top of page

The Quote Challenge

This week, our writers gave each other quotes to write around, challenging each other to make do with what they were given. 

The Dreamer

by: Ava Arasan

Quote Chosen By: Laurie Jin

The realist stares into the black,

A wall behind their eyes,

But sees only what they can see,

And to them, there is only black to be.


The dreamer stares into the black,

A portal behind their eyes,

And spins whatever reality

Brings to them joy, fun, and glee.


The realist irritates very fast,

Only acknowledging the present and past,

Their mind is stone,

Unchanging to the last,

And their beliefs stubborn and nailed into the bone.


And whatever obstacles the world may hurl,

The realist becomes battered and takes the fall,

For rather than amend their path at all,

They choose to run its course,


“Protect yourself!” the realist yells,

In a world so painful and harsh,

When opportunity is rare and scarce,

It is the only thing to do.


“Create a way and find your free!”

The dreamer responds,

But the realist remains rooted,

Thick roots running deep as if they were a tree.


“I refuse to move from where I am,

For in the way I see,

Every shape, every edge, every path in sight

Is the only way it can be

So be a fool,

Be so naive,

Climb a unicorn,

Fly far away,

But we both know that by the end of the day,

You’ll have fallen to your doom.”


The dreamer thinks up a storm

And grabs a luxurious mane,

Leaving the realist far afar,

Drowning in the rain,

“I am a not a fool,

I am not naive,

And for the record:

“‘It’s not a unicorn, it’s a horse with a sword on its head that protects my hopes and dreams’”(1)


(1) Quote is from Dr. J.D Dorian (Scrubs TV)

Facing Rejection

by: Sawyer Lai

Quote Chosen By: Austina xu

    One time when I was eight, I had just finished a triathlon. At the area beyond the finish line, I
saw a woman operating a booth that had stacks of free stickers near the back of the stall. Though
I really wanted a sticker, I didn’t know if the woman was handing them out for free, so I was
afraid to ask for one. My mom, noticing this, asked me, “What’s the worst that lady could do?
Say ‘no, you can’t have a sticker?’ ” Unfortunately, her question made me even more worried to
ask for one- I started imagining how embarrassing it would be if the lady said no. After many
more minutes of encouragement and my mom's agreeing to accompany me, I finally worked up
the courage to walk up to the booth and request a sticker. It turned out that I was worried for no
reason: the lady was super friendly and she happily gave me a handful of stickers while briefly
making polite conversation with my mom.

    I’ve always had a hard time asking people for things, from trivial instances such as asking a
server at a restaurant to fix my order when they make a mistake to more important times like
when I’m considering applying for a job or position. In these moments, fearing failure, I’m
reminded of the quote: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” by Wayne Gretzky. Though
I first heard this phrase quoted by Michael Scott from The Office, the message is nonetheless
inspiring. I’ve learned the hard way that rejection can be difficult, but I also know that sitting
back and not even attempting to attain something I desire is an action that I will regret forever,
only left to wonder "if only..."

It's not really inspiration

By: Laurie Jin

Quote Chosen By: Sawyer Lai

    When worded nicely, anything can be inspirational. In January of 2017, Barack Obama
ended his farewell speech by saying “If you're walking down the right path and you're willing to
keep walking, eventually you'll make progress.” While many dazzle over this moving statement,
when really looking at this quote, you realize that it applies to basically anything. For instance,
by taking the right path in life, students can get into their dream college. At the same time, by
making the applicable choices, robbers can rob a whole bank. Although these examples are on
the opposite ends of what’s right and what isn’t, they both apply to Obama’s statement.
    Let’s say there’s a heavily armed serial killer on the run in your town. At first glance,
there seems to be nothing inspirational or nice about this situation. He may be killing for the
thrill, for power, for a mission, or for a belief. We can compare these four possibilities to the
following inspirational sayings:

        1. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.
        2. The world is a canvas for your imagination. You are the painter. There are no
        rules. Get to work.
        3. Outstanding people have one thing in common: an absolute sense of mission.
        4. Hold the vision; trust the process.
    The four adages are alike in the fact that they tell you to chase your dreams. Each,
however, is unique to a serial killer’s possible motive. The first quote inspires people to take
risks. Normally, anticipated risks could include asking a crush on a date, traveling the world, or
quitting a boring job. However, in this hypothetical case, the killer’s risk would be going out on a
thrilling adventure... by killing people. Next, we see a statement that tells people to make their
own rules because the life they live is in fact their own. While taking control of your own life
may seem empowering and bold, there are limits as to what our government allows. Our
imaginary serial killer, in this instance, would paint his canvas with dead bodies, killing for a
sense of power and defying the law. The last two possible motives: killing for a mission or for a
belief both depend on a purpose. Many would agree that serial killers stand out in society. While

they obviously aren’t good people, they are powerful and feared. For example, we would
probably fear Adolf Hitler, the notorious German advocate for a “master race,” if he still lived
today. When relating Hitler to the third quote, we conclude that he was an “outstanding”
individual with a mission. Furthermore, by looking at the fourth quote, you realize that you carried
out the necessary actions to complete his vision.
    While you probably realized that serial killers are much better risk-takers than the average
person, I don’t recommend becoming one due to the repercussions. Inspirational messages make
our world seem like a utopia, but we’re limited to what our government allows as well as our
ever-growing fear of rejection and repercussion. The four adages listed above are thus proven
false; consequently, any inspirational saying that promotes a life without limits is false. But if
you do want to become a serial killer, a drug dealer, or maybe the president of America, just
remember that by making the right choices, you’ll eventually make progress... obviously.

"Open UP"

The Hidden Suppression of Creativity at the Dentist

By: Austina xu

    10 AM. October 5th, 2019. There I am, sitting alone in that desolate, gray and white room.
The only pop of color comes from a few magazines placed ever so carefully on the glass tabletop,
serving as nothing more than a mere distraction from the grim fate that has bound my wrists. I
can hear the whirring from machines behind the glass door as well as the muted footsteps of their
operators trudging around like FBI agents. Before I can fully assess my surroundings, I lock eyes
with a worker. “Austina?” I tilt my head back in agony; this is it, I think to myself. This is where it all
ends. And with that, I am forced to enter through that dreaded glass door, my only means of escape just
brushing past my fingertips, no longer within my reach.
    I have a love-hate relationship when it comes to going to the dentist. I mean don’t get me
wrong, dental hygiene is great and all, but there’s also the pain of enduring all those x-rays, that
weird lil-tubey-sucker-vacuum-upper thing(1), and that god forbid “fruit” flavored toothpaste. But

here’s what really grinds my gears. You see, some people whip up their greatest ideas in the
shower, others on the toilet, for me, it’s at the dentist. And you know what the problem with that is?
You. Can’t. Flippin. Talk. The barbarity! To have all these incredible, mind-boggling,
earth-shattering notions, and no one with whom to share, no way of recording them until an hour
later. As Martin Luther King once stated, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the
things that matter.” But what if one’s mouth is being pried apart in a manner similar to that of a
mechanic opening a car hood with a copious amount of saliva inside, all topped off with the
universal please-dear-lord-save-me-from-this-torture expression? In such scenarios, no matter how
many thoughts may be rushing through one’s head, no matter how loud that tiny voice inside
screams and kicks and pleads for freedom, silence is thrust upon the victim like an ominous muzzle
of expression. To this day, I have yet to find a more pure and horrid method of torture.
    As you may or may not have realized by now, this issue has plagued mankind for far too
long, yet we continue to brush this matter aside until it is nothing more than a mere chip in the
dense cookie dough that is our universe. In an attempt to shine a light on this dilemma, I have
compiled a list of the various thoughts and questions that have swarmed my mind whilst being
pinned down to that dreaded chair(2).

    After reading this list, I hope to have educated you, the reader, on the horrors of thought
suppression during dentist appointments. Nevertheless, there is hope for change! Thus, it is of
utmost importance that we utilize our voices; our fists; our blood, sweat, and tears to bring this
injustice to a definitive end. So, the next time you frolick into that dental engine, unsuspecting of
any dangers, do not just sit there absentmindedly- nay! Instead, close your eyes and think to
yourself: does Twilight Sparkle really deserve your love and recognition?


(1) Found out it's called a saliva ejector. Sounds equally as horrifying if you ask me.
(2) Dental engine. It’s called a dental engine. I would like to speak to the creator of these names.

(3) Apologies to all spiderman lovers (not really)

Quote Chosen By: Ava Arasan

1. If any of you watched the animated tv show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, you
will recall that each of Twilight Sparkle’s friends represents a certain aspect of
friendship: kindness for Fluttershy, generosity for Rarity, courage for Rainbow Dash,
fun for Pinkie Pie, and honesty for Applejack. However, in the theme song, our
protagonist, Twilight Sparkle, is given the title of “magic.” Now what strikes me as
particularly alarming is that while the other ponies are characterized by a key
element or value, “magic” is not a personality trait, which then raises the question of
what does Twilight Sparkle represent? Is she perhaps a balance of the other five
ponies? Does she represent a self-insert for the audience in order to demonstrate
how friendship can shape and mold us into beautiful ways? Or does she very

literally symbolize magic? And if so, what message is being conveyed to the younger
viewers- that only with magic can there exist genuine friendship? I suppose we may
never know.

2. Why do we humans experience a certain attraction towards death-defying stunts or
activities (i.e roller coasters, extreme sports)? This appeal towards testing our
mortality, combined with the somewhat complete reassurance that such activities
will not result in death, is, ironically, a way for us humans to feel immortal, is it not?

3. Ah, spider-man, a childhood favorite superhero. You know for a guy who was bitten
by a radioactive spider, the powers Peter Parker gains from the incident seem quite
underwhelming. Other than sticking on walls, superhuman strength, and the
so-called “spidey-sense,” there do not seem to be many additions to Parker’s
physicality or abilities. Take iron man, his defining feature is his intellect, which
consequently allows him to create suits and inventions that give him the power of
superhuman strength, durability, supersonic flight, missile projection, and more.
Spiderman, while not necessarily relying so heavily on innovation, possesses a great
amount of intellect and smarts yet only manages to create web-shooters that can
still run out. I mean if you really think about it, you can take about any other marvel
superhero with great speed, agility, and strength; give him or her a pair of durable
web-shooters; and tada you have spider-man (3). Yet this poor teenager had to endure

the painful bite of an eight-legged demon to receive said powers.

4. Why do people like building gingerbread houses so much? Especially the
prepackaged ones you can buy at Michaels. The gingerbread always possesses a hint
of stale cardboard, and the candy is absolutely horrendous (especially those tiny
hard rainbow bead candies- I have yet to meet someone who genuinely enjoys
them). At the end of the day, the result is a less-than-mediocre miniature replica of a
cabin enduring a really bad snowstorm strong enough to almost tear it apart.

5.  Do dentists ever get creeped out by patients who stare into their eyes? Frankly
speaking, I do that quite often (what? Judge me, it’s very therapeutic). Hopefully, all
their attention is towards, well, the teeth; however, that does not mean I should
completely dismiss the possibility of an occasional glance towards the patient’s eyes.
To all the dentists reading please reply back with a response my email is

bottom of page