Summer’s Over!

We can’t deny the fact any longer: school is fast approaching. Whether it’s elementary, middle, or high, it’s inevitably…SCHOOL. How these 6 letters can make our eyes widen in dismay or whoop in excitement (the latter not my case, but still), the answer to this can only mean one thing.

Summer…is over.

No longer can we awaken and look at the clock and tumble out of bed and yelp, “What? It’s 11:30? How can this be?” Or smirk when we see our backpacks not bulge with the weight of millions of textbooks and those mountains of homework that the teachers claim are, “Barely enough.”

It’s all gone the moment the 1st period bell rings. When your new teachers step into their classrooms, with the desks freshly scrubbed and gleaming under the fluorescent lights, the sound as every stands in unison to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in homeroom. It’s all so familiar to us, from the day when we first toddled to school on unstable legs and clutching onto Mom’s hand, to many years later, walking or biking to school with friends, laughing and chattering among ourselves. It’s all the same, in essence.

But for me, it’s a goodbye. A final farewell to the school that I have seen for the past 8 years. Graduating from the elementary school next door to emerging into the hectic, bustling life of middle school, I have loved it all the same. Now, as an 8th grader (I feel so old…), it’s my final year here. A year that I’m certain that will be filled with love for my teachers that have guided and supported me, brimming memories with friends, and jokes that I’ll be sure I never forget for the rest of my life.

I’ll miss my friends as we part ways, scattering with the winds to different high schools. Who knows, maybe we’ll still be the best of friends when we turn eighty-five, or maybe we’ll just never come back in contact again. Although it pains me to think about it, it’s the way life works. I bet high school will be an even more amazing and rewarding experience that middle school has been, no matter which one we attend. In the end, school isn’t something that I really groan over. I would be lying if I said I loved it with all my heart (just take a glance at my Geometry homework and you’ll understand), but I’d be lying also to say I’d never miss it at all.

Ah, school. Something that has followed us since years after we were born to this day. Every single moment in the classroom we have been endlessly learning, absorbing new knowledge, although it can be quite tedious (want to compare notes, anyone?). No matter what happens in the future, I wish to make a memorable last year here as an 8th grader, spending one final year surrounded by all those I love most.

Adios, summer!

-Katherine L.

The Joy of Summer

Summer is more than just a season to me. To me, it’s the anthem of teenage freedom, the epitome of happiness, the release of stress. Every year, summer gets better because I learn to enjoy it more. From the outrageous heat to the cooling ocean, from late nights out with friends to weekends with family, summer is the season I live for and thrive in.

The heat wraps its arms around me when I step outside and although I relentlessly complain about the warmth, I am ever so grateful for the sunshine. The bright light pours down on me, leaving my skin sunkissed and my hair lighter. The long days under the sun feel like an eternity of bliss. It’s tangible happiness that makes me both long for the coolness of fall and desire to soak up every ray. Finally, after twelve hours of light, the sun bids the world goodnight and paints an incomprehensibly beautiful sunset. The pink and orange mix with the blue and purple on Mother Nature’s canvas, leaving me in awe and wonder.

A true blessing of summer is the liberty of swimming in the ocean for hours. The waves of Laguna Beach save me from the scorching heat and free me from all my responsibilities. Shocking coldness sends chills up my body but once I jump in and plunge my head under the salty water, it’s as if everything is right in the world. The ocean is a huge basin of excitement that allows me to float on your back, dive under the waves or ride them to shore. It’s calming and exhilarating, addicting and tiring all at once.

The beauty of this season is the joy of being with my loved ones. There’s nothing better in the world than making last minute plans to ride the trolley and hit the beach with my best friends or drive down to McDonald’s late at night to grab ice cream with my family. Adventure is everywhere and summer enables me to share those adventures with anyone at almost any given time. The long days and late nights are memories I will never forget or trade for anything.

Happiness can never be stripped from me and my smile seems to be etched into my face. I am joyful, I am energetic, I am forever in love with summer. And I hold onto these feelings and memories throughout the school year, reminding me that it’s only a matter of time before summer 2019 begins and I get to experience summer all over again.

-Jessica T.

Neville’s Seventh Year Pt. 1

This is a fanfiction written in Neville’s perspective as he enters into his seventh year at Hogwarts. I always wondered what Neville was going through while Harry, Ron, and Hermione searched for Horcruxes, so I decided to write about what his experience might have been like. I’ll most likely be adding to this story in future posts. Hope you enjoy 🙂


“Neville, you had better not have forgotten anything else!”

Neville winced. He had nearly left his wand on his bed this morning. His wand. And then there had been his robes which he’d left in his closet. He’d thought he finally had everything gathered, until they arrived at King’s Cross Station, and he’d lost his herbology book.

“Honestly,” his grandmother had said, shaking her head. “How does someone lose a book that was in a trunk?

She was a bit exasperated by now, which was saying something. Neville’s grandmother had grown accustomed to his unusual knack for misplacing nearly everything he touched. She was now rifling through his trunk with a frown, making sure he hadn’t somehow lost something else.

“Neville!” He spun around to see a head of flaming red hair making its way toward him.

“Ginny!” He sighed, somewhat relieved. He’d be spared from a full-blown reprimanding from his grandmother.

Ginny came into view, after shouldering her way through the crowded platform. She was wearing an olive-green sweater and simple jeans. She looked weary, and her eyes were slightly red, as if she’d been crying. She smiled genuinely at him nonetheless.

“Hey Neville! Do you happen to be missing a toad?” She asked, holding out her hands.

Neville’s eyes widened. His grandmother’s head jerked up.

“But — ,” he touched his shoulder where he could’ve sworn Trevor had been moments earlier.

His grandmother’s nostrils flared, and she narrowed her eyes at him.

“Thank you, dear,” she said kindly to Ginny, taking the toad from her hands.

“Of course,” Ginny replied, looking as if she was about to burst out laughing.

Neville’s grandmother placed Trevor firmly in his free hand, and gave him a stern look. She didn’t have to voice anything; the message was clear.

“You two should get going,” she said, nodding toward the train and closing up Neville’s trunk. “It’s nearly eleven o’clock.”

“Right,” mumbled Neville.

He carefully placed Trevor in his pocket and quickly hugged his grandmother.

“You be careful,” she said, patting his back.

He grimaced. Augusta Longbottom wasn’t one for mushy goodbyes, but given the times … Her behaviour only confirmed his worries.

“Bye, grandmother,” he called, heaving his trunk toward the train, while Ginny followed in toe.

Neville and Ginny boarded the train, and had no trouble locating an empty compartment.

“Bunch of parents probably pulled their children out of school because of Snape,” Ginny said, voicing Neville’s thought. “Mum was reluctant to let me go, but I insisted. I couldn’t just stay at home all day, you know?”

Neville nodded and smiled faintly at the thought of his own grandmother making him stay home. She’d never do such a thing.

He placed Trevor haphazardly onto the windowsill and, with the help of Ginny, hauled his trunk up onto the rack above the seats. Then, remembering his venomous tentacula, brought the trunk back down to retrieve it from the side pocket where he kept it. After laboriously returning his trunk back to its place upon the rack, he and Ginny finally settled down on the plush, maroon seats of the Hogwarts Express. Neville glanced out the window, and could just barely make out the bird on his grandmother’s hat. He watched it grow smaller and smaller as the train pulled away from the station and started picking up speed.


-Elina T.

Bipolar Bears

The tall wheats grew beside her, moving and swaying like her golden, thick hair. She looked up at the sky waiting for the clouds to pass by. She sighed. She had the bear riddle suck in her head, running through over and over again “…polar bear, the polar bear”. What if there were two bears? Would it be a bipolar bear? Now, bipolar bears were dancing through her head…“Bipolar bears, bipolar bears”. She looked up at the sky. Smiling, the clouds ambled across the atmosphere. Glooming over her, a gray cloud seized the sky, taking it as its own. Stupid cloud, why couldn’t it become fluffy and carefree as the others? Frowning upon the wheat, she realized she didn’t want to be here anymore, she didn’t want to be on this planet anymore, but who said she lived on a planet? Was it a planet? Was she actually alive? Why couldn’t these clouds leave? Why wouldn’t the voice saying “bipolar bears” leave? Why couldn’t she leave? Why was she stupid enough to let this grey cloud take over her life? But most of all, why couldn’t she be normal?

She looked over at the squirrels, crawling to their hideout to protect their precious acorns. Was that a way of living? Just protecting your acorns? Using all your willpower to protect some nut? Did they have a voice saying anything like, “bipolar bears”? If not, then she wanted to be a squirrel. Actually, no she didn’t, a squirrel seemed boring, just protecting nuts. “Protecting nuts,” she laughed. She would protect her bear’s nuts, if she had one. But who would have her? Other bipolar bears? Squirrels wouldn’t, they would hide even more, not only to protect their acorns, but to hide from her.

-Kimi M.

Rainy Days

Just a random piece of creative writing inspired by the recent gloomy weather.


I close my eyes and tilt my head toward the boundless sky above me. Cool drops of rain hit my face, and I spin around, stumbling slightly and teetering at the edge of the lake before me. I slowly open my eyes and blink away the water droplets clinging to my lashes.

The lake’s surface is a chaotic melody of splashes of water and numerous miniature ripples. I kneel down, and run my hand through the freezing lake water. My fingers leave streaks in their wake, which promptly disappear under more raindrops.

The clouds seem to have perennial sums of rain to let fall upon the earth, causing the lake to overflow, and the banks to become mini mudslides. The large oak trees opposite me across the lake sway merrily, their branches bending, and their leaves rustling.

I carefully cup my hands and watch in mesmerisation as raindrops begin collecting. Eventually, I let what water I’ve managed to collect fall from my hands into the lake. Under normal circumstances, this would’ve caused large ripples to emanate from the point of collision, but since the rain is so persistant, the effect is suppressed, and a moment later, everything is back to normal.

I spend what feels like ages by the edge of the lake, completely enthralled by the raindrops hitting the surface of the normally still and calm lake. Despite the nearly defeaning sound of the pounding rain, I felt a certain calm come over me as I stand by the lake in the pouring rain.


-Elina T.

The Catcher in the Rye Spin-Off

Boy another day, another day of the countless tortures I’ll have to suffer from all the phonies in the world.  Ugh, why does this have to happen to me? Can’t I live a happier life at some point? Anyways, I endured the numerous agonies at Pencey with nothing to see, nothing to do.  As day ends, and night comes, I have the unwanted privilege of having Ackley in my room, as if this goddamn day couldn’t get any goddamn worse. I try to ignore his pitiful presence by reading Out of Africa.  His great ramblings consisted of his hatred of Stradlater and oh yeah how much he hates everyone else.  At this point, I was hoping for someone to kill me already, but as usual my prayers weren’t answered. As I was about to tell Ackley to keep his goddamn mouth shut, in comes Mal Broussard, a decent guy from Pencey.  I never thought I would be so happy to see Mal in all my life as I was fed up with Ackley’s crap. Mal came over to ask if Ackley and I wanted to see a movie. If you thought being with Ackley was a pain, watching a movie with him was worse.  Actually watching a movie with both Ackley and Mal was worse. During the entire movie, they would laugh at parts that aren’t even funny. They are stupid enough to actually fall for that Hollywood crap with even more phonies than the ones I’m surrounded by on a day to day basis.  I don’t really care what movie they pick since no one gives a damn about my opinion, and they aren’t even good friends of mine.

Anyways, the movie they suggested was one they already saw.  On the outside, I’m willing to do whatever; on the inside, I’m screaming: “THANK GOD”  So, we decided to go to a burger joint not too far from Pencey. A burger joint is a burger joint: nothing special but it’s goddamn better than the crappy food at Pencey and a phony movie combined.  We head in, and it already kills me when Ackley actually jumps to a table, making himself look like a moron. I seat myself down in this goddamn squeaky chair that’s hurting my butt like mad. I’m six feet two inches tall; this was the last thing I needed.  

Anyways, I take a look at the menu, which I’m happier to order from than eating the typical Pencey crap of steak and mashed potatoes.  Finally, some waiter who looks unexcited to be here shows up to take our orders. I order the “classic” cheeseburger with fries and the “classic” vanilla milkshake.  By putting “classic” before everything is probably just another way to say, “This is the food that sucks less compared to the other goddamn items.” Mal orders the “classic” double beef cheeseburger with the “classic” cheese fries and the “classic” chocolate milkshake.  Ackley orders practically the whole goddamn menu. I’ll sum it up for you: the burger supreme with every topping imaginable, chili cheese fries deluxe with an extra side of mayonnaise and to put the goddamn cherry on top, apple pie ala mode with a mint chocolate chip milkshake.  No surprise here, that Ackley would do something this stupid, so at this point I shake my head to the point where it’s about to fall off. As if being in the same room with a moron of a guy like Ackley was bad enough, I had to eat in the same room with him as well. Practically, the only normal person at this table was Mal, and when you think about, that isn’t saying much.  

Anyways, the food arrives; I can’t wait to be disgusted already.  My food is okay; the burger is medium rare when I asked for it to be medium, the fries are nothing short of dry, and the milkshake is a nice way of saying, “Enjoy your melted ice cream sir.”  My food experience was also ruined because I was watching the terrifying site of Ackley eating his food. You could tell he adored it, almost too much. He started off by devouring his burger as if he was the predator and the burger was his prey.  It was like a python attacking a pig. Some call it entertainment while I find to be quite phony if you wanna know the truth. Ackley swallows the burger whole, pardon me he tries to swallow it. It would have been funnier if he choked on the burger to tell you the truth.  After a good five minutes alone with the burger, he moves on to the fries, not as bad as him eating the burger but pretty close. It was like a vending machine sucking up your goddamn money, one after another after another. I’m surprised he wasn’t breaking a sweat at this point.  After a good minute and half of him inhaling his goddamn slimy fries, he finishes off with the milkshake and pie. I wish I was kidding as I’m about to say this, but he began to gurgle his milkshake with the pie. Every ten seconds, he would slurp and gurgle, slurp and gurgle, and slurp and gurgle.  It was never ending. I had never seen anything like it in my life. The mint chocolate chip milkshake was probably the only “mouthwash” or any form of dental hygiene he’s used in his entire life. I couldn’t have been any more goddamn disgusted, what a moron that Ackley kid is.

Anyways, after Ackley’s eating fiasco, I look at Mal closely; I can’t tell whether he’s used to this kind of behavior since he’s on the wrestling team or whether he was equally disgusted as I was.  I immediately go to the cashier up front to pay for the crappy food. Then, Mal, Ackley, and I head home as I watch another beautiful site of Ackley cleaning his teeth from all the schlop he ate tonight.  Boy, what a guy!

Anyways, I am back in my room, trying to pretend I never saw what happened at the burger joint and have a marvelous dream that I am an acclaimed executive chef at the burger joint where I chop and cook decadent food that everyone adores.  I am like a musician in my dream; the kitchen utensils are my instruments, and I am the magic behind it, working in perfect harmony. My dream is suddenly ruined by the sound of Ackley vomiting the night away in the hallway. I’ll get the goddamn mop.  

-Whitney D.

The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.

Stress to Service

Stress:

Google says it’s “a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances”

According to psychology, it’s “uncomfortable emotional experience accompanied by predictable biochemical, physiological and behavioral changes”

And students agree stress is “AP exams, finals, CIF games and oh, those two projects I won’t be starting until the night before”

In the wee hours of the night, students strive to obtain the intense desire for success

And the wee hours of the night cook the perfect atmosphere for boiling stress.

A child, a baby: a mere fifteen, sixteen, seventeen year old

Persisting, working, sweating like a mule until their transcript shows all gold.

Who can expect a student to sleep eight hours a night but juggle five hours of work?

The expectations, I’d say, are more than enough to irk.

Every year the college acceptance rates drastically drop

And little boys and girls suddenly forget what it means to take a break

and just stop.

Tell me why students who sacrifice their health and sleep

Are still expected to be a lively teen and not weep.

Convince me that students are making the right decisions

In cheating on tests, just to get the “A” and fulfill their college envisions.

Persuade me that the education system is treating their students right

and brainwashing us to believe that a score of 5 is what makes us bright.

Let’s start to encourage using our passion and our voices

To stand up and help society make the right choices.

To be politicized and involved while we’re youthful, proud, and loud.

Time is running out, we can’t wait around.

Third world countries await our kindness, shelters demand our service, feminists deserve our support.

In all due respect, that is more important and influential than a chemistry lab report.

-Jessica T.