By: Alex Quevillon

Cassandra Serre won the critical category in the Algonquin Reads essay competition for her essay comparing Terry Fallis’ novel to real-life politics in Canada.

The winners of the Algonquin Reads competition have been announced.

Students were expected to read Terry Fallis’ novel The Best Laid Plans.

The following are profiles of this year’s winners.

Cassandra Serre

Cassandra Serre, 20, is taking business accounting at Algonquin and won for her essay comparing Terry Fallis’ novel to real-life politics in Canada.

“I’m into politics,” said Serre.  “I talked about the parallels between the novel and real-life political issues in Canada.  I was shocked, because at first I wasn’t even going to enter the contest.  And it ended up winning, so I was pretty excited.”

While the piece was meant to have a bit of a serious political tone, it felt like a conversation-starter, Merriam added.

“It was an academic-style paper but it felt like she was talking to you,” said Merriam.  “I felt like she was being more personal than your average academic essay and it was really nice.

In relation to her program, Serre has aspirations to go into accounting but could also find herself in a different field altogether someday.

“I’m probably going to go into accounting,” said Serre.  “It’s my passion, I like math, which is funny because I won an essay contest.”
“If it’s something that I can get into, I’d love to get into aboriginal politics.  But that’s something that’s pretty far off.”

Daniel Mask

Business accounting student Daniel Mask, 23, was an award winner for his artistic piece.

He turned into a map of Canada into a chess board, with pieces to represent the three top political parties in Canada.  The point of the piece was to illustrate the ‘game of chess’ played in politics, as demonstrated in the book.

“I thought my idea was really clever,” said Mask.   “I think maybe my submission won more on the strength of its concept rather than its artistic merrit.  The peice closely associated with some of the themes in the novel.”

“I was very surprised my peice won the prize, but was happy to see the monetary reward for winning.”

Merriam praised the entry.

“We all really liked it, the judges had it as their top submission,” said Merriam.  “It’s a neat interpretation of Canadian politics with the chess pieces.”

After graduating, Mask wants to find work with an accounting firm or at a company’s finance division.

“I’m really enjoying it,” he said of his course.   “I’m getting a lot of applicable real word knowledge.”