• Self-Improvement Month

    By Alina Rodriguez

    Have you ever seen a group of runners jogging on a trail? Do you remember the person who was lagging way behind all of the others? Well. That would be me. Around two weeks ago, I started to run with the cross country team for my school. And, you guessed it, I’m typically dead last. Honestly, I don’t feel terrible about it. I do my best. Even though a runner in a group feels some competitive drive, cross country isn’t really about beating your teammates. It’s about surpassing what you did yesterday, even if it’s hard. Looking back on my first day of running, I see what I was doing wrong. I was constantly stopping and starting, because I wasn’t in shape enough to hold a fast pace. I had to drastically slow my running to be able to maintain …

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  • Blinding Light

    By Alina Rodriguez

    I could feel my instructor’s eyes on me as my fingers searched for the keys. I stumbled over notes, my fingers struggling to find their places. It was a joyful piece, but my emotions were disconnected from the music. Nervousness overcame me. I couldn’t do this. Not without Miss Lidia.  My fingers trembled, and one slipped onto the wrong note. I could feel my new teacher wince. Focus. Focus. Remember what she taught you: ‘“It’s just you and the music, Verity… relax. Nobody else is here. Be confident. You love this song. Express what you’re feeling through the music.” I took a deep breath and started playing. My eyes widened as I flawlessly executed the song for my mentor.’ I was on the verge of tears. I couldn’t play without her; the woman had been there for me all of …

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