The Growing Up Webzine

 

The “Growing Up” webzine is dedicated to Joey Marchetti, Austin Ferrullo, Michaela Burke, Emma McGarry, Katie Gardner and Danielle Hill.  Congratulations y’all.  Tuesday afternoons won’t be the same without you.

 

Student Submissions

Hero

By:Erika Barstad

 

What is the true meaning of this word?

If you asked many children they might say “Superman” or “Spiderman.”

But if you asked the five year old little girl playing in her backyard, she would say “Mom”

“My Mommy is my hero,” she would say, “My Daddy never comes around, or even tries to stay.”

She never saw her Daddy because he was too busy or too focused on other things.

She looked up to her Mother, who attends to whatever life brings.

Her stepfather never took a second to help, or to care,

So her hero was her Mom.

Mommy taught her to be strong, to hold onto that no matter what was going on.

Mommy taught her she didn’t need anyone to rely on or to make her happy.

Mommy took that little girl from a seed and turned her into a garden.

That young woman could never forget the things her Mother taught her.

And to this day, if you asked her who her hero was, she would look at you, smile and reply,

“Mom.”

 

Jurnee Dunn
 

I was born an odd child. I always knew what I was. I saw the world around me in a way no one else could comprehend. I could feel the life of the earth poising around me and I understand it. The more I grew the more it taught me. The people around me turned away because they didn’t understand. The older I became the stronger the understanding and the more people walked out of my life. By the time I was sixteen I was almost completely alone. I spent my time in the trees listening to the sounds of the earth as it aged along with me. It taught me everything that I couldn’t learn from others. I became ruled by the earth and the sky. As I grew older, the whisper of the sky taught me what was right, the water teaching me what true clarity was, the earth rich with creativity and openness. But fire, fire taught me to be strong.  Without it, I would not have grown into what I am now.


In this moment, as I write this to you, it is my 25th birthday and I am everything the world thought I couldn’t be. I’m not alone now. I live as if no one ever disowned me. I grew with the world, with the strength of fire, into what I am now. I still hear them, the whispers of the trees, and I hold everything they’ve taught me so near to my heart. But I am strong now. I shine, radiant through my skin sending light into the world. You may pass by someday without knowing I’m there. But I’ll watch you and protect you. Just as they did.

Thoughts

Hannah Millen

 

As I lay here in the dark,

My mind comes alive with thoughts.

I should be going to bed… but I can’t.

Sleep is not an option.

I think about my life,

All the joys, pains and sorrows-

I think about my friends,

All of the fun times, laughs and memories

 

But then it hits me.

What’s going to happen to me?

I’m not a little girl, I have to take care of myself.

That little girl grew up too quick,

Books replace the toys that once sat on the shelf, all of her dolls turn into makeup.

 

A teen, wise beyond her years now stands before me.

What will I be doing with my life?

I look out the window, the only thing visible is the street light on the corner

And I realize something…

I’m growing up.

I hate it.

I never used to care about looks or what I wore,

I never used to make decisions on my own,

But I’m growing up.

I’m not that little girl anymore- there’s no getting away with things.

The rest of my life I will be faced with the response “you’re old enough to know.”

Maybe I’m not.

Maybe I still am that little girl.

Maybe I was never taught.

 

As I’ve grown, I have realized something-

The world we live in doesn’t care.

They don’t teach us -- help us,

They expect us to know, but we are just stupid teenagers if we screw up

 

If only I had realized sooner,

If only I knew what the world was actually like.

If only someone had told me,

Maybe, just maybe I wouldn’t have grown up so fast.

But that’s another trick, you see.

They don’t teach you, yet they expect you to know.

But how?


Don’t ask me -- I won’t tell you.

Adolescence

Sarah Kane (Photo and Words)

I feel as if I'm perpetually out of the loop. I'm not naive enough to be a child but my naivety is the only thing that stops me from being an adult.

Dear Journal

Sean Vo

 

Dear Journal,

 

 

So many horrors have happened to me for as long as I can remember, whether it would be seeing a loved one leave, or to constantly be bullied, mocked, and tortured by those who saw me differently. I grew to accept my differences, but even then, the torture did not stop. Day after day, every waking moment, I knew I would be leaving the house to a place where almost everyone hated me. And then I made some friends. Some close friends, who turned into my best and very close friends, who raised me when I was just a little seedling, wilting from the endless rain. They brought me to get a glimpse of a clear sky, a sun, and even gave me the right water to help me. Even then, the torture did not stop. No matter how high I raised my head, tried to bloom into a flower, it seemed as though I would always be dying at the end of the day. I meant no harm to anyone, yet they would harm me, douse my flame, and left me with only a flicker, a seed, a small dewdrop, all that was left to show that I survived, but I haven’t lived.

 

Many of those people tried to turn me dark, but no matter what, I used what  they threw at me, absorbed it, and now I feel as old as a tree. However, even though I do harbor grudges because of those experiences, I do revel in the past for one other reason: To not repeat the same mistake, and to grow. To show that no matter what life threw at me, I would get up, grow up, and become stronger than ever. My experience is as historic as the Earth itself, my spirit as hyper as a river, and my soul as intense as the sun. Thinking about what happened to me all these years, I have turned wicked and almost harmed others, unconsciously. In only the last second, I would realize what I was doing, and snap out of the evil trance. Those bullies, on numerous occasions, were victorious in provoking my evil, and I gave in. However, I remember from one of my favorite shows, that “As heroes, we have to do what’s right. Not what’s easy.” To me, this meant not to turn wicked. But to do that, I had to let go of the past. Because that is the right thing to do. But the only way to be free from the past is to forgive, others, and yourself. And one of my friends, whom I had met and who shared his profound knowledge with me, said that he let go of the horrors of the past and it was very beneficial from him. And that is what everyone I have come to love is trying to teach me. Most people I have met throughout my entire life have tried to get me to succumb to the evil within, and although they were successful then, they will not be anymore. Because, I have changed since then.

 

And I’ve worked too hard to let other people destroy my happiness.

 

Love is Blind

Hannah Millen

 

Love is blind.

That’s why when you were young and in love he never showed up for your date, because he was “having car troubles”

You understood.

When he’d tell you you were being too annoying and told you to shut up because he "had a headache”

You stopped talking.

When you called him crying and he told you to figure out your own problems because he "was busy”

You hung up.

 

Love is blind

That’s why when he came in slurring his words after a “long days work”

You didn’t take notice.

When he had a lipstick stain on his cheek after “just going out with the guys” for a few hours

You let it slip by.

When he’s sitting on the couch doing absolutely nothing but asks you to get him a drink because he’s "tired”

You still do it.

 

Love is blind

That’s why when he pushed you against  a wall because “you weren’t listening to him”

You thought he loved you .

When his bare hand slapped your naked face because “you looked at him the wrong way”

You didn't call for help.

When you were lying on the ground bleeding because he "had a bad day at work”

You were too scared to tell anyone .

 

Sometimes, love isn’t love at all.

 

Baby Steps

Erika Barstad

 

How did you grow up?

Being a child is a fairly easy task,

I would say.

But, in the moment it doesn’t

feel that way.

Age doesn't have as much to do with growing up,

as you once thought.

 

Hailey Smith

Meghan Elsmore

Syann Teixeira

Colleen McCarthy

Class of 2015, Pathways (and Images Staff) Growing Up Haikus

We asked our Seniors, as well as students from our Pathways program, to write haikus that reflect on their experiences growing up. A haiku is a traditional Japanese form of poetry that consist of 17 syllables in 3 lines. Haikus are known for their simplicity and clarity. Some of these “Growing Up” haikus are heartbreaking and others are hilarious; together, these poems touch on the fears and the thrills of getting older.

A kid stands alone

With blind ambition of dreams

This is growing up

-Leshon

 

My heart is broken

Friends put it back together

This is growing up

-Anonymous

 

Life is always hard

We need to stick together

This is growing up

-Kallie Morss

 

Going to college,

Meeting different people,

This is growing up

-Joey Reardon

 

Throwing up our caps

Although this day may be sad

This is growing up

-Molly McDonough

 

I love my bestfriends

They are always there for me

This is growing up.

-Maddie Daly

 

Still getting carded

Because I look fourteen years

This is growing up

-Hailey Smith

 

A car is freedom

Check engine light is blinking

This is growing up

-Luke McCullough

 

Making decisions

All to improve my future

This is growing up

-Mike Bailey

 

Working endlessly

Just to pay for nursing school

This is growing up  

-Alisha Schneider

 

Going our own ways

Is the beginning of life

This is growing up

-Nilmarie O’Reilly

 

From kids to adults

We all leave the old behind

This is growing up

-Victoria Rountry


Applied for college
The stress is very unreal
This is growing up
-Madeline Pelletier

 

 

I have no money

I only have time to spend

This is growing up

-Sean Kimball

 

Wasting my money

Don’t have money for nice things

This is growing up

- Junior Sofiste

 

Paying your own bills

Struggling to make money

This is growing up

-Fabiano Rosa

 

Making some new friends

And losing some of your friends

This is growing up

-Krystin Killion

 

We get caps and gowns

Walk with friends for the last time

This is growing up  

-Ben McKenna

 

I have to get up

Even though I want more sleep

This is growing up

-Erik Songdahl

 

Life may throw you down

But you’ll always get back up

This is growing up.

-Shayne Hurley

 

12 long years have passed

See you all in therapy

This is growing up

-Kyle Cousins

 

Going to bed late

Spending my whole day working

This is growing up

-Kyle DosReis

 

Mo money more probs

This is not plagiarism

This is growing up

-Matt Concannon

 

I am always broke

My gas tank is near empty

This is growing up

-Kristen Asci

 

I have no money

I have a shopping problem

This is growing up

-Kassi Seaman

 

Moving out sounds great

And then you have to pay bills

This is growing up.

-Ashley Hatch

My legs are stretching

As I start to grow older

Must be puberty

-P Gorman

 

Life is not easy

It will throw you to the ground

This is growing up                                                    

-David Graziano

 

Experiences

Living life to the fullest

This is growing up

- Jean Da Silva

 

Gray hairs on your head

Getting shorter by the years

This is growing up

-Shakeyna Murillo

 

Almost twenty-one

The fun has yet to begin

This is growing up

-Colin

 

The world moves too fast

the time is slipping away

This is growing up.

-Chris  Landy

 

Making life happen

It’s time to choose a path now

This is growing up.

-Joseph Pumphrey

 

Having a baby

Marrying the one you love

This is growing up

-Ashley Dowling

 

Limbs grow longer and

Minds grow sharper (hopefully).

This is growing up

-Celia Rosa

 

Still watching Spongebob

But getting to stay up late

This is growing up

-Lulu Lima

 

Looking for myself

Getting my act together

This is growing up

-Lauren Zaremba

 

The car’s stalling

The landlord’s constant knocking

This is growing up

-Riley Bouchard

 

My feet are bigger

And I think my brain learned stuff

This is growing up

-Michaela Burke

Have to say goodbye

To the child I once was

This is growing up

-Anonymous

 

School is hard and fun

I like school. Teachers are nice

I’ll miss having fun

-Nicole Raymond

 

I love being grown

It’s lots of fun being old

Memories are fun

-James Beaudet

 

I miss being young

Sometimes I miss having fun

No care in the world

-John Gorman

 

Growing up goes fast!

Enjoy all the great moments

Do not forget them

-Mrs. Mahoney

 

I’m 16 years old

I drive when I go to work

I’m gonna have fun

-Michael Bodley

 

I’m 17 now

Making money, rent, and bills

Get a job with Ed.

-Anonymous

 

Growing up is great

New changes in your body

You can make money

-Jacob Wright

 

Getting older, tall, bills.

Growing up can be so hard

Freedom, fun, money

-Keith Wiley

Fun, 16, driving

I have to get a license

I love getting old

-Emily Hung-Grandmont

 

Get a job, make cash

Different for all, get tall, tense

I must do taxes

-Joshua Keating

 

Get a job, pay rent

Get taller so I can drive

Older, fun, money

-Jake Swanson

 

Growing up is hard

You have to make cash if you

Play at the arcade

-Alex Anzivino

 

We All Have To Grow Up Sometime

Images thought it would be cool to find out how some of the adults in our world grew up.  We know them now, but what were they like back in the day?  Scroll down for a taste of how the staff at RHS grew up.

Ms. Paulding

A picture of me and my childhood best friend Julie. It was taken of the two of us in front of my cottage on the Saquish Beach. 

About the time of that photo we had a pilot whale wash up on the beach at Saquish. The teenagers had stayed up all night and tried to push the whale back out and when that failed they played their guitars and sang songs for the whale. In the morning they woke up all the people on the beach and everyone went running to see what they could do to help. Those of us too young to help were given the job of keeping the whale calm. We petted the whale and talked to it.The adults put up umbrellas and made a bucket brigade to bring water up to the whale and keep him wet. My father called New England Aquarium and they sent out doctors to see what they could do. They drew blood from the whale and it cried. The adults got an old military flat bed truck and a crane. They lifted the whale on the truck and then drove it off the beach and into the aquarium. My father was on the truck and they stopped at restaurants along the way to get ice to keep the whale wet. The whale was treated for pneumonia and he was the first whale ever treated and released back into the wild. 

Mrs. Black

This is my senior prom. I was thinking, the next time he wears a tux it will be at our wedding. (And now I am thinking I should have reconsidered my dress and hair!) I didn’t go to my first choice college because it was out of state, and I couldn’t STAND to be away from him.  WHAT WAS I THINKING? I always regretted not going away to college, life lesson learned, do what is best for YOU, not someone else.  And I actually did attend his wedding… about 10 years later, and thankfully it was to someone else!

Mr.Bigsby

Growing Up Punk

 

I’m seventeen years old.The only thing that matters to me is punk rock. Takes a teenage riot to get me out of bed. Or a Black Flag record. Or band practice.

We have no talent. We have no clue.

We have no fear. So every night, we gather.

In the basement or the barn. None of us know how to play our instruments, and it’s

perfect.

This is our first gig. At The Townshop; that’s     our  teen center, where we go to meet girls,

but never do. There’s a big crowd. We rip   

through our short and noisy songs, oblivious.

I have a cassette recording of the live set.

There are no applause. None.


It’s one of the greatest things I’ve ever done.

Mr. Neal

1994.  Somewhere, Europe.

 

I can’t tell you exactly where, because I barely remember the trip.

 

I was 13, and deeply in love.  Heart-wrenching, soul-crushing, all consuming-love.  The kind of love that can only happen when you are 13.  

 

Everytime I look at this picture, I wish I could go back in time, find this kid with the size 40 jeans and rip off his wallet chain and smack the sneer off of his face with it.  

 

I’d tell him “You’re in Europe!  You are missing out on experiences that will never be duplicated! You are not going to remember any of this because of some girl whose name you won’t even be able to recall  in five years.  Get over yourself!”

 

But, I wouldn’t have listened to myself.  When you are 13, the little things can seem so big that the big things pale in comparison.  And that’s okay.  Learning what matters matters too.  It’s all a part of growing up.  It’s forgivable.  The pants and the necklace, though...I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to forgive myself for those.

 

Mrs. Shaughnessey

This is me at 16, sitting on a concrete slab in the courtyard of home called Our Little Roses in Honduras. It's really a fabulous  illustration of some poor fashion choices I made in high school (bleached hair in a hair bow...at 16...really?) and it perfectly captures the moment that my life changed forever. It is my fourth summer doing missionary work and I'm sitting with the newest 'rosa' (rose), Raquel. I learned about Raquel's journey the night before, and I have just asked her if I can be her 'madrina', which is Spanish for godmother. She doesn't know me at all, but she agreed to let me into her life. For the next six years I will finance her education and help her find her path out of the dark world that she knows too well. Raquel is 12 in this picture, and weighs about 50 pounds. She has scars on her hands from her mother repeatedly holding her palms to a hot stove top for not working fast enough to feed her siblings. Her frail body is severely malnourished. I notice her ribs first when I hugged her for the first time. They jut out far enough that it feels like they might actually pierce her skin if you hold her too tight. She has long, wide bruises on her concave belly from being beaten for things that aren't her fault, like many children are in impoverished families around the world. Her family was angry and marginalized, they were the fourth generation stuck in a vicious cycle of poverty and violent abuse. But this picture is special because it is the first time I saw her smile. Today she smiles because she knows she is safe, she knows the only hands that will be placed on her are hands to guide her, embrace her, and heal her. She smiles because she now has 103 new sisters to take care of her, sisters that know the depth of the pain her bruises and scars hold because they once had them, too. I'm scared for her, but I smile because I know can help. I know I can make a difference. I know I am doing something meaningful for someone else. I'm smiling because I know now that I want to spend my life helping others in whatever way I can, and I can't wait to start by helping Raquel.

 

 

 

Mr. Wells

That’s me around 1982, in Carrolton, KY, during my long haul trucking days. We stopped to get cleaned up prior to heading to wherever it was they were sending us. I was part of a team operation so we drove day and night until we arrived at our destination. That year plus we made trips to almost every corner of this country. I got my license while I was in college. I was a company driver for 6 years and an owner operator for 6 years before selling my truck and finally finding my way to the technology highway.

 

Looking back I’d say to anyone, it does matter how you get to where you’re going but enjoy the ride on the way.

 

Mr. Graziano

My wife stumbled on this picture of us in 1979. It brings back fond memories of my time at RHS, as I worked the halls with my letterman’s jacket and grateful to have evidence that I actually took Chem Honors in High School. I ended up marrying the young lady in the middle and have been for 30 years. I wish I  still had that full head of black hair... Graz

Mr. Howe

Growing up, I was always seen as a geek, which was well before being one was the cool thing to be. Because of this I was bullied through the majority of my time at school. With this, I had almost no friends. Life as I saw it was 100% misery. After I graduated I had gone to college. From there, things began to spiral down very quickly. I began hanging around the kinds of people everyone warns you about. Drugs and alcohol were a common theme in this group. At the time, I figured that if I was in a daze, I wouldn’t think about how alone I felt or how miserable I perceived my life to be. Things only got worse as addiction started to take effect.

It was at this time that an Army recruiter approached me. He helped me clean up enough to enlist. While I was in basic training, one of my closest friends from back home died of an overdose. This was validation that the path I was now on was the right one. From there I learned and felt what it meant to be part of something bigger. Once my head was more clear, no longer clouded from depression and substances, I was able to see what I did have growing up that I was too blind to see before.

I have made some of the best friends I have ever had while in the Army. It taught me many valuable life lessons. The most important thing that I wish I had known sooner is that no matter what anyone else says about me, I am who I am and my future is entirely in my hands. I always have the choice in my own actions. If it looks as though a door might be out of reach for me, all I have to do is work harder and strive for it and eventually it will be in my grasp. Even if something happens to us that we can not control, what happens after is within our control.

I grew a confidence in myself that I didn’t have before. I knew who I was and knew who I wanted to be. I am who I am today because I chose to be who I am. I learned from all of my mistakes, which I can not even name them all in the interest of space. Our actions when we fail do not mean nearly as much as our actions after. Growing up is all about making mistakes, owning up to them, learning from them and making sure we don’t make them again.

It really is all about your mentality in life. You are who you say you are. If you say that you are weak, then you are weak. If you say you are strong, then you are strong. My old brigade commander was Col. Steele, who is the same Cpt. Steele from Black Hawk down. There are many quotes I could use from him but the one that I remember the most that applies to this is  "if you act like prey, you’re gonna be prey. You all must be predators. Are you predators or are you prey?" -(2006, Fob Speicher, Iraq) Col. Steele, 101st Airborne, 3BCT Rakkasans

 

Ms. Patton

“What’s happening Friday night?” is the caption under my senior picture in the yearbook. Looking back, I wish it was something profound like “ There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” But, what was written is an accurate reflection of my state of mind. I think one of the most embarrassing moments of my high school career was when I stood up in English class and, upon receiving a new copy of Merchant of Venice, pronounced “ I do not read “Dead White Men.” Of course at the time I was a new feminist and a proponent of  having a diverse canon, women and minorities equally dispersed throughout the school year. My classmates were too interested in “What’s happening Friday night” to realize that this was my profound statement. This is who I was.

Years later, at a high school reunion, some classmates asked what I was doing in my professional life. I announced, with pride I might add, that I was a Shakespeare teacher. The laughter erupted and spread throughout the function hall as one by one, classmates remembered what I thought had been a fairly innocuous moment in tenth grade English. They had not forgotten. So, my most embarrassing moment came years later, when I took down the house with the most unlikely profession. But then again, you should have been there the year they found out that I was an assistant principal in charge of discipline; however, that’s another story.

 

Ms. Thompson

Summer School 1981

 

I have always been terrible at math.  I still am.   My fear of numbers started at an early age and progressively got worse as I got older.  To this day, when I am forced to add or subtract without a calculator I start to hyperventilate.  I spent year after year struggling to keep up with my peers, getting extra help after school from my math teachers and countless hours working with private tutors.  When that didn't work, I would be forced to endure every kid's worst nightmare...summer school.  

 

This 1981 description and photo of me at age 9 brought up memories of one of those dreadful summers when what was supposed to be "summer camp" actually turned out to be some kind of "summer school with activities".  This brilliant ruse by my parents to get me mathematically up to speed with the other 4th graders must have taken some time and research, because I don't remember that being my real school.  The description I wrote from that summer reads as follows,

 

This is a picture of me in summer school.  I am wearing my Hawaiian lei.  They were made of paper.  So far summer school is very fun.  I make lots of things in art.  I love doing math and art it is fun the most of all I love doing flash cards.  My picture in summer school 1981.

 

Ms. Walsh

Senior Prom- May 2002- Lombardo’s Restaurant in Randolph

I learned from Junior Year and got the worst part over with by just asking my friend John. My dress was green. He asked me if I wanted a green flower (an assortment of leaves). I told him white would be better. I wore flip flops and my mom disapproved. We got the traditional Weymouth High Prom Chandelier pictures taken. The DJ was terrible and only played one song we recognized the entire night: Boyz II Men’s “On Bended Knee.” My dress cost $99 that year. What I learned: Proms are about music and dancing with your friends, so lose one of those things and all bets are off. What I learned looking at these pictures: My best friends in 11th grade were my best friends in 12th grade and are still my best friends now. Loyalty matters. Being with friends when the opportunity arises is important. And no matter how stylish or beautiful you think your prom dress is when you are wearing it, 10 years later, high school girls will think it is hideous.


 

Ms. Armstrong

6th grade in middle school should just not exist. Moving into middle school was a big step. I was becoming more grown up, I started to ‘do’ my hair, big hair was the thing as you can see.  I remember going to get bangs so I could have this big poof on my head.  My mom sat down with me and taught me how to use the curling iron and tons (I mean tons) of hair spray to get this look.  I had fairly straight hair so I also got a perm to aid in the kinky curl. This is about the same time that I started to wear make up. I had no clue how to put on makeup, and  my mom never really wears it and it is probably why I don’t now.  My fashion sense was very warped, pegging your pants was the cool thing to do and I did not know how to do it, so I just rolled my pants up to my knees.  I also started to wear a bra. I sat in front of Sean in History and he would snap my bra strap on a daily basis, he was so annoying.  Yep, middle school.

Ms. Woodward

UNDERSTANDING

 

 

I don’t think I was very good at being a child. . . a little too serious, a little too burdened by childhood’s curse of chronic cluelessness. The baby of the family is everybody’s toy. My ignorance was the mirror that augmented them. Sometimes, they baffled me for amusement; sometimes to protect themselves, or perhaps me. They would spell, or use big words, to make sure I couldn’t understand.

 

And, my God, the things I didn’t understand!

That I couldn’t just walk into that end of the pool.

That those hand-me-down white dresses from my cousins were supposed to be worn with dresses over them.

That putting on a fake leopard-skin coat didn’t make me look like Marilyn.

That, no matter how quickly I snapped my head around, I’d never catch Jesus looking over my shoulder.

That I really would be sorry that I quit piano lessons.

That there was affection, too, in the laughter of my elders.

That my nightly brain-brew of terrors would lose power only as I came to know realer terrors.

That all my dreams were only dreams.

That no amount of love, hope, or faith would ever postpone a single death.

That there would always be so much I would not understand.

Ms. Dicanzio

This picture perfectly captures my high school life as a band geek. Music consumed my daily life from wind ensemble and jazz to marching band and orchestra. This was taken during my junior year at a music festival, but I need to offer some perspective on what brought me to this point. During the summer before high school, the band director wanted me to switch from the flute to the French horn. He needed another French horn player (which might have been his way of saying, “You’re not good at the flute”). Well, the band director scared me, so as a timid future-freshman, I half-heartedly complied.

 

Oddly enough, my inability and fear of saying “no” led to the discovery of an unexpected passion. I loved the French horn from the moment I started practicing, and I worked harder than ever before. Being in the music program and learning a new instrument taught me the power of discipline, risk-taking, and attention to detail. The comradery of working with a group of dedicated students to achieve musical and personal goals was unmatched. Some of my fondest memories of friendship, laughter, and accomplishment came from my experiences in the music program, and I continued playing throughout college. Although I was distantly outside of my comfort zone when I reluctantly agreed to learn the French horn, the process inspired a new love of music that I still appreciate today.

Ms.Wozniak

The summer before 8th grade, I took one of the best trips of my life.  Our junior high took a two week trip from Massachusetts to Washington, DC and Florida.  We visited the Smithsonian Museums, Old Williamsburg, and Busch Gardens in Virginia.  I will never forget the feeling of the first big hill on the Loch Ness Monster, my first real roller coaster.  In Florida, we camped out at Fort Wilderness and spent our days enjoying Epcot and the rest of Disney World

Ms. Lanigan

 

When my friends and I told the residents living at the base of Pico do Fogo, Cape Verde’s only active volcano, that we planned to summit the slumbering monster, they laughed in our faces. I thought nothing of their dismissals and could not wait to come face to face with the earth’s molten core. I had spent the past summer backpacking with my camp kids and teaching them to survive in the wilderness for weeks at a time. I OWNED nature and hell. I could climb anything.  I was filled with a false sense of my own abilities that quickly  evaporated when we began our climb.

Pico do Fogo is 9279 unforgiving feet of dense ash that makes you feel as if you are slogging through dry sand and 90 degree angles of craggy rock where you must to cling to the mountain face like a lizard to gain any ground. Halfway up, our legs were shaking and giving out and our hands were ripped to shreds, leaving handprints of blood on the rocks in our wake like some horrific finger painting project. There were many times when we stopped and considered turning back as each of us took turns nearly plunging down the mountain slope and the wind whipped ash and grit into our eyes and mouths.  But, we reasoned, when in our lives would we ever be able to climb an active volcano? When else would we be able to see LAVA? Molten freakin LAVA in person.  

At 8,000 feet, altitude sickness kicks in. At 8,000 feet, Pico do Fogo turns into a sheer rock face that is completely vertical, protecting its volcanic interiour. With nausea, dizziness, and utter confusion clouding our brains, we began our final ascent, above the clouds and perpendicular to the horizon below. I was in so much pain all I could do was stare directly at the rock in front of my face, repeat the words “molten lava” to myself, and pray the end would come quickly when I inevitably fell. When I finally reached the top, I was so out of it. I almost fell over the narrow rim and into the mouth of the volcano. I braced myself to finally realize my vision of looking down into a gaping maw full of molten, bubbling lava-y awesomeness. I pulled myself over, and looked down, ready to shield my eyes from all the volcanic activity, and what I saw was a giant crater of sand...thats right...sand.. Apparently not all volcanoes have lava and I had essentially just climbed a sandbox. And now I had to go back down.

 

Ms. McDonough

 

Night Wanderers 

 

No one had seen her in sixteen days.

“She’s been taken,” you conspiratorially whisper

as we walk along the edge of the marsh.

 

The moon dapples upon the slowly receding water.

Picking our path towards the secret cove

The sea grass sings soft notes of lament.

 

I peer back towards you, wondering what else you harbor.

What rumors you’ve mined? What stories you’ve fostered.

“How do you know? Where has she gone?” I challenge.

 

The water licks at our shoes as we reach the bend.

Pulling ourselves upon the remnants of ancient piers

We balance above the water, until we come to the next clearing.

 

“Should we call? Who can we tell?”

Your answers get caught in a sudden gust and I gasp 

Just as the crest of the dunes rise ahead.  

 

The world is silent except for the lapping of waves.

We climb the peak and look back towards our parents’ homes,

Dark and still, asleep with the certainty of safety. 

 

You take my hand but my thoughts imagine her

Alone, eyes fixed, unblinking, beneath the water

Trudging after the moon night after night. 

 

No one has seen her in sixteen days

But the marsh grass holds its secrets. Listen.

Can you hear them rustle with significance?

.

Ms. Hartnett

My photos represent the very special relationship I have with my younger sister. We both chose very different paths in life, but we always support each other. We both chose a life in the arts- she’s an artist and I’m a musician. Our vehicle to achieve greatness in our own lives were completely opposite. The top photo is a candid from her wedding in September 2014 and below is my wedding in April 2012. We clearly always have the other’s back. Get it?