By Nia Walsh '20
Yoga is a wonderful way to start off or even end your day. Yoga can mean a lot to many different people. Most people don't associate a school day with yoga. Most people think of physical education as the strongest form of workout for the school day but assume that yoga can’t be added to that. But what is yoga? What is so good about it?
Introducing yoga to the school curriculum is something that would benefit many students. Yoga has scientifically been proven to lower stress levels and heart rate. Nowadays, students have a lot going on. Between studying for exams, sports, and clubs, life can get stressful. This is why yoga would help relieve stress and add a fun touch to one's day. Practicing yoga and meditation makes someone more relaxed and prepares you to conquer your day.
Yoga is also beneficial to your health. Yoga connects your body with your brain, helps your body to become more flexible and is a way to control stress and anxiety. Yoga is a wonderful way to escape from the world and relax your body with some healthy exercise. Physical education and yoga can both be included in the students' schedules. Some days a student can have yoga and other days typical physical education.
Schools across the United States have already introduced yoga into their curriculum. A website called “yogainschools.org” talks about the importance of yoga for all ages. With this class, both the students and faculty exercise to relax the body and to let out all stress that one may be building up. Scott R. Mandarino, a health teacher from Faison Academy, states, “...the Yoga in schools training not only gives more tools and techniques for the classroom but also teaches you how to care for yourself.” This quote highlights the idea that yoga trains the brain and gives it a great amount of control that can both help in the classroom and in someone's mental health.
People that have taught yoga and that have done yoga say that it changed their life for the better. Many have said that it helps relieve everyday stress from work, school and life in general. Yoga lets out negative energy and brings in positive energy, puts you in a better state of mind and gets a good exercise in that will benefit you mentally and physically. The idea of having yoga in your everyday life can truly benefit anyone.
Ultimately yoga is a fun and healthy way to relieve stress and keep people active. There has been positive feedback from schools that have tried it. Students would definitely benefit from having yoga in a regular school day since it would help take the weight off most students’ busy days. Maybe Fontbonne should try it out!
By Emanuela Gallo '19
“Fake news.” It’s a phrase that we hear used so often in recent times. It’s reflective of a feeling that seems to have overwhelmed our nation: a hostility towards journalism and press organizations in America. What does this increasing antagonism towards news media mean for our country?
Several incidents in recent times reveal the answer. Jim Acosta, a journalist from CNN, was barred from the White House following an incident in November of 2018. During a press conference, Trump asked Acosta to “put down the mic” when he began to ask another question. He initially refused to give it up, but eventually relinquished the microphone. Trump then verbally berated him, referring to him as an “enemy of the people.” Later on, he also told April Ryan, White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, to sit down. “CNN is fake news," Trump said. "I don't take questions from CNN." Should a news organization be dismissed just because they are unfavorable toward the president?
Greg Gianforte, who was running for re-election in Montana, first garnered national headlines when video showed him body-slamming a reporter in 2017. A reporter from The Guardian, Ben Jacobs, approached Gianforte to get his opinion on an issue when he acted out. “He grabbed my recorder, and next thing I knew, I'd gone from being vertical to horizontal on the floor,” Jacobs said about the incident. It’s worthy to note that Trump seemed to endorse such an action, stating, “Any guy who can do a body slam, he is my type!"
Distrust in the media isn’t just among our politicians. A 2017 Knight-Gallup survey of more than 19,000 U.S. adults revealed what the public opinion is towards the media. More Americans have a negative (43%) than a positive (33%) view of news media, while 23% are neutral. 66% of Americans say that most news media do a poor job of separating fact from opinion. This is strikingly high, especially compared to the 42% of people who held this view in 1984. On a media trust scale of 0 (no trust) to 100 (full trust), today the average American score is a 37.
At its core, journalism is essential to our society. It acts as our ears for what we can’t hear and eyes for what we can’t see. Without it, we would be blind to our very own reality. Undermining its credibility detracts from the work and words of journalists. Even Trump seems to agree. When asked by journalist Lesley Stahl of the CBS program 60 Minutes about why he continued to attack the press, he replied, “You know why I do it? I do it to discredit you all and demean you all so that when you write negative stories about me, no one will believe you.” Smearing the name of journalism is harmful not only because it silences the voice of the people, but also because it threatens the freedoms of press and speech. These inalienable rights that our country was founded upon are not selective. It does not mean that we can pick and choose which ideas, organizations, or opinions have a voice. News media outlets that are on opposites sides of the political spectrum both have the right to say their piece. If we tell certain voices to “put down the mic”- we hurt this right which is vital to our democracy. No matter whether one leans more right, left, or somewhere in the middle, I believe that we should all be able to agree on this simple fact: Journalism, in pursuit of the truth, should be protected in our country.
By Ann Villamarin '20
Pushy, selfish, manipulative men harass women for sex. All women - older women, younger women, even teens have experienced harassment. Our reactions vary. We might wince, or blush, or scan a room for the emergency exit, or freeze in these situations, but we know at some point in our lives it will happen. We seem to accept that statistic.
Almost 70 years after its release, many have recognized this too familiar scenario in the classic holiday song, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” Radio stations throughout the U.S banned the song because of its controversial lyrics. This seemingly flirtatious snow-day tune disguises the prologue of a date rape disaster. The woman character in this song continuously states reasons she should not stay any longer at this man’s house. She explains that her “mother will start to worry” and she’s certain that her “father will be pacing the floor.” After stating many reasons to go home, and more than a few coercing phrases sung by the male, the woman finally says “I simply must go/ the answer is no.” Supporters of the #Metoo movement have interpreted this Christmas classic as male disrespect of women’s decisions to not stay the night. No means no.
It is true that with a different feminist lens, the woman in this song may want to stay the night, but because of the societal expectations of women in the 1940s, she knows she shouldn’t. She sings, “There’s bound to be talk tomorrow/ At least there’ll be plenty implied.” Her worry about the rumors spread about her if she stays the night impede her desirous actions. The man, who doesn’t need to contend with the social stigma, focuses only on his desire. After all, men consider sex as “getting lucky.”
A Cleveland radio station, WDOK, was the first station to ban “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” “I do realize that when the song was written in 1944, it was a different time, but now while reading it, it seems very manipulative and wrong,” host Glenn Anderson wrote on the station's website. San Francisco's, 96.5 KOIT, agreed with Anderson’s statement and also banned the song (later reconsidering their decision).
“Baby It’s Cold Outside” simply mirrors an all too common situation women find themselves in today and in the 1940s. Banning the tune will not change the world. Listening to it critically might.
By Stephanie Patella '20
Whether fixing a school skirt to reach the appropriate length or dealing with harsh foot sores that form from school shoes, everyone is in need of a break from the required dress codes. By instituting Casual Fridays weekly, Fontbonne Hall Academy students and faculty would benefit from a more relaxed environment and a higher morale boost. This approach would relieve stress, increase productivity and give students something to look forward to as we approach the long-awaited Fridays.
The Fontbonne Hall Academy student and faculty handbook states the appropriate dress code that everyone is required to follow. The school should consider implementing Casual Fridays as a way to incentivize students to follow the dress code for the rest of the week. For example, if there are no dress code violations from Monday through Thursday, the students will be rewarded with a Casual Friday. In this way, the school is conferring a benefit to the students in exchange for accountability.
Casual Fridays can allow students and faculty to wear items of clothing that express their own interest and can also spark up a conversation with someone who has a similar interest (such as a specific band or movie). Fontbonne senior, Jessica Sinscalchi, reiterated this when she says, “the clothes we wear are a way of expression, so having a day for students and faculty to express themselves allows everyone to better know each other.”
These Casual Fridays could also include different themes. For example, one Friday students and faculty could wear clothing representing their favorite sports team, band or even express a viewpoint. Mr. Murawski furthers this idea when stating,”We may have a Casual Friday where we all wear pink. We can propose the idea of students and teachers bringing in a small amount or donate an amount of at least five dollars and all the money collected becomes donated to breast cancer awareness or the funding for a cure.” This will allow each of us to express our support through our clothing.
Yes, I know what you are thinking, “Wouldn’t someone take advantage of Casual Fridays and wear an article of inappropriate clothing?” The answer to that question would be yes. However, as we are all products of a Catholic education, the school should take comfort in knowing that we will present ourselves in a clean and polished manner. To be safe, the guidelines of Casual Fridays can mandate that students and faculty are free to wear a shirt or sweatshirt with a quote or image as long as it is clean and not offensive in any way.
For example, a student or teacher may be able to wear a shirt with a picture of their favorite band or television show, but may not wear a shirt that is revealing or portrays explicit content. Everyone should be allowed to express their interests or fashion sense through their clothings as long as they do not take advantage of this privilege. Fontbonne junior, Alyssa Deangelis, emphasized that “Casual Fridays can be a way for students to express themselves by dressing in their own clothing.”
According to Mike Slepian, a professor at Columbia Business School, "Casual clothing makes workers think less abstractly and more concretely — useful for completing tasks focusing on details...” How does this translate in our school setting? By wearing casual clothes, students and faculty will be able to more effectively focus on the particular task at hand.
Thus, Casual Fridays would be extremely beneficial to the faculty and students of Fontbonne Hall Academy in providing not only a comfortable and relaxing environment, but greater efficiency.