Clare Flanagan’s Rants and Raves: March online edition

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Clare Flanagan, Staff Writer

RANT: The lake that has recently developed in the student parking lot. Deep, wide, and nearly impossible to get around, this aquatic menace has made getting in and out of school a thoroughly unpleasant experience. Spring snowmelt is difficult to avoid, but this situation goes beyond the quotidian irritation of puddles and into the ridiculous. This monstrosity is not a puddle. It is a sovereign body of water, and in my opinion, big enough to be considered part of the chain of lakes. Not only does it pose a menace to our footwear – it’s quite literally deep enough to drown in! Before the remaining snow melts, it’s imperative that we address the situation. But hey, let’s look on the bright side – there’s now a practical reason to wear Hunter boots to school!

RAVE: The local radio station known as The Current (89.3 FM). I tune into this station whenever I can, as do thousands of other dedicated listeners throughout the Twin Cities. The playlist is never repetitive, often kooky, and always a pleasure to listen to. On any given day, you’ll hear art-rock gods such as David Bowie and David Byrne, jazz and soul legends like Miles Davis and Aretha Franklin, alternative favorites like Passion Pit, and talented local acts such as Night Moves and Brother Ali. Unlike other local stations, which tend to play the same hackneyed songs over and over again, you can always count on the Current to surprise you with a fantastic and unexpected tune. Even better, it’s a public radio station, so there is not a single advertisement. The only things you’ll hear besides music are fascinating interviews, special presentations like the Local Show, and maybe a corny joke or two from the DJs. The Current can be intimidating to some due to the sheer variety and unfamiliarity of its playlist, but I would encourage anyone to give it a try. Stick with it, and before long, it’ll be the only station you listen to!

RAVE: Isaiah O’Neal, everyone’s favorite lunch dude. Ever since middle school, Isaiah has brightened my day with his hellos and considerate comments. Whether he’s washing dishes, serving pizza, or just chatting with students, he always has a smile on his face. When kids thank him after dropping their dishes off to be washed, he often thanks them right back. It takes a special person to make that kind of response. Recently, Isaiah took the stage in the Juliet Nelson Auditorium to encourage students to clean up after themselves in the increasingly messy lunchroom: an embarrassing problem that has produced extra work for the cafeteria crew. Rather than being indignant, Isaiah gave us a gentle reminder to be considerate of each other, and that was that. (Since then, I’ve noticed that the lunchroom has been markedly cleaner.) To conclude, I feel that we could all take a cue from Isaiah in the attitude department. His positivity and friendliness is an example to us all, and it makes the lunchroom – and the school – a considerably better place.

RANT: The unruly backpack piles that have sprouted up around the school. It’s very convenient to have safe zones for our stuff, but when everyone tosses their backpack in the same alcove near the cafeteria, a muddled mountain ensues. People have to pick their way through the pile to find their bags, which are often hidden from view by other students’ flotsam and jetsam. And lately, when the bags spill over the tape that marks the boundary of the safe zone, folks have taken to hurling them to the back of the pile, sending calculators, books, and pencils flying. It’s not uncommon to finish lunch and find your backpack open, with half of your stuff missing. This system is obviously illogical and certainly a pain. Is it time for an increased number of safe zones, or can we create a more streamlined solution altogether? One thing is clear: a change needs to be made.