CATS Academy Courier

"A Trusted Students News Source with an International Twist"



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.


Are You Just Getting By? (Tips to Help All Students)

By: Howard Ng

It is not easy to do your best when you are overwhelmed, especially in school, every person has great potential to do well.  Are you simply just too reluctant to stand up in class but realize you could do it? If you want do the best that you can with the gifts that you have then you may be ready to receive some expert advice that could help you perform better and in class. Most of these tips are recommended by teachers and they may be simple or unusual, but they really work!

Mr. Angell, Head of Schoool- “Ask teachers questions, as many as you can, go ask for help”  

  • Although this tip, recommended by Mr. Angell, seems simple, we may have a rather hard time trying to do these things. If you’re a timorous person, fearing that teachers or your peers will criticize you for asking the wrong question, or fear of asking a question that other students have already asked, then that idea in your mind is a total misconception. According to Mr. Angell, “Teachers love you guys to ask questions” if you don’t ask questions, you would have to spend a hefty amount of time to google it yourself and sometimes you still don’t get helpful information. If you ask questions, you can get them answered very quickly.   If you still don’t get it, don’t hesitate or be afraid to ask again until you fully understand the answer. Spend a bit of time and ask your teacher, they are very willing and enthusiastic to help you.

“Measure twice, cut once.” from Mr. Coon, Science and ESL teacher

  • This idiom tells us to essentially spend more time before turning in work, to check twice before submitting a final product. This practice minimizes your chance of making mistakes. It is indeed a fundamental concept that, if we simply spend a little more time, we get better quality work and your teacher will in turn give you a jubilant smile. This could be interpreted as not waiting and spending all night on our essays the day before it is due.  That just really creates panic and anxiety and you cannot really do your best work or refine your work. By taking more time, separating your assignment into parts and making sure to “measure twice” (looking back at it)  basically doing bits of it everyday, you will be putting top quality work into everything for which you will get what you pay for.

There you go! Follow these tips and make the most of them and you will see for yourself a more confident student and, most importantly, you will demonstrate your true potential in class.

Life Hacks in the Dorms

By: Howard Ng

Although some of you may agree that the dorms are just looking fine and there is nothing you can possibly do to improve it, there are actually a handful of cool tricks and “Lifehacks” that you can consider to make your experience in the dorm fun and memorable.

  1. Placing dryer sheets on your A/C:
  • Sometimes your room smells after leaving your windows closed, and the most you can do is buy a pricey air freshener to remove the smell in your room. Alternatively, you can use dryer sheets and tape them onto your air conditioner and it is a cheap and creative way to freshen up your room.
  1. Place your phone in a glass to amplify sound:
  • If you are an oversleeper, you should really consider this trick. Simply, place your phone in a glass cup and turn the speaker side towards the bottom of the glass and that acts as a mini alarm clock, in which you can use to make your alarm louder so the dorm parents don’t have to wake you up again!
  1. Set your lock screen to your class schedule!
  • Are you always getting late to class? Having a peek at your student portal before your next class or checking the paper schedule that CATS handed to you at the start of the year is just not “elaborate” enough! Simply, take a picture of your schedule (horizontal picture is recommended) and crop the background then set it to your lock screen. Now you know where you should be going, no more lateness should be expected from you!
  1. Don’t throw away your cardboard boxes, use them for your shoes!
  • Every time you buy stuff online that comes in a box and wonder what to do with the it, in this case, you can actually reuse them and place your shoes in them. Use a longer box that has the width of the length of your shoes and that you can probably fit a few shoes in it. Ain’t it easy, instead using a shoe rack, you can use your boxes and possibly decorate them to make them look fancy, you can even slide them under your bed!

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: ?

Survival Guide: How to Survive Summer

By: Jackie Kovalcin

With our days dwindling down here at CATS Academy and finals week only a few nights away, it’s easy to catch yourself day dreaming about what summer 2017 will hold. Bonfires, beach trips, and barbecues will soon be the consistency of your days. It has been an honor to write survival guides for this newspaper of ours. Here’s to what is to come, and the amazing things we’ve survived as a community this year.

Stay cool, fool: Global warming is on the rise, and this summer, you’re going to need to be prepared for it. Keep the air conditioning on, ice pops in the freezer, and a pool nearby.

Keep in touch: What a year it has been. Who would you be without the friends-turned-family you made this year? When you eat three meals a day and live with your friends at school, it is a team effort to make it through exams, weekend adventures, and daily life. There’s a certain type of bond you make with the people here at CATS, different than any other. That bond is worth maintaining, trust me. Keep up with WhatsApp, WeChat, Skype, and if you want to be old-school, you could even write a letter.

Have a bunch of fun: These are your months. These three (more or less) months are the only time you are free from the reign of school, teachers, study hours, and homework. Take advantage of this time, and challenge yourself to have the most fun (safe fun, of course) as possible. Travel with your family, try a new sport, hike a new mountain. Create memories.

Write something: This may not be as tempting as the other tips, but I guarantee you that you will thank yourself later. This experience you had during your time here at CATS is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. And you made the most of it. Write down your favorite memories on the backs of photos, start a journal, start a blog, make a list of names you never want to forget. For example, at the end of every school year I write a letter to my future self, and each year I love to read what was relevant in my life a year ago. I would recommend it to anyone.

The Benefits of Feng-Shui

Photo Source:

By: Kenneth Luk

The ancient Chinese believe that where you locate things in your environment  affects the flow of energy which  causes an effect on you, known as Feng-shui.  People can alter Feng-shui.  Experts have said that different types of plants at different places in your work place or home environment can improve Feng-shui. You can put them in living rooms, bedrooms, offices and even bathrooms.

People generally want their home to be as cozy; it should be the best place to be in their life. The right plants can make your home a better place. Lucky bamboo is one of the most popular plants to improve Feng-shui . It is believed that lucky bamboo will bring a peaceful and wise energy to your home allowing a healing spirit to flow and improve your health.  The two most vital areas to locate your lucky bamboo are the East and South-East.  In the East it will attract improved health to your family members, whereas having your lucky bamboo in the South-East will strengthen finances  and bring in more money.

A comfy home is a good, but people also need  a good workplace environment to boost productivity.  The peace lily is a great plant to grow under artificial light; having one in your office desk and close to your computer would be great. Placing a plant near your computer helps because electromagnetic energy can be filtered by the plant.  English Ivy would also be amazing.  The vines of the ivy can soften any poison arrows pointing at you which could contribute to job, money or health loss.

There are many other ways to affect the Feng-shui with different  placements.  I have just mentioned a couple to give you some ideas.  Although some people may not buy into the Feng-shui concept, it comes to us from ancient Chinese through generations and has many practitioners .

London Exchange Program Was A Success: Interview with Michael Tran

By: Brian Nguyen

“I couldn’t wait for spring break and the London Exchange Program.  It was such a great opportunity it blows my mind now.” – Michael Tran

Why did you choose to join the London Exchange Program instead of going back to your home country like many other students?

I love finding out about the world’s history, to understand how people have changed and developed.  London is a city that has a mix of antiquity such as Oxford University, Big Ben tower and modernity like The Shard Building, the fourth-highest skyscraper in Europe, or the London Eye. They made me so curious that I couldn’t wait to visit.

What did you do in London? And what did you like most?

I visited many places such as Saint Paul’s Church,  the Bank of England,  Emirates Stadium, and the London Eye, to name a few.  Each was a great experience and a lot of fun. I visited Oxford University – which is a well-known and ancient university. It’s an excellent school which I would love to attend.  I also went to the Big Ben tower which always displays the exact time. It is built beside the Thames River, and I must say it seemed quite romantic. I liked the London Eye the most because I could see the whole of London from it.  I could see the petite alleys running between the old buildings which made London so captivating.  After visiting the sights, you can walk along the River Thames, and drink a hot cup of tea. It was such an amazing experience; it is hard to find words to describe it.   I had a great time!

How do you feel about CATS Canterbury? Are there any differences between CATS Boston and CATS Canterbury?

CATS Canterbury is a nice school with an antique-style building. I had the honor to talk to CATS Canterbury’s Principal. We had a pleasant conversation about life in the United States and England.  There were a few cultural differences, but the schools are similar in that they offer a common opportunity: to give students the best environment to study, especially students who speak English as their second language.

Is there anything else you want to share?

You should visit London. I promise you will never regret the time you spend there. It’s a beautiful city which has everything, from great landscapes, good food to very nice people. I’ll go back there whenever I have a chance!

CATS Madness Basketball Tournament

By: Tristan Fornari Hospital

On Friday, April 7th, 2017, the first CATS Madness 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament took place in our state of the art gym during the evening. The event was organized by Math teacher and Student Government Advisor Mr. Mike Cerbarano along with some students from student government. Each of these students’ passion and dedication showed through the success and meticulous organization of the event. The food, entertainment, music, mini-games, a three-point contest, and free throw competition added to the allure of the event.

The event was supported by teachers, staff members, and dorm parents who volunteered to be referees. Their role in helping the event run smoothly cannot be overlooked.

Overall the tournament was a complete success that exceeded all expectations. Mr. Cerbarano was pleasantly surprised that many student spectators came to the tournament to support their friends who were playing. This added to the positive and fun environment of the tournament. Lastly, I want to congratulate all the winners of this major event, Sebastian Uribe Munera, Horacio Ornelas Ramirez, and Guilherme Sousa Pires beating the runners up Weir (Wenzheng) Zhu, Ross (Ganghun) Kwon, and Lo Tsz Fung. Ultimately, the whole CATS Academy community deserves credit for being supportive of this wonderful event.

What is the Syrian Civil War?

By: Miguel Gurrerro

Photo Source: CNN

In order to fully understand the complex nature of the Syrian conflict, it is far easier to understand with an analogy. I have chosen to compare the country with a large High School. In that case, the headmaster would be the President, named Bashar al-Assad, who has been in charge since 2000. His family, however, has been governing the country for about 40 years.

Every school has different groups, and Syria is not different. Syria has numerous groups, such as the Kurds, Sunni Muslims, Turkomans, Circassians, and Palestinians. Each group’s differences looked in order, until 2011. Throughout that year there were anti-government opposition demonstrations against the Ba’athist government of Bashar al-Assad. Bashar sent troops which resulted in extreme violence, killing thousands of people. The groups protesting got furious with the President’s actions and started to attack the government. It wouldn’t be the first time a population went against its government.

In the beginning of 2014, things got extremely worse with the entrance of a radical group called the “Islamic State in Iraq and Syria” (ISIS). At  first, their focus was just taking out the “Principal”. They, however, changed their strategy and chaos ensued throughout the country. They had an advanced army and equipment better than some of the other groups. ISIS’ aggressive strategies resulted in command of about 50% of Syria’s territory.

The conflict can be described as three wars: one war for political power, one an ethnical war, and one a religious war. Syria is half the size of California.

International countries, such as the USA, France or the UK, have no interest in Syria’s territory, but have struggled against balancing their dislike of Bashar’s repressive government and fighting against the ISIS. To make matters more complicated Saudi Arabia is allied with the US, but is also allied with the ISIS for a multitude of reasons. Russia has commercial business with Syria, so they have supported Bashar’s regime.

Meanwhile, the war is still ongoing. More than 400,000 have already died. The worst part is civilians throughout the Middle East Region have continued to suffer. These are common people who are afraid of retribution for no direct involvement. In the midst of this chaos, it’s important to understand that these people need countries to extend their hands to them. Countries taking in refugees may be their last hope of survival.

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