More narratives by the Senior English class

Texting and Driving / Natausha Ortega

Texting and driving is known as one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving. I’m guilty of doing it, you’re guilty of it, and everyone else at time to time has been guilty of it. Cell phones have become part of our everyday lives. We use them for everything. We also use them at any time and any place, even while we are driving. Did you know that texting and driving is six times for likely to cause an accident than drinking and driving? Despite the facts, we are all suspects at looking at our cell phones from time to time while driving.

According to The Trifecta of driving there are three types of distracted driving distractions. These distractions are visual, manual, and cognitive. VIsual distractions involve taking your eyes off the road, meaning you look away to read the text message. Manual distractions occur when you take your hands off of the steering wheel, and this means that you have read the message and now you are replying. Cognitive distractions take your focus away from driving, and this means now you are more focused what is happening on your phone rather than paying attention to the road. These three distractions all connect to texting and driving.

Statistics show the percentages of causes and outcomes of texting and driving. Most of these outcomes are caused by teens between the ages 16 and 24. On average about 11 teens die every day because of texting and driving. 94% of teens understand the causes and outcomes of texting and driving, however, 35% of that 94% admit to doing it anyway. Furthermore, 21% of teen drivers are involved in fatal car accidents by texting. Teens are 100% more likely to be in a car accident while texting than adults. According to The National Safety Council, there are 1.6 million car crashes yearly due to cell phone use.

All it takes is one second for an accident to occur when taking your eyes off of the road. It only takes five full seconds to distract a driver. In that time you travel about the length of a football field without looking. It is impossible to pay attention to the road, read a message, type a message, and drive safe all at once. The message can wait; don’t risk your life or anyone else’s for a message.

Liz Marks was a teenage girl who was involved in a car accident due to texting. It left her blind in one eye, partially deaf, and unable to taste. Marks said, “Everyone else was doing it, so I thought I was invincible.” Unfortunately, she was wrong. The consequences caught up to her and almost left her lifeless. There are so many victims who never return home,who are put on life support, or have to learn how to live life again because of these tragic events.

Most people don’t think of the possible outcomes because, just like Liz mark, we all think we are invincible and that it won’t happen to us. It can happen. One look, one quick look is all it takes, and you will never know if you return home or not. If you do, who knows what physical or mental challenges you may face?

Do you want to be the reason someone doesn’t make it home after school only because you couldn’t put your cell phone down? Do you want to be the reason a mother or father doesn’t see their child just because you had to reply? Do you want to be the reason for you own crash because you had to snapchat, text, or tweet something? Think about the people you would affect and the families you would hurt. Ask yourself and think about these questions before putting your life or someone else’s life in danger.

Bullying / Adrian Hronich

Bullying is the act of harassing another person. I think if you are bullying someone else you should stop. Don’t get mad if they turn around and punch you in the face. There are two types of bullying; they are cyber and verbal.

Cyber is over the internet and verbal is face to face. If you see bullying happen it is up to you to step in and stop the bullying. If you are a victim of bullying let someone know.

In conclusion I think bullying is bad as is so stop bullying others.

Life in a Fish Bowl / Camryn Mileta

So I am going to assume, and please excuse me if I’m wrong, that you reading this right now, has been to a zoo, an aquarium, or my personal favorite Sea World. Sea World’s name is so ironic, because trust me it is NOTHING like the sea here. And yes, I am whale that “lives” in the oh so wonderful family enjoyment area, and performs acts I am trained to do rather than born to do. Anyways my point is, is that I assume you have been here or to something similar because 90% of people have been. Don’t be ashamed however, there is really no better way to spend your money and your time then to watch me and my fellow animals live and die in captivity. Sorry, excuse my attitude I guess I’m a little “ salty “ about not living in actual salt water.

I have lived here for many years, and lost count a long time ago. After seeing how people spend their days here, I still cant understand what is so great. They always seem to enter in the park in huge groups filled with mainly those lovely little things called children. Then they walk around antagonizing and staring at every form of animal, they eat food, and buy those cups with my body on the top. Creepy right? And then of course almost all of them come to watch me. Now, do you want to hear what that is like for me? Don’t worry ill inform you on that. I get fed my food early in the morning right on THEIR schedule, and wait around in this fishbowl sized water tank until they’re ready for me. Then those people in those stupid looking suits come to train me. They lead and bribe me with scraps of food and celebrate for themselves when I finally do as they please. Oh and by the way they didn’t teach me to do anything, I just got tired of them being in my tank. Anyhow, if I’m not training I’m performing. Yes for all of you, the moment you all wait for and spend your hard earned money on. I swim, I splash my tail, and blow my blow hole because for some reason you enjoy getting drenched in water. Then I’m finished, you head home, and the cycle continues with new faces every single day. Sounds enjoyable doesn’t it? Probably not, but that’s no bodies concern.

That’s how my days have been since as long as I can remember and probably until I can’t anymore. I didn’t think I was put on this earth to please humans day in and day out, But I also don’t think anyone cares. As long as I’m making people money, I’m doing fine. Besides I’m just a whale, they’re just monkeys, they’re just dolphins, and we are all just stupid animals. And this is Coming from an unpopular opinion of a whale of course, but I don’t see anything special in you humans, besides the amount cash you have to spend on these things. I guess I can thank you for listening to me though, don’t worry I don’t expect anything to change, or anyone to help. This is life, but let me tell you, it’s certainly not living.

Can You Defy Gravity? / Brianna Marquez

So you might think cheerleading isn’t a sport because we don’t “play” cheerleading. Well the reason we don’t play cheerleading is because what we do is much more than a game. People sometimes ask, “What do cheerleaders do?” Yeah we cheer, but it’s much more than that. We do the impossible. Coach says, “full up 360 to heel stretch.” “Okay what’s next?” “Full down reload to lib.” “Do you mean full down twist or full down rewind because we’ve got both?” We work our bodies day in and day out for four hours a day, six days a week, and eleven months out of the year to gain the strength we need to lift people. Yeah, that’s right, I said people. We don’t use inanimate objects likes balls, rackets, or gloves. We use our bodies to jump, flip, and lift one another. The lives of our teammates are literally in our hands.

According to the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research, cheer holds the number one spot of major sports injuries to women. The number of cheerleaders that receive an injury when compared to other sports is five times more because we take impact with our bodies and do not have protective gear. We perform extreme stunts where “bases” throw “fliers” in the air, and all we have is the trust in one another that the girl being thrown stays tight and that the people throwing her are also going to catch her. Sometimes freak accidents happen and the result is someone getting hurt, but at all times we have to make sure we are paying attention and doing the jobs we need to do to reduce the result of injury. When there is one person out with an injury, there is an impact on the whole team simply because we don’t have the easy way out of just being able to substitute someone else in like other sports can. Everyone is assigned a certain part and in order for the whole routine to work everyone has to be present.

We spend countless hours of our time just to make what we do look easy. At times we learn a routine in 7 hours that takes just two and a half minutes to actually perform. We spend several hours of our practices conditioning that include doing cardio,weight lifting, or stretching to become more flexible. The rest of our practices consist of building a bond and trust between one another when we are working hard to perfect our stunts. Coach sometimes says we can’t move on to the next stunt until we’ve hit the stunt we are working on three times in a row. At times when too much talking is taking place or what was assigned isn’t getting done we have consequences to either run extra laps when a stunt fails too many times or make the stunt easier to make sure it hits every time by doing basic drills that we already know we can accomplish. Sometimes we don’t like the consequences because after a long practice no one wants to run extra laps, or it becomes a disadvantage to us on our score sheet for not meeting the criteria of difficulty when having to make a stunt easier.

The intensity of a competition is much more than it seems to be.. As a team we compete against more than one team at a time, and the worst part about it is the judges don’t care how long we have been working to perfect a routine, we only get one shot at that moment to show what we are capable of. From the moment you step foot upon the mats, you get an adrenaline rush that is sometimes impossible to control, and at times can reflect on the way you perform. And what most people don’t understand is that sometimes it is the littlest things that count that can make you a champion or make you a team that doesn’t receive a trophy at all because a girl didn’t point her toes in a jump, a tumbler’s legs were open during a back handspring, or a girl didn’t have a smile and show energy. The little things can sometimes make up points that allow you to lose by a half of a point or win by ten. Crowd involvement is also a big part of competitions. The judges look to see how well cheerleaders are able to lead their crowd and sometimes if you say the words too quickly the crowd can not always catch on to what you are saying. Therefore we as cheerleaders would not be doing our jobs of getting our crowds involved whether we are at a competition or at a game supporting our fellow sports teams.

In other words, to be considered a sport you must have guidelines and rules to follow by, compete against another team, and requires an athletic physical activity. Just like any other sport we do a lot of physical activity and more. We follow guidelines and rules, we have to work with one another, we compete against other teams (more than one) at times just like any other sport would, and continue to support our other fellow sports teams. So yes we are a sport, but no we don’t just cheer. We defy gravity.