2 The Focus March 5, 2010 Opinions
The Focus Drama at the dance
The real turnabout panic began in December. The halls were suddenly ﬁlled with girls
Founded October 31, 2001
Edward R.. Zwirner, Editor-in-chief whispering about ways to ask someone while boys silently stood by, waiting for those seven words:
“will you go to turnabout with me?” As boys were getting asked, girls started to stress about the
Leah Roche, Moira Jorgenen, Kristina Chura dance even more. Freshman girls, and boys, put much thought into turnabout perhaps because it’s
Staff Editorial Writers usually there ﬁrst high school dance.
Although junior highs had dance parties and dance lessons, most freshmen have
never been to a real dance before. That could be the reason that there seems to be more drama
There’s always and excitement for turnabout. “I broke up with my boyfriend and I didn’t know who I was going
to go with,”
As much as most
one freshman girl says after admitting she
about turnabout. Harry Kroll believes
stress “way too much” about turnabout.
hyped,” he says, as a freshman girl near
boys enjoy school
him nods in agreement. “People get way too excited
dances, they Asking someone to the dance
this year has
rarely get caught included projects such as a simple poster
like skateboarding videos and a project
...and for once we’re not referring to the notoriously bad Chicago Cubs. On February 2, with rubber
up in the hype as ducks. There seems to be an competition
Trier which is asking in the ﬂashiest way
the taxpayers of the New Trier school district voted to reject the proposed $174 million referendum.
The majority of voters made the wrong decision that Tuesday. The proposed renovations and possible. “I
much as girls do. don’t like that,” Audrey Mang says, who
date face to face without anything extra. “It
construction jobs are necessary for
the good of New Trier students. In depends on how creative you are and how outspoken.
essence, voters rejected a number If a really shy person doesn’t do something really
of necessary improvements. extravagant it doesn’t mean you like them less.”
The voters rejected One problem this year is that some students thought they were pressured to ask too
to make the Winnetka Campus early. According to tradition, most students don’t ask their dates to turnabout until at least January.
handicap accessible, leaving it This year the majority of people asked in December. “I asked near the end of December which is
with only one elevator to serve a kind of early,” Meryl Balusek says. However, most students would rather not have asked so early.
student body of 3,330 and a staff of “I was scared that all the guys would already be going with someone. I wouldn’t have asked so
474. With a number of ramps and early if no one else had.”
staircases connecting the building, Despite this year’s trend of asking “early” some girls still didn’t worry. “You can
it is less than ﬁt for a person in a still have fun without a date,” Livia Albus points out, a fact that many girls seem to have forgotten.
wheel chair or on crutches. With all the hype a lot of girls forgot exactly what turnabout was-a simple dance in one single
The voters also rejected night. “You stress so much but it really isn’t a big deal,” Stephanie Wert says. “I stressed out but I
a much needed ﬁeld house. wish I hadn’t. It’s pointless.”
With a huge number of students New Trier boys have something say about turnabout too. “Earlier than a month before
participating in an after school sport and intramurals, the current “ﬁeld house” is not able to turnabout is too early,” Brian Walsh admits. Rubin Lee adds, “It’s pointless. We’re only freshmen
accommodate the needs of athletes. it’s not really a big deal.” Most boys interviewed didn’t seem overly emotional about turnabout. “I
During the winter track and ﬁeld season, as many as 200 athletes can be crammed into just wanted to know who I was going to go with,” Denver Freemen shrugs.
this facility. The rest of the athletes are either running outside or running up and down the stairs As much as most boys enjoy school dances, they rarely get caught up in the hype
throughout the school. as much as girls do. Guys spend time getting a suit and ﬂowers, they don’t spend nearly as much
But it isn’t necessarily the lack of space as much as the usage and design of the current time as girls do, getting nails and hair done, picking out dresses. All the extra work, plus the fact
ﬁeld house. The turn radius of the track is far too tight for sprinting safety. Inside this track and also that girls, as one boy states it, “freak out more” can add a lot more time and stress to the dance.
surrounding it in some areas, are grimy weight and conditioning machines. The lack of machines
does not allow needed training and causes the teams to compete of them.
The plan also proposed to make classrooms 290 sq. ft. bigger, going from around 610
sq. ft. to 900 sq. ft. Principal Tim Dohrer said this in Media linked to teen pregnancy?
response to a question regarding the advantages
of more classroom space, “While this arrangement
of desks Voters rejected [traditional straight rows] is useful in
In a survey taken by The Focus, 25% students agreed that current media is turning teenage
pregnancy into a fashion more than an issue. Movies like Juno, the Pregnancy Pact, and television
lectures, when showing ﬁlms, and in handing out
materials, it is a number of not conducive to the kind of collaborative
series like Glee, all star beautiful teenage girls who are unexpectedly thrown into the world of
pregnancy. The movies use humor, talent, and fame to cover up the fact that teenage pregnancy is
environment featured in 21st century lesson plans and
classrooms.” necessary Voters rejected an opportunity to make
nothing to be proud of.
An article on Livestrong.com about teenage pregnancy states that, “that there are ‘750,000
classrooms, the place students spend most of their
time, larger. improvements. teen pregnancies annually. Eight in ten of these pregnancies are unintended and 81 percent are
to unmarried teens.’” Girls who become pregnant are more likely to drop out of high school and
No longer is the lecture lesson plan the most become and stay single parents. They also score lower on math and reading tests.
popular. Many teachers choose to have students Teaching students about the use of contraceptives and birth control makes it more likely that
work in small groups or have class discussions. The they will use them when they begin to have sex, however is does not change the age at which teens
ideal desk setup for a discussion is one where everyone can see each other’s faces and the not the begin to have sex. The reason for this is a mixed result of the media, the person they are with, and
back of someone’s head. With such little space, arranging the desks in different ways is impossible. their peers.
And since most students bring their backpacks to class, the room becomes even more Jasmine Troung said this in response to current media, “They’re showing all these girls that get
cramped. This makes it difﬁcult for the teacher to circulate throughout the classroom to provide the pregnant and get a lot of publicity for it. Then their lives are great…If I got pregnant I wouldn’t
needed assistance to students. Two hundred and ninety more square feet would deﬁnitely be put to have a show about me, I’d be in huge trouble.”
good use. Teen Mom, a popular TV series on MTV displays the reality of how having a child really forces
While $174 million may have seemed like a huge sum of money, the New Trier school maturity onto you. Joanna Weiss a columnist for the Boston Globe says that, “The series ought to
district isn’t asking anyone to pay anywhere near that amount. The average amount would have be required viewing for 13-year-olds nationwide, especially since a report released this week by the
been $400 a year to the average household. Guttmacher Institute showed a slight uptick in teen pregnancy rates after a decade-long drop.” The
So if the taxpayers believe that chronic knee pain and shins splits aren’t worth a new ﬁeld report then went on to say that the pregnancy rate among American teens rose 3 percent in 2006.
house, then ﬁne. Or more advantages in class rooms for modern methods of teachings and simply The Guttmacher Institute also agrees that another reason for the upswing of teenage pregnancy
more space person, that’s okay. Or even that a handicap person cannot access some crucial parts of is our nations abstinence-only sex education that people believe truly gets the message across to
the building, then it’s their decision. It just makes you wonder that if this facilities project didn’t get teens that sex should be avoided until marriage. However it is crystal clear that teenagers are having
passed, then what does it take for a facilities project to be passed? sex before marriage. Recently President Obama got rid of the abstinence-only sex education cur-
riculums and set up comprehensive sex education programs to prevent teen pregnancies as well as
STDs. However these programs where around through
the entire Bush administration, years before the up-
tick in 2006.
Many teen moms are also shaded by the Current media
New Trier belief that their child’s father will be there for them ev-
ery step of the way, but unlike the dream guy is turning teenage that stars
Freshman Focus in movies and shows, most guys don’t want
to do with the baby. Peter Burlingame says, “It
is my re-
Published Mondays during most of the school year by the students of New Trier Town-
ship High School, 7 Happ Rd, Northﬁeld, Illinois 60093. Correspondence may be di- sponsibility and I would somewhat help raise pregnancy into the kid,
but I still have my life ahead of me to put to- gether so
rected to the Editor-in-chief.
I would encourage an adoption or abortion.”
Teenage pregnancy is on the rise once
a fashion more
again, and the reality is, there are more things out there
Editor-in-chief............................................................................................Mr. Ed Zwirner promoting it rather than stopping it. Directors than an issue. can make
New editors.......................................................................................................Nate Goss. movies about how happily ever after Sally and Bill lived
Sports editors.....................................................................................Elizabeth Manhimer together after their baby was born but in real- ity how
Features editors............................................................................................. Gabby Jones could they have possibly live together happily if in real-
Service Editor..............................................................................................Marissa Ondra ity Sally hasn’t even ﬁnished school yet and Bill isn’t even home half of the time. Life is no movie,
Editorials editors..............................................................................................Leah Roche and perception is reality. As the health teacher from Mean Girls would say, “Don’t have sex, or you
will get pregnant and die.”