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10/20/11 2:32 PM


10/20/11 2:32 PM


10/20/11 2:32 PM Max kicked the dry crumbled dirt. He grumbled, he groaned. His face scrunched up in a sort of way of a warning for people not to come near. He cracked his knuckles and narrowed his eyes. His red orange curly hair stuck out in all places. His shirt was black and wrinkled as well as his beige shorts that were starting to stink. He was dragging down the path that went from school to his home. Well for Max he called home the thrown away shack. The path cut through a park that was covered in green. Green trees, green grass, and even green water fountains. Max stopped dragging. He pulled some bubble gum wrap that was still sticky from the gum, and his crumpled up homework from school out of his pocket. He ripped up his homework and threw it all over the freshly cut grass. He took the still-sticky bubble gum wrap and stuck it on the public water fountain on the place where you drink from. He knew that the gardener hated this, but he did it anyway. Completing things that were bad or being horrible to people made Max feel great, big, strong, and almost like he was king. His stories of evil would go on the newspaper and through out his school. Kids at his school, and his classmates especially, would back away as Max grinned and took big proud steps down the halls. Max nodded at his evil work. This time the gardener will act NUTS! Max thought slyly, after he see’s this he might even go crying to the mayor! Max started walking proudly this time, until something unusual caught his eye. It looked like he was a homeless man slouching beside a tree. He looked thin and boney, and his face was covered in wrinkles. His clothes were filthy, and he wore a green base ball cap that was starting to lose it’s color. His pale gray eyes were eyeing Max suspiciously as he walked away from his work. Max immediately got annoyed at this staring from the man and stuck his tongue out viscously and then ran away, afraid that maybe the man might do something to him. When Max ran a block he looked back, the man had disappeared like he was never there. In Max’s confusion he shook his head and walked the rest of the way home. When Max got to his “throw away shack”, he dropped his bag at they entrance and immediately started watching TV. Although it was hard to concentrate on they entertainment from the happening from the park. Thoughts and questions were swimming in his mind, how could he disappear so quickly? Why was he so interested in me? These thoughts never went away until dinner. Then his mind just clicked to “food”. “How was school?” asked his mom a little worried. “Great!” Max lied stuffing spoon-fulls of food in his


mouth. His mother sighed. Knowing her son she knew that “great” meant “awful”, and “awful” meant not-good-signs for his report card. The rest of the dinner was silent. The only thing that could be heard was clinking of spoons and grunting noises from Max. The  next  day  was  as  usual  but  with  a  little  change.  Max  got  up  with  a  disgusted  look   knowing  that  this  would  be  a  usual  day  of  school.  He  took  as  long  as  he  could  to  enjoy  the   time  out  of  school,  although  his  mom  would  constantly  try  to  hurry  him  up  saying,  “Come   on  Max!  Hurry,  hurry,  hurry!”  But  Max  wouldn’t  listen  and  always  miss  the  bus. Max dragged out the door, and saw that across the street generous Addison was out early helping the homeless. Everybody in his class were friends with Addison, except for Max. Show off. Max grunted under his breath. Max tried to hate Addison, and pretend that her voice was really annoying, but Max was always ridiculously jealous of Addison. Ever since he heard of Addison he wanted to be just like her. Have lots of friends, earn great comments from everybody, and always be cheery. But when ever he tried to be like Addison, he always ended up failing by getting angry and locking a kid in his locker. Now Max watched as Addison smiled brightly and said good-bye to the homeless she helped and started walking happily toward school. Max had a sudden urge to ask Addison how he can become like her. Max tried to hold to it back but in they end caught up to Addison and asked demandingly, “How do you become nice!” At first Addison was surprised with a sudden demand, but calmed down and answered cheerily, “Be generous, be kind, and always smile.” Max frowned. How could he do that? He was always the big king, but would it be the same if he was nice? Max decided that maybe he would give it a try, but not all his effort. The day was very difficult as Max tried to be nice. First of all Max tried to not crumple up his homework and scribble in his notebook. Or punch at least one kid, or let the class hamster out in history. Max tried not to do all these things but always ended up doing it anyway. Max had failed again. After school Max gave up on his goal, and took his usual route through the park to trash it again. Max was about to toilet paper one of the trees, when he stopped to think twice. He held onto the toilet paper roll and checked the same place the slouching man was. Just as he thought, he was still there. But this time looking weaker than ever, and had sad eyes staring at Max as


if he was trying to make Max feel bad for him. Max tried to avoid looking into the man’s eyes, it made him feel very guilty. It made him think of all the things he had, and what the man did not. Finally a gently but cold wind woke Max from his deep thoughts. Max shook his head and started to walk the tree again trying to act mad and mean again, but something pulled him to the man. As if they were friends for a long time. He walked back to the man trying to look horrible and threw the toilet paper on the ground near him. The man looked up at him as if he didn’t expect that Max would do this for him but smiled brightly. “Thanks kid.” The man finally said in a gruffly deep voice with all his might. Max was surprised that somebody had actually said something nice to him. Just those two words affected Max as though he’d been hit by a huge bulldozer. Max couldn’t help but smile at the man. “Your welcome.” Max replied sticking his chest out. “You know you a good kid,” the man said examining the toilet paper, “most kids just leave me hear or threaten me. You a good kid.” The man repeated unrolling the toilet paper and wrapping it around his hands. “Names Jeffery.” Jeffery got comfortable by his tree now and fell into a deep sleep. Max left Jeffery alone with pride. The next day he would come again, better. The next day everybody in his school was startled. Max had tried to act nice to the kids, pay attention in classes, and not cause any trouble. The teachers were baffled by Max’s new behavior, but still kept a stern look thinking that this was some part of Max’s evil plans. The kids in his classroom were just the same. Everybody was startled by Max’s new behavior, but still kept distance from him thinking that they might disturb him. Max was confused by why everybody was acting the same even though he had done the right things. Did he do anything wrong? Max was disappointed by his work, but was happy about one thing. At lunch he sat at his usual seat, the darkest corner of the cafeteria. A new kid in school, Jacob, came late to lunch of finishing some homework and by the time he got his lunch mostly all the seats were occupied. The only seats that were left were next to the girls or the dark corner of the cafeteriawhere Max was. Jacob finally went to where Max was sitting. Max looked up from his home made lunch and smiled at Jacob. Jacob awkwardly smiled back. Jacob knew that Max was trying to be friends with him so he started a


conversation. “Hello, my name is Jacob.” Max smiled and as grown up as he could he replied, “Hello, my name is Max.” After that the two boys didn’t know what else to say, so the rest of the lunch was silent. Although Max smiled excitedly as he ate, he thought he made his first new friend. Max went to the park, and happily gave Jeffery the left overs of his lunch. “Best kid I know.” Jeffery said, as he devoured Max’s lunch. Max left Jeffery eating his lunch full. Max smiled proudly, “Best kid I know.” Those words kept shining in Max’s mind. He decided that he would try to be like this for the next few days. But he already knew how it was going to end. Max was right. By the end of the week, everybody loved Max, including Jeffery. He had shown a good enough impression for everybody to understand that he had changed the way he was. Lots of boys were friends with Max, and the teachers smiled this time when he walked through the door to their classroom. Jacob turned into Max’s best friend. They did everything together. Sleepovers, play dates, and playing soccer at recces. And Jeffery always commented of how good of a kid Max was whenever he brought him something useful. Max shined like the sun at day. Max hummed, he whistled. His hair was neatly combed, and he wore his new shirt and pants he bought with his mom on Sunday. He smiled like the stars at night. He was walking a path that went from school to home. Or which Max called it, they awesome mansion. He took proud steps toward the front door of his “mansion”. He slammed the door to let his mother know he was home. “How was school honey?” his mother asked brightly. Max hugged his mother and replied greatly, “Awesome.”


10/20/11 2:32 PM

A  Man,  A  Change   Max kicked the dry crumbled dirt. He grumbled, he groaned. His face scrunched up in a sort of way of a warning for people not to come near. He cracked his knuckles and narrowed his eyes. His red orange curly hair stuck out in all places. His shirt was black and wrinkled as well as his beige shorts that were starting to stink. He was dragging down the path that went from school to his home. Well for Max he called home the “thrown away shack”. The path cut straight through a park that was called Green Away Park. Obviously it was covered in green. Green trees, green grass, and even green water fountains. Max stopped dragging. He pulled some bubble gum wrap that was still sticky from the gum, and his crumpled up homework out of his pocket. He ripped up his homework angrily and threw it all over the freshly cut grass. He took the still-sticky bubble gum wrap and stuck it on the public water fountain on the place where you drink. He knew that the gardener hated this, but he did it anyway. Completing things that were bad or being horrible to people made Max feel great, big, strong, and almost like he was king. His stories of evil would go on the local newspaper and throughout his school. Kids at his school- and his classmates especially, would back away as Max grinned with evil eyes, and took big proud steps down the halls. Max nodded at his evil work. This time the gardener will act NUTS! Max thought slyly, after he see’s this he might even go crying to the mayor! Max started walking satisfied this time, until something unusual caught his eye. It was a heavyhearted man. It seemed like he was homeless, and was slouching in they shade of an old oak tree. He looked thin and boney, and his face was covered in wrinkles. His clothes were filthy and almost as smelly as Max’s, but more. He wore a green base ball cap that looked like it already lost it’s color, and had scrawny socks with hundreds of holes. His pale gray eyes were eyeing Max suspiciously as he walked away from the mess he made. Max immediately got irritated at the staring from the man and stuck his tongue out viscously and then ran away, afraid that maybe the homeless man might do something to him. When Max ran a block or so he looked back. The man was now a tiny dot still staring in Max’s direction. In Max’s annoyance he stuck his tongue out again at the man, and easily walked the rest of the way home.


When Max got to his “throw away shack”, he dropped his bag at they entrance and immediately started watching TV. Although it was hard to concentrate on they entertainment from the happening from the park. Thoughts and questions were swimming in his mind, Why was he staring at me so long? Why was he so interested in me? These thoughts never went away until dinner. Then his mind just clicked onto “food”. “How was school?” asked his mother a little unsure. “Great!” Max lied as he stuffed spoon fulls of white rice in his mouth. His mother sighed deppressed. Knowing her son she knew that “great” meant “awful”, and “awful” meant not-good-signs for his report card. The rest of the dinner was silent. The only thing that could be heard was clinking of spoons hitting against the dishes, and the grunting noises from Max. The next day was as usual but with a little change. Max got up with a disgusted look knowing that this would be another usual day of boring school. Why do we have to have school? It isn’t like I learn anything there anyway Max thought disgustedly. He took as long as he could to enjoy the time out of school, although his mom would constantly try to hurry him up saying, “Come on Max! Hurry, hurry, hurry! You’re going to miss the buss!” But Max wouldn’t listen and onperpously always miss the bus anyway. Max dragged out the door, and saw that across the street generous Addison was out early helping the homeless in Green Away Park. Everybody in his class were friends with Addison, except for Max. Show off Max grunted under his breath. Max tried to hate Addison, and pretend that her voice was really annoying, but Max was always ridiculously jealous of Addison. Ever since he heard of Addison he wanted to be just like her. Have lots of friends, earn great comments from everybody, and always be cheery. But when ever he tried to be like Addison, he always ended up failing by getting angry and locking a kid in his locker. Now Max watched, pretending to act angry, as Addison smiled brightly and said good-bye to the homeless she helped. Max had a sudden - urge as always - to ask Addison how he can become like her. Max tried to hold to it back but just couldn’t take holding in the long lasting urge anymore. Max caught up to Addison by fast walking, he was too lazy to run. “How do I become nice like you!” At first Addison was surprised with a sudden demand, but calmed down and answered cheerily, “Be generous, be kind, and always smile.” Max frowned. How could he do that? He was always


the big king, but would it be the same if he was nice? Max decided that maybe he would give it a try, but not all his effort. The day was very difficult as Max tried to be nice. First of all Max tried to not crumple up his homework and scribble in his notebook. Or punch at least one kid, or let the class hamster out in history. Max tried not to do all these things but always ended up doing it anyway. Max had failed again. After school Max gave up on his goal, and took his usual route through the park to trash it again. Max was about to toilet paper one of the trees, when he stopped to think twice. He held onto the toilet paper roll and checked the same place the slouching man was. Just as he thought, he was still there. But this time looking weaker than ever, and had sad eyes staring at Max as if he was trying to make Max feel bad for him. Max tried to avoid looking into the man’s eyes, it made him feel very guilty. It made him think of all the things he had, and what the man did not. Finally a gently but cold wind woke Max from his deep thoughts. Max shook his head and started to walk the tree again trying to act mad and mean again, but something pulled him to the man. As if they were friends for a long time. He walked back to the man trying to look horrible and threw the toilet paper on the ground near him. The man looked up at him as if he didn’t expect that Max would do this for him but smiled brightly. “Thanks kid.” The man finally said in a gruffly deep voice with all his might. Max was surprised that somebody had actually said something nice to him. Just those two words affected Max as though he’d been hit by a huge bulldozer. Max couldn’t help but smile at the man. “Your welcome.” Max replied sticking his chest out. “You know you a good kid,” the man said examining the toilet paper, “most kids just leave me hear or threaten me. You a good kid.” The man repeated unrolling the toilet paper and wrapping it around his hands. “Names Jeffery.” Jeffery got comfortable by his tree now and fell into a deep sleep. Max left Jeffery alone with pride. The next day he would come again, better. The next day everybody in his school was startled. Max had tried to act nice to the kids, pay attention in classes, and not cause any trouble. The teachers were baffled by Max’s new behavior, but still kept a stern look thinking that this was some part of Max’s evil plans. The kids in his classroom were just the same. Everybody was startled by Max’s new behavior, but still kept


distance from him thinking that they might disturb him. Max was confused by why everybody was acting the same even though he had done the right things. Did he do anything wrong? Max was disappointed by his work, but was happy about one thing. At lunch he sat at his usual seat, the darkest corner of the cafeteria. A new kid in school, Jacob, came late to lunch of finishing some homework and by the time he got his lunch mostly all the seats were occupied. The only seats that were left were next to the girls or the dark corner of the cafeteriawhere Max was. Jacob finally went to where Max was sitting. Max looked up from his home made lunch and smiled at Jacob. Jacob awkwardly smiled back. Jacob knew that Max was trying to be friends with him so he started a conversation. “Hello, my name is Jacob.” Max smiled and as grown up as he could he replied, “Hello, my name is Max.” After that the two boys didn’t know what else to say, so the rest of the lunch was silent. Although Max smiled excitedly as he ate, he thought he made his first new friend. Max went to the park, and happily gave Jeffery the left overs of his lunch. “Best kid I know.” Jeffery said, as he devoured Max’s lunch. Max left Jeffery eating his lunch full. Max smiled proudly, “Best kid I know.” Those words kept shining in Max’s mind. He decided that he would try to be like this for the next few days. But he already knew how it was going to end. Max was right. By the end of the week, everybody loved Max, including Jeffery. He had shown a good enough impression for everybody to understand that he had changed the way he was. Lots of boys were friends with Max, and the teachers smiled this time when he walked through the door to their classroom. Jacob turned into Max’s best friend. They did everything together. Sleepovers, play dates, and playing soccer at recces. And Jeffery always commented of how good of a kid Max was whenever he brought him something useful. Max shined like the sun at day. Max hummed, he whistled. His hair was neatly combed, and he wore his new shirt and pants he bought with his mom on Sunday. He smiled like the stars at night. He was walking a path that went from school to home. Or which Max called it, they awesome mansion. He took proud steps toward the front


door of his “mansion”. He slammed the door to let his mother know he was home. “How was school honey?” his mother asked brightly. Max hugged his mother and replied greatly, “Awesome.”


10/20/11 2:32 PM

Max kicked the dry crumbled dirt. He grumbled, he groaned. His face scrunched up in a sort of way of a warning for people not to come near. He cracked his knuckles and narrowed his eyes. His red orange curly hair stuck out in all places. His shirt was black and wrinkled as well as his beige shorts that were starting to stink. He was dragging down the path that went from school to his home. Well for Max he called home the “thrown away shack”. The path cut straight through a park that was called Green Away Park. Obviously it was covered in green. Green trees, green grass, and even green water fountains. Max stopped dragging. He pulled some bubble gum wrap that was still sticky from the gum, and his crumpled up homework out of his pocket. He ripped up his homework angrily and threw it all over the freshly cutgrass. He took the still-sticky bubble gum wrap and stuck it on the public water fountain on the place where you drink. He knew that the gardener hated this, but he did it anyway. Completing things that were bad or being horrible to people made Max feel great, big, strong, and almost like he was king. His stories of evil would go on the local newspaper and throughout his school. Kids at his school- and his classmates especially, would back away as Max grinned with evil eyes, and took big proud steps down the halls. Max nodded at his evil work. This time the gardener will act NUTS! Max thought slyly, after he see’s this he might even go crying to the mayor! Max started walking satisfied this time, until something unusual caught his eye. It was a heavyhearted man. It seemed like he was homeless, and was slouching in they shade of an old oak tree. He looked thin and boney, and his face was covered in wrinkles. His clothes were filthy and almost as smelly as Max’s, but more. He wore a green base ball cap that looked like it already lost it’s color, and had scrawny socks with hundreds of holes. His pale gray eyes were eyeing Max suspiciously as he walked away from the mess he made. Max immediately got irritated at the staring from the man and stuck his tongue out viscously then ran away, afraid that maybe the homeless man might do something to him. When Max ran a block or so he looked back. The man was now a tiny dot still staring in Max’s direction. In Max’s annoyance he stuck his tongue out again at the man, and easily walked the rest of the way home.


When Max got to his “throw away shack”, he dropped his bag at they entrance and immediately started watching TV. Although it was hard to concentrate on they entertainment from the happening from the park. Thoughts and questions were swimming in his mind, Why was he staring at me so long? Why was he so interested in me? He was so disgusting! These thoughts never went away until dinner. Then his mind just clicked onto “food”. “How was school?” asked his mother a little uneasily. “Great!” Max lied as he stuffed spoon fulls of soft white rice in his mouth. His mother sighed depressed. Knowing her son she knew that “great” meant “awful”, and “awful” meant not-good-signs for his report card. The rest of the dinner was silent. The only thing that could be heard was clinking of spoons hitting against the dishes, and the grunting noises from Max. The next day was as usual but with a little change. Max got up with a disgusted look knowing that this would be another usual day of boring school. Why do we have to have school? It isn’t like I learn anything there anyway Max thought disgustedly. He took as long as he could to enjoy the time out of school, although his mom would constantly try to hurry him up saying, “Come on Max! Hurry, hurry, hurry! You’re going to miss the buss!” But Max wouldn’t listen and purposefully always miss the bus anyway. Max dragged out the door with a frown on his face, and saw that across the street generous Addison was out early helping the homeless in Green Away Park. Max narrowed his eyes her while she wasn’t looking and kept walking toward school. Everybody in his class were friends with Addison, except for Max. Show off Max grunted under his breath as he took a quick glance at Addison. Max tried to hate her, and pretend that her voice was really annoying, but Max was always ridiculously jealous of Addison. Ever since he heard of Addison he wanted to be just like her. Have lots of friends, earn great comments from everybody, and always be cheery. But whenever he tried to be like Addison, he always ended up failing by getting angry and locking a kid in his locker. Now Max couldn’t help but stare, as Addison smiled brightly and said good-bye to the homeless she helped. Max had a sudden urge - as always - to ask Addison how he can become like her. Max tried to hold to it back but just couldn’t take holding in the long lasting urge anymore. Max caught up to Addison by fast walking, he was too lazy to run. “Tell me how to become nice like you! Or I’ll punch you’re face in!” At first


Addison was surprised with a sudden demand and threat, but calmed down a little) and answered quivering, “Be generous, be kind, and always smile.” Max frowned. How could he do that? He was always the big king, but would it be the same if he was nice? Max decided that maybe he would give it a try, but not all his effort. The day was very difficult as Max tried to be nice. First of all Max tried to not crumple up his homework and scribble in his notebook. Or punch at least one kid, or let the class hamster out in history, or any other kids of trouble. Max tried not to do all these things but always ended up doing it anyway. Max had failed again. After school Max gave up on his goal, and took his usual route through the park to trash it again. Max was about to toilet paper one of the trees, when he stopped to think twice. He held onto the toilet paper roll and checked the same place the slouching man was. Just as he thought, he was still there. But this time looking weaker than ever, and had those sad eyes again staring at Max as if he was trying to make Max feel bad for him. Max tried to avoid looking into the man’s eyes, it made him feel very guilty. It made him think of all the things he had, and what the man did not. Finally a gentle but cold sharp wind woke Max from his deep thoughts. Max shook his head and started to walk the tree again trying to act mad and mean again, but something pulled him to the man. As if they were friends for a long time. He walked back to the man trying to look horrible and threw the toilet paper on the ground near him. The man looked up at him as if he didn’t expect that Max would do this for him but smiled brightly. “Thanks kid.” The man finally said in a gruffly deep voice. Max was surprised that somebody had actually said something nice to him. Just those two words affected Max as though he’d been hit by a huge bulldozer. Max couldn’t help but smile at the man. “Your welcome.” Max replied sticking his chest out. “You know you a good kid,” the man said examining the toilet paper, “most kids just leave me hear or threaten me. You a good kid.” The man repeated unrolling the toilet paper and wrapping it around his hands. “Names Jeffery.” Jeffery got comfortable by his tree now and fell into a deep sleep. Max left Jeffery alone with pride. The next day he would come again, but better.


The next day everybody in his school was startled. Max had tried to act nice to the kids, pay attention in classes, and not cause any trouble. The teachers were baffled by Max’s new behavior, but still kept a stern look thinking that this was some part of Max’s “evil plans”. The kids in his classroom were just the same. Everybody was startled by Max’s new behavior, but still kept distance from him thinking that they might disturb him. Max was confused by why everybody was acting the same even though he had done the right things. Did he do anything wrong? Max was disappointed by his work, but was happy about one thing. It happened at lunch. He sat at his usual seat, the darkest corner of the cafeteria. A new kid in school, Jacob, came late to lunch of finishing up some homework. And by the time he got his food, mostly all the seats were occupied. The only seats that were left were next to the girls or the dark corner of the cafeteria - where Max was. Jacob finally went to where Max was sitting, he was a new kid so he didn’t know much about the school’s enemies yet. Max looked up from his home made and saw that Jacob had chosen to sit next to him. Usually he would push Jacob or any kid that sat next to him on the ground and threaten them, but today was different. Addison’s words repeated in his mind “Always smile.” He decided to experiment if it worked. He smiled friendly at Jacob. Jacob awkwardly smiled back. Jacob somehow knew that Max was trying to be friends with him so he started a conversation. “Hi, my name is Jacob.” Max smiled and as grown up as he could he replied, “Hello, my name is Max.” After that the two boys didn’t know what else to say, so the rest of the lunch was silent. Although Max smiled excitedly as he ate, he thought he made his first new friend. Max went to the park, and happily gave Jeffery the left overs of his lunch. “Best kid I know.” Jeffery said, as he devoured Max’s leftovers. Max left Jeffery eating his lunch full. Max smiled proudly, “Best kid I know.” Those words kept shining in Max’s mind. He would’ve just put them on his shirt if he could. He decided that he would try to be like this for the next few days. But he already knew how it was going to end. Max was right. By the end of the week, everybody loved Max, including Jeffery. He had shown a good enough impression for everybody to


understand that he had changed the way he was. Lots of boys were friends with Max, and the teachers smiled this time when he walked through the door to their classroom. Jacob turned into Max’s best friend. They did everything together. Sleepovers, play dates, and playing soccer at recces. And Jeffery always commented of how good of a kid Max was whenever he brought him something useful. Max shined like the sun at day. Max hummed, he whistled. His hair was neatly combed, and he wore his new shirt and pants he bought with his mom on Sunday. He was walking a path that went from school to home. Or which Max called it, they awesome mansion. He took proud steps toward the front door of his “mansion”. He slammed the door to let his mother know he was home. “How was school honey?” his mother asked brightly. Max hugged his mother and replied greatly, “Awesome.”


10/20/11 2:32 PM

A  Man,  A  Change   Hana  Donovan  

  Max  kicked  the  dry  crumbled  dirt.  He  grumbled,  he  groaned.  His  face  scrunched  up  in  a  sort  of   way  of  a  warning  for  people  not  to  come  near.  He  cracked  his  knuckles  and  narrowed  his  eyes.   His  red  orange  curly  hair  stuck  out  in  all  places.  His  shirt  was  black  and  wrinkled  as  well  as  his   beige  shorts  that  were  starting  to  stink.  He  was  dragging  down  the  path  that  went  from  school   to  his  home.  Well  for  Max  he  called  home  the  “thrown  away  shack”.  The  path  cut  straight   through  a  park  that  was  called  “Green  Away  Park”.  Obviously  the  place  was  covered  in  green.   Green  trees,  green  grass,  and  even  green  water  fountains.  Max  stopped  dragging.  He  pulled   some  bubble  gum  wrap  that  was  still  sticky  from  the  gum,  and  his  crumpled  up  homework  out   of  his  pocket.  He  ripped  up  his  homework  angrily  and  threw  it  all  over  the  freshly  cut  grass.  He   took  the  still-­‐sticky  bubble  gum  wrap  and  stuck  it  on  the  public  water  fountain  on  the  place   where  you  drink  from.  He  knew  that  the  gardener  hated  this,  but  he  did  it  anyway.  Completing   things  that  were  bad,  or  being  horrible  to  people  made  Max  feel  great,  big,  strong,  and  almost   like  he  was  king.  His  stories  of  evil  would  go  on  the  local  newspaper  and  throughout  his  school.   Kids  at  his  school  -­‐  and  his  classmates  especially,  would  back  away  as  Max  grinned  with  evil   eyes,  and  took  big  proud  steps  down  the  halls.  Max  nodded  at  his  evil  work.  This  time  the   gardener  will  act  NUTS!  He  thought  slyly,  after  he  see’s  this  he  might  even  go  crying  to  the   mayor!  Max  started  walking  satisfied  this  time,  until  something  unusual  caught  his  eye.  It  was  a   heavyhearted  man.  It  seemed  like  he  was  homeless,  and  was  slouching  in  they  shade  of  an  old   oak  tree.  He  looked  thin  and  boney,  and  his  face  was  covered  in  wrinkles.  His  clothes  were  filthy   and  almost  as  smelly  as  Max’s,  but  more.  He  wore  a  green  base  ball  cap  that  looked  like  it   already  lost  its’  color,  and  had  scrawny  socks  with  hundreds  of  holes.  His  pale  gray  eyes  were   eyeing  Max  suspiciously  as  he  walked  away  from  the  mess  he  made.  Max  immediately  got   irritated  at  the  staring  from  the  man  and  stuck  his  tongue  out  viscously  then  ran  away,  afraid   that  maybe  the  homeless  man  might  do  something  to  him.  When  Max  ran  a  block  or  so,  he   looked  back.  The  man  was  now  a  tiny  dot  still  staring  in  Max’s  direction.  In  Max’s  annoyance  he   stuck  his  tongue  out  again  at  the  man,  and  easily  walked  the  rest  of  the  way  home.       When  Max  got  to  his  “throw  away  shack”,  he  dropped  his  bag  at  they  entrance  and   immediately  started  watching  television.  Although  it  was  hard  to  concentrate  on  they   entertainment  from  the  happening  from  the  park.  Thoughts  and  questions  were  swimming  in   his  mind,  Why  was  he  staring  at  me  so  long?  Why  was  he  so  interested  in  me?  What  a  hobo.  


These  thoughts  never  went  away  until  dinner.  Then  his  mind  just  clicked  onto  “food”.  “How  was   school?”  asked  his  mother  uneasily.  “Great!”  Max  lied  as  he  stuffed  spoonfuls  of  soft  white  rice   in  his  mouth.  His  mother  sighed  depressed.  Knowing  her  son  she  knew  that  “great”  meant   “awful”,  and  “awful”  meant  not-­‐good-­‐signs  for  his  report  card.  The  rest  of  the  dinner  was  silent.   The  only  thing  that  could  be  heard  was  clinking  of  spoons  hitting  against  the  dishes,  and  the   grunting  noises  from  Max.       The  next  day  was  as  usual,  but  with  a  little  change.  Max  got  up  with  a  disappointed  look   knowing  that  this  would  be  another  usual  day  of  boring  school.  Why  do  we  have  to  have   school?  It  isn’t  like  I  learn  anything  there  anyway  Max  thought  disgustedly.  He  took  as  long  as   he  could  to  enjoy  the  time  out  of  school,  although  his  mom  would  constantly  try  to  hurry  him   up  saying,  “Come  on  Max!  Hurry,  hurry,  hurry!  You’re  going  to  miss  the  buss!”  But  Max   wouldn’t  listen  and  purposefully  always  miss  the  bus  anyway.  Max  dragged  out  the  door  with  a   frown  on  his  face,  and  saw  that  across  the  street  generous  Addison  was  out  early  helping  the   homeless  in  Green  Away  Park.  Max  narrowed  his  eyes  at  her  while  she  wasn’t  looking  and  kept   walking  toward  school.  Everybody  in  his  class  was  friends  with  Addison,  except  for  Max.  Show   off    Max  grunted  under  his  breath  as  he  took  a  quick  glance  at  Addison.  Max  tried  to  hate  her,   and  pretend  that  her  voice  was  really  annoying,  but  Max  was  always  ridiculously  jealous  of   Addison.  Ever  since  he  heard  of  Addison  he  wanted  to  be  just  like  her.  Have  lots  of  friends,  earn   great  comments  from  everybody,  and  always  be  cheery.  But  whenever  he  tried  to  be  like   Addison,  he  always  ended  up  failing  by  getting  angry  and  locking  a  kid  in  his  locker.  Now  Max   couldn’t  help  but  stare,  as  Addison  smiled  brightly  and  said  good-­‐bye  to  the  homeless  she   helped.  Max  had  a  sudden  urge  -­‐  as  always  -­‐  to  ask  Addison  how  he  can  become  like  her.  Max   tried  to  hold  to  it  back  but  just  couldn’t  take  holding  in  the  long  lasting  urge  anymore.  Max   caught  up  to  Addison  by  fast  walking;  he  was  too  lazy  to  run.  “Tell  me  how  to  become  nice  like   you!  Or  I’ll  punch  you’re  face  in!”  At  first  Addison  was  surprised  with  a  sudden  demand  and   threat,  but  calmed  down  a  little  and  answered  quivering,  “Be  generous,  be  kind,  and  always   smile.”  Max  frowned  disappointed.  How  could  he  do  that?  He  was  always  the  big  king,  but   would  it  be  the  same  if  he  were  nice?  Max  decided  that  maybe  he  would  give  it  a  try  again  now   that  he  had  some  advice,  but  not  all  his  effort.       The  day  was  very  difficult  for  Max  as  tried  to  be  nice.  First  of  all  Max  tried  to  not  crumple  up  his   homework  and  scribble  in  his  notebook.  Or  punch  at  least  one  kid,  or  let  the  class  hamster  out   in  history,  or  any  other  kids  of  trouble.  Max  tried  not  to  do  all  these  things  but  always  ended  up   doing  it  anyway.  That  Addison.  I  knew  she  was  a  phony,  Max  thought  angrily.  But  it  didn’t   matter  whether  he  was  angry  or  not,  Max  had  failed  again.  


After  school  Max  gave  up  on  his  goal,  and  took  his  usual  route  through  the  park  to  trash  it   again.  Max  was  about  to  toilet  paper  one  of  the  trees,  when  he  stopped  to  think  twice.  He  held   onto  the  toilet  paper  roll  and  checked  the  same  place  the  slouching  man  was.  Just  as  he   thought,  he  was  still  there.  But  this  time  looking  weaker  than  ever,  and  had  those  sad  eyes   again  staring  at  Max  as  if  he  was  trying  to  make  Max  feel  bad  for  him.  Max  tried  to  avoid   looking  into  the  man’s  eyes;  it  made  him  feel  very  guilty.  It  made  him  think  of  all  the  things  he   had,  and  what  the  man  did  not.  Finally  a  gentle  but  cold  sharp  wind  woke  Max  from  his  deep   thoughts.  Max  shook  his  head  and  started  to  walk  back  to  the  tree,  trying  to  act  mad  and  mean   again,  but  something  pulled  him  to  the  man.  As  if  they  were  friends  for  a  long  time.  He  walked   back  to  the  man  trying  to  look  horrible  and  threw  the  toilet  paper  on  the  ground  near  him.  The   man  looked  up  at  him  as  if  he  didn’t  expect  that  Max  would  do  this  for  him  but  smiled  brightly.   “Thanks  kid,”  The  man  finally  said  in  a  gruffly  deep  voice.  Max  was  surprised  that  somebody   had  actually  said  something  nice  to  him.  Just  those  two  words  affected  Max  as  though  a  huge   bulldozer  had  hit  him.  Max  couldn’t  help  but  smile  at  the  man.  “Your  welcome,”  Max  replied   sticking  his  chest  out.  “You  know  you  a  good  kid,”  the  man  said  examining  the  toilet  paper,   “most  kids  just  leave  me  hear  or  threaten  me.  You  a  good  kid,”  The  man  repeated  unrolling  the   toilet  paper  and  wrapping  it  around  his  hands.  “Names  Jeffery.”  Jeffery  got  comfortable  by  his   tree  now  and  fell  into  a  deep  sleep.  Max  left  Jeffery  alone  with  pride.  The  next  day  he  would   come  again,  but  better.     The  next  day  everybody  in  his  school  was  startled.  Max  had  tried  to  act  nice  to  the  kids,  pay   attention  in  classes,  and  not  cause  any  trouble.  The  teachers  were  baffled  by  Max’s  new   behavior,  but  still  kept  a  stern  look  on  their  faces,  thinking  that  this  was  some  part  of  Max’s   “evil  plans”.  The  kids  in  his  classroom  were  just  the  same.  Everybody  was  thinking  up  thoughts   that  why  Max  changed.  But  still  kept  distance  from  him  thinking  that  they  might  disturb  him.   Max  was  confused  by  why  everybody  was  acting  the  same  even  though  he  thought  he  done  the   right  things.  Did  he  do  anything  wrong?  Max  was  disappointed  by  his  work,  but  was  happy   about  one  thing.      It  happened  at  lunch.  He  sat  at  his  usual  seat,  the  darkest  corner  of  the  cafeteria.  A  new  kid  in   school,  Jacob,  came  late  to  lunch  of  finishing  up  some  homework.  And  by  the  time  he  got  his   food,  mostly  all  the  seats  were  occupied.  The  only  seats  that  were  left  were  next  to  the  girls  or   the  dark  corner  of  the  cafeteria  -­‐  where  Max  was.  Jacob  finally  went  to  where  Max  was  sitting,   he  was  a  new  kid  so  he  didn’t  know  much  about  the  school’s  enemies  yet.  Max  looked  up  from   his  homemade  lunch  and  saw  that  Jacob  had  chosen  to  sit  next  to  him.  Usually  he  would  push  


Jacob  or  any  kid  that  sat  next  to  him  on  the  ground  and  threaten  them,,  or  shout  “Get  lost,  or   I’ll  punch  your  face  in!”,  but  today  was  different.  Addison’s  words  repeated  in  his  mind  “Always   smile.”  He  decided  to  experiment  if  it  worked.  He  smiled  friendly  at  Jacob.  Jacob  awkwardly   smiled  back.  Jacob  somehow  knew  that  Max  was  trying  to  be  friends  with  him  so  he  started  a   conversation.  “Hi,  my  name  is  Jacob.”  Max  smiled  and  as  grown  up  as  he  could  he  replied,   “Hello,  my  name  is  Max.”  After  that  the  two  boys  didn’t  know  what  else  to  say,  so  the  rest  of   the  lunch  was  silent.  Although  Max  smiled  excitedly  as  he  ate,  he  thought  he  made  his  first  new   friend.     Max  went  to  the  park,  and  happily  gave  Jeffery  the  left  overs  of  his  lunch.  “Best  kid  I  know.”   Jeffery  said,  as  he  devoured  Max’s  leftovers.  Max  left  Jeffery  eating  his  lunch  full.  Max  smiled   proudly,  “Best  kid  I  know.”  Those  words  kept  shining  in  Max’s  mind.  He  would’ve  just  put  them   on  his  shirt  if  he  could.  He  decided  that  he  would  try  to  be  like  this  for  the  next  few  days.  But  he   already  knew  how  it  was  going  to  end.     Max  was  right.  By  the  end  of  the  week,  everybody  loved  Max,  including  Jeffery.  He  had  shown  a   good  enough  impression  for  everybody  to  understand  that  he  had  changed  the  way  he  was.   Lots  of  boys  were  friends  with  Max,  and  the  teachers  smiled  this  time  when  he  walked  through   the  door  to  their  classroom.  Jacob  turned  into  Max’s  best  friend.  They  did  everything  together.   Sleepovers,  play  dates,  and  playing  soccer  at  recces.  And  Jeffery  always  commented  of  how   good  of  a  kid  Max  was  whenever  he  brought  him  something  useful.  Max  shined  like  the  sun  at   day.     Max  hummed,  he  whistled.  His  hair  was  neatly  combed,  and  he  wore  his  new  shirt  and  pants  he   bought  with  his  mom  on  Sunday.  He  was  walking  a  path  that  went  from  school  to  home.  Or   which  Max  called  it,  they  “awesome  mansion”.  He  took  proud  steps  toward  the  front  door  of   his  “mansion”.  He  slammed  the  door  to  let  his  mother  know  he  was  home.  “How  was  school   honey?”  his  mother  asked  brightly.  Max  hugged  his  mother  tightly  and  replied  greatly,   “Awesome!”        


Hana Chang Donovan

A  Man,  A  Change   Hana  Donovan       Max  kicked  the  dry  crumbled  dirt.  He  grumbled,  he  groaned.  His  red  orange  curly  hair  stuck   out  in  all  places.  His  shirt  was  black  and  wrinkled  as  well  as  his  beige  shorts  that  were   starting  to  stink.  He  was  dragging  down  the  path  that  went  from  school  to  his  home.  Well   for  Max  he  called  home  the  “thrown  away  shack”.  The  path  cut  straight  through  a  park  that   was  called  “Green  Away  Park”.  Obviously  the  place  was  covered  in  green.  Green  trees,   green  grass,  and  even  green  water  fountains.  Max  stopped  dragging.  He  pulled  some  bubble   gum  wrap  that  was  still  sticky  from  the  gum,  and  his  crumpled  up  homework  out  of  his   pocket.  He  ripped  up  his  homework  angrily  and  threw  it  all  over  the  freshly  cut  grass.  He   took  the  still-­‐sticky  bubble  gum  wrap  and  stuck  it  on  the  public  water  fountain  on  the  place   where  you  drink  from.  He  knew  that  the  gardener  hated  this,  but  he  did  it  anyway.   Completing  things  that  were  bad,  or  being  horrible  to  people  made  Max  feel  great,  big,   strong,  and  almost  like  he  was  king.  His  stories  of  evil  would  go  on  the  local  newspaper  and   throughout  his  school.  Kids  at  his  school  -­‐  and  his  classmates  especially,  would  back  away   as  Max  grinned  with  evil  eyes,  and  took  big  proud  steps  down  the  halls.  Max  nodded  at  his   evil  work.  This  time  the  gardener  will  act  NUTS!  He  thought  slyly,  after  he  see’s  this  he  might   even  go  crying  to  the  mayor!  Max  started  walking  satisfied  this  time,  until  something   unusual  caught  his  eye.  It  was  a  heavyhearted  man.  It  seemed  like  he  was  homeless,  and   was  slouching  in  they  shade  of  an  old  oak  tree.  He  looked  thin  and  boney,  and  his  face  was   covered  in  wrinkles.  His  clothes  were  filthy  and  almost  as  smelly  as  Max’s,  but  more.  He   wore  a  green  base  ball  cap  that  looked  like  it  already  lost  it’s  color,  and  had  scrawny  socks   with  hundreds  of  holes.  His  pale  gray  eyes  were  eyeing  Max  suspiciously  as  he  walked  away   from  the  mess  he  made.  Max  immediately  got  irritated  at  the  staring  from  the  man  and   stuck  his  tongue  out  viscously  then  ran  away,  afraid  that  maybe  the  homeless  man  might  do   something  to  him.  When  Max  ran  a  block  or  so,  he  looked  back.  The  man  was  now  a  tiny  dot   still  staring  in  Max’s  direction.  In  Max’s  annoyance  he  stuck  his  tongue  out  again  at  the  man,   and  easily  walked  the  rest  of  the  way  home.       When  Max  got  to  his  “throw  away  shack”,  he  dropped  his  bag  at  they  entrance  and   immediately  started  watching  television.  Although  it  was  hard  to  concentrate  on  they   entertainment  from  the  happening  from  the  park.  Thoughts  and  questions  were  swimming   in  his  mind,  Why  was  he  staring  at  me  so  long?  Why  was  he  so  interested  in  me?  What  a  hobo.  


These  thoughts  never  went  away  until  dinner.  Then  his  mind  just  clicked  onto  “food”.  “How   was  school?”  asked  his  mother  uneasily.  “Great!”  Max  lied  as  he  stuffed  spoon  fulls  of  soft   white  rice  in  his  mouth.  His  mother  sighed  depressed.  Knowing  her  son  she  knew  that   “great”  meant  “awful”,  and  “awful”  meant  not-­‐good-­‐signs  for  his  report  card.  The  rest  of  the   dinner  was  silent.  The  only  thing  that  could  be  heard  was  clinking  of  spoons  hitting  against   the  dishes,  and  the  grunting  noises  from  Max.       The  next  day  was  as  usual,  but  with  a  little  change.  Max  got  up  with  a  disappointed  look   knowing  that  this  would  be  another  usual  day  of  boring  school.  Why  do  we  have  to  have   school?  It  isn’t  like  I  learn  anything  there  anyway  Max  thought  disgustedly.  He  took  as  long   as  he  could  to  enjoy  the  time  out  of  school,  although  his  mom  would  constantly  try  to  hurry   him  up  saying,  “Come  on  Max!  Hurry,  hurry,  hurry!  You’re  going  to  miss  the  buss!”  But  Max   wouldn’t  listen  and  purposefully  always  miss  the  bus  anyway.  Max  dragged  out  the  door   with  a  frown  on  his  face,  and  saw  that  across  the  street  generous  Addison  was  out  early   helping  the  homeless  in  Green  Away  Park.  Max  narrowed  his  eyes  at  her  while  she  wasn’t   looking  and  kept  walking  toward  school.  Everybody  in  his  class  were  friends  with  Addison,   except  for  Max.  Show  off    Max  grunted  under  his  breath  as  he  took  a  quick  glance  at   Addison.  Max  tried  to  hate  her,  and  pretend  that  her  voice  was  really  annoying,  but  Max   was  always  ridiculously  jealous  of  Addison.  Ever  since  he  heard  of  Addison  he  wanted  to  be   just  like  her.  Have  lots  of  friends,  earn  great  comments  from  everybody,  and  always  be   cheery.  But  whenever  he  tried  to  be  like  Addison,  he  always  ended  up  failing  by  getting   angry  and  locking  a  kid  in  his  locker.  Now  Max  couldn’t  help  but  stare,  as  Addison  smiled   brightly  and  said  good-­‐bye  to  the  homeless  she  helped.  Max  had  a  sudden  urge  -­‐  as  always  -­‐   to  ask  Addison  how  he  can  become  like  her.  Max  tried  to  hold  to  it  back  but  just  couldn’t   take  holding  in  the  long  lasting  urge  anymore.  Max  caught  up  to  Addison  by  fast  walking;  he   was  too  lazy  to  run.  “Tell  me  how  to  become  nice  like  you!  Or  I’ll  punch  you’re  face  in!”  At   first  Addison  was  surprised  with  a  sudden  demand  and  threat,  but  calmed  down  a  little  and   answered  quivering,  “Be  generous,  be  kind,  and  always  smile.”  Max  frowned  disappointed.   How  could  he  do  that?  He  was  always  the  big  king,  but  would  it  be  the  same  if  he  was  nice?   Max  decided  that  maybe  he  would  give  it  a  try  again  now  that  he  had  some  advice,  but  not   all  his  effort.       The  day  was  very  difficult  for  Max  as  tried  to  be  nice.  First  of  all  Max  tried  to  not  crumple   up  his  homework  and  scribble  in  his  notebook.  Or  punch  at  least  one  kid,  or  let  the  class   hamster  out  in  history,  or  any  other  kids  of  trouble.  Max  tried  not  to  do  all  these  things  but  


always  ended  up  doing  it  anyway.  That  Addison.  I  knew  she  was  a  phony,  Max  thought   angrily.  But  it  didn’t  matter  whether  he  was  angry  or  not,  Max  had  failed  again.     After  school  Max  gave  up  on  his  goal,  and  took  his  usual  route  through  the  park  to  trash  it   again.  Max  was  about  to  toilet  paper  one  of  the  trees,  when  he  stopped  to  think  twice.  He   held  onto  the  toilet  paper  roll  and  checked  the  same  place  the  slouching  man  was.  Just  as  he   thought,  he  was  still  there.  But  this  time  looking  weaker  than  ever,  and  had  those  sad  eyes   again  staring  at  Max  as  if  he  was  trying  to  make  Max  feel  bad  for  him.  Max  tried  to  avoid   looking  into  the  man’s  eyes,  it  made  him  feel  very  guilty.  It  made  him  think  of  all  the  things   he  had,  and  what  the  man  did  not.  Finally  a  gentle  but  cold  sharp  wind  woke  Max  from  his   deep  thoughts.  Max  shook  his  head  and  started  to  walk  back  to  the  tree,  trying  to  act  mad   and  mean  again,  but  something  pulled  him  to  the  man.  As  if  they  were  friends  for  a  long   time.  He  walked  back  to  the  man  trying  to  look  horrible  and  threw  the  toilet  paper  on  the   ground  near  him.  The  man  looked  up  at  him  as  if  he  didn’t  expect  that  Max  would  do  this   for  him  but  smiled  brightly.  “Thanks  kid,”  The  man  finally  said  in  a  gruffly  deep  voice.  Max   was  surprised  that  somebody  had  actually  said  something  nice  to  him.  Just  those  two   words  affected  Max  as  though  he’d  been  hit  by  a  huge  bulldozer.  Max  couldn’t  help  but   smile  at  the  man.  “Your  welcome,”  Max  replied  sticking  his  chest  out.  “You  know  you  a  good   kid,”  the  man  said  examining  the  toilet  paper,  “most  kids  just  leave  me  hear  or  threaten  me.   You  a  good  kid,”  The  man  repeated  unrolling  the  toilet  paper  and  wrapping  it  around  his   hands.  “Names  Jeffery.”  Jeffery  got  comfortable  by  his  tree  now  and  fell  into  a  deep  sleep.   Max  left  Jeffery  alone  with  pride.  The  next  day  he  would  come  again,  but  better.     The  next  day  everybody  in  his  school  was  startled.  Max  had  tried  to  act  nice  to  the  kids,  pay   attention  in  classes,  and  not  cause  any  trouble.  The  teachers  were  baffled  by  Max’s  new   behavior,  but  still  kept  a  stern  look  on  their  faces,  thinking  that  this  was  some  part  of  Max’s   “evil  plans”.  The  kids  in  his  classroom  were  just  the  same.  Everybody  was  thinking  up   thoughts  that  why  Max  had  changed.  But  still  kept  distance  from  him  thinking  that  they   might  disturb  him.  Max  was  confused  by  why  everybody  was  acting  the  same  even  though   he  thought  he  done  the  right  things.  Did  he  do  anything  wrong?  Max  was  disappointed  by   his  work,  but  was  happy  about  one  thing.      It  happened  at  lunch.  He  sat  at  his  usual  seat,  the  darkest  corner  of  the  cafeteria.  A  new  kid   in  school,  Jacob,  came  late  to  lunch  of  finishing  up  some  homework.  And  by  the  time  he  got   his  food,  mostly  all  the  seats  were  occupied.  The  only  seats  that  were  left  were  next  to  the   girls  or  the  dark  corner  of  the  cafeteria  -­‐  where  Max  was.  Jacob  finally  went  to  where  Max  


was  sitting,  he  was  a  new  kid  so  he  didn’t  know  much  about  the  school’s  enemies  yet.  Max   looked  up  from  his  home  made  lunch  and  saw  that  Jacob  had  chosen  to  sit  next  to  him.   Usually  he  would  push  Jacob  or  any  kid  that  sat  next  to  him  on  the  ground  and  threaten   them  or  say  “Get  lost  or  I’ll  punch  your  face  in!”,  but  today  was  different.  Addison’s  words   repeated  in  his  mind  “Always  smile.”  He  decided  to  experiment  if  it  worked.  He  smiled   friendly  at  Jacob.  Jacob  awkwardly  smiled  back.  Jacob  somehow  knew  that  Max  was  trying   to  be  friends  with  him  so  he  started  a  conversation.  “Hi,  my  name  is  Jacob.”  Max  smiled  and   as  grown  up  as  he  could  he  replied,  “Hello,  my  name  is  Max.”  After  that  the  two  boys  didn’t   know  what  else  to  say,  so  the  rest  of  the  lunch  was  silent.  Although  Max  smiled  excitedly  as   he  ate,  he  thought  he  made  his  first  new  friend.     Max  went  to  the  park,  and  happily  gave  Jeffery  the  left  overs  of  his  lunch.  “Best  kid  I  know.”   Jeffery  said,  as  he  devoured  Max’s  leftovers.  Max  left  Jeffery  eating  his  lunch  full.  Max   smiled  proudly,  “Best  kid  I  know.”  Those  words  kept  shining  in  Max’s  mind.  He  would’ve   just  put  them  on  his  shirt  if  he  could.  He  decided  that  he  would  try  to  be  like  this  for  the   next  few  days.  But  he  already  knew  how  it  was  going  to  end.     Max  was  right.  By  the  end  of  the  week,  everybody  loved  Max,  including  Jeffery.  He  had   shown  a  good  enough  impression  for  everybody  to  understand  that  he  had  changed  the   way  he  was.  Lots  of  boys  were  friends  with  Max,  and  the  teachers  smiled  this  time  when  he   walked  through  the  door  to  their  classroom.  Jacob  turned  into  Max’s  best  friend.  They  did   everything  together.  Sleepovers,  play  dates,  and  playing  soccer  at  recces.  And  Jeffery   always  commented  of  how  good  of  a  kid  Max  was  whenever  he  brought  him  something   useful.  Max  shined  like  the  sun  at  day.     Max  hummed,  he  whistled.  His  hair  was  neatly  combed,  and  he  wore  his  new  shirt  and   pants  he  bought  with  his  mom  on  Sunday.  He  was  walking  a  path  that  went  from  school  to   home.  Or  which  Max  called  it,  they  “awesome  mansion”.  He  took  proud  steps  toward  the   front  door  of  his  “mansion”.  He  slammed  the  door  to  let  his  mother  know  he  was  home.   “How  was  school  honey?”  his  mother  asked  brightly.  Max  hugged  his  mother  tightly  and   replied  greatly,  “Awesome!”        


10/20/11 2:32 PM

                                                                                                     A  Man,  A  Change                                                                                                                                                                 Hana  Donovan       Max  kicked  the  dry  crumbled  dirt.  He  grumbled,  he  groaned.  The  tips  of  his  mouth  formed   the  most  uncomfortable  frown.  Stupid  math  tests.  Stupid  school,  he  thought  grumpily.     He  clenched  his  fists  tightly  which  made  some  of  his  knuckles  crack.  His  red  orange  curly   hair  stuck  out  in  all  places.  His  shirt  was  black  and  wrinkled  as  were  his  beige  shorts  which   were  starting  to  stink.  He  was  dragging  down  the  path  that  went  from  school  to  his  home,  a   home  he  called  the  “thrown  away  shack”.  The  path  cut  straight  through  Green  Away  Park.   Obviously  the  place  was  covered  in  green;  Green  trees,  green  grass,  and  even  green  water   fountains.       Max  stopped  dragging.  Out  of  his  pocket  he  pulled  some  bubble  gum  wrap  that  was  still   sticky  from  gum,  along  with  his  crumpled  up  homework.  He  ripped  up  his  homework   angrily  and  threw  it  all  over  the  freshly  cut  grass.  He  took  the  still-­‐sticky  bubble  gum  wrap   and  stuck  it  on  the  public  water  fountain  right  over  the  place  where  people  drink  from.  He   knew  the  gardener  hated  this,  but  he  did  it  anyway.  Being  bad,  or  being  horrible  to  people   made  Max  feel  great,  big,  strong,  and  almost  like  he  was  king.  Stories  of  his  evil  were   reported  in  the  local  newspaper  and  throughout  his  school.  Kids  at  his  school  -­‐  and  his   classmates  especially-­‐  would  back  away  whenever  Max  took  big  proud  steps  down  the   halls.  Max  nodded  at  his  evil  work.  This  time  the  gardener  will  act  NUTS!  He  thought  slyly,   after  he  sees  this  he  might  even  go  crying  to  the  mayor!      Max  started  walking,  satisfied  this  time,  until  something  unusual  caught  his  eye.  It  was  a   heavyhearted  man.  Who  looked  like  he  might  be  homeless.  The  man  was  slouching  in  the   shade  of  an  old  oak  tree.  All  thin  and  boney.  His  face  was  covered  in  wrinkles,  his  clothes   were  filthy  and  almost  as  smelly  as  Max’s,  he  wore  a  faded  green  base-­‐ball  cap.  His  scrawny   socks  were  peppered  with  hundreds  of  holes.  His  pale  gray  eyes  viewed  Max  suspiciously   as  Max  walked  away  from  the  ruined  fountain.  Max  immediately  got  irritated  by  the  staring   from  the  man  so  he  stuck  his  tongue  out  viscously  then  ran  away,  afraid  that  maybe  the   homeless  man  might  do  something  to  him.  When  Max  ran  a  block  or  so,  he  looked  back.  The   man  was  now  a  tiny  dot,  but  he  was  still  staring  in  Max’s  direction.  To  Max’s  annoyance  he   stuck  his  tongue  out  again  at  the  man,  and  easily  walked  the  rest  of  the  way  home.      


When  Max  got  to  his  “thrown-­‐away  shack”,  he  dropped  his  bag  at  the  entrance  and   immediately  started  watching  television.  Although  it  was  hard  to  concentrate  because   Max’s  mind  kept  retuning  to  what  happened  in  the  park.  Thoughts  and  questions  were   swimming  in  his  mind,  Why  was  he  staring  at  me  so  long?  Why  was  he  so  interested  in  me?   What  a  hobo.  These  thoughts  pestered  him  until  dinner.  Then  his  mind  clicked  onto  food.       “How  was  school?”  asked  his  mother  uneasily.       “Great!”  Max  lied  as  he  stuffed  spoon  fulls  of  soft  white  rice  in  his  mouth.       His  mother  sighed  depressed.  Knowing  her  son  she  knew  that  “great”  meant  “awful”,  and   “awful”  meant  not-­‐good-­‐signs  for  his  report  card.  The  rest  of  the  dinner  was  silent.  The   only  thing  that  could  be  heard  was  clinking  of  spoons  hitting  against  the  dishes,  and  a  few   grunting  noises  from  Max.       The  next  day  was  as  usual.  Max  got  up  with  a  disappointed  look  knowing  that  this  would  be   just  another  day  of  boring  school.  Why  do  we  have  to  have  school?  It  isn’t  like  I  learn   anything  there  anyway  Max  thought  disgustedly.  He  took  as  long  as  he  could  to  enjoy  the   time  out  of  school,  although  his  mom  would  constantly  try  to  hurry  him  up  saying,  “Come   on  Max!  Hurry,  hurry,  hurry!  You’re  going  to  miss  the  bus!”  But  Max  wouldn’t  listen  and   would  purposefully  miss  the  bus.  Max  dragged  himself  out  the  door  with  a  frown  on  his   face  and  saw  that  across  the  street    Addison  was  out  early  helping  the  homeless  in  Green   Away  Park.  Max  narrowed  his  eyes  at  her  while  she  wasn’t  looking  and  kept  walking   toward  school.  Everybody  in  his  class  was  friends  with  Addison,  except  for  Max.  Show  off     Max  grunted  under  his  breath  as  he  took  a  quick  glance  at  Addison.  Max  tried  to  hate  her,   and  pretend  that  her  voice  was  really  annoying,  but  Max  was  always  ridiculously  jealous  of   Addison.  Ever  since  he  heard  of  Addison  he  wanted  to  be  just  like  her.  Have  lots  of  friends,   earn  great  comments  from  everybody,  and  always  be  cheery.  But  whenever  he  tried  to  be   like  Addison  he  always  ended  up  getting  angry  and  locking  a  kid  in  his  locker,  or  something   like  that.  Now  Max  couldn’t  help  but  stare  as  Addison  smiled  brightly  and  said  good-­‐bye  to   the  homeless  she  helped.  Max  had  a  sudden  urge  -­‐  as  always  -­‐  to  ask  Addison  how  he  can  be   like  her  .  Max  tried  to  hold  it  back  but  just  couldn’t  take  holding  in  the  long-­‐lasting  urge   anymore.  Max  caught  up  to  Addison  and  asked,  “Tell  me  how  to  become  nice  like  you!  Or  I’ll   punch  you’re  face  in!”      


At  first  Addison  was  surprised  by  Max’s  with  a  sudden  demand  and  threat,  but  she  calmed   down  a  little  and  answered,  “Be  generous,  be  kind,  and  always  smile.”       Max  frowned,  disappointed.  How  could  he  do  that?  He  was  always  the  big  king,  but  would  it   be  the  same  if  he  was  nice?  Max  decided  that  maybe  he  would  give  it  a  try  again  now  that   he  had  some  advice,  but  not  all  his  effort.       The  day  was  very  difficult  for  Max  as  tried  to  be  nice.  First  of  all  Max  tried  to  not  crumple   up  his  homework  and  scribble  in  his  notebook,  or  punch  at  least  one  kid,  or  let  the  class   hamster  out  in  history,  or  any  other  kinds  of  trouble.  Max  tried  not  to  do  all  these  things  but   always  ended  up  doing  them  anyway.  That  Addison.  I  knew  she  was  a  phony,  Max  thought   angrily.  But  it  didn’t  matter  whether  he  was  angry  or  not,  Max  had  failed  again.     After  school  Max  gave  up  on  his  goal,  and  took  his  usual  route  through  the  park  to  trash  it   again.  Max  was  about  to  toilet  paper  one  of  the  trees,  when  he  stopped  to  think  twice.  He   held  onto  the  toilet  paper  roll  and  checked  the  place  where  he  had  seen  the  slouching  man   yesterday.  Just  as  he  hoped,  the  man  was  still  there.  But  this  time  the  old  man  was  looking   weaker  than  ever,  and  his  sad  eyes  were  staring  at  Max  as  if  he  was  trying  to  make  Max  feel   bad  for  him.  Max  tried  to  avoid  looking  into  the  man’s  eyes,  it  made  him  feel  very  guilty.   The  sight  of  the  old  man  made  him  think  of  all  the  things  he  had,  and  what  the  man  did  not.   Finally  a  gentle  but  cold  sharp  wind  woke  Max  from  his  deep  thoughts.  Max  shook  his  head   and  started  to  walk  back  to  the  tree,  trying  to  act  mad  and  mean  again,  but  something   pulled  him  to  the  man,  as  if  they  were  friends  for  a  long  time.  He  walked  back  to  the  man   trying  to  look  horrible  and  threw  the  toilet  paper  on  the  ground  near  him.  The  man  looked   up  at  him  surprised,  as  if  he  didn’t  expect  Max  to  be  generous  and  then  he  smiled  brightly.       “Thanks  kid,”  the  man  finally  said  in  a  gruffly  deep  voice.       Max  was  surprised  that  somebody  had  actually  said  something  nice  to  him.  Just  those  two   words  affected  Max  as  though  he’d  been  hit  by  a  huge  bulldozer.  Max  couldn’t  help  but   smile  at  the  man.       “Your  welcome,”  Max  replied  sticking  his  chest  out.      “You  know  you  a  good  kid,”  the  man  said  examining  the  toilet  paper,  “most  kids  just  leave   me  here  or  threaten  me.  You  a  good  kid,”  the  man  repeated  unrolling  the  toilet  paper  and  


wrapping  it  around  his  hands.  “Names  Jeffery.”  Jeffery  got  comfortable  by  his  tree  now  and   fell  into  a  deep  sleep.  Max  left  Jeffery  alone  with  pride.  The  next  day  he  would  come  again,   but  with  something  much  better  than  just  a  toilet  paper  roll.     The  next  day  everybody  in  his  school  was  startled.  Max  had  tried  to  act  nice  to  the  kids,  pay   attention  in  classes,  and  not  cause  any  trouble.  The  teachers  were  baffled  by  Max’s  new   behavior,  but  still  kept  a  stern  look  on  their  faces,  thinking  that  this  was  some  part  of  one  of   Max’s  “evil  plans”.  The  kids  in  his  classroom  were  just  the  same.  Everybody  was  wondering   why  would  Max  changed.  They  still  kept  distance  from  him  though,  thinking  that  they   might  disturb  him  like  he  declared  them  not  to  do  one  morning.  Max  was  confused  by  why   everybody  was  acting  the  same  even  though  he  thought  he  had  done  the  right  things.  Did   he  do  anything  wrong?  Max  was  disappointed  by  his  work,  but  skipped  and  whistled  down   the  hall  because  of  one  thing;      It  happened  during  lunch.  Max  sat  at  his  usual  seat,  the  darkest  corner  of  the  cafeteria.  A   new  kid  in  school,  Jacob,  came  late  to  lunch  after  finishing  up  some  homework.  By  the  time   Jacob  got  his  food,  mostly  all  the  seats  were  occupied.  The  only  seats  that  were  left  were   those  next  to  the  girls  or  the  dark  corner  of  the  cafeteria  where  Max  was.  Jacob  finally  went   to  where  Max  was  sitting,  he  was  a  new  kid  so  he  didn’t  know  much  about  the  school’s   bullies  yet.  Max  looked  up  from  his  home-­‐made  lunch  and  saw  that  Jacob  had  chosen  to  sit   next  to  him.  Usually  he  would  push  Jacob  or  any  kid  that  sat  next  to  him  on  the  ground  and   threaten  them  or  say  “Get  lost  or  I’ll  punch  your  face  in!”,  but  today  was  different.  Addison’s   words  repeated  in  his  mind,  “Always  smile.”  He  decided  to  experiment.  He  smiled  at  Jacob.   Jacob  awkwardly  smiled  back.  Jacob  sensed  Max  was  trying  to  be  friends  with  him  so  he   started  a  conversation,  “Hi,  my  name  is  Jacob.”      Max  smiled  and  as  grown  up  sounded  as  he  could  he  replied,  “Hello,  my  name  is  Max.”       After  that  the  two  boys  didn’t  know  what  else  to  say,  so  the  rest  of  the  lunch  was  silent.   Although  Max  smiled  excitedly  as  he  ate,  he  had  made  his  first  friend.     Max  went  to  the  park  and  gave  Jeffery  the  left-­‐overs  of  his  lunch.  “Best  kid  I  know,”  Jeffery   said,  as  he  devoured  Max’s  leftovers.  Max  left  Jeffery  eating  his  lunch.  Max  smiled  proudly,   “Best  kid  I  know.”  Those  words  kept  shining  in  Max’s  mind.  He  would’ve  pasted  them  on  his   shirt  if  he  could.  He  decided  that  he  would  try  to  be  like  this  for  the  next  few  days.  But  he   already  knew  how  it  was  going  to  end.  


By  the  end  of  the  month,  everybody  loved  Max,  including  Jeffery.  Max  had  made  a  good   enough  impression  with  his  actions  for  everybody  to  understand  that  he  had  changed  the   way  he  was.  Within  weeks  lots  of  boys  were  friends  with  Max,  and  the  teachers  smiled   when  he  walked  through  the  door  to  their  classroom.  Jacob  became  Max’s  best  friend.  They   started  doing  everything  together;  Sleepovers,  play  dates,  and  playing  soccer  at  recces.  And   Jeffery  always  commented  of  how  good  on  a  kid  Max  was  whenever  he  brought  him   something  useful.  Max  shined  like  the  sun  on  these  special  days.     Max  hummed.  He  whistled.  His  hair  was  neatly  combed,  and  he  wore  his  new  shirt  and   pants  he  had  bought  with  his  mom  while  shopping  on  Sunday.  He  was  walking  a  path  that   went  from  school  to  his  home.  Which  Max  called  “the  awesome  mansion”.  He  took  proud   steps  toward  the  front  door  of  his  “mansion”.  Once  inside  he  slammed  the  door  to  let  his   mother  know  he  was  home.  “How  was  school  honey?”  his  mother  asked  brightly.  Max   hugged  his  mother  tightly  and  replied,  “Awesome!”        


First Published Piece