My best blog posts and stories combined into one site.

Breaking the Rules — March 21, 2016

Breaking the Rules

If no one ever broke a rule, what would our world look like?  While that would mean no criminals and no prisons, some rules that are morally wrong would still be in place today.  If everyone obeyed Hitler’s rules, the entire world would be ruled by one dictator with morally incorrect laws.  That would be a disaster!  One may have to break disadvantageous rules to draw a person’s attention.

Certain rules, even in the history of the United States, are not helpful and are morally incorrect.  During the Civil War in the 1860s, one of the main issues of debate between the northern and southern states was slavery.  When the Confederates announced to the Union, “Slavery is mandatory!  Since you disagree, we will secede,” the Union ignored the rule of allowing the South to become a separate country!  They fought for what they knew was right even though it was against the rules, and they guaranteed all African-Americans freedom!

Although African-Americans were free, they did not have basic rights and freedoms.  Sometimes people won’t pay attention unless someone acts, so unacceptable rules must be broken to draw lawmakers’ attention.  Martin Luther King, Jr. knew that.  He worked hard to end segregation.  He led boycotts and peacefully broke rules.  Although he gave many persuasive speeches, he did not stop there.  His actions grabbed political leaders’ heads and shook them dizzy.  Finally, with help from Rosa Parks and other African-American citizens who broke rules to end segregation, government leaders decided to ban segregation.  Since Mr. King broke a rule, leaders noticed him, and rules were changed!

While rule-breaking might seem harmful, those who break disadvantageous rules may help change a rule for the better; therefore, rule-breaking can be acceptable.  After all, our nation has improved through people who were brave enough to break the rules!

Recess at School is for Everyone! — January 28, 2016

Recess at School is for Everyone!

Dear school administrators and others who may be concerned,

Every teacher and administrator wants attentive, excelling, and creative students. Many schools have fantastic programs and amazing teachers. How else can school improve? Students need unstructured recess time to be creative and active. Without breaks, learning becomes more of a challenge than necessary.

Everyone wants students to excel in academics. Schools in the USA have been cramming in more class time, but Finland has a different solution: more recess. While elementary schools in the USA give their students about 27 minutes of recess per day, elementary students in Finland get more than 2.5 times that amount with 75 minutes of recess per day. Does this mean Finnish students should have a lower quality education? No! Ninety-three percent of Finnish students complete high school. To put that into perspective, Finland’s high school graduation rate is 17.5% higher than the United States. Not to mention that 66% of Finnish students go to college, which is the highest rate in Europe. Students from Finland almost always score very high, and the main difference is recess. If the answer to a better education is as simple as a little bit of unstructured, creative, and active recess time, then why aren’t more schools taking action?

Some schools are. After noticing Finland’s successful results, four Texas elementary schools are attempting fifteen-minute recess periods four times every day. The teachers at these privileged schools have reported less distractions, and, while time in the classroom might be shorter, the students are much more attentive and are definitely excelling. A pediatrician in Ohio told, “If you want a child to be attentive and stay on task, and also if you want them to encode the information you’re giving them in their memory, you’ve got to give them regular breaks.” Learning is essential, but information cannot be retained if students are not given a break. After noticing the successful and promising results, California and Oklahoma will be the next states to attempt to schedule in more unstructured, creative, and active recess time.

I know that in my own personal life, I have seen recess time consistently reduced. Consequently, my overall creativity has decreased as well. Once, my little brothers and I looked at patterned, colorful tiles on a table. While I only saw decorative designs that occasionally looked like a rowboat, my brothers saw in them an imaginary world where each tile represented either gold, diamonds, workspaces used for creating other more complex items, or anything else they could envision! I was amazed at their creativity and wished I had more of my own. I told my dad, and later that day he gave me tin foil and instructed me to create something with the material. I was stuck for a while, but I decided to pull back memories that could be used as inspiration to create my object. What it was? I’m still not positive, but after creating my masterpiece, my mind raced around several possibilities: was it a tree? a wand? a teleportation system? I was a six year old again! This completely unstructured activity got my creative juices flowing. I wanted to bound out of my seat and get active, and I felt completely refreshed. Now I realize that years of sitting in a chair for extended periods of time had numbed my mind; it’s no longer quite as easy to stretch my imagination beyond everyday life. What about students who want to be movie directors or writers? If their creativity stops, how will they ever write an engaging script?

While core classes are essential, all students need unstructured time to get active and be creative. If recess or a similar activity is implemented into the schedule, students will excel in their studies, be more attentive, and be more creative. Even adults can’t sit still for hours on end and remain energized and exuberant. Why are students expected to?


Decisions, Decisions — January 15, 2016

Decisions, Decisions

Sadie's eyes

I stared through the glass window pane in our old-fashioned farmhouse.  As a parade of chickens wandered across our front yard, I realized just how much I loved my life.  My mom was braiding my hair, our farmhouse was a country sort of homey, and the park awaited me.  “Some people are sure missing out,” I thought.  I was mostly considering the popular kids, the ones who didn’t care about anything but getting their way and being all cute and perfect.  Boy, was I wrong.

“Done, Sadie!”  I checked out the fishtail braid my mom had just finished.  I was finally ready to take my little brother, Ryder, to Woodsworth Park.  “Thanks, Mom!  We should be back in twenty minutes,”  I mentioned.  “Okay.  Have fun!” Mom confirmed.  I started towards Ryder’s room upstairs.  “I’m ready, Ryder.  Grab your bike!”  He raced me back down through our antique kitchen and had pedaled past the edge of the driveway when I started biking to the park with him.  

Ryder ran off the second we arrived.  After chaining Ryder’s bike to the bicycle rack, I examined my surroundings, found Ryder, and challenged him to a game of tic-tac-toe.  He was just about to “triumphantly win” the game when one of the tic-tac-toe pieces spun in circles on its own and slowed to a stop.  Full of curiosity, I got up from my kneeling position and gawked at the figure that had nudged the playing board.  

An image with caramel hair, light blue eyes, and a firm build settled on a boulder just under the place I had opposed Ryder.  It didn’t take me long to remember his name: Kayden Travis.  “Kayden Travis,” I considered.  “Kayden Travis, the cutest and most popular guy in the whole school, is looking at me.  Oh my gosh, he’s looking at me!  Come up with something to say, quick!”  I blurted out, “Uh… Hey.”  Great first impression.  “What are you doing here?”  To my utter surprise, he replied casually, “Hey!  I come here a lot; I like the fresh air and scenery.  It’s really nice out here, especially when there’s no one around.”  I could see a look of regret flash over his eyes as he quickly added, “Not that I mind you being here.”  That was about enough to knock me off my feet.  Typically, nobody popular ever says much to me.  Kayden had never conversed with me, and I had never been the talkative type, even though every girl I knew – myself included – had a crush on Kayden.

My brief daydream was interrupted when he inquired, “So, why are you here?”  I had literally forgotten all about Ryder!  “I was just taking my little brother to the park,” I explained.  I looked down, but he wasn’t there.  “He’s gone.  Oh, drat.  I’m sorry,”  I muttered, looking around, when the whine of a squeaky spring slipped into my ears.  I darted towards the rocking car that Ryder loved to jump on.  If he got hurt, I could get in trouble big time!  I glanced around and noticed that Kayden had already convinced Ryder to get down.  Kayden was cute, nice, and he liked to be outside.  I was in love with him!  I sprinted straight onto the scene and grasped Ryder.  “I’m so sorry, Ryder, I’m sorry.  It’s not your fault, but tell me if you’re bored, okay?”  Ryder obviously regretted running off more than he should have, so Kayden and I played games with him.   Continue reading

Cecil the Lion Beanie Baby —

Cecil the Lion Beanie Baby

After a tragic event made headlines, Ty decided to take action.  Introducing Cecil, the Beanie Baby!

Cecil, an African lion with a special black mane, was killed tragically in July 2015.  Walter Palmer, a dentist, was trophy hunting in Zimbabwe.  He lured Cecil out of Hwange National Park and shot him.  The end result was fatal.

The world suffers for Cecil, and Ty was not an exception.  On August 31, Ty announced they would release a cute beanie baby named Cecil in honor of the African lion killed.  The Beanie Baby has a dark mane just like the real Cecil.  PR Newswire said, ” ‘Hopefully, this special Beanie Baby will raise awareness for animal conservation and give comfort to all saddened by the loss of Cecil,’ said Ty Warner.”

If you would like to buy Cecil, he should be avaliable for about $5.99.  This Beanie Baby is expensive because every bit of profits are going to Oxford University’s WildCRU, who tracked Cecil for some time up to his death.

I think that this Beanie Baby is a very good idea and that it supports a worthy cause.​

Information found at these websites:–lion-beanie-baby-ty-inc/31095541/