The Best and Worst Meals at Camp by Ava Byrne

Being a seasoned sleep-away camp-goer, I have eaten my fair share of . . . questionable meals. After eight summers spent at camp, I now know exactly which meals to avoid and which meals to get seconds on.

The Worst

Cold Cuts- These are served on a large white platter that include an assortment of ham, turkey, salami, cheese slices, and lettuce. Any way that camp can incorporate cold cuts into a meal, they will. Cold cuts on buns, cold cuts on tortillas, I’ve seen it all.  

Beef Tips- I’m pretty sure this is beef stroganoff but either way I don’t eat it.

Eggs – It’s something that’s been drilled into my brain since my very first summer. Don’t eat the eggs. At one point someone told me they use powdered eggs. I had them once and they were rubbery and… just not good. Unsurprisingly, the majority of camp makes a beeline for the cereal towers when there’s eggs for breakfast. 

Ham covered in barbecue sauce- Sometimes camp gets a little… creative with their meals. This was one of those times. I’m pretty sure they only served it once. Thank God.

The Breakfast Buffet for the 3rd day in a row-The breakfast buffet is in the middle of the dining hall that includes mini bagels, mini cinnamon rolls, yogurt, two types of fruit and usually some other type of pastry. There is nothing inherently wrong with the breakfast buffet, but there’s never enough food for everyone and having it every other day gets old real quick.

Breakfast bars- Breakfast bars are a food item unique to camp. They’re breaded, deep fried and contain egg, cheese and either bacon or sausage. Breakfast bars are a very disputed food item at camp, you either love them or you hate them. I happen to be one of the people who hate them. My hate for them definitely grew after I was on dish crew and I had to spend hours scraping greasy breakfast bar residue off trays 3 times a week. Yuck.

The Best

Chicken Patties- Chicken patties (chicken sandwiches) are the crown jewel of camp meals. All of camp rejoices when its chicken patty day. They’re delicious and makes the misery of cold cuts worth it.

Grilled Cheese – The last time I had a grilled cheese at camp was the summer of 2013 and I don’t think they’ve made them since. Every summer at camp I daydream about the fabled buttery, melt-in-your-mouth grilled cheeses and pray that they’ll make another appearance on my plate.

Waffles or Pancakes- Best breakfast. Hands down. Bonus points if there’s bacon.

Beanie Weenie Night- This night is a special holiday at camp. Every thursday night, instead of having dinner in the dining hall, we eat outside and have a cookout.  On the Beanie Weenie night menu is hot dogs, water melon, beans, potato chips, and to drink is the highly esteemed bug juice (off brand kool aid). 

Pretzel Buns- They sometimes serve these with cold cuts or hamburgers. Honestly they just make mediocre meals a little better.

Spaghetti night- I love this night for two reasons; Breadsticks and Party cups. What are party cups you ask?? Scroll down.

Party Cups!!!!- Party cups are individually wrapped styrofoam foam bowls of vanilla ice cream. They only come in vanilla but you can make chocolate by mixing in nutella. And if you want to really get creative you can make a milkshake by scooping out the ice cream, putting it into a clean cup, adding milk, place another cup on top, and shaking it like crazy. Voila! Camp milkshake.


Sisterhood by Abigail Beard

Image result for legally blonde elle and pauletteOver winter break, I watched Legally Blonde for the first time. I was amazed at how the film showed Elle not as just a “dumb blonde” sorority girl, but as a complex, smart, fashion merchandising student who had been destined by her parents and by society to be a rich housewife. Instead, we see her develop friendships in the least likely places.

She formed a friendship with Mrs. Windham, the woman she was supposed to be representing, and getting her alibi in the process. Instead of sharing it, though, she keeps Mrs. Windham’s damaging secret, one that might have won the case. The trust Elle fostered with her client ended up promoting her to head lawyer.

The girl she hated the most, Warner’s new fiance, became her friend after seeing how Elle protected Mrs. Windham. That kindness earned her an ally and resulted in a surprising revelation about Warner’s admission to Harvard.

Paulette the nail tech became her friend and Elle ended up helping her take back her possessions from a failed relationship. This friendship led to the birth of Elle’s goddaughter.

Elle’s friendships all rewarded her in turn, helping her through the male dominated field of law and encouraging her to go on despite the taunts from her boyfriend and her professors that she wasn’t enough.

Sisterhood is so important to me because we as women have to stand up for each other. We have to love each other because, at the end of the day in this world ruled by rich white men, who is going to love us if we don’t love ourselves?

I Want to Write a Poem by Astrid Braun

Image result for poetry writing

I want to write a poem

But I can’t sort out my thoughts

Or feelings in a way that will

Flow and satisfy


Today is one such that

My body reflects the lethargy

Present in my mind, the swirling pool

Of emotions caused by nothing


I like to solve Sudokus

Eyes scanning, pen at the ready

Focusing on anything but the problems

That have no answer and no origin


It focuses me, in a way little else can,

A relief from constant introspection

My bad habit in excess

And my savior in uncertainty

A Critique of the Things I Watched While I was Out Sick by Claire Ockner

  1. The Edge of SeventeenA surprisingly funny movie. My mother and I watched this together since we both had the stomach flu, and both of us thought it was cute, hilarious, and sad all at once. If a movie can make both a 17 and a 51 year old laugh, I’d say it’s pretty funny. My criticisms: the movie is unrealistic. I don’t think that anyone would ever send a text even remotely as raunchy as Nadine sent to Nick. Also, I wish they had revealed how Nadine and Krista reconnected after the main conflict. There were definitely some loose ends that I wasn’t quite satisfied with, but I’d still give this movie a solid 9/10.
  2. Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy TapesThis four-part documentary seriously gave me the chills. Hearing the voice of someone who was capable of doing such horrific things is both fascinating and fear-inducing. The documentary does a good job of capturing Bundy’s charming facade without romanticizing it. My criticism: I wish they had spent more time telling us who the victims were. They deserve to be remembered way more than the monster who took their lives.
  3. Law and Order: SVUDUH-DUH. Enough said.
  4. An Assortment of Cute Puppy VideosAmazing. Beautiful. Perfect. Dogs are too good for this world. I’m not sure how many puppy videos I’ve watched in the past two and a half days, but I’m guessing around 25. My criticisms: none. 10/10, perfect in every way.

Gas Station Hose and Nozzle Man by Fenner Dreyfuss-Wells

I drove into a gas station late last night, and a single pump stood alone on the concrete lot. It had no hose for bringing gas to the nozzle, and no nozzle for putting gas in my car.  It was a naked pump. I went inside and asked what was the matter with that pump outside?  “It has no hose,” I said. “No hose or nozzle at all.”

A short man emerged from a back room with the missing hose wrapped around his neck, like a mink scarf, or like a pet snake. He clung to it as if it were profoundly important to him. It was his only article of clothing. I needed that hose and that nozzle, and he knew it.  Our gazes locked together. He saw the desperation in my eyes, and laughed wildly.  

With the hose still firmly in his possession, he leapt onto the nearest candy rack. He ran along its top, shaking Twix to the ground. “Hee hee,” he said. I made a grab for his legs, intending to knock him down and remove the hose, along with its nozzle, from his possession. Instead, I stumbled into the shelf, causing it to tip and spill on top of me. When I finally dug my way out, the sinister man was waddling urgently outside, hose and nozzle in hand. I sprinted for the door, but found that he had chained it shut behind him. Gleefully, the short man unwound the hose from his neck.  I watched as he attached it to the pump and stuck the nozzle in my car.  The gasoline left the pump, flowed through the hose, through the nozzle, and into the fuel tank of my vehicle. When it was full, he let out a final “Hee hee!” and drove off. The doors rattled against their chains.

Jake’s Top Five Comedy Flicks

  1. The Spongebob Movie


This movie holds a special place in my heart. And, it’s timeless. I laugh no less now than I did when I was six years old. A tasteful blend of crude humor and physical comedy, this film exhibits excellent comedic timing and captivating graphics that will leave you satisfied and laughing for days afterward.


  1. Step-Brothers


Will Ferrell and John C. Reily demonstrate excellent comedic synergy in depicting the precarious relationship between two middle-aged men living at home with their parents. Director Adam McKay puts together a fast-paced, absurdist comedy that truly deserves its own category. Parental discretion is definitely advised.


  1. Nacho Libre


This is an offbeat comedy…definitely offbeat. Awkward silences are curated masterfully and interrupted frequently by Jack Black’s unmatched comedic instinct. Plus, his accent is hilarious, almost perfectly exaggerated for the genre.


  1. Bridesmaids


Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph are perhaps the most hilarious comedic duo in hollywood. This film takes full advantage of the talent at its disposal, featuring appearances from Ellie Kemper, Melissa McCarthy, and Rebel Wilson.


  1. Superbad


Judd Apatow has emerged as one of the premier comedy directors of our era, and Superbad may be the film that best showcases this. Featuring the likes of Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Emma Stone, Bill Hader and Seth Rogen, this movie just may end up at the top of your list, too.

Math is Just a Social Construct by Bronwyn Warnock


1+1=2. sin x divided by cos x equals tan x. y=mx+b.

These equations may be important in your life, but they are not in mine. Well, with the exception of 1+1=2.

To put it plain and simple, math just sucks. I’ve never been particularly fond of math and have never been that good at it either. Right now, I’m sitting on my bed with my math homework staring back at me. I don’t really have a clue how to do it and the questions are haunting me. Instead of doing my math homework, I have honestly been thinking about how math is just made-up.

The numbers one, two, and three did not always exist. One plus one did not always equal two. 1+1 only started to equal 2 once the mathematicians of the world told us so.

Now, everyone can agree that numbers are practically made up. But at one point, words were made up too. People have been speaking languages for hundreds of thousands of years as communication is critical for survival. The ability to express oneself is engraved into human nature. Conflicts and compromises have been sprinkled throughout our history for as long as time can remember. Yet, one day, an unfortunate group sat down at a table. This table sat down and cultivated a monster. This monster was called Math. The luminous creature of Mathematics did not only take one day, it most likely took many years. Now for a comparison. Sometimes, when one does a math problem, the process to get to the answer can take an eternity. This is most likely because it took these so called mathematicians an eternity to create the problem set of numbers and figures.

While this is an over-exaggerated explanation of my opinions about math, the common principle and golden law still pertains. Math just sucks.




Shackles and Chains by Monet Bouie

Shackles and Chains

By: Monet Bouie

Dear my brothers and sisters

We need to make a change

I am tired of being held back

By these shackles and chains


Taking the name that suppressed us

Is used now to progress us

But is still used to address us

Are still our shackles and chains


The taste of disgust from the sight of my brothers

Who devalue, debase, and destroy one another

Calling women sluts and whores included

But when it comes to your mother those names are excluded

These are our shackles and chains


And my sisters who slander themselves by the dozen

Light against dark between sisters and cousins

Because lighter is brighter, no darker is best

I can’t tell anymore like we’ve made no progress

These are our shackles and chains


Dear my brothers and sisters

We need to make a change

I am tired of being held back

By our shackles and chains

You need to make a change

Make that change


So what are you going to do about it?

My love-hate relationship with award shows by Harlan Friedman Romell

About two weeks ago, the nominations for the 91st Academy Awards were revealed to everyone’s indifference (or at least mine). I’m a huge movie guy. Always have been, always will be, and therefore I’m the kind of person to get wrapped up in the Oscars. I make it a mission to see every Best Picture film, pick my own predictions for every award, and have a watch party with my friends on the fateful night.

That said, it is a complete waste of time.

Why do I care about awards?  Why do I care about the opinions of roughly 7000 mysterious people to decide which performance, screenplay, or film is objectively “the best?” There is no objective “best” when it comes to art. I often find myself shouting at the TV screen when the Academy makes a boneheaded pick; I still haven’t gotten over the Moonlight/La La Land controversy, and I probably never will.

That said, it is so much fun.

The Academy Awards are always an absolute train wreck, in the best possible way. I lament the fact that the ‘right movies’ never win awards, but it provides the ability for people to come together by mutually hating something. And I know everyone wishes that award ceremonies were 300% shorter and 1000% less painful, although I like that everyone is suffering through it together. It’s nice to develop a sense of community in the face of torturous occasions such as the Oscars.

I was going to talk about my own picks for the Oscars this year, but upon second thought I realized that it doesn’t matter. People are going to like what they like and dislike what they dislike. I enjoyed a lot of movies this year, some more than others, and I don’t need to validate my beliefs by forcing them onto the world. Live and let live, y’know?

That said, I will leave you with a few movies from last year that weren’t as popular as your Avengers: Infinity War or your Bohemian Rhapsody that I feel deserve a look.

Chef Flynn

The Endless

Sorry to Bother You



Or, if you haven’t already, just watch the 2010 classic Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Truly a magnificent cinematic experience.

Scheduling My Life by Tomasina DeLong

I am a junior in high school, preparing to schedule classes for my senior year. In my final year at Shaker, I will have more options than ever before. Do I continue with Spanish? Is taking physics more beneficial than taking psychology? Will colleges want to see me take a history class, even though I am not strong in history? Would I be a more desirable applicant if I focus my classes around a certain subject or should I try to be more well-rounded? What do people want?

I have a free slot in my schedule and I am trying to decide what to do with it. The more people I ask, the harder it is to make my decision because everyone adds new ideas that I had not thought of. I just need to realize that this decision is not life altering. I can drop out if it is too hard, or I could stick with it. Overall it will not change the trajectory of my life unless I let it. If I decided that my taking a class or not changes what I want to do in life, that is my decision that I made for myself.

I am caught up in trying to figure out what other people want rather than trying to figure out what I want. Senior year I can choose to relax a little bit, or I can choose to ramp things up. This is my last year of high school and I should be taking classes that challenge me, yet interest me as well. I can ask around and see what other people think, but ultimately it is my decision and only I can make it. As an especially indecisive person, this is a struggle for me.

This is MY schedule, MY college, MY future, and MY life, so why am I focused on what other people think about it? I need to take charge and realize that I am going to be the one living this life so all that matters is what I think about it.