A Hero, My Mom

Written by: Juliet Solis

If I were to define a hero, I would define it as someone who risks their life for other people, or as someone who has always been there for you. No matter what, a hero is a person who is beyond, a person who does not give up. I mean give up isn’t even in there vocabulary.

And my mom is definitely a hero in all words. She saves me from disasters like sadness and anger, but at the same time, she risks her life everyday to save and help me and my siblings. She works so hard! I sometimes wish she wouldn’t, but she always insists on it.

            So, as a daughter to a hero, I would say that I am very lucky to have one in my life. 

8:46 A.M.

Written by: Taylor Callender

8:46 am September 11, 2001. A plane gets hijacked and crashes into the North Twin Tower. 9:03 am September 11, 2001. Another plane gets hijacked and crashes into the South Twin Tower. Tragedy or terrorist attack?

This event left many people jobless, or without a family to go home to. 9/11 also made things in the United States very difficult. I got the chance to sit down with my father, Curtis Callender, and talk to him about how 9/11 affected him. He talked about how he was on his way to school when the first plane hit. He said, “We were all confused because we thought it was an accident, until we found out it was terrorism. So, then, we all felt afraid, shocked, and sad.” He said many people lived in fear for many years. “The war was emotionally draining as an American and a young person, then my friends from high school started going into the military. Several were injured, and I worried about them.” He further explained how paranoia swept throughout America and the fear of terrorism became real.

Even though I was not alive when 9/11 happened. I still have to live with how it affected the U.S. today. Because of these events, I now have to think about what could happen if I was to board a plane, and also live in fear that another U.S. landmark could be attacked by a terrorist.

PTA Reflections Contest: I Matter to Myself

The arts are a vital element of a complete and competitive education. The PTA Reflections Contest is a National PTA art recognition program that encourages students of all ages and abilities to experience the benefits of creative expression to tell their unique story.The Theme for Reflections this year is I Matter Because… Thirty Eight of our own Bush students entered submissions in the following Arts Categories: Visual Arts, Photography, and Literature. Of these 38 talented Bush Bulldogs, 5 of them advanced on to the District-wide competition where they received awards. The students earning District-wide recognition are: Natalie Acosta, Hector Reyes-Ortiz, Zachary Hopkins, Alora Macias, and Francesca Mossom. One student, eighth grader Alora Macias, was awarded the top recognition possible with the Overall Award of Excellence in the Visual Arts category for her digital work of art titled, I Matter to Myself. Alora’s artwork then advanced on to the state level of competition. Out of all the entries received in Visual Arts for the state of Texas, Alora received the Award of Merit! Congratulations, Alora, for sharing your creative artistic interpretation of the theme I Matter Because…and for your Texas PTA Award of Merit!

The 2021-2022 PTA Reflections theme has already been announced – it is I Will Change the World By… so start thinking about your PTA Reflections entry for next year!

2021 Resolutions

By: Madison Marshall

Maybe you’ve heard your mom or dad say that they have a few New Year Resolutions up their sleeves. Have you ever thought of trying out something new or different? Well, this student had a few ideas of her own. Although people’s New Year Resolutions can be the same boring old thing, this could be different, so let’s find out.

Everyone has ups and downs, you might even be having some right now. Well, Jolene, a seventh-grader, had some throughout her years, like when she “had friend issues with a bunch of girls, and I was friendless for the whole entire year until I met Alyssa and things just started going up from there.” As you can see, even though things might be taking a turn for the worst, miracles and blessings can prevail. Just like when Jolene met Alyssa, she was her miracle, her blessin

g. Things like that make everything that was going wrong worth it, so it is important to recognize how that can help with yearly goals or even goals for the future. Now, accomplishments kind of rule our lives in a way. We feel the need to finish something which makes us feel better about ourselves. Some accomplishments can be accomplished very quickly, as long as you put your heart and mind toward it. In fact, Jolene has some accomplishments and goals that she has set her heart to and some that have already been earned, “One of my goals was to get pointe shoes for my dance studio which I already got; my other goal is to hopefully pass the seventh grade. My New Year Resolution is to work on my anger issues, I cannot control them at all.”

What if you have set a goal before? However, you might have not completed them yet. Well “there was one, I was trying to get on the senior team but I was too chicken to do it last year, but now, I got it.” Goals and hopes may be difficult to obtain at first, but when you work for it, that hope can become a reality. Just like William Edward Hickson said, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.” Never let it go past you, fight for the accomplishment, be tenacious. Jolene got scared to become a part of the senior team at first, but the second time she didn’t get scared. She made it, and you can too with any goal or New Year Resolution you’ve set for completing.

Anybody can wish up a goal or resolution, but will you accomplish it? Along with these different points, in the end it will take your work and determination for the end result everybody hopes for. One-step at a time but stick with it. Goal setting can improve your image on life and help you become more successful and by keeping up with that mentality can bring you healthier and happier. Try setting a New Year Resolution for yourself and go on from there. Think it. Dream it. Work it. Complete it. Be it.

It’s Time to Lose the Zoos

By: Silvia Parrales Vega

“Zoos are prisons for animals, camouflaging their cruelty with conservation claims.” These words are from Bindi Irwin, a woman that preserves a zoo at the young age of 22. The government should close zoos because the animals are on display to the public as if they are objects, they are not in their natural habitat, and lastly, a lot of people, mostly kids, disturb them.
The zoos should close because they have the animals on display like they are objects in a museum. They are behind bars like people in jail, as if they did something bad, but they did not. It’s true that the staff might try to help them when they are aggressive, but that does not truly benefit them. They deserve the ability to do their own thing. That is why they were born in the wild. They do not deserve to be locked up in a “jail” for being who they were born to be.
They are also not in their natural environments. They were born to get their own food by hunting, not for someone to give them the food like as if they are children. The zoos are not helping the animals, they are just hurting them. If zoos keep taking all of the animals from the wild, there will not be animals left that are free. There will no longer be animals to see when you are in the countryside.
They are also very disturbed. People think it is fun to make weird noises while they are sleeping or while they are resting, eating, or just walking around. The animals need their personal space and their time to do things. Just because you want to see an animal walk doesn’t mean you can disturb him. Imagine you were the animal. How would you like to be treated?
In conclusion, the zoos should close because the animals are on display as if they are inanimate objects, not living creatures. The zoos are keeping wild animals from being in their natural habitats. Lastly, people are treating them like they were their toys by disturbing them for their own enjoyment.

Saved by the Bell

By: Karina Varela

On September 11, 2001, a plane crashed into the World Trade Center, causing more than 7,000 casualties overall. Officers, firefighters, and even strangers risked their lives to do whatever they could to save the lives of those lucky enough to vacate the area in which this devastating terrorist attack took place. Alfredo Varela was one of many to hear and be a part of this tragedy, and without a simple news broadcast, it is possible he would not be with us today.

“It was early morning and I was picking up a car to pick up some visitors,” said Alfredo Varela, a 56-year-old man, father to his four daughters. “I started listening to the news and they started reporting how the plane crashed into the World Trade Center.” He decided to turn back away from the city and returned to the office to watch the news. “It was very confusing and uncertain,” he stated. Unfortunately, many innocent civilians were caught in a situation they weren’t aware of at the time, and as a result, countless lives were lost. Alfredo was a lucky man.

He recalled that shortly after coming into his office he called his wife, Hiroko. “I remember telling her not to let [our daughters] watch TV or to put on something, like Nickelodeon.” Not only was he juggling the state of his situation but the weight of caring for his children. Parents, grandparents, relatives, were all dealing with the same question, do I want my child to be aware of this? For many, the answer was no. For others, it seemed crucial to permit a sense of this “confusing” and “terrifying” time. “I wanted to shield them, protect them from the news because there were a lot of horrible images on TV at the time,” Alfredo stated, “it was not the kind of thing you wanted your children to see.”

As a result of 9/11, people across the globe gained an awareness of the state of their country as well as the world. Alfredo now works with international students, part of the reason being the devastating event he had witnessed. “It made me question some of the policies that we had. It also, at the time, made me want to do more to create a better understanding of different parts of the world,” he conveyed. Although the origins of his occupation are indeed quite unfortunate, he works every day to create a bridge between different cultures despite the language barrier.

9/11 was an overwhelming time for many people of all kinds. It made us question the possibility that this could have been all prevented. It left us to decide what kind of life we wanted our children to remember. For some, this was the deciding factor for their future. Alfredo took this all into account when he realized just what kind of event he had witnessed. Not only did it change him, but it changed us all.

Abraham Lincoln

By: Rahul Ramadugu

We have many great presidents who have contributed to the United States. One that stands out is the 16th president. He made one of the greatest impacts on the country because he freed the slaves, put the country together after the Civil War, and signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Abraham Lincoln released the slaves around the country. Now it is illegal to own slaves. However, ending slavery was not what Lincoln intended to do at first. Eventually, Lincoln figured out that African Americans were equal to the White people.

During the Civil War, the United States split itself between the Confederate States and the Union. The Union didn’t allow slavery and was the northern part of the U.S.
On the other hand, the Confederate States of America went on a confederate government (a government where states made their own laws). They allowed slavery and was the southern states. Once the war was over, Lincoln just asked to apologize and stop slavery. He put the country together very well.
When battles were very frequent, Lincoln issued a document called the “Emancipation Proclamation.” This allowed slaves from the south to fight against the Confederates. However, the Emancipation Proclamation never stated that slavery was abolished.

Without Lincoln some of us would be slaves, the U.S. would be in war, and we wouldn’t be able to fight for our freedom. Unfortunately, Lincoln was assassinated soon after the Civil War. Newly elected president, Andrew Johnson, took the place of Lincoln. He had similar plans to putting the country back together as Lincoln thought. They were allowed back in the Union if they made slavery illegal, apologized, and made a state government good enough to pass for the federal government. The national government agreed to this and the Reconstruction era

An Everyman

By Karina Varela

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, better known as JFK, our 35th president, though unfortunately assassinated November 1963, managed to make some of the greatest contributions to American history. President Kennedy established the Peace Corps, averted nuclear war, and became responsible for the Equal Pay Act of 1963.

Peace Corps, established on March 1, 1961, by John F. Kennedy had the goal to “promote world peace and friendship.” Kennedy wanted to develop a better understanding of other peoples and have those reciprocate the same interest and understanding as well. The principle of having young Americans becoming involved in their community was one of many that Kennedy hoped for the American youth to acknowledge in their daily life. “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” – John F. Kennedy

In October of 1962, the whole world was on the brink of nuclear war; this event is known as the Cuban Missile Crisis. At the time, Kennedy had already discovered the appearance of military supplies coming from the Soviets earlier on and called his advisors in hopes to devise a plan in order to solve the problem they were currently facing. President Kennedy had already made several efforts to remove any traces of Soviet military supplies being imported. But, realizing that this was only a temporary solution, Kennedy as Commander in Chief and the United States collectively made an agreement with the Soviet Union to stop these types of imports on both sides. In 1963 though, the Soviets armed forces were not retracted. There were definite signs of a lessening tension.

Signed by John. F Kennedy in 1963, the Equal Pay Act prohibited the act of gender-based wage discrimination in the United States. Due to Kennedy’s efforts, this law became recognized as one of the first laws in American history directed at reducing oppression amongst a gender-based society. Although many of these issues still remain in today’s world, Kennedy took great responsibility to alter our habitual ways. John F. Kennedy was president from January 1961 until his assassination in November of 1963. He was one of the youngest presidents in American history, but also one of the wisest. His morals were at a place of good intentions and more so, Kennedy was known for his dashing looks as a young man. However, Kennedy was more than just a good face, he was a peacemaker; he was a politician. President Kennedy was a good man, and that is what we should remember him as, not just our president, but a friend to all.

Abraham Lincoln: A President to Remember

By: Dhruvi Desai

America has had a long history of cultural feuds, breakthroughs, and diversity that has earned it a memorable legacy that reaches world-wide. Throughout the almost 244 years of America’s existence, many presidents have successfully improved our country and enriched it with a strong sense of heritage, democratism, and justice, although one president can be recognized as the one who has made the most contributions to America: Abraham Lincoln (serving 1861-1865), a man whose reputation is still credible in classrooms today. Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States and, although already well known, should be credited once more for 3 reasons: he brought America into a slavery-free era, was an ambitious leader and learner, and used peaceful resolves with the Southerners after the Civil War.

Although the first reason may be the most obvious, it actually vividly illustrates one of his greatest accomplishments to society. The Civil War began when Lincoln was elected president, in which the North and South were divided due to factors such as sectionalism, states’ rights, and their economies. Lincoln assisted the country into an era of equality where people had the same opportunities regardless of skin color.

2020 Resolutions for Dummies

By: Mollie Keller

Resolutions; we all make them at the beginning of the year and all think “I will keep it this year!” Well guess what? Statistically speaking, you may not. It’s a fact that many people drop their New Year’s resolutions in less than two weeks!
Tips; We all rely on them for something. It could be makeup tips, hair tips or even skateboarding tricks. This article is going to give you some resolution tips that should help you stick with those resolutions, no matter how hard it may seem.

1. Keep Your resolution reasonable. Don’t think just because your friend can exercise every morning and run 10 miles that you can or should do it too. You have to work up to a higher goal, but first maybe start with running 2 miles the first week and slowly increase it. Slowly, work your way up and don’t start on impossible levels of goals.
2. This one is extremely important. Do not stress if you maybe slip up one day, just don’t make a habit of it. For example, if your goal is proportion control and you eat too much one day, don’t decide because you broke it one day, it’s okay to keep going like that. It’ll just make your habit your trying to get rid of, come back.
3. Don’t give up!!! No matter how hard it seems. Don’t give up! You’re doing great and can do this!! Even if you think something is too hard, you can do it. Ask for support. Believe in yourself.

In conclusion, it’s not easy to keep a resolution. It’s going to take some work, but it’s important to stay dedicated. So, although people may drop resolutions all around you, these tips will help you keep yours and make your goal a reality.

Keeping Up with Señor Rosique

By: Katarina Rendon

Gabe Rosique, to many he is just your typical Spanish teacher, to some he is a little more interesting than you may think, but to few…he is the wanderlust legend of Bush Middle School. This man is not your ordinary citizen, oh no, but a man with a life that seems to be pulled straight from an Indiana Jones movie. Throughout time, Mr. Rosique has been known to embark on extraordinary adventures and return with the most unbelievable tales of his travels, tales so remarkable even the most mature of audiences are left in absolute bewilderment. This is a curation of a few expeditions taken by Mr. Rosique in the year of 2019.

Summer, the more favorable season of the year, especially among small children and young teenagers solely because they do not attend school for around 3 months, but this time summer involved something more unexpected. Beginning to end, Mr. Rosique took many trips all over the world, as many people have, but these trips are most notably special because when someone tells you they went to Thailand, they don’t normally say they were massaged by an elephant. Excursions in Tulum sound fun and exciting, but do you typically associate this with almost being kidnapped? There’s one person who has experienced both of these things. Who you may ask? That person is none other than Mr. Rosique.

I got the chance to interview the one and only Mr. Rosique, I asked him a variety of questions about his 2019 and how it went. To my expectations he informed me about his international stay in Thailand. There he experienced more than just relaxation. “I got massaged by an elephant,” he exclaimed. “They asked for a volunteer [and] I didn’t know what I was volunteering for,” he explained to me, “….I was face down on a mat and the guy says ‘you’re going to get a massage’, I was like wow that’s pretty cool, but no an elephant comes out….and he’s the one that gave me the massage.” He then proceeded to elaborate on how the elephant was hitting him with its trunk. “He (the elephant) could’ve crushed me, but it was pretty cool.” To that I would say what a spa day.

Further into the interview, he had a sort of epiphany moment when I had asked if he did anything else involving action and drama. “Oh, I almost got kidnapped,” he stated with realization, “They (the kidnappers) called me while I was in Mexico, Tulum.” At this point I was shocked that he said that, but he continued. “…this guy calls me and says that he needs 3000 pesos, which I felt insulted by the way I’m worth a lot more than 3000”, he pointed out while laughing. “…I hung up and they called again, now I have to pay 9000, which is better for my ego but still not enough…if I don’t pay him he’s going to kill me,” both Mr. Rosique and I paused for a moment to giggle at how absurd the situation sounded, “…I thought this had to be a prank or something, but no they sent me a picture of me at the airport AND my present location…at that moment in time, I put everything in my bag, deactivated my phone, called a cab, and at 1o’clock in the morning I flew out of Tulum …basically I was running away.” At this point he couldn’t stop laughing, even when I asked him if he would ever go back to which he replied, “No! I would never go back.” Wow, what a way to wrap up a summer vacation. It’s safe to say flying to Tulum won’t be on Mr. Rosique’ s to do list any time soon.
Overall, it was very evident that Mr. Rosique enjoyed his 2019 stating, “There were good times, there were bad times… But that’s life.” He made it clear to me that even though the year had ended, his international fun wouldn’t. For Mr. Rosique, the year of 2020 will not only be filled with more adventure, but more experiences yet to be had. Many people tend to consider the end of the year also ends their fun, but for people like Mr. Rosique… it is only the beginning.

Traveling Back and Moving Forward: Focusing in on Clara Dolan

By: Karina Varela

The politics, jokes, our personal achievements: 2019 was a time of change and self-improvement. All of our trials and tribulations collected into a singular year. But today we’re discussing the successes and growth of Clara Dolan, a 13-year-old Bush Middle School student, who’s laughter and sweet smiles light up a room in an instant.

On Friday, January 10, I had the opportunity to interview Clara about the past decade and what she wishes to do in light of the new year. To begin, I asked about the past term. She discussed that in 2019, her greatest accomplishment was “making friends”. It was the first year she actually had a friend group and also happened to be a time where she was more sure of herself than ever. She had finally seen that beyond having friends, she instead, had a second family. Furthermore, I asked Clara what she wished she could’ve changed in the previous year. She replied, “I wish I would’ve been more productive.” The distractions of the world hinder us from doing what we hoped to have done but never manage to attain, most find this frustrating and as for Clara, this also holds true. She has faith that this year she can amend, what she believes to be her past mistakes.

Transitioning into 2020, Clara plans on finishing her first Youtube video. Though she is at a young age, her goals are as big as her spirit. According to her, she hopes to create a commentary or animation video as her first upload. Unfortunately, with school and her habit of procrastination, she was unable to achieve her goal in the last decade. But this year she is assured that she will be able to. In this year, Clara has claimed that she wants to improve on her overall grades and quick-thinking in regards to school work. Especially considering that in the next few months she will move onto high school. But for the moment, middle school is her time to find room for improvement.
We know what last year had done to us, or even, for us. But now we need to prepare for these coming years because just like Clara, there is always a need for development. 2020 is a new year, a new decade, so: Bring it on.

A Coach’s Calling

By: Katarina Rendon and Karina Varela

Coach Griffin, a well-mannered and remarkable teacher who is a mentor to a handful of students. To the public eye, he comes off as tall and intimidating, but in truth, he is affable and comedic. Truly enthusiastic about enlightening students in the world of history and moreover open to speaking about his personal interests. Upon speaking to him, one would uncover that he harbors a great amount of insight. Despite his young age, Mr. Griffin speaks with integrity and confidence, along with a sense of expertise in life. On December 5, 2019, Elle Rendon, took a trip into the sixth-grade hallway to speak with our very own Coach Griffin. Entering the conversation, she was expecting to talk about basketball and topics concerning the sport, but to her surprise, the interview derailed into a discussion about the deeper meaning in everyday situations.

It is not uncommon for basketball to be a prominent sport throughout middle school and high school for adolescents. But who inspires these young athletes? For Coach Griffin, it was his dad, and former Spurs player, Paul Griffin. “He inspired me by just understanding that with hard work and dedication you can be really good at something that you set your heart out to believe in,” says Mr. Griffin when asked how his father implemented basketball in his life. Paul first sparked his interest at a young age, so when Coach Griffin was offered the opportunity he jumped at it. Paul rubbed off his expertise in basketball on Mr. Griffin. This is when his career took off, in middle school. Knowing that he was good at the sport, Coach Griffin realized his potential which would end up to be the key to unlocking a prosperous new chapter in his basketball career.

What Bush Athletes Do to Lead Go Team To Victory

By: Dhruvi Desai & Rahul Ramadugu
The athletes of the Bush Middle School basketball team work extremely hard to achieve their goal of winning a game. Their efforts are often overlooked by the audience, who may only see the surface of the game (simply swishing an orange ball into a net) instead of the complex system of the game that requires a team of players with strength, compassion, and a sense of synergy. Here, get an inside look at the efforts Bush athletes make to lead their team to victory.

On December 11, 2019, the Bush Bulldogs competed with the fierce Bradley Bears and won by two points in the tenacious competition, and one of the team members, Rahul Ramadugu credits the win to the learning opportunities provided from the previous game which helps the players incorporate the effective strategies from the previous game into this one. When asked whether the shortcomings of the last game allowed for growth in this one, Rahul responded with yes, “We usually learn from our mistakes.” Rahul also values teamwork, stating that he “usually feels important” during a game because he is able to help his team. “They (my teammates) help me notice what I am doing wrong.” Rahul adds that he is dedicated to the sport, not only practicing in the Bulldog Gym, but practicing at home as well.