The student news site of Etowah High School
  • Growing up then vs now
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Fashion: a sign of the times

May 22, 2017

Many things have changed since our parents went to school. Clothes are obviously one of the most dramatic changes. Even the teachers  see the difference between when they went to high school and now. Many clothes are getting shorter, causing harsh judgment for some teenagers. So while students today wear short shorts and tank tops, how does that compare to how parents and teachers dressed during their school days?

Girls struggle finding shorts that are considered dress code appropriate for school. Is there another time when people’s clothes were considered inappropriate? In the nineties, fashion conscious boys could not seem to keep their pants up, and all you saw were their briefs.  Today, most boys have learned to pull up their pants although some have not received the memo:  sagging pants are so nineties.

“No one really challenged it [dress code].  Shorts were not allowed and no tank tops or hats.” said Randy White, science teacher and Etowah graduate of 1981.

Even the shirts we wear have changed. Shirts girls wear today seem quite a bit tighter to show off the young ladies’ assets.  There was a time when girls did not focus on flaunting their physique. While vibrant colors reigned in the 80s, so did padded shoulders and oversized tees. Today boot socks are the norm, whereas in the eighties, it was all about the leg warmers.  You do not see many girls trying to pull those off today.

Rewind back another decade, and you find the opposite of today’s skinny jeans and pants. Flairs and bell-bottom pants reigned supreme in the 70s. For males, it was the jumpsuit and the ubiquitous “leisure suit,” white shoes, platform heels, and baseball tees.

The times are changing, and so are clothes. Imagine what fashions high schoolers will be rocking twenty years from now. While today we may look back and wonder, “Why would anyone wear that?,” years from now, there may be some teenager asking that question about our styles.  Just think:  our kids might be raiding our closets someday looking for what we wore in our day, so they can stand out during their throwback dress up day–when they celebrate 2017!


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Paper and pencil to tech savvy geniuses

Once upon a time students learned without the use of technology. They used the good old fashioned textbooks, no computer, no phones, and no internet. Is it hard to imagine? Think about it, just a few years ago we were taking the biggest standardized test of the year on paper. Oh, how the times have changed.

How often do students today use their phones? I bet your phone is right beside you right now, or perhaps you are reading this on your phone. You have probably done some research on your phone for a school project. Well, put down that phone, and get some paper because once there was a time when all learning was through textbooks, note taking, and paper and pencil tests.

“Cellphones only had Snake on them, and many didn’t own a personal laptop until college,” said Tabitha Roper, English teacher and graduate of 2006.

Picture it. Going to school, no technology at your fingertips. Have a research paper due by the end of the week? Then you better get over to a library and use an encyclopedia. There was no page on the Internet where all your questions could be answered. All your answers were in an outdated book that you had to search through.  Oh yeah, you also had to lug that heavy textbook to class each day.

The technology we have is also a huge distraction. Teachers find it difficult to monitor what every student is doing on the computer or phone. That might be why schools are not as technically advanced as they could be, but teachers still need to be aware of what is going on in their classrooms. Know that no teacher appreciates you playing games instead of working in class.

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Home phone to cell phone

It is 3:15; you know what that means. The school day is over, and after seven hours of learning you are ready to go home and maybe hang out with your friends. Surely everyone will see how close you are through all your social media posts. Social media has not been around forever, and teenagers have not always had their phone to contact their friends. There had to be other ways people used to keep in contact, right?

“We’d call the house phone and make plans. After school, we’d all pile up in one car and hang out or go to work together,” said Tabitha Roper, English teacher and 2006 high school graduate.

Does your house have a home phone? Maybe with all the different mobile devices we no longer feel the need for it. It used be all students had. In the late 70s to early 80s students would participate in sports at school and activities with friends. Now we solely rely on our cell phones to make plans with friends and post our adventures all over the internet.

“I would not want to be a high schooler with all of the social media that we have now,” said Roper.

Social media seems to be the main focus for all the teens now. Upload a picture, and see how many likes you can get. Sometimes it can lead to cyber-bullying, which was never a problem when there was no social media. Bullying was always a problem, but it used to be face-to-face. Now you can easily hide behind a screen and face no consequences.

Maybe the times we live in now are not all sunshine and rainbows. Time to face the truth, sometimes the past had it better. So how about trying to hang out with your friends without focusing on technology?  Now that is a novel idea.

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