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reflection

  • What surprised you most about this information? I would say the biggest surprise i seen was when the population of immigrate decreased to 500,000 in 1940. i knew that it would be less people because of all the things that were taking place at the time. but i would of never thought it would go down that far.
  •  What seemed quite obvious about explaining this data set? the population of immigrate are shattered, there is not a steady rate in which it moves.
  • Looking at the overall trend and incorporating what you know about the US presently, predict and defend the immigration trend for the next two decades. i would think that the immigration rate will increase in the next to decades. the reason i say this is because right now our country does have much reason for people not wanting to come to the country. there is no war, the country is still an democracy and the economy is pretty good. these reason along with other will make immigrate want to travel to the U.S.
  • Describe how you made a decision on how to visually represent the information. we decided to make a google presentation powerpoint because everyone in the group can access it and it is one of the best form of presenting.
  • What parts of group work were challenging? i cant say we had a challenging but we could of worked better with communicating with each other.
  • What would you do differently if you had this project to do over? i would find more information about the date and see if i missed anything.


    https://docs.google.com/a/scienceleadership.org/presentation/d/1KKM8c1tQc4xmcnJpJWbk4SqKjZFAmAffBDsfDhkgF8A/edit#slide=id.gfdfe30f_9_0
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Descriptive Essay


The mental health industry is very complex, and is hard to understand. The vast medical terminology I have learned over the the past year makes me, whether i like it or not, an expert on the psychological world.

Before my newfound knowledge, I always pictured a ‘mental hospital’ or ‘psych ward’ as a building with white walls, straightjackets and electric shock therapy. although It’s really not like that at all. It’s clean, because all hospitals are, and colorful because color is very important for a recovering mind (white grey and black aren’t exactly happy colors). There’s group therapy, individual therapy, art therapy, and family therapy. An average hospital stay is about 3-9 days.

These types of psychological problems don't usually come out of the blue. Not for me anyway. In 8th i started seeing a therapist because i was hurting myself, and i was depressed. I wasn’t depressed because of any particular reason, it runs in the family. she recommended me to a psychiatrist (Dr. Kalkstein) in her practice and i was put on an antidepressant, and mood stabilizers and antipsychotics.


“Emily, how long have you been feeling sad?” he reminded me of an very old dog, his face wrinkled and his eyes sunken into his skull. “I don’t know. 7th grade I guess.” I replied. There were numerous paintings in his office, all of gardens or flowers or meadows. They were pretty, with smudged lines and pastel colors. “Masterman, right? Do you like your school?” “No.” I answered, too quickly. He shifts his crossed legs and lightly scribble something on his clipboard. In his office and my therapist’s office, there were a lot of free complimentary things that the drug company’s give to long-term buyers. These items included bottles of lotion labeled “Seroquel”, pen holders from “Lexapro” the list goes on. “Emily I can't help you if you don't open up. You’re very cold for a girl your age. Lighten up.” I almost rolled my eyes. My parents and I didn’t really like Dr. K that much. I took my eyes off my bitten nails and looked up and swallowed. “You’re right. I'm sorry. I don’t like my school because the teachers are horrible and no one understands.” as soon as I said it I cursed myself in my head; I sounded like such a hormonal teenager. “You should talk to your therapist about it. I am simply your psychiatrist. Go get your parents from the waiting room, we’re going to talk about prescribing.”

The transition from middle school to high school was hard for me, especially the transition into a school like SLA. The pressure from workloads and the depression already festering inside me pushed me over the edge, you could say. In November of 2011 I tried to kill myself. I was put into a psych ward in roxborough, Fairmount Behavioral Health. It was strange and weird and overwhelming, but it helped me. I learned so much and met so many people. Things got crazy sometimes though.

We sat in the group room, sitting at tables coloring printed out coloring pages with fat stubby crayons. Tonya was screaming. She was restrained to her bed with straps, and she would not stop screaming and crying. It was awkward in the group room. It was 9 o'clock in the morning, we were all waiting to have our vital signs checked. Judging from the bags under everyones eyes, no one got much sleep because of Tonya, myself included.

“Does anyone know if Mr. C is working first shift?” says a girl with long brown hair and big eyes. I shrug, I haven’t been there long enough to know the staff’s schedule. “Jenson?” I put down an orange crayon and go out to the hallway and sit in a plastic chair. The RN (resident nurse) checks my blood pressure and temperature, Tonya is still screaming. Before my weight is checked, I pull Nurse Nicky aside, “Can I have some headache medicine please?” She smiles and nods, rolling her eyes in the direction of tonya’s room. “I don’t blame you, I might need some too.” “and you haven't even been here all night!” I laugh. it feels good to laugh again. Ms. Nicky was young and blonde, with blue eyes and perfect skin. A lot of the girls liked her, she was easy to talk to. She even braided your hair or brushed it if you asked. She made me feel safe.

After the hospital and various outpatient programs, I settled in at the IOP (intensive outpatient) program I was placed in, a group therapy group that met three times a week after school. Katie, the group therapist, was one of the best therapists in the industry that i've come across.

Today its just me and katie. It’s my last session, and I just finished my paperwork checking me out of the program. “How do you feel?” I'm looking out the window at the Philadelphia downtown sky. “I feel good. I’m still going to see my therapist once a week, and I'm going to an educational group therapy group every tuesday. We’re going to do worksheets and stuff, about treatment. It’s not like group here.” She turns to her desk and pulls out a card, her business card. I smile as she hands it to me, because she’s given me many before, but I’ve lost them all. I put the card in my back pocket and say “Obviously I’m not cured, I'm not even sure that’s possible for anyone who’s ‘this’ kind of sick. But now i'm under control. I am 3 months self harm free and i feel okay.” Katie stands up and hugs me. She pulls apart and holds me by my shoulders, looking at me and smiling. “I'm proud of you.” “I'm proud of me too.”


Relapse is a part of recovery, and if that happens, it happens. The important part is that I'm still here, and I care about what’s going to happen tomorrow. That’s all that really matters.


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Emergency Rush

I was about the age of 6, small and young stuck in a dreadful hospital filled with sick children all around. The halls were filled with silence and cold from what I remember. Everything was different. Boys and girls in my same age group, should be ponder with their imagination or go out having fun, I wasn’t so lucky to be like them. Usually not many people remember what happen during the age of 6 or younger, my mother actually told me what exactly happen that day.

I was 6 years old, tiny and short. I woke up one morning with a cold but my parents didn’t worry because nothing serious was going on or that’s what I thought. Minutes and hours passed , it was around 7pm from what I have been told my sickness got worst. My fever rose, I was burning like fire and I felt like the sun coming after me, if you touched me. You’ll feel the heat going threw my skin but what I really felt was coldness going threw me. I was freezing to death, cold as ice. My face was pale, like if I was frighten by a ghost. I also had a sore throat, it was bothering me badly, I barely couldn’t eat anything. My parents decided to take me to the hospital. My fever got worse by the minute. In the car, on the way to the hospital, I couldn’t take it no more, I started to burst out crying. I was sore and worried about what is going to happen.

We arrived and I was rushed into the emergency room, I was small so I didn’t understand what was happening. I never realize that I would be so sick that my parents had to rush me to the hands doctors and nurses. Scared and nervous, bursting out crying. They told my parents I had to stay at the hospital for a while because something serious was going on. It was a sickness that I wasn’t allow to go out and if I do, A infection would spread and it will go straight to my blood and cause a serious issue. I didn’t know what it was exactly and i’m still not sure what it was till this day, but all I know it was close to death. My parents never taught something could happen to me this bad. My mother prayed and my father worried. It was about midnight when the doctors left, leaving me in a cold room with my parents, I was exhausted from crying. I was halfway asleep but I was realizing that how could something this bad could happen to me? I started to bring silent tear to my face.

I remember waking up in the morning, realizing the sunlight morning filled up the whole room, I notice I had IV attached to my arm, hearing the beep coming from the weird machine beside the bed. I was scare and started to cry. My dad came up to me and told me “Everything is going to be okay”. The nurse came in with breakfast and took records of me. The nurse told me there was a playroom that I was invited to go later so I won’t be bored. Hours past, my mom finally arrive at the hospital, with a angel bear in her hand and a mcdonalds kids meal, while my dad had to go out. My mom made me feel happy when she arrived. After a while, my mother and I went to the playroom together, I remember I met this girl, the same age as me. She was philippine with long black hair, like mine. She was my hospital buddy back then. We always used to meet up at the playroom and play monopoly board game together with other sick children and a nurse. We also ate macaroni and cheese together and visit each other rooms. I remember telling me her story, she was sick like me. Last time I seen her was when they took her away to surgery, I was in front of the room standing with my mom, she was laying down on the bed being pushed by doctors and nurses, we waved at each other saying goodbye, wishing her a good luck. I soon realized I wasn’t the only one.

Hours and days past, I was stuck in the hospital friends and family visited me everyday. I finally released from the hospital on the weekend. We went home on a rainy day, I was glad to be home because I knew I was safe and sound. One thing that I was curious about was wondering what ever happen to my friend from the hospital, Did she make it? Is she okay? Hopefully shes safe. I still wonder still this day and I will never forget her. I am blessed that I am better now and that I am healthy. Till this day I am shock because I was really sick and was going threw a lot of things when I was little and its not normal but now everything is okay.
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Descriptive Essay



Stephen White
Iron Stream,

I’m so excited. Today’s the big day. I’m at my grandmother’s house in the pool when my Aunt greets me with a surprise. ‘Are you ready?” she asks as she sips her daily cup of black tea. “Ready for what?” I ask in surprise. “For your first driving lesson.” “Of course” I reply confidently. I scarf down my lunch like I haven’t eaten in days then I dash to my room to slip on my nikes and throw on a plain old button up shirt. I slipped my nikes on so hastily that  I didn’t even bother to tie them and then I dashed down the steps and we head out the door.


I’ve been waiting years for this day to come. So we get into the car and she goes over the basics. “Make sure your mirrors are good,  put on your seat belt, and turn the car on.”  I turn on the car and put the car in reverse. I’m not even at the end of the block when she starts screaming at the top of her lungs “TURN! TURN!”  I slammed on the brakes as we were inches away from the curb. I had to catch my breath as I put the car in reverse to try the turn again. “I’ve been driving since I was 10 it’s not that hard” she says. I mumble under my breath as I grip the wheel and grit my teeth to make the turn.

I’m in an empty school parking lot learning how to drive near my Grandma's house. My interest in driving started when I was 12 and we went to the car show at the convention center and saw all the new cars. Seeing the car’s doors shine off the lights, breathing in that new car smell, and being able to sit in the drivers seat I could envision myself on the road. It was then that my interest in driving grew. As I complete the turning section of my Aunt’s homemade driving test we take it to the streets as I drive back to my grandma’s house. I was doing well as I turned back into my grandma’s driveway.

I get out of the car and immediately start receiving criticism. “You have to slow down” “you're not a pro” “both hands on the wheel” she said. “Alright, alright” I say annoyed. I just drove a car for the first time I still had the jitters and her telling me what I was doing wrong wasn’t what I wanted to hear right now. At this point, I wasn’t listening to anything she was saying. All I was thinking about was getting back in the car and back on the road. It was exhilarating driving on the roads I finally was old enough to drive I’ As I made my way in the driveway of course everyone asks hysterically “are you ok?” “how’d you do?” “Yeah I saw you swerving down the street a little bit.” I know they mean well, but give me a break it’s my first time. “Yes I’m ok” “I think I did pretty well” I reply aggravated. A little practice and I’ll get my permit and then my license, I think to myself. When I’m allowed to start driving I doubt I’ll be in the house at all unless it’s necessary. I’ve been looking forward to driving since I was a toddler playing with my toy cars.

Now I’m studying for my driving test that I will take in about 9 months. I took a practice  driving test thinking that I wouldn’t need help on it. When I saw the horrible results of the test I then decided to finally ask for help on driving. I knew I couldn’t do it on my own. When I got some help on the test I got a higher score the second time. It turns out that I didn’t know everything I thought I did about driving.


I also learned that asking for help and accepting criticism isn’t a bad thing. Even some people of higher power can accept some help and criticism in running their government. Even the mighty United States need some help. Even though our problems aren’t as big as third world countries we’re so in debt that we’re borrowing money from other countries and getting deeper into debt. Another domestic crisis is our ability to keep jobs in the country. And finally probably the healthcare crisis that affects a great amount of Americans.

Me and some dictators have some things in common. Neither of us take criticism well. Countries ran by dictatorship are usually ran by leaders who are in charge of everything and won’t accept help from any citizens. The citizens have no voice and maybe if the citizens were able to speak their mind and vote the country could rise. Most countries ran by dictators are not doing well at all and thats a fact and just need to accept help thats given to them sometimes like me. I think that all countries should be ran by a republic or a democracy. The United States is ran by a republic and the citizens get a say in who comes to power.
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Descriptive Essay; To Be Great

There are people that in life that want us to do great things. Some people think that it might take years to be even good let alone great at anything. However, there are some things that just take a little thought to be good at. I can remember my dad telling me that I needed to do something with my life. He always said that I quit everything as soon as it got hard. I didn’t want to admit it, but I knew it was true. He even went as far as calling me a loser to make me do something with my life. So I decided I wanted to prove him wrong.

By the time I had gotten that conversation I had already been doing sports so I didn’t take it to heart, knowing that my dad can be harsh sometimes. I felt that doing sports was enough for, “doing something with my life.” I had already given the guitar a try, but had given up because, sure enough, it got too hard. I knew he was right it wouldn’t do me any good if I lied to myself. So a few months after track season was over I realized that just doing sports wasn’t enough because I had nothing to do after track except for just sit around and be told to do something. I decided to give guitar one more try, but the bass caught my eye for some reason. I was swaying back and forth trying to decide which one I wanted to stick with. For guitar I thought of  all the cool crazy solos that you hear in classic rock songs that people go crazy over, but with bass I thought of all the funky songs that have sick bass riffs that you can never forget. After a few months of going back and forth between the two, I finally made up my mind and stuck with the bass.

I decided I was going to learn the bass because I loved how sweet it sounded in songs. Luckily my dad had a spare bass lying around that he didn’t use so I had something to practice on. He gave me a book and a little advice and just told me to learn. At first I thought that I couldn’t possibly learn myself because I don’t have the self discipline to practice on my own everyday. I felt as though I needed a teacher so I could have a set time each day to practice. With that mindset it wasn’t long until when it started getting hard I quit once again on the bass. After a few months of being told I was a quitter and telling myself that I was a quitter I said I didn’t want to live life like this. So I picked up the bass again and toughed out through the hard points to prove my dad wrong and because I wanted to do something good for myself. It felt good knowing that my dad noticed my improvement from when I started to now. It actually got easier the more I learned about the instrument, so easy I even started over thinking it. For example, I thought learning the note of each fret was impossibly hard. With 4 strings that each have 24 frets, give or take a few, at first glance that seems impossible, but I found out that I didn’t need to learn each individual fret and that they all went in order which accelerated my learning massively. Some other key moments of when I over thought playing bass was when I learned how scales work and chord progressions. Those two things allowed me to understand how jazz works. People also noticed that I played bass and wanted me in their band. Even though I don’t really listen to the type of music they play I still feel good that I did something all the way through to get noticed by other people that I barely even know.

Overall it feels good to have done something all the way through. It pays out in the end. Although I’m still improving on my playing, but I can at least say I know how to play an instrument without having a single doubt in mind. Not only that, but my dad is proud that I finally did something with my life. I’m proud of myself too because not many people can learn from a book on their own. Even though I’m not great yet at I’ve at least made a good start being it.


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Descriptive Essay, When one door closes another one opens.




Did you ever have your heart set on something that you wanted really bad? Remember that feeling?  That feeling when you had so much hope that you were going to get it but you felt it wasn’t for you? That feeling when you felt like you were so close, you could just reach out and grab it...but then it slipped between your fingers. You didn’t get what you were hoping for. Know that feeling? I do. Maybe it wasn’t meant to happen at that time or maybe not at all. Maybe it wasn’t meant for me, I ponder in those thoughts.

It was a beautiful sunny morning. I’d been excited for this day all week and it  had finally come. There was so much I expected this house to have. I just knew it was going to be the one. The one that my mom and I were finally going to get for us, just us. We headed on our way down there with my mom’s best friend. The real estate agent wasn’t there yet, so we waited. In the meantime, we investigated the outside of the house.

“Wow, this is nice.”, my mom said. The outside of the house had a white picket fence with a latch, followed by a cement pathway that led up to cement stairs, where a white door greeted you. On each side of the cement pathway there was green grass and bushes. Just around the corner of the house there were wooden steps painted brown, that led to a beautiful balcony in the back. I could see tiny lights decorating the walls of it. It must’ve been from the old owners.

“I’m here!” said the loud voice of Emma Jean, the real estate agent. She unlocked the door. We stepped inside a porch first. The floors were wooden brown and the walls had a built in bookshelf. The walls were also wooden and painted green. We walked into the living room first. It was wide with light smooth wooden floors. The crumb ceilings were white and there was a slide-in door that led to the backyard.

I ran upstairs expecting to run into this huge hallway and big rooms. Since the downstairs was big, why not the upstairs? So, I ran upstairs and to my surprise, I stopped on a single square carpeted floor, with two small rooms on each side of me, and right in front of my face was a huge bathroom. That was it. That was the upstairs. My face went from a big smile to a confused stare. My mom came upstairs with the same expression on her face. I looked up at her with a disappointed look and she returned it with the same.

“You can make it work. I like it.” My mom’s friend said. My mom still looked unsure. She pulled me aside in private. “What do you think?” She said. I looked up at her, my face still disappointed, and I shook my head, “No.”

Those were one of many moments when I wished I hadn’t put my whole heart into this house being “the one” for my mom and I. Not only was this a big let down, but it was something that I was hoping and expecting would happen this summer and it didn’t. That didn’t necessarily mean something else wasn’t coming our way, another thing we both were believing and praying for.


“Look, I’m sorry but I just can’t give it to you for this price.” said the car dealer. He had a button-down shirt with a tie. It was neatly tucked into his dress pants.

“Why not? Isn’t it your job to do whatever it takes to make your customers happy? Isn’t that what your logo says?” My mom’s eyes pierced into his. He sat up straight, fixed his tie and said, “Yes, yes it is.”
“Then why can’t I have it for this price?” My mom said calmly. My mom and I had been in the car dealership building for hours. I wasn’t trying to get my hopes up after the last two car dealerships we’ve been too. We left disappointed every time. I still couldn’t help but have some hope left with this one. I always got my hopes up, I always set my heart on something, I could never help it because it’s just who I am. The dealer and my mom continued to go back and forth on what she could get the car for. I sat back, my patience was getting low.
“Ok. Come on Temperance, we’re leaving.” My mom said. Leaving? What? I thought. The look on my face confused. The dealer said nothing. There was nothing he could say, unless he gave in and gave the car to my mom for the price she wanted. I hung my head as we walked out.
“Wait!” The dealer was running towards us. “Look...ok maybe we can make...a deal.” He huffed, out of breath. My mom and I looked at each other with smug smiles on our faces. They did a lot more talking, a lot of negotiating, and a lot of paperwork signing but we came out of there with car keys and big smiles on our faces.
In the first story I was expecting something to happen that didn’t happen and in the second story something happened that I wasn’t expecting to happen. The house wasn’t what my mom and I had expected it to be and it was a little discouraging. Then to our surprise, we got a car that we weren’t even expecting. The significance of both these stories is that when one door closes another one opens. We didn’t get that house because there’s something better out there for us. We walked out of the two car dealerships I mentioned because there was a better car waiting for us at another car dealership. That is what I’m learning every time I feel like a door slammed shut in my face.
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Descriptive Essay (Bryanna Jones)

Guffaws

“J...J-J-J-Jalisa” I said her name like a car trying to stop from sliding on ice.


“ are you trying to say my name?” she laughed.


“I-i-i j-just want-t-ted to ask you someth-th-thing.”


“Wh-wh-wh-what do you wa-wa-wa-want” she impersonated, horribly.


I just wanted to ask what she got for question 1. Now I didn’t even want to ask the question because all the students in Ms. Bates 3rd classroom were laughing hysterically. I looked down in disbelief and began to play with my khaki pleated skirt under the desk. I didn’t understand why my words would not come out. It was as if they were ready to run out my mouth but something was tugging them back in while they were still reaching for my lips.


“Bryanna. Are you done fooling around.” Ms. Bates asked. As she pushed her thin, curly, red bangs out her pale face. I nodded my head yes because I didn't want to humiliate myself any more. My classmates laughed because they thought my speech was a joke, I did too.

It was so hard to talk fluently, and it still is. I do not think anyone understands how frustrating it is trying to get your idea across, that should have taken 10 seconds, but it ends up being three minutes because the words are playing a quick game of tug of war with your tongue. Maybe I am special, but then again there is nothing special about a stutterer except knowing how to remix a sentence without even trying.

Ms. Bates called me to read a paragraph from the passage in the thick, yellow, scholastic book. I quickly gathered myself, and then begin.

“Puf-f-f-ins,”please do not start, I thought. Therefore, I took another deep breath and began again. “Puffins are three species of alcid,” good keep it going I thought.

“Ok, class what do think and aclid is” She interrupted. She is going to trigger my...”Bryanna please continue.”

I looked up at the dark purple banner that exclaimed “Read” it was as if everyone wanted to hear me stutter. Instead of reading, I raised my hand. “Ms.Bates can I go to the bathroom?” I asked, but I already foreshadowed that she was going to give me a resound “no!”

It was so hard to talk fluently, and it still is. I do not think anyone understands how frustrating it is trying to get your idea across, that should have taken 10 seconds, but it ends up being three minutes because the words are playing a quick game of tug of war with your tongue. Maybe I am special, but then again there is nothing special about a stutterer except knowing how to remix a sentence without even trying.


Ms. Bates called me to read a paragraph from the passage in the thick, yellow, scholastic book. I quickly gathered myself, and then begin.


“Puf-f-f-ins,”please do not start, I thought. Therefore, I took another deep breath and began again. “Puffins are three species of alcid,” good keep it going I thought.


“Ok, class what do think and aclid is” She interrupted. She is going to trigger my...”Bryanna please continue.”


I looked up at the dark purple banner that exclaimed “Read” it was as if everyone wanted to hear me stutter. Instead of reading, I raised my hand. “Ms.Bates can I go to the bathroom?” I asked, but I already foreshadowed that she was going to give me a resound “no!”


“Make it quick Bryanna, we’re going to discuss some things that might be on the reading test.” I quickly walked out of the classroom down the hall into the 3 stalled bathroom with Pepto-Bismol tiled walls. Then I opened my mouth wide in front of the mirror to see if there was anything that could indicate my stuttering episodes, there was nothing. My uvula was still hanging freely from the roof of my mouth; my tongue still cradled between teeth; my tonsils still looked like two big boulders creating a path for my food to travel. I did not understand why my words feel like they are fighting to escape the captivities of my orifice. As I walked leisurely to class I practiced some words without tripping over them.


“Ms. Bates.J- Jalisa, Jalisa.Yes.No.” I toke a deep breath between each word, which helped.


“Welcome back to class Bryanna, you took to long in the bathroom.” She said as her black irises and pupils followed me to my seat in her purple mess of a classroom. “Are you ready to read Ms. Jones?”


“Yes,” I said ready to prove to all of peers that I could read clearly. “Which pa-pa-pa-page are we on?”


“285, second paragraph.” The whole class turned to see my next move, which was turning from the title page to the text page. “Everyone know where we are?” she said looking at everyone’s book from the front of the class. “You can begin.”


“Puffins can vary in facial characteristic, but still remain the same color.” I said it. There was not a word trip. As I continued to read I concentrated on trying not to stutter that I forgot how to say simple word like “features” and “family”, they became more like “fatures” and “femelie”, but anything was better than stuttering. When I was finished, Ms. Bates had gotten tired of semi-illiterate third graders reading, so she read the rest herself. While she read, I placed my head in my hands and listened. I did not want read in my head because I sometimes stutter there too. I did not want to follow along because if I tripped on a word I would stay there until I figured it out, then I will be lost in the pages. Therefore, I sat in the navy blue metal chair and kept my eyes on Ms. Bates lips as she read, trying to decipher how she spoke without flaw. Her coffee stained teeth threw me off almost every other sentence; I stopped gazing and looked down at my own book. I read along slowly and steadily, allowing my stuttering to create a rhythm of its own.


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Descriptive Essay Listen or hear

On a summer afternoon I walked into my apartment with a view of my living, dining room/kitchen looking like a jungle. As I walk through the door, I was feeling exhausted from my big day at school . It was back-to-school night. I was dragging my feet.  My dad decided to tell me in his deep voice "Oh you're going to have to move all your things in your room. we are painting the walls tomorrow." After he said that all of these questions ran through my mind. Why are we doing this now? I'm tired, can I go to sleep? oh my god I have homework. Then he added on "we have to move the things in the living room, your room, your brothers room , and last but not less my room." I replied "All this tonight!"

Then I walked into my room looking that my queen size bed, just wanting to throw myself on the bed and taping a nap. But instead I looked that my mother built in closet with a broken door with a mirror. The closet is big it takes one fourth of my room. After look that myself and putting my book bag down on the corner of my room where my window is.  I dragging my feet to the living room about to ask my dad " Can I work on my room while you and mommy work on the living room? We will get done faster ."
"No we all should work on the living room so when that done we can find a place to put y'all things." he replied to me. I thought to myself then we going to be here all night! I have homework and I need to sleep, I’m tired. I took a big breath and said “okkayyy....” My face change as a Cheetah running; but i keep my cool and help out. This always happening when they don’t understand that we can be done faster. I think that most out the time people hear what I’m saying but they don’t listen to what I’m saying. I hate when that happen to me. When  that think they are right all the time. I just want them to see my point of view. I feel to need to say think sometime my idea might help everyone not just your idea. After 5 mins my mom told me to work on my room. I wanted to say I just told dad that but he said no. My dad decided to tell me my mom was right . That I have school tomorrow. I started to laugh because I told my dad this. But they don’t listen to me. I think it because I’m young and they think they are right 90% of the time.

But the thing was that it remind me of when my mother tried to changed how her room. She wanted to me to rotate her bed 90 degrees. I thought to myself I’m going to die. The bed weighted like a truck. That day I want to stay in my room. But She keep call my name like a song “La La La La La La”. She didn’t think about how she going to open her closet; or where she going to put her T.V. Her bed was bigger than my room. I started to tell her that it would not work (but everyone know that it going to be a verbal argument).  
“Mom the bed is not going to fit when I rotate it because you're not going to get into your closet. I don’t think this is a good idea maybe you should leave it how it is.”  I told my mom. She looked that me “You're just saying that because you don’t want to move it.”  She relied
“ I would a meant that I don’t want to more it but if I more the bed it’s really not going to fit and If I rotate it you can’t tell me that we should move it back! I not going to do all of that .” I said nicely
“Well ok then when your dad comes he going to more it how I want it and I will see with my eyes if it fit or not.” She said looking that me like I’m just saying it because I don’t want to do it. But I really was telling the truth. Then thought I don’t want to do something I will always tell you the truth about the problem you have.
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Descriptive Essay, Half as Long Twice as Bright

“Dude, have you no morals?” Tiffany whined.

“Morals? What’s that.” I teased.

“Please hurry, your crotch is in my face.” Alex complained as I finally hauled myself atop the one story roof using my brother Alex as a step ladder.



It was a typical Summer day, with a clear blue sky that you could get lost staring up at, sun cranked up on 10, giving everything a heavenly glow, kids screaming, birds chirping a perfect day to laze about and waste away the day doing nothing at all, or so I thought. But then, came the boredom, it snuck into my house, creeped into my room, slithered it’s way into my bed, and set into my bones. It woke me, a 15 year old kid with a thing for getting into trouble, out of a peaceful dream of jetpack kittens and squirrels with eye lasers fighting over muffins. Looking around my cluttered room of chinese takeout and countless half full bottles of water it took me a moment to register that I was still clutching my playstation controller while my character on screen sat idle fidgeting impatiently through the night, waiting for me to steer him onwards to fantastical adventures. As I got up to give the console some much needed rest after staying on all night I stumbled over my older brother Alex, who was buried beneath a combination of clothes covers. The moments interruption gave me enough time to forget completely what I got up for in the first place , and following a very well trodden path through the hazards of my room from my bed to the door, I staggered my way to the bathroom instead. Yup,  just another summer morning.



One shower and two bowls of frosted flakes later I was lounging on the couch polishing off my third bowl of cereal watching Adventure Time reruns waiting for something spectacular to happen that would save me from my lethargic lifestyle I had taken up over the summer when Alex shuffled into the living room with sleep and exhaustion graffitied all over him. “Take your phone man, its been ringing for like 5 goddamn hours” with the flick of a wrist he threw it at me, caught off guard I watched it sail right into my milky bowl of frosted flakes. “Score!” Alex called over his shoulder as he walked off to the bathroom. In a panic I quickly scooped my phone out of its soon to be milky grave, and looked at the neglected notifications begging for my attention. Four missed calls and two unread text. Just as I was getting ready to read my waiting text another call popped up. It was Tiffany calling for what I assumed  was the fifth time, holding my phone at a distance because it was still wet from milk I answered the call. She was talking before the connection was even made , when i answered it was as if she were in the middle of a conversation with me “ . . . so now I’m on my way to your house so get dressed ya bum, kay thanks bye” Click. Being de-sanitized to her hyperactiveness at this point nonchalance, I wiped the phone off on my pants, threw it back down on the couch and went back to watching the misadventures of Finn and Jake knowing that things were about to get loud with Tiffany on her way.
Just like clockwork Tiffany came exploding through the door. Tiffany’s a petite girl being about 5” 4’ her head is adorned with shoulder length black hair that compliments her caramel colored skin with the barest hint of a pout on her lips she always seems to be giggling to herself, smiling to whatever she may be seeing in her head. With soft curves on her thin frame she bounces around with a grace of a ballerina and practically  radiates smiles, rainbows, and energy. Sometimes I think she lives life in fast-forward. Again she was talking as if we were having a conversation prior to her invading my house.

“ . . . cause then we wouldn’t have anything to do so I came over as fast as i can.” she babbled on

“You can’t keep coming in without knocking like you live here, I’m afraid I’ll be forced to call the police next time.”

“and you can’t keep leaving your door unlocked, thats a safety hazard mister.” She said decisively

I was preparing a witty retort when I realized she had me beat, either that or I was too lazy to carry on this losing verbal battle.
“So what brings you here?” I said quickly changing the subject not wanting to dwell on my lost
“Didn’t I tell you, it’s summer let’s go wreak havoc on the town come on get up get up.”
She said emphasizing her point by try to pull me off the couch, but I was a beached whale. Giving up she asked “Where’s Alex” Still watching tv I said “In his room doing his morning ritual of smashing baby seals, so don’t disturb--” with those final words I turned my attention back towards Tiffany only to realize she was already gone. “him. . .”

“Call the asylum Charles, Tiffany escaped again.”

“Har Har, I should be calling the cops on you, did you see the state of your room? I thought you guys were gonna clean up after the party. I told you i should have stayed where’s mom I need to say hi to her. Hey you think . . .”
On and on she went but at this point I learned to tune her out because if you listened all the time, I’m pretty sure your ears would explode from the sheer amount of things she says.
“Dude what are you doing still sitting there, get dressed, we have summer memories to makes.”
The house was trashed and my favorite tv show was going off, with the stale heated air suffocating me I decided that I didn’t have anything to lose by going outside
I went back to my room and picked up the first outfit that happen to be on the floor before me. I ending up rockin’ out in my purple skinnies, purple and grey vans, grey shirt, and my favorite Decepticons snapback (swag).
Stepping out of my room I turned to Alex and Tiffany and, breaking the dramatic silence as we quitely assessed one anothers outfits, I said, “In the words of Trey Songz himself ‘Leggo.’”



To this day I don’t know what lead us to the church. Maybe it was the way it demanded attention amongst the tiny row homes of Southwest, or maybe it was simply the big cheese himself beckoning us to his flock whatever the case one uneventful Summer me, Alex and Tiffany found ourselves standing in the shadow of this sleeping giant with a most perplexing question. The church looms over 56th and Chester and is long abandoned, it’s a old style cathedral church so its grey brick by brick design looks more like Dracula’s castle than a place for religion. It has an  eerie feel to it being the tallest structure surrounded by row-homes and corner stores and you can tell it has history just by looking at it. It has one lone bell tower that seems to piece the heaven’s itself and i gigantic faded red mahogony door that is impossibly huge for anything short of a giant to make use of. Upon closer inspection a tinier door is cut out of if making the larger one more for show than convience. The plan was easy, que spy music, we would circle around to the low roof around back of the church. Alex, being the strongest, would lift me, being the lightest/ I called dibs, onto the roof, from there I would slip in one of the many windows and open the door from the inside. Simple.




Let’s take a step back, ok? Let’s address the elephant in the room. Here we have 3 teens breaking into an abandoned church, just for the hell of it. Not only does this sound like the setting for a cheesy horror film, but it also just sounds wrong on paper. People may think that because we’re breaking into a house of holiness that were desecrating his almighty sanctuary, but i disagree, we aren’t being deviants, we aren’t spitting in the face of religion we’re simply doing it because we’re young and reckless. We have a saying my friends and I and its half as long, twice as bright. I want no regrets when I get older, I don’t want any ‘what if’s in my retirement I’ll do it all now and let God or whoever’s up there waiting for me sort it all out for me, but I won’t let doubts and worries hold me back from having a good time. Memories aren’t waiting to be stumbled upon, you have to go out and make them. Live life to the fullest and disregard everybody else, because at the end of the day you’re all you got in this world. Anyways, enough of that back to the task at hand.




4 attempts later and I had successfully gotten on the roof. Surprisingly it was pretty clustered, frisbees and nerf footballs from games that would be never finished. A baseball here some shoes there, reminded me of our room and i felt right at home. “Before my bedtime please.” Alex yelled from below, reminding me of my mission. I eyed the stain glass window, it was easily 3 times as high as me, square at the bottom, rounded off at the top much like a archway. On it, it showed Jesus arms out eyes clothes looking down as if deep in thought behind him was a shining light and he seemed to be coming out of it above his bowed head along the arch were the words “All are welcome, Come in” Well there was our invitation at this point being on the roof where the sun was baking all the debris like cookies in a oven I wanted to get in right away luckily for me the stain glass had a smaller push out window at the bottom that i suppose they used when the heat got to be to much. I reached down for the silver handle and gave it a pull . . . then a push. None of which opened the thing frustrated or maybe just heat crazed I lashed out and kicked it, in it’s self-defense a cloud of ancient dust plumed up and attacked my face going straight for my throat and eyes. After much hacking and cough i triumphed over the evil dust  spirit and regaining my composure I looked down and to my surprise the window was open ever so slightly. So I finished the job and pushed with all my might against the cold long forgotten glass caking my hands in dust and grime. “Hey I got it open!” I reported to the wolf pack eagerly waiting below for me to open the door. “Are you telling me this whole time you weren’t even inside?” Alex said with genuine shock in his voice. I ignored the slew of snide comments and slipped inside.




The church was unlike anything I’d ever seen before. I mean I’ve been to plenty of churches in my day but none were as majestic as this one. The absence of people allowed to me to really take the how huge the place really was. I felt like an ant on a basketball court in comparison, The silence was deafening, my footsteps echoed so loudly that I made a conscious effort to make less noise as to not disturb the silence  the main voyeur had stained glass windows all along the room so even though there was no electricity the room was bright from sunlight alone, the floor was all marble, with a dusty burgundy  carpet running between the clustered pews which were split evenly down the middle. The ceiling was what seemed like miles above me with a detailed portrait of what i suppose was the garden of eden where it showed lions and elephants all living in harmony, it was all a lot to take in and i felt like an intruder in this garden of eden of its very own.



Looking around I spotted the the grand faded red doors, though it was deteriorating before my very eyes, it clearly stood the test of time as it was the only barrier stopping my ragtag band of friends from seizing our new castle. I quickly spotted the culprit of our trouble, a simple bolt lock  running through a rusted iron loop keeping the doors from opening. With some effort I managed to undue the last guardian of the abandoned church and swung the ancient door open. I shielded my eyes from the blinding light of outside. Suddenly, the outside world was ugly to me, it was too bright, too loud, too chaotic, looking back inside the quite church untouched by what seemed like man and time, I felt like i was betraying my new silent friend, i felt like i was about to destroy a very delicate world. I had thoughts about closing the door and living in it’s peaceful silence forever. . . nah who am i kidding, forevers a long time and I’m only 15, shaking off what seemed like hypnoses from the church itself I called over Alex and Tiffany and couldn’t help but laugh at their expressions as their mouths hung in disbelief at our new playground.

“Can you say Halloween party?” Alex said.
“Hell yea . . .”
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Descriptive Essay: "A Lesson Learned"

I smiled but only to hide what I truly felt inside. I was over my girlfriend’s house glad to escape the enclosure of my small spaced room. In her kitchen, about to eat the chinese food I bought I was happy to be with her. It has been a while since I’ve been over house to just hang out. Plus, I love seeing her little sisters smiles glow as we play together sometimes. But even with that joy and space to breath there was still that feeling I had inside boiling inside of me. It was my dad...

(Phone rings) “Hi dad!” “Hi sweetheart” “Are you still coming tomorrow?” “About tomorrow turns out I’m not going to be able to make it.” “Why not? What happened?” “My boss just called and said he needs me for tomorrow. But I promise I’ll see you another time, ok?” “Ok. I understand.” (Dead silence) “Mom’s calling me so we’ll talk later.” “Alright, I’m really sorry mama.” “Ok. Bye.” “Bye sweetheart” (Hangs  up) That was the dark cloud that rained over my parade yesterday afternoon. Its not like this was the first time I was “stood up” by him. But this time he promised me we’d hang out today. It was suppose to be our day yet I’m here instead. Don’t get me wrong I love Yourcenar and being with her but the disappointment that stirred up in my belly like a pot of boiling water was overwhelming. Almost every thought in my mind that involved what me, her, and what we could do today was put on hold. I looked down at my white rice shrimp broccoli delight and thought of what could’ve been, the fun we could’ve had, and the new memories we could’ve made if he’d just came...

But of course work is important too. I love my dad and the fact that he couldn’t take one day of work off to spend time with his own flesh and blood spent a piercing pain through my spine. After a while I realized it wasn’t just disappointment stirring up in my stomach it was hunger too. As I continued to chowed down trying to forget the sadness within me, Yourcenar came to the kitchen to keep me company, went into her fridge, turned & gave me that face. “So we have water, lemonade, milk, apple juice, fruit punch and... ginger ale. Choose your pick!” she said. I simply replied as always “ Well... um no, no, no, no, no, ohh maybe, NO!” This is a regular routine that happens every time I go to her house that I love never changes. She tries to offer me something to eat or drink and I deny all she has as much as I can until she forces it upon me. After rejecting almost every drink the last one that she brought out and suggested sparkled as I stared. Words Mata Goya written on it. I couldn’t help but muffle the word that would let her know she found my weakness “Eh, ok” I said under my breath “Finally!” Yourcenar replied. Pleased with herself she placed the drink right next to my plate of wonders and left me in the kitchen to drink it. I remember the last time I drank malta goya...

Staring at the drink in my mind I took a step back into time. Back to when I was 10 years of age. Shutting my eyes suddenly I was back in my room (which seemed much bigger at the time). The sound of their high and low pitch laughter, thundering in my head, taunted me. Feeling left out all by myself in my room while the grown ups laugh and have fun downstairs. “When will I be able to laugh so loud that I couldn’t care less if I was heard all the way from Arizona and have a never ending huge smile across my face?” I thought. “That good warm feeling inside? Its like getting a free ice cream with any toppings of your choice to cool you down on a hot sunny day! A feeling that I crave for!” With all these thoughts bouncing in and out of my young mind I slowly escaped from my big room of what felt to be hopeless dreams and warm comfort, tiptoed my way down the burgundy soft carpet stairs pass the living room where the adults have drinks in their hands watching t.v. smiling, through the dining room with a huge wooden table with snacks of chips dip, cookies and such on it, into the kitchen. Using that worned out look on my face that says “I’m so thirsty” on my parents to go downstairs instead of sleeping in bed I looked around the kitchen. “Looks like any ordinary kitchen you see on T.V. except its not all white” I think to myself.

My eyes holt to a stop at the master of it all. Our black fridge, one who carries all our the wonders that satisfies our hunger and thirst and covered with pictures and stickers that remind us of the good times we had. Opening it there’s not much but the usual plain boring undesirable food. Then I sigh for I feared this would be a long night that I would have to endure. But just then something yellow hiding behind the leftover lasagna. So I move the white colorful heavy bowl with the delicious cold smell of my favorite food over and to my surprise find just the thing I needed. Malta Goya! A pack of six small mini dark brown bottle filled with this fizzy, most satisfying, taste-bud tingling, dark brown soda, with a yellow label around the lower center of the bottle that says malta goya in big bold white letters with a big blue oval behind it. Malta Goya never ceases to disappoint me at the time. But I’m much older now and more mature to handle situations that include disappointment. As I traveled back into the kitchen I was in I took a sip of the drink hoping things could be easier like when I was 10 but to my failure all it did was allow my tears of sorrow to fall before my eyes. Making no eye contact I rushed my way into the bathroom. It was like a never ending river; my tears. I was shocked to see that i would burst at my friends house but i guess i couldn’t hold it any longer. Silently crying all i could think about was the excitement i felt when he told me he’d come. I should’ve known not to get  my hopes up..

But slowly I was realizing something. Of course disappointment is not a good feeling at all. Its like putting your trust into someone and the next moment watching them purposely throw it in the trash like it meant nothing at all. About dealing with such a feeling I personally like to first question myself, vent, and then forget about it. I like to question why such a person would do that? Was it my fault or did I do something wrong? Sooner or later I realized that you can’t completely trust anyone in this earth except for GOD. If I were to rely and trust in only him I would be alright. I like to put the blame on me (unless it really isn’t my fault) as much as possible because then nobody would get hurt from my anger except for me. I like to find out the mistakes and see what I did wrong so maybe just maybe next time I won’t encounter such a problem again. I like to vent as in cry or shout or scream or block the world out with my music to express how I feel. I like to forget about all of it and look on into the future for that is what should have all of my worries. I hate to waste my time thinking about something that happened a long time ago and allow it to take away my happiness. I realized that dealing with disappointment is a hard thing to do and that even with all the emotions that feel bubbling inside of you sometimes even in the worst situations all you have to do is forget about the stress, let go of the anger, JUST BREATH and let everything else fall into place.

So I got up, looked in the mirror, and washed my face. Allowing the cool waters to wash away my tears and drain my sorrow. Although I was still sad I wasn’t going to let it ruin my day with my best friend. As I opened the door with that thought in my head to my surprise she was there only to open her arms and give me a big hug that lifted my spirit a bit. It let me know that she understood and wanted to help...

Disappointment is a feeling we all go through and from my experience I can say that it’s not all that bad. Throughout my life I have gone through many experiences like this and it has taught a life learned lesson. Which is to not always put your trust on people and if so always have a back up plan. Which I now always do. I realized that we are humans and make many mistakes; we aren’t perfect. I feel like the experience of disappointment has taught me more about independence and being self-sufficient. I also feel like going through disappointment is a good thing in a way because without going through the bad you wouldn’t be able to learn from your mistakes, learn a life learned lesson and make sure your future is brighter because of what you learned.


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Descriptive Essay: RubyJane Anderson

9/19/12

Descriptive Scene

I can hear the anxious chitter chatter of everyone around me. Its a sold out show, so the house is packed. I can feel the hot breath of strangers on my neck, its one of the disgusting yet cool things about going to shows, being so close to strangers, the unbearable heat. Everyone shares a bond, the love of an artist.

Even though I am happy to be here, I feel so uncomfortable, like everyone is staring at me. I am self conscious, I feel like a giant. Standing at 5 foot 10, I tower over most of the other women in the audience. Everywhere I go I stick out like a sore thumb. I never felt comfortable in my own skin.

I have always been tall. I can remember being in second grade and having to stand in the back of the line because I was tallest, which sucked because I never go to be line leader. Its actually pretty embarrassing to have guys have to look up at you to talk to you. Something about that just felt so unpretty.


My friend Maris nudges me, interrupting my thoughts.

“Somethings happening!”


I have always been tall. I can remember being in second grade and having to stand in the back of the line because I was tallest, which sucked because I never go to be line leader. Its actually pretty embarrassing to have guys have to look up at you to talk to you. Something about that just feels so unpretty.  

Suddenly, the lights go out. A wave of silence rolls over the crowd.


We are at the Electric Factory, the largest “small venue” in Philly. Its standing-room only, but there is a balcony with a bar that only people of drinking age can go. The people standing on the balcony are all drunk and happy. They are all jumping around so much, I’m fearful that the balcony will collapse.


The lights are still out, people start chattering again, thinking its a glitch in the lighting or sound system. Suddenly, a single white spotlight illuminates a figure dressed in a brown robe that appears to be made from the same material as a burlap sack. People don’t notice it at first, but when everyone realizes what is happening, they are quiet immediately. The figure has on a mask that covers his entire head. It looks like a “Wild Thing” from Maurice Sendaks novel of the same title. It has a long, crooked nose and a furry mane.


Slowly, the robed figure walks across the stage, each step placed cautiously and purposefully. It stops at the right corner, turning to face the audience and begins raising his hands very slowly. His fingers are brown, long, thick, and crooked, somewhat resembling branches of a tree. On the tips of each finger is a bright white laser, the light of which illuminates the back wall of the venue.


I was hypnotized by this being. There was something so incredibly enchanting about the way it moved. I completely lost myself in its face, then snapped back into reality. I realized that I was standing on my tippy-toes and was instantly mortified. Everyone must have been staring at me! I quickly corrected my posture to my usual slouch (if I slouched just right, I could be 5’8) and looked around, sure that everyone would be staring at me and mocking me to their friends. But, as I turned my head, I saw that everyone was just as I was a few moments earlier, completely lost in themselves. It was then, right at that moment, when I realized that everyone was way too caught up with themselves to really care about what I was doing.


This completely shocked me. If no one was looking at me now, were they looking at me when I walked down the street? I am an idiot. Was I so vain that I thought that everyone was always caught up in how I looked that is was the center of their mine.

Yes, I was that vain. But I am not anymore.

I am not the center of everyone’s universe. In fact, I am perhaps but a tiny blip on their radar, a drop of water in their ocean, a single cell in their anatomy. If I am nothing to these strangers, why did I care so vastly what they thought of me?


I didn’t.

I didn’t care what these strangers thought of me. Everything that I had been afraid of, all the nights spent perfecting my slouch in the mirror, avoiding heels like the plague, and cursing my parents for “tall-genes” was not to avoid judgement from others, it was to deny who I am from myself.



I am Ruby Jane Anderson, I am 5 foot 10 inches, I am tall and I am proud.


In order to find myself in this one moment, I had to first lose myself.


It continues to lift its hands. As it does this, the music gradually gets louder and louder, until I can no longer hear my insecurities tormenting me.


The lights go off and the robed figure disappears.
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Descriptive Essay: Defying Conformity

Defying Conformity

Coming from an illiterate past is something to not be ashamed of, but to embrace as an individual, because you know you can make a difference by being the opposite of what you have been exposed to. I realized from a very young age that I wanted to be a well educated person and a well spoken person. I knew that I had to be presentable in life. With the way job interviews are ran and the way society judges, you must have a good enough vocabulary to write an email to your boss. Look at yourself in the mirror and think about the first impression you give off to others when you speak. If you have to think negatively about it, then there is something that can be improved.


    My father’s parents, who were both born and raised in the heart of the Middle East, Syria, only spoke a couple of English words. My father has lived in two foreign countries, learned two different languages at the same time, and has seen the side of illiteracy. Both of his parents were unable to read or write English when they arrived to the United States of America. My father decided to take English courses at Temple when he arrived, which improved his vocabulary immensely. He was then able to speak to strangers, speak to his boss, and speak to himself in English. His parents continued to speak in their native tongue, but my dad progressed and rose above the expectations as he learned his new national language.


    I have a neighbor named Pat. Pat was a huge help in the making of my vocabulary. She always spoke to me as if I was an adult. Pat, who never underestimated me and who always pushed me to greater things, would express her feelings towards things in a professional manner. She set an example for me as I was growing. She taught me how to enunciate my words when I speak and always make sure I am using words correctly in a sentence, statement, or phrase. Every night, after I arrived home from sixth grade, Pat would assist me in the completion of my spelling homework. She would yell, “THAT’S NOT A SENTENCE!” And I would reply with a, “*sigh* okay, but I don’t know how to make a sentence for this word.” “Well, I don’t know what else to do except send you into the kitchen until you figure one out.” This was hell. This was something I respectfully called The Hour of Hell.


    Both of these people are huge influences, but the biggest thing that made push even harder than I already was, were the people in school. You wouldn’t believe the things I would hear come out of some of my classmates mouths’. It was as if they were raised by wolves. The vocabulary and sentence structure was horrific and something I can explain no further, because it was just that bad.


    But it made me look deeper and further into the future. At times, I was unable to think, incapable of speaking, and unable to write a single word down on my page. I was frustrated and annoyed. There were many nights where I actually cried because I thought I would turn out like my classmates if I didn’t learn to speak correctly. But I got through it because I knew I had to.


One of biggest struggles I had while learning to speak correctly, was getting out of the habit of saying “like” every five words. “Like, I wonder what it would be like, if like, I didn’t know how to, like, speak? Like, you know?” That would be a sentence I would have said or at least something like that. I know many people who say the word “like” three or four times in one sentence. I say to them, “Was it like or was it?” That’s something that was said to me on a daily basis, up until I dropped the habit.


The National School Project is an organization that helps students express their individuality. They are responsible for creating the book called “Young American Poetry Digest.” A couple of years ago I entered a contest, that was run by the National School Project, to see if I could get the chance to have one my poems published in their book. I was finally confident enough to share my pieces of writing. So, I sent in about eight. A few months went by and I finally got the letter from them. I stood in my doorway for a minute thinking to myself “whether I’m in or not, I’m still a winner.” Slowly, I started to tear open the white envelope. I took out the letter, unfolded it and read the first word of the paragraph. “Congratulations...” You can imagine my excitement. The feeling of success was erupting in my body.


    Defying conformity can really change the  course of your life. My dad decided to take the road not taken. He showed me what is possible and what you can achieve with a little elbow grease. As I advance through my career, I become more aware of what the future holds for me. Education is the key to success and without literacy, you will never be able to achieve the ultimate goal.


Salty sea air

blows against the brittle body

sea crystals sticking

- Rahed Albarouki
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