Category Archives: Columns

Columnist reflects on lack of life skills in classroom

By Sophie Howie

Editor’s Note: This column goes along with a life skills spread on Page 14 and Page 15 of the print edition of The Bagpiper on April 21. 

Many students complain that the skills they’re learning in school can’t be applied to everyday situations. Some parts of subjects, or entire subjects themselves, are often dismissed as irrelevant. FC students have roughly eight hours to learn, grow and socialize on an average school day. This brings up the question, “How many of those eight hours are being wasted on material that will be virtually no help later in life?” It’s said that school is meant to prepare students for the rest of their lives, but in reality, it’s only preparing them for similar classes in higher education that they may not take. After college, it seems, they’re on their own with the skills they have and that’s that. Continue reading Columnist reflects on lack of life skills in classroom

Societal issues addressed in new South Park season

By Karli Coleman

South Park has been entertaining, baffling, and offending its audience for 19 seasons now. With over 250 episodes and a variety of protagonists everyone loves to hate, along with a feature film and a variety of collectors’ merchandise and video games, South Park continues to be one of the most beloved animated comedies in the world, winning over viewers with its clever satire and offensive humor.

I have been a dedicated South Park fan for as long as I can remember. The show has never failed to put a smile on my face while I was going through rough times in my childhood. South Park and its characters were always there when I was happy, sad, or anything in between. It has evoked tears as a result of such intense laughter, and the animated series will always be a favorite of mine.

The 19th season of South Park aired on Sept. 16. Similar to last season, this season features an episode-to-episode consistency, with social justice and political-correctness as a recurring theme. This season introduced the PC “Politically Correct” Principal, a jacked-up frat boy who considers himself a social justice warrior. The PC Principal is a new major character that emphasizes social justice and the importance of being politically aware and correct in the modern world.

So far this season, South Park has touched on a variety of social justice topics, such as transgender awareness, immigration, ableist slurs, and the importance of voting for a good president, along with gay rights and the harm done by negative propaganda of marginalized minorities.

Continue reading Societal issues addressed in new South Park season

Benefits of participating in sports outweigh risks

By Amber Bartley

A sweaty third grader catches a ball for the final touchdown. The crowd goes absolutely wild. This will be the event that inspired the future football player.

Allowing kids to play football, or any sport for that matter, is one of the best decisions a parent can make. Sports are essential for kids to take part in. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one third of kids are overweight or obese. The health problems that children develop can spill into their adult lives, which can result in diabetes.

According to Stanley Herring, a clinical professor in the University of Washington’s sports medicine department, a lack of exercise is a main component in childhood obesity. Parents should be pushing their kids to go outside and exercise as frequently as possible.

Playing a sport helps a child not only physically, but mentally as well. A study published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience in August found that children who participate in more aerobic exercise had more compact white matter in their brains, which is linked to better cognitive function.

Kids who participate in sports have a better chance of understanding teamwork and what it means to be on a team. This can be extremely beneficial to a child who would like to work in a group setting, such as a publication.

Data suggests that involvement in team sports is associated with higher high school graduation rates, according to Kim Gorgens, a clinical associate professor in the Graduate School of Professional Psychology at the University of Denver.

Although sports are often associated with injuries, such as concussions, sports can be absolutely beneficial for children to get involved in. Concussions cause memory problems, vomiting, and confusion. There are some solutions to the problem. Kids can play flag football, which is a less aggressive form of lower contact football.

Although sports are often associated with injuries, such as concussions, sports can be absolutely beneficial for children to get involved in.


Struggle with OCD causes reflection

By Blake Dykes

There’s something so relaxing knowing that I’ll be doing the same exact thing at the same exact time everyday. Repetition, bland, monotonous? No. Order, planned.

There aren’t many people that could walk the same path that I do. After all, who wants to know what they will be doing a week from now at 3 p.m.? I do. But that’s me, I’m a planner, I’m a perfectionist… but the question is, am I insane?

The world I live in is different than most. I often envy the girl walking her dog down the street, happily skipping, hair bouncing, her fingers so delicately caressing the pink leash, not a care in the world. Her jaw drops and head is thrown back in a fit of laughter as she almost trips over her loosely tied converse. I wish I were those untied strings, loosened, freely doing what I wish, going with the flow. But I can’t do that. I am a prisoner of my own mind.

There’s something so unsettling about a t-shirt hanging out of a drawer, about a paper torn unevenly out of a notebook, about my pencils not lining up perfectly on my desk.

I’m crazy in it’s simplest form. Others laugh methodically, thinking that I control my own actions. No, sadly, they are so misinformed. Little do they know that if one piece of paper is hanging off my nightstand I’ll stare at it for an hour, before finally caving to the impulses inside my head. I’ll somehow get up and carefully align it in the correct way. If only they knew the hours I spent scrubbing down the entire kitchen, four times in a row, because four is my number. Four is my agonizingly painful number.

“Why do you brush your teeth four times in a row? Why do you get in bed, pull the covers over you, then get out of bed, only to repeat it four times? Why do you open and close the fridge four times?” Because four. That’s why.

People say every act that we take is free will. But I don’t feel free. Who wants to flip a light switch on and off 444 times before they go to bed?

See, I fight the urges to carry through with a certain ritual, but I can’t. I have an undying need to fulfill certain tasks, or else that’s all that will run through my tormented brain the entire day. I try to sleep, escape from these tasks gnawing at me, eating me alive, but I can’t escape them. I won’t sleep. I’ll think. I’ll fight the urge. Then, I’ll cave.

You see I’m plagued with a continuation of scenarios that won’t quit running through my mind. It’s like I’m running a race that doesn’t have an end. I stay up late at night, puzzling through these scenarios, only to piece them together again.

I don’t have the luxury of doing what I want. No. I’m not the type to just “skip the gym and go eat.” No, I’m the type to spend four hours at the gym only to come home and eat the same exact dinner that I have had for the past eight months in a row. “Don’t you get sick of chicken and potatoes?” There is something so comforting about eating the same exact meals everyday.

I’ve heard that relaxing is nice, watching TV is entertaining, taking a bubble bath is soothing. I wouldn’t know. It’s not because I’m packed with work and school, no, because I’d rather have work and school than thoughts alone with myself. I wouldn’t know because I am suffocating under my own made up list of things I must complete before going to bed.

You know I’ve gotten better. I used to write out my exact day, the day before. Wake up at 6:55, gym at 2:48, shower at 6:05, dinner at 6:30… No but I’ve gotten better.

There’s something so reassuring in being so organized… until you realize you aren’t gifted with organizational skills but instead are cursed with an anxiety disorder known as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Building a summer body during the winter

My Half Hour Workout


*I do a small amount of reps. This is because I make exercises as slow, controlled, and strong as possible, keeping my body as tight as I can and focusing on technique and strength instead of amount of reps. This method is recommended by many fitness experts. Some prefer the alternative, but I believe slow, controlled movements make the workout harder as well as produce better results. If you do fast workouts, multiple the reps by 3.



My Ab Workout

3 sets


10 reps*


Raised leg crunches (bent legs)

10 reps


Vertical Leg crunches (straight legs)

10 reps


Russian Twists (raised legs)

20 reps


Bicycle Crunch

10 reps


V-Up Crunch

10 reps


Plank Hip Twist

40 reps



My Leg Workout


Glute Kickbacks (Straight Legs)

10 reps ea side


Leg Pulses (15:26)

10 reps 10 reps ea side


Fire Hydrant

10 reps ea side


Donkey Kicks (Bent Legs)

10 reps ea side



30 reps (15 reg, 15 sumo)


Lying Hip Raises

40 reps


Plie Squat With Calf Raises

30 reps


Walking Lunge w/ Bicep Curls

10 reps ea side



My Arm Workout


Modified Push Up (for arms)

10 reps


Tricep Dips (Straight Legs)

10 reps


Tricep Kickbacks

10 ea side


Dumbbell Bicep Curl

15 ea side



12 reps


Elevated Feet Push Ups

10 reps


Dumbbell Shoulder Press

10 reps