2015 Scholastic Writing Awards

2015 Scholastic Writing Awards

Photo credit: Veritas Senior Emma Asbury

In addition to awards in the visual arts, three Veritas students were recognized as Honorable Mentions in Scholastic’s recent regional award list.  Congratulations, students.  This indeed is a high honor.

 

Silence and Seclusion

Margaret Earnest, 8th grade

Have you ever felt
More lonely and different
Than this:
When you realize
That the world
Is not who she says she is.
When you realize that
Friends can betray,
Hope can be in vain,
Lovers can walk away.
Have you ever escaped
Into a little world of your own
With eternal friends,
Real hope,
True love.
Too often we ignore reality
To gaze at
The Sirens of our
Imagination.

 

On Being a Kid

Elizabeth Ludovico, 10th grade

Kids are allowed to be wild and free,
While we sit inside, ‘cause it’s time for tea.
My siblings are young, and ‘llowed to have dreams,
But my future lies cold, bleak, so it seems.
There are those who may say being grown is fun,
But we know the truth-all play is done.

Romping through woods, and scuffing our knees,
Mimicking birds and following bees.
Up before dawn, but back home before dark,
They play in the dell and fly like a lark.
No worries of life, they run light and quick,
Saving their pennies for a licorice stick.

But then the time comes, it creeps up slowly,
And then the time comes, it arrives quickly.
Say goodbye to afternoons in the sun.
And days where there is joy for each one.
Now come the days that every child dreads,
When one grows up and all romps are in heads.

 

The Track We’re On…

Ellie Kastelein, 9th grade (written during 8th grade year)

“Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.” – J.F.K.

The United States school system is falling short.  Schools are supposed to be teaching kids the tools that will be required to take on the jobs of the current generation.  However, what they are learning in schools right now will not suffice.

Why is it that school book lists nowadays consist of painfully deficient stories like Diary of a Wimpy Kid?  And why is it that classic books by C.S. Lewis, Jane Austen, and Tolkien have been disregarded and replaced by Divergent and Twilight?  Today many people do not appreciate true literature because the average American is not properly educated.  Instead, this example American wastes their time watching TV, texting, and updating their social media pages.  Children like this will not become great people when they grow up.  They will become lazy and probably raise their kids the same way.  Other countries already have an image of Americans as being lazy and fat.

We need to make a change.  People’s bad habits grow over time and get passed down.  Pretty soon there will be so many things to change that nobody will even care enough to do anything anymore.  No, it is our generation, the teenagers that needs to be the change.  We need to work hard now in Middle School and High School so that we can be accepted into a good college or university.  Our ideas will shape the future.  We will be the ones who choose if our future is full of video games and narcissistic social media or teaching our kids what we have learned and passing on the knowledge through all the next generations.  This can only be accomplished through our education starting now.  This is the reason why public schools should change their curriculum to include more wholesome books and skills that will be beneficial later in life.

Many parents are not impressed with what public schools have bee teaching, and are therefore turning to homeschool.  Over 2.04 million students are learning at home now.  This is a 75% increase from 1999.  Alarmingly, the PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) scores for Math, Reading, and Science show that US students are falling behind other countries significantly.  Could it be that the problem with the school system is that the government is trying to intervene too much?

The government’s attempt to form a “Common Core” is a bad idea.  “The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them.  The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers.  With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy.”  This quote is taken directly from the Common Core website and while it may sound like a good thing, it is just the opposite.  It is not the government’s role to choose what everyone needs to learn.  In fact, when that decision is left to them, they can teach ideas and exclude others to make the kids believe certain principles.  These ideas do not seem like those of a free country, rather, they run more along the lines of a socialist government.

The United States Constitution itself says that in order to “form a more perfect union, ” we must “establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”  If the government has complete control of the school system, this cannot possibly be called a country of liberty.

Melinda George, Vice President of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future says, “When I was a teacher, parents would walk into the classroom, see the line of alphabet letters, and say, ‘I love this – it looks just like it did when I was a kid!’  But think about it: Would you want your doctor’s office to look the same as it did twenty or thirty years ago?”  The kids in America are not the problem.  We are just as smart as kids anywhere.  Instead, the schools are the problem, many of which are falling behind and neglecting the changing economy.

The more people that are aware of what is happening, the better.  Hopefully, as more realize it, a better attempt will be made to change the school system to not teach socialist morals, but instead, present different ideas of which students can have their own thoughts about.  When people have different ideas and share their viewpoints instead of always agreeing, it creates a more realistic school atmosphere.  This is what true education really is.

“If everyone is thinking alike, then no one is thinking.” -Benjamin Franklin