Before high school ends, I want to:
  • Earn honor roll;
  • Come to school on time for a week;
  • Quit biting my nails;
  • Finally accept a compliment; and  Make DR and AJ believe that they are beautiful. My list was bigger, but I have accomplished these already:
  • Tour at least five colleges;
  • Win a basketball game against my little brother;
  • Stop chewing gum for a week;
  • Make my friend fried chicken; and
  • Finish my “I Heart Diversity” project.
  • Spend as much time with my friends as I can before we part ways.
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Albana Hysa, 16, from Boston Latin School, believes that Donald Trump is not qualified to be president because he can’t relate to the average American. “He is in the upper class of society,” says Hysa. “He thinks he can be disrespectful to people who don’t have the same amount of money or isn’t the same race as he is.” While many mainstream media members and fellow Republicans are afraid to take on the despicable me that the Republican frontrunner appears to be -- from being rude and crude to everyone from Muslims to Mexicans, women and African-Americans -- many teens have no problem dumping on Trump. Takeshi Kumasaki, 15, from BLS, feels that Trump’s apparent need to insult those he disagrees with would not play well on the domestic or world stage. “The president has to unite America and the other continents because, then, what is the point?” says Kumasaki. Kevin Nguyen, 15, from BLS, says that Trump has displayed a toxic reaction to the traditional melting pot of American immigrants, urging them to speak English. “It is hard to learn another language when you have to grow up with one culture and to integrate quickly into another,” says Nguyen. Hysa thinks that Trump has a problem telling fact from fiction, and from not blurting out whatever offensive and outlandish idea pops into his head, because he’s just an entertainer. “He [had] a TV show,” Hysa says. “He’s a celebrity like Kanye West -- who would still be the better president.”
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The Sporting Life
Hockey Night in Boston
“OFTEN, THE ATMOSPHERE MORE RESEMBLED A BOXING MATCH THAN A HOCKEY GAME” BY JACKY HANG // STAFF WRITER On November 3, I got invited to the most exciting sports game that I least expected. It was hockey. Me and my friends were invited to go to the Bruins game at TD Garden. I’ve seen hockey games in movies and TV shows and I initially thought it was going to be predictable like many other sporting events --a large crowd cheers on their team and boos the opponent. However, I noticed some eyeopening moments during the contest. There was a time, for example, when a hockey player was reaching for the puck and seemed so determined on scoring until the opposing player knocked him to the ice, causing his head to become squished into the barrier glass. There were other instances when players got pushed really hard to the ice but quickly bounced up as if nothing had happened. Often, the atmosphere more resembled a boxing match than a hockey game. Though I enjoyed it, I was surprised how these hockey players would be so violent for something that was supposed to be so much fun. A TiP of the hat to the Boston Bruins Foundation for hosting our teens to a night of entertainment, including a game that ended in a 5-3 Bruins loss to the Dallas Stars.
“PLAYING ON ICE GAVE THE SPORT A CERTAIN MELODY AND RHYTHM” BY YVONNE A. DUNKLEY // STAFF WRITER Get it, get the ball. Did I really just say that? I mean puck! There was that kind of excitement electrically pacing through the crowd. The culture of the TD Garden spoke its own language that everyone, even someone new to the sport, could get. As I sat down in the crowded stadium, um, arena, I couldn’t help but notice that people were in their own kind of uniform. Not everyone wore a jersey, but many had familiar black-and-gold shirts for this event. There were mothers and fathers just hanging out with children, talking about everyday things. The environment was so genuine that anyone who could feel at home. I didn’t know a thing about ice hockey except that it was on ice. Still, I had my eyes glued to the game. I often didn’t understand where the ball, er, puck, was. But that didn’t stop me from engaging in something that was so original to me. Playing on ice gave the sport a certain melody and rhythm. It looked very pretty and peaceful. Until the players smashed each other into the side “walls” -- make that “boards.” Besides that, it was really beautiful and everyone should experience not just watching it on TV but being there in the moment. This article was prepared in collaboration with 826 Boston.
“AT THE COLLEGE GAME, THE VIBE IS CALMER THAN AT THE PRO LEVEL” BY MARIAM BAH // CONTRIBUTING WRITER After watching a college hockey game involving Boston University a couple of years ago and a professional hockey game with the Boston Bruins in November, I noticed a few differences between the two. At the college game, the vibe is calmer than at the pro level. They do not tolerate fighting, for example. And the crowd is less extreme. Many in the stands are not even paying attention. The news coverage is weaker, too. Professional hockey action is a lot more intense. The players seem very passionate about what they do. Sometimes it results in fights, but they have an entire city, state -- even nation -- counting on them. The spectators all were on the edge of their seats when the Bruins were close to scoring a goal. Plus, there was an abundance of media trying to capture the best moments of the contest. Overall, there’s a lot more excitement at the professional game. Even if it was your first time, as it was for me, you are keener on following along because everyone is synchronized and hoping for a win. If you ever have to choose between watching a college hockey game vs. a professional one, go for the pros. It’s worth it!

“WHETHER ON OR OFF THE ICE, THEY CONSIDER EACH OTHER FAMILY” BY JAMILLAT DOUMBIA // STAFF WRITER When the game first started, I was extremely confused and didn’t understand the concept. But then I began to figure out what was going on. One of my personal highlights: We had the pleasure of fist-bumping the Bruins players after they left the locker room, to show them support. The players fist-bumped one another, too. This told me that whether on or off the ice, they consider each other family. To protect members of their hockey family against the Dallas Stars, I counted at least three fights on the ice.
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  Soup Joumou (joo-moo), also known as Soup of Freedom, was once the province of white masters but was barred from the lips of the black slaves who cooked it. Now this symbolic dish is served to all year-round but especially on January 1 -- both New Year’s and the anniversary of the day in 1804 that Haiti became the world’s first independent black republic, after defeating the French. Here is a favorite recipe from Ingredients (to serve 6 to 8) • 2 cloves garlic • 2 scallions, sliced, plus more for garnish • 1⁄4 cup roughly chopped parsley • 1⁄2 tsp. dried thyme • 1 medium shallot, sliced • 1 scotch bonnet chile, stemmed and seeded • Juice of 1 lime, plus wedges for serving • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste • 1 lb. beef chuck, cut into 1⁄2” pieces • 2 tbsp. olive oil • 8 cups beef stock • 2 carrots, cut into 1 1⁄2” pieces • 2 stalks celery, cut into 1 1⁄2” pieces • 1 small leek, trimmed, halved lengthwise and cut into 1 1⁄2” pieces; rinsed • 1 small yellow onion, cut into 1 1⁄2” pieces • 1 large Yukon gold potato, peeled and cut into 1 1⁄2” pieces • 1 medium turnip, peeled and cut into 1 1⁄2” pieces • 1⁄2 small green cabbage, cored and cut into 1 1⁄2” pieces • 1⁄2 small kabocha squash, cut into 1” pieces INSTRUCTIONS Puree garlic, scallions, parsley, thyme, shallots, chile, juice, salt and pepper, and 1⁄2 cup water in a blender until smooth; mix with beef in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Remove beef from marinade and dry with paper towels; set aside. Heat oil in an 8-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add beef; cook, turning as needed, until browned, about 8 minutes. Add stock and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until beef is tender, about 1 1⁄2 hours. Add carrots, celery, leeks, onion, potatoes, turnips, and cabbage; cook, slightly covered and stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, bring squash and 2 cups water to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan over high heat; reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered, until squash is tender, about 10 minutes. Drain, reserving 1⁄2 cup cooking liquid, and transfer squash and liquid to a blender; puree until smooth and set aside. When vegetables are tender, uncover, and stir in reserved squash puree; cook, stirring occasionally, until soup is slightly thick, 5–10 minutes more; season with salt and pepper and serve with scallions and lime wedges.
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“I BECAME A ROCKER” BY JOSUE FLORES // CONTRIBUTING WRITER I lived in El Salvador. But I wanted to go to the US. I wanted an opportunity in a different country. In El Salvador, the gangsters began to kill people and took control. If you were a teen like me, they asked you to enter the gangster group and if you said no, they would kill you. When I came to the US, I missed my best friends but I also felt happy to learn another language. I began listening to heavy metal music. I became a rocker. In El Salvador, if they heard me listening to heavy metal, they’d think I was Satanic. But here, this helped me so much, how they expose their emotions: Don’t give up. You are not alone.

"‘NEVER FORGET WHERE YOU COME FROM’" BY ELIAN GONZALEZ // CONTRIBUTING WRITER When I lived in the Dominican Republic, my life was happy but my family was poor. When storms destroyed parts of our house, we did not have money to fix it. My mother had gone to the United States to earn money for the family when I was two years old. I lived with my uncles. They were old but had to work to keep me in school, which is expensive in DR. My mother was able to send about $30 every month for my food, clothes, and other expenses. Then, one day when I was playing video games, my phone rang. “Hello, who’s this?” I asked. It was my mother. “You are going to Boston,” she said. I stayed quiet for three minutes. “Really, mom, that is great!” I said after my surprise had worn off. Three months later, in November of 2014, we prepared for our move to the US. When we arrived in Boston, the officers asked questions in English but I could not understand what they were saying. “Why did I come here?” I later asked my mother. “Because you have more opportunities here than in the Dominican Republic,” she said. Now, when I think about it, I see that she was right. I can speak English and communicate with my teachers, my new friends, and my relatives in the US. After high school, I want to go to MIT and study engineering. I feel happy but I still sometimes miss DR. I believe in the saying, “Never forget where you come from."  
In Ecuador, I went to high school every day because I was a good student and had many friends. When I had homework on the Internet, I had to find a cyber business because we did not have it. Then I came to the United States, in 2014. Now, all is very different here. English is very difficult for me, but I am learning. I miss Ecuador. It’s my country. Maybe there is more opportunity here for my life, my future. I want to be a psychologist. People who have problems need a person who listens to them.

“I CAME TO THE UNITED STATES FOR MORE OPPORTUNITY” BY MELISSA GONZALEZ // CONTRIBUTING WRITER   I lived a very happy life in the Dominican Republic. I got good grades in school. I went to the beach with my friends and family to have fun. In 2014, I came to the United States for more opportunity. My life changed completely. People talked in English and I only understood a little. I missed my friends in DR. I wanted to go back but my mother told me that I have to get used to it here. Now, I love this country. I am learning the language. I have resources: more food, a better economy. I go to parties and the movies. Someday, I want to be a pediatrician.

I WANT TO BE A GOOD PERSON” BY MARCOS TAVERAS // CONTRIBUTING WRITER I’ve always thought about my future. When I was a baby, I wanted be an astronaut because I saw in the cool “Star Wars” movies that they are like heroes and have many adventures. I thought that going into space would be so good because I could take a selfie, put it on a website, and become a famous person for this. With all the money I was going to win, I was going to buy a big house, a Lamborghini, and maintain my family. Then, I didn’t want to be an astronaut anymore. I wanted to be an FBI SWAT because this has a lot of action. The problem is that you can die really quick. I also considered becoming a professional chef. I like to cook and people would say good things about me. Maybe I will pass high school, go to college, and become a computer engineer. I want to be a good person and teach my family how hard it is to be successful.

“I HAVE MANY GOALS IN THIS NEW LIFE” BY PAOLA ORTIZ // CONTRIBUTING WRITER When I lived in Guatemala, I always studied because my goal was to go to the university and be a professional person. Part of me wanted to be a teacher; in my class, I saw how they helped others understand things so they could become something in their lives. I also wanted to be a nurse because they help people, too. My life changed when my parents told me that I had to come to the United States to have a better life. I was 15 years old when I came here. My first day of school, I was so confused because I didn’t understand when someone wanted to talk with me in English. Now I understand English and I know how to write and read. I enjoy my life in this country. I have new friends and I have good grades. I have many goals in this new life because now I have more opportunities. I can be a nurse or a teacher in this country because I know Spanish and English.      

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