Category Archives: Advice Column

Welcome the New

Hello, and welcome to CCH. I am Mrs. Teri Hartman, and for this first blog post I will put on my English teacher hat in order to relay a small lesson on the power of diction. Don’t worry; it will be quick and painless and has everything to do with my main idea.

Naturally, you may be asking yourself, “Welcome the ‘New’ what, exactly?”  You may think that the title of this blog post is a grammatical error. Au contraire! I purposefully used “New” as an abstract noun, rather than as an adjective to describe something specific. If I used “new” as an adjective, then all of a sudden I’ve narrowed the what of the New you should be open to. However, my wish for you is to welcome THE New, all the New you can muster, in fact. By this, “New” becomes an abstract noun: an entity of its own to meet in this 2017-2018 school year.

Some of this New may be super exciting and fun. Maybe joining a new club will open up angles of your identity you’ve never seen before.  Or maybe meeting New people will help you create some of the closest relationships of your life.

However, some of the New may not be so comfortable. I argue, actually, that a lot of New (AKA: CHANGE) is scary. We like the familiar because we can go on auto-pilot and not really have to think too hard or risk too much. The problem with having no New is then we don’t become New, either. Think that’s not so bad? Ask yourself in twenty years if you’d like to hear your teenage advice on balancing your future career and family, or watching your future child suffer from a broken heart. If it wasn’t for my own struggle and broken heart (which I could only earn from New) I wouldn’t know how to navigate through these very real problems.

For our grade tens, they’ve already met a shade of New yesterday on the first day at CCH. And from what I’ve heard, they’ve all survived! For some of our seasoned high school students, they will still meet New when they get their first not-so-great grade, or experience their first real betrayal this year. For them, New will be a whole other discomfort to get to know.

These all sound terrifying and exactly what we don’t want to encounter. Your instinct may be to avoid and hide from New. Nonetheless, despite our best efforts, New finds us anyway. You see, the trick to not letting New chase you into the corner, is to ask it what it’s there to teach you. 

Before I take my English teacher hat off, I’ll share with you some wise words about New from the great Sufi poet, Rumi:

The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

 

It may be hard to remember to “meet [New] at the door laughing” when New seems tougher than you, but New is temporary and always changing, and will leave you with a lesson if you let it.

Keep those hearts open, folks.

  • Mrs. Hartman

Version 2

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

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Student Advice Column #2

Dear CCH’s Little Helper,

I’m in a bit of a jam right now. Starting Quarter Three, one of my friends is transferring to our school, who is really creepy. He has a crush on me, and I’ve told him “no” so many times, but he just doesn’t know when to quit. When he told me he was transferring, I didn’t know how to react. It’s going to be even more weird if he’s in my classes! Please help me. I don’t know what to do.

Signed,

Worried and Confused

Dear Worried and Confused,

I can certainly understand your consuming worry over this matter, for I myself have gone through some similar situations, though yours is unique in that he is now transferring to CCH. My first bit of advice to you is to NOT PANIC. Although many of us spend time worrying over what happened in the past or what might happen in the future, the present is the only time (if ever) for worrying. There’s no sense getting worked up over imagined situations that might not come to pass. Don’t let the fear of what’s to come consume you.

I can’t speak for how you’ve turned down this boy in the past, but if it does in fact turn out that his crush on you manifests in ways that make you uncomfortable once he has transferred, you’re going to have to be very clear with him how you feel. Sometimes, going about things gently will do more harm than good, and certain (CERTAIN) boys need to be told that their feelings aren’t accepted or reciprocated with the bluntness of a baseball bat. What I mean by this is that if he is continuing to pursue you with fervour, you will need to tell him point-blank that his behaviour is making you seriously uncomfortable and that you need him to stop. A simple, “I’m not interested,” or “no,” may not suffice. You need to try to get him to understand that his behaviour is inappropriate and that he needs to stop pursuing you. It can take a lot of courage to tell someone this, but at times, being upfront and honest and outlying your EXACT feelings about the situation may be the best solution. By getting someone to see things from your point of view, they may be more likely to desist in undesirable behaviour.

Something that might help convince him to leave you alone would be to tell him that while you’d rather solve things between the two of you, on your own, if he persists in behaviour that makes you uncomfortable, you will seek external involvement. As much as you may feel uncomfortable seeking the direct help of an adult, they can be extremely useful mediators. If you are so consumed by the unbearable emotions this is causing you to experience, getting their help will certainly be worth any reservations you have about asking them. There are people around you who are always willing to help, and if you feel that you can’t handle this situation on your own, reach to people who you feel comfortable confiding in and ask for help.

I hope that everything turns out for you in the end. Be brave and clear-headed, and I’m sure that you will come our alright.

Sincerely,

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 cchbloggers@gmail.com.

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