Anniversary Edition

Published August 25, 2021

Dear readers,

We hope everyone had a terrific summer! ☀️ We certainly did and created so many memories from doing our first bi-monthly edition to starting #OberlinVillageRegionalLibrary (go to to sign and read more) to doing our first in-person interviews to creating our first YouTube documentary.

Last month’s edition was a long one because we had so many interesting food takes on what food means to us and others! If you didn’t watch our Bringing Food to Life: The Food Discussion documentary on August 7, it’s still on YouTube, so be sure to check it out at

This edition is going to be a short one. Nevertheless, we knew we had to create something special because it’s A and L Magazine’s one-year anniversary edition!

We hope you enjoy this special birthday edition!

-Leeya and Adalia

P.S. Thank you to Ms. Mithu Chaudhuri and Mr. Debi Chaudhuri, Leeya’s grandparents, for a very generous donation!!

The Story of A and L

By Leeya and Adalia (written in third person)

One spring day, school was moved online because of the COVID-19 pandemic raging across the world. Soon, the school year ended and summer began. Summer camps went virtual, restaurants and stores shut down, countries closed their borders, masks became the new normal. It felt like the world was turned inside out.

Although Leeya and Adalia like to say that they have been best friends since preschool, this isn’t the full story. After third grade, Leeya and Adalia went to different schools, resulting in a shift from sisters to acquaintances. However, they were neighbors, and in the end, this crucial lack of distance saved their friendship.

During that summer, the two somehow ended up on a walk around the neighborhood together.  This first walk was rather awkward. However, the two eventually learned that they were both doing a summer class with Duke TIP and scheduled to meet again to discuss the class.

One day, Leeya brought up the idea of sharing letters. She had heard about a new fad people were doing during quarantine, which involved sending letters to friends to keep in touch in a more exciting way than just texting. Since Leeya and Adalia were neighbors, Leeya could just drop off the letter to Adalia, but this dulled the excitement of a letter, so Leeya decided to create a sort of care package or activity box for Adalia. Ultimately, Leeya decided on the name “bored box.”

Thus, the trade of bored boxes between the two began. These bored boxes were themed and included crossword puzzles, recipes, arts and crafts, DIY projects, ideas for writing songs and SO much more. Some of the themes included: Leeya’s birthday, North Carolina, mini, the Olympics, gold, car-trip games, the 4th of July, black and white and art.

Adalia and Leeya became closer friends and learned a lot more about one another during this trade of bored boxes. The goal of these bored boxes was to keep each other occupied through a series of activities and prevent boredom. The excitement one felt from getting a shiny decorated box from the other made quarantine feel a lot more bright.

One June morning, Leeya and her mom were taking a walk to get away from the confines of the house when they ran into a neighbor, who looked slightly sad and forlorn, having been cooped up alone in their house for so long. Leeya’s mom was struck with an idea: Leeya and Adalia should make something similar to their Bored Boxes for the lonely neighbor!

While Leeya’s mom loved the bored boxes, she knew Leeya and Adalia were done with the bored boxes in a few hours. She also knew that the bored boxes brought them happiness, however that happiness was only being spread between the two. She thought, why not spread that happiness to other parts of the neighborhood through a more permanent project as a way to help build community. This was especially important during a time when community building was needed more than ever. 

The next time they met up, Leeya told Adalia all about the new idea.

They got to work making plans for the bored box/care package for the lonely neighbor. They could write a poem and add fun activities and Neel’s artwork and what if they make it for other neighbors as well? The ideas got bigger and grander, until they included flowers, baked goods and snacks.

But this caused a conundrum because how could they make enough Bored Boxes for a whole neighborhood, full of these items and personalized for each individual recipient? Until Adalia thought of something…

She was thinking of the pamphlet/book-like Bored Boxes, both she and Leeya had made once or twice instead of the big boxes of stuff. What if she and Leeya created a MAGAZINE? 

They got to work adding a poem here and an interesting song review there. They knew that they enjoyed having a theme for each bored box, so they decided to do the same for the magazine. The magazine came together tied through an overall theme of summer ending. Leeya planned to have her Dad print out the thin 13-page edition when he went to the office so they could hand it out to the neighbors the next day.

But they realized something: they needed a name. They had been calling the project ‘A and L Magazine’ as a filler name until they came up with a new one. They wanted to find something with bigger words and fancy vocabulary because that’s what they thought they needed. However, when they thought about the name some more, they realized A and L Magazine actually represented who they were perfectly! They were Adalia (A) and Leeya (L) and they wrote a magazine!

A and L Magazine was born around late July/early August of 2020 and has been in operation for a whole year since! The magazine has not only grown in time but pages, interviews, the addition of a website, a YouTube channel, and a social media account. This couldn’t have been possible without the support of our readers from donations, to interviews, to YouTube views, to contributions through writing pieces. But most importantly, thank you for just picking up our magazine to read and giving us feedback. Thank you for making the small idea of a care package meant to build community during the pandemic become the magazine it is today.

Sadness and Kindness

artwork and poetry by Mirabel

Mirabel loves colors and artwork. For her Kindness artwork, she wanted to incorporate happiness into her creation. She used the warm colors of red, orange and yellow to represent this. For her Sadness artwork, she used lots of blues “because blue is the color of sadness.” Additionally, Mirabel wanted to incorporate poetry into her work, so she drew specific and small pictures with writing to tell a poem for each piece of artwork.

A and L’s Magazine Rankings

In honor of A and L Magazine’s birthday, we decided to rank our magazines by workload, cover, name and overall edition. Be sure to watch the video at!

First of all, thank you to our supporters from our viewers to our readers to our interviewees to our donors to our family and everyone else in between. Thank you for helping this magazine survive a whole year! Y’all are the ones who make it happen! Are you ready to get a recap of our editions and to see which ones we love the most?

Recapping the Magazines

  1. The Last Drops of Summer The Last Drops of Summer was a compilation of summer-ish things from a short story to Leeya’s Last Drops of Summer poem to an article, comic, song review and Neel’s artwork. However, since this magazine was our first edition, it only ended up being 13 pages! Although this magazine was by no means perfect, it will always have a special place in our heart as our first ever edition.
  2. A Travel Back in Time In this issue, we learned about our neighborhood’s history by doing our first ever interviews with Ms. Cam and Ms. Jean Parton (thank you to both of them!). This edition was dedicated to Tyler, Leeya’s dog who had recently passed away. 
  3. The Horror That Shocked America This edition was about 9/11, a horror that shocked the world featuring an interview with Ms. Sejal Mehta and our neighborhood Candy Poll. This was our first time knocking on people’s doors in our neighborhood which gave us great experience for when we started petitioning. Additionally, we introduced our Tech Sessions with A and L (TSAL) for anyone who needs help!
  4. All About Halloween All About Halloween was literally all about Halloween. This edition was a pile of Halloween related activities, fun facts, reviews, music and lots more. To go along with it, we did our first Youtube Live Stream, which was Halloween-themed. You can still watch it on YouTube at
  5. Giving Thanks For this edition, we interviewed three medicare workers as a way to thank all medicare for everything they have done for us, particularly during the pandemic. We tied this edition to the holiday of Thanksgiving. We felt that this edition was a better way to capture a holiday compared to our last edition about Halloween because it had a more meaningful message and didn’t go overboard on the theme.
  6. The Art of Coziness For this edition, we interviewed Mr. Robin and Ms. Nilda about the art of being cozy and making your environment a comfortable living space. Since this issue came out on Christmas, we added themed content as well as fun facts about the upcoming winter holidays. One of our favorite parts of this edition was the bow that we tied on the cover to make it look like a gift for our non-virtual readers.
  7. Jobs and Occupations This edition included nine interviews. It covered a variety of jobs, from fashion designing to hypnosis therapy to mapping and so much more. It was definitely a shifting point for us from doing shorter magazine issues with less interviews to longer magazine issues with many interviews. In a way, this issue showed that we wanted this magazine to be more of a serious project because of the work and information that we loaded into it.
  8. Black History Month For Black History Month, we did several interviews, including an interview with Ms. Cheryl Williams of Oberlin Village, which inspired us to start our petition ( and a premiered interview with Ms. Ebony Thomas ( We feel that this interview really opened our eyes looking at the history and current events of the Black community in a different light.
  9. Harbingers of Spring Harbingers of Spring was a fun and light magazine. It covered topics relating to plants, spring, and agriculture. Since we are not expert gardeners, we had other people contribute to this magazine to write about their tips, tricks and the history of gardening. We had a fun time getting plant and flower pictures for the cover on a walk around our neighborhood. We also did our writing contest and Adalia’s birthday LiveStream ( around the time this edition came out.
  10. Big Topics This edition was definitely a change from the light edition we’d done in April. Big Topics covered topics about space, water rising, Leeya’s birthday LiveStream (, the environment and lots more about events going on. We picked these topics and names in order to encompass the big Number 10 as this was our tenth edition.
  11. Asian American Month Similar to the Black History Month edition, we premiered an interview with Ms. Chavi Koneru ( to talk about Empowering the Asian American community in North Carolina along with this edition. We also interviewed Senator Mohammed about the Hate Crime Legislation and a Chinese-American about immigration and stereotypes within the Asian American community. Furthermore, we had our first Living Locally episode ( celebrating Mr. Robin for receiving the Alexander Quarles Holladay Medal for Excellence.
  12. Bringing Food to Life Last but definitely not least is our most recent edition: Bringing Food to Life. This edition comes with a documentary, open to anyone for watching at, which covers all of our interviews from this magazine. This edition covered the food cycle in 50+ pages of awesome interviews and articles. This edition was not only our longest and most ambitious issue but it was also our first bi-monthly edition.

Winner of…A and L’s Favorite Name!

Our favorite name (based on how nice it sounds) would probably be The Last Drops of Summer because it paints a gorgeous image of summer in the mind. However, the winner of our favorite name is Harbingers of Spring because it is a fun name and it best encompasses what is going on in that edition.

Edition with the…Most Workload

If we had been doing this ranking a few months back, the answer would be Jobs and Occupations. However, in light of our most recent edition, we have to choose differently. Issue 12: Bringing Food to Life was definitely the magazine with the biggest workload because it encompassed so much important and fascinating information about food!

Winner of…A and L’s Favorite Cover!

After some debate between Jobs and Occupations (because of its collage of faces), Asian American Month (because of Leeya’s awesome editing skills) and Bringing Food to Life (because of Adalia’s amazing hand-drawn cover), we had to settle on Bringing Food to Life because Adalia’s cover was so detailed. Also, we couldn’t ignore how long she spent working on the cover! 

And, 🥁 drum roll 🥁 … A and L’s Favorite Edition

We originally tried to write this article and make a YouTube video about our favorite edition in honor of Issue 10: Big Topics. However, we discovered that we struggled to find an answer. We’ve remade the video now that Bringing Food To Life is out and our favorite edition has become clear: Bringing Food to Life wins as A and L’s Favorite Magazine edition from the 2020-2021 list of magazines! We love this edition because of the work it took us, the amazing interviews we did, the topics we covered, the connection that was able to be created through 50+ pages, the gorgeous cover, and the documentary. We are SUPER proud of this edition!

Do you have a favorite edition? Be sure to share it with friends and family. If you want, email us at to share with us why you like it!

Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake

Within the world are ecosystems, relationships and individuals. Merlin Sheldrake’s Entangled Life brings to light a whole new perspective on the interactions of all kingdoms and organisms with fungi. He points out how unknowably intricate and amazing fungi are before explaining how they connect with other organisms. He describes how symbiotic relationships with fungi work, particularly with lichen. To connect fungi to the present and future, Sheldrake discusses how fungi can be used to save and improve the world. Entangled Life explores twisting paths of history, life and relationships in an educational, interesting and exciting way. Entangled Life challenges the reader to think beyond the boundaries, beyond the common metaphors we collectively turn towards.

An A and L Magazine SURPRISE!

Grom Adalia to Leeya

Over the past few weeks, I (Adalia) had been putting together a surprise for Leeya. Though it was a three part surprise, I planned to show it to Leeya all at once, so I scheduled a Zoom call to meet with her and show her everything.

So, what was the surprise? Well…I’ve been working on redesigning our website, with more editing capabilities and a new and improved look. This new website offers commenting capabilities for viewers, includes a new email ( and is themed with A and L colors! Overall, this redesigned website offers a much more clean, sleek, modern look compared to our original website.  

Be sure to visit the new website out at! We are still playing around with the background code but that doesn’t mean you can’t check it out!Do you want to learn more details about the surprise, including what the other parts of the surprise are? Go to to watch the mostly uncut Zoom recording.

The Cheetah

A comic by Ainsley (age 7)

This comic is about a cheetah, who was roaming around a neighborhood, until it was captured and taken back to it’s home. This story was inspired by a recent black bear sighting in a neighborhood nearby.

Major A and L Magazine Announcement

Unfortunately and fortunately, our summer break is coming to an end. Both of us will be starting high school soon. By the time you’re reading this, we have probably already started high school. This means we will be a lot busier with homework and extracurriculars. However, this does NOT mean we are ending A and L Magazine. We will simply be changing things up a little bit.

Instead of our monthly editions, we are going to be creating issues every two to three months. Although this means fewer editions, this also means longer editions as we hope to be adding more content and details to each edition. We feel that the experience of writing Bringing Food to Life changed our perspective on writing and editing for A and L Magazine. It gave us a creativity jumpstart and glimpse into what we want for A and L Magazine in the future, that was unlike any we had gotten from previous editions. 

We are sad about this decision because it means we will have to see our readers less 🙁 but please still keep in touch between the months that we don’t have editions out! We will still post on our Youtube channel, website, and social media accounts, however, it might not be as frequently. If you ever have any questions, comments, or concerns, please reach out to us at Stay safe, happy, and healthy! Have a great rest of your summer and we hope to see you soon as the fall arrives!


Leeya and Adalia