The Trouble With Texting

While our world is constantly gaining new forms of communication, we are also losing the valuable interactions we used to hold. People rarely talk to each other face to face, as they would rather talk online or by texting. Is the internet world really worth losing all the other valuable aspects of life? Texting has allowed private matters to enter everyone’s lives with ease, opening the door to just as many benefits as issues.

One of the hazards of cell phones is texting while driving. Over one-third of young drivers admit to texting while on the road. While all forms of cell phone use are dangerous to use on the road, texting while driving is the worst. While texting, drivers have their eyes off the road for much longer than if they were to actually be talking on the phone. In fact, texting while driving creates a 23% increased chance of getting in an accident, according to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute’s research. Regardless, cell phone usage at all while driving can be fatal, as it caused approximately 6,000 American deaths in 2008.

It’s worth waiting to get home, yet people are fascinated with multi-tasking in today’s fast paced world.

Text messaging has become a way for people to supposedly get things done faster. However, it would take less time to actually call the person than to send a message, wait, and repeat for a full conversation. It is fast in the manner of sending simple, short messages. These short messages seem to be a way to avoid drawn out conversations with people you know will talk for a while. If you don’t want to hear what they have to say, however, it seems pointless to bother ‘talking’ to them at all.

A loss in the sense of personality given through a person’s voice and expressions also occurs. Those qualities of personality are being replaced by smiley faces that every other texting teenager is using – where is the individuality with that?

Texting has allowed people to do harder tasks without having to meet people face to face, as well. This creates an escape from facing emotional problems, which leads to another way for people to disregard human qualities. People enjoy the idea that they can break up with someone, tell someone bad news, or simply pass rumors without the need to actually throw emotion into anything. It lacks the personal touch people should receive from others.

Everyone wants to cut things short. As the world around us has become fast moving and thrives on ideals of quickly getting things done, communication suffers. With car accidents, loss of personality and easy escapes from hard conversations, texting certainly has hindered a world that used to thrive on talking and getting together with people in person, rather than forwarding information by cell phones.

By: Samantha St.Clair

The Lunchtime Loogie

Its funny how many terrible things can happen to you during your days in high school.

For instance, today I was sitting at the lunch table minding my own business and plop, something landed on my head. Now I truly have thought many times that I’ve felt things fall on me when really it was just my hair moving or something else insignificant like that.

Abby Wilson
Abby Wilson

But just in case, I asked my friend who was sitting beside me to check and sure enough it was a blob of spit. Being the good friend she is, she wiped it off with her sleeve and I decided to try and not think about the germs that were most likely infesting my hair.

How funny is it that the day I get spit on two of my friends come up and decide to rub my hair around? Now we have a serious problem. The germs from my hair have crossed over to their hands and my other friends sleeve. What if the spitter had swine flu? What if being spit on at lunch just opened a whole can of worms and the school is going to be infested with a super spit virus?

I guess within the next few days we’ll find out. And hey, you spitter, just know that when this super virus comes about you will be the one who began the entire thing.

Then the thought crossed my mind, was I intentionally spit on? Was I the target? I still haven’t come to the conclusion as to which is worse; actually being spit on or being the target of the spitting. I have decided after reviewing the situation that I most likely was not the target. But if I was then that is pretty impressive aim.

By: Abby Wilson

Editorial: The Conflicts of a Stereotype

In the recent article “Bob Marley Fans Accused of Being Potheads?” Principal Phil Gale commented that “kids stopped listening” to the message. Apparently, they stopped reading, too.

The story was very clear in that there was no way Student Assistance Program leader, Mr. Darrin Donmoyer’s message accused anyone of being potheads because they wear hemp. He was making a point that it is society that makes the stereotypes that hemp wearers are potheads, not the administration and not himself.

Comments have been flowing into the Penn Points website that are proving that students still do not get the point. Not only do they lack the respect to listen to the full message, but they also lack the common sense to read an entire story.

Every comment so far has been around the point that the stereotype is wrong. We understand, we get the point, the stereotype is not always true.

Whether people choose to believe it or not, the world has not changed all that much in the last century. There is a stereotype in society that people who wear Bob Marley t-shirts or hemp necklaces are also involved in using drugs. There is also a stereotype that blondes are dumb.

Stereotypes are wrong and difficult to erase, and that is what Donmoyer proved by his message to the students. Students need to step up and accept the fact that this individuality that they hold as being so valuable, can also lead them into trouble.

When social studies teacher, Maria Vita, arrived at Penn Manor, she expected to find a classroom full of hicks with straw hanging out of their mouths, she said. Coming from New York, she came to learn that not all Penn Manor students are hicks.

The students also need to understand that stereotypes are rarely true. Not all blondes are dumb. Not all Penn Manor students are hicks. Not all hemp-wearers are potheads.

In fact, some believe that all jocks are stupid. This year, the Penn Manor football team was featured on FOX43 in a story showing their academic success.

Stereotypes do hurt; no one is refusing to accept that fact. Some people will just have to accept the fact that stereotypes will never end, unless every person in the world understands they are not valid. Certain styles lead to certain ideas or beliefs.

Donmoyer’s actions were not unprofessional, and in fact, he should be commended for the lesson he taught to the students who were actually listening to his message.

Unfortunately, the perception of the Bob Marley t-shirt or the hemp necklace wearer is that they are a pothead. Understand this conclusion is influenced by society. That does not mean cause and effect, which does not make you a pothead. It is a stereotype, repeat, most stereotypes are incorrect.

Stereotypes happen. Stereotypes hurt.

By: Tyler Barnett

Penn Manor Gets a Touch of Color: Editorial

As more minorities roll into mostly white schools, the monster of racism recedes to the shadows, away from the unsuspecting innocent eye. Here in Penn Manor, a high school set in a small, rural college town in Millersville, Pa., opinions and views are growing more and more liberal in a community once immersed in conservative backgrounds.

When I came to Penn Manor School District several years ago it was a life-changing experience for me and a big cultural shock as well. I was born in Philadelphia, Pa., and I was educated in both Delaware County and Philadelphia city schools, two districts where the number of African American students exceeded all other races. I didn’t know what to expect of my new school.

According to Penn Manor’s own race-relations consultant, Quay Hanna, “A black student coming from a mostly urban area will struggle more, since he is not only trying to adapt as a minority student, but also because he is coming from a completely different cultural background.”

I couldn’t have agreed more with this comment.  The first day I came to Manor Middle it was me, my mom, aunt, grandmother. A counselor at the middle school had just gone over the rules and regulations with us and I was, at first surprised, at how lenient the school was. There was no dress code, no school security, and recess after lunch. I thought I’d just arrived in my picture-perfect school. Then within a week, reality hit me and the struggle began.

As I walked through the halls of Manor Middle that first week, I couldn’t help but notice all the attention I was getting. Eyes following me from class to class, at first I wondered, were they just curious as to who the new student was or were they staring at me because I was black. I decided it was both.

I can’t say I had trouble making friends in my new school because everyone seemed really friendly and helpful. But I also cannot say I didn’t have serious problems at the school either. A couple of months into the school year,  a racial incident sprung up one time during lunch. I was called the “N” word multiple times by a student while sitting at a table with some friends. Although this wasn’t the first time someone called me the “N” word, it was the first time it happened here for me. I reacted by pouring water on the student and giving them some words to remember. I felt this to be a fair response especially because this student was female.

As I stormed out of the cafeteria, heated and on the edge, I marched into the office of the middle school demanding to talk to somebody. The first person I saw was the vice principal.  I explained what happened, the principal was informed, my parents were contacted.

Throughout my first year in this school district, I started seeing different sides of people. But instead of thinking that all white people are racist like many of my peers do, I realized that judging a whole race on a few people is unfair and incorrect. I had to hate the concept of racism from both sides.

As time went by, I began having less racial incidents in school. Although I’m not having racial problems anymore, I’m not so sure the problem of racism has ceased. I think Penn Manor has come a long way but from what I see and hear, it still has a mile or two to go.

By: Robert Henry