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From the Teens of Washington County, MD
Updated: 2 hours 29 min ago

Confirmation Bias and You

Wed, 01/09/2019 - 17:39

By Jay Trovato, Librarian and Guest Contributor

There is a hidden presence haunting public discourse today.  There’s no way to avoid it, either. It’s simply there, and it colors everything we think, write, and say.  We intuitively know that it exists by talking to (and sometimes arguing with) others, but it is hardest to see within ourselves.  I am speaking about a phenomenon called “confirmation bias.” I began reading about this aspect of human thought recently, and as I thought more about it, a lot of things suddenly began making sense.

First of all, it is important to understand that every person has a point of view based on their life experience, their thinking, and a thousand other factors too complex to fully describe.  It is a set of beliefs that a person has accepted as true. This point of view can also be called a paradigm or a worldview.  It is a mindset so fundamental that we see and interpret everything else through it.  Concepts of right and wrong that our parents instilled in us, our spiritual or religious commitments (or lack thereof), and our political orientation are all examples of deeply held beliefs that can form part of our worldview.

Our worldview exerts a tremendously strong influence on us.  It drives our thoughts, our words, our actions, and our plans for the future.  It is at the very core of who we are.

We also know, however, that not everyone has the same point of view.  There are aspects of my worldview that will undoubtedly clash with the worldview of someone else.  So, what happens when I receive information that conflicts with the beliefs inherent in my worldview?

This is where confirmation bias comes in.  If someone tells me something that doesn’t agree with my worldview, the reflex action of my mind will be to reject the information without really evaluating whether or not the information is true.  The opposite is also true: if I receive information that agrees with my worldview, I will tend to accept the information without thinking critically about it.

The problem with confirmation bias is that it stops us from considering a valid truth claim, or else encourages us to believe a false claim that happens to correspond with our worldview.  For example, there are people who believe that horoscopes give accurate information about the future.  Others have a deeply held belief that the government has secret technology that implants thoughts into people’s minds against their will.  There is an entire holiday devoted to the idea that a magical figure named Santa Claus – who all year long constantly keeps track of whether children are being bad or good – flies all around the world on the night of December 24th in order to give the good children presents that he and his elves made at the North Pole.

All the foregoing ideas are believed or known by almost everyone to be false.  However, think for a moment about a child who believes in Santa Claus.  He or she sees Santa Claus at malls and Christmas events, hears songs and watches movies about him, and (perhaps most importantly) has parents who teach the child about Santa.  The child’s worldview is then inclined to believe in the existence of Santa, so his or her confirmation bias will screen out information that suggests that Santa is not real.  Usually, the “magic” will not be broken until the child’s parents tell the child that Santa is just pretend.  The strength of the parents’ word tilts the child’s confirmation bias in the other direction, probably confirming a truth that the child had been suspecting but not willing to see.  Now, when the child’s younger friends and family members talk about Santa, he or she will not be re-persuaded to believe.

Television, websites, and social media are overflowing with truth claims that we are given to evaluate.  We must be careful not to allow our confirmation bias to sway our reasoning when we consider the information we are being offered as “truth.”  If we blindly and repeatedly believe a certain source because it happens to line up with our existing worldview, we cease to be thinking persons.  Unless we are willing to stand up to confirmation bias – both our own and that of others – we are doomed to become mindless mouthpieces for the 24-hour propaganda machine.


New Labels

Wed, 01/09/2019 - 17:32

By Isabella Hendershot, Staff Writer

Does anyone think it odd how gay men don’t have their own specific term in the LGBTQIA+ community? You have to think about it a bit before you really notice, but really think about it. Gay can define any gender that is part of the community or those who have partners of the same sex. But if you go into it women who only prefer partners of the same sex are labeled as lesbian, people who choose partners of either sex are labeled as bisexual and under bisexual there is pansexual. Then you have transgender men and women who, sadly, a lot of people don’t care to understand what it means. You also then have people who are questioning themselves and who people label or identify as queer. You have the “I” standing for intersex and then finally people labeled as asexual or it can stand for our many allies. But there is not a specific, special term for a gay man.

I think that should change. The term gay does branch out for all genders but there are other specific terms just for them, such as lesbian or bisexual. So my question is, why don’t men have a specific term for themselves? Don’t they deserve their own term? Aren’t they just as important and just as deserving as others under the LGBTQIA acronym?

It can also be argued that it’s sexist for gay men to only be called “gay.” If you really start to think about it it’s as if they are above us with their label because it also stands for anyone who is part of the community. By claiming the gay label they are almost owning the entire gay scene, making them more authentically gay than all others.

So what you think? Should there be a new name for gay men? If so, what came should be given? How do we decide? How many of you think we should make a new name?


We make up names and words all the time, so let’s make a new name. We can make it anything we want, put the word out to everyone of the new name, and what it means to identify as it.

It can get confusing, however, for people to hear what all the labels we have mean. What if we take away the labels instead? We can just say “I’m me, I am who I am and I’m not going to label myself.” If we don’t label ourselves, we just say we are who we are. Could there be a negative reaction to it?

I think that it can help many people if labels are thrown away, but it can also confuse many people who are trying to discover who they are and what they like and what they want to do in life. Would it be such a terrible thing to let everyone figure out that they can, and should, say that they are who they are and no one can change or control it?

Midnight at the Hospital

Wed, 01/09/2019 - 17:26

By Kevin Lin, Staff Writer

It’s just before midnight. A doctor has just finished responding to an emergency and is ready to pack up and go home. While waiting for the elevator to arrive, a nurse also arrives at the elevator. They both ride the same elevator to the first floor. But the elevator doesn’t stop at the first floor and keeps going to the basement. The elevator stops at B3. The door opens. A mysterious girl with a red ribbon tied around her wrist stands in front of the doorway with her head facing down, asking to ride the elevator with them. The doctor panics and closes the elevator door quickly. The nurse curiously asks, ‘Why didn’t you let her in?’ The doctor replies, ‘This is B3 – it’s where all the corpses are stored and frozen after a patient passes away. Every corpse has a red ribbon tied to its right arm.’ After hearing what the doctor has just said, the nurse raises her right arm and asks in a deep chuckling voice, ‘Is this the red ribbon you’re talking about?’

Dear Mother

Wed, 12/12/2018 - 17:17

by Chrystelle Angie Binga, Staff Writer

Dear mother,

I wish wherever you are, you find peace, the happiness, the love, the strength that you needed your entire life. Life isn’t easy for anybody, mother, you know, and now it is harder for me because you are not part of my world anymore. You´re gone, without telling me goodbye, telling me you love me, hugging me or kissing me. I wish life was more easy for you, I wish I was by your side every moment to protect you and love you. But I didn’t have the opportunity. I was selfish, arrogant, and stubborn, and I’m sorry I said hurtful things. Mother, I never meant it, I love you deep inside my heart, you are the woman who gave me life, and I promise to cherish you for the rest of my life. I promise I will make you proud where you are, watching me. I promise I will become someone successful and important who will have a brilliant future. I promise I will take care of my little brothers. But I am scared to deceive you and not succeed because the pain it’s so deep that I spend my time crying you. Mom, i miss you. I love you. Why you are gone, why did you leave me?  I miss you.


Wed, 12/12/2018 - 17:12

by Alex Lucas, Staff Writer

When I try my hardest

Is when your insults seem the sharpest

I open up my mouth to defend myself

But then you shoot back “Focus on your studies not on yourself!”

I abandon all hope

Wash my mouth out with soap

So I go back to trying

With no fear of dying

My heart and mind tell me to stop

But they’re too late I have been turned into a robot

Enemy to Friend

Wed, 12/05/2018 - 18:20

by Angie, Ornella, Ornelle, and Jordana, Staff Writers

We all at some point go to a school without knowing a single person, whether it is the first day of kindergarten, middle school, high school, or college. The first day of school is the day you meet new people or new friends and make new connections. You won’t always like people around you, maybe because maybe you don’t get along with them for some reason. But the more you talk with them, the more you connect. School is like a home, where all students meet and most relationships happen. For example, my group of friends met each other the first day of school. Now it has been two years of friendship. We really didn’t like each other at first, but the more we got to talk, we became friends and then best friends.

It wasn’t easy at first because we all came from different countries. We had different backgrounds, we had different points of views, styles, and attitudes, but we all spoke the same language. Months passed and we started to get along and understand each other and our weaknesses and problems.

Everybody has something in common, whether it’s your skin color, the love you have for others, or the fact that we’re all human beings.


Wed, 11/28/2018 - 17:33

by Isabella Hendershot, Staff Writer

It’s hard for me to explain. Being a part of this wonderful community and being supportive of it has done a lot for me and for many people. Being a part of or supportive of the LGBTQIA+ community is so much more than a lot of people think. If you’re a part of the community then it’s more than just figuring out what you identify as and more than understanding how others identify. To me being a part of this community means having an opportunity to meet some of the most amazing people that are in my life to this day. It’s about having a whole new family that supports you and is accepting of you. Even being associated with the community, whether you are a supporter or are a part of it, you can meet new people who have wonderful and outgoing personalities. These people have helped me figure out a lot of things about myself and other people in my life.


Being a part of this community has given me many friends. I have met so many supportive people who love me and care for me even if it’s the first time we have met. When I think of all of this in depth it bring tears of joy to my eyes. Joy to know that I am accepted. Joy to know I have a family outside of my immediate family. Joy to know that I don’t have to keep a secret from these people and if they find out then it’s okay. I don’t have to worry about if they won’t like me just because I’m more interested in a potential partners personality than their gender or what they identify as. I don’t have to be worried about being judged for who I am and who I love. Everyone I have met that supports or that is a part of this community has treated me like family the moment I have met them and it’s a wonderful feeling to know that they will accept me no matter what.


Because of all the love and support I feel and that I give, people are willing to accept me for who I am. I look forward to the pride Festival Hagerstown Hopes puts on every year. I look forward to it because I know I don’t have to hide around people at school or my parents. I can go out and continue to learn more, meet new people, and feel accepted for being me.


But sadly, with all of the love and support I get from my friends and from the community I still get scared. I know other people do as well. I know I’m not alone in feeling this way. I know others who are scared to let certain people know if they are a part of the community. I am scared to let a lot of people know. But I also feel as though that it’s okay for everyone to know. In my mind I tell myself that if they know that I’m pansexual and this person or this group of people don’t like it then they can just get out of my life. I tell myself that if they can’t accept me or they aren’t even willing to try then they can get out of my life and it can stay that way because I don’t need negativity like that. I don’t need someone who is unsupportive and someone who will judge me because I don’t prefer the opposite gender for potential future partners. But despite telling myself that I can’t bring myself to tell my parents or any other blood relatives that I see on a regular basis other than my wonderful and loving sister. The reason being is that because even though they say they will love me and accept me no matter what, I feel like it would change if I told them. I also say blood relatives (other than my sister) because I consider my friends my family and quite a few of them know.


Also for anyone who doesn’t know what exactly it means to be pansexual then I’ll just tell you what it means to me. It means I want to have a partner for the way they treat me. I don’t want them for what gender they are or what they identify as. I want my partner to treat me right and I will not judge them for how they look, how they identify, or what gender they were born or the one they identify with. My future partner will be mine because they treat me as I deserve and because they accept me for me with all my flaws.


So now you all know. You know what I identify as in the community, that I am one of many people who are scared to share who they are, and I am proud to be able to be open to anyone who is accepting of me and who knows the “secret” I’m scared to tell certain people. I say to anyone who reads this, go out and learn about the community, learn what it means if you or someone you know is a part of it, and don’t judge someone for who they are because of how they choose a partner.


Also, if you are someone who is scared just like I am then it’s okay. I support you and I love you and I accept you for who you are. I know it’s hard but I encourage you to tell the people who don’t know who you are and show them how different you can be. Being different isn’t a bad thing. None of us were meant to be normal, there is no such thing as normal. I’m not normal and I’m proud to say it.


I’m tired of being scared and I’m tired of hiding. So if any of my family see this or anyone who doesn’t know already then here it is. I’m proud to say that I’m more pan than Peter and I’m twice as magical. And if you can’t accept it then I don’t need you in life.

Don’t Cast Away

Wed, 11/28/2018 - 17:09

by Kevin Lin, Staff Writer

Don’t cast away

This handful passion of a bygone day

Which flows like running water soft and light

Beneath the cool and tranquil fountain


At dead of night

In pine-clad mountain

As vague as sights, but you

Should ever be true


The moon is still so bright

Beyond the hills the lamp shed the same light

The sky besprinkled with star upon star

But I do not know where you are


It seems

You hang above like dreams

You ask the dark sky to give back your word

But its echo is heard

And buried, though unseen

Deep, deep in the ravine


Wed, 11/21/2018 - 17:17

By Emily Wise, Staff Writer

There was once a very beautiful witch. She fell in love with a sailor from another land. The two of them were hopelessly in love, for the witch could never leave Attrisea, or disaster would become of the crew. The boat would sink, or sickness would flow through the crew, or madness would befall everyone and they would throw themselves overboard. It was written in stone, shown through history. But the lovers had a plan. He was going to sneak her onto his ship to bring her to his land, so they could be wed. She would hide under his bunk in his room during the day, and she would come out at night, when he brought her food and they could be together.


It was night when she was packed tightly into a crate and shoved aboard the ship with the other wares. It was tight in the crate, and the wooden sides put splinters into her back, and her body ached. As the ship began moving, the rocking of the boat made her feel sick, and the smell of fish became overpowering. She closed her eyes and tried to ignore it. It was for love, she thought, she loved him and they would be happy in his land. She began to focus on the task ahead. She knew that the boat would inevitably have bad luck. But she had powerful magic in her veins, and she could use it to keep everything against them at bay.


She was in the crate for what felt like hours before the sailor opened the lid. He didn’t offer to help her up, and instead just looked at her with an odd satisfaction on his face. She got out of the crate without his help. They hugged, and looked each other in the eyes. His amber meeting her bright green. They stood in the semi-darkness, holding each other. This was real, they were going to make it. They would win.


He took her to his bunk, where they spent the night. He told her he loved her. She believed him.


The first day on sea was when the bad luck began. But not many noticed, for there was a witch in the bunks below deck, keeping the ocean calm and the ship steady. She kept it strong until lunch, when a storm came across the horizon, and sweat beads formed on her forehead as she fought nature. Her body and mind ached but she kept going. It is for love, she chanted internally, this is for love.


The first night, the sailor came back to his bunk, he held her tightly, and told her he loved her. She believed him. And he fell asleep as she powered on through the night, because nature never sleeps.


The second day, she could feel her magic running out. A sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach doubted she would make it to land. Her body felt pure, raw pain, and her mind was spinning. She needed food and sleep and freshwater. But she could feel the sickness in the ship, coursing through the wood of the hull. She let the last of her magic run wild, merging into the wood, pushing away the incoming doom. She could feel it as it swept through the ship, leaving her and letting her promptly collapse to the floor.


Just as she has felt the magic leave her, the crew felt it sweep through the ship. No one more than the captain, who had sailed to her homeland before, and had felt the effects of magic. He knew there was a witch aboard. He just had to find her.


After the witch let her magic loose, the waves started back up, and the storm became harsh and battered the deck. The captain knew this was because of the witch aboard. He also knew there was no way to get the truth from his sailors upfront. He needed a plan, and a way to catch them off guard.


As if it had seen the captain’s plan come together, the storm edged away, soon leaving the ship peaceful again, a small boat in the vast, reflective night ocean. He could see the land in the distance, and knew that the sea had reefs in the space the boat occupied. They wouldn’t make it with the witch. He called for the crew to lower the anchor into the reef, and had them come below deck. He brought out barrels of alcohol into the galley, and had a toast to another successful day at sea. As expected by the captain, the sailors drank heavily, and soon had nothing to hide. He went about, asking people questions, knowing eventually someone would speak up. Soon he came upon the sailor.


The captain questioned the sailor if he had met anyone on shore. The sailor nodded, completely unaware. He replied that yes, he had met someone, and that he had brought her along, to marry her in his homeland.


It was all the captain needed.


He stormed to the sailor’s bunk, footsteps thunderclaps in a calm ocean. They awoke the witch, who panicked, knowing this was the end. She tried to use her magic to protect her, but there was not enough left to make a difference. She felt the tears roll down her cheeks as the captain opened the door. He grabbed her roughly and dragged her to the upper deck, a confused and drunken crew following.


Tied to an anchor, she stood tall. She was too weak, struggling would be no use. Tears rolling down her face, she stared out into the inky ocean, dotted with stars. Her deathbed. The sailor walked up so her, kissed her one last time, and confessed that he had only snuck her on the boat to be the first person to get a witch from the foreign land. She went slack in her ropes, hopeless. She should have never believed him. This wasn’t of love, it was of pride. He never loved her.


She should never have left.


The crew collectively picked up the anchor, and hung her over the side of the boat, under the supervision of the captain. She didn’t struggle, and as she looked to the sky, she prayed to the Moon Goddess that she would pass easily. The Goddess ignored her plea.


The crew collectively let go of the anchor, and she hit the dark ocean. She let the salt burn her eyes the same way the air started to burn in her lungs. She soon gasped for air, and the cold sea water filled her lungs, and she struggled once again. She cried out to anything with her last air, anything to help her.


Some tellings say that her magic heard her, and came back to save her as she had worked so hard to save the crew. Others say that her pure will to live and her broken heart conjured a magic much darker than her own. Either way, she lived that night and her screams created a dark spell.


As she struggled and suffocated, her throat grew gills, and flared in the inky water to breathe. Her legs split, until from the waist down she had eight tentacles, with hooks on the underside, dark as the night sky. Her pupils widened, and she saw clearly through the water. The  burning of her lungs stopped, and her struggling ceased. The ropes broke from her wrists. She grew, both in power and size, until she towered above the ship in the dark ocean, and looked down upon it, and its crew. Smiling darkly, she easily plucked the wooden vessel out of the water and held it by her face, until she could see each crew member’s horrified face. The captain ran to the side of the ship, gripping the wood, yelling that he was right, that witches were horrid, that they should’ve killed her sooner. She smirked, looked him in the eyes, and cursed him. He would not live to see the sunlight. As he fell, she then found the sailor who broke her heart, and looked him in the eyes. Her darkened, dull green met his widened amber. She dealt with him promptly.


She crushed the vessel between her palms.


Slowly tipping the wreckage into the ocean, she grimaced. She receded back into the star-speckled water, and headed for the deep water near her home, where she hid.


Her magic is still in the water near Attrisea. Drowning victims are said to turn into mermaids in their last breath, with beautiful tails, a pretty voice, and no memory of their past life, except those of dying. The witch is known now as Eight-Tail, Queen of the Mermaids, her name long forgotten in the sea. Residing in the deep, inky water, where no mermaid dares go, she has not been seen in centuries. It is said that on dark nights, where the water is so reflective you can see the universe in the waves, she rises to see the world she left behind.

A Reflection on Truth

Wed, 11/21/2018 - 17:08

Jay Trovato, Librarian/Group Adviser

What is truth?  One definition says that it is “conformity with fact or reality.”  That is, regardless of one’s opinion, identity, or experience, there are things that can be known with certainty.  The adjective “objective” is sometimes used to emphasize this condition. If something is known objectively, it means that it exists independent of the unique perspectives of any one particular subject.  


For a long time now, however, the notion of objective truth has been losing ground in popular consciousness.  People say things like “it’s true for me” or “it resonates with me” instead of simply saying that something is true.  This view of truth can be called “subjective” because it gives an individual’s perception the authority to determine reality, rather than the other way around.  19th century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (and many other thinkers before and after him) have done a lot of thinking and writing about truth that seems to support this conclusion.  Nietzsche says that the concept we refer to as “truth” does not really exist – that it is merely a way for groups who know the “truth” to get power over other groups. Is he right? Is there such a thing as objective truth?


Before we try to answer that question, let us consider that there are multiple categories of truth.  One kind of truth is empirical or scientific truth. For example, if you take a water bottle and put it into the freezer, the water will freeze when its temperature reaches 32 degrees Fahrenheit.  This is a truth that has been determined by controlled, repeatable experimentation. There are certain situations for which this type of truth may be considered authoritative.


However, empirical or scientific truth cannot be used to prove everything.  For example, I cannot prove that my great-grandparents existed by using scientific truth.  In order to do that, I would need to use historical truth. My parents, aunts, and uncles remember my great-grandparents – they spoke with them, have recipes that they have passed down, and know their birth and death dates from family records.


Yet another type of truth could be called ethical or moral truth.  Anytime we say anything “should” happen, or call anything “right” or “wrong,” we are making a claim that rests on moral truth.  We cannot use science or history to determine that it is right to be honest, or wrong to kill, or that it’s better to give someone encouragement than to steal their lunch from the fridge.


There are certainly other fields of truth to consider as well.  So what do we say to Nietzsche or to the people who say that truth only exists subjectively and not objectively?  Well, let’s think logically for a moment. If you say, “there is no truth,” it is an inherently problematic statement because it is making a claim of truth.  You are saying that the truth is that there is no truth. But now you have denied your claim by claiming it!
Perhaps the foregoing is a simplistic example, but hopefully the point is made: Everyone believes in truth and lives life according to the truth claims that they have accepted.  The issue is not whether we should believe in truth, because everyone does. The more important question is, “What is in the truth claim and how well does it match reality?”

The Names of Her Killer: Part VI

Wed, 11/14/2018 - 17:23

By Spencer Thomas, Staff Writer


After spending no time at all trying to persuade Mr. Slyth to help them apprehend James, Rosie and Amity’s successful chase was foiled by the simple fact that the man they were after knew how to barricade a door.

Rosie knocked, figuring it was at least worth a try. “Open up,” she demanded.

“No, thank you,” James responded. They heard something metal clatter to the floor, in response to which he uttered a few more choice words.

“Did you really think he would open up?” Amity asked.

“No, but at least he was polite about it.” The police chief began to tap her foot to rhythm of the clock, until after two counts of eight she hoisted it up and kicked against the door.

“I said no!” James yelled.

“Do you want me to try and knock down the door? I’m not sure if I would be able, but I could at least try,” Amity suggested.

Before she had the chance to say yes, Rosie heard the door click. James finally opened up, but never stepped outside of the room. From what little they could see beyond him it appeared to be the kitchen.

“I’m sorry I’ve made you impatient but I’m finally ready with my threat,” he said, holding a towel up to his nose. “These things take time, don’t you know.” He reached into his pocket and whipped out a single matchstick. Both ladies crossed their arms in disapproval.

“I’ve turned on all the gas on the stove. Which means that all I have to do is light one of these and the whole place goes up just like that. Poof,” he continued to explain.

“Poof?” Amity repeated.

“Well, more like bang.” James grinned and clenched a fist dramatically. He must’ve thought it looked very impressive, but in reality it just made him look the thoroughly deranged man he was. “Now please, and I will only ask once, let me leave this house and I’d be quite happy to make sure you never see me again.”

Amity and Rosie made eye contact, a bit of silent conversation that concluded with Rosie nodding her head. They stepped to let James pass. His deranged smile faded into a mere self fulfilled smirk. He had the joyful gait of a man just released from prison, rather than that of one that was on his way.

“I’m glad you’re seeing things my way,” he said without looking back. “It’s been–” His thought was cut off by a distressed grunt, of the sort one usually produces when tackled from behind. Amity confiscated the match and held him still as Rosie secured her pair of cuffs around his hands.

“What do you have to say for yourself, Mr. Planchette? Would you care to finish that thought?” Amity asked, standing over him. She made a show of blowing out the match, despite the fact it was never lit to begin with.

“Nevermind,” James said. “Just nevermind.”


~   ~ ~


In the following months James was arrested and tried to Dr. Black’s death. Second time was the charm, it would seem, for without a competent lawyer justice prevailed and he was convicted. It was almost a shame he narrowly escaped the death sentence, thanks in part for what little his name still meant, for there were a fair few more willing to cry over his death than there were over Dr. Black’s. Hardly any cried at her funeral, and the tears of those who did could be blame on their lack of sobriety rather than any true sorrow. As the late Alaska slept eternally in her casket, James wasted away behind bars. He made a hobby of cursing her eternal soul for ruining his life, though he knew it made no difference. She too had applied to hell long ago, and he knew she got in.


Facing the Time

Wed, 11/14/2018 - 17:20

By Kevin Lin, Staff Writer

Time goes forwards, life goes backwards

Knowledge continue to grow, health continue to shrink


Four o’clock in the morning, three o’clock in the evening

Filial piety is two o’clock, leaving is one o’clock

School is twelve o’clock, graduation is zero o’clock

Dreams are unlimited, careers are everywhere


Romance is two o’clock,  family is three o’clock

Working is nine o’clock, off work is six o’clock

Continue for forty years, remain twenty years

Continue to count, how long will this continue?

TLC’s Escape Room 2018

Wed, 10/31/2018 - 18:31

Starting a few months back, the Teen Library Council turned a portion of its attention away from writing in order to the plan the second ever Escape Room event. An event that finally came into fruition last week.  While last year’s escape room was themed in the fashion of a 1940s mystery noir, reminiscent of the board game Clue, this year’s itineration took an even spookier approach.

The Teen Library Council led the attendees of the event into their usual meeting space, which had been transformed into the  the laboratory of Dr. Frankenstein. Once inside, guests were given the task of finding the three missing pieces of the Doctor’s creation, lest he be tempted to use one of their heads instead. A mixture of notes, puzzles, and wits guided guests through their quest, and fortunately in most cases, to triumph rather than untimely demise…

What lies waiting in the outside world after escaping such heinous place as the laboratory of a mad man? This year’s escape room promised a sweeter reward than mere satisfaction and relief of the nerves. Those guests who made it out in one piece we welcomed  to a selection of delectable treats, including cupcakes, snack mix, and pretzel rods decorated to look like a witch’s disembodied finger.

At the end of the evening, once the last guest was bade farewell, the Teen Library Council said yet one last goodbye to the laboratory itself. With every fake cobweb and handmade contraption taken down, there was a feeling of satisfaction perhaps greater than that of anyone who was able to escape the room. It was something planned in their own minds, made with their own hands, and it had turned out a tremendous success.