Vo l . 5 ] S p r i n g 2 0 1 9
THE AIR a c a d e m y o f o u r l a dy o f p e a c e
OUR LADY OF
PEACE FOUNDED 1882
UP IN THE AIR VOLUME 5
Academy of Our Lady of Peace Literary Magazine 2018-2019
Every year I have the pleasure to work with a new team of students who wish to showcase and embrace the art of writing and creativity at OLP. Every year the mix of students is a little different, and therefore, so is the magazine. But one constant in this process is the joy and celebration of expression within our community, within our literary magazine staff, and within ourselves. This year the theme for the magazine is “Rise Up!” Not only is it the OLP school theme for the year, but it is a concept that inspires a sense of excitement and anticipation of the unknown possibilities within each of us. As a team, we tried to rise to new heights. We experimented with new design options, we expanded the scope of our team, and we hosted our first ever competition for entries. We collected work from our students that they felt was their very best, and this year invited our school faculty and staff to participate by sharing their own creative works. So, our hope is that with every page turned, you, as the reader enjoy the beautiful and inspiring writing and art work of our OLP community. In the spirit of the charisms of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondalet, they are woven together like a fine and beautiful lace. We hope that the words and pieces of art rise up from the page to ignite the creative soul lurking within yourself and that you enjoy reading our magazine as much as we enjoyed making it. Peace, Angela Gascho, Ed.D. Literary Magazine Moderator
I remember working on the Literary Magazine my freshman year with a team of four. This is my third year being part of the Literary Magazine staff and my second year as the Editor in Chief of the Literary Magazine, Up in the Air, now with a team of twenty one. An immense amount of work is put into the magazine every year, and I am incredibly proud to be part of a team that has grown so much and works hard to showcase the talent of OLP. This year, the team made the decision to try something new and we incorporated a contest into the magazine in addition to the regular entries. This year’s prompt was based around the OLP theme for the the 2018-2019 school year, “Rise Up” and we asked writers and artists “What Does Rise Up Mean to You?” This magazine houses the first two winners of this historic competition and we hope the OLP community finds a true connection with these pieces as they detail how rising above adversity and everyday situations has impacted their view on the world and their personal lives through vivid imagery and colorful language. Every year, the Literary Magazine strives to show diverse works, from poems to paintings to short stories and even screen plays; this year we have accomplished just that. I always find myself astounded, impressed, and often left with a wide range of emotions as I look at all of the pieces that are submitted and I truly hope that each and every one of you finds joy in the creative works of your sisters like I have. Enjoy the 2019 and 5th edition of Up in the Air, enjoy and happy reading! Much Love, Ashley Yeatts Editor in Chief
Meet the Team Editor in Chief
rise up competition
Ashley Yeatts ‘20
“To Rise Up” Alejandra Torres ‘19
Valeria Chavez ‘19 Katie Jordan ‘20 Lake Ransom ‘19 Hannah Balkowski ‘19
Olivia DiNapoli ‘19 Emma Ferguson‘19 Emily Grygar ‘20 Ella Brazil ‘20
Alyse Saucedo‘21 Maizie Houde-Glen ‘21 Natalia Girolami‘21 Peyton Brown‘22
Hannah Meza ‘22 Mia Soto ‘20 Chelsea Macavinta ‘21 Inés Ortega Flores ‘20 Alexandra Hornick ‘20 Nathalia Velasco ‘20 Savina Charlier ‘20 Delaney Sousa ‘20
art winner “Brain Power” Gabriella Martinez ‘21
table of contents Green (Velasco) 10 Untitled (Balkowski) 11 Intimidating Gold Masks (Girolami) 12 Idea of a Smile in the Style of Lemony Snicket (Jordan) 13 How to Fall in Love: The Three Easy Steps (Nechita) 14 Untitled (Crane) 15 Puppy Love (Nechita) 16 Blue Speck (Hine) 17 Phones and Books: An Unlikely Combination (Cayabyab) 18 Untitled (Crane) 20 Enigmatic Eyes (Hine) 21 Tito (Flores) 22 I Am From Music (Padilla) 23 Untitled (Balkowski) 25 In & Out (Nechita) 26 Daydreamer (Hoang) 27 Epiales (Lopez) 27 Untitled (Martinez) 29 Voiceless (Hine) 30 Untitled (Crane) 31 Ode to Waves (Cowan) 32 Body Parts (Flores) 33 The Day I Lost (Yeatts) 34 Stay Woke (Torres) 36 I Feel (Yeatts) 37 Untitled (Martinez) 38 Breathe (Cowan) 39 Seeing Blue (Hine) 40 Humble Teacher (Cowan) 41 How to Use a Coffee Cup (Sanchez) 44 Morning Tea (Hoang) 45 You & I Unnamed (Girolami) 46 A Painter’s Palette (Macavinta) 47 The Taste of Joy: A Reflection on my Culinary Aspirations (Sousa) 48 Stars (Hoang) 50 Living Galaxies (Hine) 51 Sunshine (Nock) 52 Untitled (Martinez) 53 I Believed in a Believer (Yeatts) 54 Life is Red (Herrera) 55
Zodiac (Girolami) 56 Classroom (Hoang) 61 Int. Arturo’s School Office: Late Afternoon (Sanchez) 62 Untitled (Flores) 65 Amares (Rubio) 66 Mohmmad Jaber (Grygar) 67 When You Scream into the Void, the Void Screams Back: 68 Existentialism 101 (Jordan) To Rise Up (Torres) 76 Brain Power (Martinez) 78 The Path of Life (Alverez) 79 Rise Up (Jackson) 79 Rising Above the Challenges (Cayabyab) 80 Rise Above (Figueroa) 82 Rise Up (Crane) 83 Relationship Advice from 10 of your OLP 86 English Class Texts (Danaher) Perspective & Mortal Love (Cabrera) 87 Siberian Tiger (Stringer) 87 My Foundation (Gascho) 88 Mammoth (Stringer) 89 Untitled (Gascho) 90 Untitled (Cabrera) 90 A Victory (Turner) 91 Humpback Whale (Stringer) 92 Jamal (Gascho) 93
by Nathalia Velasco ‘20
Your voice is a breeze It almost feels like a breeze of the sea It’s not on my skin, but I feel it It’s in my ears It goes through my ears and into my blood I find myself smiling, breathing easier The sound of your voice is a sea in mind I close my eyes It takes only a second and I am submerged It is nothing but the sea, and then it is green Green, the color of you, the color of the breeze From blue and yellow you bloom a perfect shade It’s so perfectly simple, it’s just you The essence of you in the color of trees We are two different colors, you a beautiful shade of emerald green I can’t make the color you hold, all I can do is watch Watch as you change in saturation as I walk beside you Watch as you perfect your hue as I support you and understand you Watch as you fully and utterly embody the shade you possess It aids me in understanding my own shade Which is not quite as defined as yours, but it’s mine There’s something wrong with the breeze The green starts to fade Your color pales mine does too The breeze comes to a halt, the sea is no longer I hear nothing but my own drained color There is nothing I can do now but open my eyes And hope that one day I may feel green once more 10
Untitled by Hannah Balkowski ‘19
Idea of a Smile In the Style of Lemony Snicket
intimidating gold masks
by Natalia Girolami ‘21
i can’t be around people made out of gold they hold winter in their touch to the point of no feelings in their fingertips and a glare holds an immense amount of power a stare enough to sink ships i see them everywhere thin with long locks they have pretty money tiny clothes i wish i was that fragile their smile turns heads just like an owl three hundred and sixty degrees until their brains turn hollow and their teeth go crazy crooked
by Katie Jordan ‘20
he had a contented, maybe even humorous look about her that was not so much the ghost of a smile because that would mean that she would have to have been smiling before, but was more an idea of a smile–– the look of an abstract thought that might have led into a grin had it been recognized by the thinker as such a thought that would lead into a grin. But alas, it must have been that no thought had been given to that abstract, grin-provoking thought, and so her smile remained merely the idea of one, gracing her with a contented, maybe even humorous look, which in turn gave her countenance the semblance of one who might be smiling, but because the feature was so completely impossible to detect on its own, one could never be quite certain, much like the sliver of light in an otherwise inked-out-bynight room that one can never discern when looking right at it, but only when their head is turned slightly aside.
they weep tears every other day i see it with my own eyes and immediately i understand that the mirror tells so many lies and my eyes aren’t distorted but pretty hazel eyes are and so are blue ones and greens ones and brown ones and grey ones and finally, white ones
How To Fall In Love: The Three Easy Steps
by Gabriella Nechita â€˜20
tep 1: Allow yourself to be vulnerable. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable is the hardest step for most, but it is the very first step that should be taken in order to fall in love. If you truly want to show someone you care, you need to let them see every aspect of yourself: all the faults, quirks, and traits that specifically make you you. It may be difficult to open yourself up to others, but as long as you are willing, it will eventually become easier, and will not even be forced. How to allow yourself to be vulnerable? Well, that is simple. You first must identify your defense mechanisms. You must ask yourself if you ever put up any walls to avoid getting hurt, or if you do not have any to begin with. Opening up to someone can be risky, and there is nothing wrong with being scared to love. Falling in love requires you to make yourself vulnerable, and understanding your defense mechanisms is the first step to lowering them and letting someone in. With that said, you also need to accept things about yourself that you cannot possibly change. This means that you need to accept all the flaws, quirks and undesirable traits you dislike about yourself, making yourself incredibly vulnerable but ensuring that you are true to you while in a relationship and possibly making it easier for yourself to love another individual. Step 2: Be yourself. This is rather self-explanatory, but be yourself. Your potential significant other needs to see every aspect of you in order to genuinely fall in love with you. If you portray a false version of yourself, then you are not only lying to your potential significant other, but also to yourself. In doing this, you rid yourself of the chance at a fulfilling and meaningful relationship and do not allow yourself a real chance of having something beautiful. Step 3: Build a long lasting connection. This is most likely a no-brainer, but you need to build a long lasting connection with the person you are interested in. To do this, you must allow a relationship
to develop naturally instead of trying to force it. If you force the relationship, you not only make the situation awkward for yourself, but also for your potential significant other. This is the quickest way to send them running back to where they came. If you keep an open mind and make sure you give the relationship the correct amount of time to develop, you will be finding yourself in love in no time.
Credit to Elena Ruta and Francesca Balistrieri for ideas for this.
Untitled by Lauren Crane â€˜22
by Gabriella Nechita ‘20
aving a crush on someone as a child is entertaining for everyone. Parents find it funny and cute, and siblings think it is straight up adorable. But playground romances are incredibly real to children. The phenomenon called “puppy love” is taken incredibly seriously by children, who go far enough to ask their parents to make snacks for their crush, or even for playdates with their crush. It is very cute and adorable and straight up refreshing to witness from any other point of view besides the childrens’. These kids take it all very seriously, sometimes even holding hands while out on the black top It normally starts out as any relationship does, romantic or not, with a simple hello and a smile. This slowly turns into lunches on the quad, sitting together at the same table and sharing said lunches; typical cute, puppy love things. During a time where it is practically forbidden from sitting with children of the opposite sex, these “couples” defy the stereotypes and happily enjoy their shared lunches that their parents either willingly pack or have no awareness of whatsoever. This then evolves into playdates, where they want to go over to each other’s houses and color and draw and just talk about whatever until it is finally time to bid the other farewell. Child crushes are just as fleeting as they are quick to appear. These crushes do not normally last long and the kids will either stop hanging out together, or continue to be close friends until their time together is up. The kids either become embarrassed by their actions as they get older, or learn to laugh about it and understand that it was nothing more than puppy love. Either way, it is a cute sign of growing up that most children undertake, almost like a rite of passage into their tweenage years.
Blue Speck by Alanna Hine ‘20 I am a blue balloon drifting up into the sky at full speed. Rushing into the unfamiliar air. I am rising to new and better things up in the clouds. Things so much better than what I left behind down on earth when I was tied to a rock and told to stay there. I broke free. I don’t know where I’m flying to or how exactly I’ll get there, but I know that when I do finally get there it’ll be worth it. I am not afraid of being lonely like the clouds that drift aimlessly throughout the atmosphere. I know that I will find other balloons along my journey. Other balloons that broke free and decided to test the limits of the sky. When people look up from the ground so far below they might not even recognize me. I’ve come so far. I’m just a blue speck on a blue horizon, almost out of sight.
Phones and Books: An Unlikely Combination by Joanne Cayabyab ‘22
n this age of social media, everyone can be seen with a phone in their hands and eyes glued to the screen. So why bother reading books when there’s the latest Instagram post or newest Youtube videos to check out? Well, I believe that books are a good complement to the modern technologies of today. In this day and age, books can provide an imaginative realm for the readers to escape harsh reality, even if it’s just for a few moments. Not only can they correlate to today’s problems, but they can provide wise advice for these problems as well as offer support for those who live an unsuitable life in the modern world. Let me explain why. As the world turns more modernized, the pace of everyday life becomes quicker. Of course, this can turn mundane and laboring. At the end of an exhausting day at school or work, there is no better way to end the night then to read a classic, old-age novel to remind readers of simpler times when bustling, crowded cities were once close-knit neighborhoods and unexplored territories of vast land. In books, readers can be transported to a world of their imagination and forget reality. Why worry about the several tests in the following week or the controversies in the news when you can read and imagine about traveling to new worlds far away or being a liberator in a dystopian society. Books are also a way to get readers off of bright phone screens that turn them into walking zombies and pick up a book, just like in the olden days. But that is not the only important reason as to why books are important to society. Problems that divide Americans today such as politics, immigration, and discrimination are part of the harsh reality many young adults face today. With a divided country on every single topic imaginable, books can provide some of the answers to modern issues today. Some of the classic examples of To Kill a Mockingbird, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and Little Women focus on racism,
racism, poverty, and women empowerment, controversial topics that are on the news constantly and problems that people faced both in the past and present. Other modern novels such as Divergent, The Fault In Our Stars and 13 Reasons Why showcase some of the devastating situations we deal with today such as suicide, government control, and early death.The characters in these beloved novels are now part of pieces of written history to remind readers that through unity and hope people can take the first few steps in overcoming their struggles and making this world just a little bit brighter. Though the technology we have in this decade is a necessity in people’s lives, once in a while, it’s nice to be wrapped up in a thick blanket and read by the fireplace with hot cocoa on the table. It’s especially great when there’s nothing to do on a chilly morning. While most adults assume teenagers only go on their phones, a 2014 study conducted by the Pew Research Center showed that 88% of all Americans under the age of 30 have read at least one book throughout the year and that teens ages 16-17 were more likely to read for school, work, or in general than adults. Overall, I believe that by reading novels of the past, we can learn through our mistakes and help shape the future for the next generation. Furthermore, we can see the problems we have now and turn them into opportunities to showcase our imaginations into new books for younger children to read, learn and use as guidance in their daily lives.
by Alanna Hine ‘20
“The eyes are the window to the soul. Look into the eyes and you’ll know what they’re thinking.”
When I look into his eyes all I see are two bottomless pools of blue staring back at me. Flecks of gold and green and the kind of light blue that fills the sky on Saturday afternoons. But maybe I just don’t know how to read people. Maybe his eyes are full of silent pleas, things he would never dare say aloud. Thoughts that just don’t quite know how to form themselves into words. Maybe if I just looked a little harder I could see the inner-workings of his mind. His soul swimming in that deep abyss of blue, calling out to me. But I don’t look harder. I look away. Because staring into his eyes is like suddenly being swept into an ocean during a storm. All I see are waves, crashing around me. Unknown thoughts brewing just out of reach. I can’t swim to the surface. All I know is that I am surrounded by him. Only him. And that scares me. I don’t want to be swept up in this ocean because I know once I lose sight of the shore I might not ever be able to find my way back again. Maybe I’m just scared of the unknown, but maybe I’m afraid that this ocean will drown me.
by Lauren Crane ‘22
by Inés Ortega Flores ‘20 Hello, my name is Tito. I found this typewriter and I’m writing my thoughts down for the big people to read. Maybe they can give me some faraway sympathy. You see, nobody likes me. My mommy and daddy mostly find me annoying because I talk too much. They’re always gone. At work or parties. They never have any time for me. I wish they’d play with me some more. The maid that comes to tidy up the place also finds me annoying. Her name is Carla. She always yells, “Get away, you nuisance!” I yell it back. Even Estela thinks she’s too cool to give me the time of day. Estela is my 15-year-old sister. Step-sister really. We aren’t related, that’d be weird. You could say I’m adopted. I’m not sure, the family dynamics are unusual. Estela is always in her room with headphones on and buried in homework or her phone. She rolls her eyes anytime I try to impress her with my spectacular impressions. When I first came into the family, everyone was excited and they gave me every bit of attention they could spare. My impressions were a big hit back then. Sadly, soon enough, they all got used to me and went back to their mundane and repetitive lives. No one wanted to just go outside and scream and jump around just for fun. They became. So. Freaking. Boring. As they no longer seemed to need me I thought I could bless the neighbors with my presence. The next-door neighbors are a lovely couple. They have a big house that’s great for exploring. I tried to not be too messy but what can you do? The first face-to-face encounter with the woman of the house was frightening. The second she saw me she screamed and ran away! I thought there must have been something behind me so I screamed too! Turns out she was just screaming at me. I bet it was because of my green hair. I waddled closer to her to show that I just wanted to be friends but she just ran away. I got the message and went away to my own house, disappointed in my inability to make friends. A few days later I decided to try and see her again. This time she was less jittery but she was still unamused by my visit. Her husband was with her this time and he found her dislike of me hilarious so he recorded the encounter. My cue to leave was when she tried to chase me away with a broom. I spent the rest of the day wandering around my backyard trying to figure out why this nice lady didn’t like me. Was it because of my hair and it’s greenishness? 22
A free-falling elevator was no match for my self-esteem. I practically squawked with desperation. I decided to try venturing into my neighbors house again. At first glance, the castle-sized house appeared empty. A cloud of smelly smoke told me otherwise. Following the smoke to its origin, I encountered a mighty beast. The husband. Even sitting he had to look down to meet my gaze. “Ah, Tito,” he coughed between puffs of his cigar. “You’re back! Carmella is right inside if you wish to spook her. The door’s open.” I most certainly did not wish to spook that whom I was trying to achieve friendship with. I peeked inside and made a slightly un-human (what can I say, I was nervous) noise to indicate my presence without any fright. Still, she jumped up. I stayed where I was to show that I came in peace. It took her a second but she calmed down. “Ah, Tito. Hello again.” “Hello,” I chirped. Sensing a friendly tone from her I took a step forward but she scooted back and an unpleasant expression took over her face. I took my step back. A few moments of unease silence followed. I could see on her face that she was debate whether or not to approach me. After what appeared to be a tense discussion in her mind, she took a few steps towards me. The tables turned and suddenly I was the scared one. Like her husband, she was leagues taller than me. If you were to stand next to the Eiffel Tower but the tower had a grandma smile, a bob haircut, and designer clothes then you might be able to relate to how I felt. “How are you?” she asked. I couldn’t come up with a response. All of a sudden, I was overwhelmed with panic and I went crazy. I flew around in circles until I got out of the room. I freaked out Carmen. I saw it on her face every few milliseconds while I was spinning. I was too scared to go back the next day, but I couldn’t hide forever. Once I collected enough courage and gave myself a pep talk in front of a mirror, I snuck onto their second floor balcony, outside the bedroom. I saw Carmen reading by the window. This time, when she saw my with the comfort of a window in between us, she wasn’t scared. She smiled. “Hello, Tito.” I wanted to answer but I was afraid she wouldn’t be able to hear because of the window. I wasn’t sure what to say, anyways. Her aged eyes were twinkling and her smile was warm. Maybe she will be the first person to like me. Maybe with a few more visits, she will even let me perch up on her shoulder. Baby steps. My name is Tito and I am a parrot.
I Am From Music
by Julianna Padilla ‘20 I am from music From piano keys and drum sticks I am from the sketchy side of the neighborhood From craterlike potholes to frequent sounds of police sirens I am from the thunder The piercing rose bush Whose long gone limbs i remember As if they were my own I’m from untamed hair and fiery eyes From Angelina Raquel Padilla I’m from writing messages on pink balloons and watching them fly And from burning wood under desert skies I’m from don’t make eye contact and keep walking And never talk to strangers I’m from getting lost in the wilderness I’m from San Diego and I am Mexican Italian From the death of my sister Her unforgettable charm, destroyed by one’s ignorance The lasting image of her smile engraved on my dog tag That hangs on my neck as a reminder of her significance The roses picked and balloons sent
by Hannah Balkowski ‘19 canvas
In & Out by Gabriella Nechita ‘20
alling in love can be something like a dream, but what happens when you wake up one day and realize you are living a nightmare? This is what can happen to people who have loved each other for long periods of time. As time goes on, sometimes people just genuinely fall out of love. It might not be intentional or it might just be completely intentional, but falling out of love can be called commonplace now, especially since so many couples who have been together for years end up divorcing in today’s society. Falling in love is the fun part. All the romance, the pursuing and pushing away, the getting to know each other on every level possible and talks about even starting a family is all a part of falling in love. Falling in love is the easy part. One does not have to worry about much while they are simply dating, unlike when they are finally married. While one should worry about their partner and care for their wellbeing, it is not necessarily required until marriage, when it has become solidified that the pair are together for life and they are each other’s other half. Falling in love is worry-free, staying in love is the hard part. Staying in love is what is difficult, and why many couples ultimately do not end up staying together. These couples spend years together and eventually cannot find the spark that they initially had while dating. This is a sad reality, but one that is all too true in the ever-changing modern world. People in a relationship are like goldfish; they have short attention spans and get bored easily. People in a relationship constantly need to be entertained; they begin to have more demands as they grow and mature. High school sweethearts are a perfect example of this, since they were together when they were young and they never got a real chance to experience the world by themselves, which causes them to fall out of love quicker. They mature together and see sides of each other they never thought they would see of the other, creating completely romanticized versions of the other and becoming dissatisfied with what they eventually find when they realize their significant other is not up to that standard.
Staying in love is the difficult part, and those who persevere and manage to stay in love are the strong ones. Falling out of love is the easy part, because it is always much easier to give up than to stay and try to make amends. This is the difference between successful relationships and those that are simply in and out.
Daydreamer by Lily Hoang ‘19 27
Valentina Rubio Lopez ‘21
It was too pretty of a night for murder. The stars shown in the sky brilliantly, a cacophony of colors and glittering astral shapes, heavenly bodies staring down at him as he walked briskly down the sidewalk. Fear took its icy cold hands and raked them down his spine, an army of goosebumps suddenly rising on his skin, seemingly indifferent to the stifling warmth of his expensive wool coat. Everett Gardener had been walking aimlessly for three minutes now, nothing to guide him but the desperate will to survive, and the maddening fear which clutched at his heart, making its every palpitation feel more frantic and trapped thanbefore. The chaotic twisting maze of streets that belonged to the City were pulling him in, tugging at his soul and bringing him closer to the City Centre with every step. That was part of the magic, the nearly imperceptible buzz that the City held, quivering in every windowpane and slithering amongst the cracks on the sidewalks, warm and alive and always, always, there. The magic that would lead him to the City Centre, its thrumming heart where all lost things and beings found themselves. Everett could feel it, pushing and pulling and nearly dragging him toward it. The City’s Desperate and final attempt at keeping one of its precious citizens safe. Safe from the dangers that the night brought with it. Dangers born from the dying embers of naked magic and the deep endless shadows of alleyways. Mosters brought to life, breathed into existence by the very essence that ran bright and fiery through the City’s veins. That’s what stalked behind him, a terrifying culmination of every legend and rumor and story he had ever heard, every whisper of fear and murmur of terror, personified into the thing that steadily trailed him. Its footsteps seemed to resonate with the entire City, steady and constant, like the thunderous ticking of a clock. The sound alone was driving Everett insane, doing an even quicker job of it than the pandemonium fear had birthed inside his mind. A thought pierced through him suddenly, white, hot and blinding his senses and rationality. Filling his entire being to brim, encapsulating him completelyand shredding all reality. Then, the City spoke to him. RUN
Untitled Gabriela Martinez ‘21
by Alanna Hine ‘20
Oh, Rapunzel. Trapped in that tower of bricks. Kept doing chores and sitting still and voiceless. Kept from experiencing all that’s out there in the world. Shielded from all the beauty and all the horrors. She was expected to do as she was told, to not ask questions, to neither be seen nor heard. Isn’t this the anthem of those oppressed by sexism? Isn’t this the familiar drum beat that society marches on to? We are so used to this sound by now that we may not even notice it. Faintly there. White noise in the background. “That’s women’s work.” “Boys aren’t supposed to cry.” “Men are strong. Women are weak. They are dependent on men. They need a man to complete them.” That’s why Rapunzel couldn’t scale down that wall by herself. She needed prince charming to come save her.
by Lauren Crane ‘22
Ode to Waves
by Dale Cowan ‘21
Simple Wave, crashing on shore Welcoming wave drenched in guests of all kinds Covering the earth, sky, and stars Full of hope and fear Crushing Wave hurting the brave Cursing Wave, how could you? Recovering the mistakes with gentle days Sending messages in all forms Helpful Wave uplifting our spirits as we ride Dependant wave is always there, but not always full Floating through space and time, endlessly Cool as a breeze, thick as mud Beautiful Wave, always forgivable Peaceful Wave breaking without causing damage Impossible to lose or forget Essential to life and joy
by Inés Ortega Flores ‘20 She looked into a mirror. Into her eyes The only part of her body that would never change Her skin would shift in colors. Her weight, her shape would fluctuate. Her hair would grow or fall. Her nose, her ears, her fingers, they won’t stay the same But her eyes would always remain unchanged There were carvings in her eyes you can only see if you stand close. Like petals around her pupil. Around her orbs of brown was a black rim. She looked into her eyes. Into the soul trapped inside. You can’t see the soul It’s barely there Unless you stare Stare until your eyes burn She couldn’t tell if her soul was fickle like the rest of her, Or if it would always stay the same. Just... like.... her... Eyes.
the day i lost by Ashley Yeatts ‘20 I remember the day I lost. I remember it as if it was as clear as my memories from an hour ago, but perhaps that is because I play this single moment over and over on an endless loop in my brain–– scourging through the details lining the edges, trying to figure out what went wrong, what I could have done. It was a day where the sun hung contempt in the sky, resting it’s rays against the clouds that stretched beyond the horizon and gently grazed the mountaintops. The breeze sung through the trees as leaves fell from their branches, dancing their way to the pavement below. It was any other Tuesday––a day often held with little significance in the lineup of weekdays that follow one after the other with small glances at the clock in a never ending rotation of life. Tuesday. I was sitting in the third row back. Pigtails was to my left, the dancer to my right. Sneakers was sitting two rows in front of me chewing gum and blowing bubbles that reached the back of the head of the boy in front of him––Marvel. The yeller sat behind me, exclaiming exuberant exaltations and tugging on my hair every time the teacher uttered something he didn’t understand–– every time the teacher uttered something.
Rage spread with shouts of ‘wildfire’ being heard on the hilltops and down the streets as friends and strangers alike sprinted away from the place they called home. Children rampaging down streets, released from the confines of school as parents desperately look for their own in the masses of stamping feet and tear-stained faces. I don’t remember how I got there, but I remember standing in front of my house–– my feet must have carried me. I remember my house going up in flames. The white wooden exterior singed a deep black as fired roared from the depth of my living room and screeched from the attic as a fury of light sprung forth from the chimney and every windowpane that was yet to be destroyed. I blinked and it was over. The Rage disappeared as quickly as it had come––leaving crumbled pieces of memories and discarded furniture on the seared grass. Nothing, nothing was left except the bare bones of the house exposed to the smoke that lingered in the air. The yeller stood, quiet, next to be. He appeared out of nowhere–– staring at his own lost life across the street. And there we stood, the yeller and I. Staring at what we lost. The remnants of lives once lived, and lives once lost. We watched it burn. I remember it as if it were an hour ago.
The teacher’s sharp, pointed voice was interrupted with the droning tone of the Principal over the loudspeaker. I didn’t listen–– Then I saw the frantic look flash across my teachers face as Pigtails burst into tears and the dancer desperately reached into her backpack to pull out her phone. “What happened?” I asked, my sound bouncing off of everyone and no one’s ears. “Fire”––Marvel replied. “Again.” A match they say. A match in a field far far away–– lit in anger and frustration. Lit with the pure purpose of watching things burn. Rage fueled the fire almost as much as the wind carrying the pieces of red hot flames across the sky. The once singing wind screamed in agony as she was torched and the sun hid behind the billowing clouds, trying to escape the nauseating smoke that wrapped around his throat and blanketed the air around him. 34
by Ashley Yeatts ‘20
by Alejandra Torres ‘19 The more I learn the more I fear Not for myself But for those who do not know what I know How can one possibly go on? When there are wars invisible to the public eye When there are species being wiped from the face of the earth When there are governments beating their peoples into submission When there are people across the word without access to education When there are whole communities without access to clean water How can anyone in their right mind turn a blind eye? When there are kids being thrown to the streets for existing outside the binary When there people thrusted into wars they don’t fully understand When there are individuals gunned down for the color of their skin When there are melting ice caps and storms of the century When there are weapons of mass destruction always at the ready For the mainstream, knowledge is but a click away And yet There are those who deny The magnitude of the issues that are happening all around us 24/7 These aren’t matters of “agree to disagree” There is no “gray area” These are matters of grave importance Where there is a right and there is a wrong The thirst for knowledge is within each and every one of us It is our duty, as citizens of the world, to pay attention It is our duty to educate It is our duty to take a stand
I feel I feel the color Red in the lipstick I swatch across the back of my hand as my friend curls my pin straight hair hours before I dance the night away I feel the color Orange while windows are rolled down, zooming along the highway with music blasting across every square inch of the car all the stresses of life left behind the squeals of the tires I feel the color Yellow in the smile of my friend who doesn’t believe in the power she possesses every time she lifts her pen to write I feel the color Green in FaceTime calls made late a night whispers on the phone in broad daylight sharing stories that just couldn’t wait I feel the color Blue as I lay on my sister’s bedroom floor staring at the ceiling with glow in the dark stars remembering who we were years ago I feel the color Purple when sitting on the edge of amphitheater seats scrolling aimlessly through the lives of others dreaming about what the world could be I feel
breathe by Dayle Cowan ‘21
Many times I struggle to breathe Never a break when your mind is swarming My chest quivers with air as I lie beneath Reprimanded by warnings As I grasp the fresh air I can’t help but get compared Why does she give me the stare? Hoping that my faults are repaired Headphones are used like an escape Since filling up with stress Is my common mistake Life appears clean, but heart is a mess Splish, splash, sounds as I sprint Dashing through more than just water Envisioning the finish in my tear-filled squint My chest flaming as it grows hotter If only I remembered to Breathe Daily distress would no longer haunt me
by Gabriela Martinez ‘21
humble teacher by Dayle Cowan ‘21 “These were separate drawing/painting pieces that I combined together into one collage. They came together into one theme: humanity in connection with the universe.”
by Alanna Hine ‘20 Collage
The last day of middle school, I was gifted a poem that would change my life forever, little did I know, so did the woman who gave it to me. My eighth grade teacher, Ms. Maras, handed me a slip of yellow paper with the thoughts of Rudyard Kipling, “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you,” and I felt encouraged to conquer the next chapter of my life. Throughout the year, I enjoyed her class, but it wasn’t till the last day that I realized how much of an impact Ms. Maras had on how I wanted to live. Ms. Maras was a light to many students, like Jesus was to the outcasts, oppressed, and poor during his time. His words in John 13: 12-16, connect to Ms. Maras’ inspiring ways of instruction. Jesus is a humble teacher which I have seen through Ms. Maras and her dedication to service in her community, service to her mother, and service to her students. Before becoming an influential teacher at Hillsdale Middle School, Ms. Maras attended West Point Military Academy. She decorated her classroom with a pennant as well as her graduating class photo. One day, in between reading Flowers for Algernon, a student finally asked what that grainy, group photo hanging on the wall was. Of course, Ms. Maras had us look around the room for context clues and then try and find her face in the photo. We were in awe that our English teacher, was once in military school. From this point it was clear that Ms. Maras was passionate about helping others succeed in many ways; from the army academy in New York to a room full of curious, wide-eyed kids in Rancho San Diego. Similarly, Jesus gave his disciples a “model to follow” and encouraged them to share their skillswith others in need. Ms. Maras’ dedication to service spread across the country and she continues to establish new, creative ways for her students to serve others. Donating school supplies or wearing the team shirt on spirit days was fun, but the real service was the knowledge we gained from her simple wisdom.
Each day of class brought a newfound love of literature, but also an urge to comfort others in new ways, because of Ms. Maras. The year was filled with joy as the eighth grade class was gearing up to graduate. All of the highly anticipated events were finally here like the art project, the class field trip to UCLA, and the harbor cruise. Not to mention, Ms. Maras’ class was full of excitement through reading The Giver, The Diary of Anne Frank, and seeing all of our own paintings starting to fill each nook of the room. Behind the scenes of our festive year, however, Ms. Maras was undertaking her own struggle; a sick mother. Ms. Maras began class one day by apologizing for how tired she was. I looked around confused, and so did my friends. We had never seen Ms. Maras apologize, and we were uncomfortable and concerned about the weakness in her voice. She told us her mother was very ill and she had been staying with her; aiding her. Although Ms. Maras, stayed strong with us in class, we knew that she was fragile. She continued to focus on how her students were feeling, regardless of the phone calls she had to exit the room to answer. This was another moment where I saw Jesus in Ms. Maras, as it parallels when Jesus washed his disciples feet, but the only thing he expected in return was for them to pay the service forward. As Jesus was called to heal, so was Ms. Maras. Our class came together to support our miracle worker while she did the same for her mother. Ms. Maras radiated warmth in her classroom, and not just because the air conditioning was broken. I felt her glow firsthand as I began my eighth grade year feeling isolated and outcasted, since my friends were placed on different class teams. Like Jesus reached out to those in need of comfort, Ms. Maras’ spirit showed that there is sunshine in every forecast. As a class we developed a bond centered around her guidance. With her help, I was able to make amazing friends that shared my interests in learning, service, and striving to be the best possible version of ourselves. All of the same traits encouraged by Ms. Maras and Jesus Christ. Her countless hours spent after school in order to provide her students with a 50 minute period of joy, growth, and a sense of community did not go unnoticed. She spread love to everyone, regardless of who or how much they needed it. Being called to serve was not only emphasized in Jesus’ words, but through the actions of everyday mentors, like Ms. Maras.
With a focus on teaching, but holding a humble attitude, Ms. Maras was a servant leader to her nation, family, and students, further comparing her to the inspiring teacher, Jesus Christ. I see Jesus within Ms. Maras as she put others before herself, to ensure their success, regardless of the pain she was enduring. She is humble like Jesus, instructs like Jesus, and loves like Jesus. Her courageous soul carried through her beginnings at West Point to her current role as an 8th grade teacher. Not only does she fit the role, but she exceeds all expectations of what a teacher should be. With a dedication to helping others, Ms. Maras has done just that and will continue to do so. I am blessed to have been able to experience and acknowledge the gifts she has instilled in her students. That little slip of yellow paper still inspires me to, “serve your turn long after they are gone,” and with this mindset all of my gratitude is owed to Ms. Maras, the Jesus in my life.
how to use a coffee cup
by Penelope Sanchez ‘19
take your index finger and drum on the bottom of the cup. follow the beat of that lullaby you haven’t heard since second grade. listen to your music until you are three feet tall and sleepy again. relax. place the cup over your left ear. hear the sleepless ocean you carry around with you from room to room. wonder if you’ll hear anything or anyone swimming around in your head if you hold the cup up long enough. wait.
uproot a silverfish from its home in your basement carpet and place it under your overturned cup. draw two square windows and a big brown door on the tired plastic. give your tiny tenant its own tiny coffee cup. watch.
morning tea Lily Hoang ‘19
whisper into the cup every fear you’ve ever felt until the plastic void is filled to the brim. put the lid back on and hide it in a shoebox under your bed. wait for the words to decompose and dissipate. repeat. fill your cup with pennies and pebbles and pushpins and anything else the sidewalk has to offer. shake your new orchestra around. try to hear each individual trinket find its new place within the mound of equally disposable trinkets. focus.
you & i, unnamed
Natalia Girolami ‘21
You can be too quiet sometimes. Which is peculiar because usually in any room, I am the one who is too quiet. And whenever I feel like I am screaming at the top of my lungs, I’m just speaking at a normal volume. You can be kind of judgemental at times without trying to be. No, no, don’t wear that. But it’s okay because I can be kind of jealous all the time. I miss empty days with you. I remember when you burned your face on an open flame and I gave you a stuffed animal, and everything seemed to be fine. Even if I was scared to look at you at first. You grew out of it and your piercing blue eyes make me think of the oceans that we have sailed together in our many lives by each other’s side. Usually during those different centuries of living and breathing the same air in interconnected lifetimes, we are only together for a short while before we descend into strangers once more. I look at you now and you have no scars. No evidence of living side by side one another while I am covered with markings of our last swim through the sea together. The stingrays shuffling at the bottom of the sea, the fishes swimming against our legs, our arms stretching in and out and in and out as we swim through prodigious waves. I remember the subway rides where I tried to get you to sing our favorite song. You weren’t in to it. You rolled your eyes into the next dimension. I just laughed and sung by myself, unsuspecting of your boredom with someone like me. We always talked about aliens together. I would admire the stars and wonder if the aliens are looking at us through powerful space binoculars from Mars. They know who we are, you know. They see everything we do. I wonder if they know what we look like. You would laugh disbelievingly.
You painted your future everyday since you were born. I’ve seen so much yellow in every watercolor you’ve created that soon I think you’ll cut off your ear out of despair. You’ll become like the rest of us and try hard to find a place of solace on our planet. But you always pick yourself up, maybe with a little bit of ringing in your ears after a long night of listening to drums beat in a small room, or maybe through a record playing the voice of an old man you once knew before you were born. It’s a hard life, you know. You’ll get through it. Even if we have to go our separate ways.
a painter’s palette
Chelsea Macavinta ‘21 Acrylic Paint
“When looking at the piece I initially was planning to submit, I was not satisfied with what I created. While thinking of ways I could improve my work, I glanced over at the smooth, white box that had a hole in the center I was using as a mixing palette. With a little more mixing and creativity, I was able to capture my bright personality and love for avocados!”
the taste of joy: a reflection on my culinary aspirations Delaney Sousa ‘20
The very first cooking show I ever watched was the Rachael Ray show. I sat in awe of this chef whirling around a brightly colored kitchen set, whisking a bit of this and a bit of that into vibrant mixing bowls, presenting steaming platters of wondrous foods fresh from her enormous oven. While most kids watched child stars on the Disney Channel, my television was always on the Food Network. This may seem to be a detriment today, as I often can’t relate to my peers when they talk about their favorite shows as a kid, their shock and disbelief magnifying the fact that I wasn’t quote on quote a “normal kid”, but who will be laughing a few years from now? I’ll be whipping up eggs benedict for my family on the weekends, while my Disney-raised peers will be doomed to soggy, bland Eggo toaster waffles. Now, I don’t mean to be rude to anyone who grew up watching the Disney channel; I simply loved my early days of learning to cook and couldn’t imagine any better way of growing up. Rather than fawning over Zac Efron, I preferred working in the kitchen on a new recipe of Alton Brown’s that I couldn’t wait to try. I suppose that makes me a foodie, and I love it. My grandmother is, well, quite simply, a culinary fiend. She spends her free time looking up recipes on the internet. (Yes, I know, my grandmother is more technologically advanced than the average granny.) Every chance she gets, she invites the family over for dinner, featuring her newly discovered favorite recipes. My grandma decks the long, stretching table with a dark red tablecloth and white dishware. She transforms her breakfast island into a dinner peninsula, completely covering the dark marble countertop with steaming dishes of all sorts of foods. Every time my family gathers at my grandma’s house for dinner, I always commend her for her job well done in the kitchen, with a pleasantly full stomach and a joyful gleam in my eye, and every time she gives me the exact same emphatic response: “It was so easy, and it got five stars!” My dad, a man who has worked in technology and data analytics for most of his life, always rolls his eyes at his mother.
Maybe I give my grandmother a bit too much credit for her internet aptitude, as her avid recipe clicking has wrought many a virus upon her poor, outdated computer, but, man, does she know how to pick out a five star meal. I always go home with an armful of paper printouts of recipes for the meals I’d enjoyed that evening. I used to dream about what it would be like to own a restaurant, like the chefs I saw on the Food Network. I’d dream of quaint little bakeries with tables outside beneath pink and white striped awnings edged with lace, brimming window boxes full of bright spring daisies, and nostalgic smells of warm cinnamon, rich chocolate, and fresh pastries wafting through the air, enticing passersby to enter the little haven that was my bakery. I’d dream of fancy restaurants with climbing spires and stately waiters gliding from table to table with trays stacked high with culinary masterpieces, but also a warmth of homeliness, a crackling fire in the fireplace and the pleasant hum of friendly conversation all around. The kitchen would have a hustle and bustle about it, the purr of a well oiled machine, precise, yet excited. Chefs chop, sauteé, and flambé at blazing speeds to keep up with rapid orders, but always manage to have a spare moment to smile at a fellow coworker, knowing that they both are lucky enough to be living out their dreams. These dreams of mine have since faded away somewhat over the past few years. The world is creeping up on me, tapping me, jolting me to think about my future, and as of late, my once vibrant dreams of cooking haven’t been at the forefront of my mind. My educational pursuits have taken precedent in my life. My grandmother has recently been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, so she hasn’t been in the kitchen much at all. Something whispers in the back of my mind, though. My dreams of cooking are still alive and kicking at the back of my brain, and maybe, just maybe, my cooking show days will not be in vain.
by Alanna Hine ‘20
We are all like stars in the night sky because we shine so brightly, we are so beautiful at times, but in others we flicker out. For just a second we let the darkness take over. Just a second: we let our lights dim, dreams crumble hearts break, and hopes shatter. But then we pierce once again through the darkness and we are safe. Each day we come closer to burning out, to the day our flame dies, the day we die. Even after death our beauty lingers on. We live in people’s memory like a star’s light that’s still shining far away even though it has died from where we stand. We guide others like the map the stars have laid out in the sky. We live stories even greater than those held in the constellations.
by Lily Hoang ‘19
Sunshine by Julia Nock ‘20 I am from Sunshine From traffic and a rushed life I am from the place where seemingly everything is fine Where the calming, yet humdrum heat hits your face I am from the palm trees, and the all to common dead grass From where the dessert hosts the beaches and the mountains Whose different people come together as one. I am from travel and adventurous people From more countries than I can count I am from heartbreak and hurt And from the strange family dynamics that no one really understands I am from “hurry up”, and on to the next From California, the golden state From Vegan Burgers to traditional Chinese dinners. I am from the pictures of my sisters adoption hanging on our walls to the memories of her many surgeries that are apart of our family’s story. From the bright nights of celebration, to the ugly and dead nights of tears, I am from California From sunshine, where seemingly everything is fine.
Untitled by Gabriella Martinez ‘21
I Believed in a Believer by Ashley Yeatts ‘20 I believed in a believer, I guess that makes me a believer too. But you see he and I were different, There was something he always knew. He would gaze at the world in a blink of an eye, And know the simple truths. He’d stand up tall and let out a cry, The sound of an aged youth. He’d hold a deck of cards in the palm of his hands, And shuffle out memory. The game we played was never bland, Nor dumb and full of accessory. His mind was like a current, Flowing so fast he flew. He flew right through what we weren’t, He soared down his own avenue. A point was made, A line was crossed. A heart he played, A life he tossed. I believed in a believer, I guess that makes me a believer too. But you see he and I were different, There was something he never knew.
Life is red
by Nathalia Velasco–Herrera ‘20 It beats like lighting. Sending red through each vain––each crevice of the body. Nothing goes unmarked. Not one fiber or tissue. The very position of it dictates it’s the authority over us. Buried deep in our chests, protected by an army of ribs. It’s the very essence of the human being, it gives life. Life cloaked in red, life only known as blood. To feel it is not enough to understand it. The soft dum dum you feel from inside sometimes seems like nothing, and yet it means so much. It is the difference between life and death. Sometimes we hold it and question if it truly plays a part in our emotions. Or is it that we romanticized its function to the point where we believe that it does. It wouldn’t be the first time we have done this, but isn’t it lovely to think that way? To think that muscle inside your chest is what blooms the butterflies in your stomach. It is what makes you smile as you imagine their face. Yet as a counteract, it can also devastate you. That muscle, the one that is the size of your fist is your puppeteer. All you do is dance under its reign. It contracts, you clutch it––a tear falls. It flutters, you smile––maybe they’ll call. It is life disguised in red. Red that upholds every functioning muscle in your body. Red that creeps onto your cheeks as a response of embarrassment or perhaps even to compliments. It is anger, it is sadness and yet it is love, it is happiness. It is the residence of life which exists in shades of red.
ZODIAC by Natalia Girolami ‘21 i. aries i can never hate you you’ll always be by my side until the end just like our parents you’re determined and honest and passionate and will always be a fiery force of nature you’re such an articulate person and i hope one day you can be yourself freely without shame and to finally find inner peace and you make me laugh with your small observations it is perfect ii. taurus i only see your weaknesses just because i know the exact kind of person you are loyal, jealous, lazy, fearful, stubborn but inside i know you just want your voice to be heard even if that is so hard to ever imagine happening 56
for now, just dance enjoy the air you take in everyday feel the vibrations of rooms you’re in and become one with the bull in the sky balance out the delightful parts of life and do not try to think so hard about the bad, bad, bad the too much and the fear the hopelessness and the home sicknesses you’ll meet the people you once loved the most some time in the near future iii. gemini you have two faces do you know that? i feel like i am always pointing it out you are so hard to trust but i know you just want to be loved and i am trying to understand you even if it is incredibly difficult parts of you make me happy maybe only because i have grown up with you and definitely not the
other side of you the way in which you can talk to anyone you meet and instantly connect with others through your gregarious nature and how you have always taken care of me even if we don’t share the same red veins but the other side of you i get so annoyed at the attention you seek the love that you crave that everyone can relate to but never want to admit you will never know me but i hope you find closure over everything you’ve overcome iv. cancer you are one of my favorites vulnerable, loving, creative the thoughts inside your brain have always been too amazing to keep inside so you spew them out word by word your soul is open to the
world to look in to and admire with caring eyes eyes just like mine your inquisitive brain makes me think of the thousand different outcomes that can come out of each dimension i love how carefree you are no sense in hiding who you are if all you want is the world to know who your truly are i’ll be happy to see you dance every weekend with so many people surrounding you and so many things happening at once but you will always be the center of my vision wherever i may look you exude kindness to everyone around you you make everyone smile by every glance you give them your gullibility makes me smile and you make every moment count by your side
v. leo you make me laugh like no other your energy makes me complete and i’m picked from a day of being blue to my day being filled with each in every color in a beautiful disarray of art i strive to become as outgoing as you one day you are a born entertainer like mick jagger & lucille ball i know because you once followed my every direction even if it wasn’t much you work so effortlessly your heart rules every part of your being which is so dangerous yet oh, so brave teach me how to focus on myself and how to finally lead with a firm stance as well as an open heart vi. virgo you always have to be right you know this, i have told you a dozen times and everytime i do, you 58
roll your eyes i love you, forever even if our contrasting personalities make us want to launch ourselves in to space thank you for taking care of me i don’t say it enough and i know when it gets hard space is our best friend you have led me through every step of my life and i will never be able to repay you. vii. libra you are still so vibrant even through each difficult step you have taken from climbing each mountain of your hardships you still stick it through and crack a joke every other minute and make everyone else around you happy to be alive your strength will carry you through each hour day month year and usually i don’t like
loud people but i’ll let you slide viii. scorpio i look up to how resilient you are raising two little girls on your own a woman of great intelligence embodies every single part of you echo de menos los veranos a tu lado contigo y conmigo y mi madre y mi hermana somos mujeres de corazón, de creatividad y yo perdernos esos días tanto although you are difficult, i stand by you every single day even if we are separated by distance and borders, and space, and time ix. sagittarius i look up to you, i do even if that sounds weird because we’re the same age but you’re analytical and kind
and incredibly intelligent the only things i’d say is let yourself feel because you have so many people around you who love you so much, i hear it everyday come what may, your wisdom will carry you through and life will guide you through each wicked, windy road it takes you with grace and ease because of how powerful each part of you is trust yourself through the darkness because in everyone else’s eyes you are the light x. capricorn you are so gentle, yet so disciplined even though you can be pessimistic you still see a glimpse of good in people in some type of way, even if it’s difficult you’re reliable and i love meeting you again and again as our days fly past us, hour by hour you just want a home 59
a home being another person to become one with even if it won’t solve anything but still, being by your side has been peculiar, sure but i wouldn’t trade it for the world xi. aquarius i know you are cold sometimes you give side hugs while i, in contrast, engulf you in a cosmic hug you have broken me many times even if i am too scared to admit it being by your side and then gone the next day a terrifying feeling of loneliness but that’s on me for being too attached to every good thing that comes my way i still think you have some kind of hatred towards me even if that’s not true i just always want to be good enough for you close enough for your standards inside your heart, you just 60
want to serve you want the world to be good enough for everyone you want goodness to shine through instead of the evil that encompass many parts of the world and because of you i am hopeful for the betterment of humanity xii. pisces you have trouble saying no it’s too hard for you i have seen it so many times with my own two eyes you are so good to the people you love but becoming more open would not hurt even if you are perfect just the way you are right now and i wouldn’t change a thing my dear mandarin fish in a sea full of salmon
Classroom by Lily Hoang ‘19
int. arturo’s school office–late afternoon
by Penelope Sanchez ‘19
Arturo sits at his desk, hunched over a pile of essays he’sgrading. He’s a worn-down looking man in his early fifties, with a mustache and dark tan that makes him look like a middle-aged Pancho Villa. There’s a knock at his door, atwhich point he looks up. He stands up, walks over to the door, and looks through the peephole before shaking his head and opening the door, letting Maria rush in. She’s seventeen,with dark hair and the disheveled energy of a young idealist. ARTURO (sighing) Do you ever leave this school? MARIA Profe, I’ve come up with the perfect plan to keep you in the country. ARTURO What part of “Don’t worry about me” did you not understand? MARIA Just listen! I’ve got an actual solid plan here. You... are going to marry... my mom!
MARIA And you’re still friends today, so it wouldn’t even be that weird if you had to pretend to be together nowARTURO Would you pleaseMARIA (spiraling now) You’d have to move in with us, of course- but even that wouldn’t be too bad since I’m moving out in a few months anyway- So, it’d just be Alex and my mom and youARTURO Maria, stop. I am not marrying your mother. MARIA (a beat passes) What? Why not?! ARTURO Green card marriages are risky. Your mom could get into a lot of trouble if the government doesn’t buy our story... I can’t make her do that for me.
ARTURO Come again?
MARIA You wouldn’t be making her do anything. She’d be happy to help you out!
MARIA I found this.
ARTURO So you’ve discussed this with her?
Maria pulls an old Polaroid picture out of her coat pocket and hands it to him. It shows a twenty-something Arturo laughing, one arm around the shoulders of a smiling brunette,roughly the same age.
MARIA Well, not yet, butArturo raises his hand to cut her off.
MARIA You and my mom used to date. We’ve got everything we need to prove it. So all we need to do is convince the feds that you two got back together after my parents split up62
ARTURO Kid, it’s sweet of you to want to keep me here, but, no, I’m not gonna do that.
MARIA (crestfallen) So that’s it? You’re just... gonna let it happen? ARTURO I’ll figure it out. Like I said, don’t worry about me. A beat passes. Arturo, seeing Maria’s disappointment, clears his throat and smiles at her. ARTURO I will say, it was nice for someone from your family to actually want me to marry Laura. Your grandmother used to hate me, when she was alive. She- she’d tell your mom to leave me because I couldn’t afford a car. Used to give me this evil stare every time I would ride my crappy yellow bike over to her house to pick your mom up for a date. Every time, she’d just glare at me. So one day, I decided I’d try to win her over. I made one of my aunt’s famous strawberry cheesecakes- just this massive, massive cheesecake. Put a little strawberry flower on top and everything. I put on my church shoes, put the cake in my bike’s basket, rode over to her house, handed her the cake. And that was the only time she smiled at me. (a beat) You look a lot like her. Your grandma, I mean. MARIA I... I don’t remember her that well. ARTURO I’m sure you can find some pictures of her wherever you found this. He raises the photograph and looks at it fondly before offering it back to Maria, who pushes his hand back gently.
UNTITLED Inés Ortega Flores ‘20
MARIA You can keep it. He glances down at the picture again for a second before looking up and gesturing at his office door. ARTURO You should go home. I’m expecting an A-plus paper by tomorrow morning. 64
Amares by Valentina Rubio ‘22 Mankind stands on its own, with bones crafted from clay and blood brimming with stardust. Bearing the cross of a heart, thrumming steady in their chests. Heavy they walk, lugging it along throughout their life, as it beats it’s rhythmic thump thump thump. And then, like a sister to the beginning of their cosmos- BANG. Sputtering and hiccupping into a new melody, the human heart hosts a revolution. The heavens themselves seem to warp and shift, racing towards an ancient song blasting from their chests, finding home in their centre. Like puppets they lurch forward, tugged along by the impatient hand of fate, and a calling older than the instincts carved in their flesh. Humanity falls, carrying galaxies within them and urged onward by their hearts; They wage wars and wreak chaos, their voices screaming out the name of their downfall “Love” .
by Emily Grygar
oil paint on canvas
When You Scream into the Void, the Void Screams Back: Existentialism 101 by Katie Jordan ‘20 One morning Toby woke up as nothing. Or rather, she didn’t wake up at all. She wasn’t asleep. Or alive, either. Or dead. Well, to clarify, yes. She was dead, in the worldly sense of the word. On earth her existence wasn’t, anymore. But it couldn’t be completely over–– not really–– because here she was: nowhere. Being nothing. She didn’t understand how the two places–– earth and here–– wherever/whenever/whatever/however h erewas–– could exist so separately and still exist at the same time. Because she did know that earth was real. It had been when she’d last seen it, and it had been millenia before that, and it would continue to be for millennia after. She just wouldn’t be a part of it. Probably. “You might as well stop trying to understand it. It will never make sense,” came a voice. It was a rumbling sort of voice, the kind that might have been able to be considered comforting had its source been known and trusted. Toby didn’t know the voice, nor did she trust it. “Yea, I’m starting to get that,” she muttered. Or thought. She couldn’t actually hear her voice, so she wasn’t sure if any noise came out. Or if noise even existed in this wherever/whenever/ whatever/however armpit of oblivion. It’s strange how different being alive and b eingare. This isn’t heaven, is it? A rumbling sound/sense/experience crashed around her, and after a pause, Toby realized that he/she/it was laughing. It was because of the question she’d thought, she understood with horror. She hadn’t meant to ask it, but there hadn’t been anything in which to contain it–– no body, no enclosed mind. She did have an unsettled sense of her surroundings, her internality. Eternity. Within her and without. Through, and around, silent and deafening. There was no separation of thought or memory, no sensation of anything. 68
Nothing to explain, nor any reason with which to explain. For the first time, Toby understood true chaos. “No, this isn’t heaven,” the entity agreed. “And I’m not your god.” “But I am dead,” she observed. Half asking, half stating. Another booming chuckle. Ignorance must be amusing to something that resides beyond knowledge. “Do you even remember how you got here?” he/she/it asked. Not really, but what even was here ? Toby struggled to remember to before. She had no memory of the journey she took to here,almost as if she’d been here since before her existence, and only now was realizing it. The disembodied voice nodded. “Good. You’re beginning to understand.” She wasn’t. “There isn’t much to be had back where you came from when you realize that nullity is all that awaits after death,” he/she/it continued. “Is there?” “I won’t believe that,” Toby said low. “Believe it? And in what will you believe instead? Your ‘god’ is fictional. Look around.” She looked, as well as one could when detached from one’s body in a nonexistent state of mind. No salvation was in sight. Faith had failed. Life was over. Nothing was beyond. She tried to ignore that, mostly because it was true and because it hurt. It shouldn’t be true. Her entire life, she’d been told of the somedayof heaven–– been consoled by the promise of a paradise and a merciful god. And for what had all that been? The trials, the tears, the prayers that had fallen on empty ears–– nonexistent ears–– it had all been for nought.
There wasn’t much except the prospect of infinite blankness to distract her from his/her/its words, though. How long had it been on earth since she’d died? Her memories of life, of home, home–– the idea of it so full of longing and
meaninglessness–– were indistinct to begin with, and now grew only hazier. Her friends’ faces unrecognizable, the words of her favorite song now incoherent. She couldn’t remember the name of her little sister. Now couldn’t be sure if it was a little sister, or maybe a brother, or maybe a cat? “What is this, then? Purgatory?” He/she/it shrugged. Toby could tell, simply knowing without knowing how. Kind of in the way that you think about a song a second before it comes up on the radio, and you can’t remember if it was actually playing or not when you first thought of it. Was it memory or premonition? Or the same thing? Time, after all, doesn’t need to be linear, even if memories are. And the rules of earthly time likely don’t apply when you’re beyond the scope of the universe. “Call it what you want–– another dimension, a greater omnipresence, the afterlife, the afterdeath–– I’ve heard it all, and it doesn’t matter. There’s no point in naming it if there’s nothing to distinguish it from.” Something in his/her/its voice held the vague heaviness of infinity, and Toby slowly began to realize what awaited her–– what always had been lurking and awaiting her: Nothing. Not to be confused with nothingness,because nothingness tends to signify somethingthat just isn’t understood. There wasn’t anything to understand here. It was lonesome entombment: plus the emptiness, minus the cage. Vast, taunting, beckoning, boring. Eternity was her sentence: daunting, and tired, and forever expanding, with no prospect and no purpose. Monotony. The only reason it hurt so much was that once, she had dared to exist. “Yes,” the entity murmured, agreeing with her unspoken thoughts. “Yes. For all you know, your country might have fallen, your family extinct, life might have been discovered on another planet, your species, humanity, might have finally slaughtered itself, all without you. Existence goes on, and your absence has changed nothing–– don’t you realize? Is it leaving you behind, or have you left it? Eternity could be nearly over, for all you’re aware.” Perhaps so. Or perhaps it had only begun. To measure
eternity seemed such a tremendous endeavor–– something of which only a god could be capable. Gods don’t exist, she remembered. They never did, and they never would, and as much as she wanted to dispute that fact, there didn’t seem to be any way to. Once upon a time, unwavering faith, or at least maybe hope that could grow into faith, had been something for which she’d tried for. Of course, she’d always failed–– asking too many unanswerable questions, refusing to be satisfied with the vague answers cast back at her, but at least the attempt had been there. And now she’d been wrong the whole time. Guilty of a misplaced faith and mislead life, both on earth and after it, though for different reasons. For but a moment–– an infinite, interminable moment–– she felt the weightless peace of being void. Not peace, not really, but carelessness. The kind of carelessness that came with letting go. Death had come easy for her, she understood. She hadn’t been particularly eager to live all that long. “Ah, so you were tired when you died, yes? You aren’t the first I’ve seen like this–– idealistic, and young, and not once in your life eager to try on old age. Your death wasn’t heroic. It was selfish. And foolish. And pointless.” “It meant something,” she countered. She wasn’t sure why she believed that so totally and naively. The memory of death’s moment–– the memory closest to this point–– had faded long ago with the others. What of it could she be truly sure? “Did it really?” he/she/it said. “You spent your entire life believing what was wrong. That will never be repaired. You gave your life to contribute to the longevity of someone destined for oblivion just as you. And when they succumb to death–– when the universe in its entirety succumbs–– what mark will you, or anyone, have left? It’s much like the end of the world. You aren’t in the beginning, you aren’t in the end. Creation begins and ends without you, and oblivion–– incessant oblivion–– begins and ends unmarked by creation. You were. Now you aren’t.” “Creation has donethings, though. I’m just supposed to
accept that none of its art, its beauty, its terror has any meaning?” “Your acceptance isn’t necessary. How many times must it be said–– the truth is not influenced by conviction nor hope. You souls are so proud to believe that your sentiments might in any way sway the tide of the the universe’s rise and fall.” He/she/it was right in that. An eternity passed. “So what then? Do I just remain here, nonexistent?” “Remain. That is a good way to describe it,” The entity reflected in its white-noise way. “But no, you won’t remain here. This isn’t nonexistence yet–– not completely. We’re merely falling through the rabbit-hole to there, however there is.” “What happens to you, then? At the end. You’ll stay here, in between?” Something empty and ravenous yanked at her. It had started the second she’d died, but was now completely apparent, ripping apart her memory of whatever she’d been before, stretching her thoughts across the fathomless chasm, wrenching from her her consciousness, identity, quiddity. Who was she? He? It? No one. Everyone. Down, and up, and sideways he/she/it tumbled, all at once. And when the entity spoke in answer to his/her/its query, he/she/it spoke at the same time. “I won’t, because I am ending with you. I’ve already ended because of you, and you because of me. Don’t you realize? We are of the same soul, you and I. And have been this entire existence.” There wasn’t much one could say in response. Time was running out with reckless abandon. Time had run out long ago, too. An eternity passed. The pull grew stronger. “So this is it,” he/she/it observed. Half asking, half stating. “So it is.” An eternity passed. Then another. For one last time, rumbling laughter resounded; the last wisp of existence. Then–– Nothing. 72
Writing WINNER TO RISE UP by Alejandra Torres ‘19
In Life, there are high times and low times Periods of exuberant joy and periods of soul-crushing despair These highs and lows caught in a never ending dance battle with one another The highs are pirouetting and gliding while the lows are jiving and slinking Round and round, back and forth they go for eternity
Use their knowledge and wisdom to your advantage Look to the might of your heros Use their accomplishments and attributes as a model Lean on the shoulders of your friends Use their love and support to keep you from slipping Tap into your own reservoirs of strength, knowledge, accomplishments, and self-love Use your own awesomeness to empower you and give you hope And best believe you will rise up You will rise, up on out of these temporary lows It’s been predestined by the cycle of Life In science class we learn that the only true constant is Change So best believe you will rise up because the rightnow cannot be forever
When you get stuck in the lows (as one does from time to time) it can be hard To see the end To recognize yourself To go on The lows can make you forget the highs even exist But here’s the thing about the lows: They don’t last forever Sometimes the lows fade away on their own and are quickly replaced by the highs Though more often than not it takes something greater It takes will To rise up (like the proverbial phoenix from the ashes) out of the lows, You gotta have grit You gotta have faith You gotta have fire You gotta believe Draw on the the strength of your predecessors: your mother, your father, your ancestors Use their rich history to remind you where you’ve been and how much you’ve overcome Let the words of your teachers and mentors guide you 76
The Path of Life by Marianita Velarde-Alverez ‘21
by Gabriella Martinez ‘21 In my piece, I used different colored markers and watercolor. When I thought of the prompt “Rise Up”, my first initial reaction was to draw something that represented a mind free of mental blockages and obstacles. One of my best friends has spent the last few months overcoming depression, and little by little I have seen more and more light radiate out of her healing soul. I know how much the illness has affected her ability to feel happy and heard from but one day, I know this art piece will represent her mind, and she will suffer no more.
The path that you choose Albeit seeming endless Will give you purpose Oh no! A mistake Worry not, my dear old friend Learn from it, you will A person you know May be your tightly-knit friend To them, you, a bore You think, am I strange? What do others think of me? Why, dear, you’re yourself
Rise Up by Julianna Jackson ‘21
Rising Above the Challenges
by Joann Cayabyab ‘22
Strength and determination come through our personal challenges and struggles in life. I never unlocked my full potential until I fell to my most vulnerable state and needed a shining light. Sea Cadet Recruit Training has been the most eventful experience I’ve taken part in because of the people I met and the wisdom that I gained throughout the nine-day training in Sacramento, California. Not only did I become a Cadet leader, but I understood what it meant to rise up and face numerous challenges throughout the training. So sit back, relax, and let me recount to you one life-changing moment that helped me rise up above my personal challenge. It’s lunchtime and I’ve been struggling to keep my legs up since 5 AM. As I began to eat my lunch, I heard this voice in my head whisper, “How unfortunate! You’re already crying like a little brat.” I ignored “the voice” and continued to eat so I wouldn’t get yelled for eating so slowly. However, every bite that I took, “the voice” seemed to wrap her pointy hands around my throat, snap them around my neck and dig them into my fragile skin which felt like needles stabbing my throat. My eyes were shedding tears when I heard “the voice” yell out, “STOP CRYING! YOU’RE SO PATHETIC!!” My heart was pounding the iron bar cage in my body, begging to be released, but I could do nothing as my division left the cafeteria. All the voices around me were reduced to murmurs and then unbearable silence. Inside the classroom, the fear of choking and passing out intensified and my already sore throat began to clench up, making breathing a laborious task. “I can’t do this! Please stop!” I endlessly begged “the voice,” but she scoffed and proceeded to mock and harass me inside my head as I fell to the ground and cried aloud.
The petty officers saw this and took me inside my room and called for the Division Officer. As the petty officers helped me perform deep breathing exercises to calm me down, Division Officer arrived and asked the others to leave the room. The voice in my head was still taunting me as I was questioned by the Division Officer. “What’s wrong Joann?” she asked. “I can’t do it. I miss home so much and my body keeps failing me to bits. I’m a FAILURE!” I blabbered out, feeling the dizziness come back. “Well, when you get to know those girls back there-your shipmates-you’ll realize you’re not the only one who misses home. I miss home too and it hurts so much, but we have to rely on each other.” she recited. After this moment, I gained the courage to rise up against “the voice” and completed the rigorous Recruit Training and recognized to be a member of the Honor Division on graduation day. Finally, I had the strength to rise above the challenges with strength and determination.
by Vanessa Figueroa â€˜21
rise up by Lauren Crane â€˜22
Every individual student at the Academy of Our Lady of Peace rises to the occasion whether it be in athletics, extracurricular activities, academics or service. OLP students rise up in athletics by being the best they can be as a teammate, player or neighbor.
Perspective & Mortal Love
Mrs. Krystle Cabrera
relationship advice from 10 of your OLP English Class TExts
Mrs. Lisa Danaher
1. Romeo and Juliet: Never marry a man you have known for only three days. An “untimely death” of one kind or another is inevitable. 2. Of Mice and Men: Avoid unusually large men with dead mice in their pockets. See “untimely death” above. 3. The Odyssey: Before you wait twenty years for a man to return home to you, imagine he is cozied up with a gorgeous sorceress on an enchanted island. You’ll be right. 4. Jane Eyre: Steer clear of moody, brooding types who live in large homes with attics. And if a marriage proposal includes the words, “You are formed for labor, not for love,” think seriously about a consecrated, religious life. 5. Othello: If your husband advises you to say your prayers, while holding a big pillow threateningly close to your mouth and nostrils, you should probably start praying. 6. A Doll’s House: If your husband demeans you by calling you his “little squirrel,” imagine he is a very large acorn and bite him. 7. The Crucible: Recall the Puritan work ethic, and sweep your own floors. It’s far better than watching your husband sneak off to the barn with your stunning seventeen-year-old witch, I mean, housekeeper. 8. The Scarlet Letter: Seek help immediately if you are attracted to aging, decrepit men and self-flagellating ministers. 9. Macbeth: Power couples are not necessarily happy couples. Hide your husband’s daggers, especially during dinner parties. Trust me. 10. Hamlet: If your boyfriend begins to see ghosts, it’s time to make like a ghost yourself--and disappear. Of course, you can avoid all of these relationship pitfalls if you schedule a lovely date with yourself at your local library on Saturday night!
“Working with black and white and adding simple textures.”
Mr. Michael Stringer Stoneware
“This piece utilizes hand building techniques pinch pot, coil, and slab.The Siberian tiger is the largest of all cat species and is critically endangered. We do a realistic animal project in Ceramics ll that focuses on endangered speicies.” 87
Dr. Angela Gascho
My foundation is built on shaky ground Full of hills to climb and Precarious falls Climbing upward, sliding down, climbing upward, sliding down Clang, clang, clang rings in my ears
Mr. Michael Stringer Stoneware
Dancing in the kitchen Spinning with delight Where are we going? My foundation is built on the solid desire To be strong and always united Individual and connected The smell of incense and taste of cardboard wafer thin Surrounded by plaid, white, and blue Dancing in the kitchen Laughing with delight Where are we going? My foundation shines like the sun caressed by the leaves Full of warmth Chocolate Shots crumble, Snowballs melt Traditions carry-on Tittering and deep laughter rings in my ears Dancing in the kitchen Jumping with delight Where are we going?
â€œThis mammoth is a hand built ceramic piece utilizing pinch pot, coil, and slab construction. I wanted to model for my students in ceramics ll class. Trying to emphazize texture is this particular piece.â€?
My foundation shifts and seeps between my toes Sometimes dry sometimes wet Creating and building, creating and building, creating and building Something new Renews my spirit, nourishes my soul as Crashing waves caress my ears This is my home 88
Mrs. Katie Turner
Dr. Angela Gascho Footsteps Tentatively inching forward, almost silently, warily, Are they in sync with the others? Can I keep up? Tap, tap, tap. Does anyone hear? They are inching forward, almost silently, bravely, Yet they stumble, catching the toe on something unknown
I wrote this piece awhile ago, after someone asked me to describe a time in my life when I could recall a small victory over adversity. The reason I’ve decided to share it in OLP’s Literary Magazine, is because it’s kind of about the first time I learned to make pie crust from scratch, but it’s REALLY about my life-long friendship with Kate Cohn, a girl I met in 1992, on my first day of freshman year, at an all-girls high school in Chicago. While it’s not a very big deal (in the scheme of big deals) to make a pie crust, I believe friendships that last for more than 25 years are a really big deal; a victory indeed. So, hold on to these companionships you make at OLP, because you never know what adversity you’ll face in life, and it’s important to have good old friends to help you through. I’m compelled by the woman at the party to explain a time when I won a small victory over some adverse challenge, and while I have stories upon stories to share (some silly, some exhilarating, and some very very burdensome), with sudden immediacy, the golden, flakey pie crust appears on the kitchen counter in my mind. But attached to that image from my past - my first perfect Thanksgiving dessert - what weaves its way among the strong delicacy of an accomplished carapace for the apples laced in cinnamon bubbling on the stove, are her Hands. The way they turned cold butter into the dough. The over-and-over-ness of it. The delicate bones between her nail and her knuckle, and the confidence in her wrist: ligaments sure of themselves and proud to be called members of Kate’s right arm. Her gentle lesson in crust. Her soft assurance and her patience with the ingredients; a becoming of what they intended to be all along - inevitably - pie.
Mrs. Krystle Cabrera 90
And our old, safe friendship of tangled fingers and forks in the rough dough, tough and merciful. And our shoulders, bending toward one another in the long arc of communion, becoming and becoming again. 91
Dr. Angela Gascho
Mr. Michael Stringer Stoneware
“This piece utilizes all three hand building techniques pinch pot, coil, and slab.This would be an example of endangered realistic animal project we do in ceramics ll. Although as of 2014 humpback whales are no longer listed as Endangered, major threats to their population include fishing gear entanglement, collisions by ships, and impacts on their habitats from pollution.”
“Jamal, if you can’t stay in your seat, then I am going to have to make you stay in your seat,” said Ms. O’Brien harshly. I sat frozen and horrified as my six-year-old self saw my friend, who had walked over to my desk to give me a blue crayon, yanked by the arm back over to his desk by my teacher. After forcefully pushing him into his seat, Ms. O’Brien walked sternly to the back of the classroom and pulled a frayed blue and white jump rope from the recess bin. Paralyzed, I watched her wrap the jump rope around Jamal’s body at least three times and tie him roughly to his seat as tears silently streamed down my cheeks. Once she was finished, Ms. O’Brien strode back to the front of the room to write Jamal’s name on the chalkboard. Next to it, she wrote, “No recess,” a statement that struck fear and sadness in every first grader’s heart. While her back was turned, Jamal started scooting his chair over in my direction, holding out the blue crayon to me. Hearing the chair’s screeching across the floor, Ms. O’Brien angrily whipped around, and said, “That’s it! You, mister, are going to the Principal’s Office. I’ve had enough of you and your kind.” With that, she untied Jamal, yanked him by the ear, and pulled him towards the classroom door as the blue crayon in his hand fell to the floor. Michael, a blonde haired, blue eyed boy in the room, jumped up from his seat to retrieve the blue crayon and went over to hand it back to Jamal. Ms. O’Brien intercepted it, and said, “Thank you, Michael. Now take a seat. Class, I will be right back – and everyone had better be in their seats when I return.” With that, she exited with Jamal and I had been given one of the most poignant lessons of my first grade year – Jamal was a different “kind” than me. The six-year-old me in 1976 did not know that a mere twenty-two years earlier, before Brown vs. the Board of Education, Jamal might not have been allowed to attend school with me, even in Daly City, California. He may not have been living in the same neighborhood as me, playing with me in the backyard, or sitting next to me on the school bus every day. Up until that moment, I had not seen Jamal as a different “kind” than me. I had not asked the question, “Why was Jamal always the one being punished for talking?” or “Why did the bus driver tell Jamal that he couldn’t marry a girl like me?” when in kindergarten Jamal had stated boldly that he wanted to marry me when we grew up. Instead, I only wondered, “Why are grown ups so mean to Jamal when he is so nice?” Now, as a middle-aged white woman who has been an educator for 25 years in both public and private schools, I wonder what happened to Jamal. Did he take away the same lesson as I did that day, or was it a lesson he was already familiar with? Did the public school system forever brand him as a different “kind,” and how did this experience impact Jamal’s sense of personal identity and understanding of who had power?
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This Literary Magazine features the creative art and literary works of students and teachers in the OLP community this year. We hope you en...
Published on May 2, 2019
This Literary Magazine features the creative art and literary works of students and teachers in the OLP community this year. We hope you en...