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Archive for September, 2011

Traffic Free

-by Jane D., 8th Grade


As humans, we feel day after day. As writers, words are our resource to share those feelings. There is certain magical air about every experience that is not only felt, it is lived. So, the challenge I see in writing is giving someone the gift of an experience that they didn’t live. It is also transferring that indescribable magic through nothing but words on a page. Whenever I sit down to write I often find myself wrestling with words to find that perfect adjective. I try out words, but I never am able to find the one that truly describes that magic I felt. I generally get frustrated and settle for a word that is insufficient.

I have realized that one word isn’t going to create the ambiance of a moment. The story has to have little hints of the magic scattered across the page. I have to think back to that space in time and the things that were running through my head. The first word that comes to mind will help guide me in the right direction. However, it won’t be the only sufficient adjective. It will just set the mood, and begin the process of the reader feeling how I felt. Words are the bridge between the writer and the reader. Bridges can be beautiful and they can take you where the writer wants you to go. They also can be ugly and get you in a traffic jam so horrendous the reader ends up turning around. As a writer my responsibility is to create a beautiful traffic free bridge. I will overcome this challenge by setting a mood using sensory details and well thought out adjectives. I am determined to get my readers over the bridge with a full and emotional connection to what was on the page.

In the future I want to write pieces that bring out emotion in my readers. I want them to feel as though they were in my head feeling the moment along with me. I don’t want my writing to just be a school assignment. I want it to make people feel and inspire readers to do things they never dared. I want them to run across the bridge I create without the fear that they will hit some traffic. The future me will question words and challenge herself to make the reader understand the magic of that moment. This year I hope to get my writing to that beautiful traffic free bridge that takes readers where writing has never taken them before.

Photo Courtesy of WikiMedia Commons

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The Blur

by Carolyn P., 8th Grade

School: it has never been my favorite place on earth. I mean any kid would rather one of those summer “do nothing” days then go to school, right?

However, I have always loved the first day of school. I always loved the confusion the new clothes and supplies, having to adjust to waking up at 6:30, rushing off to school. It always brought so many mixed emotions; being sad that summer was over, and being excited for a new school year.

When I get to school I love walking in, seeing the mob of children swarming the halls. They are like bees in a hive, working together (mostly). They crowd and make the hive busy. Through the buzz of the “bees” I hear Megan say “ Carolyn! What homeroom do you have, again?” I had no idea.

I like seeing all the new sixth graders who have no idea what they are going to do because they are adjusting to different periods and days. Even as an eighth grader I can relate, as I have new electives and new classes too.

I had no trouble finding my other friends; it was good to reunite after not seeing each other all summer. We exchanged funny summer stories that just can’t be posted on Facebook or texted on the phone. We told each other what classes we had. Then over the buzz of noise I just barely heard the first bell ring; it took me a while to find my homeroom and get settled, but I managed to sit down by the second bell alive. Getting our lockers was easy; getting everything in them was not, stuffing my backpack in the locker and the shelves that I didn’t have time to set up.

After that the day rushed by, with an assembly about how eighth grade was the year we should participate and lead, which inspired me, figuring out all our classes, and getting to know all our teachers (always one of my favorite parts of the beginning of the school year).

Last period was art studio 8 which always gives school a nice ending for me. I love paint splattering the scratch, scratch, scratch of colored pencils; and the silence that lets you know that everybody is working and thinking. Then I heard the familiar sound that I had heard ten times before that day. Then I knew I endured the first day of school.

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-by Jake R., 8th Grade

Here at Parker Middle School, we have a new addition to our staff: Mrs. Beaulieu.

Mrs. Beaulieu comes to us from Salem, Massachusetts, where she was a Curriculum Coordinator for the last six years. Mrs. Beaulieu has also been an eighth grade teacher in Salem and also, a seventh grade teacher in West Hartford, Connecticut.

Mrs. Beaulieu started out as a camp counselor for middle school students when she realized she had a passion for teaching and working with kids. She has come to Parker because she is ready for a challenge. Mrs. Beaulieu says that her first impressions of Parker are that the school is a wonderful place to be and that she is excited to be part of the staff.

As a kid, Mrs. Beaulieu enjoyed hanging out with friends, playing soccer and field hockey, babysitting, and talking on the phone with her friends. Mrs. Beaulieu has always liked school, ever since she was a child. She even would play school with her little sister in her basement on the weekends because she loves learning and being with her friends.

Mrs. Beaulieu thrives on the thrill of each day bringing new excitement to the classroom. She says, “The kids bring new experiences to each day; that is what makes them special.” Mrs. Beaulieu says that it is interesting to learn about how the school functions, to learn the personalities of the students here, and to grow with the community as the students grow as well.

Although school was exciting and fun for Mrs. Beaulieu, she did struggle with homework as a child, as many of us do today. Mrs. Beaulieu had an IEP, an Individualized Education Program, because she has a learning disability. Mrs. Beaulieu knows that homework and school can be hard, but she persevered to earn the grades she wanted, and deserved. All kids struggle with school and Mrs. Beaulieu knows what that is like. Learning is different for everybody, and everybody learns at their own pace.

Mrs. Beaulieu is married, and she and her husband live with their cat, Greta, in Beverly. She enjoys gardening and growing her own vegetables and flowers. She goes cycling every weekend, and she has recently begun painting with watercolors, because she has a passion for art. Art was a realm where Mrs. Beaulieu could feel successful and comfortable taking risks, when she could create something that you’ve made with your hands.

The most important thing to Mrs. Beaulieu about being part of the staff here at Parker is the ability to be responsive: to know each student’s learning level, and to adjust teaching methods based on how those students are learning. She is ready to do her best to manage the school and learn along with the students. She understands that although school is hard, you have to persevere and try your best.

Whenever you see Mrs. Beaulieu in the hallways, be sure to give her a smile or just a pleasant “hello” to let her know that she is welcomed here at our Walter Parker Middle School.

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Sunsets and Fireflies

Lily M., 8th Grade

Monet's "Valley of the Creuse at Sunset"

Feet pounding, heart racing, you reach the grass
The golden orb is inches above the horizon
You catch your breath in its beauty
Although tomorrow you’ll be up before the sun
You watch as the colors of the evening sky change
From blue to pink and orange then purple
Standing until lightening bugs and stars appear
Grabbing a firefly you hold it in your hand
Its light flickers on and then off
You open your hands and let it go
Just like the seconds, just like the sunset, just like the summer

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