Monday, 23 February 2015

Up for Another Challenge?

A couple of years ago I wrote a post titled 30 Day Challenge and encouraged students to do as Matt Cutts did and add something new to their lives for thirty days. A few staff and adults inside our school rose to that challenge. This year, I'd like students to consider returning to this idea and making March a month of change. (This gives you a week to come up with an idea and commit, BTW!) It need not be big, it need not be dramatic, it just need be. For anyone willing to participate but uncertain, maybe knowing March is National Nutrition Month might help, or maybe following Matt's idea of taking a picture a day might lead you to an interesting place? Whatever. It's not as much the merit of what you do that matters most, its also simply that you say, "I will . . ." then do. Of the several things I've learned over the years, this is an important habit and character quality to develop, indeed. Good luck!

Monday, 16 February 2015

Embrace Your Inner Geek

Last week I inherited a stand up desk. It's been called everything from the "Skype Station" to "the bridge of the Star Ship YouLearn". From teachers, support staff, fellow administrators and even my family, I can't even begin to tell you the teasing I've endured! Apparently, neither it, nor I for using it, are cool. (Maybe this is why I'm not in the photo: my bruised ego hasn't yet sufficiently recovered.)

Regardless, and despite the fact that working to be cool is uncool, here is what I consider to be the absolute definition of cool, one that has stood and forever will stand the test of time:
cool (adjective / "kool") - the ability to confidently be.
Be who you are!

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Making a Difference


This year I have been learning about the Canadian Government.  I started by learning about the three levels of Government - Municipal, Territorial/Provincial and Federal.  In November I had a chance to be active with our Government when I participated in a housing demonstration during Poverty & Homelessness Action Week.  Lots of people gathered at the Legislative building.  Everybody brought boxes and we used exact-o-knives and permanent markers to make cardboard box houses to show that some people have to live like this.

Lately I have been learning about Canada's foreign relationships and about International Development.  I learned about foreign trade, which is when one country has something that is really valuable to other countries - for example: gold, fur, vegetables, oil, gas and precious metals.  I also learned about two types of trade - Free Trade and Fair Trade.

Fair trade is when the people that make the items being sold get paid a fair amount.  It also makes sure they have enough money to be treated properly and are able to keep running their business and have money to put towards things like health care and education.

Free trade means that there aren't many rules for trading. For example, Canada can sell our things to almost any country in the world. This seems really good ...but there is a bad side too.  Companies can buy items or make them cheaper in poorer countries and then sell them to other places for lots more money.  I don't think it is fair that the people who made the items didn't get paid very well for them.  It also isn't fair for the people buying the items to have to pay so much money and they might not know how badly people were paid for making the things they are buying. Finally, it's not fair for the people in Canada if jobs are given to people in other countries to make things for our Country to sell.  We need jobs here too.  From what I have learnt so far, I think Fair Trade sounds much better.

As I mentioned, something else I have learnt about while studying the Canadian Government is International Development.  February 1st - 7th is International Development Week (IDW).  This year is it's 25th Anniversary of helping support children and women’s health in poor countries.
IDW gives us the chance to celebrate the international development achievements of Canada and Canadians, especially in improving the health of women and children.

While learning this, my mom and I came across an organization called Free the Children (http://www.freethechildren.com/), which was started by Craig Keilburger when he was only 12 years old.  Free the Children helps children working in child labour to be free and it also gives money to poor families and villages.  It started when Craig Keilburger was reading the Toronto Star.  He found an article about a boy his age in child labour who spoke out.  The boy's name was Iqbal.
Iqbal Masih was born in South Asia and sold into slavery at the age of four.  In his short life, he had spent six years chained to a carpet-weaving loom.  Iqbal captured the world's attention by speaking out for children's rights.  Eventually, Iqbal's wide media coverage caught the attention of those who wished to silence him.  At 12, Iqbal lost his life defending the rights of children.  I thought that was really sad and decided to help Craig on his journey.

I decided to make a change.  I thought that if Craig Keilburger could do it when he was only 1 year older than me, I could do it too.  So, I wrote a letter to our MP, our Mayor and our Premier asking them if I could leave collection jars in their buildings to raise money for Free the Children during International Development Week.  Our MP, Ryan Leef said that I couldn't leave a jar in his building but that he would personally donate $50.  Our Mayor also said I couldn't put jars in the City buildings but instead he invited me to come as a delegate to the next City Council meeting.  I was pretty nervous, but asked my friend Magdalena Kaiser if she would help me.  Together we prepared a speech to present for City Council.  At the meeting, Mayor Curtis made a proclamation in honour of International Development Week and personally donated $100 to the cause after our speech.  Finally, the Premier said I could leave 2 jars in the Main Government building all week to collect money.  Magdalena and I also got to do our speech and ask for donations at a YDEC (Yukon Development Education Center) event about International Development.

I am very happy to say that so far we have been able to raise a total of $318 this week. We have been asked to leave our jars in the Main Government building for one more week. After that, we will send this money to Free the Children.

I am very proud of myself for doing this and I can't wait to do something like this again!

Anna Gishler

Monday, 2 February 2015

Slalom

This weekend I had a slalom race. (Slalom and Gs are two types of skiing. Gs is like big turns around the gate and are set far apart from each other. Slalom on the other hand is quick turns and are set a lot closer together than Gs gates.) There were four races this weekend two were separate the other two were combined.

I met a girl named Zoe (she is so crazy she made me look normal) and Noa (Zoe makes her look normal to). My time for the first race was 36.60 the second race time was 37.00 the first of the combined race was 34.36 the second of the combined race was 35.60.

I had alot of fun in the start area before every race for two hours, sometimes it was just me for about ten minuets then someone would come. I came in 8th the first run  second run I came 9th then for combined I came 7th.

I had tuns of fun this weekend and can't wait til the next race.