Have a Great Summer Hackley Middle Schoolers!

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Last Week of the 2019/2020 School Year

This Spring has been a challenging one. This week, even more so. Here are a few last submissions sharing our students’ creative voices. They bring me hope and I hope they do you too.

Kareena P. ’26

The Pit 

By Maxwell N. ’25


One day a virus came along and ruined everything.

From sports, to crowds listening to people sing.

School too was cancelled and for once I wasn’t happy about it.

We couldn’t see our friends that we took for granted and it felt like we fell into a pit.

That pit was our own home.

That we were trapped in for months with no contact but a phone.

Some people, like me, resorted to video games,

Others, to social media going for fame.

Moral of the story-don’t take anything for granted.

Or else one day your world will be turned upside down and slanted.


Caitlin M. ’27

Two-Faced Beauty By Fiona P. ’26

“Bye, Kjersti!” I waved to my friend and mounted my bike. The school had an early dismissal, at eleven, because of a said snowstorm. I pedaled through the main road of my small town, Lilløfjord. The colorful houses painted in red, yellow, green, and blue blurred in my vision as I swerved over the cobblestone. As I turned off the harbor road up a hill towards my house, the smell of fish fell away and the cool Norwegian air smelled of a new snow, winter, and oakmoss. I stopped abruptly in the house’s driveway and parked my bike by my favorite tree, the tall white birch I named Berte. When I walked inside, Else, who is eight and very precocious, sat on the couch in the living room with the family iPad. Mamma was making matpakke – packed lunches – on warm, hearty bread in the kitchen. My littlest sisters, Runa, who is six and very creative, and Maiken, who is four and loves to give hugs, sat on stools by the island and swung their feet. I swung my backpack onto the coffee table and pat Else on the head jokingly on my way into the kitchen, ignoring her scowl.
“How was school, kjære?” she said, calling me dear in our native language, Norwegian. She finished making the open-faced sandwiches and slid the plates over to Runa and Maiken.

            “Fine. I don’t have any homework. Ms Eirik said that we should have a break. Where’s Pappa? And can I go on a hike?” Mamma squinted and said, “Pappa went to get some potatoes for dinner. He’s making kumla. You can go on a hike, Kaia, but be careful. And what about lunch?”

            “Matpakke! Matpakke!” chanted Runa and Maiken, swinging their stubby little legs even more and taking huge bites of there sandwich, made of homemade Norwegian bread, cheese, and sliced meats. I laughed, and Mamma agreed to making me a sandwich. I smiled and threw on my warmest coat, wool socks, a scarf, mittens, and a hat, then laced up my tall warm boots. You could never be too warm in Norway. I ran out the door and said, “Thanks Mamma! Bye Runa! Bye Maiken!” I said and raced out the door. I ran down the road and came to the mountain with the prettiest hike and best view at the top. I trudged upward, putting energy into every difficult step up the snowy mountain. The ridge of Hemlifjell came into view. I started to run. As I approached the top, I laughed happily. I sat on one of the rocks and took in the view and finished my sandwich. The mountain gently sloped into a hill, then a valley surrounded by tall peaks, a perfect skiing bowl. I inhaled and spread my arms wide, just as something caught my eye. There was an overlap in the snow, a dark spot. Ah! A glacier, I thought to myself; I had seen a few before as they were common. I slid down and looked around. There was an odd ice hallway going beyond into the darkness. I was entranced by its beauty. I began to slowly walk through the cavern.

            As I was walking through, and the light of day faded away, the ice lit up. I jumped back. It danced a bit, then began moving down the path. I ran after it, jumping over ice obstacles as it persisted forward. Suddenly, I slipped and slid. I screamed as I slid down an ice slide in the darkness. The ice slide ended, and I launched into the air and I landed with a thumb on the sharp, frozen ground. My stomach contracted violently and I vomited my lunch. I felt a tearing pain in my leg. I looked at it and it had a horrid gash running down my shin, blood spilling on the clear ice and a bit of my bone showing behind the skin. I clutched it in agony and cried, feeling weak and broken as I looked around. I saw that I was trapped in a dark pit. The only light came from a gap, at least fifty feet up. I was lying on my back and in pain. Faen! I cursed. I opened my eyes, and slowly pushed myself up. Stumbling, I approached the wall. Come on, Kaia. You have to climb. Climb, or you will die.

So I began to climb. I was no amatuer at climbing. I was on my village’s climbing team, and every weekend Pappa and I go to the west mountains and climb. But anyone with experience with the sport knows climbing free solo is no ordinary feat. After ten minutes, I was barely five feet off the ground. I kept on reaching up, spotting holds and nooks for my hands and ledges for my feet. Sweat matted my Nordic blonde hair and dripped down my face. I panted as I pushed farther and farther, my feet getting more tired each inch I climbed. But then, the ice lit up. I gasped and startled, my grip loosening, but I quickly regained my hold. What is this? I thought to myself just as the light began to shape into pictures. There was an picture of what I recognized as my father as a toddler, sitting next to his brother, Osbjorn, listening to his mamma and pappa tell a story, holding up painted wooden horses and soldiers. The boys laughed in the way toddlers do and clapped their hands. They were dressed in traditional Sámi clothes, with red and blue sweaters called lapintakki and blue and red hats called miehenlakki. The mamma wrapped a blanket around my father and he fell asleep in her arms. What was the ice trying to tell me? Does this mean my pappa was Sámi? Why didn’t he tell me? When I looked back, the image had changed. There was a teenager and a father arguing. When it changed again, it showed the same teen, hurriedly throwing his belongings into a sack. When it changed for the third time, it showed the same boy, galloping through the woods carrying a sack, and the mamma and pappa chasing after him and yelling, Axel! Axel! This was my father’s name.

I knew why I had never met my Mormor and Farfar – because my father’s ways were different than the traditional, old-fashioned customs of the native people.

I felt a pull on my body and my hands going numb. The glacier was pulling me down. I clenched my fist on the ice and pulled up, scrambling to my feet. I lay exhausted on the cold ice, feeling pain from my leg and my tired arms. The climb had taken an hour at least, the light from the outside faded a little. Pushing myself up just as I had done in thTurning to look back, the glow raced towards me. I sprinting down the path I had come from. I ran through the valley and panted as I dashed up the mountain, adrenaline overriding my exhaustion.

 I threw the door open as I collapsed on the couch, breathlessly. My sisters were watching Troop Zero with Norwegian subtitles. Maiken crawled into my lap and pulled her stuffed animal rabbit, Benjamin, with her. I didn’t say a word all evening, even when Pappa asked for feedback on the kumla.

But as I lay awake in bed and listened to the soft breathing of Maiken, I saw a blue light in my window, dancing with the Aurora Borealis outside, taunting me to open my eyes wider and succumb to its glow. It couldn’t have been the glacier. No, I was safe now.

Or so I thought.


Sarah R. ’26


Where I’m From

By Owen S. ’27


I am from soccer balls

from Adidas sweatpants and Wilson tennis balls

I am from nature

active, energetic

I feel the wet dew in the mornings

I am from the outdoors,

the yew tree

the yew tree outside my house reminding me of the wilderness

I’m from the reservoir walks and tiredness when the day ends

from my sister and my mom and my dad, we’re from the “get up and do something” and “get off your iPad” clubs
From “we’re going skiing and “your soccer game is at 3”.j

I’m from “the active squad”

throwing frisbees in the backyard,

I’m from Bedford,

Matzo ball soup and latkes.

From the days off of school when I could go rock climbing, or practicing lacrosse in the backyard,

the swim periods in the lake at my camp

I am from the great outdoors


Martha E. ’26

La Violencia 

By Fiona P. ’26


This is a true story, told to me by my grandfather, Francisco Pedraza.


The school bell rang and the students filed out of the building. I stopped on the steps, searching the crowd for my friends, Santiago, Felipe, Tomas, and Emilio.

“Hey, Francisco!” I turned around and saw my friends standing behind me.

“Wanna come over to my house?” said Tomas. I agreed, and we were walking down his block when we heard shouting from the Bogotá square by the capital. We stopped walking and exchanged worried glances.

“What was that?” asked Santiago.

“I don’t know,” I responded. Suddenly, gunshots rang out. I jumped. Being teenage boys, we thought it was a great idea to go check it out. Little did we know that was the worst decision we could make.

We approached the square, and I got more and more nervous as we went. I looked around, and saw a mob of people. People held up signs, protesting the ways of the dictatorship, and shouted things I couldn’t comprehend.

The people pushed on, shouting chants and slogans against the government. On my tippy-toes, I could see a troop of soldiers marching down one of the roads into the square.

“Stop!” said the leader through a megaphone. “In the name of the law, stop your protests! We are armed and prepared to shoot!” I watched in horror as the soldiers fired their guns. I ran toward the side of the square and hid behind a potted tree as three people dropped dead. I shook with fear as the soldiers started to push their way through the crowd.

“Tomas! Santiago!” I screamed. Glass shattered. A distant fire alarm was heard. I looked around desperately for my friends. I was jostled as people ran and screamed in all directions. A man ran toward me then fell dead. I couldn’t collect my thoughts. I couldn’t think

“I’m here, Francisco!” Tomas and Santiago came running up to me. I hugged them as my eyes grew watery.

“Let’s go! They will kill us!” I said. I picked myself up and we sprinted toward an ally in search of safety as the guns continued to shoot. The chaos had taken over the entire center of the city. People shrieked and I heard the sound of bodies hitting the hard cobblestone street. We ran down the road to my house. Cars were burning, people were running up and down the street, windows were smashed. I stopped short and looked around.

“Wait!” I exclaimed. “Where are Felipe and Emilio?” Santiago gasped.

“Oh no. They’re in the square.” We turned around and ran toward the square. The riot was in full effect. Endless screaming filled the air. The fountain in the center was getting hacked at and someone was trying to burn a building. My mind spun. We looked around desperately for our two lost friends.

“They’re not here!” said Tomas. “Go!” We twisted our way through the maze of people as we sprinted to my house. I shook the door.

“Open! Please!” I found the key and the door opened. We locked it and pressed our bodies against it. Sobbing, I stumbled upstair, saying goodbye to Tomas and Santiago, as they lived in my building. When I opened the door, no one was home, which had me even more worried. I found a note on the table in my mother’s handwriting. Dear Francisco, it read, please stay here after school. Marie is at her club. There may be a riot in the square, but you should be fine if you stay put, mi amor. I am with Papá at his office and should be back for dinner. Con amor, Mama. Marie was my older sister. I sighed with relief that my family was safe and fixed myself a bowl of cereal. I turned on the TV. I couldn’t pay attention, but a black and white photo caught my eye. It was a picture of the aftermath. Dead people littered the square. I gasped and looked closer. I recognized two faces.

Taken from me. Gone.

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Happy Mother’s Day to all the Amazing Mom’s in our Community!

Your children have created wonderful things thanks to your nurturing!

Keira P. ’26

Keira P. ’26

Keira P. ’26

Shikhar M. ’26

Shikhar M. ’26

Shikhar M. ’26

Allison C. ’24

Allison C. ’24

Allison C. ’24

Sarah R. ’26

Frida S. ’27

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7th & 8th Graders Recreated Famous Works of Art!

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6th Grade Figure Drawings

Some of the 6th graders spent a lot of time learning how to draw the human figure this year. They then looked at a number of artists and made color choices both based on  famous works of art and “freestyle” drawings by adding color in a way that they envisioned on their own. Here are some examples:

Sarah R. inspired by: Gino Severini

Julia F. inspired by Jasper Johns

Skylar V. inspired by two different Georgia O’Keeffe paintings

Bode C. two freestyle drawings

Mitch P. freestyle

Spencer F. freestyle

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Some Poetry for the Long Holiday Weekend

Everything Will Be Okay

By Mrs. DiFalco’s English 8-1

I know that everything will be okay

but because of the virus, I am only able to sit at home.
Most of my days look the same.
I’m constantly washing hands,
trying to stay out of public.

I felt in my gut
that it would become something
much larger and more dangerous
than originally expected.

These past few weeks, our lives and values
Have been changing each day.

When I go outside for walks
(making sure to keep social distancing)
it feels like the world is empty,
and I know it’s not
but everybody
has been affected by it,
and I can see it in the people I know
and in the people I don’t. 

I feel worried about the community
as we go through changes and fears
that we have never faced before,
but we have to believe and have faith.

Trying to find the good is difficult, but I guess the good is
people having some time to themselves, time with family, time for getting more sleep.
Time to bake and draw and cook and read.
Gratitude for family and friends,
for people all over the country trying to contain the virus and keep us safe.

I’m thankful for the wonderful family I have 

because without them I don’t know what I would do at this time.

We know that everything will be okay
and living through this could change our way of thinking for the better,
teaching us lessons like: 
Faith will lead us out of darkness.

*This is a found poem that represents all 17 voices of Mrs. DiFalco’s English 8-1 class. 


The Colorful Leaf

By Philip I. ’26


In the summer 

How pretty I am

But so hard to see

No one can.


How I wish 

To show my colors

While sitting in a tree 

Up high and tall.


Waiting for the wind 

To swoosh-swoosh

And knock me out

To the bottom floor.


My colors have died, 

My prettiness gone,

And now the winter has come,

Life needs to start again.


Rusty Rain

By Philip I. ’26


Fun, but lonely

Sad, and annoying 

Board games, indoors

All so baloney


Rain that drip-draps 

And mud that split splats.


All that’s in me has been wrecked,

Wrecked by a big black wrecking ball.


No more Catch

No more basketball

No more playing

All so boring

As staring at nothing.


The Tree Out the Window

By Philip I. ’26


The tree

Full of wild animals

Who drink tea

The tree out the window

The one that shines

Like a blinking red star.


The holes 

One for each

Each family of animals

About a million

But only a dozen

Each can be seen from miles away


The branches 

Each one has different

Shapes and sizes

Some are dirty

Some are sparkling clean

Some are average like an average human.


The leaves 

The ones that 

Are beautiful

Red, orange, green

Uh, too tired to say more

But after the showcase is over 

Their life is over.


The tree out the window 

The leaves

The branches

The holes

The tree

All make that tree a unique tree.


The Smell of Pasta

By Philip I. ’26


The smell of pasta

Wakes me every day

And every night

The smell of pasta

Makes me jive


The tomato 

All steamy and red

Waiting to be squeezed 

Its red blood dripping like a vampire’s mouth.


The garlic

Takes me to the kitchen

Weaving it smell

Through the air

To the tiny crack of my door.


The parmesan 

Sitting patiently

Waiting to be dumped by me

Gulped all down 

And one crumble remaining.


The tomato

The garlic

The parmesan

All combined together

Makes pasta as sweet as ever.


The Big Mac

By Philip I. ’26


The big mac

All so fun to use

During free time and work

Going beep beep once in a while


I like to hear it chiming

Like the biggest bell of all time

I like to feel it buzzing

Like the biggest queen bee.


Times of happiness

Times of sadness

All of them stored

In one tiny microchip.


Parts of you rage

While others are ecstatic

Losing or winning 

Depends on your skill.


All so fun to use

Hear it in the morning

Hear it at night

And sending me off to school.


One-Way Up 

By Philip I. ’26


I go up

Up to the highest peak

Up to the acme

Up to Mount Everest

But never go down

Not to the bottom floor 

Not to the ocean

Not to the underground mines

When people see me 

On the long curvy path

And about to be 

The king of the world

I fall

Fall into the deep

The big fat monster’s belly

I stau

But when I’m saved

I run

Run to the freedom

Of the big yellow sun.


Son to Dog

By Philip I. ’26


Times have been drool 

Drool from an old stinky dog

Times have been isolated

Isolated like the great plains


Luck has neem dead

Dead like a rotten egg

Life has been in the sewer

All locked and never to come out


But with you on my side 

I’m the mighty beast

Like the tattered ugly duckling 

Who turns into a gorgeous swan


And I see that yesterday 

Was terrible 

But today is not

And the best days of my life are yet to come.


A Quilt Past Its Time

By Abigail N. ’26


I sat, carefully mending

Clothes and cloth heaped at my side,

When I caught a glimmer of blue

Buried amongst old sorrows and joys.


Carefully I drew out

That which had caught my attention –

Ah, yes.

 I remember.


The patches dull now, fluff and feathers leaking,

Beat up, parts worn, sanded smooth by time.

Ever plush, though threadbare, seams relinquishing

Their iron fisted grips to wearily wipe their brows.

Each square of color outlined,

Though some damaged,

With embroidery.



What caught my attention the most:

Color popped from the edges, daring me to look;

Perfect, undamaged and bold.


Gingerly I inserted my needle and thread and

Kept sewing.


Dirt on The Drawer

By Fiona P. ’26

Opening up the aged

Cherry wood chest

Of my grandfather’s

Where did it come from, I ask

New York, in the forties

Or even aboard the tight, odorous ship

The rolling hills of the emerald isle

Before the journey

Clothes and memories 

Here are held

Memories of the white, clean, hospital room

Of the crinkled, departing face

Of my grandfather, gone

Perhaps one day,

 The burden will be lifted

Till then, with each opening

I remember.

The weight on my shoulders

As I threw in the dirt

The weight on my hands

As I opened the drawer.


Three Haikus

Rani B. ’27


All the great workers

Doing everything they can

To help us survive


We cannot leave the house

We are completely stressed

And equally scared


This is horrible

This is unpredictable

But humans are strong


Would He Come?

By Aran B. ’25

“He would not come” — John Steinbeck

The dire situation

Needs someone important to have a fixation

Would he come?

No, he would not come.

Then we shall go!

In silence we move ourselves

To him

Will he help?

Maybe he shall help!

No, apparently, he will not help!

Why does he not help?

Why does he not come?

Is it hate?

Is it laziness?

Or is it something else?

A deeper hate that runs deep in both of our bloodlines

That puncture in our skins will leave a scar that lasts forever

A reminder of the added layer of terror that shall forever engulf myself

Slight darkness persists in me as my meaningless life begins to fade away…

Going, going…..

… Gone ….


An Ode to Winter

Juno Y. ’26


The snow begins to fall,

In small, delicate flurries.

The snow begins to fall,

Icicles dripping from the trees.

The snow begins to fall,

Covering the ground in white.

The snow begins to fall,

Reflecting a brilliant light.

The snow begins to fall,

Each snowflake’s beauty rare.

The snow begins to fall,

Winter is in the air.

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Welcome to the 2020 Arrow!!!

As we all practice social distancing and virtual learning, I hope you will enjoy connecting with the creative spirit here at Hackley. Hackley’s middle school is full of resilience, kindness, beauty and light. May this year’s online Arrow be a testament to this!

Submissions are open to all Hackley students in 5th – 8th grade. Students are invited to submit visual art (drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, fashion, collage, digital art, etc.) and literary art (short stories, poetry, prose, etc.). Submissions may be from school assignments or independent work.

Submit visual art to Ms. Carrier’s Google Drive (mcarrier@hackleyschool.org) and submit writing to Mrs. DiFalco’s Google Drive (jdifalco@hackleyschool.org).

Please email us with any questions.

And now, please enjoy some photographs already submitted from some Hackley middle schoolers:

Sonali R. ’24

Calliope Y. ’26

Calliope Y. ’26

Calliope Y. ’26

Giula S. ’25

Giula S. ’25

Isaac A. ’26

N’Darri P. ’25

N’Darri P. ’25

N’Darri P. ’25

N’Darri P. ’25

N’Darri P. ’25

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The Published Arrow is Here!!!

You can pick up your copy in the middle school office. Enjoy and thank you so much to all the students who made The Online Arrow as well as the published magazine possible – you are total champions!!!

Have a great summer!!!

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Some photo submissions…beautiful!


Afsana D. ’23

Afsana D. ’23

Afsana D. ’23

Ellie K. ’26

Ellie K. ’26

Ellie K. ’26


Mariam M. ’26


Mariam M. ’26


Mariam M. ’26


Mariam M. ’26

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Only two weeks of school left!!! And more great art!!! Double Yay!

Ben N. ’26

Ashley C. ’24


Sophie R. ’24

Kareena P. ’26

Rebecca I. ’25

Zena H. ’26

Sydney M. ’26

Mateen N. ’23

Rick R. ’23

Fishing Flies by Evan J. ’24 with Beckett J. ’24


Enya W. ’24


Isaiah N. ’23


Cam G. ’24


Giulia S. ’25


Annika D. ’26


Emmanuelle K. ’26


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