Work Submitted by our Readers
Every path is open
To each and every one of us
Some people will lead and some will follow
Persevering people go on a unique path
Their own path, a journey never made before
Hearing the plants snap beneath their feet
As those fine people carve their life out on the forest floor
Breaking new boundaries as they trudge along in the jungle
The land is filled with jaguars and snake, terrifying creatures
Yet also lush trees and bright flowers
Look at all the people
Gazing longingly from a freshly mowed field
By: Iris Egham
SIMPLE vs. REAL FRIENDS
A simple friend has never seen you cry.
A real friend has shoulders soggy from your tears.
A simple friend doesn't know your parents' first names.
A real friend has their phone numbers in her address book.
A simple friend brings a nice gift to your party.
A real friend comes early to help you cook and stays late to help you
A simple friend hates it when you call after he has gone to bed.
A real friend asks you why you took so long to call.
A simple friend seeks to talk with you about your problems.
A real friend seeks to help you with your problems.
A simple friend wonders about your romantic history.
A real friend could blackmail you with it.
A simple friend, when visiting, acts like a guest.
A real friend opens your refrigerator and helps himself.
A simple friend thinks the friendship is over when you have an argument.
A real friend knows that it's not a friendship until after you've had a fight.
A simple friend expects you to always be there for them.
A real friend expects to always be there for you!
Prior "Question of the Month" Results
What are your plans for Prom or your best Prom stories?
"I never went to the Prom when I was younger other than to watch the
King & Queen get crowned. I am not sure why I never went. Perhaps I
thought it was silly to spend so much on a dress, and I certainly didn't like
any implied expectations for Prom night. I guess I just thought Prom was
a cheesy, over-priced event for high-schoolers. Regardless, I did have
Prom when I was in college. It happened when my best guy friend took
me to a Christmas party for his workplace. It was held in the Crystal
Ballroom of a fancy hotel. (Yes, it was actually named the Crystal
Ballroom!) He was so attentive to me that night, I felt like Cinderella! It
was one of the best nights of my life and my "Prom"...the only Prom I
needed! I will never forget that night."
"My friends and I are going to go in a group to Prom. No need for us to
pair up; going in a group will be much more fun. A great way to end our
high school years! We're going to have a lot of safe fun that night, and I
am sure we will never forget our last Prom together."
"I'm not going to Prom."
"Hopefully my boyfriend and I will be crowned King & Queen of our Junior
Prom this year!! I am going to wear a pale yellow dress. It is hard to
explain but it is very beautiful, and I am sure no one else will have a
dress quite like it!"
Do you believe people can be changed for the better? Or for the worse?
Why do you feel this way?
"People can be changed for the better if they themselves want to
"Yes, you can do anything you want if you really try, but you cannot make
a person do something. Sometimes people need to see the good side of
life to see what it's about....The best I can do is be a good role model."
--Brittney Cleary, rising Pop Star
What do you think about the separation of church and state, and the lack
of a religious-presence in our schools?
"I live in Wisconsin. I don't know if everyone is now doing this or if it is
just our state, but we now say the Pledge of Allegiance at school. I think
it brings everyone together. A lot of the younger kids didn't even know the
words. I might not have known them had my mom not taught me; she
said they used to always say it in school. I just hope it doesn't get to be
too much that it is no longer as significant as it should be. But I don't
think that saying "God" in the Pledge should be a problem; if you don't
want to say it, don't. We are overwhelmingly Christian in America; we
should stand proud in our beliefs."
"Religion should be left in the private schools. Not all of us believe the
"We had a debate about this at college just recently in the wake of the 9-
11 tragedy in America. I guess since there is a separation of church &
state in the constitution, it should stay that way. It was put there for a
reason, which is to respect individual beliefs and not to force anyone's
beliefs on anyone else. However, what I think is missing is a sense of
nationalism and a sense of respect for others. That is what should be
taught in schools. Church can be on Sundays as it always has been, and
whatever parents feel is appropriate can be taught in the home. That
makes sense to me."
If you could live at any point in history, what year would you choose?
"The 1970's because it was all about Disco, afros, and bellbottoms!!!!"
"Probably the early days of country, like when Patsy Cline and Loretta
Lynn were around, because then I could see how country really was and I
could be apart of it."
--Nicki Cleary, upcoming pop star
"The 70's, because I love Led Zeppelin!!!"
"I would choose 2000. Because I can fly wherever I want. I can vote, I
can have any job I am qualified for. I can wear pants. I don't have to
worry about war?!"
"I would go back to the days when my grandparents were younger so
that I could get to meet them and understand the tough times they
The Desperate Optimism of a Fallback Girl
By: Elisa G.
I wish I could find a more descriptive way to say that I am tired of this.
Once, I wrote a dramatic pathetic song that should’ve been titled "I’m a
stupid teenage girl writing cliché lyrics about a really upsetting situation".
I think that when I wrote it, I titled it "Fallback Girl". As unoriginal and
plain as that sounds, it is what I am. I notice it more with everyone. It
isn’t just love interests, anymore, though it’s much more prominent there.
My favorite example of this is Marty, who I had a crush on my sophomore
year of high school. I don’t know how he found out that I was interested
in him, but he did and we were having a discussion about it online that
went something like this.
MartySN: So, yeah, I was thinking about that.
MeSN: You were?
MartySN: Yeah. I like this girl right now, though. But I’ll go out with you if
she turns me down.
"Girl #1" said no.
I didn’t, however, go out with him.
It’s not that I don’t believe it’s possible he could eventually come to like
me more than he ever liked "Girl #1", it’s that he was stupid enough to
tell me straight out that he was waiting for a sign from someone else
before he answered me. That’s more disrespectful than having a "Girl #1"
in the first place, and pretty idiotic, if you ask me. Thanks, but I’ll have to,
uh, take a rain check, since that seems to be what you’re taking me as.
If it had been the same situation and he had been subtler, even if I’d
known everything, I would’ve. That’s what makes me feel so irritatingly
hopeless, and I can’t stop myself.
Who doesn’t want to be accepted? With me, I always end up tagging
along with someone and the person they’re attached to and getting them
to want to be around me by mentioning all of the things I have I guess
that’s why my dad started spoiling me, after a few years, because he
knew nothing else would help. And so when that one person disappears
for a little while, it’s me the other one comes to, it’s me they complain
about their new favorite person’s absence to, it’s me they ask for help on
their writing or if they can borrow something or other. And then I can
enjoy myself for a few minutes, knowing in the back of my mind why
they’re there, why I’m sitting there and taking it, and hating myself for
taking pleasure from it the entire time.
Even my best friend probably doesn’t consider me to be his "best friend".
That would be Lauren. He’s impossible to reach for days at a time and
says he was doing a project. When I’ve finally reached him and we’re
sitting around at my house, Lauren calls. He doesn’t bother to ask if he
can call her later because he’s with me; he picks up the phone and talks
to her while I’m right there.
"Oh, hey! How are you?" I can hear a female voice responding on the
other end of the line. "I’m all right. I’m at EJ’s house. What’s up with
you?" A pause. Why wasn’t he hanging up? I sat there with an angry look
on my face and he didn’t seem to realize this (maybe that’s because he
wasn’t paying any attention). "That’s cool. Yeah, that was fun. The movie
was kind of bad, though it was pretty awesome to be in a theatre with,
like, three other people. Wednesday nights aren’t very popular nights for
the movie theatre are they?"
Finally I said, "What are you talking about?"
"Nothing. Just a movie was saw the other day." He waved me off. "So, are
you still feeling nauseous? You shouldn’t have drank so much at the party
yesterday, that’s what I told you. Well, whatever. I hope you feel better.
Talk to you later."
I get it now. Lauren’s too sick to hang out with, so he fell back on me. I
wanted so badly to ask him then, "What project?" I knew there had never
been a project. If I accused him of simply avoiding me, though, he’ll turn
it around on me. His defense would be, maybe, "I was done for the night
and Lauren reached me first."
But how’d she reach him first? I left him a message on his cell phone
asking to hang out an entire week ago. I don’t think that qualifies as her
reaching him first.
And what about that week that he didn’t have his car? I offered to have
my parents pick him up so he could come hang at my house and he said
he’d be sleeping. I called his cell phone an hour later to tell him
something interesting I’d found out and he’s in Lauren’s car. Sleeping?
Once or twice people have genuinely liked me. But that’s because they’re
in a situation where I’m the best choice. Guys start liking me when I am
nice to them because most of the girls aren’t, and so they find
opportunity and take it. It’s not me, it’s the concept of a girl who might
possibly date them. It’s like that with friends, too. And because I have to
be so nice to everyone since my mom taught me so, I’m stuck with those
people attached to me and myself attached to people who could care less
about me except when they need something or are incredibly bored. I’m
not ignorant. And I swear I don’t just let it happen. Well, at least I try not
It’s so hard not to shove my way into people’s favor by the privileges I
have and can share with them, like my computer with its DVD burner and
printer and everything, or my mini-fridge. It’s so hard not to become a
third wheel and be happy about it when I realize everyone else is starting
to make friends, so I’d better hurry up. It’s so hard not to want any sort
of friendship or relationship, no matter if it’s only one and a half-sided.
It’s so hard to sit there during "dance lessons" and be the one girl without
a partner repeatedly.
I don’t know where this is going or why I’m writing this. I wish I could say
that this was going to turn into some wonderful non-fiction piece. I don’t
see it doing anything except maybe getting me a few laughs and some
pity. So this is useless, seeing as I can get the laughs and pity without a
piece of writing.
I have to ponder how annoying people must think I really am. I have to
wonder what I’m doing wrong. I have to wonder why I can’t be the "Girl
#1", the Lauren. Why? Because I don’t want to be "Girl #1" and sit in my
room and put on makeup for two hours every morning. I don’t want to be
Lauren and act like a heartless wench and a harlot, then brag about it and
sound more mature. Is that what makes me so unlikable?
I hate myself because I’m always the backup and people don’t seem to
like me for the right reasons. But there are times when I know it’s just for
now, for the less mature or unlearned years, and that makeup will stop
hiding the ugliness and guys will start finding the easiness of a woman
disgusting. I’ve never seen an adult or even a college student act the way
the people around me do. Those are times when I know I’m better, and
when I can respect myself for not becoming those people, those top of
the list people. I know that there has to come a time when admiration will
be given to people with more dignity then that, and then I like myself. Of
course, as always, there will be the occasional person who prefers "Girl
#1" or Lauren type of people to me, but I see that very little when I read
books or watch TV. I guess I’ll take being the fallback girl until Lauren,
"Girl #1" and the "favorites" have lost their allure altogether and a clean,
respectable innocently silly but well aware of the world girl is the sort of
girl that people want to hang out with. I’ll be the fallback girl. I know my
time will come. It’s just a difficult wait.
"Acceptance of what happened is the first step to overcoming the
consequence of any misfortune."
"Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things
"Doubt indulged soon becomes doubt realized."
--Francis R. Havergal
"Everybody knows that if you are too careful you are so occupied in being
careful that you are sure to stumble over something."
"Don't let other people tell you what you want."
"We are what we believe we are."
--Benjamin N. Cardozo
"Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does the
"It is never right to compromise with dishonesty."
--Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.
"We shall never have friends if we expect to find them without fault."
"I am responsible for my own well-being, my own happiness. The
choices and decisions I make regarding my life directly influences the
quality of my days."
"No one is more likely to make a mistake than the man who acts only on
--Luc de Clapiers, Marquis Vauvenargues
Don't Take That Tone!
What Does Your Voice Say About You?
Odds are, your identity is important to you. Wanting to influence the way
others perceive you, you may spend hours fixing your hair, applying
make-up, choosing the perfect outfit, or an array of other activities.
However, working on your exterior is not enough. Your interior is part of
the package as well; it comes through to those around you. One of your
interior attributes happens to be your voice and how you use its many
When you project different inflections in your voice, you are exhibiting
different emotions, such as happiness, anger, jealousy, confusion,
contentedness, etc. Sometimes your vocal variations may be planned or
happen unconsciously, but regardless of that fact, how you say something
has a lot to say about you.
Has anyone ever told you to enunciate better? If they have, they were
referring to your articulation. If you tend to slur words and thoughts
together, you may be viewed as having vague ideas or an uninterested or
intolerant attitude to the one you are conversing with. So that others
realize you care about their thoughts and opinions, and that you have a
clear mind, practice speaking more clearly. If you don't know how to say
a word accurately, look it up in the dictionary, and discover how to
pronounce it properly. Usually clear speech gets much more attention,
because others view you as being more serious and able to put together
The loudness or softness of your voice can make you appear confident or
timid. When giving a speech to a large audience, you will have to up your
decibel level so even those in the back of the room will be able to hear
you. If you are in a one-on-one or small group conversation, your voice
should not be quite as loud. You do not want to appear like you are
hollering or scolding those you are talking to, but you do want to appear
confident in what you have to say. A soft-spoken voice often leads others
to believe you are shy, often vulnerable, and perhaps unknowledgeable
about your topic of discussion, whether that is true or not.
Having a rich voice means you have a lot of resonance. If you lack this
quality, your voice may come off as nasal and whiny. Others often view
this type of voice as someone who is a complainer or that does not have
direction in life.
If you don't have inflection in your voice, you do not have vocal variation.
Your voice sounds monotone, which is comparable to listening to a boring
professor give a speech. Usually downward inflection allows others to
perceive that you are making a serious statement, but too much
downward inflection can lead to a boring monotone conversation.
Obviously you don't want to bore the person you are talking to, so spice
up your speech with a little inflection.
Generally, your voice will have an upward inflection at the end of a
sentence that is posed as a question. In this case, upward inflection is
good; it shows curiosity. But if you use upward inflection with all your
thoughts, soon you will sound as if you do not hold much certainty in your
own statements. You will constantly appear to be asking for approval,
even if that is not how you mean to sound, so be cautious at what points
in your speech you make your voice go upward or downward.
Pitch is the hardest aspect of voice to control, but it can be done. Usually,
anyone of us can cover between one and two octaves, but we often do
not use the length of this variation capability. However, if you have a very
shrill, high voice, you may want to consider practicing to tone it down a
little. Often high voices are hard on our ears due to their design. High
voices often reflect someone who is very tense, nervous, and dramatic. If
you prefer to sound more soothing and mature, a lower voice is the
direction you should be headed.
Voice Improvement Techniques
If you no longer want the tone of voice you were born with, it's time for a
change. Improving your posture will allow your voice to project farther
and more clearly in a more resonantly-pleasing way. If you relax, you will
not sound as nervous and tense. Relaxing will also allow you to slow
down your pattern of speech. Slowing down allows your speech to sound
more clear. Pausing allows you to be able to collect your thoughts, as
well, and therefore you will sound more knowledgeable. Finally, breathing
can be a determining factor in how your voice sounds. If you breathe and
you can feel your chest moving as you inhale and exhale, you are
breathing thoracically. If you are breathing from your stomach region,
you are breathing diaphragmatically. Changing your breathing pattern
can change your tone of voice, so try both methods.
Your tone of voice certainly affects how others view you. It also affects
how you view yourself. If you are pleased with your voice, then you will
have a higher confidence level. That's why it is an important skill to
polish up. If you are unable to change your voice, however, don't sweat
it! Make it work for you. After all, you are a unique and special
individual, and your different style of speaking makes you more
interesting as a person. It is important to try to improve yourself, but
never get upset about who you are, as long as you are not hurting
anyone else and especially if you cannot change it.
How color affects your mood.
Your mood is greatly influenced by many factors, one of which is color.
Whether it is the colors that you see when you wake up in the morning,
the ones that surround you during your daily routine, or the colors you
choose to wear, they have a profound affect on your mood. The colors
you choose to be surrounded by can also have an effect on others and
how they perceive you. The following nine colors, and how they are
perceived by yourself and others, may help to evaluate and change your
Black is a disciplined color that shows power and authority. It is a color
that can stand alone and make a profound statement. Showing strength
and promoting independence, it is a very secure color portraying security
Having a purifying influence, white if often thought to be an angelic color.
In combination with other colors, it brings a sense of life and vitality.
Large amounts of energy are produced due to this color. Often, it
possesses an ability to unify people in differing situations.
Yellow is cheerful like the sunshine. It also increases energy levels. The
brighter the shade of yellow, the more optimistic thoughts become. It is
an expansive color that promotes happiness. Yellow is often used in
offices to promote creative, optimistic patterns of thinking.
Pink soothes oneself. Promoting affection, pink has the ability to
stimulate conversation as it allows others to feel a need to comply with
one another and come to a successful resolution.
Drawing out one's intuition, purple holds a sense of spirituality for many.
While it possesses a large amount of mystery, this color also has the
power to comfort.
Blue is a relaxing, refreshing, and cooling color. Peaceful moods filled
with tranquil feelings are often a result of this color. Therefore, blue is
commonly used to decorate bathrooms and bedrooms. Some feel that
blue is the color of sleep, and being surrounded by this color helps to put
them at ease and fall asleep more easily.
Green encourages emotional growth by balancing, normalizing, and
refreshing one's spirit. Being the color of money, it can also create a
feeling of wealth and security. As a natural, earthy color, it may produce
a feeling of hunger, which is why it is often used as an accent color in
kitchens and restaurants.
Empowering and enlivening, red symbolizes passion. It stimulates
emotions and dramatizes situations. Competition if often found where red
is. Red is definitely an attention-getter.
Orange cheers, promoting conversation and charity. It also stimulates
appetites, which is why it is commonly used as an accent color in kitchens
and at restaurants. It is also known as a very commanding color.
"I have been best friends with Tamera since she and her parents moved
next door to me when we were both four years old. We once had a silly
kid fight, and I decided to run over to her house afterward and apologize.
We vowed to never fight again. We have kept that promise for the past
twenty years and will continue to do so. We have been there for each
other through everything from dating, puberty, and school work to
marrying, having babies, and jobs. She is special to me on a different
level than my husband is. She is my sister-like soul mate who really
understands me. We should have been twins, but it is probably best we
weren't, because siblings sometimes fight, but we never do. I am blessed
to have her." --Meeka, 24, Wyoming
Simply Complicated: Understanding the opposite sex
Flirting: How to Read His & Her Signals
Top 5 things men (naturally) do when they flirt:
Arch the back and puff the chest, usually by leaning back in a chair and
putting their arms behind their head to signal interest in sex without
Stretch their pectoral (chest) muscles, a sign of their ability to protect
Sway the pelvis (almost Elvis-like).
Swagger to draw attention to themselves.
Laugh loudly, announcing their masculine vitality while also demonstrating
a tamer side appropriate for fatherhood.
Top 5 things women (naturally) do when they flirt:
Smile at a man to announce availability and interest.
Arch their eyebrows so as to gaze wide-eyed, a sign of youth.
Quickly lower their eyelids, tucking the chin down and to the side and
averting the gaze, a sign of coyness, signaling unwillingness to give sex to
Giggle, usually by placing their hand over or near the mouth, a sign of
youth and submissiveness.
Shrug the shoulders, a sign of helplessness.
Continue to next section....
"If you nurture your mind, body, and spirit, your time will expand. You
will gain a new perspective that will allow you to accomplish much more."
Body. Mind. Spirit
| Bohn Web Design Copyright © 1999 to Present. All rights reserved. |
| Technical Assistance: Lynne@BohnWebDesign.com |