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Life Hacks for Work-To-Rule - article by Chris, staff Blogger

Maybe it’s the fact that I just finished re-caulking my windows, the success of our Yule Ball, or just the relentlessly cheerful march through the holidays, but my cold, cold Grinch-like heart has been feeling a lot more optimistic lately. In keeping with that spirit, I thought I’d try to ferret out the sunny side of some unfortunate circumstances any student in the province is probably feeling as we trudge on into 2017.

If you live in Nova Scotia you’ve probably had the teachers strike invading your thoughts for the last few months. While classes were only out for a day, there’s no end in sight for the work-to-rule conditions. This means, among other things, no extra curriculars or help after classes. Some of the students I chat with at the Central Library are stuck with a pretty hefty workload (I'm looking at you, IB kids!) and understandably are pretty stressed about it. And yet, quite a few teens I’ve run into have, in keeping with Queen Bey's philosophy, turned the lemons of 2016 into best selling albums 2017's lemonade. What I mean to say, terrible dad jokes aside, is that I've seen students address an issue in their community by becoming involved in the discussion or finding ways to help those affected by it and I decided to list off a few of them.

The first one I came across was a student from Charles P. Allen who had heard a lot of thoughts and opinions from both the teachers' union and the Government of Nova Scotia, but felt the media was not giving a voice to the students affected by the strike. She wrote a very thoughtful piece about the student perspective, and regardless of what particular political opinion she or any other student may have, it's very impressive to see a high school student thinking critically about media and taking them to task when she felt something was missing. Especially in a way that's well-written, too-a little jealous, tbh.

Meanwhile, one of our regular library volunteers and possible future leader of the free world got together with some of her fellow Citadel High students to form a peer-led studying and support group. The students organized it, do all of the tutoring, and set up the space with a little help from their local library. This was definitely born out of necessity, but also gave some teens the opportunity to create a teen-led organization that fills a need in their community. If you're interested and live near the Central Library location you can sign up online. It's gotten a fair bit of interest and I'm sure will be as lit as an IB pre-cal studying session is going to get.

At this point you may be thinking "That's great and all, but what can I do to get involved, fam?" Well, you leave that indeciveness behind with the harambe memes in 2016 where they belong. If neither of the examples above speak to you, I have one more option. If you've got an hour or two a week not already devoted to arguing about Rogue One on Reddit, you can help out an adorable, tiny human struggling without extra help by signing up to be a Leading Reader at your local library.

Yours in surprising optimism,

Staff Blogger


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