If I look at the gift I have been given by working on this project, it has been meeting, through words and sometimes in person, the remarkably talented, strong, funny, interesting kids that reside and grow and create here in Vermont. If I look at the gift I have been given by doing this work it is meeting people like Emily Lyman, a kid I have known since second grade who, sadly, died this past week. She was a freshman at Rice Memorial High School. She died, unexpectedly her mom told me, after a life defined by bouts of cancer and an incredible resilience and courage as she fought numerous "relapses." I knew her best when she was younger, but even then she had a startling clarity and strength and humor. She had voice. I still think about the first piece she sent us, in second grade, and I still tell people about it. It was in response to a prompt we had called, simply 'Hair.' It is below. (Click 'Read More')Read more »
One day when I was still in Jamaica I was listening to the radio. There’s an artist by the name of Etana. She was singing a song called “People Talk.” While I was listening to the words of the song, it was talking about people that will always talk behind your back, no matter what. People will always see the bad in you and not really the good. Sometimes it is better to avoid certain circumstances of people trying to ruin or disturb your life.
They don’t understand how you’re still pushing to get through. They would laugh and call you bad names because they just don’t get it. Those are some things you can expect from some so called friends which we can call friend-enemies. Some just come in your life to use you, then abuse you..
Heart of a Hero
When most children think of the Army they think of red, white, and blue. They think of men and women marching triumphantly through the walls of an enemy, to defeat whatever person is against the US. They think of the USA being the best, with our army strong and forever protecting our county. They are patriotic, and believe that everything is right.
But when I think of the army, I think of a big man sitting at a huge mahogany desk, surrounded by papers which he stamps with red ink. He laughs, and props his feet up and leans back in his giant leather chair and shouts in a heavy voice.
"Whose life shall I ruin next? Whose family shall I tear apart and make suffer for no reason? While I sit here and happily watch them struggle? "
The sweat pours down my face as I look up at the score, 31-33, only 10 seconds left to go. It's only three points, I think to myself. I take notice in my surrondings, at any way I can get past my player. I see him playing defense slightly leaning towards the right, daring me to go left. I smirk because he doesn't know what he's in for. I can feel my palms getting sweaty and the ball pounding against the floor is like monotonous song in my head. I'm down to 8 seconds left. "Shoot, shoot!" The crowd roars in unison. I cross over before my defender can even blink and I head for the half court line. I feel myself hit the floor and then jump back up again. The ball leaves my hands, soaring through the air like a bird, and it seems to take hours before the ball has reached the basket. My heart is pounding at nearly 100 miles per hour, and I take a deep breath in. Swish. The ball lands straight in the net and I fall to the court with relief. I did it, I smile with the thought in my head. I turn around to find all my team mates sprinting towards me, why can't I have this moment forever?
my dog slobbering on me when I get home from school,
going to Club Cougar and doing group activities, Read more »
Remember those terrible, troublesome, terrifying threes? I don't remember much but the one vacation I took with my mom that year for my birthday. I remember going on a trip through the swamp, but first I went to see this rare Albino Alligator in a tank. I was there with at least five other kids. We were all just standing there waiting for it to move. The boy on my left was slightly overweight. With his candy in one hand and the other in his mother's warm, soft, delicate hand, he stood there just sucking on his lollipop over and over and over again. The girl next to me was banging on the glass asserting that she wanted the gator to move while her mother was huffing. With the sucking, huffing, banging and yelling, I started to feel perturbed, then I got irate. I looked to my mom and said, “Mom I have to go to the bathroom. I be be back.” I was about to leave when the girl next to me banged so loud I thought the glass was going to break. I turned around to ask her to please stop being so loud and as soon as I turned around the alligator swam right to her. We all screamed. The boy dropped his candy and the girl was crying. I was so happy they had stopped talking but now it was even louder. I don't remember much of those terrible, troublesome, terrifying threes but I remember that moment.
My dream vacation would be traveling the world and having a signature dish from each individual place or country. I can smell it now, the wonderful aroma of whatever the food is walking from its kitchen birthplace. I can imagine it being placed directly in front of me, its neat and tidy presentation inches in front of my face, the steam radiating off of it signifying its freshness. I imagine it being very filling, and very delicious all at the same time. I imagine wiping my chops with the colorful napkin afterwards. I think some delicious Borsch would be top. Borsch is one of the best soups ever made. I imagine myself sitting in a cafe near the Red Square, watching the outside atmosphere. I cancel out all of the noise around me. I savor each spoonful as cars fly by and people crisscross every which way, going about their business calmly and swiftly. Maybe I would enjoy some Fish and Chips in London somewhere near the London Eye- a light rain starting that makes everything appear shiny. I savor each chip and watch as the London Eye slowly spins. That would be my ideal, dream vacation.
I lay down on the white sand just as the wind began to gently blow, pushing my dark curls out of my face. The hot sun beat down on my golden skin causing warmth wherever the sun touched. The sound of the sapphire waves crashing on the sand and then slowly crawling back to the sea melted away any stress I might have been feeling at that moment. When the wind blew again I inhaled deeply and smelled the the ripe tropical fruit on the nearby tree and the intense sea salt coming from the deep ocean in front of me. I forced myself to stay awake because of the purity of the moment. I heard someone calling my name in the distance. My eyes flashed with anger because of the disturbance. I knew my perfect moment was slipping away with every step my caller took. I took a deep breath trying to commit this feeling to memory. My heart began to ache with an agonizing pain, because I knew this moment was about to be lost forever. I groaned inwardly with the distressing loss. I slowly kissed goodbye my perfect moment on my perfect vacation.
I remember the night Creme gave birth so well. I had been checking on her all day. I kept pacing the barnyard, kicking the dirt floor. It was Creme's first time giving birth and I was nervous. I couldn't wait for it to be over so I could stop worrying.
At 7:30 p.m. her waterbag broke and she wasn't progressing. If a birth is going well, a lamb presents with front legs and head forward and is born shortly afterward. This lamb's nose appeared with its tongue hanging out. The legs were pulled back which made the shoulders block the cervix.
I had been waiting for this day a long time. I had decided I wanted to assist. The long plastic glove crackled as I put it on my right hand. My dad squirted a blue lubricant known as "Superlube" onto the glove. Shakily and slowly, I inched forward and knelt to put my hand into Creme's birth canal. It felt like lava, so hot and wet. I could feel the lamb's head and chin. I was so anxious, my eyes were stinging. I could see the lamb's tongue was starting to turn blue and knew the situation was becoming very serious. I asked my dad to take over because he has been assisting ewes give birth for many years. My mom held Creme as my dad put on a glove and lube and reached in. Dad hooked one leg and brought it forward, thinking it would be enough to pull the lamb out, but the lamb was really stuck. The shoulders were too broad. Read more »
By Parrish Cormier
I walked down stairs and saw Barney the dinosaur with my breakfast. So I chased him off then I saw my dog doing a handstand . I saw my sister mocking a mockingbird . My brother is playing barbie with no clothes. I found my mom feeding a python. I saw my dad saying and writing supercalifragilistic paladios 1,000 times. Thats when I thought about I have an extraordinary family. But as long as they're mine they'll always be cool.
Loading the bus with my grandmother going to Boston, I think to myself, “I can’t wait until I get there!”
When we arrive, I’m ready to go see all the fish at the aquarium. We walk one mile to get to the aquarium. The walk was tiring, but right when I get inside I was excited, I hear penguins making a squawking noise . I scamper to the penguins; they are black, white, and with a yellow crown, and they were astonishing! Read more »
I hop out of the car in Outer Banks, North Carolina. The twelve hour drive is finally over, and now I’m standing in the humid, warm, evening air in a hotel parking lot. I see the vast Atlantic Ocean, with immense waves crashing against the beach 100 yards away. I know I want to go swimming tomorrow, but now I just want to relax. I leisurely drag my suitcase to the front desk with my mom beside me and my sister, brother, and dad closely following behind. We rapidly check in, and walk into the elevator, slowly raising my arms full of suitcases and pillows. After struggling with the room key, I finally get the hotel room door open and drop my things all at once, flopping on the comfortable bed. After a while of watching T.V, I go to sleep. Read more »
On my vacation to Jay Peak Pump Haus, I went on the red slide (La Chute) four different times! I also went on the Big RIver a lot with my sister. I went in the kiddie pool with my sister ANgela's baby brother E-Jay. I went down the mini slide with him once. After that I played basketball in the water. I also rock cimbed in the water. The water park has basketball hoops in the water and a rock climbing wall in the water. My sister and I went down the blue and green slides together twice. I went on a Tram Ride; it went really high up. I also spent the night in a house at the water park. It was REALLY FUN!!!!
One year when I was five, I went to Puerto Rico. At our hotel, in the morning, there's a breakfast buffet. You had the view of the pretty blue ocean while your were eating. You could choose what you wanted to eat and go back for more. The really cool thing was that there were really pretty, colorful, bright birds that would flu in the room and you could se ethem. You could also hear them squaking. They all sounded so different. It felt really magical.
"Wow" I said as we found black, think, and small sea stars under rocks at the beach in St. John's. The ocean water was so clear, blue, and warm. The hot sun beats down on the sand warming your deet. Almost every rock we picked up, there was a sea star! I didn't want to lift up the rocks because there was a ton of red and black sea urchins, but my cousins did! They would hand me one to hold and I would watch it crawl on my hand. It was a really fun and sunny day at the beach!
Once when I went to Costa Rica, we went to go zip-lining. On the way there we saw some monkeys in the trees. When we finally got there we waited a little while and then headed to the starting spot. When we got there my sister was first and she started our first zip-line. Me and my sister went with one of the guides so we didn't have to control the speed and stuff like that. It was super hot out and we were all dicing to get to the zipline where there was a water cooler. On ever zipline the view was beautiful. It was so open and you could see everything. When we were done we went back to the place we were staying. It was really fun. If we ever go back, I want to do it again!!!
Ever wonder what a dream vacation is? Well here's mine. All my friends and family would come. First I would go to Hawaii on a plane (first class). I'd spend exactly 3 days and 2 nights then, I'd fly to Europe (first class, again) and visit France. Paris, France to be exact. I'd visit the Eiffel Tower and maybe even go to the top. Next, I'd go over to Italy and visit the Roman Colosseum. I'd dine at some of the finest restaurants. I'd visit Venus. After that I'd visit Scotland and visit old castles. I'd even visit Loch Ness. Then I'd go home to all home's comforts and remember all the wonderful, wonderful events. If I was rich this is what I would do. But for now I can dream and who knows what will happen?
For me, a perfect vacation would be a vacation where I didn’t have a lot of specific planned stuff that I needed to do at a certain time, I would be able do stuff leisurely, without a rush. A perfect vacation would be one where I don’t really have to be stressed out about it or have to worry about preparing everything. On my perfect vacation, I would go to some sort of island, whether it be Prince Edward Island or Hawaii or anywhere else, I would prefer to go to an island, they tend to have a lot of beaches. On my perfect vacation, I would spend a lot of time at the beach reading or just hanging out, maybe I would bring a frisbee or something along the lines of tennis to play with family or friends who happen to be there. For my vacation, I would make sure I was staying in a nice hotel or cottage not far from a beach that maybe not a lot of people go to, one where you can see for miles and no ones there. My idea of a perfect vacation is very similar to my family’s vacations to either Maine or PEI (Prince Edward Island) during the summer. My perfect vacation would take place there because it’s really fun to go there, with a lot of little beaches that no one really knows about, so you can have the beach to yourself. Read more »
Leaving the Attic
The small Colorado town faded to dust, an old picture filed away in an attic in a cardboard box. A rented Ford Explorer passed by it without a thought, as many others had done before. The Explorer rattled down the dirt road, slipping through a National Park Service checkpoint. The words of the park ranger who stood there would follow it all the way to the top.
“Welcome to Mesa Verde.”
The car followed the invisible tire tracks of hundreds of others who had traveled this land. It wound around the mesa, following the coils of the steep dirt path. Climbing the road like a spiral staircase, its passengers gazed at the tiny town below. Buildings that you could balance on your fingertip, cars that could easily fit inside a thimble, people you needed a microscope to see. The car continued to twist around the tower like a wind-up toy, alone in the peaceful calm of rural Colorado. Read more »
It started out as a hot, typical summer day in Prince Edward Island. Soon the night became humid and buggy. But that didn’t matter. It didn’t stop my sister and I, along with about five other kids we hardly knew, from having fun. One of the girls, who we had just met that night, was about the same age as me, eleven. The other two girls were a little older. Also joining us were two boys, one younger and one older than me. It was just light enough to barely see the features on each others’ faces. Even though we didn’t know them that well, it felt like they were just normal friends. We had invited the kids who lived around our grandparents’ cottage to come outside to do whatever we wanted. We ended up playing a variation of hide and go seek, tag. Some of us were hiding in long grass beside a road, not far from the cottage. Read more »
It was getting dark, and I still hadn't eaten. My family and I were traveling to Maine for our annual summer vacation, except this time it didn’t go so smoothly. Read more »
If I could choose where I wanted to go on vacation, then this would be my answer: (related to Taekwondo)
I want to go with my Dad (red belt with black stripe) and President Master White (7th degreee black belt) to South Korea. We'd go to the Kukkiwon dojang (gym) to work out with all of the other black belts (very high rank black belts). We'd work out a lot during the day. Dad and I would learn sooooo much. A lot more than what we'd learn at our dojang because our workouts aren't very challenging. There are only 3 black belts anyway. We'd exercise and learn new poomsaes (forms). I'd get better at sparring. I'd be able to practice a lot more at the Kukkiwon. I'd be able to break boards. Normally, I'm afraid I'll hurt my foot because we don't break boards enough, usually only a couple times a month. Dad and I would show the Masters our poomsaes and they'd point out what was wrong. We would be better at Taekwondo when we would return to Vermont. We'd experience perfect forms and watch black belts do them the way they were supposed to be done. This trip would be a big advantage. We'd stretch and stretch until we could do a split. We'd then be able to do a kick straight upward! Our kicks would be almost perfect. Our poomsaes would become easier and we'd all be happy.
That would be my perfect vacation. P.S. (It would be a long vacation too.)
"One time I was walking down the street and I saw a laddie in a hole the size of a pumpkin. So here is the story," says Grandpa.
"Oh yes, it was a wonderful day - the day after our wedding anniversary to be exact," chimes in Grandma.
"But I thought you couldn't get married when the dinosaurs were around," I tell them both matter-of-factly.
"Ok, we are not that old! Now, do you want to hear the story?" Grandpa says irritated.
"Yes, we do," I say cheerfully.
"Ok, it was 35 years ago when your mom was an itty bitty two year old," he says pointing to me, "and we were going to get ice cream. We walked because we were out of gas and then your mom Annie tripped over the lassie-"
"What's a lassie?" asks Kristi. Read more »
We paddled into an opening in the cluster of mangrove trees, and I instantly felt like I was in a completely different world. The branches of the trees reached down towards the shallow water. I dipped my hand into the crystal clear liquid and felt the still calmness of the room temperature water blanket my hand. A variety of birds squawked and flew from branch to branch, going about their daily business. The scent of salt water flooded my nostrils. The tour guide's voice awakened me from the stillness as he pointed out a jelly fish swimming near the bottom of the water. I watched, mesmerized, as the jelly slid along the sandy ocean floor. I remember feeling like I was in a magical forest in the ocean, a land unharmed by humans. My vacation to Key West, Florida was unforgettable.
I wait at the window for something. Anything really. A sign maybe? But that sounds too formal-anything, I'm waiting for anything. I may know it when it comes. Something in the way it moves will tell me. Or in the way it whispers to me. Yet, I may not know at all.
It could have happened already, and I was to absorbed at the window to see it. I could be waiting at the window for the rest of my life, with all that could and would happen gone. Lost in the past where I will never--never get it back. I will only sit, still at the window, still waiting. Completely unaware of what I have missed.
I should move from the window where I watch people with their somethings. I should. I should go and find my own something, instead of standing here waiting. The world could be filled with somethings, and I would never know.
And here I am still, waiting for something. Anything, even if it has already past me by.
People never appriciate the little things. The very little, very beautiful, very wonderful, very forgotten things. I think its because people noticed things, lots of things, the things I notice, it might be too much. Too many things to notice. A person could spend the longest time in one spot just noticing. Noticing absolutly everything, taking it all in and letting the good and amazing take over. Everyone, just staying in one spot, trying to notice everything. But if you try to notice everything, you end up more or less noticing nothing. Even when there are thousands of wonderfly small things sitting infront of you, waiting to be completely noticed. Most good things are partially noticed, but usually not completely. It's hard to notice things completely. People notice things in the sense of sort of not completely realizing them. Like white noise, you know its there, but it becomes conciously apperent to you only when you realize it. I think people are good at noticing bad though. Because bad is big. When there's bad it sits infront of you. Right in your way, impossible not to see, blocking your veiw. It casts a great big shadow and makes everyting go dark. And when everhting goes dark, it becones extreamly hard to see the details. Every so ofter e shadow lifts or gets less shadowy, as shadows do, and just for a second you can get a glimps of of the good things. But the shadow always gets dark again, and eventually we don't even notice it anymore. And the tiny things, the things that are extraordinarily simple go back to just being things. Read more »
Once I went on a plane for a reason I do not know. But when I got to the place, it was spectacular! You have to see it. It was Scotland!
I saw pandas. I had never seen them before. I had a hotel and it was the best hotel I had ever stayed in. The people were so nice that I wanted to stay in Scotland forever. The best part is that you call a cab by holding your hand up and yelling," Hey, Jimmy!" It was so funny.
That was the best moment of my life. It was so exciting!