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What it Takes to be a CCH Blogger

Even though quarter 4 just started, I’m taking this opportunity to actively recruit new bloggers for the 2017-2018 school year.

But before I get into the particulars about what I’m looking for, I thought I’d have some of our current bloggers inspire you! Here’s what they have to say about being a blogger for Cougars With Quills:

Victoria: To be a blogger, you need motivation to write. If you don’t, you’ll be left sitting at a blank computer screen, unable to form a sentence that you like. But if you actually have the motivation and intent to write, then it is no longer a task, it’s enjoyable. The words effortlessly flow onto the page. Then afterwards, you appreciate it much more.

Charlène: Many would think that blogging is for those who will change their entire schedule to be able to be in an English Honours class and are always seen with their nose in a book. Perhaps to some, the stereotype may be accurate, but a basic knowledge of English vocabulary (thks mrs hartman four korrecting me) and a love for rants will suffice. By joining Cougars With Quills you will learn how to eat four to five slices of pizza without anyone noticing how much of a pig you truly are, and laugh unexpectedly at hilarious jokes. Honestly, if you are hesitating, just give it a try. In my last two years on the team, I discovered the art of writing freely without the pressure of grades and had the chance to create connections with teachers. Between interviewing previous CCH valedictorians, writing Mr. Wikenheiser’s life story, and ranting on how fantastic my exchange in Japan was, my experience being a blogger was anything but dull.

Chloe: As a member of the CCH blog for the past three years I can assure you that joining Cougars With Quills is by far the best decision you will ever make. It will completely change your life, as you will subsequently become incredibly good looking, popular, and rolling in mad cash. Okay, well, maybe not… but what I CAN assure you is that you will receive copious amounts of free food, endless laughs, and of course the ability to freely express your thoughts on the World Wide Web. Pretty cool right? And did I mention that “Two Guys Pizza” is a frequent staple at all blog meetings?

So what have I learned from being a part of the blog over the last three years? Well to start, be yourself. Yes, as cheesy as it is, have confidence in how you express yourself; don’t be afraid to say exactly what’s on your mind. (Well, maybe not exactly.) Second, never underestimate the power of procrastination. It can be both a blessing and a curse. Sometimes it results in a lack of creative juices, other times, you surprise yourself with just how well you can write in the crammed span of 30 minutes. Either way, don’t stress too much; Mrs. Hartman has always been super accommodating and understanding in regards to our busy teenage lives. That being said, send your posts in on time. Lastly, I’ve learned to look at writing as more than just a chore, or something to earn me marks. That’s right! I genuinely enjoy writing these posts. It’s given me the opportunity to voice what I’m thinking without really having to connect to any “assignment topic”, and there’s something very real and enjoyable about that. Anyways, my advice for those of you thinking about joining the blog is short and simple: DO IT.

The Cougars With Quills team is actually quite small (no more than nine bloggers in total), but these nine students need to be dedicated, self-motivated, and responsible members. Because a lot of our work is done in the cloud (we only have about four face-to-face meetings in the school year), a basic knowledge of Google Docs and Drive, a cell phone number, and a reliable attitude are all the tools you need.

If you’re interested in joining the team for next year, please come see me at Campus West, or email me at hartmant@holyspirit.ab.ca.

  • Mrs. Hartman

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One Last Prompt for 2016

I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions. While I can appreciate the tradition, and will commend people’s desire to make improvements in their lives, I like to go-with-the-flow a little more, rather than lock myself into a commitment that must start on January 1st. Also, I hate exercise.

The one tradition I do have for myself that takes place at the start of a new year, is to reflect back on how I’ve grown over the last twelve months. And because I am a passionate journaler it’s relatively easy for me to do so.

For any student who has been in my English class, you may be familiar with my/our daily reflective writing. Yes, these daily reflections are important for us in a schooling context (curriculum, metacognition, mental set, concept attainment, exam preparation, [insert a lot more jargon here], etc.), but more importantly, for me – for all of us – is that we are engaging in daily conversations with ourselves. Who are we in this moment? What are our dreams and fears? What are we struggling with, and how are we working through it? What are we grateful for?

During the Christmas break, I will open up the journals I have filled over the past year and read through them. I’ll probably grimace and wrinkle my nose at some parts (Who is this grouchy person, anyway?) or feel a wave of pride and heart warmth at other parts (Who is this brilliant woman, and how can I get her to be President of the World?).

The short answer is me. All of those people are me.

I am always surprised when I read through my past entries. It’s very easy to forget things, and with the fresh eyes that are now outside of these past experiences, I can study that Teri Hartman and see how far she’s come. And by doing this faithfully for the past five years, I have learned so much about who I am. Those Ancient Greeks were on to something when they said, “Know thyself.”

And so, if I may, I’d like to encourage all of you, to take some time over the Christmas holidays and think about (and possibly even write about) the person you have been in 2016. Studying yourself is perhaps the most fascinating and worthwhile subject of all, and the learning never stops.

Have a restful, blessed Christmas.

  • 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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Santa’s Anonymous 2016

Christmas’ arrival is right around the corner and all of us are excited for the spirit and break that it offers, but for some, Christmas is a reminder of what is missing rather than what they have. There are people living in Lethbridge, closer to us than we may think, that can’t afford Christmas this year. Since financial difficulty can be a reality that is especially present in winter time, Lethbridge has many organizations that reach out to help those in need.

Santa’s Anonymous is an organization within our CCH community that seeks to provide opportunities for a full and happy Christmas experience for as many families as possible. Through fundraising events like the 24-hour fast in November, the pumpkin sales in October, as well as the donations made from our generous sponsors, Santa’s Anonymous will be able to help some struggling families provide gifts and Christmas dinner for their children. As a collective, all those who were a part of Santa’s Anonymous have already bought and wrapped many gifts for children and families in need and we are getting ready to deliver them in these last few weeks before Christmas. In addition to the gifts, Santa’s Anonymous will provide food according to the specific needs of each family for a Christmas dinner and more. Some of these families may struggle to provide food daily and so a Christmas dinner may be out of reach, but with the help of our volunteers they will have a happy and full Christmas this year.

The Santa’s Anonymous hamper assembly and delivery will be on December 20th next week and as a part of the Santa’s team, I can tell you for certain that we are in need of prayers to strengthen us for our busy day. We will be assembling food and gifts according to the list of families we are able to give to and then delivering everything directly to those families. With Christmas so close, we get caught up easily in the shopping, schoolwork and commercial aspects of the season, but we need to remember to reach out to those who struggle to make Christmas a happy time in their lives. Thank you for your support throughout the year as well as your thoughts and prayers on December 20th for those involved and those who will receive the hampers.

God Bless and Merry Christmas.

  • Hannah

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Hannah Couture is a grade ten student at CCH. She has a love for reading good books and for writing. When she’s not reading or writing, you’ll find her analyzing music and watching Montreal Canadiens’ games on TV. She’s brand new to CCH, but so far her favourite thing is Flex time and being in the Honours classes.

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Mid-Term Tips

We are only four weeks in the year and it is already midterms season! How is that possible? Where did all the time go? A month ago we were still lazily enjoying the sun outside and now we have to start reviewing all our notes snuggled up in an oversized hoodie with a pack of kleenex in close reach. Midterms come so fast it is easy to panic, but please don’t! As a grade twelve student, I was able to accumulate some tips and tricks on how to pass your midterms with success, without breaking a sweat (or almost). 

  • BE GRATEFUL

We are four weeks in the quarter and those midterms are coming too fast for your liking. Remember this: you are only reviewing four weeks of material. Imagine if you had to remember some weird formula you learned over two months ago? That’s right, it would for sure be harder.

  • PLAN AHEAD

Okay, so your midterm is on Friday and it is already Tuesday. You should have probably started studying a week ago but now you don’t have time to reminisce on the past. Take out your planner. You have four chapters to study and only three nights? Study two chapters a night and keep the last day to review all the material. Make a to-do list if you need to. Personally, crossing out things I accomplished motivates me to work. Write down everything: what you have to study, the review package, the concepts you don’t really get and all your extra homework on the side. Now don’t forget to stick to your schedule and do not leave anything to the last minute.

  • KKNOW YOURSELF

As a high school student, you’ve already taken too many tests. But, do you know how to you remember the information? How does it “pop” in your head while answering a question? I am a visual and auditory learner. I could tell you where I wrote down the information in my notes or better yet, I can remember the teacher’s joke before she talked about quadratic equations. Associations are one of my main tricks to retain difficult knowledge. Anything works to remember. Learn best how you retain your notes and apply it. If studying in groups is your thing, don’t hesitate to call some friends and meet up after school to study. It can be quite fun and your friend may be able to help you understand concepts you didn’t quite get.

  • FLEX TIME

Our long lunch isn’t only there to be able to go to the west side and still have time to stop at Starbucks to get your pumpkin spice latte. It is very valuable time to study, or have your little study session with some friends. That hour break can also be used to ask your teacher some questions on the material you reviewed the night before and don’t quite fully understand yet. You may even be guided in your studying as he or she may say “don’t worry, it’s not important”. It is by far my most valuable tip. Use that flex time efficiently.

  • BE MENTALLY SERENE

Remember that it is only a midterm. It is the perfect time to see what you know and what you don’t know before the scary real deal: the final. Do not worry. You prepared yourself and you are ready. The night before your exam, review once more all your notes and after that, go pamper yourself. Watch a movie, drink hot tea, play video games, read a book, take a bath, or simply go to bed extra early. No matter what, you shouldn’t go to bed late even if it is to study longer. You will only be extra stressed out and it is more likely that you will forget some information.

Go hit your books tonight. A little bit every night makes a big difference! I tried every method. Another tip before I leave you to your textbooks, is to study at least five times a week. Even if it is for fifteen minutes and there is no big exam in sight. This makes the difference between the good student and the excellent one. It also helps you cope with stress and unexpected events.

Good luck!

  • Charlène

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Charlène Golsteyn is a grade twelve student at CCH. She enjoys overbooking her schedule with the many clubs, events, and sports offered at CCH. If she is not doing something with the school, you might find her drawing portraits of her (kinda) cool friends, playing around with E. Coli, or simply talking to her best friend while on the floor eating Nutella by the spoon. Her goal this year is to accomplish everything on her top secret bucket list and leave behind a legacy.

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Fall Activities Update

Fall is one of the busiest times of the year; well, for a CCH student at least! Not only are us students still adjusting to the homework and early mornings, there are numerous clubs and sports to join as well. Out of the loop? Not to worry, as a super cool and majestic grade twelve student, it is my duty to fill you kiddies in!

Sports? Well, let’s state the obvious: football. It’s a little too late to join but you can always pop by the University of Lethbridge stadium to cheer on the Cougars (dress up in Cougar blue to get in for free if it is a home game). Don’t worry, if you’re not a big fan of football CCH has other sports during the fall season too, like volleyball and cross country. Don’t be afraid to talk to any of the athletics teachers like Mr. Wik or Miss. Nordlee to get involved, whether it’s by watching, playing, or joining Athletic Leadership!

If you’re not a sports junkie, there are endless activities to get involved with at CCH. For starters, there is Art Club. No matter what level you are at, Mr. Hogan will happily take you in at flex to expand your knowledge and creativity in the artistic department.  Or maybe you want to show the world how well (or terribly) you can sing; Mrs. Christensen will turn you into a concert choir pro once again, no matter what level you are at!

The great thing about CCH is that there are endless opportunities to turn us into the best versions of ourselves we can be, whether its sitting back with friends, painting in the art room, or running 5km at cross country practice. Be bold and make the most out of this autumn!

  • Bella

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Bella Purvis is a grade twelve student at CCH. She lives for dancing any type of dance, reading, playing the ukulele, acting (to help her dance performing skills), and running stairs in the evenings. She’s a vegetarian and loves to cook. She also has a cute little dog named Chester that wakes her up every morning for school. Her favourite things about CCH are all of the activities available to get involved with the school.

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