It wasn’t the Cinderella ending you see in the movies, but this lacrosse season was filled with...
‘GOLDIN’ MOMENTS Most of our writing is tight and short (briefs, STDs, chunked narratives, etc.), but there are times when only a longer narrative or analytical essay will do. When you have a true narrative (complete with setting, characters, conflict and resolution), consider a narrative that uses all the devices a skilled fiction writer might employ. When you are writing a commentary or editorial, you need to fully develop your arguments. The same may be true of a review, through often we run shorter reviews to allow more variety. The majority of our coverage will be “faster” than these longer pieces. But we should never be afraid to explore a subject in depth. Enjoy these two national awardwinning pieces.
In lacrosse, everything is faster. The players don’t just sprint for the ball, they sprint off the field. The ball screams through the air on every shot. A blink can cost you a goal. It’s a game of moments, in a season of moments. Through every moment, you can hear the voice of Louis Goldin, the new lacrosse head coach. He’s pushed the team through practices full of sprinting, nights of freezing snow, and games lost in the last few seconds. And from those nights came a season to remember. Right down to the last moment.
We’re not defeated when we lose. We’re defeated when we quit. And I know you guys aren’t going to quit. We have to show the world that we’re not going to quit. –Coach Goldin It was the night the Jaguars played Arapahoe. This new team, under the command of new coach Louis Goldin, had exceeded expectations. Goldin himself had exceeded expectations. As a player, he was named captain twice, and played in the New Jersey Senior All-Star game. He then played and coached at Vassar, where he improved his specialty, the defensive game. That’s what he’s been focusing on as Scott Quattromani, new assistant coach, works on the offense. This was the first night they’d be put to the test as Rock Canyon coaches. The first night the Jaguars would really be challenged. And this was the night, Goldin knew, they would prove themselves. “We can do this,” he said. “We have to look at everything as a moment. If we win more moments than they do, we’ll win the game. We stay in control, and the games will win themselves.” A minute and 15 seconds later, Arapahoe scores. Then again. And again. Every time Arapahoe gets the ball, they’re assaulting the RC goal. At halftime, they’re up by 11. Quattromani, Coach Q to the players, stands in front of them. “We’ve got to get out of our heads. When
we want to be, we’re a lot better than this.” As the coaches go over the plays they need to work on, Flinn Fowler ‘08, sits in behind the rest of the players, his eyes forward. He’s listening, but he can’t help but relive the game in his head. He’s been on the team all four years, and a captain the last two. He was the leading scorer in Colorado last season, and going to Denison University to play lacrosse. He’s emotionally invested in this game, in every game. “I couldn’t ask for better leadership. I rely on him on and off the field,” Goldin said of Fowler. “I better get a Denison shirt.” But little changes in the second half. By the time the Jags get their first goal, it’s 16-1. The game ends one Arapahoe goal later. “All right, gentlemen,” Goldin says, as they sit quietly in the locker room, taking off their pads. “There are a few ways to look at this. We got the crap kicked out of us and we can hang our heads, or we can do something about it. We’re feeling a little tense. You can keep that feeling with you for a little bit, but we can’t let it affect us.” “We’ll get back to work. You can’t let this ruin the rest of the season,” he finishes. “Success isn’t final, and failure isn’t fatal,” Coach Q says. “I know you guys. We have the courage to continue.”
It’s a privilege, not a right, to wear the jersey. The team stretches on the grass field at Rock Canyon, and Goldin is silent. Normally he would be in the center of the circle, telling them how to prepare for their game the next day against Ponderosa. But today, he stands far away, arms crossed, saying little to anyone. Finally, he addresses them. “What’s the first thing we always play with?” he asks. “Class,” the team responds in unison. “Even after the Arapahoe game, I wasn’t ashamed to wear a Rock Canyon shirt. Today might be a little different,” he says. “I had a teacher come up to me today and tell me a player was cheating on a test. So you’re going to be running today.” The team is silent. Goldin’s workouts are notorious for being the toughest in the school. He made players throw up regularly in the beginning of the season. For continued next page
this reason, he brings a bucket to practice every day. Today, it’s waiting ominously on the sideline. “I said running, gentlemen! Not jogging!” he yells across the field. He stops them. “I told you to run, and you weren’t running. So now you’re going to do gassers.” Gassers are Goldin’s version of suicides. They’re one of the toughest parts of practice, especially when they’re one after another. That’s what it looks like is going to happen today. Just before they start, though... “April Fools!” he yells. The team collectively exhales. “If they were cheating, they would’ve been running for two hours,” he said later. It’s not just a trick, but a cautionary tale. “You guys weren’t thinking of April Fool’s, were you?” Goldin asks, laughing. “Not with you!” Andrew Donder ’08, replies. Jeff Flemming ‘08, is laughing too. He’s wishing he had thought of it himself. Every day, Jeff thinks of something new to entertain his teammates. In the Cherokee Trail game, he’d painted his face with two diamonds – one black, and one just an outline. “I’m a clown!” he said, straight faced. They get on with practice, without running, though Goldin sends Parker Jackson ’11, on a lap for answering a question wrong. “We went over that day one!” Parker has to do running like this often – it’s his punishment for being a freshman, but it’s helped him get to the level of the other, more experienced players. In the next game, it’ll pay off. “That’s why I scream at you all the time!” Coach Q yells at him after he scores a goal 24 hours later. “We just produced results!” It’s taken some time to get there. “In the beginning of the season, Flinn and Tyler [Zabor ‘09] pushed me over, and threw snow in my face,” he complained. Goldin doesn’t think of it that way. As a freshman in high school, he was bullied while on the JV team. The next year he got the same treatment, as the only sophomore on the Varsity team. As long as a freshman makes Varsity next year, Parker’s getting off easy. “I love you guys, but a lot of you are like me. Little guys,” Goldin says, looking directly at Donder. The two of them are similar, in their smaller stature, stick thin legs, (whose are smaller is the source of constant, quiet debate between the players) and their humor – when they don’t have a game the next day. Today, they do. “What’s a 6 foot, 200 pound guy going to think about us? That he’s going to walk right through us. But he doesn’t know he’s walking into a bunch of Jack Russels.” These boys aren’t all Jack Russels. Some of them are larger breeds, like Flinn or Felix King ‘08, but they’re all ready to fight today. “Welcome back, gentlemen. You look like you’re going to play a game tomorrow. Now, you have a chip on your shoulder. We did get the crap kicked out of us,” Goldin says. “But you are a force to be reckoned with. People are overlooking us. They’re not expecting anything out of us.”
I’ve learned there’s more than winning. There’s winning, and there’s winning the wrong way. I’d rather lose the right way, than win the wrong way. They’re putting on jerseys as Donder screams out, “I don’t wanna wait, for our lives to be over!” Andrew Hanshaft ’08, laughs at him. “Don’t sing that! You’ll get it stuck in my head!” As soon as Ponderosa shows up, though, they’re all serious. Everything seems to slow down as the opposing team’s players step on the field. “Maybe the April Fool’s joke was more than a joke,” Goldin says as he stands in the circle of his team, on the field before the game against Ponderosa. “This is the first time in a week I’ve seen you guys come out as a team. You look good right now. You look like a team, and we’re going to beat them as a team.” A ref standing on the sideline tosses a ball in the air. Fans walk in. The ball seems to hang in the air for minutes, the fans taking long minutes before the next step. But the lacrosse team is in full motion. Goldin’s no different. He paces, walking through the drills, bouncing slightly. He looks indestructible. “Gentlemen!” he calls. “Let’s show the world today that we lost one game, but we’re not defeated. It comes down to heart, class, team, and who wants it. We’re going to win all of those today. I know it. You have to know it today.” They know it. The sideline is loud as Austin Fisher ’09, scores. As Flinn scores. As Kevin Ludolph ’09, scores. Flinn looks down at his knee, just noticing the blood running down his leg. He can’t take his eyes off the game. That hit, as well as a few others, give the refs cause for concern. “Coach, tell your guys to stay in control,” the ref warns the coaches. Goldin nods. “Stay classy,” he tells the team after another hit. “Do not stoop to their level, gentlemen.” “That’s how we play, boys,” Donder agrees. In the locker room, though, they can celebrate their 9-3 win as much as they want. “When we get in there, we go nuts,” Felix King ’08, tells the rest of the team. They do, screaming and celebrating until Goldin can finally get order. “I’m glad we came to play today, gentlemen.” He says. “It wasn’t always the best x’s and o’s, but you kept your class out there.”
I hope you see and know not what you can become, but what you are. Sports are written for us – the team that everyone overlooks, the team that has heart.
“Come on, boys! It’s the biggest game of the season!” Andrew says, bouncing around. None of the players can stop moving, but the nervous energy is worst in Goldin. He’s bouncing, pacing, yelling. “They’re doing a decent job, but we’re doing a better job,” he says, after both teams have scored one. But that doesn’t keep up for long. DC keeps scoring, and while the Jags are getting shots, they’re not scoring any goals. It’s 7-2 at half. “What’s the first thing we play with?” Goldin asks at halftime, standing over the sitting players, who won’t look at him. “Class,” they say. “The second?” “Heart.”
“The third?” “Team.” “We’re playing with one out of three. I’m not putting you down. I just want you to know what the situation is,” he continues. “We’ve got the class. The bottom line is if we’re going to win this game, it’s gotta be classy, it’s gotta be with heart, and it’s gotta be as a team.” The second half starts with four Rock Canyon goals, three of them from Flinn. It’s 7-6 and the sideline’s excited. “It’s a whole other game now, isn’t it?” Kyle Mead ’09, says. Parker scores next to tie it up. “That was not a freshman!” Donder yells, clapping him on the back. “Atta boy.” Parker grins. Not only has he scored, he’s impressed one of the most influential seniors on the team. He’s more a part of the game today than he ever has been. But they still have seven minutes to hold them, or score. “Listen up,” Goldin says, in a timeout with less than a minute to go. “You’ve done too many gassers on this field. We haven’t won anything yet.” There are 19 seconds left in the game, and without warning, DC scores. Both teams are still screaming, there’s still a chance, until a penalty is called on RC, and DC holds onto the ball the last few seconds. “Can you imagine what would’ve happened if we played them like that the whole game? We would’ve killed them. We would’ve annihilated them,” Flinn says, angrily. “We’re close, gentlemen. We’re real friggin’ close,” Goldin says. “These are gut wrenching,” Coach Q says. “But they’re about respect. You’ve earned respect now from Douglas County, one of your biggest rivals.”
It’s a lot warmer when you win.
This game is what decides whether the team makes playoffs or not. “This is it.” Goldin says, looking around. “This is playoff weather!” Snow is falling around them, making a scene that would be peaceful if it wasn’t for the yelling and tackling going on between both Chaparral and Rock Canyon. There’s a call, and Flinn gets mad. Goldin yells out at him, “Flinn, be quiet! You wanna talk to someone, come talk to me!” “That’s tough, when he’s sticking up for a teammate, but it’s discipline.” Q says behind him. Goldin’s often harsh on the players about staying quiet when there’s a call they don’t agree with. “No talking to the ref, no talking to the other players,” he’s said. “ I don’t care if he says you have beautiful eyes. Don’t even say thank you.” Rock Canyon is up 6-0 at halftime, and they walk to the end of the field and immediately turn into little black hills, covering themselves with huge warm up jackets, as snow covers them. “Gentlemen, to be a mentally tough team, we have to keep playing our game in these conditions,” Goldin says. As they go back on the field, their feet make prints in the snow that stick to the turf. It looks like an odd, sporadic dance pattern. And this half, it may as well be. It’s slippery and hard to see, but they continue to dance around the field, scoring goals and saving them, despite the snow flying in the face of goalie Dan Poindexter ’09. It’s 15-0, and Goldin calls a timeout. “I don’t want anymore shots like that. We’re up enough.”
They do as he says, and though Chaparral scores with ten seconds left, the game ends with 15-1 as the final score. They soon realize what tonight meant. They’ve made it into the playoffs. They wait until the other team’s a good distance away, always maintaining their class, but then they erupt into cheers. It’s the second year for most, but this time, they’re keeping up with the powerhouses. This year, they may have a chance to make it past the first round.
We just have to play one moment at a time, one pass at a time, and one goal at a time. We can’t stop believing. If we stop believing, we’re done. There are three little boys on the field before the Mountain Vista game at Shea stadium. Two are in green, Vista lacrosse shirts and a third, smaller one is wearing a Rock Canyon shirt. It’s JV Coach Dave Heimer’s son Luke, and he’s carrying a tiny lacrosse stick. They’re playing monkey in the middle, with the little Jaguar in the middle, and reaching for every pass. He doesn’t give up, even though the other two are older, and bigger than he is. Eventually, he knocks the ball from the air and chases after it. It’s all fun and games for these three, but it’s what Rock Canyon has been against for its entire history. Smaller and younger, but more determined. This lacrosse team has grown up, but it still carries with it that underdog determination. The Jags are up against a team they’ve played before. Mountain Vista. Their last game was an even match up, and they lost by 2 in the last few minutes. It was a heartbreaking, gut wrenching loss. Donder stands on the side of the field, watching as Vista warms up. The last time they played Vista, he was the most vocal he’d ever been. He screamed and rallied the team. “Too many years, boys,” he’d said that day, before they started playing. “Too many years this team has beaten us.” Too many years, plus one more game, have made it almost unbearable for him. He wants to beat this team more than he has any other. Vista takes both their timeouts before the first quarter is over. “They’re starting to respect us, gentlemen.” Goldin says. The score says otherwise. It’s 6-2 at the end of the first quarter. “No one person is going to win this for us,” Goldin says, pacing around the locker room. “We’ve gotta play as a team.” All heart! They cheer. “I want to see that heart from somebody,” he adds. “I haven’t seen it yet.” He doesn’t see all heart, or any heart, through the rest of the first half. It’s 11-3 at half time, and both coaches are angry, staying outside the locker room to talk in hushed voices, while the boys go inside. “They’re leaving us alone,” Flinn says. “They can’t do anything about us being dominated in this game. We’re not close, we’re not just losing. We’re being dominated.” Q comes in, the door slamming behind him. “What happened in the last 24 hours?” he yells. “When did you decide to play pick up ball? They’re playing worse than last time. Does anybody want to play lacrosse tonight? I’m going to go out to the sideline. If you want to play lacrosse, come join me.” Goldin is silent as Q yells. “We need to come together as a team right now,” he says. “This game’s far
from over. But we either come together as a team, or yield as individuals.” He too, leaves. “They have no respect for us,” Jeff says quietly about Vista. It’s out of character for him to talk about respect. He doesn’t give it easily, nor does he often demand it. But in the last game against Mountain Vista, he was just as angry, throwing his stick down as he entered the locker room. “It’s 11 to 3. They have no reason to respect us,” Flinn replies. “I don’t know about you guys, but some of us have worked our butts off since Goldin and Q signed on. Let’s win this half, even if we don’t win this game, for them.” So they do. Vista scores first, but afterwards, it’s a barrage of Rock Canyon goals. Goldin has to yell over the wind and the music. “Gentlemen, we’ve got a game now! How bad do you want it?” They come back on the field, and every faceoff Ed takes, he sends it down to the Vista’s side. “You’re the one bringing us back in this game,” Goldin tells him. He wins another faceoff and runs it down the field. He scores on the incredulous goalie, and now they’re only down by two points. That’s how it stays. The final score is 14-12. They won the half, but not the game. The first half Vista scored nine, and Rock Canyon scored three, and the second half RC scored 11 while Vista scored three. “They’re thankful they had a clock,” Goldin said. “The clock saved them, not their lacrosse skills.” He looks around the room, at the seniors. “We’re guaranteed three more games this season. Seniors, that’s all you’re guaranteed. After that, it’s whether we want it.” He leaves the room, leaving the players to talk about the loss. He sits down, staring at the lacrosse field as the sun sets, silhouetting him. Coach Q sits next to him, and they’re silent for a moment, simply looking at the empty field where they watched their players fight so hard. But soon, they open up their stat book. State playoffs begin next week.
We have to play like this is our last game. If we don’t, it will be our last game. It’s the last game they’re guaranteed. It’s the first round of the playoffs, and if they lose tonight, the season is over. Their last two regular games were against Cherokee Trail, who they beat 19-2, and Regis who they lost to, 14-4. But tonight, they won’t be winning or losing by such large margins. As soon as they step onto the field to stretch, the silence hits. Tonight is the biggest game of the season. They’ve had games they’ve wanted so badly to win, but none of them were so definitively necessary wins. Not like this. “The playoffs are beautiful, because at every moment, it’s so close to over. It makes every moment more meaningful,” Goldin says. It does. It could be the last time they stretch, the last time they pass together, as a team, and this realization lays heavily on them. “You guys, this counts,” Coach Q tells them. “This matters. Everyone in here wants this.” They turn on the stereo, to an Irish song that they’ve played throughout the season during warm ups, “Blood of the Cuchulainn.” It goes silent, except for the bagpipes that inspire shivers throughout the room. The team gets in a circle. Some bang their sticks on the walls, and the benches. It seems like a movie, the scene before a battle.
“Let’s make it so it’s not the last time we hear this song,” Donder says as they leave the room, walking in two lines across the field. “We’re winning this,” Goldin says simply, as they line up to play. “We came here as a team, we’re gonna win as a team,” Austin says. Austin, Tyler, and Kacy Carter ‘09, kneel in a circle, their sticks in the air, and pray quietly. They’ve only prayed three times – against Arapahoe, and against Mountain Vista. In both those games, they lost. They’re hoping tonight, the opposite will happen. They score first, after 15 seconds. Then again. The sidelines are louder than they’ve been all season. But then Columbine scores. Then again. Goldin calls a timeout. “D, you’re keeping us in the game right now. Offense, we need you,” he says. Both teams are batting the ball around, with no real possession. The lead bounces back and forth. At half time it’s 4-3 Rock Canyon. “Right now, they’re outplaying us.” Flinn says. “They’re working harder. We know we’re better. We have to come out and play this half.” As they get back to the field, they’re more motivated. Flinn looks around, at his team. “I’m not done.” He tells them simply. “We’ve played a season in the hardest league so we can win this game. I’m not going home.” CJ scores a few seconds later. Then Jeff gets one, and he’s jumping up and down. “Jeff doesn’t have the best shot, or the best stick handling, and he’s not the most athletic,” Goldin joked about him earlier, talking to the parents. “But he’s one of the most fun to watch on the field. He gets the movement for Flinn and Austin, and he’ll get the goals.” Columbine scores twice, but the Jags still lead. It’s 8-6 at the end of the third quarter. “Fourth quarter! Our quarter!” they yell. It’s a cheer the Jags do between the third and fourth quarters of every game, but it’s never been so intimidating. It’s a few seconds later when the ref calls a penalty on Parker Jackson. His stick is illegal, and both coaches are completely taken aback. “Sir, can I ask what’s wrong with it?” Goldin asks. The ref answers that it’s too narrow, and Goldin nods. It’s ironic that in the Mountain Vista game, Coach Q asked for a check on a player’s stick that could’ve given them the same advantage Columbine’s getting today, but was denied. The ref told him, “We never, ever, call those things.” Either way, Parker is out for three minutes, and he won’t return to the field until those three minutes are over, even if a goal is scored. While they’re a man down, Columbine scores. They shoot again. Danny blocks it, but it bounces back, towards the goal. He scoops it up and throws it in the air, one motion, but the ref calls it a goal. The game’s tied. Parker’s kneeling, nervously fiddling with his back up stick. His head would be hanging low, if Goldin ever allowed it. He can’t help but feel he’s ruined his team’s chance at playoffs. When he finally gets to come back in, he passes a ball to Austin who makes it 9-8. He’s trying to make up for the time that he’s lost. He’s trying to redeem himself in the eyes of his team, and in his own. “I love that kid,” Goldin said to Q, before the game. It won’t change because of a technicality. Seconds later, there’s another penalty on Drew Stormo, and it’s tied again. But when Austin is hit, hard, they’re out a player, and Austin is writhing in pain. They may be up a man, but Austin’s indispensable to the team. The Jags imme-
diately fall to their knees as Goldin and Q sprint towards their fallen comrade, while Columbine stands, talking to each other and their coaches. In every sport, and especially in Goldin’s program, you take a knee when there’s an injury. It’s about having the class to respect a fellow player who’s given his body in the hopes of one more goal. Apparently, Columbine doesn’t play by the same standards Rock Canyon does. But those standards are set high. Finally Austin stands up, but can barely walk to the sidelines. The clock runs out. They’re in overtime. “Give me everything,” Goldin says. “Everything you have. We’ve run too many gassers, we’ve done too much. We are winning this game.” Austin starts to stand up. “I’m okay, put me back in,” he tells the coaches, though he’s wincing in pain and can barely stand. “Put me back in.” While he watches anxiously, Columbine circles around Danny, vultures. The defense saves a shot, and then another. When Columbine scores, it’s abrupt. It seems like too small a thing. But there, in one short movement, the Jaguar season has ended. It’s 10-9 Columbine. Goldin turns his back to the field, head tilted slightly up, and closes his eyes. It’s over. But he tells the players the same things he does after every game, win or lose. Heads up, gentlemen. Gloves off, helmets on. It’s the class they’ve played with all season. “Next season,” he tells them finally. “Every time we run, every time we step on the field, we think of this moment.” It’s good motivation. This year, they had little to get them going except a coach who was dedicated to having the best team in the state. Next year, they’ll have this one-point loss, in overtime, to motivate them every time a player bends over the orange bucket. Except for the seniors. Flinn’s crouched by the side of the field, staring aimlessly. He won’t get another game. Not for this team, anyway. “It’s been a good four years,” Tommy Costello ‘08, mumbles to Donder as they walk up the stairs. Donder nods. At the end of the game, he had tears in his eyes. They all did. They will have those four years, but more so, they will always have those moments. Moments when they’d put everything – class, heart, and team – into every hit and every goal. It’s those moments that kept them together this season. The moments of celebration, the moments of devastation. The moments that happened, on the lacrosse field, in a blink of an eye.
Chelsea Long 4,586 words • 23 minutes ART
This story won the NSPA/ASNE Sports Story of the Year in 2008, and then won the Brasler Prize as the overall story of the year (announced in November, 2008). Chelsea graduated in 2008, and attends the University of Colorado, Boulder.
The original narrative was four tabloid pages, and included a dozen photographs and several sidebars. Photos were congtributed by Jenna Scheirman and Max Rowe. Jenna also designed the pages.
America’s losing its innocence Our country’s unfortunate economic situation may prove to be the single unifying factor that we need to bring about hope and change
by Kate Jones This column was named Sweepstakes winner in the Quill & Scroll 2009 General Column Writing competition, and was one of three columns in her entry in a similar contest sponsored by the National Federation of Press Women. Kate won first place in that contest nationally. She graduated in ‘09, and will attend Gonzaga University.
Beer, beef and virginity. Apparently, these things are pretty expensive these days. Last week I checked my e-mail. I do this every day. No big deal. But this time, before I opened up my email, a headline on Hotmail’s news page caught my eye. It read, “Man attempts to sell daughter for $16,000, 100 cases of beer and beef.” If that isn’t proof that our economy is hurting, I don’t know what is. Perhaps even more interestingly, a story was released the same day reporting that an 18-year-old girl is selling her virginity online. The last I heard, it was going for $3.7 million, and all proceeds would help pay for her college education. Of course, now she’ll be able to retire. Nothing like a good education to get you started in the real world. I started thinking, my e-mail temporarily abandoned. At what point after the stock market crash did Americans start to lose their –virginity? No, I was going to say pride. Or did we ever have it? Pride, I mean. I don’t mean patriotism; that’s something totally different. I’m talking about self-pride. People beg for change at curbsides, people sleep in the streets, people eat scraps out of garbage cans. These are people that have genuinely hit the rockiest of bottoms. They have nowhere else to turn. But selling your 14-year-old daughter for cash, beer and beef is different. That’s just lazy. Lazy, despicable, and just plain unintelligent. The girl is 14, for heaven’s sake. Did the dad really think she would be sold to some random creeper and not put up a stink? We complain when we hear people from other countries call us “stupid Americans.” Well, look at our representation. Paying for college is rough. Many of us are facing that tough decision right now, and money plays an essential, if not the essential, role in our choice. Scholarships and financial aide will determine our future. But what if surviving a single night with a wealthy stranger could solve all of your financial problems? Ensure your future? It would be tempting, without question. $3.7 million is a lot of money. But that brings us back to pride.
Some girls would cringe at the very thought of selling their virginity online. Others wouldn’t think twice. So where does that pride come in? Wherever that girl goes now, she will be known as the girl that made bank by selling her innocence online. I don’t see a great difference between the dad who sold his daughter and the girl who sold her virginity. Both are lazy attempts at skirting around our country’s economic situation. The American dream has never been a given. President Obama consistently reminds the American people that our country’s recovery will be slow; things will most likely get worse before they get better. Many people expect miracles out of Obama, but miracles can’t happen overnight. This road of change will be a long one. People seem to think that our economic situation will touch everyone but them; they are impervious. Selling your daughter or your virginity is a way to avoid confrontation with the reality that times are tough. But that confrontation is what our country needs most right now. It’s like high gas prices in the summer— when people have to pay an extra two dollars per gallon – all of a sudden they are concerned about our dependency on foreign oil. Economists ran rampant and rambunctious through Wall Street, and now the nation is paying the price. America is a young country. We have to learn our lesson somehow. As painful as this recession is for millions of people, it’s an essential step in this learning process. It brings economic issues to the forefront of Americans’ minds; it allows the citizens to get involved in their country on a new level. Upon entering the Oval Office, Obama had over an 80 percent approval rating; even Americans who did not vote for him still have faith that he can pull us out of this difficult time. So while the circumstances are untoward, their unifying effect is positive. Beer, beef and virginity (not necessarily in that order.) Times are changing. 694 words • 3.5 minutes ART