Yes Mr. Conner, Times Have Changed

The number of times my parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts have uttered the words: “back when I was your age”, is immeasurable. The differences between our generations are unfathomable, but those changes are still prevalent among the slightest of age differences.

In April, Mr. Conner commented on the noticeable differences in photos found in newspapers and magazines today, versus decades ago–specifically in the New York Times.

Well, I’ve noticed that the resounding differences don’t just stop at magazine photos.

With new technological innovations and fashion fads and recent precedents in music, I think there are obvious changes between today’s elementary school kids and when I was there.

So, shall we begin?


Some of my older family members would always comment on how their phones used to be the size of bricks with those six inch antennas. They would joke about how spoiled we were having a phone at the beginning of high school, when they didn’t get one until the end of college. Well, I hate to break it to you Nana and Papa, but the craze of cell phones have reached a whole new age group. My first cell phone was a free black flip phone with limited minutes, meaning that every time I sent a text message or called someone, a number in the corner of the main screen would get smaller. When that number hit zero, the phone was merely a decoration; useless. I was ten when I received this starter phone, it came with no data, WiFi never even crossed my mind, and the fact that it could take pictures was the coolest thing to me–camera phones were all the rage then. Now, I see seven year olds with their “starter phones”, and it’s certainly not a flip phone, I doubt they have a steadily decreasing number in the corner counting down to the phone’s demise, and they have the ability to take hundreds of pictures. Yep, that little seven year old booger eating child had an IPhone. I’m fourteen and I do have an IPhone, something my sister wouldn’t even be able to say, so maybe some of you older kids even think I’m crazy, but really, a seven year old? What do they even need it for?


Whether you’re fifteen or fifty, modeling up to date fashion trends always seems like it’s the only way to fit in with the “in-crowd”, but I remember when it didn’t matter what you were wearing if you were under the age of ten. I don’t know about everyone else, but when I was a fourth grader in 2009, silly bandz were the hottest accessories you could wear. They were colorful pieces of rubber, but in my nine year old eyes, they might as well have been diamond bracelets–okay maybe not diamonds, but you get the picture. We didn’t care if we had the latest Air Jordans as long as we had one more accessory in the holes of our Crocs then our peer next to us. In 2009 we raved about Justice and Aeropostale, in 2015; Victoria Secret’s Pink.


Moving to 2011–also known as the start of my sixth grade year–we were obsessed with a plastic Japanese toy called a Tamagotchi. Basically you had this virtual pet, and you would feed it virtual food, and play with it using virtual toys. Trust me it was harder than it sounds. You used to be considered babysitter material if you could keep your pet alive for more than 24 hours. My point? Something as simple as a plastic egg game on a key chain kept us occupied throughout all of elementary school. Those games: Flappy Bird, 2048, and Trivia Crack, kept us occupied today for about two weeks. We want constant upgrades in our Play Stations, Xboxes, IPhones. Simple is no longer good enough.

Times have changed. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, I’m not saying it’s a good thing, but we’ve changed. We’ve changed how we dress, how we speak, how we act. However even five years later there’s still one thing that remains the same, it is ridiculously hard to keep that Tamagotchi monster alive.


Aspiring actors take first steps onstage in MHS Drama Camp

This week, aspiring actors, singers, and dancers began to train in their craft.

From June 8 — 12, the Mason High School drama department continued the annual tradition of organizing a drama camp for rising kindergartners through eighth graders, exposing them to the inner-workings of a theater production.

Allen Young, theater director at MHS, has been organizing and volunteering with the camp for 14 years. He said the camp provides the basic knowledge necessary for auditions or pursuing a role.

“It lets our kids teach the things that they’ve learned through our program,” Young said. “And then (it) also teaches younger kids some of the basic fundamentals that they’re (going to) use when they’re auditioning or working backstage.”

The camp offers seven classes to pass on that knowledge, including: Selling the Song, Acting, and Dancing–available to all participants–and Improvisation, Make-up, and Technical Theatre–available to campers ages 10 and up.

Throughout the week, participants focused on two classes in preparation for the camp’s showcase for all the parents. MHS alum and Big-Kid Acting instructor, Katey Henry, hoped to prepare her group, so they felt comfortable acting and performing in front of a crowd Friday evening, while still having a great time.

“We want them to learn to be comfortable in front of an audience, and learn acting skills so that they feel confident,” Henry said. “But mostly (we want them) to have fun.”

Come Friday, June 12 at 6:00 p.m., the stage was set to show parents what their kids had been learning for five days.

The Little-Kid Acting class taught by Collin Aldrich and Sheila Raghavendran performed an original skit titled “The Princess Camp.” The Big-Kid Selling the Song class performed the songs “Cups”, as seen in Pitch Perfect and “Be Our Guest”, from Beauty and the Beast. The Technical Theater class showcased miniature square flats painted by each of the students.

According to Young, the skills these students are taught in drama classes are skills they can carry with them in the future.

“I think theater helps you do a lot of things,” Young said. “Theater classes aren’t just about performance. It teaches a lot of practical skills that will help you no matter what you’re (going to) do.”