Writing Contest Final winners
April 25, 2019
This Week We feature the final 2 Honorable Mentions in the contest
The Culver City Observer believes that a fundamental part of life is learning how to write. Last week we featured the first-place winner. This week we feature the 2nd place winner Andrew Oda. We will be featuring the writing of other winners in the upcoming weeks. The ASB sponsored this year's contest. The first-place winner received a $50 Amazon gift card and the 2nd and 3rd place winners received $25 Amazon gift cards.
Students were encouraged to write a piece of fiction or poetry that shows a unique perspective of the world, including what it means to interact with others with different viewpoints. We are grateful to Kathleen Rowley a NBPTS Certified English Teacher at Culver City High School.
Mexico Evolving in The Eyes of Benito Pablo Juarez Garcia
by Natalia Ortega
As Mexico developed economically, so did the lives of the citizens. Benito Pablo Juárez Garcia was as young as a cub when his parents passed away, which caused him to fear death; however, he did not communicate to his wife and kids about his fear. Benito did not let his fear halt him from continuing his career in Mexican politics. He believed that the conditions of Mexicans lives were in a poor state, in which he thought was unfair. After the marriage to his wife, Margarita Maza, he later on became a father to 13 children. In the mid 1800's he became president to fight for Mexican rights, with the help of his thoughtful friend, Pedro Santiago.
As Pedro and Benito walked through the town of Oaxaca de Juárez, they noticed the homes that were destroyed by the earthquake the evening before.
" Ay, es muy mal que estos niños están viviendo en este condición," said Benito.
"Si, debemos preguntar a las mamás de los niños más ricos, para preparar comida y abrigo para estos familias," Pedro exclaimed.
" Yo no sé cómo tendría la fuerza para vivir. A mi me da mucho miedo," Benito whispered in fear.
As they both rode their carriage back to their hometown, Benito thought about what it would be like if he and his family were to live in such a poor town. When their carriage was coming to a stop, Benito finally realized how many blessings he had and how he could make others feel the same way as president.
"Cuando llegamos a La Casa Grande, vamos a empacar nuestra ropa y toda mi familia, incluyendo usted, vamos a viajar otra vez al ciudad y ayudar a construir refugio para los pobres" Benito said excitedly.
"Hay que idea tan buena!" Pedro clarified.
When Pedro and Benito got to the Big House, Benito rushed to his wife's room to tell her that they were arranged to go do construction work in Oaxaca de Juarez for those families who had lost their home due to the awful earthquake the night before. As the 13 children, Margarita and Pedro all got packed up, Benito became very impatient. As the family arranged themselves into the large carriage, they all fought to get the seats closest to the edge of the rows.
" Papá! Cuánto tiempo se hace de aquí a Oaxaca?" said one of Benito's 13 children.
"Mijo, puede durar hasta dos horas!" Benito said exhausted.
"No es mucho tiempo, pero no quiero esperar para construir el refugio!"
When the family arrived to Oaxaca de Juarez, they fled from the carriage and made their way towards the families whose houses got destroyed. Every member of the Garcia family showed sympathy for the misfortunate citizens of Oaxaca, so Benito later announced the construction of the new shelter for the families.
" Todas, hola! Hoy mi familia y yo vamos a empezar construir un refugio para todas las familias que perdieron sus casas en el terremoto. Esperamos escuchar algunas ideas sobre cómo construir este edificio." Benito said with his family next to him. That same day, the Garcia family got to their carriage to sleep before a big day of construction. Benito was very tired, yet could not sleep, so he stayed up creating a blueprint for the shelter him and his family were going to make. The sunlight was finally peeking through the cracks in the wood above them.
" Todos, es hora de levantarse, vestirse, comer y dirigirse al sitio de construcción!" as Benito announced that, his children, their mother, and Pedro all woke up in a heartbeat.
"Dios, gracias por brindarme a mí y mi familia esta increíble oportunidad de ayudar a estas familias necesitadas." Benito's wife, Margarita, gratefully said as the carriage started towards the construction site. The whole Garcia family was in shock when they arrived at the site, because all those families whose homes got destroyed, were there bright and early, ready to work on their shelter, which was only a one family job.
"Ay, que sorpresa! Gracias a todos por venir y ayudarnos con este trabajo muy difícil!" Margarita said.
"¡Hola a todos! Hoy vamos a construir un refugio en reemplazo de sus casas, ¡y mi familia y yo estamos extremadamente emocionados de experimentar esto con todos ustedes! Comenzaremos con una gran sala. Más adelante incluyamos la cafetería y los baños. Sin embargo, me encantaría que todas las mamás cosieran mantas para sus hijos pequeños, sus esposos y, obviamente, para ellos mismos." Benito announced in a polite tone.
"Todo esto siente muy bien, vamos a comenzar a construir!" a mom said very thankfully to the Garcia family. Soon after that, the shelter was finally being built! The moms sewed the blankets, as the men helped build the shelter. For 13 hours straight, everyone worked very hard and they got to their final few bricks of the shelter, sealing up the cafeteria.
" Pedro pasame el adobe para asegurar los ladrillos por favor." Benito said with confidence as he grabs the adobe from Pedro's hand and covers the last brick.
" ¡Por fin terminamos de construir el refugio y ahora tenemos 107 mantas para que todos puedan dormir cómodamente y calentarse!" said one of moms very excited. As the moms became very jumpy and excited so was the Garcia family; however, the moms told their children to give thanks to Benito and his family for their help and support for their new shelter.
Every parents child shouted:
"Benito y su familia, gracias!"
" Por supuesto, ustedes los necesitaba por tu salud!" Benito and Pedro said in unison.
It was then time for the Garcia family to return to their home, which was a long way away from the shelter. Benito, Pedro, Margarita, and the 13 children were all so grateful for that opportunity. Margarita had noticed that her children had become friends with some of the other children from the shelter so she insisted that:
" Cada mes vamos a regresar al refugio para saludar a las familias y también para nuestros niños y sus nuevos amigos para reunir."
Benito agreed and every month after the construction of the shelter, the whole Garcia family, including Pedro, went to visit the families. Unfortunately a year later, Benito passed away, and for everyone who said he was a hero, visited the shelter for several years after his passing, until that shelter was destroyed by another earthquake.
A Roaring Flame
by Fernanda Gonzalez
"Nenetl...Nenetl, wake up we're going to be late."
I woke to my little sister Tepi tugging on my arm urging me to get ready. It seemed strange to me at first given that she almost never does this unless it's important. Did she say we were going to be late? Late for what? I thought to myself as I slowly sat up from my reed mat which I used to sleep. Suddenly I remembered what we would be late for if I didn't get ready soon. We would be late to meet with my fiance, my nantli, and my tajtli, my mother and father, had picked out for me. While they saw him as this strong, hardworking, and talented suitor I saw him as an arrogant, lying, horrible person. I hated him. I wanted nothing to do with him. But there isn't really anything I could do about it. There was no negotiating with my parents about the arrangement. What was said was final. I walked over to a chest where I kept my clothes and pulled out a huipil and a cueitl which were both white with purple and red details embroidered on them. I quickly got dressed and put my hair up into two braids. I ran outside to find Tepi preparing a quick breakfast which consisted of fruits. We quickly ate and hurried over to meet our parents.
"We're here," I said to my mother who was wearing a white tunic which accentuated her feminine figure. Her long black hair was pulled back into a braid and her sharp brown eyes were scanning me up and down. She gave me a soft smile and tucked a strand of hair behind my ear.
"Come," she said. "Your father and Coatl, your betrothed, await us." "Yes, nantsin," I replied.
Although I was supposed to marry Coatl I don't love him. Or even like him for that manner. To me, he just seems like a vulgar horrendous man who only acts somewhat decently around his parents and mine. The one in my heart is Tlachinolli his cousin. She's one of the most beautiful women I'd ever met. She has lovely olive skin and honey brown eyes. Not only is she beautiful and kind but she is also a fierce warrior. Her name fits her like a glove because when she fights she consumes everything like a fire would. She destroys but also creates. She placed an ember in my heart which only continued to grow into a roaring flame. It burned so bright that she took notice of it. Since then we've been meeting in secret when the sun sets past the horizon. Until recently no one knew about us. Now the only person who shares this secret with is Tepi. She's been the one who's helped me escape our mother on many occasions so that Tlachinolli and I could spend as much time together as possible.
We were planning on making ourselves and our relationship known to our parents but then Coatl came into the picture. The very night that we had planned to speak to our parents about us a meeting between Coatl and I had been arranged without my knowing consent. When my Tajtli introduced him to me he seemed polite and easygoing but when we were left alone he was a vulgar beast. He not only said so many unspeakable things but his actions were horrendous. That night I tried telling my parents that he wasn't the person for me but they saw him as worthy since he was strong, owned lots of lands and was friends with Montezuma. Today was the last day of preparations for the wedding so it was very important that I showed up with my mother and sister to help me arrange everything. If it were up to me I wouldn't be here but I'm buying time. Tlachinolli and I came up with a plan that same night to run away together. As much as I love her I didn't want to leave my family behind so I decided I'd try to reason with them.
"Nantli," I called out. "I cannot marry Coatl because I know the type of person he is. As soon as he finds me no longer useful he will kill me. Please let me be with Tlachinolli, the woman I love."
As soon as those words left my lips my mother backhanded me across the face.
"How dare you say such accusations only to run off with that nobody. You will marry Coatl and that's final." She said in a stern voice.
That night I packed a bag with some clothes and sneaked out of the house in the dead of night.
"Nenetl?" I heard Tepi call out. My eyes filled with tears at the thought of leaving my beloved sister.
"I love you Tepi. Now go to sleep, okay?" I said. "Yeah, okay," she replied in a sleepy tone.
I left the house and traveled for about an hour to the town where Tlachinolli and I would be staying. It wasn't too far but remote enough to keep us safe. We stayed there for about a month before we decided to pay our families or siblings a visit. I arrived to my old house around midnight. As expected there was no movement in the house. I crept into Tepi's room only to find something that would forever haunt my nightmares. My beautiful little sisters' corpse was lying on the ground cold and stiff. The pool of blood around her had now dried into a putrid sticky mess. I sobbed and all I could think was 'this is my fault'. These thoughts repeated in my head as I went into my parents' room to find the same thing. I fell to my knees and "I'm sorry" was all I could say. I felt pathetic. I saw a knife lying on the ground, the murder weapon no doubt, and I picked it up.
"Do it" a voice in my head said. "You don't deserve to live. Do it"
I clenched the knife in my hand and plunged it into my chest once earning a sickening squelch. "I'm sorry" is all I said as tears rolled down my face. Then I pulled it out and stabbed myself on final time.
Nantli Nantsin- Mother