Theme of My Life

March 20, 2011
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The theme that has played an important role in my life has to do with the Japanese proverb, 'The reputation of a thousand years may be determined by the conduct of one hour'. This theme came into my life around third grade and has been the theme of my life ever since. If there was one time in my life that I could go back and change, it would be third grade. The actions I took and the choices I made that year have led me to be someone I don't like. I am now someone who can't make friends due to fear of getting hurt again, can't have a decent conversation with anyone I haven't known since I was a kid and someone who can't be myself around most people. There are a few exceptions to each of those throughout the past five years, excluding third grade.

Third grade was definitely a major point in my life. It started out great. My two best friends (Marty S. and Jessica B.) and I found out, about a week before school, that our zoo camp counselor was our student teacher. For the first few months, or so, the year went great, until we got new assigned seats. I was put at a four-person table with the three boys who loved to annoy me (Cory C., John L., and Willie C.). Everyday those boys would find some way to make me cry in the middle of class. I would ask to go to the bathroom just to leave the room. The worst part is, at recess if someone said the smallest thing that annoyed me, I would get so mad at them. I would spend recess chasing my Jessica and Marty with a fist. Then, when my other friends (and theirs too) tried to stand up for them, I would start chasing them too. When it came to class work, I would just stop trying as hard, especially writing. I had trouble on one writing assignment and from then on I thought I was a terrible writer, so I just stopped. When we had to take one of the gray booklet tests and I wrote a lot, my teacher had said to me that I was a good writer, but I still wouldn't believe it. If I didn't feel I could do an assignment, writing or not, I wouldn't do it. Toward the end of the year things got better for Jessie, Marty, and me, but not with John, Cory and Willie. At the end of the year, Jessie's dad got a promotion, so she moved to Maryland. There was a few times after that I kept thinking to myself that if I knew this was the last year we would be in school together, maybe I wouldn't have threatened her all year, but it was too late. That summer, it was just Marty and me at zoo camp and I kept thinking how it would never be the same. One great thing happened that summer, though. We got new neighbors on our street and one of the girls was my age. We did everything together that summer: sleepovers, baseball games (when the Pirates were good). We were with each other almost everyday. The problem: her mom was in the airforce, so she moved every two years, so we made the most of our summer. I thought we would be friends for a while, but once the summer was over, and fourth grade started, we separated.

Fourth grade was a better year than third, but it wasn't great. Jamie and I went from best friends to barely talking. She met a few new friends and suddenly I was history. My fourth grade teacher was great. The three girls I would hang with always got me in trouble, though. Two of them would be talking in the hall and the next thing I knew it was, 'Alexa stop talking.' Fourth grade didn't involve chasing and threatening the girls and Marty, but Ilissa S. (one of the girls) and Mandy (might have been one, can't remember) and a few other girls were always excluding me. The weird part: Ilissa and I have known each other since preschool. Fourth grade was a consistent year. Ilissa, Mandy and the other girls excluding me, the three girls I hung out with getting me in trouble, and me, sitting alone on the side so I didn't have to deal with anyone else. Fifth grade got better too. I was stuck with John and Cory again, unfortunately, but I had some good friends in my class. The worst was lunch, though. All my friends were down at one end of the table with each other and I was with John, Cory, girls I hated, and the two boys everyone found weird. Because of lunch seats, I cherished recess. Isabella V, Nicole C, Laura H and I would stay in for recess almost every day and just play cards. We played in the afternoons, too. The one thing I haven't forgotten is when Cory decided not to be as mean anymore. Of course when he got nice, John got twice as mean. He made the rest of the year horrible. The other thing I liked about fifth grade was I don't think I cried in class at all that year. Fifth grade ended and I got split from some of my friends and put with complete strangers.

Sixth grade meant a new school, a bunch of new kids and new teachers. Marty and I were in the same homebase and we reconnected a little bit. He hung out with the girls and I hung out with two kids that I wasn't really friends with. I never realized how bad I was at socializing with other kids, especially girls, until one math class. We had finished class and we were waiting for the bell to ring. The girls were talking about who knows what and the boys were talking with our teacher about hockey. The girls were closer to the door and the boys over with our teacher. Me, I was in the middle of the two groups not knowing who to talk to. I knew more about hockey than gossip, but I knew I would feel weird talking with the boys, so I just stood there until the bell rang. Sixth grade was also another year of anger loss and there were boys who wouldn't let me forget it. Roy S. was the worst and, unfortunately, when we got our seventh grade teams, it was Roy, Alden and me. Since homebases were in alphabetical order, that meant we were in the same homebase again. I think all Roy cared about in seventh grade was finding ways to annoy Betsy S. and me. This year, not only did Roy enjoy annoying me, so did Eddie S and David W. in my homebase. David would annoy me in math and would swear at me. I usually never tell an adult when I have a problem like that, but I told my mom. She called Mr. Wygonik and then I had to meet with Ms. Pollock about it. What's weird is, once the musical started (which I decided to do, I didn't in sixth grade), David stopped annoying me. We could have conversations without getting mad. Roy, though, still was the worst. In science one time, he drove me to the point of pouring ice on him. In art (which was our homebase room, but not our homebase teacher, but she knew us well enough) Roy would annoy Betsy and me to the extreme. I wasn't only Roy, though. Other boys started too. They were: Scott C., David L, Dylan M, Taha E, and maybe one or two more. I swear, they lived to annoy me. Roy got so bad that Mrs. Miller had to ask Ms. Pollock to make sure we weren't on the same team in eighth grade. Eighth grade, now eighth grade is great so far.

So far, I think eighth grade might be my best school year and favorite one. Good or bad, it will be one I will never forget. The year started off good just because I had good kids on my team, some friends, some not. I heard so many great things about the teachers, too. I start off my days with the teacher I heard the best things about and he is a great teacher. Luckily, homebases weren't in alphabetical order this year or I would've been stuck with one kid I don't like at all. My year was going well and when the meeting for the musical came along, I thought, 'why not?' Last year the musical was okay, but no one really expanded their friendship circle. This year we did. I knew that Dorseyville's musicals never turn out great, but I signed up to hang with a few friends. I found pictures from last years musical and didn't even remember taking a picture with David, Mary Kate N, and Josie A, apparently I did. This year, Josie was Belle in Beauty and the Beast Jr. and David was Gaston. I don't even remember why I wanted so badly to be friends with Josie, all I knew is I did. I had sent her a message asking her if she liked me as a friend and I asked her to be honest. I told her I would tell her why later, but I told her why before. I told her I really liked her and that she is really nice. I mentioned how I never have been the likable person, or the one anyone wants to be around. I explained that I feel weird talking to some people face to face but when chatting on Facebook, i.e., I was fine. I told her I wasn't asking for sympathy. The message asking Josie if we were friends was sent September 21, 2009 and the one explaining was sent on September 25. I wasn't sure if I was going to get an answer back or not, since I didn't at first before I sent the second message, but later that night (September 25) I got an answer back saying that we were definitely friends. I then made sure she knew about me and when she said she didn't care about those things, I knew we would be good friends. That was just one moment when Josie changed my life. My semi-friend Emily K. had slept over my house one night because of services the next morning. We couldn't fall asleep so we were making videos. I was getting tired and was watching a movie on the laptop. While I was dozing, Emily made a video imitating Clara B. (one of Josie's best friends). Emily almost made the start of a good friendship end in one night. I wasn't even in Emily's video, but I was the one everyone (Clara, Josie and Katie O.) was mad at. When Josie was able to forgive me after I called, again, I knew she would be a good friend. We have a lot in common. The musical processed on and I made so many friends. I made friends with kids in sixth and seventh grade too. The musical changed my life this year. We were all friends so that helped us put on a great show. Last year no one made many new friends. Everyone stayed with their other friends. As a result of that, our show didn't go great. This year, David was mean again (ever since he and Josie became boyfriend and girlfriend). At the cast party, he managed to make me run out of the room crying. I learned some of my true friends back in that hallway. The kids that came back were ones who cared about me. I expected Josie to come back, but she told me why she didn't. When I posted on Facebook that I was still mad at David, the comments went to a point that Josie got on chat and pretty much our conversation was us arguing over whose life was/had been worse. I learned how much we really did have in common then. She is the only friend I have had where we have mini-fights. She is the only girl who actually talks to me and listens like she cares. She changed my life. The two highlights of my year so far: musical and Josie. I don't enjoy remembering third grade, but I know I will for a while.

'The reputation of a thousand years may be determined by the conduct of one hour' is a huge part of my life. I have learned that third grade has led me to be a girl people know before they have even met me. I have been hurt so many times that I feel I can't trust anyone. I don't know how to be myself anymore. I don't know who I am, but I do know who I am not. I can't have a decent conversation with anyone I haven't known for a while. I was doing interviews for newspaper and when I talked to Josie, I was fine. When I talked to Sophie B, who I have known since fourth grade, it was awkward. The only time I know I can be myself is with kids from Beauty and the Beast Jr. because we love each other for who we really are. I have had a reputation for five years, one I am trying to make better, that has made me wish I could go back and change that one day that John, Cory and Willie first made me cry and threaten my friends. If that one moment had been different, I might be different.





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