Teigan Caldwell

Five Micro Essays


this is blunt.

This is not.

because This is a sharpened knife.

there was no way for you to know that.

what an idiot.



Zero plus zero is supposed to be zero.

And zero is nothing.

But, when I come home from school each day,

My dad always asks me what I learned,

And I say “nothing”,

But I still end up learning things by the end of the year.

Something doesn’t add up.



We were best friends, but we’re no longer best friends

All of a sudden, she stopped replying to my texts.

I don’t know why.

She won’t tell me why, because we’re no longer best friends.

Will it happen again?

Will I make the same mistake?

I don’t know, because she won’t tell me what I did.



I told myself not to get my hopes up.

I’m such a hypocrite.



I’m going to be as weird as I want.

If you can’t handle me, well, that’s okay.

As long as someone can.

Because I want friends, but I don’t want to change myself for you.

Not my weirdness, at least.

I need that part.

You can try to influence the rest, I guess.

But not too much, please

Starry Sky

Icie Favata

      Everywhere around my area is country. A very rural part of Maryland. I love the outdoors. I can go outside and see forest, swim in the cool creek, and bike along roads. My favorite part is being able to look at a full sky of stars each and every night. With this sort of tranquility and peace, not everything is perfect. Nothing is ever exactly how you would want it to be.  

      When I drive into a town close to mine. I see hatred and I feel this hatred all around me, overcoming me. People hang up flags to discriminate others. Whenever I see this my heart shatters. It crumples up like an autumn leaf. Once bright and beautiful. To dull and lifeless.

      The worst part is people in my school do the same thing. They wear clothing with these symbols and words of “Look back at our history.” It doesn’t make sense. Why would someone ever believe that they are better than someone else? Or that someone else is lesser? Why do we accept this?

      Everyone stays quiet. Everyone everywhere is used to this hate so they accept it. No one speaks out. No one says how this is wrong. Everyone stays silent like the night sky. The stars shining so powerful and clear. The sun never rises. The night succumbs everything. 

Decoding the Dress Code

By Natalie Gimignani

   What makes a female’s outfit deemed inappropriate in a school setting? Why does it matter if they’re wearing shorts, or off-the-shoulder shirts when most of the population is born with the same set of body parts? 

   This overarching rule of dress code in public schools are bearing down on the bodies of many girls at an early age. With restrictions such as females are prohibited to wear pants above where their fingertips rest on their thighs, it teaches young girls that they need to cover their bodies in order for people to be happy, and for boys to concentrate.  

  At my public schools that I have attended in Baltimore, Maryland, teachers and supervisors would stand in the hallway stopping girls left and right to tell them that what they’re wearing is not suitable for the school environment, when all they did was wear an item of clothing that showed a piece of their body, (shoulders, thighs, etc.) or their bra straps.  

   After stopping them, the member of the school staff would tell them to go change into their gym uniform, which then publicly humiliates the girl for the rest of the day. But if the girl didn’t have their uniform, they would have to be sent home, or call a parent to bring them more suitable clothes to change into; thus, disrupting both the child and their parent in their busy days of learning and working.  

   I understand that some items of clothing should be restricted in a school setting; such as: gang paraphernalia, anything with profanity or racial slurs, and hoods that can cover the identity of someone who isn’t a student at that school; but for the mere sake of bra straps, that is ridiculous.  

   Why should females have to wear shirts that cover their bra straps when it is a normal clothing item that women wear? This is over sexualizing young girls for boys, setting up children to believe that women shouldn’t be able show their body parts since boys can’t control themselves. When young girls then go and don’t wear a bra, they get dress coded for that! A seventeen-year-old girl named Lizzy Martinez at Braden River Highschool in Florida chose to not wear a bra under a large, long sleeved t-shirt one school day due to a sunburn. She was sent to the Dean’s office when a teacher told her it was distracting, and a boy was laughing at her. Martinez was then forced to move around with a second shirt on in front of her administrators to see if her breasts moved. She found herself mortified and was then forced to put two Band-Aids on each nipple, which left her in tears and embarrassment. How would you feel to be publicly shamed for a collection of fat cells on your body? 

   Dress codes also force girls to cover up body parts that every human is born with, but that boys can show, such as their shoulders. Boys are allowed to wear tank tops that show off their shoulders, but since our culture body shames and over sexualizes women, they cannot do the same, which causes them to wear more clothing even if it’s hot. 42% of classrooms in the United States do not have any, or lack adequate air conditioning; including the middle school, I had attended. I know personally that this environment can make it very hard to learn due to the sweltering atmosphere and the sweat that is dripping on top of everyone’s bodies. But even on these hot days of over 90 degrees, girls still can’t wear tank tops, or shorts above where your fingertips meet your thigh; making it twice as uncomfortable and harder to learn for girls, then for boys. Thus, giving males a step up in life, as they are more comfortable with themselves and their surroundings, in their learning environment.  

   As a society, we need to stop body shaming and over sexualizing young girls, making them uncomfortable from a young age, and instead teach boys how to control their urges and not get distracted from a girl’s body part. And if boys do get distracted, they should be the one to be sent home instead of making girls self-esteem drop.  


The Little Horse

By Isabella Briggs

“Trotta trotta cavallino.” 

Three words I still think about. They do not have any particular importance. They do not mean anything special. 

When I first heard these words, I was young. My grandmother sat in an old rocking chair, holding me on her lap. I cannot quite remember the couch’s pattern or who sat there, but that is of little importance. 

I focused intently on my grandmother’s words. I could tell they were not English, but that did not matter. 

An infant does not require the meaning of words, only the entertainment they provide. I sat there in pure bliss, giggling along as Ninna chanted the phrase, moving her knees up and down to the rhythm. 

“Trotta trotta cavallino. Galoppa, galoppa, galoppa, galoppa.” 

Ninna’s voice sounded natural this way. Her heavy Italian accent for these words. She pronounced them correctly, unlike when she spoke to me in English. 

My young mind did not know why she sounded different. I did not know Italian was her first language. I did not know she grew up in Italy during a war. I did not know she never completed her schooling in America and therefore never mastered the English language. 

All that mattered as I sat there happily was her voice as she repeated those words, just to make me smile. Because that was all I needed. 

I would learn the rest later.