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Mrs. Thompson’s Classes Tackle Tough Issues

Submitted by david.thacker on Tue, 09/25/2018 - 16:17
by Rillene Nielsen

Students in Mrs. Thompson’s eighth grade English classes have been busy reflecting on some of the social issues teens contend with?  Who can they go to for advice?

Dear Abby, of course.

Mrs. Thompson’s students first examined mentor texts—copies of past Dear Abby articles—looking at their traits and characteristic structures.  Then they considered topics for their “reader letters” and imitated Dear Abby’s style for her “response.”

Here is the first article in a seven part series where teens voice their concerns then propose solutions—through the persona of Dear Abby. 



Will There Ever be a True Conversation?

September 12, 2018


DEAR ABBY: I have a big problem! When smartphones and the internet came out, it released a whole new world. It has become a better world, but at the same time it has also become worse. Conversations are mostly over the internet instead of person, and most the time people are on their phones 24/7.

When people actually do talk to each other in person, they are not even looking at each other because they are either playing a game or talking to someone else on social media or over texting. This is a big problem because you don’t know if they are listening to you or just agreeing even if they don’t know what you are talking about. For example, yesterday my friend and I were talking while he was just concentrated on his phone. I asked him, “Will you be able to hang out after school today?” Then without looking up, he said, “Yeah sure.” after school that day I went to his house and knocked. As he answered the door he looked very surprised. He then said, “Why are you here.” I answered him saying, “You said you could hang out today.” He then said, “I never said that!” Even though I knew he said that I turned around and when home.

This is terrible when you are really counting on a friend, neighbor or even a teacher! Abby, is it just me or is there a problem that needs to be fixed!

             --NEEDS HELP IN NORWAY


DEAR NEEDS HELP: It’s becoming a huge problem in today's world and I am truly sorry that it is. It really needs to change! I'm just not sure how to change it.

 It's not just you, I think its rude for someone to be on the phone while talking or “hanging out” in person. If you think someone is not listing just say obscure things until they start paying attention. If you can talk to someone in person you should instead of talking to them online.  If this becomes a more regular thing with you and your friend I suggest talking to him about it. Electronic devices shouldn’t get in the way of friendships!