by Abe Asher

Hello! I’m Abe Asher, and I’m the co-editor of the Aardvark Dig along with Patrick McVee for the 2014-2015 school year.

Speaking of the new school year, I hope you’re not ready to kill yourself yet.

If you’re unfamiliar, the Aardvark Dig is the OES student newspaper – a reincarnation of the Blophish that’s now in its sophomore year.

This is a big year for the paper. We’ve got a new editorial team, and happen to be the only “newspaper” in the country to be rapidly adding staff and not shoving employees into basements with $5,000 and no future.

Patrick McVee–By now, it’s old news- there are new vending machines in the Drinkward Center and the old Student Store room. The student store itself and the “snack shack” (the after-school food service) are gone. In their place are machines dispensing sugary drinks and a variety of junk food- from healthy to “healthy” to Hot Tamales.

The student-store system was flawed. It relied upon student volunteers to run it, who would open the store roughly whenever they felt like it. Service was infrequent, and there were frequent shortages of popular items. On top of that, someone, probably one of the student-store volunteers, was stealing money from the store’s cash register. The store’s replacement makes it clear that administration no longer trusts students to handle the store with integrity.

The student body’s reaction to the vending machines has been mixed. Many are excited about the selection and reliability of the vending machines. Others are opposed, concerned by the vending machines’ mysterious appearance and plethora of unhealthy options they make available. One former student store worker opposed, saying that the vending machines are “so counter to how we operate here [sic]”.

Elizabeth Keeney–With today’s mass media focused on the promotion of beauty, it is inevitable that the public has become more and more self-critical regarding their own superficial qualities, in comparison to beautiful and often photo-shopped idols. Tabloids scream at checkout lines with the latest plastic surgery ‘hit and misses’ for Hollywood’s celebrities. Heavily promoted reality TV programs focus on plastic surgery with great melodrama. One reality TV program, aired on E! in 2010 called Bridalplasty, hosted 12 women to compete for the perfect wedding, as well as their dream plastic surgery procedure; something old, something blue, and something new—including a new face perhaps.

Janine Kritschgau–I used to be very agitated with students for not supporting our newspaper in its earlier form: The Blöphish.  We started out this year with three seniors, a terrible website, and an extremely uninterested Student Body. I took it kind of personally, to be honest. I was so excited about the activity that I wrote my first article for The Blöphish while in 8th grade, about the all school musical, The Music Man. So you can imagine my disappointment when I became an editor as a Junior and could finally see the reader stats on our website… yikes. But in the end, Spencer, Brian, and I have led you all into a little trap. You LOVE the Aardvark Dig (we’ve got 15,372 hits and counting). But guess what: we are still the same activity. We have the same sense of humor as we did on The Blöphish. The biggest thing that changed was our web design!

Patrick McVee–Here’s my take on finals (un-publishable complaints have been redacted ).

Finals [redacted]. Life is [redacted]. I’m [redacted] Honors Biology final. I’m so [redacted]…. [redacted] is going to be [redacted] if [redacted].

[redacted]. I [redacted] but [redacted] strawberries [redacted]. Deri Bash [redacted]… [redacted] the CIA.

Holly Langely–“Sit still James!” A much younger and innocent version of myself says to my little brother. “You have to be still so I can put this bandage on your foot to make it better!” He had trodden on a piece of Lego and is crying on the floor of our cream carpeted bedroom. The colorful piles of Lego pieces strewn across the floor surround James’ model like a wall of protection. Sunlight shines through the lightly draped window, only to make the small beads of water rolling down his cheeks glisten with pain. Hating to see him in such discomfort, I knew immediately that I must help him. “Doctors put bandages on people when they are hurting,” I think to myself, “so I should put a bandage on James’ foot, then he can stop hurting, too.”

Janine Kritschgau–There is no feeling quite like the feeling of finishing a final. It’s a sensation that washes over the body, flooding the spirit with relief and happiness. Unfortunately, that feeling of bliss comes at a steep price. I don’t have to tell you about all the stress and anxiety surrounding any sort of assessment- let alone one that lasts for two hours and is followed by five others. But look at the bright side. It’s almost summer vacation! Here are some bits of advice to tide you over.

1.) Study. Or this will be you.