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Tanya Christensen This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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““One more time!” Ms. Christensen yells for the fifth time to our already exhausted winter guard team. “You can go home after this one.” We all know she'll ask for another run-through, but we never complain. After what seems like a few hundred changes, 15 run-throughs of our performance, and almost all the team's energy depleted, we start packing up to head home. While we put away our flags and equipment in the guard room, Ms. C – the young lady with long blonde hair – is hurrying out of the building to make it to her college classes on time. Ms. C constantly shows us her determination and kindness by dedicating her free time to our team and by picking us up when we're down.

Every day, Ms. C finds time to fit in a practice somewhere between her first job as a substitute teacher, her second job at K-Mart, her college courses, and coaching a second winter guard team. Almost all of her free time is dedicated to tweaking our routines so our performances are thrilling to watch. Even after a day of working two jobs and going to school, Ms. C will find the energy to run a practice before finally heading home at 9 p.m. Regardless of her jam-packed schedule, Ms. C keeps a positive attitude toward everyone on the team.

Ms. C shows a lot of kindness and tries to keep peace within the team. If there is ever conflict between teammates, Ms. C finds a way to help them become friends again. “Remember the good times you had when you were friends,” Ms. C says with a smile. “Don't you miss those days?” Not only does Ms. C try to keep peace within our team, she cheers up anyone in a gloomy mood.

“Three, two, one …” the team counts down, our hands clasped in the center of the huddle before taking a deep breath and shouting, “¡Sí se puede!” (Yes! It is possible!) Ms. C shouts the loudest, almost drowning out our voices. Even after a hard day of work, she shows a tremendous amount of determination for our team and cheers us on through every performance. For these reasons, Ms. C amazes me. F

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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