Beneath this Maple Tree

Beneath this maple tree,
The wind blows as leaves above me sway together,
Once unified,
One courageous leaf,
Breaks apart from the others,

The courage of this little leaf is the only sight I see,
It relies on the wind to guide its way peacefully,
Gracefully falling,
It reflects the beauty of the weather,
Until suddenly it meets the ground,
Landing soft as a feather,

The wind begins to sing,
As the leaves dance once more,
And the little leaf is lifted up,
And effortlessly begins to soar,

Beneath this maple tree,
I sit alone in the soft grass,
And the thought of the courageous leaf lingers,
As each breeze comes to pass.

The Truthful Imagination

Caleb Barber
Mrs. Burns
English 10 Adv.
3/1/17
The Truthful Imagination
Science fiction doesn’t have to be fantasy. To some critics, the greatest genre of our century is a mixed up conglomeration of impossible dreams and hopes for humanity. But with the genre being so grand, there is always going to be a new frontier. The idea that these stories are impossible is almost lost, when, in the case of many, there is research and knowledge that hasn’t been acquired. In fact, the definition of the term “science fiction” states that. It’s a style based on the creative use of scientific facts, theories, and technologies. It aids the spreading of current ideas, machines, along with the politics of the day. So it’s daft to say that these stories, having been based on our lives and technology, are entirely fantasy.
These stories, though possibly set in the future, use science as a device to expand the plot. “Arguably, the main achievement of the science ­fiction novel has been in helping people become more aware of the dangers posed”(Stableford, “The Science-Fiction Novel”) by scientific discovery. The genre covers the stories of treacherous corporation owners, military generals, and average citizens are not impossible; we hear them all the time in real life. It covers the bribery, sex, manipulation, and seeming lack of ethics in some areas of the business. These stories, however, are covered up, so much that all news is watered down. Authors are doing the everyday citizen a service by telling stories. Their creating stories on topics not entirely understood shouldn’t be considered fantasy; it is a type of innovation.
Ethics have been an issue covered for many years throughout science fiction. There are always going to be problems with our interactions for as long as we are human. In science fiction, the ethics behind stories push the story forward. Michael Crichton’s technological thrillers told the tales of business leaders who made unethical decisions at the beginning, and the rest of the book was spent solving the problems that those decisions started. The worlds portrayed in his stories are the world we know today, not the future. It would be foolish to cut down these tales, as there are victims of the crimes often described in these stories all over the world.
Along with the very human dealings that happen in science fiction, there are also very human technologies, connecting the thought realm with the physical realm. George Orwell wrote about technologies in 1984 that weren’t entirely created yet, but the parts were there, and we now have what he called telescreens(screens with cameras and microphones). This piece of technology is not impossible, and numerous others shouldn’t be discounted, either. Innovation comes from an original and creative way of thinking to build. All of our current technology comes from the imaginative thinking of someone, so how are these items not considered impossible? Not all technology in science fiction is impossible. Sure, some pieces may be fantasized, but that doesn’t throw the rest of the story into fantasy land.
Misconceptions of science fiction have clouded the genre’s image, though. The idea that all of these stories are alien in origin, the idea that these stories predict the future of mankind, and the idea that there isn’t basis for a time machine. Aliens are not meant to be a defining characteristic, the dealings with them are. Almost like a fable, but a little different, the aliens are used as an easy way to point out flaws in humanity. In a sense, the aliens, and other species for that matter, are a figurative measuring stick, that humans must surpass. And the future is just the grand sandbox for different technologies and ideas meet. This has happened through books like Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game, with the intention of enhancing views of military strategy.(Blackmore, “Other Worlds, Other Wars: Science Fiction Reinvents War”)
Time machines, which have shown up as everything from TARDIS in Doctor Who to the Delorean Machine in the Back To The Future series have scientific theories that build them up. The most common is the theory of spacetime, which says that time passes faster as it is pulled closer to a large object that has a large gravitational pull. This property can then be manipulated to bring people back in time, theoretically. The main point is that there is thought that goes into science fiction that doesn’t go into fantasy.
Fantasy, by definition, is a letting loose of impossible and imaginative thinking. As much as science fiction is creative, it is also real. My grandfather said, “In reality, reality is catching up to science fiction.” He’s right about that. The themes are seen in real life, and the stories are real. They aren’t entirely created to get a moral across. The lesson isn’t just at the end of the story, because that isn’t how life works. The whole story is a lesson, showing human flaws, human strengths, human fears, human thoughts, and human demise. Fantasy might show some of these, but it will never bind them through a whole story in the way that science fiction does. Science fiction, just like the science it is based off of, needs to look at the whole picture; learning as it goes, and never stopping until there is nothing left to explain.

Works Cited
Blackmore, Tim. “Other Worlds, Other Wars: Science Fiction Reinvents War.” Critical Insights:
War. Ed. Alex Vernon. Hackensack: Salem, 2012. n. pag. Salem Online. Web. 23 Feb.
2017. .
Stableford, Brian. “The Science­Fiction Novel.” Critical Survey of Long Fiction, Fourth Edition.
Ed. Carl Rollyson. Hackensack: Salem, 2010. n. pag. Salem Online. Web. 23 Feb. 2017.
.

Paying Attention While Driving

Alyssa Lobb
Mrs. Burns
English 10 Advanced
7 November 2016
Paying Attention While Driving

Have you ever experienced a car accident that wasn’t your fault? These accidents happen more often than not. More than likely the person that wasn’t doing anything wrong will be the one to end up severely injured. There are several distractions while driving, but the most common distraction is our cellphones. Keeping your eyes on the road while driving is important because it can change your life or the lives of others.
First off, there are many incidents that can distract a driver, one of the biggest distractions in today’s world is the use of cell phones. The use of cellphones while behind the wheel has become a huge issue in today’s society. According to CBS News, over 6,000 people were killed and half a million people were injured in the past year from drivers not paying attention because of their phones. This directly affects me because I was recently hit from behind in an accident, because the lady behind me was on her cellphone. Not only did this accident involve my sister and I, but another car. My sister and I were pushed into oncoming traffic and another driver was involved. There were two cars affected because a lady was using her cellphone while driving. Overall, my sister and I were injured while the lady causing the accident was “okay”. I am severely injured in my back and in my neck, which will affect me my entire life. Your cellphone needs to be put away and silenced while driving. A text or a phone call can wait. Nothing is more important than your life or the lives of others.
Next, keeping all your attention on the road and your surroundings is critical to your safety and the other driver’s safety. Many things can be distracting while driving like your surroundings, or what is playing on the radio, or the other passengers in the car, but keeping your focus on the road the key to keeping safe. My cousin who was seventeen passed away in a car accident as she was unaware of what was going on around her. Not only did she pass away before she could graduate from high school, but my other cousin was in the car with her. She was fourteen and was nearly paralyzed with a broken neck. Since this tragedy that occurred 11 years ago my family and I have thought about life differently. There is nothing more important than a life and whatever may be distracting at the time won’t be important if a disaster occurs.
Finally, here are several accidents and mishaps that occur on the road from drivers not paying attention. New laws and punishments have been proposed and enforced because of recurring accidents. According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association texting in a car as the driver has been banned in 44 states. An officer can issue a ticket to the driver if he or she is has the intent to use their cell phone. The ticket can cost $150 or more according to the DMV of New York State.
Avoiding distractions is crucial to the safety of yourself and others on the road. No text, or call, or song, or conversation with other passengers will ever be more important than a life or a person’s safety. It can wait. As a driver you should always be aware and cautious while driving. Lastly never take any day for granted as you never know what kind of distractions there will on the road.

Happy Place

Happy Place Poem

Hawaii, an exotic getaway
Waterfall leading into a pool of water
Exotic trees and flowers surround the area
Steam arises from the warm water
Fills the surface like a horror movie scene

Hawaii, my exotic getaway
Rays of sunlight fill the pool of water
Birds chirp, water rushing, frogs croak
The hot sun on my skin
Warm like a steaming shower

An exotic getaway
Flowers of all color, blue, pink, yellow
Clear aqua blue waters
White sand covers the floor
Like a sheet over a long bed

My exotic getaway
Tropical smell of flowers and trees
Time spent laughing with my best friend
Company is needed, relaxing and smiling
Peaceful like a rushing waterfall
-Jenna Emley