YouthInkwell Program for Writing
In This Issue
Linking us together
College Essays
How Authors Change the World
Quick Links
About the Founder

Jennifer's Blog

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Articles of Note
Routinely we find articles that we think will be of interest to parents and students. We'll post the links here and, as always, welcome some discussion. Email us your comments.

(a delightful essay on Dr. Seuss, Shel Silverstein, and Maurice Sendak)

YouthInkwell Writing News

(the most flattering and fabulous act is to forward this newsletter to a friend)

(don't you just love alliteration?)


With students and friends in California, Colorado, New York, and more, it is high time we created a newsletter to keep us connected.  There are so many exciting things ahead with the start of a new school year, but there are also the moments we dread--the feeling of being overwhelmed, being behind, being lost. While parents and kids alike can feel the pressure of the tsunami of competition that hovers nearby, pause every now and again and remember this:
  1. Education is a gift. Not everyone is lucky enough to get it.
  2. There is no academic achievement that can take the place of being a good person.
  3. With planning and good decision-making, the important things CAN get done (and usually without sleep deprivation).
  4. Laughter makes everything better) unless it is at someone else's expense). 
  5. ALWAYS read a written assignment out loud before turning it in. 
  6. And lastly, NEVER say "the because"
(Okay, I had to stick the last one in. It will forever be my grammar pet peeve.) 

So go forth into the year with a sense of excitement for all the new things you (or your child) will get to learn. Then remember, every day is a fresh start for you to make the most of your education, your friendships, your impact on the world around you. Do not let other people define your success.  If you can go to bed knowing you tried your best, you were kind, and you did something to make another person's life better, you have lived well.  
Word of the Month Contest 


Grumpy Gorilla

mountain gorilla in Rwanda, Sept. 2004

Crabby: (adj.) irritable, cranky, disagreeable

Write a poem titled "Crabby." But here's the catch. You can't use any words that contain the letter "O."

Emails submissions by September 30, 2011. Winners will be published in our next newsletter and receive a $50 credit toward a class.
Planning Ahead -- COLLEGE ESSAYS
Senior year creeps up on everyone -- and most are unprepared.  There is this fiction we tell ourselves that junior year is "the worst." The SAT's, the AP's, the extracurricular activities, the mad rush to do anything and everything to make the colleges choose you. I will not lie and say the grades and test scores don't matter. They do--however imperfect a bar for measurement they may be. But EQUALLY important is your character and your passion for life.  

Although junior year may be daunting, senior fall will be more challenging than any semester because it is the time when students will need to stop.  Stop and reflect. Only once they do will they be able to begin the journey that is the college essay.  

Do not make the mistake of waiting until a week before they are due.  I have lost count of the number of Thanksgivings I have spent making pies while on speakerphone with a student who is facing the UC deadline only days away. 
If you need some help mapping out your time so that you can squeeze it all in, give us a call. We can talk you through it. 
(818) 259-1082.

And we'll all eat our pie in peace. :)
How Authors Change the World

You don't have to write a speech or an analytical paper or a letter to President Obama to change the world. Throughout history, stories--yes, works of fiction--have had just as much impact on the way people think.  Consider the impact of The Little Prince, a simple story that challenges all of us not to judge things as they appear, or The Giving Tree, which celebrates the selfless mother (or condemns the greed we show Mother Nature, depending on whom you talk to).

Have a book you've read recently that had an impact on the way you see the world? Share it with us!

 Summing it up...

Though YouthInkwell is taking on a different form--no longer a quaint center in the heart of Pasadena, now a virtual entity in cyberspace--it is still very much a resource for students old and new. 

So, reach out and let us know what you need to feel empowered to take on the world -- one sensationally-cool vocab word at a time!

Happy Fall and Happy Apple Picking to you all!




Jennifer Sarja
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