by Milan Riley
A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a popular play written by William Shakespeare, a playwright during the age of the English Renaissance. Historians estimate that this particular play was first written between 1594 and 1596. It was originally published in 1600 and once more in 1619, despite being primarily meant to be performed in a theater rather than read. The play was further included in the First Folio, a collection of Shakespeare’s plays, released in 1623, seven years after Shakespeare’s death, in honor of the great playwright. The collection was the first to group his plays into three categories: comedies, which often included humorous characters and happy endings; histories, which were usually based on real historical people and events; and tragedies, which most likely ended with the sad death of a hero. It is believed that A Midsummer Night’s Dream, considered a comedy, was first performed on January 1, 1605, at an aristocratic wedding with Queen Elizabeth I in attendance.
Portrait of Shakespeare
Many philologists, people who study literature, infer that A Midsummer Night’s Dream was influenced by other stories such as Edmund Spenser’s “Epithalamion,” Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Chaucer’s “The Knight’s Tale,” Greek legends about Theseus and Hippolyta, and also the German poem “Der Busant.” This combination of inspirations and Shakespeare’s own creativity combined to become the comedy that readers know today.
Similar to other comedies, A Midsummer Night’s Dream has a “fool” character, named Nick Bottom, who provides comic relief throughout the play. He is commonly remembered for his transformation into a donkey at the hands of Puck, the mischievous fairy. Other main characters include Hermia and Lysander, two lovers who do not have Hermia’s father’s blessing. This drama also involves Demetrius, the man Hermia’s father would rather she marry, and Helena, Hermia’s best friend who loves Demetrius. Throughout the play, Puck’s use of a flower that makes a person love whoever they first see causes even more drama amongst this tangled “love square”.
8th Grade Field Trip
On September 22, 2022, the 8th graders at the Science Academy STEM Magnet were fortunate enough to see this play performed in person at the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum. This theater is an outdoor, open-air stage in the mountains of Topanga Canyon. The performance included interactive sections, choreography, and singing. In addition, the students were able to experience the theater’s workshops beforehand, trying our hand at such skills as as juggling, dancing, stage-fighting, and more.
The Theatricum BotanicumRead More
At the conclusion of our unit on Ancient Egypt unit, the 6th grade students submitted short stories that reflected what they learned about Egyptian society, government, and religious beliefs. Here is a sampling, along with students’ original artwork.
The Creation of Life
by Charis K.
For many people, the coming of summer is a blessing as it brings warm weather for crops to grow. It was also a large blessing for the ancient Egyptians; they believed that Renenutet, the goddess of nourishment and harvest, would provide them a bountiful harvest. However, one summer was far from a blessing as floods came and destroyed fruits such as figs and dates. The floods destroyed all the fields except those growing wheat. With an abundant amount of wheat but lacking fruits and vegetables , the king announced that if a cook could be used the available crops to create a successful dish, the recipe’s owner would be given the privilege to live in the palace with the royal family.
Up on the highest hill in the kingdom far from the floods lived a farmer named Aharon and his daughter Akila. When Aharon harvested the wheat and fruits, Akila would weave the wheat into beautiful baskets and fruits into delicious jam. They were a poor but happy family. However, they barely paid for their land with the money they made at the market, selling figs and dates. When they heard of the king’s announcement, Aharon rushed to Akila and asked if she would want to take on the challenge. Akila, who enjoyed cooking, agreed and started to gather materials. Next door to their home lived a sly woman named Anippe. She looked friendly and caring, but she hated Aharon’s family because she felt competition. Knowing Akila’s amazing cooking skills, she decided to wait until Akila created a recipe so she could steal it and win the prize. So she waited for 6 months until she heard Anippe squeal with delight as the air filled with a delicious aroma. She quickly knocked on the door and caught a glimpse of Akila’s papyrus roll full of different recipes. As she casually talked with Akila, she slipped the most recent recipe into her basket and quickly excused herself. Before Akila could realize, Anippe ran to the palace to claim her creation.
When she reached the palace everyone was stunned by the amazing smell and the taste. Just before the king could grant her the prize, Akila rushed and said, “That is my recipe and the woman, Annipe, has stolen it.” Everyone was stunned but did not believe her. However the princess, Sara, saw through Annipe and knew that she had not made the dish. Therefore, she suggested holding a small competition to find the real owner of the recipe. Each woman would be granted two stalks of wheat, a bundle of grapes, and five large, ripe dates. The one who makes the dish perfectly without the recipe would be the winner. Annipe, panicking, added all of the ingredients in a bowl and over baked them. However, Akila ground the wheat, extracted the juice from the grapes, created a thin syrup with dates, and baked it for just the right amount of time. While Akila’s dish was soft, sweet and delicious, Annipe’s was hard and burnt. Seeing this, the king threw Annipe into prison for her deceit, and Akila and Aharon lived in the palace happily. Akila named the creation “eish,” which meant living, as it had stopped the famine and led to many healthy and happy people.
The Fate of Khufu
by Brian S.
It’s 2520 B.C, and after much work by his subjects, King Khufu had finished the Pyramids of Giza a decade ago. Settling in with satisfaction, Khufu collected the tribute from his conquered lands.
“Thank you, and thank you, and thank you,” said King Khufu, while collecting the tribute of gold and other riches. All the people from the lands he conquered had to pay this tribute, or face dire consequences.
Later, while his viziers were doing much of his work for him, Khufu was enjoying his beautiful garden, where he could wander around until his dinner. Khufu took a deep breath in and announced, “Free time is sometimes all a pharaoh needs to stay calm and ready for life. What a beautiful gar–” In that brief instant, an assassin had stuck a knife to his back, causing Khufu to fall to his knees and cough out blood. Before the guards could arrive, Khufu had died. His final sights were the flowers and bushes in his garden, and the pool of blood around him. He realized his time had come, and closed his eyes to prepare for eternal darkness of death.
He woke up after what seemed like several hours, to a room surrounded by 42 gods, with some who Khufu knew, such as Anubis, the jackal-headed god of the dead, and Ra, the Sun God. Then, one of the gods stood up and announced, “Welcome, King Khufu, son of Sneferu. You were assassinated with the use of a knife, and are now here at the sacred Weighing of the Heart ceremony. To pass the ceremony and join your ancestors, your heart must not weigh more than the feather of Ma’at, the goddess of truth and purity. Otherwise, your heart will be fed to Ammit, and your soul will be stuck wandering Egypt for all of eternity. We will begin with your Negative Confession. Now, in front of all the gods and former pharaohs, list the sins you have not committed.”
Khufu could immediately tell that the god was Osiris, since he seated at a magnificent throne. Behind him stood his wife Isis and her sister Nepenthes, watching the ceremony. Khufu stood up and walked to all the gods, stating the sins he did not commit, all while Thoth, the god of wisdom and sacred scribe, used his pen to write down all the sins not committed. After about an half-hour Khufu’s various not-committed sins, Osiris announces, “Now that the negative confessions were written down, your heart, Khufu, will be placed on a scale and weighed against the feather of Ma’at, and we will determine if you get to pass, or if your heart will be eaten by Ammit.”
Khufu’s heart was placed on one side of a golden scale, while on the opposite side, Anubis, the god of the dead, placed the feather of Ma’at. Khufu watched as his own heart beat faster as he awaited his final destination, and the other gods started wondering what his heart was doing, as they had never studied the anatomy of a human body.
Finally, the weighing was over, and Osiris announced, “King Khufu, your heart weighs the same as the feather of Ma’at, meaning you are allowed to reunite with your ancestors and farm in the fields for the rest of time. Enter through the doors in front of you to enter your new home. Congratulations to King Khufu, son of Sneferu.”
Relieved that he can now visit his dead parents and grandparents, Khufu thanked the gods and entered through the doorway, revealing a large field of wheat, a beautiful garden, a comfortable home, and his long lost ancestors. He was happy to live here for the rest of time, even if it meant he no longer has access to his riches back on earth.
by Sofia K.
Light flooded her eyes as Anipe opened them to a room full of indescribable scents and colors. She felt tired, as if she had just woken up from a long rest. Unbeknownst to her was how she had gotten there, and she searched her memory in a panicked frenzy. Finally recognizing the scenery from paintings of the Hall of Osiris, she still couldn’t figure out how exactly she had come to be there.
It had been her coronation: they had spent weeks preparing for the celebration, and Anipe had been waiting for the day the throne would be handed to her. She had made sure everything was perfect; an offering was given to every god, a plate for every guest, and food was prepared to the best of the cook’s abilities. Had one of her servants deceived her? Perhaps one of the cooks poisoned her food? Or maybe someone slipped something in her drink? No, that couldn’t have been it, she thought to herself.
After all, it had been her younger brother who had picked out the wine especially for this day which she had been looking forward to for so long. Abrax would never have let someone poison the wine while it was left unattended. Suddenly, Anipe’s blood ran cold. He hadn’t left the wine unattended, he had been the one to poison it. As soon as the realization struck her, she felt utterly stupid. Abrax, the person she trusted more than anyone she knew, had been the one to betray her? It couldn’t be. But the more she thought about it, the more it made sense to her. He was the next in line to the throne; if she was gone, there would be no one in his way to power.
Anipe’s thoughts were interrupted by a deep voice urging her to come forth. Looking around she realized she was surrounded by gods, waiting for her to recite the Book of the Dead. She recognized the person urging her to come forth as Osiris, and as she neared where he stood, she caught a glimpse of the feather of truth. The feather was unlike anything she had seen before: it was as if it was made of light itself. Anipe brushed off her previous thoughts of the betrayal, she needed to focus now if she wanted to avoid a terrible fate. She began to recite her Negative Confession as the gods around her watched. She wasn’t worried about the fact that what she said could be counted as false. Considering what she was being judged on, she had done no wrong. After she was finished, she watched in silence as her heart was weighed on Anubis’ scale, to ensure that it was not heavy with sin. Not to worry, it was perfectly balanced with Ma’at’s feather of truth. As pleased as she was of the outcome, Anipe could not shake off the feeling of hatred and resentment she now held for Abrax, who had caused her death.
Although the afterlife had been everything she had been told of and more, her thirst for revenge only grew stronger by day. No longer being able to bear the hatred that was eating Anipe up from the inside, and she went to consult one of the other past pharaohs for his advice. Each and every one she consulted told her the same thing, “The feeling will disappear with time and be replaced by a feeling of content” or “You must let go of those feelings” and a lot of other nonsense; none of them seemed willing to provide her with the answer she had hoped for. She tried her best to forgive or even forget what had happened, but time went on and days passed slowly.
Anipe was able to live with the feelings she had. After all, what else could she do? She pushed her vengeful thoughts into the back of her mind and was able to live a content, peaceful afterlife. That was, of course, until she saw him. Seeing Abrax changed something in Anipe. As she walked up to him and saw him dressed in amulets and ceremonial pieces adorned with gold, lapis lazuli, and amulets that were meant for the pharaoh, she was engulfed in rage. Yet she remained calm, faked a smile, and made an attempt to strike up a conversation:
“It’s been too long, Abrax! Welcome to the afterlife, it’s magnificent! Don’t you agree?”
After a long blank stare Abrax answered, “I’m sure it is, as an accomplished pharaoh must lead a glorious eternity. Now fetch me something to eat, will you? My ceremony has been postponed until tomorrow due to some conflict between my fellow gods and I’d rather spend my time here in comfort.”
Anipe’s blood boiled. After all he had done to her, he regarded her as if she was a servant. She didn’t know what she had expected, for him to beg for forgiveness? Or maybe just an apology. At the very least recognition.
Finally she asked, “Aren’t you worried? After all, you won’t be spending long here. The horrors of the other afterlife await you.”
With a laugh Abrax responded, “You think I’m that stupid? I ordered a servant to poison the wine. As I did not do it myself, that horrible eternity will not be mine to endure,” he said smugly.
As this realization came upon Anipe, she felt defeated but suddenly had an idea, “Thank goodness,” she replied with a fake sugary voice. “You deserve to be here just as much as I do, I’ve come to realize this after all my time here.”
“I’m glad you have come to your senses,” Abrax said with a cold smile.
As soon as Anipe was able to flee from the dreadful small talk she had been forced to engage in, she quickly made her way to where Ma’at kept the feather of truth. Anipe quickly switched the feather out with a regular ostrich feather with a smirk on her face. Now all she had to do was wait. Anipe wished Abrax good luck for his ceremony with a wave and a cheery, “I hope to see you back soon!” Without looking back Abrax replied, “Yes, I hope the ceremony doesn’t drag on for too long.”
Those were the last words Anipe heard from Abrax, for he never did return….
by Julia Shin
As Edith Lovejoy Pierce, a 20th century poet, once said, “We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” Many people look forward to the new year and are excited for New Year’s Eve, a famous celebration, on December 31st. Many people attend New Year’s Eve parties where people eat, drink, and spend time with friends and family. In hopes of a good new year with good health, happiness, and prosperity, many countries have unique and fun New Year’s Eve traditions. Some unique traditions around the world include smashing plates and throwing white flowers into the ocean.
1. Denmark: Smashing Plates
If you visit Denmark on New Year’s Eve, you may be surprised to see smashed china at people’s front doors yet Danes find pride in broken dishes at their front door. In fact, the bigger pile of dishes in front of your house indicates more luck you will have in the upcoming year! A popular Danish tradition is to throw china at your friends’ and neighbors’ front doors. Many unused plates are saved for this unusual occasion. Smashing china, particularly plates, leaves behind any hostility or ill feelings before the new year.
2. Brazil: Throwing white flowers into the ocean & wearing colorful underwear.
White represents peace and, for this reason, white is incorporated into New Year’s Eve traditions in Brazil. For example, white is worn on New Year’s Eve and white flowers and candles are thrown into the ocean. Throwing flowers and candles are offerings given to Yemoja, the African Goddess of the Ocean (who is honored in both Brazil and Africa). These offerings are given in hope of a good new year. Although people in Brazil may wear white, they are still colorful! On New Year’s Eve, people’s underwear should be new and colorful. Different colors of underwear have different meanings. For example, yellow represents wealth, white means peace, pink indicates love, and red represents passion.
3. Spain: Eating grapes in hopes of a good new year.
When the bell strikes midnight, Spaniards will eat exactly 12 grapes, one grape at each of the 12 bell strikes after midnight. Losing count of how many grapes are eaten or bell strikes means bad luck. This tradition began in the 1800s when vine growers created this tradition to sell more grapes near the end of the year. However, this tradition became more popular and was later cemented as a yearly tradition. Therefore, supermarkets and street vendors sell little plastic bags of 12 grapes to sell to locals. Spaniards hope this tradition will bring a year of good fortune and success.
4. Czech Republic: Cutting Apples
An apple is cut on New Year’s Eve which determines everyone’s fate nearby. When cut, if the apple’s core looks like a star, everyone will gain happiness and health. However, if the core looks like a cross, then bad things are expected to come. For example, someone may fall ill at the New Year’s party.
So while many of you are familiar with the tradition of watching the ball drop in Times Square, enjoying the Rose Parade on New Year’s Day, and making resolutions for the new year, perhaps consider incorporating some of these fun traditions into your celebration next year!Read More
by Emily Corona
The Science Academy has some excellent clubs focused on culture to offer the student body, all aiming to create a welcoming and educational environment. The clubs themselves are open to everyone from all backgrounds and are all outstanding learning opportunities. The clubs serve to provide a space to empower students of different cultures, all the while unifying the rest of the student body. Students have the opportunity to attend three different cultural clubs: the LatinX Student Union, the Jewish and Israeli Club, and the Christian Club. Each club offers a helpful insight into their respective cultures with their affable leaders and community members. Students are encouraged to visit these clubs and explore the unique cultures of their peers.
The LatinX Student Union, headed by 11th graders Chloe Montalban, Yedid Vargas, and Natalie Mendez, aims to empower and unite the LatinX community here at the Science Academy. The club is open to all students and is an enriching opportunity to learn about multiple aspects of LatinX culture, which includes the cultures of Mexico, Latin America, South America and Spain, as well as the experiences of Latinos and Latinas in the United States. One such meeting focused on the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. An educational presentation about the holiday was presented to club members, detailing traditions like sugar skull painting and the cultural significance of celebrating the dead. Not only that, but the club also spreads awareness regarding issues the community itself faces in contemporary times. The club itself meets weekly and is sponsored by Ms. Huyler.
The Jewish and Israeli Club is another one of Science Academy’s cultural clubs, teaching the history of Israel and neighboring Arab countries. The club also explores Jewish culture, examining important religious works such as the Torah and the Christian New Testament. Club President Jaden Penhaskashi, an 11th grader and the current Science Academy Student Body President, leads the club in a multitude of different discussions alongside club vice president Gregory Kislik. Founded three years ago, the club was intended to educate the student body on the many similarities and differences between Judaism and various other cultures. Many members of the club aren’t Jewish themselves according to Jaden, as he explained:
“I love the fact that there are so many people in our club who do not identify as Jewish or Israeli, and are simply there to learn and understand another perspective!”
The most recent meeting featured a presentation on the Capitol riots and the role antisemitism played in them, as well as a lesson on the current parliamentary system in Israel. The club meets twice a month, with Ms. Herrera serving as club sponsor, and alternates meetings with the Christian Club.
The Christian Club is represented by Jacob Chow and Melissa Mouchamel. It, too, welcomes students of all faith backgrounds as a venue for sharing perspectives. It provides a safe place to learn about and discuss Christianity through life experiences and study of the Bible, as well as learn about the life and teachings of Jesus. As Jacob and Melissa stated:
“In Christian Club, we aim to be a place where people, both Christian and non-Christian, can learn about and discuss Christianity, Bible stories and lessons, as well as life in general. We work hard to stay open to different viewpoints and interact with our members. Being online has been a challenge, but we tried our best to involve everyone in our meetings and are looking forward to meeting in person next year. This year, we have talked about the stories, misconceptions, and values of Christianity. Having the opportunity to share the principles that are so important in our lives and learn about diverse opinions is the reason why we wanted to lead this club together.”
These cultural clubs are incredible opportunities for all members of the student body to learn about the various different cultures of those on campus. They serve to empower those of their respective culture, all the while providing a welcoming learning environment for others to educate themselves. The Jewish Club presents unique opportunities to learn about both Judaism as a religion and Israeli culture. The LatinX Student Union provides in-depth discussions regarding Latino culture and tradition, as well as insight into issues faced by the Latino and Latina population. The Christian Club provides a forum for exploring the many denominations of Christianity and its rich history. Joining these clubs allows students to learn more about the numerous cultures celebrated throughout the Science Academy student body. The Schoology group join codes can be found in the Club Resources folder in the Student Outreach group.Read More
by Ava-Ray Pributsky
You may think that most of Ancient Egypt has already been discovered and that there is not much new to find. However, that is not the case. Even as recently as the last couple of years, there have been multiple discoveries of vast new burial sites in the region of Saqqara, located in Giza Governorate, Egypt. In November of 2020, archeologists found over 100 wooden sarcophagi, some of them with mummies inside, and over 40 funerary statues. These artifacts were from 2,500 years ago and “in perfect condition of preservation” according to Khaled el-Enany, the Egyptian Minister of tourism and antiquities. Even more recently, in January of 2021, archeologists found 50 more tombs in Saqqara. To share this discovery with the public, Harvard University has created a special virtual tour of one of the excavated tombs.
Archeologists Examining Artifacts at Saqqara
(Link to Tour)
This year, the 6th grade Ancient Civilizations history class at Science Academy has been learning about Ancient Egypt. We first studied the geography of Egypt, how the Nile helped the Egyptian people, culture, and their civilization flourish and survive, as well as how the Nile Valley protected Egyptian civilization from outside forces. Then, we started to learn about the Old Kingdom and the Middle Kingdom, briefly touching upon the Early Dynastic Period. We also learned about the pharaohs who ruled during those periods. Most pharaohs had elaborate, mysterious, and mesmerizing stories behind them, parts of which are still missing and lost in history. We also looked at the Step Pyramid of Djoser, the Great Pyramids of Giza, Hatshepsut’s Temple, and many other important monuments and tombs that were built during the time of Khufu and various other pharaohs. In addition, we delved deeply into the Egyptian pantheon of gods and their rich culture, as well as some of the Egyptians’ advances in mathematics, astronomy, and medicine. Finally, we covered the New Kingdom and its rulers, as well as the sad end to the civilization that was the prime trading center for centuries and the home to one of most beautiful civilizations for over 3,000 years.
As a final project, our class was asked to give an opportunity to work on an Extra Credit project where we wrote an original piece about Egyptian culture as well as an original art piece inspired by Egyptian culture. Here is a gallery of some of the students’ wonderful work.
Hymn to the Nile
by Muaz Reza
All hail to the Nile, the greatest river there is.
Who submerges thyself among the barren lands of Egypt.
Bringing growth to places visibly uninhabitable
Allowing life to sprout and thrive with great joy.
As your water calmly floods our dry lands
It brings pleasure to even the heaviest of frowns
Not a single heart grim, not a single heart sullen.
But brimming with life, awakened for the new season.
Your waters are what allowed us to grow
First a colony, then a kingdom, then finally an empire
We will cherish the gifts that you have provided us
For without them, we would surely cease to exist.
And as we harvest the bountiful crops
Which grow in the fertile lands you have provided
We await once again, your magnificent arrival.
To begin the cycle of life all over again.
Miracles of Ancient Egypt: The Snake-Man and his Master
by Tarisha Hasan
As a farmer, Ahmed worked his fields and tended to the city projects and tombs when the fields were flooded. One day, however, the pharaoh’s only son had died of a mysterious disease. All the citizens panicked, for they knew the pharaoh was aged and nearing the end of his life. As he helped in building the tomb for the prince, he wondered if there was still hope. After the tomb was complete, Ahmed went home to consider the current situation. The late pharaoh’s officials were still trying to find someone.
Ahmed decided that it was finally time to do something. He took to training carefully as a scribe. He hired an artisan to carve a cartouche for the new pharaoh, who was female. The artisan obliged. When the carving was finished, a courier was instructed to deliver the stone carving. However, there was a problem: the weather was bleak and overcast. After a while, it was agreed that the carving should be delivered in a protective covering. When it was finally delivered, however, a lightning bolt struck the herald while he was making his way back.
Back at his mansion, Ahmed was calmly reading a papyrus scroll in his library with his hired artisan when another courier of his came running to his door.
“Master!” Hossain called. Ahmed suddenly turned his head in the direction of the cry. He ran to his other courier as he was certain his prior request would go smoothly.
“What is the matter?” Ahmed was worried. Never before had a close one of his get injured on his watch. The courier said that someone was injured, and they both set
out to save their ally.
By the time they found the first courier, he was in a doctor’s office, lying wounded and exhausted. Hossain asked the doctor how his colleague had become the way he did. The answer was shocking.
“The lightning strike was an omen.”
“What exactly do you mean by this?”
“It’s hard to say. Nevertheless, see that he stays safe. Come back again if he displays any more symptoms.”
Ahmed slowly nodded. He and Hossain carefully carried their ally back home, taking care that they carried him high enough. When they finally got back home, the injured messenger was put to rest.
The next morning, the ill courier began to show signs of severe illness. When he was awakened, it was revealed that the courier’s right hand was growing scales. The same had ha
ppened to his left hand, raising worries. Even after the scales were removed, they kept growing back.
“You’ll have to go to a priest,” the physician said. Even after he tried the spells that they prescribed, they only partially worked. Some of the scales did disappear, but they soon began growing back.
“What shall we do with you, Asaad?” Ahmed asked. “All the cures we tried either don’t work or only work temporarily.” Asaad simply replied, “The reason why there is no permanent cure is that this was destined to happen.” This struck the other two silent for a couple moments. Ahmed then said, “So you knew this was all going to happen?” Assad related his whole story of the particular circumstances he grew up in and how it contributed to his developing lizard-like appearance.
“The only thing you can do right now is let the transformation happen and leave me in peace.” Ahmed realized that there really was no point in trying to find a cure. As a result, he instructed his other herald to make accommodations for Asaad while he went into his chamber to write an entry on his small papyrus journal. A few days later, Asaad was still the same person he was before he became lizard-like. However, word had spread in his town, and people came to inquire after the strange lizard-man he kept as a servant. Ahmed tried his best to keep all the visitors at a distance, but it was no use. Smaller reptilians were not usually common where he lived, let alone hybrids of humans and lizards.
When Ahmed tried to rest after a long day, he found that he was unable to, as he had spent all day fielding requests from his clients to write letters for them. He decided to take a drink that Hossain had offered him, and then after that, he slept rather uneasily through the night. When he woke up, he was more determined than ever to find out the cause of this mutation. He researched for days without stopping, and that’s when he finally found out the cause.
It was revealed that Assad had come from a family of snake charmers outside of Egypt’s borders and that he had caught a rare and incurable disease after a snake bit him. He did survive, but at a great price: he was to become a snake-man. A valuable lesson was learned from this event: no matter how hard one tried, there are times where fate was inevitable and had to take its course.
A Memorable Day in the Life of an Egyptian Farmer
by Mayukh Day
It’s August and the day of the annual flooding of the Nile. This annual flood has been an important natural cycle in Egypt since ancient times. Today is the day where it’s decided how much water Mafas II gets throughout the year.In the morning the farmer, Mafas II, gave a prayer to Osiris, the god of agriculture for lots of water today. Since his wife is pregnant and can give birth at any time, Mafas II, gave a prayer to Bes, the guardian god of childbirth. Next, he ate
his breakfast and set off into the fields, imagining what he would do in the fields today.
In the fields, he first uses the shaduf to irrigate his fields carefully. Then, he puts the stone markings for his boundary of water. After all that hard work, Mafas gathers a few cattle and a few ducks for his meals. Then he returns back to his house for supper.
Then he gives evening prayer to Bes, the guardian god of childbirth, and Osiris, the god of agriculture. For supper he eats meat, bread, and beer. After supper he plays twenty squares and Senet with his son. He stays up late when everyone in the family sleeps.
Then at the dark of night, the farmer paddles nervously out and shifts the stones to steal a few feet of water from his neighbors. Mafas knows this is very profitable, but the penalty of this crime could mean death. Thankfully, no one noticed him do this crime. Mafas goes to bed dreaming of his day tomorrow.
by Ava-Ray Pributsky
I walk down the dusty dirt path as I head to do some research at The House of Life, to look up medical papyri for how to treat a headache. My patient Abasi, one of many grandchildren of Rameses II, has been complaining of a sharp pain in the back of his head every morning for the past week. Having been trained by my father Djehutyemheb, a wise scribe and physician to the royal family, I am now able to care for royalty. I have given him amulets from the Goddess Isis and the God Heke. Isis is invoked because Abasi is sick and Heka to make the prayer more powerful. I will continue to look for additional cures. It is 1259 B.C.E, and Pharaoh Ramses is in rule. Kemet has just signed a peace treaty with the Hittites, who we have been battling with for several years. I have not known a time when we were not in war with them. Ramses II has spent too much money on fighting, so he decided to make peace with them.
This is the first peace treaty ever for Kemet. I am intercepted on my path by Maat, a young girl servant to Ramses II who has only just started working at the palace Ramesseum. “Naunet, Sese’s daughter Meritamun has a growth in her left eye! She is deeply upset and refuses to go outside for fear of people seeing her.” I try to calm her down and explain to her how I will create a mixture of red ochre that I can get from Abubakar at the temple, green eye-paint of malachite that I can pick up at the House of Life, and honey from the beehive near my house, and I will come to the palace and apply this to the growth two times per day. I also will take some black tea leaves, wrap them in muslin, soak them in hot water, and apply it to the eye. Finally, I will give Meritamun an amulet with the eye of Horus for her to wear. I continue my way down to The House of Life, thinking about the incantations to be prepared.
When the Sun Did Not Rise
by Genessis Gomez
Deep in the underworld there was a serpent called Apophis who detested the sun god Ra. Every night as Ra descended to the underworld for his nightly trip, Apophis was ready with another scheme. That fateful morning was coming, as people started to wake up confused that the sun had not risen. Farmers and merchants walked with lanterns to the places they usually worked confused, thinking that they woke up earlier and that the sun was going to rise very soon. But the priests, who knew about the serpent Apophis, hurried to the temples to help Ra.
The hours started to go by and the farmers, merchants, and even slaves started to worry. As the priests started to gather what they needed and muttered spells from the Book of Dead, the people outside started to pray very loud hoping that Ra was not dead. Back in the underworld, Ra received the prayers and spells (spells were also put on Apophis which was making him weaker). Ra received more power from the human praises above and soon enough he was able to fight off Apophis. He continued to float through the underworld and the sun started to rise again. From that day on, the Egyptians prayed that Ra had a safe passage and never forgot to thank him for the light he gave them every day.
Oh, What Greatness Comes When the Nile Flows
by Ezra Ipsa
Greatness that comes when the Nile flows,
It gives life to Egypt watering fields warmed by Ra,
Allowing our crops to grow so our cattle can live,
And we have food to eat.
Home of the fish, you give us grain and create barley,
Letting us ensure perpetuity to the temples,
And for the gods.
When offerings are made it is thanks to you,
Spreading all through Egypt, the creator of greatness,
You give us water to drink and to give to our livestock.
O, what greatness comes when the Nile flows,
It lets us thrive and prosper,
Like one with the gods we praise you,
For all you have done for us.
A Day In the Life of an Ancient Egyptian Scribe
by Jordin Lin
The sun leaked through the window of the Abasi’s adobe house. He frowned; morning had arrived. Hardly awake, he stood up from his bed and went to take a quick bath. Once finished, he got dressed into more appropriate clothing: a waist-to-knee kilt with a sheer blouse. Abasi was a stern man, as his name did mean ‘stern.’ He was very serious about his role as a scribe. The man absolutely despised it when something got in the way of him doing his job, so he made sure to meticulously plan out his day every morning so that everything would go smoothly. After changing into his outfit, he walked over to his nearby table to eat breakfast. The breakfast he usually ate was simple: lentils, bread, and eggs; it was enough to keep him going until the next meal.
Once he finished with his breakfast, he took out a small piece of papyrus, a thin, reed brush, and some ink. He slowly wrote down a detailed plan of how his day was going, starting from when he finished his breakfast. The main, and only, event on his schedule was to go down to the village and write down what was happening, specifically about the workers as did their labor. After 10 minutes of a walk in the hot sun, Abasi arrived at the nearby village. He looked around and took out his plan for the day. First, he would watch the over farmers, then the carpenter, then the washerman, then lastly, the maker of pots. Placing the note back into his small bag, he readjusted his posture, making sure he looked as presentable as possible
With one last stroke, he was finished for the day. Abasi nodded to the maker of pots, indicating that it was time for him to leave. The pot-maker nodded back at Abasi as he started to place up his papyrus, ink, and reed brush back into his small bag. Once Abasi completed packing up his materials, he exited the workshop. Surprised, he noticed that the sky was already quite dark. He had not noticed how much time had flown by. Quickening his pace, he speed-walked back to his house, ready to eat dinner and go to sleep. Abasi loved the sense of fulfillment every time he did his job without realizing the passing time. Today was such an example. Hours of work felt like only a few minutes. He lied down into his bed, smiling to himself. Rolling onto his side, he fell asleep, preparing for the next day.
The Horizon of Heaven
by Milan Riley
Egypt Unearths New Mummies Dating Back 2,500 Years – New York Times
50 ancient coffins uncovered at Egypt’s Saqqara necropolis – The Guardian
Five-thousand-year-old Egyptian tomb opens for virtual tour – The Guardian
Tomb of Queen Meresankh III – Harvard UniversityRead More
By Milan Riley
On Tuesday, January 19th, 2021, board member Kelly Gonez made an announcement for the Board District 6 community. The BD6 3rd Annual Art Contest is now open! This year, the competition will be completely virtual because of the pandemic. All Pre-K to 12th grade students attending a LAUSD school in Board District 6 (BD6) can participate.
Students can create one original piece of artwork based on this year’s theme “Hope and Resilience”, which was inspired by the pandemic. Artwork can be hand drawn or created digitally. Participants can turn in their artwork here, using Google Forms. The deadline for turning in artwork is February 14, 2020!
The Officer of Board Member Kelly Gonez will have permission from those submitting the form to share artwork and/or use it to promote the BD6 art contest with marketing materials such as social media, virtual exhibit, and more.
Students are encouraged to spread the word and visit their website here . If anyone has questions about the contest, they can call their office at 213-241-6388 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Science Academy Team Takes 2nd Place at First-Ever Virtual Battle of the Books
by David Tang
On Saturday, May 16, 2020, the Science Academy STEM Magnet took part in their first Battle of the Books competition in our school’s history! The ranks in the image above represent their placing in the local competition, which took place at the Science Academy, competing with the other Academy teams. The scores represent points scored by each team at the regional competition which took place over Zoom. The scores of each team from each school were added and compared to the other schools. The Science Academy was second to Walter Reed; you may, however, be happy to know that we crushed Millikan Middle School.
For Battle of the Books, each team had to read all 20 books on the book list collectively. Typically, teams split up the titles between the members, but most of the Science Academy competitors read all 20 books. The book list included the first Harry Potter, Stargirl, Shadow and Bone, Amal Unbound, Esperanza Rising, Hoot, The Phantom Tollbooth, and Playing Atari with Sadaam Hussein. Together, teams have to answer questions about characters, events and details from any of the 20 books. Each question is phrased in the form of “In which book did…?” The team earns one point for naming the correct title. If they correctly name the title, they would then earn another point for the correct author. There were 40 questions (80 possible points), and each team competed separately. It took approximately 4 hours. Thank you so much to Ms. Garcia and Ms. Butler for working so hard and helping our teams prepare. It was a lot of work, but it really was also a lot of fun! Congratulations to all the team members!Read More
Born in Nancy, France on June 26, 1725, Joseph Ducreux may have trained with his father, who was also a painter. He went to Paris to be taught by the famous pastel artist, Maurice Quentin de La Tour. When the French Revolution broke out, he fled to England. Here, he made the last portrait ever of King Louis XVI before the king’s execution.
Joseph is most famous for his uncanny self portraits, many of which were of him in odd and funny positions. He made these self portraits in the 1780s and 1790s. He also made many typical-style portraits of kings and queens as well as other influential people, including Marie Antoinette, King Louis XVI, Maria Theresa of Austria, and many more.
Ducreux would resurge in popularity when his most famous self-portrait, below, entitled “Portrait de l’artiste sous les traits d’un moqueur” (Portrait of the Artist with the Traits of a Mocker) was turned into an internet meme.
Do you have a suggestion for an Artist of the Week? Message Ms. Kincaid with your ideas.Read More
Another work by Joowon Kim and the first work of Milan Vuletic
Cold wind flowed from the cave. It wasn’t a normal cold wind that blows during a dark winter night. Now, cold wind like this was surprisingly normal in this cave, but what wasn’t normal were the noises. Caves usually have mice squeaking, or the sound of bats flapping their wings, or the water dripping from the stalactites. In this cave, however, the sounds were absent. There were no sounds of mice scuttling on the floor nor of water slowly dripping. There was darkness slowly leading down to the abyss of the unknown. Amid the darkness lay a dried shrunken corpse. It had brown curled lips laying ajar, as if its mouth had been wrenched open. Its hair was white, covering details on the face. The nose was absent, replaced by two small holes. The eye sockets were empty like a dry abandoned hole in the desert. It was a mystery how the corpse got there in the first place. It does nothing: just lying, waiting, desperately waiting for something to take it back from its death. However, its day had finally come. It awaited a knight and a princess to finally awaken it, so it can be free, free from tight black chains of death. Here it is now, it’s moment had come — it could hear footsteps, the two chosen people were here, it must be ready, its time has come!
A Knight and a Princess walked down the cold tunnel of the dark cave. They were there for reasons that will not reveal themselves in this tale. They were, however, unaware of the looming danger that lay forward. They may have known what lay for them ahead, but for now pretend they don’t know. Just then, as the two people were walking down the long cave tunnel, a cold wind blew across. The Knight felt it sting his face. He looked around and quickly stood in a stance and pulled out his sword. It was purple on the hilt with green stripes. The hand guards spread like a bird with a yellow gem in the middle of it. From the hand guards protruded a long silver blade giving off a gentle blue glow. This was the Master Sword, and only this knight was able to wield it. Creatures of darkness feared this sword. They hated it with all their hearts but they could do nothing because one swift movement would be the end of them. The Knight told the Princess to stay behind him and slowly walked down the tunnel. Panic was racing in his heart. The last time he had felt that wind, that feeling of darkness was long ago.
His steps echoed throughout the cave. With every step, the Knight could feel the embers of darkness getting closer as he walked deeper and deeper into the abyss. Fear was rushing through the Knight as he went closer and closer to the end. The knight couldn’t see it but he knew it was there. Then as he walked into a clearing, he saw it. The corpse, the horrible corpse with its eyes glowing like embers. The knight couldn’t hold in his fear. He dropped his sword and screamed. Screamed as the corpse’s eyes got brighter. Screamed as the corpse’s hand began shaking in unfathomable patterns. He saw the corpse grey neck spin again and again. The Princess rushed in the clearing to see what was happening and she too was entranced by the sight of the corpse. She fell on the ground, shaking her hands. The corpse eyes glowed a brilliant white. Then before the Knight and Princess could figure out what was happening, a black shadow covered the room. The Knight immediately staggered and dropped on his knees. The light from the Princess’s torch was absent. The glow of his sword was nonexistent. He let out a cough, then a scream but no sound came from his mouth. He could hear whispers in the air, whispers of things that were never heard of. Whispers that sounds different, but says the same thing. “The Mask, The Mask, The Mask” Over and over again, it never ceased. He was scared and terrified. He tried to run but his legs wouldn’t move. Slowly, his arm got cold and the coldness spread all around. The cold covered his face, and suddenly, the only sounds that you could hear was the rustling of a small, soft wind.
Darkness leaped from the abyss and into the light. It spread uncontrollably, always passing with a cold soft wind. People ran, people cried, and people fought. But the Darkness that spread was not forgiving. It had no mercy or compassion and only had a lust for power. Long it had searched for power and now it was finally in its grasp. The skies turned black as night and during the night, the moon would not show its gentle face. The light that once shone through this kingdom was absent and left only chaos and destruction. All hope was lost. But, for this Darkness, it wasn’t enough. Nothing was. Nothing ever was.
“The Twilis are petty little fools. They do not know the true power. They have weak wills and only leech off others and then get credit for everything. The current queen of their realm is nothing but a lady walking around in a king’s clothing. Inside she is nothing but a little girl, frightened of everything.”
“I do not disagree with you my lord. The queen is weak, ignorant, and seductive. However, if my people were such fools, then why have you resurrected me? Why have you come back to me now after all this time? Why didn’t you come for me when I was beaten, humiliated, and stripped of the power that was rightfully mine by nothing but a small boy with a toy sword? You failed me but now you are here, stronger than me, and now I must bow down.”
The Dark Lord grinned a shady smile. He stood up from his throne and twiddled with his fingers for a bit. Then he snapped his fingers.
“Ack, hack arghh, what are you doing to me?!” Large black tendrils had wrapped itself around the servant, thereby choking him.
“Must I come to you, Failure of Twili? Must I help you beat a boy that I have yet to beat? No, Failure of Twili, I the Lord of Darkness, subdue to you?! I do not think so. Consider yourself lucky that I had come to you in the first place! I know you have access to the Twilight Realm. I know you might be able to rebuild that mirror and I want you to. I need that mask. This kingdom of Hyrule isn’t enough and it will never be enough. I must conquer time and you know that!” boomed the Dark Lord.
The servant said nothing and began to thrash his legs violently in the air, making loud gasping noises. The Dark Lord swept his hand and the servant was thrown across the room, crashing into a wall.
“Weak fool. Failure of Twili, I want you to rebuild The Mirror of the Twilight. If you fail, if you are stopped by a small boy again, then no one will ever hear the name Zant.
Then with a swift and quick movement, the Dark Lord swept clear out of the throne room, leaving his poor servant on the floor gasping for breath as the bells of the clock tower rang echoed through his head.
End of Prologue
Thank you all for reading this far. You probably skipped ahead but that doesn’t matter because I’m going to explain things anyway. This little piece of writing is based on The Legend of Zelda video game series. This is only the prologue of a five-part series. Each time a text is posted, a little explanation about the text above will be described. Thank you for reading.