Two FTHS Writers Win APP April Essay Contest

Two FTHS Writers Win APP April Essay Contest

FTHS junior Matthew Bernstein won the Asbury Park Press’s Student Voices Essay Contest.  Additionally, freshman Eden Breslauer-Friedman earned third place.  The April entries had to respond to the prompt “What do you and your parents argue about most often?” Both winning essays can be below.


Matthew Bernstein’s If you can’t take the heat…

Matthew Bernstein
Matthew Bernstein

Some might believe that money is the root of all problems, but not in my household. My family clearly knows what’s more valuable than money, or anything in the world really, and we argue about it all the time. My family consists of perhaps the pickiest eaters in the entire world; thus, we argue about food more often than anything else. As trivial as it may seem, after years of living together, nobody in my family can ever agree on what to eat. We’ve tried everything- alternating the person who chooses, trying new restaurants, even not going out at all- but nothing has ever worked. Of course, there are a lot of limiting factors on who can eat where; I don’t like seafood or Indian food, my dad loves Indian food and seafood, my mom hates Chinese food which the rest of us like, and my brother doesn’t like spicy food. Ergo, we’ve ruled out every option in Freehold, except for Italian food. However, pizza after pizza after pizza can get a little boring and, quite frankly, frustrating. Therefore, we’ve been reduced to back and forth debating over where we’re going tonight, and who is going to have to suck it up.

Also, in the time that we spend arguing about food, everyone in my family becomes similar to the celebrities on the Snickers’ commercials. These new personalities, combined with our extreme desires to go where we want, create a de facto “food court”. We present our best arguments as to why we should go to, fill in the blank, and try to persuade our other family members to change their minds. “Well I don’t want to go there, I hate it there”, “Well, I hate seafood, you know that”, and an exacerbated, “fine let’s just go there” are usually staples of our food court arguments. In the near future, I don’t expect these arguments to cease, nor would I want them to. These mini court cases make my family unique in its own way, and, even though I may not be getting the Mexican food I really want, I’m willing to deal with, and appreciate, this little imperfection that my family has been able to call our own.


Eden Breslauer-Friedman’s “A Very Healthy Argument”

Eden Breslauer-Friedman
Eden Breslauer-Friedman

“Wow! This is a wonderful salad!” says my dad as he compliments my mom. I blatantly scoff and roll my eyes. My dad gives me the evil eye, and my mom gives me an exasperated sigh.

“What was that for?” she asks me. I finish my mouthful of my organic, fat free, salt free, sugar free veggie burger and proceed to answer.

“It’s just funny that a salad is the closest to normal food that we have in this house,” I tell her, while receiving nods of agreement from my siblings. “If I go into the pantry, I guarantee I won’t find something that has more than two grams of sugar.” Okay, maybe I am exaggerating at this point, but I think everyone is following my train of thought.

“Eden, that is not true! What do we not buy that your friends have?” my mom asks me, sincerely believing she is right. Before I can answer, Zoe butts in.

“Potato chips, pretzels, popcorn. Basically any snack,” Zoe accuses. My mom quickly rebuts.

“That is all junk! You guys don’t need to be eating that!” I again laugh because the snacks are the least of my worries. I explain that what bothers me the most is the coconut sugar. When you are baking cookies or a cake, it is inevitable that it will be unhealthy. The last thing you need to do is try and make an unhealthy food healthier by using coconut sugar.

Now, my dad has had it.

“I am tired of you guys complaining about the healthy food that we buy. I am going to go into the pantry and show you all the delicious things we have,” he says as he rises from his chair.

He makes his way over to the pantry, and while he is gone, I find it difficult to figure out whether he is being serious.        

“Look at these delicious low fat, low carb, sugar and salt free cheese crackers! And these low salt, fat free cereals!” he exclaims with a spell of laughter. We finish joking around and proceed to our meal. Although I give them a tough time about it, I actually enjoy my veggie burger: all salt, sugar, and fat free parts of it.