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It is art that makes
importance, and I know of no substitute for the
and beauty of its process. Henry James
Welcome to "18", the inaugural issue of the San Diego Jewish Academy's Upper School literary magazine.
It is art that makes life,
and I know of no substitute
for the force and beauty
of its process.
"18", chai, reflects our travels through various stages of life and chronicles how we choose to express ourselves during the journey. We hope you enjoy listening to our voices.
The meaning of 18.
Raquel Basser, Grade 9 - Blond with Blue Eyes
Elona Brage, Grade 6 - Fly Free Like a Bird
Rachel Grozen-Smith, Grade 8 - Did you ever wonder why I blast my music all the time?
Jesse Farquhar, Grade 8 - Never Ending War
Rachal Felber, Grade 10 - Profile
Elizabeth Kreymer, Grade 6 - Princess
Ilan Levin, Grade 11 - The Edge
Giuliette Recht, Grade 9 - My Protective Wall
Linda Rosenberg, Staff - The Green Boots - Published in Chicken Soup for the Kid's Soul
Aviva Saad, Staff - Grand Canyon
Special Thanks to the
ThE fIrSt BoMbArDmEnT sHoWeD Us OuR mIstAkE
LifE iS At An EnD
Did you ever wonder why I blast my music all the
Hitler is a genius, he says.
it only takes
higher they go
mini yellow suns
especially on hot
but never alone
then one returned to the ground
Don't compromise yourself. You are all you've got. - Janis Joplin
On Monday morning I wore my green platform boots to school for the first time since I had started at Edison Middle School.
It was the day of the poetry festival, and I was excited. At my old school, I had won the poetry ribbon every year. I'm horrible at sports, too shy to be popular and I'm not cute - but I do write good poetry.
The poem I wrote for the Edison Festival was about my dad. I had a good felling about sharing how special he was to me, even if it was just with the fifth grade and Mrs. Baker.
English class was not until after lunch period on Mondays, so by the time we started poetry, I was so nervous my mouth was dry as toast. When Mrs. Baker called on me, I had to clear my throat, take a breath and swallow about ten times before I could speak. I didn't even bother to look at my paper. I'd spent so much time perfecting the rhymes, and counting the beats, that I knew the poem by heart.
I had just started the third verse when I noticed Mrs. Baker was glaring furiously at me. I stopped in the middle of a word and waited for her to say something.
"Linda, you are supposed to be reading an original work, a poem you made up yourself, not reciting something you learned. That is called plagiarism!"
"Oh, but it's not. I mean I did make it up; it's about my dad." I heard a "Yeah, right!" from somewhere behind me, and someone else giggled.
I felt as if I'd somersaulted off the high dive and then, in midair, realized that there was no water in the pool. I opened my mouth to explain, but no words came out.
"You will leave the room and will not return until you are ready to apologize," said Mrs. Baker. "Now. Go!"
My last thought was a flash of understanding as to why the kids had nicknamed her "Battle-Ax Baker" - then my brain just fizzled out, and I turned and left the room.
I'd been standing outside for about half an hour when Joseph, the school janitor, came over to ask me what heinous crime I'd committed to be banished for so long. He loved using unusual words.
We'd made friends one morning before school, when he saw me sitting alone, pretending to do homework. He invited me to help open up the classrooms, and after that, it sort of became my job. He always talked to me as we wiped down the chalkboards and turned on the heat. Just that morning he'd been telling me that Mark Twain once said that the difference between the right word and the almost right word is like the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. I liked that. My dad would have liked it, too.
Now as Joseph waited for me to answer, he looked so kind and sympathetic that I poured out the whole story, trying not to cry. A tightness flashed over his face, and he jerked an enormous yellow duster out of the pocket of his gray overalls. "So what are you going to do?" he asked, rolling up the duster into a tight ball.
I shrugged, feeling helpless and sad. "I don't know."
"Well, you are not going to stand here all day, are you?"
I sighed. "I suppose I'll do what she said. You know say I'm sorry."
I nodded. "What else can I do? It's no big deal. I'll just never write anything good in her class again."
He looked disappointed with my response, so I shrugged once more and turned away from him.
"Linda." The tone of his voice forced me to look back. "Accepting defeat, when you should stand up for yourself, can become a very dangerous habit." He twisted the duster around his fingers. "Believe me. I know!"
He was staring right into my eyes. I blinked and looked down. His eyes followed mine, and we both noticed my green boots at the same time. Suddenly his face relaxed and creased into a huge smile. He chuckled and said, "You're going to be just fine. I don't have to worry about you. When you put on those boots this morning, you knew you were the only Linda Brown in the whole world." As if he didn't need it anymore, he cheerfully dropped the duster back into his pocket and folded his arms across his chest. "Those are the boots of someone who can take care of herself and knows when something is worth fighting for."
His eyes, smiling into mine, woke up a part of me that had been asleep since I'd come to this school, and I know that he was right about me. I'd just lost direction for a while. I took a deep breath and knocked on the classroom door, ready to face Mrs. Baker - ready to recite my poem.
I think of bubbles
If Life is a Mountain
If life is a mountain upon which we climb...
Stupidity is wondering why youre not in front,
Retardation is making the journey with no legs,
And Righteousness is staying behind, to help someone walk on their hands.
The Red Wing
The red wing
She seemed a singular
Songful, her rocking heels
I looked away.
Insanity brings those who would fight to art, and stupidity brings those who would fight to violence.
A flowers fragrance is not as great when taken out of the field or when returned to.
Tell problems but be solutions.
G-d is, was, and will be. Beauty is, Wisdom was, and Action will be.
If a man is a circle, the Earth is a sphere.
There is a war thats all around the world.
Is it for God?
Is it for power?
Or is it just for war?
IT IS JUST FOR WAR!
Right now there are many people that live in this
Fly free like a bird
the door opened
the last hugs occurred
the fresh air through my hair
the steps were not easy
i was scared of what would come next
the door opened
but i could not leave
as i stood at the threshold of a brand new day
the old turned to dusk
i could not walk into the fresh rays
too much would be lost
a foot move forward
a heart slid back
nine years of sitting
make feet content to rest
the steps were taken
no more academy days
a number is my value
an equation is my head
another of a bland thousand
that are just bred
no more prayers
meat in my lunch
things happen too fast
can not go back
In Hebrew, each letter possesses a numerical value. Gematria is the calculation of the numerical equivalence of letters, words, or phrases, and, on that basis, gaining, insight into interrelation of different concepts and exploring the interrelationship between words and ideas. (http://www.inner.org/gematria/gematria.htm)