Monthly Archives: March 2014

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Imagine sitting on a beach chair, staring at the waves kissing the shoreline and retreating back into the turquoise ocean. Picture the sun rays beat against your swimsuit clad body and the warmth spread across your pale, exposed skin. There are birds singing, music playing and an ice cold lemonade in hand. It’s paradise; it’s the week that most have been waiting for – for months now. It’s here. Are you ready?

As everyone waits for the upcoming sneak peek of summer, there are upsets and thrills that come with this one week of spring break.

The fantasy of spending spring break in one’s ideal form of paradise can come with unexpected meltdowns in the process.

Physical Education teacher Lyndsie Long explained how she never got the thrill of experiencing spring break while in school.

“I’ve always been involved in athletics when spring break rolls around playing [high school] softball [and] college basketball, so I haven’t been on too many spring breaks,” Long said.

Although freshman Tara Fogarty has experienced some notable spring breaks, she has also come into account with some misadventures as well.

Freshman Tara Fogarty experienced the mishaps of spring break plans going all wrong while being hopeful of trying to escape the dreary winter of Illinois by traveling someplace warm with her family.

“One year my family was supposed to go to Arizona, but we didn’t end up going because my dad had to work and couldn’t take off,” Fogarty explained.

Even though Fogarty’s plans didn’t go as intended for her week of spring break that year, she still made the best of it by hanging out with her friends all week.

Spring break can be what you make it-memorable or miserable.

Fogarty remembered an enjoyable moment of spring break that she considers a highlight out of her prior spring break experiences.

“I went to my friend’s lake house [in Michigan] and it was a lot of fun because we had…[planned] the trip for a while,” Fogarty said.

Fogarty explained that her favorite part was “going tubing with five of [her] friends.”

While Fogarty looks back with nostalgia at her previous spring break memories, junior Nick Kersting feels his experiences have been a series of unfortunate events. His way of preferably spending spring break is not by going somewhere that there are beaches nearby but instead prefers spending spring break in a nontraditional way.

“[My mom, dad and I] were going to Canada to ski for a few days like we do every year around spring break,” Kersting explained. “We got to the airport and figure out that our passports expired and we’d have to wait until Monday to get them renewed at the post office. The flight was also rescheduled to Monday night. [We got] everything done and [went] to the airport again [on Monday] to go to Canada.”

Kersting and his family finally arrived in Canada but his misfortune didn’t just end there. “The next day [my family and I] decided to go skiing. As we got into the car, the [didn’t] start. We then figured out that the car needed a new battery,” Kersting said. “We ended up taking the bus there that day.”

Kersting continues to explain the terrible luck he experienced that day stating “On the way home we were driving through a snowstorm to get to the airport and we found out we were late and missed our flight, we had to stay overnight in a hotel and fly out the next morning.”

“This was the most chaotic and expensive spring break trip we’ve [ever] taken,” Kersting stated.

Unlike Kersting’s experience, spring break doesn’t have to be over the top-it’s really what students make of it.

 

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Why did you come to DGS?

 

“I know Milo, our former Mustang, did a great job, but I think he was getting a little tired and run-down and needed to be put out to pasture, so to speak.”

Do you have a name?

“As of yet, I don’t have a name. But…I want a name. And there will be student input into what that name will be.”

What is your job?

“I try to get students and fans excited at the games and assemblies, and my role [isn’t different from Milo’s], I’m just…better looking and younger.”

What has been the general reaction to your arrival?

“Students have been very accepting and although I’m not as fluffy as the old Mustang, some of the younger kids who’ve been around still are coming up and high-fiving me, so I feel good about that.”

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Flick & float photo color

Students take part in the first ever Flick and Float, an event where participants were able to swim while watching the movie “Finding Nemo.” All of the proceeds were donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Photo by Alexis Carpello

For the past four years, DGS has been participating in raising money for St. Baldrick’s, an organization dedicated to fundraising to find a cure for children’s cancer. However, this year the student body decided to raise money for Make-A-Wish (MAW).
MAW is a charity that raises money to help grant wishes for children with life-threatening diseases. These wishes can range anywhere from going to DisneyLand, meeting famous people, to becoming Batman. On average, the MAW Foundation grants a wish for a child every 38 minutes, according to their website.
World Languages teacher Jennifer Martinez has personal connections to MAW. Her nephew, who has a brain tumor, was recently granted a wish. Their family was recommended to have a wish granted by their hospital. Martinez’s nephew and his immediate family got to go to San Diego, CA and visit the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld, Legoland and the beach.
Martinez believes that MAW is a great charity for DGS because it really focuses on helping the children feel overjoyed and important.
“[MAW] gives [kids with illnesses] some hope and inspiration. [It] lets them be recognized and lets them forget about their illness for a little while,” Martinez said.  “[Since] they spend so much time going to the doctor…them have[ing] just one moment where all the attention is on them, [is fulfilling enough and] I think it positively impacts them with their healing process.”
Sophomore Jacki Jiju, member of Presidents’ Council, helped decide what charity DGS should fundraise for next.
“I was there during the meeting in which we were talking about finding a new philanthropy…I helped to figure out the advantages and disadvantages of switching to MAW,” Jiju said.
Along with Martinez, Jiju believes that MAW will be a great new change for DGS.
“Personally, I like [MAW] because we’re helping more than one person, and we can see the people we help, [and] it can…be people from our community,” Jiju said.
Student Activities Director John Aldworth had noticed that students wanted a change, so he along with other clubs decided that it was time DGS raised money for a new charity.
“Students had asked if we could help a different charity, so Mustangs Aware researched several different charities, the Presidents’ Council voted for the top two, and [then] students and staff voted … [for] MAW,” Aldworth said.
Jiju explained the process for how Presidents’ Council came up with these other charities before it was opened to the school to vote between Feed My Starving Children and MAW.
“During one of the meetings, we split up into small groups, and each group was given a philanthropy to think about,” Jiju said. “We had to think about the advantages and disadvantages of the charity. After a few minutes of thinking, we shared out what we came up with, and everyone voted on their top two. After we picked our overall top two, it was in the hands of all the students to vote for which one the school would chose.”
Although DGS is switching charities, students can anticipate the assembly to be comparable to the St. Baldrick’s ones in the past.
“The assembly will look similar to the [St. Baldrick’s] assembly from the past, but we won’t be shaving heads. [Instead] we will grant some wishes for some local children,” Aldworth said.
Martinez is happy about the switch and is glad that there are many ways for students to get involved. Some activities include selling t-shirts, the Dodgeball Tournament, the Flick and Float and the Jump-A-Flip-A-Kick-A-Thon.
“I was happy to get [Caribbean Soul] involved. We did the Dancing-For-A-Wish, [and] I was [glad] to be involved and to be a part of it,” Martinez said.
Although MAW does not help find the cure for the illnesses these children may have, Martinez believes that “faith…hope and happiness can have a great effect on the healing process.”
“I think this is really great because…a lot of times we are focusing on finding the cure for the disease, but sometimes there’s going to be a kid, where unfortunately, there is no cure for that disease,” Martinez said.  “Sometimes…happiness is the best medicine, and I think the MAW Foundation brings a smile to…kids’ faces.”

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Sugar, spice and not always nice

by Marygrace Schumann, Opinions Editor

Sugar, spice and everything nice… sounds like a recipe my grandma would use to make a batch of cookies, not a mix of characteristics a human being should feel obligated to have.
Since I’ve been a child, I’ve been taught that making other people feel comfortable should be my number one priority. And while most people are taught that niceness is a necessity, this message seems to be even more imposed on young women. Annoyingly so. See, men are allowed to be nice and assertive, but we are taught to smile, be polite. To keep our mouths shut and our lipstick perfect.
But sometimes, lipstick smears. Sometimes, we have to bare out fangs. Sometimes, we have to put ourselves first.
The problem is that when I’m not living up to that sweet expectation and stand up for myself, I am suddenly selfish. That’s ridiculous though. Sometimes being mean has good reasons behind it.
While I am expected to be sugar sweet constantly, it is most frustrating when dealing with prejudice. There are many people who tell me that the best way to teach prejudice people is to be nice to them. But I’ve found that that simply doesn’t work. When people say casually misogynistic, racist or homophobic things, politely explaining to them why they’re wrong never seems to make a difference. Instead, I end up with them politely trying to defend their prejudice back to me.
However, when I put those voices in my head screaming, “be sweet” on mute, I find myself better able to defend myself. I find that I feel more confident and in control. I’ll hurt a few feelings, but it’ll be worth it.
While “nice guys finish last” may be a bit of an exaggeration, it’s true that when I spend all my time worrying about other people’s feelings and being “sugar, spice and everything nice” I feel like I’m losing. Being a kind, caring person doesn’t make you a loser in any sense, but making “be nice” your number one priority certainly can make you feel like one.
So smile and snarl. Laugh politely and bite back. Listen quietly and raise your voice. Just be yourself and don’t worry too much about being “nice.”

 

Nice guys need confidence

by Kevin Camp, Freelance Reporter

What is a “nice guy?” According to askmen.com a nice guy is, “an agreeable person, [who has] no control over his life. He allows [people] to come into his life, he agrees with them on everything, and hopes and prays that these [people] will like him for being so agreeable. It’s so important for [people] to like him, so he’s Mr. Agreeable…he does not have enough self-respect to stand up for his own values. He doesn’t think enough about himself and his identity, so he becomes accommodating.”
We all know at least one “nice guy.” He’s probably one of those kids who you never really notice and is more of a wallflower than a bubbly extrovert popping into every social situation he can get his hands on. That’s totally OK though, as long as he knows that he can only move up from there.
Like an unfinished cake, all the necessary ingredients are present, but it’s just not decorated and prepared for certain situations. The icing to the cake in Mr. Agreeable’s situation would be a sprinkle of assertiveness into his life, allowing him to stand up for what he believes in and not be such a pushover. Once this addition has been added something marvelous can take root and grow.
This growth then starts a transition in Mr. Agreeable’s life. This transformation is not from ditzy band kid to the class favorite. No, this transformation is much more dramatic. It’s the change from a nice guy to a great guy, or someone who was able to be the nice guy yet still be emphatic. These are the survival stories of people who decided to take the longer road, the road less traveled.
Despite the road’s Chicago deep potholes and gargantuan hurdles, Mr. Agreeable takes the road that isn’t always the most popular. It is this that truly separates the men from the boys; the ability to stick to who you truly are and not wear the cheap, temporary tattoo of being a “badass” despite other people’s judgment. This is not a story about an outlier. Instead, it’s a success story. A story of overcoming a leviathan – a story that should be read from generation to generation.

 

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By: Eleni Eisenhart, Kaanan Raja and MaryGrance Schumann

Hey, reader, look. I was going to have this article done for you. Seriously, I was. But this morning when I was getting out of the car, this… eagle swooped out from nowhere and snatched my draft right up. Now I know this sounds kind of unrealistic but stranger things have happened, man. At first I didn’t even notice because I was really concentrating on my game of Flappy Bird, but when I did notice, I tried to chase him down. Honest, I did. It was something to see, really. A battle for the ages—wait what? You don’t believe me? Oh come on, I spent a good fifteen minutes coming up with that excuse. I thought it was a really good one.

 

Students:

It is a truth universally acknowledged that high school students make excuses. From the classic “my dog ate my homework” to lies more elaborate and creative than the best con artists, teenagers have been finding ways to excuse their own procrastination. While these lies can be problematic and are rarely believed, they, at the very least, make others laugh.

Over the years senior Andres Damian has made plenty of excuses, some that were “eagle swooped down and stole it” unbelievable.

“The worst and craziest excuse I gave was that I sprained my wrist  after a fall from playing soccer,” Damian said. “This excuse was for not completing a chemistry lab on time back in my sophomore days. For some reason, I thought it was a reasonable and believable excuse at the time. However, the teacher did not see it as such. First off, I didn’t even have any sort of medical equipment worn. Also, the teacher saw me writing the same day. Immediately after I gave that excuse, she rolled her eyes at me and I just went back to my seat.”

While at the time excuses like this seem like a surefire way to get out of work, more often than not, they’re simply a source of entertainment for the rest of the class. An eye roll from a teacher and a few chuckles from the class won’t make up for turning work in late, but it sure is a great story.

Though Damian says he “[doesn’t]  feel guilty if [his]…excuses serve [him]…well,” in the end he doesn’t find much value in the art of excuse making.

“Excuses usually only make someone feel better [in]…the short run,” Damian said. “But in the long run, excuses are never really praised. I tend to regret most excuses, especially the ones that have no substance.”

According to sophomore Aaron Petramale, “most teachers don’t accept an excuse at all, [but]…when they do you can tell how much doubt they have.”

While some students may naively believe that a teacher’s ability to spot an excuse is some uncharted superpower, many teachers can pick out an excuse because they remember giving excuses themselves during their school days.

Physics teacher Brian Fudacz recalls a time in middle school when his friend’s procrastination resulted in something pretty nasty.

“When I was in eighth grade, my friends and I all copied each other’s vocabulary homework at lunch,” Fudacz said. “After we finished copying, we went to the bathroom before heading to class. My friend didn’t have a folder or anything with him so [he] held the paper in his mouth with pursed lips while he went to the bathroom at the urinal. Unfortunately, the paper slipped out of his mouth into the urinal while he was peeing. What could he do? He had to tell the teacher he didn’t have his homework because it was less embarrassing than admitting that he copied it and then urinated on it.”

However, not all excuses are a laughing matter. While Damian sees many students “come up with some wacky excuse and then smile out of embarrassment” others, like senior Shirali Shah, use excuses in a different way.

“My excuses usually consist of ways to get more time to get a task done,” Shah said. “[But] I have never not completed the task.”

Regardless if your excuses are creatively sought out tales or practical blueprints, it seems that our need to make them stems from a similar place.

“[Students] make excuses because they fear disappointment,” Petramale said. “No matter how little you care about a task or class, whoever you are, the worst feeling is when you disappoint someone.”

 

Teachers:

The step into adulthood does not end excuses but rather portrays excuses in a new light for adults. English teacher Zach Kuhn finds that “adults make as many excuses, if not more than teenagers do, and we have less reason to.”

When it comes to the classroom, many teachers have mixed feelings on whether their students are making credible excuses or not.

Social studies teacher Paula Kenny doesn’t always know when her students are making excuses or not, finding that “if students give [her]…more details than [she]…need[s], they’re trying to justify [their excuse].”

Kuhn agrees, stating that he “know[s] when they’re lying. Kids who are telling the truth don’t have elaborate excuses, they say things very clearly, one time…The ‘listen to this Mr. Kuhn, you’re not going to believe what happened,…’ [is] usually when it seems like they’re lying.”

Many teachers don’t spend too much time thinking about whether students are making excuses or not, due to the difficulty of the assignments given in class.

 

“I don’t really have to worry about [students making excuses]…too much. Physics is hard. If you don’t do the work and don’t put in the effort to understand the concepts, you are not going to do well,” Fudacz said.

Kenny finds that in her Advanced Placement (AP) Psychology class, assignments are a crucial component to succeeding, as she follows specific deadlines.

“In AP Psychology [the assignments have to]…be in when [they have to]…be in so just tell me you don’t have it; don’t give me a big long story,” Kenny said.

Confronting students seems to differ from teacher to teacher, while some would rather come right out and call bluff, others are less likely to jump the gun.

“[When I think a student is making up an excuse,] I say ‘I don’t think you’re telling the truth…’ That’s the best way to confront somebody,” Kuhn said.

Kenny chooses to not confront her students on potential excuses due to her lack of proof as to whether the excuse is true or not.

“I don’t [confront them] unless I have proof…When you actually have the proof that’s one thing…Students need to figure out a way to get their stuff done…and there’s a penalty so you can lie to me all you want but if you turn it in late, [there will be a penalty],” Kenny said.

Many times, it seems that students spend more time coming up with their elaborate excuses instead of taking that time spent on the excuse and using it to complete their assignment.

“I think sometimes kids are overextended and they learn somewhere along the way that if they can say I am so busy [and get away with using excuses],” Kuhn said. “I think at a certain point, they do it because they [have gotten]…away with it for so long that they feel like it’s a good replacement from actually doing what they’re supposed to do.”

 

Psychology

From detentions to simply being called out in class, students and teachers alike deal with excuses in the classroom. This begs the question: why do students have this notorious reputation for putting off work and then inventing tales for their wrongs?

Kenny believes she understands why students make excuses based on her knowledge in psychology and her experience as a teacher.

 

“I think that [students are] embarrassed that they’re not ready, for whatever reason,” Kenny said. “They know that they should be ready and they’re not and so…they rationalize; they find an acceptable explanation for unacceptable behavior.”

Rationalization is one of the many defense mechanisms the brain uses when dealing with excuses.

In a recent article by Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D in psychology and professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Whitbourne adds another defense mechanism to the list, called “projection,” or putting the blame on someone else. Finally the classic “dog ate my homework” excuse gets a name.

“People want to believe that they are ethical, honest and morally upstanding. They will go through all sorts of mental shenanigans to maintain this view, even when their behavior is in direct conflict with reality. Rather than admit that they lied, cheated or worse, they twist the facts around so that, in their minds, they didn’t…[such as] attributing the blame to someone else. [This is] known as ‘projection,’” Whitbourne said.

Humans have the ability to repress the consequences and instead make themselves feel better; the human mind looks out for its own self, fighting everyday to paint themselves in the best possible light.

Despite this, it seems homework will continue to pile up, commitments will continue to get busier and life will not cease for anyone. Therefore, it’s time that students take more accountability for their actions and finally learn how to say, “I just don’t have it done.”

“‘Oh I dropped the ball’” is OK to say. I think if more people would just say that [and] were honest about why they procrastinate, that would help them make fewer mistakes; they wouldn’t have to make so many excuses,” Kenney said.

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Melissa photo of legsThe idea of getting injured is a frightening thought alone; accepting your injury, constant doctor’s visits and having to ride the ominous and outdated elevators in school. But when an injury causes an athlete to lose their ability to play– now that’s a crippling thought.

Every 25 seconds a student athlete will visit an emergency room for a sports-related injury, according to Safe Kids Worldwide. That amounts to 1.35 million injured athletes every year.

Senior Varsity basketball power forward Melissa McLean became one of these athletes when she tore her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), and medial collateral ligament (MCL); these ligaments are all part of the knee. She also moved her meniscus and slightly fractured her leg.

“It happened in a basketball game when I jump-stopped with my foot turned out on a fast break,” McLean described. “I was really scared and [went into] shock because my leg wouldn’t support any weight. I collapsed and was really panicking, but then..it didn’t hurt anymore, so the trainers actually thought I was OK.”

McLean was taken out of the rest of the basketball season, and was told by her doctors that she would not be back to health until at least 6 months after her surgery.

Athletic trainer Jessica Blum stated that injuries to the ACL are the most common season-ending injury she’s ever dealt with, and most commonly happens in basketball and to females.

Injuries like a tear in the ACL can happen for a variety different of reasons. “It could be anything…Some people are more susceptible to tearing their ACL’s…than other [people],” Blum said.

Blum has dealt with this injury before, and has become familiar with the process of healing after an injury.

“When it first happens, you go to a [treatment] called pre-hab, where you…strengthen the muscle as much as you can before your surgery. [Otherwise] atrophy sets in and it gets smaller; [pre-hab helps] so you can come out of [the surgery]…stronger.”

McLean is in post-surgery recovery, and is in the rehabilitation process of her knee.

“I do therapy with the DGS trainers on Tuesday and Wednesdays,” McLean said. “They have been so helpful, and I go to them if I have any questions.”

Emotionally, season-ending injuries are some of the most difficult to cope with. While an athlete’s injury is difficult enough, the recovery process can cause even more stress to an athlete.

“[My injury] affects my current life because I go to physical therapy three times a week…It affected my season because…I couldn’t play anymore,” Mclean said.

Blum knows that the large impact of an injury can create some fear for athletes while getting back into their season. Even though recovery normally occurs right on schedule, “it just takes a little longer when [the athletes are not]…emotionally…ready. [The injured person is] scared that [he/she is]…going to do something to…tear it again,” Blum said.

Even though there’s the worry of becoming injured again, McLean doesn’t let that stop her from staying optimistic. She plans to play basketball when she attends Beloit College in Wisconsin next year. In the end, she believes that her injury has helped her as a player.

“[The injury] has…made me have a greater desire to play basketball, and has helped me realize how much I truly love the game,” McLean said.

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Marketing a product for the teenage population is a hard task to do. Teens can see something as a simple add for a TV show as lame or “uncool” and immediately vote it off as something they don’t like. It makes it incredibly hard for companies to market their product to teenage girls.

That’s why companies in today’s world act as piranhas and aim their advertisements at teenage girls, exploiting their insecurities and making them feel as if they aren’t good enough so the girls will feel as if they need their product to be a better person.

A company will take a certain aspect of a girl that a majority of the population doesn’t like, and make a product that “fixes the problem.” They will then make advertisements aimed at young women to help sell the products such as make-up and brightly colored clothing.

Because it’s an awkward time for teenagers, boy or girl, companies zero-in on the insecurities that many teenagers have. Girls then go and make the products that are aimed toward making them popular, making the companies wise and thinking that they can continue with the process of getting their products popular.

Teenage girls need to realize that they do possess power. They posses the power to make or break these companies. They shouldn’t let their campaigns make them believe they aren’t amazing in their own way. They shouldn’t be influenced in what they say, it’s something you decide for yourself.

I hope that girls realize this so they can take a stand against companies bullying people into their standard of beauty. They can boycott a company and tell their families and friends to not shop there. If only a couple people do, no one will notice that people are upset with their company, but if thousands stand together, they will notice.

Many companies today have ads that sometimes have absolutely nothing to do with their products. Such as Abercrombie & Fitch, whose add for clothes almost always involve half naked people. The ad is aimed at girls and boys who are self conscious about their bodies enough and think they have to look like a model to wear their clothes, which isn’t the case.

As I’m sure many before me have said, beauty isn’t defined by what the the general population says is beautiful. It’s something you have to define for yourself. You can’t let a company say that how you wear your hair is wrong or how you like to wear your eyeliner isn’t the way it’s suppose to be.

The ads many companies put out are incredibly photoshopped to give the illusion that whomever is in these ads is perfect. Many realize that the models in the photos aren’t all a size double zero, and that their pictures have been edited to give the effect of a flawless person.

Some companies have taken the high road when it comes to photoshopping their advertisements to make the model in the ad perfect. Aerie, a popular teen clothing store, has vowed to stop using photoshop on the model in their ads. I think that is a fantastic way to make girls feel better about their body types, and makes sure they don’t feel bad about things they can’t control, such as how big their calves and arms might be.

As a teenage girl, I think companies making an advertisement that can make a girl feel bad about themselves is a horrible thing to do. I don’t think that whoever is making the advertisements aims to make girls feel bad, they just want an ad to draw in customers and be appealing to the eyes. They don’t start with the intention to target vulnerable girls into thinking they aren’t pretty because they don’t look like an airbrushed model.

Companies need to stop bullying their customers into thinking they aren’t beautiful the way they are. It’s hurting their self esteem and making them feel as if they aren’t good enough for anyone, which is never the case. Girls should embrace their individualism and stop thinking they have to fit a stereotype a company made up in order to make money off vulnerable women.

 

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So you want to be a lawyer, but you want tattoos too? No, not allowed. What about a doctor? Probably not. But you’re just trying to express yourself, right?

 

Although tattoos are becoming more and more popular, the debate over how accepted they can be in professional workplaces is still up in the air.

 

A tattooed subculture has become a less shocking sight to see with numerous people engraving their bodies with ink and memories to hold with them until they no longer breathe.

 

I’m a 17 year old with the world at my fingertips, it pains me that because I plan on being covered in tattoos as the years pass, I have to make a wise choice on what path I choose to take when it comes to a career.

 

Although it would seem the choice is easy, I cannot draw myself away from the tattooed person I plan and hope to be.

 

When I was younger I would always talk about becoming a lawyer and making a ton of money and working my own hours, but as I grew up I started following a new trend: tattoos and body modifications. I found myself more and more wrapped up in their beauty and the stories behind them.

 

I could easily just get tattooed in places that can be covered up with professional attire, but that would leave so much empty space on my canvas of a body.

 

I guess what I’m trying to say is that careers need to lighten up on self-expression. If someone wants to have a tattoo that can’t be covered up, why not let him or her? Maybe not a law firm, but there are several job settings that do not allow tattoos or facial piercings that I feel should.

 

Even now as an employed teenager, I am getting discriminated against simply for my decision to get facial piercings. I got my lip pierced twice in 2011, and I simply got it done for no other reason than I wanted it. I started working at my current job last July, and written in the handbook was that piercings and tattoos were allowed. I never had any concern about my lip rings, and for months on end, neither did customers or other employees.

 

Just recently, however, a customer called in to give a formal complaint about my piercings; asking for the manager and giving him my name. Though a complaint about how I do my job would have been valid, this man simply wanted to complain about my piercings, further proving the unnecessary discrimination given to people with out-of-the-ordinary but purposeful appearance differences.

 

Another example on an even larger scale is of a law that was passed in 2009 requiring Dallas police officers to cover up every tattoo they have with clothing or even makeup. But why is this? In the eyes of the public, having a lot of tattoos makes a person look suspicious and more like a criminal.

 

This seems so ignorant to me though. Coming from someone who has no criminal history and still wants loads of body art, I feel strongly about tattoos not being allowed in most workplaces.

 

And though I do feel this way, society has made it obvious that tattoos and body mods are not yet accepted in several places so the best I can do, or anyone for that matter is weigh out what is more important… any career path offered to me, or a body full of visual stories.

 

Self-expression is a powerful tool, and I strongly believe anyone should be allowed to express themselves any way they choose, even if it means getting a big tattoo all down their arm. There is no reason a teen like me should have to feel so conflicted when choosing a life for themself. The choice is mine, and no matter which I choose, I’ll never stop expressing myself.