Category Archives: Grade Twelve

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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Coming Soon

I’ll begin this blog post with a “not so well-worded” statement that, quite frankly, describes exactly what I have been thinking as of recently. “HOLY CRAP I’M ACTUALLY GRADUATING!” I mean, I knew it was coming, but after these past three years it somehow managed to sneak up on me. So here I am, one month away from grad, concerned with what shoes I should wear and how to style my hair, when really I should be concerned with what the heck I am going to be doing with my life next year!

The reality of it is, we are all so close to being done with this chapter of our lives. Some of us (like me) might be unsure of what’s ahead while others have already found the path in which they will travel down. Either way, despite everyone’s difference, as of recently there has been a certain indescribable “unity” amongst the grade twelve students here at CCH. Perhaps it’s because we’re all so excited finally be done, or maybe, despite all the stresses of the last three years, we’re all a little sad to leave this place. For the longest time I could not have been more excited about the future that lay ahead, but now that it has finally arrived, I can’t help but feel a little apprehensive.

The truth is, there’s something I don’t mind about waking up at 6:00 just to try and catch the bus in time for school (mainly because I’m a loser that still hasn’t gotten her license). I just might miss those blue plastic chairs I’ve come so used to sitting on over the past twelve years. I’ll even miss having teachers constantly reminding you of due dates and what to study, because this truly is the end of having someone who will hold your hand through the “hardship” of school.

Despite much of my unnecessary complaining about homework, deadlines, and of course trigonometry, I will truly miss this place and although I do not want to leave, a tearful goodbye is coming at the end of the next few months.

  • Chloe

dsc_0892Chloe Devoy is a grade twelve student at CCH. She enjoys writing, skating, and running for the cross-country team. Her favourite thing about CCH is being part of the extra-curricular activities.

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The Art of Letting Go

Some folks say that school isn’t like real life, and I think there is some legitimacy to that statement. As my husband and I are both teachers, in our household, the vibrancy of a New Year feels more true in September, rather than January. But at CCH, the quarter 3 turnover– even though it’s just shy of one month after the turn of the year– is an even more heady reminder of the reality of passing time. At this stage, we’ve made it halfway through this school year’s go-around, and as such, it’s only natural for us to want to pause and ponder for a moment. In fact, we do this quite frequently. In just a few weeks it will already be midterm, and then we’ll soon be moving on to the fourth quarter, and so on and so forth…circle of life, hakuna matata, etc.

However, this four-cycle shift that we experience in the quarter system can be tricky. To be honest, I’m feeling rather disoriented and lost at this most recent corner because I’m mourning the end of my time with a most excellent ELA 30H group, and I think this sense of loss that I feel isn’t just me being overly sentimental. Speaking from a teacher’s experience, the quarter system can be especially hard on our hearts. Sometimes we feel like we’re just starting to connect with a class, and then whoosh, we’re marking their final projects and exams, and off they go onto the next set of courses.

For me, this constant turning a corner can be even more confusing because it may seem like I’m moving forward, but in a lot of ways, I’m in the same place. Case in point: I am always teaching people that range from age 14-18. The students never age. Forgive me for waxing philosophical, but while their youthfulness never fades, I, “[burdened,] crawl toward death” with each passing year. (My 30Hs should appreciate that allusion!) Melodramatic as that sentiment may be, it’s true. My pop culture references are fading in relevancy, my hair is greying ever more readily, and my ability to come up with another phrase to complete this parallel structure is, well, not as sharp as it used to be.

I never thought I would be the type of person to dig in at the changing of the tides, but dang it, the waves are getting higher and more precarious to ride. Clearly, I haven’t mastered the art of letting go. And despite my “[raging] against the dying of the light”, the sun still sets every day, and I have to build a new quarter calendar, even if I don’t feel ready.

I suppose I should take this nature motif more to heart. Life is seasons. Life means change. All of us at CCH experience this every quarter. And, like most of the characters in the literature I teach, it’s through struggle and loss that I learn the most. I will get better at letting go, and learn to love again.

  • Mrs. Hartman

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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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Post-Grad Feelings

As the only grade twelve member of our blogging team, I have the dubious honour of reflecting upon the fact that we have just graduated. We’re done! Except…not really. With another 2+ weeks of school left, it’s tough to get back into things after such a final celebration. Who wants to write essays anymore, now that we’ve graduated? Certainly not me.

But, we’ve got to push past those feelings. We’re on the final stretch, the last leg of the race that is high school. Now is the time to sprint to the finish, and give it your all, rather than walking the last mile. Don’t throw away all your progress now. Continue to work hard for just three more weeks, and then finish your celebrations. You’re not done yet. We’re not done yet.

The reality is, we are so close to being done. Some of us are moving on to further our formal education, others starting careers in the trades. Still others have no clue yet what they want to do with their life, and who they want to be. That’s okay–you’ll figure it out.

To steal a quote from every speech the graduates heard on grad weekend, “Look how far you’ve come.” I know, I know–we’re all tired of hearing these five words. But to me, it’s the perfect statement of exactly how much we’ve accomplished. From those first days walking through the doors in grade ten, huddled in small groups of friends, to today, when we walk through the doors as one family. It’s cliché, overstated, and dull–but that doesn’t make it any less true.

Most of us have spent three years at this school. We’ve bonded through shared misery, triumphs, and all the mediocre days in between. And, to brag a little, there have been many, many triumphs by our grade twelve students this year. I may not personally know all of my grad class, but we share a bond. We all suffered through the same speech at the start of the year about what we wanted our legacy to be, cried together during our harvest retreat, and celebrated together last weekend as we walked across the stage to receive our (fake) diplomas. At the Grand March, I had met no one in my group before. I had never even seen them in the hallways. And yet, when I joked about how our “legacy” should have been to be the one class that completely faked the cap toss, they laughed and we commiserated about the many ways Mrs. Koran would have made us suffer for that. They understood. We’re all just extended family, but we are family nonetheless, and I am certainly going to miss that when I go off to University in Saskatoon next year.

This will be my final post on this blog, so before I sign off, I’d like to extend a huge thank you to Mrs. Hartman, our invisible editor, for everything she’s done for me, and for this blog. She’s helped me gain so much confidence in my writing, and is a great person and great teacher.

PS: Mrs. H, good luck with your students next year, and in future years–they won’t be as awesome as my class.

  • Kaitlyn

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Kaitlyn Baron is a grade twelve student at CCH. She currently has no spare time, but fantasizes about all the reading and catching up on nerdy TV shows she’ll get to do once her schedule quiets down (in about five years). Her favourite things about CCH are the Honours and Enrichment classes and the quarter system.

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Past Valedictorians

This year Catholic Central is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and on that occasion, Cougars With Quills decided to locate some of our past valedictorians. Let’s be honest: we all wonder what happened to these bright students. On that, we decided to ask them a few questions. Here is Lindsay Amatto (Class of 2015), Quentin Golsteyn (Class of 2015), and Dr. Ian Miller (Class of 1990).

  1. Please tell me a little about yourself.

Lindsay: My name is Lindsay Amatto and I graduated in 2015. I am currently attending the University of Lethbridge working towards a degree in biological sciences. I hope to eventually pursue a career in medicine.

Dr. Ian Miller: My name is Dr. Miller and I graduated in 1990. I am a dentist at Legacy Dental.

Quentin: My name is Quentin Golsteyn. I graduated in 2015 and I am now pursuing an engineering degree at UBC in Vancouver.

 

2. What is your best memory of your high school years?

Lindsay: It’s hard to pick my best memory, but a lot of them happened on the road with the sports teams at tournaments, and making it to provincials and things of that sort!

Dr. Miller: My best memories were the friendships formed at CCH with diverse people and teachers. We didn’t have any cell phones at the time so we had to make face-to-face connections. It was somewhat harder to make friends but I believe the bonds were tighter. It was the good old days! Other than that, playing for the basketball team with my former teammates was also very memorable.

Quentin: By far, my best memory at CCH was making YouTube videos for the school’s YouTube channel. Being a videographer for the school allowed me to attend and help at practically all events organized throughout the year. However, the most memorable aspect of being a videographer was having my videos played in front of the school audience, where I had the chance to truly appreciate the importance of my work.

 

3. Are there any lessons you have learned at CCH that were surprisingly valuable?

Lindsay: Not too sure yet, but I guess time will tell!

Dr. Miller: During my high school years, I learned the importance of learning continually throughout your life. Knowledge is something you can never have too much of. High school classes give you the perfect “starter pack” for success. After this milestone, it is your own choice to continue to grow and improve your own person by learning and staying open-minded to the world we live in.

Quentin: At the beginning of our grade twelve year, Mrs. Koran gave us a speech about the year ahead. In her speech, she asked a question that truly inspired me: “What legacy are you leaving behind?” Indeed, it may be tempting to think that high school is a place where knowledge goes one way, from the teacher to the student. However, as I progressed through my studies at CCH, I realized there is also an expectation to give back to the community. This way, the school itself can learn and grow into an inclusive and rich learning environment. After high school, the same idea can still be applied in our workspace and in our postsecondary school. If we try to do our best to improve our surroundings, wherever we are, it allows us to truly make a positive impact on our everyday world.

 

4. Have you been back to CCH since you’ve graduated? If so, how has it changed?

Lindsay: This question is a little hard because it’s only been a year, but I’ve heard that that have made a lot of new clubs such as Interact. This one isn’t directly about CCH, but the development (of all the houses and new stores) around Campus West is crazy!

Dr. Miller: Since I left CCH on my last day of grade twelve in June 1990, Catholic Central has seen many changes such as a brand new campus on the west side as well as renovations. I wonder how this rich community will continue to grow.

Quentin: I have been back to visit some of my former teachers. Regarding any changes, I don’t have any in mind except the new Tim Hortons near Campus West. (Lucky students!)

 

5. What would you tell your “CCH self” today?

Lindsay: I would probably say something along the lines of (as cheesy as it is): “Never lose sight of where you came from. but always look toward your future. Always keep the values and skills you learn in your high school years (and develop on them), but know that you have so much potential and so far to go after high school.”

Dr. Miller: I would tell my former self to stress less about the future and simply enjoy the moment because your high school years do really go by quickly. University life is quite the ride, and years do fly away, so it is important to enjoy every moment. Your last game, the day you get to wear your gown, or the last time you step out of your high school as a grade 12 student will all be memorable moments, so enjoy them as much as you possibly can.

Quentin: I think if there was one thing I would tell my past high school self, it would be to stay open-minded. High school is a time of discovery and preparation for adulthood. As a high school student, it is extremely important to accept the opinion of others, to try new things, and sometimes be ready to admit defeat and change your plan when things don’t work out as expected. For me, it was that last point that was the most difficult. I never wanted to give up. While it is commendable, I think in certain occasions throughout my high school years I should have allowed myself to change my course of action. So to all graduating students, be ready to make mistakes and to realize you are maybe not going the right way. Once you accept this, you will be ready to prove yourself for success.

Congratulations to the CCH Class of 2016!

  • Charlène

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Charlène Golsteyn is a grade eleven student at CCH. She enjoys participating in many events, clubs, and sports offered at CCH. If she is not doing something with the school, you might find her working on her latest scientific experiment, painting, or trying a new French, baking recipe. Her favourite things about CCH are the incredible teachers and students that make school fun.

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Filed under CCH People, CCH People to Know, Celebrations, Grade Twelve