By Jacqueline Khorsandi '21
In an everyday society, people go to school. By going to school, we are obviously receiving an education. Yes, education is the most important for everyone, but some parents put a lot of pressure on them to have a 100 average in every class and has their GPA to be even higher, but do we really want to bring such pressure on children?
School is a place for learning, and what you learn can help in the future to be successful. But parents are putting too much pressure on children to be better than every other student. Parents expect their children to study from dawn to dusk and have excellent grades. Children might also feel like they're going to let down their parents if they don’t get excellent grades.
You might be thinking, why is this such a big deal? Children need to do great in school. Yes, and that is what we all want from our kids. But having this pressure can lead to serious problems in students. It can make children go mentally unstable and want to do everything right just so their parents won’t get mad at them. This can also make children feel too much pressure, like they have to study 24/7 and not have time to enjoy their childhood. This can also lead them to stress and into a depressed state of mind.
Let’s put this into perspective: your child ended the quarter and they get their report card. Their grades are amazing all high 90s and you see they have a 93 in a class. Now you ask them why they have that grade when it should be a 98 or even higher. Now your child is crying to you, apologizing for having a 93 in a class. That is not healthy for any child, and this can stress them even more than they already are.
If you’re still not understanding, let’s get even deeper. You come home from work and you see your child watching Youtube or TV. You ask them why they are relaxing when they should be studying every day, no matter what. You send them to their room to study and take away everything ,even though they have excellent grades and now it’s their everyday lives.
You may be thinking, so what that's not a big deal? and children need to be studying all the time. Yes, children need to study to retain the information they have learned and to be successful in the future. You might think that they need to have a last 98 in every class and to be successful and that college can see that they are a very successful student.
Now you can see that the pressure is too much for children and that you need to make sure you are a supporter to your children. You also need to tell your children that school is important to do well in school, but maybe it's not vital to have them have a 100 in every class.
By Alessandra Antonacci '20
I still remember the day we truly found each other,
the day we made eye contact while singing the lyrics to a song that no one else knew.
it started there-
life, i mean.
I feel like an eternity has passed since we first met.
since the day you found me I have been acres away from lonely.
the first time I told you a poet is just a person who reads too many poems,
you yelled no so loud it smashed the platform of my negative vernacular to the ground.
you were the first to tell me it is okay
to search for myself in a sea of words no one else can understand.
when I found you
I was an ocean away from finding myself.
like my soul was drowning at the very bottom of venice
while the rest of my body sat like a stone in new york.
but since I began to know you
I began to know myself,
and you’ve found me
in every day since.
find me in your reason,
show me that somewhere in rome there is an entire colosseum still standing
despite the blood shed on its body all those years ago.
show me how it’s forgiven itself enough to still exist,
how we can always learn from the things that have stood on this earth for longer than we have.
find me unraveled.
find me months after the war,
dust off the rubble,
and tell me to come to where home feels most like itself.
find me shedding the weight of my independence,
stripping my spine of the belief that it must hold every weight alone.
find me in those phone calls,
the ones way past midnight,
where we laugh in an octave that my old self can hear
miles deep into the past.
find me in your steady voice.
find me in your assurance.
speak words that break the sound barrier of my bedroom door.
show me that I can be both brave and unsure,
that I can live without knowing every answer,
that my pulse can still be hidden somewhere I have not yet looked.
show me that life is not just a riddle that is desperate to be solved,
but instead a whole path
that slipped off of some god’s tongue
and landed us here
show me what they call the light.
show me all the good things you can say about the world,
even when it’s cold.
show me memories can taste sweet.
show me a beginning where I don’t worry about the end.
show me how starting over can make everything feel new,
even after the twentieth time.
keep grabbing the lost parts of me by the shoulders.
shake my soul awake,
anchor me to life,
and tell me it’s all worth it.
that maybe there really is no magic in a crystal ball,
but there will be a time
years and years from now
where I can see my future right in front of me,
in the eyes of someone else,
and tell me that it’s enough.
tell me it’s all enough.
By Alessandra Antonacci '20
In this month between two of the most prominent holidays of the year, Halloween and Christmas, we’re taking a look at the movie that references them both: The Nightmare Before Christmas. Since its debut in 1993 the cinematic blending of holidays has sparked much controversy. Some people are headstrong in their belief that it is strictly a Halloween movie, while others say it is nothing more than a lighthearted Christmas story. However, there are a select few who question, “why can’t it just be both?” Today we will hear the opinions of some Fontbonne Hall Academy students and faculty to try to figure out, once and for all, the holiday attached to the The Nightmare Before Christmas.
When I asked members of the Fontbonne community about their opinion on what kind of movie The Nightmare Before Christmas is, a surprising amount stated that they believe it is both a Halloween and Christmas movie. Many argued the point that though The Nightmare Before Christmas has a Halloween themed main character, Jack Skellington, he is on a Christmas oriented quest. English teacher Ms. Sosa reiterates this by saying “He’s trying to recreate Christmas.” Junior Claudia Cain agrees with this statement: “I’m gonna say it’s both, but it’s more involved with Halloween. The setting is almost always in the Halloween-town.” Senior Jenna Gaglioti believes that the movie has aspects of both holidays as well, saying “It starts as a Halloween movie, and then he discovers Christmas.” While I was formerly set in the idea that this is a Halloween movie, I have to say that some of the points made by students did sway my decision.
However, seniors Jamie Halm and Adriana Luppino disagree with those who say that the movie is both a Halloween movie and a Christmas movie. They stated that they always associated the movie with Halloween, simply because they always watched it more during that time of the year. Through investigating this topic I found that the time in which people watched the movie more frequently did seem to influence whether they believed it was a Christmas movie or a Halloween movie. For example, Junior Brynn Nelsen stated that she often likes to watch The Nightmare Before Christmas on the days leading up to Christmas Eve, so in turn she believes it is a Christmas movie.
So, what holiday is The Nightmare Before Christmas all about, really? The answer: it varies from person to person. While this isn’t the most satisfying answer, it is a truthful one. The movie integrates the best parts of two of the most beloved holidays, Halloween and Christmas, into one storyline. While we can make the case that some details, such as the main character being a skeleton, do favor one holiday over the other, it really does depend on the consumer to decide. Some people prefer to watch The Nightmare Before Christmas during the Halloween season for its tricks and treats, while others believe its heartwarming plot is the best way to gain that good ol’ Christmas holiday cheer. Whether you watch this movie in October, November, December, or July, it is truly up to you to decide what kind of story it is. All things aside, though, it is definitely a wonderful movie no matter what time of the year it may be.
By Kristen Kupper '21
On November 12, 2019, Disney just announced its new streaming service called Disney+. On Disney+, users can stream all Disney, Pixar, Marvel, National Geographic movies and TV shows. Following in Disney’s footsteps, NBC announced its streaming service called Peacock, which is launching in April 2020. With the announcement and releases of these streaming services, users should question if it is even worth it to subscribe to all of these services?
As much as it seems to be a good deal to subscribe to these streaming services, it seems to be a waste of money more than a money saver. Most families will agree that they do not want to spend a lot of money just on streaming services. If you were to subscribe to most of the streaming services available today, it would cost more than just subscribing to cable.
Most households can agree that they want to save money when it comes to their entertainment. So if they have to pay for multiple streaming services for entertainment, it might come as a financial dilemma.
With the rise of all of these streaming services, it should remind household viewers of what caused the downfall of cable in the first place, paying for shows that they do not care about.
If all these streaming services were to bundle together (just like Disney+, XFinity, and Dish) it would lead to an expensive bill that may even cost more than cable.
It is known that the more content that gets added onto a streaming platform, the more expensive it might become for the user. For example, Netflix had removed hundreds of TV shows with the announcement of Disney+. Users pay the $12.99 per month, but they are now paying to watch Netflix original shows and movies that they likely will never watch.
Now to answer the question asked above, it really is up to the user. If you are a Disney fanatic who will watch most of the shows and movies on their service, then it is worth it for you to subscribe. But, if you only watch and like a few Disney movies, then it is better off that you do not spend your money on Disney+.
By Alexa Giambra '22
As I stood in front of the police car I had only one thing in mind. Getting to Baltimore. I hurriedly rushed into the airport and quickly went up to board the plane--- delayed flight.
“Ok, folks. Looks like your flight is gonna be coming in late.”
I could barely think.
I had to find a way to get to her and soon. Something came to me… a helicopter! Of course, why hadn’t I thought of it before? It was silly to think I could do this on my own and I was going to need some help.
Soon, the police arrived and I hopped into the helicopter. But how was I supposed to find my daughter in this big city? It was unclear if she was actually there or not, but we’d have to search EVERY SINGLE HOUSE!
So we did just that.
After days and months of searching, she was nowhere to be found. It was 4:00 AM, and we decided we should rest up before the next day. We hadn’t rested in months. I hadn’t seen my wife in ages, but I wouldn’t come back until I found Elise. I didn’t give up hope.
I went to sleep, and as soon as I did -
“Hello? Elise is that you”
“Daddy! It's me!”
“Elise! I’ve been looking for you for such a long time”
“Dad, I’m not in Baltimore. Stop searching there.”
“What about that letter?”
“The nice man lied to me. Turns out he’s not so nice.”
“I assumed. I’ve been so worried. Now, please. Just tell me where you are. ”
“That’s not a place. Give me something specific like Antarctica, or South Africa.”
“The man says I’m not allowed to tell you where I am. You’ll have to find me yourself. Just keep searching Dad.”
Then, I woke up.
“Elise is out there somewhere! Guys, we have to search everywhere. And by everywhere I mean everywhere on this Earth, and if we do not find her on this planet, we shall search the moon, Mars, Jupiter, the sun, the whole solar system!!! Because I will not stop until I find my daughter! All I know for sure is that she is not in Baltimore.
‘’ Well it could be the most obvious place.” Said a police officer
“We need officers from everywhere to help us.”
“It was just a dream. How can you even be sure?”
We had officers from everywhere searching, and searching. But she was nowhere to be found. They were even searching in Antarctica. Nothing. The only place we didn’t check, was my hometown. How could I have forgotten this one place? I guess we were too busy searching everywhere else. We suddenly rushed back home. We searched and searched in every forest and every house. With all the help we got it took about a year. Finally, in the middle of nowhere stood a scared little girl. I knew I couldn't have given up. As we came closer, the little girl shouted. “Daddy?” But, it didn’t sound like my daughter. This girl sounded much older. Then, I realized it had been quite a while since I’d last seen her.
“Elise?” I shouted.
“I can’t believe it. After all these years, and you finally found me. What took you so long?”
“Come here,” I said as I gave her a big hug.
It was a miracle. But I couldn’t believe it took me that long. There were investigations happening everywhere, but here. But I was finally reunited with my daughter. And I thought everything would be fine after that. I hadn’t seen my wife in months. She had been trying to call me, text me, email me, even tried to get to the airport for Baltimore. But I had completely forgotten. I felt like a bad husband and father at the same time. I felt too guilty to go home so I tried calling my wife, Rochelle. There was no answer, but I tried calling again.-
“Rocky?” She said.
“Hey, Rochelle. I am so sorry for not getting back to you.”
“I heard that you found Elise. And for that, I accept your apology. Just come home, ok?”
“You're not upset at all?”
“Sure I am upset. But you did something remarkable. You had faith. Even after all these years.”
“I’ll be home in a few.”
Time flew by after that, and Elise soon graduated college to become a successful engineer. I and my wife ended up being happy after all, and I was even promoted to director of the LWS, which means I was put in charge of everything! Sure, it was a lot to handle, but it was all worth it.
By Kayla-Grace Beauvais '20
Black women have undergone many pressures that shaped their hair choices in various ways. Perhaps, their hair has shaped them in many ways. The beauty of hair is not noticeable to many people, but to many females it is the most essential part of their body. Hair is not just a strand of hair that you grow on your head, hair is more of a partner. Hair isn’t recognized because people don’t notice the real beauty and aspect of it.
For example, black women have hair and they tend to take care of their natural hair to protect it from heat damage. There is also this sense that most black women want to have their hair straightened to have hair like a white person. A caucasian would have natural straight hair that a black woman would want and the struggle that most black women go through is ridiculous.
I’ve studied that some women prefer their hair to be chemically relaxed and others prefer to have their hair natural. By natural, this means that women can have their hair naturally curly or naturally afro, your hair is just natural. But being natural takes a lot of maintenance and there are many routines to follow to make sure it’s healthy and moisturized. When your hair is relaxed there are chemicals put into your hair to keep it from being natural. The only negative effect from relaxing your hair is that it damages the curl pattern that you naturally have. Women use so many chemicals and insert so many products that it actually can damage your ends, make your hair fall out and even make your hair thin.
Personally, as a black woman myself I think it is very important to keep my hair protected from heat. I wear braids and I wear wigs to protect it, and doing this is very helpful because it keeps my hair in its curl pattern and it helps it grow. When I straighten my hair, I have to use heat protective sprays to make sure my hair doesn’t get damaged. The amount of times that heat is absorbed into my hair, and the products I use in my hair are able to protect my hair and keep its curl pattern.
The principle of this is to really understand and have value for your hair. Hair is supposed to be taken care of and in my eyes many women tend to care and nurture their hair. As for guys, they should do the same and keep their moisturized because the value is indescribable.
Another morality is that the hair that black women have is really a gift and it’s what keeps us different from one another. It also symbolizes the meaning of the black culture and the hair that makes us beautiful. The history behind our hair is very strong and symbolic to many of us, and we certainly don’t look into it enough.
I personally believe that the symbolism of black hair is very beautiful and is very important. It is very unlike that of different races because it’s the way our culture is. Our hair is the magic and in my opinion, it means so much to many of us including other races.
By Alexa Giambra '22
When I stepped inside the mysterious shack, I was in a state of shock from what I saw. There were 11 girls, around my daughter’s age, who had been abused. I went to interview each of them. They had all been victims of human trafficking. I told them everything was going to be okay. They had been there for years. Each of the girls was only 10 years old! They told me about their families, who they missed so much. Some of them barely remembered their family. I was completely horrified. I checked in with the rest of the LWS squad.
“Still no sign of the criminal.”
I had the girls describe to me what this criminal looked like. He was about 50 years old, with black hair, and brown eyes. This was gonna be harder than I thought. But, one girl exclaimed,
“He also has a red wrist band that he wears all the time, and never takes it off. That’s how you’ll be able to spot him.”
“A red wristband, huh? Which wrist?”
“The right. I’m pretty sure.”
“Thank you. I promise you I’m gonna get you all home safely.” I contacted my squad.
“Lookout for a red wristband on the right hand.”
“A red wristband?”
“Exactly. Supposedly, he wears it all the time.”
“Be on the lookout.” I turned to the girls.
“Who are you, even?” One of the girls said.
“The name’s Tedesco. Rocky Tedesco. I work with the LWS. It’s kind of like the FBI.” They all looked confused. Why would they know who the FBI is?
One girl stepped up. “Tedesco? I know A girl named Elise Tedesco. She was here, but she escaped and ran away.”
“Elise Tedesco happens to be my daughter. Do you by any chance know where she went?”
“She just ran when she had the chance.”
“When did this happen?”
“I don’t know. Not so long ago?”
I had to find Elise. I knew she was still somewhere out there. And, if she disappeared not so long ago, I could track down her footprints. Another LWS agent helped find evidence of the children’s parents and was still trying to track down the criminal. I tracked down the footprints. Nothing to be seen. I walked for miles in the forest where the shack was located, holding my daughter’s shoe in my hand. I sat down for a moment to pray.
“God, please bless my daughter. Protect her from harm, so that she shall come back home.”
Just after that, the wind started to blow, and the leaves that were on the ground blew away. A human-sized hole was dug where a patch of leaves sat. I decided to take a look inside. Bingo. I found footprints that were the same exact size as my daughter’s. Was it really her? I took a step closer. There was note that read,
“Dear Dad, if you ever read this, I want you to know that you don’t have to apologize for any of this. None of it is your fault and I think you’re doing a great job as a police officer. (She wrote this when I was still a police officer) Anyways, If you’re wondering where I am, well, a nice man told me to come with him to a city called Baltimore. You can find me there. Also if you're wondering where the criminal is, he’s probably at Mcdonalds. He loves it there. He's a very terrible man. He just grabbed me when I was walking home from my friends' house. He was not friendly at all, unlike the nice man who’s taking me to Baltimore.”
I knew it as soon as I saw it. The nice man that took her to Baltimore was a kidnapper. How could she fall for that? And, where in Baltimore was I going to find her? I had to tell the LWS squad about the criminal.
“Any word on the criminal?”
“I have news. I found a letter written by my daughter. I’ll show it to you but first, we have to go to the nearest Mcdonalds.”
“We don’t have time for-”
“Just trust me.” We pulled up to Mcdonalds. There was no one in sight, but there was a white van pulling out of the parking lot. We stopped it.
“Get out of the car.” As soon as he stepped out of the car, I saw the red wristband on his hand. It was him.
“What do you want from me?” Hands in the air, criminal.
“Answer this question. Where is my daughter Elise?”
“I’m not gonna speak.”
“Speak or I’ll shoot.”
“Last time I saw her, she ran out into the forest. I don’t know where she went after.”
“That’s it. Lock him up.”
“Hey, what’s that wristband for?”
“It was my daughters.”
“Yeah. My daughter got kidnapped and this is the only thing she left behind.”
“And what makes you think it’s okay to be doing this to other little girls?”
“I guess I just wanted to get back at them.”
“Listen, when you kidnapped my daughter, I joined the LWS to take out my rage on people who’ve committed the crime, not the innocent,” I said. “You’ll have to go to jail for 10 years and then you’ll be released.” I could not believe it. But, I had to find my daughter, and help the girls find their families. That’s what I had to worry about.
“Let’s do this, ” I exclaimed as I got in the police car. I bought a plane ticket to Baltimore, and I was going to find my daughter. I was going to get her home if that was the last thing I do. I’d search every house and every alleyway until I found her. I knew I would find her. I’d try and try and try.
By Jonnel Lewis '19
“Tick Tock” is all I can hear as I stare at my clock. It’s my last class and I can’t wait to leave. It’s winter vacation and I have big plans for this week. I’m going to a place where everything is big and bright. I hope what I’ve seen on TV is what it’s like in real life.
Imagine as you walk the streets you can smell the coffee from the local shops as crowds of people roam the area. However, when I got there it wasn’t as it seemed...
Throughout the streets, you can hear shouts of different words and rude slurs. Drivers sitting in their car with frustration on their face. The people here are like tigers in a cage fighting for the last piece of meat, they’ll shove you out the way if it means they’re going to be late. People walking everywhere and anywhere, nearly knocking each other down. Big companies promoting their products in our faces from billboards to tv screens, everyone is so unaware of one another. Bells ring, cars honk, time never seems to stop. From all the bright lights to the people roaming the streets throughout the night, everything is a such a blur. People come to admire the scenery from all around the world.
I’ve been told when holidays approach this is everyone’s favorite place from the biggest tree around to bringing out the ice skates. Events upon events happen here, from the drop of a ball to the best pizza in town. From day to night, everyone is always in the spotlight because of this place that shines so bright.
By Alexa Giambra '22
Hello, there. You’ve probably never heard of me. The name’s Tedesco. Rocky Tedesco. I come from a not so far away place called New York where big dreams are made of. I recently completed my 14th mission as an agent for a not so well known group called the LWS or Lookout-Watch squad. We’re closely linked to the FBI, and we work for the government. Our job is to do what the FBI cannot.
Criminals think they can get away in dark, secret places without anybody knowing. But what they don’t know is that LWS is always on the lookout. We have over 30,000 agents who find the most hidden, mysterious places where kidnappers would go. We are always on the lookout, no matter the time of day. Once we catch someone in the act at a certain location, we officially border that location off so that no other abductor can make use of it.
I started working for the LWS after my daughter, Elise, mysteriously disappeared a month before. I had been a retired Police officer so when the LWS helped me look for my daughter, I knew I had to join. I went through intense training, but it was all worth it. I helped save many children’s lives, but I still haven’t found my daughter. We’ve always assumed she was abducted. We did everything we could to find her, but all hope was lost. Or so we thought. LWS recently found another hidden spot where a few other men and women and I were stationed for lookout. We find places we know abductors come, and we catch them. I know what you’re thinking. How do we find these places? We spend months finding hidden spots that abductors have been caught before. We had never seen or heard anything for a couple of months, so we decided we could just border off the spot. We set up security cameras and hidden sensors so that we can catch the abductor. He can not pass, and once he does, sirens will start flashing and we will rush to the scene. It was 4:00 AM. No one thought that anything could possibly happen. While everyone was resting, I made sure to stay up and alert. No noises whatsoever… 6:00 AM. I hear a car moving toward us. The car stops, and I hear the rustling of leaves. I knew I couldn’t wake up the others without making a sound so I armed myself. I heard footsteps walking closer and closer until…
“HELP, SOMEBODY HELP ME!” The voice of a young girl.
It was time to take action. “Freeze!” I yelled. “You have the right to remain silent.” Just then, all the other LWS agents got up and ready for action. I was too busy staring at the man that I didn’t even pay attention to the girl. She wasn’t there anymore! “You’re under arrest!” said one of the other agents as she put him in handcuffs.
“The girl!” I screamed.
We rushed to get her. Luckily, we tracked her by her footprints. We found the little girl standing in front of a shack in the woods. As one agent took her to safety, I stepped into the cottage. I couldn’t believe what I saw inside.
The story will be continued in the next issue of The Folio.