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Opinion

Religion should not dictate abortion rights

Editorial by Lincoln Log

 

Missouri’s Republican senator candidate Todd Akin gained infamy during the November election with his comment on abortion rights, “If it’s legitimate rape, the female body has ways to shut that whole thing down.” Akin claimed that this piece of information came from “doctors,” so therefore all women have a magical miracle mechanism that “shuts down rape” and negates the need for an abortion. Similarly, Indiana’s republican senator candidate Richard Mourdock said, “I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, it is something God intended to happen.” It is a general consensus among political analysts that these outspoken statements by the Republican Party has contributed greatly to their loss in the election, resulting in the majority of Americans no longer being in favor of Republican agendas.

 

Whether or not women should have the right to abortions is a controversial issue. Abortion has been made legal for the past thirty years, when the Roe v Wade case passed it in 1973. Before being legalized, abortion was done clandestinely and was often extremely unsafe, such as the method of back alley abortions involving hangers being inserted into a woman’s body to get rid of the unwanted fetus. Despite being legal for thirty years now, there is still a large debate between pro-life or pro-choice.

 

Women should always have the choice of abortion. Not everybody is prepared to be a mother, and if a baby is born to an unprepared family, the baby may suffer abuse and neglect throughout their childhood. Not only does this bring hardships to the child, the mother also suffers too, for now the life she was planning to lead is now gone due to an unsuspected child which she may not know how to properly care for. The expenses of insurance, healthcare, food, housing, education, and so on can be staggering to a mother who never prepared for a child she wasn’t planning on having. The pressure of parenthood alone is enough to overwhelm. 

 

Yet abortion rights are still a controversial matter, and among the reasons that the government should make abortion illegal is because of religious beliefs. Mourdock’s statement that rape is something “God intended to happen” and even aborting a fetus under the circumstance of rape should be made illegal because it’s against God’s will is an example of religion mixing in with politics. A major flaw to this proposition is that when asked what the punishment should be for committing the crime of abortion, an ideal answer was never given. After all, how can the law punish one for something that goes against words in a “holy” book? Because not everybody has the same religious views, religion shouldn’t be used as a reason why women should not have the choice to have an abortion. 

What makes us happy?

by Michael Nguyen 

“Are you content with the current state of your life right now?”

I believe that is the most important question anyone can ask themselves in life, followed by, “how can I change to be happy?” We ask ourselves what we’re searching for in life, but I believe it is to find a state of genuine happiness, a state of content with the person we have become and the path we are going in life. 

But the controversial question is, “how do I become happy?” or “what is happiness and how is it achieved?” Perhaps part of it is our own choice, we all have the ability to determine our own happiness regardless of the state we are in. Happiness is derived from yourself, it is not given, it is not bought, it is a state of your own mind, a product of your own thoughts and actions. 

When asked what our ultimate goal in life is, many people reply, “to be extremely rich”. I do not believe there is anything wrong with that, it could truly be connected to becoming happy, but  the having of the material money and the objects that could be bought with it can mean nothing if you can’t convince yourself that you’re happy. Someone who buys a broken down used first car could achieve the same level of happiness as someone who spends loads of money on a brand new car constantly. Happiness isn’t a luxury exclusive to only those who have access to it, it’s available to those who could choose it.  

Being happy could be a result of the little decisions in response to everyday events as well. Everything that happens to us can be responded to in multiple ways. In any instance where someone or something gets you angry, they are succeeding at making you unhappy, or you are failing to “choose” to not let it affect your happiness. Selecting how we respond to certain things and how it affects us can be the difference to our levels of happiness.

The option of becoming content with your life is your decision. We have to proactively take the responsibility of making the correct choices that make “us”, happy. Nothing is going to change about our state of mind unless we do so ourselves. 

Waiting for lunch makes me want to throw a punch

by Liping Huang

After a long and dull morning, a nice, hot lunch from the cafeteria can give myself that boost that I need for the rest of the day. But not if I have to wait a quarter of my lunch trying to get it. 

The problem is the time lunch is served, not when the lunch period starts. In most cases, the time the cafeteria starts giving lunch does not begin when lunch starts. This leads to students being forced to wait in line because they are not able to get food. By serving lunch at an earlier time, students that arrive in the cafeteria earlier are able to get lunch without having to wait in line. This avoids the development of the initial block of students at the front of the lunch lines. The schedules are not changing; the time I get out of third period to get lunch is the same. It is the time lunch is served that is changing. When I arrive to the cafeteria, I want to be able to get lunch and leave, not wait in line for the cafeteria to get ready. 

Students cut in line too, which delays the process of getting lunch. Their motive to cut in line starts with the mortifying thought of standing behind a gigantic   block of students. It is difficult to stop students from cutting in line, but I believe that if lunch is able to serve at the beginning of lunch, there won’t be a mass of students in the front of the lines. Once students see that the lines are not long, they will be less encouraged to cut in line. I would hate to wait behind a bunch of people; I would rather cut in front of someone I know. 

The pursuit of obtaining lunch can be upgraded. The procedure starts with students picking up the trays, then the fruits, milk, and the entrée. I believe that having prefilled trays can speed up the lines. The trays are filled with the foods that are available for the day and I can pick it up, punch in my lunch code, and go. There could be one side for the vegetarian entree and the other for the main entrée. The process is similar to the Grab and Go carts that you find in the morning hallways. Using a method already in use can improve the way we get lunch.

An earlier serving time of cafeteria food relieves the problems of long waiting times for lunch and the long lines. 

Homework is overly unregulated

by Hans Oberschelp

 

At two hours a night, you will spend 1,440 hours doing homework in high school. Teachers can cut into your free time with these thousands of hours however inconsistently and sporadically they want. It is common practice for a teacher to assign no homework one day, and an hour of homework the next. With no cooperation between teachers and no official guidelines for homework, spikes in homework load interfere with studying and after school plans.

Not only is homework inconsistent, but it can bite harshly into what is supposed to be student's free time. Many teachers treat weekends and breaks as an excuse to assign extra homework. Weekends aren’t truly days off if teachers expect you to work on an essay for a couple of hours on Saturday and Sunday.

The root of the problem is that teachers are left to assign homework without regulation. This is equivalent to keeping kids in class indefinitely after school to finish work. Inevitably, lack of communication or lack of organization will result in a heavy load of homework for one night. I can find four solutions to the issue.

The obvious solution in the average student's mind is abolishing homework. Sadly, homework arguably helps test scores, and so banning it is out of question, or at least is for another article.

One solution is requiring teachers to work with each other to assign reasonable, consistent amounts of homework. This is not ideal. If teachers don't take the requirement seriously, it accomplishes nothing. If the requirement is too strictly enforced, it throws wrenches in teachers' plans, and is disruptive.

Another solution is to extend school while abolishing homework. At worst, students would be doing what used to be homework at school, so how could it hurt? Unfortunately, extending school would cost money that California doesn't have, so it is not an option. After school programs are a step in the right direction, but they do not put a cap on the amount of homework a student can have assigned for one day.

Lastly, teachers could be required to assign a week's worth of homework at a time. Students would be able to manage their time however they liked, and the responsibility of organization would fall to students. This would effectively solve the problem of homework overload. Consequently, the pattern of learning a concept in class and then immediately doing related homework will be disrupted. A possible workaround is assigning homework concepts taught the previous week. If homework is meant to reinforce what is taught in class, rather than teach itself, it shouldn't matter if homework is assigned a week later. Homework would cover a variety of topics from the week before, instead of a single concept from the day before.

Another consequence is that some students will fail to adapt and procrastinate homework to the weekend. While this will hurt their grades at first, these students will be forced to learn organizational skills, and will benefit from the chance in the long run.

With the many options of homework regulation, it is frustrating that teachers are left to assign homework, a continuation of school, with their own jurisdiction. Imagine your sixth period teacher keeping you in class after school for not minutes, but hours. That is what unregulated homework is.