The Bear Facts ... December 22, 2007

Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas! I'm Gina Rasmussen!

I'm Melanie Myers!  Happy holidays from "The Bear Facts"! Greetings to you from everyone here at Bishop Garrigan High School.

Christmas is almost here, and after a very busy December, everyone is looking forward to the break. One of the busiest groups has been the Golden Bear quiz bowl team, which has had four big events since Thanksgiving. Last Saturday they competed at Spirit Lake, and the varsity team ended up in fifth place overall. They finished with a 3 - 1 record, and their only loss was to top-seeded Spirit Lake. They scored more points than two of the top three teams, but just missed making play-offs. Team members included captain Ethan Dahlhauser, Shane Koob, Brittany Berte, Becky Erdman, and Anna Kollasch.

There will be more quiz bowl action right after the holidays. On Saturday, January 5, the quiz bowl team will be up in Swea City to compete in the North Kossuth Invitational. Garrigan has five teams entered in that tournament, with at least twenty-one students competing. Team captains are Ethan Dahlhauser, Joe Straub, Vince Cruise, Mark Poeppe, and Anna Kollasch. The following week there's even more quiz bowl action, this time at Aplington-Parkersburg. Good luck, quiz bowl!

Christmas is a time of special traditions, and we have a long-standing tradition here on the "Bear Facts". Every Christmas for the past fifteen years we've surveyed people at Garrigan about their holiday plans. This year our first question asked people whether they were traveling anywhere or visiting anyone over Christmas vacation. While lots of people said they were making big trips to places like Wesley and Whittemore, a few were planning to go a little further. One student was going to Cancun over the holidays, while one teacher was spending a week in Canada.

Among other travel plans, both Krissy Kohlhaas and Jimmy Geelan are heading to the Twin Cities. Meredith Meyers is going to Waverly, while Meghan Mayer said she's traveling to Dubuque. Vinny Humble, our newest Garrigan student, will be in Kansas for the holidays. Ashely Bode is going to Oklahoma, Brie Blocker will be in South Dakota, Ryya Kuum is spending Christmas in Wisconsin, and John Parrish is headed for New York. Then there was Lee Brashear who said he was visiting his parents at his house. "The trip is going to be rough," said Lee, "and I sure hope I can handle it."

Another question we asked was what Christmas traditions different families had. A lot of them were pretty universal-like Jake Grein, who said opening presents and going to church together on Christmas Eve. There were some more unusual traditions, though. Melissa Cruise's family plays football together on Christmas afternoon. We hope she doesn't have to take on her brother Vince, who was a starter for the Bears. Drew Magill, who is originally from North Carolina, will enjoy shrimp and grits for his Christmas dinner. Holly Byrkeland and Katie Boeckholt will both be watching the twenty-four hour Christmas Story marathon on cable, and Allison Missal's family will have an "ugliest Christmas sweater" competition.

Macy Fickbohm's family will be playing board games at Christmas, while Becca Kramer's and Jenna Richter's families will spend the day baking cookies. Choir director Linda Ferjak makes her family sing Christmas carols before they can open their gifts, and danz squad coach Colleen Schiltz always has her family blow out the candles on Jesus' birthday cake. Rebeccah Erdman's family will be playing cards at Christmas, while David Frideres says his Christmas tradition is complaining. Then there's freshman Andrew Behr, who says his family has "a gay old time eating food" at the holidays.

When we asked people about their other holiday plans, most of the answers were pretty predictable. Work, seeing friends, partying, snowmobiling, and resting up were all high on the list. A lot of people plan to participate in a big dodgeball tournament over in Emmetsburg, and many will keep busy with basketball practice all through Christmas break. Joel Reding plans to go hunting and four-wheeling, A.J. Doughan says he's going to chill, and Steph Kollasch says her plans include breaking her leg while skiing. Then there's Bethany Kirsch, who says she plans to study for semester tests over vacation-something pretty much everyone else wants to put off as long as possible.

Our next question was "What do you want most for Christmas?" Band director Ken Ferjak said that winning the lottery would be nice. Steph Kajewski was one of many students who wanted a new car. Abby Gregg wants money, and Megan Thilges wants a purple digital camera. Katrina Even says she'll be happy if Santa brings her crayons and a coloring book, and Jesie Rosenmeyer wants as many purses as possible. Megan Hilbert would like jewelry and new clothes, and Mandy Kohlhaas says she's already gotten her top gift-a new puppy.

Taryn Vitzthum's wish list includes an I-pod, Kory Wieland would like a North Face fleece coat, and Kevin Laubenthal says he'll be content with a happy family and good food. Several of the freshman girls want boyfriends for Christmas; one specifically said she'd like to have Orlando Bloom as her boyfriend. Alicia Richter wants a Wii game system, Sheri Kenyon wants peace and love (and possibly a snowboard), and Jacob Zittritsch wants a computer.  Beth Broesder says she really doesn't know what she wants, because she doesn't need anything. Finally Jack Bradley, who just returned from school after surgery, says he'd like to finally get his kidney stone out and get back to normal.

Our final question was "Do you like having a white Christmas?" The overwhelming majority said "yes", but there were some variations. Ben Golwitzer said, "Duh! Of course!" while Kyle Smith said, "Sure, why not." Holly Byrkeland said she'd like 36 inches of snow, while Kelly Rouse said white was great for Christmas, but she wants it to melt a couple days later. Bridget Murphy said she likes a white Christmas, as long as she's not trapped in bad weather. A.J. Doughan said he'd like a pink Christmas better, and his brother Brandon said he'd like the snow to be orange. Kristina Schiltz said "it wouldn't be Christmas without snow", but Drew Magill said he'd prefer the holiday to be 70o with palm trees.

We're skipping our Senior Spotlight this week and heading straight to the calendar. It's Christmas vacation now, and the calendar is empty for the rest of December. School will start up again on Thursday, January 3rd.

There's freshman basketball at Humboldt on the 3rd, and many of our seniors will be caucusing for their favorite candidates that night. Friday the 4th is the Feast of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, and that night the Bears host Eagle Grove in basketball.

Saturday, Janaury 5th, there's quiz bowl at North Kossuth. There's also an honor band at Mason City that day. We'll have semester exams January 7th, 8th, and 9th, with open campus whenever we don't have tests.

The freshman basketball teams face North Kossuth on the 7th, with the boys at home and the girls in Swea City. Tuesday the 8th the JV and varsity Bears host Humboldt, and the math team will serve a spaghetti supper at the games.

Second semester begins Thursday, January 10. That night the JV basketball teams play West Bend Mallard. Then Friday the 11th the varsity Bears travel to Hampton.

That's the "Bear Facts" for 2007. We'll be off for the next two weeks because of Christmas break. Be sure to join us again on Saturday, January 12, though. Until then ...

a very Merry Christmas and 

a Happy New Year from everyone here at Bishop Garrigan High School!


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