Cheers to a small town that has a lot and Jeers to putting people down a small town that has a lot
    Crookston is one of those small towns where when you drive through it, you tend to notice the surroundings.
    Just looking out the window of your car, you can see the lovely hanging flowers from light posts, freshly painted buildings and well rounded landscaping that gives the town a complete look.
    It is nice to know that officials and businesses take pride in how we represent this city. We are lucky enough to say that we can take a nice walk through downtown without a bunch of noise and traffic.
    We can have events like Ox Cart Days where the whole community gets involved. We have an awesome bike path on the north end where an entire family go out for some exercise. Our parks are well manicured and there are plenty of places for our children to play.
    This small town may seem boring to many, but getting outdoors to experience it on a nice day will help one realize how blessed we are.

– Jess Bengtson putting people down
others with uncreative word choice
    Have you ever said anything you've instantly regretted? Chances are you have.
    It's normal to make mistakes – but is it normal to constantly make the same one? Maybe you're not realizing that you're making a mistake or hurting someone's feelings, but by using the words like "gay" and "retarded" as adjectives or punch lines can offend, hurt and indirectly put people down.
    Why did these completely normal terms – gay and retarded – become associated with negative connotations such as stupid, different, weird and not normal? How did these terms transform into weapons of verbal hate? Why do people, who are capable of using a million other word choice options, choose to abuse certain terms and not others?
    Next time when you find yourself using these terms, or even considering it, stop and let your creative juices flow – you might find that you have a term that is better than one that can offend and hurt others.

– Torrie Greer, Times intern