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Spoilers: Love ‘em or hate ‘em?

Commentary by Joshua Fitzgerald
Times-News correspondent

   Spoilers — little bits of information that divulge a key plot-point from a movie or a book —  are, for some reason, greatly hated by a small but influential group. I don’t know why.
   After all, what is better than hearing the surprise ending of “Mockingjay,” the third book in the “Hunger Games” trilogy, in which Katniss shoots Alma Coin instead of President Snow?
The spoiler saves you from having to read the book. Sure, you don’t get the experience of hearing exactly how it happened and you do not get to enjoy the author’s colorful, dramatic language, but isn’t it infinitely more important that you are saved from a few hours of reading?
Even better, what about the rumor that Han Solo dies at the hands of Kylo Ren in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”? This saves you from having to wait nine months until the movie comes out.
read more…

That ‘glass ceiling’ is beginning to crack

Commentary by Meghna Mahadevan
Times-News correspondent

   In roughly 40 years, the role of women in politics has drastically changed for the better.
In 1979, only 3 percent of Congress consisted of women, and in 2015, 19.4 percent of Congressional members are women. In addition, it’s the first time that more than 100 women have served in Congress, and five of those are from North Carolina.
Globally, by Jan. 1, 2014, there were 36 countries with 30 percent of head-governmental positions held by women, and the number of women in charge of foreign affairs had risen to 45, the highest it has been since 2008.
So what has caused these changes and what hasn’t changed at all?
read more…

Think ‘outside the box of chocolates’ next Valentine’s Day

Teens & Twenties writer Catherine Wiggins, third from left, poses with a group of senior citizens during a Valentine's Day dinner held at her church on Feb. 7, 2015. / Photo submitted

Commentary by Catherine Wiggins
Times-News correspondent

   On Feb. 7, I participated in a youth event to honor the senior citizens of my church with a Valentine’s Day dinner.
   This is the fifth year the youth have held this Valentine event. The seniors look forward to an evening of food and fun. The meal included an appetizer, main course, dessert and entertainment.
   Behind the scenes there were youth preparing themselves to serve tables while others worked in the kitchen preparing plates of food with assistance from parents.
   For entertainment, the youth read love poems and scripture from the Bible about love. The seniors played a Valentine’s Day version of Family Feud, which got their competitive juices flowing.
   The overall experience was exciting and rewarding. It was nice to serve the senior citizens of our church. All the youth agree that this is a rewarding experience. If you’re looking for a way to show your love next Valentine’s Day, then consider honoring the senior citizens in your church.

Catherine Wiggins is an eighth-grader at Burlington Christian Academy and a Teens & Twenties writer.

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