Friday, December 20, 2019

CC Gratitude Video

We asked students what they are grateful for, and the video highlights a few things they mentioned.  On behalf of all of us at CCHS, have a safe holiday season and a happy new year!

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

College Decisions & More

Winter recess is but a few days away and seniors are celebrating this snow day more than the rest of us, as the only school-related task seniors have in June is a Graduation. For them, college decisions are trickling in and they are met with excitement and cheers for some,  and disappointment and tears for others. 

At the moment, it feels like the most important thing in the entire world,  but I want you to leap ahead to the year 2039. You are now thirty-eight years old. Maybe you landed a great job in Boston, Silicon Valley, or LA. 

Perhaps it turned out differently, and you are starting another business after a few successes and failures. Or, perhaps you just finished post-graduate work, and you are getting married to the person of your dreams. Maybe you are traveling to exotic locations for pleasure, for work, for both. Possibly you are raising two, three, four children of your own. Visualize any one of these scenarios, or visualize where you hope to be at the age of thirty-eight. The present moment: good, bad, or indifferent will have far less impact than you think.  

I want to remind every student waiting with bated breath that the college you choose will not define you. If you have decided to forego college and pursue a different path, well, this post-high school decision will not define you either. You will, however, be defined by how you treat people, and what you do with the opportunities that lay ahead. 

Regardless of the path chosen, I urge you to weight this moment with proper proportion. Congratulations to all of those who received a yes from the college of their choice. I am so happy for you. Be proud. Be excited. Be humble. As poet Wendell Berry said, "you do not know the road; you have committed to a way."

 The reality is, we have made this moment in time for seniors far more significant than it warrants, and we all shoulder some of the burden for this.  

I fully recognize sitting in my position; it is easy to tell students, don't worry, it will all work out, but I honestly believe it will. If you do not get into college #1, #2, or even numbers 3, 4, or 5, it will work out; you will end up where you belong. The college that accepts you is lucky to have you, and to the ones that said no, well use that rejection as fuel to demonstrate their mistake.  

In moments like this, it is difficult, but necessary, to keep perspective. If the most devastating moment of the year is a rejection letter, then life is splendid. Know that your family and friends are proud of you, no matter what.  

I include an article written by CCHS graduate. Chao Cheng wrote the piece for the school newspaper when he was a senior. Further, I share a New York Times article I read nearly four years ago. Below is a portion of the article I find particularly poignant.  I included a portion of it below. It will all work out. I promise!

Letter to their son
Dear Matt,

On the night before you receive your first college response, we wanted to let you know that we could not be any prouder of you than we are today. Whether or not you get accepted does not determine how proud we are of everything you have accomplished and the wonderful person you have become. That will not change based on what admissions officers decide about your future. We will celebrate with joy wherever you get accepted — and the happier you are with those responses, the happier we will be. But your worth as a person, a student and our son is not diminished or influenced in the least by what these colleges have decided.

If it does not go your way, you’ll take a different route to get where you want. There is not a single college in this country that would not be lucky to have you, and you are capable of succeeding at any of them.

We love you as deep as the ocean, as high as the sky, all the way around the world and back again — and to wherever you are headed.

Mom and Dad

Frank Bruni is an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times. This essay is adapted from his book, “Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania.”

How to Survive the College Admissions Madness

On Applying to College
by Chao Cheng • October 16, 2017 • 

With the November 1st early application deadline just two weeks away, many seniors are heavily preoccupied with assembling all the required materials necessary for their applications: transcripts, essays, recommendations, the Common App, and more. During the application process, it isn’t hard to feel a sense of despair, a feeling that you really should have paid more attention during freshman year, so maybe you would have a higher GPA, and maybe then would your dream school want you. One suddenly comes to a realization that college is just around the corner, and with it comes the gateway to life as an independent adult – and that everything you’ve done with your life up until this point matters, whether it be those years of playing the violin or all those afternoons volunteering at the local community center.

Perhaps it is because, as young as we are, we have not truly been exposed to many other grand-scale issues such as maintaining a stable income, or perhaps it is because we are so excited for it. All things considered, we place a huge emphasis on going to college that is arguably unwarranted and exaggerated. It is not without reason, of course; college, and higher education in general, opens up a multitude of opportunities for one’s life. It is a place and time where one will end up with life-long friends and memories, and it is where one truly leaves the shackles of teenage life behind and embraces the world, independent at last. For these reasons, and many more, it is indeed quite important where one goes to college and what one makes of it.

But not for the purpose you think. Sure, being accepted to a prestigious institution merits joy and satisfaction, but you shouldn’t get hung up on not being able to attend the school of your dreams. College is what you make of it, and there’s not point in wistfully wondering about your life had you gone to a different school. It is a time to discover yourself and your passions, and regardless of what college you attend, you will have the opportunity to do those things and much more. As residents of Massachusetts, one of the best educated states in the US, we are already miles above the average teenager of the world. 

Wherever you end up, you can be sure that you have access to amazing resources and amazing people. And in the long run, in the scope of your entire life, whatever you will have been destined to accomplish, destined to become, is dependent on yourself, and not the college you go to. YOU define who you are, not the admissions officers at schools across the country who have no idea what you look like or what you want. College is a stepping stone to the rest of your life, and if you don’t get into your dream school, it isn’t the end – learn from it and become a better person.

Ultimately, if you take away nothing else, I hope you will keep this simple message in mind:

Don’t let your college define you… let yourself define who you are.

New Composting Program at CCHS

Composting at CCHS
Lots of new things are taking place in the CCHS cafeteria, and it's not just all the great, fresh food. 

A group of close to 50 students, supported by Ray Pavlik, Priscilla Guiney, Peter Nichol, Bryce McNeight, and of course, Fritz Prunier, started a new composting program for the cafeteria and outside of the learning commons. 

Led by Dr. Hunter, the District's Sustainability Committee is comprised of students, staff, and community members.  The CCHS composting initiative aims to reduce waste at our school.  

To educate the CCHS community, students created and delivered presentations to all CCHS students during our weekly advisory.  The presentation, a portion of which is below, provided detailed information highlighting why we need to compost, and what we can compost at school. 

Students made signs and posters, decorated compost bins, and during lunches students stationed themselves next to the bins to assist with the new trash, recycling, and composting process. 

We are excited to partner with Black Earth, a full-service compost company native to New England.  Already we have seen a 40% reduction in trash from the cafeteria since the start of the program.

Well done, all.