Monthly Archives: June 2014

A Summer Goodbye

It is hard to say who we are. A blonde, a redhead, brunette; are we the roar of a crowd in the stands, or the one with straining muscles, a manic grin in the face of endorphins racing through our bodies; are we the burst of laughter in the hallways, a joke shared among friends, taking up too much space, or the silence in the library, legs strung over the edge of a worn couch, tucked into a book in defence against our surroundings, finding escape, if only for moment, in a few words tattooed onto thin pages?

We are all these things, but we are more than just a colour, a preference, a cog in a clique. We are smiles, we are hugs, we are so many things, but the pinnacle of these achievements is that we are simply love personified. We are love for ourselves, for each other; we are the love given to us by family, friends, soul-mates and that warm hello on a hard Monday morning. We are the bravery that pushes us to get up to face another day, to say that we are worthy: to live and to be noticed and loved. It is because of our dauntlessness that we are able accept all that we are, to not push through our difficulties and shut away emotion, but to take them as a part of who we are and learn to live, not simply survive.

Reality is such a hard thing to pin down. But I’d like to think that reality is internal, and that we are conflicted, upset, furious and despairing when we take up an external reality, a reality that we have somehow convinced ourselves is the truth and the only truth worth living.  But that is not the case. We are bound by our perceptions of right and wrong, possible and impossible, and it is up to us to recreate our boundaries of what we can do, or to cast them aside all together.

We are all shooting stars, dormant under the rocks of our own self-doubt, waiting for clear skies overhead so we can dance across the aerial planes, blazing a trail of our own around the moon. But those skies will never be clear; there will always be other stars, some brighter, larger, some with a dimmer shine and shorter tails. But this is not a competition, to see who can go the highest, the furthest into the atmosphere. We are shades in a mosaic – of immortal happiness.

Hopefully, I have just imparted to you one of the greatest secrets of the world; the secret of becoming. We are not bound by our moulds, by our bodies nor by our minds. If you have passion, and the drive of desire, you can be whatever you set out to be. You can set whatever goals you will, and reach them. You can do anything.

It is hard to say who we are. Because we are anything and everything.

– Kima Hazelwood

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That’s a wrap from us folks! From all of us here at Cougars With Quills, we hope you have a restful and blessed summer break. We’ll see you in September with a new team and exciting new posts!

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Goodbye to CCH

Cougars with Quills had a great first year! Instrumental to our success was the leadership and talent of our Grade Twelve bloggers. Below is their last post…

I wish to say thank you to all my fellow students, teachers, and everyone else who has supported me through my three years at CCH. The skills I’ve learned and the people I’ve met will be invaluable my entire life and I am proud of my choice to attend CCH for high school. For the entire Grade Twelve graduating class, even though we go our own ways after this summer, we will always belong to the CCH community. It is this community and its atmosphere that I will always miss after I leave. Thank you CCH.

– Jules

(It’s been a slice Jules. Sorry we couldn’t swing that relationship advice column.)

For the past three years, CCH really has been a home to me. I can remember in Grade 10, thinking that I was just going to get through high school, and not really get involved. Boy, what a joke that turned out to be. In all honesty, though, I am so glad that things turned out the way that they did. All my hours put into the school really gave me the opportunity to make great friends, and great memories, and these are things that I will hold onto and cherish for the rest of my life. Here’s to all  my teachers, all my peers, all my friends: you were the ones who made it worthwhile. So long, farewell CCH, it’s been a slice.

– Baylee

(Thank you for your professionalism and humble maturity Baylee. You were a great ambassador for the blog.)

Unlike my fellow Grade 12 compatriots, I am technically not leaving! Though I will be continuing my studies overseas, in Japan (Grade 11 here I come), I will remain registered for a Grade 13 at CCH. So, while I will be leaving, I will be staying, too.

While this past year has been my greatest of the three, I have spilled a lot of tears and yelled some questionable things as a result of classes, teachers, students, etc., I am overjoyed to be leaving, to finally jump away from high school (sort of) and all of its absurdity and stress. At the same time, there are so many whom I will miss dearly, subjects and spaces that I will most certainly feel bereft without. So, I’m not sure whether this is a sorrowful goodbye, or a watch-my-squealing-tires-kick-up-dust-as-I-dash-into-a-better-future kind of goodbye. I think I will liken it instead to baking chocolate, to pander to my love of awful metaphors. On its own, I wouldn’t really enjoy eating it. However, when shaved and sprinkled on half-baked brownies, making them moist and chewy and all things good, I find that there is nothing better. My high school experience has been much the same – too sweet if I only looked at the good, picture-perfect and directed for pre-teens late-afternoon TV specials, and if I only remembered the bad, I would probably decide to become a hermit, having lost all my faith in humanity.

So together, I do believe that I have spent a rather fulfilling few years of high school. My only regret is now knowing that I could have made the first two years so much better, so much more enjoyed. High school will not be great for you on its own – I believe that for it truly to be something that you look back on fondly, to be “some of the best years of our lives”, you have to set out with the intention to make it so. To lovingly quote my loving grandfather, “Who decides?”

Farewell CCH!

– Kima

(Good luck in Japan, Kima! Keep writing, and please continue to visit the blog from afar.)

There you have it folks -some of the most talented, intelligent, kind student leaders of CCH – and I had the distinct privilege to work with them this year. Please join me in thanking them for their wonderful insights and the hard work they put into this blog.

– Mrs. Hartman

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What We Learned From Blogging

We asked our Grade Eleven bloggers to share their blogging experience this year as a test to see if they want to come back for next year. (Thankfully, they do.) We are still looking for current Grade Ten bloggers to join our team! Let these seasoned veterans show you how its done:

I have learned many things about being a blogger for CCH; there are many responsibilities that need to be taken on. At one point in the year I became so overwhelmed with the stress of everything to the point where I was almost making myself sick. I had missed an entire week of school, there was a novel study to be done, two group projects I had to complete alone and an entire unit of Biology to teach myself. On top of everything, I had to write a blog post, and do an interview for it! Everything got mixed up, times and dates, and the teachers probably had more to do than me, yet they still agreed to do an interview. I kept stressing about getting things done, questions and answers got lost, e-mails didn’t work, but somehow, in the end, I managed to stop worrying so much that things were not always going to be perfect. You can’t do everything all the time. Being a blogger is something that is fun, not something to worry sick about. Not being able to do everything is okay, just make sure to let the team know what you’re going through. After all, we are a team and we are meant to help each other.

– Nicole.

(And that we did. Other bloggers stepped up to the plate to help a struggling blogger.)

The number one thing that I’d say I’ve learned from the blog would probably be focusing on tone. Rather than just being a regular thing where I submitted the exact same format on a  slightly different topic each time, I found that I had to adjust my use of tone to better suit some of the articles. Some of them honestly felt stiffer to me, and I had to reread them just to make sure I wasn’t an old man. By contrast, there were more than a few that I thought were too casual, and ended up getting A LOT of editing. It really varies from article to article on what tone fits, and in some cases, it can make or break the entire feel of the post.

– Adam

(Brilliantly said, Adam. It’s like the editor is your English teacher, or something.)

I’ve learned a couple of things. I’ve learned the importance of deadlines, and how to set up your schedule so you don’t end up missing them. I’ve also learned that things don’t always go as planned, and sometimes you need to regroup and start over. Even the best laid plans go awry.

I’ve learned that you need humour in everything you write. A little bit of humour keeps your audience interested, and brightens up the page.

And I’ve learned that when things come to a stand-still, sometimes the best thing you can do is write. Just keep on writing meaningless words until something clicks. Sometimes the words you thought were meaningless were the ones you had been searching for all along.

– Kyra

“Just write, just write, just write. In the middle of the world, make one positive step. In the centre of chaos, make one definitive act. Just write. Say yes, stay alive, be awake. Just write. Just write. Just write.”  – Natalie Goldberg

Throughout the trials and the huge learning curve that came with this year’s venture, we thank you bloggers for just writing.

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