Conor’s Complaints: I’m getting too old for this


Clarion photo Anna Rollins

Hanging up on Hallmark

By Conor Bergin, Editor-in-Chief

Hello student body, faculty, Cleveland parents, and my own family, it is with a heavy and sentimental heart that I welcome you to the third and final year of Conor’s Complaints, my running column where I rant about the inconveniences and cruelties of life through the eyes of an urban, middle-class white kid from Portland, Oregon. Now as I think about it, we should have really just titled this column “First World Problems” all these years, but it’s a little too late for that now. Without further ado, let the complaints begin.


#WinterFormal #FirstWorldProblems

Speaking of first world problems, Cleveland students felt they were wronged with a grave injustice when they figured out a Winter Formal dance would not be put on the schedule for a third year in a row. Some students felt the news was so oppressive that they decided to exercise their First Amendment right and organize a walkout to protest during second period on Sept. 19. Seriously, everybody? Let’s take a step back and gain some perspective. Right now in America there are major protests all over the country speaking out against the racial profiling and unnecessary violence towards African-American men at the hands of police. Innocent people are being denied equality and losing their lives simply because of the color of their skin. Yet, with all these serious and legitimate demonstrations happening around the country for serious and legitimate reasons, we as Cleveland students want to pretend to be activists over a dance? That is just embarrassing. You guys sound like some whiny teenage girl from Bel Air who is crying that she got a BMW for her birthday instead of a Porsche. I understand the want for a Winter Formal. I understand the need to show administration that we are serious about that want. However, I just think there are other, slightly less dramatic ways to catch the administration’s attention than staging a walkout. Honestly, what did you think was going to happen? All 30 of you who participated–15 of whom just joined to get out of math class–would leave the building, walk around the school a few times, and Principal O’Neill would say, “All right, nice job everybody, you did it! This walkout did nothing whatsoever to present a solution to the problems that have plagued school dances in the past, but what the heck! Winter Formal’s back on!” That is not how things work people. If you want to get Winter Formal back, you have to show that as a student body, we will conduct ourselves responsibly. That means not showing up to the dance wasted. That means dancing (for the most part) in a respectable way. And that especially means not touching people without consent on the dance floor. I’m not trying to sound like a square, but until we fix those three issues, we will continue to not have Winter Formal. It really is that simple. And don’t give me the “the whole should not be punished for the actions of a few” argument. I’ve been to the mosh pit that is Homecoming. Seventy-five percent of dance goers are in that thing. Besides, dances are school-sponsored events; they can’t have ANY of that going on under their supervision. You want to truly make a statement to the administration about why we should have Winter Formal back, change the culture of Homecoming this year. Have people actually ask dates to the dance, show up dressed semi-nicely, and yell at people who are taking their grinding to an unhealthy level. But nobody wants to do that, do they?


Christmas Happens in December, Not July, Hallmark


If anybody tuned into the TV channel Hallmark during the month of July this summer–which I’m sure none of you did because who even watches Hallmark?–you might  have been confused when you saw Christmas movies playing. Did the channel’s programmer create the setlist for the day while tripping on hallucinogens and at the time not know what was up and what was down? Is Hallmark a channel based in a country geographically-located close to Australia, whose winter takes place in our summer? Both of these reasons would have made more sense than the real reason why Hallmark was playing holiday movies in July. It turns out it wasn’t a mistake. They were playing the movies on purpose for their traditional “Christmas in July” marathon. I’m sorry, but is anybody as outraged by that concept as I am? Christmas is a holiday that captures a lot of magic and spirit from the time of year and chilly weather it falls under. All of these factors combine to convey a certain feeling during the Christmas season that is unique and heartwarming. However, when you try to cross Christmas with an outdoorsy, hot season like summer, you mix up the wrong emotions resulting in that special feeling of Christmas losing its sparkle. Every season comes with its own atmosphere of feelings and moods. Summer and winter are as polar opposite as it can get when it comes to these feelings and moods. This is why Christmas movies and music should never be played during July. It holds the same effect as listening to “Friday I’m in Love” on a Monday. The scene of chestnuts roasting on an open fire does not sound too cozy when you’re sweating like Mr. Heat Miser and every fan in your house is blasting. And telling your date, “But, baby it’s hot outside” probably won’t stop her from departing in the slightest. So Hallmark, wait a couple more months before you start your obnoxious Christmas caroling. We live in a society, not Whoville.

P.S. Your regular programming is terrible, too. I would rather watch C-SPAN.


Extreme Makeover Water Fountain Edition


To be clear, this is not a complaint about the high lead levels found in our school’s water fixtures, rather, this complaint is focused on the job our school has done taping off the hazardous water fountains. One would think that we could find a better, more efficient way to caution people away from the water fountains than just haphazardly sticking an endless supply of blue tape around them. It looks like we just gave a toddler a tape roll and said “have at it, buddy.” And whoever that toddler was just went to town. I know we can’t drink from the water fountains, but do they have to be such an ugly eyesore as well? Talk about adding insult to injury. We need to take pride in the way our school presents itself and improving those broken water fountains would be a good step to take. Also, can we make all of the new water coolers around the school colder. The one outside the athletic office is chilled at a heavenly temperature, but all of the others are room temperature. Given the choice, what person takes room temperature over cold? I have yet to find those room temperature people of the world. They must exist somewhere, but where?