The Teen Issue

We asked area teens to speak out. Here’s what they had to say.

Matt McDowell, 18, Wooster High School

Matt McDowell, 18, Wooster High School

Last year, we did our first-ever Teen Issue, in which we offered area teens a chance to submit articles, poems, stories, works of art—you name it—for publication. We received a fair number of submissions, most of which made it into the newspaper.

Then came this year. We again put out a call for submissions—both in the newspaper and via a letter faxed to all Truckee Meadows middle and high schools. Much to our delight, we were overwhelmed with entries. Even though we are running twice as many submissions as we did last year, this represents only a small fraction of what we received.

We offered area teens this forum, because many people tend to look down on them. We’ve all heard people describe the world as “going to hell in a handbasket” because the youth of today are supposedly lazy, disrespectful and rebellious.

We strongly disagree. We believe there’s great hope for the teenagers of today. And after checking out this issue, we think you’ll feel the same way.
—Jimmy Boegle and Brian Jackson

She’s my friend Jenny. She’s got flaming red hair, a fiery attitude and a moving, active soul. We have grown into young women, and our new friendship is even better than before. … Every day is an adventure in which I learn more about her inner world—sweet and complex. She’s the kind of friend that makes you feel like you’re a kid again. And she’s a great mom.

This could explain why I got so blood-boiling angry one day when we were at Park Lane Mall. I was pushing my daughter, Diana, in her stroller, and Jenny was carrying her daughter, Shielea, as we walked out of Gottschalks. Jenny had just gotten her lip pierced a couple of days before. A woman sitting on a bench stared with blunt disgust, continually looking from Jenny to Shielea. I thought maybe she would stop, but her squinty, glassy-eyed stare penetrated her with unforgiving intensity. Jenny was completely oblivious; she looked down at Shielea and babbled baby talk to her.

“God! Do you see that lady staring?” I asked angrily. Jenny looked as if she’d been suddenly pulled from her thoughts.

“What lady?” she asked, looking around. We continued walking along the shops. I tried finding the lady, but she was no longer on the bench.

“She was staring at you with this mean look on her face. I think it was just because you have a lip ring. God, that pisses me off!”

“Oh,” she said. Jenny wasn’t fazed.

“We’ll just forget about it, I guess.” I said. We continued on our way and went to the See’s Candies shop.

But I haven’t forgotten it; otherwise, I wouldn’t be writing about it. To me, this woman represented a large part of society that passes harsh judgment on young mothers, without any knowledge of how they take care of their children. I wish I could show this woman who my friend really was.

I would let her see all the times that Jenny throws Shielea up on her shoulders in big crowds of people until Shielea squeals with delight. Or when Jenny spends time putting her to sleep in her rocking chair at night. This lady needs to know about when she takes Shielea to the playground and pushes her in the swings until Shielea laughs so hard that her cheeks puff out and her eyelashes curl up from smiling. Jenny is able to spend the whole day with her baby.

Young moms, as well as mothers in general, need support in a world that can be hypercritical of us. For the moms that are caring, they need recognition. For those that are neglectful, they need help. I used to get paranoid if Diana had a crumb on her face, for fear that a rich lady in her mid-30s with a kid-toting minivan and a nail job would look at me strangely. But I have since learned that motherhood is not about living in a two-story house with thousands of things. Motherhood is from the heart. Motherhood is from the soul.
Christen Hoffman, 19, TMCC

Baby and me
Baby and me live in the house alone

Half of a family

I know there is a missing figure

A man to complete the tree

I want someone to be my lover

Someone to be her dad

Someone to be everything

That Diana and I never had.

Mama gets so lonely

And she sits on the bed and cries

Sometimes the days are long

When there is no one by her side

But she’ll take care of you

And do the best she can

We’re in this life together

And she’s got a future plan.

She’ll work hard to stay strong for you

You won’t see her break

You need someone more than she does

A good life for you she’ll make.

For now, she’ll get through college

And play with you and your toys

And maybe, just maybe,

She’ll find one of those stupid boys.
Christen Hoffman, 19, TMCC

My desert oasis
In my dreams, I walk the desert alone,

I smell the sagebrush in the wind, reminding me I’m home.

The dust twirls and dances, moving along the land,

The tumbleweed blows across, rolling in the sand.

The mountains that reach up to the sky,

The background of a silhouette, etched into the night.

The critters among my homely scene,

The snake with his rattle, a song for me.

I would not trade the dust and brush,

For any place so green, so lush.

Although it’s a sight, and the water may be clear,

I love the desert, and that’s only here.
Morgan Vancil, 15

A sailing hope
A chilly breeze swirls around her.

Gently, she pulls her blue sweater closer.

She looks out from the cliff she stands upon,

Searching for an answer.

She only sees a placid lake,

Nestled in the middle of tall evergreens

Eagerly trying to reach the peace of heaven.

Wisps of her brunette hair escape from behind her tiny ear,

Distracting her concentration from the view below.

Tired of standing, she eases her weary bones upon the vernal ledge.

Pulling up her knees, wrapping her lanky arms around them.

She forms a human cocoon.

Swaying with the music of the wind,

Thoughts of today she tries to forget.

Clearing her mind, she focuses her gray eyes

On the small sailboat out on the lake.

She thinks how that small wooden boat

Floating in the endless blue,

Is like her life.

She is always being pulled by a stronger current.

Not being able to guide herself to her own destination.

Occasionally, a storm comes and destroys her white sail,

Causing her to stay in the vortex.

Finding no escape.

But when the sun appears and the breeze returns,

Again she is forced to go where it takes her.

But hope is not lost.

For she knows that if she can just reach the sandy beach

There she can find her instrument of life,

And can push past the wind,

Controlling her path,

Her path to happiness.
Valerie Lemieux, 16, Reno High School

I remember the day

As if it were yesterday

A girl barely 14

Close your eyes and give it away

I remember the way

As I did it yesterday

Nothing can take it away

Matt McDowell, 18, Wooster High School

This memory of yesterday
Roxanna Aten, 17, TMCC

I am not your Twinkie

You can’t suck on me

I won’t melt in your mouth like sugar

I am not here for you to fill me up

I am full without you

Take your sharp teeth

And keep on shopping
Roxanna Aten, 17, TMCC

What if I were blue?

And then I fell in love with you,

What would you do?

Would you love me, too?

How could you?

Society says blue isn’t right for you.
Roxanna Aten, 17, TMCC

Like I have
Have you ever felt alone?

Heartbroken, left out, depressed?

Like I have.

Like a helpless lamb, kicked out of the herd, left out and alone, nothing to do, just being abandoned, like I have.

Like a mean word to put you down, a mean word like a tiger, getting ready to put you down. Be strong or you will be devoured.

Like I have.

Like a person who feels sad, lonely, depressed and does not want to be part of this world, and secretly asking for help. Asking if it is OK to leave this world.

Like I have.

No matter who you are, how you are, you’re special. Make sure you realize you’re special, and be positive. Don’t be negative, or it will bring you down. You’re not abnormal; you’re special, like me.

Am I alone?

Do these people have the same problems?

Like me …
Brittany Kelley, 14, Billinghurst Middle School

Violence is good

Violence is fun

Violence in the media

Told me to pick up the gun

These are the lyrics I wrote after Columbine for a song titled “media.”

I am your average small, weak, unpopular “fag” to most of my peers. I was very upset and unhappy with my life for a while, but I was lucky and stumbled upon the answer to my teenage anger. Surprisingly, it’s the media.

I was introduced to death metal a few years ago. They talk about violent things not acceptable in this society. In this, I found my answer. Listening to this music did not inspire my hatred. It showed me how to deal with it. Headbanging and moshing might seem stupid to the normal person, but to me it’s a savior. I get my aggression out by listening to music created by that same aggression, with people who have that aggression, too. Instead of shooting people, I jump around and bump into people while listening to loud, violent music. Singing about killing, not killing. It inspired me to write lyrics, and now my friend and I are trying to put a band together.

The message here is that instead of feeling isolated and angry, people should go out and meet people who have had those same feelings. Death metal helped me, and it might help the next school-shooting candidate to reconsider.

Moshing, not killing.
Chris Craig, 19, Douglas High School graduate

Yin and yang
I can’t bear to be corrected; I already know I am wrong.

I am scared of rejection; I have feared it for so long.

I worry about being lonely: No one is there to care.

I loathe the thought of grades; they’re something I can’t bear.

I wish we could all be accepted without the feel for needing change.

I don’t like to cry in public: It makes me feel weak and strange.

I fear the world without a guide to lead me here and there.

I dislike to fail at anything, this feeling I do share.

I detest the feel of pain, when someone close has died.

I can’t stand it when I lose; I feel I haven’t tried.

I fear evil and all the disasters that take place.

These are depressing things that I know I cannot face.

When I think of all these chilling thoughts, I begin to wonder why.

Then I think of all the others who are worse off than I.

I begin to think of all the good that is around.

This is the best solution—at least, that’s what I’ve found.

I love the way the air smells right before it rains.

I like to watch my cousins play with their little trains.

I am glad I have a family that I know I’ll always love.

I enjoy seeing springtime, the season of the dove.

I am happy to have friends who are always there for me.

I am proud to live in a country where I am always free.

I like it when it snows; the white has a certain glow.

I like it when I win, but sometimes that’s not so.

It’s wonderful how the sun comes up to start another day.

I can look at my life and think it really is OK.

Bad days or good, I’ll make it through.

Staying strong is what I’ll do.
Lorena Valencia, 15, Reno High School

Walking alone on dangerous streets.

Hopelessly wandering, looking down.

No eye contact,

Don’t show them your true side.

Just a shell. If one’s eyes met yours, all they would see is the Hollow.

Wondering needlessly.

Outside your shell, you’re just a hopeless being.

Not like others—you’re different.
Cody ‘Cat’ Taylor, 15, Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School

For you …
Never thought so much has gone by.

Thinking of things that make me cry; some make me sigh, smile and laugh.

I wish to say one last goodbye.

Fearing nothing, hearing nothing.

Moving on once more.

Getting older and older, wishing of that one goodbye.

Never thought it would hurt so much just to see you go.

Back turned, walking away, never to look back.

Falling to my knees at the thought of that painful memory.

“Please don’t leave me. Not now. I need you.”

Hands wiping away the last tears, muttering, “This is what I feared.”

Locked away inside my mind.

Behind the darkest secrets and beyond the misery.

Never thought I’d hear you, damn figments.

Sick of this.

The fear of losing you still grips my soul, digging its claws into my mind.

Ripping my heart from my chest.

Kneeling, and watch it slowly die.

That’s how it felt.

Erin Downs, 18, Reed High School

Never thought I could live without you.

Now I know I can’t.

Clasping my hands together,

“Come back to me. It’s too hard. I don’t want it anymore.”

A tear rolls down my cheek as you walk on the plane.

“Why aren’t you crying?”

“I’ve just lost all my thoughts and emotions on that plane.”

Slowly turning and walking away …
Cody ‘Cat’ Taylor, 15, Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School

My mother said
My mother said

people are temporary

their words will only ring in your ears

for a little while.

Let their laughs

echo in your mind

absorb their sunshine

and cradle their darkness.

She said

hold their hands

trace the lines across their palms,

borrow their sweaters

even if they’re itchy,

ask them for directions

but never make them wait for you

down at the coffee shop.

She said

when the sun begins to slip

and the street lights flicker on

let them go.

Return their sweaters,

free their hands.

Let a single teardrop fall

and smear the ink

on the back of their school picture
Christine Conelea, 18, Reno High School

Drops of your summer

Fall into my palm

And tremble with my body temperature

The moon is soggy

In empty Decembers

When the July of your lips

is distant,

as I shiver in my mittens

I only know

That words are internal

I was born to blaze

In their metallic fire


Like the August that is

your breath against my skin.

Outside of my existence

people love the literal

Maybe they’ve never held another hand

And felt comets form

and dance

In the space between two palms

As they drizzle down denotations

You and I will explore the flight

of June

Beckoning from inside our shoes
Christine Conelea, 18, Reno High School

Reno, the city that is struggling to find a pulse
Neon lights sizzle like bacon in a frying pan

Pulsing to the beat of strippers revealing

Fleshy secrets to men feeding quarters

To dizzy, fat-bellied slot machines

And the homeless stand on the corners

Holding cardboard pleas

We head for California Avenue

Where Christmas lights wrap

Skinny trees

For about a block or so

We can drink lattes and be vegan

As if the city rhythm

Speaks culture

Here there are bowling alleys in casinos

Arcades for minors

Next to machines that taunt naive


With dreams of fast cars, faster women,

and life in say,

perhaps, New York

Where subways are metronomes

And people walk in eighth notes

But here we move in polyrhythms.

On Fourth Street the high heels of prostitutes

Click on hot asphalt

Beckoning solitary figures that flick cigarettes down

With echoing thuds that vibrate across

Railroad tracks that slither

Between towers of casinos built on card decks.

In red velvet rooms thick with smoke

Musicians who missed the ‘80s groove to

Synthesizers that scrape up a background melody

Viliami Finav, eighth grade, Silver State Adventist School

For coins crashing into metal pots while

Heavy metal bar bands bitch to drunken audiences.

Every time drummers hit bass drums

Glasses in the bar rattle

On New Year’s cops wear riot gear

And on weekends they shove minors out at

downtown curfew, 9 o’clock

Afraid we will realize

Our city lacks a tempo
Christine Conelea, 18, Reno High School

Running away, falling apart

Nowhere to run, where did I start

I’ve lost my way, and I’m all alone

It’s getting cold, but I can’t go home

Days are blurred, and nights are awake

Looking all around, trying for sanity’s sake

Lost control, and don’t know how

Want to give up, but it’s too late now

I’m trapped in a jar; the glass is so tall

Climbing seems too far


Hear no sound at all
Tiffany May, 14, Mendive Middle School

An occasion that no one wants to remember but won’t soon be forgotten,

A time when you want to run away, but you just don’t have the energy.

A time that, no matter what you do, you can’t get away from the pain.

A time when you feel like the stars have fallen out of the sky.

Occasions where all of your friends and family try to help you out, but

They are just as distraught as you are.

A time when you learn that you are not Superman, and even your heroes will

Fall from their graces sooner or later.

A time when a loved one falls, and you can’t help at all.
Eric Filbert, 18, Silver State Academy (Yerington)

The minutes were slipping,

As he sat there in a daze.

Had he acted on purpose

or moved in a haze.

His head was still whirling,

His body was numb.

I couldn’t believe

that his time had come.

The tears stung my eyes.

Had he really done wrong?

Was it right that my family,

should be saying “so long.”

I looked at my grandmother,

As she wiped her tears.

It gave me courage,

to conquer my fears.

His last single breath.

He slowly inhaled.

Would he have the strength

to face what prevailed?

As we stood there standing,

Remembering his old life.

We all heard the soft words,

“Goodbye, my dear wife.”
Heather Darby, 14, Mendive Middle School

Hiroshima: The Day of Doom, for all of us.

Tragedy overwhelming, carnage beyond belief.

Pain, suffering, death, all with no relief.

A million voices cried out that day, never to speak again.

Millions more to cry forever, all because we sought to win.

All because we could not settle for an easy peace.

All because we had to win, demolish them, at least.

We had already won the war; we had to kill them all.

Bloodthirsty cowards, who need only sit within lead walls,

To push a button, then await the sound they sought.

To then emerge, and to observe, all of what they wrought.

Smile, and then, another bomb they drop.
Stephanie Boles, 14, Mendive Middle School

Not what you think
Fifteen years old, that’s me. I’m new to the whole teenage thing, but there are already a few things I have learned that will stick with me for the rest of my life.

I’m part of the new generation of young people who are going to make an impact on the world. Unfortunately, we are not getting off on the right foot. As of right now, we have no strong cause to fight for; we have no moral injustice that needs fighting for, because we have no morals. Today’s teen bases everything on materialistic possessions and what group you hang with. We forget that we have the power in our hands. Though we’re young, we will soon be the leaders of tomorrow.

I guess the point I’m getting at is we have the power, and we use it for hate and violence. I mean, look back at the other generations. They were called worthless and slackers, but today they are the dot-com millionaires that feed our wasteful youth the entertainment we crave. Yet we sit on our asses and do nothing to take control of our future. Well, I’m sick of it.

Now, I know the readers right now think I’m some good-doing teen, but that is far from the truth. I just see that changes have to be made. We can’t sit around and expect to accomplish something great without effort. We have a cause, so get out there and fight it. We’re smarter than we’re given credit for, so why can’t we show the rest of the world that we care what goes on in our lives?

Well, that’s all I’m trying to say to you. Just remember that if you have the chance to influence your peers; don’t pass it up. You can influence people in a positive way without the use of hate or violence, but you can still use anger to get the message across.
Liz Bernard, 15, Reed High School

Another world
Keeping time with grains of sand,

Swallowing broken glass.

Kiss my lips,

Taste the blood,

Make this memory last.

Dance with me in candlelight,

Burn my hand in wax.

Take me to another world,

One that has no past.

Where hearts can bleed in darkness,

And teardrops fall like rain.

Where shadows dance,

And Angels laugh,

And no one feels the pain.
Mary Clemensen, 16, Sparks High School

Best friend
I write this poem for my friend, Stacey,

With whom I share some of

The most unforgettable memories:

Easter egg hunts, games of hide-and-seek,

Haunted houses and birthday parties.

Matt McDowell, 18, Wooster High School

The friend whose smiling face and

Contagious laugh are always remembered

On days when happiness is in short supply.

The exceptional friend, the dedicated friend,

The make-me-feel-150-percent-better friend

Who can always be counted upon

To listen to me when no one else will,

To comfort me when times are rough,

To talk to me when I’m lonely.

The patient friend, the understanding friend,

The friend that can always be trusted

With my deepest secrets.

The friend that always has been and

Always will be there for me,

No questions asked.

She is the friend that puts meaning into my life and

The friend that makes each day complete.

Stacey, I write this poem for you,

My cherished friend, my everlasting friend,

And most of all,

My best friend.
Kelly Ganchan, 16, Reno High School

Gains and losses
Learning to take our lives in stride,

Is something every person must do.

To understand disappointment is part of the journey.

For your joy will balance with your sorrow.

My Grandpa passed away the day before State,

And my heart still grieves with despair.

Thoughts of his joy in watching me succeed

Kept me fighting for victory till the end.

We won State basketball the following day,

But my glory was tempered with sadness.

My finest moment came when I stood on the court,

And my dad whispered, “He would have been proud.”

The summer of softball approaches like the winds preceding a storm,

And my grueling choice has to be made.

I chose to play on the team with the most potential—

Guilty to leave, but excited to go.

I lost a friend because of my choice,

Jealousy hurts, because I was turned on so fast.

Discovering who my true friends are

Proves friendships may come with a price.

Overwhelming situations cloud up my mind,

And the bad seems to overcome the good.

But each day brings new chances

As life’s roller coaster continues on.
Jackie Rinehart

Jackie Robinson was born in Georgia, 1919.

He was a talented boy, could do it all, it seemed.

Basketball, football, baseball and track;

Who would’ve known, this boy was black!

At UCLA he became a star.

Everyone knew this kid would go far.

Everywhere he went, he had to sit in the back.

His name was John Robinson, though he went by Jack.

While in the Army, he sat in front of the bus.

He did not know it would cause such a fuss.

They kicked him out and hated his name,

And still Jackie remained tough to shame.

He had been successful in playing sports

So he chose the pastime of a baseball sort.

Jackie played for the “Monarchs,” a Negro group.

Though it was a tough life, he did not stoop.

Branch Rickey of the Dodgers believed in the kid,

Signing the contract was dangerous, yet he did.

He first played in the minors, as a test.

They were afraid to admit that he played the best.

Jackie finally got to play in the Major League.

Through cruel segregation, he did not fatigue.

They would throw cans and fruit at his head.

Most of the fans wanted Robinson dead.

He surprised them all by winning Rookie of the Year.

They knew he would be a legend, but most didn’t cheer.

Jackie played in six World Series, won an MVP,

Inducted into the Hall of Fame, the first black to be.

In 1972, his life did succumb.

Ever since, his name received no opprobrium.
Steven Molof, sophomore, Reno High School

A million ways to midnight
I’m dreaming through every waking hour,

Haunted by my past while I sleep,

Floating down the soft river of delusion,

That carries me through life.

There’s a million ways to midnight,

Arriving just to make sure I’m surviving,

Counting secrets I’ve promised to keep,

There’s a solitude offering security.

I’m someone new every morning,

Different people through the day,

Chasing ideals that last only a second,

Because there’s a million ways to midnight.

I’ve changed to have different friends,

Written the same story with different ends,

Embracing insomnia and caffeine,

Steve Gerber, 17, Sparks High School

To make sure there’s a million ways to midnight.

Following words of wisdom,

I never quite believed,

Because so many swore they’d never leave,

And they were the way to midnight.

The stillness of the worlds,

While most are sleeping,

Promises magic and assurance,

If I can only get to midnight.
Theresa Ulrich, 18, home school

America … the land of the free?
I carefully eyed the doorway

Too afraid to near it

Too afraid to open it

For I knew too well

What lay inside.

Finally, after pulling together the courage

I walked up to the gigantic door.

Carefully, with gentle care, I slowly inched the door open.

The foul stench of dying hope,

Filled my nostrils.

Not able to bear the stench any longer

With a mighty pull, I swung the door open.

And what lay inside was not something

The young, innocent eyes of a 15-year-old

Should have to see.

No eyes should bear the pain of seeing

Such a notorious sight.

Children, mothers and fathers

Lay buried, wrapped in the mist of disillusionment

Hoping and waiting for a miracle as they

Breathed their last, with smiles on their young faces

They were too young

And it was too soon.

I turned and faced the America I knew,

The bumbling streets of New York City.

I slowly paced my steps away

From the wretched nightmare

I turned to take a last look

At the world we had created.

A single tear rolled down my face.

America … the last frontier?
Palkin Zed, 16, McQueen High School

On the edge of a soul, if you happen to find,

A network of thoughts in a moth-eaten mind,

The remnants of something forever confined,

In a non-fiction world that was never refined,

But it rather was left the most unpleasant kind,

A notion of solace all but left behind,

Departed events were all left to remind,

Of a time when a world was so blithely defined.
Alia Moore, 15, Reed High School

As I am strolling down

My Road

Never straying from the path,

Going to

My Favorite

Childhood restaurant;

The wind licking through

My 3-year-old hair cut.


My Favorite Shirt,

My Favorite Boxers,

Wearing down the shoes

I haven’t taken off since

Last summer.

A bum marches up to me

And says,

“Got any change?”
Steven Alberti, 16, Reed High School

Calm winds

Soothe me as

I lay on the soft

Green grass.

Nature in its prime.

Small blades dance on the ground

Like jubilant leprechauns on an

Irish fishing boat

Floating silently over the green aqua


Slowly, nature takes its hold.
Steven Alberti, 16, Reed High School

This isn’t the way life is supposed to be,

Although, at times, I feel like it’s my destiny.

Sometimes I feel like a failure, incarcerated and no good,

If I could take everything back now, I would

Embarrassing to my parents, not there for my girl

I turned my back on the things I love most in the world.

You’re not supposed to do that to the people you love,

I have to kick myself and ask: What was I thinking of?

I’ve got a year-old niece who’s only seen me five months of her life.

By now, she probably can’t remember what I look like.

I’ve decided to make a change and start acting like a man,

Be there for my family and do all that I can.

Pictures of family float through my mind’s eye.

When the lights go out and everyone’s asleep, I sit up and cry.

Shannon McGlaughlin, 15, Sparks High School

I think of things I should have done,

I thought drugs and crime were the only way to have fun.

Now I know different; it’s time for a change,

For freedom comes at a price, and maturity comes with age.
Brent P. Klockow, 17, Silver State Academy (Yerington)

Class hour
I’m writing blank

Could not calculate

My head hurts

Just thinking of trying

The teacher talks

It lulls me to sleep

Yet it’s not allowed to put your head at ease

The room is silent

Only the voice of teaching

Yet for some reason

I’m not really learning

My eyes are open

Yet my mind’s at home

Sleeping its thoughts into dreaming

Time goes on

Boredom sets in

I start to twitch my finger

Trying to balance the pen

My eyes are watery

I start to yawn

For it’s a long lecture

It goes on and on

Morning leaves

Afternoon comes

And suddenly the bell rang

A weary smile on my face

Just thinking of leaving

This place of learning
Stephanie Murphy Casino, 18, Reno High School

My soul is tired

I am weak

No longer myself

No longer loved

It’s hard

No one understands how alone I am

My heart is aching

My mind is hurting

No one sees

No one hears

No one asks

No one feels

I know it’s bad to think this way

But it is time that goes by my way

Maybe I’ll heal

Maybe I’ll be fine

I cannot say as of now

For as of now, I’m behind
Stephanie Murphy Casino, 18, Reno High School

Broken hearted
You hurt me so

It’s in too deep

Can you see my tearful weep?

It’s in my heart

It’s in my soul

I still do care and love you so

My eyes show all

My smile hides all

You broke my heart

It’s scattered all around

The pieces to my heart

I picked it up with careful hands

I try to mend it with gentle hands

It hurts so much

The pain so great

You left my heart way behind

Not even look at it a second time

I must let go

So I can love again

And hurt no more
Stephanie Murphy Casino, 18, Reno High School

I know that you don’t need me,

I know that you don’t want me,

But I don’t know why you want to hurt me.

I know you don’t want to see my smile,

I know you don’t want to see my eyes,

But I don’t know why you want to see me cry.

I know that you won’t call me,

I know that you won’t care,

But I don’t know what feelings we may share.

I know that I’m not perfect,

I know that I’m not your kind of girl,

But for once, I thought someone like you would be different.

I know that I will miss you,

I know that no one else will fill your place,

But I’ll be strong and look you in the face.

I know that you’re not perfect,

I know that you will lie,

And I know now that I want to say goodbye.
Chelsea Monfalcone, 17, McQueen High School

Do angels cry?
I saw this girl all alone on her knees. She was hurting so bad, she didn’t even notice me. Her body was bruised, battered, her wings ripped and worn. It seemed she could barely walk; she looked tired and worn. I walked up to her and said, “So angel, how can this be?” She turned and paused a bit; then she spoke to me. “I’m your guardian angel, a great task, as you can see. You’ve been running hard all your life, and this is what it’s done to me. The bruises are from shielding you during your times of dire need and from all the things you’ve done and your dirty deeds. Each year, more and more is being destroyed; the most occurs when you’ve chosen to be void. If only you could make it standing on your own, but don’t worry, my child, you won’t be left alone. I promise I’ll watch over you until my power fails.” She has kept me safe and has been helping me all these years, and in return, all I brought was grief and pain and a lot of tears. “I’m sorry for all the little rotten things I’ve done wrong. I understand, when I felt abandoned, you were at my side all along.” I could hardly believe what I’ve heard and how much she really cares. I cried on her shoulder and then left with much despair. When I woke up, I thought, “Why should I even try?” Then, in the distance, I swore I heard an angel cry!
Nate Loneman, 19, Silver State Academy (Yerington)

As a little girl, I always admired the great athletes that every child dreams of being one day.

From football to basketball to baseball, athletes have been great role models to children of all ages. But sometimes, we forget the role models or heroes that are closer to the heart: our family members, teachers, coaches and perhaps even friends. That’s where my father comes in.

As a young child, he learned the value of life. Being the oldest in a family of 10, he had to take care of each sibling and help work for money.

He started attending school at the age of 10. As a late starter, he had to work hard to make up for the lost years, but within a year, he was at the top of his class.

My father has overcome many of the obstacles life has put before him. One of those achievements is starting a life in the United States. Without knowing anyone and knowing little English, he managed to get a job as a baker. Two years later, I came into the picture. With no money and my father being laid off, we struggled. But my father never gave up, and within four months, we were back on track.

More obstacles appeared in my dad’s way to success. But he remained calm and positive, and he never gave up. For that, life rewarded him. He owns and operates a bakery and has a zealous family.

I admire my father, because he has proven himself to everyone and became successful. He has influenced me tremendously and has taught me to be a strong person, to achieve past my expectations and, most of all, to have a big heart. In every project and decision, and even in sports, there has been the influence of my father. He has helped me become who I am and always will be.

Without my father, life would be a dark room with no lights to guide me.
Brenda Arredondo, 16, Sparks High School