Spring 2017 / Issue 1
Celebrating the Breadth and Diversity of International High School
A Letter from the Founder & Editor-in-Chief
Welcome to volume one of The Inkwell! Writing and the arts both serve as outlets for creativity and fountains for different perspectives in which to flourish. This is the precise reason why it is so important for International High School to have a literary magazine. Our team's hope is that the number of submissions grows with each issue so the extraordinary array of talents present in our community is rightfully showcased and recognized.
Thank you to those who have submitted their work to us for without you we wouldn't have been able to create the very first issue of The Inkwell! We aim to celebrate the diversity and many voices of our high school by offering an inclusive, safe space for all to see their work in print while sharing their creations.
Submissions are accepted continuously all year long, including the summer, so please contribute at email@example.com. See your work published—join us!
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"To create a work of art is to create the world."
- Wassily Kandinsky
Dr. Leslie Adams
Leila O' Rourke
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Hello and welcome to the first edition of The Inkwell, International High School's very own new student-run literary and arts magazine! We accept a variety of works such as creative writing, poems, lyrics and musical scores, artwork, photography, comics, biographies, book reviews, commentaries, essays, and anything else that expresses creativity. Submissions in languages other than English are very welcome. We would love to publish your work!
IHS Literary Magazine, Vol. 1, Spring 2017
International High School
150 Oak Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
Principal: Joel Cohen
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Fairy, Cate Tam...........................................................................
Ode to Rain, Katherine Horn.....................................................
The Wind Was Just Perfect, Leila O'Rourke.............................
Photo of Golden Gate Bridge, Katherine Horn.......................
An Example of the French Romanticism Style, Katherine Horn...........................................................................
Five Haikus, Corin Ropp............................................................
Harry Potter and The Flash: A Parallel Universe Theory, Cate Tam.....................................................................................
Harry Potter Prisoner of Azkaban Study, Cate Tam...............
Like a Bubble, Fatou Ouedrago................................................
Photo of the Sea, Katherine Horn............................................
Define: Refugee, Clements Evans.............................................
A Commentary on "La Muerte y La Doncella,"
Stopping for Gas in Myanmar, Sarah Snyder.........................
Table of Contents
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Digital and Pencil Art by Cate Tam, Featured on the Cover
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You are the giver of life when
You water plants and let them grow.
You symbolize a fresh start when
You boldly sweep through a city
And wipe its slate completely clean.
Then you cleanse and rejuvenate,
Leaving it feeling like a cloud.
The pounding sound is like a drum
Which leads your army of droplets
Forward into battle as one.
A force of nature, your power
Can transform a mountain into
The smallest of harmless pebbles.
One droplet may not seem like much,
But together they are quite strong.
Sometimes, you make the world seem gray,
But you can also make it shine
When gentle golden light streams through
A droplet resting on a leaf.
You have a fresh scent that lingers
In the air after you are gone.
You often leave a painting of
Vivid colors streaked through the sky,
Your memory preserved with a glance.
You also have the power to
Create a cozy climate when
I am indoors with a warm drink,
Your calming patter in the background.
But when I am outside and feel
Your cold light raindrops on my face,
I am in a true state of bliss
That is only brought on by your grace.
The magic that is found where you are
Captivates and mesmerizes.
Although many decide to shelter themselves
When you come out to play,
I’d rather stay outside and bask
In your glory throughout the day.
Ode to Rain
Photography and Poem by Katherine Horn
The Wind Was Just Perfect
Fiction by Leila O'Rourke
Photography by Katherine Horn
The wind is just perfect. It feels as if someone is standing on the Golden Gate Bridge with a giant fan blowing on a low setting. On Crissy Field, the grass would sail through the wind softly, as if it is trying to escape from the root that is holding it back. The boats sailing on the bay make it seem like the occasional gusts of wind on land are the average, steady winds on the sea. The boats have their sails pulled in all the way and are heeled over to such an extent that sailors have to be cautious about the wind. Picture rolling back the clock about 60 years. A time when pictures were only taken in black and white, and Japanese tourists were not trying to get the perfect shot with their $20 selfie sticks. Instead, the Japanese Americans who lived on the West coast were reading the notices of forced removal when most of San Francisco’s population was still sipping their first cup of coffee. The notices were posted on almost every Presidio military building and residential neighborhood shops and stores.
As the same wind whistled through Riley’s window, a nervous feeling in her gut started to wash over her about the notices. Her father worked for the Chronicle, and this was breaking news that made headlines. As she sat at the breakfast table, she was sure her mother and older brother could hear her heart thumping in her chest. Her father had already left for work as it would be a big day at the office. It felt as if he only thought about the size of the headline, because he didn’t even remember thi would affect his family, too. As Riley wondered what was in store for her future, her mother interrupted her thoughts: “You better hurry up and eat your eggs, or you’ll miss the bus!”
“I’m not too hungry right now, I’ll eat at school,” Riley replied as she grabbed her school bag and dashed out the door.
The wind had picked up a little, as it followed the catholic school bus through different neighborhoods stopping every five minutes or so. Riley sat at the window, looking around the streets. She saw a young Japanese American woman, who looked like she was in her mid 30s, start to sob at the sight of a notice. Everyone in the bus looked at the woman, and then looked at Riley, as if they were somehow related because they were both of Japanese descent. Penelope, Reiko’s best friend since she was four, said: “Hey, don’t worry about it, I don’t think they’ll send away a third generation Japanese 11 year old girl.”
“You never know what they’re gonna do these days,” Reiko replied.
“Just don’t think about it, think about the candy shop we’ll open when we’re older. With jars of all sorts of different colored sweets, gumballs, and rows of white, milk, and dark-”
“Dark chocolate,” Reiko interrupted. They giggled all the way to school and completely forgot about the notices.
The Wind Was Just Perfect
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An Example of the French Romanticism Style
Les deux arbres devant moi sont plus hauts, plus fières que les autres plantes autour d’eux. Cela était ce que j’ai cru pouvoir faire avec ma vie, mais ce n’est plus une option; c’est imposible. Et maintenant quoi? J’ai vécu toute ma vie avec le rêve d’un jour aller en bataille sous Napoléon, mais à présent son pouvoir est écrasé et mes rêves sont écrasés aussi, comme une étoile qui chute du ciel. Cette étoile était si brillante, si éclatante, mais dès maintenant? Elle s’est brisée en de millions de petits morceaux noirs et isolés. Je n’ai plus de futur, je n’ai jamais eu un futur. Je ne savais pas que c’était simplement une fantôme de réalité impossible.
La nature, elle peut s’adapter facilement. Elle survit. Mais moi, je ne peux pas m’adapter aussi facilement. Je suis une roche, divisée au milieu: sans futur, sans espérances, sans destin.
L’horizon flou s’approche à grand bonds. Que contient-il? Ce futur flou est un mystère, mais quand-même, on n’a guère peur des horizons. Je devrais avoir de la confiance que le mien viendra bientôt; je devrais avoir de la foi. Mais comment ne faire rien et seulement espérer patiemment? J’air besoin d’un futur concret. J’ai besoin de la passion et j’ai besoin de l’aventure!
Tout de même, c’est exaspérant. Je suis moitié morte et moitié vivante car mes rêves sont détruits mais ma passion est en abondance… je veux voler! Je veux sentir le vent sous mes ailes et le vent sur mon visage! Je veux vivre!… Mais comment pourais-je faire tout cela sans un plan et un futur?
Montre-moi le chemin; je suis perdue dans le forêt de mon ambition sans un indice de ce que pourrait être mon réalité.
Writing by Katherine Horn
Painting by William Turner, The Vale of Ashburnham, 1816
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Poem by Corin Ropp
A harsh word was said
You withdrew into yourself
I want to help you
No safe place to hide
A blank page can say it all
Tears and words are gone
What will come will pass
The infinite void takes all
You can’t escape fate
They will always watch
An endless sea of hatred
You get lost in doubt
A murmur of hope
A light gleams through the darkness
Fears can’t stop you now
Harry Potter and The Flash: A Parallel Universe Theory
Writing by Cate Tam
There is an earth in a different dimension where Tom Felton’s character is born into a wealthy aristocratic family as Draco Malfoy. He is brought up with his mother and father’s elitist ideals and believes that Muggle-borns are inferior to him and others like him (purebloods), and on some level is probably resentful of non-wealthy, non-magical families being able to bear wizards and witches like himself. He attends Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and meets Harry Potter, hoping to form a friendship with the famous boy. His confusion and disbelief at Harry’s rejection quickly turns to anger and jealousy and he spends the next six years trying to make Harry’s life miserable. He reports Harry’s rule-breaking multiple times, becoming more and more infuriated as Harry always manages to walk away suffering little to no punishment because, Draco thinks, he is the Chosen One (Hagrid’s hut in book one, Hogsmeade in book three, etc). He even joins Umbridge’s “Inquisitorial Squad”, helping to enforce her school rules and catching Harry red-handed. He is also pressured enormously by his family’s expectations (especially his father’s), and later, by Voldemort himself, to uphold his family name and their pureblood status.
Moving on to “Earth Zero”, the world in which The Flash is set and the wizarding world does not exist. This time, Tom Felton’s character is born once more into a wealthy aristocratic family not as Draco Malfoy but as Julian Albert, because Draco is a wizarding name, which we know because the pureblooded Black family named their children Sirius and Regulus after constellations, which, according to Pottermore, was a sign of their high opinons of themselves as purebloods—it only makes sense that Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy would have named their son after the constellation Draco as well. This explains the shift in Julian’s name. Unlike his wizard counterpart, Julian is never fond of his family’s aristocratic status despite being, like Draco, the heir to the throne; in fact, he works hard to distance himself from it, and is “determined to make a life for himself in his own way” (wikia.com). This is the biggest difference between Julian and Draco, a difference that will eventually impact them both later on. Julian works his way up to becoming nearly top in his field of science when suddenly S.T.A.R. Labs’ particle accelerator explodes, its radiation triggering a change in dozens of Central City’s residents, morphing their DNA and giving them a variety of different “powers”—Metahumans. Frustrated and enraged by this new scientific “hurdle” that he understands nothing about, Julian joins the Central City Police Department (CCPD) and becomes their meta-human specialist to try and learn more about this new phenomenon. And who else works at CCPD but Barry Allen, who not only bears similarities to Harry Potter in name, but also in family history: his mother was killed when he was young by a man who wanted to kill Barry as a child because the latter’s power rivaled his own, exactly like Harry Potter’s Lord Voldemort.
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If we wanted to take this even further, we could take into account Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, in which Harry goes back in time to the place where his parents were murdered but makes no move to save them. On Earth Zero, Barry does the exact same thing, traveling back in time to his mother’s death and not preventing it. Both also loose their fathers, thought admittedly Barry’s father dies much later in his life. However, he does go to jail after Barry’s mother’s murder and is absent for most of Barry’s life until his death. Barry, being one of the people affected by the particle accelerator explosion, is secretly The Flash, a metahuman with superhuman speed. This brings us back to Julian, who “[dislikes] the Flash because he consistently outperforms the entire police force”, much like Harry Potter on the Quidditch field. Julian also explicitly states he hates that Barry thinks he’s above the rules (Barry is often absent because he is saving the city as The Flash, and he has also stolen samples of Julian’s work for his own examinations), and even reports Barry’s rule-breakings to his superior just as Draco Malfoy did to Harry. If that isn’t enough evidence of the parallels between Julian and Draco, Julian spitefully refers to Barry as “the golden boy of CCPD” while Draco complains about “Saint Potter”, saying many things like “he's not even that good [at Quidditch], it's just because he's famous… famous for having a stupid scar on his forehead” and “everyone thinks he's so smart, wonderful Potter with his scar and his broomstick”. Both are tired of being outshone by B/Harry and are frustrated by the lack of consequences for their disregard for the rules. Draco and Julian are both also forced to work for powerful entities against their will—Lord Voldemort and Savittar, respectively. Lastly, in a not-so-oblique reference to the first book of the Harry Potter series, Julian mentions The Philosopher’s Stone in an episode of The Flash, which is the original British title of the first Harry Potter book (“Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”).
Other less obvious parallels can be found as well: the colors of Barry’s suit—dark red and gold—matching the Gryffindor colors of Harry’s house and Quidditch outfit; Draco and Julian’s very Slytherin desire to make a name for themselves (albeit in very different ways); Barry and Harry’s romantic attraction to a young woman who is practically a sister (Iris being Barry’s adopted father’s child and Ginny being Mrs. Weasley’s—a mother figure to Harry—daughter); and Draco and Julian’s shared seemingly rude and unpleasant attitude hiding a vulnerability only Julian chooses to expose. Ultimately, it seems as though Julian’s choices in life lead him away from Draco’s darker path, but if we take into account the events in The Cursed Child—maybe Draco isn’t so different from Julian after all.
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Harry Potter Prisoner of Azkaban Study
Pencil Art by Cate Tam
She strolls across the coast
Carving shapes and words with the edge of her toes
Along the smooth sand,
As an artist does with his paintbrush on his canvas.
Her heels lightly graze the contour of the damp beach,
As if she were floating on a cloud,
As she moves to the edge, where the sand meets the water.
Her feet are sucked into the slippery surface,
As the scalding grains prick her ankles.
The clear, salty water licks her legs
And turns a dark, rich, velvet red
As her cuts are ripped open
By the gritty shell of the rocks underneath her feet.
She pushes further into the body of water,
Letting the waves beat against her stomach repeatedly,
As she is swallowed by this natural force that is pulling her away from the beach.
The currents lash at her chest,
Causing her to collapse under the water
And the dried wounds on her hands are reopened.
She stands back up,
As the waves whip her neck,
She doesn't fight back.
Do I belong?
Don't I matter?
Am I here?
She asks herself.
Her body sculpts an arc,
As it floats to the top of the water
Like a quilt that wraps a sleeping child into a ball.
Like a beautiful bridge curving over an enchanted waterfall.
Like a rainbow that covers a city, illuminating the land after dark storms.
Like the constellations that hover over planets, looking down on the inhabitants of Earth.
Then there is nothing left,
Except for a bubble that slowly rises to the top of the surface of the water,
Moving from coast to coast,
Burns out in energy,
And silently disappears
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Like A Bubble
Poem by Fatou Ouedrago
Photograph by Katherine Horn
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1. There is danger where you are. To stay is to be harmed.
2. It is dangerous to go. Flee, and you will be harmed. But harmed less than if you were to stay.
3. You flee late at night, or maybe during the day, when suspicion has more difficulty clinging to you. You scale barbed wire fences as you flee– metaphorical, but maybe literal as well. Either way, the barbs dig into your flesh and tear away pieces of you. Those pieces stay forever in the place you flee, forever left behind.
4. You will not be welcome, wherever you end up. There will be danger there, too, found in the hateful glares and spiteful words and sometimes actions of the same tone. But there will be less danger then in the place you left behind.
5. You can not flee to safety. You can only flee from danger and hope there is less, wherever it is you take refuge.
Piece by Clements Evans
A Commentary on "La Muerte y La Doncella"
Writting by Katherine Horn
Art by Edvard Munch, El beso de la Muerte, 1899
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"La Muerte y la Doncella", obra escrita por Ariel Dorfman y publicada en 1992, sigue tres personajes distintos después de la dictadura de Pinochet en Chile. Paulina Escobar, que fue torturada y violada por un doctor, está todavía traumatizada y por eso quiere su venganza, especialmente porque la Comisión de Derechos Humanos en Chile no investiga casos en donde la víctima está todavía viva. Su esposo, Gerardo Escobar, ha sido recientemente nombrado por esa comisión. En la historia, un doctor llamado Roberto miranda ayuda a Gerardo cuando deja de funcionar. Para agradecerle, le ofrece un cuarto para la noche en su casa. Cuando Paulina ve al doctor, cree que es él quien la ha torturada hace muchos años. A causa de esto, toma acción atándolo a una silla. Con una pistola en su mano, le dice que lo dejará ir libre si confiesa haber sido el violador durante la dictadura. Más tarde, Paulina cuenta a su esposo las cosas traumatizantes que le han pasado. Sabiendo que Gerardo iba a decírselo a Roberto—lo que ella le había dicho— para que la confesión fuera más realista, cambió algunos detalles de la historia. Cuando Roberto confesó, corrigió los detalles falsos. Debido a esto, Paulina se convirtió más convencida de que el era el violador y decide que lo va a matar aún que lo prometió de liberarlo si confiesa. Al final de la obra de teatro, lo dejó libre y el lector nunca sabe si Roberto era el torturador o no.
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Para que la obra sea interesante, el dramaturgo implementa varios recursos narrativos. El primero que utiliza es una imagen cinestésica al principio del escena 3 del acto 2. Esto se puede encontrar en la página 32: “Su silueta cruza el living-comedor hasta al dormitorio donde duerme Roberto. Espera un instante, escuchando. Entra. Pasan varios instantes. Hay un ruido confuso, como de un golpe y un grito ahogado.” la escena entera es sin diálogo y es todo escrito como esto, utilizando descripciones en la tercera persona. Además, se hace referencia a Paulina como una silueta, que es un símbolo por su tortura y lo que le pasó. Esto es importante porque la mayoría de sus acciones son dirigidas por los sentimientos causados por su pasado.
Otro recurso narrativo empleado por Dorfman son las instrucciones que informan a los actores como decir su diálogo. Un ejemplo de esto es evidente en la página 68 cuando Gerardo dice a Paulina: “-(Desesperado.) ¿Pero qué más quieres? ¿Qué más quieres de mi? Sobrevivimos la dictadura, la sobrevivimos, ya ahora ¿nos vamos a destruir, vamos a hacernos tú y yo lo que estos desgraciados fueron incapaces de hacernos?” A través de las instrucciones y las palabras que utiliza Gerardo, se puede entender que el cree que la dictadura ya está terminada, cuando el lector sabe muy bien que no lo es para su mujer, que todavía está sufriendo las repercusiones y los recuerdos de la tortura y la violación.
En conclusión, el dramaturgo añade interés a su obra, "La Muerte y la Doncella" en incluyendo direcciones para los actores para informarles cómo presentar los personajes. También muestre al lector qué tipo de persona cada uno es, enriquecido el narrativo y la historia enteramente.
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Stopping for Gas in Myanmar
Photography by Sarah Snyder