Friday, April 11, 2014

"Kyrielle for Bonnie and Clyde" by Naomi Jean Lewis

He laughs out loud with eyes of stars
His heart tattooed with jagged scars
He smiles at me, like Hell-fire bright
We drive on through the moonless night

Fighting and swerving on the road
Weary-souled, but we keep our load
Highbeams fly by with fading light
We drive on through the moonless night

Bullets with our names, carved in deep
We flee on to our bandit’s keep
Escaping home; we nuzzle, bite
We drive on through the moonless night

Happiness is your hand, my gun
Baptized in blood, we became one
Our stolen car rumbles with might
We drive on through the moonless night

No place is safe from hired men
Like Daniel in the lions’ den
We’re on the run in constant flight
We drive on through the moonless night

Two sinners’ souls, ‘neath the sky
We won’t say, “no” and won’t say, “bye”
Together our burden is light

We drive on through the moonless night

"My Curious Obsession with Pokemon" by Phil

Since the first day we got back from winter break, senioritis has been a plague that has seemed to slowly but steadily creep into my life. What started out as drifting off in class at times led to full blown afternoons of doing little to no work at all. I laugh out loud to think that I once upon a time told myself I wouldn’t be like every other senior, but alas, I’ve been dragged into the norm. And to think it all started going downhill on that fateful day when the original Pokémon series came out on Netflix. For wherever there is Pokémon, I will always be there.

It was a dull and rainy Saturday afternoon as I sat and played with my action figures on the living room floor of the same house I live in today. But the day wouldn’t be dull for much longer, because today was the day that my mom was taking me to see my first movie ever in theaters. The name of the movie was Pokémon 2000, a tale in which main character Ash and his friends stumble upon three legendary Pokémon and fight bad guys to save the Pokémon from captivity. You can only guess where such an exciting movie like that took me.

Not even a year later, what had started out as a mild interest transformed into a full-blown obsession. I had Pokémon-themed everything: shoes, clothes, hats, posters, wallpaper, bed sheets, stuffed animals, and much more. If you name it, I’m pretty sure I had it! I fondly remember rushing home from school every Tuesday and Thursday, so eager to catch the latest Pokémon episode that was on at 4 o’clock. There would never be a time where I would watch my Pokémon shows without my favorite Pokémon blanket and stuffed Pikachu right by my side. I even recall at one point forcing my mother to buy me the new Pokémon cereal, of which I ate the whole box despite its bland taste. I even got plastic Pokéballs for Christmas one year, which I used every single day until they all were broken.  As I raced around the house after school with Pikachu in my arms, I would always imagine that we were embarking on a great adventure to become the best Pokémon trainer of all time! You could say I had quite the imagination when I was a kid, and it only continued to grow as I got older.

As the years went by, my love for Pokémon only grew. After the original series ended, I began to collect every trading card I could find. Without a doubt, my favorite two cards I ever owned were my shiny Electabuz and shiny Charizard, both of which were valued at around $25 each. I must have spent every penny I had as a child completing my whole collection, which ironically sits in a box in my closet untouched for years despite my still-persistent love for all things Pokémon. But back then, my Pokémon cards were my most prized possession; they would’ve been for any boy or girl my age. I loved being the envy of all my friends when I’d bring my card binder over to their houses and show them all my latest additions to my ever-growing collection. I even tried to enter in a local card game competition when I was eleven, but alas my parents said I was too young.

From that point I moved onto the new Pokémon games, which still to this day dominate the video game markets all over the world. My best friend gave me my first Pokémon game on my twelfth birthday, which went quite nicely with the Gameboy my parents bought me. I was a pretty lucky kid to say the least. The games were by far my favorite of anything that the creators of Pokémon came up with. It was not long until I had every single game from the first three “generations”, meaning I had a total of nine games at one point. Though it sounds ridiculous to have had nine Pokémon games at once, I certainly put all nine of them to more than good use, beating them all at least twice. The best thing about the games in my opinion was the fact that I could finally become the Pokémon trainer I had watched on TV and go on my own adventure. I could even catch whatever Pokémon I wanted if I searched for it! It was everything I needed at the time. All my friends played it and so did my brother, which made it all the more fun to keep playing it even as I got to be older.

One of the things I always kept in mind through all those years of Pokémon love was how much it meant to me and influenced my life. I think the thing that always drew me to Pokémon more than anything else was its ability to keep up with the popularity of all ages of children while still remaining nonviolent. When I look at all the popular games amongst children and teens out today such as Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto, it makes me seriously wonder how the violence is acceptable. I am so thankful my parents never let me get any violent video games. Even now they are iffy about me playing any M-rated games even if I am seventeen. It is so strange to me to think about how much has changed in the last five years with gaming. I feel like gaming companies have lost their creative edge and have resorted to desensitizing children like the rest of society has today. And it’s not like violence receives so much of a better rating that what Pokémon has, so we know that kids are willing to enjoy nonviolent games just as much. I just wish that kids today were as much into Pokémon as I was. It was something that all my friends were as into as I was. I still play the games every now and then, and they are most certainly just as fun every single time.

Even now, I still share my love for Pokémon in many ways. I will talk the ear off of anyone who is willing to listen to me about it. Though the Netflix release of the show has affected my school work, I am so happy I get to relive the best parts of my childhood before I head off to college in the fall. It may seem childish to some, but I believe that Pokémon is a great link to my past that I can still access to this day. It’s a fad that may die down as I grow older, but will never die out completely. I may not seem like much of a nerd, but I’m the head of the pack when it comes to my love for Pokémon. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

"If I was a Flower" by Adrenaline

If I was a flower I would sit around all day and soak up the sun. I would stand tall as the sun washed over my petals and down my spine. It would be as if my eyes were closed, laying on the cool grass. I would be absolutely content, if I was a flower.
I would sway as monster-sized raindrops fall gently on my leaves. I’d soak up the water, drink it down with open... “arms”. I would suck it in through my roots, feel it climb up my stem, spread into my leaves, and fuel me for my days of relaxation. If I was a flower, I would be serene.
If I was a flower I would have no real worries. I wouldn’t think about school or grades. I wouldn’t think about what college I could get into or what would be my major. I wouldn’t think about how I would make money to afford college. How could I pay my debts? How could I find a real job? None of that would matter, if I was a flower.
If I was a flower, I would have a lot of flower friends. We would never fight. If I was a flower, no one would steal boyfriends. No one would talk behind backs. No one would be fake or mean or rude. If I was a flower, life would be bliss.
If I was a flower, I would have been born of a seed. I would have grown up on my own. No reliance on parents for money, rides, a home and food. I wouldn’t need to be with my parents. We wouldn’t be constantly fighting. I wouldn’t have to come back, every time I walk away. I wouldn’t even have to walk away. I would just be gone, if I was a flower.
If I was a flower I would soak up the rain as well as the sun. I would have no worries. I would have a bunch of friends, no drama included. I would never have fights with my parents.
I would be utterly happy, if I was a flower.

"Pantoum for a Scapegoat" by Hiram McDaniels

 Note from the author: a pantoum is a poetic style where lines are repeated. But this isn't really a proper pantoum since I changed some words and the order..

I leaned on the railing the night that you lied.
The porch bulb swung gently, a spark still inside.
A sallow-winged moth, entranced by the sight,
Meandered in fruitless pursuit of the light.

The porch swing swung gently. A spark stilled inside me.
Who knew now what other foul truths you denied me?
I stalked off in fruitless pursuit of the light.
The doubt of you followed me into the night.

I knew now there were other truths you’d denied
As the shovel and pickaxe I deftly applied.
Not even you followed me into the night.
You just clutched at the porch-swing and said they were right.

The pick and the spade having been well-applied,
A dark plastic sheet in the earth I espied.
I clutched at the handle and knew they were right.
The truth of it tore at my heart like a bite.

A dark wrapped-up shape in the sheet I espied.
My hands with its dust, red and flaking, were dyed.
You warn with no bark. You’ve a deadlier bite.
Then, floodlights and sirens, all blindingly bright.

A sallow-winged moth burned up at the sight
Of floodlights and sirens, all blindingly bright.
My hands with your sin, red and blatant, were dyed.
I hung by the neck for the night that you lied

Thursday, April 3, 2014

February/March 2014 Data

The HWC went into hibernation for a brief time during February and March this year, but we still managed to get a lot done. Thanks to HWC tutor Sam C. for designing our fancy new data sheet!

Friday, March 28, 2014

ESOL 3 Classes Visit the HWC

On Tuesday and Thursday of this week, students from Mr. Hutton's and Mrs. Polcha's ESOL 3 classes partnered up with the HWC to work on their Global Awareness and Technology Projects. We really enjoyed working with both classes!

"17" by Bartholomew Stewart

Seventeen. It’s an awfully weird number to write about, but here I am writing about it anyways. Seventeen. Numbers have different meanings in different walks of life. In chemistry, it represents the atomic number for chlorine. On the football team, that’s Jack’s number. Speaking for myself, numbers are interesting; even though some might say, “So what, I’ve been able to count since Kindergarten?” Numbers are so interesting because they represent so many diverse things. Mathematically, numbers can represent vast and enormous unknown quantities. Conversely, they could represent quantities so minute that they bring into question whether or not they are even significant at all. Decimals, fractions, rational numbers, irrational numbers. Whole numbers, natural numbers, integers. The list goes on and on.

Not only do numbers represent an infinite number of quantities, but there also an infinite number of classifications for each set of numbers. All numbers are significant, no matter the magnitude. The zeroes and ones which make up binary code are the foundation of all computers, and are especially significant, because without those numbers, there would be no computers, DVD players, Netflix, and the Herndon Robotics Team definitely wouldn’t be able to create a fully functional 120-lbs robot. Numbers can be built upon, in order to understand highly advanced principles.

Numbers just go on and on and on. They define the world around us. Numbers are infinite in two ways: There is an infinite quantity of numbers, and there is an infinite quantity of numbers between each of those numbers. For example, there are an infinite number of values between one and two. Numbers define us, and everything around us. So, the next time you find yourself, or someone you know cursing numbers, or their math class, just think: “What would I do without them?”