"Áron Antal" - Page 2

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Wiser Than Ever

Áron Antal

Now I am writing this college essay. At this very instant I am gaining knowledge, acquiring new information and getting to see new aspects. This I never have done.

Life is basically the same; even familiar situations, events and actions that happen every day are different in small detail, and even if you can’t recognise it, you gain new experience with each nanosecond passing. I heard once that at the moment of your death, you are the wisest you have ever been. And applying sort of the same principle, I know the most in this very instant that I write these words down. I have become wiser since I started to write this letter. But let’s put away the philosophy, and focus on facts, and let me prove that I would be a worthy student for engineering:

I wouldn’t consider myself egoistic, but even the shyest person has something to acknowledge oneself by. My achievements include passing a C1 language exam at the age of 16, completing secondary school not at the top of the class but still with great results, but I think my greatest genius lies in my free time activity: fixing motorcycles.

By fixing motorcycles, I don’t just mean renewing old bikes, not by a long shot. I have bought and made projects for myself. I have owned and worked on more than thirty different motorcycles, and I am currently owner of seven motorbikes, three of which are experimental. By myself I have learned the basics of engine operation, then done extensive research to best understand every little detail of motorcycle engines. While doing so, I made some experiments: learned fine tuning of carburetors and increasing engine efficiency, and succeeded in building a Yamaha 1YU Mint scooter with a manufacture single speed transmission, 50cc 2 stroke with its factory carburetor, designed for a max speed of 45km/h to exceed 85km/h, of course with a serious decrease in engine lifespan. Also I made experiments to achieve better fuel consumption while gaining greater power output on several 4 stroke 50-125cc 4 / 3+1 / 1+1 speed Honda licensed engines with carburetors, with great success, reducing factory fuel consumption on long distances by 10% and increasing power output with fine adjustment by 15%. I have also mastered the art of electronics, hydraulic systems and shock absorbers, welding, spray painting, aerodynamics, intake and exhaust fume airflow, increasing drum brake efficiency and much more.

I also have knowledge and experience in operating and the theoretical function of several kinds of heavy and agricultural machinery, as well cars and utility vehicles.

But I have other aspects besides just being a great mind in engineering. My other great attribute is that I consider myself and am considered open towards learning about new things, meeting new people, being accepting, caring, patient, polite, well-adjusted, obedient, trustworthy, and so on. Let this not fool you, though; I am still not perfect, but I am always improving.

As you can see, I have endless interest in the field of engineering, which I would like to further expand in the future.

And to return to the metaphor I started my essay with, I—and you, Sir/Madam, reading this application letter—have gained more experience and become wiser by getting to know me a little bit. And by the time I finish college, I at this present will seem a bit unwise compared to the I in the present of the future.

The Confidence of Simplicity

Áron Antal

We are born innocent and unknowing of our surroundings, and we become who we are by being exposed to the world. At least that’s what I think, even though some of my elder family members might disagree with me on this issue. My grandpa always told me that all people carry some of their personality traits when they are born, and nothing can change them. He thinks this because my mom and her brother differ greatly; while my mother was helpful, understanding, clever and followed the rules, my uncle always got himself into trouble, didn’t play by the rules, and barely finished secondary school. Still, both of them grew up to be great adults, exceedingly good at their jobs.

But when my mother and my uncle were growing up, well, life was much easier back then. For me it would have been. No rat-race life, fewer things to worry about, more freedom, no cellphones, and the list could go on. Yet our long-forgotten ancestors would say that when they used to live, there were no cars, no trains, no airplanes, no public utilities. The fact of the matter is that circumstances have become more comfortable yet more complex over time as human civilizations thrived and progressed. And with great comfort comes great dependency.

In today’s society, we have less free time, rush here, go there, buy things and so on. We want happiness, friends, people that admire us, fame and beauty in true 21st century fashion.

What greatly disappoints me nowadays is the fact that more and more people are becoming so self-centered, maybe thanks to radical improvements on the one hand and quarantine on the other, that they stop caring about each other. Or maybe these people show caring sometimes, but mostly so that they can get affection from others. Such people are manipulative and greedy. They always try to come across as the best, the cleverest, the most beautiful, and they know they are not, but still, they can’t bear the slightest kind of confrontation or being faced with the sheer reality of situations, though their methods of “self defense” might differ greatly. They are lost in their imaginary worlds, where everything is perfect, nothing they say is wrong, and they are totally in control of their lives. They usually rack their brain for hours on end over things that in the long run will not matter, and they love to complain.

Maybe my emotional intelligence is just too high, maybe I am more advanced in mind than I should be for my almost seventeen years spent on this little wet ball of mud, so unimaginably small compared to the universe. Yet, maybe I am wrong, why should I be right, because no one can truly understand life. It just seems to me that a lot of people just waste this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Because life is much more simple than most people interpret it to be. Unlike anything else, such as banking, relationships etc, life has one big certainty; if you were born, you will die. That is life basically. However, between you being born and you dying, only uncertain events will unfold and happen, uncertain events that are non-predetermined, and you will get the chance to turn them into opportunities towards living your life as truly as possible. Next time you go on a trip, travel, or do something, just try to admire what is happening to you, and try to grasp the fact that each and every nanosecond of your life cannot be repeated. Try to focus, understand, help others, learn to love yourself, accept failure, learn to express yourself, explore what life has to offer and make your choices dependent on only the people that really matter to you and to yourself. Don’t worry about everything, don’t be afraid to back out of things, do something that other people disagree with. Just one important thing that you should bear in mind: try not to hurt anyone. And remember: whatever happens, happens. These are the principles that I live by.

Yet it would seem that some people are incapable of changing, and I accept that. But I just feel a bit lost in this world, and always ask myself the question: how can people live, with their minds so closed? Maybe I will never understand, and I am fine with that, as long as I am confident in what my life stands for.

Issue 2:3 (Winter 2021–2022)

Welcome to the Winter 2021–2022 issue of Folyosó! This issue features dream-stories, imaginary college application essays, pieces inspired by the phrase “straight labyrinth” (from János Pilinszky’s poem “Egyenes labirintus“), and more. We welcome your readership and comments!

Letter from the Editor

Special Feature

This piece was one of the finalists in the 2021 International Contest. We saved it for this issue.

Straight Labyrinth

These pieces are all inspired by the phrase “straight labyrinth.” They may or may not have to do with Pilinszky’s poem “Egyenes labirintus.”

Imaginary College Application Essays

These essays were all written as if for admission to a college or university in the United States. They are not real college application essays.




Submit to the Spring 2022 issue!

Cover art by Lilla Kassai.

Letter from the Editor

Another year, another autumn, another Folyosó—but this is much more than repetition. This issue stands out for the sheer abundance and quality of international contest entries, the plethora of forms and styles throughout, the students’ eagerness to revise and perfect their work. More than any other time, students have rethought and rewritten their work independently, sending me one new version after another. This is part of the joy of editing Folyosó: watching the writing take off in so many different ways.

This autumn, many Hungarians and others around the world have been commemorating the 100th anniversary of the poet János Pilinszky’s birth. At the Varga Katalin Gimnázium, on November 25 at 7:55 a.m., three students, all of them contributors to at least four issues of Folyosó, read four Pilinszky poems over the loudspeaker. You can hear their reading here. It is not directly connected to the journal, but we here at Folyosó appreciate a worthy tangent, which sometimes turns out to be the essence of things, not a tangent at all.

A lot goes into preparing and releasing each issue of Folyosó—there’s the typical last-minute rush and hubbub—but we also recognize that thinking, writing, and editing take time. So we often save pieces for future issues. One such piece is “Kumkapı” by Nerses Boztaş, a finalist in the Autumn 2021 international contest, which we will feature in the Winter 2021–2022 issue. We look forward to publishing it!

As for the current issue, where to begin? Start anywhere—maybe at the top, with Roza Kaplan’s startling and moving “Raindrops in the Darkness.” Or perhaps you’re in the mood for an absurdist story-play about two cats with a grand plan. In that case, “How to Become Rich” by Fanni Korpás will be just right. Or perhaps you would like to read a poem that takes visual risks. Zeynep Cicimen’s and-but-so: Simply Written “Eternal Solitude” (accepted) does that and much more. Maybe Áron Antal’s conscience-shaking piece “A Contradiction in Itself” will be one of your first selections, or Borbála Sós’s playful “Dog’s Dream,” or Ecem Göksenin Aday’s eerie yet joyous story “The Reflection,” or Aurelia Wiggins’s bracing poem “On the World.” Wherever you start, we hope that you will continue!

The contest brought in an unprecedented number of submissions, this time from three countries. I would like to thank my fellow jury members, Marianna Jeneiné Fekete and Anikó Bánhegyesi. It was difficult to select the winners, but we enjoyed the task, since the pieces were so interesting.

The next issue will come out in mid-February. In the meantime, we wish you happy reading, or rather, readings of many colors and moods!


Diana Senechal
Founder and Editor of Folyosó

A Contradiction in Itself

Áron Antal

The past few days were sunny and warm. And yet, no matter how much I would love to go outside, my being ill doesn’t let me do so. The same situation has happened to me twice this month, although the first occasion wasn’t as serious as this. Isn’t this interesting? A man with an immune system of two or three times his age, who has never been to a hospital in his life, except the time he was born, a man who hasn’t had any serious illnesses in four years, catches the common cold twice in a month, and this annoys me. Why? God knows why. But this surely is a contradiction.

I think everyone in their life felt at one point or another a sort of pleasant pain. If you would like to explain to an alien race what pleasent pain is, I’m sure they couldn’t understand. The concept of pleasant pain is a contradiction, yet we experience it quite often, for example via relief.

When a couple in a movie breaks up, we often hear the phrase: “I love you, but we are not meant for each other.” This is also a contradiction, but this one doesn’t make nearly as much sense as pleasant pain.

The point is that contradictions surround us, and are essential to a certain point, because they add a certain mystery, something that will force you to think about them. The problem is that our society today is a contradiction in itself. It has become a part of our life, a tool for a lot of people. Social media sends you the message that you should be perfect, you should be beautiful, a perfect housewife or businessman. The expectations are way higher than anyone can reach, so people try to “make the best” out of themselves. They show that they are always well prepared, never tired, always smiling, never dull and do some sports on a daily basis, summarized: they are perfect. And because most people think the same way, they believe it. The truth is; no one is perfect. The models on TV aren’t perfect. YOU aren’t perfect. And the most valuable people are those strong enough to show that they are not perfect and won’t stand in the line to reach the unreachable. Those are perfect, who are imperfect. What’s disappointing is that the perfection-chasers don’t realize that they are chasing a false dream, and even if you tried to convince them, they would either get mad at you, or would stay unpersuaded, because they live in the sun of popular approval.

Today’s society is built on false impressions, because the people who belong to it are false impressions themselves, and that’s why it’s rotting. I realised these types of people annoy me the most in life, those who are pretenders and hypocrites at the same time.

Now, you probably agree with what I said, but is that what you really think, or is that what you would like to think? I’m not saying that you are one of them. You have to decide….

Issue 2:2 (Autumn 2021)

Welcome to the Autumn 2021 issue of Folyosó! Our international contest—about contradictions in life—features writers from Turkey, Hungary, and the U.S.; our other categories boast a rich variety of pieces by students of the Varga Katalin Gimnázium in Szolnok. Two turtles contemplate an escape from their humdrum existence; two cats plot a bank heist; various essays explore human control and its limits; and two stories make the most of their U.S. settings. This is only a small portion of what you will find in the abundant harvest of the Autumn 2021 issue—so go ahead and pick a fruit or gourd!

Letter from the Editor

International Contest

First Place

Second Place

Third Place

Honorable Mention



Absurdist Mini-Plays


Submit to the Winter 2021–2022 issue!

Cover art by Emese Kassai.

All of the contributors are students of the Varga Katalin Gimnázium in Szolnok, Hungary, except for Aurelia Wiggins, who attends the Columbia Secondary School for Math, Science & Engineering in New York City, and the following nine, who attend the Lycée Sainte-Pulchérie in Istanbul: Roza Kaplan, Sarin Nevruz, Başak Ünal, Ceylin Kıran, Ecem Göksenin Aday, Deniz Sabuncuoğlu, Selin Yumurtacı, and Zeynep Cicimen.

“Kumkapı” by Nerses Boztaş, a finalist in the Autumn 2021 international contest, will be featured in the Winter 2021–2022 issue of Folyosó.


Áron Antal

The Wall of Berlin was demolished in 1989; it was demolished by the enormous crowd gathered around the two sides of the wall, the curtain that separated Europe into two totally different parts, both of whom wanted to reunite. Because of all the people who reunited at those moments when the walls were falling down, the joy in the tears of thousands and thousands of people, at a reunion so huge, the guards couldn’t do anything but join the revolt, and sing with the crowd as the heavy concrete blocks were crashing to the ground, falling to pieces so as to resemble the fall of the Soviet Union. To destroy the structure that had destroyed many lives, and to commemorate those who could escape the “imprisonment” by any means, even if they had to give their life as the passport. It was a beautiful day, to see the hundreds of Wartburgs, Trabants and Ladas rolling to the other side, to freedom. On that day, people, the crowd showed that the common man, if organised and led by a common will, could cause the fall of one of the biggest nations at the time. And who would have thought that the destruction of the wall would lead to the fall of the castle?

But nowadays, people don’t realise how powerful they could be, and what big changes they could make to the world. Nowadays, people try to think that they live in an ideological world, where everything is available and must be. That has made people harmless towards the influence of leaders and dictators, and care-free towards other human beings and social norms and responsibilities. Why help someone stuck in the mud, when my hands will get dirty? Why do anything if I can live a perfect life and I can have anything; as my government says: Consume! Things will give you happiness! You will be happy, because you can have everything, and they, the upper 10,000, will be happy because they made you think that by giving them your income, you will be happy! Consume while you can, because at some point, they will consume you! You will be dependent on what you buy, and they will rule this world, because they will have everything!

Today’s social ideology is that if you do not succeed on others’ terms, you are nothing. If you’re not perfect in every way possible, you are worthless. If you don’t have the perfect body, the perfect lover, the perfect house, car, and a lot of money, you are worthless. Miss out on the real beauties of life, because if not, you will be worthless. Why go on trips, enjoy your meals, watch as the sun rises, and just wonder about your own existence on a sunny summer afternoon, if you could study and work the hell out of your soul to live the perfect life? You can only achieve perfection if you don’t think; instead, let others think about what is good for you. You must never be satisfied with yourself, because constant self-improvement, towards that unreachable goal that social expectations set for you, is the true key to The Perfection.

People today are not measured by their soul, but by their wealth and their appearance. If that had been the case in 1989, that wall would still be standing where it stood.

Issue 2:1 (Spring 2021)

Welcome to the first anniversary issue of Folyosó! This issue features reflections on walls, scenes of the absurd, speeches (with a few audio recordings), miniature stories, and art. In addition, please see the new pieces in the Folyosó Gallery. We welcome your readership and comments!

Letter from the Editor

What Is a Wall?

Absurdist Mini-Plays

Speeches (listed here by author and topic)

Story Hour (miniature stories)


Submit to the Autumn 2021 issue!

Cover art by Lilla Kassai.

All of the contributors are students of the Varga Katalin Gimnázium in Szolnok, Hungary, except for the following seven, who attend the Lycée Sainte-Pulchérie in Istanbul, Turkey: Naz Arpacı, Zeynep Cicimen, Roza Kaplan, Buse Özcan, Derin Sakarya, Başak Ünal, and Selin Yelten.

Letter from the Editor

Folyosó began in the spring of 2020, when school in Hungary had gone online in response to COVID-19. After a brief interlude of in-person classes in the fall, we have been back online since mid-November, with ongoing hopes of returning to school. During this time, students have written essays, stories, short scenes, contest entries, and more; this issue features some of these winter fruits, along with Lilla Kassai’s art.

We proudly present our first international contest, for which students wrote pieces about imaginary inventions. The jury (Judit Kéri, Anikó Bánhegyesi, Nándor Szűcs, Edit Göröcs, and I) had a difficult time ranking the ten finalists; while we eventually chose winners, we are delighted to publish all ten pieces here. It was an honor to receive entries from the Lycée Sainte-Pulchérie in Istanbul, as well as from many Varga students; we hope to bring the two schools and others together for an online Folyosó event this spring.

For the scenes based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, students were supposed to start with something in the play and take it in a surprising direction. The scenes published here—Áron Antal’s “Something Even Stranger,” Gréta Tóth’s “A Midsummer Night’s Gestalt,” Gergely Sülye’s “As from a Voyage,” Dorottya Turza’s “The Surprise of the Century,” Dávid Csáki’s “Let Him Roar Again,” Bertalan Szegi’s “Act 1, Scene 1,” and Zsófia Szabina Gávris’s “A Nice Article”—abound with wit, emotion, and surprise.

This is also the first time that we feature writers from Class 9.B (which I teach once a week); I have been impressed with this class’s imagination and look forward to publishing more of their work.

The winter issue does not include any writings from the Orwell project, but we may publish a few of them in the spring. For this project, Varga students joined with a class of tenth-graders at Columbia Secondary School to read and discuss Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. It was a great experience; you can read much more about it on the project website.

Some of the pieces in this issue grapple with difficult problems: isolation, introspection, death and grief, political vanity, and disillusionment; others delight in books, friendship, everyday mishaps and mistakes, and visions of the future. The issue’s overall spirit brings to mind William Blake’s “Auguries of Innocence“: not just the famous lines

It is right it should be so 
Man was made for Joy & Woe 
And when this we rightly know 
Thro the World we safely go 

but much more. In this issue you will find a procession of experience, thoughts, questions: from Szabina Tamara Da Cunha Carvalho’s essay “The Problem with BLM Movements in Hungary” to Hunor Gangel’s “From Late to Early”; from Gergely Sülye’s “Transformation” to Lili Forgács’s “The Truth”; from Sándor Tor’s “Is This the Future?” to Zsófia Vona’s “A Dream Come True”; from Sándor Szakács’s “Challenging Times” to Adél Mihályi’s “Personalities”; from Bettina Czékus’s “Arbya” to Eszter Aletta Hevesi’s “The Story of Gen E”; from Tamás Takács’s “Michael the Caterpillar” to Botond Vass’s “The Shelter.”

We wish you good health, happy winter reading, and many returns! As ever, we welcome your submissions and comments.


Diana Senechal
English and Civilization Teacher
Editor of Folyosó

About the Contributors

Áron Antal likes to spend his time in nature and in the bordering land around his town; interested in old machinery, cars and motorcycles especially, and things from the mid-nineteenth century to the 90s, as well as the lifestyle of that era, he is trying to include these in his stories and build them a plot, an important role. 

Szabina Carvalho wanted to vent about social justice warriors.

Dávid Csáki is no playwright, but a little flexibility never hurt anyone.

Bettina Czékus is a girl who will ignore you while she’s reading.

Lili Forgács is a sixteen-year-old girl with an enormous heart and even larger dreams.

My name is Hunor Gangel and I am just a normal high school student.

Zsófia Gávris is a sixteen-year-old girl who sees the positive side of everything and tries to find the beautiful things in her everydays.

Eszter Aletta Hevesi is a girl from Törökszentmiklós who is really interested in controversies and how to have a better lifestyle. She is always working on to be her best self and help everybody.

Kázmér Kaposvári: I would say I am rather creative and have ideas, but most important of all, I create something out of those ideas.

My name is Lilla Kassai, and my favourite pastime is drawing, painting, reading and listening to music. That’s where I gain my inspiration for my paintings and writings. I am looking for a type of future where I stay in connection with arts.

Viktória Kiss is a soon-to-be sixteen year old girl who advocates for a great balance between fitness and studying.

Defne Lal Koçer knows to get the joy out of life even when it’s wicked.

Ilona Králik is just a girl at the beginning of her life, but she already has big goals for her future.

I am Adél Mihályi, and I am not good at speaking, so I write.

Deniz Pala needs to invest more time in the real world than in fictional ones.

My name is Bernadett Sági and I am so excited, because this is the first time that my work has been published on the internet.

According to Gergely Sülye, the quarantine of 2020 is something you can conveniently use for some serious self-improvement at home.

Alexandra Süveges suggests: ‘be a curse, not cursed.’

Katalin Szabó is a girl who turned her can’ts into cans and her dreams into plans.

Lídia Szabó never knows what is going on but still manages to talk herself out of things.

Sándor Szakács is a guy from Martfű who tends to overcomplicate things.

Bertalán Szegi is just a 16-year-old boy who plays handball and tries to solve his homework.

Sándor Tor says, “I’m just a simple person who likes to try some new things.”

Gréta Tóth says, “Anything you say or do may be used in my story!”

Dorottya Turza: I’m like a book you have to read. A book can’t read itself to you. It doesn’t even know what it’s about.

Petra Varga: Dried roses, pictures, chansons, memories, poems. Rationalist….

Botond Vass is a guy who likes physical activities as well as reading books so he involves these in his everyday routines.

Zsófia Vona is a binge-watcher, who also likes to read amazing stories.

Máté Zupkó is a quiet and sarcastic guy, with low self-confidence, but who still achieved something.