Is Political Correctness Effective?

By: Sofi Varon

Political correctness has sparked heated debates over the years.  It specializes in banning offensive words, which at first glance seems innocuous, but many consider it to be a weapon for the neurotic.  Arguments over its necessity or absurdity have increasingly become an epidemic. The feuds frequently explode on social media, but they have also seeped into our politics.  I call this “the controversy over words.”

Political correctness has merit in aiming for politeness, but one must also recognize when such politeness can go too far. Some have labeled common words such as hysterical, crazy, and blind as societal taboo.

Even when we eliminate a genuinely offensive word, political correctness is the equivalent to stick…

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The Aftermath of the Kavanaugh Trial

It seemed Brett Kavanaugh was the perfect pick to be the next Supreme Court Judge. He had gone to Yale and Yale Law, while also clerking underneath Justice Anthony Kennedy. Donald Trump knew he had chosen a good candidate.

On September 14th, 2018, the Democratic Party received an anonymous allegation from a woman stating that Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her. This then released a stream of women coming forward stating that they were witnesses or victims of sexual harassment by Brett Kavanaugh.

Christine Blasey Ford was the first woman who raised allegations against Kavanaugh. Professor Ford accused Kavanaugh of pinning her to the bed at a high school house party while he was heavily intoxicated. She stated that he also groped he…

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"A Star Is Born" Movie Review

The brand-new movie A Star Is Born, starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, follows the lives of Jack Maine, a successful musician, and Ally, a waitress and struggling singer. The film focuses on the evolution of these characters through fame and stardom and what happens to their relationship through both good times and bad. The movie conveys themes of love, hardship, family, and perseverance, so audiences anywhere and everywhere can appreciate this film.

Needless to say, the reviews have been strong – the strongest of all four of the movies. The 2018 film was the fourth installment of the same story; the first A Star Is Born was released in 1937, the second in 1954, and the third in 1976. Although famous faces appear in all four movi…

Read more

Students Stand Up!

On February 17th, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, 17 teachers and students were shot. To most that is common knowledge by now, and hundreds of other shootings in schools in the past have gone through the media cycle where the victims names and stories are told, and then the media’s attention moves on to something else after a short amount of time.

This time it was different.

The students of America stood up for what they believed in, mobilized, and organized two walk out dates to commemorate the victims respectfully, and also protest, so that this time, a mass shooting does not go unforgotten.

Led by the students of Stoneman Douglass High School, two walk outs were organized on March 14th and April 20t…

Read more

To Eat or Not To Eat, Meat is the Question

More recently in popular culture, certain diet-based life style choices have gained more attention. Choices such as gluten-free, GMO-free, not eating red meat, and vegetarianism have recently gained popularity, mainly on a health-based premise.

Vegetarianism is the practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat, and may also include abstention from animal by-products. Some people choose to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle for more than just its health advantages, such improving your heart health and lowering cholesterol. Many find being vegetarian beneficial to themselves personally, as well as the world around them.

The health advantages do make a convincing case for the lifestyle. Vegetarianism helps to keep down weight, as it …

Read more

Is Political Correctness Effective?

By | Columns and Opinions | No Comments

By: Sofi Varon

Political correctness has sparked heated debates over the years.  It specializes in banning offensive words, which at first glance seems innocuous, but many consider it to be a weapon for the neurotic.  Arguments over its necessity or absurdity have increasingly become an epidemic. The feuds frequently explode on social media, but they have also seeped into our politics.  I call this “the controversy over words.”

Political correctness has merit in aiming for politeness, but one must also recognize when such politeness can go too far. Some have labeled common words such as hysterical, crazy, and blind as societal taboo.

Even when we eliminate a genuinely offensive word, political correctness is the equivalent to sticking our finger up a faucet; rather than finding an alternate solution, we stubbornly end up trying to shove our whole fist. When a racist word is eliminated, for instance, and racism is still present, rather than thinking of a different approach, we fruitlessly try to find more words to banish.

Categorizing specific terms as “no-no words” have left some people satisfied, but the remainder of us frustrated. Racism hasn’t ended. Sexism hasn’t ended. Anti-Semitism hasn’t ended. We must acknowledge that the issue isn’t the words themselves, but rather the intent behind them. When we stop thinking of solutions and instead fixate on potentially offensive words, we end up tilting at windmills.

Naturally, political correctness has rightfully retired several terms, specifically the ones designed to be offensive and demeaning. We are capable of cleaning out the garbage, however, without throwing away every day materials. As blogger Bruce Mikells sees it, political correctness should be like sugar, best used in moderation.

Words describing African-American people have been repeatedly misused, retired, and replaced throughout history. From “Negro” to “colored” to “black people” to our current, but likely temporary, “African American”. All share the same definition, yet once negative connotations emerge, we hastily replace them. Problematically, the xenophobes using the words, however, won’t change because it’s “politically incorrect”; therefore, removing them is scarcely beneficial.

America’s prejudice is as old as the country itself.  Modifying a word is but a lame attempt to avoid conflict. Instead of puzzling over a potentially offensive term, politicians should face the real reason behind America’s discrimination: our ego.

To eliminate the countless –isms that have plagued our society, we need to stop categorizing and associating ourselves with particular groups. To banish racism, for instance, we should stop identifying ourselves by our race. When people place both themselves and others into distinct categories, they face both pride and prejudice. Problems will arise the second we create an “us vs. them” scenario. We naturally associate the groups we are in to be the superior one. This is especially absurd because the groups are illusions. The groups, in essence, exist only in our heads. Scientifically, we are homo-sapiens. That’s it. We are not a religion, class, or country. We are human. It is when we promote unnecessary specifics that the -isms start to form.

 

 

The Aftermath of the Kavanaugh Trial

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It seemed Brett Kavanaugh was the perfect pick to be the next Supreme Court Judge. He had gone to Yale and Yale Law, while also clerking underneath Justice Anthony Kennedy. Donald Trump knew he had chosen a good candidate.

On September 14th, 2018, the Democratic Party received an anonymous allegation from a woman stating that Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her. This then released a stream of women coming forward stating that they were witnesses or victims of sexual harassment by Brett Kavanaugh.

Christine Blasey Ford was the first woman who raised allegations against Kavanaugh. Professor Ford accused Kavanaugh of pinning her to the bed at a high school house party while he was heavily intoxicated. She stated that he also groped her and attempted to take off her clothes while covering her mouth with his hand after she screamed. As quoted by Vox and The Telegraph, she said that she “feared rape” and being “accidentally killed.”

Kavanaugh denied these claims, but the damage had been done. Multiple women also came forward stating that they witnessed Kavanaugh sexually harassing women; one woman even stated that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her personally. To rectify the claims and attempt to understand what truly happened, the Senate Judiciary Committee called forth Ford and Kavanaugh to testify in his confirmation hearing.

An emotional Brett Kavanaugh gives his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee with unsettled faces behind him. Throughout his testimony, he states that his family has been destroyed because of the allegations.

Throughout the course of his hearing, the subject had changed from whether or not he was qualified for the position to whether or not he has assaulted not only Ford, but was capable for assaulting the other women as well. Not only was his track record important for his confirmation, but it truly allowed the American people to understand who Kavanaugh is and what ideas he embodied. As of today, Kavanaugh has been confirmed into the Supreme Court despite uproars of the American public condemning his and Trump’s choices. Even so, this event has inspired others to campaign for their own ideologies to be heard due to the fact that the Supreme Court has been overrun with right-leaning politics.

Women have begun to campaign for themselves as candidates for a position in their local, city, or even state governments. In the midst of the #MeToo movement, Christine Blasey Ford empowered women all across the country to speak about their own experiences to help others as she has to heal. The first Muslim women, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, were elected to Congress. Wisconsin Democrat lawyer Sharice Davis was one of the first Native American people to be elected to Congress, along with Democrat Deb Haaland in New Mexico. As stated by the Center for American Women and Politics, 85 women currently hold seats within the House of Representatives. Women represent 19.5% of the 435 members and 34 states within the United States.

An overwhelming wave of diversity in the elections, not only in gender but in race, has allowed the different cultures of the American people to become more represented in their government.

“A Star Is Born” Movie Review

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The brand-new movie A Star Is Born, starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, follows the lives of Jack Maine, a successful musician, and Ally, a waitress and struggling singer. The film focuses on the evolution of these characters through fame and stardom and what happens to their relationship through both good times and bad. The movie conveys themes of love, hardship, family, and perseverance, so audiences anywhere and everywhere can appreciate this film.

Movie poster hanging at the Regal Short Pump Cinema
Taken by: Ella Lefkowitz

Needless to say, the reviews have been strong – the strongest of all four of the movies. The 2018 film was the fourth installment of the same story; the first A Star Is Born was released in 1937, the second in 1954, and the third in 1976. Although famous faces appear in all four movies – Judy Garland played Gaga’s character in 1954, and Barbara Streisand and Kris Kristofferson were counterparts in the 1976 remake. The 2018 remake has garnered the best reviews from the press. The New York Times labelled the film as a “gorgeous heartbreaker” and advises its audiences to bring tissues to the theater. Other reviews echo this sentiment and comment on the tear-jerking aspects of the film, especially the plot twist awaiting viewers at the end. Unsurprisingly, the soundtrack the film has received a multitude of positive reviews as well. Every song in the movie is original, with no repeats from the previous films. The genres of music change from the beginning to the end of the soundtrack as well, representing the evolution of the characters’ personalities. The soundtrack moves from rock and roll to soul to pop, my favorite being the rock at the beginning.

Personally, I loved this movie, and I would rate it 9/10 stars. I thought that Bradley Cooper did a fantastic job directing. The scene that made me the most emotional was the scene during their first performance together, when they sang the song “Shallows.” I was also very emotional at the end of the movie, right after the climax. I thought that Lady Gaga was an unexpected choice for the role, but a very strong choice. Her voice is incredible and she was well-suited for the part. Tori Eriavez, a senior, disagrees with me. She commented, “When Lady Gaga tried to be serious, I didn’t buy it.”

I was shocked by the movie at points. Junior Anna Van Marcke stated, “I thought [the movie] was very good, and different than how it looked in the trailer.” I completely agree with her: the plot of the film veers away significantly from what the trailer portrays. Everyone in the theater seemed stunned and emotional when the lights came back on.

I recommend this movie especially to anyone that loves music. For the people that don’t love music, I still recommend this movie. There are aspects of the film that appeal to everyone, and the film is 100% worth seeing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Students Stand Up!

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On February 17th, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, 17 teachers and students were shot. To most that is common knowledge by now, and hundreds of other shootings in schools in the past have gone through the media cycle where the victims names and stories are told, and then the media’s attention moves on to something else after a short amount of time.

This time it was different.

The students of America stood up for what they believed in, mobilized, and organized two walk out dates to commemorate the victims respectfully, and also protest, so that this time, a mass shooting does not go unforgotten.

Led by the students of Stoneman Douglass High School, two walk outs were organized on March 14th and April 20th to protest students not feeling safe in schools, to promote common-sense gun laws, and to remember the students and teachers who’s lives were taken.

At Glen Allen, over 600 students walked out of 2nd period on March 14th in protest for many reasons. The demonstration was 17 minutes long for the 17 people who lost their lives in the shooting.

Maddie Siepe films Patrick Wright while he starts the 17 minute protest with a short speech. He encouraged the people involved in the protest to use their phones to film and then post the walk-out on social media, to create more awareness and support.

Senior Patrick Wright led the walk out, and opened up the walk-out with a speech that was powerful: stating what the enough is enough movement is for, and why this walk-out needed to happen.  He stated, “This movement is important because it is showing the leaders of our country that students are still citizens. That they have the right to share their beliefs and their opinions and to educate themselves to build said opinions. This movement is important because it is showing law makers that the people want change, that the people want gun reform.”

Christian Wachter speaks for one of the students that died; a freshman who aspired to be a chef. Christian is involved in many facets of GAHS such as theater and cross country, and he continues to be a leader in the school as a senior.

Junior Mark Titus spoke for one of the 17 victims: the cross country coach at Stoneman Douglass High School. Mark stated after the walk out, “I spoke for Chris Hixon, I felt like it was really important that their names were told, because they were victims of something they had no control over it. It was an honor to speak out to my classmates and tell them one of the victims who was a hero, because reading it made me realized that he sounded a lot like coach J, a selfless guy who cared for all his students as if they were his own kids it just really hit me.”

There were also students that cared about the victims, but did not walk out, like junior jaguar Kate Gharib. Her reasoning for not walking out was that “I felt very conflicted because I do believe in honoring the victims; however, I don’t necessarily agree with the political motives behind it. I absolutely think that something needs to be done, but I’m not completely sure what that change needs to be. I still support everyone who did walk out and I’m so proud of my fellow jags!”

Also, there was a protest held at the capital of Virginia and the capital of the United States, which was centered around the idea of common-sense gun laws and to bring attention to the fact that students do not feel safe inside schools.

The next walkout is April 20th, the anniversary of the Columbine shooting, which seemed to spark the hysteria over gun violence in schools. There will be students who walk out from all walks of life, and many students that also remember the victims in different ways.

There are so many different types of people in this movement, and even more people outside who criticize it. But, I encourage all Jaguars to stand up to the challenge of talking to people you are in disagreement with about this subject, to see both sides.

All the signs in the demonstration were made by Glen Allen students. Most of the signs were orange, along with the ribbons worn, as those are the Parkland school colors.

To Eat or Not To Eat, Meat is the Question

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More recently in popular culture, certain diet-based life style choices have gained more attention. Choices such as gluten-free, GMO-free, not eating red meat, and vegetarianism have recently gained popularity, mainly on a health-based premise.

Vegetarianism is the practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat, and may also include abstention from animal by-products. Some people choose to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle for more than just its health advantages, such improving your heart health and lowering cholesterol. Many find being vegetarian beneficial to themselves personally, as well as the world around them.

The health advantages do make a convincing case for the lifestyle. Vegetarianism helps to keep down weight, as it is proven that people who eat less animal products have lower BMIs than those who eat more of them. Also, it helps ward off diseases and prevent cancer. People who abide by a vegetarian diet are likely to live up to six years longer as well!

Not only are there health advantages, but there are also environmental benefits. This is proving to be more and more important as global warming becomes a bigger issue. By contributing to a decrease in the production of animal products, you are also contributing to a decrease in the production of greenhouse gases from manure, such as carbon dioxide. Also, if everyone in the United States adopted a vegetarian diet, the country would save 35 billion dollars annually on environmental costs, which is equivalent to about 46 round trips to the moon.

By preventing diseases, such as diabetes and obesity, with a vegetarian diet, the $1 trillion dollars annually that would be spent treating those diseases would be used in numerous other ways to benefit the economy. An increase in money supply would allow for more available funding for other important areas, such as health care. By maintaining a vegetarian diet, you can even get a lower rate on some health insurance plans!

Despite abstaining from meat, Vegetarians are still able to enjoy delicious food. Vegetarian Emily Bickford prepares to dig into a delicious bowl of butternut squash soup. Photo taken by Emily Bickford.

Despite these facts, however, the most popular reason that vegetarianism has become more popular is for the well-being of animals. Modern agriculture commonly results in animals being enclosed in tiny cages and mistreated. By not supporting these practices economically, you are contributing to a lower production rate of these animals, which results in less deaths.

Overall, vegetarianism is a great way to make a change, whether it is for your health, for the environment, or for the wellbeing of animals. Some might argue that you are missing out by adopting this lifestyle, converting to one full of tasteless food. This could not be further from the truth; vegetarians are able to eat almost everything that anyone else can. You may find that becoming a vegetarian might be the greatest thing you do for yourself, and for the Earth.

 

To read more go to:

https://www.downtoearth.org/go-veggie/top-10-reasons

https://www.vegsoc.org

Everything, Everything is Everything

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Maddie and Nick simulate touching each other’s’ hands through the glass. This is the movie poster. Photo taken from joblo.com.

Everything, Everything is a drama released on May 19th about a girl named Maddie who is unable to go outside because of a disease. She is stuck inside her house with no connection to the outside world besides her mom, her nurse, and her nurse’s daughter until a new family moves in next with their son, Olly. They make eye contact through her window and sparks fly. Olly does not let the fact that Maddie cannot leave her house to keep them from being together.

The main character, Maddie, is excellently portrayed by Amandla Spenberg. She encompasses Maddie’s personality, displaying her as a fun-loving teenage girl. She is easily sympathized with and hard not to love. Olly, as played by Nick Robinson, is portrayed as the bad boy who lives next door. They not only have to overcome obstacles like Maddie’s illness to be together, they also have to get through Maddie’s overprotective mom as well as her nurse. She, more than anything, wants to leave her house and see the ocean.

The film shows what it is like for Maddie before she meets Olly, wearing her “standard uniform” of a white t-shirt every day. She has no connection to the outside beside her mom, nurse, nurse’s daughter, and the internet. After she meets Olly, who wears all black, she begins to strengthen her desire to go outside.

Everything, Everything contains a lot of symbolism that creates another level of entertainment for the movie. This symbolism strengthens the importance of small things, such as the color of Maddie’s clothing. It was exciting to figure out the meaning behind these symbols throughout the movie.

Senior Joshua Burks said, “It was a fun story about love in an unexpected situation.”

Overall, I give Everything, Everything a 4.5 rating.

Life Blooms at the Cherry Blossom Festival

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Love was in the air at the cherry blossom festival! Prom pictures, engagement proposals, and even the trees showed off their sensitive side! Photo by: Maggie Nuckols

If you don’t have plans for spring break, then try to make your way to the annual D.C. Cherry Blossom Festival. Surrounding the Tidal Basin near the D.C. mall, Japanese cherry blossoms bloom in full force during the spring, making for beautiful pictures and serene settings.

Whether you’re just going down for the day to walk around, have lunch, and soak in the beauty, or stay for the weekend, the free, hour-long walk around the entire basin will leave you feeling refreshed. There are different trails, restaurants, musical events, and

The spring weather was nowhere to be seen when the gray skies made their appearance. The Washington Monument stood tall through the clouds! Photo by: Maggie Nuckols

even themed merchandise. During the weekends of the festival, various different events take place such as concerts and the annual Kite Festival.

I happened to see the Kite Festival taking place this past weekend. The mall was covered with happy families flying kites and eating picnic lunches. The sight of hundreds to thousands of different kites flying in the wind was an amazing sight and the kite festival is something I would highly recommend.

As for the Cherry Blossom Festival, I think that everyone should go at least once. It was absolutely

The cherry blossom tree line starts at the tidal basin and ends at the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial. The match of impressive stone and engraved quotes with the pink blossoms made for a perfect picture. by: Maggie Nuckols

breathtaking to see all of the different trees lined up and people taking it all in.

Make sure to plan for all kinds of weather and all types of people. When I was there, multiple couples were taking prom, engagement, and even wedding photos! I highly suggest planning to spend more time than you think you might need to, as situations like this might occur!

Beauty and the Beast Enchants a Whole New Generation

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People were worried that the new movie wouldn’t be as good as the original animation when they saw the trailer for the first time. However, Emma, Dan, Luke, Josh, and the rest of the cast and crew proved them wrong. Photo from: Walt Disney Studios

It was a “tale as old as time,” until director Bill Condon decided to pick it up and create a new live-action version. This refreshing take on a timeless classic brought the enchanting story of Belle to a whole new generation.

Beauty and the Beast begins with the same prologue as the animated version, and then delves into the beloved story of Belle, a young village girl who ends up trading with her father to take his place as prisoner of the Beast. When the castle comes to life and offers Belle a room outside of the tower, she takes it, slowly falling in love with the people-turned-antiques and the charm of the castle. The plot thickens as the Beast finds himself falling in love with Belle, and Belle notices something that “wasn’t there before.” After Gaston tries to kill and then institutionalize Belle’s father Maurice, Belle comes to the rescue and tries to compromise with Gaston. The village learns about the Beast and goes to kill him, while Belle realizes she loves the Beast and goes to warn him.

I went to go see Beauty and the Beast with my sister and fellow Jaguar Sierra Lasher. I was so excited to see the new movie, as it is my all-time favorite story. This version did not disappoint, and is now my favorite movie! Photo by: Maggie Nuckols

The new movie was an exact replica of the original animation, down to the lines. With all that the movie stands for and means to so many people, the creators had to maintain its integrity yet also add new elements to the already classic story. They accomplished this with elaborate story lines, costuming, architecture, dialogue, and even songs. It had all of the original songs that people know and love from the animated hit, but the addition of a couple new songs added to the repertoire. One of the most notable was Evermore, the Beast’s new solo that brought me to tears. How Does a Moment Last Forever and Days in the Sun were also some of the new songs that shined alongside classics like Gaston, Belle, Something There, and the movie’s namesake, Beauty and the Beast.

“My favorite part was when Beast got his own song, because we got to experience his own feelings throughout the movie, which we really didn’t get in the original animated version,” said junior Sierra Lasher.

While this version of the movie did the original justice, the creators and stars were not about to back down from making it their own. Emma Watson’s Belle is an innovator and a farm girl, and not just a young woman who is

Junior Sierra Lasher and I went to go see the movie after school, and even for a 4:50 movie, it was packed! Beauty and the Beast ended up making $350 million in its first weekend worldwide. Photo by: Ellie Nuckols

dreaming of a better life. In this movie, she makes her better life for herself. The film is better for the slight shift in Belle’s character, along with a few plot changes, such as an enchanted book and the backstory of both of their mothers’ tragic deaths and their subsequent childhoods. It also showcases Gaston in an even more evil light, and is able to tell the story of all of the characters while staying true to the original time period of the tale with historically accurate architecture and costuming.

“The new backstory was very beneficial because it cleared up some of the major plot holes from the original film,” said Sierra.

This movie is the most visually stunning movie I have ever seen, and every scene in a new setting took my breath away. The artistry in Beauty and the Beast was the true star in the movie, and it was obvious that the cast and crew cared about portraying this story with the utmost grace and beauty.

Junior Sierra Lasher loved the movie’s design and visual appeal, adding that “It was clear that there was a lot of time put into it.”

As for the characters themselves, Emma Watson as Belle was a no-brainer casting decision. She pulled off the role as Belle stunningly. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly reporter Clark Collins, Watson shared her love for the movie and why she feels that Belle is a great role model for younger children through this film, just as she was for Emma as a child. “It troubles her that she doesn’t necessarily fit in, but I think she really holds close to her heart her dreams and her aspirations. She was definitely a role model,” said Watson.

Starring alongside Belle is Dowton Abbey’s Dan Stevens as the Beast, Luke Evans as the dashingly, villainous Gaston, and the voice of Frozen’s Olaf, Josh Gad, as Le Fou. It also stars Kevin Kline, Emma Thompson, Ian McKellen, Exan McGregor, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Stanley Tucci, and Audra McDonald.

“It was very well casted! Emma Watson was a perfect Belle. Even the side characters shined as a result of the casting,” said Sierra.

Belle and the Beast’s classic dance scene was one of the biggest scenes in the movie, starring Belle, the Beast, the candle-lit ballroom, and the famous yellow dress. Watson said the shoes were her favorite part of the outfit because she was “able to [run and dance] in them.” Photo from: Walt Disney Studios

All of the stars, cast, and crew made an already marvelous story into an even more stunning film that is sure to make you laugh, cry, and remember your inner prince or princess. But nothing I could write would bring the movie justice. You will just have to go see it for yourself.

5/5 Paws

How to Be More Mindful

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Emily Bickford

It is human nature to look for the worst in things. This pessimistic attitude leads us to be unhappy and ungrateful. Making small changes to be more mindful in our day-to-day lives will lead to a greater overall sense of wellbeing. Taking the time to focus on the important things in your life and choosing to let go of the bad will give you a sense of serenity.

Senior Alyssa Roman said, “I make sure I appreciate the little privileges in life like: being able to see, having food to eat, having a car, living in the country I do, etc. I try to do this every morning when I wake up. It makes me humble.”

Taking small amounts of time out of your day to do a few of these mindful things will make you happier and help you become more grateful.

This journal is empty and full of potential. Journaling is a great way to practice being mindful. Photo by Emily Bickford.

This journal is empty and full of potential. Journaling is a great way to practice being mindful.
Photo by Emily Bickford.

-Take some time, about ten minutes, to yourself to reflect on your day. For example, you could sit in your car on the way to school and listen to what is around you, or take the time while you are eating breakfast.

-Meditation is a common form of mindfulness. Reflecting on yourself and your life is a good way to be mindful of everything you are blessed with. Using mediation to focus on everything you have been gifted with in your life and to realize that the negative things do not matter in the long run is a great way to become more grateful.

-Journaling on a regular basis is also a great way to reflect on life as well. A good way to be mindful is to write about instances in your life that are important to you. Making lists about all the good things you have in your life is another great way to become even more consciously grateful.

Doing these things and others like them will make you happier in the long run!

 

Check out the following link for more tips!

http://www.happify.com/?srid=ggl_sem_org&c1=112833461&c2=&c3=9783700181,happify&gclid=CjwKEAjwwcjGBRDj-P7TwcinyBkSJADymblTlWc0wt9pUH5dASYLIV2LxNamaP4xwpJ2bEw1R7F7exoCuw_w_wcB 

 

Betsy DeVos’ Upsetting Cabinet Appointment

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Jamison

Newly elected President Donald J. Trump recently appointed his new cabinet members and they are now going through the process of being confirmed through Congress.

Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, was recently confirmed in her hearing on February 7th, 2017.

Over the past few weeks, Americans, despite their political affiliation, have expressed their concern about Trump’s decision to nominate DeVos because of her inexperience in the education field.

People have pointed out the fact that DeVos herself has never been through public school and has never had to deal with the outcome of the highly-inflated prices of college tuition for her or her children.

It seems hypocritical for Trump to nominate DeVos due to the amount of money she and her family have donated to the Republican party over the years, especially since he has continually stated his wish to keep “big money” out of politics.

She has donated money to the campaigns of Republican senators, such as Marco Rubio, who eventually voted for her entry into Trump’s Cabinet.

Senior Jacob Clark said, “I think that she was selected because of her generous donations to his and other senator’s campaigns and he wanted like-minded individuals.”

IMG_0009

Many public school teachers are scared as to what is next for public education under Betsy DeVos. She has publicly spoken out against public education and is in support of charter schools. Photo Credit: Jamison Crenshaw

DeVos developed a harsh following after her committee hearing in January when the Committee of Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) began questioning her motives and ideas for her future leadership as Secretary of Education.

The Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, questioned Mrs. DeVos on the amount of money that she has donated to the Republican party, inferring that she does not belong among Trump’s cabinet choices because she is unqualified and was nominated for the wrong reasons.

According to the Huffington Post, Betsy DeVos is a “school choice activist” and has contributed to the addition of charter schools and advocates for more in the US even though they are proven to be very low performing and achieve low scores in math and reading.

Jacob also said, “I feel like our education system is going to become devalued in a sense and public education is going to become less important than private education and charter schools.”

Many of the Republican senators stuck to their vow to vote against DeVos, but it was not enough to keep her from being approved.

This appointment has been historic due to the final verdict and tie-breaking vote from the Vice President that approved this unqualified, and widely disliked woman.

 

Staff

Adviser: Melissa McLamb
Co-Editors: Elaina Coviello & Maggie Nuckols
Section Editors: Lauren Baugham & Morgan Deckert
Photography & Graphic Design: Bailey Steele
Social Networks: Jamison Crenshaw & Claire Bernard
HoGA: Emily Bickford & Oscar Gamez
Interactives/Monthly Flyer: Ashleigh Russo & Kelly Riggan
Writers: Kaylee Bagley, Cassie Coughlan, Paxton O'Brien, Sara Beth Stansberry, Brian Fadool, & Joshua Holtzman