Haney students and their reasons to live

Haikus, smells and photography were some of the mediums used to illustrate fifteen reasons to live.

Amanda McRae

Fifteen reasons to live: what would yours be?

The question was put to Thomas Haney secondary students, and teachers, and Wednesday they shared their thoughts in heartfelt and creative ways.

On-call teacher Hilarie Ford’s display in the Great Hall had 15 sealed jars, and the instructions: “Open, Smell, Remember.”

Written on the jars were her reasons to live: summer, with fresh grass in the jar to smell; dad, with a leather belt; the first days of school, with a handful of pink erasers; water fountains, with a bunch of pennies.

Kaitlyn Gorman, a student, wrote a Japanese Haiku for each of her reasons. They were set against a painting with spring blossoms in a traditional style.

One Haiku was “Beauty”:


Even in the smallest ways

Life is beautiful.

Some of the students did the project as part of course work, while others did it just because. There was a big fun factor playing in many of the lists.

Jaeden Hanif and Morgan Matthew got their favourite cookies – Haney Bakery happy face cookies – and iced them with their 15 reasons. Those included crunchy leaves, sunsets and laughing so hard it hurts. After the first hour of the event, they had only a couple cookies left on their tray.

“It’s a fantastic idea,” Hanif said of the 15 reasons project. “It was cool to see everyone’s ideas.”

“It took us forever to come up with our 15 reasons.”

Joshua Stanley got a chance to bust out his new Polaroid camera, and had his 15 reasons in pictures pinned on a clothesline: his friends, giving a peace sign; his cats, sleeping on his bed; and the teen’s bed itself.

The project was the idea of teacher Nicole Von Krogh, who heard about a book and film on the same theme, and thought to bring it to the kids of Haney. She made a quilt, and pinned her reasons to it, one of which was: “When the band gets it right.”

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