Monday, January 20, 2020
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Earth on the Brink, Book One: Secrets- Chapters 5, 6, and 7

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Chapter 5: Silence

“He’s not dead.”

“He can’t be.”

“Well, he’s breathing so he can’t be dead.”

“So? Who told you he can’t be dead?”

“Maybe he’s on the verge of death?”

“Well, I don’t want a person dropping dead on my watch.”

“Me neither.”

The world slowly came into focus. “Wuzzgoinon?” Jack mumbled.

Three pairs of eyes turned to stare at him. “Wow, he’s alive,” said Jason.

“We didn’t know if you would survive that explosion,” said Nyx.

“Yeah,” Angelika added, “we were running for a while-“

“-and then we did a headcount-” Jason interrupted.

“-and there were only three heads-” Nyx continued.

“-because you were gone, obviously-“

“-so we ran back-“

“-and you were lying there-“

“-on the ground-“

“-unconscious-“

“Okay, I think I get the idea,” Jack said. “I’m alive, okay? Yippee.” Then he looked around.

The walls of the room were light blue and the ceiling was a dark gray. There were windows, but they were covered in dust and grime. The room was full of needles and bottles and cotton balls. A hospital bed was lying in the middle of the room. An IV was hanging from a rack. A get-well card lay on the table.

“Where are we?” Jack asked.

“Some abandoned building,” Angelika replied. “Don’t worry, we locked all the doors and windows. I think it’s a hospital-“

“Judging from the bed,” Jason added, pointing to the hospital bed. “I call sleeping in there.”

Angelika shot a look at Jason, then continued, “I think we’ll be safe here. Hopefully.”

Nyx yawned. “I’m gonna go see if there are any good snacks anywhere.”

“I’m with you.” Jason stood up.

“If it’s okay with you guys,” Jack said, “I’m going to get some rest.”

“I’ll stay here with Jack,” Angelika offered.

Jack looked at Angelika. Her black hair was a mess. Leaves and dirt and bark were stuck in her hair. Jack also noticed she had bright blue tips in her hair. “Um, you’re hair’s a mess,” Jack said. “I can help you fix it. If you want,” he added quickly.

“Uh, sure,” Angelika said. Jack thought her cheeks turned a bit pink.

Jack helped take the leaves out of her hair. His cheeks burned a bit, although he didn’t know why. He tried to sit up, and he fell.

“Don’t sit up yet,” Angelika warned.

Jack noticed he had grabbed her hand when he had fallen. His cheeks felt warm and Angelika was blushing when he took his hand back.

“What do you think we should do? I mean, with the world sickness and all that,” Jack said. He couldn’t stop staring at her gray eyes.

“Well, I think we should find a cure,” Angelika said. “Obviously.”

“What do you want to do after we solve this problem?” Jack asked. “I always wanted to be in the military.”

“I’ve always wanted to be an author.” Angelika’s eyes got dreamy and Jack could have sworn she blushed more. “And… can I tell you something?” she asked Jack.

“Sure,” he said.

“I’ve always wanted to have magical powers. Like in stories,” Angelika said thoughtfully.

“Like what kind of powers?”

“Well, basically anything, but I’d love to have ice powers.”

Jack smiled. “Like Elsa?”

“Exactly.”

“Well, we just got hit by magical powers. Like, try to freeze my hair or something,” he joked. “Bet you twenty bucks that you actually have ice powers.”

“Deal, but it’s probably not going to work.” She stuck out her hands…  and nothing happened. She tried again. Nothing.

“Think of snow and ice,” Jack suggested.

“Okay…”

She stuck out her hands, and Jack’s hair froze.

“What the- Ahh!” Jack yelped. “My hair’s frozen! God, that feels so weird-“

Angelika just stared at her hands. “What,” she murmured. Then she clenched her hands into fists. The ice on Jack’s hair transformed into millions of water droplets and those droplets soared towards Angelika’s hands.

“Angelika,” Jack whispered. They locked eyes. Angelika’s gray eyes shone brighter than ever before. The room was silent.

Then the door burst open and Angelika’s and Jack’s gaze broke. Nyx and Jason walked in, holding huge bags of Doritos, chips, Cheetos, and other snacks.

“We just found like ten vending machines,” Jason yelled.

Nyx smirked. “Did we ruin the moment?”

Jack felt his face grow warm. “No,” he said.

Angelika blushed but didn’t say anything.

“What’s up?” Nyx asked her.

Angelika took a deep breath. “I-I think-“

She sighed, then said. “I think I have powers.”

Chapter 6: Danger

“Wait,” said Nyx, “so you froze Jack’s hair and then the ice turned into water and then the water went into your hands?”

Angelika nodded. Jack could tell this was tough for her. He’d had an experience like this before. When he was younger, he’d dreamed about being in the military- he still did. Then he got accepted to a military camp and it was one of the best times of his life. But when he found out he’d even gotten accepted to that camp, he’d practically died inside.

Jason whistled. “That’s confusing.”

“It is,” Angelika said softly.

Jack yawned. “It’s ten-thirty,” he said, glancing up at the clock that was hanging up on the doorway. “Should we go to sleep?”

Nyx shook her head. “I don’t think so. We don’t know what we’re risking if no one’s awake.”

“You’re right,” said Jason, “but I’m exhausted. Maybe if-“

Bam. Bam. Bam. They all jumped. “What is that?” Angelika squeaked.

“I don’t know,” Jack said.

Nyx ran to the window and looked outside. Then she turned back to Angelika, Jack, and Jason and said, “The infected. They’re here.”

“Wait. How do you know if people are infected?” Jack asked.

“Their skin turns slightly green and they act like a dog with rabies. Aggressive,” Nyx explained quickly.

“Sooo what do we do now?” Jason asked.

Suddenly there came a deafening CRASH from downstairs.

“Really what do we do now?” Nyx asked.

Angelika dashed to the window. “Nyx, give me your sword,” she ordered. “Everyone, get ready.”

Nyx reluctantly gave Angelika her sword. Jack started to say, “Angelika, what are you-“

“No time to explain!” she yelled. “They’ll be in here in a sec, so-“

The door burst open and the infected flooded the room. Angelika slashed at the window with Nyx’s sword. Shards of glass flew everywhere.

“JUMP!” Angelika shrieked, grabbing Jack’s wrist. She leaped from the window. She held onto Jack’s wrist so tightly that Jack thought his bones were going to break. He didn’t judge her. He probably would’ve done that too.

Jason shouted in fear and Nyx looked at Angelika like she was crazy. Angelika let go of Jack’s wrist.

Jack landed first.

“Jack, TRUST FALL!!” Angelika yelled. Jack caught her.

“Nice save,” said Angelika, patting him on the shoulder. “Um, Jack… what happened to your arm?” Angelika pointed to Jack’s arm. Jack looked down.

His right arm was made out of metal. It was covered by a thick layer of frost, but that didn’t matter. He heard a hum of machinery and a surge of power ran through him.

“Oh my god,” said Nyx, staring. “I am so jealous.”

Suddenly they heard a loud groan and scratching. “The infected,” Jack realized.

“How are we going to get out of here?” Nyx’s voice was shaking.

Jack looked around. The infected were getting closer.

“People!” Angelika yelled. “I found a way to escape!”

“You did?!” Jack shouted. Then he saw her. “Angelika, are you sure-“

“I know! I’m a genius!” Angelika said. She was in the driver’s seat of a black Lamborghini. “Now get in and let’s get the heck out of here.”

Chapter 7: Later Losers

“Angelika, how old are you?” Nyx shrieked as Angelika swerved through the streets of San Diego.

“Twelve and a half,” Angelika yelled back as the Lamborghini smashed into a stop sign.

“Twelve and a half?!” Jason shouted. “Angelika, we’re going to get arrested! Are you crazy?”

“The cops are infected!” she yelled. “And to answer your question: yeah, I’m totally crazy!”

“Angelika-” Jack started. They crashed into a McDonald’s. “I have to tell you something-“

“I’m a terrible driver?” Angelika hollered. “I know that!”

“No!” Jack yelped as they narrowly missed Wendy’s. “Your hands are freezing the wheel!”

“WHAT?!” Angelika screamed. She looked down.

“Don’t look down!” shouted Jack. “You’re going to kill us!”

“WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME EARLIER????” Angelika shrieked. “NOW MY HANDS ARE STUCK TO THE STUPID WHEEL!!!”

“Actually, you’re freezing the entire car now,” Jack remarked.

“Guys!” Nyx said. “It’s totally cute when you two are arguing with each other-“

“WHAT?!” Angelika yelled furiously.

“CUTE?!” Jack shouted.

“-But you gotta shut up and focus on what’s happening!” finished Nyx.

“Yeah, we’re about to die a tragic death here if you don’t stop bickering!” said Jason.

Jack heard Angelika talking under her breath. They’re going to catch up to us soon,” she muttered. “We’re going to have to get off the road.”

“Wait,” said Jack nervously, “what do you mean ‘get off the road?'”

Nyx let out a small squeak of terror and buried her face in her hands.

“You’re about to find out,” Angelika said. Then she suddenly screamed, “HEADS UP!!!!”

That scream could have made Jack deaf. It was that loud. Angelika veered off the road and drove off the cliff.

“AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!” Nyx shrieked.

“Angelika, ARE YOU CRAZY??” Jason shouted.

“YES!!” Angelika hollered. “I TOLD YOU THAT!”

“We’re heading into the water!” Jack yelled.

SPLASH. The Lamborghini crashed into the water. Luckily, the car floated, so after they were bobbling on the surface for a couple of minutes, Angelika opened the sunroof and climbed out of the car. “Coast is clear,” she said.

Jack climbed out next. “Whoa.”

The sunset was amazing, and Jack might have actually enjoyed it if his life wasn’t in mortal danger.

“Come on, the infected won’t leave us alone for long,” Nyx told them as she came into view.

Jason’s head popped out of the sunroof. “Wish we brought the snacks.”

Angelika tossed a bag of Lays chips into his face.

“FOOD!” Jason exclaimed.

Nyx snickered.

“What?” Jason protested.

“Nothing,” said Nyx quickly.

“We’re going to need a bigger food supply,” Angelika warned. “I only managed to save, like, four or five bags.”

“I’ll look for something,” Jack volunteered, “I owe you guys for letting me stay at the abandoned building.”

“I’ll look for food too,” Angelika offered. “I was starting to get claustrophobia from being in that car for too long.”

“Okay,” Nyx said. “I want to talk to Jason about something-” her voice choked up “-something I saw earlier.”

“Let’s go then,” Angelika said to Jack.

They stood on the roof of the car.

“Hm, I wonder…” Angelika whispered. She slid off the hood of the Lamborghini and stepped on the ocean. The entire body of water transformed into a thick sheet of ice.

“Wait!” Jack grabbed her hand. “It might not be stable-“

“Whatever, Jack,” Angelika sighed. “I’m good.”

Angelika created an ice staircase, going higher and higher. Jack followed her. At the top, Jack sighed, “Wow.”

The view was beautiful. Before he could lose his courage, Jack said, “Angelika.”

“Hm?”

“When this is all over,” Jack told her, “I’m taking you out to see The Secret of Rain.”

The Secret of Rain was the movie everyone at school was talking about. A couple of kids at school had actually created the movie themselves. The plot was completely random. That’s why it was so popular. Jack hadn’t seen it yet.

Angelika blushed. “And why?”

“I feel like I need to chillax with someone after this is all over,” Jack said simply. He wasn’t lying, but it wasn’t the whole truth either.

The sky was dark, with stars glowing brightly. “It’s too late, I think we gotta go back now,” Angelika said. “Weird, we get out of the car to find food and we don’t get any.”

They stepped down the stairs with Jack only slipping and landing on his butt only once. Then Angelika spotted something.

“Hang on,” she said. “You see that?”

“See what?” Jack asked.

“That sort of shadow in the ice,” Angelika said. “It looks like a person.”

“Please don’t let us get killed by an infected zombie,” Jack prayed.

Angelika ignored him (probably a smart thing to do) and thrust her hands out. The ice parted. The person came to life and she climbed out of the water.

“That was cold! I mean, how could anyone survive that?” cried the girl. She had dark red hair which made her caramel-colored stand out, somehow. She was wearing a gray vest with black pants and boots. Somehow, it seemed to work with her red hair. Her hazel eyes flashed angrily.

“Who are you?” said Angelika.

“Samantha Aires,” she muttered. “Who are you?”

Angelika and Jack glanced at each other, like Can we trust this person? 

“Um? Hi? Hello?” she said, looking at Jack straight in the eyes.

“Um, I exist too!” Angelika said quietly. Samantha ignored her.

“Uh, I’m Jack Lanturno, and this is my friend Angelika Kay,” Jack said carefully.

“Oh wait, I know you! Well, at least I’ve heard of you. Aren’t you that kid who made that blueprint for the electric spear?” Samantha said to Jack.

“You’ve… heard of it?” he asked her.

Samantha nodded.”My brother went to the military camp with you. He’s- he was Owen Aires…” Her voice broke.

“What happened?” Jack asked.

“Got infected… he was one of worst cases… Ironic, isn’t it?… The strongest person I’ve ever known and got hit the worst…” Samantha tried to laugh and failed.

“Jack, we should go back to the car now. Don’t you think?” Angelika said suddenly.

He didn’t say anything.

Jack?” Angelika repeated.

“What- oh yeah, sure,” Jack stammered, looking at her. She seemed annoyed. Jack didn’t know why.

Jack and Angelika started walking back towards the car. Then, Angelika grabbed Jack firmly by the shoulders and shook him twice. “Jack, I need to talk to you,” she said very quietly.

“Is it about Samantha?” Jack asked. “Look, she’s nice, I don’t think she’s trouble-“

“No, it’s just that she came out of sheer ice not dead.” There was something in her voice that made Jack seem like she was hiding something else. He had a feeling that she still suspected something was strange about Samantha. There was an icy tone in her voice.

“Oh. That,” Jack said with a sigh, “it might be, like, her ability to survive extreme climates?”

“How do you know she’s not infected?” Angelika questioned. “She could be, for all we know…”

Jack didn’t say anything at first. Angelika did have a point. “But,” he said slowly, “if she was infected, she would be acting like a maniac. And her skin would be green.”

“Light green,” Angelika corrected, “very pale green.”

“So? Her skin would be light green,” Jack said.

“She could be possessed?” Angelika shrugged. “Or cursed?”

“Whatever,” Jack said.

TO BE CONTINUED

Don’t forget to comment below and express your opinion on the book!!!

Water Fountains: Should You Drink From Them?

So, you may be walking down the hall and find yourself to be thirsty so you count on that water fountain and you go take a sip. Little do you know that the water you’re drinking can be a little gross. Well, it’s not 100% bad, but it can be gross and I’ll tell you why. 

As you drink that water, what goes through your head can be different from what I think. The water is normally fine; sometimes things could get caught in the water, but most of the time, that’s not the case. The problem is the fountain itself. The water is normally clean, except it can’t be the most fresh water. A 7th grader Isabella Whalen said, “ the water doesn’t taste right, and there’s gum in the fountains.”  Another person, Brian Kraupner, said: “ water is gross and tastes like iron.”

And a 6th grader Maddie Ditrapani said the water makes her feel sick. although this might be their opinion that the water is gross, and this may be why.

The New York Times has news on Water fountains. “ The bowl, however, can have globs of infectious mucus because people spit before drinking.” Which is pretty much very nasty. A 13-year-old from another school had done a project to see how clean the water fountains are, and he found out that even the cleanest water fountain wasn’t even as clean as toilet water. “He found out that not even the cleanest fountain was as clean as the toilet.” Now the real question is how can you avoid diseases from water fountains like cholera or legionnaires disease or other bacterial diseases? 

 

One way you can prevent those kinds of diseases is washing your hands before use because many people touch the fountain with dirty greasy hands and snot and all sorts of gross things get caught in the fountain which is really bad. But washing your hands is simple and will prevent it. And another way you can prevent getting those diseases is to not chew gum while using it. There have been so many situations where someone has dropped their gum in the fountain and gets caught in it. Also, don’t put your mouth on the fountain or super close to the fountain because so many people have touched it or even put their mouth on the fountain. This can affect a lot of people and water fountains are all over the place especially in schools. This is a growing problem and many people get sick from waterborne illnesses, but like I said there are ways to prevent that and even if you do get thirsty bring a water bottle.  

 

The US and Iran: Should You Be Worried?

President Donald Trump has made headlines once again after he approved a lethal drone airstrike on an important Iranian general named Qassim Suleimani. While Trump defends his decision, saying that this further escalating the already high tensions between Iran and the US is an understatement.  The events have many people concerned and worried, fearing a war breaking out as a result of Suleimani’s death, and tensions with Iran and the US are the highest they’ve ever been in recent times.

The US and Iran have a long and complicated history. In the 1950’s, the United States actually played a major role in creating Iran’s nuclear program, in hopes of advancing the nation’s technology. In 2015, several global superpowers and the US agreed to the Iran Nuclear Deal. The agreement was intended to greatly limit Iran’s production of nuclear weapons and nuclear precursor, such as enriched uranium. In May 2018, Trump withdrew the US from the agreement. His reasons for doing so are somewhat unclear, but it’s likely that he didn’t approve of the deal only because the Democratic Party did. Ever since the US withdrew from this deal, tensions between the US and Iran have increased dramatically.

Trump defends his actions, by claiming that an Iraqi militia, backed by Iran, attacked an Iraqi military base, and killed an American contractor in December. He also claimed that the Iranian government is planning more attacks on Americans. The airstrike, which took place in Baghdad, Iraq, was intended to be a “response” to the death of the contractor and these Iranian plans. Regardless of his reasoning, Trump’s decision seems that it was dictated by emotion, not by judgement. Trump is no stranger to loudmouth behavior, and his attacks on Iran are yet another example. The death of the American contractor is tragic, but Trump’s childish and self-righteous decision has already created more problems than it solved, and it will likely result in the deaths of even more Americans.

Photo credit: NYTimes

Is Bringing your phones to school good or bad?

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North Shore Middle and High School allows students to bring their phones to school. Some people might say that bringing their phone to school is good because they can contact their parents  in case of an emergency, but some people also say that it’s bad to bring it because it’s a distraction from school. Do kids really need to bring their phones to school? Or do they just bring it to use it? 

“Students face many predators while at school or off-campus, child kidnappers are on the rise, so it is a must for schools to allow cell phones in schools,” says the writer of useofteachnolagy.com. Bringing your phone to school can be safer. For example, in case of an emergency or if you have to contact someone right away. If I miss my bus or I’m staying after school, my parents would have no idea unless I had my phone to contact them. 

As soon as students get out of school, they quickly get their phones from their lockers. It seems like a relief for them to get their phones back. “But it’s a losing battle to ban them as school policy. Students don’t like to be separated from their cellphones,” says tophat.com. 

When I walk to my bus to go home, I see kids in the hallway walking with their heads in their phones, not looking where they are walking. If someone really had to contact their parents, they could use a phone in the main office.

I personally think that kids should be allowed to bring their phones to school, but they should only use it when they need to. I asked Natalie Ion on what she thinks. “I think that it’s just a distraction from school and they shouldn’t be allowed.” She says. I also asked her if she brings her phone and if or if not why. “I bring my phone sometimes, but I would only use it if there were an emergency”.

In conclusion, we can’t control the school’s decisions. The next time you leave for school, think, do you really need your phone at school? 

Nevermore Story

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Ah, I distinctly remembered. It was during the bleak December night when he attacked. His eyes sharp and cold as I stood frozen in fear, sweat dripping down my forehead from the burning of the candle behind me, his lips in a thin line, his face showed no emotion.

 

He stood frozen in front of me, questioning me. As if to say, “Will you do anything?” I cuddled into myself, the coarse wool of my jacket scraping my hands. I tried to keep myself far away while trying not burn myself from the hot of the fire or the waxy candle stick.

 

I decided to run away from him, trying to get my grip. I went on the cold wooden floor, as I crawled past him, fear striking me as I tried not to look back. I tried not to see the cold gaze that he gave me. I tried not to see the nonexistent emotions blazing in his eyes.

 

Creak, creak, creak, creak. I reached the door and turned my head to see him standing still, his back towards me as I slowly reached my hand towards the doorknob, turning it slowly. It opened with a pop. He turned over to me, his head cocking to the side. He stared deep at me, the non-expression never leaving his face,

 

“You can’t keep running away from this.”

 

His voice was deep and dark, mouth never opening. He just looked at me. I slowly stood up, trying to make myself look taller than I was. He just stared at me, his eyes never leaving or batting, the sound of my heartbeat grew louder and faster while he just stared.

 

And then I ran! My feet against the floors of the apartment halls, I walked down the hallway, down the small and narrow staircase, my eyes continued to repeatedly look behind me and see no one. But, I knew better. I was to reach the cold and hard winter outside before I was to stop, my feet landed on the floor of the bottom hall of the building, the smell of the musky bookcase still lingered from when this was a library. I was heaving very loudly when I reached the gigantic doors, spiraled with dark marks. I let out a sigh until I heard the sound; it was coming from the staircase.

 

Clamp, clop, clamp, clop. I slowly shivered at the sound, but I kept going, my shaking hand going on the cold and smooth surface of the door knob. I slowly opened the door for the harsh winds of the winter to swirl around me and through me as I kept my feet stationed on the ground. I ran outside; my booted feet sunk into the cold, white snow, as drops of snow landed on my hair, mixing with my ebony chocolate curls.

 

I froze soon, my feet freezing in the layers of snow that almost reached the top of my boots. I saw the shadow of a silhouette of the person I had hoped never to see again; this time, though, he wasn’t frozen. This time, he was charging at me, his eyes blazing and burning with anger as I tried to move. I tried to run away again, but my feet felt like weights pulling me down into the grounds and my body felt stiff and frozen itself.

 

I started to panic, my heart beating hard against my chest as I tried to move back. “I told you already, Dylan! You can’t keep hiding away!” he said, his voice as emotionless as before, but his face looked enraged. His feet were soundless in the snow as he ran towards me. I fell in the snow, as I tried to run away, but my feet weren’t stable. My back hit the cold, wet, and lonely snow I used to love playing in when I was little, as I closed my eyes tight I heard my heartbeat start to go faster, thump thump thump thump thump thump.

 

I opened my eyes to see that he had stopped, and his eyes stayed sharply on mine. He looked like a statue. He just stood, nothing moving. The snow seemed to fall really slow, and I gulped trying to breathe. My throat felt like it was closing. I kept trying, trying to put any air into my needy lungs. He was extremely close as I felt myself lose all senses of my body as I just looked up at him. “Dylan, it’s time you learn from your actions,” he states. I breathed quicker as I tried again to move.

 

But it was no use. I was stuck.

 

I felt the air go out of me painfully. He walked through me quickly, as all the life left my soul soundlessly, going up with the night. My breath quickens as I tried to regain my breath. He was just looking at me, though, his eyes never moving or blinking, just staring intently as if he thought I would move. As if he didn’t know what was happening, as if he had no soul.

 

And he doesn’t. He’s just a part of my imagination. Hazy thoughts clouded through my mind. My head fell to the cold snow again, my face freezing against the cold winter of the night, harsh winds slapping and trees trying to stay still. My eyelids felt extremely cold and heavy. I saw him staring at me with those cold, dark eyes.

 

“It is time for you to realize that your actions have consequences.” That was the last thing I heard before my eyes closed shut as the cold winds continued to blow, my mind slowly going off before my breath slowed down.



No one exactly knew how Dylan Adams died. Some thought it was because Dylan was insane, always mumbling about this guy when he slept, friends of the adults always said. Others think it’s because Dylan never got over Elizabeth Adams, but others thought Dylan just hated life in general and wanted to leave this world.

 

But the true mystery that no one had acknowledged was did Dylan really die? There was no body or sign that was found to determine if Dylan died. Even how it happened. Even at the inns people at the hotel never truly noticed the quiet and somber Dylan. And it’s sad to say that no one will truly know how the young Dylan Adams died unless they were there on that fateful December night.

 

Do you?

“Don’t Call It A Mall”

Seventeen hundred stores, a record-breaking theme park and a water park, a year-round indoor ski slope, an aquarium, and a 300-foot-high observation deck are literally just a few of the many attractions that the new American Dream Mall has to offer. Is this the mall of the future? NYPost says, “Don’t call it a mall.”

In an age when stores are dying to online shopping, this one brings so much more to bring shoppers back to the store experience

American Dream is the second largest mall in the states, having opened on October 25th in East Rutherford, New Jersey, with completion estimated for this spring. The 3-million square foot mega mall has tons to offer for all ages. On November 27th the mall opened their DreamWorks Waterpark with records being broken. The park is the second biggest indoor waterpark in North America and the largest in the Western Hemisphere. The Dual Freefall is the Tallest slide in the world with an over 160-foot 70-degree drop. It has 2 slides called the Superloop, with 360 degree curves. 

The mall is over the top. It has way more than one person could do in a day. It’s mind boggling that the full experience here will take days to get through. But I do really hope to get the full American Dream experience because it’s so…intriguing.

Phones: All Night and Every Night

https://www.familyeducation.com/kids-cell-phones/not-ready-to-give-your-kid-a-smartphone-try-a-flip-phone-instead

Everyday, you’ll walk past somewhere – let’s say the park – and you’ll see someone with their head down holding something in their hand. Being that it’s 2019, they’re obviously on their phones! Some questions you may be asking: Why are kids so addicted to their phones? What are they even doing?  Here’s what you need to know.

First, let’s address why kids addicted to their phones and why they’re on them so much. They are mostly used so often because they are immersed in social media platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, and a popular app this year, Tik Tok. “I am mostly addicted to social media, and apps like Tik Tok and Instagram,” says Sylvie Ward, a seventh grader. This has been the case for many kids all around the world nowadays, and I personally am guilty as well.

Some say kids should have phones because they are good for them and help them communicate and socialize with other people. I respectfully disagree with this statement. In the 80’s and before that, nobody had smart/cell phones, and those people turned out fine. Most of them are our parents. I don’t think that you need a phone if you could just as easily socialize without it, and not have to have your brain “turn into mush”.

“I think phones are good and educational for kids and keep them occupied.” says Darren Friedlen, seventh grader. They may keep you occupied, but some parents don’t even pay attention to what their kids are doing on their phones and don’t even keep track of how long they are on it. Sure, phones may be educational, but most of the time kids don’t use them educationally. Research shows that if anyone – especially kids – are on their phones too much in a day, it can really abuse them mentally. “And yet, as Twenge told Quartz, iGens “may be physically safe that way, but mental health is a whole other question.” There are worrying signs that teens’ use of social media networks like Facebook and Snapchat is contributing to a mental health crisis in their age group.”-Jean Twenge

Meanwhile other people, including parents, think phones are horrible for children and think that they should only use it to call people and not to play games or use social media. “I think phones are bad because people get addicted to them and lose time with their family.” says Alec Mandell, seventh grader. Some parents really agree with this statement and have put time limits on their kids phones. I think it is a very good method to use and put on your phone, especially if you’re one of those people that are addicted to their phones, like me. It helps you get off your phone and do whatever you’re missing out on, like eating dinner, doing homework, and spending time with your family and friends.

I had an experience where I was on a school bus, and these two girls were sitting right next to each other, and weren’t talking to each other, they were texting each other. This is one of those situations where you could easily be socializing, especially if you are right next to each other. What’s the point of damaging your brain?

I strongly believe that not only children, but adults too should have limits and not be able to go over those screen time limits of when they are on their phone. We have to pay attention to our screen time. I suggest to do what I do. I tell my mom to make me get off my phone, because sometimes I’m so addicted to social media that I can’t get off of it. Maybe taking a break from social media wouldn’t be such a bad thing either. Try deleting it for a little while. This generation is very complicated because of our relationship with technology, especially the phones, but I think we can grow up just fine without it.

Earth on the Brink, Book One: Secrets- Chapters 1 and 2

8

Authors’ Note:

First off, let me say that I wasn’t the only person writing this book. Sure, I wrote a lot of it, but two of my friends, Finn Gallagher and Emelia Aguirre, also wrote it with me. After this, I’ve learned that writing with other people is better than writing solo. Different ideas from other people can make a great difference. Just throwing that out there before we get started.

 

Chapter One: Found

Jack climbed what used to be the jungle gym of his old school, Sanjay Middle School for the Gifted in San Diego. About two weeks ago, a weaponized virus was released into the atmosphere via satellite. It infected the population except for those who had something called the Anti-Gene. The Anti-Gene took the virus and used it to amplify the abilities of others not only making them immune but enhanced. Jack’s ability was extensive knowledge of past and present military expertise and tactics. He was yet to find any other human. He pulled down the hood that covered his head from the beating sun.

“Hello?” said a weak voice trapped under the jungle gym.

Jack crouched down to get a better look. He saw a girl he knew from his Phys Ed class named Angelika Kay. Her messy black hair was all dirty from the debris, and her bright blue tips looked almost gray.

“I’ll help you out,” Jack reached out a hand.

“Thank you,” said Angelika with a weak smile.

He grabbed her wrist and pulled up. She slipped out of the jungle gym and sat next to them. She was covered with dust and debris and her left leg was covered in cuts.

“Follow me,” said Jack, “I know a safe place from the infected.” He reached out a hand and she took it walking towards the small military base near the school.

 

Chapter 2: Safety

“How long have you been trapped under the jungle gym?” asked Jack.

“About a day and a half. I was hiding out in the cafeteria scavenging for food and water. How long have you been here?” Angelika asked.

“Ever since it happened. My ability is military expertise; what’s yours?” Jack replied.

Angelika shrugged. “It’s just building and stuff like that. Not important, really.”

“Actually,” said Jack while beginning to smile, “I need someone to build weapons and gear for me when I look for more people and food.”

Angelika looked back at him and smiled back.

Jack handed her a blueprint of a modified pistol from a nearby table. He tossed it to Angelika. “Can you build this?”

She caught the building and smiled. She grabbed bits and pieces of machinery to build it. A couple of minutes later, Angelika had a finished modified pistol. “Voila,” she whispered with a small grin.

Jack took the pistol from her. “Does it work?” he asked Angelika.

“Yeah,” Angelika said, “but there’s one thing-”

Jack wasn’t paying attention. He fired the pistol into the ground. Nothing happened.

“-you have to put the bullets in,” finished Angelika, giggling.

Jack laughed. “Thanks, Angelika.”

 

TO BE CONTINUED

Comment below and let us know your opinion on the book!!!

Views and Protests from the Poem Magician: Why Everything Gets Erased

2

In case anyone is wondering what happened to the baby Yoda revolution, it had to be erased due to a hurtful incident involving an OC named Fruity and many other OCs as well. These OCs were defaced when they should have been left alone. This is a “What Are You Proud Of?” project, after all. The teachers and students in charge of the “What Are You Proud Of?” project decided that, due to the defacing of many OCs, absolutely everything should be erased at the end of the day. We all miss the baby Yoda revolution, but don’t blame the people that erased them. Blame the people that ruined it for everyone because they decided to be hurtful and deface multiple well-drawn OCs. Also, no one should just assume that someone is a Furry just because they drew an animal OC on a window. I know some of the people that drew their OCs are Furries, and Fruity’s artist is a Furry as well, but other artists might not be. For example, the artist that drew Crystal (Cristal? I don’t remember because it was ERASED) never specified tin their drawing whether or not they are a Furry. Neither did Fruity’s artist, but she is okay with me telling you she is as long as I don’t mention her name.  This is a school where discrimination and bullying is intolerable, so if any teachers see this, I strongly suggest looking at the security cameras in the window hallway to identify the student(s) that erased all of the OCs and have them disciplined. It was extremely hurtful what they did, and I know for a fact that one of the artists cried when she saw her OC erased and the mean comments students wrote around it. Fruity’s artist took a piece of paper and drew a new OC that she called Emma. She also wrote a note beside this new OC to the students that erased the rest of the OCs. Every kind student and every teacher should read that note and protect it so it isn’t ripped down by the people that were supposed to read it.

Kindness

 

So hard to find

 

So hard to see

 

So hard to uphold when so many believe

 

That Kindness with Worthless

 

That Meanness is Good

 

That Bullying makes you Cool

 

And that Rudeness makes you Strong.

 

Kindness is Important.

 

Say a Kind word

 

Or a phrase

 

Or just Comfort someone when they’re having a Bad Day.

 

Kindness is the essence of the world.

 

How have so many people Forgotten that?

Rise Against Hunger

Did you know that 821 million people around the world don’t receive enough nutrition to lead an active, healthy life? Rise Against Hunger is working to end that.

Rise Against Hunger is an international hunger relief organization that distributes food and life-changing aid to the world’s most vulnerable people. The organization started as Stop Hunger Now in 1998 and eventually became Rise Against Hunger in 2017. Rise Against Hunger aims to end world hunger by 2030. They hope to achieve this by nourishing lives, responding to emergencies, and empowering communities.

Student Government is aiming to host a meal packaging event in the future. One person can package about 250 meals in two hours. The Rise Against Hunger website (riseagainsthunger.org) states, “They may look like simple bags of rice and soy, but Rise Against Hunger meals represent the hopes and dreams of people worldwide.”

People around the world suffer from hunger. In the USA alone, 37 million people struggle with hunger, including 11 million children. But there are countries whose citizens face worse conditions. “Lucky draw out of the hat, and you were born in the USA,” says Ms. Abel. “Your parents could’ve chosen to let you be born in Sudan, or Mali… it could’ve been you.”

Those words weren’t said in a Student Government meeting, but still, the statement resonated with me. Imagine you were one of those people in faraway countries, starving and longing for food and clean water. Now compare that to how you live today, when you take those things for granted. You can just go to your refrigerator and get a bottle of Poland Spring, and suffering people in underdeveloped countries have to walk miles to get dirty, polluted water. Do you see the difference?

Roughly 11.7% of the world’s population are famished. 526 million people are starving in Asia. Help us make a change in the world.  Look for posters around the school for more information. You also can visit Rise Against Hunger’s website right here.

Brought to you by the NSMS Student Government

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