Monthly Archives: January 2014

School Hacking #5 – Using Tech To Get Ahead

We all know technology has evolved in new and interesting ways (Instagram, Snapchat, oh boy!) and it has changed the way we learn. With all this fancy schmancy new stuff, it can be pretty crazy to know what works and what doesn’t. So, without further ado, here are some tech tips that can help you get ahead.

1. Google Drive is your friend.

For all the people who may have had some beef with Google and all things related in the past, STOP. Just, stop. You are actually hurting yourself by not using this awesome free (the magic word) resource. I find myself constantly emailing myself back and forth with every updated version of a project I’m working on. Eventually, your inbox gets full and your computer gets angry at you for using so much space. Google Drive can hold almost any file, as the storage space on it is massive. And it comes with handy features like Gmail and Google Play (what is this even?), so it is a great way to access a variety of tools.

2. Kanblan Flow is out of beta (and why you should care)

Do you ever have those awkward group work projects where nobody is really willing to collaborate or communicate? Well, let me introduce you to the Kanban Flow Board. One of my friends showed it to me during a particularly lengthy group project, and it turned out to be very helpful. It’s free to make an account and use it, which is always something nice. It works a little like Google Drive, where everyone in your group can access it and make changes in real time. Once you set up the name of the project, just add your group members, set their jobs, and you’re ready to go. If you want to know where to find it, click on this link:

3. Type out your notes

This one is pretty simple, but if you want to create easy to read notes, the best course of action is usually to type them out and print them off (if you want). Even if you have beautiful writing (or unintelligible scribbles, like me) you can add things like charts, diagrams or even colour code it with ease.

4. Take a picture of your homework

Another simple tip is very fast and effective. This one is more along the lines of stopping yourself from forgetting something important. It could be the assignment rubric, or even a page of math problems. If you can look at it, you can see what you need.

Do you have any other suggestions? Or, great apps that help you stay organized, focused, or keeps your studying streamlined? Please share in the comments below!

– Adam


Adam Kobza is a Grade Eleven student at CCH. He enjoys vigorous reading, staying up too late, and long naps. His favourite things about CCH is all the amazing staff and students. 


Filed under SchoolHacking, Uncategorized

CCH People to Know – Leads in the School Musical

What makes a good production? Sure, you could answer a million different ways, but the correct one (or at least the one that suits the point I’m trying to make) is the people involved. So, who is involved with The Sound of Music? Excellent question! I had a talk with three of the lead actors in the show: Michael Schmidt, Sheila Hirney, and Kaitlin Caruso. Of course, they are only three people out of a large team of students and adults working together to create a great show, but hopefully you’ll gain a new appreciation for the work that goes into creating a production, if nothing more than simply learning something you didn’t know about a few of the kids onstage.


Michael Schmidt grew up in Coaldale, participating in a range of activities, from playing sports to singing in his church choir. He has three sisters, one of which has already passed through CCH and two who are yet to have its secrets revealed to them. He attended St. Joseph’s until Grade Ten, at which point he joined us at CCH. Eager to try out musical theatre, and to become acquainted with other music-minded people, he signed up for the show that year, Cinderella, followed by Bye Bye Birdie the next year. When asked his favourite play, he chose to alter the question, stating that his favourite musical is a two-way tie between A Very Potter Musical and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog. I approve. He’s met many of his closest friends throughout the shows (What a coincidence! I’m in the show with him this year too!) Despite that he won’t be able to join us as a part of next year’s show, he plans to continue to be a part of other shows in the future. As he leaves us, though, he leaves a few words behind, encouraging anyone considering being a part of next year’s show “to go for it! It’s a great way to spend your time and a great way to meet new people!”

Words of wisdom, indeed.

Michael plays Captain VonTrapp in The Sound of Music, running March 7th to 15th.


Sheila Hirney lived in Taber until the age of thirteen, when she moved to Coaldale, along with her mum (or “mom” as you Canadians say) and sisters, three of which are younger. Her family has a deep musical history and she is no exception. As soon as she came to CCH, she made sure to sign up for the musical, as she “loves to get involved with [music] in every single way”. Despite the fact that she is only one of her siblings who has displayed an interest, she plans to encourage her “impressionable” younger siblings to try it out for themselves. Her history in performance starts in Taber, where the only opportunities were band and the Grade 4/5 Drama Club, for which she was a munchkin and guard in The Wizard of Oz and a pirate in Treasure Island. However, she was more impressed by the many opportunities present here at CCH, and has loved being able to “step into a different person’s life” and “being able to sing all the time, without people looking at me weird”. Sheila hopes that anyone who wants to be a part of the family, or loves anything related to the Fine Arts, would look into joining the show next year.

Sheila plays the Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music, running from March 7th to 15th.


Kaitlin Caruso is another Grade Twelve student in The Sound of Music. She has lived in Diamond City her whole life, alongside her three older siblings and a brother. She went to Picture Butte for elementary school, but started at CCH in Grade Ten. She has always enjoyed both singing and acting, so the decision to sign up for the show wasn’t a difficult one, and she has been in both Bye Bye Birdie and Cinderella. She has taken voice lessons for approximately seven years, and annually goes to the Kiwanis Music Festival. This past year she was lucky enough to make her way to Provincials for Musical Theatre. Her favourite play is a tie between Wicked and Sweeney Todd. She warns anyone considering signing up for the play next year that it does take time, energy, and patience, but if you try to get the most out of it, it will be a rewarding experience, and that you will meet a “whole new group of wonderfully weird people who are so talented and amazing to be around”. Participating in the shows are her strongest memories of CCH, and she looks forward to having a blast with her last.

Kaitlin plays Maria in The Sound of Music, running March 7th to 15th.

– Jack


Jack Harvey is a Grade Ten student at CCH. He enjoys triathlons, making films and evidently writing blog posts. His favourite thing about CCH is himself.


Filed under CCH People, CCH People to Know, Fine Arts

Student Advice Column #1

Dear CCH’s Little Helper,

What do you do when you don’t see eye-to-eye with your teacher? And what should you do when you have annoying classmates?



Dear Frustrated,

My best advice would be to power through. As harsh as it may sound, sometimes you can’t always “jive” with your teachers on a personal level. At the end of the day, you’re in that classroom to learn, and as long as that’s what you’re in fact managing to do, you’re fulfilling the baseline requirement. Whether it’s a personality clash or you’re feeling jaded because of a mass of assignments, sometimes you just need to accept reality and find the best ways to cope. If you’re really at your wit’s end, however, you can try to play time-table tag, though I would say this might be the most difficult option, and I would suggest it only as a last resort. Sometimes it can cause you more problems than you would have had sticking it out.

As to the classmates issue, you can’t help who you’re put with. Annoying classmates can be like a younger sibling, and while you may sometimes want to put an end to your suffering through, shall we say, violent measures, sometimes you just have to learn to live with it. Just know that people can be stupid sometimes (that’s all of us). As cliche as it sounds, the best option might be to ignore them and get on with your important work. Just remember that quarters aren’t long, and soon, you’ll hopefully be in a better situation. However, if they are disturbing you to the point where it’s interfering with your class work, or, for example, you end up doing all the work on a group project while they goof off, you can talk to your teacher. They will most likely be more responsive to your plight than you think they’d be.


CCH’s Little Helper


Dear CCH’s Little Helper,

How do you avoid spending money on the addictive food in the cafeteria?


Junk Food Addict

Dear Junk Food Addict,

Well, you just get right at it, don’t you? I certainly understand the pull of deliciousness served up in our school’s temptation alley, and in all honesty, my best piece of advice is an awesome and, perhaps, nerdy sci-fi reference: “Do or do not. There is no try”. It comes down to you just putting your foot down and deciding not to give in to the desire to hand over that hard-earned cash in exchange for foodly goodness. I can, however, give you some hopefully helpful things to consider. The most addictive food in the cafe most likely isn’t that good for you, and your body will present a second bill that will be harsher than the monetary one. Maybe you can simply choose one or two days that you let yourself indulge, and that way, you can keep that money in your pocket and your health will thank you for it. Or, just leave your money in your locker. No money, no spending ability. Problem solved. Also, if you’re absolutely unable to curb your sweet tooth (or salty tooth, or fatty tooth), you can bring something from home. Perhaps you’ll find that swiping some snacks from the pantry will satisfy you just as much as anything from the cafe could.


CCH’s Little Helper


CCH’s Little Helper is an anonymous student blogger that is here to help you with your issues. Send questions to

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Filed under Uncategorized

We Want To Hear From You!

Hey CCHers!

We thought it would be fun to provide an advice column for next week’s post. One of our friendly (and wise) student bloggers (let’s call him or her CCH’s Little Helper) will take your questions and provide honest, helpful feedback. This could turn into a regular feature if you folks are up for it!

Please send questions via email to:

We are here for you.


The Cougars With Quills Team



Filed under CCH People

New Year’s Resolutions?

In a last minute rush brought on my forgetfulness caused by fear of an English 30 diploma exam coming the following Monday, I attempted to question CCH students at random about their New Year’s resolutions. I found something curious. Barely anyone put any thought into the yearly ritual. Not even actively deciding to not make resolutions, folks didn’t even thinking about the process at all. I’d say that…two out of five people I asked said something along the lines of “Oh. Right. Those. Didn’t even.”

I can’t say I’m surprised though. I haven’t made a New Year’s resolution in yeeeeeeeaaars. I think the last one I made (I’m not saying I followed through on it or not) was to clean my room more often. What do others out there in Catholic Central think? Are you surprised at the lack of resolutions? Did anyone make a real resolution this year? (Real as opposed to something like, say, building a plane.)

Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Happy New Year’s, everyone!

– Victoria



Victoria Robb is a Grade Twelve student at CCH. She enjoys poetry, long walks on the beach, and poking dead things with a stick. Her favourite thing about CCH is the deep fried happiness for sale every day in the cafeteria.


Filed under CCH People