Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Gilded Age Paper

by Maddie Berkson, Tenth Grade

At last, The Civil War was over. A new century was on the rise and with it came many advancements in technology, new political movements, and crime. 1860-1896, roughly thirty years in American history, of course, is what many refer to as the Gilded Age. Historians share various views surrounding this time period; however, one important detail which no one can deny is the rapid growth in infrastructure. This time period brought forth the Transcontinental Railroad, electrical lighting, the telephone, etc. Due to the exceeding rate of innovation, capitalism in the States was booming, and a significant gap between the classes emerged. Low-income rates and brutal work times led to those in the lower class getting fed up with their state of living. Their solution to enacting change was to give the government more power in order to limit the control of the entrepreneurs thus slowly drawing the Gilded Age to a close.

The question at hand, which divides people’s outlook on the Gilded Age, is whether or not the increased amount of government influence was either good or bad for America. Some believe the intervention paved the way for more economic equality and better living conditions for the average American. In opposition to the growth of government power, others view the Gilded Age as a prime example of the possible prosperity which is achievable under fewer regulations. After analyzing both stances on the topic, I have arrived at the conclusion that both parties are wrong in a sense.

The Populist Party, a party formed during the Gilded Age and whose members are more modernly known as the progressives, promotes their actions by saying how their goal is to give power back to the people by taking influence from corporate heads and shifting the control to the government. But, how can the average American truly be powerful if the government holds all of the power and will try to suppress the full potential of those pursuing the American Dream? Some of the issues which the Populist party claim to solve are still present a century later except they present themselves differently. For example, select corporations, one being Google, still exist today and have more power than the robber barons could ever imagine. This does not mean, however, that I believe America should live under a complete libertarian-style government. The work-environment issues addressed by the Populist Party in the Gilded Age were definitely issues that called for some necessary changes. The method of acquiring specific changes is what I am unsure of.
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Thursday, January 23, 2020

Legend of the Treasury

by Kristi Yu, Tenth Grade

Are you the one? I've been waiting for him, you see. Allow me to explain myself. Although I am old and rusted, small and tarnished, I am idolized and sought after by many for the treasure I can reveal. While some might call me self-important or arrogant, I maintain that I simply know my worth. And while some might call me closed off or exclusive, I'll open up for you if you are willing to meet me. I, a prized possession, hold a magnificent trove, just waiting to be divulged. But I'm waiting for just the right person – the One, you might say. Because of my past, I'm scarred, worn, and mangled, but my purpose has always remained the same. Despite the baggage I bear, I carry with me the promise of great treasure. I am the final piece of a puzzle, fitting perfectly into the jigsaw of your joy and prosperity. Like a legend on a map, I am essential to your success.

I used to be the trusted partner of a plunderer, whom I thought to be the One. But alas, it as not to be. Although I never left his side, I am now utterly alone. I've laid dormant for countless years in this dark, dingy place, always hoping for the time when the One would find me. I have heard nothing but silence in this abandoned wreck for so long that I've even forgotten the chime of my own voice. I know the One, like myself, will evince immense intellect and ambition, and when I find him, I will gladly open up for him. Are you he?

Students were given an object which they had to describe and personify but could not reveal the object directly in their writing. Did you guess this mystery object?
Antique Key
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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Count Your Blessings

by Adrianna Haidar, Ninth Grade
Under the bright and burning sun she sat, basking in its pleasant warmth, distracting herself with the feeling of safety and security. Distracting herself from the fact that she was cursed to stay half-embedded in the ground for all of eternity. No one ever noticed her; after all, she was quite a plain and simple thing to behold, with a gentle, unextraordinary beige coloring blending with light hues of gray. If she was honest with herself, she was filthy, encrusted with dirt and grimy particles of infinitesimal decaying organisms. And of course, she was stuck in the earth. Nothing, not even the beautiful glowing ball of fire in the sky, could make her forget that.

A loud thunderclap sounded overhead, interrupting her lamenting, and rain began pouring down from the heavens. The cool liquid seeped into the very ground she was stuck in, and the dirt around her softened its unrelenting grip on her. Little by little, the water swept away the dirt until—until . . . It took her awhile to understand what had just happened, and when she finally did, her heart completely stopped. She had no words to describe the pure bliss she experienced when she realized she was free. An eternity, she had thought before. The rain had saved her; she could—. As the rain abated, so did her joy when she finally discovered that she still could not move. Sorrow and despair washed over her. Why did God make her like this, some unmoving, insignificant object? All she wanted to do was travel and the world.

Suddenly, something wiggled underneath her. Disgust wormed through her. It was probably some bug wasting the time of its short life hiding underneath her when it could be out exploring. What a waste of life. Beside her, by a small tree, was a horde of ants. Motionless ants. Dead ants. The rain had killed them.

Below her, she could see the ant squirming out from under her, fighting to swim through the puddles of water the shower of rain had left behind and reach the horde of drowned ants. When it saw its dead companions, an almost silent cry of anguish emitted from it. She felt a wave of sympathy for the poor ant, its cry breaking her heart, and she concluded that maybe is was better she was what she was. Perhaps next time those insects, any insects, could take shelter under her. A new sense of hope and purpose swarmed her emotions. Yes, she was important. And she could never let herself forget that again.

Students were given an object which they had to describe and personify but could not reveal the object directly in their writing. Did you guess this mystery object?
A Rock 

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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Personification of a Mystery Object

by Ally Barillas, Ninth Grade
My story begins under the earth. It was dark and cold but I was comfortable there. Dirt and stones surrounded me but it was peaceful there. For years I slept and slumbered there. It was always quiet and nothing ever happened. Until something unexpected happened. The ground above me trembled. It shook and broke. Sunlight burst through the cracks and two grimy hands plucked and pulled me from my place. I was lifted high above the ground, too high. I was scared, terrified, agitated. Everything was moving so fast. I looked out and took in the view. The green fields stretched to the sides of the mountains. The sky had wisps of clouds and was full of colorful hues.

I was tossed into a bag full of all my dirty friends. Our lumpy skin bumped and scratched against each other. We were cleaned then shipped off to who knows where. I was one of the lucky ones; I seemed to survive longer than the others. Every so often, someone would open the bag and and take a few of us out. However, whomever was picked would never come back. Knowing I was to die, I mentally and physically prepared myself for the future.

I was picked next. I was bashed, cooked and stabbed. Being placed on a plate, I was cut into shapes and I felt my white insides exposed. Butter washed through me; it burned and melted and seemed to glow in the candle light. Salt was sprinkled over me. It stung and blinded me. Streams of hot air twirled and danced in the air. Piece by piece I was eaten. I closed my eyes and died. I was brought to the spirit realm where I was reunited with my friends.

Students were given an object which they had to describe and personify but could not reveal the object directly in their writing. Did you guess this mystery object?
A Potato
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Saturday, November 16, 2019

Writing Practice:Satire

by Taya Taylor, Twelfth Grade

Ah, physical education—everyone's favorite school subject. The month of November is a particularly terrific time for PE because we get the wonderful opportunity to run in 48 degree temperatures. Everyone knows that exercise is good for you but exercising in the cold is especially excellent for calorie burning because of the minuscule motion of muscles that is known as 'shivering'. Some may complain about the cold, but cold is just a figment of their imagination. As we are told in our physical science textbooks, cold is really just a lack of heat, energy transferred due to temperature difference. You'd be shivering from heat, not cold, Silly. Some may argue that exposure to low temperatures can cause illness. If you clothe yourself properly in your Oak Hill Christian School PE Uniform Shirt ™ and Oak Hill Christian School PE Uniform Sweatpants ™, which are equipped with heating properties that will keep your body temperature stable at 37 degrees Celsius (98 degrees Fahrenheit), and wrap your entire body in hats, earmuffs, scarves, gloves, jackets, coats, socks, boots, and blankets—all labeled with the OHCS logo of course—then you'll be good to go! "Baby, it's cold outside." Only if you acknowledge it! 

If all else fails, you can simply hypnotize yourself so you believe it's 80 degrees outside instead of 48. Or grab your weird hypnotist neighbor, give him a wad of cash, since it's the only way you can get him to associate with humans, and you're all set. It may take a bit of effort, but, like we said before, PE is EVERYONE'S. FAVORITE. SUBJECT. So it'll all be worth it in the end. Happy running!
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