The Wait

Posted August 14, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

It’s a wiki wiki world that I’m seeing these days. Wondering about my life and how it’s going to be the next day.
You think about the good and bad.
But take a look at this life of mine and all you see is bad times.
Sometimes you wonder ‘til you can’t wonder no more.
Think of happiness – and people – but think, it isn’t so.
So I wonder how light is going to shine on nothing in this life of mine.
I sit back and watch
And wait
For the light to shine.

by Andrew, UCP High School/High Tech Program


Biography of Chesney D.

Posted August 10, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

Chesney was born and raised in a family that is real hot-headed. She has two tattoos. Her mom knows about both of them. Her daddy doesn’t really know, and she’s not planning on telling him. She has a habit of shopping non-stop. She cannot make eggs for nothing. This girl is petrified of heights and bugs. She can tie a cherry with her tongue. It’s easy for her to make jewelry out of money. Her daddy used to drive trucks, and she got to see Mount Rushmore once. They also moved 20 times in 6 months. When she was born prematurely, her daddy got her this kitty cat that she still has. Chesney just started taking guitar lessons. She cannot live without her purses or Baby Phat or her cell phone. She has been collecting crystal and snow globes since her 7th birthday. Chesney’s favorite character is Winnie the Pooh, and she is addicted to shopping, money, and jewelry.


by Chesney D.
UCP High School/High Tech Program


Posted August 9, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

You’ve been dreaming
for now and forever.
What now?
Endless possibilities now open,
breathing life into a
bloom of the blue…

by Hector, UCP High School/High Tech Program


Artwork also by Hector A.

The Man on Go Lucky Lane

Posted August 8, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

Mr. Happy was born on April 1st, and everyone said he was a joyful baby who laughed a lot. His favorite food as a kid was pancakes made in the shape of smiley faces and Fruit Loops. During the day he liked to spray water on people and work on his comics and cartoons. He told jokes to whoever would listen.

When Mr. Happy got older, he moved to a house on Go Lucky Lane. Why? Because he married a woman named Ms. Down. Luckily, Mr. Happy never got depressed being around Mrs. Down. Every day he woke up in a good mood. He drove his little matchbox car to the circus where he worked as a clown. He loved hanging out with his best friend Crusty. They bounced around, laughing and making noises like, “beep, beep, vroom, vroom.” For lunch they ate loads of Laffey Taffey. Afterwards they practiced tumbling and juggling.

At home in the evening Mr. Happy always watched America’s Funniest Home Videos. Then he watched Simpsons and Family Guy. When he got tired, he usually listened to some music. His favorite song was “Joy to the World.”

–a collaborative story by Trevor, Megan, and Patricia, high school patients at TIRR


Poetry Slam: The Next Generation

Posted August 7, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

The national poetry slam comes to Austin next week. Here are the details.

DATE & TIME: Saturday, Aug. 11th, 3:15 – 4:45 pm
PLACE: Ruta Maya World Headquarters, 3601 S. Congress, Austin TX
For more information, contact the Texas Youth Word Collective.

HYPE: What do you get when you combine the Texas Youth Word Collective’s Austin Under 21 Poetry Slam with the National Poetry Slam and Austin Poetry Slam? One incredible afternoon of spoken word artistry! Come hear some of the best youth slammers from across the country compete for the title of National Youth Slam Champion!

Here’s the stage for the next generation, open to all poets under the age of 21. The slam will be hosted by Kim Holzer (Durham, NC), Saturday, August 11th, 3:15 – 4:45 p.m., Ruta Maya Int’l Headquarters, 3601 S. Congress, D-200, Austin. Free.

And be sure to check out the rest of the National Poetry Slam! A Youth Writing Workshop will take place on Friday, Aug. 10th, 2:30-4:00, at the Hideout Upstairs. The competition will involve more than 300 poets competing and reading at many of the venues that serve as home to performers during Austin’s famed SXSW Conference. This year’s NPS will draw audiences numbering in the thousands to the premier annual showcase for performance poetry. The event will culminate with the Individual Finals show on Friday, August 10, and the Team Finals show on Saturday, August 11; both events will be at Austin’s historic Paramount Theater, home to sold-out poetry competitions when Austin hosted the National Poetry Slam in 1998 and 2006. Tickets for both events, as well as passes for the entire week of competitions, readings, and late-night shows, will be available at

Broken Mirror

Posted August 6, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

Hope is thought of as an acorn providingreflection.jpg
food for young animals,
a reflection still showing in a broken mirror,
a weed growing in the cracks of the sidewalk,
a small rosebud on a plant,
a symbolic flag seen through the smoke of a battle field.
Hope is the glimmer in a young child’s eyes,
a light through the fog,
the raindrops on a tree leaf.
It is an egg cracking.
It is the birth of an idea

by Susanna, 9th grade, Bellaire High School

A Poem by Adolfo

Posted August 3, 2007 & filed under Notebook.


Today let’s scale a modern mountain.
A tradition of integrity, take it for a spin
Act now
Go the distance
Up against the wall
with possibilities
But to last,
Finish big.

by Adolfo, age 6

Blue by Javier

Posted August 2, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

Blue is sad,blue-ice-by-jt-photo-via-photobucket.jpg
something like mad or bad,
but always experienced.
Blue is cold,
a shivering feeling,black
usually when you’re scared or experiencing death.
Blue is scared,
a fearful thing to experience.

It happens to everyone.
Blue is water,
a very gentle thing,
but at the same time black
drowning and killing.

Blue is death,
you never know when it’s coming.
All you can describe it as is
or nothing but cold.

by Javier, 5th grade
Cloverleaf Elementary School


Posted August 1, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

I am the color yellow, bright and vibrant wherever I go.
Imagination fills my brain and
happiness covers my face. I smell
sunshine and confidence that
encourages my strengths.
I am the color yellow.

by Courtney, 9th grade, Bellaire High School

Ode to Clementines

Posted July 30, 2007 & filed under Notebook.


Oh, have you ever trifled with
a juicy tree treasure?
Oh, have you owned
an orange orb?
Oh, have you conjured
a clementine,
With all its juicy jumble?
The delicate flavors
tango on the tongue,
spraying their
supple sweetness.
Tangy but tart
tree treasure from
the earth—
the Courageous Clementine!

by Jacob, 3rd grade

Baseball: Last Year and Now

Posted July 27, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

Last year
I used to get dirt in my eyes.
I used to miss the ball.
I used to get hit by the ball.
I used to fall down.
I used to hit my head.
I used to go the wrong way.
I used to stare at people.
I used to run out of breath.
I was five.

I don’t get dirt in my eyes.
I don’t miss the ball.
I don’t get hit by the ball.
I don’t fall down.
I don’t hit my head.
I don’t go the wrong way.
I don’t stare at people now.
I have my own jersey.

by Randolphus, 2nd grade

Photgraph by Krug Photography, via flickr

WITS in the News

Posted July 25, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

In this feature article, The Houston Chronicle spotlights the WITS Summer Camp.

Five-year-old Isabella’s writing assignment, hanging on the classroom wall for the world to see, vividly described how angry the little girl was when her mother threw out some toys at the start of the summer.
Her mom, Jonett Miniel, couldn’t have been prouder.
After explaining that she was actually donating the items to charity, Miniel beamed about her daughter’s progress during the Summer Creative Writing Workshop at Aldine Academy.
“This is the most wonderful thing. I can’t believe she did any of this,”
Miniel said. “This is letting the kids have a voice and letting them write what they want.”

To read more, click here.



Posted July 24, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

I will put in my box
A giant greenish-blackish tree
Sparks from a pistol
The cries of thousands of people
I will put in my box
The founder of Pakistan
The books of the year
The uniforms of people who died in wars
I will put in my box
A beautiful day of Independence
A taste of victory
Sounds of firecrackers
I will put in my box
Celebration of our heroes
Sights of our people happy
A view of my grandfather’s garden–he died studying those books
My box is made of brown, old papers, papers of Independence
I will celebrate my country in my box with my family.
I will play cricket in my box forever!

by Mahid, 5th grade

Elephant Wishes

Posted July 23, 2007 & filed under Notebook.


I always wanted to go somewhere
where there were no poachers
and we could rest more
and not get eaten by lions.
I always wanted to be the Emperor of China
and I would banish all of the poachers
and send them to Madagascar.

by Sydney Katherine, 2nd grade


Posted July 19, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

During the summer I would ride my bike every day. As I got on my bike I enjoyed riding my bike down the streets. The wind was a small detail of my daily bike rides. I thought of it as a refreshment. The breeze on my face was calming and nice. As I rode my bike, I heard my surroundings: a dog barking or someone mowing their lawn. The twists and turns were so much fun to ride! It made me feel like a rocket bursting out with energy. I said to myself, “Hop on, or you might miss out on the ride of a lifetime.”


by Paul, 5th grade

Inside a Raindrop

Posted July 18, 2007 & filed under Notebook.


Go inside a raindrop
where it is cold. I see a rainbow down
the smooth side. As the rain falls,
I jump
up and down
inside the raindrop
As the rain falls,
I hear loud thunder.
I jump rope to calm myself down.
As I scream,
I hear my loud echo answering back to me.

by Samantha, 4th grade
J.R. Harris Elementary School

writing prompt = “Stone” by Charles Simic

Por la Puerta (Through the Door)

Posted July 17, 2007 & filed under Notebook.


Si te metes por la puerta,
las flores están hechas de paletas,
y los árboles son como
conos de color rosa.
Si te metes por la puerta,
las nubes están pintadas de color
negro, y hay un arcoiris entre ellas,
la montaña es de dulce, y
de color rosa.
Si te metes por la puerta,
hay una casa hecha de nieve,
con las sillas hechas de galletas,
los vasos hechos de naranjas,
y los platos hechos de fresas.
Si te metes por las puerta,
los papeles están hechos de manzana,
y los zapatos hechos de cereza.
Si te metes por la puerta,
verás todo esto.

Through the Door (Translation)

If you go through the door,
the flowers are made of lollipops,
and the trees are like
cones that are pink.
If you go through the door,
the clouds are painted black,
and there is a rainbow in between,
the mountain is made of candy,
and it is pink.
If you go through the door,
there is a house made out of snow
with the chairs made out of cookies,
and the cups are made of oranges,
and the plates, made out of strawberries.
If you go through the door,
the papers are made out of apples,
and shoes are made out of cherries.
If you go through the door, you will see all of this.

by Jeanette, 1st grade