Sunday, April 25, 2010

Stephan Simmons

Stephan Simmons
My story

Hey, my name is Stephan Simmons. I was born in Paterson, New Jersey. I moved to Englewood, New Jersey when I was in Eighth Grade. Right now I am in high school; I’m a freshman. I love the sport of Basketball. I wan to be the best player in the NBA someday. I want to attend a better high school and go to college too, but unfortunately, my mom is a single parent. My father left me when I was eleven, He moved to North Carolina. I knew he was there, but it was hard for me. I was left in charge- have to look out for me and my sisters. I had to teach myself things my father couldn't. My mother can’t afford to send me a private school. I really want to go to a better school and better myself. I still have faith that I can do it.


I am on way to the Hilton Hotel from basketball camp last summer. I am alone, listening to my Ipod, until I see a tall 6’6” shooting guard, African American with a low cut going into the gym. As I call his name, he looks back and runs inside. I tell myself I have to get in that gym. I walk toward the main entrance and am amazed by the big doors and sparkly clean windows of the Los Angeles Staples Center. I walk through the door and see a big strong security guard with black boots dress pants, and a shirt and tie. He walks over to me and says,
“Young man, what are you doing here this afternoon?”
I look at him with confidence. “My uncle Chris works here. He’s going to take me back to the hotel.” The security guard gives me a strange look, and says, “Christopher Logan is your uncle?” He smiles at me and tells me to go on up and make a right at the top of the stairs.

As I’m walking, I am feeling nervous and my conscious continues telling me that I just lied to this security guard. When I get to the landing, I see the basketball locker room with doors that have LA Lakers written in purple and gold. I get excited and walk inside with my huge cheesy smile. I can’t believe this is happening to me I think as I walk into the LA LAKERS LOCKER ROOM!! The room is quiet. The walls are painted purple and gold with the LA Lakers Logo everywhere. I am amazed by how beautiful the locker room is. I look at a player’s locker and think, Wow!, with my hand over my mouth. I look up and there is the 6’6” player I saw go in earlier. I try to speak, but studder, “Are you Kobe Bryant?” He looks at me and with a straight face, he says, “Yea, what are you doing here?” My stomach tightens, “I am a huge fan and was hoping that I could workout with you. You could help me get better.” He looks at me strangely, his eyebrows coming close together. With a weird smile he says, “ yes, you can work out with me on one condition. You have to work hard.”
“I agree,” I say cheerfully, “YES!!!!!”


I am about to shoot the free throw to win the game. Koby Bryant boxes out, when my mom yells at me and says I have to get out of my comfy bed and warm covers to go downstairs for her to bring up clothes from the dryer. It's all a dream. I do believe it's possible to happen. But it's a rare chance of this coming true. Okay, me meeting Kobe Bryant is probably not going to happen any time soon, but me going to a Division I college- I belive I can achieve that task (who knows, maybe the NBA too). Unfortuantely, I don't have the money to go to expensive camps in California or New jersey. Everyday, since I am twelve years old, I have played basketball in the park. I practice important shots like: mid-range shots, 3 point shots, and lay-ups. Most of the time it's just me at the park, sometimes my friend is there. That's all.

My classmates from Middle School used to tell me that I would never be anything, and definitely not go to the NBA. I used feel like tearing. I took that to heart. Then I became determined. It made me practice harder and harder. I take my school work very seriously too, so that I can get into a good college and achieve my dreams.

To the person reading this, I want to prove eveybody who told me I couldn't do it that- I CAN. I hope you see what separates me from the rest of the writers. I don't have nothing, but me and my dream.

Andre Jones

Andre Jones
My Story

Last night was just the way I wanted it. I didn’t do anything except by playing video games on my WII and on my lavish block netbook pc. After fully enjoying my wonderful games I decided to play Super Smash Bros. Brawl. As I played and played I fell into a trance. It felt very strange like as if I wasn’t just being watched but also being hypnotized.

“Snake. Snake can you hear me?” questioned the Colonel.
“Yes Colonel. I can hear you just fine.” Answered the solid snake.
“We have an invitation for a tournament for Super Smash Brothers Brawl. Where are you?” asks Colonel.
“I’m out on the battlefield stage hiding in a box.” Exclaimed Solid Snake. As Colonel puts a picture of Mario on the screen, he asks,
“Snake, You know who that is?”
“You’re kidding right? It’s Mario! Speaking of Mario, he’s out here fighting with Link, Kirby, and Pikachu.” Answered Solid Snake.
“Ah yes the battlefield. It’s just a solid platform with three stepping stone-like platforms. You can phase through,” said the Colonel.
“”You know Colonel, it’s kind of Roman looking. It’s like the Roman Collesium landscape.” Explained Snake.
“Snake, are you going to participate in the battle?”questioned Colonel.
“yeah, I am.” Answered Snake.
“All right. The rest of the crew and I will be cheering for you. When you win, we’ll throw you a party! Remember if you need me, my code frequency is 140.85. You got that?’ asked Colonel.
While loading his guns and preparing his weapondry, Snake responds,
“Yes, Colonel. Got it!” Snake moves out screaming in a menacing voice,
“I’m going in. IT’S SHOWTIME!”

Finally out of the box, snake comes out. Everyone: Mario, Link, Pickachu and Kirby stare at him. They all begin to brawl again. With a powerful throw from Mario to Link, Mario almost throws Link off the platform. Almost off, Link comes back on the platform. As soon as Mario is going to punch Snake, Snake grabs Mario in a choke hold and forcefully throws him off.
“AAAAAAAAHHHHHH” Mario screams falling away from the platform.

As Mario flies off of the platform into the air, he explodes. Now the remaining three, the triforce carrier, Link, the electrical pokeman, Pickachu, the hero of Kirby Land, and the Legend-Snake, brawl it out. Link cuts Snake, “Ah,” he groans. Snake takes out his remote control missile launcher, the Nikkitta, and shoots Link. Due to the shot, the triforce carrier rockets into the air and off the platform. Like Mario, Link explodes.

As soon as Snake turns around a thunderbolt strikes him by Pickachu. The shocking force is so powerful that he immediately shoots off the platform straight into the sky. He falls like a 500-pound weight. He falls hard on the concrete platform. He falls hard on his back. Kirby grabs the cracker launch and like a madman, fires the big barrel looking gun as if it were a cannon sending fireworks all over the place. Hastily he rushes, continuously dodging the firecrackers, Snake grabs Kirby and body slams on his head like a wrestler. In a blink of an eye, a rainbow color-shifting ball floats around in the air like a bee. The humidity of the stage and the exhausting battle is wearing out Snake. He is tired.
I can’t have a break now, Snake thinks to himself. I have to beat these guys! Snake hurries to the smash ball, continuously whacks at it, and breaks it apart. All of a sudden, Snake is illuminated with the same shifting, color glow around him. The color of his eyes change from brown to yellow. He looks at his hands, “Woah!” he exclaims. For a good minute Kirby and Pickachu stare at Snake. Everything stops for that moment. Then Kirby and Pickachu dash straight for him for the final brawl

Ariel Mora

My Story
Ariel Mora

On my bed not ready to get up for school. Being in school for almost four hours is pointless. Slept for a couple more minutes. My grandfather says, “Its time for school, wake up!” Stressed, tired, pointless and helpless are words that crossed my mind. I got up brushed my teeth, took a shower, and ate cereal. Resting on the couch before I head out to school. There I was, watching a statue of an elephant next to the television. His head is facing the living room and the backyard (house) while his behind is facing the door. It symbolizes for bad vibe to stay out the door. Then something else caught my eye. In the news, they were stating a possible storm heading on the east coast. “Boom. Boom. Boom.” Somebody was banging on the door. My grandmother checked to see who it was, but nobody was there. I thought in my head “people are so ignorant”.

Amber Diaz

Amber Diaz

Dwight Morrow courtyard
spacious, open, damp
almost unbreathable air, cold and humid,
fresh “after-rain’ smell.
Gray skies,
match the concrete plates beneath her feet,
first signs of life after winter,
being to spear just ‘away’ off,
giving the bleakness of today

Letter Poem
Amber Diaz

Dear Nivana Frontman, Kurt Cobain,
I have always draw inspiration from your creation if we had the chance
I would/should have told you that your situation doesn’t determine your identification. But in retaliation, you cut off your incarnation.
deflated out
I first heard your music over sushi and chai tea.
It spoke to me
It impacted my education
My determination
The color royal, purple also peaks.
It tells me I’m a empress.
If it really knew me, it would know that I’d sooner be a pauper
As I can’t handle much responsibility
Like you

"Where I'm From" (modeled after George Ella Lyons)
Amber Diaz

I am from the pages of the fanciful literature
which lines the walls in my room.
From undulating colors cerulean/fushia/dandelion
And long dead poets.

I am from a pew in my church, the church of Jesus Christ,
From eternal sunshine of spotless minds.
I am from the beathes pastor,
Which presses itself against otherwise lonely walls.

I am from the katia laughter and brodericks enthusiastic curiousity
I am from friendships old and new near and far in the middle I hold on to them.
I am from Robert Frost and his path less traveled
I am from Egdar Allen Poe, and a stately raven who remarks, “never more!”
I am from myths, tall tales and folklore
I am from hope for the future, and seeing what else is in store
Amber doll.

David Jimenez

David Jimenez
My World

Here I sit bored as hell.
In a colorful room near a bell.
Weird kids sit by my side
But in my world I’m on a ride.
My world has kids with nappy hair
the eyes of a snake and the roar of a bear.
The kids are in many sizes
But I’m the one with all the prizes

Craig Collymore

She is nice.
long hair
at her house


Craig Collymore
Narrative Poem

This morning I got stuck in school.
I’m in the cafeteria because I came too early to school.
And I am sitting in a chair.
People are behind me.
No teacher.
And I was sittin’ in a very uncomfortable chair.
8:50 the time all the way to 11 o’clock.
I was so bored.
My head down,
And it was quiet.
And then my hands on top and shoulders melt
on the table.
I couldn’t see anyone.
And I can hear whispering to people.
And there were other people.
I feel tired.
And fall asleep.
I watched TV late night,last night
I felt tired.
And go to sleep.

Aja Johnson

Aja Johnson

The sky talks to me everyday.
It tells me to wake up.
By smiling in a way.
At times the sky will be mad and cry.
Then it rains time after time.
Is the sky angry or upset?
The sky is not mean I bet.
It needs time to clean its mind.
It gives us different weather as a sign.
After a while, the sky becomes at peace.
While the smiling sun comes to a decrease
The sky is at is rest.
The stars and moon are shining their best
The moon says goodnight and stars goodbye.
A communication with the sky
Will end this day and begin this night.


Letter Poem
Aja Johnson

Dear Aja,
I never told you that I wanted to become a doctor. If you knew me you would now my favorite color is sky blue and favorite food is French fries from McDonalds, the best I ever had. I don’t like everything that knocks you down. Get back up from what everyone else likes.

Clock is ticking.

From, Aja

Jamani Fahie

Jamani Fahie
My Story

I have had many ups and downs in my life. I can get really really upset, to the point where I don't know who I am anymore. I used to think that the world was a perfect thing, nothing wrong with it. About a year ago, something drastic happened to me that changed my life forever. Now as I get older, I see that life is a lot of bad, and fast down hill.

She had been in a NY hospital, many times. She has cancer, bone marrow cancer. My dad and I wait in the Brooklyn Hospital waiting room. Stiff plastic chairs and hard white lights. She walks out to us. My dad buys food from a vendor outside. I don’t remember what we ate, but she sat and ate. She seemed better. I remember she took off her jacket to go to the bathroom, like we were in some kind of restaurant.
“I threw up,” she says. When she returns.
“You okay?’ I ask.
“Yea- just want to go home,” she says. A van picks us up to take us home.

Later on we are talking while watching movies in her bed. My dad is asleep, as usual, and he is snoring pretty badly from his bed next to us. She and I talk until I fall asleep with the TV on, her by my side.

I wake up to a silent room, except for the soft rain outside my window. The light is coming in from outside and the TV is off. She must have shut it off after I went to sleep.

I don’t like the way she feels next to me this morning-different. I touch her lightly and she doesn’t move. She feels hard and cold. She’s not breathing. I am in shock. I’m not really breathing. I look at her again. She has mucus coming out of her mouth and nose. I call my mom for help since she’s a nurse.
“What does it mean when a person’s fingertips are blue?” I ask.
“She’s not breathing and her fingertips are blue? She’s passed away, honey,” my mom says. “I hope you are okay,” she says to me.
I start to push her to wake up.
“Pam, Wake up,” I shout. My dad is hysterical, pacing back and fourth, and crying.
“Pam, wake up.” I say pushing her, but she doesn’t wake up.
I call the police.
“I think my step mom has passed,” I say.

The police arrive a half hour later and wrap up her body. They say it’s “standard procedure.”

I was very close to my stepmom, Pam. We slept in the same bed together and she looked out for me when I came to visit. I wondered what would happen to me because my dad had jobs, but he didn't keep em. Pam worked until she was too sick. But even when she couldn't work anymore, she got checks and figured out how to take care of us. I'm afraid of another close one leaving me, and going awsy forever. I still see my dad, but not that often. I still live with my mom- and she does everything, but I still think about my past.

It would mean a lot to me to win this competition. I can't remember ever winning anything.
“I wake up from dreams and go "Wow, put this down on paper." The whole thing is strange. You hear the words, everything is right there in front of your face . . .”

Sonny Mulchandani

Sonny Mulchandani
Where I’m From (modeled after George Ella Lyons’ poem)

I am from Vanita and Deepak.
I’m from the lovely glistening lake on the Academies campus
(the cool moist breeze in the air),
from the makani chicken and burritos,
the thrilling taste that I remember.
The feeling of delight as the cocunut cream touches my tongue.

I am from playing chess at Englewood Cliffs Senior Center
And giving food to the homeless, my biodmedicine class.
I am from playing tennis,
For which I have longed.
I am from, “Watch your thoughts for they become words, watch your words for they become actions, watch your actions for they become habits, watch your habits, for they become character, watch your character for it becomes your destiny.”

I am from Garden State Plaza,
(Hollister, Abercombie, and Guess).
I am from my Nani and Nana, my mama and mami,
From Anil, Jatin and Susu (the cousins that I love from the bottom of my heart),
From dil he darkan namara zindiki ki roshani he.

On the bottom shelf of my bedside table,
There is my dark green binder which contains my grades
From Memorial Middle School.
I am from all those special places that bring a smile
And laughter on my face.


Sonny Mulchandani
Fiction Story

The boy is in a deep state of unconciousness under a large white cargo truck in the parking lot of the Pathmark Shopping Complex on Route 17 in New Jersey. The boy’s eyes begin to focus. In the background, he hears something faint, yet it is dramatic, like a scream.


The boy climbs out from under the truck. He sees his mother crying while sitting on the curb of the sidewalk. He has to get to her, he thinks. Her hair is blowing against the breeze. He can see her tears pouring down her face as he inches closer. She keeps sobbing and says faintly, “Sonny.”

At that moment, the boy sees his bloody knee, but finds the strength to bring himself up to his feet. He doesn’t care about the pain, and limps to his mother. The boy’s face is covered with dirt and scratches. His mother ‘s mascara has made black streaks across her cheeks, and her eyes are blood red. The boy falls into her arms and hugs her tight.

He can hear the operator answer the call, “911, what is your emergency?’

Bianca Moye

Bianca Moye
"Where I’m From" (modeled after George Ella Lyons, Where I’m from)

I am from the Toshiba plasma screen tv,
From the knitted baby blanket and Gerber sippy cup
(warm, soft with red firetrucks),
I am from 86 Demarest Avenue,
Bright red Grandpa Larry’s favorite color.

I’m from Playstation 2 and dual shock.
From Brandon and Baisha.
I’m from Uncle Bubblicious,

From “Time waits on no man,”
And, “Try hard!”
I’m from a lot of people talking
But nothing important to me.
I’m from the oxygen channel, “Live out Loud.”

I’m from Grandma Ellois’s big red stoop,
Roast turkey and sweet potatoes.
From the day Grandma Ellois didn’t know me anymore,
To finding Missy dead under the bed.

I always see the beat up brown door,
The door that doesn’t lead inside or outside.
That door holds a lot of memories.
And I am from them all.


Bianca Moye
My Story

The girl sits in the first row of Mr. Signorelli’s Chemistry Class, on a long wooden table to the far right. The room is not too hot and not too cold. The walls are white and plain. The girl sits quietly, as the other students talk about last night’s homework. The teacher’s voice is loud and lively. Slowly her vision becomes blurry and her mind zones out. The girl can no longer hear him. The girl wonders what in the world is happening. The girl never fell asleep in class before. The girl puts her elbow on the table, puts her heavy head into her hands. The girl stretches out on her bed, facing the television. The room is dark. There are clothes on the floor, old food on the table, and oatmeal from yesterday morning.

Alondra kelly

Alondra Kelly
My Story

By Eighth grade I started to like books, but I had never really read a lot before. I never really found it interesting. I never really tell anybody, but I have Dyslexia, so reading is hard for me. I’m not ashamed or anything, but…I had a lot of help when I was younger from my grandmother. She is a teacher. She spent a lot of time with me because she just wanted me to read- not to be inconvenienced in life.

My mom is very wise and reads a lot of books. My mom’s an avid reader. “Runs in families,” she says. When she was pregnant with me, she read over 100 books!
“I have this book, and I was thinking of you. They don’t have it at the Englewood library. The only way I could get it was by ordering it online.” I thought about her buying this book for me. She had to use her credit card. She must really want me to read it, I thought.

She gave me the book, and I took it and kept it in my closet. But I didn’t want to take the time to read it. It sat on top of my dresser in my closet for one month. One day I was dying of boredom. Not knowing what to do, staring at the top of my closet, I see the purple cover of the book. It attracts my eye, and I pick it up and start reading. I read the first 30 pages and ran into my mom’s room. “This book is so good!’ I screamed. I could barely put it down after I got started.

Ever since then, I have read a lot of books. Coldest Winter Ever is the book that got me started reading. I love when a book really moves me. I usually get the books from the library, but sometimes, they are so good, I have to own them. I have bought No Disrespect by Sister Souljah, Autobiography of Malcom X, and China Black by Keisha Irving.

If you want more recommendations, just ask me. I have lots more books to talk to you about. I even help the librarian at school and in town with their orders. I am a reader now.

Samantha Martinez

Samantha Martinez
My Story

Two Years ago, my mother and I were shopping around the neighborhood, and we walked into a store front. It was really a Tae Kwon Do, "Dojang." I was amazed as I watched the younger kids, literally half my size, kicking and doing side-splits, but I didnt want to do it, eventhough my mother pleaded for me to try it. Master Lee convinced me to at least have a trial class, and I accepted. At first I hated it: I was Sore all over, I couldnt breathe, and I felt like an outsider with the other students. After a week had passed, my Father heard the news and forced me to go to another class, where I recieved my beginer uniform. This was the beginning of a whole new world.

I toss and turn in the covers, but every corner of my room is filled with sunlight.I struggle opening my eyes. I open my eyes, thinking, why is the sun so bright? I shut my eyes slowly. My eyelids turn orange as the light infiltrates my peace.

I open my eyes, move the covers, and feel a bombshell of freezing air hitting my once warm and snug body. I kick my feet around the bed and sit up, only to stand up and feel my knees quiver against each other.

I shove my hand on my eye, feeling my eyelashes on my eyelids. I open my mouth taking in a pound of air. I breathe out slowly. I glance at the mirror that is reflecting my white cotton tae kwon uniform with the black belt hanging by a hook next to it. I turn around walking towards it taking heavy breaths with each step. I look at the uniform smiling. I turn the handle down, heaving the cracks of the door, feeling my heart race but with no pulse! Sliding the door open, I hear the shuffling of paper falling on the floor. There it is a bright white envelope. I begin tearing up the side of the envelope with every rip sounding like the wild crowd chanting my Name "Samantha!" -RIP-"Samantha!"-RIP- I finally throw the side and I see a gold paper with inprinted designs. My Heart skipps a beat with every tug it takes to remove it from the enevelope. Boom... Boom... Boom.. Finally I become numb as I begin to read my name in the Olympic Colors and Font "Samantha Martinez" As I open the Letter I couldn't blink, breathe, move. In this dream, I have been selected as one of USA Olympic Team for Tae Kwon Do. In this dream, I am flying to London with my coach and team. It is a dream I want to realize.

I recieved my white belt a month after I started practicing. It was the happiest moment of my life. At the time the 2008 Beijing Olympics had begun, I watched Steven Lopez win the Olympic Medal for U.S.A. I fell in Love with the Sport and spoke with my Master about sparring with him for the first time. I was a yellow belt. It was an hour long battle, and I Lost.A Yellow can never beat a Black Belt. After the Battle I was physically dead, but the mere rush was more inviting than any other thing in the world. It has opened my eyes and I never want them shut!

Where I’m From (modeled after George Ella Lyons)
Samantha Martinez

I am from the corner store at 164th Street
From the cheese doodles and $0.05 bubble gum (Bubbalicious)
I am from the United Martial Arts (Yes I can)
I am from the 5th belt out of ten (blue)
From the park filled with dinosaur bones.
I’m from lasagna and aroz con dulce
I’m from the Roundhouse and snap kicks
From the “no me diga!” and the “Ay Tana!”
I’m from the lady who was dressed with the sun and the moon on her feet and crowned with 12 stars.
With the rosary of the unborn
And the seven Hail Mary’s in the Lake of Tears
I’m from Olegaria and Colonel Martinez.
Lasagna con platanas and aroz blaco con “Guandules"
From the day I found his socks in drawer but he told me he was leaving.
The ring that was left on the counter.
The shelf filled with the medals behind my closet door
The nails that hold up the belts making a tae kwon do rainbow that lay over my bed.

Stephanie Nazario

Stephanie Nazario”s
“Where I’m From” (modeled after George Ella Lyons poem)

I am from Tokio Hotel
From monsoon and Zimmer 483
I am from my past
From 2445 Dayton Ave.
I am from the land
Where palm trees
Sway with the wind.

I’m from chocolate and eyeliner,
from Hershey and Sephora
I’m from the “drop kick you!”
and the” get away from me!”
from the “gringa” and “coculo”
with a promising gift
and a wonderful miracle.

I’m from Newark and Union
bachata y arroz
from the day he walked out the red door,
to when I had to say goodbye.

The diary under my bed,
the tales of my life,
on weathered pages-
the memories are mine.