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Descriptive Essay: Grief freed me.


My mom picked me up at four thirty on September 30th, a Thursday.  Four Thirty, way earlier than usual. Dressed in blue jeans and sweater, this was not her work attire.  Perhaps she just had one of those awful migraines she gets at least once a month.  Walking through the burnt orange leaves my mom and I pass the main building, and the middle school building. My mom has not said a word.  She hits the “unlock” button twice to enter her Mercury Mountineer.  As I sit down to buckle my seatbelt, she parts her lips to speak the unfathomable.  “At around one o’clock today, Aunt Jackie died.”   Aunt Jackie, my mom’s stepsister was possibly the most angelic person I had ever met.  As my mom struggled holding back the tears to speak again a wave of numbness ran through my whole body.  “She, she had one of those attacks again. She called 911, and went out to the porch.  It was too late she collapsed face first to the ground and died shortly afterward.”  I didn’t know what to think.  My mother, already small in stature, curled up in a ball on the driver’s side and cried.  I couldn’t look at her.  I stared.

Like a car wreck that was so horrible that you couldn’t look away.  I stared at my mother.  For her to cry was so unlike her, for her to sob, life was not real.  After 30 seconds of staring, I came back down to reality.  She was gone.  Our plan to go to the library would never happen.  She couldn’t make fun of my mother for how we “organized” our Tub-a-ware anymore.  She was gone.  I broke down, I hadn’t cried so hard in all my 13 years of life.  I grabbed at my jeans, like my mother I had curled into a ball on the passenger’s side of the car. By the time the rage unraveled me from the tight ball I was in, my blouse was half stained with the eruption of anger that poured from my eyes.  I could have screamed.  My faith in God was tested that day.  How could He have let a person who had done so much good in her life, leave life in such a short, random, painful manner.  Sarcoidosis had claimed her, took over her body, and took her away in one fatal swoop.  

My mom told me she was laying in a coroner’s office.  They found her in a pool of blood on her front porch.  The time I wanted to scream, let out my anger. I was in a parked car, on Coulter Street.  With a completely inconsolable mother, and a face marked red with anger, grief and shock.  These were the worst ten minutes I have ever had in my life.  This was my first time grieving.

Death was never a fear of mine until I was thirteen years old.  The day she died.  I never ever wanted to make anyone cry and seeing what death had done to my mother, from this point on I wanted to be immortal.  I crunched through the leaves and walked up the two sets of stairs and into the house.  Throwing my bag down on the antique couch in my living room, I swiftly ran up the stairs to get to my room. I peeled off my homeroom sweatshirt, kicked off my nikes and sat down on my bed and I cried.   

The worst part of grief is from the second of notification leading up to the funeral.  No closure, no celebration, just sadness.  Nothing feels right, the next couple of days I would sit in the unshakeable feeling of death.   I walked through school with fake smiles and conversations that felt unbearably long.  I walked into the computer lab the day after she passed, to find my best friend Sarah, who coincidentally was dealing with grief as well.  We cried together in the dark computer room that friday morning, until Rhonda, our computer teacher walked into the room.  Rhonda then told my advisor and thats how word spread around and I dealt with the pity party for another good week.  Grief, grudges with God.  I couldn’t understand why my Lord took her away so soon. I could only wait for the funeral to come, and then hell would be over.

I stood there, pain stricken, trying to understand why she was gone.  I creeped into the church, slowly, timidly.  My eyes wide with fear of what I was about to see.  My aunt, adorned in white linens and lace, laid undisturbed, untroubled in a white casket.  I walked slowly down the shaggy tan carpeting, passing rows and rows of people.; to look at Jackie for one last time.

She laid there as I stood looking at her, face to corpse,  niece to aunt.  Now to be honest, for a dead person, she still had color.  She didn't have an eerie gray coloring. Perhaps that was the makeup that they put on the deceased to make sure they just look like they are sleeping.  They kept her hair short, she usually hid it behind a hair scarf.  Her skin was still the color of caramel, except for the swollen parts of her lip from when she had fell onto her patio. Those were stained with the obvious color of concealer and foundation, which when looked at thoroughly, was black, blue and blood red.  I began to feel uncomfortable in my own skin.  

My lips were locked together by the shear antipathy that this would be my last encounter with my aunt Jackie, for the rest of my life.  My MaryJanes carried me back across the old carpet as I promptly took my seat next to my mother, who had been a wreck for a week.  And my uncle, who had been a wreck for a day.  I felt frigid, numb, and cold to the touch.  I felt like I had died, my stomach dropped as I was about to be consumed with grief for the next three and a half hours of my life.


As much as funerals bring closure to loved ones, it is the most uncomfortably painful yet healing part of the grieving process.  Looking at my aunt for the last time, felt like saying goodbye to a piece of me.  My eyes attempted to avoid her, I didn’t want to come to grips with the fact that she was gone.  The funny thing about death is it brings out the sheer delusion in all of us.  The night terrors, the visions of her sitting right next to me in school.  It is something you can never escape.

For the most part I had blacked out through a majority of the funeral.  I didn’t cry, thats all I knew.  The expectations for grief is to cry, scream, break something.  Let all the pain out in one blow.  This was all I saw in the movies.  This is what I expected of myself.  I never knew I could feel so cold, numb, heartless.  The last memory I have from the day of her funeral was lowering her casket into the burial plot.  I can honestly say, as painful as that was to watch, the amount of closure I received in those few moments was incredible.  I now know that I may not get her back, I won’t ever get her back, but she is wrapped around me in every step I take.  In the words of my aunt; “In death the only thing that dies is the body, the shell.  The spirit stays around us all for ever, even as we move on to new adventures. Everyday the spirits of our ancestors look down upon us, to guide us through life.”  I was freed from grief.  Or perhaps grief freed me.
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Maleena Mel Reflection

With your blogpost, include your reflection related to:
  • What surprised you most about this information?
  •  What seemed quite obvious about explaining this data set?
  • 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.
  • Describe how you made a decision on how to visually represent the information.
  • What parts of group work were challenging?
  • What would you do differently if you had this project to do over?

    1. The thing that had surprise me the most in the project was learning how many people would immigrate to the united state each year, and the reason why they came. 
    2. What had seem really obvious about explaining the data was how i kept getting te same reason why people all over the would would come to America. 
    3. Looking at the overall all i can see that the U.S now is that you ca see that people from all over the world live in the U.S everywhere. People from different places are having money to some and or either running over to get here. And i believe in the next 2 decade people all over the world who has money can come to the U.S with/out a green card or their pass port. 
    4. I had to use different idea and opinion about what was the same reason and what was different. 
    5. Putting the work together when one of us is not here. 
    6. Put more work, and effort then i did here because i had less time.  



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Cameron Klales Immigration visualization project.

After reading through the history of immigration in the United states, I was really surprised by how many people sought out america as a place of refuge. If you look at all of the immigration spikes in the history of the United States of America, there is always a war, a famine, or an economic collapse within 5 years. This gave me a new perspective on how the rest of the world views us as a Country. I think that for the next two decades, we will see a dramatic rise in immigration as the world economy collapses around us. on the alternative, if the economy balances, and we are in a time of world peace, we will see less immigration. Something else to consider, is what would need to happen for us as a nation to immigrate to another country. To visually represent this information we used to posters, each on a slide. On one slide is a visualization of all of the things that push people away from their country. While this project was fun it was hard to get my group to get off of ichat and collaborate. I think if i could do this project over again i would have made more of an effort to incorporate the data into the slides.

(I can't get the media uploader to work so I emailed the project)
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Descriptive Essay: Infidelity

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.


“Ordinary People” by John Legend plays when my mother turns on the radio. That sound blasted all the way to my grandmom’s house. My mom was driving so fast that the wind beat against my face making my already slender eyes close completely and my ears stuffed with the night’s air, but I could still hear every lyric and melody of the song. It was the only song that played in the car that night, the only one that had time to play. I didn’t know at the time that song would resonate and connect to that specific experience. Whenever I hear that song I go back to that night. It was the night that my blindness was snatched away from me as quick as a dark room turns bright with the flip of a switch. This was the first night I began to find out the truth about my parent’s unhealthy relationship.

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.


When we arrived at our house my mom asked about how our night went. My brothers and I told her that we just went over our Aunt Kesha’s house and had pizza. Then the most important detail was revealed. I don’t remember which one of us told her but I know they said “Dad’s friend Terri was with us.” In that moment, as I looked at the expression on my mother’s face, filled shock and disbelief, I knew that I underestimated my father’s “friend”. “You were with who?” my mother said as her eyes were wide open, anxiously waiting for an answer. “Dad had his friend Terri with him.” My mom preceded to go ballistic, taking all my father’s clothes and placing them on our porch. He was forced to come to pick them up to avoid his clothes being stolen by the members of the shady neighborhood. The removal of his physical items symbolized his emotional separation from his loving family, who had always been there for him.
I later found out that my father disrespected my mother’s wishes to keep his affair a secret from his children until my mother was ready to tell us. I know that is the gist of the argument. I was still in the house in a daze when all this happened. All I knew is that this was the second time my father made my mother angry because of infidelity.

My father once again was only concerned with himself in this situation. All my mother asked of him was to give her the chance to tell us what was going on when she felt the time was right. But my father’s selfish mind allowed him to do what he wanted, when he wanted. I believe he didn’t care if it would upset my mother because he wanted to have his fun, like he had been doing through all of his adulthood, and not caring who he had to disappoint to do so.

People either use their tortured past to better themselves, or they stay bitter and let everyone that comes in their path feel that hurt they feel. You have to learn who you are dealing with. If it is the ladder, you must completely separate yourself from them until they learn to be constructive, not destructive. My dad was “neglected” as a child and as an adult he chose to lavish himself with whatever his heart desired, but didn’t account for how it might affect everyone else affected by his actions. Sometimes with material luxuries, but it was always more hurtful when he emotionally lavished himself only to leave my mother out in the cold. That hurt she felt, I felt because my mother’s happiness has always been a priority in my life. I learned to lose dependence on my father for anything because he just didn’t know how to be selfless.
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Descriptive Essay: My Black Is Beautiful

“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!!


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Descriptive Essay: Consequences Of Expression

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.
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Descriptive Essay; The Matter of Truth

I thought about this for many times about what I can improve on my problems but, it had swollen me instantly. I tried to act like nothing has happened to me so no one can bug me. Day after day, there has to be a misfortune of moments when there’s a lot of tossing and fussing. I never thought I could be so disturbed with so many things going on. I should have known better than this;  it builds up more and more where I became outraged. Being the oldest child can be difficult because I have to work my ways up as being a brother to support my family.  So here it begins.

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.
The air in the car was cold, where the air conditioner blasted on high. I felt squished because boxes and groceries were cramming on my foot. I wasn’t really bothered by it so I put my right arm on the seat rester and supported my head so I can close my eyes. We had a long day after working. Everything became blank when I didn’t care about anything. I just wanted to go home, getting some rest.
In the matter of seconds, my phone vibrated inside my front pocket, on the left. I took my phone, shaking. I told them it was my father and everyone was quiet while the music was turned off. My dad said, “I couldn’t buy the house because we don’t have that much money.” It was an outrage, I yelled at my dad about not keeping his words. My eyes were red and it was watering, where it felt like it was going to explode. I was yelling at him, while tears was dripping down my face. I raised my arms hitting the passenger seats, kicking the chair when my voice was furious. He kept on giving excuses so I hung up on him.
That moment I went out of control. I didn’t know what was happening because it physically just happen and I was in depression mode. Everyone in the car was just in shock because it was a long time since I did something like that. I couldn’t believe I did this horrible things in front of everyone, but at the same time I felt delighted when I yelled at my dad because he deserves it. I didn’t really bother my dad when he always talk so convincing, which he sometimes does and I need to step up on pressuring his guilt.

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.
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Descriptive Essay: The Toe That Was Overlooked


“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.

In the end I never went to the doctors and for the next 2 months my toe still bothered me. I re-injured my foot and my foot swelled up again causing me to wear slides for the next 3 to 4 weeks. My decision making process during those few months was poor at it’s best. I have learned from the mistakes I’ve made in the past and I have strived to correct and never make them again. I believe if you realize the mistakes of your past your future can be bright!
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Descriptive Essay: Why am I This Way?

I had never looked at being tall as a problem as Idid at this very moment. I walked down my Grandmothers block, on my way home from school, back straight , head held high and a smile on my face. I couldn't feel more confident. My mom had just bought me a pair of new Algeria shoes that I had begged her for with a nice gold button and brown spots that looked like someone threw every different shade of brown paint on them. I had just received an A on my math test and had found 5 dollars. My day couldn't have been any better. I walked the same way that I walked every time I came here, but something wasn’t right. Oakdale St. was going through construction and the only way that you could cross it was by jumping over a large crack  stretching from the sidewalk, to the middle of the street to the other end of the sidewalk. I stopped, analyzing the crack. I realized the only option I had was to jump across it. I set back wondering if I should do it. When I had first approached the street there didn't seem to be a soul in sight, but as I brought my head up, there had to be more people here then there were people at the 2012 olympics. I took two steps back closed my eyes and jumped. When I opened my eyes everything seem taller,  I realized that I was actually on the ground. I heard echoes of laughter and teasing. One comment stood out to me the most,f “If She wasn't so damn tall she wouldn't have fallen like that.”  
After that, it had occurred to me that I would never be accepted for being the height that I am. It seemed that the more people I met the more people ridiculed me about being tall, comments anywhere from “You big as shit,” or “You're a giant,” or “You're taller than most men,” to “Why the fuck are you so tall?” I’ve heard it all. I always wonder will people ever accept the fact a girl can, also, be tall. That just because you past the average height of 5’6, that you're not a monster or a freak. When i  was just a kid, I never noticed how my height was different from anyone else who was my age. We all always got the same treatment. I never felt like an outcast or like i was any different from anyone else. Yea, it was brought to my attention that  i was taller than the average height but i never felt ashamed about it as i did now.
The media gives this image that the shorter the better. You never see tall females in pageants , TV shows, or movies without the press giving them a hard time. For example, I once was watching a hit series that went by the name “TMZ” when they began talking about the Kardashian family, from a reality show called “Keeping up with Kardashians”, and it stated that Khloe Kardashian didn't have the same father as her 2 other sisters because she was too tall. “She towers over her other sisters.It’s no possibly way that they are whole sisters.” one journalist said.  The media has given people the image that taller women are wrong and out of place and it is OK to throw negative remarks at them if you feel that is the right thing to do. Every time I go on my twitter home feed its always has post like this “SHORT GIRLS: 4’11 5’0 5’1 5’2 5’3 5’4 5’5 #RT (ReTweet) if you see your height,” or  “Fun Size is the best size.”When i see tweets like this a scence of rage builds inside of me. I can’t help myself but question god as to why did he make me the way i am. Why am i so different from everyone else.I true wonder how these post make females who are my  height but also have low self esteem feel. If they make me feel like an abomination no telling how they felt.
Why can’t the American society see that we as a people are going through another evolution. The average height for the first Homosapien was 5’ for women and 5’6 for men. Now, the average height for a Homosapien, that lives in America, is 5’6 for women and 5’9-5’10 for men. The average height of a human being  slowly but surely increasing.
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Descriptive Essay: Love vs. Hate

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.
But it’s hard for me to write love if I don’t know if I feel it. Will I ever feel the power of someone loving me? Or will I always live the life of disappointment, lies, and pain with the preview of the movie, Love?
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Descriptive Essay: "Welcoming a New Edition to the Family"

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.”

Diamond and I got out of bed, our hair was frizzy, and very messy, so we just threw it up in a messy bun. I put blue Hollister sweatpants, and a blue Hollister hoodie, because I didn’t want to be cold. Diamond kept her pajamas on because she was going to her dad’s house and going back to sleep because it was too early for her to be up. When we got in my mother’s black 2006 Honda, my stepfather had to turn the air on because it was blazing hot in the car, and my nose got stuffy because it was also dry outside. I sat in the front seat with my stepfather, because I didn’t want to sit in the back and then get out of the car to get in the front seat after Diamond got out of the car. The car ride there was silent, because Diamond and I aren’t morning people, and my stepfather knows not to talk to us if it’s really early in the morning. After we dropped my friend off, we headed back to my house. The car was silent the whole ride home.
When we arrived at my house, my mom was sitting on the couch waiting patiently for us to get back so that she could call the doctor and tell her that she was in labor and going to the hospital. My mom sat on the loveseat, my stepfather sat on the couch, and I sat on the rocking chair for about another 45 minutes. My couch is brown, and so is the loveseat. The chair I was sitting on was black, and one of the most comfortable things that I have ever sat on in my entire life, and I was surprised that I didn’t fall back to sleep because I was so tired and exhausted, because Diamond and I didn’t go to sleep until three o’clock in the morning. I was running around like a chicken without a head that morning, and I had no idea what to do because I was never in a situation like that.
I walked outside my house, and it was kind of hot out that day, because my brother was born on July 22, 2012, and that’s the middle of the summer. We got into the car, and my mom took the passenger seat next to my stepfather, who was driving. I sat in the back of the car silent, because I didn’t want to be awake yet. My mom was silent too because she was in pain and didn’t want to talk because she was not only in pain, but she was tired and exhausted. We rushed to Jefferson Hospital, because that’s where my mom’s doctor that was going to deliver the baby was located. My stepfather dropped us off at the emergency room entrance, so that he could go park the car, and my mom wouldn’t have to walk from wherever the car was parked.
When we walked into the hospital, we saw a security guard wearing a blue shirt with black pants, and he asked, “What are you looking for?” My mom replied, “I’m looking for labor and delivery because I’m in labor.” He told us directions to where we needed to go, and he called a nurse to get my mom settled in the room, and to help her get up to labor and delivery.
When my mom got set up in labor and delivery, I just sat there and closed my eyes, so I couldn’t see anything that was going on, and I don’t really remember because it was so early in the morning. All I remember is my mother just lying there in pain, and waiting for my baby brother to be born. I took a nap for about three hours on the green uncomfortable chair, but i was under two blankets so i was warm, while we waited for my brother to be ready to come out and be part of this world, and all of our lives. I woke up just in time for my brother to be born. I stood at the top of the bed, holding my mom’s hand because she was in the worst pain anyone ever felt. The next thing I remember was my brother lying on my mother’s chest just staring around the room, only making a little peep here and there. I said to my mom. “He is the most beautiful thing in the world!”

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.


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Descriptive Essay: "A New Attachment"

As we walked around downtown, while holding hands, I felt the cold wind outside biting my cheeks. It was late November 2011, winter was just starting. This is just the beginning of our story. Grown ups say we should only focus on school and education, not “love” or what they think that we’re all “infatuated”. But I believe the vibe of teenage love is always so tenderous and I don’t want to grow up not being able to experience something so rebellious as I look back on my old times as a young teenager going into my adulthood.
Our first official date. I was so anxious as I woke up that morning. While I took the train to go see him, my heart felt like it going to jump out of my fragile chest. Just the thought of daydreaming the date together made me feel so excited. When I saw him, he instantly locked fingers with me. I felt the blood rush in my body and my cheeks getting really warm although it was freezing outside. We took a slow walk to Starbucks to grab some hot chocolate. As I walked in, the bells on the door chimed as it opened and closed. I could smell the delicious classic starbucks coffee linger in the air as he was ordering his hot beverage. “A small peppermint hot chocolate please..”. There was always something in his voice that sounded so soothing. After we received his hot chocolate, we walked outside. It was freezing cold again, it felt so warm inside of Starbucks. I looked at his hot chocolate, I could see the steam coming out from where you drink from on the coffee cup. We took sips of it, we shared it. As I took my first sip, it felt like a hot rush of liquid going down my throat. It really warmed me up. We took our time gazing on the street lights, making our way to the River Rink Ice Skating Rink at Penn’s Landing. Under the city lights, the cold air, as people are passing by, I’m strunk being dazed by tonight’s romantic plan.
As we arrived to the ice skating rink, there was line of people to get tickets and rental for ice skating shoes(if you didn’t bring your own). The line was about a block long. But the line moved rapidly. My nose felt frozen waiting in line, but he kept me warm by making me blush. We got to the front and order two tickets. We  made our way quickly inside the ice skating rink’s lobby. We told the staff our shoe sizes and exchange our shoes for the ice skating shoes. This wasn’t my first time ice skating but I forgot how awfully heavy these shoes were. They felt like a pound on each hand as I held them separately. I made my way carefully through the crowd to find a bench with him, I was very careful because the blades are very sharp on our ice skating shoes. We sat next to each other, I kept thinking “Oh, please don’t fall, he’ll probably get annoyed if you fall too many times on the ice, don’t embarrass yourself tonight, Audrey.” I had so many thoughts running through me that moment. Such as “this is going to be such a beautiful memory to look back, I hope he’ll actually learn to value me and we’ll be stable together”. All I wanted was acceptance from him. I yearned his catering for me. And I need someone who can improve and better me as well as motivation in school and learning to appreciate myself and control my insecurities. Anyway, I slipped in my right foot first in my skates, it fit perfectly. I asked him to help me tie the laces because from experience, if you don’t tie the laces very tight, your shoes will be loose and it’ll be harder to skate. We pulled my right leg up on his lap and he knotted and tied my laces very tightly, he pulls he last loop. I repeated the same on my left foot but instead this time I did it myself. I pulled the laces as hard I can and felt a bit of a rope burn on my fingers. Ouch, it stings!, and my fingers were a bit red when I checked. We held hands again and helped each other walk out the lobby, it was so crowded, yet so warm inside the room. my legs were very wobbly when I was walking because you had to balance on the sharp blades beneath the skates.

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.
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Descriptive Essay Pressure

As I’m running down the field, I hear screams and shouts from the right side of me saying “go Aateeyah”. I can feel my ears and nose turning red. The wind blowing rapidly as goosebumps appear on my legs and arms. My feet are frozen, solid like icicles in Alaska, hanging from the cilf of a mountain. I see nothing but tall wide trees ahead of me. Trying to keep my focus, to not lose the ball from my feet. Looking up, then looking back down at the ball. Moving left and right trying to stay away from the girls on the other team who are trying to take the ball away from me as I dash down the field.
I see myself getting closer and closer to my final destination. Just a few more feet to run and I’ll be ready to kick the ball. As I’m approaching my destination, still hearing the screams and shouts from the side of me. A  pain in my stomach appears. I was nervous. As I’m getting in position to kick the ball, my ankle twists the wrong way and I fall to the ground. There was a wide open shot to the goal, and I blew it. I cost the whole team our spot in the championship game. I knew everyone was disappointed in me as tears fell down my cold face with my ankle in excruciating pain.
I’ve been in many situations like this before, but none felt quite like this one because it was our last game as a team. We’ve been playing together since we were 10. Everyone was starting high school. It was like a new beginning for only some. Most of the girls on the team went to the same school. But I did not.
I kind of felt like the outcast on the team. I didn’t really fit in. But I wanted to. No one talked to me unless it was about soccer. I felt like I had no friends on the team. But, I realized being apart of that team didn’t mean I needed friends. It meant I needed to succeed in what I was doing. What I was there for. To play the sport I loved. This is what I wanted to be when I grew up. A professional soccer player.
Or did I only want to become professional because it was the only thing I was good at?
When I was young I had always dreamed of being a professional soccer player. I used to watch every game on TV every chance I got. But, since I was 3, I’ve danced because thats what every female in my family did. That was our “thing”. That’s what everyone wanted me to do. They didn’t want me to play sports, “Dancing is in your blood,” said my grandmother. When she passed away, I slowly gave up her dream of me becoming a dancer.
That’s not what I wanted to do in life. Personally, it was too much for me to handle at the time with school being in session.  So, I finally convinced my mom into signing me up for soccer.

Extremely terrified, I did not want to go. But, my mom started to nag and says “You told me you wanted to play soccer, now you don’t even want to go to practice?” and a lot of other things that I blocked out while she still continued to talk. She was upset with me, I could tell by her tone of voice, and I didn’t want her to be, so I decided to just go, but I don’t think my mom completely understood how much fear I felt in my heart that day. Tears rushed into my eyes, but none down my face just thinking about going to practice. Since I was young, I was always shy and never really talked to anyone. I always stayed to myself, but soon, that was all about to change.


I started out like any regular 10 year old girl. Shy and nervous for what was soon approaching. The day finally came for my first practice with girls I had never met before in my life. Everyone but me already knew each other because they attend the same school. They all had known each other since they were in Kindergarden.



But, it turned out that the first day of practice with a group of girls I had never met before wasn’t as terrible and horrific as I first imagined it would be.
They were all nice and welcoming. I was the only new player, so it was awkward for me. I thought there would be other girls like me joining the team for the first time. But, I shouldn’t have had such a negative mind about the team. I let my nerves get the best of me. Since then, I’ve learned to be more outgoing and not always stay to myself. Turns out one of my best friends today is on that team that I didn’t want to be apart of in the beginning. I got something good out of being apart of ChestnutHill Blue Lightning Soccer Club. Being able to persevere. To finally show the “real me”.




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Descriptive Essay: One Missing Detail

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?"
"Yes I am." I said nervously.
"Ok, let me the information for what schools have accept you."

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.


“You have been accept to Northeast High School, and Science Leadership Academy.”

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.
Many of the teachers I had congratulated me, being the only one from my school to be accepted to such a unique school. When I went home my parents were also proud of me, which I was not surprised due to the fact it was very hard to get into that school with hundreds of other students applying for it. The rest of the school weeks went by quick, so did the 8th grade graduation. It was not until a few weeks after school had officially ended for the once 8th grade students when we talked more details about the school.
I was just grabbing something to eat, when my mom asked me a question that would continue to worry me.
“Brycen, do you know you how you are going to school?” I turn my head quickly towards her face, saying “Not really.”
“Well, I can’t drive you there because it takes too long to get there and drive back to get the kids to school, so you need to take a train to get there.”
We talked for a while, she tried to get me to go to the high school near our house because she was afraid I would get lost. I didn’t bother figuring out how I will get there, as playing my games felt more important. With each day passing, I got nervous, worried, and started to panic when she talked about anything related to how I was going to get there. I should had figured out how to get there myself, but I never did, which only cause more of my body to sweat thinking about it. I felt like I regretted picking SLA, as just that word with “transportation” started to cause me pain and tears.
When school was starting soon, I felt like dying, as it was too late to change to the one near our home, and I didn’t know what to expect taking a train there. But my pop said he would go with me to school for the first few days. I felt my troubles mostly vanished from my body just from hearing that. When it was now time for school, he went with me on the train and showed me how to get there. It was more simple getting there than I expected, as it was just a straight way process of taking the train, and walking there.
I never thought how just taking 5 minutes to figure how to get there could have prevented all of the worry and panic I had. Not being able to attend SLA was my biggest fear however, getting the chance to fully understand what going there meant took time and patience. As an incoming freshman to a very unique school, I felt honored and thrilled to be able to spend my next four years. I am glad that I came to this school, and to now know that not learning one simple thing could greatly affect you.
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Descriptive Essay Brian Birkmire (My Summer Vacation)

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 hung up the phone and went upstairs to shower. After I showered and got my clothes on I came downstairs and turned the TV on while I waited for my friend. The best thing I could find was Spongebob, which is okay because who doesn’t love this show? About 10 minutes later he texted me he was done showering. We both decided on playing some basketball for a little while. He met me out behind my house, in front of my net. First we played Horse, then a game of Around the World, then a one on one game, first person to 15 points wins. I beat him in Horse and the one on one game, but he beat me in Around the World. After the game, we cooled off and relaxed for a little, we were both hungry and thirsty so we walked to a Rite Aid; literally right around the corner from my house. When we got in there it was like heaven, there was so much food and drinks. I bought sour patch kids, iced tea, and my favorite snack, Doritos. As a nice friend, and just to feel good, I payed for the snacks because I knew in the future he’d do the same for me.

When we walked home from Rite Aid we were talking about what we’re going to do this summer. I told him about how I am going down the shore, and he told me about how he was going down the shore also. But when we got back home and my friend asked my mom about my family’s vacation, her response was quite surprising.

“Oh Nick, we aren’t this year,” My mom replied.

“What do you mean Mom?!” I asked her sadly.
“We’re doing something else instead.” She announced

“What are you guys doing then?” Nick asked curiously.

“Can’t tell you that. It’s a secret for now.” She replied with a grin on her face.

“Well that’s not cool Mom!”

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.


“So Mom, instead of the beach where are we going? The secrets basically out, might as well tell us.”
“Nice try buddy, but you’ll have to wait to find out,” She replied with that same grin on her face.
“I’ll find out, don’t worry.”

I was determined to find out where our vacation was going to be. There was no limit for me, the sky was the limit. I wasn’t going to give up, so I decided to go with the idea of questioning my Mom to find clues.

“So when are we going Mom?”
“About the first week of July.”
“For how many days will we be gone?”
“About 5.”

So that gave me some clues as to what we’re doing. There was NO way we were going to our friends house in the Poconos because my brother and I can’t survive 5 days up there, we can’t survive even one sometimes. That ruled out the mountains, but what else could it be?

“Are we going out of state Mom?”
“Yes. Actually we’re going out of the country.”

Woah. Out of the country? That got me really excited! I’ve never been to any place outside of the US. I’ve always wanted too, my whole life. My dad and I have wanted to go to Italy together for so long, and it’s still a dream I have now.

“Are we flying to this place Mom?”
“We are flying, but not out of the country. We are flying to a specific place.”

So we aren’t flying out of the country? I thought about it. So that eliminates flying, we definitely aren’t driving, that would be too long. So, in that case how would we get to where we are going?! I kept thinking about it, for hours and hours. I felt like, if I didn’t figure it out before the trip, I’d go insane.

My friend and I decided we asked enough questions. It was time to put everything together and figure it out. I felt like Sherlock Holmes and his partner. We went downstairs and played some PS3. We started up NHL and played as the Flyers. By the way, we destroyed the Penguins when the game was over. During the game my friend stopped playing and looked at me. My first instinct was something was wrong with him.

“Dude why the hell did you stop?! Pass the puck!” , I screamed while laughing.
“WHO CARES ABOUT THE PUCK! I FIGURED OUT WHERE YOU'RE GOING THIS SUMMER!” , he screamed back smiling.
“WHAT!? WHERE?!”
“You’re going on a CRUISE! It makes sense! No driving, no beach, and you’re NOT flying out of the country. You’re probably flying somewhere to get on the ship!”
“Dude!!! You’re probably right! I’m so pumped now!”

Finally, we figured it out! More or less, he did, but I didn’t really mind! Nick and I hung out the rest of the night, and when it was time for him to leave, before he walked out the door he stopped and looked at my mom and said,

“Kim, you guys are going on a cruise.”

I was shocked he said it.  He gave away the secret, but I was glad he did because I would’ve never found out. My mom didn’t respond, all she did was looked back at him, and smiled.
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Immigration and Visualization Project

Reflection: 

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: 

http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1999/3/99.03.01.x.html 

http://www.globalization101.org/push-factors/

http://gbgm-umc.org/response/articles/haiti.html

https://docs.google.com/a/scienceleadership.org/viewer?url=http://www.npg.org/forum_series/ImpactImmigUSPopSize1998004.pdf

http://immigration-online.org/470-economic-opportunities.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/geography/migration/migration_trends_rev4.shtml


Pictures: 

http://www.google.com/imgres?num=10&hl=en&biw=1010&bih=561&qscrl=1&tbm=isch&tbnid=u_cnhCC77MhRAM:&imgrefurl=https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ch.html&docid=nwZ2lzvs3F0PIM&imgurl=https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/graphics/flags/large/ch-lgflag.gif&w=453&h=304&ei=bJRjUPa-FdGy0QHXwYCYCA&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=120&vpy=211&dur=508&hovh=183&hovw=271&tx=119&ty=91&sig=112813843606640972457&page=1&tbnh=147&tbnw=217&start=0&ndsp=8&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:0,i:152 


http://www.google.com/imgres?num=10&hl=en&biw=1010&bih=561&qscrl=1&tbm=isch&tbnid=sf_Ha1_D0bT54M:&imgrefurl=http://wwp.greenwichmeantime.com/time-zone/europe/european-union/hungary/map/index.htm&docid=rYJQt_1oTo1P0M&imgurl=http://wwp.greenwichmeantime.com/images/europe/hungary.jpg&w=418&h=328&ei=jJRjUKyeHcPn0QG_iIFg&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=465&sig=112813843606640972457&page=1&tbnh=150&tbnw=192&start=0&ndsp=8&ved=1t:429,r:4,s:0,i:165&tx=101&ty=6




http://www.google.com/imgres?num=10&hl=en&biw=1010&bih=561&qscrl=1&tbm=isch&tbnid=kWUH8pN5o9qnNM:&imgrefurl=https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/cu.html&docid=pnF645MD5WCr8M&imgurl=https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/graphics/flags/large/cu-lgflag.gif&w=608&h=302&ei=xpRjULrdJMXE0QHm-4G4Dg&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=84&vpy=214&dur=19&hovh=159&hovw=320&tx=235&ty=108&sig=112813843606640972457&page=1&tbnh=103&tbnw=207&start=0&ndsp=8&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:0,i:139


http://www.google.com/imgres?num=10&hl=en&biw=1010&bih=561&qscrl=1&tbm=isch&tbnid=z6LZHQjdQxZcdM:&imgrefurl=http://jspivey.wikispaces.com/Vietnam%2BWar%2BEK&docid=yEOJQW4bR-lp8M&imgurl=http://jspivey.wikispaces.com/file/view/boat_people.jpg/34487049/337x327/boat_people.jpg&w=360&h=348&ei=-ZRjUOCeKMnE0AGC14GwBw&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=367&vpy=130&dur=337&hovh=112&hovw=109&tx=127&ty=109&sig=112813843606640972457&page=1&tbnh=107&tbnw=104&start=0&ndsp=18&ved=1t:429,r:2,s:0,i:79


http://www.google.com/imgres?start=81&num=10&hl=en&qscrl=1&biw=1010&bih=561&addh=36&tbm=isch&tbnid=FBWaoQ-O18pX8M:&imgrefurl=http://www.empowernetwork.com/robledo1/blog/interesting-facts-50-things-youre-not-suppose-to-know-part-3/&docid=BRmFTq0QLhECVM&imgurl=http://www.empowernetwork.com/robledo1/files/2012/03/2920364434_886695ae44.jpg&w=500&h=403&ei=z5VjUIXQL4SJ0QG6oYCIAg&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=342&sig=112813843606640972457&page=8&tbnh=181&tbnw=249&ndsp=12&ved=1t:429,r:3,s:81,i:15&tx=181&ty=105


http://www.google.com/imgres?num=10&hl=en&biw=1010&bih=561&qscrl=1&tbm=isch&tbnid=tGjUbBXGK7NfcM:&imgrefurl=http://www.iom.int/jahia/Jahia/haiti&docid=Bz4Kjzpmlyah8M&imgurl=http://www.iom.int/jahia/webdav/site/myjahiasite/shared/shared/mainsite/maps/americas/haiti_w200_fix.gif&w=200&h=217&ei=CZZjUNdE8bXQAYWhgKgF&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=351&vpy=14&dur=4172&hovh=173&hovw=160&tx=109&ty=102&sig=112813843606640972457&page=3&tbnh=164&tbnw=152&start=21&ndsp=12&ved=1t:429,r:1,s:21,i:229


http://www.google.com/imgres?num=10&hl=en&sa=X&qscrl=1&biw=1010&bih=561&tbm=isch&tbnid=vLCWVFFV4eqbWM:&imgrefurl=http://franklove.net/who-is-frank-love-2/&docid=jyaS84xP0hZCjM&imgurl=http://franklove.net/wp-content/themes/Frank_Theme_980/images/HoldingHandsImage.jpg&w=211&h=234&ei=TJZjUMW3C6aD0QHenICYBA&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=807&vpy=43&dur=628&hovh=188&hovw=168&tx=118&ty=91&sig=112813843606640972457&page=2&tbnh=163&tbnw=145&start=10&ndsp=15&ved=1t:429,r:14,s:10,i:216


http://www.google.com/imgres?um=1&hl=en&sa=N&qscrl=1&biw=1010&bih=561&tbm=isch&tbnid=SvLgQzBRUPfLFM:&imgrefurl=http://www.independent.com/news/2011/jan/05/new-laws-part-ii/&docid=Qzy3silUbw2z1M&imgurl=http://media.independent.com/img/croppedphotos/2011/01/04/gavel_t479.jpg%253F6626f76dcd72edc2e28f46812c7026450162bdb2&w=479&h=404&ei=ppZjUPeFH8Xx0gGF0YGYAg&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=525&vpy=225&dur=701&hovh=207&hovw=244&tx=92&ty=111&sig=112813843606640972457&page=2&tbnh=167&tbnw=228&start=18&ndsp=13&ved=1t:429,r:7,s:18,i:157



http://www.google.com/imgres?num=10&hl=en&sa=X&qscrl=1&biw=1010&bih=561&tbm=isch&tbnid=Y9tRgKDuZNn3bM:&imgrefurl=http://towncriernews.blogspot.com/2010/01/how-many-haitian-refugees-will-land-in.html&docid=fCvuINBFU00QAM&imgurl=http://www.foxnews.com/static/managed/img/Politics/011310_haitian_refugees_doomsday_604x341.jpg&w=604&h=341&ei=3pZjUMr_Fq-B0QGg1YCgBA&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=1&sig=112813843606640972457&page=1&tbnh=117&tbnw=208&start=0&ndsp=8&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:0,i:136&tx=70&ty=35


http://www.google.com/imgres?start=9&num=10&hl=en&qscrl=1&biw=1010&bih=561&tbm=isch&tbnid=BIRxNuZddbfnWM:&imgrefurl=http://melindascashsource.wordpress.com/&docid=vbAMo4HpBuQ3HM&imgurl=http://melindascashsource.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/i-need-money2.jpg&w=600&h=400&ei=mpdjUP2ZD4aB0QHwm4CYAg&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=281&sig=112813843606640972457&page=2&tbnh=164&tbnw=218&ndsp=12&ved=1t:429,r:1,s:9,i:9&tx=193&ty=111

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Immigration - past or present

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.








http://dl.dropbox.com/u/12821413/ImmigrationPresentation.key
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Isaac Adlowitz Project Reflection

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/12821361/Immigration_Henry_Isaac_Taylor.zip

What surprised me most was that immigrants from Scandinavia moved to the Midwest because it had an abundance of farmland. 

What seemed most obvious to me was the allure of moving to the United States for Mexican immigrants in today's society. 


In the next two decades I think that U.S. will have even more immigrants from Central and South America. So many that Spanish could become the most spoken language. I also think that a lot of Indian and Chinese immigrants will move here because they have populations of over one billion. 

To visually show our information we decided to make an intuitive keynote. It has thorough description that show people the information with clear wording.  

Group work wasn't very challenging especially because my group was very well put together in my opinion. I think the most difficult part was them having to put up with me not being able to work on the project on Tuesday and most of Wednesday due to a religious obligation.

Next time I would want to work on this for a longer period of time because this stuff is very interesting to me but I felt as though the process was very abrupt. 





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Immigration Visualization Jhonas Dunakin

https://docs.google.com/a/scienceleadership.org/document/d/1REEfRlWzsiJKbJrwo5SIJtzshby3LjSeMYKciovW8k4/edit

https://docs.google.com/a/scienceleadership.org/presentation/d/18Yo8FtJ0tF3L3kZf6STxVkay9NwAxqjxhRtGe36H_hY/edit

I'm a very informative when it comes to history and so I know a lot. But what really surprised be was the immigration numbers. I thought before I was shown the graph that immigration in the US would a constant flow upwards. Since all the inovation happens here and opportunities arris here. But know that there a boom and bust periods are interesting. There a periods when there are more opportunity than others. The growth in population, there a times when people want to have babies and times when people don't. People typically want babies when they have the money to raise them so economic booms population shoots up. When the economy slows or shrinks there isn't as much money flow so people make less babies but enough to have a healthy growth since the US is big enough to sustain it's own population. People who immigrate to the US will shrink since we had the housing bubble which slowed down our economy and there are stricter immigration laws. It''l be a lot like the transition from 1900-1910 to the 1910's. But have  slight decline. We thought that the best way to present people information was to create a power point which pictures that represent a decade and a short essay explaining what happened in the era. It gives people more wiggle room to imagine what it would be like in the decade while being informed. Defiantly the collaborating was the hardest part. Me and another group member had sports in two different days and my lap top was not functioning properly making it harder for me to do work online. I think I would defiantly split my own work more efficiently so I'm not doing a lot of my own things last minute. 
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Immigration Visualization James Prell

​Timeline of Immigration to America

Reflection:
     Of all the history I've learned through research of this project, the subject I find most fascinating is the blatant racism against Asian immigrants during the early 1900's. The Immigration Act of 1917 required working age male immigrants into the United States to be literate, and banned Asian immigrants for a full ten years. The worst part about this whole episode in American history is that this act is only one of many anti-asian laws passed in the time period. The two most obvious reasons for data points on the graph for me were world war 1 and 2.
     Based on what I've seen through this project, I think that the largest immigrant population over the next twenty years will be from middle eastern countries. We are already experiencing a large influx of refugees from Iran and Palestine. The Arab spring will definitely cause a deal more immigrants to leave their countries for more stable areas of the world.
     I decided to use lucid chart to make the graphic because it was a way to make an easy to follow graphic of a timeline that represented reason for the changes in the immigration graph.
     The challenging part about working for a group in this case was coordinating the times when we could all work together. We only ended up with one work period in which everyone was present. 




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Reflection



  • The thing that surprised me the most about the information was the decrease of immigration over the years because of certain events. Things like war in America and depression would slow down the number of immigrants that enter the land. This was surprising because i thought no matter the circumstances immigrants would still want to come into America for Freedom and all the opportunities. The obvious things would be the increase of immigration in period of times when things were going bad in countries. Famines and Agricultural changes were common, also job loss bringing more immigrants over. The trend for the next two decades will increase in the US as the economy gets better. Thats the trend i predict but i think it will be a small decrease over a small period of time. We made the decision to visually represent our data by using a lucid chart. As a group we all came to a consensus to use that because we thought it would be easy for everyone to understand. It also presents information well and its self explanatory. The most challenging part of group work was collaborating everyones ideas and putting it into one project and making it come together. We all wanted to represented it in a different way but we all finally came to an agreement. If i would do this project differently i would use a different visual but try to present the information similarly. 

https://www.lucidchart.com/documents/view?fb=true&docId=4313-3fac-50609b3b-9528-05440a7c4e7c#4313-3fac-50609b3b-9528-05440a7c4e7c?page=0&fb=true&branch=54109a26-d312-4fdb-93c1-af12e1e42d77 
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