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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