Luke

Storytelling. That's how I spent every day of the summer months. That's the way I grew up—not on gummy vitamins or Little League baseball, but by the water's edge—at the faltering heart beat of a dying town. Where I grew up, single-storied homes, broken both inside and out, stretched on for miles on end. The only thing remotely scenic in the whole county was this grimy, polluted lake, a centerpiece for the trailer park. It was a monster. Not to mention it scared the hell out of me too. At night, you'd see lost souls rising from the water like smoke, twisting their way into the sky and toward the bone-white moon. No joke. Just add the lakeside to the growing list of places that I'm glad to have left behind.

Storytelling. It's the process of weaving together imaginary moments and faces in my mind. I wish I could reinvent my own life so easily.

Raina

To me, the start of a new school year means that for nine months, I don't have to endure a single trans-continental plane ride, speak a language other than English, or do anything particularly exciting. What can I say? It's nice to have some time to myself and get eight solid hours of sleep every night. I love returning to the quietude of New York City art museums after spending an entire summer away from home, usually bedridden with the dengue fever in a Java or New Delhi hospital asking myself, why me? I love returning to the view from my apartment window overlooking the cityscape, where dreamers roam the narrow sidewalks. I press the palm of my hand against the glass, and whisper to myself, I am home.

In the end, none of this compares to the magic of the Academy in upstate New York, where the silent mountains loom above and around our campus, and the whispering wind sweeps in the seasons. Life begins again in the autumn.