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From the Teens of Washington County, MD
Updated: 5 min 37 sec ago

Supa Hot Fire

Thu, 04/08/2021 - 08:03

“Supa Hot Fire”

photography by Joshua Kebe

Follow the photographer on Instagram @joffoes_photography

Legal Crimes

Thu, 04/01/2021 - 08:25

by Alisha

Violence is giving in

You can’t stop the beatings like next of kin

They grasp to it like a puppy to a child

Always trying to be accepted as mild

But in conflict, they will turn to violence then resolution

But they do not see it as a prosecution.

Then they’ll wake up at a hospital, filled with anger

Still they will see it as being an Avenger

On best days it’s just a word fight,

On worst days it’s like an endless appetite.

Violence is the withering of people

Violence is a crime that’s legal

Music

Thu, 03/18/2021 - 08:58

by Sophie Lucas

Why isn’t music louder

Why doesn’t it echo through my brain

Making me intoxicated off the notes 

Wrapping around my brain eating away at my thoughts

Flowing into my lungs like silk

Making me choke with its melodies

I want to drink it like whiskey

Burning down my throat

I’ll drink bottled love if I can’t make my own

I want the rhymes to wrap around my body

Consume me

Seducing me with hope

Why can’t music fill me with ecstasy

Kiss me on the neck 

Make me only be filled with bliss

Why can’t it stop me from thinking?

Teen Photography: “Lazy Boy”

Thu, 03/18/2021 - 08:06

“Lazy Boy”

by Kaiya M

Teen Photography: Country Winter

Thu, 03/11/2021 - 07:30

by Sunny Vaughan

Bad Dream

Thu, 03/04/2021 - 07:08

by Joshua Kebe

Feeling someone else’s breath against your neck

paralyzed in fear trying your best to just scream and let it out 

but when you open your mouth nothing comes out

terrified that something will happen to you

you look down 

and just seeing the shadow makes you tremble in fear

it makes you terrified 

cause you have no idea what’s going to happen next

the fact that it’s so unpredictable is so much scarier

you try to run but all your bones are frozen…

you try to talk but no words come out

at this point you can’t think straight 

and you think you’re taking your last breath

you wake up having a panic attack

you can’t really breathe 

you were sweating all night

“It was just a dream,” you say to yourself.

you try to go back to sleep 

but you cant stop having the same dream

at this point you’re scared

no – scratch that – you can’t go to sleep 

cause you think your gonna die in your dream 

if you do, you start overthinking and overanalyzing

and that’s what makes the dreams worse

“Stop overthinking and over-worrying!” I tell myself.  

“It’s not healthy!” 

And that, my friend, is what kills you faster than fear.

Teen Photography: “I Live for Snow Days”

Thu, 02/25/2021 - 07:39

“I Live for Snow Days”

by Alexandra Chichester

Teen Artwork: “Renaissance Cat”

Thu, 02/18/2021 - 07:57

“Renaissance Cat”

Follow the artist on Instagram @aldernorth_

Something to think about: Valentine’s Edition

Thu, 02/11/2021 - 07:45

By MJ Maheu, Staff Writer

What is love? 

We say we love so many different things: people, food, video games, pets, music, actors, etc. But do we really mean it, especially when it’s directed to the people we love? 

Valentine’s Day is around the corner. The day where our friends who have boyfriends/girlfriends and go out. Then there’s a few single people who don’t have that someone special to spend the day with. 

You see, sometimes we say we love our parents and siblings, but whether it’s our fault or not, we end up fighting with them. We may say we love our friends, but even when we don’t mean to, we also end up fighting with them as well. So how can we say we love these people, but then we end up fighting with them?  

Did you know the Greeks have several words to describe love? Agape, storge, philia, philautia and xenia. Agape is not a feeling, but more like an instinct. It’s the highest form of love, a self-giving love. Philia is the brotherly kind of love. We can use this to describe the love we have for our best friends. Storge is used to describe the love within a family or a parent’s love for their child. Philautia is the kind of love we have for ourselves. The last kind of love is xenia. Xenia is a kind of love we have for acquaintances and people we’ve met but we don’t really know. 

So how are we going to show our love to the people we care about this Valentine’s Day? It’s up to you.

Teen Photography: “Jelly of the Month Club”

Thu, 02/04/2021 - 07:15

“Jelly of the Month Club”

Follow the artist/photographer on Instagram @lucy.ghost_runner

Message

Music Analysis: “Everywhere at the End of Time” by The Caretaker

Thu, 01/28/2021 - 07:20

by Rayan Shahid, Staff Writer

Warning: this album can cause anxiety and depression while listening to it. Many users have experienced mental breakdowns while listening to this composition. I would not recommend this for the faint of heart.

Note: Names of stages and Art are key words from the description of each phase that I thought represented the Phase’s name or art well. There is no official name for the Phases or art.

Intro

Everywhere at the End of Time is a six-hour-long album that is a musical representation of dementia/amnesia. This album consists of 6 stages of identifying, experiencing, and accepting the fact that your memory is slowly peeling away before your very eyes. The stages range from mostly serene, straightforward 1930s/1940s-type music to represent the good times in life, to deranged static “music” which represents losing the ability to consciously make/remember memories.

Phase 1: Daydream

Phase one of this music is what could only be described as familiar old music. The calming instruments provide nice soothing music that is meant to instill nostalgia in the listener. However, there is static – which could be a motif for what is to come later – suggesting that although everything seems nice and relaxed, there is a layer of uncertainty on what’s to come. This stage illustrates that there is a mental problem, but not to the degree that it needs much worry yet.

Art: “The last of the great days”

The art appears to be a newspaper or roll of some sort, but there is no 100% clarity. This vagueness portrays this phase as still being able to distinguish illusion from reality, but there isn’t a complete grasp on what is happening. Thus, as I explained earlier, this phase isn’t completely free of pain, but the world is still recognizable from illusion. The person undergoing mind loss at this point might have some signs of what’s to come, but they are still able to live life to its fullest.

Phase 2: Denial

This phase is a continuation of phase one’s theme of “everything is fine,” but in phase two, the condition of mind loss is growing worse. More white noise, cuts, and blurs fill this album as this disease tears the brain, while the person undergoing this just seems to act like nothing is wrong with them. The faint 1930s music still plays, but it has become lost and dark. This stage has its darkness, but still carries itself as trying to make the current times last, for better or worse. Yet, despite the unnerving tone, this stage pales in comparison for what is to come.

Art: “Refusal”

This piece of art acts as a metaphor that mirrors the person going through memory loss. The flower’s vase is being essentially destroyed, unrecognizable, and distorted, yet the flowers are still alive and push through, much like the person undergoing memory loss. The flowers also seem to be growing in different directions which would mean their light source’s location is unknown, since flowers always grow towards the light they live under. This illustrates the flowers’ (and the person being affected) confusion as their mind is not fully “there,” yet they are both still alive and living like nothing is wrong – although just looking at them shows that they are living in a lie.

Phase 3: Reality

Reality finally begins to completely break apart as the cuts and blurs start to become violent and cover most of the songs completely. There is always a sense of pain and confusion and the person suffering this has realized their reality is fading. The best memories they have are still vaguely there, but it is slipping fast. The tone shift in this phase is dramatic from the last as the instruments have started repeating, overlapping, and fading; like memories trying to claw their way into remembrance, yet none reach the surface without error. Sometimes, there are complete cuts with no sound or slowed music which suggests the person is not only falsely remembering, but losing their ability to remember at all. This is the phase in which reality leaves and slowly only illusion fills the mind.

Art: “Broken”

The art is noticeably becoming more and more distorted as reality shifts to almost complete illusion, but there is still a hint of something tangible being there. This painting looks like a plant of some sort, but the brush strokes turned so violent and jarring it’s hard to make out what is really there. The mind, being unable to remember, has distorted itself so profoundly by this point that making out something as simple as this is impossible. By this phase, the person undergoing memory issues has to recognize what is wrong and enjoy their last time being able to recall the past, as limited as it may be.

Phase 4: Rupture

This is the first stage of finally accepting the fact that extreme memory loss is taking place, and by this point it is all too late. The music itself is now in the background as noise plays over it.  Loud, distorted sounds plague the atmosphere with barely any sense (besides a faint melody). This phase is the beginning of a long ending for the patient’s suffering. Singular memories and serenity are hard to find among all the white noise and voices calling out through the distortion. Almost nothing vivid is left, and life feels like a blur with no beginning or end. Only the present, which drifts continuously with what feels like only pain.

Art: Confusion

This painting seems to be a portrait, but everything is lost. There is no sense of humanity left; it’s all been forgotten. Only a disfigurement of what once remained is present with only its shape being recognizable as human. This painting looks like it’d be someone with long hair, but their skin and hair is made of what seems to be some sort of ore-like material. A person devoid of memory might think a human could be made of rock with no human features. The person has no concept of what a human is and what they’re looking at.  It’s pure confusion.

Phase 5: Horror

This is the most terrifying stage. there is nothing here besides vicious violent sounds and the music is killing the listener. Sanity is gone and all that’s left is pain and rupture. This phase is highly disturbing to listen to and sparks the most depression and anxiety. This is meant to replicate the feeling that everything is lost and nothing is left in the mind but pure horror. There are brief moments where humanity comes back, but then it all falls back into despair and darkness. The memory loss is at 100% effect now, and nearly nothing remains but slight callbacks – only to drown back into the darkness. The repetition in this phase is by far the most haunting thing as peace comes back for a few seconds, but when it all falls back it feels like hell breaks loose. The patient has nothing left, and it doesn’t even have a sense for when this is all over because time itself has been lost.

Art: Familiarity

This piece of art is by far the most abstract, which fits the most abstract phase. All sense of familiarity is gone and this album cover describes it as such. Nothing tangible or recognizable is really there, besides material and shape, and even then it just looks like nothing is there. Nothing recognizable and pure mental absence. Unlike the other covers, this doesn’t seem to fit the violence of the music as well, but this could be because any sense of acknowledging the violence has been wiped from the brain. All that’s left is abstractness with no reality on what violence or anger means. The mind is simply processing without any sense of familiarity. 

Phase 6:

This stage is the finale. It is mostly a void of complete and utter nothing but noises filling the air. The “music” is not an extremely disturbing mind-killing sound – it’s just serene noise. This phase depicts the person suffering memory loss as they draw near to taking their last breaths. There is no horror: there’s just nothing left. As the stage progresses, instruments slowly pick up and some sense of the first stage comes back, but this isn’t the first stage, and those memories turn into complete and utter silence. The person suffering under this terrible case of mind loss has died. In their last living moments, they recalled the times they treasured most and succumbed to their disease.  Finally, the person is resting and out of their misery.

Art: Nothing

This cover just looks like the back of a painting or something of the like, but that’s the point. This album cover is the most clear out of the six for a reason. The person knows they can’t recognize reality and all that’s left is acceptance, then death. They can’t recognize anything and they know in their last moments their mind is gone. Everything has been lost, and this “calm after the storm” is only calm for one reason, and they know it. Death is approaching, and in their last moments they recognize how far they fell. However, death follows immediately after and everything is over for the person.

Conclusion

This album has been one of the most terrifying, yet interesting forms of art I’ve ever observed. The intricacies behind every phase, every song title, every piece of art is astonishing and this captures mind loss in an art form that is unreproducible. The joy, horror, and acceptance through music perfectly captures the experience of dementia, amnesia, and memory loss in general. As much as this album is genuinely terrifying, it is a true work of art. My words can’t describe how amazing the composer of this piece is. “The Caretaker” truly wrote an astonishing piece of art for which I cannot adequately express my respect. If my review interests you, and you think you have the mental stability, I’d highly suggest giving this a listen in a non-stop 6 hour listening period, but please do not force yourself and make yourself stop if needed. 

I’d like to end this analysis with a quote that embodies this piece very well: “Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.” – Cesar A. Cruz

YA Bookshelf: 4 Book Reviews

Thu, 01/21/2021 - 07:51

by Emilee Droneburg

“Wicked Saints” – By: Emily A. Duncan

I really enjoyed this book. It is one of my new favorites and I have already read the second book “Ruthless Gods”. This book is a fantasy book set in a world where countries war against each other and there are children who can communicate with the gods, called clerics. This book is set in two points of view, Nadezhda (Nadya) Lapteva and Serefin Meleski. Serefin is the crown prince of Tranavia, sent to war by his father, the king, on the hunt for clerics and Nadya is a Kalyazi cleric who is on the run from capture by Serefin. I would recommend this book to anyone ages 13+ because of violence and romance.

“Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment” – By: James Patterson

This is a great book. I really love the short chapters that are a custom in most James Patterson books, which make the book an easy read. The book is an action/adventure book. It is set in present day U.S., but not in a certain place, since the characters move around a lot. The book is set around a group of six kids, called the Flock, ages 6 to 14 that had been infused with avian DNA. They were escaped lab experiments and must rescue one of the flock members that had been recaptured. This is a really great series, although it is a long one, with 9 books, but I would recommend it to anyone 12+ because of mild violence.

“Warcross” – By: Marie Lu

I liked this book. It wasn’t one of my favorites, but it was a very engrossing world. It immersed you into a futuristic world from the start, keeping you hooked from the first few chapters. I really loved how this book wasn’t your typical action/adventure book. It shed a new light on virtual reality, showing how the future adapted it into something indiscernible from reality and it became a new way to escape from everyday life or simply for entertainment. This book is a fictional action book that is set from the point of view of Emika Chen. She comes from the streets of New York City and accidentally hacks her way into the biggest virtual reality event of the year, Warcross. She gets a job offer from Warcross creator, Hideo Tanaka, to find and catch the hacker that has been discovered changing the code of Warcross, attempting to take it down slowly. This is a good series and is worth reading the second book of the duology. I would recommend this book to anyone 13+ because of romance.

“Confessions of a Murder Suspect” – By: James Patterson

This is another one of my favorite books. It is a series comprising of four books. It is one of the best mystery/thriller books that I have read. It had me hooked from the beginning. This is a book set in New York City and Tandoori (Tandy) Angel wakes up one morning to find her parents murdered in their bed. There was no sign of a break-in and the only people in the house were Tandy and her two brothers Harry and Hugo. Nobody knows who committed the crime and they are all suspects. This book follows Tandy and her determination to discover who committed the crime. I really love this book and the notorious James Patterson plot twists. I would recommend this book to anyone 14+ because of some violence and gore.

Teen Artwork: “Ayama”

Thu, 01/14/2021 - 07:46

“Ayama”

Follow the artist on Instagram @aldernorth_

YA Bookshelf: 4 Book Reviews

Thu, 01/07/2021 - 07:54

by JJP, Staff Writer

Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong (Graphic Novel), by Prudence Shen & Faith Erin Hicks

4 Words: Friendship, Classic, Funny, and Sweet. A must-read for sure – it’s all over the place, and its everything you could want while you are stuck at home. It is a really well-put-together graphic novel.

The Art Of Being Normal, by Lisa Williamson

READ THIS! IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE, FOR REAL! It’s too amazing to put down, and it will make you mad, sad, and everything else you could feel. So READ IT. You’re stuck in the house – what else are you going to do? And when you are done reading, you will understand what I’m saying. Whether you’re straight or LGBTQ+, you will love this book.

Teen Titans: Raven, by Kami Gracia

I love this book! If you love black magic, fighting demons, and uncovering family secrets, as well as a powerful teen girl, then this is most likely your book. Just saying.

Black Boy White School, by Brian F. Walker

For this one, the only words I have are: Read, Learn, and Understand. This is probably the best book I have read in all my 16 years of life. It’s a book you can’t put down.

Teen Artwork: “Procrastination Artwork”

Thu, 12/31/2020 - 07:40

“Procrastination Artwork”

Follow the artist on Instagram @lucy.ghost_runner