Opinions On Everything (Yes, EVERYTHING)

Gymnastics Is the Most Difficult Sport — Preslee Adams

For decades, there has been a long-standing debate about the most demanding sport. And while there is not yet a conclusive answer, gymnastics has proven itself to be the most complex sport there is.

Gymnastics is by far one of the most technically challenging sports there is. Whether it be for an unpointed toe or a bent arm, these tiny details are what separate the gold medal athletes from the rest. As a gymnast, there is no room for error. These athletes must be willing to evaluate and carefully practice all their skills constantly to ensure absolute perfection.

Gymnastics is set apart from other sports in that its athletes must possess very specialized skills to succeed in their careers. Unlike other sports, the skills needed by gymnasts are specialized just for them and cannot be translated into other sports. With the perfect combination of balance, strength, coordination, and flexibility, gymnasts must be physically well-rounded.

Gymnastics is not a sport that is easily picked up later on in life. Most gymnasts have been in the sport since they were toddlers. With years of training to build muscle and flexibility, these athletes are made from young ages to be Olympic champions. As our bodies grow older, it becomes substantially more difficult to form the proper techniques in the way that gymnasts need. The younger a gymnast begins training, the easier it is to adapt to its demanding nature.

While it is true that every sport is unique in its challenges, gymnastics is among one of the most strenuous sports. Both physically and mentally demanding, gymnasts are built to be some of the toughest athletes on the planet.


The Gym Really Isn’t That Bad — Diego Caceres

I went to the gym with my dad on Monday. It was my second time going. We trained—well, he trained me—doing exercises for tennis. I always thought of the gym to be this gross, scary place, where men are always shirtless and girls are isolated to a corner machine; you’d be able to see the powder from protein shakes floating in the air, and smell sweat the instant you walk in. But it wasn’t like that at all.

For the most part, I kept my head down. I have this tendency to judge others (which is probably a reason for my insecurities) so I felt obligated to keep my eyes downward. But the times when I looked up, no one was cackling at me for doing squats. No, when I did look up, no one was looking back. 

I realized the gym is not a place to make friends; the gym is meant to be in-n-out. But that’s why I like it. No one cares whether you’re using a machine wrong or lifting with the lightest weight. They literally couldn’t care less. But what they do care about is minding their own business.

I mentioned how relieved I felt to my dad, and he told me, yeah, those buff guys only go to bodybuilding gyms. Everyone comes here. That made me feel a lot better. I really was not in the mood to ogle at some guy with no shirt on.

So, I, too, looked down. I became a gym member. And I liked it. I was able to focus on my exercises without fear of judgment.


Dog Adoptions: Big Dogs vs. Small Dogs — Brian Kim

When it comes to adopting a dog, there are a multitude of factors that could influence one’s decision in terms of adopting the type of dog in question. Although smaller dogs may have more advantages in terms of simplicity and convenience financially, I feel that larger dogs are better emotionally for dog lovers for various reasons. 

For example, large breeds are helpful for families’ mental health more so than smaller dogs. Based on statistical research and personal experience, closer bonds are formed between pet owners and larger dogs than with anxious, smaller dogs, which are associated more with aggression and ferocity. Furthermore, larger dogs like Border Collies, Labradors, Golden Retrievers, and Huskies have also been recorded to be more lovable than smaller dog breeds like Chihuahuas or Pomeranians, making them a significantly better choice for children. Such types of small dogs are also more susceptible to various diseases like joint injuries and hypoglycemia, unlike larger dogs, making them less of a financial and emotional responsibility for the whole family.

From personal experience, larger dogs are also great for outdoor activities like hiking due to their greater endurance and mental discipline compared to smaller, more frail breeds, which are more challenging to train than bigger breeds. Larger breeds are typically able to assert dominance over others, making them proficient watch or guard dogs. 

The immense variety of large dog breeds’ dominance, lovable personalities, endurance, and intelligence certainly make them a better choice when deciding on a preferred size for dogs.


Sea Slugs: Best Wonders of the Sea — Tiffani Pe

Although many people reel back at seeing a little ol’ garden slug, I am confident enough to say that sea slugs are a marvelous wonder of the sea. When you see one, you can’t deny that they’re a sight to behold. 

Over 2,000 species of these vibrant creatures differ in appearance and size – some range in size from 1/8th of an inch to others being a foot-long. One commonality shared is their innate cuteness. Dozens of species resemble soft, squishy dragons. One species is aptly known as the “sea bunny” for its bunny-like features. 

There’s even a somewhat paradoxical sea slug called “Elysia cholorotica.” Not only can it digest an algae’s chloroplasts (structures in cells used during photosynthesis), but it can put them to use by mimicking how plants and algae use the sun’s energy to produce their food. Yes, these animals can survive off photosynthesis!

Anyway, like their land-dwelling counterparts, these guys are slow-moving creatures that lack a skeleton. What sets them apart, however, are their stunning hues. There’s basically a sea slug for every color of the rainbow, unlike the swaths of land slugs with earthy tones. 

Sea slugs use their colors to essentially warn predators, “Stay back! I’m toxic!” What’s interesting is that these slugs don’t produce any toxic defenses. They actually capture “nematocysts,” specialized jellyfish cells-turned-weapons that sting. As supported by the photo-synthesizing slugs, these creatures’ abilities to take advantage of another organism’s capabilities deserve recognition.

Even cooler (or should I say more frightening?) is how sea slugs carry a set of around 27,000 sharpened teeth designed to easily cut through their meal. Astonishingly, these slugs’ teeth are considered the strongest natural substance, being so sturdy that they can be turned into human dentures or employed in constructing cars and planes.

Everyone should agree that these little sea critters are some of the most fascinating out there in the vast, beautiful blue ocean.


Rolling School Desks Are Awful — Brandon Kim

Not many classrooms in Quartz Hill High School have rolling desks. They’ve been used for several years on our campus now, but they still feel like a fresh breath of air compared to other traditional wooden and plastic desks. Being able to slide around in a desk during class is something many students would never have imagined doing. Rolling desks allow for some freedom and flexibility, but they’re simply not comfortable in the end.

Though the entire argument is a petty shot at the school’s questionable decisions about their funding in classroom equipment, rolling desks aren’t as great as many would imagine them to be. If you’ve ever used one before, the first thing you probably noticed is that the desks themselves don’t provide much working space. They can’t fit any more than two notebooks, so you can imagine how difficult it is to try using a laptop and notebook at the same time. 

It’s undeniable that they allow a certain degree of freedom that traditional desks don’t, though. Group activities are possible within seconds since entire groups can form by simply rolling the desks from one place to another. Individually though, the desks are extremely limited in the movement they provide. The handles are attached very closely to the chairs, so it’s difficult to fully extend your arms or find a comfortable position at all. Not to mention, they’re a complete nightmare for lefties. The desks were specifically designed and catered towards right-handed students, so left-handed students have no choice but to lean completely to the side to write. Traditional desks aren’t that great, but rolling desks are just worse.