Time Out

People wonder why teenagers get sick so often, and I think I have found the answer.

We are constantly being run into the ground, overwhelmed with task after task.

I will use myself as an example. I go to school, do my homework, and go to volleyball. Everyday. No breaks in between.

You would think I would get used to it, and I do in some ways. But sometimes the lack of a break catches up to me.

Getting home at 10pm in need of a shower and a snack does not let the teen body get the rest that it needs to stay healthy.

At our age we are growing so much mentally and physically.

If we take the breaks that we need, we are scolded for being lazy or not trying hard enough – but if we do too much we are told that we need to “slow down”.

Confusing, right?

So much is asked of the high school or college student, and yet whenever I say that I can almost always hear an adult scoffing and making some snide remark about how “we have it so easy”.

And perhaps in a lot of ways we do.

I know that I don’t have to worry about paying the bills at the end of every month – and I am so grateful for that.

But I do have to worry about my grades, sports, getting into colleges, trying to maintain some kind of social life, and a lot of other factors that are major stressors.

So why is anyone surprised when 1/3 of the junior class gets a cold, or a fever?

Some of us get only three to five hours of sleep per night because of the work load that is put on us.

Everyone needs a break now and then, and when that break isn’t taken, the human body will find a way to take it.

Our systems are beaten to the ground. And while we may not have to same feats to overcome as some, we have our own.

photo credit to: http://www.static.guim.co.uk


Does the coming of a break bring the mindset of exhaustion, or does exhaustion signal the need for a break?

Two weeks before break, I feel my body shutting down and the traditional sick feeling beginning in the lower ridges of my throat. An ache in my head begins and my body feels heavier each morning, as if stones line my blankets.

Do schools, through years and years of grueling torture and experimentation, know the limits of the teenage body and place school breaks appropriately? Or, do our bodies and minds know that a break is coming and anticipate it by prepping us for hibernation?

The strong hold it out until break and return rested and energized. The weak hold it out until break then proceed to get sick for 10 days. And return not so rested but strong enough for the next break.

My questions are; which of the theories is correct? Is this the right way to hold school? Is there even a right way?

Grade Gratuity

Are grades worthy of cash rewards?

Growing up, there were always those kids who were bribed by their parents to get good grades. Depending on their situation – financially and academically – different arrangements were made.

I think the luckiest I ran into was my friend who got $50 for every A, $20 for every B, and $10 for every C. Maybe it’s just jealousy, but I think that’s ridiculous.

First of all, if a kid with this guarantee takes the minimum of five classes and barely scrapes passing grades, they still make $50. I don’t think these grades are worthy of that kind of reward!

A more reasonable gratuity I’ve observed is payment for every A on a report card. Whether it’s $50 or $5, this method at least makes the child work hard for their reward.

As a self-motivated person, I’ve always taken academics into my own hands and have never been rewarded for good grades. Of course my parents are proud, but they’ve had no need to bribe me. I doubt the concept of paying me for grades has ever even passed through their minds. Honestly, maintaining good grades is expected of me, and if I fail to do so, it’s entirely my problem.

For the people who receive this reward, that’s awesome for them. Of course it would’ve been great to have received this while growing up, but honestly, I don’t see the point.

Photo Credit: 2.bp.blogspot.com


Cop or Not

A man from Texas, really in need of his fast-food, posed as a police officer in order to skip to the front of the line in the drive-thru.

Almost taking after the imitation police in the movie “Let’s Be Cops,” this man cleverly beat the law, and managed to do so while pretending to be the law.

The convicted man’s car was decked out with illegal lights and sirens but looked like a normal car. However, bystanders thought it to just be an undercover cop car.

Photo Credit: i.ytimg.com

After the release of “Let’s Be Cops,” one can only wonder how many similar incidents have occurred – either because of the movie, or simply coincidentally.

Directly relating to this event, one can still wonder whether this man decided he wanted to try to pull off the feats in the movie, or if the circumstances just happen to relate.

Either way, the man wanted his food, and he wanted it fast.

Ready, Set, Action!

Most people go through life at a normal rate, but some people are simply born ready to go.

Annabelle Ridgeway, a Philadelphian who, at age four is already a master in determination, fits this category.

With nothing on her mind but her strong desire for a slushie, Annabelle slipped out her back door at three in the morning and boarded the bus to the nearest 7-Eleven. The girl wanted something, and she took action.

Photo Credit: somicom.com

Although the girl’s actions could have been dangerous, she truly exemplifies the motivation that even some adults lack. At such a young age she already knows how to take initiative, plan and take action. And she stopped at nothing to reach her goal.

The determination that Annabelle possesses is admirable, especially for a four-year old. Many adults would do well to take after this little girl – not necessarily in a slushie escapade, but in the values she encompasses.


Brain or Body?

When we think of ourselves, we take in our bodies as a whole – physical limbs as well as thoughts. However in reality, we are just a brain.

Every thought and emotion comes from, or simply is our brain. And it is our brain that controls every action and movement we do. Essentially, we are just a small hunk of cells controlling a jumble of skin and bones.

Photo Credit: /www.jdandersonlaw.com

Even more so, humans are just a bunch of atoms. Atoms are studied in school and professionally, meaning that the study of atoms is really just a bunch of atoms learning about themselves.

It’s weird to think of the human body in its individual parts, for it all works as a whole, controlled by the brain. When thought of on its own, the brain is such an odd concept, and the way it works to control the body is a crazy concept.

Pink Poultry

A recent mystery has materialized in Portland, Oregon – pink chickens have been spotted wandering around the city.

Photo Credit: media.katu.com

Many Portlanders have stopped to take pictures with the birds, or at least paused to puzzle the abnormal sights, but until recently, nothing was done to understand these freaks of nature.

To get to the bottom of this, Multnomah County Animal Services sought out the owner, Bruce Whitman. He described the colored chickens to be a prank – he dyed them with food coloring, beet juice and Kool-Aid in hopes of making lucky onlookers smile.

Whitman put the birds out Thursday morning and picked them up that same evening. They gained publicity from their perch in a tree on the waterfront, and in no time caught the eye of countless people.

Although Whitman pulled this prank to catch the eye of the public, he did not expect the chickens to get nearly as much attention as they did.

While only a one time event, Whitman was happy with his success in making people smile, and was glad that pink chickens could cause this unanimous reaction.

Journalism Competition

Photo Credit: staticsquaarespace.com

Monday, March 30th, OVS’ Journalism class took a trip down to Cal Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks for a Journalism competition.

I have only been in Journalism for a little over three months now, so this is still all very new to me. Regardless, I was very excited.

After waking up at 5:30 a.m., we got some coffee and drove to the competition.

This competition is held each year and OVS has won awards almost every year they have competed.

I was competing in the Feature category with my fellow journalist, Daphne Psaledakis.

Our speaker told an interesting story about a Patagonian sheep herder traveling to the United States in order to earn higher pay so that he could support his family and his children can have a higher education.

It was intriguing and interesting, and something I had never heard a lot about previous to the competition.

Although I did not place at the end of the competition, some of my fellow journalists did. I was so proud of them, and even though I did not win an award, I learned so much from this experience that will help me to become a better writer.


Germanwings Catastrophe

Hundreds of airplane crashes have happened since the invention of airplanes. A multitude of reasons are responsible for these disasters; terrorist attacks, suicides, engine failure, technological failures, and extreme weather conditions.

This week, Germanwings flight 9525 came to an end shortly after it departed from Barcelona, Spain, en route to Dusseldorf, Germany, when the Airbus A320 plummeted into a remote region of French Alps, killing all 150 passengers and crew on board.

This catastrophe came as a shock to Lufthansa Airlines, the owning company of Germanwings, and to the Airbus manufacturing company.

There was no explanation for the crash until the black box from the Airbus was recovered earlier this week. In the recording, the pilot is heard yelling into the cockpit, insisting he be let in to regain control of the plane.

Now here come the accusations.

The co-pilot had locked himself in the cockpit when the pilot left for was seems to be a bathroom break. In the recording, the co-pilot can be heard breathing in a normal manner, dismissing the theory of a medical emergency preventing him from opening the door to let the pilot back in.

Not only was the pilot locked out of the cockpit, but when he initially left, the autopilot elevation setting was changed from 38,000 feet to 100 feet, the absolute lowest setting.

So far, all we know is that the co-pilot intentionally locked the door to the cockpit, all people on board were killed, and the plane is completely demolished.

Photo Credit: i3.mirror.co.uk

The black box recording raises a few questions to chew on:

Was the co-pilot suicidal?

A terrorist?

Or did he suffer a medical emergency which inhibited him from opening the door to the cockpit to allow the pilot back in?

… To be continued.