Between the Lines

Random reflections from the youth in a juvenile correctional facility.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

R & B and Movin' to the beat

I like R & B. The rhythm is smooth and it makes me think of my girl. The mood is happy joyful love. It always makes me think of home when I was with my family or my girl's or my home boys'. My favorite music is happy and sad. If I would draw a picture of my favorite music, it would be in zigzag and my colors would be blue and yellow. Blue is for peace and yellow for the beautiful sun or regular day in the summer. SP
My description of music is that it has a good rhythm and beat and a good singer and a good song. Sometimes I sing to it or dance to it. I listen to sad music, happy music and also angry music. If I was to paint a picture of my favorite music, the colors I would use would be red, blue, green and orange. The lines would look wavy and straight. AV

Rap and Rock-n-Roll

My favorite kind of music is 70's and 80's rock hyped up in the way of singing about things or when it's mellow it helps me relax. My favorite music is angry often giving a negative reflection. The colors of my music would be black and red and the line would be swiggly because the singers' voices are usually all over. MS
Rap is my favorite kind of music. My favorite kind of music is sad and angry because the singer talks about the things he's going through growing up and the projects. He got this one song called stressing and he says I don't want to lose my life to a smith and wesson, that's why I'm stressing. And he goes at a very fast pace and he got this one song called I been going through some things and in the song he talks about his friend's trial. He was like, "I been through things that nobody understands. I been going through hoping people stay the same, but they are always changing. He was like twelve and got life for killing some dude." AB

Monday, September 25, 2006

Seeing Sounds and Lyrics

This week's assignment is to describe a favorite kind of music using adjectives to describe the rhythm, mood, message (what the lyrics mean). Is your favorite music happy? Sad? Angry? If you were to paint an abstract picture of your favorite music, what colors would you use? What would the lines look like (jagged, zigzag, wavy, etc.)? BJB

To me Rap music is about how this person is growing up in and around the world. It is usually about where they came from and how horrible it was and the struggle of selling drugs, having sex, and shooting people was how they came up and how they live. I think that it is angry, hungry, and ambitious to get what they did not have when they grew up like big houses, nice cars, and beautiful women. This music would be red and black jagged and zigzaggy and the line would shoot upward and stay up. CR
I like older rock and roll. I would say it's more soothing and relaxing for a few reasons. First, it isn't real heavy. It's more calm and slow and a lot of it wants you to hear and understand the words because to the singers a lot of times there's a meaning so maybe you can understand them a little better. I would say the lines would be wavy and there would be a few colors like purple, red, green. I am not sure why, but that's what I feel the musicians would like. JY

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Final posts for Peace Week

Peace is this feeling when you're calm and quiet and you don't want to hear anything and you want it peaceful. Like most quiet people like it peaceful. For example, my mother lights candles and cleans the house and it is peaceful and smelling good. When I come in she says don't start being loud cause it's quiet and peaceful here and I don't want to disturb our neighbors. Then I would start being a little loud and that's when she gets upset and says to go to my room. Then she puts on her little church music and reads her bible and gets ready for church. She makes me come too. She likes the house peaceful before church. AB

To me, peace is when two people that have two different opinions about something can come together and understand where the other is coming from. My description of a peace symbol is just some letters arranged to resemble a peace sign. To me we should have peace in all countries and between all people. Peace also has more than one meaning. It could be something you could say to somebody when you leave them presents. CR

I'm going to close this week's entries with song lyrics that seem to apply especially to this last post. BJB

Let There Be Peace On Earth

Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me
Let There Be Peace on Earth
The peace that was meant to be
With God as our Father
Brothers all are we
Let me walk with my brother
In perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me
Let this be the moment now.
With ev'ry step I take
Let this be my solemn vow;
To take each moment and live
Each moment in peace eternally
Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Peace: When people don't hate each other

My description of peace is that it means when everybody gets along. I think peace looks like a place where nobody fights and where people do not hate each other. The peace symbol I think of is a peace sign with different colors on it. AV
My definition of peace is when it is calm and non-chaotic and when people are getting along. When I think of peace I think of countries including ours not fighting over things and not starting wars. Also, I think of people working together and becoming one. If I were to make a symbol of peace, it would have a dove in the middle of a circle with light shining around it. AV2

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Peace makes me feel good

Peace is calm and sweet and happy and makes me feel good. Peace is something everyone can have if they decide they want it. Peace looks nice like spring or a sunny day with birds singing in the air. Peace is when you help a person out and feel good about it. The cross where Jesus died for the world is a symbol of peace cause He forgives us and told us if we need peace we can pray to Him. His heart was of peace. SP
Peace is happy. Peace is having no harsh feelings from nowhere. Peace is harmony. Peace looks like simple beings. No one differs from another being and is always happy. Peace is when everyone is on the same good page. No one needs to look different because everyone would be equal and wear the same kind of clothes. A peace symbol is a circle of love with light and loose lines of a triangle. MS
Peace to me is really showing love for everyone and anything. Showing peace in the world is being affectionate for things. Sharing some type of sympathy. Peace can end things like conflict and it can start up good things. Peace can mean many things. If there was world peace there would be no more problems in the world. Peace to me basically looks like people being happy and having fun. A peace symbol would be two faces that look peaceful. VS
Peace is having respect and standing up for what you believe in and showing support for your community. Peace is honoring our lives and choosing the right path. The peace symbol looks like a circle with 3 stripes [lines] dividing the circle into thirds that represent Respect, Love, and Peace. MB
Peace is when you can walk in the street and you don't have to worry about beef. Peace is when you can have fun and be nice and don't have to worry about enemies. For a peace symbol, I would draw a group of people shaking hands and greeting each other - that's peace. BW
To me, peace is when everyone is at an openminded state. There is no violence. If there is conflict however, conflict is resolved with words of peace and love, not of hate. To me, peace is when although not everyone gets along, everyone shows a level of respect to all religions, races and countries. To me, peace will never come until the day Christ returned, because to the world respect is not peace, peace is no war. But there will never be no war because war is simply conflict. BP

Monday, September 18, 2006

Symbols for Peace

This question/lesson was suggested on another list by Jeannie in Pennsylvania. She kindly gave permission for me to use it with my students.

Edward Hicks (PA artist) painted many images of the Isaiah verse about the lion laying down with the lamb. His pictures had Wm. Penn making a treaty with the Indians (also happened in Philly/Bucks County area). Hicks used this image because it was the only way he could paint AND be a good Quaker. Jeannie asked her kids what they thought peace was, and how difficult it was to express. Kids have no problem with war, anger, hate: they know it from TV and cartoons (and, unfortunately, real life - bjb) -- guns, blood, explosions, yelling. But how do they picture peace? What images would express peace? This was a true thinking project. What was the opposite of those images that flood their world?

Jeannie got different images: a favorite peaceful place, playing with a sibling they usually fought with, showing a harmonious family, animals that represented peace to them. Jeannie's favorite image was of two groups of "Army guys" who were throwing their weapons on the bonfire in the center.

I will ask for word pictures of symbols and images of peace. As always, we look forward to your comments! BJB

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Final post for Dreams

This has, as always, been a revelation for me! (once again, the students teach the teacher) Are your dreams the same as the ones my students have? Are you going to do the same things to make your dreams come true? Is there such a thing as the Great American Dream? Please send us an email ( or ) or post a comment to this blog. We really appreciate all feedback. BJB

I want to get out of here (Loysville) and away from drugs. I'm gonna get a job and go to a trade school, probably Penn Tech, for construction or welding and find a career in that type of job after I finish school. I always just want to be around for my family and friends. JY

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Should dreams be founded on realistic goals?

I am going to go to college and make good decisions. I want to go to the NBA and play professional basketball, so in order to do that I have to go to a college and try hard in every game. Hopefully some NBA coach will look at me. If not, then I want to be a detective. To make my dreams come true I am going to do the right thing so I can get out of here and go back to school and play sports and finish school and get my GED and then try to get into Penn State University. AB

The first thing I want to do to make my dreams come true is to do my program in my cottage so I can go home to my family. And when I get out there I will have to go to my high school, study, do my homework, and behave so I can pass and won't get locked up. I will get my diploma and go to college. The way I'm going to college is by saving money when I get a job out in the real world. I'm going to college for criminal justice. So, all I have to do is behave, don't break the law, work, and don't give up on anything. JR

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Still dreaming

I'm going to try to make it out of Loysville and go home and then go to school and study to be an electrician. I will play basketball for my school and try to get a scholarship because my dream is to play professionally for the NBA. MB

What I am going to do to make my dreams come true is try to do good for me and my family. I wish that my dreams will come true and my dream is to go home and do good. I need to get my mind set and do what I need to do to go home. I'm going to go to school, get a job and help around the house and keep helping my mom out. DW

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Making Dreams Come True

Thanks to DK from MediaSnackers who posted an article about our blog to his website ( ) "Please take the time to comment on their writing if you have a Blogger account. I would like to pose them this question: what are you going to do to make your dreams come true? What a bold way to create 'Digital Capital'."

I'm going to do everything it takes. I have a lot of dreams, but only some of them might come true, like playing football for the pros and/or for an international team. But my main focus is to finish high school, go on to college and create a tow truck company around the world with my brother so we can hand it down to our kids and so on. That's my dream. CR

My goal is to go to the Army when I get out of here. I'm trying my best to study for my GED so I can take it as soon as possible. By making my goals come true I'll prove people wrong that told me I won't be anything in life. I want to prove that if you put your mind on something you can do anything. I want to make my mom and my family proud. When I get out I'll rent an apartment, have a girl to spend time with me, and get a good job that pays good. SP

What I'm going to do to make my dreams come true: I'm going to finish high school, get a job in construction, save up money and get rich and get a car, a house, have a family and support them and just keep working. BN

I'm going to stand up and live and do what I feel is right and what I feel that I should do. I want to go to the NBA, but first I need to play college ball. After college ball I will know what needs to be done. First I need to get my GED, then go to junior college for a little while and then go to Penn State or Notre Dame to major in business and minor in physical education. If this doesn't work out, I want to become a coach for football or basketball and start a business of some sort. I'll drive trucks for a little while. My family is wealthy so I have money to start a business. BP

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Final posts for Hero

The boys have given us some food for thought in these final entries to the blog for this week. Thanks to everyone for your feedback. It's much appreciated by all and has ramped the depth of thought in participation pieces to a deeper level. I know, as a teacher, both the posts and the responses have added to my understanding of my students and the scaffolding needed to approach a topic. BJB
A hero is to me someone that makes the right choices and someone who doesn't do crimes. Someone who is a role model. A hero is a person who loves you and cares about you and will listen to you when you have a problem or when you need to express your feelings. A hero is someone who won't tell your business and can keep a secret. AV
The most important person in my life is my sister and my Grandmom and yes, they are heroes because they are still here with me. They have my top trust because they care about me and how I feel. AC
My Mom is the most important person in my life because she's always there for me and takes care of me and she's honest with me and lets me know how she feels about me and this situation. Well, my Mom is a hero because she has people that look up to her and they see that she works and has a job and stuff and makes the right choices. AB
A hero to me has to have courage. He or she has to care about everyone not just themselves. A hero is a loving person that takes care of everyone, that will sacrifice their life for anyone just because they love them. A hero has to be strong and brave. They are also supposed to be respectful and trustworthy. The most important person in my life is my Mother because she puts her life out there to help me. She took care of me when I was younger. She also respects me and my other brothers and sister and everyone else in the world, even if you did something bad to her. My Mom is very strong because she had to raise 6 kids by herself because my dad is a shump. We got kicked out of apartments and no one even helped us, not even our friends or wanna be friends. My Mom got us back on track alone. She is brave. She had to work like two jobs just to support us and she was still there when we we had to talk to someone about problems we were having. My Mom also persuaded my older brothers to get their own jobs because she said she will have to go to heaven some day and we need to do stuff on our own. When I get older that's who I want to be like: my Mom - a strong, brave, respectful, caring, trustworthy person. JR

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Interesting comment about Hero

In one of the following compositions, the student writes that "I idolize no one." Is having a hero the same thing as hero worship or idolization? In the second composition the Hero "never gets mad when I'm bad." Is this characteristic good or not good?

The most important people in my life are my sisters. I would die for them and will always see it as my duty to keep them safe and protect them from evil and harm. With this said, I idolize no one, look to no other person as a hero, but do respect all. BP

My most important person is my mother and yes, she's a super hero because she's always been there for me whenever I needed help. She helped me through everything. Her characteristics are that she's a beautiful woman and has a very friendly personality. She's grateful, brave, strong, and she takes care of me and never gets mad at me when I'm bad. MB

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Defining Hero is difficult

Defining what a Hero is is proving to be a challenge to my students. Is a hero human? Can a hero be God? Are Heroes cultural? I'm surprised (pleasantly) that no one has written about a sports figure or celebrity! Today's contribution is a wonderful tribute to struggling moms.

The most important person in my life is my mother. I think she is the most important person because she has always been there for me. She was also the person that raised me and because of this I think she is a hero. I think that a hero is a person that helps and saves people and my mom definitely fits that description. One way my mom has helped me is by making sure I always went to school. For her doing that, I have a pretty good education and going to school is not a problem for me. She has taught me many things including the importance of not using drugs. My mother is not perfect but, because she has helped me, she is a HERO!!! HZ

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

My Hero

This week's topic is:

Who is the most important person in your life? Is that person a hero? What are the characteristics of a hero and how does this person fit that description?

The most important person in my life right now would be my girlfriend. She has my son now so I am stuck with her for the rest of my life. Come to think of it, I love her more than ever now. She is just the motivation I need to do everything to the best of my ability. Yeah, she is my hero. She would die for me and even do time for me and I love her for that. I will never stop loving her. CR

The most important person in my life is my Dad. He is a hero because he's in the army and fights for his country and he's my Dad. He likes to be a leader and he is a great person. He is a hero to me because he takes care of me and gives me what I want. He cares for others other than himself and is willing to help others any time help is needed. BW

The most important person in my life is my little girl. She is everything to me because she has made me open myself to try to help people. My little girl is my #1 hero. She is my heart and I love her. She is a helpful person because she has changed my life. If somthing happens to my hero I will go crazy. When I get out I am going to change now because I need to do that for her and me. I am going to be a better dad than my dad was. To be a better dad to my little girl I have to get away from people that did not help me in the past. DW

The most important person in my life is my Grandfather. I don't really think he's a hero, but he supported his family and worked for everything he's got. He always made sure his family had a home to live in and food to eat. My Grandfather also made sure he was a good father and was in his kids' lives as a good role model. He also helped out other people by helping them work on their houses. He would help them out with food and would just be there when they need something. JY

Friday, September 01, 2006

3 more posts on Remembering. . .

Time management is not especially a strength of any juvenile. The deadline for submitting posts was today and we have three eleventh hour additions to the first topic "If you were to die today, what would you want people to remember about you?"

If I were to die tomorrow, the last thing I would want people to remember about me is my sense of humor. I would want that because people could remember the laughs and all the good times that we had...not the bad things. Also, they could think good about me and not what happened to me. Meaning looking at the good side of it. AV

If I were to die tomorrow there would be a numerous amount of things I would want people to remember me by. My biggest thing is how much of a welcoming person I am. I think I'm very easy to get along with at times, and I am very funny. I think my most important rememberance, that I'm a hard worker, should be left with my kids though, cause I want them to do good. KS

Well, I am a cheerful dude most of the day and people who truly know me know that I always seem to have a way of making something bad good in one instant. I would want people to remember me as a nice, funny, smart kid because that's honestly what I am. There's always someone who will be the outcast and try to put dirt on my name, but my true friends and family will know to not turst their lies and rumors. MJ