Apr 13
essay 0 comments challenge: Earth
keelan durham's picture

Sand Up

Never before in the history of the world have humans been closer to issuing their own destruction. The very earth the we live on, the very water we drink even the very air we breathe is in danger and our government seems totally unconcerned. Climate change threatens the very foundations of human civilization. It threatens to rip us out at the roots and we need bold action now. Congress seems unable to gaze through the clouds of corruptness that hang around capitol hill for a solution. Instead of looking of a solution they are still arguing over whether or not this issue actually exists. We need action now. We need to give a cry that will drive the clouds surrounding capitol hill. We need to sow the seeds of change and  grow them into solutions.
Apr 13
essay 0 comments challenge: Earth
zoebarton's picture


Earth residents,
There is a mass of trash in the ocean, created by us, three times the size of Texas. The air is poisoned by our burning waste to the extent where breathing in certain regions requires a special mask. Animals bathe in water darkened black by spills of products we have made all around the world. The weather, though it may feel cold, will not stay this way forever. It too will be affected by our actions and our industrial chimneys. With passing time, the definition of nature will change completely; typically green grass will soon sprout up short, brown, and brittle, rough on our passing feet; usually brilliant flowers will wilt, their colors failing to bloom; normally clear, blue water will be swampy masses of water-resembling substances.
Apr 09

Pipelines, Protests, and Patriotism

     Can taking a stand against your government be considered a patriotic act? One April morning in 2016, 200 Native Americans rode on horseback to a camp near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation to take a stand against the US government. They had come to protest the location of the Dakota Access pipeline because they felt it was a threat to their community. Throughout the summer, indigenous peoples from all over the country traveled to stand in solidarity against the pipeline. They soon gathered support on a global scale, with people arriving by the thousands to take part in the demonstrations.
Apr 05
Nayan's picture

Don’t look back

Empty , dark and I am scared I don’t know what to do. I feel like my parents left me for days but it’s only been 2 days. They only gave me a hundred 100 for food. I already spent on a new game. I am hungry I don’t know what to do. I am bored Maybe I should go to  my friends house to eat and play some games. As I am walk to his I see a man standing next to a brick building. His face is covered with a scarf. He throws a piece of a paper at me and he runs. I open the paper and it has writing in it. It’s says . Never look back it Will come after you just run and you will be ok. What the heck is that spouse to mean. This is stupid I will just go home. As I start heading home I see a man following me I look back to see he diapers. I start running. I hear his footsteps behind me. I am scared I don’t know what to do.
Apr 03

50 years ahead of his time

As some of you may know, each year I tap the maple trees behind my house and make syrup. It is a peaceful, methodical process. There is no way to speed up liquid boiling, or to hurry along the sap flowing out of the trees when done the way I do it, the old-fashioned way, a single tap per tree on which hangs a bucket and a top. The process is driven by nature -- temperature changes, physics and weather. It is an exercise of patience and affords me the time to slow down, to notice, to think. And as I chop wood, load the fire box, as I empty the buckets and haul the sap, as I feed the fire and, finally, drain off the syrup, I have plenty of time to think. 

This year, on Easter, I decided to listen to this sermon by Martin Luther King. I am not a Christian, but I respect the faith as I do all the religions and their power to make one think about one's place in life, to think about one's purpose, to align our souls to goodness. 
Apr 02
essay 0 comments challenge: Earth
Nayan's picture

Earth is more

I was watching the News when I heard about the climate change. How it’s hurting the environment. Polar bears are going extinct and how penguins are losing their homes.
People should do something about No I should do something about this. I should tell my friends my teachers what’s happening to the earth. We should start taking care of the earth better. I am going to tell my teacher how I can help right now. I ask the teacher how  I can help the earth. You can start by recycling picking up garbage from the streets. I can’t do that all by myself. You could go ask the principal if there are other people that want to help the earth. Thank you.  


Land of Free

Look out, America
They’re coming

The Privileged 
The ones who are fed with golden spoons 

The Artists
They’ll paint you themselves 
if you don't match what's already on their pallets

Watch out!

The Poets
They’ll write themselves in history as heroes
But not the sins they committed to receive this title


The Do-Gooders
They’ll tell us they saved us from living like dirty savages
As if death isn't sweeter than a
White Man’s branding on our chest

The Firefighters
We don't have the same beliefs so they say 
Let them burn!

Look out, America
They're coming.

Mar 28
H20.hollym's picture

We Will Not Stop: What I Learned From the March For Our Lives in Washington DC

If I can, I will record audio for this tomorrow.

On March 24th, 2018, I marched down Pennsylvania Ave in Washington DC with at least 200,000 people. We marched for our lives. Gun violence is a human issue above all else and one that cannot be bribed into oblivion in our government any longer.
Mar 27
Kiran's picture

Jane Eyre: A Cinderella Story

“Tale as old as time. True as it could be” While these words, from Disney’s 1991 rendition of Beauty and the Beast, refer to the plotline of a man turned beast and the pivotal nature of true love’s kiss, they can also be applied to the fairytale archetype itself. Whether it’s the similarities between Beauty and the Beast and Princess and the Frog or Sleeping Beauty and Snow White, this archetype is present in countless movies from a myriad of eras. This enchanted model isn’t limited solely to Disney animation and live-action remakes, but also classics like Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. Although Jane Eyre can be compared to countless tales from Harry Potter to Star Wars, it’s parallels to Cinderella are uncanny, for the characters, plot, and themes are strikingly similar. However, Jane Eyre does differ from the traditional princess tale in its characters and complexity.
Mar 24

The Sound of Music - Fun, Family-Friendly, Entertaining and…Anti-Feminist?

From singing children to nuns stealing car parts, The Sound of Music will be remembered as a fun, childhood-classic production - especially that flirty song sung by the teenage love birds about anti-feminism. Wait, what? In The Sound of Music? Sadly, this is true, and there’s even a reprise in the second act to remind us of the same theme.
Mar 24
Guillias's picture


I sit on top of the world 

Prickly needles poke into my bare legs only covered by my shorts.

Then I feel a different pain deep and clenching digging into my chest 
I know I should get down, but I don't want to
I just want to sit there seeing the world around me 

The rolling hills, the farther they go back, the more the colors change from dark sand green to mint grey. As I look around the weight in my chest subsides 

And I breathe in the warm crisp air.

Then I see a deer run across the ground, the wind flowing through its light brown fur. It's horns spiraling up from the top of its head. I decide it doesn't even need a name for it's a free spirit.
Mar 23
Kiran's picture

The Duality Of My Thanksgiving

Despite the abundance of stores full of Christmas decorations, Thanksgiving is right around the corner.

For me, Thanksgiving has always been a time of self-reflection but also a somewhat painful manifestation of the dual identities I struggle to balance daily. Amidst the holiday cheer and playful “Friends-giving”, understanding where I fit in can be difficult.

Historically for me, Thanksgiving hasn’t been a day of long-loved tradition, but rather the haphazard formation of new ones.

Every year it seems that my family and I will take another stab at trying to merge our American and Pakistani roots. We annually pick and choose what we will integrate, but whether it be turkey one year or biryani the next, we never miss the opportunity to remember all that we should be thankful for.
Mar 22

State Parks

    State parks were rivals against the cathedrals and castles of Europe. These beautiful parks were born in the mid-1800's, but it really all started with Yosemite California. John Muir wanted to preserve this area, Yosemite, which began the national movement of National Parks. During the Civil War Abraham Lincoln and Congress put Yosemite under protection of California. The first ever park that was officially established was Yellow Stone Natural Park. Ulysses S. Grant made Yellow Stone a park in 1872. Then in the late 19th century, more parks were developed.
Mar 21

Reality of life in a tree

From up in my tree, I can see everything, hear everything, think everything, write everything. I can escape from the reality of life. Waiting for me at the bottom is my backpack with all my homework. I can let the breeze take away my fears my thoughts, just sit and live in the moment. I will always remember this moment. But… it's not true. I can see everything,  hear everything, think everything, write everything, those I can do. But I can't escape the reality of life, because its reality. It's chilly because the sun has set. I don't want to think about boring things right now, but I can't help thinking about my homework, waiting for me in my backpack. So when I climb down this tree, I probably won't remember this moment, and I will do my homework in boredom. And I most certainly won't sit and live in the moment. I will stand and live in the moment.

Mar 21
NightStalkers's picture

Peace and War

Peace is the single most strived for achievement in the history of mankind. Peace, everyone says, is what our goal should be. Yet, there are many things that few people realize. In order to achieve and maintain peace, we must have a military capable of destroying that peace. We need this military because without such, greed will take over the hearts and minds of other countries and they will invade. With a destructive capability also comes the wish to never have to use it, such as nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons are needed, whether we like it or not. With the absence of nuclear weapons, there would be no repurcussions which is as of now feared by most of the world leaders, as conventional weapons dont do nearly as much. All of the world leaders, except maybe one, cough, know that in the result of a nuclear war, there would be no winners. Aside from proxy wars and the US involvement in the Middle East, we've had world peace between the world powers.
Mar 21
NightStalkers's picture


You need to stop feeling sorry for yourself, stop handing out participation “trophies”, and stop the parental outrage of “competitions” because their child didn’t win anything. This snowflake attitude, where parents are choosing to spoil their kids rotten, in exchange for forfeiting their discipline on their children. This lifestyle is why today’s generation, whom are growing up to join the workforce, believe they are entitled. They believe that a job is “beneath them” when they have no work experience. They believe that they don’t have to, or shouldn’t have to take orders from superiors such as managers or supervisors because their mommy told them that they were special. This raising of children is leaving many in culture shock when these kids finally leave their homes to join the rest of society, and then they don’t know what to do.
Mar 21

Protect the guns to Protect the kids

I'm going to say straight out that I am not marching this Saturday. I believe that we do need guns, but we need to make sure they are in the right hands. This really concerns me if we have restrictions on guns. We need guns to protect us from, big surprise, The Government. Even if one rule starts restricting guns or a certain kind of gun it will just go down hill from there. Plus, we won't be taking the guns away from the criminals. It will give those shooters more oportunities to murder even more kids and adults. I believe that we should arm the responsible teachers who want to be armed, because what shooter wants to shoot a school that has armed teachers? They would find another school that doesn't have armed teachers, simple logic. Even if a shooter still goes and shoots up a armed school, there could be 1 person who dies instead of 17, and that could very well be the shooter and not a student or teacher.
Mar 19

Dear Mr. Haight

Dear Mr. Haight,

As a science teacher, I expect you to teach the class the material we need to know in order to pass the biology MCAS - the state test-  allowing us to graduate in three years. I understand that your endless stories about how you met your wife, how you built your house and your journey of life to get you to where you are today are interesting and “motivational”, but there are times where you need to do your job. That’s now. Of course there are other times where you can waste forty minutes of our class time to talk about your favorite poem or your childhood, but since you say (and I quote) “If you score in advanced, you could earn yourself a scholarship to a Massachusetts university or college” and “If you don’t pass, you will have to retake biology class next year with all the other freshmen- like Kelsie, here” as you point to the sophomore sitting in the front row, I would like you to teach the material so we (or some) can pass.
Mar 19

There Were Two People Missing From The Huddle Around The Tree

On the morning of Christmas day, there were two people missing from the huddle around the tree. These two people were always there, sitting at the table and laughing at us kids’ facial expressions when we opened our presents. But this year, I peered behind my shoulder and found two empty chairs, standing besides one another. The two people who usually claim those spots were my nana and grandmother. It was then when it finally hit me: they would never be there again, chuckling at us or repeating the same mediocre jokes at the dinner table. Even when I attended their funerals, the real effect never got across me. I questioned the tears everyone cried; I questioned the feeling of sorrow and sadness that drifted around the room. It wasn’t until now that I realized why.
Mar 18
Kiran's picture

The Youth Are Mobilizing

This commentary was aired on Vermont Public Radio.

Historically young people haven’t had the best reputation: Teens have often been characterized as too busy texting and tweeting to be aware of or to engage in current events.

However, despite this stereotype, youth have been organizing, most recently around gun reform.

Students in Parkland and around the country, including our own Vermont, are showing that young people are aware and ready to act.

We’ve met with legislators, given testimonies, spoken at press conferences, and organized national walkouts.

In addition, on March 24, we’ll be marching nationwide in Washington, D.C., as well as in Rutland and Montpelier. And youth involvement won’t end here nor is it limited to high school students. Youth of all ages from eight to 18 are interested in making the change they want to see.

And here are some ways adults can help: