Senior Patrick Brice still remembers back to that day last month - he had stood silently in the woods for nearly four hours, occasionally radioing two of his friends who were further from him. His hand rested tiredly on his gun, a muzzleloader, as he waited for an animal to come. Finally, he heard the crunching of leaves as footsteps slowly approached. Raising his muzzleloader with his eye fixed intently on the target, Brice squeezed the trigger. The last shot rang out and then soundlessly, the body thumped to the ground. Brice's first deer lay dead.
Over winter break, on the week of Dec. 24th, I traveled to Nicaragua to visit my mother's family. There, I observed one of the most unique and traditional celebrations of the country-a Catholic ceremony called 'la Purisima' that honors the Virgin Mary. While there, my grandmother, Vilma Lopez Mendoza decided to host her own Purisima party, composed of singing and praying to the Virgin Mary. The voices of her guests singing inside the house could be heard loudly from anywhere in the neighborhood. The living room was decorated from top to bottom in streamers, balloons and ribbons. In the center of all the decor stood a small statuette of the Virgin Mary, smiling benevolently at her guests, enjoying her celebration.
He sees the scar when he undresses at night and glances at it while he gets ready for school in the morning. Sliding lopsidedly from his heart and curving thickly across his upper chest, the mark is a constant reminder of the knife that sliced into him on May 31, 2002. He remembers the deep redness of the blood from the penetrating wound. He remembers sliding into a dark daze, ambulance sirens wailing in what seemed like a shadowy distance. The wound almost cost him his life during his freshman year, when he was stabbed by a former Blazer near Four Corners.
For a moment in time, junior David Flores' mind went blank; he forgot everything, except his intense attraction to the girl standing in front of him. Staring in her eyes, he was compelled by desire as he kissed her. It wasn't until after he had left her house that it hit him—his girlfriend was back home, and he had just cheated on her. Two years later, Flores looks back at his actions and vows never to cheat again.
Senior Andres Beriguete recalls the night when he crept through Washington, D.C., two years ago, markers, pens and spray cans in hand. Finding a vacant building wall, he quietly began to sketch furiously, sharp curves and sleek lines intertwining into intricate designs. Once he finished, he stood and admired his illustration—skillfully drawn graffiti, vandalism, yet his art.
The bitter smell of cigarette smoke wafts through the house, jam-packed with nearly 40 unsupervised teens. Empty Heineken bottles are scattered over tables, windowsills and couches. Kids lay passed out on chairs and sofas, oblivious to the deafening reggae blasting from a CD player as other intoxicated Blazers dance to the music. A pool of vomit rests undisturbed on the coffee-colored carpet. Away from the frenzy, a junior boy stands with a glass of Hennessy cognac in his hand. Knowing he will feel guilty later, he takes a long swig and dizzily rejoins the party. Meanwhile, back on 51 University Boulevard East, the 5B bell is ringing.
A blank look washes over junior Lenin Torres' puzzled face. He frowns as he silently wonders to himself, "What is the difference between Hispanic and Latino?” Though of El Salvadorian descent, Torres has never asked himself this question. "I say I'm Hispanic, but I don't know why. I really don't care.”