Thursday, June 8, 2017

"The Lime Green Icicle Tower and the Miniature Santa" by Ella Wade

The plan for the day was going to observe the new Dale Chihuly exhibit housed at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston Massachusetts. The artist Dale Chihuly is known for his exquisite blown glass sculptures that reach breathtaking heights that seem impossible given how fragile glass is usually thought to be. My family had traveled to Boston to visit my Mom’s side of the family that weekend, and my Aunt suggested the museum as an interesting day trip to take together. As we prepared to go to the museum later that day, my grandmother reached into her bag and pulled out a little plastic package to give to my two-year-old cousin, telling him that she had forgotten to include the toy in his Christmas stocking and had meant to give it to him the next time she saw him. The toy was a Santa version of one of those classic tiny, squishy toys that expand after you leave them in water for an extended period of time. My little cousin Robert didn’t exactly understand the concept of leaving his new toy alone for a couple hours and insisted he bring the miniature Santa along on the car ride to the art museum. Now Robert’s parents agreed seeing as there was no apparent harm that could come from him carrying the small toy with him.

Fast-forward to the arriving at the actual museum, and my relatives and I are all enjoying the beautiful art on display at the MFA. The print work and three-dimensional sculptures were incredible to see and we walked the galleries for around four hours. At this point everyone is in agreement that wrapping up the visit to go find food was the best option seeing as it was nearing lunch-time. Robert up until this point had been extremely well behaved and was receiving praise for his patience throughout the visit. I also thought Robert was handling four hours in a museum surprisingly well for his age although it was obvious that four hours was his tipping point because he became visibly restless and mentioned frequently that he was hungry. His exclamations of hunger were only voicing what many of us were feeling so that wasn’t a major problem until we stepped into the food court and our eyes scanned the gigantic line that spanned half way across the huge room. We all let out a collective sigh as we joined the back of the line and chatted with one another to pass the time.

The museum hosted an entire exhibit of Dale Chihuly’s work and although his work had a separate exhibit, one of his pieces called the “lime green icicle tower” resided in the middle of the massive lunch room, surrounded by a circular bench with a small sign advising visitors to refrain for touching the sculpture. This sculpture was about 40 feet high with green icicle like spikes protruding from all around its perimeter. The tower was the focal point of the room and anyone that entered the room would agree that their eyes went straight to it. The food line was not at a complete stand still although try explaining that to a hangry two-year-old. To distract Robert and keep him happy, my older cousin Jules, my sister, and I offered to occupy him at the bench underneath the large green tower. We would be visible from the line and his parents were grateful for the offer. The pace of line had begun to pick up so we told our parents what we wanted for lunch and took Robert to get a closer look at the sculpture. We had been sitting there, talking for about five minutes when Robert fishes around in his pocket only to pull out the miniature Santa water toy from earlier and proceeds to have the toy walk across the stone bench we were sitting on. The sound of employees shouting orders to the back had increased and it looked as though the cafeteria had finally gotten a handle on the crowd. The long line had been moving up as fast as the employees could take orders. My family was just a few people away in-line from receiving their food. Jules, my sister, and I were relieved Robert would be eating in the not so distant future seeing as his mood had not picked up in the slightest.

As our parents and grandparents wandered in our direction with the food, Robert takes this moment to gaze up at the bright green glass tower and look at the toy in the palm of his hand. Without warning Robert pulls his arm back and proceeds to launch the tiny Santa straight at the art piece in full view of my entire family. Let the slow-mo movie scene commence as we all witness the Santa fly 20-some-odd feet up and disappear into the glass tower. Before we all could see the humorous side to this situation, we collectively searched the visible sides of the tower for the toy. The panic increased slightly when we realized there was a security guard that was patrolling the room although he thankfully didn't seem to have seen the grumpy toddler chuck the toy into the glass tower. The search was fruitless and the Santa still remains somewhere in that sculpture today.

Now whenever I see a picture of the green sculpture I can't help but laugh knowing that a tiny Santa toy is hidden within the spikes. My family and I will remember that memory forever and add it to the list of embarrassing things we plan on teasing my little cousin for when he’s older. That day helped me see the humor in certain situations and learn that as long as the action didn’t harm anything it’s alright to laugh.

"The Chilling Reality of Cold Showers" by John Doe

Cold showers are almost universally disliked. I, however, really enjoy them. There is something fulfilling about conquering the cold and defeating mental barriers that hinder me in daily life. While others cower at the mere idea of submerging their body in icy water, I embrace it. The cold has become my friend. Every slight movement is another new sensation, a new experience that my mind and body alike crave.

The icy cascade casts itself onto me. The tendrils of water, slicing into my skin, are beyond unnerving. And yet, I remain steadfast. Why? Because they are incredible! It’s meditative, really. Each heartbeat, each second, is pure ecstasy. Somehow, I yearn for more. After a few minutes, the level of cold I attained was arbitrary. I must crank the knob farther to the left, farther and farther, until I cannot stand it. That is the true point of achievement: becoming champion of mind, body, and soul.

Peace of mind is the greatest benefit attributed to cold showers. It allows me to think clearly in an otherwise mentally cloudedenvironment. Just as many people go to their “happy place” to focus or hone their skills, my place of leisure is beneath the cold cascades.  

But, my ego and mind overcome me sometimes. Some days I am lazy. Some days I just want to enjoy a scalding hot shower. Everyone has off days. Mine means a hot shower. At the same time, perhaps I beat myself up for it. But, there comes a point where I must fess up and, lame man's terms, “man up” to crank the water to the dreaded cold end.

For as much as I enjoy cold showers, I honestly have my prejudices for them. They’re excruciating to start with. Stepping into the shower and full blasting the cold water is beyond painful. More often than not, I prefer to start hot and work my way down.

But where is the fun in that?

Mentally keeping score, it is exponentially more satisfying to jump out knowing it was cold the whole time than to ween myself off of the comfort of hot water.  Perhaps it is the satisfaction that keeps me returning to the dreaded cold, once more facing it in the field of mental battle.

Each time I successfully take a cold shower, I win a battle. But the war wages onward.

Friday, June 2, 2017

"I Don't Want to Bleed Words" by Lady of Words

I don’t know what to write.
If I wanted to, I could prick the places on my skin where my freckles are.
I’d have red, angry holes in my skin,
instead of small brown dots where those freckles now are.

I think those spots would bleed words.

Maybe after I started bleeding words, I could find something to write about, for...

There would be no point in hiding everything I ever wanted to say anymore,
for those words which I now guard as if I was a dragon,
would stain my skin,
drip onto the floor,
smear on the fabric of my clothes,
be visible for anybody to read if they wanted to.

I refrain from pricking my skin and bleeding those words, my words,
for various reasons-

a)Nobody would bother with the words my skin dripped unless they gleamed gold.
If they filled the holes in other’s hearts, then maybe they would flock to me and
ask me
for more.
But I don’t bleed gold to buy at much as the world with,
I don’t bleed mortar to fill in the gaps in your soul or heart,
I don’t bleed you the companionship you lack or the comfort you desire-
I bleed red words, red, like the color everyone else bleeds.

b)Bleeding would hurt.
It’s a shitty  reason, it's a shitty reason,
every motivation poster in America and in the world ever tells you to work hard and then soak in your just reward.
They never said what working hard would feel like.
They never said that to pull the boat’s tiller around to change course, you have to put your whole back and soul into it
Until your muscles can’t take it anymore and doubt hits you in huge wave after wave, drenches you, soaks into your skin
Finally, after what is not just simple persistence, the boat’s on the right course-
But if it’s going to continue on that path, you have to sit by the tiller day in and day out.

C)these words would be a culmination of everything I ever wanted to say,
negative and positive,
and everything I ever thought about writing or actually wrote,
would pour out from those holes in my freckles and be visible for others to pursue at their leisure.

All those words visible- I can see nothing but negative impacts.
Bleeding these words could-it would, I know it would, draw me negative attention.
It would draw me scorn, draw me misunderstanding, more ammunition for anyone to use against me, more information that could be twisted into something acidic, which I’ll find stuck into me like hot knives.
My flaws wouldn't be hidden in this outflow of words, and they could-would be pulled out, would be magnified, would be mocked.
Criticism would be drawn to me like moths are drawn to electric lights and candle flames, but unlike fire, I couldn't burn the criticism to a crisp because it would sneak past the fireballs I can't even bring myself to throw and creep into through all the cracks and attack all the weak spots the outpouring of words gave away.

All in all, it's better to never prick my freckles, to continue to contain all my words inside, to... continue to lack ideas for what to write.

Even if I wanted inspiration available all over my arms, the positive would never outweigh the negatives at all in any scenario at all involving reason

"The First Date" by Layla Henry

1 hour and 30 minutes before the date:
She begins the extensive getting ready process.
Steam coats the bathroom mirror,
and citrus shampoo wafts through the air.

She meticulously shaves her legs
because there can not be a stray hair in sight.
She goes through a multi-step skin care regimen
because no wrinkles can form on her face.

1 hour before the date:
She curls her hair to create “effortless” waves
because it makes her look carefree.

She puts on a face of “no-makeup makeup” that uses fifteen products,
but no one can ever know
because noticeable makeup means
she’s lying about her appearance.

She spends five minutes choosing a perfume
because too much means she’s stuck up.
30 minutes before the date:
She tears her room apart trying to pick an outfit
because she has to look perfect.

She slides on a pair of stilettos
because beauty is pain.
She doesn’t wear a jacket
because it takes away from her dress.
She doesn’t sit until he arrives
because her clothing can’t be wrinkled.

She takes a step back.
Why did I put myself through all of this?”

She never wears makeup.
Dresses make her feel self-conscious.
She hates heels.
But she knows that this is what she’s supposed to do.
It doesn’t matter that she isn’t very girly.
This is how a girl is supposed to act on a first date.
She can show her true personality later.
So she’ll order a salad and water.
She’ll finally open the untouched mascara.
She’ll highlight her biggest insecurities.
She’ll suffer through the blisters,
Because that’s what she’s been taught to do.

Her phone snaps her out of her thoughts.
He’ll be here any second.
She takes a deep breath.
She prepares for the small talk,
The awkward silences,
The fake.
Because that’s what she’s been taught to do.

The doorbell rings.
She greets him with a soft smile
because she can’t look too eager.
“You look beautiful” he says.
She knows she does,
but she can’t recognize that because she’ll sound conceited.
So all she can say is, “Oh this is nothing, I just got up from a nap”

because that’s what she’s been taught to do.

2016-2017 Statistics

Friday, May 26, 2017

"Love Poem" by Luna

Falling in love,
Losing control now
Struggling to gain control back
You’re feeling all of these new emotions
Feelings you aren't really used to
You worry about letting yourself fall completely
But curiosity pushes you towards this person
You were always that independent girl who hated the thought of a relationship
Things are changing for you

Questions and concerns flutter around your head
“Don’t get attached”
“Don’t rely on someone who could leave at any moment”
“What if he isn’t who he has been this whole time?”
“What if he breaks my heart?”
These concerns are paralyzing

It’s everything about him
From his dreamy eyes and stunning smile
His gentlemen like personality that makes you blush
His funny personality
The way he is able to completely change your mood

Soon you come to terms with the idea of falling for someone
You see how this could work out
You see how much you have in common
And it all makes sense now

The ability to be you,

And let yourself fall.

HWC 2017 Senior Spotlight