Saturday, January 9, 2016

A Poem From Celebrate Holicong Day

Ever wish you had a play-by-play on how to survive middle school? Well in The List by Claire P., you can hear the advice of a Holicong "senior" and her tips on how to survive the roller coaster of middle school. This awe-inspiring poem was commissioned by the principal to present at the Celebrate Holicong Day in the assembly on December 22, 2015.

The List

When I was in 6th grade,
‪and my sister was in 8th,
‪she spent a little time every other day or so
‪to teach me how to survive in middle school.
‪I was grateful,
‪I took notes,
‪but in truth her perceptions of Holicong
‪were different than mine would be,
‪and admittedly,
‪her lessons didn't have their desired impact.
‪But what would I say
‪to a 6th grader now, 
‪who asks the same questions I did?
‪I have constructed
‪the list of what I'll remember,
‪what I'll remember 
‪after all the tests and quizzes and note-taking 
‪have faded into oblivion,
‪as they should.
‪perpetual motion 
‪is the motion of a theoretical mechanism that,
‪without any losses due to friction,
‪would continue to operate,
‪at a constant rate without external energy applied.
‪(The equivalent to
‪writing one essay,
‪and then breezing through the rest of your classes,
‪the rest of your education,
‪the rest of your life,
‪without hardships and without any more effort--
‪just that one essay.)
‪It's idyllic.
‪And impossible.
‪Physically impossible: one cannot go forward in life
‪while not supplying the needed energy
‪for as long as it takes, 
‪and must always expect to be met
‪with friction.

‪I've found x more times than I can count, 
‪and you'd think he'd have run out of hiding places by now.
‪But in searching for him,
‪I've solved obstacles,
‪deciphered problems,
‪conquered concepts that once appeared
‪bizarre and foreboding.
‪It reminds us that appearances surely aren't reflections
‪of the nature of a thing, and
‪from these obstacles we face,
‪we condition ourselves that
‪once we set our sights on something--
‪be it x, or q, or z,
‪or a career in the NBA,
‪no permutation,
‪no degree of strife,
‪can keep that
‪from us.
I'll remember how
little, curvy, pointy, I-don't-even-know--
‪made this.
‪Made everything.
‪Sounds, becoming a specially designated scratch
‪on a page, forming in coalescence with others,
‪to possess meaning,
‪to become the agreed-upon definition of "thought",
‪then transformed back into vibrations of the mouth--
‪which we've long ago discovered,
‪long ago memorized,
‪all of us somehow
‪Pain, and death, and suffering 
‪have been inspired by scratches and vibrations.
‪So has life. So has love.
‪History is an oracle of Delphi.
‪The future is told by observing the past,
‪yet when it comes to 
‪indisputable actuality,
‪you're left with only more riddles.
‪History is the practice of lending your ear
‪to phantoms,
‪who tell bygone tales,
‪stories that once occupied the space we exist in--
‪the "now".
‪These voices are of heroes, only heroes,
‪because as I've realized
‪"I am never the villain" and
‪"I am never to blame."
‪"It's the next guy."
‪There's two sides to every story, 
‪but the "I"
‪is always right.
‪Too many of us--
‪particularly along this teenage avenue of life
‪we currently trudge--
‪have difficulty discovering value.
‪Well I've discovered value is in fact
‪not so much found,
‪but created.
‪Said best by Harold Edgerton,
‪"The trick to education
‪is to teach people in such a way
‪that they don't realize they're learning
‪till it's too late."
As my sister’s perceptions of Holicong
differed from mine,
mine probably differ from yours.
But in a position
where I can offer my views to those who ask the same questions I did
I must say--
Here I thought we were simply being taught
how to read the pH of a liquid,
when in truth,
we were learning to be curious,
to be aware that while perhaps intellect is a gift,
ignorance is a choice.
We can decide whether or not
we wish to always be driven by wonder,
always be consumed with interest,
always finding x.
This is what we learned.
To question,
to solve,
what it means 
to learn.

by Claire P., Grade 9

Friday, January 8, 2016

Light Side/Dark Side

This month, eighth grade student Gigi lets us explore the inner workings of her mind by examining the internal battle we face everyday. She uses dark and light imagery to express the struggle of balancing the two sides of our mind.

artwork by Lily C., Grade 8

Light Side, Dark Side

Light- Simply Happy
Letting happiness seep from inside out
Simply to be happy is all I want to show
Busy by, busy beyond
I busy myself with each strike of the second to show
To show that I really am happy
I may have heavy circles under each speckled eye
Paired with the baggy sweatshirts from my brothers closet
but I’m all right. 
 Streaking the seeping light onto each person I speak
But sputtering
Trying to spit out words
A babbling brook sometimes for speech,
Stuttering with the thoughts overflowing the brim
Like the bathtub down the hall.
Some people look at me funny
Like the wits in my brain are coming out with the words I speak
The seriousness is for those who see it, not those who seek it all the time
I don’t mind
Can others feel happy?
I let them do their own,
flow with the thoughts that they speak.
I don’t mind
And I never will know
Simply happy is all I will show.

Dark- Weighted Thoughts
I'm drained, tired of this
These weights down my pocket
As I thinkandthinkandthink
Now it’s too much
You’ve felt it trembling through your hands
Sadness Shaking
I want everything straight
A crisp line across in the row
Absolutely perfect
It hurts that it can’t be
It hurts that I can’t be the person I’ve wanted to be.
Why can't I
Look like this
Work swift like that
Sleep full through the nigHT TOO
MAny thoughts here
they clutched my brain
what a small world this really is.
But I still want to feel happy; I snatch the smoothed
stones from the linted depths of my pocket
I place them by my side
There is so many better things to do than dwell
there is so much more to my puzzle than these weighted thoughts.

-- by Gigi F., Grade 8

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Journey's End

The following narrative poem reveals the adventure of a knight who experiences a little bit of everything.  From dragon slaying to finding true love, he remains courageous through it all.  Read on to embark on this journey alongside the noble knight.

Journey's End

We traveled exactly a month and a day,
Searching to find dragon’s lair,
But instead of sharp teeth, and great claws,
We encountered a lady fair.
She told us her carriage and men were destroyed,
Gone in a flick of his tail,
When asked who the culprit of this was,
She said ‘twas the dragon of tale.
We traveled exactly a week and an hour,
My steed, the lady, and I
To find the dragon, the one feared the most,
In the land of Starry Sky.
We met on the way, an ogre as big,
As the trees that grew all ‘round.
He growled and he snarled, his feet stomping hard,
But I fought and left him on the ground.
We traveled exactly a day and three minutes,
Looking to slay the dragon,
With me, my horse, and lassie so fair,
We knew that journey begun.
Night fell in the forest, but clouds filled the sky,
We are all tempted to sleep,
But howls in the dark, eyes, glowing sparks,
Made us stay up on our feet.
We traveled exactly a week and a day,
Encountering nothing but trees.
But behold stood a werewolf, his glare as cold
As the freezing winter breeze.
I slashed with my sword, but it was in vain.
The wolf’s fur was like nettle,
But the lady took off her bracelet of silver,
And killed him as he touched the metal.
We traveled exactly an hour from the wolf,
In search for a dragon with gold,
But in our path, stood a wizard in wrath,
He seemed like a hundred years old.
The lady scoffed as he brandished his stick,
Trying to cast a “spell,”
But riding my horse, we headed on course,
And the wizard chased us ‘till he fell.

We traveled not far from the wizard affair,
We were approaching our goal
When we nearly squished, but I wish
The fairy wouldn’t give a look of coal.
She flittered around us, like a mad fly.
Making obnoxious buzzing sounds,
Exchanging a look, the lady held up her book,
And squashed the pixie to the ground.
We traveled a day from the fairy’s attack,
We were becoming restless,
But soon we could see, the zenith, the peak,
And the view made us breathless.

We climbed until we were over the clouds,
I pointed to the mouth of the cave,
We entered with care, since this was a lair,
And I forgot how to be brave.
The dragon was scarlet, his eyes a deep green,
His teeth, like daggers of ice
His tail was long, almost a furlong
And he was feasting upon mice.

I quivered in fear, cowered in shame,
While the lady drew my sheath,
She fought without tire, while the dragon blew fire,
And I could see his foot-long teeth
The woman was finished, her dragon was dead,
The gold was set out like a feast,
She had but one scar, but it was by far,
Nothing compared to the beast.
We traveled exactly a week and a day,
She had completed my task,
With not more to do, we would start anew,
And I had one question to ask.
I bent on one knee, my heart beating fast.
I wanted to spend my whole life,
Standing beside who I hoped was my bride,
And asked her to be my wife.
-- by Rebecca S., Grade 7