Folyosó Autumn 2020 - Page 2

Life with Priorities

Attila Marcell Kiss

(First Folyosó Contest: Second Place)

During our life, priorities and decisions over priorities are the things that can turn a homeless person into a millionaire, suffering into belief, anger into regret. What looks like a small decision for others, can be a life-changing moment for someone. Hard work can turn a childhood dream into reality one day, but priorities towards yourself can create a life for you.

Priorities are like humans. They change with you. Like let’s go back to our childhoods. Until age ten my only priority was to get anything I wanted and to always be the focal point in my family. When I became a teenager I thought about one thing and one thing only: I wanted to be remembered. To be remembered as a sport icon or to have something named after me or at least to be remembered for my name. I think that generally speaking this one priority is the most important for every youngster and teenager.

However, one thing can truly create a whole new perspective in everyone’s life: a child. I learned from my family that before becoming a parent the only priority you should have is to create a good path before your child is born. For every parent, a child is the peak of their life. After that, every adult’s only priority becomes to support their children until they grow up. And maybe they can reach the heights that you set for yourself as a child. And if your children support their children the way you supported them or maybe even better, that’s when you will feel that you did a great job as an adult.

This will come when you have grown old. And that’s when you will realise that all of your priorities have been achieved. You got everything from life, a loving family, friends, children etc. You will be remembered because of your loving family. And you will rest in peace because you created a life for your children. You saw him growing up and becoming a person you always wanted to be. In my opinion that’s what makes priorities in life important. To pass them on for the future and believe that others could achieve even better things than you.

Three Dialogues

Erika Mária Szántó

(First Folyosó Contest: Second Place)

Dialogue 1
Venue: Kindergarten

Girl: “I have a mug of Elsa from Frozen, but I want the Beauty and the Beast one! It’s so much prettier! Mom said it’s disgusting, but I want it! I will still get it, no matter what she says! I will write a letter to Santa Claus! I need it!”

Boy: “Ha, that’s soooo childish. The Batman mug is so much cooler!”

Voice from distance: “Sweeties, here is the tasty pea pottage!”

Everyone: “Noooo!”

Dialogue 2
Venue: High school

Teen girl 1: “Yesterday I had to wait half an hour in the solarium! Ridiculous! I was nearly late to my hairdresser because of that. I nearly passed out from nervousness!”

Teen girl 2: “Oh, don’t even say it! I found some really cute shirts on Fashiondays, at a big discount! I was so happy. But when I finally got to actually ordering them, it was past midnight! All the sales! Gone!”

Dialogue 3
Venue: Park

Mom 1: “Ugh, finally I could sleep three hours continuously. I feel so refreshed.”

Mom 2: “I found a new baby supplement. My little one loves it, so finally the house isn’t loud any more from all the crying. There were moments when I thought I would go crazy.”

Two Axes of Priorities

Gergely Sülye

(First Folyosó Contest: Second Place)

I think everyone can agree that priorities are subjective and change from person to person. While this is mostly true, there can be some discrepancies.

Every action that you have planned to take in the future has to be organized in a chronological fashion, and the order of this sequence is called priorities. Simply put, the higher on the list something is, the more important it is.

But this is not just a linear concept, as breathing and being successful are vastly different, but still have the same importance in the grand scheme of things. While the other we can live without, the first is required for basic survival. Yet being successful, whatever that might mean to a person, is still higher on the priority list than simply breathing.

One noticeable difference is that there are some actions that we take by instinct, and some that we have to make a conscious effort to pull off. Another criterion could be that some actions are required in order to survive, while others are not necessary, but of course still important. This already gives us two separate axes for our priorities, which would make it impossible to address the topic through a linear type of design.

Yet in common language we still just talk about lower- or higher-priority tasks, as if it were not as complicated as I just made it out to be. In reality we only have accurate priorities for pressing matters. If you are starving you will ignore everything else in order to acquire food. Thus the task is the highest priority. Similarly if you are mad at someone, you will be mostly focused on teaching said person a lesson. This case is rare, but it is valid for the example.

Most of the time we tend to brush our instinctual needs under the rug, but once they reach a critical state, like having to go to the toilet, they suddenly become our first priority.

Priorities are ever changing, and it is hard to keep to them. We may have a faint idea of what we should be doing, but in just a few hours that list may be completely flipped on its head.

I Want to Be Important

Adél Mihályi

(First Folyosó Contest: First Place)

“You have to do it, because it’s important!” – But what if it isn’t? Yes, I need it in this hour, today, maybe even during this week or month, but does your forced knowledge affect my whole life? Does it help me to develop if I don’t think it could be useful? Will I do it with joy?

I could do anything else that I’m interested in instead of dealing with things I will forget right after they don’t need it anymore. For example… being myself. I haven’t done that for a while, I have been so busy completing tasks like mastering the level of expectations, getting bored while I had multiple things to do that I didn’t choose by myself. Still, I often chose just to lie on my bed and think about what I should do.

Or, in reality, what I shouldn’t, because in my own world, I don’t owe them, and they don’t own me.

…And then I’m in a hurry, beacuse I wasted my time with nothing, and I have to make everything right, like I’m alright with this.

“Okay,” I answer simply, with a little smile on my face, but inside raging full of thoughts that will never be spoken.

Maybe I just want too many reforms in one moment again.

But I can never forget the fact that instead of sticking to my guns, I still choose to do the unenjoyable-for-me tasks first, because they are important.

Everyone is just going their own way, but at some point, all the lines meet.

If schools kill artists, then forced priorities kill difference.

Why can’t I just be myself, just like others?

Are They Really Scars?

Thoughts on “The Greatest Showman”

Dominika Zahar

The Greatest Showman was filmed in 2017 under the direction of Michael Gracey. When the movie came out, I was so excited to watch it. To tell the truth, it wasn’t because of the plot or because it was a musical; it was because of Zendaya and Zac Efron. I grew up watching their shows, so it was obvious that I was going to watch this one as well. In the end I was impressed. I loved the songs, the dances, the acting – basically just the way it was made. But there was one song that really amazed me: “This is Me.” This song has a very clear message that is both understandable and relatable. Nowadays more and more people – according to my own experience, mostly teenagers – feel that they are not good enough to become something and that they have to hide and cover their scars. I love the first line in the song (“I am not a stranger to the dark”) because it represents that they have been there for so long and were still able to get out of it. That’s why the song is so powerful. Because it takes a lot of time to come out of the dark, to gain the bravery that is necessary in the “world of perfection.” This world is full of celebs, stars, models who are considered perfect, and those with low self-esteem think that they have to be them, and only then can they achieve their goals. This song can help you toward finding your place in this world. It says that no one has to apologize for who they are, no one has to hide in the dark, no one has to cover up, because everyone has a place where they are loved and welcomed. Most of us cross this path once in our lives: when we try to find ourselves and our place in the world but have to remember that we are unique because of our scars and so many people love us because of them. So I would like to ask, are they really scars? Or do we just consider them so, out of invented shame? Everyone should truly be themselves, because you never know which one of your faults will lead you to success in your life.

The Comic Nature of “Into the Woods”

Anna Mészáros

In this short essay, the author relates a description of the comic genre–written by Dr. Louise Cowan–to the musical Into the Woods.

What are the laws and customs of [the land of comedy], acknowledged even by those who flout them? Its supreme law, of course, is love; its concern is with physis, the flow of being that animates and connects all things. Comedy takes place in a fallen world; it begins in established disorder, usually with an old regime in control, where people have lived by law, by reason, or by custom, neglecting wholeness, pleasure, and love. It moves toward the recapturing of those qualities by ingenuity and audacity. It may resort to the fantastic in order to effect a needed break with routine, and it pulls others along with it in a creative recapturing of community, with friends and helpers serving as guardians and counsellors. Its justice is mercy and forgiveness. Its supreme fiction is the journey of the soul; its virtues, faith, hope, and charity, its vices the seven deadly sins. Its mode of action is deception and delay, since if Fortune and not Fate is to be the governing authority, one must do whatever is necessary to stave off the ultimate fatal defeat. Life must go on, at any cost, since in comedy life can blossom again even out of impossibility if only the final, unthinkable event does not occur. Life, the élan vital, is far more important than established morality, since the very continuance of the human species is in question. In the end, however, the comic seeks to reestablish morality and to reanimate the life of moral and spiritual forms. The terrain of comedy is, in fine, an image of the world as organic rather than mechanic—as living, interrelating, aspiring, growing, and healing. It is a vision of matter particularly in spirit, of grace permeating nature, of the body being lifted up, like Bottom, in an overwhelming and irrational joy.

—Louise Cowan, introduction to The Terrain of Comedy (Dallas: The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, 1984).

For me, this rather long but mind-opening quote seems to be the perfect basis of Into the Woods, a musical by Stephen Sondheim about characters – taken from fairy tales – who all wish for something.

As Louise Cowan says at just the beginning “[Comedy’s] supreme law, of course is love,” and that is what brings the characters and us through the whole story: Would it have been a happy ending at the very end, despite all the losses and deaths, if the surviving characters (and maybe also the dead ones, like the Baker’s wife or Jack’s mum, hadn’t loved each other? I think love is the main reason for the happy ending in the musical.

It is claimed in the quote that “Comedy takes place in a fallen world; it begins in established disorder,” which is true for this musical as well. Each character has a wish, through which they think they could get their “wholeness” and “pleasure.” For example, the Baker and the Baker’s wife wish for a child, and Cinderella wishes to go to the festival, to dance before the Prince.

So, to achieve what they are wishing for, the characters start to work. They need the qualities of “ingenuity and audacity” during their journey – shown, for instance, in the way that the Baker and the Baker’s wife search ingeniuosly for the ingredients of the potion to lift the spell of the witch: they do anything they can, the Baker’s wife is so audacious, she even cuts off the hair, yellow as corn, of an unknown woman (later revealed as Rapunzel).

The “fantastic” in this case has more than one form. It is the witch and her spells and potions, but it is also present when Cinderella goes to her mother’s place, magic happens, and she gets a ball dress.

Characters become each others’ “friends and helpers”: for example, Little Red Riding Hood helps the Baker and his wife by giving them her cape, red as blood, and they eventually become friends, and it is the same with Jack: at the end they become friends, even though at the beginning the Bakers only want his cow, white as milk.

They go through ups and downs and finally they think they have achieved what would make them happy. This is where the deception comes in, delaying the play. The first act seems to be the perfect ending, but we get surprised, because it was only the first act. Then in Act 2 we realise that “Fortune and not Fate is to be the governing authority”; we realise this is not the end, this stage of their life must not be Fate, their life that continues depends on Fortune, just as in real life. They have to deal with the consequences of their decisions, like Jack, killing the giant, or Cinderella, who decides to leave the prince. All characters have to face the Giantess, who wants to take revenge on Jack. Their houses are destroyed by the Giantess, and many of them die, even the narrator, because of her. In this very low situation, the play proves that “Life must go on, at any cost, since in comedy life can blossom again even out of impossibility if only the final, unthinkable event does not occur.”

And how does life blossom again? Through love and friendship. The survivors—the Baker, the Baker’s baby, Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella and Jack—become friends and decide to live together, helping each other. So they seek to “reestablish morality and to reanimate the life of moral and spiritual forms.”

As I see it, the second act perfectly represents “the world as organic rather than mechanic – as living, interrelating, aspiring, growing, and healing,” making the world of the comedy as close to real life as possible. I particulary liked the part of the quote when Louise Cowan explained, that in the terrain of comedy “It is a vision of matter […] of the body being lifted up.” It is the characters’ attitude that allows them to truly solve their problems (realising that they are not alone and are there for each other), and I believe that is true for us most of the time in our lives.

Don’t Judge People Too Soon

Dorottya Turza

People form opinions about each other as soon as they first meet. It has been working like this throughout the whole history of humanity. That’s not a bad thing, and even if we wanted to, we couldn’t change it. It’s in our nature. Judging others is common, and we’ve all done it. But we often judge people precisely out of lack of knowledge, and that is where we go wrong. You can never know for sure what motivates other people. Sometimes just ask yourself that question: What do I really know about this person? But to fully convey what I mean, I think I have to tell you my own story.

It happened two years ago.

This morning was like every other. I woke up, ate breakfast, went to school. It was boring as usual until our homeroom teacher came into the classroom with a guy who looked my age. I couldn’t take my eyes off him. If I were to describe him I would say that he looked scary. He was pretty tall, more masculine than my other classmates. He had light blue eyes and dark brown hair that seemed almost black. I know, I know! It doesn’t sound that bad at all. But the moment when my eyes wandered to his face, I felt some kind of uneasiness. He didn’t have an ugly or terrifying face, but there was a huge scar on the left side of his head. Nor did it help his appearance that his face was completely bored, almost emotionless. Suddenly I had so many questions. Like: Why does he look so bored? Did he drop out of his previous school? Maybe he wasn’t smart enought or was just careless. But most importantly. How did he get that scar? Is he a troublemaker? Is that how he got that scar, by picking fights with random people? Will our school become the new place of his rampage? My thoughts were interrupted by my teacher’s voice.

“Good morning, everyone! As you can see today our class has a new member. Please introduce yourself to the others,” she requested.

“Hi, my name is James West. Nice to meet you. I hope we get along,” he said in a monotone. Nobody said a single word.

“I expect you to help James integrate into the new environment.” The only answer was silence. “Now take your seat, James, so we can start the lesson.” He did it with an blank expression.

His whole presence was off. But I wasn’t the only one who felt that way, as my classmates’ whispers confirmed.

“That guy is creepy.”

“But he has got manners.”

“What a weirdo.”

“At least he know how to introduce himself.”

I didn’t know what to think of him. He gave us a proper introduction. He was polite and respectful. Also I felt like I could get used to his look. That wasn’t the problem at all. I think I’m very rational, but there is almost nothing which creeps me out more than when I don’t know what other people think or feel. I am one of those who likes to plan everything in advance. Most of my interactions with people are based on conclusions (I know what you think … I’ve been working on this problem) and it was pretty hard to do that with a person like James. So I decided the best option would be to ignore him. Completely.

This tactic worked pretty well for a few days, until our biology teacher paired us up to prepare a project for our next lesson. During this, I got a chance to have a better look at him. First I was very skeptical. I watched every move critically. To my shame, I even reproached him when he messed something up. So slowly I found out who James was exactly. He was a person who spoke very few words, but when he opened his mouth he always knew what to say. He was incredibly smart, but at the same time too honest. Like a little child. Even as everyone told horrible rumors about him behind his back, he didn’t say anything. He was very persistent and honorable. Without hesitation he returned a wallet to one of his bullies. I think he was unable to hurt others either physically or mentally. The time we spent together helped me to understand James more. It was a long proccess, but truly worth it. My mixed feelings began to fade away continuously. But what made my doubts disappear completely was when James told me how he had gotten his scar. He and his parents had had a car accident. A truck drove into them from the side. Luckily, he got away with minor bruises and some deeper cuts (like his scar on his face), but his parents weren’t so lucky. His father was paralyzed from the waist down. And his mother suffered third-degree burns and also had a lifesaving operation, as a glass shard had cut through her colon. To this day I feel nothing but respect for him. I was very sorry that I had judged him without knowing anything about him. But the truth is that when you judge others, you’re actually judging yourself. We have our own standards and and we judge others by these. Accepting this goes a long ways toward understanding others. Which is why we should never focus only on the surface; we should never judge others without understanding them first.

Finding Yourself

Gréta Tóth

The Milky Way is made up of many different things. Stars, planets, together with other celestial bodies, dust and naturally other strange, almost unknown particles like black holes, wormholes and dark matter. They are usually in balance with each other, but sometimes they cross each other’s path. Collisions happen between solar systems, stars and planets meet, or black holes absorb anything that comes near them, even time.

This story is about a common world, actually really similar to ours. But whenever a baby is born, a celestial body is born too. They are not independent of each other. They are the same, waiting for the moment to finally find each other and become one. They affect each other’s life and path. Let us start at the most important part of the Milky Way and humanity:  Finn Love, also known as the Supermassive Black Hole, the center of our galaxy. Love is probably the most important cementing force in humanity. His mission is to keep the balance in our Milky Way.

Our story begins with the birth of a beautiful girl, Lucy Black. She didn’t know her family at all and grew up in a foster family as an only child. Lucy did not know much about herself. Her family, the Smiths, only told her that her real family name was Black, and they chose the name Lucy because she was the “light” in their sad life after the sorrowful fact that Mrs. Smith could not have kids. Although Lucy liked them a lot she never felt any connection with them. Their life was too perfect: they were both Jupiter’s Moons and were always the same; they never argued or fought. Lucy found this pretty boring. She was an adventurous girl, got good grades, was good at sports and very outgoing, but the only thing she missed was a real best friend. She had some friends in school, but none of them was close enough.

Lucy had a life that most people wouldn’t be able to define as happy or sad.  Terrible things happened to her, yet this is what made her so strong. First of all, she did not know her parents; later in kindergarten she lost her only real family, David, who was her cousin. In elementary school she had a new friend Katy, but as they were getting closer, something horrible happened to Katy, and Lucy never saw her again. It was the same every time Lucy started to bond with someone; they just disappeared and never showed up again. At one point it completely stopped: Lucy did not talk to anyone, and eventually her life felt better. But in high school it all changed.

High school is pretty much the best or the worst part of your life, according to most people. For Lucy Black it started out as the best. She was popular, not too popular, but a lot of people wanted to be friends with her, and as time went by, she started to open up again, to let people care about her and to care about them too. She did not realize what was really happening. Sometimes she was looking for some old friends but couldn’t find them. She completely forgot about what had happened some years ago. Lucy was bothered by the fact that most people had found their real identities: giant stars, fancy moons, smaller planets, but she couldn’t find herself. She felt so different from them. Lucy was angry: because of the others who really knew themselves, because of herself not being able to find anything, because all the people she needed at that exact moment had disappeared, and mostly because of her parents. How could they have left her behind without a clue?

One pleasant Saturday morning Lucy was eating breakfast with her family. She couldn’t really decide if she was happy, but at least she was not angry anymore. The doorbell rang and she opened the door. An old-looking, short man was standing there wearing a black cloak decorated with small, colorful dots. These dots reminded Lucy of stars; she was sure she noticed the Great Bear on the left side of the cloak. The man was wise and confident; he talked slowly and made sure that Lucy understood every word he said. Lucy was surprised. She felt a connection with the old man from the moment she opened the door. The man said he was Finn Love, the Supermassive Black Hole and that he had come to talk to her about something important. He told her that he had been paying special attention to her since she was born. He told a story about Lucy’s parents who were born in two different solar systems, two families fighting with each other for decades. They fell in love and had her, but when she was born, the two solar systems collided, and a black hole was left behind: Lucy herself. From then she understood everything: all her friends and loved ones had disappeared because of her. She was ashamed of what she had done and really confused too. Lucy was a smart girl; she could sense the pressure of being one of Finn’s kind, but still handling this was beyond her. The Smiths invited Mr. Love over for lunch. While eating, Lucy felt more and more comfortable with the fact that she was a black hole, though she couldn’t stop blaming herself for all those people’s deaths.

After lunch Lucy packed a suitcase for herself. They decided it was better for her to stay at Love’s house for some time until she managed to learn all the skills to protect herself and her loved ones. Finn Love said she would be able to study together with other teenagers similar to her, and the next semester she could go back to high school and graduate with her classmates.

By the end of the summer holiday, Lucy moved back to the Smiths. She had learned a lot about herself and humanity while she was away. She exercised self-control, made new friends, and was happy after so much sadness. A year later she graduated and went to college. She still visited Finn Love every month and helped young teenagers the way Finn had helped her.


Tamás Takács

– So how was your day?

– It was a peaceful day with tons of sunlight when it suddenly started raining. The rain just poured and poured all day with seemingly no end. The rain came down fast and hard like the blade of a guillotine cutting off a thief’s head. The way a bullet, once fired, penetrates the chest of an unsuspecting person. Its weird how rain can give life but also take it away. To a dehydrated dying animal it can bring another chance at life, but to an overflipped scarabee it can bring a slow and miserable death of the kind that humanity has been perpetrating for thousands of years. The slow death of earth and all of humanity has been caused by the growing laziness of humans and their inability to reverse or even understand what they are doing to themselves. All this joy, all the suffering, all the good and the bad, resulted in that rain. Sometimes if you concentrate hard enough, you can feel all the history behind it. So anyway, I didn’t have an umbrella and got totally soaked.

At Least There Is Some Good News

Sándor Szakács

It was the day of my language exam, which I had been learning for a lot. So obviously I was excited and nervous. Still it was not a piece of cake to get out of bed; it never is.

Ten minutes later, I finally got up, went to the bathroom, washed my face, then got dressed. I went downstairs and made breakfast. My parents had already left, and my brother was at camp with the school.

After I finished my sandwiches, I packed the necessary things, like pens, a dictionary, etc. I walked out to the nearest bus station, where I waited for my bus to come.

It was half past twelve when I got to the language school. I still had thirty minutes until the beginning, so I just sat down on a bench.

I was already my way home, and even though I was tired, I still felt energetic, as I got 95 percent for the spoken part, which is absolutely magnificent. I could not wait to tell the good news to my parents.

When I got home my mom and dad were both in the living room.

– Heyy – I greeted them.

– Hello – they said desolately.

I didn’t know why they looked so worried; at first I thought I had done something wrong.

– What’s the matter? Is there something wrong? – I asked.

– Your mother was fired today – my dad said.

– What?! Why, or how?

– Doesn’t matter, okay guys? I will shortly find a new job and everything is going to be back to normal – my mom answered.

For a few minutes, we were all silent. Then my dad asked how the exam went.

– Oh, it wasn’t easy, but I still got 95 percent, so I passed.

– Congratulations! At least there is some good news.