February 22, 2009
By Kimberlyn Magee BRONZE, Santa Rosa, California
Kimberlyn Magee BRONZE, Santa Rosa, California
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

A great honor had been bestowed upon two young girls in the final trimester of their sixth grade year. This was the year they would be promoted into middle school following a ceremony at the close of the academic year. According to tradition the ceremony would include the recitation of memorized poems by the graduating class, a speech by the principal, awards presentations, and a student-written speech to be read aloud by the author; or in the case of this year, authors. These two girls were the best of friends, as close as two girls on the verge of beginning their separate lives could be.

The girls reveled in the honor of being recognized as the most gifted in speech writing and delivery. They were exempted from class work in order to sit outside and compose their speech. For weeks they poured over the words, attempting to find the right balance of humor for their peers and sentiment for the parents. They believed they could represent not just their academic year, but their entire academic career in this single speech. Their work was shrouded in mystery; the girls did not wish to reveal its magnificence until the day of the ceremony. However, their teacher insisted upon seeing the fruits of the girls? labor in order to approve it before the ceremony. So the girl with the best handwriting composed the final copy of their masterpiece and presented it for judgment before going to join her classmates at lunch.

Everything seemed to be going perfectly. The girls entered the classroom with their friends, laughing, enjoying the newfound freedom from responsibility. Their school year was done until the presentation. They had no cares in the world.

Until the yelling began.
?You have had weeks to work on it and this is what you come up with??

Why was she so livid? Why was she speaking to only one of the girls? Why wouldn?t she stop? Couldn?t she see the other children staring? Why was the other girl doing nothing? Why wouldn?t she explain that the girl with the better writing didn?t want to incorporate those phrases currently being denounced?
The girl with the better handwriting sat silently as her work was torn apart. The girl with the better handwriting sat silently as the other children stared at her. The girl with the better handwriting sat silently as the teacher outlined the speech?s stupidity. The girl with the better handwriting sat silently as tears welled up in her eyes.

Then the girl with the better handwriting realized her comrade would not save her. She realized the other girl?s fear outweighed her loyalty. Then the girl with the better handwriting walked out of the room and never looked back.

She learned more that day than she had learned the whole year. She learned not to invest her whole self. She learned that simply trying her hardest would never be good enough. She learned that she could only rely on herself. She learned to speak up and refuse to be disrespected. She learned to express her passion. She found her voice.

She became herself that day.

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