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8th Grade Golden Apples 2011


Contents This I Believe By Joey B. Page 6

The Power of a Hawaiian T-Shirt By Michael L. Page 7

I Believe‌ By Julia W. Page 9

I Believe In Music By Stuart C. Page 11

I Believe Dance is a Sport By Elizabeth S. Page 13

I Believe In the Universe By Jason B. Page 15


I Believe By Lauren S. Page 18

Night Essay By Carl E. Page 20

Black Boy and To Kill a Mockingbird By Nick N. Page 21

The Holocaust By Nick F. Page 23

Words of Hope By Olivia D. Page 25

This I Believe By Zach S. Page 27

Anne Frank vs. Night By John B. Page 29


This I Believe By Min Ji K. Page 30

The Importance of Change By Iris O. Page 31

Gone, Forever By Ben J. Page 34

Friends Are Forever! By Courtney C. Page 36

I Believe in Believing By Ally W. Page 38

A New Dawn (Elegy) By Ben G. Page 40

Demetrius (From Helena’s perspective) By Anya H. Page 41


This I Believe: I Believe in Smiles By Aidan O. Page 42

I Believe By Nate P. Page 44

Turning to Night By Sophie B. Page 46


This I Believe By Joey B.

You shouldn’t give up no matter how far away you seem from the goal you are chasing because you never know if the time you chose to quit could have been the turning point of your distress. Most of the successful people in the world never gave up because they believed they would one day reach their goal. Michael Phelps won the most gold medals in the history of the Olympics. He was doubted over and over again by people saying he was not good enough and he would never win that many medals. Michael could have quit when he heard others’ doubts, but he didn’t. He might have thought that if he were to quit, the next day could have been the day he would have won eight gold medals. I believe that not knowing the future is what drives the human’s motivation for success. If someone had a goal and they knew they would fail there would be no point in trying it. But since you don’t know, people are motivated to try and not give up. Giving up is just as bad as failing. In fact I would rather fail than give up, because if someone asked me if I did something amazing and I failed, at least I could say I tried. I am a gymnast and I would never give up on a goal I have because you never know how far you can go. Whether my goal is big or small I would never just quit it. I believe it is never over until it’s actually over. So why would you just stop trying if you are capable of going farther? I believe that you should never give up on something because that day that you gave it up could have been the turning point for you.


The Power of a Hawaiian T-Shirt By Michael L.

It was the first day of Kindergarten and, like most young children, I didn’t want to go. That day, I decided to wear a Hawaiian t-shirt. That small decision impacted the rest of my life. In my Kindergarten, we were required to sit in circle time every day. The teacher would ask us questions about the topic of the day. One option she gave was to say “pass”, meaning you didn’t have to say anything. Because I was shy and introverted, every time I was asked my thoughts, I would say “pass”. Within weeks, my teacher became very frustrated. She spoke with my parents and described me as a child that thought he was on a vacation to Hawaii, just like the shirt I wore. After their fateful meeting, my parents decided that it would be a good idea to send me to a different school. That school turned out to be Applewild. Therefore, if I had not worn that shirt and had not been unwilling to speak, I would not be at Applewild today with all my friends, sharing this story with you. This is how I came to believe that every action, no matter how small, can affect the rest of your life. Another story that led me to believe this is one told to me by my aunt. She worked at a brokerage company located in the World Trade Center in New York. It was September 11, 2001, and the company’s CEO thought it was going to be a usual day. For reasons unknown, he decided to change his morning routine and drop his daughter off at school before work. As he listened to the car radio, he heard about how two planes had crashed into the World Trade Center. Almost everyone that worked for his company had been killed in the horrible tragedy. If the company’s CEO


had not dropped his daughter off at school, he too would have been killed. Like me, he did not wake up in the morning thinking that one small decision would affect his entire life. There are many other ways in which insignificant choices can have profound results. Sometimes, you don’t even know that your action affected something else in the world. Therefore, I strongly believe that every action, even ones that seem inconsequential, may have a meaningful impact on your life.

So, the next time you are going to do

something, like putting on a Hawaiian t-shirt or dropping your child off at school, remember that that decision could change the rest of your life.


I Believe… By Julia W.

I believe in kind gestures because even something small can make a difference in someone’s life. These kind gestures could include holding the door for someone, calling someone just to talk, or just saying hi to someone. A short story I read is a perfect example of how a kind gesture can change someone’s life. This story was mainly about a women and a little boy. They met each other at the store, when the little boy didn’t have enough money to pay for the doll that he was going to give to his sister. The women had given him a couple of more dollars so the boy could get those items. The women asked the boy why he wanted the doll and the rose, and the little boy answered that he was giving the doll to his sister and the rose to his mother. The women was curious and asked why and the little boy answered that his sister lives in heaven and he was giving the doll to his mother so she could give it to his sister, since his mother was going to heaven too. The woman understood, and was speechless. Then she remembered that there was a terrible accident a couple of weeks ago involving a drunk driver and a mother and daughter. The girl died instantly but the mother was in a coma. The family was debating whether or not to pull the plug on her, since she was never going to wake up. Later that day, the women went to their funeral. Placed in the coffin were the doll and the white rose. The women couldn’t help but cry. She changed the family’s life by making the boy happy. This story changed my way of thinking because before I read this story, I didn’t see the significance of a kind gesture. I didn’t know how


much of an impact it could have on someone’s life. I didn’t see how it was possible to do something as little as sparing a couple of dollars, and actually make an impact on someone. I now know that maybe, by just holding the door for a stranger, I can possibly change someone’s life. Yes, this may not happen every day, but you never know, so now I am aware of what I can do. If the woman had not shown some kindness, and spared a couple of dollars, the little boy wouldn’t have anything to give his mother as a farewell gift. When he gets older, he will always remember the doll and the rose that he gave to his sister and mother. I hope that this story moved you as much as it did me, and I hope that we will be more aware of every kind gesture we do, and think that just maybe, we might have changed someone’s life forever. Little things go a long way.


I Believe In Music By Stuart C.

Music has always been part of my life. I’ve played the cello for eight years and I have played the tenor sax for three years, so it is no surprise that I’m writing an essay about music. I have been surrounded by music for years: my sister played the piano, and my mom played violin. Whether it is the newest piece of music I’m learning or the latest songs I downloaded on iTunes, I like most types of music. For some reason I have always loved music, and I’ll never stop. I believe in classical, rock, pop, metal, hip hop, rap, gospel, dance, and alternative. I believe in Apocolyptica. Apocolyptica is a metal band that is made of four classically trained cellists from Finland. I believe that techno is the crazy uncle of rock who is still stuck in the mental institute. I believe music was perfected in the time when Bach, Vivaldi, Mozart, Marcello, and Beethoven were alive. Music is like math, it’s everywhere, and it will and never can die. I believe that music can change your emotions. For example, “The Wall” by Pink Floyd makes me feel rebellious, “Yesterday” by the Beatles makes me feel sad, and “Cold As Ice” by Foreigner makes me feel angry. I believe that you can express yourself through music. I believe that there is a message in every song, words or no words. For example, the reoccurring phrase of Phantom of the Opera has no words in it yet you still get chills down your spine because you know that the Phantom is about to appear. I believe music is played best with the speakers about to explode, and getting yelled at for having your music on too loud is better than randomly every hour getting a chocolate bar (and that’s


saying something). I believe that if you have a song stuck in your head, sing it out of there. I believe in singing the first song that pops into your head at any random moment of the day. I believe that one string is all it takes for an instrument to sound great. I believe that cellos are the master instruments of all the string instruments. The cello is an amazing instrument. Its extremely long fingerboard compared to other string instruments lets it reach notes as high as a violin (and even higher) while still having the smooth lower mellow sound that is usually associated with. And again, I definitely believe in music.


I Believe Dance is a Sport By Elizabeth S.

Dance, noun: a series of rhythmic and patterned bodily movements

usually performed to music. Sport, noun: a physical activity one is engaged in. Dance, by that definition, is a sport. Many people don’t think so. People think dance is easy, just spinning around and waving your arms. In dance you have to deal with everything that goes wrong and still make it look beautiful. In other sports, people know you’re in pain and working hard. Not in dance. In other sports like soccer, basketball, lacrosse, some injuries are unimaginable. But do you know anyone who was playing their sport like they normally do, and then everything snapped in their ankle? The bone, the muscle, everything. I know people who’ve suffered that injury, just from dancing. My older brother, Nathan, played football all four years in high school. He never got any serious injuries. The worst injury he got was taking out some of the skin in the middle of his back. This is my eleventh year dancing and I also haven’t had any bad injuries. The worst injury I have ever gotten was ripping all the skin off one of my toes and some spots on the top of my foot at once. The only way to make that skin heal fast is to put the open holes in vinegar. Do you think Nathan ever put anything in vinegar? No. Sometimes when you have to stop playing in other sports, you have to keep going for the good of the team. In dance, you always have to keep going. If you have to throw up, too bad, you have to dance, with puke in your mouth. When something goes wrong, it doesn’t matter. There was once a show where part of the bottom of the stage fell


through. The dancers had to keep dancing with a hole under them. In other sports if the floor fell through, the game would stop. That should be true in dance, but dancers deal with the extremes. Sports are intense. I know others have more to them than running around. Things can go terribly wrong in sports, just as in dance. The only difference between dance and all other sports is we have to push through it and make it look painless. Maybe we do a good job considering everyone thinks it’s easy. In reality, you might understand now that it’s not.


I Believe In the Universe By Jason B.

I believe that the universe is huge. This is not just what I believe, but it is a proven fact. It is immense beyond comprehension and there are higher and higher estimates of the vastness of it so often that it is hard to estimate. There are trillions of stars and we are finding new ones constantly. We are finding new planets, solar systems, black holes, nebulas, and galaxies almost every day, but the one thing we aren’t finding is life. What does this mean? Is it that we aren’t looking hard enough? Could it be that at the moment we don’t have the technology or the resources to find it? Or, the more chilling conclusion, are we alone? I really don’t know and there is no way to know. All I know is that we have searched within our solar system and our relative vicinity and there is nothing. We are searching farther and farther and inventing new things that help us see into the beyond. There are some that believe that within a few decades or centuries we may be able to build a spaceship or time travel and have all these robots and we will be able to visit far away planets to search for life, but I really doubt it. It simply is not possible to go that fast or that far. We would die. If we have not found life, then that opens up the possibility that we could be alone in this vast universe. Think about that; we are the only intelligent life in the entire universe, this massive, huge expanse of stars and planets and yet still just a vast land of nothingness. We are a relative freak of nature. We are one of a kind and we are all alone.


This huge hulking beast of a place doesn’t need us. We are here and we are in it. We are not affecting it, yet it supplies the climate and place we need to live and prosper.

We are here in our tiny, miniscule

slice of this huge thing, and we are alone. Why are we here? That is the question. What are we doing? We are just here and we made all these cultures and countries doing what? Just living? We are obsessed with all our little life dramas, and who is doing what, and does it really matter? Anything we do really won’t affect the universe. We are just a little blip in the infinite time of this place. The stars and planets take literally millions of years to form and we humans haven’t been here close to that long. You might live to be ninety or maybe eighty-three, the national average for Americans. You could die young or maybe live to be 130, which is how old the world record holder lived for the oldest human. But even if we live to be 1000, we still aren’t going to affect anything. We are worried about pollution and war and the economy and having a house, three meals a day, and trying to stay alive and support our families. We study and spend and then get a job. We then get money and raise a family, who then do the same thing, whose kids do the same thing, and on and on and on. We will not affect or change anything in the big scheme of things. Even big politicians and “influential figures” and VIPs will all die and not contribute to this huge universe. They do affect things within our world and our town and state, but really, what does that do to the rest of the trillions of planets? We will all die eventually. So therefore, we are pointless. But that raises the same question again, why are we here? I don’t know, but if we were put here, then I believe it is our responsibility to keep on living. Maybe in the future we will be useful, but right now we


must stay alive and keep strong for greater purposes. It is a way of thinking and that is what I believe. In my life I have seen many things. I have seen depressed people and people who have lost everything in depressions and war. I have seen helplessly fat people eating because it makes them feel better. I have seen smart, innocent kids get bullied and I have seen tough and cool people, too. I have seen scams, cheating, kindness, sacrifice, generosity, you name it. I’ve seen midgets and huge people and racism. I’ve seen people freak out and get ridiculously angry. I’ve seen people win the lottery and get happy. I’ve seen lucky breaks and unlucky breaks. I’ve seen spoiled kids and adults cry and whine because they didn’t get what they want. I’ve seen people who don’t care and people who are very into everything and like it. I’ve seen control freaks and I’ve seen people take a bullet and fight for this country. I’ve seen fear and love. I’ve seen songs that become famous and how people can relate and get absorbed by music. I’ve seen sympathy, caring, responsibility, apathy; you name it I’ve seen it in this world. Some of these things are good, some bad, but it’s in this world. I really don’t get it. Where do all these feelings come from? The animals we’ve evolved from don’t feel this, so why do we? The universe with its stars and planets don’t feel these things. It just does not make sense. We truly are one of a kind in this planet and in the universe. We must stay this way and we must stay true. It is our responsibility.


I Believe By Lauren S.

I believe that something as simple as a smile can have a powerful effect on others. Whether it comes from a stranger or your best friend, the impact of a smile has the ability to turn any bad day around. A smile says, “I’m feeling happy on the inside and I want to pass that feeling on to you”. When you smile, it brightens others’ days, so hopefully it will make them want to smile back and keep on smiling. In today’s world, everyone is so busy that we don’t take time to notice our surroundings and the people around us. We are caught up in our own life and we are always hurrying to get from one place to another. We often don’t make eye contact with strangers or take time to say a friendly greeting. If someone does look your way, and you take the time to look back and smile, it is like saying, “I value you as a person”. For example, you could be in a Walmart and a store clerk is fixing a rack of clothes that customers have pulled off the hangers and put back in the wrong places. She probably has done that ten times already that day. She might not notice you, but she glances up for just a second as you are passing by. You give her a genuine smile that lets her know you see how hard she is working and, although it’s a job that might not get much recognition, your smiles says, “I appreciate you”. A smile is a great mechanism for making new friends. Whenever I join the town soccer team and don’t know any of the girls or become part of a different local drama group, I try to use a smile to break the ice. Smiling at strangers shows them that you are reaching out and are a person who is both cheerful and approachable. An unlikely person in an


unlikely place could turn out to be your best friend and a smile could be the key that opens the door to starting a conversation. Smiling is also a universal greeting. When I was in India, after visiting the Taj Mahal, we walked through an outdoor marketplace where vendors were competing to sell souvenirs to the tourists coming out. I noticed a boy working there who looked like he was about my age. The shop owner had been yelling at him in his Indian dialect. I caught the boy’s eye and smiled at him. His face brightened and even though we could not speak the same language, it was like we were becoming friends. Even though the only thing we did was smile at each other, it was enough to feel a small connection. No matter the circumstances, a smile affects everyone in a positive way.


Night Essay By Carl E.

Night shows faith within the book. Throughout the book Elie shows faith many times. He starts to show it when they get to Birkenau. He shows faith by trying to stay with his dad so that they will not get split up. Throughout the book he starts to also lose faith. He starts to say that God could stop this, and God created this, so why should he even have to believe in God. He gives up religious faith but still has his faith in humanity. He uses all of that faith to stay with his dad no matter what. It was his faith that he and his dad didn’t get separated, and they didn’t. He started to gain more faith towards the end of the book when he is in Buna; they hear rumors of the Red Army coming and saving them. Even though the boy on the bunk above his told him that Hitler would kill all Jews by midnight, he still had faith that the Red Army would come and save them. You may not think that faith is in this book, but it is very faithful in actions and words.


Black Boy and To Kill a Mockingbird By Nick N. There were many differences and similarities between the two books. For example, they both had examples of racism and bigotry. But the themes and general feelings of the books differed a lot. To Kill a

Mockingbird is from the point of view of a young white girl living in the South during the Great Depression; Black Boy is from the point of view of a young boy/man living in the South during the Dred Scott times. So the points of views are very different, but they both have the same kind of issues in their lives. For example, Richard in Black Boy deals with much more responsibility than Scout from Mockingbird. They are also looked at by society very differently. Richard is kind of treated like vermin his whole life while meeting different kinds of people. Scout is respected for the most part because she comes from a mostly white neighborhood. They both deal with racism in different ways. Scout is living in a town with almost all white citizens so when her father represents a black man the town doesn’t really support her dad and there is a plentiful amount of racism/bigotry. For example the jury wasn’t fair because it was made of all white males. Richard is a black man living in a time when all black people were discriminated against; this made it very hard for him to live back then. So there was obviously an abundance of racism in his experiences as well. On a different level of comparison they both differed in their themes.

Although Mockingbird took place in the South during a

less civilized time, it dealt with some sophisticated themes, as does Black Boy. I felt as if Black Boy was more of an outlook on life, which it was since it is an autobiography. Mockingbird also observed life but it wasn’t in the same way. Mockingbird, I think, observed bigotry in society. Black


Boy did this and also looked at things from a semi-political standpoint. Yet I think Black Boy had more sophisticated themes. I think To Kill a Mockingbird had a unique writing style that made me think about things a little differently.


The Holocaust By Nick F.

The Holocaust was a tragic event in history that should've never happened. It did happen however, because of the ignorance of people in Germany who were listening to Hitler and because of fear. In my opinion though, the Holocaust will never occur again. The Holocaust was a very tragic event in history that occurred because of the ignorance of the people listening to Hitler. When Hitler first started publicly saying things about the Jews, he blamed them for the bad state of the economy. Since people didn't have any other reason that they could've thought of, they automatically believed Hitler. That was the very ignorant decision. You shouldn't just accept anything and everything you hear. If in this essay I said that we are all just majestic, flying purple elephants being controlled by Elvis and that the only way we could stop this was to wipe out every Elvis fan on the face of the Earth, would you believe me? I don’t think you would because that sounds crazy and I would probably get locked up in a mental asylum. The Holocaust was a very tragic event in history that occurred because of fear. The S.S. and Nazi troops would strike fear into the people’s hearts so they would be obedient. Would you go against someone who just viciously torched your neighbor's shop to the ground? No, you wouldn't because you would be too scared that you would suffer the same fate. If you did anything that would annoy or anger the soldiers it would result in serious punishment of you and your loved ones. The Holocaust was a very tragic event in history. In my opinion it would never happen again though. There is much more media in the world


today. If word got out that some group of psycho soldiers under order of a high up official were wiping out a group of people, it would be all over the radio. If a video or picture got out proving this, it would be on every news station and on YouTube. An outbreak of people would stop this massacre before it could get even remotely large. There would be no way to hide it. Also, people have learned from the Holocaust. Just because people are different doesn't mean one should torture them to death or kill them. People have grown as a species and realized their mistakes. Because of this, the Holocaust will never happen again. The Holocaust was a tragic event in history that should've never happened. It destroyed and took innocent lives. It hurt generations with tremendous effects. It happened because of the ignorance of people listening to Hitler and fear. As you can see, the Holocaust overall was just a tragic event.


Words of Hope By Olivia D.

When I was little, three people in my family died, one right after the other. Of course, I don't really remember the journey of them going through their illness, but I do remember their funerals. I only went to one of them, as my mother didn't want me to go to the two others because she thought it was too stressful for a nine year old girl. But I do remember going to one when I was seven. It was that of my great uncle. When I was seven my great Uncle Stanley died of old age. It was a very sad time for my mom, because he and his wife had basically raised my mom after her mom died of cancer at age thirty-seven. So when my great uncle passed, my mother thought it was important for me to go to the funeral, to remember him. Before the funeral, me and my cousins, my aunts, uncles, mom and dad, went to the funeral home where they had prepared Stanley to go into the grave. My great aunt (and his wife) was there, and was obviously very distraught. She wanted me to see the body before it went away forever. As she and my mother took me into the room where he was being held, I saw many other people who were grieving with the death of a loved one. The seemingly endless row of bodies passed me as I walked to the room where they were keeping him. My mom opened the the coffin and I saw his lifeless body sitting there. She whispered to me, "Don't worry, it's just his body there, his spirit is in heaven where we will see him again someday." I wasn't brought up to be a religious person, but when she said those words, I truly believed them. I think to my mom it was a way to


grieve with the pain of losing someone who she dearly loved. For her, it was easier to know that he was in a better place. I thought of all the other people at the funeral home, and at the funeral itself. The looks of sadness on their faces will be etched in my mind forever. To see my older cousin, who I loved and respected, crying like that at the funeral, showed me that even though someone seems strong on the outside, they can be just as scared and sad as you are on the inside. I think it's good that my mom said those words to me; it made me believe that there was an end to the pain and suffering that my three relatives had gone through. It eased my mind to think that they were in a better place. This is why I believe in those words. Those nineteen words that my mom said to me on that rainy afternoon changed my outlook on death. In that it wasn't a place people go after they die. That it was a place where there was an end to suffering and sadness.


This I Believe By Zach S.

I Believe in Freedom. Eleven score and fifteen years ago, our forefathers broke an age-old bond to a country that exercised too much power over its people. The taxes were too high. Unrest was dealt with by soldiers instead of a listening ear. The Americans were unable to lead their lives how they chose. The people of the American colonies decided that they had had enough. They went to war. They won. We won. And yet, look at us now. Taxes have certainly dropped since some parts of the last century; and certainly no soldiers are sent to quell unrest. Despite this, if our founding fathers saw us now, they would certainly be appalled. Back in the day, such taxes would be the beginning of a revolution. The founding principles that this country was started on, whether the ones written in the Constitution or the ones underlying those written, are threatened. The only thing that stops tyranny is the Constitution itself. The Constitution, however, can be interpreted in different ways. Some say that new inventions don’t apply to the Constitution; laws about cell phones, cars, and automatic firearms can be enforced without the Constitution interfering, simply because the Constitution didn't and couldn't state them. And so, we have ridiculous rules. It is illegal in forty-nine states to be in a vehicle on a public road and not have a seat belt on. In the fiftieth, it is illegal under the age of eighteen. Whether it is a good idea to wear a seatbelt or not, people should have the choice to wear it. If they don't do so and they are in a car accident, they will pay the consequences. Those


consequences should be, say, a broken bone, or even death, but should not be a fine. The people in the vehicle have a responsibility to their family and to themselves to protect themselves as best as possible, and if that entails wearing a seatbelt, so be it. It should be choice. Life is only so long. And when it winds to a close, I have a feeling that it will have passed in a flash, and I will be left saying, "...Where'd it all go?". People need to be able to do what they wish within the limits of responsibility. They need to have looked back on life and say, "Damn... That was fun." And if that means not wearing a seatbelt while driving down the highway, or owning an automatic firearm without paying extra taxes, then that is how it should have been. This I Believe.


Anne Frank vs. Night By John B.

Anne Frank and Elie Wiesel’s writing styles were different. Anne Frank not only wrote happier than Elie Wiesel, but the consistency of her happy writing in some parts made it sound like she was a nice figure. Wiesel’s writing was a grim type of writing, which suggests that when this was based, he was sad and grim. It is true that if you’re being persecuted for your religion, then you would be sad and grim. Anne Frank and Elie Wiesel were two people who didn’t know each other, but had similar experiences in the Holocaust. Anne Frank was writing from 1940 to the tail end of 1944. Since she was in hiding, she had a suspenseful type of writing, but she wasn’t under the supervision of Germans so she could have a bit more of a childhood. The bad side of being in hiding is that you’re sealed in a tight place for a long period of time. At least for Elie Wiesel he could go outside and breathe in air. The air might not have been as fresh in the camps, it would have been more fresh in Sighet. Their writing styles are the purposes that they were writing. Elie Wiesel wanted his memoir to be published. He wrote in detail so that the people who read it would understand what he went through. Anne Frank wrote in a diary. She had no intention of it being published, so she didn’t write in as much detail as Elie Wiesel’s detail. She only thought that she was going to read the diary. Another difference between the two is that Elie Wiesel is writing from memory. Anne Frank’s diary is an account that was written down right when it happened. Elie Wiesel could have remembered something wrong, but his memory of the camps is stunning. Some memories you


would want to be pushed out of your mind. Anne Frank knew what was going on outside the attic, but she wrote in a happy way. She could keep everyday life alive. Those are differences Anne Frank and Elie Wiesel had in their writing, and also their time and location that the Holocaust touched them the most. The different type of writing can affect the impact that it has on the reader. The memories of Elie and the diary of a young girl can change the reader’s view on the worst act of human genocide in history. Those are the differences.


This I Believe By Min Ji K.

I believe time doesn’t lie until the world is on the brink of ruin. Whatever I do, the world doesn’t stop. It’s keep moving, and moving. During studying, eating, sleeping, and playing, world doesn’t care and times go. Time doesn’t wait for me, even if I’m sick, or somebody died. Times are still going. Times exist, so history can exist until now. Times exist, so people’s flashback could exist. Times exist, so people have dreams. Times exist, so people can live. We can’t live without times. Time exist before human born, so people don’t know when the time start. But one day, Egyptians invented the first calendar. It’s a little bit different as now calendar, but a thing what is true is it influenced to modern calendars. People also can notice time is going by clocks or watches too. Everybody in the world knows, 60 seconds is 1 minute. 60 minutes is an hour. 12 hours are a half of day. 24 hours is a day. 365 days are a year. People know this fact by moving of Earth. The earth spins 365 times a year. The earth spins around a sun once in a year. People can’t go back to the past, because time just moves to the future, not the past. If somebody invents time machine, then people could go back to the past, but without that case, people can’t. Sometimes people do some mistakes, every time they do, they want to go back to the past, and fix those. However that’s just an imagination. That’s couldn’t be happen in a real life. My mom always said to me, “The time right now is not going to come back. Spend time wisely, do your best in a every single time, so you can’t feel you want to go back to the past and fix what you did wrong.


The Importance of Change By Iris O.

I believe in the power and importance of change. Adapting to change became a big part of my life in 7th grade. My family took a trip to India for a year. It was a new country, a new culture, and a new school. A whole lot of change, and it changed me too. I remember when I was little and my mom wanted to put up a country fence in front of our house for decoration. I did not want that fence. When we built a garage as an extension of our house, I didn’t want that either. I wanted everything to be the same. I wanted to stay in a bubble where nothing ever changed. And leaving to India popped that bubble. I had to adapt to a new school, learn a new language and make new friends. There was change everywhere and eventually I learned to embrace it. It was hard. At first I rejected the idea. I had no intention of leaving my friends in the middle of the school year and traveling halfway round the world. I didn’t want to leave my house either. I had been to India before, but this was nothing like a vacation. When we arrived in India, the first thing we did was go to our new house. I didn’t like it. It was bright pink, and the kitchen was, in my opinion, disgusting. I complained, and my mom said that we could do something, but we never did. I got used to it, and within a few months we were settled. Life in India was extremely different from life in the US. We had to boil water before drinking it, and even had to be careful not to swallow water when brushing our teeth. We had plastic packets of milk delivered to our house daily, and we had a cook, maid and driver who


came in everyday. When we ate out, the food always had to be hot and we had to drink only bottled water. Then school started. It was a school where everyone had to speak English, which, luckily for me, eliminated the language barrier. There were uniforms, major exams and tests. I studied hard. It was very different from the Montessori school I had gone to before leaving. The experience was life changing. I surprised myself and made a lot of great friends. I realized the importance of being open to change while in India. Adapting to change affects everyone in some point in his or her life. Without change in the world, we would all be living in an undeveloped and third-rate place. I am glad that I had the opportunity to learn to adapt to change so early in my life. When I came back, I had to repeat the process and change schools, and it was easy. I feel like after India, I can adapt to anything life throws at me. Change is powerful and important, and affects everyone at some point in his or her life.


Gone, Forever By Ben J.

I believe that you only realize how much people mean to you when they are gone forever. I, for one, know that I have taken things for granted in the past and have regretted it when the same things are gone forever. I have never witnessed a death, so I can only fantasize (if you can even call it that) about what it looks or feels like. Does your spirit drift up to heaven or down to hell? Does your spirit leave your body to watch over people that the person learned to love while they were living? Or does the spirit die with the body and disappear forever? Death is something that no one can explain, but it is still a huge part of our lives. No one can escape or defeat death. The first time I had to really struggle with the concept of death was when my grandpa died two years ago. When he died, I was in shock until right after the funeral; I think I realized my Opa, who had always been there for me, was really gone forever. I was really sad until my grandma came up to me and said, "He's not really dead, he's still alive in your memories of him." I realized that she was right. He lived on as the people who met, remembered, and loved him remember him. I realized that through the pain and sorrow, there was a ray of hope. I realized that I was part of that ray of hope in that I was one of the people who loved and remembered him. I had a responsibility to keep that ray of hope alive and bright so that others who did not get the chance to meet my grandpa could get to know him, too.


After the funeral, I met some of his childhood friends. They cheered me up by telling me stories about my grandpa when he was about my age. The stories they told about him were funny and amazing. I felt like I got to know him all over again. The only thing I regret about him dying is that we didn't get to spend more time together. He will never see me grow up or move away from home. He will still be with me though and so will the lessons he taught me. I will always remember him as a man who, despite his faults, tried to always do the right thing and was one of the smartest people that I will probably ever know. I think the Inuit tribe says it best in one of their sayings: Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy.


Friends Are Forever! By Courtney C.

I believe in friends. A friend is someone who will always be there for you, be completely honest with you, and love you for who you are. I'm glad to say that I do indeed have many amazing people in my life, but only a few who fit this description perfectly. Without the friends I surround myself with, I would probably not be the person I am right now. My friends keep me grounded while also encouraging me to follow whatever my heart says to do. You know who you are. Friends are people who will always have your back, whether you're present or not. A good example of this is when I was absent for a while. I knew I had my friends' support because everyday on my homework slip I would get multiple notes of good wishes from friends. Those notes became the highlight of my day! My friends didn't just stop at notes, they also would help me if I got stuck on homework. I knew they were always just a phone call away. Sophie and Julia reached out to me nearly every day, letting me know that I was still an important piece of their lives despite my absence. This was rejuvenating for me, especially after a day or two of being cooped up in the house and not feeling well. I especially loved my "how ya feeling, cupcake" text from Sophie! She had no idea how uplifting that one sentence was for me! I had had a particularly bad day and her sentiment was perfectly timed. Without the support from Julia, Sophie, Olivia, Liz, Lauren, Aidan, Aidan, Ben, Mitch, and Stuart, I felt as though I would have lost my mind! I missed their company, my school day schedule, my teachers, and the way my life should have been.


If I'm in doubt about something, I tend to go my friends for advice. Whether it's when we're shopping for semi dresses, I need an opinion on a social dilemma, if I think there is something great in my life to share, or if I am just looking for an honest opinion, I know I can depend on my friends to help me. Friends accept friends for who they are. There are no exceptions to this and I've learned that. My true friends love me for the person I'm becoming and I love each and every one of them for who they are becoming. I know that the choices I make and that my friends make may not always be the correct ones. But I do know that the people who mean the most to me will always accept my choices and stand by me. Just as I will do for them. I can always find comfort in knowing that no matter what happens, they will always be there to help me. These are only a few things, but I think they're pretty important. I could go on and on talking about every single person who I know will always be there for me. So I'll just say this, my friends are my lifeline, and not to mention, my second family. Thank you to all my friends who have ever been there for me. I look forward to continuing our journey of friendship because despite our different paths, we will always maintain what is most important to me...our unique friendship and crazy family relationship!


I Believe in Believing By Ally W. I believe that having someone or something to believe in is a good thing, everyone should be able to believe in what they want to, and I don’t just mean belief in the spiritual meaning. Being able to believe in something means that you can look to it for comfort and support. Many people around the world believe that God controls the world, or that angels protect us all. Have any of them actually seen God or an angel? Probably not. Do God and angels still give them hope for a better life? Definitely. The ideas of life getting better give people hope for the future. Hope is necessary to some people, who might have little or nothing in their lives. People should not be limited in what they believe in. If you grow up in a family with a certain belief, you should be able to believe in something else if you want to. I believe that everyone should be given the chance to find what they believe in for themselves, like I have. My parents believe that I should be allowed to choose any religion that I believe strongly in, and will let me decide what I believe in at any time. I think this is a better alternative to having someone else pick what you believe in. People also shouldn't be criticized about what they believe in, because everyone believes in something, and no one's belief is better than anyone else’s. By belief, I don’t just mean religious belief. The belief in other people and yourself is important too. Believing in others is like complimenting them in one way, and helping them in another. Believing in someone else is like telling them that they are good at what they do and you believe that entirely. Also believing in others allows them to believe in themselves easier: if others believe in you, you should believe in you,


too. Believing in yourself is hard to do for some people. I know that it’s hard to believe that I’m going to do well on a test if I don’t think I studied enough. But believing in yourself is important because if you don’t believe in yourself, why are you even trying? Defeating yourself isn't going to help you at all, and if anything, it's going to hurt you. Being the pessimistic person I am, defeating myself could be considered a hobby (although it's more like a bad habit). Knowing how to sometimes control this trait comes in handy, especially when it comes to very important things like secondary schools. If other people hadn't believed that I would get into a school, which in turn caused me to start believing in myself, I probably wouldn't have even tried to apply to one of them. I don’t really know if I believe in God and angels and stuff like that, but I do believe that believing in anything can help, whether it’s believing that your mom’s leg will be better soon, or that there might be someone looking out for you. The size of the belief doesn't matter, as long as you believe in it strongly.


A New Dawn (Elegy) By Ben G.

The house creaked like an old man’s back No light penetrated that creepy house The only sound was a woman weeping No one was there to comfort her The one who had left to fight has died She can still remember day they came to deliver the grave news The soldiers stood with long stern faces They said he died a hero But others say he died a fool She still lies there wishing she died too The fire in her heart was put out never to rise again Until she remembers him He always told her not to miss him I’ll be back soon She couldn’t dismiss these demoralizing memories But she knew he wouldn’t want this So she pushed herself to find another For her this was a new dawn



From Helena’s perspective By Anya H.

I love you so much I could give you the sun, That’s how much I know that you are the one,

I love you so much I could give you the sky, That’s how I know it’s not some other guy,

I love you so much I could give you the moon, That is the reason that I always swoon,

I love you so much I could give you the sea, That’s how much I know how happy we’d be.


This I Believe: I Believe in Smiles By Aidan O. I believe in smiles. They are so powerful and can brighten peoples’ days. They may seem small, but the effect they can have on a person is amazing. Smiling makes me feel good and it makes other people feel good. One day I was walking in the street. I saw somebody who looked like they were having a bad day. They looked sad, alone, and cold. I smiled at him, and he hesitated a moment before beaming right back at me. I think I made his day and when he was able to smile back despite whatever problems he was having, he made my day. Smile and the world smiles with you. Now I try to smile at anyone I see who looks unhappy. This also works on yourself. Smiling can actually make you feel better because whenever you smile, your body releases endorphins into your bloodstream and they relieve pain and stress. Smiles are also a great way of expressing emotion. They can express many feelings: love, happiness, gladness, relief, peacefulness… the list goes on and on. Expressing your emotions is an important part of living. It’s not good to keep all your feelings bottled up inside you. Smiles can actually help people who are sick. If people who visit them are smiling, the sick person will probably smile because smiles are contagious. Smiling can give them hope that they will get better. It can get them through the tough time they are going through. Smiling isn’t technically a medicine, but it sure does have the effects of one. Some people might overlook smiles and not think of them as important. It shouldn’t be overlooked because if everyone smiled more,


the world would absolutely be a better place. People would be happier, less stressed, healthier, and they would express their feelings more. I could not imagine a life without smiling, it would certainly be a bad one. Some people say ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ but I think it’s more like ‘smiling every day keeps the doctor away’. Smiling is important, never forget to smile.


I Believe By Nate P.

I believe in my dogs. I believe in my two dogs because they can save lives, help people with disabilities, and comfort people. I believe in my beautiful black lab Nika because I think she is one of the best dogs in the world. Nika was trained to be a Seeing Eye dog, but was not able to complete the program due to getting sick two times. I am so happy that she ended up living with us. Nika is a loving dog. She is always there to cheer me up or snuggle with me. When I am bored, I play hide-and-go-seek with her, and she ends up finding me every time. Nika loves to wake me up in the morning by licking my face. I always look forward to seeing her in the morning and when I come home from school. If she could smile, she would have a big smile on her face every day. Now I know why people say that “a dog is a man’s best friend.” I cannot imagine my life without her. I believe in my pretty, long-haired golden retriever, Tuckson. Tuckson used to live in Canada with my second cousin on a farm. When my cousin married and could no longer have a dog where she lives, she came to live with us. Tuckson fits right in with our family, and gets along great with Nika. Because Tuckson grew up on a farm, she kills mice and brings them to us. My family laughs because she acts like a cat, but we are also happy that she kills the mice around our house. Tuckson also likes to snuggle and be close to us; she loves attention. It’s fun when my whole family hangs out in the living room to watch a movie and Tuckson and Nika cuddle with us on the couch. Tuckson is really funny too; she has taken


over one of our couches as her own bed. It’s great to have two dogs with two different personalities, but with big hearts. I cannot imagine my life without her.


Turning to Night By Sophie B.

Darkness devours The day, black conquering blue In the shifting sky.



2011 1 I Believe In Music By Stuart C. Page 11 I Believe In the Universe By Jason B. Page 15 I Believe Dance is a Sport By Elizabeth S. Page...

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