Technology by Shantelle Guinto

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When The Lance was first launched each of our staff members’ initial task was to interview certain teachers and some students on their opinions about the use of technology in NMHS, but what about outside of school?

When the lights went out during Hurricane Sandy for most New Milford residents, people’s main concern was charging up their cellular devices and computers. Local malls like Garden State Plaza were packed with people with no intention of shopping, but using the outlets or spending some time where it is not dark.

I personally think that it’s great that everyone is able to keep in touch, get work done more efficiently, connect with other people from the world, and kill boredom, however it seems to me we are getting a tad too dependent on it. It is completely understandable that people felt inconvenienced by the lack of heat and light, but the amount of tweets I read regarding people being paranoid that their precious cell phone’s battery life wouldn’t last long was ridiculous.

It’s no secret that technology has been advancing drastically and at a fast pace. I, myself, spend a fair share of time online, whether it be blogging, social networking, or reading. Even our own newspaper is digital for crying out loud. In a way, it disappoints me that printed journalism and even printed reading books are dying out and are on the verge of extinction. Today, sure it’s a few cell phones that we’re worried about during the time of a hurricane, but what about years from now? How dependent can one civilization get on technology? It’s definitely something that I’m both looking forward and dreading to see, but I guess as society changes, our only option is to adjust ourselves.    

BOOK REVIEW BY SHANTELLE GUINTO

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a novel by Stephen Chbosky, follows a series of letters that are written by a boy named Charlie. However, the person to which these letters are addressed to is not revealed, either for intentional or unintentional purposes, it does a great job of depicting the story. The Perks of Being a Wallflower may seem like your typical coming-of-age narrative, what with its family problems, making new friends, teen rebellion, and football games, but there is a twist. Charlie observes life and the lives of other people. He sees things, and he understands. He’s existent, but uses thought as an excuse to not participate in life. Charlie is a wallflower, and when a friend of his points this out, he makes it his goal to try to become a man more of action and less of being consumed by his thoughts. Charlie describes this feeling as “being infinite.”
Charlie’s thoughts are filled with utmost sincerity and pureness that he is automatically deemed a lovable character. It makes you wonder how an adult author manages to illustrate the confinement of the mind of such an innocent, yet wise, adolescent, but Chbosky fails to disappoint his readers. Chbosky’s novel makes teens everywhere able to relate, and even adults feel a sense of nostalgia to their days of growing up through it’s underground humor and self-discovering years.
If you haven’t read this book yet, then for once I’m encouraging you to join the hype and get yourself a copy. A movie based on this novel is currently in theatres, and I cannot wait to see it!

Tripping Kids, Going to Jail By Shantelle Guinto .

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The hard part isn’t choosing, its living with the choices you made.  But what happens if a choice you make leads you to spending time in prison?On Wednesday, October 17, 2012, a 24-year old inmate, James, came to our school to tell his story about how he landed a spot in a jail. During these assemblies, the inmates typically talk about their early lives, and continue speaking on up until the point where the events lead up to them going to jail.This year was no different. James told us that when he was around 6 or 7, he wasn’t well-liked among his peers, and all he wanted to do was be cool. Since he wanted to be cool, he did something childish that would soon be the building block of some more serious crimes. He tripped a kid in an auditorium filled with students in third grade, and the worst part of all; he got away with it.James felt that, if he could get away with that, he could get away with so much more. By sixth grade, his life started to revolve less around school, and more around alcohol and drugs. He didn’t even care when he was arrested because he knew all the right cards to play with his mother that would get her to bail him out, but soon enough his actions weren’t something his mom could get him out of.

By the end of this assembly, I felt sympathy towards the inmate. He’s only a human being who made mistakes that he regrets. I think that is something we can all relate to. Some might question whether or not I should be sympathetic towards James because he might have come off as highly inappropriate.

His story is quite similar to other inmates that have come in previous years, but the difference is James made serious topics such as, addiction, substance abuse, and being arrested sound like a huge joke, as opposed to the other inmates from previous years who seemed to have learned something.

However, I still think the assembly served a great purpose even though it may have not seemed like it. James obviously has some problems, not only in his bad habits, but with himself.

That’s what some people do when things get serious, they joke about it because they just don’t have it in them to face it. How do you look at a room full of teenagers, who still have have a whole bright future ahead of them, when you, yourself have ruined yours?

When James was asked what he’d do for a job once he’s released, he said things along the lines of being able to find a pretty decent job. What I think James needs is not jail, but a reality check.

From the way he spoke about his life, nothing really ever phased him. Going to jail, over and over again, is not what this guy needs because he just doesn’t seem to care. I spoke with a CCD teacher, Mrs. Boak about these types of situations and she mentioned that there are many soldiers who come back to their everyday lives that end up committing crimes. Something happened in them, while they were away, that developed things such as anger issues.

A judge realized this, and decided instead of imprisoning them, he asked them, “Do you want to be helped?” Those who said yes were put into a group of other people who have gone through the same thing. “…and it took some time, but gradually they managed to return to their daily lives through relating with…the other soldiers. I just thought it was very nice that a judge would do that, it’s what they needed,” Mrs. Boak said. In this case, jail was not doing anything for these people at all, as it doesn’t seem to do anything for James. When James was asked whether or not he would do drugs again, he said no, but he also said that if he did, he’d become addicted again.

I feel bad for James, and everyone like him because if he doesn’t face the real world and come out of the bubble he’s in where nothing else matters that little hope of him turning his life around will just cease to exist altogether. James needs to come to terms with himself, and what it is that gives him the need do all these things, so he can finally move past them, otherwise, he’s just going to relapse and live a life without much purpose in it much like he was doing before.

To think, the downfall of his life began with a simple act of tripping a kid in 3rd grade.