She May Be Short, but She is Tall

“How was your day at school?”, is the first thing I always hear when she walks in through the squeaky door of the farmhouse. When my dad comes in a while after, the first thing she would say is, “How was your day at work?” Observing her face, people notice that her tan face is ageless; age to her is nothing but a number. Her face is long and narrow; her dark brown eyes are small, but they’re filled with expression. Her nose is large, and her mouth is always ready to express what she is feeling at the moment. Her body may be short and full, but she and her words stand tall. Regardless of what the rest of the world believes, she stands firm by her beliefs and character, and nobody can change her. That is what I admire the most about my mother.

Since I was born, my mother’s caressing hands have been the one to take care of not only me, but my little sister and brother as well. These are the same gentle hands that can cook the best homemade meals anyone has ever tasted; the same hands that know how to draw, build, write, and create. These are the hands that comfort  when sadness comes around and praise when there’s happiness and the impossible has been accomplished. But most importantly, her hands are the ones that work hard every day to keep the family going in a positive and productive direction. When she asks me, “How was your day?,” it reminds how selfless she is and how much she cares for the well-being of others; it inspires me to be the same because I know that it will make a difference.

The face is the most expressive part of the human body and spending days with my mom proves this statement. Her eyes, I have noticed, show the struggles that she went through over the years, but they also show strength as she was able to overcome every obstacle. Her emotions also pierce through her eyes in every moment and time. Along with eyes, her mouth speaks only the truth. I have always had an admiration for those that don’t care about what others think of them and that nothing holds them back from fully expressing themselves, and I think my mother is just like that. She may be short, but to me, she is tall. Her beliefs and her faith in God are unshakable, and the words that come out of her mouth are strong and wise. With wisdom, also comes her laughter. Her laugh is loud and contagious and full of snorts. Once she starts laughing, people will soon find themselves laughing with her, and they’ll find out that it will take forever to stop.

Everyone has someone that they will admire for the rest of their lives, and for me, it will be my mom. Experiences are what forms a person, and there is always room for improvement. I find inspiration in those who try to make the best of every situation and that no matter what, always bring happiness and joy to everyone around them. My mom is the perfect example of this: joy, laughter, fun, strong, confident, and many more adjectives are what define her. She is my role model, my inspiration, and most importantly, she is my mother. She may be short, but to me, she is tall.



The walls have seen more than the humans that have owned them. Things that people love to talk about, and things that happen behind closed doors. They saw your first birthday where everyone was smiling while you were shoving cake in your mouth because all you knew then was that it was sweet. They saw when you sprained your ankle and had to be on crutches for a little while so your mom brought you food and drinks so you didn’t have to get up. They saw you and your best friend jumping on the bed singing your favorite songs together. They saw  your brothers sneak into your room and take your things and they saw you find out and tell. They saw you bring your new boyfriend over for the first time to meet your parents (who were not thrilled but they smiled anyway). They saw your first breakup. The tears, the crying, the heartbreak. You thought it was the end of the world but they knew that there would be more. However, they knew that they would still be there to comfort you. They’ve seen the tears, despair, smiles, laughs. They’ve seen your joy and your sadness. The walls have seen it all.

Olivia Beck

I’ve Grown Tired of Trying to Change for You

      She looked at him, at his green eyes and that mouth that she would have done anything to turn into a smile.  She shook her head, smiled this little smile like she knew some crazy secret and whispered,

     “I would have loved you, you know.”

     She said it so quietly she wondered if he hadn’t heard, but she knew, she knew with all of her that she had, he had heard.

     He blinked.  Once.  His eyes, she realized, weren’t a candy apple green.  They were the woods in the summer.

     She smiled that smile and shook her head again.  She laughed a small laugh.  “I’m sorry.”  She turned away, wanting so badly for him to say, wait, I would have loved you too, there’s still time.  But she knew that he wouldn’t.  She knew there wasn’t any time.  She had wasted it all on watching him smile that day, when the sun came through the window in the empty room, turning his eyes into the most beautiful things she had ever seen, and he had laughed when she had left and her friend had taken a picture and showed her and she vowed she would make him laugh like that again.  She wasted it that day, the day she realized that she liked him, she had wasted it making a promise to herself she couldn’t keep.  And here she was, a month later.  There was no more time.  But she knew she wouldn’t take back that day for anything.  She knew he would never like her but she had something of him.  She had that memory of his eyes and they way the corners of his mouth turned up.  And that was enough, whatever it was worth, it was enough.

     She walked away.  The cold wind bit into her cheeks, but for the first time, it didn’t bite into her bones.  She didn’t look back.

     And he watched her go, her brown hair swinging down her back, and he wondered what she could have meant.  What he had just lost.

The Big Bad: Basics of Videogame Villain Design

(Disclaimer: I don’t own any well known content that might appear)

How is a good videogame villain designed? This is the question that is going to be answered. Some of this is going to be very rudimentary stuff, and one can go a lot deeper if they really want to study this. Smart people have been making great villains for a long time. However, it is surprising how many games would benefit from applying some of the most surface level rules of villain design. Depending on the game being made, it is generally going to have one of two villain types. They are the mechanic villain and the narrative villain.

The mechanic villain is there to drive the action. They give the reason to use the game’s mechanics. These are characters like Bowser from Mario, Ganon from The Legend of Zelda, and Dr. Wily from Mega Man. These villains don’t need to be very complex. Functionally, they are more of a final boss then a character.

The important part of these guys is that the player feels good about challenging them. The player using all of their skill with the game’s mechanics should feel that, within the game’s narrative, what they just did could not be done by anybody with less skill than them. This is often why game designers resort to unknowable aliens or supernatural evils bent on humanity’s destruction. Continue reading

My Favorite Crossover Fanfiction Story (I don’t own the story or its source materials.)

Crossover fanfiction stories,commonly referred to as crossovers, are fanfiction stories that combines aspects of two or more well known works of fiction. They usually involve characters from one going into the world of the other. One of my personal favorite crossovers is “The Best Seven Years”, a Calvin and Hobbes crossover with Harry Potter. I have a few reasons it’s my personal favorite.

One of my reasons is that the author did a good job of explaining how Calvin sees Hobbes, his tiger, as a living tiger with human abilities, but those around him see Hobbes as a stuffed animal. His explanation is that Hobbes is a special type of animal that, like witches and wizards, can be born from normal animals, but have unnatural abilities. These abilities always include speaking in perfect english, and sometimes include standing on their hind legs, and having opposable thumbs. The more interesting fact about them is only beings with magic can see them in their live animal form. Anybody else either can’t see them or sees an inanimate version of them. Continue reading

Sometimes I Wake Up at Night

Sometimes I wake up at night, whether it would be the cat, or a nightmare, either way I get some time to think and drink. I’ve never had a taste for alcohol so I usually just split a bottle of milk with the cat. With time to quell in the darkness I hesitate, maybe I head for the roof-top garden of my private apartment. I stare at the shadows and lights of the city. My building is the only one that is dark completely. I think about my life or the past or even the coming future.

Did you ever think of life as a story but you weren’t the main character? I feel that thought painfully and thoroughly as it courses through my head every one of those nights. I’ve felt that my story is not one to tell, a reader wouldn’t want to read past the first chapter, it’d be too sad.

They say memories are nice but that’s all they are, but I say memories are burdens that weigh down life. My memories, I won’t talk about here, not now and hopefully never again. Maybe someday I’ll have some change in my life, and maybe the nightmares will stop too. I wonder…


-Shaw, Blake

Myself by Alexandra Drake

I’m not perfect. I hate my smile. I hate my chin. I hate my eyebrows. I hate how my face looks. I hate how my hair looks. I hate my bangs. I hate my moles on my neck. I hate my chest. I hate my stomach. I hate my hips. I hate my thighs. I hate my legs. I hate my feet. I hate everything about my body. I hate my laugh. I hate how I talk. I hate that I stutter. I hate that I make weird noises. I hate the way I talk to people. I hate that I can’t even make jokes without people hating on me. I hate how people hate me. I hate that people talk crap about me. I hate that nobody is my real friend. I hate how I do in school. I hate how I have anxiety. I hate how I break down over things. I hate that how I’m so emotional. I hate myself. I’m not a perfect person. I am the opposite from it. Everything about myself, I hate it. There is nothing I like about myself. For christs sake I don’t even like my family, people who are suppose to always be there for me. They don’t even like me. They yell at me for everything that I do and it seems like I can’t even do anything right without being judged and yelled at. Nothing I do or say helps anything. I just don’t want to do anything anymore. I want to just stay in bed and go to sleep and not wake up for awhile. I’m just done in this moment.

But then I think about the things I do like. That I love. I love boxing. I love softball. I love the friends I do have. I love the relationship with my softball team. I love my best friend. I love my eyes. I love photography. I love writing. I love to read. I love how my imagination can go wild. I love sports. I love a lot of things. And even though the bad things may not outweigh the good things, I still think positive. I think of all the little things that make me happy and feel good about myself. And even though I always think of the bad, I think of the good. I may not be the best looking, have the best personality, or even the best anything, but I love myself the way I am because I’m one in a million. One in a trillion. I’m original. I am me, nobody else. And I am beautiful. Everybody is.


Spring Time Dreams

When the snow is finally gone, and the flowers are blooming again: I am looking forward to being able to walk and take pictures, and sit on my deck reading. I will go down to the creek and wade in the water and feel the fish brush against my ankles and swim around without a care in the world. I will stay out late at night with my friends, sitting in our yards watching the stars, and walk up the yellow lines on the road close to midnight. It will the fun of last year, but better. With stronger and new friendships. Until then though, these will only be Spring Time Dreams in my wintery night slumber.



I was simply just out for a morning stroll when I see the top of a roof and it looks very inviting. I sneak through the back of an old corner store that sells discount cigarettes. I found a set of stairs that took me to the top. I inspected the area and walked over to the corner of the roof. I saw another rooftop a little ways down. So I simply loaded up energy, back flipped onto the other building, hopped off that one and got on with my day.

—Chester Woodrow Hollingsworth The First


As a competitive weightlifter you get the question of ”why?” a lot. People just don’t seem to understand the sport or even know that it exists. All the world outside of the lifting community sees is the 60 seconds you are on the platform. In a silent room with lights shining down, chalk covered hands, wearing a singlet and what most people, if they saw them, would consider “weird” shoes. And after the lift, they see your face light up, if the lift was a success; or a look of anger, if it was a failure. What they don’t see is all the hours spent training for that one lift in competition. All of the foam and lacrosse ball rolling and stretching before you lift each day is never seen. They don’t see your torn up hands with super glue holding together ripped calluses or the small yet annoying bruises from the bar hitting your body in the same spot every day. They don’t see the hot gym with its jungle of bars and plates that you drive to every day knowing you will be sore and tired later. What they do see is that moment of excitement and satisfaction after a successful lift. This is what brings on the question of “why?”. After knowing how hard you work and the pain you deal with from training, the world doesn’t understand why that one lift was so important to you. The excitement and joy comes from knowing all your hard work has paid off and that new personal record could add just enough to your total to beat the other people in your weight class. It also comes from knowing you beat the bar. Knowing that all of the hard training has helped you win the ongoing competition with yourself for that moment. Most importantly, knowing that one of your three chances in that lift wasn’t wasted with a miss. Aside from all of that I think the answer to the question of “why?” is simply this; In the end, it’s just you, the platform, and a weighted bar.

—Noah Braun

Tick Tock

Tick tock, tick tock. Pacing around my room thinking of what to write. Life was very fragile, like the beam of a flashlight. First your life is surrounded by darkness and in the blink of an eye it becomes something beautiful. No one really knows how I got an A on my essay, but  school’s another story. Writing comes easily to me like flipping a page in a book. When my pencil hits the page I’m fighting fire breathing dragons, or swinging on vines through the jungle with Tarzan. It takes me to a whole nother world like grabbing Peter Pan’s hand and flying off you Neverland. When i look at the clock 2 hours had past. Tick tock, tick tock.

The 2-Seam Fastball

From my list of pitches that I selected I choose the 2-seam fastball. I picked this one because its one of my absolute favorite pitches to hurtle off the mound. The 2-seam fastball is a deadly pitch that cuts away from left handed hitters and comes in on right handed hitters. The feel of when this pitch slides off my fingers gives me an outstanding chill of accomplishment. Even though it doesn’t have a lot movement, the speed of the pitch is also the key to success. Most pro baseball players use this pitch because it racks up hundreds of K’s. It moves sideways not down and it confuses a bunch of good hitters. The grip is simple but, it takes practice to understand how to increase movement. It’s an unbelievable set up pitch and a great put away pitch. The 2-seam fastball is in the same exact family as the 4-seam fastball but, the 2-seam has acute movement. The most important fact about the 2-seam is that it’s extremely reliable and won’t fly away from the catcher a majority of the time.

The First Day

Each clack pulsing against the multi colored tiles mark the beginning of another year. The heels kiss the tile as they navigate their way through the winding halls, searching for their 90 minute rest stop. Each thread tightly hugs the umber brown leather with the intent to mimic the curve of the foot. With anticipation they let off a faint perspiration, the smell of a new car virgin to the charcoal colored asphalt. As the foot fights to escape the grip of the leather, a tug of war to see who will give begins. As the 7 hour war goes on, the threads slightly become weaker. Knowing their importance they muster whatever strength and cling together. Aware of themselves becoming lethargic they form an alliance with Leather to go against the wrathful Foot. They begin to slowly rub against poorly armored Foot, leaving red irritated blisters behind. They’re winning the fight  until, an outside god like force strips Foot away. Not knowing if the threat of Foot will ever come back Leather and the thread rest and prepare for any future battles ahead.

I Hear

I hear the constant and steady beat of the heart monitor.  The screeching wheels of a wheelchair in the hallway.  The plunk, plunk of the sink faucet outside my door where doctors just washed their hands with steaming water. I can hear children laughing but mostly I hear them crying.  They’re crying because they just woke up for the first time after their operations and they realize they cannot move because of all the wires and IV’s coming out of their small bodies.  All of these different sounds remind me of a Children’s Hospital and my room there.  Though I have not been back there for 10 years now, I still hear all these sounds in my mind.

By Olivia Vassot

Where is Waldo

I am from mountain trails,

from cleats in the dirt on a baseball diamond.

I am from freshly trimmed grass floating in the airy breeze.

I am from the red leafed tree that I don’t know what it’s called.

I am from holiday parties and the love of sports.

I am from never give up and always do your best.

I am from baseball is my life.

I am from racing 4-wheelers on weekends.

I am from lancaster born and raised.

I am from playing Xbox instead of doing homework.

I am from just kidding teachers, I do my homework.

I am from Penn Manor baseball.

I am Collin Groff, and I’m proud to be an American.


The origin of my name, Abby, is Hebrew which means “a father’s joy or rejoiced”. My mother and father did not know what gender I would be until the moment I was born. My parents discussed the topic of names, both male and female. If I were a boy my name would be Trevor Jack “TJ” for short and for a girl my dad preferred Laura. After I was born my dad let my mom name me because of all the pain and struggle she went through just to give me life. So my mom named me Abby, and not Abigail.

Growing up I was always asked and am still asked “ is it just Abby or is it Abigail?” I wanted for the longest time my name to be Abigail, Abby was just too boring for me. I wanted my name to be spelled Abbey, or Abbie anything was better than just plain boring Abby. I even asked my parents a couple times if I could change the spelling of my name, but they of course said no. Over the years I have learned to like my name. I could not completely hate something that was was a part of me. Even though it is not the most unique name and there are a lot of Abby’s in this world, I have really learned to like my name as it is.

My middle name, Elizabeth, was inherited by me from my great grandmother. When I asked my parents why they chose Elizabeth as my middle name, they said it was no question that my middle name would be Elizabeth. The origin of the name Elizabeth is greek. It means “From the Hebrew name Elisheba, meaning either oath of God or God is satisfaction.” I am very honored and blessed to have Elizabeth as my middle name. I feel like I will always have a part of my great grandmother with me. I always loved my middle name. I never thought it was too boring or plain,it was just right for me.

“Are you related to JFK?” The question I am always asked because my last name is Kennedy. As of what I know, I do not think I am related to the retired president. In my families living room sits a big picture of what and where Kennedy means and comes from. Kennedy is more of a popular last name than it is a first name. However, it is a first name. I feel proud of having Kennedy as my last name. Kennedy is a popular last name, but I have not met anyone with the same last name as I have.

Therefore, my name means a lot to me. I feel very honored having given the name that I have been giving by my parents. I have gone through liking my name, to hating it, to wanting it to be longer, to wanting it to be spelled different, and now to loving and accepting it.

Look At Her Eyes



Picture link:

Look at her eyes.  They look of despair, sorrow, of nothing.  Look at her hair.  It’s going in opposite directions, like it cannot make up its mind.  Now her mouth.  It’s a plain thing, but if you look at the corners of it, her mouth is trying to smile. But about what?  She is remembering the struggles it took her to go from a happy, carefree child to a young adult. That’s where you find out the truth about the world. The truth is there are things in this world that are scary, unfair, and just make no sense, but she will find a way to understand them. And maybe one day the corners of her mouth will turn up into a big smile because she found happiness in the world.

By Olivia Vassot

Writing Down the Bones

Where am I I’m not sure if I’m in a dream or a house. But I’m not sure with myself, why would people yell if they have no voice. why does love turn into hate. not sure is a big dream to think? no one would care to see me just standing in the hall staring at a blank space that could be some other world! not sure is a small place to be without a family or anyone by your side. why should I care if they think badly of who I am, if no one loves then why does a fairy tale come true. No one ever knows I don’t know!

by Evan Widdall


My friends. Why? Why do they keep putting me on the edge? You didn’t do it yet? We gotta hook you up, is what they say. I’m proud I didn’t do it yet. I want to save mine, keep it. I don’t want to pick a fish out and then ditch it for a day. What is wrong with being a virgin? Nothing? It’s not courageous, it’s not an achievement. It’s not good, but it’s not bad neither. But why is it such a big deal?

—Nigel Mason

The Truth of Death

Humans go around bound by death, but what is life if we have to die.
Life is what we can use to make a difference in someones life. We can give life and love to those who need it. To die means to look back at your life and think about your life and those you love and if you contempt and feel you lived a full and wonderful life. Death is the only salvation in life for when you die you are at peace. Death should not be viewed as a bad thing or an evil thing death is just simply that death all people are going to die. Humans don’t fully understand love or the meaning of life till they have stared death in the face. So humans must learn to live a full life and learn to have fun make a difference we shouldn’t spend our life being mean and hiding from life and death. so be happy and have fun with your life.
To live means to be alive and breathing to be able to have emotion because we wouldn’t be here
if it wasn’t for emotions. “Ghosts” are just people who weren’t able to fulfill their dreams and hopes. Death is not evil it is simply a way to start over again.

–Garrett Miner

Cisneros Style Writing.

I have two houses,  not just one like a few of my friends, but two houses. One is my mother’s house. The other is my fathers. I live in the house owned by my mother most of the time, not because I hate my father. Not because I like my mother more, but because that’s how the custody works.

My mother’s house, the house I live the most. My house, not actually a house, but an apartment. My house, the one with the white shingles. The one with the flat top roof. The one on Macdade blvd, behind  the nail salon. The one I call “home”. From my house, you can hear the sirens soaring down the street to help those who need it. The sounds used to wake me up in the night but now it doesn’t bother me. From my house, you can hear the drunken neighbor screaming at his dog, or maybe it’s his son. You can also hear the elderly neighbors talking, if you sit on my bed and stay quiet, but I can’t hear them at night. With my fan blasting and the heater running, there’s enough noise to block out the sounds by my window. When you walk through the brown, wooden door and you see my living room. None of the furniture in a set, but it’s good enough for now.

If you walk far enough back, you will find my room. Bunk beds, pictures, drawings and letters from friends hanging from the walls, my room. Actually “our room”, the room I share with my sister, Rachel. My mothers house, where the bathroom is three times bigger than the kitchen.

My father’s  house, the right side of the twin house on a quiet street named Ladomus ave, the one where there is no exit at the end. When you walk through the front door, you see a big living room, a door that leads up to Josh’s room and coasters on the table with the letter “k” on them standing for “Kachnowich”, my dad’s  girlfriend’s last name. You will probably see a dog jumping up and down for attention, his name? Jake. Sometimes I go to my room and look out the window and think, look at the soft green walls and think, look at my iguana’s cage and think. Lay on my bed and think.

What would happen if I did that? What did dad say? Why is ziggy’s skin peeling? Who do I like? Why did Lisa paint the walls green?

Then, I stop. Sometimes, I’ll go to the living room and sit on the couch and stare out the window, stare out at the little tree, that made it through so many problems. Then, I compare myself to the little tree and realize I made it through so much too. Each time, the memories I abhor come back to haunt me. The memories that run through my head might be banal or maybe typical, but the hidden story is what hits the hardest. Every piece of furniture, every picture and every wall bring back memories, not always bad, but not always good either.


Art Is a great way to express yourself. You could paint a picture of beautiful rose petals connected to the delicate stem using soft pastel colors. You could make the canvas come alive with abstract lines jumping out with bold acrylics. You could take a close up photo of the coarse whiskers on a kittens face or a landscape of the sunset over a river. You can feel the creativity rushing through your veins like adrenalin. We are all visual artists in our own way.
I don’t think that every person is unique in their own way; I believe that every person is amazing in their own way. A partner awaiting them, fitting in like a warped puzzle piece. You cant forget that opposites attract like sugar and salt that spark the taste buds. A puzzle piece, smack dab in the middle showing a loud cobalt blue, could pair with the pale dusty pink of a corner piece.
Every single person has a different perspective on the world, on people, and on life. You could see your hair blowing in the rearview mirror or settled on your face as you look deep into the mirror within your room. You can see art In your eyes, soul, and heart. You can use your hands to sculpt clay. Making a your expressions 3D.
Music is also an amazing way to express yourself. The sound of the high hat and floor tom, with the bass in between is awesome. The low stings of the bass make a current that flows through your heart. A smooth voice can pure, the sound washing away your thoughts. Let the fusion of the music lift you off your feet. Music can go through your soul like its part of you.
Last but certainly not least, there is writing and poetry. You can write down your thoughts and feelings in a diary or on a lonely sheet of blank paper. Instead of stuttering with words, let your brain power flow right to the page. The text can just drift out of your mind, making it practically effortless. Let writing express your feelings.

Sabrina K

My New Big Brother

No one understands his condition, I don’t even understand it. The harshness, the cruelty towards his loved ones. The way he has changed has changed myself; it has changed how I feel about him. He was my big brother, my friend, my guardian angel, the one I looked up to, and now he is just somebody I used to know. No one takes cancer seriously. No one understands what I go through to see him change. No one will ever understand, and I don’t expect them to. I just want my old brother back.

-Bri Kauffman

The Rules Of Being A Baby

Babies must have strong lungs in order to cry nonstop, all night till the sister slams her bedroom door. Male babies must be able to pee all over whomever is changing them. Preferably for distance; aiming for the person’s face. Babies must be able to poop in the bathtub while he/she is being given a bath so that the baby must be given another bath after the bathtub and baby toys are washing. Babies must be able to consume about seven or eight meals a day. Babies must be able to have diaper explosions. (Definition of diaper explosion: Poop that has gone up the back; down the legs; leaked through diaper, onesie, and pants; has gone all over the changing table, the wall, the baby, and whomever is changing the baby; diaper explosion must be so bad that two or more people need to help in order to clean up mess.) Babies must be able to throw things across the room; then throw them again after someone give it back to them. Babies must be able to grow up, mature then realize how annoying they were when they were a baby. – Noelani Wingenroth’s baby brother 🙂