Summer and Dream Vacations by Audrey McQuillan

St. Augustine writes, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” Have you ever dreamed of a perfect summer vacation? Many people have different ideas of a “Dream Vacation.” Some people’s dream vacation is at the beach, while other might be hiking in the mountains. There are many places around the world people have not discovered. Traveling gives one the opportunity to discover, explore, learn and adapt to new cultures. Traveling can also bring people out of their comfort zone, whether it is trying new foods or a new activity.  

The United States has many cool places to visit for vacation, but there are also many different places to visit outside of the United States. Seton High School Sophomore Caroline Rosen explains about her experience in Italy, “Rome has many amazing places to visit. The cathedrals in Rome are beautiful.  If you ever go to Rome, you need to visit the cathedrals and try Italian gelato”.  Italy is just one of many countries one can visit in Europe. Venice, Florence, Siena, Milan, and Pisa are some of the most popular cities tourists visit every year.  

While Italy is known for its beauty, there are also other exciting places to visit in the United States. Florida, also known as the “Sunshine State” is known for its breathtaking beaches. Seton High School Freshmen Carly Ogilvie discusses her favorite things to do in Florida, “My favorite place I have visited is the Florida Keys. In Florida, we swim, kayak, and scuba dive. I love to eat out in Florida where I can order fresh seafood. We go to Florida to have a break from everything to relax and to have some family.” Many people go on vacation to relax; however, others prefer to explore and discover new activities on vacation. There are many different parts of Florida someone could visit. Each place in Florida is its own unique and interesting city. While Orlando Florida is known for Disney World and all its attractions, Naples, Florida is known for its beautiful beaches, hot weather, and massive shopping malls. Depending on what one is looking for in a vacation, will determine where one should spend their vacation.  

Florida is just one of many places someone can explore in the United States. Seton High School Sophomore Molly Kock describes her family’s annual trip to Disney World, “Ever since I was young my whole family has gone on a trip to Disney World. My mom especially loves Disney World and is always looking for cheap flights so we can go and visit for a few days.” Places like Disney World, Universal Studios, and Sea World can really aid in creating family memories. Disney World is a place for kids and adults of all ages to go and enjoy quality family time. Disney works hard to ensure memorable moments with families and friends.  

Florida, Italy, and Disney are just few of many places where someone can experience a “Dream Vacation”. Whether traveling out of the country or staying in, there are many different places families can experience family quality time.  

History of March Madness by Abby Paff

The National College Athletic Association men’s basketball tournament began in March of 1939, and March madness was born. Throughout the month of March, there is college basketball going on all the time, so many teams work hard all year just to get into the NCAA tournament. March madness is an important time for basketball fans because they can cheer on their favorite teams and root for the underdogs. The Ohio State University was the first team to ever win a National Championship. They defeated Oregon 46-33 in 1939, creating history in college basketball. While March Madness has underdogs in the tournament every year, experts always predict similar teams to win.

During the first twelve years of the NCAA tournament only eight teams were invited to play. However, now 64 teams play each year with 16 teams per bracket division. The regions of the bracket are East, South, Midwest, and West. The four winning teams of each division advance to the final four and continue to play for the National Championship. The most successful team in men’s basketball history is UCLA. They won eleven championships, and ten of the championships have been under legendary coach, John Wooden between 1964 to 1975. The second most successful team in men’s basketball history is University of Kentucky, winning seven championships.

During March, brackets are created and many people in America place bets on various teams. According to sports journalist, Michael Beller, “By 2005, college basketball has become the most popular sporting event for gamblers, after the Super Bowl.” Numerous people try to create the perfect bracket during the tournament in order to win money. They place bets and gamble on the many different teams. This year many gamblers have predicted Duke, Gonzaga, Villanova, and Virginia to be the final four teams in the tournament; however, anything is possible during these games. Gary Parrish, college basketball insider says, “Duke was my preseason No. 1 because the Blue Devils have the nation’s most talented roster and the greatest of all time of college basketball coaching on the sideline. And though the Blue Devils certainly had their questionable moments this season, the truth is that they’re now third in offensive efficiency, seventh in defensive efficiency and very much capable of winning six games in this NCAA Tournament.” Parrish believes Duke is a great team that will most likely win the tournament because they are hardworking and dedicated to the game.

March madness is not only a time for fans, but it is an extremely important time for players and coaches. Teams give all their effort to play basketball and never want to lose. Ever since 1939, college basketball has continued to grow and gain a fan base. March madness is an exciting time of year for many people and the history will continue growing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

Beller, Michael. “Bracket Watch: Latest Projection of Field of 68.” SI.com, 26 Feb. 2018,

https://www.si.com/college-basketball/2018/02/26/ncaa-tournament-bracket-bubble-teams-michigan-state-north-carolina-ucla-usc.

“March Madness is Born.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 2018,

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/march-madness-is-born.

Parrish, Gary. “NCAA Tournament Expert Brackets: March Madness Title Picks.”

CBSSports.com, 19 Mar. 2018 https://www.cbssports.com/college-basketball/news/ncaa-tournament-expert-brackets-march-madness-title-picks/

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#neveragain by Moira Metz

Here we are again—another mass shooting, another Seton Connection article on gun violence. As you probably know, on February 14th, 2018—Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day—Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida fell victim to a senseless act of gun violence, with three teachers and fourteen students killed. With the sudden deaths of several innocent people, Americans grieve and offers thoughts and prayers, but many repeat the question they’ve asked for years: what can be done to end this violence? In the Seton Connection’s last article, gun violence was discussed in terms of the frequency and intensity of mass gun violence; specifically, why gun violence has become the “new normal,” why Americans have become almost numb to the terrors of the issue. But now, in light of the student survivors of Marjory Stoneman Douglas (MSD) High School’s bravery in standing up and shouting out for change, the focus shifts to the youth activists of America: How are students protesting the mass shooting epidemic?

First, look at the facts. It is difficult to account for exactly how many school shootings there have been in America’s history, but one source says that the first known school shooting was way back in 1764, even before the United States became an official country. According to a list compiled by Natalie Hazen, journalist for Ranker.com, “The Enoch Brown Massacre is thought to be the earliest known shooting to occur on school property in what would one day become the United States.” On July 26, 1764, schoolmaster Enoch Brown and about nine of his students fell victim to gun violence. As any form of violence, mass shootings in schools have happened at various times throughout U.S. history, but what motivates many Americans advocating for gun reform is that just since 2013, there have been 291 school shootings, averaging at about one school shooting per week. And what’s worse, just in 2018, there have been 18 reported school shootings, which of course includes the MSD High School shooting in Florida (Cudal). In these school shootings, 438 people have been shot and 138 of those have been killed, says reporter Jugal Patel of The New York Times. These numbers are shocking compared to school gun violence in other countries, as the Amanda Erickson, reporter for The Washington Post and The Chicago Tribune” claims, because “between 2000 and 2010, recorded 57 incidents in 36 countries, and “Half of those incidents — 28 — occurred in the United States.”

These numbers are part of the reason why students are standing up. To have such a frequent number of mass shootings and a frightening number of students and teachers being killed is certainly what gets the student activists started. But there’s so much more to the gun reform movement—referred to by names such as #NeverAgain, which has been trending on Twitter ever since the Parkland school shooting, and March for Our Lives—and it shows why students must be the ones to change the gun debate.

The recent mass shooting fresh in the mind of many Americans, new questions were asked about how students can be kept safe: Should teachers be trained and armed with guns to defend their students? How can security in schools be changed—should schools hire more security guards? Should they invest in high-tech security systems? Will the small budgets schools already have been able to support such changes? Is it just mental health that the nation should focus on to prevent mass shootings? These questions have not yet been fully addressed by legislators, so the youth of America decided to raise their voices to get the nation to keep talking—many determined that it was up to them to advocate for change.

And it was the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that started the change. Devastated at the loss of their close friends and teachers, these students decided that rather than have such tragedy be forgotten by the rest of the country when the next shooting happened, they would use their tragedy as a reason to make change, so that it would never happen again. Soon after the day of the shooting, MSD students took to social media, which they knew young people would be able to connect with and figured would be the first step in getting the movement going, and soon #NeverAgain, the official name of their campaign, was trending on Twitter. The title “Never Again” refers to the movement’s mission to never again let it be possible for a student to be killed while simply trying to get an education, and to try to put a stop to never-ceasing gun violence in general.

#NeverAgain not only sparked up the ongoing gun debate up again, it practically changed it—with the new voices of students added to the mix, the country began to consider just how important it is for change to be made. Seeing the Parkland students speak up in honor of the people they had lost, students across the country were to speak their own opinions on the issue. The Parkland students and parents even spoke at a nationally-televised town hall program (“Stand Up: The Students of Stoneman Douglas Demand Action”) on February 22nd during which they had conversations with National Rifle Association representatives, law enforcement representatives, and Florida’s own government officials in order to discuss what could be done to put an end to gun violence in schools. On March 14th, one month after the terrible incident at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, the #NeverAgain movement encouraged students across the country to peacefully protest the resistance against gun reform by walking out of school at 10:00 a.m. for 17 minutes, also honoring the 17 victims of the Parkland shooting. Though many students were reprimanded because of the protest, it didn’t stop tens of thousands of students from using their right to free speech to advocate for change.

And the movement continues. The next national day of protest for this issue was on Saturday, March 24th. Now called “March for Our Lives,” students, parents, and teachers across the country rallied for gun reform in Washington, D.C. and at over 800 sister marches worldwide, including in Cincinnati. According to Jessica Durando of USA Today, an estimated 800,000 people showed up for the March, and that’s just in Washington, D.C.

Whatever side of the gun debate you are on, you must agree that something must be done. Students are standing up, not just because they’re frustrated that the adults who lead the country haven’t been able to change anything yet, but because they also believe—as all should—that there should be absolutely no possibility that they could get shot when they’re simply trying to get an education—and when they’re just trying to enjoy being kids. As this article comes to an end, The Seton Connection leaves you to think about the following excerpt of the mission statement on the “March for Our Lives” website:

“Not one more. We cannot allow one more child to be shot at school. We cannot allow one more teacher to make a choice to jump in front of a firing assault rifle to save the lives of students. We cannot allow one more family to wait for a call or text that never comes. Our schools are unsafe. Our children and teachers are dying. We must make it our top priority to save these lives.

School safety is not a political issue. There cannot be two sides to doing everything in our power to ensure the lives and futures of children who are at risk of dying when they should be learning, playing, and growing.  The mission and focus of March For Our Lives is to demand that a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address these gun issues.  No special interest group, no political agenda is more critical than timely passage of legislation to effectively address the gun violence issues that are rampant in our country.

 

Every kid in this country now goes to school wondering if this day might be their last. We live in fear.

 

It doesn’t have to be this way. Change is coming. And it starts now, inspired by and led by the kids who are our hope for the future. Their young voices will be heard.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Work Cited

Cuddy, Alice. “America’s History of School Shootings.” Euronews, Euronews, 15 Feb. 2018, http://www.euronews.com/2018/02/15/america-s-history-of-school-shootings.

Durando, Jessica. “March for Our Lives Could Be the Biggest Single-Day Protest in D.C.’s History.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 24 Mar. 2018, http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2018/03/24/march-our-lives-could-become-biggest-single-day-protest-d-c-nations-history/455675002/.

Erickson, Amanda. “This Is How Common School Shootings Are in America.” Chicagotribune.com, 15 Feb. 2018, http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-america-school-shootings-20180215-story.html.

Hazen, Natalie. “16 School Shootings That Took Place Before Columbine.” Ranker, Wikipedia, 15AD, 2018, http://www.ranker.com/list/scary-school-shootings/natalie-hazen.

“March 24, 2018.” March For Our Lives, marchforourlives.com/.

Merelli, Annalisa. “Dear America, Here’s How Other Countries Stop Mass Shootings.” Quartz, Quartz, 22 Feb. 2018, qz.com/1212809/compare-us-mass-shootings-and-gun-control-to-germany-china-russia-switzerland-and-australia/.

Patel, Jugal K. “After Sandy Hook, More Than 400 People Have Been Shot in Over 200 School Shootings.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 15 Feb. 2018, http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/02/15/us/school-shootings-sandy-hook-parkland.html.