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2009 The swine flu epidemic sweeps the nation.

2007 33 people are killed in the shooting at Virginia Tech.

Barack Obama makes history as the first AfricanAmerican president.

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by Ben Durham ‘10

Every decade has one movie that comes along and defines the youth generation. The 1980s had “The Breakfast Club,” and the 1990s had “She’s All That.” When people look back at the 2000s, “Mean Girls” will be that shining movie that rises above the rest. Tina Fey’s comedic masterpiece illustrates the high school stereotypes of the decade. It touches on all the key issues of high school today such as popularity, racial stereotypes, homosexuality, underage drinking and even sex education. The movie takes these issues and presents them in a satirical way; it allows us to sit back and laugh at their absurdities. The setting at North Shore High School is a perfect comedic fish tank of high school life in the 2000’s. Every high school across the nation has its very own Regina George in charge of their very own “plastics” or even a wannabe rapper on the debate team like Kevin Gnapoor somewhere within the student body. How could anyone ever forget “Mean Girls?” Just remember the unforgettable words of Coach Carr: Don’t have sex, because you will get pregnant. And die.

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Apple’s iTunes reaches its billionth download.

Oops! She’s Done It Again... by Rachel Kim ‘10

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by Kim Wan ‘10

Long gone are the days of searching tediously in the indexes in the back of reference books to collect information; now the answer can be found in the simple click of a “search” button. In the past decade, teenagers have grown increasingly more reliant on Google, the internet search The Indian Ocean engine that best captures the essence of teenagers’ Tsunami devastates work ethic and use of thought processes during study in recent years. We are the Google Generation. Asia. Teenagers of the past decade have become accustomed to the idea of instant gratification. We no longer have the attention span to complete a lengthy task or want to work for long periods of time, thanks to inventions of fast-tracked technology like Google which advocate lifestyles that promote ease and efficiency. With such supplements, we risk losing important skills that were once pertinent in decades’ past. In times before the internet, not only was sifting through information an acquired skill but was a necessary tool for success. With the invention of Google, the mindset and approach has been completely altered. Google has become the Holy Grail when completing assignments that ask for research; to be unable to use Google as a main source of information would make the task seem infinitely more difficult and laborious. “If it isn’t easy to find, then there is something wrong. If [students] can’t use Google and other web tools to complete their work, then the assignment is stupid. In the gym, they believe in ‘No pain, no gain.’ But in the classroom, an arduous task just doesn’t make sense,” says Mark Bauerlein, author of “The Dumbest Generation: How The Digital Age Stupifies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future.” But one of the primary goals of Google is to make its search engine more productive, so essentially, we need not be. The company, launched in 1998, strives “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful,” according to Google’s corporate doctrine. Google’s aim creates a faster and easier information-gathering environment while depleting our brains of critical thinking. “When I ask students to find something as a homework assignment ... [and] tell them that they can’t use the web to find it, they go ashen ... Take Google away and they’re helpless,” says Bauerlein. As detrimental as Google seems on work study habits and critical thinking, it can also introduce us to topics that are not easily accessible in normal circumstances, like in a library. Through Google, we can find a deluge of information that may only be located in limited texts, or we can even encounter a more interactive way to learn new information. With the characteristically short attention spans attributed to the teenagers of the Google generation, it is imperative to their understanding that information be presented in an engaging manner. “[This] generation lives in short pieces of information,” says English resource teacher Shelley Jackson. Due to teens’ inability to sustain attention for extended periods of time, it is inevitable that internet sites change to tailor to customers’ needs. Jackson’s concern is that teenagers must learn to use discretion with sites like Google. “I would caution [students] in two ways: one, they have to really understand the quality of the sources ... Two, be careful that people aren’t just getting little bits of information that are very cursory pieces.” Because of the generation’s increasing dependency on it, Google defines the decade as a technologically-reliant generation. With proper vigilance, Google, as well as future advancements in technology, can be advantageous to teenagers’ lives, but they also risk shedding the valuable skills that were nurtured in previous decades, or even centuries.

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Salt Lake City, Utah hosts the 2002 Winter Olympics.

The Plastics Will Reign Supreme

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2002

George W. Bush wins in a controversial presidential election against Al Gore.

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9/11 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

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The Warrior Staff

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The Decade Dilemna: What will we remember?

People of the 1920s didn’t know that their flappers would become the “roaring” legacy that they are today. Those living through the 1930s could not have known that traces of the Great Depression would forever be in their footprints, and people of the 1940s couldn’t have known that they would be adorned with the adjective “greatest.” Those living in the 1960s could not have foreseen that their music would change pop culture as we knew it, bringing about memories of flower power and mod wallpapers, and that mentioning the 1970s would trigger images of bellbottoms and bowl haircuts. However, their influence on society has outlived their designations. They will always be remembered as the years of the flapper, or the years of the Great Depression, or the years of rock music. So what will our defining years be remembered for? In twenty, thirty years when we’re talking to our kids about “the good old days,” what will stand out? What trend or event will leave an everlasting mark upon society? Perhaps political struggles will overshadow all other aspects of our lives. Will the War on Terror define us? Will September 11 precede controversies about stem cell research and gay marriage? Will people look back to natural disasters like the Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina? Or maybe will the election of Obama, the first black president, be the first event that comes to mind? On the other hand, our pop culture certainly offers a variety of interesting (not to mention worthy of criticism) topics. Will we be remembered for being the decade in which MTV officially forgot about the existence of music videos? We embrace reality television and the idolization of Disney stars, and we love to recall Britney Spears’ breakdown and Katie Holmes’ conversion to Scientology. We relish the fact that it became a trend for stars to adopt African babies and that Janet Jackson had a “wardrobe malfunction” at the 2004 Super Bowl. And maybe, just maybe, we will be remembered as the “Potter Years;” the days when J.K. Rowling introduced not just a fad, but an obsession to youth culture. Then again, technology may take center stage. Who doesn’t check MySpace or Facebook or Twitter, and who doesn’t read FML and My Life is Average (not to mention My Life is Good)? We all know that we cannot stand a 24-hour period without our iPod nanos, Residents of New Orleans videos or iPhones. Will people look back to the 2000s and think, “that was when cell struggle in aftermath of phones became more than just cell phones,” or will they smile and remark, “they Hurricane Katrina. were the days when anyone with a videogame console could tell themselves that they were a competent musician?” There are a number of technological toys that can define the decade: the Wii, the GPS, the DVD and Blue Ray, etc. How about remembering LCD TV or HD TV? Or perhaps we will simply be the “texting 2000s.” The fact of the matter is that we don’t know how we will be remembered, hence the massive amount of questions about the definition of the decade. The most probable outcome, in our opinion, is that we will be remembered for our technological advances; we have come so far since the year 2000 in regards to what we can do with the click of a key, the push of a button, the tap of a screen. Though there have been a number of previous technological advances, this decade simply pulls them all together and gives us a distinct set of accomplishments for NASA’s Columbia crashes, which we will most probably be rememkilling all seven astronaunts bered by. However, President Obama’s on space shuttle flight. inauguration as the first black president will most definitely be remembered as well. And don’t forget about Britney Spears. Or September 11…

She drove us crazy. She went crazy. But face it—Britney Spears defined the pop culture teen-idol sensation that was the 2000s. From her insane costumes, including school girls, flight attendants and even a seven-foot long albino python around her neck, the former Mousketeer plowed through the decade with confidence, creativity and a knack for getting attention. From the early years of Justin Timberlake and the great denim disaster to the infamous tri-kiss of Spears, Christina Aguilera and Madonna, Spears was a magnet for wanted and unwanted publicity. Her descent into a toxic lifestyle became apparent with her crazy marriage to Jason Alexander in a lime-green limo, then to Kevin Federline in September 2004. She struggled through paparazzi and tabloid-fueled custody battles for her sons Sean Preston and Jayden James after her divorce in 2006. And then, after a catastrophic impulsive decision months later to shave her head, it appeared that she had gone off the deep end. Seven months later in September 2007, Spears attempted to resurrect herself at the MTV Music Awards, singing “Gimme More” but appearing disheveled and uncoordinated, her hair out of place and her costume not fitting quite correctly. The performance was deemed a bust and received wide criticism, but the pop star phenomenon put herself back on the radar with her “Blackout” debut. Spears brought back pop, reshaped it and made it her own. She made an unfathomable comeback from the circus that was her life and is parading around in her new successes. Her saga surely will continue into the next decade.

Casual Focus of Game Markets Disappoints Hardcore Gamers by Jake Steiner ‘10

The development of videogames within the past 10 years has caused a shift in focus on target demographics within the videogame industry, with Nintendo spearheading a campaign with its Nintendo Wii to introduce gaming to the casual market— that is, everyone, everywhere who has access to a TV and $250 to blow. The idea of the motion sensing Wiimote at the time seemed a revolution, yet, upon reflection, why would someone who enjoys videogames want to get up and move around? I play videogames to relax and unwind after school. Aside from that, however, Nintendo has also felt justified with publishing games that do not tell stories or engage the player with compelling gameplay, but instead provide whoever plays with a multitude of mini-games that require a minute or perhaps two minutes of the players’ time before letting the player get on with his or her day. And I would be fine with Nintendo’s new direction if Microsoft and Sony did not seem to be following suit. Shortly after Nintendo announced its motion sensing controller, Sony announced it would try to add motion sensing features to its Playstation Sixaxis controller, and now Microsoft has announced Project Natal, a motion sensing device that requires no controller at all to play a game! I don’t like this new direction I see the videogame industry heading in. Nintendo has found business gimmicks to convince the rest of the world to finally embrace videogames as a medium to enjoy, yet it has departed from the days of old when gamers could sit down, develop their skills and spend hours upon hours to enjoy the story and gameplay their games used to offer. And these were the same gamers who believed in their company for the last 20 years.


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