Three jewels but no crown this year - Once again the Triple Crown has come to an end, after Palace Malice won the Belmont Stakes last Saturday. As in past years, there was no Triple Crown winner in 2013.... More →
A teacher of mine once joked that the more we try to stuff large quantities of complicated information into our brains, the more we forget the basic stuff. I can certainly attest to that. As of now, I am down one assignment book, a sweatshirt and most of my pencils. I continually say “good morning” to people I meet at five o’clock in the evening, yet all the while some teacher is valiantly attempting to shove derivatives into my thick skull. I have to wonder if forgetting is really the brain’s way of making room for new things.
But there are certain levels of forgetfulness that cannot be so readily brushed aside. If you have ever come upon a seemingly vacant table at lunch with a veritable landfill sitting on it, you know what I mean.
But the problem is not confined to the cafeteria. From an empty bag of chips lounging under a locker room bench to a half-finished, leaking bottle of milk sitting blatantly on the floor next to a hallway trash can, there comes a point where such actions cross the line from apathy to deliberate antagonism.
People forget that when they eat in the library, the keyboards get dirty and the carpet gets stained. But in some cases, the damage is clearly no accident.
Ever wondered why some of the screws on library chairs look all shiny and new? Students have removed the screws from furniture in the library, and the custodians have to fix the damage. In addition to missing keys and keyboard tabs, I have actually encountered gum stuck inside the CD drive of a computer here. Take a walk down to the music wing, and you’ll see the signs explaining that, because so many guitars have been beaten up, they will no longer be lent out. Peek into a practice room, and you’re bound to see some kind of refuse lying around.
It is a shame that this should be going on now, of all times. The school is hurting, and it’s hurting more than most people are comfortable admitting. Balancing the budget has become a matter of not so much allocation, but damage control. Vital programs and beloved opportunities that we have come to take for granted are coming under fire. It seems like this should be a time for valuing what we have, not trashing our land of opportunity.
Last month, this destructive attitude was taken to an extreme in a marathon of bomb threats at the University of Pittsburgh. Even if some thought it a little funny at first, after a month of consistent evacuations and a developing state of hysteria, no one was laughing. Some seniors were too scared to attend their graduation. They just picked up their diplomas and left.
Banged-up guitars and broken chairs are an entirely different order of magnitude than threats of violence, but we cannot ignore that it is wrong. The real problem in Pittsburgh was that, once the attacker’s feelings progressed into repeated antagonism, there was nothing anyone could do to stop him. Here, this is not the case.
So, next time you’re in the cafeteria, or some hallway, the library, or wherever your ’Stoga journey takes you, and you are confronted by some bit of garbage, take the time to throw it out. Heck, do a little scolding if you’re feeling up to it, or, in absence of the culprit, at least rattle off a nice rant. If we’re really thankful for what we have, let’s start showing it and care for our school.