Monthly Archives: February 2018

Cursive: Not a Waste of Time (Sam Howerton)

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“Cursive handwriting will no longer be taught in schools because it’s a big, old waste of time.” So reads the title of a 2013 article on E! Online by John Boone.  In it he argues that typing on a computer is a skill of more importance than knowing how to write cursive. He quotes Morgan Polikoff, assistant professor of K-12 policy and leadership for the University of Southern California: “It’s much more likely that keyboarding will help students succeed in careers and in school than it is that cursive will.” Boone continues to argue that spelling should be taught in more depth rather than cursive, which is reasonable. But according to Boone, cursive writing should be abandoned completely.

However, Linden Bateman, former State Representative for Idaho, argues in favor of teaching cursive, explaining how “more areas of the human brain are engaged when children use cursive handwriting than when they use the keyboard.”  Boone, however, goes against this point, simply stating, “there are plenty of other ways that kids can develop hand-eye coordination that doesn’t involve spending a year of their prime development time learning a new alphabet.”

Although this could certainly be a valid point, according to Suzanne Baruch Anderson, an occupational therapist for the Beverly Hills Unified School District in California, “learning to write in cursive is shown to improve brain development in the areas of thinking, language and working memory.” The argument for teaching cursive handwriting remains a heated debate even four years after Boone’s article was first published. Although both sides have reasonable points, cursive handwriting should still be taught in schools. It is not a “big, old waste of time.”

Works Cited
Anderson, Suzanne Baruch. “The Benefits of Cursive Go Beyond Writing.” The New York Times.  30 April 2013. Web. 24 Nov. 2017.

Boone, John. “Cursive Handwriting Will No Longer Be Taught in Schools Because It’s a Big, Old Waste of Time.” E! Online. 15 Nov. 2013. Web. 24 Nov. 2017.

Smyth, Julie Carrr. “Should students learn cursive? Some states say yes.” Yahoo. 14 Nov. 2013. Web. 24 Nov. 2017.

 

The Gift of Boredom (Harriette Adams)

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Humans constantly crave to be entertained. Whether it is reading or looking at phones or screens, people want to escape boredom. But is boredom a bad thing?

Boredom is an emotional or psychological state in which an individual feels they have nothing to do. They may become unsatisfied with their surroundings or feel the task at hand is tedious or dull. Manoush Zomorodi, host of WNYC’s podcast Note to Self, wrote a book called Bored and Brilliant. In it she explains the positive effects boredom has on one’s day to day life.

She argues that boredom often permits one to slow down, allowing the mind to wonder, to think deeply, and to create without distraction. This deeper thinking allows one to see the world and how truly exquisite it really is. The deeper appreciation of the world grows dramatically due to a change of one’s routine and familiar environment.

Therefore, don’t be afraid to be bored. When you are willing to slow down without distraction, you might just find yourself thinking and creating more than ever. And you might just learn to appreciate the earth with all its specific, ever-changing details.

Family Camping (Ann Marie Godfrey)

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Friday. Everything was ready. All week we had been preparing for this trip. The tent had been aired out, the lanterns and roasting sticks packed into a plastic tub. Mom had planned the meals far in advance, and the food was packed in a big cooler waiting to be taken to its destination.

School that day seemed longer than ever, even with it being a short day. As soon as school let out, though, we sped home, hoping to load the car up as fast as possible. Though our time of departure was a couple of hours later than planned, we finally hit the road. Six people crammed into a car with everything we would need for a weekend sleeping in the great outdoors.

When we arrive, it will be a mad scramble to set up camp before the sun sets. The tent must be pitched, air mattresses blown up, and the kitchen tent with food put in order. However, we’ll look forward to Saturday morning–seeing the site in the full light of the sun for the first time, putting on layers of clothing to keep warm while the sun makes its way into the sky, and eating breakfast surrounded by the beauty and tranquility of nature. We’ll plan our hike for the day and eagerly confront the adventures to follow: rocks to climb, streams to cross, new paths to make and new views to see. After our hike we’ll look retreat to our hammocks. There we will rest and read until dinner is ready.

At night there will be a fire. S’mores will be roasting and our six camp chairs will encircle the warm glow. It will just be us. Just our family and the great outdoors.

Only a couple more hours left now until we are there.

Net Neutrality (John Richardson)

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American freedoms are being threatened by the idea of repealing net neutrality. To begin, net neutrality is the idea that no matter what websites you go to, you will receive the same internet service speeds. The company you purchase service from cannot slow down your internet when you go to a lesser known website. If net neutrality laws are repealed, any internet service company can begin charging you more for services that require more data. Expect to pay more money for possibly lower internet speeds. Americans should be outraged over this because it walks right over their First Amendment rights. The First Amendment guarantees the right to express oneself freely. In modern times this expression has translated to the majority of our internet use. If the net neutrality rules were repealed, any internet service provider would have the right to throttle content they deemed wrong or unfit. This means that facts and articles could be manipulated for millions of internet users, and since the web is where most people find out information, it could effectively change the culture. This issue is extremely important, yet many Americans have never heard of net neutrality. Spread the word. Let Congress know that you support the freedom of net neutrality.