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The Rambler Spring 2010 - Jamesv


Life is a question
           Life is a test
                    Life can be a random mess
                                     Life is a train to take you far
                                                One knows of
                                           Who you are
                                           Now sit n listen for name
                                 For a name to play our game
      But don’t forget to play this game
                              This game can bring any thing

                                  What if

What if every rose had no thorn             now repeat these words
            What if                         and
         Every house                        stand
          Had no                            alone… what if…
          Door                              what
         What if                            if i
          For                               ask
         Every                              you

Person there was no home                    more

                                                     My Hero
                                              By Audrey Heman, Grade 8

        There are many people I could call my hero, like Audrey Hepburn, or any star like that. But my hero is
no one famous. My real hero is my mom. She’s the one who takes care of me, loves me, and does things for
other people.
        My mother is who made me who I am today. She’s always been there for me since the second I was
born. She’s been to all my plays, concerts, and driven me place to place, even when she’s in the middle of
working. She sacrifices things for me, to support me in everyway she can, and she takes care of me and my
many other siblings. She is currently back in college, starting her career that she’s always wanted, and raising
four kids all at the same time. She does so many things each day that I can’t even keep track of. That is one
reason why my mom is my hero.
        Another reason why my mom is my hero is not only what she does for me, but what she does for other
people, too. My mom is an interior designer. One time, she designed a room for a poor mother with a baby. She
was about in her mid 20’s. She didn’t have much, and she lived in a poor housing apartment where people can
go if they don’t have a house. Once everything was done and she saw her new room, it meant everything in the
world to her. She had hope again for herself and her child. My mom lives for that kind of thing. Those are the
things my mother does for people. She cares about me and the world, like all moms should. My mom is a true
        You might as well stick a cape on my mom and call her Wonder Woman. She does so much for her
family, the world, and for herself. To me, she’s the greatest hero in the world known to man. She can do
anything, more than a normal superhero can do, because she is my one and only hero.
                                                   I Believe in Love
                                                  By Anonymous, Grade 8
        I believe in love. Love is the glue that holds this world together. Without love, this world would be nothing. I was
raised to believe that love is God’s greatest creation, because it is the closest thing humans have to magic. But love we
have for our family is different from the love we have for our friends and others. It can hit us from all angles, and
sometimes we don’t even realize it. I believe that although sometimes love can hurt us, it can also help us through the
toughest times. That’s when we realize how important it really is. I hear people say, “I love you” all the time, but it really
frustrates me because they don’t mean it. I think that if someone should say it, then they should mean it.
        Over many years I have heard the same thing from a lot of different people, “Everyone has a purpose for being on
this Earth.” I believe that everyone does have a special purpose, but I also believe that God has put everyone here in order
to show his/her love to others. People say that love from their friends warms their heart. It’s different for me, though, in
many ways. When someone says they love me, my whole body goes numb. My arms and my legs and everything else
goes totally dead. I cannot feel a thing, and for a second I feel total satisfaction, almost as if I have done my job, and so
much weight is lifted off of my shoulders.
        Love can hurt us, and when I see that with some of my closest friends, it not only hurts them, but it hurts me as
well. I really hate to see my friends in pain, so I do all that I am able to do in order to help them feel better. And they
know that I love them as a friend, and they love me too. It’s understandable that people think differently about love for
their relatives and love for friends and others. Love for relatives is a necessity, because if it weren’t, then no one in our
families would ever get along. And when people don’t get along, bad things happen. You only have one life, and you
don’t want to live it without your family. This has happened to me before, so I know how it feels. My aunt happened to
make my whole family mad somehow, and now I never see her, my uncle, or my cousins. Love for friends and others is a
totally different thing, though. We love our friends for who they are, and what they do for us. Sometimes our friends can
go and totally ruin our day, but all we do is stop and think of why they are our friend in the first place, and it’s then when
we can forgive them and become closer. That’s why I try my hardest to treat everyone the best that I can. And although
sometimes it doesn’t work out all that well, they know that I am trying and can forgive anything bad I have done to them.
        Love can strike us from every angle. And a lot of times we don’t realize that we love someone. Sometimes love
needs time to grow. “Love at first sight” is another saying that I hear a lot. And this I believe as well. The only reason why
I do believe this though is because it has happened to me before. I didn’t believe that saying was true before it happened,
but then again, I guess it takes an experience for someone to understand something that they never believed in. Love is the
type of feeling that you cannot just forget about or get rid of. It’s hard to let go, and when you are in love, all you can
think about is that one special person. And when you love your friends as I do, it’s also hard to forget about them. I
always need to talk to them to help me with my problems, or just to make me have a better day. Even when I am in very
bad moods, all I need is to talk to one of my friends, and then my day can suddenly go from terrible to great.
        My family and I believe that love is God’s greatest creation because it is the closest thing humans have to magic.
People say that they are magicians, but the greatest magic of all is love. So in my mind, everyone is a magician. Everyone
has the power to love, and everyone can be loved. It might take a while, but I believe that there is a special someone out
there for everyone. And if hearts break, all I can say is when one door closes, another one is waiting to be opened. It just
takes that extra effort to get over to it and open that next door.
        Past is past, and what the future awaits is unimaginable for ones who believe and try. Doors close on me with
opportunities in sports that I love more than anything else is the world, but all I have to do is believe in myself and
understand that I can do it, and I put effort into it and I push through that next door. And sometimes, you push through so
hard that you can achieve more than you expected, and faster. I became a captain of the combined team of JD and CBA
wrestling team, which I didn’t see coming at all. To me, it’s a greater accomplishment because it’s not only one school,
but also two schools. That’s what happens when hard work and a lot of effort come together as one. Now, it’s safe to say
that I do happen to love the sport I play and that I will soon be having many more opportunities to show it.
        Love is the greatest and strongest feeling, and I believe it more than anything else in the world. And for those who
don’t believe that, I hope someday love will hit you, and you will believe it too. It might, or it will take time to understand
the true meaning of it, but it’s safe to say that I assure that everyone will find his/her true love someday. And you might
think it is one person, but it could be another. And you might have already met them, just not have realized it. It takes a
true love to realize the one they love the first time it happens. Some of us will only have one love, and for others there will
be a series of loves in which some will be greater than others.
        The worst thing of all though is young people who think that they’re in love. Kids will do almost anything to
believe themselves, when the true answer could be the total opposite. And when they find out that they are wrong, they
think that it’s the end of the world, when it’s only the beginning. The main thing that kids argue to themselves about is
love. They say they love someone at a very young age, when they don’t even know what the true meaning of the word is.
And if they have that mentality of saying it, than they will grow up and not even understand what it really means to be in
love. And the worst part of the whole thing is that if they say it, they think they mean it. And if their “lover” were to break
up with them, they would think that it was the end of the world. Love is meant to be spread, so they need to realize what
the true meaning is, and then they need to go out there and find someone else.
                                 My “Dream” Vacation
                                 By Alexandra Scibilia, Grade 5

       I have always wanted to go to Hawaii. Last night, I fell asleep and found myself on a
fabulous Hawaiian vacation! I had plenty of money and nothing to worry about back at home. I
was on my way!
       I hopped aboard a plane and flew first class to Hawaii. It was a direct flight, so I didn’t
have to stop anywhere on the way. I checked into a beautiful hotel with a huge pool. Then I
went to the beach. I had a great time splashing in the waves and playing in the sand. I built a big
sand castle! Then I looked for seashells. I found a shell that had a hermit crab in it! Then I ate a
quick dinner at the hotel’s restaurant and went up to my room for bed.
       I woke up early the next morning, because I was taking surfing lessons. I went to the surf
shop and picked out a board. Then I hit the waves! I had to wait awhile before a good wave
came, but a big wave rolled in after a few minutes of waiting. It took me a long time before I
could surf the right way, but I finally got it! Surfing was a lot of fun!
       The next day, I slept in until 9:00 am in the morning. Then I put on my swimsuit,
flippers, snorkel mask, and snorkel and went outside. When I put my face in the water, I
couldn’t believe my eyes! I saw lots of colorful fish swimming around a large coral reef. I saw a
clownfish peeking out of a hole in the reef and a friendly pod of dolphins swimming around me.
I carefully swam around a puffer fish and a jellyfish. The coral was bright colors. I took lots of
pictures with a waterproof camera. I spotted a sparkly shell that I picked up and brought back to
my room. I had a great time snorkeling!
       On Thursday I woke up and quickly got dressed. Then, I went to a pineapple plantation.
The pineapples were so delicious! I was allowed to pick some pineapples, so I did. Mmmmmm,
they tasted so good! I bought the pineapples that I picked. Then I put some of the pineapples
into boxes that I sent to my family. I saved four pineapples for myself. Picking pineapples was
       On my last day, I quickly woke up and threw on some clothes. I was going to go see a
volcano! When I got there, the volcano was roped off! I asked why people couldn’t get close,
and I found out that the volcano was going to erupt! Suddenly, I heard a big KABOOM! Lava
was spewing out the top! It was red orange and very hot. When the lava cooled, I went to a gift
shop and bought a piece of real volcanic rock from the volcano that I had seen erupt! Seeing a
volcano was an experience that I’ll never forget!
       In the morning when I woke up and saw the rays of the sun beaming through my window,
I thought for a second that I was still in Hawaii. I was disappointed that my dream vacation was
over, but maybe I’ll get to go to Hawaii someday. Aloha!
         The Fruit of Hawaii

           Trees stand beside
    The road filled with grapefruit.
          It grows every two
              Picked trees.
           Sent to be canned.
     After canning it is sent to its
    Final destination for something
         For us to eat or drink.

   Recycled pineapple crowns grow
         Every 8-20 months.
    Next crop another 15 months.
         Workers need thick
         Conveyer belt gets
         The pineapple to its
          Final destination
         Something for us to
            Eat or drink.

              New trees
             More farms
          Full of peaches
         Hand picked. Sent
           To be canned.
         After canning it is
            Sent off to its
        Final destination for
Something sticky for us to eat or drink.

              Ben Vahey
               Grade 7
  There are so many names for what people look at you
                      So what am I?
             There’s pressure to be the same.
                   What if I’m different?
   Why do you make fun of people who don’t look like
               What if I did look like you?
 If everybody looked the same we wouldn’t have names.
              What if we didn’t have names?
               Nothing would be the same.
             And that’s what you want right?
                Everything to be the same?
Labeling is like saying we should all look and talk and be
                          the same.
                  You’re different, right?
                           So stop,
                     without difference
                life wouldn’t be the same.
            I’m confused as to why you bully.
                       Halie Donegan
                          Grade 8
                                                           The Cave
                                     I have a question
                                           I make my descent to ask you
                                                  As I do whenever I have these sorts
                                     of questions
                                                          The stairs creak quietly as I
                                                        slowly creep…
                                     But I stop for a moment resting on the very last
          Forever lost               step and smile.
    In a pool of water, tears
        I sit peacefully,            My toes squirm in the soft blue carpet
      Whispering, waiting
        As time slips by.            I turn and walk in.

         I listen calmly             Caroline Charles
     A victim to their games         Grade 8
        Feeling the pain
       My pockets empty
         Like my heart
                                           So much depends
         Witnesses watch
            I run, simply
    My feet are gone it feels,             upon
          Like my history
        Is this my reward?
      For all that I’ve done?              a corsage of tiny white
For all I’ve shared with the world         roses
                I quit.
                I jump
 Death and myself are reunited
                                           Dressed in ribbons and
        Like old friends
                                           Resting in the clear plastic
          Jessie Picone
             Grade 8

                                           Ms. Butler
                                           Modeled after William Carlos
                                           “Red wheelbarrow”
                                      The Power of What I Believe
                                         By Chidera Joseph, Grade 8

       I believe that the power to change the world or people is love. When you show love to the world and
its belongings, it breaks the hatred. It gives power to all living creatures on Earth to make a different around
them. When you show love to the people on Earth, you give hope to the weak, and you bring the strong ones
down, so that they can make a change around them. Love could make a different.
       I believe the power to success is to work hard. If you work hard and believe in yourself you can reach
your goals. When you are trying to do all this, remember that many people will try to put you down and try
to make you lose your self-confidence. Don’t listen to them. Listen to yourself. Being hard-working means
being full of yourself, having self-esteem, and being yourself. Michael Jackson is the King of POP. He didn’t
just wake up one night and achieve this title; he worked his butt off to be where he was. May his soul rest in
peace. Remember that you could be whatever you want in the world, only if you work hard like Michael
Jackson did.
       I believe in the power books have to change us. Some books might have an ugly cover, but in the
inside it has powerful stuff to tell you. For example, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by
Ishmael Beah is a book that lets people know what it feels like to be a boy soldier at the age of twelve. Also,
living in the U.S., life might be good for you, but people living in different countries are suffering from wars
that affect them directly. And children have to watch their parents die in front of them.
       I believe people should be thankful for what you have and enjoy every moment of it.

                                       Beautiful facial emotions
                                       A smile here
                                             A smile there
                                       Together we are joined by
                                       So small but yet so


                                       Hannah McIntosh
                                       Grade 8

When we showed up, scared little 6th graders
How I thought you were just like her

                                                                       By Hannah Lukow
When they became close
How you were replaced
                                                                       Erin Jorgensen
                                                                       Grade 8
When you sat next to me with a sigh
How you looked sad

When we sat next to each other everyday
How we never talked

When we were in math
How we found out we were kinda alike?
When we started to talk                          I remember,
How we began to be friends?                      When it was just the two of us
                                                 When I was rejected
When we were friends not just because of where   I remember,
your locker was                                  When we saved each other
How we enjoyed our conversations more and        From the treacherous trap of homebase
                                                 I remember,
Remember?                                        When we share our deepest secrets
When we started to trust each other              Knowing fully well
How good it felt to share everything.            The trust we were diving into

                                                 I remember,
Love,                                            When we got into our first fight
Heather                                          And I felt empty
                                                 Til the second you forgave me

                                                 I remember,
                                                 That true love
                                                 Not only comes with
                                                 Knight in shining armor
                                                 But also with
                                                 Best friends
By Hannah Lukow and
Erin Jorgensen                                   Love,
Grade 8                                          Jules
        Forever Told

         A sea of sorrow
           pool of hate.
Pain trickles down my wet cheek.
    Shadows speak the truth.
    Death and I become one.

        My soul departs
         body deserted.
      Greeted by peaceful,
    glowing holders of hope.
          Friends lost
           and alone,
      Sadness overwhelms.

         I am with you.

        Taylor L Riley
           Grade 8
    Oh how I did not know
  the rotten guilt I would feel
    mischevious and daring
       my size at the time

   It was just an experiment
       I tried to explain

      But ended up lying

   I wanted to tell the truth
         I even tried
            I swear

    But what I didn’t know
I would never build the courage
             to even
      this lingering ghost
        that haunts me

        Manisha Manda
          Grade 8
Twin Trees Pizza (Inspired by WCW)

So much depends

A Twin Trees Pizza

With Melted

Next to a crispy, cool

By Molly Sterriker and
Emma Whitcomb
Grade 8
     Time to Shine
     So much depends
         upon the
         vivid red,
       velvet curtain

   As it softly swooshes,
     and swiftly slides
      across the stage

Only to release its performer
   to the awaiting, eager
      patiently waiting
        in the dark,

                                -Manisha Manda
             Inspired by William Carlos Williams.
                                                  I Believe

       I believe that people should get second chances. I believe this because when I mess up, I don’t think that
I should get a second chance; but when I think about what I did, and I realize that what I did was wrong, I
always end up making things right. I know some people that do bad things, and when they slow down and think
about what they did, they realize that what they did was wrong. Those people usually never get a second chance
because they are looked at as a delinquent or a troublemaker. People think that if they give someone a second
chance and let him/her go, the same thing will happen or something worse. But, if others get another chance, you
never know, maybe they will surprise you with something great.
       I believe that money can’t buy everything. I believe this because if you ever watch T.V. people are
always trying to buy true love or buy friends, but in the end, those people never end up happy. The only way to
get real friends, and not friends that like you just because you have money, is to be yourself and not a stuck-up
person. As for true love, it just takes time, patience and being yourself, and maybe, just maybe one day, you will
find that special someone. Like a true friendship, money can’t buy true love.
       I believe that happiness is possible to accomplish if you try hard enough. Some people don’t believe it’s
possible, and others just don’t know. Some people have it easy and have a big, happy family, but sometimes,
people have to work very hard for it. When some people that are good, but just have bad luck are about to give
up in life and just stop caring, a miracle can happen and they might win the lottery, come up with a crazy
invention, or even find a $100 bill on the side of the road-and their luck changes for the better. So if you’re one
of those people, just hang in there. It’s almost your turn for your happiness to come.

       Josh McMahon
       Grade 8
                 I believe in love                The Football Legend
             The faith in my heart
        The hope that I won’t be alone            My name is Kayvon
        The anger that has separated us           And I love to play football.
                   The sadness                    My mind roles football
 Bad times, good times, moments in our life       all day long.
But the belief that you were never there for me
                 I believe in trust               No matter how I feel,
              I believe in honesty                I play until I fall.
               I believe in respect
         Strength, politeness, courage
  And I believe in never seeing you again.        I’m number 10 and
                                                  I’m always in the game
                 Kayla Ladd                       like a fish in water.
                  Grade 8
                                                  I play for JD Middle School
                                                  The ROARING red rams.

                                                  And I’m a beast when I get
                                                  The ball
                                                  I run touchdowns.
              You give me your wings
               So that now I can fly.
                                                  Football is my sport
             You gave me you word,                I get to run over people like
           You would never say goodbye.           a shovel hitting snow.

                Now I stand here,                 How about you play today?
              One hand on your grave,
                                                  At 3:30 that’s the time
          Looking for someone to turn to,         practice will start.
          Your love and presence I crave.
                                                  It’s not just about me
           Although I know you’re gone,           It’s about the whole team
            I don’t have to say goodbye,          Around 40 strong boys.

      Because I know you’re always with me,       I play running back
         Looking down on me in the sky.           And that means I run the
                                                  ball like a machine.

                  Macie Whitbeck
                     Grade 7                      Kayvon Anderson
                                                  Grade 8
         Time With You

          Time with you
           Is very special
        Like the sun setting
        Making the sky turn
         And blue colors.
        Oh, time with you.

          Time with you
Has a way of being glued to my mind
 Like those unforgettable moments
        That last a lifetime
                                                  To: My Family
         Oh, time with you
                                            Ways to Look at The Sea
         Time with you
            May end
                                        An ever-increasing watery world
            One day
                                        Filled with strange beings of life
    When the sky no longer has
                                              A strange alien world
          Its blue skin
                                             With skyscraper waves
            But gray,
                                                   The reflection
           Rough skin
                                       of the sun glistening off the waves
     Like the color of rocks
                                             A vast blue playground
          Without life.
  Tangela Hightower, Grade 8
                                                      and fish
  To whoever feels this poem
                                             Where the dolphins dart
                                             in and out of the waves
                                       A coral shelter for fish of all sizes
                                        Where turtles glide so gracefully
                                      Where sharks lurk for a little fish snack
                                            Where there is a rainbow
                                                fish of every color
                                                From blue to pink
                                                    green to red
                                            Where whales drift gently
                                                     along the
                                                  This is the Sea

                                                    Tyler Duby
                                                     Grade 8
                                             My “ Dream” Vacation
                                          By Alexandra Catanzarite, Grade 5

           Pinch me! I must be dreaming! I just had the greatest dream in history, and boy, was it a dream I will
never forget! In my dream I went to Haiti.
     Monday morning crawled by, and I got on my plane, took all of the supplies I needed for the Haitians and away
I went. Then I arrived in Haiti, and it was dreadful! There were buildings that were crumbled, houses were not built
sturdy, and there were pieces of wood, bricks, any little pieces of broken houses on the ground because of the 7.5
earthquake that struck. But worst of all, Haiti was already a really poor country.
    On Tuesday, I went out to go meet some people that needed help. Out of all the people I met, one little boy really
stood out and needed my help. The boy’s name was Berto. Berto told me about how he was the youngest out of 9
children in his family, and how his family was in poverty.
     He told me how close he was to his family, and how they always treated him with respect. But then the
earthquake struck, and sadly, his entire family died. Berto said that the only thing that saved him was that he was out
in the open at the time of the earthquake, so when the earthquake occurred, nothing was really there to fall and hit
him. Also, he was only 5 and really tiny.
     The next day I gave Berto all the supplies he needed. We ate just a little peanut butter sandwich that I made for
us, and he thought that it was the best meal he has ever had! Next we played soccer, which was a huge sport in Haiti.
Berto and I were so sweaty after soccer that we drank so much water we were full!
    The next day it was 110 degrees out. It was beautiful outside. We planned to go camping for the night at Berto’s
favorite hiding place outside. But first, we wanted to go to the Ocean. So we walked to get there, and when we
finally did……. the waves were 30 feet high!!!!!! Berto and I walked along the ocean while getting soaked. We
were catching crabs, and one pinched me!! Next, Berto and I went camping, and caught a fish 3 feet high! It took
every muscle in Berto’s and my body to catch that fish!!!!!! And do you want to know what we did with that fish?
Well, we cooked it up and ate the WHOLE thing!!! That made us soooo full, that I don’t believe that we could ever
even lay eyes on another fish again. After our “ buffet” we went to bed in a tent and looked at the full moon. The
moon was bright orange, and the sky was all different colors. Friday morning came along way too quickly, and I had
to get on the plane. But then I had a great idea! Berto could come back with me! That’s just what he did.
    On my dream vacation, I think that I made a big difference in Berto’s life. It was a blast, and now Berto’s like an
imaginary brother to me, as I sat on the plane with my coffee latte in my left hand, and Berto on my right.
    Unfortunately, it was all just a dream.

Alexandra Catanzarite
      Grade 5
                    Just BECAUSE I’m Leaving

                  Just BECAUSE I’m Leaving
                        DOESN’T Mean I’m Gone

                  Just BECAUSE I’m Leaving
                      DOESN’T Mean I Don’t Love You

                  Just BECAUSE I’m Leaving
                      DOESN’T Mean It’s My Choice

                  Just BECAUSE I’m Leaving
                      DOESN’T Mean I Want To

                            My HEART Hurts And BREAKS
                  When I Think About The End Of The School YEAR

                  I’m LEAVING

                           I Have NO Choice

                      Just BECAUSE I’m Leaving
                            I Know I Have To Leave YOU Behind

                      Just BECAUSE I’m Leaving

                           DOESN’T Mean

                                My Heart
                                    Is No Longer


Hannah McIntosh
Grade 8
                                                 A Crucial Mistake:

                                  A Persuasive Essay by Ryan Pike, Grade 8

       College athletics is one of the biggest activities in America. Kids all over dream of one day suiting up
for their favorite college to play their favorite sport (Coleman). And now, coaches are making this dream come
true for the most talented, young kids in America. Recently, the NCAA (National College Athletics
Association) changed the minimal recruiting age from freshman in high school to 7th graders, who have just
begun to play sports for their schools. Now coaches can get their mitts around kids with the most potential that
much earlier; but that’s not necessarily a good thing. College coaches are making big mistakes by offering
scholarships to unproven middle school athletes.
       These coaches are making mistakes by recruiting middle school kids because the athletes will change
drastically before they finally get to play for their “dream school.” Some middle school athletes, like David Sills
V, an 8th grade quarterback from Delaware, or Evan Berry, an 8th grade defensive back from Georgia, have
committed to play their sport in college before they are done growing (Winn). Albeit, Sills is nearly six feet tall,
but who’s to say he’s not already done growing? Coaches are taking the risk that their young super-athletes will
not be so super anymore by the time they get to high school. Rather than waiting until an appropriate time to
offer full-grown kids a scholarship, coaches are scrambling to pursue the next young talent in their sport. This
mistake will easily turn into a major problem when the athletes reach college.
       Committing young athletes to your school is a problem because the players don’t face such stiff
competition in middle school. Any impression of the kids that college coaches get is not valid, and this is for
many reasons. The athletes that play middle school sports are not often good, and many are forced to play their
sport by their parents. Also, schools get to choose who they play against. And with this freedom, many schools
choose to prey on weaker teams that they know they will easily pick apart. For example, Sills’ school, Red Lion
Christian Academy, faces inferior competition nearly every game. They wallop their opponents in all their
middle school sports, which seems a little suspicious. Coaches cannot make a legitimate assessment of a
player’s skills until they are in high school and face better competition.
       Some might argue that coaches are making a good step towards the future by recruiting these young
athletes, but that is obviously wrong. Some people may look to Wake Forest’s recruitment of Chris Leak when
he was a freshman in high school, the previous minimal recruitment age. Leak did turn out as a good player, as
he did exceptionally well in college. But Leak didn’t play for the Demon Deacons, as he had decided to at age
14. Instead he changed his commitment to the Florida Gators and won the national championship as a senior
(Winn). He is a prime example of how it is a mistake to put so much stock into the recruitment of young kids.
He, like Sills, Berry, and basketball player Michael Avery, was excited for the chance to play college ball, and
jumped immediately for the first school that offered a scholarship. But who’s to say that in a few years Sills
won’t want to attend Missouri, or maybe Avery will change his commitment from the Kentucky Wildcats to the
Kansas Jayhawks. The coaches will be disappointed, having wasted their time chasing after these child stars.
Young athletes are very indecisive, and coaches are wasting their time recruiting them.
       It must now be blatantly obvious that college coaches are making crucial mistakes. So now that you’ve
been educated about the mistakes that you coaches are making, it’s obvious that it must be stopped. And only
you can make the difference. After all, it is your decision to give these kids their dream. Maybe, instead of
jumping the gun and offering a scholarship immediately, you could wait until high school, when the kid is fully
developed. You could still recruit the athlete, you just won’t have them officially on your team. That would be
better for you and the kids, who won’t be as stressed about their future as they are now, with the weight of a
scholarship on their shoulders. But the power is in your hands. What will you do with it?


Coleman, Thomas S. “Recruiting Middle School-Aged Players: Early start
       Or Exploitation?” January 23, 2009. The Atlantic Journal-Constitution. March 15, 2010.
“Passing Judgment.” Weekly Reader. 7.
Winn, Ryan. “13 Year Old Evan Berry Commits To Tennessee: Progress or Problem?”

       June 29, 2009. CBS Sports. March 16, 2010.
                                                       Man’s Best Friend

                                                         By Leah Ifraim

        I believe in respecting and loving animals and living in unity with them, no matter what. By doing this,
we may even find animals to be man’s best friends. Today, numerous animals live in a worry- free environment,
treated with compassion. Yet, what many fail to realize is that millions of other animals are suffering because of
human cruelty. Various pets are sheltered in warm, cozy homes, taken care of by loving owners. In contrast, an
abundant number of cats and dogs live outdoors, where they barely survive on scraps of leftover food, and most
likely, die prematurely. The homeless animals that are saved and taken into shelters or pounds do not stay there
for long. When shelters and pounds get overcrowded, there is nothing left to do other than euthanatize them.
That’s why the need for helping animals is increasing daily. It is up to each and every one of us to make the
lives of animals better today.
        Another problem animals are put through today is abuse. Although animals have been used for food and
clothing throughout history, the way they are killed is inhumane and heartless. It seems as though people no
longer care about the way animals are turned into food or fur coats, and so on. For example, in Canada, the
slaughter of seals increases each year. Nearly 25, 000 seals are slaughtered each year for their skins and furs,
mostly to show off on the runaway, worn once, and then thrown away. Also, the population of Siberian tigers is
decreasing rapidly, and only about 350 are in existence today. China is the number one leading country in fur
trade. As you might have seen, whether is was on the news or your computer, the truth about what happens in
meat factories has finally been uncovered, and it’s devastating. For example, KFC slaughters their chickens in
extremely abusive ways. Yet, even though the truth has been exposed, people still continue to eat at fast food
places. As a result of animal cruelty, people have held protests, turned into vegetarians*, adopted animals,
declared their beliefs, or created organizations to help save and protect animals from cruelty. (“Animals”)
        As you can see, today’s world is filled with abuse and cruelty to animals. But it doesn’t have to stay like
this. We can all take a part in helping animals, whether it’s a dog, a cat, or a tiger, or dolphin. We can donate to
organizations like the SPCA, refuse to eat meat, adopt animals (and take care of them), etc. We can help make a
better world for many animals so they’ll no longer have to face problems like this, and instead, be loved. In this
way, we’ll see that animals really are man’s best friends.

* Even if you do not want to become a vegetarian, an important point to know is that not all animals are killed brutally for their meat.
In most cases, the meat used in fast food places is. On the other hand, some of the meat bought in stores is not. For example, free-
range meat comes from animals properly cared for who graze out in the fields. For more info you can visit websites such as:  


“Animals.” The Humane Society of the United States. April 2010. <>
          Just Because I’m Black

            Just because I’m black
           Doesn’t mean I’m dumb
Don’t look at me and say I’m stupid and no use
      Doesn’t mean I’m a trouble maker

           Just because I’m black
      Doesn’t mean I’m not into school
Doesn’t mean I’m going to work in McDonalds
Doesn’t mean I will be homeless and hopeless

           Just because I’m black
 Means I have the power to make peace in the
           Means I am nonviolent
              Means I’m smart
   Means I’m capable of going to college

          Just because I’m black
         Means the sky is my limit
        Means my heart speaks to the

               Chidera Joseph
                  Grade 8
The water rushes
            through my toes.

      I begin
             To get lost in time

As I witness the waves
             Come close to me

      I’m finally at peace.
             As I lie in the sand.

The whispers of the wind
           Gliding through my hair

      I want to be here
                                                          Sunset Cruise
I let my mind quit
            For a moment                     You took me by my hand and slowly helped me
       Closing my eyes,                               Sounds of the waves crashing
                  Listening                              And the boat creaking
                                              Filled my ears like a sweet, calming lullaby.
To the tales of the waves                  The red glow of the setting sun slowly slipped behind
               And the stories that they                 A forest of green trees.
      tell                                                      The water
                                               Reflecting the world’s indescribable beauty.

             Audrey Heman                    We cut off the engine in the middle of the lake,
                                                          Away from humanity
             Grade 8                                    At peace with the world,
                                                     To take in the beautiful sight

                                                         As thoughts are shared,
                                                         Minds blend together.
                                                     Grandparents and granddaughter
                                                              Become one.

                                                               Grade 8

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