OPINION: Messy Detox

Abbey Marshall | Staff Writer

abbey column

My room is a mess.

Everyday, I strategically leap across an ocean of denim jeans, expertly sidestep a volcano spewing wrinkly t-shirts, and hurdle a mountain of mismatched shoes.

The irony is that I’m one of the most obsessively organized people you’ll ever meet. I’m someone that will pridefully lend my carefully highlighted notes (complete with diagrams) to someone in dire need of a good test grade. I’m someone that will spend hours on the first day of school surrounded by Sharpies and tab dividers labeling all of my school supplies. Yet, somehow, I’m someone whose room looks like the aftermath of a bombing. No soul possesses enough bravery to break through the barriers and trek across my floor (I swear there’s a rug down there somewhere!). My parents, however, will occasionally creak open the door and peer in just as I’m about to go to sleep, chuckling lightly and making a suggestion to pick up the mess, fully knowing that that is one task that I will never have the chance to complete.

To set one thing straight: I am not lazy. In fact, the reason my room has a ransacked-appearance is quite the opposite. In all actuality, the primary purpose of a bedroom is somewhere to put–surprise!–a bed. Eight hours a night and then I’m out. I don’t like spending monotonous hours upon hours cooped up in the same location, falling into the same repeated patterns and activities. While I hear my friends complaining about spending a whole day reorganizing their living chambers, my mind runs through a list of everything I accomplished on Saturday instead. That’s not to say that I don’t sporadically go on a cleaning spree and tame the wild mess I’ve mysteriously created, but afterwards, while having a slight twinge of gratefulness for the extra space, I feel like I hadn’t tackled the day doing something I truly would’ve enjoyed.

Every aspect of my life, aside from my room, has always been so organized. I always carefully plan a matching outfit, with clean, neatly folded clothes, and my pin-straight hair falls without a strand out of place. But when the sun sets on my perfected schedule, my disastrous, untouched mess becomes a detox. I surface amidst my room’s oceans, volcanoes, and mountains only on the way to bed, and once there it doesn’t matter if I can see the rug.

My eyes are already closed.

 

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I have my rights! Right?

Freedom of speech is what makes America the land of the free and the home of the brave. Don’t like your governor? Complain all you want. Don’t like a piece of legislature? Petition. Don’t even like the lunch your mom packed you for school? Go ahead and say so (even though the government allows it, she might not be so happy). In the mighty USA, we’re encouraged to speak our mind.

But what happens when that law is violated? Recently in a school, the student newspaper put a ban on the word “Redskin”. The word was viewed as derogatory by the editors, who put into action the elimination of the word in their printing press. Fine. Makes sense, after all. There’s no need for that word in general, especially in school. Personally, I don’t believe that racial groups have any place in being mascots. There’s no such thing as the “Chicago Whites” or “New York Asians”. So why is putting Native Americans into a category normally filled with students dressed in bulky animal costumes on the sidelines of a football game okay? The fact that the term to describe “Native Americans” in this school is derogatory is just the cherry on top of a muddy, politically incorrect situation.

When this ban was put in place by editors trying to be morally upright, they get reprimanded. The principal forces them to lift the ban because it’s mandatory for every student in the school to produce one article for the newspaper at some point in their high school career and it isn’t fair to those who want to represent the school mascot in their story. The principal views the ban as violating the sacred freedom of speech right, while the editors view it as the opposite. They don’t want to be forced to say something they don’t want to. It’s seen as almost reverse censoring.

When discussing this in my journalism class, my peer, Erin Brush, brought up an interesting point. When we write sports stories, we say, “The Comets beat the Knights 1-0 today”. However, we could easily change that to, “Mason beat Kings 1-0 today”. So what’s the big deal? It only requires altering of a couple words. Being a part of a school newspaper, I can sympathize with the editors. Although I acknowledge where the principal is coming from, I think that a student newspaper should be left up to the students; it says so in the title. If the ones in charge decide that they want to be politically correct in school (which is usually a place VERY sensitive to being politically correct, which seems almost hypocritical), why can’t they?

To learn more, visit USA Today .