Monday, January 8, 2018

Poetry from Sarah Haskell, Senior

Giving 1st Graders the Stories of High School

Excited Wonder
They await my true stories
Young minds awaiting HOPE

The Sky

Seeing clouds over me
Freedom erupts within me
Peace at last, finally free


I sit here waiting
Stories within my pages

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Student Spotlight: Brianna Ramirez, Senior

Ode to Fall

Oh! Fall season all I love to welcome you hear.
You sweet and savory smells take my breath away.
Oh please bright fall colors, invade my clothing closet,
I wish to be cloaked by you and embody the season.

Those who love summer,
Have never basked in your true glory,
Oh Fall feeling take me back to my home.

Oh fall season,
You remind me of my past.
When goodbyes weren’t forever,
And broken hearts never last.

Oh Fall feeling how I love you so,
You uplift me at the least.
I wish to have you the time,
and engage in a fall feast!

Lonely Shadows

Hidden, mysterious.
Screaming, singing , dieing.
Entangled in your intentions,
Midnight shadows.

Autumn leaves

(A picture of me and the Bengston pumpkin patch)

A childhood memory so happily kept,
Small and located in the middle of nowhere.
Where nothing is truly scary, but is held to high standards.
Where I am the happiest I've ever been.
Now populated by everyone,
I no longer wish to visit.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Personal Essay by Sarah Haskell, Senior


50 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease.
2,375,100 have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s autoimmune thyroiditis.

I am one of the 2,375,100.

The idea of being “sick” scares so many people. Fears of: shots, doctors and hospitals. An almost debilitating feeling: constant worry, constant symptoms. You’re sick, there is something wrong. Yet the disease that traps your body is invisible.

It’s autoimmune.

An autoimmune disease is defined as a disease in which the body's immune system attacks healthy cells. Your organs and glands becomes the enemy: thousands of white cells storming through your bloodstream to attack the actually healthy organ.This idea of your body attacking you. This body supposed to be fending of the common cold and bacteria, instead sends thousands of white blood cells to break down your organs. You’re body is slowly destroying you. But all you can do is fight.
Fight through years of doctors assuming you're depressed, anorexic, obese, overreacting, or even just faking it. Fight through the doubts keeping you up at night wondering what the hell is wrong with me.  Fight through symptoms ranging from body aches and overall pain, weight gain or loss, insomnia, and even a rash.

All the checklists, blood tests, doctors appointments. Poked and prodded. You’re spent, exhausted; and sometimes you still don’t know what’s really wrong. The never ending cycle of dealing with an invisible disease.

Only you feel the pain, only you sit at your desk and can’t focus. Only you.

But we fight.

Four hospitals, five different doctors, over 50 blood tests, urine tests, MRI’s and ultrasounds. I fought; I need an answer, any answer. I’m 18 years old, and I have the body of an 80 year old woman. I fought. I argued with doctors who didn’t believe me, who kept saying there’s definitely something wrong. But didn’t know the answer. I fought. Missing schooling to go to another doctor. I fought.

I am one of the 2,375,100.

I am one of the over 50 million, who deal with an invisible disease. Who deal and fight through their body being attacked by its own cells. I am one of the fighters.
I will fight every day. I will fight through the comments saying I don’t look sick. I will fight through the everlasting exhaustion. I will fight through the constant ache in my muscles. I will fight through every morning and every night. I will fight.

We get good days. There are good days, pain free, energy having good days. There are good moments: pain free focused energy having moments. And it’s this breath of sunshine for one day, one week, or even one hour. It’s amazing. And I will fight for everyone one of those moment. For the one morning I wake up, and the pain isn’t so bad. I will fight.

50 million people have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease.
The person sitting to your right might have one. The person to your left might know someone who has one. 50 million fighters. 50 million people with dreams and bright futures and the will to fight. 50 million.
t’s something people don’t know about. It’s something still confusing doctors. It’s something with no cure. It’s the invisible disease that 50 million people have. It’s real. 50 people million suffer symptoms every day. So let’s start talking about it. Let’s look at  the 50 million people willing to fight and be proud.

I am one of the 50 million.

I’m proud of every discussion we have, every time someone choose to get out of bed instead of staying home, every good moment. I am one of the 50 million, and I will never stop fighting.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Student Spotlight: Nathaly Mora, Senior

Ode to Art

You are the love of my life.
The way one can express themselves, without words.
Everyone acknowledge every inch of your beauty.
When I touch you, you are smooth yet hard.
And when the brush touches you, you get chills of how good it feels.
Every single color that brings you to life, as you are the illusion of another person.
You are in open book, in which everyone can read you by just looking at you.
You are the mixture of happiness, sadness, madness, lust, love and way more.
You come in different shapes in sizes, all so different but yet unique in its own way.
You hear the people whispering while they stare at you, but don’t show affection.
You stare back at all of us without truly caring of how you look, you give us the silent treatment and you are so good at it.
But little do you know how many compliments you are getting from this people.
You make all skin tones come together just to acknowledge you and talk about you.
But little do you know you have just inspired a kid to be like your creator.
That you were so unique to her, that she want to create something as delicate as you.
And art itself has gain a very important spot in her heart.

How Love Feels

Hurtful, beautiful
Harmless, intense, stalking
The thing everyone wants

More Than Just A Grandmother

You were more than a grandmother, you were a mother too me.
Your beautiful curly hair that filled me of life by just seeing it while the air slowly grasp it.
You showed me how to be a strong person yet so caring at the same time.
‘Oh ama’, you left me without saying goodbye, nor a kiss or a hug.
You were always a very independent woman, with a lot to say and a lot in mind.
Your life lessons gave me a reason to be grateful for what I have in my life.
You were the reason of why I'm a proud granddaughter, you were a blessing.
‘Oh ama’ you will always be the light to my dark thoughts of what I could of done to myself.
Your struggles that you went through as poor girl at my age are the reasons of why I keep studying.
You always said you wished you could of finished school, but that life was cruel and didn't let you finish it.
You are the reason of why I have such a hard working father, that pushes me to be someone in life.

‘Oh ama’, I'm truly grateful for everything you have done to make my life as great as it is right now, and we'll be when I'm in older independent women.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Special thanks to the students of Ms. Kledzik's Drama classes for sharing their dramatic monologues with us this month!! Students were required to write an original monologue where they created an original character and setting.



by Jasmine Astorga

The big ol’ “C” word that not a lot of people think of. Cancer. The Beast. Evil. Not even I would think about this. I hear it on television or the radio. Never would I think I would encounter The Beast. But on May 20, 2015 my whole life changed. My mom got a call, she didn’t say anything besides “I’ll be there.” She left for hours. I didn’t know what was happening. Finally she came back from what seemed like forever. She told us to sit on the couch because there was something that she needed to say to all of us. I was clueless, but my heart felt like it was going to jump out my chest. She looked at me, her eyes filled with so much despair. She slowly told me I was sick. I just looked at her. I didn’t say anything. I was numb to what she said to me. I lost all feeling. No tears. No anger. Nothing. The very next day I started my first round of chemotherapy. I didn’t have time to process what was happening. I was still feeling numb. Empty. Nothing hit me until I was losing my hair. Piece by piece it fell. When it was completely gone, I looked at myself and felt this heaviness in my chest. I avoided all mirrors because I was afraid of looking at how truly sick I was and how I was slowly deteriorating from the world. I have cancer. But I will not fear it. I will hold my ground as I say this right here, right now that I will be damned if I let this consume me. With every inch of my body I will fight until I can't fight it anymore. I will beat this and I will live.


By Aileen Ponce

Have you ever walked by a fence and heard a feisty small dog bark it’s lungs out, believing it's a big scary dog?...well…

That’s exactly what most people portray in high school. Hi I'm Rebecca Fisher…… just trying to piece together the best high school experience which includes having enemies you didn't even know existed. Because I'm sure that that's what any teenage girl would dream of….Oh yeah,  did I mention it even comes with the wonderful rumors that makes people hate you even more. It’s the sweet smell of denial and hatred coming straight from what I would call dog crap. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s the little dogs who bark the loudest.  It’s the stereotypes that nobody warns you about that come to life. It’s survival of the fittest out here . It’s competition and envy that boils in every person who hates you. It’s sorting out people who think they are arrogant and fit the ...finger quotation popular criteria.  Then there's me, oh poor innocent me. I stand in realization that ignorance is not bliss.  It’s the fact that people don't realize we're all equal and blind to crucial judgements. I'm guessing I fit the downgraded high school girl innocent looking enough to pass the I'm helpless line. I don't believe the world owes me anything, in fact I wish it did. When I entered high school,it came with a pamphlet stating in bold letters. Ahhhh yes, fresh meat, you’ve just completed 8th grade be prepared for real life smack dab in your face. Now there's good parts to school like the teachers, best friends and the wonderful sports you can get involved in.  Personally,  I’ve come to the conclusion high school is very similar to hell, only in the winter time lol……  It's nice and toasty during those cold winter days. Since high school is similar to hell, I might as well make myself feel at home. Ya know take a load off and bring a hot chocolate from Dunkin' Donuts and kick my off shoes.  I would have no more stress because the same thing gets old. I'll just sit back and laugh at the mockery people will make out of themselves, but whatever makes them sleep at night...yup...laughs this is high school from Rebecca’s point of view...

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Scary Story!

The Figure

by Sarah Haskell

Everywhere there are people: walking, studying, talking with friends, running to their next class. Two arms brush on the crowded quad. The girl’s eyes follow his.

“Sorry,” Sophia whispers. Quiet footsteps signal his departure.

The bell rings signaling the hour.  BUZZZZZZ. At once, attention is turned to devices sitting in pockets.

The announcement was from the campus dean:

Attention all students and faculty, Freshman, Linda Boss has been found dead on campus. Classes will continue for the rest of the day.  The FBI has classified this as a serial killing. Please be cautious.

The collection of people gasp.

Unaware the killer stands with them, a sly smile pasted across his face. His mind filled with the events of the night before:

Thundering footsteps. The trees shrink in the distance. Her breathing labored and her pace slows. Darkness surrounds her. Turning her head slowly back, eyes wide, chills running up her spine. Footsteps of thunder and hurry, and above her, the sky opens. CRACK. The white light illuminating me in the distance. Oh good, she sees me. Frozen, as though her body is paralyzed. The distance between us shortens. Feet stuck in quicksand, perhaps? Or is it the fear running through her veins? One swift movement. Now the once beating heart has been silenced. The thrill fills my veins, a rush of euphoria. Hopefully, this high lasts enough.

Within seconds, you feel the thundering of feet, as the crowd knows they are  late for class.

He causally takes calculated steps to his seat. His eyes fall upon everyone and everything. Blending in, he seems invisible. Before class begins, a moment of silence is held: the two girls murdered were from this class. The droning voice of the professor wears on. He spends his time watching Sophia. Feeling his stares, she turns, a smile on her face. He winks back at her.

It will only be a matter of days. She will be MINE.

The hour passes. A group goes into discussion. Within them, he watches her, blending in, appearing ordinary. Unaware she is targeted, she sits next to him. Happy to see a familiar face. Now, the connection has been made. Constantly twirling her hair, smiling at him; he sucks in the attention. Winking back, after class they exchange numbers. Eric is his name.

She was pretty; the first girl. Long brown locks, and emerald green eyes, the image of a goddess. Exchanging numbers-- that’s how it all started. Lindsey, so beautiful. He wanted her so bad. Three days until his high. Her screams echoing in his head. Her last breath. The life draining from her eyes, all that hope gone. She didn’t even know. Such a stupid girl. So naive, at least, she gave him the high.

The bell rings six. RING RING RING RING RING RING.  The sky is dark as charcoal, with bright small lights shining within it.  Gentle footsteps and the smell of fresh air: trees, roses.

I see you, Sophia

Chills run down Sophia’s spine; hairs standing up on the back of her neck. It’s only the cold from the rain, a thought running through her head. BUZZZZ. A text. Pictures of  the last girl. A video. What the…

A surprise for you, dear.

High pitched screams ringing through the air.
Please I’ll give you anything.
Please go!
Please don’t hurt me!
Shrinking trees in the distance, and thundering footsteps show their surroundings.
Shorter and shorter the distance becomes.
In front of him, she stands frozen.
Her body paralyzed, fear freezing her veins.
Her face ghostly pale.
Lips quivering.
Please no. Please no.
His hands wrap around her throat.
The hope drains from her eyes.
She falls limps in his arms.  
Throwing her on the ground, he walks away.

The video stops.


A text: Do you want to be next?

Quickly her head turns left and right. She spins around, knowing someone is there. Whispering, who are you? Why me? With fear pulsing through her veins, she hurries back to her dorm, where the bloodied rose sits at the step. For you my dear, is all the tag says. The nightmares haunting her, leaving her attacked and alone in the dark hours of the night.

A day later, blue skies relieve her of fear. She tells her friend the story of last night. They offer no support, her fear stays there haunting her every step, every breath. Feeling alone, she must find one who will help.

She writes upon in it in class, showing the fear dripping from every pore.

Eric questions the long look upon her face. She gives him every detail, giving her piece of the haunted memory to him; saying she wrote it in her journal. Hoping the professor might offer help.
Small mind. WHAT help could the lousy old man do?
His smile fades. With a jerk he turns.

“I can help you,” venom dripping from his voice.
“Really, You can? Thank you so much!” delighted smiles occur from Sophia.
I can help you….his mother would always say that. I can help you and she would leave him alone. Broken, he was broken. He imagined choking her, the life draining, hurting her as she hurt him. The women who birthed him, a damn disgrace.
Within the next few days, the connection grows: walking her home at night, listening to her concerns, worries.  Fleeting butterflies occur in Sophia, warmth and safety cloud her mind.  

Eric is her savior.

Yet the nightmares stay; roses covered in blood, her eyes clouded and the lighting illuminating the figure in the distance. His hand around her neck. The breath she craves, disappearing. Every bone breaking, every nerve popping; her life gone in an instant. He walks away. The figure leaves her death as his high.  

The past four nights consist of the same routine:
Classes end when the clocks strikes 6:00. RING RING RING RING RING RING. Sophia’s steps are slow, acting as though to be cautious but are not. Next to her the figure, for once not blending with the shadows of the night. Each step quieter than the next. Crickets chirping and the hollow of the wind, their only companions, but the cold slowly seeps into their bones. Sophia’s chill grows. Reaching her dorm at 6:30, another bloody rose awaits her.

Each day a different question:
Do you love me, my dear?
Are you scared of my desire?
When will we meet?
My dear, when will you love me?

She prays; begging God to save her. Save her from the figure.
“Please save me. I have no strength. Save me.” Sophia begs every night...unaware he is always watching.

As the sun rises, the glow offers no hint of the days dark ending. Not a single cloud, calm breeze, and the warmth hitting all the people on the quad. Sophia smiles. Maybe today she will be saved. Maybe today.

He watches her:
Today is the day my dear. Today, the day your breath will be last. The hope will fade from your eyes. Today, your life and limp body in my hands. I hold your fate dear. TODAY I AM GOD.

Calculated steps and easy breaths; the only way she will  make it. She smiles at Eric. Goal one: to get through class. Her professors wear on and on. Daydreams filled with horrors: blood, screams, the crack of lightening. Jerking and jumping all day, she cannot achieve peace.
He watches her.

Should this time be different? Should I let the blood run out of her veins? Her breath clouding the air; her last breath. Blood is beautiful, the flow of a heartbeat, but breath is the key to life. The only thing his mother took from him: life. The ideal life. Why should she live? This girl deserves death. Let her blood run free. Let her breath die. LET ME BE GOD!

Classes offer no safety: he plans her death. Chills: a constant reminder of her nightmares.
No. God will not answer her prayers.
The night hits. The chill forces all to stay inside except two: Sophia and him. The clock rings. RING RING RING RING RING RING. Six o’ clock.  One step, two, three, four, five...on and on. Each step closer to the nightmare. Each step closer. The chill haunts, Heartbeats faster than a drum.  BA-DUM BA-DUM BA-DUM BA- DUM BA-DUM BA-DUM BA-DUM BA-DUM BA-DUM. CRACK. In the distance; lighting hits. The lion roars in the clouds, and the sky opens. Chilling her bones. The nightmares stay, remain in her visions. Step 14...15...16….17...18...19...20.

CRACK. He turns to her; a sinister smile appears. Two seconds; his arms wrapped around her. Hyperventilating, she pushes at his arms. Kicking and kicking. Teeth clamp down on his arm. A string of curse words. Thundering feet. She’s off.

“Please. Please God save me. Why? Why me? I thought we were friends. Please.” Her screams disrupt the quiet. Rumbles and roars of a lion. The rain; each drop mimicking her heartbeat. Thundering footsteps faster and faster and faster. Choking on air. THUMP. She falls. BA-DUM BA-DUM BA-DUM BA- DUM BA-DUM BA-DUM BA-DUM BA-DUM BA-DUM. CRACK. The figure illuminated in the distance, so close. Fear freezes her veins. Frozen in the nightmare. God didn’t save her. God can’t save her. His feet come closer and closer; each step a knife in her heart. Each step closer to the end of this nightmare.
“Please. Please leave me here. Please. I have done nothing to deserve this. Please.”

Hands wrapped around her throat.
Their eyes meet: blue and green orbs staring back at each other.
Fear and Desire.
Hope draining, and the fear draining.

ba-dum ba-dum ba-dum ba-dum ba- dum
ba-dum ba-dum ba-dum ba-dum ba- dum.


The figure’s next high achieved, at the expense of her life.
He looks at us…….
YOU my dear, are you next?