A Knight In The Devil’s Skin Armor
by Jacob Rosin, freshman
There once was a knight in the land of Riyskim. This knight had worn armor that was said to be made of the skin of the devil himself. One day the King of Avoel had tasked this knight to face the dreadful dragon Melandonia and as a reward, he would be given permission to marry princess Suoritus. The knight bravely accepted the challenge and left his family to conquer the beast.
As he came forth to the cave, he hesitated, contemplating whether he was actually capable enough to slay the mighty beast; just as he was deep in angst, none other than the dragon Melandonia appeared glaring from within the cave. Melandonia began spewing words as if fire through his nostrils, “so this is what they have sent….one feeble knight to slay the mighty Meladonia? What can one puny human do to stop a mighty dragon?” As the beast continued to insult the knight no one knew the dragon wasn’t the real danger...his mere words were pointing out his deepest weaknesses, his greatest fears, as well as all his insecurities; it was killing the knight from the inside out until he emotionally broke.
Despite Melandona's piercing words the knight replied, “ you may be right, I am only a puny human, but there is one thing you do not know; as you were revealing to me all my weaknesses, insecurities, and greatest fears, the armor that surrounds me has grown harder and harder and it most assuredly has made me stronger and stronger!
The knight then drew his blade and commanded, “Die you vile creature!” The knight and beast clashed claw to blade, sword to armor and every word the dragon spewed in mockery only fueled to harden the armor...for you see the armor takes weakness and turns it into strength...as we, all humans, should strive to do.
The knight had slain the dragon and beheaded him to return home to the Land of Riyskim with the beast tied to his back as the town's people cheered him on... for no more will the dragon terrorize them - forever more!
Soon thereafter, the knight happily married the princess!!
But this isn’t a tale of fantasy, no….it’s all too real...for this tale goes on in the minds of us all, for the dragon is what is known as “depression” and the knight is within us and the armor is when each of us turns our weaknesses into our strengths!
Water Bottle Blues
By Andru Brannum, Carson Cardella, Nicholas Jara - freshmen
We are dehydrated from the routine
And activities and no water pass
We yearn for liquids and we start to lean
On you to give us sass for the whole class
As we ask for water you says heck no
As we sit in sorrow you look and smile
we come to our senses and say fosho
As we dream of water it’ll be a while
Sitting waiting for the last bell to ring
As you teach us to write a sonnet
Our mouth starts to get so dry that it stings
For soon to come water will be on it
Don’t forget it’s the last class of the day
But don’t fret h2o is on its way
By Brynn Hopping, freshman
Everyone has a favorite time of year and my favorite time of the year is winter. Winter is my favorite time of the year because it has delicious food, the coziness of it, and the weather is refreshing to us here in California because we have very hot weather.
The food makes winter my favorite time of the year because that’s when my mom makes soup, the moist turkey at Christmas time, and hot chocolate with marshmallows. My mom makes the best potato soup with bacon and cheese, which warms me up from the inside and makes me feel happy. The turkey is just so moist and when I eat it, it makes me feel good and I want to eat more. Hot chocolate warms me up from the inside out and sipping it by the fireplace with my family makes me feel supported and special. Without food in the winter, it wouldn’t be winter.
Winter makes me feel cozy and being cozy is a great feeling; cozying up with a blanket also makes me feel secure and not want to go anywhere because I feel so warm. Sitting by the fire with my family with a blanket wrapped around me is the best it can get, feeling supported. The cold outside isn’t that great but when I come inside and cuddle up with a blanket it’s the coziest thing I.
The weather makes winter – winter, because it makes me want to come inside and sit around on the couch with my dog, Millie. I sit with my dog and watch Christmas movies to get me in the spirit for the holidays. With the cold weather outside it might snow! When it snows in California it is a big deal to me because I love to throw snowballs at my sisters and cousins. Snow and rain makes me happy because I can play in it. Winter just wouldn’t be winter without the weather it brings.
By Malia K. Morales Goodwin, freshman
Due to our recent lack of cold weather, my sweaters have been collecting dust in the back of my closet. Even though it has been partially cold in the mornings, it warms up in the day, so a jacket you shed in the afternoon is the only acceptable article of winter clothing. Today was the first day where the windy-coldness of the morning dragged on in the passing hours of the rest of the day, and of course... I forgot to wear a sweater. But this one act of forgetfulness can be forgiven since the weather app called for warmth at high noon. But still I hold a grudge, since walking to school in this weather, without a jacket or even a sweater, has led me to borrow my friend’s jacket that unpleasantly smells like mustard. And after trying to drown out the scent with my perfume without any satisfying results, I gave up because the two scents collided and it smelled sort of something like vomit. But tomorrow I will get rid of this horrid jacket and be safe and warm and cozy in my lovely sweaters at home. And I will remember this day and keep it as a reminder to always check the weather app before I get dressed.
By Clarice S. Yau, AP Lit Student
To be invisible is a feeling of the loneliest freedom. It’s throwing back the chains and escaping a cell to find beautiful barrenness. It’s a terrifying sort of liberty in which no one can see or feel or know you.
I’ve spent a fair amount of my life invisible, in the sense that no one knows what really goes on in my life. This type of invisibility is like suffocating in a glass prison, afraid to break free, but afraid to do nothing. It’s like being hunted by assassins in broad daylight and pounding on empty windows in a desperate plea for help.
When a close family member died, I became a shell of myself. But no one could see, and I was deathly afraid of asking for help because it required courage I knew I didn’t have. I felt like everyone could see that I was slowly going insane inside my mental prison, but few saw past my sunny facade.
It’s so easy to say that the solution was talk it out with someone, but it’s another thing to force the words out. I never really learned to talk about it without cracking or breaking until recently. The cop-out solution for me was to hold it all in and let time run its course, which works, but generates bitterness and destroys who I am in the process.
This feeling has become a good friend to me. We sit in companionable silence and contemplate our loneliness together.
I’ve learned to talk about my problems to people, no matter how much I feel like a burden. It’s difficult, but freeing. It’s not always enough to keep my friend invisibility from keeping me company, but invisibility is no longer a prison to me.
By Jordan M. Martin, A.P. Lit Student
Being a black man in America, I feel invisible all the time. Living in a prominently all-white neighborhood, and having to wake up every morning to go to a mostly white school makes me feel invisible. Sitting in class being the only black person half the time makes me feel invisible. Knowing that everything I do, I have to work twice as hard as the person next to me makes me feel invisible.
Although being an invisible man in many situations has proven to be a hardship, I embrace it. I embrace the fact that I am unique, and the color of my skin intimidates people. It has taught me to never back down from anyone or anything no matter what it may be.
I have also learned to be proud of where I come from despite what others may believe. My invisibility has allowed me to gain a confidence that most people wouldn’t have. Being invisible can teach you ways to cope with difficult situations in life.
By Matin Furutan, AP Lit Student
Was human nature always evil?
Sixteen kids trying to survive, medieval.
Is man a scoundrel? No an animal.
Looked down upon by the reader as if they were cannibals.
They were once innocent kids filled with joy.
Now the only satisfaction comes from self-centered ploys.
Take a step back and realize these kids are not far.
In fact, they roam around D.C. on racist radar.
The Rogers are the supporters of Jack.
A mirror of the political scene on crack.
Shame the piggys and drop the boulders.
Every minority in America feels the weight of racism on their shoulders.
From greed of power to wealth we are no advanced society.
No better than a teacher forcing a student to present with social anxiety.
Lord of the flies, backwardness in the street.
This isn’t a story about kids but humanity.
A mirror into the brain of insanity, yet we are not in the asylum.
This world needs saving like Batman in Arkham Asylum.
By Clarice S. Yau, AP Lit Student
A book is so much more than a book.
So ordinary from the outside,
Yet so magical within.
Those tomes that hold ancient
Tongues of knowledge that we,
Us insignificant fools,
Have yet to comprehend,
Like the Bible and The Iliad and the Koran.
These unique vehicles that carry us
Beyond, beyond, our wildest imagination
And fill our minds with delicious images
Of far away lands and rich sounds
Of the music of the mind,
Painting us The Color Purple and
Filling the room with the shouts
Of how To Kill a Mockingbird.
It’s peculiar to me, then,
How books can be banned.
No matter the content of the book,
Knowledge is knowledge,
And to keep that from us is a sin.
Yes, oh yes, some knowledge is forbidden,
Like the knowledge given by
The Tree of Knowledge in Eden.
And yes, oh yes, some ‘knowledge’ is rubbish
And seems to deserve nothing but a trip to the trash,
Like anything on the inferiority of any gender or race.
But… How else would we broaden our horizons?
How else would we be able to tell good from bad
If all we had was the opportunity to read
What was so called good for us?
How else would we learn and grow,
If we don’t have the means to make our own decisions
On who we are and what we believe?
is bound up
for we can
- Bishop Desmond Tutu
Contributors to the blog are students in Ms. Washington's classes: Seniors in Advance Placement Literature and 9th grade ELA.