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The Inkwell

The Student News Site of Jewish Leadership Academy

The Inkwell

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Contributing Our Verse at the Coffee House

For the high schoolers, the first semester of the English course was “Contributing Your Verse.”  This class was heavily focused on writing and analyzing other works. We wrote and read short stories, hermit crab essays, and poems. Throughout this class we wrote and revised not only our own pieces, but our peers’ pieces as well. It gave every student a chance to show their writing fortes and receive help where they struggle.

At the end of the semester, students were given the opportunity to share any piece that they felt proud of. There was the promise of sweet treats, coffee, a fun time, and a safe space to share your work. On the morning of December 19, 2023, all the upper JLA students came together in the upper school commons, anxiously waiting for their turn. Although everyone planned on bringing food, only two students pulled through, Elizabeth Amara and Shane Vass. Everyone was extremely grateful to them and their food and coffee contributions, and that was a major help in keeping the students engaged.

Ms. Gill started with a dialogue introducing our unit. When she concluded, the first student speaker, Aviva Zippin, walked to the front of the room to share her work. Everyone created the ideal environment for sharing work. Although some felt judged and nervous, the students made sure to cheer each other on and make sure that everyone felt comfortable.

Throughout this event there were many pieces that stood out. Here are some of the highlights:

One of the most memorable moments of this event was a light-hearted poem read by 9th grader, Andre Alperowitch. When it was his turn to read, Mr. Shapiro was quickly called into the commons to hear this amazing piece of writing. “An Ode to Batman ” is a poem based on a joke that has been spread school wide. This poem got the whole highs chool’s attention and truly lifted up the whole experience, it even had Mr. Shapiro flattered and smiled. The whole class was left giggling and smiling all due to Andre’s stupendous poem.

After this entertaining reading of Andre’s poem, Ms. Alexander and Ms. Gill had an opportunity to share essays of theirs with the students. Ms. Alexander had the honor of going first. She read a personal essay about one’s purpose in life and used her words to connect it back to Michael Phelps. Her essay was incredible. Ms. Gill followed by reading another personal essay about her life related to her notebook. It was a stunning example for the students to hear and an eye-opening experience.

This Coffee House gave the students an opportunity to practice their public speaking skills and active listening in a fun environment. We all look forward to many more exciting events like this one.



An Ode to Batman

an ode to our principal
Mr. Shapiro
his keen sense of justice won’t go unnoticed
although he won’t admit it we all know it’s true
his alter-ego will save me and you

rappelling across Gotham’s murky streets
stopping crimes right in their tracks
Mr. Shapiro, aided by Robin and Alfred
takes on criminals of mass destruction
locking them up for their deeds

this is not different to his day job
one of patrolling and keen observation
searching for students skipping class or chewing gum
ironing out the upper school’s misbehavior

his justice is made known, he is respected by many
we all come together to praise this fine man
no matter what you call him: Batman or Mr. Shapiro
its important to let our utmost admiration be known

that is why i write this poem
to express my utmost gratitude
for a man who works hard day and night
running such a brilliant upper school
this is an ode to our principal
an ode to a great man
an ode to Batman

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About the Contributor
Sophia E. Braghin
Sophia E. Braghin, Editor, 9th Grade
Sophia E. Braghin, 9th grade, is a founding member of The Inkwell. She enjoys writing about entertainment and the JLA community. She enjoys rom-coms, and her favorite color is pink. 

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