Category Archives: Editorials

Editorial: Bridging the Gap

The narcissus daffodil flower is named after the myth about the dude who couldn’t stop staring at himself in the water. Keep this in mind later.

Are we the greatest generation? There seems to be a point of view that the generation we as middle schoolers are a part of isn’t as good as the ones before. Sure, not everything about us as a generation is great, but it’s not all bad either. We are certainly different from any other generation, and it’s because of the environment that we have come out of. Continue reading Editorial: Bridging the Gap

Editorial: Middle School: A Retrospective

Cassie: Middle School. The ugly stepchild of Germantown Friends; neither adorable, nor attractive. Neither charming nor intelligent. People say only two things are certain; death and taxes, but they would be wrong. In Middle School, I discovered that not only death and taxes prevail into the bottomless depths of eternity, but so did homework, dramatic diary entries, and every year spent in this pseudo-hell. It is beyond me why, at this horrific period of any human’s lifetime, they are stuffed into classrooms, told to grow up, and suddenly bombarded with the most stress they have ever experienced in their entire existence. Personally, I believe adolescents between the ages of 11 and 14 should be sent to remote countryside villages; to mope, run art blogs, and write free-form poetry-graffiti on modern architecture. The goal being, of course, to get over as much of their juvenile cynicism, judgment, and self-hatred to become functioning, thoughtful, kind, members of society. No I didn’t enjoy it. How did you guess?

Rating: thumbs-down Continue reading Editorial: Middle School: A Retrospective

Editorial: Affinity Groups

Several months ago a group of white students attempted to attend the Students of Color meeting at lunch. They were abruptly turned away by the meeting’s leader, 8th grade history teacher Aaron Preetam. This event brought up several questions about the nature of the Students of Color meeting: What’s the purpose of the Students of Color meeting, and why aren’t white students allowed into the Students of Color meeting?

Continue reading Editorial: Affinity Groups

Editorial: Dressed to Impress or Provoke?

Like most subjective things, what is considered appropriate varies from person to person, making deciding on a dress code difficult. We, as the editorial board, found it extremely challenging to come to a consensus of what should and shouldn’t be worn to school. We’ve decided that we know what’s inappropriate when we see it (i.e. we would deem coming to school in a string bikini or wearing nothing at all inappropriate), but we can’t agree on where conservative turns to racy. Continue reading Editorial: Dressed to Impress or Provoke?

EDITORIAL: Defined Lines

You probably have heard the song “Blurred Lines,” but it’s a good chance you haven’t heard that it’s sexist, or for that matter, taken the time to learn why it’s sexist. It’s hard to believe that a song so widely played and so frustratingly catchy, a song named the Billboard song of the summer, and also the official theme song of the recent NBA playoffs, could be so blatantly offensive, but alas, Robin Thicke and Pharrell have achieved a new low.

Continue reading EDITORIAL: Defined Lines

Editorial: Teachers’ Pets

What is a teacher’s pet? We all think we’ve seen them before. They’re the kids the teacher picks to answer the questions in class all of the time; the ones who always are obnoxiously polite to the teachers; the ones that they never scold. They’re always smart, and always seem to go above and beyond on class assignments. This is a position that is at once envied and shunned in our society. Continue reading Editorial: Teachers’ Pets

Editorial: Dating in the Middle School

DATING

The American Heritage College Dictionary defines it like this: Dating (v.) – An appointment, especially to go out socially.

The Middle School definition of dating: Dating in Middle School (v.) – A title or label promoting the idea of romance that children are not yet capable of.

So why do it? You could probably ask a select circle of boys and girls in each grade, but as The Corner Editorial Board, we decided to think about this subject for this issue’s editorial. Continue reading Editorial: Dating in the Middle School

Editorial: To Deck the GFS Halls or Not!

There is often controversy around the holidays in regard to decorations in schools and other public places. For example, some say that there is a “War on Christmas” because of signs that say HAPPY HOLIDAYS instead of Merry Christmas. On the other side, those who celebrate Hanukkah and Kwanzaa often feel that their beliefs are underrepresented in public areas that are festooned with Christmas’ wreaths and decorations. At Germantown Friends School, the main lobby is decorated with a Christmas tree and multi-colored lights. There is  mistletoe hung over the center of the lobby, which most everyone gives a wide birth.  Just as an aside, the significance of mistletoe started in pre-Christian Europe in the midst of Norse mythology, where it was used to kill somebody. In the sixteenth century it somehow became a symbol of Christmas and a popular excuse to kiss somebody. Mistletoe is an example of a cultural symbol that doesn’t really have any religious significance, and in the opinion of the editorial staff should not be offensive to anyone. The windows in the lower school building are adorned with hand drawn symbols of many religions. This showcases the school’s attempt to educate and be inclusive to many religions.

All of these decorations beg the question: Is it appropriate to have holiday decorations displayed at Germantown Friends since we have many non-Christian students?  And, do such decorations offend minority groups who feel underrepresented? We would argue that as long as a variety of religions and customs are represented these symbols as a group help us to feel excited about the upcoming holidays. Although GFS strives for diversity, we are a Quaker school and as a Christian religion one would expect that you would encounter more Christian decorations than others.

Because of this we believe that holiday decorations do have a place in GFS and serve to help us get into the holiday spirit. The editorial staff believes that as a schoool, GFS respects all student holiday beliefs The festival of lights celebration is a case in point.  All students are encouraged to share their family customs and traditions.  Therefore, feel free to hang as many wreaths, as much mistletoe and as many holiday decorations as you desire, just keep the kissing to a minimum. Happy Holidays!

~ The Corner Editorial Board 2012-13

Query: Do Queries Help Our Community?

Anyone who has gone to GFS has heard queries about the value of community. This year, because one of our “featured” testimonies is community we will hear even more. However, do these queries really work? Do the questions posed at assembly in preparation for Meeting for Worship really inspire people to behave differently? Can we build a community with just words?

There are many reasons why these queries may not be taken to heart. The most obvious reason is that people don’t pay attention when the queries are announced. Perhaps this is because the queries are announced right before lunch when people’s minds are more focused on a turkey sub than what they can do to help build community.

Another reason queries don’t penetrate the minds of middle school students is that some students might think they are too cool to actively be a part of a growing community. Maybe this is because the word community conquers up images of hippies and peace signs.

The reality is all people, no matter how cool they may act, really do want to be a part of a community. Maybe the word community is getting in the way of people understanding what it means. It’s like telling a joke and announcing it’s going to be funny rather than just telling it and letting people laugh. Rather than a non-specific long-winded query along the lines of: “Were the consequences of a growing disquietude and grade level separatism responsible for the inadequate geopolitical frame of our community?”, why can’t we just have kids from different grades work on the dance committee together? Middle school students respond much better to a humorous skit or more of an open discussion where people aren’t afraid to share their opinions.

Don’t use the word community. Don’t use it at least for just a little while; instead use another word: society, commonwealth, partnership, culture, semblance, affinity, kinship or just GFS.

But really, if you want to build a stronger community stop talking about it in assembly and start being a part of your own society/commonwealth/partnership/co-partnership/semblance/affinity/kinship/(community).

Tell us how you think we can better build a better community at GFS. We’d like to hear from you at thecorner@gfsnet.org. Make it readable to all audiences and include your name so it can appear in our next issue under Letters to the Editor. Thanks.

~ The Corner Editorial Board 2012-13