Mar 10
lorenyoung's picture

Emerald Ash Borer

The ash tree is a very important tree in Vermont’s landscape.  Ash have beautiful diamond-shaped bark patterns and they stand out in a forest due to their tall and straight lines. 

To me, ash trees are iconic. They make the Green Mountains green in the spring and summer, and turn to vivid orange hues in the fall. My dad and I find morel mushrooms growing in the nitrogen-rich soil at the base of our ash trees. They are known for having great, full tops, and bring good value in the timber market. Birds love ash trees because they are high enough to keep away predators, and deer rely on ash trees as they eat the buds off the young tops in the winter. 
Oct 13

College Essay Workshop -- Online Version

For those who couldn't make the YWP-VSAC College Essay workshop Oct. 14 (it was pretty awesome -- thanks to the seniors who attended), you can go to our online version. From now until Oct. 31, access resources, help & feedback. 


Jul 14
essay challenge: Freedom

Freedom--My Only Chance for Survival

I suppose the best kind of freedom can be found in listening to old records, sitting, alone, in your room, a cool drink in hand, book open in your lap. You take a long sip of your drink, savoring the burn of carbonation as it goes down you throat, resting, dormant, in your stomach. The book is subsequently propped against your bare knees, pages flipping against your fingertips as you regain your place. The words, as they come, pull you in, (it's quite good, really) and before you know it, you've finished, and the light outside is waning, the moon gliding into view, taking the place of the sun. 
Jul 09

For now

I miss an incredible amount of people. Those who have left me, and those that have left. It's disappointing, I think, when someone we consider a friend--which, to me, is an extension of our souls--take a different path in some crossroads we find. I knew a family, once upon a time, that I barely recognize now. They've changed. My father and the husband had an awful fight, and they haven't spoken since then. My mother tries to keep the peace, and speaks to the wife often, (or, often enough to consider her a friend) but I miss the peace of driving along their dirt road, the trees and clouds and dust a lovely companion to my melancholy teenage loneliness. I still love her, I still love her children, I, even now, care deeply about her husband, their father, but this friendship, to be rebuilt, will take soul searching. The union of our hearts and minds, the agreement, clash, and then agreement again of our morals, will take time.


Every single person on earth is the embodiment of a different word. How would a society like this function? What would you be?
Jun 29
poem, essay challenge: Heat
Yellow Sweater's picture

The Earth and the Sun

I fall asleep reading about duende, reading, radiating duende. That’s what Lorca’s poetry does: it causes my grandmother’s pitched voice to tremble with a terrible softness, like the moon liquified and stored in a jar. God, I’ve used the word duende, the second most sacred name, so many times lately. I’ve used it to explain everything that can’t be explained. I hope I haven't cheapened it with desire.

The begonias are burning, I’m imagining them burning. They are pinker than my sun singed skin, so pink they are almost red. For a moment I trick myself into believing that the Spanish street names are more than an echo, that the baked brown hills of Santa Barbara are the Andalusian mountains Lorca rhapsodies over. As I trot down to the dust strangled creek, I feel a piercing, euphoric scream rising in my chest: Seville to wound! Cordoba to die in! 
Jun 13

Graduation Speech 6/12/21

I'm putting this one up here for myself to hang onto; that being said, it's a message I'd like to extend to any 2021 grads! :)

Good Morning. To begin, I want to thank our teachers, parents, and supportive adults who have allowed us, the class of 2021, to stand proudly before you on such an important day. 
My classmates, I want to speak directly to you this morning. I want to remind you that we’ve learned just as much from each other as we have from our marked-up textbooks and grass-stained cleats. 
May 28
lvaughan's picture


    It was Friday and it was the same as every other Friday or so we thought. Every Friday for gym class we have fitness Friday. Fitness Friday was when there were stations and at each station we would spend one minute doing that activity. After the minute was up we would run around for a minute. Since it was winter we stayed inside for this. After about 20 minutes of this my friend Molly and I were getting pretty tired. We started to run but I wasn’t paying attention. This resulted in me falling over Molly who was in front of me and walking. We both tumbled to the ground. As we pick ourselves up, Molly sees a penny. She picks the penny up and is so excited. She decides to name the penny Abraham because the former president Abraham Lincoln is on the penny.
May 27
The-Silicon-Valley-Essayist's picture

The Horrible Wonderful World of the Tech Startup

For a long time, the most interesting news articles about technology were vapid product reviews. The most popular Kickstarters all shared the same mentality of trying to make everything from smoke detectors to coolers smart. Inspired by this culture, I would imagine the smart home company I would start. The product line would even include a WiFi connected soap tray for the shower. The future looked bright as the world became more engulfed by the big tech companies. As time went on, every Kickstarter project started to blend together; each video had the same number of jokes with logos designed by the same ad agencies. In 2018 Kickstarter's most successful project, the Pebble watch, was discontinued, and in a way, this era of tech optimism found itself in the same fate. When these meaningless startups dissolved away, we were left with “disruptive” companies like Twitter, DoorDash, and Uber.
May 23
The ELM's picture


Facing it, always facing it, that’s the way to get through. Face it.
- Joseph Conrad

To overcome difficulties is to experience the full delight of existence.
- Arthur Schopenhauer

One of life's best coping mechanisms is to know the difference between an inconvenience and a problem.
- Robert Fulghum

If you aren't in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?
- T.S. Eliot

May 23
The ELM's picture


Agitate! Agitate! Ought to be the motto of every reformer. Agitation is the opposite of stagnation – the one is life, the other death.
- Ernestine Rose

Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground.
- Frederick Douglass

Minds that are ill at ease are agitated by both hope and fear.
- Ovid

Progress is born of agitation. It is agitation or stagnation.
- Eugene V. Debs
May 23
The ELM's picture


You can’t use up creativity, the more you use, the more you have.
- Maya Angelou

Creativity is intelligence having fun.
- Albert Einstein

It always seems impossible until it’s done.
- Nelson Mandela

The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul.
- Dieter F. Uchtdorf

May 23
The ELM's picture


We experience moments absolutely free from worry. These brief respites are called panic.
- Cullen Hightower

Panic is a sudden desertion of us, and a going over to the enemy of our imagination.
- Christian Nestell Bovee

Panic causes tunnel vision. Calm acceptance of danger allows us to more easily assess the situation and see the options.
- Simon Sinek

Panic is the sudden realization that everything around you is alive.
- William S. Burroughs
May 23
The ELM's picture

Note from the Editor

By Penny deRosset
ELM Editor-in-Chief
Edmunds Middle School, Burlington, VT

Welcome to the Edmunds Literary Magazine! The ELM has been publishing student work for over two decades now. Every year, we receive many fantastic submissions. And this year is no exception! The magazine is always divided into sections. Every piece of writing and artwork submitted and accepted has been put into the section we feel fits the piece’s themes and tone best. The ELM reflects the time in which it is compiled, and this year has been quite a time. When we thought about how we wanted to divide up these pieces, we immediately thought about the stages of quarantine we all went through. 

Panicking That time when no one knew what the virus was, no one knew whether they had it, and no one could get toilet paper. Pieces in this section have themes of uncertainty, chaos, and emotion. 
May 12's picture

Why Test-Optional is the Best Option

After four months filled with six cancellations, I sat in a silent, stuffy gym and finally achieved the quintessential high school experience of sitting down for 180 minutes to take the SAT. It was October, a month before my first round of college applications were due, and a few months after I had given up on studying. Around the country, many students experienced the same struggles: despite lockdowns and quarantines, the College Board reported that 2.2 million students still managed to take the SAT at least once in 2020. In a world where a global pandemic brought all events to a standstill, ceaseless police brutality caused racial tensions to boil over, and natural disasters ravaged the South and Southwest, standardized testing should have been the least of students’ worries.
Apr 25

My mind: an internal predicament

I sometimes wish I could turn off my brain. Everything I hear, do, or say has to be turned into semantics for my own imagination. I am never out of control, only trying to live in the moment. I wish I could master the concept that George Orwell identifies in his novel 1984: “consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you just performed.” (Orwell, 1984, pg. 34)
Apr 19

Clouds (essay draft)

My brain finds every little fluff of cloud in the sky.

I think it's because part of me wants nothing to be forgotten. Not the little fluff of white, nor the large, flat cloud that's laid like a blanket across the sky. I enjoy searching for the small things, looking at the different shapes of the mulch, or counting the leaves on a flowery bush. Looking at the overlooked. It's satisfying, in a way. Looking at the things that aren't quite considered 'beautiful'.

Like the clouds that cover the bright stars. They just want a moment to shine, but instead they just annoy the watchers. Focusing how it's still something that is there, a part of this universe, and doing something. It's such an odd feeling. I enjoy it, though. Knowing I'm acknowledging the overlooked. Knowing that I can see that it is there, rather than just turning away from it because it disappoints me. Strange.
Apr 16
essay challenge: Nostalgia
Megan22's picture

"Kick The Can"

Water would always run down the sides of my mouth after hastily drinking a cold cup of water, exhausted from all the running. We would always makes sure no nieghbors door was missed, in excitement they would join us for a game of kick the can. When we had our tribe prepared to play, I would make an attempt at exclaiming the game, but usually was quickly drowned out from their laughing and chatting. After begging and getting my dad to be the seeker, he would start counting down and we would all run in different directions, hoping to learn by imitation. The only thing you could hear was the loud ribbits of the frogs, and occasionally a giggle from a hiding spot. Even now after years of practice at the game, I often find myself amazed at the places some people find to hide, or resort to hiding in. 
Apr 16
essay challenge: Nostalgia
molly.sargent's picture

The Cows At The Barn

When I was younger I remember going to my grandparents and being brought to the barn. That is where all of the cows were of course. With the cows my grandfather had always put us on them and let us ride them. I loved the cows so much (also known as the moo moos at the time.) Now that I'm older I still like the cows but I also find them to be a bit more gross. I'm also a bit too big to ride them now which kind of stinks. I still like the cows and it is fun to see them but I don't even see them as much. The cows can be fun and cute now but I can definitely say I loved them a lot more as a child.
Have I ever disliked them? Honestly no I do remember times that I was scared of them and still am to this day. Like I hate walking behind them because I feel like I'm going to get kicked or something. Other than that and the grossness of them at times I really like the cows. Always have and probably always will.
Apr 16
essay challenge: Nostalgia
lvaughan's picture

Summer Days

Since school is out during the summer there are many different possibilities of activities to fill your days with. There is spending time with friends, going swimming and camping. Those are common things to do during the summer. My summers did have swimming and hanging with friends but that was in between haying. Most of my summer days are spent in a field. Especially when I was younger my entertainment was running and somersaulting through the windrows with my younger sister. After it was all bailed up and brought home. We would have to put it away in the barn. Always right before my sister and I would climb up to the top of the hay and ride a little bit to the barn. Once the hay was emptied from the wagon we got to ride. Finally, my favorite thing to do after the hay was in the barn was to make a hay fort. Now you might have made a fort in your room with blankets and pillows but this is way better. We used to make huge forts with tunnels instead of doors.