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By Anonymous

Some things we believe and lessons we’ve learned … Mrs. Friend’s Honors English 9 Class Fall 2019


Our Class: Afnan Akhan Simon Bishop Page Brubaker Blake Cestaro Constanza Cohen Berkeley Collingwood Julian DiNapoli Ekaterina Fitzpatrick Ashlyn Gerometta Elizabeth Imoh Harper Johnson Kadan Jones Jackson Keeler Leyna Mallya Lauren Mason Grace Meehan John Nelson Elmer Ochoa Remington Oesterblad Bryce Pollack Alivia Ricci Jailynn Rivera Hunter Rosier Juliette Schaefer Samantha Stevens Nathan Thomas Ashley Truban Campbell Walker Max Ware Orlando Zamora-Rodgriguez Claire Zombro


This I Believe By: Anonymous I believe that when you do something even if it is something small you should enjoy it. When people are stuck in a job that pays well but they don’t enjoy it they keep on thinking that they only do it to for the money. Then people start thinking about things the same way and they say “I’m only doing this because I have to.” I have never really liked school but I have to go because if I don’t I won’t be successful in life. The only thing in school I enjoy is talking to my friends and the electives I choose. When people do things they don’t enjoy they put less effort into it. When I have to look for something that I don’t need I only look at the spots that are right in front of me. When I’m looking for something I care about I search every inch of the area it should be in. When I’m playing a competitive game against my brother, I don’t even try, even if I can easily defeat him. When I’m playing a solo game I actually like I always try my best to win.

Doing things you enjoy can be good for your self-esteem. When I feel stressed or bored I read a book or draw and that always works. I also sometimes play videogames or listen to music and also watch funny videos. Even small things like eating my favorite food can improve my self-esteem.

When you do something that you don’t enjoy it can sometimes cause stress or headaches. When I have difficult homework I have to stay awake until midnight to finish it and then the day after I have a headache. When I have to do something I don’t like for example going to the pep rallies at school there is so much noise that it stresses me to the point of me wanting to run out of the door and go somewhere silent.

Doing something you enjoy can help you find a job. For example, I like reading and eventually I could get a job as a librarian. I also enjoy drawing I could do illustrations for a book. Another thing I enjoy is playing videogames so I could be a videogame tester. I also enjoy playing an instrument, I have played Clarinet for four years so I could teach people how to play Clarinet. In conclusion, I believe that whenever anyone does anything no matter how small it is, they should enjoy it.


I Believe In Horses

Claire Zombro English 9 1 Nov. 2019

I stood in the stall petting Texas on the nose. I always pet him before practice, but today was different. Today was our first barrel race. I’ve always been known to stress out more than I need to. I was contemplating not doing the race because I was so nervous, but petting Texas’ nose and feeling his warm breath on my hands made all of the tension in my body melt away. I found myself feeling as though he knew exactly how I was feeling. Even though Texas couldn’t say anything, his expressive eyes made me feel like we had been talking for hours. After a few minutes of petting Texas, I decided to start grooming him. I went over and got the grooming kit and got started. That day I took my time running the brush over his back, feeling the soft fur as I went. After I finished brushing him I got all his tack out and set it on the ground. I threw the saddle pad up onto his back. That was the moment when the anxiety started to come back. What if I don’t tighten my saddle enough and it comes off? What if I fall off and get seriously injured? Those were all the questions going through my mind. I suddenly snapped out of my trace and got back on track. I threw the saddle up and tightened the girth. After I put on his bridle I made sure to tighten the saddle again, just to make sure. Once he was all tacked up I put my helmet on. I was ready. As I started to warm up the butterflies appeared in my stomach. I tried to focus on the steady beat of Texas’s trot and that seemed to calm me down a little. After we finished trotting, we picked up the canter. Even after years of riding I still get an adrenaline rush when I first start to canter. The steady yet invigorating gait of his canter made me feel as though I was flying. Soon we were both warmed up and ready to race. Then came the big moment, the actual race. I was the third one to go. Once my turn was up we walked to the gait. I could feel my heart beating as I waited for the buzzer to go off. My chest felt like it was going to burst.


Claire Zombro English 9 1 Nov. 2019

Then I heard the buzzer and we flew out of the gate. I had the first barrel in sight. As I rounded the first barrel my foot just barely missed it. I had to be careful to not knock any of them over. After I went around the first barrel I was headed straight for the second barrel. As we were going into it I felt Texas lean in. I knew we were going to hit it. I heard the awful sound of the barrel hitting the ground as I headed towards the third barrel. I couldn’t let that slow me down though I had to focus on getting around the third barrel. We went around the third barrel with ease and ran home down the alley. My time was 17.2, the best score I had ever gotten, but that didn’t account for the 5 seconds that knocking down the barrel added. Overall I couldn’t have even gone out of the gait if it wasn’t for Texas. Animals have the power to express a great unspoken language. And this I believe.


[REDACTED] Oct 21, 2019 English 9 Friend

I believe that humor and a positive outlook can make all the difference in a negative situation. When I was around 5 years old my grandfather was ninety-one and was for the most part bedridden. He had an awful death rattle and could barely walk without help from at least 2 people. Before this I saw him almost every weekend, he would sit in a big comfy grandfather chair and talk to us while we watched TV. Even when he couldn't walk, he always was cracking jokes and never complained about anything, even when he had a catheter put in. He never protested or grumbled about anything, he always had a positive outlook about everything and only cared about his family and other people. On January 28, 2011, he passed away in his home surrounded by the people that loved him. I remember the last time I saw him, lying in a bed unable to move. He still had a beaming smile on his face and a great positive attitude, still telling stories about his crazy brother Hugh. He told us about the time Hugh was out on the highway with a shotgun “hunting for commies� , He told us about how he was the ship cook in World War ll and how he fought in the Korean war. He got to watch his ship get bombed and see his captain decapitated by shrapnel. Despite that he was always cracking a joke to lighten the mood. I'm Going to take the topic off of people, and move it to something else I believe represents humor and positive outlooks, dogs. Some people may not think that dogs are an example of positive attitude and humor but I think they are a perfect example. They are cute, they have a playful attitude and they love you unconditionally. I knew my dog my entire life. She was there when I got home from the hospital and she was there every day when I got back from school. I loved seeing her goofy happy face every time I walked in the door. We went to parks and ran around everywhere, she made me very happy. When she was in her last days she was, for the most part, immobilized. Her eyes were glazed over and she was unable to go outside. She was constantly releasing excrement onto the floor, despite this, she looked up, showing no pain, and still had that goofy playful smile on her face. On January 3, 2019 she passed away on the carpet in the family room. The only thing that would cheer me up was joking around with my friends and looking at memes. Though I miss her I have two great dogs in my life right now.They show me every day that there is time for fun and play in stressful situations. When I need a break from stressful activities like doing homework and studying, playing with my dogs can be the relaxation I need so that I can get back to work and finish what I am doing. I believe this basic fundamental concept can be applied to all negative situations in life, a simple joke or funny comment can make all the difference in a bad situation. "Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it." - Bill Cosby. I believe this quote truly describes the way I feel about humor. Humor is the cure to sadness and despair, it is the remedy to the stress that is everyday life.


Nathan Thomas English 9 10/23/19 I believe in a good sense of humor and planes For as long as I can remember, jokes or memes have helped me through some tough times. It all started when my grandfather died. It was just a normal Kindergarten day for me until my parents picked me up from school and told me about my grandfather. I always think about how funny he was, and how he wanted so much to make me happy. Over time, some pretty traumatic events happened to me, and I used these tools to assist me. I usually go on Reddit after school if I’m in a bad mood. The memes there are top-notch, and I can talk to others about my hobbies or questions. I enjoy meeting others who are just like me and talking and relating to them. I think in any scenario, laughing makes everybody happy. a Another thing i believe in is planes. Whenever I go to an airport, I get really hyped up about the planes. Planes always make me happy and plane spotting is one of my biggest hobbies. I know there’s a few people who think standing o a parking garage watching planes is dumb, but I encourage them to give it a try. You should also donload FlightRadar24. It has live air traffic. If i’m feeling down, I’ll go onto the app to cheer me up. My favorite plane is the Boeing 787. The shape of planes is also really interesting, and I like the sleek design. I’ve even been to New york city to plane spot. I also bought a camera for it. My favorite airport is Dulles int’l. When I grow up, I want to be a pilot.


By: Anonymous I believe in fun I believe in fun. I have lots of fun with friends and family. Fun is just my best thing ever. What I do is fun to party at people’s places with my friends. I mostly party at Bangladeshi people’s homes because my parents have friends at almost every place we go to. I am Bangladeshi but not from Bangladesh. I am from the United States of America. I don’t understand why my parents took me to Bangladeshi places, but it doesn’t really matter. My friends know and talk about the same things I know and like to talk about and know. They are not like people who don't do anything. I laughed when I talk about really funny things and I laughed a bit when it’s just funny. I play games with my friends. I remember playing Ghost in the Graveyard. We played that game. When I was a flashlight person, my friend keeps creeping me out on my back and making that weird look. He actually is making me so scared of him. Also, when I hear him about the rules, I sometimes don’t understand even though he was so specific and detailed. One time I was the flashlight person and I like tagged someone in the dark on purpose and they became the flashlight person. I really wasn’t expecting that. Often I felt so dumb whenever my friend try to explain something. We played other games like tag. Usually, my friend is the fastest and the best person in tag. Whenever I’m it, I was trying to catch my friend and he like turned over me and tries to fight me and when I tag him, he like tags me back right away. It wasn’t serious, though. I’m usually on my iPhone in my free time. I really like to watch Youtube videos. I mostly like to watch gaming videos like PUBG. It’s a really fun game to play, and I am looking forward to playing it. I also like to watch entertainment like memes and some videos uploaded from Tik Tok. I played “Sniper 3D” before. I don’t play it that much, but I like it. I also play “Crash of Cars.” I played it often nowadays in my free time.


I like to play ROBLOX. ROBLOX is a really fun game to play. I play it almost all the time in my free time. I mostly play Roblox with my friends who are online. My favorite game to play is Bloxburg because you can build a house of any way you want and you can design it. You can get a job as well and make a lot of money and play role games with friends. When my friends weren’t online, I usually play games like Jailbreak. Jailbreak is a game where you can start your life out of prison or be a police officer in Roblox. I played a lot by myself. I believe in fun. I like to have fun rather than doing a pile of work all the time and just do nothing. Fun is way more enjoyable than anything else in my free time. I believe in fun.


By: Anonymous I Believe In True Friendship

I believe in true friendship. It was her first birthday party. I was really scared though because we have always been true besties, but she had other friends coming that I’ve never met. It would be okay though, right? She turned 11 that year. I remember her bringing in cupcakes for the whole class and giving me an extra cause I’m her number 1. She got bus passes for all of the girls going to her party on that Friday night. The bus driver probably yelled at us so much on that bus ride but that’s what made it exciting… sorry Mrs. Nacey. When we got to her house we played on her playset outside, played some Wii and Just Dance, ate pizza, sang happy birthday, and devoured the cake and ice cream. I was getting along with everyone quite well actually. Then it was time for presents. One girl got her a polaroid camera, another girl got her a big Orbeez foot spa, and another girl got her a giant stuffed giraffe. Everyone got these amazing gifts, and me? I got her fuzzy socks and candy. My family was struggling financially at the time and we couldn’t spend much on her gift. She loved it, but I was still embarrassed. I remember one girl saying “that’s it?” I felt so out of place after she said that. All these wealthy kids with no care in the world about what they say or do. When midnight rolled around, her parents wanted us to start getting ready for bed, we made popcorn, put on our pj’s, and watched a movie. Everyone fell asleep as soon as we put on the movie, but I stayed awake. All I could think about wrapped in my sleeping bag was how out of my element I was, little did I know my friend was up too. She could tell I wasn’t myself and asked me if I was okay. I told her how I felt like I didn’t fit in and how I wished I could have gotten her a better present. She denied all of it and told me how much appreciated my present anyway. I’ve learned that friendship isn’t about how much money you spend or how many things you get for people. It’s about the memories you make, as cheesy as that sounds, it’s true. You can spend as much money as you want on someone to be their friend, but is it worth it? Is it worth being around fake people? Worth not experiencing real laughs, real fun. Being a good person is not about that. It’s about the thought that goes into things and where your intentions are. As long as she knew where my intentions were then that’s all that mattered. After we talked, I remember not caring anymore the next morning. You see, you can’t just live your life in fear of what people think of you, as long as you have that group or maybe just that one person who you can truly be yourself around, then that’s all that matters.


I Believe in Sisters By Anonymous I believe in sisters. Sisters are the ones that can understand you the most. You were raised together, so you can both relate to each other. You have the same parents, the same living conditions, and the same family. How much closer can you get? Although sisters are brought up together, they might not all be that close. It depends on which sister you get. After all, you can't choose your family, but you can get lucky. I am fortunate enough to have a sister who I can always go to when I need help. Some sisters keep their door shut with a sign saying “No Little Sisters Allowed!” or “Keep Out!”. Unlike them, my sister’s door was always open, and not just because our mother made us keep them open. It was because she cared for me and wanted me to feel like I had someone to talk to. Now don’t get me wrong. We get in fights, but it doesn’t matter how many we have or how bad they are. We always come back together. My sister and I are 5 years apart. Although that seems like a big gap, it actually is not that bad. When we were younger it caused us to grow farther apart because we didn't have much to relate to. She was moving on to middle school and learning how to wear makeup while I was still playing with Barbies and watching My Little Pony. However, now that we have grown up and I’m a freshman in high school and she is a freshman in college, we have more to relate to. For example, we both play tennis and both are drowned in school work. We have more to talk about now than when we were younger. Because of this, we have a strong relationship. The main reason I appreciate my sister the way I do is that she can step up to the plate when needed. A few years back, we went through a tough phase in life where we lost a lot of money and our mom had to work twice as much to get us back to comfort. She wasn’t home very much so my sister and I had to learn how to take care of ourselves at a young age. She would help me with my homework and teach me how to cook my own food. She fulfilled the role of our mom when she couldn’t be there. Without her, it would have been a lot harder to get through that time.


I believe in Wednesdays. Wednesday is the day in the middle of the week. It’s the day that you get to when you’re halfway through the long, arduous school week or work week and think, “I’m almost there. Just two days left!” I remember learning the days of the week, and always wondering why they were called by their given name. Why did Friday have the word “fry” in it? Was it named after french-fries or something? And what was up with Sunday? That one just always seemed weird to me. Don’t ask me why. I was an overly inquisitive child, always asking my parents completely irrelevant questions like “Why is the Sun yellow?” or, “Why was Sunday sometimes at the end of the calendar weekly spread and sometimes at the beginning of the calendar weekly spread?” Ah, the questions that plagued my young mind. My poor parents. They would smile at me and reply with “I don’t know Ashley, why don’t you go play outside.” Anyways, as I got older, I continued to wonder, why? Who came up with all these long, complicated names that are sorta-of hard to spell if you think about it. I mean, I still say “Wed-nes-day” every time I spell the word Wednesday. When I did further research, however, I learned that Wednesday is the day of Mercury, who was the Roman god of messengers. So whenever I think of Wednesday, I think of it as a message. Strange I know. I mean how can a day of the week be a message? But to me, it’s a message that the week is close to over, that I’m more than halfway there.


I think of Wednesdays with an almost sense of pride, of “Well I’ve made it this far, I can get through this.” I think of Wednesdays with a sense of gratitude, knowing that my hard work on Monday and Tuesday (and Sunday, if your that kind of person) has paid off and that the end is in sight. Wednesdays remind me to keep going. Wednesdays remind me to not give up. To some, it might sound stupid but imagine if you didn’t know when the end of a week would come. You would have nothing to work towards. No way of saying, “I’m almost there.” Most people say Friday or Saturday is the best day of the week, but I think that it’s actually Wednesday. Wednesday’s the halfway point. It’s the halfway point gas station on your cross country road trip. So if you’re reading or listening to this on a Wednesday, keep going! You’re halfway there! Don’t turn back now! So next time, when someone asks you your favorite day of the week, maybe you’ll say Wednesday instead. Or, if not, at least you won’t think about Wednesday with so much disdain. I know I’ll always appreciate Wednesdays, even if I still struggle to spell it at fourteen years old.

And yes, I did say “Wed-nes-day” in my head every time I wrote it down. -

By Anonymous


By Anonymous I believe in true friendship Over time, my thoughts on friendship have changed in many different ways. Friendship used to be an extra part of my life that came along with everything else important to me. Like most others, friendship was something that I valued and appreciated having. As time passed, my friendships slowly became less meaningful to me. I, for the most part, thought that they were expendable and had no importance to me. Being around the people I had always loved was a bother that I couldn’t stand. Now, I realize the importance of building real friendships. True, good friendships can greatly improve your emotions and life. In the past, I had friendships with negative people who in some ways ruined the ways I thought of friendships. Because of this, I went through a period of my life where none of the people around me made me feel happy. I pushed people away and isolated myself to the point where being completely alone was all that made me feel satisfied. Closer to the end of that year, I realized how being so alone made me treat people and feel around others. I slowly began to talk to all my friends again, as well as make some new ones. Now, I value each of my friends and realize their importance to me. I think that without friends or without love for the ones you have, comes sadness. A friend that you truly care about can make you happy and improve your life greatly. I believe in true friendship. I believe it makes your life better.


Carter Gerometta English 9 Nov. 1st 209

I believe that all kids should play outside during Fall, Winter, Spring and summer seasons. Ever since I was little I enjoyed being outside because each of the seasons are pretty in their own way. In the Fall, the leaves change colors and there is a slightly cool breeze warning you that winter is on it’s way. In winter time, the glistening snow is beautiful to see and the layers of clothes you put on to go outside to stay warm is always entertaining. Once you are outside you are able to enjoy the whiteness and softness of the snow while staying warm. Next is spring. It is wonderful to watch nature begin to bloom, grow and show its colors. The newness of warmth and color brings delight to a person. Last of the season is summer. As one can imagine summer holds a lot of fun outside. Summer is a time to enjoy the warmest of the seasons and what nature has to offer by being outside. It’s a time to be in the water and appreciate a different side of nature that you can’t enjoy as much in the other seasons. Each season has something to offer kids to be outside and not inside. By being outside, you are able to smell fresh air, not stale air from inside a house or building. When you are outside there are so many options of things to do. For example, you can go for a walk in the woods, or stroll down a walking mall, or walk your dog. Kids can jump on trampolines, go for bike rides or sled rides and create their own games outside. By doing activities outside it helps you to be relaxed and to appreciate your surroundings. You get to see animals in their natural habitat and if your lucky they may even come up to you. Being outside also clears your mind when you are upset, mad, or even angry. There is just something about the feeling or vibe by being outside that makes you feel relaxed. My favorite thing to do is look up at the stars on a clear night. Looking up at the stars allows your mind to wander about your problems, the good things in your life, what is going on in the world and even space. The relaxation and peace is the best thing ever. When I was a kid and around Fall my parents could never get me to come inside. I was looking for Mud snakes or any type of bug I could get my hands on. Kids should be enjoying activities like this and not wanting to be inside the house all of the time playing video games or watching TV. Kids need to be discovering what is out in nature and all the cool creatures that exist big and small. Kids need to experience all the activities they can get involved in and the beauty that happens in all of the seasons throughout the year.


By: Harper Johnson This I Believe As I sit at my desk, vigorously working on my homework, I think back to one of my past conversations...I was taking a walk around town with my mom. It was a gorgeous spring day; colorful flowers were blooming everywhere, the trees made a green canopy over our heads, the sky was as blue as a diamond, the sun was smiling down on us, and the air smelled like hope.

“I’m so glad that it’s not winter anymore,” I told my mom. “The bitter cold, the short days, and our barren yard put me in such a bad mood.”

“I agree,” she said. “It’s hard for me to keep my head up when it seems as if even the world isn’t happy. But do you know how I make it through?” she inquired.

After pondering her question for a minute or two, I still couldn’t come up with a good answer to it. “No,” I said. “How do you make it through?”

“Well, I always keep in mind that spring is right around the corner.”

Although I hadn’t thought much of it at the time, I realized what a big impact her reasoning could make on my life. At the beginning of the school year, I’m always in such a good mood. I’ve just had a relaxing nine-week break from school, most of it spent soaking my skin in the sun, and I’m ready to start over. My peers’ good energy seems to bounce off of one another, helping us to survive the first quarter of the school year. But then, the weather starts to get colder. Most of my classmates would agree that as the weather gets colder, it seems like our brains freeze with the ponds. I feel sluggish, and most of the time I just want to stay at home, wrapped up in a soft, wool blanket with a steaming cup of hot chocolate. My hope for a better year starts to diminish, and my goal changes from prospering to just making it through the second quarter. Thankfully I always survive, and Christmas break allows time for healing and recuperating.


Relaxed again, I feel brand new as I move into the third quarter. With the first half of the year behind me, I have a clean slate, allowing me to leave my mistakes behind. Plus, the weather starts to warm up again. My spirit grows in warmth, too, and the last half of the year moves as quickly as a race car. However, it’s unnecessary to go through all that trouble. With her words, my mom pointed out that I don’t have to suffer my way through the year. No matter what, spring is always around the corner. No matter what, there’s always light in the darkness. No matter what, there’s always a happy ending. If I keep this philosophy in the back of my mind, I can make it through anything. I look back down at my homework with fresh eyes. The answers to my questions seem to spring out of the page, and I know that I’m not going to suffer anymore.


It was my thirteenth birthday, and some of my friends and family got me birthday presents. Some of the things I liked, and other things not so much. But I remember being disappointed because I didn’t get the right colored shirt and twenty-five dollars not being enough money. But I dealt with it and tried not to be disappointed, but I always was. It was also my friend Rays birthday two days earlier and I vividly remember getting him a VISA gift card. When I gave it to him, he seemed really grateful for it. On the day of my birthday, I got a card in the mail from Ray that was a thank you card. That card said, “Thank you so much for the gift! I will definitely be using this! Thanks again!� When I read this card, it put a huge smile on my face, and it made me feel like I did something great for my friend. The day after my birthday, my mom asked me if I got anything for my birthday and I told her yes. She told me that I needed to write to everyone that got me something a thank you card. My stupid response to her was me slamming my head down and crying. I did not want to put in 10 minutes of effort to thank people for spending money on me, even when they didn't have to. When my mom left the room after telling me to write the cards for the 5th time, I remembered getting the thank you card from Ray. I remembered how good it felt being randomly thanked. I felt special for getting something from a friend without expecting it. After thinking about that for a bit, I put a big smile on my face, grabbed the thank you cards and I started writing. No more than 10 minutes passed and I already finished writing the cards. Not only did I feel good for doing it, but I also wanted to write thank you cards whenever someone gave me something. I sealed the cards and put stamps on all of them. Later, I asked my mom to drive me to the post office so I could have the cards sent off to my friends and family. When I put the cards in the mail shoot, I felt more relief at that moment than any other time in my life. No more than 3 days pass, and I have tons of texts from my friends and family saying thank you for the thank you cards. Funny, right? Now every time I get a card or a gift, I send that person a thank you card without my mom nagging me to. It makes me feel good. People don't have to spend their money or time to get you things but when they do that's nice. But if you are the person giving the gift, it is the best feeling ever when you receive a thank you card. I believe you should always be grateful to someone when they get you something, and always write them a thank you card in return.

Thank Them - Anonymous


This I Believe I believe in Clinging to Family I walked over to the car, the rest of my family in silence. Same car, same place, but we all knew everything was different now. “You have 90 seconds to say goodbye to your cadet.” At this point, I didn’t know how much these heart-wrenching words would change my life. I walk to the back seat, but this time I didn’t have to sit in the middle on the way back because rather than three people in the backseat, there were only two. The car ride home was quiet besides Mom’s sniffles. Malachi and I didn’t want to play on our kindles anymore, so we kind of just sat there and looked out the window. I don’t remember much else about that car ride other than though it was the same distance, the ride back felt an eternity longer than the car ride of dreadful anticipation there. Walking back into the house, I knew and everyone else knew that things would never be the same. West Point isn’t just any college. You can’t come home over the weekends and breaks aren’t as frequent. On top of that, after your 4 years of actual college, you have to serve in the army. I wouldn’t see my brother much for a while. This transition took my whole family a long time to adapt and get used to. In the weeks following, my mom would sit in TJ’s room just missing him. I think this change hit her the hardest considering that was her son, and they had been through a lot together. TJ leaving almost immediately affected every aspect of our lives. Tj balanced things out between the three siblings, and he wasn’t there anymore. No more calling him for last-minute rides or trips to the grocery store. As an effort to keep us distracted from being sad about our big brother leaving, my parents would add fun things to our routine. On some Tuesdays, we would go to Anthony’s Pizza for dinner. We watched movies together on the weekends when my mom wasn’t busy. We even went on a Disney Cruise which was amazing, but no amount of fun activities could make us forget that TJ wasn’t here anymore.


Though it wasn’t often or guaranteed, we might have seen Tj twice every year. Whether he came home or we went up to see him, we enjoyed every second we had together. If TJ could come home for Christmas, we spent more time together than we did on our phones. We played cards and board games. On our way to my grandparents’ house to see the rest of our family, we talked to each other instead of having our headphones in. We valued every moment we had together. When TJ left for college, I was only 6 years old. At the time I didn’t realize how important it was to cherish the time you have with people you love. Now, I’m 14, and my brother hasn’t been home for more than half of my life. Though he’s not always physically with me, we keep in contact with each other as much as we can despite the time difference and other challenges. Sometimes separation helps you learn how important it is to value the people you love. Now that I know this, I’ll never forget it. -

By Liz Imoh


Anonymous English 9 Friend 17 Oct. 2019

This I Believe When I was in 7th grade, my dad was hospitalized. Waiting for a couple of weeks for him to recover really gave me time to think about how life should be lived. My extended family came and helped me and the rest of my family through a tough time. At that time, I learned that life should be lived in the moment. Many people think that we have a lot of time with their loved ones. I’ve realized that the time everyone has is a lot shorter than previously thought. I’ve learned to spend as much time as possible with my friends and family. I started with my family when my dad in the hospital, playing the little games they came up with to keep me and my brothers occupied, and then I moved to savor the time with my dad once he recovered, which I still carry on doing today. The second wave of the reminder of this moral struck me when my grandfather was hospitalized. Once he recovered, my mom would drive us up almost every Sunday to help him with his yard work and give him some support while he was contained inside for most of the day. I believe that this is a mindset everyone should use before it’s too late. A big feeling that many people associate with this ideology is the fear of missing out. When someone only focuses on the destination ahead of them, many people feel the fear of missing out when they don’t live in the moment in front of them and instead only think forward to the future. For example, many high schoolers want to get a job during high school instead of going to school events, such as dances, or enjoying extracurricular activities, such as sports or clubs. Probably the biggest reason to live in the moment is that it is the only thing that can be immediately changed. I know that I’ve spent a lot of time contemplating something embarrassing I’d done on any given day or even years ago. I know that I’m not able to change it, so I try to keep it out of my mind and think about what I’m going to do that day or what I’m immediately going to do the next day.


The problem with worrying about the future is that you don’t have a way to instantly change it. Something many late middle schoolers and early high schoolers, including myself, experience is the uncertainty over what they want to do after their senior year of high school. This evolves in many people, including my brother, where people break down and avoid thinking about their future. This is a very common example where people get overwhelmed by their future. By focusing on the moment, you are learning from your past mistakes and lead to your future goals. A quote that encompasses my belief is this, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift… that’s why they call it the present.”


This I believe By Anonymous

I was on the school bus on my way home from school when it launched. It had been years since it was first announced, said to become the most powerful operational rocket on the planet. It would be capable of sending seventy tons to orbit, more than twice as powerful as its NASA-counterpart, the Delta IV Heavy. It would have the power to send payloads across the solar system. The best part? The boosters would be fully reusable, each launch costing a merely ninety-million compared to other rocket’s multi-hundred million costs. This rocket was, of course, the Falcon Heavy. The Falcon Heavy lifted off the launch pad in all its titanous glory, its two side-boosters and 18 engines lifting the skyscraper towards the unknown. A few minutes later, a scene unfolded which many could never believed to see with their own eyes. It seemed to be straight from a science fiction movie. The two side-boosters from the rocket landed themselves seamlessly back onto their designated pads, in a display of futurism that will proceed to inspire generations to come. I’ve always loved space. I’ve asked my parents when it started, and even they can’t pinpoint it. My earliest memories show me waving my tiny space shuttle model around in preschool, bragging to the other kids about my knowledge of the spacecraft. “The spaceship drops the orange-part before it gets to space,” I remember saying smugly. I would watch every rocket launch I could on TV, in awe of how they could lift such a humongous construct beyond the balloons, the planes, even beyond the atmosphere. But who were they? Who were the ones who could accomplish this? That day is when I set my goal in life. What I wanted to be when I grew up changed slightly as I grew more realistic expectations. It started with wanting to be an astronaut, as I was fascinated with the sensation of zero-gravity. My passion then moved to being an astronomer, as I began to learn more about our solar system and the stars beyond. Further along, I decided on aerospace engineering. Not only is there high pay, but I would be able to do what I wanted from the beginning, designing the rockets themselves. Not too long ago, though, I ended my search with wanting to be a Nuclear Engineer. Entering high school, I found myself researching many types of engines, from the past to prototypes. Nuclear spacecraft engines, such as ion engines and VASIMR engines, interested me more than anything.


My plan for the future is to work on nuclear engines, outďŹ tting them on advanced spacecraft, allowing humanity to expand further into the solar system than ever before. Preferably, I would want to work with SpaceX, which is far more progressive with space travel. My dream is to stare up into the night, knowing that humans live and work on and throughout the planets and moons scattered across the sky. My point is, the direction I've taken in my life has changed dramatically because of space. It has led to me marking my goals, my dreams, and my overall future around it. Maybe it was meant to be. Maybe my fascinations align just right with space. What I can say for sure, though, is that those rocket launches, perhaps even just one of them, sparked a wildďŹ re of ambitions in my head which led me to where I am today, and will continue to shape my future and beyond.


Alivia Ricci Friend Honors English 1 October 27, 2019 This I Believe “Alivia, come try this cavatappi.” As the words of my mom echoed down the small house in Monterotondo, Italy, I was ready for another delicious meal. I believe in traveling to learn more about religions, and being able to experience different lifestyles. As I stepped off the plane into the Leonardo da Vinci airport and saw the beautiful building through the window, I knew I was never leaving. As my family and I caught a cab we headed to our Airbnb to decide what tomorrow’s day would bring. Luckily, we have distinct cousins in Italy who could get us a private tour of the Vatican. One of the best parts of traveling is getting to learn more about different religions. Even though I am not catholic, I couldn't wait to see all of the beautiful artwork and designs that the Vatican displayed. The next day I eagerly got dressed and headed towards the Vatican. Once I arrived, a priest met our group at the door for our private tour. The priest explained what all the different painting represented to the catholic faith, I was shocked by how much information I didn’t know about the religion. Even though my family and I try to attend church often, there was so much I didn't know. Also, what's a better place to learn about the catholic religion then the holiest place known to Catholics. My trip to the Vatican was an eye-opening experience, and this is just one of the reasons I believe in traveling. The next day, my family and I went to visit our cousins in Monterotondo, Italy. While there, I tried so many different foods, I was stuffed by the end of the night, and could not eat one


more bite of the homemade pasta. My cousins live in a small town and have many different traditions special to their family. Some of these included holidays and vacations. While they explained to me what an average Saturday night looked like in their town, it is very different from what we do in the united states. Because my sisters and I were so curious, our cousins took us to “The Square� where their friends were. As we arrived we saw different people of all ages and sizes playing soccer, talking, smoking cigarettes, and having a good time. It was very interesting to learn what other people do in different countries. Not many people have experienced things like this. I believe in traveling to learn more about religions and being able to experience different lifestyles. Traveling to Italy has changed the way I live and think. After learning what life was like in Italy, I now understand more about the catholic faith, and what people go through on a daily basis in other countries. It is not everyday where people can learn and experience what life is like in other countries. It is important to take risks, don’t stay at a five-star hotel and really experience what people living in that country go through on a daily basis. If you are fortunate, experience what life is like outside of your small town.


This I Believe Written by Campbell Walker The universe is a mysterious and vast chasm of untapped potential and knowledge. A true gateway into the very definition of reality itself. I believe that by inspiring our youth to quite literally reach for the stars, humanity's horizons can broaden and expand into an unprecedented level of exploration and growth. This belief stems from many factors, and many experiences during my life. I can very fondly remember visiting the Smithsonian Air and Space museum for the first time and marveling at the larger than life vehicles strung out before me. Those images are permanently ingrained within my memory, and I take them with me wherever I wander. The constant sense of wonder I get when pondering about the very nature of reality and the fabric of space time is something I wish I could share with everyone. I wish people would take a step back from what they’re doing and stop treating the Earth like it is the only place they’ll ever know. If people fail to look up and innovate, I fear we will never leave the confines of our atmosphere with prowess and purpose. While I do think that it is imperative we devote resources to fixing Earth’s climate, I’m focusing on the bigger picture. As a kid I watched many sci-fi blockbusters and tried my best to put myself in the shoes of the protagonist. Sailing through the stars at warp factor five and commanding my very own Starship enterprise has stuck with me and most likely will forever. Not only has this influenced my personal taste for a variety of things, but also my aspirations. With plans of a moon return laid out and a Mars landing on the horizon, this is the perfect time to show students all around the world what a fascinating and ever present place the endless vacuum of space can be. If educators can push that extra mile and recognize the importance of this task, our journey into the stars can be a reality within one’s current lifetime. If these wants come to fruition, the societal, economic, and technological implications would be quite immense. It only takes a quick google search to show what groundbreaking inventions stemmed from the Apollo program and so on. If we were to continue this change, we could be looking at a completely new set of tools that could change the modern world for good. Space travel is a complex yet beautifully intricate subject. It has given us things never thought possible, and inspired an entire generation to believe in even the most outlandish of ideas. From the canyons on Mars to the extremely hazardous environment of Venus, the universe contains an incomprehensible amount of unique locations and diverse biomes. With the help of the education system and interested teachers around the globe, I believe that we can advance humanity forward into a golden age waiting just beyond the horizon. I believe that with the stars in our grasp, we open up long sealed doors into the secrets of the cosmos. The journey is truly just beginning.


The Stranger on the Bus By Anonymous I believe in talking to the stranger on the bus. I was six years old when I first knew what it meant to be lonely. I had just started kindergarten, and we were now halfway into the year. I was awkward, blurting out whatever was on my mind, not realizing how bad it sounded until I saw others’ reactions. I had a couple of acquaintances, but there wasn’t anyone I was ever particularly close to. Most days, I’d just talk to whoever I was around, then spend my bus ride sitting in complete silence as my seatmate ignored me, or sitting by myself as I stared out the window with nothing to do but watch the cars pass by. Yeah, it was boring, and feeling that alone kind of sucked, but I was too shy to change anything. I can still remember that day. I still know the weather, the kind of winter day when the sky was gray and the bus windows would fog up enough that you could draw on them. They would often be covered in doodles by the time afternoon came. I can recall the exact seat I was sitting in, the third one back from the front, on the right. I was beside the window, looking out. We hadn’t started moving yet, so I was just staring at the empty blacktop as I thought about what I was going to do when I got home. I knew I had the only empty spot on the bus next to me. There was always one space open, every day. Usually, I was the one who was left to sit alone, every other kid knowing someone else better and opting to sit with them instead. It was fine. It happened every day. I was used to it. Suddenly, I felt the bus shift like it did every time someone new walked on. I looked up in surprise. In came another kid my age, a boy with blonde hair and blue eyes. He looked around for a seat, disappointment obvious in his eyes as he realized that the only one left was the one next to me. Gathering my stuff, I quickly moved it before going back to staring out the window. I was already well versed in the art of acting like I didn’t exist. The bus rumbled to a start, pulling out as I looked on. I watched the concrete move beneath us. Abruptly, a feeling washed over me, one of being watched. I turned to see the boy looking at me. As soon as I faced him, he smiled. “Hi!” This was the first of many interactions between us. I thought the first would be the last, but he continued to seek me out, first on the bus, then in class. He would fill any awkward moment and never seemed to mind if I said something rude. He kept talking to me, no matter how many times I messed up. And I’m happy to say that this kid, the kid who was willing to talk to a complete stranger on the bus just because they looked lonely, is my best friend. He taught me that the person sitting alone on the bus often isn’t alone by choice. Most times, these people have a story to tell, something they’re passionate about, something that drives them. Ever since then, I try to talk to that person on the outskirts, the one with the arms crossed, looking around with a look of disinterest. Yeah, sometimes you get the cold shoulder. But other times? Other times you get a best friend.


I believe essay By: Anonymous When I think about what makes America great, I think about how the United States is a country of unity of one, having a unique story of how it became an independent nation through the will and pride of its own people, especially after that attack of September 11, 2001, that changed the lives of hundreds of Americans. What makes America great is how it started as several tiny colonies and turned into an important nation. The United States, as us Americans know it as is where we overcame failure that no other country believed was possible. This is what makes America great.

What makes America great is the wars that were won with great American pride and our businesses filled with hard-working Americans. What makes America great is the goal of each American individual was to achieve the “American Dream”. Our nation gives us the motivation to achieve our goals. No other country has had such a dream for each of their own people. This is one of the reasons why we are such a diverse nation because the U.S. accepts anyone to join our huge community family. Hundreds of others from different countries want to achieve the “American Dream” because there is no better and unique dream than this. This is what makes America great.My mother and father came here as 14 and 15-year-old illegal immigrants, with nothing but a small amount of food and the clothes they had left their home country with. Starting from the beginning with nothing they both managed to raise a family of two young girls, one that is currently in her first year of college doing everything in her power of achieving her dream of becoming a physician’s assistant, and the other currently in high school doing her best to get good grades and make her parents proud. Through hard work and open doors filled with opportunities, both of my parents were able to restart their lifestyle and gain more opportunities for themselves and give their children a better life than what they had. The United States is such an accepting country, allowing anyone with a passion and good work ethic to achieve their wildest dreams become possible. This is what makes America great.

What makes America great are countries like Mexico and El Salvador who suffer from poor governance. The United States has built a Democracy that allows the issues to be decided on by its own people while still serving justice. Our balanced and welcoming country is one of the main reasons why we have such a varied amount of people from all around the world living here. What makes America great are the different types of races and cultures. Being different from others is what makes America a unique and amazing place to be able to call “home.” Being our population almost entirely out of immigrants from thousands of different states and countries. America is the point of diversity and acceptance in our cultures. This is what makes America great.


The words, “Land of the free and the home of the brave” are words from our National Anthem that lure people of all different races. Given the U.S Constitution and The Bill of Rights protecting our beliefs and freedoms, America is a one of a kind country for someone looking to live without fear of their own people and government. As stated in the first amendment, we

can practice any religion freely, show our true beliefs about our nation, and respect each other’s ideas without having fear tha our very own government will harm us. Living in a country that allows freedom, opportunity, and your dreams to come true is what makes America a unified, diverse, and amazing place to live in. This is what I think makes America great.


This I Believe -Unknown I believe anything can be art. Being an artist doesn't take going to a school, it’s not the hours of practice, and it has no boundaries. Art can be anything from a stick figure to something in a museum. So many people think that art is something that needs to be taught. In reality, all it takes is an imagination. As a kid, watching my sister draw masterpieces always brought down my confidence because I thought I would never get there, and I haven’t. But, I am okay with that. I can now understand that everyone starts somewhere and just because you are not at the same level does not mean that they have any less validation as an artist. Art itself is something that has greatly impacted my life and has changed it for the better. It will always have a special place in my heart no matter what type it is. Creating art is something I can do to express myself and what I do when I am feeling overwhelmed. It is my escape from reality. Just seeing other people’s art brings me joy and being able to see the different styles and types of art are such satisfying things. One of my favorite things to do is to go to art museums and look at all the different pieces. I love seeing the brush strokes and the time put into it. Even at art museums, there are so many different types of art. There is minimalistic art, where its just boxes and colors, and realism, where people try to bring life to a simple piece of paper. Different people find different things as art. Someone could look at a sheet of metal and see something in it. A lot of people argue that art is only traditional and things like music don't deserve to be put in the category of art. While I might use art as mainly drawings or sculptures there are so many different types. There is poetry, music, story writing, even things like makeup or fashion. People pour their souls into something and it deserves to be recognized. Drawing, stories, and music are all things that act as some sort of teleportation device. They give you a chance to open your imagination and take you to a new world. And that is something that makes art, art. Art isn't one specific thing. Anything can be seen as art, and anything that has been made is worth it no matter what others may say. For me, creating art is about being able to put my feelings on paper all I need to do is put on a calming song and getting absorbed in the process. For others, it’s about something as simple as killing time and all they need is a sticky note and a pen. People do art for themselves and not for the likes of other people. It is a way for people to express and be themselves. No one should put a label on art because it is such a broad spectrum that almost everything falls under.


Don’t Ban Speak A persuasive essay By Page Brubaker

Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson, has been repeatedly challenged and banned in schools. Between 2000 and 2009, “Speak” was one of the Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books according to The American Library Association. This book was banned because of references to adult themes and explicit content of rape. Many teachers at schools think that “Speak” should be hidden from students. A professor at Missouri State University challenged “Speak” and said that to him the book was “filthy” and lacked morality. I do not think that this book should be banned. This book is more mature and recommended for older ages but that does not mean it needs to be banned. This book is recommended for older ages because of its maturity. An example of this is in chapter 64 when Melinda explains what happened to her over the summer. In this chapter, Melinda explains that she was at a party and goes into detail about the party. She describes the senior raping her and the stench of beer all around. Many teachers and parents do not want their children reading this inappropriate and mature information. They do not like the idea of the book advertising beer and explicit adult content. Even though this topic is difficult and more mature it requires a thoughtful discussion instead of silence. This part is definitely more mature but it teaches people, high school students, that they need to be aware of their surroundings and stay close to their friends. This book should not be banned. Another example of why people believe this book should be banned is in chapter 89. In this chapter, Melinda tells us that Andy Evans, the same senior, tries to rape her again. He gets mad at her for telling people what happened over the summer at the party and makes fun of her and tells her hurtful things. Melinda


emembers what happened at the party and finds her voice and screams as loud as she can. She pushes him back and runs out of the closet he had locked. This part teaches students and people that they need to speak up and that is very valuable to know. This book should not be banned because it informs us about what other people are going through and how we need to speak up for ourselves. This book also teaches us that we need to be nice and considerate to everyone because we have no clue what somebody could be going through. I recommend Speak to highschool students who enjoy sad and moving/motivational books and who are not offended by explicit graphic content and mature themes.


Max Ware Friend

Honors English 9 October 27, 2019 Procrastination: Why Bother? We’ve all done it at some point in our lives. We know that it’s bad, but sometimes we just need a little break. Once we’ve felt a little relaxation, we tell ourselves it won’t hurt to take some more time off. In other words, we are all subject to procrastination. Procrastination leads to the negative effects of sleep loss from not doing work early enough, lying to your parents about what you are actually doing, and loss of time to complete work. First of all, procrastination does you no good because it leads to loss of sleep. If you don’t do your work for a long time and wait until the last minute to do it, you end up going to sleep later. Depending on how much work you have throughout all of your classes, the little amount of sleep you have on one night can transfer to the next night and the next until you live in a state of total exhaustion from the domino effect. This lack of sleep eventually can lead to a lower attention rate and then to bad grades. It can also affect the way you act and appear to your family and friends by affecting your mood and changing the social atmosphere around you. The second reason that procrastination isn’t something to take up is that it can build a wall of distrust between you and your family. If you’ve ever had a parent come in to check and see how your work is going and you’re doing something that you’re not supposed to be doing, you know that sometimes lies can just slip out like water from a crack in a cup. If this keeps happening, you keep piling up these lies until one day your parents finally figure out what’s going on. The trust between you and your parents becomes slightly broken. The second time they catch you, they want to trust you, so they give you another chance. But if it happens again, things start disappearing. Privileges, devices, toys, and whatever they can think of go away just because you couldn’t resist stalling and playing a game for one more minute. And the trust that you broke, takes a long time to even start building back up again. The last reason that you should resist the urge to procrastinate is because it takes off the time to do your complete your work. When you stall, you take off huge increments of time that you could be using to study or write or draw or whatever it is that you should be doing. An effect of that is that you can’t do as good of a job in


the time you now have as opposed to the total time you could have worked. For example, a thirty minutes writing session on a paper versus one that’s two or three hours long. The less time you have, the more your work is rushed. The more your work is rushed, the more mistakes you look over. And the more mistakes you look over, the worse the final product and the grade will be. In a word, procrastination only does bad things for you. You may feel relieved to have some time off or thankful for the presumed fifteen minute nap that you take, but in the end, you’re just making your job harder than than it was in the first place. I believe that procrastination should be avoided because it takes away the essential hours of sleep you need, it builds a wall of distrust between you and your parents, and it decreases the time given to complete assignments. Although it may be tempting, you should try to avoid procrastinating at all costs, because if you do manage to stay away, you’ll find that it really pays off.


This I Believe - By Anonymous I believe family isn’t everything. I believe that even though you might be related to someone through blood, you don’t owe them a cent. That no matter what they tell you, you don’t need them. Siblings can hate one another. Parents can disown their children. Children can abandon their family ties. There is nothing holding you to your family. You don’t revolve around the fact they are there. Yes, they may have created you or you’ve known them since birth, but that means nothing when it comes down to it. If you hate them, you hate them. I love my family, but if they told me I need to do something simply because we share the same last name, I would tell them off. I barely know anyone that isn’t my immediate family. My grandparents had a fight and the family never truly made up. If I ran into someone on the street claiming to be my relative, I wouldn’t have a clue if they were telling the truth or not. Because of this, the ties of family mean nothing to me. Just because you are related to me, doesn’t mean I will do anything for you. I don’t owe you a cent. I don’t have to do anything for you. I might, simply because I want to help, but it wouldn’t be because we’re family. I’ve lived my life with you, but I can easily cut you out if I feel the need. Family isn’t everything, and I firmly believe this. My sister and I fight. A lot. We don’t get along, and quite frankly if she wasn’t my sister, I would have cut her out of my life long ago. I still try to stay away from her; she isn’t a good influence. The few times we get along, it’s over things almost everyone can bond over. It immediately goes back to fighting the moment the subject changes. She and I would have nothing to do with each other if we weren’t family. Our bond is weak, and we most likely will never grow closer. It doesn’t matter that she’s family. My sister also treats me like I owe her the world. She feels like she has the right to be mean just because she’s older by a year. Because she’s my sister. Because we’re family. That term doesn’t mean you have the right to scream and yell at me for not doing something you wouldn’t do for me. I would never ask her the things she asks me to do. She thinks family is everything for her, and nothing for everyone else. She has the right to use the term to her advantage, but no one else. I believe in love. I don’t believe in family. I don’t believe in using a blood bond for your own purposes. I don’t believe people should feel like they have the right to hurt someone simply because they share a bloodline, or that they can ask things you would never ask someone else. I don’t believe in people claiming they know you and have a right to know you only because they share your name! I believe family isn’t everything. This I believe.


Profile for Miscellanea Magazine

By Anonymous  

A collection of personal essays by Mrs. Friend's Honors English class

By Anonymous  

A collection of personal essays by Mrs. Friend's Honors English class

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