Politics and Religion


That’s right. I’m going there. Two topics that you are, apparently, never supposed to discuss and we are doing it in Gr. 12 Politics.

In all seriousness, though. We’ve been discussing how Politics and Religion have been intertwined throughout history. Now that we have some idea of the theory and history of the two, we needed to see a real-world application instead of just vague statements. Therefore, we have started to examine Ireland and The Troubles as a case study.

Be sure to complete the readings (booklets), text readings, and independent research in order to answer the questions posed on the handout. A new documentary called “Born and Reared” is an excellent resource as well! See a clip from it embedded below:

Listening to the Voices of History

Well Gr.10s. It’s been a “heavy” few days, hasn’t it? As we’ve been examining the early 20th Century in Canadian History we certainly haven’t shied away from tough topics! We have talked about The Last Best West Campaign and immigration, racist policies against specific groups of immigrants, the Indian Act, Residential Schools, and Women’s Rights.

When we started the course I said that we were going to look at the good, the bad AND the ugly of Canadian History. Most of you didn’t think there was much that might be called “ugly” in our past. All I can say is… Do you believe me now?!

I answered your questions as best I could. Still, I think it would probably mean more if you heard from the people who were there and those who have been impacted. Watch the following videos and tell me what you think.


An Open Letter to Students

Day one is now in the books and we’re about to start day two.

So… how did it go?

Did you find all of your classes? Meet up with some people in the cafeteria at lunch? Make it all the way home before you fell asleep?

Inquiring minds want to know!

The Gr. 12s and I were talking about education yesterday and I was reminded of a video clip I saw a week ago. To further our conversation… well… maybe I’ll just let John Green talk and then you can tell me what you think after!

Back to School

Is it September already?!?  It feels like summer just started! Ah well.  Hopefully you had a great summer and had a chance to recharge your educational batteries!

I know I’m not the first to say it, but still, WELCOME BACK!  If we’ve shared a class before – good to see you again!  If we are just meeting for the first time – I’m looking forward to working with you this semester and helping you to achieve the goals you have set for yourself.

This site is a resource that is designed for you, the student, to use as one more class resource.  You will often find video clips posted on the main blog page that either supplement classroom learning, relate to things we’ve discussed in class, makes reference to events going on in the school community, etc.  To the side you will find links to outside websites/resources that we are using in class and/or may help you complete an assigned task.  Along the top of the blog you will see headings for individual classes – hover over one and you will see a drop down page that has material relevant to that specific class.  For example, e-copies of assignments will posted there.  If you need an extra copy of an assignment or don’t have access to your notes, check the site and view/print yourself a new copy.

I’m looking forward to the semester and hope you are too!


Where did the time go?

I looked at the calendar today and was struck by how quickly the semester went. Where did the time go?!?  Exams start next week and then we’re into summer!

For some of you, we’re about to say goodbye and good luck as you get ready for the stage of your life. It’s scary and exciting and amazing and hard and awesome all at the same time – try to enjoy as much of it as you can and keep reaching for your dreams!

For the rest of you, we’ve got summer to recharge and then we’ll meet up again next year. Yippee!!

First however, we have to get through exams.  Make sure you are aware of when  and where each one of your exams is taking place. Study hard (like, now!), eat breakfast on the day of the exam and finish strong. I believe in you!

Exam Schedule

  • Period 1: June 21st – 11:30 am
  • Period 2: June 22nd – 8:30am
  • Period 4: June 23rd – 8:30 am
  • Period 5: June 24th – 8:30am



The Message in the Song

01_top10protestsongsWell, Grade 10s. It seems that we keep coming back to music in this class, doesn’t it? First we looking at the music of the 1920s and 1930s. Then we looked at the music of the 1950s. And yesterday we were listening to and talking about the music of the 1960s and early 1970s.

Other than proving that I have a “thing” for music, we have seen that our stories – our history – is displayed in our music and songs. I challenged you to find some songs of the 1960s, find out what they were talking about, what it shows us about what was going on at the time & the attitudes of the people, and then share them with the class.We listened to/looked at a few. Can you think of anymore?

The Industrial Revolution

“The Industrial Revolution’s effects did not begin and end with inventions. Advances in technology led to new advances in all sciences.  New sources of power fuelled factories and forever changed the way we live and how we communicate. Cities grew as people from all over the world flocked to the thriving new centers of industry. The world of ideas also moved into the modern age as artists and writers wrestled with the ever-changing industrialized society.”

Miller, Sue. Ed.  World History: The Human Journey. Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Austin, 2003. Pg. 378.

Accidental Racist (?)

Great discussion today in CHY4U/C history to wrap up Ms. MacMillan’s last day with us!

For those that missed it, we continued our discussion on the American Slave System and discussed the controversy around the Confederate flag. After talking about symbols and their meaning – in direct relation to the flag of course! –  we listened to a duet by Brad Paisley (country music) and LL Cool J (hip hop music).  Our discussion continued.

Take a listen to the song, think about the lyrics and tell me: is the flag a symbol of racism or can it be something else? Can symbols change meanings? Do you need to know the history behind a symbol before you can wear/share it? Join our conversation!

What is the “secret” to success?

Wow.  Time sure flies in Semester two, doesn’t it? We’re nearing the end of the semester now!  For some people, that’s a good thing.  For others?  Not so much.

Regardless of which camp you fall into take a moment and think carefully about how things are going.  If things are going well – great!  How can things get better What is working?  What isn’t?

For some people, things haven’t gone quite so well.  Things haven’t necessarily worked out the way you had hoped or planned.  To you I want to say something; I want you to listen very closely.


Don’t. Ever. Quit.

I’ve heard you – in the hallways, in classrooms, in the parking lot.  I’ve heard you.

You tell your friends that it’s not a big deal and that you don’t care but your eyes say differently.  You’ve started to think that you can’t succeed and that maybe you should just give up.  Don’t!

People talk about “the secret to success”.  The reality is that this so-called “secret” is pretty simple.  It’s just this – Don’t ever quit.

Success can be defined as getting up one time more than you’ve been knocked down.  Failure?  It’s a necessary stepping stone to it.  Failure or defeat teaches us something… but only if we don’t quit.

There are times that things just aren’t going to go right – sometimes things just happen and sometimes we make them happen due to our own actions (or inaction).

Don’t quit.

You want something?  You want more?  Prove it.

Want to be the best?  Earn it.

Decide that you CAN do something to fix things and then WORK for it.

Believe in yourself and your dreams or goals.  Want it? Go get it.  Stand up and reach for it.  …and keep reaching until you’ve got it.

Don’t. Ever. Quit!