My College Essay

My name is Adan Kumane Mohamed. There are great meanings in my names. Adan means the father of human beings; Kumane means the nice one; and Mohamed means the messenger of Allah (God). I was born at Libio in Kenya, along the border of Somalia and Kenya. My family fled from Somalia, due to the civil war. I grew up in a place called Dagaheley refugee camp; the world’s largest camp. I personally had faced many obstacles, including education challenges, social injustice and financial crisis. I have solved my problems through dedication, respect, enthusiasm, passion and patience.

After all of my friends went to kindergarten, I asked for my parents to take me to school, but unfortunately no one listened to me. I started seeking my mother’s bag for money, and stole some, then went to the only store in the whole town. I bought three small books and a pencil. Early in the morning I woke up and asked my dad to take me to school. My dad got very upset. He knew that he had to pay the school, and we were already suffering from financial hardship. He finally agreed. It was one brilliant morning. The glare of the sun shined toward our eyes. This was my first day in school. I was six years old.

My family suffered social injustice. After my family had a particularly happy day, we all went to sleep. In the middle of the night I heard a loud sharp sound. I thought it was a nightmare, but when I woke up I saw a gun pointing toward my mouth. The gun-man said to me, “Where is your bastard father?” I was too frightened to say a word. He heard bullets outside and he ran away from me, with his colleagues. They had shot bullets at my father, then he escaped. They looted our properties, and the event caused my father to lose his mind.

The devastation lead my family to a financial crisis. I had started working when I was eight years old, as a restaurant waiter. This money helped my family’s needs and also helped to pay for my education. When I got home, i smelled like rotten potatoes, which I was slicing all night long.

I knew that the only way that I could get out of that horrible life is through education. Education is a life long journey, which had unlocked me from the locked doors. I am striving for a better life.

Adan Mohamed – 17 – Portland, Maine

WordPLAY Comics

Sometimes we use drawings as inspiration for stories. Here are some comics created here on the Wharf! Comic characters with empty speech bubbles came to life once kids gave them their own unique voices and stories. Here is part of Eamon's comic book, "Adventures of Todd and Larry," as well as a comic by Griffen about a grumpy pizza chef and a hungry patron.

Winter Poetry Submissions

We received some great poetry from students at Frank Harrison Middle School in Yarmouth. Here are some pieces that resonate with outdoorsy themes– nature, activities, seasons.

“First Ride”

by Sarah Miller, 13

I push off eagerly.
I feel free.
I hope this lasts forever.
The dizziness of the height,
makes me giggle with anticipation.
As I rise,
ten feet, 15.

My senses are dazzled
in the cutting chill of the wind.
I can taste the sharpness of the air.
Smell the trees and foliage.
Hear the sounds of happiness.
I feel the height of summer.

The swing was beautiful in my eyes.
Its old rope, and worn wood seat,
only comforted me.
Like people who have grandfather trees,
this was my grandfather swing.
It would not drop me.

There aren’t rules up here.
No one could control me
as I soared with the birds.

The wind whipped my hair
and I felt like I had too much happiness
or one body to contain.
I thought that this joy would last

The sun shines in my eyes,
and I push off again.


“Lake-Side Morning”

by Bailey Darling, 14

I sit by the lake
Watching the sun rise warm and shining
I listen to the waves splash onto the shore,
The warm air of mid summer sweeps over me.
A boat races across the shimmering water, creating cold waves
That wash onto my feet.
As I rest by the water,
I see birds soaring majestically through the sky,
One dives, down and down
Its body slices into the cold blue water, and disappears,
reappearing moments later,with a squirming fish
Clutched tightly in its talon.
I listen to the wind whistle through the trees,
leaves float gracefully from the tree tops onto the shimmering lake,
ripples follow
in tiny circles
spreading out farther and farther,
until they finally disappear.
As I sit by the lake,
The sensations of natures beauty,
Are everywhere.


“Lines Within the Tree”

by Joey Fortin

Each one represents another year lived
Each one has a story to tell
Some old some new

Each one makes it stronger
Each one has scars
Of the bad times and the decisions made
Each one knows more

Each one has seen something new
The memories it gains with every day

Each one knows something you don’t

Each one has loved
But is not often loved back

Each one has a family surrounding it

Each one is rooted to the ground
And wishes to stay there


“The Great Transition of Winter (10 Ways to look at November)”

by Christina Dressel, 13

Dead leaves still litter the ground
Like pieces of burned parchment
crunchy and lifeless
the moon shines still

November leaves its mark
when the puddles from the rain yesterday
turn crystal solid
the newly frozen ice gleams

Without November
the seasons wouldn’t exist
without November
fall would never leave
winter would never arrive

I watch
as the last geese fly over the treetops
it shatters my vision of summer
despite the warmer months
when the first snowflake drifts gently
to the ground

It is the chill
that drifts in with every morning
the joy of the approaching holidays
snow clouds wait
they spare the world
from their heavy load
for one short month

Thanksgiving approaches
the wild turkeys still roam free
not a care in the world
with the burning urge
to wander with the wind

The calm before the storm
I see
nothing in this world
that could describe these outdoors

Time stops
the barren land yields
to the snow
with all its fabled glory

The squirrel gathers the remaining acorns
I watch with bated breath
it fogs up the window
when the last leaf falls

I sleep
the sun goes down
the geese take flight once more
as the world turns


“An Ode To Curling”

by Cody Cook, 14

The Center Circle of My Life
You are the magnificent sun
that shines on a cold winter’s day.
Perfection that no other can achieve.

Your wondrous stone glides marvelously
across the shiny ice.
Your swift yet graceful broom sweeps mightily
which urges the all-important stone
to land in the masterful circle
that will complete my life.

You are my one true love
the only thing that I truly live for.
All others bow down their knees to you,
praising the most exhilarating sport
ever invented.
Your perfection is too good to be true.

The medieval Scottish
are the greatest masterminds ever
for inventing the flawless sport of curling.
They knew you would
bring significance into my life
and the world.

You are my passion
My life becomes meaningless without you,
oh my love, curling.
If I am unaccompanied by your perfection,
I can no longer find the purpose in life,
I can no longer have the strength
to get up and face the day.

When I wake up, I remember
I get to curl today.
I get to lead the perfect stone down its path in the Olympics
and the ultimate goal
of reaching the middle of the middle circle.

And once these picturesque thoughts become reality,
My life’s purpose is fulfilled and I am complete.


“Nine Ways To Look At Baseball”

by Luke Klenda

1. For some baseball practice starts in early spring
but others practice all year long

2. A bat ball and two teams
that’s all you need
to play baseball

3. A ball is to be thrown and hit
then a fielder stops it
if it is in the ballpark

4. Short cut grass
or thick grass
changes the rout of the ball
to be fast or slow

5. In the field is a gamble
if it makes a bad hop
its in the outfield

6. One pitch can start or end a game
what to throw is the question
curve ball or fastball
high or low
inside or outside

7.Will you win
or will you lose

8. A short season
or long season

9. For some baseball ends
but for others baseball is life.



by John Thoma

When I think back to it I remember how amazing it felt. It was the feeling  the feeling of going to Maine state regionals it was the feeling of succeeding in my first year. The third team in Maine to do this it was the feeling of being one of a kind. Only so many kids got this experience I was one of them I almost wanted to brag.


“At Night”

by Isabel Bates

Still and silent
no movement except
the trees swaying
out to you
like deranged hula dancers.
The darkness beckoning,
shadows slipping across the ground
free to roam
at night.
The house lights off
windows dark
the ocean inky black
at night.
Boats silent, but
wind whispering
softly laughing,
in your ear
knocking against each other
in the stormy ocean,
waves splashing against their sides.
Absence of sound, just
the laughing wind
rushing water
bobbing boats
But even then
the noises of the dark
seem distant.
Everything is muted,
at night.