As days grow longer and the sun rises earlier, hope is in the air.  After over a year-and-a-half of COVID-19 quarantining, mask wearing, and online classes, life is slowly returning to normal.  Some of our students have returned to the school building for Shop and academics, but even those students who are still learning at home feel the electricity in the air.  Change is coming, and our talented students have captured the myriad of emotions brought about by those changes in their poetry, essays, letters, photos and artwork.  Enjoy!



Photo by: Vanessa Amfo-Eyeh

by Kayla Frasier 

I am filled with loss, sadness, and boredom

I miss life before the pandemic came

I wish to go back, back to happiness

Back to when I had my friends and had dance


A lot of times I am very wild 

But now that I am older, I want love

Someone who can understand me for me

Someone who I want to spend my time with

Who will bring me happiness and bring love


I need that during these hard and tough times

I have a need to fill this empty void 

I’m doing all the wrong things and the right

But everything happens for a reason

and so will the love I truly desire


Dear Editors, 

I’d like to start before anything else by thanking you for editing Stripes. You may or may not recognize my name from some of the submissions, but I’m gracious for what you do. It allows many young people to challenge themselves or to show their skills off. And I’m grateful that you’re here to present it all to the world, or at least for our small community to see. My favorite poem from the Winter issue was “Covid Calendar” by Isabella Sanchez.

It was a heartfelt poem right off the bat, I could tell. It didn’t have a rhyme scheme, sure, and perhaps was a bit choppy at times, but that fact that it was heartfelt was what won me over. You could see that the poet recalled each month for like scripture and that some months were more difficult and surreal than others.  It felt human, and natural, and unforced. The idea is unique as well, to create a poem each month, and detail what happened to her, or to the world and to the people around us. That’s what captivated me as well. That it wasn’t just her in those months, she detailed everything and used imagery to only make her poems even more surreal. Just like the months of 2020, her poems taught lessons, or better yet, reminded us of the lessons of each month and life as whole. But her poems ended abruptly, and 2020 is now over so I wonder if she had written the poems for the months now, would there have been a greater take away she’d leave us with? 

To be able to see from another person’s point of view is what’s beautiful about poems like these. It helps you break out of your boxed in world, and realize everyone’s going through the same troubles as you. Editor, I do not know what your favorite from this year’s selection would be but I thought you’d appreciate seeing that your editing provides people with a place to gather their ideas and thoughts and share with the world. 

Thanks again, 

Louis Meagher-Di Ello 



Dear Editors : 

The title of my favorite poem in your Winter issue is “HOW TO BE A DEER IN 2020” by Adamaris Perez. I gravitate towards it because I honestly found the title amusing. The poem is about the year 2020 and how horrible it was. They used the imagery of a deer to describe the year. The use of imagery was pretty amazing. I don’t read poems that often, especially unrhymed, but it was an enjoyable experience nonetheless. This was my favorite poem by far.  For its unique symbolism, I enjoyed it. The poem is pretty depressing like the year itself. It moves me on an emotional level and I am happy to have read it.


Nicholas Jurusz 



Artwork by: Andy Villeda

by Andy Villeda

-Don’t be hard on yourself, take your time. It’s never too early or too late. 

-Do not perpetuate or follow stereotypes. 

-Only YOU can control yourself, choose your path, and reach your dream(s), not anyone else. You do you and have them do them. 

-You will always be learning and exploring every day. You will always be better than you were yesterday. 

-When something bad happens you have 3 choices: you can either let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you. 

-Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. Think outside the box about it, and focus on what you can do or change instead of what you can’t do or change. 

-The comeback is always stronger than the setback. Think about how much more that accomplishment will mean to you if you’re able to overcome your struggle or hindrance. You’re gonna come out feeling so much stronger, that you can literally take on anything that’s thrown at you. Take that setback as something you can use to strengthen yourself, and come out back on top even better. 




by Adamaris Perez

Take it from a Senior, life is going to throw a lot of curveballs. As hard as it is to hear, the only thing you’ll be able to do is push through it with hope that it’ll get easier. Sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn’t. But at the end of the day you’ll always go to sleep with the satisfaction that you tried as hard as you could. Many times, the worst things that will happen to you will not be your fault. As long as you keep trying you’re going to be okay. We can’t control most of the situations we are put through. But we are always given the choice how to deal with it. That’s the one thing life can’t take away from us: choice. And we know life is full of them. Sometimes, we will make wrong choices, and that’s okay. We don’t have to be perfect 24/7; we’re human. My advice to you: do the best you can and cut yourself some slack. These are trying times and we should be more than proud that we’ve made it this far.

Good luck!


by Gustavo Paz

Nicki M. is my favorite artist.

When I am down her music lifts me up.

No other artist makes me feel this way.

For twenty-four hours a day, I hear

The sweet sound of her angelic music.

From her flow to the sick and catchy beats. 

All the puns and metaphors that I love.

Those features make all these songs better.

She’s the best female rapper of all time.

All four of her albums make me want to dance.

I will never stop listening to her.

Her legacy will forever live on!

To the day I grow old I will “stan” for her.

To Nicki Minaj, the love of my life.


Photo by: Jarien Sanabria

by Michael Zappola

The lead-off hitter is the Arsonist

He starts the heat

The second hitter is the bodyguard

He is all about making sacrifices

The third hitter is the variety show

He has many talents

The fourth hitter is the carpool

He drives everyone to the game and home

The fifth hitter is the money player

When it comes to him it’s all or nothing

The six through eight are Gumps

You never know what to expect out of them

The ninth hitter is the VP of the team

If the team is down he cheers them up and puts them back on their feet


Dear Teddy, 

I scrolled through all of the entries in the Winter issue of Stripes and I kid you not, my mouth fell open when I found yours– “American Students in the Midst of a Pandemic.” I always knew you were an overachiever (which is a very good thing, I have a lot of respect for you), but wow! You went above and beyond and I appreciate your dedication to sharing the facts. 

In your article, you discussed our workloads, grades, and mental health, which are all things that have been on my mind as of late. I have to say, I was not surprised when I saw that over 70% of students felt that their workloads increased and that nearly 50% of students had worse mental health than they had in March. As one of your friends and one of the people you interviewed, I already knew that I could trust your results. But after seeing that you also asked 70 other people and cited reliable websites, I was even more inclined to do so (even though you should never trust a guy who wears jeans to his own wedding. Haha inside joke). 

Your article is by far my favorite because you shed light on issues affecting our school– both students and teachers. Hey, maybe you’ll even help the students at MCVTS talk to our teachers and ask for a lighter workload. I just feel so much less alone after reading it. Thank you for putting so much time and effort into your piece! 


Isabella Sanchez

Click on “Previous” to see the rest of the Spring 2021 issue!

Skip to toolbar