Francis Libermann Catholic High School 40th Anniversary

By: Talin Orfali – Student Alumni – Fall 1999 to 2003.

40 Years ago in 1977, Francis Libermann Catholic High School opened its doors to teachers, students and administrative staff, and this year in 2018, on June 3rd, we had the anniversary and reunion. Many past and present teachers, and alumni students were present.

A couple of months ago, I had opened up my Facebook, and on my news feed, I see an event from Francis Libermann of which a fellow classmate of mine from my time, invited me to it, I definitely said, I am going. At first, I had mixed feelings about it, and I was hesitant at first because my high school life wasn’t what I had expected it to be, but I toughed it out for 4 years. It wasn’t perfect and there were good times and bad times, but nothing really is perfect.

We envision high school to be perfect where everyone gets along, but that is not the case, however, I forgive those who have bullied me and belittled me throughout those times. I realize now that when you are a teenager going to school, all these emotions run high, going through the puberty stages where sometimes teens just don’t know what they are doing, plus getting through school with studies and everything else with making friends whereas some others don’t get so lucky about that. It’s a huge phase that kids go through before venturing out to college/university and maybe not and just going right to work or whatever the case may be.

Anyway, when I saw about 90% of the teachers at the reunion and anniversary, they all automatically remembered me even though 15 years have passed since I took my last walk out of those doors. I never visited back since then, but I feel like I really never left yesterday. I was so sad to hear about my favourite principal back in the day had passed away a few years ago from cancer. I was so devastated and cried. I truly know how to appreciate teachers and administrative staff for all the hard work and sacrifices they make and made to make sure we are educated and well looked after.

Some of the teacher’s names I had forgotten about and some that are still fresh in my mind, but they remembered me and some of the teachers said that they think about me from time to time. One of them said to me yesterday, Talin, you were my favourite student and I think about you all the time. I am so happy to be seeing you here today and in return, she was really one of my favourite teachers at the school. One of them always knew I was going to get into some sort of writing and when I spoke to her and told her what I do now, she got so excited to hear that I am doing what she thought I would do.

Anyway, I did a walk-through the school and I familiarized myself with the lockers I used to have, the classes I went to, the hallways that I walked around, familiar smells of the halls and classes, the gym, the library, and the staircases that was used to go up to the 2nd, and 3rd floors. The memories just came to me and some have faded and some have stayed with me. The washrooms and everything are also the same as I remembered where the washroom stalls are smaller.

I remember being part of teen voices, and other outreach programs. I was never really a sports person and I had joined into more interactive committees and creative writing.

I remember when I used to seldom take public transit home from school. I used to hate taking public transit up to now. That hasn’t changed. I remember getting a sign of relief when I saw I was being picked up by my dad or my brother and one of the teachers pointed that out to me yesterday, saying she remembers that I used to hate taking the bus and she remembers me being picked up. I said to her, nothing has changed on that front. LOL, and the only difference is that I drive now.

The 40th anniversary of Francis Libermann Catholic High School was definitely an eye-opener for me, which has overwhelmed me because time is flying and these are the moments of our lives that we will never get back and it teaches us to be grateful for each moment, even though they weren’t perfect and our expectations weren’t what we wanted, but we are getting older now and it truly makes you appreciate that little time you have in high school. Time never waits for you. You truly have to cherish life and the phases.

I was in tears while walking through the halls and I am in tears now as I write this now. I really miss high school a lot and I miss being a teenager. My advice to teenagers going to high school now, is to never waste a second of it, don’t take this time for granted. Even though it may not be a positive and good time for you, but also I want you to realize that high school is temporary and things do eventually get better and they will. It has for me. 4 years go by so quickly that you don’t even realize once you graduate and have your prom and then life changes right away. Well, it did for me.

2003 for me seems like yesterday, but in other ways, it does feel like its a long time. It really hit me hard yesterday and I just want to say how truly grateful I am for having a school to go to and getting to know many people of whom I am still in touch with. We didn’t really get along in high school, but we do now and that is what counts. Life and our personalities change and it’s absolutely amazing. You never truly learn to appreciate something until after the fact.

Thank you and congratulations to Francis Libermann and here is to another 40 years and beyond. I am super glad to be part of 4 years of it. All the best and may what happens between those walls be educational, fruitful filled with knowledge, respect, and getting closer with God in his teachings while learning valuable life lessons to take with you when you take your last walk out those doors. God bless Francis Libermann Catholic High School and all those in it.

Parties and Wedding RSVP Frustration and Annoyance

In life, we have special moments that come up with friends and family and planning parties, weddings and everything else is absolutely so difficult with inviting people and it becomes so stressful. When you want people to be part of your special day and when you enjoy the process of setting up the cards, mailing them out, and happily do it until stress strikes.

It is not everything that is the most difficult, frustrating and annoying; it is sending the invites to people with a due date that is never honoured and respected and some take their sweet time and others respect it and send the invite on time, whereas others respond after the due date. Some you have to remind. It is absolutely crazy.

You also have those people who don’t respond at all and then just show up. It doesn’t work like that. In most cases RSVP Cards come in, people need to fill those out and return them. The people inviting put postage stamps and have those cards out for a reason. To get organized. You can’t just tell the person they are coming by mouth. Chances are the people planning the wedding or event will forget, so it’s important to fill out the cards and mail it back in a time-sensitive and timely manner.

When you get an invite to any party, it is either a yes or a no. It is not that difficult. You look at your schedule, and boom, you answer and send back the RSVPs. It is not cool to wait for people to respond back while you have a million things to do and plan with the tables, how many favours or gifts you need to get for the guests arriving to your party as well as financially too with how many people you need to pay for.

It really isn’t easy to plan things when some people do not co-operate and respect you enough to send the RSVP’s back. It is common courtesy. It isn’t nice at all having someone wait and then hunting people down with calling, messaging, emailing, texting them until the last weeks of the wedding to see if it is a yes or a no.

Then there are those people who respond with attending, and then you write them down on a table card or chart and then they never show up or give an explanation as to why they did not bother to show up where you spent money for their meal. It is absolutely unfair and disgusting behaviour which needs to really stop. Some do not even respond back and you know you sent it to them and it did get sent to them or else it will be returned back to the person who mailed them with the return address.

Weddings and parties all go smoothly with planning until it comes time to the people attending them. You expect people to respond right away, but that never happens and it probably never will even with a strict time limit and being time sensitive.

The guests don’t think about how much work it takes to plan tables and everything. If you have ever been in these shoes where you plan an event and you wait for responses, it’s absolutely so frustrating and annoying and so absolutely ridiculous.

Yes, I realize some people cannot financially to maybe afford to go to parties, weddings and everything, but there is no excuse not to answer on due dates. It is not right at all. There is no excuse unless something very very important comes up or some other things arise, but it doesn’t give someone the right to delay an RSVP.

Have you ever been through this situation? Have you been frustrated and annoyed with this? Would love to hear all about it.

All the best with planning. It is not easy.

My Opinion on the Roseanne TV show cancellation.

Agree or disagree, this is my view.

In the last few days, we have heard about Roseanne show being cancelled because of a racist and terrible tweet Roseanne Barr had posted which went viral soon after causing her show to go off air from ABC. Rather, I think that it is way too extreme to cancel a show based on a tweet and for a whole cast and crew to lose their jobs because their main character had something terrible to say, but I also think that social media is a place where everything can be seen and posts can go viral and posts do hurt people and words are powerful more than anything else.

Sometimes and a lot of the times, what we say online has dire consequences and this is a prime example and this is a lesson to be learned. When we say something out of turn or out of line, it puts a huge damper on your reputation and it never goes away and someone will always remember it and posts never die online. It stays forever.

What you post and say on social media is something we all have to think about before we post it. No matter who we are, our social status, if we are well-known or not, something will always come back to bite you. Racism, discrimination, insults, rudeness, disrespect and everything else negative should not have a place in social media, especially when the world is watching.

Social media should be a place to empower, to change the world for the better, to create ideas, to learn positive and good things from each other, to share things in good nature. We need to take care of our words and posts that we send out to people around the world. It is important to use social media in a good way that will inspire, to be kind, to do good things with it by raising awareness on important causes and more.

Some people use social media for all the wrong reasons to bully others, to ridicule, humiliate, embarrass and do other unspeakable things and it is so terrible. We need to take action and a huge make-over of social media is needed. No matter who you are in the society famous or not, prominent figures and ordinary people.

Think before you post. It is so important.

How to Research For All-Inclusive Resort Vacations.

In life with our responsibilities and our busy schedules with work, home, school, and everything else, We look to get away from it all and enjoy our time away from home to relax, take it easy and shut our minds off for a week or 2 or whatever duration. It comes a time when we are looking for a great and fantastic All-Inclusive Resort Vacation. I am here to give you advice on how to do great and efficient researching on whatever you are looking for in a vacation. A lot of us want relaxation no doubt and some are adventurous and want to participate in a lot of what the resort offers in and out.

Here are ways to do all that:

1. Pick a time of the year that you want to travel and where you want to travel. Then take a look at some travel sites to help you by putting in “All-Inclusive Vacations”. Make sure you live in a city or town and make sure your local airport flies there. Sometimes you may have to drive out for a couple of hours to an airport. Make sure it is convenient for you.

2. Research on the resorts, not the reviews. Most of the time reviews can be misunderstood and misinterpreted. Sometimes they can turn us away. Don’t be tempted. Create your own and be your own person and to your preference. Everyone is different. Always remember that.

3. Pick a budget of how much you want to spend on your vacation, and sometimes the price can be right too. If you choose your vacation on March Break, Christmas, New Years, Winter Break or other holiday’s, it can run more expensive. There are high and low seasons of travel.

4. Research on what you want out of the resort. Do you like it big? small? medium or a huge resort? Do you like to try out different food and cuisine from the restaurants? Is the resort filled with activities? Do you usually participate in everything? Are you a beach/ocean person or a swimming pool person or both? Are you picky about your room? Do you have certain requests? Do you require a safe to keep your important things, passports and all that out of reach? I recommend that by the way. All this can be looked upon when you do research.

5. Are you an adventurous person who likes to get out of the resort and go on excursions and everything? I recommend doing research and booking the excursions before you head to your resort. You save a lot more money by going out on your own and booking your excursions, time and everything before you pay for it at the resort because they take commission out of it of course.

6. If you are a person to get on social media or keep in touch at home with your loved ones, check to see about the Wi-Fi. If it is important for you to have that. Make sure you get Free Wi-Fi or if you want to pay for it. Some resorts offer free Wi-Fi throughout the resort and some do not. You have to look into that.

7. Are you focused on star ratings and super picky? Or not… It all depends on preference right? If you cannot put too much money into your vacation, you are most likely going to get a very cheesy resort and not too many things involved into it if you get a 2-3 star. then a 4 4 1/2 star offers a bit more, and then 5 stars offers everything. It all depends on budget and what you want.

8. Search for resort photos, maps, videos, and locate where everything is, and then when it comes time to booking, tell your travel agent or tour operator agent what you want, where you want your room to be and if you want bottom floor or top floor, it is all up to you. Also you will want to check on walking score in the resort or if they offer shuttles around the resort with Golf carts or whatever if you have a hard time walking to places or whatever the case.

9. Research on airport distance to resort. If you don’t mind whatever duration it is, its fine, but do your homework before so that you won’t be surprised when you get on your transportation to the resort.

10. Research about your aircraft and the model type you are going to fly with and pick your seats from before so you are ready for when you check in at the airport. Also research baggage and carry-on baggage limits and what is permitted and non-permitted in your bags or on your person.

11. Research for proper documents and make sure your passport and information are up to date and not expired. Some destinations require you have a valid passport of 6 months. Within the last 6 months, some places deny you to travel to the destination. Good idea to take that up with your tour operator and research online as to why that reason is.

12. Do you like to stay at the resort and not go out of it? That is totally fine. You can relax and there is already plenty to do at the resort. You don’t have to leave it. You can spend hours in the water, go eat and enjoy. Research and learn about it, take a stroll around and familiarize yourself with it and get used to it. You don’t have to go to orientation. You can do and see things for yourself without it.

13. Pick your room style by doing research. Obviously the more you want in a room is going to be more pricey, and if you want upgrades and everything, do it before you get to the resort. It tends to get more expensive when you are booking a different and better room at the resort.

I know it seems like a lot of work for a week, 2 weeks or whatever, but it really isn’t. When you become experienced in travel, and whether it is your first time or several times, it is important to do research and look at everything before you commit to a vacation because you never want surprises and disappointments no matter how many times you go away.

Everything will be fine and All the best for your hunt for a vacation. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. I will help you find your perfect vacation getaway in paradise.

Bon Voyage!

Say Yes to The Dress TV Show is absolutely horrible.

Most of those brides are so stuck up, high maintenance, and really don’t care about comfort. All they care about is vanity and no matter how ugly the dresses are, they choose some of the most ridiculous dresses ever and that is so inappropriate, that they can’t even walk in or manage in and spend ridiculous amounts of money for just wearing it for a few hours for one day. Some of the dresses are so extremely heavy too! It is beyond me. Some show way too much cleavage.

I have not once seen a half decent dress on the show and Kleinfeld is supposed to be pro, but I beg to differ. Those big retail bridal stores will sell you bizarre dresses for a whole lot of money…

Then a crowd of family and friends show up to view your wedding dress and getting so many opinions about it and I find that ridiculous too. I’d only take one or two people at the most and that should be your matron/maid of honor, mother, or sister, aunt. Nobody else should be involved in choosing your dress.

Some of the dresses are so revealing and show way too much skin and some are not practical at all especially when you will be in it all day, dancing, walking, taking pictures, and all that.

Sometimes, I don’t know where designers minds go with designing, making bizarre wedding dresses, and some of them are so ridiculous and not practical and yet some brides go bananas over them.

Sorry, but I think logically when choosing a dress. I look for classy, comfortable, and appropriate especially when you will be the star of the day, and everyone will be looking at you. It is your wedding day that will be witnessed by friends and family.

I got my dress within a week and super great quality.

I stopped watching Say Yes to The Dress. It plays with your emotions and it looks like it is all staged and looks like they are acting. Not for me.

All Inclusive Resorts Orientation – Resort/Excursion information.

Several people have been asking me this question if it is important to attend the orientation at the All Inclusive Resort the day after arriving on your holiday. For me, personally, I do not think it is that important to attend the orientation. You can always find information out throughout your stay and you can always look at your flight schedule and bus time back to the airport in the binder booklet they have in the lobby area of your resort. Look at your flight information the day before you go back home and the day of. Do not look at it at the beginning of your vacation.

As for locating places around your resort, You can always look at the resort map, you can always read the signs around. I always recommend doing a tour skim through on the day you arrive so you can familiarize yourself with the resort.

If you want to find something out about the restaurants and a la carte options, you can always ask around.

These orientations are designed to get a representative to upsell you excursions that are an arm and a leg and which you will end up paying double-triple the amount. Remember, they make commission off of you. They will lure you in to make more money off of you. If you are seriously considering going on excursions, research and find better ways online to go on those excursions, where it will be a lot cheaper and a lot better. Do not ever go on their time. Go on your own time, You paid for your holiday and you are there to relax and enjoy yourself away from reality.

Find affordable taxi’s and make a deal with them. Don’t just say yes, always do your homework before you attempt an excursion.

Do not waste precious time when you can be relaxing on the beach, pool, or dining. Orientations sometimes take too much time. Remember, you are there for a short period of time. Make the most of your trip, and do not waste a second of it.

Talin’s travel tips
Talin Orfali

Talin’s Tips to getting through airport security screening quickly

Talin’s Tips to getting through airport security screening quickly

We all know that you cannot avoid security screening when you check in and you are ready to head to your gate to meet your aircraft that will fly you to your destination. Then comes the process of screening. I am here to give you tips on how to get through it all quickly and efficiently.

1. Organize and neatly place items in your carry-on baggage/handbags. Don’t leave wires for electronics dangling everywhere, and make sure you are carrying items that are on the permitted list. Always check with what is permitted and not permitted in carry-on baggage. – All Laptops, Tablets and Smartphones may be subject to screening and swabbing. Be ready in case they ask and all must be charged upon heading to security.

2. Make sure you have liquids that are 100ml or less in a clear resealable plastic bag and leave that out separate to be screened in screening bins along with your handbag/carry-on baggage.

3. Make sure you have your boarding pass/passport on hand

4. Before you head toward the screening area, make sure all pockets, jackets and everything are all empty. Make sure to take your belts off and depending on the security process, take your shoes off if asked.. Always make sure to wear socks and never go barefoot when flying.

5. Be respectful and patient. If you are rude or give a threatening bad attitude, you may be denied boarding and they will further question you and take you to secondary screening. Remember, the security screening officers are the ones who will allow or not allow you through the gates and to get on your flight.

6. Do as you are told and follow instructions on how they want you to place your items in the bins and don’t refuse.

7. If you have medications that require water, and if you need water/sweet drinks tell your security screening officer that you have a water bottle that is filled with water. Some cases they will allow it through. depends on how you approach it.

8. Do not wear t-shirts and other clothing items that display violence, weapons, racist, and other threatening forms of display. You may be denied boarding.

9. If you get selected to do a random swabbing of your palms, fingers, and extra wanding on your person, Do not refuse.

10. If you have any questions or concerns before heading to the airport for going through security screening, always check the website or call the security customs office to clarify whatever it is you will ask about.

11. Always do research, plan ahead and always be ready.