Cassandra VanHoose: Childhood Obesity A Growing Problem In America

According to in the United States 1 in 3 children between the ages of 2 to 19 years old are either overweight or obese.  Florida is the 39th most obese state for children in the U.S.  I think by now we can agree that obesity is no joke.  Obesity can cause severe health problems and really takes a toll on the person suffering and also the family too.  For a child to be obese is a terrible thing to see, most children mimic what they’re parents are doing so this excessive eating that this child is exhibiting can likely be blamed on the parent.  If a parent doesn’t have self control over what they’re feeding themselves then the child obviously won’t either.  I think in recent years we’ve done a pretty good job at implementing diet and exercise into a child’s school day but this doesn’t cover the child’s home life.  This is where the parent needs to step in and understand that this is their kids life and that it won’t be a very long one if they continue to allow this to happen.  In my opinion this is a mild form of child neglect because your neglecting to give your child a healthy lifestyle. Hopefully in the future more parents will be educated on the importance of health and fitness in a child’s life in order to prevent childhood obesity.

Cassandra (FSW) Is social media making us less social?

With the spread of mobile technology in the 21st century and the rise of social media being accessible to us at the touch of a screen it’s become much more easier for people to remain in constant contact with their social networks.  As relieving as it is to post a quick tweet about how your boss is such an ass or Instagram that very appealing California roll that your about stuff in your face as you pick out a filter for your next photo what were not realizing is that our social media sites that we hold so near and dear to our thumbs are actually making us more anti-social than they are sociable.  We’ve become a world that instead of talking to our loved ones at the dinner table were tweeting or posting on our Facebook’s.  Being in high school, I’ve noticed this is especially more prevalent with teenagers.  I mean I look around my classrooms and no one is engaged in conversation but they are completely invested in whatever is going on inside their Iphone.  My fear is that as time goes on we will become so anti-social our only form of communication will be through some modernized technological device.  It’s a scary thought!  I think in order to prevent this we need to teach upcoming generations and the kids of this current generation that that tweet saying “Happy Birthday” to your bestfriend or that instagram photo of you and your spouse captioned “I love you” doesn’t hold any value compared to how verbal words can make someone actually feel.  Let us keep conversation alive and our phones in our pockets for a change.

Kitten: Young Marriage

What comes to mind when you think about young marriage? You’re probably thinking about the song when you were a kid, “Bob and Sally sitting in a tree – K-I-S-S-I-N-G!” Or maybe you think of young marriage as a wonderful thing or something that will fall apart. I would like to show both stats of pros and cons of young marriage (all stats are from
-“Young married couples report higher satisfaction with their sex life than their single counterparts. For example, 52 percent of married men said they were “highly satisfied with their life,” compared to only 35 percent of unmarried men. In women who report being “highly satisfied with their life,” 47 percent are married, 33 percent are single, and 29 percent are cohabiting.” (According to the study of Knot Yet.)
-“A research from the Urban Institute’s Robert Lerman found that marriage increases men’s earnings by about 20 percent.”
-“…Postponing marriage causes women’s earnings to go up.”
-“…Teenage marriages are two to three times more likely to end in divorce than marriages between people 25 years of age and older.”
-“The earlier a woman gets married, the less money she is likely to earn.”

Whether you are for or against it, it is clearly the couple’s/individual’s choice on who they choose and marry, how they want to live their life, and whether it will work out or not.

Celeste: It’s About the Law

Recently Kim Davis was released from jail. You may have heard that she refused to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples in her state of Kentucky. CNN Politics reported this online topic September 8, 2015. Included was a statement from both Kim Davis and her attorney, Mat Staver, “Davis, who said issuing the licenses would violate her conscience and go against her religion, plans to return to work in Rowan County, Kentucky this week and won’t resign from her post.” Should Kim Davis resign from her post?
Kim Davis holds the post of County Clerk for Rowan County. Her duties are self-described at and previewed here:

“As county clerk I am responsible for providing many services to the people of Rowan [County.] These duties include general categories of clerical duties of the fiscal court: issuing and registering, recording and keeping various legal records, registering and purging voter rolls, and conducting election duties and tax duties.
Our office is here to serve the public in a friendly, professional and efficient manner. We are constantly striving to upgrade our services in order to better serve you. This website is our most recent attempt to better serve the people of Rowan [County].” (Capitalization of the word “County” was corrected by this writer.)

It seems to me that Kim Davis attempted to use her power of authority to delay/deny an outcome for which she disagreed. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that there is a right to same-sex marriage guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. She relayed that her religious and moral convictions stood against the lesbian and gay plea to be recognized as a legal union between adults, with the same rights afforded to heterosexual married couples. Therefore, she refused to issue licenses to which her name was assigned and was jailed for her refusal to follow the law. Do religious doctrinal beliefs supersede the law? Most Christians should know the passage from Mark 12:17, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” (English Standard Version). In this relevant post, the Government is Caesar and we Americans are the followers who must abide to the laws of the administration, our government. In Mark 12:17, Christian biblical text instructs believers to follow the prevailing laws of the land. God is a separate and decidedly spiritual entity to whom we pay homage. Although we have the right to pursue them, religious matters are separated from federal law. I submit that this is for good reason. Still, many daily seek freedom from religious persecution. Religious consciousness is claimed for a variety of reasons, from school immunizations to objections for nativity scenes and menorahs. Laws are enacted to protect all groups, and as such a single person should not be enabled sole authority to withhold a benefit to the masses based upon her religious ethic.

So, what will happen when Kim Davis returns to work on Monday September 14, 2015? During the five days she languished in jail, her deputies issued marriage licenses authorized by the County Clerk of Rowan County. It seems to me that if Kim Davis cannot uphold her duties under the law, then she should find other employment. A position where her religious sympathies are uncompromising. An arrangement where taxpayers will not have to pay another extra penny for ignorance. That decision will be hers.

Celeste: “It Isn’t All About Trump”

In a letter to Jeff Zucker, owner of CNN Worldwide, presidential candidate Donald Trump asked that all profits from the GOP Debate scheduled for September 16, 2015, be donated to various veteran’s groups. The letter, reprinted at, included his opinion that increased viewing was “due 100 percent to Donald J. Trump” garnering the viewer base. He noted that the increase in advertising costs ad rose 4000% from $5,000 to $200,000 for a 30 second ad. Donald Trump requested that Jeff Zucker “view the second debate as a public service and not accept the massive profits that this airing will generate.” He may be on to something.

Could Mr. Trump be accurate in his claim that he brought viewers to the first and purported second debates? It is worth considering. Known familiarly in some circles as well as in print as “The Donald,” the businessman certainly draws a crowd as seen in Alabama where 30,000 turned out to hear him speak to his campaign. He brought people together in New York City donating $1 million in matching funds for the Veterans Park memorial. Trump Foundation assists both local and global charity efforts. According to a September 2012 CNN article, Trump Organization employs 22,000 people and his various small businesses employ under 500.

As a self-made billionaire, he is not looking to buy votes or put more money into his own pocket. Wearing a baseball cap with the slogan, “Make America Great Again,” Trump spoke about the need to “build up” American workers and against large American corporations like Nabisco choosing to move their business out of the country to save labor costs and taxes. Trump’s brash and abrasive approach when addressing social issues has people talking, and coming out to see him. He seems to voice the mainstream consciousness; he does not care to be “politically correct.” Mr. Trump may have billions in his pocket, but he also has people, numbered in the millions, on his mind.

Americans are a social group from all economic backgrounds and ethnicity who share the common ideal to be better and do better for our children. With the growing disparity between the upper and lower class, the rich are getting richer and the middle class and poor are struggling harder than and in evolving directions than yesteryear. This is not the fault of the rich, but the fault of poorly enacted government taxation and fiscal management. It just may take someone like Mr. Trump, a businessman, to first suggest corporate donation to a specific social issue, like CNN donating profits to Veteran’s programs. Statistics provided by eMarketer in June 2014 represented spending on all media levels in the amount of $280 billion dollars and projected 2015 figures at almost $290 billion. Contrast these figures with the budget proposed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: $168.8 billion for Veteran Affairs, $70.2 billion in mandatory funding and $5.2 billion discretionary request.

If Mr. Zucker should choose to follow Donald Trump’s suggestion, his donated profits would be a drop in the proverbial bucket of funding for veterans. Today, Trump has a suggestion to assist our Veterans. It may seem to be an “off the cuff” challenge; however, tomorrow could lead to better funding of social programs and a balanced budget. It just might take a self-aggrandizing business man to lead our nation whether we like his campaigns or not. Mr. Trump seems to understand the attitudes and needs of “Middle America,” the working, defending backbone of our country.

Omayra L. (FSW) How Divorce can Affect Children

In Society today, divorce seems to be on the rise. It looks or may seem like divorce is such an easy way out these days instead of married couples trying to get some marriage counseling or therapy, anything that can help to save the marriage.  From what it seems like its just easier or better to just walk away. Of course, their is always a reason for divorce. Some examples may be money, committing adultry, just falling out of love for one another, lack of communication and verbal or physical abuse. Which ever the reason for divorce is, we need to see how greatly this impacts children.  You should always let your children know up front and right away of what’s going on between both parent’s. Don’t judge or hide the situation. Always reassure the children that no matter what both parent’s still love them and the divorce is definetely not their fault. Seek counseling immediately or better yet,  the divorcing couple can go together with the children to discuss the divorce with a professional counselor that will be ready to assist with any emotional reactions or questions the children may have. Children seem to always suffer the consequenses of a divorce.  Children do notice everything  from the beginning when there is already a problem at home between both parent’s. The constant arguing and fighting or any negativity in the household can affect the children. I do understand, that in some cases you have no choice but to get a divorce when it comes to verbal or especially any physical abuse. This is one of the huge impact’s on children also. Fact is children may grow up to also be in disfunctional abusive homes themselves as adults if they dont seek profesional help right away due to witnessing the abuse at home growing up. Another example, if adultry was the cause of breaking up the home and reason of the divorce the children may end up feeling hate towards that one parent that committed the adultry. May have lot’s of trust issues and have no respect towards that parent. Especially with teenage kids statistics show that children may become angry, rebellious, very aggressive and very depressed that can lead to suicide. As they grow into adulthood they may have lot’s of trust issues and trying to stay in a relationship may be difficult at times due to what they witnessed growing up with their own parents. It is also said that children that are raised in a single parent home are more likely to get involved with drugs, become teenage parent’s, and have a higher rate of dropping out of school all this due to not having that second parent figure. Is it better to be raised in a household with both parents? Yes of course, but only if it is a loving, positive, safe and stable home. Not saying that all children that are raised with both parent’s are better, nobody is perfect we all go through situations. Marriage is or can be challenging, but if divorce is your only option please seek help for your children immediately. Think about your child’s future how in the long run all this can and will affect your child growing into adulthood.

Here are some links with good information on this situation.


Kitten: The Fading Curriculum: Cursive Handwriting

In my early days of elementary school back in the late 1990’s to early 2000, I remember when my teacher would bring out paper to the class and would have us practice writing cursive. Sure, it was a pain in the butt, but over time I highly enjoyed writing in cursive so I could write letters to my family and friends and sign off important documents. Also, I could be able to express myself when I sign my signature. Now…in the year 2015, cursive handwriting isn’t being used as much as a curriculum.

A while back, I would say about five to six years ago, I heard about it when I was in high school. Time and time again, it would be brought up and it bothered me to hear and visualize our future generation not learning cursive. But, of course, I put it in the back of my mind and brushed it off. Just about a couple of weeks ago, there was a Facebook post that caught my attention. It read, “Kids who can’t read cursive handwriting, can’t read historic documents. Support cursive in the curriculum.”

Last week, I took the time and read about the issue. The article and the statistics shocked me. No, shocked is not even the word. I was HORRIFIED. Horrified that the talk about cursive not being taught in school was true and it’s now being considered “a gift” to those who have leaned it. According to the article from, updated by the Associated Press on September 19, 2009, stated:

“Data from the National Center for Education Statistics show that 26 percent of 12th graders lack basic proficiency in writing, while two percent were sufficiently skilled writers to be classified as “advanced.” ”

We live in the Digital Era where we are able to type our messages through email, text, and even our handy dandy Microsoft Word. If the education system could see the negative aspects of not teaching the future generation how to write in cursive, our historical documents like the Declaration of Independence just might have to get typed up too. Just let all that sink in.

Feel free to read the article about the fading curriculum:

Savanna Martensen (FSW) Millennial Ignorance


One night at around 12 pm, when my Facebook feed beganto die down, I got bored. No more cat videos, and no more entertaining subliminal statuses about someone’s personal relationship, there was just an accumulation of the stuff I had already seen throughout the day. With red eyes I was about to put down my phone and reluctantly go to bed, when I saw the pretty red number 1 next to my newsfeed button.
“Oh yeah” I thought. “Just one more before I go to bed.”
The status was from a local news channel that I had decided to follow in the past, it read “Why don’t Millennials Vote?” and it held a link to the article on their page. Now if you’re asking why they posted this so late, I have no clue.
The important thing was that this article got my brain fired up, it showed statistics from 1999 to 2014 that voters have dropped to its lowest in 72 years to 36%. More importantly millennial voters have dropped even more to 21%. Since these statistics involved me I felt compelled to figure out why, which was probably a bad thing considering I had class at 8 am.
I began to ask myself: “why didn’t I vote last term?”
My answer made me feel pathetic, “I don’t keep up with politics, so I wouldn’t know who the ideal candidate was regardless.” This realization hit me hard, I actually enjoy, and understand the importance of Civics, so why the hell would I think that answer was OK? My brain was not going to let me sleep unless I had answers, class at 8 am be damned.
After some extensive google searches, and a sore face (from my phone falling on it because I held it in the air above me. Don’t judge, you do it too.) During this I found some interesting, but pretty common sense reasons for this issue.
The first, is the blatant lack of an in depth curriculum within our school systems. Being a millennial myself, not once, throughout my public school education, did any teacher go over how local government functions, and the importance of it. Civics isn’t even touchedupon in most curriculums, or if at all becomes a vocab word the students forget about after some quiz.
This generation needs to be reached out through our teachers, and educational leaders.
The fix for this is simple and probably the best way to address this issue for the future, it needs to be implemented into schools from k-12 grade. The youth needs to form a solid understanding of our government locally, to grow a much needed drive to understanding it on a much broader scale.
Which leads me to my second reason, how to target governmental issues specifically toward the millennials. If it weren’t for my Facebook newsfeed I honestly wouldn’t have found so much interest on this topic. I probably would have gone about my life happily ignorant; this is the case for many of my peers as well.
We gain a lot of our news and notifications about the world around us through our social media outlets. Granted it’s becoming somewhat more prevalent that news corporations, and local governments are implementing these outlets into their updates, but local governmental issues are typically forgotten. Why? Because these topics are still, typically geared toward the newspapers, or an outdated website that was created at the dawn of the internet.
Only when specific topics blow up, or become viral, do we see Millennials take the time to understanding them in much more depth. The best way to constructively address these issues would be to force topics to become viral, advertise to specific age groups through google AdSense, and use the outlets we use on a daily basis.
Now I don’t want the points I have made to be misunderstood. Although, I notice these points to be major players in the lack of voting, I am not justifying it. If there is anything I have learned while researching this topic, is that government is something we participate in. Millennials, for the most part, do not take responsibility in their government. I do, however, attribute this particular trait to our lack of education. Yes we can educate ourselves, but any individual, millennial or not, needs to be driven by something; that something needs to be each other, through understanding, and evolving the way we distribute important information.