Unfinished Business??

Shannon_Blog_21Nov2011In August, Google took special steps to acknowledge the birth of Pierre de Fermat – an outstanding French mathematician from the mid 1600’s.  Although he made important contributions to calculus, optics and number theory, he is largely remembered for his last theorem that was jotted in the margins of an ancient Greek mathematical text, which apparently he solved, but never shared with anyone when he lived.  In fact, the unsolved elements of the theorem frustrated mathematicians for almost four full centuries before it was finally figured out.  For a long time  “Fermat’s Conjecture” was in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s most difficult math problem.

It was finally fully solved in 1994 by British mathematician Andrew Wiles, whose proof took seven years to complete and ran over 100 pages in length. For his efforts he was knighted and recognized widely for his achievement.

Because of this extraordinary story, Fermat actually became more famous for what he had left undone rather than what he did achieve in life, and in so doing, he has been identified as the “patron saint of unfinished business.”

Unfinished business—we all suffer from the plight of unfinished business.   Whether it’s a school project, a personal hobby, a desire to develop a new skill, or simply organize to meet up with an important friend who you haven’t seen for a long time, I think we live in a world where the trail of unfinished business is now longer than it has ever been before.  According to the so-called experts, our attention spans are getting shorter, and because of all the interesting things we can read about or watch on the Internet, completing projects or tasks has seemingly become more challenging these days.

So, work at being organized and disciplined with your major responsibilities in life.  However, whether it’s your school work, a personal project in your basement, an unfinished novel, or a technical idea that may be as good as Google or Facebook, think about Pierre de Fermat—the Patron Saint of Unfinished business.  Great ideas sometimes take a long time to come to fruition.  I hope that your greatest ideas eventually see the light of day… and despite all our modern distractions, many of them likely will.

Persist, mes amis, persist! —Headmaster Chris Shannon

Green Team: Web Seminar with Dr. David Suzuki

David Suzuki, the prestigious and award winning environmentalist, held a web seminar this past Wednesday, on November 2. Along with his co-workers, he set up a virtual classroom where elementary and secondary schools from across North America could partake. If questions were submitted in advance, different schools could ask Dr. Suzuki their personal questions themselves via video chat.

LCC did not have the chance to submit any questions, however, several members of the Green Team, along with Ms. Scattolin and myself, had the privilege of watching. Suzuki took the time to answer approximately ten different questions. I was impressed with many of the questions that were asked and with the elaborate answers that were given in return. In particular, one student asked: “How is it possible to become an environmentalist?” Concisely, Suzuki replies that anyone can really become an environmentalist, as it is not a real profession. If you have a passion for helping the environment then it is important to pursue it along side your career, but it should not be one’s principle occupation. He then said “You should follow your heart and do what makes you happy.” This statement is very encouraging and I appreciated Dr. David Suzuki’s responses a great deal. — Jacklyn Greenspoon ’13

Green Coalition: Montreal Students Exchange Environmental Ideas at LCC

The first ever Green Coalition meeting was held on October 17, 2011. Don’t let the word “coalition” fool you, this was not an activist meeting. Environment-enthusiast students from many different schools, including Royal Vale, Bialak, ECS as well as Elena Poulakis, Kelsey Wiseman, Rebecca Torralbo, Joseph Wiltzer and myself gathered in our LCC auditorium to dialogue about our deteriorating environment.

The meeting was organized by one optimistic second year Marianopolis student, Leehi Yona, whose goal was to have us all combine our ideas and come up with new ways that we can help achieve our common objective, doing all that we can before it’s too late. Getting us, as students, involved in bettering our own future is essential. She gave us ideas such as talking to our city council representative, as she has done. She also suggested some summer internships where you can raise green awareness.

The feeling in the room was indescribable. I had no idea what to expect from this conference. Would the other students be excited, shy, engaged, involved? Everyone had the same goal and we were all keen to achieve it together.  Leehi was so charismatic and got us even more motivated and ready to make a change. My personal favourite part was when all the students had a chance to mingle and exchange ways that their schools contribute to helping the environment. A couple of students from Royal Vale even complemented us on our recyclable paper!

Overall, I think everyone really enjoyed the conference and would love for it to become an annual occurrence. — Sabine Hawa ’12

La semaine de la Francophonie: Vous parlez français ?

– «Vous parlez français ?»

– «Bien sûr!»

– «Vous avez un accent, vous êtes d’où ?»

–  «Moi, un accent, c’est plutôt vous qui en avez un.»

Morale de l’histoire: C’est toujours l’autre qui a un accent, sauf quand on voyage.

Dans le cadre de la semaine de la francophonie, je vais vous proposer des expressions imagées de plusieurs endroits. À vous de découvrir ce qu’elles veulent dire.

Expressions imagées africaines, belges, françaises, québécoises, et suisses.

Réponses africaines

Réponses belges

Réponses françaises

Réponses québécoises

Réponses suisses

Cliquez sur ce lien pour d’autres expressions imagées d’Archibald.

Jean-François Maurice
Enseignant de français/French Teacher

The Case for Coeducation

Blog_Coed_27Sept2011An article posted on the electronic edition of The Globe and Mail caught my attention the other day. The title was provocative – “Study finds ‘collateral damage’ of same-sex schools.” Sensationalism aside, the article reported on a recent study out of Penn State University that concluded single-sex schools, “… fail to show any demonstrable educational improvements over co-ed schools – but more importantly, there is evidence to suggest that children at such schools are more likely to accept gender stereotypes.”

I was also very interested in the fact that the study referred to recent brain research on the subject. “Despite the commonly held notion that boys and girls have different brains that require different teaching styles, Prof. Liben  (Professor of Psychology, Human Development and Family Studies, and Education, Penn State) points out neuroscientists have found very little difference between male and female brains, and none of them are connected to education.”

The article and its link to an excerpt from the journal Science are worthwhile reading and possibly passing on to friends.—Patrick Peotto, Assistant Head


For more information about the advantages of coeducation, read: