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- Down in the mouth -

Bracing for pain

I’m a metal mouth now. Well, not really – I only got braces on the top of my mouth.

I actually only got three brackets, but the rest are yet to come. In fact, I’ll have my bottom braces put on the day before Thanksgiving. What fun!

I was all worried about finally getting them on and wondering if I might have to get teeth pulled. But now that I think about it, the most painful part was not having the wire put in or even getting the bands put on.

The most dreadful part was watching the movie that would prepare me for getting braces.

  – By Wesley Saxena

When Hurricane Katrina smashed ashore last year, Louisiana teen Samantha Perez started writing about the storm that washed away much of her old life. Her journal, chronicled in the pages of The Tattoo, is all online at Hurricane Journal. Read it for an eye-opening and intensely personal look into the eye of the worst storm in recent history.

-- Senior journal --

Dodging recruitment

Seniors are put through a lot in their final year of high school. Most of the workload revolves around applying for college and scholarships, but starting the summer before senior year there’s another group vying for a teenager’s attention: the military.

The various branches of the United States military, particularly the Army, have stepped up their efforts to try to sign up as many high school kids as they can in recent years.

Recruitment rates are at an all-time low – and with soldiers dying every day in Iraq and Afghanistan, I can’t imagine why.

Anyone who can hold a gun is prime for service, and these days that’s just about anybody.

  – By Stefan Koski

Immigrants in school, through an educator's eyes

As an English as a Second Language teacher, it never mattered to  Dianne Iseman whether a student was an immigrant or not.

Iseman, a former ESL teacher at RJ Reynolds High School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, said it isn’t the teacher’s job to determine who is an immigrant, it is the teacher’s job to teach.

Views on immigration often are linked to what a person does for a living or their station in society.

While some may view immigrants as cheap labor – or as a threat to their own job – many teachers, like Iseman, are just happy to help immigrant students any way they can.

  – By Taylor Isenhour


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