Meet Noelle, a senior at Canterbury, known for excessive amounts of school spirit, her bright green backpack, and always having a spare pencil for students to borrow. She enjoys online shopping, post-it notes, big sweaters, political debates, traveling, and eating croissants. Noelle plans to attend a four year university in the fall and is the author of this blog,
Ah, 2013. 2012 was certainly eventful, with both positive and negatives, but as we look forward to 2013, I realize that this truly is the year for new beginnings. Most notably, this is the year I graduate (eeeek). But before I bid Canterbury farewell and enter into my college years, I have compiled a list of activities that Canterbury students should complete before they take their diploma and head into their future.
So here it is, a list of things to do before you graduate (!!!):
Be in the Cage - the Canterbury Cage is one of the best, and personally my favorite, traditions at the school. For every volleyball season, students "pack the cage" as we obnoxiously chant cheers for our team (..and against the opposition). And while the beloved Cookie Chant is well known, it's important to note that upperclassmen sit at the top of the Cage whereas the underclassmen sit at the bottom. When the girl from the other team wipes out, you'll hear numerous comments from the peanut gallery, aka The Cage. It's not fun if you don't participate in the chants, however. This tradition is definitely part of the Canterbury experience and if you've never been to a volleyball game, you must make sure you get in the Cage!
Attend a School Play/Musical - the theater department is one of the best after school groups on campus. They win numerous awards at districts, perform at the State Festival, and manage to show the students and staff their pieces several times a year. If you've never been to a showcase, the fall play, or the spring musical you need to go! The theater students also go on to continue their love for acting beyond Canterbury - Kyle Tague (2012), Adrian Alea (2011), and Carl Nist-Lund (2011) are all recents alums who have pursued their thespian careers at Boston University, Columbia, and Princeton, respectively.
Get Sent to Mr. Morris's Office - This is certainly a right of passage, for even the top students at Canterbury will inevitably end up in the Dean of Students' Office. You might be out of dresscode or you forgot to turn in your homework assignment, but some way or another you'll find yourself sitting face-to-face with the Mr. Morris.
Perform at Club 9 - For all you parents out there, Club 9 is an event hosted by Upper School students where anyone can sing, perform, act, dance, beatbox, rap, interpretive dance, or read poetry in front of other students. The best part about Club 9 is that it is a no-judgement zone. You forget the words to your song? No big deal. No one laughs at your joke? It's okay. Club 9 accepts everyone and anyone, and it's a great way to meet students apart from the everyday academic areas.
Take Digi Photo - I feel like almost every Canterbury student has taken a class with Mr. Percivall, but if you haven't, you definitely should. Nothing is better than going outside, taking photos for 45 minutes, and then listening to music while you edit them. Mr. P turns the uncreative student (i.e. me) into a photoshop pro. Beyond photoshop, though, it's a great class to unwind in and meet other people from different grades. Plus it's neat to see your work shown in the Commons when the finished product is all done.
Have a Chartwell's Cookie - Oh what a bittersweet relationship I have with Chartwell's Food, Inc. One of the best aspects of Chartwells is definitely their mouth-watering cookies. Warm, gooey, and perfect for a "I-just-failed-that-test-and-I-need-a-pick-me-up" moment, the Chartwell cookie is, without a doubt, one of the many things I will miss from Canterbury. If you haven't tried it, you need to.
Work a Booth in the Carnival - Fall Carnival can be seen as somewhat stressful, but when you work a booth, you and a friend can sit down, chat, and help your club or class earn money for future events. I met one of my closest friends while working the LaserTag booth last year, and it's always hilarious to see the Lower School students get so worked up about the activities.
Go All Out for a Football Game - This might not be for everyone, but I encourage you all to hear me out. First, we are technically "The Most Spirited School in Lee County," and I truly do believe that we can live that out. Whether your idea of "going all out" for a game is painting your whole body blue or just putting on a Canterbury t-shirt, soon after you graduate, you'll be wishing you soaked up every moment of high school. Not only does this show your intense pride for your school, but it also heightens the mood of the game. And of course, it's fun to Instagram pictures of your wacky outfit after the fact.
Become Involved in Skit - Homecoming Week skit competitions are exactly like the name suggests - competitions. As each grade creates a shirt and skit with an underlying theme or message, students put their differences aside and create a 5-7 minute long skit with their classmates. Truly a magnificent feat, the skit will surely be one of my favorite memories of high school. If you're not an actor, no worries, you can still help with the lights or sound boards. Not into tech stuff? You could always create props for students to use. Regardless of how you become involved, what's most important is that you simply get involved. You will definitely regret it if you don't do it, and the taste of victory is that much sweeter when you know you helped your grade win.
Get Dress-Coded by Mrs. Veale - Again, another right of passage through Canterbury. We've all been there. You walk into the Commons on Monday morning and suddenly you make eye contact with Mrs. Veale. You realize that your shoulders are showing, you're not even close to wearing a collared shirt, and your shorts are certainly not touching your knees... Ut oh. Although it's definitely a downer to change out of your outfit, you'll laugh about it later. And of course, there are always those, "I can't believe I didn't see Mrs. Veale today!" moments where you manage to sneak out of trouble. Whew. Until next time, right?
Be on the Canterbury Homepage - Oh, the Canterbury homepage. It's the first thing you see on every computer in the school. It's where administration tries to show how much "fun" we're all having sitting in a classroom for 7 hours. And it's also where students can have their faces plastered next to "The Canterbury Advantage" screen. Being on the homepage is always unexpected, and every student should try to get on it before they leave for college.
Ask an Underclassmen to Move His/Her Car from the Senior Parking Lot - As a Junior, I always tried to park in the Senior lot to minimize the time it took me to get to school on time (a total difference of 5 footsteps, might I add). But when you're a Senior, you have control over Senior Parking. You've waited nearly 4 years to park there, so you better make sure everyone knows that!
Have Mr. Loughran Comment on Your Attire - "Oh Noelle, please tell me you're not wearing... POLYESTER?!" Mr. Loughran is the equivalent of the Fashion Police for Canterbury School. While he's technically the Latin teacher, you'll see him wandering around campus, always up for a friendly conversation - ranging from his days at Georgetown Prep to his time spent working in the Vatican. He'll always have something to say about your attire, and he is certainly one of the most well-known teachers on campus. If you don't know Mr. Loughran very well, make sure you stop by his room and say hello!
As the nation mourned over the 20+ deaths in the tragic Newtown shooting, we, as a Canterbury community, tried to cope with the sad realities of the event. Gun control, mental health, and government responsibility all became popular phrases in the news, at the school, and in our homes. During the last day of exams, Upper School students took a moment of silence to mourn the victims who lost their lives in the shooting.
But beyond gun control, mental health, and government responsibility, we must also reflect on the role of educators and their devotion to their students.
Take, for example, Victoria Soto: 27 years old. First grade teacher. Killed in the Sandy Hook shooting. Victoria "rushed her young pupils into closets and cabinets when she heard gunfire, hiding them from Lanza [the shooter] and telling him that her class had gone to the gym" according to Fox news. Surrendering her life for the sake of her first grade students, Victoria put their safety above her own. No mask or cape needed, Victoria is a hero.
Like Victoria, at least five other administrators at Sandy Hook Elementary lost their lives in acts of bravery and selflessness as well.
Back in Fort Myers, as we lethargically walked into our midterm exam rooms, it was all too easy to forget that the Sandy Hook school shooting could have occurred at any school in our nation.
And no matter how much homework Mrs. So-and-So gave me this semester or how difficult Mr. So-and-So's exam was, there is not a single teacher in Canterbury School who wouldn't sacrifice his/her life for you.
A humbling revelation, really.
So before you open up your Christmas gifts or ring in 2013 with friends, I urge you to say thank you to Canterbury. Whether it's that one teacher who really challenged you this semester or the secreatary who always said good morning each day, you owe it to them for being there, every morning, ready to help.
The New Year is less than a month away, and, like many of you, I have been self reflecting on my last 340ish days of 2012. We've all had our highs and lows this year, but I think we can all agree that some of these trends listed below would be much better in the past. Here's my list of things that should be left in 2012:
YouTube Advertisements - Is it just me, or do these 30 second ads seem to last for eternities?! Sorry YouTube, but it's no fun watching Gangnam Style if I have to wait to press the "You can skip this ad in 3 seconds" button. Ugh. #firstworldproblems
The Kardashians - Most of you ladies have probably seen their show(s). I'm certain I have one of their OPI Kardashian Kolor nail polish bottles in my bathroom drawer. And I know at least half of you follow Kendall and Kylie on Instagram. But let's be honest here - these multiplying sisters have run their course in reality TV. Anyone else think its time for Scott Disick and baby Mason to get the spotlight? Amen.
The phrases "swag" and "YOLO" - No explanation necessary. Let's bring back Carpe Diem, please.
Political Campaign Jokes - The election is over! It's time to drop the "...binders of women" joke and, for the billionth time, stop threatening to move to Canada since Obama was re-elected. Whether you support the President or not, the election was draining on everyone. We need to move on to more pressing issues. Fiscal cliff, anyone?
Vampires - Sorry Twilight fans, but with the last installment of Breaking Dawn in theaters, it's a sure sign that the vampire fad is dead (Get it? Vampires can't die.. #lamejokes). Popular TV shows like True Blood and The Vampire Diaries were all the rave in 2012, but 2013 brings a new wave of fictional dramas, like The Walking Dead! Check out a preview on Youtube. And don't forget to painfully watch the advertisement beforehand (See bullet point #1).
Hostess Snacks - RIP Twinkies. We have no choice on this one - Hostess Brands, Inc. has recently announced that it will be shutting down in 2013. You heard it here first: the apocalypse is near. Stock up, everyone!
Facebook - Mark Zuckerberg, the infamous creator of the website, has recently left his company - a sign that this ship is about to sink. C'mon guys, when was the last time you could scroll down your newsfeed without seeing spam? When was the last time you weren't asked to "meet single Christians" on the sidebar ads? When was the last time 4 out of the 5 notifications you received weren't game requests from your Aunt Cathy? 2013 is a great time to make the switch to other social media networks, like Twitter (oh, and follow @canterburyftmy to keep up on school news!).
Your past - As cliché as it sounds, the new year brings new opportunity. Let go of the negative in 2012 and allow the positive memories of this past year guide you. Make 2013 truly a lucky '13!
on Saturday December 8, 2012 at 05:45AM
Every year, tons of Upper School students go through the same debate: should I play a sport this season? With over 12 Varsity level sports split up in three distinct seasons, it's easy to get caught up in the "I'm too busy" mentality, especially knowing there's always going to be another season. As an athlete, even I go through the same inner conflict before my sport officially begins.
"It's freshman year, I still have three more years to play," says the ninth grader.
"It's sophomore year and I'm not sure if I truly love this sport," says the sophomore.
"Junior year matters the most, I can't let my grades slip if I play a sport," says the eleventh grader.
"It's senior year, and I don't care about anything," says the twelfth grader.
Well, here is the truth about the benefits and drawbacks of sports in high school:
Benefit #1: Meeting New People Simply "playing on a team" is not the definition of high school sports. Bonding over the ridiculous number of laps you have to run during practice, eating lunch with your team on game days, and having your hair tie snap mid-practice with the knowledge that the girl next to you has a wristful of extras is what it truly means to be on a team. As a freshman, I met a number of seniors who helped guide me throughout the season. In fact, we still frequently "like" each other's photos on Instagram despite the gap in age. Being on a team with older girls gave me a chance to meet those "intimidating" seniors, who actually all turned out to be very sweet! Now, as a senior, I reciprocate that same guidance both on and off the field to all of the freshman I've met on my team this year.
Con #1: Time Commitment If you're playing a sport just to get in shape, you're doing it for the wrong reasons. You can go to the gym and workout by yourself to slim down. The difference between simply buying a gym membership and playing on a team is that you must dedicate your time wholeheartedly to the team sport. When you don't show up to the gym to workout, you let yourself down. When you don't show up to the field to practice, you let your entire team down. Managing seven classes, your ballet lessons, and SAT prep might be too much to handle. Add a two hour practice Monday-Friday to all of that, and you've got some balancing to do. At the end of the day, no matter how great of a player you are, you cannot expect to juggle eight extracurriculars, your grades, your family, your social life, and basketball practice and expect to survive the season. Save yourself the time and only commit if you can be on the court five days a week.
Pro #2: Belonging to a Big Picture The best part of playing a team sport is knowing that your team's success is also due, in part, to your success as well. Like a car, the team can't function if one piece is missing. Dressing up on game day doesn't just prove that you can properly tie a tie. It's about being a cohesive group of individuals willing to show pride for their respective sport. Likewise, seeing your picture on the lacrosse page in the yearbook is a memory that you will cherish forever. You might even pull out that book in twenty years and tell your kids the story of how you scored the last goal in the regional final game back in '12. "When I was in high school," ...Well, you know how this story ends.
Con #2: Playing Time Being realistic, you're probably not going to start every game. If you're late to practice, chances are you'll be on the bench for the first ten minutes. It's never fun to watch your team win without you, but it's a realization that many must accept, especially high school athletes. Back in middle school, you might have been the star of the team. When you transition to high school, however, it's important to remember that you're competing against players who play on competitive or club level teams, and they've been playing for years. That in mind, before you walk onto a team, know that there will be times where your coach doesn't play you the entire game (or even at all). Grin and bear it. After all, patience is a virtue.
Pro #3: Bus Rides Bus rides are where everything happens. If you play a sport currently, you know exactly what I mean. On the bus, you find out the latest drama in the tenth grade class. You share your headphones with the girl sitting next to you so you can both get pumped up for the game. You laugh constantly. You also know there is always someone willing to braid your hair. And your entire team sleeps soundly on the way home after a victory. Bus rides are where some of my favorite memories have occurred, and for this reason, they are definitely a pro to playing a sport. Bus rides are also undervalued by teammates; once the season ends, you'll be wishing you had that "dreadful two hour drive" to a middle-of-nowhere school to make memories with your teammates along the way.
Con #3: Exhaustion After months of not practicing, get used to feeling very tired much earlier in the day. Games and practices take a toll on an individual - both physically and mentally. If you usually fall asleep at 11pm, expect to feel drowsy at 9:30pm. Need to pull an all-nighter after practice? Not gonna happen. Your 8am physics class plays a movie? You'll probably be asleep for most of it. One might find it amusing at first, but it's important to keep in mind because eventually, a lack of sleep will take a toll on you. Sleeping in Tuesday morning because you're simply too tired to function cannot become a habit - especially at such an academically rigorous school like Canterbury. Eating dinner at 8:30pm probably won't cut it anymore. Procrastinating that 500 word ICW until 10 at night might have worked pre-season, but now you need to plan for how your body reacts to 10 hours of practice a week. Playing a sport makes you more aware of how you spend your time, and if you cannot exercise self control by focusing on schoolwork, it's probably a red flag.
Ultimately, the choice to play a sport is in your hands. Year after year I ask myself if I want to continue playing with my team, and every time I finish the last game of the year, I miss the team already. There are so many priceless lessons that I've learned, and if you can find the balance between all spheres of your life, I'd say the pros outweigh the cons a million times over.
on Saturday December 8, 2012 at 05:40AM
Canterbury Mathletes are competing at FGCU's 10th annual compeition starting tomorrow. Students in 9-12th grade will compete in Algebra II, Geometry, Pre-Calc, and Calculus during this one day competition.
Math team President, Savannah Bonnette ('13) hopes to bring the team closer this year. "We're competing against some of the top schools in Florida, so tomorrow is bound to be a difficult challenge for us," she said.
For most, the holiday season is called "the most wonderful time of the year." Making gingerbread houses, eating an unhealthy amount of candy canes, watching The Grinch for the 80th time, and splurging on Peppermint Mochas at Starbucks are just a few of the many activities that Middle and Upper School students enjoy during their time off from school. There is, however, one minor detail you might be forgetting: midterms.
Whether its your first or last time taking these semester exams, there are many ways to "de-stress" in the weeks leading up to your exam. Here are the top 10 ways to relax before your big tests:
1. Go outside - Seriously, take a 30 minute walk or bike ride around the neighborhood. Give yourself enough time to truly take a moment to breathe. After hours of studying, you probably deserve it anyway.
2. Turn off distractions - Now, this seems like common sense. If you're anything like me, though, you know how easy it is to "accidentally" type in Facebook instead of Khan Academy. Simple mistake, right!? Wrong. The best way to remove yourself from answering that text message or checking that picture on Instagram is to turn off your phone. Another solution is to download the app called SelfControl from the Apple Store. This application blocks certain websites for a specified time limit. It seems like a drastic measure, but it works wonders and increases productivity by at least 500%. Sorry PC Windows fans, SelfControl is only available on Macs. For more information or to download the application, visit http://selfcontrolapp.com
3. Read a non-school related book - Gasp! A non-school related book? After hours of reading about the French Revolution, your mind will thank you for picking up The Hunger Games. Trust me.
4. Listen to relaxing music - Turning on One Direction might inspire you to start dancing, not studying. Try to change that pattern by trying some music that will help you focus. The best options typically come from Pandora Radio. Pick something without lyrics or loud noises. I prefer the Stephan Moccio radio station, myself. If you're not into classical, another suggestion would be rainymood.com. This website plays the sound of a thunderstorm on loop - absolutely perfect for working on derivatives or reviewing grammar rules.
5. Take a snack break - Let me clarify on this one, a snack break does not mean a three hour meal. I prefer munching on skittles or a health bar after reading a chapter of a book. This gives me a reward system, and also some motivation to keep chugging along. But remember, keep it simple. Don't prepare an elaborate meal, waste a few hours making it, then call it a "snack break." Be realistic with yourself.
6. Make a study plan(and stick to it!) - This sounds like common sense, but most students allow time to become their enemy rather than their friend. Jot down a quick schedule, e.g. "from 7-8pm I will review physics terms, by 8:15 I will shower." This holds yourself accountable for letting time slip away. It's also proven that by writing something down, you are more likely to get it done. And let's face it, nothing feels better than checking off that last item on your "To Do" list.
7. De-clutter your life - Nothing is worse than having a messy car, a disheveled room, and knowing you have two tests and a quiz to study for tomorrow. The best way to de-stress before exams is to de-clutter your life. Have you been meaning to wash your car for weeks on end? Go do it. Have you been letting your clean laundry pile up next to your bed? Go put it away. If anything, it gives you an opportunity to take a stressor away. At the same time, it's also a great way to move away from the books and onto something else for a minute.
8. Work with a buddy - Gather a few of your close friends and divide up the work to prep for your exam. Many teachers have a list of essay prompts that they could possibly choose for your exam. Instead of studying 10 essays with the hopes of knowing maybe 3 fully, grab some friends and take two of the ten prompts each. Not only does this encourage cooperation, but it also ensures that you actually prep for said exam ahead of time. When your group is ready, swap essay bullets and viola! You've got yourself ten essay prompts with solutions. Happy studying.
Note: Beware of who you work with if you collaborate. Find students who keep the same work ethic as you to avoid possible conflicts. Additionally, ensure that you check over your group's answers before deciding that they are all correct. You don't want to get the same aspects of your paper wrong as nine of your classmates (and I'm sure your teacher doesn't want to read identical essays, either!).
9.Decorate your home for the holidays - Don't get caught in the excuse, "I'm too busy studying to enjoy the holidays." Spend an hour decorating the Christmas tree, go out and purchase that perfect fishing rod for your grandpa, and don't forget to put mistletoe under your doorway. The holiday season is meant to be enjoyed, not spent fretting over your biology exam. Devote some time to truly enjoy this time of the year.
10. Wake up early - I know we all hate waking up early in the morning, but the best way to maximize your productivity is to simply get the day started right away. How many times have you slept in until noon, panicked, and told yourself that you wished you didn't sleep the day away? I know I have, and that feeling is awful. By allowing yourself to wake up at 9:30 on Saturday morning, you open a window of time to start the day earlier. At the same time, you also give yourself more time to relax in the evening - a win-win situation. Set alarms on your phone, or, if you're a deep sleeper, download the app Wake Up Time in the iTunes store. It sets an alarm on your computer desktop, so when both your phone and computer alarm starting ringing, you'll definitely hear it.
Just remember, every single student in the Middle and Upper School must take these exams, so you're not alone! Sit back, relax, and think of the end result in your head. We all take these exams year after year, and somehow we all end up alive at the end of the week. Let each of your exams encourage you to finish strong - and don't forget to celebrate after your last exam on Friday!
...Now, don't you have some studying to do?
Noelle Spencer Class of 2013
on Wednesday December 5, 2012 at 09:31AM
Both Canterbury varsity soccer teams have been growing stronger as the season progresses. Last night, the Lady Cougar soccer team beat their rivals, Southwest Florida Christian, 4-1. The Varsity boys' team also beat SFCA 2-0. Players noticed the number of fans in the crowd and attribute this to their wins last night. Go cougars!
on Monday November 19, 2012 at 02:41PM