Readers’ Forum: 1/29/19


Pen and paper

What happened to the days of pen and paper? They are not used as often as they should be. Some may say that technology needs to be embraced, but I say, look at the facts. Uncap your pens, my friends, and take notes.

An experiment conducted by the Association for Psychological Science concluded that students who wrote notes by hand “performed marginally better than the other participants.” This confirms what I have found in college.

When my professor was solving problems in pen in one of my classes, it was refreshing to comprehend the material better. A student has to solve a math problem by hand, so it makes sense for the professor to teach the solution by hand, too. Remembering your professor’s messy handwriting is easier than straining to recall a slide.

Handwriting quiz answers would make stronger connections than bubbling in the letter “b.” In my opinion, students would do better on tests if they took their quizzes with a pencil and paper. The formatting would be more familiar when a student goes to the testing center.

I encourage all college students to take their notes with a pencil or pen and see if they retain information better and score higher. I encourage professors to start writing in pen, too.

I encourage people to take a step back and ponder why they have done away with graphite and ink.

— Annie Newsom

Murphys, California

Missions and depression

A mission will be one of the most demanding journeys of your life. The exhilarating and joyous experiences are real; however, so are feelings of loneliness and despair. The serious reality of depression is often misunderstood.

Understanding the worth of souls is vital to erase the feelings of fear depression brings. As the offspring of Heavenly Parents, every human being is divine. Moses 1:39 teaches that “we” are God’s work. Caring for a friend with this perspective is the most important thing a companion can do. 

I will never forget the time I looked into the blank face of one who was trying desperately to persevere and the time I took to stop everything and focus on him. These memories are unforgettable.

The unity of a companionship can change your life! As one of my dearest friends was honest with himself, myself, our mission president and God, he received the direction he needed.

Although words of encouragement and counsel help, there may come a time when one needs to humbly accept professional help, no matter the costs.

Missionaries who return home because of depression must never be viewed as having served dishonorably. We should all reach out to them as a friend and be willing to listen and talk.

If you are reading this and think these things don’t apply to you, please think again. Did the Savior not willfully reach out and claim you as His?

The experience of a mission is truly unforgettable in both positive and negative ways. You will be of greater service to yourself and to those around you.

No matter what challenges one may face, it is your responsibility to do everything in your power to reassure everyone of their worth. Even if that one is you.

— Brayden Tolman

North Ogden, Utah

Skating on campus

On the BYU campus you are permitted to ride a bicycle to get from class to class or simply just to cross through campus, as long as you are not riding during the class break. What is not permitted is the use of a skateboard, longboard or scooter.

It seems that just 10 minutes before classes begin, the pathways between buildings are flooded with frenzied kids rushing to get to their classes. It is less stressful to drive on I-15 during rush hour than it is to walk through the narrow passage between the KMBL and JFSB.

With that in mind, it makes complete sense that there is a rule that prohibits the use of bicycles during the passing periods — there is barely room to even walk!

However, this rule implies that during non-passing period times, there is sufficient room for a bicycle.

What puzzles me is that if campus police can agree that there is room for bicycles during the calm time between five after the hour and 10 till the hour, then why is there not room for a skater?

The rule could derive from the stigma that skateboarding is a dangerous thrill sport that could be considered “reckless.” However, there is a difference between street skating and just skating.

If you take a look around at the boards students carry in their hands on campus, they are cruiser boards, meaning they are meant to get from point A to point B.

Many of these cruiser boards even have brakes now. If the concern is that those skating on campus are more prone to crashing and bumping into other students while riding, that is the exact reason bicycles are only allowed during the non-busy hours, isn’t it?

It would only make sense to allow kids to skate on campus during non-busy hours, just like the bicyclists.

— Jonathan Charpentier

Austin, Texas

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