Laurels and darts


Everyone hates sitting in class with their laptop waiting to receive some trace of a wireless signal. Whether you are trying to get to a link your professor is talking about, or you are just bored out of your mind and trying to play an addicting game, it is always irritating to find out that RU Wireless does not work in some buildings around the University campuses. Never fear, the Office of Information Technology is here to continue implementing wireless access in more classrooms. OIT began arranging for more wireless Internet in residential common areas and expanded access in classroom buildings throughout the summer. Some of the buildings that now have wireless are Scott Hall on the College Avenue campus, Tillet Hall on Livingston campus and Hickman Hall on Douglass campus. Although students will still have issues getting wireless service in the upper levels of Scott Hall, it is still better than nothing. OIT gets laurels for their efforts to help make getting RU Wireless more convenient for students. When you are able to connect to Sakai or Facebook during class, you now know whom to thank.

*****

American Girl dolls have captured the hearts of young girls for years. The dolls come with stories that pertain to a specific historical period in the country, and girls can buy the books, clothes and other accessories that make the doll the character they read about. There's an African-American doll, a Mexican-American, a Jewish doll, a hippie doll, one who dealt with the Revolutionary War — you name it, there's a doll for any event in history. These dolls, and the books that accompany them, tell young girls stories of strong characters overcoming obstacles. Positive messages are usually sent through these books. There is concern over the newest doll being added to the American Girl collection —Gwen Thompson, the homeless doll. Gwen's story is about her father abandoning her family and her mother losing her job. The story also involves Gwen and her mother sleeping in their car. Can you only imagine the accessories that come with little Gwen? The company claims that the doll is to teach young girls about bullying, but these dolls are supposed to be fun and have uplifting stories for young girls to read. This doll would only teach girls that men abandon families and women are helpless. Sure, American Girl is all about diversity, but this may be crossing the line. American Girl gets darts for their new addition to the collection, and darts to any parents who will spend the $95 on a homeless doll. 

*****

Parents of students in Martin Middle School in Martin, Tenn., had themselves a fright yesterday, as 475 absentee phone calls were made. An automated phone call goes out to students' homes at 9 a.m. each morning when they are reported absent. There was obviously a glitch in the system, and way too many calls were made to families who thought they had sent their children on their merry way to school. The school had to deal with more than 20 anxious parents showing up to the school and dozens of phone calls because of the automated message. The school had to quickly send out another phone call saying that an error had been made. Darts are given to the school, and their so-called new "user-friendly" phone system and its mistake. Parents must have been flipping out because they had no idea where their child could be if not in school. The school should invest in a better working automatic phone calling system or just make the calls themselves. It is understandable that there will be glitches, but one this big only causes problems. They are lucky parents were not causing them problems because of the mix-up. Hopefully, Martin Middle School does something to make sure this does not happen again, because it gave parents unnecessary fright and anxiety attacks. 

*****

Unnecessary scares are occurring not only in schools in Tennessee, but right here in New Brunswick. McKinley Community School on Van Dyke Avenue had to evacuate its students Wednesday because they thought toxic fumes were filling the school. Kindergarten through eighth-grade students were evacuated out of the building around noon, when two teachers noticed strong fumes coming from gymnasium in the upper level of the school. In fear that the fumes were toxic, teachers thought it was best to get everyone out of the school. The fumes were actually just the smell from varnish put on the gymnasium floor. Once students were out of the building, custodians opened all the windows to get the smell out. The students and teachers were able to get into the building within the same hour of being evacuated. It is better to be safe than sorry, and the students probably enjoyed the unexpected break in the day. Teachers receive laurels for quickly getting the students out of the school, and laurels for the school actually not being taken over by toxic fumes.


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