Teenagers and Stress by U.C.

As a teen, it is hard for us to wake ourselves up in the morning and getting ready for school, hang out with friends.Then after school, we go and do activities either if it inside or outside of school. Also jobs and our homes we make sure that the house is nice a clean. Doing chores and repeat every day none stop. Some parents or adults don’t see how stressful our teens lives are. Also, sometimes they yell at us because we’re “lazy” then give us some words like, “If you think your life is hard now, think of what it will be like living in the real world.” The truth is that teenagers are living in the real world and facing their future as they develop themselves to become young adults, and that’s our stress.

School can be one of a teenagers’ biggest stressors because of grades and assignments. Also, parents always saying to their teens that,“You have to get an A on every class.” Even B’s are not acceptable and that’s what puts them stress even more and, yes,teens do care about grades and how important it is to them and their GPA and any test scores. In 2013, the statistics shows that 30 percent of teens are feeling stress and pressures over the school year. Trying to put their effort and not to disappoint their family.“My parents do pressure me to get straight A’s on everything and it is stressful. Also, I do some club activities and sports and work and it is hard to balance all at once and manage our time and then at the end I feel tired and miserable.” Said a student from Fairview.

Peer pressure is another issue for Teenagers and it can happen anywhere but mostly it can happen in school. Trying to change themselves to impress others around them. Challenges they might hare be facing the reality and obstacles that might be in their way. Society for example, may lead teens to confuse and not understand of what’s happening around them.If a teen is in the negative peer pressure it can lead them into a big Self-esteem. Friends can put a teens in a peer presure. “It really depends on what types of friends you hang out with, but any teens should hang out with friends who are positive, making good choices and love the way of who they are.”   Peer pressure is stress of strain you feel from friends and school mates to act, behave, think and look a certain way. This kind of pressure can cover everything from fashion through sex and dating If you are very worried about peer pressure it is important to find someone who you can talk to.

Stress is everywhere and teens are the ones to have the most stress because of school, work, clubs,sports, chores. Maybe facing peer pressure around friends, family and finding themselves of who they are and trying to understand of what is happening around of their surroundings. There can be some ways for teens to feel better and not feel stress. Parents needs to have the time to talk their teens and understand of their problems. Adult should understand teen’s stress and problem.Teens should talk about their main issue to friends, counseling or a therapy and know to handle emotion and physical feeling. Sleep is another way for teens to feel relax and better. Taking care of yourself, do something for fun like exercise, hangout with friend, play video game or do something to get distracted and not to worry about a thing. Teens should be around with people who have positive thought and make each other feel comfortable of their self esteem.  

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Eye to Eye by C.W.

Eye to Eye is a program which just started this year, had it been going throughout all of my high school years I would’ve done it each and every one of them. Eye to Eye is where High School students with learning disabilities go to Middle Schools and help students who also have learning disabilities all over the country. All the High School students are mentors for each Middle School students, mentee.  The mentors and mentees were paired up based on our learning disabilities, for me ADHD, for other dyslexia, ADD etc. This program is amazing in so many ways, and has meant so much to me personally.

My goal as a mentor to my 8th grader Alexandra, is to help her learn how to get through Highschool with ADHD. I remember my first two years of high school; I really struggled with my organization, and keeping up with so many tasks that at one point I felt I was drowning in them. My goal is to help Alexandra so she won’t ever have to feel this way. I finally got the jist of things my junior year, and achieved getting a 4.0 GPA. My other job as being a mentor include teaching Alex about the accommodations she has available to her, and to teach her that it’s okay to ask for them. I know that extra time on Math and French tests always made a huge difference to my grades. She will be going to Fairview next year, and my hope for her is to come to peace and to be proud of her LD rather than keeping it from her friends and not telling them she is in the program. She told me she was embarrassed, and I want her to feel like it’s cool, simply because she is. I want her to see how ADHD can truly be a gift, we are so open to our imaginations making us extremely creative and a bunch of other things. I think that by going to eye to eye every week that I make a difference.

The way Eye to Eye works is every week we have a new project, which we either help the mentees work on their goals and to come up with ways to achieve them, doing art projects that help them decide on the best study environment for them, helping them learn about what accommodations they are entitled to, and teaching them to be, “LD/ADHD proud to be!”

Turning The Tide by D.W.

In the article Turning the Tide, Harvard University tries to make college applications more authentic in wholesome. They recommend different application requirements that put more emphasis on character instead of academic achievement. However, these requirements seem to defeat the purpose as they create more hoops to jump through and make it harder for students with little time to get accepted.

Harvard University gives many recommendations as to how to make a better application process, and they all center around having good and character and rewarding students who contribute to their community. The good news is that this would make sure students don’t put all their time into getting A’s and could spend time helping their community. However, we are met with the same problems that grade requirements give us: just as applicants won’t try to get good grades for more than college acceptance, many students would just do community service for the credentials, even if they don’t care about others.

This gets into a sticky issue. How can you measure character in a way that is fair and genuine? It’s hard to teach morals or grade someone on their character without dehumanizing them. Without getting too off topic, putting emphasis and servicing the communities doesn’t really do a whole lot more than grades do. And while it favors students with less academic ability and more time, it hurts another demographic.

I have barely any time any more. I had to quit my job because I practice for hours a day on my instrument to prepare for performances and auditions. My college audition was based on my musical performance, so thankfully I wasn’t hurt by a lack of time. But if my application wanted me to complete services for my community, there is no way I would have gotten in with such little time to begin with. This demographic, busy people, are hurt. If you’re very smart and play a sport, it might not matter because you have little time and can’t volunteer locally like these applications ask.

In addition, Harvard argues that the application process makes students value all of their self worth based on their grades and ability to get into colleges. While this is true, it’s a problem that our culture has and that kids learn from a young age and hardly has to do with college. We enjoy seeing our achievements in front us in the form of trophies or awards. Material possessions help remind us that we have worth, so colleges have little do with it.

In short, to completely address the problems that college applications pose, we will have to completely restructure school without grades and society without material-based self worth. This problem is a small piece in a much larger puzzle that we have to address from the top down instead of starting with colleges.

Writer’s memo: This is an informative piece to let readers know about Harvard’s proposed changes to their application process, and how applicants sometimes have to lie and combat unrealistic requirements to stay competitive.

End The Cycle Through School by K.O.

These days college in America is outrageously  expensive. The people who end up going to college are the ones whose parents can afford to send them. It seems that the only people who can get into the good colleges have the money to spend to get there paying for classes such as ACT and SAT. America needs to change the cost of college and make it affordable for all. Doing this would increase the amount of students who would graduate high school and attend college. “There are lots of people out there with the desire to go to college…(saying it is too expensive)” says Jarratt Miller a college dropout.

A free college education would motivate more kids to graduate high school keeping them on a good path to success. In 2005, the Kalamazoo public schools in Kalamazoo, Michigan said that any student who had attended their schools since 9th grade could get a free or near free education to any of the public college in Michigan. The results from this showed that the average GPA increased .71 points and the days in detention and suspended dropped significantly. This showed that the student was much more motivated to graduate and get good grades if they knew that they would be able to go to college and get a further education.

There would also be a positive impact of the United States economy if America made college cheaper.  The US could save about  18.5 billion dollars in annual crime costs if  high school  graduation rate increased by only 5 percent (Moretti 27).  On average the murder and assault rate reduces by 30 percent for every year the person goes to school. So the crime rate would also be reduced meaning less would be in prison. It is also cheaper to send people to school than to prison. The United States spends around 12,643 dollars to educate one student for one year versus the annual cost of 28,323 dollars to house one inmate. Another thing is nearly 80 percent of inmates do not have a high school diplomas; if they had gotten them they would be much more likely to have a better life and not in prison.

Society would also have a great impact if college were cheaper. “The more people who go to college the less people are in poverty,” Maddison Mccambridge.   Society could save $209,000 in prison and other costs for every potential dropout who could be helped to complete high school. Also people without a high school diploma on average make 400,ooo dollars less in a lifetime than those who do graduate. The less people make the more people that need financial support. If there were less dropouts there would be more people who could get better jobs to support themselves. Also each class of high school dropouts costs the U.S. more than $200 billion in lost wages and tax revenues. This means that more people would need help with social support and money for food stamps. Society would have a greater impact and less poverty if more people could afford to go to college.

America should make college free to help the society, economy, and to motivate kids to graduate high school keeping them out of trouble. America would be a greater country with less people in poverty if this would happen. The economy would also rise and we would have to pay less for prison because, there would be less people in there. Overall, America would have more educated people and a better running country if we would just make college affordable for all.

 

Works Cited

Caplan-Bricker, Nora. “Some Cities Are Promising Free College to High School

Students. Does It Work?” New Republic. N.p., 21 Feb. 14. Web. 11 Mar. 2016.

“Crime Rates Linked To Educational Attainment, New Alliance Report Finds.” Alliance

For Excellent Education Crime Rates Linked To Educational Attainment New

Alliance Report Finds Comments. N.p., 12 Sept. 2013. Web. 11 Mar. 2016.

“Dropping Out, Again: Why So Many College Students Never Graduate.” Interview by

Michael Rubenstein. NBC News. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 18 Nov. 2014.

Web. 18 Mar. 2016.

Mccambridge, Madison. “College Costs.” Personal interview. 20 Apr. 2016.

Moretti, Enrico. “The Campaign for Educational Equity OLD » Teachers College.” The

Campaign for Educational Equity OLD » Teachers College. Columbia University, n.d. Print. 11 Mar. 2016.

The Importance of Being Involved by I.W.

Often times adolescents get bogged down in their school work. They go to school, go home, do homework, eat dinner, do some more homework, and then go to bed. Maybe they have one other activity that they do in addition to that. It is incredibly important for adolescents to be involved in a lot. They should have a few things they do other than school. Not just school. There are so many positive impacts from being involved in a lot. Kids stay out of trouble, they learn how to manage their time, make new friends, find their passions, and these activities are even a resume builder! People lose interest in activities, so it’s important for them to be involved in several activities. If you only do one, and then lose interest and quit then you don’t have anything to do and you become lost, confused, and bored. If there’s anything a kid shouldn’t be it’s bored! Being involved in a few activities after school is key in an adolescent’s life; this is where they will learn how to manage their time, make friends outside of school, find their passions, and build a resume!

When you were a child your parents probably got you into several different activities. I know I did ballet, golf, basketball, soccer, hiking, and music. You didn’t have to worry about school as much either because you were still at that age where school was fun, homework was fun, and you were friends with everyone in your class. This was your first experience being immersed in activities. Your first chance to see what you loved.  As we get older, we start to focus more on school. It takes a lot more time after school too and we start to dwindle down our activities. Some people cut out too much. They stick to either one thing or nothing. They think that if they can master that one activity then that will be all they need. That’s risky. They could lose interest, or something could happen to them forcing them to stop. Then, at that point, they have nothing. They just have school. When you have a few activities it’s ok when one does not work out because you have a couple others to fall back on. Some people believe that they should focus in on one activity and school so that they are able to perfect both. While that may be important to do as you get older, cutting out other activities when you’re still young could leave you with nothing when you lose interest.

It’s important to put yourself out there. Choose something that you would’ve never imagined liking. Chances are, you will find that you love this and are more passionate about this than anything else you’ve ever done. That’s what happened to me. I stepped out of my comfort zone and joined a teaching program a CSU. I never wanted to become a music teacher. Now I have taught sectional I realized the joy that comes with teaching. Something I would’ve never known unless I had tried. This is another reason why it’s important to be involved in more.

Several studies have shown benefits you would’ve never thought of that come from being involved in several activities. These benefits include better time management, learning how to prioritize, raising self esteem, and so many more. One wouldn’t necessarily notice that their after school activities help with each of these. They don’t realize that in order to go to their club after school they have to find another time to do their homework and other commitments. They’re able to find extra time throughout the day that would’ve normally wasted.

Building a resume is hard. It may feel impossible when you don’t necessarily have any work experience, so you need to think of all of the activities you’ve done too! If you were only involved in one sport then you’re not going to have much to put down on there. Let’s say that you’ve been volunteering for a few organizations, babysitting a little, and you also do some sports. Then you are going to be add a lot more; even when the volunteering or the babysitting didn’t take too much time!

There are endless benefits to being involved in several activities. While it is important to not overwork yourself or become overwhelmed, it’s just as or more important to get involved. Who knows, maybe you’ll be like me and hesitantly join something and then decide to pursue a career in it!  “Being exposed to lots of ideas and interests helps you learn what you’re truly passionate about and maybe more importantly introduces you to people who share that passion” (Prentice).

Works Cited

Burgess, Joy. “Extracurricular School Activities and the Benefits.” More 4 Kids. N.p., 2016. Web. 12 Mar. 2016. <http://education.more4kids.info/168/extracurricular-school-activities/&gt;.

Mayfield, Julie, and Lindsay Mayfield. “5 Reasons for Getting Involved in College—And How to Go About It.” US News. N.p., 13 Sept. 2011. Web. 10 Mar. 2016. <http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/twice-the-college-advice/2011/09/13/5-reasons-for-getting-involved-in-college-and-how-to-go-about-it&gt;.

Baker, Sawyer. “Why Getting Involved in Your Community Is Important.” Education Empowers. N.p., 29 Jan. 2014. Web. 12 Mar. 2016 <https://iowacollegestudentaidcommission.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/why-getting-involved-in-your-community-is-important/>.

“The Importance of Extracurricular Activities for Teens.” I Have a Plan Iowa. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Mar. 2016.a<https://www.ihaveaplaniowa.gov/Home/Article.aspx?articleId=IGeYH2kUApurN7JfmoFVeQXAP3DPAXXAP3DPAX&level=3XAP2FPAX6J7I3kztATGuYyXAP2BPAXDahIQXAP3DPAXXAP3DPAX>.

Prentice, Elizabeth Waterbury. “Importance Of Being Involved.” Telephone interview. 13 Mar. 2016.

Offerman, Nick. Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man’s Fundamentals for Delicious Living. New York: Dutton, 2014. Print.

The Right College by A.L.P

  Choosing a “good” college for you,  first of all, should be based on your personality and where you will learn best. If you go to a college for it’s reputation and fail because it’s not the best learning environment for you, that’s worse than doing great in a college with less of a reputation.

 A good college should not be based on the reputation of a school and your grade point average.

When I used to live in Brazil, I used to go to a super expensive school where people didn’t really care the grade you get in a test or where was your college dream. They would talk about every once in awhile though, but still was not something that mattered that much. When I moved here, things changed. I honestly feel like people at fairview are so smart and basically all the care about is getting in a good college. Sometimes though the college that they really want, is based on parents opinions or have a good reputation, for example Harvard. Here at fairview I feel like people are always judging you depending on the college you go to and they all have the stereotype of Harvard college type of thing, but there are families that can’t afford a good college because of it’s price. I sometimes feel intimidated to talk about those kind of things and college between my friends and that’s something that shouldn’t be a problem in our society, especially in our school nowadays.

Ash in Ashes by D.G.

Hello, I’m Ashton, and I’m thirteen years old. You can call me Ash. I was born in Miami, Florida to parents I never knew, and adopted by Charlotte Hushton and her partner Eleanor. Eleanor is a homicide detective for the Miami police department, and Charlotte is hopelessly jobles. due to her being treated for cancer. For the past eight years I have gone to school on the outskirts of town at Sebastian St. Clair middle school for carnivorous young.

In my world, we call ourselves ethomorphs or ethos, in that we all have a different ethomorphology mixed with our homo sapien DNA that defines our race. We aren’t human like you, we’re animalistic. Some more than others, but we are all what you might call ‘anthropomorphic’. When I was born, the doctors told my parents that I had Pheralia syndrome. This happens very rarely due to inter-species mating. Literally 1 in 1 million babies are born with it. Pheralia is a genetic disease that causes many varied symptoms including increased feral behavior, mild respiratory complications, violence, and amnesia. Basically, I’m mentally unstable. I didn’t know what was wrong with me for the longest time, because after they found out, my stupid parents dropped me from their lives like a sack of trash. In the end, I was picked up by Charlotte. She’s a doe, and I’m a red fox. Eleanor is an equine.

They tell me they always dreamed of raising a fox cub, but they didn’t anticipate the troubles that I would bring with me. See, They’re herbivores, and I’m a carnivore, but they raised me as a vegetarian. The only kinds of ‘meat’ are at school, and even then I avoid it out of respect. Most others don’t though. Eleanor says it’s offensive to eat meat, that those who do it might as well be murdering ethos. but I don’t understand what the big deal is. Most of us don’t eat other ethos, because that’s murder. We eat feral meat; meat produced from feral animals. I have to admit, it would be pretty awkward to have to farm, slaughter, and milk ferals that are the same morphology as you. Kind of creepy, no doubt. But we have to eat somehow.

I say most of us don’t eat ethos, and it’s true. Most. Not all. Last weekend there was a mass-predding slaughter in central L.A. Several famous people I don’t know were attacked and eaten alive by a pack of various anti-herbivore terrorists. One was a greying equine hasbeen from a crappy 90s sitcom, and two were publishers for a controversial anti-predding magazine. The interesting part is, it started a bunch of PETA rallies around town, along with the overall panic. They brought signs reading “Kill the mouth that eats us!” and “Ferals have rights too!”. They were picketing the dairy farm down the street, as well as a couple of meat processing plants owned by Krios Mange, a well-hated Draconic business man in these parts. He’s the owner of Aesop Meats Inc. Mange refused to back down to the hatred, insisting that the liberal protesters were a symptom of the terror induced earlier that weekend, and not of the meat industry’s practices. Charlotte says he’s an evil manipulator, but personally, I love his resolve.

 

“Breakfast is ready, Ash!” Charlotte was calling me from the kitchen, her voice pulling me out of my deep well of sleep. I sat up, and stared out my window at the sky. Bright blue, and beautiful. Not that it mattered. I never leave the house unless I have to. Too much time outside, and the sun burns my pelt. I never understood why people go out anyway, it’s too busy. Too hot, and too sticky.

I pushed myself out of bed, pulled on my shirt and trousers, and opened the door. I found my way out of my room and into the kitchen, where Charlotte was standing at the stove. She hadn’t put any makeup on, so I could see the spots on her nose. “Eggs again?” I asked, sitting down.

“You like eggs, don’t you?

“Not particularly. I wish I could have something else.”

“Like what?” she was looking at me funny. Whenever we talk about food she gets edgy with me. I think she worries I’ll go full-predator on them or something.

“I don’t know, but eggs get boring. Can’t we get something else?”

“I don’t know how to make you happy, Ash. You need protein, and this is the best way to give it to you. You won’t eat salads in the morning, soy is out of the question, and you know what my opinion on feral meat is.”

“Exactly. You choose to keep me from eating it.” My ears were twitching again, and Charlotte noticed.

“Ash, calm down. You know how it is, the meat industry is not something we support. They keep ferals trapped in cages their whole lives, and then dump their remains into the ocean. It’s bad enough for the environment, and even more immoral to eat.” She approached the table with two salads, and a bowl of scrambled eggs.

“Is Eleanor home today?” I asked, trying to ignore the food in front of me.

“Yes, she got back last night. She’s had a long week, but she should be out here soon.”

Sure enough, a couple minutes later, Eleanor joined us at the table.

“Hey, buddy. How’s it going?” She gave me a kind look, her ears cocked forward and genuinely concerned.

“I’m fine.” I said coldly, stabbing my fork angrily into my bowl. “I don’t want to go to school today. I hate it.”

“You sure don’t sound fine. What’s going on at school?”

I looked at her for a second before shamefully staring back at my bowl. “This wolverine named Charlie keeps kicking me down in the hall. His friends just laugh at me.” I didn’t want to admit it, but Eleanor has a way of digging up information. My loss, I guess. Nobody lies around her. She knows.

“You need to show that kid who’s boss, hon. He’ll only come after you harder if you let him go with it.”

“Don’t give him any ideas.” shouted Charlotte from the kitchen. “Ash is a good kid.”

“Sure you are!” Eleanor said smiling, then whispered “But that doesn’t mean you need to be a fur rug for that asshole.”

“El, I can hear you.” Charlotte rounded the bar, and sat back down at the table. “Ash, have you talked to your teacher about this? They’re there to help you.”

Rolling my eyes, I stood up. “The teachers take pride in bullying. they love It. makes a better citizen, so they say.” I stomped into my room, and started getting ready for school.

 

Ten minutes later, Charlotte bustled me out the door with my backpack weighing me down like usual. On the drive to school, we talked some more. I told her about the time Charlie ate a live rat during recess. She told me I should stay away from kids like him. She doesn’t have to tell me twice. She dropped me at school early, allowing me time to run by my locker before class. My locker happens to be right next to that of a girl named Penny. She’s a leopard, and the only almost-friend I have at school. She usually waits for me in front of our lockers in the morning to say hi. Probably the highlight of my day, I guess. Today she had a bright red bow on her head, but it kept one of her ears scrunched over. As I approached her, she smiled, and handed me a cookie from a box in her arms.

“Hey.” she said.

“Hi.” I replied, and opened my locker, dropping my bag into the bottom.

“Did you see? Mr. Keller’s out for the rest of the year. They say his mother passed, and he won’t be returning to work.” Her eyes were lit up, excited by the news. I was just relieved. Keller is our Anatomy teacher, and I always found his obsession with how everyone works inside to be very creepy. He’s even had us pose for dental pictures and x-rays to study in class.

“Good riddance,” I said, coldly. “He’s crazy. Remember he kept ignoring me when Charlie was chucking those carrot chunks at me?”

“I know, and he was about to have us dissect a cat. Jeremy kept joking that he would rather eat it.” Her face curled in disgust at the idea. “Don’t they even consider race sensitivity anymore?”

“I always figured it was just the way things work. Ferals aren’t civilized like us. We don’t even know if they have emotions.” I thought I was helping, but she just growled, rolling her eyes, and walked away, leaving me to head to class alone.

My schedule this year has been a bombshell. All the worst classes. First I have Geometry, then Anatomy Lv. 1, Mating Ed., Lunch, Language Arts, Social Studies, and spanish. Mating Ed. is the worst, because nobody takes anything seriously. They laugh at all the diagrams and pictures, talk over the teacher, and I have to sit right in front of Charlie. The whole period today he spent his time poking me in the back of the neck with a broken paperclip. I couldn’t focus, and messed up embarrassingly when the teacher asked me how many eggs the average Homo Equus produces in her life. Then, at the end of class, he leaned up next to me and whispered,

“Too bad your dirt-eating mothers didn’t learn any of this. You know what they say, queer parents raise queer cubs.”

I was outraged. I’m one of few students at my school who are vegetarian, so I’m pretty much an outlier. He already knew that. ‘dirt eater’ would be the racist way of naming it, as he was so kind to do. But my mothers? Charlie wasn’t supposed to know who my parents were. How had he found out?  Only Penny knows about that… Right?

The cafeteria caters decently well to vegetarians like me, but none of the meals are completely meat free. I know some in other schools who are completely vegan, no feral animal products whatsoever. Like I said, I guess they find it creepy or something. There is rarely a meal they serve here that doesn’t have some form of meat in it, because it’s what most students here want. I on the other hand do my best to avoid it. If Charlotte smelled it on my breath, she would flip. The smell sticks. it makes any herbivore nauseous. It triggers something deep in their systems that shouldn’t be there anymore, and isn’t safe to their health.

For lunch today, the primary options were steak, ribs, or the salad bar. As usual, I bypassed the meat entirely, and stuck with fruit and a mixed salad. The problem was, it seemed luck had it in for me today, and Charlie and his friends sat down right around me at the table.

“Hey Ash, whatcha got there?” Charlie started in, flicking at a carrot on my tray. “You know us preds don’t eat bunny food like that. It’s garbage.”

“Shove off.” I swatted his hand away, trying to act as tough as I could.

“Oof. Not too friendly today, are we?” Charlie sneered at me, baring his jagged teeth. his breath smelling of rotten meat. “What do you think we have these for, hmmm? Gonna use those canines to chew lettuce like a wittle bunny? or like that horse and doe you call parents?”

“Shut up!” I yelled, standing up. The table jerked, and sent the milk on my tray flying into his face. Charlie’s friends growled, as he wiped his face off. He glared at me outright murderously, taking in the situation. “Sorry…” I choked out the apology, barely managing louder than a whisper.

“Get him!” he yelled, and two of his friends jumped up, pushing me up against the wall. he came at me, his fur on end, and put his snarling face up to mine, drowning me in the foul stench of his breath.

“You little shit eating faggot! I’m gonna put your teeth out so you never get the chance to eat again!” he sank his fist into my stomach, making me double up in pain, then brought his foot up into my face. I felt the crunch of a couple of my teeth breaking. As they let go of me, I fell to my knees, feeling like I’d been hit by a truck.

“Hey!” Mr. Tallow, one of the teachers, had been rousted by the commotion. seeing the blood, helped me up to my feet. “What happened?” he asked angrily, handing me a paper towel for the blood seeping from my mouth.

“He attacked me!” yelled Charlie.

“No I didn’t! He-” I started to retort, but was interrupted.

“Shut up, both of you!” the teacher turned to one of Charlie’s friends, seeming not to know him. “What happened here?” he asked him.

“Charlie’s telling the truth, sir.” said the boy. I felt my face burn with anger.

“You-” I wanted to scream at them for lying, they were cowards. It was unfair.

“Ash!” Mr. Tallow grabbed my shoulder. “That’s enough. Go to the nurse and get cleaned up, then meet me in Principal Royal’s office. You’re on thin ice, pal.”

I started to turn and go with him, but froze. Penny was staring at me from across the cafeteria, her pawed hands over her mouth, and her ears flat back.

Seeing her scared sent a knife of anger through my chest. Here I was, giving up again. Charlie was going to continue giving me hell unless I did something about it. That thought stopped me dead in my tracks. I stopped walking, and my vision narrowed. I suddenly couldn’t hear anything but the blood pounding in my head.

I turned on Charlie, who was taken by surprise as I threw myself on him. I clawed at his eyes, hearing him scream in agony, as someone yelled “Get him off!” I got excited, suddenly feeling his life in my hands, and bit down on his neck. The taste of blood filled my mouth, sending adrenaline through my body. Before I knew it, I was on my back, and all I could hear was others screaming. Or was it me?

All I remember after that was being dragged out of the cafeteria, away from Charlie’s dying body, and left to sit on the couch in the office. I knew I was being watched by security. I sat for what felt like an hour, feeling fear, anger, and euphoria spiraling through my brain like a whirlpool. All I could really do was stare at the wall, digging my claws into my arm. My mouth was matted with blood, but I couldn’t be bothered to clean myself. An administrator showed up eventually to lead me out into the parking lot, Where police cars and a big van were parked outside. the worst was seeing Charlotte leaning against her truck, a look of fear plastered like a mask over her eyes. I climbed in, doing my best to avoid looking at her. We took off towards home in cold silence, and every second of it made me feel worse.

“They say he’s not going to make it. His throat is crushed.” She finally whispered, barely holding her composure.

I sat still, feeling an icy cold settling in my stomach. “Mom, I’m sorry.” I didn’t know what else to say.

“Ash…” Charlotte was crying, I could tell. “Why did you do it?”

Tears had finally started boiling in my eyes as well. “I knew the teachers weren’t going to stop him, so I did it for them.”

“Ash, We could be in huge trouble for this! You’ve been expelled! if his parents press charges, we’ll lose everything! Maybe even you…” she paused, gasping for breath. “Son, you don’t have the right to take someone’s life, That’s not how the world works!”

I looked out the window to watch the trees fly by, feeling the hole where my missing teeth had been, and the well of fear and anger in my stomach. That’s unfair. He hurt me. He hurt Penny. I stopped him for good, and now I get in trouble? “I think If that’s the case, then our world is broken.”