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Well, for one thing, it's the coolest high school newspaper in all the land. Watch our video and find out more.
Just about everyone knows someone who has been bullied, in ways big and small. Understandably, though, many victims are reluctant to speak about their experiences. We found some who aren't.
*For tips on how to survive the GOP invasion, click here.*
By JACKIE LAWSON, Gaither High
Interested in taking part, even if just in spirit, in the Republican National Convention, set to ramp up in Tampa with an expected 75,000 visitors in just a few days?
Though you might not be able to vote yet, don’t let that deter you from letting your American flag (or Romney/Ryan swag) fly.
Here’s a handy-dandy (and sometimes, tongue-in-cheek) list of tips local teenage Republicans, or anyone inspired by elephants and patriotic colors, may find useful while navigating Tampa Bay area streets, shops and the general convention hoopla.
Outfit choice: Wear clothing that displays the American flag as much as possible, or any combination of red, white and blue. Even though everything about the convention will be decked out in our nation’s colors, it’s fun to show your pride in ‘Merica during this tourism/commerce/patriotism boon. Go to your local party supply shop and purchase plenty of Uncle Sam hats for you and your friends. Dressing like Uncle Sam may increase your chances of obtaining free food at street vendors, but that's not the point. However, if costumes aren’t your thing, you could conform to the norm and wear a nicely pressed shirt and tie, or bright red dress. Remember, you can watch the festivities from your air-conditioned living room.
Essential items: If you've scored a spot at a convention event at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, or even if you're just hoping to people watch from the streets, don't forget these words: comfortable shoes. It's also smart to have a first aid kit, sunglasses, extra cash, portable fan and an umbrella. (Remember: Florida, August.) And be prepared: You might have to wait in line to get in to your favorite dining spots or cute boutique, so bring a sleeping bag, or something else comfy to rest on. One idea for swift navigation? Rent a Segway (watch out for the horses on patrol). Okay, since Segways are probably already all rented, you could be more daring and try to rent an elephant (better vantage than even those horse-mounted patrol officers). If you’re on a low budget or don't have an in with Ringling Bros., just substitute a stuffed elephant. Nothing says "I'm having a good time" like tucking a cute plush friend under your arm.
If boredom strikes: If you're in an area with lots of people (and what area won't be like that?), start the wave as many times as possible. Toss beachballs around, making sure everyone knows that the first person to drop one is the loser. It might be helpful to bring a small instrument to play patriotic tunes on for the general public to enjoy. Or you could kick it '80s style and hike a portable boom-box up on your shoulder for the duration of the convention. You’d be sure to make lots of friends!
Get contacts: If you're at or even near the convention, you may meet quite a lot of famous politicians, political pundits, reporters and the like, so keep an autograph book at the ready. Everywhere you go, have people sign your book, no matter who they are (or aren't). Also, hand out business cards to cute young Republicans. They might call you. Maybe.
Hungry? If you’re lucky, you might find a small space to squeeze into at a trendy restaurant. Ignore it. Head straight to Mickey D’s and purchase a Happy Meal. It’s the All-American way.