This or That?-Jackie Gu’s View

December 1, 2010 — by Jackie Gu

The age-old debate between pirates and ninjas has been analyzed and nit-picked to pieces. The time has come to find better, even more trivial, subjects to argue about. Which side of
these popular topics would you be on?

Severus Snape vs. James Potter

Severus Snape isn’t usually the first name that comes to mind when people are asked about their favorite Harry Potter character, but come on. What other character spent his entire adult life straddling life and death, his risk of death every day at the hands of Voldemort even greater than the chance of the weather man being wrong tomorrow? What other character was so perpetually heartbroken; his motives so misjudged? Perhaps he would lose to James in a battle of wits, but that’s simply because James spent half his time thinking up degrading insults to throw at people he didn’t like. (The other half he spent either preening himself in front of a mirror or getting rejected by Lily Evans, maybe simultaneously.) Despite James’ superiority in physical attractiveness, there’s no question about it—in a competition of sheer character nobility, Snape would easily take the cake.

Invisibility vs. Mind Reading

For starters, imagine all the events you could stealthily sneak into. Feeling stung over a lack of invitation to something? No problem! Just tag along invisibly, and if you’re feeling especially spiteful, wreak havoc on those that left you out. Also, the stalking possibilities are endless. Forget cyberstalking—now you can do the real deal, whenever and wherever you want. You’re not likely to be caught eavesdropping, stalking or even committing crimes (although this is not condoned in any way). At any rate, it’s a more useful superpower than telepathy, because with the power of invisibility, you’ll always be the best at hide and seek (although you might make games a little boring). After all, there’s a reason that only Ignotus Peverell, who chose the cloak of invisibility, outlived his two brothers by decades.

Christmas vs. Halloween

It’s nearly impossible to dislike Christmas, unless you’re the Grinch and you like everyone around you to be miserable, sad sacks all the time. The general aura of the Christmas spirit is so infectiously joyful that it turns around even the grumpiest of misers, like Scrooge. It also has religious significance, but it’s so commercialized that everyone can enjoy it now. And the very icon of Christmas, jolly old Santa Claus, is a great boost to the self-confidence of obese children everywhere. The food, weather, music on KOIT, and overall mood of the Christmas season are undeniably uplifting, even if you do suffer from seasonal affective disorder (the disorder also known as the winter blues—or, more appropriately, SAD). Halloween, on the other hand, is simply an excuse to wear less clothing to school.

Barron’s vs. Princeton Review

SAT prep books: Despite the rough abuse these books usually suffer (really, who hasn’t wanted to chuck them against a wall, burn them, or inflict other permanent injury to them?), they are undeniably helpful in preparation for the standardized test. Barron’s is one brand of SAT prep book that prepares you far better than many others. The books are arranged in a well-organized format, with individual categories easily accessible. Despite the somewhat notorious reputation the prep books have earned for providing practice tests more difficult than the actual test, this is actually helpful to students in the long run. This way, students will have thoroughly prepared, stressed over, and memorized everything in the book by the time they take the real SAT, only to be pleasantly surprised when the real test is a breeze. Better to be over-prepared than not enough.

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