Written by David Hatz, Retired Teacher and Coach


         Graduation is fast approaching, although maybe not fast enough for the Class of 2021.
Four outstanding seniors were recently selected to address the graduates in ceremonies that
will be a bit different from past years. But, unlike the class of 2020, at least this year’s grads will
have the opportunity to walk and receive their diplomas.The speakers are Diana Flores Valdivia (valedictorian, Cornell), Melissa Rodriguez Martinez
(salutatorian, UCSD), Valeria Rodriguez (Southwestern/UCLA transfer alliance program), and
Michelle Zeng (UCLA).
         I had the privilege of working with all four to help them edit/tweak their speeches. But,
quite honestly, there wasn’t much me to change – a word here, a phrase there, maybe add
“this,” or perhaps delete “that.”
         It was obvious all four spent a lot of time preparing. I was definitely impressed, but not
surprised because all four were students of mine in AP English Language and Composition last
year. And, make no mistake, they were outstanding students, outstanding writers, and a
pleasure to have in class.
         If I could have had a roomful of them in every class, I would have taught for free. OK, that’s a
bit hyperbolic. But you know what I mean.
         In case you haven’t heard, there will be three live graduation ceremonies (alphabetically) on
Tuesday, June 2, in the stadium to allow for social distancing. There will also be a virtual
ceremony for those who are uncomfortable or unable to attend.

Musical Wordplay


         Since previous blogs have included some math and science humor, I figured it is time to have
some fun with our musicians. Although I don’t believe you need to be musically astute to enjoy
the following puns.
         I hope you don’t think I’m out of tune (or touch) for presenting the following:

         1. What is Beethoven doing now? Decomposing.
         2. Why did the pianist keep banging his head against the keys? He was playing by ear.
         3. What do you call a musician with problems? A trebled man.
         4. What’s the difference between a musician and an 18-inch pizza? An 18-inch pizza can
         feed a family of four.
         5. What do you call a singing laptop? A Dell.
         6. How can you tell the difference between a violinist and a dog? The dog knows when to
         stop scratching.
         7. Why couldn’t the string quartet find their composer? He was Haydn.
         8. How did the turkey win the talent show? With his drumsticks.
         9. What is the musical part of a snake? The scales.
         10. My girlfriend left me because of my obsession with Linkin Park. But in the end, it doesn’t
         even matter.
         11. Mr. Williams told me he was going to hit me with the neck of his guitar. I asked, “Is that
         a fret?”

         12. What do a viola and a lawsuit have in common? Everyone is happy when the case is
         13. What was Beethoven’s favorite fruit? BA-NA-NA-NAAAAA!
         14. How are trumpets like pirates? They both murder in the high C’s.
         15. Musicians? Oh yeah, we think outside the Bachs.
         16. Why did the guitarist get fired as a carpenter? Because he was shredding the floor.
         17. C, E-flat and G walk into a bar. The bartender points to the door and says, “Sorry, we
         don’t serve minors.”

         Thanks, or not, to Juliet Lanka (60 Corny Music Puns That are Completely Hilarious) for these

Musical Wordplay, Part 2


         Having taken piano lessons as a youngster and self-taught on the guitar, I didn’t have to
work “real jobs” for money during my high school and college years. Instead, I played a variety
of gigs with various garage bands.
         One time I bought our bass player a “get better soon” card. He wasn’t sick. I just thought he
could get a lot better.


         Among the SCPA’s many outstanding programs are the band and orchestra. And I hear they
are about to get even better. My sources tell me that CVH will welcome two incredible
freshmen in July who are certain to complement both groups.
         They are (drum roll) … Claire Annette and Amanda Lynn.
         Rim shot and cymbal crash, please. I’ll see myself out.
         Until next time, write on!

Written by David Hatz, Retired Teacher and Coach

         There is a measure of truth to the adage/cliché “money can’t buy happiness.” That said, it
certainly can make life easier when it comes to affording necessities – food, clothes,
transportation, shelter, to name a few.
         Money wasn’t a problem for Robert Pirosh. He was a well-paid advertising copywriter in New
York City in 1934. But he wasn’t happy.
         So, the 24-year-old Pirosh decided to do something about it. Determined to realize his
dreams of becoming a screenwriter, he composed what is certainly one of the most effective
cover letters ever written and sent copies to many executives in Hollywood.
         His efforts paid off. The letter secured him three interviews, one of which landed him a job
as a junior writer at MGM. Happiness and success ensued.
         Pirosh became a prolific writer for the leading entertainment company, highlighted by an
Academy Award for best original screenplay in 1949 for the war film “Battleground,” based on
the Battle of the Bulge.
         In a Hollywood career that spanned more than 30 years, Pirosh was a writer, producer or
director on many well-known films and television series. He alternated between dramatic
subjects, including the Oscar-nominated war movie “Go for Broke!” (1951), and madcap
comedy – most notably his contributions to the Marx Brothers classical farce “A Day at the
Races” (1937).
         Pirosh also taught writing at the University of Southern California to conclude his illustrious
career. A sidenote: Pirosh was born on April 1, 1910 (April Fools’ Day), and died on Christmas
Day, 1989.
         Why am I sharing this with you? I’m glad you asked. Certainly, the message of striving to
realize one’s dreams should ring loud and clear.
More importantly for me, and hopefully, is to recognize and appreciate the importance of
good writing. And, many (if not all) of you will likely write one/several cover letters during your
working life. The message here: good/great ones can make a difference.
         And now, without further blustering, here, for your enjoyment, is Pirosh’s letter:


Dear Sir,


I like words. I like fat buttery words, such as ooze, turpitude, glutinous, toady. I like solemn,

angular, creaky words, such as straitlaced, cantankerous, pecunious, valedictory. I like spurious,

black-is-white words, such as mortician, liquidate, tonsorial, demi-monde. I like suave “V”

words, such as Svengali, svelte, bravura, verve. I like crunchy, brittle, crackly words, such as

splinter, grapple, jostle, crusty. I like sullen, crabbed, scowling words, such as skulk, glower,

scabby, churl. I like Oh-Heavens, my-gracious, land’s-sake words, such as tricksy, tucker,

genteel, horrid. I like elegant, flowery words, such as estivate, peregrinate, elysium, halcyon. I

like wormy, squirmy, meal words, such as crawl, blubber, squeal, drip. I like sniggly, chuckling

words, such as cowlick, gurgle, bubble and burp.

I like the word screenwriter better than copywriter, so I decided to quit my job in a New York

advertising agency and try my luck in Hollywood. But before taking the plunge, I went to Europe

for a year of study, contemplation and horsing around.


I have just returned and I still like words.


May I have a few with you?


Robert Pirosh

385 Madison Avenue

Room 610

New York

Eldorado 5-6024

More Fun with Words


         If you have read previous blogs, you know I enjoy wordplay. Some are hilarious, some not so
much, and others are just plain groaners.
OK, you have been warned. Here now is my latest collection culled from the Internet:

• Venison for dinner again? Oh, deer!
• I tried to catch some fog, but I mist.
• I changed my iPod’s name to Titanic. It’s syncing now.
• I stayed up all night to see where the sun went … and then it dawned on me.
• When chemists die, they barium.
• I know a guy who’s addicted to break fluid, but he says he can stop any time.
• I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. I just can’t put it down.
• I did a theatrical performance about puns. It was a play on words.
• Broken pencils are pointless.
• I didn’t like my beard at first. Then it grew on me.
• I was taking a class on communism, but dropped it because of lousy Marx.
• What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary? A thesaurus.

Final Thoughts

         Only in math problems can you buy 60 cantaloupes and no one asks what the heck is wrong
with you.

         “The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”

         – Ernest Hemingway

         Until next time, write on!

Written by David Hatz, Retired Teacher and Coach


         AP Exams are right around the corner, and I know many of you are preparing to take one or
more of these rigorous tests that accurately measure your college readiness in various subjects.
         Moreover, earning a 3 or higher on an exam may earn you college credit (depending on the
college/university you attend), which, in turn, can help cut one’s tuition costs and raise one’s
registration priority status – a key for freshmen who generally start at the bottom the pecking
order and often find it difficult to get all the classes they need.
         Obviously, the more exams on which a student scores a 3-5, the more college credits they
earn. And I know of many Spartans who preceded you who reaped benefits from the success on
the exams, earning from 21-34 units of college credit during their four years of high school.
         I am sure your AP teachers have instructed you well for your upcoming tests and are about
to begin the review process, if they haven’t already done so. I am also certain they have
provided you with another excellent resource: a schedule of live reviews on AP Classroom that
began April 19 and run through April 29.
         On the chance they you did not receive the schedule, here is a link to those sessions that you
can cut and paste: https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/about-ap-2021/updates/ap-daily-live-


A Final Word on the Exams

         You may have noticed I did not use the words “pass” or “fail” when referencing AP exams. Be
assured the omission was intentional.
         It always bothers me when teachers/students use those words when discussing AP tests
because those terms are not accurate in this case. One neither “passes” nor “fails” an AP exam.
         As noted, the test “measures college readiness in various subjects.” Further, Collegeboard’s
explanation of the 1-5 scoring system makes no mention of passing or failing.

AP Exam Score                          Recommendation                          College Course Grade Equivalent
         5                                          Extremely well qualified                                        A+ or A
         4                                          Very well qualified                                                  A-, B+ or B
         3                                          Qualified                                                                   B-, C+ or C
         2                                          Possibly qualified                                                   ––
         1                                          No recommendation                                              ––

         When encouraging my AP English Language and Composition students to take the exam, I
always stressed the obvious point of it being the best measure of a student’s college readiness
and demonstrates to them what they learned in the class.
         I also emphasized that it is not a pass/fail situation, and is, instead, a no-lose proposition. A
student has everything to gain (college credit), and nothing to lose.
         Some students fear scoring a 1 is of no benefit and may even hurt their chances of getting
into the college or university of their dreams. Not true – Fake News! College admissions deans
stress low scores do not detract from a student’s chances because it demonstrates they are risk

takers. Higher scores may certainly improve one’s chances, but lower ones are not deal-
         So, for you freshmen, sophomores and juniors who took AP classes this year but are not
taking the corresponding exams, I hope you will consider otherwise next year.

Back “Home” Again

         I had the privilege of being the public address announcer for two of CVH’s football games –
Hilltop and Bonita Vista – during the recently completed, pandemic-delayed season.
         The Hilltop game was more fun since the Spartans throttled the Lancers 42-21, and reclaimed
the Kiwanis Bowl trophy. That said, it wasn’t all about winning but a chance for athletes,
cheerleaders, faculty, staff, students, and parents to start to regain a sense of normalcy.
         The season finale on April 16 against Bonita Vista was bittersweet. It was Senior Night and
Homecoming. And while the tributes and ceremonies were well deserved and well done, they
lacked the fanfare of past celebrations for obvious reasons (thanks, COVID).
         I hope things are closer to normal in the fall, as I yearn to again see the stadium packed with
Spartan alumni, and the second-to-none halftime spectacular presented by the SCPA dance
         Still, it provided me with the opportunity to see colleagues and friends (and a few former
students) that I have not seen in far too long.
         Thanks Ms. Cabe and Mr. Wilson for inviting me back.
         Until next time, write on!

Written by Sheyla Rodriguez, Junior at CVHS

What automobile company also makes sausages? Who is the captain of the enterprise in Star Trek? What is the surname shared by an artist and president who passed the Alien and Sedition Acts? Perhaps you know the answer to a couple of these questions. Maybe you do not, but what matters is, would you like to know?
These were some of the questions that the Chula Vista Academic League members encountered. This past Wednesday, April 12th at 3 PM, seven Spartans played against Otay Ranch High School. It was a challenging and exciting game that culminated in a score of 380-330 points. Students in the 11th, 12th, and 10th grade worked together. Some focused on Chemistry, some excelled in History, and some even earned the team a couple of points with their amazing grasp of sports. Sarah Balatbat, Giancarlo Celiceo, Naturelle James, Sheyla Rodriguez, and Cecilia Ymaz were the starting five players in the match. The game proved to be neck and neck, as the Mustangs held a lead, Spartans were quick to surpass it. Yet there was a clear winner, there was a great level of confidence as the coach Mr. Griepenstroh addressed his team. The players remained focused, calm, and they had their fun, sighing as they missed a question, but activating once more as they answered one. Rotations were made and Benjamin Labelle, as well as Vanessa Nunez joined the set team of 5 players. Ben, the Africa connoisseur, and Vanessa, who dominates in History, were quick to lift up the spirits and help secure a strong lead. The match was challenging and as players Giancarlo Celiceo and Sheyla Rodriguez were brought back, it was clear that winning or losing depended on 2 more questions. Otay answered the 22nd question out of a total of 24 and crushed their bonus round. The tension was high, players anxiously listened to their last 2 questions, but Cecilia Ymaz remained calm and gave the answer. The game took a turn and Chula dominated once more, the bonus rounds proved to be rewarding and it was then that the Otay students recognized that it was game over.
“This was a crushing defeat” said a Junior in the Otay Ranch team. Some had their cameras off, but those who did not, smiled and acknowledged that although they had lost, it had been a thrilling game.
Sarah Balatbat and Cecilia Ymaz performed outstandingly. There was confidence as Sarah answered a Philippines question, her homeland, or when Naturelle knew of the Florida Gators. Each member contributed to the best of their ability, Giancarlo buzzed in right away during a Chemistry question, quickly identifying that the answer was “Amino Acids.” Also, when Ben knew of the Roosevelt Bull Moose Party, or when Sheyla knew of Eva from Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Otay played well, but they stood no chance against the enthusiastic, hardworking, and driven students of Chula.
As we wait for Friday, our last match, we hope that Daniel Villalobos and Elizabeth Medina join us. Members of the team who although did not play, stayed, and watched the team’s victory. This was definitely a match worthy of victory candy. Perhaps YOU will join the club, play a few matches, make new friends, and earn some well-deserved chocolate. We will see you then.
Congratulations to the Academic League team for winning against Otay Ranch. The potential and unity was as clear as water that day. Winning against a traditionally strong adversary has provided the Chula Vista Academic League members with the gratifying thrill of victory. This success can only be hoped to foreshadow the future matches that our Spartans will face.


Written by Cecilia Ymaz, Sophomore at CVHS


Sometimes it feels like there isn’t enough time in the day to complete everything on your to-do list. Yet, it’s not necessarily that there isn’t enough time — it’s the way we perceive it. The Pomodoro technique is extremely efficient in maximizing productivity as you become consistent with working for a constant amount of time following a short break. 

The Pomodoro Technique is often used with the 25/5 method, meaning that you study for 25 minutes and have a 5-minute break afterward. However, you can also use the 50/10 method for a longer studying session. Having short breaks in between studying periods has been proven to sharpen your concentration and keep your mind fresh. If you are new to the Pomodoro technique, you may find it difficult to get tasks done within 25 minutes. Sooner or later, you’ll become increasingly efficient at finishing assignments while maintaining quality work. 

Distance learning has made it difficult for many students to pay attention for long periods of time and have excellent time management. Personally, assignments that used to take less than 30 minutes to complete sometimes take me a lot longer to finish. Using the Pomodoro technique has helped me create a structured daily routine that keeps me on track. It also gives me an opportunity to take my eyes off of the computer that I stare at all day long during quick breaks, which are more beneficial than they may seem!

Start using the Pomodoro technique today! There is an overwhelming amount of Pomodoro resources available on the internet including Pomofocus, a simple website using the 25/5 method. You can also customize the time in Settings (located in the top right corner of the website). 

There are also YouTube channels dedicated to making “Study With Me” videos if you are struggling with motivation to study. These videos are especially helpful for students at home that enjoy studying with others without any distractions. Simply typing “Study With Me” in the YouTube search bar will display hundreds of videos to choose from depending on whether you enjoy background noises (e.g. rain sounds), music, or even a nice view to look at during your break. Merve is a YouTube channel based in Scotland with serene sights of sunsets, cloudy days, and more. 

I hope you can find this technique useful and incorporate it into your daily routine! 

Written by David Hatz, Retired Teacher and Coach

         I hope all of you enjoyed a fun, relaxing break, and return refreshed and energized for the
home stretch of a difficult and unprecedented 2021 school year.
         For those who will be returning for in-person learning, I hope it becomes a productive,
enjoyable, and safe experience for all students, faculty and staff.
         For some, the next several weeks will include preparing for AP Exams. If that includes you and
you are taking the AP English Language exam (or any exam that includes essay responses), feel
free to contact me if you have questions regarding thesis statements, organization/structure,
appropriate writing register, time management, or any other aspects of on-demand (timed)
         Email me at: dahatz@cox.net. I will send you a personal response and/or post it in my next
blog if I believe it is a question that could help most/all students (which most questions do).


Avoid Saying Very

         One of my ongoing goals in this blog is to provide tips and tricks to help students improve
their writing. And one easy way to improve your writing is to avoid using “very” as an adverb
when you are trying to emphasize or heighten the degree of the modified word.
         If you find yourself frequently using “very,” devoting time to finding a more concrete
(specific) word that accurately describes the point you are trying to convey improves your
writing and eliminates the need for “very.”
         I have posted examples in previous blogs. Here are some more to add these to your list:

                                                   Weak                                                  Better
                                             Very Serious                                          Solemn
                                             Very Poor                                               Destitute
                                             Very Creative                                         Innovative
                                             Very Painful                                           Excruciating
                                             Very Crowded                                        Packed
                                             Very Empty                                             Desolate (empty)
                                             Very Loose                                             Slack
                                             Very Lively                                              Animated
                                             Very Neat                                                Immaculate
                                             Very Often                                               Frequently
                                             Very Thirsty                                            Parched
                                             Very Tight                                               Constricting
                                             Very Cute                                                Adorable

The Hokey Pokey in the Elizabethan Era

         They didn’t have preschool when I was a child, but I remember learning “The Hokey Pokey”
at a young age, as, no doubt, most if not all of you did as well.
         Here’s a new take on this childhood favorite, courtesy of Grammarly.com. It is “The Hokey
Pokey” Shakespearean Style:

         O proud left foot, that ventures quick within
         Then soon upon a backward journey lithe.
         Anon, once more the gesture, then begin;
           Command sinistral pedestal to write.
         Commence thou then the fervid Hokey-Pokey.
           A mad gyration, hips in wanton swirl.
         To spin! A wild release from heaven’s yoke.
           Blessed dervish! Surely canst go, girl.
         The Hoke, the poke – banish now they doubt
           Verily, I say, “tis what is all about.

Say What?

         Here’s another example of miscommunication because the speaker wasn’t clear in their
instructions. See if you can find the ambiguity.
         Mom (to her son): “Honey, please go to the store and buy a bottle of milk. If they have eggs,
bring six.
         The son dutifully went to the store and returned with six bottles of milk.
         Mom: “Why the heck did you buy SIX bottles of milk?”
         Son: “BECAUSE THEY HAD EGGS!”
         Do you understand why the son misunderstood?

Something to Think About

         I will close today’s session with a wonderful quote from best-selling American author James
Patterson. There is more than a measure of truth to his profound statement:
         “There’s no such thing as a kid who hates reading. There are kids who love reading, and kids
who are reading the wrong books.”

Until next time, write on!

Written by David Hatz, Retired Teacher and Coach


         Let’s start the day with a quick survey. Read the following pairs of sentences, and then
determine which one you prefer in each set. Consider which is clearer, and easier to read.

         1. She slammed on the brakes as the car sped downhill.
         2. The brakes were slammed on by her as the car sped downhill.

         1. More than one-third of the students failed the exam.
         2. The exam was failed by more than one-third of the students.


         1. The sound engineers will remix the soundtrack.
         2. The soundtrack will be remixed by the sound engineers.

         I’m confident that you preferred the first sentence in each case. I certainly hope so because
all three sentences are written in active voice, as opposed to passive voice – in which all three
of the second sentences were written.
         Since some of you may not be clear on the difference between active and passive voice,
let’s do a quick review.
         Writing in active voice is critical to becoming a good writer because it follows a clear subject
+ verb + object construct that is easy to read and can make your writing more impactful. Passive
voice, on the other hand, can make for unclear, roundabout, and more wordy sentences.
         Looking back at the sample sentences, we see that in his instance the No. 1 sentences
follow the subject+verb+object construct:
         She (subject) slammed (verb) on the brakes (object) as the car sped downhill.
         Students (subject) failed (verb) the exam (object).
         Engineers (subject) will remix (verb) the soundtrack (object).

         In other words, active voice describes a sentence where the subject performs the action(s)
of the verb(s). Conversely, in passive voice the subject is acted upon by the verb. Again, using
the sentences above:
         The brakes (object) were slammed (verb) by her (subject) as the car sped downhill.
         The exam (object) was failed (verb) by more than one-third of the students (subject).
         The soundtrack (object) will be remixed (verb) by the sound engineers (subject).

         Before we examine more examples, let’s stress the importance of why writers should use
active voice, and, with rare exceptions, avoid passive voice wherever possible.
         Active voice immediately identifies both the action and who or what is performing the
action, adding clarity and precision to your words.
         For example,
Passive voice: The dog was walked my Maria.
Active voice: Maria walked the dog.
         The second example doesn’t mince words and gets straight to the point.

         Remember, active voice adds impact to your writing, and makes It sound as if you are
observing the action. Thus, active voice more easily engages readers and keeps them
interested, while passive voice makes it appear as if people or objects are waiting for things to
         Here four tips that will help you write in active voice and keep your sentences clear and
         1. Put the subject first so it’s clear who is performing the action;
         2. Avoid/limit the passive verb “to be.” Use a search engine if you need a list of “to be”
         3. When possible, swap -ing ending words of -ed. Gerunds and present participles (words
         ending in -ing) tend to be passive than verbs ending in -ed;
         4. Go easy on the adverbs. They may make your writing more descriptive, but too many
         adverbs and intensifiers bog down good writing. Better to select rhetorically accurate
         verbs, which eliminate the need for adverbs.
         Here are a few examples of how descriptive verbs make adverbs unnecessary:
                 Adverb Descriptor                                                  Better Verb
                 “ran quickly”                                                            Dashed
                 “listened secretly”                                                  Eavesdropped
                 “looked menacingly”                                              Glared
                 “loved dearly or greatly”                                        Adored
                 “cried uncontrollably”                                            Sobbed or Wept


         If you are still not certain or convinced that active voice is preferable to passive voice, here
are some more examples:

                 Active Voice                                                             Passive Voice

Beautiful giraffes roam the savannah.                    The savannah is roamed by beautiful giraffes.

We are going to watch a movie tonight.                  A movie is going to be watched by us tonight.

The crew paved the entire stretch of highway.      The entire stretch of highway was paved by the crew.

Thousands of tourists visit the Grand                     The Grand Canyon is visited by thousands of tourists every year.                                                                     Canyon every year.



Exceptions to the Rule


         All that said, there are times when passive voice is not only acceptable but may be
preferred. You might want to use it in the following situations:

         1. The actor is unknown:
         The cave paintings of Lascaux were made in the Upper Old Stone Age. (We don’t know
         who made them.)
         2. The actor is irrelevant:
         An experimental solar power plant will be built in the Australian desert. (We are not
         interested in who is building it.)
         3. You want to be vague about who is responsible:
         Mistakes were made. (Common in bureaucratic writing.)
         4. You are talking about a general truth:
         Rules are made to be broken. (By whomever, whenever.)
         5. You want to emphasize the person or thing acted on. For example, it may be your main
         Insulin was first discovered in 1921 by researchers at the University of Toronto. It is still
         the only treatment available for diabetes.
         6. You are writing in a scientific genre that traditionally relies on passive voice. Passive
         voice is often preferred in lab reports and scientific research papers, most notably in the
         Materials and Methods section:

         The sodium hydroxide was dissolved in water. This solution was then titrated with
         hydrochloric acid.

The Lighter Side

         And if you’re still reading, here are a few more bloopers culled from church bulletins and
announcements that once again remind us that everybody needs an editor:

         “The sermon this morning: ‘Jesus Walks on the Water.’ The sermon tonight: ‘Searching for
Jesus.’ ”

         “The Rector will preach his farewell message, after which the choir will sing “Break Forth into

         “The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the
basement on Friday afternoon.”

         Until next time, write on!

Written by Cecilia Ymaz, Sophomore at CVHS

Have you ever wondered if there was more than just the templates that Google Slides or PowerPoint provide you with? Well, the answer is YES. There are several websites that provide free, unique templates for a variety of presentations. The most popular are Slidesgo and Slides Carnival. Check out this tutorial to see how to download and use a template from Slidesgo today!

Step 1: Choose a template from Slidesgo. On the homepage, you will find several categories that will help you look for a template that will best suit your presentation.



Step 2: Click “Google Slides” located at the bottom right corner of the screen. You may download a PowerPoint presentation, too.


Step 3: Click “Make a copy.” This will store the slides into your default Google account.


Step 4: Create a BLANK presentation and click “Import theme,” located at the bottom right corner of the screen. Then, click the most recent presentation in your Drive.


Step 5: Once you have your presentation set up with a new template, you can go to “Layout” and find the rest of the customized slides.

Written by David Hatz, Retired Teacher and Coach


         I’m guessing most of you are familiar with the adage “Practice makes perfect.” This is
certainly true if you have ever taken lessons in the arts – musical instruments, voice, dance (to
name a few) – played organized sports (all of them), or learned a skill like cooking.
         Practice makes perfect is the mantra of teachers, coaches and instructors of pretty much
every teachable skill.
         Early in my coaching career I learned that this familiar phrase, now cliché, needs to be
amended. While practice can make perfect (if students work diligently to improve with the goal
of achieving perfection), learners often become distracted, lose interest, etc., and then simply
go through the motions or, worse, skip practice altogether. Raise your hand if you’re guilty of
this transgression – yes, mine is stretched high into the air.
         Since this is reality, this inspirational phrase should be modified to: “Practice makes
permanent.” Because if one works hard and strives to improve, s/he will get better and maybe
reach perfection. But those who merely go through the motions will develop bad habits and
plateau, likely at an unacceptable level. And when game time or showtime arrives, that is how
they will perform – well short of perfection.
         So, whether you are learning a new skill or a developing one that requires constant
refinement, the message is simple: work hard, strive to improve, or don’t bother. As the sign on
many a locker-room wall reads: “Go hard, or go home.”
         This is particularly true in writing. While many students embrace practicing in athletics and
the arts, and thus willingly dedicate countless hours hoping to achieve perfection, far fewer of
them are willing to expend similar time and effort on writing projects.
         Young writers, whether desiring proficiency or excellence, must understand that good
writing does not happen by accident and certainly is not achieved through last-minute all-
nighters or hastily rewritten first or second drafts with “final drafts” that merely include
superficial changes from the original.
         I will provide some writing tips in future blogs that I hope you will find use as you work to
develop your writing prowess.

Rereading Encouraged

         I have used this space before to demonstrate how homonyms, homographs, and
homophones can make it difficult to learn English, especially for (but certainly not limited to)
second-language learners. Following are some heteronyms (words that are spelled identically
but have different sounds and meanings) that may cause some readers to do a double-take:
1. The insurance was invalid for the invalid in the hospital bed.
2. There was a row among the oarsman about who would row.
3. They were too close to the door to close it.
4. A buck does funny things when does (females) are present.
5. A seamstress and a sewer fell into the sewer line.
6. Upon seeing the tear in her painting, the artist shed a tear.
7. How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
8. I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

9. To help with the planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
10. When he opened his eyes, he saw a saw.
Finally, there was the seamstress whose skills were average at best – they were only sew sew.

Poetic Justice?

One fowl is a goose,
         but two are called geese.
Yet the plural of mouse
         should never be meese.
If I speak of a foot
         and you show me your feet –
And I give you a boot,
         would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth
         and a whole set are teeth,
Then shouldn’t the plural of booth
         be called beeth?

Written by Cecilia Ymaz, Sophomore at CVHS

Never in my life would I have imagined sitting at my desk for more than 7 hours a day and joining classes through my laptop. Adapting to the new normal has been a unique experience that has taught me a lot about taking care of myself. Digital platforms like Zoom have been implemented into my everyday life in positive ways. Today, I hope to share with you the most memorable parts of quarantine that I highly recommend adding to your weekly to-do list!   

  • Take advantage of online platforms to socialize with your friends.

I have mentioned this before in my blog about making every day ten times better. After almost an entire year of staying at home, I have learned to cherish the Zoom calls I have with my friends almost every day. So far, I have tried Zoom karaoke, online games (skribbl.io, Kahoot!, GamePigeon, etc.), and have experimented with fun virtual backgrounds. I highly recommend taking the time to socialize with your friends at least a few times a week because it helps you in improving your mental health. Even if you are too busy with school assignments, schedule a time to study with your friends and listen to calming music. 

  • Join a club at our school.

You can also MAKE friends at after-school meetings hosted by our school’s virtual clubs. There are many new and ongoing clubs at our school looking for members to join and enjoy the fun activities they have to offer.  To name a few, Dance Club, Model UN, and Bilingual Students of CVH are some of the clubs that meet every week! Being at home almost 24/7 has reduced so much of the physical interactions shared at school. Join some of the virtual extracurriculars we have at school and learn something new! If you want to find out more about the current clubs at our school, check the ASB’s Instagram page (@cvhs_asb) to see our Club Week posts.

  • Learn how to cook at home.

Cooking is a life skill that EVERYONE needs to know. If you give it a try, cooking can be extremely fun — and delicious! Take advantage of all the time we have at home by utilizing your kitchen and creating wonderful memories at home. Studies show that cooking can help us with our mental health and serve as a therapy to some. By accomplishing new recipes, learning how to be creative with food, and connecting with others through cooking, this vital skill for life also keeps us mentally healthy. If you are interested in learning how to cook, check out this article with 55 recipes you can try at home.

  • Stay active by taking walks on a regular basis.

It has been at least 11 months since we have been stuck at home. Distance learning has likely taken a toll on your mental health and mindset at some point. I cannot stress enough how important it is to get some sunshine every day. Even if it is just for thirty minutes, going outside can support you physically and mentally. Plus, it has been proven that your immune system is strengthened when you go outdoors and exercise. 

Don’t let this pandemic discourage you! While we can’t control some of the challenges we face, we have the opportunity to grow from them. Make the most out of this time we have at home by trying new things that will bring positive impacts into your life. Most importantly, do not give up.