Category Archives: Opinions

The meat debate

A growing number of people are becoming vegetarian. Whether it is for environmental, religious, or philosophical reasons, people are giving up meat. Though there are many reasons not to eat meat, meat eaters have one major point: meat tastes good. It’s hard to deny that meat substitutes, no matter how much they try to emulate a cut of succulent sirloin, or a beautiful hamburger, they don’t come close. I’ve sampled many meat substitutes, and they are somehow different. Tofu is often extremely poorly prepared, left cold and terribly under/overdone. The impossible meats try too hard to be close to meat, down to the scents, the grilling experience, and bleeding. For now, we don’t have meat substitutes that are perfect, and their imperfection makes them bland.

Meat takes much more resources per calorie to grow, including water, calories, fertilizers, and fossil fuels, as well as a whole slew of public health issues related to animal dung causing algae blooms. Another issue is that antibiotic resistant bacteria can originate in the cramped conditions that animals are raised in. Vegetables tend to be more ethical, in terms of the environment and morals. Our ocean’s waters have been chronically overfished, driving some species close to extinction, and aquaculture is far from perfect. With climate change, going vegetarian seems appealing.

There is a convincing ethical argument for going vegetarian. Pigs, lambs, chickens, and cows all have brains, and can feel pain like humans. There are some who think that farm animals could be pets if raised in different conditions. We are removed from the actual death of our food, and this can give us a removed perspective, where we don’t have to deal with the animals’ dying breaths. I am somewhat unfit to judge my choices of eating meat, because I have been withdrawn from the death of farm animals. 

Meat is not essential. We have plenty of alternatives for obtaining protein, but meat has been ingrained into our cuisine. It is hard to find good vegetarian options for most meals, and this tries vegetarians. Vegetarian cuisine can be excellent, but the complete absence of meat would be hard to achieve. Meat is here until some calamitous event or radical change occurs, but going vegetarian is an admiral choice. 

Editorial: What is GFS missing?

We often think of GFS as having it all. Good teachers, historic buildings, fields, and good values. But what aren’t we getting? What does GFS need, and what standards should we be meeting that we aren’t already? Should we be satisfied with the current state of GFS? There are many things that GFS needs to improve upon in a variety of areas.

Our Campus is beautiful, but some of the facilities have not been improved upon for a long time. Many of the buildings have been around since the turn of the twentieth century, and have not been renovated in decades. There are some obvious things needed, such as air conditioning in the Cary Building, but there are other things that GFS, with all of its resources could do. Though we have the extremely energy efficient Wade Building, sadly we do not have any solar panels on campus. This could be an easy way for GFS to save money, and be more environmentally friendly.

Our athletic programs are excellent, but there is a glaring lack in two areas. Most schools have an indoor swimming pool, but GFS doesn’t have one, despite giving exemptions to students who swim. The pool could be a multipurpose facility, with anything from lifeguard training to kayaking happening there. We would be able to have a GFS swimming team as well. GFS is not only missing a swimming pool, but it also does not have any school squash courts. The lack of squash courts leads to an overly competitive atmosphere in the middle school teams, which can lead to people becoming discouraged from the sport. 

Continue reading Editorial: What is GFS missing?

Camping trips: Which one is the best?

Ask any teacher what you’ll remember when you look back on middle school, they’ll say the camping trip. Each camping trip is meant to bond you with your classmates, and maybe help you understand the wilderness more. Each camping trip gets shorter the older you are, with the sixth grade trip being much longer than MOSAIC.

The sixth grade camping trip (my personal favorite) takes place at Hickory Run State Park in Pennsylvania. It has many hikes with your homeroom, including the stream hike and the boulder field. It was an amazing bonding experience, and definitely brought our homeroom together.  We had to prepare our own food, which was a major trust building event. Sam Spear, an eighth grader, said it was his favorite trip because, “There were more hikes, there was more woods experience.”

Continue reading Camping trips: Which one is the best?

Samsung Galaxy Fold Review

The Samsung Fold has released and models are already breaking. The device functions as a phone and a tablet and costs $1,980. It is part of the first generation of folding phones to be released, followed by the Huawei Mate X, a Chinese phone. Though folding phones may be in our near future, they aren’t entirely functional yet. The Fold has a visible crease down the middle, and the screen that is displayed when the device isn’t folded isn’t really useful.  It has already been canceled after only a few weeks of the device being on the market. Clearly, there are a lot of issues that need to be solved. Continue reading Samsung Galaxy Fold Review

Editorial: Does social media make us more lonely?

The world has never before been more connected. We have global communication at our fingertips; we can contact someone on the other side of the Earth in a minute. But this also means that our generation is the first to get distracted by the very thing that enables us to work and study better.

Continue reading Editorial: Does social media make us more lonely?

Is Your Teacher a Robot?

Imagine one day you come to school and the teachers are gone. Instead of teachers and smart boards, there are only computers. You are told that instead of teachers teaching individual classes, a computer system is the new “teacher.” You are told it is customized to your own learning abilities and learning style. It also helps you accomplish assignments at your own pace. Continue reading Is Your Teacher a Robot?

Retiring the Tiger: Ideas For a New GFS Mascot

One of the most uninteresting parts of the education system (besides the education system) is the school mascot. Colleges and schools usually choose tasteless, fierce animals for their mascot, such as lions, wolves, hawks and so on.  For GFS, it is the tiger, the creature that spreads “pride” throughout our community. The tiger isn’t exactly an orginal mascot, however… there are 23 colleges in the US with tiger mascots, and too many schools to count. GFS should move on to a more creative choice for their mascot. Here are some ideas from me and other GFS students for a fresh, better school icon. Continue reading Retiring the Tiger: Ideas For a New GFS Mascot

9:00 AM Wednesday Start

When the news that the Wednesday late start coming to an end filled the middle school, there was an uproar. One eighth-grader said “I am very upset that the late start is now gone. I used that time to catch up on sleep and or work on projects. That time helped me not only be more energized in school but also helped me get work done.” It was a day where school started at 9:00 a.m. leaving children an extra hour to sleep in. If the student could not stay home during this time, they were allowed to come to school and wait for school to start.  Continue reading 9:00 AM Wednesday Start

Editorial: Is it Day 9 yet? The new schedule

Have you noticed people in the middle school walking around asking people what day it is? Or showing up in P.E. when they are supposed to be in math? Or feeling hangry before lunch–hungry enough to eat your own homework, because lunch is not until almost 1pm? Have you been baffled by the period switch? All of this is because GFS transitioned this year to an eight-day rotating schedule.

Last year, we had a two-week schedule, which was confusing at first, but we quickly got used to it. The change to a new eight-day schedule occurred to help with people missing the same class from early sports dismissals or missing Mondays and Fridays because of holidays and days off school. However, this problem has not been solved, instead classes before expo have taken the hit, as have our electives for clubs.

The eight-day schedule has been difficult for students to adjust to. There seems to be an awkward division of time, between period switches, community block, and lunch time. We have trouble figuring out which course meets when. The school provided an app for student schedules, but middle schoolers aren’t allowed to look at their phones to check it. Instead, we have screens on campus reminding us which “day” it is, which seem needless if the schedule was rational. In addition, what’s wrong with a normal, five-day week? It would align with the outside world and be easier for us to remember.

One of the biggest difficulties for middle school is the 12:55 P.M. lunch. Last year, the school day was split up nicely, with two periods before snack, two periods before lunch, and two periods before Flex. The mornings last too long, with a total of five periods, or four hours and 35 minutes of class(including community block), occurring before lunch. The lunch period was also shortened by five minutes, which is significant since there’s already a rush in the lunchroom.

Previously, snack was more of a recess period for talking to your friends and doing whatever you want to be doing. This year, snack is much more important than it should be. Lunch is very late, so we need snack to sustain our energy throughout the day. We are growing kids, and we get hungry (and acne). It’s hard to focus on whatever x is equal to when you’re counting minutes until lunch starts. However, someone has to come last for lunch, and it would make more sense for high schoolers, who have free periods where they can snack, to take this burden.  Since not everyone brings snack in, we are provided a free snack by GFS, but what our bodies really need is food, Not salty cheez-its, stale pretzels, and neon orange goldfish.

The new schedule has many of the same flaws (if not more) as the five-day schedule. It needs to make more sense, and give more time for lunch. In the past, students expressed dislike for the A/B-week schedule, but we would prefer it to the eight-day schedule. Perhaps next year if or when the schedule is changed, we may long for the eight-day schedule.