DECEMBER 23, 2006

(Jingle bells ring at beginning.)

Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas, everybody! I'm Alicia Miller!

I'm Joe Straub!

And I'm Jacob Lane! Welcome to a special holiday episode of "The Bear Facts." Season's greetings from everybody here at Bishop Garrigan High School.

Last weekend six Garrigan students made the long trip over to Parkersburg for the Aplington-Parketsburg Invitational Quiz Bowl Tournament. The Bears had a great day in competition. They finished the day with a 3 - 1 record, just missing playoffs and losing only to the eventual champions from Ames High School. Congratulations to Ethan Dahlhauser, Melissa Cruise, Brent Kajewski, Ben Golwitzer, Jake Lane, and Jacob Zittritsch.

There have been some interesting projects happening in classes at Garrigan recently. In Mrs. Vaske's Business Law class, students staged a mock trial, pitting Nick Reding against Cindy Reding. Chris Cassmann and Tony Rouse served as attorneys for the case, with both students and teachers on the jury. Another interesting project was in Mr. Burrow's Statistics class, where a group did statistical research to figure out how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. You can see pictures of their project on the Garrigan website.

We got out for Christmas vacation yesterday, but we've been in the holiday spirit through most of December. Lots of different groups have pitched in to try to make the season brighter for people around the area. A traditional project we do every year is to have student council adopt a needy family and buy gifts for their children. Also this year, the faculty members chipped in to buy gifts for residents in the Algona nursing homes.

Garrigan's Christian leadership group has sponsored a lot of different projects. Throughout December they've been taking donations for the Toys for Tots program and also collecting winter coats for the Kossuth County Care Team. They also took pre-kindergarten children to the nativity scene and delivered fruit baskets to shut-ins at St. Cecelia's Parish. In addition, many Christian leadership students have helped to deliver Meals on Wheels all through the fall.

This past week we had three different prayer services at school. We started with a special musical Advent service on Monday, conducted by biology teacher Beany Bode, with Alec Boeckholt, Joe Straub, Shane Koob, and Alicia Miller assisting with the music. Tuesday we had another service, where we learned the origins of different Christmas traditions. Then later on in the week we celebrated the end of Advent with our schoolwide Christmas mass.

We have a long tradition on the "Bear Facts" of taking a holiday survey, asking people a few questions about the holidays. We asked several people what the best gift they ever got for Christmas was. While most people said things like mp3 players or video game systems, there were some more interesting answers-like a hammer, Tickle Me Elmo, Barbie's dream house, a subwoofer, and an electric blanket. Brian Funk said his favorite gift really was his front teeth-because his sister had knocked them out throwing a rock at him. Jake Lane and Brad Richter both liked their snowboards, Candace Schiltz's favorite gift was a cell phone, Shane Koob says his best gift was his friend John Parrish (who was born December 26), and Jordan Springer still remembers Santa bringing him Power Rangers. 

We also asked people what the worst gift they ever got was. Lots of people said socks and underwear, with one even mentioning an athletic supporter, someone else toilet paper, and another person fruitcake. Ben Golwitzer got a trash can, while Bella Alfons got bad-smelling perfume and Tony Rouse got a watch that got cut in half while trying to open the package. Amy Rasmussen got knitted footy bunny pajamas, both Jordan Springer and Jeff Broesder got lumps of coal in their stockings, and Lee Breashear got a punch in the face.

We asked people what they want for Christmas. Cars, clothes, money, and video games topped the list, but there were a few interesting answers. Some people wanted hunting supplies, one wanted chocolate, and other answers included a guitar, snow, and Hot Pockets snacks. Dana Miller wants a baseball glove, Ben Golwitzer wants a new car, Colby Krieps said he wants to spend some quality time with the one he loves, and Amy Rasmussen joined the danz squad in saying all she wants for Christmas is--YOU.

The final question in our survey was what plans people had over the holidays. A lot of people said things like sleep, eat, and work. Some were glad that school was out and they wouldn't have to do anything that involved using the brain. Alex Elbert said he intends to shoot and kill wild animals, Lee Brashear wants to build a snowman out of mud, Brian Patterson is going to the Alamo Bowl, Tyler Gregg wants to go snowboarding, and Ashil Krieps noted her whole family would be together for the first time since she was little.

Because of all the holiday news, we're going to skip our Senior Spotlight this week. Our Golden Bear calendar is pretty empty too. Christmas Eve is tomorrow, and the holiday vacation lasts for a week and a half.

Classes resume on Wednesday, January 3. Thursday the 4th is the Feast of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, for whom our grade school is named. Then on Friday the basketball Bears travel to Eagle Grove.

Saturday, January 6th is the Feast of the Epiphany. There's an honor band in Ft. Dodge that day, and the quiz bowl team will be playing at North Kossuth.

That's the Bear Facts for the holidays. We'll be off next week to celebrate the New Year, but be sure to join us again in 2007 for more news from Bishop Garrigan High School.


(jingle bells ring)


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