The following were written by Brainerd High School students.
Ski Gull problems
Closing early, broken down lifts, the promise of a snowboard park for, what, the sixth consecutive year? What do all these have in common? There all problems with good old Ski Gull.
People say "Why is Ski Gull getting such poor business?" Well anyone who's ever been there can answer that question in a heartbeat!
Lift tickets are about $16 for all of six to eight hills, with the ski team occupying the steepest, most challenging hill; Paul Bunyan.
Compared to the prices of Afton Alps ($25) and Spirit Mountain ($25-$35), one would have to call this a rip-off.
Another annoying, yet frequent problem is the constantly breaking down ski life. Sometimes it takes ten minutes sometimes they close for a week just to fix the thing.
If your a snowboarder like myself, you may become bored of the same seven beginner difficulty runs over and over. So when you decide to turn it up and build some jumps, the ski patrol comes steaming over and demolishes them.
Finally, my biggest pet peeve of them all, is the promise of the snowboard park, which they have received grants to build in the last few years. But I'm still seeing nothing, no new runs, no half pipe, not even a second ski lift.
Ski Gull needs some improvements and fast. People are more willing to drive 90 miles to Duluth to find a good time snowboarding/skiing. I find this reason enough to pass over Ski Gull and go somewhere else, for the sole purpose of getting my money's worth in a good ol' day of snowboarding.
Live your dreams
What is the secret to success? The answer is different for everyone, and no one can lead you to there.
My definition for success is living your dreams. Doing everything you can imagine and never giving up.
Too many people are caught up today trying to stay with the norm of society. Your expected to go to school and get good grades, that way you can make it into a good college where you will have so many more opportunities.
So you go work hard your whole life doing good in high school and college. You have landed a great job, and your bringing in a ton of money. Have you achieved success? Maybe, but maybe not.
Maybe you realize that after all this time you spent trying to get money, you have forgotten what you really wanted from life. Hopefully you won't end up old talking about how you wished you were young again. When you are young, you need to do everything you can, while you can still achieve your dreams, and your body can still handle it.
Whatever your dreams are, an no matter what success is to you, make sure that you strive to realize those dreams. Others may tell you to wait, and that you can do them later, but you only have so much time. Always know that no matter what anyone says, and what the odds are, no one can stop you from achieving your dreams, only yourself.
Bran L. Hall
Its not very surprising that here in good old Brained Minnesota we don't celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Why is this not surprising? Well, we're mostly all white, and I'd say that for the most part, a large part of our population cares nothing for the reverend's life that he gave for the Civil Rights movement.
If there was a sizable African-American population in the Brainerd area, there would be outrage that school children must go to school on the national holiday honoring the birth of this great man. What's worse is that while in school, they learn little to nothing about King and his life's work.
If Brainerd happened to be a small town in the South, long said to be the hotbed of racist feeling in America, children would be learning about King in their classrooms and they would be learning about racial inequity issues and how to be tolerant of people different than themselves.
But Brainerd is not in the South; Brainerd has a very, very small minority of African-American citizens; Brainerd does not promote education for children about the problems of racism and discrimination our country has faced.
Local citizens tend to proclaim that they're incredibly tolerant of other races, and given an actual opportunity, they would probably prove themselves. The problem is that for the most part, they have received few benefits of an integrated educational environment, as there is minimal interaction among different races in our white-washed Brainerd Lakes area.
There is no way to truly integrate our little society, as there is simply not enough ethnic diversity in the area. Our community, however, must take action to educate young people about race relations in America, because many students entering first grade and those leaving the high school will pack up and leave our little burgh to find work in the greater world.
Contrary to what's here in Brainerd, there are actually African
Americans, Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and other peoples in our nation. Students must be taught in school about the life and times of Martin Luther King, Jr. and other civil rights leaders. They must learn that all people, regardless of their skin color are due respect, and that Brainerd is not a true representation of the rest of the world.
We've taken some steps in this direction, and many -- mostly all -- students are respectful of people of color, but we can't just believe that we're tolerant without questioning what that truly means.
Of course, Brainerd will retain its current racial demographic, at least in the near future. Many will continue to believe there are no problems with racism anymore, and many will continue to fly Confederate flags from their pickup trucks.
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