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Friends helping friends at the middle school


It is an ever-changing world we live in, one that moves faster and faster with each passing day. The result is that, for the most part, people must constantly review and evaluate the technology they use as well as how it impacts their everyday lives.

That’s a difficult task and it has caused an expanding gap between the older and younger generations, a rift that makes the Generation Gap of the 1960s look like a small divide by comparison.

Take, for example, mobile phones. Ten years ago, owning a cellphone was starting to become commonplace; now these phones have turned into mini computers that have become ubiquitous. Souped-up high tech watches are entering the market, making the favorite tool of Dick Tracy — for those who remember his — a reality.

In the age of the Internet, where people can communicate anonymously. On the web, people do not have to stand behind their comments, there is no accountability. Cyberbullying, which has sadly led to some teenage suicides, is a perfect example of this.

We mention this technological drift because we are happy to see attempts to personalize and humanize life — to keep it real — in our own community.

At Mystic Middle School, we see a significant change in the way children are educated — we applaud the school’s “den” approach (see story on page A7). Forming a den of students of varying ages and experiences is a way to involve classmates with each other and also to infuse a sense to teamwork, cooperation and mutual respect.

At the middle school, students are working together to improve the facility, to achieve a goal that will benefit everyone. Younger students become less intimidated by the older ones while the older students lead by example.

Some residents might think the idea is mollycoddling, that they didn’t have to do that when they were in school, and what worked then will work now.

But we see the program as an excellent way to foster face-to-face social connections, with friends helping friends, in the Internet age.



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