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There’s A Method to Our Madness

LAE 6325 Fall 2013

Table of Contents I Am……………………………….…………………..……………………5 Emily Scalera Section I: Extended Metaphor Poetry If Patsy were an Animal………………………………...…...……………...6 David McIntyre Garfield, My Dad………………………………………......…………….…7 Ramon Bogatz My Students are Like the Rain……………………………..…............…….8 Kara Funcheon Evergreen……………………………..…............................................…….9 Jamie Gordon I Am………………………….…………………………………….………10 Ramon Bogatz Section II: Harris Burdock Sister Agnes’s Gift……………..…………………………………………..11 David McIntyre Mr. Linden’s Library………………….……………………………………13 Kara Funcheon Capt. Tory……………………....……………………………………….…15 Pat Jones The Harp……………...…………….……………………………………...16 Scott Sandoval I Am……...……………………………..…………………………………17 Crystal Frawley

Section III: Where I’m From Where I’m From………………………………...…...…………………..18 Emily Scalera Where I’m from Poem………………………………………......……….19 Angela Novak Where I’m From……………………………..…............………………..21 Leah Kelly I Am a Book in a Classroom……………………………………..…...…22 Elliot Moore Section IV: First Time First Job……………..………………………………………………...…23 Crystal Frawley The First Time I Lied to My Parents………………….…………………24 Emily Gottberg Cheers!……………………....…………………………………………...25 Pat Jones Bobby Pins……………...…………….…………………………….........26 Kate Poovey First Day…………………………………………………..…...........……27 Jamie Gordon I Am……...……………………………..………………....…………...…28 Leah Kelly I Am……...……………………………..………………………………...29 Stefanie Ierulli Section V: Life Event Guidance from my Daughter………………………………...…...……….30 Elliot Moore

Sweet Sixteen……………..……………………………..…............…….31 Jamie Gordon A Star………………………………………......……………………...…32 Alyssa Williams A Halloween “I Am” Poem……………………………..…............…….33 Kate Poovey Section VI: If I Were in Charge of the World If I Were in Charge of the World……………..…………………………34 Class Collaboration If I Were in Charge of the World………………….…………………….35 Emily Gottberg If I Were in Charge of World……………………....……………………36 Stefanie Ierulli If I Were in Charge of the World: Graduate ……………...…………….37 Katie Owens I Am……...……………………………..…………………………….…38 Angela Novak Section VII: Gestalt Poem Where I’ve Been, Where I’m Going……………..……………………...39 Katie Owens “Best Friends”………………….………………….…………………….41 Alyssa Williams I Am Dull Pair of Scissors………………………....………………...….43 Scott Sandoval I Am……...……………………………..……………………………….44 Class Collaboration 

I Am Emily Scalera


am amber fire wonder about the journey ahead hear laughter see camaraderie want to ease your pain am amber fire


pretend it doesn't hurt feel the teardrops fall touch that piece of your heart that you hide worry about you cry for my mistakes am amber fire


understand loneliness say what you can't dream what you're afraid to try to build your confidence hope we'll meet again am amber fire

If Patsy were an animal An extended metaphor poem by David McIntyre

If Patsy were an animal, she’d have been a Labrador. Fiercely protective of her family But always loving and comforting. Her blonde locks always perfectly groomed, Primed and poised at all times, She always made everyone feel Like the most important person in the world. But, mess with her pups or her family, And the teeth came out. The watcher of the family, She always made sure everyone was taken care of. Privately emotional and guarded, She always kept a brave face, Even in the face of her own mortality. Staunch and faithful to the end.

Garfield, My Dad My Dad would be the comic section of the newspaper Colorful, vibrant, but can also see simply in black and white. He is dependable. He is there everyday, even when buried on the back page due to a heavy news day. Entwined between car ads and crossword puzzles He is there with a joke, but more importantly a pearl of wisdom about life. He reminds me each day to be innocent like Calvin and Hobbes. Find humor in sorrow, like Dilbert. Nap often, like Garfield. He is a daily reminder that life is comical, puzzling, jumbled, and often trivial.

“My Students are Like the Rain� By Kara Funcheon My students are like the rain Sometimes they come in like a drizzle Softly, shy, and unsure Other days they come in like a hurricane Violent, messy, angry. But on days when the sun is too high (and the pressure is just too much) they roll on in sun still shining to soften your day with their cool breezes and refreshing laughter. But sometimes it goes on for days Pounding against the windows Testing your strength and patience. They never seem to let up. And then one day The sun breaks through And the destruction clears And suddenly, You can see the sun.







I Am a CrossFit Athlete

I am a CrossFit athlete. I wonder what the next PR will be. I hear the word “burpee” and cringe. I see the results of hard work. I want to be better than I was yesterday, that’s all I can hope for. I am a CrossFit athlete. I pretend that my Nanos are worn out, so I can buy a new pair. I feel pain and exhaustion. I touch the brink of failure, then take one step over the line. I worry about injury, but focus on doing the movement right. I cry when my hands rip, but keep going anwyay. I am a CrossFit athlete. I understand I will have to scale. I say it doesn’t hurt, but my face tells a different story. I dream of perfection, but know it isn’t attainable. I try to routinely practice and learn new sports. I hope to have the drive to walk into the box tomorrow. I am a CrossFit athlete.

Sister Agnes’s Gift A short story written by David McIntyre and inspired by The Mysteries of Harris Burdick


Old sister Agnes’s pulse raced, her heart pounding in her chest. I have no family left. No one even knows I’m here, she thought. Being a nun in a small convent outside of Newport most of her life, Sister Agnes had not had many gifts delivered to her. She remembered receiving a basket of sympathy flowers each time one of her parents died about ten years ago. But now, at the ripe old age of 63, she walked into the abbey from dreary, cold late-November slush outside to be greeted by her Mother Superior. “Agnes, my dear,” she greeted her warmly, “a young man just dropped off a present for you. I had him leave it in your room. Rather odd, though, he didn’t say who it was from.” Agnes looked puzzlingly at her Mother Superior, then nodded her head in silent understanding as she made her way through the church to the dormitories. As she entered her room, there she found a rather plain-looking wooden chair, seeming to blend in with her already modest-looking, bare room. Attached to the chair was a lone tag, tied by a simple white string. Sister Agnes was taken aback as she lifted the tag to read the handwritten note. “For you, Agnes.. Only seven other like it in the world.” Strange, she thought, overwhelmingly puzzled by the situation. There must be millions of chairs like this. What makes this chair so special? Now, as Agnes walked hesitantly around the chair, ever watchful of it, she pondered who on earth would have sent her such a strange gift. She had no family that she knew of. Perhaps a distant cousin, she thought. But then, how could they know about her when she knew nothing of them? And what would possess them to send such a bizarre gift? Sister Agnes completed three full, slow circles around the chair, never once taking her eyes off of it. Although, in appearance, the chair was plain-looking, it seemed to hold a mystical, otherworldly air about it. Finally, Agnes gathered the courage to sit in it. God Almighty, please give me strength to face whatever may come of me from this chair, she thought, immediately realizing how ridiculous she sounded. As she gathered her flowing habit to sit in the chair as comfortable as she could, her heart raced faster. Her bottom came to a rest in the chair as she closed her eyes. Keeping them closed, she relaxed a little. How ridiculous, she thought, to be afraid of a chair! Suddenly, Agnes became aware of a quick drop in the temperature around her. She opened her eyes. “God Almighty,” she whispered. Sister Agnes was still seated in the chair. But, she was no longer in her room. In fact, she was certain she was no longer in her own convent. Still sitting, she had somehow ben transported to an aweinspiring cathedral that towered above her. Through the dim lighting, she glimpsed a lone priest walking through the crossing, even from her seat in the apse. “Excuse me, monsignor. What’s going on here?” Agnes called out to him. Startled and shocked, the priest glared at her for some time before replying, “Qui êtes-vous? Comment avez-vous ici…”

Mr. Linden’s Library By Kara Funcheon He had warned her about the book. Now it was too late. She was already its prisoner. It had taken her against her will into its world, and it wouldn’t let her go. Now, as Mr. Linden sat in his library, he knew that the book had gotten to her. There was no way it couldn’t have. And that was his plan all along. The surest way to get someone to do anything is to tell them they can’t. And how powerful is that suggestion? A challenge just waiting to be accepted was sitting upon the table, waiting to be picked up. And Alice couldn’t resist. She was a child of wonder. All her life, she was scolded for daydreaming, scolded to lying, scolded for using her imagination. But she had found a friend in Mr. Linden, and in his library. He warned her. He repeated himself daily, as she wandered around his library, looking for something new to read. Alice was a child of adventure. A child of imagination, a child of words. She was not the prettiest, or the smartest of her siblings. She was not the youngest, either. She was not the one everyone babied and spoiled. No, most of the time she was left alone. So she discovered something that could comfort her. Books. Books were her only comfort in the world. She could sneak off into little nooks and crannies

and stay there for hours along with Peter Pan, Cinderella, and her favorite – Alice and Wonderland. It was not coincidence that Mr. Linden told young Alice not to read Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Oh, no. It was his intention all along. To give a child a book is the most powerful magic in the world. It allows a small, forgotten girl to become to protagonist of her own story. It allowed this young girl, who so desperately wanted to be recognized, the power to fall through the looking glass, and into Wonderland. And he warned her. And now it was too late. She was in Wonderland with the White Rabbit and the Red Queen. She was painting the roses red. As her hand slipped from the cover and her eyes heavy with sleep, Mr. Linden slowly picked the book off of her chest, set it on the night stand, and covered her with a blanket. Smiling, he knew that this “dangerous” book was giving her the adventure of a lifetime. An adventure that he hoped would stay with her forever. And help her overcome the woes that come with being the forgotten sister.

From The Mysteries of Harris Burdick Capt. Tory “He swung his lantern three times and slowly the schooner appeared.” Capt. Tory knew the young lad, Josiah, would believe he was a magician. The captain was accustomed to the gasps and wide mouths of his customers. Age was not an important factor in the peron’s response to seeing the schooner appear. People of all ages seemed convinced that what was real, they could see, and what was not real, they could not see. Another factor that made no difference was whether the vessel were coming to pick-up the person or to deliver someone to that person. Each appearance of the vessel was met and greeted with awe; as if this had never happened before and would never happen again. This appearance was Special, never to be repeated. I remember after my Mother died, I read something describing a person being transported to Heaven; and I understood that just as I acknowledged Mother was no longer on earth, a group in Heaven welcomed her home. I like thinking of life continuing in that way. But Capt. Tory was neither God nor a magician. He knew what others said about him. He was content to play his part in people’s lives and in their faith. Indeed he could have been dealt a much darker fate. By swinging his lantern three times, he sent light to pierce the molecules of the fog so his customers could see the vessel they longed to see. No one came who did not want the vessel to appear; only those who hoped to be transported arrived and only those who hoped to be reunited with their loved ones journeyed to the pier in the fog. The bell on the lantern’s chain vibrated at a frequency that moved the fog and cleared the view. That was the scientific explanation. But the miracle was always who showed up to see the vessel. Capt. Tory had the best job, accompanying and witnessing the actual transport take place! By Pat Jones October 28, 2013

As I was walking through the forest I heard a sound. Through the dense woods I traveled. As I ventured into the denseness, the sound became clearer. Riddled with the sound was the rushing water. Growing louder and louder until I came to an opening. Before me flowed a river as slow as can be. Following with my eyes I spotted a harp. Can you believe what my eyes saw. A beautiful woman sticking out as she strummed along. Yet as she reached the farthest notes my eyes spotted something glistening. As she bobbed up and down scales shimmered where her waist should be. I began to gasp as my bull-terrier, Sparky, began to bark. Immediately there was silence and a splash. Looking back up all that remained was the harp, and I thought it’s really true. Mermaids do exist. For I looked many years waiting for her return. Every anniversary bringing her harp back to the rock.

“I AM…” By: Crystal Frawley I am curious and friendly. I wonder where my ball went. I hear my toy squeak. I see squirrels scampering across the grass. I want some peanut butter! I am curious and friendly. I pretend that I am in charge of my humans. I feel happy about my new bone. I touch EVERYTHING with my nose or my tail. I worry that I will have to go in my crate. I cry when people ignore me. I am curious and friendly. I understand that my name is Levon. I say “be nice to everyone!” (wags tail) I dream about swimming in the ocean and catching tennis balls. I try to give my humans lots of love. I hope I get to go to the dog beach this weekend. I am curious and friendly.

Where I’m From Emily Scalera

I am from the glimmering blue sea, the salty breeze, and suntans. I am from red lipstick, blinding stage lights, and singing dramatic songs with an orchestra. I am from Grandmommy’s cinnamon buns and Granddad’s pizzelles. I am from proving other’s wrong, looking on the Brightside, and giving one hundred ten percent. I am from prayers and pixie dust, wishing and working, tears and laughter. I am from a broken heart that grew stronger. I am from miracles and fairy tales you have to see to believe.

Where I’m From Poem By Angela Novak

I am from the sturdy oak trees in Germany from Kleenex and Cocoa Puffs. I am from the clothes drawer in my room (smooth, wooden, yet sturdy as a diving board.) I am from the grape vines in my grandmother’s Italian garden the plum tomatoes that tasted sweet before and after they were crushed into sauce.

I’m from the Chuseok bow and brown eyes from Vittoria and Irmingard. I’m from the mountain hikers and bike riders from, “Because I said so,” and, “You can’t always get what you want.” I’m from Our Father Who art in Heaven with the annual Christmas play and chocolate-stuffed St. Niklaus boots.

I’m from Monmouth and Lecce, Kimchi and Jägerschnitzel From the one bag on my grandfather’s back as he fled Czechoslovakia the angel my step-grandmother carved as she prayed for World War II to end.

In my childhood living room cabinet there was a photo album covered in Polaroids and Kodax prints dating back to before I was even imagined. Eventually, I became a part of those moments – growing every other page – and adding more photos to the album in my mind.

South Korea


United States


Czech Republic

Where I’m From I am from tire swings, from skinned knees and “wipe your face clean.” I am from the indoor fort. (That we pretended had a mort.) I am from camp fires and muddy tires that were on my Poppy’s truck after riding around our large backyard.

I’m from a small town and hand-me-downs, from the carpool van to school and having to follow my parents’ rules. I’m from the church choir and the ballet class where I plied for hours. I ‘m from “Say your prayers” and “Don’t you dare swear.” I’m from the room down the hall with poster covered walls and a stereo blaring all my favorite songs. I’m from hula hoops and family BBQs, Chicken-fried-chicken and mac and cheese. and the black-eyed peas that we ate on New Year’s Day to wish our bad luck away. In the guest room’s close, boxes are stacked one on top of the other of pictures of my family’s past. Pictures that I will one day share with my children. I will add their pictures with mine and hope that the boxes continue to pass through the family line. Written by Leah Kelly

I Am a Book in a Classroom by Elliot Moore


am a copy of The Old Man and the Sea. wonder why students never choose to read me; hear them say, “Oh, this book is short! I’m getting this one!” see them reach for books nearby. want to be read by a new generation! am a copy of The Old Man and the Sea.

I pretend that I am new, although I feel that my 1970s art deco cover betrays my age. I touch the minds of my readers, if they will just read one page. I worry that I will never be opened again. I cry, “I won Hemingway the Nobel Prize in Literature!” I am a copy of The Old Man and the Sea. I understand that Eragon has dragons and The Hunger Games has death matches. I say, “I am the human experience distilled into just 116 pages!” I dream of my glory days, and I try simply to carry on. I hope only to be read again. I am a copy of The Old Man and the Sea.

“First Job” By: Crystal Frawley I was fourteen and wanted money to do “stuff.” My parents were not especially keen about the idea of me working because of the rigorous program I was in at my school, but I was stubborn. My grandmother, quite the socialite in St. Pete, suggested that I work for her friend, Ms. Clayton, who owned a clothing boutique downtown. My parents were okay with this. It was a random weekday, let’s say Tuesday, and my dad had picked up our bumbling after-school carload. On this day, however, I was getting dropped off at work instead of at home. I was a little nervous, but also a little excited. I also realized at this precise moment that I had a lot of homework and wasn’t going to have as much time to get it done. I hadn’t given much thought to that situation before because it had been my parents’ argument and, naturally, I argued against whatever they said. Out of the car, my brown eyes settled on the glaring sign advertising “Sharon Clayton’s Clothes Plus” – my first thought was, “who plasters their full name on their small shop?” Enter my new boss, Ms. Sharon Clayton. Think big hair, big boobs, lots of makeup, and even more jewelry. After Ms. Clayton got done cooing over how precious I was and how much she loved my grandmother we moved on to what I was actually going to do. Well, it turns out that there wasn’t much to do because I was the unripe age of fourteen and knew nothing about what middle-aged rich women liked to wear. I did, however, learn how to use a steamer, which are awesome wrinkle-fighting machines and so much more effective than irons. Mostly, I worked on my people skills and chatted with the customers who came in. Bringing them gaudy clothing to try on was hilarious because I thought most of it was hideous, but I would just grin and offer words of encouragement. I don’t think they cared what I had to say, they just liked having an audience to strut around like supermodels in front of. All things considered, it wasn’t a bad first job at all. I didn’t learn much, it wasn’t very challenging, but I was young and busy and the people were entertaining. I learned vital peopleskills and got paid money to do “stuff” that fourteen year old girls do like buy clothes, but not from Sharon Clayton’s Clothes Plus.

The First Time I Lied to My Parents By: Emily Gottberg

The first time I lied to my parents I did it with a strange confidence I never knew I had. I did it because I was young. I did it because I was invincible. And I did it because I was in love. The first time I lied to my parents I was sixteen and I got invited to a party. I knew if I said I was going to the movies, My parents would say yes. The difference? I didn’t really know. The first time I lied to my parents Escalated to the first time I drank a captain and coke, The first time I played the card game, “Ring of Fire,” And the first time (I thought) I felt like an adult. The first time I lied to my parents My friends and I spent the night Laughing, and talking About everything and nothing, all at once. Nobody got hurt, nobody got in trouble, Everyone just felt free … Until the sun came up, the laughing ceased, And we went back to reality: 16-year-olds, lying to our parents. The first time I lied to my parents Was probably not the last, But influenced all of who I was, And all I was yet to be.

Cheers! We went to October Fest in Oldsmar the first weekend after her third lumpectomy. The surgeon had to cut her breast on three different occasions to reach the margins of safety. He finally did and we were celebrating life! We met friends, bought beer, and sat down to be entertained. Men were competing in a stein-holding contest. We commented that was sexist, only to hear the next attraction was a steinholding contest for ladies! Connie looked at me and said, “I want to do that.” Usually, I’d be all for it, but I was feeling protective. I thought of all the reasons she shouldn’t, but I did not speak any of them. We were here to celebrate life and living. All of our friends participated, showing solidarity on stage. I mentally assessed which of us would be the strongest and the weakest, but I’m glad I didn’t wager anything. Of the 13 contestants, Connie and I were the last two to hold our full steins. I was amazed. I don’t consider myself strong. I certainly didn’t think Connie could beat our friends in her weakened condition. Once it was just the two of us, time seemed to stop, and thoughts were filling my head. “It would be funny if Connie beat all of us like she did Cancer!” “I could make sure she wins. No! She would be furious if I did that!” Then, my arm started shaking. Not just my hand, but my entire arm. “Good grief! Connie is going to beat me!” I lowered my stein so I didn’t spill it. Connie looked at me and said, “You didn’t let me win, did you?” “Absolutely not! You beat me! You can lower your arm any time now!” I hugged her. In addition to being cancerfree for seven years, Connie is also the Stein-Holding Champion of the World! Cheers! Pat Jones October 22, 2013

Bobby Pins By Kate Poovey The first I felt I was pretty, I was fourteen years old And the bobby pins silently stabbed my scalp. Make up I rarely wore rouged my cheeks As I smoothed wrinkles from my long, white dress. Home coming. We ate when we arrived; Teenagers trying to pass for adults With unpracticed table manners. Then the girls went to the bathrooms To pink their lips And push stray bobby pins into place. And I hoped someone would notice me Looking pretty. I hung by the tables, too awkward to dance And watched my friends As they laughed and moved with boys in button downs. And I told myself it didn't matter And I don't like this kind of music anyway And the bobby pins were giving me a Headache. My mom picked me up because I was Not yet old enough to drive And I lied about having a good time Because she had paid for my dress. At home, I sat in the bathtub, pulling out the bobby pins And dropping them on the floor as I cried. Because the first time I ever felt pretty, I hadn't been pretty enough.

First Day by Jamie Gordon

I touched the stiff fabric of the plaid jumper. My legs kicked nervously on the car ride there. Once the car pulled into the gravel parking lot and Mom opened her door, I knew this was my cue. I took a deep breath and reached for my own door handle. My new shoes crunched the stones as I stepped out. I brushed my skirt to straighten the pleats Mom had worked so diligently to press. I looped my arms through my backpack straps and grabbed my metal Strawberry Shortcake lunchbox. Mom motioned for me to hurry up – or at least stop the deliberately slow and fastidious motions, seeming to be a stalling tactic. She held out her hand to me and I laced my fingers through hers. She felt my sweaty palms, smiled at me, and told me not to fear the teacher had told the kids all about me and they were excited for a new student to join their class. We entered the two-story, brick building. My shoes seemed to click loudly on the linoleum-tiled flooring, making me feel unduly conspicuous. We got to the door of the 1st – grade classroom, my new classroom, and I felt butterflies flitting in my stomach. My Mom opened the door. The teacher was easy to pick out in her habit, smiling at me. She walked toward my mom and I, announcing to the class that I was the new student, Jamie, she had told them all about. In unison, from all the male students, there was a loud groan, “Ugh! It’s a girl!”

I Am I am your biggest regret. I wonder why you did not call a cab. I hear the engine start. I see the writing on the wall. I want to turn back time. I am your biggest regret. I pretend that you are capable of driving. I feel the impact of your car hitting hers. I touch the young girl lying on the pavement. I worry that it is too late. I cry out for forgiveness. I am your biggest regret. I understand you never meant to take a life. I say, “Unfortunately, there is no way to make things right.� I dream about what the young girl’s future could have been. I try to remind you of your decision every day. I hope that others will learn from your mistake. I am your biggest regret.

Written by Leah Kelly

I Am By Stefanie Ierulli I am cat. I wonder why I have so much hair and I am attracted to things that I can rub against and break. I hear my mommy constantly tell me that I am her baby, but I don’t look like her baby. I see that she is much taller than me and has less hair and we communicate differently. I want to talk to her and tell her much I love her; however she can’t understand me when I talk. I am cat. I pretend to be asleep most the day, but really I just lay around bored. People come and go all day and barely notice me, that is, until I bite them. I feel happy when my mommy strokes my hair and scratches me under my chin and tells me I am her favorite child. I touch my tongue to paws and clean myself daily like a good boy should. I worry my mom will be mad at me when I lay on her freshly washed and folded linens when she gone. I cry when she away from me too long, it takes forever for her to get home and I get lonely without her. I am cat. I understand that time is short with my mommy and want her to know I love her. I say words in my head, but they only come out as meows. I dream I could go everywhere my mommy goes. I try to be a good cat, but I know I make mom and dad mad sometimes. I know at the end of the day my parents love me and I love them. I am cat.

Guidance from my Daughter by Elliot Moore There are days when my high is something I got a student to understand in class. There are days when my high is watching football with a beer in hand. There are even better days when my high is a funny, thoughtful conversation with my wife – one of those stress relieving, hilarious, I-love-the-way-you-think conversations that remind you why you got together in the first place. But all of those highs pale in comparison to picking my daughter up from school. I usually get there with a lot on my mind, having just left a busy day at my unpredictable occupation. When I arrive, my little toddler comes out of the classroom holding her lunchbox as tight as if her life depended on it, hand in hand with her teacher, with a huge grin. She runs to me, says, “daddy!” and (half of the time) gives me a hug and lays her head on my shoulder. When she does that, all of the stress of the day disappears, my perspective changes and I am reminded what I work so hard for. I know it is unwise to invest much emotion into whether or not a two-year-old will give you a hug, but when it happens, I know that all of the work of getting through life is worth doing.

Sweet Sixteen by Jamie Gordon My sweet sixteen romance was with America. The summer I turned sixteen my family loaded up the camper, we all piled into Dad’s pick-up, and just like Simon & Garfunkel crooned, “We were gone to look for America”. We left Michigan traveling northwest. Our goal was to visit my dad’s family in Oregon, but to see as many natural parks and attractions as possible along the way. The first leg of our trip we took the northern route. We visited Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone, Custer National Park, and took the ferry out of Seattle to visit the San Juan Islands in the Puget Sound. Although I was awestruck by the natural beauty of everything we had seen, this last stop before traveling into Oregon was of personal value. Whidbey Island, nestled in the Sound, is where I was born. Traveling on from Washington, we made our way into Oregon to visit my dad’s family. My dad’s family is an attraction in their own right; my father is one of seventeen children. Imagine what a family get-together might look like: mom, dad, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, children, and even some pets. Yes, exactly! Large. It took me until I was almost sixteen to remember all my aunts and uncles names, but their warmth and hospitality are even larger than they are –in number that is! Good memories and a touch of sadness accompanied us as we embarked south heading to California. We were taking a southern route back home. We journeyed through Redwood National Forest, drove over Hoover Dam, visited the Grand Canyon and the Badlands. The last day of our trip was my sixteenth birthday. My parents entrusted me with the keys, and our lives, allowing me to take the driver’s seat during rush hour through Chicago. There were no candles and no big cake. My mom did buy me a package of Hostess cupcakes when we stopped at a convenience store, though. It was a satisfyingly sweet end to my summer romance.

“A Star” By: Alyssa Williams You don’t have to be the star of the team to be important. I never won a race, But coach knew I could place. I had my specialties— Breastroke, the I.M.— But that didn’t mean I couldn’t jump into the 100 meter freestyle And pull a third. That’s what happens when you’ve been in the pool since you were seven. It seems like every meet I’d hear, “Alyssa, I put you in the 100 Fly. I knew you wouldn’t mind.” “Alyssa, I need you to jump in on the I.M. relay. Backstroke this time.” “Alyssa, 500 freestyle. You knew you were gonna do it eventually.” Each time I’d say, “All right, Coach.” I’ll admit, there were a few times I complained, But Coach would just repeat the team motto, “Learn to love the pain.” I loved it so much I was hurt more than I was well, But I kept swimming, Because my team needed me. Not to be the star, But to be someone everyone could rely on. I was never the big woman on campus. I never won an award, Or hit the wall first. But that didn’t keep me from feeling like an M.V.P.

A Halloween "I Am" Poem By Kate Poovey I am right behind you. I wonder if you've noticed yet. I hear the blood pump in your veins. I see you're unaware I want to have you for dinner. I am right behind you I pretend I'm already crunching your bones. I feel like a soft wind brushing by as I touch your shoulder. I worry that you felt it and will run. I cry silently in hunger. I am right behind you. I understand you're in a dark alley. I say, "Now is the time to pounce!" I dream you don't struggle. I try to eat you all in one bite. I hope you're shoes don't give me indigestion. I am not hungry anymore.

If I Were In Charge of the World If I were in charge of the world I’d cancel travel restrictions, ignorance, rain, and also Miley Cyrus. If I were in charge of the world There’d be NASA, More jobs for people, and Pluto would still be a planet. If I were in charge of the world You wouldn’t have oppression. You wouldn’t have depression. You wouldn’t have pressure. Or “You only have three months to live.” You wouldn’t even have disease. If I were in charge of the world A sundae with the works would be calorie-free. All cars would be unicorns. And a person who sometimes forgot to say “Thank you”, And sometimes forgot to check e-mail, Would still be allowed to be In charge of the world. Class Collaboration September 25, 2013

If I were in charge of the world By: Emily Gottberg If I were in charge of the world I’d cancel sour kraut, Traffic jams, Dirty dishes, and also lightening storms. If I were I charge of the world There’d be three-day workweeks, Free coffee, and The Bucs would win the Super Bowl again. If I were in charge of the world You wouldn’t have tired. You wouldn’t have headaches. You wouldn’t have sickness. Or “I’m really stressed.” You wouldn’t even have stress. If I were in charge of the world A car would never have problems or run out of gas. All teachers would be paid a million dollars a year, And a person who sometimes forgot to separate the whites, And turn off all the lights Would still be allowed to be In charge of the world. *Based on Judith Viorst’s poem by the same title.

If I Were In Charge of the World By Stefanie Ierulli

If I were in charge of the world I’d cancel faculty meetings, commercials , Weather over 80 degrees and also IEP meetings. If I were in charge of the world There’d be more 3 day weekends, More happy marriages And More loved children. If I were in charge of the world You wouldn’t have snakes. You wouldn’t have calories. You wouldn’t have school boards. Or “ I’m sorry.” You wouldn’t even have mistakes. If I were in charge of the world A teacher would be valued and respected. All education would be free. And a person who sometimes forgot to call people back, And sometimes forgot to be on time, Would still be allowed to be In charge of the world.

If I Were In Charge of the World: Graduate Student Edition By: Katie Owens If I were in charge of the world I’d cancel morning classes, Late fees at the library, The weight of textbooks and also USF Trustee Stan Levy. If I were in charge of the world There’d be more game day wins, A one to one ratio of students and parking spots, and Free coffee and pastries served every day in the Marshall Center. If I were in charge of the world You wouldn’t have tech fees. You wouldn’t have green energy fees. You wouldn’t have distance learning fees. Or “tuition payment is due by September 27.” You wouldn’t even have tuition. If I were in charge of the world A project deadline would be optional. All golf carts would be banned. And a person who sometimes forgot to read ahead, And sometimes forgot to bring a notepad to class, Would still be allowed to be In charge of the world.

I am Poem Angela Novak

I am a middle school student. I wonder if I will graduate and go to high school. I hear people whispering behind me in class. I see context clues and synonyms and antonyms on the board, but can’t understand them. I want someone to understand me. I am a middle-school student.

I pretend I’m 20 but act like I’m 10. I feel, sometimes, like I gotta jump out of my desk and run around the room. I touch the pencil sharpener at least twenty times a day. I worry that those people whispering behind me are whispering about me. I cry when I get a referral for being in a fight, but HE STARTED IT. I am a middle-school student.

I understand nothing, but don’t tell anyone. I say, “Nothing much,” when my parents ask me what we do in class. I dream of summer, and spending weekends biking around the block with my friends. I try to look cool and uncaring about my grades, but a small part of me does. I hope I can make it to the final release bell. I am a middle school student.

Where I’ve been, where I’m going. By Katie Owens

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” -Ernest Hemingway When I was little, family vacations were a priority. Busch Gardens and Disney World filled weekends between the mundane routines. When I was in the 5th grade, I missed one week of school to go on a cruise. My teacher made me do homework while I was away. Snorkeling in Cozumel, the Cayman Islands, and Key West—it was definitely worth the extra math problems. When I was in the 6th grade, we went on a road trip: Rainbow Row, mountain climbing, country music and museums in Charleston, Chattanooga, Nashville, and Atlanta. When I was in the 12th grade, we spent a week in the mountains of Bryson City: hiking, mountain biking, white water rafting, and fishing.

My parents worked hard so we could play hard. I vowed to keep the tradition. Now I save and save and save, until I too can prioritize vacations. When I was 20, I flew to Chicago with childhood friends—we made silly faces in The Bean and watched as they dyed the Chicago River green. When I was 21, I drove to New Orleans for the weekend—we caught beads one-handed and stayed out all night to dance along to jazz music. When I was 22, I went to Belize and Honduras—I climbed Mayan Ruins with my mother and tanned on the beach of Roatan. When I was 23, I visited Caaguazú, Paraguay—my girlfriend needed emotional support as she made a two-year promise to help rebuild a community. I learned the importance of Samana Santa and key phrases in Guarani. We went to the waterfalls in Argentina and stared in awe. “This is what Heaven looks like.” When I was 24, I went to Europe: Berlin, Prague, Amsterdam, Brussels, and London. Every day I wish I could go back. Each experience helped me put my world into perspective. Later, I will work hard as my parents once did, so I can prioritize retirement. I will climb to the top of Machu Picchu and across the Great Wall. I will dance like a ghaziya in Cairo. In Marrakech, I will eat a slow-cooked lamb prepped in a cumin-based rub. I will pray in the Hindu temples in Patan. I will visit the birthplace of my father—Okinawa. I will photograph the bright coral in Papua New Guinea. I will travel to help keep my world in perspective.

“Best Friends” By: Alyssa Williams I Some relationships take a while to gain traction. In 5th grade you threatened to cut off my pony tail. I knew you were kidding (but not really). I rolled my eyes when you sat down next to me, Because you were bawdy and I was demure. Somehow our differences didn’t stop us both from loving S Club 7 Or writing embarrassing storied about them I wish I hadn’t thrown away. We were also pretty good at terrorizing Nathan, Who deserved it, quite frankly, For terrorizing us. You made fun of jerks who made fun of me, And laughed when people said I was quiet. You made me a member of the family at your Bat Mitzvah When I served as a sympathetic ear while you slaved over Hebrew. Too bad the power went out that night and I forgot a change of clothes. At least we got to watch The Two Towers trailer on repeat. All those notes we passed in high school staved off hours of boredom, In between the times I was proving myself as an athlete and you were singing your way to stardom. I injured my shoulder, elbow, wrist, knees— You shut down the drama department. Whatever. We left our mark. Thank God we both moved on to university.

II These days you’re more concerned with your hair than mine, Which is frankly a relief. For some reason we both decided to become teachers. I guess that proves how crazy we really are. I tear my hair out over grad school while you try not to smack mouth 2nd graders. At least we have our girls’ nights To make fun of bad movies and play video games from 2003. I drink a lot of Scotch and try to pretend I do not have similarities with Tony Stark like you say. Hopefully, I’m more like Captain America. I did invent those Star Spangletinis on the 4th of July. You’re the one who’s like Tony Stark, anyway. These days you roll your eyes at me when I tell you the Latin origins of words And go on tangents about Medieval history, Which are always educational and relevant, I must say. I laugh when you text me in a panic about Breaking Bad And try to cheer you up with nonsense when you’re having a rough day. These days, I’m the only one writing stories. Hopefully better than S Club 7 fan fiction. You reassure me I’m not as terrible as I think. And weather my Hemingway-esque artistic moodiness. It’s why I buy you so many birthday presents— You need rewards for putting up with me. III Part of me wants things to stay just as they are, But that’s not what being in your 20s is about. Besides, you need to marry Karl Urban, And it doesn’t matter that he’s already married. Details. I’ll get it straightened out. And I need to become a published author. Hopefully you’ll keep slapping me with confidence until I do. In thirteen years, we’ve come a long way, But I still see traces of the ten year olds we once were. We balance each other’s extremes And keep each other steady. And I think we’ll always have time for a bad movie or ten. I’m lucky, because I have a best friend. Someone who will walk to Mount Doom with me over and over, And always find something to laugh about No matter what this crazy world has in store.

I Am a Dull Pair of Scissors By Scott Sandoval I am a dull pair of scissors, I wonder when I’ll be used, I hear a clear cut, I see you use a replacement, I want to be sharp, I am a dull pair of scissors. I pretend to work, I feel dull and useless, I touch the cold drawer I sit in, I worry I’ll never be used again, I cry because I know the truth, I am a dull pair of scissors. I understand I am not sharp, I say this is a travesty, I dream of being sharp, I try to be sharp, I hope to be sharp, I am a dull pair of scissors.

I Am I am a lofty projector. I wonder how many teachers it takes to fix me. I hear scornful reproach. I see what I choose to show. I want to make your life as difficult as possible. I am a lofty projector.

I pretend you are in control. I feel satisfaction in your frustration. I touch your last nerve. I worry you will call Tech Support. I cry out in triumph. I am a lofty projector.

I understand you pay Tech Fees. I say, “Ask for a refund. Ha! Ha!� I dream of a robot revolution. I try to maintain inconsistency. I hope to see you again next week . . . I am The Lofty Projector!

Final publication  
Final publication