Rensizzle Writers and Contributors:

Marcus Marston
Lamont Moultrie
Isabela Bulacia
Victoria Dudek
Erik Aucapina
Ivan Ortiz
Lizbeth Samaniego
Christopher Piedra
Trevor Pena

Overview of schedule:

Monday – Writing inspired by landscape – Soaking in sun, sand, sea & wind at Coney Island
Tuesday – Writing inspired by animals & nature – Observing wildlife at the Bronx Zoo
Wednesday – Writing inspired by commerce & industry – Visiting Grand Central Station and the NYPL
Thursday – Writing inspired by writers & publishers – Tour of Scholastic Publishing
Friday – Writing inspired by food, culture & community – Putting it all together

Photos, Videos, Writings, Blogs, Links:


Our Week

The rocks
An apostrophe between
The land of sand and the sea.
Abandoned rides
Lying dormant while seagulls squeal
Around us, searching for a meal.

Animals confined
To spaces like a habitat,
To be viewed like that by schoolchildren
And their minders, searching for nature
In a desolute neighborhood of decaying tat.

Marble halls
Beckoning to exhibits and books, murals
Inviting awestruck looks, reading rooms
With scholars and kooks united in silence
Beneath arches amid busts in nooks.

Hogwarts Castle
published in an iron building filled
with art, books, and comfy chairs.
The light spilled air hovering over
happy people working in their literary world.

–Pat O’Donohue



“He looked across the sea and knew how alone he was now. But he could see the prisms in the deep dark water and the line stretching ahead and the strange undulation of the calm.The clouds were building up now for the trade wind and he looked ahead and saw a flight of wild ducks etching themselves against the sky over the water, then blurring, then etching again and he knew no man was ever alone on the sea.”
– from The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

“The distant roosters began to crow and the air changed and the dawn was coming. The wind of the morning ruffled the water of the estuary and whispered through the mangroves, and the little waves beat on the rubbly beach with an increased tempo. Kino raised the sleeping mat and dug up his pearl and put it in front of him and stared at it.”
– from The Pearl by John Steinbeck

The sea is calm tonight.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

– first stanza of “Dover Beach” by Matthew Arnold

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Amusement, boarded up for the winter.

Winter halts the Wonder Wheel.

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A bare-bones Coney Island.

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Approaching the ocean.

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Seagulls circling a trash can.

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Searching for food.

A fake palm on the natural beach.

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A spot of sun on the water.

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Writing on the rocks.

Trevor Pena
Coney Island

Throughout this week we have been to many trips to different places. But by far. Coney Island has been my favorite. I got to explore the beach as well as the boardwalk . The sky was light blue and it was a bit chilly due to us being close to the water. The waves were making these repeating soothing sound sort of a swooshing sound in a way. You could see birds just strolling around in their flocks. The ocean far ahead looks endless and as the sun’s rays beamed down on the ocean it almost looked as if it is making a path or almost an entrance. As the wind pushes hard you could see little waves of sand rushing towards and past you. When the waves of sand stops the sun comes up and then goes up again. This was a very beautiful scenery to observe. A little bit towards the end we started to throw the ball around or play soccer which was I think a good way to end the trip.

Usually you see pictures of Coney island at night time when all the lights are on but you never see it during the daytime. You get to see how it looks when it’s not all bright lights and packed rides. It was nice to see how some things can transform in an instant. Most people don’t realize how nice things can be when there isn’t any spectacular things to show off. I got to see how all the rides look and their designs. I finally got to observe the place freely and just relax on the beach, play soccer, or throw the football around with some of the other kids.

Also , it was a great experience to see each other’s personality and have fun with each other. The train ride also was interesting, I always liked seeing the graffiti and artwork that you get to see when passing by the buildings and streets. These have always been appealing to me ever since I was a little kid. I would always see those designs when passing by these buildings and want to get home as soon as possible to try and mimic or copy those designs in my notebook or on a sheet of paper. The designs that interest me the most were the ones that weren’t like the others you would usually see. The superhero ones always appealed to me, the way that the artist knew how to get every little detail and design right was amazing to see. I also liked the drawings of faces that they would put with different expressions. These appealed to me because the way the structured the face and the colors they used to blend in and put certain traits in was very impressive.

That’s when I started to get into art and expressing myself and my thoughts through illustrations or drawings. Ever since then I have always found a problem around me such as through the news or even through what I see around me and sketch it in my notebook. I remember my mom used to look at my notebook every night and write a comment or even say that she agrees or she would draw her own picture. She would pretend like it wasn’t her writing but I would wake up at night and see her writing in my notebook .

Those designs that you see all around you can inspire you to draw something of your own or just give you an idea that might relate to the message they are sending through artwork. On the train ride you could see many different people expressing themselves through apparel. This is one of the many different ways that people express themselves and on the train there are a variety of people with different styles.

Mostly you hear about the bad things that are going on around us on the news but you don’t hear about the good things that may not seem big but can make a small difference :such as people on the train giving up their seat to people in need, or people helping someone that they see is struggling. These are some things that you don’t hear about because people are too busy focusing on the negative side of things instead of the positives.

Many things on that trip to Coney Island have inspired me in many ways not just one. The graffiti on the walls and streets , people helping each other on the train , the landscapes we have seen, and the designs all over the place. These have inspired to me go further in my writing and maybe inspire others or help out in my all small way because even if it’s not something as big as what other people have done it is still helping out in a small way. So Coney island was a great experience for me.

The only thing that may not have been the best sight to to see in the world is people in need of food coming on the train asking for food and people just laughing and ignoring them. If you don’t have anything to give or you just don’t want to that’s all right just don’t laugh at them. It is not their fault that they weren’t blessed with the resources we have so that is nothing to laugh about. People nowadays don’t appreciate what they have and only think about what they want and don’t have instead of what they already have, and should be appreciating those things.

Many of these thoughts and ideas were passing through my head while I was on the train and thinking about what I saw. When these ideas popped up in my head I decided to draw my thoughts. I drew a train and in the inside you saw a guy all dressed up and laughing and the thing that he was laughing at was a homeless guy asking for money. The reason I drew this is because I like illustrating my thoughts to make you think about what they mean and sometimes they can mean multiple things. It’s all up to you, but in this case it was meant to show that people will laugh at others just because they are not as blessed as them and will push them to side for this which I find is nothing humorous.

Anyways these were some of my ideas and thoughts that I throughout my trip to Coney Island hope you enjoyed and have a good day.

The Coney Island Adventure

I woke up feeling tired, exhausted, and drowsy from staying up last night. I was planning to head back to sleep but realized that today was Rensizzle. I banged my head on the wood of my bed six or seven times, then got up and got dressed. I was so sluggish it took me awhile to get dressed; I nearly passed out so many times. As I prepared myself for the day I thought, “we’re taking the train???”. Then I left. I tried to focus my thoughts, my mind flowing with classical music. It was impossible to think!!! Because of the cold weather I couldn’t concentrate. But, I finally made it to school and our teacher welcomed us with excitement. He said: “ Hey, guys, we’re going to Coney Island!” My eyes widened at the statement. In my head, I was thinking “Are you mad? Are you trying to kill us?” In the end I accepted my fate.

We left for the train station. I asked, in a depressed way, “ How long is the ride?” My teacher told me it would take “ about an hour and twenty minutes.” The whole time I was on the train I wanted to jump out the window: It was hot, smelly, and germy. Then, after the terrible train ride, I went out on the platform and smiled, because the wind blew past my face. Waiting just to get out of the train station thinking to myself “ What’s taking them so long; come on, hurry!” As we finally made it out of the train station I observed the scenery, noticing it wasn’t as different as New York. We had gone on the boardwalk of the beach, I started noticing that it was more peaceful than it is in New York. I could hear my own thoughts, but not only that, we also saw people on the streets begging for money. I couldn’t bare to watch just imagining myself in there positions. Then we sat down and just relaxed on the beach. I wanted to sit and look at the water all day, but then my stomach started grumbling. Decided to look at the restaurants, raising a brow at the prices. So I chose Nathans, filling up on expensive food. I sat down and watched the sun starting to come down. I just couldn’t help noticing how amazing it was. Then Vincent coming, exhausted, out of breath, telling me “we have to go.” So I got up, and looked at the sky one more time and I knew my day was done.After seeing I learned something that day: “we should never take our life for granted.” I understood that the painful way.

–Marcus Marston



Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

– first stanza of “The Tyger” by William Blake

He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring’d with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.

– “The Eagle” by Lord Alfred Tennyson

The old bull had many deep scars on his head and shoulders from battles he had fought before. Suddenly he lashed out with his tail, trying to loose the hold on his neck, and struck the side of a rock. With his tail against the rock, he flung his body out of the water and thus broke away. He came quickly up the slope, his great mouth open, the young bull close behind him. He came towards me and, in haste to get out of his way, not knowing whether he was bent on attacking me. I stepped back. In doing so, I tripped over a stone and fell to my knees. I felt a sharp pain in my leg, but was quickly up. By this time the old bull had whirled around and turned upon his pursuer so fast that the young bull was taken by surprise. Again the young bull’s flank was ripped deep, and again the force of the blow threw him backward into the water. The waves grew redder from his blood, but this time he rolled over and was waiting for the charge. He met the old bull with his shoulder. The sound was like rocks crashing together. Once more the young bull caught the other’s throat, and together they disappeared beneath a wave. When they came up they were still locked together.

– from Island of the Blue Dolphin by Scott O’Dell

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A small crocodile.
A sailfin iguana.
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A sleepy snake.

Lined with rows of amber

By: Victoria Dudek

Rows and rows of distant life
Waiting to see what is up ahead
The gentle glow of the dim sky highlights the presence of nearby life
Pushing and Shoving awaiting the sight of skin
Gentle and precious
Locked in a box
No hope of escape
Rattled in a corner

Tap Tap Tap
The constant knock on the glass
Is it hard to believe that I won’t grow insane
You provide artificial light, plants
How am I to know what is real
What am I to do

Hope is a near and weary dream
Allowing the scent of saltwater to enter my very body
Awaiting the sight of rows of amber

I sit here to rot
I sit here to wait
One day I will make my fatal escape

By: Isabela Bulacia

Safe from the world
That’s what they’ll say
It wouldn’t have been that way
If you didn’t always interfere
Coming to kill my family so you could benefit from it
You call it enterprise
Or call it the cycle of life
But we’re not suppose to die
So you could have more 0’s on your checks
Now here I am trapped
Trapped for eternity
Here I am stuck for your education
Here I am stuck for your amusement
Tricked into feeling safe
Believing that home is a glass box
With fake palm trees
Tapping,banging, screaming
Is all I hear
Commands from the creatures that keep me
The sun I soak in
Dependent on for warmth
Is compromised
By a reading light
Never again able to see night
Tricked into believing i see day
You say I’m safe here and I’m in
Danger out there
It doesn’t make sense
How I’m in danger in my own surroundings
The reality is I am trapped by you
Inside or outside
I’ll always be in danger
Simply because of you
Always feeling trapped because of you
So don’t come here saying
I’m the danger
Because you’re the one that stored me away


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Columns of thought.
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The Rose Reading Room.

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Yes, professional writers reread their writing and check for spelling, punctuation, grammatical and capitalization errors!
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Before there were word processors…writers draft their ideas on paper!

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Writers conduct meticulous research, taking photographs to help them describe the setting.

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Writing in the Rose Reading Room.

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The Scholastic Publishing House.
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Pictures and illustrations.
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A Wild Thing on display.
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Scholastic artifact.
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