Today is My Turn This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

July 21, 2011
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Today is my turn.
I must stand in front of my myriad classmates and
deliver a speech.
Well, deliver or die, that is.
I must endure what will probably be the most
horrifying 30 minutes of my teenage life.
Even before the torture session begins
My hot blood rushes to my neck,
Permeates my cheeks and transforms my head into
a deep red rose.
I take a deep breath and
I choke out a greeting to my peers.
I squeak out my introduction,
The one I so painstakingly worded and reworded
in the seclusion of my room,
The one I spent so many hours researching,
The one I so carefully constructed and structured,
The one that is now barely audible beneath the rustle
of papers and the whispers of others.
I am halfway through my rambling, stuttering,
train-wreck mess of a speech
When a weird sensation of pride overtakes me.
My speech is not about my peers,
My humiliation.
It is about the passion that started the string of words
“I have a dream”
It is about the vision that sparked the American
It is about the courage to speak boldly and fearlessly for what you believe in.
And just as quickly as this tingling comes, it goes.
And I regain my senses.
I find that these new inspirations cause aspirations;
It's not all about the grade I receive toward my
borderline A.
I realize that this speech is not at all about me.
My classmates can forget about me.
It is about my prompt.
My voice begins to grow in volume, a teensy bit at first;
but as I begin to believe in the words I am saying,
my voice grows louder, and Louder, and LOUDER,
and my confidence grows bigger, and Bigger,
Until it penetrates the barrier of the facades of my “whatever” and “I don't care” peers.
Until everyone is captivated by the passion and
firmness beneath the words.
Until they finally grasp the meaning and the
magnitude of what I am saying.
I close my speech with a few last words,
And the room just about explodes with applause.

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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Dovah said...
Dec. 21, 2012 at 9:50 pm
Very cool and interesting. I "applaud" you.
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