Soccer is the most popular sport in the world. Whether it’s young kids in the backyard, or professionals playing on the world stage, it’s a game that takes speed, skill, strength, power, precision, grace, energy, emotion, and teamwork. It’s a cultural tradition you learn at an early age -- and carry around forever. There was a September soccer face-off at Gillette Stadium, Portugal vs. Brazil. Outside the entrance to the stadium, fans from each country gathered in bunches. They cooked native dishes, waved flags, played loud music, sang and danced, and taunted each other. “Go Portugal!” “Go Brazil!” On the field, the game changed minute to minute as momentum shifted from Brazil to Portugal and back to Brazil. Every time one team scored -- single-name star player Neymar ultimately led Brazil to a 3-1 victory -- it seemed like a war would break out in the stands. After all, soccer is more than just a game. Soccer is life.
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We were young and stupid We did what we saw others doing We were young’uns We didn’t know the true meaning of living So we kept on thuggin’ Life passed us by And we blended with the others who saw the Blind world, as well Signs were everywhere about not having to live this way But we were way too stubborn We didn’t even listen to each other We kept in our no-minds that everything was good Until the moment everyone’s been waiting for Their desperation of division towards us We finally came to our senses in our no-minds That we were going nowhere We had a memory ball in the air full of disappointment That we brought to the world.
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Back in DR, I have a cousin whose mother has a mental problem. The neighbors know her as the crazy lady who goes out in the streets half-naked and yelling. In school, the kids always used to make fun of my cousin. The bullying got him so exhausted that it caused him to drop out. My cousin never finished high school. Nobody is sure what motivates him to keep looking forward in life. However, even though he didn’t study about construction he has the capacity to build things. When we were little, he built a house. It wasn’t just any house. It was the perfect house, for all the rest of my cousins and me to play in. As time passed, his mind was getting to another level. He started making different things: a money box made of wood, his own bike. If there was a problem at the house with a window, a door, the stove -- he could fix it. He worked for a time in an auto shop. In life, people are born with special qualities. By going to school, do you get an education? Yes. Do you learn how to write and read? Yes. But does it make you intelligent? Can you use those strategies in another environment different from your own? Think about it.
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School
Teachers + students + social media = no-no
Monique Reyes, 15, says teachers shouldn’t have social media contact with students because she feels it’s inappropriate. “Teachers are educators and should play the role that they get paid to do,” says Reyes, who attends the John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science. Some teachers these days feel as though social media sites allow them to strengthen their professional connections to students. Of course, others have taken it too far. In New York City, according to a press ac count, three teachers were fired over a six-month period in 2010 for having improper dealings with students on social media. One teacher reportedly wrote, “This is sexy,” under a student’s photo on Facebook. Another allegedly sent a message to a student telling her that her boyfriend didn’t deserve such a beautiful girl as her. Jolie Medrano, 15, says it’s weird when teachers reach out to students via social media. “It shouldn’t happen unless it’s school based,” says Medrano, from the O’Bryant. “Teachers and students have their own social lives.” Ernest Mejia, 17, agrees that teachers shouldn’t interact with students on social networks. “Students should have their own sense of privacy away from their academic life,” says Mejia, who goes to the O’Bryant. “The purpose of social networks is so that you can choose who you want to communicate with.”
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The study of mathematics fills the hearts and minds of many students with fear. Some withdraw and avoid doing homework. Others get lost in frustration. There may be a reason for all this numerical nervousness. One reason that students panic when answering a math test is that they are often unable to recognize the questions being asked, according to teens. This causes psychological confusion, with students thinking they know less than they actually do. In some cases, teens say, a student may have been ridiculed in front of the class for not coming up with a right answer, leading to more lack of confidence. In this way, students continue underestimating their ability to learn even if they have more knowledge than most. For this reason, teachers need to explain things patiently and help students maintain a positive attitude. Also, support from friends and parents may motivate students to increase their interest in mathematical matters.
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