The Bayside Gazette
Student Newspaper: Issue #8 – June 15, 2012
Alexander the not so Great
By: Ethan Lipka
Alexander the Great was a deadly cold-blooded killer. He inherited a large army from his father and he conquered many kingdoms. The way he did this, however, was terrible and inhumane. Although he did do some good things Alexander the Great was a blood-thirsty, power-hungry tyrant who had no intention to do good.
People say Alexander the Great built impressive cities such as Alexandria in Egypt. Although these cities were great, they were built on the ruins of cities he destroyed. When building cities residents were enslaved and forced to build in place of what was destroyed on Alexander the Great’s war path. Then he wouldn’t let them use what they built. Such as in Alexandria where the Egyptians weren’t allowed in the great library they had there. And even though he built cities and repopulated them, he only did this after killing or enslaving tens of thousands of people. Many cities he built were poor and weak because he completely ignored his own empire while conquering the rest of the known world.
Many people say Alexander should be praised, for he promoted learning, unlike many people of that time. However, the learning he promoted was found by interrogating religious leaders to find the good things in cultures. After he got the information he wanted, he killed the religious leaders for resisting him. This was done a lot to the Brahmins of India. Alexander the Great even destroyed knowledge and learning. In the capitol of Persia, while drunk, after the battle, he told his soldiers to burn down the library, which was a huge learning center and a cultural achievement at the time.
Alexander spread Greek culture far and wide as a result of his conquest. These Greek ideas helped people, but were spread them through inhumane, unnecessary deaths. In some places such as India he would kill every man and enslave every woman and child. In this process he lost a lot of men for no reason that died due to foolish decisions Alexander the ‘Great’ made while drunk in battle.
Alexander the Great enslaved thousands and killed tens of thousands of people. He destroyed great cities, and learning centers of the ancient world. He drove his men like they were slaves and never stopped wanting more. He was a blood-thirsty, power hungry, cruel, greedy king who had no intention to bring peace. On his deathbed he was asked, “To whom do you leave your kingdom?” He replied, “To the best and the strongest.” Alexander didn’t care about being a hero. His decision to not choose a ruler to take his place caused fighting for over one hundred years. He wanted to be strong, feared, and respected. His goal wasn’t peace. He was a villain.
By: Dani J. Wang
I woke up to the sunlight shining in through the leaves above my head. I reached for my bow and arrow and panicked when I didn’t feel the smooth yew wood under my fingertips. I stood up and was hit by a wave of dizziness, which I quickly shook off. I looked around on the branch I was sleeping and noticed that my falcon, Falka, was still sleeping. The sun had just risen, and I am usually a late sleeper, so I wondered why I was awakened so early, but that was an obvious question to ask. My bow and arrow was made for me by a wikled, or forest sprite, and is connected to my soul, which makes the arrows fly true in this dark medieval era, where wizardry rules every other peaceful forest. But anyway, where was that…oooohhhh I get it. I crept up to my “sleeping” falcon, and playfully shoved her off the branch to find my bow where she was sitting, but no arrows.
“Falka, where are my arrows, don’t pretend that you can’t understand me, because you can, as for talking, your speech is crude, but understandable. So please return them, NOW.”
“Me don’t know where Crimsonleaf’s arrows is. Honest, me swear me don’t have, on me primary feathers, me don’t know.”
“Falka, whenever you saw that u swear on your primary feathers, you do have it, when you swear on your secondary feathers, you don’t. Now, Give Them Back, Do You Think I’m Dumb?”
“Crimsonleaf is no fun. No fun, too loud too.” grumbled Falka as she pulled out the oak arrows from a nearby branch.
We walked to the nearby spring to bathe and drink the waters. I looked in the opposite direction of the path and felt a bubble of sadness wave over me. I was at the age of 10, accused of killing my towns’ prized hunting dog, and was sent out to the forest. I later found the dog bleeding, but not severely and returned it to my town with a note. I watched them pray and cry for me to come back, but being an orphan and bullied constantly, I chose to take care of Falka instead. Falka was offered to me by the Wikled, and not being ready to return to my tribe, I accepted to take care of her. But they still know I’m alive.
“Do you want to visit the town again Falka?”
“Yea Crimson, careful though, me saw ugly dog run ‘round town this morning.”
Later, after I bathed and hunted, I went to take my daily meal under the tree, but accompanying the meal, there was a note.
“Crystal, please help us find Raven. We suspect that he was taken by bandits -townsfolk”
Huh, they now blame everything on the bandits. But even though Raven bullied me a lot, I should still attempt to look for her. Ha, Crystal, there is no person that’s called that anymore, I used to be called that, but I changed my name to Crimsonleaf.
“What do you think Falka? Should I?”
“Me think Crimsonleaf should, and can help town, and maybe they let us live in warm home.” whispered Falka.
Falka was never a wild falcon, raised in a warm barn, her mother was a famed royal British hunting falcon, and took great care of her, or so she says.
“Maybe later Falka, you need to find some proper food, not this sugary junk. Anyway, I need to stock up on the last of the game around here, before winter breathes in on us.”
“Crimsonleaf, wake up, me saw stranger walking toward Snake Field, come quick.”
I was up in a flash, with my bow and arrow on my back; we rushed to find the “stranger” Falka saw. When the birds’ singing died down a bit, we slowed to a walk. We were walking slowly and very carefully, tense and alert for even the slightest rustle of a leaf disturbed by a slithering body. This part of the wood was very dangerous, for a large snake lived here, preying on anyone who wandered into its brilliant field. The field was peaceful, but no life could be seen, at least not until it’s too late. I never came this far, and besides, from Falka’s reports, it was a bit eerie too.
“Where am I? Bethany dares me to take a walk but there’s nothing scary here as she said. The only con is that I’m so far from home.”
“Raven, what are you doing here; we have to get out of here.”
“Crystal, what are you doing here? My mum said that you were dead.”
“No time for that now, let’s go.”
“No. Not until you tell me.”
“Well, if you want to die here you-”
“DIE!!!! Let’s go get out of here!”
“Sssshhhh, don’t yell and don’t move and don’t object to what I say.”
I craned my head toward the direction of the hiss I heard, and soon spotted a sinister pair of yellow eyes. As I beckoned to Raven to stay still, I notched an arrow to my bow and aimed. The arrow flew from my bow just as the snake struck. I hoped I had a fired lethal shot as we ran.
“Run, Raven, follow me and run as if death was behind you!!”
I set a paced run, with Marthina and Falka at my heels. But just as we are in sight of the town, Raven cries out in pain. I whirl around and found a snake square lying dead with an arrow between the eyes. It wasn’t my arrow, but it was too late. I dragged her back, and after a few desperate minutes, I got my adopted parents to carry Marthina inside.
“What shall we do Falka?”
“What about the Wikled? Can he help?
“Yes, I think he can.” I said, breathing in, “and I know just where to find it.”
“But there be not enough time, would there? Me don’t know what snake bit Raven, but judging from state she in, it not long ‘til she passes.”
“Then you have to fly there, Falka, remember the tree where you caught your first squirrel? Under the rock is where the Wikled lives. Fly fast Falka.”
I burst to the room where Raven is laying, and I find her lying on a white mat, paler than usual and sick looking, with her family crowded around the tiny mat.
“Crystal, Raven will not live much longer.”
“My name isn’t Crystal anymore, I changed it.”
“Then pray tell, what are you called?”
“What is going on here? Am I too late?”
I whirl around to find the Wikled standing in the doorway. I hear gasps of astonishment as people turn around to see the famed creature with their own eyes.
“Are you people going to stand around and gape at me or will you let me in and allow me to save your precious Raven?”
“Of course, of course, please let him in.”
The Wikled came in and knelt beside Raven. He told me to usher everyone out of the room, and that he will use very strong magic. He had not come out until midnight, but when he did, he gave me a bag of medicine and told me to give it to Raven in the morning. He said that she would survive, patted my hand and told me that everything will fare well, but to not let go of what the wilderness taught me. The Wikled then used a frail maple stick and limped toward the forest. I never saw him again, but Raven fared well. I returned to my home after four long years in the wilderness, Raven became my best friend and Falka was content to hunt mice in the barn as well as staying indoors at night. I guess everything did turn out well, but some days, I wonder if the snake I shot still slithers around the meadow, or if its carcass lay picked with the blue-feathered arrow between its eyes.
By: Jessica Beskind
15-year-old Riley Evans pushed opened the door to the small house she shared with her grandmother. “Granny! I’m home!”
She walked into the living room where Granny sat in front of a fire, knitting. She looked up at Riley. “How was school today?”
“Good, we got the job list today. I haven’t looked at it yet.”
Riley sat next to the fire and took the job list out of her backpack. “Is it that time already?” Granny asked. “I remember the day I got my job list. I was so excited to graduate from school and become a knitter.”
Riley went pale as she looked at the paper in front of her. “What’s wrong dear?” Granny asked.
“It’s on the boy’s list.”
All her life, Riley had been interested in machines. She loved taking them apart and putting them back together. Tech Worker was Riley’s dream job; she wanted to make tools and technology that could be used by all the people in her village. But it was the piece of paper she held in her hands that made her dream seem so far away. The job list was split in half. One half had jobs meant for girls, the other half for boys. And it just so happened that the job “Tech Worker” was included in the boy’s list, not the girl’s.
“Let me see that list,” Granny said.
Riley handed Granny the list. Granny peered down at the paper. She sighed. “You know dear, there is no law that says girls aren’t allowed to choose jobs off the boy’s list. I think, if you want to be a Tech Worker, you should choose it.”
She handed the list back to Riley. Riley took it and smiled. She always felt better after talking to Granny. She decided that she would go hang out with her friends. “I’m going out,” she told Granny. “I’ll be back soon.
Riley left her backpack on the living room floor and Granny to her knitting. She headed towards the village square where she knew her friends would be gathering to talk about which jobs they had chosen. Sure enough, as she walked into the square she saw a group of her friend talking in hushed voices, bending over pieces of paper. Riley made her way over to them.
As she got closer, Riley could see her best friend, Amanda, in the group. “Hi guys,” she said.
“Hey Riley!” Amanda said. “What job have you chosen?”
“Tech Worker,” Riley said quietly.
Amanda gasped, and everyone in the group turned to look at Riley. Riley felt her cheeks grow hot in embarrassment. “But Riley,” Amanda said. “Isn’t Tech Worker a job on the boy’s list?”
All the girls fell silent, waiting for Riley’s response. “Well…. I suppose it is,” Riley stammered. “But I like building machines and…. I thought it was the right job for me.”
Amanda laughed, and a couple other girls joined in. “Riley,” Amanda said. “Tech Worker is not the right job for you. You are a girl, and Tech Worker is a job on the boy’s list. You would be much better suited for a job like knitting. Wasn’t your grandmother a knitter? She could help teach you. I’m just trying to help; you should seriously consider my advice.”
Amanda turned back to the other girls. One by one, the other eyes watching Riley also turned away. Riley wasted no time running out of the square towards home.
The next morning, Riley was surprised to find Granny in her bed, the sheets drawn up around her like a cocoon. “Granny!” Riley said, alarmed. “Is something wrong?”
“No dear, I’m just feeling a little sick this morning. But come here, I have something to tell you.”
Riley sat on the bed next to Granny. “I know you were upset by what Amanda said yesterday. But I want you to listen to me. Who knows you better than anyone else?”
“Me,” Riley said.
“That’s right. So who would know, better than anyone else, what job is right for you?”
“That’s right. Now, I think you can figure out the best job for you.”
Riley nodded. “Thanks Granny.”
Riley walked out of Granny’s bedroom and got ready for school. She had grabbed her backpack and was about to head out the door when she heard her name. “Riley.”
Riley turned and saw Granny in the doorway of her room. “Don’t let anyone sway your decision. Know what is right for you, and understand that what is right for them is different. Fly above them.”
Then she turned and disappeared into her room. Riley walked out the door, thoughtful. By the time she had gotten to school, she had made up her mind.
When she walked into her classroom, Riley saw that all her classmates were already there. The chairs were pushed into lines, each with a little piece of paper taped to it. “Come in, Riley,” Ms. Knight, her teacher, said.
Riley stood next to her classmates. “Now that everyone is here, I want you to find the seat with your name on it.”
The class moved forward and found their seats. “When I call your name,” Ms. Knight said, “I want you to stand up and tell me the job you have chosen.”
Riley watched as her classmates stood up and told Ms. Knight what job they had chosen. She listened with a pounding heart, until finally she heard her name. “Riley Evans.”
Riley stood up, aware that every pair of eyes in the room was on her. “Tech Worker,” she said in a shaky voice.
Riley heard Amanda sigh and a couple of girls snicker, but her eyes remained on Ms. Knight. Ms. Knight looked down at her list, up at Riley, and back down at the list. A puzzled expression crossed her face, but after what seemed like an eternity to Riley, Ms. Knight said, “Okay, you may sit down now.”
Riley sat down in relief. It was over. Then, a wave of happiness washed over her. She had gotten the job she wanted.
After school, Riley skipped home; feeling like her heart would fly out of her chest. As soon as she got home, her heart plummeted. She saw every doctor in the village, coming in and out of her house. Riley ran over and burst into the house. “What happened?!” she asked the nearest doctor.
The doctor looked at her in sympathy. “You must be Caroline Evans’ granddaughter. I’m so sorry dear, but you grandmother has passed away.”
The next morning, Riley dragged herself out of bed. She was still devastated about Granny’s death, but she couldn’t miss the first day of training for her new job. For the next two months she would take a class that would teach her how to be a Tech Worker. Riley grabbed her backpack and headed out the door.
Riley’s new classroom had five desks in it with two seats at each desk. All the seats were taken, except for one near the front, next to a boy with sandy blond hair and glasses. Riley sat down in the seat. She surveyed the class, and saw that all the students spare her were boys. She turned to the boy sitting next to her. “Hi,” she said.
“Hello,” the boy said.
Just then, the teacher walked in. “Good morning class, let’s get started, shall we?”
When class was over, Riley rushed out the door. She saw Amanda sitting with some friends outside the building. As soon as Amanda saw Riley, she rushed over to her.
“Riley,” Amanda scolded. “Why did you pick Tech Worker? The class is all boys, isn’t it? I told you. Don’t you want to hang out with girls? We are going shopping, what to come?”
“I’d like to” replied Riley, “but I can’t right now. I really have to get home.”
“Fine then.” Amanda said huffily.
Amanda walked back over to her friends. Riley didn’t want to go home to an empty house, so she headed for the village park she had often gone with Granny. Riley walked among the trees until she came to a bench by a fountain.
She sat down and looked at the fountain. She remembered what Granny had told her yesterday morning. “Fly above them,” she whispered.
A plan started formulating in her head: A machine, one that could take her away from the village. She was tired of people telling her what to do, and even more tired of people making fun of her choices, the ones she knew were right. But then she sighed. She could never get this done by herself, she would need someone to help her.
Just then, someone tapped her shoulder. Riley looked up, and recognized the boy from class that morning, the one with the blond hair and glasses. He sat down next to her. “Hello,” he said. “I don’t think I introduced myself this morning. My name is Luke.”
“He held out a hand, and Riley shook it. “Mine is Riley.”
“I’m sorry about your grandmother; I know it must be hard for you and your family.”
“I don’t have any family.” Riley said. “My parents died when I was young, and I have no siblings. I’m alone.
Luke nodded. “I have a mother, but she is very ill, and can’t take care of my little sister or I. I have to care for both of them, but it must be hard for you to be totally alone.
They sat in silence for a while, playing with twigs and handfuls of grass. Finally Luke said, “It was really brave of you to choose a job from the boy’s list.”
Riley looked up. No one had ever said that to her before; it made her feel happy that someone admired her. “Thank you,” she said. “I just really wanted to be a Tech Worker, and I wasn’t going to let that list stand in my way.”
Luke laughed. “You sound like a fighter. Well, I should get going, I have to get home.”
Riley watched him get up and walk past the fountain. Suddenly, she stood up. “Luke!” she called.
Luke turned to look at her. “Do you think you could help me?” Riley asked. “With a project?”
Luke smiled, “I’d love to. Shall we start after class tomorrow?”
Riley nodded. “Well, see you then.”
Luke waved and disappeared into the trees. Riley went home to her quiet house, happy and excited for tomorrow. “I’m going to fly, Granny,” she whispered into the empty house. “You wait and see.”
For the next month, Luke and Riley worked on Riley’s machine. They created blueprints, gathered parts from the village dump, and built the machine in Riley’s backyard. Finally, after a month of hard work, they were putting on the final touches.
The machine looked like a pair of human sized bird’s wings. The wings strapped to Riley’s shoulders and flapped when she moved her arms up and down. “Thanks for all your help, Luke.” Riley said.
“You’re welcome,” Luke said. “I was happy to do it.”
“Are you sure you don’t want to come with me?” Riley asked.
“I wish I could,” Luke said. “But I can’t leave my mom and sister alone. I have to take care of them.”
“Okay,” Riley dug into her pocket for a piece of paper. “But if you ever change your mind, here.”
She handed him the blueprints for the machine. Luke took it, opened it up, and smiled.
“Thanks Riley, and good luck.”
Riley strapped herself into the machine. Then she flapped her arms, the machine lifting her into the air. She felt the wind on her face as she flew above the village. She saw the tiny speck that was Luke waving at her, and she waved back. Then she looked forward, towards the mountains and valleys that lay ahead of her. Riley Evans was free.
Greek Myth: Flying Far and Wide
By Alyssa Hogan
The Muses sang of Aetra, who helped Aphrodite travel to Thrace. Aetra was an orphan who lived in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903. She loved to read about the gods and goddesses so, when Hermes and Aphrodite appeared before her, she didn’t even flinch.
“Help Hermes build me a craft so I may travel to lands where boats, cars, horses cannot go,” Aphrodite said.
“Well, why can’t you just wish yourself there?” Aetra asked.
“Ares placed a dampening spell so that no magic works there.” Aphrodite replied, and then vanished.
“So let’s go and make her that object,” Hermes said.
After some debate they decided to build an aluminum craft with seats inside. They decided to build a cockpit, even though it would not work, so the passengers would not get scared because it was moving without an apparent motor.
Then they built it, with a cockpit. It had a metal body and side wings that you could hold onto if you were big enough to lift it. It also had three tail wings, one sticking up with two on the sides.
Inside it was one big room with seats and a kitchen to prepare food. It also had entertainment devices such as a flat screen television, board games, and a built in telephone for long distance calls. There was also the cockpit with buttons and flashing lights.
“Now to make it fly,” said Hermes.
“What about the winds?” asked Aetra.
“Perfect,” replied Hermes.
But when they went to visit the winds Aeolus, the keeper of the winds said that he could not spare a wind to lift such a silly idea as the “airplane”, as they had come to call it.
After plenty of persuading, Aeolus finally agreed to spare a wind, mostly Eurus, to lift the plane, if the wind agreed with the idea.
The winds loved to blow wherever they wanted to go so to be tied to a plane would be the worst punishment they could ever have.
All the winds said, “No, no, no! We will not be bound to a metal object to go only to the place the pilot wants us to go.”
To their surprise Hermes agreed to let them fly free, after saying his door would always be open to them.
Three days later a rich merchant and his daughter came to the winds with a large truck carrying the plane. The merchant said it was a prototype wind toy that the winds could try out if they wanted to.
All the winds wanted to and unknowingly got on their hands a clear gel on that was instantly absorbed through the skin. After each wind had a chance to play with it the “merchant” and his “daughter” left.
When Aphrodite saw the plane she was impressed but wanted to know if it could really fly. Once Aphrodite said she wanted to go to Thrace, the wild land of Ares, Hermes directed Eurus to Kitty Hawk and Boreas to Greece.
Meanwhile, at the palace of the winds, Eurus was pulled west to Kitty Hawk and Boreas was pulled to mainland Greece. The gel that absorbed through their hands made them go to where the pilot of the plane wanted them to go but even gods have their limits to how far they can fly while carrying something so they must stop on the way to switch winds. That is why planes can fly and why they must stop along the way.
Flying Far and Wide (play)
Narrator: describes what’s going on
Aetra: young mortal girl who helps the gods and goddesses
Aphrodite: goddess of love and beauty
Hermes: trickster god
Eurus: the east wind
Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, 1903
(Aetra, carrying a book, and Narrator enter stage right. Aetra sits down to read the book.)
Narrator: Once in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in the year 1903 there was a young mortal girl who liked to read about the Greek gods and goddesses, so when Aphrodite and Hermes appeared before her she did not even blink.
(Aphrodite and Hermes enter stage left. Aetra looks up then closes the book and puts it down.)
Aetra: Wow. You’re Aphrodite and Hermes, right?
Aphrodite: Yes, you are correct.
Hermes: She will do nicely, won’t she?
Aphrodite: Yes, she will.
Aetra: What are you talking about?
Aphrodite: I have come down to your mortal world to find someone to help Hermes build a ship that will take me to a place where no boat or car will take me. You will do nicely.
Aetra: Why me?
Aphrodite: You because you like the gods and goddesses.
(Aphrodite exits stage left.)
Hermes: So, let’s go build that ship, shall we?
Aetra: Why can’t she use magic to get her there?
Hermes: Some gods and goddesses don’t like people popping in all the time so they ward the place; make it so no magic works there.
Aetra: So we can’t use magic?
Hermes: Right you are.
Aetra: Let’s make it fly.
Hermes: Good idea.
(While the narrator is talking Hermes and Aetra are talking silently about the ship that flies.)
Narrator: Hermes and Aetra decided to build a closed metal tube with five wings and a deluxe living room inside.
(Hermes and Aetra exit stage right, still talking silently about the flying ship.)
The Palace of the Winds
Narrator: After Hermes and Aetra built the “airplane”, as they had come to call it, they went to the palace of the winds to get some way to move it. Unfortunately Eurus, the east wind, did not like the idea.
(Eurus and Hermes enter stage left arguing quietly.)
Eurus: I will not push or lift such a silly thing as your airplane. It is only a metal tube with wings. No!
Hermes: I’m sorry about bothering you. Shake on our agreement?
(Hermes holds out hand)
Eurus: What agreement?
Hermes: The one where you don’t do anything.
Eurus: Of course.
(Hermes and Eurus shake hands. Hermes exits stage left.)
(Eurus looks down at his hands, shrugs, and puts his hands down)
Eurus: I know that Hermes, the trickster god, put a goop on my hand but I don’t see anything.
(Eurus exits stage left.)
The Final Test
Narrator: Once Hermes and Aetra had gained a locomotion source it was time for the final test.
(Aetra and Hermes enter stage right, carrying a toy plane.)
Hermes (panting): Well, this is it.
Aetra(panting): I hope Aphrodite likes this because if she doesn’t we’re in hot water.
(Aphrodite enters stage right)
Aphrodite: I hope my flying thing is here. Will it work?
Hermes: Yes, it is here, it will work, and it’s called a plane.
Aphrodite: A plane?
Hermes: A plane. Its full name is airplane but plane is much easier to say.
(Aphrodite exits stage right.)
(Eurus comes in with his hands in front of him as if they were pulling him.)
Eurus(mad): Not you, trickster god! It was the goop, wasn’t it?
Hermes: Yes, it was the goop. Now, lift the plane for Aphrodite.
(Eurus lifts the plane, grumbling)
Aphrodite(off stage): Is it working?
Aetra: Yes, it is working.
(Eurus flies the plane around still grumbling.)
Narrator: From that day on the wind carried all planes to where the passengers wanted it to go.
(The Narrator, Hermes, Eurus, and Aetra exit stage right.)