What Makes A Place A Home

By: Shyla Bryant


Many say home is where the heart is, and an apartment, house, or dorm room does not necessarily make a place a home. A home is a place where you can feel comfortable and safe. For me, a home is just an environment where you can be free and can be yourself. A home can be from actually living in a house to camping out in the mountains for a few days.

For example, a time when I was comfortable in an unusual environment that I looked at as a home, was when I went camping with a group of my classmates. Camping is not an environment for everyone, but I loved it. It was all nature, and full of fresh air. When I went camping, I was comfortable, because I didn’t have to worry about impressing anyone, by putting make up on or doing my hair. I was able to be myself and enjoy time with my friends.

Being able to camp out was like a breath of fresh air. Living in the outdoors, was a place where I could explore, hike, and run its beauty. The first night of camping was very relaxing as we all sat around the fire pit, making s’mores, and just having fun conversations. I remember the smell of the air was just so.

A place can also become a home with the people you surround yourself with. It doesn’t just have to be about how the place feels, but how the people around you are influencing you. While on my camping trip, I was surrounded with a group of people who were just as amazed as I was. They made me feel comfortable and showed many fun things you could do while on camping trip. My classmates felt as if the nature was their home and they gave off great positive energy.

Overall, a place does not necessarily have to be an apartment, house, or a dorm room to be a home. A home is any place where you are comfortable, and feel as if you can be yourself. A home is a place where you just feed off of positive energy and feel free. It does not matter whether your home is outside in nature or in an apartment, as long as your heart is there.

Big Bad Lobster of the North

By: Zachariah Curtis


Who am I? I’m The Big Bad Lobster of The North. Where do I live? Deep in the sea, somewhere you’re not. Why haven’t I gotten caught? Well, you try to catch me and see why.

I‘m a six-pound lobster, I have a blue shell, and I’m one foot long. Most of the ladies think I‘m all that and more because I’m big, but I’m just normal. Basically I roam the bottom looking for sea urchins, starfish, mussels, and clams. I eat just about anything, I’m not a fussy eater. I don’t have many predators, but life is like a tag game: if I get “tagged” by a cod I’m out for good.

I’ve experienced many catches but I escaped the cage and got the herring. I’m a six-pound lobster. I’m a safe lobster and its illegal to catch me, so ha ha.

One day I was in my den and a female lobster came out of nowhere and sprayed pheromone in my face. I smelled it and I thought to myself, “what the heck is this?” I followed that lobster and somehow we got into a boxing match. Then she followed me into my den and shed her shell. When she was completely out of her shell I had a choice: to mate or eat her. I wanted revenge for the boxing match, but I decided to do the right thing, I mated. Now when she gets caught, the fisherman has to v-notch her and throw her back. It’s illegal to keep her if she has eggs.

I'll eat anything that gets near my crusher claw and ripper claw, and I'll also eat anything that gets on my bad side.

Personal Narrative

By: Garrett McMillian


I was at Springhill Camp with my church. It seemed like a normal day at camp but it wasn’t. It would turn out to be the scariest experience in my life. I was in the fourth grade. I had done a lot of fun stuff that week at camp like ziplining, archery, and rock wall climbing. Something in my gut told me that today wasn't going to be a good day. We were about to leave the cabin, but first my counselor told us what we were doing for the day. The first thing he said was the solo challenge. “Roar,” went my stomach as I cowered in fear.

The solo challenge is were you put on a harness and climb up a telephone pole with pegs sticking out. Then, once you're on the top, you jump off and try to catch a rope suspended in the air. I have always been frightened of heights, so this was way out of my league. As we walked toward the solo challenge, my stomach began to churn faster and faster. We got to the solo challenge I looked to the sky to see the 25 foot pole and the suspended rope. I started to panic I felt like I was about to have a stroke.

Our group gathered around our counselor as we shivered in fear. John, my counselor, asked who’s going first. We all got chills as the words jumped out of his mouth. John suddenly said, “Garrett's going to go first.” Ohhh, goes the rest of the cabin as they sighed in relief. I felt as if I was being stabbed with a thousand needles.

I slowly put my helmet and harness on as the chills still went up my arms. I thought to myself, "why me, I haven't been bad all week?" I sat at the base of the pole petrified in fear. The volunteers told me to start climbing. I started to climb up the pole one peg at a time. I started to speed up. I just wanted to get it over with.

Eventually, I reached the top of the pole. The volunteer yelled, "put your right foot on the pole and pull yourself up!" I hesitate, but I did as I'm told. I was on top of the pole I thought to myself, "don't look down." I did it anyway. I began to panic. The pole started to shake under me. I yelled, "I want come down now!" The volunteer said, "you made this far! You're going to have to jump for the rope!" I cried in complete terror.

I counted to three, closed my eyes, and jumped, soaring through the air like an eagle. My hand caught on something. I opened my eyes as everyone was cheering. I caught the rope with two hands as I was suspended in the air. 

"Thank God," I think in my head. The volunteers lowered me and I got mobbed by my cabin mates telling me "good job" and "that was awesome!" This experience changed me forever. I didn't have such a big fear of heights anymore and I knew all things were possible. I always look at this experience when encountering new challenges because it gives me hope that I can do anything.


Set Me Free, On Mute

By: Kiana Joler



I kindle and wither at your request

I torch and burn at your dismay

I cannot touch without suffering

I can only suffer without touch

I bring agony and distress

I live with only affliction and desolation

Life is filled with pain and envy of those who surround me

Life is filled with control and helplessness from myself

I can only hold on

Hold on to my sanity and pride

Let go of my worries and cares

Staying until I am released

Without fight or hatred

Without surrender or love

Holding on until my blaze is doused

Until I am set free

Set free.




I'm drowning in the sea of pain

I'm screaming into the smoke for anyone to hear

I'm crying to the heavens waiting for an answer

I'm still trying at my will's end 

I'm still awaiting answers that I asked for years ago

I'm still burning in the fire that has blazed for an eternity

I am still tired

My exhaustion has lasted it's own lifetime 

A lifetime of pain and dismay with only glimpses of happiness

The glimpses keep me going

Going on and awaiting the next moment as patiently as possible

Until then, I try

I try to continue

Because that's all we do

Continue until we can't 

Until we can't try anymore

Until we can't.


In This Little Town; Summer Sand

By: Charlotte Astley


The birds start chirping, never out of tune,

and the people never stop smiling.


In this little town

the waves are always crashing

on the rocks.




In this little town

the fishermen on the dock

keep fishing with a smile.


In this little town

the people are never down.



The summer sand-

it’s warm like a mother’s hug.


As you climb 

farther from the water,

the sand gets hotter and hotter.


So, you run

into the water

that is freezing.


Then you hear “It’s time to go.”

You have to get out of the water,

and run up the sand, hotter and hotter.




A Walk in Spring

By: Evelyn Fieldroy

I go walking on this day (money in my pocket),

Then around the corner I see coming…. 


Oh, goody!

I run on up and get my share,

I got cherry, soft and sweet.


Perfect for a spring time walk and…

a summer’s treat!


By: Kimora Thompson


Every human has secrets and scars—battle scars that we carry around with us. They don't fade away.Those scars make us…well, us. They're a part of our stories, they're the conflicts that we got over. Our scars are the stories that people don't understand. We draw a picture with a blade and knife with our skin being the canvas. Only we understand the drawing and the mess of blood. We have to hide those pictures under sweatshirts and pants because no one will understand the scars and the feelings that come with those scars, and label us as emos, suicidal, or freaks.

Our scars are tattoos that are just better stories because they mean something. scars remind you of where you've been, they don't have to dictate where you’re going.From every wound there is a scar that tells a story. A story that says, I survived. Maybe I got these scars from being a veteran in the Iraq war, maybe I got angry or depressed and self-inflicted pain on myself, but I have the scars to show for it. A scar tells a story saying, I survived. Want to know how I got these scars? No, the question is: what scars do you have?