Saturday, November 17, 2007

2008 elections

With the 2008 presidential elections approaching quickly, Edina High School seniors (and some juniors) are anticipating their eligibility to vote. Years of political debate filled conversations between students, and this major election will be the first time that students are able to politically matter in the eyes of the government.

“We’re so much more liberal and environmentally conscious. Once we can vote, we can use that power to work towards a more eco-friendly society,” said senior Margot Hurwitz, a Hilary Clinton supporter.

Students are deciding what matters to them in a president, and which candidate best represents them.

“I strongly agree with her [Clinton’s] opinions on abortion, gun control, stem cell research, the war, and same sex marriage. I agree with her on the issues that matter most to me,” Hurwitz said. “Theoretically that would put me with Obama too, but I like Hilary’s experience, it’s so essential to our world right now.”

According to, 26.9 million U.S. citizens are between the ages of 18-25. Of the 26.9 million, 16.1 million are registered to vote. The presidential election is on November 4, 2008.

“I’m excited to vote. I don’t think enough people realize the power of one vote. It’ll be interesting to see if more people actually vote next year after all the controversy in the last two elections.” said senior Jeff Saude, a Republican supporter. “I’m not sure who I want to win, as long as it’s not Clinton.”

Neither the Democratic or Republican party have selected their presidential candidate. Caucuses are being held in each state to determine which candidate for each party will run for office. Many states, including Minnesota, hold caucuses on February 5, 2008, also known as “Super Tuesday.”

“Our country is corrupt either way, I think America needs to take a closer look at Canada, they have no real conflict and a solid economy.” said former Edina junior, Emily Finn. “Whatever. I’m four days short of being 18 anyways, not that my vote would go to something I support.”

Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards are top competitors for the Democratic Party. Clinton, wife of former democratic president, Bill Clinton, is the party’s current forerunner. A poll conducted by CNN shows Clinton leading at 44 percent (with a sampling error of +/- 4.5 percent). The same poll has Obama trailing with 25 percent and Edwards with 14 percent. Bill Richardson, Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, Denis Kucinich, and Mike Gravel have also announced their candidacy for the Democratic party.

George W. Bush is, and has been the United States president since 2000. He will be ineligible to run again, as he is finishing his second term in office. The Republican Party presidential candidates are Rudolph Giuliani, Fred Thompson, John McCain, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, Duncan Hunter. In a similar CNN poll, results were inconclusive as to who the defined forerunner is, though Giuliani led at 28 percent (with a sampling error of +/-5 percent). Thompson is just behind Giuliani at 19 percent, followed by McCain, Romney, and Huckabee.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

October Zephyrus

Finally, a journalism assignment I've been dying to do. As a senior at EHS, I've yet to be impressed by an issue of Zephyrus. This issue is no exception. The articles included are usually mindless, unimpressive, and written by students who in my opinion, lack a general knowledge of life outside of Edina.

This issue is especially terrible. The front page story is about the new 35-W bridge, which is completely irrelevant to most students at Edina. I think its safe to say that a majority of students rarely leave Edina for non school related activities, and lack concept of the Minnesota highway system. The bottom fold of the front page is about Edina citizens relying on food shelves for meals. To me that is also irrelevant to Edina students. No one really cares if the girl sitting behind you goes to a food shelve for her dinner. It may sound heartless, but students at the highschool are so completely wrapped up in their lives, not recognizing how fortunate they really are for their beautiful homes, and wealthy families. To me the headline is almost disturbing. "Lend a hand this Thanksgiving: Hundreds of Edina citizens rely on food shelves for their meals". Okay..? Well thousands of people in Minneapolis are completely homeless, and aren't allowed at certain foodshelves after a period of time. Once reading the article they discuss how 1.16% of Edina citizens use the VEAP program to gain access to food shelves. That number is tremendously low compared to our neighboring city. I think part of the article should have really focused on how lucky our city is to have such a low number, and we can also help Minneapolis food shelves, which are so desperate for food all year round.

The rest of the paper is the usual nothing. The smoking articles almost amused me though. Coming from a student who works at a convenient store, I've been hounded by several of my peers to cell them tobacco even though I know they are barely 16. Smoking is not something Edina students decide to frown upon, nor is the disgusting habit of chewing tobacco. I'm sure a good amount students just read the article and remembered their first time smoking a Camel No. 9. I found the illegal downloading article interesting to an extent. It just makes me a bit more cautious when using limewire to download a song.

An article that did legitimately make me laugh this issue, was Lizzie Behr's about her encounter with Jerry Seinfeld. Typical her to assume that everyone should be interested in everything she has to say. I'm not going to rip on her too much, because most people are aware of my feelings towards her anyways. What did she expect? For this man who is on a trip promoting his new film, to be jumping up and down at the sight of a group of awkward highschool students from their newspaper? I probably would have done the same thing if I were him, and as a celebrity you can't please everyone. Even Lauren Conrad, who is fairly well known for her MTV show "The Hills" is disappointed when she meets celebrities. "The biggest letdown was Justin Timberlake, I have always loved him, and he was a disappointment at the VMAs. ['Hills' co-star] Whitney [Port] and I presented him with an award. We were so excited, and he wouldn't even take the award from us. Then he went up to the microphone and insulted reality television on MTV. We were standing up there smiling, and I felt so stupid" Said Lauren in a past issue of US Weekly. Lauren Conrad being a B list celebrity herself, was snubbed by superstar Justin Timberlake. I really don't expect that Jerry Seinfeld, a comedic legend to pay such close attention to a highschool newspaper columnist who usually gets article ideas from her friends.

The response to the letter to the editor was no better than anything else in Zephryus. Though the article did have entertainment value, it was line crossing in so many ways. Yes, we are all aware the highschool students are very sexually driven, especially boys. That is no excuse for ridiculously vulgar comments though. What is going through a boys head as he writes about how he likes girls that are 5'3" and a 32 C? Sure, it is funny. But not school newspaper appropriate at all. Since when are girls breasts part of a school newspaper? It's really beyond me. The response to the angry letter was just defending him. Which is BS. As a newspaper they are saying that they will stand by poor judgment on all of their parts, and it is completely appropriate to make comments about the shape of girls bodies.

Car theft? In Edina? OH NO! Yes, we do have a safe school. We are lucky for that. But honestly, I am not surprised that a students carelessness with her keys resulted in a theft. I have personally witnessed my good friends car being stolen from the Triple Rock music venue in Minneapolis. When we called the police they heartlessly wrote up the report and it was all too routine for them. Car theft is not all that unusual, and neither is any other form of stealing in a highschool. I am constantly surprised at how oblivious many Edina students are to the world around them, most seeming to have the "it will NEVER happen to me"attitude, even if it does happen to someone they know.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Homework Blogging: Useful or Overkill?

Some students at Edina High School may notice a change at the beginning of the 2007-2008 school year, internet blogs. Internet blogs have been used for years by millions, to connect with family, friends, and other bloggers with common interests. To most, this pop culture trend is strictly a social connection, but in attempts to bring the technology "to the 21st century" the Edina High School administration has proposed the use of internet blogs in the classroom. These blogs are being used for all grades, and most classes. Students will post their homework assignments online instead of bringing them to class to be turned in. To some this is an easier way of completing homework, and avoids wasting paper. Is it too much for even today's computer savvy teens? At what point does the school draw a line between what's appropriate to keep outside of the classroom? Traditionally, these types of social utilities have been prohibited while using district computers. They are now becoming the trendy thing to use in classrooms, and time will tell if Edina's attempts to bring the curriculum up to date will actually benefit the students or go back to being an out of school trend.