Blog

24 Hours to live simply

By: Aubrey Wise

Junior Editor-in-Cheif

To give up everything and live simply seems to be every 50 something retirees dream. However, is it really how everyone should live? According to Thoreau, it is.

Henry David Thoreau author of the famous Civil Disobedience, writes in his essay Walden detailing the time he gave up all distractions and technology in the 1850s to “live simply” at Walden Pond. He encourages others, in his essay, to do the same and give up all meaningless distractions.  

I, however, have a few issues with it. Thoreau speaks of giving up technology, and instead focusing on what you can learn from nature and the world around you, but not everyone can afford to “live simply.”

Life is busy and consuming, and a life without an iPhone seems impossible now, even when just a few years ago, I didn’t own one, and two decades ago, they didn’t even exist.

Moreover, an iPhone is just the tip of the iceberg for technology; there are laptops, TVs, video games, even my car has a digital screen in it. When Thoreau decided to live simply, the technology he gave up was the Post Office and the newspaper. Yet when I think of technology those things don’t make my list.

There are, in reality, so many things that are technology: cars, pencils, heat, electricity, and even light that comes from anything but the sun.

With that in mind, I decided to give up only the most significant technology of my time, just like Thoreau gave up the highest technology of his. For me, in 2019, that means my smartphone, laptop, and tv.

Let the 24 hours begin.

The day already started rough; it turns out, I can’t even wake up without my cell phone. My alarm clock was ditched long ago in favor of my multi-functional smartphone.

Instead, I had to rely on my mom, which was scary enough in itself to make me already begin to miss technology. It seems, giving up technology it “live simply,” is actually making life harder.

Then again, maybe “living simply” shouldn’t involve waking up at 6:30 am to take the SATs.

Up until 1:30, I spent the day locked in a classroom with the only technology around being my graphing calculator and pencil.

After that I spent the day at lunch and Target, doing my best to avoid all the digital screens that clutter every establishment from paying on a Kiosk at Chili’s to having to avoid the entire electronics section at the store.

The deprivation of technology, however, didn’t really hit until I went home. There I was sitting in my bedroom with absolutely nothing to do.  

I painted my nails, filled in an adult color book page, and read half a Percy Jackson novel, and twenty minutes later I was bored again.

My 24 hours without technology was almost over, and I still felt like I wasn’t any more of a Transcendentalist.

I hadn’t made a difference, and with it being 26 degrees out, I hadn’t even been outside for more than short moments sprinting to my car to avoid the outdoors.

That’s right; I actually avoided nature during my day as a Transcendentalist. What a joke I was.

Me, as an individual, without technology, had no power to influence society and make the world a better place.

Although the day may have been more “distraction free” since I gave up technology, it really wasn’t. I only replaced the time spent on my phone or watching tv with other distractions like painting my nails over and over again because I kept messing up.

I want to say I learned from the experience, to say how refreshing it was to put my technology down for 24-hours, but I honestly can’t.

I felt forced and pressured to be doing something all day with my time, that I realistically, just couldn’t accomplish. Instead, I filled my time with meaningless activities, besides taking the SATs, until it was time to go to sleep, just like I would any other Saturday.

Maybe my expectations were too high, perhaps the slight moments of relaxation and the release from the pressure of Social Media should have been enough to make the day “successful.”

Or maybe, I just know what it is like to give up technology, and actually, make a difference.

My day living simply like Thoreau wasn’t the first time I’ve given up technology in an effort to make the world, or just myself, better.

In eighth grade, for Lent, I gave up my cell phone entirely. It was hard, and a lot longer than 24 hours, but in that situation, it was for Lent and to strengthen my religion, which made it seem more worth it.

Another time I gave up all technology is on my Mission Trips. Twice have I been on a trip where technology was banned. Instead, the time is spent helping others all day and spending time together as a group bonding in the evening.

So maybe Thoreau wasn’t all wrong.

There are times when you need to eliminate distractions from your life and instead live simply, or better yet, purposely. Just maybe not on a Saturday in the middle of winter again.

Mary Poppins Returns: A fantastical new perspective on the “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” world loved by millions

By: Clare Mankin

Business Manager

Mary Poppins Returns directed by Robert Marshall, is a new take on the cult classic, that can resonate with all generations. The movie is based on the Banks children, both young and old, and how overwhelmed with impossible issues they are.

Like in the original, Mary Poppins returns to Cherry Tree Lane just in time to help solve the family’s impossible problems with her perfectly impossible solutions. The film was released in December of 2018 and has a running time of 2 hours and 10 minutes with the combined genres of music, adventure, animation, family, and fantasy.  

The movie opens with Jack the Leerie (Lin Manuel Miranda) going around London turning down all the lamp lights while singing about the “Lovely London Sky,” setting up the plot by ending the song on Cherry Tree Lane.

This then spurs the introduction of the Banks family, a grown adult version of Michael and Jane Banks (Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer) along with Michaels own children, Little Georgie, Jack, and Annabel Banks (Joel Dawson, Nathanael Saleh, and Pixie Davies).

The beginning focuses solely on the hardships the Banks family has encountered in the past year and the start of the story’s plotline for a pressing and immediate issue that they are about to undergo. While these problems arise, Michael and Jane are trying desperately to fix everything, Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) shows up to “take care of the Banks family,” and dastardly schemes are set in place that could wreck the family’s very foundation.  

The original Mary Poppins starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke is considered a timeless classic by millions. The film that has occupied the imaginations for the past three generations was a cinematic masterpiece that transcended the way the world viewed film and Walt Disney himself.

This Disney classic has been shaping the minds of children everywhere for the past 55 years. This then begs the question, will the re-bute of the fantastical world be just as transcending and loved?

The sequel has led many to theaters, either to relive their favorite childhood memory or to create new ones with their own children. It has made an astounding box office gross of $329,125,452 worldwide at a production budget of $130 million. These numbers show how many people were looking forward to it, however, they don’t show that the public love it.

According to the New York Times, Mary Poppins Returns is a “Mostly charmless venture, is a modest update of the 1964 film — one that has brushed off the story, making it louder, harsher, more aggressively smiley.”

Rolling Stones magazine said that the films leading lady, Emily Blunt “Adds needed spice to the movie’s heaping spoonfuls of sugar” with all her “Drollness and dazzle.”

The movie itself holds a certain charisma that rivals the first and holds onto the classical sense of Mary Poppins herself in a more updated version. It inspires hope and the thought that the impossible is possible during dark, hopeless times.

In the end, this dive back into the fantastical world of a timeless classic has brought back childhood memories long forgotten and has created new ones for those of a new generation.

Is Valentine’s Day overrated?

By: Cassidy Graham

Marketing Director

The month of February brings forth emotions, feelings, and activities that most people want to forget about…or do they?

Valentine’s Day can often be seen as “Hallmark’s Holiday” where consumers of all ages stress over what gifts to get, the perfect card, and the chocolates that will be received on the special day.

Valentine’s Day sparks all sorts of emotions for people, especially teenagers.

Here’s what student’s at Red Lion had to say about it.

“I personally think it’s over publicized by the media.” Rosa Wagner, a senior at Red Lion said, “I think just spending time with the people you love is the way to do it.”

According to CNN, in 2018, approximately $19.6 billion dollars was spent on Valentine’s Day based on a study by the National Retail Federation.

This shocking number is due to the fact that Valentine’s Day has become a holiday celebrated by not only couples, but singles as well.

“I feel like Valentine’s Day is a nice way to get people to appreciate love and friendship,” Brady Brenner, a senior at Red Lion said. “Some people celebrate it not just for love. It’s a holiday you can celebrate regardless of if you are in a relationship or not.”

According to sophomores Victoria Mattioli and Camree Patterson, they enjoy Valentine’s Day simply for the sweet treats.

“I’m just excited to eat chocolate covered strawberries.” Mattioli said, “I also like eating the candy.”

“I’m going to Baskin Robbins to celebrate Valentine’s Day,” shared Camree Patterson.

While she wouldn’t disclose who she would be celebrating at Baskin Robbins with, the grin on her face assured that Camree will be having an enjoyable Valentine’s Day.

It’s clear that students at Red Lion Area Senior High School will all be spending the holiday differently. Regardless, it’s sure to be a fun-filled day.

Shopping Smart for the Holidays

By: Marissa Burd

Editor-in-Cheif

It’s easy to stress around the holidays when there’s a budget to maintain. Expectations for gifts have gotten higher because predecessors of electronics are released new at a more expensive price than the previous year.

A couple Christmas gifts that have stayed popular on wishlists through the past few years are smart phones and game consoles.

Forbes magazine states that the iPhone 5, which came out in fall of 2012, was sold for approximately $199. The newest generation of iPhone, called the iPhone Xs, is currently being sold for $999, which is shown on the Apple website.

At the technology store Best Buy, popular game consoles, like the PlayStation 4, sell anywhere from $299 to $399.

Americans are ultimately spending anywhere from $300 to $1000 on the hottest gadgets.

A simple solution to cutting the price down of the holiday expenses is searching for sales online.

Many online websites hold Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

Purchasing refurbished items is a cheaper alternative as well.

Best Buy sells refurbished items, which are items that were pre-owned. These items may also be returned to the manufacturer for a reason as simple as the package containing it was mistakenly broken opened during the process of delivery.

The items are renewed and sold for a lower price, but work as if they are brand new.

Refurbished items can be anything from iPhones to kitchen appliances.

Large chain stores along with Best Buy such as Walmart and Target sell refurbished products.

Similar to technology nowadays, certain clothing trends are expensive.

Off-price department stores are an alternative for smart shopping.

Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, and Ross are all known as off-price department stores. Popular designer brands can be found here for a fraction of their original cost.

It may even be surprising what off-price department stores sell.

Shopping at off-price stores is a smart way to save up to half of the holiday expenses.

Gratefulness: The Homeless Have It, Why Don’t We?

By: Aubrey Wise

Junior Editor-in-Chief

If you were to ask someone you know how their day was, would they answer you honestly? And if they did, would it be full of complaints? We, as a society, have learned to obsess over the negatives and see the positives as ‘not enough.’

We are quick to judge and even quicker to lie to make ourselves seem more exciting and flawless human beings, but what if we were stripped of everything we have?  

What if all of our status, pride, and worldly possessions were taken away? What would we be left with? 

I went on a mission trip to Biloxi, Mississippi a land that is broken and full of homeless people after Hurricane Katrina. However, the homeless are some of the happiest, grateful, and vulnerable people I have ever met.

Michelle Folkenroth (left) and Holy Gieple (right) pray with a homeless man. The man had approached the sisters asking for someone to pray with and the pair happily prayed with him.

What if all of our status, pride, and worldly possessions were taken away? What would we be left with? 

I went on a mission trip to Biloxi, Mississippi a land that is broken and full of homeless people after Hurricane Katrina. However, the homeless are some of the happiest, grateful, and vulnerable people I have ever met.

As I served these people their dinners or sat down with them, every one of them smiled; every one of them said thank you.

I met a veteran one of the days. He had served in Iraq but when he came home after Hurricane Katrina, there was nothing but derbies to return to. 

He now lives on the streets with only what he can carry on his back. He had a guitar with him and played a little but winced as he played, when I asked him why he was wincing he showed me his arm.

The veteran, a man who served this country, had a broken arm with no health insurance to receive care for it.

His story was so tragic and sad yet as he talked to me about his life, he had a smile on his face and was thanking me.

Can you imagine? I had done nothing but shown up to the Homeless Day Center that day and asked him about himself, and he was grateful to me. He was grateful I cared.  

I asked him why he still played his guitar when it only hurt him, and his answer was so simple and good-hearted; he said the other homeless people liked to hear him play and sing along.

A heartwarming moment between Michelle Folkenroth, a mission trip volenteer, and Jeff, a homeless man. Michelle prays with Jeff for him.

Assigned Parking for Students: A Simple Solution to an Ongoing Issue

By: Cassidy Graham

Marketing Director

Being a senior at Red Lion High School comes with its perks–late arrival, early release, parking privileges. Actually, forget about the parking privileges.

With late arrival comes the struggles of finding a parking spot in the morning, and wondering if you will even have a spot to park.

This problem could easily be fixed with one simple solution–assigned parking.

Now, I know what other people may be thinking. We don’t need assigned parking; it creates more problems and is too much of a hassle.

In fact, that is just what administration said about this issue when it came up during RSVP. However, why would it cause any more hassle than the parking does now?  

Assigned parking for students is already taking place at most high schools. I am not suggesting that every student has an individual parking spot for themselves, but that the parking areas are sectioned off for students by grade level.

Second tier should consist of only seniors, and third tier of juniors. This gives juniors something to look up to and work for- better parking.

If the “substitute parking lot” were strictly for late arrival students, this would allow for those students a closer spot to the main office, and guaranteed parking.

Second period starts at 8:27a.m., although administration prefers students with late arrival to be at school before then, preferably earlier than 8:22 a.m., when first period ends.

The problem with this, however, is that even if a student comes to school on time, there is no guarantee of a secured parking spot. For the most part, second and third tier consists of cars of juniors and seniors who do not have late arrival.

This is great for them, having a brisk walk to the commons, but for students arriving after them, they are not so lucky.

Third tier, if there are even any parking spots available, is so far away from the main office, where you have to enter on late arrival, that you might as well get there at regular time.  

Last year, students with late arrival were even restricted from parking in the “substitute parking lot,”although administration seems to be less strict on that rule this year.

This problem could easily be fixed, with one simple solution. So I am encouraging everyone to stand up to administration and let them know how you feel.