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The Octagon

Editorial 5

February 18, 2014

‘Pamphlets’ by Jacob Sands

By Grant Miner

My Angle Getting it done: A comprehensive guide to Internet-assisted learning

EDITORIAL: Christian pamphlet inappropriate for our secular school The pamphlets on dating etiquette, which were passed out during advisory on Jan. 30, offered a traditional yet outdated perspective on how boys and girls should comport themselves. Including a quotation from Jean-Baptiste La Salle’s “The Rules of Christian Decorum and Civility,” the pamphlet was slanted towards Christian ideals. The quote even included the line “for we are the children of God.” And while this pamphlet may have been appropriate for a Christian high school where such perspective is encouraged, it was inappropriate for our secular school. The contents of the pamphlet concerned heterosexual couples with a dominant male who is in charge of planning and paying for the date in its entirety. The pamphlet even says the boy should walk closest to the street to “protect” the girl. What about couples who take an egalitarian approach to gender roles? What about “going Dutch”? The pamphlet mentioned neither of the above. The cost of dinner and Winter Ball admission for two people could easily surpass $120. Not everyone can pay for themselves and their date. At our school, too, most dates to dances are “friend dates” and the parties pay separately. And what about homosexual couples?

One gay student noted that only the for-girls section of the pamphlet applied to him, making him feel abnormal. What an awful message to send. Our school prides itself on its open-mindedness and its acceptance of many perspectives. So why did the high-school administration think it fitting to administer a how-to with such a singular and slanted perspective? Because a parent and former student wrote it? We don’t think that’s a valid reason. Some teachers were unhappy passing out the pamphlet—some were even apologetic. And while some students laughed at the pamphlet, others were clearly offended. To be fair, many students had no problem with the pamphlet. And one section did discuss what a girl should do if she asked the guy on a date—perhaps in a Sadie Hawkins setting. But there was no section for an egalitarian date. And of course the authors of the pamphlet had good intentions. The ultimate goal was to teach teens proper manners. The traditional dating style the pamphlet discusses is prevalent these days for high schoolers. But the pamphlet failed to go beyond that one scenario, and therefore it was inappropriate for our school.

The Octagon Editors-in-Chief Garrett Kaighn Connor Martin Kamira Patel Online Editors-in-Chief Ryan Ho David Myers Copy Editor Garrett Kaighn Business Manager Garrett Kaighn News Editor Emma Williams Editorial Editor Zoe Bowlus Community Editor Grant Miner Sports Editors Micaela Bennett-Smith Eric Hilton

Centerpoint Editor Kamira Patel Opinion Editor Maxwell Shukuya Feature Editors Connor Martin Aishwarya Nadgauda Photo Editor Cissy Shi Reporters Avi Bhullar Daniel Hernried Zane Jakobs Elena Lipman Madison Judd Austin Talamantes Manson Tung Cartoonist Jacob Sands Adviser Patricia Fels

The Octagon is published eight times a year by highschool journalism students of Sacramento Country Day School, 2636 Latham Drive, Sacramento, Calif. 95864. Phone: (916) 481-8811, ext. 347. The online Octagon ( is updated daily.


Orchids Onions

Having trouble with your homework lately? Seem to be burning too much of the midnight oil? Well, get ready for a few techno-tips to get your studying shot right into the 21st century. The first thing to consider before starting anything homework-related is that no work gets done on an empty stomach. Be sure to spend five minutes pacing between refrigerator and pantry before ultimately deciding on a glass of water. Time to start working. First, of course, you have to watch your favorite YouTube series, because you haven’t missed an episode in over a year, and you’ll be damned if you’ll interrupt your streak. All right. Now we can start. Take out your binder, sharpen your pencils and turn on your TI-89, because it’s math time. But wait, don’t you have free period before math? Well, as the old proverb says: never do today what you can put off until tomorrow. Phew. With all that hard work you deserve a break. How about a 10-minute hour-long Reddit break? You won’t laugh at any posts, but rest assured: this is not a waste of your time. Boy, is that reading assignment a doozy, but’s it’s only 6 p.m., so you have plenty of time to finish your APUSH. It’s clear you’ll need something to motivate yourself. That show “Archer” has been getting a lot of good press. Why not add it to your Netflix queue to give yourself something to look forward to? Okay, so it’s three hours later and you’ve watched the majority of the the first season, but that’s okay. I mean, the book was open the whole time, and you did occasionally glance down at the pages between episodes. Besides, there probably won’t be a quickwrite about it tomorrow, so you’re good. The entire Bio packet isn’t due till Tuesday, so that leaves only AP Spanish and English. This is where we really put our Internet skills to the test. Rather than looking up the specific words you don’t know, Google Translate the entire reading passage to improve your reading comprehension. If this proves to be a stretch of your attention span, you can always do your Spanish the next morning in between slides in Bio. English is equally easy. Have a character development assignment? Look up “character development in ‘The Scarlet Letter,’” Has Fels been hinting at a quiz? “Chapters X-Y Sparknotes.” There. Now wasn’t that a snap? It’s not even midnight and you’ve finished everything. See what being a 21st-century teen can accomplish?

rchids to. . .the decision that banned the eighth graders from eating in the garden. It’s been a cleaner, more pleasant place to eat.


nions to. . . couples who hug and kiss in front of the lockers. Reaching around you to get our books is just plain awkward.


rchids to. . . parent Kari Miner for volunteering to chaperone at Sutter Lawn for our Winter Ball. We wouldn’t have anywhere to go without you.

nions to. . . students loudly disrupting the library. We need the library to be a calm, quiet place where we can study, not a social lounge.



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