Category Archives: Opinion

Are We Done Yet?

By: Jessica Newkirk

Senioritis: noun. A crippling disease that strikes high school seniors. Symptoms include laziness and over-excessive wearing of track pants, old athletic shirts, sweatpants, athletic shorts, and sweatshirts. Also features a lack of studying, repeated absences, and a generally dismissive attitude. The only known cure is a phenomenon known as Graduation. – Urban Dictionary

Spring has finally sprung in Southwest Michigan and so has a virus. Senioritis. The contagious disease everyone catches right before the semester ends. Seniors along with teachers start to feel the excitement of being finished with school. According to Mr. Wright, he began to notice the symptoms in November. When asked what he does to prevent it, he said that the only thing he does to keep the seniors from failing is reminding them that their grades are beginning to suffer. Otherwise there is nothing that he can really do to help them. And so the struggle to stay on top of things continues.

So why do we get this strange pandemic? As seniors we have gone through all of grade school and then four years of high school. We are ready to be done and move on to bigger things. In order to get there we have to finish the school year strong; however, we start to get lazy and stop worrying about our grades.

Abria, a Senior at Andrews Academy, says the thing that keeps her going is “knowing that it is almost over and that summer is coming.”

Yes, only a few weeks till the year is over and then we will be graduates. Only a few more weeks of homework and tests. Only a few more weeks of wearing uniforms. Soon it will be summer and you will be headed to being a college freshman.

As seniors prepare for graduation, they are feeling the joy and worry of what it will be like to be done with high school. Most are happy to leave but if each person were to be honest with themselves, they would agree that they are going to miss it. It might be rough right now, but don’t give up! Only a few more weeks are left of being on the top of the “food chain.” Soon you will be – once again – at the bottom. Don’t stress, and enjoy the last moments with your friends.

Quit Your Whining

By: Jessica

Today’s forecast consists of partially cloudy skies, some wind, and a whole lot of complaining. The room is too hot, now it’s too cold. Your hair is too curly and now it’s too straight. You didn’t get to play for the whole game so that’s the reason your team lost. We complain about everything: the weather, our clothes, our family, how we don’t have the newest phone yet, etc.

So why do we complain? For one, what better way to start up a conversation than to complain to your friends about all the homework the teachers give you or how your parents are always getting on your case. We complain when we are jealous, when we are unhappy, or when we need an excuse. We love to complain. It’s easy, so easy we often forget that we do it so often.

Sometimes we need to vent and get the things that are bothering us off our chests, but there is a time for everything and complaining all the time can get old. Soon your friends won’t want to have conversations as you find more and more to complain about. Complaining too much encourages laziness and assists in procrastination. Dr Robin Kowalski, professor of psychology at Clemson University, states that “They’ll take hours of your time telling you their problems-then they reject your help and don’t take one piece of advice you give them.”

Excessive complaining may cause more problems than it fixes. Using complaints to try and solve all your problems won’t get you anywhere. Sometimes you need to take action for yourself instead of waiting for someone else. What you say and how you act can also have an affect on others. Your negative attitude may begin to rub off on your associates. Our peers and children take note of the things they hear and see, and you may start seeing your own behavior reflected in them

A few ways to help you complain less is too try and stay positive, look for the good things in your life. When you feel the urge to complain about something, search for something to praise instead. Make a list of all the things that make your school, job, or home enjoyable.

When starting a conversation with a friend, try to start with something positive instead of heading straight to the gloomy department. Make it a habit to look at the cup half full instead of half empty. For example, when you realize it’s too cold to go outside, figure out all the relaxing things you can do inside. If someone cuts in front of you in traffic, consider the fact that they may be late to an appointment. Try to see things from another person’s point of view. Be open to knew ideas and opinions. This will help you be more empathetic. Make sure you are getting plenty of good food, water and sleep because this can affect your mood. Your outlook on life has a lot to do with how you react to things so try to stay positive and don’t forget to smile. :)

 

 

Accept yourself as you are

By: Charity Ogoti

We spend money trying to fit in, pour ourselves over the latest celebrity news, and spend hours trying to emulate the beauty that the world will worship. But at the end of the day, trying to chase after these things will only leave us unsatisfied with the hunger for more.

We need to start being happy with where we are and avoid wishing we were in someone else’s place.

Entering high school, I was afraid of what everyone would think of me. As a result, I began to change who I was to try to fit the person I thought would be liked by everyone else. I compared myself to other girls and wished that my life could be as faultless as theirs seemed to be. However, this led me off the well-worn path when I realized that my relationships with my family and friends had begun slipping. Gradually, however, I realized that unless I accepted who I was, I wasn’t going to be satisfied with whatever I thought was perfect.

Many people have lived their lives in frustration and depression because they once denied themselves their true self-identity. In today’s society, many young people bleach their skin because they want to reach a standard of beauty that our generation has put forward. To them, in order to be beautiful, they must be lighter. However, this is a false standard of beauty because all skin tones are beautiful. Black is beautiful. These young people need to realize that they are blessed with melanin and covering it up is the same as denying the uniqueness that the Creator gave them.

If you don’t respect and value yourself, how do you expect others to love you too? Just like Christ loved us first, let us also love ourselves.

The media plays a huge role in making us uncomfortable in our skin tones. The global beauty industry makes over $18 billion dollars each year from the money we use to buy makeup products to hide our insecurities. What other people think and say about us should not hold us back in life. This constant daily exposure to media has distorted our perception of perfection and as a result, our cries for acceptance have created the rivers of identity we are drowning in.

We can spend our lives letting the world tell us who we are. We must know, however, that our true self-identity is who we are when we let go of all of the labels and judgments that we have placed upon ourselves. Ultimately, no matter where we have come from and who we are, we need to love, treasure, and be content with ourselves because God is the potter and we are the clay. We are the works of his hands and he created us all fearfully and wonderfully.

Stop Asian Carp

There are a couple of reasons why our Great Lakes are so great, and one of those reasons is that there are a very good variety of ecosystems. What if there was something that could potentially devastate those ecosystems? Well, Asian carp can do just that. The conditions found in the Great lakes such as water temperature and food support a variety of species. Unfortunately,  asian carp could out number all other native species, as is happening in the Illinois and Mississippi rivers.

Why are the Asian carp so dangerous? Asian carp are filter feeders, meaning they eat the plankton that that the lower end of the food chain needs to survive. And if there’s no food for the smaller species, then the bigger fish will suffer. Commercial and sport fisheries bring a annual amount of $7 billion dollars, and if there’s no fish to catch, then their jobs and livelihoods will be destroyed.

Asian carp pose additional threats. Being able to jump as high as 6 feet and weighing from 20-100lbs, asian carp rare a hazard to boaters and colliding with one could result in serious injury or death. Now this could be a problem, because when there is an electric pulse, or just a disturbance in the water, asian carp like to jump out of the water into the air, hitting or landing on anything that’s in its way. In this act of stupidity, Asian carp put our boaters in danger.

Well, you are probably wondering how Asian carp could get into the Great lakes. It all started when we imported them from Asia to help clean the algae and scum from farmers’ ponds along the Mississippi River. When the banks of the Mississippi overflowed, the Asian carp escaped into the river and created a fairly good population. Then they migrated all the way up the Mississippi to the Illinois River and now at the front door to Lake Michigan, the Chicago shipping canals.

Now you might ask what we are doing to prevent this from happening. There are organizations and local fisherman catching and killing Asian carp by the thousands. The DNR has put electric fences along several waterways and closed one. The president has signed into law the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014, which includes direction from congress and the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service to lead an effort to slow and hopefully stop the spread of Asian carp. If we don’t stop Asian carp from taking what we so dearly love, then the Great lakes won’t be so great anymore.

Is Photoshop Hurting Teens

Photoshop has been used for several years, but in this day and age some people are starting to wonder if maybe photoshop is hurting our teens.

People argue that it has a negative outcome on our teens in the way that it hurts their self esteem to the point now that teens don’t view themselves as pretty or handsome in any way. Teens start focusing on their outward appearance more than their character and how they treat others. These teens seem to be in the dark that celebrities and models are often heavily photoshopped to the point that they often don’t look like their unedited self.

The other side of the argument is that photoshop is helping our teens by allowing them to feel beautiful and creative with what they do the photos they photoshop. Also, people say that photoshop helps improve teens’ self-esteem and how they view the world in a more equal way. These teens understand that even the most beautiful and well-known models and celebrities are often photoshopped even before they post a photo on social media.

No matter what the issue is, there will always be to sides for and against. Personally, I don’t agree that photoshop is hurting teens; I feel that there are more important factors affecting how teens view themselves. I feel like their self-esteem can be affected by what they post on social media and how their piers view and react to what they post. But photoshop itself? No, I don’t think it’s hurting teens. It’s just another way for them to express themselves.

 

Social Media: Distracting Ourselves to Death

Now it’s possible that you could look at the title of this article and immediately begin reading it with a defensive mindset because it reminds you of something your parents would forward you on your email. Not to mention that this particular forward would be kind of ironic, because email is just another form of social media, and they’re being pretty hypocritical by sending you an email about not using social media. However, this is me talking. I’m a kid. I’m one of you guys, remember?

Now, think back to the last time you used social media personally. When was it? Was it during a time when you should have been doing something else? For me, most of the memories I have of using something like Facebook are from when I was distracting myself from something else I was supposed to be doing. That may be a personality flaw on my part, but I think that a lot of people would agree that Facebook negatively affects their productivity.

But there are other problems with the social media life. Recent studies have examined the psychological impact of constantly observing the highlights of all your friends lives, and comparing them to your own.The trouble with Facebook is that it almost always represents how people want you to think their lives are, not how they really are on a day to day basis. A recent study published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology has examined the negative impact of comparing other people’s Facebook lives to your own daily one.

The study, conducted by researchers from the University of Houston, examined the psychological well being of over 200 participants as a function of their tendency to compare themselves with others, and the amount of time that they spent on social media like Facebook. They were able to establish a positive correlation between an increase in social comparisons and frequent Facebook use, and in turn connected these with symptoms of depression.

Also, another factor that affects users of Facebook is the tone of the shared content that they encounter. The company of Facebook itself conducted a study in which they altered more than half a million Facebook feeds and examined the content that people posted as a result of seeing more positive or negative news content in their feeds. The study, published in the New York Times, found that people who were exposed to more positive news stories tended to post more positively, and vice-versa with exposure to negative stories.

What these studies go to show shouldn’t be anything new to you. I would hope that you realize that comparing yourself to others too much isn’t healthy, just as focusing on all the negative news and information in the world will drag you down and affect your mood. What I hope these findings will do for you is make you think about what you do see on Facebook and similar sites, and pause to evaluate if it really is a good use of your time or not.

How can we fix song service?

By: Patrick Miller

One of the many distinctive features of Andrews Academy’s student life is that a schoolwide chapel is held every day. Between the 8:00 and 9:20 class periods, a 20-minute block is reserved for all the students to gather for worship and praise together. Amazingly, the faculty sponsor is usually able to find a different speaker each day, and if an outside speaker is unavailable a teacher or student will step forward to give a spiritually themed talk.

While this could be a truly engaging spiritual time, it turns out that not too many people pay attention. When asked about the percentage of students that sleep during chapel and what percent are awake and listening, Andrews Academy junior Daniel Morant answers, “Depending on the speaker, I would say at least 30% of students sleep during chapel, and only 70% are awake and maybe listening to the sermon. But that’s on a good day.”

So what could we do to fix about our chapel? What will help wake students up and engage them?

One important thing I would change is the song service. Before the scheduled program begins, most days we have several students who go up front and lead the other students in praise songs. An effective song service will set the tone of worship and encourage us into a frame of mind where we will listen to the message. If we have people getting excited about the music, students might actually be awake for the rest of the chapel.

When I was a freshman, it seems to me that the seniors were very active in leading the praise service, and many students really participated in singing and doing the motions. However, as I have gotten older and become an upperclassman, there has been a prevailing culture to not sing in front of others. What happens when people get up front is that they end up performing a kind of special music for everyone in the audience.

So what can we do to improve the musical worship in our chapel? Senior Olivia Woodard said, “The singers who are up front need to be coordinated well, and sound good together. That way people won’t be focusing on their flaws and mistakes, and will focus on the music instead.”

Senior Sandra Mosimbwa said, “We should sing different songs that people like, and have song leaders that interact with the audience and encourage them to sing. It’s not like the audience is singing right now anyway, so song leaders have nothing to lose by being pushy and calling people out.”

All of this advice is good, but in order for it to work we need song leaders who are willing to use their talents up front for God. So I encourage you, readers, if you have a gift, step up. The rest of us are just waiting for someone to lead out.

What’s in a holiday?: Service to others

By: Starr Davis

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With the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday, it is appropriate that we take the time to pause to reflect upon how this holiday started and what it means to us today.

The late Mrs. Coretta Scott King led the campaign for her husband, the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to be remembered soon after his assassination in April of 1968. It was voted down many times by the United States Congress, but Mrs. King and those who supported her mission continued to lobby members of Congress and the President of the United States. It took nearly eighteen years for it to become a federal holiday in 1986, when President Ronald Reagan signed it into law. It is a holiday of service.

The question is what does Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day mean to us at Andrews Academy today?

Brianna Moore, an AA senior, said “It’s a day for us to reflect upon what Dr. King Jr. has done for equality and to remind us of how his actions have greatly changed America. Dr King would probably be very proud to see what he started if he were alive today.”

Malachi Regis, an AA junior, said “MLK day to me marks a day in history where one man started a movement that brought America closer to God’s will and what Heaven will look like.”

David Sherman Jr., an AA senior, said “MLK day is a reminder of the determination and strength that Dr. King had despite the obstacles and challenges that he faced. Dr. King had the courage to stand up for what he believed in, regardless of the consequences.

Brianna’s Malachi’s and David’s words help us to take a look at how our lives have become better for all of us, not only here at Andrews Academy, but all over this great nation.

As we celebrate the MLK Holiday this year, let us take the time to remember the opportunities and the privileges that we have today due to the work and sacrifices of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and the many people from diverse backgrounds who stood with him. And most of all, let us all do something to serve others within our community on the MLK holiday – and each day.

PMC in Perspective

Pioneer Memorial Church of Seventh-Day Adventists.

You’ve probably heard, from one source or another, that Pioneer Memorial Church (PMC) is so large that it’s impersonal, cold, and unfriendly. You’ll find that most any student has this view, even if they haven’t attended PMC themselves. They say that, because of the number of people that attend, plus the physical size of the building, that church is too large to become involved in and to develop any personal relationships with anyone. As many have said, “PMC is impersonal, not warm or friendly. It’s a nice place to visit, but not a enjoyable place to become a member. People are not very quick to reach out and welcome you in. Plus, it’s so large you feel lost in it all.”

Many students will tell you that they prefer One Place (or possibly other church service locations), a newer and more contemporary christian worship service held on campus, over most any other church, especially PMC. As one student put it, “PMC is more for older folks, and One Place is more for the youth.” Many students from Andrews Academy, including other schools, enjoy attending One Place on a regular basis. Even though they’re both worship environments, PMC and One Place are drastically different. PMC is a more conservative, larger environment, while One Place tends to be much more liberal (Using drums, electric guitars, etc. in their services), relaxed, and smaller.

For me, the church experience at PMC has been the complete opposite. I have, through family visits, been exposed to this church my entire life. I believe that this serves as a major part of my love for PMC. I also know many of the staff members there personally, which allows the environment to feel more personal. Music also plays a large part in my comfort level at PMC. Being the traditionally-minded person that I am, as well as an organist, I truly enjoy the Adventist hymns sung there, mainly for first services. And if you hadn’t noticed, PMC’s organ is amazing! The environment is visually appealing too. All the accented lighting, the beautiful design of the platform and ranks of pipes, as well as the gorgeous stained-glass windows; it truly is a beautiful place to worship.

It’s also very possible to become involved in PMC personally. Many of the youth volunteer their time and are active in the PMC Youth Program and the media team. And I guarantee that, by volunteering your time, the staff members at PMC will be truly grateful to you. Plus, you’d be doing a service for God and for man. Once you’ve begun to volunteer your time, you’ll start developing relationships that will allow PMC to become a more personal place for you to worship.

So let’s give PMC a chance! Don’t judge Pioneer too quickly, especially if you’ve never been. It’s a great place, with great people. Try it out, and you may discover that you enjoy it after all! And remember that, as Mr. Baker says, “Attending PMC is ‘Dwight’ thing to do!”

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