Dalai Lama’s Nuclear Opinion

NUCLEAR! That word has been associated with negativity for a very long time. It wasn’t surprising as a lot of heads turned when the Dalai Lama voiced his complete support for the use of nuclear energy. The Dalai Lama is a well-known spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism. Before you get too excited, one must comprehend that there is a massive difference between nuclear energy and nuclear bombs. The Dalai Lama’s views suggest that he is in support of a country or a community using nuclear energy through peaceful means as a way to bridge the socio-economic gap in developing countries, due to the fact that they don’t have many other alternative energy sources.

dalai-lama-quotes“There are still many developing countries with a huge gap between rich and poor…millions of people’s lives remain under the poverty line and we have to think about those people,” said the 79 year old.

The Dalai Lama is a very influential leader and has followers and people who respect him all over the globe. His influence extends to vibrant international communities and also many philosophical groups. Nuclear energy is a very controversial topic and the Dalai Lama is clearly for it, but there are many issues to look at first. The Dalai Lama proclaimed that alternative sources of energy such as wind or solar are too inefficient for fast developing countries and the use of nuclear energy could be very beneficial. There are multiple problems with these “fast developing countries using nuclear energy.”

Firstly, there is a massive aspect of energy security. At this point in time, all eyes are on the countries expanding their nuclear research because it is assumed they would or could use it for negative means. Now, with more nuclear energy being created, there is a chance it can easily be misused by many major countries and terrorist groups. A global push towards a system of nuclear energy would ultimately mean that uranium enrichment would have to grow in the world. The problem with that are many of these countries looking to invest in nuclear energy plan to reprocess wastes to obtain more of this energy. The result is weapon grade uranium. This uranium could be easily misused. Next, there is the aspect of radiation. If not made properly, nuclear energy could cause many radiation problems such as cancer and genetic mutation.

This is not to say that nuclear energy is necessarily a bad thing. It has very many positive aspects. In terms of pollution, nuclear power plants do not produce air pollutants. Air pollutants include sulphur, or even greenhouse gasses. The use of nuclear energy benefits the world in terms of climate control and keeping air clean. It can, like stated before, be extremely beneficial to help the people who live under the poverty line. With this, they can be economically sustainable.

The Dalai Lama has a point. Wind and solar energy are viable aspects that countries could invest nuclearinto, but these energy sources are too young and do not, at all times, guarantee results. Nuclear energy could be the way forward for these developing countries. After all, the Dalai Lama said it, so it has to be right.

– Andrew Kumar

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A Look at Kwasi Enin

Around March, students from all over the country got letters back from Ivy League colleges, about whether they were accepted into the schools or not. Among them was Kwasi Enin, a 17-year-old student from William Floyd High School in Long Island, who got accepted to every single Ivy League school. Knowing the extreme amount of work and talent that it takes to get into just one, Kwasi was able to get not only into one, but into all eight Ivy-League colleges, which is an incredible achievement.

Ivy League schools allKwasi wasn’t accepted to these colleges by mistake, according to USA Today, Kwasi ranks Number 11 in a class of 647 at William Floyd, a large public school in Long Island, New York. That puts him in the top 2% of his class. His SAT score was at 2,250 out of 2,400 points, this puts him in the 99th percentile for African-American students. But Kwasi has “a lot of things in his favor,” this is what college admissions expert Katherine Cohen, CEO and founder of Ivy Wise, a New York-based consulting firm, said.

Kwasi is young man, and “colleges are looking for great boys,” Cohen said. Recently colleges have been admitting more girls than boys. The Department of Education estimates females are about 57 percent in colleges. So being a young guy and academically skilled gives him a natural advantage in being accepted into colleges, because of colleges’ efforts to balance the male to female ratio. Also, being a first-generation American (son of immigrants from Ghana) helps him stand out from other students.

They were helicopter parents. They monitored everything. They said, “You have a mind, and you can do it. Always do your best,” said the parents of Kwasi Enin. Kwasi added, “They taught me 95 percent isn’t good enough…I’m proud, honored, and appreciative.” The whiz kid’s parents, who are nurses, also didn’t let him forget how lucky he is to be in America, said his dad, Ebenezer Enin. Kwasi’s parents played a major role in the achievements that Kwasi was able to accomplish, and Kwasi didn’t avoid talking about how parents can have such a huge impact on their children. Because if it wasn’t for his parents, he wouldn’t have accomplished what he did.

In a phone interview, Kwasi said Princeton so far has offered the most generous aid package. But he has yet to get offers from Columbia, Cornell or Harvard. He wants to pursue both music and medicine. Kwasi has been able to get some good offers, he still remains undecided because he wants to make sure that he makes the best decision when it comes to such an important matter. Once he decides, Cohen says, he should write letters to the seven runners-up saying he’s “honored to have been admitted.” After all, he’s got to keep his options open for graduate school. This was great advice for Kwasi, he has made it this far, but he still needs to remain humble and keep all the options, that he worked so hard to achieve, open.

Kwasi is a teenager, just like me and many others, his story shouldn’t be one of envy and too much surprise, but of inspiration. He has proved that not everyone is the same, but everyone has the ability to do their best, and work as hard as they can to achieve whatever it is that they have been working towards. I think we should take a lesson to heart, and realize that we all have gifts, and those gifts are God-given. If we work hard at them, we can achieve even more than we ever thought possible.

– Michael Sossy

Playing Devil’s Advocate with the Voices in My Head

Whatever is this thing called “normal?” I wonder. I hear voices in my head. They tell me what to do. I cannot differentiate between real and unreal. Reality is blurred and my head can become a living hell or pathway to heaven. When I put my hands out in front of me, whose body is it? Then it clicks.

schizoWhen I tell other people, they look at me with this encouraging yet pitying smile. Are you telling me that you don’t have any? Not even the one that tells you to be happy and normal? I see things that other people do not; I notice emotions and colors. The fluidity and movement of my surroundings confuses and befuddles me.

Everything is so overwhelming, a voice is screaming in an increasing crescendo, and another part is speaking quietly in a high resonating voice. Everybody is looking with that smile again. I feel my heartbeat increase. The screams are becoming screeches, and the quiet ones ghostly whispers. I try to tell it to stop, but I can’t. I am paralyzed.

I am a schizophrenic.

Society shuns me and I retreat back into my shell.

Schizophrenia seemed really cool to me when I found out. Then I watched one video. Have you ever seen someone with plain terror and confusion in their eyes? Mumbling, rocking back and forth. Everything is poison. You. Are. Useless.

Agitation and paranoia become like a second skin. Friends only you can meet, and friends only you can see. A cat claws and scratches you, leaving behind bloodied claw marks in your mind. “You have to listen,” it says. You don’t know what to think, you follow it, but the dog is barking now. Then that teenaged girl. It’s all too much.

Different people say different things. I am surrounded by candles, placed in the middle of a six pointed star. A priest stands at the front, my parents are crying, holding one another. The priest starts chanting louder and louder, the Enemy is still screeching in my head.

They are always trying to get rid of it, they don’t understand. It just inconveniences them. They don’t see what I see; I get more and more nervous. The voices are telling me what to do, and I know that they are right. Everybody else is poison, bad. They make me eat poison, in the form of sweets; all in different colors, trying to tempt me with the sickly sweet smell.

I cover my ears and rock back and forth. I try to bang my head, why isn’t it stopping! Everything is overloading, my sense of smell and my hearing. The colors and shapes are making my head spin. I smash the mirror, the shards stare back at me like demented demons; all of them are telling me what to do, what I am. They whisper, scream, shout, “You. Are. Worthless.”

I have never been more scared. This is the perspective of someone who is not living with schizophrenia and I get scared just hearing about it. The more I learned about it, the more I became horrified. The media laugh at people who hear voices in their heads; they don’t understand. Try being scared of something and everywhere I go, it follows me even to the deepest corners of my mind. It criticizes me and I no longer have control of what I know. It impels and forces me.

Forced from one reality to the next, everything closes in, making me the target.

I try to resist, but it’s like playing devil’s advocate with my mind.

 

–          Divita Raithatha

Security is Killing the Vibe?

A new study in Germany shows that women in secure relationships lose their sex drive after a period of roughly four years. The males on the other hand have been consistent with their sex drive over the same period of time in a relationship. Researchers from Hamburg-Eppendorf University Hospital interviewed 530 men and women in regards to their relationships. The study found that “60% of 30 year old women wanted sex often at the beginning of their relationship, but as time progressed it fell below 50% after 4 years and then below 20% after 20 years.” An interesting find showed that regardless of how long men had been in a relationship, “the proportion of men wanting regular sex remained between 60-80%.”

securityNot only did this study show the view of women vs men in long term relationships, but it revealed the issue of tenderness in a relationship. This study brought to light that 90% of women wanted tenderness in their relationship regardless of how long they had been in it. This idea was opposed by the findings that 25% of men were still looking for tenderness from their partner after being in a relationship for 10 years. Dr. Dietrich Klusmann, the leader of the study, believes that this difference between the two sexes comes down to the idea of human evolution.

Dr. Dietrich stated that, “For men, a good reason their sexual motivation to remain constant would be to guard against being cuckolded by another male.” He had also said as a contrasting point, “women, have evolved to have a high sex drive when they are initially in a relationship in order to form a ‘pair bond’ with their partner.” It has been noted that once this “pair bond” has been sealed, the sex drive of the woman declines. One view on why this has come to be the case is that through animal behavior studies, women might be seeking sexual interest in other males to pair the best genetic makeup for their children. Another view is that due to the women limiting the amount of sex in a relationship drives their partner, or significant other, to want it more. Professor George Fieldman from Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College added, “The rational for why a woman’s sex drive declines may be down to supply and demand. If something is in infinite supply, the perceived value would drop.”

With these new ideas coming to light, it would seem that the relationship many people are searching for is causing the decline of sex drives in women. It is interesting to see the resulting effects on women and men in regards to relationships, but now we can study them properly. What causes women to lose their drive for sex exactly? We can more effectively find out how relationships between men and women affect the brain. Is it not crazy to think being with someone for a long period of time pushes women to not want a physical aspect to their relationship?

– Adam Samji

The Hookup Culture

It’s all around us, everywhere we go and in everything we see. TV shows and movies, books and magazines, clothes stores and ads. Sex is being thrown at us from every angle, so much so that we have become desensitized to it.

the hookupIn almost every movie and series, there is a scene where two people meet and the sexual tension is suffocating. They have a few drinks, and then a few more, and eventually they head off to one of their houses to ‘get their freak on’. In the morning, it’s either awkward, or one person left during the night, and that’s the end of it . . . on to the next one. This is the hookup culture that permeates society today, specifically in universities. It is also rampant in high schools.

“Hooking up” has become the norm today. Solid, long lasting relationships are rare to find nowadays. Phrases like “no strings attached” and “friends with benefits” are everywhere. People are very nonchalant about it, like having sex before marriage is not bad enough. Now it’s okay to hook up with whomever you want to, whenever you want to, without the prospect of a relationship anywhere in sight.

Despite this attitude, it is not okay. . . It really isn’t. Some girls may view it as empowering to be able to be the aggressors and have no strings, no-emotions-involved relationships. “Go feminism!” they say proudly. They have no idea how wrong they are. It is not only hurtful to women, it is also hurtful to men.

In the culture we live in today, men are stereotyped as only wanting and thinking about sex, and this leads men into molding into that stereotype. Guys want love and relationships too, believe it or not. But the fact is that society has pegged them as lustful, drooling, immature beings, and that is what they conform to. So guys are acting like horny adolescents and girls are pushing aside their emotions and going along with the act, hooking up with the newest eye candy and acting like it didn’t affect them. Both sides are only hurting themselves. The hookup culture is detrimental to all parties involved.

Hookups have mostly been associated with colleges and that age group of people, but it is not hook uppplimited to college; it happens in high schools too. Hooking up is basically all about immediate physical gratification, as opposed to looking for a partner and fulfilling emotional needs. People are no longer looking towards marriage and this is partly to blame for the hook up culture. The thought is, “If I’m not going to get married, what am I waiting for to have sex? And why not do it with as many people as I want?”

Another sad fact about it all is that many people lose their virginity in hookups, when something so pure should not be thrown away, and given to someone that you will not be intimate with, or pursue “more” with. More and more people are having casual sexual encounters than the past generations did. “About 44% of students in colleges in the early 2000s reported having had sex with a “casual date or pickup,” compared with 35% in the 1980s and ’90s — and 68% reported having had sex with a “friend” in the previous year, compared with 56% in the earlier group,” this was stated in an article entitled “The Truth About College Hookups.”

Parents are also partly to blame for this. In three different movies I recently watched, the parents of teenagers would have “the talk” with them about safe sex and would give them contraception and such. What message is that sending to teenagers if parents are not averse to them having sex as long as it is ‘safe’?

All I’m saying is that people should think about the effects of investing their bodies in something like casual sex and hookups, and thinking that their minds and hearts won’t be affected too. Hookups are not the way to go. Society needs to re-evaluate its standards in this area.

–          Henrika Amoafo

Gay Couple on Disney… Too Bold a Move?

On the night of January 26th this year, something was brewing. At the Grammys, Queen Latifah officiated over thirty three marriages-of which some were same-sex marriages. In the background,  Macklemore performed his hit song Same Love, that advocates for the acceptance of gay people. You thought this was a huge political statement?

Good-Luck-Charlie-Season-1-iTunes-ArtworkWell, not exactly. That very same night, Disney took a rather bold step and aired their first same-sex couple on their popular family series “Good Luck Charlie.” The new couple was introduced to us in the show’s final season. Susan and Cheryl, a lesbian couple, are dropping off their daughter Taylor for a play date at Charlie’s house. When the two ladies arrive at their house, Charlie’s dad, Bob, is a little perplexed until he finally realized what was going on.

“Taylor has two mums!” he proclaimed, rolling his eyes and slapping his forehead.

“Wow! Nothing gets past you Bob,” Ann, Charlie’s mum, replied sarcastically.

It was one of those ‘well, duuhh’ kind of moments. After that dialogue, nothing beyond that is mentioned about the couple. No questions were raised and the impression was given that it was no big deal. Now, we all had our speculations about High School Musical’s Ryan Evans, but this is the very first time Disney has featured an openly gay character, much less a same-sex couple.

This was a rather bold move, for what should be a kid’s network. I recall, growing up, Disney was among the select few channels that I was allowed to watch, because it was sure not to have ‘bad content.’ The same is the case in most homes and Disney’s move raised many questions in the minds of the little ones’ parents. When this controversy began, the directors had a strong stance on what they believed.

“This particular storyline was developed under the consultancy of child development experts and community advisors…Like all Disney Channel programming, it was developed to be relevant to kids and families around the world and to reflect themes of diversity and inclusiveness.” The ‘no big deal’ attitude that the characters had towards Taylor’s mums show that they were neither encouraging, nor condemning it. The reality, whatever your view on gays and lesbians, is that several children today grow up in homes like these. Why shouldn’t they see families that resemble their own on screen?

A couple of celebrities supported this move. Ellen DeGeneres and Disney’s very own child star, Hannah Montana, commonly known as Miley Cyrus, commended Disney for taking this huge step. However, this idea was not welcome to everybody. One Million Moms, a conservative group, is famous for their campaign against JC Penny, who had Ellen DeGeneres as their spokesperson. They insisted that just because something is legal, that does not make it morally correct. Children should not be exposed to such things at such early ages.

Disney was not, however, pushing an agenda. They were not necessarily promoting same-sex marriages, nor were they condemning it. It was simply one other fact about the couple. If they had been pushing an agenda, they would not have featured the lesbian couple in one of the show’s last episodes. This bold move was simply meant to be a reflection of its audience. Was this too bold a move for a kid-friendly network?

-Stephanie Mithika

A Look at the Sensational Ed Sheeran

Monday night; my radio was tuned into BBC Radio 1 to the Zane Lowe show, and my speakers were plugged in. I was too anxious to wait for long, so the radio was blasting out all different types of music–although I was waiting just for one in particular. All of a sudden I heard the name: Ed Sheeran. I was alert, more awake than I was the entire day. “Here is the moment we’re all waiting for. This is Ed Sheeran’s first song from his new album ‘Multiply,’ and the first hearing of it, ever. This is ‘Sing’.”

Ed Sheeran - Dan CurwinEdward ‘Ed’ Christopher Sheeran was born in Halifax, England on February 17th, 1991– however, he soon moved to Suffolk. At the age of four, he sang for a local church choir; also, while he was young, he learned how to play the guitar. At eleven, Ed got the opportunity to meet one of his biggest musical influences–Damien Rice. After listening to the Irish Singer-songwriter in an intimate gig, he managed to have a chat and realized exactly what we wanted out of life. In an interview for the Telegraph, Ed said “I had a little bit of a chat and kind of had an epiphany, like ’Wow, this is exactly what I want to do!’ I got home that night and wrote a whole bunch of songs. I remember one was called ’Typical Average Teen’. Yeah, I was one of those.”

It took a while for Ed’s career to build up, and although the red-haired, freckle-faced singer doesn’t exactly consider himself “boy band material,” it’s evident that he has confidence. Since the age of 16, when he dropped out of school, he’s been performing all over England- using his student grant money to buy train tickets. From sleeping on his fan’s sofas and creating homemade EPs, to performing at Madison Square Garden alongside Taylor Swift, his hard work has really paid off. In 2010, his musical ability was spotted by Jamie Foxx, who invited him to stay at his house with his family. “I went from a mansion with a massive swimming pool and rooms the size of football pitches to coming home and playing to fifty people at my local school. The two worlds seem so far apart but really they are kind of similar in their family orientations, and the love of music,” Ed said.

In April of 2011, Ed performed his most well-known song, and the lead single from his album “+,” ED(also known as ‘Plus’) “The A Team.” Six weeks later, it was released as a digital download in the UK. It sold over 58,000 copies within the first week, and was the bestselling debut single and the overall eighth bestselling single of 2011. Some of his other popular songs include “Drunk,” and “Lego House”–the music video featuring Ed’s look-alike Rupert Grint, or better known as Ron Weasley from the Harry Potter franchise.

The future for the 23-year-old is seemingly bright. To promote his new album, Multiply, he appeared on SNL, performing his leading single “Sing,” and also debuting a new song from the album “Don’t.” Ed will be alongside M83 and Birdy, featuring in the sound track for the major motion picture “The Fault In Our Stars.” “Multiply” will be out June 23rd, and I, for one, have already pre-ordered the album.

–       Silmi Jariwalla

Don’t Judge the (Comic) Book By Its Cover

Comic books, graphic novels, manga, people often look at them and pass them off: “childish” “stupid” “not worth it” “mmeh.” People often don’t even bother looking at the cover of a comic book or manga, dismissing it and effectively judging not just a book but a medium before they even see its cover. Why? Why such little respect for this genre of books?

pretty-deadly-3-web-72For years there has been argument after argument, counterpoint after counterpoint about whether comic books and the like should, or could be considered proper forms of literature. This however, may be the end result of the medium being so bullied and undermined. One reason for it being passed over that doesn’t come up as much is, the ‘pictures and words combination’ associating it to the more child themed, light hearted seemingly shallow story line that people give to children’s stories.

Often when people are asked to name a comic they name the most pop culture relevant comic character from the biggest top two publishers, primarily super heroes, and there isn’t much blaming here, the problem occurs when persons place all their judgment on this one aspect. The Super-heroes or flashy, skin tight, face mask garbed goofy looking costume wears as numerous non-reader and avoider may be more familiar calling them are seen as just that. That view already harms the potential of a person picking up a copy, as they have already judged, come up with their own negative preconceived notion of the material without even reading the content.

With the constant focus on giant companies like Marvel and DC, pumping out heroes, beloved by fan and known by many, acts like heavy tinted lenses, with most of the light being reflecting off the surface (Marvel and DC) and very little of it passing through (Image, dark horse, IDW etc.). Pushing or not taking into noetic the diverse, intricate and beautifully told stories by independent comics and graphic novels and manga’s writers and artists.

Please, this article in not trying to state that super hero based comics are what’s killing the industry so it shouldn’t be mistaken for that. What is trying to be said it that unwarranted, occasionally obscure or petty reasoning based on a weak hypothesis should be abandoned allowing for the real and true potential of the medium to grow and be seen.

This is not to say that every comic strip, graphic novel, comic book or manga is gold and don’t fall into the sexist, immoral traps seem in books and movies today, let’s be real. The point is for readers, the standoff-ish and the skeptic to read more dig deeper, be more open minded and engaged, at the very least if you’re going to say you don’t like something do some research on your own.

It may be surprising to some, but even the book was not highly regarded.

–          Denzil Franklyn

Cheating: An Editorial

There is a nonexistent line in cheating that everybody draws for themselves; some are solid and some are dotted. Everybody has cheated, in definition to someone’s definition. It is a matter of intelligence and sometimes not morals, but that gets more and more biased. Even if it’s something as inconsequential as an assignment, is cheating really okay? I have cheated on assignments before, but never on a quiz or project because that’s where I draw the line.

cheating-2Recently, teachers have been very harpy-like in relation to cheating, so I did a little survey. In High School, 9 students out of 10 admitted to cheating, and 10 out of 10 admitted to letting someone else copy their homework. In Middle School, 10 out of 10 students admitted to cheating, and 10 out of 10 admitted to letting someone else copy their homework.

I asked people if it was okay to copy assignments and the general answer was, “If it’s just definitions, I think it is fine.” A professor in the States conducted a study of cheating and a refrain was communicated often “that cheating in school is a dress rehearsal for life.” Often, it’s considered expedient because of the amount of corruption and competency.

In top schools, where there is pressure for academic excellence, the rates of cheating are much higher. At the end of the day, cheating is what gets a lot of people to get into good academic institutions which will later lead to a good job. People like to argue about cheating all the time, it considered immoral to cheat, but it may be considered a necessity for many a student.

Nowadays, teachers tend to grade on busy work, not actual interpretation of the subject. Ethically, we are taught that cheating is wrong because you are getting a grade you have not earned. What if a person if incapable of getting a good grade, that means the teacher has not fulfilled their part on teaching the student properly; they are cheating a student on education, so in retaliation, students are doing the parallel.

Cheating is becoming easier and easier with the World Wide Web, labs, tests, and assignments can be found in less than 0.60 seconds. Some students feel strongly about cheating; for me, I believe that taking someone else’s ideas is wrong, but even the students who don’t cheat do that on a daily basis. Students argue strongly on how they don’t cheat, but when they do, it’s ok.

An example is math, it’s harder to find assignments but then students will just ask for help from a student who was smart to do it. The line of cheating and plagiarism is becoming more and more unclear because of media. Media broadcasts that success is the key; it isn’t of importance what is done to attain it.

This line becomes harder and harder for me to materialize. It’s such a big issue, and it’s talked about all the time just never in context. Things such asturnitin.com help but there are websites to even cheat turnitin.com out of its job, things that actually scramble and change articles online. The temptation surrounds students on a daily basis; it is a common understanding that cheaters generally have a higher GPA. It is considered essential to cheat in high schools especially. A private school about page had, “Historically, sociologists and psychologists have studied cheating behavior under the classification of aberrant or deviant behavior.” What does that mean about this generation?

It is a matter of priority, just don’t screw yourself up.

–       Divita Raithatha

Birds and Bees Don’t Have Penises

Birds and bees don’t have penises. This sort of neutered attempt at conveying sex and sexuality is a common mistake within families as well as in administrations. April 3rd, 2014 Rosslyn Academy attempted the sex talk.

birds_and_beesThere was energy in the air that day, a sort of prepubescent nervousness that bordered on giddy. After the third student, smirk branded on their lips, informed me that we would be having a “sex talk,” a strange and uncomfortable idea reared its ugly face. This was a big deal.

James Covey, a leader of a youth ministry, gave a dynamic presentation that day. It was full of jokes, statistics, biology (did you know there is a chemical your brain produces when you get intimate with someone? It’s finite), and a Christian perspective on love and sex. He never addressed sex directly, instead he stressed that sex was not bad, but that it was designed for a special someone.

Secularly, this concept of abstaining till marriage is ancient and almost archaic. As a Christian school it is Rosslyn’s prerogative to share their values with their students. There is no problem with this. However, their presentation of the subject leaves a lot to be desired.

The subject of sex talk should also delve into the realm of sex education, which it never did. This seems irresponsible on the part of the school, as they know that not all students will take the advertisements of abstinence to heart. Talks of condoms, birth control and other methods of engaging in sex safely should have been talked about from a Christian perspective.

The talks were also awkward. This is not how it should be. This is not how it needs to be.

When asked about how Rosslyn treats the topic of sex students were quoted saying, “ The school doesn’t discuss it at all…it’s too much of a big deal,” “I feel judged,” and “The relationship between students and teachers aren’t open enough to have such conversations.”

After the talk, males and females were rounded up into separate rooms with teachers for an open dialogue. No one talked in the guy’s room. There was a silent understanding that this topic will not be broached. The teachers tried though, and should be applauded for filling the silence with guarded tales of their own lives. Mr. Harrison deserves particular mention for his openness about his life choices.

However, not everyone was a fan. One student was quoted saying, “I felt like they were in a state guilty pleasure. This is something they usually don’t talk about. I feel they were happy to feel the freedom to talk about it.”

The open dialogue failed. This failure should be attributed to both the students and the administration. The teachers tried their best to create an open, non-judgmental space for the students to voice their concerns but it did not dawn on them that open dialogue couldn’t be achieved with authority figures present. It would have been better, then, to leave the students alone with student leaders. This would have made it more comfortable for everyone present.

“I would like to apologize to you guys…for only doing these things once or twice a year,” Mr. Gardner acknowledged during the open dialogue between the teachers and members of their gender.

His sentiment is true. The administration has failed the students by giving them one uncomfortable talk a year. Instead of this, sex should be brought up in classrooms and in casual conversation. I must, however, commend Rosslyn for creating various outlets such as chick chat, Mrs. Heugal and the ever-available counselors that can give an individual support and advice when facing questions of sex and sexuality.

Sex happens. It is a natural occurrence and this needs to not be treated with contempt and awkward giggles, but with maturity. Birds and bees don’t have penises; Rosslyn needs to talk about sex as it is and not dance around it as some abstract concept.

-Stanley Kalu