Scroll 2022

Page 1



Cover Artwork

2022 Editors’ Statement

Front Cover • Alyssa DeSarbo | Looking to the Future, stoneware Back Cover • Avery Simpson | Cool Baby, oil Portia Gharai | Dad + Baby, oil Cate Goodin | Grandma, oil Inside Front • Joy Alycia Kramer | Opposites Attract,earthenware Anna Hoernig | A Door without a Frame,earthenware Inside Back • Katherine Yoon | Mirror, oil

Scroll does not typically have a theme, but we found that after a school year dedicated to rebuilding community after two years of pandemic and disrupted school life, we spoke of family often. You’ll find narratives, art, and stories dedicated to those who keep us going, those who make us laugh, and those who surround us in the hardest of times. Even though wishes aren’t always rainbows, we wish the best to our families and yours.

Philosophy Scroll features writings by students of the Holton-Arms School. Many pieces come from classroom assignments across grades 7-12; others come from writing assignments at Scroll Club meetings. In making final selections for the magazine, the editorial staff looks for original, powerful, insightful work as well as a range of genres. They choose artwork that exemplifies the best work of the artists and that also speaks to the ideas or images of the written pieces.

Scroll was produced, not in cyber world on Google Meet, but in the real world in the Student Publications Room of the Holton-Arms School.

© 2022

SCROLL 2022 Volume LXVIII editor-in-chief

club presidents

Leyla Rasheed

Kate Broeksmit • Lily Meierhoefer

layout editors

club vice presidents

Lily Meierhoefer • Tomisin Sobande

Priyanka Fisher • Katherine Price • Sophie Risser

assistant layout editors


Ms. Melinda Salata

Cecilia Holdo | Me, oil

Meso Ezebuiro • Sophia Hall • Alicja Mazurkiewicz • Ash Srinivas

The Holton-Arms School

7303 River Road • Bethesda, Maryland 20817

Authors & tankas



personal narrative

Emily Brainerd . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Leyla Rasheed. . . . . . . . . . . . 29

Leyla Rasheed. . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Zara Shamim. . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Margot Ruland. . . . . . . . . . . 37

Eden Wong. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Katherine Price. . . . . . . . . . . 23

Lily Meierhoefer. . . . . . . . . . 37

Maya Solomon . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Sophia Hall. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

Sophie Risser and

Tali Smith. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Sophia Hall. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

Emma Ventimiglia. . . . . . . . 37

Isabelle Applebaum . . . . . . . . 31

Mary Loreto. . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

Kate Broeksmit. . . . . . . . . . . 37

Maya Abiy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

Emily Brainerd . . . . . . . . . . . 70 Phoebe Cohen . . . . . . . . . . . 71 Ash Srinivas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 Phoebe Cohen . . . . . . . . . . . 79 Mary Loreto. . . . . . . . . . . . . 80 Sophia Hall. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82

Tali Smith. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 fiction

Isabelle Applebaum . . . . . . . . 30 Isabelle Applebaum . . . . . . . . 48

Leyla Rasheed. . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Margot Ruland. . . . . . . . . . . 52 Chloe O’Rourke. . . . . . . . . . 54 Tomisin Sobande. . . . . . . . . . 55 Sarah Chin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Caitlin Wang. . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Sophia Castro . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 Ella Myers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 Lily Meierhoefer. . . . . . . . . . 75 Elsa Bell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76

Luisa Guzman | Restaurante Muebles Sanalejo, terra cotta


Jincheng Zhao | Winter Flowers, earthenware


drawing & painting


Alyssa DeSarbo. . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Cecilia Holdo. . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Alina Ahmad . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Joy Alycia Kramer. . . . . . . . . . 2

Sophia Burton. . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Emme Pastor . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Anna Hoernig. . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Peyton Hoffman . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Margot Ruland . . . . . . . . . . .16

Luisa Guzman. . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Kennedy Hall . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Britt Nordquist . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Jincheng Zhao. . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Emily Brainerd . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Phoebe Cohen . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Isabelle Evans . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Carson Browne . . . . . . . . . . 20

Elena Laguna. . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Serena Hong . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

Avery Rudge . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Phoebe Cohen . . . . . . . . . . . 31

Hailey Gabron. . . . . . . . . . . . 55

Zoey Verbesey . . . . . . . . . . . .27

Melinda Salata . . . . . . . . . . . 40

Luisa Guzman . . . . . . . . . . . 56

Sedona Hawkins . . . . . . . . . . 29

Ella Moore . . . . . . . . . . . . 42-43

Marley Kurey . . . . . . . . . . . . 57

Michelle Cooke. . . . . . . . . . . 30

Ella Moore . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

Hailey Gabron. . . . . . . . . . . . 64

Zoey Verbesey . . . . . . . . . . . .32

Britt Nordquist. . . . . . . . . 46-47

Nora Hinsch . . . . . . . . . . . . 65

Rin Iimi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

Britt Nordquist . . . . . . . . . 50-51

Jacey Mordkin . . . . . . . . . . . 68

Avery Rudge . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

Margot Ruland. . . . . . . . . . . 53

Callie Ervin . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79

Katherine Yoon . . . . . . . . . 36-37

Carly Armitage . . . . . . . . . 58-59

Shawnly Behnia . . . . . . . . . . 79

Eleanor Tucker . . . . . . . . . 38-39

Stephanie Mo. . . . . . . . . . 60-61

Kate Broeksmit. . . . . . . . . . . 82

Callie Ervin . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

Devyn Wong. . . . . . . . . . . 62-63

Margot Ruland . . . . . . . . . . .49

Britt Nordquist . . . . . . . . . . . 66

Aria Didden . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

Margot Ruland. . . . . . . . . . . 71

Cecilia Holdo . . . . . . . . . . . . 69

Carly Armitage . . . . . . . . . . . 72

Cecilia Holdo . . . . . . . . . . . . 70

Britt Nordquist. . . . . . . . . 80-81

Haley Heiden . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 Lindsay Alisbah . . . . . . . . . . . 74

digital art

Elsa Bell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77

Sophia Hall . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

Elsa Bell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78

Hailey Gabron. . . . . . . . . . . . 52

Katherine Yoon. . . . . . . . . . . 83 Avery Simpson . . . . . . . . . . . 84 Portia Gharai. . . . . . . . . . . . . 84 Cate Goodin. . . . . . . . . . . . . 84

Family Affair There was the man who talked only in tongues And the wife who spoke paradoxically – juxta-prose – In sensuous childishness and saccharine aggression There was the thing under the table, gruesome and bent, Feasting on pig bones and wet old fruit, Slobbering peach and pork all over the carpet A red-cheeked boy laughs a fleshy sort of laugh And slurps up the blood of his friends and the remains of his dinner Through a blue loopy silly-straw His sister chews up the cords of his video game console, Which makes him awful mad! He rips up her purple flowers in retaliation But it’s all in good fun The boy leaves and the girl stays, Stays to scratch the crooked thing behind its gnarled ears And water the dying plants by her parents’ bed. She shouts at the dash of her car and lets the sound bounce around her skull. That’s what grown-ups do, right?

Emily Brainerd

Sophia Burton| Grandpa’s Favorite Things, oil

 artist name | title of piece, media

Personal Narrative Leyla Rasheed illy Bands. I had blue horse and green spider shaped bands. They were my favorites. We all compared our bands to see who had the largest collection. I traded my purple mermaid for the spider. It was glorious. It was the kindergarten ice cream social, a dream.Vanilla ice cream boxes stacked in the Sandy Spring Friends lower school freezer. I saw the bottles of rainbow sprinkles and chocolate syrup hiding in the corner of Ms. Maryanne’s closet. I couldn’t wait for the social event the next day. Ice cream was my favorite. We were going to celebrate the end of the school year with the head of school. How exciting! We had a huge plan for each of us to give Mr. Tim, the head of school, a silly band so that his arms would be covered in the rubber bands from the kindergarten class. The next morning I threw on my plaid GAP shorts with some not-so-matching Keens on my feet and headed out the door. My dad was taking me to school. I was really excited; he always left so early in the morning, so only on special days was Abbu taking me to school! He grabbed my backpack and put it in the seat next to me in the back row of the Subaru. “Are you ready for root beer floats?” he asked. Huh? Did Abbu just ask me if I was excited to have beer, let alone a root-flavored beer. I’m sorry there is such a thing as beer and ice cream. This just ruined my favorite treat. This was shocking. I didn’t want to face the truth. But then I realized, maybe he’s testing me – Abbu trying to see if I could withstand the peer pressure of succumbing to haram activities while in the impressionable grade of kindergarten.

Peyton Hoffman | Halloween media

Alina Ahmad | Words Portrait, digital photograph


“Abbu, just in case, I won’t eat the float. I mean just to be careful. I won’t eat it. I don’t want beer,” I replied cool, calm, and collected. That was an amazing response. I was so proud of myself. I thought I totally warded off any concerns he had for my future teenage and college years, but he just laughed and gave me a weird look. “What are you talking about? It’s just ice cream with root beer – it’s soda,” he said so convincingly that I thought this test was over. “No thanks, I will just have vanilla, just in case.” That there was the perfect response. He must be so proud of me. I will never succumb to anything haram, not even a root beer.



he Outer Banks, paradise on earth. After a day playing in the ocean, I ran back into the hotel with my hair dripping wet and slowly hardening with salt. I couldn’t wait for our family dinner. My mom laid out this nice white dress, my signature vacation dinner dress that I took everywhere. We were going out to eat at the little seafood restaurant across the street. Finally, once my younger sisters got dressed, I put on my purple Gap flip-flops and held my mom’s hand as we walked across the street. Seated at our table, I was already salivating at the menu: mac and cheese, soups, and French fries. I had exquisite taste. As I looked through the list, I was carefully checking for what had pork, ham, or other meats that I could not eat. “Hmmm,” I asked, “what is clam chowder?” “It’s a creamy soup,” my mom explained, “you’ll like it!” Ok. why not? I very courteously put in my order to the waiter even though I was only the youthful age of nine. I was delighted when my steaming soup came out on the waiter’s tray. It was my soup, no one else’s. My dumb sisters only wanted chicken tenders, but my palette was too mature for that … this clam chowder was my coming-of-age moment. I slowly collected the soup into my spoon, getting all the pieces of potato. Potato, right? It was a little too red for a potato, but you know, I had eaten red potatoes before. Divine. It was amazing. I slurped it down. My molars got caught on this one


potato. It was a little bit rubbery, a little bit smoky, not so much potatoey. “Mama, what’s in the soup?” I asked. “Cheese, potatoes, clams … ” she said, super spookily. I wasn’t spooked, though. Clams were for adults – wasn’t I grown up, having chosen this grown-up food? “Is there something wrong?” she asked. “It’s really chewy and tastes like chicken,” I replied, slowly putting my spoon down. “Excuse me,” my mom stopped the waiter. “Is there any meat in this soup?” “Yes, there’s bacon in it,” he replied. My heart skipped a beat. Oh my God! Am I going to hell? Does God hate me? I’m haram. Oh no, I can’t, my sisters are laughing. I am so ashamed. No no no, this can’t be happening. How will I ever recover? “Oh no!” my mom said with a smile. “I am so sorry, but is there any way to switch this out? We actually don’t eat pork.” I felt bad, and I didn’t want to make a scene, waste the food, or make the kind waiter feel bad when it was not his fault. My mom navigated it with such poise that has taught me how to handle these funny but awkward moments in the life of American Muslims.


Kennedy Hall | Identity, oil


The Solution to Quarantine Personal Narrative Eden Wong

Emme Pastor | A Typical Afternoon, digital photograph


ast November, we were all exhausted by what seemed like the never-ending days of quarantine. Every day we would all wake up, sign on to our computers, stare at them for several hours, eat, and stare at a television screen for a few more hours before going to sleep. All my days seemed to blend together until I felt as if I was living the same day over and over again. But finally, Thanksgiving break came around! No more learning through my computer all day! Thanksgiving break was the perfect time for my family to do something new and exciting for the first time in forever. We were finally getting a puppy! After a couple of days of carefully searching for the perfect pup to complement our family, we stumbled upon Rudy. The little black ball of fur appeared on the laptop in front of us. His small eyes blended into his dark fur, making them look almost invisible. ‘There he is,’ I thought. Little Rudy would be our puppy. We went ahead and called the seller and asked if we could visit him before fully deciding to take him home. When we called the seller, we thought it was weird he only accepted cash and not any form of electronic payment, but we were too excited about our possible new family member to really give it much thought. The next day, my mom was trying to get our handyman to do some work around the house. Which took forever!! Every time Javier fixed something, my mom would think of something else for him to

do, you know, “Just while he’s here,” she’d say. It was about 4 p.m. when my mom finally let Javier leave. Unfortunately, Rudy did not live near us at all. He lived right near the border of Maryland and Pennsylvania. I mean, of course, we were going to just visit little Rudy, but Devyn and I thought it couldn’t hurt if we brought a few blankets and a small box with us. You know, just in case! We finally got on the road at around 4:45. Since it was November, this was not the best time for us to leave. It was already starting to get dark half an hour into our trip, and we had an hour and a half left to go. As we got closer to the breeder’s house, it felt like we had traveled to a whole different reality. By this time, the sun was down. It seemed like 10 p.m. at only 5:40 p.m. There were only street lights every other mile, and we were the only car on the dark road. Were we actually on our way to get Rudy? Or was this one of these stories you see on the news about a family who got tricked into going to a crazy person’s house by a cute puppy online? We finally turned onto a dirt road, and all I could see in the distance was a figure holding a lantern above his large black top hat. I froze in my seat. I was terrified. There was no way I was going to open the doors of our locked car. I finally snapped out of my stunned state, and all I could say was “Uhhhhh.” But we came all this way, so I guess we had to see what fate had in store for us.


When I got out of the car, my legs felt like noodles. I hurried up to hold my mom’s hand as we began to approach the man. He told us to “follow him to the basement.” I was ready to turn back at this point. I gripped my mom’s hand even tighter as we began to walk down the concrete stairs only visible through the dim glow of the man’s lantern. I took my first step. I jumped when I saw a little black cat scurry up the stairs right past me. Of course, it would have to be a black cat! We finally got to the bottom of the stairs where we waited for the man to open up the door. My heart was pounding. I still held my mom’s hand as tight as I could, and I felt her squeeze my hand too. Was this the moment I was going to die? The man finally opened the door. The dimly lit room caught my gaze as I saw a young girl playing with two balls of fur. I saw little Rudy, and he ran around the room playing with the other pup as the little girl’s smile widened. The man turned to us and said, “Here he is!” And there he was! Our little bundle of joy was finally there in real life. I bent down to pick him up. I was taken aback by how light he was, and I held the little puppy in my arms. All of my initial fears no longer mattered. Even though I was in this unfamiliar place without any phone service, lights, or electricity in general, I felt completely safe when I held Rudy in my arms.


I was ready to leave, though. Knowing I never wanted to do this drive again, I begged my mom to take him home right away. But something was missing. When we isolated little Rudy from the other brown puppy, he became less playful and overall less enthusiastic. We asked the breeder who the other dog was, and he said he was the last puppy left in the litter. We just had to get him too! Little Rudy needed the other puppy to be happy, and I would have felt awful leaving the other little pup behind all alone. So … after excessive begging, we ended up taking both puppies home, and it was the best decision we could have made. Now, Rudy, now known as Fenty, and the other puppy, whom we named Gatsby, perfectly complement each other and our family. They made our endless days of repetition a new adventure as we laid pee pads all over the ground, lined up baby gates, and of course, gave them a lot of treats so they would like us. These two bundles of fur became our new screens. We watched them every second of every day, “awwing” at any and everything they would do. Devyn and I finally got our childhood wish — we finally got a puppy and not just one but two, twins pups just like Devyn and me! And that “unfamiliar place” where we got them? The seller, it turns out, was Amish.

Emily Brainerd | Champ, oil



Margot Ruland | All Clear, digital photograph

My Rational Fear Of Airplanes Fusion Non-Fiction* Maya Solomon

The lady on the opposite side of the aisle ordered a coffee The flight attendant brought it to her, steaming, and without a lid I swore that it better not end up on my neon-pink, cropped Champion sweatshirt, which I had just bought on sale the day before Then I quickly dismissed the petty thought An hour later, our plane fell from the sky 1. The jerking of the aircraft and the hollers of the other passengers interrupted the flow of my Core I Honors summer reading — The Prince by Machiavelli 2. Inertia detached my bottom from my seat but the seatbelt restrained my body from crashing through the roof 3. My mom grabbed my arm and mumbled the Hail Mary in Amharic I tried to recall the pilot’s warning but he never offered us one That’s how I knew this was not regular turbulence The plane regained its balance Or the pilot regained control We were smooth soaring for a few moments A dense sense of relief blanketed the cabin Until steps 1-3 repeated themselves And then the calm returned

And then departed when the steps repeated for a third time After the chaos I noticed moisture on my face I looked up and saw brown liquid dripping from the ceiling And found the lady’s coffee all in my hair And all on my sweatshirt But it did not bother me as much as I thought it would How could I be mad about a stench and a stain when my life almost got severed by a plane?! The pilot was also rattled I know because when he picked up the microphone to explain the disturbance, he began with a chuckle A chuckle that I initially interpreted to mean that he was amused by the catastrophe Flying thousands of miles every day with no hiccups must get boring He probably sat through units of lectures on crisis aversion during flight school He probably didn’t think he would need that information I now recognize the chuckle to have been an expression of his shared relief with us He probably prayed that he wouldn’t need that information

* A tip of our hat to the style of Bernardine Evaristo.


He continued, “That was the lesser of two evils” Was that supposed to make us feel better? What would have happened if someone with less expertise had been assigned this flight? Would they have chosen the greater of the two evils? Would we have died? He did not explain the happenings beyond that vague statement And the now coffeeless lady began speculating after apologizing for my shower Apparently she worked with the Air Force She said it was probably a bird like what happened to Sully’s plane I perpetuated my fear by listening to Stuff You Should Know:The Disappearance of Flight MH370, Parts I & II Did you know that those oxygen masks only have a ten-minute supply of oxygen?


And thus the pilot can put everyone into a state of hypoxia just by flying above the regulated altitude … Any deranged person who decides to obtain their aviation license can kill all of their passengers in a slowly long ten-minute period But “They’re the safest mode of transportation” Statistically car accidents may be more common Statistically you’re more likely to survive one of those I’ve been in three car accidents None of them have traumatized me as much as that plane Not even the time when we spun out of control, flew over the barrier, and landed facing the oncoming traffic on the highway I’m going on a plane in two weeks I should stop psyching myself out

Isabelle Evans | Broken Flow, earthenware artist name | title of piece, media

Britt Nordquist | High Altitudes, digital photograph



Carson Browne | Botanical Study, watercolor

The Pink Petal The rest of the bed watches, As the petal begins to fall. Colored pink white, And ever so small. The flower looks down, Beginning to lose hope. Watching its former companion, As the poor flower copes. The flower, Now petal-less, Has no color left. For the petal has taken Its final breath. The petal lays lifeless, For days on end. Waiting to be gently Whisked away in the wind. This is the end Of the poor petal’s story, And how nature robbed it Of its vibrance and glory.

Zara Shamim

Phoebe Cohen | Lilies, digital photograph


Title of Piece poetry poetry poetry poetry poetry

Elena Laguna| Thermal, digital photograph


poetry poetry poetry poetry


TitleVenus of Piece poetry poetry poetry poetry poetry

We cannot know his poetry beautiful demise poetry with fiery red wrapped around, poetry left foot caught in pink cloth poetry blanketed as he lay at rest. Let Mars lay at rest.


Her face blooms red Venus gazes upon beauty: silver surface subsuming her stare, not highlighting her flaws, accenting her beauty. But not the beauty lingering on the surface. Her eyes gilded gold meditating on her light, like different stars visible in the distance captivated by a beauty within. As a chandelier lights up an entire ballroom, a long lost voice breaking through the rubble … You need to see your beauty.

Katherine Price


Title of Piece author


irst para text text

Lying Eyes Personal Narrative

Tali Smith

 Avery Rudge | Eyes, charcoal


f I don’t have to get up early tomorrow, then nothIn addition, my shower is not a tub shower. It has ing can get me to bed at a reasonable hour tonight. a glass door with a four-inch threshold to keep water If I get a healthy amount of sleep — eight hoursTitle — of Piece from leaking out. Gray chevron tile covers the floor of two days in a row, I likely won’t be able to fall asleep authorthe shower with a square drain in the middle. Marble for hours the third night. tile covers the walls. It’s not that big, but it’s not too The evening of December 25, Christmas. After small either. If I stand in the center and stretch out my irst para days of family arms, they reach the walls. But when I bend my arms, text and food and gifts, I still wasn’t tired enough to go to bed at a reasonable time. And why my elbows don’t hit anything. text should I when the next day was just December 26? So I’m in the shower, brushing my hair. My feet I hate going to bed feeling dirty. So, l did what feel wet. Of course they feel wet, you’re in the shower. I any sane person does at 3:30 a.m.: I decided to take a look down. I only see a blur. Is there water on the shower. I should clarify a couple things in the interest floor? I can’t even read the shampoo bottle a foot of not sounding like a complete idiot. from my face. I squat down. 1. At this time in the year, I was having some eye Oh, no. It seems my shower has turned into a bath. problems, so I was wearing glasses instead of contacts. I knew my feet were wet! You can’t wear glasses in the shower; the steam and The water has risen at least four inches. Oh no. the fact they’d just fall off my face makes wearing I slowly turn my gaze to the door. Water can’t pass them pointless. through doors, though, right? Then again, it can pass 2. I’m blind. Well, not quite, but I’m getting close. through the crack between the door and the floor. I 3. I have long, thick, wavy hair. A lot of it. Read: squint. The floor outside the shower looks wet. Is it, My hair clogs drains a lot. though? 4. It was 3:30 a.m. Even the best of us do not I’m looking through glass, so maybe that’s just think at full capacity at this hour of the night. the reflection of the pool I’ve got going on in here. Usually I like to blast music in the shower, but I don’t know. I don’t trust my eyes — they’ve lied to out of consideration for the sleeping members of the me before. What’s the logical next step? Open the household, I didn’t. l also typically use music to gauge door and check if it’s wet outside? Turn off the water? how long I’ve been in the shower based on how No. I think I will just finish brushing my hair first. many songs have played. Maybe it’ll go away. Maybe I’m hallucinating. I finish Without music, I had no idea how long I was in brushing my hair as I stand in the shallow pool with the shower. Maybe thirty minutes. Ok, maybe forty. the water running. Hair now fills my brush. Eww. I’m You see, my hair causes the problem. It gets tangled shedding my winter coat or something. I switch off so easily that the only time I can brush it without the water and step out of the shower. ripping it all out is when it’s full of conditioner in Oh, my. the shower. And the brushing sometimes takes ten or The floor feels wet all right. My already dripping fifteen minutes. feet step onto the soaked bath mat with a squish. The



bath mat, however, is not the only thing that’s wet. The whole floor looks wet. It’s probably fine, though, I think. The floor is made of tile — so the water doesn’t go through? Right? I’ll just wipe it up with a towel. Or five. Or I’ll just get dressed first, then assess the situation. BUM BUM. My whole body jumps the way your finger reacts to touching a burning hot pan. It’s my brother, pounding on the door. He yells, “Come down now!” I quickly pull on a t-shirt and shorts. I also wrap my hair up in a towel. I wouldn’t want to drip water all over the floor. I grab my glasses from my bathroom counter and finally scan the floor clearly. Not good. The water reflects the light from the ceiling on its surface. I race out of the bathroom and down the hall, then stop at the top of the stairs. Oh f*@#! I guess the bathroom floor is not waterproof. The water does not just drip. It streams from the ceiling. My brother holds a trash can at the bottom of the stairs where most of it flows. He’s still wearing khakis and a maroon sweater from Christmas dinner, five hours ago. He’s not wearing socks, even though he always wears socks, probably because they became squishy and soaked from the leaking water. His eyebrows are furrowed, but he seems more concentrated and annoyed than angry. “What did you do?” “I was just taking a shower. I didn’t know it was leaking!” I grab the trash can to hold it in place while my brother goes to grab towels and rags. I glance into the trash can. There’s some water in it, but as I glance around, I’m guessing there’s more on the floor.


Creak. Oh no. I know that creak. I turn my head to the left and look up to see my dad standing, frazzled, at the top of the stairs. He leaves the door to his room cracked open behind him, and the light from the hall creates a triangle on the ceiling behind him. He’s only wearing boxers and a t-shirt and has woken up from a deep sleep. He scratches his head and squints down at us. “Is it raining?” he asks, clearly confused. He adjusts his glasses as the realization clicks. He first assumes a pipe is leaking because, surely, a person did not knowingly cause this. I try to explain, but as my fragmented sentences spill out, so does the water from the ceiling. “Did you not notice the shower overflowing?” Good question. “I couldn’t see! I didn’t have contacts …” “You didn’t feel it?” Another good question. “No, I just thought the water was from the shower. I don’t know.” Creak. My mom emerges from their room. She’s probably been awake this whole time, hoping that Dad could deal with the situation. When he doesn’t report back to her, she comes downstairs in her blue pajamas. She also looks confused and stares at us through her glasses as though she has no idea what she’s looking at. We stand there for a minute in silence, soaking it in. Everyone turns to head upstairs to examine the crime scene. I guiltily trudge behind them. Soon we’re up in my bathroom, standing in puddles of water. As my parents survey the situation, I grab more towels to mop up the floor. By the time I finish, they’re downstairs staring at the ceiling. The water has slowed from a steady stream to a drip drip.

Zoey Verbesey | Wandering Eye, oil



or my dog, who are sleeping on the other side of one of the bathroom walls. After giving the baseboards a salon blow-out, I’m too tired to do anything to my wet hair before I head to bed. The water doesn’t seem to have left any lasting damage, and the only signs of the shower incident are the dark water spots on the ceiling at the entrance of our house. My parents haven’t gotten the marks fixed yet, but apparently when they do, it will come out of my cat-sitting money. Honestly, the worst part of the entire situation was having to clean out the disgusting hair-clogged drain the next day. Also, although I’ve gone with the narrative that I had absolutely no clue what was going on, in reality, I did notice and for some reason did nothing about it. I have no idea how I reasoned my way into ignoring all the signs, but since then, I don’t take showers any later than 2 a.m.

Serena Hong | Raindrops in a River, earthenware

My brother tells me I’m lucky he was on ‘night watch,’ otherwise there would have been even more flooding. I was already out of the shower when he banged on the door, so I don’t know about that. I think I would have realized eventually. Well, maybe I was a little bit grateful he was here, but I didn’t admit that to him. He’s home from college on winter break, and it is nice having another night owl in the house with me. He also makes me look better about my sleeping habits. Sometimes my parents wake up before he goes to bed, so for me to stay up past three isn’t quite as bad in comparison. My parents come to the conclusion that there is no broken pipe, that all of the water came from my shower through the ceiling. They decide to go back to bed and figure it out in the morning. No one even yells. I think they’re too tired. To be honest, I think my dad finds the whole situation hilarious, and he still hugs me goodnight My brother returns to his game on the desktop computer in the office. Apparently, the water was so loud he could hear it over his headset. He typically plays Call of Duty and the sound of shooting in that game is deafening, so I now realize just how loud the flow of water had to be. Before returning to her room, my mom hands me her hair dryer and says I have to make sure all of the baseboards around the bathroom are dry, or otherwise the wood will warp from water damage. I spend the next fifteen minutes drying the baseboards. Somehow I don’t wake up my sister

h a i k u s poetry poetry poetry poetry poetry

Title of Piece poetry poetry poetry poetry

Peaks and curves line up Turkish zelligeauthor passionates Encompass culture Leyla Rasheed

Chai brews on the stove Cardamom turns elaichi Noon time has begun Leyla Rasheed

Sedona Hawkins | Evolving, oil


Fiction Isabelle Applebaum irst para





Title of Piece author


he warm summer air wafted through the window, filling the apartment with the smells of New York City. Hot dogs, dogs, cigarette smoke, gas …. I slowly walked to the window. Sticking my head out half expecting to see a boy with a boombox or a helicopter spelling my name in smoke. God, I watch too many romantic comedies. Instead I gazed at reality. All I saw were pigeons, cabs, and someone peeing on the side of the street. That did not stop my daydreaming as I got ready for school pretending to put on my skirt like Blair Waldorf or slide my black sunglasses on like Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Michelle Cooke| Color Comfy Chair, oil


of Piece Fun SnowTitleDay author

Personal Narrative

Isabelle Applebaum


irst para text text


he joy that snow brings. Carrying the laughter and smiles in each individual snowflake, floating softly through the crisp blue sky, stopping once in a while to rest in the oak trees and picket fences. The joy that your mom brings. Quietly tiptoeing into your room to shut off your alarm, yet loud enough that even without opening your eyes you know. The joy that your bed brings. Hugging you warmly with no intention of letting you go. The joy that breakfast brings. The time to sift the flour and place each chocolate chip until a brilliant smile emerges from the bubbly mixture. The joy that snow boots bring. Being kept safely guarded by the large blue bag that smells oddly nostalgic from sitting in your basement for a year. The joy that footprints bring. Lining up like perfect soldiers ready for battle, each making a little crunch under your feet letting you know that they are ready. The joy that frozen fingers bring. Playing until your sweat is mixed with snow freezing to your forehead. The joy that hot chocolate brings. Coursing through your veins like a magic potion making each finger, toe, ear, and nose a little softer. The joy that snow days bring.

Phoebe Cohen| Snow Tracks, digital photograph



Title of Piece


Personal Narrative Maya Abiy


Zoey Verbesey | My Brother, oil

irst para text 23, 2011, two of my best friends, n August text Brooke and Helen, came over to my house for

a play date. This was nothing unusual for us, and they were used to my brother’s company and his disruptive behavior. Brooke and Helen were sisters who had been my family friends since birth. We did everything from ballet classes to Sunday school together. On this particular day, we happened to be playing a board game called Blokus in the middle of my living room floor. The game resembles Tetris if Tetris were a multiplayer game played on a 20x20 grid board. Each player has a color. Brooke was red, Helen was yellow, and I was green. We each took turns trying to fit our own oddly-shaped pieces between each other’s on the grid, making a new unique mosaic with every round. Because of the nature of the board and the lightness of the pieces, keeping very still during the game is critical to avoid disturbing the game. As a seven-year-old, I took my Blokus endeavors seriously, so I was quite annoyed that while my friends and I were trying to play, my brother ran around the house, jumping and laughing to himself. Addis was a stout little boy with thick, black hair and a lack of sympathy for his little sister’s play time. He has autism, so his disruption wasn’t exactly his fault, but that didn’t stop me from trying to protect our game from his heinous footsteps. I kept telling him to stop running, telling him to stop jumping, telling him to

be quiet, but he didn’t seem to care about any of my requests. With every step he took, I saw more pieces move on the board. I was livid. It wasn’t long before I went to my parents to have them make him stop ruining Blokus for me. Somehow, my mom nicely telling him to stop brought peace back to our living room. The calm before the storm. After three minutes of tranquil Blokus game play, I suddenly heard my brother’s footsteps approaching rapidly again. As soon as he came into my line of vision, I could see him launching himself into the air. Big jump. Time stopped. Watching him fall back down in slow motion, I knew our game was about to be ruined. I tried to save a mental image of the masterpiece, but it was too late — his feet hit the floor. He landed right next to the Blokus set, not breaking any of the pieces, but destroying my last bit of composure. However, my anger lingered inside me because I realized the house was shaking. His past jumps had shaken up rooms, knocked objects off shelves, and broken glasses, but I had never felt an impact like this before. When the shaking didn’t stop after a few seconds, I looked at my friends. All three of us had the same thought: ‘Oh my God! Addis started an earthquake!’ I finally released my fury, yelling, “ADDIS, WHAT DID YOU DO?!!” He looked unfazed. An expression of


fear washed over Helen’s face, but Brooke could not stop laughing. My reaction was somewhere in between theirs as emotions overwhelmed me — anger, amusement, terror, and stress — as my parents came into the room and quickly evacuated everyone from the house. As we escaped, picture frames slammed flat onto tables, and the pots and pans hanging from the kitchen ceiling clashed against each other, but no sound transcended the echo of the clattering Blokus pieces in my ears as they hit the ground. Pixels of red, green, and blue blurred in my path as I scurried downstairs. Outside, we saw our nextdoor neighbors, who said they felt the shake too. ‘Jeez Louise, Addis, not only did you ruin Blokus, but you also interrupted our lovely neighbors’ serene afternoon,’ I thought to myself. I was surprised to realize that I could still feel trembles in the earth. At least five minutes had passed, and I wasn’t even in my house anymore. Did Addis really have that much force? My mom tried unsuccessfully to convince Brooke, Helen,


and me that the earthquake did not result from the actions of my nine-year-old brother. I insisted that it must have been him because the shaking started right when he landed from the biggest jump I had ever seen. It wasn’t until I watched the news with my parents later that day and heard Wolf Blitzer explain that Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic region had just witnessed one of its biggest earthquakes that I realized that there was no logical way that a dozen states felt the effects of a child jumping. More than anything else, though, I was distraught that Addis had ruined my game of Blokus, despite all my best efforts to preserve it. My living room was chaos. Every drawer was wide open, formerly shelved books lay flat on the floor, and Blokus tiles were scattered across the room — still intact, though my heart was not. I haven’t played Blokus since that day. It’s been ten years now, and I can’t say I’ve witnessed any more earthquakes since then, but I think this one was enough for a lifetime.

Rin Iimi | Toy Horse, oil

Avery Rudge | A Year in the Making, oil


Title of Piece author


irst para text text


artist nameYoon Katherine | title| of Cicada, piece, watercolor media

Haikus and Tankas Cicada Oh I promise you

In seventeen years, I will Be far far away Lily Meierhoefer

Drive The pedal presses I wait for the car to go Watch your surroundings Dials spin and blink Time moves slow somehow Sophie Risser and Emma Ventimiglia

Drone A pitter-patter

The constant drone continues, My eyes start to close, I can sense my body feels What this sound means, as my eyes close

Sundown Pink purple blue bleed

while the sun skids out of sight all will sink to black

Kate Broeksmit

Margot Ruland

Droplet Drip, drip, drip, drip, drip

Quiet taps of the faucet When will the sound stop Sophie Risser and Emma Ventimiglia



“T F

ali. Tali!” Title of Piece I look up from my iPad mini, pause my author movie, and pull out my left earbud. My younger sister facesirst mepara from the seat in front of me, her head tilted to the left textof the headrest. “What?” I ask her. text “Do you have gum?” Harper smiles a snaggletoothed grin at me. I nod and pull open my red drawstring bag sitting at my feet, pulling out the green pack of sweet-mint gum. I hand her one of the silver-wrapped goodies, but her smile hesitates for a second as she reaches out to grab it. Her eyes flit to the back windshield behind me, then she turns and faces forward again. I take a piece of gum for myself before I put it away. I adjust myself in my seat. I cross my legs, and my left knee bumps into the suitcase beside me. I wiggle my back against the corner between the seat and the stack of suitcases. I untangle my earbuds and put them back in my ears. I click play, and Zendaya continues to discover the weird mind control powers of her phone in the movie Zapped. By the time my movie ends, it has become dark outside, and I can only see the white and red lights of other cars driving alongside us. My gum has lost its flavor, so I search for the wrapper to spit it out. Ok, now what? I didn’t have enough time to download anything else before we left the beach this afternoon, and now I don’t have anything else to watch on my iPad. As I try to find a new comfortable position, I notice something in the corner of my eye. My head twists to the left, and that’s when I spot it.

 

Shwoomp Personal Narrative Tali Smith

artist name | title of piece, media Eleanor Tucker | Hands, charcoal

“SPIDER!” I squeak. I do my best not to scream because I know that’s unsafe for the driver, but I can’t help myself from saying something. Heads swivel towards me. “Where?” Harrison asks me. I point to the left wall of the car, mere feet from me, where the spider has its legs stuck to the ceiling. It crawls closer. I turn my body to completely face the spider, pressing my back against the side of the car. “Calm down, it won’t hurt you,” Harrison says from the seat to the left of Harper. Easy for him to say. Harper’s wide eyes shift between the spider and me. The spider moves again. My body jerks again, but there’s nowhere left to move. “It’s big!” I impulsively reach out and press the ceiling light between the spider and me to see it better, never taking my eyes off it. It crawls closer. Why is it crawling closer? Hot tears begin falling down my face. The spider is going to crawl above me and then it’s going to drop on my head. I just know it. I hate spiders. I need to get out of here. Unfortunately, the only way out is forward, the only way forward is over the seat back in the middle, and the only way over that seat would involve bringing my body within inches of the spider on the ceiling. We’re on the highway with no places to exit or pull over in sight. The spider crawls closer, now onto the ceiling light. “Ahhh!” I yell. I can’t help it. The light creates a shadow of the spider, making him seem even bigger. I unbuckle my seatbelt and smush myself even more into the wall of the car.


“Harrison,” my dad says from the driver’s seat, “You need to kill the spider for your little sister.” Harrison does not like spiders either. No one in my family does. My mom passes him a couple tissues from where she’s sitting in the front passenger seat. Harrison unbuckles too, grimacing at the job he has to do. He turns, tissue in hand. “Wait, no!” I cry. The spider is within inches of being directly above me, and if he misses, that bad boy is gonna fall right on me. “It’s going to fall on me!” Harrison lowers his hand. “Well, do you want me to kill it or not?” he asks impatiently. I bite my lower lip. Either I let this spider torture me for the next two hours of this car ride, or I take the risk of it falling on me. But that risk is probably worth it. I take a deep breath. “Don’t miss.” Harrison’s hand darts out, smushing it and the tissues into the ceiling. My body shakes. He drops his hand, and something falls onto the seatback, inches from my arm. “Ahh!” Harrison pulls his arm back towards him, and I see my chance to escape. I catapult my head and body over the seat in front of me. Placing my hands down on the seat first, I pull my legs over the hurdle second. “Tali, that’s dangerous, please buckle!” my mom says. I push my siblings’ stuff off the seat, but I don’t buckle yet.

 

I turn to face my enemy. Or what’s left of him, apparently. Harrison did actually squish the spider to death, but that guy was so juicy that some of his white guts dripped onto the black leather seat next to where I was sitting. Ewwww. I’m repulsed. I buckle into my new seat as Harrison sticks the gross tissue into the side compartment of the door. I don’t like the middle seat, but I don’t complain now because anything is better than the terror I just faced. Everyone’s focus returns to what they were doing. My dad mumbles something about trying not to crash with an eleven-year-old screaming into his ear. I wasn’t that loud. My brother uses another tissue to turn off the light, but not before I see more of the smushed mess stuck to it. Harper’s restless face turns into a sneaky grin. She smiles, “I saw the spider a couple hours ago, but I didn’t want to scare you.” My jaw drops. “Are you kidding me? Why would you do th—” “I did too,” Harrison laughs on the other side of me. I open and close my mouth, speechless at these traitors. I sigh. All of my stuff is abandoned in the backseat with the spider remnants, so it looks like I’ll have to entertain myself. I cross my arms and slouch in my crowded seat. This is gonna be a long two hours.

Melindaartist Salataname | Spotted | titleOrb of piece, Weaver, media digital photograph

Title of Piece author


irst para text text

Callie Ervin | Hand, charcoal



artist artist name name | title | title of piece, of piece, media media

GRANDMA Personal Narrative Leyla Rasheed

I called my grandmother the other day. I like to make myself feel as though I call as often as I can, but I really call as often as I can remember. She picked up. “Leyla, what a nice surprise!” Wow, I felt bad. “A Salaam alaikum, Dadi, how are you?” I ask. She’s half retired now at the youthful age of sixtyeight — done working at the same blood bank in Mount Holly Hospital in South Jersey since my dad was in his teens, providing transfusion services, but still spending time selling real estate for family and friends. She’s both shy and the most talkative person. During our family beach trip to the Outer Banks in 2017, she struck up conversations with other women on the beach. Somehow, she made connections through random friends of friends. She loves to share and would never let us waste food. We had bought too many croissants and chocolate chip muffins for that trip, so my grandpa and dad had to secretly toss them behind her back. “Quickly, while she’s still cleaning the sand out of her bag,” my grandpa whispered as he motioned my dad towards the trash bag in his hands. She never noticed. artistMoore Ella name | title Taking of Flight, piece, media digital photograph


Whenever I want to play basketball in the driveway with her, she never says no and follows me out the garage door. I pass her the ball with a snarky “Make it, take it.” “What does that mean, Leyla?” she asks with genuine curiosity. “If you make the basket, you get to keep the ball and take another shot,” I explain just as my neighbors have taught me. Her 5’4 self makes a little bunny hop and pushes the ball with two hands joined at the bottom, and somehow her free throw percentage is higher than mine. Before we can even get into a game, she scolds me, “Beti, never wear slippers when you run around.You will fall, I’ve seen it before.” I think about it for a second but can’t bring myself to inconvenience our precious time together to get sneakers. She never elaborated on this experience, but I am assuming it's with one of the many neighborhood girls with whom she played baseball and rollerskated in Karachi, Pakistan. I ask her about these friends and if she still knows them. “You know, I will never forget my friends from sports,” she says and admits that she spent way more time playing badminton and tennis than she ever did on her studies. She tells me, “Leyla, you must have good friends. If there is one thing I have learned, it is how important it is to have friends that stick by you.” She takes so much pride in her family and the values that they instilled in her. Before the partition, her father was in the army, but his mother wouldn’t let


him continue in this position because of the long history of the Indian government persecuting Muslims. Instead, he joined the police academy and continued in the career when the family fled to Pakistan. She had not been born yet. In fact, out of all of her eight siblings, only her oldest brother was born in India. “He was among the highest of his ranks,” she states proudly, specifically emphasizing her father’s truthful and strictly regimented character. I see this in her: whenever she cooks steaming dishes of Pullouw (rice and chicken) for me, she says, “Chew twenty times before you swallow.” When I fail to follow this advice, she scolds with her “Aista Aista, Leyla, don't be greedy,” cautioning me to slow down. She's the kind of person who thinks “Sugar” by Maroon 5 is a sad song, and as much as I pry for clues as to why, she never explains why. Only recently I have been trying to figure out her story, maybe because I feel like it will help me with my own “coming of age” moment, but also because the more I find out, the more that I realize how much I have to learn about her and my family’s history. I just found out that her ancestry reaches far back in time and across geography, as far as we know, reaches back to other immigrant roots. I’ve been trying to call her more often. She's the one person I can count on to never decline my Facetime calls. I got ready to hang up the phone, but before I could, she gave me her usual “Love you so much, Leyla, thank you for calling.”

Ella Moore | detail, Taking Flight, digital photograph



Britt Nordquist | Overworked, digital photograph

WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND “Name, phone, address:The writing on a child’s back is now a symbol of Ukrainian parents’ terror.” The New York Times

We leave so much behind, especially the mothers who can only pack what will fit in the space that spans between two shoulder blades. Name, phone number, address sharpied down the spines of toddlers, who know life in fragments of empty rooms and suitcases that can’t quite zip, the bombing had begun. My brother’s body once disappeared into a crowd, announcements flying overhead.

Brought to tears, I found him at the blue lost-and-found bin among other frayed things, the repeated pleas for a button-eyed corduroy bear, the chicken coop where we searched for rollie-pollies under rocks, the plot of land for my grandfather with no one left to tend. The mothers ink memories into skin – remember who you are, they tremble, the ripe raspberries and the bite of summer breeze, the bombing had begun. Sophia Hall



Title of Piece

Fiction author Isabelle Applebaum


Sophia Hall | Penpals, digital collage and mixed media

irst para y eyes softly drip to a close as my head falls text from its resting place nestled in the palm of my text hand. Although the scratchy wood chair under me is not quite comfortable, it seems to surrender to my overwhelming boredom. My mind gets blurry and falls through to a deep hole of dreams, of which I can


only remember my comfort and serenity. I am startled to awake to the sound of a bell being clicked sharply and without any particular rhythm. The sharpness of my mind is regained on an image of a woman draped in a long yellow blanket. I am surprised when the blanket starts to move, revealing itself to be a million blonde-haired, blue-eyed children. All serenity is lost as the bell ceases to stop ringing, seeming to match the chaotic chorus of MOM, MOM, MOM, MOMMY, MOMMA. The woman doesn’t respond as her dark circles seem to darken, wrinkles seem to grow deeper, hair seems to grow whiter, and eyes seem to grow more panicked. I quickly help her and her army of children to a room, drowning out the screams and cries with a quick click of the door shutting behind me.

Margot Ruland | Color Mom Before Me, oil


ec r p


e c i ip

Gossip lives on top of a seven-floor walkup, Jimmy Choos clicking against chipped stairs.

indented by her thumb, bruised, liquid rising to the surface. She fingers about a dozen until a Shibu

Trash day: A chaise lounge slumped like a martini olive: briny, something to linger on.

snaps at her ankles. A small, woolly man tells her the dog – named Miyazaki – is normally friendly.

She paid two kids on the stoop twenty bucks and promised them a secret.

“I prefer German Shepherds.” She also prefers cash, the transaction. Her coffee must have oat milk, a man

Their Knicks shirts damp with sweat, she kissed them both, twice on each cheek, lip gloss clinging to their skin.

must be clean shaven. The city is unforgiving, first impressions are watercolors: one wrong stroke

Saturdays. Hard work smells like the Union Square Greenmarket. Sourdough, heirlooms, nectarines

and ruined, the crumbling stones of Belvedere Castle. In January, she likes to watch the snow bury the bronze statue

Britt Nordquist |B eyond, digital photograph

of Balto, that heroic sled dog finally frozen. And her nectarines must be ripe, on the precipice of rot, black gnats landing on the pulpy flesh. Festering like a wound that never scabs over.

Sophia Hall


Title of Piece author

Personal Narrative


irst para text text


Margot Ruland


f I went about two miles down Route 130 from Reillys’ Grocery — out onto one of the many mid-coast peninsulas reaching into the Atlantic like greedy fingers, similar enough to those of the plastic-bibbed tourists clutching at lobsters — I’d reach the Pemaquid Point lighthouse. Lovely, to be sure, if overcrowded. But if I continued around that bend, pedaling pedaling pedaling on the rusty, teal, estate-sale cruiser from my grandparents’ barn, the road emptied. To the left, scraggly clumps of wild rose and blueberry bushes guarded the rocks leading to the sea, large slabs of granite that had long ago succumbed to the monotonous waves. There were countless well-worn holes through those rose bushes, however, whether you stopped right past the lighthouse or continued down the dirt path at the foot of Pemaquid Loop. And once I dragged my bike through one of those holes, letting it fall unceremoniously onto its side, I could sit a ways away on the rocks and stay as long as I liked, tucked away from the lighthouse crowds.

Hailey Gabron| Fish in the Water, digital colllage and mixed media

Title of Piece author On a fair day the sea shone, mimicking the sky’s These waves weren’t for swimming unless you were cerulean infinity with whitecaps in place of gulls. young or intrepid enough not to mind the cold. The irst para A foggy day did nothing to dull the atmosphere; if air temperature barely pushed 75, anyway. But it was text anything, I preferred fog. I felt like a heroine in a enough, for me, to sit in my sweater and watch the text Gothic novel (something by Daphne DuMaurier, perboats, reduced to bathtub-toy-size, scud happily across haps, this being my Cornish coast) as I stretched out the sea. With my sea, my solitude, and my book, it was with my book and watched the slatey waters seethe. more than enough.

Margot Ruland| Waves, digital photograph



Two Pedals Out Of Sight Personal Narrative Chloe O’Rourke


wo small pedals out of sight.Your feet are supposed to intuitively know which is which and when to press them. Mine didn’t. I had driven before. Although my expertise was limited to sitting on my dad’s lap and controlling only the wheel, I was convinced my go-kart extravaganzas had prepared me. They hadn’t. I was counting down the days until I would finally get my permit. With five days until ‘The Day,’ my dad decided I was ready for the classic parking lot driving lesson. I started out shaky, but once I mastered it, my ego inflated rapidly. I was singing my words as I perfectly rounded each u-turn. I had only one task left to conquer … parking. I pulled into the spot, inching forward to perfect my first ever parking job. “STOP!” The words stung my ears and scrambled my brain, caus-

ing my motor functions to fail me. This resulted in a reaction called accidental rapid acceleration. The navy blue 2020 Jeep Cherokee rapidly scaled the two-foot-high wooden blockade. My little switch-


up caused the bumper to detach. I was in shock. Too scared to look my dad in the eyes, mine began to overflow, locked in a terrified position. “Get out of the car.” My palms were dripping. “Get out of the car.” My cheeks were burning hot. “Get out of the car.” My body was paralyzed. “Get out of the car now.” I did. He pulled me to the front of the car. I was staring at $6,000 of damage. This was a colossal f*@#-up. It got worse. The words began quiet. “If that wooden blockade was a twofoot child, it would be dead.” He continued. “If it was a three-foot child, dead.” He grew louder. “If it was a four-foot child, it would probably die. If it was a five-foot child, seriously injured. A six-foot adult, broken bone.”

Two small pedals out of sight.You think it would be intuitive — but it’s not for me.

Aria Didden | Magic Bus, oil

Someone Hit Me! Personal Narrative Tomisin Sobande


ast Thursday, my sister and I were on our way to school. We had to leave home early because my sister volunteered to bring bagels for JV volleyball, and we needed to pick them up before school. At this moment, we were on the highway, and I was trying to make conversation with Temi, you know, be a good big sister and show interest in her life. Finally, I asked her, “How’s school going this week?” after twenty minutes during which neither of us had spoken a word. “Good,” she said. Okay, well, that didn’t work. So, I tried again. “What classes do you have today?” I inquired. “I dunno,” she said. Oof, strike two. But it’s okay because the third time’s the charm right? Wrong. I squeezed out one last potential conversation starter. “How’s the play going?” I thought this was foolproof. My sister loves the play. Surely she’d have a lot to say. But, no. Her response: “Fine.”

Oh, well. I tried. I kept driving, enduring the torturous start-stop rhythm of morning traffic while Frank Ocean’s album Blonde played softly through the car speakers. I was actually brainstorming more questions to ask my sister when all of sudden, BAM! My sister and I both lurched forward in our seats and looked at each other in shock. “Holy shit,” I whispered out loud. “No way. Did someone just hit us?” “Oh my God,” my sister said. I don’t even think she heard me. The next few minutes went by in a fast, stressful blur. “Oh my God, what do I do?” I asked my sister, who of course knew even less than I did. “Should I stop? Am I supposed to keep going? Should I pull over? Will people get mad if I stop right here? What do I do? I don’t know

what to do.” I rattled off endless questions to no one in Hailey Gabron | Bluedini, terra cotta


particular and racked my brain for solutions. Driver’s Ed did not prepare me for this. I looked into my rearview mirror back at the driver who had just ruined my morning. He was driving a small white car. I don’t remember seeing his face, but I’m going to assume that he was hiding from me out of shame and embarrassment. I hope so. Tentatively, I kept driving because I was in the second from the left lane, and I was worried that if I stopped in the middle of the lane, people would get mad at me and honk. I hate when people honk at me on the road. My plan was to move all the way to the right lane and pull over on the shoulder. I shakily maneuvered the car over to the right lane. When I got there, I realized that, just my luck, there was no shoulder and therefore nowhere to pull over. Now completely confused, I decided it was time to call my dad. “What’s up?” my dad asked me. “Um, Dad. Someone hit me. Like another car.” I replied. “Oh my God.” His voice was filled with understandable dread. This is probably any parent’s worst fear. “Yeah, I’m not really sure what to do. I mean, if I was supposed to stop or not. I was going to pull over, but there’s no shoulder. I don’t know what to do.” I was rambling again. “Where are you?” he asked.

“I’m on 495 right now, I’m almost at the exit for Bethesda Bagels.” “Are you driving right now or stopped?” “I’m driving. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to just stop in the middle of the road.” “Is there a lot of damage?” “I’m not sure. It felt pretty hard, but since I haven’t stopped and checked, I’m not sure. I hope not.” “Ok, well keep driving then. When you park at the bagel place, give me a call and check if there’s any damage.” “Ok. I’ll call you.” “Are you guys ok? Is Temi there?” “Yes, she’s here.” I gestured to Temi, signaling her turn to speak. “Hi, Dad, yes, I’m fine,” she said. “Ok, good. Make sure you give me a call once you’re stopped.” “We will.” The call ended, and we continued down the road in silence. I drove with my hands gripping the steering wheel so tightly, you would think they were sewn to it. After about ten minutes, I realized that we should probably — no — definitely, call our mom to tell her what had happened. “Hi, Mom.” “Good morning, Tomisin. Is everything ok?” “Um, I’m not sure. We just got into a car crash.

Luisa Guzman | Dark Flowers, earthenware


Well, actually not a crash, sorry, but someone hit us on the road.” “Oh my God, where are you?! What happened?! Where are you? I’m coming right now!” “Well, Mom, we’re driving on the highway, so that won’t really be possible.” “Where are you?!” “We’re only a few miles away from our exit. We’re going to Bethesda Bagels to get bagels for Temi’s team. We should be getting there soon.” “Ok, I’m leaving the house right now. I’ll meet you both there. Are you girls ok? What happened?” I recounted the story again; I was getting pretty good at telling the story at this point. My mom reassured us that everything would be okay, and we continued on our way to Bethesda Bagels. I pulled into the Wildwood Shopping Center right behind my mom’s red Toyota. My mom and I parked two spots away from each other, and she immediately jumped out of her car. Temi and I followed her

lead and went to the back of the car to observe any damage. When we were hit, it felt very strong and hard. I was secretly worried that something was hanging off the back of the car for the entire drive after the hit. So, you can imagine my surprise when I went to my trunk and saw nothing. Not even a little dent! My black 2016 Toyota Corolla was completely intact. Thank God! I breathed a sigh of relief, thanking my lucky stars that I would still have a car to drive the next day. My mom hugged me and my sister, triple-checking that we were really ok. With the burden of automobile troubles off my shoulders, I basically skipped into the Bethesda Bagels with my sister and mom. My sister got everything she needed for her team while I called my dad to tell him the good news. Pretty soon, my sister and I were off to school as if nothing had ever happened.

Marley Kurey | C oncealed Contrast, earthenware


Title of Piece

CORDUROY SUMMERS poetry poetry poetry poetry poetry

havent i told you how peach stones c a r r y m e m o r y ?

poetry poetry poetry poetry

wisdom is nestled in with leaves spoked like wagon-wheels at navy dawn fruit is flushed like raw brick: ripe with thought. remember coffee in an ice glass, veiled in an easy fog of condensation? remember a dress salt-misted author with rose freckles? navy dawn, raw brick, easy fog, s a l t - m i s t my memory catches on branches and forest roots as i walk i would retrace my steps but i can’t remember where i came from navy dawn, raw brick, easy fog, s a l t - m i s t cellophane over film, a face washed out by sun, i’ve learned and unlearned my name so many times over brick navy raw easy dawn? fog brick easy raw navy fog dawn navy easy? easy easy this is easy salt-mist easy mist mist mist mist m i s t Mary Loreto


Title of Piece poetry poetry poetry poetry poetry


Carly Armitage | Fifth Position, digital photograph


YELLOW LIGHT MOMENTS Personal Narrative Sarah Chin


very year, my mom and I would spend six Sunday nights from 7 p.m.-8 p.m. together watching our favorite show, “Worst Cooks in America.” My mom, who worked in the kitchen at her father’s restaurant throughout high school, loved to critique the knife skills of the contestants, saying that not curling the tips of your fingers was a sure way to lose a finger or two. I laughed along with her, while also picking up tips about mise en place and the safe cooking temperature for all poultry products. My mom died on April 14, 2021 at 3:33 p.m. of stage four ovarian cancer. Baba (what I call my dad) and I never saw it coming. The day before, she had


Stephanie Mo| Message in a Bottle, digital photograph

texted us about how she was nervous but excited to start chemotherapy and that we should prepare the house for her return. I went all out, washing loads of laundry, cleaning the house, changing her bedsheets — you name it, I did it. But after a blur of unanswered 4 a.m. hospital calls, finally speeding toward the hospital, and barely composed expressions, she was gone. Even though I no longer sit next to her on Sunday nights, I still talk to her every day, filling her in with what is going on in my life and hoping that she is watching and will help me make the right decision whenever necessary, but I still go back to the weeks leading up to that day. In our text conversations, she always told me to “think good thoughts.” I responded, “I always try,” to which she texted (and I know firmly would have said to me in person), “Not try. Must.” Now I ask myself if I had thought more good thoughts, would she still be here today? My mom always called me her “smart, brave, strong, capable daughter,” but after she died, I wondered how capable I would be without her. Would I be capable of anything without her guidance? As Harry Hudson sings in his song “Yellow Lights,” “What should I do in the darkness of you when you light up my room from July until June? What would I do if there wasn’t a you?” The idea replayed itself in my head even two days after she died.

Another emotion slowly came to a boil: anger. The anger I felt at the doctors. How could they, the doctors, the people we trust with people’s lives, let me down? Also the anger I felt at myself. I scolded myself for being selfish, only wanting her to get better because her coughing was bothering me while I was trying to study or how she kept asking me to make her soup and the fact that I once expressed my annoyance with her. Why had I only thought of myself? I often questioned why she chose to leave me here. My mom always knew what she was doing; she even parented me from the hospital, making sure that I was doing my homework, eating dinner, taking care of Baba, or registering for my classes. So even though she left me, I like to think she knew what she was doing. She believed that I, her “smart, brave, strong, capable daughter,” would be able to continue without her physical presence. Her spirit and soul guide me every day. She knew that she had taught me enough to let go, even as she said she would fight to the very end. In her last “yellow light” moment, she still made the right decision. We all made the right decision that day, and I hope that in all of the yellow light moments that come my way, I will make the right decision with her guidance and the knowledge that she had faith that I am capable of making it out in this world on my own.


Keeping Up with Personal Narrative

Caitlin Wang


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t was finally the day. The day that I had been waiting for. The day that I had heard so much about. First day of Freshman year MELO. I honestly didn’t know what to expect. All I knew was that each class needed to act out a part of Romeo and Juliet, the famous play that we had spent two months studying. We could do it any way we wanted, put our creativity to use. It sounded pretty routine, but never in my wildest dreams did I anticipate what was coming. The first thing we had to do was to come up with a theme. It needed to be good, because we had one of the most important acts of the play: Juliet’s fake death. As we sat there in silence, trying to think of something fun to do, someone raised their hand and joked about doing the Kardashians. Going along with the joke, everyone immediately chimed in about how great an idea it was, but the more we talked, the more we liked the idea, and next thing I knew, it had become our official theme. In my computer science class recently, my teacher introduced us to the concept of an echo chamber in which you and your group keep bouncing around the same thoughts with each other so much that they start sounding better and better until a clear-minded outsider walks in and points out just how ludicrous your ideas actually are. That was my class, except the outsider never quite made it in time to stop our disastrous performance in front of the entire grade, teachers, and administrators.


Instead, fueled with excitement by the perfection of our theme, we quickly went to work preparing costumes and decorations for the show. One of the teachers found us a giant sponge that we cut into small circles to stick under our dresses for those iconic Kardashian curves. From the prop closet, we got a bunch of lights and microphones that people could carry around as fake paparazzi. We were so ambitious that we even attempted to create cameras out of old cardboard boxes. They didn’t turn out very well. I was in an especially difficult situation. My role was supposed to be the hapless Paris, but since we were making this Kardashian style, I was Paris as Tyga.Yes, Tyga, the rapper. Now keep in mind, at this moment in time, I was still a relatively quiet, reserved young freshman, so it was quite out of my comfort zone to put on boxy shirts and thick gold chains, one with the word MONEY in large letters written all over it. To further complicate matters, my teachers kept telling me that I wasn’t putting enough swagger into my acting. “You’ve got to look more like a rapper!” they yelled. No kidding. Have you ever seen a rapper walking around telling people, “Poor soul, thy face is much abused with


tears”? It didn’t help that Eden, who was supposed to be the love of my life, was stumbling around in a tight, neon-pink body-con dress with three-inch high heels. Just when I thought this play could not get worse, my teacher decided to add a little twist in the scene. “Rather than just dropping down and crying over Juliet’s dead body, why don’t you fall onto her backside instead? You know, maybe caress it a bit as a symbol of Paris’s shallowness. Show that he’s just interested in the physical attractions.” Now this is when I thought I was truly going to lose it. She wants me to stroke Eden’s butt?! Well, there was definitely no better way to lose all of your friends overnight. The only thing that comforted me was knowing that at least, I would just be touching a big soft sponge. I guess the whole big fake butt thing was finally coming in handy. Perhaps the only good thing that came out of doing the Kardashians was that we didn’t have to memorize our lines. We had this brilliant idea of keeping the script on our phones during the play and checking it like we were getting texts. After all, which Kardashian could live without a phone? Little did we realize, we were performing our parts right in the front entrance of the school, with the entire audience seated on the staircase behind us where they could get

Hailey Gabron| Red Tide, earthenware

a perfect view of our screens, the lines on them, and who had failed to learn her part. Awkward. During the day of the actual performance, a long, awkward silence prevailed as one girl frantically scrolled through her phone, trying to find her lines. Apparently, the document wasn’t loading properly, and the whole script disappeared. Soon after, someone else accidentally skipped over an entire part she was supposed to say. Somehow, we went from “go wake Juliet” to “she’s dead” in a single sentence. Then came my scene. As I took a deep breath and prepared for my dramatic fall onto Eden’s butt, I realized that the table and the sofa where she was lying were too close together. Apparently, we had forgotten to set up the stage correctly, so now, the space between the two was too small, and I couldn’t get close enough to the sofa. Trying not to panic, I frantically searched my mind for a solution as I heard Khushi, who was playing the nurse, shouting behind me, “O woeful day, O woeful day!” O woeful day, indeed. What’s even more woeful, the sound of her words meant that it was my turn to speak, after which I would have to perform my fall, one way or another. “Beguiled, divorcèd, wrongèd, spited, slain!” I yelled with great emotion, except that the agony was quite real. What do I do? “O love! O life!” It was too late to turn back now. I had no choice but to attempt a dangerous diagonal crash onto Eden’s body and hope for the best. “Not life, but love in death,” I cried out my last line, and with that, I closed my eyes and fell into the abyss. I almost crashed right into Eden’s head and ended up somewhere near her back. Not quite the butt, thank God.

The rest of our play finished with relatively little drama. Just the occasional silence and nervous laugh as we waited for someone to remember – or find – her lines, which at this point, had become so common that it almost felt like part of the acting. The moment I will never forget, though, was when we bowed as a whole group after our dismal performance finally came to an end. A scatter of sympathetic applause rang out, and as I straightened my back to face the crowd, my eyes met the distinct figure seated directly in front of us, in the very front row. It was Ms. Jones, Head of School, and she was not smiling.

Nora Hinsch | Falling flowers, earthenware


The C-Word I

felt myself shiver from the cold the second I stepped out of the car. “You should’ve worn a sweatshirt,” I scolded myself. While we stood in line, I asked Devyn, “Do you think it’ll actually be scary, or is it not that bad?” She shrugged her shoulders and said, “I have no idea.” As we entered Fright Fest, I had to take a deep breath. Looking around, I noticed some people wearing black outfits, with the only other color being the red blood covering their faces and clothes. From zombies to vampires and jesters, there were people in horrifying costumes at every turn. I had to remind myself that these terrifying people with ghastly makeup and gory costumes were, somehow, just people. I nervously glanced around, unsure if I would make it through the night yet determined not to embarrass myself. As we walked around Six Flags, I watched the ground while avoiding eye contact with the “people,” if that’s even what they were. I turned to Eden and hesitantly explained, “Wait, I don’t love this. Why is it actually kinda scary? I was just not expecting that.” I could tolerate the zombie costumes and inhuman outfits, but I suddenly had to draw the line when I saw … them. There were three of them scouring the food court for their next victim. The tallest one struck fear into my heart. His pale skin drew attention to his bloody smile, contrasting with the fun, colorful clothes he wore. “Guys, we have to go ride that roller


Personal Narrative Sophia Castro

coaster,” I urged the group, pointing to a wooden ride in the opposite direction we were walking in. I was, of course, met with a chorus of my friends disagreeing. “I don’t like the wooden ones.” “That’s so far away.” “I want to ride the Superman.” “No, Sophia.” I felt my heart drop to my stomach as we kept walking towards the creature. As we passed it, someone in our group shouted out, “She’s afraid of clowns!” and pointed at me. I froze and felt the blood drain from my face, turning my skin as white as the painted face of the clown. It rushed towards me, and I accepted my fate. This was how I was going to go. This was it for me. Suddenly, my legs started to burn, and I realized I was running away from the clown chasing me around the plaza area. Long, dark curls blocked my vision, and a loud scream I hadn’t yet recognized as my own voice distracted me from my focus of escaping with my life. “Sophia! I just want to play!” I heard the clown tell me. After sprinting in a big circle, I felt myself wheezing, and I knew I couldn’t run anymore. Before I had the chance to catch my breath, I saw three other clowns approach me. I was surrounded. Trapped. There was no escape. Flashes of white, painted faces with red smiles, the bright blue, red, and yellow stripes Britt Nordquist | A Peek, digital photograph


on their baggy pants and polka dots on their shirts, and flashes from phone cameras would be the last thing I’d see in this life. They circled me and started singing, “Ring Around the Rosie.” Bright, white lights were in my eyes, and I couldn’t see. Somehow I ended up on the ground with my head on my knees and clowns circling me, chanting, “Sophia! Sophia! Sophia!” I felt my eyes water from embarrassment and fear, and I knew I’d never live this down. I could sense the crowd that had gathered. I opened my eyes, not realizing how close the clowns were. I lost control of my body as I fell back, stood up, and ran away. The cool air swept over me, and relief began to set in as I noticed they weren’t chasing after me. Finally.

My friends caught up to me, and I saw them laughing at me the entire time. Their laughter mirrored the clowns, and I started having flashbacks. I immediately knew I could never go back to that Six Flags. I glanced around, saw people staring, and felt my face get hot. “Okay, how did they know my name?” I ask my group of friends. Sure enough, someone told the clowns my name. We quickly walked to the next roller coaster, and I hoped with every part of me that we wouldn’t see them again. Somehow, I made it out, vowing Fright Fest was something I never needed to experience again.

Jacey Mordkin | Expect a Circus, earthenware


S w i m c e s t Personal Narrative Ella Myers


irst kiss stories. They never get old. Let’s roll it back to … third grade. I had just switched swim teams. I had always swum with the same group at Georgetown Prep, but I was a Holton girl now. Holton girls were busy and smart. So I decided to start swimming at Holton so I could save time and stay after school. I was sad to leave my best buds. Especially one fella in particular. I’m afraid that somebody reading this is actually friends with this guy now, so let’s name him Trey. Trey is a hot name. Ok, back to childhood. So turns out the swim team at Holton was falling apart. My dad found the new coach talking to himself in the bathroom mirror. Father Steve felt scared for me. So after two weeks of chaos at Holton, my parents had me

When I stood up from my toe touches, Trey took my hand and looked at me funny. “I’m so glad you’re back.” He then smooched me on the lips! During group stretches! I could hear my mom’s gasp from all the way down here. OMG! Did I get cooties? Wait, why did I like that? He looked at me embarrassed. The whole group stopped, jaws dropped. Oh my gosh … is this even legal? Wait, why did I like it? Mom was still watching. I looked back at Trey. “Do it again!” I said.

switch back to Georgetown Prep. excited to see my friends again. When I hugged the girlies, I saw Trey staring at me. Boys had cooties. But Trey didn’t. Trey was too pretty. Trey was also nice. I hoped he didn’t have cooties. My mom sat in the stands, observing the group stretching together. Life felt easy-going again. I can still be a Holton girl and stay here, I told myself. We started doing partner stretches. Trey asked me to be his partner.Yeah, we were getting married.

Cecilia Holdo | Little Brother, charcoal

I walked in on my first day back, all giddy and


of Piece TheTitle Dusk Estate I step towards the glowing amber horizon, poetry Eyes transfixed on the rapidly sinking sun poetry As soft, golden clouds swing their dark lilac poetry Smoking jackets over their backs. poetry I spot a certain cumulus gentleman turn poetry And slick his hair, fixing himself for his Upcoming love affair with a blushing ray of light.

poetry poetry poetry poetry


The hilltops, voluptuous in their curves Yet modest in their manners, Drown their rich sorrows in an Even richer wine, a sweet Sauvignon Blanc. Rough hands of gilded light grasp the hills’ hips in a Fury of entitlement and greed as they pass by. The harassment is only momentary. Alas, the glowing light, the adulterers, the wine, All slip past the hills and down towards another venue, A high-ceilinged ballroom hovering in another time zone. The trees near me bathe and bask in the light, Eyes and leaves holding onto the gentle evening, Pupils shrinking in a desperate and elegant blindness; I take one last bloodred sip before darkness hits.

Emily Brainerd


Cecilia Holdo | Track Field at Dusk, oil

BREATHE Title of Piece poetry Ipoetry test out the air, breathing it in The refreshing, thirst-quenching jug poetry filling my lungs poetry ¼poetry oxygen, ¾ nitrogen I then test the pressure, author The gasp of air escaping as air does It’s working perfectly, and I’m almost ready.

Phoebe Cohen

Margot Ruland| Water At Rest, digital photograph


red velvety girls holding g minor chords on the recital chairs, saying you’re getting old, not the applause after improv, a burst of dopamine, (because it’s one thing to be heard, and another to be seen) and not everyone wants to be critiqued. each bruise you make smells of blueberry perfume, pretty, pretty-pretty, like steinways in hotel rooms and i hope that someday somewhere you will escape from yourself

Aprés Ça Ash Srinivas Carly Armitage | Through the Looking Glass, digital photograph


pull the sheet music from the shelf and read to trace the clefs don’t think about the way you play the way you say the notes by name to keep the rhythm straight and all that you need to convey c, b flat, a flat, f isn’t good wordplay. it’s not monotone you’ve learned you’ve grown to the steady ticking of the metronome. and in hotel lobbies, during evenings alone, you’ll be slow-dancing with the voice you disowned.

Haley Heiden | Hand Magic, charcoal artist name | title of piece, media



Lindsay Alisbah | Christmas with G-ma, oil

Dr. Grandma Title ofNarrative Piece Personal author Lily Meierhoefer

F “D

irst ollitics:” para Dolly Parton and her relationship with text politics. I first heard the term in WNYCStudios’ text “Dolly Parton’s America,” a podcast on Dolly, her music, and her soul, taking each listener into a Tennessee Mountain Trance. Episode 5 is Dollitics. 46 minutes and 48 seconds devoted to the mysteriousunmysteriousness of Dolly apolitics. Shamefully, before listening to the podcast, I thought “9 to 5” was just any working-woman anthem, just dollyfied. Little did I know about the notso-little movie 9 to 5 it was created for. In it, Dolly starred alongside Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda. In the podcast, she reflected on the song and the movie. Fonda’s radicalness posed an interesting obstacle in the stride of Dollitics. Dolly: reluctant to take a stance, calming, accepting Fonda: outspoken, critical, activist And in between the two as if a daughter, I saw my grandma. At the height of my creative kick, I crafted a cookbook for her. Well, a blank wad of stapledtogether printer paper that I called a cookbook. “Mrs. Meierhoefer” scribbled on the front in my newly learned cursive handwriting. “Lily, sweetheart, give this to your mother. She’s Mrs. Meierhoefer — I’m Dr. Meierhoefer.” “Shanah Tovah!” my phone pinged at the ripe hour of 12:21 a.m. A GIF complete with a white dove labeled “peace,” apples “prosperity,” honey

“health,” and a shofar “happiness” followed her text. Any and every Jewish holiday, I’ll always know thanks to Grandma. She’s an atheist for all I know, but she’ll fry up a pretty good latke. “Merry Chrismukkah” she’ll squeal, presents (pajamas or sweaters) wrapped half in red and green and half in blue and gold. She married my grandpa the day after they were supposed to graduate from Vanderbilt University. He flunked out while Dr. Meierhoefer graduated. She wed him anyway, posing for wedding photos that would appear in the New York Times. “Barbara Belle Stone is married to Eric Robert Meierhoefer.” Nashville, June 3. She carried a bouquet of orchids and stephanotis. She wore an “alençon lace mantilla,” whatever that means, with her ivory gown. “A member of the Junior League of North Shore, she was presented in 1964 at its Debutante Cotillion.” She hates a lot of things: Trump, Lydia Bennet, and D.C. tourists to name a few, but there’s nothing she hates more than being a debutante. From Nashville to New Orleans to Virginia the couple went. She had my dad at 23 and then spent the next several years getting her PhD. in psychology while sporting tie-dyed shirts and singing at the drop of a hat. “Educated hippies” my dad once called his parents.


Two-Lane Highway Personal Narrative Elsa Bell


e drive down a two-lane highway, nothing but grass and sage as far as the eye can see. “We’ll be in Wyoming for a couple more miles,” my Grandpa tells me as he drives his big white truck. My little sister and I had spent the last week on vacation with him here in Wyoming. “What state will we be in next?” I ask although if I had actually thought about it, I wouldn’t have had to ask. “Your new home state,” he answers. “South Dakota?” I ask redundantly. “Yes.” New home state … new home state. I roll that around in my head a few times. I’ve known for quite some time where I’d be moving in a year, but that fact hasn’t really settled in until now. “You know, your new state is divided into sections,” my Grandpa rambles as we near the border. “What kind of sections?” I ask, turning to look at him from the book in my lap. I am reading Divergent, a book I checked out of the local library on a whim. “The sections are called the Easterlies and the Westerlies. As we drive, you’ll see here in a minute, but you know, out here the roads are spaced out. There’s maybe ten, fifteen miles between them,” he explains, briefly lifting and waving his right hand as if all the roads are laid out for me to see. “But in the east they’re closer together?” I ask as I begin to grasp the concept. “Yep … Hey, Lander, you see that atlas there?” he asks my little sister. “Could you pass it up here?” She


has been quietly reading in the back seat for the entirety of this trip. I don’t know what she’s reading, but I think it’s some newer dystopian novel. She places her bookmark with a sigh and passes the atlas to me. It was already flipped open to South Dakota since my Grandpa had used it yesterday to plan our route. I can see on the map what my Grandpa meant; the roads really do get denser in the east. I watch the roads snake back and forth across this paper state. I found our destination, Sioux Falls, in the Easterlies. We really have conquered this mighty land. There isn’t any fuss at the border, just a couple signs. The first calmly states that we are entering the National Plains. The second proudly announces that from here on out we are in South Dakota. That sign has a picture of Mt. Rushmore on it, and as we drive by, a gaggle of girls gathers in front of it for a picture. This is not my first time in South Dakota. I have driven through this state many times on yearly road trips from Bethesda, Maryland, to Dubois, Wyoming. I remember all the times my family has stopped at Mt. Rushmore. This small familiarity calms me a little. Though this state has never been my home, it is not entirely foreign. I love the terrain that surrounds Mt. Rushmore. The tall, dark pines and the glint of granite in the underbrush always feels very artistic to me. It is one of my favorite landscapes, and I don’t think I’ll mind living closer to it. The dusty plains along the highway have faded into flowering greengold grass along our travels. I re-

call the dry orange highlands of Wyoming, dusted with sparse grass and sage bushes. There the horizon is always framed with some mountain or other. Little stands of houses crowded with farm equipment taking shelter in the morning pop up every few miles. Irrigation pipes snake across hayfields in proud leisure. South Dakota feels so much greener.Yet greener still is my current home. After all, D.C. was built on a swamp. The Black Hills, dark with their evergreens, come into view in the distance. At the sight I feel some tension leave me. I love the West, but an absence of trees always leaves me with a strange feeling of unease. It’s as if seeing too far in any one direction makes me feel how small I am. “That’s Shayanne Creek, Looks like a warm water creek,” my Grandpa says as we drive over a bridge into the foothills. “How can you tell?” I ask. “Oh, color, flow, elevation,” he answers, shrugging as if it’s the simplest thing in the world. I suppose for him it is, considering that he is a fisherman. He takes his hobbies very seriously. “Do you feel the change in elevation now?” he asks. At this point we have dropped over 3,000 feet from Dubois.

“Yes.” My ears pop again as they have been doing every so often. As we drive, the grass grows greener and the trees wander closer and closer to the road. We pass through a small town, no bigger or newer than the ones in Wyoming. For some reason this town feels more comfortable. Maybe it’s because there’s less dust; maybe it’s the trees. “This is a pr​​​etty little stretch of highway, isn’t it,” my Grandpa muses, “look at that pretty little creek there.” The little creek was surrounded by tall throngs of grasses and big, gentle, hanging trees. The sunlight drifting between the branches feels very calm. The hills grow taller and steeper around us, and I can see their granite bones through the pines. Then,

Elsa Bell | Handiwork, oil


all of a sudden, the world is golden again as we exit the valley. Rolling hills of grass spread out like an ocean, and we make a left turn. Now I feel the world has split. On our left the black hills stand. From the outside they make quite an imposing figure. On the right I can’t see much further than the first few hills, but I feel the infinite space beyond them. A particularly rocky hill with a few bushes reminds me of the lower badlands back in Wyoming. A small creek winds out briefly to our right. It shelters a small hayfield in the crook of its bend. “Look at the way they do their hay,” my grandpa exclaims. I turn my attention more firmly to the field. The cut hay is gathered in loose fuzzy lumps all around the small field. If a strong gust of wind came along, the little stacks might be torn apart and strewn

across the hillside. “It’s stacked, not baled.” As we drive on, the hills on our left grow smaller and the trees more sparse. I can still see the taller hills in the distance. I can just make out a cell tower on the tallest peak. It looks like a little string held aloft by a great invisible hand. “Wow, you’re writing a book there,” my Grandpa exclaims, gesturing to the notebook open in my lap. I’ve just started the fifth page of loose, loopy writing. “Is that your diary or something?” he inquires. “No, this is generally where I put my poetry. I have other notebooks for journaling and all my ponderings on life, but the more diary-like one was too bulky to bring. I think I ponder on life too much for my own good.” I have many notebooks, but I never seem to have the right one on hand. Thus my writings of all kinds are scattered across my notebooks. “Well, that’s ok.You can ponder on it all you want,” my Grandpa says, “just remember that you can change the things you can change, and accept the things you can’t. Otherwise you’ll let your life get away from you.” I let these words sink in for a minute, and we make a right turn to continue our journey eastward. The tall black hills recede behind us, and all the grass grows greener still, and I realize there’s no need to keep writing. Elsa Bell | Barn, watercolor



Callie Ervin | Poppy Box , terra cotta

“Dad! What’s the temperature?” I want to be prepared. Wear the right thing to school so that I’m: Not too cold with the windows outstretched, And not too hot with the facility heaters, the ones that know no balance. But his lack of a response incites my own sigh — He hasn’t checked Dark Sky yet. So I click the back door and pull it towards me Pausing as the wind hisses … and I feel its contrast against the comfortable and warm-lit home. But I do, Step out. And I’m startled by the chill of the frost-covered wood step The sensation pricking into my socks, flowing through my skin The tickle of the cold air lighting up my cheeks A rosy glow. The wind lifts the hem of my pajamas, Blowing it a few centimeters away from my body, Allowing the sting to travel further. I decide to wear a sweater. Phoebe Cohen Shawnly Behnia | Blue Floral, terra cotta


a m b i g u i t y don’t






i see the arch of your cheekbones in the frost-lined leaves and your laugh is yarn, hidden in the knitted hearts of storm clouds and our breath together is a plaster-cover fog on the windshield,

i can’t see ten feet in front of us and you won’t let me look behind, but keep letting me pretend it’ll be an easy season. in half a year we’ll spend a day in an sun-flooded boathouse; beneath us, fish will speak in tongues we’ll never understand a thin wallpaper of algae will line our throats and seal us silent Mary Loreto Britt Nordquist | Facing Reality, digital photograph


MULTIPLE CHOICE: What is the National Anthem? (after “A New National Anthem,” by Ada Limón) Winner of Sixteen Rivers Press Poetry Contest 2021

a) the song / that binds / and stitches / gaping wounds / two sides / sewn back / together / on Super Bowl Sunday / or a high school homecoming / the tuba players / the solo soprano / the audience / that stands / hand over heart / listening / the song that sustains / and softens b) hesitating / keys in the ignition / halfway turning / the gas money / dwindling / the prices / rising / smoke / lingering / in the air / frost / pipes rusting over / it will be a hard winter / mother sighs / bundle up / you notice / your bare toe / peeking out / from the black sock c) bang / chanting / no justice / no peace / bang / “there are riots” / says the news / bang / insurrection / the glass storefronts in Georgetown boarded up / bang / Parkland / nail salons / gay bars / bang / say their names / George / Breonna / Ahmaud / Tamir / bang d) my grandmother / cooking / in the kitchen / today / every day / there is soup / chicken / simmering / there on the stove / here is a bowl / take a spoonful / smell / garlic / rising / potatoes / thick / warming / onion / down the throat / eat more / there is plenty / to share

Sophia Hall


Kate Broeksmit| We Bring Only What We Carry In Our Hands, stoneware

Scroll Members Annalise Ahmed Alexandra Angelos Isabelle Applebaum Claire Buchanan Phoebe Cohen Halle Daggitt Meso Ezebuiro Madeline Feldner Priyanka Fisher Cate Goodin Sophia Hall

Eve Mullen Katherine Price Sophie Risser Margot Ruland Julia Ryan Sami Snow Margaret Sussmann Rachel Tielking Emma Ventimiglia Zoey Verbesey

Special Thanks Ms. Ambria Archibald Ms. Monica Campbell Mr. Ben Ferry Ms. Nandini Giridharadas

Ms. Donna Maclean Ms. Melinda Salata Mrs. Suzi Maybee

Mission Statement The mission of the Holton-Arms School is to cultivate the unique potential of young women through the “education not only of the mind, but of the soul and spirit.”

Scroll, the annual magazine of the Scroll Club, publishes writings and artwork submitted by students of the HoltonArms School. The club, founded in 1905 by Miss Arms, is the oldest club at the school and dedicated to “the reading, writing, and speaking of good English.” This year’s issue, printed on recyclable paper by IronMark, in Annapolis Junction, Maryland, uses Bembo for text and artist and author names and Bernhard Modern for titles and headings. Scroll is designed in Adobe InDesign CCloud 2022 and produced this year in the Student Publications Room. If wishes were rainbows, we would wish that the shared server where we typically would gather all of our documents and artwork would have cooperated with us, but we are proud to say we found a way and made one, albeit on seven separate computers and a number of USB devices.

The Holton-Arms School does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national or ethnic origin, disability, or sexual orientation in the administration of its hiring, educational policy, admissions, financial aid practices, or of its athletic and other School-administered programs.



The Holton-Arms School

7303 River Road • Bethesda, Maryland 20817


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