Excerpt for More Than Words by , available in its entirety at Smashwords


An anthology of student work by Amy Balogh’s 2016-2017 ESOL students,

Chattahoochee High School

Compiled by Amy L. Balogh

Forward by Amy L. Balogh

Original Cover Artwork by Nafisa Ali

Photos credits Nasifa Ali and Amy L. Balogh

All compositions written by Ms. Balogh’s 2016-2017 ESOL students

Smashwords Edition

Published by: Amy L. Balogh at Smashwords

Each original piece of writing and artwork appears with the permission of each student author.

©Copyright 2017 by Amy L. Balogh

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without permission in writing from the publisher.

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This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your enjoyment only, then please return to Smashwords.com or your favorite retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.



This is the second year of my grand experiment of teaching a different way. I continue to by blown away by the creativity of my students. This year, I’m doing the book without my dear friend Buffy Hamilton and I am missing her help. Her fingerprints, however, are all over this book as a result of all our collaborating last year.

The works are organized by the units in the order that we wrote them. We started with poetry and ended with research.

Enjoy our celebration!. And to my students who will be reading this, perhaps years later, remember how proud I am of you, remember how creative and smart you are and remember to have fun with writing.

Last year’s book, Twelve Worlds, One Book is also available on Smashwords.

Amy L. Balogh

ESOL Teacher

Chattahoochee High School


Table of Contents


Author Biographies

Chapter 1: Poetry

First Poem” - Tal Krasnovsky

Concert” - Roman Smieja

Crocodile Poem” - Tal Krasnovsky

Dream” - Briana Kang

Ducks in the Wind” - Tal Krasnovsky

Eating a Crocodile” - Ori Krasnovsky

Fourteen” - Kinza Israr

Gateway to the World” - Tal Krasnovsky

I Am Fifteen” - Anastassia Vazquez Zuniga

I Am From Creole Tradition” - Alexandra Delgado

I Love You” - Rin Araki

If I’ll See You Again” - Lucia Rutherfurd

Last Christmas with My Whole Joint Family in India” - Nafisa Ali

Miss Death” - Walter Costa

My 17” - Walter Costa

My Dad” - An Nguyen

My First Handball Game” - Kevin O’Neill

My First Kiss” - Ashanty Pineda

My Mom” - An Nguyen

Nature” - Alexandra Delgado

Noodle” - Kinza Israr

Rest” - Briana Kang

Swimming in the Peninsula of Araya” - Alexandra Delgado

The Butterfly” - Yagmur Alhan

The First Day of School” - Yagmur Alhan

The Gift” - Maximiliano Estrada

Thinking out Loud” - Walter Costa

When I became 10” - Ryo Shirane

Winter Days” - Nafisa Ali

Chapter 2: Memoir

A Day with My Grandfather - Maximiliano Estrada

A Trip to the Arava - Ori Krasnovsky

Air Hockey with Saeff - Mako Hashimoto

A New Life in a Life - Kris Sonneveld

A Perfect Day - Kris Sonneveld

Beautiful Show - Briana Kang

Best Day - Max Shmuylovich

Birthday of the Day - Max Shmuylovich

Blowing in My Mind - Hyesun Kang

Crash - Kris Sonneveld

Dallas, Texas - Anastassia Vazquez

Days as a Farmer - Walter Costa

First Day as a Soldier - Walter Costa

First Day in the U.S. - Mako Hashimoto

First Day of School - Roman Smieja

First Flight - Roman Smieja

Georgia Aquarium - Hyesun Kang

Georgia High School Team Chess Championship - Ryo Shirane

Hit by a Car - Tal Krasnovsky

Holiday - Kinza Israr

Lazy Day - Briana Kang

My First Time - Lucia Rutherfurd

My First Kiss - Walter Costa

New Jersey - Briana Kang

On the Way to America - Andy Kang

Real Friends - Max Shmuylovich

Saying Goodbye - Roman Smieja

Stuck in Mexico – Anastassia Vazquez

The 1st Time I Lost My Glasses - Tal Krasnovsky

The Day We Got a Dog - Jesse Haarahiltunen

Chapter 3: Short Story

Another Move - Ashanty Pineda

Game World - Andy Kang

Ghost in My House - Nafisa Ali

Goblin Wife - Briana Kang

Grandmother - Rin Araki

The King of Mars - Maximiliano Estrada

The Memory of Murder - Ryo Shirane

Weapon Eater - Mako Hashimoto

When I Turned the Umbrella” - Ryo Shirane

Chapter 4: Drama

Section1: Character Biographies

Esperaza - Beyhan Alhan

Ms. A. - An Nguyen

Smith - Andy Kang

Section 2: Monologues

Amy - An Nguyen

Ashley - Alexandra Delgado

Baker - Gabriel Vasconcellos

Delaney - Roman Smieja

Gatsby - Beyhan Alhan

Jack - Yoav Zemach

Luz - Ashanty Pineda

Rose - Roman Smieja

Smith - Andy Kang

Section 3 Plays

Cheating - An Nguyen, Roman Smieja, Yoav Zemach, Anastassia Vazquez Zuniga, Ryotaro Shirane, Joao Azevedo Coelho Costa, Mako Hashimoto

Play - Walter Costa, Alexandra Delgado, Maximiliano Estrada, Andy Kang, Kinza Israr, Param Soni, and Gabriel Vasconcello

Chapter 5: Research

Section 1: Five Ways To…

How to Go to Backpacking Trip - Andy Kang

Five Things to Do Before Going to Finland and When You Are in Finland - Jesse Haarahiltunen

Five Things You Need to Do to Be Professional Soccer Player - Maximiliano Estrada

Five Ways to Be a Committed Basketball Fan - Kevin O’Neill

Five Ways to Deal with Conflicts - Alexandra Delgado

Five Ways to Having a Fun in Japan - Rin Araki

Five Ways to Improve in Super Smash Bros 4 - Ori Krasnovsky

Five Ways to Improve Your Body Language - Yoav Zemach

Five Things to Improve Your Soccer Skills - Roman Smieja

Five Ways to Reduce Your Stress - Gabriel Vasconcellos

Five Ways to Write a Song - An Nguyen

Section 2: Pick a Side

Abortion - Ryo Shirane

Abortion is Bad – Kevin O’Neill

Abortion is a Murder - Yagmur Alhan

Against Abortion - Lucia Rutherfurd

Changed Drinking Age - Andy Kang

Drinking Age - By Maximiliano Estrada

Drinking Age - Victor Costa

Drinking Age - Yoav Zemach

The Drinking Age Should Be Lowered - Gabriel Vasconcellos

For Abortion - Jesse Haarahiltunen

Section 3: Problem and Solution

Adoption - Roman Smieja

Corruption in Brazil - Victor Costa

Dealing with the Difficult People - Yagmur Alhan

EOCs and ESOL Students - Alexandra Delgado

How to Pay Tuition Fee without Stress - Andy Kang

International Students and Difficulties - An Nguyen

Minimum Wage - Hyesun Kang

Rape Culture - Victor Costa

Tattoos Social Discrimination - Maximiliano Estrada

The Relationship between North Korea and Japan - Ryo Shirane


Author Biographies

Yagmur Alhan: It’s Yagmur. I’m from Turkey. I have been in the United States for a year. Regardless of what I do, as long as there are people I love, it is the work I enjoy most about doing. If we come to the subject of authorship, being a writer is a very difficult job. Thinking about things, writing our thoughts, organizing texts according to the reader's audience ... these are really hard to think about and hard to deal with. What I have learned at the end of this year is that you can forget something that you have to do when writing something and just do something as long as you write it as you can.

Shaikh Nafisa Ali: Hi, my name is Shaikh Nafisa Ali. I’m fourteen years old. I’m a freshman in high school. I came to America from India two years ago. I love art, sports, and any kind of adventure. I love traveling, I love taking pictures of Nature. I play soccer at Chattahoochee High School. Soccer is my passion, it drives me to be the best version of myself that I can be. But other than soccer I haven’t decided what I want to do when I grow up. I enjoy reading and writing. But it's not something that I love.

Rin Araki: I’m Rin. I’m from Japan. I came to Atlanta about 4 years ago. I really love this place and I want to live Atlanta forever. When I came to here, I hated school. I couldn’t understand any English. However, now I’m having fun at school. I was little worry about writing. I like writing something but I have to think whole story and write so, I took long time to finish the story. Now, I feel better than beginning of high school. I think I did good job for writing. I’m so happy to I’m better writing than when I was in middle school. I hope I can do better on next year.

Walter Costa: I’m Walter Costa, I was born in America but my parents decided to move back to Brazil, I lived there for 16 years and in 2016 summer we moved back to US. Even though I don’t like to write, I really enjoyed that experience of writing this pieces for the book. And since I have to say something I like, Açaí and coxinha these are my favorite food.

Alexandra Delgado: I am Venezuelan, from Creole tradition. I has been in the United States for a year. I enjoyed the peaceful four period with Miss B a great teacher. My hobby is drawing whatever give me inspiration to shape it in a white paper with infinite possibilities. I love to travel, meet new places, cultures and traditions, while I am with my family laughing and joking which is one of the most striking feature of each member of the group.

Maximiliano Estrada: I been in the United Sates one year and 9 months, I’m from Monterrey, Mexico I’m the best student of miss Balogh when I came here I didn’t know any single word in English but after 6 months I understand what people was saying. After the 6 months, I star practicing talking to more people and making more friends. I star playing soccer again, when I was in Mexico I play soccer but I leave it for a little while but now I’m back again and I’m a sporty guy. I’m always doing exercise and my experience in United States is been amazing.

Jesse Haarahiltunen: I am Jesse Haarahiltunen, and I moved from Finland to Atlanta for a year, because my stepdad got a job here. I have lived here for about 9 months and I have about 3 months left. On my free time I like to play videogames and sleep. I like writing research papers more than poems, stories or memoirs.

Marko Hashimoto: Hello. My name is Mako Hashimoto. I'm from Japan. I came to America as an exchange student on July 30th. I was staying with my host family. Actually it was not simple year. I had very hard time with my first host family, but I learned a lot about my feature, my personality, people, English, difference and same things between America and Japan through this year. I don’t regret that I came here alone because I think if I came here with my family, it might not be able to experience all of these. I only had 10 months to learn those and make friends so I did my best this year. I decided to put my short story which is not short ;) and two memoirs. I enjoyed creating fiction story. When I heard that we were going to create own fiction, I got excited. Because I love Twilight, Divergent and the Hunger Game so I was like my short story is going to be Action and Romance. Actually I had couple nice plots one was my short story and another one was like there was a girl in the middle of desert and she doesn’t have memory. She also doesn’t have enough food. The things that she knows is her name and she has to go to place that is safe and serves food. It was my favorite unit. About memoir, I chose to put memoirs in my book because I wanted to take my memory in America to Japan. Besides, I wanted to share them with my family.

Kinza Israr: My name is Kinza Israr. I am from Pakistan. I came to America on february 2nd in 2016. I have lived in U.S. for one year. I like to play tennis. I am very glad about being in author. I hope you enjoy my poetries and short story.

Andy Kang: My name is Andy Kang. I’m from Korean. I live in U.S, 1 year and 11 month. My hobbies is play the game and see the movie. My favorite game is over watch and Gang Beast. And my favorite move is Transformer. And I don’t like romance movie because it was boring.

Briana Kang: Hi, my name is Briana Kang. I’m from South Korea. I have been America for 2 years. This is my Junior year for Chattahoochee High School. Last years I was hard to write my memories and short story. I feel very scary but now I was comfortable. Because this is the second time for write poem, memory, and short story. I like to write poems and short story. It was funny and help to learning English.

Hyesun Kang: Hi, I'm Hyesun I'm from south Korea. This is my second year in Chattahoochee. I live in the US almost 2 years. I like to hangout with friends. Being an author is a challenge myself I remember last year I made a book. It's really happy to make an own book. I want to give a big hand to Ms.B to give us a great experience. I'm in senior this is my last year. I'm glad to make my book again. I really try to speak English and now I success I did not scared about English. I hope you guys develop. Even I leave Chattahoochee I will remember I have the successful experience. I wish we will meet again!

Ori Krasnovsky: Hello, my name is Ori Krasnovsky, I am in 9th grade and I am from Israel. I moved to the United States a year ago. I like playing video games, and play on bass guitar. When I came to this school, Chattahoochee high school, I didn’t know what to expect. When I started to understand how to manage in this place, I could pay more attention to my classes and actually try to understand what to do. In literature class, one of my more interesting classes, I had to write, a lot. I didn’t think I could write in English, but I did it, and I think I got better. Now I hope it won’t stop me from doing anything in life, and I am happy I wrote because it is important to know how to do so decently at least.Tal Krasnovsky: Hey everyone. I am Tal Krasnovsky and I am from Israel. I like playing video games. I also work out. I moved to America about a year ago and I am now 17 years old.

Tal Krasnovsky: Hey everyone. I am Tal Krasnovsky and I am from Israel. I like playing video games. I also work out. I moved to America about a year ago and I am now 17 years old.

An Nguyen: Hi! My name is An, I’m from Vietnam. I’ve lived in the US for 1 years and a few months. I love playing songs, I can make a simple beat for them by my piano skill. I feel I’m still not fit in a America, although I’m very impressed in a flexible education of America. It helped me a lot during the days I couldn’t be in school. I used to be hate waffle, Mcgriddle and hash browns. It’s magical that I like to eat them every weekend, now. I must have 3 times to be a senior, it’s bored. But actually, I just have one more year to finish my high school. Hooray!

Kevin O’Neill: I am Kevin O’Neill I was born in May 7th I like to play soccer and sleep. I have four brothers nd they all live in Puerto Rico. My English teacher is the best. My mom and my dad were born I Puerto Rico. My best friend is Max Estrada.

Ashanty Pineda: I am Ashanty Fioreli Pineda, I am 16 years old, I am Mexican. I have lived in the United States now. I like watching movies, spending times with friends and family, I love drawing and writing about things that I am attracted to.

Lucia Rutherfurd: Hi, I am Lucia Rutherfurd, I am 16 years old. I am from Peru, I have been here in the United States since two years ago. My hobbies are listening to music, play the guitar, and sleep. I love nature and all the animal but I hate mosquitos and bumble bees. Writhing to me is a little bit hard to me because I have many ideas but I don’t know how to organize them, but with the practice it become easier.

Max Shmuylovich: I am Max Shmuylovich. I’m called Max 2 in school. I am living in US for 2 years. These were really long years, mostly the first one. The second year in High school was better because I found friends. About me, I like to walk at night, listen to audiobooks, watch movies. I do not like to be an Author because it doesn’t interest me. This school year in this class was very hard for me because I don’t like to write.

Ryo Shirane: I’m Ryo Shirane. I have lived in the US for 2 years. One of my favorite things to do is play chess. Over the course one year I managed to master Java cript. In fact I even made my own game using it. First and foremost when I first came this class, I didn’t know how to write in English. But I refused to allow that to stop meffrom accomplishing my goals. Though my persseverance I wrote an entire essay little knowledge of how to write using the English language.

Roman Smieja: My name is Roman Smieja. I’m a sophomore at Chattahoochee high school. Two years ago I move from my country Ethiopia from the capital city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in the Horn of east Africa. We have 80 and above language, but the main language called Amharic. That is what I’m speaking. Many people think it is a hard language to learn. From Ethiopian I like the food because it is a family style. The best thing that I like from my country is we have our own Ethiopian calendar. In Ethiopia it is 8 years behind and 8 days behind European calendar. In Ethiopia it is 2009 and in America it is 2017. Only two African countries that are not colonize are Ethiopia and Liberia. I like to learn new languages and try new cultures, I like listening music and singing, and I like nature. Thanks for Ms.B for guiding us truth the year.

Kris Sonneveld: I’m Kris Sonneveld and I’m a foreign exchange student from Amersfoort in the Netherlands. My stories are about things that happened in my life. I’ve been here for about 9 and a half months and this journey has made me realize a lot of things and made me a different person. I arrived the 28th of July 2016 and I’ll be leaving the United States on the 27th of June 2017. I currently live w a Host family in Alpharetta Georgia. I loved my experience here and I love that we can look back on this year with the book.

Gabriel Vasconcellos: Hi, I am Gabriel Vasconcellos, I’m from Brazil (Guarulhos , I living in U.S about 4 months, I like to play soccer, and I’m very proud to make part of this book.

Anastassia Vazquez: Hi! My name is Anastassia Vazquez. I from Mexico, Porto Valeadra, and I moved in United States. Since I was little, I moved to San Diego, California. San Diego was my favorite country, my little sister was born there, so my dad go transfer to Altanta GA, he works at 4 season hotel. I have a little problems with my English, I do speak good, but I don’t understand. I moved a lot of the school, and it’s hard for me to make a friends. Now I’m here in High School in Chattahoochee High School. I have friends, but she moved. I like to draw, read manga, and watch anime. I like to take my dog for a walk, and play video games in Gamecube, PS3, PS4, and wii.

Yoav Zemach: My name is Yoav Zemach and I came from Israel to GA on October 28th, 2016. On my free time, I like to listen to music and workout. I am playing football OLB/TE, and wrestle. Parties and food are my favorite hangouts with friends. I want to thank to Ms. B that helped me all this year to improve my English and that did not give up on me.


Chapter 1: Poetry

“1st Poem”

Tal Krasnovsky

Alarms were blazing.

And no one feared, except me.

Even in my nightmares,

I couldn’t believe

That I wouldn’t find you when I need you the most.

So there I was, incapable of moving,

Searching for you with my eyes.

There was little time left.

I tried and tried,

But alas, I couldn’t change the future,

And now you sit notebookless in Ms. Balogh’s class.



Roman Smieja

I was in the middle of the class

My phone start making a sound

I pick my phone and start watching it like a television

I can’t believe what the text said

I stand from my sit

Make a big sunshine smile

Like I got some diamond in my hand

I tell for my friend Helen

She was so happy for me to here that I get happy

I can go to the concert

I was so excited to get home

And to start roll the road

We get there by the train

We walk for a long time

We see a line from far far away

The line was long like a snake

We ate chic-a-fil-a in the CNN center

The chicken was hot and coca was cold

I went with a British soccer coach

We have a lot of fun

That was my first concert in America

We saw drake, usher and his futures

And other two peoples we went back home 2am

That was one of my best day!


“Crocodile Poem”

Tal Krasnovsky

Even the most fearsome

Animal can be brought down


I was evident of that fact when there was a crocodile

Resting peacefully, dead on my plate.

It was a good taste, being served only on the cleanest plate.

It tasted like chicken, but also like fish,

And was surprisingly tasty.

My father was in the same opinion, my brother, however,

Despised it very much. When I asked “why?”

He said that he dislikes it because it tasted quite like chicken but also not unlike fish.



Briana Kang

When the star was sleeping at the night.

The moon rises alone to the sky.

The moon comes down to the window.

The shine make me a dream.

She’s dreaming she’s dreaming.

The moonlight dyed dark to the sky.

In dream, he snuck up on me.

He hugs me and we got a smile.

She’s dreaming she’s dreaming.

The night dyed dark at moonlight, it’s only we are time.

Everyone disturb one’s sleep.

The end of midnight.

You vanish in to thin air.

The midnight comes again.

You hold the dream comes down to me.

But the morning is coming.

I wake up quietly

Dream is buried in oblivion


“Ducks in the Wind”

Tal Krasnovsky

Ducks in the wind,

Flying in the wrong direction.

Gray as storm clouds,

They flew and didn’t stop at all.

The skies were dark, and I watched them

And laughed at their attempts.

Although, when I tried to talk,

I barely could.

I again, laughed. This time from embarrassment.

In my defense, and the ducks’

This was a strong wind, very strong.

And I thought to myself “go ducks!”


“Eating a Crocodile”

Ori Krasnovsky

About 3 years ago,

I ate a crocodile.

Just thinking about it

Make me feel uncomfortable.

It was in Vietnam

My family and I traveled there for two months.

On the second week

We went to a restaurant

Named “The Spot”

It was a nice place.

We started ordering stuff

And then my dad had this idea,

To eat a crocodile

When we got the food

My dad tasted it

And he liked it

so did my big brother

But I thought it was weird

And bad.

It was like eating a combination of

Chicken and fish in one piece of meat.

It was terrible. Also it tasted way too salty.

This may have been fun to taste but




Kinza Israr

My name is Kinza Israr.

I am Fourteen years old.

My life is hard because I don’t understand English.

I don’t have phone.

Chattahoochee high school is very big so I am so confused.

My life is easy because my mom and dad is very nice.

My mom and dad love me.

My brothers love me.

I love you mom, dad, and my brothers.

My life is so easy, because I am very lucky.

I like America

I like tennis and bat ball.

I like pizza.

I like Chattahoochee high school.

I don’t like burger.

I don’t like my room, because my room is share to my brothers.

I don’t like dog.

I don’t like my bed, because my bed is so small to me.

I am from Pakistan.

Pakistan is very beautiful country, but its small.

I love Karachi.

Karachi beach is very nice.

My father born Karachi.

My mother born in Sialkot.

My brothers and me born in Sialkot.

Sialkot park is very nice, because is very beautiful.

I love Sialkot.

My idea is Pakistan, America and Canada is very ice countries.

My idea is pizza, chicken and macaroni is very good thing.

My idea is tennis is very good sport, because is very enjoy, so I like tennis.

My idea is this school teachers is very nice and beautiful.


“Gateway to the World”

Tal Krasnovsky

I found my gateway to the world,

On a golden shore in Vietnam.

It was sealed.

Protected with a cover. Waiting to be opened.

From that moment on… The gate became mine to pass.


“I Am Fifteen”

Anastassia Vazquez Zuniga

I am fifteen

I have a sister (young)

I don’t play with my sister a lot,

because she is very mean to me.

I been bully since, I was 6 years’ old

Some school is hard to me.

I move to Altana Georgia

I move to different school

and I move again and again.

Now I am here, Chattahoochee High School, and I can stay here.

I love to draw anime

I usually look at the website.

I watch anime/ Netflix because

it’s so cool/ funny/ sad/ romantic.


“I Am From Creole Tradition”

Alexandra Delgado

I Am From Creole Tradition.

From an old mix of Spanish and indigenous culture.

I am from Venezuela,

From “Gloria al bravo pueblo.”

From Merida and the Bolivar Peak

Mountains and hot chocolate

From Margarita and Vargas

Coast and drum.

From Caracas and El Avila

Where buildings reflect this peaceful mountain,

Where bustle is mix with airs of a changing capital.

From Joropo of the plains

The true feeling of traditionalism.

I am from Araguaney and orchids.

From the Angels Falls, the Orinoco river, and the Caribbean Sea.

I am from Miss Universe’s land.

I am from Arepas, the heaven in bites.

From cacao, Savoy and Toronto.

Where the Christmas tradition are Hallacas with Pernil.


“I Love You”

Rin Araki

The tears roll down your face

I try to fix it, but I can’t keep up the pace

Your heart is so hurt it can’t go back

Back to the good feeling it used to never lack

It’s fragile it’s frail

It will succeed and it will fail

But one thing’s for sure

I have it safe and secure

Your heart may be sort of bold

But I can feel that your hands are cold

You’re afraid of something big or small

So tell me, I’ll be here if you fail

More tears roll down your face

Still try to fix it; still can’t keep up the pace

They slowly gather together to create a stream

I love you, but it hurts I’m about to scream

Why can’t I fix you it’s searing me a lot

It seems impossible but in reality it’s not

I just have to wait for the right time

Give you my heart and it doesn’t cost a dime

I love you so much it could make me cry

I love you so much it could make me die

But I’m not going to give up yet

I will try and try and never quite

Till the day you will always be happy

Till the day you will always with me


“If I’ll See You Again”

Lucia Rutherfurd

The force of the wind touching my skin

Reflection of the sun on the move of the sea

Sunlight bronzing my shoulders

sitting in one's of your boulders

Looking the sun hiding

making my eyes blinding

I’ll miss come here every afternoon

and draw my silhouette on the sand

lay down in your bland land

Walking in the shores

my feets can barely feel your cold water

I can still remember

when I was little

holding the hand of my mom

collected shells

and hearing

ring the church’ bells

I knew it meant,

means is time to go home

I was a little sad but always

had the hope to return the next day

but now I not sure if

I have the hope

if will be back soon.

The bell is ringing

I have to go

but I not want to leave you

This moment is forever

I can’t contain my tears

but I have to hide it

You complete me

I don’t know if I’ll make it

but I promise this

If I’ll see you again

I’ll collect shell

on your shores

with my mom.


“Last Christmas with My Whole Joint Family in India”

Nafisa Ali

Last Christmas with my whole joint family in India,

the last time I saw my hole joint family,

Was when I was in India 2 year ago

That’s mean my last time spend my Christmas with my family

Was, almost 2 years ago

I miss my joint family so much

There was total 30 people total in our joint family

And I was the loudest the funniest and the smallest sister in the family

But now I’m not anymore cause, I’m not in India

my Christmas with my family in India,

Was so fun, we enjoyed it so much

It will be memorized in my whole life

We started the day, by making some breakfast with our family,

We had some tea, biscuit and luchy.

Everyone was helping,

Than we bought some chocolate and vanilla ice-cream, we were so happy

All my little cousins were dancing, singing, playing around,

But me my brother and all of the older cousins

We’re decorating the hole roof with Christmas lights, and tree.

With some white, blue, red, yellow and multi colors,

So may colors it feels like I’m free.

After that the sun goes down, the starts comes up

It’s night; that time and we started to party

Everyone is dancing crazy

We collected money from everyone

Than we bought a big giant chocolate cake,

We sliced the cake in so many pieces so everyone can have some

In the night, the moon is shining it was so beautiful

And we were on the roof all night long

We had some dinner like spicy Indian food

Like chicken biriani and for soda we had

Coke, sprite and lemonade.

I liked the sound when the soda cans open

It sounds like fz-z-z-z-z-z

Everyone went to bed like 3 or 4 in the morning.

That night was so memorable,

It was so special and important to me,

I wish I could go back in that night and stop the time.

And this summer I really want to go back to India.

I’m hoping to stay there for a while, if I go there,

It’s going to be so fun this summer.

I hope I’m going there.


“Miss Death”

Walter Costa

For some she’s where it ends.

For other she’s where it starts.

Many despise her.

Many admire her.

To me she’s like a distant relative.

And sometimes some of my close relatives goes visit her.

For some reason I try to get myself even further.

Even knowing that the distance between us is coming shorter and shorter.

But I know she`ll be with me some day.

She will bring me flowers and tears.

For some reason when I speak about her my heart gets warm

Fear, anxiety, I don’t know.

When I was little I feared her

But nowadays I know there’s nowhere to run.

Meanwhile I stay here trying to understand her

Waiting for her cold embrace

No fear, no doubt, waiting for her visit

That undoubtedly will come today or tomorrow

But if she could wait I would be grateful

Next week is the soccer final.


“My 17”

Walter Costa

They wanted a doctor

But maybe I don’t want to

I don’t even know if I can

I just know that I want to be happy

In what ever I decide to do

“Money don’t buy happiness”

I never saw a happy homeless

I don’t want to live like my father

School, work , marriage, sons stress

No fun, No time, No life

The worst part is the charges

Most often by the relatives.




I don’t even know if I’ll wake up tomorrow

I just want to live the present moment

No thinking about tomorrow

At the same hand I got to build my future

I`m a teenager

But I got to think like an adult

Because I don’t want to harm my future

It makes me a adult?

Mean while I’m procrastinating

Trying to live the rest of my adolescence.


“My Dad”

An Nguyen

My dad is a

Quiet father

He did not kiss me

Or give me sweet words

He can be considered

As a strict father

One time

He got angry because of my bad grades

Talked to me in a loud voice

I was scared and thought

What a frozen heart!

But now

That frozen heart is melting every day.

I am far away from my dad

Thinking of him and I love him more

He’s started showing his love

The action he never did before

He’s written a letter for me and my brother

The action that a cold that never does

The distance makes him change every single day

That frozen heart is melting every day.

I understand

Inside a deepness’s heart

There’s an ice which iced by tears

Alone in my town and no one around

Am I right when I just close my mouth

Do not say “I love you” right now.

We miss him and he misses us

Long distance but we love so much

We love him and we love him more

Feeling his love as we never had before.

That frozen heart is melting every day.

My little heart is warming up every single day!


“My First Handball Game”

Kevin O’Neill

My family was their

And I was scared

The game started

5 minutes left to play

I got in my position

I got the ball, I ran like

A chetta

pow, gooooooooal.

We went crazy

And it was lazy

I was excited

And it was friday

We party like

We always do

My first game

Was crazy.


“My First Kiss”

Ashanty Pineda

It was my first kiss

with my first love

the first time I open my heart

We were sitting on a tree house

just relaxing and laughing

as we drink our coffee’s

It was raining

and it was cold

he hugged me

and we stayed closed

When I turned around to face him

he stole me a kiss

my first kiss

my face turned red like a tomato

then I started laughing

time passed fast

but we did not realize

we were having the best moment ever

passed ten at night I had to go back home

we said goodbye

but that moment

that wonderful night stayed

in my mind going around my head

all night long


“My Mom”

An Nguyen

She left two own companies

She left the luxury

She left her pretty life

Just make sure I’m fine.

She left the easiest way

She comes to the busier in May

She left her pretty life

Just make sure I’m fine

She uses her whole life

For sacrifice

For her child

Just make sure they are fine.

She can come back to Viet Nam

She can avoid the unfamiliar life in the US

She can continue with her companies

And goes on with her luxury

But she forgot everything.

She says she can not leave us

Cause she loves us

And just wanna make sure we must be good.

My mom is the prettiest lady

The greatest woman

The brightest person in a stage

And the only one who I wanna spend my life with



Alexandra Delgado

This awesome mountain of Merida

Is called ‘‘La Culata’’

Here we were exploring,

Led by the blue-eyes aunt through rocky trails.

Feeling the cold air in our faces,

It smell like a pine dancing in our noses,

Watching nature’s liberty

In every frailejon,

Or in the birds that could fly without a map.

We are attentive to the rushing river.

Seeing the wonderful sky outshining every moment,

The sun is reflected in the snowy peaks that surround us,

Which gives it a powerful sense of superiority.

We can feel how this plain energy

Is burning our bodies,

And we want to continue capturing the moment

When nature is protagonist of this trip

In this magical land of glowing green lawn.

The emotions are present in this unified family,

We are lost in the present

Dreaming that moments like this happen more.



Kinza Israr

First I make the noodle,

I make noodle in the

Silver bowl,

I put in the orange bowl.

I eat noodle,

I eat noodle at home in

The kitchen.

Kitchen is very cool.

I eat noodle in Saturday night.

Noodle is very tasty,

Noodle is very spicy,

Noodle are so yummy,

Noodle smell like spicy,

Noodle goes to slurp,

When I eat then,

Noodle is smooth,

Noodle is orange, red,

yellow colors but it’s sticky.

Bowl is around shape.

Orange bowl is so hot.

Noodle is so good or enjoy food.

Noodle is my favorite food.

I don’t know why noodle is my favorite

food, but I love noodle.



Briana Kang

Longtime in my heart

Many cloud and rain pour down.

The arm got all wet in the raindrop.

They come down, I left alone.

I got a fear

The rain is completely over

In my heart rain cloud remained me.

I found fun thing but, sun is not come in.

Unintentionally I put down fear and anxiety.

The cloud vanishes completely and the seven-shine come in.

An empty green hill

On the rainbow look like roof.

Where under still lie take a rest.

Then in my heart sunny get a smile


“Swimming in the Peninsula of Araya”

Alexandra Delgado

Sharing with the native people,

While we are exploring this little island,

Walking in front of this colorful houses.

Here is a big castle with airs of imposition and greatness,

Gray blocks are keys of the structure,

So magnificent that seems to have domain over the place

As the guardian of the island.

The big sea attract tourist from all the states

Enjoying the soft sand and the bright sun,

This wonderful beach has water so clear,

I can see the different colors of small shoals.

In this peaceful coast

I can be one with the nature.

Breathing the sea breeze,

Having this orange panorama of an amazing sunset

Makes me feel relaxing and wanting to stop the time.


“The Butterfly”

Yagmur Alhan

Butterfly, Butterfly turning bright,

In the garden of the night:

What immortal head or eye,

Could frame thy powerful symmetry?

In how distant deeps or skies

Frozen the ice of thine eyes?

On what wings dare he aspire?

What the head, dare seize the ice?

And what wings & what craft,

Could twist the sinews of thy heart?

And when thy heart began to beat, thump, thump…

What dread wing & what dread feet?

What the drill? What he screws,

In what furnace was thy brain?

What the stirrup? What dread grasp?

Dare it is already deadly terrors clasp!

When the moon threw down their spears

And fire’d hell with their tears:

Did he smile his work to see?

Did who made the wolf make thee?

Butterfly, Butterfly turning bright,

In the garden of the night:

What immortal head or eye,

Dare frame thy powerful symmetry?


“The First Day of School”

Yagmur Alhan

The first moment I walked the school

I felt like an alien

The school was the new world for me,

And I was an alien.

I came very early,

And I could not get into the school

I was very nervous.

I waited an hour outside of school in the hot weather

And my friend still had not come…

I was walking in the hallway,

Like a little kid

Scared and shy

I was afraid of getting lost.

I do not know why

However, I felt like the hallway’s going to consume me.

The first time I entered the classroom

My friend was with me

We went to class together

However, he had to leave and I was afraid

I grabbed his arm and,

I begged him to not to leave me.

It was like a horror movie for me

The class was like a prison,

The teacher was guard,

And the students were prisoners…

However, now…

Everything is getting better

I am not an alien

The school is not a prison anymore

The students are not prisoners

And the teachers are not guards…

And I,

I am not afraid that much anymore,

I still have some apprehension.

However, I know that is not a big deal


When I go to the school my heartbeats are nor crazy anymore;

Thump, thump, thump…


“The Gift”

Maximiliano Estrada

I remember like yesterday

The sun Just came out.

A huge party approach

The sunset starts

Everyone coming home

Every kid enjoys the party.

My entire family is tired

Like an Athletic that just

Run millions of miles.

No one enjoys the party more than me

I leave the car I know what is coming

Gift time said my mom run into my home

I group my gifts small to the big ones.

When I saw the huge gift

I wonder something amazing

Crash! Huge goal.

Thanks, mom thanks dad

But wait max said my dad.

You have one more thing to see

My dad comes with a little mystery box

I thought that is going to be a ring.

But what it can be

As soon I open the box

A big load to my dad

A beautiful T-shirt I saw

It was the best choice that

My father can choice for me

Why it can be the best choice for me

A beautiful team from my country is

We never see the little thinks

Can be giant gifts.


“Thinking out Loud”

Walter Costa

This black hair of yours.

Your radiant smile.

You barely know, just how

Your simple smile makes my day.

Uncountable times I changed my ways.

Just to see you once more.

I never even said a word to you.

But with your eyes I have had the best conversation.

While you are there on the bus next to me.

I pretend to not care.

But I always look.

Waiting for your smile as a good bye.

Only such things

Makes my high school day’s worth it

And when for some reason I cannot see you

It’s like my days are incomplete.

I don’t know if someday I will speak to you

I don’t even know if I’m good enough

But if I do it will be to tell you

You are beautiful.


When I became 10”

Ryo Shirane

When I became 10

I was in my grandpa’s house in Ishikawa.

Everyone prepared for my birthday party.

My aunt Rika and Cousins Tomo and Mami

were trying to talk to me.

But my mind was somewhere else

in fear about

“Can I really be 10 years old?”

When I became 10

I was like child.

My granpa bought hot chickin and sushi.

When I saw these,

I compleatly forgot about that fear.

And ate chickin ferverishly.

When I become 10

I was already 10 without my noticing.

Nothing changed from

when I was 9.


“Winter Days”

Nafisa Ali

I like winter days, winter days.

Cold is what you got days,

Time to wear my favorite blue jacket days.

It’s snowing everywhere in Maryland,

All my cousins, me and my brother are snow fighting and jumping days.

Birds are peeping.

Some animals like snakes are hibernating,

Working days and going to school days.

Time for Christmas and more holidays.

Time to capture the moment you love days.

I like winter days winter days.

Cold is what you got days.


Chapter 2: Memoir

A Day with My Grandfather

Maximiliano Estrada

My grandfather is an old man, white hair he has big glasses and a lot of stories to tell he has, especially with my dad. Big games watched together in the stadium of tigers a team from Mexico they don’t have a lot of championships but in the last years they been having good seasons near to win the championships in every single competition and the tigers fan thing has been passing from generation to generation and we will continue whit the tradition.

One day I was on the computer of my dad’s I was searching about the game of tigres(tigers) it was Saturday tigers usually play Saturdays and they also say that tigers have a good chance to win tonight against Santos(saints). I was getting to excited and my father saw me and said “max who is the best team in the world?” I said “tigers of course” and my older brother hear he is not very fan of tigers like me and my dad but he goes “ not true its Barcelona they are from Europe tiger’s docent play in Europe” of course teams that play in Europe are better but at least for my tigers are the best ones on the world and my father support me, anyways I was getting so happy because I know tigers are going to win today and you know when you already know that they are going to win you want to go to the game.

I cannot missed my dad has work today so he is going to miss the game tonight so he call my grandfather to ask him if he wants to go to the game with me because I can’t go alone they will kidnap me. My grandfather said yes, I was nervous because I never go alone with my grandfather just him and me never in my life but in my heart I know that it will be very hilarious, later in that day I arrived to my grandparents’ house I get into the house and I saw my grandfather with his yellow shirt and his hat also yellow the first thing that I thought it was that you can noticed his from the other side of the stadium the stadium is very big and laugh because tigers has one of the biggest fans in the WORLD I’m not kidding they sing every minute and they never leave them alone.

We were thinking about the traffic that is between the house and the stadium because traffic it’s always a problem for everyone the game starts at 9:00 pm so we will leave about 7 just to make sure that we are on time and take a good place to parking, we leave the house and we didn’t believe that the traffic was just there in the corners of the neighborhood “it’s going to be a long day” I said on my mine a few minutes later it was 8:30 pm and we still stuck on the traffic I can’t believe it we are going to be late I turn my head to see the speed limit and he was going to slow and I scream to him “go more fast” my grandfather it’s pretty chill he say that I have to come down we has everything under control. One minute after I saw the stadium “see max I told you I’m Toretto when I have to” said my grandfather we didn’t find a good place to park he have to run to the stadium to be on time we finally made it we are inside the stadium and I can hear was the entire stadium singing to the team of course I join them and also the sellers the sell everything to you, any ways it was time to leave the stadium the score still 0 to 0 no one has score yet and my grandfather likes to leave early to prevent the traffic again but when we just past the exit door “gooooooooooooool” the scream of the victory the entire stadium vibrate when they score.

I run to the television that was just there for the guys that they can’t go in I miss the winner goal my grandfather was so sad for that but I told him it’s okay grandpa it’s not your fault don’t worry I have fun with you today. I’m going to leave you in your house max it’s been a long day. After my grandfather left me in my house were my dad was waiting for me. My father asks me how was the game and a said it was okay but we miss the last goal dad. OH, Alfonso (my grandfather’s name) did you guys leave the stadium early? Ask my dad. Yes, we did. Of course, my dad always running.


A Trip to the Arava

Ori Krasnovsky

“Come on, you should go with them, It will be fun”. “Mom, I told you as long as their friends are there, it will end bad”. “Ori, you don’t know that for sure. It will be fine, and you’ve never traveled there before” “Don’t you remember what happened last time? Itay fell into this muddy pond and their friend pooped in his pants…” “Okay than, find something to do today because you are not going to sit on the couch all day tomorrow! ” “fine I’ll go”

After I went to sleep my mom woke me up early, and drove me over to my cousins’ place to prepare with them to the trip. then their friend arrived too. We started heading south to the Arava area, a desert area in Israel. The way there was boring so my uncle started driving so fast, we were bumping and jumping, listening to upbeat music, my aunt yelled at him to stop but he didn’t. Suddenly in the middle of nowhere we ran out of gas. My aunt was so mad, “Why!? Why did you do that” she yelled at him “the kids were bored” he said. We were stuck until the truck arrived and when it finally did the driver just didn’t help us, he just left. Than we had to wait two more hours for another truck and then we left.

We continued driving until we arrived at a beautiful field of peppers. I was happy we stopped there because I like peppers a lot and in the Arave, they grow the best peppers I know. We went to talk to the farmer and they told us they don’t chemicals to get insects and animals away but they use other insects who don’t eat the fruit. This increases the quality a lot. Then they allowed us to take some ourselves and bring them home, they tasted good.

Than we were driving more, and we needed to take out some energy so we stopped at the dunes. We run, jumped and rolled. One of my cousin’s friend’s father is a biologist. He taught us about plants, scorpions and snakes we found there.

It was four o’clock. We wanted to eat something, we had to search a lot because there weren’t many restaurants there. We took a wrong turn, and we didn’t notice that until we started seeing signs in Arabic and then we saw Jorden’s flag. Apparently, we were heading to Israel’s border with Jordan without knowing. Someone stopped us and he talked Arabic, then he understood we are Israelis and he looked really mad. He took out his gun and wanted to know what we were doing there. My aunt tried to explain the situation to him and he told us he’ll be back in a moment. When he didn’t look, my uncle started driving away as fast as he can and we never heard of theme again.

We were driving on a gorgeous road, with an amazing view to the mountains and sunset. Finally at eight P.M. we arrived to an awesome small place in a kibbutz. We played hide and seek until the food was ready. After twenty minutes the adults called us for hot chocolate and pizza, we had a nice dinner and went home.

This trip was fun but very scary, I don’t I regret a wen my cousins but I was hoping for a quiet and relaxed trip. Looking back, it was more fun than I thought it was back then.


Air Hockey with Saeff

Mako Hashimoto

It was a Friday night. We had a small party. We ate two boxes of vegan pizza together and talked. I was happy eating pizza with my friends. After that, Lilian and Renata held a yoga pose because Saeff dare and made a bet with them. I love them so much because when we are hanging around, we always have too much fun. Before they left our house we had a conversation about the plan for the weekend.

“Why don’t we play mini golf at Pirate’s Cove?” my buddy suggested.

Verney replied, “That’s a good plan! I like it!”

Then they left.

The following day, I went to the bookstore because my family is taking Japanese class. During their Japanese class, I was working on poetries. Every Saturday, work on my literature homework drinking my favorite tea which is black tea lemonade. After an hour, we headed home to meet Renata and Saeff to go to Pirate’s Cove. We usually talk about their Japanese class and practice a little bit in the car in the way back home. I am hearing Japanese every Saturday and I think that’s why my brain cannot switch to English completely.

We arrived at home but the friends were not there yet. In the meanwhile, we decided to eat something. I think we ate vegan vanilla ice-cream. It is my favorite because it is not too sweet. Every time I eat a lot. I prefer a simple taste. When we were eating, they arrived. So we ate it together and after finishing, we left for Pirate’s Cove. It took a lot of time to get there, I think.

Finally, we got there and I got out of the car right away and stretched my body. We got inside of the building that looked like a log house and Saeff and I found an air hockey machine. We promised to play it after golfing. We started to play. Lilian and I were first timers, so it was difficult to complete the first stage. It had a small hill and a river and if I hit the ball too strong, it would have ended up into the little river or climbs the hill and come back to the starting point. I thought that stage was definitely not for beginners. I tried six times and finally I succeeded. Our group had five people so when the course was hard, we took a lot of time there. There were two or three groups after us and they were waiting for us maybe thinking “How long does it take? Come on!! Quickly!!” I felt so sorry for them but there was no solution for this.

After golf, we went to see the clerk to exchange dollar bills to coin to play at the air hockey machine table. Then I went to my field to play against Saeff while he was still paying. He paid for one game and went to his position. He got a disk and shouted to me.

“Are you ready, Marco?” he asked.

“Yeah!! Bring it on!!” I replied.

Fun fact: he had been calling me Marco by mistake for a long time. And this is funny, Verney and I did not realize for a long time. Only Lilian had. Unfortunately, we cannot hear anymore because Lilian and Verney corrected him and told him that my name is Mako. They made fun of him until the present date. When Saeff says “Marco!” everybody replies “Polo!”

He started the game. First game was okay. Not too scary, not too difficult. By scary I mean it was too fast to return it to him. The room was a little bit hot but still comfortable. The score was 2-5 and I lost.

Second game, we got excited and we were moving from one side to another a lot. The room started to become hotter than it was during the first game.

I said, “Are you ready?”

“Yes!!” he replied.

This time I started game because I lost the first match. I was paying more attention to the dead angle and the angle that I can hit the wall and reach to the goal. In other words, I was calculating the angle. My strategy and efforts succeeded this time. Saeff is strong and can hit the chip with a tremendous power but he cannot react fast. So point for myself.

I started by asking him, “Are you ready?”

“Of course,” he answered.

Then looked at the goal for short time before hitting the disk in natural way just focusing on the goal or disk. Then I hit the disk. In this way, he couldn’t read my timing. That resulted in a lot of points for myself.

Every time I scored, he shouted, “Service!”

The final score was 4-3 and I won. I jumped around.

“Woohoo! I won,” I said jumping around.

“One more! Let’s play one more time,” he said in a very serious face.

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