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Rambunctious

An annual publication of literary works from the


students and staff of Jamesville-Dewitt High School

2011 Edition

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A Letter From The Editors:

Dear Students and Staff of Jamesville-Dewitt High School,

The Rambunctious Staff is honored to present this year’s issue of Rambunctious,


a collection of poems and short fiction by students and staff members. This year,
we received over 70 high-quality submissions from the community of writers at
the high school. It was an absolute pleasure to work with the wonderful writing of
the students and staff of Jamesville-Dewitt High School; the talent in this school
is amazing, and we are thrilled to be able to share some of it with the entire
Jamesville-Dewitt community.

We would like to take this opportunity to remind you that the speaker or narrator
of a poem or story is not necessarily the same as the person who wrote the
piece. In this respect, we have showcased many different voices, perspectives
and styles in Rambunctious. In addition, the order in which these pieces appear
is solely for formatting and layout reasons. This is also the reason that some
submissions are unable to appear in this issue. Space limitations prevented us
from publishing multiple submissions from single authors or submissions that far
exceeded the 1,000-word limit.

We would like to thank our faculty advisors, Mr. Phillips, Ms. Sandroni, and Ms.
Hansen, for their dedication and leadership as they guided us on this journey.
We also thank our staff members for the time and effort that they’ve put into this
publication. Our gratitude goes to the high school administration and especially
Mr. Gasparini for his encouragement and support. And finally, we thank our
biggest financial supporter, the Jamesville-Dewitt High School Parent Teacher
Group, which donated funds to our startup budget.

Please take a moment to visit our website, where student artwork and additional
submissions will be posted in the near future:

http://tinyurl.com/rambunctious2011

Without further ado, we invite you to explore both versions of Rambunctious for
yourself. Enjoy!

Sincerely,

The 2011 Rambunctious Staff

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Against The Tide
Andrew Lee

They call me genius. They speak of it with bated breath, mixing and compiling layers of
illusion until I am no longer one of them. No longer an equal, for better or for worse. The
tremors of respect, the spearheads of jealousy, all are a part of the mirage of grandeur
that they pass along. But they will never know.

Never know how powerless it feels to fight against such a cascade of thought, battling
for reputation, identity, and individuality. Never know the pressure of living up to their
painted façade, or the despair of being placed in a silhouette that overshadows all else.

I don’t have the arrogance to pretend to be someone I’m not. But the truth seems to be
as brutal as it is bare- you are who others think you are. Forget feelings. Forget love.
Forget dreams and thoughts and long nights of pondering. There’s a sense of identity
that lies beyond your control and at the mercy of the world.

Years of school have glazed over in my mind already, leaving only small snapshots
embedded deep in my mind that invoke particular emotions when I think back. I close my
eyes, watching them flit by like a silent slideshow. I think back to kindergarten, first
testing the waters of friendship by sharing blocks and coloring together at the craft table.
First second third fourth grade, a blur of memories. Recess filled with boundless energy,
freedom in half-hour intervals, frivolous games of boys chase girls and playground lava
monster. Fifth grade sixth grade- the middle school. Homebase, lockers, and different
teachers. I still remember the names of my teachers, every one of them even as I went
on to 7th grade, the year of almost-there, and 8th grade, the year in the big league, of
inflated ego and a sense of superiority. And then high school. Friendships shift, values
change, priorities are reset.

But one thing remains, one fact remains unchangeable in this hurricane of events we call
high school: it is too short to spend worrying about what others think of you.

It hurts to be seen as only a source for homework, a standard to compare to, a person to
crack jokes at when doing your best in school goes out of fashion. But in the end, it
shouldn’t matter. No matter what people say or think or believe, it is all about what you
do and how you act.

And it is what I believe that parallels everything I do and how I act. For me it is the Bible
and doing my best to pronounce faith in my religion. I truly believe that my life does not
belong to me, but to Jesus Christ and His love- I trust in Him as my God and Savior.
Savior, because there is no possible way I could have gone this far in my life on my own.
I live to honor Him, not to please others so they’ll change the way they think about me.
Because the way I view Christianity, there is no “smart” or “dumb.” There is no “rich” or

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“poor,” “attractive” or “ugly,” “popular” or “unpopular.” There is only a “leads by example.”
And that in itself will fulfill everything but people’s opinions of you.

Personal belief is the stronghold of your mind. Religious or not, it is as much for you to
assert as it is for others to ignore. You only need to think back to elementary school to
see this, back when the ultimate comeback to doing or saying whatever was still “So
what? It’s a free country!”

Free country, as we are blessed to live in the United States. But what about free mind?
Free heart? Free lives? High school will eventually fade away, leaving us with only
memories of who we chose to be, ignoring what others might have claimed about us.

Genius. There used to be a time when I would cringe at the name, flattered but ashamed
at carrying such a title, angry at others who blindly thought that I was superior in some
way. But I don’t want my life to be defined by a reputation. I don’t want to be
remembered for something so inanimate as a GPA, a list of awards, or an SAT score. I
want to be remembered for my spirit, my character, my faith.

Maybe one day people will come to realize that I was only who I was. Nothing more,
nothing less. But until then, I can only hope.

A Letter Written from the Perspective of a Soldier from World War II


Carson Skeele

Private Eric Broderick


February 12th, 1915
I’ve been here for just two months and I’ve already seen my two best friends shot
right in front of me. I’m one of the lucky ones, at least I can hope to say that now. My
feet kill with every step I take, my boots have become pointless, for the water still floods
into my feet. I can’t sleep with all the guns and screams and smells, it’s all just too
much! I pray to God to take me out of here, to take me back home where my wife and
kids are in good old Sheffield. Only God knows what I would do to leave this awful place.
Our commander doesn’t understand how bad it’s gotten, hell, I doubt he even cares. I
see young men all around me with lives to live outside of war. I try not to make friends
anymore for I fear if I do it will only end in sadness for one of us. I’ve gone emotionally
sick, not able to help a wounded friend, left there to die or sighting down my gun to shoot
another man, ending his life. I believe we have no cause in this war, we’ve lost all our
successes and we’ve only lost thousands of men for nothing. We go for days on end, not
doing a single thing, not fighting, not progressing, not creating peace, nothing. I fear I will
die in this trench without being able to say goodbye to my kids and wife. Nobody I know
has survived the trenches and come back to talk about them, I fear I too will be one who

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dies soon enough. It’s only an amount of time before I’m killed and am saved from this
Hell on earth.
If my family is to get this note: I have gone to heaven and wish you all the best, I
love you all.

Graveyard Shift
Emily Higgins
Your skin
Is laced
With silver lining

You are the orb


To which children send their prayers
Kneeling in their bedrooms
Before sleep
The dim light
That is freckled with pieces of gravity
And pieces of sky
And pieces of them

In the morning
They will wonder
Where you’ve gone

You are the dark side


Of the moon

Many Emotions Derived


Jonathan Williams
A specific portion in time,
obtaining and radiating long term effects,
grasping control on reality,
finding oneself lost in thoughts,
spurring from this inevitable occasion,
Many Emotions are Derived.

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Poem
Maria Caffarelli
I don’t understand why things ended
Or even how

The taste of these tears is too common


And they’re eating away at me

But it's not time for the fight


I’m beginning to realize it’s the world vs. you

Two worlds of emotion colliding at war


This collision is draining you

With two worlds at war you start to suffer


And the wrath of a broken heart sets in

These emotions are running high


But Angels are watching over you

Wherever Angels may be


You’ll be in perfect peace

They’ll sing a melody for you


And glide across your dreams

Guardians of the heart and hope


Supporters of the weakened flame

With Angels there and me here


I know in my heart that you’re okay

I don’t understand why things ended


but a second of love can change anything

Shine
Chris Yu

Everyone knew about him, though no one dared speak. He was the wanderer.
The man without a home. The man who wandered from town to town, never stopping,
never settling. His reputation preceded him, wherever he went. Everyone regarded him
with a sort of morbid curiosity, finding his silent nature unsettling, and yet finding his
purpose fascinating, mysterious.

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He would wander the streets all day -- methodically, some noted, visiting each
block one by one -- never speaking, never answering any of the various questions posed
to him by those brave enough to approach. When night fell, someone would invariably
take him in, partially out of pity, partially out of the hope of learning something more
about him. Though he was said to be quite courteous, those who had been his hosts
always insisted that they had learned nothing more. At last, when he had searched every
corner of the city, he would leave, just as mysteriously as he had come.
Today was a day of departure. He had spent a week combing another gray
jungle, a mesh of concrete and steel. As always, his search turned up fruitless yet again
-- though, just what he was searching for, nobody knew. As the sun set, so did
everyone's fascination with him. He would be forgotten within a week, another curious
topic of conversation to be avoided at dinner tables.
He glanced at the last few houses, on the edge of the city limits, as he walked
alongside the road out of town. He observed their gable roofs, their uniform walls, their
lawns all melting into each other. Neither did any of them hold what he was searching
for.
He was stopped by a light tug on his sleeve. He looked down. A young girl, about
half his height, was pulling at his cuff.
"Hey, mister?" she asked. Her voice trembled with a mix of apprehension and
excitement. "Where are you going?"
The man looked her over. She had a bright red ribbon in her hair, and a colorful
bracelet on her wrist with a heart attached to it. He smiled. "Far away. Down this road."
The girl looked down the road. It stretched forward, into the horizon. "By
yourself? Isn't that scary?"
He shrugged. "I'm used to it."
The girl's eyes widened. "Wow . . . But why, though?"
The man looked down the road as well. He nodded. "I lost something, a long time
ago. I've been looking for it ever since."
The girl thought. "They don't have replacements in the city?"
"Not for this, unfortunately."
"Does that mean that I don't have it, either?"
He looked back down at her, and knelt down to her level. Contemplated her for a
few moments. Finally, he smiled again. "No, I think you've plenty of it. Just be careful not
to lose it."
The girl tilted her head. "Then . . . Can't we share?"
He chuckled. "I wouldn't want to take somebody else's. No, I've got to find it for
myself."
"Oh? What does it look like?"
He stood up and stretched out, looking up at the sky. "If I knew, I would have
found it by now. Don't you think?"
The mother's voice called from the sidewalk. "There you are, dear!" she called,
running down the driveway. "It's past your bedtime, isn't it? Come with Mother, now --
you've a big day tomorrow."

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"I'll be going now," the man murmured to her. He smiled, and began walking.
Behind him, he could still hear their voices.
"And what were you thinking, going up to that man?" the mother chided. "You
know better than to talk to strangers."
"But I was helping him find something he'd lost, Mom!"
"Now, now, no talking back. Well, I guess it's all right, now that he's gone. Come
inside, now -- and promise me you won't do something like that again . . ." Their voices
faded to an indistinct chatter.
The man looked upward, into the night sky. There was a pair of stars overhead,
glittering bright like a pair of eyes from above.
He called to them, his gaze fixed skyward as he walked. "Keep shining, will you?
I'll find you. Someday."

Disneyland
Andrew Scibilia

Sitting at my table
Drinking a large glass of rich chocolate milk
The warm smell of pancakes
Rose up through the air like a balloon
Smelling the aroma of hot breakfast
Made my taste buds tingle.
After waiting
My chocolate chip pancakes
Fluffy and brown
Appeared in my delight.
I indulge in a chocolate sensation
And eat.
Minutes before I was done
Someone tapped me on my shoulder.
My brother and I turned around
And to our surprise
Mickey stood behind us
Looking for a hug.
Speechless
My brother and I ran faster than a racecar
With huge smiles
And jumped into a Mickey’s
Wide open arms.
Before I knew it
I was greeted by
Minnie, Goofy, and Pluto.
From that moment on
I knew I was in
For the greatest week
Of my
Life.

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Way Back When
Johanna Santos
Remember my Promise?
Way back when
Back in the sandbox
Back in the Park.
I said I wouldn’t leave.
So why are you crying?
Why are you sad?
Can’t you see me?
I promise I won’t leave
Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep

ON THE PLAYGROUND
OF A SCHOOLYARD
Rebecca Doss

The chicanery of live beings on the swings;


Hands on an aged coal-stained clock.
(Inspired by Ezra Pound)

Excellent is the new satisfactory.


Lydia Nevin

My name’s not Tantalus, you know,


it’s okay to let the freaking fruit stay still for once,
let me reach your expectations,
my hand is now far above
where you told me
(at first)
was good enough.
But it’s always, always,
just a fraction of an inch
above me.

Sure.
Fine.
You’re right.
I can reach so high now,
higher than I would have,
Look how much better you’ve made me
(wait, wasn’t it me that did that?)
So it helps me in the long run,
okay.

So can I have that fruit now?

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I Don’t Believe in Facebook
Koy Adams

Every week it’s the same question: “Koy,


why don’t you get a facebook? And every
week it’s the same response: “I don’t care.”
And, sure as ever, the person laughs and
says “Why not?”
I ask why.
They smirk. “Is it because you have no
friends Koy?”
I giggle. “No, it’s because I do.”
See, truth is is that I’m an Aries and
therefore born to be both rash and great.
Never once have ever wanted or needed
another person to tell me who I am.
My being will self create.
So flashy this magic a profile has that
reels young girls and boys in.
This technological poison that seeps its
venom through bright computer screens lets
falsehood intervene between fiction and
reality.
A place where lies and hearsay manifest
a personality, making customers adapt to a
sacrifice of integrity for convenience.
I know in my heart that I have true friends,
not some shaky online status.
Yet the only rebuttal you have are
acquaintances on a list of some
online apparatus.
Now, what seems so impeccably fine
has left us so impeccably blind to the
shallowness of our persistence.
When pictures are no longer time travel
devices, but proof of our very existence.
And maybe that is why I don’t believe in
Facebook.

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Love Story
Jeremy Wallace

Henry Steinberger walked home from school that day knowing exactly what he
wanted to do. He didn’t want to do any of his homework, eat any after-school snacks, or
watch any of his favorite shows (which he does almost every day). No, today he wanted
to sign onto AIM and chat with the girl he had had a crush on since the 7th grade.
He went to his bedroom, threw down his book-bag, hopped into his chair at his
desk in front of his computer and clicked the little “AIM” shortcut icon on his desktop. He
waited for the “loading” signal, then the familiar “welcome 2sportsdude8”, and then the
“buddy list” appeared. And luck would have it, Shoppergirll99 was on.
2sportsdude8: Hey
Shoppergirll99: Heyy wats up!
Henry was excited. Whenever she added that exclamation point it meant she
was in a good mood.
2sportsdude8: Not much, just kinda haning out you know?
He felt stupid that he spelled hanging wrong. He thought about correcting it then
he figured it made him look cool if he didn’t care about spelling.
Shoppergirll99: nice nice
This was usually the dead part in their conversation via AIM. But today had to be
different for Henry. He promised himself last night lying in bed that we would go through
with it.
2sportsdude8: anyway…whatr you doing tmaro night?
Henry almost threw up. He couldn’t believe what he had just done. He’d been
dreaming about this moment for years and it finally happened.
Shoppergirll99: I going out to dinner with my parents.
Not exactly the response Henry wanted. She didn’t even ask why he wanted to
know! He was in a bit of a pickle. He wasn’t sure what he should say to that. He was
thinking about saying something suave like ‘well you should ditch them and go out with
me, baby’ when he noticed the little “Shoppergirll99 is typing” sign on the page. He was
so relieved! Obviously she was going to say something like ‘I would rather be hanging
out with you, though’ or so he hoped.
Shoppergirll99: hahahaha
Wow. He was getting fed up with this. So he decided to cross that bridge that
made him the cool, suave, and brave man he wanted to be from that weak, spineless,
afraid soul he was.
2sportsdude8: Hey, i’ve been thinking a lot lately and i really like u. i liked
u for as far back as i can remember….and i think you and me
would be raelly good together. so maybe you wanna ditch ur parents
tomaro and go to the movies with me?
………….
………….
Shoppergirll99 is typing.

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A Simulation of a Friend
Nicole Tanquary

Let us pretend that you and I are very good friends.


Since we are playing a game of make-believe, this is how you appear in my
head; tall, with short-cropped hair that is brown with a hint of auburn. You wear dark
clothing that almost melts into the shadows. Your eyes are full of a pale glow.
And how do I appear to you? Am I wearing the face of a childhood friend, long
swept away into the murk of time? Am I wearing a dress, or a suit? Are you especially
creative, and have given me things like wings, or red skin, or a pair of twirling, pointed
horns? Does my image entertain you? Is it especially beautiful? Or do you wish for a
moment of normalcy in an otherwise hectic life, and imagine me as a small and quiet
listener, who may give advice to problems you cannot tell the people around you?
Choose whatever you like. Take as long as you wish. I don't mind waiting a bit for
you, for my image to truly crystallize behind your eyes.
In the meantime, I may add a tattoo on your arm, something I can't quite make
out but has lots of colors, swirls I can trace with a fingertip.
Are you done? Good.
Now, we are very good friends. We have known each other for what feels like a
long, long time. We came into existence at the exact same moment, and that has
bonded us in ways others can only imagine.
Pity them for a moment. Go on. They have no one like me to talk to. (By the way,
I have changed your eyes to red. The color brings out the auburn in your hair.)
Now, we must imagine ourselves a place where we may meet, so that we can
talk and hold mild discussions with one another, without anyone else interfering. An
escape for the both of us.
I picture us walking down the isles of a decrepit, abandoned theater. It is dark,
but I can still make out the dust motes that cloud from your footsteps. The dust is stained
orange from the fibers of the audience's abandoned seat cushions – some of it settles
on your shoulder, and I brush it off, so that your tattoo may glow and burn with its
imaginary light.
We meet on the stage, and you sit crosslegged on the wooden boards, still
smooth after all these years. I can see your reflection in the gloss.
You look around for a moment – how does it appear to you? This place is the
sort of thing you see not with your eyes, but with your mind, and since our minds are so
very different, our meeting place cannot look the same to both of us. Perhaps you will
see something light, with an open sky above. Perhaps it is early dusk, and crickets are
settling in a shielded glen, punctuating our voices with their grating, chirruping
symphony.
Or perhaps you are getting sick of imagining things. The glen fades, replaced
with a shadowy floor, everything black and pulsing in the dark. I cannot blame you.
There is a limit to what we allow ourselves to see.
So. We are imagined, now, and we are here.

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You ask me a question. You sound almost bemused; “Are we alive?” Being alive
is a movement, a throb in your chest, an electric energy sparking from nerve ending to
nerve ending. None of that matters here. I don't force myself to imagine every cell of
your being working, coexisting, forming you. And I doubt that your mind is large enough
to comprehend the same for me. So, maybe we are not alive. But life does not matter
here. What matters is that we are lodged in each other's imaginations, and are able to
take refuge in this in-between place.
You are frowning. The fact that we are not quite alive is unsettling to you.
Make me appear meek, then, for I do not want to unnerve you. I want to be your
friend.
“Why me?” Why you? Have I not already said – I met you, and I wanted to
become your friend. Do you need more of an explanation?
I suppose that you can say it is by chance that we are friends now. The moment
you heard me speak, I was born into your mind, and you, in mine. We are connected.
In my mind, your lips are thin, and they continue to frown. Your red eyes, the
color of blood, stare at me uneasily. A stage light bathes us in brightness. Dust motes fly
in lazy constellations.
“I want to go home.”
I am wounded. Home? You want to go home? But … we have only just met. Am I
really that frightening to you? Have you given me the appearance of a hideous monster?
How can you be so sure that your home is more real than this place? Feel the
touch of my hand, as I rest it on your shoulder. Is your home, your own reality, more real
than this?
You apologize. It is fine, I tell you. I am forgiving to my friends.
And you are my friend, aren't you …

Tree
Maria Skandalis
We are all standing,
Alone in the dark.
Unable to provide love,
Joy, laughter
To each other.
In the cold, our souls
Freeze
We just stand
Alone.
Waiting for the sun
To spread our wings
And breathe.

13
spaces
Tangela Hightower

my mind
is like a desert
deserted
abandoned
alone
a few thoughts
come every
now and then
But leave....
Without words
To
say:
Empty
Spaces
Left
Behind
But with no one
To see

Now piece them


together
and read

On the Wrong Side


Alora Meyers

I thought about it once or twice,


But then again it isn’t nice.
Why does he have to be there,
Why does she have to care?
I want to tell her it’s not fair,
But then again do I dare?
He’s in the house everyday,
So now the house I do not stay.
She and I have grown apart,
I should have known it from the start.
The hate towards me he doesn’t hide,
Her always taking his side.
I hope one day she will see,
How he pushed her away from me.
And I wish she could see I want to be there,
But she just thinks that I don’t care.
I just hope maybe one day there will be,
A time she realizes in her life should be me.

14
Dead End
Alex Lesser
On the cliché “road of life”
There are twists, turns, ups, downs, and bumps.
But are there traffic signs?
Throughout life, yield signs dot the road.
Warning us to take caution.
Seemingly trivial in some places,
but extremely helpful in others.
Stop.
It’s a temporary stop.
It’s not the end of the road.
You eventually have to keep going.
Is there no speed limit on the “road of life”?
Some live life, speeding by.
They can’t wait to reach what the future has in store for them.
Others slowly trudge down the path.
They’re in no hurry to get to the end.
Do not enter. Wrong way. One way.
There’s a great deal of traffic signs,
But each one has its own purpose.
On the final stretch of all roads,
There’s a single sign:
Dead End.

El Salvador
Sean Behan
During my lifetime, I have always wanted to be a part of something amazing. In
February 2010, I received my chance to do so. I was accepted to be part of a select
group of high school students invited to participate in a trip to an impoverished
community in El Salvador called Rancho Grande. In preparation for the trip, I raised
funds for the cost of my travel and co-hosted an event to help gather medical supplies
and additional donations.
When we finally departed for El Salvador in February I was both excited and
apprehensive. Upon our arrival, I was surprised to see the entire community, standing in
the road with welcome signs, ready to embrace everyone with hugs. It was an amazing
feeling to be greeted in such a way.
Our main project was the building of a new schoolhouse for the community. We
all knew that this project would take a long time to finish, so we wanted to get started.
The people of Rancho Grande had other ideas. They wanted to get to know us. We
found ourselves talking with the people for hours.
The El Salvadorians made a point of establishing relationships with each of us. I
found myself becoming closer with the adults of the community as well as many of the
children. Much of our free time was spent playing with the children. They took full

15
advantage of our presence, and made us feel like family. Mealtime was also more than
just a time to eat. It was a time to sit, talk, laugh, and learn about each other and our
cultures. Meals could last up to four hours!
Although a lot of time was spent interacting, we also accomplished a great deal
of manual labor. We put together the complete foundation of the new schoolhouse and
put up the roof structure, which is a huge undertaking for a group of high school
students. We all felt a great sense of accomplishment, knowing that even if we didn’t
completely finish the school, we had done more than we ever thought we could do.
Another great aspect of this trip was that we had no use of cell phones or Ipods.
Although this seemed torturous at first, I came to realize that I don’t need these things at
all. As one of the community members told me, “Time is elastic here.” Even though days
seemed longer in El Salvador, it was a lot less stressful there. Every minute of each day
was appreciated.
Throughout the week, we worked and we socialized. As we prepared to leave our
new friends, I realized something completely unexpected. Initially, I made the trip to El
Salvador to help change the lives of the people in Rancho Grande. In reality, it was my
life that was changed. The El Salvadorian people taught me that even if they have fewer
possessions, smaller houses, or less money than we do, that their lives are richer than
all of ours combined.
The people of Rancho Grande take absolutely nothing for granted, use
everything to the fullest, and are happy with whatever they have. This attitude gave me a
new outlook on life. Although it is nice to have material possessions, sometimes they
distract you from the things that really matter in the world. I have learned to have a
greater appreciation for the necessities in life rather that the wants we may have. I also
have an increased appreciation for family and friends and the role they play in my life.
Thanks to the people of Rancho Grande I have a better perspective on life. I am
eternally grateful to the entire community of Rancho Grande for that. I never thought I
would need to leave the United States to appreciate the things I have, however, I am so
glad that I did.

Wings of Liberty
Skyler Canute
Liberty
Tasted by all,
Fought most desperately by those who have lost it,
Fluttering carelessly in the wind
Mocking those stranded below
Even coming down to kiss those on the cheek who seek to destroy it
But then retreating to the safety of the air when touched,
Save for those of us who cherish it,
Those who do, relish, as it comes down to caress us
And bring us up, above the others, to achieve what we were meant to,
And watch as the others drown in their own disillusions.

16
Promise
Arriell Mussi
As a sister my love forms a promise
we may not have it all, but together we can never fall,
you're innocent in my eyes till the day i die.
you may not see it now but our hearts beat as one somehow,
when you cry a settle stream falls from my eye,
when you scream a loud noise come from me,
and when you fall i get a scrape on my knee,
to me...we are one
i got your back through it all, i will never judge you.
the decisions i make are to help you, and will never be regretted.
you and me that's the way it will remain to be.
we will climb any wall
that just seems too tall.
we will finish this race that seems impossible to finish
we will succeed in this game of life that is rarely won.
i will never leave you behind
as your little sister, my heart holds eternal love.
to be strong so we can never be weak.
to overcome the impossible, to stay up when everyone expects us to fall.
no lie will ever make me love you less
good or bad
you are my brother, best friend, and angel sent from God.

Listening Comprehension
Brendan Coli
Sometimes, I believe that the true essence of reality exists only in the fantasies
of dreams.
“It’s 6:00am and you’re listening to Ted and Amy in the Morning! We have
numerous school closings to announce…”
If there is one thing I’m certain of, it’s that a snow day would definitely be
categorized as a thing of fantasy.
As I slowly acclimate to this fact and to the distant voices to my left, I try to recall
what the dream I had was about. It occurred so recently, yet I can neither identify the
context nor explain the vague sense that I have experienced something significant.
I struggle to remember when as I’m walking down the stairs, a dull headache
forming in the innermost region of my head. I hear news reports of Rebecca Black’s
overnight Internet sensation as I walk out the door, and the ringing in my head
intensifies.
My dream nags me throughout the bus ride, like an old friend trying to keep in
touch. I look around to distract myself from my cognitive turmoil, observing that nearly
everyone around me has earphones. What they are listening to, I cannot imagine. I
remember that today is Friday, and I become nauseous.

17
That morning is none the more kind to my well-being. I’m startled at the sound of
lockers slamming, the metal clanging as furiously against the wall as the blood pumping
in my veins. The air is saturated with random fragments of conversation.
“Did you catch Jersey Shore last night?”
“Ughhhhh, Bio test today…”
“So about last night…”
“Which seat can I take?”
Not interested in eavesdropping on what I’m sure are deeply thought-provoking
discussions, I continue on towards my first period class. I nearly make it too, before I’m
ambushed by a fellow named Chad, a wide, toothy grin hogging the majority of his face.
“Regdawggg. Did you get that video I sent you?” Chad asks, attempting to be
slick. His high, nasally voice negates any success he might have had.
‘No, Chad,’ I want to retort, ‘No I did not view the disgusting excuse for a music
video you sent me, the words of which are ringing through my skull and contributing to
my massive migraine.’
“Yes, very high quality entertainment right there,” I reply politely, seizing the
moment before he speaks to dart into G06. I breathe a sigh of relief as I slide into my
desk. Thank God. I don’t know how many more annoying, empty sounds my head could
handle.
Much to my dismay, that day would be full of them. In history, Chad fights for the
opportunity to sit right next to me. For the duration of the 82-minute period, he makes
desperate attempts to win my attention and approval through pop culture references,
political jokes, and sexual innuendos. By the end, I’m yearning to bury my ears and
thoughts in the documentary on the life of John Adams.
Lunch in the library offers a brief respite from Chad and his sounds. I make it
through a period of hearing (not comprehending) rapid French spoken on tape. The
directions say to choose the best answer; I choose “C” for “care.” When the bell finally
blares over the loudspeaker, I sprint out the door.
Struggling to get my coat on, I walk out the doors of the main gym foyer. I think
about going home, but for some reason, the thought of taking a walk in the freshly fallen
snow feels inviting. Maybe it’s because the cold takes the edge of my headache; maybe
it’s just because I know I’m getting a few steps farther away from Chad. I don’t know. All
I know is that when I arrive at the top of Lyndon fields, a warm peace envelops me, a
peace that I haven’t felt in ages.
I lie down in the cold, wet snow. Light, fluffy flakes begin to fall from the clouds,
pale gray and opaque as they steadily traverse the skies, unknowingly depriving the
world of warmth. I close my eyes, and try, for the first time that day, to listen. After a few
seconds I come to the realization that there is no sound. No noise. Nothing but the low
hum of the atmosphere churning as it has for millennia, the ancient Earth turning as it
has for an eon more. The voice of the world whispers directly in my ear, relieving me of
my pain but burdening me with something else. For in that moment, I come to the
veritable and absolute truth that had been nagging and confirmed by my day: human
society is an indecipherable blare of haphazard, nonsensical ideas that only serve to
distract the mind. Having suspected this to some degree for a long while, I am not
thoroughly surprised. I cannot help but despair, however, the disaster this spells for the

18
nature of my existence. What purpose does a life among humans serve, if such a life
only serves to disturb and degrade original thought and value?
I begin to feel quite downtrodden, but the voice of the world guides me to the
inner recesses of my mind, where I procure what I had been trying to recall since that
morning: the significance of my dream. I was sitting in an Adirondack chair in the middle
of a frozen lake, surveying a wasteland of sparkling white similar to the expanse of snow
in front of Lyndon. Sitting there in the chair and simultaneously lying there in the snow, I
feel body, my thoughts, my emotions, everything melt into part of a greater entity. Such a
sensation comforts me and I smile, as I suddenly know that this state of being is a
saving hand. A hand to combat the corrupting noise of society, and a hand to sow the
thought and intrigue for which I have always sought. For it is only through the peace and
silence of nature that one can listen to the true essence of reality and being.

Jam
Kaitlyn Murphy

My grandmother always made me rhubarb jam.


To crown my toast
And partner my peanut butter.
Sticky red rubies I loved,
The jewel of my lunch
And treasure of my snack.
She made with such love, knowing how I cherished.

So many breakfasts brightened,


So many sandwiches sweetened
So many childhood memories laced with its taste.

My grandmother always made me rhubarb jam


Though the tiny fingers,
Which were once made sticky
Have grown to use napkins.
And the tiny legs
Which once dangled from the stool
Have grown to chase riches
My grandmother makes me rhubarb jam,
The jars of rubies collecting dust in the pantry.

19
Without Me
Mikayla Fendt

Cry me a river
But I’ll cry you an ocean instead
Place your hand in mine
And never let go
You’re my incense,
My pure necessity,
The blood that flows through me,
And the relinquisher
Of my life.
You’re the precise measure of time-
The thousandth,
And the millionth,
Of the second.
You’re like my science fiction remedy.
There is no real answer.
And with you
The mind is endless,
And the word imagination
Becomes meaningless.
You are my Utopia
My perfect ultimatum,
The only thing I want to live with
Or to ever see
As long as I shall exist.
And you are my only--
The only part of me
And the only true definition
Of what is perfect,
Unfailing,
Love.
But goodbye for now,
And for eternity.
I’m wishing you all the best.
Don’t waste time thinking of me;
You don’t deserve it
Cry a million tears
And say goodbye a 100 times over
If you solemnly swear,
I can promise you
You will live in the picturesque world
You always dreamed of
Every dream of yours
Will no longer be just a dream.
Me being gone
Means you being awakened
And when you’re no longer delusionally hiding
I will be there behind closed doors
And your life will begin
Without me.

20
Dog
Hali Greenhouse
I'm sick of looking out of this
tic-tac-toe board
I'm sick of all of the faces that walk by
each one different and annoying
The teenage boy texting
The businessman whizzing
The young boy chasing
The pregnant lady waddling
You know why I'm sick of them?
I'm not out there with them
I'm stuck and no one comes and visits me
So something so stupid as simply walking
really pisses me off.
I'm going crazy in here
The chair is talking back
The sink is starting to quack
The white floor's turning black
If the sink doesn't stop dripping I'm going to scream
And make a scene
And risk everything
But no. I obey
I'm an obedient dog waiting to play
Who doesn't have a say
Whose future cannot be swayed
Who always and forever has to stay
I'm drowning here alone
And no one cares
Because everyone else is trapped too
We shouldn't be trapped, we're teenagers
But what if we are let free?
Won't we mess up?
Won't we make the wrong decision?
Sometimes I want to be trapped
But I'm a good dog and always will be
So I guess my owner will choose for me
I don't want to decide my destiny
Is it better to be trapped and not decide
Or be free and and make the wrong decision and tried
But so wrong that we wished we died
So can you decide?

21
“Dying Embers”
Kaylee Yaeger
“How am I supposed to be happy when all I ever wanted, it comes with a
price?”1
Learning how to live can be the most difficult thing that someone can do.
Some learn through mistakes, some through the advice of others, and some may never
learn at all. I was one of the lucky ones… to some degree. I learned, but I learned
through the death of a loved one. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t feel loved, even if I was. I
wouldn’t be able to stand on my own two feet. Most importantly, I wouldn’t know how to
live.
Learning the meaning of life through its opposite… it’s irony at its best. I guess
one must go through Hell to be able to see Heaven.
I saw the light when I saw him. When the light vanished from sight I had to make
my own light. He taught me how to make it.

“Love of mine, some day you will die, but I’ll be close behind. Then, I’ll follow you
into the dark.”2
Ring, ring sang the telephone in the grip of a young girl, age thirteen. Quiet sobs
could be heard between rings. My chestnut brown hair hung flat, as if pulled down by a
weight.
“Hello?” came a male voice from the other end of the line.
“Hi,” I choked out – my voice was shot from crying my heart out night after night.
“What’s wrong?” he asked, but he already knew the answer.
“I need you.”

“Look at the stars, look how they shine for you.”3


He always told me that I’m never alone, no matter how lonely I may feel. He
made me feel like I belonged somewhere, like I was here for a purpose. I know that he
was here for a purpose as well – to positively influence the lives of the people around
him. He succeeded.
“You can turn off the sun, but I’m still going to shine.”4
I continued to stare out my window. I looked past the tears in my eyes, past the
smudged window glass, past the frost, and past the frozen droplets of water falling from
the sky above. This serene view was the last illustration that I saw before my heavy
eyelids finally closed.

“Close your eyes and surrender to your darkest dreams.”5


He’s the one who taught me to stand up for myself. It wasn’t my mom. It wasn’t
my dad. It was him. When the kids bullied me in school and I just watched – too afraid to
act – he taught me how to defend myself, the right way. No hitting, no crying, just honest
words.
“Never coming home, you are never coming home.”6
Another phone call was made, but this time, I answered.

22
Before I had the opportunity to even say hello, I heard heavy sobs in the
background, and then a shriek that I will never forget.
“He’s dead!”
There was more weeping.
“Wh-what?”
“Car…”
Painful inhale.
“Crash.”

“In this operation, [I] found a complication in your heart.”7


From his death, I learned how to live. Learning this wasn’t an immediate thing –
definitely not an immediate thing. I struggled. I cried. I thought that I would never get
better. I, however, took his final words to heart…
“I haven’t slept in so long, and when I do - I dream of drowning in the ocean.”8
I stepped onto the cold earth as the stars shone above me. The ground
appeared distant, lonely, and rigid. The heavens, however, seemed happy and bright, as
if welcoming a new face.
“The ground was hard to dig into,” complained one of the workers off in the
distance. The sound traveled far in the cold, silent air.
“It’s as if the earth wasn’t ready to take him,” I whispered to myself, letting out a
few solemn tears. I knew that I definitely wasn’t ready to let him go.
On that day, I let go of more than I was ready to release. I let go of my natural
childhood naivety. I let go of my idea of life being forever. I hadn’t thought about death
before then. People aged. Yes. People died, yes. But, not in my world!
I had been protected for far too long. It’s as if my defenses that boxed me in had
collapsed. I was beaten, but I wasn’t broken. It’s pushing on, through the darkness,
which makes life worth living and gives meaning to it.
Warm arms wrapped around my shoulders. I felt a flow of warm air go past my
ear. “He left you something.”
I turned around and she uncoiled her arms from my shoulders. The plump elderly
woman scrambled around in her large pocket and pulled out on an unsealed envelope
and handed it to me…
“Be strong.”

“And now that I’m strong I have figured out how this world turns cold and
it breaks through my soul.”9
The final message is his last lesson for me. “Be strong.” I had never thought of
myself as a strong person before. I used to always turn to him for help. I didn’t have the
confidence to turn to myself.
Through his words and his short life, I was able to see myself as an enduring
person and was able to keep pushing on. Confidence has to be found on the inside. If no
one shows you where to look, then it may never be found.
Because of him, I have confidence. I have the confidence to speak. I have the
confidence to stand-alone. I have the confidence to live.

23
“All because of you, I believe in angels.”10
1
“Cat and Mouse” (Red Jumpsuit Apparatus)
2
“I Will Follow You Into the Dark” (Death Cab For Cutie)
3
“Yellow” (Coldplay)
4
“The Remedy” (Jason Mraz)
5
“Music of the Night” (Andrew Lloyd Webber)
6
“The Ghost of You” (My Chemical Romance)
7
“Dead!” (My Chemical Romance)
8
“The Good Left Undone” (Rise Against)
9
“Your Guardian Angel” (Red Jumpsuit Apparatus)
10
“The Good Left Undone” (Rise Against)

The McDonalds Blues


Darius Sias

Every day,
I go on a journey,
Rain, snow or sleet.
This day was different,
because of the dry southern heat.
I trot my Nike Dunks
To the concrete beat,
To that one store
right up the street.
I'm going to Mickey D's.
Got a hamburger
and extra cheese.
I told them I wanted a lathered shake
To go,
So i gave them five dollars
And I was out the front glass door.
I murdered that food
Like white on rice,
Which made my stomach
Pay a hefty price.
The smell of food
Was all in my shoes
But nothing ever changes
In the McDonalds Blues.

24
Su pelo, y más Your hair, and more
Brianna Suslovic
Rojo rojo rojo Red red red
Pelo rojo, como el fuego. Red hair, like fire.
Siempre, siempre esta quemando Always, always it is burning
Como tu personalidad - fiero, turbulento. like your personality - fiery, turbulent.
Ojos como esmeraldas, Eyes like emeralds,
Brillante ojos siempre titilando. Bright eyes always twinkling.
Esos ojos me están invitando Those eyes are inviting me
todo momento. always.
Y las pecas pequeñas, And the small freckles,
pecas pequeñas, pecas salpicadas small freckles, sprinkled freckles
a través de tus mejillas regordetes. all across your chubby cheeks.
Nunca se terminan, esas pecas. They never end, those freckles,
Son las más bellas. En serio. They’re the prettiest. Seriously.
Pero la más importante es tu sonrisa. But most important is your smile.
Tu risa como florecillas en la floración... You laugh like little flowers in bloom...
Esa risa levanta de tus labios, That laugh rises from your lips,
arriba de las otras. above the others.
Quiero besar aquellos labios. I want to kiss those lips.
Pero hay un problema. But there’s a problem.
Eres una chica. You’re a girl.

What’s happening?
Alicia Stappenbeck
What’s happening to the world?
Our life’s being thrown away,
Like trash on the street,
Our love,
Just a toy to break, borrow, steal,
Then give it back like it means nothing,
What happened to chivalry?
Risking your life for a girl,
The sweetness of being rescued,
There may not be any dragons,
But there’s evil just the same,
What happened to innocence?
Waiting till marriage,
Before conceiving kids,
Women just throwing themselves out there,
Like a meal for the poor,
Consumed by all,
What’s happened to life?
Does it mean anything any more?
Or is it just a tool for other people’s gain,
Chivalry?
Innocence?
Life?
What’ s happening to the world?

25
We’re flying
Molly C. Bagatell
I was young
Only two
When first I took to the sky
My dad’s big hand
Curled around my small one
I was only able to grip three of his fingers
Deep breaths together we took
“You are my angel, and angels fly”-
The big seat hugged me closely
As I hugged my tattered bear to my chest
We sped and rose slowly like a hollow kite
Slowly towards the creamy blue
Looking out the window
I see small cars, ants really.
My dad kisses my forehead.
“We’re Flying” his lips whisper in my ear
With my hand in his
We were safe
Our love made us fly
Now I’ve grown up
I fly alone
I imagine our hands held tight together lifting the hollow kite
I still hold my tattered bear to my chest
As I rise
looking out the window
At the now familiar view
We’re flying

I Don't Understand
Ally Fox
I don't understand
why it had to be our last holiday
why my bloodshot eyes couldn't make you change
why your last words " I love you" stung so bad
why you held my hand like you knew it was good-bye
why you took her side
I don't understand
why you couldn't act like a father
why you thanked God for me
why our last embrace seemed so distant
why I have scars because of you
why I never craved your touch so much
But, I do understand
why I can no longer see you
why I despise Thanksgiving
why tears are so salty
why a bed never felt more like home
and why I still love you

26
Slam: A Love Poem
Zane Suttmore

Cuz when the battle’s over


And with shock and awe we’re all stunned
When it’s all said and done
The only thing that still remains is love.
Thirteen years of pain and toil
I never knew I was in his coil
He abused my mom and forever scarred me
I never knew he was so dastardly.
Right now you hadn’t come along
I thought it was I who had been wrong
Little did I know you’d help set me free
But that was a long ways away from me.
He had taken my mind and made it a wreck
He did whatever he could and never held back
I didn’t know I was always free
He was never able to take the sky from me.
My hope was fading and I was just biding time
Only once suicide came to mind
But when times are tough and all looks bleak
Karma has a way of making righteous sweep.
When it hit the fan, ‘twas a wallop of thunder
Something from which I thought I’d never recover
But you came along in my hour of need
Your love healed my soul and let me flee.
When you did come along, you relinquished my fear
I stood up to him with a defiant leer
Your love stood me up and I never backed down
I gained self respect and was finally proud.
He cast mom and me out to the black
Told us he was never comin’ back
I burned my bridges and boiled my ties
I made a choice that will never die.
When the storm had passed and life began anew
Two things I would always know to be true
I’m not like him and never will be
And that I love you with all my heart and you love me.
I question the world from time to time
But because it saved me from my stepdad’s crimes
Love is the only sleeping dog I’ve let lie
And I’ll forever cherish it even after I die.
The battle continues it may never be over
But your love for me is a four-leaf clover
And even if you leave I’ll never go down
Because you helped me learn how to stand my ground.
Cuz when the battle’s over
And with shock and awe we’re all stunned
After it’s all been said and done
The only thing that still remains is love.

27
Hrysis
Elias Tupper

Africa, Southern Border, Cape Town

August 17, 2017

Thursday 3:23 pm.

“The city looked dead. The kinetic projectiles the invaders fired had destroyed half the
city. Waterlines broken, power outages. This was definitely the day to survive an
invasion. I hitched a ride into the city with an Australian convoy to the harbor, where I
would do a little exploring. It’s been proven as a fact: porcupines can swim well. And with
warm water about, how could I resist getting my feet wet? I hopped off from the truck. As
soon as I was in the main street, there was a rippling sound in the air. It got louder,
cutting through the talk of passersby. Then, large impacts and shock waves hit the city.
As I was thrown about, dust consumed many of the buildings. The city was dead, that
was for sure. And now screams were coming from the mouths of citizens.”

A truck exploded next to me. The explosion sent a shock through my spine, knocking the
wind out of me. It took several seconds to restore air supply to my heart again. I had no
idea that we were being attacked by aliens. I thought that only a gas station had
exploded. Then, in shock, I realized that the truck I had been riding on had impaled the
occupants with shrapnel and fire. There was the deep sound of gunfire and screams.
Black smoke rose from many corners of the town. I was struck with the thought that
militia had swarmed to attack the harbor, steal all the valuable goods, and run off. Fear
was in my mind. I was scared, but still I had the will to move -- not something many had
when frightened to death. There was a Steyr AUG on the ground, untouched by the
explosion of the truck. I have to say, videogames taught me how to work firearms. I
released the clip and checked the magazine. Full. I popped it back in and pulled the
firing lever. Then, there was a sound.

The loudest hum ever heard was echoing all around. The sound touched everything: the
ground, the air, even the water. It droned on and on, with a ten second distance between
each vibration. The sound was definitely alien to my ears. No machinery I knew could
produce that type of droning. There were other noises in the background. It was hard to
say what they were actually, but they were there.

I decided to take the main round into town. My other idea had been to hide, but a man
hiding with a gun was not a good picture to explain to anyone. The smoke smelled acrid,
and tires were on fire. The next thing I saw shocked me.

I was at the warm plaza in town, looking at the parade of slain bodies -- people I didn’t
care about, people who would only have the smallest impact in history. I raised the AUG.
The bodies had burnt holes in them, cleanly cut through.

I never knew the smell of burning human flesh until today. There were no more screams.
Only that damned vibrating sound. Every ten seconds it would repeat itself. I noticed
something strange about the bodies. There were no bloodstains at all. Just piles of
people on the ground. How odd.

28
There was a fast paced sound in the alley behind me. I turned around, the AUG still
raised in my hand. A foreign creature clad in grey metal, standing upon hind legs, rushed
carelessly out of the alley. In its hand was what appeared to be a weapon. It fired a shot,
and I returned fire. The spray of bullets dented its armor, but a single bullet strayed into
an unprotected spot. An orange liquid sprang out, and the creature fell. Gurgles and
synthetic noises began to leak out of it weakly...

King of Hearts
J.J. Davis
Have you met Love?
She lived on Memory Lane
With her little house
Made of round stones
Of “yes” and “forever”

But Pain comes and erodes


Away at the weak walls
With “never”s
And broken promises break her windows
Letting Hate in

Have you met Love?


“No!” and “Please don’t!”
Have stained her lips
Black and blue
And Hate gives her eyes to match

Have you met Love?


Her house burned down on Memory Lane
Now Hate dances on the ashes
And picks his teeth with her bones

Confessions of a Junior in High School


Ash Masrani
My head was buried in my hands as if pleading for comfort, for a solution. Tears
raced down my cheeks, bouncing off every crease in my face and scurrying to the
bottom of my chin before launching onto my worn out shirt to form mini puddles. I felt
heat reverberating to the surface of my skin as the frustration in me began bottling up. A
flustered scream, at last, created an exit to the anger and confusion in me. I looked like a
hot mess. This, unfortunately, was a common occurrence. It actually was a pretty
accurate metaphor of my sentiments towards junior year.
I always thought the hype of junior year was simply an annual phenomenon that
seemed to be exaggerated as every year passed. My ignorance would, however, receive

29
a rude awakening. The academic pressures and need for extraordinary extra-curricular
achievements is only a prerequisite. The things many people don’t know, that truly
magnify the pressures of this spectacular year go unnoticed. First is the appellation of
“upperclassman” attained. I do not mean to condemn this status, for I myself love it. The
problem however is the realization of the limited time available before college
applications that dawn upon many at this time. A majority of high school students spend
freshman year attempting to establish their niche and friend circle, and sophomore year
taking the time liberties of the “experienced” student to full advantage. They do
everything their friends do, go everywhere their friends go and take all the classes their
friends take. On reaching junior year, they get hit hard in their face by the same question
asked by everyone: counselors, colleges, parents and every scholarship foundation. The
question, of course, being: What makes you stand out from everybody else? Uh,
nothing. This is when the do-everything-your-friend-does strategy plays out to a dire
disadvantage.
Then there comes another overhyped up situation and fellow stress contributor:
prom. Around March the question that seems to be probing most minds and making the
main topic of several conversations-at least of many girls-mimic the format of: Dude,
who are you going to prom with? Who is *insert name* going to prom with? What are
you wearing? I can’t believe they are going to prom together! The craze that overtakes
the bodies of scores of sixteen year olds is, not to forget, over a gym where the main
entrée comprises popcorn chicken and Wegmans cookies. Fantasies of finding true love,
kissing Prince Charming, or whatever other intention overwhelm many people to a point
of being extremely comical. Once again, I am not a cynical rebel who intends on sucking
the fun out of every situation, but I simply humor the extravagance and hysteria that
surrounds a dance that will be made fun of in twenty years.
To those still reading this rant, I feel responsible to clarify that this is obviously
not the point of view of everyone, maybe even most people. It is merely a standpoint of a
single junior making her way through high school. To all current juniors: the end is in
sight; to all prospective juniors: my sympathies lie with you and to everyone else: kudos,
you made it.

30
Syracuse Stage Young Playwrights Festival Finalists
(Editor’s Note: Seniors Joe Hall and Kaitlyn Murphy were selected
as finalists in this year’s Young Playwrights Festival, hosted by
Syracuse Stage. Their plays were performed in staged readings
earlier this year. To honor these J-DHS students for their
achievements, Rambunctious has decided to publish copies of their
plays, with their permission.)

Noodles
Joe Hall
(The play begins with TODD, in an apron, mopping the floor around a table and chairs
that stands in the center of the stage. KEVIN enters stage left with a brief case.)
KEVIN: Hey Todd, I’m home.
TODD: Hey Honey! How was work?
KEVIN: It was awful.
TODD: Oh no, what happened?
KEVIN: I spent almost the entire day behind my desk. My hand is killing me from all that
writing.
TODD: You spent your whole day writing?
KEVIN: Yeah, you know, sports stuff.
TODD: Kevin, you poor thing! Writing all day about sports. What an awful thing to ask of
a sports writer!
KEVIN: Shut up.
(The couple shares a laugh and a quick kiss)
TODD: Well I, for one, have had a fabulous day. I cleaned this house from top to bottom,
including the guest bedroom. Your mother better appreciate that when she visits this
weekend. (KEVIN Groans) By the way, she called today. Apparently that landscaping
service we arranged for her isn’t good enough. “There’s just too many gosh darn
Mexicans. Mexicans aren’t in the Bible you know” (Mimicking the voice of an elderly
woman)
KEVIN: But she doesn’t even have to talk to them!
TODD: Well I guess looking at them is too much. You know how your mother is.
Remember how she called Father Dave because she heard we were having “Quesadilla
Night.”
KEVIN: Actually, Quesadillas sound good. What’s for dinner tonight?
TODD: Kev, I’m extremely exhausted; I don’t feel like cooking. I was thinking we could
maybe order out tonight?
KEVIN: Order Chinese? Watch the game? Sounds good to me.
TODD: Fine, but on the kitchen TV. I don’t want Egg Foo Young on my carpets again!
KEVIN: That was three years ago, and I told you, that was Sam! Is he home yet?
TODD: Sam stayed after for a mathletes thing, he should be home soon.
(KEVIN crosses from stage left to stage right, and begins to exits stage right) Take off
your shoes; can’t you see I’m cleaning the floor? You’re going to get mud everywhere!

31
KEVIN: (Offstage) Too late.
TODD: (Calling to KEVIN) Oh, and I vacuumed the carpet on the stairs. Do not walk on
those stairs with your shoes on!
KEVIN: (Offstage, and distant) Too late.
(SAM enters stage left)
TODD: Take your shoes off! I just cleaned the floors!
(Sam stops and looks at the tracks he has left on the floor already)
SAM: (Mumbling) Too late.
TODD: How was school?
SAM: (Mumbling) Fine, Dad. …fine.
(SAM walks across to stage right; KEVIN enters stage right without his briefcase)
TODD: Sam, Is everything okay?
SAM: (Mumbling, clearly annoyed) Yeah, I’m fine.
TODD: Are you sure?
(Silent pause, SAM looks back and forth at his parents)
SAM: Okay, I was gonna wait for this, but I can’t. I have somethin’ to tell you guys.
(Silent pause. TODD and KEVIN look at each other briefly, then at their son in
anticipation)
SAM: Maybe you guys should sit down.
(TODD and KEVIN slowly sit down. After they are seated, SAM slowly takes off his
backpack and places it next to his chair. SAM sits down opposite his parents)
SAM: Okay, Dad, Daddy, Promise you won’t be mad.
TODD: Of course we won’t be mad! Don’t you worry, honey.
KEVIN: We’ll be mad if you give us a reason to be mad.
SAM: It’s just that I’m… I’m… Ayyy…
KEVIN: Spit it out, Samuel. You’re “Ayyy” what?
SAM: I’m… I’m Asian.
(TODD gasps and begins to rapidly inhale and exhale, KEVIN stares in disbelief. There
is an uncomfortable pause)
KEVIN: Why?!
SAM: I… I don’t know. I guess I was born this way.
KEVIN: Since when?
SAM: Since I was born, I don’t know. It’s okay for you guys to feel… a sense of loss. But
don’t worry, you know. I’m still your child. I can still get married, have kids, have a
normal life.
KEVIN: But why now, Sam?!
SAM: Daddy, I’ve always been this way. I can’t hide it anymore!
KEVIN: (Thinks for a few seconds) Chinatown. Every year we visit your aunt in the city.
Every year we stop at Chinatown. I knew that was a bad idea! (KEVIN glares at TODD
who has now calmed down but remains covering his mouth in shock, and not making
eye contact)
SAM: Chinatown didn’t make me this way! I. Was. Born. This. Way. I’m not even
Chinese, I’m Korean!
KEVIN: (Standing up) Oh, They have different types now!

32
SAM: (Standing up) God! I knew you wouldn’t be okay with this!
KEVIN: This wasn’t how we raised you!
SAM: What does that even mean!
TODD: (Standing up) Shut up! …Sam, You know that we love you no matter what…
Let’s all just, you know, take a step back. A breather. Sam maybe you can start cleaning
your room so me and your father can have a minute to talk.
SAM: I have homework. (Sam exits stage right)
TODD:(Calling to SAM) Oh, I vacuumed the carpet. Take off your shoes!
SAM:(Off stage) Too late!
(Off stage door slams)
(TODD sighs, and begins to mop the floor again. Kevin sits back down, clamping the
bridge of his noise)
TODD: You know, I have to say, I’m not surprised.
KEVIN: What?!
TODD: A parent just knows, you know? Besides, Kevin, think about it. Rice has always
been his favorite food. He’s a horrible driver. He’s a mathematical genius. And God, he
can paint nails better than I can!
(Extending his arm to examine his own nails) Plus, He’s always had a tiny-
KEVIN: (Interrupting) Eye socket! Yes. He has thin, tiny, eye sockets.
TODD: Yeah… (TODD stops mopping, there is a pause)
KEVIN: What, Todd?
TODD: This is going to be okay. We’re going be okay.
(KEVIN looks away from TODD) Do you remember eighteen years ago? When we were
newlyweds living out of your mother’s basement apartment? Do you remember when we
spoke to the doctor and… and we found out that we couldn’t conceive naturally? (KEVIN
looks back at TODD) I was devastated, and do you remember what you said to me? You
said, “Honey, we’ll find a way. We’ll figure it out. We’ll be okay.” This is no different, we’ll
figure it out. We’ll be okay.
KEVIN: You’re right.
(TODD and KEVIN share a smile)
TODD: You should probably call and tell your mother…
KEVIN: Oh Gosh…
TODD: I’m going to go make sure those rotten Latinos didn’t go and kill all my tulips. I’m
Just Kidding. Call your mother. (TODD hands a phone to KEVIN, and exits stage left.
KEVIN begins to dial a number, hangs up, and dials a different number. He holds the
phone up to his ear and waits for an answer)
KEVIN: Hello? Is Father Dave in? Thanks… Hello? This is Kevin Shaw… Good, thanks.
I just have a question… It’s just that- well. I think my son is Asian. I know the Bible
doesn’t say much about them… mhm.... Look at the Bible in context of when and where
it was written. Okay… Thank you… you too. Bye. (KEVIN hangs up the phone and
thinks for a bit staring off into space. He begins to mumble) Look at the Bible for when
and where it was written…
(SAM enters stage right, and grabs his backpack of the floor. SAM begins to leave stage
right once again, but KEVIN stops him)

33
KEVIN: Wait.
SAM: What?
KEVIN: We really do love you. You just… You have to understand this is all… new for
your father and I.
SAM: I get it, its fine.
KEVIN: Just. Um. We don’t have to tell grandma. She’ll just lecture us about how there
are no Asians in the Bible. (KEVIN forces a laugh)
SAM: You just have to look at the Bible in context-
KEVIN: (Interrupting) Context with when and where it was written, I know. Grandma just
grew up in a different time, and-
SAM: I know.
KEVIN: How come, um… How come all of this came out today?
SAM: Well today, at mathletes, someone… a friend, I guess… was making fun of this
girl in our grade. Just cause’ she’s different, you know? And I just felt bad, because I’m
different too. I guess I just feel like a lot of people are different, and I just didn’t see the
point in tryin’ to hide it anymore.”
(KEVIN nods understandingly, and extends his arm for a hug, and the two
embrace)
KEVIN :Today I wrote a column about the success of the Japanese in major league
baseball, and-
(SAM ends the hug)
SAM: I’m Korean!
KEVIN: And I love you all the same. (KEVIN reinitiates a hug. TODD enters stage left)
TODD: Oh! I’m missing the hug! (TODD joins the family hug)
KEVIN: Todd, take off your shoes!
(The family separates and views the fresh mud on the floor)
TODD: Too Late… Well this has certainly been an eventful evening. Let’s just all relax
and call in some chine-
KEVIN: (Interrupting) Pizza!
TODD: Yes! Relax and have some pizza.
KEVIN: Great. I don’t think I could take much more today.
SAM: Oh. So would be it bad time to say that I’m Jewish?
(TODD and KEVIN both gasp. SAM smiles) I’m totally kidding.
TODD: Oh. (Mumbles) Thank God.
(KEVIN, TODD, and SAM all share a laugh)
THE END

34
Agony of De Feet
Kaitlyn Murphy
(The play takes place in front of MAISY’s closet. MAISY is holding a pair of old, beat up
sneakers, facing the audience with the closet opened behind her. A new pair of bright
red high heels is visible in the closet. MAISY is barefoot. MAISY never addresses the
audience, only the shoes.)
MAISY: So, I think we need t-to, you know, talk.
(Silence. MAISY waits for a reply.)
MAISY: (sigh) Okay. I can understand if you’re upset right now, this conversation seems
to be laced with sadness.
(MAISY cautiously looks down at the shoes.)
MAISY: It really isn’t as bad as it sounds (pause) I-I think we should, y-you know, take a
break.
(Silence. MAISY exhales loudly)
MAISY: I know. I know. I’ve had this feeling I just can’t seem to shoo off, I just think that,
right now, we. . . we need some time apart.
(MAISY looks at the shoes. Her face is pained in anticipation for a response)
MAISY: We’ve been together through it all. (smiles nostalgically) Like, remember that
walk we took through Patten Park, right after I found out I won my first art award? And it
was such a beautiful day, with all those flowers everywhere? And we were both so
happy! You could barely stay still, skipping around with me. (in a cheesy, comforting
tone) I’m so glad that we shared that. And we’ll always have that memory to look back
on.
(MAISY laughs and smiles as she reminisces)
MAISY: And, I’m so grateful that you stood by me in all the hard times, too. Like
remember when we had to walk home in the rain, the week mom and dad told me they
were getting a divorce? It was so nice to have your support through the whole journey-
even when I cried the whole way home. I’ll never forget how good you were to me.
(MAISY’s smile fades as she realizes how much the shoes mean to her)
MAISY: You’ve been there to help me dip my toes into so many new
things. Gym on the first day of high school, and my first date- do you remember him?
That weirdo nature guy, Jake, who took me on a hike? (chuckles quietly as she
remembers) – and you were even with my for my driving test! Things I could’ve never
done if you didn’t have my back . . . well, feet, the whole time.
(Awkward silence. MAISY looks around slowly, avoiding the shoes)
MAISY:(optimistic sounding) You know, you really are wonderful. You’re
always there for me, always so comforting. You have so many wonderful qualities tied
into you; I’d hate to think that I hurt you with this breakup.
(Silence as MAISY searches for an explanation)
MAISY: (stumbling) I’m not - . It’s just - . The whole- .
(MAISY pauses and takes a deep, audible breath)
MAISY: It’s not you, It’s me.
(MAISY looks squarely at the shoes)

35
MAISY: It’s just- I’ve felt that we’ve been growing apart lately. Sure, we make a great
pair. I mean, we’re tied together every day- but are our emotions really in it? Do we
really feel anything for each other anymore?
(MAISY waits for a reply)
MAISY: (Casually) What’s the matter? Cat got your tongue?
(MAISY continues to wait for a reply)
MAISY: That’s okay, it was a rhetorical question, anyways. But, honestly, I just don’t feel
the same spark I did when we first met. I don’t see the same sneakers that walked into
my life three years ago. And I don’t think I’m alone in this.
(MAISY accidentally drops one shoe)
MAISY: Don’t be so stubborn, why do you take everything as a defeat?
(MAISY gently picks up the shoe)
MAISY: Sometimes, you’re just so . . . oh, I don’t know. So . . . two-
sided. (MAISY starts rambling with escalating volume and speed) It’s like sometimes,
You’re tied to me, I just want freedom, but you’re always there, right below me, and no
matter how far I run or where I go, I just can’t get away from you, and you tie yourself in
knots over me, just to be near me and to never give me my own life!
(MAISY stops, catching her breath)
MAISY: (still rambling) And other times, you’re just sooo flexible. You let me walk all
over you! It’s like sometimes you let me mold your sole, you’re just so darn indifferent! I
want you to fight back, give me blisters, make me feel like I’m not arguing with a sock!
Sometimes, you know, it feels like I’m the one who’s always making all of the decisions!
Don’t you care about the steps we take in our life together?!
(MAISY realizes she’s been rambling)
MAISY: I-I’m sorry, but it’s just been so difficult these past few weeks. I’ve tried to make
it work out. I’ve put on different socks, tried tying different bows, taken different paths,
but nothing seems to be working. I think that this relationship is just worn.
(MAISY ties all four laces together in a bow slowly, with loving perfection)
MAISY: I’m going off to college soon, and, well, we’ve known for quite
a while now that we wouldn’t last forever. There’s just not room for you there in the tiny
closet of my new life, and I won’t need you every day. What I need is something that will
help me take risks, be a little daring, let me walk on my own for a while.
(MAISY straightens the bow and smoothes the laces)
MAISY: At least you’ll have each other. I’m so sorry about everything.
I just really need to try new things. I want to feel the sand between my toes, I want to run
through the grass, I want to stomp in mud puddles. I hate to give you the boot, but I just
feel like you’re limiting me.
(MAISY straightens out the tongue of the sneakers)
MAISY: (hesitantly) And, I hope this doesn’t upset you, But I’ve found . . . something
new.
(MAISY bites on her bottom lip nervously)
MAISY: I really do care about you, but, I don’t know, you’re just so . . . flat. I need
something that can be better for me now, something a little more polished- that can take
me to new heights, can bring me to the top, get me noticed, give me a challenge.

36
(MAISY hangs the tied laces over her arm, so the shoes dangle around her hips, and
pulls the high heels out of the closet. She turns back to the audience, but keeps a
strong, captivated gaze at the new shoes.)
MAISY:These are my new shoes.
(MAISY pauses as she gazes lovingly at the shoes)
MAISY: Don’t think of it as cheating, I found them after I stopped feeling for you, even if
our relationship wasn’t over yet. I didn’t mean for them to wedge in between us. And I di-
(MAISY is interrupted by her sneakers slipping off her arm and falling to the floor.
MAISY scoffs and rolls her eyes, then stares at them as if she’s annoyed)
MAISY: (sharply) Oh, don’t be over dramatic, you knew this was coming.
And you know what they say- “if the shoe fits!” It just- just happened! (She stares down
at the sneakers) Don’t do this to me, don’t try to tell me you didn’t feel our relationship
callusing over like I did.
(MAISY picks up the sneakers and holds them by the laces as she continues to hold the
high heels)
MAISY: I know, these new shoes, they may not be all the support you were, they may
hurt me, they might even let me trip, and fall, b-but maybe that’s what I need. I’m starting
a new part of my life now, moving out, and facing the real world. These shoes will
prepare me for that, you’ve been great, but now maybe I need to learn to stand on my
own two feet.
(MAISY takes a deep breath, realizing the finality in her words)
MAISY: We can still be friends. I promise. You can come on some camping trips and
things with me. How does that sound? See, this isn’t goodbye; it’s just a phase of our
relationship. We’re both growing. We need something new, and this is just it.
(MAISY smiles sadly)
MAISY: If there’s anything I can do to help you, well, (pause as if she’s searches for
better word) . . . heel, let me know. Okay?
(MAISY opens and closes her mouth several times, as if trying to say something, but
realizes she has nothing left to say)
MAISY: So, it’s been fun, but (loud exhale) I think this is where we end. I’ll always
remember you by the footprints you’ve left in my life.
(MAISY slowly puts her sneakers in the closet, straightens them out lovingly, and closes
the door. She turns back to the audience and looks at the new shoes. MAISY quickly
wipes a tear off her cheek)
MAISY: Well, now, where do we start? It’s been such a long time since I’ve done this.
(MAISY slips on the new shoes and quietly giggles. A smile spreads across her face)
MAISY: (as she walks offstage) Did I mention you have a beautiful sole?

37
Faculty Submissions
Rest Uneasy
Mr. Joe DeChick
Yo, thanks for taking the time
to light the candles at my vigil,
to design and wear that T-shirt showcasing my sad, half-assed smile,
to preach to the media’s prying eyes about how THIS VIOLENCE MUST END,
and to build that roadside memorial with the fresh flowers, hearts and teddy bears.
I really wish, though, you’d taken the time
to read to me,
to tell me you loved me,
to take me somewhere I wanted to go,
to talk with me (and not scream at me),
to not smoke blunts with me around the house,
to kick my butt for banging with the 110,
and to show me I was worth something.
But, like I said, from my new perspective,
it looks like you loved me, in the end.
Strange way of showing it, though.
After the fact, and all.
I guess it made for a mad-good sound bite
in the “reality” show that real life has become.
And I’m just sayin’:
How come it takes a death,
to make us suddenly pay attention to life?

Thirty
Mr. Matthew Phillips
The stapler speaks. It speaks as if to say:
Your hopes are fungi--like the mush and slime
Of rotting masses under fallen limbs.
(Gee, thanks.) It clicks off years like stocks on tape,
Rolling off the wall to count my loss and worth.
The song it sings reminds me now of life
And dreams, the fascination of fastening things,
Of holding onto words that slip away
Into some other place. A distant edge.
Empty margins. Those barren corner spaces.
Its double click massages—tends and mends
The tensions hope has harbored, hardened here
In a lie. Released, this hackneyed page, this year
I lost. Now braced against the coming ten.

38
The Fire Elf: Part I
Ms. Joyce Hansen
There once was a fire elf that feared only the extinguishing of her primal spark. She
lived with a tinkerer, a warm handsome creature, in a gnarled part of the wood. Every
night the tinkerer flirted with sleep. He sang to it gorgeous portions of his future, lying in
a gauze of blackness for millennia: forgetting, forgetting. Sometimes he did this alone;
sometimes he brought friends along. Every day Yosah grasped the tinkerer by the
middle and fed the air back into his lungs. The tinkerer would crack open to the fire elf’s
care, but Yosah’s face was marred with handprints. The first thing he saw was always
the devil’s Picasso. Yosah wasn’t beautiful, and it jarred so to be rudely forced.

Often the fire elf stole away while the tinkerer lay smiling beneath a gauze of wicked
forgetfulness (his fingers happily entwined with the roots of upturned organia.) She crept
into a quarry where stones of the loveliest sorts were being shaved and made into
distorted shapes. She looked at the pieces hard, hoping for enlightenment.

But no word ever came from the stone.

Again Yosah sprinted back to the river Styx to collect the tinkerer’s handsome shell,
bringing it to their clay dome. Again she forced animation on his blue lips with
unimaginable care, whispering numbers and invoking blessings and calling out to the
terrible gods of the underworld. And the tinkerer would frown in his unsuccessful attempt
to dislocate himself from the fescue. And his brow would crease like a turning serpent as
his eyes climbed back out of their holes.

In the morning the tinkerer stroked Yosah’s handprints (those left by the devil) and told
her they were utterly transparent when the sun glazed the forest chartreuse in Venetian
lace. He said sometimes very kind things.

The days regaled the words he said. The nights betrayed the meanings she made. The
forest grew spines and thorns. The sky let marrow. The moon turned away and drew her
plush plum cloak.

Then one night the fire elf saw a meteor fall. She ran on felt feet to greet it properly. The
air about her divided as she went. It was a cosmic sign, or so she imagined.

The chunk of extraterrestrial matter flung itself into a wide lake. It disappeared under the
reflected sky with roiling protest. Water evaporated all about so that when Yosah arrived
there could be no question as to what had taken place. The lake was simply mystified at
this turn of events.

Yosah did not disregard the meteor’s choice landing nor did she parry her need to
welcome an object implied but invisible. The fire elf lay down on the bank, pressing her
ribs into the moss.

Yosah first sang a cheerful commonism—one used every day to greet unknown
pedestrians of the forest. Then she recited a short poem that she kept with her in the
stitching of her tabard, Yosah always wanted to be prepared for important moments so
she had taken the time to select a poem worthy of significant events yet general enough
to apply effectively in most any event.

39
Finally she waited. And she was rather patient and so she waited for a very long time.
Around her the lake appointed condensation as its quiet apology for deserting the
meteor upon introduction. Now that steamed reaction to impact seemed far too hasty.
The lake asked for forgiveness by returning cellularly to the ground. The meteor didn’t
respond.

Yosah’s clothing became damp with the lake’s apology. Her hair clung in wet tendrils to
the hollows of her cheeks. She propped herself up on one elbow as the mossy bank
beneath her pressed wetly into her bones.

The surface of the lake held firm to the face of the fire elf, unflinchingly revealing the
devil’s hands in the silent night. Yosah was not the least bit involved with the lake’s
interpretation of her face; she was far more interested in the meteorite. The forefinger on
her right hand tickled the surface of the water, obscuring her shadowy portrait, while her
left elbow pestled a patch of narcissus. She didn’t notice the obliteration.

The careless murder of the paper white flowers was felt as a fleeting sharp pain in the
forest, and not a small amount of needles dropped. Yosah sensed some ephemeral
anguish but knew not herself as the cause. She sent a prayer into the darkness for the
suffering, all the while grinding her elbow into the destroyed flowers. There are all kinds
of ways to lie in a gauze of blackness, it seems.

The meteorite hung a sign of permanence over its landing, intended to remain aquatic,
and carried on no discourse with Yosah over the matter. Yosah, troubled by this,
decided to walk into the lake.

“It mustn’t know that I’m out here, waiting for it,” she thought.

She kept her eyes wide open under the lake, and in long exaggerated movements
traversed the lakebed in search of the rock. A school of tangerine fish corkscrewed
Yosah’s left arm, delighted by the fresh blood of the bank flower. As Yosah was unaware
of her narcissus-tainted elbow, she interpreted the interest as confirmation of her quest
to bring the meteorite back to dry ground.

When Yosah saw the meteorite, she knew it immediately. She dropped to the slick floor
of the lake and scooped it up. It was surprisingly light for its size. She left the water, full
of promise.

The tinkerer’s eyes coasted cerebrally under satin lids. His hat crushed beneath the ruff
of his neck. Silver stitching surrounded his collar, twinkling at any slight pick up in wind.
Presently nine other collars twinkled along with. Their lungs slowed down to less than a
subtle trend as miniature demons rubbed wormwood on their lips, over their gums,
around their teeth, and into their tongues.

Far and deep in the forest the fire elf was sitting squarely on moss, her signature tabard
hung neatly in bare branches above her head. It dripped in irregular overture for some
time, but slowly closed its drying song. Yosah crossed her legs and brought the
meteorite onto her lap to examine. It was marbled with mineral. It was cold on her legs.
She lightly pressed her fingers into it and closed her eyes, shivering.
“I found you,” she said.

40
“I found you.”

“I found you, rock from the sky.”

And Yosah sighed and brailed its face, relieved.

At that same time, the tinkerer’s eyes began to vibrate. His jaw broke free from its clench
and his lungs capitulated to a cloud of maroon vapor, forsaking the breath that had been
meant for them. His back then gathered into an archway. Eleven olive insects scurried
through the opening and arrived on the east side of nothing, to a bank covered in
corpsite. The insects began to hum.

After a bit a curious sun wondered what was happening, and took a slender look at the
hardening scene. The tinkerer’s left arm shot out locked elbow but brought with it a
cusped wrist. The life still circulating in his five fingers tapped an imaginary SOS. It was
all too much for the sun so it immediately set.

The day was no longer a day, and the insects became symphonic. It was a holy musical
notation written by perverse expulsions of spirit, captured in the absence of true dawn.

And with that, there among the pampas, the tinkerer was dead.

41
The 2011 Staff and Advisors
of Rambunctious

Editors in Chief:
Brianna Suslovic, ‘12
Alex Lesser, ‘12

Editors/Staff:
Chris Yu, ‘11
Andrew Lee, ‘12
JJ Davis, ‘11
Sneha Dontha, ‘14
Brendan Coli, ‘12
Zane Suttmore, ‘14
Johanna Santos, ‘12
Kyrin Pollock, ‘14
Lydia Nevin, ‘12
Dylan Muller, ‘12
Katie Cieplicki, ‘12
Skyler Canute, ‘12
Phoenix Robertson, ‘13

Faculty Advisors:
Mr. Phillips
Ms. Hansen
Ms. Sandroni

Cover art by Alex Lesser, ‘12

42

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