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.

Time is Flying – It Doesn’t Wait For You

Already time is flying. The 4th day of the year of 2018. Always live life to the fullest, enjoy, be happy, keep smiling and remember to always be grateful, love, appreciate and cherish the moments you spend with your family and friends. Time is ticking. One day you will look up and see the moments you spend with your loved ones will become a memory.

Always Say I love you,
Always say thank you,
Always be who you are,
Always make time for friends and family.
Always spend time with friends and family,

Some family and friends can be in different cities and countries and so much time goes by without seeing them. As we age, and months and even years go by without seeing each other, They can have children, they have all these special moments in their lives, gatherings and it is absolutely heartbreaking to see time go by and they grow, they live their lives in their own different places with different life dynamics and we miss so much of it because distance and not being able to connect with family and friends all the time is something that makes you think about so many things in life and how we miss this valuable time.

Sometimes due to financial reasons people cannot travel to see family members, time constraints from work and school or other reasons can arise, but life is passing by and there is no stop button. You need to enjoy your life too. You can’t just commit yourself to work, work, work.

When wishing that family and friends can all be in one place which would be incredibly amazing, however its not always possible. The only way to connect is by phone, social media, email, but it definitely isn’t the same without seeing each other face to face and being with one another sharing life’s moments together.

It is even difficult to get family and friends together being in the same city too. Life has definitely changed and so much happens in life with school, work, and other life’s commitments.

Circumstances puts life into perspective, it puts things into light. Sometimes life can throw us examples right in front of us.

Life is too short. Always try your best to manage time well, and do what is absolutely important in your life and prioritize. Don’t waste a second of it. Time doesn’t wait. It flies by without you even knowing. Today is Thursday already. Weeks fly by so quickly. Its so important to take each day and do whatever you can to make the most of it.

I keep hearing, people don’ like Monday’s and all that. Well I know its a day where people have to go to work, school and start the week all over again, but you know what? Its a day and we need to make most of it no matter what it is. Its something I keep seeing on social media and the memes and everything. It really has to stop. Monday is a day, we are alive and that is all that it matters. The weekend will come again. We just have to be patient.

This year, we must change our habits, and gather together and make memories and cherish them. We all can do it, it just takes time management and re-evaluating priorities.

Happy New Year 2018 Everyone!

2018 has begun. A fresh new chapter of a 365 day book.

I can’t believe 2017 is over. Years are flying by. Cherish each day, count your blessings, and enjoy life. Life is too short. Love each other, and always be kind and nice to people. 2018 is here. Lets start off fresh and improve our relationships, say I love you to your friends and family, be happy, keep smiling and be positive no matter what life throws at you. Happy New Year and all the best to you and your loved ones with happiness and good health.

There can be disagreements with others, there can be little problems here and there, but don’t make the problems into big ones and make a federal case out of it. Forgive each other, apologize, and never go to bed angry or upset. Just because you have a bad day, it doesn’t mean that everyday will be bad. remember that. There is no time to think negatively. Each year that comes, and that we make it through, gives us another chance to better ourselves, to strengthen bonds, to revamp and refresh ourselves and our surroundings.

Also, Remembering our dearly departed loved ones who are no longer physically here with us on earth that we may have lost in 2017 and the previous years, but their souls live in spirit in our memories and hearts forever.

Always think and do happy things, end off 2018 with a great note. Lets Start now on the first day of 2018 and make this a year of goodness and strive for kindness, and more.

Cheers everyone!

25 Signs that You Don’t Like Winter At All

This is for all those people who do not like winter at all, the many reasons that we can all understand with all the freezing temperatures, snowfall and well, you know the rest.

Here are 25 signs that we don’t like it at all:

1. We absolutely detest shoveling snow off our walkways and driveways

2. Cleaning the snow off the car is a problem

3. Snow, slush and salty roads lead to dirty floors, and disgusting residue that is absolutely a big task to clean and we go crazy over it — OCD and very super clean people know it especially.

4. Seeing the exterior of cars all filled with dirty slushy, saltiness – the interior, the car matts and carpet filled with disgusting winter stuff.

5. Absolutely dislike going grocery or any other type of shopping, taking bags to the car, filling up the car, taking it home, unloading in the freezing cold. Those people who walk to home too with shopping bags in their hands. Its absolutely a headache. You not only have to watch out for the bags, but you have to look on the ground to make sure you don’t slip and slide and fall all over the place.

6. Having 20 pounds of stuff on you to keep you warm. Jackets, coats, long underwear, scarfs, hats, mitts, gloves, boots, sweaters, all these uncomfortable things of winter time. Taking 10 minutes to put everything on.

7. Driving in the freezing cold when the heat in the car is on full blast.

8. having to go to a party or function dressed nicely underneath and you are freezing and sometimes you opt out of going places because you don’t want to leave your warm house.

9. Having to go to work or school in this season. Working outside in this weather and those who work in the transport industry hauling products, driving in these terrible snowy white out conditions.

10. When it gets so dark so quickly, you just want to be in bed by 7 or 8pm thinking and feeling like it is midnight already.

11. heading to the mall, other stores, restaurants, coffee shops and you walk in and the floors are like a sea of white salt and dirt from the parking lot from tires, car fumes, and well the dirt from the cement and asphalt.

12. just when you thought, you had finished shoveling or snow blowing, another 30 cm’s of snow falls the next day. You begin cursing and all the bad words start coming out. just like the line from a gangster movie (Just as I wanted to go out, they pull me back in).

13. When there is freezing rain and snow which makes it so much harder to walk and the risk of falling down on your butt is pretty high.

14. sharing the frustration and creating Hate Winter Clubs on social media is a valid thing to do and seeing that others share the same frustrations is so understandable. I created The I Hate Winter Club page on Facebook just for these points.

15. When sharing I hate winter memes and funny posts make things a little better for us who detest this season with a passion.

17. When you have to use a lot of windshield washer fluid to get rid of salt, grime, snow, and all that crap from the roads and other cars that splash all that on your windshield from driving.

18. Having to change your tires to snow tires.

19. having snow brushes and squeegees in your car.

20. When you put outdoor plans on hold for 5 to 6 months of the year.

21. When you can’t wait until March comes to welcome spring.

22. When you see others enjoying winter. saying in your mind “Are you crazy? You like this weather?” What is so good about it? Nothing can convince winter haters to start liking winter. It is not happening.

23. When you never participate in any Winter sports or activities. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

24. When flu/cold/cough season begins and you stock up on medications and tissues like no tomorrow.

25. When you see winter commercials on TV or ad’s on social media about winter, you start getting agitated.

What do you hate about winter?

What I like about winter is when it’s over.

12 Easy Ways to Make Christmas Gatherings More Enjoyable

Christmas time is here and its coming up in a few days. I am sure by now you have finished your shopping and figuring out what to do. Here are ways to make your Christmas gatherings a fun and enjoyable one where you do not have to spend a lot of your time in the kitchen. Spend more time with your loved ones instead of being on your feet the whole time. You need to enjoy it too and not just do all the work. A helping hand does go a long way. When others ask to help you or takes the initiative, let them.

Here are the 12 Easy ways:

1. When you know you are having a big gathering at your home and invited people over, the most important thing is to do the baking and dessert’s a day or 2 before. Nothing will go wrong with it. If it needs to go in the fridge or freezer nothing will happen to it. Don’t leave to the day of.

2. The day before, set the table, cutlery, napkins, plates and add centrepieces to your table, but not too big so your food dishes can fit on the table.

3. Don’t go over crazy to cook so many different things. 4-5 different things for dinner is good enough. If you serve chicken, turkey, roast, pork chops, ham. Go with one or 2 of them from the meat list, and then choose salad and rice or whatever you want to make or whatever is part of your Christmas tradition. Plus if you want to make gravy. Cook all of this stuff except if you are making salad or rice. That can be cooked and prepared before the guests start arriving and then have all the other food cooked from the morning. It can be heated up after for 10 to 15 minutes, then you take to your table and voila. — Don’t go over the top. Chances are you will eat left overs for the next week or so. Don’t want that.

4. Putting chips, assortment of nuts(If no one is allergic), salsa, nachos, guacamole, dips, veggie platters, finger foods in the beginning will get your guests full. People will over indulge, so its not a good idea to put so many things out in the beginning. Don’t spend too much time with putting these before the hard work you went through cooking all that food for dinner. Take them out after dinner along with dessert.

5. When others bring something when it comes to food, dessert, a bottle of wine or something like a gift, It is customary and proper etiquette to open and serve them too. Unless, they advise you otherwise, then its ok to keep it for yourself to open privately, but again open whatever is brought to you and in front of the people who brought them. It makes them feel good to see your reaction.

6. have coffee/tea ready — before just add the water to the machines and measure extra water and coffee grinds on the side in case you need to make more and then just go back and press the button and then continue on entertaining your guests and spend time with them until it is done.

7. Clearing plates and everything for dinner is great, but end it there. Don’t start washing and sorting, drying and all that. It takes a lot of quality time away from your loved ones. If they want to help, that is fine. I am sure they won’t let you clear away the table all on your own. They will help with everything and bring it to the kitchen and everything else will be dealt with after.

8. When you have a lot of people, disposable cutlery and plates are the way to go. If you have more than 10 to 15 people or more, its a good idea. You don’t have to spend time washing dishes.

9. Plan the Christmas week.. Plan a day to do your grocery shopping, and then make sure you have all the ingredients needed to make it. Sometimes getting extra ingredients are better in case something goes wrong which it can in some cases. Never leave anything to the last day.

10. Be efficient and organized as well as making sure the house is clean, the kitchen and all that.

11. ***Always monitor how many drinks your guests have. Don’t let them drink and then drive later. Make sure to call taxis if need be or allow your guests that are impaired to sleep over and go home the next day or if they come with another person who has not had anything to drink, they should be the designated driver. It is your responsibility if they drink and drive because they are driving from your home. Be the elephant in the room and don’t permit them to go. Police have RIDE Spot checks out more during the holidays and don’t put yourself or others lives in danger on the roads because of a careless wrong doing***

12. breathe and don’t be stressed out. Christmas gatherings should be fun and enjoyable as it can be. Don’t panic if some things go wrong. It will be a memory you will laugh about as the years go by.

Have a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a blessed, happy and healthy New year of 2018!

7 Things to Stay Away From When Booking an All Inclusive Vacation

7 Things to Stay Away From When Booking an All Inclusive Vacation

1. Traveler Reviews – Opinions are always different from another person. Don’t search for reviews written by others. Chances are they could be lying, exaggerating, and chances are they have never been there and want to cause problems. Reviews can be misleading, and untrue. Form your own opinion and travel experiences. If you keep reading reviews, you won’t be traveling at all. You do not want to go to that route. Yes, its nice to value others opinions and ask for them, but ultimately you are the one traveling, Try it out.

2. Over-tipping – It is All Inclusive for a reason right? Everything is included in the price. Don’t go tip crazy. Of course you will want to tip your bell boy who takes your baggage to your room and take your baggage to the lobby area after your vacation and also to tip your room maker, but do not go crazy tipping every single person at the resort.

3. Excursions – When they over pressure you and bother you everyday about going on excursions, chances are they are an arm and a leg. They advertise it so well saying its great, come and don’t miss out and then you get your hopes up and then it’s not as exciting as they said it would be. Do things on your own. It is the best way. Selling excursions may be more expensive than going out on your own.

4. Travel Insurance from the booking company/tour operator – Always decline travel insurance when you are booking. It will cost you more. Buy travel/medical insurance separately or unless you have benefits through your place of employment that already has insurance, go ahead, but don’t jump into buying traveling insurance with the travel provider.

5. Star ratings – Yes, that is one of the first things we see when booking an all-inclusive trip. Everyone’s expectations are different, everyone’s taste as well, we may want more, we may want less. Our perceptions of cleanliness, drinks, food taste, taste buds, room comfort, resort amenities are different. Again it is similar to reviews. Form your own star and review ratings.

6. Beach Soliciting – stay away from those wanting to braid your hair. You never know where their hands have been, or how long they have not washed the brushes and products they use for your hair, or those people who are selling you cigars. Chances are they are giving you fake cigars that are loaded with banana leaves. If they are walking by the shore line and see you, they will always come bother you. Keep saying no and walk away and ignore them. Any local for that matter. You had just come out of the water. They expect you to have money on you all the time and on an all-inclusive trip. Don’t fall for it and walk away

7. Orientation – When you board your bus at the airport and take you to your resort, they give you a pamphlet of your resort, and they will tell you that the next morning there is orientation to get to know your resort, your flight information back home, and all that. They will try to sell you excursions and persuade you to do so, but I wouldn’t waste time being in a meeting where the beach, and the water, and your meals await you. Vacations go by so fast. Don’t want to waste a second of it.