Archive for the ‘ Student Submissions ’ Category

Essay: Hamlet and Finding the Reality in Ecstasy

By Katherine Christians

This essay was written for Tri-City Prep’s College Composition 102 class.

The protagonist’s father appeared before him; ashen and dressed for battle. The form of his hulking parent is transparent enough to grant him the ability to see the trees behind the once-living man. The ghost of his father tells the harrowing tale of his death to his son; one not of natural causes; but of murder. The son is left alone, bloodless and shaking, with one task: to avenge his father’s death. Though the dramatic air to this moment is admirable, the fact that a ghost appeared to tell his son of it’s murder; is questionable, to say the least. If someone assaulted someone else and then proceeded to tell the jury that they did so because a ghost told them to, their sanity would most likely be questioned. But when such a thing happened in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the audience seemed to have no qualms believing in the actions of a madman.

The Shakespearean tragedy, Hamlet, is the story of a young man who’s father just died, and an uncle who stole his throne. Wrought with anger and confusion, Hamlet is told, by the ghost of his father, that his uncle, the new king, was his murderer. Bent on getting revenge for his father’s wrongful death, Hamlet “pretends” to be corrupted with ecstasy; or madness. As the play progresses, Hamlet’s actions, and sanity, grow more questionable; until, finally, Hamlet’s deranged activities lead to the death of his uncle, mother, peer, and himself. The question that haunts the audience during the play is: was Hamlet truly mad, or was he just pretending? Continue reading


A Second Mystery Message Presents a Puzzle

Earlier in the year, Denobis received a mystery message in the mailbox. Recently, another message was discovered:

The message reads as follows:

“AGENT CANTON                                                       17 March 1938

I regret to inform that things have changed. My escort got blown out of the Aegean Sea, and at this current time I am being pursued by the Sultan, and he’s brought along a few friends with shiny rifles and knives plus a menu with my head on it. Presentyl [sic.] I am hiding under a bush wth the goons flashing their torches at me Like some hunters devoid of purpose and replaced by sheep intuition. Nevertheless, the mission must go on, and my guide’s sacrifice will not be relegated to a water grave. For now, Agent Canton out.

20-8-9-19   9-19   20-8-5   20-15-16

“Parlez mon amoure en Lyons j’eai zaimerai elle souvent.” ”

If anyone has any information on what the numbers might mean or on the translation of the French quote at the bottom, please email Denobis staff at or drop a note in the mailbox. Denobis members have placed a response in the box to see if this mysterious Agent Canton will start a conversation. Look for more posts on this subject as more information is revealed.

Mystery Message

The Denobis mailbox recently received an odd message, as follows:

“CIA Report No. 731

Hello, Agent Canton here.

My suspiscions [sic.] regarding the recent activities in the Gulf of Aden are affirmed.

Mamba, though nursing a badly wounded calf, helped me exfil via Zodiac boat. The Saudi royal families have been harboring affiliates of Hamas, providing a discreet rabbit hole into the West Bank. Signs indicate Israel’s Arab neighbors are poised for another assault on tentative targets in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. I’ve sent a dispatch to General Ezra Romm to maneuver his division toward the Sinai Peninsula. They should be able to catch the terrorists off guard. IN THE MEANTIME, I will continue to operate here in Luxor, until my deployment is complete. That is all, I await Mother Goose on the 23#d, [sic.] don’t be late.


Yours truly,

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“Islands of Genius”: What Savant Syndrome Could Show Us

By Amanda Bertsch

Note: this essay was written for the Math Honors class. If any students have interesting essays or assignments they would like to share, please email them to


What are savants?

Savants are people who have mental handicaps, often severe, but possess incredible skills. Most of these skills are contained in five general categories: music, calendar calculations, mathematics, art, and spatial skills. Musical skills are perhaps the most common and usually include perfect pitch and unusual skill at the piano; interestingly enough, blindness tends to be associated with musical savants as well. Calendar calculations involve being able to tell what day of the week any given date fell on, no matter how far in the past or future it lies. Mathematical skill is not being able to understand complex math—on the contrary, mathematically gifted savants rarely comprehend even arithmetic. Rather, they can perform lightning calculations or quickly compute huge prime numbers. Spatial skills are often the ability to measure distances extremely accurately without any tools, construct complicated models perfectly, or give the best directions to a location based on memorized maps.

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A Short Story by Markus Weinzinger

Cameraman for Courage

By: Markus Weinzinger

Tall triangles dotted the sea of green and brown below. Muddy lanes covered the broad landscape, but were overwhelmed in some places where the triangles towered over. Then, a gray vessel appeared to the north, and I swooped in for a closer look. I steadied my camera and pressed the shutter when at a low fifty feet. Grey-colored beings gazed up in alarm and anger, and the sound of loud repetition suddenly filled the air. Lead slammed into the fuselage of my small plane, when I realized my time was up…

I decided to join a small band of sky spies, Continue reading