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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.

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November 2017 Student of the Month: Victoria Shi

Student Government Announcement

By: Sasha Chernysehva

You may not be aware of it but your student government has been putting in a lot of work to enhance your experience at CATS Academy this year. While other students are enjoying free time on Thursday, during breaks or at lunch, the student government has been working in order to make our experience here more remarkable? I hope you will all join me in expressing gratitude for what the student government, with Professor Mike in charge, has done for the CATS community. The haunted house and the Halloween dance were done with great proficiency and enthusiasm, which is why they both turned out to be very enjoyable. So thank you!

I would like to announce that the student government, is now actively stepping into its next big project, our charity fundraiser.

What is charity?

Charity is a non-profit, voluntary act of kindness. There is a great array of things that one can do for charity, including financial aid, physical help, or even moral support. Most of the time, charity involves donations or financial aid for different purposes.

Why should you get involved?

Our school now cooperates with a charitable organization called United World Schools (UW) that also works with other schools in an attempt to raise enough money to advance education in Nepal. Their goal is to build as many schools as is needed, so that they are available for children in the shortest possible distance.

The current situation in Nepal is very troubling.

Children get a poor education or don’t get one at all due to a lack of schools; many children are not allowed to go to schools. More children can be educated with the development of more schools.

In order to fulfill our annual plan for this charitable effort, we need to raise $10,000 this year. It doesn’t take much for this amount to be raised. We could do this if each student helped raise $20.

Although you are not required to participate, the student government encourages you to participate in the charity. Help us raise money for this worthy cause.

How and where can I volunteer to help?

In order to find out more about this fund raising effort, you should speak to one of the organizers of the fundraising campaign: Sandrine Veilleux or Professor Mike.

Another area that the student government plans to concentrate on is student satisfaction. There will be further information on this effort next semester.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the student government, and we will do our best to help you!

Mathematics Comes to Life with Gerrymandering Lecture

By: Nuray Salina

On Tuesday, November 7th, the CATS Innovation program hosted their first guest, Mira Bernstein from Tufts Universitty, to discuss gerrymandering. According to an official on Tufts University’s website, Mira holds a research faculty position in the interdisciplinary program in Science, Technology, and Society. She is also the founder of the Metric Geometry and Gerrymandering Group (MGGG). She gave CATS Academy students a lecture about the Mathematics behind Redistricting (Gerrymandering) in the United States.

Ms. Bernstein discussed the gerrymandering definition from the Black’s Law Dictionary: ”Gerrymandering is the process of dividing a state or other territory into authorized civil or political divisions, but with such a geographical arrangement as to accomplish a sinister or lawful purpose.”

In other words, Gerrymandering is a division of an area of districts, in which the results of elections are intended to be predetermined. This word appeared in the 19th century, when the Boston Gazette insinuated that Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry redistricted voting areas to favor his Democratic-Republican Party.

Our guest showed us the small possibility of victory for minority candidates during elections. The process of gerrymandering is to divide your territory so your supporters will represent the majority in more districts than your opponents. This picture will help you to understand the nature of Gerrymandering more clearly:

Mira Bernstein noted that communities are not typically divided fairly. She emphasized the following three main problems of Gerrymandering:

gerry

  1. Compact doesn’t mean neutral.
  2. Neutral doesn’t mean fair.
  3. Do we even know what is fair?

Gerrymandering is a major issue throughout the world. Some politicians and political parties come to power without having the majority of supporters. Redistricting makes elections unfair, because it doesn’t allow every person to have an independent vote. Bernstein’s lecture also emphasized the connection between geometry and politics.

This lecture was interesting and thought provoking for our students, who were curious enough to ask Ms. Bernstein questions about gerrymandering.

This engaging lecture was the first to be sponsored by the CATS Innovation Program. The program is an interdisciplinary curriculum that helps students follow their academic passion in focused areas of study.

CATS Food Waste Challenge

By: Maria Monterio Attie and Nicholas Mikellides

Food waste is a very serious global issue that happens all over the globe. After witnessing the food waste issue in the CATS Boston dining hall, it became quite apparent that the United States is one of the most wasteful countries in regards to food.  When our teacher, Mr. Walecka, assigned us a Contemporary Issues project to raise awareness of about a global issue our topic was obvious. We chose to tackle the food waste issue at CATS and make students, faculty, and staff more conscious about this serious issue.

How did you decide to raise awareness for this issue?

In order to raise awareness, we concluded that the best option would be to show to the community at CATS how much food we actually waste. Once we received the support of Mr. Angell, Mr. Pendley, and the Aramark team, we created the idea to weigh the food waste from CATS for a two week stretch. The first week we decided the students would not be aware of the project, whereas the second week we would make students aware. We ended up discovering that we waste around 675 pounds of food in five days. We then compiled this information and create a video to put on the advisory homeroom announcements. After displaying the results, we started a campaign to create as little food waste as possible for another five days.

What were the results of the campaign?

Unfortunately, the results were not as good as we expected. The CATS community wasted 670 pounds of food during the second five day food challenge span. There was only a difference of a mere five pounds.

Why did the results not change?

After analyzing the unfortunate results, we started wondering why the waste continued to be practically the same. After talking to some of the students and teachers, we concluded that the waste continued the same due to the lack of community serious towards the issue and because some people were not “used to” the cafeteria food.
What can the CATS community do to solve this issue?

The CATS community could be more conscious about what they are wasting and why they are wasting the food in the first place. After this presentation, we could talk to the cafeteria and propose recipes and cooking styles many of our students are used to eating. Our final solution would be to have a house competition and whoever wastes the least amount of food would win house points.

Conclusion

Finally, it is our conclusion that the CATS community contributes greatly to the problem of food waste. It is really important for us to initiate change amongst all of our international students from all over the world. If people here become more conscious of this serious issue, they will, hopefully, spread this idea to different countries and help create less food waste.

CATS Academy Boston Prom 2017

By: Jackie Kovalcin

With the theme “Masquerade Ball” and  title “A Night of Elegance”, the prom had high expectations. And although I can only speak for myself, I’m sure everyone would agree that it went above and beyond in every way possible. It was truly a night of elegance. Prom 2017 was night of beautiful people, great music (especially Miron and Ha), lots of dancing, and a million photographs. From the delicious catering, going all out on the  dance floor, to the photos we’ll have forever, it’s easy to say we made the prom memorable night.

None of this could’ve been done without the Senior Prom Planning Committee who did everything from selecting the location to making sure there was a photo booth for our enjoyment. So for all your hard work, thank you. In addition to live music to kick off the dancing, we were treated to a heart-warming speech given by Jeungsoo Noh, a senior of four years here at CATS Academy, who introduced himself to the crowd as “Jeungsoo the Great”.

And a special congratulations to our prom king and queen Julliana Aya and Luigi Michelin!

Six Flags an Awesome Trip: Interview with Vuong Tran

Photo Source: Theme Park Review

By:  Brian Nguyen

“After spending a second on my very first roller coaster, I knew it was the greatest school trip this school year.” – Hieu Tran on our great trip to Six Flags.

What did you think about Six Flags trip for freshmen through juniors?

“I really liked the thrill rides.  I found out there was Six Flags near Boston when I came to CATS during the first month. At the beginning of the school year, Mr. Angell told us that we would have a trip to Six Flags at the end of the year. I have waited quite long, but the wait was worth it.”

What rides did you spend time on? And what was your favorite?

“I spent all of my time on roller coasters, primarily Goliath, Mind Eraser, Scream, Superman and Wicked Cyclone. The Wicked Cyclone was the one I liked most.  I wasn’t as “thrilled” by the Superman ride, but I still liked it. I went on Wicked Cyclone many times; when I had to leave, I wished I could have more time, even 30 minutes to continue riding it with my friends.”

What did you think after spending the day there?

“I really want to say thanks to CATS, for offering this trip to the students. I feel sorry for students who didn’t have a chance to go on this trip. I will be here next year, so I really hope CATS will offer this trip again for all students. If Mr. Angell announces that we will have a Six Flags trip again, there’ll be no words to describe my joy!”

Mr. Angell Appointed Headmaster of CATS Academy Boston

By: Jackie Kovalcin

You’ve probably heard the news  or seen the signs in the cafeteria by now, announcing the appointment of Christopher Angell to the head of school position here at CATS Academy Boston. Perhaps you tasted the celebratory sundaes served with lunch last week, congratulating Mr. Angell on his success. This is a very exciting time for both the administration and the student body. The announcement of Mr. Angell’s appointment is a big step in the right direction for the bright future of CATS Academy. I was able to sit down and have a conversation with Mr. Angell about this exciting time.

What does it feel like to be appointed headmaster?

Mr. Angell: “It’s exciting, but also challenging. I think it’s an awesome responsibility. I now have to be sure that every student here is successful in every possible way. I also have to supervise a huge group of really well-trained and experienced faculty, administration, and staff. Doing both of these things will be, like I said, exciting and challenging.”

What is your favorite part about being Headmaster?

Mr. Angell: “I think my favorite part of it is helping both the faculty and the students achieve the goals that they have set for themselves. I like to think of myself as a leader, I need to set a tone as far as the school’s concerned. But an even more important task for me is supporting both the staff and students. In other words, I told the faculty that I think of myself as helping to paint the painting, and supplying the faculty with the paintbrushes and paint necessary. This applies to the students as well.”

What are some changes you see for the future of CATS Academy Boston?

Mr. Angell: “I think that we’ve made some improvements over spring vacation. I think there are some changes coming up as far as the physical facilities are concerned. I am very interested in upgrading and improving the student living areas such as in between the dormitories and the athletic fields. I would also like to give the students as many different and new kinds of academic courses, electives, and challenges they want during the school year. I’m looking forward to the growth of the school. We’ll probably be seeing some additional students next year with our homestay and day-student programs. Adding that to the mix will be both exciting and challenging”

Congratulations Mr. Angell!

 

Participate in Poem in Your Pocket Day

Share a poem with everyone you meet on Poem in Your Pocket Day at CATS Academy Boston on April 27th. Select a poem or compose an original work and carry it with you in your pocket all day, sharing the poem and the fun of National Poetry Month wherever you go.

Adapted from: Academy of American Poets

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