CATS Academy Courier

"A Trusted Students News Source with an International Twist"



Model UN Competes at Princeton

By: Amber Nguyen

We checked in at the hotel after a day-long trip. Everywhere, people were striding with confidence. Their heads straight ahead, Starbucks in their hands, pens and paper clipboards neatly spread on the tables, and attire as professional as CEOs of multinational corporations. It was only the meet-and-greet session, the first day of the Princton Model United Nations Conference (PMUNC), yet most seemed to have their plans already mapped out. It was then that I felt slightly intimidated. Princeton MUN goers were intense and passionate, which was overwhelming for me.  I stood in a corner dressed in jeans, a graphic tee, and a bed-head.  Covering tired eyes, I thought about the next few days with excitement.

Nine students and two advisors from CATS Boston took their seats for the opening ceremony. It was a formality and involved a college-style lecture about something that was meant to be important. I could have easily forgotten it just like any other opening ceremony if not for the eloquent speeches and humorous deliveries of the PMUNC organizers, who were all Princeton students. The way they spoke with self-assurance while making fun of their peers contradicted the ideal model of people in fancy business suits. The whole audience seemed to agree by bursting out laughing whenever the Secretary General jokingly called out his friends.

After dinner I searched for my committee room on a maze-like floor. There were so many more people there than I had previously imagined there would be. Everyone seemed occupied in clusters of people, likely from the same committee. Although most of them were strangers to each other, they quickly established comradery with polite introductions.

Then, the first committee session took place. My committee – the International Criminal Court (ICC) – went straight into business. The chair introduced the procedure briefly before calling on the first case. ICC is a specialized committee and does not function like normal general assemblies: we were a court. Therefore, each individual did not represent a country, but rather a judge for the court. Each team had four to five judges, and were appointed to defend, prosecute and judge different cases. Judges were all unfamiliar to each other, and I was no exception. My team were lucky (or unlucky due to the strain from travelling previously in the day) as the chair looked favorably upon the defense of Ariel Sharon. With extensive research and background checks, I realized that Sharon was almost impossible to defend before the ICC for the crimes of Genocide that he committed. With minimal contribution in the opening statement, I went back to CATS meeting at 11pm in defeat.
The next day was the campus tour and two committee sessions in the afternoon until the evening. After a late arrival to the hotel, I burst into the committee room with adequate preparation that I have gathered the whole morning. My teammates did incredibly well, and the witnesses we cross-examined were all giving answers to our favor. I caught up with the fierce flow of the court and began to actively participate in every case. Outside the sessions, our team met up for more tranquil times to prepare for our next arguments.

We functioned independently then came together as a group to put our ideas into a logical schedule. With sharp questions and distinctive observations (and tons of notes scribbled with ugly hand-writings), my team won the first case and successfully defended a man who was – as the chair said – completely guilty. Now, if it was reality, we would have felt terrible. Still, the simulation of a real-life event was what PMUNC (and MUN in general) is all about. It was a special event for high schoolers to take up roles and emerged themselves in the world of professional politics. Nothing was clearly white nor black, and one’s logically assessments were the key to determine a specific case. After all, our team ended winning another case – the prosecution of Tony Blair – and fairly pronounced Harold. S Truman as guilty.
After four days of hard work and determination, I left PMUNC with pride, friendship, experience and knowledge. Before leaving, we took a walk down the famous Times Square. On the bus back to school at 8pm, I thought of the event thoroughly and decided that Princeton Model United Nations Conference was a great thing before falling asleep.


CATS Across the Pond

By: Jackie Kovalcin, a former CATS Boston Student

I made the jump across the Atlantic (actually, more like a seven hour flight), about three months ago as I transferred from CATS Boston, USA, to CATS Canterbury, UK. It was three months ago that I boarded a transatlantic plane with a new, never-before-stamped passport and a heart full of hope. I had never left the USA before, although after living and studying at CATS Boston for a year, I felt as though I had travelled the world vicariously through the lives of my international friends.

CATS Boston opened my mind to the international world, and my travels to CATS Canterbury allowed me to immerse myself in it. Like CATS Boston, CATS Canterbury is a melting pot of young people from dozens of nationalities. You can’t walk through the halls without hearing at least three different languages. The staff is just as welcoming as CATS Boston, and upon arrival help you move in and get settled in the lovely accommodations. This was a nice touch to my first impression of the staff and facilities. The dorms, or “accommodation”, at CATS Canterbury differ from the three dorms of CATS Boston in that they are much smaller, more intimate, and further scattered (with only a handful being on campus). I was quite lucky in the accommodation placement and now reside in the “Knights” dorms- a selection of luxury apartments just a brief walk from the main campus. I am a “head of house” (a leadership position comparable to a dorm prefect). I was lucky and got a large, well-lit room with a spacious closet, a comfy memory-foam mattress, and my own bathtub. I live quite comfortably and have enough more than enough space to relax and study after class.

Here at CATS Canterbury there is a wide range of different courses offered. Prospective students have the option of five programs: the IB (which I am currently enrolled in, and am enjoying very much), A-levels, University Foundation Program (UFP), GCSE’s, as well as Pre-program. Although the courses of the students differ, there is still a certain cohesion to the school community. We are divided by accommodation, and not “house colors” like at CATS Boston. Through “well-done” cards handed out by teachers and dorm parents, students here at CATS Canterbury are able to compete with each other’s’ accommodations and earn “house points”.

As much as I appreciate the effort of the “canteen” as they call the cafe where they serve student meals here at CATS Canterbury, I would have to say that the selection of food at CATS Boston was much wider. There’s a part of me that misses waiting in the sandwich line or being able to make a salad as I pleased. And I’ve got to say, I do miss the warm chocolate chip cookies at the meals at CATS Boston more than I’d like to admit. Both CATS Boston and CATS Canterbury have helped shape my international perspective in a real-life manner. They individually have their highlighted features, as well as their limitations and areas for improvement.

Finals Are Approaching! Study!

By: Howard Ng

Finals are deemed by some of us as the most frightening event of the whole year. The feeling of anxiousness is enhanced by sitting in the completely quiet gym and staring at our exam wondering if we are answering the questions correctly. You can help limit your anxiousness through diligently studying for each exam and seeking out teachers during their office hours, the day before the exam, to ask any last minute questions. Honestly, if you have properly prepared, you can treat finals just like a relaxing and tranquil trip to the shopping mall. Here is some advice to boost your confidence on how to be prepared for the finals:

1. Balance the appropriate amount of studying, sleeping, and eating in advance.

Sleeping and eating are obviously essential tasks that everyone should be doing on a daily basis. During finals preparation, you should not be your typical overachieving self and study until 3am in the morning and wake up at 6:30 to eat breakfast. The most likely outcome of tMIT Outreach Program.Image 1.jpghis approach is that you will forget the material before you have the chance to use it on the finals. You should try to study during the day making sure to constantly take short breaks after each hour of studying. This persistence will allow you to remember most of the concepts and topics for the long term. You are likely receive higher exam scores when you study effectively and get enough food and sleep.

2. Be resourceful (Mr. O’Donnell)

Mr. O’Donnell regularly recommends to his students that they should “be resourceful!!!” This wise advice is given because he wants his students to effectively utilize every opportunity that is available to them.

There are many resources available to help us study for the finals, but some of us don’t know what they are. An easy, yet efficient way to utilize your time is to study with your classmates. You can meet up with your classmates, perhaps in front of a huge whiteboard in the dorms or in the academic building to review essential material for your exam. Your study group should conduct an open discussion of the topics on the review sheet.

An additional way to successfully prepare for exams is by creating possible questions, your teachers could ask on their finals. Do this with your study group classmates Questions can be easily formulated through the learning objectives your teachers uses every day. This study technique harnesses the power of multiple brains which can be more efficient than one. With this strategy you will also receive live help, support, and even encouragement from your classmates. Additionally, there are many other online resources that your group can use and share.

Websites such as Khan Academy and other online media platforms, such as YouTube, have many instructional videos to watch which may help you review for your final exam.

Final exams do not have to be scary! Keys to success are sleeping, studying, eating, and being resourceful! If you follow this essential advice and prepare, then there is really nothing to fear. Good luck!

DECA Club Mission Statement Letter

Every meeting starts with our mission, which is the intense and never-ending learning. Learning that shows our main purpose as a club to have a significant imprint on the school’s community by organizing and participating in competitions and fund-raising sales. These events allow us and the surrounding community to daily challenge ourselves, to collaborate with the one another, and last but not least – to have fun gaining important knowledge for the future, especially in the areas of finance and marketing.”

This is the mission statement we, the DECA members, came up with after getting inspired by endless talks with our advisor, Mr. O’Donnell, by the enthusiasm in our peers’ eyes, and by the smell of the brand new DECA textbooks. A mission statement that embodies our goals and values as a group, or more specifically as members of the two sections of these year’s DECA, the first section being the marketing committee, led by Anastasia, and second one – the Finance committee, led by Long. These committees are meant to encourage and help students develop in the areas they are interested in by working on interesting projects and participating in competitions. Additionally, the DECA members like to collaborate in the organization of new fun events for the CATS community such as donut and pizza sales. Lastly, as our president, Minh Tran, mentioned, the DECA club this year will successfully bond the school’s community together by organizing interactive activities and cheering up our spirit by winning awards from regional and hopefully national competitions.

On behalf of DECA Club,

DECA Secretary, Maya Stoilova

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Review

By: Nuray Salina

If you have ever been interested in visual or performing arts, you should undoubtably visit one of the greatest museums in the USA, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

When I first went to the museum, I was amazed by the elegance and architecture. Every room in the building thoughtfuly and impressively curated. You can feel the history of the objects and antiques. The historical subjects range from a British King’s collection of antique treasures to peaceful Japan in 19th century. These topics along with hundreds of other interesting subjects create a powerful atmosphere of the boundless world of History and Arts.

The MFA(Museum of Fine Arts) is composed of four floors with a range of subjects. My favorite level is the firstone, which focuses on collections of musical instruments, ancient jewelery, paper works and photography. The other floors delve deep into the worlds of the Art of Europe, Contemporary Art, Art of Asia, Oceania and Africa, Art of the Ancient World, and Art of the Americas.

The MFA overall encompasses more than 450,000 exhibits and works of Arts from the whole world! There are a lot of works of Arts from great artists, including Van Gogh, Monet, Renoir, Degas, Edward Morse, William Morris Hunt, John Singleton Copley, Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Gilbert Stuart and others.

The MFA is an exceptionable and utterly extraordinary place, where you can spend a wonderful day, get a lot of incredible impressions and behold a cultural heritage of our ancerties. This is the place, where you always want to come back. Don’t believe me? Go and check it!

The MFA is located at Avenue of the Arts, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02511.

Preparations for Halloween 2017

By: Nuray Salina

Halloween had always been my favorite holiday throughout my childhood. Staying in the United States gives all CATS students an opportunity to completely understand the holiday.

It appears as if most Americans start their preparations for the holiday 1 month in advance to Halloween. They make an effort to decorate their houses and plan their Halloween costumes.

CATS Academy Boston’s preparations for the Halloween are in full swing. The school, led by the Student Government and Professor Mike, is constructing a Haunted House. Other activities include arranging a Halloween Fashion competition, a movie night, and other sorts of  entertainment for the students of our school. New ideas, personal creativity, and excitement amongst friends are the guarantee of  a successful Halloween experience.

Here are some recommendations I have for you to get into the spirit this Halloween season:

  1. Decorating your room as soon as it is possible. Buy, for example, several pumkin-lamps for your table, a skeleton in your closet, fake spiders and other frightenening items.
  2. Invite your friends to watch scary movies in the There are a lot of very scary movies now. Most of them are definitely worth the watch.
  3. Visit Boston after Halloween weekends. The city will be decorated in Halloween decor.

I hope that you will enjoy this celebration, especially if it is your first Halloween in the USA. Have fun and enjoy yourself!


Festive Fall Fashions

By: Nurary Salina

Most American schools don’t require students to wear uniform in school and CATS Academy Boston is not an exception. Students are perfectly happy with this because they can wear clothes they like or find comfortable (and that conform with Dean Doyle’s dress policy). A lot of famous luxury fashion brands such as, Dolce & Gabbana, Burberry, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton recommend keeping office style in terms of choosing school outfits. Following this recommendation, you can easily look stylish, professional, and modern all at once throughout the school year.

Today, I want to talk about the fashion trends to keep in mind for the fall season. I hope this will help you achieve your style and comfort.

The most popular trends of the fall season now are bright, creative outfits, which give you the ability to present yourself and your outfit in the best way.

Popular fabrics to look for are: leather, suede, denim, velvet. A combination of fabrics is welcomed during the fall foliage.

To add originality and brightness to your attire, you may use decorations for your clothes, such as fur finish, ruffles, sequins, flounces and frill. It would be a great decision if you wear a simple white T-shirt and add fur strips on sleeves.

If you want to look up-to-date, then you should probably know that khaki, burgundy, terracotta, red, golden, purple, yellow, brown, pink, deep green colors are the most relevant in this season. Black is not considered a trendy color because fashion experts think that it is dull for fall and spring. But if you are a fan of dark colors, you may use brown or dark blue shades instead of black.

The spirit of 1970s and 1980s will be especially felt this season. Look for the acid shades, metallic shine, asymmetry, floral prints, hippy style, loose silhouettes, denim and length midi to dominate this fall. I hope to see some of you stepping out in some of the trendy looks this fall.

Metamorphoses- A Contemporary and Intricate CATS Theatre Production

By: Amber Nguyen

Metamorphoses – a collection of Greek Mythologies – with its tales of symbolism and enrapture imageries has come to CATS Boston. The Fall Play directed by Mr. Nathaniel Punches will be a re-telling of these famous stories with an infusion of modern elements. Based on the script written by Mary Zimmerman, the stories of love in various forms will captivate the inner sentiments of viewers. With contributions from many different departments, costumes, music and staging. The play will open on December 8th.

The cast of the show is extremely enthusiastic. Their presence and dedication to their roles brings forth the distinctive psyches of the characters. Seeing how they interact on and off stage gave a sense of energy so fresh it transpired into every line and action. Working with them on stage was not solely about performing, but largely about living the part itself. The play requires the delicate skill of emotion portrayal, and the cast deliveres. There is a rawness in delivery in some scenes, which gives something more natural to the presentations. With a rigorous schedule, the cast is working to their utmost potential to build the play step by step.

Indeed, a show cannot function smoothly without the people who manage everything that happens on the stage. Their job is challenging and interesting. They get involved by making sure every contributing factor to the play such as costumes, music, lighting, and even publicly are ready and on time with top quality. They manage every stride of the production from small to large, determined to bring out the best in the play. Sabrina Kuo– a dedicated stage manager – provided some insights to her role in the play:

“Mostly, I’m working on the schedule for costumes and backstage; but sometimes, I’ll get into the acting work and make sure the cast are working very well and memorizing their lines. The most challenging part, I would say, is to connect with everyone for the overall schedule because some have conflicts with their other activities…I won’t talk about the storyline because there are many separated stories in this play; but I like the play. It’s about love, all kinds of love, about money or romantic love. I really like it (laughs). The thing I enjoy the most about being a stage manager is the ability to connect to people. It’s hard, but it also makes me really happy because I can learn a lot from people, knowing what their personalities are, and making new friends.”

As the school year begins to pick up its pace, so are the creative art projects of CATS Academy Boston. Metamorphoses is the opening shot to this year’s theatre productions aiming for a new take on some complex and surreal ideas regarding love in many forms. It is highly anticipated – and rightfully so – as the premiere date is not far off. Hopefully, the hard work and commitment from every department working on the show will pay off as Metamorphoses take the stage on the 8th and 9th of December.

School Year in the Rearview Mirror

By: Jennifer Phan

This has been a year of great changes for our school. The much anticipated location move brought with it a thrilling new beginning laden with possibilities and challenges. Registration problems, schedule conflicts, room assignment mishaps, and settling down in general made the first couple of weeks hectic for everyone. But with patience and collaboration these issues were overcome, and the school year is thus set into motion. The school’s first elected student government as well as returning student ambassadors and peer mentors set the precedent for student leadership on the new campus through untiring enthusiasm and responsibility. The many school activities, trips, dances, and especially the energizing spirit week helped foster a sense of community among students from varied backgrounds and different cultures. This diversity was celebrated through student-led initiatives ranging from mixing dinners, positive messages on posters and murals, awareness-raising presentations, to school-wide participation in the Culture Fair and the Day of Silence. Diversity in passion and talents also had the chance to shine in the many spectacular exhibitions, fashion shows, and concerts: the Community Art Exhibition, Spring Fling, CATS Café, Open Mic, Black Spring, The Sun Arrives Later, and Once on This Island are just a few to name.

This has also been a year of great changes for me.  The much dreaded college application brought with it many trials and tribulations and some triumphs.  Apart from the standard senior struggles – juggling academics, extra-curricular, college application, (what’s left of) my social life, and sleep, this year has also taught me to have patience, for myself and for others, and perseverance, for the now and for the future. Looking back on the road I have taken, I can only say that objects in mirror are closer than they appear. The past seems so distant, yet so present; so much has happened, is two years even a long time?

CATS has been an intersection for my paths and those of the people who I have grown to know and love, and for this I will always be grateful. However, it is time for me to part with them and with CATS, and this is made all the harder knowing that for some this is our last goodbye. But I think I am ready. Not because I do not treasure my time here, for this has been the best and worst two years of life (a grand claim for someone who has yet to live twenty). I am ready because the past two years have prepared me, to the best of my ability, for what is ahead.

It has been quite a ride (at certain points, quite literally). Next stop: ?

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