Contests & Special Events

 

Thank you to all who took part in our last writing contests.

We ARE PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE the winners BELOW:

6TH PLACE:

  • BRAYDEN LOUIE

 

 

 

 

 

 

5TH PLACE TIE:

  • BAVANA PYDIPATI

  • ADITIKRISHNA MANDULA

  • SHRIMAYEE GRANDHI

4TH PLACE TIE:

  • SOPHIE CHAN

  • NICHOLAS JIANG

  • AASHITA GUPTA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3RD PLACE TIE:

  • SADHANA TADEPALLI

  • SHRUTI SENTHILRAM

  • NIKHILA PASAM

  

2ND PLACE TIE:

  • YIFEI LONG

  • MAYUKHI KATRAGADDA

1ST PLACE:

  • SHUBHA VAJRAGIRI

8TH GRADERS

The sadness has left me. The murkiness has left me. The negativity has left me. Remembering the dark clouds of sorrow blocking the bright sunlight of bliss from the last year, I sense a word that describes the high rays that break free once in a while: Escape. I want to escape like a deep-water animal captured in the obscure parts of the ocean and breaking free in the shallow, illuminated surface of the water.

Procrastination increases stress. Procrastination hinders progress. Procrastination impedes improvement. One thing I would change about 2019 is the amount of time I lost due to procrastination. This year, I wish to focus like a river, which has only one path, downstream. As a river flows at high-speed, I will complete my tasks as quickly as possible. Rivers are powerful. They cut through the earth to complete their course. Like the will of a river, I will achieve my goals and not let anything deter me. As I reflect on my 2019 and look back on those long, tiring nights stressing about the coming day, I think of a word that is a reminder, telling me to start working, telling me to keep my goals in sight, the word: Focus.

“For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned,” states polymath Benjamin Franklin. If we don’t eat, we starve. If we don’t drink, we starve. If we don’t organize, we suffer. I retract. As I ponder upon the past year of 2019 and recollect the events like shearwater birds that clutter my ribbon-looping mind, I picture a word that clears away the sludge-oozing mess, sweeping away the pungent mud, a word I can reflect back to in times of disparity, a word to represent calm, peace: organize. I contemplate. I wish to be organized like ferns that have pleasantly spaced leaves and fronds, battling chaos, retaliating chaos, warring with chaos. “Organize” will help me un-clutter my imaginary-brother’s-messy-room schedule, will remind me of the need to clean. Organize: my word, my idea, my new life.

Who knew she would be the sword to her own happiness, ending and painful. Who knew that the imaginative, happy five-year old would become a stone-hard statue of low self-esteem. Poor little girl, for she constantly dragged down by the endless anchor of self-doubt, gagged of self-doubt, smothered of self-doubt. She was deprived of love, deprived of joy, deprived of heart. She wished she could change. Yet, she was redolent of a bereft weed, always undermined and tugged at. She made sure to glance both ways before crossing the threshold of adventure. All she needed was a little confident, but that was as scarce as water in a sun-dry desert. I was once that young girl. And, I still am. But, I can change that this year. As I reflect on 2019 and recall times of sorrow and pain. I imagine a word which will shower the light of hope upon me, a word that I can look up to when trampled down by the lack of self-esteem, the word: shine. I wish to shine like the Sun, with its graceful rays of hope, piercing my darkened world of despair.

“Before you can be anything, you have to be yourself that’s the hardest thing to find,” says American writer, E.L. Konigsburg. I find this quote very true as I reflect on last year. I think of a word that is reminiscent of stars, guiding me through the dark when I’m lost, helping me when I’m afraid and lonely. Everybody gets lost sometimes. It may just take some time to find ourselves. As I reflect on 2019 and remind myself of what’s happening in the world around me, I imagine a word that would help me through the good and bad times, a word that gives me hope, a word that reminds me to not give up, a word that tells me to keep looking, the word: Search.

I need to zoom in. I wouldn’t self-motivate, couldn’t concentrate, couldn’t succeed. Reflections on 2019, I can remember my parent’s disappointment in me and my lack of self-drive. A clear word pops up, one that can remind me to be more concentrated: Focus. Focused, a hard working out fixed on doing what’s best for the colony. Focused, a telescope aimed at a bright, distant star. Thinking of this word allows me to remember to continue to strive for my goals, to be determined, and to pinpoint my attention to my priorities. By the end of 2020, I hope I’m finally able to see it. I hope I can self-motivate, concentrate, succeed, and most of all focus.

Contemplating my constant struggles of a blurred objective in 2019 that troubled my purpose, I decide to look beyond, I envision a word that will comfort me in times of need, a word that will remind me of my task, the word: Fire. “You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw rocks at every dog that barks.” Winston Churchill. Focusing is a success-spurring skill. The word fire is redolent of the urge to accomplish. To be winner. I will recall the term fire, evoking determination to concentrate on the task at hand. My desire to achieve is the burning fire in me that keeps me going through times of need and desperation that will aid me in the difficult times ahead. Pushing me. Focusing is the key to a locked door of victory. I need the code to open the gate. I need to have a motive and swing the gate wide open. I aspire to concentrate and I attempt to succeed. 2019 may have brought a blur to my motive, but 2020 will provide the glasses when I remember this word, my word: Fire.

Run and don’t ever look back. Run and accomplish your goals. Run and be the person you want to be. As I look back upon the year 2019, I am reminded of the times that I felt there was no use in completing certain tasks, but I realized that if I stop midway, I will never be able to achieve anything. I imagine a word that will entangle me from myself, from what’s been holding me back, a word to represent my motivation is the word: run. Running gives me freedom. Throughout 2020, I want to free myself from looking back upon my mistakes, presenting shimmering-golden-ribbon opportunities to turn my wrongs into rights. I wish to get rid of any obstacles stopping me from achieving my goals reminiscent of a bright, disastrous fire engulfing everything in its path. Although I walked slowly through 2019, in 2020, I want to run, and unbind myself from that little voice that has been holding me down.

Thinking. Smiling. Breathing. As I reflect on 2019 and remember the cluster of work that choked my spirits and time, I imagine a word that acts as a guidance, whispering slowly in a thousand different ways, a word that cleans the barrage of work, a word to put my raging mind at peace, the word: breathe. I wish to organize my thought like the different flowers in a meadow, each flower in a certain place that pulls together the ever-lasting beauty of spring. Instead of pushing myself to work harder, pushing myself to stay focused, and pushing myself to be consistent, I’ll try to take a deep breath and simply stay positive. In the year of 2020, I will put my happiness before my work, thwarting the poison called stress with one word in my memory: breath.

“We never know the worth of water till the well is dry,” stated historian Thomas Fuller. We see people realizing this truth almost every day, including myself. This ice-cracking proverb intimates that people never really appreciate the value for something until it’s gone—it helps everyone to understand not to take things for granted and to learn to be thankful, to master the art to be thankful. This is something I haven’t done in the year 2019. As I reflect on the year of 2019 and recollect memories of my pessimistic attitude, I imagine a word that acts as an optimistic guide, a word I can hold on to in times of failure, the word: flow. I wish to flow like the majestic blue-black river that gracefully journeys downhill, its water splashing everywhere, giving nutrition and water to those all around it. In the same way, I wish to be a generous and sympathetic person, giving the people around me happiness and joy. I wish to appreciate. I wish to be thankful. I wish to become optimistic. The river’s intentions are as sweet as an apple slice dipped in spices, the sound of a stone rippling in a pond, the silkiness of a melted chocolate bar. The swirl of blue and green within the river is redolent of the hope I face to learn to appreciate everything in the following year, 2020. Though 2019 brought me misery and failures, 2020 will gift me happiness and success with my word, flow, and the concept of appreciation.

Water can tear down cliffs and mountains. Water can shred cities that took decades to build. Water can be calm and beautiful when it finally settles. During 2019, I have been thrown around like a boat in a thunderstorm. A storm of challengers, A storm of bad decisions. I tread the crushing waters of hate, trying not to be pulled in by the swirl of despair and anger. As the salt stings my throat, I grab onto something. I cling to the hope, the hope that maybe just maybe, 2020 will be different, instead of being rocked by the crackling thunder of assignments, the rain of regrets, maybe I can relax in calm waters. The gales of stress and pressure churning the thrashing waves could slow down to a light breeze. Perhaps I could reconcile with the storm. I hope that my life will slow down like a roaring riptide resting in a dark pier. As I recall the whirlpool of events that was my 2019, I see the slowing currents of messiness, the splashes of terrible decisions. Staring at this hurricane of events, I feel a single word crash over me like a towering tsunami. A word, no more that just a word: settle.

Rope fixes. Rope tightens. Rope chokes. It suffocates my mind and body building a cell with no rainbows. It is made of ingredients that poison the brain, words like problems or pressure. It imprisons our wings and detains our thoughts. It’s deadly. As I recall the year 2019 and remember the strangulating rope of stress that trapped my mind, trapped my thoughts, trapped my spirit, I vision a word that snips the rope of stress, gifting me with freedom, a word that I can think of in times of pain, a word to embody a new way of handling stress: Blaze—a reminder to break the walls of trouble. I yearn to blaze through stressful scenarios like a stubborn wildfire, burning problems and scorching pressure. I long to be unstoppable flame. Flying fiery-red, I wish to be a Phoenix, soaring through mountains of hardship and over rivers of  fear. I long to be an untamable bird. Even in times of trapping chaos, I want to be a firefly lighting up during midnights of stress. I long to be glowing star. And although calmly-flowing with water sounds appealing my soul craves for raging solution, a fiery blaze, a new year that will be a sea of flames, a new decade that will be released from this choking rope.

7TH GRADERS

WRITING

3RD PLACE:

  • APUROOP PADAMATINTI

2ND PLACE:

  • ISSAC HSIUNG

 

1ST PLACE:

  • ASHWIKA JANI

 

ART

3RD PLACE:

  • SANVI GILLELLA

  

2ND PLACE:

  • ASHWIKA JANI

1ST PLACE:

  • AMBER CHI

A waiting-for-a-snowflake-to-land-on-your-tongue Quiet

An I-just-realized-there’s-a-fire-in-the-fireplace-and-I’m-stuck-in- the-chimney Quiet

A snowflake-watching, nose-pressed-against-window, snow-in-my-hair Quiet

8TH GRADERS

HONORABLE MENTION:

  • ADITIKRISHNA MANDULA

3RD PLACE TIE:

  • ADITIKRISHNA MANDULA

  • SOPHIE CHAN

 

2ND PLACE TIE:

  • ADITIKRISHNA MANDULA

  • AASHITA GUPTA

 

 

1ST PLACE:

  • AUDREY LAU

He was elated, his heart light, an angel fluttering through the bright sunset as she paints the clouds vibrant shades of coppery gold.

When he left her, left her on that muddy sidewalk, left her on that rainy London day, her lovely, tender heart broke, a porcelain doll falling down and shattering into tiny pieces never to be seen again.

Her heart is full of warmth and compassion, the comfort of a warm, fluffy blanket on a cold, wintry night.

He loved her one day, but the next day she was dead; his heart beat slower and slower as time passes, a clockwork tin soldier faltering as the machinery ceases to a halt.

The fire burned her diary, burned her hopes, burned her dreams, her thoughts never to be seen, never to be heard, never to be known, a candle, melting with every second it is left burning, soon to be puddle of candle wax, un-scrapable.

My heart overflows with emotion, a sparkling sunset scattered with shards of soothing pale hues, able to flurry into a freezing blizzard, wind crashing through towering cities, frosty hail decimating every car in sight to bits of nothingness, a natural disaster.

HONORS 7TH GRADERS

VALENTINE POEM

PARTICIPANTS

  • HARINI MANDA

  • ANAY AGRAWAL

  • RISHABH MANUR

  • KAMYA KAINTH

  • PATRICIA WU

  • ARUSHI MUNDERGI

  • ISSAC HSIUNG

  • HAASINI YAKKALA

  • ASHWIKA JANI

When it flows calmly, relax. When its currents tangle, row. When that river drops into a waterfall, splash. Bearing in mind 2019’s attempts to lasso me away from tranquility. I imagine a word that vetoes this force, that lures me in the opposite direction, that finds bliss in any situation. I imagine a word that liberates me from the temptation to give into the chaos, the word: Splash. First, to splash means to create joy in a tough situation, to spread light in a timeless darkness. I’ll be my own flashlight. Not even a sailor can predict the dangers of the river ahead. And that swift, boat-propelling breeze needed to boost morale won’t come by itself; I must create it, forge it, from our desire to escape crisis. I will foster happiness instead of fearing the fall from that waterfall, I’ll indulge in the magical-kingdom-blue beauty it holds. I’ll feel its tangible fantasy. This word will act as an everlasting reminder that I must enjoy each moment to the fullest, the way the sailor lets the waterfall exhilarate him. This word will inspire me. So, when heavy, sky-clogging clouds bring rain, I will splash. Through peaceful waves, through raging riptides, through the clashing waterfall, I will splash. I will splash.

Updated 2/18/20

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