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Chapter 1 Ben Balistreri Hi I'm Benjamin Balistreri. I'm a 13 year old boy and I like to do things that I need to concentrate hard on (like this assignment), when I'm alone. I'm the kind of guy who takes things kind of literally. If you're with me, we shouldn’t joke around unless I know that you're joking. I do have a short temper and it's relatively easy to make me mad. I am fairly tall and thin. My legs are half of my total height and I have freckles on my nose. I live in St. Francis, Wisconsin, a 2.5^2 mile suburban town on the lakefront of Lake Michigan. My city only has a population of around 9,500 people. I live close to Greene Park which is cool, but there are also lots of other parks nearby. It's a great place for bike riding. Since we are so close to the lake and many parks, deer, turkeys, dogs, coyotes and bats are just some of the many animals that regularly come into our yard. There isn't much to do in Saint Francis, but I live near the expressway, so I am only a short drive from the baseball stadium, Lakefront Festival of Arts, The Domes, Discovery World. If I had to name some short term goals I have for my life, they would be to graduate from 8th grade and get into a regular face to face high school. I also want to have more friends to do stuff with. To graduate from 8th grade, I am going to do my work and try to get good grades, so that I can get into the high school that I want. To try and get more friends, I am going to talk to people more and say the right things. I am also going to get involved in some activities like tennis, bowling, or other team sports. My long term goals are to make stuff. I haven't fully decided yet, but I think I would like to make things with leather, such as wrist bands and all purpose bags for carrying stuff. To do that I would need a college degree and probably an apprenticeship with someone skilled at working with leather. The other thing I would like to do is to maybe open a bakery. I like making breads, donuts and cookies, though I have also gotten good at making mini stuffed pizzas. To do this, I would need to take classes that have to do with food. I am taking a Food Dynamics class this semester. I could also get a job in a bakery to get some on the job experience and see if it's what I really want to do. Chapter 2 Dear Nani, I had to write a letter to someone who has influenced me, for a school assignment. I decided to write it to you. I wanted to write to you because you helped me find out some things that I never thought that I could do. There are some more things that I should tell you that you might not know. I also wanted to say somethings about how much I've been using the bread maker. Here are some of the things that I've been doing with the bread maker you gave to me. I experimented with the white bread by adding a teaspoon of garlic powder and making a garlic bread. I needed to make a pizza recipe for one of my classes and I used the bread maker to make the dough for it. I made


my first regular sized bread for Dan to take to his dorm in Madison, and today I was going to make a batch of bread pretzels for him to take to his dorm, but it's to late to get the dough and baking process done. He's going to head back to Madison at 7:30 so I couldn’t make the dough, shape the pretzels, and bake them in time for him to take them to Madison. There are a lot more types of dough that I can make with the bread maker and I didn't think that it could be used to make dough. What I'm saying, is that without the bread maker I would not have gotten as interested in baking as I am now. You have helped me see more things that I could have as a job and how I could help the community after the right degrees are obtained. I thought that I would be an Architect planning out buildings. You have helped me see how well I could bake and some other things that I didn't know that I could do. Thanks for all your help and I hope that you stay around as long as possible. love, Ben Chapter 3 5th Grade,The Final Insult by Ben Balistreri The last day of 5th grade, at Deer Creek Intermediate, should have been the happiest day of my life, but instead it was one of the worst days. I was really hoping my last day would be a good one, but it quickly became one of those days where you would like to go back in time and call in sick. In many ways my school was the same as any other school. It had classrooms with squeaky chalkboards, playgrounds with old equipment, and a lunchroom with food that tastes like a compost pile. My school had a couple things different than other schools. We had the best examples of living fecal matter, in form of preteen bullies, and a principal (Mrs. Garcia-Valez), who in the eyes of many kids, is a terrorist. My last day started out looking like it might be okay, even though it was kind of cold and looked like rain. The plan for the day was to empty out our desks and have a good time. Everything went fine during bingo. I wasn't being bullied and I was being a good sport even if I didn't win the game. Game after game other kids yelled out “Bingo”, until during one of the last games, I finally got to yell “Bingo!”. It was nice to finally win a game. The prize I chose was one of those assemble yourself, foam airplanes. Throwing the plane in the classroom was fun, especially when I threw it off of the top of the cubbies. Next, the class went outside to hit a Pinata. It was a eight pointed star that was loaded with candy. I actually stayed away from everyone while they viciously attacked the pinata. I try to seclude myself away from people who are swinging sticks, especially when it is Valdamer, who was one of my tormentors. I consider it to be a healthy choice. What happened next is where the trouble began. We were outside hitting a beach ball, just for fun. Actually, other kids were hitting the ball and I was watching. They accidentally hit the ball to me. I say that, because I wasn't usually included in games. The ball was already partly deflated before I hit it back, but the kids accused me of breaking it. They kept on saying, “You broke the ball! You broke the


ball! Why did you break the ball?” After we went in to the classroom, they told the teacher that I broke it. I told the teacher that I didn't break it, but she didn't really do anything that would help me. The other kids kept on teasing me, saying over and over again, “you broke the ball”! Eventually I got so frustrated that I let out a ROARING scream. You would think that the people who were teasing me would be disciplined, but Noooooo!!! Following the saying, “Life isn't fair”, I was sent to the office, which makes about as much sense as trying to light a bonfire with a broken TV! AKA, it makes no sense that pretty much every time I got so upset that I screamed, I would get sent to the office. So there I was for the final time, sitting in the glass walled office, upset, frustrated, and lonely because I didn't really have any friends, at a school I had been at for most of my life. The kids who would tease me almost always got away with it, and I got punished for getting upset and screaming. One day, earlier in the school year, the principal called me to the office and made me apologize to a kid, for hitting him with my empty coat sleeve. Even though I hit him after he had called me gay, he wasn't forced to apologize to me for the name calling. It was just another game of punish the victim. Garcia-Valez even tried to keep me from going to my older brother's 8th grade graduation, because I had gotten really upset in the classroom after the same group of boys had been teasing me. The bullies weren't disciplined at all, in fact they were pretty much rewarded for breaking the rules. The grownups who were involved were as much good as trying to hammer in a nail with a piece of paper. It would have worked out better if they weren't there. At least I wouldn't have to apologize to the bullies. Besides the fact that I was getting in trouble, being bullied made it harder for me to concentrate and get my work done. It's much harder to make friends because I was bullied. I was, and still am always worried that the kids I meet will be mean to me. I would need to ask them some tough questions, to see if they would want to be my friend and stay that way for a pretty long time. I still see kids from my class around sometimes. There was a boy who maybe could have been thought of as a friend, because he never teased me. His name is Alex. He was kind of a big guy, with a round face and a personality that you can quickly get used to. During the summer, we bumped into each other at a grocery store while my mom and I were in the checkout line. He said, “Hey Ben, how are you doing? I haven't seen you in a long time!” Maybe I could have been friends with him and it would have made things better, but that's not what happened. Now I’ve become more of a guy who wants to be left alone, so the last day of school made me pretty much turn into, “The forever alone guy”. Chapter 4 Bed, Bad, Better Narrative Poem By Ben Balistreri I start all my days, with the bright sun rays, as I get up out of bed. I need my sleep, and most is deep, I hope I don't hit my head. Bunk beds I use, Nick says “you lose”, so it's the bottom that I take. So I made a cave, and I never rave, but I do so like to bake.


I get all dressed, and I do my best, then I go on down the stairs. Then to the table, all willing and able, It's sometimes full of hairs. I get something to eat, sometimes I'm beat, and I need something quite nice. With my computer opened up, I wish I had a pup, so that he'd scare all the mice. Then I get on to work, get it done as a perk, and I need to attend the live classes. I just love my school pack, That I put on my back, from my old one it always surpasses. Was not always like now, so I'll tell you how, I did school back in those days. It was back in 5th grade, thought I had it made, what I did just never pays. To be honest my years in 5th grade are filled with the memories I made, but I'd rather leave behind. I've tried for a couple of years, to erase the anger and tears, and remove those thoughts from my mind. “To the office” said Ms. Penn, as it happened once again, when I would get upset and start to scream. If I had my way, I would change all those days and wake up from what seemed a bad dream. 6th through 8th grade have improved, It's a good thing I moved, I am glad I got out of that place. Where the kids would all tease, as much as they please, and taunt me and get in my face. Now I'm in my new school, which is totally cool and better than I could believe. IQ Academy is how it started out, but I'm happy to shout, “Last year it was named eAchieve”. “Come to Middle School Madness” it said, in an online announcement I read, I got in the car you can bet. Thought it was Austin I'd meet, it would be such a treat, but Instead it was Donovan I met. Pizza was the food for the night, the amount I ate was a scary sight, but still I went there again. It was May of the very next year, that my mom drove while I sat in the rear, to go hang out with Donovan. Chapter 5

The Saint Francis Focus Ben Balistreri 6/23/2033

Local Tailor creates new trend within weeks of the product's release! Ben Balistreri, the owner of Stitch and Restitch, is here to tell us how one product transformed his small street shop, into a thriving business. Here are newsworthy revisions to the notes taken at the interview. “I couldn't have done it without my great and hard working staff, my reliable and inspirational design team, and my wonderful and kind mentor that got me into the art of the tailor. Unfortunately I cannot recall his name, but, he is a great man!” “The design of the new Leather Gauntlet is to be cool, warm, and practical. In between the two layers of leather, there is two layers of


cotton. The people who are allergic to cotton are safe. In the middle of all of it, there is a fabric that has protective properties, but I can not reveal the name of the fabric, because I don't want my competition to know of my secrets. I came up with the idea when I was 13 when I made things with cardboard, paper, tape, etc. I made the first one at my house out of a empty cardboard tube using tape, my wrist as a guide to see how big it needed to be, and some fasteners.� If you would like to learn tips, techniques, and more back story on Ben Balistreri, visit him next week June 26th – July 2nd at the Milwaukee Art Museum for one hour long public interview sessions from 8-11am and 1-5pm with lunch at Bradford

Beach from 11.20am-12.40pm. Will this type of egg farming make the quality of the eggs better, or worse? People are trying to make the lives to Hens better by putting them in to open areas while only paying a few cents more per egg. Month of July, 2033, 23-25 23, Thursday

24, Friday

25, Saturday

High temp: 76 Degrees low temp: 64 Degrees Morning sunshine, Afternoon, light rain Evening, Thunderstorms

High temp: 73 Degrees low temp: 62 Degrees Morning rain, After noon, partly cloudy Evening, Partly cloudy

High temp: 77 Degrees low temp: 63 Degrees Morning partly cloudy, After noon, clear Evening, clear and warming up

Book of memories  

Here is my final Book of Memories.

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