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Nothing says Christmas fun like a good ugly sweater party. Everyone in high spirits filled with Christmas joy, all coming together to mercilessly make fun of bad fashion. Sure, it’s fun to have a good laugh at the expense of someone else’s taste, but it’s all fun and games until someone is actually insulted. Trust me. I know. I’ve been on both sides of this Christmastime insult. My sophomore year I came to a basketball game wearing a sweater I had just bought from American Eagle. I’d never worn it before, and I was all excited for everyone’s reactions (as every girl is when she gets a new piece of clothing). I sat down on the bleachers, and a girl in my class looked at me and laughed. She said, “Oh my gosh, Avery, that’s awesome! I just got the same sweater for an ugly sweater party I’m going to next weekend! Are you going to one after the game?” It was so awkward! I was absolutely humiliated! But I played it off and told her yeah, my church was throwing one that night. Yeah, ok, lying about church was not the best moral call, but I panicked, and I was under a lot of pressure to get out of such an awkward situation. Suffice to say I’ve never worn that sweater again. More recently I became the insulter rather than the insulted. Last winter, my mom and I headed to the ARC to pick out the perfect sweaters for the school’s ugly sweater day for Christmas spirit week. We were having such a good time trying to one-up each other by picking out the most horrendous items we could. Finally, we both found gems of atrocities perfect for each of us. When we took them to the checkout counter, I couldn’t stop laughing at how ridiculously hideous they were, and how awesome our
spirit week was going to be because of them. Between laughs I chuckled out, “Oh my gosh, these are sooo bad! I mean they’re like the definition of ‘ugly sweater!’” I cracked myself up, and my mom was giggling too, but the lady behind the checkout stand didn’t find me quite so funny. She looked me in the face and said, “You, know someone else probably thought this was a lovely sweater.” Well that stopped my laughing. I felt so bad that I was going around the store proclaiming how hideous that sweater was! What if someone there liked it? I had basically just told them, “Wow, your taste sucks.” How inconsiderate of me. How rude. But I wore it anyway. When ugly sweater day rolled around at school, I donned my hideous sweater and wore it with pride. That Sunday, when I showed up at church, one young lady all bundled up in her winter coat held the door open for me and greeted me with such warmth and sincerity. I smiled back at her and said thank you. We walked inside, and when she took off her coat, what was she wearing but that same exact sweater that I had worn just days before for ugly sweater day. It was worse than getting scolded by the checkout lady. It was worse than I felt when it was my sweater being insulted. I felt horrible. Here was this kind-hearted lady wearing the very piece of clothing that I had ridiculed in front of the thrift store and my entire school. She had no idea that I had done these things, but still, I felt as cruel as if I had said them to her face. Sure, ugly sweater parties and spirit days are fun. They boost holiday spirit for everyone, but isn’t it a little bit sad that our holiday cheer comes from collectively insulting someone else?
December 20, 2013
Binge drinking, an epidemic calebleonard
mia. Lately, an activity that has been It’s Friday evening. During the spreading though the lives of college course of the day, wind blew cold and even high school students. damp rain into the small town, driving Binge drinking is when someone or most of the students and adults away several people drink as much as they from the community football game. can before passing out. Binge drinking Junior student Mandus and a few of usually consists of someone consume his friends decide to go with some as much as five (men) or six (women) adults to a Friglasses of beer in a sitting day night party (two hours) resulting in at a friend’s their blood level riseing to If someone who house. It was a minimum of 0.08 (the is driving drunk hits going to be like legal limit for driving), but somebody and kills any party, a few usually climbing to levels drinks, jokes like 0.18 . Unfortunately, them... they should and then headwhen somebody gets seautomatically pay life ing home close verely drunk, they do acfor life. to midnight. tivities that are not always At the party, normal. It is also observed friends chalthat many people are not lenge Mandus to a contest of drinking, afraid to drive home, even after they binge drinking. After Mandus loses the have reached far past the legal limit. tournament, he gets bored and leaves This poses some dangers that have drunk. Getting in his friend’s Jetta, he high consequences, such as vehicular drives up to 90 mph on CR 49 and homicide. bashes into a young woman’s vehicle, Almost no drunk driver intends to killing her daughter and 3-month-old kill a mother and a child while driving. infant in the process. Most accidents that result in serious Mandus had to live the rest of his injury are not intended to begin by the life with the guilt of knowing he took participants. the lives of two innocent children So how does one handle a situation because of a stupid, drunken choice. like this? Alcohol is addicting. The Mandus’s story is only one of count- more someone drinks, the more they less cases of lives ruined by underage want to drink. The easiest way to avoid binge drinking. binge drinking is obviously not drink, Drinking has been a recreational or drink with tight discipline. An ocactivity that dates back almost 6,000 casional beer is okay. One might ask years, when Mesopotamians found “But Caleb, how do you know if it’s and used yeast to create alcoholic bev- bad unless you try it?” The neutralizer erages, such as beer. However, today, of the argument is quite simple: How driinking is popularly used in a differ- do you know if you’re going to be sick ent manner; underaged drinking has unless you drink Arsenic? Rather than increased. All is fine for a few occa- trying it, why don’t you look at the resional beers when a person is at a legal sults of such activities to see if it is age to drink, but excessive, underage, worth it or not. See what people who drinking is where safety of others be- have experienced drinking and binge comes a problem. The reason laws ex- drinking have to say about it. Another ist is to protect people from the risks solution that is possible is quite siminvolved, which includes, but is not ple; have the majority of people look limited to, cancer, cirrhosis, and ane- down on drinking. If the minority is staffreporter
participating in the events, it’s going to be harder for the individuals to be tempted. Many students get their alcohol from adults. If there is some sort of enforced punishment for adults that freely give alcohol beverages to students, then underage drinking/ binge drinking may be slowed. Finally, it would be good to have some severe punishment for those who drink and drive. For those who drive home and are even at a the level of 0.081, they should be punished severely because driving drunk is very serious. Currently, the first offense to driving while ability is impaired (DWAI) is eight points toward license suspension, $100-$500 fine, two to 180 days in jail with 48 hours of community service. However, think that on first offense, regardless, should make the driver lose their license for three years AND be in jail for a month. When one drives drunk, it is a very serious case because every 48 minutes, somebody whether they are a child, baby, father, mother, grandma, or grandpa dies because somebody drove drunk. Also, I think if someone who is driving drunk hits somebody and kills them (even if it is baby in the womb) they should automatically pay life for life. Capital punishment would help enforce a fear for those who drive drunk, and hopefully help them refrain from actually driving home drunk but get a ride from a sober friend. Not only is driving drunk dangerous for others, it is dangerous for the driver. Forrest White (14) is a student who attends Eaton High School and he can testify the punishments of drunk driving. Forrest White is disabled, unable to walk for the rest of his life. However, he said some very wise words that are worth repeating again: “Don’t drink when your underage, don’t drink and drive at any time because the facts are massive. I wouldn’t call being in a wheelchair fantastic.”
White’s (14) demolished truck came to rest in a field on the side of a road after he wrecked it in an accident caused by drunk driving.