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  • Five Questions for Jajube Mandiela (aka Chantay)

    Posted on 04/25/2010 by Mary

    This week, Jajube Mandiela (aka Chantay on Degrassi) answers five questions... and now we want to hang out with her so bad.

    Jajube Mandiela, Chantay from DegrassiWhat was the first rock show/concert you ever went to, and what was the BEST rock show/concert you ever went to?

    First concert: I went to lots of small venue concerts with local and independent artists throughout my really young child and early teen years, but the first large venue concert was PsychoBlast 2000 featuring Christina Aguilera (and popular Canadian groups)

    And the BEST: k-os's concert at the Molson Amphitheatre here in Toronto (July 2005)

    What makes you cranky? And what gets you un-cranky?
    Being really hungry & really sleepy = soooooo cranky. To get uncranky, either sleep or food makes me happy again!

    When you doodle, what do you draw?
    I often doodle on theatre scripts during rehearsal (when we are reading through and discussing the play and such), and I find myself doodling flowers, swirls, hearts, words, eyes, eyebrows and sometimes even lips.

    What do you think makes a good Degrassi episode?
    When the storyline is about a classic, teen issue that teens, parents and everyone else can relate to, most likely because they or someone they know has lived it (like one of the Dave Season 9 storylines where he tries to become cool at school by standing up to bully, Bruce).

    And a user question from IcyTowerz: Who do you most relate to as a character?
    Holly J's ambition: she is so driven, motivated and successful. I do not relate to her mean, step-on-other-people to get whatever she needs methods, but her drive is so passionate and relatable.

    (Hey, btw, If you have a question suggestion for a Degrassi star, let me know, k? K!)

  • Dear Degrassi: Advice from Sam "K.C." Earle

    Posted on 04/23/2010 by Mary

    This week's advice-seeker says:
    "Well, me and my boyfriend have been together for seven months and he's great and everything. It's just that he has a vice that highly concerns me. He smokes cigarettes, and it bothers me.

    I just don't know how to tell him to stop I'm afraid he will get upset and ruin our relationship. It's taken a huge toll on our relationship because my parents don't want me to be with him due to that issue. And they are also afraid that I will smoke cigarettes as well, but I'm totally against it so that will never happen.

    So the question is how can I tell my boyfriend to stop excessively smoking cigarettes??"

    Sam Earle, K.C. from Degrassi And Sam Earle (K.C. on Degrassi) says...
    "A very tricky dilemma, this one's interesting. First of all, I think we can easily agree that even one cigarette is one too many. Without trying to sound insensitive, it is, without question, a downright dirty habit that turns your lungs to swampy mush and that threatens to reduce a smoker to a familiar lump of ash, often at a tragically young age and after much suffering. I think that just about all of us have (or will eventually have) witnessed this first-hand, in something like the death of a family member for example. But the severity of smoking is old news, and so I'm glad you've already made the strong and crucial choice to keep your hands off the cancer sticks.

    Yet despite the striking and indisputable nastiness of cigarettes, and no matter how many passionate anti-smoking class projects we do in elementary school, people seem to slip up once they hit their teens.

    In fact, somewhere around 90% of smokers start before the age of eighteen. Since I just happen to be a teenager (fancy that!), I've always been inevitably surrounded by this phenomenon. Even one of my closest friends way back from grade one (You guys always roast the way I say that!... Elementary level freshman?) found himself deep in a puddle of smoke a year or two ago. There were definitely times when I asked myself how I could get him to quit - it's a reflex equivalent to the urge to pull a friend off a train track if a beast of a freight train were coming at them (in this case, at an excruciating speed of one mile per hour). I'd love to say that I found a perfect solution, or even any solution at all - if that were the case I'd transcribe it to one of those fantastic tube-shaped wizard scrolls, tie it up with a bow and send it to you by Easter pigeon. However, while my concern might have been appreciated at some remote level, or at least acknowledged (and don't underestimate the importance of the simple expression of this concern!), ultimately, it was his choice to drop the habit. He had the idea, he chose to execute it, he persevered in order to do so. Unfortunately, this was a couple years and a couple weeks in the hospital later, but what's important here is that he's arrived now at a state of mind and state of being far better and more stable than where he was before.

    But I digress. When teenagers smoke, it's often a regrettable part of the usual ritual of adolescent self-discovery, an extreme side effect of insecurities and uncertain introspection, as I feel it was for several of my friends. It's understandable then why so many teens would push to the side everything they've been taught about smoking and any opinions they may have developed about it, in favor of personal experimentation: the focal point of young adulthood seems to be the creation of an identity. We are torn between conflicting internal forces: the person our parents and society have raised us to become, and the individual we hope to create independently. If we're clever, we'll find the parallels between these two selves and make reasonable compromises, synthesizing the two in order to determine who we are. Now that's a hefty task, and it doesn't happen overnight. It happens subtly over long stretches of time and life experience. I'm hoping that your boyfriend is still wobbling about in the realm of his identity. Then, the bad habit can become a learning experience; he just needs to accept the lesson it has brought to him and face reality head-on.

    Open up to your boyfriend on the subject. Most importantly though, give him an opportunity to open up to you. Try discussing his problem, and don't be afraid to push him to quit.

    Hopefully, your discourse will be productive, and he'll be able to move onwards and upwards. If so, then you'll have both grown as individuals and likely as a couple.

    Eventually, he'll have to decide if he's a smoker for life or if he's not. If he is, then he has used this decision to define himself as a person, and he may very well be the wrong person for you in the long term. Remind yourself that you'll never be able to change who he is, but you definitely have the power to drop that sucka like a hot potato if he's not the right guy (seriously, if he actually gets "upset" when you confront him - PFFF!!!! - then the relationship was meant to be ruined; you have every right to communicate with your boyfriend!).

    Go get'em! And just make sure that you start up the dialogue ASAP - life is short, and communication is your first step on the way to living it to the fullest."

  • Degrassi Breakdown: "Holiday Road"

    Posted on 04/23/2010 by Mary

    POSSIBLE SPOILERS BELOW! Those who haven't seen the latest Degrassi episode yet, go watch it, and skip this 'til you have.

    Everyone else:

    1. How often do you ride your bike? (Emma's got a point... zero emissions; plus cheaper than a car; plus you don't need a license; plus it's good for the butt.)
    2. Are you a food-sharer or not? (Like do you mind someone else dipping their used fork into your food, or does that gross you out?)
    3. On a date, how do YOU think the check should be worked out: split 50/50; each pay exactly what they owe; whoever asked pays; guy always pays; or girl always pays?
    4. Have you ever seen a friend (or semi-friend) do a total overshare online, and quietly cringed for them? Where do you draw the line at what you'll say on facebook or wherever?
    5. In Europe, a lot of students take a "gap year" between high school and college -- to travel, save money, whatever. And research shows that students who take a gap year do better in college because they're more in tune with WHY they're in school. Would you want to do that... and do you think your parents would go for it?

  • WHAT? A NEW DEGRASSI MOVIE? HOLD ON!

    Posted on 04/23/2010 by Chairman Nick Cannon

    It's TRUE, people! We've got a new Degrassi movie, and we're not scared to use it! Coming soon to your living room.

    Now I know y'all are sitting there, getting mad at your computers for not being able to watch the new promo frame by frame by frame, so I had someone pull a couple out for you.

    I can't tell you what's happening in these, but I can tell you this: Jay looks smooth. What's up, Jay, who's your tailor?

    As for what's up with everyone else... you're just gonna have to wait for the movie, I guess. (But for now, you're welcome to holla at ya Chairman with your best guesses in the comments.)

    - Chairman Nick







  • Happy Earth Day from HALO Award Winner Megan Kilroy!

    Posted on 04/22/2010 by Megan Kilroy

    Hey everyone, Happy Earth Day! Today is actually the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, which just makes me wonder: what will our oceans look like 40 years from today?

    Right now, every single ocean on the planet is becoming a plastic soup. In fact, in 2008, The Algalita Marine Research Foundation found six times as much plastic in the ocean as zooplankton. Let's talk about what that means:

    Every ocean on the planet is becoming a plastic soup. Why is plastic in the ocean a problem?

    • Sea birds such as the albatross often mistake plastic for food and regurgitate the plastic into their baby chicks mouths. As a result these birds die of starvation because, while they think they are full, their stomachs are simply full of plastic.
    • Other animals such as fur seals often get entangled in floating plastic. The plastic does not break and eventually severs the seals arteries or strangles it.
    • Plastic is not biodegradable. The pieces get smaller when they're in the ocean, but they don't go away.
    How does plastic get into the ocean?
    • Most of the plastic that ends up on the street eventually makes its way to the beach. The majority of municipal storm drain systems are unfiltered and lead into the ocean -- even if you don't live near the ocean.
    • Manufacturers of plastic are not always responsible in the ways that they handle and/or dispose of their products. The nurdeles (the small pellets that are used to produce plastic) are often dropped carelessly in transport and end up in the marine environment.
    What can you do?
    • Instead of getting a plastic bag when you go to the store, bring a reusable bag.
    • Save money and plastic by filling up a reusable canteen instead of buying water bottles.
    • When you get a drink, don't use a straw unless you absolutely need one.
    • If you do use single-use plastic, always remember to recycle it and make sure it never ends up in the street.

    Thanks and have a great Earth Day, everyone!
    - Megan Kilroy

    Megan Kilroy is a 2009 TeenNick HALO Award winner. See what she's been up to since then, nominate someone for a HALO, or find a great organization to volunteer with yourself on our HALO Awards site. - TeenNick

  • 10 Questions about Parties

    Posted on 04/21/2010 by Lisa
    "

    What makes a great party? It depends who you ask.

    If you asked Jackie from That '70s Show, she'd probably describe a small, classy dinner party, like the one she tries to throw in ""Burning Down the House."" If you asked Kelso, he'd probably talk about an out-of-control house party that's packed with people.

    Now I'm asking you.

    1. When you're hosting a party, what's your ideal number of guests?
    2. What's your all-time favorite party song?
    3. What's on your snack table (or dinner table, if that's your style)?
    4. What's the perfect party location?
    5. Best night of the week for a party?
    6. How do you want your guests to dress?
    7. Would you decorate? (If yes, how?)
    8. Dancing: Yay or nay?
    9. Video games: Party fun or party foul?
    10. While you're thinking about your ultimate party, what would you call it? Give it a name.

  • Drake, Josh, and first crushes

    Posted on 04/20/2010 by Mary

    Tell us all about it... how cute their hair was; how you started eating ketchup and mustard on your hot dogs because that's how they ate theirs; how you wrote their name 100 times on one page in your notebook. We won't tell them.

    (I ask because I just saw the "First Crush" episode of Drake and Josh.)

    Mine... well he was in my ballet class and we got paired up for the pas de deux at the recital, and he was like the only boy I knew because I went to all-girls' school and of course he was the only boy at ballet. And one time in 5th grade he kissed me on the lips but just a peck, outside the Howard Johnson's.

    And I just looked him up and saw that now he's a real estate agent. Yes, I facebook stalked my 5th grade crush for you; I hope you're happy.

  • Happy Almost-Earth Day!

    Posted on 04/19/2010 by The-Earth

    Hey guys, remember me? It's the Earth! Want to help me celebrate another Earth Day on Thursday? I really hope you do because I could definitely use the help.

    Speaking of help, have you guys seen how busy Megan Kilroy has been since she won a TeenNick HALO Award for all her work on my behalf last year? That girl is going to the next level -- now she's educating the next generation about keeping my oceans from becoming "plastic soup." And she's helping to build a solar-powered plug-in VW Beetle, too! I'm so, so lucky to count Megan as one of my friends.

    I looked up some of the Earth Day resolutions you guys made last year... I know it's probably too much to hope for a couple billion Megan Kilroys walking around on me, but a couple billion tangledxups, xxViixens, and DianaxGs seems within reach!

    "My resolution is to stop buying about 2 plastic water bottles a day at school and get a reusable one that I can fill up at drinking fountains when I'm thirsty. Because it's costing me/my mom way more money than necessary and even though I recycle the empty bottles, spending 5 dollars on a good, recycled materials, reusable one is way smarter. " - tangledxup

    "i will start riding my bike to the store, to see friends, and sometimes to work. I know i can do it." - xxViixen

    "I'll turn the tv off if I'm not using it, and turn my light off when i leave the room." - DianaxG

    Thanks for all your help, guys. It means the world to me. :)

    Love,
    The Earth

  • Dear Degrassi: Advice from Miriam "Emma" McDonald

    Posted on 04/18/2010 by Mary

    This week's advice-seeker says:
    "i fell for this guy, and he ended up moving. his best friend was my best friend. my best friend was there for me when i was going through all of it and we started dating. now we've been dating for ten months and i love him. BUT, the guy i fell for still sends me texts telling me how much it sucks that we can't be together and we talk about it all the time. i found out he's moving back, and even though i love my boyfriend, i never got to be with the guy that i fell for and i still feel for him so much. i don't know what to do. help."

    Miriam McDonald, Emma from Degrassi And Miriam McDonald (Emma on Degrassi) says...
    "Two guys, one girl... Uh oh!

    You're certainly not alone -- I think at some point almost everyone has felt a little conflicted when it comes to this kind of stuff. But here's my completely un-expert opinion ;)

    You say you have a boyfriend who you love. It sounds as if your relationship with your current boyfriend has been great, so please don't let the fact that this other guy is moving back to mess up what you have!

    The mystery of what it could be like with guy #2 is intriguing I'm sure, but love triangles are dangerous. If you keep up the text messaging, etc. with guy #2, it's only going to make it harder for you, so I think you should cut that off! Someone is bound to get hurt unless you are clear with both guys on where you stand.

    If you focus too much on what could be, you may lose sight of what you have! I think the best thing for you to do is focus on how great your boyfriend has been for the past 10 months and try and put this other guy out of your mind for the moment... as hard as it may be!

    I hope this is helpful!

    All the best,
    MM"

    PS: If you have an advice question you want answered in the blog, let me know. We might pick your question to send to a Degrassi star!

  • Random Hotness: Declan's Wardrobe

    Posted on 04/17/2010 by Mary

    Besides the fact that Landon Liboiron is the one wearing it, I feel like Declan's wardrobe deserves a hotness shout-out of its own. Last night's green sweater was great, but I will never ever forget this outfit from Love Games...

    The silver tie, loosely knotted around a clean but not too crispy white shirt. The green and grey striped hoodie that brings out his eyes, plus looks like it smells really good.

    Do any boys you know dress like Declan from Degrassi? Are you going to marry them?