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3rd Year Pieces

2002-2003

Cafeteria Food

Satire ¶ by Ryan Mulnick

One of the best purchases you can make is a hot school lunch. Only $1.80 for all you can eat: chicken nuggets, pizza, or even bacon cheeseburgers. The meals are even environmentally friendly, as everything that is supposed to have meat in it, isn't made with real meat. Also, when you eat the scrumptious finger steaks, not only do you satisfy your starving stomach, but you also quench your thirst, as they are dripping with grease. What a deal, two for one: something to drink and eat in just one bite.

On top of all the balanced nutrition that is promoted in the cafeteria, you can round out your meal with canned carrots, canned peas, canned corn, and canned string beans, fresh off the farm. Just like wine, the longer the cans sit on a shelf, the better they get. Once you consume all you can possibly load your tray with, the "striving to please" hot lunch ladies will let you refill your tray for no extra charge! More is better and healthy food is no exception. The extra carbs, excellent desserts, and ice-burg salads that pack in much-needed energy for growing, studying, and going to high school. The more cafeteria food you eat the better, happier, and healthier life you will live.


Houses

Satire ¶ by Alex Niu

My father, mother, and I have just moved out of our tiny, fifteen-room house and bought the most luxurious twenty-two-room house with ten bathrooms, eight garage doors, and a terrific view of the next-door neighbor¹s brick walls. The extra one-hundred baseball cards I just bought could not fit into my tiny room which was forty-by-forty feet. Plus whenever we have company over, the house just seemed too crowded. And in our old house, whenever you dropped something from one end of the hallway, the sound only traveled for five seconds. Now the sound of a gilded polo ball rolling down the hall travels for a full fifteen seconds. In the new house, if my parents or I ever get tired of sleeping in the same room, we could just move into another one. Overall, getting a twenty-two-room house with ten bathrooms, and eight garage doors is a bargain buy, because you have to be prepared for whatever social obligations might come up.


Loose the Pounds Now!

Satire ¶ by Kelsey Toy

Hi all you needy people! I am Daniella Argentine, you know me, that woman on all the Jenny Craig commercials. I am the happiest person in the entire world. I have perfect body structure and gorgeous, flowing, dyed-blonde hair. With the help of Jenny Craig and air brushing, I look great on television. Before I went on Jenny Craig, I weighed 239 pounds and four ounces. I am 5¹3 ?,² and 239 pounds and four ounces is over double what I weigh now; a perfect 98 pounds and zero ounces. It took me just three grueling months to achieve my goal.

You can lose weight too, but only if you use our non-refundable, starvation-based, wonderfully nutritious, proven to work, guaranteed, no obligation, winning points, 30 day trial food offer. Just come in to one of our 1,000 Jenny Craig Nutrition Centers across the country. You can do it! Just talk with one of our professional dieticians about how you can lose. All you pay is the $100 cover charge for activation, $30 insurance coverage fee in case of severe malnutrition, $199 food fee, $201 per-month for a once a week meeting with a certified nutritionist at your conveniently located Jenny Craig Nutrition Center, and we¹ll give you a full week¹s food supply absolutely free! Plus, you can get your nutritious and delicious food for only $149.99 each week. Wow! Can¹t you feel the pounds slipping off now? For more information, call our toll-free number at: 1-800-259-LOSE-WEIGHT-NOW-AT-YOUR-LOCAL-JENNY-CRAIG and we¹ll give you a free Loose the Pounds Cookbook just for calling! Come on in! Your new life is awaiting you!


Paradox

by Alex Niu

The moon understands the sun,
like a parent understands his spouse.
Both have crucial jobs;
the sun providing the world with life and warmth,
the moon setting on the earth, and on lives,
to keep the cycle flourishing.
A basketball team realizes how important its fans             
are. Sun and moon realize that one cannot live                 
without the other, though they are light years                     
apart.
The sun knows the moon.


Catch a Memory

by Ryan Mulnick

Like a fish,
it's slippery and hard to catch.
Casting your pole with line attached,
slowly, you reel it in.
If you pull too fast,
or strain your mind attempting to remember,
it escapes, free in the ever-flowing river.

But if, perhaps, you are lucky
and do hook a good one,
fight with all of the strength you possess,
to keep it on your line.
Don't let it go,
hang on to it until you are content,
and only then, when it means
the most to you, let it swim free
to grow for another day.

When you are old, the memory
will be biggest and most tender.
Only then will you be able to pull it out,
strike its skull with a club,
and indulge yourself on beautiful pastimes.


Failure leads to Success

by Ryan Mulnick

Success understands failure,
housing winners and losers.
How many men killed, games won, or lives saved,
is no measure of a man:
Effort reflects success and failure in equal measure.

Failure knows success, but cannot comprehend it.
Failure comes from trying-
it is the path to success.
Without the taste of blood, sweat, or tears,
one cannot understand the way to success.
Success strives, working its way up
from the deep chasm of failure.

Failure must be fresh in one's mind:
remembrance of the frustration
and anger in defeat gives each the perseverance to succeed.
Success is peace of mind attained only through self-satisfaction
embracing failed efforts,
accepting losses as inevitable steps to success.


Fresh, chilled air
blows from Western lands:
gentle blue water playfully
laps at my toes.
Laughing, I watch
small camouflaged fish
swim and dart through waving green plants.
A rocky beach, its
sand and shells,
allows animals to thrive
in a place of total bliss.

A radiant sun sinks lower, behind
mountains towering all around,
painted rose, tangerine, and indigo
stretching along the horizon
of the peaceful sea.

                    --Kelsey Toy


Dances

by Alex Niu

 Asking a girl to a dance may seem like an easy task for some guys, but for me it is the greatest challenge I have ever faced. There is the struggle of getting up the nerve to ask the girl and hoping that she will say yes. The corsage is the most important part of all; and one must get the color of the flower just right. Lastly, you have to say all the right things.

 The initial asking of the girl is the hardest part. Girls move in packs, and a boy would never want to ask her in front of all her friends. He would either have to call her or try and get her alone to ask. When he is talking to her, his stomach is in hundreds of knots, leaving the guy hardly able to breathe. Then there is the waiting for an answer. Every second feels like an hour. He prays that she will say yes and not break his heart. When she does finally agree to go with him, he feels like he has just won the lottery.

The corsage is the flower that either goes on the girl¹s wrist or on her dress. The guys are suppose to get this flower, but some girls are very picky about whether their corsage matches their dress or not. The guy usually has to call her again, and go through the entire process of knotting up his stomach once more. He has the embarrassment of asking her what color dress she will be wearing, so he does not buy the wrong color. When the guy meets her at the dance, he is expected to place the corsage onto the girl. This is another torture, because his moves must be graceful as he slides the corsage on.

Asking a girl to a dance is not as easy as it sounds. There is all the stress of the asking, and of buying a flower for her, making sure it matches her dress perfectly. Putting the corsage on with no flaws at all, as well as not making a fool of yourself by saying very embarrassing comments complicates the whole situation. All the other tasks that I have encountered throughout my life do not even come close to the challenge of asking a girl to a dance.


My Favorite Experience In a Kayak

by Ian Faurot

My favorite thing to do this summer was to go kayaking every Tuesday with Journeys Kayak and Disco Club. The instructors taught us the basics in flat water, such as eddying out and rolling. A kayaker must roll when the kayak flips, so he can come back up to the surface without the help of anyone else. Rolling combines patience with finesse, and some dynamic power.

Once our instructors, Marty and Mike, had enough confidence in our rolling ability, they finally let us paddle on a real whitewater stretch. Marty and Mike took us to several rivers in the McCall area, such as the North Fork of the Payette River and the Main Salmon River. When we were scouting the first major rapid I would ever kayak, Mike explained that, if we flipped over, to just be patient; that our rolls were good enough to get us to the surface.

As I rapidly approached the rapid with the confidence of a butterfly staring down an elephant, I lost every ounce of confidence I originally had. The waves were so much bigger once I was at their level. When I was scouting, I had thought that they would be about three or four feet high, but once I was inside the swirling and foaming mess, they looked to be about seven or eight feet tall.

Trying to execute a maneuver necessary for this treacherous rapid, I missed a paddle stroke, which threw me off balance. I hit the biggest hole, the one we were all supposed to avoid. As I flipped, I inhaled a mouthful of water. My first thought was to breathe. I forgot everything anyone had ever told me; all I thought about was getting a breath of air.

Scrambling around under the swirling, foamy water, I remembered that it wasn't possible to breathe when you were strapped in your boat upside down. I realized that, if I wanted air, I would either have to a) Roll my boat up, or b) wet exit and swim to shore. I eliminated option A because while I was thrashing around, I had lost my paddle, and I was unable to roll without it. That left me with option B. I ripped off my spray skirt and swam to the surface as fast as I could, my lungs about to explode. I felt like I had been underwater for hours, when it was, in reality, less than five seconds.

When I reached the surface, I was immediately thrashed about by other waves and holes. As I hauled my boat up on shore, I looked up at my instructor. "Pretty fun ride, wasn't it?" he said. That day, I realized that kayaking is a sport for being free, with no worries, and that is why I love it.


The Off Season

by Ryan Mulnick

I breathe, alive, as
my soul suffocates slowly.
My heart beats,
blood surges throughout my body;
my soul, drained of life, is sorely in need.
I eat, nourished, while
my spirit starves
like a beggar:
gasping for hope,
emptiness rules.
Master controls servant.
The off-season drives me crazy.
My essence teeters on the edge
of extinction
without soccer.


Transformation 

by Alex Niu

Golden tulips shimmer against
light wind.
Butterflies flutter into pure, sapphire skies, like
feathers falling gracefully from beautiful blue jays
above.
Bees zoom onto crisp tulip petals looking for
 sweet pollen. Snakes slither out from hibernation
searching for mice to prey upon.
Dandelions sprout like rockets blasting into space.
The whole world shakes off
harsh cold winter,
skipping into spring.


The Death of a Grasshopper

by Evan Fischer

Blades of grass bow down to eminent winds,
in a field that stretches as far as an
insect's eye can see.
A grasshopper with an empty stomach
perches atop a golden sunflower,
hastily munching away at the tender morsel.
Shivers of fear convulse its entire
exoskeleton as
a dark shadow
falls
upon the simple-minded creature,
Talons open,
beak pointed,
eyes burning with rage:
a hummingbird dives
ike a World War II fighter jet.
The ferocious beast snatches the helpless grasshopper
off his salad,
carrying him into the sky,
back to its hungry offspring.
The carnivorous monster
chews the frail insect body into a liquid
as dense as water,
regurgitating juices into gaping mouths
of its squawking young,
The final long, tedious journey through
their digestive tracks
results in his
unceremonious burial
on the windshield of a 1969
Volkswagen van.


The Hunting Ground

by Ryan Mulnick

Through brisk air, the eagle soars,
ever searching for scrumptious,
tender,
mouth-watering field mice.
Deer frolic, rabbits hop,
elk battle for sexy
prancing females.
Pepe le Pue, the putrid skunk,
burrows for grub under the fallen, rotting oak.
All animals stop and shudder
as the eagle's shadow passes--
Death is in the air but the eagle
pays no attention.
Purple, snow-capped mountains
relax far off in hazy distances like grown men,
slumping into bed at night.
Tall pine trees carpet mossy ground.
Farther and farther the eagle soars, until,
finally,
spotting a tasty morsel,
plummeting through crisp, clean air,
everything blurs as
ground is sky, sky is ground.
The eagle approaches like a bullet toward its target.
Any second now,
the bird of prey will seize his meal,
tearing it to pieces.
Talons outstretched, fast as lightning,
silent as the mountains themselves,
the eagle dives.
Sensing danger, the field mouse hops into its hole.
Without time to stop,
the eagle crashes into rocky, mountainous ground,
its keen raptor brain blended into a pulp.
All for a field mouse.


My Brand New S.U.V.

Satire ¶ by  Ian Faurot

I am a Patent Attorney who lives in the suburbs of Miami, Florida. I have a forty-mile drive to work everyday on a four-lane highway, so of course I need an S.U.V. that gets ten miles to the gallon and will roll over at the drop of a hat. I don't have any need for towing or hauling equipment, but I got the model with a sixteen cylinder, forty-two valve, 753 horsepower, diesel, high-output vortex engine. It feels good to know it's there.

I live alone, so the new version that seats twelve and is equipped to drive across arctic tundra is an absolute necessity. You never know when a freakish blizzard will hit Miami, and I will have to drive my entire office to work. Also, there are a lot of hurricanes that strike around here, so I bought the special deluxe gold-plated SR-5 edition that, when in amphibious mode, is equipped to cross the Atlantic ocean, underwater.

Overall, I am happy with my purchase of the brand-new, 2005, special deluxe gold-plated SR-5 edition, with a sixteen cylinder, forty-two valve, 753 horsepower, diesel, high output vortex engine, side and rear airbags, fifty-seven gallon gas tank with optional On Star service Ford Excursion. Let's just say I did my research before buying it.


Punk Rock

Satire ¶ by Evan Fischer

I absolutely love punk rock music. Random, fast-paced drumbeats relax my brain waves while the distorted, metranomic guitar riffs sooth my eardrums. The dull rumbling of the bass massages my body like fists, and the violent and obscene lyrics fill my heart with joy. All of this noise combined creates a sense of euphoria . And, since all punk rock sounds the same, I only need to buy a few cd's! What a great way to save money!

But punk rock is more than just music, it's a way of life. While everyone else just wears the same old thing, I wear really cool clothes that express myself. I wear black sweatshirts with band logos on them. I always make positively sure that I have at least six safety pins in my sweatshirt because that is what Blink 182 wears on MTV. Then I wear jeans that I rip up so I look and feel tougher than I really am. Also, I always wear my chain so that I can beat kids up with it at school if they make fun of my clothes. I always make sure that I have at least one anarchy sign on me that is visible from at least forty feet. That way everybody will know what kind of person I really am.


Bubbling Inside

by Emily Caldwell

All my insides fall
like a sheet of summer rain.
Smell the amber sweetness,
outside, in the world.
Look at it all,
just waiting for me!
The whole world is at my toes, fingertips,
all I have to do is
step up and grasp it.
I feel like a vat of bubbles;
I can barely keep from
overflowing with love, joy.
Sometimes I just dance around
in a whirl of happiness.


Taste the Rainbow

by Ryan Mulnick

Rip into the bag, an eager
poor man opening a lottery ticket,
to devour handfuls of:
red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple
sugary sparkling dew drops,
remnants of the passing rain.
The sun's heat, drawn by luscious tastes,
evaporates and inhales beauty that offers
only a few mouthfuls.
Droplets evaporate; eye candy is consumed.


Stirring of the Soul

by Kelsey Toy
                                                                                                                                                            

Light remembers dark,
by the recurring other.
Forever on and on,
light brightens
dark blackens.
Throughout the universe of mind,
chasing each other,
round and round
in a cat and mouse hunt.
Where to go next is a
mystery.
What will appear is
unknown.

Here, there,
everywhere.
Light too bright
for darkness to stand,
the dark veiling
light
like a medieval shield.

Soundless and still,
choices are made,
reflecting the other, so to say-
where one is, the other isn¹t:
where, they do not tell.

Is one better,
the other worse,
never knowing which is which?
Where the placement isŠ,
unknown.
Silently they go
through mind and heart
forever.


To Be Popular or Not Popular

by Emily Caldwell

Popularity: the word itself caresses everyone¹s lips. I mean, who would not want to be popular? When I was little, I did not care. I played with the fat girls, the kids who wore hand-me-downs, the little boys with glasses. A few years ago, though, I realized just how important it is to be popular. Since I started high school, I have finally been rude and mean to all the girls, except for a select few, of course, and very flirtatious with the boys. I can not believe the work it has taken to do it right: all the delicate clawing, stuble backstabbing, and secretive laughing with the guys, just so I can stay on my pedestal of greatness.

Now that I am finally there, I love it! In the morning I plaster myself with makeup, slip into tiny clothes, and lavish on the hairspray, because, after all, I bask in the scrutiny of the whole school. I adore the stares and whistles that follow as I walk into a room or down the hallway. No one cares that I am rude to most of the student body, all they want to see is that I am beautiful. Every person in school knows my name now. I hear them murmuring it like a song as I strut by in the halls. It¹s like they can¹t get enough of my greatness. Popularity is my security blanket, protecting me from facing the pathetic world of ³real² high school kids. I don¹t know what I would do if I were not popular.


The Grooviest Sport

by Evan Fischer

Last summer I went to the Oregon coast where I was introduced to boogie boarding, the sweetest sport I¹ve ever tried. The ocean was cold, so my mom and I rented wet suits and hit the beach. A boogie board is a short board you lay down on and ride waves with--just like surfing, only on our stomache. At first I had trouble catching the waves, but after a while, I learned the techniques needed. You have to paddle really fast as the wave comes from behind you and then, when it catches up, you start gliding down the front of the wave and pick up speed. It is so intense to be gliding across a glassy sheet of water carving turns and getting splashed in the face. All you see is blue and white foam.

If you just keep going straight, the wave will crash on you, cutting your ride short. By leaning, you can steer the board to the right or the left. This way you are riding the waves to the side, avoiding the crashing of the wave, and still moving forward. Sometimes, if you are riding the wave sideways, it will crash over you. The pros call this ³pipeline² and it is extremely far out. It¹s like having walls of water surrounding you. My mom could never quite catch the waves right. She would just go and chill in the calm water. But at the end of the day, we both agreed that boogie boarding was way groovy and planned to do it again the following day.

Boogie boarding is so righteous because you¹re so close to the water that you feel that you¹re traveling at extreme speeds. Also, the sport is very easy to learn. I learned how to catch the waves within my first few tries. Once you become good, you can do a large variety of maneuvers, including ones that are performed in the air! It is way easier than surfing, and you look really cool doing it. Babes love guys that boogie board!

Another great thing about boogie boarding is it takes you to beautiful areas of the world. I someday want to become a professional boogie boarder so I can travel to places such as Thailand, Hawaii, and Mexico, where I can get a really great tan, make some money, boogie board, and hang out with the tropical chicas!


Powder Day

by Ian Faurot

Giant fields of fluffy powder
stretch as far
as the eye can see.
My board,
white, gray, floats on top
of ice crystals. Effortlessly,
like a dragon, I carve monstrous turns, leaving
fascinating designs,
swirling in the snow behind me.
Bitter cold
nips my face and nose,
turning them bright red.
Each turn
launches mini avalanches, that
careen down the bowl.
I look back, the
turns stretching endlessly behind me, on this, a
perfect
Powder Day.


 

Hockey Game

by Alex Niu

The rumbling of the crowd grew louder and louder as we made our way toward the entrance of the ice rink. Each of us was trapped inside his own thoughts. Every single second felt like ten times what it really was. Before I knew it, my skate was at the edge of the ice. I looked up as a blinding light flashed into my eyes. When I heard the speaker shout, "Number 25", I knew I had to either skate onto the ice or look stupid. I took a breath, hoping that I would not trip, and felt my right skate touch smooth ice. In that moment, my fear was gone. I quickly lifter my left leg and started a lap around the rink behind my teammates.

In the blink of an eye, twenty minutes were up. It was time to drop the puck. I lined up behind my cousin, Jeff, and waited for the referee to head for the center circle. In a breath, the game was on. It was the fastest game any of us had ever played. The puck was flying this way and that. The coordination between the Snakes' teammates was incredible but our own equaled theirs.

My team, the Sharks, was named after the pro team in our town, San Jose. My teammates and I had been playing with each other since we were about eight, so we knew what each person was going to do. However, since both teams were very well trained, the first period ended with a zero, zero score. In the locker room I only heard about half of the coach's lecture. I was too busy thinking about why I did not do this or why I did not do that.

Before I knew it, I was behind Jeff again ready to start the second period. The second period was incredibly physical. Bodies flew this way and that. Halfway through the period, the Snakes got an odd-man rush and fired a bullet toward our goalie who happened to be my cousin, Frank. He stopped the original shot, but the rebound squirted out and everybody scrambled to get it. In the chaos, the captain of our team, John, managed to find the puck, streak in to the Snakes’ zone untouched, and flip a beauty past the Snakes' goalie.

The stands erupted and we all headed for the locker room with grins on our faces. Our grins were still evident as we took the ice for the last period of play. By this time, the game had slowed down, but not much. Six minutes before the end, the Snakes caught us on a line change. They came in on a two-on-one, ripping one past Frank's shoulder and tying the game at one to one. Only three minutes later, The Snakes' captain zoomed into our zone and outraced Frank to the puck, firing it into the open net.

With only ninety seconds left, we started to get desperate. In the last thirty seconds, we took Frank out for an extra attacker. With seconds left in the game, I gave John an excellent pass. He was all alone on the left side of the net and whizzed the puck past the goalie. It curved at the last second. The buzzer sounded, but none of us heard it. Either the Snakes were cheering, or we were to depressed to hear the sound of defeat. Even though we took second overall, each of the next two years, we were the champions.


Eat, Sleep. Play Soccer

by Ryan Mulnick

Going to Santa Barbara for Vogelsinger's Soccer Academy was one of the best things I have ever done. For two weeks, all I did was play soccer nine hours a day, and drink iced Caramel Mocha Shakes at Starbucks with my friends from Chicago.

Playing soccer in ninety-degree weather every day, and living in smelly dorms with reeking soccer players for two weeks doesn't sound enjoyable, but I had an unbelievable time. All of the coaches were from different, soccer-dominant, countries and very few of them spoke English, but they knew their soccer. All of them had played professionally, for either club teams or national teams.

Every morning I would wake up dead tired, at 5:45, and run across the room to shut off the damn alarm clock. I would start dressing, trying to ready myself for the grueling seventeen-hour day that lay ahead of me. Each day, I endured soccer aerobics, for an hour at 6:30 AM, and three three-hour sessions of soccer, one during the morning, one spanning the hottest part of the day, and another session in which my team played games against other teams. In between sessions, I tried to squeeze in naps and TV. I would lie on the couch, nearly passed out from exhaustion. At close to 11:00 pm, I flopped into bed, resting myself for another day of this madness.

At home in McCall, I contemplated my trip. The camp had been extremely hard, with long days and a vigorous workout schedule; but the work paid off. This fall, I played my best soccer and our team won twice as many games as we lost, winning our division.

Coming back from Santa Barbara was a relief, but also sad, because I would miss playing soccer all the time. I would also miss the coaches who, later in life, I want to emulate by playing soccer for a living. When I am too old and beat up to play anymore, I too would like to teach the game to younger people, so that they can enjoy it as much as I do.

These coaches taught me so much about soccer, and about life. I learned that I have to work harder than anyone else if I want to be a better player. I will only be able to rely on myself. By having to wake on my own, be on time, and work hard, I discovered what it takes to be responsible for my own growth as a player and as a person. With 300 other players all possessing the same dream as mine, I realized that no one was going to push me to work harder, run faster, shoot harder if I didn't want it myself. Although it was tough, I would go back to the Soccer Academy in the blink of an eye.


Winter Woodland

by Ryan Mulnick

Strolling through dark, evergreen pines,
shivering uncontrollably
from a nippy breeze, like harsh breath on my neck;
numbness rules the world.
Nimble feet, turned sluggish,
tender hands, now brittle,
inner soul,
consumed by never-ending hunger.
Stripped of their leaves,
naked trees cast shadows like the grim reaper himself,
over all that had grown below.
Creepy, lifeless foliage
devours all warmth that ever lived
within the forest. My woodland
is an icebox,
extreme cold negating all beauty.
Chilled from chi to goose-bump-covered skin,
reminiscent of the forest itself, my mouth
issues clouds of steam as I sink lower into my jacket.
The haze of my breath disappears; splinters
of sunshine, mere hopeful slivers,
pass over the horizon. The sun, my only comfort, leaves
me alone in this world.
All is peaceful.


Serenity

by Ryan Mulnick

I dig my toes
into warm,
comforting sand.
The ocean, a thousand diamonds
strewn across a blue blanket,
covers the earth for as far as I can see.
I lean against the wind,
the sensation of floating
controlling my senses.
Cool, salty air
surrounds me,
replaces
sand,
rocks,
trees,
and my sadness.
In this brief moment,
I am happy.


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