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Graffiti; a form of art or vandalism?

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graffitiAccording to the website MisterW.com, the DC government spent nearly $800,000 removing graffiti in 2007, but the next year $100,000 may be spent to help graffiti artists produce murals legally.

Graffiti is a big problem that disturbs a lot of people- according to the police it is more common in rundown areas, but in some vandalism cases, there are "artists" that paint in brand-new places and the owners are the ones that have to clean it. Owners aren't afraid to press charges against graffiti artists.

In other countries there are places with legal walls to paint and for artists to practice, and sooner or later they will have to become common in the US, so that there is less vandalism.

Clean places are always better to practice this kind of art, so they improve and are able to create beautiful and amazing artwork. However, there are some graffiti artists that think that it is embarrassing to paint in the legal walls. Many times, artists like to be anonymous and have the attention focused on their works, not on the artists themselves. Other times there is really unique graffiti on those walls and most of the times they are compared by the people that work there or just go visit, which make some artists feel uncomfortable, and that is why they paint on other people's property.

Some people say that gangs use graffiti to mark their territory; many times they consider themselves "urban graffiti artists."

According to a New York Times article, "The police department says progress is being made but graffiti is a continuous a problem."

If property owners are victims of this kind of vandalism, they should report it to the police, the owners need to remove graffiti as soon as possible because it tends to invite more incidents.

There are companies of specialty cleaning and graffiti removal that provide the latest in special cleaning materials and expertise. They use chemicals but they have environmental methods.

We cannot forget that graffiti is a form of art loved by many people and that takes a lot of work and technique. A professional graffiti artist said on the website MisterW.com, " A lot of people say Graffiti is vandalism. So if I get paid to spray paint walls with Graffiti does that make me a... Professional Vandal?"

 

Assistive technology is helpful

By Zoe Allen-Lewis 

Over the the past few months, I interviewed Mr. Byrd, the principal of George Mason High school, Ms. McKee, the speech-language pathologist at George Mason High School, and Mr. Lands, the technology specialist and Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) teacher at Mary Ellen Henderson middle school.  We talked about assistive technology and what it means for my classmates.

Assistive technology is technology that helps people do things that they may not be able to do.  Mr. Byrd said, “Assistive technology can be any piece of equipment or item or something that’s going to be used to help a student to maintain or improve the level of functionality of their capabilities within any given class.  It’s for students with disabilities.” Assistive technology can help students do everyday things. Mr. Lands said, “So for example ... a wheelchair is technically assistive technology because it allows people who have difficulty walking to be able to move.” Being able to move around and do everyday things is important.

Mr. Byrd says there has been a rise in assistive technology.  He used to teach self-contained special education classes at Yorkt...

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2014 Mr. and Ms. Mason, one of the best

2014 Mr. and Ms. Mason, one of the best

By Megan Butler  

There are many anticipated events that happen during the school year. The Mr. and Ms. Mason competition is one of those anticipated events of the year. The contestants of the annual Mr. and Ms. Mason competition are nominated by teachers and are seen as students who represent the ideals of Mason. This year’s competition was said to be one of the best, far better from previous years with a handful of Mason students participating and performing creative and comical acts.

“It was definitely better this year, the performances were a good amount of time and didn’t lose people’s interest. Contestants also included a lot of their peers, which was cool,” said Science teacher Will Stewart, a judge for the competition and previous Mr. Mason victor. “Mr. Knight also helped a lot to make the scoring on iPads so we could score faster and then the show went smoother.”


Some featured performances that got competitors into the finals were original dances from senior Preston Custer, senior Truman Custer, junior Arijeet Sensharma, and sophomore Blaise Sevier. Senior Maeve Curtin’s “The Weekend Update” making fun of problems at GM and Claire Trevisan’s Ellen DeGeneres impersonation h...

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The IB Diploma decision: life changing?

The IB Diploma decision: life changing?

By Erin McFall 

While seniors are anticipating graduation, all other students are anticipating the beginning of summer, and many are also are stressing about picking courses for the next year. Throughout students’ sophomore year, all students are approached about pursuing the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma during their junior/senior year. As a sophomore, I know the stresses of making decisions far in advance of the “most important year of your high school career” as touted by NoVa’s notoriously high population of high-achievers and involved parents.

 

Since the beginning of high school students have been told that every year matters, but the pressure is really laid on junior year and the big decision sophomores must make: will you do the IB diploma?

 

The choice to do the IB diploma, though maybe not earth shattering, can have a big impact on sophomores high school experience.  Numerous questions swarm in the thoughts of students, and many questions revolve around: Will it help me get into college? Is all the work really worth it? Do I have time? What happens if I don’t do it? Does that mean I’m not smart enough?

 

One of the biggest fears of possible IB ...

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Yik Yak goes down like all other passing fads

One of the hottest mobile phone apps this year disappeared from the halls of George Mason as fast as it came

By Julie Smith 

Yik Yak, a fad that tore through the halls of George Mason and high schools all across the country like rapid fire. Originally designed to spread information to college students, the app serves as a bulletin board where small communities can anonymously post whatever they want. Anonymous viewers can upvote, downvote, and even reply to the post. After the controversies over cyber bullying the app seemed to vanish as quickly as it spread.

In a CNN story about the app, co-founder Brooks Buffington said the anonymous posts are designed to give “…people a blank slate to work from, so you’re not judged on your race or sexuality or gender. On Yik Yak you are purely judged on content you create.”

Easy to use and completely anonymous, it’s no surprise the app quickly became the year’s hottest high school bullying outlet. Frustrated with being stuck in the same cramped building every single day for seven hours, students were able to cyber-attack the people physically closest to them as the app only broadcasts posts to your geographic location. It’s like downloading the...

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