2021 Crossroads Literary Magazine

April 29, 2021


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2021 Revere School Committee

Mayor Brian M. Arrigo – Chair

Susan Gravellese – Vice Chair

Stacey Bronsdon-Rizzo – Secretary

Anthony D’Ambrosio

Michael Ferrante

Frederick A. Sannella

Carol A. Tye

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Volume 11, No. 1                                            Spring 2021

Principal: John Perella

Advisor: Nancy Barile, NBCT

 Cover Art: Parker Legere


Terrell Brister, Meryem Charty

Joseph Dimino, Anthony Insogna-Parziale

Parker Legere, Kaitlin Lucci

Maajda Louaddi


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Dedicated to the Memory of

Kimarlee Nguyen, Revere High Class of 2004

Writer, Teacher, Friend

Kimarlee Nguyen

To My Ancestors


To my ancestors, the strong women before me

The ones that paved the way for future generations

To the strong Albanian women, my mother, my grandmothers and my aunties

Having to grow up in a country that saw you as slaves to your husbands

At the age of thirteen you had to learn how to take care of a home prior being married off

You had to be perfect for your husbands or else you were not worthy

Wearing clothes that revealed too much skin was never allowed or you’d be shamed by the older women

Speaking your opinion, oh no, that was not acceptable because you’re a female

If your husband left you, it had to be your fault

Getting remarried while you have kids, aren’t your children enough for you? 

When your husband hit you, it was a norm to boost his masculinity

Whenever you spoke up, in need of help you were shut down

Then, our women began to fight for the rights they deserved

Therefore their daughters did not have to live the same way they did

Our women fought with all their power because they realized they are human beings and not objects to satisfy the male gender


To my ancestors, your sacrifices make us all proud so young women like me can prosper. 


Ne shqip: (In Albanian)

Paraardhësve të mi, grave të forta para meje Ato që hapën rrugën për brezat e ardhshëm 

Për gratë e forta shqiptare, nënën time, gjyshet dhe tezet e mia 

të rritesh në një vend që të  trajton si skllevër të burrave të tu 

Në moshën trembëdhjetë vjeç ju ishit te detyruar të mësoni se si të kujdeseni për një shtëpi para se të martoheni 

Duhet të ishe i përsosur për burrat e tu ose përndryshe nuk kishe vler 

Veshja e rrobave që zbulonin shumë lëkurë nuk lejohej kurrë ose do të turpërohesh nga gratë e moshuara 

Të flasësh mendimin tënd, jo jo nuk ishte e pranueshme sepse je femër 

Nëse burri juaj ju la, domethen ishte faji juaj 

Të martohesh sërish kur ke fëmijë, nuk janë te mjaftushme fëmijët e tu? 

Kur burri juaj ju qellon, kjo ishte një normë për të rritur maskulinitetin e tij 

Sa herë që flisnit, në nevojë për ndihmë nuk te pranonin 

Pastaj, gratë tona filluan të luftojnë për të drejtat që meritonin qe ne te ardhme vajzat e tyre nuk kishin pse të jetonin në të njëjtën mënyrë si ata 

Gratë tona luftuan me të gjithë fuqinë e tyre sepse e kuptuan se ato janë qenie njerëzore dhe jo objekte për të kënaqur gjininë mashkullore

 Paraardhësve të mi, sakrificat tuaja na bëjnë të gjithëve krenarë, në mënyrë që gratë e reja si unë të jemi krenar per ju.

The Awakening


My dad broke the news to me in the car, as tears ran down his face. I was thirteen when he explained he and my mother were getting a divorce because my mom cheated with a richer man. My once-loving mom ripped apart the image I had in my head of a perfect family by wanting to leave us behind. When I asked her a few days later, “me chon con hay la ban trai?” she couldn’t answer that simple question of staying with me or choosing a new life. At that moment, I knew I was going to be on my own with my dad and brother, and things would never be the same again.

In the following years, I laid in bed thinking about what I did wrong to make my mom leave. On the outside, I portrayed a deep hatred for her, but deep down I wanted her to come back. There were moments where questions flooded my head. Why did my mom decide to leave and take everything with her? She left my dad with nothing except the house and all of her responsibilities, including her two sons. I didn’t know why she left my younger brother and me behind for a materialistic life. I felt so much hatred for her and her choices. She put the rest of the family through dark times, forcing my dad to take three jobs, and leaving my brother with no one to care for him. In a day, my dad made parts at a company and then left for his second job as a nail technician at my aunt’s salon. On the weekends, he also worked as an apprentice to be an electrician, his dream job.  

Because of the patriarchy in Vietnamese culture, my dad did not have many housekeeping skills. Every night, he brought dinner home in the same white styrofoam takeout boxes or stapled brown paper bags that were all greasy. He ordered so much takeout, restaurant owners greeted us joyfully because they recognized him. He would bring dinner after work, and I had to eat this unhealthy food at 9 PM. My mom was enjoying multiple lavish vacations in Vietnam, while I was eating fast food and takeout everyday because my dad didn’t know what to feed us. My brother and I have eaten food from 30 different restaurants because my brother is a picky eater.

In the spring of sophomore year, I read the book The Awakening by Kate Chopin. It struck me deep down because of its theme of society’s constraints on women and their motherly roles. While reading the book, I thought, “How can this woman cheat on her husband and leave her children behind”? It shocked me how much my Vietnamese immigrant family resembled the family in the book. Through essays and talks with my dad, I came to a new understanding about my mom. She didn’t leave because she didn’t love me—my mom left to pursue her own happiness. She had put our happiness above her own, and she was forced into a life she didn’t want: society’s role of a mother. 

With my new understanding, I knew my mom wasn’t coming back. I decided I was going to pay my dad back by being successful myself. In order to take some stress off of him, I picked up meal prepping. By preparing nutritious meals on Sunday, I took one less thing off my dad’s mind and also improved my health. It benefited me because I was in the weightroom everyday to prepare for the football season. There was no way I will let my mom’s absence hold me back from succeeding and making the best of myself. I’m not saying I have it all figured out because this family struggle will always be with me, but I now see that I have power, drive, and determination to work hard to achieve my goals. 

As I Go By


As life blossoms in front of my eyes, 

And uncertainty plagues my mind, 

I can’t help but wonder, 

What will happen as I go by? 


As my youth washes away, 

Like grains of sand in the shores 

Where will my wedding will be held, 

Who will be wearing my identity and my name?


Who will that person be, 

Who reads my children off to sleep, 

Who tells embarrassing stories of me, 

With a nostalgic smile upon his lips? 


Whose tears will those be 

As I see my grandchild smiling at me, 

Ignorant to the wonders and sorrows 

That her life will bring? 


Who will that elder be, 

Surrounded by grieving faces 

That time has yet to reveal? 

As his weary eyes prepare to close at last, 

Will he think of me, 

Of his youthful times? 


The answers I seek, 

Hidden by time, 

Will slowly show themselves 

As I go by.


Lonely Artwork

The Art of Art


Vermillion red, phthalo blue 

Which color will I choose?

I have absolutely no clue 

I lack inspiration, I have no muse 


I desire to be great 

Like DaVinci and Kahlo

Painting is my fate 

I’ll give it a go 


Lily pads and lotus 

Are the prime focus 

Cadmium green and Prussian blue 

Will be the colored paints I shall use 


After hours of working on my art 

I’m grateful I had hope from the start

I finally finish, I am at ease 

I stare back proudly at my masterpiece

Fatal Infatuation (A Fictional Story)


      I didn’t know that the epitome of perfection existed at Revere Beach until I found out for myself. My whole life has been filled with inconveniences. My mother died of pneumonia when I was eight. My father later died of tuberculosis when I was eleven. My grandmother took me in as her own until she inevitably succumbed to the curse of old age.

      From the ages of eleven to eighteen, I poured my copious amount of emotional baggage into my schoolwork. Luckily it paid off, considering I was accepted into the prestigious school known as New York University. I was thriving in the city, but I could not beat the heat.

       I was twenty years of age when word got around the country; the first public beach had opened. I was yearning to escape the torrid heatwave. New York City felt like an electric oven, and its citizens were the bread. I took off to Revere, Massachusetts for the summer. I didn’t have friends in the schoolhouse due to me being so immersed in my studies. Throughout my youth, the only company I had was loneliness, until I met him

      The best decision I’ve ever made was going to Revere Beach on its opening day. The hot spell that cast over the beach intensified my insatiable desire for him. The sun beamed over him, accentuating his emerald green eyes and honey gold hair. I was absolutely enthralled by his godly presence. The opportunity to finally end my long life reign of lonesomeness presented itself through that mystery man. He absolutely beguiled me in ways in which I could not properly describe. I showed up to the bustling beach every day, at the same time, in hopes of seeing him again.

       One could say it’s odd to fall in love with a stranger, but I beg to differ. He never ceased to leave my mind. He had the kind of face that could suddenly stop you in your tracks regardless of how much of a rush you were in, especially in such a wide-stretched beach. The sudden pause in a person’s natural expression when they looked his way, followed by overcompensating with a nonchalant gaze and a weak smile sparked green envy within me. I wanted him all to myself.

      Warm summer days faded into sultry nights accompanied by a sky packed with fulgid stars. His complexion still managed to glow in the absence of the sun, then replaced by the pale moonlight once the night took over. I never once missed the opportunity to catch a glimpse of him. I always sat on the sand, right across from him so I could get a better view. I always had my copy of Pride And Prejudice with me, but I could never get past the opening line due to being so incredibly fixated on his riveting presence, as I analyzed his every move. ¨It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” 

        In due course, I gained the courage to speak to him. I impulsively walked to where he was sitting and sat right beside him. He had an ambrosial smell to him, rich cologne. I assumed that meant he came from wealth. The tension in the air was palpable; it could easily be cut with a butter knife. I uttered the sentence ¨Beautiful day today.¨ I was engulfed entirely by nervousness. I looked at the distant outskirts of the beach rather than his gorgeous face.

     ¨I agree. The sunset makes it even better,¨ he said. He wasn’t looking at me at all. He was completely engrossed in the sunset. The sun, like a bashful youth kissed for the first time, glowed a tangerine-pink color.

          ¨Are you from Revere?¨ I quickly chimed in.

         ¨Yes, I am,¨ he replied. He then shot me a toothy grin. I could not help but notice how nice his teeth were. Almost like polished, white pearls. They practically blinded me.

         ¨My name is Rose, by the way,¨ I said.

        ¨I´m Clarence. Do you happen to have a last name?¨ He said with a sarcastic undertone.

           ¨Hartman,¨ I responded. I felt my cheeks heat up and blush due to his witty charm. I was finally having a conversation with my destined soulmate. I reached out for a handshake. His tight grip against my hand unleashed a cage of butterflies in my stomach. I knew instantaneously that we were compatible and meant to be united.

         ¨I see you read fine literature, Rose Hartman. How is the book so far?¨ He asked.

          Hearing Clarence say my full name sounded like liquid poetry spewing out of his mouth like water from the Trevi Fountain. My name sounded much more beautiful escaping from his lips. I could not wait to hear the repetition of him calling my name once we were wed.

          ¨It’s fantastic. I just finished. Certainly my favorite book,” I said. That was my first ever white lie to Clarence. 

           ¨It’s always nice to see people appreciate reading. I do not read as much as I should, despite my sweetheart always encouraging me to do so.¨ As he let out a hearty laugh, I felt my blood simmer with fury. Sweetheart? I could not show Clarence how enraged I was. I kept my composure in fear that I would scare him away.

           His eyes suddenly darted to the side and his face blew up with a beaming smile from ear to ear. A curvy figure approached Clarence and greeted him with a kiss on his cheek. It left behind a faint, red lipstick stain.

             ¨Rose,¨ Clarence swung his arm around her shoulder, ¨This is my girlfriend, Mary Maxwell.¨

         Mary Maxwell: the meddling nuisance sabotaging my chance at a future that wasn´t so lonesome. As much as I detested her, she was radiating with beauty. Her auburn hair was arranged in a high, neat chignon with cascading curls at the front of her porcelain face. Mary´s youthful glow accentuated her peony pink cheeks and periwinkle eyes. Her appearance was tied together with ruby red lipstick. I was looking at my challenger deadpan in her face. The more I stared at her, the less promising my future looked.

     ¨Hello there, Rose. What a gorgeous name for a gorgeous woman such as yourself!¨ She greeted me in a sing-song tone. 

     ¨Hello.¨ I tried my hardest to keep a faux smile on my face. Clarence looked jollier in her presence. My heart rate accelerated, and I felt a pang of distress. I clearly could not compare to Mary and how much attention she received from Clarence. Anyone else would back away and leave the two lovebirds alone. However, I refused to throw away my shot with Clarence and a life worth living— cheery, married life with an eternal companion until the grim reaper knocked on our door. Even then, death could not keep me away from Clarence.

      ¨Mary and I are going on our first date today. What better day to have a date, right?¨ Clarence held Mary’s hand. Their fingers intertwined perfectly like lock and key. My breathing felt hefty. My stomach transformed into an immeasurable pit slowly devouring me from the inside with pure jealousy. The night was impeccable, ideal for a rendezvous. The nightfall highlighted the amorous ambiance of Revere Beach. I knew for a fact that should have been me with Clarence, not Mary. I promised myself that I would do anything, absolutely anything in my power to have him all for myself. 

      Brutally interrupting me in my deep trance, Mary´s melodious voice murmured to Clarence, ¨I believe we should start our date now if we want to see what Revere Beach has to offer.¨ 

   ¨Rightfully so, my dear. Perhaps we will see you around, Rose Hartman. Enjoy the night.¨ He shook my hand once more, his warmth stronger than before. Mary grinned at me and off they went, embarking on their date. 

      Two hours passed. I was still on the beach, conjuring up a plan to steal Clarence from Mary. I hated the concept of them being together indefinitely. I grew more annoyed as my bonnet flapped against my face in the wind. The lucid image of Mary´s goddess-like beauty wasn´t leaving my mind. As much as I did not want to admit it, I was the subordinate of Mary when it came to attractiveness and appeal to the eye. I thought I stood no chance to the enchanting Mary Maxwell. I was deeply in love with Clarence; the weeks I spent admiring him from afar had been so lovely. I simply did not want to let go of my lover but I felt as though I could not compete. I decided it would be best to leave them to be happy together.

        ¨Rose!¨ A mellifluous voice called. I instantly recognized the voice belonged to Mary.

        ¨What brings you to this side of the beach? Where´s Clarence?¨ I was truly curious to know. 

        ¨He began to feel unwell so he headed back home, unfortunately. I don’t want to leave yet though. The night is too beautiful to waste,¨ she said dispiritedly. ¨Care to join me? I don’t want to be alone.¨

         Even though the green monster made an appearance every time I thought, saw, or heard Mary speak, I could not help but feel sympathetic. I reluctantly agreed to be her companion. We walked along the shoreline, shoulder to shoulder.

      ¨Rose, you are incredibly stunning. I couldn’t help but notice how doe-like your eyes are,¨ Mary enthusiastically said to me. 

      ¨Many thanks, Mary. How was your date with Clarence?¨ I asked. Albeit I gave up on stealing Clarence away from Mary, it did not mean that I stopped being head over heels in love with him.

        Her face radiated with love. ¨It could not have been better! He is so incredibly chivalrous.¨ Mary’s voice got higher in pitch. ¨I was living in Hanover, New Hampshire while Clarence and I sent letters back and forth. He is so eloquent. I came to Revere when he asked me to live with him. I lived here when I was younger. I’ve actually run into the many old friends I had before I moved. They still remember me clearly.¨ She squealed with delight.

      I felt vile as Mary continued to ramble on about her night with Clarence. A hot flash traveled through my body, and I could feel my face scorching with irritation. It felt as though I was caught ablaze by a fire Mary caused. I grit my teeth together and clenched my jaw trap shut.

           ¨I truly believe I am falling in love with Clarence Ainsworth. He is my soulmate,¨ Mary said. She was unaware that those would be the last words to come out of her ruby lips.

      Soulmate is the word that sent me spiraling into an impulsive fit of rage. I raised my bulky, hardcover copy of Pride And Prejudice and struck Mary over the head with it. She quickly collapsed on the sand, unconscious. I speedily grasped my dainty hands against Mary´s legs, and I dragged her to the merciless ocean. I carefully raised her body against the ocean top. She did not look like the stunner she once was. Her hair had fallen from its tight chignon; her skin was pale and her iconic lipstick had smudged. The last memory I have of her is one in which I felt triumphant and superior. When in competition, you must take out your competitor one way or another. 


       I walked back to the shoreline and watched as the ocean’s waves sent Mary floating away farther and farther. Her fiery red hair could still be seen. The thought of the water engulfing Mary for eternity relieved me. She was no longer my threat, and I could now have Clarence Ainsworth all for me. I knew from the beginning that he was meant to be for me. After I could no longer see Mary and her signature red hair, I headed back to my hotel. I have kept this secret to myself since that day. 

         It is 1966 now, and I’m ninety years old. When Clarence caught me at the beach the following day, I told him that Mary told me that she decided it would be best to move back to New Hampshire and not be with him. I said she lost her fondness for him wholly. He spent the summer bewildered as to why Mary would leave without warning. He came to terms with what I told him around the end of the summer of 1896. He resented Mary and wanted to completely forget about the girl who ¨abandoned¨ him. We started to date as soon as autumn came around. He followed me back to New York City, so I could finish my studies at New York University. In the fullness of time, we officially tied the knot in the year of 1898. We have been blessed with three, dashing sons. My desires have been fulfilled, and I’m living the way of life I’ve dreamt of since I was a child. It almost feels as if this is fantasy, some sort of far-fetched American Dream. Clarence, fortunately, is alive and prospering alongside me. 

        They never found Mary Maxwell’s body. It will forever remain a mystery to the citizens of Revere and a hidden secret for me. They will never know the dark history behind the fatal night at Revere Beach. At least my dream came true. I got the husband that was meant for me all along. As the late Jane Austen once said, “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” For my dear Clarence Ainsworth, I am the wife.

All You See

All You See Art

How to Save Yourself from a Bear


The wilderness is a very dangerous environment for humans since we are not equipped to survive in it as we were in earlier times. When it comes to survival, the temperature, the resources, and the creatures and animals all come into play. And when you’re talking about surviving in the wild, protecting yourself from bears is essential. Bears are large, dangerous, and scary animals when enraged and/or surprised, and they can very likely be your demise. But the best way to not get your bones broken and die is to first off identify the kind of bear you’re detailing with. Now the most common types of bears in the wild are black bears and brown bears—and yes—there’s a huge behavioral difference between the two. The best way to handle a bear encounter is to never ever have one. Bears in the wild like thick brushes and thickets, but they also regularly use hiking trails. The last thing you want to do is startle a bear. Here are five ways of doing so:

  1. Leave your damn earbuds in the car and be alert to every sound and movement.
  2. Unfortunately, hiking quietly endangers you. Call out and clap your hands frequently. Sing loudly.
  3. Beware of blind corners and loud streams where a bear may not see or hear you.
  4. Hike in groups of at least three people.
  5. Carry bear spray! Repeat. Carry bear spray!

Bears are neutral creatures in general, meaning as long as you don’t mess with them, they have no reason to mess with you. So try to keep it peaceful and respect the bear’s space. Sometimes a bear that feels threatened will act aggressively to defend against a perceived threat. This is often the case with a mother bear with cubs, a bear defending a food source, or a surprise encounter. The closer you are to the bear when it becomes aware of you, the more likely it is to react defensively: it may pop its jaws or swat the ground with its front paw while blowing and snorting, and/or it may lunge or “bluff charge” toward you in an attempt to get you to leave. In this situation, the bear doesn’t want to fight any more than you do. It is simply trying to communicate you are too close. Try to appear non-threatening by remaining still and calm. Ready your bear spray by removing the safety lock. Speak in an appeasing voice and back away, increasing your distance from the bear. Leave the area immediately. In the end, the best way to live through this horrible and unlucky experience is to just be calm, stay peaceful, and don’t be aggressive. The bear in the end does not want to fight with you at all unless it’s a polar bear, in which case you’re just dead. As the saying goes; 

If it’s brown stay down.

If it’s black fight back.

If it’s white say goodnight.

A Series of Poems: Karma, Dry Diction, Unlearned Lessons, Panic Attack




احترس من الكتابة على الحائط

لأنها يمكن أن تقودك إلى

القبر الذي حفرته لنفسك

احترس من الكتابة على الحائط

أنت تحصد ما تزرع

الكأس الذي تسممه فهو لك لتشرب

احترس من الكتابة اليدوية على الحائط

لك أن تدرك




Attention à l’écriture sur le mur

car cela peut vous conduire à

la tombe que tu as creusée pour toi

attention à l’écriture sur le mur

Tu récoltes ce que tu sèmes 

la tasse que tu as empoisonnée est à toi de la boire

attention à l’écriture sur le mur

c’est à toi de percevoir


Dry Diction


The words you’ve said to me

really fill my veins with sand

the sand that

has gone through drought after drought

sucked dry

so that everytime it runs 

my veins tear a little

splintering through me

then you smile 

and it feels like a cold shower

reviving the love 

I thought I lost


الإلقاء الجاف


الكلمات التي قلتها لي

حقا ملأت عروقي بالرمال 

الرمال التي

تعرضت للجفاف بعد جفاف 

في كل مرة تمر الرمال في عروقي

تمزقها قليلاً

تنشق من خلالي

ثم تبتسم

شعور وكأنه دش بارد

إحياء الحب

الذي ظننت أنني خسرت

Unlearned Lessons 


our actions are what set things in motion

so I chain my thoughts away from you 

still, I find myself in the same situations 

feeling even worse than I did before

forcing something that isn’t there 

and I trap myself with you 

cornering me until I can’t breathe 

then I escape and walk right back 

it’s not love 

it’s a waste of time 

yet, when it’s you

I don’t seem to mind


الدروس غير المكتسبة


أفعالنا هي التي تحرك الأشياء

لذلك أبعدت أفكاري بعيدًا عنك

ما زلت أجد نفسي في نفس المواقف

أشعر بأسوأ مما كنت أشعر به من قبل

إجبار شيء غير موجود

وأنا أحاصر نفسي معك

يحاصرني حتى لا أستطيع التنفس

ثم أهرب وأمشي إلى الخلف

هذا ليس حب

انها مضيعة للوقت

بعد ، عندما تكون أنت

لا أ مانع 


Friend Art

Don’t Judge a Muslim by Her Cover


Terrorist? Have you heard that word before? Sad to say, I have. It’s been said straight to my face not once, not twice, but multiple times. Growing up as a Muslim-American living in America—it’s different. Especially when you’re young and just want to fit in. In school, I would get called a terrorist and have racist jokes thrown at me all the time, and it always made me wish I was different. It made me almost hate my religion. Being young and confused, I wanted nothing more but to fit in and be just like everyone else. I always wondered: why do I get treated differently than the rest? Why can’t I be just like everyone else? Imagine being looked at differently for something you can’t even change about yourself. Now that, that right there, is a struggle nobody should ever have to go through, especially not at a young age. 

Something you say to someone when they’re young will stick to them for the rest of their lives. I remember every moment I was made fun of for being Muslim and made to hate who I was. I got treated differently by not only classmates but teachers too, and it hurt. Being made fun of for my religion in school is one thing, but imagine being stared at wherever you go? My mom wears a hijab, which is a scarf Muslim woman wear around their heads for religious reasons. 

Everytime I walk out in public with my own mother, we get treated differently. That’s not fair at all, and growing up, when I questioned this treatment to my mom, she would just respond “They treat us differently because we’re Muslim.” She acted as if it was a normal thing, like she was just used to it. I refused to be treated that way; I was not the type of person to let things like that slide.

I believe we need to stop normalizing this hateful behavior. Your race, religion, or ethnic background should not result in anyone being treated differently. Everyone should be treated the same—we are all human. I get that Muslims are so used to being treated so poorly, but I want to end the cycle. I want to be that change. I want to end that cycle where being Muslim means you are going to be treated differently. I want that generation to end. It just hurts to see how cruel this world is and how people get treated differently based on their race and or religion. Personally being called a terrorist hurts most because Muslims follow the religion of Islam, and Islam in Arabic means peace. The religion is based on peace so why everyone assumes we are terrorists and that we believe in violence I don’t understand. All I know is I pray for the day everyone will be equal and we will all be treated the same.  

Why Christ is My Salvation In Life


People say religion divides people


I don’t think Christianity divides people


People say religion affects relationships


Well, there is one true relationship that isn’t necessarily based on religion


Having faith in something and believing in something aren’t the same


And that one true relationship is with Christ


Whether you’re an atheist, Muslim, or grew up in any other type of religion that doesn’t relate to Christianity,


It doesn’t necessarily affect your relationship with Him


Your religion doesn’t define who you are as a person


In a world where the rich and powerful often take advantage of the poor and meek, 


We are informed that God has gone to the other end of the line with the message of everlasting life 


You may ask yourself: How has God gone to the other end of the line?


He chose the foolish, weak, based, and despised and transforms them into His glory 


Adam and Eve














The Story of Job






Paul was an apostle of Christ and an ex-murderer of Christians for their faith

He transformed the broken and repaired them with His gifts

Humanity was falling into destruction 

But we were saved

By who, you may ask?

Well, it is one answer and the one person only: Jesus Christ.

Because of Him, we gained salvation

Through His blood and His blood only!

The Gospel is the good news, which is sharing His word

As Christians, it is our duty to spread the good news to the world

His sacrifice is worth sharing the news 

That’s why God sent Him down to earth: to sacrifice for us!

He was a reflection of God in human form!

Our selfish, sinful acts are what were paid on the cross!

So, if you think that you are not loved or worth sacrificing for, then what is considered Jesus’s death?

He saved us from eternal damnation

That’s why we need to spread the good news!

All those stories in the Bible, they aren’t a bunch of fairy tales or make-belief stories

What Jesus has come to start was not religion, but a revolution

The Bible has been translated into different languages and broken down religious barriers!

It is generally a product of divine inspiration and the strength for God’s relationship with us

So if you think Jesus can’t use you, just think about what He did on the cross for you (individually and collectively) and what He went through to sacrifice for you and me!

The Bible isn’t about dividing people; it’s about bringing people together through Christ, and it has shown and been proven for a thousand years

We should love others as Christ loved the world, despite its flaws 

As Christians, we are also called to be more like Christ, not to be perfect but to be a reflection of Him!

Our human flaws are cleansed and already washed away by Him on the cross

All we need to do is turn away from our sins and follow Him

Ask Him for guidance!

And praise Him with all glory!

Sports After COVID


          The COVID epidemic changed nearly every aspect of our lives in the past year, and this includes the sports we enjoy watching and playing. Believe it or not, there was a time where you could attend a sports game in a stadium full of thousands of people and not have to wear a mask. As COVID swept through the nation, not even sports were safe from the changes required to keep people safe. We saw the NBA and NHL go into “bubbles” to save their playoffs; we saw the MLB nearly collapse at one point from positive COVID tests; and we saw the NFL have to postpone multiple games due to the virus. Now, as the COVID shutdown seems to be coming to an end over the next few months, all we can do is wonder what sports will look like after we’re able to return to our normal lives.

          One of the only things we can say for certain is that sports leagues across the world have lost a massive amount of money. MLB teams have reportedly fallen into a combined 8.3 billion dollars in debt as the entire league lost over 3 billion dollars in revenue. Studies show that the NFL is on its way to lose nearly 3 billion dollars as well, due to smaller fan attendance. These two leagues are among the many sports leagues that lost a large amount of money this year. We saw an up and coming football league, the XFL, fold after previously having a successful season because they wouldn’t be able to take the revenue losses COVID would provide. So how will these leagues get their money back?

          The answer to this question is advertisements. As fans, we should expect that these leagues will turn to new sponsors and advertisers to regain this money. We already see sponsors in sports today. Watch soccer? Look at their jerseys. Basketball? How about the AT&T Slam Dunk Contest? Enjoy baseball? Well let’s watch the Gillette Home Run Derby! The point is, we should be ready to see a lot more of this in the next few years. These leagues have to recuperate billions of dollars. One of the biggest complaints when it comes to sports now is that there are advertisements nearly every few minutes. Every time there’s a timeout or change in periods, you can expect at least five minutes of ads. They certainly won’t be showing less ads after this past year.

          In terms of on the field or court play, we likely won’t see many changes, but as viewers we can certainly expect more advertisements, higher ticket prices, higher food and drink prices at games, and more expensive merchandise. As viewers, we’ll be the ones expected to help these leagues and stadiums make back the money they lost. We’re the reason these leagues are monetized, so we’re expected to deal with the advertisements and expenses of supporting our favorite teams. So, in terms of sports going forward? You should expect it to be more expensive for the same product with a more ad-filled viewing experience.

My Journey


I used to live in a city called Consuelo in the Dominican Republic with my mom. And we used to get robbed when we were not at the house. I also had to walk 2 miles to get to school with my brother and sister. My brother was…I guess, a good brother, and my sister was fearless and funny. She acted like a dude, if you know what I mean. Basically, she wasn’t normal for a Dominican woman. She always tried to protect me and my brother. My two families were from different worlds. My dad was of colonial stock, meaning rich landowning Spanish aristocrats and free people of color. And my mom descended from peasants (farmers) from the countryside and slaves. 

I learned quickly that life wasn’t colorful. It was dark, but I kept a smile. I lived with my mom for a lot of years. My dad was helping her financially, but he wanted me to live with my grandmother. My dad convinced my mom to give me up to my wealthy grandmother, and I lived a good life. I went to private school and that good stuff. But I won’t ever forget where I came from. That’s how I grew mentally.


Stars Art
Artwork by Leena Menkari (Leena Menkari)

An Ode to that Lonesome Feeling


I’ve always wondered what it would be like, 


To have my hand held by someone and share 


A kiss in the rain. 


Feel the brush of a hand pushing back my hair, 


See a sweet smile to ease the pain. 


I want to run along the river, 


Jump in and dive, 


Swim to the bottom of love and float in its cool water. 


Yet time is no forgiver and 


None shall prevail to deprive 


Me of this feeling! 


This warmth in someone’s arms. 


Nothing is more healing, 


Than love’s simple charms.

Un Verso al Sentimiento de la Soledad


Siempre me he preguntado cómo sería,
Que alguien me tomara de la mano y compartiera
Un beso bajo la lluvia.
Sentir el roze de una mano tocando mi pelo,
Ver una sonrisa dulce para aliviar el dolor.

Quiero correr a lo largo del río,
Saltar y nadar,
Nadar hasta el fondo del amor y flotar en su agua dulce.
Sin embargo, el tiempo no perdona y
Nadie lograra privarme

De este sentimiento!
Esta calidez en los brazos de alguien.
Nada es más sanador,
Que los encantos simples del amor.

Ain’t Your Mama – A Feminist Criticism


Ain’t Your Mama By Jennifer Lopez is a music video in which women are denigrated by men. Jennifer Lopez, the singer and also the main character of the video, plays different characters in this video, from a woman who works in the news to a secretary to a stay home wife. The video portrays women breaking free from the oppression of men. The story that is being played in this music video is women realizing they don’t need men — rather it’s men who need women. Jennifer’s character, who works in the news, shows how tired she is. She has a fight with her husband because she is exhausted from working all day, and her husband does not want to help. Although it does not show what he doesn’t want to do, a different character that Jennifer plays gives an idea of what it could be. Jennifer plays a stay housewife, who is cooking and cleaning the house while her husband watches tv. This is proof of maleness. Jennifer also plays 3 more characters. Those are workers from a factory, a secretary, and what seems to be an assistant in these clips. These workers are being sexualized, and their work is not being valued. 

The actual moment in which women stand up and break all these stereotypes occurs when Jennifer, the newswoman, throws the papers she had to read and talks about oppression. This oppression is the problem they all know is happening and that speech finally gives the voice women need. At this moment, all those characters who were being put down by men in many different ways, stand up for themselves and leave that place of suffering. They prove women don’t need men.   




Ain’t Your Mama, is a music video that shows what many women had to go through and some still are in this present time. The video emphasizes women being seen as less in every area by men. The scene where Jennifer is a stay-at-home wife, portrays old times by her clothes. Jennifer wears a dress that is similar to what women in the ’50s would have worn, and women at that time were not treated how they should have been. But the viewer also sees more modern clothes, mostly at the end when they are free. What this tells is the history of women. Women fought for years—and continue to fight—to finally have the freedom and to be respected and treated how they should be. The stereotypes of having to be in certain areas according to your gender and being seen differently is a huge part of this video. Sexualizing the secretary is something that this video shows, and that is not the only bad part: the video shows women staying at this level of being under a men’s authority. 

The video is mainly presented from a woman’s point of view. The video enables the viewer to experience different scenarios that women go through. Also, it has this perspective of the viewer being in their position. Women struggle, suffer, but mostly and more importantly, they are liberated and celebrate. The video has scenes, which show what each character sees, and that helps the person on the other side of the screen understand more about maleness.  




Ain’t Your Mama presents the different dimensions and scenarios of women being put down. The video does an amazing job putting the viewer in that dimension. In addition, the lyrics and every scene and character helps women and men realize a problem that has improved in some places but hasn’t in others. The video can be a wake-up call to women, who might be living in those terrible conditions and may not realize how they are being deceived; it can also wake up men who might have been thought to treat women badly. Watching the video can provide insight and help women be able to change their perspective and situation. The video has an important message to both men and women. Girls must learn from a young age that they don’t have to do everything for men. The lyrics are something that can be eye-opening. Evaluating this from a woman’s perspective, and even from a man’s perspective brings the viewer to old times in which girls play with the kitchens and learn how to cook to get a husband. This, in reality, is far from what women should do because women are capable of sustaining themselves and going beyond what is expected. Hearing “When did you get too comfortable because I’m too good for that remember that” is a phrase that is so true and that all women and men should remember. This video teaches women to not settle for mediocre jobs, husbands, and treatment because women deserve more than that. 

Learning to appreciate women and to not help women but learn to take care of yourself is a message that men can get from this video. The video also teaches women to be respected, to have their place in society, and to not settle for less than what they deserve. This video breaks stereotypes that had to be broken. This video gives a voice to women and, most importantly, shows the worth women have that men and everyone needs to see and value.

My Honey


The bear sat near the river,

He had lost his sweet honey

His true sweetness

All while the bees buzzed and

the birds sang


The leaves swayed and rustled,

He was left to wander the forest

The bear wanted to find his honey

His only joy



My dear honey 

Where did you go? He grew

Hungry, berries weren’t for 

Him. too bland and dull


He followed the river’s current,

His eye caught his honey, from there

Two more rivers formed down his eyes

Solitude river and river of the forgotten


His honey was no longer his,

The sweet honey now belonged to another

The bear could no longer roar

The honey no longer glistened.



Había perdido su dulce miel

Su verdadera dulzura

Todo mientras las abejas zumbaban y

los pájaros cantaron


las hojas se balanceaban y crujían,

Se quedó vagando por el bosque

El oso quería encontrar su miel

Su única alegría



Mi querida miel

¿Dónde fuiste? El Creció

Hambrienta, las bayas no eran para

Él. Era demasiado blanco y aburrido


Siguió la corriente del río,

Su ojo atrapó su miel, de ahí

Dos ríos más se formaron por sus ojos

Río de la soledad y río de los olvidados


Su miel ya no era suya

La dulce miel ahora pertenecía a otro

El oso ya no podía rugir

La miel ya no brillaba.



Show night. Rushing to get everything together. Surveying the crowd. Adrenaline in my veins. Every time it’s the same: my life depends on it.

My fans always described my appearance as “striking,” sometimes “eclectic,” and if I’m lucky, “sexy.” I think it’s the electric blue eyeliner and the way sheer fabric clings to my abs like I vacuum-sealed it there. No one handles a microphone like I do. No one can dance like I do. And I know it. And I love it.

I always spare a few minutes to admire myself before showtime. Ugh, every night I outdo myself. My stage manager oggles me with the same expression as ever; he’s completely captivated. He’s staring. If he could see himself, he would be so embarrassed. The self-awareness he lacks is endearing, really! But that’s not what matters. I look so good that nothing else is real to him. He can only see me. That’s what matters. And a couple nights ago he said he was “straight.” What a joke.

Finally, I step onto the stage outfitted in stilettos, a choker, and a vicious grin the devil gave me himself. I grasp the mic — it can feel my sharp acrylics digging in. Showtime.

How to Dig a Hole (In 10 Easy Steps)

  1. Get homework assignments


  1. Finish school day


  1. Break


  1. Tell parents how day went


  1. Remember assignments


  1. Open Word doc


  1. Begin schoolwork


  1. Eat snack


  1. Continue work



In a Parallel World


طال الزمان 

أتى ما لم يكن بالحسبان

انطفأ ضوء القمر         

و اختبأت الشمس وراء السحاب

أكانت سحابا أم دخانا تلك المتفجرات

و مع كل هذا الرصاص 

لم أعد أسمع صوت الأذان 

ولا صوت أمي التي لم أرها منذ زمان 

أما زالت على قيد الحياة 

أم تجرأت الرصاصة على الفؤاد 


أبي لم يرجع في الموعد

قيل إنه ذهب للجهاد 

إلا أن صوت بداخلي يقول إنه ذهب فسيباد 

لطالما حلمت أن تكون قصتي كسندباد

بحار بغداد 

عاش الهلاك لكنه نجا بسلام

أعلم ان الاسطورة تحكى ولا تعاش

لكن سأظل أحلم 

حتى يرأف الله بالعباد. 


The time wore on 

It came what was not taken into account 

The moonlight went out

And the sun hid behind the clouds

Was it clouds or the smoke of those bombs

Because of all this bullets

I can no longer hear the call of prayer

Nor the voice of my mother

Whom I have not seen for a long time

Is she still alive? 

Or the bullet dared to hit the heart

My father, 

My father didn’t come back on time

It was said that he went to defend the homeland

But there was a voice inside me saying

He was gone and he was eradicated

I always dreamed that my story was like Sindibad

The sailor of Baghdad (a fictional mariner and the hero of a story-cycle of Middle Eastern origin.)

He lived doom

But survived peacefully

I know that the legend is told and not lived

But I will continue to dream 

Until God has mercy on the servants.

On My Mind


There are rushing rivers overflowing with thoughts in my mind

Canals of feelings with sparks, clouds, rain and thunderstorms

A heart that keeps pumping even after it has been claimed dead

And a mind that stays awake at all the wrong times and haunts me all day and night

A body that can no longer stay on its feet and seems to be ready to fall

A brain that seems to be a puzzling mess getting rid of all the old memories

Feet that ache with pain and go all directions, yet, cannot find their way home

A spirit that tells me to keep going that I’ve almost made it to the finale.


“I can’t”


“It hurts”


“Make it stop!”


A smile that gives hope

Eyes that shine bright

Eyebrows that express wonderful emotions

A heart that goes on

Feet that keep moving forward

And a motto that says “Fall, Rise, Heal and overcome”


          As scary as things were without quarantine, with it, the world became alarming. I started quarantine thinking it would be fun to not attend in-person learning because of some virus. By the end, I ended up throwing pennies into the fountain every day wishing it would go back to the way things were.

          I was stuck at home everyday feeling like a lab rat. Things slowly started to go off the edge, and I felt like this would never end. My mother and I would go on short walks to the beach, always keeping our distance from others so that we could catch some fresh air and “relax.” We have never been in this situation before and it felt very unfortunate.

          Not so much time went by when we got a call that my grandpa was sick, and he wasn’t doing so well. We just had to keep praying and hoping for the best. Two days later, he was taken to the hospital. He was very pale, cold, and he wasn’t breathing properly. He was in there almost a month before he passed. 

          It was not an easy thing to go through because times were already hard enough and without him, it wouldn’t be the same. My grandpa and I were very close for as long as I can remember. Never had I thought this day would come. I felt my whole world collapse in front of my eyes, and I was in a panic. For a while I felt like I had no energy for anything, and I felt that words were so irrelevant. I felt so lost, and I felt like I was slowly losing myself. 

          After many tears shed and lonely days . . . I finally found some strength to get up. Thanks to those amazing friends, family, and teachers, who were by my side. I started to depend on writing poems and short stories. Those were really helpful in the hard times. Whatever I was feeling I felt I could write it all down and turn it into a beautiful masterpiece. Today I keep moving forward and fighting through the pain and the constant “what if.” I keep reminding myself that time heals and that I CAN do this. So I wrote this poem about just that: about never giving up and living with hope.

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