And we’re off… part one


“Please fasten your seatbelts; we’re set for take-off.”

As I heard those words, anxiety rushed through my body.

I have never flown and flying alone my first time, didn’t set my mind at ease.

My trip had begun the night before, as I headed to Flint to spend the night before my flight to California the next morning.

Take-off was set for 7 a.m., I decided I’d wake up at 4 a.m., to give me enough time to collect my thoughts and be ready to face my fear.

Tossing and turning all night and waking up every hour on the hour, was not a good feeling, as I knew I had an early morning flight to look forward to.

Not to mention my anxiety.

With my mom and aunt dropping me off at the airport, I thought I would be cool, calm and collected.

Boy was I wrong.

I put off the inevitable for as long as I could, finally it was time for security check.

As I said my goodbyes, fear set in and tears rolled down my face.

“Suck it up, Sherry,” is all I could think.

I knew I had to prove my brothers Nick and Tim wrong, since they were taking bets on whether I would get on the plane or not. (Well, I got on the plane, so to the one that was betting against me; I accept cash, check, or holding it over your head for the rest of your life!)

I said my goodbyes, and entered security.

“Take off your shoes, place them here, empty your pockets, put everything in the bin,” the TSA lady said.

Having never flown before, I had to ask a couple questions, and I could tell she was annoyed.

“Wait here, enter the scanner, stand like this,” is what I heard next.

Next thing I know, the security guard asks me to step aside. I was flagged!

Oh great. Of course this would happen to me.

Time for the pat-down. I can assure you I didn’t have anything on me — it was all in those bins!

Finally I was cleared and on my way I went.

Boarding pass in hand, I entered the first plane.

It was a little plane, not what I was expecting.

Off to Cleveland we went, let me tell you that was BUMPY ride and did not put my mind at ease at all!

Luckily, I sat next to a nice older lady, who assured me everything was okay.

Just what I needed!

45 minutes later, we were in Cleveland.

I couldn’t wait to get off that plane! I just wanted to get it over with!

As I exited the plane, I found myself at gate D (not the gate I needed).

Of course, my gate was on the other side of the airport.

Naturally, I RUSHED to the other side, thinking I was going to miss my flight the whole time! I was so scared. But I made it in time, with 15 minutes to spare.

I called home to let my dad know I made it to Cleveland and was boarding the next plane, and texted my brother, Tim, to let him know what time I was going to touch down in California, making sure he would be there to get me.

As I stepped onto the bigger plane, I felt a little better. Things were fine after takeoff — until we hit turbulence…

The turbulence didn’t make my first time flying any better!

As kids, my brothers and I would always goof around in the car grabbing the other ones seat and shaking it as if we were hitting turbulence (granted, one of us was sitting in the captain chair in our van).

But this didn’t feel anything like that.

I think I held in my fear pretty well.

I’m sure the look on my face was pretty priceless though.

So here I am, sitting 36,000 feet up in the air, typing up this column for you and putting up with the obnoxious lady in front of me who INSISTS on having her seat back, making it difficult for me to type!

The good news is I finished chapter one of my thesis. It was due Sunday, and since this was a VERY LAST-MINUTE trip, I thought I was never going to get that done!

I guess flying isn’t so bad. Granted, I am still in the air, and still have an hour to go, but soon I will be in Los Angeles.

The only thing I should be worried about is whether Tim shows up at LAX to pick me up!

Well my laptop’s battery is almost dead, so I’m going to end this now.

Until next time, as my journey continues with a road trip back to Michigan.

Just my brother and me…

This should be interesting.



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Having had Mrs. Barnum as a Social Studies teacher,and Mrs. Hammond as an English teacher,all I can say is education has really hit rock bottom in Standish.Is the author in college? I found so many spelling,syntax,and run-on sentence mistakes in this article,I tired of counting..Does this publication not employ a proofreader? I appreciate the article,young lady,but you need to brush up on your writing skills.

Thursday, November 10, 2011 | Report this

luvstandish65, I think you may need to brush up on your writing skills as well. Spaces are usually inserted after words and a comma etc. Just my observation.

Thursday, November 10, 2011 | Report this

dmanwaring-You forgot a comma after comma-just my observation.And I am not impersonating a newspaper writer,and getting paid for it.Spaces are not usually inserted after words and a comma-only if the type is small or not clear.Nice try coming to the defense of an inept writer.This comment was an observation on what now passes as journalism,another indication of the dumbing down of America.Where is the pride in one's work anymore?

Thursday, November 10, 2011 | Report this

whateveryouwanttosayisokaywithme, did you run out of font?

Give the girl a break. You asked if she was in college. Duh, do you write a thesis because you don't have anything else to do?

Thursday, November 10, 2011 | Report this

My,my-Aren't we getting nasty? The college query was sarcasm-do you not understand the concept? Since your punctuation skills are also sorely lacking,what right do you have attacking me? As I said, I am not getting paid as a professional writer- she is. I merely lamented the fact that education in this country is in a downward spiral, a fact to which you certainly can attest. Have a good day......

Thursday, November 10, 2011 | Report this

luvstandish65.......Sarcasm is not what you are doing appears that you just plain want to insult. Pretty low really. This is clearly an article of diary "entries", not meant to be a traditional "article". These are her thoughts.....not meant for your judgment. She only has one person that can judge her......and isn't you!!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011 | Report this

My goodness-I didn't intend the comment to be sarcastic,as I previously stated, I was commenting on how poorly written the article is.There is nothing wrong with sharing your thoughts.But if you are going to do it in a public venue, you would want promote yourself and your community in a positive way. I love Standish,and I want other people to see it as I do-a modern,well-educated community that people would want to visit.Not as some back-water,with poorly-educated people writing for the local paper.And......Sweetie.......I wasn't judging her,only her writing skills.Does she get paid to write for this paper? Then she should do so in a professional manner.If you want this community to be perceived in a less-than-favorable light,then by all means go ahead and accept this type of poorly written journalistic article. With attitudes like these,no wonder Michigan is in the financial and moral shape that it is in. I believe in always doing things to the best of my ability-whether that be scrubbing toilets,or writing an article for the local community paper. I do see that the author made some corrections to the article, kudos to her for trying to improve the quality of her work.

Thursday, November 10, 2011 | Report this

Wow!!! I cannot believe luvstandish65's comments. First off, we all know that writers submit their stories and proofreaders put the story into the final format. Very often writers are upset by proofreaders and editors changes to their stories. That being said, Ms. Barnum is a relatively new writer to the Independent and Herald. I would be astonished if her articles were perfect. I read several papers each week that include writing, spelling and grammatical errors. As she previously stated, her degree is not in journalism. If this is the way you spend your free time, being mean to new writers, let me suggest several organizations which are looking for volunteers to do constructive work. Relay for Life, Habitat for Humanity, Food Banks, Red Cross.....etc.

Thursday, November 10, 2011 | Report this

Wow-I can't believe how all of you blew this up into such a big deal. I wouldn't have made any further comments past the first one,but I don't appreciate being attacked for no reason other than that I believe in quality writing.By a professional, no less. Don't any of you realize that people all over the country read this paper? I have personally recommended that people read the paper of my hometown, people that live in other states and countries. Is this really the provincial image you want to project? As I said earlier,I just expected a little more quality writing from a paid professional.Her level of writing seems more suited to an 8th grader. Jump on me all you want, but have anyone read it-it's pretty juvenile,even from a college kid.

Thursday, November 10, 2011 | Report this

Again, watch an interview by Barbara Walters from 1970 to 2000. I'm sure you will see a difference. How about Mitch Album's articles in the 80's versus today. It's called experience. Also, I am sure she is not paid 50,000 per year. As you will notice, the Herald and the Independent are what are referred to as stepping stones. This is where new reporters begin their career and move on to bigger opportunities. Ms. Barnum has been a staff writer for less than 6 months. I would not expect the same level of writing from a new writer, as I would from a seasoned writer. You need to give the young people a break. You are the one who appears to be juvenile. Also do you really understand the word provincial. I am sure Mrs. Hammond would be disappointed at your usage of provincial.

Thursday, November 10, 2011 | Report this

Excuse me? Provincial-having limited interests,or narrow-minded views. I live in a small town with college age kids writing in the paper,and the quality of writing far surpasses this article. And how exactly do I appear to be juvenile? By calling things as they are? Mrs. Hammond was a great teacher and taught me a lot. This writer didn't have access to as good a teacher,or wasn't a very good student. The amount you are paid should have nothing to do with the quality of your work. And I do a lot of volunteer work,thank you very much.People give young kids too much of a break nowadays,they don't challenge them,or call them out on their mistakes.In the end,that only hurts the kids. I will reiterate-everyone blew this up for no other reason than that of being offended about a hometown writer, of limited experience,and limited education for her age.

Thursday, November 10, 2011 | Report this

Again her major was not nor is it in journalism. I am 17 and Ms. Barnum and I attend the same high school. We have had the same english teachers for the past several years, all of which may I point our are extremely qualified. I scored the second highest score in Michigan on the ACT writing. I took the ACT as a Sophmore which as you know, Michigan students take as Juniors. Clearly the English teachers are doing their jobs. Also Ms. Barnum was in her class' top ten. Therefore you cannot say she was a poor student. I would like to point out provincial is derived from the latin term Providence. Its definition means a local area. Therefore you clearly do not understand english as well as you would like to think. In addition to going to school and taking college and honors classes I have two jobs. Therefore you cannot say young people are given too much of a break, or that they are lazy and unmotivated. Please keep your narrow minded and ignorant comments to yourself.

Thursday, November 10, 2011 | Report this

Alicia 11-Clearly you do not understand the meaning of provincial,or you have an outdated dictionary. Actually look it up-see my post above,taken verbatim from my dictionary.There are variances on the meaning. If this writing is top 10-you both are prime examples of why the U.S. is doing so poorly in education compared to the rest of the world. Since when is a degree in Journalism a prerequisite to competent writing?Please keep your narrow minded and ignorant comments to yourself.

Thursday, November 10, 2011 | Report this

I in fact do not have an outdate dictionary. All of the the different meanings are close to each other, none of which mean even close to your insinuation. May I ask what your education is and what you majored in? Ms. Barnums writing was competent. Competent means meeting the goal, which I believe she did. It is an opinion there is no right or wrong. It even says next to the article diary, this is clearly written as a diary entry. Furthermore my comments are not ignorant since I clearly understand the topic of which I am writing about. This does not portray a top ten based on one article. The top ten is based on ones full high school education. The U.S.s education is not a matter of international affair, and I would like to point out Education is taught at home and molded by school. Since you spoke so highly of Mrs. Carolyn Barnum, I would like to point out, you are now showing yourself to be a hypocrite by saying her daughter is an incompetent juvenile. Also if the U.S.s education is failing why are some of the brightest in our world from the U.S.

Thursday, November 10, 2011 | Report this

One of the meanings of provincial is exactly what I stated-where in the world did you learn how to read? Did you even look it up? You are clearly showing your age and ignorance-"of which I am writing about"-should be" about which I am writing". Better to say nothing and appear a fool,than open your mouth and remove all doubt-words you should take to heart. Do you not keep up on news and our standing in the world? You are the very definition of my use of the word provincial-limited interests,and/or narrow-minded views. The U.S. education is not a matter of international affair? I can hardly keep from laughing. It's people my age who are among the brightest in the world,but we are quickly losing that distinction.I never said Mrs. Barnum's daughter was an incompetent juvenile-I simply said her writing should be of better quality,even if it is from her diary,since she is getting paid,which implies professionalism. My writing does not change when I am writing in my journal.My intelligence is inherent, I do not just turn it off when I am relaxing. Can you not tell what my level of education must be,and what my major was? Since you're so darn tootin' intelligent compared to me! Shucks, I shouldn't even be talkin' to ya! I'm not qualified,now am I?

Thursday, November 10, 2011 | Report this

Just a few thoughts for you. Spaces come after commas, you said her article showed her intelligence, therefore by describing her writing as incompetent and juvenile you are calling her incompetent and juvenile. I never said I was more intelligent than you, merely that you did not have an understanding of the topic we are discussing. Also of which I am writing about is properly stated. It can be presented like that or in other forms. I never said you weren't qualified, I said my english teachers are. You never answered my questions. I do not assume things. Assuming things makes one look foolish. Clearly you assume a lot since I have just raised several points showing you that I am in fact not ignorant nor does it show my age.

Thursday, November 10, 2011 | Report this

Sorry-of which I am writing about is not proper form.Try that in a college course. Exactly how did you "show me" that you are in fact not ignorant? I'm still waiting on the meaning of provincial-by pointing out my "obvious" misuse of the word,you are clearly trying to assert your "superior" intelligence. I do not assume anything,either. I use facts,not assumptions. Maybe you'd better be concerned about your level of education,since you will be competing globally for employment,unless you choose to stay in Standish. On further consideration,maybe that would be for the best. The only questions I did not answer were the ones about my education. A college education does not necessarily denote intelligence,as evidenced by the comments on here tonight. Which is not to say that I don't have one,because I consider it necessary to have one in this day and age. I just wish later graduates' levels of intelligence didn't reflect so badly on my degree. Just a few thoughts for you....

Thursday, November 10, 2011 | Report this

Really? now luvstandish65 wants to argue with a child? It's time for you to let this go. Sherry be proud. Every writer wants to spark a litttle controversy. You did a GREAT JOB AND THE HOMETOWN CREW LOVES YOU.

Thursday, November 10, 2011 | Report this

I am in honors and college classes this is how I show my intelligence. I do not plan to stay in Standish since I am not from there. Provincial means local,1.

belonging or peculiar to some particular province; local: the provincial newspaper.


of or pertaining to the provinces: provincial customs; provincial dress.


having or showing the manners, viewpoints, etc., considered characteristic of unsophisticated inhabitants of a province; rustic; narrow or illiberal; parochial: a provincial point of view.


(often initial capital letter) Fine Arts. noting or pertaining to the styles of architecture, furniture, etc., found in the provinces, especially when imitating styles currently or formerly in fashion in or around the capital: Italian Provincial.


History/Historical. of or pertainingnoun


a person who lives in or comes from the provinces.


a person who lacks urban sophistication or broad-mindedness.




the head of an ecclesiastical province.


a member of a religious order presiding over the order in a given district or any of the American provinces of Great Britain.

I did not attempt to assert superiority by pointing out an error. You assumed that one.

I could continue arguing with you, however I do not have anything else to say to you without bordering disrespect. Have an enjoyable life, feel free to take an english class and a computers class to brush up your skills. Remember spaces come after commas, even in typing.

Thursday, November 10, 2011 | Report this

Oh,I am definitely letting this go.I am not the one who started the argument with the child. fischer98-did you also not look up the meaning of provincial? I am simply defending my comments,it is everyone else that is arguing.Have a nice evening,everyone. I refuse to engage in a battle of wits with people who are so grievously unarmed.

Thursday, November 10, 2011 | Report this

Alicia-What exactly do you think #7 means? Lacking sophistication or broad-mindedness? Maybe limited interests,and narrow minded views? I repeat-unarmed. Good night.

Thursday, November 10, 2011 | Report this

Thank you for your comments.

First of all, let me state that this is a column, not a news piece, where there is more freedom in the style of writing.

Secondly, when items are posted on the site, they are often cut and pasted from a previous document, such as Microsoft Word, where we originally wrote the story. Occasionally there are syntax errors that occur because of this process. We do our best to catch them, but it doesn't always happen.

We do have a proofreader — a very good one. Good proofreaders are hard to find.

As stated in the comments above, Sherry has been with the company for some time, but is just beginning to work in our editorial department. She has done great work for us. I appreciate you pointing out mistakes that you noticed, but we would also appreciate if you'd understand that mistakes occasionally do happen, and give new writers a chance.

If you have any further comments or concerns, feel free to contact me at

Eric Young

Managing Editor

Friday, November 11, 2011 | Report this

To the editor- Thank you for your comment. I do understand about new writers, and I give everyone a chance. The other commenters seem to have been carried away in their defense of the author of this article. I actually wasn't aware that since this is a column, and not a news piece, that basic writing skills would just go out the window. I actually enjoy reading articles from the paper, and was just commenting on some especially bad writing. I would think that there would have been some oversight on written material before it is posted online, but evidently I was mistaken. I apologize for any feelings I may have hurt, but the majority of my comments were directed at the other commenters, and I was actually just defending my comments that were being labeled as falsehoods. It has been a spirited exchange. Thank you.

Friday, November 11, 2011 | Report this

Sherry, I enjoyed your article, keep up the good work!

Friday, November 11, 2011 | Report this

Thanks Eric, for your clarification! I enjoy the paper very much and think that the writers do a great job. In this economy, we are all tightening our belts a bit. The Arenac and Ogemaw have too. There are many people in the workforce doing the jobs that were formerly handled by 2 or 3 people. And while technology allows us to accomplish this, it does also create problems. People need to understand that due to cutbacks, unfortunately, things are not always the way we would like them to be. You and your staff do a great job! I'm sure it has not been easy with the many recent changes in staff writers and other departments. Keep up the good work at the Arenac Independent and the Ogemaw Herald.

Friday, November 11, 2011 | Report this

and to Luvstandish65... keep defending yourself, nobody else seems to be defending you. Those who fail to see both sides, generally seem to have a provincial attitude (very small minded & quite haughtly). I'm glad that you had Mrs. Barnum as a teacher. However in the many years that I have known her, Mrs. Barnum would never publicly assassinate another person as you did her daughter. The time you spent in Mrs. Barnum's class certainly did not benefit you personally. You many of learned current events, social studies, but you did not learn how to give constructive criticism in an encouraging way. I guess Sherry is the lucky one. I'm sure her mother will encourages Sherry to be the better person and walk away from life's trivial non-important attitudes of other people.

Friday, November 11, 2011 | Report this

fischer98- I am so glad to see you finally figured out the meaning of provincial as I used it. See,we can keep learning. I did not assassinate Ms. Barnum's character- only her writing ability. Technology has no bearing on writing skills- do you really believe that? I don't need anyone to defend me. "I'm sure her mother will encourages Sherry"-My-Standish is full of uneducated people anymore. I am really glad that my children are no longer in Standish's educational system- just look at the quality of the students it has turned out. You are no better than I at being kind and considerate. You just choose to couch your insults in generally condescending terms. I see them for what they are.

Friday, November 11, 2011 | Report this

Standish, like many other schools has turned out doctors, lawyers, carpenters, janitors, farmers, military service men and women and many other productive people in America. I'm happy for your children that they are receiving a great education somewhere. But please realize, the educators in this country are not on the same playing field as other countries. Our state and federal government have tremendously hindered our teachers from teaching our children. They have set unrealistic goals and benchmarks. As a parent of 5 children, I realized it was up to me to begin my children's education at home, through the local church and in public school. My children have been very successful. We have fostered 20+ children throughout the last several years and I find that children ultimately fail because of their home life, NOT ANY FAULT OF THE SCHOOL. Every child who came to our home was failing academically. Within weeks there was adequate progress. E.g. 9th grade student lived with us for 4 years. She went from failing 4 out of 6 classes to being on the A/B honor roll. 2nd 9th grade student and mother of 4 month old baby, also improved her grades tremendously. She is now graduated, has 3 children and works as a hotel manager and attends college. So, yes, the home matters. With your outstanding abilities, I am sure your children would have succeeded, even at SSC. My children did not attend there, as we do not live in their district. Every town in America is full of uneducated people as well as educated. And yes, technology does have bearing on writing skills. When you use certain things like spell check and grammer check, they are not always correct. And once again, as Mr. Young stated, they do use proofreaders. Ultimately, it was her responsibility to correct any errors. How can you, not understand this? Mr. Young explained it to you, yet you do not seem to understand it. I may make mistakes in my writing, grammer and life in general. But I would never attack a person and try to humiliate them in public as you did. If you had a problem, you could have contacted the staff at the Independent by E-mail or by phone. You did not have to be so mean and post your condesending remarks all over the internet.

I suspect that you are lucky to have a high school education and are probably not really employed. But then again, it's just my opinion! I'm sorry if I have been harsh, but I support my community and when there is a problem, I prefer to be part of the solution, rather than adding to the problem. Those who can, do! Those who can't, prefer to talk about what they want people to believe they can do.

Friday, November 11, 2011 | Report this

This IS amazing. How did a editorial from Sherry about her first flight get this far out of hand? Why doesn't everyone just appreciate a non-fictional account? Sit back and relax!!!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011 | Report this

It really is amazing and so is Sherry!

Saturday, November 12, 2011 | Report this

fischer98- Your attitude and others like it are a prime example of why America is failing so miserably in the world's education rankings. Accepting and making excuses for mediocrity. For your information, not that it's any of your business, I homeschooled my children. I realized I could do better. I also realize not everyone has that choice,although education does not need to end with the school day.

I was not mean and posted my "condescending" remarks "all over" the internet. For goodness sake, this is a little newspaper from a little town- you give Standish too much importance. And excuse me, but this girl is a paid professional writer, and the daughter of a teacher. Why is everyone so afraid to hold their children to a high standard? " Those who can't, prefer to talk about what they want people to believe they can do", you have no idea who I am or what I do. Could you please learn how to debate in a logical and sensical manner? I believe in standing up for your hometown- I just don't believe in excusing and rewarding mediocrity. Trophies just for participating for everyone! Typical liberal mindset. I did not have a problem- I merely commented on a story which was poorly written and hard to follow. Your knee-jerk reaction to defend her, based on nothing more than " Don't pick on the hometown girl", is a classic example of how far our standards have been lowered.

I never use spell check, know how to spell grammar, and continue my education. The schools have set unrealistic benchmarks? You are a bigger fool than you purported yourself to be in earlier comments. I'm sorry if I sound harsh, I'm just realistic, and have high expectations for our children and our country. I'm sorry you do not feel the same.

Sunday, November 13, 2011 | Report this

I love how people think they can judge a person's intelligence by the way they write a column on the Internet.

Luvstandish: you talk like everyone else who is posting comments here is stupid, but you're the one picking fights on the internet. Step away from your keyboard, go outside, get some fresh air, and do something productive. Hiding behind your computer screen picking on people for no good reason may make you feel like a bigger person, but trust me, you're the only one who feels that way.

The rest of us just feel sorry for you.

Sunday, November 13, 2011 | Report this

My goodness- What ridiculousness. I didn't say anyone was stupid. Do all you people have nothing better to do than get all upset over one thing someone says? I never asserted myself as the bigger person. And I was picking on no one- I merely defended my self from insecure people attacking me. I made one comment about the author- everyone else attacked me. I feel sorry for all of you, with nothing better to do than attack someone for speaking the truth. Why not do something productive yourself, and try to improve the conditions in Michigan, including the education system? Commence with the attacks. Try to have a good day.

Monday, November 14, 2011 | Report this

By the way Sherry, how was your trip to California? If you do share your story with us, be sure to run it by someone. I just got back from a road trip myself and I see that the story continues.

Monday, November 14, 2011 | Report this

Commence with the attacks????? "Commence with the attacks" means to begin the attacks. I think you want to cease the attacks. Yes, like everything, there could have been improvement in this article. However six or seven people do not agree with you and that is OK. But that does not mean that you are right and we are wrong. All people make mistakes in their jobs. It is part of everyday life. Maybe each company should put all employees mistakes in the company newsletter so everyone can be held accountable or to a higher standard.

The majority of the educators in this country do not agree with the new laws forcing public schools to run as businesses. Michigan use to be a leader in education in the USA. Lawmakers and backers of NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND have pushed Michigan in the other direction. Every child is not a candidate for college or advanced classes. But, schools are now forced to teach higher level courses to those who will never keep up. Limited school funding makes it nearly impossible to provide a well rounded curriculum for all children. Also, the new laws requiring inclusion have destroyed the public schools. I have come to the conclusion that inclusion is merely a dilusion. It is utterly rediculous to believe that a general education teacher should be responsilbe to teach chemistry, trig, or economics to forty students and have them all become successful. Unrealistic goals. Japan, China and most of the countries in Europe would never try to accomplish this goal. By the age of 10 or 12, children who do not show academic promise are put to work or moved into classes which teach a trade. Yes we do need high academic standards, but we also need realistic goals and opportunities for all students. Some students will never enter the work force due to their limitations. Others will be useful in skilled trades, which are not being offered in the schools due to insufficient budgets. Many will enter the armed forces to protect and defend the USA. Many will seek higher education. But until our government gets their piorities straight, our children will suffer unless parents and communities come together to help.

And no matter which path our children follow, they will make mistakes, just as you and I have in our lives.

Monday, November 14, 2011 | Report this

luvstandish65: Sensical? I'm almost certain sensical is not a word. I looked it up, and sensical was not known by Can you please check that out for us all?

Anyway, how on earth did ANY of you come to the conclusion that you can judge, harrass, and attack others? Do you people think just because you're on the internet that you can personally attack and insult others? Whether you started the "debate" or not, you all sound ignorant and childish.

When you continue on and on about such small things that hardly matter, you are wasting your time, and raising your blood pressure over nothing. Who honestly cares if there were gramatical errors, punctuational errors, or any other errors in her DIARY ENTRY? If you believe you can do better, then do it.

luvstandish: You said "For goodness sake, this is a little newspaper from a little town- you give Standish too much importance. " but didn't you say earlier . "Don't any of you realize that people all over the country read this paper? I have personally recommended that people read the paper of my hometown, people that live in other states and countries." So which it? One minute you imply that it's a huge deal that this paper wasn't perfect because people all over the country read it and the next you say that the paper isn't of that much importance. If you're going to make a big deal out of an internet diary entry please don't be hypocritical. Take a clear stance, and support your beliefs. Also, I'm certain the paper appreciates your suggestions and comments,but there is an appropriate, proper way to express them without clearly offending the author of the artical. When you banter on and on with your PERSONAL oppinions you aren't helping anyone. Constructive critisism is a skill everyone should have, and maybe you dont have it yet, but I'm sure if you try you could pick up this skill too. You need to learn to let go of things. If you honestly believe these people are attacking you, then get off the sight and let it go. Don't keep arguing back with them, it's not worth your time. Just letting things go, and being the bigger person will take you much farther in life. Trust me. Be the bigger person. At the end of the day you'll have the satisfaction that you did the right thing.

To everyone else: give it a rest, I'm sure Sherry is over the situation and would like to move on and continue to grow in her writing skills. She is a great girl, and fantastic writer. I have no doubt in my mind that she will become an outstanding writer overtime and will be great at whatever she chooses to do with her life. Sherry is a brilliant person who doesn't deserve to be called names or be insulted in any way. Everyone should be giving her respect. It takes a lot of guts to post a story you wrote, not to mention one about your own person fears and worries. She did a wonderful job and should be proud. It isn't her fault that the profreader missed some errors.

Monday, November 14, 2011 | Report this

Sorry- I just couldn't let this go. Amanda, for this entire thing to evidently not be a big deal, you certainly perused my comments carefully. Not carefully enough, however. Did you not catch the sarcastic intent of that comment? And my earlier use of the word provincial? The proofreader did not miss some errors-she missed many. If you had read the article when it was first posted ( it has since been corrected), there were subject-verb agreements that should never have passed the proofreader, nor been made by the author. They were not my personal opinions- they were writing rules that should be followed by any middle school writing class. "Artical" is correctly spelled "article"- I am amazed that people attack me when I just made one comment on one article, and they have no business doing so. I do take clear stances, and support my beliefs, hence the comments.. I just assumed that the author would like to present an article that would attest to her skill as a writer, not detract from it. I would certainly love to let this go, but I also will not let people assassinate my character, and say things about me that are untrue. I will not even address fischer98's comments about our country's educational standing- there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to support my statements. Thank you for your comment, and have a good day.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011 | Report this

We understand that the proofreader made mistakes. Sorry shes human, sorry I'm human, and misspelled the word article, and lastly, sorry we can't all be as perfect as you like to potray yourself to be. Your character is showing in every comment you posted. And mines going to be showing by leaving this story and letting this situation go. You know its funny, maybe if you put this much effort and time into something productive you could make things better for our country, instead of wasting your time defending yourself on the internet about something that has such little importance. Maybe you should examine yourself before you decide it's your place to place your judgement upon others. Also, did you look up sensical yet?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011 | Report this


Tuesday, November 15, 2011 | Report this

I love how people say I'm petty, and how they're going to be the bigger person, and let this go, etc. I'm so glad you caught sensical, because it shows that people DO notice spelling and grammatical errors, and that proper writing DOES matter, and so further proves my point. I do make things better for my country, every day- can you say the same? I didn't place my judgement upon others- I simply did what you did- point out errors that I noticed. Maybe you should examine yourself- it's actually a good thing for a person to do from time to time. It makes us better people. Have a good evening.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011 | Report this

Hey standish, you are right, everyone else in the world is wrong. Now you can let it go?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 | Report this

Yep! Even with a sarcastic comment like that!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 | Report this

luvstandish65 - you know, the newspapers are always looking for writers. I'm sure with your extensive expertise, knowledge, and command of the English language you'd make a great addition to their staff. Just make sure you can attend meetings anytime day or night, cover events on the weekends, write on short deadlines with little cooperation from sources, and oh, don't get offended when people you don't know publicly criticize you. I do not work for the newspaper and am not related to anyone that does, however it is obviously a thankless job and being so critical of a young person starting out in their career isn't doing anything but making you look like a big jerk.

Thursday, November 17, 2011 | Report this

TOTALLY AGREE with luvstandish65- this article is horrible and should not have been published. Also, I do believe the writer's AUNT is defending her and her lack of writing skills- time to come clean fischer98.

Thursday, November 17, 2011 | Report this

Why, thank you, ss48658- did you also notice the second part of the story is MUCH improved? Seems like a little criticism can be a good thing. @ MakesSenseToMe (now THERE'S an oxymoron), how in the world can you pretend to know what I do or do not do for a living? Being a columnist for a newspaper is a thankless job? When did that happen? I hardly think there are major constraints on Ms. Barnum's time working for this paper- I mean, are there numerous breaking stories of international importance relating to the job she does there? Is this now the New York Times? I think with all the interest these comments generated, and the subsequent improvement in the quality of the writing by the author, my critique was actually helpful to the author and the paper. The second article was much more enjoyable to read.

Thursday, November 17, 2011 | Report this

I guess commending the author on the 2nd article for a job well done would be asking too much? Or as I am writing this, you are posting as well, I doubt it.

Thursday, November 17, 2011 | Report this

If it was an exceptionally well-written article, I would not hesitate. As I commented above, the second article was much improved. Did you not notice the changes to the first article after my comment? She, or someone else who works at the paper made some necessary changes, and vastly improved the article. The second article was a great improvement over the first, and was much more enjoyable to read. Do I need to make an announcement about an author doing an adequate job, or should I reserve praise for writing a truly exceptional article? I think I shall do the latter. I don't mean to sound condescending, but as I said in an earlier post, I think people in this country heap too much praise on children just for participating. When I give someone a compliment, you can bet your bottom dollar it is sincere, and not given to anyone lightly. In other words, it means something. What is the worth of a trophy if everyone gets one? What is so great about being a winner if no one loses? When she writes an exceptional article, in my humble opinion, I will sing her praises to the choir. Does that sound fair?

Thursday, November 17, 2011 | Report this

Never mind, your novels are getting better as well. You are inserting spaces after your periods in your sentences. Outstanding! Twenty comments out of 47 to get it right, not bad.

Friday, November 18, 2011 | Report this

Oh,yes, coming from the person who totally forgets to put commas where they are needed. " Or as I am writing this, you are posting as well, I doubt it." Such clear and concise sentences, I am duly chastised. I don't think it will be keeping me up at night. But I do commend you for picking apart my comments, and totally ignoring the many mistakes made by a supposedly educated and professional writer. Thank you for your observations.

Friday, November 18, 2011 | Report this


Friday, November 18, 2011 | Report this

Well, at least you can count. There's that much going for you, at any rate.

Friday, November 18, 2011 | Report this

22 & not a novel. I'm disappointed.

Friday, November 18, 2011 | Report this

Are you going somewhere with this? Numbers are infinite, you know.

Friday, November 18, 2011 | Report this

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