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

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.”