Archive for November, 2011

-by Brad B., 8th Grade

I remember the fresh mountain air of Lincoln, NH. It was like nature’s air conditioning in the middle of the summer. We arrived at our condo and unpacked everything. We brought food, drinks, clothes, video games and most importantly bathing suits and sneakers.

It was a beautiful day outside. Hot at home before we left, but refreshing and breezy in the mountains. It was like that until about 5:15 pm. The clouds started rolling in over Loon Mountain, and we had a perfect view from the living room of our condo. It drizzled a bit but then over the mountain, after it cleared up a magnificent rainbow appeared almost like it was part of the mountains.

By nightfall my Dad called the family onto the deck. We saw the stars in glory outlining the mountains in amazing patterns. Thousands of them, lighting up the sky, like little candles viewed from afar. We saw the Big Dipper, Little Dipper and other constellations. The stars were so visible because there were no bright lights shining around us, just the quiet mountains.

Off went the TV, the ipods, the DS’s and the family gathered on the deck. The cool night air chilled us all. We gathered pillows and blankets and arranged ourselves like fallen sticks under a tree, each getting our own view of the spectacular night sky. We watched quietly and pointed out what appeared to be a moving star, but was really a satellite. My Mom said, if we were patient, we would see a shooting star.

We waited for what seemed to be forever, gazing up at the beautiful night sky. The payoff was spectacular. The streak of light flew across the sky like a spark jumping from a fire. We all gasped at almost the same second.

Feeling satisfied by this celestial event, I went back inside. I watched a little tv and had a snack. Then I changed and got into bed. When I closed my eyes the images of that day would be stuck inside my mind until I finally fell asleep. The memory of the beautiful rainbow and starlit night will remain in my mind forever.

Photos Courtesy of WikiMedia Commons

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A Day in Pompeii

by Gustavo C., 7th Grade

Wealthy, advanced,
smoke, fire, burning,
thunder, rumbling, waves crashing
pitch black, deep red, charcoal gray
terrified, devastated, frantic,
silent, peaceful, frozen in time

Photo Courtesy of WikiMedia Commons

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-by Simran P., 8th Grade

“Although I would never want to relive that period of time ever again, I am thankful that it has made me much more of a stronger human being”. Standing before a group of about seventeen to twenty students, Ji-li Jiang, author of Red Scarf Girl spoke these words with pride, courage, and no hesitation. I attentively listened, as the author retrieved her childhood, during China’s Cultural Revolution in the 1960′s. Her words were clear, as she explained the haunting memory of waking up to her mother ill, her grandmother weak, her father detained, and possibly even killed. Her family had faced peril every single day, and surviving a day without being tormented by the Red Guards would be considered, “a good day”. Ji-li had experienced such a difficult period of time, yet without a doubt, she agreed that the Cultural Revolution had shaped an unyielding, resolute woman out of her. By recieving a chance to meet Ji-li, I was able to determine that she is a hero within a victim of such an abominable period in history.

Before the assembly, I was having trouble connecting Ji-li’s situation, with another one that had ever took place in the past. I kept thinking, and it was only after Ji-li mentioned the terms “Chairman Mao” and “brainwashed”, that my mind was able to project on Hitler and the Holocaust. Like Hitler, Chairman Mao had manipulated many people to have them follow what he believed in. A majority of people forced themselves to believe that what both these powerful figures were causing was beneficial, while there were many people that disagreed, but wouldn’t dare to stand up and risk their lives to confront these persuasive tyrants. Chairman Mao and Hitler were lions, while the people were their prey. The only thing is, they both convinced others that they were their friends.

In sixth grade, I read a book called The Diary of Anne Frank. I felt like Ji-li and Anne lived through very similar situations. They were both forced to make sacrifices in order to protect themselves, as well as their families from getting killed. Every day, they would face fear, worries and emotional pain. They never thought that their lives would be that same, yet they knew that if they lost hope they would become even more weak and miserable. They were both victims of two horrific periods of time, and as they fought through tears and agony, they were redeeming themselves into heros.

It was an honor to be fortunate enough to meet Ji-li. I was able to hear her story, and truly be inspired. I believe that what she went through allows others to persevere when things are tough, and never lose hope. It is so wonderful that we are able to meet heros such as Ji-li, and Edgar Krasa that teach us that hard work, dedication, but most importantly, always believing in yourself can withstand the forceful power of any dictator. With determination, a victim can transform into a hero.

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