My Love for Roller Skating
By Brianna D.
July 17, 2023
Roller skating, a captivating blend of grace and exhilaration, has captured my heart in ways no other activity could. From the moment I first glided across the smooth surface, I knew I had found my true passion. In the rhythmic motion of my wheels, I have discovered a profound love for roller skating.
The dance-like movements of roller skating awaken a sense of grace within me. With each carefully choreographed step, I feel connected to the music and the rhythm of life itself. It is a form of artistry, where my body becomes a brush and the rink transforms into my canvas. I am no longer confined by gravity; I am soaring, defying limitations with every twist and turn.
Roller skating has also become a social outlet, connecting me with a diverse community of fellow enthusiasts. In the company of kindred spirits, I have found a sense of belonging and camaraderie. We encourage and inspire one another, sharing the joy of this shared passion. Together, we create memories, laugh, and support each other through falls and triumphs.
Beyond the personal benefits, roller skating has taught me invaluable life lessons. It has shown me the power of perseverance, teaching me to rise each time I fall.
It has taught me the importance of balance, both on wheels and in life. It has reminded me that progress comes with practice and that with dedication, even the most challenging maneuvers can be mastered. It has become a part of who I am, an integral thread in the tapestry of my life. With every stride, I am reminded of the joy, freedom, and personal growth that roller skating brings. It is an enduring love that I will cherish for a lifetime!
Why I Love Music
By Liliana L.
February 27, 2023
Music is defined as an art of sound and time that expresses ideas and emotions in significant forms through the elements of rhythm, melody, harmony and color. It has the power to change lives and share important feelings. Everyone, at all times hears music whether it’s on the radio, or waking up in the morning and hearing birds chirping and the sound of wind blowing through trees. Every genre of music has its own individuality. For example rock gives off this rebellious kind of vibe, while pop gives of a positive, happy sort of vibe. I like to listen to all types of music. I even listen to music in different languages. Even though I don’t understand most of it, it still impacts me as if I was listening to it in English. The amazing part about music is that anyone can make and enjoy it. Music has been around for centuries, it has evolved over time. It is like a civilization that has expanded and created better technology. Some of my favorite artist are Michael Jackson, Kali Uchis, Tyler the Creator, Nirvana, Miki Matsubara, Yugo Kanno, Fujii Kaze and Foo Fighters. There are a lot more but this shows that everyone has different music tastes. Everyone should enjoy the music that they chose to listen to. In conclusion, Music has the power to embolden and change lives and everyone should enjoy it in their own ways.
By Prajusha B.
February 26, 2023
Water pollution can have disastrous effects on the environment. Pollution in the water can reach a point where there isn’t enough oxygen in the water for fish to breathe. Fish, seabirds, sea turtles, and marine mammals can become entangled in or ingest plastic debris, causing suffocation, starvation, and drowning. Sometimes pollution affects the entire food chain. Deteriorating water quality is damaging the environment, health conditions and the global economy. The UN says that billions of people around the world have no access to clean water to drink or sanitation, particularly in rural areas. Water pollution from major events like acid rain or oil spills can completely destroy marine habitats. Some factors contributing to this problem are human activity and natural causes. Water pollution can occur through natural causes like volcanoes, algae blooms, animal waste, and silt from storms and floods. A lot of water pollution also comes from human activity. Some human causes include sewage, pesticides and fertilizers from farms, waste water and chemicals from factories, and trash from people littering. An estimated 8 Million tons of plastic enters our oceans every year. There are other causes,but these are the main ones: Deforestation, Global Warming, Industry, agriculture and livestock farming, Rubbish and faucal water dumping, Maritime Traffic, and Fuel spills. Human waste and sewage water that has been partially treated or untreated goes into the ocean. This is called “garbage dumping” and is one of the world’s leading causes of ocean pollution.
Some possible solutions are saving water and picking up trash. Fresh and clean water is a precious resource, don’t waste it! One way this plan can be accomplished is saving water by taking shorter showers, not watering the lawn, not leaving the faucet running while you’re brushing your teeth, and making sure the toilet isn’t running. Another way is by picking up trash and throwing it into a garbage can. Especially when at the beach, lake or river. This will help because by reducing the amount of water we send down our drains everyday, we can also cut down on the total amount of wastewater that we have to treat, and we can support properly functioning waste treatment systems. This is how conserving water in our homes helps to protect local water quality. Every piece of trash that is taken away to be recycled or deposited in a landfill means there is one less dangerous item for birds, turtles or whales to swallow. Cleanups also restore these creatures’ habitats. This plan won’t help get rid of the 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean. Household garbage is still collected and dumped into oceans by many countries across the world. Every year we dump a massive 2.12 billion tons of waste. If all this waste was put on trucks they would go around the world 24 times. This stunning amount of waste is partly because 99 percent of the stuff we buy is trashed within 6 months. We can’t solve all the problems of water pollution, but we can definitely help solve our local problems!
Letter to My Younger Self
By Marissa P.
February 25, 2023
Dear younger me,
Teenage years are not what you thought they were going to be. There are so many ups and downs, so many challenges we have to face. But guess what, all those things you have gone through, they get better! Things from when we were very little impacted us, and changed how we looked at life. So many problems with mental choices and disruptions also did as we got older, but for the future, push hard and keep your strong sense of determination that you never failed to lose throughout your whole life. You are so loved even if it doesn’t feel like that at some points. Also never be afraid to reach out for help, asking for help proves that you are strong, not weak. There is never a problem asking for it, maybe sometimes that little extra support it was you need in life to accomplish anything that you have wanted to set your mind to. Struggles are apart of life, you’re not the only one going through that, make sure to check up on the ones you love, and always keep your head on the positive side, that makes a huge impact when other people see that. Remember, keep living your life kiddo.
By Harry K.
February 24, 2023
The topic of this blog is the age-old series, Ice Age. Ice Age is a masterpiece from Blue Sky Studios, 20th Century Studios, and Fox Animation Studios. This movie series will always have a place in my heart as this series is one that I can always reference with my family to enjoy together. When I was younger, when I went on vacation, I would watch the Ice Age movies on repeat to pass the time. I have watched the movies so many times, that I remember the small details in the characters’ faces! The different inside jokes and logic we can use from the movie is even present in the communities of the internet. The other day, while reading some news, I saw a comment that was a reference from the Ice Age movies! I was hysterically laughing on the ground and my whole family looked at me funny. I showed them the comment, and we were all laughing guts out for a good ten minutes! Every time I hear anything even remotely related to the movies, I reminisce for a second back to the times when life was really simple for me. It may not sound like much coming from a teen, but even I have some days where I want to go back to my younger self!
Teen Blog-Marching Band
By Harry K.
February 24, 2023
The topic of this blog will be about the time that my marching band had overcome many obstacles to prevail as the New York State Field Band Conference champions in the division of Small School 3. At first, I was reluctant to join as there were many stories and rumors about the difficulty and the responsibilities that each member carried. But I ended up joining because the benefits of enjoying such a warm community beat every doubt inside of me. Once I joined, the place was nothing like everyone had told me. Everyone in the band was very welcoming, and every person in my group became some of the closest friends that we ever encountered. We were like a family, even meeting up after practice to just hang out. Looking back to all the suffocating practices, and petty arguments between band mates, I can truly say that I did enjoy the time I was there. As a result, I will be joining this year again. This time, I am returning as a soloist and a captain. This experience of the marching band has convinced me that the phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover” is not just for a saying.
I Still Love Paper Cranes
By Janine R.
October 31, 2022
The following is an excerpt from my early draft of the college essay that was scrapped in exchange for another idea… I am quite sad it will not be used so I am sharing it on the blog instead!
‘The first Japanese legend to capture the interest of a 6-year old me is the one about the 1000 paper cranes (senbarazu). The story goes that if one folds 1000 cranes, a wish could be granted in return for their dedication towards folding the delicate paper. Even though I was young, I loved how the legend was reflective of human love: after all, how many people would actually fold 1000 paper cranes for someone they loved? It takes large amounts of time to fold each paper crane to a presentable form and to repeat that process 999 more times was something I could not fathom. Despite this, I was surprised at my continued curiosity about this legend. I wondered if I would one day fold cranes for someone I loved or if someone would ever love me enough to give me 1000 paper cranes, connected with a simple thread that–to me–symbolize the fortitude needed for someone to begin their journey on folding a senbarazu.
I received my first flock of paper cranes shortly after my fascination with them began. They came to me nestled among numerous other origami shapes in a small heart-shaped glass jar; they did not arrive as a senbarazu but the impact was the same–I was happy.
7th Grade CYO Basketball Championship
By Dylan T.
October 31, 2022
My name is Dylan and I am a student at Division Avenue High school. I played basketball for St. Bernard’s parish in Levittown, New York. I played CYO basketball from 4th grade to 8th. When I was in 7th grade me and my team played an undefeated season. 15-0. We made it to the playoffs and got a first round bye which means we get a free pass to the next round. In the second round we blew out the team meaning we won by a long shot. After this round it was the championship. We played St. Agnes at their place. Throughout the game it was close but in the last quarter we pulled away with a 12 point lead to take it home. After the game we had a celebration ceremony where we all got medals and trophies for winning. Later on in the year we also got backpacks that I still use to this day. Throughout the season I learned how to lean on others when I can’t do things all alone and most importantly teamwork. Our coach was my good friend’s dad and I was very close with him. He was a great mentor for me during the season telling me when I did things wrong and when I did them perfectly, he pushed us to the greatest extent. That is my story.
Early High School Pressure
By Antoinette U.
September 12, 2022
Hi, I’m an 8th grader attending a private school, and the entrance exam (TACHS exam) is coming up soon. The exam is the first week of November, and since that date is coming up soon, it’s the main topic that everybody chooses to talk about. Along with the exam, comes high school. We all like to imagine what our experiences will be like, and how they will be different from everyone else. But, when my classmates talk about high school, they seem to romanticize it.
Some want to skip 8th grade, and others want 8th grade to last forever. I’m right in the middle. I know if I become anxious about high school, I will only rush this year. But if I want to live in this moment forever and not leave, I won’t be confident about walking into new school doors. But, that’s not even my main concern, the exam is.
I consider myself to be a pretty smart kid. I’m in honors, and most topics come easy to me. I made a good impression on my teachers and peers, and that’s how I like it. But, I’m so worried about this exam. If I don’t do well on it, I may not get into my dream school. What if I don’t do as well as I should? What if my dream school doesn’t accept me? These are thoughts that have been running through my head, and I hate it.
Starting in a few days, my school will offer exam prep. I think that even with all the help I can get, I won’t do well, and that may be my main knock down. If I keep saying that I won’t do well, and thinking that I’m going to fail, those thoughts will only become an unwanted reality. I have to have a positive mindset about it, and that’s what I’ve been trying to do. The thing I have been telling myself the most, is that I will have birthday luck. The exam happens to fall on November 5th (my birthday). So if I can get that little bit of luck, I’ll gladly take it.
I understand that there will be more stressful tests coming up in my life, (like the Regents) but this exam determines four years of my life (and of course, life after high school). If you are thinking about taking the TACHS exam and are nervous, don’t worry, we’re in the same boat.
Overall, I’m really looking forward to this year of 8th grade. It’s my last year of middle school and I’m ready to take on any challenges that come with it. I will 100% make sure to enjoy this school year.
Why I Love Costa Rica
By Sophia K.
September 15, 2022
My favorite place to travel to is Costa Rica. I have been so lucky to have visited this beautiful country three times and can’t wait to go again this February. The country has so much to offer, Rain Forests, Dry Forests, Cloud Forests, Volcanos, Beaches, Lakes and Waterfalls. If you would like to see different parts of the country you have to be willing to travel in between different regions. On our first trip, my family stayed in Arenal and we were able to see the volcano, La Fortuna Waterfall, sloths, monkeys, and frogs. We went waterfall rappelling, which was very adventurous, went to the Mystico hanging bridges and swam in the La Fortuna Waterfall. From Arenal we travelled to Papagayo Bay where we were able to relax at the beach, went tubing and waterskiing and my dad & brother tried fishing. It was a wonderful way to see two different parts of the country. On our next visit we stayed in Manuel Antonio for a week. The beach there was amazing. We ziplined, saw 4 different waterfalls that you could jump into and swim in, went on a night walk where we saw spiders and frogs, we visited a local eco lodge with more waterfalls and homemade authentic Costa Rican food (called casada). We went to Manuel Antonio National Park and saw so much wildlife. At our hotel, we had monkeys on our balcony every day and we saw sloths climbing up trees even while we were sitting at a restaurant for dinner. This trip was amazing because we were able to see a new part of the country and experience all the natural beauty it offered. On our most recent visit we went to Monteverde, the cloud forest. It was very different from all the other parts of the country. There was less wildlife, but the flowers and trees were beautiful. We visited cloud forests and enjoyed all the natural beauty. We were even able to see a view of the Arenal volcano from the Santa Elena cloud forest. From there we went back to Manuel Antonio. We had a car so we drove to other towns in the region and visited more National Parks. Costa Rica believes in preserving as much of their land as possible so people like me and my family can enjoy it. I’m so happy that my parents gave me the opportunity to visit so many times and that we keep going back and experiencing new things.
By Mya B.
July 25, 2022
One organization that is close to my heart is the National Alliance to End Homelessness, because it brings exposure to a complex and challenging conflict in America. When analyzing the reason as to why different demographics of individuals have a higher homelessness percentage, we can conclude that there are specific historical events that have prevented black individuals from accumulating generational wealth. For instance, the destruction of a prosperous black neighborhood in the Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma by a mob of white residents stunted the accumulation of generational wealth and was referred to as “black Wall Street.”
The National Alliance to End Homelessness was created in 1983 by a group of individuals concerned with the homelessness rate. Key elements of their organization include permanent supportive housing, re- housing, and systematic collection and use of data. This organization campaigns for over 30 billion dollars in annual federal funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Developments, housing choice vouchers, and more.
The Innocence Project
By Mya B.
June 2, 2022
A nonprofit organization that is close to my heart is the Innocence Project, because it provides legal representation for individuals who were falsely convicted and whose lives are pending to be executed. The concept of prison is to hold individuals accountable. However, we remove these people from society where they become detached, withdrawn, and perform labor for privileges, but many become reoffenders because they cannot assimilate into society. It is unrealistic to expect them to adapt. So, I suppose to you this question is the concept of prison as reflective of an “eye for an eye” or an “equal punishment,” or is it a place where individuals become part of a never ending cycle of hopelessness, misery, and sorrow? If we believe people can be success stories, that people can be better than the worst actions they’ve ever committed, what is beneficial about the existence of prisons?
The innocence project was founded in 1992 by Barry C. Sheck and Peter J Neufeld at the Benjamin N Cardozo school of law at Yeshiva University. According to the Innocence Project, 3,670 individuals have been in prison for wrongful convictions. One of the main components that is used by the Innocence Project to exonerate individuals is DNA testing. They are dedicated to addressing these systemic issues through strategic litigation, policy reform, and education.
By Janine R.
May 29, 2022
College applications are coming soon; I have the task of having to create a college essay of only 650 words that can make me seem impressive enough to gain admission to a college. This is quite a distressing situation to be in as it makes you question yourself to try and find something worthwhile to write about. Any spectacular talents? Have you had a life-changing experience? Or is there a weird little quirk that will help you stand out? Time is not on my side either as I am still studying for numerous finals while simultaneously trying to do some deep soul searching to find a topic to write about. This is a stressful time of desperation and exasperation but I hope that the end of it all will help me look back on my experiences with a smile.
The Springtime of Youth
By Janine R.
April 30, 2022
Representation of an unrealistic teenage experience is consistently shown in popular media and perpetuates the idea that young teenagers should be living extremely romanticized versions of their life in order to live “their life.” Despite this popular idea, I find myself disagreeing with it. The Japanese have a phrase that I find myself connecting to: “springtime of youth.” This identifies the teenage years to be one of happiness and hope that can later in life be looked back on with nostalgia. I feel the teenage years are for yourself; you have no expectations or responsibilities of being an adult yet and can live more freely. It is a time to do whatever you want and appreciate this lighthearted time without certain stresses of the world affecting you. Of course there are struggles common to teenagers, but I think the most satisfying thing is to accept those struggles, overcome them, and see how they have changed you. Time is such a peculiar concept to grasp; in a year my time as a teenager will end and my time as an adult will start. The springtime of my youth will soon pass and I hope that i can look back on my teenage years without regret.”
My Favorite Thing About Libraries
By Izabella A.
March 31, 2022
My favorite thing about libraries is that they are nice and calm places. Whenever I have the time I would read a book. In school when I want to read I go to the libraries because there I can be focused more and not be interrupted by people. I think that in the library people tend to be more focused on their work or studies than In a classroom. I think that a library is an amazing place because you get to choose as many books as you want and no one will mind.
Argument Against Banning Books
By Jordan F.
March 21, 2022
A worldwide issue emerges from something you wouldn’t expect, Books. Schools and libraries question whether “inappropriate” books should be banned for children. Although it seems like a no brainer, it doesn’t turn out that way. The argument is whether or not some books should be banned. Some say books should not be banned while others say that they should be banned. In my opinion, books shouldn’t be banned because it helps children understand issues in the real world. It’s also important for children to be able to read and understand all the facts if they want to learn about something.
However, some people believe that inappropriate books can cause ill thinking in sensitive children. A quote from New York Times, “Some expressed how it may lead children down a path to hypersexuality, cause suicidal ideations or traumatize them due to misunderstanding the concepts.” Although true, there are many more reasons why inappropriate books help kids rather than reasons why they don’t.
Books, inappropriate or not, help young children understand problems that take place outside of school. Here is what Ellen Hopkins has to say, “They may give students insight into ongoing issues such as suicide or abuse.” This explains that children might not understand the concepts of some issues and how dangerous they can be. Understanding the problems in the world can help them recognize if it is happening to them or if someone is in need of help. Another quote from the New York Times states, “We are turning a blind eye to a problem and not helping these kids understand and get prepared for life after that k-12 experience.” I think kids should be able to learn about issues in school before it’s too late and it happens to them or someone they know.
It is also important for children around the world to be able to read what they want. It could be costly if we don’t let them. Jay Parini has a similar view on this subject. “I suspect the ill-effects of banning books will normally outweigh the dangers.” If we ban books, it would do more bad than good. If kids can’t grasp how important it is to learn these things at an early age, then they might never grasp it until they learn from experience. Nicolette Jones is against the banning of books, and has the numbers to support her point of view, “Children who read achieve more, do better in all subjects, and experience better wellbeing, yet only 37 percent of children aged six to eleven read for pleasure daily.” This proves that it is a necessity for kids to be able to read about whatever they want. Most kids don’t read because of the pressure put on them to read. But reading has massive benefits for any reader.
All in all, children of any age should be able to read and get exposed to “the real world” before it’s too late and have to figure out the hard way. Kids should be given freedom to learn and read about what they want. After looking at the evidence, I still stick with my statement. Books should not be banned. And with your help, children around the world can have freedom to read.
By Rylee K.
March 6, 2022
One thing that I’ve started to enjoy recently is cleaning and sweeping my room. I hate cleaning but cleaning my room is much different. When I listen to my favorite songs and am in my room by myself just cleaning, it makes me feel a certain way. I can’t describe it but it’s a good feeling. I know that I’m having fun while cleaning and my room is getting clean. Whenever I’ve had a rough day or just need a break, I clean my room and it just makes me feel better. It is such a weird and random thing but lately I’ve just started to enjoy it. When I sweep my room, I feel the same way too. I feel like sweeping is just peaceful and kind of relaxing when you want to do it. If I’m asked to clean anywhere else, I really dislike it but when I’m cleaning my room, I enjoy it a lot.
By Mya B.
March 4, 2022
A cause close to my heart is the African Wildlife Foundation, because many individuals do not acknowledge or they disregard the value of animals. Animals are innocent creatures, often abused and neglected by the actions of humans. Animals are vital to our universe and if we continue to mistreat our planet we will be responsible for the death of hundreds of animals. If individuals do not have the courage to stand up and make a change for the animals that do not have a voice, we will be complacent. Who are we as individuals, what morals do we have and what does our integrity say if the voices of innocent animals are killed. Our animals deserve to be protected and not mistreated. According to https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/ 16,928 species are currently in jeopardy and will continue to become extinct without actions. There are multiple ways to help endangered, species such as visiting a national park and growing native plants around the world. Social media is an amazing strategy for spreading awareness and reaching the hearts of many individuals, because we cannot expect change if individuals are not given the education.
War in the Modern Day
By Janine R.
February 28, 2022
The largest world news right now is undoubtedly the issue with Russia and Ukraine. With this conflict, there is much talk about the potential of a war between the two countries or potentially even a more dire result–a world war. Unsurprisingly, there is much fear and anxiety present in people due to this issue and at times I personally cannot grasp the fact that there is an issue occurring. Learning about history in class seems much more real to me than the fact a situation similar to the ones I commonly learn about is actually occurring in present time. I have already gone down a rabbit hole of seeing what would occur if nuclear weapons were utilized by Russia and caused myself overbearing worry. As time passes and the world receives more coverage regarding this conflict all I can do is stare mindlessly at my phone for more information and hope for Ukrainians and their safety. War is always resulted from man’s selfishness and it is incredibly saddening to have to witness one in my lifetime.
A Cause Close to My Heart
By Mya B.
February 23, 2022
One cause which is sentimental to me, as a young black woman in today’s generation, is the Black Lives Matter organization that advocates for the eradication of police brutality and for the officers who abuse their power to wrongfully murder black individuals to be held accountable for their actions.
On the contrary to popular belief, the BLM organization has been established since 2013 with the acquittal of George Zimmerman, who killed a young African American man named Treyvon Martin. Representation is essential for all minorities that have historically been dehumanized, disenfranchised, and enslaved for centuries, and without the existence of these powerful organizations history has the ability to repeat itself. Since the creation of BLM, one its many accomplishments as a result of the death of George Floyd is that 100 of the largest cities have passed policies restricting the use of chokeholds by law enforcement. In Kentucky, “no Knock Warrant “ searches have been banned as a consequence of the death of a young African American woman named Breanna Taylor. BLM has given the voice of hundreds of families of victims of police brutality, such as George Floyd, Andre Hill, Mannuel Ellis, etc. and have brought awareness to one of the many issues that are still prevalent in today’s social climate.
Gaining New Interests and Returning Past Interests
By Janine R.
January 31, 2022
Recently I have been finding myself gaining odd interests in wanting to learn to do new things. Maybe out of boredom or simply out of a desire to have something new to be able to do. For example, learning how to play chess or knitting has for some reason been a random goal of mine for this past week. I barely have any clue where to start with chess and knitting seems like a challenge but the urge to learn how to do them is still there so I would like to see where this goes. I have also recently become more interested in reading and drawing again so I hope these interests continue for a while.
Taking Out The Trash
By Yasseen B.
January 31, 2022
I like taking out the trash. There’s something both satisfying and relaxing about taking out the trash after a long hard week. The frantic rush into the slippers that definitely aren’t yours, the cool breeze drifting in your hair, the smell of the moisture in the air that will signal tomorrow morning’s dew. In my opinion, those are the best things in the world you can feel after a long week. I always volunteer to take out the trash. Not only does it physically and literally feel like I’m dumping out the things from last week and starting afresh, but it feels that way mentally too. It feels like I’m tossing the old homework and stress of last week and starting with an open mind for Monday. So, if I can suggest anything to any of you, it’s to take out the trash.
By Janine R.
December 28, 2021
The month of December has been a very memorable one for me. School work has been intense due to the approaching midterms next month but before it starts we have winter break. One very important thing I experienced this month was an in-school assembly regarding distracted driving. Either the speaker was abnormally fantastic or my past experiences with assemblies were just depressingly bleak, but for some strange reason I found myself really emotionally affected by my speaker’s story. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to drive without having the memory of this assembly just pop up beforehand. Truth to be told, most high school assemblies are for the purpose of reiterating almost the same five things and are generally not impactive besides the message itself. I can however confidently say I will prioritized driving safely from now on and I also encourage people to read more on the issue itself. Thank you Karen Torres for being a wonderful and impactful speaker!
By Janine R.
November 29, 2021
Earlier this month, in my AP Language and Composition class we analyzed and read the poem by WB Yeats titled, “ The Second Coming.” The poem was written during World War II to reflect how humanity has been straying further from itself with the usages of destructive warfare technology and brutal techniques in order to ensure victory for one’s country. The phrase “the Second Coming” insinuates an apocalyptic event coming to grace humans almost as a disciplinary action. This morning I checked the news and learned of the new coronavirus strain that the New York City governor, Kathy Hochul, has called a state of emergency to prepare New York City for omicron. Some news channels stated that this is like a second pandemic that parallels the first major lockdown. In a way, the correlation between this news and the poem was made in my mind just due to the apocalyptic factor of both. Hopefully this new strain does not debilitate the world as the original coronavirus and hopefully, in a few months I won’t be rereading this post in disappointment as the world becomes riddled with a horrible pandemic.
The Pokémon Bandit
By Jordan F.
November 22, 2021
It was a beautiful winter morning, crystal white snow trickling down onto the front yard. I would’ve been joyous if it wasn’t for the fact that it was a school morning. I was slightly sweating from being bundled up in a sweatshirt and coat in the warm house for too long, mostly because I’ve been waiting for my mom to finish getting ready to drop me off to school. Me and my mom headed outside to make our way to her car. My fluffy, red hat itches my forehead, so I take it off as soon as I get into the backseat of the car. Looking at my hat in my hands, I thought of the long day ahead of me.
“Ok, you’re all set.”, my mom said as she put the car into park outside the front of the school. I put my hat back on. “Ok, love you.” I said. “Love you too, have a good day at school.” The car behind us let out a long honk. “I will,” I said while closing the door behind me. I entered my classroom, everyone was talking in their seats and putting stuff away in their cubbies. While putting my coat up on the cubby hanger, my friend approached me. “Yo, look what I got yesterday!” he said enthusiastically. I paused in shock, my eyes opened and my mouth dropped in disbelief. He had a massive Pokémon card of a Charzard EX! Charzard was a fire breathing dragon that seemed like he could just fly out the card because it was so big. At that moment, I knew I had to have it. “How did you get that?” I said. “I’m friends with my neighbor’s kid, and he didn’t want it anymore, something about him being too old for it now” It almost seemed too good to be true. He put the card into his backpack in the cubby next to me.
I slowly walked to my seat, looking back at his backpack, already trying to develop a plan. After recess, everyone was still electric from all the playing in the snow. I put my coat and hat back into my cubby. No sign of my friend. Confused, I scanned the class. He must be in the bathroom, I thought to myself. My heart was thumping, it’s now or never. I slowly unzipped the front pocket, hoping it was there, and nothing. I looked back to see if anyone was looking at me. The coast was still clear, I tried unzipping the big pocket in his backpack, two seconds at a time, transitioning from being in my backpack to unzipping his. Finally, after what felt like an eternity, I got it open, the card was glowing gold off the reflections from the bag. I quickly took it and zipped up the backpack. My hands were sweaty. I was in my seat, constantly looking around the classroom to see if anyone was looking at me suspiciously. Everyone was talking with their friends, no one knew what I just did. I put the card in my backpack.
My friend came back from the bathroom afterwards. Still happy, he would soon come to a haunting realization. And it’d be my fault. I felt guilty, but there was no turning back now, it was too late. The end of school finally came. I never ran so fast to my mom’s car. I was relieved, I got away with it, not knowing if it was a good or bad thing. This won’t become a habit, I thought to myself. A couple of months later me and one of my best friends at the time were trading toys during outdoor recess . The day before, we made up a plan to bring our best toys for trading and borrowing. We were under a yellow slide, trying to keep inconspicuous to the teachers monitoring us during recess. It was cold, and we were in the shade. Cold air slapped us in the face, but it was worth it, this was serious business. In the end, I let him borrow a Winter Soldier action figure. It was my favorite toy, and I boasted about having it, saying it was a “Limited edition”. Not knowing if that was true or not. You could move its arms and legs, and make a bunch of cool poses with it. We arranged that he’d bring it back to me in a week. Trusting him, I had no doubt that he’d give it back. When next week rolled around, he said that he “Forgot it at his house.” I was bummed because I was looking forward to playing with it again. I was suspicious, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt. The next day was the same excuse, and the next day, then the next. Eventually I accepted that I probably wouldn’t see it again.
It got me thinking about the friend I stole the Pokémon card from, how he must have felt when I stole it. It was karma, and a valuable lesson. A lesson about trust, a lesson about life, a lesson that impacted me forever. Treat people the way you would want to be treated. When I am about to do something with or for someone, “If someone did this to me, would I be okay with it? “If I got caught doing this, would it be okay?” If these answers are negative, then you probably shouldn’t do it. You have to be smart with your actions, and smart with your decisions. Ever since that day that I realized I messed up in taking something that did not belong to me, I made a promise to myself saying that I will never steal from anyone again.
By Yasseen B.
November 8, 2021
I would like to take this opportunity to talk about a movie I watched last night with my family. The movie is titled Equilibrium and the main actor in it is Christian Bale. The movie took place in a dystopian world where people have no rights. The population takes a drug every couple hours to dispel them from having emotions. The government also has military workers and people who go out of the citadel into the “nethers” to destroy anything that evokes emotion, such as art. This movie made me think back to a book I had to read in the summer of 2019. The book was 1984 by George Orwell. You may have heard of the book or “Big Brother” which is a reference to it. It also takes place in a dystopian society. I think of these pieces and imagine what it feel like to be living in a world like that. Of course, things like poverty and racism would be eradicated, but at the same time life would be meaningless. What is the point of life if there is no uncertainty and every day is the same as the last? For if we do not feel, doesn’t life just become a marathon to death?
Productivity and Procrastination
By Janine R.
October 29, 2021
As school continues, the productivity and ability to manage the time of students are heavily tested. Due dates that seem so far away and long assignments all create a sense of loathing from the student, but of course the student will grudgingly work on these assignments everyday. Procrastination truly is a hard habit to break and it just seems like an endless cycle. However, planning things out could truly help. Organization and trying to section out parts of your day to work on your assignments is really the best way to move a little further way from the habit of procrastinating. Of course it is much easier said than done and I hardly am able to do it, but the few times I do it, it does helps a lot.
What I Love About Libraries!
By Caitlin K.
September 20, 2021
What I love about libraries is that it’s not only a place to read and study but it can actually be very fun! They offer free programs for all ages where you can build or play or craft or game or read. There’s always something to do! They also have video games you can check out as well as CDs and TV Show Binge Boxes. For Grades K-5 you can participate in the Free Summer Reading Program where you can read books and get rewarded with prizes every week of the summer! They also have a teen summer reading program where you read books and track your time and pages so you get entered into a raffle. When you get a summer reading book for school the Library always has activities and discussions about the book that you can do with your friends and meet new friends. That is everything that I love about the library!
The Reopening of Broadway
By Cassidy B.
September 13, 2021
As artists, we cannot go about celebrating the return of live theatre without
acknowledging the pervasive racism in the industry. From our writers to directors to storytellers
onstage, every profession must be broken open to better welcome our gracious, talented, and
multifaceted BIPOC communities– and do so properly.
Inclusion and diversity in theatre has long been defined by the white American gaze. Since the
beginning, theatre makers turn people into monoliths in failing to recognize individual cultural
identities and historical and colonial contexts, coining it as “representation.”
Inclusion and diversity are not casting to fill quotas. Inclusion and diversity are not leaving
performers to settle for shows they’ve only ever saw themselves in. Inclusion and diversity are
not limiting our opportunities while using our cultures for show-and-tell.
Actors of color demand more than what we’ve too often settled for. Our students demand to work
under actively anti-racist educators and institutions. Our stories demand depth and humanness,
just as how our talents demand to shine in stories that have nothing to do with our races or
ethnicities. Our performers demand their rightful jobs.
We bring uniqueness, value, and strength to the table in all we do. To bring justice to our stories
is to lean into the ugly, unspoken realities of this business.
The arts are not exempt from this accountability. Theatre centers whiteness like all other systems
in this country. Take today and every day to educate yourself on those realities and listen to those
who lived them. Check your privileges. Celebrate the work of BIPOC theatre artists and honor
their communities with light and love.
Back to School
By Janine R.
September 12, 2021
School started earlier this month and its effects on me and many others are becoming more and more noticeable as the days continue. Perhaps it is the overwhelming environment that I have momentarily forgotten during my one and a half years learning from a computer, but school undoubtedly continues to be a major stress factor for many people including myself. Countless long and complex assignments, large expectations from others and yourself, and just the strain on our minds that school commonly gives makes this year seem quite gloomy. Back to school can arouse many differing emotions from many different kinds of people, but for a student who highly yearns for academic success it is a harsh transition when compared to a summer where one could be free to experience the things they enjoy at their own time. School is hard and so is life. I will be hoping for myself and those similar to me that the year will be manageable as we dive into another year of school.
By Matthew W.
August 30, 2021
The best sport in the world, in my opinion, is soccer. The game is undoubtedly one of the most entertaining sports to play with its multiple positions, formations, playstyles, etc. This provides a unique experience for every player, and each position requires its own type of training and mastery in order to play them effectively. Furthermore, the same position can be played in a variety of ways. For instance, both Messi and Ronaldo are strikers. However, their playstyles vary greatly. Messi is more of a team player, or “playmaker”, who helps others score and improve the skill of the whole team. Ronaldo on the other hand, is a striker that is more capable of scoring when in the penalty box than contributing to the whole team’s overall performance.
Not only is the game fun to play, but it is very fun to watch. For example, nations across the world host their own leagues where privately owned clubs can compete for fame and glory. An example of one of these leagues is the English Premier League, the most watched league in the world. If clubs aren’t up your alley, then there are a multitude of international tournaments hosted almost every year. For instance, the UEFA Euro championships is a competition of qualified European nations for a cup at the end. The Americas have championships of their own, such as the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which the USA won this year. And of course, no one can forget the world cup. One of the largest global competitions besides the Olympics. Nations across the world rally their teams to play for glory and the title of ‘World Champion’. Currently, the world champions are France, but their lackluster performance in this year’s Euros possibly foreshadows their demise in the 2022 world cup in Qatar.
All in all, soccer is an amazing sport that is both entertaining to watch and play, which is why it deserves my personal spot of the number one sport in the world.
Shadow & Bone
By Logan R.
August 19, 2021
Hey there you Ravkan readers! I’m Logan, and today I’d like to talk about the grisha verse trilogy and the six of crows. These books by Leigh Bardugo, are amazing works of literature. In the LPL, they can be found inside the young adults section, to the left when entering. The author of these books takes you on a marvelous journey to meet a young orphan and soldier named Alina Starkov. She possesses extraordinary powers and is taken in by the darkling (or in the Netflix show, General Aleksander Kirigan). But when a great evil threatens Ravka and the enemy territories Fjerda and Shu Han, Alina needs to step up to save her country, and the world. The Six of Crows duology follows a different story, where Kaz and his crew must find a missing scientist for 30 million Kruge in an extremely high stakes mission. There are plot twists upon plot twists upon plot twists at the final chapter and the author leaves you on a huge cliffhanger, making you crave more. The Netflix series follows a similar path to shadow and bone, which it’s actually named after, but very different for the crows, with even less of their characters and a much different mission. With suspense, tension, romance, and drama, this makes a great read for older teens and gets a 10/10. This is Logan signing out. To all reading this, stay safe, healthy, and away from Covid-19.
A Perhaps Doomed World
By Janine R.
August 18, 2021
The world seems to have many things wrong with it from the actions of the people who populate it. Every month there seems to be news about climate change, countries filled with despair and impoverished people, and just a world that seems to be falling towards failure. It really is hard to envision the world in 100 years because for all I know all that will be left is the carcasses of the innocent humans in an arid planet that turned dry and barren, different from its presently blue and green appearance. The times are changing and although there are multitudes of positive sayings about how to have hope or stay optimistic, sometimes necessary actions are done way too late and the destruction afterwards is not fixable. That’s what I think of when I think of the world today that seems to be ready to lose its life from the countless hardships humankind has put it through.
Literature and Me
By Janine R.
July 19, 2021
As I try to discover what career path I want to go into when I grow up, I often feel confused about it because my interests are not strong enough to make me confident in what I’d like to do. However, I have discovered time and time again that I enjoy reading things in my own free time, writing poems or stories, and simply just appreciating how literature and words can depict very specific things in a way that makes my head want to just take in more. I think that as I grow up and have less time for myself, I’ll always try to write and read so that I can appreciate the fiction and creativity in life.
My Favorite Thing About Libraries
By Janine R.
June 21, 2021
My favorite thing about libraries is the calmness and quietness that is within one. I think that the ambience of a library really helps to encourage people to study more and just feel at ease. If I had to describe the perfect library setting for me I would say that libraries that have older architecture styles with a more yellow lighting and a fireplace with chairs seated near it would be perfect places for me to unwind and read a book. Libraries that are more modern with large glass windows would be nice as well because with large windows, it would be calming to watch the sky at night while browsing for new books to read. I really do love libraries and I hope that libraries continue to thrive even though technology has seemingly made libraries less important, but many people such as myself, do love libraries and hope they never go away.
Levittown Public Library and Me!!
By Marissa S.
June 14, 2021
I remember going to the library every week with my family as a kid. It was my favorite part of my week. I loved looking through all of the books and picking out my favorite ones with my mom. It was always so special. I am so grateful for the Levittown Public Library because it opened up my eyes to the wonders of reading. I will never forget checking out my first book. Thank you Levittown Public Library.