Language is Like Rainbow Fish Scales

By: relizabethj

Reading has always been a regularity in my house. As a baby, my parents read board books to me before bed and as I grew to be a toddler, those morphed into golden back books. My grandparents and family friends bought me books for birthdays and Christmases that added to my collection. My older sister passed down her picture books and I was able to peruse those on my own while admiring each picture and making up words to match the scenes. I even had a bath book entitled The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister. The story was of a beautiful fish who had unique scales.

When a tiny fish asked for one of his scales, the fish refused in a rude manner, and then the other fish would not play with him anymore. He looked to an octopus for guidance, who told him to share his scales with his friends. Upon sharing a scale, the fish felt filled with joy, and so then he shared his scales with all his other friends too. The fish shared his scales because he loved the joy he felt when he shared. Over the years, I have found that in a similar way, writing is an outlet to share creativity and love, and to inspire the world.
Being an avid reader from childhood has shaped me to be somewhat of a nerd, finding it more enjoyable to curl up with a good book than to spend time socializing. In fifth grade, my English class did a poetry unit in which I was inspired to become a poet. I wrote all my poems in a pink spiral-bound notebook with a unicorn on the cover. Looking back, I acknowledge that I was an oddball, but that period in my life was certainly an influence of my enjoyment of writing.
Reading and writing have shaped my personality, granting me the love of language. Reading has given me the skill of expressing my thoughts and emotions using language in differing styles which I can use in my writing. When I write, I can share my opinions, experiences, and what reading has given me to the world, just as the Rainbow Fish shared his beauty with the world and brought joy to himself and others.

Final Moments

By: relizabethj

The day he drove his daughter to college the sun glared down upon him as if it were laughing in his face. He knew this day was coming, but a deep pit of nostalgia still festered in his stomach with the knowledge that the good memories were behind them.
For her, college felt like a new beginning, but for her father, it felt like a bittersweet ending. He would never again play house, laughing as his joy and pride pranced around with one inch heels like she ruled the world; never again chase his baby girl around the house and sweep her up into his arms; never again read a bedtime story to his daughter before kissing her goodnight and flicking off the lights. College was a reminder that things were changing for the worse.
His daughter chattered the the entire six hour drive to her school, buzzed with excitement. The pit in his stomach grew deeper as she yammered on more and more. When they arrived, she jumped about of the car and flung open the back of the car before her father had unbuckled his seat belt. He wanted to sink into his seat and disappear.
Unloading boxes from the car was just as depressing, if not more. The boxes were labeled and the father pondered how sections of his daughter’s life could be packed away into just a few boxes.
Finally, a single box was left in the car and the man offered to bring it in. When he pulled it out of the car, he sighed wistfully. The side of the box was labeled F A M I L Y in large black letters. Her eighteen years of family was subjected to a single box. He nostalgically peeled open the box and on the top of her things was a black, spiral bound notebook. It’s cover read “Families are like branches on a tree. We grow in different directions, yet our roots remain as one.”
Tears welled up in his eyes and it was like a blindfold was removed from his eyes, revealing his selfishness. Life was not ending because his daughter was going away. It was a new chapter for her life, as for his.
He may not be able to play house, chase his daughter around, or tuck her into bed, but a new type of relationship was forming. He would always be the one she called for computer dysfunctions. Would always be the person to call when she needed help with taxes. Would always be the shoulder she cried into when her heart was broken. Would always be the first man who captured her heart. College was a reminder that things were changing for the better.
He wiped his eyes and closed the box, walking it into his daughter’s new dorm.
“Thanks dad,” she said, hugging him. “I’ll call every night.”
“I’ll hold you to that,” he replied, holding her close. “I love you and I’ll miss hearing your loud voice in the mornings.”
“Knock knock! You gotta come see this, girlie!” A girl peeked her head through the doorway. The daughter looked up at her father with pleading eyes.
“Go on, have fun,” her father told her.
“Thanks Dad! I love you!” She kissed his cheek once before pulling away. Squealing with delight, his daughter rushed out of the room, following her new friend.
With soft eyes, the man fondly watched her go. His baby girl had grown up and it was time to let her go on without him always by her side. Leaving the room, he glanced down the hall and saw his daughter laughing at a joke someone had said. She turned and locked eyes with him for a moment before grinning and waving. Smiling back, the man whispered, “I love you.”

Teenagers

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by scwrites2

Teenagers, unlike what most articles and people say, may not have it as easy as adults think. Teenagers are people trapped between the phases of childhood and adulthood. We are expected to be mature, but still have adults supervising our every move. We are granted little freedoms, like walking ourselves to the next class or sitting where we want in the lunch room, but they can easily be taken away from us. But once you reflect on these things, maybe they are symbolic of what will come. Instead of getting free seating taken away, maybe it is something more substantial once you are an adult, like a certain law being taken away. When you continue to think in more depth, you will wonder why teens are treated the way they are. By seventeen, you will have to decide what you want to do with the rest of your life, in terms of college or trade school or even joining the military. You still have to ask to go to the bathroom. I personally have met many teens who are wise beyond their years, taking care of siblings, or already working a part-time job, almost like an adult. So you can tell me why teens are denied the chance to make choices for themselves and not have everything seemingly dictated by an adult.

Sara C., 9 grade

The Western Fringe and the Eastern Hearth, Part 1

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By: Fealtytokhorne

Hi there,

I am currently working on a world for my Dungeons and Dragons campaign, which is somewhat inspired by Brian McClellan’s Powder Mage Trilogy and the period of history known as the Westward Expansion. The entire theme of the world is exploration, with conflict and intrigue mixed in. Below is a small outline of the world, including a small, detailed description of one of main countries. All other countries, as well as other powers, will be mentioned in my next post.

The World:
The terms the “Western Fringe” and “Eastern Hearth” describe the two main bodies of land in my world. The former describes a large continent, where two main superpowers (Lanius and the Lands of Divinity (L.O.D)) duke it out. Connected to the Fringe via the Iron Horse (see below) is the Eastern Hearth, which is the homeworld of the Lands of Divinity. Along with these two powers are the Company, which is supposed to be loyal to the L.O.D, but serves itself, as well as the Deaths Merchants, a group of two-bit rogues who hire themselves out to do shady services.

What is above is only a small description of the world. Below is a more detailed description of the Lands of Divinity:

Lands of Divinity

  • Government: Theocracy
  • Population: 10,678,070

The Lands of Divinity are composed of one main island and two small colonies. The state is ruled by three priests of Elinsth: God of Trade, Invention, and Industry, and two priests of Talin: God of War and Righteous Death, and is subjected to the considerate influence of the leader of the Company, Sandford Fleming. (The Company and Sandford Fleming will be explained in my next post). The third priest of Talin, who publicly resisted the influence of Sandford, has recently died as a result of very mysterious and very natural causes

The Lands of Divinity has ascended to its current position of power as a result of two gifts, given by Elinsth and Talin respectively. These gifts are the Iron Horse and Deaths Dust, which allows warriors to kill from afar.

Cars 3

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Review by: coolkid73

Cars 3 is the third movie in the Cars series and was released in theaters on June 16, 2017. Just like the other movies in the series, it takes place in a world inhabited by talking cars.

With the newer generation of racers taking over and having access to newer technology, Lightning McQueen starts to lose his races. While attempting to gain first place, he tries too hard and suffers a major crash, causing many to ask the question, “Is Lightning McQueen’s career finished forever?”

After four years of hiding, Lightning attempts to start training in order to beat the newer generation. He seeks help from fellow trainer Cruz Ramirez, but she treats him like an old man and he ends up being unable to handle the new technology. They have practice races before Lightning decides to do what his friend Doc Hudson did and train her instead, having her take his place at the next race.

This movie is amazing and has some really mature themes in it. Some parts are boring, but most of it is good. The plot is really interesting and is something most people wouldn’t see coming. There are a lot of funny scenes in this movie, like the demolition derby and beach race. I totally recommend you check this movie out. Because this movie is good with some boring parts, it gets a 9/10.

Be Gentle

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By: Gammalrakurin

Gentle. Think about that word for a moment. Simply repeat it and toss it around your mind for a moment. I shall try not to prattle on for too long, as I believe the previous exercise is sufficient for numerous essays of simple thought and contemplation. However, I would like to elaborate a little on exactly what gentleness is, and to do that, I believe I will start with what gentleness is not, and then reaffirm what I believe gentleness to be.

The most common misconception about gentleness is that it is a way of being soft, even weak. You can either be soft and gentle, or hard and cruel. Anything else would be a contradiction of terms. This, however, is not the case. As St. Francis de Sales said, “Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength.” To be gentle is to be compassionate, and sometimes the most compassionate thing a person can do for another is to give them a hard push in the right direction.

Another delusion concerning gentleness is that it is a personality, or a character trait. Some people are gentle people, others are rough people. It’s simply the way they were born, and they cannot change. I, on the other hand, would say that gentleness is a state of mind, a way of life. While I agree that certain people are gentle, and some people are rough, I hold that this has nothing to do with what sort of “people” they are born as.

In contrast to the previous fallacies, I find that many people so reject the idea of gentleness being synonymous with softness that they altogether disassociate gentleness with kindness of any sort, moving from the orthodox concept of a hard compassion to something cruel that eventually even ceases to bear the name of gentleness, instead favoring that title of totalitarianism. While found only uncommonly in that stage of tyrannical tendencies still abiding the designation of gentleness, it is at this time that the concept poses the greatest threat to true gentleness, and to society.

As a result of these misapprehensions, it is important to really understand what gentleness is, and what it is not, otherwise we risk ourselves and others being lulled into the belief of the very falsehoods I have just summarized. As the exercise above showed, even the very word of gentleness has a power, causing us to really express physically what the word itself expresses emotionally, this perhaps being the reason the word is often spoken to babies and children. Thus we must not hold gentleness to be anything more or less than the zenith of all kindness, compassion, strength, and justice as it occurs within the world, and within ourselves.

The Beginning of Something . . . Sketchy – Part 2

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By: tiarshuspendragon

The top beaver took off the hat that had been somehow obscuring his whiskered face, then said, “I know you’re not here to catch up, Imelda. So, what drove you to visit the Bruxtan brothers?”

“Certainly not the weather down here, ” the woman said, fixing her hair with the aid of a half mirror hanging beside the door. “I swear, I can feel my hair curling in this wretched humidity.”

The bottom beaver tapped his finger on an imaginary watch. “You had better not be here just to waste our time. We have a client who needs us to be out in the main lobby, monitoring a guest.”

Putting a last stray strand of hair back into place, Imelda turned back to the beaver. “There’s a job.”

“There’s always a job,” the top beaver snorted. “A guy just has to know where to look.”

“This one is special.”

The brothers would have laughed if someone had told them that under normal circumstances; laughed and walked away. But this was Imelda talking, and she’d been in the business for what – 25, 30 years? She was as much of a professional as one could get, her reputation spotless in all the right places.

“Special?” The middle brother repeated.

The woman brushed a bit of lint off one of her tidy gloves as if she were talking to them over tea. “Hapsfeld sent me.”

There was a sudden moment of absolute silence in the room – music could be heard from the lobby, slight strains slipping beneath the door.

Finally, the top brother managed to say, “No, Hapsfeld’s dead. He died five years ago.”

Imelda shrugged. “I believed the same. But he isn’t. He didn’t.” She bent over and slipped off her shoe, pulled the folded up piece of paper from its place at the bottom. The woman handed the paper to the top beaver and crossed her arms. “And there’s your proof.”

The beaver looked down at the paper with suspicion written all over his face. His eyes grew wide as he unfolded it and stared at its contents; then he passed it down to his brothers, who gaped at it in awe. The bottom brother folded the paper back up again before handing it back to the woman and asking, “So he’s back in the business?”

“Oh yes,” Imelda replied, slipping the paper back under her foot. “And he’s ready to challenge the chain of command.”

That put an eager gleam in the eyes of the brothers. The middle one asked, “He wants us for this job, then?”

“Your names were among the first on the list. But I don’t have the authority to give you any more information than that.”

After a moment of deliberation, the top brother announced, “We’ll take the offer. Our current job isn’t worth half as much as Hapsfeld’s is gonna be. We want in.”

Imelda gave a thin-lipped smile. “Good. I didn’t think you three would take much convincing. You’re all intelligent beings. Now, if you’re ready . . . let’s go retrieve the others.”