Friday, January 9, 2015

The Lonely Train

artwork by Audrey K.
Grade 9

This poem, written by one of Miss Levin's students, captures the craving for connection that we all have.  Instead of writing about a character, however, she personifies a train. 

The Lonely Train

The lonely train never rests
forever confined to the unforgiving steel track

collecting upon

traveling   m i l e   after   m i l e

temporary destinations merely a veneer
for the brutal reality of the endless journey

The lonely train has no companion
passengers board from different walks of life --
no face, no story, no demeanor ever the same
but all similar in the way they seem
to depart without a second glance.

The lonely train grows weary
vibrant sceneries blur with the haste of the trek
as it rambles through the days . . . weeks . . . months . . . years . . .
while the once-powerful engine becomes
weak and wheels rusted

The lonely train cries
its melancholy whistle piercing the stillness of night


                                           echoing through hills and valleys

telling the tale of a journey long traveled
pleading for a connection

by Jamie B.
Grade 9

Thursday, January 8, 2015

An Ordinary American

artwork by Hugh C.
Grade 8

As eighth-graders at Holicong study American history, they work with their English and social studies teachers to craft lively historical fiction using facts gleaned from their studies and research.  The project is called "An Ordinary American," and students are helped to assume the perspective of an early citizen in North America. This excerpt is from the story of a fictional character, Maria Gonzalez.

Maria Gonzalez

October 7, 1724

The galloping of hooves outside of my windows awakens me. I hurriedly get dressed, and rush downstairs, still groggy eyed. Black horses canter around my house. Miguel strolls up behind me.

            “What’s going on?” he asks.

            “I have no idea. Are the girls still asleep?”


            “Good.” I breathe a sigh of relief.

            The King’s minister strides over with a scroll, a menacing gleam in his eyes.

            “What is the meaning of this?” Miguel demands.

            “I’ve come for Maria Gonzalez. She’s to be branded for slander.”

            I panic. “What? But I didn’t do anything! What happened?”

            “It seems as though Po Daniels, the man you chose to be punished for vandalizing the King’s statue, was innocent. The real culprit was Eustice. The other day, as he lay on his death bed, a witness overhead his last words.”

            “Which were…?”

            “’Shame on King George II! I’m exalted that I desecrate his statue with pig manure!’”

            “But… All of the clues lead to Po Daniels… It couldn’t have been …” I stutter.

            “You’re to be branded on the tongue. The townsfolk trusted you. They had faith in your decisions. Now, you’re nothing but a shame to Chester, Pennsylvania.”

            “This is not happening.” I stare at him in disbelief.

            “You can’t do this!” Miguel argues. “What will become of our children? They have a whole life ahead of them!”

            “You should’ve thought of that before.”

            He grabs my arm, dragging me to a horse that’ll bring me to the town square’s punishment area. To my misery.

            “Stay here, Miguel. Don’t let the children see.”

            He has tears in his eyes as I ride away with the minister.


            The crowd hoots and chants. Yelling echoes through the open area. I can’t believe it. Just a year ago, Po experienced the same. I was loyal to these people. They depended on me. I was the one they turned to in times of need.

            I’ve fallen short of their expectations. Betrayed them without meaning to. I deserve to be punished.

            Stepping up to the one who will brand me, I allow tears to slip down my cheeks. I tentatively open my mouth, instantly regretting it when the searing brand scorches my tongue. I’m marked with an S for slander. If I could scream or cry out, I would, but it burns too much. The rapid tears continue dripping from my eyes as the crowd cheers. The people I thought to be my fellow neighbors and friends pump their fists in the air.

            I failed them.
by Alesandra T.
Grade 8

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A Myth

artwork by Vivien A.
Grade 7

Recently. Mrs. Trammel's classes studied mythology, and after learning all the trappings of Greek mythology, she challenged them to craft an original myth.  The assignment unleashed Isabel's creativity, as you can see below.  She shows us Disney is not the only one who can craft a tale of frozen whimsy.


         Kairos is the goddess of time. She lives on Mt. Grandfather, separate from all the Olympians. On this mountain, she makes time pass, controls night and day, decides when people are born, and when they die. Kairos has the ability to pause, rewind, and fast-forward time. She is neither good nor evil, but the universe would not work properly without her. Many people, even a few of the gods, do not like her. They believe she possesses too much power over the world. Because of this, Kairos is a bit of an outcast among the gods and is very lonely on her mountain. She does not even like her own powers much.
       When Kairos first learned of her powers, she was felicitous. She traveled all over time seeing the wonders of the world, and she loved it. She saw much more than most had, and because of this, Zeus made her swear by the river Styx to never tell anyone other than the gods what she saw. Kairos saw beyond Greece and beyond the ancient world. She knew well about the modern cities and technologies that were soon to come and about the dinosaurs and cave men who inhabited the land long ago. 
        One day, when Kairos was weary of time-traveling and controlling the fates of human beings, she decided to explore Earth. Seeing the beautiful green rolling hills, peaceful forests, and majestic snow-capped mountains reminded her that present-day Earth itself is full of wonders. Kairos was walking through a small village when she started a conversation with a poor man named Lykaon selling crops on the street. Kairos enjoyed the man’s company, so every time she came down to Earth from then on, she and Lykaon would get together and talk.
      Eventually, they fell in love. Kairos could no longer resist the temptation to bring Lykaon along with her on her adventures throughout time. For one whole day, the two traveled far and wide from places like New York City in two thousand fourteen, to the planet Oolzynus in three thousand fifty. They had such a wonderful time that Kairos forgot about her oath by the river Styx. 
       At the end of the day, Lykaon’s human body was worn out from all of the time travel and he died. Kairos was too depressed to care that she was deprived of ambrosia and nectar, and she mourned Lykaon for years. She had decided that the company of others was not good after all and went back to being lonely on her mountain. Sometimes, she would cry so hard that her powers got out of control, and time would freeze, freezing her tears with it. 
      This is why we have snowflakes.  They are Kairos’s frozen tears.

by Isabel A.
Grade 7