Posts Tagged ‘questions’

After countless hours of contemplating how to approach this topic -which was pretty tough for a girl who can’t even say “sex” without laughing- I decided to just be blunt about it. Teenagers are having sex.
that awkward moment...The physical activities of teenagers in South Africa has recently been put in the limelight due to the recent debate over some sections of the Sexual Offenses Act. One of the first acts to reach our bedrooms; which criminalises consensual sex amongst children between the ages of 12 to 16.

Quite frankly I find this to be utterly stupid. Two contrasting ideas where on the one hand sex between teenagers is illegal, while children over the age of 12 can be provided with condoms. Make up your mind, government!

Not only are they contradicting themselves, but also causing an already controversial topic to become legally taboo. Criminalising something, especially something which could be considered a rite of passage to some, is not going to make anybody stop doing it- it will just make us a little bit sneakier.

Teenagers are vulnerable, naïve and hormonal creatures. This irrational law is causing teenagers to become even more vulnerable. How can we learn responsibility about sex when just talking about it is so off-limits? If we are already afraid to ask questions, we become more ignorant about sex and the health implications- and become much more susceptible to making the wrong decisions concerning sex.

Many people are justifying this Act as being an answer to the ongoing issue of teen pregnancy and HIV-positive rates amongst children, but that is definitely not the case. By approving this law, there will not be any change in teen pregnancy or HIV rates, there will just be an increase in teenagers with criminal offenses to their name.
The solution to the issue of sexually related problems is not making teenage sex illegal, but by improving and increasing the sexual education of children. Sex should not be a topic that teachers and parents are too uncomfortable to address, and children are too afraid to ask about. It should be a topic that we can openly discuss without feeling guilty. Once this happens, children will have more knowledge on how to be responsible.
Whether I, or any one of my peers, decide to have sex now, when we’re twenty or when we’re married- is none of any body’s business(especially not the government’s)- because that’s exactly what it is, my choice.

I’m taking liberty with Spiderman’s words, “With[ teenage sex], comes great responsibility.” Teenagers have to remember though; if you choose to have sex, then choose to be responsible.

Written Imrah Kamedien, Grade 10

be responsible


“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

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.

Jacob Zuma. Julius Malema. Hilter. Robert Mugabe.

These names are all synonymous with the word “leader”. Whether they were or are good leaders is, I think, a matter of personal opinion.

I recently participated in the English Olympiad. The topic this year was controversial: In camera: whose truth is it anyway? I thoroughly enjoyed this topic as it drove me to question and think about things which I would have not thought about before. I asked myself: why should we be led by others anyway? or have we, the people and youth of South Africa become a sad example of the blind following the blind? And the question that still eats away at my conscience when all the world has been silenced and I am left alone with my thoughts, do we know our leaders well enough to make a judgment or criticise them for their actions? If they are some super-human being who can do no wrong should they be scrutinised and at times feared? (Yes, my stream of consciousness likes to run off on wild tangents)

It therefore gave me the idea of sending out our bloggers to interview our school’s leaders in the attempt to humanise them. Maybe we will understand and respect them more.

Your editor