Standing around over an open patch of dirt, the junior boys are waiting to get instructions from Rob, the gardener. Fourteen white circles are drawn in the dirt, showing them where they are going to plant. Then one at a time the boys take a shovel and start to dig a hole large enough for a plant. Each person digs for a little bit and then someone else rotates in. Sweat drips down their foreheads as they dig these holes on a warm day in May. When all 14 holes were finally finished they placed the plants in the holes and filled in the remaining dirt.
I stood there feeling very awkward selling T-shirts and greeting cards at the Montclair Art Museum in Montclair, N.J. I found myself surrounded by a lot of children with bald heads or sitting in wheelchairs. After a short while I realized all of the people here and their families are just like me and my family. All of the families just want a normal afternoon where they can forget their struggles.
‘Nigel looked at her with sparkling eyes. The soul which shone through her dark face had transformed it for the moment into a beauty, more lofty and more rare than that of her shallow sister,” wrote Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in “Sir Nigel.” The passage continues with Nigel kissing her as he declares his love for her. But what if we warped it, distorted the classics a bit? Nigel looked at her with sparkling purple eyes or Nigel looked at her with sparkling red eyes.
In every generation teenagers create new terms to express themselves. It went from “swell” to “groovy” to “mind-blowing” from the 1950s through the 1970s. From the ‘80s to now “funky,” “what’s up?” and “cool!” have been used. Unfortunately, a teen’s language is also riddled with words that are extremely inappropriate: curse words.
Ilana, a senior at Ma’ayanot who chooses to remain anonymous, is turning 18 in a few weeks. Similar to many other 17-year-olds, she is looking forward to having her provisional license promoted to a standard license. This is only one of many privileges she will be granted due to her legal coming of age. In addition, she will be allowed to register to vote as well as purchase lottery tickets. Little does she know that on her 18th birthday, the most important privilege she will be granted is the ability to have a credit card under her own name.
Imagine if there were never any rules. This means no parents nagging you to clean your room and nobody pressuring you to stop watching television late at night. This also means one can do anything they wish such as stealing and committing violent crimes without any fear. If there were no constraints placed on behavior, the structure of society would diminish to such a low extent that people would have trouble just getting through one day.
For Halloween I’m probably going to dress up as Lt. Aldo Raine from the recent Quentin Tarantino blockbuster “Inglourious Basterds.” Don’t pinch yourself or blink twice — it’s true. It was between him and Michael Jackson. Now, I know those aren’t the words you expect to hear from a former student of the Yeshivah of Flatbush, but I’m serious.
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