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Personal Experience Stories

Personal Writing: A Project Suggested by Tara Kapoor, Humanities Teacher

Darwin Middle School, Darwin, Australia


There are two main ways to create an interesting piece of writing. The first is to write about something interesting. The second way is to write about something in an interesting way. Of course, you can write about something interesting in an interesting way and get the best of both.

We were challenged to choose a topic that we knew well, a characteristic that is important for personal writing. One of these topics that we all know well is school.

Over the years there have been many fictional school stories, usually based on the writer’s own school days. Great nineteenth-century writers such as Charles Dickens and Charlotte  Bronte features schools and school events in their works. In 1857 one of the most famous school stories of all time was published: Tom Brown’s Schooldays. In this novel, Thomas Hughes wrote about things that have now become central to most school stories: school bullies, trouble with teachers, sport and adventure.

Students from Darwin Middle School, Darwin, Australia; Berwick Academy, South Berwick, Maine USA; and students from the International School of Cluj, Cluj-Napoca, Romania compiled these personal stories.  


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First Day


New experiences are always good you learn life lessons and learn from your mistakes. Your first day at school is always different depending on where you go. When I was first starting school it was different from usual because I had never been to school and had no idea what to expect.

“It’s too early!” I moan as my Mum removed the covers from my head allowing light to flood into my eyes. My eyes struggle to adjust to the sudden change of light. The blurred colours that are my room mix to make strange shades of colours without names. I eventually found a blur of colours resembling my mum. “Why do I have to get up this early?”

“Because it’s time for school,” she replied, lifting me out of my bed onto the cold tiled floor of my room. “Go get ready. Your bag is down at the car.”

After my morning routine of brushing my teeth and getting dressed, I went down to the car and found my bag. I put my bag on my back moaning as if it weighed hundreds of kilograms. As I went into the car, the heat of being out in the sun hit me like a brick. The only sound to be heard in the car was the gentle rattling of the engine.

After ten to fifteen minutes of driving the rattling of the engine came to a halt as we stopped outside the school. I was unsure about this place the fences had decorations the looked like the ends of the spears while the gates had large padlocks on them. When I reached the gate there was a blast of cold air as the air-conditioning flooded outside into the tropical heat. We walked into a room with about twenty kids with the same blank confused expression that I had.

My mum then asked “Do you like your new school”

“It looks great,” I reply, unsure about this new place.

“I’ll pick you up when you finish. Just wait outside”

I sat down with the other children and listened to our teacher as she spoke about how fun school was going to be. I looked on the wall and saw colourful paintings from previous classes. The teacher soon had us painting pictures just as bright to replace the ones being taken down. She read the class a story out of a ridiculously large book and let us play for a while with the blocks and other toys. Finally the teacher took us outside to wait for our parents.

At first, I was unsure about pre-school, but i soon came to get ready as fast as I could to get more time to play with my friends. I didn’t know that later on these times and wish I could go back to them. They were my first days of school and some of the best of my life.


By Connor
Darwin Middle School, Darwin, Australia




Memories ...

                                                                               

Hey.

I'm here.

Waiting.

Come and visit me.

Remind yourself about the great fun I have given to you.

Play me over and over in your head.

Does it bring that half-smile on your face?

Well, it should.

Hey.

I'm here.

Living.

Rarely looking at the past.

New surroundings keeps me safe from you.

Different people, different streets, different interests.

Do I still want to live that moment again?

Well, I should try.

14th of June 2011, last day of school, my 14th birthday

Bottles filled with water.

Students waiting for the last sound of the school bell that year.

For me it was going to be the last sound of that school for years.

Familiar faces laughing, minds loosened up, perfectly prepared for doing nothing but enjoying the Sun, people, smell of salt and fresh lavender. Spending money on tremendous ice-creams.

Absence of sound.

Bell, rush, splash of water.

RUN. Return the favour. Splash of water in his face.

Laugh.

My class had 28 students. My school had 700 students. The morning shift had 300 students.

I never felt on the last day of school as if there would be no school the day after.

It wasn't celebrating the fact that I wouldn't study anymore, or wake up early in the morning.

It was just the routine that we had to go through every year.

More than 100 bottles, different volumes, filled with freezing water. Sometimes mixed with toothpaste and coffee. Boys against girls. Actually everyone against everyone.

Don't be superficial.

I'm better than that.

The way I make you feel and the feelings you start to remember when you remind yourself about Me.

Am I that good that is hard to think about me?

Ok then.

She in front of me, amazingly skinny legs and abnormally long hair. Broken tips of Her hair.

Me, yelling, as always. And trying to convince her how we should put ketchup in the water.

She says that it’s a stupid idea.

Like She always says.

AND look.

I'm here, in front of all boys in my class.

Only one second and my wet T-shirt is perfectly stuck to my skin.

Small coffee grains all over my face, and my hair filled with sticky toothpaste.

And I see Her kicking a Boy near her with her anorexic legs. Never mind. It's chill.

She is smiling.

I'm taking a walk to the hot pavement. First sitting, then deciding to lie.

Definitely a bad decision.

Fused with the floor. Spitting the coffee out of my mouth and wiping the water out of my eyelashes. And promise to myself, as soon as I get them, they are finished.

Angry face expression. Love inside me.

Loving every single drop on me. Every single voice around me.

However, they deserve it. She is coming to help me, throwing the big two-liter bottle to me. Perfectly catching it.

Splashing it at them.

When I realize

My bottle is red. Oh, no, my mixture of water and something is red!

And then She says, just because it's your last day.

Not such a bad idea after all....

And I'm feeling like the happiest social animal in the world.

With all those monkeys around me.

Is it enough?

Are you satisfied now?

All the pictures spinning in my head. And then, slap.

I'm not there, I'm here, taken from You and thrown back at my new place.

Back with different people, and different streets, and different interests ...

Thank you.

Now You felt how it is when someone visits you and leaves suddenly.

You're still here.

Hey...

hey.

he ...

Come as you are

I hope that you're learning how to see everything in better light

How to stay calm even if you're about to say that they are not right

I hope you'll find out who you really want to be

And change yourself even though you’re changing without me

And I'm a bit afraid.

as you were

Hope you'll not change in something I don't like

hope you'll still have something mine inside your heart

hope you'll be there when I'm feeling down

or just share the silence as we look at people passing by.

as I want you to be.

Hope you'll appreciate my advice

even if it seems that it isn't that nice.

Hope you'll still love me like an awkward child

who is becoming a person without you around.

As a friend

Hope we can still go out

just talking about any kinds of stuff

Asking random questions

eating like a poor child

As a FRIEND

It's nice to have someone

who knows your best sides

with whom you can act silly

and share your life wide

With curtains opened in every part of your life

to share a smile

and talk all night

As an old memory

Hope you're still thinking of me

and as you can see

I'm waiting for October to come

so I can count days

and

then

go home,

again.

~ Lada, (Croatia) Foundation year, International School of Cluj, Cluj-Napoca, Romania



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Last Day of School


By far the most emotional day of school I've ever experienced was the last day of year 6. I came to school thinking it would just be another normal last day of school. it turned out to be the complete opposite.
        The thought of not seeing friends and teachers again was very saddening. This caused an endless amount of tears to come out of everybody's eyes, including the year six teachers! We were all an emotional wreck. This went on from about an hour after recess til the start of lunch and even during lunch there were still innumerable people crying.
        After lunch was assembly. All the year 6's were meant to do a flash mob for the last part of the assembly,  but I didn't know how we were possibly going to do it in the state we were all in. All of a sudden the music started and everybody's face just lit up and we sprung into action. It was perfect. The entire assembly loved it.
        The bell rang and that's when all the crying started again except this time it was twice as bad. There were probably only a handful of kids, including myself, whose faces didn't look like a river was flowing through it. Even though I wasn't crying I still felt very sad because two of my best friends were moving out of Darwin and my other three best friends weren't even going to the same middle school as me.
        All the crying had eventually stopped at around 3 'o' clock and everybody went home.
        I always hated primary school, but now I wish I was back there with all my friends playing rugby with not a worry in the world.

~ By Dion
Darwin Middle School, Darwin, Australia


                                                                                                                                                                              



My Last Week of Primary School


In the last week of school, last year, my class, Year 6 Collister, had a mountain load of fun. We didn’t do ANY work and just had a great time in our last week of primary school. Most of the week we had free-time and watched a lot of good and hilarious movies.
A night I’ll never forget. Half way through the last week of school last year all the Year sixes had their primary school Graduation dinner/disco. We were all dressed in our finest and nicest clothes and we all looked spectacular. Inside it was a great feeling because you knew everyone there and we were all there for the same reason……… TO GRADUATE FROM PRIMARY SCHOOL AND HAVE A GREAT TIME. We had it at the Warratah Football club. All my friends and classmates and teachers were there. At first everyone was afraid to dance but by the end of the night we were ALL dancing and having a great time. The song everyone loved to dance to was “I’m Sexy and I Know It” because everyone knew the dance moves and we all had a great time wiggling. On the dance floor it was CHAOS I mean there were people dancing EVERYWHERE. By the end of the night I was surprised no one had gotten hurt!
For dinner we had spaghetti bolognaise with meatballs, salad and bread rolls. It was really yummy and I went back for thirds! For dessert there was ice-cream and/or pavlova. I just had ice-cream because I’m not really a pavlova person but other people were saying it was delicious.
Then on Thursday we had the whole school presentation assembly. I won 2 awards! I won the Literacy award for my class and the Australia Day Citizen of the Year award for my school. For both categories I was very surprised to hear my name get calledout because I wasn’t expecting to win any awards especially the Australia Day Citizen award.
All in all my last week of primary school was ALOT OF FUN.

By Jackson
Darwin Middle School, Darwin, Australia
 


The Big Blue Door


Smack! “Go, quick, run!” someone yelled as my friend Mitchell hit a big shot while we were playing cricket in the cricket nets at Stuart Park Primary School.

“Ahhhh!”…

“Here I’ll take you to the office”, I said as I got Mitchell, who was bleeding because he had tipped over on the concrete. I took him to the front office where they redirected us to the nurse who was in the first aid office down the corridor. I told her how Mitchell had grazed his knee badly on the ground. The nurse sat him down on the throw away bed sheets on the bed in the first aid room.

I left Mitchell with the nurse and anticipated playing cricket with my friends before lunch ended. I mindlessly opened the door to the outside world, just like I had for the past 5 years. As I walked out I subconsciously dragged my index finger along the big, blue, spring-loaded fire door, but something wasn’t right. Something grabbed my finger and ripped me back. Hang on, this is starting to hurt. Ow, now it’s really hurting. Oh my gosh, this is excruciating!

I fumbled then pushed with all might to open the heavy door. My only thought was to get that door open as I screamed as loud as I could. After what felt like hours, I managed to free my finger. I came running into the first aid room (still screaming like crazy) and looked at my finger, it was less than half it usually is, how can this be possible? I looked at Mitchell who had looked around to see what all the commotion was about and he looked astonished too.

It turns out my finger wasn’t broken luckily but I have never walked through that door without giving it a wide berth ever again.


By Josh

Darwin Middle School, Darwin, Australia

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It’s five in the morning and I going to the biggest swim meet of the year. I’m thinking, I’m ready! The warm-up pool is cold and crowded. I am kicked in the face and bleeding. I was off to a bad start.

After warm-ups, I’m ready for the first event, the 100-yard freestyle. I finished with a 1:14 and I’m not happy at all. Then, I get ready for the other events. The 50-yard butterfly is my best event and it’s the last one. After a few more events, I start to get personal best times and start to win heats. I’m feeling better and better as time goes along. At last it is time for the 50-yard butterfly. I go up to the block and I am in the fastest heat. I’m getting nervous but I am ready for it. I step up on the block and get into the starting position. The official says, “Take your mark!” and the starter goes off. I plunge into the water with a huge push from my feet. Gliding and power, my coach's words repeat in my mind. I finish the first 25-yards and I am still going at full speed. When I look next to me with my right eye, I am in second place and if I want to win, I will have to speed up. Only 15 yards to go and I am still behind. I start to feel the power that I felt in the beginning. It’s like 1000 cups of coffee building up inside me. I sprint for the finish as fast as I can and hit the wall at top speed. I look up at the clock and it reads 0:31.62. On the inside, I am jumping up and down with joy. It gets even better. When I am about to leave, the head official says my name from the podium. I look down and he is holding a plaque that says “Best Swimmer Award ~ GSSA Swim Meet.” It was for third place in New England and it was for me! That was one of the best days of my life and it all happened in the magical place called the swimming pool.


By Noah
Berwick Academy, South Berwick, Maine





When I Was Younger…

-Trip to America-

Going to America for a month… I know it sounds like a really long time, but when you are there, everything moves so fast. I know I talked about this event a lot to my friends and classmates. But it was the best summer of my life! It was the second time I got out of the country and I was just ten. It wasn’t the fact that I was a bit young, it was the fact that I only went with my thirteen-year old sister, that’s what scared me.

My mom, my dad, my sister and I woke up at five o’clock in the morning so we can get ready and drive to the airport in Budapest. Our flight left at eleven but we were supposed to be there at nine. I was so anxious I looked at the giant planes taking off… I was going to be in one of them… Any way I didn’t get cold feet I knew I was going to be ok. After the goodbyes, I and my sister got on the plane, I was really, really nervous because it was the first time in my life I flew with an airplane. I had heard a lot about how it was, from my sister. When the plane took off the sensation in my stomach was so cool and funny! It was like all my internal organs were going in the back of my body. If I had had to get up from the chair I couldn’t have been able to. It was like I was glued to the chair.

But then I had to wait for twelve hours to see if I liked the feeling when we would land. In those twelve hours I slapped a lot, I read and I watched a bit of TV, because there were some screens  around the plane. The food wasn’t so good and I believe that was why when we landed I was really sick. My head was spinning and I thought I was going to throw up! I couldn’t even speak or move. My sister kept telling me how amazing New York was from up there. I was so sad and disappointed because I couldn’t see that beautiful view of Central Park and the whole of New York.

New York wasn’t our final destination, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania was… I felt the same when we took off, only not as excited because I was more used to it now. When we landed I was asleep and yet again I couldn’t enjoy landing!

At the airport in Pittsburg, Debbie and Don, our hosts there, were waiting for us. I was so happy to see a familiar face. Just then I realized how lucky I and my sister were because we didn’t have any problems on the way there. I was so calm, tired, peaceful and happy now. The next few days we went to school with the others there. It was so fun and I wasn’t nervous at all. Then I knew I would never have problems moving to another school.

The second week we went to South Carolina, to the beach! Now that was proper vacation. It was so hot and sunny! The humidity was so high that when you got out of the house it was hard to breath. But it was still great.

After a week of sun and relaxation we went to Florida! I think I waited all my life for a week like that! Every single week another park, another hundred rides on crazy rollercoasters! That was the life! I was sick just on my first ride but I got over it fast so I don’t miss a thing. One day I went on twenty rides! Anyway, every good thing has its end.

In the last week of the amazing vacation we visited cities from the east coast like Washington DC, with a lot of historical monuments. That was nice too, I felt important and lucky to see all those monuments.

The trip home was the best! I didn’t feel sick at all and Harry Potter was on in the plane. This time I wasn’t so tired so I got the chance to look out the window at the ocean and clouds. I was really happy because I finally got to see New York from the plane! I had the perfect view of the whole Manhattan. Even so I felt sad because it was all over… the interesting thing is that I never missed my parents in a month, that’s how much fun I had.



~ Ruxandra, Grade 6, International School of Cluj, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.




Graffiti is Actually Great Sometimes

 

    When you’re little and innocent, you usually own a crazy imagination, conjuring up imaginary events which cause other things to happen, events that can be absolutely discombobulating to adults. Thinking back, the stories we had in our minds are almost impossible for me to conceive now!

     At primary school there was a fenced forest on the north-eastern side of the oval, and we would make cubbies with leaves, branches and palm fronds. In the forest, the majority of the trees had initials etched onto them. Now, of course, we knew they were graffiti, but no no no, that was too much of a boring story for some humble grade twos. Instead, the etchings were letters of an anagram which were to be unjumbled to spell the name of another place where there were more etchings to be unjumbled, and so on.

     Every recess and lunch for nearly five weeks we would pop out of class with pencils, paper and dictionaries (The dictionaries were for trying to find words that fit, so don’t think we were idiots) and try to solve the mysterious riddle of the tree etchings. Now, although our teacher was awesome, we still did not have a great vocabulary. So, recess became “puzzle solving class number one”, lunch evolved to be “puzzle solving class number two,” and sadly, most of the time we didn’t reveal anything interesting at all.

     I now shall brand into your brains the story of the last lunchtime we ventured into the forest, where the good and the bad united to make quite a peculiar lunch. Jan, (You say Yan) Jordan, a few others and I were, well, in the forest of course.

     I opened our dictionary (or magnificently useful invention, as an English teacher would say) to a random page and stared at an eighteen letter word I hadn’t seen before, to see if it fit.

     “No,” I said to them, opening another page. I counted the letters out loud this time. “F…   yeah…   E…   yep…” and…

     “FER-RO-MAG-MI-DI…   FERROMAGNE-TIB…   FERROMAGNETISM! Eureka! (I’d been studying the gold rush, so I knew what eureka meant) Yay! Yay! Yay!” (I said yay an innumerable amount of times).

     “We should check if they’re right to make sure” Jan pointed out.

     Now, I was tired and aggravated, so I didn’t want to check, but they stipulated, so I endured the task…   drum roll…   and…   “NO!” There were two more letters on a different tree. “The person who did this is a silly billy! Hoomf” I stormed out.

     Having an amazing imagination is usually great, but on occasions it can drive you up the wall like a supercar.


By Thomas
Darwin Middle School, Darwin, Australia.





The puck drops. The championship game has begun. We have worked so hard to get here. It’s do or die! We win the face-off and rush the puck into the offensive zone. We are passing the puck well until one bad pass. We forced a pass that wasn’t going to happen. Our opponent takes the puck, goes down, and scores. One to nothing. Agawam is winning. The time is ticking away in the first period. The buzzer rings and the first period comes to an end.

Coach talks to our team and tells us that we played hard but we need to play harder. He gets us pumped up and then we do our lucky chant. The puck drops again. We win the face-off and take it into the offensive zone once more. We shoot the puck toward the net. The goalie saves the puck, but leaves a rebound. We have two guys going to the net full speed and one of them gets a touch on the puck and we score! The score’s 1-1 in the second period. We played hard for the rest of the period and managed another goal, but so did the other team.

Our coach gets us pumped up for the last period in regulation. We’re pumped and ready to win the championship! The puck drops. We lose the face-off, but recover the puck quickly. We dump the puck in the offensive zone just to be safe, but the other team skated the puck up the ice and scored quickly. We were disappointed, but the game wasn’t over yet. We set up for the face off at center ice and win it! This time, we skate the puck behind their goal and start passing the puck. Time is winding down. There is one minute left in the period and we’re passing the puck around the offensive zone once more. I get the puck and pass it to my defense partner. He passes it back and I wind up and take a slapshot from the blue line. The referee blows his whistle and points to the net. I scored! We tied the game in the last minute! After the referee pointed to the net, I skated as fast as I could and did a mix between two celebrations. I did the “Wayne Gretzky,” which is when you do a fist pump while picking up snow from the ice. Then, I jumped into the boards where all of our fans were sitting. Everyone was banging on the glass. I felt so proud but not for me. I was proud of my team!

We got ourselves back into the game, and eventually went into overtime. With less than one minute left in overtime, I got a penalty for touching a kid’s hockey stick. I went to the penalty box, ashamed of myself, but I cheered on my team and helped them finish overtime. Nothing happened during overtime. Nobody scored so the game went into a shootout. The referee came over to tell my coach the rules. We were all pumped. The team we might beat was undefeated before the tournament, so we were excited!

The first three shooters for both teams didn’t score, but the two fourth shooters did. Since our team shot first, we had to go first again for round 5. We scored, and we knew that our goalie had to save the puck in order for us to win. The opponent shooter tried to dangle out our goalie but completely tripped over the blue line and missed the net completely. We won!

Our team hadn’t won the tournament in a few years, so this win meant a lot to us. When the other team failed to score on the last shot, we all sprinted out to the ice, threw our sticks, gloves, and helmets onto the ice and jumped on our goalie! We hadn’t been that excited yet this whole season! We lined up to shake our opponents’ hands, and then received our trophy! We took a team picture, then got off the ice and went back into the locker room to celebrate! After the game, we all got cookies and cupcakes and went to a party. We went home and went back to practice the next day, just so we could have another small team party. Our team’s accomplishment meant a lot to me because it was my first year with the team and because we came back many times throughout the tournament.


By Matt
Berwick Academy, South Berwick, Maine


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The Scariest Moment


Darwin was like a whole new world for me. I’d just moved from Adelaide and I didn’t know anyone.
My life had just gone from fantastic, to horrible. Everything was ruined.
My first day of year five was one of the most terrifying moments of my life. The first thing I though when I walked into Larrakeyah Primary was ‘Of great, I’m the new kid again’. Right from the moment I walked into that school, I knew this year would be very interesting.
I remember almost everything that happened that morning.
When we paced in on that day, gee, was I nervous. My mum and I walked into the front office, where an older woman showed us the way to my new classroom. The class I would be in for the rest of the year.
I cautiously followed them.
My mum started talking to my teacher, Mr. Collister. It was the first time I had ever had a male teacher. So I was a little anxious, I guess you could say.
My first male teacher, wow!
Mr. Collister was a kind of old man. In his 50’s maybe? He had grey hair, and ashy, pale, grey/blue eyes. He had a little bit of facial hair, which was quite different, and which I found a little bit amusing. He appeared to be very patient and joyful.
Over all, the morning of my first day of school was by far the scariest moment. A moment I will never forget. It’ll be something that stays with me forever.

By Olivia
Darwin Middle School, Darwin, Australia


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A School Show

When you are little, school shows are the biggest events of the year.

It was a beautiful and hot summer day and also the last day of school, so we thought that we should have a bit of fun. We had prepared a little play and we put up a show for the parents: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Everybody had a costume with guns, crowns, big moustaches, colourful clown clothes. I was different! I was dressed like a princess, with a beautiful white dress, a crown made of flowers and shiny white shoes. Can you imagine how special I felt that day? I think I strutted a little as I was walking around.

I remember I had to take care of the little dwarfs and treat them like a mother would treat her children. I had to act serious and responsible- and so I did. Everybody who saw me said I was beautiful  and I knew that. But when I was there, on stage, I knew I was more than that: I was the most special of all!

After that day, I used to wear my white dress almost every day. It made me so happy, it just reminded me how special I felt and how magic the day had been.



~ Bianca, Grade7, International School of Cluj, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

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The last day of school in 4th grade was a very interesting day. When I got to school, I went to class and we had a special breakfast, with Panera bagels (my favorite), hot chocolate, and doughnuts. Then we went to the theater and had a graduation ceremony. The teachers said nice things about us  I thought this was cool because at my old school, we never had anything like that. After that ,we went back to the classroom and played games like Connect Four. The teachers had banned that game because people were yelling and being overly competitive. Before it was banned, watching a game was hilarious. People got angry and stressed and one person even had a panic attack. We also played chess, checkers, and many other board games. Then at 12:00, the school day ended. The whole grade was invited to a pool party at a classmate’s house. We swam and played many games that involved chasing each other. There was also an epic water gun fight. People squirted each other in the pool and all over the yard. I was ambushed by my friend Ben who had been waiting behind a tree. I went inside to get a drink and when I came back, I ran to the backyard to see what everyone was doing. I saw a group of people standing around one of my classmates who was crying behind a bush. After a few minutes, she calmed down and the problem was resolved. To this day I still don’t know what the problem was. We went back to having fun swimming, playing games and slip and sliding. That was a amazing day, but it wasn’t without it’s flaws. Sometimes people are confusing. Parts of that day were examples of that.


By Nolan
Berwick Academy, South Berwick, Maine

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The Snake Incident


It was just another morning slithering through the roofs, searching for my prey, when a peculiar creature started to scream at me in an unintelligible language. It was about 10:30 in the morning, my class was engaged in a PE lesson at the time, when we heard a shrill scream from a decidedly anxious teacher. We all scrambled over to see what all the fuss was about; we stared into a pale face, huge eyes and shaking like a leaf. We watched in awe as she stuttered, “s-s-s-snake.” We alerted the grounds man that there was a snake. It was a breezy day so we had all our doors and windows open to let all the air through. Our class and the grounds man were the only people who knew that there was a snake on the loose.

The grounds man searched and searched but he didn’t find the snake. So the principal  (my Dad) called over the loudspeaker in a worried voice, “Could all classes close their doors because there is a dangerous snake on the loose. Please inform the office if you find it!” Then the lower classes (like grades 1 and 2) started to panic. Some of the kids in my class, who were terrified of snakes, also started to panic. We rushed back to our classroom and immediately shut our doors and windows. Some students were so terrified that they hid under their desks. Then we heard a distinctive sound. It sounded like someone was rustling through the bushes. So we looked out the window, but we didn’t see a human, we saw something else. Something unbelievable.

It was the SNAKE! My teacher called the front office straight away. In a flash the grounds man was at the bush trying to catch the snake. On his third attempt he grabbed the snake behind the head and placed in a cage. It turns out that it was only a 2-metre carpet snake on the hunt for the schools resident mice. The front office called Australia Zoo if they wanted it. They said they would come to our school the next day. A quick call to Australia Zoo, and we had ourselves guest speakers for the following day.

The following morning they came to inspect the snake. They said that they already had enough carpet pythons and that we cold keep it if we wanted to. Our class didn’t want it but our grounds man, Mr. Hynes, (who loves animals) said he would have it if no one else wanted it. So from that day forward, the snake (now named Burt) is owned and cherished by Mr. Hynes.

By Will

Darwin Middle School, Darwin, Australia


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The Championship


I hear whoops and hollers as I walk back into the locker room. Our team, the Dover Stars, who never won, had just won the semi-final game in the Between the Pipes  hockey tournament with a final score of 9 to 1. We were going to the finals later that day.

“Everybody, quiet down for a minute. We’re playing Oswego later today,” our coach said. Oswego was the first team we played. They were good, but only tied us 5 to 5. We knew we could beat them.

When we got back to the hotel, we were still amped up. We couldn’t wait for the game. Before we knew it, we were stepping on the ice and warming up. The game started.  With six minutes left in the first period, the score was tied at 2. Liam was standing his ground in front of the net but when the knee of a burly skater from Oswego collided with Liam’s head, he fell to the ground with a concussion. The paramedics came and cut his jersey off. They carried him off to the hospital. Now, we had something to play for.  Both teams scored back and forth, but in the end, we were up 5-4.
The buzzer sounded and we won. It was the best feeling in the world as we carried our trophy on a victory lap around the ice. This was not what we expected, but it changed our team. We later went on to win the Seacoast League championship, but that’s another story.

By Asa
Berwick Academy, South Berwick, Maine

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The Unexpected School Visitor


Stepping into our little classroom doesn’t feel our own anymore when you see mounds of children walk into the room and fill up the carpet space as If it was their own. In ways I envy how they can walk into a room with so much courage without even considering the people around them no matter if they had courage or if they would cower around them. As I cautiously sat down on the carpet surrounded by people I had never seen before in my life, it felt as if I was trapped in a bubble with no way in and no way out. All I could hear around me were the egger chatter of 100’s of children all apprehensively awaiting a cartoonist by the name of Joffa.

I sit and try to establish a picture in my mind of what Joffa will be like. Will he be fat or thin, tall or short? If his head was bald or bursting with hair? With a name as strange as ‘Joffa’ my minds eye was picturing a young guy with curly orange hair and a wit that could out-do any comedian I could think of.

At first glance the person standing in front of me was absolutely nothing like I imagined. The man who strutted in was in no way as I expected, no orange curly hair, only a few grey strands on the top of his head. He was an elderly man in his late fifties to early sixties but you could see the beam of happiness in his eyes and the creases on the sides of his mouth from smiling and laughing so much, so I hoped I was right about at least one thing. Although the man in front of me liked to joke he was also a proverbial chatterbox. It would have been entertaining session for those who enjoyed listening A LOT!  However he managed to include a few jokes throughout the long phase of talking but his sarcastic humour went a bit over my head though I laughed along with it.

Once the continuous period of talking was finally over it was time to draw which to no surprise came with even more talking! Everything was fine until half way through the first cartoon when something horrible happened. I was HORRIFIED…..my pen ran out of ink! With no one I knew around me, no pen or pencil I could use it felt as if the world had slowed down around me and there was nothing I could do about it. I sat completely still staring down at my page. Hovering my eyes over my little cartoon and I star to notice how odd my picture actually was.  With squinty anime eyes, a strange disfigured noise and a mouth that looked as if it belonged on Betty Boop. I consider my decision to choose a pen instead of a pencil. I painted a picture in my mind of me at my pencil case and I regret the choice to reach to the left and grab my black pen instead of putting my hand slightly to the right and retrieving my pencil.

When I look back at the event I realise how much I over reacted and can’t understand why I put my self through all that panic when I should have been laughing. Although I have a different perspective of the event know I still don’t understand why I didn’t have the courage to ask someone around me for a spare pen or pencil especially when the person next to me had brought their entire pencil case.


By Hannah

Darwin Middle School, Darwin, Australia






Legion vs. VFW

  

It was the second game of my second Majors season in little league. I’ve been a pitcher all my Portsmouth Little League career. The majors is for the best players in little league, and I made it when I was just ten. My first year I sat on the bench because I was the youngest player on my team, but this year was my second year, and I was eleven years old. My team lost opening day, and we were low on pitchers. So my coach let me pitch. We were facing the defending champs VFW. My team last year finished in last so VFW thought they had an easy win. I was practically shaking when I was warming up with my teammates. It was a cloudy day and moist out, but it was perfect to play baseball. I sat on the bench as coach announced the line-up and spit sunflower seeds thinking about how I’ll get pounded in less than twenty minutes. I spit my last seed and stripped out of my favorite gray little league sweatshirt and took the field. I jogged out to the mound and tossed it around with my catcher. Once the ump said play ball I was a nervous wreck. After I got through first three innings without a hit I felt like I was on top of the world. In the 4th with one out, they got their first base runner. I got a little lucky because my fielders made two great plays to end the inning.In the bottom of the 4th my team rallied for 5 runs, and now I had a 7-0 lead with only two innings left. I breezed through the 5th and the first two batters of the last inning. I had one more batter to face till the game was over. I was as nervous as I was in the first. I threw the pitch low and in, and the batter grounded right to short. I jumped into the air as my teammates jumped on me. I had thrown a one hitter vs the best team.


By Spencer
Berwick Academy, South Berwick, Maine







The first day that I played a lacrosse game was very memorable. We were playing the Cocheco Club Team. The whole day my teammates and I were nervous because, for many of us, it was our first game of our first season ever playing lacrosse and club teams are generally quite skilled. When I got to the field before the game, everyone was warming up. I looked over at their team and realized that they were dropping passes and could not pick up ground balls. That was the one moment I felt some optimism that day, but Cocheco turned out to be much better than they played in the warm up.

Cocheco scored in the first minute and I thought that it would be a very long game. At one point, Cocheco was beating us by 5, but then an eighth grader on our team named Claire scored. Our team screamed so loud. After many goals made by Cocheco, I was playing right attack. I got a pass and was running down the field. When I ran past my bench, I heard people screaming things like: “GO CHEVY!” and “PEETA WILL BAKE YOU BREAD!” When I got down to our goal, I passed to a girl on my team named Kenzie and she scored!

The final score of the game was 11 to 2. We lost, but Berwick girls teams (or at least the ones that I have played on) are extremely energetic and have great sportsmanship. Even after a loss of 9 points, our whole team was smiling and happy. I think that playing such a good team in our first game was beneficial to us. Because of that first loss we knew exactly what we had to work on and we have kept on improving since then.


By Shavonne
Berwick Academy, South Berwick, Maine

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FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL EVER


On my very first day of school, I thought that the car ride took forever. “Are we there yet?” I say. My mother says, “In a few minutes.” I had oatmeal for breakfast that morning and I was really looking forward to school. For pre-school, I had always annoyed all of the other kids by saying, “In real school, we stay there for the whole day,” or “We will eat lunch at school in real school.”

When we get there, we are divided into different classes. You were with either Ms. Van Dissel with Ms. Lynch, or Ms. Kennie with Ms. Nixon. I was in Ms. Kennie’s class, and I followed her around. She said, “This isn’t follow the leader.” I was embarrassed, so I sat in a chair for the rest of that class. I met Baoyu and Pierce on the first day. I found some big sunglasses on a bookshelf and put them on. Ms. Kennie told me to take them off and she was a little bit angry. At recess, I met Adam. I had met him before, and I was happy that he was in Berwick Academy. Unfortunately, he was in the other class with Ms. Van Dissel. He thought that she was named Ms. Van Diesel, like the car, and then the fuel.

Before lunch started, we had a tour about how to get the food. When I was in the hot lunch line, I didn’t know what I wanted, so I just said the first thing that came to my mind. “Peas.” They gave me some. I didn’t want to eat them, but I did. After lunch it was story time and the teacher read us a book. After that, we learned our letters. I knew what all of the sounds the letters made, but I didn’t know what sound the letter ‘e’ made. That was the first thing that I learned in kindergarten. After that, we had to write the letter ‘a’ a bunch of times.

When I got home that day, I ate spaghetti Os and drank some milk. I told my mom and brother about Baoyu, Pierce, and Adam. I then watched a TV show called “Caoyu,” then went to bed.

Today, I still feel like my very first day of  school was a little bit bumpy. I was used to a primary school that was in the teacher's house and had only seven children in it. When I first saw Berwick Academy, it could have been some type of plaza. Now, I can navigate the Lower School and Middle School with my eyes closed.


By Aman
Berwick Academy, South Berwick, Maine




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Fourth Grade Auditions


We had just got back from holiday break and it was time to audition for the Lower School play. This year we were putting on Seussical. I was in fourth grade, so I had to audition for one of the lead roles. I didn’t want to audition but I had to, so I auditioned for a Bird Girl. I practiced and practiced.  Ms. Isaak even gave me a small drum to play so that it would sound like I was actually in the jungle. I kept practicing and practicing and I soon felt good about the song I was singing. I wasn’t scared or nervous for the auditions because I knew I was good.

Soon, the day was here for the auditions. When it was my turn, I walked slowly down the stairs to the music room. As I got closer to the classroom, my heart started to pound and my lips started to shake. I realized that I was terrified and I knew something bad was going to happen. I had to enter the room even though I was dreading it . As soon as I walked in, I saw all of my teachers smiling at me and waiting for me to sing. I was afraid to sing or even talk! I couldn’t get a single word to come out of my mouth and it seemed like talking and singing were against the rules. This wasn’t a surprise, though. I don’t like to be the center of attention and I’ve always had stage fright. I realized I had to do something, so I tried to sing the first two or three measures of the song, but I couldn’t. I got so scared that I started to cry. I told the teachers I couldn’t do it but they kept telling me to keep going. After a few minutes, the teachers told me it was okay and they let me go. I wasn’t happy with myself and I knew I blew my chances of getting the part.

Mr. Hawes, the principal, stayed by my side for the rest of the day. I knew I couldn’t change what had happened in the past but I could try again. During recess, I asked Mr. Hawes if I could have a second try. He told me it was okay with him but I had to ask Ms. Isaak first. She told me I could try again! This time I sang loudly and with pride. I was proud of myself and so were my parents. I got the Bird Girl part and I had a great time.

Looking back at that day, I am proud of myself and I’m happy that I went back and tried again. I bet that if I hadn’t, I would have never auditioned for the Middle School plays and I wouldn’t be the person I am today.


By Barrett
Berwick Academy, South Berwick, Maine






A Memorable Excursion


One day last year, I got stuck in the middle of a lake on my new motor boat.

Last year when it was the first time my family ever used the new boat, I decided to take the boat for the first spin around the lake. It was only the second time I had ever ridden a boat by myself, so I was feeling nervous. After I got in the boat, I used the oar to launch out my boat from the dock. After I launched myself out, I didn’t even know that I was already out in the deep part of the lake where I could tilt down the outboard and pull it to start and go. What I didn’t check was the weather. I didn’t even think to look towards the middle of the lake to see if it was foggy or not. I also realized that I didn’t check the amount of gas left in the boat.

Luckily, there was gas, so I could start the boat without any issue. I started the boat and got out to the middle of the lake, and suddenly it was so foggy that I couldn’t even see where I was going. I did not know what to do. I looked at all of my surroundings, and I still couldn’t see anything. Then, the motor shut down while I was towards the end of the lake. I was beginning to think that I should row back to shore. I tilted up the motor and began to row down the lake. Everything was going well until I realized that the current was going against me. Before I left the lake house, I did not even think to bring a jacket or any sort of warm clothing. I knew that I was going to get back to the lake house soon, but it could take about an hour’s row.

I put down the motor and tried to start it again, but it still wouldn’t start. It was about five minutes before I started to make progress rowing, but then I could faintly see the dock. I knew that it must be about a ten minute row from where I was. I was excited to get back to the house. About fifteen minutes later, I was at the dock and started to walk back into the lake house. It felt great to be back home and know that I was going to be safe.


By Adam
Berwick Academy, South Berwick, Maine





'Alright, here goes' I thought, my first day of terror. I hopped out of the car hoping to god that I wouldn’t stumble and make a fool of myself within the first 3 seconds. I just make it out of the car and have a split second to decide on my walking style. There are three options, the first option is ‘the I don’t care about school walk’. The second option is ‘the I think I am really cool walk’ and the third is ‘I’m nervous and I just want to find my class walk’. I couldn’t choose so I did all three. I couldn’t visually see what I looked like, but I felt ridiculous.
I carefully mad my way to my role group class without being tripped up, stepped on or hit by a bag full of books. So far so good.  The teacher is very friendly, but I feel a little sorry for her. She is trying to make us laugh and smile by telling us some exceptionally unfunny jokes. I have made them sound hilarious and i think i may have gone a little over board with that.
It is recess and I had found my old primary school buds. I want to go to the toilet, no change that I need to go to the toilet. But I have heard the rumours... The rumours of ‘the year nines’. People say they rule the toilets and whoever trespasses doesn’t make it out of there.  I have no choice but to enter. I walk in and smack I get hit by a vicious looking teenager! No, I’m only joking. I'm so surprised; people were just going to the toilet and then walking out. I was gobsmacked! There was no fighting, no hitting and no insulting. All they were doing was going to the toilet! Who would’ve thought that? My friend instructs me to turn the blow dryer on while she was on the loo so that no one could hear her defecate! Well I haven’t heard of that before!
Now for the bus ride home. I step onto the bus and walk down the aisle. Everyone stares at you like you have got a big booger hanging out of your nose! I actually started to think about it and checked just in case, but I was all clear or as they say ‘ no bears left in the cage’. I keep walking and sit down close to the back. My other friends encourage me to actually sit at the very back, but that is a big mistake. Those seats belong to the year nines and I’m not messing with them. I should  warne my friends, but it is too late the year nines are slowly approaching the back of the bus. They stomp past me and stare at my friends who have just planted themselves right in their spots.  I try to warn them, but they don't listen.  The year nines just sat there anyway. They squish and squeez and squish and squeez until they are all sitting at the back. It sort of reminded me of that song where it goes ‘they all roll over and one falls out’, but in this case it is ‘the bus turns a corner and one is pushed out’. I chuckled to myself.
I’m off the bus and walking home. So I'm thinking to myself that I have just completed my first day of middle school, or that’s what I thought, until out of the blue I was walking over a knee high fence and went head over heels. It hurt like hell but I just jump up straight away and pretend it is a joke. My brother collapsed on the floor and started laughing his funny bone off! I giggle and blush due to an overload of embarresment. My knee is excruciating and a large bruise started to loom about my knee. Well it’s alright  I knew I wouldn’t be able to get away with my first day of school with no  mistakes, accidents or incidents!

By Alizza
Darwin Middle School, Darwin, Australia

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Annie


I walked through the basketball players that were dripping with sweat with clean clothes, a notebook, and my phone. I didn’t dare look to see if they were wondering why I was in a gym dressed up like this. I took a left and grasped the cold handle of the metal door. I then went down a ramp just to open another door. All of the voices in the room ceased. Every head but two turned to look at me in my clean clothes. I usually dress up anyway, since I go to a private school, but half of these people were in pajamas. I went up to the two heads that didn’t look at me. They didn’t even look at me when they said, “Name?”

“Amber”

“Age?”

“Twelve.”

“Auditioning for …?”

Annie.”

They looked up and nodded. I waited in the room full of hate for me. Nobody would talk to me. Everybody still stared. Finally, a middle aged woman came in and called, “Amber.”

I stood and walked into a large room. There was a nice stage at the front, and many seats

filling the empty space. A man, the woman, and another man sat at a table in front of the stage and handed me a book.

“What do you want to start with?”

“‘Tomorrow.’”

I sang with all my heart and held the last note as long as I could. I got a huge applause

and they asked me to come back for callbacks the following week.

Two weeks later, I learned I got the lead role which taught me that it doesn’t matter what people think of you.


By Amber
Berwick Academy, South Berwick, Maine.








Championships


A breeze of anticipation rustles my mind,

A first jump into the water,

A cold rush of wonder.


A pain of transparity,

Used to control my emotions in the last event,

A median to my mile swim.


I rush through the motions,

To obtain a best time,

I must push to the limit.


I scramble to find my intuition of hope,

to finish the brutal race,

One step at a time.


A search in my mind,

The win of glory,

The only 11 year old.


A scream breaks loose,

My own,

In shock.


I win a lot that day,

Fourth in New England,

A best time.


I win more than the race that day.


I win myself.



By Emma

Berwick Academy, South Berwick, Maine








First Day


New experiences are always good you learn life lessons and learn from your mistakes. Your first day at school is always different depending on where you go. When I was first starting school it was different from usual because I had never been to school and had no idea what to expect.

“It’s too early” I moan as my Mum removed the covers from my head allowing light to flood into my eyes. My eyes struggle to adjust to the sudden change of light. The blurred colours that are my room mix to make strange shades of colours without names. I eventually found a blur of colours resembling my mum. “Why do I have to get up this early?”
“Because it’s time for school” She replied lifting my out of my bed on to the cold tiled floor of my room. Go get ready your bags down at the car.
After my morning routine of brushing my teeth and getting dressed, I went down to the car and found my bag. I put my bag on my back moaning as if it weighed hundreds of kilograms. As I went into the car the heat of being out in the sun hit me like a brick. The only sound to be heard in the car was the gentle rattling of the engine.
After ten to fifteen minutes of driving the rattling of the engine came to a halt as we stopped outside the school. I was unsure about this place the fences had decorations the looked like the ends of the spears while the gates had large padlocks on them. When I reached the gate there was a blast of cold air as the air-conditioning flooded outside into the tropical heat. We walked into a room with about twenty kids with the same blank confused expression that I had. My mum then asked “do you like your new school”
“It looks great” I reply unsure about this new place.
“I’ll pick you up when you finish, just wait outside”
I sat down with the other children and listened to our teacher as she spoke about how fun school was going to be. I looked on the wall and saw colourful paintings from previous classes. The teacher soon had us painting pictures just us bright to replace the ones being taken down. She read the class a story out of a ridiculously large book and let us play for a while with the blocks and other toys.
Finally the teacher took us outside to wait for our parents. At first I was unsure about         pre-school but i soon came to get ready as fast as I could to get more time to play with my friends. I didn’t know that later on these times and wish I could go back to them. They were my first days of schools and some of the best of my life.

By Connor
Darwin Middle School, Darwin, Australia

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I like to play music in my free time. The saxaphone is my favorite instrument, but I also play recorder and want to learn to play the bass guitar. Music is fun for me because it relaxes me, and feels natural. I am a highly competitive person, and it is impossible to be a perfect musician. Music is something at which I can always be better. The best musicians not only play well, but use their mistakes as a new and creative way to add to their songs. I love the feel of the keys underneath my fingers, and always try new ideas to make my playing better. I play two types of saxophones, the alto and the baritone. The alto is small and clear, whereas the baritone is large and loud. Sometimes, it is hard to switch between the two, but it reminds me a lot of life because people have to transition many times--sometimes changing schools and making new friends, as I had to do this year. Even though switching is hard, I always manage to play well and skillfully. I have played music for four years, and enjoy it more and more.

Another thing I like is sports, my favorite of which is baseball. It’s another activity that I enjoy and always try to improve. I have played baseball since I was six years old. Baseball lets me see my friends, and I always love to face a challenge (particularly ones found in sports). Pretend that it’s the last inning, and there are two outs. You could win the game or lose it easily. I like to play in these situations because the whole game could come down to one individual, one catch, or one extra effort. I love to be that person who changes the game, and that’s why I play baseball. After practise, I also play football or another made up game with whoever is at the ballfield. During my games, I always run to the snack bar to get gum to chew. I always put it in my mouth right away, and it is stale and dry by the time I get back to the bench. I play for three teams this year, but I will be able to manage my busy schedule. This year, I play on a small field. I feel just like a big fish in a little pond. A really little pond. Sometimes I think, “ Why can’t I hit just one home run?”  Whenever I think that however, I always end up getting walked. Since I’m in sixth grade this year, I get to enter in special tournaments. One tournament I play in is in New York! I heard that the field is even smaller than my regular one, so I’ll probably feel like a whale in a cup. The fields are put in a clover-shaped design; back to back to back to back. There are almost 30 ballparks at this place, so when I drove by it on the road, it reminds me of a whole field of clovers. I think that this means that I will get more chances to hit a homerun, but I might not. I guess I’ll have to wait and see.


By Michael
Berwick Academy, South Berwick, Maine





My Final Day

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We had been practicing for weeks to make our final day special. Last year, our drama teacher had put in lots of effort to help us perform a ‘ flashmob’ on the final day of school, at assembly, infront of 400 children and their parents and teachers.

It took us a while to locate the right music, and the right moves for the performance. At the time, everyone liked the song ‘Champagne Showers’, and we unanimously decided that was our song. Every Thursday, after recess, all the year six classes would gather to practice the routine and, as it got closer and closer to the final day of school, we got more nervous than we’d ever been.

The day had finally arrived. We were more excited than newborn pups, and our little hearts were beating fast and our stomachs were full of butterflies. Acting as if we were totally calm during assembly was no mean feat, while the Principal’s voice droned on and on until suddenly… ‘Champagne Showers’ blared across the auditorium. My heart was beating so fast I could feel it thumping in my chest. Everyone got up and started dancing. I think we were more surprised than the audiences that were watching us. Standing still once again, we got a huge applause. It made us feel so special on that final day. We got so many compliments afterwards.

At least I don’t have to worry about that anymore. That was the best moment I’ve ever had, and the best performance that students have ever showcased on their final day. I will never forget how I felt on that final day of school, starting from my stomach full of butterflies, and then leaving the stage full of proudness. It was the most amazing final day!

By Galatiani

Darwin Middle School, Darwin, Australia


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Wild Day


I had a wild soccer game a few weeks ago. The game was in Medford, Massachusetts which was over an hour away from my house. It was drizzling lightly, but I couldn’t feel it. Our game was at 10:15, but we had to be there a half an hour early, so we got there at 9:45. After my team warmed up, a referee told us that our game had been moved to 11:15 because they had forgotten about our game. We waited at the fields and warmed up a little more until a little before our game, but the games went a bit late so it started at 11:30. The field was bad and small because they had to split a huge field into three small fields. They had to use cones for sidelines and the players had to sit behind the goal. Our game was against a team that we had beaten and tied, so they were going to play hard for the win.

The game started well for us. We had a bunch of shots, but we didn’t score. After about fifteen minutes we did score so it was 1-0. Then the other team answered with a quick goal so it was 1-1. Then when it was almost half time they scored again, so it was 1-2. During halftime our coach told us that the next five minutes were crucial. If they scored they would get momentum. If we scored it was our game. They scored in the first five minutes, and we thought it was over after they scored two more. We were losing 1-5. With eight minutes left we scored so it was 2-5, and we were hoping to build something off of that. Then we scored again and thought, okay we are only losing by two now. We can tie this up. Then I scored, and we were only losing by one. But there wasn’t much time left, maybe two minutes. So we passed the ball around trying to get a good shot. Then a player on my team tried to pass it to the other side, and it almost went out of bounds, but he saved it on the sideline then dribbled down the endline. Then he passed across, and I shot it. But the goalie saved and it rebounded back to me, so I shot again, and I shot it in the top left corner for a goal. Everyone was screaming, the players and the parents. Then the ref blew the whistle for game over. I had scored a buzzer beater! After the game we went out and got pizza and chocolate. The day turned out to be pretty good.


By Zach
Berwick Academy, South Berwick, Maine







Ainsley

nervousness seeping through me like poison
nothing but the music as company
as I wait for my turn like a patient child
I think what could happen?
will I freeze or forget and stand there unknowing
but why would I?
what would be my reason?
As the music starts
I run on and I am lost,
lost in the beautiful rhythmic thump of the music
I am utterly alone on the dark stage
not caring if I mess up only caring how free I am and how,
I am dance


By Ainsley
Berwick Academy, South Berwick, Maine


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Graduation in the School of Medieval


The sky was a pristine white with the glaring sun parading alongside the feathery clouds.  With the absence of the usual breeze, the sultry afternoon air was scorching my skin. Knowing that tonight I will finally graduate from my school, The School of Medieval brings pride to my heart.
Today in my school my friends and I were walking on to our next class on the History of the Dinosaurs. Quite by accident or maybe just by my bubbling curiosity ready to explode, we fell right through the doors of where graduation was being held for senior princesses and princes, clearly an out of bounds area.                                                                                                                                            
We all smelt and saw a scrumptious looking fruit and feast cake with all the graduates faces on it. We would have eaten it right then as it was one of the best looking cakes we had ever seen.  We ran out with our hearts pumping at the speed of our legs arriving at class right on time for the bell
Before I knew it I was arriving at the ceremonial church in my carriage pulled by 4 white horses going at the speed of 60 KM/hour. I could see other princesses arriving with really dark colours of make up on their faces making them look like clowns in the summer. There were princes arriving looking like they just came from the newest beach holiday paradise. With crowns on their heads and it looked like they just picked random clothes out from the closet and put it on.
We started the school’s graduation off in the church with everyone running to get inside the church to begin singing and dancing and after that in the church they will be awarding out medallions. I was called to start the song and the dancing, I walked down the aisle with feelings of joy running through my veins up to my brain and down to my tips of my toes.   Realizing one mistake would lead to chaos and my reputation would be ruined.                                                                                                                              Then it was time, the time for the medallions to be given out to us.  I realised not everybody received a medallion or two; it was the really good kids in school including moi who received them!  Surprisingly I was awarded the medallion for religion and had to ask my role teacher ‘why oh why did I get the medallion for this subject?’                                                       
 ‘Because your writing on religion has been the best’, he replied back but yet I still wanted more details about why I received the medallion.  Sadly, I didn’t receive any answers about the religion medallion so I just had to go with it everything and be happy.  I was surprised with getting the medallion because I was pretty sure I do really badly at religion and that I would have failed the subject. Religion is one subject that does not get me going and usually can bore to death.
Anyway after the long ceremony that nearly made me sleep on the floor, we finally went to have the traditional feast with finger food, drinks and, of course, I didn’t tell anyone about the fruit and feast cake for dessert.             
Then all graduates were instructed to go to the dance floor. We all started dancing crazily like we were having the time of our lives.  This big and strong voice started speaking again, saying to start the real dancing, and by that they meant ballroom dancing and proper dancing like in a prom.  That time of the night was really nerve-racking, awkward and to us strange and yet after that fun. I even forgot to say that a few days before graduation, they made us learn how to dance properly like real princesses and princes so we wouldn’t trip on each other’s toes and start screaming and yelling like wild maniacs that had just dropped an elephant on them.
I could feel something emerging from the depths of my stomach; this something was stage fright from all the expectations on my shoulders.  It was frightening to feel that, but luckily in the nick of time the headmaster declared it was time to dance with a family member, so I choose my brother, Prince Jayden, who is only three years old. We started dancing randomly in a circle twirling, shaking, dancing and I could hear people singing as well.
Grinning like a Cheshire cat, happy that the dancing was finally over, I went to join my friends for dessert.  As you know in came the fruit and feast cake or as I like to call it the food cake.  While they were cutting the cake I could hear the hands grabbing at the food determined to get their slice that had their face on it.   I was doing the same to get my face piece of the cake and hoping it would be a big one.
To end the night at 9 o’clock, they gave us the chance to do freestyle dancing and like never before people were breaking down to the beat.  Last photos were being taken to celebrate and that night, some people went out to watch the stars. The stars were shining, blinking but yet no shooting stars were there to make wishes come true, so many of us just tried to make shapes and pictures with the stars and constellations.
Then the time came to bade everyone farewell and most of the time when people say good bye, it can mean to the other person ‘I will never see you again’.  Like that night, some people were crying a bit trying to cover up their tears but at the same time hugging their friends and classmates.  “Bye” or “Good Bye” was what I could hear and deep inside me, I could also sense the feeling that you have when you know you will never see someone again, but I guess that is how life is.  ‘Friends come and friends go’ - the circle of life that is.
The castle lay quiet in the night as princesses and princes were leaving and all you could see was a dark shadow glooming over the school in tirades of trees and leaves.  I watched through the window as the carriage pulled away wondering when I would see the school again.

By Janelle
Darwin Middle School, Darwin, Australia




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Last Day of School
Dear Domo,
The day has finally come – last day of primary school! No more little kids following me, 5 year old games, and teachers acting like I’m a baby. The taste of my freedom is hours away.
Ms B, my homeroom, English teacher, Maths teacher, P.E, teacher, SOSE teacher and is sometimes my art teacher, is pure boringness, unfair how I have her for nearly everything. All she does is talk and talk and talk. We are constantly asking her ‘when will free time happen?’ The joy of free time, loud music, loud students, loud games and guess what domo, NO listening to boring Ms B!
I can’t believe free time didn’t end up happening. Ms B was too stuck in on the rules of the fun assembly this afternoon. The bell to recess goes and everyone around me looks very drowsy and looking like they’re brainwashed. Ms B is walking out prouder than ever, like ruining our lives is an accomplishment to her, GRRR…
Luckily for us, third and fourth period has been cancelled due to a whole school assembly. Everyone gets a laminated piece of paper saying what achievements they have accomplished throughout the whole year. Mine are mostly city cluster sports, as I look around me most peoples are. Only about one or two people don’t receive an achievement award in the entire school, because they’re the girly girls I suppose.
BZZZ! Lunch bell went. Thought the boring assembly would never end. As I look around the assembly area, everyone is crowding around to see who won ‘The Larrakeyah X – Factor Auditions.’ The winner is a singer, as always, only because they have a nice voice and vibrato. Nice voices are always a tear jerker. They pull at the heart strings of all the judges.
YAY! Only once a year all the teachers get together and do a VERY embarrassing act, we call it ‘The Fun Assembly.’ Mr C is doing Michael Jackson – Thriller! It’s hilarious when he epically fails at the moonwalk. All the other teachers are performing a play. They have re –written the ‘Beauty and the Geek’ series, I think.
All the male teachers are the geeks. They are wearing high pants, are talking in a funny voice, has nerdy glasses on and the best thing about how they look is that they look so UGLY!! It’s amusing, everyone around me are laughing like they’re getting tickled to death by an invisible tickling suit.
All the young and pretty female teachers are the ‘beauties.’ They perfect the act of being really dumb like they don’t have a thought in their heads. The geeks and beauties have to pair up with one another, and do humorous activities to stay in the competition for the title. The winning team are ecstatic!
After a while, the teachers decide to stop embarrassing themselves in front of 300 students. The teachers are getting the students (beside the year 6’s) make a tunnel for the year 6’s to run through, while the teachers has inflatable bats and hammers trying to knock us out with them, probably their one last attempt at submission I suppose.
The bell for home time sounds one last time, which means all the year 6’s accomplished 2 things today. Accomplishing year 6 AND accomplishing primary school! I knew that at that moment, today was going to be a memorable day; there was excitement, laughter, sadness and so many more emotions that I can’t even describe Domo. It’s a bit heart – breaking parting with a lot of my close friends that are moving to different schools or states, or leaving behind my little year 5 friends that were so nice and loyal. At least in my new school I’ll be able to meet new people, new friends and embark on new adventures!

By Lucy
Darwin Middle School, Darwin, Australia
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A Football Championship

              

Over this past year I took an interest in football, and we won the championship. This was a nerve-racking day for me. I was the back up middle linebacker and it was about 30 degrees out. It was hard to breathe because it was so cold and mouth guards are hard to breath through while running. When I play middle linebacker, I have to call the plays and remember signals for the defense and get all the players in a huddle.                                 

In this game I didn’t have to worry about it because I played nose tackle, which is in front of the center. This is the player who hikes the ball.  This is one of the toughest defensive positions because you are playing against the biggest player on the offense, but I’m pretty big so it’s not as hard to push the center back for the middle linebacker to get through to the quarterback and sack him. I only played for six plays and was pretty disappointed. We were undefeated and really wanted to win because we would go ten and zero. A reason we won was because the team we were playing started goofing around and thought they had won the game already, but we scored two quick touchdowns and the game was tied. Then we scored another touchdown to go ahead, then they scored, then we scored and then we scored again off of a punt return to go ahead by seven.                                               

We finally won by a score of twenty-four to thirty and my entire team got to be in the newspaper for winning. There was a picture of my whole team on the Internet and the newspaper so if you search Portsmouth youth football on Google news and click on Little Clippers Win Championship. I’m the kid who is wearing 95 and has long black/brown hair.  I’m doing the number one symbol in the back row or if you look up Max on Google images there’s a picture of me before a play.


By Max G.
Berwick Academy, South Berwick, Maine




Bunnies on the Run

Have you ever wondered what passes through children’s minds as they eagerly await the Easter Bunny’s Arrival? Why their toes twinkle in anticipation? Why they constantly glance from side to side? For young tots, Easter is the day when chocolate is eaten, gifts are given and despair is filled with joy. But, for older beings, like myself, Easter is the day when madness unfolds.
The morning began like no other, excitement buzzed in the atmosphere. I gathered my things and strode into the classroom, ready to start the day. It was to be the Easter Parade in just a few hours and my partner and I were still collecting our needed materials. We had been asked, as part of the Student Representative Council (SRC), to act as the Easter Bunny for the younger members of our school. Our job was to deliver chocolate eggs to a selected classroom and decorate it as though the bunny had come himself. We had spent the previous day preparing a card to leave for the class and finalising our ideas relating to how we would decorate the room in a style that not only reflected the Easter Bunny, but also reflected our combined personalities. A little personal flair was an important attribute of the task, we felt!
“Sorry for the interruption, could all students please assemble in the courtyard for the Easter Parade, thank you,” the loudspeaker bellowed as the event commenced. Mrs. Rowe, the teacher who had organised this scheme, had said to meet her in her classroom to collect the eggs and receive a briefing of what to do. Our roles were to be played whilst the remainder of the school participated in the parade. To be discrete, we acted as though part of another class and then, while no one was looking, we zipped away, heading for her room. Once inside, we hurriedly took one of the bags and began to make our way back outside. Suddenly, we realised that Mrs. Rowe was no where to be seen, therefore not able to inform us on the aim of the task. Panic started to rise in my throat. How on Earth were we meant to know what to do? After a few more moments of alarm, Chelsea, my partner, commented that it was easy enough to just go with our instincts and do what we thought was right. At least one of us had their head screwed on the right way.
The door creaked as we briskly pushed it open. Much work was to be done and time was running out. For a few heartbeats, we surveyed the room, negotiating where to position items and who was to place eggs on the tables. Our final decision was to draw chalk footprints leading to the card which would be placed at the front of the class. Then, we would sprinkle shimmering glitter over both the footprints and the chocolates. It was going to look magnificent! Well, at least we hoped it would.
Work began in a flash. Chelsea was artistically creating footprints on the carpet, whilst I lay one shining egg in each child’s cute little basket. We were progressing at an exceptional rate until... the door unexpectedly swung wide open; whoever had entered was in a great rush. “Please tell me you guys have some spare eggs, we’ve run out, and so have some of the others,” a blaring voice echoed through the once silent room.
I turned to see a young boy standing wide-eyed in the doorway, his hair a mass of light brown strands. “No, sorry, we’ve used all of ours,” I replied, stilled surprised by the sudden noise. “Oh that’s ok, I’ll check with the guys next door.”
And, just as quickly as he had entered, he raced out, determination surging through his veins.
It took us about another 10 minutes to finish our work, luckily with no more interruptions. We swiftly scanned the room, disposing of any evidence that would lead to unwanted conclusions. Once things were looking satisfactory, we left the now dazzled classroom to return to Mrs. Rowe’s room. Whilst walking, we discussed how we felt about the result of our hard work and how we thought the children would react to the surprise that awaited them. Overall, we were very pleased with how we had decorated the room and thought that the kids would be blown away once they set foot into their class. The door to our destination was in sight and we were in no rush as the parade was only halfway through. As Chelsea’s hand reached out to open the door, I glanced in through the window to see if any other groups had finished. The room was empty; we were the first. Stepping inside, we dropped the bag in similar place to where we had collected it and turned back. Our job was done.
Looking back on that day, I realise the importance of bringing joy to others. We, as humans, sometimes forget this and act selfishly which can greatly effect the people around us. For this happiness to reach everyone, we must think before we act, not just act impulsively.

By Remi
Darwin Middle School, Darwin, Australia







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THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL



The last day of school is a fun time but also a little sad too. It is an exciting time because you are officially on summer break, but you have to say goodbye to your friends until you get together over the summer. The locker area is crowded with people hugging and saying goodbye. People are also packing their bags full with everything from their lockers. The blue lockers are left to stand empty just as they were in the beginning of the year. Backpacks are full of everything from pencils to textbooks and even notecards from the  beginning of the year. I am glad my backpack has wheels, so I did not have to put strain on my back. I am excited to go on my family vacation and have my birthday party. As I look back on it now, I feel just the same way as I was at the time, happy but sad. As I said goodbye to my friends I walked out the door rolling my backpack behind me. As soon as I smelled the fresh warm air I knew it was going to be a great summer!



By Kianna
Berwick Academy, South Berwick, Maine




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The Big Match


We knew we’d beat Uni Rebels. We’d done it before and we’d do it again. It was the start of the fourth quarter and we were in the lead. A glance at the score board showed a lead of 18 points. We had the game in the bag. It was clear that our opponents thought the same way – Razzle is going to win.

Now the moment had come. All we had to do was keep our lead and we’d win the championship. That was when things started to go wrong. The fourth quarter was underway and our team was messing around. We began to miss. Shot after shot slipped through our hands and we weren’t playing proper defence. I looked around and I could see us losing the match if we kept this up. We were losing our confidence.
We all thought we had the game won, and suddenly in only three minutes the Rebels scored 8 points and we had scored none. The Rebels were only 10 points behind now and they had seven minutes left in which to get them. We were hesitating too much and shooting goals that we couldn’t possibly make from all over the court. The Rebels crowd was going wild and there was a lot of pressure on us to keep our 10 point lead and gain possession of the victory.
Four more minutes and the Rebels scored another 7 points. This closed the gap to only 3 points. We knew now we had to play proper defence and score as well if we could. Then one of the Rebel players made a two point layup and drew a one shot foul at the same time. If he made this foul shot we would be looking at a tie. As the ball flew through the air we held our breath. A roar from the Uni Rebels crowd told us he’d made the shot with two minutes left on the clock.
It was a tie. Two minutes left. Their best player got the ball. Floating through the air, he swished a two pointer. They dribbled back with two points on their side when I intercepted their pass and went for the layup. I’m going to be a hero I thought. Up I went, I shot... and I missed. Oh no!
There were still 30 seconds left. The Rebels had the ball and they were dribbling to keep the ball off us. They were deliberately wasting time. How could I get the ball back? I ran like the wind and gripped on to a Rebel player’s shirt forcing an intentional foul. This gave the Rebels two free shots which we hoped they would miss but then we would have the ball. The clock stopped ticking with only ten seconds left to go. Everyone watched as the Rebels player bounced the ball, once... twice... thrice. A mighty roar broke out as he missed the first shot. Then he shot again – the ball hit the backboard and our hearts sank as the ball swished through the net. Ten seconds left, we had the ball and we needed 3 points.
Our coach called time out. Her plan of attack was to shoot a three pointer in the final seconds and draw the game. Now we were on again and I had the ball in my hands. The crowd was screaming and counting down. Five, four, three... I shot the ball. It sailed through the air... and missed. We had lost the game we couldn’t lose. We shook hands and congratulated the other team, but we hung our heads in shame that our final game for the year was such a disappointment.

By William
Darwin Middle School, Darwin, Australia

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Soccer Story


When I was nine, my soccer team went to a tournament in South Portland.  The only reason we got there was because we didn’t lose a game during the regulary season.  The first game was easy for my team.  We beat Biddeford five to one.  I got one goal and one assist.  My friend Parrick got a hat trick, and Bailey got a goal also.

   The next game was a lot tougher.  We played Westbrook and beat them one nil.  I played goalkeeper for the entire game.  My teammate Josh is the one who scored the only goal of the game.  We barely made the playoff.  We were tied with two other teams, but we had more goals than they did so we got to move on.  

The third game was the hardest yet.  We would get a gal then they would.  This went on for about four goals then finally my team scored two in a row.  This game we played Bonny Eagle, and the final score was four to six.  Our team won, so we went on to semifinals and played the Massabesic team.  We tied them, so we went onto sudden death.  In sudden death they took out one of our midfielders in the box.  We got a penalty kick.  Our best player took the kick and put it right in the top corner.

We won, and we’re going to the finals!  We played Saco.  It was the toughest game I had ever played as a goalie.  I saved eighteen shots.  The game was tied until the final minute when our best player scored.  It was one to zero with 56 seconds left.  The other team set up for an attack play.  They had seven on offense.  They rushed up the field, got past the defense and shot.  I saved the first shot but not the second.  They tied the game.  We had OT but neither team scored.  We went into a penalty shoot out.  Our team got all our shots in, and saved three of the other team’s shots.  We won the finals.  We got medals and t-shirts saying that we were the champions.

We won the South Portland tournament.


By Marcus
Berwick Academy, South Berwick, Maine, USA

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'Alright, here goes,' I thought, my first day of terror. I hopped out of the car hoping to god that I wouldn’t stumble and make a fool of myself within the first 3 seconds. I just make it out of the car and have a split second to decide on my walking style. There are three options, the first option is ‘the I don’t care about school walk’. The second option is ‘the I think I am really cool walk’ and the third is ‘I’m nervous and I just want to find my class walk’. I couldn’t choose so I did all three. I couldn’t visually see what I looked like, but I felt ridiculous.

I carefully made my way to my role group class without being tripped up, stepped on or hit by a bag full of books. So far so good.  The teacher is very friendly, but I feel a little sorry for her. She is trying to make us laugh and smile by telling us some exceptionally unfunny jokes. I have made them sound hilarious and I think I may have gone a little over board with that.

It is recess and I had found my old primary school buds. I want to go to the toilet, no change that I need to go to the toilet. But I have heard the rumours... The rumours of ‘the year nines’. People say they rule the toilets and whoever trespasses doesn’t make it out of there.  I have no choice but to enter. I walk in and smack! I get hit by a vicious looking teenager! No, I’m only joking. I'm so surprised; people were just going to the toilet and then walking out. I was gobsmacked! There was no fighting, no hitting and no insulting. All they were doing was going to the toilet! Who would’ve thought that? My friend instructs me to turn the blow dryer on while she was on the loo so that no one could hear her defecate! Well, I haven’t heard of that before!

Now for the bus ride home. I step onto the bus and walk down the aisle. Everyone stares at you like you have got a big booger hanging out of your nose! I actually started to think about it and checked just in case, but I was all clear or as they say ‘ no bears left in the cage’. I keep walking and sit down close to the back. My other friends encourage me to actually sit at the very back, but that is a big mistake. Those seats belong to the year nines and I’m not messing with them. I should  warn my friends, but it is too late. The year nines are slowly approaching the back of the bus. They stomp past me and stare at my friends who have just planted themselves right in their spots.  I try to warn them, but they don't listen.  The year nines just sat there anyway. They squish and squeeze and squish and squeeze until they are all sitting at the back. It sort of reminded me of that song where it goes ‘they all roll over and one falls out’, but in this case it is ‘the bus turns a corner and one is pushed out’. I chuckled to myself.

I’m off the bus and walking home. So I'm thinking to myself that I have just completed my first day of middle school, or that’s what I thought, until out of the blue I was walking over a knee high fence and went head over heels. It hurt like hell but I just jump up straight away and pretend it is a joke. My brother collapsed on the floor and started laughing his funny bone off! I giggle and blush due to an overload of embarrassment. My knee is excruciating and a large bruise started to loom about my knee. Well, it’s alright . I knew I wouldn’t be able to get away with my first day of school with no  mistakes, accidents or incidents!


By Alizza
Darwin Middle School, Darwin, Australia


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I can clearly remember my early years of Primary School as if they only happened yesterday. Memories seem to crowd like a storm in my mind with each droplet holding a different story. Feelings warmer than the sun’s rays wreath around me, filling me with uncountable emotions and opening up a continuous world full of friends, foes and future, a world that anyone can follow…
I remember the anxiety that surged through my veins like water as I gripped mum’s hand like a knot, afraid to let go in case I lost her. Time slipped by quicker than lightening, and before I knew it, the school gates were in sight. Plants sprouted wildly in a cosy garden bed, flowers dotted here and there in deep shades of yellow and pink. At any other time I would have been tempted to pick some, but right now, with the faces of random children flitting back and forth like butterflies, I didn’t dare. I moved on, still as sticky as glue on mum’s hand, passing a bold sign that read, “Parap Primary School, Working Together”, and finally striding through the school gates. They were tall and menacing, reminding me of trees silhouetted against a grey dusk sky, full of unknown secrets and tales. I tried to push them to the back of my mind as I walked to my classroom, but they were as stubborn as children at bed time. It was only when I reached my room that they dissolved like mist in the morning sun, only to be replaced by a more fearful vision of many unfamiliar faces, all turned in my direction. I squeezed mum’s hand tighter as I was forced into the unwelcoming classroom, my heart pounding so hard that I though everyone must have been able to hear it thumping painfully in my chest.
Over the loud cackling of many students playing together, I tried to find a friend of my own. Most of the children were practically the opposite of what I considered, “friendly”, either wrestling on the ground together or chatting away like frightened squirrels. But there was one girl, huddled in a corner and looking around with lonely blue eyes that I spotted as if she were a black dot on a white background.  I realised that she had arrived after me, trembling with fear as she weaved around the colourful tables to join our class in a wide circle. I had watched her intently as she sat down and stared up at our friendly teacher with wide, questioning eyes as if she were awaiting orders. That very same look was on her face now, as I walked up to her and shyly introduced myself.
“I-I’m Chelsea”, I stammered quietly, “what’s your name?”
“Eliza”, she responded and seemed to relax a little.
There was no need to ask because it was obvious that we had just become friends and the knowing glint in Eliza’s eye old me that she thought the same thing.
The rest of the day went on without hassle. We drew pictures of whatever allowed its way into our imaginative minds and played games that gave us the chance to get to know other members of our class. What had seemed ominous and frightening at the beginning of the day, had transformed into a friendly environment where everyone was welcome and included. Like sunshine in gloomy darkness, my impression of Parap Primary School brightened and optimism flew to every far corner of our classroom, ready to help us in the coming year. Childhood’s continuous circle goes on.


By Chelsea
Darwin Middle School, Darwin, Australia




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Well here goes I thought as I passed the topstring through the first mesh hole. This was the first time I had ever strung a lacrosse stick. Two holes in and the nylon is already fraying. This is a disaster I thought to myself. After two more mesh holes the nylon was unusable. Now I have to get more topstring and start again. I took apart the hole topstring and went out of my room to get more nylons. This time before i started i burned the tips so they wouldn’t fray. As I pass the topsting through the last mesh hole I think to myself, this doesn’t look right. Next I had to do the side wall (the hardest part). I slipped the string through the first sidewall hole. Before long my sidewall string was fraying. I had forgotten to melt the tips. Once again I had to start over. After some time trying specialized sidewall knots, I gave up and just tied the mesh onto the head. It looks horrible I said to myself. Once the shooting strings were done (Which looked a bit frightening) I did the throat. The throat is by far the easiest part yet I made it look terrible. The stick was done after two hours of struggling. I brought the head down stairs and showed my mom. “ Oh it looks great honey” but the expression on her face told me differently. It looked horrible. Now I string stick all the time and know all the fancy stringing techniques and knots. The lesson I got out of this was that you have to start somewhere. Nothing will look perfect the first time. Practice makes perfect.

By Pierce
Berwick Academy, South Berwick, Maine, USA
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