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VOLUME 15, NUMBER 4 -- September 22, 2008

Insider's Guide to High School

It's that (Holy) time of year again

The bell rings at 12:15 p.m. as all the students in my class rush outside to enjoy the mere 15 minutes they’re granted for lunch hour.

My friends and I arrive at the courtyard, but rather than eating and drinking in the limited time provided, we talk amongst ourselves and try not to focus on our grumbling stomachs. It’s the month of fasting, and eating or drinking in public during the daylight hours is prohibited.

Starting at the age of puberty, during the Islamic Holy month of Ramadan Muslims are required to fast as a demonstration of potent faith to their God.

  – By Sana Ali

When Hurricane Katrina smashed ashore in 2005, Louisiana teen Samantha Perez started writing about the storm that washed away much of her old life. Her journal, chronicled in the pages of The Tattoo, is all online at Hurricane Journal. Read it for an eye-opening and intensely personal look into the eye of the worst storm in recent history.


Something from hell on my face

A few months back, having my face full of pimples was the biggest nightmare for me.

What will be the reaction of my classmates? How will I attend tomorrow's  party? Oh! I am looking too ugly. Now my classmate Aditi will look better than me …

All these thoughts kept popping up in my mind, not only when I was  awake,  but also in my dreams.

I kept thinking about various anti-pimple creams and medicines to make my skin glow and look just like that of my favorite actress.

With this sudden change in my thoughts, my attitude changed, too. I  became envious of others’ glowing skin and a formerly happy-go-lucky-girl turned into a reserved one.

– Harsha Mishra

Being the new foreign kid

There are only few people who truly revel in being the “new kid.”

Most hope for the best, dreading the first days of their newness. If, however, these people were honest with themselves, they would easily see all the advantages of being new – a clean slate, a new start, the opportunity for new and profound experiences, a new reputation to gain and lots of fun.

 -- By Katie Grosser


Freshmen, don't wait to fill in the blanks

Senior year at last! It’s such a relief to know that finally all my hard work has paid off. All those sleepless nights I spent cramming for a test or writing a paper are drawing to a close, but then again, there’s college ahead.


I can’t even begin to describe how it feels just knowing that I’m nearing the finish line. For nearly four years I’ve been working my butt off, thought along the way I’ve definitely made some mistakes.

Now as I spend my days college surfing and filling out applications, I know the pressure’s on.


For most of my high school career I’ve been an A/B student. I took a few AP and honors classes and I won at least one award (third place in the Social Studies Fair) but truthfully, compared to my classmates, I haven’t done much.


I’m definitely lacking in the extracurricular activities and community service department. I mean, I know a girl who took a trip to Jamaica with her church over summer vacation just to help underprivileged deaf children. And then there’s this guy who’s been swimming for forever!


Now as I sit down to fill out my own college applications, I’m noticing the abundance of blank spaces.

 -- By Donicea Johnson

By Justin Skaradosky/ Youth Journalism International

A choice matters


Mom sat down next to me and stared straight into my eyes. I immediately understood what she was about to ask. “So, have you made your decision yet?” she began.

I more than hesitated to respond. I was in a dilemma.


 -- By Zhu Qin Zhe


Homeschooling, or taking classes in my pajamas

Back to school! After those precious few months of rest and relaxation, it's the time to, once again, schedule your days and drag yourself back to the classroom.

Not for me! As a homeschooled high school student, I have the option of continuing my school year through the summer, of making my own schedule, and – my personal favorite – the option of going through an entire school day in my pajamas.

To those who haven't experienced the joys of being a homeschooled student, the concept can be very confusing. Whenever I inform my peers of my schooling, I am approached with a string of questions as to how we do it.

The most frequently asked question I get is, how does it work? How do colleges get the information, the transcripts? How are we taught?

How? How? How?

Before describing my personal experiences, I would like to point out that every homeschooling family does things differently.

 -- By Shekinah-Glory Dhanie-Beepat

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 Insider's Guide to High School
















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