Two truths and a Lie by Indee S

A Truth


Look at me and listen carefully. Everything they’ve told you is a lie.

Sharp words—biting thoughts—punctuate a sharp turn, a skid. But there are no memories flashing before these eyes of mine, no fond images to ponder and make me infinitely regretful of this decision. The earth is shattering but only because I’m causing it. They say you go deaf, your vision goes blank but that’s not true either. I see the bright headlights to the left of me, the depth of darkness to the right. I see that tree… And I hear everything; cars honking as they pass (that doppler effect), tires squelching along waterlogged pavement. The bump of my car sliding off the road and into uneven grass…over rocks…past something that squeals…into that tree. My tree… There is no white light.

Everything is a lie.



A lie


Heaven smells like chemical disinfectant and salted fries. It’s peculiar.

The first thing I see when I open my eyes—a flutter—is the bright, blinding light. It swings back and forth between each eye—a pendulum of sorts—and briefly I wonder if this is it, if this is God judging me. But soon thereafter the light moves away—a hand follows—and this room comes into view. White ceiling, white sheets…white noise eventually clearing to introduce the beeping of a machine. The clearing of a throat…

A man’s voice booming overhead.

“Can you hear me?” A pregnant pause, then again “Miss, can you hear me?”

Someone groans faintly. I think it’s me.

“Can you open your eyes?” That voice—so loud, so harsh that I scrunch them instead.

Someone to my left shifts in their seat—the squelch of cloth against leather—and whispers frantically, “Her eyes.”

“Is she waking?”

“I think she is…”

“Open your eyes, dear.”

Another moan pierces the air and I am for certain it is mine. The air is too light, the room is too bright. I’d been waking though I choose to sleep. I hear that man—that voice—murmur,

“It should be any moment now,” before I slip into a sleep that seems to last an eternity.


A Truth

On good days they feed me pudding; Chocolate, vanilla, pistachio…I like to think myself the connoisseur of all things Jell-O.

It’s a ritual of sorts; Some plump, matronly nurse—we’ll call her Pat—rolling in on sunshine and caution, setting an unopened cup (of whatever flavor) on the breakfast stand nearby. She allows me a plastic spoon (perhaps metal ones are too dangerous for the likes of me) and fluffs my pillow all the while spouting her wonted cautionary.

“Now, dear,” Said always with discretion, said always with a grin. “Don’t eat too fast.”

“I won’t.”

“And dear—” Said always with the sort of circumspection reserved for those who pretend to be oblivious but aren’t really. “Don’t forget to take your pills.” Which she lies beside my pudding—today she offers banana, something she assumes is my favorite—with an elevated brow. I know what she means but I shrug nonetheless. No promises.

“I won’t.”

“And dear,” Which she never says a third time but I school away my confusion. “No bathroom breaks until I return. Doctor’s determined you aren’t ready for that sort of exertion.” And she rolls away, taking all the sunshine and caution with her.

When I know she’s gone—when I no longer feel her warmth—I careen toward the ensuite with intent, little guilt. Blue pills are wrapped in white tissue are flushed down a porcelain bowl are followed by pudding before I resume my position in bed.  

Truth is, I hate banana.

My Cheesy End of the Year Blog by Sophie Browner

“This is the beginning of anything you want.” This is the quote on the store bought graduation card that I got in the mail yesterday. There is nothing incredibly profound about these words, but the more I think about it, the more true it seems. Up until now, each schedule, each after school activity, and each class has been mapped out for us by our family, our school, and the state of Ohio’s education standards. Entering high school was the first step toward freedom, but “this is the beginning of anything you want” is for the first time in our lives, completely true. It is a scary and exciting thought that the people I meet and the classes I take next year have the potential to move my life in a variety of different ways. I learned so much in high school about myself and the world. The people of Shaker Heights provided me with new ideas about politics and social issues that I know will take me so far. I feel that now that I have the skills, and I am ready to use them.

I think a little bit more about what Shaker has taught me and I realize that this is not the beginning for everyone. Not everyone has the privilege of going to college, taking a gap year, or choosing their own path.

In college, I am going to work to change this. I want to enter a helping profession, whether it’s nursing or speech therapy, and I want to work towards a world where anyone can have a new beginning- of anything they want.

Raspberry Room- Marg Bart (quoted poem by Karin Gottshall)

Image result for raspberry bush

The Raspberry Room

It was solid hedge, loops of bramble and thorny
as it had to be with its berries thick as bumblebees.
It drew blood just to get there, but I was queen
of that place, at ten, though the berries shook like fists
in the wind, daring anyone to come in.  I was trying
so hard to love this world—real rooms too big and full
of worry to comfortably inhabit—but believing I was born
to live in that cloistered green bower: the raspberry patch
in the back acre of my grandparents’ orchard.  I was cross-
stitched and beaded by its fat, dollmaker’s needles.  The effort
of sliding under the heavy, spiked tangles that tore
my clothes and smeared me with juice was rewarded
with space, wholly mine, a kind of room out of
the crush of the bushes with a canopy of raspberry
dagger-leaves and a syrup of sun and birdsong.
Hours would pass in the loud buzz of it, blood
made it mine—the adventure of that red sting singing
down my calves, the place the scratches brought me to:
just space enough for a girl to lie down.
                                                             -Karin Gottshall
What kind of blood is sweeter to lose than losing no blood at all?
I was 10 years old when I first read this poem. Avery read it aloud to me and 7 other girls, and then she asked, “where is your raspberry room? Where do you go to be alone?”
I think as a ten year old I wrote about this tree I used to sit in. My dad slapped a piece of wood on a branch and nailed it into the bark, leaving the perfect perching spot for a young girl to sit, and to see. I saw many things there, I saw Will, the man who cut lawns on Enderby rd, barefoot and balding. I saw my parents frantically looking around the front yard to find me after hours out, hiding behind the green of the tree. I saw my own scrapes and bruises and blisters from my barefooted tree climbing. I saw myself clearer than I do now I think. The luxury of ten-hood.
I moved out of that house last February, and I wasn’t sad to see it go. It had become ghostly, and my throne on the tree, green and rotted, has become a distant memory. If I was asked again to locate my raspberry room, I don’t quite know my response.
The patch of grass between the boulders?
The woods behind the farmhouse?
The ladybug cottage?
The cold coffee, and warm forehead.
I have entered many rooms in my life that have made me feel safe,
often rooms without walls
often all alone.
To forage for a space is to survive, even if there is bloodshed to claim that room of one’s one.
What kind of blood is sweeter to lose than losing no blood at all?

Old Lasts and New Firsts by Abigail Herbst

Today is my last Friday of high school.

Next week it will be my last day of high school.

It will be my last time driving to school. My last time complaining about my bad parking spot. My last time walking down the halls I have grown accustomed to over the past four year. The last time I go to my locker. The last time I go to class with my teachers who have not only taught me extensive academic knowledge, but also how to be a strong and caring person.

A few short months later, it will be the last time I sleep in my own bed. The last time I take my dogs for a walk. The last time I go out to brunch with my friends. The last time I walk out of the door of the only home I have ever known.

But I know that these last times are only temporary. I will return home to visit, however my perspective will have changed. I’ll no longer be a high school student, striving to get As to impress my parents and colleges. When I return I’ll have a new life, a new room, new coffee shops I regularly go to, new friends and new teachers.

Even though this chapter of my life is coming to a close, a new one is just beginning. The possibilities of this new chapter are endless. Thinking about all of the lasts as my high school life draws to a close is sad, but it’s important to not only focus and be lasts, but think about the infinite number of firsts in the year to come.

The Future by Phillip Kalafatis

I am not scared of many things but the future does unnerve me. It’s probably because there is so much we don’t know. That I don’t know. I don’t necessarily want to know what is going to happen to me or the world; I’m afraid because anything can happen.

Literally, anything can happen in one year, let alone eighty. There are infinite possibilities for wonderful things to happen and infinite possibilities for horrible things to happen.

I think I know what I want to do in life but in the next four years, that could all change. I entered high school wanting to be a biologist and left it wanting to be a writer.

I will most likely enter college thinking I want to do such and such or be a so and so, but I honestly don’t know.

I think it’s safe to say that most people are unnerved by the unknown. I like to think that it’s human to fear what we don’t know, and what could happen because at any moment anything could happen.

My whole life could change in a flash.

And that scares me.


I’m Undecided And That’s OK by Lily Roth

“What do you plan to study in college?”

“No clue, I’m undecided.”

This exchange occurs about twice a day every day. I never viewed the word “undecided” as a negative thing, but apparently, I missed the memo that “undecided” is a shocking and terrible thing for adults or peers to hear. My undecidedness should not merit any of the following responses.

“Don’t worry you have plenty of time to figure that out before heading to school!”

“Oh, that’s okay! Don’t stress about it.”

“Ah, I’m so sorry, I bet you’ll find your way.”

I swear, the next time someone replies in this way I might just #go #off. My undecidedness should not merit any of those responses because I am proud of my undecidedness. It gives me the freedom to explore, create, and test out new and interesting things. Why is it such a terrible thing that I don’t know what I want to spend my life doing? Is it such an outrageous thought that maybe I want to spend my life changing professions, trying new things, and following all of my passions?

Bravo to you if you have your mind set on one thing and one thing only. I hope you thrive and remain happy in that field for the rest of your life. But a student or professional should never be looked down upon for having multiple passions they want to pursue. In fact, I think these people should be admired and cheered on by the rest of the world.

I am undecided and proud. I won’t let anyone else take that away from me.

idk what to write about by Isabela Carroll

cloudy junk mushed into a piece of fluff jammed in my ears

when I don’t know what to say it suffocates

clogging up the inner cubicle

Get it OUT

like a splinter in my toe

not so painful as aggravating

forcing what will not come

on to a blank screen

so white it’s plainness mocks me

but if I don’t write anything nothing will come at all

so stuck in a winding swirl of


toned text

muddy with curved tall circular symbols none that I can tell apart

splotched and sputtering and withering away

I create something and




(close to complete) until ENOUGH

and I decide to press


(they/them) pt. 2

 A woman enters, laughs, spits on the floor, resentment curling down her lips, and exits with a cheerful tingle of the fairy bell. “In all god frickin damnation, ” Kenny mutters, crouching under the counter for a dirty rag to mop up the puddle. Again their hands struggle to complete the objective, sidetracked by discarded book jackets and should-have-been-fuzzy-rags-but-are-in-fact-fuzzy-something-else’s. Alas, they are too late and one of the Brunch-Peruse-Dance-ers has broken off. Curiously, she seems to be trying to meld her face with the floor to get at eye level with the puddle. She whistles a gust along the lake, coaxing floating dust to shore. A particularly sharp, particularly dandruffed gifted dancer snaps a turn past the puddle, flinging dandelions into the lake. She jumps on them before they disappear into wishes, tracing a finger on the spittle’s surface and collecting the dust into one big clump, drawing it slowly upwards in a droplet clung to her finger. She stands and rotates to face Kenny, fingerpad proceeding her lips. They smile and gratefully receive the wishes as they scatter on their desk, accompanied by the rain to make them grow.
Accepting the keyboard from Kenny’s outstretched hands, she humbly types:
Canoer, player in the winds of wishes, works well with others
The database blinks and returns her entry:
[Amiable Seagull] (1)
Kenny encouragingly nods her on and she presses the key for another line:
A woman who laughs like it is her greatest regret and spits like it’s her birthday cake
[Mother on her leash] (1)
*Flicks wrist—them
[Green- eyed Sunflowers] (11)
Kenny turns the screen back to themselves and solemnly clicks ‘Add’. The tavern sign flips Closed and the shop empties. Puddles slurp up a leash, feathers dance, and seeds crunch.
They return the dropped books to stretching shelves, adding newcomers at the end. A fruitful day.

The Musings Of A Senior: 3 Poems by Renold Mueller

A Sonnet

First comes the mass of work, which to compete

With my priorities and happiness,

Decides, by threat and theft, my soul to cheat

Of that which keeps my Sanity, no less;

Then Strangers judge, as Vultures do descend

Upon a weary self with talons hooked,

As the Snake in Eden called to Eve as Friend,

And pounce to Spite, my burdens overlooked;

Last come the tests—the coup de grace—this end

Subdues our education overall

Into a twisted shell—they just pretend

To teach—learning gives way to folderol;

These conditions choke the mind and soul,

Until what’s left is half of what was whole.


I Could Not Breathe

I could not Breathe when first I Saw

The Letter that They sent

And tried to Quantify just what

Exactly it did mean


So like a winter it did seem

That I felt Stabbed—

By Icy Scythes of Indignation

And rejection


Though I was in—and Others not,

I grew lost—

I’d Dreamt of College Education—

“But at What cost?”


Those who seek the prestige of Names,

Or those at Public Schools—

They All want to know: Where?

Where does It go?


Welcome To The Writing Center

Welcome To The Writing Center,

We Are Here To Help You,

The Student,

Who Comes To Us,

With A Paper In Hand,

Which Is Filled With Spelling Errors,

And You Want Us To Take A Look At It,

And You’ll Come Back For It 6th Period,

Or You Need To Rework Your Thesis,

And It’s Due After Lunch,

And If You Get A C You Will Blame Us,

But That’s Alright,

Because We Are The Writing Center,

And We Are Here To Help You


Welcome To The Writing Center,

We Are Here To Help You,

The Teacher,

Who Sends To Us,

Your Students,

Who Think Writing Is About Spelling Out XYZ,

Who Barely Know What They Are Supposed To Be Working On,

Who Were Told They Would Get Better Grades If They Came To Us,

Who You Don’t Like,

So You Sent Them Our Way,

Because We Are The Writing Center,

And We Are Here To Help You


Welcome To The Writing Center,

We Are Here To Help You,

The Administrator,

Who Looks At A Number,

And Tells Us If We Are Doing Our Job Right,

And Expects Quantifiable Results,

And Still After All This Time,

Hasn’t Figured Out What It Is We Do,

Even Though We Are Obviously Here For One Thing,

Because We Are The Writing Center,

And We Are Here To Help You


Welcome To The Writing Center,

We Are Here To Help You,

The Writer,

Who May Be A Freshman,

Or May Be A Humanities Teacher,

Or May Be An Administrator,

Who Comes From A Family Of Writers,

Who Doesn’t,

Who Comes During Lunch,

Who Skips Econ To Conference With Us,

Who Is Working On Anything At All,

Who Seeks Improvement,

And Possibly Something More,

Don’t You Worry About Anyone Else,

We Are Here To Help You

Goodbye, farewell, so long by Mariah Jordan

Goodbye, farewell, so long, Shaker. It’s been a great 13 years, but, the time has come that we must part ways.

With days left until my high school graduation, I’ve decided to dedicate this blog to the 13 highest and lowest moments of my adolescent educational journey. Low: early mornings and late nights. High: field trips to the high school planetarium. Low: my current computer science grade. High: the people. Low: throwing up in middle school study hall. High: 6th grade camp. Low: falling in front of your entire 5th grade class during an overly competitive game of kickball. High: 100th day of kindergarten. Low: level 1, level 2, and level 3. High: elementary SGORR visits. Low: being rejected from the middle school volleyball team. High: holidays and birthdays in elementary school. Low: missing the late bus at the middle school. High: graduating (aka getting the heck out of Shaker).

Writing this, on the brink of tears, I’ve concluded that the highest of the high is the separation, the departure from the place that has been my home for 13 years. I’m happy to say it. But, is that so bad?

Now is the time to apply classroom topics into reality, to fail and succeed on my own, and to venture into the real world where I will be sure to be safe, respectful, and responsible.