A Project for Better Journalism chapter

I Watch

This is Jasmin. This is a piece that I started near the beginning of school that I recently finished. It really references the growing dependency everyone has, not just teenagers though they are the most mentioned for technological dependency.

Everyday I sit here and I watch. I watch as my friends sit in the back with a pack in hand and their heads in the clouds. Then I turn and look at the same group run around and waste their life. The only thought running through my head is I don’t want to end up like them.

I walk away with my eyes on the ground to actually see the world around me. I take a second to look to my left and see a couple both looking down at their phones like the other doesn’t even exist. The same is happening on my right with a child looking for their phone instead of their mother. I hear a yell from behind and turn to see a group of adults who have just learned the addictive joy of virtually fighting each other.

I turn back to the front and look down at my hands wondering if I should just plug my ears and erase the world the same as everyone else around me. Then I put it away to return to my surroundings just in time to lock eyes with the only other person not connected to the life draining drug in there hands. It felt like we were in our own world, and we were, there was no one else who would notice if we just walked away and never came back.

I was the one who turned away first, afraid of the reason why he wasn’t like everyone else. If they aren’t connected with wires running to their head, then who knows what they are thinking. Sometimes I think I am to paranoid, after all they could be just normal people taking a  break and actually living. Then again they can be someone looking for a way out but all they see is the back of someones head as they walk along like they don’t even exist. But the moment someone stops to help, they realize that they have been connected for so long that they don’t know what its like to actually feel anymore. So they go right back to get rid of the feeling of being disconnected, being alone without a net to keep them safe.



I’m writing about emotions that can affect lives in a negative way. The emotion I’m talking about is anger. Anger can make people make the worst decisions and hurt others on purpose or by accident. The people won’t realize it until after it happens.

There are people in the world that have huge anger issues. They can get mad at the littlest things. Something that annoys them even a little bit it can set them off. If they are so mad that when they are at home they can punch the wall. They may think it a good idea, but it really isn’t. It can hurt you and you shouldn’t do that. People can get this issue treated. They can get help from doctors, friends, and family. Sometimes the treatment doesn’t work and they have to be isolated from people or the world. I have some anger issues, I try to keep it together and it works. I breathe in and out slowly to calm my nerves. I splash water on my face since it was getting red and hot. I sometimes punch the wall to release stress, and anger. I don’t punch it hard, but sometimes I do and I have to put an ice pack on my knuckles. In the end, don’t hurt yourself or others. Control your anger, if its hard get help because I know that your friends would love to help.


Opinions, Poetry and Stories

Tell Friends the Truth

I have friends who have a misunderstanding. Its all because they won’t tell someone the truth. Just tell them the truth and clear this up. This is a story I made with no relation to my actual friends.

One day, my friends got into an argument and I overheard it. I decided to help them in my own way. I have been thinking of a way to help and I decided to write this story. What I heard was just a bunch of name-calling. It really hurt me hearing all these name callings. I decided to talk to others and try to figure out what happens. One person likes another person, but they don’t like them. And this causes a major upset in our group. To help them get better together, support them and listen to their wishes. Help me support them by helping them spread the truth. I’m not mentioning any names, but the ones who read this knows who they are.


Opinions, Poetry and Stories

Parent’s Perspective

This was a project for my lit class and the purpose was to write something from the perspective of Elsie Hickam to her son Sonny Hickam, from the book October Sky. It got me thinking about the perspective of the parents that aren’t really acknowledged by the child until after they are old enough and by then it is to late to appreciate the hard work done for them. It is slightly edited to remove as many references to the book as possible, but there are a few necessary to the story, as well as, to make the letter more gender neutral.

Dear love,

                      I know that I have been hard on you these days but I want you to understand that it is because I love you and wish you have a far better life than mine. I will not apologize for my actions because they were necessary and you will see why as you get older. I do feel regretful for the pain you had to experience in order to learn the lessons I was trying to teach you. This may seem like an excuse or a platitude but I do love you and want you to have a far better life than me, though I do not regret my choices.

            Most days it may seem as if I am switching between supporting you and acting like I am restricting you. But the truth is, I don’t know another way to show my belief in you and my desire to keep you safe. You are my child and I am so proud of you and your accomplishments. You will always have my support and love. Never doubt that you understand, never doubt that I love you.

             I am aware of how hard it is for you and your father. He has no real experience in how to deal with someone as amazing as you. This is mostly his upbringing clouding his vision of the future. You once asked me why he hates you, but he doesn’t hate you. He just has trouble expressing his love. He often disagrees with me when I try and help him see how he should treat you. It is not entirely his fault, he has always been a little headstrong. When he can find a way to leave his job, he becomes a wonderful husband who tries to give me the world. Otherwise, he becomes so difficult and obsessed. It almost seems like he married another woman and I am a friend to casually talk to. You must promise me to never become like him. Promise me you will always remember your family first.

Often times I see you watching me as I finish my painting. You must be wondering why I do it, right? I do it to remind me of my life outside of this town. Before I married your father, I lived in Florida. There, my life was about me, not your father’s work. Everything I did was for myself without needing to think of his work. There I felt happiness. This does not mean I am not happy here, just that I had a different kind of joy that I can not experience here. It is similar to the joy you have when your rockets fly when your cake is made when you score that final winning goal. That is why I insist we leave this town, so I can have my life away from this lifestyle that holds my family captive.


Your Mother



I’m bored. I’m writing this just because life permits me. And I believe the brain is a random topic to talk about, more importantly cloning.

Life as a whole is a mysterious entity. Many aspects are unknown to humankind. We don’t know how the brain works, how muscles work, or how emotions work. In any work of trying to make a clone, these are the issues brought up. We can make an entity that looks someone else, but trying to make them speak the same or act the same, is scientifically flawed. With current science it is impossible. However, there are games and TV shows that shows what happens if our technology is that advance to make a perfect clone, For example, in Star Wars, the clone troopers are identical clones who look alike and speak similarly, and in the game Fallout, they have enemies known as the institute and they can make robots called synths who developed a consciousness and can think for oneself. In many cases, people have theories on how to make a perfect clone, but in all cases, the problem arises with the brain. The brain is made up of a matter called gray matter, which is ultimately unknown. We as mankind do not understand gray matter and how it is formed.

Opinions, Poetry and Stories

Star Wars Civil War pt.3

The star wars universe is a totally fictional world. All the events are not true but do take on the appearance of real-world events. None of the topics are just made up, not true.


Journal Entry: part 3
When the explosions started going off, the rest of the guards came running and found me. I told them to leave Satine’s body and leave it for the official ceremony. I went to go back outside to see the damage when I spotted the Jedi master. He was flying with some deathwatch, and then I realize Satine’s sister was leading the uprising. As I standing there, some of Maul’s men came busting in and started to attack my men. It was an all-out battle in the throne room. I decided to leave the balcony, but not before seeing the darksaber, laying next to Maul. I told Grum-Da, to go get the saber as I went to help the others fend off against maul’s men. It was 15 of us against 28 of them. It was an easy fight, Maul’s men had no training and worse weaponry than us. Dena-Tu and Rona-Vizsla fought hard and I decided to promote them to a higher rank. We lost Fro-Da, Dre-Ga, and Huz-Ku due to a fallen pillar from an explosion outside the throne room. We fended them and then we met back up with Grum-Da and went to find Satine’s sister. We found her and followed her to the ships, she told me to go to get Satine’s body. I went to go get it, but as I was outside the main door, the building fell on me. I was buried underneath it.

News, Student Activities

“I’ll Be Seeing You” Concert

On Thursday March 8th at 7 p.m. in the auditorium, the Evans High School choral department will be performing its Winter Concert called “I’ll Be Seeing You” which features many songs from the World War II era that honor our nation’s military forces.  The choral department has been hard at work while preparing for this performance, and this concert has come with a new special addition to its program.  The Evans High School choirs and The Augusta Richmond County Historical Society (ARCHS) have worked together to honor many of the veterans who served their country while fighting in World War II.

The Augusta Richmond County Historical Society is a part of the national Veteran’s History Project, and as a result of participating in this project the ARCHS wrote a book that compiles the work of over eight hundred interviews with people in the Augusta area.  This book is called In Their Own Words: Augusta and Aiken Area Veterans Remember World War II.  During this upcoming concert, Evans High School has the honor of presenting some video interviews from these brave soldiers that were collected by the Veteran’s History Project while also having the privilege of having four heroic World War II veterans in attendance to this concert.  The veterans in attendance include: Richard Kraig, Paul Harless, Jack Kendall, and George Waddell.

This concert aims to send a message from our generation to the generation of brave soldiers and protectors of our country.  We thank you for your service.  Without your sacrifice we would not be able to live and grow in this country that was won for freedom in your footsteps, in your trials, and in your service.  You will never be forgotten, and your testimony will live on in our lives as we strive to grow our nation on the strong foundation of “America, the beautiful” that you have planted.

Opinions, Poetry and Stories

Flower of Love

I’m Courtney, and I’m writing about the fact that it’s alright to be single on Valentines Day. Sometimes you even get really lucky on that day. Love is strong and painful, but people survive. On the day of love it is alright to not have a loved one. You have your friends beside you to get through everything together.

Valentine’s Day does give every body the chance of discovering love. For now, I’m going to tell you about my experience this special Valentine’s Day. 

February 14th, 2018

My favorite flower is a carnation. I feel like it spreads love around. I see many people getting flowers from the ones they love, and then there’s me. No boy will get me a flower because no boy has a crush on me. My friends of course love me, but I have no boy that likes me. I walked from class to class, and then during lunch I got a flower from a girl. She said “Courtney Smith?” “Yes?” I said “This is for you” She handed me the flower.  The flower was a carnation and it had a note saying “Will you go out with me if you find out who I am?” then all my friends said “Oooo, Courtney got a boyfriend” I blushed, but I was trying to find out who would send this. I know that no boys have a crush on me. Lunch was over, so I went to class. There was a note on my desk saying “Here’s a hint, you’ve known me since we were two. I have one class with you, and I have lived near you for a long time” I thought and someone came to mind, but would he actually get me this, would he? The last bell rung. I tried to find him, but I didn’t. Instead, I texted him, “Where are you? I need to ask a question.” He replied with, “Meet me outside in the school garden” I walked to the garden to him standing there looking at the carnations. “Hey” I said to get his attention “Hey” he said. I walked over and asked “Did you give me this flower?” I showed him the flower, “Yes, I did” he said stepping closer to me “Why?” I said. He replied with “What? Can’t I give the girl I like a flower for the special day?” I froze. I replayed what he said. I repeated, “You like me?” in confusion. “Yes I do. I have liked you for a while, but I never got the courage to say it. Are you nervous?” “Yes, and I don’t want us to lose our friendship” “I see well, I like you too, and I know that we will be friends forever” I said to reassure him “Good” he said and he kissed me. I actually had someone who liked me. I found someone who loved me for me. I actually like Valentine’s Day for one year.

Poetry and Stories

A Touch of Raspberries

This story is about a deaf girl and a bully. The bully starts to fall in love with the girl. Despite her differences, he falls for her, and he can’t figure out why. This short story reflects on how love shines through even if you don’t see it. Will he choose her over being cool, or will things turn the other way around? Being deaf is nothing to joke about, will he realize it?

Author’s Note:

If you are sensitive about the deaf community, pause here. You don’t have to read this story if you don’t want to. This story is based on a manga/anime titled, “Koe No Katachi,” or “A Silent Voice/The Shape of Voice.” I changed many things about it so it doesn’t copy the “A Silent Voice,” exactly. I claim no rights to the creation of “Koe No Katachi” or “A Silent Voice/The Shape of Voice.”


It all started when I was a young boy. As young as fourteen, I was the most popular kid in the ninth grade. Everyone was my friend, and I was known as, “Junior” to everyone. Even my teachers called me that. My real name is Oscar Lanbridge, and this is the story of how my life changed forever. It started when I was on my way to second period. This was my science class which was secretly my favorite class. At the time, you wouldn’t have caught me saying I loved it because it wasn’t “cool.” My friends yelled to me when I walked in. “Ay, Junior,” my friend Alec said. “You got your homework?” he asked me. I was always the person to my have my homework done because I actually liked doing it. I nodded my head and gave it to him. “Attention everyone,” the teacher said to us. “We have a new student and she’s very special.” All the students rose their eyebrows. Alec nudged my shoulder, “She?” She came into the room, and she was really pretty. The teacher wrote down something on this notebook she carried. The girl nodded and flipped the page. She wrote something down flipped it over. On her paper it said, “Hello everyone, my name is Faya.” Everyone was wondering why she wrote this on paper and didn’t say it. We were wondering why this blue eyed, brunette was not speaking a word. It was like the teacher could read our thoughts. “This is Faya Mayweather and she is completely deaf.” When the teacher finished her sentence, everyone starting chatting amongst one another. The teacher looked over at me, “Faya will be sitting in front of you Junior.” I rolled my eyes, “Okay whatever.” I was trying to be cool in front of my friends, pretending like I could care less about her. That wasn’t the case though, I wanted to know her even if she is deaf. After writing on her notebook, she nodded and sat in the seat in front of me. As the teacher was talking, he wrote down everything on the board so Faya could follow along. She wrote down everything, and she looked like she was listening more than anyone else. Her beauty is astounding and her quiet breaths were tranquil. As my gaze on her started to fall deeper, my other friend Matthew tapped me on the back. I turned around and saw that he had something in his hand. “Hey Junior, I dare you to throw this in her hair,” he was holding his gum that he just finished chewing. “Why don’t you do it?” I asked him. “C’mon, are you a chicken,” he started imitating a chicken, and people around us started laughing. Everyone in classroom started to be in a pit of laughter, except Faya. “Silence,” the teacher said turning around. “Yes sir,” we all said in unison. When the teacher starting writing on the board again, I turned around to Matthew. “I ain’t no chicken,” grabbing the gum I threw it in her hair with no hesitation. Alec and Matthew started to crack themselves up, and my other friends Chris and Drew started to board the same laughter train. Faya was struggling to get it out of her hair and I felt so bad. For the sake of being cool, I didn’t help her. The smiles started to arise again. Our teacher turned around once again and saw what had happened. The gum was completely stuck at the bottom of her hair. She was only making it worse by clawing at it. The teacher tried to help her but decided to just send her to the office. I came along with her. She took her notebook with her, and we went off to the office together. It was quiet when we were walking until she decided to write something on her paper. It said, “Who threw the gum? Do you know?” I pointed to myself and told her I was sorry in sign language. Her eyes lit up and she asked me something in sign language. She signed to me, “You know sign language?” I nodded and started telling her how my seven year-old sister Isabelle is deaf, and so I learned through my mom. She laughed and told me that was adorable. We finally made it to the office, and I told them what happened. The nurse helped her into the nurse’s office. The principal pulled me into her office and talked to me. I’ll never forget this talk for as long as I live. “Come sit down,” Principal Jones said to me. I sat down, and waited for her to talk again. She stared at me for a while then started talking. “Are you sure you are the one who threw the gum?” The fact that she asked me that stunned me. I nodded. She rose her eyebrow, “I’m surprised.” “Why?” I asked not knowing what she was talking about. The principal walked over and stood in front of me. “You walked in laughing with her. It didn’t seem at all like you would do that to her.” My eyes widened. “You didn’t want to do it, did you?” She asked me. I looked down and felt guilt flowing in my veins. “I thought so. You don’t have to do this or be here right now. You care about that girl, you wouldn’t hurt her. I know about your sister, and I know you are familiar with the deaf community.” She continued on, “Think to yourself, hurting the ones you hold dear could crush a soul in pieces.” I felt a drop in my heart as the words kept flying at me. “You’re not in trouble. Just think about it.” We finished talking, and I walked out. I went to the nurse’s office to check on Faya. She was nowhere in sight, and I only saw the nurse. “Where’s Faya?” I asked. She looked over at me coldly, “Thanks to someone she went home to try to get that gum out.” I nodded and was about to head back to class. “Ya know,” the nurse continued, “bullying a deaf girl isn’t cool.” I nodded once more and walked back. Over the next few days, my friends kept pressuring me to throw more gum and spit balls at her. I told them no, and they rolled their eyes at me. They kept bullying her and stopped talking to me because they thought that I was lame. When Faya came back her hair was shorter. Even so she was still beautiful. She became my only friend, and I loved being with her. I was happy but there was a downside. Being the ex-friend of Alec, Matthew, Chris, and Drew dragged me into being bullied with Faya. They kept blaming me, and I would get detention.  Eventually Faya’s father was tired of it and pulled her out of school. The day before she was going to move. She and I spent the entire day together. She brought food for a picnic. We went to Yerny Park and sat under the oak trees. “Would did you bring?” I asked her. She held up her hands and began to sign, “I brought all of my favorites.” She picked up a tub of raspberries and opened it. She lifted up her hands, “These are my absolute favorite.” I smiled and slightly blushed. I realized the situation. This whole time I had tried to ignore it. She’s going to leave me, and I was about to cry. She noticed my teary eyes and reach towards the raspberries. As she placed the raspberry in my mouth, she held up her hands. “Don’t worry, know that….I love you” she signed those heavenly words. I couldn’t believe it. Faya was getting a call when I was about to respond. She kept nodding and looked like she was about to cry. She started to sign, “I have to go, but this isn’t goodbye forever though.” “It isn’t,” I said back. I never saw her after that until yesterday. I am now a junior in college. I was at Panera Bread as this beautiful girl walked in. I thought I recognized her, but I shrugged it off. Throughout the rest of high school, I always thought about her. I thought I’d never see her again. The beautiful girl walked out and towards me. She placed down her bagel on my table and lifted her hands up. I looked up and soon realized. “Oscar, is that really you,” The girl signed to me. I lifted up my hands, “Faya, you’re here.” A miracle happened, and I had never thought that it would. We talked the entire day, and she went home at seven. She told me something that day. “You know, I have a baby brother who dealt with bullying, and I helped him through it,” she said. “That’s amazing. I wish I were like you,” I respond. She glared at me as she held up a tub of something. Raspberries. “Remember from our picnic.” I nodded and grabbed one. “You helped me through the bullying in the ninth grade,” she signed to me. From that point on, I started to help my sister and other kids who were bullied. Faya and I both helped so many and soon got married after college. Faya is a special education teacher, and I’m a biologist. Our lives changed for the better. I’ve learned a lot from her as she once learned from me.

Opinions, Poetry and Stories

The Letter of Strength

I’m writing about how losing someone can be hard, but they want you to be strong for them. You can be strong and brave. Stay with the people that are always there for you. Stay by their side even if they are not there physically. They can watch over you from far away or close by.

Sarah was walking home from school, and once I walked in the door I saw that mom was on the phone crying. I asked “What’s wrong mom?” She got off the phone, looked at me and said “Nothing sweetie, how was your day?” “It was good, but I know your are lying” “Its nothing”, so I went to my room and did my homework. My dad texted me saying “I have something to tell you Sarah” “What is it?”, I asked “Your grandmother has cancer” when he sent that I just froze. That’s why mom was crying. Grandma or the hospital called her and told her that she has cancer.  I text back “How do you know?” he replied “I found out two days ago” “Well is she ok?!” I asked worried. “Yes she’s fine” “Ok, when can I go see her” “I don’t know yet” “Ok” I cried that my grandmother had something that could take her away from me forever. I couldn’t sleep, so I woke up to see mom and dad in the kitchen talking. “Get dressed Sarah” my mom said. “Why?” I asked “We are going to visit grandma” my dad said, and I raced upstairs. Once we got to her hospital room, I ran and hugged her tight. “Sarah, my dear” “Grandma!” We talked for a while. My mom and dad were asking the doctor some questions. I guess that I didn’t really pay attention because I was with grandma. While grandma was talking, she stopped breathing and started to convulse, so I yelled for doctors and nurses to come help. They got there. While they were trying to save her my mom pulled me out of the room. I was crying thinking that she was being taken away from me and that I was going to lose her.  An hour later, the doctors came out and told us that she didn’t make it. My heart ached. Then one of the doctors handed me a note saying, “This was from her to you” I grabbed it and read it. It said:

Dear Sarah,
I know I don’t have much time to live in this world anymore, but I want to tell you that I love you with all my heart. It’s time for me to leave and go to a beautiful world. I want you to stay strong for me ok? I know that you are a strong and brave girl and nothing can hold you back. I’m sorry that I had to leave you so soon, but it is my time. Tell your parents that I love them so much. Have fun at school dear. I hope the rest of your high school years will be filled with joy and cheer. Maybe you will get a boyfriend. It would be nice for you to have someone that close to you that loves you for you as I always will. Love Grandma”

I cried so hard that I couldn’t see the note anymore. I was so heart broken that she had left me forever. I’m going to stay strong and brave for myself and for her. Ever since the day I got her note, I’ve been stronger than ever before. If bullies tried to bully me, they would leave me alone afterwards, and if I fall I get right back up. In the tenth grade year, I got a boyfriend by being strong brave for myself. Every night before I go to bed, I read her note like a bedtime story.