Cover Art: Inside, Z Fluger â€˜22
A reminder to families: This journalâ€™s content reflects the thoughts and experiences of seventh through twelfth grade students at LREI. We ask that you keep that fact in mind as you consider sharing it with younger children. - Phil Kassen, Director
In Other Words... A magazine featuring the creative work of the students of LREI 2018-2019
Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin High School
In Other Words... The creative magazine of LREI EDITORS Ruthie Brian Louie Figliulo Gavriela Langer Henry Pomerance Hanna Provost Katie Rich Sofia Sharp Sophie Stomberg Firestein Ava Yang EDITORIAL ADVISOR Colette Cavanagh ARTS ADVISORS Shauna Finn James French Stephen MacGillivray Susan Now PRINCIPALS Allison Isbell Margaret Paul Ana Chaney HEAD OF SCHOOL Phil Kassen
Table of Contents
2 Studio Art
20 Short Stories & Essays 50 Photography
84 Film 88 New York City 110
Toucan, Onaje Grant-Simmonds â€˜20
Cover Inside ............................... Z Fluger ‘22 1 Toucan ............................. Onaje Grant-Simmonds ‘20 4 Paint Cans ....................... Loulou Viemeister ‘19 Venus ............................... Claire Greenburger ‘19 5 A View From the Bridge
Z Fluger ‘22
Red Coat ......................... Florence Finkelstein ‘19 6 Jacob .............................. Onaje Grant-Simmonds ‘20 Pap .................................. Bella Morand ‘19 Claire ............................... Loulou Viemeister ‘19 7 Self Portrait ..................... Emily Nally ‘20 8 Evening Grosbeak ......... Emma Singleton ‘19 Meteponto Beach .......... Loulou Viemeister ‘19 9 Crashing Waves ............. Gwen Raffo ‘21 Ruby-crowned Kinglet ... Emma Singleton ‘19 10 Recipes ........................... Izzy Barrera ‘19 Onaje Grant-Simmonds ‘20 Emma Singleton ‘19 11 Yungblood ...................... Gwen Raffo ‘21 Portrait ............................ Zahra Aboulwafa ‘19 The Cloth ........................ Florence Finkelstein ‘19 12 Proud Clown Parents ..... Izzy Barrera ‘19 Mitch ............................... Claire Greenburger ‘19 Brett ................................ Claire Greenburger ‘19 13 Boy Scouts ...................... Izzy Barrera ‘19 14 Bird Block Prints ............. Arlo Metzger ‘20 Least Flycatcher ............. Emma Singleton ‘19
Cat on a Ladder ............. Emma Singleton ‘19
Studio Art 15 Yolande ........................................ Florence Finkelstein ‘19 Roger Taylor ................................ Gwen Raffo ‘21 Detail of Strawberries on Cake .. Siena Harris-Gissler ‘19 16 What Makes Loulou Angry ........ Loulou Viemeister ‘19 17 Southold ...................................... Loulou Viemeister ‘19 Pont Alexandre III ....................... Florence Finkelstein ‘19 Perspective .................................. Cassidy Moskowitz ‘24 18 Russian Folktales: Svyatogor & Dryoma ........................................ Peter Mamaev ‘20 19 African Folktales ......................... Onaje Grant-Simmonds ‘20 23 Grapefruit .................................... Zahra Aboulwafa ‘19 29 Avocado ...................................... Zahra Aboulwafa ‘19 39 Red-winged Blackbird ................ Emma Singleton ‘19 48 Peach ........................................... Zahra Aboulwafa ‘19 Back Inside Cover LREI ............................................. Emily Nally ‘20 Back Cover Self Portrait ................................. Izzy Barrera ‘19
Venus, Claire Greenburger ‘19
Paint Cans, Loulou Viemeister ‘19
A View From the Bridge, Z Fluger ‘22
Red Coat, Florence Finkelstein ‘19
Jacob, Onaje Grant-Simmonds ‘20
Claire, Loulou Viemeister ‘19
Pap, Bella Morand ‘19
Self Portrait, Emily Nally â€˜20
Evening Grosbeak Emma Singleton â€˜19
Meteponto Beach, Loulou Viemeister â€˜19
Crashing Waves, Gwen Raffo ‘21
Ruby-crowned Kinglet Emma Singleton ‘19
Recipes Top Row (L-R) Izzy Barrera ‘19 Onaje Grant-Simmonds ‘20 Bottom Row Emma Singleton ‘19
Portrait, Zahra Aboulwafa ‘19
Yungblood, Gwen Raffo ‘21
The Cloth, Florence Finkelstein ‘19
Proud Clown Parents, Izzy Barrera ‘19
12 Mitch, Claire Greenburger ‘19
Brett, Claire Greenburger ‘19
Boy Scouts, Izzy Barrera â€˜19
Least Flycatcher Emma Singleton ‘19
Bird Block Prints, Arlo Metzger ‘20
Cat on a Ladder Emma Singleton ‘19
Yolande, Florence Finkelstein ‘19
Roger Taylor, Gwen Raffo ‘21
Detail of Strawberries on Cake, Siena Harris-Gissler ‘19
Southold Loulou Viemeister ‘19
Opposite Page: What Makes Loulou Angry... , Loulou Viemeister ‘19
Pont Alexandre III Florence Finkelstein ‘19
Perspective, Cassidy Moskowitz ‘24
Russian Folktales: Dryoma
Russian Folktales: Svyatogor, Peter Mamaev â€˜20
African Folktales Onaje Grant-Simmonds â€˜20 Many years ago, Sun and Moon had a fight. It was a vicious one, leaving both of them visibly scarred. Sun, too ashamed to show his scars to the world, turned his back to us, revealing only his smoother side. Moon, however, was not ashamed of her scars; she faced the world, which is why we see her craters.
Long ago, God created the animals, plants, and humans. All was well on Earth, and God decided to sleep, believing that his job was done. When he woke up, however, the flora and fauna of the earth complained that they were lonely and had no one to talk to. Therefore, God created flowers to accompany them. God fell asleep once again, feeling accomplished. However, he was awakened by the flowers saying that they had no one to talk to. God, enraged that the animals, plants, humans, and flowers would not stop complaining, took a blade and, with one fell swoop, sliced everything in half, filling the world with shards of what once was. God slept once again, satisfied with the resulting silence. As he slumbered, the tiny shards, which made up half of the world, turned into butterflies, bearing the colors of the creatures they once were.
22 Sunday ............................ Ethan Tarpley ‘19 23 Woman Having Her Hair Combed .......................... Nellie Lonergan ‘20 24 Resist the Urge ............... Clara Cornick ‘24 25 The Kitchen of Spices .... Georgina Barnhill ‘21 26 Sunrise ............................ Willow Whelan ‘24 27 Beneath the Magnolia Tree ................................. Kate Deming ‘24 28 The Little Men Behind my Radiator .................... Ethan Tarpley ‘19 32 I’ll Spare You the Details Nate Simon ‘20 36 The Block of Brick Houses ............................ Sophie Bremer ‘22 37 Snail Woman .................. Joshua Parness ‘19 38 Don’t Tell Me Being Gay is Easy ............................. Farin Weinger ‘23 39 Ocean Images ................ Gavriela Langer ‘20 40 Braided Essay ................. Monica Quirante ‘19 41 Growing Up with a Writer as a Father ........... Sofia Sharp ‘20 43 Heat ................................ Katie Rich ‘20 44 Engaging with my Brother’s Artwork ........... Mary Catherine Fitzgerald ‘20 46 Why I Took Memoir ........ Alex Pearlroth ‘20 47 On Being “Real” ............ Wilder Cosaboom-Son ‘19
Short Stories & Essays
Sunday Ethan Tarpley ‘19
sat alone in an empty church on Sunday, waiting for the congregation, but none came. I paced back and forth, dreading what I knew would happen. I would be here alone all day, with not a single soul to hear my words. Would it matter at all if I read my sermon aloud, or if I just went home and back to bed? Would God care either if I didn’t show up, since no one else did? The dilapidated building was crumbling from lack of repair over the years. The wooden cross mounted over my head hung loosely, as if after all these years that it’s been nailed firmly up there, today it might fall on me. It was lifeless and still, and the polish was peeling off around Jesus’s forehead. The number of people in my congregation was lowering steadily. Perhaps today would be the day. The day it hit zero. I watched the door, sadly. To keep my mind off of it, I practiced my sermon a few more times, reading it under my breath. I checked the time on the clock on the wall of my office. It was thirty minutes after the service was meant to start. Nobody was coming today. I sighed and sat down on the chair at the back of the stage. I pulled out the newspaper I had folded up in my back pocket and started filling out the crossword puzzle; I don’t like the sudoku. The church bell remained un-rung.
I was surprised, after getting well into the silence, to hear the creaking of the door opening. Excited to have anyone in here, I jumped up to see who it was. A woman. I had never seen her before--she was not a member of the church. She wandered in, looking around as if she had no idea where she was. I hesitantly stepped down from the stage and started to walk over to her, as she did to me. She spoke first. “Hello there.” “Hi. Can I help you?” “Yes, um… I’m lost.” Of course. Nobody would have come here purposefully; no one wants to come to a drab old place like this on a beautiful day like today and get told they’re living a life of sin. “Sorry, I came in here because I saw the door was open. I hope I’m not disturbing you.” She wasn’t. It was good to see a fresh face. “No, no. Not at all!” “Do you know where Spring Town is?” “Yes. Yes, Spring Town is the next town over… It’s just…” I walked over to her, and pointed in the direction of the road outside. “Along that road for about a mile, then take a right at the fork.” “Thank you very much”, she said. “You’re welcome.” I gave her a sad smile, and started to walk back to my chair on the platform. “Um… Why are you here? If you don’t mind me asking,” she said. “Hm?”
“Are you here for a reason?” she asked. “Is an assembly coming? You’re all alone here.” “Well, it’s the Sabbath… So, I’m here to preach.” “Oh.” She looked around, obviously confused. “Yeah, I see… Where is everyone?” “Not here today,” I said. “Guess it’s an old thing now… Everyone’s got better things to do.” “Well, that’s unfortunate,” she said. “I certainly hope some people show up.” “Thanks,” I said, halfheartedly, for I knew that even if she prayed her hardest, it was never going to happen. She said goodbye, thanked me again for the directions, and then left. I packed up my things, and went home.
Grapefruit, Zahra Aboulwafa ‘19
Woman Having Her Hair Combed Inspired by Edgar Degas painting of the same title
Nellie Lonergan ‘20
She took a seat and allowed feelings of
fatigue to creep into her body and lower her eyelids. She felt her head being jerked backward by a brush and tilted upwards. She stared at the ceiling and let her peripheral vision blur. She allowed her mind to decorate the manila ceiling with memories of the day. She winced every time the brush caught a tangle, but each snare helped slow her heart rate. Her fatigue began to accelerate; she felt a breeze drift up over her exposed stomach, and her eyes closed. First, she only danced around sleep. She twirled in circles around her partner while he stood still, but soon they began to brush hands and step in time together. For a little while, each harsh jerk of the brush momentarily pulled her away from her partner, but he was so alluring she started to forget the brush falling hypnotically through her hair; before she knew it they were locked in a dance. It is a very uncomfortable thing to fall asleep sitting up, and she couldn’t fall asleep undressed, but she accepted these things for what they were, and her decorations on the ceiling flew to her mind so she could dance all night.
Resist the Urge Clara Cornick ‘24
Step one, peel. Peel the apples until they
are no longer vibrant. Brush your soft hands against the uneven surface of the luscious apples. Soak them in water to stop the leak of filthy germs running through the inner flesh of the apples. Step two, pour. Pour the sugar into a glass bowl. Watch the white crystals bounce onto each other. Tip the round tablespoon of smooth flour into the mix. Gradually. Gradually spill the cinnamon into the bowl. Cinnamon -- the sweet smell of cinnamon. The smell of the sleek granules of piquant spice will enter your nose. Now, mix it. The marvelous ingredients will come together with glee at being reunited. Take your clean hands and line the apples in a pan. Once you’ve done that, you can sprinkle. Sprinkle your light brown mixture onto the juicy apple slices. Then, take your half-cup of glassy water and pour it over everything. Take a break. Then move onto the next stage. Take the thick oats and stir them into the brown sugar. Take a bite. Warning: it might be sweet. Squint while your sweet tooth throbs. Take a breath -- and move on. Combine the oat mixture with hints of baking soda
and baking powder. Last, but not least, pour the steaming butter into the combination and watch the oats soak up every last bit of liquid. You’re almost done. Wipe the sweat off of your face. Breathe a sigh of relief. It wasn’t that bad, right? Now, layer. Layer the flavorful apples on top of each other. Then sprinkle the oat mixture atop the apples. Turn the oven on and wait until it heats up. Take your warm oven mitt and slip it on your hand. Wrap your hands around the pan so that it doesn’t drop. Don’t burn yourself. Carefully, place the pan in the oven, and wait the dreadful forty-five minutes for it to be done. Sit on the couch and watch your favorite TV show. Now you’re listening to the theme song of the show. You try to sing along but you can’t take your mind off the housewarming smell of your hot apple crisp. Tell yourself to just watch and not to think about what you’re missing inside the warm oven. You’ve zoned out. “No,” you think to yourself, “have I missed it?” You look at the time on your phone and sigh with relief. You have not burned your apple crisp. There is still one minute to go. It feels like hours. Each second, a minute, and each minute, an hour. Is it done yet? Now there are ten seconds left. Pop up from your comfortable seat on the couch and slip those reassuring kitchen mitts back on your hands. The sound of the alarm tingles in your ear, but you don’t care.
You open the oven and watch the steam drift back into the air. You see what your eyes have been longing for. The crisp beige color combines with the beautiful smell of childhood. You carefully wrap your fingers around what you’ve been waiting for. The hard work has paid off. This is your present. Let it cool for ten minutes. Resist the urge to stick your finger in the presentable artwork. You can’t. You pick off a crumble of mixture from the top of the crisp and pop it into your mouth. It burns for a second, but then the brown sugar swerves through your lungs. It’s the magnificent taste of freedom. Soon enough, you continue to eat. Ignoring your burnt tongue. You grab a plate from the cabinet and slice your ideal piece. You consider not taking a fork, but then realize you’re being ridiculous. You inhale the piece of apple crisp and soon enough you’re back on the couch with your eyes closed. Dreaming about what you’re going to do tomorrow.
The Kitchen of Spices Georgina Barnhill ‘21
The scent of cinnamon and nutmeg fills
the kitchen. A tall and lean woman wearing a long flowy dress is moving from stove, to pot, to bowl, throwing in different spices so swift and easily, it almost looks like a dance.
Every once and a while, she’ll stop and pick up her wine glass, only a little full, off of the white marble counter, and take a slow sip while staring at the small TV up against the white wall. She smiles when another girl walks in. The simple blue and white countertops and cabinets welcome her as much as the smell does. The space between countertop, stove and sink is so narrow that every time they walk by, they come so close to stubbing their toes, but they know where the sharp corners are without even looking. The woman in the flowy dress stops to look at one of the walls. There are photos of families laughing and embracing one another; the people remind the woman of the space that they used to take up. Their absence is like a wine bottlem opened and left on the counter next to the sink with empty mugs; it’s like used up tea bags, left alone, as if someone is waiting for them to throw themselves away. There are drawings and stick figures, giant flowers and strangely colored box houses with the words “I love you mama” written in letters of different shapes and angles; all so colorful, making them stand out in the otherwise plain kitchen. The woman’s attention returns to the smell of the spices and meats occupying the entire house with the promise of a filling dinner for two. With loud talking and laughter, they forget about the music blasting on the speakers until the one song they both know comes on. They break into dance and sing with scratchy voices that are
off key - unafraid that anyone might hear them, because, in this moment, it is just the two of them. Once the song and the excitement have ended, the woman in the flowy dress goes back to her dance around the kitchen stove and disappears into the spices.
Sunrise Willow Whelan ‘24
I don’t even notice the pink glare shining
on the water as I step over the small stream. I hear the heavy falls of footsteps as we trudge along the rocky path. I take a deep breath and see a white puff of air swirl into the sky. I shiver a little, my brain focusing suddenly on the low temperature instead of my footsteps. I am too wrapped up in the quiet cold of 4:30am to notice that the sky has turned from a dark, starry blue to a light blue-pink. I keep on going, listening to the quiet sounds of the world waking up around me. I try not to pay attention to the tired, cold feeling my body is sending me. I have been up since 2am, and I try not to think about that because I know that this will become a lot harder if I do. I focus on my feet, my blue hiking socks, and my gray boots. I listen to the thud, thud, thud of the boots, quickly hitting the ground. I look up, too distracted to notice the sunrise around me, and see
a tall, pointy, snow-covered mountain, not too far ahead of me. “I’m going to climb that”, I think to myself. I am hiking Navajo Mountain in Colorado. I am at camp, with all my best friends, happier than ever to be here with them. My thoughts are cut off all of a sudden when I hear my counselor, Meg, exclaim: “Girls, look!” Her long, dark hair sways as she turns to point over the horizon. I look up, tugging at my backpack straps and pulling it up my back. I follow Meg’s finger and turn my face up to the sky - painted in blues, pinks, and yellows - to see a beautiful sunrise over the mountains. A golden sun peeks out from below the mountain tops, and fills the sky with colors all around. The sky looks like something out of a painting - something so surreal, it seems fake. But it isn’t; it is true beauty. Everyone watches and slowly takes out their cameras to capture the moment; I hear the sound of all the cameras click. “Okay girls, no more pictures, just look. A memory is better than any camera,” Meg insists. Everyone shuffles to put their things away, but then there is silence. I look around, at my friends, at the world around me. I stand there, silently enjoying the sunrise, and I realize that Meg is right. You can’t always look at life through a camera lens. We enjoy the last few moments watching this beautiful sunrise when Meg says it’s
time to continue on our hike. Quietly, we move around getting everything together, but I turn around to watch the sun creeping slowly up to the top of the sky, lighting up the world with its golden glare. The sun reflects off the snow on the ground around us making the world look like a glittering snow globe. As we keep going, I smile as I feel the warmth of the early morning sunshine on my back.
An excerpt from Chapter 1 of Beneath the Magnolia Tree Kate Deming ‘24
It has been a calm since he left. The lake,
still as can be; the sky, bright and full of life. Mother rows us out onto the lake beside our house to stop my tears, to let me breathe in the fresh breeze. This was his favorite place; he loved the lily pads floating about, the smell of the tall grass, and the beautiful flowers beneath the surface of the water. A breeze comes over the lake, causing goosebumps to form all over my arms. My mother grabs Jimmy’s old coat and hands it to me. She paddles the boat until we are in the middle of the lake, not a person in sight. Noon on a Saturday – that’s when my brother left us. In our small town, news travels fast and sorrow travels faster. Notes, emails, packages. I couldn’t bear to open
them, neither could mother. My brother was my everything. Everything I experienced was because of his kind heart. Every laugh was because of his hilarious personality. But now, all these things seem like a distant memory. I was watching Wheel of Fortune when he left, grandma guessing every sentence; saying things along the lines of, “I should really go on this show.” Our phone rang. Grandma asked me to go fetch it for her. I didn’t anticipate that call from my mother. I never could have imagined how my life would be altered after hearing my mother’s words on that breezy Saturday afternoon. I couldn’t have anticipated the overwhelming horror of those three words she said. I wanted to scream, I wanted to wake up from the nightmare. I wanted my brother. James Harrisburg A brother, son, friend 2002-2019 That’s what the tombstone would read. Buried tomorrow, he would be. Everything turned blurry. My mind was a mess, pounding headaches would come, and I wouldn’t be able to handle the pain. I couldn’t handle seeing my mother so terribly overcome with grief. “Lili,” mother says. “Oh, sorry - ” I say, realizing I was spacing out. I look back out to the lake; tiny fish are swimming beside our small rowboat. I see
a magnolia floating upon the lake’s surface. Magnolias were my brother’s favorites. “Can I take this mother? For the service?” I say, wiping away a tiny tear. She looks at me, her face without color, eyes red. She shivers. She begins to cry and pulls me close. She hugs me tighter than ever before, holding on to me for what seems like hours – but I never want to let go. As she slowly lets go, she picks the magnolia up out of the water. She takes the hair in front of my face and slowly tucks it behind my ear. She places the flower behind my ear, looking at me softly. “I love you, Lili,” she says, “I’m so proud of you, for being so strong, I–” she begins to say, but stutters and stops. I go onto her side of the boat, my balance becoming uneven. I give her a comforting smile just as a flash of lighting flies through the air, causing me to jump. My mother gestures for me to go to back to my side of the boat, and she picks up the paddles. She quickly rows back to the dock as rain begins to pour down on us. I tuck the magnolia flower inside my coat pocket, holding onto what feels like the last piece of him. I want that petal to last forever.
The Little Men Behind my Radiator Ethan Tarpley ‘19
In my room, under the radiator and be-
hind a little crack in the wall, lies a little colony of people who are as tolerant of my existence as I am of theirs. I first noticed the people from the wall a few months ago. I’m not sure how long they had been there, but you can imagine how surprised I was when I was dusting back there and I saw a fiveinch-tall girl, just walking along the top of my radiator. She was dressed in a raggedy little dress that fit her perfectly, despite how tiny she was. I wondered for a moment, before approaching the tiny girl, how she was able to find a dress in that size; I had never seen dresses of that size in stores, let alone people of that size. As I came to get a closer look, the first question I had, naturally, was if the tiny girl spoke English. So, I asked her what her name was, and to my surprise, she replied. But I don’t remember anymore what her name was, because it was not long before her demise. Let me explain this next part, because I do not want to give the impression that I’m in the wrong. At this first encounter, I speculated that I had gone insane — you know, because that seemed more reasonable than accepting that there was a five-inch person right
Avocado, Zahra Aboulwafa ‘19
in front of me. So, I stuck out my hand and, sort of gently, slowly, crushed her with it. I felt the top of her head at first, and she screamed, obviously petrified. She raised her arms and cried for me to stop, but I kept going; I was still really quite sure I was hallucinating. Even though I felt her hands on mine as I pressed down, I continued, pushing down harder, until she was nothing but skin, blood, and tiny crushed bones. After realizing that this was an actual tiny woman, I felt some remorse, but quickly remembered that she doesn’t really matter as much as someone my size, because she’s small and isn’t of much use. It wasn’t until about five days later when I saw signs of other people. By this time, I had swept up the little body with my baby blue and pink polka dot dustpan from the kitchen, and thrown the corpse into the toilet. I was a little nervous at first, fearful that it wouldn’t flush, but luckily her bones were crushed enough that she went right down the pipes like a cluster of human excrement. I said a silent prayer for her as she went down. I came into contact with the other
little people later; there were three of them. It seemed they had ventured across my bedroom, over to my desk. It understandably was quite a journey for them, likely taking several hours. I spotted them while I was playing Minecraft on my desktop computer (I am thirty-four, but Minecraft is my favorite hobby because I’m unemployed). The people were over by the end of my bedframe, obviously having great difficulty crossing the gap between my bed and my desk, below which I kept my garbage can. After a few minutes of just trying to ignore them — I was busy trying to build a carrot farm — I turned around and glared at the people. They became terrified of me maybe it was because I’m well over ten times their height, or maybe it was just because I had mercilessly slayed one of their women. I assumed they were scavenging for the half of a café donut I had left on the opposite end of my desk. Those greedy bastards were probably going to creep around the back side of my computer and grab their loot. Honestly, this made sense; often, when I would go outside to help old Ms. Links down the street, I would come back to huge chunks inexplicably missing from food I had left out. Ms. Links asks all kinds of favors in exchange for bus tickets, of which, for some reason, she seems to have a surplus. I realized that the existence of the men also could explain why I occasionally found tiny wet stains on my bed covers. I have a
cat — he’s striped orange and white, and he’s my favorite boy. He often likes to linger in my room, and I usually blame the little wet spots on him, after he cleans himself atop my bed. He would lick and lick for hours an easy explanation for the wet spots. But now, I realized that the tiny travelling men would have to stop occasionally for bathroom breaks. As there obviously weren’t any doll-sized toilets on my bedsheets — wet spots. I saw one of the three men trying to jump across the gap, and watched him fall into the trash can. He was black, which I found interesting, since the other two were white — the fact that they were diverse in heritage was noteworthy to me. Anyway, it was a dumb move to jump, since it was about eighteen inches from my bedframe to the desk. Luckily, he was only mildly injured, as he landed on the mound of crumpled paper in my trash can. Most of my drawings go in the trash can because I’m really bad at drawing, but I keep trying at it, only to be disappointed. I really should recycle, but it’s really not my fault that my building doesn’t provide recycling bins. One of the remaining men atop the bed started screaming for his friend, but the other one kept trying to hush him because he was obviously drawing my attention to them. I guessed that this kind of thing happened a lot when I wasn’t home. It was a poor choice to try to take my food while I
was at my computer. “You guys speak English, right?” I said. The guy who was screaming quieted down, nervously backed away from me, and fell onto the duvet. The other guy worked up his courage, and looked me in the eye. “Yes. I see you do, too.” “I do indeed,” I said. I got up from my seat and moved over to the bed. “I’m sorry I killed that lady. I didn’t mean to alarm anybody or start a fuss. I was really just quite curious.” The screaming man got up from the duvet and shouted upwards at me. “Aha! So he admits it! He did kill--!” Like I said before, I don’t remember what her name was. I think she was named after some kind of flower, but I could be mistaken. I looked at him calmly. “Yeah. But what are you gonna’ do about it? I’m huge.” The man shrank (figuratively — he was small anyway). “Nothing… I was just clarifying, you know. You do admit you killed her. That’s all.” I went over to the opposite end of my desk and retrieved the donut. “Is this what you want? This here donut?” “Yes!” cried the calm man. “That big cluster of cake can feed our whole colony for two nights!” “Wait. Jesus! Do you guys only eat the pastries I leave on my desk? You all look thin! How do you not have diabetes?!”
“We exercise a lot,” said the nervous one. I pondered his response, which didn’t make any sense, as he got up and peered over the edge of the bed, down at the man in the trash can. “Is our friend okay? I’m worried he’s crippled.” “Yeah, that would suck,” I said. “He shouldn’t have jumped — that’s kind of on him.” I picked up the trash can and dumped its contents onto my bed. I heard faint screaming from within the avalanche of paper pouring out. Perhaps I should have been a little more careful. “Oh,” I said, solemnly. I looked at the two men on my bed. They both stared with disbelief. “I’m sorry about that. I wasn’t really thinking.” I didn’t see him after that. I really don’t know where he went. “Where the hell did he go?!” The screaming man ran along the duvet, repeatedly tripping and falling as he went. He looked all around for his friend, but the man was gone. “Can I ask his name?” I said. “Holy shit! What in God’s name did you do to him?! Why?! Why did you just dump the bin all over your bed? That drop probably killed him! Lord, where did he go?!” The screaming man ran around, continuing to scream his head off. That obviously wasn’t a smart use of his time; whether or
not his friend was okay, screaming would not help the cause. “His name was Will,” said the calmer man. “Oh shit. You already started using the past tense. That’s when you know he’s gone.” I pointed my finger at the calmer man. “And what’s your name?” “I’m Sterling, and that’s Cameron.” “Ooh, nice names.” “Excuse me?” “What?” “You just probably killed my friend and you’re just complimenting our names!” “Hey, well at least I gave you my donut. It’s not really my fault he decided to jump to his death.” “That is not true!” The calmer man’s face went red. He started yelling. “I heard screaming when you poured out that bin! He was still alive in there!”
I’ll Spare You the Details Nate Simon ‘20
You would not believe the fucking night
that I’ve had. I mean, one minute you’re sitting in a little unheated booth reading a bad detective book under that blue fluorescent light that really screws with your eyes (you know the type), and the next, you’re being chased down a goddamned street by goddamned eco-protestors. I mean, what the fuck. The only reason why I got this piece of shit job in the first place was because my mom kicked me out and I had to get a place of my own. I didn’t want to be a night guard at a construction site. Would you? No. You wouldn’t. It sucks. It’s always too cold and too quiet and so fucking weird. You have no idea what I have to deal with every night. Just this endless line of people trying to climb the fence even though there is a sign! A SIGN! But no, God forbid people actually look at a sign. They can’t! They don’t have the time. Like, no, read the sign. You can’t use the Port-a-Potty at two in the morning. It’s behind a fence for a reason, you jackass. And if you think that sucks, my God, don’t even get me started on my actual life. It’s pathetic. Every night (every night I have off), I go to the same shitty bar to try to meet someone. But do I? What do you think? I’m not asking for much, just some
companionship, just a little something. Is that so wrong? I’m a good guy, I’m not violent, I’m not mean, I’m quiet. I just don’t want to be alone all the time. Does that mean there’s something wrong with me? It’s like, I don’t know, the world is out to get me or something. It’s like, for whatever reason, I offended the fucking natural order of things or something, and now I can’t get anything. Honestly, I think the world is out to get me. I spend every moment of my life waiting for someone, something, to come save me from myself. But maybe I shouldn’t wait anymore. Let me just-- I need to take a breath. Ok. I don’t consider myself to be a very aggressive person. I don’t even know why they hired me as a night guard. I mean, I can yell at people, sure, but physical confrontation scares me. So, of course, it came as a surprise to me when I left that booth. I don’t know why, but I did and it’s too late now to take it back. So, sucks for me, I guess. But, anyway, what happened was crazy. I mean, you know--or, I guess you don’t. But, anyway, it was insane. I was sitting in that goddamned booth freezing my ass off — because, God forbid someone actually spends a bit of money on my well-being — and, out of nowhere, I
suddenly get the urge to fight back against a group of protesters on the site. It would have been so much easier just to sit in my booth, let those protestors protest, and watch them leave without saying anything. But, no. So, it was last night, Tuesday night, cold as hell (is Hell even cold?), and I was reading some shitty paperback I picked up at Barnes and Noble – Dreaming of Babylon, or whatever. It was an absolutely horrible book — some “comedy” about a guy dreaming of a place instead of going to the place or whatever. Honestly, it was complete bullshit. So, I put it down and just sat in the booth, looking through the windows, staring at my reflection. I didn’t want to, believe me, but there was nothing else I could do. And I’m not usually inclined to self-reflection but staring at myself through that window, I figured now was as good a time as any. I’ve wasted my life. I’m stuck in this booth. I’m fading. I’ll spare you the details, but just know that it wasn’t good. CRAAAAAAACK My head shot up, the tears instantly dried up, or maybe I flung them against the windows. I was sitting there, shaking, thinking to myself, like, “What the fuck was that?” You know? I heard it again, like a fucking CRAAAAAAAACKCKCKK or whatever. Now, this is the part that confuses me.
I grabbed my flashlight and left the booth. I don’t know why. Was it because I was afraid for my job? No. I wanted to be an actor anyway; this gig was just to get some cash before I made it big. So, why? Who knows. Except God. Maybe. If he’s out there. And if he is, he definitely didn’t show himself last night. So, here I am, this idiot security guard, weak as hell, and not very tall, standing behind an un-painted pillar, in my stupid pasty blue uniform, with my dumbass hat, and my tiny flashlight in my hand. I mean, what did I think I was going to do? Hit them? I cannot stress enough how small this flashlight was. It would look small in a baby’s hand. And I’m leaning against this pillar and all of a sudden, I hear a whimper, a dog whimper, and now I’m terrified. Now I’m really scared. Not only is there some weird shit going on, but there are dogs involved? How am I supposed to fight a dog? A cat maybe, but not a dog. So now I’m leaning against that pillar, trying to figure out my plan of attack. Do I just tell them to leave or do I call for backup? Or what? There’s no one in Midtown after 8PM and it’s two in the morning; I’m alone on this one. I’m thinking and thinking and shaking and sweating profusely, and I mean profusely, when all of a sudden, I hear a gunshot. And the dog whimper stops. So, basically, fuck me. I’m really regretting leaving that booth, but it’s too late now – I have to do
something. I mean, did they just kill a dog? Who the fuck does that? Evil people. Straight up 100% evil people do that, so I have to do something, but I don’t want to. But isn’t this what I wanted? I read so many detective novels – isn’t this the scene in which I triumphantly spin around the corner and tell the vagrants to leave? So I slapped myself across the face, and spun around the corner. Bad fucking idea. Do you know what I saw? I mean, it’s scary to even think about it. I saw this circle of goddamned hippies (long hair, dirty clothes, the whole deal) around a fucking pentagram. And do you know what was in the middle of the pentagram? A dead dog. A dead fucking dog. I think I read about these guys in the paper – protesting against animal abuse or something. It’s very hypocritical of them. But, anyway. Goddammit, why’d I do this? I finally worked up the courage to do something or whatever and this is what I pick? Fuck me. And so these Hippies, mid-prayer or whatever they were doing, looked at me, smiles on their faces. I was terrified, petrified even, but I somehow managed to say a few words: “Please...vacate...the...premises...please.” The smiles on their faces got even wider. Like, goddamned Cheshire Cat wide. I could see the fluorescent light glinting off their teeth – that was how wide. One of
them looked at the others and laughed. “Get him boys.” And they jumped. Do you know what I did? I froze. And do you know where I ended up? On the fucking ground with these smelly, piece-of-shit Hippies on top of me. They fucking hit me in the face with a fucking brick. And do you know what happened just after that? I don’t. Maybe God does hate me. Maybe I should stop trying and just fade. Just disappear. BAAAAAAAAAAAAANG. CRAAAAAACK. Do you know what I woke up to? Jeff. Jeff, the 65-year-old who no one thought could walk up a flight of stairs. The Jeff that once took five minutes to sit down in a goddamned chair. That Jeff. And do you know what Jeff was doing? He was beating up these goddamn Hippies with a crowbar. Who knows where he got it from, but it was working. Half of them were on the ground, bleeding, and the other half were running away. It was ridiculous. And so Jeff ran (let’s be honest – he jogged) over to me and picked me up. He smiled and said, “Good to see you. Blah blah blah.” And then he saw the dead dog and he started to cry. Then I was like, “Come on man, now is not the time to cry.” Like, I get it. He was upset about the dog, sure, fine, whatever, but those Hippie freaks were still out there (the ones still standing,
that is) and we had to leave immediately. But he was breaking down in tears, and I was dragging him away from the dead dog when I heard a BOOOOOOOOOOOOM. The tears stopped and Jeff fell to the ground, a bullet hole in his chest. It ripped right through him. At least he doesn’t have to worry about his pension plan anymore. I looked down at his dead body in absolute shock. I mean, what the fuck was happening? And, as sad as I was about this dead old guy, I ran. I booked it. I didn’t turn around. I didn’t want to see what was behind me. But I could hear it. I sprinted through the darkened site, the cement mixers still out and the pillars casting these weird rays of light all over the place. Behind me I heard footsteps, loud footsteps, getting louder. I got to the gate, threw it open, and turned onto 47th and 6th. It was completely empty, a goddamn ghost town, and I could hear the footsteps getting louder and louder and I could hear guns cocking and people aiming and I was pretty sure this was it. This was my last hurrah. Someone yelled something, something I couldn’t hear. Maybe it was “Stop!” or maybe it was just “Idiot!” And as I sprinted down the empty street, the towers standing above me, silently watching this scene unfold, I heard a gun fire. And I fell. And that was that.
So that sucks.
Leather Pouch Arlo Metzger ‘20
The Block of Brick Houses Sophie Bremer ‘22
The block of brick houses. The block that
was home to cheery anthems blaring out of ice cream trucks, leaving all the brickhoused children with soft-serve ice cream dripping down their wrinkled sleeves. The block that was paved next to the playground, from which children would step out of the gate with calloused hands from swinging on the rusting poles. The block of brick houses with ninety-nine cent store-chalk scribbled on the sidewalk. The block of brick houses where I no longer step out on my fire escape to listen for the twinkle of the ice cream anthem. I grew up with strollers parked in crammed doorways, and families as neighbors on every floor of the brick houses. My brick house had four apartments, housing a total of six kids. The brick-housed children were all one knock away: Delilah, Stella, blonde Isadora, brunette Izadora, Imagen, Mae, and Max. The block of brick houses was the place where stubby, bald toddlers would take their first steps. And where the sprinklers at the playground would stay on all day, anticipating the brick-housed children rushing over in their polka dot bathing suits. I had a polka dot bathing suit. I fit right in. The spaghetti straps would sling across my bony shoulders, tightening the
fabric around my doll-sized body. Trapping me in childish play for at least a few years. The parents, who had long escaped the childish polka dots, watched the children’s jumping patterns from a bench. Once in a while reassuring themselves that they had good parenting skills, they yelled quick safety reminders about running on the wet ground. Their shouts and murmurs traveled from less than ten feet away, but came from a world that felt years away. Years that were too long to wait for the adrenaline and patience of a six-year-old. I thought I could help rush growing up along by carrying a baby doll on my hip. With every passing day there were new additions to the behavioral requirements I set for myself as a “wanna’ be grown-up.” Some red lipstick or large banana high heels (both found in the ruins of my mom’s closet) and a key-scented purse. Next milestone was the sweet release from the Cheerio-crumbed car seat. Then came the day when I left the block of brick houses. I went to a new house. Also brick. Yet no brick-housed children just one knock away, or polka dot bathing suits that trapped me in childish play. But now, looking back, I wish the bathing suits had been a little tighter. Just enough to have given me a few more years with my Cheerio-crumbed car seat.
Snail Woman Joshua Parness ‘19
I hate you, snail woman. I hate your face.
I hate your pose. I hate your attitude. I hate your gray, I hate your red, I hate your tears. I’ll name you Shelly. I’ll name you so I can hate you. You low-life ginger bastard. I don’t want you in my neighborhood anymore! Before you, lived a lady. She was simple, easy. She came home day after day to sit cross-legged and hold up her baby - a gem - simple and easy as herself. Her dull shine, her humble smile, her rough softness, her stubborn bounciness. She saw you as a lion and held you like the rarest of china and rocked you like an ocean of grape soda and lifted you to show you only the best of the world as it passed by. Singers, dancers, artists, beggars, a man who can play harmonica and accordion and drums and guitar all at the same time! She asked of you, when you were able, to find your own gallery, to create your own exhibit, to show when you became the one who lived before. And yet, you turn away from your exhibit. The snail your mother once mounted and steered with pride, you cower away in his shell. The window that shows you the world, you fearfully remove yourself from, even from the world you once knew as an infant. Why? Why hide even from what you know? And yet, the snail powers on towards
your own gallery. Your tears have dried up, only because you have no more. The discolored imprint of your mother lingers on the ground. But you’re not half what she was. Not even a quarter. She filled the pavement with a beauty and compassion that we both know you can’t reach. You are a pebble in her void. The snail takes up the rest, its moorish-red filling the gaps of dirty beige. He commands attention, unveils his shell to show you the world. But you don’t seem to care. Or maybe you do. Maybe you miss the rocking or the smile or the lion or the view of the world. Perhaps the snail rocks you differently, like a subway car on the autobahn. Perhaps the window tint is less vibrant than mama’s eyes. Perhaps the shine is gone, the bounce now rigid, the man lost without his drums – now only having a harmonica and accordion and guitar. Even as you journey - to your gallery, your future, your home - maybe the large McDonald’s soda overflow rusted your skin. The speakers burst your sense of sight, the climbing ruined your childhood aspirations, the air obscured your ability to see, the suits overwhelmed your ability to hope. And my ripped Nike running shoes, day after day after day after day after day, eradicated your sense of imagination. Shadows of wonder. And thus, why I despise you. Everything I know, From the holes in both my socks.
Don’t Tell Me Being Gay is Easy Farin Weinger ‘23
Being gay is hard. People seem to think it’s
easy now – you know, because of the movement – but it’s really not. First, you have to figure out that you’re gay. The reason you look at girls the way your other girl friends look at guys; the reason you’re crushing on that girl sitting at the table across from you. But, no, you can’t be gay. Being gay is only something that you figure out when you are an adult, or something you read about in books. You keep crushing on those girls though... Okay, so maybe you are gay. What about acceptance? You keep hearing how it’s okay to be gay; how it’s “cool”. Then, one of your family members bashes this woman she knows because the woman has a wife. God, you wish you were straight. Then, there’s coming out. At first, you are like, “Maybe it’s okay not to come out.” It gets harder though. People asking, “Which boy is the cutest?” “Do you have a boyfriend?” “Is this guy cute or hot or attractive?” “Would you date him?” “Would you kiss him?” Nope, because you are gay. G-A-Y. Gay. Alright, you want to come out now. It’s too unbearable not to. Time to write a speech or practice in the mirror. You are
going to come out to someone. How about a friend? A test run before family. “Okay,” you say to your reflection in the mirror, “just tell them.” “Hey! I have something very important to tell you.” Your friend looks at you oddly, “Okay, then.” You take a deep breath. Here goes nothing. “I’m gay.” You see them look away from you, and your palms sweat even more. “Uh, ok.” Uh, ok. That’s it? Really, I thought it would be harder. You feel happy now. Until they stop hugging you. Until they stop inviting you to sleepovers and you suddenly become an outcast. You tell more friends. They still talk about boys around you. They always look at you weirdly. As if things couldn’t get any worse, you now prepare to tell your family. This could ruin everything. On Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat there are so many stories of people getting kicked out, beat up, or even killed for being gay, trans, or bi. Dang. How it would be so much easier to just be straight. You approach your parents and take a deep breath. “I have something important to tell you.” They look at you with concern, “What is it, sweetie?” You look away for a second. “I’m gay. I like girls.” They look at you with more concern.
They take your hand. Give you a hug. This is going well, you think. “That’s great, thank you for telling us. What made you realize this?” You feel comfortable now. “I have a crush on my best friend.” They suddenly look more concerned. “Are you sure you aren’t mistaking your feelings for friendship for a crush?” Oh. “No, I don’t think so.” They hold your hand. “Okay, are you sure it isn’t a phase?” Oh God, this is the worst. Everything comes crashing in. You feel things are going horribly wrong. A crushing weight settles on your chest. “No.” You hope they believe you. “Okay, honey, we believe you.” Phew, they believe me. They still look concerned though. That look never truly goes away. Years go by. Things get better. You come out to some more people, to new friends and eventually, to your school. You meet other LGBTQ+ people. Your experience isn’t theirs, and you talk about that. You educate yourself more, things are okay now. Your feelings still haven’t gone away. It isn’t a phase. Those looks don’t go away. You still aren’t hugged as much. Those girl friends don’t hold your hand like they do with their other straight friends. You are still an outcast, and that doesn’t change. You learn to accept that. Being gay is hard, but it really is worthwhile.
Ocean Images Gavriela Langer ‘20
When I float under the surface I can
see the outline of the moon rippling above. The water is warm, and it moves like a mother, embracing. Comforting. The tides are a mother’s touch, soft as silk. Waves crash above me and the seafoam looks like thunder, clouding my vision, the noise muted by the sea. The sand is dappled with blue-stained moonlight, and the moon is a mother too. My eyes are open in the saltwater and no silvery bubbles escape my nose and mouth, but as the sun begins to rise, staining the surface pink and gold, I right myself, bracing one foot against the seafloor, and propel myself upwards. When I break the surface, sound rushes back, the muffled quiet gone.
Red-winged Blackbird Emma Singleton ‘19
Braided Essay Monica Quirante ‘19
My mother did not allow my brothers
and I to speak English at home when we first moved to New York almost nine years ago. As the years went by though, we shifted into our own version of a combined language that allows us to communicate better. It’s much easier to say the perfect word in English rather than try, and consequently fail, to translate it into Spanish. There are words that are impossible to translate, and one language does not have enough words to satisfy me, while two languages come closer. My mother gave up trying to forbid us to use English at home. The language I speak with my brothers is one that we created ourselves. We molded it to fit our conversations, and although we use words anybody could understand, we often combine them into phrases that only make sense to us. We are finally old enough for my mother to be confident that we will never lose the ability to speak Spanish, something she’s always found important. My grandfather was a Spanish literature and language high school teacher. My whole life, he encouraged me to read anything I could find in my native language. As grew up, I realized that what I did only to please my abuelo, actually allowed me to grow up with an advantage I didn’t recognize
for years. Although my grandfather is 82, he is the most well-spoken person that I know. He continues to teach me fancy words in Spanish, even though I hardly ever have the opportunity to use them. To this day, without saying a thing, he will hand me worn out books that were stuffed in the bookshelf at his house for years. I already know what he wants me to do with the books. Although I only see him three months out of the year, it’s enough time for him to hand me more books than I have time to read. I often feel guilty about being unable to fulfill the only thing that he asks of me. I do not see my brothers everyday anymore. I do not get to talk to them as much as I would like. When we do talk, our conversations usually consist of the exchange of songs and brief comments about the soccer game the weekend before. The only time the three of us are sure we’ll be together is Christmas. There is the occasional exception though. This summer, the three of us went to Madrid and I got to be a little sister again. I got to use my mixture language of English and Spanish again. My grandfather’s biggest regret is that he only knows one language. He’s too proud to admit it though. I used to think he gave me all those books in Spanish because he thought that I should always know Spanish better than English - that Spanish should be more important to me. I now realize that it’s because he was scared that I was going to
forget how to speak it and be unable to communicate with him. He did not want to lose me. He did not want me to lose the part of him that he gave me. My relationship with the English language has always been complicated, becoming even more so since I’ve been forced to speak it every day. When I moved to New York in 5th grade, I had never before gone to a school in which classes were held in English for the whole day. I learned how to speak English, but I never had to speak it in a colloquial manner. It took time for me to get rid of an accent I had never previously found an issue with. People now tell me that my accent no longer sounds like a “real” accent, and sounds more like a speech impediment. This still confuses me because I don’t think there’s anything wrong with my accent. Sometimes, I say a word incorrectly, but I have learned to laugh along with my friends rather than to feel hurt by reactions to my mistakes. My experience with the English language has changed over the years, and I think it’s going to continue to change for the rest of my life.
Growing Up with a Writer as a Father Sofia Sharp ‘20
// inding scripts bleeding into our grey carpet. The change of black to red ink in different scenes. I remember seeing characters numbered on the third page, titles on the first. The pages were never in order; I wondered why he never clipped them together with a paperclip. I gave him a strand of Carolina Blue string left over from my art project. He used it to wrap his unbound scripts like a present. I liked being a part of something that was his. // // Bedtime stories became velvet. I’d look up, and find a whole new world above me. Pointed to the dents in the wall and called them the impacts of asteroids. The cracks dripping down onto my lilac cotton-candy pillow cases were acid rain. Saw starships flying across my night sky; always loved the warmth of the constellations. Now I am 16 and plastering star wallpaper onto my four walls. My baby-blue night sky is back. // // His imagination got me into trouble. Analyzed my friends over a cup of coffee like I was one of his AA buddies. I forgave the perpetrators of my broken heart faster than I should have. Confused dirt with fairy dust,
bruises for sunrises. “You will have less pain if you forgive.” He forgot the part where, in their mind, I abandoned them; he forgot to tell me how to get them to forgive me so I did not have to burn anymore. // // I romanticized any intimate moment I could find. Trading “I love you” like loose change, for sugar cookie “goodbyes.” I did not know what was real and what was not. Melted with the black ink in the pages that my father gave to me. I was lost in my own fantasy. A story of another world where my hands were soft and my touch did not resemble a hurricane. He gave the best advice he could. I just sometimes forgot that I wasn’t him when he was a kid. //
// He always forgot my birthday. I’m okay with that. Smashed birthday cakes, frosting dripping from my knuckles, deflated balloons always coating our polished wood floor. I hate my birthday. Yet, on days where my scariest “what if?” happens, and when my largest hopes feel so tiny, he turns to me with a gift of affection that always affirms our connection. From the Harley Davidson silver chain that clings to my vintage sport jeans (that he bought me when we were in Philly), to the articles he sends me about young writers and how
to fight your own depression. He cares, and sometimes that is all I need. // // The most recent place he took me put specks of golden chocolate tinfoil in my grey eyes. The colors of the building sucked the air right out my lungs. His play was going up, and I had become his assistant, bringing coffee and water, while trying to keep the organized scripts from falling out of my slippery hands. The glimmering atmosphere moisturized my chapped cheeks. On a 10-minute break, I discovered a time machine through old cameras and recovered cracked yellow lights, transformed into things that could be used again. It was in 12 x 6 foot room, two left turns past the red carpet covered stairs. I cried. My dad still doesn’t know. // // A year ago, I came out as pansexual, he said “Sweet! Boys are assholes.” “But, Pop, I like girls and boys.” He looked at me with disappointment, “You’re screwed kid.” And on our long drives, he points out girls that are around my age, hoping that one day I will be in love with someone or something other than my own destruction. // // Now, it is now. And I fell in love with myself. Me and my pop are happy. //
Heat (abridged) Katie Rich ‘20
Everyone is staring at me. Why is every-
one staring at me? Is there something on my face? Am I wearing the wrong clothes? Or is it the pimple on my face? What if it’s just my face? Or am I sitting incorrectly? I am just sitting here silently in class. Oh no, we’re reading out loud in a circle. Oh God, please let my part be really short! I can’t mess up. I hope my face doesn’t get red and everyone notices. It’s fine. Just make sure no one can see your hands. Your hands are a dead giveaway if you’re nervous. Ugh, this is ridiculous. It’s just a class! No one is even paying attention, so why are you freaking out about this?! My turn is coming up soon. My heart is beating faster and faster. My neck is swelling up and my face is all itchy. Gosh, is it hot in here? Maybe I should take off my sweater? No, I’m too embarrassed to do that. I’ll just keep it on and ignore the heat that’s seeping through every part of my body. It’s my turn. Try to breathe and don’t look up. Just quickly read your section. Is my voice annoying? Are they laughing at me? My face is so warm. I wish they would put on the AC. Ok, I did it. But the heat won’t go away. Heat makes life so much more stressful. It’s so hot in this classroom. I can’t take off my sweater; people will stare at me. I’d be
showing too much skin. I can’t be embarrassed; I have to pay attention in class. God, it’s boiling in here. My face is burning up. Can everyone tell? Is everyone wondering why I am so red? Do they think I’m embarrassed? I wish I could be invisible. I have a headache. Maybe I should just go to the nurse. No, then I’d miss class and people would know that something is wrong. My hair is too tight; I need to loosen it. I can’t take it down. It’s too embarrassing to leave it down. Long curly strands flow down the back of my arched spine, reaching down all the way to bruised knees. The weight is imprisoning. “Beauty is pain” everyone always says. Did they ever think about hiding beauty? Sometimes hiding something that could be considered beautiful is more painful than maintaining the beauty itself. Maybe the pain isn’t worth it. One quick cut, and freedom! But moments later, and the pain is back. It hasn’t gone away. Freedom has come and gone. There is no way to make it stay. Most people who are insecure about the way they look, like to leave their hair down so that they can hide their face. I am the opposite. I can never have my hair down; I feel vulnerable when I do. I think it draws attention to me – puts me in the spotlight because I have so much hair and it is so different from everyone else’s hair. I just want to hide in the shadows.
My head is swimming and my face is burning. I have such a headache. My hair is pulled back so tight. I’m about to pass out from the constraining bun sitting on top of my head. Just take your hair down. What do you even have to worry about? No one will even notice. Or everyone will. They’ll make fun of you and wonder what you’re trying to prove. Taking your hair down is saying something; it is saying that you are trying to impress someone, or everyone. It’s a statement, and you don’t want to make a statement like that. Do you? What am I doing to myself? I don’t even care anymore. I’m taking my hair out. Who cares? Ahh, freedom! My hair is free and my headache begins to fade, slowly. Why do I feel like everyone is staring at me? My hair is falling in my face, and I feel it slowly getting bigger and bigger, creeping up and swallowing my face. It is poofing. People are starting to judge. The heat from my hair and the embarrassment is too much. I have to give in and put it back up in a bun. I am as invisible as I can be with my hair safely tucked away in a bun. I am hidden under red cheeks and a messy, curly bun. I am safe that way, but forever in a state of worry.
Engaging with my Brother’s Artwork Mary Catherine Fitzgerald ‘20
I am a Woman of many colors
Imprinted on my skin They blend together on my flesh My body is a canvas Colored beyond my control By the calloused hands of others I cannot hide my colors from the world I am forced to wear them outright To allowing people to know what I am made of before I trust them I am not given the privilege of choosing who can see me I am seen by all, whether I chose or not My colors are brilliant and vivid But I am dark and dismal The fire that once lit me Once bright and hot Burned out in a flash of light And now I am cold like a marble statue, lifeless like a tapestry you hang on the wall But no one sees my lack of light They only see my colors
Engaging with my Brother’s Artwork Mary Catherine Fitzgerald ‘20
I remember the strong smell of coffee grinds, the sound of soft jazz that poured out of the speakers like honey, and the voices of friends conversing at small tables. I remember the tip jar that always had a few coins in it, and the uncomfortable metal seats by the window that were always taken. I remember the wall – the one by the table with milk and sugar on it – decorated with pictures of dogs. All of the pictures were taken right outside the shop, and in each photo the dogs were tied to the same wimpy tree, where they waited patiently as their humans bought coffee inside. The dogs’ names were written in silver sharpie on each photo. Fluffy. Daisy. Frank. I remember the small table by the window that was always covered in toys for kids. Small puzzles that were infested with germs, toy cars that were always missing at least one wheel. Kids would sit there with their pastries, and none of them ever seemed to care that the toys were so crappy. To them, they were all fascinating. It’s closed now. One day we came by and a goodbye note was posted on the door. We peeked inside and the sticky counters were gone, The kids toys packed away. The smell of coffee grinds was replaced with The stench of construction and plaster. The windows we stared out of were covered up Blocking us out forever.
Why I Took Memoir Alex Pearlroth ‘20
I took this class as a form of therapy. A way
to let out what has been going on in my head with the goal of finding peace with myself. At least that’s what I tell myself. The real reason I joined was because when Charlotte shared her piece in front of the school, something inside of me knew that I had to take that class. Maybe it’s because I have a story like hers – something I haven’t told anyone, something I want to face this year. Maybe it’s because she’s my friend and she always talked about how much she loved this class, and how I would love it. And maybe it’s because I’ve decided that this year is the year I finally face my demons head on, and stop pushing them away until I’m crying on the bathroom of his floor. Whatever the reason is, I’m here, so I should make the best of it. Writing about Alex has been easy since I was little. I’d write about my favorite colors, which are always changing; my day, always happy; and the things about me that make me different. When told to “dig deep” and “write about myself ”, I’d fake it. I would write about the things that everyone thinks of as digging deep – coming out, bullying, new school. And it’s always worked. Not to say that I’ve never dug deep into myself for an essay; I have, just not as much as my peers.
I see my world as an iceberg. The tip is the things that are easy to talk about – favorite colors, my day, always happy. The layer right below is the layer I use the most, things that people think are submerged in water, coming out, bullying, new school. I guess you could say I’ve become conditioned to talking and writing about those subjects and making them seem like they’re below the water’s surface. As you submerge yourself in my world, you find some of the same topics as those I just mentioned; just parts of them that I don’t talk about. The lower you go, the larger and scarier the topics get. Things like adoption, eighth grade, family life, and the real Alex, all float by. It is not that they’re all bad; they’re just complicated. Too complicated. This year, I want to submerge myself in my world. Even if it’s just my toes. I want to write about the things I don’t talk about or don’t talk about fully. I want to dig deep – really dig deep – and see what I’ll find. To be completely honest, I’m terrified. There’s a reason I don’t talk about everything down there. I’m terrified that you’ll judge me, or that I’ll lose myself. But most of all, I’m scared that I won’t be good enough.
On Being “Real” (abridged) Wilder Cosaboom-Son ‘19 In eighth grade, I learned about the term
“Imposter Syndrome.” According to the dictionary, imposter syndrome is “a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud.” I heard about it in the context of someone else’s experience, but instantly I linked it to myself. I started thinking back on my life, on who I was, and who I’d been. All of the sudden, I was terrified that the Wilder sitting in bed watching gaming videos on YouTube was some kind of hoax, while the “real” Wilder was buried deep inside my head. I ran through my past, trying to figure out who the real Wilder was. I didn’t really find closure until 2018. I like being liked. The phrase doesn’t really roll off the tongue, but it’s simple enough, I take pleasure in the knowledge that other people have a positive opinion of me. Another way of looking at it is, I don’t like being disliked; I’m afraid of it. I get in my head if I start thinking about what other people think about me. The tiniest conversational blip and I’ll be stuck re-living interactions, trying to figure out exactly what I said that was wrong. I don’t know where it came from, but this is a feeling I know I’ve had my whole life.
Lower School is the last point I can remember still behaving “naturally”. I remember being told I was a polite kid; that I never really acted out or behaved obnoxiously. For a minute back then, I might’ve even been cool – if kindergarteners had a concept of “cool”, that is. Lower School Wilder started to kinda’ care what people thought about him. Middle School Wilder cared what people thought about him. I had a couple of new friends and I entered a weird phase where I tried to figure out if I could play trading card games in class and still look cool. The idea of people talking behind my back scared me, so I had to do something to make sure I wasn’t one of the grade’s weird kids; I refused to be the kid that sat on the side of the park, only talking about comic books for the whole of recess. So, sixth grade Wilder decided to be like Greek yogurt – not bad, just unremarkable. If I couldn’t find anything particular to make me stand out positively, I just would make an effort to not stand out at all. If you polled everyone in the grade and nobody had anything actively bad to say about me, I’d be more than happy. When I got to High School, that changed: I found I could be funny. Maybe not conventionally funny – I didn’t know any great jokes, and comedic timing isn’t my strong suit – but I could be dumb funny. There’s something about seeing someone do something crazy that’s undeniably funny. Like,
Peach, Zahra Aboulwafa ‘19 that has to be why AFV and all those fail compilations still exist; it’s because people just like watching other people do dumb stuff. Once I figured that out, I was golden. All of a sudden I had my own little niche; people thought I was funny, and maybe a bit dumb, and all I had to do was make ramen with Gatorade every once in a while. Every time I uploaded some dumb shit to my Snapchat story and someone called me out on it, I got this rush. “This is what success feels like”, I convinced myself. Every passing comment of “Did you really eat a whole tub of hot chocolate powder?” made me feel happy; people were finally seeing me and liking me. How could I stop? At some point being a dumbass stopped being a “just for kicks” routine I’d do every now and then, and became completely entwined with my personality and identity. Gatorade ramen turned into eating brownies off the sidewalk, then that turned into drinking water from the reflecting pool at
the Washington Monument, and then that turned into climbing through drainage pipes just because someone said I wouldn’t. I’ll give myself credit here – I think I really came up with quite a racket – the whole thing snowballed. Soon enough, it was out of my hands. This act became a guilty pleasure. It was almost like playing a character in a video game. I wasn’t the “real” Wilder anymore; the Wilder that wasn’t dumb funny. This character was a funnier, dumber, more likable version of Wilder that made people laugh. As long as I was this Wilder, I was invincible, but the more I did it, the more I hated what I was referring to as “my real self ”. I’d go home at end of the day, and run through the jokes that played out well and how I could improve them, all the while wishing that I could be this character all the time. But no matter how much I tried, I had it in my head that this wasn’t the real Wilder. I was afraid that one day I’d slip up, and people would see that real Wilder. Then things got worse. It turns out that acting dumb all of the time has a couple side effects. The worst of which being, people actually think you’re dumb. Not the funny kind of dumb anymore, now people are just legitimately concerned that you don’t know what’s good for you and you’re not smart enough to help them with their problems. Like, if you needed relationship advice who would you go to: a straight-A student with
focused extracurriculars and a kind heart, or someone who tried to ride his bike off a playground slide and might be a flat-earther. I don’t think I’d pick me either. I found that the people I cared about were turning away from me, or rather, they were turning away from “that” Wilder. That’s when I really realized I’d fucked up. If only I’d never started pretending, if only I was the “real” Wilder, then I wouldn’t have this problem. See I knew I wasn’t really dumb, that it was all an act for funsies, but I didn’t know how to tell people that. I felt backed into a corner: if I didn’t change anything people would drift away from me, but if I went back to how I used to act people would realize that the Wilder they’d be friends with for the past four years had been fake. I use the word “fake” liberally here; obviously, I’m a living person. I’m just talking about being legitimate, being “real”. Y’know that trope where someone who can shapeshift changes what they look like so much they don’t remember their original form? I don’t remember who Wilder should be. Every time I enjoy myself, I have to pause and think, is this the real Wilder? Would I be having this much fun if I wasn’t pretending? When I started dating someone at the beginning of junior year, that deeper connection tripped something for me; I went on and on to this person about how I thought I was fake and how I was terrified about how
people looked at me. They were just confused; they told me they’d never seen me like that. It was a mess: I was confused that they were confused. And then I realized that nobody knows who I am, and nobody in the world can tell me who I’m supposed to be. I’ve realized that I don’t need to drop anything; I’ve realized that act is a part of the “real” me and over the years, my “real” personality has evolved. Ninth grade Wilder wouldn’t have worn eyeliner and nail polish to school, ninth grade Wilder wouldn’t have even touched that leather jacket! I don’t need to justify it by saying “I just did it for the act”, because the act is still me. I’m not saying that just because I sat down and wrote about this, I’ve solved all my identity problems. I’m sure I’m still going to struggle with my identity in the future, but I don’t have to treat any of those versions of myself as “shields” or “masks” or “acts” anymore. They can all just be me. Cause who the hell can tell me they’re not?
52 Dog House ...................................... Ariella Mendal ‘20 53 90s Barber Shop .............................. Ari El Gharsi ‘20 54 In My Skin ........................................ Clara Rosarius ‘19 Ballet ................................................ Sophie Stomberg-Firestein ‘20 55 Noelle .............................................. Gwen Raffo ‘21 My World, Your World, Our World Clara Rosarius ‘19 56 Nā Pali Coast .................................. Jane Olsen ‘20 Drying .............................................. Jagger Walk ‘19 57 Ballet Dancers ................................. Sophie Stomberg-Firestein ‘20 58 Waiting ............................................ Clara Rosarius ‘19 Sitting Girl ....................................... George Boulukos ‘21 People on Street ............................. George Boulukos ‘21 Portage at Kuiu Island .................... Sophie Reif ‘20 59 Destiny ............................................. Mateo Hernandez ‘19 1920s ................................................ Olivia Roederer ‘20 Emulation of Kids ............................ Jonathan Hodge ‘20 60 A Different Look on the Inside ...... Amari Fogle ‘19 61 The Fence ....................................... Jagger Walk ‘19 Your Tender Ridges ........................ Clara Rosarius ‘19 Jesus ................................................ Jagger Walk ‘19 62 Model .............................................. Neloy Kundu ‘19 Higuey, La República Dominicana
Natalie Peña ‘21
63 Reflection ........................................ Jane Olsen ‘20 Steps ................................................ Olivia Cueto ‘21 Gold Macaw .................................... Ajahni Jackson ‘21
Reflection ........................................ Ajahni Jackson ‘21 Mallard ............................................ Ajahni Jackson ‘21
90’s Barber Shop, Ari El Gharsi ‘20
Opposite Page: Dog House, Ariella Mendal ‘20
In My Skin, Clara Rosarius ‘19 Ballet, Sophie Stomberg-Firestein ‘20
Noelle, Gwen Raffo ‘21 My World, Your World, Our World, Clara Rosarius ‘19
Nā Pali Coast, Jane Olsen ‘20
Drying, Jagger Walk ‘19
Ballet Dancers, Sophie Stomberg-Firestein â€˜20
Sitting Girl George Boulukos ‘21
Waiting, Clara Rosarius ‘19
Portage at Kuiu Island Sophie Reif ‘20
People on Street George Boulukos ‘21
1920s, Olivia Roederer ‘20
Destiny, Mateo Hernandez ‘19 Steps, Olivia Cueto ‘21
Emulation of Kids Jonathan Hodge ‘20
A Different Look on the Inside Amari Fogle â€˜19
Jesus, Jagger Walk ‘19
Your Tender Ridges , Clara Rosarius‘19
The Fence, Jagger Walk ‘19
Higuey, La República Dominicana Natalie Peña ‘21
Model, Neloy Kundu ‘19
Reflection, Jane Olsen ‘20
Reflection, Ajahni Jackson ‘21
Mallard, Ajahni Jackson ‘21 Gold Macaw, Ajahni Jackson ‘21
66 The Importance of Rememberance ............. Jacob McKinnon ‘20 my bones ........................ Foster Hudson ‘20 67 New Wealth .................... Melissa Toledo ‘21 68 An Extrovert’s Guide to Loneliness ....................... Cassia Soodak ‘20 70 A Dystopia Remade ....... Nina Gerzema ‘21 71 Just a Dream .................. Ajahni Jackson ‘21 72 Quilts: A Prose Poem .... Mawena Tafa ‘20 Blink ................................ Jagger Walk ‘19 73 Your Name ...................... Rubie Goldner ‘24 twilight ............................ Clara Rosarius ‘19 What Sticks ..................... Aidhan Farley Astrachan ‘21 74 Lice .................................. Cassia Soodak ‘20 The Black Ball ................. Aidhan Farley Astrachan ‘21
The Importance of Rememberance Jacob McKinnon ‘20 “Forgive and Forget” We can’t do either yet And when we try to voice frustrations, we’re a threat Put down, beat down, gunned down, shot down, Dragged out of Africa, work for racists now I forgot my past, I forgot my people “That man is darker than me, we’re not equal” African-American, no real heritage Estranged from Black people, My crown’s been tampered with Tried to fight, but I don’t know who I’m fighting for Myself or my people? The Blacks or the Africans? What do I call myself, this is baffling Negro, Black, American, African Lost in the sea of human trafficking We have to remember even though it’s painful Unite together so that we are able To become stronger, accept our differences To fight oppression, give a new name to resistances Destroy the gap between Black and White We want equality that’s why we fight Our goals are close they’re all in sight If we come together then “we gon’ be alright”
my bones Foster Hudson ‘20 put my bones away for safekeeping; why even let the world spin? the seasons always change i will die in bitter frost or embittered heat like lampposts hold their light (like hercules holds the world up) i’ve seen the fairies dance and bless the slumbering soul bury me in far away places, drawing great distances between the appendages; the room spins and your figure silhouettes the middle why even let the birds sing? they all leave when the time comes; flutter with their wings, letting the world spin around them some days i wish to be buried alive, sink into the earth even, or even just lay upon it, some days i wish to buried among the dead like lampposts hold their light, i held my love in the palm; bury my bones in the soil and let the world spin them away
New Wealth Melissa Toledo ‘21 America has always been a place for the dreamers, But once you’re here, you deal with deceivers. Growing up, I got the answers to simple questions from my mother. Without her, I have a lot to discover. My American Dream. Based on my success, Learning to invest, Building enough wealth to support the ones I love. Rich in health and peace; Not just for those who came before me but those who will come after. My brother told me to be patient, Told me that attitude is more important than knowledge Hard work pays off and never give up. I want to help those who did gave up though. Make them believe that if they want it enough They will be able to accomplish it. I will work for those who live in debt. For the mother that worked too much and had no time to pay attention to her health. For the father that barely saw his kids due to him being in a different country working. For the grandparents that worked hard to send their kids to college and denied themselves simple pleasures. And for the kids that saw their parents crying at night because they didn’t know which debt had to be paid first. So their kids and grandkids know it’s possible. Possible to change ones mentality and money scripts. A Mindset where we don’t believe that The rich get richer And the poor get poorer.
An Extrovertâ€™s Guide to Loneliness: A reminder for anyone who needs it
Cassia Soodak â€˜20
10 pm Saturday I sit here Just me I do not know how to be alone. I do not know how to let go of the past. So I get up and walk I walk out into the cold, with my sweatshirt and headphones, To the concrete sidewalk
The old couple holding hands, ever so romantic I witness a family walking home, to-go bags from fancy restaurants in the hands of the parents A man washing his clothes in a laundromat I witness the packs of high schoolers running down the block to eat at the diner I grew up in I witness a woman on the side of the road with a suitcase and I wonder if she running away, or going home Or both I walk to get away from feeling alone.
I let the wind propel my mind, Shift my concentration I put on my headphones Each song takes me back I am no longer pressured to stay with each thought And so I wander, letting my emotions be free to feel whatever they want
To feel the wind on my cheeks To hear conversations that I wish I could join I need the chaos of movement of voices of people to feel alive I keep walking
I witness the night shift cab drivers looking mindlessly for that drunk girl who needs a ride home
No destination in mind Just movement
And I mouth the words that come through my headphones The Stevie Nicks’ song seeps through the voices of The Dixie Chicks: “The landslide brought me down” And it takes me back to every moment When I’ve listened to those lines, and have been hit with a wave of my past For I have been revolving around my past for some time now; Around those bathroom tiles of my middle school, where I sat crying And I am stuck thinking about My scars and those girls I used to have inside jokes with, And boys I thought I loved, and boys I never tried to keep in touch with I am stuck in the past, Where fake friends live, And rejection haunts I am stuck waiting to be added back on Snapchat, Waiting for spontaneous New York nights with my friends from the past I am stuck thinking about fresh starts and leaps of faith, And when I lived with my brothers,
When I played “Odds are” at family dinners. I am stuck thinking about the vacations and plane rides I used to take Thinking about the six of us Thinking about my father’s damaged heart I am stuck thinking about the pain and glories of the past But The Dixie Chicks sing on… “Children get older And I am gettin’ older, too” And I feel the past swing through me As I listen to them, As I walk alone I am at peace. I do not know how to be alone. I do not know how to let go of the past. But it’s okay.
I just keep on walking
A Dystopia Remade Nina Gerzema â€˜21 I want a president not artificial not man made not compliant compliance isnâ€™t always better
I want a community where I always feel at home while grasping onto new hopes and dreams with the continuous ability to change and recalculate
never an enemy I have a dream patriotism spilling over the edges to wander with my own will always thinking between the gaps straying to see the view of the world from the from the maps sky to soar above the clouds unscathed diversity in people to dive deep below the earth in our country and shoot into the uncharted and throughout the world is stuffed between the lines and crevices I have a dream and paved onto the streets to watch those suffering rise above only to be run over again and again until it and see the untouchable burn at the rises once more stake to dream carefree and gleefully I wish to remove the cycle weâ€™ve created to search for the basics in the way of life to follow through towards an action unregretturning from the merciless and unchanging table the unstableness of those who are tormented and controversy pushed to the side develop an edge to their being making room for the occasional breath I have a dream I want a country to eradicate the misfortunes sturdy but elastic and shine a light from the heavens, powerful yet compromising onto the unpaved locations and parts enduring through a stormy night unknown and remains solid no matter the pressure
I want a world no gravity holding us down no boundaries separating us from our fate never lingering, but always patient charging through the waters and gliding through the clouds
Just a Dream Ajahni Jackson ‘21 I dream of a world where there is no pollution I dream of a world where there is no climate change I dream of a world where there is no poaching I dream of a world where every two months, the headlines don’t say that a new animal is extinct Because these animals were here before us and whether we choose to accept it or not they are what keep our earth alive They are the balance to this planet that we are breaking with our endless destruction So don’t they deserve to be here after us?
I dream of a world where there is no poverty I dream of a world where there is no war
I dream of a world without bullying Without drugs Without suicide Without guns Without disease Without hatred Without the fear of losing trees Without flames engulfing a nation Without having to fear the people who are sworn to protect me But these are just dreams, and without action… that is what they will always be.
Red Pandas Ajahni Jackson ‘21
I dream of a world where there is no racism I dream of a world where there is no sexism I dream of a world where there is no homophobia I dream of a world where people can accept other people for who they are Because diversity and individuality are not things that just disappear And just because some redneck in a white sheet said they don’t like it doesn’t mean we have to agree So why can’t we just get along?
I dream of a world where there is no homelessness I dream of a world where families don’t have to worry if they have enough money for food or a place to call home Because we’re all human and no one deserves to starve So why can’t we all just help one another?
Quilts: A Prose Poem Mawena Tafa ‘20 i understand that we are all quilts, our experiences stitched together to create a whole. i understand people; we are the smell of delis making a bacon egg and cheese sandwich, we are the drumming of raindrops on air conditioners, we are the woosh of cars driving by. coming from a place where the sound of cars honking is my lullaby, webcomics my bedtime stories, fufu and light-soup my dinner, medɔ wo medaase my declaration of love, strangers forever my neighbors; i understand people. coming from this place – from a place where the snow piles on top of garbage bags left on the street, where trees line the sidewalks. everything i love, the cold crisp autumn air, recycling bins, plantains and beans, the smell of christmas trees, couples ice-skating; i understand people. the kiss of a snowflake on eyelashes, the fallen mulberries the birds eat, leaves whispering above me, train tracks, Nutella and strawberry crepes, kente cloth and the Ghanian flag, crispy leaves littering the sidewalks, trees barren, no longer whispering, mete twi kakr: my perpetual response to extended family members, aloe vera, street vendors selling tamales, saying gracias and “thank you”; i understand people. everything i love, in a place i love, everything that is small and little and large and mine and ours, all of ours, even horror and trauma, all of it, is my quilt, and some of it yours too. i understand people.
Blink Jagger Walk ‘19 Thoughtless The world around you Pupils analyze the color Grey, black, white In an instant Darkness
Thoughtless To keep my eyes from the dry The greys now yellow The black now red And the white, blue In an instant The darkness follows
Do you pay attention to it? Do you realize how frequently it occurs? You have blinked at least 28,000 times today. Darkness Again And Again
Your Name Rubie Goldner ‘24 Stand tall, strong and brave Don’t let others say your name Unless you say so
twilight Clara Rosarius ‘19 i sense your being through the sweater that lies on the back porch i hold you when you rise through the floorboards i watch every movement
What Sticks Aidhan Farley Astrachan ‘21 The homeless man curses while he walks down the street The white man in a tailored suit is on the phone The girl on the train is yelling for her mother’s phone The coach yells at his players from the sideline The players are out of breath and exhausted The pier - no, not that one - the other one, sinking and gasping for air The building that looks like a dinosaur stays open for hours The teacher tries to keep the kids quiet The Scarlet Letter sticks to the kid’s brain like maple syrup The Office, yes the show, is a comedic distraction The Playstation 4 has not been touched in months The iPhone 6 struggles, knowing it will be replaced soon The body keeps growing and changing The brain retains all information The desk topped with paperwork and books The black ball waits at home like a pet The hoop ready to play again The bedroom never fully cleaned The closet filled with clothes and shoes The 1 train ready to leave at 8:14 am All of this, and much more, make me.
Lice Cassia Soodak ‘20 Rejection is being 13 in Chipotle. It’s that deep down feeling you get when you start to walk to the bathroom, only something stops you. Your Gut. And so you walk back to your table to find all your friends gone. They left with their backpacks and burritos. And then this feeling hits your face, and even your tears start to leave you, dripping down your cheeks. Rejection is lice, crawling into the roots of your hair and around your skull, forcing you to constantly itch at the nagging bites. Rejection is pouring your heart into a blueberry pie that took hours to make, solely to be thrown away -- never eaten. Rejection is thinking about someone all night long while they think of someone else. Rejection is getting hate mail addressed directly to your soul.
Rejection is an aged, decaying friendship bracelet, that has weaved in memories from long ago. It’s the act of ignoring that exhaustion until the ropes break, and you too, become broken, as your tears start to leave your eyes once more. Rejection is being told you’re only your body. It’s being asked out because he thinks you’re “easy”. Rejection is also being friend-zoned. It’s being told your looks just won’t make it. Rejection is lice, so private, yet so public. Performing such immeasurable gossip. And rejection is sending paragraphs only for him to reply with a “k” Not even an “O-K-A-Y” -just a single “k”. Not even right away -23 hours later. You know this, because you check it every half hour, dwelling. Because when there’s rejection, that’s all you can do. Dwell.
The Black Ball Aidhan Farley Astrachan ‘21 A black ball.
When I come home The first thing I do is look for my black ball
A black ball? Yes. A black ball. It’s supposed to be an artifact in your home that has meaning to you Yes, and? How does a black ball have any significance? It’s just a ball If you say it is just a ball, then you have no idea who I am, or what my childhood was like This black ball is a Magic 8 Ball This black ball becomes my personal therapist It has time to listen, unlike most people It absorbs all of my sorrow When I hold this black ball I can visualize all of my dreams Becoming the best soccer player the world has ever seen Becoming a 17-year-old basketball phenomenon Better than Lebron, Kobe, or even Jordan
When I go away and I don’t have my black ball I feel lost It is more sacred to me than my phone On the outside, it looks like a modest dodgeball Might seem that way for everyone in the world Except for me People say, “It’s the little things in life that matter the most”, and “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” That is true for me and my black ball I walk down the hallways and rooms of my apartment with the black ball at my feet We have a bond that will not be broken With my black ball, my imagination has no limits I can turn my room into a soccer stadium with 70,000 fans cheering my name Do you have a black ball?
78 Feline ........................................ Natalie Goncher ‘19 Self Preservation ...................... Charlotte Way ‘19 79 Chicken Feet ............................ Sophie Reif ‘20 Copper Giraffe ......................... Isabella Marcellino ‘21 80 Spider Arm ............................... Sophie Kielian ‘20 Squid ........................................ Caleb Kohn-Blank ‘21 81 Legzzzzz .................................... Bay Dotson ‘20 Body Parts ................................ River Magee ‘20 82 Tea Pot ...................................... Blue Lindeberg ‘19 83 Frank ......................................... Jane Brooks ‘19 Rabbit with Heart ..................... Molly Voit ‘20
All photos of 3D Art by Susan Now
Feline, Natalie Goncher â€˜19
Self Preservation Charlotte Way â€˜19
Chicken Feet, Sophie Reif ‘20
Copper Giraffe Isabella Marcellino ‘21
Spider Arm, Sophie Kielian ‘20
Squid Caleb Kohn-Blank ‘21
Legzzzzz Bay Dotson ‘20
Body Parts River Magee ‘20
Tea Pot Blue Lindeberg â€˜19
Frank Jane Brooks ‘19
Rabbit with Heart Molly Voit ‘20
86 Locked In .................................. Emma Brunner ‘22 Danny Cole ............................... Maxine Reilly ‘19 Lunchtime ................................. Miles Dorsey ‘19 Daydream ................................. Meadow Magee ‘22 87 Touch ........................................ Wilder Cosaboom-Son ‘19 Kids These Days ....................... Skyler Pierce-Scher ‘20 EcoSpaces ................................ Jonathan Ziebarth ‘19 La Flor ....................................... Isabelle Mercado ‘19
Danny Cole Maxine Reilly ‘19
Three girls are locked inside school after hours, without phones. They try to make the most out of the unusual circumstances, but their fun doesn’t last for long...
This film is a look inside of a person. Not a painter, not an artist, but an individual who expresses himself through creatures in a world he grew up in.
Locked In Emma Brunner ‘22
The mission of foodservice provider “Carter to You” is to prepare and provide delicious meals. The hardwork and dedication of thier staff goes unseen by many.
Daydream is about a student that dreams about her crush in class. Her mind wanders into an alternate reality of what might be if her crush liked her back.
Daydream Meadow Magee ‘22
Lunchtime Miles Dorsey ‘19
In a league full of nationally ranked athletes and competitive teams, meet the members of the LREI fencing team who are just here to have a good time.
Kids These Days Skyler Pierce-Scher ‘20
This film examines the effects of newer generations having access to technology at such a young age.
Kids These Days
Touch Wilder Cosaboom-Son ‘19
EcoSpaces Education teaches a nutrition-based “curriculum”, that helps establish both healthy eating habits and the importance of sustainable farming.
La Flor is an intimate portrait of the filmmaker’s grandmother, Ada Leon, a Cuban refugee who has lived in America for 50 years.
La Flor Isabelle Mercado ‘19
EcoSpaces Jonathan Ziebarth ‘19
90 New York Stories ...................... Peter Mamaev ‘20 ‘Carrying On’ ............................ Charlie Thackway ‘21 91 Stranger of Joy ......................... Georgina Barnhill ‘21 Time Stands Still ...................... Nina Gerzema ‘21 92 Mannahatta .............................. Walt Whitman 93 Mannahatta, Revisited ............. Cosima Dovan ‘21 Rush .......................................... Nina Gerzema ‘21 94 Holy Cow .................................. Alexa Kennedy ‘21 Mannahatta .............................. Sarah Katz ‘21 Mannahatta .............................. William Connelly ‘21 95 Mannahatta .............................. Caroline Maltz ‘21 Graffiti & Tires .......................... Mateo Hernandez ‘19 Antojitos ................................... Mateo Hernandez ‘19 96 Same but Different: Record Stores ........................................ Emmett Adjmi ‘21 New York Farm Colony ........... Gwen Raffo ‘21 97 Mannahatta .............................. Lulu Fleming-Benite ‘21 Mannahatta, Continued .......... Stella Propp ‘21 98 Ode to the People Next to Me on the Subway ................... Cassia Soodak ‘20 Trash on the Subway ............... Emily Nally ‘20 New York Journal ..................... Elisabeth Seiple ‘20 99 I am the deli cats ...................... Wriley Hodge ‘20 Cat on a Ladder ....................... Emma Singleton ‘19 I am New York .......................... Foster Hudson ‘20 100 Mannahatta, Continued .......... Emmett Adjmi ‘21
Skyline ...................................... Gwen Raffo ‘21
New York City 101 Blue Raspberry ............................ Isabella Marcellino ‘21 February Evening in New York .. Lulu Fleming-Benite ‘21 104 Birthday Party .............................. Isabella Marcellino ‘21 February in New York ................. Gwen Raffo ‘21 February in New York ................. Sarah Katz ‘21 105 I am a New Yorker ....................... Jane Olsen ‘20 I am New York ............................. Mary Catherine Fitzgerald ‘20 Chinatown ................................... Leilani Sardinha ‘19 106 February in the Morning ............ Sadye Rabhan ‘21 Essex Street ................................. Lulu Fleming-Benite ‘21 West Village ................................ Lulu Fleming-Benite ‘21 107 Hold Still for the Picture ............. Izzy Barrera ‘19 108 Childhood Memory .................... Georgina Barnhill ‘21 109 New York Words ......................... Emmett Adjmi ‘21 A New Jersey Parody of Emma Lazarus’ The New Colossus ....... Anonymous ‘21
New York Stories Peter Mamev ‘20
New York subways are both famous and infamous for being the penultimate ur-
ban mingling grounds - where a Wall Street mogul could easily stand next to a preschool janitor, a supermodel next to a Vietnam veteran, et cetera et cetera. Interestingly, one of my favorite stories happened during what everyone in the city indiscriminately hates the most: a train delay. But this was no ordinary blackout; nay, ‘twas as if everyone on the train had died and gone to limbo, trapped in a hot sweaty train for all eternity. Then, just as a cherry on a sundae, the lights flickered and went out in most of the train. Me and a couple dozen other passengers are trapped, without light, without air conditioning, in an unmoving train. Then, out of the darkness, comes a single song lyric: “Hello, darkness, my old friend.” Now, after a few chuckles, this is where it should have stopped. But nay, for Zeus had other plans for us then. Maybe it was to lighten the mood, maybe it was crowd mentality, maybe being trapped in dark dens where you could be sniffing someone’s armpit by accident and not even know it until it was too late – but instead of the usual polite chuckling or requests for the singer to shut up, a few people (myself shamefully included), actually joined in. Before one passes judgment, it seemed appropriate given the visually obscuring and generally uncomfortable situation. We actually made it to the second verse, before we realized everybody only knows the first four quotable lines of the Simon and Garfunkel song, and nothing beyond that. Now granted, this was kind of ridiculous, but I find that this small incident has in fact proven the “engine of democracy” true; these few people who joined in were likely of different social classes, descents, and probably never interacted prior to this; however the song managed to unify these people, however different they may be, encapsulating both the engine of democracy metaphor and the general image of New York as a giant melting pot.
Photo of ‘Carrying On’ (Janet Zweig, 2004), Charlie Thackway ‘21
Stranger of Joy Georgina Barnhill ‘21
itting under the yellow toned lights and on the orange seats of the 6 train. A huge smile on her face with headphones in her ears. She rocks back and forth tapping her hand on her knee and stamping her foot on the dark floor. People avoid eye contact but I can’t help but smile at the booming voice projecting from her chest, singing lyrics in a language I wish I knew, because whatever it is makes her so happy. I keep my eye on her because I wish I could be this happy when I hear the joyful chords shoot through my body. The only thing I can think of is that one song I wish I could belt out right now because of the joy and energy I get from the beat that I can always feel in my heart. People need to feel joy like this. This is the joy that keeps us sane. We just don’t choose to share it under the sickening colored lights. So we avoid our eyes. Why? Because it’s different? It’s not different, it’s just someone sharing their joy and their beat with the rest of us.
Time Stands Still, Nina Gerzema ‘21
Mannahatta Walt Whitman (1819-1892) I was asking for something specific and perfect for my city, Whereupon lo! upsprang the aboriginal name. Now I see what there is in a name, a word, liquid, sane, unruly, musical, self-sufficient, I see that the word of my city is that word from of old, Because I see that word nested in nests of water-bays, superb, Rich, hemm’d thick all around with sailships and steamships, an island sixteen miles long, solid-founded, Numberless crowded streets, high growths of iron, slender, strong, light, splendidly uprising toward clear skies, Tides swift and ample, well-loved by me, toward sundown, The flowing sea-currents, the little islands, larger adjoining islands, the heights, the villas, The countless masts, the white shore-steamers, the lighters, the ferry-boats, the black sea-steamers well-model’d, The down-town streets, the jobbers’ houses of business, the houses of business of the shipmerchants and money-brokers, the river-streets, Immigrants arriving, fifteen or twenty thousand in a week, The carts hauling goods, the manly race of drivers of horses, the brown-faced sailors, The summer air, the bright sun shining, and the sailing clouds aloft, The winter snows, the sleigh-bells, the broken ice in the river, passing along up or down with the flood-tide or ebb-tide, The mechanics of the city, the masters, well-form’d, beautiful-faced, looking you straight in the eyes, Trottoirs throng’d, vehicles, Broadway, the women, the shops and shows, A million people—manners free and superb—open voices— hospitality—the most courageous and friendly young men, City of hurried and sparkling waters! city of spires and masts! City nested in bays! my city!
Mannahatta, Revisited Cosima Dovan â€˜21 The pier crumbles into the river, the river raft for garbage, welcoming the frenetic bird brigade, a ghost sits on her bench observing, The bikes and scooters feed me their dust, the summer sun on my saunter, streets betrayed to the shadows of a crowd, The men in ties with apple watches scramble like clumsy dancers, looking everywhere but forward, pouncing into the street for a cab, The people kiss by the park, their cigarettes slip through their lazy fingers, butts roll like bugs in New York, The cold sleeps in the cement, aroused in the frosted night, dark morning welcomes the birth of virgin snow, The bus passes its stop and the old people yell, thrusting their fingers in the air; oh, how I adore old people with pink and green hair, The police car is on eighth street, the jaywalkers curb their pleasure, a lone scarf cascades across the street like a tumbleweed in a Western, The hipsters became termites in our bookstores, the coffee shop - too crowded to sit, some days you realize that photography is kind of overrated, Numberless people - walk over a dead body - beautiful voices - solitaire - the most lonely and formidable people, City of bewitching creatures, posers, and virtuosos! City of bone and cement! City nestled in blundering debris! my city!
Rush, Nina Gerzema â€˜21
Mannahatta Sarah Katz ‘21
Holy Cow, Alexa Kennedy ‘21
Pigeons, flapping their wings around – sitting on their thrones and leaving their gifts, Statues, telling stories, standing strong, Parks, they are beautiful greenery, oases of calmness, Tourists, looking skyward, admiring the never-ending heights, clogging sidewalks, and speaking in their native tongues, Food trucks every day, feeding the lines, The melodies of the sirens echo throughout – attacking my ears, Dogs, prancing around the city like they own the place, Cars, gas pedals are pushed and they speed away, ready to stretch the law, Pedestrians, staring at screens that take over the entire day.
Mannahatta William Connelly ‘21
Now I see the word “city” as Manhattan, A bustling metropolis filled to the brim with people and places, Towering scaffolds, move from one building to the next, the cycle never ends, Scorching heat, but screaming wind outside, the buildings surround you but offer no protection to the blistering cold, A frown or no emotion on everyone’s face, a lottery whether they give you directions or tell you to get out of this place The asphalt is a blur, people gaining speed, everyone’s worried and they hurry with greed, A phone in every hand, a blank stare, a blank face, the systems are failing, we have all gone to waste, The vendors, the deli’s, bright neon signs, illegal electric delivery bikes, a city of ease, and a city of delight, The buildings rest on forests, now we attempt to add back the trees, A city, A home! My City, My home!
Mannahatta Caroline Maltz ‘21 The graffiti, the art; the overwhelming emotion, combined with colors, cartoons, and a story; The cars, throng’d; the taxis, Broadway, the buses, the Ubers, and constant honking, The weed and juuls, the eternal scent growing, the dragon breath of clouds, A million dogs - barking dogs, sniffing dogs, walking dogs, little puppy dogs, dogs with coats and booties, the most adorable and varietal dogs, Insane people - screaming, naked, peeing, muttering, following, tragic and homeless, and in need, The tourists of the city, scavengers, lost and annoying, hot and diverse, pushing and shoving you clumsily in the streets, The stands of Nuts 4 Nuts, the pretzel carts, the hot dogs, the chestnuts, and artisanal food trucks, The stupid, ugly pigeons! No babies! My goldfish! The city of subway rats, I am scared, I will avoid them and scream if they stare into my eyes, The city of skyscrapers, I am amazed, I will enjoy them, and take in all their glory.
Graffiti & Tires, Mateo Hernandez ‘19
Antojitos, Mateo Hernandez ‘19
Same but Different: Record Stores, Emmett Adjmi ‘21
New York Farm Colony, Gwen Raffo ‘21
Mannahatta Lulu Fleming-Benite ‘21 Rich, lined with lace and pearls, the borough’s arms outstretched revealing bejeweled fingers, Squalid, rag-tag, crammed with junkies and their needles, and techies and their pills, and a tired-eyed mother reaching for coffee cups, Technicolor sidewalks gummed down with sugar, every step entirely different, telephone-conversation pacing outside a diner, Whirring of drills and the clacking of the trains, a million horns sounding all at once, Warm, gusting winds sweeping up my skirt through the grating below me, Hipsters and their health-food and trails of organic candy wrappers, Lost gloves, free sweaters, yard sales on strangers’ stoops, The quietude of an open window, the relieving white noise rumbling from the air conditioner, Rats loping helplessly along the track, scrounging for a breadcrumb, recounting Bleeker Street, The soft strumming of my favorite Washington Square Park troubadour, a glistening minstrel, the brightest emerald.
Mannahatta, Continued Stella Propp ‘21 The restaurants aligned on their block, cramped together in disarray, smothering fumes, flocked diners, clinking, yelling, sizzling, The subway station, crowded, diverse, a warehouse of trains, muffled train announcements, sweaty, sticky smells, Phones everywhere you go - an addiction of the city, crunched heads down, clicking, buzzing, ringing, light in distant eyes, Billboards flashing everywhere, advertisements, bright lights, all consuming and overwhelming, The noise of traffic, intersections dominated by cars and pedestrians, yelling, honking, piercing sirens, screeching tires.
An excerpt from Ode to the People Next to Me on the Subway Cassia Soodak ‘20
Subway rides are not where you form friendships. They are places filled with iPhones
and Androids and Snapchat and Spotify and Apple Music and heads down and fear of each other. To you, these people are machines. They have their stops memorized and their playlists downloaded. And you are the center of your story. And they are the center of their own stories. And in 20 minutes, none of this will matter. We will all be across the city from each other, practically across the world, with our own lives to think about. And by tomorrow, it will start all over again, with a whole different group of people.
Trash on the Subway, Emily Nally ‘20
New York Journal Elisabeth Seiple ‘20
I am a frustratingly narrow street. I am the pigeons flocking in Washington Square Park. I am the doors of sign in Union Square. I am the tree am a stoop in Tribeca. I am a bowl of missed train. I am a never-watched
the One Train. I am an incomprehensible blocking you from passing slow walkers. I Mac’ n’ Cheese from Grey Dog. I am a justand then returned DVD from the library.
I am the deli cats... Wriley Hodge ‘20
Cat on a Ladder Emma Singleton ‘19
I am the deli cats I am the birds in the park I am the bugs in the bark I am the squirrels on the street I am the flowers facing the sun but hiding from heat I am the line at the ice cream truck on a hot day I am the kids running under the fire hydrants’ cool spray I am the smell of the city on a rainy day I am the olive bread from Breads Bakery I am the old men playing chess and the pigeons squabbling at their shoes I am the half-rotted avocado left at a homeless woman’s feet I am the loud screech of a siren down a too-narrow downtown street I am the dead rat in the river I am the old man on the corner wasting away his liver I am the bird shit atop an awning off of Central Park West I am street grandmas standing in subways wearing a flashy vest And sometimes I find these escapes to be my city’s only rest
I am New York Foster Hudson ‘20
I am New York. I am small, dead-end alleyways. I am the disheveled book cart on the street
and I am the art vendor who swears he’ll be famous someday. I am wasted time in front of the Holland Tunnel. I am artificial light. I am the stomped-out cigarette butt just shy of the platform edge. I am the witch-hat prophet sitting by the fountain. I am the ripped up newspaper rolling down the stream. I am the smoke from the Washington Square stoner’s last joint. I am the low-budget family drama that everyone told their friends they were meaning to see. I am the callous yellow cab stopping just short of that one straggling brazen pedestrian. I am the smallest billboard in Times Square. I am lost in crowds that stomp on without me. I am lost, I am lost, I am lost. I am New York.
Mannahatta, Continued Emmett Adjmi â€˜21 Infinite ways to move, Crowded underground trains, yellow cars, bike lanes, skateboarding, walking A city that runs on light, Controlling crowds, managing vehicles, advertising, eliminating the street, drawing people in and disconnecting them from reality No way to escape sound, Cars honking, people talking, music playing, birds chirping Nature hidden in concrete, Trees sprout up in small dirt boxes, vegetables live on rooftops, birds perch on street lamps Stores, parks, and bridges Doors to other worlds all a block away.
Skyline, Gwen Raffo â€˜21
Blue Raspberry Isabella Marcellino ‘21
February Evening in New York, Revisited Cosima Dovan ‘21 As the stores close, a cold wind blows through the knuckles of trees, pulling nightwalkers hair like a little sister baby’s mitten, salt of the sidewalk As the doors close, sovereign feet welcome the deep blue evening in melt and meander; heads of age waft and bob in blue funk; the bodies seem to float As the quiet night falls, as the day is pocketed, an old man hums to himself Frank and Nancy’s “Somethin’ Stupid”, more slow and personal than I had ever heard it, The time is right, your perfume fills my head, the stars get red… And oh, the night’s so blue, And then I spoil it all…” Fade away. To the evening roamers and amblers eternal search, a waltz to the end of your sleeping island, out, promise of the rumbling river hidden in brick, forgotten in the middle sky of odds, sky of enigma: run into the sympathetic night! A song that beckons and burns in winter’s foliage
Purple Sunset, Sophie Stomberg-Firestein â€˜20
February in New York Isabella Marcellino ‘21 As the cars roll by, a splash of slush splatters the people passing by; their jeans going from a bright blue to a faded brown. The sky of a million different colors shies away behind the buildings, getting darker by the minute. The parks empty as the cold wind finds its new home for the night. The only lights left come from stores and restaurants. Lights of all brightnesses guide you home.
February Evening in New York Lulu Fleming-Benite ‘21 As I tuck into bed, a cold light glows, An aura of frosty white, Reflecting the city below, As though the sky were possessed by an alien spaceship. As the lights go on, nimble flick of a switch, Drawn are the curtains of the East-facing shower, As though to grasp some precious privacy. Outside, quivering paper cups of coins cease to jingle, “Make way for the anonymity of Stilettos and blood-bursting blisters,” Cries the night. At dawn, all are limping, the torn stockings and the plastic bags, Abduction over, no more green men. The sacred light from Mars shines down on Washington Square Park.
Birthday Party Isabella Marcellino ‘21
February in New York Gwen Raffo ‘21 The comfortable cool of waking up later on the weekends. A sky of bright gray shines through the windows. The possibility of snow, or 56˚ and sunny, adding layers just to be safe. In Union Square, filled with people at 3:30, by 5:00, the sun is setting and people go back to the warmth of their homes. is a group of drummers, wearing gloves to protect from red hands as the night approaches. A man sings trying to collect money in his coffee cup. Wind picks up, more people recede down to the warmer train tracks.
February in New York Sarah Katz ‘21 Frozen breath that can be seen by the naked eye, while little dogs are bundled up with their luxurious coats protecting their fragile bodies. The darkness absorbs the sunshine, Leaving me to think, is it dinner time already? The white fluffy powder rests perfectly on trees and benches, waiting to turn into the brown mush that is a staple of day-old NYC snow. Weather reports give high chances of heavy snow days, and I am still waiting. Hidden patches of black ice waiting to hunt you down and make you slip.
I am a New Yorker Jane Olsen ‘20
I am New York Mary Catherine Fitzgerald ‘20
on the Central Park Sheep's Meadow. I am the flour in the bread from the Grand Daisy on the corner of my street. I am the fabric of the police officer's hat from the precinct across the street. I am the cobblestones that bikers stumble upon in Tribeca. I am the blooms from the springtime flowers on the end of the block. I am the sunshine through the clouds pouring down on my wooden floors. I am the fresh bananas from the bodega on the corner, resting in a metal bowl. I am the mud on the bottom of my dog's paws, trekking home from the dog park. I am the sound of sirens around my corner, as the wind howls from a breeze.
stick of a tree on First Avenue. I am an Italian diner with delicious breakfast foods. I am a lost tourist in Times Square. I am a small-neighborhood cafe filled with hippies and nerds. I am a used bookstore that smells like knowledge and wisdom. I am a crummy pair of sunglasses you buy from a vendor on the street.
I am a New Yorker. I am the blades of grass I am a New York bus stop. I am a pathetic
Chinatown, Leilani Sardinha ‘19
February in the Morning Sadye Rabhan ‘21 As the store fronts open, the working people freeze The cold air hits many New Yorkers lips It hurts to walk It’s too much money to Uber It’s too cold to eat, but I need the extra pounds The sky bright blue Awake More awake than the many students who make the daily shuffle to school The cars move fast Zooming to get to where they need to go People are rude Cold Salty And reeking of cigarettes and coffee The same homeless man sings his song, Hoping for a dime, a nickel to spare The sad thing is, no one seems to really care February is sad, cold, depressing The city seems so lonely, out of character New York isn’t quiet New York is the city that never sleeps Not the city where you can hear a pin drop
Essex Street Lulu Fleming-Benite ‘21 West Village
Hold Still for the Picture (abridged)
Izzy Barrera ‘19
I often find it easiest to draw sleeping peo-
ple on the subway. There is never a shortage of them on the long ride home on the B train. I like to draw them because, unlike the other passengers, there is no danger of accidental eye contact; I’m free of the paranoia that they’ll realize that I’m staring at their nose, trying to get the angle right. Sleeping people are the perfect subjects in lots of ways. They are relaxed, open. They don’t move, and often have the most intriguing poses when they finally find the most comfortable way to sit in those orange and yellow slip ‘n’ slide seats. I’m not completely unfazed however, and I do sometimes feel conflicted when I draw them. For these people, this is a break from life in this chaotic city; they can blend in with the crowd, and take a break from being a parent or an employee or what have you. As I record the folds in their jackets, I can’t help but wonder who these people are that are willing to leave themselves so vulnerable in a people-watching palace like New York. In New York, eye contact reminds me of fencing. Planned glances and thrusts of perception made while the opponent is off guard. Miscalculate though, and they’ll catch your eye with a parry, and you’ll have
to retreat, pretending you were reading the CUNY advertisement behind their head. For the rest of the ride, you can’t look in that direction again, scared that you could slip up and double dip into their line of vision. In painting, because you are not limited to what’s in front of you, there’s so much more freedom to make engaging work. You can emphasize, over exaggerate, increase and embellish, or suppress, subdue, humble and restrain. On the subway that could be having a scarf that comes up to the lips instead coil up above the nose. A woman’s perfume tints the air around her a twirling pink. A child’s restless legs echoing in motion. A woman with two sets of arms because she can’t figure out if resting them on her purse is more comfortable that having them folded across her chest. When I sleep, you could at least make it so that my jaw hangs a little lower, a little freer. In a sense you are only taking with you what you can afford, only what you can carry, instead of stealing the moment.
Childhood Memory Georgina Barnhill ‘21
I'm skipping towards 5th avenue. I love skipping because my ponytail swings back and
forth. My mom in her long flowy dress is swept back as we walk. She looks like she is about to take off and fly. I have my long red dress on and my favorite pink slippers. Today I turn seven and my mom said she is taking me to a museum. We stop at the bottom of these long steps leading up to a massive building. The fountains on the side squirt up and people sitting down enjoying the sunlight peaking above the mansion. I walk in, and there are a million people swarming around me. I grasp my mom’s arm because I am scared I am going to get lost. We finally escape the crowd and my mom places a sticker on my chest. It says “The Met”. I wear this like a badge. I have the right to be here and to explore this giant place. We walk around for a while stopping often to stand side by side. Sometimes my mom bends down to my level and whispers in my ear, telling me the story of what I’m looking at. It seems that everything here has come from far away places – places that I will never see, because time has passed and the home of the art is gone. I become restless and the colors and giant sculptures seemed to repeat themselves. I don’t like what I’m seeing anymore. Before we leave, my mom tells me about one exhibit that was basically made for me. The rest is a surprise and I can’t wait to see it. I still trudge along though because my feet are tired and my excitement is almost not enough to carry me further. Then we turn the corner and I see it – “The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer”. The girl is standing with her head held high and her feet positioned in a way that makes me almost think she’s going to move from her pedestal and dance around the room. Her hair is pulled back into a ponytail like mine. I stand next to her, mimicking the graceful pose she’s demonstrating. I hold my head up high, look at my mom and tell her, “I will be her one day; posing with my head held high.”
New York Words Emmett Adjmi ‘21
Waiting patiently for the G train, finding obsolete technology at The Thing, digging through
junk with my gloves at Green Village Used Furniture and Clothing, going to the Clinton Hill Salvation Army on Friday with friends, music recommendations from Kristian at Limited to One Records, finding a Pip Proud record at Academy Records, digging through the 50 cent 7” bins downstairs at Generation Records, using my yellow Walkman on the subway, looking at the East River while taking the M train over the Williamsburg Bridge, Washington Square Park at night, exploring the Prospect Park woods, going to Brownsville for the first and last time, visiting the 86th floor of the Empire State Building on my birthday, watching movies at Regal Union Square Stadium 14, eating a grilled cheese sandwich at Waverly Diner, soup dumplings at Red Farm, dinner at Miyabi with friends, getting snacks at Dainobu after school.
A New Jersey Parody of Emma Lazarus’ “The New Colossus” Anonymous ‘21 Not like the brazen giant of New York lore, Shining propaganda across the lands. Here, closer to New Jersey than to New York, Stands a mighty woman, stolen from Jersey pride, whose flame Is imprisoned as an idol, lost among Manhattan icons. This Mother of Exiles reaches not for freedom, But for the Western shore; her mild eyes attract The entitled claim of “ownership” of the twin cities. “Keep, Big Apple, your prideful pomp,” cries she With silent lips. “Give me your workers, commuters, Your huddled classes, yearning to succeed In the wretched cycle of 9 to 5. Send these, the undervalued, under-appreciated to me, I lift my lamp beside the New Jersey shore.
35 Leather Pouch .......................... Arlo Metzger ‘21 112 Geometric Art: J.I.D, Lil Uzi Vert, XXXtentacion, Yara Shahidi ...................................... Marcus Moise ‘21 113 Betrayal .................................... Izzy Barrera ‘19 Oasis ......................................... Zane Walker ‘22 114 It’s Hard Not to Love ............... Mawena Tafa ‘20 115 Running My Own Life .............. Katie Rich ‘20 116 Recommendations Based on Your Hogwarts House .............. Emily Lu ‘19 118 LREI Crossword Puzzle ............ Emily Nally ‘20
Geometric Art Marcus Moise â€˜21 J.I.D
Lil Uzi Vert
Oasis, Zane Walker ‘22
Betrayal, Izzy Barrera ‘19
It’s Hard Not to Love Song Lyrics
Mawena Tafa ‘20 Chords: Verse - F C Am Em | Chorus - F G Am C Verse 1 It’s not hard to see The effects that you’ve been having on me It’s not hard to know That there are so many amazing places you’ll go It’s not hard to smile When I know that you’ll be my side for a while It’s not hard to lo-o-ove When I can’t help but feel Like you’re a gift from above Chorus ‘Cause I’m happy like I’ve never been before Always smiling ear to ear You’re someone that I can’t help but adore This is bound to be a really great year It’s not hard to lo-o-ove When it’s you that I’m loving It’s not hard to lo-o-ove When it’s you that I’m loving
Verse 2 Have you seen your eyes When they light up like millions of fireflies? Have you seen you grin? It’s like you’ve suddenly been lit up from within Have you seen your soul? Your fire, Your passion, is truly my goal Have you seen your lo-o-ove? I can’t help but feel like you’re a gift from above Chorus ‘Cause I’m happy like I’ve never been before Always smiling ear to ear You’re someone that I can’t help but adore This is bound to be a really great year It’s not hard to lo-o-ove When it’s you that I’m loving It’s not hard to lo-o-ove When it’s you that I’m loving (Chords C Am C) You that I’m loving You that I’m loving You that I’m loving
Running My Own Life Song Lyrics
Katie Rich ‘20 Verse 1 I was afraid that you wouldn’t understand that this was my choice. Are you listening? Know how I’m feeling? You don’t even hear my voice. I always try to please you, do what you want me to, but it’s never enough. Trying to be perfect, but it’s never worth it; I’m tired of living a bluff. Chorus So I’m running, running, running, my own life as I know it, know it. So I’m running, running, running, my own life’s gonna’ show it, show it.
Post-Chorus I’ve always tried to change who I am only just to please you, just to please you. I’ve always hid my true self behind you, but now it’s my turn, now it’s my turn, to be myself. Bridge I’m not so different, I’m still the same girl I always was and I just couldn’t handle you and all of your buzzing around, pushing me to the ground. My true colors started seeping through, It’s nothing new, I just grew. But I still love you, and I hope that you still love me too. (Chorus)
Verse 2 I never meant to hurt you. I’m sorry if I did. I know things didn’t go the way you planned. I’m someone with passion, freedom, and spirit; I won’t apologize for who I am. Now that I’m standing stronger and bolder, I know who I can be. I’m not gonna’ sit here and cry on your shoulder, it’s time for you to see the real me.
Recommendations Based on Your Hogwarts House Courtesy of the LREI Harry Potter Club
Emily Lu ‘19
Books The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien Films Mulan Aladdin Wonder Woman
Books Piper Perish by Kayla Cagan The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle Papertowns by John Green Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor The Brief, Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer Films Dead Poets Society Hidden Figures
Books In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde Mosquitoland by David Arnold Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski Films Heathers Chicago Legally Blonde
Books Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertali Films The Princess and the Frog To All the Boys I Loved Before Love, Simon
“Goodbye Earl” by the Dixie Chicks “Brave” by Sara Bareilles “Tightrope” by Janelle Monae “Girl On Fire” by Alicia Keys “Run the World (Girls)” by Beyonce “We Will Rock You” by Queen “Geronimo” by Sheppard “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper “Kiss With A Fist” by Florence + the Machine “Nina Cried Power” by Hozier “Crazy, Classic Life” by Janelle Monae “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” by Kelly Clarkson “Wings” by Little Mix
“From Eden” by Hozier “Flawless” by Beyonce “Everybody wants to rule the world” by Tears for Fears “Mr Brightside” by The Killers “Girl With One Eye” by Florence + the Machine “Hard Times” by Paramore “Wild and Wicked World” by Hayley Kiyoko “Glory and Gore” by Lorde “Big God” by Florence + the Machine “NFWMB” by Hozier “Django Jane” by Janelle Monae
“If I Dare” by Sara Bareilles
“Daydreamer” by Adele “Rangers” by A Fine Frenzy “Outlaws” by Alessia Cara “Hit and Run” by Hayley Kiyoko “Uncharted” by Sara Bareilles “Cosmic Love” by Florence + the Machine “Riptide” by Vance Joy “Electric Twist” by A Fine Frenzy “Lady In Spain” by Ingrid Michaelson “Stargazer” by Paloma Faith “I Like That” by Janelle Monae
“In Your Arms” by Kina Grannis “Nothing Here But Love” by Lenka “Holy War” by Alicia Keys “Put Your Records On” by Corinne Bailey Rae “My Kind of Love” by Emeli Sande “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” by Wham “Stand By You” by Rachel Platten “I Second That Emotion” by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles “Human of the Year” by Regina Spektor “Heartlines” by Florence + the Machine “Maple” by Hayley Kiyoko “Heal” by Lenka “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina & The Waves “The Minnow and the Trout” by A Fine Frenzy
DOWN 1. Shines in the lip sync with iconic dance solos every year and is currently a dean 2. Organizes the Junior Trip and is currently in Seattle 4. School day front desk 5. Red glasses and blazers 6. Grew up in Chicago and graduated from Connecticut College 10. Plays the guitar in a band called Eupana 12. Works in tech, plays the guitar, and has a daughter named Rosemary 14. Loves horror movies, incredible painter, though doesn’t teach Studio Art 16. @FeministTeacher ACROSS
17. Loves telling stories and knows a lot about astrology
le zz Pu d or ‘20 sw y os all Cr ly N EI Emi
3. Lived in Japan and can speak Japanese 7. Expert on books and research 8. Social Media 9. Studied filmmaking before switching careers to 2D art 11. Graduated LREI in 2005 before working as a teacher 12. Used to be the school’s CFO (Chief Financial Officer) before Josh Marks 13. Worked at Grace Church before LREI 15. First full day of classes at LREI was September 11, 2001 18. One of the two college counselors and the swim coach 19. Has a doctorate degree, is a newlywed, and is moving to Sweden
Creating this magazine – soliciting student submissions, learning about the basics of graphic design, conceiving of a new layout for the magazine, making countless stylistic decisions, editing written work, and more – was an exciting and exhausting process that was a team effort from start to finish. Thank you first and foremost to Phil Kassen, Allison Isbell, Margaret Paul, Ana Chaney, and Josh Marks, without whom the annual publication of (i.e.) In Other Words... would not be possible. To all of the students who submitted to the magazine this year – we were blown away by the quantity and quality of your creative work. This is your magazine and you should all be incredibly proud of the work you’ve created. Thank you to Chris Keimig, who was sorely missed this year, and who generously lent our team advice, even while far too far away. An enormous and heartfelt thank-you to James French, Ann Carroll, and Susan Now, who provided invaluable guidance, assistance, suggestions, and feedback over the course of the entire year. Many thanks to Stephen MacGillivray, who not only created QR codes, allowing for the inclusion of student films in (i.e.) for the first time, but also helped to get our finished product off to the printer. Thank you oh-so-much to Shauna Finn for her help selecting work for our brand new 3D art section. Without the tech support of Matt Milton and Joy Piedmont – which we sought out regularly – we would have been lost without hope; thank you both for your time and patience. Suzanne Cohen, Heather Brubaker, Jane Belton, Calvin Walds, Candace Cunard, and Ileana Jiménez – thank you for your recommendations and assistance in the collection of written student work for the magazine. To Emma Eriksson, thank you for introducing the team to the world of zines and answering our questions along the way. And of course, our profound thanks to Joan Jubett, Jessica Prohias-Gardiner, and Tom Murphy for their constant encouragement and support this year. You’re heroes one and all!
Back Cover Art: Self Portrait, Izzy Barrera ‘19
LREI, Emily Nally ‘20
Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin High School 272 Sixth Avenue - 40 Charlton Street, New York, NY 10014 212-477-5316 www.lrei.org
LREI Literary Magazine 2018-2019