#BirdvilleVoices

vol. 3, edition: 4 March 2019

Welcome to #BirdvilleVoices Digital Literary Magazine!


This digital literary magazine is a compilation of writings from the budding PAP middle school authors around the district. Please enjoy their insights, humor, and writer's craft.

Big picture

6th Grade

Arleth O: Watauga Middle School

5 de Mayo,

where all the little kids run with their corns or churros,

where all the parents are friends,

and all the babies sleeping in their mothers arms.

The event where all Hispanic singers sing to their people,

where the dancers dance to the Mexican tradition of 5 de Mayo.

5 de Mayo,

where all teenagers want to go home because it is too hot,

where all people get their money and run to El Paletero to get ice cream,

where people are proud to be Mexican,

to celebrate the history of Mexico.

5 de Mayo.

Kate S: North Ridge Middle School

The Softball Team

I was there with my weak left leg, a sweaty glove, and a bubble of determination floating inside me. The other girls there towered over me and sent their shadows stretching across the room. The ground seemed shake with their every move and continued to shake all the way up my skinny spine. Fear seemed to control me and dictate any decision I was going to make. Little I did I know that this tryout would forever change me in ways I could never imagine.
The heavy breathing, pounding of shoes, and sound of the bat hitting the ball helped me sink into the right mode. December 2017- a year of mystery and excitement- happened to be the year that the tryout took place in. The tryout itself was at an indoor facility nicknamed “The Railyard.” At the time, I was around 11 years old and about 4’10’’, but for the other girls, THAT WAS NOT THE CASE. They were my age of course, but most of them were giants standing at 5’7’’ - 5’9’’. I had never played select softball, so the whole experience changed my view on the softball and its leathery surface.
“ Ladies! Be more aggressive!´´ cried the coach.
“Throw harder!” another coach screamed.
“You’re better than that!” yelled a bystander.

“Yes sir!” we chanted back.
Besides the fear swelling inside me like one of my jammed fingers, I started to smell body odors coming from the girls. The smell, the tryout, the feeling in the air- it was starting to put me on a rollercoaster of determination. I did drills that sent the ball whizzing across the room at miraculous speeds and drills that required every last bit of strength. Every now and then, the couch would let us get the sweet relief of cold water and a break. We continued our quest for success until the hour was up- it was time to find out if I made it.
I wanted to play select softball because I wanted to become more in softball. My dad had played college baseball and was very good until he tore a muscle and had to stop. This made it even more important to me to try really hard to become good. Select softball seemed like the best way to live my dream and fulfill my “destiny.” After the hard practice, the coaches pulled me over and revealed that I made the team.
Making the softball team really boosted my confidence and made me who I am. Not just in softball though- in everything I do, I remember that tryout and what I did to make it. Personally, I think of making that softball team as my life expectation for everything I work for. If it means climbing a mountain or swimming to the bottom of the ocean, count me in. I love softball, for it is what has shaped me into an annoying, confident, persuasive, girl who will do anything to complete her dreams.

Audrey C: Smithfield Middle School

Greed



Greed,

it deceives you,

pulls you in and will never release,

persuades you to do despicable things,

injure others and yourself,

mentally and physically,

makes you desire things you’ve never longed for before,

greed reads you like a book,

then strikes,

meets you, gets to know you,

then,

becomes you,

comes to uninvited parties,

makes you desire, selfish,

all you want is power,

greed.

Kinlee C: North Ridge Middle School

Unsportsmanlike

For most people it was a regular Saturday afternoon, but if you were the Watauga recreation center on April 22nd, 2013 at 4:00pm it was an intense Saturday afternoon. On the wooden court of the Watauga rec center was a serous semi-final volleyball game that would determine who moves on for a chance to be the Watauga Champions. All the players had sweat dripping down their face and were all determined to win. The anticipation over flowed the room, and everyone was anxiously waiting to see who would win. The intensity level of the players was 100%.

It was the second game, our team, Fired up won the first game and our biggest rival, Storm was trailing behind. The score was 23-24, us, anything could happen. I was up to serve and my mind filled with fear that I wouldn’t make it over. If I scored we won and if I missed the game was tied. My body flowed with a lot of pressure as I hardly hit the ball like it was one of my biggest enemies. Then I served an amazing floater that soared a few inches above the net and led into an ace. My teammates dog piled on top of me because I had just won the match. We were going to the championship!

We shook hands underneath the net and told each other great game. Me and my team did our traditional knee pad victory slide across the court. Then the most horrible memory in my history that I hate to look back on happend. In a non sportsmanship like matter I clutched the ball lying next to the net into my hands like the Hulk, Then I put a firm grip on it then without thinking I slammed it onto the hardwood floor. I was so thrilled with the fact that we were going to the championship.

My parents both gave me the death stare. That's when knew I had done something terribly wrong.

My mother snatched me by the arm, pulled me outside away from the crowd, and yelled, “You had no right to do that Kinlee, that was very disrespectful, unsportsmanlike, and embarrassing for the players and parents on both teams!”

I fired back, “I was just very excited, that is all!”

“I don't care, that was still not a pleasant thing to do,” my mom replied.

“I know mom,” I replied in a disappointed voice.

My mom broke the silence, “Now go apologize to the players and coaches on Storm!”

I politely responded, “ Yes ma'am.”

I walked with my head down as I felt ashamed of myself. I slowly approached Storm’s huddle and popped my head inside.

“ I am sorry that I slammed the ball on the court. That was not a very respectful thing to do. Once again I am sorry and you all played amazing” I sincerely said. They all forgave me and then I walked away from there huddle as Storm continued their talk.

I felt better now that I had apologized, but I still had a pit in my stomach that I did what I did. That day I learned that bragging might feel like a win, but in the end it is not.

Alfredo R: Haltom Middle School

Group Work


There are two main ways a person works: in a group or by themselves. Each way has its positives and negatives. I think it is better to work in a group rather than by yourself because you get more work done in less time, groups can come up with more ideas together, and it gives people the opportunity to learn how to cooperate with others as well as learn how to act around other people.

Working on several activities for a project can be time-consuming. Working in a group can make less work for each group member. It is easier to split up a project among five people rather than one person doing a whole project by themselves.

Working in groups also helps people come up with more ideas and be more creative. All people think differently and have a better chance at doing something correctly. If you are doing an activity in a group and one person chooses A and another person chooses B, they can work together to figure out the best answer.

The final reason I prefer working with a group is that I can learn how to act in front of others and what it takes to cooperate with the other people. This is not only important in the present for students, but it will also benefit people in the future when working in their careers.

There are definitely negative and positive factors when working in a group or alone, but overall, working with a group is better because you get more work done in less time, groups can come up with more ideas together, and it gives people the opportunity to learn how to cooperate with others as well as how to act around other people.

Olivia M: North Ridge Middle School

The Final Goodbye


I walked out of the room with no doubts. Tomorrow I can come back and see him again. I have never been so wrong in my life. Who knew that something you didn’t say or do could change your life drastically!

It was a overcast Thursday in 2015. My family and I were visiting my grandfather at the hospital. At the time I didn’t know what was wrong with him but later I found out he had Multiple Myeloma. We were there for what felt like an eternity. Finally it was time to go and everyone started hugging my grandfather. I walked up to him and just stared. I didn’t know why everyone was so sad. We could see him tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that. Right? I remember thinking “What had changed him?”

It had been centuries since I had seen him smile or look happy. I took a few steps closer to where my grandfather was laying. I went to hug him but stopped, because the only thing that was going through my mind was that if I touched him I would get whatever sickness he had. So I stayed back and just said, “I love you grandpa. See you tomorrow!”

My grandfather smiled and said, “I Love you, Olivia.” The doctor came in and told us that it was time to leave. We walked out the doors and into the foyers of the hospital. Little did I know that that would be the last time I ever saw my grandfather. Why didn’t I have the sense to hug him? I had the opportunity and I didn’t take it. I knew what he had wasn’t contagious but at that moment I thought it was. Why couldn’t I just use my head?

Not giving my grandfather a hug was one of the easiest but worst decisions I’ve ever made. If I could go back in time and get that one hug I would be the happiest person alive.

Cali H: North Richland Middle School

A Safe Place



A safe place

A place to live

A place to stand

A place for your dreams to dream

And memories to grow

To think of the future

To live and grow

Until one day you will make a safe place for your loved

A place to live

And grow

Cross O'Neill

Saying No

Have you ever made a difficult decision that could determine your path in life or even who you are? With your reputation on the line and how certain people will see you the rest of your life, would you grab life by the horns or be cool like everyone else and take it? They say to “just say no and walk away” but with the tension rising, you don’t know what you could gain or lose. When you’re in the lion pit you pray you’ll escape with your legs.


It was lunch and two of my friends offered I hang out with them after school at Adventure World. I, of course, said yes. They told me not to tell people I was going, I thought it was odd but I brushed it off. After school, I met up with them outside school and walked to the park with them. They led me into the woods where I saw a few older kids smoking cigarettes. I asked if they knew them and they laughed and asked me if I was scared. The smell was like a cloud of regret. I felt like pinching my nose closed as they pulled out a large ziploc baggie. The smell and thought of it made my head spin like a topper. The older kids saw me looking sickly and asked if I ever smoked before, I shook my head. They all laughed at me, but I didn’t care. I told them I forgot to tell my parents I’m at the park so I went to the public bathroom and called my parents. I told them what happened and they picked me up right away. My stomach felt like a pit and my head had an arrow in it. They drove me to sonic and let me get a drink to reward me for making the right decision. The next day my friends asked where I went and I lied and told them my parents said I couldn’t go to the park and picked me up immediately.

In conclusion, say no to drugs always. Drugs can change where you are in life and possibly who you are. They will seriously mess you up later in life. Saying no was a choice I never thought I’d make and it determined a path for me to take.

Esmeralda V: Haltom Middle School

Solo Work

Working in groups and working alone are very different things. While many people prefer to work in groups, I prefer to work by myself because, for one, I have personal reasons and prefer my space, but also I can do things in my own way and have had bad experiences in the past.

One reason I prefer to work by myself is because I like to do things my way and not have to agree with other people. In a group, there are many minds working together, and sometimes it is hard to come to an agreement about project ideas.

Another reason I prefer to work alone is because I have personal reasons and prefer my own space. For example, I have anxiety and have a hard time interacting with other people. It is something that I am working on, but because of this, I would rather not be put in situations where I am forced to interact with others, especially people I do not know.

Finally, some people, like myself, did not grow up receiving the support needed by parents and peers, and that makes working in groups a struggle. In the past, I have worked on group projects for school that I ended up doing all of the work while others played around. This past experience truly makes me dread group projects.

In conclusion, sometimes we are required to work in a group or by ourselves. While both have their pros and cons, I prefer to work by myself because I have personal reasons and prefer my space, but also I can do things in my own way and have had bad experiences in the past. This is my preference, but I believe everyone should do what helps them succeed.

Sophia T: North Ridge Middle School

House Day

It was a crisp October morning as I walked to 6th period Pre Athletics. So crisp I could smell my own fear. My stomach had been doing flips for 24 hours straight and it was really bugging me. I stiffly walked into the gym, tense and scared about what the universe had in store for me in the coming hours. I had been waiting for this day ever since I heard about it and now the time was finally here.

Coach Huff singing and dancing on the table like a lion only made my stomach

flip 10 times faster. As I heard Coach Huff calling out names like no tomorrow my insides tightened even more. Flo Rida was playing in the background which was especially soothing because it was “My House.” Everyone was either sad or happy with what house they got but I was simply praying over and over to get a good house.The girls were drawing out colors left and right. The colors included: red, orange, black, yellow, green, blue, purple, and pink.

My best friend had just gone up to the box. As she received Altruismo, a disappointed look took over her face. At that very moment, Coach Huff called my name and I moped up to the brown box. I took a quick glance that seemed to last no more than a millisecond, and then I saw it. It was a black and white Altruismo bracelet. Immediately my mind went blank, so I grabbed any other wristband I could feel. I slowly pulled it up and out of the box to find that it was orange. I wasn't excited or sad, I was just bummed because none of my friends were in that house in gym.


¨”What did you get?¨”asked Kate.

“ I saw an Altruismo bracelet but didn't want it,” said Sophia.

“ You dum dum that’s the house I’m in!” exclaimed Kate

“ Oh, sorry, my bad,” mumbled Sophia.

“ Whatever,” said Kate.

“ I got Esperanza though,” said Sophia

Soon after everyone in the gym picked their houses we all left the gym to go meet with the other people in our house. I slowly shuffled to the choir room hoping and praying that I was going to have friends in my house. As I was walking down the hall , and to my surprise, I heard someone scream “Sophia!” I was so happy to find out I had a friend in my house. Soon after I found out that I had 5 more friends in my house, I was thrilled for the rest of the day. Sadly, later in the day, I found out Kate has absolutely no friends in her house and spent the whole day miserable and alone.

This day had impacted our lives from now until our 8th grade year at NRMS. There is no going back now, I cannot change houses; Esperanza is my new family.

Each of us will have to overcome many obstacles during our middle school years. It is good to know however, that we can count on our fellow housemates to have our back. Whether there is a physical challenge we must conquer, or a mental challenge that requires a lot of thought and planning, we will get through each obstacle together. No matter what, Esperanza is our house, and its residents are now family.


Victoria C: Watauga Middle School

I'll forever be his shadow

and their second choice.

Anything I do he can do better.

He's better in every area

and he'll go farther than I ever will.

He's prepared for things I'm not,

and I can't even decide what I want for dinner.

He's so put together it makes it seem as if he's perfect.

I'm the dull star while he'll only shine brighter.

He makes smarter decisions and I only made mistakes.

He thinks, but I don't have the same brain as him.

I function so differently it makes me wish he'd give me his left brain.

I can't go through my homework without overthinking and giving up.

I can't cook without spilling or burning myself.

I can't walk by myself to the grocery store without falling.

I can't explain this to anyone else without breaking down or confusing them.

He's everything I'm not and it shows so well.

But I'll keep rooting.

Lanie R

White


A color once worshiped, a color once praised. Representing cleanliness, faithfulness, true. Once washed clean, the color of your heart, sinless, and beautiful. The pigment of fresh snow falling peacefully through the air, gliding, twisting, turning, dropping. The brights of your eyes, shining like the moon in the night sky. The eyes in your room. The color of the flakes falling on your uncovered hands, burning, stinging, hurting, crying. The wedding dress. Diamonds, jewels, sparkling.

After, closeted. Hung up. Left. Torn. Old. The color of the pages your turn, the opposite of the ink printed on. The ink telling the truth. The ink telling why. The color of breath in the air, tears in your eyes, pain in your heart. Until death do us part, but parted before death. A color once worshiped, a color once praised.

Madeline S: North Ridge Middle School

Unsportsmanlike

For most people it was a regular Saturday afternoon, but if you were the Watauga recreation center on April 22nd, 2013 at 4:00pm it was an intense Saturday afternoon. On the wooden court of the Watauga rec center was a serous semi-final volleyball game that would determine who moves on for a chance to be the Watauga Champions. All the players had sweat dripping down their face and were all determined to win. The anticipation over flowed the room, and everyone was anxiously waiting to see who would win. The intensity level of the players was 100%.

It was the second game, our team, Fired up won the first game and our biggest rival, Storm was trailing behind. The score was 23-24, us, anything could happen. I was up to serve and my mind filled with fear that I wouldn’t make it over. If I scored we won and if I missed the game was tied. My body flowed with a lot of pressure as I hardly hit the ball like it was one of my biggest enemies. Then I served an amazing floater that soared a few inches above the net and led into an ace. My teammates dog piled on top of me because I had just won the match. We were going to the championship!

We shook hands underneath the net and told each other great game. Me and my team did our traditional knee pad victory slide across the court. Then the most horrible memory in my history that I hate to look back on happend. In a non sportsmanship like matter I clutched the ball lying next to the net into my hands like the Hulk, Then I put a firm grip on it then without thinking I slammed it onto the hardwood floor. I was so thrilled with the fact that we were going to the championship.

My parents both gave me the death stare. That's when knew I had done something terribly wrong.

My mother snatched me by the arm, pulled me outside away from the crowd, and yelled, “You had no right to do that Kinlee, that was very disrespectful, unsportsmanlike, and embarrassing for the players and parents on both teams!”

I fired back, “I was just very excited, that is all!”

“I don't care, that was still not a pleasant thing to do,” my mom replied.

“I know mom,” I replied in a disappointed voice.

My mom broke the silence, “Now go apologize to the players and coaches on Storm!”

I politely responded, “ Yes ma'am.”

I walked with my head down as I felt ashamed of myself. I slowly approached Storm’s huddle and popped my head inside.

“ I am sorry that I slammed the ball on the court. That was not a very respectful thing to do. Once again I am sorry and you all played amazing” I sincerely said. They all forgave me and then I walked away from there huddle as Storm continued their talk.

I felt better now that I had apologized, but I still had a pit in my stomach that I did what I did. That day I learned that bragging might feel like a win, but in the end it is not.

7th GRADE

Valery M: Watauga Middle School

Why am I not good enough ?
I will never be pretty enough
I will never be skinny enough
I will never be smart enough
I will ever be enough for anyone

I know people don't like me
And frankly I don't like me either
sorry but i guess sorry isn't enough either way

Because nothing will ever satisfy you
Or anyone for that matter
No one will ever be good enough

No one will ever be pretty enough
No one will be smart enough
No one will be skinny enough
No one will be enough

But it's fine because your word isn't good enough for me
Because I know I am more than enough to do great things
things that will be good enough
and even better than just enough
they will be extraordinary

I am more than pretty enough
I know I am smart
I am unique
I am talented
I am more than just enough
Your words won't define me
I define who I am and who I'm going to be

Isabel S: Smithfield Middle School

In my mind

Out of my mouth

Off my tongue

Above my outstretched hand

Over my head

Past the clouds

Amid the stars

Within the trees

In front of the house

Onto the patio

Up the stairs

Towards you

From me.

Jackson M: North Richland Middle School

As multiple car doors slammed and clicked shut, my mother’s gaze met mine and her warning glare pierced me. “We have to get our stuff to the condo before we can go to the beach, okay?”

I was busy stretching my cramped and aching limbs, uncomfortable from being trapped in a moving car for a tortuous twelve hours, but I still responded to her words with a half-hearted grumble of acknowledgement. There was so much luggage to unpack that we’d be lucky to have a sliver of sunlight left by the time we were finished, but the logical part of me knew there was no point in arguing.

After a few more moments of stretching, I made my way back around to the SUV’s trunk to retrieve my suitcases stuffed to the brim with clothes, sketchbooks, and everything else I saw as a necessity. My brother Sage was already there, struggling to tug a bag free from the stockpile with his flimsy eight-year-old arms. Chuckling to myself, I decided to be of some assistance and help him by grabbing the strap and pulling along with him until the bag came loose and fell to the concrete with a muted thump.

It took only about a minute for me to pick out which suitcases were mine and gather them together to be brought inside. Huffing as I let the last bag fall into the pile, I happened to glance up at Sage. He was standing some yards away, staring longingly out at the ocean and the hazy silhouettes of the people on the shore, outlined in the dying orange light of the evening.

Looking back, I knew it must have been his wistful expression that got me. Aware that my parents had already headed up the stairs with their luggage, I didn’t hesitate before dashing forward, grabbing Sage’s wrist, and sprinting towards the beach.

He yelped as he was dragged along, but didn’t protest. He let me pull hum all the way down the boardwalk and onto the shell-ridden white sand, even though neither of us were wearing shoes for the occasion. I stopped right as I reached the point where the sand was damp, white ocean water, and looked out at the rippling waves as my chest heaved from the sudden exertion. Neither of us said a word. My jacket caught in the coolwind and danced behind me, and Sage’s strat tuft of hair did the same. The fears of our parents being angry or the sky getting dark were cast out of our minds, because both of us were caught up in the simple beauty of the scene. We must have looked insane to the other beachgoers, standing there in our tennis shoes and sweatpants, my hand still clamped around my brother’s wrist, but neither of us had a single care in the world.

Hannah M: North Ridge Middle School

School Dress Code


School dress code can put down strict rules on kids at school. These rules enforce safety and affection to keep kids safe, although some people might not agree with all the rules. Keeping kids protected is a priority at school and the main goal that teachers, principals, etc enforce on kids.

Dress code can be very strict on kids, but there is a reason why. It keeps kids “focused’ and “on task”. That way no one worries about rips too high on your jeans, or your shorts being too short. It also keeps kids safe. If we just follow the dress code, we can focus on school and get work done, and not just worry about what someone is wearing.

Although dress code is very important, many people feel as if it is mainly directed towards girls. It is important to both boys and girls, but there are more rules enforced on women. Like; shorts can only be 5 inches above your knee, no rips on your jeans that are on your thigh, straps must be two fingers wide, and if you lift your arms up, your stomach can't be showing, etc. People think that there are more rules for girls than boys, and that may be true, but they’re just trying to keep everyone say.

Past all the flaws of the matter, the real reason for these rules are to keep everyone safe and protected. Everyone already knows the main purpose for these rules, but there is are some that mean a lot more than you think. These rules are strictly enforced to keep kids safe from the “outside world” and “bad people”. This goes for both boys and girls. The reason why they are more harsh on women than boys is because to “other people” girls are considered “precious” so they try to keep them safe from the naked eye.

In the end, we need dress code, no matter how strict or harsh it is. Although a few tinkers and reductions should be made or changed, they are still all very important. There is a good meaning behind them and it’s important to follow them. Keeping all the rules means keeping all the kids safe.

Spencer H: Smithfield Middle School

I Am




I am Spencer H

I wonder why I play so many instruments

I hear the distant sound of leaves flowings through the the cold wind

I see a ball flying through the air

I want to make A-team offensive line

I am Spencer H



I pretend I am fast (i’m not)

I feel very sore

I touched a German Shepard

I worry about all the things I have to do with so little time

I cry about my dad and how I miss how I miss him

I am Spencer H


I understand I have to do good in school

I say,”Don’t let your dreams be dreams”

I Dream about being a famous musician

I try to be able to run

I hope to make A-team

I am Spencer H

Delilah L: North Oaks MIddle School

Why You Should Stop Drinking Soda


We all know that drinking soda isn't the best choice of drink wise. When you stop drinking soda it can help you lose weight because there are so many sugars in you. Did you know that there are twelve teaspoons of sugar in one twelve ounce can of coke. When you stop drinking soda it can help you save money. It can also help you not to lead to diabetes and heart diseases. When you stop it can save you on your dental bills.

When you drink soda it can cause to some serious health issues. When drink soda it can cause risk of type two diabetes. Drinking too much a day, is one step closer to your own health. It can also lead to bone loss, phosphate is an acid that can be absorbed in your bones and could lead to a lost.

Soda is also bad for your teeth and your dental costs. Research shows that soda beverages destroys ten times more teeth minerals than fruity beverages in just three minutes. Cherry cokes and coke are the second most acid and can cause teeth lost and decay. When you put soda in your mouth it is like putting a battery in your mouth.

Where does the soda come from? How do you get it? Soda comes from your hard working money. There are more important things to buy other than soda. An average american drinks about 216 liters a year. When you buy it at a vending machine it is about 550 dollars a year. Buying soda isn't as cheap as you think it is, by counting it all up it is a lot.

Soda isn't the healthiest choice. The next time you are getting something to drink, get water and remember what soda does to you.Stay away from soda because one day some of those things can happen to you.

Melody D: Watauga Middle School

Life is such a
precious thing,
to go from having fun
to now you're sobbing.

Life is such a mysterious game,
you can be accused of
or you can blame,
but who really wins this
devilish proclaim?

Life is such a
blur and a haze
"They grow up so fast."
they'd say before those words
would soon be in the past.

Life is so unfair they say,
for that holds truth
every single day.
To go from rich and powerful
down to poor and sorrowful.

Life is such a
precious thing
you have one try,
don’t waste it all
in one swing.


Jimena S: Haltom Middle School

The Beautiful and Blonde



“I can die and grow again.” “I’ll grow even more beautiful than I am.” I know this, but hands are still gripping on me from malignity of the razor sharp objects trying to get my life, because I am the beautiful and blond.

The wind from walking rapidly is making me land on her face, as she takes me to an unfamiliar place. Grey wall spray painted with little kids’ drawings, a barber shop object, looking at me straight in the eyes, me as the prey and it as the predator. Eyes with an unequal meaning, of sorrow I suppose, are waiting for the show.

Out of a sudden I go as crazy as a maniac, the little head I am on shaking like an earthquake. I hear sobbing saying “Mami!” “Me quiere matar!” As a calming voice comes and says “No mija, esta bien.” I felt her rub off some of her tears with me, then suddenly I heard a sound boisterous but similar to a cat purring. I then felt a tickle of those a feather gives you. Crying turned into screaming as I was turning deranged.

Minutes pass, tickles I felt no more, instead I felt pain. Pain takes over me and I feel like I have lost weight; finally, I fall off and look to the turning mirror, and I saw it.

The reflection was shiny right above the head I had rested on. As I had my last taste of life I realized auf wiedersehen good world, because the beautiful and the blonde is no more.

Ariel Q: North Ridge Middle School

Why Social Media Isn’t Good

Technology has immensely improved over the years, in a very positive and negative way. After a couple of years of technology’s existence, something called social media came along. Social media is not good for teenagers, because it causes drama that can hurt someone and can never be taken back. Social media can also cause less socializing between one another and it is bad for their health. Because of this, teenagers should take more time off their technology, especially social media.

First of all, social media causes drama. For instance, when someone says a rumor it spreads all around in a few minutes. Also, if you accidentally post something that wasn’t meant to be posted, due to it being personal, inappropriate, something that talks bad about someone or anything similar, will always be there no matter what, even if you delete the post. It can also be reposted by anyone who sees it before you erase it which can instantly spread from there. Also if anyone gets a hold of anything that can be used against you, they can blackmail you into doing anything in exchange for not saying something that you don't want anyone to know, which is considered a type of cyberbullying. Cyberbullying can ruin someone's life, it can make someone scared or depressed, maybe even both. It can also cause someone to commit suicide if they feel that no one cares about them or that everyone is against them, due to what someone said or did. This is just one of the negative effects social media can have on people.

In addition to causing drama, social media can make it to where there isn't much socializing between teenagers when there isn't technology involved. When they spend time with your friends or family, they’re usually on their phone. Before social media, kids would go outside and play soccer or tag, and now kids prefer to just call each other than actually hanging out in person. But if they do hang out, they will most likely just be on their phones or playing Fortnite on their Xbox instead of going outside and playing soccer or tag and socializing to one another, like they used to before social media came to occur.

Also, social media is bad for your health. Ever since social media came to exist, kids, teenagers and adults are very attached to their cell phones and prefer to continue to be on their cell phones than going outside and being productive. Many people would prefer to be locked in their room all day instead of being active and exercising. A lack of exercising can be bad for your heart and can lead to heart problems in the future. In addition to being less active, social media can be bad for your eyes. The screen on a phone, computer, and other handheld devices produce a blue light which you can’t see with a human eye but it is there, and that blue light can be toxic for your eyes. The more time you spend looking at your device the higher the probability it is for that blue light to hurt your eye vision and will lead to you needing glasses.

Marlee D: North Oaks Middle School

How To Be Marlee


To Be Marlee:

  • Play Multiple Instruments

  • Be An Avid Skateboarder

  • Be A Really Good Artist


Step 1:

First, in the third grade you must learn how to play the recorder. To do this you have to learn how to read sheet music; which is music notes on a sheet of paper. Once you have mastered the recorder you are ready to take on more instruments! Next, while you are still in the third grade you will need to teach yourself how to play the Piano. You do this by looking up Piano tutorials on YouTube. After That, when you are in the fourth grade you can learn how to play the Ukulele, and Keyboard. Start with the Ukulele, then when you get the hang of that you can start working on the Keyboard. Then, when you turn twelve you will get a full drum set, and an electric guitar. Start working on the drums. Then, move to the guitar. You will also start playing the flute and keep playing that instrument all the way through your Middle School and High School year.


Step 2:

The second step to being Marlee is to learn how to ride a skateboard. You can do this by, just riding your skateboard around for a week or so. That way you can get use to your board, and also have really good balance so you don’t fall down as much. Then, you can start learning tricks. The first trick you have to learn is an ollie. An ollie is just making your board jump in the air at the same time you do. You can learn this by, standing on the grass or concrete, and stand on the board and have one end of it pointing upward and sliding one of your feet up the side of the board that is pointing up. Once you’ve been doing that for a while you can try doing that while riding your board. After you learn how to ollie you can start doing other tricks like kick flips, and trey flips.


Step 3:

The last step to being Marlee is to become an artist. You start drawing when you are six years old. Then, when you want to drawing more advanced pictures then go on YouTube and search how to draw (what ever you are wanting to draw). Be sure to sketch it lightly with a drawing pencil. When you are done with your pencil sketch go over it with a black Sharpie. You can either color it, or just leave it how it is. After you’ve been drawing for a while you can just google pictures, or inspiration of what you want to draw. Then when you find a picture, you can just look at the picture, and start drawing. When you are painting just do the same thing, but with paint and paintbrushes. Finally, when you’re

done with your painting/drawing sign your name, and put the date at the bottom right corner.



Mackenzie G: Smithfield Middle School

Life isn't a steady stream



Hey reader life isn't a steady stream

it has rapids

and life is just plain mean

but just let life happen.


You might bump into a rock

and you hit your head

you may hear your wrist pop

but you just keep on going ahead.


Life isn't a steady stream

but you need to go on

and you might find the stream clean

and the bad wave is gone.

But soon the stream may slow down

and you will have a steady stream

your life will turn around

Life isn't a steady stream.


Landon M: North Ridge Middle School

Tubas are the Best Instruments in the Band


Tubas are the best instruments in the entire band. Tubas are those big, shiny pieces of brass that you see dancing at the top of the stands at football games. The tuba is the instrument that stands out the most, it is the bass of the band, and it is the easiest instrument to play with braces. Most people underestimate the tuba.

First, the tuba is the best instrument in the band, because it stands out the most. Have you ever gone to a High School Football game? If you have, then you have probably seen the band playing in the bleachers. At the very top of the bleachers; the tubas are there dancing, and if you look to the other team’s band then the only instrument that you would probably be able to see is the tubas. If you’ve stayed until half-time, at a football game, then you have most likely seen the band perform on the field. During the performance, your ears will hear the trumpets, but your eyes will see the tubas (you can hear the tubas at times too!), they are so big and shiny that they are hard to miss.

Also, because they are so big, the tuba is the best instrument because it is the bass of the band. Tubas help keep the whole band in line. My director always gets mad at the band for not balancing their noise down to the tuba’s noise. Even the percussionists have to listen mostly to the tubas. If the tubas left the band, then the whole band would fall apart. The other instruments wouldn’t have anyone to balance down to, and the entire band would be in a predicament.

Finally, speaking of predicaments, have you ever tried to play an instrument with braces? It hurts, and you can’t ever get the right sounds out. Well, the tuba is actually the best instrument to play with them on, another reason why tubas are the best instrument! Their big mouthpieces require the perfect embouchure, so that it doesn’t hurt as much as a trumpet or horn that requires you to make a small and tight embouchure.

In conclusion, tubas are the best instruments because they stand out more than any other instrument in the band; they are the bass of the band. They keep it balanced, and they are the easiest instrument to play with braces, or other mouth problems. A band would not be complete without a tuba.

8th GRADE

Emma C: North Richland Middle School

Some people think that it’s selfish if you think of yourself more than others. But that’s not always true, because it’s more benefitting in ways. People should be more concerned with themselves rather than other people, because you shouldn’t help others if you are dealing with personal problems and learning to focus on yourself improves your relationships with those that you care for.

Before you help people, you have to think about yourself first. If you are not in a stable place, how is your assistance going to be of any help? Think of it this way, if you’re on a plane that’s about to crash, you have to put your oxygen mask on before you concern yourself with the people around you. “If you can’t help yourself, you can’t help others.” Also, the person you’re concerning yourself with might not even want your help, which is basically like talking to a brick wall. It’s just best to better yourself before others.

When you focus on yourself, you start to notice a lot of things about yourself. You become a new, confident person. Others prefer to hang out with someone who’s happy, or just someone who has self love. It’s much harder to be in a good relationship with someone if you can’t seem to have a good relationship with yourself. If your relationship with yourself is negative, then you’re a more dependent person. You’re always relying on others to do things or make the effort. People don’t like that. You need to focus more on improving yourself. If you can properly love yourself, you can do the same with others.

Bettering yourself before others is important so you can accurately help people, and to develop better relationships. Without completely loving yourself, you’ll never be able to do the same with the people around you. You won’t be able to assist others in a healthy way. It’s not selfish, it’s fulfilling.

Emylie A: Watauga Middle School

Game Over


The ball is put up

The bleachers are empty

Everyone has left


There is No more sweat and no more tears

No more yelling

And No more bad refs and free throw shots


All of the adrenaline that filled your body running up and down the court is replaced by the greatest sense of pride.

Pride in your team and pride in yourself

You have just won your last game of the season.

You had a good run

There were losses but best of all there were wins

But what really mattered after the game was over

Was that we’re still a family

On or off the court.


We may not ever play together again but the memories

of our success will live forever in our hearts

even though

The games are over

Megan P: Smithfield Middle School

Halloween

All Hallow’s Eve,

The dark sky’s deep,

And the demons start to creep.


As witches scream,

And werewolves feast,

Little children trick or treat.


Hunting for spells,

Or prey to fell,

Or delicious choc’late bells.


Then a surprise,

That shocks the eye,

All of the fearsome monsters……...


Are just children in disguise.

Samantha P: North Oaks Middle School

Chimes

With the wind soft sound of the echoing mind

I praise for you across these chimes A

peaceful dozing and cheerful cry Nothing

less for these critical times


Even though the chimes are

clanging And making sounds of

cacophony I will not break or make a

BANG On the drums of irritation


Why the storm of a thousand birds? Why are

the chimes breaking from clanging? How are

the drums not banging? What ARE

those critical times?


I can not say I

may not speak

The words The

actions Will

never show


You just simply may not know.

Erin C: North Ridge Middle School

Radiant Waters


“It’s a beautiful sight really!” I spoke to myself while fixing an unblinking eye outwards, to the world that surrounded me. I sat on a gritty floor staring at the simple, however important line that disconnected two alluring opposites. The sky holds such an enigmatic life. Creates a meaning that can only be viewed from afar. Then, there is the radiant waters that hold beings yet to be found. Water, such a basic substance, but it’s a fluid that supports all existence. I keep looking out into nature until I hear a voice softly, no loudy saying my name. I looked around attempting to locate the familiar voice. “Kiddo, you’re going to be late for school! Hurry up, now!” Rapidly I finished my shower and sprinted to the nearest “okay” smelling articles of clothing. Stumbling to throw the outfit on, I spotted my backpack along with my wallet and keys. Looking around, “Okay… anything else? No... alright let’s go” I ran out the door with water dripping down my back and my shirt on backwards. Running, I burst through my first periods threshold just in time to hear the bell ring throughout my ears. “Woah, rough morning?” “You could say that, or you could say enlightened” I responded to my best friend, well… only friend for that matter. I went to the restroom and came back with my hair pulled up and my clothes fixed. Looking presentable I returned to the classroom. “It would be cool if we went to the beach together, because you like the water right?” “You don’t know the half of it, but yeah, I’m in.”

Abigail G: Watauga Middle School

I want to fall in love.

I know i'm young and i don't know what love is,

but i think i do.

Love is trusting your significant other with every inch of your body.

Love is knowing them more than anyone else on this planet and still being able to learn new things about them everyday.

Love is not getting tired of talking to them ever,

to have conversations that make both of you laugh and cry together.

Love is like seeing them and feeling like taking a breath after drowning for years.

Love is looking at them at falling in love all over again.

Love is doing the simplest things with each other and feel absolutely happy.

Love is having a million inside jokes and pictures of each other.

Love is being completely comfortable with each other alone and around other people. Love is love no matter with who.

Adriana F: North Richland Middle School

Driving While Drowsy

PSA by Adriana F


SCENE 1


Mother - (stands in bedroom doorway looking at son, smiles)


Son - (plays with toy cars and people with joy)


Mother - (walks inside room and sits next to son)


Camera pans side-to-side from Mother to Son. Zoom on son’s face and then toys.


Son - (looks up at Mother) “Look Mommy!” (son picks up toy car and pushes it into toy man) “ZOOM!”


Mother (smile fades, looks into the distance as if remembering something sad).


Camera zooms in on Son’s face when he crashes car into toy. Pans to Mother’s face after Son’s line.



SCENE 2


Scene changes to inside of a car. Mother is driving. Girl in carseat in the backseat.


Mother - (eye closing slowly)” Hanging in there, Honey?”


Girl - “I’m sleepy.”


Zoom on Mother’s face, when she turns around scene changes to the inside of a car. Mother is seen driving, camera zooms behind her on visible car seat.


Mother - “So am I.” (looks down at stomach, is pregnant with Son. Mother makes a pained face, and closes eyes, clearly exhausted).


Girl - (opens mouth to scream). “Mommy! Watch out!”


Mother - (opens eyes too late, crashes into truck).


Camera pans to Girl in back who is Mother’s daughter. Extreme closeup on Girl’s face. Camera slightly shakes when Girl screams and quickly pans to Mother.



Scene 3


Scene changes back to original set in bedroom.


Mother - focuses again, looks down at Son, holds her stomach).


Son - (continues to play with toys)


Mother - (tears form in her eyes, hugs Son tightly).


Zoom on Mother’s hands as he holds her stomach. Pan to Son as he drops his cars and joins her for a hug.



Scene 4


BLACKOUT - (words in white New Times Roman font -


“Drowsy driving is underestimated. It is the cause of about 6,000 deaths each year.Don’t be the cause of one.”


BLACKOUT

Emma C: North Oaks Middle School

Love

Love is about being

Kind

Love is about being treated with

Respect

Love is about being yourself

Around

Someone else

Love is about being

Loved and

Loving.

Love is about feeling

Safe

Not scared

Love should be joyous

Kathleen P: North Ridge MIddle School

Jeffery


Growing up, my parents had made me aware that I would have to leave one day. They made it clear that moving away represented growing up and becoming a true adult. All oranges knew this, and to us being harvested was a time of celebration. Sure, it was sad to see the oranges in your tree leave, but being harvested meant they would finally be free and see the world. I was filled with joy when I was plucked from my tree and put into the basket. As me and the other oranges were taken away from the fields, we could still hear the cheers from our orange friends. My joy was replaced with confusion when the farmer sprayed us with a water like substance. It caused me to black out. By the time I had fully regained my Consciousness, we were being placed into a large truck. All of us sobbed and wanted to be let go, but it was like nobody heard us. After a few hours, we ended up at a new building. We were taken into a school cafeteria and placed into bins with other fruit. It was miserable to stay there. During lunch hours the kids would just walk by me like I was nothing. I wanted to get out of there, but I knew that if I did I would die. They would rip my skin apart and eat my organs like the disgusting humans they were. I was picked up and wondered if that was how it was going to end. Was this the freedom I had always dreamed of? As I prepared for the girl to rip me apart, she paused. She put me into her bag. Was I going to live another day? She spoke to me, “Your name is Jeffery.”

Kenzie A: Smithfield Middle School

Cycle


It seems that every day is a viscous cycle.

Wake up, get ready, go to school, listen and watch, get home, watch television, go to bed.

It repeats itself over and over.

What is this cycle? Why must it repeat?

Besides the thoughts throughout my day, everything else stays the same.

‘Why am I here?’,

‘Why should we learn this?’,

‘Why must no one care about important things like work?’.

‘What is this supposed to mean?’,

‘Would doing this actually matter?’,

‘Does my teacher hate me?’,

‘Do my friends actually care?’.

It’s terrible, this cycle I’m stuck in.

It’s exhausting; why must it repeat?

It repeats over and over, but I still don’t understand it.

Why have we been reduced to robotic motions?

This wasn’t what I expected. This wasn’t what I thought the life cycle was.

Is this how it will be forever? Doing the same things over and over?

I’d love to do something different for a change, but there’s a problem with that. Most of the adults don’t like change, and they appreciate the cycle.

And who’s going to listen to the little voice from below that they find unimportant?

The little voice that says, “Please, take me out of this cycle!”

I have a fear that I’ll never escape the cycle, and I’ll live in it for the rest of my life.

It’s a rational fear, yes?

To be caught in a cycle... a trap that you can’t get out of?

Annabell L: North Richland Middle School

My inspiration

“I think that beauty comes from knowing who you are.” -Ellen DeGeneres. If you don’t know Ellen, she is an award winning talk show host for her show, The Ellen Show, and an outstanding comedian. Some people may know her as the voice of Dory on Finding Nemo or even as a judge on American Idol. Whatever you may know her from, you probably don’t know that Ellen isn’t afraid to be kind. She says, “We need more kindness, compassion, more joy and more laughter. I definitely want to contribute to that.’’ Ellen DeGeneres is an inspiration to me because she is a great role, she gives back, and she is an activist for animal rights.

For decades Ellen has continued to be a role model to people of all ages. Whether its through the gifts she gives to those who need it, or her words of wisdom on happiness Ellen has never once asked for anything in return. She has proven time and time again that love and the ability to be true to who you are, can defy all the odds that can get in the way. If i could aspire to be anyone it would be Ellen for the sheer reason of the attitude she has towards life and her unapologetic attitude of being exactly who she wants to be without any regret whatsoever. For these reasons, Ellen is an astonishing role model who will continue to influence us for the better.

Another reason Ellen DeGeneres inspires me is because the amount of good deeds she’s done are endless. Ellen supports people and families who are facing difficult times or those she feels need to be recognized for their good actions. Some recent examples include a $100,000 contribution for the wedding of a breast cancer survivor who relied on the Ellen Show to lift her spirits during chemotherapy treatment. Also, in 2014, Ellen spotlight a previously homeless man, Derrick Walton, who set up a restaurant that provides free meals for homeless people. In 2012, Ellen partnered up with a company called Shutterfly to enable her to offer generous, life changing donations to those most in need. Over the years, the partnership has transformed lives through donations and by raising public awareness. Over the shows 13 year history, Ellen has donated an astounding $50 million dollars to various charities and individuals in need. This is so inspiring to me because giving back is very significant and Ellen won’t hesitate to do it.

Not only is Ellen DeGeneres so kind to humans but one of the most inspiring things about her is her love for animals. Ellen is an activist for animal rights and contributes to their care with her numerous donations. Ellen received the PETCO foundations HOPE award which is given to public figures who promote the bond between humans and the animal kingdom. “I wish we lived in a world where caring for animals wasn’t so rare that it deserved an award. All I do is treat animals with the dignity they deserve. I hope someday everyone does the same”, Ellen said. This is inspiring to me because I have a love for animals just like Ellen. It truly amazes me how she shows so much generosity to humans and animals. She knows what she believes and immediately takes action.

Ellen DeGeneres is so inspirational because she is a leader by example. She continuously does good deeds, gives back and treats animals with equality by standing up for what she believes in. Her love for everything, constant kindness and humor day by day, making the world a better place. I believe Ellen DeGeneres is my everyday inspiration and that she is to many others as well. Ellen DeGeneres truly is remarkable.