What's on My Mind

New TW, Contest, Baytown Sun Column

September 22, 2003

 Here it is. The new server. Never before have I heard such a dramatic response. Never before have so many people visited TW. Never before have I been at the closest to the top of the world. Never before has TW prospered. I think it's clear I can fucking say - we're back in the golden era.

The Golden Era was made when we were freshmen. It was made when the majority of us all gave in to TW. Back in the day, TW was a little piece of shit. Now, with all the shit on here, I'm pretty much surprised where we've landed. And that's why I have a major announcement.

On October 11, I'm introducing a better and newer kind of TW for the majority of all of you. Within the next three weeks, major things will be happening. Freshmen will begin seeing things we seniors haven't seen since we were Freshmen. I can't publically announce what will happen, but they will be on AIM, and they will be great.

The first major thing that will happen is the introducing of Go Digital to the superior max. That means, it's mother fucking picture time. Back in freshmen year, I took pictures almost every day. Now, it's lucky if I do it once a week with The Masticators. Another huge revival is this very column, where I used to write bi-weekly, and now I'm barely writing weekly.

Another major thing is the importance of advertising. TW will soon become a major player in advertising around the school with Hot Babe shirts. That is why I am now announcing that this week, we will begin selling Hot Babe shirts, and I will place the order on the following week.

Another t-shirt order I'm currently looking at is an idea Tommy, Kelly and I all came up with in some fashion but all three of us put it together. I'm not really sure who came up with the pieces of it, but it landed like this: If you buy the shirt, your name is on it. Plain and simple. It will be marked with a checkbox and you can just use a Sharpie and put a check through the box when you get the shirt. How can you not benefit with such a cool shirt? LOL. More on this later.

For you old school TW fans, many of you remember Andrew Masterson and a ex-employee of TW put on a section called "Top Shit of the Week," a rendention of the original "Ass Toucher of the Week" I used to have in my newspaper columns I did in 8th grade. Both of these sections are going to be brought back to life. "Of The Week" will be created, and not only will these two sections be there, but also a Video Games section, run by Tommy, Tim, Billy, and Jeff will be in place, and Kelly is attempting to put up his favorite music videos on a list, because he's the only one who actually keeps an eye on today's "pop-culture" music.

Another section that I've always wanted to do that Nick and I talked up is called "TWCars" in which employees pose in front of their vehicles and show off their stats. Whether it's Billy's Cavalier or Jonathan's WRX, or Brian's huge truck to Bill's skate board, everyone has something to show off. TWCars, I think, will be sexy.

All I have to say is, watch out of your private part, because they'll soon be defining that word.

Contest Opinion

I have to admit, the contest went very smoothly. The only thing that didn't go smoothly was the absolute massacre Angela played on Amanda Mason, 1) because she didn't have a picture and 2) because no one knew who Amanda was. I'm sure Angela would have still won anyway, because everyone I heard from said Amanda wasn't as attractive. If Amanda's reading this, I didn't say it!

Besides that, Kati Weber, Steffani Rush, Miranda Bryant, Becky Wilson, Abbie Bourgeois, Amanda Seele, and Kiley Seago have all advanced into victory. There were many comeback races. I was pretty surprised at two matchups that didn't end up in the way I predicted them. Everything else however - went by the way many people saw it.

I say for the first ever freshmen competition, the round went by very well and without any flaws. No one has complained to me about the way it was setup. Many of you voted all three days, and that really made me happy. Many people didn't insert their email address, and I just deleted the votes without even looking at who they voted for. I mean, if people can't follow fucking instructions, they don't need to be voting. I made that VERY clear. And if anyone ever uses the excuse of "oh I don't have an email address," I'll slap you across thy face. Almost every teenager our age has an email address.

In the days since the server started, not counting the day it got into service, TW has seen nothing but over 6,500 hits plus. And since after that day, it was over 10,000 hits plus. That's not a lot. That's a-fucking-mazing. The Hot Babe Contest is most likely bringing this all in. But, we must keep it, we must.

I think other than losing a friend in the contest, it went by very well. The sophomore contest starts this week, and the freshmen contest round two begins this week as well.

ID Badges: Out of Style

(The next section will appear in the Baytown Sun this Sunday under the 'Schools' section in the paper:)

Thereís something out of style at Ross S Sterling High School, and it isnít a music trend. Itís a fashion. But this type of fashion isnít something you can buy at your favorite store: This fashion is a lanyard around your neck holding a piece of plastic that is supposed to be the new increase of security at the high school.

Proper definition: ID badges.

Before I continue writing, this isnít a bash on ID Badges. Actually, Iím for them. But, when it becomes so extremely strict, that when I walk out of a classroom I might as well have a security cop jump on top of me and pin me to the ground demanding where my badge is, I think thatís where it begins crossing the line.

For those of you who arenít students, part of the faculty, or a parent at Sterling, a piece of plastic, plus another shield of plastic, and a lanyard, which cost about $.75 to make altogether, are now selling for $8 at your neighborhood class office. What a steal!

As a senior at Sterling, Iíve been wearing ID badges for three years and a month. So far, Iíve not felt protected at all. Now, if I wake up late, become tangled in a early morning rush, and start forgetting items for school left and right, the ID badge will be the first thing I will forget. Due to the new rule at Sterling, anyone who comes to school not wearing an ID badge must go to their grade level office and buy another one, no matter if you have one lying at home or not.

Basically, this means that if a student decided to not wear his ID badge every day, he would have to pay 8 dollars for every day he didnít wear it. If I went on a protest right now, I would have to pay $1240, almost the price of what my mother and father pay taxes every year to the school district.

Does anyone else besides this columnist agree that this is absolutely ridiculous?

Like I said before, Iím for ID Badges. But, there is a lame excuse to why we where them, according to what Iíve heard in the last three years, and that excuse is to protect everyone in the school from outsiders that might just stumble upon school property. Whether itís your neighborhood liquor store hobo or a concerned soccer mom, these ID badges are meant to keep the entire student body safe.

Well, what about the people already in school?

My homeroom teacher, whoís name I will not include in this article, was telling me in a rude manner that I should respect ID Badges and realize itís doing me more good than bad.

"They are meant to protect us from outsiders who donít belong here," says my teacher.

"Well, what about if it isnít an outsider, and itís someone who goes to this school?" I ask, in a comeback fashion. "Then, weíre screwed." Yes, my homeroom teacher said this. Iíve noticed that all employees of Exxon have to wear an ID badge as well. I also realized no employee can actually enter the grounds of Exxon without showing proper identification. Well, thatís how school should be. ID badges are a great idea, but, weíre using the idea in a wrong way. Itís almost as if itís a dress code violation to not wear your ID Badge, sort of like how in Horace Mann and other respective junior schools, itís a violation to not wear a belt.

I have a dream. At Exxon, the presidents of the company donít shun you for not wearing ID Badges. Sadly, Sterling didnít take this policy. If you arenít wearing your badge in school, but you have it on you, you either get a d-hall, (an event which takes an hour and fourty-five minutes after school) a conduct report (a disciplinary referral which stays on your student record for your entire four years at Sterling), or Saturday SAC (an event which takes up an entire Saturday morning in school). If you get more than two conduct reports, you could get "In-School Suspension."

The school district has picked what it wants to focus on. Security which doesnít work over education.

I have a dream. Some day, I would like to walk into the school building and be stopped and asked for identification. Then, when they see my identification, I would put it in my pocket. I would not have to worry about it for the rest of the day. Thatís a dream. Thatís a great thing. People get away with not wearing ID badges all the time. I say, donít even let the student in if they donít have an ID badge. Now thatís security, having someone at all the doors.

This is never going to happen. We live in a school district which is strapped for cash. Thereís not much more to say about that situation. Weíre not a rich community. Weíre not exactly a dirty slum either, but the district makes it by. We live in a school district in which students from "In School Suspension" suddenly get out, run across the street to a respective school campus, get caught, get sent back to school on a golf cart, then take off running again to an adjacent neighborhood. Let me also add when he ran the second time, the security cop watched the entire show, and didnít move a muscle. Itís a simple solution. Stand by the doors. No ID badge? You get sent automatically to your grade level office. There, you receive a temporary ID badge, much like the system Robert E Lee uses. Thatís where you pay one dollar. It doesnít matter when you pay the dollar, but it has to come within a reasonable time limit. Instead of making us pay for ID badges weíre never going to use again, try to come to the conclusion that we are high school students. We are poor. None of us can just pull 8 dollars out of our wallet every day for absolutely no reason at all. Save your measly 75 cents of a plastic card and buy cheap 5 cent temporary tag stickers. Losing one dollar isnít bad. Protecting the school is great. Wasting everyoneís money is a shame.

There is absolutely no reason to wear your ID badge in school every day. With all the cameras, all the technology, all the security guards, there is absolutely no way someone can just walk into the school and not be seen immediately. And, if this canít be stopped today, make it work tomorrow. ID Badges shouldnít be a part of student life. Learning should.

P.S. If Dumbo can fly, ID badges should be able to make us invincible. Oh, Iím sorry, at first I thought we were in a Disney movie.

-Matt-

P.S. Rachel is my homecoming date. She's also a dirty Mexican.