Archive for April, 2013

Marijuana. Weed. Cannabis. Dagga. Same drug, same effects, same debate: should dagga be legalized? Marijuana has been around for ages, and now it is in every society in the world, including many schools. Even our own school. Known for its “high”, it has become extremely popular among teenagers. We all have friends who use it; in fact, it’s hard to find teenagers who don’t use it! As a teenager, I will give my naïve-16 year old opinion on some questions that are often thrown around about weed: Why do teenagers like marijuana so much?

In  my opinion,  teenagers are just bored beings who want something else to do other than their boring Maths homework, and of course the all-important; peer pressure. Marijuana has been glamorised in the media and entertainment industry by superstars from Justin Bieber to Lady Gaga. The sooner adults can accept that weed has become ‘cool’, the sooner we can actually get over it. Just take a look around your school and you will see it’s the ‘popular kids’ (as much as I hate that phrase) who talk about getting high all the time (like all the time) and the clean kids are seen as nerds. All these kids want to be “King Cannabis and Princess High”.

Why are so many teens supporting the legalization of weed? There are teens who like marijuana so much that they would advocate for the legalisation of weed if they could. “Dude, weed has some really cool medicinal effects like pain relief, helping people with AIDS and cancer and whatnot!”  This is a quintessential argument of this group. This argument irks me. It really does irk me to my core. Not that it’s dishonest, I just feel that a lot of these teens, and adults, don’t really care about helping those people but are rather using the issue as an excuse for the legalisation of weed so that they can get high without worrying about legal consequences. Because the last time I checked, you are smoking weed to get high not to benefit your health. I’m not saying that these are not good reasons to further the research into the benefits of weed, but I believe that teens should just be honest with their intentions when making a case for the legalisation of weed.

After some serious weed discipline issues at our school, there have been tough ramifications and serious discipline strategies put in place to stop isolated incidents from turning into a problem. So why the tough consequences if weed isn’t “that bad”?  Are our teachers are over-reacting? Our teachers are discouraging us from using an illegal substance! Yes, they are over-reacting. Our teachers are stopping us from taking a drug with disputed long term medical effects! Yes, they are definitely over-reacting. Our teachers are stopping us from making a decision to do a psychoactive substance! Yes, they are most definitely over-reacting. Hopefully you have caught on the sarcasm by now.

“To Drug or not to drug?”, now that is the question. You are most likely going to be offered weed as a teen and it’s up to you to make an informed decision. Make sure you know the consequences of choosing to do and not do it and you are willing to take responsibility for your actions.

Say yes to saying no?

Say yes to saying no?

Written by Jude Wells, Grade 11

“I’ll never tell a lie. I’ll never make a misleading statement. I’ll never betray the confidence that any of you had in me. And I’ll never avoid a controversial issue.” Jimmy Carter

My love for the controversial has led me to believe that stories which are contentious in nature are the ones that push our perceptions of the world to new levels. Stories have the power to make us see things in new ways and spark debate. I also believe that this blog can be the perfect platform for some intellectual debate as it is a space where you, the reader, can contribute your personal ideas and beliefs.

Thus, our main post theme for this term will be …yes, you guessed it!  ALL THINGS CONTROVERSIAL.

We, the students/bloggers/extra terrestrial super cerebral beings (lol jk, I wish) of CHS would like to give you the opportunity to build on or break down your current beliefs. We’d like to give you a possible solid ground when defending or discussing your opinion on a topic next time someone asks you, “So what do you think about…”

It’s almost cliché to say that ideas have the power to change the world. But I still think this statement is true.  Critical thinking is one of the most important life skills that we can learn. I sincerely hope that the pieces which will follow will help anyone reading them to become more informed and more active citizens. And quite frankly it would be cool if people went “Oh My Word!!! Like how could you say that?” after reading our posts.

Your editor


Hint hint, nudge nudge, wink wink

Hint hint, nudge nudge, wink wink

The Bloggers

Posted: April 12, 2013 in Latest post

Meet the bloggers! These are the creative minds behind all the wonderful content you will read and comment upon in future.The quotes below are a glimpse of who they are and what they hope to become as people. Get in touch with them in the school corridors to add a face to the name…pictures will follow soon, watch this space!

Luzuko: “I live to be the kind of woman in the world who gives her audience the ability to find strength, happiness and healing in my writing.”

Imrah: “The marks humans leave are too often scars.”(John Green)

Muhammed F: “Don’t depend too much on anyone in this world because even your own shadow leaves you when you are in darkness.”(Eminem)

Sinesipho: “Conformity is not the way of life, you can be everything.”

Nabeelah: “True and absolute freedom is a lie.”

Muhammed M: “If you expect the world to be fair with you just because you are fair with the world, you’re fooling yourself;that’s like expecting a lion not to eat you because you don’t eat him.”

Jude: “They can’t scare me if I scare them first.”

Carin: “Never end your life because you never know whose life you’re taking along with yours.”

Yusrah: “If everyone in the world was blind,how many people would you impress?”

 Final assembly. Last day of term.

Bloggers know that it’s a short holiday but we thought we would continue with stories about our teachers! In this post you will read about a few of the teachers: Mr Wilson (AW), Mrs Ameer (SA), Mr Broster (JB), Ms Masabalala (ZM), Ms McFarlane  (EM), Ms Masola (AM), Ms. Chapman (JC) as well as the new members, Mrs Lowry (LL), Mr Shaw (GS), Mrs Janse van Rensburg (CJV).

As an introduction we asked the techers to describe  what “A normal day would be…”

(AW) I wake up at 06:13. Leave my house at 07:00. And get home at around 17:00 most days. In between I teach. It’s tiring, inspiring and perspiring.

(SA) Leaving home by 6:45 for the latest. Arriving at school between 7am and 7.30am. Preparing for the school day. Breaks are for tea and administrative duties. Leave for home at 4.30pm. Normal family responsibilities.

(JB) Interesting, simulation and rewarding

(ZM) Wake up at 05:00, have my devotional time, then make my bed. I then wake my kids up then the day starts- yelling at this or the other until we leave the house. I drop them at school then I head to Claremont. Afternoon- there are not many activities except to prepare dinner and check and help with my children’s homework and things like that.

(EM) A “normal” day as a teacher…there is no such thing 😉 !!!

(LL) A normal day is busy and often full of unexpected events but generally fun and rewarding.

(GS) It’s busy! It starts with the same early get up and travel that the learners undertake – a teacher arriving late is a whole bunch worse than a learner coming late, because then our classes are in chaos until we arrive!!! Break times are very valuable for a teacher! We really need time to sit down and have a cup of tea, but often need that time to do admin work or discuss things with other teachers or learners.

(CJV) Normal?! Normal is a setting on a hair-dryer. The cliché of “every day is different” does apply. I do, however, hope to get to school as close to 07:00 as possible to just relax for a bit and sort through some admin

(AM) I’m yet to experience a normal day as a teacher!

(JC) Busy, very busy, with a smile here and there

  • Why did you choose to teach the subject that you are teaching?

(AW) Because I love words and literature. Because I believe that we can find answers to big questions in what people have written and created.Because I feel I am good at it. Because I get to read books most days and watch films occasionally. Because I like talking and sharing my experiences. Because I get such satisfaction out of seeing a student, a class, a grade smile and laugh and understand something we’ve read. Because words change the world.

(SA) I have always enjoyed doing or working with mathematics. It is the key subject to many careers and certainly does develop reasoning ability.

(JB) Because science explains everything

(ZM) I am proud to be a Xhosa speaking person, so I do not want my language to fade away with time

(EM) I chose maths because I enjoy seeing learners grasp the logic behind it. I see it as a subject that really empowers learners to make a success of their future. I chose Afrikaans because I love my home language and I have a passion for teaching it to other people. I enjoy the fact that teaching a language gives you the platform to really get to know learners better. Too many people go through life only knowing one language. Especially in South Africa, it really makes you a richer person if you can speak more languages.

(LL) I really enjoyed maths throughout school and I like the problem solving side of the subject. I had studied Business Science before I decided to become a teacher and so my choice of subjects was limited to maths and economics – luckily I was qualified to teach maths – it’s the only subject I’d want to teach.

(GS) Science is amazing!!! It’s so practical and fun! Understanding the world around us is so important because it helps us to understand how and why things were created…

(CJV) Afrikaans is a very expressive language, how can you not love it! In what other language do you get word like “verruklik”; “gladdejantjie”: “woedend” and even for me that strange “oei”-sound. I always feel a bit like a kwê-voël when I say “koei”.

(AM) I love stories, reading them and getting lost in them. I love what words do when we’re lost in a story or engaged in a debate…they can change the way we see the world.

(JC)My first choice was to be a theatre nurse. I’ve always enjoyed nature and the outdoors, watching medical/forensic programmes

  • What’s the best reward of being a teacher and teaching the subject?

(AW)Witnessing progress. Helping students create something. Experiencing a pregnant pause when a whole class is waiting to hear what happens next … Seeing a light go on in someone’s head when they really understand the gerund!

(SA) Seeing learners’ success once they have matriculated.

(JB) The response from the pupils.

(ZM) Being a teacher gets me to see my product, eg when I meet one of my former students once they have left the school, they are successful I become proud of what I do in the lives of young people. As a Xhosa teacher it pays more when I see my students following Careers in Languages eg journalism, teaching and the like.

(EM) The best reward is when you see someone understand something for the first time. The other great thing is when learners come and thank you after a lesson!

(LL) When you see that a student has really understood what you have taught. Sometimes you’ll hear an “oooooh!” or you’ll see it in their face that they “got it”. When I see a student enjoying the subject – that’s the best.

(GS) When a learner appreciates the effort you put in! It’s rewarding enough when you see a learner understanding a concept that you have taught him / her, but if you can see they enjoy it, it is so much worth it. And if they thank you for your effort, then you know they appreciate what you have put in!

(CJV) When students tell you (and you can see) that you made a positive difference in their lives. Also, when I see that they enjoy the subject and some of it has come alive for them.

(AM) I love seeing kids grow to love reading (and I’ve seen it happen). I love the feeling at the end of a good lesson and my pupils come to me and say “thank you ma’am, I really enjoyed the lesson!”. (It’s happened before, I’m not making it up)

(JC) Knowing that my students can re-explain the work to their peers or to me. When they ask questions. When an ex – student comes up to me and tells me that they have pursued  a career involving life sciences

  • If you had to have a movie about you, which actor/actress would you like to act the lead role?

(AW) Jim Carey

(SA) Katrina Kais

(JB) Broster as Broster – no impersonators

(ZM) Kimberley Elise

(EM) If Meryl Streep were younger I would have wanted it to be her, because she is just one of the best actresses there is! Unfortunately she is too old, so I would have to go with Sandra Bullock because she is gorgeous and as some of her critics have said, “impossible not to love”!

(LL) Someone little who talks too fast and is a bit quirky, I guess. Maybe Renee Zelwegger? But only if she can do a proper South African accent.

(GS) I see myself as a passionate person, and I think MEL GIBSON plays these types of roles well! He is a bit older than most modern actors, but some of his best movies include Braveheart and Passion of the Christ

(CJV) Maggie Gylenhaal, just because people say I look a lot like her!

(AM) Jill Scott or Lebo Mashile

(JC) Mmmmmm……. have not thought about that! Maybe Halle Berry

  • Where else would you like to live in the world?

(AW) Barcelona

(SA) No where else. Cape Town is the best city.

(JB) Botswana

(ZM) Jamaica

(EM) I find India extremely interesting. The culture and way of life are intriguing and the people are soo friendly. The country is colourful and the people are down to earth. The beautiful fabrics and the prices they go for obviously draw me there even more. I wouldn’t be able to stay there for too long though. I would really struggle to call any place other than South Africa my home.

(LL) Nowhere! I love Cape Town. I could laze about on lake Malawi for a few months, but I’m sure I’d get bored and come home eventually.

(GS) Anywhere in Africa! I love Africa!!! I have such compassion for our people and feel so badly the need to develop our continent responsibly. There is also such a rich bio-diversity in our continent, and I want to explore and experience as much of it as possible.

(CJV) I LOVE adventures so every two years or so I have the fight the urge to pack my bags and move to Centurion, Knysna, Seychelles, London or Brazil.

(AM) I have a love affair with New York.

(JC) Greece or Italy

  • If you were not a teacher what other career path would you have taken?

(AW) Photographer. Journalist. Cricketer. Cricket commentator. Architect.

(SA) I have never thought of having a second choice

(JB) Traffic cop

(ZM) Social worker or Church pastor

(EM) At the moment I really can’t imagine myself in any other profession. I considered many different careers, but none of them excite me quite as much as teaching. If I had to say I would go for either a medical career or journalism. I might go on to lecture at a university one day.

(LL) I had planned to go into marketing and I enjoyed the studying but didn’t want to go into the corporate world.

(GS) I started my studies doing Civil Engineering, so probably that. But it feels like there are loads of other things that I would enjoy as well. Organising educational tours and excursions,  scientific research.

(CJV) A lawyer or a psychologist.

(AM) The president

(JC) Medical detective, game ranger

  •  Who do you look up to? What is your role model’s favourite quote?

(AW) I look up to Ralph Aitchison, my grandfather. He was an amazing man. I have no idea what his favourite quote was. But, he probably would have liked this one: “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

(SA) My late father, “Live and let live.”

(JB) Jesus – much of the New Testament

(ZM) My mom (though she passed away). Her favourite quote was- “learn to forgive, it is good for you”

(EM) My parents are definitely my role models. One of my dad’s favourite quotes is one I have shared in assembly and with some of my classes.

“The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward through the night” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

(LL) I look up to good, fair, effective teachers – I try to emulate them (with difficulty). I love a quote from Albert Einstein “I have no special talents, I am only passionately curious”.

(GS) My role model is Jesus Christ and one of my favourite things that he said is: “I have come so that you may have life in abundance.” I really try to live enjoying the life that I have to the maximum!

(CJV) Every day people inspire me, not celebrities!

(AM) I look up to my Gran(she passed away in 2010). She was sassy and refused to be a damsel in distress. I can’t remember her favourite quote (apart from the expletives she uttered generously), but I like the words I’ve tatooed on my arm: Luthando eyona nto (paraphrase: love is my religion)

(JC) My parents

(Below are some pictures of the teachers. Unfortunately we didn’t have any pictures of the new teachers…watch this space)

Ms McFarlane: Afrikaans and Maths

Mrs Ameer: Maths

Mr Wilson: English and Social Science

Ms Masabalala: isiXhosa and Arts and Culture

Mr Broster (and Albert Einstein): Science

Ms Masola

Ms Masola: English and Social Science

Ms Chapman: Life Sciences

Ms Chapman: Life Sciences

Thanks to Muhammed Madhi, Sinesipho Manikivana (and Jude Wells) for following up on these interviews.