S: Bacchanalia: An Explosion of Artistic Passion
BC: Rachel Moulton (English Teacher) | Rachel Moulton resides in the quiet little village of Yellow Springs, Ohio with her husband and one-year-old daughter, Violet. She enjoys reading, writing and is an avid runner. She has a colossal vocabulary which began at the ripe old age of eight when, in school, she was taught how to correctly spell curse words that would make even a sailor blush. Along with her lexicon of colorful language, there is also some speculation about Ms. Moulton’s affiliation with gangs, after the recent and numerous threats on her daughter's life in return for two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches shaped like dinosaurs. As Ms. Moulton is a samurai ninja warrior, the idea that she would meet up with gang members is highly probable seeing as how she would whoop their as...bottoms, with one flick of her nunchucks. Ms. Rachel Moulton. By day, the greatest, coolest, and absolute best English teacher ever. By night, butt kicking samurai ninja warrior, saving the world one vocabulary word at a time.
FC: Bacchanalia | An Explosion of Artistic Passion
1: Bacchanalia | An Explosion of Artistic Passion | Written by Period 3, English 9, 2009-2010
2: Special Thanks to Ms. Rachel Moulton and the Entire 3rd Period English 9
3: Table of Contents James Ullet...........................Allure of the Opposite Michael Canada.........One Crazy Weekend in New York Ari Vandersluis.................When an Apple Isn't Enough Macy Merle...............................Are You My Mother? Alex Lachey.........................An Unacceptable Name Cameron Jordan.............When Life Gives you Children Ena Aguilar..............................Caught Red-Handed Jack Fuchsman..............New Students Get No Respect Marla Guggenheimer.........Pocketknives and Passports Penny Gilliotte......................Beer bellies, Mosh Pits, and Parental Advisories Spencer Meador...........................A Magical Disaster Liana Saleh....................How to Become a Superhero Bill Dyer.............................Rock-A-Bye...Teenager?
4: Allure of the Opposite By: James Ullett My interests are generally rooted in that of indoor ventures. I have a passion for video games, which I like to compare to a replacement for sports (not in terms of exercise, don't argue with me yet). Video games have their seasons and big moments; Super Bowl, World Cup, or Wimbledon are to sports fans what e3 (electronic entertainment expo) and the convention at Leipzig are to gamers. I also enjoy television, drumming, learning German, and the occasional reading, but I won't really go into those either. Instead, I'll be talking about my “guilty pleasure hobby” of sorts, my woods. Whenever I talk about them, it immediately feels as if things have become childish, but it's the truth. Beyond that and more importantly, this fondness of nature does not seem to match up with the entirety of the rest of my lifestyle. To put it simply, it makes no sense and, to be honest, I don't entirely understand it myself. What I do know is that this insignificant spot on the earth, merely because of its location next to my house has profound meaning to me. The woods have revealed to me a completely different side of who I am as a person. A desire for exploration that has gotten me into a lot of trouble, but may even go as far as affecting my career choice. Allow me to describe this place I have such a fondness for. Now, when I say woods I do mean my woods, not the Schwarzwald or even any local park. Come to think
5: of it though, it technically isn't our property, but I've never seen the neighbor that owns it, let alone heard any objections about my entering it. Still, this isn't some little group of trees between houses; it's a chunk of preserved land spanning an area around .5 by 1.1 miles. I like to describe it as a basin. The woods dip on all sides down into a lower area where a creek runs through that is surrounded by clearings and more forest. The clearings are almost entirely man-made, and each one has never been filled for some reason or another. The projects in mind were abandoned. It is easy to tell they are not natural too. They feel awkwardly placed and in one case, too large with ditches dug in various places. When I walk out into this particularly big opening, I feel as if someone were watching me. I guess there are a lot of places to hide since it's surrounded by trees . Within the woods, there are several different kinds of trees, as well as bushes, shrubs, and other more weedy plants. The majority of the beauty is found along the banks of the creek and the cliffs of the basin. The outer rim and remaining interior areas are more overgrown than anything else. The area around the banks can also get very muddy; I've had to deal with this constantly. I almost lost a shoe once. I essentially had to bend down, dig it out, and trudge back home up hills, both shoes coated and filled with the sludge. It's all part of the seasons I suppose. In summer and spring
6: green returns accompanied by majority of the year's rainstorms. In autumn, bad weather can continue, but its major characteristic will always be, to me and many others, the turning of the leaves' color. Finally in winter, the woods change completely. It is the only season where it really has a different look and feel. The water can be crossed on foot, for it consistently freezes over at the slightest chill. Simple slopes become dangerous, slick ramps intent on tripping you up. But I welcome the change because in transforming to this state, it is though I have a whole new world to discover. And that's why I'm there in the first place. Although I paint a pleasant picture, the woods have a deceptive and dark side to them. It's incredibly easy to get hopelessly lost. A while ago, I made the choice to enter the woods in a different spot and work my way down to the creek from there, which turned out to be a bad idea. I don't always go into areas new to me, but after all, it is quite a hassle to go in and out, so I always want to make the most of the trip. There was an area where one of my neighbor's had attempted to build a big tree house (it's now just a few pieces of wood nailed aimlessly to assorted trees), and I wanted to see where I would end up if I went down from there. I got into thick underbrush and quickly became disorientated. I had never gone that far east before. Finally, when I got to the point where I could climb down into the basin, I realized that I still had no idea where I was. Frantic, I began scrambling in a westward direction in hopes of
7: finding something I recognized. I ended up passing the most bizarre man made object I've ever found in the woods, an abandoned trailer attachment to a car. I have now visited this place many times and firmly decided upon looking inside the trailer that it fits the requirements of a home of some B-movie serial killer (I never plan on going there at night). Soon afterwards, I calmed down upon finding a portion of the creek I was familiar with, at the eastern most edge of the area I knew at the time. There is a second instance of this confusion deeper into the woods and it's something I recall a little better. One day I went a little too far north, to the point were I entered a farmer's field (close to the northern border). After checking the overlook of a cliff accessed by trekking across the field through the trees on the edge of the far northeast side, I started my return trip. Unfortunately, in my excitement, I completely forgot where I had entered the field in the first place. Taking a guess, I went back into the woods about 40 yards west of where I really entered, which I would later figure out much to my despair. This in combination with the direction of my descent being a steep southwest (since I assumed I had gone the correct way), resulted in a final position that I was completely unfamiliar with. I've explored more east than west, especially in the northern region. I was standing on a dirt road, at in intersection, and looking at a tree house that I had never seen before. I went left and I went right. There
8: was nothing at all that I recognized. Fear started to set in. If I backtracked I would simply be digging myself deeper into the hole I'd gotten into and my only other alternative was heading in one direction until I reached a road. This doesn't sound bad considering it would have been no more than a half a mile, but you must understand that this is hilly and densely forested terrain. Sometimes you would need a chainsaw and climbing gear to get where you want to go and still follow the path you're on. I tried to think of my location in accordance to the the field. I went back to the intersection and took the northern path desperately hoping that the farmland would extend this far west. Almost immediately though, I reached what I soon discovered was the complete opposite end of the field, which is fairly expansive. My entry point had made a huge affect on where I was going. But the crisis was averted, and I could return home on time. Both of these brief situations of emotional distress could actually fall under the category of panic attacks. In retrospect, they may not have been big problems, but these times when I found my way again were some of the most relieving times in my life. And I never want to have to feel that again. While the woods, being the wilderness that it is, often chews me up and spits me out before I can leave, there are reasons I keep going back. To start, these two stories of being lost show more than the woods' ability to confuse me; they also represent the area's constant
9: displays of new places to me. It's big enough that even now I'm finding things I haven't seen before. I love this because it's one thing to return to a beautiful area, but to discover one that you didn't know existed on Earth is to me such a great feeling. Surely others have stumbled upon it before, but they've never shared their stories with me. And I prefer it that way. Often I catch myself thinking, “Wow, can this really be my backyard?” (once again, I'm only using the possessive adjective as a convenience; my actual backyard stops at the woods). Of course these amazement invokers are nothing truly spectacular, high cliff side, little waterfall, strange tree, but when I consider the region in which they are in, it's fascinating to me. These sights are surrounded by housing clusters and flat farms, a prime example of the dullness the state of Ohio has to offer. In fact, in my daily life in general there isn't much new to see. My house, my school, stores around town, nothing is really expansive, pulling me towards it, unknown and uncertain, yet guaranteed picturesque. The woods is the only place that has any of these feelings to it (not to mention it's close by and doesn't cost a ticket to get in). Now don't get me wrong, this isn't a daily stress reliever; I don't go there to mediate. Rather it's a mental vacation, allowing me to put the main part of myself away for a brief time and indulge another interest, exploration. In this state of mind, my brain is set in adventurous mode. A kind of primal feel or thrill another might get from mountain climbing (but that one's a bit more complex I
10: believe). In my case, it simply is a world where one has be cautious if you want to enjoy its presence. Worries and cares not related to it melt away almost as if I were struggling for survival without coming anywhere near that condition. I can stop to look at something for a moment and end up sitting down for five minutes. To some degree, you earn what you see. “Do you want to see how cool the area would look from atop that cliff? Well, there aren't any elevators, but look at it this way, the method you'll be using to get up is even better exercise than stairs.” I have started taking pictures as way of cheating the system, in the sense that they save myself and others the trip, but it's never the same. Especially when one discovers that I'm about as talented with a camera as a blind monkey, although it isn't entirely my fault. The stupid thing broke down literally a day after I got it this summer as a “hand-me-down” from my mother, who had had it for years without a single problem (it's digital too, not that many years). Enough about that though, for it is merely a small fraction of the experience. What makes me want to continue visiting the woods is in fact such a driving force, that it could possibly propel future decisions, in terms of occupation. I love the idea of large expanses that you as a human are unearthing for the first time. Beyond that my desire for adventure becomes much narrower. because I already know what's there so I have to really want to see it. For example, the Amazon Rainforest is rich in beauty, but if someone
11: came up and told me right before I entered that it was a disease and poison ridden deathtrap, I'd probably be a bit hesitant. This mystery is why space really grabs my attention. Sure, there are dangers like wandering black holes and what not, but the fact is, no planets outside our solar system, let alone galaxy, have been looked at in detail. But I'm not jumping straight for the job of astronaut per se, rather to a more intermediate position. First, unrealistically, it would be my dream job to work as a scientist on another planet. I'd do anything, observing weather patterns, mapping out areas, or recording data regarding wildlife if such were the case. But the likelihood of us leaving our solar system within my lifespan is unimaginably low at the rate things are going. Realistically, I might pursue something here on the ground regarding astronomy, which could be any number of things. It's easy to see, I'm not picky in this field. Looking at the pursuit from a completely different perspective, I might also combine my two worlds of passion video games and exploration. With better hardware, there has been an increasing number of “open world” games. These titles span huge areas with incredible amounts of detail and opportunities with no linear plot line. I have always liked this concept of sandbox game-play for similar reasons as the woods. You never know what you'll find and there is wide variety of options. I have a multitude of ideas as we speak and to see them come to reality would be unbelievable. For most of them it's this type format; no two players do
12: things the exact same way (unfortunately, these games would most likely take up the console's entire memory). Alas, such things, space and virtual space, are nothing more than fantasies now. I will have to rely on the woods to keep that chunk of me satisfied. I believe that there lies within many humans a natural curiosity and seeking of adventure. It is, however, often much easier to suppress it or quench it through conventional activities. I have had a fortunate opportunity to indulge it literally. Time set aside for venturing out into a challenge with a visual reward. But what is most important is the escape, the depart from the ordinary and predictable that extinguishes the conformity and restraints of my regular lifestyle. It is not so much being alone with my thoughts, as it being alone in general. In doing so, I can take it all in and it can take over me.
14: One Crazy Weekend in New York By: Michael Canada Being completely immersed in a different surrounding is exhilarating. You get to meet new people and try new things. I loved the pizza and the street vendors selling cheap knock-offs. I loved being in the middle of Times Square at night watching the colorful lights and signs. Even with all of the wonderful things this city had to offer, I felt out of place. I hated having hundreds of people beside me as I walked the dirty sidewalks. The huge buildings made me feel even smaller, and the wind made me cold every second. For a weekend, I was in the city that never sleeps. This was one of the longest yet most memorable weekends of my life. Maybe it’s because it was one of the craziest weekends of my life. I wasn’t surprised when my grandmother offered to take me to New York for three days. She has always showed favoritism towards me. Personally, I don’t have a problem with that, but I do get tired of seeing all the dirty looks my cousins give me. I don’t remember being any more excited in my life than I was at that moment. Quickly, I agreed and a month later, we were flying first class to Manhattan. I remember literally counting every minute of the plane ride. I was way too anxious, but I had reason to feel that way. I was headed for The Big Apple!
15: As if going to New York wasn’t enough, my grandmother went over the edge and planned an extravaganza! Before we boarded the plane, she told me that she booked us two nights at the Marriott in Time Square! She said I even had a view! More excitement came over me. The plane ride was about two and a half hours. I loved that the stewardess checked on me every ten minutes and offered drinks. We left the airport and a taxi was waiting for the both of us. I was in charge of putting the luggage into the taxi and waiting for my grandmother. In 1993, my grandmother suffered from a massive stroke. The left side of her body is paralyzed and she often gets around by a cane or wheelchair. For a while, she was unable to do anything and my mother and I watched over her most of the time. She has gotten stronger though. Even through her condition, she still travels and moves forward. This is the reason I was waiting for her. This is why I admire her. As I go to put the luggage in the taxi, the Hispanic driver looked at me and said, “Ay, you got money?” This was funny to me because I found it hard to believe that he actually thought I was traveling alone. I replied by saying, “No, my grandmother is coming and she has the money. Please give her like 2 minutes.” My grandmother was walking slowly on her cane and was a few feet away from the taxi. The driver looked annoyed.
16: “Do you have the money?” he asked again. “No sir. My grandmother is coming! Please be patient. She’s on a cane.” I even used my hands to communicate just in case he didn’t understand what I was saying. All of a sudden, the crazy driver drove away with our luggage! I couldn’t believe my eyes. I knew I should’ve spoken the little Spanish I knew. I was shocked and could only manage to yell out, “Security! Security! That cab just took off with our luggage!” I could see my grandmother by then and she looked confused. I could only think about all the things in my bags. This made me mad and I began to run. He was not going to drive away with my PSP! Two fake airport security men ran in the same direction as me. One caught up to me and grabbed my arm. He said, “Sir. This could be dangerous! Let us handle this!” Even though he was only armed with a flashlight, I knew he was right. Within 20 minutes, the driver was caught and our bags were returned to us unharmed. My perfect vacation was slowly turning into a nightmare, and I hadn’t even made it to my hotel room yet. Little did I know my “vacation” was only beginning! We made it to the hotel in one piece. It was beautiful and even more luxurious than I expected! My grandmother didn’t lie about the view either. I was above all of Time Square and I could see every sign and poster with ease.
17: I felt like I was king of the city! “Isn’t it wonderful?” I didn’t realize my grandmother was behind me. I was so in awe looking at the window, that reality didn’t set in. “Yes grandma. Yes it is.” Things were going to get better. My grandma and I started our vacation with site seeing! We rode buses through all of Time Square, admired Lady Liberty, and even went to the top of The Empire State Building. Looking at all of Manhattan felt unreal. I didn’t want it to end. I wanted to remember that moment forever. As if reading my mind, my grandmother asked if I wanted to take a picture. I found a nice person to take the picture of my grandmother and me on top of the Empire State Building, the beautiful city behind us. That’s when my hat flew off the building; my favorite Yankee baseball cap. It was very windy and my hat blew right over the edge of the fence, and plunged into the mouth of the city. I was hatless when the picture was taken. “I’ll get you another one,” my grandmother promised. My grandmother was always one to keep her promises, but I was sure the universe was punishing me. We ate lunch at a pizzeria on the fourth floor of the Empire State Building, which cheered me up. It was easy to fall in love with the pizza in New York. Later that evening, we attended a play on Broadway called Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and the wide array of celebrities featured in the play were an amazement to me.
18: Terrence Howard, Anika Noni Rose, and James Earl Jones all starred in the great play. I was glad that my day didn’t end in total chaos. Saturday was even crazier than the day before. Around noon, we went to Madam Tussaud’s Wax Museum. I took pictures with a lot of wax celebrities! Each floor was theme based and there were wax figures everywhere! Everything was great until we found out that there was a new exhibit at the museum called the Horrors of Wax. The exhibit was inspired by the movie, House of Wax and was sort of like a haunted house. This was bad for two reasons. One, I hate haunted houses! Two, I was pushing my grandmother in a wheelchair. There was nothing I could do. We couldn’t turn back and I wasn’t going to look like a punk in front of my grandma, who wanted to go into the exhibit. I made a mistake. I should’ve looked like a punk because the exhibit scared the crap out of me! People jumped out of nowhere and grabbed onto us. It was difficult trying to sprint fast and pushing a heavy wheelchair at the same time. I saw wax figures of Freddy Krueger and Michael Myers! That’s when I started to jog. Why were all the wrong things happening? I was glad to leave the museum. After the scare, I just wanted to go back to the hotel and sleep. Unfortunately, my grandmother was only getting warmed up. “Let’s go shopping!” Usually when my grandmother says that, she means, “I’m going shopping, but you can watch me pick my stuff out!”
19: I had a strong feeling that this was no different from past times. I was right! I spent two hours watching her buy fake purses and wallets. It almost seemed like she would buy things just for the benefit of having them. “Grandma, didn’t you already get one of those?” I said when I realized she bought two of the same purses. “Child, you know your grandma aint cheap! I need two of everything,” she replied, “Just in case one of those things falls of a building.” We both laughed. I’ve always known my grandmother to be fearless and young-hearted, but this was too much and I couldn’t take any more of it. Right before I was going to die from extreme boredom, something caught my attention. There was a strange looking guy on the curb of the sidewalk. He was a caricature artist, and I was interested in getting myself drawn. I also pitied the guy because he had poor business. I approached the man and told him that I would like a caricature. “What would you like caricature of?” he said. “Myself.” I replied in a sarcastic way. He laughed and began the drawing. I felt silly keeping the same pose for about 20 minutes. As if hiding something, the artist kept looking away from the canvas and checked to see if people were starring. This became annoying and I asked, “Is everything okay?” “Yes. But I think we should move to a place where there is less light,” he replied. Hesitantly, I agreed. It didn’t make any sense to me though.
20: Was the sun going to dim if we moved somewhere else? When we moved, the artist looked relieved. “Okay here’s the truth. I don’t have a proper license to do this, and I can’t risk being caught,” he admitted. I couldn’t believe it! How could something as simple as a picture ruin a vacation? I didn’t let him finish the picture. I paid him half of what he charged and my caricature was missing eyes and hair! Sunday morning, we flew back to Dayton. For some strange reason, the flight felt shorter. Part of me was ecstatic to be back at home, but the other half of me felt remorseful. I had to admit that the crazy moments of the vacation were exciting. Without them, I would’ve just had an ordinary vacation. To this day I am still unaware of why the universe was angry with me. The next time I go to New York, I’ll do some things differently. I’ll pack two hats instead one, and I’ll remember not to visit the Wax Museum. I’ll make sure that every vendor has a license, and I won’t put my trust in the taxi drivers. I could also just turn my grandmother down when she asks me to go on another vacation with her. Maybe then my cousins would like me more.
22: When an Apple Isn't Enough By: Ari Vandersluis It is very difficult to learn how to impress teachers. Teachers can be some of the scariest people to ever set foot on this planet. They have their terrifying red pens that either make you exult in happiness or cry in shame. They have their hideous, navy-colored grade books that contain all of the information they need to help you succeed or to ruin your life. In some ways, a teacher decides how the rest of your life will play out. It may be the smartest decision of one’s life to become one of your teachers’ so-called, “favorites.” The following are easy steps on getting a teacher to like you: Step 1: Understanding the Character of the Specimen When starting a new class, one must watch for certain signs that teachers illustrate. These signs tell you what kind of teacher you will be having. On the first day of school, you should watch every one of your teacher’s actions. this usually exemplifies the way he or she will be throughout the year. It is very common for your teacher to start the year with a game or an icebreaker. This could be one of the best or worst signs to see. If your teacher participates in the games, then it is easy to see that he or she is a very fun, kind, and energetic teacher. However, if the teacher is inactive and watches the class play the game while he or she idly stands by, then your teacher is most likely very tedious and unexciting. If this is the case, then your class will probably be uninteresting and dreary all year.
23: Another very common activity on the first day of school is to go straight to the learning. This too could be good news or bad news. If your teacher discusses the way your year will play out and discusses the topics in an interesting, humorous fashion, then it is easy to see that the teacher is an interesting and comical person. On the other hand, if your teacher starts the year with hard work and discusses the topics strictly and seriously, then it is very easy to tell that your year might be a living hell. You should always be attentive for any kind of jokes or anything humorous that your teacher may say. Jokes can easily tell you that he or she is very funny and will entertain you throughout the year. For example, if your educator says anything startling, or any kind of profanity on the first day of school, then you can effortlessly understand that your class will never be boring. Nonetheless, no matter what kind of teacher they are or what they say, it is almost always possible to get them to like you. Step 2: Create the Right Impression While it is important for you to get a good first impression of your teachers, it is just as important, if not more important, for the teacher to get a great first impression of you. First impressions are one of the most essential things in getting a teacher to like you. Although not impossible; if a teacher gets a bad first impression of you, it is very difficult to change the way he or she feels. The most significant action that you
24: can do to make a good first impression is to pretend to be attentive and under control. Make sure your teacher at least thinks that you are paying attention. You could be completely distracted, but if your teacher believes that you are attentive, then you are good to go. Teachers love to see that their students are well behaved. If a teacher sees that a student is paying very close attention and is on their best behavior, they will consider you an attentive and well-mannered student for your entire school career; that is, unless you prove him or her otherwise. Step 3: Subtly Compliment the Specimen Once one has made their good first impressions, it is time for them to become a so-called, “favorite.” Compliments are one of the most effective ways of doing this. These short statements that may seem to be a very simple way of telling someone something nice, are in fact one of the most complicated ways of expressing yourself in the entire English language. There are many things that could go wrong in a compliment. One could send the wrong message, increase insecurity, or even accidentally insult a person. For instance, telling a teacher that their outfit looks like they are from the 1960’s would be a terrible way to compliment them. The first thing that you should know about complimenting your teachers is to make it very subtle. The worst thing that could happen is for teachers to think that you are taking advantage of them. To besubtle, you must first confront the teacher about a different topic. While speaking to one's teacher, add
25: in the compliment by using words like, “By the way” and, “I noticed that” To make a good compliment you must choose something that the teacher seems concerned about. If they are constantly touching their hair, then comment on their hair. If they are continuously adjusting their new glasses, then comment on their glasses. Most teachers love to speak, especially about themselves. Ask as many questions as possible and act very attentive while they answer. While listening to your teachers answer, a great way to act as if you are listening is to tilt your head 20 to the right, look into your teacher’s eyes, raise your eyebrows, and slightly open your mouth into a slight smile. As long as these motions are pursued, you can drift off, and your teacher won’t even notice. Remember to laugh at all of your teacher’s jokes no matter how funny (or not funny) they are. Teachers think that it is very flattering and it will encourage them to tell more jokes. The more jokes they tell, the more interesting class is. The primary function of compliments is to get your teachers to notice you. Step 4: Entertaining the Specimen Another great way to have your teacher notice you is to make them laugh. Making a teacher laugh can show him or her that you are not only a nice student, but also very lively. It also tells teachers that you are active and not sleeping in class. Telling jokes to a teacher can be very tricky. The first thing that you should remember at all times is to not over do it and demonstrate excessive animation. This might lead to an assessment that you
26: are restless or perhaps insane. If this is the case, then your teacher will always look down upon you and consider you a, “wild one.” Before making a joke in class, you should get to know a teacher. Find out what kind of person they are so that you can make appropriate jokes based on their personalities. Once you have become familiar with your teacher, it is suitable for you to start the humoring process. There are a few tips that you should always be aware of when telling jokes in class. Avoid telling jokes in the so-called, “joke form.” Don’t tell any, “knock knock” jokes, or any, “One time” jokes. These kinds of jokes make teachers feel like you are bringing the class off topic and trying to digress the teacher in order not to learn. The best way to humor teachers is to tell jokes that relate to class. If your class is learning about Ancient Greece, then tell jokes referring to Alexander the Great, or Hellenism (speaking of which, what do Alexander the Great and Winnie the Pooh have in common? the same middle name!). Telling jokes referring to the given topic will show your teacher that you are paying attention in class and know about the chosen topic. Step 5: Confronting the Specimen Outside of their Home Territory A very smart and rewarding thing to do is to find your teacher outside of class. In free time, before school, or after school, you should speak to your teachers. Teachers love to hear from you outside of class. It makes them feel like you care about the class and are willing to give up some of your time to speak with them. When
27: speaking to a teacher individually, it is very important to start all conversations with a question related to class. Start with asking about homework or asking for a brief review of that day’s lesson. Once you have started the conversation with the teacher, it is okay for you to digress a little bit. After he or she has answered the question, ask about other things. Ask about their day or about their [new] glasses. Never be afraid to combine some of the previous steps. It is perfectly fine to make a teacher laugh or to give him or her a compliment while having a conversation outside of class. Step 6: Homework and Grades The most important step to remember is to keep your grades high. If grades are low, then none of the other steps will work successfully. You should show your teacher that you do not just talk the talk, but you also walk the walk (learn the lesson). Teachers need to be shown that their students understand the concepts and care about the class. Always do homework and study for tests. Make sure that teachers notice how your grades have been high and how you have worked hard. It is also vital to remember to not be perfect. Teachers enjoy seeing their student’s occasional flaws. It reminds them that everyone is only human. Teachers always love seeing you being modest. Although these six simple steps are essential, they will not directly improve your grade. These steps will help you to have a better time in school. No matter what kind of teacher or what kind of class; school is easier when your teacher likes you. This will make
28: teachers more willing to help you, which will eventually raise your grades. If these six steps are done correctly, then you will never again have to be scared of teachers. Never again will you have to be frightened by the suspenseful way they hand out graded papers. Never again will you have to dread the annoying way that they write on the chalkboard. Never again will you have to be terrified by the red pens that carry the ink that could destroy your life. If these six steps are followed, you will never have to sleep in class again. Teachers may be some of the scariest people on the planet; however, if you know what makes them tick, then they can become your greatest ally.
30: Are You My Mother? Macy Merle “Macy, can you come here for a moment?” I heard my dad yell one night as I was sitting in my room. Finally making it to the room I answered, “Yes daddy?” “Macy, I have something important to tell you, your mom has passed away.” Suddenly tears started pouring down both of our faces, we sat for hours together in the chair in his study and cried. See my mom had been staying in an assisted living home for a while now, I didn’t know why. I would visit her every Wednesday, I didn’t know what was going on, why she was there and not home, and how it all came to be. No one ever told me how it happened or why it happened, I just knew that I would never get to see her again. It all happened on May 25th, 2001, when I was in first grade. Let me just say, the majority of the conversations I had over the next two years, contained enough sympathy in them to last me a lifetime. Everyone always saying, “Honey I’m sorry for your loss.” And the only thing I could respond with was “It is fine.” Let me tell you, it wasn’t fine at all, I wasn’t fine, but it was the only sentence I could muster without starting to tear up. Honestly, I was so young at the time that I did not fully understand the impact that this would have on my life. But as I grew I learned the hardships I would have to go through not having a mother. I learned about all the things that I wouldn’t get to experience. Then the answer to my problems was solved, Brenda. Brenda was my dad’s first serious girl friend since my mom had died. In my eyes Brenda was perfect, she loved to
31: take me shopping and we always went to get our hair done together. Every night she would come to my room, tuck me in and then give me a kiss goodnight. She was exactly who I had hope to come into my life to be like a mother to me. One day my dad told me that they were going on a vacation together and that they would be back in one week, I had been so happy, I had suspected that my dad was going to propose to her while there. I was mistaken. They came home and suddenly, I started to notice that I was seeing less and less of Brenda, I wasn’t really curious as to why she wasn’t there, and I assumed it was nothing of importance. One night, I went to my best friend, Phoebe’s, birthday party on April 26th I heard some news I never thought I would hear. “Macy did you hear that your dad and Brenda broke up?” Phoebe said. I tried to play it off like I already knew, but in reality I was stunned beyond belief to hear the news, “Oh, I know, so horrible.” I said as I tried my hardest to stay calm. I was angry that I didn’t connect the dots on my own, it all my sense. It took a while, but I soon realized that she was gone. For the next five or six years my dad casually dated, but I was never introduced to the girls. I remember one time when I was going in to seventh grade I finally met one of the girl friends, Leila was her name. She was a had long brown hair with light brown eyes, and thick bushy eyebrows, that reminded me of Caterpillars, therefore a nickname was born, Caterpillar. I met her when my dad and I were on a family vacation in Cape Cod, and we had driven up to Boston for a day. Sad to
32: say, I did not like her one bit. She made so many attempts to become my “friend” all of which I found her pathetic. She tried to buy me a sandwich; I took one bite of it, and then kindly threw it away. I thought that was the only time I would ever see her but then one day I came home from Phoebe’s house and I saw an unfamiliar silver car in my drive way, I assumed it was one of my dads friends, and I was correct, it was. It just happened to be one of his friends that I was not fond of, it was Leila. She tried once again to bribe me into liking her, by bringing me a fifty-dollar gift card to Abercrombie. Even though I had a love for their clothes, just to spite her, I proceeded to throw it away. Luckily, my dad got the hint, and that was the last time I ever saw her. I was in the car one day with my old babysitter, Tricia, when she told me that there was a rumor going around, about my dad dating a hairdresser. For some reason in my mind, since I had not heard about any of my dad’s relationships in a while I figured that he had just given up in his love life. I asked her about what she had heard and she just said that she thinks they have gone a couple of dates, but she wasn’t sure at all. This lead me to become very curious about whom this mystery lady was. I found out some basic facts about her, she was young, 27 to be exact, she liked my father, and she had a part time job at night as a stripper. I also found out her name was Laura Trimbach, she had long blond hair and blue eyes, she was pretty, and she had two kids by the name of Jacob and Payton. I was
33: stunned by this information, and I immediately grew a deep hatred for this woman, it didn’t matter to me if she liked my father, I wanted her out of my life, as soon as possible. One evening my dad told me that we were going to a Dayton Dragons baseball game and that I could invite someone to come along. Being my naive self, I invited Karina, thinking it was going to be just us three, and it would be a great night. I was so excited for that night, until I got into the car to go pickup Karina, when i found out special someone was joining us on our outing, Laura. I texted Karina as soon as I found out, and she got a little worried about how this night would go over. We sat at the game for three hours and then I got a feeling like I was about to be sick. I told my dad that I needed to leave, and that is exactly what we did. As soon as we pulled into Karina’s driveway I jumped out of the car and started running, trying to make it to the bathroom, because my body had made me well aware that I was about to puke. I ended up not making it to a bathroom, so I just puked on Karina’s driveway. I learned later that having Laura there gave me a panic attack. It was good to know that my first impression of her made me puke, and her first impression of me, was me puking, I was sure that this was enough to make her go away, once again, I had been mistaken. I kept being forced into these casual meetings with Laura, my dad wanted her and I to bond. She would come over for dinner on Thursday nights and make dinner for my and her family, or I would be forced to go
34: out to lunch with her. I walked into my hallway and saw her pulling out vegetables and meat beginning to prepare dinner for us. I was confused, “Why is she here? It’s a Friday, not a Thursday, she wasn’t supposed to be here on Fridays.” I thought to myself. All my built up anger suddenly came out. I ran into my room and went into my bathroom and pulled at my towel that was on my towel rack, somehow thinking this would release my anger, it turned out I pulled a little bit too hard, and ended up yanking the whole towel rack right out of the wall. I looked over at Karina and mumbled under my breath, “Shit.” Suddenly I heard my dad yell, “Macy what was that?” I answered, “Uh, nothing dad!” I heard my dad stomping all the way from the kitchen to my room. I went into panic mode and started trying to force the towel rack back into the wall. He walked in and said, “What happened?” in his stern voice. “I. uh got mad.” I replied. At this point I looked over at Karina and a look of fear had washed over her face, her eyes were huge and her bottom lip was quivering, it was rare to see my father angry. “ And what exactly got you so mad? “I forgot that Laura was coming over, and I was planning on having a good night tonight.” Suddenly I knew this was not the answer he had wanted to hear. “Macy I am very upset with you.” Those seven words, a shot to the heart. Never had my dad grounded me, or even yelled at me. He didn’t yell
35: though, and that was how you could tell that he was genuinely upset and that is what hurt the most. Surprisingly, he still did not ground me; I was just stuck with the silent treatment until the towel rack was repaired. For the next eight months Laura proceeded to come over for dinner every night and attempt to bond with me. I found out her son, Jacob, lived with his father in Maryland and I met her daughter, Payton. I didn’t like Payton though, I thought she was an annoying two years old that needed to be taught a lesson or two about manners, but she was cute. That summer we had planned to go to a European cruise with a bunch of people, my only friends though were Karina Yanes and Alex Smith. My dad, Laura and I were on the flight over, just the three of us out of the group. On the very long plane ride over I sat on one side of the plane with my dad and Laura sat across the isle from us. About three hours into the flight I looked over and saw her holding my dad’s hand. Then to my surprise, I saw a very large diamond ring that seemed to be weighing down her left hand. My heart sank, and my face began to grow hot from anger. I rolled to the other side of my seat and slept for the remaining hours of the flight. When I arrived in Italy, I told Karina and Alex. Alex didn’t seem to care but Karina got furious. She decided to help me with my plan of attack, our idea was to write a very unfriendly note and leave it on their door.
36: I do not remember what the note consisted of but I remember it was quite mean. The rest of the cruise I spent all my time with Karina’s family and left Laura and my dad by themselves. Until one day, my dad came to a realize that it would be a good bonding time for Laura and I, if I was forced to spend the day with them. We were in France on the day that I was stuck with them. We rented a small car, and we drove around the city. I had expected the day to be absolutely horrific, but to my surprise I had a change of heart, and that was the day I began liking Laura. The news of our newly found friendship made my dad more happy then I have ever seen him, honestly I don’t think I saw him without a smile for months after he found out. After that day, everything changed. I don’t know how, and I don’t know why, but I began to realize Laura wasn't this horrible person that I thought she was. We started getting to know each other, and I learned a lot about her, starting with the fact that she was not a stripper, nor had she ever been a stripper. I arrived in home one day to find a note from Laura, telling me that her and my dad were getting married, and she wanted me to be the one and only bridesmaid in the wedding. This news was no surprise to me, I had figured it was only a matter of time before the wedding, and I was ecstatic to be included. I had kindly accepted the offer to be a bridesmaid. On September 27th, 2007, my family grew from two people, to five people. Then on March 17th, 2009, my
37: family grew from five people, to six people, but that is a story for another time.
38: An Unacceptable Name By Alex Lachey My name is Alex Ross Lachey, not Alexander, not Roscoe, and my last name is most certainly not latch-key. There was actually quite a bit of conflict between my parents over what I would be named. From what I hear from my mom, the bickering was endless. You see, originally, my mother wanted to name me Roscoe, but I suppose it was too whimsical of a name for my father. My mother then proposed Ross, but to my satisfaction, Father refused this as well, even as a middle name. He wanted to give me a much stronger name. He wanted to name me Alexander, not necessarily after the great, but strong all the same. My Mother, much to my satisfaction, refused to name me after a famous conqueror. Besides that, Alexander was an extremely common name, unlike Roscoe. The bickering continued with different sets of names until finally, the day came to sign the official document. The final decision for my identification was about to be written down by my mother who was lying on a bed in the hospital. My father was running an errand, and wouldn’t be back for a while. She took the pen and signed Alex Ross Lachey. A shortened version of Alexander to please my father, a shortened version of Roscoe to appease herself, and my family name. And that marked the end to the endless war. However, it would soon be replaced with an assortment of ridiculous nicknames. For example, bruiser boy, spanky, monkey boy, bobalouey etc. But, my favorite and more current nickname is A-man or Mr. A. It seems like whenever
39: I enter a room my father will be there to do that thing he does. He takes his head and shakes it up and down as he holds the A making it vibrate in his throat. At one point in time I thought for sure he had terets. I’ll walk into the kitchen, “Mr. Aaeaeaeaeaeaeaeaeaeaeaeae” I’ll walk into the living room, “What’s goin’ on Mr. Aeaeaeaeaeaeaeaeaea-uh?” One memory I don’t think I’ll forget is the first time my mom went to see my progress in school during kindergarten year. My mom and I walked through the front doors of the school with our hands clasped as we walked through the hallway, my eyes looking up at all the teachers and the lockers, thinking that the day would never come that I would use them. I greeted familiar faces and continued with my mom to greet my teacher, Mrs. Fuchs. My mother greeted her and they proceeded to talk about my performance. The teacher said everything was just fine, except for one thing. “Alex isn’t spelling his name fully.” My mother asked what I was writing and Mrs. Fuchs told her I was writing Alex and only Alex. “Well yeah that’s his name,” my mom stated reassuring the teacher. But, Mrs. Fuchs insisted that I wasn’t writing my name properly. She said calmly again, “No, Alex needs to spell his full name. It’s unacceptable.” My mother became irritated. The argument repeated until Mother stormed off with a huff with me in tow. But, that was definitely not the end of it. From that
40: point on the teacher addressed me as Alexander and anything else was unacceptable. I actually began to think that all this time I didn’t know my real name. I felt ashamed. I began to write it in school, say it was my name, and pretty soon I thought it was. Weeks, maybe days later I was sitting on the bus to school. Talking to my friends just like any day, but today unlike other days, would be tragic. I was telling jokes with my friend Jack, but I really could only pay attention to the sunshine on his freckles. I would always wonder what caused them, or what people did to deserve to get them. We continued our conversation and pretty soon we started to play truth or dare. We were having a great deal of fun until the final dare came. He dared me to pull my pants down on the bus. Not my underwear, but just my pants. I did just like he said, un-embarrassed to do so. Everybody who could see laughed and I sat down grinning. (I always loved to please a crowd, and I still do.) Feeling courageous I did it again, but no laughter followed this time. Some told me to do it again while others told me it was enough. One girl yelled at me from her seat, “Alex if you do that one more time I’m going to tell the bus driver!” This time, just to defy her, and please the crowd that egged me on I pulled down my pants a final time. She stood up and glared at me as I sat down giggling and she told the bus driver like she had said. She returned to her seat and smiled at me maliciously. I then started to become scared. The bus came to a stop and I left the bus, eager to leave this incident behind, but sure
41: enough the principal was waiting for me outside the doors to the school. She escorted me to her office as she bombarded me with questions. Why did you do this? What were you thinking? Did someone tell you to do it? I sat in my seat in front of her desk, feeling puny beneath her glare. The interrogation finished and I thought that the worst was over. But I was dead wrong. I walked sheepishly through the hallway avoiding people’s stares as I turned the corner leading to the classroom. I looked up with dread as I saw Mrs. Fuchs finishing a phone call with the principle. I then knew that this was far from over. She slowly turned her head as she hung up the phone, eyeballs popping out of her head. I swear, I will never forget her immense stare. It was like she burned a hole into my head. I actually don’t remember anything about what she looked like, except for those hideous eyes. I walked slowly toward her as she reached out to grab my ear and she shouted, “Alex Ross Lachey! GET IN THIS CLASSROOM.” I ran inside, avoiding the stares of the other students, which only made my condition worse. I immediately ran under the dollhouse, which was perched on a table, and I wept. I wept because she had scared me half to death, because I was yelled at, but most of all because she finally called me by my name.
44: When Life Gives You Children By: Cameron Jordan “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” What if life gives you a hyperactive seven-year-old? Making lemonade doesn't seem like an appropriate solution in that situation. Even having been in a situation where I had to spend two and a half months with a child who never lost energy, it is hard to fill in the second part of the statement: When life gives you a hyperactive seven year old. I might say something such as: When life gives you Dawson, get out the protective gear. Dawson, the child my older sister chose to baby-sit during the summer of 2008, was an entertaining child, but he had a volatile personality. Realistically how could Dawson who, opposed to me, hated reading, playing games, and doing anything active, get along? He kicked, bit, and hit without any hesitation, but not as nearly as much as he complained and argued. Due to the fact that I am easily annoyed, Dawson easily made me lose my temper on many occasions. The real question is if there were good moments that summer. “I filled up water balloons for the “water day” we are going to have today, Dawson. Did you remember your swim trunks?” my sister Katie asked. “Yes. Can you please warm up the water balloons? My grandma usually makes the pool warm for me when I want to get wet.”
45: “Dawson, the water balloons are not that cold,” I replied. “Now, I am going to fill up a bucket of water before we start our water day activities.” From Dawson’s irritating behavior the previous day, I could tell that it would be a long summer. Today would only confirm that notion. I filled up the bucket of water and went outside. Katie said, “There are fifteen water balloons, so everyone gets five. Please do not throw them at me. Ready, set, throw!” My brother Connor, Dawson, and I started to throw our water balloons. Dawson attempted to throw several water balloons at Katie, but she threatened him with a time-out. Connor and I were successfully hitting each other and Dawson with water balloons, but Dawson had terrible aim. His water balloons merely popped on the grass. We ran out of water balloons within five minutes. As with many people, I have my devious side, which manifested itself in the scene that was to follow. I picked up the bucket of water I had filled up and poured the whole thing on Dawson’s head. That was a huge mistake. Dawson, having been used to only heated pool water, was probably shocked when a bucket of cold water was poured on his head. He looked furious as he stood, soaking wet and shivering. “I’m going inside! I hate water day! Hmmph.” Dawson said. Water day had lasted about five minutes. I didn't get a bit wet. Some people might say my “mini-fro” deflected the water. It seemed that Dawson was incapable of having fun and joking, and I outwardly stated that. Judging from later experiences, I hold true to that statement.
46: “Dawson, do you want to build a cardboard house?” my sister asked Dawson one summer day. We were used to Dawson's usual unwillingness to do anything, and we were taken aback when he said, “Yeah, that sounds cool.” Dawson was finally excited about something. I should have predicted that it would only go downhill from there. We got out cardboard boxes and empty cans from the recycling bin and began to build our house. “Hey, give me that piece of cardboard! I want that!” Dawson demanded. “I was kind of using it, but you can have this piece of cardboard,” I said in the most patient voice I could muster. “I really want that piece of cardboard. Give it to me!” Dawson said as he grabbed it out of my hand. I tried not to overreact, seeing that this would be a good time to teach him good manners. “Dawson, give Cameron the cardboard back,” Katie said. Dawson reluctantly gave me back the cardboard. I, being the “genius” architect that I am, along with my siblings, taped the cardboard house together. I marveled at what was partially my creation until I got inside the small house. “I can't even stretch my legs out! This house can't accommodate anyone over five feet! Let's cut more doors into this house and make more rooms,” I suggested. We cut three more door-shaped holes into the house and used blankets to create fort-like bedrooms. That streak of creativity kept Connor, Dawson, and me apart, which prevented squabbling. I gathered my patience inside my “room” until Dawson decided to break the silence.
47: “Can you two please leave me and Pikachu alone. I need to have my alone time with him,” Dawson said. Was I seriously being forced to crawl through the small house from my quiet area for the satisfaction of a toy? It never ceased to amaze me how attached Dawson got to some of his toys. “You do not need alone time with Pikachu! We built this house for all of us, so I consider it as a shared space,” Connor said. “Connor, just get out. It will be much simpler that way,” Katie said. My brother and I left the house for a couple of minutes, oblivious at first to the silence within the house. After several more minutes of silence, Connor and I decided to check on Dawson. We looked in to find Dawson rubbing Pikachu against each cheek, apparently cuddling him. I, who can‘t hold in laughter on such occasions, gave away our silent vigilant. Predictably, Dawson began another one of his tirades. “Hey! Get out of this house. Leave me alone!” Dawson said. He grumbled for the next ten minutes. I admit that my brother and I provoked Dawson sometimes, but the majority of the time he didn’t need provoking to start his tantrums. Over the next few days problems arose within the tiny house as Dawson began to grumble about his small bedroom. I, despite being five feet tall, didn’t even complain about my cramped space. “Connor, I think we need to destroy this house once and for all,” I said one day as Dawson sat in a fort he had built in our bedroom. Enough was enough. “Let’s jump on the house,” Connor suggested. “One, two, three.” Connor and I leapt onto the house, and it was
48: obliterated. Dawson appeared in the living room with a distraught look on his face. I felt bad, and decided to repair the house for him. He pouted even after my brother and I repaired the house for him. The new house “wasn’t the same” for him, but he ended up monopolizing the place of refuge. He had even forgotten that we had destroyed it in the first place. “A bank robber is going to come to your Lego house in the middle of the night,” I told Dawson as I played Legos with him. Taunting is a bad habit of mine that I should probably dispose of. “No one is going to rob the house. My Lego person is going to the store now,” Dawson said. “Let's sneak over to Dawson's house and rob it,” I joked with my brother. I stole Dawson's Lego car, which, I admit, was a bit immature now that I look back on it. “Hey! Give it back!” Dawson yelled. I gave it back, but then I plotted to steal it again. I swiped it. CRASH! Dawson had smashed my Lego house into pieces. I guess you could say that I asked for it. “Ugh! I am so bored. What can we do?” Connor asked. “Let's film a movie or, better yet, a TV show!” I suggested. This could possibly entertain me as well as Connor and Dawson. After all, I love to act. “Yeah! Let's do that. I want to be on TV,” Dawson said. It wouldn’t really be on TV, Dawson. We would just film it and add commercials on the computer.” We started to discuss what our TV show was going to be
49: about. Our episode was about children in a classroom. Connor and Dawson played the roles of students, and I was an abusive teacher who fought with students. My sister filmed the show. We had a fun time filming the episode, and Connor and Dawson ended up being the abusers. I tied them up as punishment. We successfully put the episode on Windows Movie Maker, and we realized that it was one of the few things Dawson enjoyed doing at our house. We filmed several more episodes that involved food fights, physical fights, and criminal puppets. We definitely had a ton of bloopers for our TV show, Big House. “I love that TV show. I made a computer and camera at home to play with so I can act like I am making movies,” Dawson said at church one Sunday. I knew he truly enjoyed filming the TV show. “Cameron. He is not the person. He should be here!” Dawson explained in our final episode of Big House. The episode title, “Goodbye, Dawson,” was an appropriate title since we had now reached the end of the summer. I laughed as it was taking prompting to get Dawson to say certain lines. We were laughing. There was no whining and complaining. The whole day seemed to be calm and smooth. “Goodbye, Dawson. It’s been fun,” we said as Dawson ran out the door without any response. Dawson's mom thanked us while Dawson screamed for her to hurry up. This was completely expected. We proceeded to exhale a breath that we took in at the beginning of the summer as the family's car engine roared, and they drove off into the sunset.
50: Everyone is special in their own way. Some people may have calm personalities, but others, highly volatile personalities. Even though some people are hard to get along with, we need to be patient with all those we come into contact with. “Patience is a virtue.” Often when we look at people, we can only see the bad in them. Perhaps that is what causes arguments and hatred. Acts of unkindness do not help the situation. We explain our misdeeds towards others as the person receiving their “just deserts.” A common phrase states, “Do unto others as you would want them to do to you.” Several times my brother and I provoked Dawson until he behaved in a combative manner. Sometimes we only look at the bad in someone, and are blinded from the good. We often make quick judgments about people. We “see what we expect to see.” My siblings and I expected the worst from Dawson, and sometimes that is what we got. The real question is what happened to Dawson. I have a pen in hand ready to write about the fairly good natured boy Dawson has become. | "Water Balloon War"
51: Our House | Dawson's Lego Destruction
52: Caught Red-handed By: Ena Augulier The funniest and the most embarrassing incident that ever happened to me took place while my family and I went on vacation at Beaver Island, Michigan. My dad's family owns a piece of land and house there which had not been visited or tended to for three years. We figured that it would be nice to get out of town for a while. I remember being really excited back then because it was my first time traveling to Michigan. I thought that it would be great and fun, and in some ways it was, I did not know however, that it would turn into something I would never forget. Beaver Island is a small island that is kind of isolated from the modern world; however, its a really pretty place and peaceful place, populated mostly by plants and trees. Our, as I'd like to call it, summer house is located a good half an hour away from what I call “civilization” or from the town. The town is where all the stores, and shops are located. One sunny day, we decided to drive up to town to get some food supplies. My sister and I could not let the chances pass by without going to the town's library to rent some books and movies. We had been there several times before. Although it was pretty small, my sister and I, absolutely love their library and the size of it kind of reminds me
53: of our school's library. My parents submitted to our request but only after letting us endure the torture of waiting for them to finish shopping for supplies. We went inside the library and I, as usual, got this feeling of ease. No matter what mood I'm in, whenever I go to the library, it always somehow evaporates. My mind is filled with excitement and apprehension. I made my way to the books first. I was enjoying myself when, after a few minutes, I realized that I had to use the bathroom. The bathroom was not very big, in fact, it was fairly small. It is the kind of bathroom with commodities fit for one person only. As soon as I opened the door, and switched on the lights the fan automatically turned on and made a loud humming sort of noise. I don't know but the noise the fan made, made me think that it blocked off any kind of noises and thus made the room sound proof. For that reason, I felt that it would be all right for me to start singing. Angel in disguise stories in his eyes love for every true heart that he sees was it just a lucky day? That he turned and looked my way or is it heaven right before my...
54: My mom and dad were looking for movies to rent, when suddenly they heard somebody singing. Everyone looked around. My dad, who was puzzled, turned to my mom and asked her where was it coming form. Just then the librarian realized it too and told everyone that the voice was coming from the bathroom. My mom and dad, who knew that I went to the bathroom, looked at each other. My dad quickly told my mom to try and stop me before I embarrassed myself further. Probably feeling humiliated by her daughter creating a ruckus, my mom came to tap on the bathroom door and ordered me to stop. (Which I pointed out, later on, that I could not hear her because of the stupid fan). She waited for a moment and heard silence from the other side. She figured that I heard her, so she went away to go back to her own business. I thought that I heard somebody just called my name or knocked on the door. I turned off the water faucet and stopped breathing for a second. When I did not hear anything, I dismissed the thought as merely an illusion and resumed what I was doing, which included finishing washing and drying my hands and singing, of course. When all was done, I opened up the door and stepped outside. As I did, first thing I noticed was silence, and I swear I'm not making things up, everyone's eyes were on me. It was pretty scary; it was like being caught red-handed and not knowing what crime you have
55: committed. Anyway, I walked out and thought to myself: “What the heck is wrong with everybody? Did I somehow did something...bad...(gulp)? Oh well, who cares”. I resumed what I was doing before I went to the bathroom, when suddenly my dad came up behind me and, horror of all horrors, asked me “What were you doing in the bathroom? We heard you singing in there. Holy Molly!!!” that explained the staring then, OMG!!! lost for anything to say, I said the only thing I could think of. I asked how well did I sing. Stupid, that was a stupid and pathetic question to ask but I did it anyway. I just thought that since I was already humiliated enough, might as well just ask how I did, at least I could I could take comfort in knowing that my voice was pretty good. My dad laughed at me after I asked the question, which was very nice of him, thank you very much! Afterwards, he nodded and said it was pretty good. I had my doubts, Figuring I should be feeling shame in myself, I told my parents that I would never go back in this library again, and I would be waiting for them outside. I gave the books that I picked out to rent to my sister and instructed her to check them out for me, since I could not face the librarian. When that was settled, I went immediately outside. I walked over to our old, battered car and tried to act nonchalantly, just in case some people might suspect that I' going to try to steal the car. To look cool and just so I have something to do, I got out my mp3 and listened to it.
56: However, I could not dent the feeling of unease building inside of me that somebody's going to remember me as the girl who sang in the bathroom and talk about me behind their back. I stood there for about five minutes spacing out before I realized that I probably looked like an idiot, but then it dawned on me, why should I care what those people think? After all, I would never see them again anyway! And regardless of what happened, they don't know me and they will eventually forget all about it. I was probably just overreacting because I have a wild imagination, right? And if someone did come right at me and make fun of me, I could tell them to back off or give them one of those dirty glares I saw mean girls use in movies. I would just go with the flow, and besides I had not even finished looking for books and movies yet! So, I made my way through the door and into the library. My dad commented that he thought I would never step foot in this library again, and if that is so, then what was I doing there. I told him that books and movies are much more important to me than hiding. And so, I went my way. Thankfully no one came up and laughed at me. After we were done and out of the library, my family started teasing me about the bathroom incident. I tried my best to ignore it, but they just kept right on talking and recounting he incident over and over again. They told me that the librarian told
57: them and everyone within earshot that singing in the bathroom “happens all the time”. To prove it she told them the story of some girl who went in the bathroom and sang Christmas songs for a really long time. I know it's probably mean to feel so, but I kind of feel relieved after I heard that story. I actually even had a good laugh because of that. Looking back now, I can not help but smile at the memory. It reminds me how life is not perfect and how everybody has ups and downs. Although no matter how I appreciated it, I could nit help but still feel sorry for the girl who sang Christmas songs in the bathroom. Now, that is really embarrassing!
58: New Students Get No Respect By: Jack Fuchsman What do you of when you hear The Miami Valley School? Do you think of it as a school that cares about their athletics? Perhaps you think of it as a school that cares about its students. Do you think of it as a school that cares about its academic reputation? If you think the final question is true, you’re right. At The Miami Valley School, the community cares more about the academics than the people. The students are the ones who build the academic reputation. So, my argument is that the school needs to find ways to help the new students like me who come to the school and struggle upon their arrival. When you go to any new school it is always hard to fit in initially. Whether it is hard to fit in with your fellow classmates or hard to keep up with my academics, the transition is difficult. When I came to Miami Valley, it was very hard to make the adjustment from a fairly easy public school to a very hard academic based school. I came to MVS from Northmont, which was not the hardest school in the world. I didn’t have to study hard for tests and it usually only took 30 minutes to do all of my homework. When I came to Miami Valley I didn’t think it was going to be that hard of a transition, but I was wrong. I didn’t study as hard for tests as I should’ve nor did I ask teachers for help, and I quickly learned to do otherwise. At MVS if you want to succeed one of the main things you have to do is to ask help from teachers.
59: Junior, Laurel Cooney, who came to Miami Valley last year said, “ I think that it is easier to talk to teachers because the classes are smaller, so there is more one on one time.” Don't get me wrong, I do feel like the school helps the new students, but i feel like they can do more for us. MVS is one of the academically toughest schools in the Dayton area, so when a new student comes to the school, the school needs to find ways to help them feel comfortable. Math teacher and freshman dean Ms. Spiegel said, “I feel like that they can sit with new students and help them out so they can feel comfortable when they come to the school.” Junior Sarah Caughey said, “ I think that they can do a peer mentoring program. Also, in the summer I feel like they can do a fun orientated based thing so the new students will feel comfortable.” The one who I agree with the most is parent Mary Faul, who is the mother of sophomore Kori Faul. She said, “They think that when a student comes in that they should be right there academically with the kids that have been there for a while, and that is not always the case. That school is two years ahead of public school. Kori had an awful time, and they did not offer much help at all. They just made her stay in study hall.” I have experienced the same kind of thing that Kori did. They put me in study halls right away thinking that, that will help, but really it just made me want to try less, I felt like I was being pushed around.
60: The school needs to put in more time helping those new students who have academic issues instead of caring so much for the best students in the school. Even though I feel like the school is not very great with the students at Miami Valley, I feel like the parents are the worse. For example, four of the students at this school, are new freshmen and we all play basketball. From the first day at Miami Valley the parents have been trying to kick us out. They have been complaining to Mr. Benedict that we are ruining their academic reputation and that we don’t belong at this school just because our grades are lower than A’s and B’s. When I came to MVS, everyone told me that the community loves everyone and that we all stick together. That’s not true because these parents are far from welcoming. They don’t care about me or any of my basketball friends. If I had A’s like my teammate and friend Austin Piatt they would like me, but no just because i have C’s they want me out of the school. The Miami Valley School is a great school, and I would not have come here if I did not think it was a great school. The fact is that the administration needs to do a little bit more to help the new students who come to this school and make them feel more comfortable. They will then be able to be more successful. The parents need to worry about their own kids more than they do trying to get me in trouble. I really do like this school and want to stay here for my high school career, but I won't be able to do that unless I have your help.
62: Pocketknives and Passports: A Trip to Israel By: Marla Guggenheimer I’ve been on a lot of trips to many different places. I’ve been to Disney World and the Smokey Mountains. I’ve been down to South Carolina a few times, I’ve seen the St. Louis Arch, and I’ve even been to Canada and have seen the Niagara Falls, but I’ve never actually been off the North American continent except for one time. Instead of going to the usual-Washington, D.C. - for my eighth grade class trip, we went to Israel. It was, quite honestly, the absolute trip of a lifetime. After the plane had touched down and we stepped onto land again, I knew that the 13- hour flight had been worth it. Unfortunately, I was stopped at every checkpoint for having a pocketknife in my bag. I assure you, I did not have a pocketknife with me, just a nail file. Other than that the arrival was mostly uneventful. It amazed me, the diversity of such a small place. You can walk down one street filled with young people shopping and hanging out, and then literally, all you have to do is turn a corner and you are in an ancient and religious neighborhood. You get a real feel for the people of Israel by going shopping. There are giant malls and, in Jerusalem, Ben Yehuda Street is
63: on a Saturday night, but if you are in the mood to do some major bargaining and treasure hunting, you need to go to a shuk, or outdoor marketplace. When I was in Israel we went to two shuks, one in Tel-Aviv and one in Jerusalem. The one in Jerusalem is called Machane Yehuda, and it was one of my favorite places in all of Israel. When you first walk in, it doesn’t look like much, but as I explored it, I found it to be immense; you could easily have gotten lost there, and it wouldn’t have been so bad if I had. People were selling all manner of food. You can find citrus vendors, people selling all assortments of nuts and spices, vegetable vendors, the occasional meat seller and bakers selling all kinds of pastries, cakes and cookies. As you walk through, vendors call out to you to come and buy their goods. Israelis know what they want, so you have to be able to haggle with the vendors for a good price. More than once I was cheated out of my money, and the one time I did try to bargain the guy told me I was stupid, but it was so invigorating, being in the middle of all that hustle and bustle, getting to see the culture of Israel firsthand and being a part of it.We were in Israel during Israeli Remembrance Day and Israeli Independence Day. Since everyone living in Israel has to serve in the army, or other national security branch, Israeli Remembrance Day is a big deal. On the eve of Israeli Remembrance Day, or Yom HaZikaron, and on the actual day itself, people observe a countrywide moment of silence. Across all of Israel, at one simultaneous moment, a siren blares.
64: For those two minutes everyone, no matter what he or she is doing, rises and pays respect to the fallen soldiers. Even people who are driving stop and get out of their cars to stand in silence. It is a solemn time where everyone is connected to each other by the blaring of the siren. The difference in attitude and atmosphere is literally like day and night when it comes to Israeli Remembrance Day and Israeli Independence Day. As soon as the sun goes down on Yom HaZikaron, everyone begins to party and celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut, also known as Israeli Independence Day. Families get together for barbecues and there are concerts and parades. It’s good that a sad time is directly followed by something happy. It gives people a time to cry and mourn, but then, it also reminds people that we have lives to live and our loved ones would want us to live those lives, not mourn all the time. It is also a time to show the soldiers in the army how much we appreciate them by giving them a day to party and have fun. In Israel soldiers are everywhere. I thought I was going to feel afraid of buses blowing up or people blowing themselves up, but I never, not even once, felt like that. Maybe I never felt scared because the soldiers were always around. Maybe I wasn’t scared because there was just no reason to be. It’s possible that we might have gotten killed, but the thought never crossed my mind. Even when a weird guy came up to us and started telling us about tomatoes and airplanes and
65: and marriage, I wasn’t nervous or anything; I really just wanted to start laughing. A tremendously awe inspiring moment for me was when we went to the Kotel, the Western Wall, in Jerusalem. I’ve learned about the Western Wall since I was in Kindergarten, and when I finally got to see it, I understood why. It is such an important and special part of Jewish history and culture. The Western Wall is the last standing piece of what used to be the Beit HaMikdash, or Holy Temple. Actually, the Western Wall makes up only a fraction of the outermost wall of the Holy Temple. Honestly, I thought it was going to be bigger, but I wasn’t disappointed. I mean, it has been around for thousands of years, so I shouldn’t be one to complain. There are cracks, big and small, all along the Wall and people write notes consisting of prayers, blessings, or anything they want. Then they stuff the note into a crack. Putting a note in the Wall was an awesome feeling.I really felt as if I was connecting to G-d for just a spilt second. As I stuck my note in, trying to push my way through the crowd of women that was standing in front of the Wall, I could see other notes that people had written. They were in all different languages. I realized that people come from all around the world just so they can have that split second with G-d.
66: Now what’s a trip to Israel without going to the Dead Sea? As everyone knows, the Dead Sea is the lowest point in the world and it earns its name because nothing can live in the high concentration of salt the sea contains. When you hear about floating in the Dead Sea, you might think, “Yeah right. You can’t really float that well.” I was skeptical too, but I’m here to tell you that you absolutely, 100%, float. You float because all of the salt makes the water very oily and since oil floats, people in the Dead Sea float, too. You walk into the sea and when the water is up to your knees, it becomes harder and harder to put your feet on the bottom. Once you’re up to your waist, you can’t touch the bottom at all. Being completely weightless in water is so cool. A word of caution: if you ever go to the Dead Sea be sure not to pass gas in it. If you do, our tour guide told us that all the salt in the water burns the skin in a certain part of your anatomy, and the pain is extremely unbearable. I heard a lot of other disgusting stories, but they are too graphic to write about. One of the most memorable things that I did in Israel, something I will remember for my entire life, was visiting an Ethiopian absorption center. An absorption center is a small neighborhood where new immigrants to Israel live for about six months to a year, to learn the language and culture of Israel. When I think about the immigrants I met, the words that come to my mind are brave and patient. It takes a great amount of bravery to pack up your family and move from your
67: home to a completely different world, where they speak a foreign language and have an entirely new culture that you have to learn. And it takes patience to learn the new culture. Learning a new language is hard, but it’s doable. Learning a new lifestyle is something totally different. Some of the immigrants had to be taught how to use a toilet; they thought it was used for washing clothes, because they had never seen one before. I have the utmost respect for all of the people that live at the absorption center, and I think they are amazing. While at the absorption center, we got to go into a Kindergarten classroom. When we stepped through the door, about 30 five-and-six-year-old children were standing in a circle singing a song in Hebrew. All of them had big dark brown, almost black, eyes and there was more than one kid with a stream of snot running down his face. They looked quizzically at us and jibber jabbered amongst themselves trying to figure out who these strangers were. We brought coloring books and crayons for them, and after we gave those to the teachers, we went outside to have recess with the children. I thought they would be shy and stay away from us, but I was dead wrong. They yanked me and the other three kids in my group all over the place. I happily participated in passing ball, throwing sand, playing tag, and taking pictures. They loved seeing themselves in pictures. Whenever anyone took a picture, all of them would crowd around the camera and point and say, “Ani! [Me!]” I was also amazed at
68: how perfectly they spoke Hebrew. Hearing those kids who were fluently speaking a foreign language that I have been studying all my life was very humbling. It made me think, “Wow! I’m not as smart as I thought.” I did manage however to have some good conversations which mainly included the words “ball,” “hug,” and “smile.” I did many other exciting things in Israel, like climbing mountains, seeing camels up close (not in a zoo), and eating Israel’s national food (it’s not really, but it should be) falafel. I love falafel. I ate it whenever possible and it is the most amazing food I’ve ever eaten. Falafel is a fried ball of crushed, spiced chickpeas. That definition makes falafel sound strange and disgusting, but I assure you that is not so. The closest thing to falafel we have in the United States, I suppose, would be hush puppies. Think of hush puppies in a pita bread pocket. I’m not sure about hush puppies, but falafel in pita is delicious. I advise anyone going to Israel to get falafel in a pita with hummus and melafaphone (cucumbers), you will not regret trying it. The trip went by way too fast, but when it was time to go, we packed up all our stuff and headed to the Ben-Gurion Airport. Just like entering Israel was not without incident, leaving was not without incident either. When we finally got to the point where the security people check your bags and passports, they took each of us (we had five in our group) aside separately and asked us questions. They asked us questions like: What religion are you? Where do you go to services? That
69: information has no relative value if they were trying to make sure we weren’t terrorists. After the interrogation, they looked at our passports, I suppose to verify our information, and then we were free to go. After they let us go, Riley Jacobs and I discovered that our passports had been switched. When she was being interrogated, they had my passport and when I was being interrogated, they had hers. I thought it was very funny, considering I said my name was Marla Guggenheimer and my passport said my name was Riley Jacobs. Oh well, good thing I’m not a terrorist! Another strange thing happened while we were getting our bags checked. We were standing around waiting when all of a sudden all of these policemen came running out of the doorway to the terminal. They turned right and continued running. At the same moment without warning, people began shouting and rushing toward the doors. Airline workers were telling people to evacuate. It was sheer confusion. I started walking toward the doors. Then, as suddenly as it had started, the rush to the door stopped and people started walking back to where they were. I was so confused. It turned out, I guess, that there had been a bomb scare. Someone had left a bag unattended and everyone got freaked out about a possible bomb. Well after all that excitement was over and we finally got through security, we got onto the plane and headed back home. I was in Israel for one week. During that one short week, I did things that I never dreamed I would do.
70: I went to a whole other continent, fought with someone about the price of a keychain, learned what not to do in the Dead Sea, ate tons of airplane peanuts, learned how the elephant and the hyrax are related, watched SpongeBob in Hebrew, touched thousands of years of history, and even made some history myself.
71: ((Left) Israeli Soldiers), (Below) The Western Wall (The Kotel), Right) Floating in th Dead Sea
72: My First Concert: Beer Bellies, Mosh Pits, and Parental Advisories By: Penny Gilliotte April 26, 2008: That was the day my life changed forever. It was the night I went to my first real rock concert, the Alternative Press Tour at Newport Music Hall in Columbus. The college town air outside the venue was filled with the nauseating scent of alcohol mixed with cigarettes. What came with this, was the anticipation of the kids waiting to get inside. Emmy Doore and I were waiting impatiently. She only has the patience of a four year old, which made the wait even longer. No matter what, there was something for her to complain about. “I’m hot,” was probably the most common followed by, “I’m bored.” The sun was beating down on us through the giant oak trees that lined the streets. Emmy and I both had begun regretting our decision to wear jeans instead of shorts. But these were just the little things in the big night that was about to happen. The adrenaline rush I was having overtook me when Emmy pointed toward the street and screamed. Jack Barakat and Rian Dawson of All Time Low were walking down the street. In that first split second of laying my eyes on the pair, I knew this would be a night I would never forget. The hour long wait outside the venue lead Emmy and I to play dumb yet amusing games such as Count the Head Shops and Count the People Wearing All Time Low Shirts. When the line finally started to move slowly, I became more nervous than I had been all night. As we made our way around the corner, I saw the sign in front of Newport that read:
73: ROCK STAR ENERGY DRINK PRESENTS: THE AP TOUR This sign made it a reality that I was about to see my favorite band in the world. Once inside the doors, the long line had become an unbearably large crowd in a tiny venue. As we made our way over to the merchandise table where we were going to buy All Time Low shirts, we came upon Delicious, the amazingly cool merch guy for All Time Low. He was very intimidating, causing me to be a little frightened. When you meet a guy named Delicious, you know that he isn’t someone you want to mess with. Emmy and I then made our way around the venue, trying to find a place to watch the bands. Eventually we settled on a ledge on the wall towards the back of the venue. We stayed there until the first band, Forever the Sickest Kids, finished their set. Although I didn’t know much about them at the time, they eventually would become one of my favorite bands. Emmy and I mutually decided that we could find somewhere closer to the stage, even though we did like our spot on the wall. Next, we made our way through the dirty mosh pit filled with sweaty, drunk kids dancing around to music that was playing over the sound system. We then found a railing where we could sit down and still see the stage perfectly. Ever since, this has been our usual spot when we go back to Newport Music Hall. In the next 30 minutes of my life, I heard what was probably one of the worst things my ears had ever heard, even to this day. I knew it would be bad as soon as he walked on stage, but out of fear of losing our spots, Emmy and I bravely stayed where we were. The image of the man named Sonny will be engraved in
74: my mind forever. Dressed in black skinny jeans that were about three or four sizes too small and a black wife beater. His clothing really showed off his beer belly and love handles. To top it all off, his greasy, dyed black hair, ran at least halfway down his back. As if his appearance wasn’t bad enough, his voice at times reached pitches only dogs could hear. He nearly got booed off the stage twice and eventually Emmy sat down and listened to her iPod. I was thanking the music gods when he finally left the stage. The Matches, who were the next band, were not the best band ever, but much better than Sonny. The next band, or should I say guy, was pretty extraordinary. The Rocket Summer’s upbeat tempos and amazing lyrics really made my night better after having to endure Sonny’s earsplitting racket. Although backed by a band, Bryce Avery, the lead singer/only true member of the band, played every instrument. After screaming and cheering for The Rocket Summer, it was time for the most important band of all. As we waited and waited for the setup to end, the anticipation in the room had come down to a loud cheering of “ALL TIME LOW! ALL TIME LOW!” over and over again. This went on for several minutes. Finally, all of the lights went out, and a voice came over the loud speaker that gave a parental warning of the various curse words we were bound to hear during the show. Next, a low lighting set on the stage and a drumbeat coming from Rian Dawson started. Although, he might not be the most well known in the band, his drumming skills are amazing. The tall, lanky guitarist, Jack Barakat ran on stage, followed by lead singer, Alex Gaskarth and his amazing hair then bassist, as Emmy would say, the god that is Zack Merrick. Emmy
75: decided, after this concert, that Zack Merick was too attractive of a person to be considered human, therefor, naming him a god: “And like a bad movie/ I’ll drop a line/ Fall in the grave I’ve been digging myself/ But there’s room for two/ Six feet under the stars.” The opening song, Six Feet Under the Stars, lead to a list of unbelievable songs that I will know every word of for a very long time. It was a good feeling to know that All Time Low was a band that could actually perform live. They sounded at least as good, if not, better than they did on a recorded track. During those 40 minutes, I forgot about the past and the future, and just listened to great music being played. The rush of watching your favorite band is amazing. Knowing every word to every song they sang made it even better; “I got your picture/ I’m coming with you/ Dear Maria, count me in/ There’s a story at the bottom of this bottle.” As the last song, Dear Maria, Count Me In, came to an end, reality set in that it was actually over. After slowly making our way outside the venue, we started back to our car. A few blocks down, we saw what we thought to be the remains of a college party. I jokingly stated that it was probably All Time Low. As we got closer, I realized what I had said before was correct. Rian Dawson and Alex Gaskarth were standing there. After slowly approaching Alex, I asked him to sign my phone. He smiled at me and made a comment that made me laugh, then gladly signed it. Next, Emmy and I asked for a picture. Once again, he gladly obliged. Closer to the bus was Rian. I got my ticket signed. I still have mine, but, to Emmy’s dismay, her ticket went through the wash. When I met Alex and Rian, it was an indescribable moment. Imagine meeting someone that you admire. That’s how it felt. Especially
76: since I want to work in music. Then, it was sadly time to go. Later, we found out that if we had stayed for about five more minutes, we would have met Zack Merrick and Jack Barakat as well. In the car, the only thing we could talk about was our amazing night at the concert. Our voices were hoarse, and my hearing had been messed up due to the loudness of the concert. But it all just added to the excitement of the night. Being pretty much starved, seeing how we hadn’t eaten in a long time, we somehow came upon the decision of going to McDonald’s. Although not the best meal I’d ever had, it was still the perfect end to a perfect night. This concert really did change my life. Not only was it the first time I had seen All Time Low in concert, it was also the night I decided I wanted to work in music after college. Since that night, music has pretty much been my life. It’s a very rare sight for you to see me without my iPod, and wherever I go and whatever I'm doing, I’m always thinking about music. One event or one night can change your life, and it certainly did for me.
78: A Magical Disaster By: Spencer Meador Disneyworld is the most magical place in the world. It’s every little kid’s dream to go to Disneyworld. How exciting to be able to meet all the Disney characters: Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy. All the little girls who wish they were a princess get to go to Cinderella’s castle. Not to mention getting to go on all of the famous rides such as It’s a Small World After All and watching all the dolls dance or maybe riding on some Flying Elephants. It truly is the most magical place, or so I thought. In my family when someone turns five they get to go to Disneyworld. My older sister got to go when she was five, so, sure enough, when my fifth birthday came rolling around it was time for me to pack and head down south. I had heard a little about Disney from my sister and I was expecting it to be wonderful. I just pictured in my mind, that all the colors there were ten times brighter and everyone always smiled. In my mind, it seemed like a heaven on earth, an absolutely perfect place; nothing could possibly go wrong there. My birthday is May 22 so it was pretty hot in Florida and we had to pack my clothes that were for warm weather. My whole family, including my grandparents, had a birthday dinner the night before we left for Disney. We ordered pizza like always, got a birthday cake, sang happy birthday to me, and everyone gave me presents. That night I could not sleep because I was so excited for
79: Disneyworld. When I finally did fall asleep I had dreams of all the Disney characters and how magical Disneyworld was going to be. On the airplane I slept the whole way there because of the lack of sleep the night before and I don’t really like airplanes. I get anxious, so sleeping is a nice way of forgetting that I was on one. When we got off the airplane we got on the shuttle to take us to our hotel. The first day we didn’t do anything because we were getting everything ready and situated for the next day when our adventure would begin. I remember our hotel being huge and I just gazed all over in awe. It was the coolest hotel I had ever seen. My parents just looked at me and laughed because of the bewilderment on my face. The next day I woke up before my parents and jumped on their bed. “It’s time to go!” I shouted, as I tried to grab and pull my mom out of bed. I was acting like it was Christmas time and I wanted to go open presents. My parents finally rolled out of bed and got ready. We went downstairs to eat breakfast, and as I was eating my pancakes and eggs, I looked up to find Alice from Alice in Wonderland smiling at me. Because I am shy, I smiled but didn’t run up to hug her. She sat down and I got out my paper and my pen and she signed it for me and walked to the next table. Then other characters came and I got their signatures, and I thought I was the luckiest little girl on the planet. I was all smiles except I couldn’t help but notice that I didn’t feel that well. I told my mom I felt sick and she checked my head and said I had a fever. I didn’t care because all I wanted to do was go to the park.
80: I had a lot of fun in the park. I went to Cinderella’s Castle, met Cinderella, got her signature and I walked around and saw other characters that I also got signatures from. The book that my parents had got me to have the characters sign was almost full, and I was very proud of myself. I also got to go on rides like the flying elephant ride and the It’s a Small World ride. (The song was stuck in my head the rest of the day.) I was filled with happiness at the end of the day while we were watching the fireworks. I felt that nothing could possibly go wrong to ruin this wonderful week. Apparently I was wrong. That night when we got back to the hotel I felt overjoyed except I noticed that my legs were itching really badly. I looked down and I saw that there were about a dozen red bumps on each leg. I couldn’t help but itch. I asked my mom what they were. She called my grandma, and my grandma said that I had chicken pox. Every hour I would have new ones on some other place on my body. Finally I was itching everywhere. I even had some all over my face. My parents decided that we needed to go home. I was devastated and cried all night; I barely got any sleep because of grief, and I couldn’t stop itching. We got tickets for a flight the next day and drove to the airport. My responsible parents decided to let me infect the whole plane and tried to sneak me on. My dad ran down the airport hallways to the nearest store to buy me a hoodie and some sweatpants that said Florida on them. They made me keep the hood up, and we walked to our terminal. Everyone in that airport gave my parents the weirdest look because they saw a five year old wearing sneakers, long socks, sweatpants and a sweatshirt, and
81: it was about 103 degrees in Florida that day. We got onto the plane and a lady asked my dad, “Does she have the chicken pox?” My dad answered, “No, of course not.” My parents squeezed me in the very back and at the window seat, hidden from everyone else. I felt so sick I didn’t know what to do with myself. I would try to itch my ankle and my mom would yell at me, “No Spencie, don’t do that, you are only going to make it worse, and you will have scars.” Unfortunately, I didn’t listen and to this day I still have scars on my leg from that awful week of chicken pox. When I got home I went straight to my room and was ordered not to talk to my sisters or get anywhere close to them for fear that they might catch it too. I’m not sure how, perhaps they snuck in to talk to me or we just touched the same thing, but of course three weeks later my younger sister went to my mom and asked her why she was so itchy. After Chandler had caught them, they were almost gone for me. After Chandler got them so did my older sister, Paiten. I still feel angry that I didn’t get to spend my birthday in Disneyworld as planned, instead, I was in bed. Both of my sisters still laugh about it because they got to have their whole time there. I am determined that one day I will make my parents take me to Disneyworld again so I may be able to redeem my time spent at the most magical place in the world.
84: How to Become a Superhero- Or at Least How to Make Everyone Think You Are By: Liana Saleh This world is in desperate need of superheroes. They are necessary to the well-being of the planet. If you decide you would like to become a superhero, it requires effort, but it is not too difficult. The only materials needed are a cape, plenty of spandex, and a sense of humor. The steps are simple: decide what type of superhero you would like to become, create a catchy name, come up with a killer slogan, and then execute your talents frequently. Do not become a cliché superhero, this will discredit you. You must pick a talent that relates to you. If you are not exactly Speedy Gonzalez, then do not have super speed, and if you cannot lift your own backpack, do not have super strength. After you complete these steps, welcome to the world of superheroes! The first step to becoming a superhero is to decide what type of superhero you would like to become. Deciding this is really quite simple once you know what to look for. These powers do not necessarily have to save lives, but they have to have an effect on someone else. They should also be a greatly exaggerated version of something your good at. For example, if someone is a great singer, their power could be singing something into reality. Even if you don’t have a talent, take a hobby or even something you like and morph it into something super.
85: If you have an obsession with Converse, then you can have the power of sprouting propellers from the backs of your shoes to enable you to fly or glide easily over water. This type of creativity and originality is crucial to your credibility. If you have the ability of flying or lifting a car or reading thoughts with no actual talent to back it up, your superhero abilities will be challenged to no end. The next step after coming up with your power is to come up with a name and a slogan. This is a chance to be something you are not, so be super creative in this area. Your name should have something to do with your power. It can be your name with a cool rhyming word attached to it, or even a name you’ve always loved but did not have the privilege of being called. It could also be a made up name with nothing to do with you given name at all. Again, clichés here are not in you best interest. A good name for a superhero, for example the previously mentioned Converse-lover, could be Airborne All-star. A bad name, however, would be Flash, or Laser Beam, as these are generic and Laser Beam has nothing to do with the power whatsoever. Slogans are very important for a superhero. When arriving upon a scene where the superhero is needed, the slogan should be yelled out and appreciated by all the bystanders listening, not laughed at or met by an awkward silence. (And no, slogans like “Have no fear! Superman is here!” are not acceptable.) Although this is no doubt an excellent slogan, it is greatly overused, not to mention it already belongs to someone else.
86: These slogans should have a comforting effect on the people you are helping and a panic effect on the people you are trying to stop. Every superhero should have a trademark outfit. While spandex is the most often thought of material for these uniforms, it is, in fact, usually quite disturbing. Any material is acceptable, but the outfit should be flashy and show off you power. Capes are optional, but helpful in distinguishing you as a superhero. Also displayed on this outfit should be an insignia of some sort. A perfect outfit for our Airborne All-Star would be bright red Converse All-Star High-tops, skinny jeans to show off the flashy shoes, a red matching t-shirt with the symbol plastered to the front, and a large billowy cape with the symbol also on the back of it. This trademark symbol could look something like a star with wings to either side of it. It goes without saying that this outfit should be with you at all times, because you never know when the need for you will come, and a superhero is not super without their trademark super suit. Super suits bring up another other pressing topic: the extraordinary buff-ness of most of the famous superheroes. Muscles ripple under their brightly colored spandex like waves in a stormy sea, and are great at lowering aspiring superheroes’ self esteem. You by no means have to look muscular enough to lift a house. You can be tall, short, big, or small, it does not matter in the slightest. Just like a wimpy white guy putting on enormous clothes and pants hanging down to his knees does not make him a gangster, a super fit guy putting
87: on spandex and a cape does not make him a superhero although he certainly could be, provided he followed the proper steps. Another aspect of being a superhero that is unpleasant to think about, but is absolutely essential, is having to have a weakness. Every great superhero has a weakness. Superman had Kryptonite, and more abstractly, Batman’s weakness was the unknown. To come up with a weakness, you have two options. Option one is that your weakness can be something you personally dislike or do not cope well with. Option two is that it could be something directly damaging to you actual powers. For example, if Airborne All-Star was afraid of something as simple as fruit seeds, their weakness could be eating fruit with the seeds still in them. If they went with option two, their weakness could be having their shoes taken off or having their laces tied together. By this point, you are already an established superhero at least by name and look, and are ready to consider the serious subject of a villain or a sidekick. These two are optional, but they enhance your reality and can bring enjoyment to being a superhero. Villains are sometimes helpful in expressing hatred towards a certain person, and sidekicks will allow you to include a friend. A villain should, contrary to popular belief, have a story that justifies their will to be evil. They should have a unique ability to defeat you and bring you down. If you would like to have a sidekick, they must be willing and totally loyal to your cause
88: and should have a power that is complementary but slightly inferior to yours. Airborne All-Star could have a sidekick names Shoelace of Terror, and he/she could have the power of tripping people by shooting out laces to trip them or tie them up. This sort of collaboration is necessary to the companionship you have with your sidekick. Also important to any superhero, and kind of the finishing touch to your transformation, is a secret headquarters, or HQ. This can be anything from a bathroom no one uses to an empty classroom during your lunch, but this place should be totally secret, and is your prime place for all of your super power planning. The most important rule of having a secret headquarters is to never ever get caught in it. Picture, if you will, an HQ in the bathroom. A person walks in to, well, go to the bathroom, and they see Airborne All-Star, cape whooshing in the air-conditioning, retying the shoelaces of his bright red, wing adorned Converse. Not a pretty sight. This will most likely be the end of this superhero’s glory days. The final step to being a superhero is executing your powers. In everyday life, there are many times in which your powers can be used. Depending on which power you choose, there are appropriate times to use them. For example, if someone had just failed a paper, Airborne All-Star cannot burst in and say “I can save you with my ability to glide over water!” This is completely irrelevant and will not help anyone. An appropriate instance would be if someone had dropped their paper into a lake. Then
89: Airborne All-Star could burst upon the scene and save the day by gliding over the water and plucking it out just in time. Becoming a superhero is a way to become someone other than who you are, and a way to make other people’s lives better as you improve your own. Although your new identity may confuse some people, there are many advantages to being a superhero that will only become evident as you are one. As soon as you complete your transformation and look at yourself in the mirror, your superness will astound you. There is no better way to change yourself then to change yourself for the better.
90: Rock-A-Bye.........Teenager? By: Bill Dyer It's just another day in the life of a typical average teenager. The alarm goes off, you stumble out of bed still half-asleep. Your mom says, "How'd you sleep?" and you can barely say "fine" since you're so tired. School flies by in a blur since you fell asleep in Spanish and World Civ. bores even the happiest people to tears. At soccer practice you get yelled at for falling asleep while doing some drill and once you get home your homework never gets done because you're tired from doing everything else that day. Now imagine this. You wake up in the morning half an hour before your alarm, you pay attention in class all day and after you dominate in soccer practice, you finish your homework in time to catch the newest episode of "Family Guy". Which one would you pick? According to kidshealth.org, teens need about 8.5 to more than nine hours of sleep each night. But most of the time, teens on average only get six or seven hours of sleep per night due to school, sports, and early start times in school. Lack of sleep leads to not paying attention in class, falling asleep in class, and poor grades. It also leads to inability to perform well athletically. Not only that, but The National Highway Safety Traffic Administration says that 100,000 accidents, 40,000 injuries, and 1,500 people are killed in the USA every year in car crashes due to one or both of the drivers being tired. Also, people under the age of 19 are far more likely to be involved in crashes due
91: to being drowsy. On the flip side, getting enough sleep leads to a stronger immune system, being awake and alert, willingness to participate in school activities, and short 20-30 minute naps can also increase productivity, make us generally less stressed, and even improve memory and information retention in school. Besides the obvious school-related benefits, naps improve your health too. Several years ago, medical researchers conducting a six-year long study in Greece concluded that napping in the afternoon is good for the heart. Their study revealed that those who had a 30 minute afternoon nap at least three times a week were 34 percent less likely to die of heart disease. If you are a working man, the news is even better, with a 65 percent reduced risk of death. In fact, cultures where naps are more common have significantly lower rates of death from coronary disease. Although this information is good to know, you may be thinking that it hasn't been applied to MVS very well. After interviewing a couple of our classmates, it was pretty clear that they wanted to have nap time too. While being asked what some benefits of having a nap would be, Emmy Doore responded with, "We will be more rested to take tests" and James Ullett says, "I would love to have nap time. I don't get enough sleep because I have to stay up and do homework."Not only would it be a great time for students to get sleep, but this would allow for teachers to get caught up on tests they have yet to grade or even get some shut-eye themselves. Because we all know when teachers are cranky, nobody is happy. However, not all teachers and a couple students were in favor of the nap time idea and some questions arose. First of all, how long would nap time be? In a typical school day at MVS, the day starts at 8:20 AM and ends at
92: 3:20 PM. This equates to being seven hours, or 420 minutes total. That further breaks down into seven cl at 45 minutes per class, one lab period at thirty minutes, a lunch period 40 minutes long and 35 minutes total between each of the periods. Now, all that has to be done to fit in nap time is to take five minutes out of six classes. That adds up to thirty minutes per day for a nap which studies say is the perfect nap length. When and where would nap time be? The perfect time for naps is around 1PM, so if there was the 30-minute nap time slotted for right after lunch, the nap would be at the perfect time. For the second part of this question, there are a couple answers. One answer is in the Lane Gymnasium. The wide open area is perfect for accommodating the number of people in the upper school (173). The only issue would be noise, since everyone would be in there at the same time. So the second, and recommended, option is in everybody's advisor's room.This is the advised option since we know it's big enough for the number of people since everyone fits in the room during advisory, and it won't be too loud because there are only a few people in there at a time. And lastly, what would everybody sleep on? How would we purchase what we sleep on? The answer is easy. Cots. This may seem like its fit for five-year-olds, but it's both practical and economical. Currently the price of your standard cot at Wal-Mart is twenty dollars. If that seems a bit expensive, all that has to be done to fix that is to put it in the cost of tuition. Think about it this way, tuition at MVS in the upper school is currently $17,400, so $20 added to that would make total tuition $17,420. That extra $20 is only .00116 percent of the total cost. I don't think parents would be too upset about paying that extra $20.
93: Sleep is an important part of everybody's life and well-being. It affects your health, your mood, and how effective you are at learning new things. So even if you only get a couple hours of sleep per night due to homework or sports or anything else, nap time is the way to fix your sleep deprivation problems.
94: Ena was born a few centuries ago. When she was just a baby, she was stolen by a mad, foolish scientist who decided to wrapped her body in Saran wrap to try and preserve it. The scientist kept her for a few decades or so but he eventually got bored and threw Ena's body into the sea. Ena's body had traveled all around the world, until a fisherman found it on February 1st, 1995. The fisherman, who was able to unpreserve her body, was secretly a magician with highly awesome powers. He then decided to adopt her and took care of her. When Ena was old enough, the fisherman told her her life history. Ena then vowed to take revenge on the man who did this to her and she wouldn’t rest until she found him, chop him into bazillion pieces, feed the pieces to her pet alligators, and then scatter the remains on the river of Styx! | When one first sets eyes on Michael Anthony Canada, the first thing that comes to mind is, “Man, he’s good-looking.” This is because of the very fact that he can trace his genealogy all the way back to the ancient Greek Gods, who were said to be beautiful beyond measure. Michael was born in the year 1914 in Manhattan, New York. At the age of fourteen, he discovered the secret to immortality thus explaining his looks. He suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder due to the fact that he’s had to complete high school fifteen times. He currently doesn’t reside in any specific place because he constantly travels to keep his immortality a secret. He’ll probably come for my blood for exposing his secret though. | Jack Fuchsman is the kind of guy who just doesn't care about what people say. He loves to have a good time and loves messing with people. He loves to play sports such as basketball. Basketball is the number one sport, no matter what anyone says. He loves school more than anything. School is his life. He gets straight A's and never fails. He is the apotheosis for kids who do well in school. His favorite writer is Rachel Moulton, and she inspires him to do well. He goes to the Miami Valley School and is the best student in the school. A national scholar to be exact. His life motto is “I love it when you call me Big Poppa; put your hands in the air if you're a true playa.” | Penny Gilliotte was born in Dinosaur, Colorado (it’s a real city, look it up) as a talented bass player and essay writer. She helped found the incredibly popular band All TIme High with three other musicians. She sings backup vocals in some of the songs and plays the bass. The band recently went on a summer tour, where the tour bus unfortunately caught on fire, stranding her and her fellow bandmates in Dayton, Ohio. She still lives there in an apartment with her 30 pet snakes (they’re an obsession of hers.) She dreams to one day open a reptile house named Penny’s Slithery Friends: Hissssss. She also hopes to feature on the front cover of the Alternative Press magazine with her fellow bandmates. She is now working on her new album, called Everything Personal. | Somewhere between where the Sahara desert meets the tropical rainforest is where Marla Guggenheimer lives, roaming free in peace and tranquility. She wanders the open prairie, in search of the meaning of life. Passionate and full of spirit, sadly, she is afflicted with an extremely poor sense of direction which results in perpetual disorientation and lostness. But do not worry! For a bison can never truly be lost in the prairie! Oh! Did I mention? Marla Guggenheimer is a bison. | About the Authors | James Ullett is also the author of such other titles as “Wait, How Did I Get Shot Through the Wall?”, “Johnny, Don't Go Near There”, and “The Moulton Plane: A Comprehensive Collection of Differential Geometry That Sounds Fabricated”. He is a monthly contributor to threads on pointless gamer forums largely related, but not limited to, the topic of “Pyramid Head vs. Red Pyramid Thing”. He spends much of his time watching stand-up comedy routines he has seen over and over again and twiddling his thumbs while waiting for various things to load/render/microwave. He also admits to pouring hours into a Modern Warfare kill/death ratio that will never budge from its medium skill rut. He enjoys traveling to the moon on the ridiculous notion that is the space elevator and take a moment to reflect. He was born and spent most of is life in Miamisburg, Ohio, but now works out of the Age Tomahna, where he can write in peace and quiet (or, well, try to).
95: If Cameron Michael Jordan manages to keep himself out of an asylum, he has HUGE plans. For one, he would like to continue his basketball career, hence his name. After all, Michael Jordan is his seventh cousin six times removed. He wants to further his career in writing, oh, and he has a knack for music, too. (If you are doubtful of this, then just check the top ten songs on iTunes, then come and talk to me). He unfortunately has two very serious addictions: Facebook and complaining—a lot! While not contemplating why Marvin K. Mooney will not go right now and where Waldo really is, he also enjoys tennis, reading, and writing stories about really bratty children. If there is ever a cure for arguing, Jordan will find it, for after all, who knows how to cure something better than the source of what is being spread. P.S.- When his stories become best sellers, he will not “fork over the cash.” | At the age of 7, Bill Dyer discovered the cure to cancer. On one of his trips to Pluto, he found the last digit of pi and counted to infinity. Twice. And only a couple years ago, he learned how to make change for a penny. Bill Dyer is secretly Chuck Norris. | Alex Lachey, 15, is currently a dino-hunter and rainbow rider in Kettering, Ohio. He is an avid painter and is also a professional writer whose specialty is ransom notes for small children. Recently he completed a compilation of his best works called To Kill a Violet. If you are interested in his services he requested that we entered his business phone. You can contact him at 296-1189. | Liana Saleh was born in the scalding deserts surrounding Cairo, Egypt. She pioneered the sport of pyramid climbing when she was eight, and became so rich and famous that she declared herself the princess of the world. She then hired her slaves, who were trained to read and write in hieroglyphics and english, to do everything Liana demanded. Eventually, Liana became tired of camels and mummies, so she demanded that she be moved to the United States where she now resides and goes to school in Dayton, Ohio. Recently, Liana has taken up the occupation of baby eating. Her goal in life is to eat Ms. Moulten’s baby, Violet, as she finds this the ultimate challenge. | When Ari Vandersluis was born, his parents were petrified. It might have been his receded hairline, maybe his wrinkles, or it just might have been the fact that he was born an 85 year-old. He grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana. As time went by, he started to become younger. He met his wife when he was 75 years old and she was 10 years old. As he got younger, his wife got older; they met in the middle. When he became too young, he left his wife, came to Dayton, Ohio, and enrolled himself in the Miami Valley School. | Spencer Meador was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming on February 15, 1802. She was the fourth Power Puff girl, Bunny, but was kicked out before the show was created. She now works on a Unicorn farm, breeding unicorns. In her free time she enjoys breaking into people’s houses and moving their furniture around. | Macy Merle lived on Pluto, until recently the inhabitants got pissed that the government declared their home not a planet, and they kicked her out. Now she is residing in the Western area of Zimbabwe, where she houses stray Zebras, Crocodiles and Lemurs. She collects a variety of random objects, and then takes photographs of them. She has absolutely no love life, due to her awkward posture and inappropriate commentary. Her fears consist of getting sexually harassed by a Necrophiliac and contracting Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis. She would greatly enjoy if you came to visit her sometime soon.