Category Archives: Opinions

Homework Tastes Like Chicken!

By Elizabeth Wallace

An overabundance of seemingly pointless homework (also known as “busy-work”) is a problem for many middle-schoolers. No one wants to do homework, especially the assignments that seem useless. So, how do we get rid of it? One answer: give it to the dog. Although almost any young dog, puppy, energetic or excitable dog will gladly scarf down any piece of paper in their sight, some dogs will not. Take my dog, BlackBear, a five year old Westie/Havanese mix, for example. I wouldn’t say she’s terribly well trained, and she loves eating little bits of smashed-up who-knows-what off the sidewalk, but when presented with a perfectly repulsive homework assignment, she’ll barely even stop to sniff it. So, here’s what I’ve come up with to get any dog to eat a homework paper. (Don’t have a dog? You can borrow someone else’s.)

FOOD. For most dogs, this seems to be their one favorite thing. To get a dog to eat a piece of paper, try smothering it in peanut butter or cream cheese. Dogs love both of these. If you have a small dog, you might have to cut up the paper so they don’t just lick the peanut butter or cream cheese off, although this does kind of defeat the purpose of having the dog eat the homework, because you have just destroyed it yourself.

Another solution is to use the homework sheet like wrapping paper and wrap up a tasty, strong-smelling piece of food in it. If you’ve ever given your dog a present, you probably know how this works. The dog tears through the paper to get to the food, and in the process, the paper is destroyed. In my opinion, (and my dog’s) this gets better results and is more fun than just putting peanut butter on your homework.

Black Bear with the final product of Operation Eat Homework

Here are just a few extra tips:
1. Do not do this too often, or your dog could get sick, and that would be hard to explain.
2. Do not bring the remnants of your homework to school to show your teacher, because that is weird and disgusting. A picture of it is okay, but no slobbery paper pieces.
Although this does get rid of some homework assignments, most are also online these days, and it’s going to take more than a little peanut butter to get a dog to eat a computer.

Note: Please do not actually try these techniques unless you have so much pointless seeming homework that you think you might go on a rant and run into the wall. When you tell a teacher your dog ate your homework, you know who will probably get in trouble? No, not your dog. YOU, for letting your dog eat your homework and not doing anything about it, and I might get in trouble too, purely for writing this article. Also, even though an assignment may seem pointless, it is probably not.

There’s More to Chocolate than Hersheys

by Jessica Lu
Food Critic

Almost everyone thinks that Hershey chocolate is great, but it’s not very nice tasting in my opinion. Most of us only know of big companies like Hershey and Lindt. I think Lindt is better than Hershey, but it is still mediocre compared to some European chocolates. In the best chocolates, the taste dissolves quickly. This is because the chocolates that dissolve faster have smoother textures.

In this author’s opinion, Hershey chocolate is barely chocolate. If you tried melting a Hershey kiss in the oven it wouldn’t work, and it would just become dry and crumbly. If you tried just leaving it in your mouth to melt, without chewing it, it will not melt for a while. Good chocolate melts in your mouth within a minute.  You shouldn’t chew it unless there are nuts or caramel. Hershey mostly sells milk chocolate. So, if it is milk chocolate, dark chocolate from other companies should melt slower than their milk chocolate because it has milk and cream in it, but it doesn’t. Also Hershey’s “special dark” isn’t even dark chocolate, it’s just looks dark. Their “special dark” is sweeter than their milk chocolate. Good dark chocolate has just enough sugar and milk so that it’s not bitter, but not sweet. Hershey just makes all their chocolate so that they will please kids, who like sweetness. While doing this they stopped creating good, genuine chocolate.

Also, everyone says that chocolate is made of cocoa beans, when actually it comes from cacao beans. Cocoa is the powder used to make hot chocolate. Chocolate is made from Chocolate liqueur, chocolate butter, sugar, and milk. There are several types of chocolate unsweetened, semi-sweet, bittersweet, sweetened, milk, and white. White chocolate is technically not chocolate, because there isn’t any chocolate in it.

Here’s a table of well-known chocolate makers and how I rate their chocolate.

Hershey 3
Lindt 5.75
Dove 4.5
Ferrero Rocher 7
Ghirardelli 7

On the table above I rated Lindt as 5.75 because it’s a good  basic chocolate, but it doesn’t have the smooth texture of the finest chocolate. I put Dove as 4.5 because it doesn’t taste bad, but doesn’t melt well. Ferrero Rocher and Ghirardelli( both Italian chocolates) were even because Ferrero Rocher has good texture, and Ghirardelli melts quickly and tastes good.

Some ways that you can judge chocolate is by:
1. How quickly it melts
– In the oven
– In your mouth

2. How smooth it is
– Does the taste go away quickly, or just stay there

Now that you know a bit more about chocolate, go get a taste of chocolate and don’t chew.

Editorial: iPods in Study Halls

Whose study hall is it? Why can’t students listen to iPods in their study halls? Study halls are a time to work independently. There are different ways of working just like different ways of learning.  This should be recognized like we recognize different ways of learning. Some students work with a pen, some with a pencil, some fast, some slow, just like some work listening to music, some without listening to music. If students listen to music quietly without disturbing others then aren’t they still working independently? Working quietly and productively is the only rule of a study hall. Some students feel that listening to music is relaxing and allows them relieve stress.  In some instances music is helpful in memorizing school related studies.  iPods in study hall can be useful or preferred.  If people use the them while obliging with the study hall rules there is no reason one should not be able to use them.

~ The Corner Editorial Board 2010-11

Simplicity…

by Elizabeth Wallace

One of the Quaker testimonies that GFS follows is simplicity. Simplicity is the state of being simple, or uncomplicated. In the book Faith and Practice of GFS it says, “We are encouraged to balance our work and school lives with our family, community, and religious lives, not letting busy-ness overcome us.” So is our school actually simple? Is GFS encouraging the teachers and students to live simply?

These days, what I consider a “simple” week is one where everything is normal. On a simple week I have the classes on the days my schedule says, and sports after that. Then I come home and do homework. On a day when I have a game for sports after school, another activity not school related, or even just an unusually large amount of homework, I feel overwhelmed. Usually, I feel overwhelmed about getting schoolwork done, because GFS is such an academically demanding school. Often times when I get home late and have homework to do, I don’t get time to do things with my family, or do anything else that I would like to do. In Faith and Practice of GFS the definition of simplicity is that “activities and possessions should not overwhelm us.” Another definition is that we shouldn’t let our academic and extracurricular activities interfere with the more important things in life, one of which is family.

Look at November, for example. The first week we had no school on Friday, and Wednesday was a Friday schedule. The second week was a full week, but we had open-house day on Thursday. On top of that, Thursday was a Friday schedule. But Friday was also a Thursday schedule. (Note to whoever scheduled that week: It makes no sense and it seems that the only point was to confuse us more.)  In the third week of November there was no middle-school on Friday for parent-teacher conferences, but the rest of the school didn’t have the day off. That makes it more complicated for parents, too. One parent reported that they “sometimes drive to GFS four or five times a day” because of their children’s schedules.

One thing to consider, though, is that one reason the school schedules are so complicated and often overwhelming is that at GFS students have a lot of freedom to choose what they do and don’t want to participate in. Different activities require different amounts of time, which makes scheduling more complicated.

A student or teacher’s life at GFS is often not very simple, but why is this? I think this is because GFS has a high academic standard that requires a large amount of homework. Also, because GFS offers so many extracurricular activities for students to participate in that require more time. Another reason could be that instead of having longer core classes to get more done, at GFS we get to participate in other activities, including art and music classes, gym class, Meeting for Worship (which, by the way, is meant to help simplify and un-clutter our lives), and project time activities.

A simpler life sounds nice, but is it really what we want? What do we sacrifice for simplicity?

Should Laptops be Allowed in School?

Laptops in School, The Great Debate
By Gabe Buyske

Parents, teachers, and students have been arguing about laptops in GFS for about as long as I can remember (I’m new). That’s why I interviewed one representative from each group and talked to them about their opinions so we can finally get an answer to THE GREAT DEBATE

Should laptops be in school? Interview with parent:

Question: What is your general view of laptops in school?

Answer: Overall, I think that they allow you to access a lot of information. Also I think they are a good use of technology.

Q: What are some pros of laptops?

A: Well, for one thing, students can write on them eliminating the issue with handwriting. It also lets you practice using laptops at an early age as you will when you’re an adult, it  gives you access to internet, and easily allows you to receive emails from teachers during the day.

Q: What do you think are some cons of laptops in school?

A: They provide access to Facebook and social networking sites wich can be distracting, they allow for less serious research such as use of Wikipedia, they are expensive and are easily lost or damaged.

Q: How do you think they can be funded?

A: More money needs to be put in student education and should be government funded but damage or loss of the laptops should be the student’s responsibility.

Should laptops be allowed in school? Interview with Rhonda:

Q: What is your general view of laptops in school?

A: I think they will eventually be used more and this will eventually happen.

Q: What are some pros of laptops?

A: The fact that you can bring your files with you and you don’t run the risk of losing data. I also think its good for students who have problems with organization.

Q: What are some cons of laptops?

A: There could be a chance a student could use it inappropriately.

Q: How do you think they can be funded if we do get them?

A: I think we could get donations from ex-students who have graduated.

Should laptops be allowed in school? Interview with student 1

Q: What is your general view of laptops in school?

A: They can be useful. While I don’t bring them in, other people might want to.

Q: What are some pros of laptops?

A: They can provide resources and can be a powerful tool as well you can use it for math and writing as well.

Q: What are some cons of laptops in school?

A: Can be used for non-school things such as social networking and can be distracting.

Q: How can we fund laptops?

A: Donations from parents.

Should laptops be allowed in school? Interview with student 2.

Q: What is your general view of laptops in school?

A: I don’t think that anyone under ninth grade should be allowed to have laptops in school because until that age I don’t believe that students will be responsible. Sixth to Eighth Graders are very unorganized and laptops might help them keep everything together.  Also students with bad handwriting should not be deprived of good grades because the teacher finds it difficult to read.

Q: What are some pros of laptops in school?

A: Organization, no excuse for forgetting work, easy way to type homework, makes finishing work easier and faster so you can do a better job and learn more.

Q: What are some cons of laptops in school?

A: They’re distracting, would distract students, students may go on Youtube and inappropriate sites, easily cheating on tests and work, for example going on a history site because you didn’t study and that promotes dishonesty.

Q: How can laptops be funded?

A: Not funded by school, but by parents so the school can save money and since laptops are not essential  this will be a good punishment but will not hurt the students grade.

Are Middle Schoolers Getting Too Much Homework?

Middle Schoolers take a break from their studies

Are middle schoolers getting too much homework? Here is a question that has been asked many times, by students, teachers, and parents. Out of the eighth graders I surveyed 64% believed that they were getting too much homework (please tell me what you think by participating in the poll.)

If over half of the students in eighth grade think that they are getting too much homework, are they actually getting too much homework? Some people may say, “obviously,” but do students think they are getting too much homework because it takes them too long. Does it take them too long because they have facebook up when they are typing? This is a question that we must ask. Personally, on average I believe I get about two hours to two hours and a half of homework a night, or about 25 to 35 minutes per subjects. That doesn’t sound like a lot but it adds up. If I have a sports game I get home around six and then I have dinner around six thirty so I am up doing homework to nine or ten on a bad night. There are so many distractions and I think that adds some time. This years testimony might just help the eighth grade not be so sleepy in the morning.