CATS Academy Courier

"A Trusted Students News Source with an International Twist"



I Heart Piano Concert Inspires

By: Helena Fauvel

On February 13th, the Fine Arts Department hosted their annual “I Heart Piano” Concert   as a tribute to Valentine’s Day and peace around the world. At the event students were allowed to secretly dedicate songs to their friends, admirers, and valentines! The class of advanced pianists led by Ms. Segal presented songs inspired by the themes of romance, love, and passion. The beautiful event, which took place in Salon B, was attended by over seventy students, faculty, and staff members.

Lilian Wang, a musician performing in the concert, is an example of how dedication and persistence with guidance from Ms. Segal can lead to the production of beautiful music. Although she began to play the piano at six years of age, she had to stop playing for eight years because of other time commitments. Admission to CATS Boston led to a renewed passion and she began to play again with the help of the lovely Ms. Segal.

During the concert, Lilian played a poetic French song called “Comptine D’un Autre Été”. “The song makes me happy and I wanted to make other people feel this way too by playing it.  I learned the song during the winter break and I thought it was a good fit for the Valentine piano concert,” explained Lillian.

Throughout the remainder of the concert, other talented students played songs written by famous composers, such as Ben Anderson, Davichi, Ning er cen, and Yiruma.  Overall the concert was a great success and displayed the tremendous piano talent CATS has to offer.  Congratulations to everyone who played at the event and a special thanks to Ms. Segal for making it all possible. We look forward to next year!


Filmmaker and Historian Presents Film on Vietnam

Film is a meaningful artform that gives its director a way to deliver creative content through both a visual and oral means. The creator is allowed to dig deeper into the content and create an emotional connection with the audience while making the topic come into a more focused view. This  method of film can be especially used when director’s create films based on historical events. On the February 16th, the power of film was displayed in full force when CATS Academy Boston welcomed a historian and filmmaker, Michael T. Barry Jr., who introduced his film The Universal Soldier: Vietnam. The film focuses on the nature of the Vietnam War while discussing both Vietnamese and American perspectives about the war.

How did you come up with an idea of making the film “The Universal Soldier”? Where did you get inspiration from?

The title itself comes from a protest song “The Universal Soldier” of the 1960s, which questions the whole idea of going to the war, since all humans share the same universal feelings and emotions. My collaborator, Karen Turner, professor at the Holly Cross, decided to develop this content with the material that she had collected over the years. Also, we wanted to reach out to the millenniums, who are so distant from the war, in the way that was both compassionate and intimate with those experience.

What is one thing you would like to highlight from “The Universal Soldier”?

Without any doubts, those conversations with veterans, who were going through all the struggles. At the same time, I was taken aback by how generous, kind and giving veterans were. Both Americans and Vietnamese. All these individuals were open minded and wanted to share with young people the continuous impact wa hadr on their lives, and what they have been through. Coming back to the question, I  don’t want to underscore the generosity veterans had in their approaches to people. I haven’t seen  this among many others individuals.

Besides the emotional part, your research involved factual information, which was based on the cruel reality of the war. Did you have any doubts about showing the devastation of the Vietnam War before the process of filmmaking?

        Yes, absolutely. At the beginning we were anxious to push young people away by talking about violence. We had to do it delicately, but it turned out that our audience was mature enough to embrace it. Another challenge for us was to deal with emotions. Our fear was that sensitive material might set some patriotic veterans off, which rarely happened later in process.

To reach your audience in the most accurate way, did you use filmmaking as a technology or more in an artistic way?

It was done mainly in an artistic way. The initial idea wasn’t to show the technological process in the film industry, but to let people speak out. It was purposefully filmed with small cameras and microphones, so that interviewees don’t feel pressure. We were aiming to get the most authentic stories with less technologies, as the oral historians.

As a historian and a filmmaker, what do you see as a goal for your career?

My biggest goal is to give voice to people whose stories were unheard and marginalized, especially by the government. As well I want to make both veterans and audience a part of these projects to integrate tolerance and acceptance in our community.

From Your own experience, what advice would you give to young filmmakers?

That’s a tough question. But I would say: be open. When it comes to interviews or any content that includes other people and their stories, it is important to stay respectful to their life-stories and emotions attached to them, so that they don’t feel embarrassed. To be a good filmmaker in this kind of genre is to stay collaborative.

Forum on Race, Ethnicity, and Power of Friendship

By: Tova Turner and Sandrea Celestin

On February 9, 2018, several students organized a forum on race and ethnicity. Its purpose was to discuss the historical and current issues surrounding racial and ethnic social dynamics in the United States.

After the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s led by many African-American leaders, such as Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, James Baldwin, and Malcolm X, our nation saw significant changes that improved the lives of Black citizens.  However, today, minority groups in the United States still face great racial and ethnic discrimination.

In our forum we discussed how the history of slavery and segregation affected the lives of Black Americans. Some of the topics we discussed were how Black Americans were harassed in the process of desegregation in the 1960’s, the evolution of use of the N-word, racial profiling, police brutality,  the Black Lives Matter Movement, the rise of White Supremacists and Nationalist groups. The forum was important because minorities still face injustice and discrimination today, and this is not talked about enough.

The intention of the forum was to start a conversation about how these issues affect our country, as well other countries where similar racist and xenophobic behavior takes place. Our goal was to inform our community about how social prejudice still exists today. We took on this responsibility with optimism, and we hope that honest communication and the power of friendship can help lead the way to a better society.

On behalf of the students who participated in the forum (Tova, Sandrea, Kate, Norah, Jet, Lexi and Jalyn) thank you to the students, faculty and staff for joining us in this important discussion.


CATS Cafe Showcases Student Musical Talent

By: Helena Fauvel

The CATS Cafe is an event that happens periodically in our community.  It is an upbeat opportunity for students play and sing music they like – songs can be in English, Portuguese, Russian, Vietnamese, Spanish, Chinese, or any language.  The enjoyment of music any language is of course universal.

When CATS Cafe is held, it takes place during lunch and advisory time on Tuesday and Friday. If you want to participate, you will always be welcome. But, if you only want to watch, that’s ok – every performer needs an audience!

Come to the Cafe, it is a great opportunity to relax and have fun with your friends between class periods. It’s also a great opportunity to show your musical talent.

CATS Cafe will return after break to the Student Lounge, so watch for announcements about the next date so you can come and enjoy the atmosphere.


Microwave Fried Rice Dorm Recipe

By: Jessica Ngo

Time: 30min | Serves: 1 person | Tbsp = spoon


3 Tbsp of rice (raw)

4 Tbsp of water

⅛ Tbsp of oil


¼ Tbsp of chosen seasoning

(soy sauce, salt, tomato sauce)


3 Tbsp of peas

3 bacon slices, chopped


2 Microwave Safe Bowls

Spoon/ Fork


Put all ingredients into a microwave safe container.

Stir and Cover.

Microwave 20 minutes.

Add in Bacon

Leave for about 5 minutes.

Stir well and Enjoy!


March 2018 Artist of the Month

By: Tinna Wang

mar- art


Dorm Life at CATS Boston

By: Sasha Chernysehva

Dorm life is a unique experience that only boarding students can have. There is a prevalent opinion that dorm life is humdrum and doesn’t carry much weight in the context of one’s boarding experience. However, this is an indisputable underestimation, it may well be one’s favorite part. Dorm life is certainly important and deserves notice. Here’s the overview of my experience with CATS dorm life.

My social life in CATS began in the dorm. When I came here last year, I was very anxious about merging in to a completely new community. However, soon I realized that the dorm environment was more than welcoming, and shortly I felt really comfortable with meeting new people and making new friends. There were times when we all gathered together in the lounge, to watch movies on Netflix, listen to music, cook food, or just talk. These simple things create the warm and cozy environment that helped me join the CATS community in my first year.

Both of my dorm parents, during the first two years, were very involved in my life. In my home country, it would be my parents who would provide assistance if I had concerns about teachers, grades, or my personal life.   Here at CATS, my dorm parents are very involved, caring and work hard every day to create a welcoming community on the floor. For example, my dorm parent makes hot pots for everybody on the floor.  Other dorm parents have done things like organize a karaoke night or make Sunday breakfast for the floor.  They are always looking for new and creative things to do.

Holidays in dorms are always celebrated. On Halloween and Thanksgiving, all of the dorms were adorned with festive decorations; and although, we were not here for Christmas, an effort was made to illuminate our dorms, celebrate with food and Secret Santa presents were given on the night before we left. The Gardner House recently had a Valentine’s Party on February 14; they distributed valentines and little presents, had food and music, and celebrated the holiday with hugs. Many of the students dressed in costume or wore red for the occasion.

Dorm life at CATS is a big part of the school experience, if classes are not the best part of your day, dorm life certainly may be.


Cultural Fair Highlights: A Call for Global Unity

By: Alice Nguyen

The Culture Fair could be just like any other school event which occurs during assembly time, but it is not. It is like an artwork: there are those who work on it for days, and those who enjoy it in a fleetingly quick timeframe. Even though it only lasted two hours, it was worth it!

Tremendous effort was put into the preparation for the Culture Fair, thanks to Ms. Carroll, her organizing team, countless students, and staff members. The result was a dazzling success. Musical acts such as the iconic Russian song “Katyusha” and the Brazilian “Dona Maria” group dance generated plenty of laughter and excitement—a perfect opening for more fun to come. A guest dance group performed some African dances along with the many students who joined them on stage. The fashion show featured elaborate costumes from around the world, including Korean hanbok, Vietnamese ao dai, a Japanese kimono, and many others. The highlight of the fair, as always, was the amazing food: Vietnamese cha gio, Russian boortsog, Philippine lumpia, Moroccan tea, Canadian pancakes, Mexican tacos, Albanian baklava, Brazilian coxinha, Taiwanese bubble tea, Chinese noodles, Korean pancakes, Japanese candies, Bulgarian snacks, American cookies, and Italian pasta.

As one of the organizers of the fair, my hope is that it was more than just an event to you, as it was for me. I can still recall quite vividly standing amidst a sea of indistinct chatter of languages, in a room that felt like a mini cut out version of the world. Visiting a booth was like traveling to a different country where I was immediately welcomed. Indeed, the fair’s significance surpassed the parameters of our school community alone. Here are the young generations of Morocco, Vietnam, Korea, Italy, Albania, Taiwan, Mexico, Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbek, Japan, China, Brazil, Philippines, Bulgaria, Canada, America—all united, unafraid to open our doors and welcome others. There are the differences we have, the history we do not share, the languages we cannot comprehend, and they all are beautiful together. The fair, as I experienced it, was a call for global unity, open barriers, and universal acceptance of all races, ethnicities, nationalities, and cultures.


Four Ways to Enjoy A Restful Spring Break

By: Howard Ng

Spring Break is coming!!! As usual, we count down to break as if was a winning lottery ticket. Most students crave an increased amount of sleep, relaxation, and rest for the 22 days of break.  Then we will all come back to complete the final two months of the school year. I would like to propose four meaningful ways you can efficiently use those 22 days of spring break and not waste a single day.

  1. Actually Relax:

Over the break, don’t just stay in your room and stare at a screen and eat junk food for a whole day. A great and meaningful way to relax is by going to the beach and enjoying the sun if you desire, or you can simply enjoy a tranquil afternoon picnic with your family at a park. If these things do not tempt you enough, you can simply have a serene day fishing at a lake, where you can clear your mind, indulge yourself in the amazing scenery and hopefully catch something for lunch.

  1. Adventure and Explore:

There are many ways to enjoy the break in the wild. Spending a few days, getting your hands dirty and exploring nature can be exhilarating, delightful and memorable. Take camping for example, it is nice to have the scents of nature around you, to build a campfire and cook a simple but tasty meal in the outdoors. At night you can relax listening to the crickets singing at night. Camping is also very empowering because it helps you build survival skills and is a great way to be unplugged.


During the spring break, a great way to spend a day or two is to get active by volunteering for a local community organization where you live.  When you make a difference in the lives of others I believe you will find happiness in giving. You can also gain valuable life experience that will help you in the future and enhance your resume.  You can gain new skills and training and learn how to work in teams with others towards a common goal.

  1. “Play Scholar”

After the break, we will all return to school and you could take the opportunity to get ahead during the break.  You can “Play Scholar” and complete assignments given to you before break by your teachers which are due after we come back.   You have the assignment and know exactly what to do, so get it all done and then relax!  In this way you will make your return to school so much easier.


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