Category Archives: SchoolHacking

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Advice Column, SchoolHacking

Surviving the First Quarter: A Script in One-Act

{A mid-size Catholic high school in Lethbridge, Alberta. Two grade ten girls  (Addison Gatner and Alannah Crawford) are chatting about their first quarter experience at their new school.}

AG: I think surviving the first quarter … was surprising, in a number of ways, because it’s your first quarter at Catholic Central, and it’s…definitely different than anything else I’ve experienced so far.

AC: I actually didn’t feel that it was very different. I actually really enjoyed the first quarter. I enjoyed the classes especially and the new environment was really nice.

AG: Yeah.

AC: I didn’t feel like it was much different from Junior High, though.

AG: No? I think the shuttle…the shuttle part was a little bit hectic, for the first week at least.

AC: A little, yeah.

AG: It was…um…it took some getting used to, for sure. And I think when it came to the amount of schoolwork, I think it works out really well with the quarter system because the quarter system has so much more time for actually working, and really getting into the lesson, which is nice.

AC: Yeah, I completely agree. Do you have any suggestions for new students?

AG: Um… I believe that… I think the biggest problem with this first quarter was that I expected it to be so different, I started to get panicky and I think the problem there was that I expected and over-thought too much? So, if I could redo it all over again, I think I would change it. I would be less expectant and more open-minded, I guess. How about you?

AC: Um…I would just say, “go with the flow”, honestly.

AG: Yeah.

AC: Like, as long as you get used to it. It’s really easy to get into, that’s one of the good things about it. And once you start going with the flow and just relaxing, just doing what needs to be done, you can excel. And it’s pretty easy in my perspective.

AG: As long as you work hard, though.

AC: Yeah, as long as you’re willing to work.

AG: Yeah.

AC: There is work involved, it’s not that there isn’t any in school.

AG: It’s still work, but…

AC: If you’re diligent enough, you can excel easy in this system, and that’s the good thing about it. It’s that…there’s still the same amount of work but you get more time to do it.

AG: It does bring out the hard worker in you. Because you’ve got three hours to kill, and you either use it to work hard, or you slack off and never get anything done, and… oh look, are those your grades way down there? They sure are.

AC: Just do what you love, do what needs to be done.

AG: If you get really into the subject you’re learning, then it can be really great. But if it’s something that you’re bored with, time goes by very slowly and that’s not a good thing!

AC: But you should make the best of the situation and make sure to balance what you want with what needs to be done.

AG: Exactly. I think this quarter was…I think we survived it okay.

AC: I would agree.

AG: Here’s to the first quarter, and onto the second. Well, if we’re still alive, we’ll let you know.

Fin.

dsc_0951Addison Gatner is a grade ten student at CCH. In her spare time she enjoys murder mystery parties, acting, singing, reading, writing and fangirling. Currently, she is experimenting with supernatural fandom. Her favourite things about CCH is having the library right next door to Campus West and the Honours classes.

dsc_0952Alannah Crawford is a grade ten student at CCH. She enjoys reading and writing; she also loves drawing (even though she’s super bad at it). Her favourite things about CCH are her classes because she has always enjoyed learning.

Leave a comment

Filed under Grade Ten, SchoolHacking

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

DSC_0728

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under SchoolHacking

Stay Motivated!

Well, we are nearly through quarter three and motivation and willpower are dwindling. Summer is still so far away and Christmas feels like it was ages ago! Here are five sure-fire ways to stay motivated and focused through these next two weeks:

  1. Make plans with your friends but only go if you have all homework and studying finished. Make fun plans with friends like going to the movies or going out for hot chocolate dates, but only go if you complete all homework for that day/weekend. This will give you an incentive to do all your homework right away and will stop you from procrastinating. It also helps to get away and release the stress of school.
  2. Join new clubs and teams. With spring and summer right around the corner, new clubs and teams are starting up. You may also be able to join clubs that have been going for a while.  Join things like yearbook, wellness club, leadership, baseball, softball, track and field, and spring football. Getting more involved in things around school will allow you to make more friends and build relationships that could last a life time.
  3. Have mental health days. During the weekends especially, make sure you take time for yourself. Do things like sleep in, eat healthy and tasty foods, take long walks and have nice long showers. Do anything else that will make you happy. Take these days to allow yourself to be stress free and get centered. It will keep you motivated and keep you moving in the right direction.
  4. Plan study dates with your friends. Making study dates with your friends is a fantastic way to prep for upcoming exams. Even if you aren’t all taking the same courses this quarter, chances are they have taken the class you are currently taking, which means you can use their study notes! When you are crazy stressed out while studying, your friends can help you laugh and stay calm.
  5. Exercise. Exercising is a fantastic way to relax and is one of the best stress relievers. By exercise I don’t mean go and run a marathon! Exercise can be something as simple as going to the mall with friends and walking around, biking, or walking the dog. Next time you are feeling stressed, take a break and get active!

Try just one of these activities for the next two weeks and see how motivated you feel! Have a wonderful week!

– Kaitlyn

DSC_0223

 

Kaitlyn Stolte is a Grade Ten student at CCH. She loves horseback riding and writing poetry. Her favourite thing about CCH is that classes are three hours long.

Leave a comment

Filed under SchoolHacking

Focus on: The Wellness Committee

Spring marks a period of rebirth. Flowers somehow poke their way through the snow, and birds are beginning to return in order to roost on top of snow covered branches. With all of this new life flourishing, it’s fitting that our topic this week showcases one of the new groups that has been born into our school: the Wellness Committee.

Chances are, you’ve seen one of the Wellness Committee’s various projects in action. All of their projects center around the promotion of a healthy lifestyle, ranging anywhere from exercise to de-stressing students during exam week. You have the Wellness Committee to thank for Dog Therapy, which in my opinion is the only good thing about exam week. (And trust me, making a good thing come from exam week is honestly a miracle in itself.)

For a newer group, they’ve already achieved a lot. Their walking challenge (which included 36 students and staff) ended with a total of 7.5 million steps. Their Breakfast Program ran from October to early March, and fed students who had forgotten to eat every Tuesday and Thursday. (Doing the math, that’s a total of approximately 42 days providing breakfast to the students of CCH. Wow!)

They also have a lot planned for the future. During the construction of the new Recreation Center over on the West side, the Wellness Committee is going to be consulting with the City of Lethbridge on proper nutrition and fitness promotion. They are also promoting the MS Walk (which is Saturday, May 2, starting at 9AM). This helps to raise funds for the estimated 100,000 Canadians living with this disease.

Among all of the things the Wellness Committee is doing and planning, they also have  the time to run the Wellness Room on the East Side. It’s Room 106, across from the Biology Room. If you’re over on the East side this quarter, check it out!

What we do here at CCH is good, and the Wellness Committee truly reflects that through not only what I’ve mentioned here, but all of the other wonderful things that they do as well. So thank you to the Mr. Jetten, Mr. Perron, and the rest of the Wellness Committee for making our school a better place to be.

– Kyra

DSC_0200

Kyra Nicolacoupolos is a Grade Twelve student at CCH. She enjoys reading, writing, and petting small animals. Her favourite thing about CCH is being a member of Student Council.

Leave a comment

Filed under Co-Curricular, SchoolHacking