A “Word from the Bird”

Angry Birds and Angry Words

I have to admit that I have played the latest game for handheld devices: Angry Birds. If you haven’t played it, congratulations—I wouldn’t start. If you have played it, you will know that though this little game has a simple concept, it has exploded into a pop-culture hit. Ask any teenagers around to show you the game. The point of it is to sling a ‘bird’ towards structures, pigs, and other animals, knocking them down and destroying them in order to clear the level. When you look at it this way, the game is mind-numbingly simple.

During a prayer of confession in church this Sunday, the pastor said, ‘Father, forgive us for slinging angry words that destroy the people around us’ (loosely paraphrased). Reflecting on that prayer, I began to draw parallels between it and Angry Birds. Where in the game we sling birds at animals and structures, in life we sling angry words at the people around us. Our words can be so destructive, and yet hurling insults at the people around us can seem so simple. Today, we can communicate via multiple methods and at any time. The weight of our words has not changed, but what has is the number of opportunities to communicate. What we say to others, whether through, text, email, twitter, Facebook, or any other mode of communication, reflects our character and our heart.

Since Sunday, I have looked at Angry Birds a little differently. When I see it being played it reminds me of the prayer. It reminds me that if we communicate as though playing Angry Birds, we will accomplish the mission of Angry Words: we will destroy the people around us that we love. And it reminds me to be thankful for a God who is powerful to heal the hurts we inflict and to change our heart.

This week’s podcast is a simple reminder of the ways our school is shaping hearts through Growth and Learning.

Mr. Siebenga

In this Issue…

Check out these fun snapshots of students! Familiarize yourself with protocols for exams and second semester, and see how one of our students is changing the world!

Update yourself on the success of our athletes, and read a fun story about a former student who is doing great things.

Finally, read some announcements from Recruitment and Advancement Services and mark your calendars for our very exciting March Fundraiser: Arts Matter!

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Alicia Buist & Ji Yeon Han meticulously work on their art projects.

The Choir performs a series of songs at the Christmas Concert.

Monica Ha and Joseph van Staalduinen learn about anatomy in Mr. Koiter’s science class.

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“FYI” – For Your Information

Exams: What You Need to Know

Please confirm the date, time and location of your exams. Click here to see the full schedule.  Remember that Monday exams start at 12:00 pm, and Tuesday through Thursday exams start at 9:00 am.

The school will be in quiet study mode, so many areas, including the upstairs and downstairs hallways, will not be open to student traffic.  Please do not come to school if you are not writing an exam.

On the day of an exam, you need to:

1.    Come to school appropriately dressed according to the school’s wardrobe regulations.

2.    Proceed to the library to return course textbooks and pick up your exam entry ticket.  Even if the course does not have a text to return, you still need to pick up an exam ticket in the library.

3.    Go to your exam location a few minutes before the exam starts.

4.    Leave backpacks, cell phones, and all listening devices at the back of the gym or in front of the exam room.

5.    Go to your desk. (Please note that the only refreshments allowed are water and unwrapped candy.)

6.    Be prepared to spend at least one hour in the exam room.  You will have up to three hours to write.

7.    When you have completed, checked and handed in your exam, please leave the exam room, if necessary wait for friends quietly, and leave the building as soon as possible.

Other particulars

  • Students who have officially been informed about writing in another location are to report to Room 111 at exam time.
  • In case of any absence, please phone the school office immediately.  A signed doctor’s note is necessary if you are sick.
  • All textbooks on loan for Semester 1 are due in the library by 9:00 am on Thursday, January 26.  Please make sure your texts are in on time to avoid a $5.00-per-book late handling fee.  All missing texts must be returned or paid for before the next semester begins.

Best wishes as you prepare!

Graduation Portraits

Lifetouch photography will be at HDCH from February 6-10, 2012 to take graduation portraits. Students must sign up online to book their sitting time via www.lifetouch.ca/hamiltonregion.

All graduates should have received a booklet describing the different sitting options from their homeroom teacher.  There is a mandatory sitting fee which must be paid on the day they have their picture taken. Tips on what to wear and how to prepare are in the booklet and online.

We would like all Grade 12′s to have their picture taken.  If they don’t want to order any, a headshot should still be taken, free of charge, so that it can be included in the yearbook, the composite picture on the wall and in the graduation ceremony in June.

If you have any further questions, please contact Mrs. Oppertshauser via email at koppertshauser@hdch.org.

Semester 2 – Important Dates

Here are some key dates for the start of Semester 2.

Monday, January 30 – PA Day

Tuesday, January 31 – First day of classes

Students will receive a new copy of their semester 2 schedule and have a chance to pick up their textbooks from 8:30 – 9:30 am.  Note that students need to have settled book accounts.  We will run an alternate class schedule to accommodate textbook pick up.

Thursday, February 2 – Exam Viewing

Students will have a chance to view their exams and receive their marks for first semester courses from 8:45 – 9:20 am.

Wednesday, February 15 – Semester 1 Report Cards

Students will pick up their first semester report cards during the school day.

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All of our winter sports are well underway and momentum is high!

The junior boys basketball team played well in their games last week against Vanier and Parkside, coming out with a win in both games.  However, the senior boys played in a tournament against Westdale last weekend, and unfortunately could not advance victorious. Next stop is the Christian High tournament after the exam break!

The junior girls volleyball team outplayed Parkside Wednesday afternoon, but lost the match by a very close margin. The team went on to defeat Highland which earns them a spot in the play-offs! Congrats! The senior girls played against McNab last week and pulled out an exciting win.  They also played this week against a tough Waterdown team but could not manage a win.  The senior team is looking forward to playing in the Christian schools tournament in the first week of February.

Track and field is just around the corner, and we look forward to seeing many new students try out. Talk to Mr. Webb if you have any questions. Practices start the first week of semester 2.

Finally, if you are a new student here in grade 10, 11, or 12, and you would like to join one of our spring sports teams (track and field, badminton, soccer, lacrosse, slo-pitch), you need to fill out a transfer form. If you don’t fill out this form, you will not be allowed to play. If you are interested, please talk to Mr. Heidbuurt in the PE office.

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Community News

HDCH Alumni

Elia Koolsbergen ’08 won the Ontario Colleges Athletic Assocation (OCAA) Photo of the Year Competition. The winning picture is featured in the official magazine of the OCAA (SWEAT).

To see the winning photo and a more detailed write-up, visit: http://www.mohawkcollege.ca/news/sports-news/Sports_News_2012/sports20120117.html

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Recruitment & Advancement

Campaign Update

We’re thankful that the HDCH campaign is currently at $323 000, well on the way to meeting our $375 000 goal.  So many people support the good work that is happening at this school.

Grade 9 Enrollment

There is a strong upswing in enrollment for grade 9 for next year.  Currently 80 students are signed up, and many more are on the way.

Pastors-Principals Breakfast

This past Tuesday we hosted about 30 guests at our Pastors – Principals Breakfast.  Michael VanPelt from Cardus led a presentation and discussion on the parts of the Cardus Education Survey that pertain to spirituality.  The evidence clearly shows that Christian schools play a major role in spiritual formation, and there are direct results in later life for family, church and community.  Further details can be seen here: http://www.cardus.ca/research/education

Special thanks to Sheila Koning, Evelyn Hielema and Angeline Langendoen for their assistance with the breakfast!

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Upcoming Events

Semester 1 Exams - January 23-27

Arts Matter- Saturday, March 3 @ 5 p.m.

The Annual March Fundraiser this year will be celebrating the Arts at HDCH; raising funds to uphold the Arts as a central component of the HDCH learning experience.

The evening will feature a dinner; bake sale, flower sale, silent auction, performances by HD students, and a showcase of student art: dramatic, musical, and visual.

Money raised will help to support:

Visual Arts: moving the Art room to a more central location at HD; purchase of a new kiln

Dramatic Arts: LED stage lights; headsets for communication during performances

Musical Arts: upgrade to percussion; music composition software

Tickets are $25 per adult and $10 per child (aged 4-12), or $200 for a table of 8. To purchase your tickets, please contact the office at (905) 648- 6655.

If you would like to sponsor this event, please contact a member of the HDCH Fundraising Committee.

Owen Webb  ̶  owebb@hdch.org Catherine Baird – catherinebaird71@gmail.com
JoAnn Voorberg  ̶  jmvoorberg@yahoo.ca Carolyn Kippers  ̶  c.kippers@gmail.com
Liz Lodewyks  ̶  blodewyks@cogeco.ca Angeline Langendoen  ̶  alangendoen@shaw.ca


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School News


What started as an idea for a project in their media class has turned into an amazing story of selflessness, community, and learning.

When Jocelyn Bick and Katelynn Allemang heard about the My Just Because video contest, they immediately thought of Kat Vos and decided to make a video about her in the hopes of sending her on the first prize thirteen day trip somewhere in the world. Katelynn and Jocelyn also decided that getting the whole student body to participate in the video might be an amazing way to convince the judges that Kat was worth investing in. They were right. At a surprise assembly last Thursday, Mr. Siebenga shared the announcement with the whole community: Kat’s video had won both the most popular award and the first place prize! This coming March break Kat will be off on a trip—it looks most likely to be to Uganda—for thirteen days to learn more about her love of children and to build on her volunteer experience here in Hamilton at CityKidz. Representatives from the contest, family and friends, CityKidz, and of course the HDCH student body were all on hand at our assembly to celebrate the announcement. The judges of the contest shared that the collaboration of the three students and the involvement of the entire school were the difference in Kat’s video being the winner.Click here to check out her winning video!

The HDCH assembly committee has shared a vision for our community to worship by doing three things: 1) discover our gifts, 2) share our joys and burdens, and 3) pursue shalom. This story is an amazing convergence of all three of those desires.

Congratulations to Kat, but also to Jocelyn, Katelynn, and the entire school community for their participation in making this dream a reality!

Mr. Cook

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