Category Archives: Uncategorized

Top Ten Facts about Groundhogs! by Jenna Brandaleone and Anna Walsh

1.. Did you know that groundhogs are rodents? I didn’t! Groundhogs are rodents because of their continually growing teeth. Thats right! Groundhogs have buckteeth!

2..Groundhogs=Woodchucks! Did you know that!? Many people have this misconception that groundhogs and woodchucks are two different animals entirely!

3. Groundhogs have a special diet! Groundhogs gorge themselves with food all summer to build up plentiful reserves of fat! Sound fun!

4.Are your flowers being eaten? Well, there’s a good chance that a groundhog is actually eating them! Groundhogs eat generally flowers, dandelions, garden vegetables, bark, clover, carrot tops, beans and peas, and apples!

5. Many groundhog babies! Groundhogs welcome a litter of about a half a dozen newborns in the spring every year! Thats a lot of Kids… and a lot of work.

6. Cousin Squirrel! Groundhogs when visiting their family actually visit squirrels! Why? Well because groundhogs are the largest species of the squirrel family.

7. Chirp, Chirp, Whistle! Nope, i’m not talking about a bird! Groundhogs make their own special chirping and whistling noises to communicate!

8. Bathroom best. Did you know that every groundhog burrow has it’s own bathroom chamber!

9. February 2, 2017! Be sure to celebrate groundhog day this year!

10. Groundhogs are not social! Can you believe it! Groundhogs are pretty quiet and only go out to find a mate! Groundhogs live near each other to protect each other, but they like their alone time a lot!

Bibliographies:
http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/groundhog/
http://www.havahart.com/groundhog-facts#facts
animals.nationalgeographic.com/annimals/mammals/groundhog/

The Gem by Madeline Maurer

This is so cool! I thought. I examined it like a doctor does an x-ray. Michael is so lucky he found this. My then five-year-old brother had found a rhinestone on the floor of the dusty garage, right near the parked mini-van. It was shiny like a real diamond, and there it was in my hands. All mine. Well, at least mine until my older brother would have reclaimed his property. Let’s just say that my logic was impaired, so naturally, I marched my three year old self over to Michael and started to have my fun. “Does it go in here?” I asked, shoving the gem near my nose and giggling.

“No,” he told me. “Don’t do that!”

“Does it go here?” I said, putting the gem near my ear.

And that’s when it all went horribly wrong.

As I flung my tiny hand up to my ear, I let go of the rhinestone. I felt the small object land in my right ear before it disappeared into the void. (The void being my ear.)

At first, I was too shocked to cry. I mean, something was in my ear and I didn’t know how to get it out, and that something was incredibly precious. Thankfully, I was able to piece together an explanation for my dad, who promptly sat me down on his lap as he began to prod at my ear. Then, the panic (at the disco! I’m sorry, I had to.) set in. What if he couldn’t get it out? What if I have a gem in my ear forever? I thought as I began to sob, tears rolling down my cheeks. I stared at an ant crawling up the wall as tears filled my eyes.

“We have to go to the doctor,” said my dad.

Uh oh.

Fast forward to the doctor’s office, and I’ve been placed on crinkly examination paper to have doctors poke at my ear some more. I was being prodded with tweezers. These people meant business. This part’s kinda dull, so long story short, they couldn’t get it out either. It was worse than I could have imagined.

I HAD TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL.

My dad took me into the car and we drove quietly to the children’s hospital. The stoplights looked like smudged paint from my tears blurring my vision. Why did I have to put the gem in my ear? Why?

We arrived at the hospital, and a bunch of kids around my age were watching Dora the Explorer on the TV mounted on the wall. At least I could watch my favorite show now. I sat with them while my dad talked to the people at the desk. Soon enough, I was dragged away from the TV and brought into one of the hospital’s rooms.

The room was small and had pastel pink walls. They must have intended to make this a calm experience, but it felt like doomsday to me. I lied down on the examination table, disrupted ear to the ceiling. The nurse wet a cotton swab. Thankfully, there was a TV and VCR system in this room, too. “What do you want to watch?” asked my dad.
Of course, I responded with “Dora!”

Unfortunately, my dad denied me the opportunity to watch the show of my choice. “No, you’ve been watching a lot of Dora, let’s watch Blue’s Clues.”

UGH.

The nurse stuck the cotton swab in my ear. Here come the waterworks. Now, I don’t remember it hurting, just feeling a bit weird. But, as you can tell from the story so far, I was an incredibly dramatic toddler. Plus, my dad made me watch Blue’s Clues instead of Dora the Explorer. I was having a rough day.

The nurse was able to remove the gem with ease. The whole ordeal probably took about two minutes, but it felt like an eternity. I rolled off of my side and stood up onto weak, shaky legs. My dad and the nurse walked me out of the examination room. The nurse proceeded to ask me what is surprisingly not the strangest question I have heard in my life:

She held up the rhinestone and asked me, “Can I keep this? We like to keep things we pull out of ears and noses.”

And guess what I said…

“Yeah!”

Hey, I was three!

Top 20 facts About Abraham Lincoln by Jennie Rosen and Jenna Brandaleone

1. Lincoln was the sixteenth president of the United States
2. Abraham Lincoln had a son named Robert
3. Lincoln was assassinated on April 15, 1865
4. Mary Todd Lincoln married Abraham Lincoln
5. Lincoln was a lawyer
6. Abe Lincoln was a licensed bartender
7. Lincoln’s assassin was a famous actor
8. Abraham Lincoln was the first leader that thought women should be allowed to vote.
9. The brother of Lincoln’s assassin saved his son, Robert, from a train accident
10. Abe Lincoln is in the wrestling hall of fame
11. Fido, Lincoln’s dog was assassinated
12. Abraham Lincoln did not have a college degree
13. Lincoln dreamed of his own assassination before the actual event occurred
14. A girl convinced Abe Lincoln to grow his beard
15. Lincoln was a part of the republican party
16. Abe Lincoln’s mother died when he was nine
17. Lincoln is one of the most regarded presidents in the U.S
18. Important documents of Lincoln’s could Be found inside of his hat
19. Abraham Lincoln went into office on March 4, 1865
20. Abe Lincoln lost two campaigns
Bibliographies:
http://www.factslides.com/s-Lincoln
losseshttp://us-presidents.insidegov.com/stories/11648/25-facts-abraham-lincoln#Intro
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Lincoln

Top 10 Ways Not to get Sick this Winter! By Jenna Brandaleone and Jennie Rosen

 

Sleep

Going to bed works! You may hate going to bed early, but you should know that a good night’s rest is all you need to help your body fight (and win against) germs!
Wash your hands…

We have all heard it. “Remember to always wash your hands!”, but we should really listen to it more often. Washing your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds can send the germs down the drain.
Stay warm…

Ever thought about going outside in your pajamas when it was below freezing? Maybe you have, but staying warm is a key factor to staying healthy. So just remember that next time you wear your pajamas outside, you are really just waving a sign that says, “GERMS! I AM OVER HERE!”.

Don’t Share drinks or foods…

Other people might have yummy food and awesome drinks, but don’t give into to those temptations! A lot of sicknesses and illnesses are caused by sharing saliva of another person. Even if the person says that they are not sick, they might still have germs! Just because symptoms don’t show up for two days, doesn’t mean they aren’t sick!
Be Clean…

Not only can a clean house or living space make awesome first impressions, but it can also keep you from getting sick! Germs can hide anywhere but more often than not, most of those times start outside of your home and then come into it. Germs can live in the dust under your couch or even just plain and dirty messes. It might be a pain to clean up, but make sure you and your homes are CLEAN!!
Stay away from people who are sick…

Ever have that repulsed feeling from that kid who snots all over your desk in class? I know I have. Besides the natural urge of moving away from them, it is important to know that having any physical touch with a person that is sick is putting you at a very high risk of being the snot-blowing-on-the-desk-kid.
Keep your hands away from your face…

Imagine all the bacteria that is invisible on your hands. This is bacteria that is prepared to fight a war with your body. It wants to win and makes you sick in the process. Well, you are actually helping this bad bacteria take control of your body when you are giving them a tour of all the ways to get inside of your body. Don’t put your hands on your face! These places are the grand doors for the bacteria to get inside your body.
Drink lots of liquids…

From drinking tea, hot chocolate, hot apple cider, or water all of these choices are good ones to keep you germ-free!
Meditate… It might be a little awkward at first, but once you get the hang of meditation it can be relaxing. It can keep you nice and healthy too. It is scientifically proven that meditation can make you happier and a healthier person.
Exercise…


Keep your body strong! If your body is strong, your immune system is too. Your immune system is all the parts of your body that fight back bad germs. REMEMBER: EVERY PUSH-UP MATTERS!

So go ahead! Try anyone of these tricks and tips and see if they work for you! BE happy AND healthy during this winter!

Pay to Play: The Problem of Youth Sports Fees by Abby Gavron

I don’t know about you, but when I first learned not all kids have a chance to play youth sports I was furious. I know I’m lucky, my family has always been able to afford the registration fees for sports. Knowing that there are kids like me that don’t have the resources to play sports makes me feel bad. My time on the field and court with my friends make up some of my best memories. I believe all families should be able to send thir children to sport even if they are on a tight budget.

Charging families for youth sports is blocking kids from learning important things including sportsmanship and teamwork, preventing kids from building friendships, and the fees create barriers between kids.

The score was 2-1. We were losing as the whistle blew my teammates all wore frustrated faces. Having arrived at the soccer field at 8:00 that morning, tired but ready to play, this loss was very disappointing. We lined up to shake hands. Even though we were all angry, there was a silent agreement between the team to be good sports, like coach always says. So, we shook everyone’s hands and thanked the referees, because that’s what we were taught. Sports are an opportunity for children to learn important skills including sportsmanship and teamwork. All kids should have the opportunity to learn these skills because later in life you will need to be able to work well with other and show sportsmanship in your everyday life. Don’t you want all children to have the chance to learn these skills?

While some people could argue that kids can make friendships at school and that, sports aren’t required to make friends, I disagree. I have had many friends throughout my life and a majority of them I made through the many sports I play. Playing sports with people for hours builds a certain type of friendship. You understand each other better. You win and lose together and that makes your friendship stronger. I can remember times I would not want to play sport. Then I’d remembered that I would get to see all my friends, it wouldn’t matter the time or day, the thought of seeing them would make me excited for practices. The bonds you make of the through sports extend far off the field or court. The current system that is not allowing all kids to play sports and develop these friendships can cause kids to be more shy, less friendly and less outgoing, the system of fees should be abolished. I believe that every child should have the opportunity to build strong friendships. No matter if the family is struggling financially.

Lastly, I feel that the cost of youth sports has created a barrier between kids. One day I was talking to my mom about sports, and that was when  I learned about the expensive fees in youth sports. I had asked my mom more about the sports fees,  she told me that we were lucky, not everyone can afford to play sports. Anger boiled up inside of me, I couldn’t believe that some kids are not allowed to play sports because they are not doing well financially. The fees represent a barrier of who can and cannot afford to play sports. I feel like this barrier will cause children who cannot afford to play sports to not interact with children who do play sports. It is sending a message of financial inequality. Is that really the message and values you want to be sending to kids?

21% of parents spend more than $1,000 on child sports. Some people can afford that easily but for others with many children the price of sports add up quickly. I believe that the fees on youth sports act as a barrier that are separating kids, preventing children from learning important lessons, and restricting kids from forming friendships. Do you honestly think it’s fair that not all children can play sports?

 

Homework Hell: How Homework Impacts our Children’s Lives by Allen Zou

The school bell rings. Freedom! Free from the stressful workloads during the weekdays. Freedom to spend time with family and friends… Everything is fine until I remember the homework. I puff out a long, frustrated sigh, and start to work. I bunch up in my room like a hibernating bear, surrounded by endless textbook pages, google classroom assignments, and essays to write.

When teachers assign homework on the weekends, it stresses out students. Like all the students that procrastinate, they’re gonna keep off the homework until the last day due to having a full schedule so that they have to stay awake much longer than they’re supposed to and scramble to finish the homework. Studies from the U.S. National Education Association says, “giving homework over the weekend leads to a buildup of stress during a time when students are meant to relax and unwind. The same is true for giving students homework over the holidays, such as winter break.” But doesn’t stress help you focus? Yes, it does. However, it also makes the outcome of your work much, worse than without stress. I recently watched a TED-Talk about procrastination about a man who had a 90 page thesis to write throughout a year and procrastinated until the last three days, having to write 90 pages in 72 hours and you can already guess the outcome. A study of stress in teenagers shows that 56% of students consider homework as a primary source of stress, while only one percent of the students report that homework was not a stressor. This analysis proves that homework is a major key role in creating stress among our students and children. 43% of the students put tests and good grades to add onto the stress so that it becomes a competition of whoever has the better grades. Schools in Finland have shorter school days and little to none homework, and instead of competition between the grades on the standardized tests (which don’t even exist) and grades, there’s cooperation from helping each other out with each other’s problems and struggles. This makes the students less stressful and that can help with memory, relationships, a healthier heart, a better outlook on life, and more benefits. A focus group of students reflected that a majority of them said that their homework load led to sleep deprivation, among other health problems. The researchers concluded that the massive amount of homework impacted the health of the teenagers through headaches, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, weight loss, and stomach problems. Weekends aren’t just for de-stressing, it’s also for relaxing and spending time with loved ones.

We all know adults who work usually get the weekends off to relax, but it’s not the same for students. Adults get time off to spend with their family only to find out that their kids are up in their rooms or at the library doing homework or studying. They may not be working in school, but they would be working in their rooms or at the library. I believe that weekends should be a time to relax and spend the time with friends and family. Kids should be kids, spending their time being filled with creativity and wonder, not moping with frustration around because of their homework. Alfie Kohn, author of “The Homework Myth”, told the Huffington Post, “It’s one thing to say we are wasting kids’ time and straining parent-kid relationships, but what’s unforgivable is if homework is damaging our kids’ interest in learning, undermining their curiosity.” The amount of homework schools give is too much, and our relationships with their own families are being damaged due to the lack of time spent together! The piles of homework distract students from their real lives – lives of creativity, fun, adventure. Homework sucks away all of that. Survey data shows that the students are “not meeting their developmental needs or cultivating other critical life skills,” according to the researchers. Due to the heaviness of the homework load, students are forced to drop activities like sports, time with friends or family, and pursue hobbies they enjoy. In high performing schools, too much homework can reduce their times to foster skills of personal responsibilities, the analysts concluded. “Young people are spending more time alone, which means less time for family and few opportunities to engage in their communities.” This says that their time focused on homework, can be turned and used to spend time with friends and family and their personal hobbies. Weekends are also to unwind and breathe a bit.
Weekends are not just for fun, it’s also to slow down and take a break from schoolwork and breathe. It gives us more time to sleep and that alone can influence our entire day or even the entire week. The time assures students that there’s time and no need to rush all the time. In my school, we have C.U.B. weekends which stands for Catch Up and Breathe, it happens every other week. As a student, I can tell you that I look forward to it. Every other Friday, I start to pack my backpack with binders, folders, books, and I complain about the homework, but I realize with a sense of relief, that it was a C.U.B. weekend and I happily put everything back. I could finally spend some time without schoolwork. I’m not saying schoolwork is bad, I’m just saying that to have an excessive amount is bad. Kids in Finland, the country with the best schools and education system, have NO homework, and they use their free time to use their imagination, to have a sense of wonder and creativity. With long breaks students are given time to relax and take in all the information given to them. In the US, we have class after class. Only sometimes do we go out for a break after lunch, and it’s usually not longer than 5 minutes. The schools in Finland don’t just care about the academics, they care about the entire well being. They care about what they do in their free time, about their habits etc. Of course, you can argue that homework is to remember what you learned in school that day, but it really doesn’t help. In Finland kids don’t have homework altogether and they still have the best education system in the world. Do you want to know why? Because they want their students to go out into the real world and explore without stress or anything like that. This makes them remember things a lot easier. Have you ever had to do something under stress and you couldn’t do it, but you could do it when you’re practicing or reciting? This is pretty much the same thing.

This goes the same for a lack of sleep. If teenagers sleep for less than 8.5 hours of sleep (the recommended amount of sleep for a teenager), they can have some major side effects in their heads throughout the day. Lightheadedness, tiredness, being unaware of the current situation, dizziness all results from sleep deprivation. Studies prove that sleep deprivation can influence your ability to pay attention, creativity, abstract thinking, decision making, remembering long term memories, and overall mood and motivation. All of these are required during school and without these, you wouldn’t be able to function the way humans are supposed to. Although sleep is one of the highest priorities for learning, it’s the thing that is most lacking in students. One study showed that less than 15% of the teenagers get at least 8.5 hours of sleep each night. To balance out the lack of sleep, teens sleep a lot more on the weekends which takes even less time from doing homework. A survey given to 1,000 k-12 teachers has shown that students are now spending upwards of up to 17.5 hours a week on homework if they typically have 5 classes with different teachers. This is around 3.5 hours a 5 day week for each teacher and 2.5 hours in a full week in high school, in middle school, it’s about 3.2 hours a 5 day week and 2.3 a full week, and in elementary school, 2.9 hours a 5 day week and a bit less than 2.1 hours a day in a full week. By comparison, a 2011 study from the National Center for Education Statistics found that in 1994, only 39% of 17 year olds said that they did at least an hour of homework each day. Also, the National PTA recommends that there should be 10-20 minutes of homework per night in the first grade, and add an additional 10 minutes per grade level. That means a senior in high school, should be doing roughly 120 minutes (2 hours) of homework a day, but may do more depending on certain courses they take.

Due to this abundance of stress and lack of sleep, socializing, exercising and extra curricular activities. Homework is the number one priority in students’ minds and can really mess up the body and habits. Teachers can relieve the students and ease their studies by giving time in class to do work, give less homework and stick to the recommended amount, or not to give homework on the weekends. Although students are only 20% of our population, they are 100% of our future.

The Scam of Student-Athletes by Michael Long

In 2010, the NCAA(National Collegiate Athletic Association) and Turner/CBS Sports agreed to a 14-year, $10.8 billion deal for the broadcast rights to March Madness, the Division I men’s basketball tournament. Today, the NCAA makes nearly a billion dollars per year from the TV agreement, ticket sales, and other sources like donations. According to NCAA’s official website, more than 90% of this money is distributed to “support NCAA schools, conferences and nearly half a million student-athletes.” The word ‘support’ is used very vaguely here, because really, a lot of that 90% is used for staff salaries. And what about the other 10%? Shouldn’t the remaining $90,000,000 go to the student-athletes who make the industry possible?

It’s about time college student-athletes get paid. They spend countless hours working out and striving to perfect their game, all while keeping up with their classes and social life. Paying them would also teach them how to manage money and prepare them for when they get a job. Their coaches get paid millions. The colleges that they play for earn tons and tons of revenue from ticket sales, selling merchandise, vending at games, and sponsors. The athletes are the heart of the NCAA and the NCAA would be nothing without them. But what do they get out of the billion dollars the NCAA makes a year? Nothing. It’s about time they get paid.

Playing a sport while juggling classes is exhausting. The typical day of a student-athlete goes a little something like this; You wake up at 5:30, only getting about 5 hours of sleep, feeling a bit tired. Then you rush off to an early morning practice at 6:30. After that, it’s time for classes. You can barely keep yourself from falling asleep in class. Now, after 4 hours of classes, it’s time for an afternoon workout. After that workout, you’re exhausted. Now you have to get cracking on your pile of homework. Now you’re absolutely whupped and fall asleep right when you hit your pillow at around midnight. Playing a sport takes up so much time of a student-athlete’s day, it’s like they are working a full-time job. A job of 40 hours a week is considered a full-time job. College football players can spend 70-80 hours a week practicing in August, and about 50 hours a week when the season and classes start up. Some people would say that the college athletes chose to play a sport and they knew the commitments that come with it. But those commitments take effort and that effort deserves to be paid. College athletes are spending more time for their sport than adults at a full-time job, yet college athletes get paid nothing compared to their thousands/millions.

In the future, you have to be able to manage your money. Paying college athletes would give them experience in having a substantial amount of money, and that experience would help them immensely when they get a job or a spot on a professional team after college. Take Johnny Manziel for example; he won the Heisman Award in 2012, the annual award given to the most outstanding player in college football. His future was looking very bright and was drafted 22nd overall by the Cleveland Browns in the 2014 NFL Draft. Soon after he was drafted, Manziel started doing drugs and partying a lot. He got in a lot of trouble and was later indicted for hitting his girlfriend in the ear, rupturing her eardrum. The Cleveland Browns released him from the team, and his agent even dropped him as a client. If he was paid in college, he would have been more prepared for life after college. Sure, some would say that if Manziel was paid in college he would just do the same and get in trouble in college. Maybe that’s true and he would have gotten in trouble in college, but he would have learned from his mistakes, and he wouldn’t make those mistakes during his professional career. Now, his career is basically over, but I feel that he could have perhaps learned his lesson in college and been more prepared and mentally ready for his life after college.

College coaches have one of the highest-paying jobs. According to Business Insider, Jim Harbaugh, the head coach of the University of Michigan Division I men’s football team, makes $9,000,000 a year. In fact, the highest paid public employee in 40 of the 50 U.S. states is the state university’s head football or basketball coach. Colleges pay coaches like professional teams pay athletes; the better they are, the more they are paid. But the coaches’ skill level depends a lot on how the players perform. The coach and the players work together to become as good as they can. The coaches even get bonuses according to how well the team does. But the players are also a large factor in how well the team does, it’s not just the coach. Yet, the players get paid nothing for playing an arguably larger role than the coach does in how well their team performs, while the coaches get paid millions for merely directing players on the sidelines. Yeah, some people would say that coaches are super important and could turn a whole team around by his/herself, but that has rarely happened.

March Madness. The name is very fitting. Every March, the NCAA holds the Division I men’s basketball championship, or, more commonly known as the March Madness tournament. The NCAA recently agreed to a $10.8 billion, 14 year deal with CBS Sports and Turner Broadcasting for TV rights to the Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. 10.8 BILLION dollars. Colleges also make around $120 million a year from ticket sales, vending at games, and selling merchandise. The players are the ones playing in the games that make all of this money. They make the NCAA work, and without the athletes, they wouldn’t make any money. The student-athletes are the heart of the industry, and debatably the most important people in it. They definitely deserve to get paid at least some of that money. According to the NCAA, some of the money actually goes to athlete scholarships and school improvements, but a lot of the money still goes to paying staff and employees.

At the end of the day, college athletes just want to play sports for their love of the game. They don’t think too much about getting paid, they’re just trying to do the best they can in school and doing what they love to do. But should they care about getting paid? The colleges that these student-athletes play for and represent make millions off of them. Nearly all of the people involved in the team are paid except for the athletes themselves. This isn’t right. Let’s change this and finally reward the student-athletes that are the heart of the NCAA and the ones that make it all possible.

Vile Victoria’s Secret: Why This Company is Tearing Down Our Society by Meredith Prince

Vile Victoria’s Secret: Why This Company is Tearing Down Our Society

Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show: one of the most popular fashion shows in the nation. Millions of people throughout the country flick on their T.V. and wait intently for the different angels wearing fluorescent wings and stilleto kitten pumps to strut down the glamorized runway. Excitement pours out of people like sunshine through fine white linen. Every fiber in their bodies vibrates with anticipation to view the variety of outfits and models. Unfortunately, they aren’t going to be seeing much diversity within those models. Of all 14 angels, 12 are white, 14 are tall, 14 are skinny, and 14 have a “perfect” hourglass figure. Thousands of girls’ faces droop, filled with dismay, desolation and despondency. The giddiness they once had has managed to slip through every piece of them, and has been replaced with pure disappointment. Victoria’s Secret only glamorizes one type of body, making girls insecure about themselves, creates offensive campaigns, all making it a bad influence.

Victoria’s Secret only carries one type of model: your typical gorgeously tall, ultra lean woman with a busty physique. The majority of them don’t weigh over 95 pounds, The average 14 year old girl weighs 105 pounds. When a late teen/mid twenty model weighs less than you do, it doesn’t make you feel so great about yourself. This makes girls look down at the flashing numbers on their scale and fill with disappointment and sadness.Victoria’s Secret only makes one type of body seem “beautiful”, and totally ignores the fact that other body types exist and that all body types are beautiful. Although Victoria’s Secret models and angels all have the same figure, some people can see this as a good thing. A recent survey from She Knows found that women were, unsurprisingly, more likely to buy a product if they liked how women were portrayed in its advertisements. The company knows this, which is why they keep their ‘perfect’ models to appeal to the most females as they can. This does make sense, but don’t you think they will appeal to a wider audience if they widen the types of bodies they support? Besides, it’s the 21st century, when are we going to acknowledge that there is more than one “beautiful” body type?

When you walk into the wide glass doors of a VS store, you are immediately bombarded by wall-size photos of those reed thin, top heavy, beautiful models. And when you don’t exactly look like them, it can make you feel pretty bad about yourself. Women and girls-teenagers in particular- will see these bodies and wonder, “Why can’t I look like that, and what can I do to look like that?” The answer is clear. You cannot look like that because those bodies because they are physically unobtainable without a trustworthy plastic surgeon and some solid photoshopping software. I remember one time I went into the store with my friend. She had been self-conscious about her body, and seeing that the company only supported one body type made her feel even worse. It was hard for her to learn how to love herself and be proud of her body when these models all had the same “perfect” body that she didn’t have. These models make girls feel insecure about themselves, and make girls who are already insecure about themselves even MORE dissatisfied with their bodies.

The company raised online rage only a few months ago with their “The Perfect Body” campaign. The images that they used for this “Perfect Body” campaign were 10 models that all had that same body figure as explained above. No attempts at body diversity were made in the image. Even worse, these images suggested that these were what “perfect” bodies were supposed to be. Given that those models’ bodies are basically unobtainable, it seemed a little insulting to imply that women who didn’t share their exact measurements somehow have ‘imperfect’ bodies. This campaign made thousands of young girls look in the mirror each morning and feel dissatisfied with themselves. An online petition was made, requesting that the brand apologize and take responsibility for the unhealthy damaging message that their ‘Perfect Body’ campaign sends out about women’s boies. More than 33,000 signatures were gathered, but Victoria’s Secret only took minimal action. They changed the campaign name to “A Body For Every Body” (which still didn’t make a lot of sense given the narrow range of bodies depicted in the advertisement remained.) Even after this petition, they still did not add any different body types to this campaign.

Victoria’s Secret has mentioned that they are going to try to add more angels and models of different ethnicities, but if they are serious about diversifying their models, they might want to add different body types as well. Adding different body types will help all women feel better about themselves, make the modeling shows more interesting to watch, and help the company widen its audience. Imagine a new generation where young girls can open up a magazine and instead of pinching their stomach with disappointment, stare into a mirror and think “Wow, I am beautiful.” Imagine a society where everyone believes that they are beautiful and are proud to be in their own skin. But until Victoria’s Secret starts to take action and add different types of models, I refuse to watch their shows or buy their products, and maybe if we all do, we can convince them to make the change.

Weird Ways to Stop Procrastinating (and yes, this is largely for my own benefit.) by Madeline Maurer

We’ve all had that moment…

“Wait…It’s already 10:30? How?” You glare at your phone in shock. “But I was only on Youtube for, like, twenty minutes…Uh oh…” You look back at your unfinished project, your heart dropping like a boulder to the bottom of your stomach. Scrambling, you snatch the glue and Sharpies off of your desk and submerge yourself in the clouds of paper and ink that trashes the room. The next morning, you shamefully drag yourself into your class, eyes barely open and project in hand.

But how do I overcome this tragedy? I hear you asking. Well, I am here to help you out! Here are some weird ways to stop procrastinating.

Set up your materials five minutes BEFORE you want to get started. Now, if you’re anything like me, you’re already groaning, but please hear me out. You are going to be more likely to actually get started when there is a constant reminder of your obligations. I am one to write things on my hand because it’s kinda hard to forget something when it is physically on your body, and in a place where you can always see it. If your textbooks are practically staring you in the face, it’s kinda hard to hold off studying.

Use a reward-based system. Do ten math problems, have a cookie. Finish your essay, spend some time on Instagram or texting with a friend. If you look forward to your project’s completion, you will obviously want to finish it faster. Plus, everything is way more rewarding when you work for it! (It’s like how if I see a pack of stickers in a store, I don’t even bother looking twice. But, if a teacher gives me a sticker after a test or something, I protect it like Gollum and the Ring of Power. MY STICKER!)

Tell someone else about what you need to do and when it needs to get done. You will feel more accountable if other people know what you need to do, too. A great way to do this could be to start a group chat with some friends and post when you start and finish your work. With this, you stay responsible and on task. The only flaw with this plan is that group chats may get side tracked…but not yours?

This next one applies if you absolutely must procrastinate. While your goal is looming over your head, think of some ideas for what you want to do. Say you have to write a story based on Mesopotamian life in Social Studies. While you are drawing all over your hand, think about what you want your main character’s name to be, how s/he should behave, what their motives are, etc. You won’t feel like you are doing any hard work, but you are actually creating the bare bones of your assignment. To motivate you more, think about the exciting parts of your project so you want to start!

Force yourself to start on right after school, work, or after you have just done something else. The reasoning is just like Newton’s law: Objects in motion tend to stay in motion, objects at rest tend to stay at rest. I was very interested when I found this technique because it seems so obvious but it’s so brilliant. It takes a familiar concept and flips it upside down so it can apply to our daily lives. Anyway, this rule does apply. You will be more willing to do work after you have just done work. Why stop when you’ve already made so much progress? It’ll be easier to work if you save the couch-potatoing for later.

Now that you’re done reading this list, go get some work done! The world is your oyster! Go off, my child!

Weird Ways To Procrastinate:
Okay, if you’re anything like me, you probably didn’t actually go through with any of the strategies listed. So, instead, here are a few ideas of how you can procrastinate…(reverse psychology at its finest)

Draw on your hand. There’s a reason why I can’t be trusted with ink. Too many happy faces to make out of freckles!

Try to pick up a new useless skill. A Brittany Spears impression would be a great one to try. Also singing with your mouth closed is a new possibility. Hey, who says you won’t go into ventriloquism when you’re older?

Find your alter ego. In other words, put together a stupidly awesome outfit that you’ll never wear again, add a cape to it, and there you have it! Your other self has appeared.
Plan your idea for a restaurant based on your OTP or another amazing theme. I won’t judge! Unleash your ideas!

Don’t just watch anime, BECOME ANIME! Reenact your favorite scenes from the anime you’re binge watching right now or simply go looking for a Death Note. Maybe one of the other Shinigami dropped one, too. Just be careful not to attempt to become the god of a new world.

Read more lists on how not to procrastinate, or write your own! This is self explanatory.