Lors d’une prise de décision, en cas de surcharge d’informations suivez votre instinct!

DecisionsAujourd’hui, nous allons vous parler de la confiture.

Et oui! La confiture… Plus spécifiquement, une expérience qui a été conduite par une Américaine nommée Sheena Iyengar. Son expérience s’est déroulée comme suit : elle a installé deux présentoirs différents de confitures dans un supermarché en Californie. Le premier étalage offrait six choix de confiture et l’autre en avait vingt-quatre. Le but de l’expérience était de déterminer si le nombre de confitures offertes aux clients changeait le nombre de confiture vendue.

Comme résultat, Mme Iyengar a constaté que les gens qui sont allés au présentoir contenant les six choix de confiture ont acheté la confiture 30 % du temps, tandis que, seulement 3 % des clients ont acheté la confiture provenant du présentoir qui contenait vingt-quatre saveurs. Ceci s’explique simplement : lorsqu’on est donné trop de choix, notre cerveau devient trop rempli d’information et nous paralyse!

Cette expérience est expliquée en détail dans le livre Blink de Malcolm Gladwell. Dans ce livre, il parle de ce phénomène qu’il nomme « Paralyse d’analyse. »

Gladwell énonce que notre génération croit que la qualité de notre travail sera améliorée si nous prenons notre temps et recevons plus d’informations au sujet d’une certaine situation. Par contre, ceci est totalement FAUX. Plutôt, les jugements instantanés peuvent parfois être beaucoup mieux.

Alors pourquoi est-ce que nous avons choisi de partager ceci avec vous ?

Parce que vous êtes tous concernés par cette théorie de la « paralyse d’analyse ». Que vous soyez en Middle School avec les opportunités variées dans les sports et les clubs offerts, en neuvième année avec l’idée d’un échange scolaire, en dixième en train de remplir les applications pour une position de Grad pride pour l’an prochain ou, même encore, en onzième avec la décision troublante de choisir entre Pre-U vs le Cégep, vous êtes TOUS dans une situation où vous devez faire des choix et prendre une décision. Alors que faire? Prendre son temps, analyser tous les faits, les pours et les contres? Ou écouter ses instincts? Ce qu’on espère avoir prouvé avec l’exemple de la confiture c’est que, quand nous prenons ces décisions, il ne faut pas trop se poser de questions. Au lieu de rechercher infiniment des informations, de vous remettre en question et de vous questionner si vous êtes assez bon ou pas (en obsédant sur votre SAT ou votre moyenne) pourquoi, plutôt, ne pas vous poser simplement une question : qu’est-ce que je souhaite faire ?

Ceci pourrait aussi vous aider dans vos travaux. Quand un professeur vous donne un projet, ne le bombardez pas avec toutes vos questions jusqu’à la taille des lettres et
« calmez-vous ! » Ne limitez pas votre créativité avec des contraintes de style ou de forme. Laissez-vous aller ! En fait, le livre Blink propose même l’extrême et suggère que les médecins ne devraient rien savoir au sujet de leurs patients afin d’avoir un esprit ouvert, des idées nouvelles sans être influencés par des informations inutiles et préjudiciables.

Bon! Un peu extrême… On ne sait pas si cela est un bon choix! Enfin si vous ne voulez pas suivre les conseils de M. Gladwell, nous pouvons vous dire qu’au moins, cela vous aidera beaucoup la prochaine fois que vous achèterez de la confiture… – Abby Shine ’17 and Laurence Troquet ’17

In Gratitude for Democracy & Freedom of Expression

Round_Square_GraphicDe nos jours, le citoyen global est célébré. On aspire d’être des citoyens qui font du bénévolat et qui sont actifs dans leur propre communauté, et partout dans le monde. À LCC, nous avons la chance d’être une école qui fait partie du Round Square. Les IDEALS de Round Square ce sont les bases de nos traditions anciennes à LCC. Aujourd’hui, je vais vous parler de la lettre D dans l’acronyme IDEALS : la démocratie. Comme j’espère que vous saviez, Canada est un pays de fière démocratie. We embody the IDEALS of Round Square in our every day life. In Canada, we are lucky enough to be able to study what we want, speak about what’s on our mind, and freely take initiative in any way we like. What if we broaden our horizon, what if we look elsewhere. What will we find?

Homa Hoodfar, a 65-year-old Canadian who, until some time ago, taught at Concordia University, is an Iranian-Canadian dual citizen with family in Tehran. On June 6, Homa Hoodfar was taken into custody in Tehran whilst visiting her family. The charges of her incarceration were unknown to the public, though many sources in the Iranian government claimed that she had been dabbling in feminism, exploring the history and encouraging the modern culture, making her an enemy of the state. She was held captive for a total of 112 days in what is known to be a hell on earth. She was captive in solitary confinement at the notorious Evin Prison; this prison is known to actually execute its inmates. Since she has a neurological disorder where her muscles can become frail and weak, she was in very poor health during the time of her incarceration. It was almost to the point where the 65-year- old could barely walk or talk.

Pour plusieurs, Homa Hoodfar a été un symbole pour la démocratie. Elle enseigne les études féminines à Concordia et elle a été emprisonner pour ses croyances en l’égalité. Au Canada, on a de la difficulté à imaginer que quelqu’un puisse être emprisonné pour cette raison. Heureusement, après 112 jours, Hoodfar a été libéré. Au Canada, nous sommes chanceux d’avoir la démocratie, au Canada nous sommes chanceux de pouvoir nous exprimer librement.

Zack Billick ’17


The Unfair Four

palm oilThere seem to be certain issues that get pushed aside by the media and most of the world because they are deemed to be not as important as everything we do see on the news, however, they are very important to me. This is all in regards to the unjust treatment of non-humans. While I have chosen only four items to speak about, it is important to keep in mind that there are so many more which need attention as well.

Firstly, there is the issue of shark fin soup. Shark fin soup is a delicacy in China and a few other Asian countries, made by using the fins of sharks. An estimated 100 million sharks are killed per year for shark fin soup, and, in reality, the fins actually don’t add any flavour to the soup, but considering that a bowl costs upwards of $100, it is a huge money making industry that has no plan in stopping anytime soon. Unfortunately, for the longest time sharks were the face of beasts and killers, which makes it harder to get people to agree to save them. But considering the ratio of 100 million sharks we kill vs. the less than one human that they kill per year, I’d say it’s time for their image to change.

Secondly, there is the issue of palm oil. Big producers of palm oil destroy rainforests and the natural habitats of animals like elephants, orangutans, tigers, and rhinos. Not only does it destroy their homes but it can also seriously injure them since one of the methods used to gather palm oil is by burning the trees. In fact, one of the top producers of modified palm oil is the brand Nutella. However, palm oil isn’t only found in food but also in products like creams, soaps, shampoo, and many others. So, in the future, check the list of ingredients of a product and if you read “Modified Palm Oil”, take a moment to consider whether it’s really worth it.

Thirdly, I’m sure that nearly everybody has been to a zoo before, and maybe even got the chance to pet a lion or a tiger, either an adult or perhaps a cub. However, most people aren’t aware that those poor animals were actually drugged. Sometimes to make them fully unconscious, but most of the time just to make them a little bit calmer than they should be, because to the zoo workers the only well-being that matters is that of the people who are paying. Also, most zoos really don’t care about their animals since an animal like a polar bear, that should be living in the snow at negative temperatures, is currently living in San Diego, baking in the sun.

Finally, I think that most people have heard of the controversy at SeaWorld. Recently, ex-SeaWorld trainers began speaking out about what really happens within the walls once the spectators leave. Orcas are actually very similar to humans in the way that their brains function and that their bodies and health need to be maintained. Long story short, the whales were being kept in dirty, small enclosures, which damaged their bodies and even drove some to the point of insanity where they would try, and sometimes succeed, to commit suicide by ramming themselves into the metal walls. Females are forced to breed, only to have their babies taken away from them right after birth and moved to another park thousands of miles away. In the wild, Orcas usually live until about 50 or 60 years old, when they usually die of old age. In captivity, orcas very rarely make it past their teens, and none have ever died of old age. This past week, an 18 year old female orca named Unna died at SeaWorld San Antonio after “contracting a harmful strain of fungus”, which was due to poor living conditions. Campaigns like #emptythetanks and #thanksbutnotanks have been popping up all over the place, and you can do your part by taking part in the movement, and also by informing yourself more by watching BlackFish, which was the first push made by ex-trainers when they began speaking out, and it is really an amazing film. Also, try to inform others and make sure that they don’t buy a ticket.

There are a few people or small organizations that inspired me the most to make changes in my everyday life to help these beings. The one that influenced me the most is Keiko Conservation. Their main goal is to spread awareness, and they are so inspiring to me because they are three young girls from different places in the world who are actually making a huge difference and shining light on so many things most people don’t even know are happening. Black Jaguar White Tiger is a sanctuary in Mexico where they take in felines from zoos and circuses that have been mistreated. Third is Shark Addicts, from Jupiter Florida, and they go down into the ocean everyday to take hooks out of the mouths of sharks that people tried to fish. I love what they do because they have really helped changed the image of sharks to a species that desperately needs our protection.

On top of the ones that I mentioned, there is so much more that occurs everyday regarding beings other than humans that we could try to help end. Sadly, it would be nearly impossible for a small group of people who care to stop the Japanese dolphin slaughter or save rhinos from poachers, but we can all start with small things, like throwing your trash out so that it doesn’t end up in the ocean, or simply by cutting down your meat intake. Another great thing to do is to check out change.org, where you can subscribe to them to get updates not only about animals but about plenty of occurrences around the world that aren’t featured in the media, and that with your signature you can help end.

Thanks for reading! I hope that I have brought awareness to these important issues and that you can help me and the thousands of other people in speaking for those without a voice. – Alyssa Obrand ’16

A “Soft” Pitch for Key Work Skills

2013_14_Career_Day_031We are holding our annual Career Day today. This student-organized event brings professionals to the school to speak to LCC’s grade 10 and 11 students on the nature of today’s workplace.

The concept of “career” is complicated for many young people. Jobs are shifting and changing more rapidly than ever in the past. Some examples of lucrative jobs that didn’t even exist 10 years ago include: App Developer, Social Media Manager, and Sustainability Expert. The list is actually quite lengthy.

On this shifting career landscape, one thing is certain. What were once considered “soft skills” and designated as less important than technical skills, are now considered significant attributes that employers actively seek. More and more, employers are sending messages that they can teach technical skills to their employees after being hired, but the soft skills need to be embedded and need to be strong from the outset. In fact, they now require a new focus, perhaps just as important as technical skills.

So what are soft skills? They include attributes such as: verbal communication, capacity for teamwork and collaboration, tact and diplomacy, empathy for others, creativity, cultural sensitivity, resilience, and flexibility. A positive mindset is also very important.

In his book, Hiring for Attitude, author Mark Murphy claims that close to 50 per cent of all new hires fail in the first 18 months, and of those new hires, 90 per cent fail for reasons associated with attitude and weak soft skills.

So we cannot dismiss soft skills as “fluff.” They seem to be emerging as key skills in today’s workplace. I expect this message will be reinforced in today’s career seminars with our many guests. – Chris Shannon, Headmaster

Assembly Speech: Generational Observations

generation-z-logo-indexThere is the generation X, the generation Y, the baby boomers. And then, there is us. I sometimes wonder whether we are not the attention deficit disorder generation. Someone or something takes our fancy, and for the space of a few months, days, or hours, we enthusiastically embrace an idea, elevate a person to ridiculous heights, and covet the most ridiculous object as if it was made of gold. From nothing, it becomes everything, is everywhere – in multiple copycat versions too – and, just as suddenly, we drop it, never to think of it again. We flit to the next idea, the next trend. It can be charming…except when it comes to charities. Because yes, it appears that for us, charities too are just fleeting fads.

When I was 8 or 9, I wore a yellow rubber bracelet, which bore the catchy slogan “Livestrong”. I loved my bracelet for one reason. My friends thought I was oh so cool. The bracelets were extremely scarce, having sold out of several NIKE stores. They were also very popular, not surprisingly since popularity and scarcity go together. The unexpected shortage of bracelets had naturally spiked interest in the rubber band to such an extend that – and this is the absolute truth – strangers would stop me in the street, offering me up to $20 for my bracelet. I am ashamed to say, that I had no idea that “Livestrong” was meant to serve the cause of cancer; I suspect that I was not alone and that for a great majority of people, the bracelets were simply the expression of a desire to be part of a trend. Quickly enough, yellow bracelets became lost in a sea of other rubber bracelets: green, blue, pink, red, RAINBOW! Rubber bands were everywhere, in sports stores and at the dollar stores. My yellow bracelet was given to my dog as a chew toy.  Livestrong, the slogan and the foundation became passé. True, Livestrong’s spokesperson and founder had spectacularly fallen from grace, but the Livestrong bracelet had faded from our minds long before that.

I can give you dozens of examples. For a few months, we kept cool by throwing ice buckets on our heads. Every time we did it, we raised awareness for ALS. We also raised money. Not as much as we could have, since ice buckets were meant as an alternative to donating money, but still we did raise some money and a lot of awareness for the cause. Until one day, we just forgot to. Bet you a whole bucket of ice that very few of us still think occasionally – if ever – of ALS. So much for awareness.

Joseph Kony, by all accounts an evil man who ordered the abduction of 66,000 children to become sex slaves and soldiers became the cause célèbre in 2012. A video was shown on social media, it went viral within minutes, and suddenly every teenager in America and Canada was heard talking about Joseph Kony. For a minute or two, just a little longer than it takes for us to repost a video, everyone wanted to be part of the anti-Joseph Kony movement. A mere month later, another video called young people everywhere to “cover the night” and put up posters of Kony because, yes, the 66,000 abducted children still deserved to be remembered. And no, no one showed up to cover the night. No one. 66,000 abducted children did not deserve that.

Which brings me to the real point of my presentation. We are in a privileged position, all of us, and we are all conscious of it. We want to help. I want us to remember this: we are an enthusiastic generation, and for whatever time we spend on a trend, we give it our all. We do a lot of good. But we are also fickle, easily bored, easily distracted, and eager to jump to the next cause – one that’s compatible with Facebook and Instagram! Causes and charities cannot be the helpless victims of a generation’s attention deficit. Before we espouse a cause or adopt a charity as our own, we need to find what meaning the cause or charity holds for us. If we do that, we can be assured that our charities won’t be mere fads. Everyone in the 21st century hopes for their fifteen minutes of fame. Cancer research, ALS or children sold as slaves ought to be able to hope for a lot longer than 15 minutes. – David Elbaz ’15