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    Ted Talk Thoughts



    There is a Ted Talk called “The transformative power of classical music”. It is presented by Benjamin Zander. Benjamin Zander is an English conductor and is currently the musical director of the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. He works with young children to excel in their musical talents. This Ted Talk was about how you can hear the meaning of classical music and so that you can understand what the piece is telling you. Here are some of my thoughts about it and I recommend everyone to watch it.

    I thought that this video was entertaining as well as interesting at the same time. When someone says classical music, I think of sleep. This is because I don’t find it that entertaining to listen to and it makes me dose off. But after what the speaker said about trying to follow the scale that the piece is based off of, I can now see the meaning in the music. I could see what the composer is trying to tell the audience. I also found it interesting when he mentioned that everyone isn’t tone-deaf. That every person could hear whether someone talking to you is angry or that their sad. Overall, I really enjoyed the talk and I’ve learned new things about classical music that I never knew before.





    The Scary Realities of Social Media


    PTS Falconer Staff


                   While it may be entertaining, social media is a whirlwind of disaster. Social media has created a new type of abuse, called cyberbullying, which is extremely prominent in our online lives, especially as tweens, teens, and young adults. Once something is posted online, it can never and will never be taken back.

                   The dangers of social media affect a huge amount of people – a study found from the i-Safe Foundation shows that 1 in 3 teens have received threats online. More than 25% of teens have received constant bullying online, through social media, and teen suicide rates have skyrocketed due to the cyberbullying present in social media. 20% of those who are cyberbullied have had suicidal thoughts and 1 in 10 actually do attempt it. These statistics are mind blowing.

                   Social media and cyber bullying have affected many people in our own community – even students walking our very own campus at Palmer Trinity School, our peers. A friend of mine, who would like to remain anonymous, is a victim herself of cyberbullying. She says, “I was harassed online by people that I have never met. It was scary and hurtful. I reached out to some other friends of mine, and they admitted to also being victims of cyberbullying. It’s crazy how widely spread cyberbullying is.” My dear friend, bullied by people she’s never even met? Isn't it wild? Social media enables bullies to act on people they’ve never even met in person. Wow.

                   With just the click of a button, your opinions, photos, and ideas can be posted on the internet for everyone to see. The reason that cyberbullying plays such an active role in our lives is because it is so much easier to express opinions on the internet, instead of in person, as the publisher does not get to witness the immediate negative – or positive – effects. A cyberbully does not have to see the look on his or her victim’s face upon being bullied, does not have to see how this affects their victim’s life at home. And once something is posted online, it cannot be taken back. The damage has been done. It’s easy and quick to post online.

    While I have expressed how dangerous and terrible social media may be, it can also be a tool used to stop these cyberbullies. Most social media websites and apps have the option to report a user who has done something to potentially harm someone. Through awareness and strength, cyberbullying can be stopped. Remember that the internet is permanent and never forget to be careful while surfing, and posting to, the web.


    The New Detention Policy

    PTS Falconer Staff

    Just coming back from break, the whole school had to learn that there are no longer lunch detentions. It turns out every week one advisory during lunch has to clean the tables! My advisory had the pleasure of going first, but luckily we only had to do it for three days (since it was a short week). Every day for the last twenty minutes of lunch we had to take a damp cloth and scrub the tables.

    Personally, I think the lunch tables were disgusting! Then, one lucky kid got to sweep all of the trash and food on the floor into the trashcan. We also had to clean the chiki hut outside, which by far was the grossest. Now, I bet you are wondering: “What happened to detentions then?” Well now you either have to serve before school or after school detentions. You could also get a Saturday detention. Both of these options sound awful. Personally, I would not like to have a Saturday detention. What do you guys think about the new detention policy?


    The Struggles of Cutthroat Education

    By: BRIANA CANET '17
    PTS Falconer Guest Contributor

    Wake up, eat, school, extracurricular activities, homework, study, sleep, and repeat. That is the daily, monotonous life of a student. Do not fail. Do not get nervous. You need to be the top student. You have no choice but to do well. Fight the tears and the pain. But ask yourself: Will this all be worth the immense and constant struggle? Hopefully, it will, but that is not guaranteed.

    How many times have you remained awake past midnight completing homework assignments? How many times have you studied vigorously for a test and ended up not doing as well as you hoped? How many times have you felt like giving up on academics? Probably more times than you would willingly admit. But why do we -worrisome students- endure this horrendous routine and suffering? Just for three heavenly digits. We all constantly strive for that magic number; the number that scholars greatly strain to attain. The noteworthy number is one hundred -a perfect score.

    School has become a merciless, unhealthy competition, and the whole game consists of who is beating whom. We have become horses blinded of all the struggles, constantly racing to be the victor. Therefore, has this unexplainable stress in obtaining the ideal grade to outscore your peers distracted us from truly comprehending and absorbing the material? Yes. We all must face this evident fact -both teachers and students.

    Cram, memorize, regurgitate, and forget the material. Numerous students all around the country spend uncountable hours engaged in this ritual: Shoving vast amounts of material into their brains in the hopes that they will retain the information just long enough to spit everything onto a final exam. Once this act of expulsion ceases, the information vanishes from their heads. What is the point of studying if the material disappears a few hours after you have completed the exam? To receive an acceptable grade. We have stripped education of its core principle: true absorption of a topic. The values of education have been replaced by the grade given -not earned.

    The plethora of pressures in attaining a respectable grade has shattered the basis of education: processing, comprehending, and saving the information. In fact, we have developed a routine of memorizing information in order to gradually forget about it in a few hours because we -the students- have belittled the high education system bestowed to us. Instead of absorbing information for critical employment, we endeavor to obtain the grade at whatever cost, enduring endless amounts of sleep deprivation, anxiety, and distress. Students have transformed into horses with blinders inadvertently obstructing their view of the rest of their world, solely focused on winning the race. We must not be blinded by the grade that we receive. Instead, we must dare to focus on the most important component of education: truly learning.



    The Trump Card

    By: ETHAN HILL '17
    PTS Falconer Guest Contributor 

    Here in our nation of liberty, in the season when peace on Earth is celebrated with carols and candles, we are brazenly plunging ourselves into a new era. For now, at this moment, we Americans who tout justice for all rally around a man who has completely abandoned such concepts in favor of hate and fear. Now, we reach the end of the age of reason, plunging into a time when a single voice fueled by a single ego can shout so hard and spout such outrageous rhetoric that he would actually stand a good chance of becoming the republican nominee for President of the United States.

    Yes, we live in an age of fear. In the not so distant past, it was the Red Scare. But now, what threatens us is an idea. An idea so strong it can drive human beings to kill and be killed for little purpose outside of violence itself. This idea is infectious, spreading over the internet, seeping into social media and blossoming like a fungus, releasing new spores to contaminate more people. It calls itself ISIS.  And its only mission is to destroy. It would falsely preach devotion to a peaceful religion in order to shield the fact that it is merely a pack of hateful thugs who want nothing more than to breed more hate.

    And today, we would rally around someone who appeals to fear and hate. This someone makes claims about a “Muslim Problem.” Chillingly, he makes blatant propositions that the best way to contain ISIS is to track people of this faith and even prevent them from entering our country, based on religion only. He would have us follow them, keep a database, watch over their places of worship. He would have them be identified publicly, perhaps by showing an ID badge of some sort or by wearing a yellow crescent?

    Donald Trump currently leads by double digits in the polls. And since the Paris attacks, his popularity has only risen. His message appeals to fear, and his plan caters to hate. His frightening idea that we should single out human beings based on religion is disgusting and chillingly similar to other demagogues in our history. In addition, Trump’s ignorance and adherence to “straightforward” rhetoric no matter the consequences is itself a threat to our nation’s ideals. He is shouting fire in a crowded theater, threatening to move people to action against others simply because of their faith. And we, Americans, are prepared to elect him as the Republican nominee. What does that say about us? What does it say to people all over the world?