Tuesday, February 9, 2016

A Poetic Turn

Marjorie really brings to life the aspects--good and bad--of family life. She describes that the imperfect qualities of families are what make them so dynamic. Marjorie depicts how families will love you at the end of the day no matter what by building in a "turn" in this poem. 

The Ideal Family

First there’s a little bit of screaming

Mixed with a little bit of yelling.

Then you add a few tears,

Topped with lots of confusion.

You’re blamed for things you didn’t do

And lie about things you were supposed to do,

Getting into fights you don’t understand

And yelling “I hate you” even though it’s not true.

As life drags on, you seem to drift farther

And farther away

From the ones that really matter

And the ones that truly care.

Times goes on and the memories continue to fade out.

It comes down to only seeing them at dinner,

And then sometimes not even at all.

You go days on end without saying one word.

This isn’t the way you want things to be.

You sit in your room all alone and say,

“How can they treat me like this?”

This is not the way you want to be treated inside your own home.

You start thinking to yourself what a normal family would be like:

No arguments.

No punishments.

Nothing to make any sort of conflict.

Oh, your mom yelled at you for not taking your dog out?

You think to yourself and say,

“If I lived in another house, I would be treated with respect”

Then, the images of a new life come to mind.

Getting woken up just at the perfect time by your mom

And having your clothes already picked out,

Walking downstairs to the kitchen

And there is your lunch, already perfectly packed.

That’s not all you get this morning

Because your mom drives you to school.

Then, at the end of school, you check your phone,

And there’s a text from your mom saying she’s here to pick you up.

Just when you think you’re on your own,

Your mom decides to make you an afterschool snack.

She asks you how your day went

And if there’s anything she can do to make it better.

A few hours pass, and you’re left alone.

Then, she calls you over for dinner.

All she does is talk, talk, talk about you

And no one else.

Everyone in your family is being awkwardly nice to you,

Suddenly cares so much about you,

Doesn’t leave you alone,

And your dog even wants you to pet him.

You get back up to your room to realize,

This isn’t the ideal family.

The ideal family would have balance.

Nothing would always be perfect or always be bad.

The ideal family would be where everyone cares about each other,

But there are still conflicts

Because if there’s no one yelling at you for your mistakes,

Are they really mistakes at all?

An ideal family is here to help you through your hard times

And not dismiss them and only make things good.

Ideal families give each other space

But are still there when you need them to be.

A family by definition is a group of people who are related to each other,

But in your heart you know it’s more than that.

Labels like mom, dad, brother, and sister are names you give to those

That mean a lot to you.

People will come and go in your life,

But your family will be here forever.

Through your rough times and your happy times,

They will always be here for you.

Whether they’re biologically related to you or not,

Your family is here to stay,

Whether you want them here

Or not.

by Marjorie B., Grade 9

Evelyn's drawing of Michael Clifford is a great representation of a realistic portrait. The detail is finely expressed through Evelyn's artistic ability, and the drawing looks just like the band member himself.

Artwork by Evelyn H., Grade 9

Monday, February 8, 2016

The Artist

In Janice's poem, The Artist, she compares the ways in which she views herself with the ways others view her.  She proves others wrong, revealing her true identity.  Meanwhile, in the artwork below, Gemma displays her amazing artistic ability.

Artwork by Gemma L., Grade 8

The Artist

I am an artist

I am a writer

I am a reader

That’s what they see


I pay attention in class

I get good grades

I don’t cry over spilt milk

That’s what they see


But that’s not true

That’s not me


People who don’t know me say that I'm smart

And nice but sometimes mean

They say that I’m such a good artist

They say I’m talented


But only the people who know me well

Know that that is not true

I lie, I cheat,

I trick and eavesdrop


The real me is locked away and hidden

The only key at the end of a long, hard, painful journey

Most people don’t try to find it

But a few people do


I am an artist

Swirling and mixing up truths

I am a writer

Dipping my pen in lies

I am a reader

Interpreting weaknesses


I pay attention in class

To the people who are struggling

I get good grades

By stepping on those around me

I don’t cry over spilt milk

But I regret and mourn my past choices


There’s a method to my madness

But it’s locked and hidden away

Just like my true side

The key entrusted only to those closest to me


The path is long and narrow

Steep cliffs and dense shadows creeping in tendrils

A light shines at the end

But only the most devoted may take the key

by Janice C., Grade 8

Iced Tea and Nightmares

This month, the seventh grade offers you a refreshing sip of Arizona Green Tea (this is not a sponsored advertisement, by the way) and some less refreshing but certainly fascinating facts about nightmares in our first non-fiction article of the year.  Enjoy!

Artwork by Adrianna N., Grade 7

An Inside Look at the Nightmares Inside our Head

    Running a million miles a minute with sweat pouring down your face like you're in a pot of boiling water. You're never going to go back to that eerie house, for a strange being is chasing you. Just as you're about to turn and face the creature . . . Bamp, Bamp, Bamp you alarm clock yanks you out of that distressing nightmare. Nightmares are startling creatures of the brain that can put a myriad of people in discomfort. For a nightmare like this to spark, there are many logistics involved that everyone should know: the triggers, brain activity during a nightmare, and the meanings of them.

Nightmares on Switches

       Children and adults, though both experience nightmares, can trigger them in different ways. For example, an immense amount of alcohol digested, drug withdrawal, and eating just before you fall asleep, are the most common reasons for a few, 2-8% of adults, to experience nightmares. In contrast, a child's nightmare can stem from anxiousness and stress, from events such as: starting school, a relative's perish, and being frightened from a horror movie or show. In addition, in some rare cases, unknown allergies can spark a nightmare. For instance, if someone kept on eating apples, since they didn't know they were allergic to them, the body fights against it and can cause a nightmare to develop. According to liverse.com, "nightmares allow one to get a better gage of themself."

What Happens in Ones Head When a Nightmare Occurs?

       Nightmares, dreams . . . vivid visions in ones head while they’re sound asleep. Moreover, the dream/nightmare will always take place in a part of sleep, immediately after the big, slow brain waves become small and quick. This sleep is known as REM, or rapid eye movement. Furthermore, the dreams/nightmares take place once one has been experiencing REM for about 90 minutes; leaving one to dream for about 2 hours. According to Dr. Penny Lewis, “Probably the most interesting thing that happens when you are in REM sleep is that all of your bodily muscles are actually paralyzed, except for your eye muscles (which are darting around). So you can’t actually move when you’re in REM sleep; you remain completely motionless.” In addition to ones eyes moving rapidly in REM sleep, the cerebral cortex and the frontal love are highly active during a nightmare. Inside the cortex, a myriad of visual information, from the nightmare, is received. While the anxiety and emotion factor of the nightmare takes place deep in the frontal lobe. Even though one may look motionless as they dream, inside their head, brain activity is still alive.

Are There Meanings Behind Nightmares?

      In most nightmare occurrences, the questions that arise are: Does this mean anything? Why did it happen? Has anyone else had a nightmare like this? According to liverse.com, “Nightmares can sometimes be random creations of the subconscious brain with no particular deeper interpretation. In many cases, nightmares actually do have specific causes or meaning behind them.” For example, the stereotypical undead nightmares could be caused by the inability to cope with loss, having fear of the unknown (like what’s on the other side of an alley?) or repeatedly experiencing life threatening illness, or events. Also, if one were to have anxiety about their personal life, falling to your death (in a nightmare) my mean that they don’t feel like they are able to control certain aspects of their life such: as having divorced parents, an upcoming job interview, or the powerless position to get out of the unhealthy relationship. Lastly, when a nightmare takes place in a scene with a natural disaster, the causes could be from stress and anxiety about a doctor’s appointment or test. When someone is trapped in their thoughts alone, nightmares can be our thinking process about our lives.
      Nightmares are the monsters that come out in the dark, haunting all ages for generations. Furthermore, nightmares are startling creations of the brain that affect a vast amount of people. Moreover, they can become creations in ones head due to reasons one can control (watching a horror movie). Or, for reasons that may need some dedication (getting over the grief of a death). But, everything always takes place during REM sleep. In conclusion, these frightful happening can burn a spot forever in our memories.

by Becca B., Grade 7