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PAW Print: Poetry. Art. Writing. 2015


2015 Volume 3. Issue 1 Vermont Academy Literary Magazine Vermont Academy 10 Long Walk. Saxtons River. Vermont Advisor: Joanne Fuller Editors: Linday Semel Samantha Marin Emma Hoser Abby Hart Lisa McNealus Christine Armiger Nate Williams Joanne Fuller

Cover photo by Maddy Philp

Printing by Minuteman Press, Brattleboro, VT

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POETRY, ART, & WRITING POETRY & FICTION ................................................................................................ 5 Arising Spring ..................................................................................................... 5 Tuba by ChaeRa Lee ‘16................................................................................... 6 A Simple Drop ..................................................................................................... 7 Still .......................................................................................................................... 7 Feelings ................................................................................................................. 8 Red Body, Black Soul ........................................................................................ 8 Baby Steps ......................................................................................................... 10 Rope by Soy Kwon ‘16 ................................................................................... 12 Adulthood.......................................................................................................... 13 Childhood .......................................................................................................... 15 Hoffville: A Utopia .......................................................................................... 16 Creation.............................................................................................................. 18 Hockey ................................................................................................................ 19 Cora...................................................................................................................... 20 So Early On ........................................................................................................ 25 Physics Hurt...................................................................................................... 25 Sonnet ................................................................................................................. 26 This Year ............................................................................................................ 26 The Great Room .............................................................................................. 26 The Cook ............................................................................................................ 27 Farewell ............................................................................................................. 27 Inspired by A Song in the Front Yard ...................................................... 28 Lodged ................................................................................................................ 28 2


I Do Not Know The Sea .................................................................................. 30 Bananas .............................................................................................................. 31 Apples ................................................................................................................. 32 ART ........................................................................................................................... 33 Bird by Fengyu Xu ‘15 ................................................................................... 33 Scylla or Charybidis by Hari Lee ‘18 ........................................................ 33 Fuller Hall by Soy Kwon ‘16 ........................................................................ 34 Rain by Chae Ra Lee ‘16 ................................................................................ 35 Face by ChaeRa Lee ‘16 ................................................................................. 36 Love by Katrina Shaeffer ‘15 ...................................................................... 37 Multiple Exposure by Evan Ray ‘16 .......................................................... 37 Pointillism by Nik Mische ‘17 ..................................................................... 38 Tinga Skis by Tinga Adiang ‘16 .................................................................. 39 Central Park by Katheryn Tremblay ‘15 ................................................ 40 WRITING: NON-FICITON ................................................................................... 41 My Mom .............................................................................................................. 41 from A Month in South East Asia ............................................................... 42 Gratitude in Chile............................................................................................ 44 Gratitude in Vermont .................................................................................... 45 How To Build The Perfect Sand Castle .................................................... 46 Spain.................................................................................................................... 47 The Unassimilated Gringo ........................................................................... 48 A Set of Brushes............................................................................................... 49 Integrity I ........................................................................................................... 50 Integrity II ......................................................................................................... 51 3


Metamorphosis ............................................................................................... 53 Why Forests are Important to Me............................................................. 58 Plumeria ............................................................................................................ 59 Playwriting ............................................................................................................ 61 From “Hornswaggled” ................................................................................... 61 From Pink Toes ............................................................................................... 62 Snow by Nick Nourse ‘16 .............................................................................. 70

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POETRY & FICTION

ARISING SPRING As the color arises on the trees brown grass becomes free; the veins of the frozen underground weakened; While the birds make their way to serenade April love, surrounded by the rain drops of spring say goodbye to the gentle flurry of snow and hello to the fluorescent yellow sun April love, today is the day to be free; the arising heat, melting snow, and the calm breeze The endless devotion, today is the day to love and be loved by the infinitive cycle. Today is the day to be loved, by undivided affection Clouds circle, and thicken as the antecedent drops collapse to the earth Careful, yet aimless They coalesce into puddles and are provoked with ripples Soaked back to the earth Salvaged by the surface’s life; the Petrichor today, is the day to be free -McKenzie Curtis ‘17

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Tuba by ChaeRa Lee ‘16 6


A Simple Drop I can tell you exactly how the world began I won’t bore you with science, although it fascinates me greatly. I won’t preach a sermon as the stories are unwieldy. Ideas of faith and the tangible collide However, it is nothing of that sort. The world began with a simple drop of water. The water grew into a stream which forged its way between rocks. The water grew and grew and filled the spaces of the universe. With its great and mighty strength, water broke a piece away from the rest; a perfect sphere. Growth, change, and beauty ensued, all from a simple drop of water. - Abby Hart ‘15 STILL I wish I could go back for you; your hand in mine, feels so right But wishes are whispers; said in the dark, not meant to see light I keep myself still, not wanting to move farther from you Wanting is like drowning; drifting away in the bluest of blue Everything you love, everything you hate has its last time Thoughts and words that follow you; your destiny rhyme I remember the sun, how it played on your face You smiled at me and filled every space I have to go now; a step at a time, you left me no choice But in my dreams, my waking moments, I hear your voice - Ms. Jones 7


FEELINGS You feel a certain looseness in your feet, snow, more like sludge, pushes up against your untightened paws. But this feeling is almost unfamiliar, like switching your usual right handed watch to your left hand, it's weird. Thick snow flakes hit you like friendly pats on the back, times one million. It feels warm, those friendly affections, but you know if you showed your bare skin they'll turn into small cold bites. At this moment, you look down, white, and gray appear before you. A sludge puddle. a SLUSHY crystalized mess of partially melted snow. What do you do? Let your slackened limb protector become engorged in mother nature? No. You jump! Each muscle in your butt, thighs, calves, and ankles expands and contracts over this glossy concoction of gray matter. You've made it over your first of many on your long walk, Such a beautiful place to jump. I congratulate you, oh wait, before you go, Don't forget to tie your shoe. - Corrina Hardesty ‘16 RED BODY, BLACK SOUL To my granduncle Antonio, who died defending what he considered fair I was born to suffer I will never see my brothers grow I will always travel with the moon I will always defend my world I want to see my mother That cried when I left I will die alone And that‌ That is not fair I worked twelve hours a day I never went to the school. 8


The only thing that I wanted Was an opportunity for you. But now… Now liberty is gone We were so close… Now they say that blood is not red anymore That the skin of the workers has to be blue How are they going to explain it to the sun? It will keep burning the skin They can’t hide the truth. We lost; Not only the war but our souls The cruelest fascism cut our fists and flags But it will never cut our hope. And I can hear Neruda And his song of love That comes from “Stalingrado” I can see Guernica I can see Picasso. Paris calls me; I can´t go I decided to live in these mountains The only free place that I know Where the stars are black and red Where there are no Gods. Where their law means nothing Where we mean the most. They found me; I won´t be judge. Taking Marx out of my left pocket And letting he rest on my chest I will say my last words: “Red body, black soul.” - Antonio Berjillos ‘15

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BABY STEPS I’m in a room for children, Maybe where they visit their fathers. Maybe they feel safer this way, with Bert, Ernie, and Big Bird watchfully examining the room from their post on the walls. The security guard tell me he’s seen it all. These are the good ones. Well-behaved, different than the rest. I’m in a room for children. Maybe they keep their coats on in the winter, because It’s freezing in here. But I know. I know my goosebumps aren’t because of the cold. Have you ever sat in a room and felt the weight of a candid story replace the forces of gravity? I think to myself, They’ve all killed someone. Yet I have empathy for them, Because I know I know The other side of their story. Is it strange to feel compassion for a killer? But that isn’t why I’m scared. 10


It’s because the prospect of choice teases us all. And we are defined by the moments that our choices have lead us to experience. and when they’re over, They sink down. Down into the universe, with no marked consequence. Until the moment resurfaces, and cripples you. I’m in a room for children. Maybe they play board games to pass the time. Because this room, this is their normal. Although their fathers wish It didn’t have to be. Now, these men make another, significantly more important decision. They have latched onto the chance to heal, the chance to reconcile. And this is where I meet them, our lives intertwining for a mere hour. And in this convergence, I observe them In their efforts to obtain another way of life. One where jeans and work boots are no longer a uniform, but a choice. Baby steps 11


Forward Baby steps Back As their choices melt and solidify over and over again. -

Lindsay Semel ’15

Rope by Soy Kwon ‘16

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Adulthood She was going at it; she was full throttle. Elizabeth, my childhood friend, was, yet again, going on a fast-paced, obscenity filled speech. Lizzy -- as we called her-- had just been spurned after her twelfth job interview since her graduation from college. In these situations, I’ve learned, it is best to stay quiet until she has mitigated her overstrung emotions. Her boyfriend, however, had not yet mastered this skill. The three of us walked home from a local bar that night. We had spent a few hours there, trying to make her feel better. Elizabeth was three-sheets to the wind. She was stumbling and Jake, her boyfriend, was helping her stabilize as we strolled. The Westchester streets were grimly lit and the late winter snow was beginning to melt. Elizabeth brought up high school, and “Mudding Season”. She mentioned that soon enough we’d be able to hear the cars whizzing through early spring sludge. “Remember when we used to do that?” Her words slurred in her mouth. “It was always the best. High school I mean. Right, Issa?” Lizzy quickly moved on from the subject, and continued to moan about her rejection. She loudly complained, “I just don’t understand how Applebee’s wouldn’t want me! I’m a dime.” Prior to this year, she had not known what denial felt like; as it occurred during that period, we all received the short end of the deal. This incident, however, was different; this was when she cracked. I stayed paces away from the two of them as we walked; Lizzy was notorious for “regurgitating.” I was afraid of being in the “Splash Zone,” so I stayed back. She claimed to have gotten passed that “issue,” though. “I haven’t gotten sick since sophomore year of college! I am well passed that stage in my life.” She snorted. From the other side, Jake shook his head. “Don’t listen to her. She does it whenever she gets this way.” Jake had a firm grasp on her thin arms; her heavy parka was unzipped and sliding off of her right shoulder. He tried to keep it up, but her constant squirming made it difficult. I didn’t say anything, scared of how she would react. Lizzy was overzealous about anything and everything; she was easily excited and meticulous in every aspect of her life. Her unnaturally blonde hair was always impeccably done and she paid devote attention to her weight. Despite her unhealthy affinity for vodka, you would never see Lizzy ingest something questionable. We walked into the private neighbored area of Jake’s family home. As we found our strides closer and closer, the farther away Lizzy’s mind was. “No one told

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me that getting hired was hard! They just talked about how great it all was. Ya know, being an adult and shit!” It was evident that she was at that certain point in the night: the, “Open Book” stage, as we liked to refer to it as. The three of us reached the steps of Jake’s porch. It was dimly lit and cobwebs hung in the corners of the covering. There were four white cylinders placed along the front of the house: two by the front corners and two adjacent to the stairs. With both of our help, Lizzy got up the slanted entryway. I moved back from the couple, hoping I would now be released and free to return home. I said, “If you’re good from here I think I’m gonna go home,” I took off my hat and readjusted my hair beneath it. Lizzy liberated Jake’s bicep and threw herself at me. “You can’t leave now! I need you, Issa,” She said, dragging out every word she said. Her nails dug into the backside of my coat and laid her head on my chest, squeezing tightly. “I think Issa wants to go home, Liz,” Jake said as he pulled her back from me. “We should let her go.” The look of disappointment on Lizzy’s face did not falter; the appearance of sadness stayed painted. She stepped back slightly, finding the patio wicker chair with help from Jake. She sat down on the thin wooded stringing and closed up her jacket. She hugged the parka tightly around her torso before bringing her knees up to her chin. Jake turned to me, “Go home, Issa, it’s late. I’ll take care of her,” he disclosed in a hush. I pulled my wool hat over my ears. I looked between the two of them, waiting for the possibility of Lizzy interjecting. There was a momentary silence between the three of us; the only noise in the dark of the night was emanated from the nearby road. “You know they lied to us?” Lizzy mumbled from a slightly unconscious state, “The things they told us weren’t true.” Jake questioned her, “Who did what?” A car drove passed the scene, and copious amounts of light exposed the setting, and I could see everything plainly: Lizzy was sitting back in the chair, her makeup smudged from crying at the bar. Her skin was dull and blotchy; she looked bored and empty. This look on her, made the world appear dim. “You know the look, Is. I know you do,” Lizzy murmured. “The one of perfection, or, claimed perfection, at least,” she giggled at her own comment. Jake moved next to Lizzy and crouched beside the seat. “Liz, don’t you think you should go to bed?” He held onto her hand, trying to relax her with every word. She shooed him away before grabbing onto his face and pecking his cheek.

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She released his head and said, “My parent’s made it seem so easy, being an adult and stuff,” Lizzy pulled a small flask out of her coat. “Since when do you own a flask?” Jake asked in astonishment. She ignored his question and looked into my eyes. The porch light was flickering and the air was getting bitter. Lizzy began, “My dad got a job in a law firm straight out of school and my mom was a secretary and waitress during the summers; I can’t even get a hostessing job at Applebee’s!” she sighed heavily, evidently fighting the beginning of tears. I was still standing near the top step of the stairs when she stopped talking. I slowly crept over, hesitate in fear of when she would respond. I kneeled in front of her, held onto her free hand, stroking it. I said, “What is it, Liz? I’m here.” Her eyes were not open and her mouth was gapped; her neck was tilted to the right and she was drooling slightly. I stayed in the position for another minute before standing up. I stood up and quietly began to head down the stairs. Before I was onto concrete, Jake whispered to me. “Thanks a lot, Issa,” he disclosed in a murmur. I shrugged, unsure of what to say. Before I could turn away he spoke again. Jake hushed, “Being an adult is hard.” He turned around and picked up Lizzy. He waved to me before heading into the house with her slumped on his shoulder. Even after they got into the entryway and the inside lights were off, I was still standing on that last step, hesitant to grace the hard ground. Zoe Engle ‘16

CHILDHOOD Childhood is a series of dark corridors, Echoing with laughter and the last light of dreams. Childhood is a fairy tale that Seems to go on forever until a little voice says, “No more pages, Papa. No more.” Childhood is a promise from parent to child That cannot really be kept Yet, it is no lie - they simply say what isn’t but should be true. Storybooks tell of far off places, rife with adventure! Of Pirates and Royalty and Dragons and Fairies. Of Magic and Elves and Sneaking and Slaying. 15


Of all that sparks their smile, stokes their imagination, all that makes their eyes sparkle, the first snow against the glow of a street lamp. Childhood; It’s the treasure never observed until it’s gone, and all that’s left are trinkets of a world faded, the gate closed and the gatekeeper consumed with regret. Yet. Yet there is purpose for us, the shaven, working, coffee-drinking. We cannot walk the dark corridors of childhood again with eyes quite as bright, But it is we who must make the darkness safe for them, we who must make it safe to dream, safe to rest. Safe for play and safe to cry. Safe, for our children. For in a world without the dream of a better world, understood only by children, What do we really have? -

Sam Svensson ‘15

HOFFVILLE: A UTOPIA In Hoffville the grass is always green, the sun is always out and the redskins always win the Super bowl. They don’t win every game of course but they always find some way to win. No one ever fights they seem to get along, people are different but they sort out there differences in the most civilized of ways. Everyone is middle or upper class poverty does not exist. Some people have more than others but it is only because they deserve it. The harder you work and the better you are at your job the more money you make. There are no short cuts to the top. There is no need for police officers or fire fighters because everyone is careful and follows the rules. Surrounding Hoffville there are all kinds of amazing features to see. It has everything from great skiing mountains to amazing oceans, just minutes away from your home. While you are at the beach you can find any type of food you could ever want. The children of Hoffville also get the best education money can buy but don’t be silly it is of course one hundred percent free. The temperature is very different in many places around Hoffville. Near the beach it is a solid 80 degrees everyday with a full sun out. But while at the mountain it is warm enough to ski in shorts and a t-shirt while having the perfect snow all year round. If you want to leave Hoffville you can but why would you ever want to. - Nick Benninghoff ‘15

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Gratitude 3,000 miles is nothing. A phone call is everything. Adventures in New York, the river, Central park, little legs, and an ice cream cone. I was grateful for then. Many things change between youth and their elders, but my gratitude hasn’t. The ways in which I owe them, might have moved as they did. But with age, comes change, and new adventures to be had. Traversing the country means so little, when you have a lot waiting on the other side. And I will never comprehend the space in their hearts, for everyone. I owe my success, culture, understanding, religion, humor, and education all to them. Consolation, encouragement, and love, are everything. 3,000 miles is nothing. -

Abby Hart ‘15

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CREATION I was lost but now I am found By the fact that I created sound It was dark inside Til I opened my eyes The light became blinding And I was instantly hypnotized It had been light before But it became a bore So I tried something new But it didn’t help become full I needed something more To make me become full So tried to escape From the bottom of the lake I was held down by chains Some that were real And some that came from my own brain I started floating to the top My old life ended as I walked And my first words came out as I began to talk The light was nerve-racking and new It took a while to adjust I looked around me -

Charlie Reisman ‘15

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HOCKEY Early morning, hours before the birds chirp and the sun rises, we are withdrawn from our dreams of drifting through space by the forceful and irritating bell of the alarm. We climb unconsciously into the cold, hard leather seats of my mom’s SUV. Hypnotized by the street lights flying by like shooting stars, We fall continuously in and out of consciousness as our heads nod to the motions of the car while it floats across the rough pavement. Woken by the sudden halt, we slowly hurl the large bags upon our shoulders as if we haven't slept for years. Crawling through the doors and into the lobby like zombies, we are greeted by the usual chills of the crisp air from the rink. Limping over to the freezing bench, we slowly dress. Leg by leg, strap by strap and lace by lace the same way as if we were children, we are fixated on the glass like ice waiting for us. Like young kinds on Christmas morning, we eagerly race towards the boards and leap through the door. The moment our sharp blade of our skates meet the smooth hard ice, we are woken from our coma. Each stride, we grin to the beautiful symphony of skates carving though the frozen surface. Instantaneously, we are unaware of all worries in life and simply enjoy the game. -

Guy Piccolo ’17

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CORA She went there with him, but not on her own will. She saw the large ship as a prisoner boat, taking her to a forbidden and threatening land. As she stopped to look, in awe at its ghastly size, he grabbed her hand and pulled her forcefully in the direction of bondage. She despised Samuel, and everything about him. She despised her mother for arranging the whole thing and she had turned into a fiery ball of rage and resentment. “Paris!” her friends would exclaim, giggling and fawning over her, and offering to buy her new clothes for her journey. She always shrugged them off. “I won’t be needing anything but thank you for your kind consideration,” she said cooly. It was his demand that she remained polite, but her natural disposition was more on the volatile and temperamental. She followed his demands, in hopes that someday, when she was in the right situation she could make her move. Her friends thought that moving to Paris was the most romantic gesture a man could make to his wife and something out of a fairy tale. But for her, it was the end of all her plans. She wanted to make him feel like he had lost everything, the way she did when she married him. *** Back in 1914 Cora was madly in love. As a seventeen year old girl being raised in the north of Spain, under successful American parents, she had every opportunity in the world. Life was amazing and she valued her education, culture and experiences, but most importantly, love. It was not long ago that she had met William, and it had transformed her. It is so terribly hard to describe because it was perplexing to the exterior perspective. He had moved to the country as a cultural exchange student to study Spanish art and architecture, and he lived with the old woman across the hall. Nothing had to be explained, they just knew. Morning walks in the park turned into midnight adventures through the alleyways and bars. She was doing everything her mother had ever warned her against. But, she felt free. The day he had to depart for America was one of the hardest days of her life. She knew that her friends and family would not approve, after all, how could she be in love after three short months? But she knew a part of her was leaving when he boarded the ship to New York. She hurt. Despair washed over her like a pummeling wave. Her mother used her wild behavior with him as reason to set up an arranged marriage. William was far too reckless in her mother’s eyes, and with many close relationships throughout the region, her mother had her old friend Rosalie’s son Samuel sent to their residence in Spain. Within two short years Cora finished her brief amount of schooling left and moved to France with the biggest nightmare of her life. Within weeks of the move, Samuel 20


decided that America was where they should be, and it would be most beneficial for his writing career. She followed, begrudgingly. While packing her trunks she had an epiphany. Being in America would be the best thing that had ever happened to her. She would be close to finding the love of her life, and once they reconnected, she would run away with him. She wanted to hurt him, like he hurt her every day as he crushed her aspirations and forced her to remain homebound, without many friends or life in the outside world. She wanted to use her built up anger to create a plan so perfect, that he wouldn’t even know where she went, or with whom. The following days were a blur. She sipped the last of the French wine, and nibbled her final baguettes, and continued to pack away her skirts and shoes. She had few belongings besides her undeniably fine clothes. Upon the arrangement of the marriage there were several agreements made between him and her parents. He never wanted her to leave him, and was willing to go to any great lengths to keep any such temptations out of her five foot reach. All memories of her past life, diaries, clippings, and her paints were left at her parents’ home in Spain. She brought a limited amount of jewelry, clothing and some bottles of medicine which she had an affinity for mixing herself. While he didn’t know this, she grew up as a child mixing such things in wooded hillsides and by the sea, and was so good she was able to treat her family’s illnesses and injuries quite well. But all of that was gone. The bottles sat, with a thin layer of dust on the windowsill in her quiet alcove, a reminder of their short stay in France. She wiped them off with the lace curtain and placed them carefully in the wooden crate to travel with them. Their small chalet was being prepared to face the long winter months, and he was determined to catch an America bound ship before it hit. Cora watched small white flakes land on the evergreen pine needles and he vigorously nailed boards up against the windows. She hauled her trunks out into the front hall, with feelings of angst and regret; they had arrived just months before and her depression had begun to wane. On the long journey to New York, she sat in the cabin alone until he returned. When he did she would promptly leave, to go walk the decks in peace. She could not be bothered with his presence and she was busy sketching with charcoal on the small napkins in their suite. As she took leisurely laps around the boat’s decks she soaked in the sunrises, sunsets, the salty smells, the rain and the sun. Sometimes she would even sneak out at night to watch the stars, uninterrupted from a chaise lounge on the uppermost deck. She was at peace when traveling, feeling freer than ever. Upon docking in New York, she knew what was to come. They unloaded their trunks into many different cars that caravanned to their new residence, a sizable estate on Long 21


Island. With intentions to help engage his writing sensations and create inspirations there were expansive gardens in which to explore. Cora was undoubtedly surprised by her new surroundings, but there were no words to describe her longing to leave just within seconds of arriving. She wracked her brain. Now that she was in the states, how would she find William? Days passed. Then weeks, and months. Without realizing it, it was 1920 and Cora was 23. They had been on Long Island for two full years, and all she had to show for it was a small Siamese cat Samuel had bought for her as a housewarming gift of sorts. All it had accomplished was relieving itself all over the house and leaving its hair on our clothing. She was restless and lonely. Just when she had begun to plot her runaway was when she got the heartbreaking news. She’d given up hope on finding William and knew she could not go on wasting her life alone in Long Island while Samuel wrote horrendous poetry on the verandah. She had begun to make lists in different places of public transportation, weather patterns, Sam’s patterns, and the way the moonlight hit their estate in the night. She wasn’t sleeping, just thinking. She noted how the neighbor’s dogs barked ferociously at any passerby, and noted what calmed them down. It was almost down to a science, when the words, “Paris,” rolled off his tongue. She felt her heart drop. It was all a blur from there, she heard him say something about them being in New York too long, and he was lonesome for his home country. She couldn’t blame him, but she watched her weeks of planning and months of fantasizing blow away in the breeze that swept over the Long Island sound. Once again, she watched him go into preparation mode. They would leave in just a few weeks, maybe a month of two if they were running behind schedule. Just when she thought she might have time to make her move, she saw a vase in which she had hidden some of her lists in get packed into a crate. Everything was being swept out from under her, and Samuel was watching her every move. While he may have been a terrible writer, he was intelligent, and observant. He was always searching for ways to ease Cora but it was no use, after all she didn’t care for her affection to be bought with material things. She wanted her beloved possessions in Spain and the man she loved, and Samuel could never offer her those things. Cora’s mother had been specific about keeping a tight leash on her, and that was exactly what he had done. The following weeks were a blur, and Cora sat out by the water and hardly helped pack up the estate. She packed her few belongings and sulked as she watched Sam negotiate with real estate agents on the selling price of the big, ugly place. After much seemingly heated arguing she saw the men shake hands, and a short man with a damp handkerchief walked away with a handful of documents. Cora woke up that morning, and immediately shuddered. She’d had one of her dreams again. Every once and a while, and more frequent in the recent days, she dreamt of their young days in Spain. There were short vivid bursts of clarity when she 22


first awoke, then hardly anything. William would take her by the hand, and smile, then a It was not uncommon for her to awake in such a way. It was that day when Samuel called her name, and said they were leaving. She almost vomited on the spot. They had hardly spoken in days, and suddenly he announces without warning that they were off to Paris. She kept herself together and walked up the hill towards the house to collect her trunk and other belongings. They traveled by car to the port where the ship awaited. It was the third day at sea that Cora realized there was nothing stopping her from abandoning darling Samuel in France either. She could run to Spain, collect her belongings in the night, and find somewhere to live. While Samuel used the sea for writing inspiration, Cora did as well. She sat side by side with him in chaise lounges on the first class deck and sketched on napkin after napkin. She wrote everything she knew about the city of Paris, and everything about Spain, the Pyrenees and everything in between. When the ship docked in Cherbourg, they made mindless chatter on the long train ride to Paris. Cora’s worries about her new plan, and annoyance with Samuel were suddenly irrelevant when they stepped out of the train station into the city. It was dusk and the lights of the city were beginning to come on, and couples sat at outside restaurants along the river. The Eiffel Tower loomed from several miles away and the European hustle and bustle made her feel right at home. In that moment, she was content. The smells of the city enveloped her, begging her to explore alleys and streets. Without even another second passing Samuel was grabbing her hand, pulling her into a cab. They were to drive to their new apartment, and all of their luggage followed behind in a cart. It was their third night in their new apartment, and Cora had spent much of her time on the small balcony with a picturesque view of the city lit up at night. Within just a few hours of arrival she had begun to lay out her plan to get to Spain, and found much clarity in the open air of Paris. She sat that third night alone, Samuel snoring in bed, with a glass of wine in hand. Light summer breezes passed her fair skin and she felt at peace. Her mind wandered to William and their time together nearly a decade before. Memories of dinners, dancing and exploring raced through her mind. She tried hard to shake them, but whenever she had a moment alone she found herself thinking of him. For many years she felt not even a slight pang of sorrow for Samuel, but in this moment she felt a sense of loyalty to him. He’d kept her alive these past few years, and she supposed that was all he needed to do. She felt that her love for William was wrong, and she wanted to fight it. She wanted to return to the apartment to someone she loved, but she knew that would never be the case. Try as she might, she couldn’t make herself love someone such as him. 23


Regret and despair were soon replaced with her initial feelings of hope and optimism, for just a few short days from now Samuel would take a short trip to visit his family in the North of France. Cora knew she must go, and without sending word to her estranged parents, she headed for Spain that morning Samuel departed. She took just what she needed, and perhaps a little too much of Samuel’s money, but she knew she needed enough for the train fare to Spain. She travelled for two days before the train stopped in a small town in Northern Spain. She waited near the tracks for the next train to bring her to her small hometown, but hours after it was supposed to have arrived, it never did. Cora set out walking the twenty something remaining miles towards home. She questioned her purpose, after all she really did not have a home in Spain, and her parents would undoubtedly return her to Paris immediately. When she finally arrived in the late hours of the night she snuck into her parent’s building. She found her prized belongings and put them in the small cloth bag that had accompanied her on the train, a small amount of money and headed for the only spot she knew she could be consoled by. She arrived at the grassy park on the hillside just before sunrise. The dim lighting of dawn began to burn off. She leaned back on the stone wall and contentedly gazed out at her home that lay out before her. *** He walked across the fresh, crisp grass that they had laughed and danced on 10 years prior when he saw Cora. He hadn’t seen her since the day he departed for America, and it was as if nothing had ever changed. The soft setting lights fell on her slightly aged but still fresh, pale face, illuminating her evergreen eyes. Soft breezes moved the small blonde hairs around her face and swayed the verdant trees above her. She gazed out into space. His heart stopped for a moment, and it was as if no time had passed at all. He approached hesitantly, and nimbly crawled onto the low stone wall upon which she sat. She turned before she should have sensed his presence and it was as if he was frozen in time in her gaze. For one second, time stopped and they travelled in her eyes back to their memories of that park, that city, that country. Then, time started to move slowly. As she held him in her gaze, a small tear fell from her lush eyes, seemingly less shocked than he, of the others presence. She uttered one word, “How?” He sat close to her, wiping the tears as he used to once to so well, and placed one finger on her lonesome lips to quiet her. They sat in silence for what felt like hours; gazing at each other, the scenery and the changes that occurred in both. He read the already semi-intact makeup as a sign of preexisting distress as he used to once do so well. She noticed his creased furrowed brow and subtle nibbling of his cheek as signs of stress and despair as she once did so well. It was as if their stories were caught up and their story had been unpaused. He finally took her by the hand and faced her 24


toward him, breaking the still silence. Suddenly they became aware of dogs barking, and people playing soccer in the grass. The golden rising sun of Spain had brought them together after 10 years. Abby Hart ‘15

So Early On When you are old and gray and full of sleep... you will remember the smiley girl that you loved when you were young. As you try to rest in your large bed, you will relive those turbulent years. Our turbulent years. It is almost certain that you will constantly think back to the times in which you were naïve, and when you abused the feelings of that perky girl, with the dark hair, and the blue-green eyes. You will regret your wrongs, and think of the spirit you spoiled, so early on. She will always remember cruel boys like distant stars. You will always be one of them. - Zoë Engle ‘16 PHYSICS HURT They were adding more and more weight to the spring, trying to get those freaking numbers that they needed to get the K. Then the room froze, everybody heard that voice saying “lets add five kilograms”. Their eyes shined, trying to leave their heads and add the weight by themselves. But the spring broke, hitting the little kid between his eyes, leaving a red mark that was the way the spring said “Yea! That’s what you deserve”. Antonio Berjillos ‘15 25


SONNET In love they say it’s an eye for an eye And I have let myself become blinded But all I want in this love is to cry As you are left with your sight, clear minded And you bear vision like that of magpies Am I but a ghost next to these trinkets? But one knowing look from you satisfies I know these feelings are meant for caskets For that look is that for other faces To you names are unknown in selfish ways To never revisit any places You leave everyone you meet in a haze My brain, spirit and body left in fog But my veins you cannot forever hog - Jay Cooper ‘15

THIS YEAR The world stopped the day the Cubs won the series. It started in Chicago. There was a stunned silence when Jon Lester struck the batter out. No one knew what to do. The players stayed still on the field looking at each other. In the right field corner there was a fan yelled, “WAIT DID THIS JUST HAPPEN?” Then everyone went crazy. Fireworks went off, people started knocking down buildings and by the end of the night Chicago had been destroyed. - CHARLIE REISMAN ‘15 THE GREAT ROOM silence. typing. all i could really hear was the creaking from the old wood. everything is beautiful especially the glass the way the light goes off of it. typing it seems like the only thing in the world that is happening is typing. all i am thinking about is what is she typing. aggressively typing her little hands off. - NICK BENNINGHOFF ‘15 26


THE COOK The writing on the wallpaper in the old psych ward was not from any patient. It left the police on the crime scene completely baffled, never in their life had they seen something so peculiar. The detectives had given them some shocking history to mull over: the warm, endearing cook was the culprit for this intriguing case. The cook was well into her 80s, hard of hearing, yet still managed to procure the most divine peach cobbler anyone had ever tasted. Some of the patients in the mental hospital had checked in under the ruse that they were crazy, but they were actually just crazy about the cooking. Nevertheless, the sagacious cook was desperately grasping for a way to remember how to remember. On a dim afternoon, as she prepared a delectable four cheese lasagna, a supernova ignited in her brain. The building was once an old Victorian mansion, and the new director had finally noticed the obsolete wallpaper, and was modernizing the whole place. While there was no wallpaper even there, the old cook wrote her story- how she survived the War, people that had made a difference in her life- the little moments that tend to sculpt a person. Several years later, the psych ward moved on to a larger building, putting the mansion on the market. Once again, the house became a home. The little toddler was the one to discover the perfect recount of a long-forgotten murder case while he was teething on the walls, playfully ripping the posh wallpaper apart. With the chief police beside the new mother, she viciously finishes the job for her son. Crouching down on her knees, she squints at the elegant script slightly above the baseboard. Her heart beats faster with the sudden realization that the story she's reading is unnervingly familiar. 

Lindsay Semel ‘15

FAREWELL The sounds of waves crash into my eardrums as the sun’s rays take numerous flashing pictures of my half-awake state. The dark blue sun-kissed clock strikes 5:45 as each drowsy step of mine intakes an article of clothing preparing for my early morning sprint. Across from my white wooden door there is an ocean, an ocean so vast and familiar that it contains all my memories of love and fear. Though there is no judgment in the sound of the oceans waves and the sand has no intention of burning my feet, for the reason that I sprint is so I can meet my father, on his simple whitechipped bench, before he leaves with the sunrise. -

JESSICA MATHESEN ‘15 27


INSPIRED BY A SONG IN THE FRONT YARD She thinks she's ready to move on ready to move on from this place and those same familiar faces ready to say goodbye to all she knows ready to start over someplace new some place she's never been some place full of hope and possibility where she can make it on her own she thinks she's ready ready for the independence ready for the freedom ready for the loneliness -

Emma Hoser ‘15

LODGED The winters in Northstar are plagued with generous amounts of snow. Sleet falls from the sky almost regularly and sticks to as much ground as it can. Part of the northwest town is dominated by frosty hills; here, it is frequent to see bundles of wealthy families visiting from the east coast. From one of these visiting tribes, there are two older teenage brothers sitting on a couch within the mountain ski lodge. The snow is falling in such hauls, that it has been advised to stay inside by local weather stations. “When do you think it will stop?” the younger one asked. “Hopefully soon. I hate being cooped up in here.” “No you don’t. You just hate being with me.” The two boys stopped speaking. The older one played on his phone while the younger one looked out the window, curled into a ball on a corner of the couch. The huge window faced onto the landing of the hill and through it, you could see the heaps of flurries as they fell from the open gray sky. “Do you think Mom and Dad will care that we aren’t out there today?” the younger one asked. “Probably. But I’d rather tick off those two blockheads than risk my neck in this weather.” The older boy stood up and walked a few yards away to a large drink dispenser. It was long and brown and cylindrically shaped. It was perched upon 28


a table adjacent to the lit fireplace. He picked up a white paper cup and filled it with the liquid inside. “What’s that?” asked the younger of the two. “Hot chocolate.” “Could you grab me some?” The older boy quickly sat back down. “No.” He sipped from the cup and stared out the large window looking out onto the landing. The younger one received a call on his phone, and the older one tried to peer at his siblings screen. “Who’s that?” asked the older one mockingly. “It’s no one, Mike. Go away.” The younger one ignored the call and stayed seated on the red couch, pouting. Mike looked around the room and examined the scene; the ceiling of the main chamber of the lodge has a towering ceiling. There were broad wooden beams stretched across the underside of the roof and a sky roof on the left slant of the covering. “I hope I can go out there soon. Being in here is boring,” the older boy picked up the paper mug. “I get that you don’t like being with me, Mikey,” began the younger one, “I would just appreciate it if you just tried to not make it obvious.” “It’s not that I don’t like being with you,” the older one began to say, “its just that the rumors at school weird me out.” They sat there for another minute, the older one twiddling with a frayed piece of corduroy from the couch. “I’m different, Mike.” “What’s that supposed to mean?” “It means that I’m different from you,” the younger boy began to add, “I don’t want what you want.” The older brother didn’t answer. The snow began to fall slowly outside; more and more skiers were beginning to venture outside of the lodge. “You wanted the same hot cocoa as me. Is it really that different?” “Yeah, Mike. It really is.” They sat there again. The snow had completely halted, and the lodge was predominately empty. “I just don’t understand how you could want that,” the older brother looks disgusted, “that’s another man. I can’t fathom why you would want to be with him.” This time, the younger one was unsure of what to say. “I’m in love with him, Mike. I can’t change that.” The older brother stood up. “I’m going to go snowboard. I’ll see you at the house.” He walked to the nearby coat rack and picked up a bright orange coat. The younger boy stayed there, sitting. He watched as he brother picked up his helmet 29


and chanced into the snow. When his brother was no longer in sight, he picked up the hot chocolate, sipped from it, and then began to sob. -

Zoë Engle ‘16

I DO NOT KNOW THE SEA I do not know the sea. The lift of the heart At the swell of the waves Is an emotion foreign to me. For those who are shore-born, It is wonder incarnate; It is the first of loves, The never of hates, And the place where the very earth weeps. But for me, bound by land, It defies all attempts to know its depths Or capture that piscine affinity It breeds in those with greater proximity. To speak these words perhaps betrays One who fears and rejects The murky undulation of the dark ocean. All memories bear the shackles Of a childhood bound to solid earth, No vast expanse of endless water, All firm matter beneath the feet. What you taste on the tongue Is never saline, never from the shell. Say what you will about it, There is little to be done for those, Like me, Who will always eschew the sea, Who will know it only As that which you can’t understand. -

Dr. Cohn

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BANANAS When I see this work, I can feel art of fruit. Art gives when you see it, the art it sent in eyes, the feeling of being in the season to this fruit. The artist paint with finness and patiently, she was attracted by the will of this fruit. She wants to show the power that a single Banana can have and the meaning of this painting. It can prove that a single fruit can argue, can assert certain things and sinifier things. Quand je voit ce travail, Je peut sentir l'art de ce fruit. L'art que l'envoi quand tu le regarde, l'art qu'il envoi dans les yeux, La sensation d'être dans la saison de ce fruit. L'artist a peint avec finesse et patience, elle a étais attirer par la volonté de ce fruit. Elle veut montrer le pouvoir qu'une simple Banane peut avoir et le sens de cette peinture. Sa prouve qu'une simple Banane peut soutenir, peut affirmer des choses et signifier des choses . -Anais Aurard ’17

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APPLES Apples apples, what a treat, sweet and tart and good to eat. Apples green and apples red, and fro branches overhead, and when they ripen, down they drop, so we can taste our apple crop. Pommes, pommes, quel regal, sucre et acidule et bon a manger. Pommes vertes et pommes rouges, accrocher a des branches de tete, et quand ils murissent, ils tombent vers le bas, a fin que nous puissions gouter a notre recolle de pommes. Las manzanas, manzanas, que delicia, dulce y agrio y bueno para comer, manzanas verdes y manzanas rojas, colgadas de las ramas d e arriba, y cuando maduran hasta que se caigan, por lo que podemos probar nuestra cosecha de manzanas. -

Blanca Carenno ‘15

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ART

Bird by Fengyu Xu ‘15

Scylla or Charybidis by Hari Lee ‘18 33


Fuller Hall by Soy Kwon ‘16

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Rain by Chae Ra Lee ‘16

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Face by ChaeRa Lee ‘16 36


LOVE BY KATRINA SHAEFFER ‘15

MULTIPLE EXPOSURE BY EVAN RAY ‘16 37


Pointillism by Nik Mische ‘17

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Tinga Skis by Tinga Adiang ‘16

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Central Park by Katheryn Tremblay ‘15 40


WRITING: NON-FICITON

MY MOM

“If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they're yours; if they don't they never were.” - Richard Bach The person who I value the most is my mother. Her name is Susa. I want to tell you something about her. When she was young, she had no one looking out for her. Her own father wasn’t the greatest in the world - not even close. She didn’t have any opportunity of getting an education as her father thought it was a waste of time. My mom was married off probably by the age of 14 or 16. Not quite sure. I value her because she had eight boys and one girl but my sister past away in 2009. That was a terrible day for me because I was in the U.S when this happened and the last time I saw her was the year before. Where I grew up for my seven years was a very hard environment. In Tanzania there’s a lot of poverty. My mom had to raise eight boys by herself because my father past away when I was three years old. I love her because even though we didn’t have a lot of money, she made sure that we were fed. Another reason why my mom had such a huge influence in my life is because when I was given an opportunity to get out of Longido and come to the U.S., she let me go. That was very brave of her. She let me go because she knew that if I stayed I wouldn’t have had any other opportunity and she knew that I would come back some day and help them. I had promised myself that I would do anything to make her life easier when I grow up. -

Leyeyo Kipamba ‘16

Photo provided by Sarah Messenger

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Photo by Maddy Philp ‘17 from A Month in South East Asia One of the most eye opening experience during my month trip to South East Asia, was spending three days with Bhuddist Burmese monks in one of the most remote locations in the world. Flying 600 miles north of the capital, I visited a small village called Inle in northern Burma. The village was on a beautiful lake where people lived in houses with stilts above the water and fishermen pushed their way through the long grass on thin canoes. High up into the mountains, not far from the village was the Nat Taung Monastery, a home to 300 monks. Children as young as three years old had begun their journey as a monk at the Monastery, and it is said that 50 million Burmese people had been a monk once in their life. Staying close to the Monastery, at 5am I heard the sound of metal symbols ringing throughout the valley, signaling that it was time to get up and start the day. I travelled to the monastery, just in time for breakfast where some of the younger monks were boiling two bowls of rice above a fire pit. After 8 am, the monks were no longer allowed to eat and drink until after dark, and their meditation session was about to commence. I sat quietly in a humid room for 6 hours meditating with some of the senior members of the monastery. I was never allowed to exchange a conversation with any of the younger

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members of the monastery and I wasn’t even allowed to look at them in the eye, but I had the ability to talk to one of the senior members. I conversed with a man named Witharu, who had been a monk at the monastery for over 50 years. He said that being a monk had allowed him to experience a feeling of serenity and mental clarity that he thought had never been possible. Sadly when the war broke out in 2002, food donations to the monastery had become scarce and the area in which the monastery was in had been ravaged by the civil war. Witharu told me how his mental strength had allowed him to overcome the challenges of living through such a hard time. He said that remembering the Buddhist faith had helped him stay peaceful and calm whilst the war was running riot around them. Some monasteries had been attacked by the military and destroyed, and Witharu hoped that change within the country would come soon. After our visit to the monastery we traveled on an ox cart for two hours down a dusty road that led to a tiny village far from the town of Inle. This was the real Burma, not the one you see in pictures with all the gold temples and the hot air balloons filled with westerners. Here, children ran barefoot and played in the dirt and the marshes. Their lives were so basic, yet they were completely content with their lives. The children ran around me and grabbed my hair. They were laughing and smiling, just like the children in Inle, oblivious to the war that raged on around them. The families cooked dinner for us and one of the mothers even sewed the rip in my shorts back together, and she strung flowers in my hair. During my stay in Burma I had met hundreds of people who were living through the tyranny and the bloodshed that had been present within the country for decades. Even though during their lives they had times of hardship and distress, people were so content and at peace with themselves. Many children I had met had lost their parents, yet they were still such strong individuals, eager to learn and participate in daily life. I hope that one day I can return to the place that I had visited on my trip. I learned so much about the culture and that what matters is how you live your life and how you overcome challenges. -

Maddy Philp ‘17

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Gratitude in Chile Just today, I taught a young Chilean boy, Lucas, how to play baseball. Despite the popularity of baseball in such Latin American countries such as Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico, baseball is almost entirely absent in Chile. When I tell everyone here that I play baseball, they sort of laugh and just say "Chile is not a baseball country". And it's true. People almost exclusively pay attention to fĂştbol, and don't really care for baseball at all. A man, who could speak pretty strong English, actually asked me where I had bought my glove, as he had been trying to find one in Chile with no luck in a city of 6 million. I told him that I had brought it from the United States, which disappointed him thoroughly. Okay, back to the act of kindness. I had met Lucas just this morning, when he came with his mother to my host family's house to go on a mall trip for lunch and then to the local park. My host brother told me I could bring my glove, as he and his brother would p lay with me, catching my throws by hand. As we played catch in the park, Lucas just sort of ran around with his friend Sophia, and watched us play. When my host brothers had to stop playing (their hands hurt so much), I approached him to see if he wanted to play. I started by under-handing him the ball, which he caught with his bare hands. After a while I put the glove on his hand (was WAY too big), but he really loved trying to catch with it (and he actually did pretty well for the first time ever). We just threw from about 10 feet apart for about 15 minutes, then we went back to his mother and my host brothers. I felt great that I had passed on the skills of the sport I love, especially in a place where it's basically impossible to be exposed to the sport (clearly exemplified by the man who said he couldn't find a single place to buy a glove). He seemed really happy too, as afterwards he kept putting his hand in the glove, tossing the ball to himself and the others, etc. Al l in all, a very rewarding experience for both sides. -

Photo by George Atkins

George Atkins ‘15

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GRATITUDE IN VERMONT Recently, my husband and I found out that the project we’ve been working on for several years, our dream house (a straw bale, solar-powered, super-sustainable, home grown construction) was not going to happen. At least not in the time frame we had originally hoped for. There were a series of events through which we were delivered the gloomy news. Each time an event unfolded, we would feel a sense of shock, then frustration at the injustice of it all, then, gradually we’d begin to accept things as they were. Strangely enough though, this depressing outcome never got me all that . . . depressed. As I faced the reality that I would not be moving off campus, I felt a certain sense of relief. Ever since giving up my private life to become a boarding school teacher, I dreamed of the day when I would get it back. Yet as that day approached (or so I thought), I had to admit that I had been falling in love more and more with the very lifestyle I was so eager to separate myself from. I tried to imagine coming home to a house where there were no teenaged girls living upstairs, popping in for cups of tea and evening talks. I tried to imagine washing dishes at my kitchen sink and not seeing the hustle and chatter of students rushing past the window to get to class on time. I tried to imagine sitting on my front porch in the summertime and not waving to Roger and Peter and the delivery guys and the garbage trucks pulling up to the back of the dining hall each day. I tried to imagine my son asking to play outside and realizing that he’d be playing alone; no Zoe or Berke or Cora to help him makebelieve that sticks are swords and tiny playgrounds are magical castles. I realized through all of this imagining that I was so grateful for the life that chose me here at this little Vermont boarding school that I could not be depressed. Perhaps one day, my husband and I will have the opportunity to make our dream house a reality and enjoy the peace and quiet and privacy it will afford us. But for now, there is no place I’d rather be, than this beautiful little corner of campus at Vermont Academy, where students and colleagues, like family, become entwined in the fabric of your daily life. -

Ms. Armiger

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HOW TO BUILD THE PERFECT SAND CASTLE I sat on the quilted blanket in the sand and watched her build. It was like watching an artist at work; she was so concentrated, and the sculpture just seemed to perfectly come together under the movement of her hands. My mom and dad had taken my little brother and I to the beach one hot summer day. This was a family tradition. Every summer we would all go to our family house on Cape Cod. Every day we would bike to the beach and play in the burning sand and splash around in the icy waves. This particular day at the beach was especially beautiful; the sky was the clearest blue, and I could look so far out into the seemingly endless ocean that it hurt my eyes. After being at the beach for a few hours, I had begun to get bored and tired and hot, so my mom decided we should make something out of sand. Other families along the shore of the beach were building sand castles from plastic, pre-molded buckets, and digging trenches and motes with little plastic shovels. But of course, this was much too generic for my mom. "We're going to make a sand mermaid." She said. To make a sand mermaid, the first thing you need is imagination. My mom and I had plenty of that. We decided to build it close to the water, where the sand was wet and cold so that it would stick together easier. Then we started to build. We started with the tail. We shaped the sand, and packed it down hard, making sure to pay close attention to the details on the fin and scales. We carved each individual detail with our fingers, getting sand stuck under our nails that was almost impossible to get out. As my mom sculpted the face and torso, she told me to collect pretty shells for the eyes. Collecting sea shells is not as easy as it sounds. Just as soon as you think you've found the perfect one, you reach down to grab it, and it washes out to sea. So, I gathered as many shells as my little hands could carry, and brought them back for her to help choose from. There were so many different colors and shapes that it was hard to choose which ones would be the prettiest. We chose two big white ones with a sliver of deep purple on either side. I placed them in their respective spots on her delicate face, and it looked perfect. I knew we were missing something important, but I couldn't figure out what. My mom took my hand and we walked down to the edge of the shore where the water was dark with sea weed; green and purple and red. It felt slimy and disgusting on my feet, and slipped through my fingers when I tried to pick it up. We gathered a bunch of each color, and brought it back to the mermaid. We delicately laid it around her face so it looked like she had long flowing locks of purple, red and green hair. Each strand of "hair" was unique. It had it's own unique texture and color, and made for an extraordinary addition to the magnificent sculpture. She was beautiful.

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I watched my mom step back and look at our work. Her eyes lit up with delight as she admired how beautiful the sculpture was. As we walked back to our spot on the quilted blanket, the tide began to come in and we watched as the mermaid slowly got washed back out to sea. It was a slow process. It began with just water washing over her long, thick tail, then went up her body until all you could see was her sea weed hair bobbing up and down in the sea foam. I couldn't help but feel a little sad because we'd worked so hard and now it was gone, but my mom just smiled. So I smiled, too. She explained to me that mermaids didn't belong on land, they belonged in the ocean where they could swim around and play. I imagined our mermaid swimming around in the waves and having so much fun, and it made me happy. The last step to building a sand mermaid, is being able to let it go. Nothing lasts forever, especially something as delicate and fragile as a sand sculpture, so you need to be prepared to watch it get destroyed. -

Nevie McOwen ‘15

SPAIN At the moment, I am spending my last trimester of my junior year in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. If you have the opportunity to go abroad, do it. After I spent my spring break during my sophomore year in Belize and this year, I thought I would give a whole trimester a try. Although it can be tough at times, I would not trade this experience for anything. It is truly life changing. Living with a host family gives you the chance to really practice the language needed and allows you to be fully immersed into the culture. Luckily, I got put in an amazing home and I love my new family. I am continuously getting close to my family, especially my host mom, Mila, and host sister, Marta. The architecture in Santiago is breath taking. The first time I saw the building where I would be taking classes, as well as the cathedral right across from it, my jaw dropped. I am one of the luckiest people in the world to have the chance of a lifetime and spend two months in Santiago de Compostela, Spain! -

COURTNEY PRENTISS ‘16

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THE UNASSIMILATED GRINGO “See you later,” I said to my friends as they embarked on their journey home around 10 that night. We had a lovely dinner at El Dante, a nice contemporary restaurant in the middle of Nunoa in Santiago, the capital of Chile. Due to what I thought was somewhat of a good understanding towards Spanish I thought getting home would have been fine, just like New York. Wave it down, get in, tell him were you’re going and when you get there pay him. I flagged him down “037 Pintor Pacheco” I said. “What providence?” he asked in quick almost incomprehensible Spanish. “La Reina” I said. We drove, and he pulled a giant map of the city out of his glove compartment. “I don’t know where that is” he said. I flipped the map every which way to try and get north on the map facing where I though was north in respect to the city. “I can’t read this” I said. He got mad slurring his Spanish as though he was drunk, but his words were obviously angry. He calls his boss asking where the street is. His boss tell him which road to take as he shifts into third gear and the worn out turbo of the little old Nissan struggles to kick the speed up to 60 km/h. the lanes switch from two to one, as we approach the small condominium complex I was living in. the street is coming fast and I tell him it the next one. He gets ready to make the turn but misses it. He is screaming Spanish curses, swearing at me and the road as he flies past my street at 50 km/h. He makes the next right, not knowing my street is a dead end. The gates and sketchy people wearing flashy sports gear were a sign that this wasn’t the neighborhood to be in at 10:30. The run down parks and holed fences induced a fear that was new to me. Living within biking distance to Newark NJ on my home town I was used to being in sketchy areas, but one where I didn’t speak the language, and stuck out like a sore thumb in terms of being a tourist, it was a different type of discomfort. He finally made another right, trying to retrace his steps. The cab driver continued to complain about how American tourists should learn to navigate a city better than I could, as I profusely apologized. He finally pulled into the complex where I live and the meter said 6000 pesos, about 10 dollars. I handed him a 10000 bill, a beautiful color of aquamarine, equal to the ocean married with the beautiful white Caribbean beaches, with the face of a stern Chilean Ulysses S. Grant. He hands me two 2000 peso bills, a flashy purple color, slightly smaller to the bill I had originally handed him, to show the decreased value of the somehow significant piece of paper. I left the cab feeling like an out of place gringo, with a lot to learn about how different cities and cultures operated. -

Drew Novak ‘16

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A SET OF BRUSHES My hand loosely turns the handle of the golden faucet as water gently glides over each fragile brush that is seen as a primary asset to my life. This process I perform demands no distinguished time slot it chooses to be active when the night is deemed “still young” or when the alarm clock rings its repetitious tunes of early morning suffering. I dry my brushes and sit them a line along side each other as a solider would be standing upright next to his “brother” waiting to fight war. I am fighting a war; a war against my judgments and against the way that this process will make others see my face. With great ease and confidence my fingers dance upon the lids of numerous eye shadow pallets as it thoroughly evaluates what color can best exemplify the way I feel today. It is as if the rainbow crashed into my personal space providing me access to nearly every color in the universe for this period of time. Selecting the brushes by their name and call of duty I twirl each bristle around in this colored powder of sparkling wonder and begin the adventure of making my eyelid into Picassos own personal canvas. My eyes gaze into the small fluorescent mirror as every detail and arch on my face becomes deeply defined into my memory, making me feel for a second that I am a child blessed with a photographic memory. As I dab my lined brush into a caldron of black gel-like ink, the bones in my hand move in a way unfamiliar to me, they become angled and focused for applying eyeliner takes as much focus and skill as it would a scientist creating something extraordinary. I then wave my personal mini hairbrush over each individual eyelash, and notice how each strand attaches to the thick black ink differently then its companion next door. My eyes illuminate with the presence of change, for before this process they were a deep sea blue but now transformed into a wolf-like gray, popping out of my face due to the canvas settled around it. The pupils of my eyes expand as the thoughts in my head decrease to a silent oasis, holding only confidence in my hands ability to function without the everyday ciaos that explodes in my brain. Silence wraps around me as my concentration soars on every minor detail of my face, wishing that I could trade this concentration to excel in the more rigorous aspects of my life. For the only time in my life, I am an artist, a movable display of evenly blended foundation and a custom palate of rich colors combined to make a painting no one has seen before. For someone who “claims” to have no artistic ability, make-up pushes open the door of the wonders that are held deep inside me, the thoughts of Van Gogh himself, of what one could do with a set of brushes. - Jessica Mathesen ‘15 49


Integrity I I had to look up what integrity meant, which is embarrassing enough. But I'm not going to give the definition, because for someone who doesn't exactly know what integrity means has to look it up like I did. It's funny how words work, how they're formed, what they mean, and also words that are inside other words. I keep thinking about people's pasts and how it formed them to what they are today. Whether it be how much integrity they have, how much anxiety they have, how many faces they trust, everyone's different, where they came from and how they formed. Just like words. Sometimes I feel like it's hard to have integrity, where it's easier for others to be stronger than you, to be more honest than you, maybe even follow the rules better then you. People get stuck, (you could interpret that statement in many ways) some people are unlucky, clueless or down right stupid. But having the integrity to say "I did it, it was me" or even throwing yourself under the bus for someone else, takes some balls. Having the integrity to say no in a world of yes, making sure you don't become another social casualty, and staying strong to your morals...that's what a fighter looks like, acts like and is like. In the end, my definition of integrity may shape and mold me, may be forgotten or even save me, and I'll live my life knowing that I can be strong, honest, and happy! Corrina Hardesty ‘16

Invincible by Courtney Prentiss ‘16 50


INTEGRITY II I never experienced a teachers’ strike as a student, but I had heard about them in other communities. I would see on the news teachers picketing in front of their schools. The news reporters would be interviewing students, parents, teachers and administrators. Students would report how unfair it was that teachers and administrators were holding their education hostage. Some parents would complain that teachers were being greedy and that they were being saddled with that greed through higher property taxes. Some parents would just capitulate and ask that the teachers be given what they were asking for so that everyone could just move on. Administrators would invariably refer back to the teachers’ greed. I always sided with the students. After a year of travel abroad in college, I decided that I wanted to be a teacher. I took all of the requisite classes; Education 101, Adolescent Psych, Educational Tests and Measurements… and then… Student Teaching. My student teaching experience was amazing. I was placed with an active duty Marine. He was amazing! As much as students would complain about how tough his classes were, they were always over enrolled. When he said jump, these kids asked “How high!” I so wanted to be like him. The best piece of advice that he gave to me was that I should stay out of the Teacher’s Room. He said that that is where negativity was bred. That is where strikes are birthed. My father, a very vocal conservative, never missed an opportunity to share his views on unions. He claimed that they “took hostages” and that they were obstructionists to momentum and improvement. Yet, at the same time, this union was trying to negotiate for me what they thought was a better living and better working conditions. In my state, everyone had to be part of the union whether you wanted to or not. It was referred to as a Closed Shop. This was actually an act of our state legislature. So each year they took $500 out of my paycheck even if I didn’t want to be part of the union. I never really put any thought into whether or not I wanted to be in the union. But my money was at least being held hostage. In the summer of 2004 the union’s negotiating committee and the school committee could not have been any further apart in agreeing on a teacher’s contract for the upcoming

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school year. It did not look good. All of the emails coming from the union said to prepare for a strike. From the fall of 1990 until the summer of 2004, I was able to avoid the conflict that is the negotiating of a teacher’s contract. Now I was faced with trying to sort out my feelings on the fly. I was never taught anything about this in college. I was about to have my integrity challenged. I remember vividly sitting in the Knights of Columbus Hall with the entire teaching staff of this district, all six schools, on a late August day. There was a roll call of members. There were updates on the negotiations. And then, there was a proposal for a strike. I had not put a lot of thought into how I would respond at this moment. Strictly following Robert’s Rules of Order the motion was made for a strike. All those in favor raised their hands. Except me. I decided to side with the students. Once the vote was taken, it was announced publicly that the teacher’s union was going to strike. The town’s lawyers solicited the state Supreme Court and found language in state statute that the strike would be illegal. The State threatened jail time for any teacher that did not report to work on the first day of school. And whose integrity was questioned next? The teachers. Fearing jail time, they capitulated and reported to work, but only under Work to Rule conditions. Under these conditions, they would not coach sports, would not come in early or stay after school and they would not write college recommendations. If the principles they were willing to strike over were so great, why were they not willing to go to jail for them? Had they not read Victor Hugo? Most people were looking forward on that day in August when we voted and did not recognize that I did not raise my hand. But it was very clear to the people that worked in my school that I must not have raised my hand on that day, when they saw me get out of my car and walk into the building on that first day of school. All of my friends over the past fourteen years were gathered outside of the school so that they could walk into school in solidarity exactly at 7:30. Not one minute sooner. But in order for me to get into my class and get things organized for my day, I needed to walk through them. The only thing I heard as I walked passed them was the wind. All of their classroom lights were off as I walked to my classroom. The toughest part of that day and the many days that followed was that the group of teachers that I usually ate lunch with, sequestered themselves in a classroom and locked the door. I clearly was no longer welcomed. 52


What made their rejection even worse, was that there was absolutely no appreciation from the administration. It wasn’t like I was looking for a parade or some award. But a simple acknowledgement from my superiors that what I was doing was the right thing to do would have been nice. But it never happened. So because I refused to hold kids’ educations and futures hostage; I lost friends. I stuck to my values and beliefs and was made an outcast. I assumed the other side would value this stand and they did not. Sometimes, when you get up on your soapbox and share your story, you have to know that sometimes… nobody cares about what you have to say. Sometimes nobody cares how you feel. Sometimes you feel like you are doing the most right thing at that moment and everyone thinks you are wrong. During moments like these… you have to take your side. -

Mr. Collins

METAMORPHOSIS “All parents damage their children. It cannot be helped. Youth, like pristine glass, absorbs the prints of its handlers. Some parents smudge, others crack, a few shatter childhoods completely into jagged little pieces, beyond repair” – Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven

I was about four or five years old when I learned what the word divorce meant. During snack time at school, a brown-haired girl by the name of Alex Johnson who I was sitting at the same table with was talking about how her parents were divorced. I had not heard that word before, and I did not have any clue what it meant, so I put my snack down and got up from my chair to ask my teacher what it meant. “Mrs. Smith, Alex was telling me and Katherine and Melissa and Jane and Sarah about her parents, and she said they were divorced. I’ve never heard that word before, what does it mean Mrs. Smith?” I looked up at her with curious eyes. She took a while to respond, and she looked at Alex for most of the time that she was quiet. I remember worrying that I’d pronounced the word wrong and that she maybe did not know what I was talking about because of it. But Mrs. Smith crouched down and looked at me. She said that “Divorce is when a mommy and a daddy stop loving each other, sthey decide to live in different houses and sometimes they become friends, or they just don’t talk to each other anymore.” I was really confused. How could a mommy and a daddy just stop loving each other? And why would a mommy 53


and a daddy get married if they did not want to be married for ever? I wondered if my mommy and daddy would ever do that, and if it was something that happens to a lot of mommies and daddies. Later that day, Daddy picked me up after school. We lived really close to home, but the street was too busy for a little girl to walk on, so my parents always drove my siblings and I to and from school. As we pulled into the driveway, I stared at my feet. I was wearing cream-colored socks with frilly stuff on them and my Merrills. I kept staring at my feet and when the car was parked I asked my daddy if I could ask him a question. “Daddy,” I said, “Yes honey?” daddy said, “Are you and mommy ever gonna get a divorce?” I asked. I kept on staring at my feet. Daddy replied almost instantly to me, he gasped and said “Oh my gosh, baby bear, of course we aren’t, why would you say such a thing like that?” he asked. “Well today in school Alex Johnson said her mommy and daddy were divorced, and since I didn’t know what that word was, I asked Mrs. Smith and she told me that its what happens when a mommy and a daddy fall out of love, but I didn’t get it cuz I don’t understand why a mommy and a daddy would even get married if they’re just gonna fall out of love. But I asked you cuz I wanted to know that’s all,” I said innocently. He hugged me and kissed my little blonde head and promised me: “Mommy and I won’t ever fall out of love. I won’t ever leave your mommy,” in the sweetest most genuine and kind voice I’d ever heard him speak in. “Okay well that’s good daddy, because I don’t want you and mommy to live in different houses, or to fall out of love!” I was relieved. Then I got out of the car and skipped to the house. Daddy unlocked the door and we went inside. *** I was lying in bed with my big sister, Nancy, the night my father served my mother with divorce papers. I was seven years old at the time and Nancy was eighteen. Nancy had unexpectedly come back from her date early and in tears. When she got back, I was in my room since mom and dad were fighting. Whenever my parent’s would fight, I always begged them to stop being mean and just love each other, but then they got mad at me so I stopped trying to break up the fights and instead I’d hide out in my room. Nancy’s room was just down the hall from mine and since my door was open, I could hear her sobbing as she came up the stairs. I ran to her room to ask her what was wrong. I hated seeing her cry because I love Nancy so much and when she got sad, it made me sad to see her sad. I was also worried that maybe her boyfriend of three 54


years, Win, had been mean to her or something. I always told him that if he ever messed with my sister I’d beat him up. Nancy and I always told each other everything. I crawled into bed with her and asked her why she was crying. Nancy hesitantly picked her head up from her tear soaked pillow and told me, unconvincingly that it was nothing and then she put her head back into her pillow. I knew better than to try and force her to talk. The only way to work with sad-Nance was to rub her back and tell her you loved her and basically comfort her until she stopped crying. While I was rubbing her back, Mom and Dad’s fight downstairs continued to rage on. They fought a lot and even though their screaming filled the entire house, it was such a common occurrence that it was only background noise to me. Suddenly, in an angry frenzy with tears in her eyes, my mother flung open the door. “After twenty-five years of marriage and four children, your father is serving me with divorce papers! Unbelievable. Twenty-five years. Unbelievable.” My father was crying out, begging my mother to stop talking. “Kathy no! Kathy stop. Kathy stop. No! No! Stoppit!” He always begged like that when things got heated and the situation was unbearable. It was a furious, highpitched voice. It was such a genuine plea. My mother had nothing more to say, she stormed away, my father tailing her. I replayed those devastating fifteen seconds once more in my head, since I did not have the ability to grasp the words I had just heard the first time. I turned to my sister, holding back a tsunami of tears and asked in awe: “Are they really?” I was distraught. She took a deep breath and simply said “Yes.” I felt my heart shatter into a thousand pieces. My stomach felt like it was trying to swallow itself whole. My face was flushed as tears poured from my eyes like waterfalls. I felt numb. I buried my face in my pillow and curled into a ball. My sister held me as we bawled our eyes out together. The Earth stopped spinning and time was frozen. *** It was 3:30 in the afternoon and school had just ended. Just as any other kid, I was ready to get out of there and get home. It was especially exciting to see my school day come to an end because seventh grade was no day at the beach. As a matter of fact, it was the furthest thing from a day at the beach; it was absolute hell. I hated school more than anything. I hated my teachers, and I absolutely loathed every single girl in my grade. I had one friend, and her name was Melissa. I loved knowing that at 3:30pm, I would be able to walk out of the middle school, climb the cement stairs en route to the upper school and then sit at the upper school circle on a wooden bench and know that for those two minutes, I was finished with another day of school. 55


While I loved the end of the school day, I dreaded pick up time. Mom rarely had the ability to find even the slightest ounce of motivation to force herself out of bed and into the car to pick me up at school, so each end to my day meant watching every single person get picked up from school by their moms and dad while I sat there waiting for someone who was not going to come. I was not speaking to my father at this point in time. I was living with my mother, and I absolutely hated my father. Around 4:30pm, whatever teacher was on pick up duty would tell me that I should give my mom a call and find out where she was. I called my mom, and she did not answer. I called her a second time and again, no answer. The third unanswered call always resulted in a voicemail where I’d angrily tell her, “Get your ass out of bed mom. I’m still sitting here, waiting for you. Can you please just come get me? This is so unfair,” and then I’d call again. This time, however, I’d beg her “Come get me mommy. This is so mean and unfair. Why can’t you come get me? Everyone else’s moms and dads have already picked them up. Please mom, why do you always do this? Why is it that you can’t think about me for just two seconds and come get me? Honestly screw you,” and I’d hang up. Then I’d walk back toward the teacher on pick up duty and I’d inform her, “My mom’s running late, she had an appointment. You can just go. You really don’t need to wait for me. She’ll be here soon,” I’d attempt to convince her. Every teacher always had the same reaction; they’d look at me with eyes full of pity. They’d look at me and be silent for a few moments, and I could tell what they were thinking—they were thinking that my mom was no good. They were thinking that Kathy was a terrible mother to Ellie and all the awful things Charles said about his exwife were true. Ellie’s mom is pathetic. Ellie should live with Charles; he is such a great father. Poor little Ellie has no idea how sick her mommy is—I’m not dumb. I saw it in their eyes. I knew they did not approve of my mom. They all had something to say. Even though I hated when mom wouldn’t pick me up or answer my calls, I hated the way people responded to the situation. They always thought they knew something. They were judging me and my family and my mother. They didn’t get it. She was a good woman. She didn’t mean to leave me hanging. She didn’t intentionally disappoint me. Mom was not all of the things they said she was. She was not some kind of ‘enabler’. She loved me. She was just tired. She stayed up late last night. She was watching a movie. Mom was probably not answering because she was walking the dog. My teacher finally spoke, “Ellie, I know your mom is on her way,” the teachers’ tone was not convincing, and she hesitantly said “on her way,” then she resumed, “But I do have to bring you into the office soon; it’s almost five o’clock. You’ll have to just wait there, like you did this past week. Your mom has just been busy that’s all. “ 56


I hated sitting in the office. I never understood why they wouldn’t just let me wait for my mom right there. I hated this place. Like my mom was busy. But I was pissed that my mom wasn’t here. I normally came up with a lie at that point because there was no way I was gonna wait in the office again. So I cleverly lied and said, “My mom just texted me, and she is waiting for me at the path.” The path was on the other side of campus, a believable location for picking up, “I’m gonna go meet up with her.” I smiled innocently at the teacher on duty and then I turned around and walked toward the path. The path was on my way home anyways, and it was pretty clear that my stupid mom wasn’t coming to get me any time soon. As I was walking home, it began to rain. Just my luck. “I hate my mom.” I repeated it to myself, maybe 20 or 30 times before I began to say it out loud. I was furious. Once I finally got home, I tiredly walked to my door. I was shivering and completely soaked. I was relieved to finally be home. I turned the doorknob, only to discover it was locked. I began to bang on the door, screaming, “Mom! Mom! Open the door Mom!” Of course she could not bear to get out of bed, so I stood there screaming and knocking for about 30 minutes. I walked to the side door, which was also locked. I screamed the f bomb and began crying. I nearly broke the door, banging and yelling. Then I gave up. I sat on the porch steps in the rain and cried. After sitting there for three hours, I made a decision to climb through the front window. Once I finally broke into my own home, I found my mother upstairs in her bed. When I walked in, furious, soaking wet and crying, my mother simply said, “Oh hello Pippers!”—Mom called me pippers because I was a lot like Pippie Long Stocking—I could not stand that voice. She pretended to be so oblivious. I really hated her. The word “Selfish” flew out of my mouth. Again, I roared “Selfish,” and I slapped the lamp off of her side table. The battle began. It would rage through the night, just as it did every night. It was just another day on Pheasant Street; just another day in the life. I did not mean to be rude to mom. It was just so hard to not be so angry with her. Ever since the divorce, she changed. She grew depressed and stopped being a capable, responsible adult. Mom was always letting me down back then. Because she was so incapable of being a good mother to me, I was found myself having to take on the role of parent. I had started losing my patience with her. What can I say? I did not like when she would sit in bed and abandon her responsibilities. It was so hard to have a mom who just could not be the mother I needed. I deserved better, and I was finally starting to figure that out. That’s why we battled each night. Because, by the time I reached seventh grade, I had run out of patience. I was not interested in 57


accepting the fact that my mother’s lapses in parenting me were something she was comfortable with. We fought because of the same reason each night; my mom was not parenting me, and I was sick and tired of it. Maybe that was why dad divorced mom. Maybe he noticed that she was changing long before I did, and he did not like it, so he decided they should go separate ways. Maybe dad and mom’s priorities were so different at that point in time, that dad felt like mom was no longer the same woman he had married 25 years before. I mean, my father was certainly not a perfect parent. There were lapses in his parenting, just like any other human being. But, my mother was past the point of human; she was barely a mother to me at all. -Eddie Miller ‘15

WHY FORESTS ARE IMPORTANT TO ME One cold January morning I woke up to the sound of a chainsaw. I got out of bed, and slowly walked over to the window. I saw my dad cutting down some of my favorite trees in the backyard. This sight struck me, and I was unexpectedly upset about it. So I stormed down the stairs to interrogate my dad about why he needed to cut down the trees. We went outside, and my dad showed me the stumps of the cut down trees. To my surprise, the stumps were rotting. Now I understood exactly what my dad was doing. He was just trying to take care of and protect the little forest in Vermont we call home. Forests are important to me because of how much I'm connected to them. I remember being little and playing with my brother under the big balsam tree that my dad had to cut down. We also used to zoom over and over again down the zip line connected to huge Cherry tree that was also rotting. But now these childhood memories were coming to an end. I never realized how much the forest and the trees in my backyard were a part of my life until they were gone. I found it funny that all of this happened a couple days before my 15th birthday. Letting go of those trees made me feel like I was getting so much older, but in a way made me appreciate my childhood even more. This made me think even more about how the forest had effected my life. My dad started telling me stories about when he first bought our property; it was completely forested. The forest has given me the ability to live in an amazing place. I will always have memories of my backyard, so I will always be connected to the forest. This made me think about how long those trees had been there, and now they were gone. It was like a long chapter of a book finally coming to a close. But it was like the forest was starting fresh. The dead trees were showing me an analogy that 58


everything happens for a reason, and it made me feel happy. I traveled on a journey with these trees. I played with them when I was little, but the older I got the less I played among the trees of the forest, and they started to die. This made me promise to myself that I will always make time for the forest whenever I can. Other trees in my backyard are still thriving without the old ones. They had to move on. It’s the circle of life, and no matter where I go, my story will always be connected to the Vermont forest. The forest in my backyard represents an amazing and fun time of my life when I was always outside. I didn't know at the time, but this is something I will never forget. The dying trees represent an ending and a beginning for me. An ending of the time when I was younger, but a beginning of observation and appreciation for things that have happened in my life. I never would have thought these trees would mean anything to me, but they have taught me to be grateful and how to enjoy the moment. The Vermont forest will always be a part of my life, so I will continue to play, explore, and learn from it, because the connection can never be lost. -

Ava Hill ‘18

PLUMERIA Dirt and sweat covered my face as I practiced the monotonous sounding chords of C and G on a borrowed ukulele. I was sitting in a teepee that I’d built myself on a secluded part of the organic farm called Huli Ka ‘e, Hawaiian for turning a corner. I’d only learned how to play four chords, and honestly I was getting more aggravated by the minute. The perfectionist side of me was showing. I felt like I should already be a Bach-level ukulele player. Sure, living and working in Hawaii was the most enlightening experience I’ve had to this day, but the exasperating C to G transition just wasn’t working. Despite my inspiring, ethereal surroundings, my vision was clouded by unexpected frustration, a sense of defeat creeping in the shadows of my shelter. I’ve always wanted to find an art form that was unique to me, and I was hoping a ukulele would fit what I was searching for. Thanks to my dad’s passion for abstract painting, I’ve been looking at art since before I knew what art was. I appreciate art in every form. I learned how to stretch a canvas before I learned my multiplication tables. I enthusiastically went to the MOMA before I went to kindergarten, and have loved every minute I’ve spent with a camera. Yet I hadn’t attempted the art of playing 59


music since I’d tried to learn the violin years ago, and I was starting to feel like I should leave music to the famous singers and composers of the world. Shoving those feelings of discouragement into a tiny plot of my mental real estate, I stopped moving, closed my eyes, and listened to the rustling of the cane grass in the wind. I took the ukulele, scooted into the shade of my leaf-rooftop and started to play. Creation has always been a place of joy for me. The process of introspection and production of something original is grounding. The world blurs out and I feel my body tune in to my mind. My senses latch onto the rhythm in art, a sturdy connection to the present. Eventually, I started getting the hang of those four chords. Then, all of a sudden, I started humming a foreign tune. It was one from my own mind, and it’s not like I’ve ever been one of those people to write songs or even melodies. But there I was, humming something and for some unknown reason words just started flowing from my mouth. I began to sing lyrics, strumming along to the four chords I knew, and soon I’d developed a song. I scrambled to write it down, making edits right away. My pen hovered over the word I was about to cross out, realizing I needed to leave it be. Rather than going back and scribbling over my words, I stopped and let myself write everything first. When I got back to the mainland, my family made a pit stop in Colorado on our way back east. Instead of overloading on junk food, watching TV, or calling my friends, I begged my parents to buy me a ukulele in this quirky shop called Two Old Hippies. The instrument was miraculous. I held it gingerly like a newborn baby. A baritone concert ukulele, it had smooth, tan wood and muted gold lettering. Immediately, I christened it Plumeria after my favorite flower in Hawaii. As soon as I had MY ukulele tuned, I began to strum. Right there, in the store. No delaying gratification. It was like something about that sound reverberating in my ears had the power to relax me, and all at once I felt peaceful and secure. Now I carry my ukulele, and the power of creation, with me wherever I go. Before, I had always followed art, but now that I have Plumeria, art follows me. -

Lindsay Semel ‘15

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PLAYWRITING FROM “HORNSWAGGLED”

Scene 4: [Teacher frazzled looking, in chair] [ad comes on a couple/few times, teacher clicks before words come on] Teacher: Ahh! Enough of this, I can’t even use my phone without [sarcastic] “Just a penny, just a penny.” Gah! [teacher tries to read email - there is an email about fraudulent charges from his bank, which he tries to read piece by piece, but is continually interrupted by the ad] Teacher: [scanning email, continually interrupted] Dear Mr./Ms. _____, Your account will be frozen due to suspicious activity. Please contact your financial advisor immediately to confirm the authenticity of charges from Trivia Crack Company, LLC. Teacher:[constantly tapping phone with thumb] I click, or I don’t click, that’s it. Which is even better? Should I have to suffer the outrageous misfortune of the rings and yammer, or wait through a potentially endless stammer, and by not skipping, end them? Oh to stop this madness! I click and it comes back again, I click and it comes back again. Again, again! How sweet it would be to delete, and then, to tweet!, perchance to read my email, even spam, and update my Instagram! But that’s the thing, who knows what it would say? To bear this mobile burden no longer, I will pay! And now I envy those with greater bank accounts, which prevent the wretched day when the entire ad must play! For they will with tired thumbs suffer the insignificant clicks with fear of inconvenience and delay. No one has waited long enough to know its purpose or if it ever ends. And so I click away, click away. As long as I can post to Facebook to tell my friends about my day. [ad plays, teacher tries to click through, but it keeps playing. Throughout, the student actor is off stage repeating the following, over V’s voice, to create a maddening cacophony of sounds.] Voice Over: We’re sorry, insufficient funds. [Repeats as many times as T presses button, always starting with “We’re sorry.] 61


[Teacher has a nervous breakdown which induces a heart attack. After the teacher finally succumbs and lays on the floor, the music switches over to the jazzy/peppy song. Song plays to finish.] [Fin] -

Mr. Mayhew & Mr. Nicol

FROM PINK TOES

Scene 1: Ellis: Damn. She’s here Silas: What are you talking about? She lives on this floor. Odds are she will be at a pa rty on her floor. Common sense, bro. Ellis: How do you know she lives on this floor? Silas: How do you think I learned about this party? Ellis: She invited you? Is she into you? Don’t answer that. Just nod yes or no, no wait blink, that’s less obvious. Blink once for yes, twice for no. You are blinking way too m uch. I can’t tell. Wipe that smirk off your face. Why are you waving? Is she coming ov er? Stop that. Stop it. (Turns around) Oh, hey what is up? Silas: (under his breath) Smooth. Annie: You made it. Ellis: Which one? Annie: What? Ellis: I mean which one of us are you glad who made it… that made it. Silas: (under his breath) I mean who are you right now? Ellis: (under his breath) Shut up. Silas: Oh, look at the time I got to go. Ellis: Way to obvious. Annie: What? Ellis: Nothing. Annie: Uh… (They stand there for a few seconds waiting for the other to start talking.) Ellis: So what classes are you taking? Annie: The same as yours. Ellis: (laughs nervously) Right because you sit in front of me in all of my classes. So th ey must be your classes… that would make sense. Annie: I like them. What about you? 62


Ellis: I like them besides scene studies. Annie: Why? Ellis: The guy’s a bum. Annie: A bum? Why is he a bum? Ellis: No one can tell you what a scene means. The scene means absolutely nothing. Y ou are just reading a conversation. The scene means what you want it to mean. Waiti ng for Godot, none of that crap makes sense. Why is Estrogen not able to take off his boot? It’s a freaking boot. And why do they keep waiting for Godot when he never sh ows up? Also the fact that people can’t figure out how to pronounce it. Godot? Godo t? Anyways, no one can tell me what that means. Scenes have no meaning except th e meaning, we as the audience want to give it. (pause) Also his opinions are stupid. Annie: That’s my dad. Ellis: Oh… really Annie: Yup Ellis: Oh my god, I’m sorry. I didn’t know, I mean well, it’s not that he is stupid, it’s m ore that I don’t agree, I don’t like being told, he’s great. Annie: Yup Ellis: Okay. (Once again there is awkward silence. Sooze enters and sits on a couch not too far aw ay from them. She spends the conversation observing them.) Annie: I for one am really excited to start acting. Get up on that stage. Ellis: Well in about a year we can start being in plays. Annie: Don’t remind me. Ellis: Where were you before this? Annie: High school? Ellis: Yeah. Annie: Williams High, right here in New York. Ellis: That’s cool. Annie: You? Ellis: Uh… I was at Huell Academy. Annie: Where is that? Ellis: Vermont. Annie: Oh I love Vermont Ellis: Yeah it’s nice, terrible in the winter. Literally last year it was -10 degrees every d ay for a whole week. The next week we were all walking around with shorts and t-shi rts. Annie: Really. Ellis: Yeah. We get a lot of snow to. Like this one time I was walking outside and it wa s snowing and when I came inside it looked like I had an insane case of dandruff… (To himself) Idiot. Don’t tell that story. 63


Annie: What? Ellis: Nothing. (Silence) Annie: How long have you been doing theatre? Ellis: Well I did just for fun when I was a kid, but around eighth grade, I realized I was good at it, so I committed. Annie: That seems a little arrogant doesn’t it? Ellis: Nah. Annie: Nah? Ellis: Well I mean there is a difference between being “arrogant” or “pretentious,” an d being confident. I don’t go around parading my talent saying I’m better then you. N o. I don’t do that. You asked me why I became an actor. I became an actor because I am confident in my abilities. Annie: Oh Ellis: Sorry, I don’t like being called “arrogant.” (silence) Jesus Silas. Annie: What? Ellis: He’s just watching us. Freakin weirdo. Annie: Don’t you think he is kind of a douche. Ellis: Oh most definitely. Annie: Then why do you talk to him Ellis: Because he’s a great guy. Total douchebag, but great guy. Annie: Great guy? How can he be a douchebag, and a great guy? Ellis: We all have that one guy who is total dick, but is really a good person on the insi de. That’s him. We dump on each other all the time, but I know deep down he would jump in front of a bullet for me and vice versa. Anyways what about you? Annie: What about me? Ellis: Why are you here? What made you want to be an actor? Annie: Nothing really, just have been doing since I was two, and I have loved every mi nute of it. Ellis: There has to be more to it than that. Annie: (snaps) Nope, that’s it. (Awkward silence) Ellis: Okay Annie: So do you want to do anything else. Like behind the scenes. Ellis: Well the dream is to be like Affleck. Just without the drugs, and tabloids and infi delity. You know, like after Gigli, Pearl Harbor, Dardevil. Jeez… I am rambling. Let’s ta ke a step back. I want to start as an actor, but also be known for writing and directing . Annie: Oh cool. Have you written anything? Ellis: Well I am in the process of writing a play right now. Pink toes? Annie: Pink toes? Ellis: Well the main character at the end commits suicide and his final line is, “As I lay 64


here and die, everything around me will go grey, and the last thing I will see are my pi nk toes.” Annie: Well that’s cheerful. Ellis: (Laughs awkwardly) Yup. Annie: Well I’ll see you around. Got to mingle, can’t play favorites. (she exits) (Ellis goes back downstage center and sits next to Silas) Ellis: That did not go as I planned in my head. I really wanted it to go better. Silas: What happened? Ellis: Well we talked about suicide and dandruffSilas: Oh noEllis: And I called her dad a bum. Silas: You what? Ellis: Her dad is my scene studies teacher. Silas: The class you hate. Ellis: And I said he is a bum. To her face. Directly to it. So I am guessing I am not in. Silas: You are the opposite of in. You are on a new freaking planet. Ellis: You know that makes me feel really good about myself. I just canSilas: (Noticing Sooze) Shut it, shut up. Ellis: What are youSilas: who is that? Ellis: Who? Silas: Her. (points at Sooze) Ellis: Sooze? Silas: Yeah who is that? Ellis: She’s in my theatre class. Silas: Why is she reading? Ellis: I don’t know. Silas: I’m going to go talk to her. (Walks over to Sooze) Ellis: Cool, it wasn’t like I needed someone to talk to or anything, and he’s gone. Silas: Hello there Sooze: Hey Silas: I’m Silas. Sooze: Good for you. Silas: You are? Sooze: Reading Silas: Nice to meet you Reading? Sooze: I remember that from elementary school. Silas: Oooh… burn Sooze: Do you want something Silas: Yes. 65


Sooze: What? Silas: Why are you reading a book at a party? Sooze: Because I want to read, but the party is on my floor. Silas: Why don’t you read at the library? Sooze: Because I want to read in my room. Silas: But if you want quiet, the library makes sense. Sooze: I didn’t ask your opinion. Silas: What I think is happening, is that you want some attention, but you also want t o seem to cool for the party. And let me tell you it is working. Sooze: I think I have a right to be in my room. Silas: No need to get angry. Sooze: I don’t like it when strangers come up to me, questioning me. Silas: I’m not questioning, I just wanted to know why, and now I know. Sooze: Then can you leave please Silas: No. Sooze: No? Silas: I mean I can sit here. I have that right. Just like you have the right to read at the party on your floor. Sooze: Hm… Silas: So what are you majoring in? (Silence) You know you can answer? Sooze: Annie told me about you. Silas: Ooh… Annie. I know her. She’s friend with my friend, Ellis. And any friend of my friend, is also my friend. And since you are friends with Annie, who by default is now my friend, that makes you my friend. And since we are friends we should get to know each other, because relationships are based on communication. Sooze: I have to admit that is clever, she still told me about you. Silas: What did she say about me? Sooze: She said you are the douchebag friend of the guy she thinks is cute. Silas: She thinks Ellis is cute. Sooze: I don’t know if she thinks Ellis is cute after that train wreck of a conversation. Silas: Did she tell you that she invited me to the party. Sooze: She told me the only reason she invited you, was so Ellis could come. Silas: Wow. Is this what pain feels like? Sooze: Tool . Silas: I’m ignoring that. So she warned you about myself, I don’t get that because I a m a wonderful person. Sooze: Are you? Silas: Well, I think so. So since we friends, at least by my definition, what are you maj oring in? Sooze: Education. 66


Silas: So you want to help corrupt the youth Sooze: Can you say anything without ticking me off Silas: You are actually allowing yourself to be ticked off so it’s on you. You want to co rrupt the youth. Sooze: I want to help shape the youth Silas: In the image that you picture, corrupt them into your views. Sooze: If that’s your definition on how teachers act… Silas: Teachers are puppets who all want to create a world like in The Giver. Why do y ou think they make us read it? Sooze: Teachers are there to make an impact on children’s lives Silas: So you want to step into the same role as parents. It’s their job to shape and m ake impact on their children. Sooze: It’s everyone’s job to make an impact on children’s lives. Who asked you? Silas: Whoa… I agree with you, I just wanted to see if this would help engage you in c onversation. And it worked. Sooze: Wow… you are a tool. Silas: You’ve already said that and that is your opinion. Sooze: I’m pretty sure that’s everyone’s opinion. Silas: That’s where you are wrong, you may think you speak for everyone, but you do n’t. Sooze: You are a very rude person. Silas: I prefer realist. I look at the world for how it is, not what I want it to be. Sooze: Really? Silas: Yup. (silence) Sooze: Are you gonna leave me alone? Silas: Nope. (silence) Sooze: So what are you majoring in? Silas: Nothing Sooze: Then what are you doing here Silas: Squatting with my boys, auditing business classes Sooze: Don’t you want to get a degree. Silas: I don’t really need one. Sooze: What does that mean? Silas: I’m being groomed to take over my dad’s company Sooze: Oh are you? Silas: Yeah. Sooze: What company is it? Silas: I don’t really like talking about it. Sooze: But you wouldn’t have brought it up if you didn’t want to talk about it. Silas: No, I brought it up because I didn’t want to lie about it. 67


Sooze: What company? Silas: It’s not important. Sooze: What’s your last name? Silas: That’s too easy. You can go look it up. Sooze: C’mon, you got me interested now. Silas: Look, I don’t even know your first name, so that doesn’t seem very fair. Sooze: Sooze. Silas: So Susan? Sooze: No. Just Sooze. Silas: Suburbia? Sooze: You know it? Silas: Great movie Sooze: ActuallySilas: It was a play first. I know I just never got to see it as a play. So your parents nam ed you after Sooze? Sooze: My parents saw it when my mom was pregnant, they liked the name. So now you know my name, and why I was named it. What is your last name? Silas: Nope, we have first names. I only work on a first name basis. Sooze: What if I told you my last name. Silas: I don’t want to hear it. Sooze: Fine. What does your dad do? Silas: He’s important. Sooze: That’s not helSilas: He’s important. Sooze: Is that all I’m going to get. Silas: Yes, for now. Pets? Sooze: Pets? Silas: What is your dream pet? Sooze: Dream pet? Silas: It’s an ice breaker. Sooze: I think the ice has been broken. Silas: Then let’s break it some more. Sooze: I rather not. Silas: Jeez… you take some warming up to. Sooze: Does insulting people you just met work for you? Silas: Usually. Sooze: Well it’s not working here. Silas: That could be debated. Sooze: Could it? Silas: Well anything can be debated. 68


Sooze: Really. AnythSilas: Not everything can be debated well, but anything can be debated. What are yo u reading? Sooze: Nothing. Silas: What is it? Sooze: Catcher in the Rye. Silas: Freaking Holden Caulfield. If there was one character I could kill in the history o f books it would be Holden Caulfield. Sooze: I think he is an amazing character Silas: Yeah, he’s developed and he definitely represents the disillusionment with ever yday life and young adults, but he complains so much. Sooze: You want to kill him because he complains. Silas: And his use of the word suave. Sooze: And his use of the word suave… Silas: I mean c’mon, I’m suave, that prostitute is suaveSooze: I don’t think he ever says the sentence that prostitute is suave. Silas: You know what I mean Sooze: Sure… Silas: So what’s your number? Sooze: That’s it. I’m going to the library. Silas: (Mocking) Aww, I done did it know. Sooze: Bye Silas: C’mon. Just give me your number. Sooze: I will give you my number if you tell me your last name. Silas: How about this, if you go on one date with me, and you enjoy I will tell you my l ast name. Sooze: (Thinks about it) Fine. (She puts her number into his phone, exits) (Silas walks over to Ellis) Silas: Boom shakalaka. Boom. Ellis: You got her number? Silas: Yup. Tonight was a great night. I got a girls number, you crashed and burned in a hilarious way. College is pretty good. (Exits) Ellis: I need better friends. (Exits) (End scene) -

Charlie Reisman ‘15

69


Snow by Nick Nourse ‘16

70


Contributors

Tinga Adiang ‘16, 39 Christine Armiger, 45 George Atkins ‘15, 44 Anais Aurard ‘17, 31 Nick Benninghoff ‘15, 16, 26 Antonio Berjillos ‘15, 9, 25 Blanca Carenno ‘15, 32 Erin Cohn, 30 Thom Collins, 53 Jay Cooper ‘15, 26 McKenzie Curtis ‘17, 5 Zoë Engle ‘16, 15, 25, 30 Corrina Hardesty ‘16, 8, 50 Abby Hart ‘15, 7, 17, 25 Ava Hill ‘18, 59 Emma Hoser ‘15, 28 Jen Jones, 7 Leyeyo Kipamba ‘16, 41 Soy Kwon ‘16, 12, 34 ChaeRa Lee ‘16, 6, 35,36

Hari Lee ‘18, 33 Jessica Mathesen ‘15, 27, 49 Russell Mayhew, 62 Nevie McOwen ‘15, 47 Eddie Miller ‘15, 58 Nik Mische ‘17, 38 Rob Nicol, 62 Nick Nourse ‘16, 70 Drew Novak ‘16, 48 Maddy Philp ‘17, 42, 43 Guy Piccolo ‘17, 19 Courtney Prentiss ‘16, 47 Evan Ray ‘16, 37 Charlie Reisman ‘15, 18, 26, 69 Lindsay Semel ‘15, 12, 27, 60 Katrina Shaeffer ‘15, 37 Sam Svenson ‘15, 16 Katheryn Tremblay ‘15, 40 Fengyu Xu ‘15, 33

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Profile for Vermont Academy

Pawprint 2015  

Pawprint 2015