Journaling has always been difficult for me. I have Journals full of two pages of actual journal writings and the rest of the pages are just drawings. Adults tell you that journaling is good for you and can help with your mental health. It’s not like I don’t believe in that--obviously journaling works for some people--but for me it’s never been easy. It feels more like a chore than a time to clear your mind.
During 6th grade I decided to write my thoughts on a single piece of lined paper. It was probably something about school or friends or what not, and I hid it in my desk, above the actual drawer in a crack. That began to get annoying, having to take the drawer out and lay down and cram it into the secret spot just to hide a piece of paper I knew no one would read. I stopped writing for a while, but then 7th grade started, and everything turned into a living hell. I lost friends, started thinking of killing myself and the amount of self loathing I had was so unhealthy, but I didn’t tell anyone. I told myself that my problems were a burden I didn’t want anyone else to have to think about.
One day while cleaning my room, I was messing around with my bed posts, and one of the parts came off. It was easily fixed; I just put it back in the hole, but it made me think, “What a good hiding place.” That night I wrote my thoughts down again and rolled it up then shoved it into the hiding spot. I started to write letters to people, saying all the things I wanted to tell them all the horrible things they had done to me. I wrote letters to myself (very Dear Evan Hansen of me) about how much I hated myself. I made plans to convince my parents to let me live with my grandparents in Utah and all that was stuffed into my bed post.
In 8th grade, I found new friends and started to gain my self love back. Before I go on, I’d like you to know that I wear something similar to a mask. I hide my feelings, and well. I hate talking about my feelings and I hate standing up for myself even though I want to. With these new people not knowing about my mental health and me not ever talking about it, it seemed things were going smoothly until a horrible fight I had with my friend. It threw me right back into that pit of endless self hate and depression. I went straight back to the Bedpost Diaries of Shame and pulled my mask on tighter.
Towards the end of the third trimester, my friend had a mental health scare, and I finally snapped. I blamed myself, and I had a massive panic attack. I remember texting my friend and telling her everything: about the depression, the suicidal thoughts, my mask and even the bedpost diary. Of course she understood and told me it wasn’t my fault and told me I wasn’t a horrible person. She taught me to love myself again.
I still use the bedpost diary on occasion but now I chose to use it for memories that I want to keep instead of the ones that make me sick to my stomach. I think we all have something similar to a bedpost diary but whether we choose to make it a pit of hate or a diary of memories is up to us.
by Sam Woolley
I believe bullying is a serious problem at Madison, and not dealing with it could lead to disaster. Recently at Rigby Middle School, there have been both a shooting and a gun brought to school in the past few months. The students of the Rigby School District have expressed concern for their safety. The day a gun was found in a student's backpack one student stated, “This is getting out of control. Hiring more counselors isn't going to stop the harassment some students go through every day. Do better Rigby.”
Now, this brings up the question, “Is bullying a problem in the Madison School District too?” Well, I believe it is, But bullying at Madison seems to be different than it is at other schools. While other districts deal with physical violence and verbal torment, Madison's bullying is more subtle, like making comments on peer's personal beliefs about politics, religion, and current events. But should 11-15 year olds be worrying about that type of stuff? Or more importantly, should they be speaking on it?
At this crucial time in our brain’s development, we are very impressionable and most often we find it easier to agree with the beliefs of the people around us. But what about the students who “rebel” from the social norm in a very conservative white-republican state? These individuals are the students who seem to take the brunt of the bullying, based on things they can't change like sexuality, race, ability, or social class. This should not be something that students are afraid to be bullied about. Everyone should be able to have their own opinions and beliefs. This is a public school where everyone should be welcome and accepted.
Luckily, Madison Junior High is trying to be proactive and start up a new club to prevent any incidents that may lead to tragedy. This club is called the Hope Squad. These students will be the ones that people can turn to when they are feeling bullied or helpless. These students on the Hope Squad will be announced at the assembly on October 29th. Always remember that help is here if you need it.
By Samantha Woolley and Anika Johnson
Madison School District is nearing the beginning of its annual Spud Harvest. This year, Spud Harvest break begins on the first of October and school resumes again on October 11th. This break from school was created so that local farmers can hire junior high and high school students to harvest the spuds of that year. However, many other local schools, such as Rigby and Idaho Falls, do not have a harvest break because they don’t have enough students working in spuds to justify it. This makes us wonder, how many students actually end up working in spuds at Madison Junior High?
Madison Junior High attendance secretary, Tiffany Clark, stated that only about 25 students were absent this week because of working in spuds. The total number of students at Madison Junior High is about 1200, so this only represents 2% of the total student body. Yes, there are some students that may also work next week when we are off of school, but those students haven’t been counted yet. We have to ask ourselves, “Is it really worth giving everyone a week off of school for such a small percentage of farm workers?”
Some students who want to work next week have tried to apply for jobs in spuds and have been turned down. It seems like the students who don’t have any farm connections usually get rejected. When we asked a local farmer, Cameron Erikson, if his family hires a lot of outside help, he responded, “Most families have a lot of their own kids and their nieces and nephews and extended family that help, so there’s really not enough jobs to hire a lot of students that aren’t already somehow connected with farm families.”
Many students that we asked here at the junior high agreed that they had tried to get a job in spuds and were told that no more help was needed. Many farmers told students that most of their spuds were already harvested by the time the break from school starts on October 1st. This brings up another question. If the school does keep the harvest break, should the dates be moved up a little?
Cameron Erikson went on to say, “If any change would be made, I would say to push the break from school up a little. It seems like it’s been the trend over the last few years to start getting the potatoes out by the third week in September. A lot of farmers are actually done getting their potatoes out by October 1st when the students start their days off from school.” Therefore the break isn’t being used as intended. It is not very helpful to the farmers to have students off from October 1-10th when most of the spuds are being harvested before the end of September.
Some students and teachers may argue that even if they aren’t working in the potato fields, the week off from school is still a nice time to take a vacation. But, if most students are using the break just to relax or take a vacation, couldn’t we move that break to a different time of year that is more preferable? Perhaps the spring would be a better time because most families like to go to St. George or warmer climates to escape the Rexburg weather in spring!
Spud Harvest should be shortened or moved to a different time of year. The small percentage of students who are working in the spuds can still be excused from any school that they have to miss and maybe their makeup assignments could possibly be shortened by the teachers. Another option would be to have a long weekend in late September, but also to lengthen the break in spring by a few more days. This way, there would still be a few days off for spuds, but also some extra time for a spring break.
It’s time for Madison School district to question their outdated school calendar and ask if spud harvest is truly a needed week off or if those precious vacation days could be placed elsewhere.
I'm here to write about a time I was lost. This was a big part of my life. Let's just start from the beginning. It started off when I was a little kid. I've always been the kid that's super close to my dad. He was and still is my best friend. Then when I was about 4 years old, my dad was diagnosed with brain tumors. This was a very hard time for me. He is my best friend, and even though I was very little, it was still very hard for me to hear that. I would overhear my parents talking about if the tumors were cancerous, and when you hear cancer at such a young age you automatically think the person is just going to pass away. So that made me develop some severe anxiety at such a young age. I just wanted to spend as much time with my dad as possible. As I grew up I realized how much the time I spent with him was so valuable. Every moment is so valuable, from the big fights to us in the car blasting our favorite songs.
A few years later he was diagnosed with a disease called Acromegaly. It was very hard for a 10- year-old me to hear. But it just made our moments together that much more valuable. Me and my dad have been through a lot together and I think that it just made me and him so much closer. Just last year there was an incident where I was sexually attacked. With that going on and with my dad being sick, I just felt so lost. I started cutting and thinking about suicide. But my dad stuck with me the entire time. He never left my side. My dad has also been through a sexual attack experience and he knew exactly how it felt to go through that. He brought me back to a place where I can think about the incident and I can just brush it off. Don't get me wrong, it was a very hard thing to go through, but now it doesn't bug me anymore.
My dad is my hero and he always has been; he has been my best friend and my dad in one. I will always cherish the moments and memories with him. I will never forget the long car rides and him teaching me how to drive and blasting music, or just sitting in my room at 2 a.m. just talking trying to make me feel better. I could never forget how he taught me how to be independent and to just focus on myself and don't worry about what other people think about me. I hope that when the time comes, he will be able to walk me down the aisle and hold his first grandchild. He has brought me out of a bad place and made me truly happy again. I don't know what I would do without him.
by Emmie Blackham
While walking around at the junior high I always hear little groups of friends talking about dating and they say things like “I went on a ‘date’ with this really cute guy” or “help me I want to ask this guy on a ‘date’”. What does this really mean? In the 1970-1980s the definition of a date was a group of 4-5 boys and girls going to a bowling alley or to get ice cream in a local drugstore and every once in a while if they really liked the boy/girl they would go on a double date with one of their good friends. Right around the time my parents were in junior high school in the 2000s the definition of a date turned into “going out”. Going out didn't really mean let's go hang out at the park or watch a movie together it meant “Hey I like you do you want to be my boyfriend/girlfriend. If a person did go on a ‘date’ It was a little more modern where they would go roller skating or go to a movie theater.
The official definition of a date is “a social or romantic appointment or engagement” Teenagers are missing part of what makes a ‘date’ an actual date. By this definition it means A guy will ask you out and you arrange a date. You go on that date looking your best and have a nice conversation. He might be extra polite and open the door for you or let you go first, or he might pay for your meal. For some of you that seems a little over the top or something that doesn't happen that often so why would you do it in that fashion? But, that's the point, it doesn't happen.
‘Dating’ has become “hey your cute can I get you number” and then small talk over text. Then, you decide to go to one of your houses and sit in the basement watching the newest Netflix show so it gives you a reason to kiss and snuggle. While that might not be the case for you that sounds pretty typical but it doesn't have to be that way. In the world we live in today our social interaction face to face has already gone down. We can still go off that definition, but ‘dating’ should be about spending time with someone who has similar standards as you and getting to know them on a semi-personal level; it does not have to be romantic. Then when you have gotten to know that person, you can still be friends, but talk to some other people, and by the time you might consider going on a formal date, you will have already made up you mind on what you are looking for in them as a person--not just their outside appearance or how you feel when they kiss you.