The Hidden Truth
MAMS Literary Arts Magazine, Spring 2017
What do you perceive the world around you to be like?
How do you view your surroundings? What is the notion of "perception?" As you walk around, do you and the people around you notice the same exact things at the same exact time? Probably not, for that would be impossible. No two sets of eyes notice the same happenings. And that is the beauty of perception.
Perception is defined as "the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses" and "a way of regarding, understanding, or interpreting something." If we understand the meaning of perception, we can realize that what we view as the "truth" may not be seen as the same truth to someone else. We all have different understandings of situations. We all take away different "truths." And for that reason, so many truths are in fact hidden.
By reading Matawan-Aberdeen Middle School student work below, you can discover the hidden truths, the various perceptions, of our brilliant and unique minds. Enjoy!
"The Hidden Truth" Cover Contest Winner
How do you perceive illusions?
Destroy a City to See the Stars
A man cuts up mere pink curtains with a pair of cold hard metal scissors. In the background, I see tall skyscrapers standing up. The pitch black sky and twinkling stars reflect on the still and silent water. A lonely oak-wooded cabin is staring at the multi colored sunset. Finally, the illusion represents our struggle to strive to be something more. “Destroy a city to see the stars.” This shows how sometimes you have to sacrifice something else for something better. The colors I see are the dark shades of the night sky as well as the colors of a city sunset. These colors show and embrace the dark mood of the picture. The mellowing yellow color indoors reflects the glittering light of the outside you can only reach if you make a path.
The curtains are like the difficulties of life that after some hard work, you can cut through and see the twinkling positives of life. These are the positives that can only be seen after you’ve gone through difficult times. It could also possibly mean that sometimes you have to make sacrifices for something of greater value. The person cut the curtains and gained something greater. This could also go the other way around. You destroy the captivating city lying in the sunset, and end up with a dark pile of nothingness. People who don’t go out and try to conquer the difficulties in life will always be looking at the same fantasy of a perfect curtain, and will live a life in a boring fantasy.
It invokes the beauty in people and the darkness that follows them around everywhere. It shows the split personalities of people and how there may be two different sides to every person. I feel this way because that’s how everyone feels deep inside. Torn between two stunning scenes. This artwork has an immensely strong value because it relates to how everyone feels on the inside. How you must destroy something to obtain something. How you must “destroy a city to see the stars.”
Life is What You Make of It
by Elisa Ortiz, Grade 8
What I see in this chessboard illusion are people’s lives. The people on the board are getting help from other people to get their dreams and goals achieved. The person on what looks like a balcony to the left, is helping the other man from down below lift up his dreams and life goals. The two people on the right climbing up the ladder represent people climbing to their dreams independently, without the help of people who are already close to achieving their dreams. To the top left of the balcony there are a few boards patching up a broken part of the fencing. This represents someone falling off the balcony, in other words someone close to losing their dreams, but then trying to fix their almost broken dreams. The color shades are not very dark or very light, and this means that the path of life isn't always going to go your way, but it is not only going to be bad, there will be good times as well.
I feel that this picture is meant to show people that there are multiple ways to get through life, and that life is only as good or bad as you make it. I see this message from the shadows and light areas of he picture. This picture could be interpreted quite a few different ways, just like how you can look to see the world you live in. It’s really amazing how deeply you can interpret this picture, but it also does not have the most obvious meaning. Even so, I feel as if this picture could change people’s perspective of the world, as well as their own lives. It can show people that their lives depend on their decisions, and that others can also help with those decisions.
Eye Spy: Nature
At first, the picture looks like a man’s face, but it is actually a picture of a boy sitting on a rock in the grass between two trees. He sees a house in the far distance and is painting it on a canvas; the actual house and the house in the canvas make up the eyes of the man, the pattern on the rock makes the mouth, and the person that is painting makes up the nose. The two trees make up the borders of the face. The sky is a mix of teal, arctic, periwinkle, and chiffon. This creates a peaceful mood in the picture.
The artwork shows a rural area in the world and presents how closed off it is from the rest of society. It is shown as closed off by two trees. This artwork has strong value in how it depicts a boy painting on a canvas. This also presents the generalization of how people that live in a rural area may not do the same things as a person from a suburban or urban area. A person from an urban or suburban area would most likely chat with their friends or play games as soon as they come home from school. But, this boy is painting on a canvas outside a home. He looks like he is interested in drawing compared to other things. He has all his drawing tools with him.
The picture shares the message that although we are always watching nature, nature is also watching us. The whole picture shows nature. The eyes represent a part of nature. The climate reflects mood because the climate is watching all the time.
The Sinking Serpent
When you first look at this picture, you see a painting of what looks like a textured skull. If you look a bit closer, then you can see that this visual is actually a ship on the ocean during a stormy day. The rough, strong waves brush up against a wooden ship. Sails filled with air rise above the water, with great pride. Meanwhile, in the background, strong wings float in the air, almost forming great puffs of flying steam. Below, there are sea serpents struggling in the strong currents. You can presume that these serpents were carved onto the ship, such as a decoration. The ship is beginning to sink, hence why all of the people on the ship are headed on the top.
This illusion is in black and white. This makes it look like it took place a long time ago. There are also many textures in the illusion, which makes it look like a work of art. Many paintings that were don't a long time ago really embraced the textures that complimented the aspects of the theme. There are also many shapes involved in this visual. For example, the swirls that are making up the waves show how strong the current actually is, therefore proving how the ship is fighting through a tough storm.
This illusion can represent fighting through struggles. The sea serpents, that were once just pieces of wood attached to a ship, now are alive. Perhaps this can show how when fighting through an obstacle, we really become ourselves.
This creation can show us our true selves, and tries to evoke the feeling of self struggle. This artwork has a powerful value, because it can prove the argument of finding ourselves, through in fact fighting ourselves at the same time.
The Face of Battle
When you first look at this picture, you probably see a picture of a man. When you look closer at the picture, you realize that the image is actually a picture of two soldiers on a horse. The setting of the picture seems like the soldiers are by tall, spiky mountains in a harsh climate.
The color of this visual is gray tone with a cool aspect. The colors chosen for this picture, provide a chilly feel. The white and dray tones of the mountains show that there is snow on the mountains and the background is frosty.
This illusion represents how the troopers were determined to fight in battle. They were all bundled up with blankets wrapped around them, but that didn’t stop them. Despite having to travel in harsh weather, the soldiers were still pushing through.
It invokes a powerful value because it shows how everyone can have their own face of battle. This picture shows that no matter what obstacles you face, you shouldn’t give up and still try to strive.
What connections can you discover in pieces of literature?
Analysis of "The Pedestrian" and "Harrison Bergeron"
by Grace Mozeika, Grade 8
Imagine yourself walking down a cold, misty, gloomy and dark street. You are alone and can hear the blare of televisions booming Channel 7 - the news. As you look in the houses’ windows, you can see that everyone has the same channel on… and everyone is acting the same. You soon hear the ring of a police car slowly creeping behind you, almost mockingly. They start to question you, asking why are you walking, why are you even outside, don’t you have a TV? In fact, you ask yourself why everyone has to absorb the same information from the same news channel? Now switch gears and picture a married couple, whose son was in jail for being “different.” Although the couple has completely different personalities, they are forced to be the same. Think about how desperately they want to feel emotions again, how desperately they want to end all of the equality. When their son escapes jail suddenly, they get a slight beat of hope in their heart for a better change in the world. The son is angry with what society has become and tries to make everyone release their true selves. But unfortunately, their son tragically dies for speaking his mind. The couple wants to change, but now there is no hope. How can individuality ever exist in this world?
Both of these scenarios are representative of “The Pedestrian” and “Harrison Bergeron,” two short dystopian stories. In “The Pedestrian” by Ray Bradbury, Mr. Leonard Mead is taking a nice stroll outside but soon finds himself getting into some crazy chaos. He is then taken into a police car, going to a psychiatric ward for “Regressive Tendencies,” and of course, Mr. Mead is rightly confused. Although the story doesn’t offer exactly what happened in the ward, we can infer people are trying to make him a follower to everyone else. In “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut, Harrison, a boy who soon escaped, was in jail for a very odd reason - because he was different in that he was more intelligent than everyone else. While Harrison escapes, he acts like an emperor to society. Unfortunately, he is soon shot by the General, the person who wants everyone to be the exact same. Although “Harrison Bergeron” and “The Pedestrian” have entirely different plots, both stories have characters who show that people should be individual, and it is perfectly normal and fine to be different than the person next to you.
To begin, in “The Pedestrian,” Ray Bradbury develops his main character, Mr. Mead, to be unique and dependent in a world where everyone is forced to be exactly the same as everyone else. Even though everyone in the story was sitting inside, glued to technology, Mr. Mead was enjoying the night taking a break from all of that. In fact, even when he got caught by the police, he stood up for his rights and tried to break the equality in his generation; however, he still got in trouble. Mr. Mead shows us that you cannot pressure everyone to act the same because humans are meant to be different. Mr. Mead proves this point by talking to the police when he says, “[I’m] Walking for air. Walking to see.” Mr. Mead represents a strong, be yourself kind of person. He shows that people don’t have to do what others do. The police then say to Mr. Mead, “And you have a viewing screen in your house to see with?” Mr. Mead replies with: “ ‘No.’ ‘No?’ [said the police] There was a crackling quiet that in itself was an accusation.” This shows that Mr. Mead stands out from the rest of the world, and proves that it is okay to stand out. He makes the reader know that you cannot force someone to change and that being different is actually a good thing. Essentially, Mr. Mead uses his character and personality to show us the reason behind being unlike the person next to you.
Furthermore, in “Harrison Bergeron,” by Kurt Vonnegut, the author develops the main character, Harrison, by teaching everyone that you can't force people to be alike. Even though the government wanted people to act alike, Harrison encouraged everyone to be the exact same by attempting to take off their handicaps, an earpiece that tells the characters how to act “normal.” Like Mr. Mead, Harrison wants to show the generation what being different looks like. Harrison shows us that even if society tries and tells us what to do, we cannot let them control us. Harrison shows his passion of this when he took off his “empress’” mask and handicap. The story states, “Harrison plucked the mental handicap from her ear, snapped off her physical handicaps with marvelous delicacy. Last of all he removed her mask. She was blindingly beautiful.” This act of Harrison releasing the ballerina’s true form shows that he thinks the fact that society wants everyone exactly equal is ludicrous. Just like Mr. Mead, Harrison thinks that being equal can change the world in a negative way - so the characters want to cause some change. But of course, society still thinks it's correct to live like that, so unfortunately, the empress (or ballerina) and Harrison would have to receive a consequence. Only a little bit further in the story, it states, “It was then that Diana Moon Glampers, the Handicapper General, came into the studio with a double-barreled ten-gauge shotgun. She fired twice, and the Emperor and the Empress were dead before they hit the floor.” Harrison’s act should have left behind a great legacy; however, everyone went back to their handicaps before they could also be shot. The author uses Harrison to show us that you cannot force everyone to be alike and that we are different for a reason.
Essentially, even though you can see that “The Pedestrian” and “Harrison Bergeron” have completely plots, both of the authors develop their characters to show that it is fine to be “different,” and that people will never be exactly the same. In both texts, it was proved that if everyone was the same, chaos begins to happen. Like in “Harrison Bergeron,” where the story adds, “Harrison tore the straps of his handicap harness like wet tissue paper, tore straps guaranteed to support five thousand pounds.” This scene was very dramatic, revealing a sort of chaotic vibe to the story, proving that people being equal can get very frustrating. So, it is fine to be opposite from the person next to you, and it is fine to have different interests than the people around you. Because if the world were not to have different personalities, there would be so few achievements made. Harrison had the passion, unlike others, to be different. He did cause a change, even if it was only for a little while. Take some of the geniuses our world has had; without them, the world would be barely discovered. Mr. Mead also caused a change, and did it by not being focused on technology like others; he wasn't afraid to act differently. Ultimately, the world needs different people, and that is perfectly how it should stay.
Analysis of “All Summer in a Day" and “The Story of an Hour"
by Lalain Javaid, Grade 8
Haven’t you ever wanted something that was out of your reach? The short story, “All Summer in a Day,” by Ray Bradbury is about a nine year old girl named Margot who came to Venus from Ohio when she was four. It had been raining non-stop in Venus for seven years; the rain had made Margot frail and fragile. Every seven years the rain stopped for one hour, and it was on this day that the children in the story locked Margot in a closet to prevent her from seeing the sun. Moreover, in the short story “The Story of an Hour,” by Kate Chopin, a lady with heart problems named Mrs. Mallard found out her husband was dead. She locked herself in her room and grieved. Yet suddenly, she realized she was free from all her worries and burdens. She slowly walked downstairs and was met by her “dead” husband who wasn’t actually dead, though. Then she had a heart-attack and died. Although “All Summer in a Day” and “The Story of An Hour” are very different, both demonstrate characters who struggle to lose something and want something.
In “All Summer in a Day,” Margot is a frail girl who only wants to see and feel the sun again; now that she lives on Mars, she lost the Earth’s sunshine, and she struggles to cope. When Margot is in school on the planet Venus, she is quiet and doesn’t play with anyone else. The other children are mean to her because of this. The only time she even speaks or lights up is when someone mentions the sun. Margot always stands alone, different from everyone else. The rain washed her away; “[s]he was an old photograph dusted from an album…” She didn’t play any games with the other children, and as the author states, “When the class sang songs about happiness and life and games her lips barely moved. Only when they sang about the sun and the summer did her lips move as she watched the drenched windows.” This proves that all Margot needs the sunshine like she needs air to breathe, and that’s all she wants. She barely sings when the songs are related to happiness and life. Margot also looks at the rain through the windows which hints that she wishes for the sun instead of the horrendous downpour. To conclude, Margot wishes for the sun above everything else. This is shown several times in the story “All Summer in a Day,” when she only shows hints of joy when doing anything related to the sun. The sun is her freedom.
Moreover, in “The Story of an Hour,” by Kate Chopin, Ms. Mallard also loses something, just like Margot. She considers her life "un-free" because she wishes to be alone, and wants this freedom back. This is shown through her personality and dialogue. When Ms. Mallard finds out her husband died, she sits all alone in her room in despair. Suddenly a thought consumed her; she realized that she would be free now that her husband is dead. The author states, “[T]here would be no one to live for her during those coming years; she would live for herself. There would be no powerful will bending hers in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow- creature.” This proves that Mrs. Mallard realizes she wants to be free. She knows that she could live for herself now and there will be no one holding her back, and this freedom is similar to Margot’s freedom when thoughts of the sun consume her. In conclusion, Mrs. Mallard wants to be free, and this is shown in the short story “The Story of an Hour” multiple times.
Furthermore, the short stories “All Summer in a Day” and “The Story of an Hour” both have characters who want something. Margot wants the sun and Mrs. Mallard wants to be free. Margot hated the rain and only wanted the warm sunlight. The author states, “And once, a month ago, she had refused to shower in the school shower rooms, had clutched her hands to her ears and over her head, screaming the water mustn’t touch her head. So after that, dimly, dimly, she sensed it, she was different and they knew her difference and kept away. There was talk that her father and mother were taking her back to Earth next year; it seemed vital to her that they do so…” Margot wouldn’t even shower because she didn’t like the constant, never-ending rain. They are planning to take her back to Earth because she will barely survive on Venus.
Similarly, Mrs. Mallard wants her freedom. She wanted to be free ever since she found out her husband died. She thought that this was the way for her to be happy. The author states, “When she abandoned herself a little whispered word escaped her slightly parted lips. She said it over and over under her breath: ‘free, free, free!’ The vacant stare and the look of terror that had followed it went from her eyes. They stayed keen and bright. Her pulses beat fast, and the coursing blood warmed and relaxed every inch of her body. She did not stop to ask if it were or were not a monstrous joy that held her. A clear and exalted perception enabled her to dismiss the suggestion as trivial.” Mrs. Mallard kept whispering free because she realized she was finally free without her husband and this was all she wanted. To conclude, even though they didn’t want the same thing, Margot and Ms. Mallard both wanted something very badly.
Ultimately, in the short stories “All Summer in a Day” and “The Story of an Hour,” the characters Margot and Mrs.Mallard both want something really badly but never got what they wanted. This is shown throughout the stories in the form of the characters and theme. Likewise, many people in the world don’t get what they want, just like Margot and Mrs. Mallard. They learn to cope with it. These problems could vary from a child not getting the toy she wanted to a person not being able to see the sun or ever being free. This shows that many people face problems and deal with it in different ways. “All Summer In A Day” and “The Story of an Hour” encompass the idea that we might never get what we really want but we can learn to live with it.
Analysis of "Harrison Bergeron" and "The Pedestrian"
"Fight for What's Right"
Imagine that being yourself was against the laws and “doing what you love” was a crime. Do you remember as a kid when your parents would tell you to always be yourself and nothing could go wrong? Picture that thought taken so far away from you that you couldn't even remember who you were anymore. Now erase that picture and redraw another. Imagine a world where everyone was forced to basically be your identical twin in every way possible. You are captivated in a world in which you're trapped in an endless nightmare. The abilities you can pursue have now vanished out of reach. What if you were obligated to forget the things you love? Or the things you know? Or the things you wish to discover?
These scenarios are representative of two texts, “The Pedestrian,” a short story by Ray Bradbury, and “Harrison Bergeron,” a story written by Kurt Vonnegut. In “The Pedestrian,” by Ray Bradbury, a third-person narrator is sharing the story of a man who is rebelling against the government for simply taking a late night stroll, which happens to be something he enjoys to do. His walk was quickly stopped by a suspicious cop car that demanded he enter the vehicle. The car then drove him to “The Psychiatric Centre for Research on Regressive Tendencies.” In “Harrison Bergeron,” by Kurt Vonnegut, the story took place in a high society time period where the government tries to force everyone to be identical in every shape or size, even if it causes harm. Two parents, one being handicapped, were watching the television when their son (who was in jail) bursts on the stage. The son named Harrison, attempts to free himself and others from the government's obsessive commands, but sadly doesn't succeed. Although “The Pedestrian” and “Harrison Bergeron” have entirely different plots, both stories have characters who show that when a government tries to take away people’s individuality, those people will eventually rebel against it.
To begin, in “The Pedestrian,” Bradbury develops his main character, Mr. Mead, to show that being different isn't a crime. Mr. Mead lives in a futuristic world where things have most definitely changed. One night he was the only one strolling along the paths of the city, because everyone else was following the government's obsessive laws of staying inside. The government tries to take over everything and everyone because they’re trying to create the world in they way they want it to be. They are not keeping in mind the way other people could be influenced. Ray Bradbury writes, “To put your feet upon that buckling concrete walk, to step over grassy seams and make your way, hands in pockets, through the silences, that was what Mr. Leonard Mead most dearly loved to do.” This statement represents the love Mr. Mead possess for taking long walks. It’s what he dearly enjoys to do, but this hobby of his will be soon taken from his capabilities. All he was doing was innocently taking a long stroll along the town. He wasn't hurting anyone or anything; however, he was slowing hurting the government's system. In the story the narrator explains, “He was within a block of his destination when the [police] car turned a corner quite suddenly and flashed a fierce white light upon him. A metallic voice called to him: ‘Stand still. Stay where you are! Don’t move! He halted.” Leonard Mead was abruptly stopped by a metallic cop car that was forcing poor Mr. Mead to stop his stroll and get into the police car. Yet Mr. Mead is completely innocent in this case and didn’t commit any kind of felony that he knew of. Essentially, Mr. Mead decided to break off from being like everyone else and explore the city at night, which apparently isn’t allowed because this would make him have individual thoughts, different from everyone else’s. After reading“The Pedestrian,” it is evident that being different shouldn’t be something the government wants to stop.
Furthermore, Kurt Vonnegut develops the character Harrison in “Harrison Bergeron” to represent that people should fight for their individually and that it’s okay for everyone to be different. Harrison rebels against the government's wishes because he was fed up with them trying to control and change every aspect of his life. He shows his rage by tearing off his and other’s “handicaps,” the devices used to control people to make everyone the same. The narrator explains in the text, “And George, while his intelligence was way above normal, he had a little mental handicap radio in his ear. He was required by law to wear it at all times.” This shows how the government made people who were smarter than others, suffer. Just like in “The Pedestrian,” Mr. Mead was forced to stop his favorite hobby because of the government's laws. Citizens with higher intelligence would have to suffer so they would be equal, just like everyone else. It states in the text, “Harrison tore the straps of his handicap harness like wet tissue paper, tore straps guaranteed to support five thousand pounds. Harriosn’s scrap-iron handicaps crashed to the floor.” This represents that one person will always rebel and do what they feel is right. Harrison frees himself from the government by removing his handicaps. He shows the world that together they can stand up to the government's obsessive rules so they don’t have to sit back and wait for their freedom. Just like in “The Pedestrian,” Mr. Mead disobeys the laws and decides to walk outside at night, like Harrison did by removing his handicaps. In‘Harrison Bergeron,” Harrison shows valiant actions, just like Mr. Mead’s, which can give people inspiration or even hope that no one, not even a big brawny army, can stop you from being you.
After examining the writing from both “The Pedestrian” and “Harrison Bergeron,” we can learn that people cannot control you because there will always be someone to stand up. Ray Bradbury and Kurt Vonnegut use different examples, Mr. Mead and Harrison, to show that the government cannot stop people from being themselves or from rebelling. The thing that makes you, you, is the way all of us are different. If people want to “walk for hours and and miles” because that is what they enjoy, they should be free to do so. If “tearing off straps that held five thousand pounds” is what it takes for you to be yourself then that's what you have to do. If Mr. Mead and Harrison never stood up for their individualities, their worlds would still be kept captive in a society where the government is free to do what they wanted, when they wanted. If people lived in a world where everyone was skilled and cocky like the hare, who would be the lesser skilled, yet wise people to bring others back to reality like the tortoise. If everyone was the same, how would life be interesting? What would make you, you? Ultimately, both Mr. Mead and Harrison Bergeron prove that there may be people standing in your way, but it's up to you whether those people shall stay an obstacle or if you'll find a way around it.
What do song lyrics and poems mean to you?
This is the story of two people who were searching for for someone like them. The blue skin represents the personality of both the people. These two people were not confident in their personalities so they wore masks to hide them. Although they were not willing to show their personalities, they searched for someone who was openly like them. They looked for someone with the personality like them, despite not accepting themselves. With none of the two willing to show their true colors, they did not notice when they passed right back each other.
The lesson from this story, as cheesy as it sounds, is be yourself. If you look for someone like you and you yourself aren’t willing to show what your like, then the person with the same personality would most likely not be willing to be themselves either. If you continue to hide yourself you won’t be able to find someone who is like you, and if you by chance find someone who is like you and wearing a mask, you will most likely not even know that you two are alike. So, don’t be afraid to be yourself despite everything hidden inside your mind.
"Don't Let Me Down" by The Chainsmokers featuring Daya
by Ayla Muminovic, Grade 6
Crashing, hit a wall
Right now I need a miracle
Hurry up now, I need a miracle
Stranded, reaching out
I call your name but you're not around
I say your name but you're not around
I need ya, I need ya, I need you right now
Yeah, I need you right now
So don't let me, don't let me, don't let me down
I think I'm losing my mind now
It's in my head, darling, I hope
That you'll be here, when I need you the most
So don't let me, don't let me, don't let me downD-don't let me down
“Don’t Let Me Down” is about the process of going through a breakup. The speaker sings that she has hit a wall, which means she cannot proceed in moving forward with her life. It is almost as if she is trapped. Since this breakup, she is explaining how lost she is without her boyfriend. She doesn’t know how to get him back. The speaker has to deal with the fact that it’s over, and the two aren’t getting back together. But she doesn’t want this to be true and she calls out for him and asks him not to let her down. She was head over heals in love with him and never saw the end coming. She believed he would be with her until the end of time and now she feels lost; ultimately, she doesn’t know what to do.
“Don’t Let Me Down” helps listeners connect with other people going through breakups or other hard times. We can learn that other people experience hardships too, and that even when someone lets us down, eventually we can pick ourselves back up. Although the song is solemn, it sends a message that so many people are experiencing the same type of problem - that of being let down - and that we need to experience this in order to appreciate better moments ahead.
This poem shows the deepest thoughts of society. How people take the most simplest, most important things for granted. They push them away thinking they’ll always be there no matter how badly they treat them. People get greedy and ignore the things they need the most. Since the girl was always there, people did not care about her as long as she kept doing what she was doing. One day when she vanishes and will never come back, everyone will grow into a panic and wonder where the girl went and why the sun never rose again.
"Can't Stop the Feeling"
by Sai Vedagiri, Grade 8
I got that sunshine in my pocket
Got that good soul in my feet
I feel that hot blood in my body when it drops, ooh
I can't take my eyes up off it, moving so phenomenally
Room on lock the way we rock it, so don't stop
And under the lights when everything goes
Nowhere to hide when I'm getting you close
When we move, well, you already know
So just imagine, just imagine, just imagine
Nothing I can see but you when you dance, dance, dance
Feeling good, good, creeping up on you
So just dance, dance, dance, come on
All those things I shouldn't do
But you dance, dance, dance
And ain't nobody leaving soon, so keep dancing
I can't stop the feeling
So just dance, dance, dance
I can't stop the feeling
So just dance, dance, dance, come on
In this song, Justin Timberlake talks about how he feels so good that it is if he is up in the sky. He is going through a moment of extreme happiness and showing that he does not care about others feelings. To express these feelings, Timberlake uses a light and happy voice. He has good fortune and trying to have a good time. His blood is flowing very fast. He feels that it is magical and that he cannot control himself. Then he talks about how nothing in life is ever hidden. Everything is under the lights and everyone can see everything. So the only thing we can imagine is our thoughts. So, all we can do is imagine, and our imagination yields our hidden truths.
"The Untrustworthy Reflection"
“The Untrustworthy Reflection” is a meaningful poem about what makes you who you are. The mirror, being as close-minded as it is, only shows the outside, or physical. What it doesn't show is the beauty within everyone, dealing with personality and inner characteristics of how everyone truly is. The poem also says how the world only sees the things that aren't important. It can make you feel worthless if you consider yourself to be ugly, and that can make you ignore your real inner beauty. All in all, this poem shows how inner beauty is much more important than outer beauty, and focusing on your “untrustworthy reflection” can make you forget that.
What truths reside within these speech transcripts?
What do you know about Parkinson's Disease?
Everyone close your eyes. Imagine that you are thirty-six years old. You are married, have a job you enjoy working and you are about to have your first child. A baby girl! Your life is great. Until one day, your muscles begin to shake. About a day or two later, you lose your voice. You continue living your life. One day, you go completely stiff. You can't move. Your whole body is glued to the still air. When your muscles finally release, you call your doctor. You think you must just be sick and out of it. But what the doctor says is not what you expected. He breaks the news to you. You have Parkinson’s Disease (PD).
Now open your eyes. Raise your hand if you know what that is? Well, neither do you in this story. You do some research, and find it is a brain disease that affects your entire life. Your dreams of any advancement in your career takes a major to permanent detour. Your baby is on her way and you don't even know if you will be able to support her! You won’t be able to pick her up, play with her, drive her where she needs to go. At that moment, (pause for effect) your heart breaks. All your tables are immediately turned. Your life is ruined in one, short, painful day.
But, relax. At least this was not really you. This was all just a story, a horror, a nightmare. But this was a reality for one woman, my mom.
My mother and grandmother both have and are still struggling with Parkinson's Disease. Before I go further, let me explain what Parkinson's is. Parkinson's Disease, also known as PD, affects the nerves in your brain. The nerves in your brain control many parts of you like your breathing, movement, your vocal chords and pretty much everything else that you are physically able to do. So when these nerves are messed with, you can imagine the effects on your body. PD symptoms are tremor, slowness of movement, stiffness, balance problems, vocal problems and many more. So a person with Parkinson's will have to go through a lot and have many struggles in the society that they live in. The tremors can give people a bad impression of you if they don't know you have PD. The slowness of movement and balance problems can limit how much you can participate in activities that you normally do, like walking, playing sports or in the future, driving a car. The most frustrating thing is your loss of voice. It is a huge part of society to be able to talk your sociability is limited. Being soft spoken means no driving through, no phone calls, yelling, singing, or anything vocal.
Not only that, but PD causes pain. Pain in your back cause you tried to bend over and kiss your baby goodnight. Pain in your arms just from writing a letter. Pain in your legs when you try to go outside for a walk. Pain in your throat because you can't talk loud enough for the world to hear. Pain in your heart as you know that this will affect your life forever...and there is nothing you can do.
It's almost as if you are clenching your fists as tight as you can, right up against your chest. Imagine being stuck there for twenty-five to thirty minutes. Imagine all your body will allow you to do is to deal with it. Imagine the pain. The energy. The strength it takes from you. Imagine being trapped within your own skin. Now imagine waking up to that every morning. That is what my mom has to go through every single day.
But, these challenges don't stop people with PD from doing anything they want. It is amazing and truly inspiring to see people with Parkinson's doing all sorts of stuff. The most amazing thing is that once these people are given an obstacle to block their way, they find another way around it.
And, doctors are working on a cure. There is a surgery that can help with all these symptoms. It's called DBS (Deep Brain Stimulation). The surgery requires wires to be run from your brain, down the side of your neck, to your chest, where there is a battery placed. To insert the wires into your brain, you have to drill two holes in the top of your head. To keep it steady, they put your head in a metal brace. Then for them to run the wires down your neck, they need to cut the side of your neck, and then they have to cut your chest to finish the wiring and implant the battery. The battery is machine operated from the hospital that you took the surgery in and it tells the wires what to do and how they can help your brain activity. It does need to be changed every two years, but that is just a small surgery. While going through the process, you are kept awake so that your brain is active. Your head is numb but everything else is totally awake and normal.
My mother had the DBS surgery when I was about eight-years-old. The surgery was terrifying for all of us. I still remember my mom explaining the entire process to us. She was scared to death, which made my father scared, which made my sister and I scared. But luckily, the surgery went well for my mom.
After the surgery, we all saw an instant change in my mother. She was not shaking anymore. She hardly ever tensed up, and she walked and balanced properly. Her voice never did change, and if you have met my mother, you can still tell she is struggling. But she is happy and more mobile. Now, she can come to every concert, game, trip or anything that my sister and I throw at her. Driving is sometimes still an issue, but she does try drive us and get us to where we need to be. My mom always looks on the bright side of life and you will hardly ever hear her complain. As I said before, my grandmother also has Parkinson's. She also had the DBS surgery and is much better now, although neither one of them will ever be the same person they were before Parkinson's.
Not all hope is lost for finding a complete cure. There are many fundraisers and foundations worldwide that you could donate to to help find a cure. There is also a Parkinson's Walkathon every year in central park where people come to march against PD.
Before my time is up, I would like to take a minute to ask you to think. How would Parkinson's affect your life? How would it affect the ones you love? If you had PD, would you get the DBS surgery? What will you personally do to make a change? Maybe, together, we can find a cure in my mom's lifetime. Thank you.
Are Video Games Good for You?
by Matthew Guido, Grade 8 - 4:47 minutes
By a raise of hands, how many of you have ever heard of video games? *Chuckle* Of course you have! By a raise of hands how many of you have ever played video games? And, if you have what are some of them? (Ask the audience.) Well, if you have, you’re in luck. The purpose of playing video games is not only to entertain you; it also helps you improve your hand-eye coordination, problem-solving skills, and many other abilities. So the handful of you who play get benefits from games which can help you in real-life situations. The people who don’t play them miss out on some of this.
I play video games a lot. I usually play them for at least two hours a day, but when there is a load of homework, then I don't play at all. I never study for quizzes, only for tests. As of right now, I have straight A’s and I'm keeping it strong. Before I started to play video games, I didn't have that good of grades. For a while I couldn't write well and I typed one finger at a time, which made things hard to do because it took up so much time. Now that I've been playing video games for years, I can type well with all of my fingers, on the keys: a s d f j k l ;. It usually took me about an hour and a half to type a one page essay. Now I can type that in less than thirty minutes. Video games have shown me what to do in some situations; for example, Minecraft has helped me manage my time during the day. So, basically to me, video games have helped me a lot and without them I would not be where I am now.
Video games have many other benefits such as helping your cognitive skills. In many team based video games talking is one of the prime factors. Talking drives the game. Talking is key. Talking dominates all play. Talking demolishes the enemy. Most team based video games are online and require talking to random people. Examples of communications with people are call-outs, congratulations, and strategizing. (Show video of examples). As you can see in the first clip, someone is congratulating me on getting play of the game. In the second clip someone is calling out that an ability is ready, therefore strategizing the situation. Finally in the third clip my friend is congratulating and calling out who to take out so that we can proceed, which is also strategizing the situation. These examples in games can help people in real life because it can make them better public speakers by getting used to talking in a crowd of random people. Some people aren't exactly the most social, like me. Video games can help those people out by providing them with a sense of being actually social, by providing them friendships.
Video games are platforms for antisocial people. It allows them to hide away, to escape from the harsh reality. And that's exactly what it's done for me. Whenever I was steamed, or whenever I was mopey, I just played games. All in all, I hope you can see the difference that video games make on people.
Do Irrational Fears Limit You?
by Makayla Kreher, Grade 8 - 3:50 minutes
My aunt lives in Pennsylvania, and in order to get to our house we have to cross that big bridge that you would take to get to Woodbridge, New York or Staten Island - the Driscoll Bridge - but it always seems like we are the ones visiting them at their house. It’s like they never come to ours. But that is the case, they never come to our house. My parents got divorced when I was in fifth grade, three years ago give or take, and that when my mom moved into a new house. I brought this up because the last of the three times they came to my house was for my eleventh birthday in September of fifth grade. And we have been living in a new house for the three years and not one time in those three years she has never seen it. The first time she saw it was this year, April 1, 2017. All because of one thing, fear.
Fear is scary. Fear is weird. Fear is common. But an irrational fear, according to Google at least, is “A persistent, abnormal, and irrational fear of a specific thing or situation that compels one to avoid it, despite the awareness and reassurance that it is not dangerous.” To sum it up, basically it’s a fear you have that is either so unrealistic or will never happen. For some kids when they are little and swimming in the pool they get scared to go on the deep side because they’re scared a shark is going to come and swim up to eat them. Totally unrealistic and impossible to happen. Well, my aunt’s fear isn’t totally impossible but it is very, very, extremely rare, or very unlikely to happen. She is scared out of her pants of bridges because she thinks that one is going to start shaking and explode, which is how bridges collapse, or a car will come out of nowhere, hit her from the side, and knock her all they way off the bridge. Yes, I know how this sounds, but irrational fears are real.
In my opinion, I think everyone has irrational fears, but they just don’t like to admit it, or maybe don’t even realize they have them because of how unrealistic they are and how unlikely they are to happen. Some people do not develop an irrational fear until they hear a story about that type of fear, and it resonates with them. About six years ago I realized I was afraid of dolls; it’s my irrational fear. And right now you are probably thinking to yourself that is a common fear for some people; the reason I am afraid of dolls, aside from their fake hair, plastic body parts, imaginary organs, and eyes that seep into your skull of course, is because I think they have a soul that only makes them want to harm me! I believe that while I am sleeping I will be harmed by a doll or wake up to one at the foot of my bed. I remember that whenever my sister and I were invited over to our neighbor's house, I would sit upstairs the whole time while they were downstairs because all they did was play with Barbie dolls, every time we went to their house. I realized I was afraid of them when I woke up during the night to an American Girl Doll on the way to the bathroom lying on the ground, eyes open, staring at me - when I was only seven years old. And still to this day I am deathly afraid of dolls.
Well, this is where my point takes place; because of these irrational fears, you are limited to what you are able to do or accomplish. For example, my aunt can’t come visit us - her family - because she won’t cross a bridge. Or like me, who was unable to play dolls with my neighbors because I couldn’t even look at them, and still can’t look at them. Feeling anxious or scared when flying on a plane through turbulence or a storm is a normal and common fear, but not being able to go to a best friend or family member’s wedding because you had to fly, and you always think that the plane you are on is going to crash is an irrational fear or phobia. The fact is, every one in 11 million people will die in a plane crash while one in 9,100 will die in a car accident.
According to a Scientific American article, “In humans, an unwarranted, persistent fear of a certain situation or object, known as specific phobia, can cause overwhelming distress and interfere with daily life. Specific phobia is among the more prevalent anxiety disorders, affecting an estimated 9 percent of Americans within their lifetime.” This is showing that when humans develop a fear of a certain scenario or object, about 9% of the Americans that this affects develop anxiety disorders and are unable to provoke this fear from affecting them. This article does mention that fears like these usually develop after a particularly traumatic or frightening event that has scarred them for life. When this fear develops, it is very hard to get rid of, and then this fear will limit you from what you are able to achieve.
But there can be a way to get rid of your irrational fear. For example, if you are afraid of flying on a plane, maybe try just going to an airport or looking at a plane. Then next maybe actually go on the plane and not fly anywhere, and if you can, lastly fly somewhere.
So why is my aunt so afraid of bridges, you ask? She probably either has known someone who has had a bad experience on a bridge, watched a lot of news on bridges collapsing and on accidents, saw a scary movie about a bridge, or it is possible that she just randomly developed that fear. Some people don’t know how they developed their irrational fear, like my aunt, and some do, like me, and it is possible to not have or realize you have an irrational fear. Are you one of those people, or are you like the kid in the swimming pool that is swimming fast and far, far away from that deep side in the pool, scared of the imaginary shark they think is going to swim out of nowhere?
The History of Punk Rock
by Alexander Cusumano, Grade 8 - 4:34 minutes
So punk rock? Many of you have probably heard of it but never actually listened carefully to it. Punk rock is a genre of rock that developed in the mid 1970’s in the United States and the United Kingdom. The style was created because certain bands rejected the 1970’s style of rock; it is usually fast paced and the songs are short and often have political or anti-establishment lyrics. The term "punk" comes from what critics were calling fans of this style of music. By the late 70’s, bands like The Ramones in New York and The Clash in London were being recognized as the ones leading a new musical movement (music plays here - The Ramones - 10 seconds). With this movement came a certain style of dressing; this included things ranging from shirts deliberately made to be offensive, to leather jackets, spike bands, and other studded or spiked jewelry.
By the 1980's, a more aggressive style of punk had become more popular, known as hardcore punk with bands such as Minor Threat and Dead Kennedy's becoming very popular (15 seconds of music here). The 80’s slowly turned from hardcore punk to a lot more of a relaxed version of punk in the 90’s, called pop punk. Pop punk soon emerged into mainstream music with bands like Green Day. The Offspring and Blink 182 (20 seconds of music here by Blink and Green Day) produced albums like Green Day's "American Idiot," which sold over 25 million copies, and Blink 182 produced an album that moved up to third on the album chart. Yet with pop punk came other sub-genres, such as alternative rock and grunge becoming very popular in the early 90's with bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple, Pilots, and Soundgarden (play 20 seconds of music here).
Moving into the 2000’s, punk rock is mostly now pop punk. My Chemical Romance, for example, is a small pop punk band that started in New Jersey, and they released their first self-produced album, “I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love." They toured in a van going to little places around our state, playing wherever they could. They soon gained popularity and started playing bigger and bigger shows around our country, and then signed with a record label called Reprise Records. They released the album, “Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge,” with the first song on the record being "Helena" (play 10 seconds of music here). The album soon sold over 1 million copies within its first year, and My Chemical Romance started playing shows all across Europe and America. This is a good example of a small pop punk band becoming famous through hard work and determination.
But why is punk so special? What makes it so different from the other styles of music? Well, originators of punk were the first music artists to do something another genre had never done; it was the first genre of music where if you didn't have a record label, you produced and made your own record - you set up your own tours. The whole genre of punk, punk rock, pop punk, etc., has created a DIY ("do it yourself") style of music never before seen where small bands from a little town in the middle of nowhere could release a record and soon become very popular for it. This was never before seen in music until punk. Over the decades punk has evolved a lot, going from slamming on a guitar and singing about random topics to more complicated, deeper, more meaningful, and more commercialized types of music. But one thing has never changed throughout it, and that is the do it yourself feeling that punk is meant to have and that is what makes punk rock so special and so creative.
Where Has Our Creativity and Imagination Gone?
by Jalissa Daley, Grade 8 - 3:02 minutes
Raise your hand if you’ve ever built a tent out of blankets. Now raise your hand if you used to go outside and make up games. The question is, when did all of this end? When did we lose the sole thing that our childhood was based off of? Did it start when we got our first phone, when school started getting harder, or did it just vanish?
I called my seven-year-old cousin, and told her to create a short story with a beginning middle and end. She went on about a girl who wanted to be the strongest person alive and got a mentor who gave her jobs in order to get stronger. I then asked my sixteen-year-old sister to do the same, and she ignored me at first but then said, “We're not in school right now.” You could say she was just being lazy but I think as we get older, our creativity slowly disappears. How many times have our teachers told us that our answers lacked creativity?
Our imagination was first snatched from us when the world told us we needed to start getting serious. We are told when to speak, when to listen, when to move, and that doesn’t leave much room for creativity. When we were smaller we decided we wanted to be princesses, cowboys, astronauts, and more. The sky was the limit. Now we are told to be more practical. We should want to be lawyers, doctors, or an accountant. I’m not saying we should still want to think that we can be princesses when we grow up, but what I am saying is that once that imaginative mindset was taken from us, everything went along with it.
The next culprit would be when we got our first phone. Our brains are influenced by applications like Instagram, Snapchat, and other social media apps when our phone is in our hand. Because we are busy Snapchatting people, and liking pictures, our minds are closed off to other things. When we are bored the first thing we look for is our phone so we can play a game. We no longer jump on furniture because we think the floor is lava.
It was the imagination of kids that kept them busy when they weren't allowed to watch TV. It was the imagination of inventors that evolved our world for the better. It was the imagination of authors that led to some of the greatest literature alive. Imagination and creativity is what our lives thrives from, and it's what we all need.
What truths can we find in books?
All you care about
Is a slip of paper;
I don't mind you thinking about green.
It's just that gold -- it's a good way to be;
I don't think there's good in the world.
And It Was Too Late
And I couldn't breath.
Lives are worth more
When you're a kid.
I watched sunsets and stars-
And they were too late
To tell their side of the story.
It was important to me.
What is revealed from stories?
by Gabriella Prestia, Grade 6
I am terrified of heights. Yet I find myself on tall roller coasters, and eager to get on planes. I don’t know what possessed me that day, but I found myself on a zipline. I guess it could’ve been my dad saying “You’ll like it!” over and over again. Or maybe because my friend had told me how fun it was for her when she did it. But whatever it was, it worked because that afternoon, I was on a zipline, with my feet dangling 40 feet in the air, zooming through the sky.
“Gabriella,” my dad began. “Are you sure you want to do this?”
“Positive,” I stated, even though I was still unsure of where my mind was at.
My dad got two tickets before we headed out to get harnessed. One look at the zipline, and I knew my decision wasn’t a good one. Butterflies began to fill my stomach. We got on line to get harnessed and let me tell you, it wasn’t a fun wait. I watched people fly through the air to come to a stop at the bottom. At least they look like they had fun, I thought, trying to make myself less nervous. I had gotten so distracted by worrying about the zipline, I had forgotten all about the harness! So before I knew it, we were at the front of the line.
The worker harnessed my dad and me, and we made our way up the path to the ziplining platform. It was a very steep, rocky path and with a harness you have to lug around with you, it was not a fun climb. I was making myself sick thinking about what we were going to do.
“So,” I started talking to my dad to try to get my mind off the zipline. “This harness is really heavy!”
It wasn’t helping. As we got closer, my knees began to tremble, and the butterflies wouldn’t stop partying in my stomach. Before I knew it, we were on the platform, ready to take on the zipline. I took a seat next to the other zipliners waiting for their turns to come. Soon enough, my dad and I were stepping up to the zipline. I can do this. It’s not a big deal, I said to myself. Well, that was before I made the big mistake of looking down. We were so high up! Oh no, I thought. Even though I was petrified, I wasn’t going to back down now. We got the okay from the workers, and I counted down.
“Three...two...one...go!” I whispered.
I lifted my feet off the ground, which I was going to miss very much, and was flying forty feet in the air. It took a minute, but I soon realized I wasn’t terrified...I was having fun!
“This is pretty cool!” I hollered to my dad, over the unpleasant sound of the chain rubbing against the zipline.
I looked down to see people walking below me, as I enjoyed the breeze. I was just beginning to really enjoy myself, when we stopped.
“That was so much fun!” I said excitedly. “Let’s do that again!”
I will never forget my ziplining trip. How could I? It was so much fun, and the experience was definitely one of the more exciting moments in my life!
A Performance to Remember
by Katelyn Boyer, Grade 6
“Five minutes until showtime! HURRY UP!” yelled the director.
This was my first year in the Summer Theater Workshop program. Somehow I managed to get a solo even though I was going into fourth grade. This was my first ever solo and first big performance. I slipped on my headpiece and was ready.
“Good luck!" my friends and I were telling each other.
We were all hugging each other as tight as we could as if we were going off to war. We tip-toed backstage. I could hear the muffled conversations from the crowd through the velvet curtain.
“Show starts in two,” Jessica, a stage crew member whispered.
Only two minutes? It’s almost time to go on stage! I thought worryingly to myself as I paced back and forth, breaking into a sweat. I fiddled with my fingers and watched the clock. As I moved forward, each step made me more anxious. Then the two long minutes finally passed.
“Turning off the house lights in three, two, one!” Jessica announced.
Suddenly the audience grew quiet as the lights over their head turned off.
“Hello and welcome to the 40th Summer Theatre Workshop Production!” exclaimed the director into the amplifying microphone.
She spoke to the audience about how much work we put into the show and all of that jazz. I wasn’t paying attention that much because I was focused on not throwing up. I felt sick to my stomach and was shaking all over. I took a peek through the curtain to see at least 200 people. I have never performed in front of a crowd this big; I only have done my third grade concert which was simply one show with third grade parents as the audience.
Before I knew it, it was time to go on stage. I nonchalantly went to my place and waited for the music to begin and the stage lights to go on. My heart was beating 100 times a minute. My stomach was in knots. I can’t do this! I can’t do this! I thought, panicking.
I whispered to myself, “Katelyn, calm down, you are getting yourself all worked up. You’re a great singer and you can do this. Take deep breaths. In, out, in, out.” My miniature pep talk helped me feel calmer, but I still was a nervous wreck.
I was a deer in headlights when the music turned on. I was so busy talking to myself I forgot I was on stage in front of a microphone. I mumbled the first few words, because apparently my brain wasn’t working because it was thinking about being nervous. When I got to the second line it snapped back into my head like it had a light-bulb hovering over me. I felt a sigh of relief when my solo was over and thankfully, the rest of the show was a breeze.
“Great job.” “You did amazing!” “You killed it!” all my friends and other cast members stated as they congratulated me on my performance. I felt amazing. Even though performing was an emotional roller coaster I would do it any other day without a doubt. This was a performance to remember.
Where can we find inspiration?
"You're More Beautiful Than You Think"
The YouTube video, “You’re More Beautiful Than You Think,” shows us how we are our own biggest critics. The meaning of confidence somehow gets lost in our brains because we are trapped in a world of reality. The video features strangers describing themselves to an artist, who does not physically look at the strangers. The anonymous people described themselves very harshly at certain points. Later in the video, a second set of strangers view the first set of strangers. The second set of strangers were then asked to describe to the artist how the first set of people looked, and the artist drew another version of the first set of people. So, the artist would have two drawings of the same person; one that was self-described, and the other that was described by a stranger. When the artist revealed the drawings, everyone was shocked. The first picture, or the one that was self-described, ended up looking a lot worse than the second one. According to one of the strangers, their picture made them look larger, “more closed off,” and “sadder.” This simple experiment can show us how having low self confidence can affect us.
Essentially, this video can teach us more about how our mindset can change the way we perceive ourselves. If we constantly believe bad things put into our minds by ourselves and others, then it makes sense that our confidence starts to decay. Decaying confidence can lead to serious problems, such as depression or anxiety. This video not only proves how we affect ourselves, but also the world around us. The world throws tons of magazines and online articles with pictures filled with Photoshop and editing; it almost seems like we cannot trust anything. We need to remember that keeping a positive attitude about ourselves is critical. All in all, this video proves the point about how important confidence really is.
"Take Care of Each Other"
by Sai Vedagiri, Grade 8
The video “Take Care of Each Other - A Short Film That Will Make You Cry” shows what it is like to give. We see a young boy who looks at his lunchbox during his lunchtime and sees that it is empty. He has nothing while everyone around him has snacks, healthy food, juice - just about anything a kid would want. The little boy leaves the classroom and walks around the school just to get a sip of water from the fountain. He wanders and looks out the big glass windows, almost reflecting on what he doesn’t have. He comes back to his desk and notices that when he goes to put his lunchbox away, it feels heavier. He shakes his lunchbox,and it makes noise like something is inside. When the boy opens it, he sees that it is filled with food and realizes that his classmates helped him by providing some of their food to him to make him more comfortable. They gave him food when they saw they may have had more than they probably needed.
Essentially, “Take Care of Each Other - A Short Film That Will Make You Cry” gives the message that, “Success is often closer than you think. Now we need more foster homes, and preferably in the children’s benefit,” as the end of the video shares. When we look far and wide for help, we may not realize that the help we are looking for may be right in front of us. This video tries to show that there are many kids suffering throughout their lives and that others close by can help them through these hard moments. The boy that started out with no food ended up with a box filled with food through friendship, and we can look towards the people around us for this same type of help.