Archive for September, 2013

Parker Excels

by Joshua B., 8th Grade


People are very encouraging here!
As awkward as it is on the first day of school it becomes a lot better.
Representing their school pride by wearing Reading Rockets shirts and jersey.
Kindhearted students help one an other.
Entering a class room to see the student’s teamwork and friendship.
Ready to learn and write every day.

Ending the day with a smile, waiting to go hang out with friends.
X-Rays can see through the day dreaming in class.
Coming into school prepared, had a healthy breakfast.
Excellent grades come in on report card day.
Learning with all your friends and having fun doing it.
Students starting their work right as they enter the class room.

Read Full Post »

Glorious Perfection

by Molly O., 8th Grade


Photo of Courbet's  "Seaside" by Stanisław Lorentz, Tadeusz Dobrzeniecki, Janina Michałkowa, Kazimierz Michałowski, Krystyna Sroczyńska, Jerzy Zanoziński (1984). Malarstwo. Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie (Painting. National Museum in Warsaw), Arkady.

Photo of Courbet’s
 “Seaside” by Stanisław Lorentz (Painting. National Museum in Warsaw), Arkady.

Waves crashing by the shore,

Sun shining on your back.

Sand comforting your tired toes,

Losing time, no need to keep track.


Children splashing in the waves,

Pushing your family and friends in too.

Witnessing the wonderful world below the ocean,

Catching sight of life in the deep deep blue.


Escaping the hustle of daily life,

Relaxing by the sea.

These summer days will not last,

The leaves will fall off of the tree.


Mystery hidden in the waves,

Shells from centuries ago.

Fish gliding through the smooth warm water,

Watching the sunlight’s lovely warm glow.


A day of splashing in the ocean,

A night of ice cream and blissful peace.

Where can you get this glorious perfection?

At the breezy, relaxing Beach.

Read Full Post »

The Mess in Syria

Damascus by night viewed from Mount Qasioun. (Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Damascus by night viewed from Mount Qasioun. (Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

by Matt C., 8th Grade

Right now, over in the Middle East, in a certain country called Syria, there is a massive civil war going on as we speak. The war has been going on since March 15, 2011. It is still going on strong. Syria is a mess.

The reason this big mess even started in the first place is because In April 2011, the soldiers for the current government, Ba’ath, went out to try to calm down the civilians, the protestors, but ended up firing shots on them to drive them back. In response, the civilians gathered their weapons, and fired back on the army. The whole thing has been going strong ever since.

So, the center of this whole thing is the Government? Aren’t they supposed to help? Well, not if the citizens have no say. According to a quote written by Hanna Batatu, (a historian on the history of Syria), on the Ba’ath government, “Whatever independence of opinion its members enjoyed in the past was now curtailed, a premium being placed on conformity and internal discipline. The party became in effect another instrument by which the regime sough to control the community at large or to rally it behind its policies” (Wikipedia). This quote means that the Ba’ath government took away all freedom of citizens and did anything they wanted. They made their own laws, and get this, they chose who ruled the land! How crazy is this? Sometimes, they chose leaders who people didn’t like. Wouldn’t you be angry?

US president Barak Obama has taken matters into his own hands. He had considered bombing Syria because they are only going to hurt people with all their chemical weapons, but recently, many people have not favored the use of military action in Syria. According to Gallup Politics, “Sixty-eight percent of Americans say the United States should not use military action in Syria to attempt to end the civil war.” The president has already ruled out this solution.

This situation in Syria must be solved. If this problem is not resolved, a lot can happen. If we act on it in the wrong way, it could start an even bigger war. News 4 Jacksonville spoke with Syrian-American Rose Safar who has relatives and friends in Syria. She says  what is “most scary is that Syrian leaders have said if the U.S. attacks, they will defend themselves.” We definitely don’t want that. So, stop all the craziness in Syria now! A war will solve nothing.

Read Full Post »

The Beginning of the End

by Caroline M., 8th Grade

In response to a prompt about “The Beginning of School.”

RoilBroil. RoadAmericaOriginalStartFinishLine. N.d. Road America, 43° 49′ 40″ N, 88° 1′ 45″ W. Wikimedia Commons. Web. 12 Sept. 2013.

RoilBroil. RoadAmericaOriginalStartFinishLine. N.d. Road America, 43° 49′ 40″ N, 88° 1′ 45″ W. Wikimedia Commons. Web. 12 Sept. 2013.

Winston Churchill once acknowledged, “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”  This wise statement applies much to the beginning of eighth grade, which engenders many changes in one’s life.  As the first “Ding Dong Ding Dong, Ding Dong Ding Dong” of the school year greets our weary ears, the ears of more than a hundred eighth grade students, we begin to reflect on the eight years we have previously performed this same, simple routine.  While on the surface this day may seem like all of the others, it is much more.  It symbolizes all of the years that have past, the year we are about to experience, and all those to come.

When thinking about my past starts to school years I become nostalgic for that “care-free” aspect of elementary school.  Soon I remember that with the greater work, we have a greater independence and responsibility, well worth it.  For example, in most classes I have noticed that now we can choose our seats.  During past school years we were not allowed this due to the concern of us sitting in places and with people that would disrupt the class.  Another way I see our freedom expanding emerges from the few subjects where we can organize our binders in a way that best suits ourselves.  This seemingly small liberty beholds a great importance in the minds of us students, for it shows how teachers now trust our knowledge of what organizational method works best for ourselves.  Thirdly, we are given the option of what elective to take, where as before we had to take music, art, and gym for both semesters in middle school and elementary.  From when we started in kindergarten, we have been granted more choices each year, symbolising our growth in independence and creating new potentials for this new year.

The year to come holds as many, if not more, promises as that of the preceding years.  As in other years, now is a great time to become involved in new interests and activities.  For example with our electives, you could have a new favorite class due to a new found interest in the subject.  Interests are not just limited to this.  After school programs and clubs present a great way to spark interests at the beginning of the new school year as well as to find new friends who share those interests.  There also are new topics to learn about from new teachers.  This year I can already tell that my teachers are amazing!  Teachers who are really enthusiastic about their subject make it evident to their pupils by challenging and exciting the students which in turn can inspire brand new passions.  In the future, after eighth grade, we will be presented with additional privileges, and with these privileges come the start of a new chapter in our journey through school.

Next year, and the years to follow in high school and college will most likely be some of the most stressful years of my schooling career.  There will be new experiences, and hardships, it will be the beginning of a whole new part of life, and the end to another.  The famous writer T.S. Eliot said, more than 50 years ago,  that “What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.” and he could not have been more right.  This beginning of the school year is marking the end of our time at middle school, but with this end is coming the beginning of high school and beyond.  This is where we are starting, and this is the beginning of the end.

Read Full Post »


by Laney B., 8th Grade

Courtesy of WikiMedia Commons

Courtesy of WikiMedia Commons


My skin damp with raindrops, just fallen,

Sky’s darkness fills my soul with evil,

I have been left behind, no family,

No mom, dad, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, cousins.


My soul, outraged,

Controlling my feelings can lead me to my absolute breaking point,

The ground filled with cracks and holes,

I fall into the middle of the earth,

I’m falling deeper and deeper with no one to save me.


There is no doubt in my mind that anyone will notice me,

Living with fear has only made me weaker,

I have never felt the way other kids should feel,

Happy, loved, worth something…

No. Only abandoned.

Read Full Post »