Sketching Vs. Sketchers     Artists have it tough out there. Some artists are restricted to a brand or a medium and some fluctuate between the two. But just because one artist can create like a Picasso using only Crayolas doesn’t mean that just any artist knows how to use cheap instruments to his or her advantage. For example, my Copic markers range from $6 to $8 each and you need a set of at least six to produce mini-masterpieces that display a smooth blending of colors. When I give out this information, heads snap towards me and eyes go wide. “Why the heck are you paying $8 dollars for a marker!?” Then I have to explain the same thing every time: These are professional markers, they are brand name. And even after that, the doubters still look confused and even repulsed. But the people that look disgusted by the fact I invest so much in my art supplies are the same ones who buy $300 to $600 sneakers they only wear once. Like students who save up for a good laptop, I put my money into something I will use. If you were an artist, you would understand that you use these tools frequently. Meanwhile, the people who like to judge spend hundreds on a pair of shoes that are going to collect dust inside a closet. I find it offensive and awfully hypocritical for them to say: “Why would you waste your money on some markers?” My fellow artists, don’t be discouraged. I encourage you to respond to anyone who says this with the same answer: “Why would you spend so much money on [insert expensive luxury item]?”
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Decisions are part of our everyday existence. They are not something we can get rid of for without them we wouldn’t have a voice nor the liberty of choosing our life’s path. We would just be puppets without a will. Fifteen-year-old Bismary Tabera, from Dorchester, says that to make the best decision for yourself, you have to consider some factors that can differ from others depending on your persona. She says her method comes down to: “Analyzing the situation and what the impact in your life will be.” For a small thing such as homework, she says, that means deciding to do it when she first gets home from school, knowing that she won’t get it done if she procrastinates. Sixteen-year-old Sasha Lugo, from Dorchester -- also known as Sunshine -- is the kind of person on the border of extinction. Instead of just giving quick answers to questions, she’ll actually help you understand what’s going on. Lugo says that when she has to make a difficult decision, she’ll ask for advice from people around her but also consider her own feelings. “Make choices that are best for you,” she says. Rayven Frierson, 15, who goes to school in Roxbury, says that making decisions are just part of living – they’re like oxygen – and that they are often based on our hearts’ amendments. “Life isn’t perfect,” she says. “You don’t always have to make the right decision or the decision people want you to make. It’s your choice.” Teens say that young people should not try to make the most obvious decisions but the ones that suit their personalities for they are going to live the outcomes. After all, they say, the decisions we make are part of who we become.
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Seventeen-year-old Brandon Tejada feels that common sense is not very common at all. The more we strive for the next best thing, he says, the more our basic thinking decreases. “People in society today are getting dumber and dumber because people get too lost in technology,” says Tejada, from the John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science. Jason Thai, a junior at the O’Bryant, believes that our sound judgment is being eaten away by our superspecialized culture. “Nothing is common in this world,” says Thai. But, teens say, it’s not too late to find a core direction. After all, says 16-year-old Margaret Anne Fortune, from the O’Bryant: “It’s something you learn.”
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A University of Chicago study published in November found that children brought up in atheist and non-religious families were more generous than kids from religious households. Before reading an article on the study, I -- like many others -- was under the impression that the opposite was true, considering how many religious parents have told me that “God is love.” Of course, we don’t hear a lot about the non-believers out there, so those thoughts are one-sided. However, the study said: “Since 5.8 billion humans, representing 84% of the worldwide population, identify as religious, religion is arguably one prevalent facet of culture that influences the development and expression of prosociality. While it is generally accepted that religion contours people’s moral judgments and prosocial behavior, the relation between religiosity and morality is a contentious one.” Indeed, I believe that every child’s kindness and motivation to share stems from how they are raised by their parents and not necessarily from the religion they’re introduced to.
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Winter, Winter is cold. And I ain’t talking about the weather. She’s a girl, a fierce young adult....who’s all about herself. Winter, the cold one. She’s stuck on Midnight. And I ain’t talking about nighttime. I’m talking about a tall, dark, and handsome one. And he doesn’t pay Winter any mind. Winter, freezing cold. Had everything she ever desired. Winter was spoiled and rotten. Ricky Santiaga got her anything she ever needed. But she kept wanting more and more. Then, day after day... Night after night… She ended up with nothing. Hopeless...and in trouble.
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