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Sitting at my desk in the eighth grade, on Monday morning, I patiently wait for my assignment. Wondering what I should write, I am told to get a sheet of paper and a writing utensil out. I have never been the best writer but I feel today is a better day. When I write I will write until my hand cramps.
The teacher, Mrs. Chavez, has been my English teacher since the sixth grade and I am now in the eighth grade. She has gray hair, the length of her shoulders. Today she was wearing a blue denim skirt with yellow lace at the bottom and a yellow blouse with small pink flowers. After telling us to have a writing utensil and a sheet of paper she says, "One more writing assignment of the year," she pauses a second to listen to the groans of the students, then continues, "I would like you to write about anything. However it must amaze me. It can be of any length, from a whole story to even a sentence if you think it will be wonderful. Six weeks test start Monday so I want you to have time to study, therefore this will count as your test. You have one week to finish this. This Friday we will start reading these out loud if you feel ready but we will finish on Monday and Tuesday if we need it. Everyone must read theirs out loud. Pens ready, Paper set, Go be Writers!"
Everyone starts whispering around thinking what to write, but not I. I immediately start to write. Nonsense at first. Then it makes sense to me.
I have always felt compelled to hold my feelings in. I hope they go away. Then it rains and something puts them back in my hand, like beaches and their sand. I want to share, but then I hear, "Shh, no one needs to know anything." I go to sleep and my feelings hide in the deep.
Class is over, and I go home. My mom ask, "Honey, how was school? What did you do? Did you learn anything new?"
Replying I say, "No Mom, nothing new. Same ol' same old. I am just tired. I'm going to lay down for awhile."
When I get upstairs to my room I pull out my story, "Friday Night it began. . ." I decide to start over. I want to really stun Mrs. Chavez.
Everyday I write, rewrite, and start over many times. Now the end of the week is nearing and I am just starting to write a good piece. Friday comes along and a few people want to read just for comments and help to see how can they make it better. I choose to keep my story to myself so it will be a surprise! Some of the stories are good, but like mine they need work too.
Over the weekend I hangout with friends like always. However, on Sunday I take time to make my story better. As I said I want this to be the best. I get distracted easily. My mom is the one who keeps me focused.
Monday morning comes sooner then expected. I have English second period, and I am ready. I feel this truly is my best work. I go to class and take my seat. We volunteer to read. I wait till last because at this time I think mine will make the class astonished. All of sudden I feel sick, my stomach turns to knots. I get these thoughts in my head, "What if, what if it's not as good as I think? Oh no mine sucks. I'm gonna fail. I have no time to fix it. Crap, now what?"
Then Bam! It's now my turn! My hands are shaky and sweaty. I slowly walk to the front of the classroom with my head held high. I turn and face the students. "Most Perfect Ever. Written by, Michelle Anderson", I started to read my three-page story.
Getting lost in my words, I didn't realize I am almost done. Next I finished and stood quietly for what felt like ten seconds, yet it happened immediately afterwards. My class is giving me a standing ovation. Mrs. Chavez, now having tears slightly run down her face, turns to face me and said, "Now Michelle, that was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!"
My story was my life story that involved some pretty open stuff; my dad died just a few years ago, when I was ten. Then that summer I tried to kill myself, by suffocation, however the human insticts of survival came over me and stopped me, making me pull the bag off my head. I was only ten and I wasn't really ready to give away my life. Therefore, the next two months I sat in my room with nothing except the clothes on my back. My mom didn't want to put me in the crazy house but she wanted to protect me. My mom was, is, and always will be the only one who knows how I feel. No one believed my whole story was true. Just bits and pieces. They knew that my dad had died in the car wreck. Everyone except for the quiet guy who always sat in the back silently, he could tell by my story you can't just make up stuff like that.
Class was over and I had to gather my bag and some other stuff. Peter, the silent one, walked over to me and said, "Thanks for sharing your story. I believe you." He had this look in his eye that he knew he was the only one who really knew it was true. He continued, "Counseling helps, and its can be free. I can give you some information." Then he puts his hood back on and moves to the door. He takes one more look towards me and I see him flash a smile. That was the only time I ever looked into his eyes.
I mouthed right before he turned away, more in a whisper, "Thank you." Then he turns and walks out.
So I tried the counseling. I got some help. I write about my dad a lot. Remembering that day in the eighth grade I realized that telling stories can help the lost even if no one believes you. Someone is always listening. Now if I feel the least bit troubled I write. Even if I think I will never read it again at least I know I shared it on paper.