Conor’s Complaints: New year, same attitude

By Conor Bergin, Editor-in-Chief

My New Year’s Resolution: To be more grateful for things in my life and complain less. Psych! who am I kidding? I think I’ll take up flossing instead. Or maybe I’ll start tomorrow…

English: the depressing language

Attention, if you or a loved one is currently suffering from depression and have taken an English class at Cleveland at any point in your life, you may be entitled to a settlement to compensate for your medical bills. Yes, you may have the right to sue the school. Technically, I am not a lawyer, so I can’t do any of what I just promised you, but I hope I caught your attention, because I want to ask you all a question: Have you ever realized just how depressing and gloomy the books we have to read in English are? The school constantly advocates for protecting the mental health of teenage students, yet they feed us one life-sucking piece of literature after another. That holds the same effect as handing crack to a crack addict while you are trying to send him through rehab. High school is a delicate time for our fragile mental states. Just look at the list of books I’ve read over the years. Kitchen, by Banana Yoshimoto, a story centered around a young Japanese woman who tries to make sense of the world while everyone she loves keeps dying. All the while, she somberly cooks in a kitchen while she thinks philosophically about refrigerators. Then there was One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, a story detailing one grueling day in the Russian Gulags. Following that, I read The Stranger, where the main character just mopes around and seems to have no care about life itself, and then out of the blue kills a man for no reason. He’s probably one of those guys you hate because he answers every question with a shrug and a dumbfounded “I don’t know.” And who could forget the holiday classic I was assigned to read over last Winter Break, Night, the heartwarming story of a kid living in the deadliest concentration camp in the history of the Holocaust. Can you sense my sarcasm? I hope you can, that would be really bad for me if you couldn’t. I mean that book makes the holiday horror movie Krampus look like a walk in the park. What’s a Krampus anyway? Now, I am not saying we should not read heavy material. The world isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. We can’t shield ourselves from that. I am just saying can we switch it up every once and awhile? Shake off the signal from the catcher and throw a curveball or something. I am positive there must be some well-written book out there that includes a strong theme, but doesn’t seem like it was written by a Dementor. These books’ moods are infectious, so some nights I just choose not to read them in order to preserve my good vibes. I did not know Sparknotes was in the business of saving people’s lives. Ponder the magnitude of what I just said, English teachers of Cleveland, and make a New Year’s change. And don’t even get me started on Turnitin.

New year, old slang

Everybody, it is a new year. I think that means it is time to say goodbye to our favorite slang words from 2015. Yup. That’s right. The time has come for your favorite words like “lit,” “finesse,” and “savage.” If you are a teacher or a parent reading this and you don’t know what those words mean, let me give you a little SAT study session. To finesse–the act of cheating your way to a favorable, self-centered advantage. Example: OJ Simpson finessed his way out of his murder trial. Lit–adjective. When something, most likely a party, is very lively or animated. Example: This hangout is lit like Bic. Savage–noun or adjective. Someone who commits an act of ruthlessness or awesomeness. Example: Susie is a total savage for dumping Tommy on his birthday. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, back to my point. People need to chill on the slang words at this school. I’m getting tired of it all because people OVERUSE them all the time. Slang words should be sprinkled into daily conversation like you sprinkle a little bit of shredded cheese onto a taco. You don’t want to add too much cheese because then your taco is too cheesy. You get the metaphor? I get that at first we were all trying to be funny when we said them because we all knew they were stupid. But now, we have become attached to these slangers. We need to learn to let go, just like a couple does in an unhealthy relationship. But if you choose to not listen to my advice and continue to use the words, please people, just use them at the right time. “Bro this party Saturday night is going to lit.” This sentence passes as an acceptable usage of the word “lit.” “Dude English class was lit today.” No…no no. Just no. Just say no to all of that right there. Your English class is not “lit.” Here is a new year’s resolution to try: Don’t sound like an idiot. Try that one out, young savages of the world.

Public displays of awfulness

Last year I saw a student couple making out right in front of the Vice Principal and Principal. At first I was amused, no, not because I am a pervert, but because I thought to myself, “Wow that is a gutsy move.” But after my split second of “Are they actually doing that…right there??” my feelings quickly turned to the usual grossed out and annoyed phase. People, can we stop all the making out in the hallways? Do you mind? Really? Nobody wants to see that. So go get a room. And no, not a classroom where people are trying to complete chemistry labs (this scenario has happened to me as well). Side note: Just because locker wells are kind of closed off, they do not hold the same effect as an invisibility cloak. People can still see you back there, very clearly I might add. I mean, I’m not going to sound like a nun from St. Mary’s and yell at people, “Three feet distance! Three feet of space!” while putting masking tape between couples, but as far as “going for it,” let’s leave that for another place and time. You know, a time where people around you aren’t taking calculus notes. Nobody cares about how much game you think you have. So in other words, don’t go for it. There is another senior quote you should consider using: “Don’t go for it.”–Conor Bergin.