Monthly Archives: June 2017

If I Were Shakespeare, This Would be a Couplet

Good morning, Oki, Bonjour and Konnichiwa Catholic Central Community.

Thanks to Mrs. Hartman and “Cougars With Quills” for inviting me to submit a blog post on the occasion of my graduation from Catholic Central.  Shakespeare liked to end his Acts with a beautifully succinct couplet – two lines that effectively summarized the preceding events.  Would that I had Shakespeare’s talent.  This one is going to be a little longer.

I have been a teacher for longer than most of my students have been alive.  That truly is the definition of life-long learning.   After that length of time, one should have managed to internalize a few lessons. 

The first lesson, to use the words of the writer Robertson Davies, is simply this:  It does no good to be afraid.  In other words,  Be Brave.  Anxiety is not the same thing as fear; anxiety is nature’s way of telling us that we need to be prepared because something unique or new or unexpected is happening.  Anxiety will remind you to make some preparations, to ask for advice and to proceed with a degree of caution.  Fear is different.  Fear paralyzes our will and prevents us from action.  So I say again – Be Brave.  Don’t be afraid to fail, to make mistakes, to look foolish.  Try new things.  Stand up for what you believe.  Speak out when you see injustice.  Take on challenges and try something new even if you don’t know the outcome.  At CCH, you are part of a community who will support you,  and I hope we’ve taught you a little about the importance and power of prayer.  The Universe was designed to work.  Don’t be afraid to discover all its infinite possibilities for you.

The second lesson: Details matter.  When we talked to you about “striving for excellence” or being held to a higher standard, we were talking to you about the importance of paying attention to details – or recognizing that “good enough” is not enough.  (If you were at the closing Mass, you can insert the Van Halen and M and Ms story here.)  So – when I made your lives difficult over things like hats, and cell phones, and dress code, and being late – it’s because I want you to be more than just “good enough”.  It is a competitive world out there and the fine details matter – like saying “Please” and “Thank-you”, cleaning up your table in the cafeteria, being on time, being respectful during prayer or moments of silence.  When you pay attention to those details, you show your best self. 

The last lesson:  Everyone you meet in your life has something to teach you.   That means that every person you meet has a gift for you and, in return, you are teaching others, whether you realize it or not.  Ideally, it’s a positive lesson – someone models for you an action or says something wise and memorable.  Sometimes, it’s a negative lesson- one that leaves us thinking, “I’ll NEVER be like that”.  Either way, everyone you meet can teach you something,  and, by the way, I mean – meet face-to-face- not through (anti-) social media.  If you recognize that everyone has a gift for you, then you will automatically treat each person you encounter with respect and compassion.  You will see that every person is truly a potential teacher and student, and you will be more likely to grow from your experience.  One of the most cherished memories I will take of my years here at CCH are the many  gifts and teachings I have received from the students I encountered every day. 

Like the graduates, in September I’m going to be in a new place, surrounded by a  different culture, hopefully learning a new language and taking the first steps on the next part of my life.  Thanks to the CCH community, I can do that without fear, with a focus on excellence and with a lot of gifts that I know will help me on my journey.  I hope you can all say the same, when it comes time for you to move on from CCH.

May the Lord bless you and keep you all, safe in the palm of His hand.  You have made 37 years seem like a couplet.  Thanks.  It was fun.

  • Carol Koran

carol grad

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Farewell to CCH – 2017

Dear CCH,

I am well aware that in less than  20 days, I will be leaving these halls as a student… forever. Although I know this to be true (as clearly I am writing about it), the fact still hasn’t quite kicked in yet. It seems like just yesterday I was shuttling between campuses and struggling to find my classes on the first day of each quarter… and now that I finally no longer have to take the shuttle and have become quite familiar with these halls, they kick me out!

In all seriousness, my time spent at CCH will be cherished forever. I have learnt many important things here. For one, a math teacher’s calculator is as precious to them as a child. Secondly, the biology teachers keep some nasty eye balls in formaldehyde in the back of their classrooms. (*gags*) And lastly, that teachers can be nearly just as ridiculous as their students… you are who you teach, or so they say.

So I guess this is goodbye CCH. It really hasn’t sunk it yet that I’m actually getting out of here. I guess I won’t believe it until I am truly free and taken captive by another educational institution. Sayonara, old friend.

  • Chloe

 

So this is it. This was high school. There will be no more obnoxiously loud cheering for the Cougars, no more hanging out in the cafeteria exchanging memes or arguing over politics, no more rides between the west and the east campus or pit stop at Timmy’s to replenish our energy with sugar. No more mandatory 8:00 AM classes or morning prayers. No more “buddy” from Mr. Jetten or kind words from Mrs. Leroux. No more admiring Mrs. Polec’s forever flawless fashion sense or hearing Mrs. Koran’s quarterly announcement with the famous “Hello, Oki, Bonjour and Konnichiwa…”.

Yes they were all right; this is bittersweet.

Perhaps the one thing I will miss the most is simply the class of 2017. Every single one of you. My best friends, my friends, my fellow classmates and the ones I crossed in the hallway every single day. I will miss seeing your faces and hearing your stories…what makes every single one of you so special and different. I wish you all the best and I cannot wait to hear what amazing things you achieve.

As I am writing this farewell, all the memories and achievements from these past three years flow into my mind. I remember entering CCH for the first time and sitting down in Mr. LeBleu’s Science 10 class knowing close to no one and with very precarious English. I was fourteen years old, without a learner’s license, and no self confidence.

Today, I came back from a national speech competition and wore my grad dress for the second time to attend the French Immersion graduation ceremony. This is just to show that CCH is a school that will bring out the best and support every single one of their students. CCH taught me the art of badminton, how to correctly swing a bat, gave me the opportunity to meet Buzz Aldrin and Martin Luther King the third, participate in a finance competition and a national science fair,  go to Banff twice to join in a Leadership focused trip, sustain my French while teaching me how to write a critical essay in the language of Shakespeare, and travel to Japan. (Yes, do not worry, I did also study!) CCH forever and always pushed my limits and challenged me to think bigger, better and in a creative fashion while always having other individuals in mind. Thank you CCH.

And so, farewell. I will be back, I am sure of it, but not as a student. You have become my second home.

And like any good friend or family member, it is hard to say goodbye. However, by leaving, I know students will come after me, writing their farewell on Cougars with Quills, remembering all the great memories they have made in those two campuses. They, too, will find themselves and who they wish to become. All of this because of the staff and teachers that are so attentive.

Thank you, and au revoir.

  • Charlène

Editor’s note: It has been an absolute joy to work with these two fine young ladies. They dedicated three energetic and fun-filled years to the Cougars With Quills team. You will be missed. – Mrs. Hartman

 

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