Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Lisa in the News

One of our creative writing students, Lisa Pettiford, was featured in an ABC Channel 11 news story about African-Americans and yoga.

You can view it on journalist Anthony Wilson's blog.

Congratulations Lisa for your poise, composure, and grace on the news!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


One year ago when I had Ms. Peterson for English II, she suggested that I do yoga because at the time I was having problems at home and I was getting really stressed out. She gave me a yoga DVD to watch and at first I was like "Is this woman crazy?""What black person you know does yoga?" But after trying it one time I liked it. I have never been interested in yoga and Pilate's, but that all changed. Now I do yoga whenever I feel stressed out or whenever I'mworrying about something. It helps ease my mind and after a long day at school sometimes going home and doing yoga makes my day better. I never thought I would be doing yoga because I'm not very flexible or athletic and I don't work out. My very first time I tried it my arms, legs, and my back was hurting and I kept getting cramps in my feet. But the more I tried it, the better I got. I'm still a beginner because I don't really watch the DVD's that much to be experienced at it yet. My 5-year old cousin tried it with me once and I couldn't concentrate on the DVD because I was too busy laughing at her. I thought it was really cute seeing her try it. While doing yoga you have to keep a steady breath. It requires a lot of deep breathing which calms your mind. If you are a female who is always getting stressed out, then yoga is for you!

The Clock, the constant in our life, by Terri

Time...it never ends. The whole world could be silent, except for one thing, the clock. It will tick in the silent times and the loud. In the sad times and the happy times. Sometimes it feels like it is just dragging by, and other times it flies by. But in truth it is all the same length. Every minute is precious because once its gone it will never come back. Lost forever, subtracted from the unknown number that is your life.
Stop, listen. You may hear the wind or breathing or distant talking but lying underneath is ticking. Let the sound fill you. To some the noise reminds them of appointments and schedules ; it creates anxiety, but I want you to push that feeling aside. Others at the sound feel aged. They realize that they're getting closer to life's final lap, but push that feeling aside. Let the sound flow through you, peacefully. Let the enormity of it fill your head.
Time is something we never think about in its definition but in its common form. Constantly talking about it, revolving our lives around it.
"What time is it?"
"How about four o'clock?"
"How much longer?"
"Five more minutes!"
It is the one thing we can depend on, but the thing we hate the most.
Do you hear it? The ticking, constant and unwavering. I doesn't care about how we feel. It has no mercy. It will age you, from young and fair to old and weathered. But it gives us memories. It teaches us, so that when we near our time ends we will be wise and learned. The wrinkles to some will be ugly, but in my eyes they are evidence of an old friend, one that was there until the end.
So the ticking, to me, is the reminder of the one thing that will never change. Always there. Just listen to it.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Forlorn, by Alex

The desiccated field, stripped of color.
The Xanthotic reign induced.
Something appears to have deserted me.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

On Metamorphosis and Immaturity, by Alex

I had recently read "The Metamorphosis" by Franz Kafka as an Honors English 2 assignment, and appreciated it. However, it occurs to me that I know many that did not. Most of my classmates that have read it disliked it greatly. This has led to my conclusion that A) they do not understand its symbolism and underlying existentialism, or B) they are silly, silly people. I am sure one or both is true for each. I myself can appreciate the philosophy involved, as I am a fancier and vagrant of cogitative theories. Thus I enjoy it, and similarly recommend it to all, as well as a lecture on it -- a gateway to comprehension.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Changes, by Yuletta

My heart began to beat like a drum roll as I took baby steps to my destination. I couldn’t believe this. I felt like my life was coming to an end. Every step that I took was a step that I wanted to take back. I felt my heart in my throat as I begin to swallow. A long tear rolled down my face as I briefly closed my eyes. I begin to pray, hoping this was just a wicked nightmare. As I opened my eyes, I saw two policemen talking amongst themselves. Panicking, I ran over to them, pleading for an explanation. One of the men grabbed a hold of my arm and began to stir me in a certain direction. At that moment, I felt like an infant. Hopeless, desperate, confused, and lonely. My stomach began to do cartwheels, and I felt like I was going to vomit. As we got closer, I resisted. A part of me wanted to let go and run. But another part me wanted to get closer. I need to know that it wasn’t true. It’s not him.

As we became even closer, I knew. I noticed the little fingers and the black converse shoes. The tears begin to flow like a stream, but no words or noises came from my mouth. The policeman looked at me as he slowly pulled back the white sheet. His face was revealed. My heart sunk as I dropped to my knees and began to weep. My body began to shake. I felt like I was hyperventilating, as my body heaved up and down as I cried. I buried my face in the cape of his neck. This can’t be true. Not him! What did I do wrong? Nothing or nobody could convince me of anything right now. I was so caught up. I was so caught up, I didn’t even hear the police talking behind me. I was so caught up, I didn’t realize I was being lifted from the ground. I began to scream and move my body violently, fighting at anyone who came after me. I watched as he pulled the cover back over his body. I watched as they lifted his lifeless body and put him on stretchers. I watched as they took him. My life, my son.

It has been three years since my son’s death. I’ve never thought I’d over come that day, month, and the years. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of him. It took awhile, but I’m actually learning how to deal with his death. I realized that sitting here, being angry and depressed, wasn’t going to take the pain away. It wasn’t going to bring him back. I realized that I needed to get my mind focused on something else. I didn’t know what else to do so I decided to go to college. I’m still young so I figured that it wouldn’t matter. I’m studying the field of Criminal Justice. My son was killed by a hit and run driver and has never been caught. Justice hasn’t served its purpose yet and I’m determined to make a difference. I-


I quickly snapped out of my daze when I heard my name. I looked up and saw my best friend standing above me. I smiled and gathered my papers.

“Hey girl, what’s up?” I asked as I stood and grabbed my purse.

“Nothing girl. Are you ready for some lunch?” she asked as she held the door open for me. We walked out and began to walk across the street to our favorite restaurant. As we were walking, I noticed a little girl crossing the street, without her parents. I frowned as I wondered “where are her parents?” As I began to get Alicia’s attention, a car came zooming by. I instantly lost my breath. The little girl turned around just as the car came to a holt. I clenched my chest and sighed deeply, silently thanking God.

“Come on girl, let’s go.” Alicia said as she grabbed my wrist. We walked inside o the restaurant and seated ourselves.

“Are you okay D?”

“Yes. It’s just . . . you know.” I said as I glanced down briefly.

“Yeah, I know. D, you are so strong. I look up to you girl! I mean . . . I don’t see how you can do this.”

“Do what?” I took a sip of my water.

“Being patient. D, it has been three years since De’Shawn’s death and his killer hasn’t been caught yet. I mean if I was you, GIRL I would’ve flipped!”

“I did.” I quickly said.

“I mean yeah, I know. But I still would be flipping!”

We laughed. I loved this girl.

“I did Alicia. You were there. You know I was out of it for awhile. There’s just a point of time when you have to accept things. Deep down inside do I want to kill that person? Yes! But I can’t sit here and be angry at the world when I can be doing something about it.”

“I feel you girl. I know De’Shawn is looking down on his mommy AND his God mommy,” I smiled and giggled “I’m proud of you D. I love you girl.”

“I love you too girl.”

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Connection, by Brianna

Every single year you are put into a group of new classes, with a group of new and old people. You learn the teacher’s name, how long they’ve been teaching, where they taught before, if they’re married, or if they have any kids. You go through an entire ten months staring some man or woman in the face when they’re supposed to be teaching you something. Showing you some life altering information like what x will equal if 23x+5x+2=150, or better yet what the perfect construction of a sentence looks like. For 180 days we look these people in the face, and nine times out of ten, we will never know who were looking at.

Ms. Marquis took the time. She spent 180 days with us and the time went by too fast. She told us her aspirations, her experiences, what she expected from us as students AND as people. She was kind and generous, but business was business. As long as you held your own she was going to hold hers.

When my grandma died she pulled me aside and asked what was wrong. I didn’t know how she knew because I masked myself with happiness. I am not quite sure when she found the time to notice, or to look any deeper than what was right in front of her, because my 180 days were up. She was my sophomore English teacher, I had been promoted to looking another woman in the face for 180 days. I was a junior now.

When I moved to North Carolina I thought my circumstances would change and they did a little. I cant help to ask myself what would Ms. Marquis tell me to do? That means a lot, she took the time to connect. She understands the meaning of being a teacher. Its more than just teaching the curriculum, its about teaching life lessons. How can you teach a group of kids, young adults, with personal struggles of their own, if you don’t even know who they are. Ms. Marquis paid attention to the little things that made it easier to understand the big things. She gave us more than any teacher ever did. She gave us the world in 180 days.