Ii:
MAKE YOUR OWN
Mini Spice Cupcakes
BRAINSTORM: THE
WORST DAY OF
MICHAL'S LIFE
How to
Make a topknot
D L
CD
WIN A FREE
SUBSCRIPTION
(PAGE 8)
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Published by FYI Magazine. All rights re-
served. Reproduction in whole or in part in
any form without prior written permission
from the publisher is prohibited. The pub-
lisher reserves the right to edit all articles
for clarity, space and editorial sensitivities.
FYI Magazine assumes no responsibility for
the content of articles or advertisements in
the publication, nor for the connect of books
that are referred to or excerpted herein.
EDITOR
Yitty Denciger
ART & MARKETING
Tzivia Cohen
Miriam Reifman
14minds.com
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AD DEADLINES
December Issue: December 2nd
Weird
But True
Thanks for your amazing feedback;
it’s clear that we have the greatest
fans out there! Here are some of the
emails and messages we received:
My cousins and I had so
much fun doing our hair
during the Chag. Thanks
for such a fancy twist :)
Sara A.
I love hearing from other kids in
your magazine. Tehilla is really brave
for speaking about what makes her
different. Atara Weingarten
The apple turnovers were so
cool! I made a big batch with my
little brother and Bobbie. YUM!
Blimi Katzenstein
Y
S
We had so much fun doing
the Word Wiz puzzle
during our road trip! We
came up with 32 words!
Malka and Tuvie L.
When leaves change color in
the fall, they’re actually becom-
ing their “true” colors. That’s
because during the summer
months, chlorophyll takes over
and turns them green. This is
the nutrient through which trees
receive nourishment from the
sun. When the sun diminishes,
so does the chlorophyll – and
the green – allowing the leaves’
true colors to show through.
Every fall, monarch butteries
migrate from the United States
to Mexico and parts of southern
California. Flying at speeds be-
tween 12 and 25 miles per hour,
they travel a whopping 2,500
miles to reach warmer climates.
A recent study showed that
babies born during the autumn
months of September, October
and November are more likely
to live to be 100 than those
born at other times of the year.
Autumn is considered “aurora
season,” according to NASA.
That’s because the geomagnet-
ic storms that cause aurora bo-
realis (aka the northern lights)
are about twice as frequent as
they usually are during the fall.
While Americans and others in
the Northern Hemisphere are
enjoying the fall season now,
those in Australia, South Africa
and the rest of the Southern
Hemisphere are full swing into
spring.
Who doesn’t love seeing fall
foliage? In Japanese there are
actually two words for it: koyo
and momiji.
It takes about 40 apples to make
a single gallon of apple cider.
Little chickadees all puffed up
and perched together on tree
branches are a cute sign that
fall is here and winter is on the
way. But did you know those
little birds can remember all
the places where they collect-
ed and hid seeds, in trees and
on the ground? Each fall, the
teeny-tiny hippocampus in their
brain enlarges by 30 percent to
help them remember just where
those seeds are.
While it may seem like squirrels
are getting ready to hibernate,
they don’t actually go to sleep
for the winter. They spend most
of their time in nests they built
to keep them safe and warm
during the cold, harsh fall and
winter weather.
WRITTEN BY
MALKA WINNER
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Dare to
Explore
WRITTEN BY TZIPORAH GESTETNER
Sa, i
A
Have you ever heard
of a “salt flat?” Let me
introduce you to Salar
de Uyuni, Bolivia, the
largest salt flat in the world! In
case you’re wondering what that
means, I’ll explain.
A salt flat is a large expanse of
ground that is covered with salt
and other minerals. Salt flats are
usually found in deserts. They
are formed naturally and shine
a bright white under the sun. If
you look at a picture of a salt flat,
you might mistake it for an empty
field covered with icy snow.
There are some rather large salt
flats in the United States, namely
in Utah – not far from Salt Lake
City. But these flats aren’t nearly
as large as the one in Bolivia,
South America. The Salar de
Uyuni stretches over a vast area:
10,582 square kilometers (4,086
square miles)!
This salt flat contains large
amounts of sodium, potassium,
and magnesium, and is excep-
tionally rich in lithium, housing
50 to 70% of the world’s lithium
reserves. Lithium is a mineral
important for its use in electric
batteries.
The large concentration of
this valued mineral piqued
international interest. An
American-based international
corporation invested $137 million
to develop lithium extraction.
Lithium is best extracted by drill-
ing through the Salar’s crust, and
mining the liquid form of lithium
found in the saltwater brine that
flows beneath the surface.
People in the local community
were angered that foreign compa-
nies could come and exploit their
minerals. They didn’t believe the
profits would ever reach them.
Thus, the Bolivian government
chose to ban foreign mining and
operate its own smaller mining
operation to conserve the store of
lithium.
The Salar de Uyuni is not a very
habitable area, but there are some
plants and animals that do thrive
there. Some popular ones are pink
South American flamingos, many
bird species, and the Andean fox.
The flamingos derive their color
from the pink algae on which
they feed.
The large white expanse of the
Salar de Uyuni is an interesting
and beautiful sight which attracts
many tourists.
Are you interested in visiting
this salty tourist center?
If you do, you will have a
chance to stay at a most inter-
esting hotel, built almost entirely
out of salt! Conventional building
materials are hard to find in this
region. Alternatively, salt blocks
that are extracted in salt produc-
tion are used to create the walls,
roofs, and even furniture. The
first such hotel was built between
1993 and 1995. Since it was located
in the middle of the desert, it was
difficult to keep clean. In 2002, it
was forced to close down because
of sanitation problems. New salt
hotels were built on the edge of
the Salar, where they are easier to
reach and maintain. The salt ho-
tels are popular places for tourists
to stay.
Another interesting stop is the
train cemetery! In the late 1800s,
a railway was built to enable
transport of minerals to ports on
the Pacific Coast. Many antique
trains were laid to rest in the train
cemetery during the 1940s, when
the mining industry in Uyuni
collapsed.
While a visit to the Salar is
interesting indeed, I’m sure you
wouldn’t want to stay too long.
Adios, Salar!
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Hair US
Out
It's Fun
Stuff
F !
Help the squirrel
find his acorn!
W 
WN!
Michael (11)
and Tal (8)
Chetrit
Flushing, NY
FREE SUBSCRIPTION
Tk
What's appealing about this
latest trend is how simple it
looks — while also looking
like you've actually done
something with your hair.
And it can be done with just
about any hair length, too.
Here we illustrated a half
pony, however, it can also be
done with a full pony as well.
1. Start by making your hair
in a half pony.
2. Add some height to the
front of your hair by pull-
ing it up a little.
3. Tease the pony. Using a
comb, comb the hair from
behind. However instead
of doing it regularly, brush
downwards.
4. Wrap it up as you would
a bun.
5. Secure it with bobby pins.
6. Pull here and there to
create a messy look!
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How many words can you make with the word
W 
The person with the most answers to 'Word Wiz' wins!
Send your answers to info@fyimagazineny.com
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Hibenrnation
WIN a free subscription!
Thank you for sending in your DIY and Recipe Pictures!
Y n
Suri Tessler 11, Los Angeles
Faigy Baum 14, Dallas Hadassah Klien 9, Lakewood
By The
Numbers
Pae
Potatoes look
pretty solid.
You’d never
guess they
are 80%
water.
An 8 oz. baked or
boiled potato has
only 100 calories.
In the 1840s, a major
outbreak of potato blight swept
through Europe, and wiped out
potato crops in many countries.
The Irish had lived largely on
potatoes, and suddenly their
main staple food
disappeared.
Over the course of
the famine, almost one million people
died from starvation or disease.
Another one million people left
Ireland, mostly for Canada
and the United
States.
Americans spend
6 billion dollars
on potato chips
each year.
The world's largest potato
chip was produced by
the Pringles Company in
Jackson, TN, in 1990. It
measured 23" x 14.5."
In 1995, potato plants
were grown aboard
the shuttle Columbia
— the first food to be
grown in space!
New York consumes
the most potatoes of any
state, followed by Ohio,
Florida, Pennsylvania,
and Texas
The world’s largest potato
weighed in at 18 pounds 4
ounces, according to the Guinness
Book of World Records. That’s
large enough for 73 portions
of medium French fries at
your favorite
restaurant!
Idaho grows
about 1/3 of all pota-
toes grown in the
U.S.
The average
American eats 137.9 potatoes
every year. Here’s how: 50.7 pounds
fresh, 55.3 pound frozen, like French
fries, 16.9 pounds of potato chips, 13
pounds of dehydrated potato, like mashed
potato flakes, and two pounds
canned potatoes.
WRITTEN BY NISSI UNGER
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Life
Skills
Si
Wd
WRITTEN BY NISSI UNGER
WRITTEN BY
LOREN MINSKY
Rinse the ice cube and set it into the pan. Lay the
string across the center of the cube. Sprinkle salt
atop the ice cube. Make sure that much of it lands
near or on the string. Slowly count to 20, and then
hold the ends of the string. Slowly lift the string,
which will be “magically” attached to the ice cube.
Y’ 
N Ice cube
N Disposable pan
N 6 inches of string
N Table salt
D !
 e:
Salt lowers
the freezing temperature of water (which
is why roads are salted in the winter). In
this case, the salt causes the top of the cube
to melt a bit. The salty water is absorbed by
the string, which lets the water at the top
of the cube freeze again, except the string is
caught underneath the new layer of ice.
© Source: The Book of Totally Irresponsi-
ble Science by Sean Connolly
Science
COrner
Prepare Your
Own School Lunch
The best part about preparing your own school lunch
is that not only can it be well-balanced and healthy,
but will include the things that YOU choose to put in
and know you’ll eat and enjoy. Follow these simple
and empowering tips by FYI to ensure the process is
easy, quick, and fun.
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Consider color, shape, smell, and texture when putting together
your lunch. You may enjoy finger foods, or using cookie cutters
to cut your sandwiches, fruit and vegetables into interesting
shapes. As an alternative to the traditional sandwich, consider
rolling out the bread, placing the spread or filling, and then roll-
ing it up (you could then cut it into bite sizes). Many find that
things taste better on a kebab stick, so you can use blunt-edged
bamboo sticks or even wooden ice pop sticks.
To save yourself the stress of preparing
lunch at the last minute, get into the
routine of putting it together after dinner.
The food and dishes will still all be out,
and you can easily add the utensils you
use into the dishwasher or sink. Store
lunchboxes in the refrigerator until right
before it’s time to leave for school, and
keep a reminder (perhaps right by the
door) so you don’t forget your lunch.
Rather than plastic
sandwich bags and
tinfoil, go for a lunch
box divided into several
individual compartments,
or for bento boxes with
removable, interlocking
pieces (foods stay fresh
and tasty when they’re
tucked into individual
compartments). Small
containers with lids for
dips and sauces are also
useful. A reusable water
bottle is a must, as well
as an insulated thermos
for those that enjoy hot
or cold foods like soups
or smoothies – the food
remains at the right tem-
perature at lunch time!
Keep your thermos hotter
by filling it with hot water
(carefully) and emptying
The right containers & equipment
Taking control over the food you eat at school
will not only result in more enjoyable and sat-
isfying lunchtime experiences, but will teach
you the value of doing things for yourself.
Enjoy!
Put your lunch box
together at night
Make a list
of healthy (&
yummy) choices
Choosing nutri-
ent-rich foods
(over processed
junk food) will help
keep you healthy,
give you energy
throughout the
day, and keep your
mind alert. With
this in mind, divide
a piece of paper
into the following
categories: fruit,
vegetables, protein,
healthy fats, whole
grains, snacks
and drinks. Then,
make a long list of
all your favorite
TIP:
When you’re preparing, make sure to always cut on
a flat, non-slip cutting board and use a knife that
your parents approve, making sure to keep your
fingers well away from the sharp end of the knife.
On Sunday (or a designated day that
works for you and your family) plan
your lunchbox menu for the entire
week, making sure to pick one item
from each category for each day. If you
enjoy leftovers, make sure to confirm
with your parents what days there will
be extras available. Then give the list to
your parents so that they can stock up,
or go along shopping with them.
After the shop, set aside a short
amount of time to prepare foods that ap-
pear on your list more than once, such
as sliced apples. Squeezing citrus juice
(like orange, lemon, or even pineapple
juice) on apples and then storing them in
a sealed container prevents them from
turning brown. You could also prepare
sandwiches in advance and refrigerate
or freeze them individually. Wrap
sandwiches in moist paper towels before
refrigerating to prevent the bread from
drying out. Remember to
place your menu on the
fridge or where you’ll
see it and not lose it.
Plan in advance
Appeal to
your senses
foods under each
category.
Healthy and
delicious examples
of favorites in-
clude: blueberries
or bananas (fruit);
cherry tomatoes
or cucumber
sticks (vegetables);
hard boiled eggs
or hummus dip
(protein); avocado
or nut butter,
if there are no
serious nut aller-
gies in your class
(healthy fats); rice
or quinoa (whole
grains); homemade
popcorn or apple-
sauce (snacks) as
well as water in
a refillable water
bottle, with pure
juice boxes as an
occasional treat.
Discuss the list
with your parents
to make sure
that what you’ve
chosen also works
well for them.
it just before adding the
piping hot food.
If you don’t already
have these, discuss
investing in them with
your parents, as they
last for years and save
money in the long run.
Instead of ice packs from
the freezer, you can place
your water bottle (not
completely full so there's
room for expansion when
the liquid freezes), juice
or smoothie in the freezer
overnight to keep the rest
of your lunch cool. Wrap
these frozen containers
with a paper towel to
keep the condensation off
other food items. You can
then use the moist paper
towel to wipe your fingers
and face after lunch.
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Color
It In
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Send us
a picture
of your candle to be featured
in our next magazine! Email
to info@fyimagazineny.com
and don't forget to include
your name, age and location.
Do IT
Yourself
Pillar Candle
Colored Permanent
Markers
Wax Paper
Tissue Paper
Blowdryer
Tape
DOT 
O D
1. Place a tissue paper on top of a regular paper.
2. Draw your creation on the tissue paper.
3. Cut the drawing out on the tissue paper, as close to the
drawing as possible.
4. Place the drawing around the candle, and put wax paper
on top of that around the candle. Secure it with tape.
5. Take the blow dryer and blow the candle. Make sure you
blow the entire artwork around the surface of the candle.
6. When you see the candle melting just a little bit, the wax
paper should look wet; that’s when you know it’s done.
7. Remove the wax paper and your creation is done!
W ’ :
Brainstorm
On the worst day of my life, I find myself sprawled on top of a pile of
neon slime, with gooey bits clinging to my pajamas and the pale pink fibers
of my bedroom carpet, like good slime should. From this sticky position, I lift
my head and watch the blinking numbers on my bedside alarm clock change
from 11:59 PM to 12:00 AM and I think to myself: Midnight, Tuesday October
10th, the very worst day of Michal Lewin’s life.
WRITTEN BY NAOMI RAKSIN
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I
t really started during dinner
yesterday- when my mother
announced that our Aunt
Aviva was coming today. It
is strange that the worst day of
my life would begin on the tail of
such exciting news. We all love
my mother’s little sister Aviva, the
youngest and funnest of all our
aunts. She’s got this bronzed Florida
tan, and bouncy brown curls that
you can actually stick your finger
straight through, and a laugh that
gurgles like the sea.
Except this time, Aviva was going
to be a little sad and we were to be
very nice to her and give her lots of
space, my mother warned. The two
deep lines between her eyebrows,
however, told us she knew we
wouldn’t. She explained that Aviva
had wanted to go to seminary this
year and she had filled out lots of
papers and waited a very long time,
and finally the answer came in the
mail: no. Bubby and Zaidy had
tried very hard to get the seminary
to change its mind, all the way up
to the first day of seminary, but the
answer was still no. And now Aviva
was coming to us while she sorted
out how to spend the year ahead.
Absolutely NO pranks on Aviva
this time,” my mother said, leaning
forward so the tips of her snood
brushed the green beans on her
plate. After that, she stared long
and hard at Avi and Shalom who
were fidgeting with their fingers
and re-mashing their potatoes. I
tapped my fingers on the tabletop,
pursing my lips. Avi and Shalom
were long past their pranks phase;
the last one they had pulled on Avi-
va was 08/12/2011, with the kiddie
pool and plastic bags… a long and
complicated story for another time.
But it turned out that although
these two had gotten over their
pranks phase, Aviva had not…
Morning of Monday, October 10,
Michal is running late because…
well, just because; it isn’t my fault
and I hate running late. Even worse
than running late is being late, so
I grab someone’s lunch from the
fridge without looking what’s inside
because even if I have to live with
Shalom’s tuna on rye or Elisheva’s
berry jam wrap, it’s better than
being late. And then I run to school
wondering what on earth is in that
lunch bag that could possibly be as
heavy as the Costco size tuna cans.
When I finally get around to open-
ing my school bag, it’s 10:15 am, the
first recess of the day, and I discover
that “What on earth” is an appropri-
ate thing to say because my bag is
filled with, not Costco tuna cans
but…. potatoes: hard, brown, earthy,
raw and inedible potatoes. So on
Monday I have no lunch, not even
tuna on rye or berry jam wrap or
a giant tuna can, and I also have to
drag a pound of potatoes all the way
back home at the end of the day.
At 1:10 PM that dau when my
stomach is protesting angrily about
the Fruity Pebbles I had for lunch
from my best friend Bracha Becker,
Mrs. Clapman gives us back our
math tests. Then my whole body
begins protesting because there is
no way I’m going to be okay with
an 89% on a math test. I beg and
plead with - horror of horrors- real,
wet tears rising up to my lids, but
Mrs. Clapman refuses to raise my
mark by even 1% to get me into the
90’s range.
At 2:15 PM, with my stomach
rumbling like volcanoes in the
distance, I mumble to Bracha that
today is turning out to be the very
worst day of my life.
Except it gets worse. Just before
dismissal, Mrs. Clapman reminds us
that our science presentation about
the brain anatomy is due tomorrow.
It can’t be due tomorrow be because
I know nothing about that project.
No, I didn’t forget about it. I just
didn’t know about it. No, Mrs. Clap-
man, it’s not possible that I forgot. I
don’t forget things. Well, maybe my
lunch today but I wouldn’t forget
about a brain anatomy project!
It turns out that I didn’t know
about the project because last week
on the Monday of last week, when
Mrs. Clapman told the class about
it, I was in Dr. Roth’s dentist’s
office, getting a cavity filled. And
my friend Bracha was supposed
to fill me in on everything I missed
and she forgot to tell me about the
project!
“Calm down,” Bracha says as I
rail the entire way home. “You still
have a whole night to do the proj-
ect. I didn’t start it either… It’s just a
small presentation.
But there is no such thing as
a small presentation or a small
anything for Michal Lewin. I work
hard on school things! I need them
to come out perfect! Bracha doesn’t
care. She spends her evenings
playing ball outside or maybe
reading novels on the couch. Not
me! I do things like study and work
on projects.
“I can’t believe you didn’t tell
me!” I rail once more before we
part ways at the corner. “You know
I start working on projects right
away! Now mine is going to be so
dumb! And also, Fruity Pebbles are
the worst lunch ever!”
When I get home, I help myself
to three servings of chicken, half a
plate of rice, plus two servings of
corn on the cob. My mother eyes
me worriedly and feels my head for
fever as I clutch my aching stom-
ach, begging to be excused. “Has
anyone seen a bag of potatoes?” I
hear my mother ask as I leap up the
stairs. “How does something like
that even go missing?”
I run back down and
shame-facedly hand my mother
her bag of potatoes. By now, she
is looking super concerned, those
two deep lines appearing like two
letter l’s between her brows. “Are
you okay, Michal?” she asks. I sort
of roll my head in a circle in a “yes,
no, maybe, I’m not sure” type of
answer.
Up in my room I begin my work,
poring over textbooks and outlining
what will soon become a 3D poster
board. I find an old copy of myFYI
magazine that has a recipe for
homemade silly putty, and I get to
work creating the base for my 3D
brain. There’s a bunch of ingredi-
ents that we thankfully have on
hand because of my mother’s art
camp: Elmer’s glue, warm water,
borax, glow-in-the-dark paint. I mix
these together, kneading with my
fingers until a thick, gooey white
slime forms. Then I divide it into
six parts, adding a few drops of
different neon colored food coloring
to each segment. There I have it at
last: four neon colors for each brain
lobe, plus one for the cerebellum
and one for the brain stem.
At this point, it’s getting late.
My mother comes into my room,
raising a brow at the goopy piles on
my desk, and kisses me goodnight.
I obediently change into pajamas,
turn off the light in my room and
slip into bed.
When silence reigns in the up-
stairs hallway of the Lewin home,
I creep out of bed and turn on my
bedside lamp. I get to work again,
shaping the goop, and placing the
pieces in the correct positions. I
label everything on the poster in
glow-in-the-dark marker and then
begin the tiring task of creating
wave-like ridges on the slime so it
looks like a brain. This is a long and
tiresome job. My head keeps lolling
off to the side; my eyes feel heavy
and stickier than slime. Huge, noisy
yawns repeatedly break the silence
and I know that if I stay up much
longer, my eyes will close and I’ll
fall brain-first into my neon concoc-
tion. I keep at it, though, until I’m
almost done. Just a few more and
I’ll let my own tired brain settle on
my mountain of fluffy pillows...
I am in a dreamy state of
thoughts about the fluffiness of
fluff when suddenly the door
bursts open and something big,
black and, well, fluffy, dives into
my bedroom with a low menacing
growl!
I can’t even shriek; I just make
an “erfff” sound as I fall out of my
chair and take cover under my
desk, my awakened brain exploding
in images of bears and wolves and
horrific beasts. And then the room
is flooded in light and Aunt Aviva,
wearing a long black skirt and furry
I find an old copy of My FYI
magazine that has a recipe
for homemade silly putty, and
I get to work creating the
base for my 3D brain.
20 |
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In The
Kitchen
Preheat your oven to
350°F. Prepare the cake
mix with the water, oil
and eggs as listed. Add in
the cinnamon, nutmeg
and cloves and mix well.
Grease a mini cupcake
pan with baking spray
and fill wells 3/4 full with
cupcake batter. With the
help of an adult, place
pan into hot oven and
bake for 8-10 minutes.
Remove from oven and
cool completely before
frosting.
To prepare the whipped
cream, carefully beat the
whipped topping with the
instant pudding on high
speed until stiff peaks
form. Frost the cupcakes
and dust with a bit of
cinnamon.
M c
Cce 
Cno
Wp ra
WRITTEN BY ESTY WOLBE
box Classic
Yellow Cake
Mix
1 cup water
1/3 cup vege-
table oil
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon
ground cinna-
mon
1/4 teaspoon
ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon
ground nut-
meg
16 oz whipped
topping
1 package
instant vanilla
pudding mix
cinnamon for
dusting
Send us
a picture
of your Cupcakes to be fea-
tured in our next magazine!
Email to info@fyimaga-
zineny.com and don't forget
to include your name, age
and location.
These bite-sized treats are BIG on flavor! Fall
flavors come together with boxed cake mix
to bring you light and airy cupcakes with au-
tumnal vibes. Feel free to make them larger;
just be sure to increase the baking time.
almost too embarrassed to lift my
eyes from the floor tiles, but slowly,
sheepishly, I lift them up and look
around the room. Everyone ought
to be shocked, I know; Michal Lew-
in’s projects are always unique and
maybe a little over the top. But, you
know what? No one says anything
and no one is even looking at me
strangely. No one is looking at me
at all.
My friend Bracha is up next,
presenting her poster with a very
similar scribbled brain in the cen-
ter. She has miraculously forgiven
me for my nasty words to her
yesterday and I magnanimously
let her have half of the very large
number of snacks I packed myself
for today, to make it up to her. And
sitting there in my seat, holding
my ordinary poster, I have a funny
feeling that maybe sometimes it’s
okay not to have to be the best all
the time.
When I come home from school,
my mother slices cucumbers for
the salad while Aviva sits on a bar
stool chatting.
“Michal,” Aviva says, looking at
me a little sadly and nervously, “I
feel so bad about last night. Come
outside with me for a bit?”
We stroll around the block, Avi-
va and I, and then we settle down
in a pile of leaves in the backyard.
“It’s nice to be sitting on leaves
instead of glow-in-the-dark goop,” I
say, with a small smile.
Aviva pokes at something on my
skirt. “You still got a dab of neon
pink on the bottom here.
“Well… a brain exploded!”
“Ha!” Aviva chortles as she grabs
black sweater, stands up grandly
and bows. “Hello, there, Michal. Did
I scare you?”
“Oh, um, no, no, I just like to fall
out of my chair and pretend I’m at
a… something. Maybe a park.
My heart's still pounding like a
fist pummeling on a door. My knees
shake like the wiggliest slime.
Slime. Come to think of it… Oh my
goodness. A muffled “erfff” sound
comes again from my throat as I
look beneath me at the lovely neon
glow-in-the-dark brain that is now
a mushy mass. I close my sticky
eyes, then open them back up and
watch the blinking lights of my
bedside alarm clock change from
Tuesday morning.
“The worst day of Michal Lewin’s
life,” I whisper. I’m too tired to
explain anything to Aunt Aviva. I
just roll into bed with green slime
splattered across my pajamas.
The whole Tuesday, I am either
pinching myself to keep awake or
dreading science period when I’ll
have to present my ordinary poster
board with a hastily scribbled brain
in the center, colored with plain
glow-in-the-dark markers. Before
long, it’s time for science and I pres-
ent my board with lowered eyes,
then hastily sit back down. I am
some leaves and throws them up
at the sky. “So what happened
with your presentation today?”
I crunch some leaves in my fist.
“Nothing. I presented.
“Michal,” Aviva says, rolling
over so she’s lying on top of the
leaves, her bouncy curls fanning
out on the side of her head like
twirly pasta, “Do you think the
trees feel bad? During the sum-
mer they have these big beautiful
fruits and leaves and they give
everybody so much shade. Then
comes fall and all their leaves
drop to the floor and the trees are
bare and simple and not that per-
fect for shade… or for anything
really.
I swallow. “How can they feel
bad when they are giving us
something so good instead?”
“Like what?”she asks.
And I scoop up a huge pile of
leaves and throw it right on top
of her bronzed Florida tanned
face. “This!” And she laughs as
she grabs a handful to throw
right back. Back and forth it goes:
red, yellow, orange leaves tossed
against the clear blue sky, while
my eyes get sticky again, not from
goop, not from exhaustion, but
from tears of laughter.
As we march inside for supper,
I think to myself that maybe
sometimes I’ll start playing ball in
the evenings or reading a novel
on the couch. Because as it turns
out, Monday might’ve not been
that great, but Tuesday isn’t all
that bad at all.
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