Cameron’s Circus

An intro

Welcome to my hide-away hole on the back page of this ‘ere newspaper. This column used to be home to a one Joe Lantow, who wrote titillating exposés on ASB and its “corruption” *ghost noise*, and another Damon Pontarelli, who wrote about pumpkin patches and Craig’s List ads. All things considered, this column will be a consortium of things; it can be stupid, it can be philosophical, it can be purely entertainment, it can be investigative… the list of adjectives and nouns that can apply goes on and on, likely indefinitely. More importantly, I’m not going to be deciding what this column should be. That’s right, it’s all up to you guys. Please use the QR code at the bottom of this column to go to the link for a poll on what I should talk about next. Of course, none of this is worth anything if it’s not interesting or worth your dreary investment to read it. So here’s some examples of my craft, featuring questions from real people (all of whom are on the water polo team with me and by no other reason did I ask only them for questions).

“What motivates you the most to succeed?” by freshman Carmen Karsonovich.

Frankly, I wish my response would be more lighthearted and inspiring, but I am motivated by failure. I’ve become more comfortable with the idea of failing myself, as my Advanced Algebra A test scores would show, but failing others remains a blinker that flashes red warning lights in the recesses of my mind. It’s like if my brain is a dark alleyway filled with feral animals and strange bits of trash lying around, there is a fat flashing light that backlits the dumpsters and the vagrant posters loosely dangling on the brick aisled wall. 

“Why does everyone want flight as their superpower?” by senior Jackie Loverin.

In a sense, don’t we all want that ability to get away? It’s the same reason that as soon as juniors or sophomores are able to drive, they do, and when they need to buy a car or pay for their gas, they do and they get jobs. Slowly, we become more and more self-sufficient to the extent where we don’t need to rely on other people for basic things like food, safety, shelter and we only consider ourselves. This modern idea of “survival of the fittest” is exemplified especially by social media (as everything is) and traps us down, clinging to the Earth. When we are able to fly, it is not only a simple way to travel, but also a form of escapism that anyone can relate to.

“Do you think the school system is set up for the students to succeed or is the excess amount of work setting us up for failure?” by sophomore Edie Prager.

Of course, I think our school is great. We have helpful teachers and support staff, nice amenities, and wonderful extra-curricular programs, so overall we’re a pretty good school, but… and here’s the big but, if we compare ourselves to schools around the world and how pressure is handled there, we get a better sense of what success can be and if things like grades should even matter. In that sense, I do think our school can set us up for failure by preparing us for the wrong things, should we really be staying up until 1:00 a.m. every night just for an A in AP class X, Y, or Z. Ideally, no. Realistically, it’s our only option. 

Upon reflection and comparison to Sweden or Finland we’re ages away. In Finland, for example, school puts no pressure on homework or testing, and instead puts that time and energy into ensuring students are happy, or can find a real career they care about. And to add, the curriculum is entirely plastic. Every course has intersectionality with another, math fuses with science and history, just as Finish combines with English and current events. It’s strange to discover a new system that makes you question everything you find normal, but here we are. I wish Lake Oswego had a Finish area code, to say the least.

If you have a question you’d like to submit for me to answer (as a joke or seriously), please submit them it my email [email protected].