Write from the Heart Essay Contest Winners!
Middle School Winners
We are so excited to announce the middle school winners of our 4th annual essay contest.
Students in our annual classes submitted an essay of their choice, and one winner was chosen in each grade. Today, we are pleased to share the winning essays from 6th, 7th, and 8th grade!
6th Grade Winner
Eunice H., South Korea
Come and Enjoy the Day
The autumn & spring are the seasons I like best. When seasons turn from winter to spring, the new lives bloom from the bare ground. And when seasons turn from summer to autumn, the green rice field and swaying reeds turn to shiny gold. In spring, flowers do embroidery on the path with their petals. In autumn, fallen leaves lay a carpet for me. The sky is so bright and beautiful. I like autumn and spring best of the seasons because they’re so wonderful and clear.
Honorable Mention—Junghyeon S., South Korea “Untitled” (Composition 101A)
7th Grade Winner
Gage J., Texas
The Tsunami of Ants
Driver ants are one of the most interesting types of ants. They are completely blind but navigate with their super sharp senses. They are nomadic and live just like their famous South American cousins, the army ants. Normally, driver ants use stumps of trees in the forest as their nest. When they’ve eaten most of the food in the area, driver ants march their whole colonies, which can be up to 22 million ants, to the new nest. While they are marching, they put their soldiers on the outside of the line of ants to protect their workers. The driver ants pillage the surrounding area while marching, killing anything in their path. Even though driver ants are less famous and smaller than army ants, they have proven to be more lethal to the local animals. Driver ants have been known to skeletonize small animals within minutes. They overrun and tear their prey apart with their sharp mandibles. Driver ants have also swarmed and killed cattle by filling up their nostrils and mouths to suffocate them. They coordinate their attacks and raid in a very smart fashion. Driver ants split up their colonies into smaller groups while they are raiding. They can kill up to 100,000 animals in one day. Overall, driver ants are one of the coolest and deadliest ant species.
Honorable Mention—Robby T., Pennsylvania “It’s Not Just Swords” (Composition 103)
8th Grade Winner
Kayla K., South Korea
Changing Our Lives With The Power Of Music
Music is a world of wonder. Although we might not be aware of it, music is all around us, from the irritating alarm that wakes us up to the calming white noises we listen to while we sleep How does music benefit us? Listening to music enables one to acquire insights into the world. Also, music causes a positive change mentally and physically.
The most knowledgeable impact music gives one is the ability to change moods. Many people listen to music to lighten their tension and get motivation. We all have a song to encourage us while we are exercising, or a melody that brings us to tears. Studies have found that music can evoke our brain to release different kinds of chemicals according to the vibe of the sound. Imagine that you went to a party. What kind of tune would you want, classical or rock? Classical music would give the party a ballroom image. However, rock music will make the party an exciting celebration. Different music not only changes the mood but also influences chemicals released by our brains. Ecstatic music, such as pop songs or band CDs, provokes our brain to produce dopamine and serotonin. These chemicals keep us alert and excited. Psychologists use these in mental care and music therapy. The release of dopamine acts aas a natural antidepressant, thus effectively lowering stress levels. In contrast, soothing music relaxes us. Filmmakers use calming music to maximize our sorrow. Sad music at the right moment will enable us to indulge in the movie.
Moreover, music has a positive effect on us physically. In a study attempting to find a connection between physical improvement and music, scientists experimented with Alzheimer’s patients. Alzheimer’s disease is a type of progressive amnesia that attacks the elderly. Most patients lie paralyzed, which was also the case with these patients. However, they showed reaction and even moved to the rhythm when they heard music. This result was an important discovery that indicated people react to music even in a terminal state. Music reduces blood pressure, heart rate, pain and promotes our immune system. It is even capable of reducing cancer risks!
Finally, music influences our intelligence. Researchers played classics to second graders regularly for a year. Then, the researchers made them solve math problems. The kids who listened to classics performed three grade levels higher than childeren who did not. To state other examples, many people listen to white noise and other forms of music while they sleep and study. Music is proven to increase sleep quality and make memory function well.
In summary, listening to music has various advantages such as producing hormones that help deal with anxiety and promoting the immune system. What would our lives be like if every song, beat, and melody was gone from the world? We should be aware that music benefits our body and mind and be thankful that music exists.
Honorable Mention—Janelle M., Maryland “The Benefits of Going to Church” (Composition 103)
Honorable Mention—Jocelyn C., Texas “An Invisible Bridge” (Literature 201)