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Volume 17, No. 1 - September 6, 2010


'Expendables' packed with action, violence, stars


By Talon Bronson in PORTLAND, Oregon, U.S.A. -- Movies that try to pull together an amazing cast of heavyweights often seem to fail. The movie Be Cool, a kind of sequel to Get Shorty, had a grocery list of names that had to have casting directors drooling. It also ended up being one of the worst films I have ever seen.

So it was with apprehension that I saw The Expendables. I was looking forward to it in the respect that it had been a very long time since I had seen a straight out action flick.
Read more




Fun and Games






 Writer's Index


'Veggies' will change as high school unfolds

By Nancy Hsu in BRISBANE, Australia In Brisbane, we don’t call first year high school students freshmen, we call them veggies – which, now that I see it in writing, actually sounds funnier than freshmen.

I’m not entirely certain why they’re called veggies, but I was called a veggie countless times in my first year of high school, and I called many first year students veggies when I became old enough.

My friends suppose we call veggies veggies because they’re ‘fresh to the market.’

We also thought veggies could have a demeaning connotation to it, since it’s a term for people who are declared brain dead.  That’s not very nice, but high school isn’t very nice.

I am currently in my final year of high school (which is year 12 in Brisbane).  I have three months to go until the ‘real world’ comes closing in on me, and I’ve already begun to contemplate my time in high school.

The good. The bad. The man-I-wish-I’d-known-that-in-grade-eight.

I’d summarize the high school experience this way: It’s not what you think it’s going to be.

 Read whole story




Learn your talents and cling to optimism

By Pushkal Shivam in MUMBAI, India Aren’t we in a race? High school years are a watershed in the history we write of our lives. The formative years spent here lay a foundation for our tryst with real life.

A host of coming-of-age syndromes and other challenges bedevil the high school years.

Adopting the right approach is crucial to our quest for success, which is in itself a highly contentious term. Doesn’t that sound mumbo-jumbo?

The narrative for high school years boils down to a simple analogy of a horse race. The very first day we embark on a race which ends with the start of the journey of life.

There are various creatures running in this race. You will find stallions neighing and galloping around in their stomping ground. On the other hand, we have mares who preen and pout with a vanity of their own. With both of them more than willing to mingle, the saga of high school is scripted.

Oh wait – how can we forget the depression-susceptible ponies that canter around hysterically? On the other end of the spectrum, we have the academic racehorses – the ostrich-like contenders who stick their heads in the books. In it to win it, huh?

And finally, importantly, not to forget, we have the donkeys. Some call them bullies.

Donkeys in a horse race! It is very likely that you will be confronted with one of these. Many of you, too, might transform into ‘sage donkeys’ with time.

So, how can we tackle these donkeys? Well, my solution is, to take them by their horns. Simply put, remain stoic in response to their tantrums and see how their donkey spirit fades.

This race is a complex one, and the track is full of twists and turns. Let’s delve deep into the nature of this micro-race of our macro-life.

Why are our high school years significant? It is because they are the confluence of the peak of adolescence and the birth of individuality.

These are the years when we come to our own. Read whole story


-- REVIEW --

'Radio girl' offers humor, romance and more

By Mary Majerus-Collins and Yelena Samofalova in CHESTER, Conn., U.S.A.  – In Radio Girl, almost everything is funny, even when six sweet girls with bows in their hair start speculating in song about another girl’s death. Read whole story




Ten tips for making high school great

By Elaine Truong in LOS ANGELES, California, U.S.A. As an incoming senior, I have to admit that there are a few tips I wish I’d known in my early years of high school. Here is what I have learned about life, high school, and life outside of high school: 

1) High school is the time for exploration. 
Don't be afraid to try new activities. If I had not agreed to take Drama on a whim in my freshman year, I wouldn't have joined Technical Theatre and become a stage manager and lights technician, which I ended up loving.  
It's even better to join activities you don't have friends in. 

2) Surprisingly, there is a whole world outside your high school.  
I can't emphasize enough how many opportunities there are in the world.

Ignorance is no excuse!  Unless you live in Tanzania with the Hadza tribes. In that case, you wouldn't be reading this right now.


But to everyone else, the internet is a portal of knowledge. You can search online and find countless organizations that cater to your passions, such as Youth Journalism International or

Not only will you meet new friends and expand your social network, but you will also have the chance to grow and learn.

There is a lot more to high school than the normal routine. Try to get involved in activities in your community that aren't related to school.

If you like politics, join your city's youth council or intern for your mayor. Get an internship or a job and always be on the lookout for opportunities – if not for yourself, then to share with others.

The world is a fascinating place and it would be a shame not to discover what it has to offer.  Read whole story

Join Youth Journalism International and get a real education

Young writers, photographers, cartoonists and other journalists are encouraged to join YJI now and add your name to the high-achieving teens across the globe who belong. It is free to participate. Please see for more information. Click on the "Students" link.



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