For: All periods.

Set-Up: In addition to writing creatively for the blog, it would be great for you to receive ‘real world’ credit for your ideas whenever possible.

Given Mr. Long’s role as the faculty sponsor for “Calliope” — our school’s lit/art magazine that is published every spring — it seems to make sense to see if any 10th graders have works that are ready for the magazine already.

Challenge: From this point forward, you are being invited to submit a piece to “Calliope” to receive credit for this blog project. This will take place every week that we have blog entries this year.  FYI: any submissions that come in after the club stops taking new entries will be submitted to next year’s magazine.


  • All submissions must be ‘original’ (your writing or art).
  • Photos must be ‘artistic’ – at the discretion of Mr. Long – to be considered for credit and submission to the “Calliope” team; please ask Mr. Long if you are uncertain.  He simply wants to avoid the attempt to get credit for a snapshot (vs. something that took real decision-making by the photographer).
  • Submissions must be something that would be relevant to publication in the magazine (come see a past copy to get an idea of this or ask Mr. Long if you aren’t sure).
  • Submissions do not have to be perfect, but they must be ready for the “Calliope” staff to review for potential publication.
  • Students may turn in 1 per week to get 1 blog credit per week; that being said, there is no limit to the # of submissions that can be turned in to “Calliope” throughout the year.  The more the merrier for the magazine.
  • Students who want their submission to remain ‘anonymous’ if eventuallyt published by “Calliope” must let Mr. Long know, otherwise the assumption will be that your name will accompany the final piece if published.


  • Original poem (2 pages max):  Submit the full poem as a ‘comment’ here on the blog.  Include a title.  P.S.  If you submit a haiku or a tanka, you must submit a minimum of 3 to be considered for credit here.
  • Original short story (2-3 page max):  Submit the full short story as a ‘comment’.  Include a title.  Be aware of ‘appropriate’ language at all times, but otherwise be as creative as your story demands.
  • Original essay (2 pages max):  Submit the full essay as a ‘comment’.  Include a title.  P.S.  Essays should not be ‘academic’ (i.e. not ones that analyze a novel/poem for class credit).  They can be personal essays or ‘real world’ reflections.  Tone can be serious or humorous, as long it remains appropriate for a multi-age audience.
  • Original photograph:  Submit a short ‘comment’ telling me that you’ve sent me an email attachment of the photo (in .jpg format).  Include a title, physical description of the ‘subject’ and a 2-4 line explanation of the way you want your piece to inspire/impact an audience.  P.S. Don’t forget to send me the email attachment (to my gmail account) to get credit.
  • Original art piece:  Submit a short ‘comment’ telling me that you’ve sent me an email attachment of a photo taken of the art piece (in .jpg format).  Include a title and a 2-4 line explanation of the way you want your piece to inspire/impact an audience.  P.S. Don’t forget to send me the email attachment (to my gmail account) to get credit.

12 responses to “W10, #1: “CALLIOPE” SUBMISSION

  1. The title of the picture is “Conquering Self.” It is of my eldest brother Paul leading the first pitch on “Satins Corner” in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah. The picture inspires the viewer to conquer their fears just like Paul is doing. It also inspires a sense of adventure.


    Mr. Long: A truly ‘awe’some shot. Shame I can’t include it somewhere in the comment section — not sure how to embed photos HTML-wise.

    Were you really the photographer on the side of that mountain? Amazing if so, I’m amazed by what you’re also able to do ‘on the rope’. How long have you been climbing at that level of skill/pitch? Or were you on a trail and zoomed in on where Paul was climbing?

    If it is not a shot you actually took, please let me know. I can only take photo submissions for Calliope that were taken by the student him/herself. Let me know, OK?

  2. I Am Not A Poet

    What should I write about?
    I know one thing is certain – I am not a poet.
    By the time you’re done reading this
    you, yourself will know it.
    I could talk about what has been
    heralded as an epic Presidential election.
    Or perhaps an economy in distress
    that seems to be going in the wrong direction.
    I could expand on the war in Iraq and Afghanistan
    or elucidate on the travesties of world hunger.
    Perhaps I could chide women who use Botox
    in an attempt to halt time and look younger.
    I could share my thoughts
    about “America’s Team”
    soon relocating to Arlington.
    For Dallas County, this is a bad dream.
    The move is revenue lost for Big “D”
    as well as media attention and acclaim.
    I guess the citizens of Dallas
    only have their former mayor to blame.
    Will the Mavericks be the next to move
    to the prized area considered a Mid-City?
    If so, for Dallas County
    this would truly be a financial pity.
    What is it that I really want to say
    as I toil away at this blog entry?
    Why is this so difficult?
    Writing a simple poem should be elementary.
    For me this assignment is quite difficult
    the words just don’t seem to come.
    Serious thoughts wander in
    and then I succumb..
    to simply trying to find a cadence
    and the perfect beat for a rhyme
    Maybe I’ll become better at writing poetry
    all in due time.
    Until then my fellow students
    you’ll have to endure
    my feeble attempt to write a poem.
    That is one thing I am sure.


    Mr. Long: A most impressive piece of spontaneous writing, to say the least. Quite like this couplet that opens it up: “What should I write about? / I know one thing is certain – I am not a poet.” Clever way to shift back to it in the final 2 lines, too. For submission to Calliope, the ‘blog entry’ might be out of place, but overall this has potential. I’d also look at punctuation before it goes public beyond a blog response. Overall, however, this is really clever and the underlying concept will resonate.

  3. Railroad Tracks

    I press my feet against the ground,
    Taking a step back, looking around,
    At the fierce old rail road tracks.
    Hm, I wonder what I should do,
    I think to myself, and glance at my shoe.

    I hop on those tracks and give it a whirl,
    Gee, a train seems a lot faster when you’re goin’ a twirl.
    “Mama!” I scream, but the train keeps a comin’
    And mama comes out, but it keeps on runnin’,
    And mama’s too late.
    Oh dear, sweet little me.

    My life is now flashing before my eyes,
    And I can just smell heaven’s fresh apple pies.
    Gee mama, I hate hearin’ your cries!
    Dontcha’ worry ’bout me, I’ll be up in the skies
    With grandma and grandpa, so say your goodbyes.
    Oh dear, sweet little me.

    The sky becomes darker, and day turns to night,
    My petrifying fear has turned to a worsening fright.
    The sun starts to set on the ol’ desert sand,
    And this isn’t exactly going how I had planned.

    Now, the train – here it comes,
    And all I can hear is its horrifying hums.
    I close my eyes and I hold my thumbs,
    I rattle my teeth and I bite my gums.

    I tell myself everything’ll be alright,
    But now I think that I can almost see the light.
    My brain is racing, my thoughts are rife,
    And here I am, too busy writing to save my own life.
    Oh dear, sweet little me.

    This is my story and it comes to an end
    While up to heaven I slowly ascend.
    Up and up, I wind and relax,
    As I watch the train on the old railroad tracks.
    Oh dear, sweet little me.

  4. Student #3 (follow-up)

    *I forgot to mention that if published, I’d like my poem to be anonymous.*

  5. Re: photos sent via gmail already

    Eyes of A Juggling Act

    I was able to go to Germany over the summer; I am sure that I have mentioned this once or twice before. 😉 I took these pictures the first day of our arrival in Leipzig. If you look in the window behind the juggler in the 2nd picture, you can actually see some of my friends’ reflections (in our green shirts). I did not really want to take these pictures of this man because this is how he lived his life. This wasn’t just a job or hobby; it looks like this is how he lives everyday, trying to juggle life, food, and cruel people all around. In the second picture, he made eye-contact with me. I really felt bad about taking his picture when I knew that he knew I was taking a picture of him. I know that I would not like some American taking a picture of me while I was trying to make a living. I knew that from my perspective, I was wanting to show how Germany was; how the daily life on the streets would be. Capturing the actual look in his eyes at the camera is something that would happen in the daily life, but its something that you wouldn’t see every day in a photo.
    The impact of these pictures should spark imagination and wonder about his life for the audience. I would also think someone would think about the photographer, and why they decided to take a chance in taking this picture. This should be a reminder of how hard life is to deal with and juggle around, and how we react when someone sees our struggling.

    ps. For formatting, I would put these three pictures together in a row. I do not know the technical term for this, but each picture would be in the same black, plain border, and would be in the order of how I sent it to you. I did not know how to do this without changing from the jpeg format. If these are up to par, I would love to see if I could more thoroughly express to you my thoughts of formatting. Thanks for making this a blog entry! 🙂

  6. To Know the Sea

    I never truly knew the sea,
    The natural sea, the heartfelt sea.
    All I knew was the public beach,
    The tourists and the littered, crowded reek.
    I did not know the secret sea,
    The private sea, behind a rented summer home.
    There is no trash, no people, none of their presence here,
    Only the waves upon rock, the surf upon shore,
    And the easy, scattered voices of my mother, sister, father.

    I did not know the sea could ever mean this,
    This quiet stretch of crumbled shell and gritty sand.
    There is nothing hard to the eyes, sharp to the nose, or harsh to the ears;
    Everything is of natural earth, nigh on free of human spite.
    There is no bright red of a novelty towel,
    Nor the artificial purple of a plastic toy forsaken.
    Instead I’ll glimpse the crimson back of a tiny crab,
    Or the sun’s glint on a mauve piece of nacre shell.
    They are small but genuine, far richer than manmade things.

    Yes, this sea I know,
    This natural sea, this heartfelt sea,
    But I do not know it like a wolf knows the trees.
    I do not know its feral side, its tall waves,
    It’s fierce uprisings, its hurricanes;
    I do not know how it can change.
    I have never staggered in a tossing boat,
    Nor tumbled and choked in its powerful swells,
    And never have I suffered its crashing upon my home.

    All I know is this shining, wholesome sea,
    Small and tame to my eyes that can only see so far.
    Part of me wants to explore it, gather it, learn it,
    Like a wolf knows the trees…
    But it is best left not scoured by man,
    For that way it is all the more beautiful to me.

  7. Student 5 (part 2)

    My work is called “Eye of the Shepherd.” It’s a collage of a bunch of Australian shepherds making up the shape of an Australian shapherd’s eye (and I didn’t change any of the colors – their fur is really blue like that!). I think the audience will see that all beings/concepts are made up of many smaller things — like “a word is worth a thousand pictures” sort of thing. The focus on the eye also leads to the idea that these beautiful, intelligent dogs see and shepherd far more than simply livestock.


    Mr. Long: Look forward to seeing the piece. Note: I’m only able to give credit (for the blog) to one of your entries this week, but both will definitely go to the Calliope team — thanks!

  8. Mr. Long – I sent the jpg of “Eye of the Shepherd” to your gmail account via a different name — Clair12@aol.com. Did you get it?


    Mr. Long: Yes. It arrived.


    There was blood. A scream. A shout. No one could see her as she whirled around, gasping. The knives–oh, the knives! She heard the deafening thump as his body, covered in gashes, fell to the marble floor. He collapsed before the image of his friend, then nemesis. No. This could not be happening! Not to him, not to the greatest, the best, most honorable—
    “Caesar!” Calpurnia thought, agony pouring over her like rain—cold, freezing rain. She realized she was awake and had screamed the word, the name of the man she now looked at.
    “Yes, Calpurnia?” He frowned, the creases in his forehead cut deeply. He was putting his toga on, carefully, to make sure it was done right. “What is it?”
    Calpurnia realized she was trembling. She got out of bed and stumbled to her husband. She felt his head. Solid.
    “What is it?” he asked again, growing impatient.
    “I-I-“ stammered Calpurnia. She looked at his slightly cross face. It had a sharp nose and hard eyes—eyes that had seen birth and death, love and hate, joy and sadness, cruelty and mercy. Those same eyes held hers with concern and comfort.
    “I had a dream.”
    Before she could start, however, a maid entered, carrying silver goblets filled to the brim with rich dark wine, and a tray of soft bread. Caesar tore the bread in half, taking a bite out of one half and leaving the other on the tray. He sniffed it—Caesar was a cautious man—then sank his strong teeth into it. He gestured for Calpurnia to continue.
    “I saw you. In the Forum. You were lying there, covered in wounds, before the feet of Pompey’s statue. The gashes were from-from-“ she choked.
    “Go on,” said Caesar softly.
    “From a knife,” whispered Calpurnia. Suddenly she felt new strength. “Do not go to the Forum, Caesar! The gods have sent a warning—in fact, many warnings. Do not go!” Calpurnia could read the alarm in Caesar’s face. She knew he would stay home.
    Knock knock knock! Someone was at the door. Caesar and Calpurnia froze. A slave answered the door.
    Decius Brutus and Lucius Cassius strolled into the house. Calpurnia stared at them. Cassius had a smirk on his face as wide as the Appian Way. Something was afoot.
    “Most honorable and noble Caesar,” began Decius Brutus pleasantly. “We request your presence at the Forum today. Someone’s getting elected to a very high position today, and you simply must be their to, er, help.” He winked at Caesar.
    The color drained from Calpurnia’s face. “No!”
    Caesar held up his noble hand. “I am sorry, my good men, but my wife requests my presence at home. The omens are against my going anywhere today, according to Calpurnia, who has never been a superstitious woman.”
    Cassius was getting frustrated. “If you must know, it’s you! We’re going to elect YOU to king today, but if you don’t attend the Senate may change their minds, thinking, ‘What man fears the dreams of his wife?’ But, it’s your decision of course.”
    Calpurnia saw something in Caesar snap. She saw a look on his face that she had never seen on him before, but on the faces of many Romans. Greed.
    “King, you say? Then the omens must mean that the gods are rejoicing for my good fortune. Your dreams seem so frivolous now, Calpurnia! Let’s go!”
    Calpurnia felt the tears running down her cheeks. “No,” she said, but her voice had lost its sternness, its confidence.
    “Sorry, my dear.” Caesar brushed a soft kiss on Calpurnia’s wet cheek and slipped out the door. “I’ll be back soon!”
    Calpurnia sat down on her bed, sighing. Caesar’s bread lay forgotten on the floor. She picked it up and glanced at the calendar, choking back sobs.
    March 15. The Ides of March

    “The Ides of March are come.” –Caesar
    “Ay, Caesar; but not gone.” –Soothsayer (from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar)

  10. My picture is called “Let Go Let Loose.” The picture is of my freind in a car with her hair blowing but you can’t really see her face. I think the picture would inspire someone to just go let loose and have fun, even if it is just for one day. Being a cookie cutter image all the time can get tiring so every now and then just go have a good time.

    I sent the picture to your email.

  11. I sent in a photo of flowers in a vase (cliche right?) that I absolutely love.

  12. I’m not sure what this is. I guess it could be considered a poem. I just wrote what I was thinking. Also if this gets chosen I would like it to be anonymous.


    Have you ever asked yourself that?
    I have.
    So many times.
    The questions range from why is that the answer? To why are we the way we are?
    Why do humans put themselves through war?
    Why do we destroy the planet that gives of life?
    Why are there those destined for greatness?
    And others who are destined to fail?
    Why are we worthy of everything given to us?
    Why do we push the boundaries?
    Why do we succeed?
    Why do we fail?
    Why do we have what it takes to keep going?
    Why am I me and you you?
    Why do we fear what’s different?
    Why do we hate?
    Why do we love?
    Just why?
    Why are some chosen to die while others live?
    Why are we this way?
    Why are we here?
    Why was I chosen to be me?
    Why was I gifted with the life I have?

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