John’s Homework

At Open House this year we were told all the eighth-graders would be required to turn in three current event articles and their views on the article every week. I gave John a stern warning about plagiarism, and emailed him an article I thought he’d be interested in now and then, but I didn’t think much more about it until last week. John’s homework came home with notes in the margin like “you are hilarious”, “this was awesome”, and “haha!”. Need a good laugh? Just read my son’s homework:

This article concerns Kentucky news. John Ballard 24/10/12
Hopkinsville passes citywide smoking ban.”
So Hopkinsville banned smoking in their city, did they? To be honest, I feel pity for the people of Hopkinsville. Folks won’t be able to light a cigarette in a bar after a long day of work to relax, or smoke in front of friends to look cool, or light one to calm down while their wife is having a baby. Smoking really isn’t that bad, as long as you don’t overkill it. Smoking one everyone once in a while if you’re out with friends or trying to relieve some stress is fine, but smoking one every day is just pointless and unhealthy. I know that someone’s going to say that “smoking is unhealthy no matter how much you do it,” but what’s the worst that smoking can do if you keep it few and far between? Sure, smoking cuts back a few years of your life, but who in the world wants to live to be ninety years old anyway? I’m just fine with seventy years, thank you. Really, it’s not like elderly life is precious enough to lengthen. I know that sounds mean, but think about it. What do you do when you’re eighty years old and in a retirement home? Play canasta all day? That would be horrible! Plus, smoking is pretty easily to get addicted to, so suddenly outlawing it could take a huge toll on those that smoke regularly. I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t care about smoking; I’m just saying that it would be better to teach people about controlling their habits and taking smoke breaks few and far between.
Link to the article: http://www.kypost.com/dpp/news/state/hopkinsville-passes-citywide-smoking-ban
Sorry, I had trouble thinking of how this was important.

This article concerns national news.
Skydiving is a stunt, physics is thrilling.”
You know that skydiving thing. Neat, isn’t it? Not really. Know what would be awesome though? Skydiving…from SPACE! Well, it was close to space, at least. Felix Baumgartner decided that it would be a great idea to jump off of a little platform 24 miles above the Earth’s surface and land on a desert in Roswell, New Mexico. On top of that, he felt like living to tell the tale too! In fact, Red Bull sponsored his little stunt and got some profit thanks to the almost instant popularity of the event. So, what else did we achieve from this? Sure, this is shows that the spirit of mankind will never die, but did we really achieve anything? I’d rather fund projects that help in the advancement in science and stunts that test these advancements, rather than just show what we already have can do. This is just my opinion, but I’d rather have the light that shines brighter and consumes less energy than the one that is prettier.
Link to the article: http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/23/opinion/urry-skydive-physics/index.html?hpt=us_t5

This article concerns worldwide news.
How people earn the actual medal of honor.”
Yes, this article comes from a forum site focused on videogames, but it has a nice message in it. This generation’s youth has a very easy way of forgetting the past and all of its glory. Sure, kids can ask their parents about their childhoods and what they did in the 1970’s then regret starting the conversation, but the true killer of old glory is videogames and movies. Games like Call of Duty make war and violence seem really cool and fun. Kids will think that they’re smart just for memorizing a few gun names. Instead of discussing the facts and history of WWII, they’ll talk about their scores and how many Germans they “killed.” I actually found this article to be really neat, because it’s nice that people want to inform kids about what the past and present really is. It actually gets really annoying when kids brag about something they did on Call of Duty, but I rest easy knowing that when they grow up, they’ll realize that they spent 8 years of their lives accomplishing nothing. That seems mean, but if you heard these types of conversations, you would understand. I fear that my kids will have a hard time caring about the past, but if they’re anything like me, they’ll at least be a little interested.

Link to the article: http://kotaku.com/5954527/how-people-earn-the-actual-medal-of-honor

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