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.

The Armenian Genocide – 101st Commemoration in 2016

To The Armenian Community of the World and as well as everyone,

2016 has officially arrived. It is never too early to remind and educate ourselves as well as others that this year in April on the day of the 24th, we must continue to strive to spread and raise awareness of The Armenian Genocide as it marks the 101st commemoration. Let us all continue that same energy we had for the 100th commemoration. We must not stop at 100. Recognition is the key component to prevention. No matter how many years have gone by. Never stop the peaceful demonstrations, the many events and the marching.

We must be big in numbers again all across the world to come together like how we did in 2015.  However even bigger. It speaks in volumes. We should always remember. We are still here on this earth, we have a purpose, we have a mission. It all begins with how we instill that to everyone and the importance of how crucial it is to spread Genocide prevention. Not only in Armenians, but everyone in the world who have been victims of genocide and to kill, torture and so many unspeakable, unimaginable criminal acts that we need to address.

Now, I know some people’s mentality that okay,  the 100th commemoration year of 2015 is now come and gone, next year is the 101st, it won’t matter anymore, and some people will not end up participating in Genocide peaceful demonstrations, and other events. That is what some people have told me and I was absolutely baffled and was in disbelief that some people actually said that. So, I guess the bloodshed of our ancestors and the horrific, and terrible days and years our people went through with all the suffering doesn’t matter anymore. Well, it does matter. These people’s lives were torn upside down, these children did not see life growing up because they were killed, women, men, babies all taken away, displaced, and massacred. They were also left to walk in the desert, and when they were tired and could not walk anymore, The Turks, punched, kicked, slapped and put them down to the ground and demanded them to get going and keep walking. Women were raped from Turkish soldiers too, while their children and spouses watched. We owe it to these victims, our ancestors and be there for them. Not only by just saying prayers and remembering, we must do more by going out and putting our time and effort to raise awareness. It is crucial.

We owe it to these victims, our ancestors and be there for them. Not only by just saying prayers and remembering, we must do more by going out and putting our time and effort to raise awareness. It is crucial. It is a way to pay respect and to take extra measures. I am not just talking about the Armenians, but the whole human race of the world.

The Turkish Ottoman Empire tried to destroy the whole Armenian race and wipe us all off the face of this earth, and they killed 1.5 Million Armenians and they also stole our precious land and our Mount Ararat in 1915. The Turkish Government still denies, lies, as well as make up stories that they never committed such terrible criminal acts to humanity of Armenians, and many other people in Greece as well as other places. They must admit their guilt. Justice and Recognition must be enforced.

Everything starts with how much of an impact we have and can spread around so that history never repeats itself. Where there is a will there is a way.

From:

Talin Orfali

The World Is A Beautiful Place, We Need It

The World is Beautiful place to be and to live, and, of course we need it to go on about our day to day life  however, Some people take a lot of things for granted, some people take advantage of others, who are never grateful for those around them or the things they have, some people are so materialistic.

Some people have learned to hate, do and think negative things in life, greediness, selfishness, and who are surrounded by negativity, hate, killing, disrespect and lack of love, dignity and who have pessimistic attitudes. We need to change that, and we need to change that now.

We need to pray,
We need God,
We need people,
We need health,
We need togetherness,
We need more kindness,
We need more love,
We need more respect,
We need more inspiration,
We need more attention to goodness,
We need to accept each other,
We need to stop racism,
We need to be selfless,
We need to feel and be appreciated,
We need to be thankful,
We need to be thoughtful,
We need to spread more good news and good cheer,
We need to support each other,
We need to help each other,
We need to be around positivity,
We need to stand up for one another,
We need to be honest,
We need to be reliable,
We need to smile,
We need to be optimistic,
We need to follow the right path,
We need motivation,
We need fun times,
We need to enjoy.

We are blessed with many people and things in our lives, we just need to recognize, acknowledge and be well aware of that.

We are all special, beautiful and great in our own ways, we are also unique. We should always count our blessings and be who we are in the process.

What are you doing to better your world and everybody and everything around you?

The Disrespectful Generation

What a rude and disrespectful new generation of teens we have today. I was standing in line at Tim Hortons coffee shop to order, and out goes these 3 teenagers who came in together from a nearby high school with their backpacks and without even saying excuse me to me, they charged their way through to get in front of me, shoving me and my handbag to the side where there were other people behind me too. I said, excuse me you all budded in front of others and myself and nearly tipped me over. The back of the line starts there. I said wait like the rest of us are.
They said to me, isn’t this a line too? I said No, go behind the line. If you want to get by next time say excuse me or something or better yet, don’t bud in line when others are waiting to order too. I don’t think it is fair at all. Who do you think you guys are? I said to them learn to show respect to others, some manners and proper etiquette and common sense, then I ordered my drink and out I went and then I went by them again before I left to my car, I saw them look down on their smartphones and not even looking at each other and I said put your smartphones down and get some real intelligence and smarts and learn how to behave, then I walked right out. I am not afraid to confront these type of people.
They need to be taught these qualities and nowadays there is not enough interaction, and some of these people lack in social skills and manners of which they were not taught, or they are taught and think that they are invincible and think they can do whatever they please because they are young and under 18. Shouldn’t work that way at all. Manners, respect, Attitude,  etiquette, common sense should be enforced and taught to people at all ages. If these people are not taught these qualities when they are little toddlers to little kids by 5-6 years old, then they will grow up thinking it is okay to treat people this way and bud in the line and think its socially acceptable, but it is not. I am disgusted by some of these teenagers these days and whoever else, doesn’t matter the age.
I was taught at a very young age before I was 4 years old to learn to respect others, manners, and proper etiquette. It all starts when you are very young. That will stick with you for the rest of your life. I know we are all born with different personalities, but our personality grows with how our parents, guardians, care-givers teach us about quality of life instead of quantity.
Respect to be Respected,
Be nice so people be nice to you,
Be kind so people be kind to you,
it is as simple as that.

Academics VS Life and Personality

In our lifetime, some people respect others a lot due to their academic, education standards in which they bring top marks all the time, being straight A Students, bringing over 90-95 or more average in their report cards, however many people misconstrued intelligence with education/academic standards. Yes being educated in the books and the class is a key component to life, but academics should not be everything in life. — The most important thing about life is to have a great personality, be a sociable person, developing people skills, having street smarts, to be thoughtful, and not always revolving your life with academics.

Everything has a limit, but some people go way overboard about it when it comes to education. Never confuse education with intelligence. A lot of people seem to be doing that. Some people do not even look at you if you do not have top notch degrees, PHD, and high academic standards and that is so wrong. Somebody who has struggled in school or did not become as successful are always looked down and treated like they do not know better than the above average person and that is so wrong. Nobody is better than the other person just because their academic standards are a lot higher than anybody else.

Some people do not even look at a person because of that and it is not only wrong, but very insulting. A lot of people become successful even without high grades in education. People spend thousands of dollars, take out student loans and so many things to get a top notch education, studies, exams and whatever else and then when it comes time to look for employment after graduation, people end up working in retail and fast food places where it is totally different than what they were anticipating and that is just terrible.

People who work for retail, fast food places, and other occupations, doesn’t make it any better than those who are in high places.

I am all for education and everything, but that should not be everything. When you think about it, having people and actual life skills are the most important things in life and should be a priority more than anything else in life. A lot of people go to school for so many years after high school to become something, to venture out, make big bucks and stuff, but the key to life is to be a people person more than anything else.

Yes school teaches us a lot about life, struggles, hard work and determination to get up there, but that should not be everything. Those who are highly educated should not belittle, look down at everybody else, brag so much about their academic journey and make the rest of the people look and feel bad about themselves. That is not good. I mean yes, its a good thing to tell people your good news and everything, but there is a limit, and people go way overboard about it. Not a good trait to develop.

People skills, communication is far more important than what a piece of paper says about our academic journey through life. Think about it.

Ways that We Can End The Cycle of Bullying

Since I was a child up until High School, I was emotionally and mentally bullied and I know what it is like to be hurt so badly, being put down, always making fun of me because I was different then everyone else and it was the most toughest times of my life. I didn’t have friends, I didn’t have what others had when they were with each other in groups when I felt left out and being an outcast 99.9% of the time. They were moments that I will never forget, no matter if I have moved on or not. It sticks with you, however I have learned to live past it and began doing positive things in life, to move forward and to stop dwelling on the past. I have been taking a lot of new approaches to this matter and I am going to begin my own social group where people come together from all walks of life and make new friends, interact with others and just figure things out, hear other peoples perspectives on social issues.

There is always a solution and some form of ways to end this terrible cycle going on. Bullying is a very serious problem and it does need to be rectified as soon as possible. It is enough of torment, disgusting behavior that needs to be addressed quickly before it escalates even further.

Now here are ways that we can all come forward to end bullying:

– Creating small, intimate, or large social groups amongst you’re community for those who want to make friends and gather together to create a lovely group of individuals who can relate to one another, creating activities, discussing issues, doing fun, interactive, communication, group work.

– In this modern day society the importance of making it a mandatory course/subject that must be taken and taught in schools and institutions, also the workforce on the prevention of bullying, cyber bullying, social media safety, communications course which should teach students/workers what not to do, what not to say to their fellow peers/colleagues.

– Teachers, Parents, Guardians, School Guidance Staff, School Principals, and as well as outside of school grounds must always be involved in securing our schools, Implementing tougher penalties, more 0 Tolerance in Schools and also the workforce of any type of bullying that should not be allowed, suspension and expulsion.

– tell a person you trust about your feelings, what you are going through and never keep it inside you. Always tell someone you can confide into. Do not wait long to tell someone. In fact tell someone right away.

– Advocate and be proactive in this issue, write to your local papers, attend meetings, start a blog, use social media as a powerful tool to send messages, hashtags globally and come up with your own ways to prevent bullying

– Read up on inspirational quotes, save them on your computer, print them out and scatter positive, happy quotes where you can see them easily, and begin the journey to a happy road ahead.

– Always surround yourself with positivity, good people, do happy things for yourself, and stay away from negativity.

We are on the right road and path to make bullying history, and to look forward to a positive, happy and bright tomorrow. So start today, you can make a difference in someone’s life. No matter how old they are. Bullying has no age as it happens to kids, teens, young adults, youth, adults, and the elderly. Lets end this cycle now.

— If you have more ways to prevent bullying, write them below in the comments section. Thank you.

The Beginning of My Own Social Group of Positivity

Hi Everyone,

This has been on my mind for quite a while now, Every 2 weeks in the Toronto Area GTA(Greater Toronto Area), I want to gather a group together to discuss modern day issues, social issues, those who have been bullied, struggling with second guessing things and not being able to trust easily, How no one is perfect and making mistakes in our lives in social issues is proof that you are trying and bettering yourself for the present and for the future.

The purpose of this group is to strive for courage, positivity, growth and optimism about life, building confidence in speaking out, getting together to make new friends, meeting people from different paths in life and getting to know each other, accepting each other for who each person is, to share ideas and more.

I am not perfect as I have made mistakes too, however those mistakes should not define who a person is, because in the end we’re human. Life is too short to dwell on past mistakes. Especially in social settings. You live and learn. Thoughts on Moving forward, learning lessons in life, reading encouraging, inspirational quotes, and discussing about the deeper meaning to them. being positive and moving on with life is very important as were heading to that direction. Not backwards.

In the coming weeks, I will be working on setting up a place to gather around, which day to gather and so on and so forth. So if you are in the Toronto, Canada area and vicinity and would like to join in, would love to have you and to meet you. This is very important to me, I am passionate about making a better tomorrow for everyone, and gathering people together is what it is all about. I am anticipating, looking forward to a great turn out of people, and to make a difference.

 

Check back soon on the dates, times and the location of the gathering.

Hopefully I will get to meet some of my readers as well.

What are your thoughts? Do you think its a great idea to meet every 2 weeks? Or should this be a weekly event?