Entering the Changing Forest... Art, Photography, and Writing by Ben, Harmony, Simone, Sienna, and Sandy
Ben Pearson (8th grade)
I was always fond of hide and seek, and I would do anything to win at the time. I was the most devoted hide and seek enthusiast you could ever meet. On some occasions, I would wear all black on days I knew we would play, and although the heat was scorching, I would find the best spots. It was a Saturday night in November. The wind rushed through the open doors and into the house. My friends and I were about to have the most epic hide and seek match ever. We were going to do back to back matches, and I planned ahead.
I was wearing all black, and we did “Not It” to see who would be the seeker. Jimmy was last to say it, and he began counting. I could hear him counting down from 30, 29, 28. I ran through the house trying to find a spot where no one would find me. I could still hear him counting, but I was running out of time. 17, 16, 15, 14. I was so stressed until I saw a pile of bean bags hidden in the corner of the room. I rushed over and lifted up the top two bean bags and climbed in. I could feel the tiny crinkling beads under me as I lay in my coffin tower. I waited for a long time, and I could feel my bladder begin to get upset for how long I had been sitting while it was full. I tried shifting positions, but that just made it worse. I couldn’t bear it anymore, and then tension of either being found, or wetting my pants was about to kill me, so I chose. I could feel myself let go, as the warm liquid ran down my legs like a river. I was so embarrassed even though I knew no one was watching. I could feel as if one million eyes were glaring right at me, and my face turned as red as a tomato. I felt all the blood in my body rush to my face, as I lay there, still without motion.
After another five minutes, my friends called out that the round was over. They walked into the room where I was, but I didn’t reveal my position, afraid of their mockery. They didn’t find me, and they went to the next room, and the next. After I knew they were gone for awhile, I came out of the spot, and rushed straight to my room to change, being as quiet as I could. I could here my friends in the other room, still shouting my name. I changed into new shorts and went out saying, “Here I am!” trying my best to scare them. I did a decent job considering I could see them flinch as I spoke. They kept asking questions of where I was or why are you wearing new shorts, but I just smiled and said that some questions are best left unanswered.
County Fair Horse Show
Harmony Caron (3rd grade)
Simone McIntyre (8th grade)
She is like a loyal paintbrush;
She goes through life trying new colors,
Blue for her love for swimming and the water,
Red for her fire inside of her, the motivation,
Green for the love of nature and climbing trees
Yellow for her loyalty to friends and family and golden state warriors,
And catching frogs,
Purple for the mystery of her spirit and her mood swings.
She stays true to herself,
Expressing every emotion and feeling
Her power and strength in volleyball,
Expressing it through writing,
And hoping it will make a difference.
She stays true to her colors,
Washing the bad ones away,
The ones that start taking over like black paint does to light colors,
Then beats them clean like a dirty rug or clothes,
Staying focused with every line she paints,
She goes with the flow like a river does into the ocean.
Through her path there are rocky parts
With sharps edges that cut and leave scars,
But, hey, she learns from those mistakes and overcomes,
When at times she thinks it can't come to an end
But it becomes smooth like a glassy lake.
She likes to climb to the top and see the beautiful view,
Like she's one the top of the world.
Feeling the breeze on her face and through her hair,
She takes that extra risk and climbs higher, knowing that the branches will catch her,
And her strength and motivation helps her get there,
Not feeling weak, but that she can do anything.
Then she goes out and adventures,
Finding the better ways and bad ones
Because she should not be perfect or succeed in everything.
She's finding herself as a hawk finding food,
Staying sharp and keeping an eye out for dreadful distractions.
Like glass, because it is so hard to see but can easily hurt you.
Shielding herself from shallow or cheap vibes
Like a blackberry bush does to keep its treasures safe.
If she fights through the thorns and gets to the sweetness,
She grows stronger and figures out how to outsmart them.
She's as graceful as a gazelle
And as clumsy as a bull in a China shop,
But gets right back up as a baby hummingbird trying to fly.
All her interests branch out like a redwood tree,
Each one unique.
Catching lizards, art, daydreaming of boys or confusing and sometimes unrealistic topics, volleyball and being apart of a team, clothes not the fancy ones like dresses, but her complete love for the combination of sweat pants, a cute shirt, and a sweatshirt that has something related to volleyball on it because she feels like she should be recognized as an amazing volleyball player.
She is as sweet as nectar from a jasmine flower,
Not as sweet as cotton candy at the fair,
But gives you the pleasure of sweet
And has an edge like coffee does when it has no cream or sugar.
Boardwalk, Summer 2017, Sienna Clifton (12th grade)
English Class Survival Manual for Beginners
Sandy Astone (7th grade)
Entering the Changing Forest of English Class
As you enter the perilous forest there are some things you need to watch out for.
If you see a humongous low-hanging fruit and pour all of its goodness into one big project, that’s good. King Sampad, ruler of the English Jungle, bearer of the etc. etc. etc. will have to take about half of that goodness and cut it right off the page. Then the remainder will get heavily edited. But no use crying over spilled fruit juice. Get back out and show him what else you found. Think about different things. Turn over leaves you haven't thought to look under. There will be perfect little berries, little gems that go perfectly with the writing. King Sampad, ruler of the English Jungle, bearer of the etc. etc. etc. loves those. If you really want to keep a section of your writing, keep looking for those little “gems of preservation.”
Venturing Deeper Into the Undergrowth
I used the title “The Changing Forest of English Class” for the last page. The emphasis on changing. You can be stumbling along making it through (barely) and all of a sudden, you find a clearing full of perfect berries. Each one a new and great idea. Or you can procrastinate and have all of the berries be eaten by little squirrels who want just what you do, and a branch falls on your head in the form of another due date, and while you finish that, it becomes the night before the due date. By then you are panicking. Ants have gotten into your soup, your dog has fleas, and bears have mauled your Pop-Tarts. While you are busy scraping the remains of the Pop-Tarts into a project, you stay up late and forget your binder at home. Then you have to tell all the royal adults who teach you why you don’t have your binder and your tent’s rain fly got a leak.
Completing Your Adventurous Endeavor
King Sampad, ruler of the English Jungle, bearer of the etc. etc. etc. talks a lot about revision and editing in the beginning of the school year. As he was droning on and on and on about the importance of editing, I tuned out and read something he gave us, thought about lunch, that sorta thing. I now realize I left behind the salt and pepper. I let a rabbit run away. Choosing to not listen to that was a very bad idea. I found some of the spices on the paper that he handed out, but I feel like he got a bit more in-depth while talking. But now I know. And now I listen much more closely to what he says and maybe if I work hard enough, I can grab that rabbit and use the salvaged salt and pepper to make a project great.
Don’t be afraid to let him butcher up your paper. He may take out that one sentence that you loved, but know he is doing this to improve your paper. You can make a sentence just as good. Make 5 that are even better. Blow Sampad’s socks off!
Don't procrastinate. I do it all the time, and I hate it. If you need explanation on why not to procrastinate, re-read slide 2. I'm not explaining it again.
Pay attention to what he says. Always listen to even his half-hour lectures. You will learn new things guaranteed.
NorCal Lit Club:
We curate a variety of writing and art from across grade levels, we study and deepen our understanding of local literature and our literary roots, and we share our knowledge of local authors with our community through brief presentations and writing exercises.
J. Haley Campbell
Graduated and Retired Members: Caroline Smith, Izzy Thomas, Devyn Powers, Elias Moreno, Nathan Burgess, Elise Slater