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Friday October 20, 2017
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Young Local Writers

Personal essays written by students ages 9-15 who participated in an 826michigan workshop led by Observer designer LR Nunez and calendar editor Katie Whitney

Friday, January 27, 2017

Magic Pond

By Katerina


All is dark, but the moon and stars shine bright, piercing the darkness. It’s nighttime, the silver moon shines full. The sky is cloudless. I hear the constant croaking of the frogs. Soon, it becomes a background noise. An owl hoots in the distance.

The sun is shining.

Thud. Thud. Thud. My footsteps make loud sounds as I walk across the bridge. I flinch as a dragonfly flies in front of my nose. The weather is warm. Baby ducklings have arrived. There are nine. They are insanely adorable. The busy mother has her backside in the air. A frog on the other side of the bridge distracts me from the ducklings. Something moves in the water, but I do not see it. Another duck flies down to the pond. She joins the mother in her awkward position. The pond is full of life.

It’s cold. Really cold. I stick my tongue out and a snowflake lands on it. The pond is frozen. I see a blurred orange beneath the ice that must be goldfish. I throw a heavy stick on the ice. It holds. Cautiously, but determinedly, I step on. It holds. I put my other foot on. It holds. I take a step. Then another. This is really cool! An outdoor skating rink, all to myself. I slide around on the ice for a while, until I realize I can barely feel my cheeks. Now, I go home to my couch, my book, and a warm mug of hot chocolate. The point at West Park is magical, and if I you take the time to listen, and imagine, you will see that you can feel its power around you.


posted by Katie Whitney at 1:03 p.m. | 0 comments


Friday, January 27, 2017

The Pokémon Go Craze & the Nerd Community

By Calvin

So Pokémon GO was a thing. Nobody really plays it anymore, but when they did, they were HOOKED.

You see, Pokémon fanboys like me have had one ultimate dream, and that dream is to have real Pokémon for our capture in the real world, real monsters like Charizard, Pikachu, and the other, like 800-900 forgettables, for us to befriend. And in 2016, Niantic Labs and Nintendo partnered to bring us closer to the dream with their new mobile app, Pokémon GO. The app forced us nerds to get out of the basement and get active with one ultimate perk: we could catch Pokémon while doing it. Before that, all our Pokémon interaction was done through the screens of our TVs and Nintendo DSs/3DSs. This was huge.

As such, me and everyone else I knew decided to try it out. Even people who weren’t Pokémon fans played it constantly. On one occasion, I decided to bolt over to one of two parks near my house in order to take advantage of a lure that had been set there. Passersby yelled, “Thanks for the lure!” out of their windows, people pulled up to catch some Pokémon, and we actually had conversations about the app and how we ran to the other park, about 3 blocks down, to check on my local Pokémon gym, then back to the lure, then back to the gym, then home. In mid-80s heat. I didn’t even catch anything good!

So, it went on like this for a while, I ran to catch some ’mon, talked to people, sweated profusely, went home. It was a nice nerd community, in a way. But then the action got stale, glitches became more apparent, and we all turned to Niantic, desperately waiting for an update.We waited. And waited. And waited. But then, from the depths of the app store: AN UPDATE! New Pokémon? Patched bugs? New items? No, it was none of these things. Nerds across the world let out an ear-piercing “ugh” as they read the patch notes: “Minor text fixes.”

Slowly but surely, Niantic’s nostalgic magnum opus trailed off into the night, going from an App Store powerhouse to an “Are you sure you want to delete Pokémon GO?” warning in an instant. The nerds collectively receded into their basements and curled up in the fetal position, awaiting the release of Sun and Moon, but I’ll never forget those few glorious days of a true nerd community. Or at least I won’t until my copy of Moon comes in the mail. Game looks amazing.


posted by Katie Whitney at 12:59 p.m. | 0 comments


Friday, January 27, 2017

My Very Own Vacation: My Neighborhood

By Nikita

It’s summertime. You’ll probably find me munching on a delicious 15-cent peppermint stick. Summertime is when I have no responsibilities, so I can be out and about all the time.

My neighborhood is a small community of about 30 or so houses. There are many kids, so it’s easy to always have a close friend who is around your age. Most of us know one another.

Right near my neighborhood is the Dixboro General Store. In the summer, It’s the cutest place to visit. It’s everything an antique general store should be: warm, comfortable, and home-like. After all, it was a home turned general store. Every time you go there, you always find the cutest new things to buy, not to mention all of their other candy and chocolate and fudge goodies. In the general store, everyone knows everyone no matter when you walk in, you’ll always be able to catch a smile.

Opposite from the general store is the café. There, me and my neighborhood friends know everyone that works there, so they’re always willing to make us special off-the-menu treats. They have all kinds of food at all times, and me and my friends enjoy occasionally biking there after school, whether it’s grabbing ice cream or a bagel at the café, or a cake from the general store! Not to mention, the café has the best soup! Diagonally next to the café is the church. Every Friday afternoon in the spring time, they have a farmer’s market there so it’s busy and a lot of kids show up. The playground behind the church and the swing sets are always full in the spring and summer times.


posted by Katie Whitney at 12:56 p.m. | 0 comments


Friday, January 27, 2017

Being Vegetarian

By Jude

My name is Jude, and unlike many others, I am a vegetarian. It’s not that hard living without meat, because it is easy saving the world one step at a time. My dad and sister are also vegetarian, and all of us wish to someday know many other vegetarians. If you know more vegetarians, you’ll know that you’re not the only one fighting for what’s right: to keep our world safe, and our animals happy.

Can’t resist eating meat? There are plenty of vegan substitutes for meats. We have beef, turkey, chicken, hot dogs, and even burgers! We have plenty to choose from without harm to animals! Save the world and be vegetarian. I see vegetarianism as recycling–as you go along, you help the world even more.


posted by Katie Whitney at 12:53 p.m. | 0 comments


Friday, January 27, 2017

The Park Across the Street

By Ewan

The park across the street from my house is amazing! I love to go over there all the time. It has a basketball court and play-ground behind a huge field you can play on. There are woods next to it where you can go through to get to the other side of the park or you can take the blacktop route through the whole park. On the other side it has a sand-box with many toys that I even love playing in! New to the sandbox is a swing set with two normal swings and two baby swings. As I said before I love going to the park. I love to play basketball on the court by myself for a little bit and then go on the playground for a little bit. One cat, my neighbor’s, whose name is Mooney, loves to come to hang out there, too. Mooney is a quiet cat with golden-orange hair that likes humans.

Two weeks ago on a Saturday afternoon I went over to the park for half of a day and it was really fun. First I played basketball at the basketball court for about two hours. Then I played football with my dad for about an hour and a half. Finally I climbed on the playground and hung out with Mooney for about half an hour. That was the time I spent half a day at the park across the street. The park is Winewood-Thaler park. Hopefully you learned what my park looked like and how fun it is.


posted by Katie Whitney at 12:51 p.m. | 0 comments


Friday, January 27, 2017

Time in the Woods

By Brea

I guess I’ll start with my garden, it’s on the south side of my house, where it gets plenty of sun. We grow tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, sweet peas, arugula, lettuce, and beetroot!

Now I’ll tell you about our woods, it’s about 1 1/2 acres, we have 4 big bowl like ditches there, no they’re not straight drops, just kinda like a slide.

I’ve always liked my woods, we love playing around the creek. There’s a huge tree that we run across to get to the other side, and right in the middle of the creek are kinda trees. I think they’re bushes, but I just call them trees. In the winter when the ice is frozen we walk across and make forts inside the threes, making little rooms.

Our potatoes are growing well. (We really like potatoes.) We got 4 boxes for them.

We have several forts here, some hidden by leaves and twigs, some right in the open. One of my favorite forts me and my cousin made was our fairy garden. We spent about 3 hours picking up moss, putting it all down, doing our best to connect it all (the coolest part was that it all was circling around a big flat rock). Then we lined it all with rocks big and small, and then lastly we found in our basement a whole box of fairy stuff, little houses, little bottles of glitter, and a whole bag of flat rocks that we made paths with. It was so much fun to put it all together and I really enjoyed making it.


posted by Katie Whitney at 12:46 p.m. | 0 comments


Friday, January 27, 2017

The Robbery at My Neighborhood

By Maia

The car that I saw that day did not look anything like the cars I usually see driving into her driveway. My neighbor’s car is a red Chevrolet. The second car that I saw pull in was a small blue car. Although I didn’t see what brand or car name the blue car was. I saw a glimpse of the man in the car. The man was black. My neighbors are white, as well as the mother. Automatically I knew that the man was NOT her child. Sometimes I see people pull up into other people’s driveways to turn around. So I watched to see if the man was just pulling up to turn around. The man didn’t turn around. As my neighbor walked into her home with groceries, the man stayed parked in her driveway.


posted by Katie Whitney at 12:42 p.m. | 0 comments


Friday, January 27, 2017

Bob

By Aaleigh aka Batman

Bob watching with deep brown eyes that stare into your soul. A mask and a furry tail. He sits on my roof always watching with a blank look on his face. He has a soda can. He bites and licks from Jim our neighbor’s trash.

I sit up in my bed that morning stretching. I open my eyes and Bob is sitting at my window watching me sleep in my purple room. I can’t scream all. I do is look and air comes out. Finally I push out enough to scream and throw Mr. Tud Tud my brown matted-down teddy at him, and he falls back off the sill that was covered with snow and ice.

Why was he there? I remembered I left my cat’s food out and I let him eat it. The one lesson I learned fast: NEVER feed Bob.


posted by Katie Whitney at 12:40 p.m. | 0 comments


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