We Want Our Lunch!

How are us students supposed to focus on our work when we have an empty stomach screaming at us? Why are classes an hour long when lunch is only a half an hour long? In six hours of working hard, we are allowed only thirty minutes for a lunch break. In this short thirty minute time period, we also have to use the restroom, wash our hands and stand in cafeteria lines to receive our food. In France and other countries, students are allowed one to two hours to enjoy their meals. U.S. lunches should be extended.

Hunger affects students capability of the work we produce. USA Today says hungry students are more prone to behavior problems, stomach aches, headaches and are less able to concentrate in class. Forty percent of high school aged children skip breakfast in the morning, due to minimal getting ready time, says PBA 30. With no breakfast there is a loss of energy and math scores are lower. These children cannot meet their daily nutritional needs and keep their bodies at a healthy weight.

If lunches were extended, we would have enough time to sit down and eat the daily nutrition we need to fight off illnesses and not miss a single school day. Research shows that eating food really fast can lead to actually eating more calories, enjoying the meal less, and feeling hungrier an hour later. What ever happened to sitting down and just enjoying a meal? Healthier foods usually take a longer time period to eat. Consuming more calories of the wrong fats leads to obesity. A third of children (25 million) are overweight. This is shown by government statistics.

It is not just students who would enjoy a longer lunch period. Many of my teachers have agreed with me that a change like this would be very beneficial. If we had a longer break during lunch, there would absolutely be less chatter during classes and periods such as extra help. Student would have more energy to put into their work, less illnesses, better over all grades and a more enjoyable school day.

 

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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.”

The Actual Pain Behind that Grade.

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It’s Midnight. Lily is still flipping through her science textbook. Five other books are stacked in a tower to her right. Worry floods her heart. Whenever she stares at this colossal pile of books, she loses more hope. Just like Lily, many teenagers suffer from the effects of chronic stress.From my personal experience, it is easy for me to say that I can relate to her about the workload that teachers give. There have been times where I have gone to sleep in the early morning hours just so I could finish an essay. Imagine sitting in a sea of books trying to finish homework with tears running down your eyes. No one should be in this situation.

According to challengesuccess.org, 28% of children spend more than six hours with after school commitments (including homework). This is a lot of time. Children would definitely be stressed and tired after six hours of after school activities. Stress is a problem that children should not be dealing with. According to a blog on academic stress, 64% of teenagers ages 13-17 report that the stress from homework and activities for them is serious. This number seems fake. I mean, aren’t children supposed to be enjoying youth? This just seems preposterous. If more than half of all teenagers have serious stress, then it is time for teachers to make a change.

Teachers, lower the amount of homework you give. A low amount of homework can help children relieve the stress they have. I am not saying that you should stop giving homework. I am just saying that everything has its limits and I can say that homework should have its limit aswell. Homework should be given in appropriate proportions. It should be enough to keep students busy, but not make them stay up all night.

If children are staying up all night, then they are lacking one of the most important activities in their whole life: sleep. A lack of sleep because of stress can cause many problems. According to sleepfoundation.org, teenagers need 9 ¼ hours of sleep. However, according to nationwidechildrens.org, teens only get around 7 hours of sleep. If teens don’t get sleep, this will make them susceptible to illnesses which is not good for health. If a child’s health is affected by homework, then is it right to give homework?

Teachers, homework is a great way to help children reinforce their concepts. However, if homework is interfering into a child’s health and personal life, then there should be a change. I will stand up for the children. They should not be kept awake for the sake of school. They should not be constantly worried about the amount of homework they have the next day. Childhood only lasts for sometime. Help children fill their youth with happiness and not stress.

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.

 

I notice.

A poem written by me.

There are two types of people.
The type of person who cares,
And those who pretend that they do.
I notice those who care.
I notice the little things people say.
I notice the little things people do.
I notice the little things that help the big picture stand out.
And I notice the little things people don’t do.
I notice how if somebody is sad or upset
the person who pretends to care,
will ask what is wrong.
Whereas the person who cares
will give the upset person a hug, with no words.
Those are the best hugs.
I notice the people who cheer for the underdog,
Rather than cheer against them.
I notice the pop of color in a painting,
Rather than just the image of the painting
I notice the little things that people don’t notice.
The things that make the bigger things even greater.
I notice even the smallest things,
Whether it be a simple smile or a wave to a person passing by.
I notice how it can make somebody’s day a lot better,
Because their existence is acknowledged by somebody else.
I notice all these things.
~AMO

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

This picture was taken by the wall mural in Angkor Wat. If you look closely, the ones facing to the right are different from the ones facing to the left. The gods are facing to the right and the demons … Continue reading

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.