Contest-Winning Poems

By Raehana Anwar

On March 29, the winners for the 2018 Sybil Nash Abrams Student Contest were revealed by the Poets’ Roundtable of Arkansas. Out of the six winners, four are from Mount’s very own Creative Writing class. The four students submitted handwritten poems from class and ranked from 2nd place to 2nd honorable mention.

The Poets’ Roundtable of Arkansas (PRA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the study of poetry. The PRA was created to encourage poets and promote an appreciation of poetry in the community, and secure more recognition for the works of poets in Arkansas. This organization offers monthly contests, one of which all the students in Mount’s Creative Writing class submitted poems for, along with students from six other schools. This added up to a total of 23  high school student entries, with only six prizes given.

The winners from Mount include Raehana Anwar in 2nd place, Stephanie Verdaris in 3rd, Hannah Brockette with 1st honorable mention, and Grace Cassie with 2nd honorable mention. 2nd place receives a $30 cash prize, 3rd receives $20, and honorable mentions are awarded books. Along with collecting their prize, each winner is invited to attend the Poets’ Roundtable of Arkansas Dr. Lily Peter Spring Celebration and is given the opportunity to present their winning poem.  The winning pieces are listed below in order of their award.


Raehana Anwar

i am six,

with a head of hair,

free of curls,

falling to my hips.

teacher tells me i hold my pencil wrong,

but i write neater than any other first grader i know.

one day mom was crying,

and i knew my baby brother would be here soon.

i wore my best dress: blue flowers painted onto pale white.

i had to make the best of impressions for the new face.

i don’t understand the red, yellow, green lights on the streets,

how they change from color to color.

i think there are small people inside of them,

pushing buttons for hours and hours.

i would hate to have that job.

i hear a soft sound echo from the radio.

mom tells me the soft sound is called a flute.

i want to make the sound.

dad always counts his money.

he takes us to diners and days on the beach,

but it makes him sad.

his business is dying.

but he doesn’t think i know that yet,

because i’m only six.

Texas and Arkansas

Stephanie Verdaris


It wasn’t always “Texas and Arkansas”
Used to be just one state,
But then you had to leave.
Intense games of tag, lots of fun, and many playdates,
But then you went to Texas and we had to set each other free.
And then as we got older, our paths crossed once again
And we immediately remembered why we’d been such good friends.
Your positive outlook, hilarious sense of humor, and loving heart
Made me realize I should’ve kept better contact with you from the start.
But now you’re still in Texas and I am still in Arkansas
But we’re back to being inseparable.
Annual visits, facetimes, sweet texts,
And lots and lots of “I can’t wait till I see you next.”
You have shown me what a true best friend is like
And that no matter what, you’ll always be a part of my life.
Maybe you’ll always be in Texas. And maybe I’ll always be in Arkansas.
But no matter where we go, you will always be in my heart.

Lake Days

Hannah Brockette

Hot summer days
Spent at the lake.
Floating on a raft,
Tubing in circles.
Water splashes in my face.
Fast strokes against my arms,
As I race my friends.
The boat bounces up and down
As it hits wave after wave.
It pulls up on shore
Scraping the gravel.
Now I’m back at camp
Sitting around the campfire.
Listening to stories and gossip
All night long.
I get in my bed.
I lay still as a stick.
But my body still moves like a fish

Love Letter

Grace Cassie

It’s hilarious how someone can go from being your best friend
To a stranger
In a matter of seconds.

I remember lying next to you under shimmery, yellow lights,
Hoping that this moment could last an eternity,
As you wrapped me up in your warm arms,
Protecting me from the cold world around us.

I remember late nights eating dinner with your family
And losing at every card game placed in front of me.

I remember the moments when calling you could stop
The flood of tears from overcoming my life
And you calling me to listen to every moment of my day.

But, people change.

You went from a carefree boy to a politician,
Always concerned about what others thought
And, in return, trying to win over every single person you met.

You went from my undying protector
To my inevitable downfall.
But most of all,
you went from my best friend
To someone I don’t even know,
And, because of that,

I will sadly always remember you.


Date-Night Looks

By Raehana Anwar

With the arrival of Valentine’s day comes the stress and chaos of prepping for the perfect date.  Whether you’re going to dinner with your S.O. or having a night out with the girls, it can be tricky to find the right look for the occasion.  With this in mind, I’ve put together four different outfits for four of the most common date locations I could think of, hopefully easing your worries and providing some inspiration for your perfect Valentine’s Day look.









The movies has always been the most cliche date spot, but also the most casual. With dark lighting and comfy seating, the movie theater has the most chill and laid back atmosphere, which isn’t a bad thing at all. You can easily pull off a comfortable yet cute look with a pair of sweatpants (or any other comfy pants), slip-ons, and a long-sleeved shirt.







Dinner is a bit more formal than a movie, which means, sadly, sweatpants won’t make the cut. Depending on how fancy the restaurant is can determine how dressed up you want to get, but a typical dinner can go along the lines of jeans, boots, and a sweater or long-sleeved shirt.







A coffee date or an afternoon in the park are both casual and easy options that call for more laid back outfits. You can pair leggings with an oversized shirt and a denim jacket layered on top for an effortless put together look. Slip on some sneakers and you’re good to go.








A concert or party would be the most dressed up look out of the four. My go-to party look is a black skirt paired with a long-sleeved shirt. You can dress it up with heels or keep it comfortable with sneakers. to make a simple outfit stand out more, add some accessories. Layer some necklaces or add on earrings and the look’s complete.






Playlists For the Year

By Raehana Anwar

—click on the playlist titles to listen—

CHILL– comforting & calm

  1.  Oh Wonder // Solo
  2.  Frank Ocean // Pink + White
  3.  Harry Styles // Sweet Creature
  4.  Khalid // Another Sad Love Song
  5.  Troye Sivan // Suburbia
  6.  Billie Eilish // Watch
  7.  Szymon // Golden
  8.  Lany // 13
  9.  Chance the Rapper // Summer Friends
  10.  The Lumineers // Sleep on the Floor


STUDY- quiet & simple

  1. Petit Biscuit // Memories
  2.  Tom Misch // The Journey
  3.  Pools // Blue
  4.  Petit Biscuit // Alone
  5.  Lofi // Radio


 DRIVE- upbeat & carefree

  1.  Coin // Run
  2.  Calvin Harris // Slide
  3.  Portugal. The Man // Feel It Still
  4.  Børns // Electric Love
  5.   Camila Cabello // Havana
  6.  Lorde // Perfect Places
  7.  Frank Ocean // Lost
  8. Chance the Rapper // Finish Line
  9.  Quinn XCII // Fake Denim
  10.  Nappy Roots // Good Day

Mercy Day

By Kelly Hammond

Mercy Day is a beloved tradition in the Mount community that takes place every September.  While most girls are just get excited to be out of class for the day, the meaning behind Mercy Day goes much deeper.  In honor of Catherine McAuley, the founder of the Sisters of Mercy, Mount students spend this day providing service on campus and throughout the community.  Students trade in their hounds tooth skirts for a pair of jeans and gloves, and travel to various sites including Susan G. Koman, Calvary Cemetery, Helping Hand, the Compassion Center, Access Schools, Allsopp Park, and more.  This allows everyone to have the humbling opportunity to serve those in need and live like Catherine herself.  

When I was told that I would be going to a cemetery for Mercy Day, I was honestly pretty scared.  When most people hear “cemetery”, they automatically think of spooky ghosts, dark lifeless trees, and haunted graves.  However, what I found on my journey was quite the opposite.  The sun washed over the green, tree-filled area and illuminated the headstones of various shapes and sizes.  When we first arrived, we made our way through the front of the cemetery, past graves and presents left by loved ones, towards Bella Brown.  We took a moment of silence to remember her joyful and compassionate personality; a perfect reminder for us on a day focused on serving others.


We then headed to the area of the cemetery where several Sisters of Mercy were buried.  It was sorrowing to see the rows and rows of disheveled and unclean headstones.  Most of these graves-some of which were almost 200 years old- looked as if they hadn’t been cleaned since they were put there.  

To give these headstones the proper TLC they deserve, we used sponges, brushes, and rags to gently remove the dirt and moss growing on the stones.  This experience gave me a new perspective on the word “cemetery”; one that doesn’t include scary ghosts, but instead a reminder of how we can still care for those who have passed on.  Even when we lose a loved one, honoring their memory by caring for their grave is just one way to continue serving them.  

Other members of our newspaper staff, Breanna Racher and Raehana Anwar, told me what they learned from their Mercy Day experiences.  Breanna said,

 “it seemed like what we were doing was very insignificant…until two women that were there told us what we did in an hour and a half would have taken a week for them to do.”  

Raehana recalls a similar feeling and says, “At first I thought cleaning up bikes couldn’t really do much to help the community, but after hearing about how excited the kids would get and how meaningful it was to them, what I was doing seemed to have more purpose. I felt like I really was impacting people’s lives, just by fixing up some bikes.”  Both girls’ time at their service sites proved the big impact we can make when we come together to help others.  

—Timelapse of Raehana and friends building a bike at their service site—

By Raehana Anwar

LR’s Best Bites

By Raehana Anwar, senior writer

With several early dismissal days throughout the year, it’s good to know the best lunch spots for days like this. Lucky for you, most of LR’s top-rated spots are only a few minutes from Mount!

// Three Fold Noodles & Dumpling Co. //

215 Center St, Little Rock
Three Fold is best known for its authentic noodles and dumplings, along with its bright all-white interior. This spot also offers bubble tea, taro chips and sesame balls. Their hours are 11am-8pm Monday-Saturday, and it’s only a ten-minute drive from Mount!
Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

// The Root Cafe //

1500 Main St, Little Rock
This colorful cafe uses locally sourced ingredients in all of their food, mainly serving sandwiches and salads. They also offer breakfast and dinner items along with coffee and tea. Hours: Tuesdays 7am-2:30pm, Wednesday-Friday 7am-2:30pm and 5:30pm-8:30pm,, Saturdays 8am-3:30pm and 5:30pm-8:30pm, and Sundays 9am-2pm. The hours are a bit tricky, but the food is definitely worth it, plus it’s only nine minutes from Mount!

// Big Orange //
207 N University Ave #100, Little Rock
This burger joint serves gourmet burgers and fries along with shakes and floats. It features a retro-chic interior and patio seating. Their hours are 11am-10pm every day of the week, and it’s an easy four-minute drive.

// Blaze Pizza //
11525 Cantrell Rd, Little Rock
As the Subway of pizzerias, Blaze counter-serves their famous thin-crust pizzas with countless options of toppings and sauces. You can stop in any day of the week from 10am to 10pm, and build your very own pizza. This popular spot is also only ten minutes away from Mount!

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset

// Pei Wei //
205 N University Ave, Little Rock
If you’re looking for quick-service Asian, then Pei Wei’s your go-to. They serve a wide variety of noodle, rice, and salad dishes, along with hand-rolled sushi, soups and wraps. Their fast service and reasonable prices make every meal enjoyable, and you can pop in from 11am to 9pm any day of the week. Check out this restaurant, it’s only a four-minute drive.