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Wanderlust Volume 23, issue1


From the beginning of our lives, we dream of who we want to become, where we want to go, and what we want to do with our lives. When we were little, our dreams consisted of fluttering fantasies of being the town’s fireman, orcspa a gracefulawards ballerina, or a world-renowned doctor. Our simple childhood dreams change as we grow older, but our desire to 1994 Medalist make something of ourselves explore the world has only grown. We 1995and Gold Medal yearn to leave home and explore the foreign. 1996 Gold MedalWe dream of traveling to new and exotic places – cities, the wilds, the past; we dream of exploring every 1997 Gold Medal corner of the map, seeing all there is to see in this world; and consequently, Gold Medal we dream of discovering1998 who we want to be. Our creative works – our 1999 Gold Medal prose and poetry, our art, photography and stop motion films – are all manifestations of this consuming desire to travel and explore. This year’s 2000 Gold Medal Talisman seeks to provide a venue this unique voice, for the soul2001 Goldfor Medal consuming2002 wanderlust that governs our lives. Silver Crown

2003 Gold Medal Gold showcasing Medal the creative efforts of Talisman is a literary-art2004 magazine Wakefield's Upper School2005 fromGold gradesMedal nine to twelve. It is designed and Silver under Medalthe supervision of a faculty produced by a small staff2006 of students advisor. In choosing pieces for this publication, 2007 Bronze Medalthe staff strives to highlight originality in content and expression, andMedal to offer a broad range of genres and 2008 Gold subject matters. 2009 Gold Medal 2010 Gold Medal 2011 Gold Medal 2012 Silver Medalchief co-Editors-in

Mission Statement:

talisman 2013 staff COLOPHON

Alexandra EricaJoy Typeset by the Talisman Staff in Microsoft Word 2011. Cover set in Simon Oliverio Trajan Pro. Inside covers set in Trajan Pro and Minion Pro. Table of Contents set in Trajan Pro. Bylines set in Trajan Pro, Minion Pro, Lucida Bright and American Typewriter. Page numbers set in Minion Pro. Poetry set in Helvetica, Minion Pro and American r. Perry imerPoetryDTitles Caitlset eand in Minion Pro. Prose set(DP) e Kessler Prose W e in W CarolinTypewriter. n i r e h a t g a ner and in Trajan Pro, Lucida Bright K American Typewriter. Cover stock is __________; interior page stock is __________. Page layout executed using InDesign CS5. Printing by Piedmont Press, Warrenton, Virginia. All layout and design executed by EricaJoy Oliverio and Alexandra Simon of the 2013 Talisman staff. f faculty advisor Staf Staff Staf f


wanderlust talisman 2013 volume 35, issue 1

wakefield school 4439 old tavern road, the plains, virginia 20198 1


c o n t e n t s

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prose Grand Cayman by Mary Clubb She Has Blue Eyes by Kelly Mason Expectations by Sophia Rutti Waiting by Alexandra Diaz-Aleman High Five by Evan Gendreau The Letter by Katherine Weimer Mother by Eryn Peters Coffee Blues by Jessica Sears A Reasonable Drinker by Kevin Park I Have a Dream by Caroline Kessler The Color of Abandonment by EricaJoy Oliverio My Brother by James Wroe When She Wakes by Alexandra Simon I Have a Dream by Gabriela Cabrera A Reflection by Sophia Rutti Bluebells and Tomatoes by Brianna Hutchison Bittersweet by EricaJoy Oliverio Bear Hunt by Lucas Quinn Coco by EricaJoy Oliverio Tree by Liam Day American Childhood by James Wroe A Room of Intruders by Mariah Fairfield Lives Intermingled by Lindsay Seventko Sports Intensity by Benjamin Michaelson Revived by Bailey Fulton How to be an Ultra-Conservative by Jessica Sears Reading by Madeleine Dargis The Glass Slipper by EricaJoy Oliverio On Being Bovine by Phillip Dolan La Mesa Rodanda by Alexandra Diaz-Aleman King’s Creek by Gabriela Cabrera Sky High Dreams by Caroline Farr Going Somewhere by Alexandra Simon

10 16 23 23 24 27 28 34 46 52 58 60 71 72 80 88 92 96 101 102 106 113 118 121 126 130 137 140 152 156 166 178 180


poetry 8 13 14 15 19 20 30 33 36 40 42 45 50 51 55 56 59 64 66 69 76 86 94 104 105 124 128 129 135 150 151 156 158 161 165

Stella by Phillip Dolan Swept Away by Emily Granruth Shell by Sophia Rutti Carried Away by Caroline Farr That Guy at the Station by Phillip Dolan Tomorrow by Ryan Shim Perusing Past Poetry by Kevin Park Fear and Silence by Sophia Rutti Hmmm by Phillip Dolan Swiss Miss by EricaJoy Oliverio Monday Morning by Lindsay Seventko A Thin Line by Sophia Rutti Bear by Caitlin Wagner Robert by Lucas Quinn Candle by Kelly Mason City Seeing by Ava Marvin Reminiscing by Mariah Fairfield The Beast by Mariah Fairfield The Black Tree by Clayton Templeton The Restless Night by Annette Lee Silence by Alexandra Simon Present by Ryan Shim Snow by Alexandra Diaz-Aleman Airbag by Ryan Shim Violet Skies by Mariah Fairfield Running by Bailey Fulton The Battle by Lindsay Seventko Fearful Encounter by Tess Hailey Timeout by Caroline Hoffman Get Away by Leticia Johnston The Pillow by Caroline Hoffman The Bankrupt Blues by Alexandra Diaz-Aleman For Sale by EricaJoy Oliverio Bean Machine by Evan Gendreau An Empty Surprise by Caroline Farr Dear Erin by EricaJoy Oliverio 3


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Boy by Alexandra Diaz-Aleman Beach House by Alexandra Simon News by Alexandra Diaz-Aleman Bridge by Madeleine Dargis Tunnel by Madeleine Dargis Necklaces by Katherine Weimer Big Ben by EricaJoy Oliverio Memorial by Benjamin Weimer Reflection Pond by Mariah Fairfield Stairs by Kevin Park Bow Tie by Benjamin Weimer Self Portrait by Gabriela Cabrera Bench by Kevin Park Tree by Clayton Templeton Wooded Bridge by Andrew Marsh Fruit Tart by Ashley Kim Coin by Benjamin Michaelson Stain Glass by Caitlin Wagner Braid by Caroline Kessler Marina by Connor Dominick Under Water by Connor Gutch Light by Gabriela Cabrera Chandelier by Eleanor Dunnegan Key Lime Pie by Evy Edens Cosmic Outfit by Gabriela Castano Ellie Goulding by Emma Anderson Money Suit by Gina McClinden Road by Hastings Williamson Amusement Park by Jillian Hadlock Make-up by Julianna Para Logan by Gabriela Cabrera Ocean Sun by Lilly Westbrook Soccer by Meaghan Weitz Cat by Mariah Fairfield

8 10 15 19 20 22 27 28 32 42 49 58 63 66 78 78 78 78 78 78 78 78 78 78 78 78 79 79 79 79 79 79 79 79


Photography 79 79 79 79 80 86 92 94 96 101 102 104 106 109 110 120 132 134 138 140 142 145 146 153 154 158 166 169 173 173 175 178 180 183

Dog by Robin Ross Woods by Jack Finn Piano by Logan Floyd Sky by Sam Hurley Hand Sequential by Janice Lee Apple Sequential by Madeleine Dargis Leaf Reflection by Sydney Lee Snowy Bridge by Connor Poss Gun Sequential by Caitlin Wagner Muddy Paws by Janice Lee Tree by Clatyon Templeton Self Portrait by Caroline Hoffman Self Portrait by Ryan Shim Self Portrait by Madeleine Dargis Architecture by Sophia Rutti Rock Climbing by Katherine Weimer California by Sydney Lee Lock by Mary Clubb Rooftops by Alexandra Simon Mirror by Katherine Weimer Self Portrait by Mary Clubb Door by EricaJoy Oliverio Multiple Personalities by Katherine Weimer Country Walk by Caitlin Wagner Can by Mary Clubb Townhouses by Caitlin Wagner Shopping by Caitlin Wagner Swings by Caitlin Wagner Self Portrait by Alexandra Simon Cameras by Peiter Bonin Ivy by Kevin Park Plane by EricaJoy Oliverio Train by Zachary Whitt Florence by Caroline Farr 55


Art 14 16 18 30 32 36 44 46 52 56 65 68 70 72 75 76 89 112 112 113 119 126 129 136 140 151 162 165 176

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Molten Earth by Nicholas Robinson Feather Girl by Katherine Weimer Girl with Headband by Katherine Weimer Black and White Designs by Mathew Steensma Gears by Bomee Kim Wires by Bomee Kim Smoker Girl by Katherine Weimer Old Man by Katherine Weimer Hand by Allison Swede Can of Worms by Bomee Kim Skull by Maximilliano Guarriello Nightscape by Eleanor Lignon Rings by Sydney Lee Female Nude by Katherine Weimer Sitting Female Nude by Katherine Weimer Shapes by Alexandra Boarts Flower Easel by Leilani Wolf Cords by Caroline Kessler Camera by Caroline Kessler Pop Up by Phillip Dolan 3-D Objects by Richard Holtslander Electrical Outlet by Caroline Kessler Lines by Alexis Russell Library by Bomee Kim Ode by Katherine Weimer Feathers by Katherine Weimer Chairs by Bomee Kim Graffiti Design by Madeleine Wallach La Muse by Phillip Dolan


The works displayed are a direct portrayal of the zeal for artistic expression of the Wakefield Upper School. 7


By Philip Dolan Grade 12

8

Alexandra Diaz-Aleman, Grade 12

Stella


A long time ago When the world was still wild and weird, I met a girl. She was sweet and swift and kind And she had hair that was white in the sun. She was my friend. But the blank edge of the map filled in. And I left (and I think even then I understood what “left meant. I hate “left”). And the world was less bright, less light without that girl whose hair was white, And I had the green, mean, battery machine that was hers. (I still have it. If I think about her hard enough it’ll even work). I remember her brother giving us his guitar and we’d twang and clang and ga-rang all over the house with it. But now I can’t remember the feel of the strings or her face or that world that was still so very big because I am here and I am seventeen and the world has made me a little bit mean instead of sweet and swift and kind like the girl with the hair that was white in the sun with the brother with the guitar with the mean green battery machine on the other side of the map. Because I left. 9


Grand CAYMAN BY

MARY CLUBB GRADE 10

by alexandra simon, grade 12 10


In the photo, Olivia and I are just two little girls. We wear oversized scuba masks with snorkels hanging out of our broad, wide-open mouths. She stands in a pink bathing suit splattered with polka dots and garnished with frills. I stand in a bright blue bathing suit with vibrant turquoise stripes. We are at the edge of a sandy beach on a sunny day, our small feet leaving a trail in the grainy sand. Our hands are intertwined, fingers interlocked, palms pressed together, while our eyes are silently sparkling; we are best friends. Whenever we were together we would find ourselves talking endlessly about everything: the latest Scooby Doo movie, our favorite colored crayon, or massive dinosaurs. Conversation is so easy, and I couldn’t have imagined a better friendship. It was our family trip to Grand Cayman nine years ago. Olivia is standing next to me. Her bright blue eyes gently glisten, her tight red curls bounce around, and her sweet, welcoming smile stretches from ear to ear. Seven years later, at my parents’ Guy Fawkes party, she has all the same features, which make her lovable, but the hands are different. We have gone separate ways. We have not seen each other in numerous years, and when we do, the conversation is forced. The simple ease with which we could be around each other has vanished, and what I know for certain is that the hands are no longer latched together. Our friendship was left back in Grand Cayman. The young footprints in the sand have been washed away by the thrashing waves.

I open my small, wooden treasure box, brilliantly decorated with vibrantly colored sea turtles, and pick up a piece of sea glass I collected at the beach in Grand Cayman. It is a bright shade of green. I gently roll it over in the palm of my hands, in between my fingers; rubbing my fingers over it as if trying to polish it even more. The edges are smooth, 11


perfectly worn away by the powerful ocean. It is soft, no longer feeling like the broken shard I assume it once was. I imagine it as a green glass bottle, a vase once containing assorted flowers, a stain glass window, depicting a tale of grandeur. But now, it has been beaten at and turned into something new. The shining sea glass has slowly changed and is now unrecognizable from what it was, leaving you wondering about its past.

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SWEPT AWAY Glittering in the sun, the bits and pieces of sand Hold helplessly onto my worn, tired feet. Each tiny, golden speck awaits the rushing water, waiting, To drag it back out into the deepest depths of the ocean. Waves crash over my feet, Covering them like a warm blanket, Before being ripped off again. Swirling, dancing violently around my toes, Wet cold sand chills my feet, as the saltwater stings my eyes. The water recedes, as if it has suddenly grown tired. Again, the sand clutches to my wet skin, As an infant would to its mother. Roaring, the water rushes back, and with the heart of a lion, It rips the sand away once more

By Emily Granruth, Grade 12

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By Sophia Rutti Grade 12

Nicholas Robinson, Grade 11

Shell

Warm, sun-bathed and bleached. Edges smoothed by constant salt kisses. Pink and faded like a cloud-swallowed sunset. A child of the sea, it lay buried in a sand womb. Curled into fetal position, itgs limbs melded in Before being thrown to the jetty, alone and shattered. Previously smooth, round curves Made jagged from expulsion. Ethereal and otherworldly with out eyes it seemed to look. Passed from hand to hand Sand falls off A salt bath A shell of life past.

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A white plastic bag is carried by the wind, Wallowing through the atmosphere. Crinkled, wrinkled, creased and crumpled, A cloud against the clear blue sky. Like a lost child, unable to find its way home, It wanders unrestrained, aimlessly whipping through the sky. Alexandra Diaz-Aleman, Grade 12

Carried Away

By Caroline Farr Grade 12

In comes a gust a wing, Repressing the plastic cloud. Bound to the path of the strapping breeze No longer can the bag fly free. Like a marionette, manipulated by silver wires, Its trail is governed by the tenacious gust of air.

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by katherine weimer, grade 12

She Has

blue eyes By Kelly Mason, Grade 12

16


“She has blue eyes!” She whispered this in

quiet excitement, lowering her head to the child standing next to her. It was twelve o’clock, St. Thomas time. I could taste the salt from the ocean, and the feel sun beating down on my burning flesh. As the gaze of the little girl met mine, I felt she was looking at me strangely, noticing nothing, but my eyes. It wasn’t a normal stare; most people just turn to you and begin a conversation, she seemed to be noting every color pigment that encompassed my iris. The whistle blew like a screeching car and the groups changed on cue. Noticing the bright smiles that seemed to tattoo the face of every island child, I saw my next group sprinting toward me across the crater like court. “She has blue eyes!” The little girl was wearing flipflops and bleached cut-off jeans with a ragged pink T-shirt that seemed entirely too dirty to be worn by anyone. At that moment, I felt like having blue eyes seemed weird, like I was so different from everyone else and for once in my life I was the exotic one. All of the island children seemed to have the same beautiful glowing bronzed skin, brown hair, and topaz colored eyes that anyone I knew would have coveted. You should feel some sort of excitement when people seem to like something about you, strangely enough I didn’t. "You should feel some sort of excitement when people seem to like something about you, strangely enough I didn’t."

The stare of the young girl seemed odd to me, like no one should be looking that intently at me. Maybe it was because I was in a different country, or perhaps I was used to the everyday perception of people in America, but a feeling of confusion and embarrassment crawled into every crevice of my brain, and it was paralyzing. After a brief speech, the slap of the balls against the backboard began. I still couldn’t shake the stare of the young girl. They say the eyes are the windows to the soul; I can’t figure out if this little girl was marveling at my windows, or was she staring more

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intently on what is beyond the encasement of the transparent panes. Was she able to see the deepest parts of me with one single stare? Could she see the things that I don’t even see? Was she able to note every personality flaw, or wrong deed I have ever done? Or could she simply note how uncomfortable I felt? “She has blue eyes!” Scientifically speaking, the only thing that separates my eyes from hers, are recessive alleles. Brown eyes carry a warmth and friendliness that the icy, gaze of blue eyes lack. Perhaps the young girl felt the same paralyzing embarrassment and was stuck in the midst of the identical crashing waves of self-consciousness under my scrutinizing gaze.

by katherine weimer, grade 12 18


That Guy at the Station By Philip Dolan Grade 12

Madeleine Dargis, Grade 10 Standing in the Pont du Gard, I saw A guy just sitting there. He raised a hand to scratch his jaw And I realized I had started to stare. It was an accidental thing. And a bit of a surprise To be looking at nothing And then into someone’s eyes. But then he noticed, And we stared each other down. He didn’t look all that pissed But he did kind of frown. But then (still staring) he gave me a wave Surprised, I smiled, and then he went away. 19


{tomorrow} by Ryan Shim, grade 12

By Madeleine Dargus, Grade 10 20


For absence of her presence, there is no tomorrow. My time does not fly; only cessation exists. The last moment we shared: the time of sorrow. For her, these memories are the past she lists. Pretending to be oblivious to her, I live through The world without her. Nothing changed but her. She parts from me leaving the last word, “adieu.” No other girls catch my eyes: no way to demur. The next morning will be darker than the night we shared. Until she comes back, every day is yesterday. Today may be a present for her, but I am still impaired. It is impossible to forget the date of her birthday. Nothing seems to heal my soul, for my heart is broken. But if she is delighted, I’m consoled through words unspoken.

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22

Katherine Weimer, Grade 12


Expectations By Sophia Rutti Grade 12

She moved her feet forward one step at a time. Her thoughts raced as she turned the corner to the coffee shop. She knew he wouldn’t come. Doubt consumed her. Her necklaces jingled around her neck as she hesitated. She considered going back. She turned the corner. Her father sat at the table. She smiled.

Waiting By Alexandra DiazAleman, Grade 12 She daubed at the extraneous lipstick and stained the napkin with crimson kisses. 7:16. She clenched and unclenched her hand as she alternated between checking the clock – 7:23 – and restlessly pacing – 7:37. Sighing, she unclasped her necklace and turned off the porch light. A soft rap at the door. 233 23


in the middle, too slow By Evan Gendreau, Grade 12

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It’s the moment when you are pulling your hand away that will determine the future of your relationship. In this time, directly after participating in this most intimate act, you can see in the eyes of your partner exactly what kind of relationship the two of you will have. The connection is similar to the stare of animals in the wild after a scuffle. The high five has become tainted. Through popular television and the oversaturation of the hand gesture market, it has become an impersonal act. High fives have become a sport. The media has taught the general population that the goal of a high five should be to make as much noise as one can in a single action. The purpose of high fives is to advertise two people’s connection. This may not be the case in all situations, but we are slowly beginning to forget the significance of the high-five. A handshake is an initial connection, an opening paragraph of a relationship. Upon shaking a person’s hand you begin to make inferences about the person on the other end of this embrace. Every aspect of a participant’s hand becomes a factor in a hand shake. A limp hand shake can end a business deal before it begins, and a clammy palm can destroy a career in seconds. By this logic, a hug is the body paragraph. Offering the most information one can glean from physical contact. A high five is a conclusion, a summation of what has already been established. It marks mutual success and gratification between two parties. Slapping hands mid-air lacks the formality of a hand shake, but requires twice the emotional commitment. This causes the action to have less distinct social connotations. The purpose of a high five is not to judge someone. It is not to call others near by to judge the two involved. It is to highlight that you and the person you are connecting with already understand each other, work well together, and have accomplished something worth celebrating. A high five is a hand shake without anxiety. The sanctity of this personal connection has been dissolving of late. People my age tell me often that to achieve the perfect high five you must stare at the other party’s elbow. In some cases this will create a more technically proficient action, 25


however, I have found it to strip this ritual of all significance and reduce it to nothing more than a dance move. As with the handshake, fifty percent of the high five is eye contact, and attempting to match elbows takes that aspect away and replaces it with a louder smacking sound. My favorite part of a high five is the understanding that I feel every time I take my hand away. I feel like I understand what friendship means in that moment. Friends do not have to explain things or try to interpret subtleties in an interaction to determine where they stand with each other. Friends rather function in a mutual unspoken respect for each other. that I believe can only be accurately expressed by a high five. In the case of a new acquaintances, I get particularly excited because the first high five will dictate the path of our friendship, and, in that moment, I am able to glimpse the future.

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The Letter I left a note. I slipped it under the door. Yellowed paper. I wrote it so long ago. I said what I want to say. A secret. You read the note. You hear what you want to hear. Pick up the phone, a dial tone. After a ring, the line goes silent. A quiet gasp.

stamp picture by EricaJoy Olliverio, Grade 12

katherine Weimer grade 12

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Benjamin Weimer, Grade 10

By Eryn Peters Grade 10

M O T H E R I. Nana

In the photo, I am wrapped in the warm embrace of my caring and protective grandmother on the cold floor of the always-lively kitchen. At thirteen months, I lean into her, resting my head on her chest, as she looks down at me with a loving gaze and keeps me warmer than the tiny pink sweater on my little baby body. The woman, a few of my halting baby steps away, is my strong, loving, and beautiful mother, and though Nana fills me with food, brings me a bottle, is patient with my pouting, and takes care of my every need, my mother is the one at whom I can’t help but look. I give Nana my love, but in my eyes I desire to be in my mom’s arms.. 28


Two years later, in the same house just one room away, I’m in the same warm embrace, this time looking up at the gentle gaze of my grandmother. Something is different from when I had gone to sleep. I see Nana’s eyes tearing up, at the same time as I hear her whisper the words I do not understand. In my three year old innocence, I speak back words I do not understand. I say: “will you be my Mommy?”

II. Statue

Next to a bed, on a desk, a faceless statue of a woman stands carved of wood. Her hair is in a loose bun, and her arms are around an American flag, folded into a little triangle, holding it to her heart. The statue is worn with spots where you can clearly see the wood through the paint, and it looks as if it has been through more than its true age suggests. The woman’s shoulders droop just slightly, as if she has been holding the whole night sky itself. She is a birthday gift from my Nana for my sixteenth birthday. Thirteen years ago, the statue was my mother, a young beautiful woman, facing more problems than just those of any twenty-five year old mother in the army of a three year old. Leukemia, her night sky, slumped her shoulders, aged her body, and strove to steal her spirit, but her spirit and love were steadfast. I watched her body breaking before me, not comprehending the trips to the large building with stark white walls, shining silver rails, and beeping lighted machines. Not knowing the seriousness until a man in a uniform stood before me with a folded flag. Not knowing the reality until the man in a uniform handed me the flag to protect in my small arms. 29


By Kevin Park, Grade 12

Perusing Past Poetry 30

Sophomoric search for security, Hands, heads, hearts all seek the same Like a web, interspersed Still seeks to stretch and broaden And the luminous light it gives, With the most melodramatic of missives, To loves long forgotten, Never announced Never found again. Ah, to be young, And better to be foolish, Fails, falls, fumbles, but still no fears. The whole world between your ears, Or under your ribs. Little self-awareness, (perhaps persists.)

by mathew steensma, grade 10


31


Bomee Kim, Grade 12

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Fear & Silence By Sophia Rutti, Grade 12

Do my words touch your soul? Do these syllables freely flow? How clumsy can we be, Our breath not reaching beyond our own vicinity. Is freedom of speech really free When we are afraid to say what we mean? Rooms fill endlessly with hot steam While budding ideas scream. Inside they die, Their petals fall down side by side. A graveyard of possibilities, Lives deep within each of our sensibilities. But how is it that they die? Homicide? Suicide? Burnt alive? Ideas. Thoughts. Truths. Feelings. Fear swallows them, And devours their meaning.

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T

Grade 12

By Jessica Sears

Coffee Blues

here's nothing more depressing than an empty pot of coffee, except maybe having to fill it up again. After a long night of sleeping, my brain is foggy and my yawns are echoing around the kitchen (much to the dismay of my always rather disgruntled mother). I feel the worst thing this family has ever had to experience may in fact be not refilling the coffee pot. But, alas, I do it. With the stealth of a slumbering sloth and grace of a camel, I make my every day pilgrimage from the coffee station to the sink to rinse and fill the small steel pot. After turning around, trip-

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ping over feet, tripping over dog, and somehow getting lost among the kitchen floor tiles, I find myself once again before the odd looking contraption from which my daily “step in the right direction” is supplied. We stare each other down, a duel to end all sleepiness. The red light dings its “ready” ding and I start my ever-recurring morning scavenger hunt for the coffee filters. Life is a maze, so it seems, and the kitchen is no exception. The filters turn up at some point between here and there, at which exact one I seem to have forgotten. The grounds are poured in; the machine growls and hums her way to life, and I stand as close as I can get to it, a slave to its end product. At least three times, I take the pot away while it is still brewing, muttering angst-filled threats, hurting the coffee’s feelings and making it want to work faster. When the threats finally prove to have worked in my favor, I lift the pot carefully, pouring the beautiful, brown, silky liquid into an extra-large mug. The luxurious scent of roasted Arabica beans fills my senses, already beginning to wake me up. Sipping slowly at first, gaining momentum as the liquid warms me from the inside out, thoughts begin soaring through my head. For the first time since I awoke this morning I begin to feel alive. I treat the drink to some whipped cream and cinnamon sprinkled on top, simply because it made me so happy this particular morning. It deserves to look pretty. After a few brief moments, however, my mug has run dry. Well normally I would stop there, but the red light is still on! The scent is just as tempting as before, and I could measure out around three more mugs full if I wanted! And just as I had predicted, within ten minutes the pot was once again emptybut I was bubbly and jumpy as if I had stolen the energy of the machine for my own. Sitting at the table, mind you, at this moment I’m faced with a rather difficult task of staying still, and yet my mind is crystal clear, and the words from my mother’s lips rang just as clear “There’s no coffee left? I’ve never heard of anything so… depressing.”

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Bomee Kim, Grade 12

Hmm... I wonder sometimes About the inside of a mind. Is it big and open and white like the tundra? Less cold of course. I hate the cold. I couldn’t stand being cold inside by head. It eats ideas and memories and dreams and wishes That are crunched and chewed and swallowed. Though sometimes they are regurgitated (albeit less than whole). I bet it has a smell. Something spicy, musty, warm, sharp. It’s a chest in the attic.

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I do know that it can age, that the walls crack and the weeds grow and the roof falls in and when it rains you can feel it hit your face and snake down your spine. And you can taste metal in the back of your throat. (I’d like it to be quiet. A soft quiet like a Saturday when it’s raining). Yes. I wonder.

By Philip Dolan Grade 12

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Mariah Fairfield, Grade 12

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39


s w i s s by EricaJoy Oliverio, grade 12

m i s s

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White teeth indent white Styrofoam Like snow angels on the rim. Heat Warms your upper lip. You inhale: A column of transparent steam Fills your nose. The scent is vague, bland, But just enough to entice. Sip – Slowly, now. No need. It’s tepid, Surprisingly disappointing – A cup of watered-down sweetness. Force the lukewarm liquid down. Choke. Your eyes squint; your lips purse; your throat Fights to swallow. Water cocoa Burns your throat, scalds your heart. Your fist Clenches as you discard the sad Drink in the trash. Styrofoam cracks, The lying water-chocolate leaks. You walk away, but the taste remains, Staining your breath.

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Monday Morning

Kevin Park, Grade 12 Boredom buzzes in my brain like scratchy static on a radio While thoughts stall and soupify like too-thick polenta. The voice is still there, nagging, lagging, Furthering yet fighting my drowsiness it drones. No one moves and no one cares who wins or loses today, Just avoid the sound and keep the knowledge at bay. I rest my head in my arm-made nest and sleep lest Thoughts of tests trigger a fatal insulin surge. An eye spies over my elbow, There’s no reason to lie, 42


By Lindsay Seventko, Grade 12

We both know her moving mouth is mute on my mind. Eyes not seeing the PowerPoint, Ears not hearing the added wisdom, I bury my brain under blankets of blonde locks. My cotton-swathed arms further insulate From the gnats of knowledge. Deep darkness descends Like warm chocolate cake batter poured in a pan. Sleep wins as a snore escapes. 43


Katherine Weimer, Grade 12

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A Thin Line By Sophia Rutti Grade 12

The hate I feel for you is unending, Your arrogance fuels the flame of my rage. My heart does not beat for your pretending, Your acting should be away, on a stage. You howl at the moon, its wrongs against you, Yet your wrongs against it are far greater. Your true disregard for life and death too Insult every moon rock, star, and crater. Your selfish disdain for life, mine, and yours, The depth of your self-loathing shakes the core, It wets the desert and dries the foam shores. Your constant threats to take what I adore Makes me a paradox of love and hate And gives my will to the tight fist of fate.

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A reasonable drinker By Kevin Park Grade 12

A

lthough my grandfather was a caring man, he was far from an ideal one, not because he couldn’t provide for his family, but because of his habitual drinking. He would come back home dragging his legs and his drenched body, and his frustration expressed through acrimonious words hurt those

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Katherine Weimer Grade 12


who cared for him. Any effort to help him stop drinking turned futile since he, without alcohol, would lock himself up and weep for hours. It was always disappointing to see that he hadn’t changed a bit. Seeing my grandmother suffer, I started to focus more on the emotional burden and anguish that he had given to me, and this attitude rapidly turned into unremitting hatred. Last July, my grandfather fell ill; he had been withered not only from heavy drinking, but also from extreme guilt. When I heard him, even in this dire state, pleading for alcohol, I was infuriated, for such longing was incomprehensible. Nevertheless, upon looking at his bony arms waving aimlessly, I realized that I had never asked him why he drank, given the consequences and shame that resulted. That night, I knelt before him. He wouldn’t even turn towards me. Then, I asked him the question that I should’ve asked long ago. After a long silent pause, he, full of tears, told me that it was because he was scared. The horror that he went through fighting in the Korean War nearly sixty years ago was still haunting him every night. Without the help of alcohol, he became so overwhelmed by his nightmares that he could not sleep. I came to know, utterly shameful, how ignorant I had been. My grandfather was just a helpless and scarred victim of war. However, blinded by my comfort and peace, I forgot to see that the luxuries of life were only won by the sacrifices of his generation. Foolishly, I had thought that my effort to avoid being like him had shaped me into a reasonable and compassionate person, but it was actually his kind and caring

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nature. that I inherited. He had avoided confessing his nightmares because he was afraid that he might be encumbering me by making me worry about his predicaments. Similarly, I always said to my family in Korea, “Everything is ok and I’m doing just fine,” sometimes even when I was actually sick or was in need for tremendous care and support. Just like my grandfather, I put my family before myself.

"I forgot to see that the luxuries of life were only won by the sacrifices of his generation."

I had struggled to excel both academically and socially, hoping that my endeavor and achievements would divert my family’s attention from their burden and eventually alleviate their emotional agony. Yet, I was wrong. What invigorated me to be diligent was the same rationale that propelled my grandfather to stand up and fight in that devastating war, even at the cost of so much suffering. As much as I had been disappointed in him, I was thankful for him. I felt the hatred melting away, and finally forgave my grandfather.

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Benjamin Weimer, Grade 10

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Bear

By Caitlin Wagner Grade 10

Hair—coarse strands like that of tree bark, The descending brown husks brush his face. Forehead—creased into tight hills among a flat prairie, Nose—protrudes frontward, the bow of a ship, proud, victorious. Eyes—two spherical oceans of blue, Growing darker as you dive deeper, Surrounded by white sands, The edges lapping over, waves softly crashing. Black lashes rest together. Above which two dark crescent moons, Furrow together in concentration. Cheeks—smooth as the grain of freshly sanded wood. Lips—tinted raspberry red, Corners twitch upwards, Daring to beam brilliant ivory teeth. On his chin grow sixteen hairs, A growing man, A sapling springing from the green earth, His plump cheeks turn to strong walls, A soft face into a steady composure.

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By Lucas Quinn Grade 10

Robert

Cheeks—tanned leather Drooping at the chin Like a bloodhound, Chin—beaten to toughness Like the boot of a time-ripened cowboy. A gray field mouse rests Just below his nose, Hiding various parts of itself in his nose, In accordance with the season. A faint red seam lays below, Yielding wisdomWisdom more valuable Than a fountain of gold, Comparable only to his eyes— A pair of swords That rest above his nose, Sharpened by the toil and reward Of a life well spent.

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Allison Swede, Grade 9

I Have a Dream By Caroline Kessler Grade 10

We live in a right-handed world, a world in which, from birth, the right-hander is given an advantage. In schools everywhere, left-handers are faced with rulers, pencil sharpeners, and spiral notebooks that will always be faithful to another hand. At home we are denied the easy use of can openers, ice cream scoopers, even a basic pair of scissors. In the world of sports we are plagued by golf clubs, field hockey sticks, and baseball gloves that all play favorites for the right-handed team. And then, once we venture out into this world, we are confronted with rampant handism in the form of computer mice, gearshifts, and elevator buttons. Left-handers have always been dismissed and rejected; from the beginning of penmanship we were labeled as sinister, unlucky, and evil, accused of crimes we never committed. But, thankfully, 52


we are a resilient bunch. Withstanding the tests of time, we kept popping up, no matter how hard they tried to beat left-handedness out of existence. Bloodied and bruised from hard-hitting rulers, the left hand soldiers on. Up until now, we have made the necessary adaptations and difficult sacrifices to fit our left-handed square peg into the world’s right-handed round hole. But why should we have to? After all, the left-handed population has given civilization many of its greats: historic figures like Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, and Joan of Arc; past and present American icons like Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., and Barack Obama; a ceaseless supply of famous names that includes those from da Vinci to Rembrandt, Johann Sebastian Bach to Sir Paul McCartney, also, Helen Keller, Babe Ruth, and Albert Einstein. No one can deny their accomplishments, and how could they have been achieved in a foreign hand? Without his left hand, could da Vinci have Bloodied and bruised painted the Mona Lisa? from hard-hitting Could Babe rulers, the left hand Ruth have been the best soldiers on. of all baseball players? These left-handers were accepted and applauded, so why not give the left hand its due? I grew up in a privileged school, but even there, not once was I offered a pair of left-handed scissors. Left-handers are told to adapt, to make the best of it, and sadly, this kindergartener’s struggle is only the first of the infinite conflicts left-handers will face all their lives. All across the world, millions of others face the same disadvantages, the same discrimination, the same left-handed oppression. But now, too much ink has been smeared and the left-handers are ready to receive what is rightfully theirs. Too long have we twisted and contorted ourselves to meet society’s demands. Until the left-hander can shake hands, high five, and pinky promise with the same freedom as his right-handed brother, we cannot stop. Until writing desks, ticket barriers, and ATMs give equal opportunity to the left and the right, we cannot stop. We have a difficult 53


battle ahead of us, but we are strong and will grit our teeth against the storm of hand-ism, until the wrongs are righted and the right taught a lesson. As Rocky Balboa says, “Nobody wants to fight a southpaw.� I have a dream that one day, the ink will not smear on our papers, that we will be able to write in binders and notebooks without the hindrance of metal barriers and perform all tasks in our natural hand. I have a dream that left-handers will not be forced to change their ways based on the majority and that free hand preference will be allowed for all people. I have a dream that one day, left-handers will be offered the same conveniences as everyone else in this right-hand dominated world. I have a dream that left-handers and right-handers can coexist, that each will be given the same chances in life, so the world and everyone in it can benefit from the harmony that comes from left and right cooperation.

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the Candle By Kelly Mason, The rigid transparency Grade 12 encloses the cylindrical wax. A tiny dancer glows as it bobs up and down like a buoy on the coast. As the sides droop and melt like an ice cream cone in summer, The waxy fingers reach down to touch the glass basement. A pool of fragrance becomes the audience for its fair dancer, And as it applauds its performer, we are taken into the woods. The liquid escapes us into the trees of a far off forest, And notes of amber, evergreen and cedar reach into every crevice. Memories of s’mores lay heavy on our taste buds as campfires are recalled. The liquid shines back our reflection, and We are warded off by the performance of the crimson ballerina. 55


city seeing By Ava Marvin, GRADE 12

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BY BOMEE KIM, GRADE 12

Small reflecting pools Of half-frozen rain; Our feet swiftly glide over them. Shoulders squished together Bumping into sides As strangers shuffle past each other. DunkClunk Bunk sunk. Suitcase wheels chunk down the stairs To the icy subway. Stern faces shoot out Of windows whooshing past Me, standing behind my parents, my shield. Sitting among anonymous appearances, Other children staring and laughing, Adults sitting in silence with their heads in a newspaper. 57


Gabriela Cabrera, Grade 10

THE COLOR OF ABANDONMENT By EricaJoy Oliverio, Grade 12 The woman with the sweet tea lips waited for Tuesdays, the day when the turquoise blue tractor-trailer pulled into her drive and her trucker-lover emerged. But one Tuesday, the turquoise tractor-trailer did not return. Months passed: no truck, no trucker. Turquoise-colored fantasies faded into nothingness. 58

The woman with the sweet tea lips stopped waiting.


Reminiscing I would rather you remember me By the long phone calls That were so unplanned, Or when you comforted me Over every trivial problem that befalls Me even though they were all offhand; Or by the way that my anxious hand Intertwined with yours Because I knew you were nervous too; What I wasn’t expecting were the fights That would come at night, Forcing me to make stumble Over apologies and to rue Ever believing in you. Even though the purpose of this piece Was for me to share fond moments of you, The overwhelming bitterness that still remains Hides any goodness left. Maybe with time I will be able to show That my feelings were true, And part with my regrets That possess my mind, like a theft. Your lingering presence still haunts me As I see you pass through the hallways Refusing to let me start anew.

By Mariah Fairfield Grade 12 59


B W y Ja Gr ro m ad e, es e1 0

IC K

Chapter 1

N

In the photo, my brother and I sit on the remains of a wall, by the Roman emperor Trajan to keep the Scots out of his great land. My back is to the camera, as I smile instead into Nick’s face, as he tells my sevenyear-old self about some historical “fact” he probably made up moments earlier. I wouldn’t have cared if it were true or not, I only saw him once a year for about a few days, when his boarding school let him out for the weekend, and my parents could afford to fly us all over to England. His blue jeans, his blue jacket, and the blue rocks of the wall itself clash marveously against his red hair, and his air chilled ears, which twitch occasionally, like a rabbit’s nose, as he becomes more and more excited by the tale he is so invested in spinning out for his younger sibling.

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Several months pass, and I’m back in America watching TV. It was some pointless show with an unengaging plot Nick could have outdone given five minutes and reason to write, and I was just about to fall asleep. The phone began to ring, and I heard my mother shout that it was from Nick’s


school. I thought nothing of it. Calls and letters from the school were fairly common, they kept us up to date on his grades, how he was feeling, and anything interesting that was going on. I didn’t know it at the time, but they had called not too long ago, to tell my father that Nick had been caught drinking at school. My father picked it up, and started talking to whoever it was that had interrupted his work. The conversation was short, and I heard my father hang up. Then he started to cry. I didn’t catch what was said, either when he was on the phone, or when he was choking up half formed sentences to convey the news to my mom, but half an hour later, my mother found me and explained the situation. Nick was dead. She told me that he had “done something called suicide,” as if I didn’t know what that meant, but I did. She also said that it would probably be difficult for me to understand the significance of what was going on, but I did. I knew exactly what he had taken from himself, what he had taken from all of us. I wondered why he had done it, and if he had known what he was doing when he had killed himself. I wondered if I would ever be able to forgive him. But I did. Chapter 2 On the door of the fridge, between the shopping list, and a bottle opener with a quote from Benjamin Franklin on it, is stuck a little figure of a dancing leprechaun, dressed in typical green and black garb, with gold buckles on his belt, hat, and shoes. A big smile slashes across his face, as he plays a jig, on his oversized fiddle. Nick’s homeroom teacher had given the leprechaun to my dad at the funeral. He said it was sort of a joke between Nick and himself, 61


as Nick had always reminded him of a leprechaun, being mischievous and redheaded as he was. My dad had thanked him, and took good care of the little figurine. He hid it away in a drawer for years, protecting it from damage, from the real world, before he found the courage to stick it to the door of the fridge. Now it’s on display for everyone to see, in all of its glorious detail. From the tiny buckles on its

"I wondered why he had done it, and if he had known what he was doing when he had killed himself. I wondered if I would ever be able to forgive him. But I did."

black leather shoes, to the thin white string on his fiddle, to the barely visible line of glue along his neck, which appeared after a drunken house guest had knocked him off of the door, and broke his head off, just a few days after my father had decided to place it out in the open, and had stuck it back on, hoping we wouldn’t notice.

62


Kevin Park, Grade 12

63


The Glowering Beast

By Mariah Fairfield Grade 12 64

Wriggling, writhing, the helpless girl tries to fight The nameless beast that holds so much bite, And wants no more of her existence. Its dripping claws are now met with less resistance, Yet she desperately wishes that all of it would end But into the darkness she seems to descend. The longer she suffers, the more she cries, Oh, how she wishes that this monster would die. Before she gives up, and lets it win; Her only way out is the biggest of sins. With trembling hands the cross in her hand, But still the beast pulls her under the sand. With one last gasp, she ends her pain, The creature has been anything but slain. Her corpse is laid out all pretty in white, At last, she’s finally gone into the light. However, these lights aren’t as pure as you would think, The cuts on her wrists show that she was destined to sink; Once the people have left, and her body remains, Finally, for the first time, she feels no pain.


MAXIMILIANO GUARRIELLO, GRADE 11

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The black tree bobbed in the wind, The tree stood alone Not completely different from the trees around it, Yet different nonetheless. Dark bark, scarred, Leaves black and cold as the night. Roots curling and coiling like a snake in the water. The branches twisted in grotesque forms. The tree stood alone, Its boughs brought night rather than shade. Any critters brave enough to scale the tree were gone long ago. The tree stood alone Shadows danced around the trunk in an alien ritual. The cracked grin of the tree showed through the bark Smiling at me. Its eyes were everywhere Set upon me. The sun set and the tree’s grasp reached out to me; calling It sends a chill that runs through your bones to your core. As the sun fell below the horizon, its grasp retracted, The shadows ran home. No light fell upon the tree. The tree stood alone. 66


the black tree

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By Clayton Templeton Grade 12

CLAYTON TEMPLETON, GRADE 12


Eleanor Ligon, Grade 11

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The Restless Night By Annette Lee Grade 12

Who is to blame for those restless trees? Their limbs swing tirelessly with the breeze, And their hairs fall own onto the ground, Changing pigments without a sound. Crumpling, crispy, crinkling, crunch. The heavy foot steps on a bunch. The sky withdraws the sun for now, Departing the day, for heads shall bow. The branches tremble with the gust, Twitching restlessly as it fights the dust. Yet creatures hum as they snooze away, Slumber brings no words to say. Hushing winds have now confessed, Whispering songs and thoughts depressed. The fight is over; it is now the end, The winds escape, for the light ascends.

69


Sydney Lee, Grade 10

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When She Wakes By Alexandra Simon Grade 12 The man wakes up every Sunday morning to arrive first at the florist shop. He buys a dozen of her favorite hydrangeas—adding the fresh bundle to the pile of dried, dying ones from previous weeks. When she wakes, she’ll see the new blossoms of life. Though she’ll never see them, the flowers remain.

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I Have a Dream

Katherine Weimer, Grade 12

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By Gabriela Cabrera Grade 10


As I look out upon each of your faces, I see that all of you came here for a reason. The topic of same-sex marriage has crossed each of your minds at least once, if it does make rough, violent waves in your lives each and every day. For me, as a high school student growing up in a relatively small town, it is very difficult to find someone advocating or even accepting the idea that others may be interested in the same sex. If asked about their opinion on this crucial crusade for social justice, a good number of people would reply, “It’s unnatural! Aren’t relationships exclusive to a man and woman?” This saddens me; why can we not let love be? Love has no gender. Love has no preference. Love has no persuasion or orientation. Why can we not let go of the stereotypes and accept the differences we share with our neighbors? Why do we insist on distancing ourselves We do Not accept from people when they have done absolutely that which we do nothing to harm or not understand insult us? I know as a - we fear the human, that we do not darkness of that accept what we do not understand—we fear the which we cannot darkness of that which grasp. we cannot grasp. All that I ask is that one day, we simply begin to understand that not everyone is the same, and not everyone shares our same interests. Why is it that the words “homosexual” or “gay” have become synonymous with the words “faggot” or “dyke”? We throw around these words as if they mean nothing! When did it become acceptable to slur offensive words with no sensitivity towards the victim? Why are we afraid to swallow the pill of individuality and originality when some confused peers who find themselves imprisoned in a closet of callous incomprehension and contemplate swallowing real pills to escape the righteous indignation of those whose concept of dignity is being romantically involved with someone from the opposite sex? Have we not learned that ostracizing others has led to nothing but a troublesome present 73


and future? Isolating those whom with we do not identify strands them on a ceaselessly storming island, with no one around to offer aid. I’m not saying that a simple piece of paper will solve our issues with acceptance, but I am trying to convey to all of you that we desperately need to make some sort of headway or we will lose sight of the principles upon which this country was founded. We are given several basic, necessary rights at birth: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We call these our “inalienable” rights, though we slowly take them away from the members of the LGBT community. Same sex couples cannot enjoy the benefits of marriage or the blessing of children, whether they’re biological or adopted, without the piercing gaze of homophobia and abhorrence. As it stands, the notion of same-sex marriage is so controversial that it tears up households; pitting mother and father against son or daughter. I have a dream that some day, people will not judge others by the lovers they choose or the way they decide to live; married or in non-legally binding relationships. I have a dream that the government will see the injustice they are committing by limiting its citizens rights to universal love, an emotionally satisfying life, and just happiness in general. I have a dream that men and women, young or old everywhere will find that they can be a part of the world without criticism or discrimination. I have a dream that we will someday be able to affirm a person’s preference in others and welcome his/her personality and individuality with open arms. To the people who say that same-sex or gay marriage is unacceptable, I would say isn’t judging a sin? Aren’t you committing the “sin” here? Where in the Bible does it say that being attracted to the same sex is frowned upon? I don’t recall Jesus condoning judging or restricting the happiness of others. I have a dream that the argument of Adam & Eve will open up and become Adam & Steve. I have a dream that we will see past the black-and-white of heterosexual vs. homosexual marriage. Love is Love.

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75

Katherine Weimer, Grade 12


silence Everywhere lay words, In motion pictures, and memorable drama, In modern politics, and that which falls before a comma. Their presence is powerful, Filled with both life and death. Yet caused by only a mix of sound and breath. The world turns. Yet, what about silence? Nothing is able to be said, It lacks any mentality, neither happy, nor full of dread. But it is hardly empty. Silence is rich in emotion, And full of infinite power, Its deep meaning able to devour.

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By Alexandra Simon, grade 12

The world slows. It is the feeling deep within the darkest abyss, The sound of eternal orbits and all that transcends, And the sight behind the immense sky’s lens. Words can change civilizations, destroy or create societies, A sound amongst many. Silence can change lives, create or destroy any, A deafening truth. The world halts.

Alexandra Boarts, Grade 9

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Collected from the Instagrams of Wakefield students

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AndrewMarsh11

AshleyKim11

BenMichaelson9

CaitlinWagner10

CarolineKessler10

ConnorDominick9

ConnorGutch10

GabrielaCabrera10

EleanorDunnegan9

EvyEdens9

GabrielaCastano11

EmmaAnderson11


Wakefield School

24 photos

154 followers

GinaMcClinden11

HastingsWilliamson10

JillianHadlock9

JuliannaParra9

GabrielaCabrera10

MariahFairfield12

MeaghanWeitz10

LilyWestbrook9

RobinRoss9

JackFinn10

LoganFloyd10

SamHurley11

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A Reflection By Sophia Rutti, grade 12

Two sets of hands worked together to press down all edges of one huge map. The map was ripped out of an old National Geographic and displays the different sizes of Ancient Persia at different moments in time. A thick red time line was drawn at the bottom of the map detailing different moments of conquest and failure, each with a short anecdote and some with small illustrations. I looked down at the four corners of the map and for a moment I couldn’t tell which hands were mine and which were hers. The same deep plum color coated the fingernails and the same short fingers sat upon the same veiny hands and thin wrists. On each of the right wrists a black rubber band I looked down at the wrapped itself four corners of the around, creating a contrast map and for a moment and allowing our I couldn’t tell which skins a light tan glow. I watched hands were mine and as the fingers of which were hers. the hand that I thought was my own moved of their own accord until a low familiar voice snapped me back to reality. The voice commanded as usual until I pulled myself from my stupor and used my cloned hands to place candles on my two corners of the map. We both stepped away from the huge glossy brown table and stared down at the huge map we had flattened onto it. The smile on my mother’s face was fleeting and genuine but was quickly overcome by pressed lips once again in thoughts that would probably never be voiced. I stepped around to the other side of the table and put each hand on one side of the map and leaning forwards towards the table. Her hands were directly across from mine, pressed hard into the table, but while she stared at the map I watched her hands and the way she would very subtly 80


noitcelfeR A Art By Janice Lee, grade 10

slide the chair next to her back and forth with her foot in an idle gesture that didn’t portray even a glimpse of what was running through her thoughts. I had learned long ago that I never needed her to voice her thoughts for me to understand. Since I can remember I’ve always understood exactly what she meant in her subtle movements, in the flick of an eye and the purse of her lips I knew what she was trying to say to me. It frustrated my father and sisters the veritable ease with which we could communicate using little to no words. Suddenly, the moment was over. She slid the chair back into place, rolled I imagined the hands up her loose fighting plaid moving all together shirtsleeves and in some kind of unnat- moved onto ural synchronization, her next project. I however, never meeting and couldn’t move. never interacting but In my mind’s eye I couldn’t always together. dispel the image of those four mirror image hands. Every vein, every movement, every shade, all-identical. I imagined the hands moving all together in some kind of unnatural synchronization, never meeting and never interacting but always moving together. I pushed myself away from the table; slipped my foot around the edge of the chair I had been leaning against and slid it into place. I clasped my hands together behind my back and allowed an eerie kind of calm to settle over me. I walked silent and barefoot across the tile hallway before a large framed photo entranced me. I had passed it hundreds of times before, perhaps thousands, but I had never stopped to look. It was an old black and white photo of my grandmother’s engagement. 81


She wore what looked to be a gray dress and a crown of roses atop her head. She was sitting on a blanket at what I imagine to be some kind of romantic engagement picnic, but for the first time I noticed those same hands pressed into the blanket in front of her. My wrists and veiny hands were there in a photo taken long before I was born. I looked on and found that my same thick curly brown hair was worn by this young girl, and that she wore the same wide smile that I’d been kindly mocked about for years. My mother’s voice called me as it had many times before and I reluctantly pulled myself away from the curious person whom I both knew and recognized as different people. My mother called me into the kitchen; she was standing with her hands clasped behind her back grinning down at a soft black puppy that was nipping at the laces on her shoes. I hardly noticed the puppy was there. I first saw the hands clasped behind her back and the deep brown eyes of the same shade as mine beaming down. I then noticed that we were both wearing the same shoes of the same shade and that like her I had my hair tied into a loose mess on the back of my head. As she spoke I could think of nothing but the seeming similarities within our voices and the way in which we used them. I wondered if perhaps my father and sisters were not bothered by our seamless communication, but instead the exponential magnification of our combined flaws. Did I truly have the same flaws as she did? I had denied many of them. I had tried to convince myself that unlike her I was able to express emotions in the spoken words ,but it didn’t take long for that illusion to collapse. I remembered instances in which she had fought with some person or another and I had been deeply bothered by it, but now I can think of sev82


eral instances I wondered if perhaps in which I have my father and sisters been more than willing to dive were not bothered voice first into by our seamless coman aggressive argument. I munication but inremember how stead the exponential bothered I used to be when she magnification of our would check combined flaws. and double check and triple check everything from the stove to her bank accounts and now I almost compulsively double check whether I have my wallet with me or not, and I reread everything three to four times for fear of missing something of importance. I can’t bring myself to believe that this is all learned behavior, because I have never met someone more forgetful than my younger sister. My mother and I always joke that she takes after her father, but neither of them find the joke very funny. She had crouched down and was now teasing the puppy with a sock in the same way I had many times before. Had I learned from her my every movement, or were my personality and physical traits truly just a product of heredity. Did it matter? I sat down beside her still deep in thought but thankfully she, like me, didn’t feel the need to talk. I stretched out my legs onto either side of the puppy and watched it thrash back and forth as she gave and then took the towel away from it. I saw for just a moment a difference 83


between our hands. The skin on hers was looser and the wrinkles at the joints more defined, and her wrists were perhaps even thinner than my own. The color of her eyes was slightly darker and her eyebrows slightly lighter. Thin lines etched themselves around her lips and her eyes but were hardly visible in her tan skin. Her lips were thinner than mine, and she has a small beauty mark just above her lip, but I still see myself reflected in her eyes. I had never noticed before the similarities between our every movement, between our voices, and between our countenances. We share a similar disposition and similar reservations, and yet there is no one in the world I disagree with more. We argue and disagree and moments later we reconcile and we’ve left the rest of our family in absolute confusion. I reconcile with her the same way I reconcile things within myself, and only it was a one-way window, and now I see that I have never

looked into a mirror without some other creature looking back at me. Her flaws infuriate and disturb me, and her interests confuse and disarm me but I find myself as I age becoming closer and closer to her and who she is. Ironically, the concept of aging is meant to show the difference and the separation between the mother and the daughter, but instead it has only shown to me that we are coming to a kind of collision. The younger I was the less physically obvious it was that she was my mother, but as I grew out thick curly hair and my body grew, our relation becme obvious. We are different experiences and different circumstance all coming to the same conclusion. I used to find myself bothered by her argumentative nature and now find myself naturally starting arguments. Her absolute love for both science fiction films and BBC series used to leave me bored and irritated, and now thrill me in the same way I imagine 84


they do her. I’ve watched my mother and grandmother together and have seen a kind of synchronization but never imagined that it would affect me. I’ve watched a kind of understanding and love that only can be tied to bonds of blood, and I’ve seen the lines etch deeper into my mothers face and my grandmother’s face, and I can’t help but think that in twenty years a young girl will be watching me and my mother and thinking about the way our hands seem just the same and our voices share the same quality. I’ve come to see her flaws as her greatest assets in the same way that I have come to understand myself as a two-sided being. While arguing may seem negative, standing up for your principles reflects positively. I watch my father and sisters look at us as if we are some kind of two headed beast, and I realize how much more obvious it must be for them seeing our similarities as well as our

differences when it took me seventeen years before I could even begin to comprehend how much one person has shaped me. Smiling inwardly, I stood up and strode towards the living room or as my father and youngest sister call it ,the ‘music room’ to see them sitting side by side on separate chairs with their legs crossed identically, a guitar across each of their laps, and their same light hair and I can see that I will never understand either of them the way that they seem to understand each other. I may know more about my younger sister than my father does, but I will never be able to see the world though the sight that they share. As I gather up the poster of Iran I think about my grandmother and her mother, and that maybe one day long before I was born they were both sitting at a table in Iran when my grandmother looked up and saw both herself and her future in her mother’s eyes. 85


The most pleasant present I have received Under the sky is you, the most graceful and grateful gift. Your soft voice, smiling face, and a line of a humming Song: three combined are the best I could ask for; I guarantee you agree that you are the most precious present. More than a resplendent rose petal More than the lucid starlight seen at night More than the soft zephyr blown into my face Even all combined cannot be compared with your kind mind. You are the most precious present.

present 86


Madeleine Dargis, Grade 10

Falling asleep at dawn, I see you appearing in my dream. Even in the dreams, you are sweeter than the sweets. Smiling upon the smallest thing, you deserve the biggest love. For your love resonates around the whole world and For what you have done, you are the most precious present.

By Ryan Shim, Grade 12 87


bluebells & tomatoes By Brianna Hutchison, Grade 10

I

n the photo, I stand sandwiched between my two sisters, one of my pudgy little kid arms clamped around Rosie’s shoulder, and the other reaching around Ciara and toward my Aunt Judy. Aunt Judy is laughing, her mouth turned up in a gentle smile and her soft, papery skin crinkled around her smiling mouth and soft loving eyes. Behind the four of us is what looks like an ancient oak tree, which is really four trees that have grown together over hundreds of tiny, delicate flowers growing in the empty clearing the trees form. I lean down to pick one to remember their fragile beauty, but Aunt Judy stops me and tells me how they love to live here because they are safe. I lean down to pick one to remember

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Leilani Wolf, Wolf, Grade 10 10 Leilani Grade

89


their fragile beauty, but Aunt Judy stops me and tells me how they love to live here because they are safe. I pull my dirty, sticky hand away, and slide it into Aunt Judy’s waiting hand. Aunt Judy and I walk side by side through the Bluebell Woods on the rocky trail. Beside us a stagnant river is swarming with mosquitos, and I run along tugging Aunt Judy’s hand and beckoning her to follow me. Aunt Judy lets go of my hand and I run ahead, looking back only to make sure the people I love, Aunt Judy, Uncle Jim, Ciara, and Rosie, are watching me. They all wave in acknowledgement and I circle back on the rough trail to walk beside Aunt Judy for a few more minutes. I laugh and tell her stories about school, sports, and my friends, and I bask in the loving attention, her endless listening, and kind words she showers me with.

"I lean down to pick one to remember their fragile beauty, but Aunt Judy stops me and tells me how they love to live here because they are safe." Ten years later Ciara, Rosie, and I stand in front of the same twisted oak tree. This time I shuffle my feet and try not to cry as I hear Uncle Jim talking about how Aunt Judy’s ashes are here now, in the place she loved to walk. I hear my mom crying behind me, and I wrap my hair around my finger again and again as if wrapping hair around my finger will somehow protect the memories of Aunt Judy that I struggle to keep. I look at the bluebells and am filled again with wonder at their fragile perfection. Now Aunt Judy is there too, her ashes gently sprinkled amongst the gorgeous flowers in their safe haven, and I imagine her protecting the flowers from the childish hands that try to reach in and pick them. In the backyard of my Uncle Jim’s house, grows one skinny tomato plant. The tomatoes are just starting to turn orange and they are shiny and hot beneath the bright July sun. My mom asks about when they were planted, just trying to make 90


conversation. Uncle Jim’s eyes fill with tears as he talks about how he and Aunt Judy had planted them together just two short months ago. They had planned to grow all their own tomatoes this summer, and Aunt Judy would water them while Uncle Jim would go and pick them every afternoon. All their plans for watering tomato plants, for future vacations with their friends, and for watching their grandchildren grow up fell apart a week after they planted the tomatoes. So Uncle Jim tries to do it all alone, but, without Aunt Judy, half of everything is missing.

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Bittersweet

Sydney Lee, Grade 10 The trees are slowly losing their flamboyant color. Reddish orange leaves lazily float to the ground leaving bare, brown branches in their wake. The air is warm but a cool breeze whispers against your skin. For most, today is simply just another fall day, but for you it is a personal memorial. As the world moves forward, you stop for a moment and reflect. Memories filled with dueling emotions captivate your attention. A lone tear trickles down your cheek. There is only one word to describe this moment, only one word that can adequately describe this strange dichotomy of pain and pleasure, this happy sadness of nostalgia. This moment is bittersweet. No synonym can rival the beautiful veracity of this simple 92


By EricaJoy Oliverio, Grade 12

oxymoron. It is the only word that can describe that seemingly indescribable combination of loss and love. Bittersweet stimulates the senses. You can taste bittersweet – a square of dark chocolate containing ninety percent cocoa. You can smell bittersweet – sour orange juice and a dollop of sugary icing. You can hear the alliteration in bittersweet, can feel the balance of harsh t’s and airy e’s. I have developed a long list of favorite words through years of reading and vocabulary study, but few rival the accuracy of bittersweet. When our emotions are too intricate for our own understanding, when most words fail to adequately express, bittersweet prevails, transcending the limits of mere vocabulary and becoming a cherished emotion in its own right. 93


snow

Virgin white flurries Hurry down from on high Not falling, but striking They claw at the sky A glimpse here, a glimpse there It’s eerie to see No sound beyond howling And the rustling of trees. It smothers the ground And chokes out the breath;

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It embraces the living And leaves behind death. A natural phenomenon That stirs fear and awe, Its prey only escapes When it starts to thaw. Ephemeral as lightning It’s there, then it’s gone Like a tempestuous night Before a dazzling dawn. By Alexandra Diaz-Aleman, grade 12

By Connor Poss, Grade 11

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The Bear Hunt

Caitlin Wagner, Grade 10

By Lucas Quinn Grade 10 A fascination with the wild was something that always united my cousins, siblings, and me as children. Our family owns a farm that’s cornered between Chester Gap and Shenandoah National Park, just South of Front Royal, Virginia. It was our Wild West, we romanticized it to the point where any connected dips in the fields became canyons, the cattle became bison, and the swimming pool became the Pacific Ocean. Any geographic abnormality, sudden emotional sensation, or “ancient” farm legend was worthy of days of close and careful exploration and examination. A mere glint in the creek brought on days of an excessive gold-panning operation. The feeling of eyes at our back brought about an enormous investigation concerning assassins in Virginia. The dinner time legend of the body of an

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old lady who ate her husband in the basement of the manor house provided us with a reason to fortify the area around the basement door. The discovery of a new trail (new to us kids) led to nearly a week of tracking Indians—Indians, who we later discovered, looked a whole lot like our parents on an afternoon walk. For years we divided the farm into parcels, traded poisonberry stalks, and fried bass—all under the evil eye of Stinky Pete, the villain to our Wild West story. However, perhaps the greatest of these adventures was the Bear Hunt. After a long day of exploring, conquering, and taming the wilderness, we would all return to the manor house for dinner. It was always an extended affair, dinner with that part of our family. As kids, we were lucky if we only had to live through the ordeal from 4:30, when the first daiquiris would be made, to just before sundown, when, generally, every adult had at least a hint of red at the tip of his or her nose. On occasion, we would have to sit through up to six hours of “This key lime pie is divine! Just where did you buy such a delight?” and “You will never guess what I found crawling around the kitchen this morning” and “Let me tell you what I think about John Kerry…”. The one thing that made this whole, seemingly pointless social gathering worth it for us was the bear hunt that we would experience after dinner every once in a while. It was a tradition that had been going on in our family at that farm for generations, and the thrill was just as great every time. It was simple; the But it was more than adults lifted all of us into the back that. It was a ritual of our old, black that brought us toF-150 and we took off through the gether as a family. fields looking for We kids could feel it bears. But it was coming. The bear hunt more than that.

had a formula.

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Caitlin Wagner, Grade 10

It was a ritual that brought us together as a family. We kids could feel it coming. The bear hunt had a formula. The sun’s last rays would slip off the tops of the trees on Dickey’s Ridge to the West, and a blanket of humidity would settle down upon us. It would be late enough that a bit of mist would fall into the dips and the valleys in the fields, and on especially hot days a layer would settle on our lake and flow with the wind, with the island rising up like a mountaintop. The smells of a bourbon-marinated medium rare flank steak and hand rolled Virginia cigars would waft from the porch and flood over our trampoline. It would get a little darker, and finally, when the woods were fully darkened and beckoning, we knew it was time. We would wait for the jolly cackles from the porch to come to a lull, and then send an emissary to talk to the men and beg them to take us out. We were always greeted with a “Lemme finish this cigar” or “Lemme grab a beer.” When we got lucky, the depleted cigar did not turn into a full one, and the search for a beer lasted less than the time it took for it to get totally dark outside. If all of these criteria were fulfilled, we would set out. We would begin in the closer fields, but they were always empty, so we regarded visiting them as a

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The smells of bourbon-marinated medium rare flank steak and hand rolled Virginia cigars would waft from the porch and flood over our trampoline. waste of time. But once we warmed up to the trip, we would start to see things. We would see wonderful things. We saw bald eagles eclipse the fading summer sun with their enormous wings. We saw the songbirds scatter at the cry of a falcon swooping down the mountainside. We were absolutely fascinated when we saw “fish in a river swimmin’ free” on cue from the Lynyrd Skynyrd song on the old truck’s radio. We saw a fawn being nursed by its mother. We would even see the occasional bear. But it was bigger than that. When we exited the yard into

Caitlin Wagner, Grade 10

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the first field and cruised through the dip in the center of it, we would often see the tip of the great old wooden cross in the family cemetery meet the last flit of sunny glow on the ridgeline, with the deep orange and purple clouds forming a saintly halo around its heavenly trunk. We watched the North Star rise over Chester Gap. We paused on a hilltop to plunge our eyes into the silent amber waves of grain. The damp heat of an August evening thunderstorm rolled down the rough mountain canyons to soothe our humble gathering. We returned from every bear hunt more aware of the world around us. Bear hunts taught us what was really important in life. When we hopped in the bed of that old black Ford, we dropped all our worries on the driveway. We became humble witnesses to something that’s power and majesty we couldn’t imagine fathoming. While in awe of this great thing called Nature, we lost much of what was superficial in our lives. We returned from every bear hunt a little wiser. Caitlin Wagner, Grade 10

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Janice Lee, Grade 10

Coco

By EricaJoy Oliverio Grade 12

The muscles in her legs contract and release sporadically as she lies against the brown leather. Her paws flick back and forth unconsciously, grazing the couch, finding surface in empty air. Whiskers dance atop her twitching lips; a mauve tongue darts into the air and then retreats. A low whine escapes her throat. A yellowed canine is exposed as the whimper turns into a rumble, a soft bark, and, then, to silence. I lightly run my fingers through her black fur. Her muscles ripple beneath my fingertips and then freeze. Time stops as oblivion fights a losing battle against the oncoming consciousness. Her lids open and the last remnants of her mysterious dream float away, perhaps forever. Our eyes lock – brown and blue, canine and human – and I wonder, for the slightest moment, if the world in her dream was better than reality. Her tail thumps steadily against the couch, answering my silent question.

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As I walk across the stony wall, I witness the enormity of nature. Everything from the baby blue sky to the murky brown mulch. From the smooth leaves of the trees to the rough stones that construct the wall. From the warbling of the birds to the sounds of leaves rustling against one another. As I take all of this in, I notice the tree. A backdrop of rolling hills and valleys complement the elegant tree, bursting full of deep red and rich yellow leaves. A red cardinal flies into view and finds a petite branch, which quivers slightly under the bird’s weight as the the bird nestles itself onto the branch. The sun shines through the leaves and warms the bird’s back. Suddenly restless, the cardinal flies off into the sky, gracefully soaring away until it’s nothing more than a speck on the immense plain of the sky. This tree takes me back to the San Bernindino Mountains, a mountain range tucked into the Mojave Desert. As a child, my family and I traveled up to a resort in the mountains named Idyllwild. Yes, the name was odd, but I liked it. We rented an oversized house that stood on the precipice of a tiny cliff, overlooking the valley below us. The view was absolutely palatial, looking on to the compact town at the bottom of the mountain. At night when you sat on the disproportionately large deck, you were able to see the lights from the city shining upon the valley.

the tree

by liam day, grade 9 102


clayton templeton, grade 12

The cliff was a place of refuge and peace for me. The house was always be full of my little brothers and their friends running around and shouting like normal 7 year olds. I often went to the cliff and sat on the edge, escaping the noisy household and looking onto the valley below me. On that cliff there was nothing except a small, fragile tree growing out of the cliff. The cliff was absolutely bare except for that one tree. I remember everything about it. I can recall stroking its glossy leaves and picking its lovely flowers. I can still hear its leaves peacefully rustling in the wind and feel the rugged, worn trunk. My mind is filled with this as I observe that elegant little tree.

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Caroline Hoffman, Grade 12

Airbag

By Ryan Shim, Grade 12

My mind slipping on the rainy road, Sharp headlights piercing through the raindrops, And honking roars heard through the car windows, Will be blocked from me by a billowed balloon. White nitrogen gas like grinded chalk Stinking nothing but a pain, “bang!� Loud clash never more daunting; therefore. I need something that will keep me in a sweet seat. Because it is too late to dodge, I need an airbag Before the immense, imminent sorrow hits me.

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Violet Skies

By Mariah Fairfield, Grade 12 True morning can only be experienced When all others are fast asleep. Even the birds have yet to stretch their wings Or greet the rising sun with their sharp trills. Alone, my car and I race over the shiny wet road, The fog just barely rising from the ground. Rolling my dusty window down, To my left is the field and mountain tops. My breath hitches as the sky is a light violet, Streaked with wispy clouds hanging on the peaks. The damp, fresh air infiltrates my car, Filling me with a brisk sensation that gives me goose bumps. My head is suddenly out the window Like an unabashedly idiotic dog. Closed eyes, wind rushes past my face, And suddenly I am a retriever, A goofy slapstick grin plastered on my face As I am blissfully unaware of the oncoming car. A screech of tires, the smell of burning rubber, And the angry shouts from the driver Assault my previously serene senses. I am greeted with a rude finger gesture, And return the courtesy with a winning smile.

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Chapter 1

R

ecess was a whimsical time. Here, on a great field of mulch and shoddily constructed play sets, after an arduous day of coloring in shapes and learning the wonders of addition, one was permitted to spend an hour releasing untold reserves of energy by screaming, leaping, falling, and imagining on a great field of mulch and shoddily constructed play sets. Teachers would stand idly by, ensuring no one received too great an injury, and sipping on yet another cup of coffee, while the children, who had endured hours of lessons, classwork, and mandatory naptimes were finally allowed to take the reins, directing the ebb and flow of events, inventing and playing whatever games we pleased while teachers simply stood on the sidelines, not caring or understanding.

An American Childhood By James Wroe, Grade 10 But these games weren’t always just games. They took place at a point in our lives where the boundaries between thinking and knowing, between believing and pretending were not so definite or important. 106

ryan shim, grade 12


These boundaries meant so little to us children during recess that what was a game one day might be a way of life the next, and we might be disappointed to find that house we had pretended to live in one afternoon had disappeared when we returned. This blur between the realms of reality and imagination, although a great deal of fun, came at a great risk. If a child were to find a game to be too much fun, to the point that he or she spent a great deal of time contemplating it outside of recess, its conditions and parameters might become firmly cemented in the “reality” portion of his brain for great lengths of time. I, along with a small group of four friends, fell victim to this phenomenon for a period of about two years, during which we fought tooth and nail against the terrible and unyielding Pink Ponies. Now one must understand that these creatures were neither pink nor pony. They were not adorable, but abominable beings from the far reaches of space, who took on a wide variety of highly disturbing sizes and shapes, and held the sole intent of eliminating all life on the Earth so that they could rule it themselves. Their appearances were so foul, in fact, that merely gazing upon them would cause an individual to “not like them.” Obviously this friendship hindering characteristic 107


impeded their ability to take over the world, so the “Pink Ponies� all coated each other in a uniform layer of invisible paint, and dubbed themselves with a misleadingly innocent name so that humans would be inclined to be their friends, invite them to birthday parties, and ultimately bring the Pink Ponies to their respective leaders. Stopping the Pink Ponies from carrying out whatever atrocities they had in mind were five children, myself included, who had come upon five pairs of weightless, invisible goggles, which allowed us to see through the Ponies’ invisible paint. "The blur between the realms of reality and imagination, although a great deal of fun, came at a great risk." Eliminating us and our goggles was of the utmost importance to the Pink Ponies, as we were the only ones who knew of their plot, so they regularly sent hordes of soldiers, all armed to the teeth and with the sole intent of destroying the pocket of resistance that we represented. We wouldn't have stood a chance against them, had we not all gained super powers along with our discovery of the goggles. Between the five of us we had a wide range of abilities; Connor could shape-shift into any animal; Caitlin had control over any plant life within a mile of her location; I, obviously the most powerful of all, could shoot fire from my hands and surf on lava, an incredibly useful ability in the fenced off suburban playground where the battles against our extra-terrestrial foes invariably took place. These powers transformed us into demigods, unstoppable powerhouses who could tear through the waves of invisible Ponies one after another for a seemingly endless hour, after which we would passively return to our classes and sketch out battle plans for the coming days. This game went on for far too long. Days turned to weeks turned to months, with all of us gradually growing bored of having to defend humanity from the exact same threat every single day. 108


But we persevered and fought on. Trillions of Pink Ponies must have been killed, with us five children suffering not a single casualty. All of us subconsciously wanted the game to be over, but none of us wanted to be the heretic who would forever shroud his name in cowardice by renouncing his belief in the ever-present threat of destruction that the Pink Ponies represented. However, one day, about halfway through recess Connor spotted another solution. “Guys, I think we killed all of them!” It took a few moments for the rest of us to catch on. “We should do something else now!” I chimed in, wandering over to the long abandoned swing set, where we could think of a new game.

madeleine dargis, grade 10 109


chapter 2

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A long time ago my father introduced me to Star Wars. I was nine at the time, and I am glad he did this. He is not. He first showed me the movies one summer afternoon as I lay sprawled across the thick and rough carpet in our living room. I had accomplished absolutely nothing that day other than casually sunning myself on the floor, and I had absolutely no plans to do otherwise. My father decided that this waste of time, this transgression of the natural order of things could not be allowed; I would instead be educated, introduced to what he deemed an essential part of every western child’s upbringing, Star Wars. We watched the original three movies back to back in a six-hour montage of slow moving blaster bolts, cheaply edited explosions, and poorly rendered alien species. The whole ordeal wiped my mind, filling it instead with visions of a world governed by the Force and bathed in the inescapable glow of a lightsaber’s blade. The strange vastness of George Lucas’s brain-child was intoxicating, whether it was the inhospitable conditions of the ice planet Hoth, or the intricacies of the Jedi Grand council; the inconceivable vastness of a fleet of Star Destroyers, or the minutia around which Tatooine’s second-hand droid market revolved. I soon became hooked on it.


Sophia Rutti, Grade 12

I would learn of this strange world. Books, comics, and encyclopedias were purchased, the next two movies were procured despite my father’s disturbing lack of faith in the latter half of the franchise; my parents bought me tickets to see Episode Three in theatres less than twelve parsecs after they were made available. I became entirely infatuated with the franchise, but knowing everything about this exotic galaxy, located far, far away simply wasn’t enough, I had to be part of it. Every day I was a different entity from the Star Wars universe. One day I would be the greatest Storm Trooper in the entire Imperial Army, I would march around with pride, the Imperial March playing boldly in my head. The next might be a powerful battledroid, curling into a huge disk and rolling at sixty miles an hour down the sparsely decorated grey halls of planet sized star ship to stop the Rebel invaders who had dared to set foot on my master’s vessel. My favorite character of all was a rightfully feared and respected Sith lord. I would command legions of faithful servants to swamp battlegrounds, cities, and even planets, decimating any who stood to oppose me, and they would fall quickly to may armies, knowing full well that the masses who followed me were nothing compared to the destruction that I could cause personally. I was the most skilled individual ever to close his fingers

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around the hilt of a lightsaber, a wielder of the force, capable of channeling its energies with the unheard of precision and brutality. I could pull moons from the sky purely for entertainment, or cut down hordes of ungrateful rebels who had ended their lives the moment they chose to disobey me. These imaginings, these imitations of seemingly unachievable greatness manifested as strange actions which could only be considered acceptable when performed by a young child. I would stomp around the house, trying to lock my knees as much as possible, I would tuck my head under my folded arms and propel myself where I needed to be in a series of pathetically executed summersaults. My parents’ favorite was when I would flex contradictory muscles in my arms, causing them to shake and burn with what I perceived to be uncontrollable power as I attempted to channel the Force in the real world, in an effort to unleash its power on the real world, allowing me to achieve whatever childish goals I saw fit at the time. Unfortunately, I was old enough by this time to know, somewhere in my heart, that such fantasies simply could not be. Being so young, I was a little short to be a storm trooper in a great unstoppable army, I certainly was not a droid, and the countless number of times I had failed to lift even the smallest of objects in an attempt to facilitate the making of my breakfast or the changing of a TV channel made it apparent to me that “the Force� was only existed in stories, and nothing more. I gradually grew out of the pretending, and became content with simply knowing all there was to know about Star Wars. I resigned myself to studying the wonders of that world as purely fiction, secretly hoping that perhaps, I might one day find a way to bring its wonders into reality. Who can say for sure if such a task is possible? After all, only Sith speak in absolutes.

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Caroline Kessler, Grade 10


Caroline Kessler, Grade 10

A Room Of Intruders By Mariah Fairfield Grade 12 The room is lit, freezing, and crowded. The lone girl shoves through the mass, fighting her way to her territory. Her eyes are cold, calculating. None of you belong here, she thinks bitterly; the unwelcome guests clearly an intrusion. This is her escape, her private abode.

The whispering voices stop, and the movie begins.

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Pop up

By Phillip DOlan, Grade 12e 114


115 115


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“Tiki taki sprotski!” A football flew past me and three shirtless young Slovakian boys jumped on each other in celebration over my failure to intercept their pass. A smile brightened my face as I realized, yes they had just called me stupid, but at least they said something to me. “Lindsay, here!” Little hands pulled at mine as my teammates repositioned me. This was a start. Just a few minutes before, the same stifling summer sun had infiltrated a small classroom filled with bored, expressionless, eleven year old faces. I sighed in the awkward silence and glanced at my notes. Yes, there was some boring grammar, but the page also contained bullet point after bullet point of slang words and games. Nevertheless, here I was, stuck in a classroom of thirteen completely unengaged Slovak boys who knew not a word more of English than when I had arrived three days ago. In despair, I turned to what had always salvaged awkward family barbeques through the years, and proclaimed three of the few words they all knew: “Let’s play football!” The ability to throw and catch a football is vastly underrated. Years of slamming volleys in a sweat soaked tennis dress never really got me anywhere when I needed a quick remedy for boredom with friends, or a solution to awkward silence with acquaintances. More than one performance of Bach’s Fugues leaves a crack in family members’ feigned interest and polite smiles. Nobody really wants to listen to my much too up close and personal encounters with some other person’s body fluids at the hospital, or how crazy that lacrosse game was last weekend. But without fail, whether you’re energetic or tired, chatty or reclusive, the remedy to every situation is to throw a football. I prided myself on the ability to hold my own with almost everyone. But that was then. Now it was a cheap escape from this English camp. Now I was being shown up by a group of eleven-year-olds in a small field of grass which was as tall as many of the boys. For the next half hour, the ball flew and small bodies fought in tangles on the ground. However, first hesitatingly and awkward, then with growing confidence, English phrases were yelled out—a warning to the receiver, a passionate exclamation from a teammate, a cry of desperation from the opponents. I smiled as I laughed and groaned, ran and tackled with the boys, and our two exceptionally different lives intermingled. 118


Richard Holtslander, Grade 9

Lives Intermingled By Lindsay Seventko Grade 12

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SPORTS INTENSITY 120


PICTURE: KAThErine WEIMER Prose: BENjamin MICHAELSON

“Its not just adults who think youth sports have become too intense in recent years. A lot of kids think so too.” Mark Hyman, editor of the New York Times Upfront supports the idea that youth sports are becoming too intense. When a child is sent on to a recreational team we see is as an opportunity for the child to learn and understand the sport as opposed to being exposed to a large amount of competiveness that a high school or travel team would offer. Nobody expects the coach of the recreational team to yell at their young players or put them under stress to win and perform to a high level. I believe youth sports have become too intense. Youth sports have become too intense because with the number of concussions in youth football, poor behavior by coaches to their younger players, and psychological stress put on the youth to win and perform well is not beneficial for young athletes of any age. Children not only play sports because they love and enjoy them, but because they want to have fun and receive the trophy at the end of the year for working hard and putting forth the effort to play. Instead some coaches care more about the championship trophy they receive at the end of the year than the trophies his/her players receive. As a coach or assistant coach you want your players to understand and have fun with the sport, and then later use that knowledge to eventually try to win. The last thing a child wants is to be put on a baseball team to learn the sport but instead be expected to know the sport and perform it well. The child who wanted to learn the sport but couldn’t because their coach had them on the bench the whole time, ends up wanting to quit that sport. He/she never got the opportunity to play the sport that he/she thought they loved because they never actually got the chance to play. As Mike Singletary once said “Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play. ” 121


Some say that as a coach you should be hard on your players because it teaches them discipline and commitment. Players shouldn’t be disciplined by being restricted from getting water or not getting credit for trying their hardest. Coaches should give credit for hard work and try to improve players by helping them, as opposed to shouting at them for their mistakes. A child who has a lot of skill in one sport should be sent on to an AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) team where the competitiveness is much higher and there they can use their skill for the better. AAU teams for any sport allow skilled players to join. AAU leagues are more competitive than a recreational league, they give skilled players an opportunity to play against the best and give them hopes to become the best. AAU players should expect the intensity of the sport they play to pick up only because coaches know that there is a bright future for his/ her players. AAU leagues are more competitive than a recreational league, they give skilled players an opportunity to play against the best and give them hopes to become the best. AAU players should expect the intensity of the sport they play to pick up only because coaches know that there is a bright future for his/her players. Half of all sports injuries among kids are caused by simple overuse. Injuries such as stress fractures, ruptured ligaments, and growth plate issues could be quite serious and cause lifelong issues. According to American Academy of Pediatrics, these injuries can be easily avoided with rest and moderation. Some injuries can be caused by simply being forced to play when not feeling well, running more than expected, and not getting rest during practice or games. Kids of any age at any level shouldn’t be exposed to injuries that could last into adulthood, especially if they can be easily avoided. The most important thing to a parent is the health of their child. Children get the flu from germs, bruises from Physical Education class, and ankle sprains from accidently falling on the wrong foot for a layup. All these little injuries are understood by parents and aren’t worried to much about. Most parents think “they’re kids what do you expect.” 122


When parents sign their son up for football they take the risk of having them coming home with bruises every night, possibly sprain an ankle, or in a rare case break a bone. Parents attend their son’s football game and witness on 3rd and 2 when their son gets a handoff from the quarterback, he crosses the first down and gets tackles. When getting tackled the parents hear a loud “POP.” That is the sound of a possible helmet to helmet collision. Next thing the parents know is that their son is knocked out and has a concussion. Although helmet to helmet contact isn’t always purposefully caused it is now happening a lot. Coaches start teaching their kids the wrong way to tackle, and that is to get low and lead with their heads. This is by far the worst way to tackle. A concussion is a very serious injury that affects the head and brain. Any injury that affects the head or brain is thought of to be a very serious and threatening injury. The problem is that we still allow this to happen. We commonly hear “Michael Vick is out for 2 weeks with a concussion, tests are positive.” What about all the other hundred 10-18 year old football players who are out for the same reason. Is this what parents expect when signing their son up for football, or any contact sport for that matter? Injuries such as concussions can be easily avoided. Injuries take away from what we love most about sports, and that is playing them. Children should be able to learn the sport of their choice by joining a recreational team where the team mostly consists of informing rather than winning. Children shouldn't be under any pressure to perform at high standards being on a recreational team. Recreational teams consist of information about the sport, the act of using the information to play the sport, and playing the sport to have fun and love it. Being yelled at by coaches and being put under physical punishment for mistakes is wrong and should not be tolerated any further. Parents should not have to worry about serious injuries such as concussions and torn ligaments when signing their child up for a sport. Parents should be confident that their son or daughter will come out at the end of the season stronger mentally and physically, maybe with a bruise or scratch along the way.

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Relentless Run The wintry wind whistles As it wanders by my numbed ears. As the last few dead leaves Wrestle in the breeze, I can hear them crumble. My body is painted with goose bumps; A shiver runs down my spine With one last deep inhale, I listen to the rustling of the wind. Ready to run, I lean my body easily forward Into the mean weather. My worn tennis shoes Scrape against the concrete Like sandpaper on rock. The patter of my sneakers on the road Mix with the swipe Of my arms against my coat; Smooth swift swipes Of my sleeve against my jacket Keep the rhythm of my pace. 124


By Bailey Fulton Grade 12

The fast rush of the breeze by my ears Muffles the sound of a barking dog. I press the balls of my feet Strongly into the street And push off with a fighting force. Faster, farther, quicker, harder— The surroundings rush past me without notice. I can hear the sound of my heart, Pounding in the background of my thoughts. My wind-stricken eyes sneak out A water leak when I blink them. I am well worn and withering As the end of my route is in sight. My legs step one in front of another Without thought, like a machine. I lessen my pace and draw to a crawl As my legs burn with exhaust. With one last breath of the chilled air On my rosy cheeks, I catch my breath. 125


Caroline Kessler, Grade 10

Revived

By Bailey Fulton grade 12

She took a minute to speak. Her old wrinkled hands shook gently by her side. Remorsefully, she whispered that my heart was extremely weak, and that I would need emergency surgery for a chance of survival. The nurse exited the room, and left me there alone with my thoughts. I stood up from the crinkled white paper and tried to understand. If these were my last hours, what was I supposed to fill them with? I thought of my parents. I reached my shaking hand into my back pocket, and pulled out my phone. I dialed my mom’s number and waited an eternity until it hit voicemail. Immediately, I dialed my dad’s number. It went straight to voicemail as well. The phone fell from my hand to the cold tile. I want-

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ed to reach them. I wanted to tell them that I loved them. Pulsing with frustration, I tried to recollect the last things I said to my loved ones, but I could not remember. It seemed that at that moment, everything I once knew escaped me. All I could think of was the things that I did not tell to my loved ones. I did not tell my Mom that her aspirations for me are not what I wanted. I did not tell my Dad that he is the one whose approval means the most to me. I did not tell my older brother that our family was crumbling and that I needed him home. I did not tell my younger brother that if I had the chance, I would take back every screaming insult I threw at him. I longed to have one more opportunity to tell my family what I always meant to say, but never did. I slapped my open hand against the white wall and gently dropped my head to rest above it. I thought of how I would change things if I had the chance. If I had one more chance, I would help my Mom fix dinner and ask her about her day. I’d go fishing with my Dad and pretend that I needed his help reeling in a catch. I would play ball with my brothers in the backyard, and even though they would tease me about my throws, I would not go inside. Aggressively, I gripped my hands on each side of the crinkled white paper and ripped it over and over again. I did not hear the doctor come in the room, and he startled me when he tapped me on the back. With the ripped paper grasped between my fists, I turned around. I looked at him with a tear in my eye and a lump in my gut. Before I said anything, he spoke, “I am terribly sorry, and I apologize greatly for the confusion. Our nurse misread your heart beats, and you’re completely healthy.” My jaw dropped and I picked up my things. I had some phone calls to make. 127


THE BATTLE

By Lindsay Seventko Grade 12 128

A stinkbug in sleek grey armor ready for battle Marches along my bathroom wall. With arms and antennae outstretched, The stinkbug prepares for war. He stalks like a demon in wait for a soul to torture, A speck of hell Against my heavenly pasture green walls. My mind is frozen Watching his grisly, crocodilian plates of skin. His back legs push and antennae feverishly twitch As he thinks: “What area of this room should I defile next?” My tissue-insulated arm creeps up behind him. He looks back, Flips me the bird And continues trucking towards the soap dish. A quick jab and I have him snug in the tissues, A grotesque picture His soft cream underbelly exposed As he struggles wildly Legs pumping like an Olympic track runner, He fervently tries to right himself. His eyes are pinpoints, Yet nevertheless the black dots stare me down. He sees into me and he won’t forget; He’ll come back and exact revenge. Dropped into the toilet, his body is still. A piece of dead leaf, floating in the water His alligator eyes peer over the surface of the water. I flush. The next day, sleek grey armor ready for battle Marches along my bathroom wall. Slowly, I go insane.


FEARFUL ENCOUNTERS by tess Hailey, Grade 12 It stares at you with its prominent dip. In the drawer, it stays, Lurking and lingering At the sight of your face. For a moment, You think that it may do no harm You think you see it wink And you think Maybe it is harmless. Until you swear that it locks eyes with you. Overcome by fear, You slam the drawer of utensils. The spoon is the worst of them all. It sits there and collects dust Until it turns to rust. Finally, You go to destroy the treacherous snake. The only way to destroy the beast Is to kick it into the muck outside. This is the way to dissolve the spoon. Just as you kick it in the muck, You spy another spoon Out of the corner of your eye, And your fear sets in again.

Alexis Russell, Grade 10

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e civilized folk, grew up, and resulted in the great country we have today: the United umber of opinions formed among the people, which resulted in the wide-spread ide u a broader sense of what government should be likec, and to examine what that is a Many years ago, our great nation was simply a land mass laden with loin-cloth wearing heathen, and trodden by few. Lucky for the land and the heathen, it was soon inhabited by more civilized folk, grew up, and resulted in the great country we have today: the United States of America, or should I say“Amurca.” However, once our history really took off, a number of opinions formed among the people, which resulted in the wide-spread idea of liberalism. I am here to steer you listeners away from this primitive approach, to give you a broader sense of what government should be like, and to examine what that is all about. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you “How to be an Ultra-Conservative.” Now I’m sure that there are some of you out there thinking that there cannot possibly be a formula to achieve this, and I say to you, you’re entirely wrong. In fact, becoming an

HOW TO BE AN ULT ultra-conservative can be completed in only a few short steps, depending on your willingness to learn and embrace a new kind of thinking. Let’s get started, shall we? Step one: an ultra-conservative must always be an avid member of a religious sect, preferably Christianity, Catholicism, or, my friend Mitt and my newly found favorite, Mormonism. This is, of course, because God is a Republican. The God connection will also help you later on in your striving for justice when dealing with issues that you, as an ultra-conservative, will care very much about! These include but most certainly are not limited to abortion (which you oppose), gay marriage (which you strongly oppose), and UN involvement (which you, in fact, oppose). Step two brings us to one of the only huge issues that you do support, gun laws. Please hold your questions about this until later; I am well aware that the Bible condones killing, but perhaps God is advocating for your own safety on this one. Yes, 130


d States of America, or should I say- “Amurca.” However, once our history really too ea of liberalism. I am here to steer you listeners away from this primitive approach, t all about. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you “How to be an Ultra-Conservative the second amendment is very much your livelihood. If you don’t have a gun now, you should have at least one by the end of the day. The most important reason for having a firearm is to fend off all those who are out to get you because they’re on welfare, and you have, did I mention this, climbed your way to the top of the corporate ladder. Economic success is an essential factor in your process to becoming an ultra-conservative, simply because you want to raise taxes on everyone but the wealthy, and you cannot willingly do that when you are in the middle or lower class. Now step three, and the most important of all the steps: you must never move to California or New York. I understand that it is tempting, that many major cities are in these seemingly well-ordered states, but it’s an oasis for liberals just waiting to snatch you away to the dark side. Instead, how about you move to someplace like Utah, which is better suited for people of our

RA-CONSERVATIVE expertise. In a country as great as ours, it is essential that we focus in on how to keep it safe. So, ladies and gentlemen, I leave you with this – good luck on your conversion, and I will be routinely checking up on your progress throughout the year. to someplace like Utah, which is better suited for people of our expertise. In a country as great as ours, it is essential that we focus in on how to keep it safe. So, ladies and gentlemen, I leave you with this – good luck on your conversion, and I will be routinely checking up on your progress throughout the year.

by jessica sears, grade 12 131


132 sydney lee, grade 10


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Mary Clubb, grade 10

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Timeout One by one, it seems that Everything spirals out of control. Dreams are dashed and darkness creeps in. How could this have happened? Those who are supposed to keep me Safe and never leave my side are now Jailors swinging the key. I self-righteously sought justice, and for what? The world has hardened me. I see oppression and tyranny while the Rest see “mommy” and “daddy.” I see who you are now, But don’t think this stool will hold me back. The chains that choke my freedom Will disappear with the jailor’s key as soon As we all hear the “time’s up, Caroline.”

By Caroline Hoffman Grade 12

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Bomee Kim, Grade 12

Reading

By Madeleine Dargis, Grade 10 136


I

secretly looked forward to cracking open a textbook and reading a new short story in reading class, or a new section in geography. But it was after reading a chapter on geology in science class with Mrs. Mason that I found one of my many “callings.” For some reason, I romanticized the idea of becoming a geologist, of traveling the world and seeing extraordinary places, all the while collected rare, ancient, and beautiful rocks. Rocks, found under the ground, under the dirt, under the floor we walked on; I loved the fact that something that would seem to be unimportant actually had value. There was value and beauty just waiting for me to uncover them. I insisted on a family trip to Luray Caverns, to see stalagmites and stalactites, and to rub the lucky “sunny-side-up” rock. I would intently listen to the tour guide's stories of how the caves were discovered, and I would carefully listen to the soft and steady dripping of water throughout the caves. I inherited my mother's own collection, and examined the sleek black obsidian, small, pointy arrow heads, sparkling pointy geodes, and smooth oval stones my mom had picked up in her travels to Japan. The classification and formation of rocks was not what interested me. What interested me was the story behind them. With a new interest fresh in my mind, I could go to my public or school library with a purpose, instead of carelessly perusing and wasting my time trying to find a book worth reading that I had not already read. With every new interest that I picked up, my Grandpa Chester was always there to encourage me. Reading was his passion too, and we would talk forever about my newest book or my newest curiosities. For every topic I ever mentioned, it seemed he had a book on it; Indians and dinosaurs, saints and poetry, horses and World War II, rocks and fossils. He had memorabilia and knickknacks that coordinated too. He gave me a dainty canoe the size of my arm made out of flaky, white, birch tree bark, he gave me a hand painted boomerang from Africa. But, the most significant of these loved gifts was my treasure chest. He gave me a dark mahogany chest with a lock, lined with red velvet, and about the size of a loaf of bread. In this chest, he had given me the start of my own personal fossil collection; little ancient creatures that looked like shrimp were forever stuck in a slab of granite. There was a little see through box filled with shark teeth, old shells and ancient rocks.

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Once I got into fifth grade, fantasy books began to take over. I was absolutely hooked on series like Harry Potter, the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, the Mysterious Benedict Society, and Twilight. I carried my books with me like some girls carried a purse. I would sit in the rattling grocery cart and eagerly devour a chapter or two; I would sit on the couch while my brothers watched television just to see what was going to happen next in my book, I would sit in my bed using an attachable reading light to jam in a couple sentences before I went to sleep. Every spare moment of my time, I was reading. Life inside the books was sometimes more emotional than life outside of them. The Harry Potter characters would go through a stressful endeavor sneaking around avoiding the Ministry of Magic,

Alexandra Simon Grade 12

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I would as well. They would lose a member of their close family and friends; I felt the same heartbreak they did. They would rejoice over the defeat of Voldemort, I would feel the same joy. The seven book series of Harry Potter got me more involved in them than any other book. While at first I had refused to read them because they were too mainstream, I eventually gave them a try. Instantly, Harry, Ron and Hermione were as close to me, if not closer, as the friends I had made at summer camp. We shared the same emotions, feelings, and experiences, and I felt like I had been through everything with them.

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The Glass Slipper Katherine Weimer, Grade 12

By EricaJoy Oliverio Grade 12

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“Once upon a time, in a magical kingdom far, far away, the King and Queen of the land had their first child, a beautiful baby girl. Her regal parents were ecstatic, for they had wanted a child for some time. It was as though all of their dreams had come true. They hosted festivals and parties in honor of her birth, filling the kingdom with a sense of joviality. However, their happiness at her birth was blighted by the fact that the infant princess was cursed. Upon her birth, an Evil Witch had cursed her to a life of imprison-


ment. Her curse was due to begin when the princess turned seven. Despite many attempts to save the princess and save her from her bondage, the King and Queen were unable to break their daughter’s curse. On her seventh birthday, the princess was seized by the Evil Witch and moved to a remote castle where she lived, imprisoned, in the topmost tower.” The reader, a young girl with cropped blonde hair, looked up at her listeners. The children around her looked more like senior citizens than real kids. Their small heads were in varying states of baldness, their skin was not ruddy but sickeningly pale, and there was a certain deadness in their eyes – or perhaps it was just a lack of spark – that was unusual and disconcerting and indicative of sickness and their proximity to death. The kids on the fifth floor weren’t like most For most kids, fated. They were Leukemia patients – death wasn’t even which, given the medical industry’s tendency an option, but, for to define patients by these kids, death their problems, meant was their very life. they were not children at all but Leukemia itself. Death ran through their veins. Every breath filled their weak bodies with decay; every heartbeat brought them closer to their inevitable demise. For most kids, death wasn’t even an option, but, for these kids, death was their very life. The girl with the cropped hair returned her eyes to the journal in her lap. “As the princess aged, she grew into a beautiful young woman with long blonde locks and pale white skin that was untouched by the sun. But more impressive than her beauty were her accomplishments. She was a virtuoso, a master of a variety of instruments such as the piano, the violin and the harp. She was an accomplished reader and a talented artist. Her most enviable skill, however, lay in her work with fabrics. She had a special affinity for sewing and weaving; her tapestries, gowns and other designs became the most beautiful creations in the land. The Evil Queen, who occasionally checked up on the princess, envied the beautiful royal’s immense talent, so she cursed her needles. Every day that the princess used 141


Mary Clubb, Grade 10

her silver needles, the pointed tips pierced her skin. No matter how careful the young princess was, she always pricked her finger on the needles, her crimson blood welling into a little pool on her porcelain skin. Instead of avoiding her sewing and weaving, the princess kept crafting. Eventually, she became accustomed to the pain of the prick. It stung for awhile and her finger throbbed long after the loss of blood, but her sewn creations were more important than her aversion to pain.” The balding children nodded knowingly, sparing a glance to the Band-Aids on their fingers and the IVs in the crooks of their elbows. They understood. The visceral pain of being stuck and prodded never decreases; rather, your mind becomes numb to the fear of pain. They hated needles, but they no longer feared them. The reader cleared her throat and continued. “However, she was not alone. A lady-in-waiting named Ivy agreed to live with the princess for the entirety of her sentence. Ivy was devoted to the princess; the two were so close it was as though they were connected by a string. Ivy attended to all of the princess’ needs and served as a source of friendship and consolation during her sentence. She was also visited by her three fairy godmothers. Though their com142


bined magic was still unable to free the princess from her imprisonment, they brought as much happiness to her life as they possibly could. Daily, they brought news and presents from the outside world and her loving but helpless parents, brightening her room with a sense of hope. One day, though, the princess had a new and unexpected visitor – Prince Charming.” The little girls sitting in front of the reader tittered. Tiny grins filled with crooked baby teeth lit up their faces and they glanced slyly at their fellow females. The little boys groaned – not another love interest. Where were the fire-breathing dragons that protected halls filled with gilded treasures? The brave-hearted knights who risked death and pain to earn honor and glory? The epic battles where good trumped evil and the most formidable adversaries were overcome? The reader let their whispered conversations fade before resuming her storytelling. “The prince, a dark-haired young man dressed all in white who lived in a neighboring kingdom, had heard the rumors about the beautiful, imprisoned princess, and had sworn to find the princess. He found the remote castle where the princess was imprisoned and managed to break into the topmost 143


Where were the brave-hearted knights who risked death and pain to earn honor and glory? The epic battles where good triumphed evil and the most formidable adversaries were overcome? tower. He called to the princess from the bottom of the stairwell. The princess, shocked at the strange voice, ran down the winding staircase. As the prince watched her descent, he immediately fell head over heels in love. By the end of the first encounter, he pledged to save the damsel from her dismal fate. However, his vow was one that was easier sworn than it was fulfilled. For, while the prince could enter the tower at his leisure, the princess couldn’t physically breach any of the tower’s thresholds. Together, the prince and the princess, assisted by Ivy and the three fairy godmothers, tried one plan after the other, but the princess remained trapped. Nothing seemed capable of breaking the Evil Witch’s curse.” The entire room relaxed comfortably into the familiarity of the story. The nurses overseeing the storytelling smiled at each other, nudging and giving significant looks to the doctors in their lab coats, while the children looked expectantly at the reader, wondering how the frustrated prince would succeed. “Eventually, the Evil Witch became aware of Prince Charming’s valiant, albeit failed, attempts to rescue the imprisoned princess. She was furious. She fled purposefully towards the remote castle, determined to kill the princess. Ivy, Prince Charming and the princess’ three Fairy Godmothers heard of the Witch’s plan. They tripled their efforts to try and save the princess, but, just like before, nothing worked.” The reader paused to look once more at her audience. Everyone was still smiling, but the adults eyes were squinted slightly, their heads cocked at the drawn out conflict. The reader took a deep breath and continued. 144


EricaJoy Oliverio, Grade 12

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Katherine Weimer, Grade 12 “It was nighttime when the Evil Witch finally arrived. Ivy, Prince Charming and the three Fairy Godmothers stood guard around the princess, hoping to stand with the fated royal against the Evil Witch. But the princess did not stand with them because she knew something that they did not. The Witch was too powerful. No one could stand against her. Her evil hold on the princess could not be broken. And so the princess did not prepare to fight; instead, she sat down by her loom and began to weave her final tapestry.” The room was silent. “The Evil Witch snuck into topmost tower, unnoticed by the princess’ guards, and, at the stroke of midnight, the princess died. There was no fanfare announcing her death – only a somber and peaceful silence. When Ivy, Prince Charming and her three Fairy Godmothers discovered the truth of her demise, they were devastated. They had dared to hope; they had believed, until the very end, that somehow good would best evil. They had not learned what the princess, who’d lived a cursed life, had learned – that there is no such thing as happily ever after. Maybe it did exist for some, but for most it was a falsehood, perpetuated by those who dared to 146


there is no such thing as happily ever after. Maybe it did exist for some, but for most it was a falsehood, perpetuated by those who dared to dream, who dared to hope.

dream, who dared to hope.” The reader closed her journal and looked up at her audience. The entire room stared back at her, gaping. The balding children looked slightly confused, but the adults – the nurses and doctors and parents – had tears in their eyes. Slowly, the reader began to stand. She steadied herself against the chair and began to walk towards the back of the room, her trusty IV rattling behind her as she walked. A few nurses detached themselves from the wall to aid her, but she shook them away with a hospital-banded hand. As she exited the common room, a dark-haired man dressed in a white lab coat joined her, matching her slow stride. “Sarah, are you feeling okay?” “I’m fine, Doc. Just fine.” “Are you sure you aren’t feeling depressed? That was a pretty disheartening story you just read.” “I said I’m fine. Really.” The doctor stopped and looked at his patient. She was one of the oldest children in the ward, but she was still so young. She was small and fragile – birdlike, almost – but for the past six years she had consistently been one of his most determined survivors. The most recent news had not been good though. He knew that, and apparently she knew that too. But he couldn’t give up hope. Maybe she could, but he…no, he couldn’t bear to do that. “You know, Sarah, there is hope. Your recent prognosis was bad, but it’s not incurable. We’re still fighting, but nothing will work if you don’t have the will to survive.” Sarah turned to face the doctor. She smiled pityingly at the medical professional. “Of course I want to live. But it’s not my will in charge anymore.” 147


The girl turned and entered her hospital room. There were no flowers or get-well balloons here – rather a plethora of personal items – because her stay was not temporary but permanent. She hobbled towards the center of the small room and sat on the edge of her bed. Carefully, she removed the short blonde wig from her head and placed it on the wooden mold on her bedside table. A nurse, one of the three who regularly attended to her needs, came in just as she was sliding her legs under the covers. “Well, Sarah, I heard that you made quite an impression at the talent show tonight.” The nurse, Dottie, was all smiles as she fiddled with the monitors around Sarah’s bed and pulled the covers over her pale, skinny frame. “Thanks, I Don’t apologize guess.” “Oh, no, for saying what’s darling, that was on your mind, even a compliment. Words are supif it’s something posed to affect the rest of world people. Don’t apologize for saydoesn’t want to ing what’s on your hear. mind, even if it’s something the rest of the world doesn’t want to hear.” Dottie smiled at her young patient, giving her hand a quick squeeze before turning and heading towards the doorway. “I’d love to read your story sometime, darling. What was the name of it again?” “The Glass Slipper.” “Why’d you choose that title?” “Well, that’s the one thing that Cinderella left behind. And that story was mine.”

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Katherine Weimer, Grade 12

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get away The facade of your world Is what I need to escape. Not for selfishness, For self-preservation. I don’t hate you. The country club luncheons, In a time of recession The oil portraits In the time of cameras, Drive me away. It’s not charity If caviar is passed on silver trays And black tie is compelled. It’s all a show, To make the wealthy look like saints. But we are all superficial gluttons. Where is the reality? This may be your real world; It will never be mine. By Leticia Johnston, Grade 11 150


Katherine Weimer, Grade 12

The Pillow

Picked from the finest goose feathers, And draped in the finest materials, Nothing is as perfect as the delight That creeps up as my eyes shut like blinds and My body becomes statuesque. As my head ponders the wonders of this earth I seem to drift off into a world where Reality is locked up and there is a birth Of discovery and delusion that cares Only for my satisfaction and self-worth. I’ve become Alice searching for a hare And now I am Indy about to unearth The treasures of my dreams. Scattered and tattered, this dream catcher has powers That no man can replicate. Not only was it the ultimate gift from Morpheus, but how else can a mind drift off before it even awakens to what has been dreamt?

By Caroline Hoffman Grade 12

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ON BEING BOVINE

By Phillip Dolan, Grade 12

I

magine that as you walk across a six-lane highway, every car stops for you. For miles, there’s traffic. There will be honking, because there are lawyers that have lawyer things to do, and pregnant wives being rushed to the hospital, but still. They’ve stopped. They’ll wait for you. They’ll wait until you decide you’ve had enough of hanging around on a stretch of hot asphalt and move on.

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Let’s do some grocery shopping; you’re walking through a marketplace, and you’re feeling peckish. You look imploringly at a fruit vendor and he hands you a bag of apples. No charge, no waiting in line, he just gives you the goods and moves on to the next customer. He did it just because you looked hungry. This isn’t a one time event either; your meals are free, and as often as you want. Every American’s dream. This is the bovine life in India; cows are sacred animals there. The Hindu gods were involved with cow herding and used them as steeds; it’s a case of divinity by proxy. I might be a little jealous, yeah; because isn’t that humanity’s ultimate desire? Not just mine, but everyone’s, to have everything revolve around him or her? To have everything they want handed to them without complaint, just because they were associated with someone? You can go wherever you want and stay for as long as suits you. You wouldn’t have to work for anything, simply for living. Simply because you pulled a winning ticket in the genetic lottery.


by Caitlin Wagner, Grade 10 153


Mary Clubb, Grade 10

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The thing that’s odd, though, is that yes, I’m a little green for it, but would I trade what I have for it? Would I give up the skills I’ve worked on and the things I have just to coast for the rest of my life? Would I give up my sense of humour, or my artistic ability, or my love for food? Cows certainly don’t have a need for those things. They don’t have to succeed at anything, or even try to succeed. I wonder if I’d be comfortable with never trying to actually achieve.It’s certainly something to think about. To be honest, I’m undecided; I say, “no” right now, right in this moment, but maybe I’ll say, “yes” tomorrow. Or the day after. I think that for all of mankind’s moaning and whinging about how difficult life is, would we be any happier if we got what we wanted? I wonder if anyone would be content to just skim across the surface of living until they died: to take the path of passivity. I think if I had a chance to plod a mile in their hoofs, I’d get bored of just eating and sleeping all day pretty fast. In any case, it must be nice to be a cow in India.

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A Blues Song inspired by Grapes of Wrath

T

H

E

B A N K R U P T B

L U

E

S

BY ALEXANDRA DIAZ-ALEMAN, GRADE 12 156


I’ve had enough of this Midwest livin’. I’ve had enough of this Midwest livin’. Wealthy banks keep takin’, Poor people keep givin’. There’s dust everywhere; we can’t catch a break. There’s dust everywhere; we can’t catch a break. It comes in a storm And leaves death in its wake. Pack up your stuff, we’ll be gone before morn. Pack up your stuff, we’ll be gone before morn. Goin’ to California ‘Fore the baby’s born. We’re all goin’ west in a big migration. We’re all goin’ west in a big migration. Haven’t you heard? It’s the newest sensation! The men are upset ‘cause they can’t find no work. The men are upset ‘cause they can’t find no work. The women take it in stride, While they feel it in jerks. I’d work for low wages, but I wouldn’t get fed. I’d work for low wages, but I wouldn’t get fed. If I want somethin’ more, Does that make me a red? There’s fruits a-plenty, at least that’s how it seems. There’s fruits a-plenty, at least that’s how it seems. But destroying fine fruit Ain’t the American Dream. It’s the home of the brave and the land of the free. It’s the home of the brave and the land of the free. But what I’ve come to know Is there ain’t no guarantee. 157


Caitlin Wagner, Grade 12

For Sale

By EricaJoy Oliverio Grade 12

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For Sale! By Owner, by Agent! Foreclosure! For rent! Houses for everyone, houses galore! Townhouses, condos and so many more!


I’m looking for a home with a deck and a garden. A home, did you say? Sir, beg your pardon? Yes, a home. Do you know – have you seen one around? The client smiled, but the realtor frowned. I have cottages, Cape Cods, Colonials, Craftsmen, Castles and cabins and mini McMansions, But a home? No, I don’t know what that is. Is this an inspection? Is this a pop quiz? No, sir. A home. Do you have one for sale? Maybe. Please tell me – what does this home entail? How many bedrooms? Square acres? Square feet? In the middle of nowhere or right on the street? Well, it’s not really numbers – more a feeling I guess, Not really something mere words can express. It’s cozy and comfortable, simple and quaint, A warm house with shutters and pale yellow paint. Shutters, you said? Is it shutters you want? Why – I know just the place! It’s in upstate Vermont! It’s feeble and damaged, needs a good deal of labor, It’s not something now, but I know it’ll be greater!

I want ready to purchase, to move in, to own! The purchaser whined with a frustrated tone. Can you please do a search on the old MLS? The realtor sighed, but he shook his head yes. His fingers – they danced – on the clickety keys, Desperate to sell, desperate to please. The longer he searched, the harder it got. The listings were not what the client had sought. Houses For Sale! By Owner, by Agent! Ready to purchase! Ready to rent! We sell houses and townhouses, condos and flats But never a home – no, we don’t sell that. 159


THE BEAN MACHINE by Evan Gendreau, Grade 12

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$


Walk up to the machine. Attempt to insert my green. Too crumpled, Too bent, Too many times already spent. I guess someone else will get my cuisine, I guess someone else will eat my cuisine. I take my cash I exchange it in a flash This time I will try and use quarters, They were all I could get according to the coin sorter. Choosing a cold pop, I pressed the buttons with shaky fingers. I waited for it to drop. But instead of falling out, the candy still lingers. My heart nearly stops. “Damn it to hell,” I stated. “This machine is more difficult than all of the girls I have dated. I tossed my money in the air I gave the machine my middle finger pair At the end of my trouble I was hungry and frustrated.

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Bomee Kim, Grade 12

La Mesa Rodanda (The Round Table)

By Alexandra Diaz-Aleman Grade 12 “¡Ven aquí, hija (Come here, daughter)!” I follow my mother’s voice to a round, metal table surrounded with more than the four chairs intended to compliment it. My mother, along with my aunts, grandmothers, cousins, and neighbors, looks expectantly at me; all of the chairs are full, and the spaces between the chairs are nonexistent. Sometimes, I think, only in my family, would a mother call her daughter to join an already overflowing gathering to force yet another seat into a cramped dining room. 162


The table is simple, wrought iron with a glass top, but it’s impossible to discern anything through the glass due to the frayed table mats and lazy Susan, piled high with Turrón, Cuban crackers, and the elbows and arms of the women perched around it. It is here that the women of my family convene to solve the world’s problems. The subject matter can be as solemn as politics in Cuba, the birthplace of my mother’s side of the family, or as frivolous as Will Ferrell’s movie made completely in Spanish. Yet, somehow, each topic is addressed with equal ferocity and gravity, as if the burdens of something larger than our entertainment It is here that the depended on it. The women of my famwomen in the Alemán ily convene to familia can most simply be described as headsolve the world’s strong, stubborn, and, problems. coincidentally, divorced. Exhibit A: Alba Marina Alemán, my mother. A self-made millionaire and a perfectionist to a fault, my mother is twice divorced, but, undaunted, perseveres with a man who “appreciates a strong woman.” She’s a shrewd business owner and holds me to the highest standards because she knows I’m capable of achieving these of my own accord. While my mom is the first to reprimand me when I have not worked my hardest, she is also the first to defend me when I’ve made a mistake. I can only hope that we are constantly at odds because of our similarity of character. Exhibit B: Clara Estrella Alemán, my Tía Clara. My aunt is recently divorced and raised three bright children while maintaining a steady job and working towards her Masters degree, with little to no support from her ex-spouse. She is an exceptionally talented landscape architect, equipped with thick skin and the belief that it’s never too late to start anew. Regardless of her unwavering skepticism of all things male, Tía Clara laughs easily and is akin to the older sister I never had, “borrowing” my shoes just as often as I “borrow” hers. She is the quintessential poster-child for independent women. She inspires me to work hard, just as much as she reminds me to take myself less seriously and revel in my youth. 163


This is the environment in which I was born and have been raised. My first language is English, but I haven’t once lost touch with my Cuban and Venezuelan roots, along with my strong Cuban culture and sense of family. I could spend countless hours divulging the quirks and habits of my Latin American childhood, but the gathering of strong women at the round table has surely been the most influential. It is here that they have given me invaluable counsel and nurtured in me a hunger for everything that life has to offer and the resolve by which to pursue it. Some may think it daunting to be a female reared in a matriarchal family, with footsteps Sophia Rutti,that Grade 12 are near impossible to follow and high heels that can never fully be filled; I have found that they are my most steadfast support system and compel me to go forth with confidence to make more of an impact than they ever did. I leave the room momentarily and return with a bar stool. I wedge it in between my mother and cousin’s seats, just in time to hear my aunt laughingly proclaim, “Great news! My ex-husband just invited me on a cruise to rekindle our relationship. Thoughts, ladies?”

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Next Page: Art by madeleine wallach, grade 9


an empty surprise He walked into his apartment and saw

colorful crepe

hanging above a smorgasbord of snacks. Confused, he deduced that someone

must have broken in. He frantically ran out the

door and down to the

police station.

Cued by the thud of the closing door, “surprise!� his friends screamed out,

by caroline farr, grade 12 165


Caitlin Wagner, Grade 10

King’s Creek By Gabriela Cabrera Grade 10

I grew up in a tropical paradise; booming with high-rises and palm trees springing up nearly every day. Wherever the vegetation started budding, a concrete canopy would overshadow it. It was an urban rainforest. A sort of escape was my grandmother’s house. Although we were so close to the hub, her house was a casual and 166


comfortable getaway from the “stresses” of being a child. I went with her everywhere; from her office to the busy little parks tucked away in South Miami, and met some of the most interesting people. I met Orlando, the anxious writer, Shannon, the recovering alcoholic with 3 kids, and Samantha, a stressed law student with a knack for dating all the wrong guys. Going anywhere with my Wherever the vege- grandmother meant not only tation started bud- carrying the milk from the ding, a concrete home grocery store, but canopy would also a little treat at the end of the overshadow it. day. If you behaved, you were rewarded with a detour to Toys-R-Us and virtually any Barbie on the shelves. My grandmother took me to her office to retrieve the mail each Saturday at ten in the morning. My chubby little hands reached through the mail slot and I peered out, as if by looking at the world from this angle gave me new lenses, and allowed me to see things I’d never seen before. I recall seeing lines of ants carry crumbs valiantly, lizards scaling the walls nimbly, and flocks of pregnant women waddling out of their pre-natal aerobics class. I used to sit on her mahogany desk and slide the glass window back and forth, pretending as though I was a receptionist. I took imaginary calls, booked imaginary appointments, and chatted with imaginary clients. The office was a second home; the tenants in the building basically watched me grow up. I was “Maria’s granddaughter,” a sort of princess. Giselle, my grandmother’s receptionist, used to take me up to the park at the top of the hill at the King’s Creek Shopping Center. The plastic sand lined my Stride-Rites, discolored the pompom at the back of my frilly little socks, broke the many falls from the swing set. Not surprisingly, my favorite part of the playground was the jungle gym. I used to hang from my toes, fingers, and knees, climbing around like a monkey. Jeans were torn, shirts were stretched, and hairclips were lost. I sat patiently 167


for the 9-5 hours my grandmother worked, tugging at Giselle’s sleeve earnestly; badgering her to take me to the playground. “Giselle, if you take me, I’ll be quiet.”—I was quite the negotiator. As much as I loved the quiet, serene ambiance of her office, I simply couldn’t wait to be up on the jungle gym, letting go and letting loose. That playground was my kingdom, overlooking the canal full of mystical creatures, among which was the infamous alligator, the antagonist of my fairytale, who tormented my subjects. When I climbed to the top of my jungle gym, I could taste the magic. King’s Creek, that’s for sure. In the King’s Creek Shopping Center, there was also a Bodega that sold snacks, meals, and drinks, out of which my favorite were pistachios. There was something about the satisfying crack and crunch that came with opening a pistachio and popping into you mouth that made each day I spent in my grandmother’s office all the more worthwhile. The lady at the counter, Miriam, knew my order every single time I walked up to the counter; my untamed hair just brushing the countertop: pistachios and a flan. I swore these flans were the best of the best; the spoon sliding into the pastry like a knife in butter, and the caramel seeping through the crack so mouthwateringly smoothly. Usually after Giselle took me to the playground, I’d accompany her to the Bodega and earnestly wait for my chance to give my simple order to Miriam. I used to make the short trek back to the office with my flan in one hand and my precious bag of pistachios in the other. When I got back to the office, I’d spare the pistachio with the largest crack until the end; no pain, no gain. When I got to the final treat, I’d crack it open slowly, so as to enjoy the last moments of its existence outside my digestive tract. As the last one disappeared into my mouth, there was a brief sense of accomplishment that came with it.

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Caitlin Wagner, Grade 10


Dear Erin Dear Erin, (No, not “dear.” Dear is too formal. I want familiar. At least, I think I do.) Dear Hi Erin, (Good start)

I received your letter a little over a month ago (Sorry it’s taken me so long to respond. I could blame homework or extra-curriculars, but the honest truth is I just haven’t known what to say.) Hi Erin, I received your letter a little over a month ago Thank you so much for your letter. It meant the world to me to hear from you. (God, could I sound any more superficial or trite?) Thank you so much for your letter. 170

Katherine weimer, grade 12

By EricaJoy Oliverio, Grade 12


It meant the world to me to hear from you. I was so excited to hear from you. (There – that’s better. Casual, breezy…fun.) As you know, my name is EricaJ – (Wait, is that redundant? Clearly she already knows who I am – I mean, she did write the first letter – but…still… I’ve never properly introduced myself.) As you know, my name is EricaJoy Oliverio, and I am your half-sister. As your mother has most likely already

explained to you, I was adopted at birth by my parents, Mary and Dave Oliverio. I have always known that I was adopted (My parents used to make me read those picture 171


books – the one’s with the titles like A Gift from God, Adoption is for Always and Tell Me Again about the Night I Was Born. But you probably haven’t heard of those.) I was adopted at birth by my parents, Mary and Dave Oliverio. I have always known that I was adopted I didn’t really get what that meant though until I was seven, a little younger than you are now. (Is that condescending? Maybe that’s condescending. I don’t want her to read that the wrong way.) I was adopted at birth by my parents, Mary and Dave Oliverio. Like you, I have also been raised an only child I have three dogs – Freckles, Coco and Gracie – But I’ve always wanted a kitten.(You’re lucky to have a kitten.) I was born on December 12, 1994, which makes me exactly 8 years and 6 months Older than you. I am a senior in high school and will attend the University of Virginia in the fall. I really like school. (But I hate the banality of that sentence.) Do you? What are your favorite classes? I like English and social sciences myself. What do you like to do for fun? I love reading, writing watching movies, baking goodies, and hanging out with friends. I also play field hockey and love to travel.

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pie ter gr bon ad e 1 in, 0

n, ra simo d n a x e l a 2 grade 1

(I sound like an ad for an online dating service: single girl – 18 – looking for love – familial love – in a long lost sister who’s in fourth grade and has cats and is probably nothing like me.) Thank you for the picture you sent me! (P.S. I think you’re beautiful too – not in the conventional way, per se, but in the way that all children are. Your blue-green eyes are so bright and your crooked-tooth smile is still easy and wide. You have that certain innocence – hopefulness – that I sometimes wish I had, that childish naïveté that I sometimes crave.) Thank you for the picture you sent me! I think you’re beautiful, too.

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(Is that weird? Maybe. But she’s old enough to want something of her own, something that no one can take back or claim.) As for your request…. (Oh God, her request… How do I respond?) As for your request, I am flattered honored that you want to meet me, but (the eternal qualifier) but I do not think that this is the right time. (And that there’s the punch line. Please believe me when I say that I completely understand why you want to meet me. I want to meet you too. But you are still so young, and, to be perfectly honest… I don’t want you to confuse me for your sister I know we share a mother and genes, and I know that makes us biological relations, but “sisterhood” isn’t a bond that is determined by blood. Maybe you’ll understand what I mean someday. I know you’re curious – I’m curious too. I’ve wondered about you and your mother for as long as I can remember. I know you want a sister – Hell, I’ve wanted a sister for 18 years. But I don’t want to lead you on. I don’t want to have you think we’re something we’re not. I don’t want to be the reason for any bitterness or disappointment you may feel when you realize 174


I’m not here to stay. I was never here to stay. But at the same time... There’s a part of me that wants yearns to meet you. Ever since I got your letter – maybe even before then, I don’t remember – I’ve dreamed of meeting you and your mother, of finding a family I never knew I had – not one to replace my family, no, never that – just another group of people that will love me and cherish me. and be tied to me in that unconditional, priceless, familial way 12 rade rk, G n Pa Kevi

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Phillip Dolan, Grade 12

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But I’m afraid that my hopes are unfounded, and that my silent dreams won’t live up to reality and that the piece of me that dreams and wonders will Be broken and Bitter and disillusioned, It’s innocence crushed (or worse) irrevocably lost. I’m afraid of not living up to your expectations And of you not living up to mine. And therein lies my constant struggle: Eternal wonder versus potential regret? The scales are full but I am blind And I don’t know which to choose. So forgive me if I say, for now…)

As for your request, I am honored that you want to meet me, Truly, I am. Perhaps one day, when we’re both a little older, we can meet. Until (the ever-potential) then, please know that I am always here To answer your questions or simply to talk.

Yours Truly, Your sister, EricaJoy Oliverio 177


SKY HIGH DREAMS By Caroline Farr Grade 12

My eyes fixated on the flight attendant as she made routine gestures toward the nearest emergency exits. Most seven year olds would be hesitant to board a transatlantic flight, but not me. My fascination with becoming a flight attendant dated back to the previous year when I begged my mom to ask her friend, a retired stewardess, for her old uniform. There is no doubt; my interest stemmed from the orderly aspects of the job. Flight attendants always look poised in crisp uniforms, work in organized quarters and serve passengers from pushcarts, in which every soda can is organized in a perfectly neat line. Cruising at 30,000 ft., my senses heightened as I studied the attendants rolling the scuffed silver carts up and down the narrow aisles. They greeted passengers with warm smiles as they doled out beverages and hot meals sealed with crinkled foil. The lights eventually dimmed and the passengers began to doze off. This was my chance; I made my way to the main galley in the back of the plane. A half hour had elapsed and I had become fast friends with the pack of United Airlines flight attendants. I spent this time inquiring about every aspect of their jobs; from their living situations to managing jetlag. After declining to allow me to push the beverage cart, the attendants presented me with an opportunity that I could not refuse. They gave me a mission: they told me that I could be on 178


EricaJoy Oliverio, Grade 12

“trash duty.” I immediately accepted the offer with zeal. They supplied me with an embroidered United Airlines apron, rubber gloves, and a milk crate lined with a trash bag. I had to pause to make sure that I wasn’t dreaming. Not wanting to disappoint, I upheld a professional front—despite my nervousness and excitement. Drowning in the oversized apron, I walked down the aisle, collecting waste from groggy, weary passengers. While I passed many travelers in deep slumber, I couldn’t help but notice the seat pockets in front of them bulging with crushed plastic cups, soiled napkins and food wrappers. I stood paralyzed for a brief moment, not knowing what to do next. Do I contort my arm around the passengers to retrieve the trash? Do I lightly tap them on their shoulder? Do I pass them by? That’s when I made a decision: I wasn’t going to stop until I collected every piece of trash on the 747. Ten years later, although my career aspirations have changed, I can finally understand why I was so enthralled with becoming a flight attendant—the order, the organization and the fact that everything has a place. Today, my friends laugh when I stop to level a picture, or straighten a pile of papers. When they see my tidy bedroom, methodical closet, and uncluttered car, they always comment, “You’re so strange, you really must enjoy organizing” and I can’t help but smile, because I know it’s true. 179


Zachary Whitt, Grade 12

going somewhere One…two…three…four... I endlessly count the telephone poles as they, one after another, whizz past from outside one of the half-opened windows on the bus. I sit with my knees positioned comfortably on the back of the seat 180


By Alexandra Simon Grade 12

in front of me as my teammates around me sleep soundlessly. I pick at the hole a rebellious student had somehow mysteriously made— as if cutting the worn pleather seat to reveal the strangely colored material below was a form of self-expression. The floor is covered in crumbs of leftover Goldfish and fallen Gummy Bears, acting as edible 181


mines that many avoid stepping on at all costs. In the background, the disgustingly catchy pop hit plays on repeat, blaring from the speakers of an iPod someone must have left on. I look out the window—seeing the vague outline of my reflection in the dirtied glass. It reminds me of the many billboards and ads that show the shot of a girl from inside the school bus looking longingly out into the distance, depicting her pondering outlook as if she is dreaming of obtaining the particular concept being marketed. These ads are the most memorable to me because the specific identity of the girl seems irrelevant; the comfort and significance of the ad remains in the idea that no matter who the girl is or what she is doing, at least she is going somewhere. As the sleeping murmurs of friends fill the air, I relish the moment. Normally, exhaustion from the earlier craze of team bonding would have hit me by now, but it was for a moment nice to sit in the sanctuary of the bus seat and allow my fleeting concerns to consume my thoughts. My mind is free to wander, to sift through what might need organizing or disposing—my to-do list for the upcoming day, typical high school gossip, some nagging stress. Though I am among a crowd of people, it is during these moments of chaotic chatter or, in this case the symphony of snores, that I am truly able to do my best thinking. It seems peculiar that I, an extroverted opportunist, occasionally choose instances of being surrounded by the comfort of many to settle into the solitude of my thoughts. Nevertheless, I begin to zone out from what has become background noise to me—instead now pondering my future journey. Like the girl in the ad who desires what is being marketed, I dream of one day attaining my ambitions. Whether they are the current goals for my upcoming college experience or fulfilling my long term aspiration of becoming a marketing mogul, I allow myself to slowly slip into these small moments of dream-like reflection. However, I am called back into the present reality after the bus abruptly stops at an unexpected red light. The comfort of my thoughts soon brings me back to gazing out the window though. This is who I am. I am much like the unknown girl in the ad; I may not know exactly where I’m going or what I will be doing, but while I remain here with the solace of my thoughts, I can take comfort in the fact that at least I am going somewhere. 182


Caroline Farr Grade 12

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Stop motion:

1 2 3 4 5 6

Reminiscence by Alexandra Diaz-Aleman and EricaJoy Oliverio Things are About to Get Weird by Caroline Farr, Caroline Hoffman and Alexandra Simon 4:37 by Mariah Fairfield, Emily Granruth and Zachary Whitt

Stream of Consciousness by Katherine Weimer

Red and Yellow by Sophia Rutti and Phillip Dolan Good Morning, Ch...Ryan! by Ryan Shim

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The Stop Motion films are projects created by Wakefield seniors in the Digital Photography class. 185


Index Anderson, Emma Boarts, Alexandra Bonin, Pieter Cabrera, Gabriela Castano, Gabriela Clubb, Mary Day, Liam Diaz-Aleman, Alexandra Dargis, Madeleine Dolan, Phillip Dominick, Conor Dunnegan, Eleanor Edens, Evy Fairfield, Mariah Farr, Caroline Finn, Jack Floyd, Logan Fulton, Bailey Gendreau, Evan Granruth, Emily Guarriello, Maximiliano Gutch, Connor Hadlock, Jillian Hailey, Tess Hoffman, Caroline Holtslander, Richard Hurley, Sam Hutchison, Brianna Johnston, Leticia Kessler, Caroline Kim, Ashley Kim, Bomee Lee, Annette 186

78 76 173 58, 72, 78, 79, 166 78 10, 134, 142 102 8, 15, 23, 94, 156, 162, 184 19, 20, 86, 109, 137 8, 19, 36, 114, 152, 176, 184 78 78 78 32, 59, 64, 79, 105, 113, 184 15, 165, 178, 183, 184 79 79 124, 126 24, 161 13, 184 65 78 79 129 104, 135, 151, 184 119 79 88 150 52, 78, 112, 113, 126 78 32, 36, 56, 136, 162 69


82, 84, 101 Lee, Janice 70, 92, 132 Lee, Sydney 68 Ligon, Eleanor 78 Marsh, Andrew 56 Marvin, Ava 16, 55 Mason, Kelly 78, 121 Michaelson, Benjamin 79 McClinden, Gina Oliverio, EricaJoy 27, 40, 58, 92, 101, 140, 145, 158, 170, 178, 184 30, 42, 46, 63, 175 Park, Kevin 79 Parra, Julianna 28 Peters, Eryn 94 Poss, Connor 51, 96 Quinn, Lucas 14 Robinson, Nicholas 79 Ross, Robin 129 Russell, Alexis 14, 23, 33, 45, 80, 110, 184 Rutti, Sophia 34, 130 Sears, Jessica 42, 118, 128 Seventko, Lindsay 20, 86, 104, 106, 184 Shim, Ryan 10, 71, 76, 138, 173, 180, 184, cover Simon, Alexandra 30 Steensma, Matthew 52 Swede, Allison 66, 102, 184 Templeton, Clayton 50, 78, 96, 98, 99, 100, 153, 158, 166, 169 Wagner, Caitlin 165 Wallach, Madeline 28, 49 Weimer, Benjamin Weimer, Katherine 16, 18, 22, 27, 44, 46, 72, 75, 120, 140, 146, 149, 151, 170, 184 79 Weitz, Meaghan 79 Westbrook, Lily 180, 184 Whitt, Zachary 79 Williamson, Hastings 89 Wolf, Leilani Wroe, James 60, 106

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cspa awards 1994 Medalist 1995 Gold Medal 1996 Gold Medal 1997 Gold Medal 1998 Gold Medal 1999 Gold Medal 2000 Gold Medal 2001 Gold Medal 2002 Silver Crown 2003 Gold Medal 2004 Gold Medal 2005 Gold Medal 2006 Silver Medal 2007 Bronze Medal 2008 Gold Medal 2009 Gold Medal 2010 Gold Medal 2011 Gold Medal 2012 Silver Medal

COLOPHON

Typeset by the Talisman Staff in Microsoft Word 2011. Cover set in Trajan Pro. Inside covers set in Trajan Pro and Minion Pro. Table of Contents set in Trajan Pro. Bylines set in Trajan Pro, Minion Pro, Lucida Bright and American Typewriter. Page numbers set in Minion Pro. Poetry set in Helvetica, Minion Pro and American Typewriter. Prose set in Minion Pro. Prose and Poetry Titles set in Trajan Pro, Lucida Bright and American Typewriter. Cover stock is Chorus Art Silk 100# White; interior page stock is Chorus Art Silk 80# Text. Page layout executed using InDesign CS5. Printing by Piedmont Press, Warrenton, Virginia. All layout and design executed by EricaJoy Oliverio and Alexandra Simon of the 2013 Talisman staff. 188


thanks to-

-Juliet: For enduring the car rides to the printers with us and for your dedicaion to the magazine. We have the utmost confidence in leaving Talisman in your hands, and we can't wait to hear about your future successes. -Pandora: For afternoon sing-a-longs and late night dance parties -Caitlin and Caroline: For being so willing to help every step of the way. We wish you the best of luck in your future journey. -Arrested Development: For keeping us company during our design sessions and for giving us constant inspiration. -Simon and Oliverio Family: For your constant encouragement and...

special thanks to-

-To all who submitted: For sharing your immense creative talent with us. You are the magazine. Thank you for making Talisman what it is. DP: For your never-ending harassment, sarcasm, and most importantly infinite support. You believed and encouraged our crazy ideas, and honestly, this magazine would not be what it is without you. -Gary: For your constant design support and expertise, always infused with your signature sass. We're going to miss you next year. Stay young, Gary. Stay young. -Steve: For always figuring out a way to make our vision for the magazine a reality. Despite the amount of times we changed our minds and turned in drafts late, you made it work, and for that, we cannot thank you enough. -EJ: Okay, I'll finally admit it. You are extraordinarily talented at designing, and despite the amount of times I have told you otherwise, I have no idea how would have done the magazine without you. Catch you on the flip side, ya loser. -Alex: Well, it's been a wild ride. We bicker constantly, but you're honestly my best friend, and I couldn't have asked for a better coeditor these past 2 years. Thanks for everything; I love you, betch.

thanks for nothing to-Resolution: for making 90% of pictures blurry -The Staples printing staff: ...who hired you? -Page Dimensions: You know what you did.


"But the blank edge of the map filled in and i left" -phillip dolan, Grade 12


Wanderlust - 2013 Wakefield School Talisman