Folyosó Spring 2024

To Make the Planet Flourish

Zalán Kaposvári

It was early morning when Dave’s sleep was stopped by his alarm clock. However, it was worth waking up, because it was a special day. The head teacher of his class, at the Varga Secondary School, had just decided and also announced that all their classes would be cancelled, and instead they would pay a visit to the brand-new Nature Preservation Museum of Szolnok. There, people who work to preserve nature collect samples from all over the world and from all habitats, and try to place them in locations where all people can view and examine them. All inhabitants of the planet Earth should see what kind of environment their ancestors lived in. So… finally he had a chance to get to know these unique creatures. After quite a long time, he learned about all the plants. He previously thought he knew everything about plants, but he was not right. As he was delightedly exploring the extremely large variety of fascinating bright green vegetation, suddenly he found himself facing an exceptionally unique species. These weren’t at all similar to most of the others he had seen before. Actually, they resembled miniature skyscrapers with a cloud at the top. Yet the colors were different: the skyscraper was brown, and the cloud was green. Moreover, there were some quite strange objects hanging from the cloud, as a part of the plant. They seemed exactly identical, and all of them were bright red. Dave was trying to guess what this object was for. However, he had absolutely no idea of its function. Suddenly he realized that human blood was red, which led him to an idea.

So, because of their color, they might have represented the blood of their “parent,” their brownish “mother” plant. He knew that flowers wanted their pollen, their small “seeds,” to be spread out, which would also grow a fruit. At the end of his thoughts, the larger plant gives its own blood to make the planet flourish with its own kind.

An Extraordinary Finding

Áron Kaposvári

The Varga student’s room was in darkness. Suddenly the clock rang and he woke up. Then John got out of bed, brushed his teeth, and had his usual and boring breakfast. He got dressed, put on his spacesuit, and hurried to school. It took him about ten minutes to walk to school on the barren surface of the Earth. He put his unnecessary things into his locker and rushed to his first class because he was nearly late. The first few lessons were uneventful. But when the long break came, he saw a door in a quite hidden area. His curiosity grew so big that he felt he had to go in and explore what it was hiding. However, he decided to invite his friends on this adventure. They gathered at the mysterious door and went in, as there was nobody around. It was some kind of storage room with a big mess. They found mostly old things. At one point John tried to look through the only (and small) window, but it was too high. Luckily one of them found a ladder. John climbed up, but when he reached the top, he was amazed: there was a strange object that he had never seen before. Its color was unlike anything else. Its shape, too, was different from everything. For some reason, looking at it calmed him down. The strangest thing of all was that it spread out of its container. He carefully brought this thing down to show it to his friends. They couldn’t figure out what it was or its purpose and usage. Anyway, they decided to leave it there, but after the last lesson, John went back and took it home, thinking its green color would fit his room perfectly as a decoration. Nobody noticed him until his parents went in his room to ask how his day had gone. When they saw that completely extraordinary thing, they were shocked. The student felt like a hero for finding something that no one knew or understood. Together they decided to look into it. They found out that it was called a plant and was an element of “nature.” One of its main functions was that it generated oxygen. After this information search, the rest of the evening went like any other. Finally, John went to bed after his great exploration and adventure.

A Found Object

Márk Kovács

It is Friday, 2024. John is 15 years old and a first-year student. John got up at 8 and ate a strawberry-flavored food capsule for breakfast. It has everything: energy, protein, and vitamins. He then left for school in a very interesting vehicle: shaped like a car, and solar. He lives 6 kilometers from the school, but the journey takes one minute with this vehicle. The school is a circular metal building. Everything here works on the principle of robotics. The teachers are robots. It was 10 o’clock, the lesson had started. The first class was Hibernation, one of John’s favorite classes. Mr. Xmen, the teacher, projected the lesson onto the digital wall. John took notes on his tablet and watched Mr. Xmen’s presentation with interest.

Some students in the back of the room started throwing a found object around. Mr. Xmen asked them to give it to him. Everyone looked at this strange thing in amazement. No one knew what it was. Mr. Xmen asked where we had found it. It had been in a box on the shelf: a small, round thing. According to the students, it looked like a mini-UFO made of strange material. John had a great idea. They scanned the object and received the real information on the digital wall.

Hat. To be worn on head. May be used as an accessory or for protection from sunlight.

Being Like the Majority

Eszter Forvith

Life was good when I was little. The more I know about the world the more disgusted I feel. I want to change it all, but at the same time I want to disappear and not care about it at all. Go somewhere quiet, to a place isolated from the world, a place where time stopped ages ago. But I can’t do that, can I?

With my simple thinking I thought I could never understand how the world worked, how the governments led the countries or why everything worked the way it did. Nowadays I’m starting to question everything. As a child you would think that everyone had a good life, since there are no wars or epidemics, but that’s not the truth, and the more you find out, the more agitated you become to act and do something, but then you realize there is nothing you can do to change the rotten nature of this world.

It wasn’t long ago that I found out how the world actually works. Six months ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. I had a fight with my parents, and I ran away. I wandered quite far from our house and encountered a place I had never seen before. There were small houses everywhere, but they were so ruined I didn’t think anyone lived there. The streets reeked with a disgusting smell I had never smelt before. I was quite taken aback when I saw a little kid running out of one of the houses. He was around ten years old, and he was really thin. I hesitated for a moment before calling out to him, but I was lost, and he seemed nice. “Hey little boy, can you tell me where I am?” I asked as I approached. He looked at me as horror ran through his face. I was surprised and wondered for a second if I had said something wrong, but then I noticed he wasn’t looking at me. Suddenly I heard a gunshot from behind my back, and the little boy dropped to the ground. I will never forget that sight as long as I live. My parents ran from behind my back and escorted me back to our car. They were talking the whole time, but I couldn’t hear a word they said except for one sentence. “Peasants like that deserve to be killed,” was what my mother said.

That night when I got home, I stole my dad’s computer. What did my mother mean by “peasants like that”? I had to find out. Not many people have the internet on their devices, but my dad does. I had to find out the truth, but I didn’t know I would regret it so much. From what I found out, there are apparently two classes of society: the upper level, which I figured I live in, and the other, lower, class, which works for us. This just wasn’t right. How can others see this and think this is all right? That night I stayed up studying everything I could, and I found out a lot. Massacres, slavery and many more crimes that we have committed against them. I wanted to forget about it all and just go to sleep, but I couldn’t. I must do something. Someone has to stand up for them; they are people just like us. If I can explain it to my friends and teachers and tell them what I saw, they will stand up for justice too. But would it really be that simple? I paused for a moment. There must be a reason behind these workings of our world, there must be a reasonable explanation why we do all these terrible things to them. No, there can be no excuse for this, this is horrible and needs to end, hate can’t solve anything. I pause again. But who am I to determine what’s right and wrong, there are a lot of people who are smarter than me, and they don’t say anything either, so why should I? I would just make a fool of myself. I should really sleep now. The next day I went to school and decided to tell my friends what I thought, but I didn’t. The same thing happened the day after that and the days following that. One afternoon when I went home, I snatched away my dad’s computer as usual and looked at the news. A revolution had broken out, someone had stood up for them, but it wasn’t me.

Nothing Is Stopping Me Anymore

Jázmin Juhász

It was the most devastating moment of my life hearing the bombs and realizing I don’t have a home anymore. Looking at the ruins of my neighborhood, breathing in the dust as the tears were streaming down my face, it felt like my life had ended. I lived with my parents, my older brother, and my younger sister. They were all at home that tragic evening; I was the only one who survived. 

The gap between the poor and the rich has been getting bigger with each year. While we are not sure if we are lucky enough to eat today, they live in enormous palaces and walk around in extravagant clothes that cost more than what we spend in a year. They could easily end our suffering, but they just don’t really want to. They have so much money that they run out of things to buy, but still, they want more. That’s why the war started decades ago: they needed more resources to maintain their glamorous life. The land was ours back in the “golden days,” so there’s nothing wrong with taking back what was ours, at least that’s what they say. But then it turned out that conquering these territories is not as easy as they expected it to be, so now our lives are centered around war. We are either soldiers fighting on the front lines or scientists inventing new weapons or working in factories. They live their lives as if nothing had changed, they don’t have real jobs, but they own everything in this country. No amount of hard work would be enough for someone like me to get to their level; you have to be born there, there’s no other way. All this injustice, but still we don’t rebel; everyone has accepted their faith. We work like robots with no hope or real purpose in life, not really understanding how bad our situation is. If it weren’t for getting lost that day, I would think just like everybody else.

I was only eight years old when I went shopping for groceries with my mom. The streets were particularly crowded that day, so I lost sight of her and started wandering by myself. I came across a large building, I went inside and realized I was in the library. I’ve been here a few times before with my brother when he needed to borrow some books. It looked exactly the same: tall shelves packed with thick books about war tactics and science, nothing too interesting. But I decided to look around anyway. As I was walking through the labyrinth of shelves, I noticed a door that was slightly open. I scanned the room to make sure nobody was watching, and I entered. It looked just like the other parts of the library except that these books were about fairy tales, adventures, love, and poetry, things I had never heard of. I sat down and opened a picture book, I was mesmerized by it. I didn’t know I could feel this much, that life could be more than just surviving. I don’t think anyone else had been here before, except the rich and privileged of course. From us regular people this world of emotions, complex thoughts, and art is hidden away. What we need to be focused on is working, and we shouldn’t waste our time on nonsense like entertainment. I was so invested in a story about princesses and magic that I didn’t even hear the footsteps of the guards approaching the room. When one of them found me, he immediately dragged me out, saying this is forbidden territory. My mother was waiting at the front door, relieved that I had been found. A few days later I returned, but the door was locked. Luckily for me, these guards aren’t famous for being attentive, as it’s just a library, nothing too dangerous here, so stealing the keys was a piece of cake. They really underestimated the power of words, since these books opened my eyes and fundamentally changed the way I think. I went back there very often. I was at the library the day of the bombing too. I read books about many different things, even war. In these stories the battles were glorious and good always defeated evil. In real life there’s nothing glorious about war; it’s cruel and brutal, and it consumes everyone and everything. The ones who are actually fighting are just pawns in the game. Losing your morality is inevitable, so the line between good and evil is blurred. There are no winners either; you either die on the battlefield or leave with mental scars that you can never recover from. And nobody is safe; hospitals, schools, and homes get destroyed with innocent families and children in them. They say there’s no victory without sacrifice, but hasn’t it been enough, is it really worth it?

After the bombing, I was moved into a large building with a bunch of other children who had suffered a similar fate. They gave me no time to mourn; today I have to go to school as if it were just a normal Thursday. But I have a plan, I’ve had it for a long time. I just didn’t have the courage to carry it out, because if I failed, I’d put my family in danger too. I have always been more aware than others, I hate this place with a burning passion, so I dreamed of escaping. I live very close to the Southern border; evidently that’s where I want to go. There’s not much there, only forests, meadows, lakes, and I also heard a few rumors about isolated little towns. It sounds perfect.

At school I’m studying to be a pilot just like my dad. He served in the army for many years before he crashed his plane and lost his right arm, from then he couldn’t work anymore. Today we are practicing shooting, so we cross the country’s border to train safely. It’s perfect timing for me to finally leave this place, and now I have nothing to lose. Training is the same as always, we shoot at the targets from the air, and after two hours we are commanded to land. Instead of landing, I switch to maximum speed trying to flee. I know it’s not the most well-thought-out plan, but even after years of weighing my options this still seems the best. From my radio I can hear my teacher ordering me to turn back immediately, but nothing is stopping me anymore, even death is better than this life. After a few minutes the radio becomes silent; it’s very unlikely that they let me go this easily, and I’m terrified of what’s coming next. Then suddenly I’m not the one controlling the plane: it’s turning back. There’s no chance I’m going back, so I have no choice but to jump. It’s mandatory to wear a parachute on our backs for safety reasons, but I’ve never thought that it would come in handy once. Falling from the sky is as terrifying as it sounds, and it feels like an eternity. Finally, my parachute opens, and I begin to float down slowly, I’ve never been more relieved. Unfortunately, they don’t give up, they start shooting at me and then I’m falling again, they hit the parachute. I can see my life flashing before my eyes, I guess this is how I die, falling till my bones crush. Suddenly I splash into cold water, I barely know what’s happening, but my survival instincts kick in and I start gasping for air. I try my best to swim to the shore, but every movement hurts, I don’t think I can swim for much longer. Just before I start sinking, my feet hit the ground and I walk out of the lake. I immediately lie down in the grass trying to catch my breath. It’s a miracle that I survived. After I rest a little, I can finally start my new life.

It Started with the Ants

Áron Kaposvári

Since childhood, I have been fascinated by the wonders of the natural world. Although I did not understand how the world works, I preferred to let myself be immersed into some “detailed” observations of living organisms and other wonders of the world. Without any exceptions I enjoyed all of them, from a butterfly’s wings to the behaviour of ant colonies or the nature of bees.

I think everything started with the ants. When I was five years old, I once decided to go out into our garden for some fresh air. I was playing when I suddenly discovered a huge colony of ants. At first sight at that age it was only a big black spot on the ground made up of small and tiny moving dots, not just some, but hundreds and thousands. I gave them a closer look. As I was watching them, they completely occupied my mind: how they collected the many kinds of food they found all around their anthill. The weather was getting worse and worse: the wind was blowing stronger, the sky was quickly filling up with dark clouds along with their terrible sounds, but I wasn’t scared at all, since I was immersed in this curious phenomenon which was new to me and my knowledge. The storm was getting more and more dangerous. My mother looked at me through the window, confused, thinking of what I was doing, and also worried because of the storm. So she took me into the house, despite the fact that I tried to resist, since I didn’t want to leave the new part of nature I had discovered and the opportunity of observations. This experience drove me to the desire to improve my passion towards science. I believe that it aroused my passion and curiosity for scientific exploration.

Now during my secondary school studies I can gain the knowledge needed for awakening my true desire regarding Biology. I have decided to pay attention to almost every detail that is mentioned during the many lessons of the natural sciences, which include the subjects of life: Biology; Chemistry, Physics, etc. My future plan is to go to university to improve my knowledge. We must save and protect our environment, as nowadays many dangers threaten our world. In conclusion, I hope that this college application essay shows my deep passion for scientific exploration and my desire to become part of a community that values innovation and intellectual curiosity.

Challenge Upon Challenge

Zsombor Górán

I have always loved to play games since the moment I saw them. They can allow you to do whatever you wish: fight Darth Vader, build the biggest castle you have imagined, be the best assassin in history, rob the bank and escape from the law, or just relax by farming potatoes. Games offer me freedom that is hard to feel in real life. The monotony of life can be so tiring, but in games you have no responsibilities and no rules to follow. They give me a choice to do things I would never do in real life. It is a world of imagination that I can control.

Life is similar sometimes; for me it feels like a path composed of small challenges or problems to face. Go to kindergarten, then to elementary school, then high school, and now college. This is the place where I stand at the moment. This is not the first challenge I have had to overcome, and it won’t be the last. If I fail, I will try another way until the challenge is complete. I have a lot of small challenges to complete on my own, from getting up in the morning to  getting into a college.

I usually play in teams with my friends or just random people. If I can, I take the role of the team leader and try to organize the team so we can work together efficiently. If the team has better leaders than I, I let them organize the team and follow their plans. I usually like to plan out everything and minimise the chance of failure; so far I have been mostly successful at this. I really like to learn everything a game can offer me if I find it interesting. I will try to do approach college in the same spirit. After college I plan to continue playing and might even create games of my own. If I get there, the possibilities will be endless. But in order to achieve this I need your help. If I could get accepted into this institution, it would mean the world to me, and everything leading up to this moment would be worth it.

Turning Things Around

Viktória Wilujeng Botka

It’s funny how I never seem to be able to talk about myself when people ask me to introduce myself, or explain why I am the way I am. It’s almost as if I was created yesterday, and hadn’t had enough time to learn about myself, or maybe it’s the way I drastically change, my personality, hobbies, resulting in me having too much to say about myself, and nothing.

I feel like so much has changed since when I was a little girl, innocent, always full of dreams to achieve, always excited to get up for the next day and never worrying about anyone or anything. I remember when my teachers always said that I was imaginative and creative,  and how they would get irritated every time I zoned out or daydreamed during lessons. My favorite subject used to be English Grammar, and my first dream job was to be a grammar teacher, mainly because I really liked my English teacher and she inspired me to be someone like her.

My dreams and goals change constantly, I was motivated and confident. Every time I got new ideas, they get harder and harder to achieve, especially because I lost interest in them quickly and found something new to focus on. I’ve dreamt of being a scuba diver, a vet, a marine biologist, a private math tutor, and the list goes on. I think that it all probably ended around sixth grade. I lost my confidence, my motivation, gave up on my dreams and really didn’t want to do anything anymore. And just as I lost my talents and A grades in subjects, I lost interest in life.

I’m never really sure why I stopped. All I knew was that the world was too cruel. People were selfish and unkind; to each other, to animals, to the environment, to mother nature. I hated the way everyone rarely cared about important things, the way they always prioritize themselves, the way they think the world revolves around them. People burn forests, throw plastics and chemicals into the ocean, causing global warming and climate change, testing makeup on animals, etc. I want to stop them; I can’t just sit and watch as people hurt the Earth with their selfish actions. I need to interfere, I never cared about the wrong things people do, as long as I don’t do the same things, but I’ve realized that doing nothing to stop these actions is just as bad as doing them. I’ve decided that I will try to make this world a better place, where animals aren’t harmed, making sure that every single animal species can live peacefully in their natural habitats.  To achieve that, I will need the help of the whole Earth’s population, and most importantly, a good college that will allow me to get a proper education, and that’s why I spent these three hours writing this essay; to get accepted to your college.

Building Blocks

Zalán Kaposvári

From a young age, I have been captivated by the power of engineering to shape the world around us. When I am surrounded by a nature-like, peaceful environment, with no one bothering me, I like to contemplate on things and thoughts I have collected during the day, but sometimes even some memories from my young ages. When I was young, I was always interested in a pretty large question: How do things work? So I was determined to find proper answers to this question. There were a lot of times I attempted especially to understand the way some ”mechanical wonders” worked. Honestly, I have to admit, it was not an easy ”job,” as none of them was as easy to understand as I thought. Due to my lack of knowledge, I have decided to follow the way which can help me immerse myself in the complicated world of engineering.

I would like to explain this valuable—and at the same time memorable—memory of mine. Its beginning can be traced back to the old times, when I was quite young and had plenty of time to spend. In those days I loved creating new things, especially buildings, instead of destroying them, as unfortunately I also experienced the pain of seeing a day’s work being destroyed (in my case by my brother). Thus I hopefully learned that nothing is as easy as it first seems or it is thought. So in the knowledge of these facts, I built and even rebuilt a construction. One day a small and simplified version of a space station could be seen in my room, and on the next day it was reborn as a school. Of course neither of them could be considered as an expert’s work. Nonetheless, I cared about them and respected them that way. For this reason everyone in my family knew that I was crazy about this kind of activity, so when we invited other members of our family for a special event regarding me, they all could surprise me with new sets of building blocks. It was the beginning of my passion that drove me onto this road.

Throughout high school, I eagerly pursued opportunities to explore various branches of engineering. I paid attention to every Maths lesson and also the ones related to nature and science, especially Physics. This aided me on my journey to discover and understand more complex forms of engineering. These experiences have also reinforced my passion for engineering and affirmed my desire to become a well-trained constructor. In conclusion, most of the time I wonder what breathtaking buildings people can ”give birth to.” Considering this, I am confident that an education at a technical college will provide the ideal platform to nurture my skills, expand my horizons, and empower me to engineer a better future.

Letter from the Editor

Folyosó is now four years old! Hooray that the journal continues, that students take pride in contributing to it, and that some even submit work without my prompting. The poems in this issue—by Zalán Nagykovácsi and Hanna Káplár—came into being without an assignment or prompt. Zalán has contributed to Folyosó before; Hanna is letting her work be published for the first time.

In addition to the poems, this issue features stories about utopias and dystopias; futuristic stories about the Varga Katalin Gimnázium (our school); imaginary college application essays; and cover art by Emese Kassai.

Sometimes you can sense dim echoes of literature we have read this year. My 9.C class (most of the contributors to this issue) read The Glass Menagerie, Othello, “Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking” (and a number of other poems), “In the Garden of the North American Martyrs,” and “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” (which had a great impact), and are now making their way into To Kill a Mockingbird. Such literature gives students access to dimensions of language that other materials do not approach.

Read away, and let us know what you particularly enjoy!


Diana Senechal
Founder and Editor of Folyosó