Category Archives: Opinions

Mixed Race Couples in Media

I am a proudly mixed race kid. There are more than two cultures circulating around my home, too. I’m fairly racially ambiguous. What you’d expect. But mixed race families come in all shapes and sizes. The few mixed race families shown in TV are pretty generic. A black man, and a white woman with a few beautifully uniform children with big blue eyes and skin JUST dark enough to not be a white person. But that’s not representative of most mixed race families. At all.

Continue reading Mixed Race Couples in Media

8th Grade-itis

Starting in late April and early June, the students of GFS often see seniors lounging around. There is senior day, where the senior girls walk around in bikinis and the boys walk around in swim trunks. They have slip and slides and sometimes attempt to play beach volleyball (even though there is no beach). Around June, the 8th graders experience similar feelings to what the seniors are going through. 8th grade-itis.

Continue reading 8th Grade-itis

The Death of the Weekend

When one stops to think about it, the weekend is a fairly recent invention. The Sabbath and Shabbat has been going on for centuries, but the idea of two days off is fairly new. Therefore, I am sad to announce that those two days to which we all look forward are being killed, shrunken into oblivion, by productivity, aka homework. Continue reading The Death of the Weekend

Nintendo Switch Review

I was standing outside a Target on Monument Blvd. at 7:30 in the morning when it was 14° outside in the hopes that somehow I would be able to get a Switch, which was released on March 3, 2017, and 1 of the 4 games released with it.  My hard work was rewarded with a surprisingly light, small, red box and one of about 20 copies of the latest Legend of Zelda game: Breath of the Wild. As soon as I got back from the store, I plugged in and set up the tablet with two controllers hooked into the side.  Once I was done setting it up, I began to started up the $59.99 game I bought with it and began to play. Continue reading Nintendo Switch Review

Dear Evan Hansen: A Musical in the Age Of Cyberbullying and Suicide

For years, people have looked to media and pop culture, including musicals to help them feel less alone and deal with their problems. From Oklahoma! to Hamilton here comes another blockbuster pushing the limits of what musicals can be: Dear Evan Hansen. Dear Evan Hansen is nominated for 9 Tony awards, including Best Musical. Read more to find out why.

Continue reading Dear Evan Hansen: A Musical in the Age Of Cyberbullying and Suicide

8 Changes We’d Like to See in the New Middle School Schedule

With the arrival of May, an article such as this more than likely has the appearance of five whiny eighth graders complaining about all the issues of middle school. Though we may be eighth graders—and whiny—there is more to it than that. It is our love for this school that makes us question it, point out its issues, and criticize. As the school creates a new schedule, we find an opportunity to make suggestions that we hope will be implemented. After three years of middle school, we are well-versed in the faults of our schedule and possible improvements. This is an amazing school which we would like to make better by improving the student experience for those behind us.

Thank you,

The Corner Editorial Board, Germantown Friends School

Free time

Students have school for six-and-a-half hours per day.  There are a couple moments in the day that are meant to be set aside for free time. There is such a thing as non-academic learning, which is vital for a student’s growth. In our current schedule, we have a 30- to 45-minute lunch, study hall a couple of times a week, a ten-minute homeroom every day, and a 10- to 15-minute snack. In the end, this should come to one to two hours a day of free time. But somehow, this is not the case. This is because Mondays we have assembly, Tuesdays class goes until 12:35 so we only have 30 minutes for lunch, and on Wednesdays and Fridays the whole middle school participates in activities. While it might sound absurd, the only lunch not encroached upon is Thursday, the one lunch period where we are able to converse with our friends and eat our food instead of inhale it.

With short, 15-minute recesses and only one 45-minute lunch period per week, students have little time to socialize with friends. School is a place where students are supposed to have the opportunity to not only learn and grow academically, but to learn lessons regarding social and emotional intelligence, and communication skills. Without sufficient time to socialize, students will not have that opportunity.

Homeroom

Do we really need that 10 minutes before classes? Admittedly it can be nice, and from a scheduling standpoint it means people are late to homeroom and not first period, but in reality how beneficial is it? It’s fair to say not much. Access to advisors can be very helpful, but they are usually sought out individually. So what is the purpose of homeroom? Should we have it? The primary objective seems to be for attendance and daily announcements, but in reality it becomes a time for socializing. Given that there is scant time in the day for this, perhaps those 10 minutes from homeroom can be converted into longer snacks and lunches. Couldn’t those new PA systems be used for announcements?

Monday Assemblies

Ah, Mondays. Every time I look forward to lunch I have to wait 20 minutes until I have an abridged lunch because Obviously Underprepared Seventh Grade Homeroom #7 has their assembly. The assembly is inevitably going to be a fake game show involving five people at the maximum, probably not me. Thanks to this useless presentation of the middle school’s vast knowledge of koala facts, lunch now starts 12:40 rather than at 12:20. However, I could live (albeit irritably) with this were the assemblies not completely and utterly devoid of value. We learn and experience nothing from Obviously Underprepared Seventh Grade Homeroom #7, as we will learn nothing from Obviously Underprepared Sixth Grade Homeroom #3 and Obviously Underprepared Eighth Grade Homeroom #9. We learn nothing about academics, life lessons, or even the minds of our peers.

Monday assemblies are unnecessary, and, in fact, counterproductive to learning. These 20 minutes (count them up—with 26 weeks, that’s 8 hours) could be used for engaging with our peers in a less constraining way and we could get to know the people that we all but live with, instead of twiddling our thumbs until we can bolt out of the Poley. This is a great school in almost all other aspects; we could bear to do away with this one.

Start Time

Countless studies have shown that middle schoolers are not able to fully function at 8 a.m., yet school starts at 8:10 a.m. Sometimes, we even have tests first period, though studies show that students perform better when school starts later. Doctors and teachers advise students to get at least 8 to 9 hours of sleep per night, but this is impossible with the time we spend on homework, sports, and extracurricular activities. Add to that the fact that we are exhausted because school starts so early in the morning. Starting school around 9:30 a.m. would strengthen students’ abilities to concentrate, allow us to get more sleep, and allow our brains to develop at a faster pace. In the end, many students and teachers would be appreciative if school started later (even if it meant that school would go later).

Study Hall

The topic of study halls is highly debated among both the middle school students and the faculty. Study hall was built into the schedule so students would have a productive 45-minute period to work on their homework and speak with teachers a couple of times a week. This being said, study halls are often used for very different purposes. While some use study halls to do homework, others play games such as slither.io or watch Netflix.

This brings up the question of whether study halls should be mandatory. Having multiple 45-minute blocks where students are not completing work causes teachers to enforce rules more strictly. This somehow leads to kids not wanting to do their work even more.

One option is the to make study halls “frees.” Those who did not wish to do work would not have to and would not distract those who were working. Yet even with this solution there are problems; responsibility is required unless we want complete chaos. Despite these problems the Editorial Board believes this to be the best solution. Some restrictions would be necessary—a certain degree of responsibility and a recommendation or permission slip. The issue is complicated, but what is most important is that each factor is understood and then used to create a solution.

Passing Time

While we understand that the school may not add passing time to the schedule, we want teachers to understand that we can’t teleport to class. Teachers should be more understanding when we are late to class. Especially on days when we have classes on opposite sides of campus, it is unfair to lock students out of classrooms for being two minutes late.

Activities

Activities are one of the most enjoyable times of the week. Lunch is one of the most enjoyable times of the day. Yet somehow, combining the two just results in stress. Kids get to their activities late after rushing to wait in line to get their food. Group leaders can’t arrive on time; when at last everyone has arrived, no productive work is done because everyone is eating. As a result, sacrifices have to be made, and activities have to be shortened. In addition, most students arrive late to their subsequent class, resulting in frustration for the teachers.

So the solution? Have activities meet some other time. For example, have study halls be a choice. Every student can have two “electives” a week, replacing the time their study halls would normally be. Students can choose between study halls and activities, and everyone gets the most amount of work possible completed. Otherwise, it forces some kids to do activities which they do not want to (since the normal lunch option has been taken away). So, we must decide what is more important to us—less lunch and less productivity, or more flexible study halls?

The one-hour period

For the seventh grade, it means Project Time. For the eighth grade, it means being stuck in a classroom for 15 extra, pointless, laborious minutes. The reason school is organized into 45-minute periods is to help students focus on their work and interpret information in smaller, more digestible bits. Longer than that, and student performance will suffer. It’s just another useless fifteen minutes sitting in math or language class, while every student begs the teacher to leave fifteen minutes early. If the teacher doesn’t have anything planned, we are forced to sit in the class, not learning anything or doing anything productive.

There is seemingly no middle-school-related reason for this hour period to occur. Those fifteen minutes are taken out of our lunch period, which, for many of us, is already shortened by 15 minutes of waiting in line. This takes away almost all of our time to socialize, which is one of the most important things for a middle schooler to do after he or she has been trapped in a room learning all day. So, it doesn’t benefit the teachers, it doesn’t benefit the students, and it doesn’t teach anyone anything. The solution is simple: give us a normal lunch period, like we’re supposed to have every day anyway.


We hope that these criticisms may at least be heard and that with the creation of the new schedule some of our suggestions may be implemented. These are our views—what do you think? Give us your opinion in the poll below.

6th Grade: The Bottom of the Food Chain

The 6th graders, the nasty little pests, the little annoying brats, they are the bottom. The scum at the bottom of the Middle School Melting Pot. Whatever you call them, they are universally hated by all but their very own. But why? Why are 6th grades hated so much? Their height? Their pubescent voices? Just what is it that makes them so annoying? And should older students respect, instead of bully, the little twerps?

Continue reading 6th Grade: The Bottom of the Food Chain

Dances in the Middle School

The middle school dances always seem to be a source of stress in the time surrounding them. This is usually due to the gossip that follows, however, the dances can also be really fun. This depends on what you choose to do during the dance.  This can entail asking someone to the dance, sitting downstairs and watching the movie (this time around it was the Bee Movie), talking to your friends (from experience I can tell that this is mostly shouting, unless you are outside), or just dancing and hanging out. Continue reading Dances in the Middle School

Sorting GFS Teachers into Harry Potter Houses

Any Harry Potter fan would know that there are four different Hogwarts houses, which new students are sorted into among arrival. These houses are Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin. Each of these houses have their own unique traits and skills. So we decided to sort some of our teachers into these houses, if they didn’t already know.

Continue reading Sorting GFS Teachers into Harry Potter Houses

Beauty and the Beast – Opinion Article

When news got out of Disney’s newest live-action remake, Beauty and the Beast, everyone was very excited. The trailers hit YouTube, and the appearance of Emma Watson brought out everyone’s inner Harry Potter fan as they anticipated how the famous actress would play the role of a Disney princess. The reviews were mixed, however this is the opinion of yours truly.

Continue reading Beauty and the Beast – Opinion Article

GFS and Sports

As many of you know, middle schoolers are required to do two seasons of sports each year. GFS’s website says that sports are an important part of the curriculum and help “develop fundamental skills and and game strategies in an engaging and challenging atmosphere”. However, while GFS makes quite a convincing argument, there are still kids who don’t enjoy sports, who view having to go to sports as the worst part of their day. So, where is the right place to draw the line so that children are happy and get a good amount of exercise?

Continue reading GFS and Sports

Hamilton: A Revolutionary Musical

Written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton is the musical that always seems to be stuck in our heads. If you are living under a rock, and don’t know what it is about, the hip-hop musical, sung through rap, tells the story of the life of Alexander Hamilton, the first Treasury Secretary of the United States of America. When, explaining it to people, they might have their doubts, but most likely, people will see what the hype is about when they give it a listen, just you wait.

Note: Spoilers are ahead. Proceed at your own risk. (However, it is American History, and possibly over 200 years old).

Continue reading Hamilton: A Revolutionary Musical