Look around your first period class and you will most likely see heavy eyes and half awake faces. At 7:24 in the morning teenagers are normally a little less than 100% as they struggle to wake up and push on through the day... (this task made even more difficult since you can no longer have their cherished Dunkin Donuts in the morning...)
In an effort to combat the sleepy teenager problem, some high schools in Canada are experimenting with later start times... but that means they get out of class much later as well. Claiming that students don't have enough time to sleep, school officials are attempting a plan in which first period starts at 10:00am. The hope is that students will be better rested, more aware, and will retain more of the information. This change is not as dramatic as it may seem to us however... the schools normal opening time was already 9:00am.
Critics of the plan state that it will not help the masses of groggy students claiming that they will simply go to bed even later... thus the problem remains the same... the solution... go to bed!
The issue of religion and the separation of Church and State seems to be a constant topic in our world. What does the separation of Church and State actually mean? That phrase, perhaps the most misquoted statement to NOT appear in the Constitution, leads Americans to often believe that religion has no place in the public realm.
If that is so, then why does our money state "In God We Trust?" When we pledge our allegiance each morning in public school we do so acknowledging, "one nation under God." When the Supreme Court of the United States hears a case they do so in the shadow of a mural of the biblical figure of Moses. If you testify in court you will often be asked to place your hand on a Bible. And even when the American Colonies declared their independence from England they did so claiming that each person is, "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights..."
Recently however, Rhode Island has made national news with the so-called "prayer banner" in Cranston West and the World War I memorial cross on public land in Woonsocket.
If you have listened to any of the speeches from the either the Republican or the Democratic National Conventions you will hear references to God and faith over and over again... and yesterday Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan said he support organized prayer in Public Schools as long as the school agrees.
Where do you stand? Does the United States really have a separation of Church and State? Yes? No? Sort of...?
For the first time in its history, McDonald's, the fast food giant which made its millions selling hamburgers, cheeseburgers, and of course the now world famous "Big Mac", will open restaurants which will sell only vegetarian dishes.
While this type of service may not work in the United States, in India, where much of the population lives according to strict religious dietary practices, it may end up being a booming success. McDonald's will open two veggie-only stores, one in Amristar (the holiest site in the Sikh religion) and one in the town of Katra (an access point to the holy shrine of Vaishno Devi.)
The change to veggie-only restaurants will not be a huge change as the company had already decided not to serve beef because Cows are considered to be sacred in India... thus instead of the Big Mac they have the Maharaja Mac, which includes chicken instead of beef... the step to eliminate all meat was just the next logical step.
"All that we are is the result of what we have thought.”
The fall sport season is upon us here at Pilgrim High School, and with it we see athletes from several different sports and of varying ability levels all preparing and hoping that maybe... just maybe, this will be the year! But, with sports come injuries.
For anyone who has ever played competitive sports, you know that you are always just one play away from your last play. Injuries can happen on the most routine of plays, and sometimes those injuries can put an athlete on the bench for a few days, a season, or a career.
Enter Jacob Rainey:
Last September, at Woodberry Forrest School in VA, Rainey was preparing for his junior year and hoped to win the starting job at Quarterback. On September 3, Rainey took the snap from the center and a few moments later, his life changed. He was tackled, and he blacked out... when he awoke he was in such pain that the medical staff said that the "screams were just overwhelming..." Rainey had dislocated his knee to the point that teammates were crying and even getting sick on the field from the sight of the injury.
Rainey not only dislocated his knee, he had severed arteries and lost significant amounts of blood... the only way to save Rainey's life, was to amputate his right leg.
Within months, he was talking about returning to the football field and resuming his quest to be the starting quarterback. He is working with advanced prosthetic technology, physical trainers doctors, and prosthetists... and it looks as though he may make a comeback. Rainey attributes his remarkable recovery (he was running and throwing passes in the time most people are still learning to walk) to his stubbornness and his disdain of being told "you can't do it." According to Rainey, "When people tell me I can't do something, the stubbornness I have just pushes me forward."
So when someone tells you the thing you want most can't be done, just remember the words of Walt Disney, "It's kind of fun to do the impossible."