"Ever wondered about what goes on in the Theater department?" --Aj Kirk, 6th grade
But a question has always lingered in the back of my mind, haunting me like a ghost.
“Who is Jack?”-Rosa Aurea, 10th grade
Taking a walk through Piedmont’s million-dollar fairytale cottages during the autumn season is always one of my favorite things to do. Not just because I use it as an excuse to ogle the beautiful houses that cost more than my life and enjoy the crunch of leaves underfoot, but because everywhere I turn, a hideous orange face stares back at me.
Bright orange pumpkins line staircases leading to painted doors that read “trick or treat!” carved faces vary from intricate pop culture designs and references to goofy circle eyes and toothy grins.
I’ve partaken in the carving of these Jack O’ Lanterns before, tracing designs onto the smooth surface and then stabbing away at the flesh. This is perhaps the only time I’m allowed to handle a knife outside of the kitchen. But a question has always lingered in the back of my mind, haunting me like a ghost.
“Who is Jack?”
Surely, I wasn’t the only one wondering why Jack had a gourd named after him and what I could do to get something named after me. Turns out, before there were pumpkins, there were turnips. The story of the Jack O’ Lantern originated in Ireland, possibly the most magical place on earth. After Disneyland, of course.
The story starts with our title character, a man named Stingy Jack. As our local alcoholic, Stingy Jack invites the Devil to drink at a bar. True to his name, Jack is too stingy to pay for the drinks so he convinces the Devil to turn himself into a gold coin and when Jack “pays”, the devil turns himself back and walks out.
The Devil complies and Jack snatches the coin and places it in his pocket alongside a silver cross, effectively trapping him. In exchange for his freedom, the Devil promises to leave Jack alone for the next year and if he dies, he cannot claim his soul.
The Devil agrees and freedom is granted. Two years later, the Devil appears at Jack’s door, looking for revenge. Acting fast, Jack manages to trap the Devil in a tree by carving a cross into the trunk. In another bid for his freedom, the Devil promises to leave Jack alone for ten years. Satisfied with his cunning, Jack passes away sometime in those ten years, confident he’d guaranteed his path to Heaven.
God, however, isn’t too keen on letting such a distasteful being into the land of the holy and refuses him access, hurling his soul to Hell. The Devil, miffed by the fact that the soul who’d tricked him twice is trying to invade his home, spitefully keeps his promise and refuses Jack’s entry as well, instead handing him a lantern to light his damned way. Now, Jack uses the pumpkins to light his way, forced to wander forever in the dark, lonely forests of Ireland.
The moral of the story? Spite is indeed the best motivator. Oh, and maybe don’t cross the LITERAL RULER OF HELL because it will come back to bite you in the butt. So remember, the next time you’re feeling the urge to cheat someone out of a deal, think about whether wandering a dark, scary forest is really what you want to do for the rest of your existence and choose wisely.
Happy Halloween, everyone!
“Oakland School for the Arts’s Production Design sub-pathway is upholding the previously postponed tradition of the OSA Haunted House. Stay tuned for more information on this spooky season’s out of this world haunted house.”-- Bella Shainker, 8th grade
"There can be a lot of uncertainty about how to get into college as well as how to manage our lives now.... Hopefully, this article is able to help you with some of these things. " -- Daisha Williams 11th Grade
"in the past year Covid-19 has stopped us from seeing our fellow classmates at school, but this year is different! We can finally go back to school, And this is what the 6th graders and 8th graders of OSA think about school so far!"--Poppy ZAiger, 6th grade
"There are two main types of clubs at OSA, there are clubs for MARGINALIZED groups of people, called affirmation groups such as Brothers of Color, QT Club, BSU, APIU, and many others. Then there are clubs for hobbies and groups of like-minded people who may share interests, such as Nerd Herd, Fashion Club and Garden Club." -- olu thomas, 8th grade
"What OSA looked and felt like before covid, isn’t exactly what it is now. As OSA is adapting and changing, what do students and teachers think?"-- MAya MAstropasqua, 7th grade
"Production Design is an emphasis at Oakland School of the Arts. In this class, students learn about set design, stage management, sound design, lighting design, and projection design." --Rafi ponet, 6th grade
"From desktops to desks, how do teachers feel about kids being back in the classroom and what does it take to adjust from online learning?" -- Isabella Schanker, 8th grade