Two oblivious students round the same corner from opposite directions. Both hunch over their smartphones, texting away furiously without any regard for the outside world. Their footsteps get closer and closer together, the clickity-clacks of their shoes echoing louder and louder on the ceramic tiles. Smash.
In a sports culture widely thought to be full of macho masculinity, several of this school’s girls’ teams are in the midst of dramatic playoff runs. Between the girls’ swim, soccer, volleyball, dance, and cheerleading teams, this fall playoff season is being swarmed with an impressive invasion of black and orange.
As much as we may like to pretend that we live in an isolated, idyllic bubble here at Newton North, teenagers here face the same challenges as adolescents around the country. There is alcohol abuse, drug usage, and excessive tobacco usage. And while the first two are certainly two of the more recognized teen safety issues, the tobacco usage in our school community tends to be blissfully ignored.
Ten percent. Ten. Think about it. No, that’s not your most recent grade on a physics test, nor is it the percentage of bingo players who are less than 35 years old (30 percent!). Sadly, that’s Congress’ current approval rating according to a new Quinnipiac poll. Yeah, it’s that bad.
To most Americans, the Middle East has become synonymous with war and chaos. Every day seems to bring new turmoil to the region, from the common coups and border disputes to the exceptional self-immolation that set off the Arab Spring. Currently, Syria’s raging civil war serves as the conflit du jour—one order of ruthless dictator who mercilessly attacks his own people coming right up. Despite the fact that this debacle has been ongoing largely overlooked for the past two years, the recent discovery that chemical weapons were allegedly used by Bashar al-Assad’s regime has caused an uproar across the globe.
It is no secret that this school’s Library Learning Commons serves as the gathering place for many of this school’s schmoozers. Have a canceled class? Meet you in the library. Have a free? See you in the library.