Friday, May 7, 2010

Gay Marriage in Washington

Hi, I'm Maya Cohen. My essay is about the law against gay marriage in Washington state, and I feel that people should have the freedom to marry who they want.

Right now in Washington State, civil unions (which give gay people some of the same rights as heterosexuals) are allowed, but gay marriage is against the law, leaving countless couples heartbroken that they cannot marry their partner. And Washington is not the only place with homosexual-related issues. In some countries, being gay can give people serious punishments like life in prison, or even the death penalty. This is a serious and unfair problem, and we must address it.

Formerly, gay people had less rights than heterosexuals, such as the right to visit a loved one in the hospital. Recently, though, President Obama signed an executive order that gives everyone the right to visit loved ones in the hospital. Obama supports gay rights and civil unions, but not gay marriage. He explains this is because of religious beliefs and traditions. Still, I believe that everyone should have equal rights, as stated in our Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal...".

I also believe in privacy. Who you love is your business, and should not be decided by others! No one should be able to choose who you marry. Nobody should be able to choose what your lifestyle or family is like, which also relates to the idea that we are all created equal, and that we all deserve equal rights. I have a friend whose parents are gay. They are a perfectly fine family. They deserve just as much privacy as others and my friend shouldn't get teased at school. My friend's parents shouldn't be ashamed of their sexual orientation.

Lastly, I think that people deserve freedom of religion. Guidelines of religion should only apply to those who practice that religion. You see, most conflicts with gay marriage have to do with religious and homophobic people protesting against gay marriage. Some argue that if gay marriage was granted countrywide, everything would turn into chaos, but I disagree. I think that the United States' gay population needs to get a break from criticism and just be at peace.

Right now in the United States, only 5 out of our 50 states allow gay marriage. Many stories in the news are about protests against the law preventing gay marriage. Forty-five states in America are gay battlefields. We need to turn these battlefields into gardens where everyone can bloom and flourish and where everyone can be themselves. Please come and help nourish this garden.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Green Lake

In summer,
drives on the smooth gray pavement
Green Lake.

We arrive at the shore,
children frolicking,
adults at the snack bar
asking their kids what flavor of Sno-Kone they want.

We ease into it.
It embraces us and we let it.
We are but dreams floating around in the lake's mind.

We part the green murky water,
stroke it,
comfort it,
and it comforts us.

Ode to Trees

There is a tree at the park.

A big tree.
In the summer it feels warm and smooth.
If you climb to the top you can pretend you're ruler of the world.
Or Galileo.

The tree breathes what I breathe.
You scrape your knee on it's branch?
It says sorry.
So don't cuss at it.
It has rough brown skin.
Its cloak is green.
Its feet are buried in the ground.
Some day we will be down there, with the tree's feet.

Suzie's Headache

Suzie was a smart girl,

she was really, really nice
but she had a problem that
she couldn't cure with ice.

She had a whopping headache, it was really, really bad.
It made her frustrated, angry and really, really sad.
Soon she had enough of it, so she told her mother.
Then she figured out that the

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Aidan Queen of the World

I stepped out of my school into the chilly fall air and pulled on my Yankees sweatshirt. I looked down the road, and sighed. I would much rather ride a bike home but since I live in New York City, my mom is afraid I would get mugged or something. As I walked home, I thought about my parents. We live in one of those little skinny apartments and my mom doesn't earn that much money as a office building janitor. My father has been in prison since I was nine. We write letters, and on my birthday we visit him, but it still isn't enough. Finally, I reached the house. I sprinted up the stairs and opened the door to our house. My brothers and sisters were watching America's Got Talent and my mom was checking out the mail. I set down my book bag, and took off my sweatshirt and shoes. "Hi Mom!!" i yelled. "Mmm-hmm." my mom mumbled. "Keep it down, Aidan!!!!" my sister hissed. By the way, I'm a girl. My parents thought I should have a unique name. My brothers and sisters are named Daisy, Dean-Wallace, Maria, and Jamie. So y'know, at least I'm not the only one with a crazy name. Anyway, I went to my room to do my homework. I smoothed out my homework, but before I started my homework I looked at the calendar. October 17. My eyes move to the to the next line of dates. My birthday is October 29. Then my eyes move to the picture of me and Dad. We are at the beach. I am only three in this picture. My dad is smiling in the picture but i am looking something else. "I'm coming to see you, dad. Soon." I whisper. "Give me a present, okay?" I laugh to myself. Actually, he does bring me a present, usually. He smuggles a book out of the library for me. I don't think the security guards know, but if they did, he is DEAD MEAT. Tearing myself away from my daydreams, I began my homework and finished it just in time for dinner. Chinese take-out. I grabbed some stir fry, crunchy noodles, and dumplings. "Wow, you were hungry, and it's good that you're eating, because if I didn't know better I would think you were a toothpick." Maria cackled. I started to stand up to grab her, but my mother grabbed my arm and made me sit back down. I am so mad at her, even though I know what she said is true. I am absolutely as skinny as a rail. "Girls, calm down. Maria, watch yourself." My mother scolded. "So, mom how was work?" i asked."Not so great. The company is closing, which means I don't have a job now."

"Crap." I said.

"Poopoo?" Dean-Wallace asked.

Chapter 2

When I came home the next day, Maria was packing her suitcase.

"What are you doing? I thought we were visiting Dad on my birthday and that is... one week, four days, 3 hours, 21 minutes, and 14 seconds away." I am very skilled with math.

"No, stupid loser." Maria handed me a letter. 'FORECLOSURE' it screamed in big red letters on the front. I dropped the letter. My hands got sweaty. I opened my mouth but nothing came out of it except a rusty squeaking noise. Maria said,

"Pack up!"

I quickly pulled out my duffel back and stuck my toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, clothes, flashlight, teddy bear, parka, and family portrait in it.

i shuffled back to Maria's room.

"But where will we go?"

"Mom found a homeless shelter online. I'm going to stay with Jerry, though. I need the proper medical care when the baby comes." Jerry is Maria's boyfriend. Maria is only 16, so Mom got real mad when Maria announced she was pregnant. Mom said she took that road when she was 15, and she had Maria, and Mom had to skip college to take care of Maria, so now she's plunging toilets in an office building for $20 a day, and how would Maria like to go that way for a change?!

"What are you going to name it?" I asked.

" James Robert Brians Jr. if it's a boy, and Eliza Jennifer Dorothea Brians if it's a girl."

"That's too many words." I criticized. "You should name it Aidan the queen of the world Brians if its a girl and Super awesome jetpack Brians if it's a boy."

"Actually, no, Aidan queen of the world is my name. Name her FLUFFY princess kitten Rainbow Brians if it's a girl."

Maria stuck her tongue out at me.

Chapter 3

The Next week, we took our possesions to the front of the house and said goodbye to Maria. Jerry pulled up in his car and took her suitcases and said he was sorry about the foreclosure. Jerry is nice, his only problem is that he's stupid.

Then he pulled off. Mom cursed under her breath. We took a taxi to the shelter, and when we got there there was a room full of cots, with 4 just for us. The girl next to me was about my age. She had a nose ring and wore a black hoodie. She rocked back and forth and said to nobody "I don't want to..... Go away.....I don't trust you...Please.."

"hello?" I said.

" My name is Danielle Isabella Woodrow. That's D-A-N-I-E-L-L-E space I-S-A-B-E-L-L-A space W-O-O-D-R-O-W the end and I approve of this message."

"My name is Aidan."

"A-D-I-N. Aidan."

"No, it's A-I-D-A-N. Aidan."

"oh" she whispered, and stopped rocking.

"Why do you talk to yourself?" I asked her.

"People in my head are talking to me..... so many people telling me things I should do..... but I don't want to."

"What do they say?"

"They tell me to hurt someone and say they will protect me if the cops come. Other things too...... tell me I should break windows but I don't want to. Very unpleasant, so very unpleasant. makes noises too loud for my brain..."

I was scared. Would I end up like Danielle?

the boy on the other side was Maria's age.

"Hello." I said.

" Hables es espanol?"


Chapter 4

That night I woke up to see Danielle babbling and staring at me. She grasped a baseball bat.

"Danielle, what are you-"

BOOM! She whacked me on the side of my head. "Fuuu- Fudge." I rubbed my head.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


During Summer, the town of Meridian Mississippi was almost as boring as a dark room with no windows. Of course my brother, Tom never thought that. He was always busy playing war in the forest behind the library with the other rowdy boys. Not only was it boring, it was hot and sticky and old. Pa always said that he'd been living in Meridian for his whole life and when he was my age, he was never bored.

Sometimes, all the kids would have a picnic in the schoolyard.
The girls would wait for their "loyal soldier husbands to come back from the battlefield" and when the boys came back from playing war, the girls would fake cry and wave their handkerchiefs around and hug each other.
Me, I never did that. I sat on the swings until the food came out.

Charles Finch would come back to his "girlfriend" , Susan Mays, bark for a ham sandwich and while we ate, he would tell us lies about himself.
Charles Finch was the biggest liar in Meridian. Even he knew it.
Today he said, "My pa has a rifle at home. When I turn nine he's gonna let me use it. I'm gonna shoot a bear an' a pigeon an' a geerafe. Know what a geerafe is? It's a big yellow thin' with a mile long of a neck an' a purple tongue. That's what Mrs. Wakefield said.I'm a gemme a geeraffe an' a mad dog!"

Of course, Susan believed every word that came out of Charles's piehole, because she favored him.

Lunch in the schoolyard was fun, actually. I would threaten llittle kindergardeners til they gave me whatever food I wanted. Today I got Dewey Stewart to cough up a ham and cheese sandwich, Shirley Wood to hand over an apple, Lollie Margerets to give me a coke, and Bobby Davids to hand over a pack of twinkies. Lollie was crying and said she was gonna fink on me to her momma, and i said she better not or else I'm a' beat her up.
That quieted Lollie down.
I'm a big kid an' I got seniority, nobody's gonna boss me around.
At my school, the little kids stay on the sliding board, the inermediate kids on the parallel bars, and big fourth graders like me, we get the rest. The see-saws, the jungle gym, the sandbox, and the swings. The recess teachers would yell at us, but we never changed.

Meridian was a town chock full of catholics. Meridian don't care if you're mexican, or irish, or greek, or italian, as long as you were catholics. Strict catholics, too. Girls wear skirts, dress nicely on Sundays, kissing before marriage is sinful,never hurt a fellow catholic, yada yada yada.

The kids don't care though, we beat up whoever we want. Yesterday me, Jerry McGraden, Nick Stephanopolous, and Arthur Giocoso all beat up Omar Del Marlio. Omar's eye was black and puffy, and he had a nosebleed, and he cussed at us in Spanish. Or at least, I think he did. We followed him home, yelling that spanish cuss word until he told his pa. His pa came out of the house with a black leather belt held firmly in his hands, and chased us till we hid in Farmer Craigs henhouse. We laughed ourselves silly till Jerry wet his pants, then he got mad and kicked a basket of eggs over.

"What a you crazy idiots doin in my property?!" Farmer Craig screamed. I smuggled some eggs into my pocket as we ran off. I knew perfectly well what I was going to do with it. After supper, I snuck outa the house down to Omar's place. I hurled the egg at the window. It hit the pane. Then, I threw it at the front door. Splat! Omar's bedroom window! Splut! The gutter! Clunk! The birdbath- but my throw wasn't powerful enough and knocked over a statue of Jesus Christ. I gasped and ran onto their lawn. One of the catholic rules is be good to Jesus and he'll be good to you. I was afraid if the real Mr. Jesus saw it, I'd be burning in Hell when I died. I started wiping off the cold goo as quick as I could, but out of the corner of my eye I saw Omar look through his yellow, gooey bedroom window, then he saw me and ran down stairs. I froze. His pa came running out the door after me. He yelled that spanish cuss word. I was running and thought I was gonna get away when I tripped over a bump in the road. I scraped my knee and was too slow to get up because Mr. Delmarlio had got me cornered. He raised the belt up high then with great force smacked it against my head. I cried out, hoping someone would hear me. Slap! Finally after three whacks, Mr. Delmario stopped and I took my chance. I ran till I got home, my hands covering my head.
My own pa put a banddage on my head and said he was sorry but also very ashamed in me. He said I wasn't the type to fight, which made me feel bad, because he didn't know that I've got the record for most black eyes given in one minute.