It’s Heart Day! Give Blood.

Today is Valentine’s Day, a day one may associate with bestowing friends and loved ones with colourful paper valentines, cheap candy, chocolate and flowers. Valentine’s Day, of course, is named for Saint Valentine, a Roman martyr, who, as legend has it, married young couples who were in love before they went off to war, which was frowned upon by the church and army at the time. However tragic or romantic (depending on your view), his selflessness has lived on to today.

Although not many of us can attribute our legacies to marrying kids hyped on dopamine and serotonin, we can put ourselves out there as well. How about saving a life? Here’s your chance: the CCH Blood Drive. Throughout the whole month of March, students have the opportunity to compete between all the Lethbridge high schools to see who can donate the most blood for Canadian Blood Services. There are a few restrictions, however. Legally, only students aged 17 or older can give blood, but that doesn’t mean the blood drive is limited to them!

Student Council has been working on some excellent posters to hang around the school to get the word out. The Wellness Committee will also be talking with various classes about the cause, encouraging people to get involved. Everyone knows some adults in some way or another, and if they give blood on account of CCH, it’s another token towards our winning, but more importantly, toward helping people out and saving lives.

On March 8th and March 15th, Canadian Blood Services will be coming to Campus East’s cafeteria, and any student can learn what their blood type is, and how rare it is. This is open to anyone at all, so don’t be afraid to get your finger pricked; it’ll only hurt a little bit.

For more information on the Blood Drive, you can contact Mr. Perron, the orchestrator of this event. To make an appointment to give blood, students, parents, and teachers alike can contact 1-888-2-DONATE.

It’s Valentine’s Day. Many things come from your heart, including love, but more importantly, blood goes through your heart, (and your whole body, really!) and when it comes to a choice between a cartoon character saying something cheesy on a card, or saving someone from certain death, which would you pick? As the Canadian Blood Services say, “It’s in you to give.”

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Emily Borthwick is a grade ten student at CCH. She enjoys reading an odd mix of dystopian YA books and classic books, as well as writing sarcastic comments into her presentations and then editing them out because she knows she can’t write things like that. Her favourite things about CCH are the quarter system and her teachers.

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Filed under Celebrations, Faith Life

CCH People to Know – Mrs. Spearman

Although my time so far at CCH has been short, it is clear to me already that there are certain people here who every student should get to know. Mrs. Spearman is absolutely one of those people! I first met Mrs. Spearman when I was involved in Santa’s Anonymous during the first quarter and she kept me connected while I was unable to attend the weekly meetings at the East campus. All through Santa’s she continued to check up on the students at the West campus who were a part of the club to make sure that we knew where we needed to be and what the next event was. Even though we had only met a few times for Santa’s Anonymous she always remembered the students who had come together for Santa’s and that made me feel a little more like I belonged in my new school of CCH.

Mrs. Spearman always had a smile on her face and every time she saw a student she recognized in the hallway she said hello and asked how they were doing. The atmosphere on the West campus was one of my favourite parts of taking classes there and Mrs. Spearman’s friendliness added a huge amount to this atmosphere of an overall calm and close knit community. She was always up for friendly conversation and it made me feel like I had someone to talk to should I ever have a need for this connection.When I think about Mrs. Spearman, two parts of Catholic Central’s creed as defined by the school website come to mind: to be a community of welcome, and to be a community of service. Mrs. Spearman helped me to feel welcomed as an individual and showed me what it meant to use our time and talents to help others in need both through Santa’s Anonymous and the help she gave to the teachers at the school.

She was always popping in and out of classrooms helping teachers to get things printed and copied, so that the students didn’t have to lose valuable teaching time because the class was short a few note packages. It really was a bit of a mystery to me how she could be in and out of so many classrooms and help so many teachers all day long, while still having the energy to say hello to every student she knew as she passed by them in the hallway. My first few weeks at the West campus would have been a lot different if Mrs.Spearman hadn’t been there to make me feel welcome and updated on everything I felt like I was missing at the always bustling East Campus. For that reason and many others Mrs. Spearman is an important person for all students, especially grade 10’s and Westsiders, to get to know.

~ Hannah

fullsizeoutput_14a4Hannah Couture is a grade ten student at CCH. She has a love for reading good books and for writing. When she’s not reading or writing, you’ll find her analyzing music and watching Montreal Canadiens’ games on TV. She’s brand new to CCH, but so far her favourite thing is Flex time and being in the Honours classes.

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Filed under CCH People, CCH People to Know, Co-Curricular, Faith Life

The Art of Letting Go

Some folks say that school isn’t like real life, and I think there is some legitimacy to that statement. As my husband and I are both teachers, in our household, the vibrancy of a New Year feels more true in September, rather than January. But at CCH, the quarter 3 turnover– even though it’s just shy of one month after the turn of the year– is an even more heady reminder of the reality of passing time. At this stage, we’ve made it halfway through this school year’s go-around, and as such, it’s only natural for us to want to pause and ponder for a moment. In fact, we do this quite frequently. In just a few weeks it will already be midterm, and then we’ll soon be moving on to the fourth quarter, and so on and so forth…circle of life, hakuna matata, etc.

However, this four-cycle shift that we experience in the quarter system can be tricky. To be honest, I’m feeling rather disoriented and lost at this most recent corner because I’m mourning the end of my time with a most excellent ELA 30H group, and I think this sense of loss that I feel isn’t just me being overly sentimental. Speaking from a teacher’s experience, the quarter system can be especially hard on our hearts. Sometimes we feel like we’re just starting to connect with a class, and then whoosh, we’re marking their final projects and exams, and off they go onto the next set of courses.

For me, this constant turning a corner can be even more confusing because it may seem like I’m moving forward, but in a lot of ways, I’m in the same place. Case in point: I am always teaching people that range from age 14-18. The students never age. Forgive me for waxing philosophical, but while their youthfulness never fades, I, “[burdened,] crawl toward death” with each passing year. (My 30Hs should appreciate that allusion!) Melodramatic as that sentiment may be, it’s true. My pop culture references are fading in relevancy, my hair is greying ever more readily, and my ability to come up with another phrase to complete this parallel structure is, well, not as sharp as it used to be.

I never thought I would be the type of person to dig in at the changing of the tides, but dang it, the waves are getting higher and more precarious to ride. Clearly, I haven’t mastered the art of letting go. And despite my “[raging] against the dying of the light”, the sun still sets every day, and I have to build a new quarter calendar, even if I don’t feel ready.

I suppose I should take this nature motif more to heart. Life is seasons. Life means change. All of us at CCH experience this every quarter. And, like most of the characters in the literature I teach, it’s through struggle and loss that I learn the most. I will get better at letting go, and learn to love again.

  • Mrs. Hartman

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Mrs. Hartman is the Lead English teacher and Blog Administrator at CCH. When she’s not marking papers, you will find her writing, reading, scrapbooking, cuddling with her dog, reading, writing, singing, and writing. Her favourite things about CCH are all of the amazing people she works with every day.

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Filed under Grade Twelve

One Last Prompt for 2016

I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions. While I can appreciate the tradition, and will commend people’s desire to make improvements in their lives, I like to go-with-the-flow a little more, rather than lock myself into a commitment that must start on January 1st. Also, I hate exercise.

The one tradition I do have for myself that takes place at the start of a new year, is to reflect back on how I’ve grown over the last twelve months. And because I am a passionate journaler it’s relatively easy for me to do so.

For any student who has been in my English class, you may be familiar with my/our daily reflective writing. Yes, these daily reflections are important for us in a schooling context (curriculum, metacognition, mental set, concept attainment, exam preparation, [insert a lot more jargon here], etc.), but more importantly, for me – for all of us – is that we are engaging in daily conversations with ourselves. Who are we in this moment? What are our dreams and fears? What are we struggling with, and how are we working through it? What are we grateful for?

During the Christmas break, I will open up the journals I have filled over the past year and read through them. I’ll probably grimace and wrinkle my nose at some parts (Who is this grouchy person, anyway?) or feel a wave of pride and heart warmth at other parts (Who is this brilliant woman, and how can I get her to be President of the World?).

The short answer is me. All of those people are me.

I am always surprised when I read through my past entries. It’s very easy to forget things, and with the fresh eyes that are now outside of these past experiences, I can study that Teri Hartman and see how far she’s come. And by doing this faithfully for the past five years, I have learned so much about who I am. Those Ancient Greeks were on to something when they said, “Know thyself.”

And so, if I may, I’d like to encourage all of you, to take some time over the Christmas holidays and think about (and possibly even write about) the person you have been in 2016. Studying yourself is perhaps the most fascinating and worthwhile subject of all, and the learning never stops.

Have a restful, blessed Christmas.

  • Mrs. Hartman

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Mrs. Hartman is the Lead English teacher and Blog Administrator at CCH. When she’s not marking papers, you will find her writing, reading, scrapbooking, cuddling with her dog, reading, writing, singing, and writing. Her favourite things about CCH are all of the amazing people she works with every day.

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Santa’s Anonymous 2016

Christmas’ arrival is right around the corner and all of us are excited for the spirit and break that it offers, but for some, Christmas is a reminder of what is missing rather than what they have. There are people living in Lethbridge, closer to us than we may think, that can’t afford Christmas this year. Since financial difficulty can be a reality that is especially present in winter time, Lethbridge has many organizations that reach out to help those in need.

Santa’s Anonymous is an organization within our CCH community that seeks to provide opportunities for a full and happy Christmas experience for as many families as possible. Through fundraising events like the 24-hour fast in November, the pumpkin sales in October, as well as the donations made from our generous sponsors, Santa’s Anonymous will be able to help some struggling families provide gifts and Christmas dinner for their children. As a collective, all those who were a part of Santa’s Anonymous have already bought and wrapped many gifts for children and families in need and we are getting ready to deliver them in these last few weeks before Christmas. In addition to the gifts, Santa’s Anonymous will provide food according to the specific needs of each family for a Christmas dinner and more. Some of these families may struggle to provide food daily and so a Christmas dinner may be out of reach, but with the help of our volunteers they will have a happy and full Christmas this year.

The Santa’s Anonymous hamper assembly and delivery will be on December 20th next week and as a part of the Santa’s team, I can tell you for certain that we are in need of prayers to strengthen us for our busy day. We will be assembling food and gifts according to the list of families we are able to give to and then delivering everything directly to those families. With Christmas so close, we get caught up easily in the shopping, schoolwork and commercial aspects of the season, but we need to remember to reach out to those who struggle to make Christmas a happy time in their lives. Thank you for your support throughout the year as well as your thoughts and prayers on December 20th for those involved and those who will receive the hampers.

God Bless and Merry Christmas.

  • Hannah

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Hannah Couture is a grade ten student at CCH. She has a love for reading good books and for writing. When she’s not reading or writing, you’ll find her analyzing music and watching Montreal Canadiens’ games on TV. She’s brand new to CCH, but so far her favourite thing is Flex time and being in the Honours classes.

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