A hot summer night makes for a restless morning. The digits on the clock are at a standstill, and it seems like it’s been that way forever. My chestnut-colored lenses are weary, yet restless at the same time. I continue to glue them to the screens that surround me. My phone goes off at every moment. Sometimes I wish it would shut off on its own, get away, and just leave me in silence. Inside these four giant borders there is calm, the only place in the world where I am as completely relaxed as this still oak floor. Anywhere outside is chaos and ruckus. While the sounds of police sirens or screams, shouts, and panic go off on the frigid cold streets, I still feel at peace in this bedroom. You could say it’s something like a safeguard to me. Even with all of this, sleep is something that seems to run away from my mind. I see sunlight shining through the blinds and sometimes yearn for it. At the same time, the only time when the house is ever at a standstill is in the deep navy night, and in the early mornings. In a way, I want this feeling through- out the whole day. When my puny nieces and nephews are sprinting in and out of my cave, I want that silence, that peace, that tranquility. Being alone is a gift at times; you want it when you don’t have it, and vice versa. That moment when you come home after a long, tiring day and just leap into your sheets is the best feeling in the universe. The marshmallow-like pillows absorb all my dreams, all my thoughts, all my words. The walls sort of talk to me, they listen to me. My eyelids are fighting each other as the birds chirp outside the glass screens behind the shades, and slowly, but surely, finally...sleep.
Read more…
A Sense of Place
"It looked like someone's home in Italy, rather than a public place to eat"
The most memorable place I’ve been is the restaurant I went to in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The trip to get there took about 10 minutes from our hotel. We instantly spotted it by its sun roof, which had the Italian flag colors: red, green, and white. The restaurant was small, but very exquisite. There were potted plants in the windows, which had white curtains. It looked like someone’s home in Italy, rather than a public place to eat. Upon entering through the glass doors, there was a wall with a board that showed pictures of the owner. She seemed in her late 60s and had a very happy expression on her face. Then, you could see the dining room. There were glass chandeliers. The tables were round and covered with red tablecloths. The white ceramic plates shimmered in the soft light. In the center of each table was a slim vase with a single red rose. The napkins, with the forks, knives, and spoons, were neatly folded into place. My parents both ordered a dish with all the seafood you could possibly think of: shrimp, mussels -- all tossed in a white sauce. The plate looked like a rainbow with all different colors of seafood. I chose the simple spaghetti and meatballs with tomato sauce. Over the low chatter there was music playing in the background. Italian music. At first, I thought it was coming from speakers, but it was a real, live accordion player. Our food arrived in 20 minutes, one platter after the other. It was delicious. After only the first few bites I was already satisfied, but it was probably because before my plate had arrived, I’d had a bel- lyful of garlic bread with olive oil in a wonderful herb and tomato sauce as well as a bowl of delicious soup. After that, I’d had a plate of green salad: lettuce, tomatoes, mini black olives, red onions, and green peppers with Italian dressing. All that plus the huge plate of spaghetti and two large meatballs fried to perfection without any of the grease -- all smothered in fresh tomato and herb sauce. My par- ents were both satisfied, as well as my grandmothers, my sister, and me. Especially me.
Read more…
A novel idea: watching the movie version
Nedjie Thompson, 17, thinks that adapted films are more exciting than the original book versions. “I’d rather watch a movie instead of reading a book on my free time because there are live actions and it keeps me inter- ested,” says Thompson, who attends the John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science. However, 16-year-old Anna Quan prefers reading the book because it contains a fuller picture of the story. “I like the books better because the book has a lot of details,” says Quan, from the O’Bryant. “Meanwhile, most of the time, the movies are not as good as the book because they often cut parts from the book.” Danny Mei, 16, from the O’Bryant, likes seeing movies better than plowing through books. “I choose movies because I can really see what is going on,” says Mei, adding: “And I am not much of a reader.”
Read more…
When the future girls’ soccer captain, Evanilde Semedo, 17, went to the Boston School Committee at the end of last school year, she asked a simple question: “We have the team, why can’t we play?” For two years she had been trying to petition the Boston Public Schools to start a girls’ soccer team at Boston International/Newcomers Academy. Semedo and other students went to the committee and gave testimony to show their commitment to having a girls’ soccer team. “At one time, even as a school leader, I felt like my girls were forgotten,” says Boston International headmaster, Nicole Bahnam. “Student voices are more powerful than the headmaster’s.” Bahnam believes it was the girls’ unity that convinced Court Street to give the school a girls’ soccer team this year. “The students really got the project off the ground,” agrees the girls’ coach, Panion Tase. After the girls received notice that their wish for a team was granted by the superintendent, they had to work hard to put everything together in a short time. There were no uniforms, and they had to find a coach and a practice field. As time passed, their situa- tion took a positive path. This year they had a record of seven wins, four losses, and two ties. “Even though this is the first year the girls are playing soccer, they are doing great and they have a positive record,” says the school’s boys’ soccer assistant coach, Jose Daniel Sorto, 17. On October 2, the girls went back to the school committee with their headmaster and thanked the superintendent for giving them the opportunity they always wanted.
Read more…

There are many stories and legends about the moon and the effect it has on people -- weird things seem to happen when it is full.

Julio Nunez, 14, from Boston Community Leadership Academy, believes that things seem crazy under a full moon because the moon can influence ocean tides and our bodies are filled with water.

“Maybe that’s why we act different,” says Nunez. Brehidy Garcia, a freshman at BCLA, has heard that the full moon can both cause people  to be depressed or fill them with energy. She says she experienced neither. Eighteen-year-old Jonathan Escobar, from East Boston High School, feels that the lunar cycle must have some sway over people’s emotions. Why else, he asks, did they used to call mentally ill people lunatics?
Moon Landing
  • Age: 4.5 billion years old.
  • Shape: like an egg.
  • Miles from earth: 238,900.
  • Well-known activity: orbiting around the earth.
Sources: moonphases.info, space.com
Read more…