Unexpected Greatness

An anthology of student writing.

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Click the image to read the full anthology!

I am from the Bronx. I grew up about 15 mins away from Van Nest Academy in the Pelham Parkway. When I was in 7th grade, college to me was only a dream. I didn’t know how realistic of an option it was at that time, but I held that thought dear to my heart as I uncovered my true passion of writing and poetry.

No matter how much I love writing, I still know it’s not an easy craft. But like with anything it’s about practice. Find what you love. Then practice. Then practice some more. Life is all about our passions, our dreams, our ambitions and the dedication it takes to persevere. It’s about the behind the scenes work we hardly get to see. It’s about unlocking your imagination.

College is just that. Practice for life. Practice for dealing with situations, developing relationships, establishing goals and routines, becoming professional. But most of college is about opportunity. The opportunity to discover yourself and stretch your imagination.
In our sessions, we did exactly that. We challenged our own perspective of when to think about college. We wrote about college. We imagined our futures through career poems. We responded to our own passions to create essays that show the sheer talent, ambition and drive of what makes each and every single one of you talented.

You are already amazing but have the potential to let the world know it as well. Take advantage of your own talents by maximizing your efforts. Master your crafts and continue to think about college.

With Love,
Jay Howard
T&W Writer and Poet

Featured Writing

Bats in the Belfry
by Jayden (7th grade)

I have always wondered what it feels like when you die. What channels it? I have been thinking about this ever since my mother died on April 3, 2013. Yet, I have faced worse challenges than this.

Welcome, take a seat while I talk to you about my dysfunctional life. First off, question. Do you know what it feels like to have ADHD? Actually don’t answer that, it’s a rhetorical question. I have ADHD which if you didn’t already know it stands for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactive disorder. A lot of people don’t know how it feels to have ADHD. They say, “Oh, you can control it.” Well that’s easy for you to say. I have ADHD and it is frustrating. Half of the time I don’t even realize I am doing something wrong until someone yells at me. I take medicine but that doesn’t stop me from blurting something out. Did I tell you that I’m adopted, No? Oh well I’m adopted and if you don’t know what that means then I’m not actually going to tell you. That is why we have the INTERNET. Anyway if you think I got adopted when my mother died then uh ho ho, you’re so wrong. Don’t assume, it’s rude. I was sent to a foster home right after birth. Now, don’t expect me to tell you why I was sent there because that is another story for a different time. But don’t you worry just yet, I was adopted by my aunt or whatever but I still get to see my sister from another mother who is also adopted. Also known as my foster sister. (Oh, I am I going to use “also” a lot) If you knew me you would know that I’m super shy and awkward. What makes it worse is that I have a high pitch voice. Now don’t get me wrong, I do use it to test other’s patience, I take my  Elmo/squeaker reputation very VERY seriously. People judge and I just say “Thanks captain obvious, now maybe if you were to shut up then maybe I’ll be quiet if you find my voice so incessant.” Now I am most certainly the odd one out. Everyone either talks about basketball or Fortnite. I mean literally that is the only thing they ever talk about in my school every day. I guess the challenge I face is just trying to fit in. Which is every day. Mind you I have mood swings like every five minutes so you know, I never have anything to talk about so they either say one thing and walk away or I start talking and they walk away and after 5 minutes I finally realize I’m talking to myself. Whoops. Yea I’m weird. But that is expected and everybody who knows me well takes initiative on that. Well that just about wraps up my life issues. But as you know everything has an end (well except for this constant urge to listen to Pumped Up kicks, oh wait—I just had a mood swing, now I want to sit in a corner and contemplate what I’m still doing here.) So if you sat through this and read it all the way through, cool! However if you didn’t then let me give you a quick rundown of what happened… umm I just told you all the challenges I face in my daily life.

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