An Update from an Akira Admirer

The other day in the Beta Mini-School (December 19th) during second block, we were having a math quiz *shudder*, a lead up to the test later that week *another shudder*. The test had been going for a while, and finally, someone was finished. They were told to read a book silently until everyone else was done, and walked over to the bookcase to pick one up. But glancing out the window, they exclaimed “It’s snowing!” This began a flurry (get it) of excitement in the room, everyone trying to catch a glimpse outside, Ms.Neumann trying in vain to get us to be quiet and continue our test. I finished up a couple minutes later, and went as well to get a book.

And it was true; it was snowing. But this wasn’t the lame, sleety mess of snow we had seen earlier, disappearing before it had even stayed on the ground. This was real, good quality snow. The ground was already covered with a thin white layer, and my heart leaped with excitement. I got a book to read and went back to my desk to wait for the test to end. And 20 or so minutes before the end of the block, it did, and we corrected our classmate’s work, all very preoccupied with the fluff on the ground outside. There were 10 minutes left, when Ms. Neumann announced that we would be going out there to enjoy the white blanket we had seen grow. I rushed to the corner and grabbed the leash, than told our huge and incredible husky malamute Akira that we were going for a walk! He leaped up in excitement mirroring ours, and I rushed to get my coat.

I was totally unprepared for the snow, as was most of the class, but I ran to the door, eager to leave the class. And we did, Akira on his trusty leash, everyone following the beautiful dog. But he was sad. And we were confused. He was outside, not only taking a walk, but in his natural habitat, snow falling all around him. He should be happier than ever, right? But he was still sad, because he had to wear his raincoat. Ms. Neumann realised how sad he was, and made a decision which would benefit his happiness, but probably not the cleanliness of her house; taking off his jacket. If a husky gets wet, they stay wet for 3 days; but Akira’s evident joy of being free of the raincoat was better than cleanliness.

We walked to the field, and as we arrived, Ms. Neumann took off his leash. The large flat land used to be grass, but now it was covered with a thick layer of snow, which kept falling as we stood there. Then, Akira started to run, running faster than I have ever seen him move before! We chased him to the end of the field, never running out of energy, as Akira look SO CUTE. He galloped around, moving like any average dog, as if all the energy he hadn’t shown us before had been saved up for this moment.

He finally slowed down, but the fun wasn’t over yet. There is nothing cuter in this world than Akira in the snow. He bites it, he jumps for it when we throw it, he runs all around in it! We witnessed a rambunctious Akira vs Ms. Neumann playfight, we tried to pet him as he ran past us, we chased him some more! There wasn’t a sad or even serious look on our faces, just smiles of pure joy. None of us had ever seen Akira this happy, not when we gave him food, not when he reunited with Ms. Neumann (those videos were so so so so cute though they still kill me whenever I think of them), not when we gave him a really good scratch. And then we arrived at the hill.

The hill was, like everything else around us (including ourselves), covered in snow. Akira paused at the top, a little nervous, as some daring classmates tried to slide down on their feet (spoiler alert; they fell over). Suddenly, our adorable pet dashed down the hill halfway, then dashed up again, doing a small circle. He galloped down again, going much further this time, his face in the most adorable grin, the happiest dog in the world. He kept going, down and up, us all laughing and yelling “OH MY GOSH HOW CUTE!!!” at the top of the hill. But eventually, he tired out, and walked over to a corner of the field. We all thought he was going to go number 2, but he just lay down, satisfied with the crazy play-time he had just had. We all ran over to him to pet him (obviously), and we took some amazing pictures of us and our beloved dog.

The bell had rang, so we began the walk back to class, all laughing and talking about Akira and the snow, and how close Christmas was (5 days as of writing this!!). It had been a perfect 10 minutes, and really made me realise how amazing our teachers were. When I think of any other teacher in the snow, I think of all of them standing back trying not to get wet, watching me and my class have fun. Never have I had a teacher act the way Ms. Neumann and Mr. Murray did; running into the snow, laughing along with all of us, not having any fear of getting wet, or ruining their hair, just going all in. I was so happy for the rest of the day, and in the moment, so thank you Mr. Murray and Ms. Neumann. You guys are truly unique teachers in that way, and I wish I could explain it better.

This will be my last post on the Beta blog for awhile, since I’ve already done all the other blog posting jobs (oh no, I still need to do bottle recycling). So I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and an amazing New Year, and hope to return to the blog in Quarter 4!

Sincerely, Akira lover #7889999

Aviation: Testing Artistic Skills

On December 13, an Airbus A380-800 drew a Christmas tree in the sky. The Airbus A380-800 is the world’s largest passenger jet. It is built by Airbus Industrie. It is so big that people refer to it as the Superjumbo jet and the King of the Skies. It is also one of the safest aircraft in the skies, right behind their new Airbus A350-900 and A350-1000. Airbus was conducting flight test on the A380. Before a plane is delivered to an airline, it must undergo some flight tests to verify that it is in a safe and working state. However, instead of just doing a few laps, Airbus spent hours, creating a precise flight plan. It turns out, this flight plan was in the shape of a tree. The Airbus took off from hamburg, Germany and began flying the flight plan. It landed back at Hamburg. It took the Airbus pilots 5 hours to create this masterpiece. This was a very festive flight test on the Airbus A380, the largest jumbo jet in the skies.
FUN FACT: On the original jumbo jet (Boeing 747-100), Heavy was used at the end of the call sign to represent that the plane was a big, heavy jumbo jet. It continued on to the Boeing 777 family, which I talked about in my last post (check it out), the Airbus A340, some Airbus A330s and some Airbus A350s. The Airbus A380-800, however, is so big that they use Super at the end of the call sign to signify that the plane is a gigantic Superjumbo jet.  

Aviation News!

On Saturday, December 2nd, at Toronto Pearson International Airport, EVA Airways flight BR35, onboard a Boeing 777-300ER, was getting ready to taxi to the runway. The 777-300ER is the longer version of the 777-200ER and 777-200LR. It is also the biggest twin engine aircraft in history. The flight had just departed the gate when the pilot made a strange decision to de-ice the aircraft before takeoff. There was no worry. Better safe than sorry right? However, shortly after the start of the taxi, people onboard heard a series of bangs. The pilots announced that they would inspect the plane. They said that inspection would take less than 5 minutes. But guess what. Time slowly kept ticking by. Eventually, the plane taxied back to the gate. At the gate passengers started hearing the news. The pilot of the Boeing 777, had driven the 777 into a pole at Pearson International. The pilot didn’t even know until ATC told the pilot that he was dragging a pole halfway through the wing. Firetrucks had to surround the plane because of the jet fuel that was leaking from the wing. Eventually, all of the passenger got onto a new plane. One that was not the victim of bad driving. A picture of the plane in question is below. That is it for this week. See you next week with more shocking aviation news.

Net Neutrality: What’s going to happen to the internet?

Net neutrality is a big thing right now. Mr. Ajit Pai, chairman of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has recently held a vote to keep, or destroy net neutrality. But what is net neutrality? Well, I’m kinda surprised you don’t know what it is at this point, but if you’ve been living under a Dwayne Johnson for the past month. . Net neutrality was a law that said that internet service providers must treat all internet “flow” equally. Meaning they can’t intentionally slow down or favor a certain website by making it either faster or slower. Without net neutrality, internet service providers like Verizon or Telus can make certain websites like YouTube unusable by making it so slow until you pay extra to grant access to faster (usable) wifi to access the websites you want. So getting rid of the net neutrality thing can give internet service providers a virtual monopoly over the web.

The man in charge of this is, as I said, Ajit Pai. Recently he passed the law saying that net neutrality no longer a requirement. This undoubtedly pissed a lot of people off. There are people out there who literally want him dead. What was the point of all this for him? He’s making enough money to live comfortably, and now I bet he can’t even go to Starbucks without having people spit on him. It doesn’t make sense to me.

Pai’s motive is that the web is too exclusive and websites like facebook are blocking content on a regular bases. His main points are saying (in a nutshell) that the government is being too bossy and needs to let their grasp loosened around the web. He’s basically saying there is not enough freedom on the web. The FCC thinks this will also force the ISPs to be more transparent about their companies. So in the end he’s just trying to do good for america. But you know actions speak louder than words. Net neutrality is one of those laws that is protecting the freedom of the people in most people’s eyes, and it is comparable to the legalization of murder (this may be a extreme example but bare with me). The government is certainly controlling the few people but it is necessary to ensure that the majority can live more freely and safer. Net neutrality ensured that the internet service providers can’t be more money-grabbing than they already are. The end of net neutrality can certainly impact the internet browsing experience drastically.

 Our internet is being ruined by this weirdo

This is what some people speculate the internet will be like

I think that the whole “no neutrality” thing is being blown out of the proportion by the neutrality advocates and it won’t be as bad as they are making it out to be. They are making it seem like the internet will be completely dead when Verizon starts taking advantage of this thing. I think people will browse the web no matter what because at this point it’s just part of our lives. However, I still think it’s a dumb move to get rid of it. The internet is supposed to be a free space where I can go online and type for 2 hours about like, Bernie Sanders or something and have nobody stop me. The internet is one of the few places where I can do whatever I want and not get beat up. By lifting net neutrality, they are removing the sense of freedom the internet has. Also I think Ajit Pai is an idiot, but I like the memes I’m seeing about him so I’ll turn a blind eye. I think this is funny too

OuR iNtErNeT iS bEiNg RuInEd By A fIdGeT sPiNnInG, hArLeM sHaKiNg NoRmIe


I said that the internet PROBABLY won’t be as badly affected as most people think, but the threat is still real. If AT&T or Verizon does decide to take advantage of the no neutrality as much as people are thinking they are, we are in deep trouble. “But we’re in canada Kevin, we don’t have anything to worry about.” Well here’s why we should care:

Any american site can be blocked, by their ISP and be charged to get fast lanes world wide. So that means YouTube or Netflix may slow down if they decide they don’t want to pay a significant extra to grant fast lanes to Canadian users. This is really bad because this means Canadians have no control whether or not we have access to fast lanes. Also our internet is partially routed through the U.S meaning  There will also be intense pressure to repeal neutrality here in Canada due to current NAFTA negotiations. We will also be affected because american users may be discouraged to use the internet leading to less development and innovation. Why is Pai killing net neutrality Weird picture of Pai Future of internet browsing what net neutrality is Ajit Pai Why we should care about this The other weird image of Pai We should be worried.


Getting ready for Christmas!

Quite a lot has happened this month at our beloved BETA minischool; afterall, it is nearing winter break 


and the ever joyous Christmas Season! For one thing, nearing the end of one semester has called for the seriousness of many people; assignments handed out months ago are being demanded, many people are realizing that procrastination is as deadly Akira’s cuteness.

I will start off with a personal non-favorite; IDS checkup. For the few who are not aware of what IDS is, it’s our Individual Directed Studies. For most, we each have a goal of amassing 120 hours of our own interest-fueled studies by the end of the school year. So in the chaotic week of mid-December, all the little mice who delayed their work scurried frantically to not get screamed at. However, most were pleased to know that in the end, all their frantic making up and genuine hard work paid off; most were repaid by at least one exceeding mark. Same thing happened with science fair, so many of us were so preoccupied with the ever exceeding demands of IDS, that we completely neglected our duties to the minischool by doing such little things on our science fair project. However, we picked up our pace and were rewarded with a relatively relaxing other half of December.

However, we did take our time to enjoy december; as the entire minischool. We played some creative music to help our focus; and Akira, our ever beneficial classroom dog with also busy at work along with us. By taking a long soothing nap, he soothes us along the way. We discovered that by the prospect of a little to eat; Akira would chase us, do tricks and entertain us, bring us into the Christmas Cheer. Ms. Neumann also entertained us with Akira stories and pictures; they are some of the cutest in the world. After a long period of relentless writing and studying, seeing Akira as a puppy was truly the most refreshing thing that could happen to anyone. I must say, Akira’s level of adorableness is truly out of this world! Indescribable with the current level of language we have today!

To get the classroom looking Christmasy, Ms. Neumann assigned us a fun, creative and educational assignment (for the Grade 8s); we got to decorate a Christmas Tree. Not an ordinary Christmas Tree, and decorated with not ordinary ornaments. But a class Christmas Tree and with 3D printed ornaments; 3d printed ornaments that we all designed individually on Tinkercad and printed.

We also had an advent-like calendar shaped like a stocking. It’s like the little calendar with chocolates behind the paper flaps that many people had in their childhood (including me). This time however, instead of little pieces of milk chocolate, we all anticipated the daily reading of the often incredibly lame joke; that strangely induced laughter among us all.

Altogether, this month was quite fun, and it was a great experience. You could truly feel the Christmas Spirit in the air, everybody jolly and merry and having a great time while still producing some amazingly fabulous work. Like the old saying goes (I just made it up) Positivity leads to Productivity; and I think that was truly the case!

A look at gr 8 in December

A lot of things were going on in December, such as getting ready for the IDS and Science Fair check-in. Everyone’s projects are starting to take shape, and they’re looking really cool! Along with IDS and Science Fair, the students have learned a lot on the history of China, and the Mandate of Heaven. The students are also learning more on religions in history, and volume and surface area in math (Sir Cumfrence?), and are getting ready for the upcoming Christmas and winter break!

Oh, speaking of Christmas, the Minischool has their very own Christmas tree, decorated with unique ornaments they created from a 3D modeling program called Tinkercad. Each ornament is made from a student, which portrays what Christmas means to them. Our Beta tree is filled with Christmas memories!

The students in both grade 8 and 9 have also started Secret Santa! They drew other student’s names, and they are making their gifts for the other students.

Akira’s doing just fine, as usual — sleeping around the classroom, taking walks outside, looking like an adorable, big fluffy marshmallow and earning treats from the students. Sorry that we’re overfeeding him, Ms. Neumann, but he is just too cute. We just cannot resist.

Thanks again for listeni– err, reading! See you next time.

Current Events from December

December 14, 2017

              The fight for net neutrality is on. Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers must treat all data on the Internet the same, and not discriminate or charge differently by user, content, website, platform, or application. So to make it simpler, without net neutrality we would have to pay to use the internet. Without net neutrality companies can stop certain people from using certain applications unless they pay or something like that. For example, AT&T was caught limiting access to Facetime, so only those users who paid for AT&T’s new shared data plans could access the application. The net neutrality rules were approved by the FCC in 2015. The vote for net neutrality is December 14, 2017 which coincidentally is today. People are already saying their goodbyes to the internet. In my opinion getting rid of net neutrality would be horrible, just imagining paying $500 a month for using google. Lots of families that make minimum wage would have to say goodbye to google, yahoo, google chrome, etc. The government could balance this out by raising the minimum wage so workers can pay for the new expenses.


December 15, 2017

Yesterday in a vote of 3-2, net neutrality is dead for now. The Federal Communications Commision approved of removing the net neutrality rules that were put into place two years ago. The new rules will allow internet providers to do pretty much anything, they can block anything they want from everyone. The only rules is they have to publicly announce what they are doing. In conclusion you don’t have to worry about the net neutrality rules because we live in Canada (:


The final verdict of Daniel Shavers slaughter

On January 18th, 2016, an innocent man staying at a texan hotel was shot brutally by a police officer belonging to the Mesa, Arizona Police department. The man shot was Daniel Shaver, your typical american man going on a business trip for his job. Shaver was staying at the La Quinta Inn & Suites hotel and because of a misunderstanding revolving firearms, the cops were called. One of the cops that arrived was Philip Brailsford, the man who would soon shoot Daniel Shavers to the point of death. However, before the death of Shavers, Officer Brailsford yelled instructions on what to do and what not to do to keep safe. One of the demands Brailsford had was “crawling without your two hands”, and while that may be hard without any prior implications, it is even harder to do when your under mass amounts of stress and worry and your exhausted from previous exertion. Although, it seems as if Brailsford did not acknowledge this when Shavers was balling, on his knees, trying his best to do what was ordered of him, as Brailford screamed “YOU’RE F*****” and proceeded to shoot Shavers.

News soon came of Brailsford’s actions and he was being prosecuted for second degree murder. Skip to december 7th, 2017 when results of the 6-week trial were released, the verdict being the same as what Brailsford pleaded; Not guilty.

In reflection to our world and what this means and will do, i think that Brailsford was 100% guilty. Just one second from the gruelling footage of the body cam placed on brailsford is enough to justify so. However, Daniel Shavers’ death is bringing awareness to the police brutality within america- bringing light to the fact of police brutality and that it affects everyone within america. Now this reflects on the US truthfully, showing that they are corrupt, and unjust. Just from the abuse of Police power is an example- but another white, straight, male commiting a crime and getting away scot free is showing that america lets you off without any repercussions, as long as you are privileged enough. Hopefully Daniel Shavers’ death was not in vain, i would like to see that the problems that caused Shavers’ death will be dealt with and talked about more often from the publication of this event.

May he rest in peace.


Well, WE have made it through the first 4 months of the BETA Minischool.

It was been a privileged to teach your children this fall and we are excited to see what the new year brings. 

Thank you to all students and parents for the wonderful gifts and delicious treats. 

We hope  you all have wonderful holidays full of festivities, fun, and family. 


Kind Regards, Mr. Murray and Ms. Neumann