Monthly Archives: February 2016

Take Advantage of the Extra Day

Well, guys, you may have come into 2016 thinking it was just another year, nothing special about it at all. However, that would be considered incorrect because this year is a Leap Year which means we get one extra day at the end of this month. You may now be plagued with thoughts of what to do all those extra hours and my suggestion to you is to do something extra in our CCH community.

It is not too late to join a club such as Athletic Leadership or Student Council. You and a group of friends could come out and support the arts by watching Beauty and the Beast that is running from March 3-March 12. You could also help out the crew or front of house for the play. Be sure to take part in the CCH Blood Drive throughout the month of March. (You have a whole extra day to create more blood!) There are always basketball games or badminton matches to watch, and keep an eye open for tryouts for baseball and slo-pitch.

For one last way to take advantage of the extra day a leap year provides, why not learn some facts about leap year?

  • There is a leap year on the years that are divisible by 4. The exception to this (Isn’t there always an exception?) are on the years that are also divisible by 100 and not divisible by 400. There are even more rules, but that’s too much math.
  • It was Julius Caesar who introduced leap years.
  • It is also St. Oswold’s Day, who was an archbishop of York.

Happy extra day!

  • Kaitlyn


Kaitlyn Stolte is a grade eleven student at CCH. She enjoys hanging out with friends, binge-watching Netflix, and telling terrible jokes. Her favourite thing about CCH is the three-hour classes.

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Anti-Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day: a holiday fueled by capitalism and created by companies that feed on women’s insecurities. I’m kidding, of course, although sometimes you can’t help but wonder what all the hype is really about.

Valentine’s Day is that one day a year you’re supposed to go all mushy and show your significant other just how much you care. And for you single people out there (AKA: the other 57% of the human race), well, you just get to feel bad about yourself because the only date you’ll have on February 14th is one with your laptop, and if you’re lucky enough, a good tub of Ben and Jerry’s.

Why is it necessary to have a specific day where you’re supposed to demonstrate your affection towards someone? There are 364 other perfectly good days that could (and should) be used to let your partner know you care. I mean, come on people! Can’t we be a little more spontaneous here, or do we really need an assigned day to do such activities? I’m not hating on Valentine’s Day because I’m bitterly single or anything. I just don’t seem to understand what the big deal with this day is. I mean, pink and red heart-shaped stuff everywhere…what’s the point? The shape of the heart we so commonly use isn’t even anatomically correct and why the heck do we discriminate all the other cool colours, like blue, or maybe green? What did poor ol’ blue and green do to anyone? They could be romantic colours if they wanted to be, but no one ever gave ’em a shot.

OK, so maybe I’m going off on a bit of a tangent here, but my point is, isn’t Valentine’s Day just a little overrated? Before I end my post, here are a few facts about this infamous day that may make you think twice about how great Valentine’s Day really is:

Fact #1: In the two-week period leading up to Valentine’s Day, North American sales of gold jewelry lead to 34 million metric tons of waste. (Is destroying the environment romantic? I think not.)

Fact #2: St. Valentine was beheaded on February 14th for performing marriages in secret. So, really, we’re celebrating death.

Fact #3: And lastly, candy hearts taste like…well, for lack of a better word, crap.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone…I guess.

– Chloe

Chloe Devoy is a grade eleven student at CCH. She enjoys playing hockey and soccer, and running cross-country for the CCH team. Her favourite thing about CCH is the variety of extra-curricular activities.

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A Story From the Marking Floor: A Quarter 3 ‘Pick-Me-Up’ of Sorts

I have just returned (along with Mrs. Gardner and Mr. Cox) from marking English Part A Diploma Exams in Edmonton. While the adage “What happens on the marking floor, stays on the marking floor” is usually well-respected, I thought I’d provide a little contextual information to combat any false rumours.

Firstly, I have to state that it is a good thing when your teachers go mark diploma exams. It’s an excellent opportunity to network with other teachers, to “recalibrate” our application of the provincial standard, and to fine-tune our own assessment skills– all of which is a direct benefit to you.

Having said that, it is also a gruelling, brain and bum-numbing time. The food is…tolerable (to be mild), the chairs are a few degrees shy of being an instrument of torture, and there isn’t a single day off. There were moments when I found myself longing to just stare out the window for awhile, especially when I heard the birds chirp outside, and on some afternoons, the sun’s rays would wash over my head – like a baptism by warm light – all while I was reading my 70th critical response about Death of a Salesman.

And if fate is on our side, we will be at a table with others that like to snack as often, and as poorly, as we do.


Whatever gets us through…

Each paper in each booklet is treated with the utmost care. If we aren’t sure about a score, we have another set (or multiple sets) of eyes take a look at it. We discuss, we pore over the rubric, we rationalize, we justify, and then we ultimately have to bubble our decision in pencil.

I had a first-time marker at my table this session, and on a few occasions, she would flutter her hands up and down and quietly exclaim, “I think I’ve got a good one!” Then she would fold her hands together under her chin, lower her head closer to the booklet, and grin as wide as the Cheshire cat. It was as if she was watching the birth of a magical puppy. She was adorable.

It’s true. When we read a good one – a really good one – we can’t contain our contentment. While reading the paper, we are quiet and unsuspecting because of our concentration, but after we’re finished, while we flip the pages back, we gently recline in our chair and absolutely must vocalize our admiration. My table leader’s catch phrase for this moment was, “That was LOVELY.” When it happened to me, I sat in that “peace” for a few seconds before making a move. It’s like savouring a rich dessert.

Ultimately, despite the physically draining reality of marking diploma exams, it’s the joy and pride expressed by the teachers while your hard work delights them, that makes it all worthwhile.

And that’s a secret from the floor that I don’t mind revealing.

  • Mrs. Hartman












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

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