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Lessons from the Lake This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

The boy rose slowly from his bed. He slowly gazed over at the clock, jumping as he looked over at the clock. The glaring green lights read an improbable time. It can’t already be 10:30 can it?, the boy thought. The boy turned the other way, going to fix one of his pillows that fell off the bed. Reaching down for the pillow, the boy found a piece of paper. He pulled both the pillow and the paper up onto the bed.
Putting the pillow back, the boy gazed at a paper that resembled one he completed in school. The paper showed one of his favorite quotes, along with the poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay.” The quote read “Enjoy the little things in life…. for one day you will look back and realize they were the big things.” The poem was written by Robert Brault. I shall definitely enjoy this day, the boy thought. As for the poem, the boy smiled. His 7th grade English teacher, Ms. Jimualdo, had jammed that poem into the boy’s head. The boy set the paper down.

Poem and quote still in mind, the boy crept out of bed, but jumped as he saw the mirror gazing back at him with the same complexions as himself. His dark brown hair jumped up from his head in a puffy manner, but flattened at the top. However, his spike at the front from yesterday, was now a lot smaller, and less straight. His dark brown eyes shown of sleepiness. Gosh, some bed head I am, he thought.
Quietly, trying not to make a sound, the boy made his way to the bathroom. The bathroom was small, a small window sat above a small white toilet, next to a white shower, with a fish-themed curtains hanging in front of the opening of the shower. As usual, the boy clumsily ran into the wooden wall. The brown rug on the ground groaned in response of the clumsiness of the boy. The faucet in the bathroom then yelped as he turned the top of it on. Cold water ran out of the spout of the silver faucet as the boy washed up.

Making his way to the kitchen, he grabbed a bite to eat. As he made his way toward the newly painted white cabinets, the brownish orange rug beneath his feet, moaned back at him. The boy went and grabbed the Frosted Flakes cereal box, a bright yellow bowl, and took out the 2% Hoods milk from the plain white refrigerator. As the boy poured the milk and cereal into the bowl, he noticed bright red humming birds flocking to the bird feeder just in front of the windows above the silver sink. Taking his eyes of his cereal, milk splattered all over the counter. Quickly, the boy grabbed a couple flower-decorated napkins from the dark paint-stained napkin holder he had made in 5th grade. With the mess cleaned up, the boy climbed on a wooden stool, no taller than 3 feet. Strangely, sweat had started to form on the boy. Dense and muggy air had made its way through the windows that were ajar in the camp. Despite the growing heat, the boy was optimistic. Today is going to be a big day, the boy thought.

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As the sun took its position in the sky, the temperature was at its peak. It was afternoon now, and the boy was playing badminton with a couple of his friends next door. The birdie whistled back and forth in the air as the rackets slammed into the birdie. With sweat starting to form on the boy, he was even more determined now more than ever to finish this game, so that he can once again be victorious. Match point coming, the boy effortlessly tossed the birdie up and sent it flying, perfectly placed where his opponent couldn’t reach it. He jumped up with joy, and quickly came back to the ground. The ground rushed up and embraced the boy. He rolled around, laughing in spite of himself. He loved the fresh-cut grass smell as a little kid, and still enjoyed the smell that day. What can I do next, the boy pondered.


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As the life-vest settled on the boy, he was poised to have the time of his life! The tube moaned as the boy jumped atop of it. He checked to make sure that his blue life vest was fastened properly. The boy plopped down on the tube. Nervous, he played around with the handles on the tube. Looking down on the tube, red and black letters streamed down the sides of the tube. The background color on the tube was bright red, and especially bright as the excess water on the tub glimmered in the sunlight. It was go time, the boy thought.
The jet-ski started off, and in response, the tube launched itself across the water. The boy’s body lurched backwards as the tube gained speed. The boy tightened his grip as his body threatened to fall of the tube. As the tube flopped left and right, going inside and outside of the wake, the boy’s balance was truly tested. As he tried to regain his balance several times, the boy could almost hear the tube squeaking as it tore across the water. Wind rustled through his hair, and the boy cried out with joy. Water droplets sprayed up in to the boy’s face. It hurt a little, for the boy was going dangerously fast. He wiped away the water and used his fingers to comb through his wind-blown hair. The water was absolutely perfect! Sun on his back, the boy was warmed by the sun’s appearance. As the tube sped up, he saw ripples in the distance. The boy squinted, trying to make out what was causing the ripples. In the distance, the boy could barely make out the dark silhouette of a loon. Is this the best tube ride ever or what, the boy thought.

After what seemed like only a couple minutes, the boy made his way back to his camp. Before he could get to the dock, the boy launched himself off the tube into the water. The water swallowed him whole, and then spit him back out with ripples around him. Fighting the water, he swam hard and long. As he made his way back to the dock, the woman who was the driver of the jet-ski called out to the boy, reporting to him how fast he had gone. I can’t believe I was going 45 mph on the tube, the boy thought with joy! Not ready to come out of the gleaming water yet, he swam around for a little. What a beautiful day it is, the boy concluded.

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The boy sat in bed, tired from his long day. The only light source was the dim light cast from the moon. It could only be seen if the boy looked close enough at the little window at the end of his bed. What a great day it had been for the boy. Still, he couldn’t help but wish that the day hadn’t ended so quickly. Mind wandering, the boy thought of the approaching school year. Fidgeting in bed, the boy heard a crumpling sound. He reached behind his back for the source of the noise. There again, was the paper with his favorite quote and poem on it. Feelings collected, mind wandering still, the boy thought back to the poem his 7th grade English teacher drilled into his head. Then and there is when the boy truly understood the meaning of the poem Nothing Gold Can Stay.



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