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Issues and Controversies

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As I've said before, school has been painfully uneventful. Considering this is my senior year, you would think that it would be at least a little more exciting. But unfortunately, it isn't, so I've haven't had much to blog about as of late.

However, here's something you might be interested in. I'm currently taking a writing class that will prepare me for writing essays and such in college. I really like the class so far; the topics we discuss are fascinating, and the teacher is hilarious. She openly admits that she isn't afraid to embarrass herself, and she tells a lot of jokes and gets off subject often.

Right now, I'm working on my first essay that I have to write for the class. It's an argumentative essay. Last week, everyone had to choose one topic from a list. For anyone who is curious about this list, here it is:

While there were quite a few topics that I would've liked to write my essay on, the last one (fine arts classes) spoke to me the most. Since I am a very active and dedicated member of my school's choir, obviously I support having fine arts classes in schools. They give kids something fun to do so they're not doing only math, science, english, and other academic-related things all day. Students need to express themselves, so the arts give them a chance to do that in a healthy manner. Also, studies have shown that students who participate in a fine art tend to have higher grades and standardized test scores than those who don't. This can probably seen most easily in musicians and actors, since one has to be able to count beats and intervals in order to read sheet music, and acting requires good memorization skills to learn lines.

But since I will have to do this in my essay, I will take this opportunity to present the opposing side, just to be fair. Some people think that fine arts classes are a waste of money and time. In this economy, we need more financial advisors and economists to help relieve countries of their financial burdens. Also, people think that school should strictly be about academics; if kids want to participate in fine arts, they should do it on their own time, like people do with athletics. Very few colleges produce music, art, and theater majors, and some schools don't even offer fine arts classes at all. Throughout history, fine arts programs have flourished when the economy was strong, and likewise they have suffered when there was an economic slump. And while there is a trend of students performing better in school if they participate in a fine art, some argue that it is because families who support the arts tend to support high academic standings as well.

All in all, I think fine arts classes are a very good thing to have. They can be somewhat expensive at times (there are costs for buying sheet music and gowns/robes, paying accompanists, and registering for competitions), but they can generate revenue through concerts and charity events. And it is true that it is hard to have a successful career as a musician, songwriter, artist, or actor, but anyone who is lucky enough to get a big break can be blessed with fame and fortune beyond their wildest dreams. I do agree that academics are important, but school should be about more than just that; it never hurts to learn anything new or discover something that you like. Students should be given a chance to embrace the arts, even if they do not take it or stick with it in the end. Sometimes it is important to think less about the practicality of something and more about pursuing and supporting something for its own sake.

I am a music geek to the end, and I am proud of it. If you have an opinion about this topic or any of the other topics from the list I provided, feel free to tell me! Just keep these things in mind:

1. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, so NO hateful responses to anyone's messages. Also, NO rude or uncalled-for comments to try to make people support or reject the subject in question! If I see any, I WILL report it to a Mod!

2. If anyone chooses to discuss any of the other topics, keep in mind that not everyone is familiar with it (for example, I know very little about No Child Left Behind and Head Start, and I know people who have never head of year-round schools or homeschooling and how they work). So just for everyone else's reference, please put a brief, unbiased description and/or example of it in a spoiler tag so those who don't know can read it and those who do know don't have to read it.

Just follow these two simple rules and everything will be okay! I am eager to hear what you all have to say!


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  1. Jack Pschitt's Avatar
    Yes! Somebody else who likes looking at both sides of an issue!

    As for me, one that caught my attention was book banning. For those of you who need a little brush-up:

    I'm against book banishment. People should be able to read whatever they want. They can have their own opinions on it. Just because they read it doesn't mean they like it or agree with it. If the government feels they need to ban a book because it might give the people certain ideas (for example, the apartheid government of South Africa even once banned the harmless tale Black Beauty simply because of its title), then something tells me that government's authority in the first place needs to be questioned.
  2. Meloetta23's Avatar
    Yes, I do look at both sides of an issue. Like I said, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, so everyone deserves a fair chance.

    And I do agree with your stance on book banning. Some books have been banned for really strange reasons. I know many of the books we read in my school (for summer reading or otherwise) have been banned at some point.

    I've also heard that The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is coming under fire for its use of the N-word. Now I don't condone the use of that particular word in mixed company, but obviously Tom Sawyer was written before the civil rights movement, and the N-word was just something they said back then and no one really thought twice about it. Besides, it's part of the American culture; we can't eliminate every trace of how America--or any other country for that matter--was or we'll end up with an entire generation of people who have no idea what slavery is. People who want to ban and/or censor books because of things like that do mean well, I'll give them that, but there is always a possibility of going too far. What should be done is that teachers can explain to children that using words like that was acceptable in that day and age, but it isn't now.
    Updated 18th September 2011 at 06:06 PM by Meloetta23


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