A+ For Uniforms

Although people in middle school and high school like to express themselves through the clothes they wear, many are finding that they would rather wear a uniform to school.

In 1994, Long Beach, CA was the first public school district in the United States to require students to wear uniforms. Today over 10% of public schools in 19 states require them.

Now that nearly 20 years have passed since public school students in Long Beach started wearing uniforms, parents, teachers, and even students agree that uniforms have had a positive effect.

For starters, uniforms create a level playing field for every student. Because everyone is wearing the same thing, it’s easier for people with less money to fit in. Also, uniforms prevent students from using clothing to compete with one another. Students do not feel the need to buy expensive clothes in order to be “cool”.

In this way, uniforms can help boost students’ self esteem. School Safety Consultant Ken Trump noticed this effect when he said, “Kids are trying so hard to one-up each other on everything from hairstyles to shoes. It takes away the daily fashion show and helps level the playing field a little bit with the haves and have-nots.”

In addition, uniforms create a safer school environment. Schools in California and other states that have school uniforms have lower truancy, gang violence, and illegal drug activity. Researches are not sure why, but they suspect that uniforms reduce gang violence by not allowing students to wear gang colors and symbols to school.

In 2013, one year after three middle schools in Washoe County, Nevada instated uniforms, the schools saw a 63% decrease in police actions against students including, “decrease in gang involvement and bullying.” As students felt safer, they attended school regularly and showed increased self confidence in academics.

By improving a school’s environment, uniforms improve students’ capacity for learning. With the focus taken away from material things and safety concerns, students are more relaxed and able to focus on learning.

In 1996 in his State of the Union speech, President Clinton encouraged public schools to adopt uniforms to bring “discipline and learning back to our schools.” He instructed the Federal Education Department to distribute manuals to 16,000 school districts in the United States advising them how they can legally require school uniforms in public schools.

Perhaps the greatest benefit of school uniforms was pointed out by President Clinton when he addressed the Long Beach school district in 1992: “Instead, they slowly teach our young people one of life’s most important lessons: that what really counts is what you are and what you become on the inside, rather than what you are wearing on the outside.”

History of Food: Pasta

The first form of food similar to pasta was in the writings of Horace where thin strips of dough were fried and served with spices in the 1st century B.C.E. A few centuries later, we see an ancient ancestor of modern day lasagna come out in the form of lagana. It was described to be consisted of sheets of dough with meat filling in between. In the second century, the dough started to be made with flour and water instead of juice from lettuce. Later, Arabs adopted a similar form of noodle in the 5th century and lead to the Italians making thin strip noodle pasta.

 

If we jump to the 15th century, dried pasta was very valued because it could be stored for very long periods of time.That’s why many exploring ships brought dried pasta to the New World. Believe it or not, tomato sauce was only invented in the 18th century! Before this, people would just eat pasta with their hands. Now, people eat it with forks because the tomato would get too messy without it.

 

Today, the average Italian eats about sixty pounds of pasta per year, while the average American eats about twenty pounds of pasta per year. Writings suggest it originated in Italy, but why is it popular in North America? It’s because Italian immigration to the Americas that we love pasta so much. Italians have also had a mass immigration to South Africa, making spaghetti and meatballs a major part of Italian cuisine.

 

Do you like pasta? How do you eat yours? Comment, if you want, I guess.

 

Angkor Wat: The World’s Largest Religious Monument

Angkor Wat, located in Siem Reap Province in Cambodia, is the world’s largest religious monument. “Angkor” comes from Sanskrit and means “city” while Wat is Khmer for “temple.” Cambodians are usually referred to as Khmer people and Thai are referred to as Siem. So, the name Siem Reap means “Thai Defeat,” but that’s another story. Angkor Wat also appears on the national flag of Cambodia.

Angkor Wat was originally built in the 12th century by king Suryavarman II as a Hindu temple. It was a dedication to Vishnu. Later, in the 16th century, Buddhism took over and Angkor Wat was converted to a Buddhist temple. The Buddhists tried to paint the giant wall mural depicting several scenes from Hinduism and in some parts, you can actually touch the carved stone on the mural.

Angkor Wat lies on an island 1km x 1.5km with a 1 km wide moat on all sides. There are two entrances: the front in the west and the back in the east. Angkor Wat, unlike most temples, faces to the west instead of the east to signify that Suryavarman was intending to be buried there. Inside the temple, there is a central point where you can see in all four directions, many intricate and sometimes unfinished carvings, and a big central tower which was the king’s tomb. The central has really steep stairs that you could be afraid of going up and down.

Overall, Angkor Wat is a great place and has a lot of extra history and details to it, and it is also a great tourist destination.

Hehe, It’s a Lizard!

I took this picture of a really cool lizard in Cambodia.

Gods Versus Demons

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Khmer BBQ

I took this picture in Cambodia of a Khmer hot pot barbecue. They give you all the raw ingredients and you cook them yourself.

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The History of Food: Haggis

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Nerdy Video Games, More Fun than you Might Think

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