Boys and Girls Ultimate: State Championships
Teams must qualify.
How many streetlights do you need on one street? I kept asking that myself during my brisk walk to the 69th Street Terminal. Small traces of the sun’s warmth seemed to catch my stride. I started to hear a faint but familiar tune. I wandered to the source of the sound to find that a man, just about my height, was playing Sir Duke on his saxophone. I let the music surround me for some time, tapping my feet to the rhythm. I tossed a $5 bill in his case and moved about my business after a while. I found a spot to relax and waited when a lady in a red white and green walked and stood in front of me.
Ever since childhood I’ve been known as a nice guy. Although some people might confuse it with gullibility, I just consider it hard to say no. If family, or a close friend, asks for money, I’d oblige to it without thinking. If I don’t have what they’re asking for, then I’ll ask them if what I have would suffice. I don’t know why, but I’m obsessed with seeing people happy. Now don’t get my wrong, I’m not feminine or mushy or any of that, but seeing people upset around me makes me not operate right.
I don’t even know why I asked this question. I knew what would come from my 19-year-old brother Na’im.
“Can I borrow $10 for gas?”
Of course I said to myself! Now I had no idea if that was what is was really going to, but I had just received my first paycheck so I was happy to give him some money. That was just how it went. It didn’t matter if they paid back, or if it was just a giveaway, I don’t let family go without. Friends on the other hand are just a little different. For them, their must be reason, and its not usually more than 5$ if its money. I never pondered over them, but those have always been the rules I set on loans/gifts.
One time, my mom even questioned me on my kindness. We were in the kitchen cooking, about 5:30pm. I was pouring bacon bits in to a searing pan, careful of the grease trying to fight me. Out of the blue, she asks a puzzling question
“Why do you give away your hard earned money to people who’ll spend it on God knows what?”
I looked up from my flaming pan, gave her a big smile and said “Cause I’m a nice person.”
“Look out child, that’s going to hurt you when you get older”
That was one of the only sayings I pondered before. Half of me thought she was right, but the other half thought that there couldn’t be any consequences of being polite. I really disagreed with what she said since I haven’t been penalized or effected negatively by giving money.
The last time someone asked me for money was not too long ago. I was in my English class on a warm morning, sitting next to my “bro” Octavious. I was tapping a beat on the table when my teacher walked around selling notebooks needed especially for this class. He turned to me, face stricken with hope, and asked for 1$ dollar to purchase one. Seeing that it was for school, and he was one of my bro’s, of course I said yes. It wasn’t the first time he asked for a monetary supplement, but he always pays back so it’s was ok. That’s how it is for almost everyone, I never ask, but they always return.
I make sure that people understand that I’m not gullible. People may not see on the exterior, but there are rules to this money system. If people see that I give away money to my friends, some of my lesser friends/acquaintances start to ask. That’s when I firmly and adequately refuse. To me its not a bad habit, just me being nice. I’m not getting overpowered, and I know how to say no. That’s probably why for the first time in my life, a stranger in a red, white, and green Rita’s apron moving towards me rewarded my kindness with a gelati and a warm smile on a warm summer night.
The Physical Attack From The TV And Dresser
I came home from of school. At that time I was in the third grade and I was tired of doing math problems, vocabulary words and other things so I felt the weekend fever. Sit back, relax and watch a movie was going through my brain. I decided to watch ANT’s, my favorite childhood movie. So I threw my book bag in the floor and sped up stairs to my room. I headed to my book case to go find my ANT’s movie. I groped desperately for the movie on the top shelf. Finally I found it. I quickly opened the case to the video and took the movie out of the box. My next step was to turn the TV on which was located at the top of my dresser. My TV was too high for me to reach but I attempted to try and turn the TV on. I pulled the drawers open to try and make steps so that I could climb the dresser. I placed both of my feet on the first drawer and all hell broke loose.
With all my weight being on the drawer, the dresser couldn’t hold me, so it tipped over. Everything came down on top of me. I woke up on the floor. My chest and my arms were aching. I couldn’t get up because my body was pinned to the ground by the massive TV and dresser. I raised my left and right arm just to see if they weren’t broken. I noticed that on my right hand middle finger I had a broken nail. My finger was bleeding profusely because of the broken nail. Three minutes later after the accident my parents ran upstairs to see what happened.
I couldn’t tell them what happened because I was shaken from everything that happened. Then finally I told them. “ I tried to watch ANT’s but I couldn’t reach the TV and the VCR so I decided to climb the drawers to the dresser to get to the TV and turn it on.” My mom screamed “Are you crazy!!!” I felt so bad. My mom saw my bloody hand and she panicked. “ We are going to probably have to take you to the doctors so that you can get some treatment.” I agreed and we headed off. We finally reached our destination, the doctors office. A place where I did not want to be. Every time I went into a doctors office I always had to get a shot but I knew that this time I didn’t have to get a shot because I had a broken finger and a broken nail. “ Jalen Smith” the nurse yelled. “Come follow me” We entered the examination room and my mother and I sat down waiting for a doctor.
“Knock Knock Knock” the door slowly opened and it was Dr. White. “ Jalen what happened to you?” I had told him my story while he observed my broken finger and nail. Soon after he put medicine on my wound and he placed a splint on my finger Dr. White said “Next time you should ask mommy or daddy for help rather than doing it by your self because you can get hurt, ok”. “Take care Jalen”. You too doctor” I replied. When we got back home my family and I had cleaned up the mess and we made brownies. After the brownies were made everyone went into the living room and we watched ANT’s and ate our delicious brownies. Even though the end of the day was horrible because of the accident, the bonding with my family was very important and really memorable. I actually thank god for that day because there’s nothing better than family bonding.
The one thing I learned from this experience was that it is good to ask for help whenever you need it. If you know you can’t do something you should always ask someone to help you. Sometimes when you try to do something on your own you may fail to do it and it could lead to something very bad, like a broken arm, damage to something thats not yours, or even being severely injured. So thats why its so important to ask for help.
“Are you doing this for a reason?” I turned my head to look at my mom from where I was sitting in the passenger seat. I could see our destination as we approached the hair salon.
“Excuse me?” is my immediate reaction
“Because,” she continues “you know we’ll support you no matter what.” Now I understood, but it didn’t make what she said any less wrong.
“Mom, I’m not a lesbian.” I clarified, feeling the situation getting very awkward, very fast. What she said got me to thinking…is that what people would automatically assume? I’m a girl getting a short haircut, so obviously it must mean something about my sexuality. I understood that’s what some people would think, people on the street perhaps, even a few of my friends had wondered when I told them about it, but I hadn’t expected my own mother to judge. I know people have certain standards and classification, and apparently girls with short hair fall under the category ‘Gay’.
My first encounter with this type of judgment was actually before I decided to cut my hair. Emma Watson had gotten her long, gorgeous hair cropped off. One of my friends had made a comment,
“She was so pretty, did she want to look like a boy?” The comment instantly had me getting defensive. One, because I like Emma Watson, two, because I don’t think people should be judged by their appearance.
“No. Maybe she just wanted some change, I think she looks great either way.” I didn’t really want to get into a fight about it, and my friend simply shrugged it off, but it kept bothering me. Obviously Emma’s intent wasn’t to look like a boy, she still dresses and looks like as much of a girl as she ever has. I thought about it, and found it to be quite empowering. It’s pretty much saying ‘look at me! I can be a beautiful female without the obvious sign of femininity!’ I was wondering what it would be like it I cut my own hair; it was getting a bit hard to take care of, after all.
“You look like a dude.” Lucia, my sister said as soon as I walked through the door. I brushed my newly cropped bangs away from my face to raise an eyebrow at her.
“No, I don’t.” I said simply, and promptly walked into my room to change out of my baggy jeans and jersey, and into my new white shorts and a pink shirt. I felt bad; I had just gone against everything getting my haircut stood for. Admittedly, I was worried; I thought ‘if I don’t wear feminine clothing with this new haircut, people would think I’m a guy.’ Even the next day, when I didn’t wear particularly ‘girly’ clothing, considering it was field day, I still wore makeup, which I rarely ever did.
I began to wear sweatpants and t-shirts again, more out of laziness than anything else. Some people commented, but I didn’t really care. People had referred to me as ‘butch’ before I got my hair cut. That was mostly due to my tomboyish nature, and it didn’t bother me until people started using it to judge me by my appearance. I ‘looked butch’ not just the way that I acted. That’s when the confusion came back, people just assumed that I was something that I wasn’t based on how I dressed, and how I styled my hair. Their image of a female was obviously different from mine, their image of a lesbian was obviously different from mine. In some cases, yes, it’s true that you can guess someone’s sexuality by the way that they dress, but it doesn’t mean that you should go around deeming every girl with short hair a lesbian.
September 14, 2011
“You should have told me before hand, I’m your friend, I wouldn’t do you like that.”
“I didn’t think you cared, and it just came up,” I said nonchalantly. I knew I was being silly but I shouldn’t have to tell him everything that’s going in my life. This argument was so stereotypical, He’s mad because I want to go to another friend’s birthday party instead of coming to his house and doing nothing. Sounds like a teen movie doesn’t it? It’s not like he wasn’t invited. Why do I have to be anti-social just because he is?
“If you’re my friend you’ll let me go, I’m not going to the moon and it’s not like you’re not invited.”
“ I don’t care how you try to put it, you’re wrong. Dead wrong, you said you were coming to my house and now you turn around and ditch me? Not cool Torre.” He’s screaming now and me, well I’m just rolling my eyes.
“Mike, we hang out all the time and for you to try and keep me captive isn’t cool. Now move aside.”
He was pissed but before he could say anything I bolted for the exit and began mentally preparing for the party. Which sucked. I felt a little dumb. But Mike didn’t need to know that, I figured that I’d just talk to him at lunch and all would be normal. Mike and I have been friends since 2nd grade, and if he gets upset over something like this, then he’s crazy.
Well apparently he’s crazy. He walked right past me the morning after the argument. I went to the restroom and looked in the mirror.
“Well that’s strange because I don’t look invisible.” I said with a questioning tone.
I head to the first class of day, science; I hated that class. The smell of bleach and dead frogs in jars was not how I liked to start my mornings. But at least I sat next to Mike; I could ask him why he ignored me. So I get there and I’m literally 45 seconds late, thanks to a previous bathroom trip. My science teacher Mr. Ashworth starts freaking out and hands me one of those stupid hot pink tardy slips. I spot Mike and sit next to him and stare at him with the widest of eyes. It takes about 3 minutes before he turns around gives me the evilest of looks. And then out of nowhere he gets up and moves to the other side of the room. Ok, now I’m confused, I start sniffing my armpits. Do I offend? No, it isn’t that. And then I think about the day before, and I’m like “Ooohhh,” He’s still mad about that? Without thinking I blurt,
“Really, you’re still on that? Grow up and come off it.”
He just gives me that look again and I of course get in trouble for “calling out”. What am I seven? I guess this means Mike is truly mad and wants to play “cold shoulder”, but two can play that game. He’ll crack before I do.
2 weeks passed, and Mike and I were still not speaking. I was beginning to question our friendship from the start. It’s sad because I was getting used to us not talking. I didn’t want it to be that way anymore, but I couldn’t find in me to apologize. I rarely apologize for anything. I had other friends but Mike was my “Homie”, I started to miss him. I waited for him at his locker the next day; I was ready to talk it out. And this time instead of avoiding me, he began walking toward me. I was anxious, and then I did something really stupid, I ran away. I don’t know why I did it. I didn’t even have anything to say, but I went to his locker. Maybe I was being stupid. And then the realization hit me like a brick to the face. I should have never ditched Mike, no matter how unimportant our plans were. However, I also realized that Mike was indeed being a little silly. All of this came to me on a Friday night, and I resolved to go to Mike’s house the next day and talk things over. And this time I wouldn’t run away.
Saturday afternoon, I rode my bike to Mike’s house. I get there and knock on his door. Someone is always home at Mike’s house so this was odd that there was no answer. Surely not all of family was avoiding me. I’m still knocking when his neighbor peeps out of his door and says
“Who are you looking for?”
I say, “I’m looking for Michael Bernson.”
“I’m sorry but the Bernsons moved out yesterday.”
“Yeah, they moved out yesterday” He says with a nonchalant tone. And then goes back inside his house. I, on the other hand am trying to process what I’ve been told. They moved out? What does he mean they moved out? And then came the water works. I rode my bike all they way over there to get my friend back, and he left. Not like a 3-day vacation left, he’s gone. And it hurt. We’ve been friends for almost 7 years or have we? It was a horrible feeling, and I did cry, but I sucked it up and took it as a lesson: Putting your pride aside may be hard, but what if it’s for your best friend? Take it from me, you should always end thing on good note with the people you care about.
Vengo de musica,
Donde cantando esta de alma
Todos los fotos hablamos 1000 palabras
Amor es en mi Corazon
Con la familia,
Y los noches de comida y divertida
(Verse 2 no es completa)
(Verse 2 no es completa)
“Are you sure you’re not even part Indian?”
Rarely this is intended to be a joke, but more of a genuine question. Even so, this scenario becomes all too old. The fact that people have the audacity to tell another person what ethnic background they come from, seems to confuse me even until this day. At this point of the conversation I’m bored, irritated, and surprised that I’m still entertaining this person.
There was always a question of whether or not my family and I would move back to Ethiopia, permanently. Having a name like Tsion Habtamu isn’t the easiest to live with in America. Tsion (See·Own) or Zion in English has a biblical root, and at a young age, I was taught the meaning of my name. Since then I’ve always been confident of my identity. When I first enrolled in school it was amusing and interesting to hear teachers and other students struggle with my name.
To me it seemed liked the simplest name to pronounce, and at the age of 5, I also thought everyone was living in my world. Attending the same small school for majority of my childhood made it much easier on me growing up. But coming to SLA was a wake up call, not everyone was used to hearing my name. I suppose that the older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve coped with standing out. Your name is supposed to define who you are, and I’ve had difficulty with deciding whether or not I thought my name did just that. This doubt was purely influenced by people who were unwilling to accept who I was. It was only rather recently that I fully accepted my own name and background, and conversations like these make me realize that not everyone will always accept me, and I have to be ok with that. My patience for society is running low, but I attempt to keep a positive attitude towards those in my surroundings.
“I think I would be the one to know where I’m from,” is how I would normally respond to this question. Most people take offense at this point, but often forget how it must feel to have this conversation numerous times. This isn’t to say that people aren’t particularly amazed by name, in a good way. I’ve had soon-to-be mothers ask me to repeat my name in admiration, promising that they will name their daughters’ Tsion. Those are the same people who inspire me to live up to it. And to the rest of society, my apologies for not being named Sarah, Hanna, or Ashley. My apologies for being different.
“Wow, That’s Interesting”
“Are you serious?”
“That is really cool!”
“What does that mean?”
These are all things that I have been hearing my whole life – and it’s always about my last name. People are fascinated, confused, or both when they hear or see it. The first thing they ask me is where does it come from and I always say that I don’t know or I’m not sure which both are complete lies. I know where it comes from but the story and history behind it is too long and I’ve said it so many times.
So I guess now you’re wondering where it comes from? Well get ready for a long story! Originally it’s Greek, but eventually it made its way to Eastern Europe (Spain, and Portugal) and that’s where it got its numerous ways to spell it. My grandfather always told me that “no matter how you spell it, we are all related in some way or somehow”. And because of how uncommon it is I just always believed this to be true.
Some people say it in the craziest ways I have ever heard! I have heard everything from “ZIM-E-NICE” to “X-E-MIES”. The proper way to say it is “X-ZIM-A-KNEES” OR “ZIM-A-KNEES”. What frustrates me the most about this is the people that don’t even try to sound it out they just give up right away. I had to learn that it’s something that will always happen and I need to grow tolerance for it. This is the biggest lesson I learned from having these experiences.
People find it comical whenever I get upset when people do it. My friends always joke and tell me to chill out. This upsets me because in my opinion a name is all we really have. I mean if you have a name like “John White” or “Mary Jones” you really cannot get where I’m coming from. I mean yes it is only a name, but it’s MY name.
I will never forget this one time where this lady was arguing with me about my last name. She was very upset, she called my name “grammatically incorrect”. She spent about 5 minutes lecturing at me about how it should be spelled differently if I pronounced it x-zim-a-knees or how it should be pronounced differently since it’s spelled Ximines. I just sat there with a grin on my face as she screamed and yelled about it. After she was done I said to her in the sweetest voice possible, “Who died and made you grammar corrector of the year? Oh okay didn’t think so, so please go somewhere and stop disrespecting me”. It might sound like I was being rude but trust me, that woman deserved it.
I also can never forget the time somebody told me that if I am this upset about my name to just change it. I paused for a minute after they said that and simply said “ Oh no way!” A name is much more then just a name. I just can’t wake up one day and change it. My last name has legacy to it. Great people before me have had this name, generations of great Ximines’s. Even when I get married I will keep my last name, to me it has power and history; things I just can’t simply just let go of.
It’s amazing how somebody can see my last name and know everything about my family. I once had a substitute teacher who used to teach with my grandfather Robert Louis Ximines Sr. He was an educator and podiatrist someone who was well known. She sat down and she told me about my grandfather, a man I only knew for 6 years before he passed away. She told me how intelligent and caring he was. That conversation is something that has stuck with me until this day.
My father once told me that “I’m an Ximines, which means that I am great.” I never really got what he was trying to say until now. My last name is way more then just a last name. It’s who I am, where I come from. I come from greatness.
The sun was still brushing out the mucus from his eyes as it was about to hit half time and the breeze felt so soothing when it hit my hot sweaty skin, the parts that shoulder pads, tight pants and a baggy shirt didn’t cover.
It was our third game and the first two quarters weren’t going as well as I thought they would. We played like professionals that knew we were going to win. So we didn’t really put in a day after day, going home with ever muscle in our body aching and crying out “Please stop! No more. I can’t take any more”. With legs that wobbled at every step we took, we almost fell when we walked. We smelled like rotten chicken, mixed with rotten milk that settled in the sun for hours.
But we didn’t. So we got our wining plans shoved down our throats because every time we tried to run a play. They would stop us in our tracks with hits that hovered us in the air, and made us glide across the field. We had the taste of defeat and fake grass in our mouths it tasted awful. It almost looked as if they were on a mission to fracture rips, and knock off helmets. Every time we got hit mountains shifted. Once that last whistle was blown, we went home with grass stains on our faces, and with black, and blue bruises on our arms and legs. Some even went home with an arm wrapped in white tape. We had lost that game not only because we misread the other team, but also we all tried to fight for the M.V. P spotlight.
When we had our first game, our hands were sweaty, and we all had fear imprinted onto our eyelids. The funny thing about it was that we didn’t even get on the yellow school bus yet to get to our game. When we had finally got to our game and observed the new environment, we noticed that there weren’t any sunbeams, but we saw black clouds forming all around us. They began to cry tears from their soft and cozy looking eyes. Making it harder to catch the ball and making our hits more aggressive. Sometimes when we smacked against the other teams legs, they would get up and start walking with a limp.
Once we stepped foot onto the fake green grass field we knew that we weren’t going to let all our hard work and efforts at practice go to waste. So every time we did a play, we depended on the person right next to us or even right behind us to watch our backs. We depended on each other. The offensive linemen on my team would hold the defense in place, giving the quarter back a lot of time to rewind his arm and make a gold pass to the wide receivers. The wide receivers would move swiftly and smooth, making their route look as easy for a five-year-old kid could do with no problem. They had smoked who ever was sticking them. Our defense would penetrate through the line as if it was nothing, tackling their quarter back. So hard that every time he got hit he had to catch his breath before he got up. We were unstoppable. We had won that game of course.
The crazy thing was that the team we played in our third game reminded me of how my team was something like them. For the first time I knew that it wasn’t just me on the field trying to put forth 100% of my effort into wining this game. It was all of us; we had worked like a unit. The deep understanding lesson that I had took away from this experience is that threw out life you can’t only depend on your self to get things done. Its good to have some help as you get through it.
Suddenly, I see my coach call a time out. The only thing going through my head is This could be my break. I try to make out the words going between the coach and his son. I see the coach’s hand slowly rise above his head and he starts to wave me over. Excitement rushes through my veins. I start to jog over to the pitchers mound. I only get to throw five warm-up pitches, but I don’t mind because this is what I have been waiting for. All of that time waiting in the outfield is finally going to pay off. The umpire calls, “Batter Up”
I take a deep breath and throw the first pitch.
I smiled inside. Second pitch.
I breathe. Third pitch, the ball connects with the bat, my glove instinctually goes up and the ball is in the glove. 1 out. I look over and see the coach heading towards me. I automatically think that he wants to tell me I’m doing a good job. Instead I hear the words
“You’re doing fine, but don’t get ahead of yourself”
Huh? I think, Why are you treating me like this? I don’t get it. Instead, I calmly say
and he walks away. Second batter comes to the plate. First pitch is fouled off. Strike 1. The third baseman throws the ball back to me. As soon as I catch the ball I remember there is a runner on second base. I now make it my goal to exterminate him and pick him off. I set myself and very quickly step off the mound, do a 180 turn to second base and fire it to second. I may be small and I may skinny, but I’m fast. They didn’t expect it, but I did it. The umpire yells,
Whoa, nobody has done THAT in this tournament. The third out is a quick pop up to center field. I walk off the mound to the dug out. I feel good. I feel proud and accomplished. My teammates acknowledge me. The coach ignores me, but this is common behavior between the two of us.
Our half of the inning at bat was uneventful. Next half of the inning I start to the mound, but I hear the coach calling me back. Once again my brain says Huh?
“You’re going to left field this inning.” He states.
I’m confused, perplexed, bewildered, and stunned. I go to left field but my heart is no longer in the game.
I’m trying to think rationally, but only emotions are coming. I can’t think of any reasons to not put me back in as pitcher. I play and replay the events leading up to and during my inning on the mound. If I pay attention to his actions over the years that I have known him, his behavior is right in line. It’s when I listen to his words that I get confused. A promise is just a bunch of words strewn together, and it only becomes real once it happens. Just because someone promises to do something, doesn’t mean they will do it. Obviously sometimes people favor people closer to them over someone they don’t know well or don’t want to try to get to know. The truth lies in the actions of people.
I have always been naturally athletic, I try to not to brag but I have never really had to try very hard to be good or at least ok at sports. So, in the spring of 2003 when I first saw the Brazilian martial art called Capoeira I was hooked. From day 1 I picked up everything almost immediately and anything I didn’t get the first time I would learn within a couple days. Years passed by and my skills grew, to the stopped and took a look back at where I was going.
In the summer of 2010 I decided to test for a very high belt, one away from instructor in fact. Up till that point these tests haven’t been much of a challenge to me; I even skipped a belt once. With all that in mind and utter confidence in my self I stepped up to the Mestre (master) and began the test. He called out the first move and I didn’t know it. He called out the second; I still had no idea what I was supposed to do. All the moves names are in Portuguese, so in addition to not knowing what the moves are I didn’t know what they meant either. It went on like that for 10 minuets. Eventually he got up and walked away to teach a class, never once did he look back or talk to me about what I did wrong. That moment has stuck with me and as much as it hurt to fail I’m glad that it happened because of the lesson I learned. Always give a hundred percent to whatever you do. If you try your best and devote yourself to your task there is nothing that you cant do.
In the year that has passed I have retaken the test and gotten the belt. It too two weeks of non-stop training with my teacher and many hours of sweat and pain. But thanks to the hard work that I should have been doing since the beginning I was able to receive the belt, the failure that it took for me to achieve my goal makes the victory mean even more to me. I’m realizing this more this lesson has transferred into many different situations. One of the most important I think is my Interview project that I had to do for SLA. If I hadn’t learned to take things seriously and to try hard I don’t think I would have done anywhere near as good as I did. School is going to be the ultimate test of this rule that I have set for myself. Will I be able to keep up with my homework? Do a good job and still have friends to hang out with? The honest truth is I don’t know. But one thing I’m sure of is that I never want to feel that sense of disappointment again. Whether it’s for not trying and having to know that I have no one to blame but myself. Or having to go home to my parents and tell them I’m not good enough.
In conclusion I am glad that I learned this lesson. While I do wish I hadn’t learned it in such a traumatic fashion it’s good that I went through that experience. Because, lets be honest, life isn’t easy. The quicker you except that fact the quicker you can bounce back up after you’ve been knocked down. This is something I think everyone has gone through in one form or another. It might not have been as obvious as mine but we all have had our fair share of self-inflicted disappointments, and we all know we don’t want to go through them again. If there is one lesson you should take away from this it’s always give it your all. It doesn’t matter if it’s something as trivial as mowing the lawn. If you take it seriously and do your best you will always be happy with your result.
“Are you okay?” my brother, Josh, yelled.
“Ummmm,” I responded.
He then came running into the laundry room. He saw the broken glass of the back door. He looked at me, “What happened?”
“I was mad and slammed the door closed. Then the glass just broke.”
“You know you have to call mom, right?”
“I know. I’ll call her later.” I went upstairs to my room. I was still pissed.
All throughout my childhood I heard, “Think before you act.” I knew that I had to do this and I usually did, unless I was angry. If I was angry there was no stopping me. You couldn’t calm me down. I just had to find an outlet for my anger, and then be left alone. What’s worse is it’s easy to make me angry. So sometimes a little problem would set me off.
It isn’t always anger that makes me not think. One time when I was younger, my brothers and I were playing around. My twin Nick and I were trying to keep my older brother out of our room, I was having fun. My brother found a walking stick and put it in the space between the door and the doorframe. I should have stopped for a moment, to think it was a bad idea to close the door. I was having too much fun to think. So I pushed the door as hard as I could. The door snapped off of the hinges. Out of fear, we decided not to tell my father. He found out anyways and wasn’t too angry.
When I was 14 my brothers took a joke too far. This made me very angry. I walked out of the living room and into my laundry room. I didn’t know what to do, so I slammed my back door closed. The glass shattered. I ran upstairs to my room still very angry. I just had to be alone. Later I went down to clean up the glass. I told my mom later that day. She wasn’t mad; she just wished I had told her right away.
About two years ago I was wrestling with my younger cousins. They are both boys and were 9 and 7. They always liked wrestling with my brothers and me. We were having a lot of fun. I had the eight year old, Stephfon, pinned on the ground in a headlock. He called his brother for help. The older one, Jayfon, came over and hit me with his elbow in my lower back. I apparently have a weak spot in my lower back and it hurt, a lot. I stood up quickly. I didn’t really comprehend what I was doing. I picked him up and dropped him on his side to the ground. The ground was carpeted but it was still hard stone underneath. He screamed. He cried and ran to my grandmother. She asked what happened. I told her I got hurt and lost control. I couldn’t stop myself.
I have been able to stop myself when I’m angry more often lately. While at this summer camp I’ve been volunteering over the summer, we would take the kids to parks. One day we took the 6 through 9 year olds to the same place. They decided that they wanted me to chase some of them. Little by little more and more joined. It got to the point where there was 20-40 of them versus my twin Nick and me. They realized this shortly after I did, so the tables turned. They began chasing us, when they caught me they held my arms. One little girl hit me in my lower back as hard as she could. This made me angry, but instead of getting really mad I just told her to stop hitting me.
It took multiple times of being told “think before you act” before it finally stuck. I still don’t have full control when I’m angry. Most of the time my brother, Josh, holds me back until I shake loose and walk away. I am more understanding when the person I’m angry at is much younger than me. I now understand that even lessons that we learn as young children, aren’t always easy to follow.
In the back of the classroom, silent, not raising my hand, and only talking to someone unless they are talking to me first. I am in 3rd grade at William Cullen Bryant Elementary School in West Philadelphia. The teacher Ms.Gelfond calls on me, and asks me to answer the question, I give the correct answer. The person next to me asks me a question I just look at them and turn back around. During grades 2nd to 5th, I was very shy and quiet, I didn’t have many friends, and I was very intelligent, had awesome grades and I had two best friends who were not in my class. I wanted to fit in, just not with the people who cheat, get into trouble everyday, who does not follow direction correctly and disobey the rules. Then the day came when something that was fun to do but it was not a very good idea.
Sitting in the back of class reading my book “Judie B Jones: Goes to First Grade” then, 12 o’clock came around and the old fashioned golden bell on top of each door in every classroom rings throughout the whole school. It was time for lunch; I walk down the long narrow hallway, down two flights of stairs, and then into the lunchroom. I sit in between my best friends Niyree and Shaneka. The kids in my class were talking about what they were going to do at recess. Then one child suggested that they play football in the grassy yard behind the school, while the boys were playing, the girls were going to watch them and cheer the players on. This area was perfect for playing around and running, it had about 4 or 5 trees surrounding the perimeter, there were flowers growing in one section of the area. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to go to the back of the school because the lunch aids were not able to watch us behind there. My only two friend Niyree and Shaneka were going to go watch. They tried hard to convince me to go with them, and it worked.
At the back of the school, the boys started playing football while the girls watch on the sidelines. The girls were talking to each other in a group of about 5-7 people spread out in different sections of the area we were in. Suddenly, the principal and the officer came out of the back door where we were. I was terrified and filled with fear of being caught. I started getting nervous, and my brain was not functioning properly. I knew my legs were moving as I ran, trying to escape to the gate, but I couldn’t feel them. The officer quickly went to block the gate so he could try to catch anybody trying to get back into the schoolyard. Everyone had gotten back into the schoolyard except for me, my friend Niyree, and two other girls. We had to go to the principal’s office, she called our parents and told us if we didn’t tell who else was there with us then we would have detention for a week and she would take away our recess for the rest of the school year. None of the other girls said who else was there except for me. I was the only one who told on the others, after all I didn’t know about the “snitches get stitches” saying and that I shouldn’t tell on my classmates if I want to fit in. So, I didn’t lose my recess but when it was time for recess the other kids did not want to play with me. They wouldn’t even talk to me unless they were calling me names such as, snitch, teller teller, and other names. Niyree and Shaneka didn’t want to be my friends anymore either. Once I came home from school that day my parents had yelled me at. My mom had the “disappointed” face on. She was really upset to have to get a bad phone call from my principal about me disobeying the rules, my dad had the same face on, but his was meaner than my mom’s. He was the one who put me on punishment for a month; he told me I am lucky I told who was there with me because then I would have had a longer punishment.
That day, I learned to think twice about my actions and if I chose to do wrong then I must suffer the consequences. This was a time in my life when I realized that I have to make decisions for myself. If I didn’t let Niyree and Shaneka convince me to come with them then I would have never got in trouble with my parents and the principal. I also learned who were my true friends that day, which was nobody at that school because if they were then they would have never convinced me to do the wrong thing.
Un nombe común
Pero con rasgos ünicos.
Vengo de donde los ladrillos son ponían
Alto suficiente a cubrian.
Todo el mundo es agradable y abro
Tiendas en cade esquina
Al oeste de fila allí para aina
What is your refrán supposed to communicate?
What are you especially happy about with your first draft?
What would you like to improve about your refrán first draft?
What was difficult about writing your refrán?
Nosotros Africáno, más fuerte!
Nosotros Africáno,más fuerte!
Nosotros Africáno, Vamoso!
Africaaaaaaaaaa Nosotros Donte. Awooo!
Nosotros Africáno, ¿yo no oyes tu?
Nosotros Africáno, más fuerte!
Nosotros Africáno,más fuerte!
Nosotrosl Africáno, Vamoso!