Monthly Archives: November 2013

School Hacking #3 – You Are What You Eat = You Are Your Grade?

Recently, on our way to the grocery store, my mom and I were talking about some of the interesting reports she had heard on the CBC news at her work. While I’m usually fairly interested in everything she has to report, there was one story that stood out in particular: a Toronto school has recently banned all junk food. My first thought was, “that’d never fly at my school”.

Of course, there are certain political concerns over this as some parents believe that the school is crossing the line over what jurisdiction they have over the children in their care. Others say that it is not part of the school’s responsibility to monitor good nutrition. However, doesn’t every school want its students to be the best they can be? To be alert and attentive and ready to learn in class? I know that I have attended class with a carbohydrate hangover, having had one fry (or handful) or a slice of pizza (or two) too many. The result? I felt groggy and distant the rest of the day.

There is a certain mental effort that needs to be put forth by the students (that means you and me, Buster) in order to eat a healthier lunch, whether that means packing something and bringing it with you or simply being a little more selective than usual in the cafe. However, a healthy lunch – not to mention breakfast – plays an unbelievably important role in our functioning throughout the remainder of the day. For example, a study in the United States by Dr. Agatston found that adding more nutritional foods to the school lunch menu boosted academic performance, with Math scores seeing the highest improvement. All of us who have taken even a smidge of Biology would be unable to deny this fact with any amount of sincerity.

Though it would be better for us all in the long run, I would never tell anyone to never eat pizza or fries again. Certainly not! We all have those days where the craving for something good and greasy is just too much. But, maybe we could all make the effort not to have it for lunch every day. If you do buy your lunches from school, try mixing it up a little. There are plenty of other healthier options available. You know that little fridge next to the coffee, hot chocolate, and all-things-warm-and-delicious drink dispenser? Maybe next time, try grabbing a sandwich from there instead of poutine. If you are, however, dead set on chowing down on some artery-clogging cheese, gravy and what may once have been potatoes, maybe try splitting it with a friend or two.

Perhaps your parents made a little too much for dinner last night – don’t let it go to waste! Pack that stuff up and bring it with you! There is a lovely array of brand new microwaves at your disposal at Campus East. And even if you don’t have any leftovers, an apple or some grapes, granola bar or handful of nuts and ham sandwich (or peanut butter, in my case) and some kind of vegetable wouldn’t be the end of the world either.

I’m not telling you to hop on a dietary bandwagon or anything, or to chew on celery sticks and carrots for the remainder of your school career, but maybe save those two dollars from the vending machines and avoid all the extra chocolatey temptation. Try staying away from those fizzy drinks that hurt like crazy if you happen to take a sip when someone is telling a particularly funny joke. However, investing in some greenery may prove to be more than just a tasty boost to all those busy brain cells of yours! I’m sure that your focus and grades will be coming forward to shake your hand in thanks.

(And, actually, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, the carrots and celery wouldn’t be such a bad idea. Just a thought.)

– Kima

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Kima Hazelwood is a Grade Twelve student at CCH. She enjoys writing and reading fantasy, baking, and belly-dancing. Her favourite things about CCH are all the wonderful staff members and linguistics classes.

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CCH People to Know – Mr. Brent Hogan

If there’s one thing I love about CCH, it’s the Arts program. And no, I don’t just mean the Fine Arts. While great in their own respects, sometimes it’s nice to explore the more material-art side of the school, whether that be in New Media (digital arts) or in your average, run-of-the-mill Art class. Which, if I’m going to be completely honest with you, in CCH isn’t quite average, or run-of-the-mill. For this, we owe to Mr. Hogan.

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For myself, Mr. Hogan has always been wrapped up in a shroud of mystery, so I didn’t try to pry too deeply into his life, because the mystery is part of his character. Also, in my personal experience, Mr. Hogan’s answers can get largely philosophical and vague, or incredibly untrue, so I stuck to some questions that were more character revealing, than those that would reveal a life story.

Brent Hogan “grew up” in Calgary until he was 22. I say “grew up” in the loosest terms, because it’s a fact (proclaimed by himself) that he never really grew up at all. In the eleven years following, he travelled various places around the world, including a period in Europe, and a brief teaching stint at the University of Lethbridge in 1988.

He attended postsecondary at the Alberta College of Art (now renamed the Alberta College of Art and Design, or ACAD) because, as he very bluntly puts it, he didn’t want to get a job. Like most artists, then and now, he got through on scholarships, something that I think most students nearing the end go high school can relate to. When I asked what he took away from school he replied, “Everything I could”. Schooling for him, he explained, and I think this is something we can all understand and learn from, was about understanding himself.

From there I asked why he became a teacher, and he gave me another classic “Hogan” answer: “Necessity.The rent doesn’t pay itself, you know?” He segued into how high school wasn’t exactly a great experience for him, and he wanted to get that chance to teach kids better. I think that this is something that really shows itself in his teaching, too. It’s a particular experience to be in class lead by Mr. Hogan, because it’s something that is completely unorthodox and opposed to what we may know to be teaching. “I don’t teach anymore,” he tells me, “I guide”. And I think that’s one hundred percent true. Mr. Hogan loves teaching high school, so he says, because of the kids: because of their limitlessness. It’s incredible to hear that. It’s incredible to be able to grow without such strict parameters.

He spent his years of eighteen to thirty-six professionally producing art, until becoming a teacher, which has rounded up to a collective twenty-four years, presently. His passion for art is large and almost tangible if you get him talking about it. It’s because of the communication art brings and because art makes you think. However, he stopped doing it at thirty-six because he never wanted to do art part-time. He took up residence here at CCH due to an offer he couldn’t refuse, and he’s been an anchor to the Arts department ever since. However, you will see him around in other classes, teaching things like Social, English, Math, for a brief moment, Religion, and of course Art, Design and New Media.

I asked for the top three coolest places he lived, and to my surprise, he rattled off three Canadian cities: Banff, Vancouver, and the most surprising of all, Regina. When I expressed my disbelief at this, he told me how he meant for it to be a quick drop in, but ended up loving the people-centric attitude that the city holds. The culture and society is rich there, he said, because they have something else to build on. He stayed and taught for four years. His best life experiences, he says, are anywhere he is growing and learning.

To part with my interview, I asked him for some life advice. Cliche, but true, he says, “Listen to your heart,” and even more importantly, in my opinion, “Remain passionate”. Those two things are the real key to success, kids, and I would cling to those like a lifeboat if I was you.

In all honesty, I could go on about Mr. Hogan for ages, but none of us really have the time for that. I urge you, at least once, and if he isn’t too busy doing the eighty million things he’s always doing, to go have a chat with him. You’ll go in with one question, and leave with twenty more. But hey, isn’t that what school’s all about?

Get to know the people in our school. You’d be surprised who’s here.

– Baylee

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Baylee Chilton is a Grade Twelve student at CCH. She enjoys copious amounts of television, novels, and terrible old indie music. Her favourite thing about CCH is the library at Campus East.

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Santa’s Anonymous

Well, it’s that time of the year, folks. Christmas is in the air, snow is falling, and carols can be heard through the wind. On second thought, actually, that may be a bit of an exaggeration. It’s November, we’ve only had a couple bouts of snow and my Christmas tree doesn’t go up until December. In fact, for most people (excluding all patrons of department stores) Christmas is relatively far back in our heads. However, one group at Catholic Central High School has been thinking about Christmas for a month and a half.

For those of you who may not know, during the first two quarters of the school year, Santa’s Anonymous meets every Wednesday to plan projects and fundraisers with the eventual goal of using funds to create Christmas hampers for local families in need. This year, forty families will be supported.

You may have been aware of recent fundraisers Santa’s Anonymous has put on: the 24-hour famine, the pumpkin sale, and currently, the classroom coin drive, running from November 15th to December 13th. The winning class is rewarded with a pizza party on December 16th, comfy chairs at the Advent Mass on December 18th, and the teacher receives a half-day sub release. Future projects include a raffle, starting November 25th, with the prizes of being an iPod dock, a gift card to Sport Chek, and a snowboard.

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Running December 1st to the 13th is a silent auction to be held in the staff room of CCH East Campus, followed by a bake sale on the 10th, and a toy drive. To really get us in the Christmas spirit of giving, the present wrapping and hamper delivery take place on December 18th. Drivers for the deliveries are still needed, and interested parties are asked to sign up with Mrs. Delbello or Mr. Wikenheiser.

Maybe Christmas isn’t for a little while, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get into the spirit a little bit early. The halls don’t necessarily have to ring with Christmas carols, and maybe filing the school with snow to get into the season wouldn’t be such a great idea either, but there is something you can do. Throw some change into a coin drive tin. You can rest assured that the money is helping people, as well as the obvious incentive, not having to hear me sing.

– Jack

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Jack Harvey is a Grade Ten student at CCH. He enjoys triathlons, making films, and evidently writing blog posts. He’s a new guy, so still has some exploring of CCH to do.

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Sights, Sounds, and Meaning of Remembrance Day

Today marks a very important day in Canadian history. Today, in 1918, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, hostilities during World War I ended. Today is now known as Remembrance Day; we take the time to remember the men and women who have served and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict, and peace. Specifically, we remember the First and Second World Wars, the Korean War, numerous peacekeeping missions and the war in Afghanistan.

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At our school’s recent Remembrance Day celebration, Mr. Tim Folkerson was our guest speaker. He is a former member of the Canadian Forces where he was an Air Defence Artillery Officer. His job was to lead a team of non-commissioned members and to prevent the enemy from interfering from the air with the operations of the Canadian Forces on the ground. Being a part of the artillery he was included in the “combat arms”, which means he was trained and performed direct tactical land combat. Often when we think about the military and think back to the world wars we may imagine just ground troops fighting. However, Remembrance Day is about more than just the troops on the ground; as Mr. Folkerson said, the infantry that assaulted the beaches of Normandy in Operation Overlord would not have been able to attack without the assistance of Lancaster bombers disabling German defences.

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This is still true today in Afghanistan where, if it wasn’t for the support trades, the military would not be able to function. Helicopters flying air support need mechanics and refuelling personnel. Soldiers can’t fight without cooks to prepare meals; their vehicles will not run without maintenance, and soldiers can’t coordinate actions without highly advanced communication systems or accurate weather repots. In fact, out of every 100 military careers, only six are a part of the “combat arms”. However, these support trades play just as important of a part as the combat troops, and they still make many sacrifices: time spent away from home and being amidst the danger along with the troops.

At CCH Campus East’s Remembrance Day celebration, Brett Leeb played the trumpet for two calls that hold a lot of significance. The first call is named “The Last Post”. It signifies the beginning of two minutes of silence and historically meant that the fighting was over and the sound of the call summoned the spirits to the cenotaph (safety and rest). The second call is named “The Reveille”. The original purpose of this call was to get soldiers out of bed in the morning. In the context of Remembrance Day, the call takes place after the two minutes of silence and symbolizes the hope that there will be one day when the living and the dead arise together.

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I invite you all to take part in thanking a veteran for their great service to our wonderful nation, especially to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Some ways you can do this is to personally thank a veteran, wear a poppy, and/or attend a Remembrance Day service. On November 11th, there are two services held in Lethbridge. One is held at Exhibition Park which starts at 9:30 AM, and the other is the cenotaph ceremony downtown, outside the Yates Theatre at 12:00 PM. The ceremony downtown also includes a flyby of a Canadian Forces C-17. The flyby will take place at approximately 12:20 PM.

Lest we forget.

– Jules

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Jules Pankoski is a Grade Twelve student at CCH. He enjoys flying, music, and travelling. His favourite thing about CCH is the two campuses.

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What To Expect In Quarter Two

Whoah! Can you believe an entire quarter of the school year is done? Give yourself a pat on the back for all the hard work and great things you’ve done during Quarter One! In fact, give yourself another just for surviving! That is two/three classes finished that you won’t have to worry about for at least another year and almost ten weeks of hard work is behind you. It’s a great feeling to look back on everything you’ve accomplished and learned in Quarter One.

The end of Quarter One also marks a new opportunity to improve. Perhaps you think you could have done better this quarter. With finals this week make sure to study hard to get that mark you will be proud of. Studying hard and doing well will make you feel much happier once you walk out of the gym after your exam. Finishing Quarter One happy will also help keep you motivated once you begin Quarter Two.

Even better, Quarter Two has a lot to look forward to; the Grade Twelve Harvest Retreat takes place in the first week of Quarter Two. The school will also be having liturgical celebrations to commemorate Advent and Christmas. One of those most awaited holiday seasons of the year, Christmas and New Year’s, also takes place during Quarter Two. This provides us with a nice break from the routine of school and a time to relax and recharge our batteries. Afterwards we can come back refreshed and give 110% in the final two weeks of the quarter.

Perhaps you want to get more involved in school activities this quarter. Keep your ears and eyes open for basketball tryouts. If you want to support the Cougar basketball team, they will need scorekeepers and other volunteers for the games. Of course students are always encouraged to come out and cheer on the athletes (and unlike football, basketball is indoors so it is much warmer!) Student Council also meets every Monday after school on Campus East and is planning some activities for students closer to Christmas. Yearbook is always looking for new students to join them and they meet every Friday after school.

This school year so far has been a blast and a fantastic start to what is looking to be a great year. I can’t wait to see what exciting new things Quarter Two brings to CCH.

– Jules

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Jules Pankoski is a Grade Twelve student at CCH. He enjoys flying, music, and travelling. His favourite thing about CCH is the two campuses.

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