with spring.
The "Festival of Colors" is also a time for Hindus to relax social codes. Barriers between rich and poor, men and women, young and old are broken down by Holi's bright colors. A familiar saying is bura na mano, Holi hai—don't be offended, it's Holi!
March's Essential Mysteries and Crime Fiction MARCH 1, 2019 BY CRIMEREADS
At the start of every month, CrimeReads staff members look over all the great crime novels and mysteries coming out in the weeks ahead and make recommendations based on what they’re reading and what they can’t wait to read. Check back over the course of the month for more suggestions for feeding your crime habit. Explore the original post by CRIMEREADS for a full inventory of juicy reads to lose yourself in this spring.
March is Greek Heritage Month at the TDSB. This year's theme is “Wisdom, Hope, Love” , translated as “Sofia, Elpida, Agape.”
SOFIA was not a Greek goddess, but rather the personification of cleverness and skill; wisdom incarnate. She is not to be confused with Athena, the goddess of wisdom and war. By definition, philosophy equates to a "love of Sophia" -or a love of wisdom.
ELPIS (Elphida in modern Greek) is the personified spirit (daimon) of hope. She and the other daimones were trapped in a jar by Zeus and entrusted to the care of the first woman Pandora. When she opened the vessel all of the spirits escaped except for Elpis (Hope) who remained behind to comfort mankind. Elpis was depicted as a young woman carrying flowers in her arms. Her opposite number was Moros, the spirit of hopelessness and doom.
AGAPE is what some call spiritual love, or love in its highest form. It is an unconditional love, bigger than ourselves, a boundless compassion, an infinite empathy. It is what the Buddhists describe as “mettā” or “universal loving kindness.” It is the purest form of love that is free from desires and expectations, and loves regardless of the flaws and shortcomings of others. This type of love is in direct contrast and not to be confused with eros (love associated with sexuality and desire), deriving from the Greek god Eros and associated with Aphrodite; the goddess of love and beauty.
Often ranked as the greatest of Plato's many remarkable writings, this celebrated philosophical work of the fourth century B.C. contemplates the elements of an ideal state.
Written in the form of a dialog in which Socrates questions his students and fellow citizens, The Republic concerns itself chiefly with the question, "What is justice?" as well as Plato's theory of ideas and his conception of the philosopher's role in society. To explore the latter, he invents the allegory of the cave to illustrate his notion that ordinary men are like prisoners in a cave, observing only the shadows of things, while philosophers are those who venture outside the cave and see things as they really are, and whose task it is to return to the cave and tell the truth about what they have seen.
by Homer (Author), Bernard Knox
(Editor, Introduction), Robert Fagles (Translator)
Dating to the ninth century B.C., Homer’s timeless poem still vividly conveys the horror and heroism of men and gods wrestling with towering emotions and battling amidst devastation and destruction, as it moves inexorably to the wrenching, tragic conclusion of the Trojan War. Renowned classicist Bernard Knox observes in his superb introduction that although the violence of the Iliad is grim and relentless, it coexists with both images of civilized life and a poignant yearning for peace.
by Homer (Author), Bernard Knox
(Editor, Introduction), Robert Fagles (Translator)
If the Iliad is the world's greatest war epic, the Odyssey is literature's grandest evocation of an everyman's journey through life. Odysseus' reliance on his wit and wiliness for survival in his encounters with divine and natural forces during his ten-year voyage home to Ithaca after the Trojan War is at once a timeless human story and an individual test of moral endurance. In the myths and legends retold here.
Repost of CBC Books Black History Month: 6 Black Canadian Writers to Watch in 2019 by Ryan B. Patrick.
In honour of Black History Month, CBC Books is highlighting six Canadian authors of black heritage who are making their mark on the national literature scene.
Zalika Reid-Benta is a Toronto-based author. (House of Anansi Press)Zalika Reid-Benta is a Toronto-based author. Lauded by George Elliott Clarke as a 'writer to watch', Reid-Benta explores race, identity and culture through the lens of second-generation Caribbean Canadians in her work. The Columbia MFA gradudate's debut novel Frying Plantain is a series of interconnected stories featuring a young black female protagonist in West end Toronto neighbourhood. Frying Plantain is set for a spring 2019 release.
Whitney French is an writer, editor and literacy advocate. (Whitney French)Whitney French is a writer, storyteller and educator. Her self-published poetry collection 3 Cities came out in 2012. Her latest work is Black Writers Matter, an anthology of African Canadian writing — edited and curated by French — which features a cross-section of established and emerging authors. Mentored by author David Chariandy, French also has several literary works in development.
Chantal Gibson is a Vancouver-based author, poet and educator. (Dale Northey)Vancouver-based Chantal Gibson is a artist, poet and educator. Her 2019 book How She Read is a collection of genre-blurring poems about the representation of black women in Canada from a cultural perspective. With ancestral roots in Nova Scotia, Gibson's literary approach is dedicated to challenging imperialist ideas by way of a close look at Canadian literature, history, art, media and pop culture.
Kaie Kellough is a Montreal-based author, novelist and poet. (Marie-Claude Plasse)Kaie Kellough is a Montreal-based poet, novelist, and self-described "word-sound systemizer." His experimental novel Accordéon explores the intersection of French and English culture and was a finalist for the Amazon.ca First Novel Award in 2017. Kellough was a 2018 CBC Short Story Prize reader and released the poetry collection Magnetic Equator in 2019.
Ben Philippe is a Montreal-raised writer based in New York. (HarperCollins)Ben Philippe is of Haitian descent, was raised in Montreal and is now based in New York. Philippe has an MFA in fiction and screenwriting, has contributed to publications like Vanity Fair, The Guardian and Playboy and in 2019 released his debut YA novel, The Field Guide to the North American Teenager, about a wisecracking black French Canadian teenager who moves to to Austin, Texas.
Sarah Raughley is an author of fantasy novels. (Melanie Gillis)Sarah Raughley is a fantasy novelist from Southern Ontario. Raughley's recently completed YA Effigies series, which includes Fate of Flames, Siege of Shadows and Legacy of Light, involves four young women are imbued with the powers of the four elements and tasked with protecting the world from the evil Phantoms. Her forthcoming fantasy book, The Bones of Ruins, features a black protagonist in Victorian England.
Ryan B. Patrick · Posted: Feb 06, 2019 12:25 PM ET | Last Updated: February 7
CBC BOOKS: HOW I WROTE IT
Posted: Apr 24, 2018
Last Updated: January 2
How Carrianne Leung Drew on her Scarborough Roots to Tackle Sensitive Subjects
CBC Books · Posted: Mar 01, 2017
Last Updated: June 8, 2018
Miramar Woo is a bit on the shy side, but with a secret adventurous streak on the inside. On the day she graduates from high school, her father suddenly dies in a tragic accident. As her family copes with their loss, her siblings develop mysterious talents that propel them to fame and fortune. Meanwhile, Miramar's mother struggles with paranoia. Is Miramar all alone now? The Wondrous Woo is a story about discovering your true self and coping with sudden loss and change.
Carrianne Leung’s That Time I Loved You is a memorable, bewitching read
The Globe and Mail Book Review post April 12, 2018 BY MARISSA STAPLEY
Scarborough author Carrianne Leung reflects on 'That Time I Loved You'
toronto.com post JUL 16, 2018 BY MIKE ADLER