Student Blog 2017-2018
by Cameron Nguyen, AP Lit, students
Inspired by A Tale of Two Cities by Dickens
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of order, it was the age of chaos, it was the epoch of tranquility, it was the epoch of turbulence, it was the season of faith, it was the season of distrust, people were rejoicing, people were mourning. There was a man with a quick trigger finger and a massive amount of power at the head of the United States; there was a man with a quick trigger finger and a massive amount of power at the head of Russia. In both countries, it was clearer than glass to the heads of the respective nations, that things in general were set in stone forever.
It was the year of two thousand and seventeen. Russia rolled with frightening smoothness down hill, making progress in some areas but retrogression in most others. Under the guidance of her almighty president, Mother Russia entertained herself with noble achievements such as assassinating anyone who dare speak against her, accepting wide varieties of bribes from businesses leading to the corruption of government, steadily consuming more vodka, and cutting back on prisons. It is likely enough that, being produced somewhere in the factories of Russia, there was steel being ready to be manufactured into bullets to fuel the harsh crackdown on journalists and public dissenters.
In the United States, who many say holds the title of being the “best country in the world,” there exists far too much oppression and inequality to justify much national boasting. Casual catcalls by the common man, and alleyway mugging, took place in The Big Apple itself every night; black children were cautioned by their parents not to go out too late at night, especially with a hoodie on, out of fear for their children’s lives; women were being warned by their friends to keep pepper spray in their hands as they walked to their cars at night. Vandals were spray painting racial slurs directly on the homes of multimillionaire celebrities. White supremacy rallies were still occurring in two thousand and seventeen, with no condemnation taken by the nation’s leader.
All these things, and a thousand like them, came to pass in and close upon the dear old year two thousand and seventeen.
I do think that all of us think in poems.
-Naomi Shihab Nye
Contributors to the blog are students in Ms. Washington's classes: Seniors in AP Literature and 9th grade ELA.