English Portfolio- Quarter 2 Benchmrk

The next benchmark we were given was the memoir vignette unit. This benchmark seemed like more of a challenge then the first one. We had to take a moment from our life and basically write a paper on it, this sounds easier then what it actually is. In this paper had to be literary elements included, and we had to mark where they were. This to me was the most difficult thing about this benchmark. I did not believe that I was capable of making this work; but it did. This benchmark taught me that I am stronger then what I actually previously thought.

         “Back to Hell”


“If God had wanted me otherwise, He would have created me otherwise.” – Johann von Goethe. (Opener)

Growing up my family moved a lot. Up to the age I am now we have lived in 5 or 6 houses.  In the beginning of second grade I found out we were moving to Georgia. I felt like it was the worst possible news. There were too many friends and family up here for me to be okay with this. The only people we knew who lived do in Georgia were my aunt and her two daughters. My parents told my two brothers and I we were moving to Powder Springs, a suburb about 20 minutes away from Atlanta. I’d never heard of this place and couldn’t point it out on a map.

The next couple months it consisted of packing up rooms and throwing away old dolls that had one eye and half of her outfit (imagery). The biggest reason for my resentment of moving; our house was humongous. It had a basement, plus 3 floors. I thought no house could get better than that.

The car ride down there even though I didn’t show it, I was the saddest girl in the world. It was around a twelve-hour ride down there. In the car I would look over at the farms that we passed as we were entering the South. All I could think is what did we get ourselves into. There were papers that had to be signed and the real estate agent had to give us the keys to the house so the first couple of nights were spent in a hotel.

The day we moved in was scary for me. We pulled into a subdivision called “Taylor Farms”. I found it a little humorous that it had my name; as though it was telling me I belonged there (personification). When we drove into the subdivision I looked in amazement. There were mansion looking houses with perfect gardens and lawns. Kids’ played with each other in the street, and adult were engaging in conversation. Everyone seemed happy. We pulled up to a house that had a moving truck in the driveway and I knew it was ours. Suddenly my whole mood changed. It looked like 3 times of what our old house was. There was no chipped paint on the house, no driveway we had to share, and no loud noises around (magic three). In fact it was the most peaceful place I had ever been. My glass quickly became halfway full.

As soon as we moved in we were greeted with neighbors and open arms. They presented to be a little too nice, like they were the Stepford wives or something (simile). They brought by cakes and pies and went on and on about how excited they were to have new neighbors. A week went by and I simply loved it. My room was twice what it was before. There were three gigantic bathrooms, which meant not waiting for someone else to come out.  For the 5 of us it was heaven.

We started school about a week and a half after moving. I ended up at Baggett Elementary School. I quickly made friends with girls named Ayanna, Jillian, Taylor, and Danahja. Danahja was from Chester, PA and had just moved down there to live with her grandmother. I had lucked out, I found somebody who just like me was in a new environment and afraid. Ayanna lived in the same subdivision as me, she lived around the corner so she and I spent most of our time together. Almost every weekend I was staying at her house since all the people our age lived on her street and the creek was there. In movies they always show how kids in the suburbs have a hangout spot, well ours was the creek.

In fact life down there seemed like a movie. It was almost to good to be true. There hadn’t been not one fight to my knowledge. The whole time I was down there I only saw the police once. When my neighbors recently got a divorce and they were debating about who was going to get the dog. Our next-door neighbor Mr. Miles and his son were from Philadelphia also. So that was nice to have someone close who was from the same area. My aunt and cousins lived 15 minutes away, and surprisingly they were the only family I wanted and needed down there.

For two years my life consisted of watching Disney Channel, sleepovers every weekend, and birthday parties at a store called Lulu. (Magic three) Friday night seeing my older brother play basketball, going swimming in my back yard, and having barbeques. (Magic three) For two years my life consisted of nothing but pure happiness, but that was sure to change.

My father was having a hard trouble getting a good job down there. In Philadelphia he had a job that paid very well. So our only option was moving back to Philadelphia. One afternoon my parents called all of us in the living room for a “talk”. They both had sad looks on their faces as though someone had just died. My mom announced that there wasn’t enough money being brought in so we had to move back. I quickly burst out in tears. I felt as thought she had taken away my sanity. For two years I had been the happiest girl you had ever seen and in that second all of that was snatched from me.

Moving back meant living in a house that was squeezed tightly on a street with other houses. It meant every night instead if going to sleep hearing sounds of trees blowing I would go to bed hearing police sirens and people arguing. It meant moving back to the last place I wanted to be. Why would my parents put us through moving again? I hated Philadelphia and everything about it.

Why would we leave a place where the nicest people lived, to a place where rudeness stands on every corner? Trade a place where the most I got to do was go outside and play double-dutch for a place where I could ride my bike and go for a walk. Why would they trade Heaven for Hell? (Repetition for effect) Moving just didn’t mean trading my front lawn for nothing more than a porch; it meant changing my way of thinking. Moving back to Philadelphia meant whenever ever I go out I would have to put on a facade instead of my real personality.

My Pop Pop always would tell me to remember; when I die no matter how much I have or haven’t accomplished in my life was always born Taylor Jane Ximines. No matter what my environment or situation was I would always be me. The problem wasn’t me moving into a new place, but letting a new place move into me. Everyone feels like they have to transform but in reality if anything we’re find just the way we are. It doesn’t matter if I live in Philadelphia or Georgia, as long as I know who I am everything will be ok. Whether I’m in heaven or back in hell.