Boys and Girls Ultimate: State Championships
Teams must qualify.
I have no choice but to flashback to that night every time I hear that song. It was about 1 in the morning. I was in a deep slumber on my twin bed, head in the direction of the door instead of my window when I awake to that dreaded bright yellow hallway light and every curse word ever created. It was my mother’s voice. “What is happening?”, I whisper. No church-going woman would curse like that. My eyes throbbed, light seeping in from the cracks of my bedroom door and ears ached from the extreme decibels suddenly replacing the usual silence. Still, I heard the quiet whisper of water running from the bathroom. It soon disappeared. A door slowly opens. I begin to hear my mother screaming at my father. “Is this real?”, I begin to question if I am still dreaming but I quickly accept that this is all too real. I’ve never heard them have an argument like that before, but of course it was always plausible. I was too afraid and confused to open my bedroom’s door. So my mom slammed it open for me. “Get dressed, we’re leaving!” I did as I was told. My limp arms picked up a pair of jeans and slipped them on. I pulled a hoodie over my pajama tee. I dragged my feet across the hallway, my little eight year old body stumbled down the stairs, then out the front door. It was a cold October night. I felt spotlightted by the streetlights as I walked across the street to the little purple Subaru. My brothers accompanied me in the car. The look on my brother Jared’s face was irritated and confused, just like mine. When I looked at my oldest brother, Christian’s face, he looked very calm, sleepy, but calm. Like he knew something we didn’t know. And here is when the song comes in.
4 years later and things were only going to get worse. On a night in December of 2009, my dad told my brothers and me to get ready because he was going to pick us up to spend some time with us. This seemed slightly odd because my dad very rarely took us out anywhere. But he didn’t live with us at the time so I understood. We walked to the black Lexus across the street and got in. There was a woman in the passenger’s seat. “This is my friend Terri.”, my dad says to the three of us and like the programmed-polite kids we were, we responded with a “Hello” and the car took off. I listened to the two adults make small talk and my mind wandered to be more consumed by where we were going than contemplating who this lady was. My father had hundreds of friends so I literally had no suspicion. We stopped at Little Caesar's pizza restaurant and got our dinner. Then we rode to my Aunt’s house who was a friend of Terri and we ate pizza, watched some terrible TV, overall it was boring and I just wanted to go home.
“My black is beautiful” Now that I’m 15 i know that now. You think I got it easy I don't ,if you was there in second grade when they could tease me you would know exactly how I felt. This is my story.
It was 7:00 am , my mom came in my room and woke me up for the first day of school. “ Ashley , its 7 o’ clock get up its time for school!” she said. I woke up about five mins. Later walked slowly like a zombie to the bathroom. I was so sleepy ! 7 o’ clock came fast! I turned on the shower and let the water run. I grabbed my pink rag from the rack and the pink dove soap from the soap dish and hoped in the shower. After i got finshed washing up , I went to my room and started to get dress. It was the first day of second grade i was so hype and excited and of course i wanted to look nice. My mom brought my freshly ironed navy blue pants with the cress in them ,my fresh white 2 button short sleeve uniform shirt my navy blue sweater , my white uniform socks and my playless black mary janes to me. As I was getting dress I smelled this lovely aroma , it smell so good , it was my breakfast, it was about 7:45am I went down stairs to the kitchen to eat breakfast. My mom made me some waffles. As I finshed at breakfast i grabed my bratz bookbag and walked to school with my mom. It was 8:15 and I was standing in line with the other kids , waiting for our teacher to come out.
When we finally got in the class , we had assigned seats I had to sit with Marvin KC , Aarin and Miah they made my life I living hell. Who knew that 4 little second graders where this much trouble. When I first sat down Aarin whispered and said “Why is she so black” , I guess she thought I didnt hear it. I didnt pay it no mind at first but than more mean stuff keep coming , not just from the girls but from the boys too. KC said “Ashley is black as the street” everyone laughed. At first I was chillen , didnt pay it no mind but when mean things are keep coming at you what do you do? I thought to my self why am i so dark , why do i have a gap in my teeth , why am I so little , why am I so skinny everything negative rushed to my head. I didn't understand why God made me this way. I always asked myself why did God create me , did he create me to be the laughing stock of the whole class.I didnt love myself for who I really was. i wanted to be light skin because majority of my class mates was , not saying i’m a follower but I justed wanted the attacks to stop! I told my mom , what they said about me she said “ Baby , dont worry you are beautiful”. I didn't feel like it though. I felt hurt , I was confused. I use to get teased everyday , but now I know who I am. I know why god put me on this earth. I’m me ! Nobody can take it anyway from me. I live in the centry where being dark is not ugly but its beautiful! I dont have to feel like i dont belong. I feel comfortable in my own skin. Im fine how i am. So what if I’m darkskin , I rather have color than none at all! I learned alot from what Miah , Marvin ,KC and Aarin told me , back than it hurted but know I can just sit back and laugh , because I know my black is beautiful!!
Express Yourself. It may be a Madonna Song, but what does it actually mean. I tried to express myself but nothing seemed to come out. Nothing seemed to flow as swift as painting. Just the feeling of dipping a dense ½ inch paintbrush into a new ounce of Golden Acrylics in Mars Black and sliding it across a clean woven canvas. It relieves me from the stress growing inside of me, physically and emotionally. I had a bad day. I walked in my room. My paint brush and oil paints were waiting for me. A blank canvas stood in front of me, waiting to be blasted with color and frustration. I picked up a filbert brush and dipped it in red. Stroke after stroke, I felt like I was gaining freedom. The feeling of accomplishment. The feeling of having a place in the world. But I guess it wasn’t enough. It was never enough.
It was time for school. Like alway, the same routine. At 7:45 am, I arrived at my destination, Feltonville School Of Arts And Sciences. Don’t let the name fool you. It has nothing to do with the arts, but one program. I never understood why we ended up in this city. It was harder than it looked. Like thinking you had everything in the bag for a math test, but when the math test comes every single bit of smartness and knowledge was lost in the sauce. I hopped off the bus and stop as I saw the “cool kids” staring at me. I never understood why they we called the “cool kids.” They were just as normal as the other kids were. I gripped my paintings in my sweaty hands. As I started to walk closer to the building, they came closer. “Oh everybody look, there’s the faggot.” I turned and asked if they were talking to me.
“Yeah bitch, if you’re the only faggot in this yard. .” I wondered if they were actually talking to me. I’m not a faggot. Was this a joke? Was I being punked? I prayed for a “yes”. But God never answered. It was really life. I couldn’t escape. I couldn’t erase the stroke of paint disabling the painting. This was it.
“Where the fuck are you going.”
“What kind of gay shit are you painting?” Negativity and profanity was thrown back and forth until a punch flew through the air. I hit me in the stomach like a bad casserole made from your aunt. Anger flushed through my body. I wanted to leave this world as everybody thought I was. Gay. After they were done trying to make blood come out of every hole possible, I rushed home. 3 blocks of public humiliation away.
I was at home now. Words of hatred flew in and out of my mind. As soon as their faces floated in my mind, I lost it. I unlocked my bedroom door and ran straight to my bathroom. I locked the door and sat in the bathtub. Tears poured down my face. I sat there, feeling dead. Having no reason for me to be alive at this very moment. The Devil had me in his hands. I tipped my head over the bathtub edge and found a blade. I thought, “is this really worth it?” My arm reached for the blade and caught it. I glared it.
“Will this do me any good? Will it take the pain away?” I let my sorrow guide the blade to my wrist. My sorrow and despair dragged the blade across my wrist, leaving behind a trail of blood. Cut after cut after cut, I felt I was at the most glorious moment of my life. The way the “cool kids” would want me. To be in pain, to lose myself in all the negativity. After the last cut, and let my arm hand and let the blade wiggle its way out my fingertips. Blood was drawn from my body and into the puddle on the tiles.“I am complete.” I closed my eyes. In needed a canvas, now.
The long afternoon had finally dragged on, it was a sticky humid summer day blazing above the sky. I was in the van, while my mom was driving, my cousin in the passenger seat with my siblings in the back. I was also in the back of the car next to my youngest sister while spacing out through the windows. I didn’t know where we were going so I looked through the blind shades. Then I turned and looked away trying to listen the soft radio music. My cousin and my mom was talking and my siblings were playing.I was in the car for eight minutes, still wondering about moving. I remember months ago, when my father bragged to my mom’s friends, about how he treated his family well. He said “I came here to search for a house for my family.” We’ve been keeping his words for couple months by now. Time continued to jump forward and still there were no answers. The disappointment on my face grew darker. I still had hope in him because he is my father and we forgive him eventually. Then the memories cut into the reality.
All this time I kept my hopes up for nothing where he brags about the wonderful things for my siblings and I. Inside of me, I was hurt. It was pain. My chest turned upside down. I thought I could believe him, but I couldn’t trust him again. The car became dull as the night sky. No one talked nor make a creek sound. I just stared through the windows, when my mind was completely emptied, trying to keep my temper low.The relationship between my family members became worst because no one kept their words. I was acting foolish earlier but, I couldn’t keep the pain inside me. It changed me after what just happened. Sometimes people convince me with their words and I would easily fall for them. I don’t know who I can trust. There are times when I needed someone to talk to. I would just talk to my cousins and sometimes I feel better. Why can’t I have a better life? I can’t have a perfect life because there are ups and downs when there are full of lies happening. I just needed to be wiser so no one can hurt my feelings again. Since I am becoming more older, I learned to be more wiser. I will continue on the path in listening to their words and think about how I can trust their words . I will never fall into the traps again when I learned my lessons.
“Oh man that doesn’t feel good.” That’s what I was thinking after making a great catch where I reached out near my foot to make what’s called a “shoestring catch.” I came off the shady baseball field, overlooked by the many trees on that dark afternoon. “Why does my foot hurt so much? It’s mostly my toe.” I was thinking. I came in limping and wincing in pain as if someone just stabbed the side of my foot multiple times.
As I went to sit down on the bench, my grandfather asked me what was wrong and I said “My toe hurts a lot. And part of my foot.”
He said, “Don’t give into the pain.”
I replied, “I’m not, but my foot hurts like a mug.”
Afterwards, I just sat there rubbing my foot hoping it would nurse it back to normal but it didn’t work. I then went into the field limping and cursing my foot under my breath. I played the entire game limping and fighting through the pain, so I could try to help my team. After the game we had lost by 5 points and I was upset because it was a very winnable game. My mind was cluttered with thoughts of how we could have won and my thought process snapped with every step I took as the pain really set in. I could barely walk now as I headed to the truck to give my teammate a ride home. I went to sleep that night trying to get ready for a full day of pain and suffering.
This was the stupidest thing I’ve done so far in my life. That kept going through my mind as I was constantly walking and stopping to rest and massage my throbbing foot. I thought I wasn’t going to be able to make it home if my foot didn’t stop hurting. I felt like there was a 1 ton weight just sitting on my entire foot. I had a playoff baseball game in 4 days and I was in no condition to play, but I didn’t care. I wasn’t going to miss my 1st high school playoff game. Even if we lost, at least I was there. My parents said, “Soak your foot in epsom salt and you will be just fine.” But I was thinking, “Put yourself in my place, then lets see if all I need is epsom salt.” When I got home that night I slowly limped over to the bathroom to fill the blue tub with water to soak my foot in epsom salt. As I lay down on my bed my head began to throb as I wondered whether or not I would be able to play come Monday afternoon
Over that weekend I tried to stay off my foot as much as I could, but of course I couldn’t since neither my family nor I realized the excruciating pain I was going through. My parents had me doing work over the weekend; I helped clean the house and the front lawn. As I was getting the push broom out of the shed a shovel fell over and landed on my toe. I thought it was over for me. I hopped around the yard yelling and stopping myself from cursing the shovel for what it just did to me. I sat down and felt my foot which was throbbing very fast. The amount of pain I feeling was equal to someone cutting of my toe. Afterwards I hopped as fast as I could up the steps and into the house so I could ice my foot and rest up to finish cleaning the yard. I finished cleaning the yard 2 hours later with ice on my foot. I shivered the whole time and I couldn’t feel my foot after 15 min. of having it on. Later that night, I soaked my foot in epsom salt again, which didn’t help but my parents insisted. I went to bed that night ready to just give up on playing in the playoff game, but in my mind I would have seemed like a punk. So hurt foot and all, I wasn’t going to give up.
Monday finally came and I woke up. I had a slight headache and my eyes were kinda blurry. I got out of bed and stopped myself from yelling and waking everyone up as I put pressure on my foot. I tried my best to walk to the bathroom supporting myself on the walls. I thought to myself hopefully I will be able to make it through the day. I told myself that after the season I would go to the doctor to see what was wrong with me. I never complained about my injury as much as most people would think. I never even asked to stay home from school or miss a baseball game. When I got to school, I was greeted by the warm welcoming of walking up the stairs to the 3rd floor. In a few hours we would be leaving for the bus to take us to the baseball field. When 1:30 finally hit and it was time for us to leave, the moment of truth awaited me.
As we slowly walked off of the bus to see what the field was like, I sighed with relief because I noticed my limp wasn’t as bad as before. We started our routine warm ups, stretching our bodies, doing push ups, jogging and getting our throwing arms loosened by playing catch with each other. We had to do one exercise called “Frogs,” where we act like frogs without the jumping part. I still couldn’t bend my toes and when I did, a quick jolt of pain made me cringe to the point that I didn’t want to play the game at all. I knew that wasn’t an option though, and I fought through the pain. The game was starting in 5 minutes and people were trying to hype themselves up in their own way. Some people listened to music, others kept warming up or talked to teammates. I just sat on the bench by myself and prayed. The umpire then let the coaches and captains know that it was time.
Throughout the course of the game my foot felt fine, but it could have been better. I still felt the occasional shock of pain, but not as much. I had a very big hit that started a rally for us. They only gave me a double. I hit the ball so far they thought they couldn’t find it because it went into the woods. Although, soon as the umpire said go back to 2nd the kid on the other team found the ball so I got robbed of what could have been a home run. You can’t imagine the amount of disappointment I felt when the ump told me to go back to 2nd base. I think my face looked like I just lost my best friend. We hung in the game for few more innings, then the other team started to score run after run and we lost. I was happy that we had made it that far and that the captains got to go to the playoffs. After the game my toe felt like it was very overworked. I just chose to put my slides on, hop in the car and deal with the rest later.I used to struggle with how I judged a situation and made choices, but I’ve gotten better at making those crucial decisions that could affect me for better or worse. In April, I injured my foot and toe, I found a few months later that it was broken and I had a stress fracture. I made poor choices over the course of my injury that derailed the healing process. I’m fine now but it could have been better way before.
It hurts when you realize that the organ that keeps you alive can either hurt or kill you when you fall in love. Why do I keep the pain inside? Is it because of the lack of trust or because of the lies the other people might tell me? Or maybe it's because I'm scared they might have sex and produce children and name them tears and hate.
People always judge me on how I look other than how I act. In a way, it’s not what they say that makes me mad but it’s why they say it. As I get older I change. I’m only 15 years old and I’m getting judged badly. What about when I’m 25? I’m still going to be changing so does that mean I’m going to still get judged but worse?
People see me as a quiet, shy, mad girl who doesn’t talk about her feelings. But I’m more than that, I just don’t show it. But why should I? I don’t determine how I feel. The way I feel when I wake up and how my mornings turn out to be determine how I feel the rest of the day. To me that’s why I think the morning is important. It gives me time to determine whether it would be a good or bad day. Like when you wash up or take a bath before going somewhere. Do you really just wash up and get out or do you do other things while you’re in there? Most of the time I either sing or think a lot (my thought place). Having a nice, warm bubble bath can easily get you thinking and clear your mind.
The smell of apple cinnamon candles by the tub. Hot water and a naked body in the tub while a waterfall of tears is running down my face.
Love don't exist in the pool of me. But the pain from it is its number one visitor. As the smiles that I call bodyguards of happiness try to keep the pain out, its too strong for the bodyguards who don't use weapons except the lies of a smile.
I imagine the bubbles in the water to be the people that hurt, lied, and disappointed me. As I think it over I wonder to myself, "Is there something wrong with me?" That question was answered by the silence in the bathroom. As I get out the tub, I wiped away the pain and the people. And finally the smile of lies appears on my face and I walk out the bathroom.
So I think to myself, "No one will ever know my pain until they tell me why they gave it to me."
From when I was born until now, I’ve felt different types of love. Real, fake, hard. Its all happened to me but I never let it get in the way of me loving someone else, no matter how painful it was to me. But as I got older, it was easier to keep my feelings inside me. Less tears, but now I have no emotions. But people can see how I feel by the way I look and dress. For example, if I’m wearing bright clothes and I’m laughing and smiling then that means I’m happy and I feel loved. But if I have all black on fake laughs and smiles on my face then I’m feeling pain and no love.
But for this one moment I’m not going to talk about pain and hurt. I’m going to talk about love. I’m not always sad. I have a heart and I have a few people in my life that actually show l***.
What is love? Is it something you suppose to touch, see, hear, smell, or feel? How do you know? Well no one does. But the times when I think I am l***d is when someone actually care about my feelings and show they care. I think someone is also showing l*** when they are not afraid of telling you the truth. No matter how bad and mean it is. But they also comfort you by embracing you whenever it seems like you need it, they give you good advice, and they make you feel happy whenever you’re around them. And I have people that can do that in my life. It’s very few of them but they are there.
Like I remember one day when when I think I felt l***d. We were at the park. The wind was heavy and the air smelled like fresh rain. Me and my crush, Allen was sitting on the cold, hard benches talking. As I looked at him I couldn't hear what he was saying. I know he was talking but I wasn't listening. Our eyes was stuck together like we had magnets in them. I remember this moment so well. His eyes were big and luminous. And as I my eyes strolled down I glanced at his full, lips that was moving but no sound came out.As the sky became grey, it started to rain. It came down as fast as glass dropping to the floor and the broken pieces scatter everywhere. He began to hold me with his big, carmel hands that felt soft around my waist. The tightness of the way he held me made me feel like he was trying to protect me from the rain. Like the rain as acid and he didn't want not one drop of it on me but but he'll sacrifice his own body. The butterflies were everywhere.
My mother walked into my dark room looking very serious, and said, “Bailey, I’m in labor, and we are going to leave the house in about 30 minutes.” When I found this out, it was 6 o’clock in the morning and I was in a deep slumber. I was warm and cozy in my full size comfortable bed. The night I found out, my friend, Diamond, slept over, and she was lying on the opposite side of my bed, and she was using a different blanket than I was. My blanket was a black and white zebra comforter, and it matched my sheets. Diamond’s blanket was purple and fuzzy. It smelled like my dog in my room because she was lying in bed with my friend and I. I had to wake up after my mom said that she was in labor, because my stepfather and I had to drive my friend to her dad’s house. I woke Diamond up and said, “Diamond! Wake up! My mom’s in labor and she needs to go to the hospital! Chris said he’s going to drive you home in ten to fifteen minutes.” She replied with, “Are you serious? I knew this was going to happen, but let me call my dad and let him know I have to go there because I know my mom isn’t up yet.”
When I found out my mother was in labor I was probably the happiest person in the world, and when I saw my brother’s beautiful face, I know that I was the happiest person in the universe.
As closer as we got to the entrance of the ice, the more nervous I got. Again, I felt the cold wind biting the cheeks of my face and my fingers were nearly frozen already. It was darker and colder outside. We both stopped on together, I immediately held his hand even tighter. There were so many children and adults skating around the circle and I saw some ice skating staff patrolling in the middle, making sure everyone is safe. I stepped both of my skates on ice, my other hand clinged onto the railings on the side to keep myself balanced. I was completely nervous, not even excited anymore. I almost slipped as I tried to glide smoothly on the ice. I kept looking at the ice and my feet, not being aware of what’s going on up front. I almost crashed into a little toddler ice skating. I was shocked and apologized to the young kid. As we were improving, I finally let go of the railing. But he slipped and fell almost on his knees and yanked my down with him, I fell on my right side. We both laughed about and he helped me up. Us laughing. Our voices together.I was a silent after we were skating a bit. I couldn’t stop thinking about how I’ll never get tired of hearing his laughing voice. What we had at the moment was so seemingly blind. I kept thinking, will he become my best friend? Someone I truly understand? How about my lover? It didn’t matter. This was happiness. This was a new friendship. A new attachment. Everything about the night was a wonderful memory that I’d love to think about when I am able to look back. What we emotionally have is so beautiful, different yet rebellious.
I was just standing there, waiting in line at the school’s office with a nervous expression on my face, wondering what highschool had accept me. I already was worried enough about the chance that I wouldn’t get accepted to the high school that I wanted to go to, due to the fact I knew that over hundreds of middle school students apply, but there’s only room for 120 students. Thinking back to how well I did with the interview at the school, I believe that my chances to getting in were good. With that, I look at some of my friends who told me they got into NorthEast High School, which wasn’t a great high school, but NorthEast have to pick you if you didn’t get accepted into any other high school.
Slowly, the line went in and out of the office until I was next. I felt pressure built up in me, feeling like a nuclear meltdown. Upon walking towards the middle-aged lady, she greeted me, and with that was told to sit down in which I did."You're Brycen Itzko, correct?"
Just watching her type on the keyboard made me tense with each keystroke she did."Are you ready to hear what you been accept to Brycen?"
The word yes came out slowly from my mouth, feeling as if everything was in slow motion.
Hearing the words “Science Leadership Academy” emptied out all the tension from my system, replacing it with happiness and pride; even my nervous expression on my face turned into joy.As I am walking out of the office and back to my class on the third floor, I started thinking about the other students. Many of them didn’t like or enjoy school; could care less to which high school they have to go to. To be honest, I didn’t enjoy school too much and struggled often to get my work done, but I still managed to work hard enough in school to get great grades. I knew some of my friends who got accepted to the high school they wanted to go to.
It was a weekend in 2010 around the middle of June. Just a few days left of school and it would be summer vacation. I was excited and ready to get out of school. Middle School made me feel like a peasant trapped in a dungeon. Nine months is a long time to be sitting in classrooms learning. We can all agree our brains need a break once in awhile; but this wasn’t just a break, like a weekend or a few days off, this was three months of Summer vacation! That meant going to the beach, hanging out with friends, and no stress!
I awoke from my deep slumber Saturday morning. I had no homework over the weekend which was great, because now I could just eat some breakfast, get a shower, throw some clothes on, then hangout with my friend Nick who lived right across the street.
I pulled my cell phone out from my pocket and scrolled through my contacts until I got to my friend’s name. I hit the call button, it rang twice and he finally picked up.
“Yo what’s up bro?” I asked.
“Nothing, I’m bored. Wanna hangout?” Nick said.
“Yeah let me just shower and stuff.”
“Alright man, text me when you’re done.”
I was really angry we weren’t going to the beach for two weeks like we always do. It was basically a tradition! How could she break a tradition? She knew my favorite vacation spot was the beach. I was really curious as to where we were going this year, so I kind of wanted to ask my Mom tons of questions until she either finally gave in, or gave me clues to figure it out myself.
1. Before this project, I didn't really know much about immigration so I would say that the entire research as a whole surprised me. In more specifics, I didn't think that at time the U.S. was so 'nice' in changing the laws for more immigrants to come over, and letting refugees come over.
2. Something that was already obvious to me was that refugees came over from the Vietnam War, because I already knew that.
3. I think over the next two decades there will be more illegal immigrants. I also think that just in general our population and immigration charts will rise due to weather damages/tragedies.
4. I was thinking of a creative way to visually present my research, and I thought of the poster idea. This way is more creative and different, because everyone does a keynote/powerpoint. This way each group mate makes their own poster with their research, then when we present we can present our foundlings individually, but put the posters together as a timeline for the entire class. I thought this was really cool and different.
5. I didn't really think we had any problems working together as a group. Everyone did their work, they were each to contact, and everyone was really okay with any idea someone had. I really liked this group.
6. I would spend time researching more and find key components for each decade knowing we only have a limited time to present.
Sources for History Immigration project:
Somethings that surprised me the most about this information we found in this project is that certain things that happen can effect immigration so much. When I found out from 1881-1914 Jewish migration was happening because of things in there country. When America was being effected by the great depression immigration lowered. When they passed an ACT to slow down immigration it got effected. To see why people come and go was interesting. The obvious thing about describing the graph was how it decreased and increase, but not knowing why made me wonder. But once I found out why, it made it easy to understand and comprehend why the increase and decrease was happening. I feel like immigration will stay at a steady rate for the next 2 decades. Once America gets it's economy up and running more. Some more jobs open up then immigration may rise.
Me and my group came up with someways that is easier for us and others. So we know that pictures help and a little information we gave helped. People get to understand why immigration increased and decreased just as I understand. Some challenging parts of this project was getting everyone on same page. Some people were behind other people in the group. Some different things I would do is make sure I know what program I'm working with. Dipity.com was a very hard program, and I would test it out before.