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Troost 1 Dylan Troost Draft 1 of P1 January 23, y “Book Worm”

As a child I always wanted to be the best at everything. I always wanted to impress people and make them think that I was the coolest and smartest person they have ever met. Growing up in a competitive family and having three brothers who played sports pushed me to be the best at everything I did and to be better then them. During baseball season I would be the most excited. I would always be ready for every game an hour early and would practice before the game. Most of all I wanted to impress my brothers and my family. I thought that if I could impress them that I would be able to do anything I set my mind to. Imagine my excitement one day in school when the teacher comes in and says we are going to have a competition and the winner will get an ice cream party! The ice cream party was for you and two of your friends. It was to be held after lunch on the last friday of the competition. I thought nothing in the world would be greater then winning this competition. Before I even knew what was involved I was already determined to win! The “Book Worm Competition” is an event that was held when I was in the second grade. It lasted for four weeks. In the four weeks the rules were to read as many books as you can. “Pretty simple,” I thought. Everyone received a worm head that we were to color and put on the wall so we could document the Book Worm race. Once you have read a book you were to write a two sentence synopsis of the book. After you turned in your synopsis you received a circle to add to your Book Worm. On the circle you wrote the book title, author, and favorite word from the book. The faster you read the books,


Troost 2 the faster your worm grew and you were closer to the ice cream party. I was a little chunky boy so the ice cream party was the golden ticket to my happiness. As the competition started I followed the rules as they were established. I read four entire books and felt really excited about it and was proud of myself for accomplishing such a feat. Until then I had never read so many books. I was never much of a reader and if I did read I would read aloud to myself or my family. A week into the competition I walked into the classroom and noticed that Monica Jensen’s, my best friend, book worm was further along on the wall then mine was. My fraternal instincts starting kicking in at that moment. “How could I let this be happening?” I thought to myself. Someone is beating me and worst of all, its a girl. As a second grader I thought that girls were the most disgusting thing on the planet. ONe day Monica and I were fighting because she wouldn’t return my favorite pencil. I told my brother about the fight we had. He said “Dylan, you need to be nice to girls because one day you’re going to marry one.” That was not going to stop me from beating Monica in the Book Worm competition. I had some work to do. I was a speed demon trying to finish a book that I had no interest in. All I wanted was the ice cream. My little devious brain was up to no good. I decided that if I was going to beat Monica in the Book Worm competition that something was going to have to be done. I noticed that on the back of all the books I have read was a paragraph synopsis of the book. The synopsis we had to turn in only had to be two sentences. I thought it was a fool proof plan. The next day I walked into class with four books and three papers to turn in saying that I read three of them and I was “half way” through the fourth book, which was the biggest book in the class. I nervously went up to the teacher to hand in the papers and said “Here you go Miss Youngblood. I stayed up all night last night reading three books!” She said in reply “My oh My! That is a lot of books for one night. Good Job.” I felt no remorse because that put me in first place. Two in front of Monica.


Troost 3 There was no stoping me now! Later in the day when we had free time in class I took out the big book, It was “The Tortoise and the Hair,” and started “reading it”. I “read” that book as fast as a squirrel climbing up a tree to find an acorn. I would make sure that every time Miss Youngblood would be looking at me that I would have flipped through at least five pages to make sure she noticed the progress I was making. Day after day I would come in with at least three different papers on books that I skimmed, if that. In my cubby I put a bunch of book. I would raise my hand and say “Miss Youngblood, may I go to my cubby and get a new book to start reading? I finished this so fat I forgot to bring another one.” When I think about it today I think my teacher knew that I wasn't really reading all those books and just wanted me to learn a lesson from the mistake I was making. By the last week of the competition my Book Worm had wrapped around two of the walls and was the longest out of the entire class. Monica was very jealous and mad at me, she wouldn’t talk to me for days. I didn’t care though because I was winning. Which meant that I was going to win the ice cream party. To make it up to Monica I was going to invite her to the ice cream party as one of my friends win I won. I thought that was the least I could do, since she didn't read as fast as me. On the last thursday as I was “reading” during free time Miss Youngblood announced to the class “Alright kids, since Dylan had read so many books why don’t we have him come up here and tell us about one of his favorites that he read.” My mouth dropped and my heart started racing. My mind instantly started racing like a race horse taking off from the gates at the Kentucky Derby. I had no clue what I was going to say. I remember thinking to myself “Just pick the easiest one.” So I remember I picked a story about a girl going to the market. It seemed like it was going to be the easiest to talk about. I started telling the class all about this book and how amazing it was. Miss Youngblood asked me what the ending of the story was and I replied “The story ended with the little girls mom hugging her daughter and thanking her for getting the groceries.” Little did I know that that was


Troost 4 the exact opposite of the ending. All of the sudden Monica raised her hand and told Miss Youngblood that the ending was the mom getting mad at the daughter because she spent too much money. My smile turned upside down. I was so embarrassed. Miss Youngblood asked me if I had read the book. I said “No ma’am” then she asked me if I read any of the books I said “No ma’am”. She shook her head in shame. Monica was sitting in her chair laughing at me because my cheeks were as read as a cherry pie. How was I going to tell my parents about what happened? Even worse, how was I going to tell my brothers? Miss Youngblood instantly took down my worm. To this day I still have the image of her taking each circle down one by one. My heart was filled with sadness. I wasn’t upset because I lied. I was upset because that meant that I was not getting the ice cream party. Later that night my parents had a long talk with me. One of the few talks with my parents I will remember in my life time. They said that I should have learned many lessons from this experience. I remember running to my room, shutting the door, throwing all the books on the ground and crying. My mom later came into my room and asked me why I lied. I replied saying “I really wanted some ice-cream!” She said “We have ice cream in the freezer you don’t have to lie and take it from your friends who have worked harder then you.” For the next few months my brothers didn’t want to play any games with me. I would go to their rooms and ask “Want to play a board game?” They would reply “No! We don’t play with cheaters.” I didn’t have anyone to play with. I lost the respect of my parents and brothers. I will always recall this story and apply it to my every day life. I think it is essential for kids at that age to have such a passion and strive for something. I am not saying that every kid should lie to get ahead, I am saying that all kids should get ahead by hard work and dedication. I have had many accomplishments in my life that I have worked hard for and put in one hundred precent. The satisfaction that you get when you know that you did everything right and you truly deserve is something I hope everyone feels at


Troost 5 some point in their lives. When I think of how I acted in that situation I deserved every bit of humiliation that I got. A life lesson that I learned from an early age. You get out what you put into it. Every morning I wake up and ask myself “What am I going to work for today?” I never want to be in another situation like the one I was in when Miss Youngblood asked me those questions. To this day I still use that experience in everyday life. It taught me to be responsible and how to handle everyday situations. Now I can tell if someone is lying about something like that. I have learned that if you don’t do hard work the reward will not be as great. I have always been an outgoing competitive person and probably always will be. As I was growing up my brothers always told me not to be a sore loser and not to cheat, I didn't listen when I was younger. During the experience if there was one thing I could tell people to learn it would have been don’t get caught. Now I would tell people not to lie. I know to some people they don’t think lying is a big deal but when you do it so much it becomes a big deal to everyone. It could hurt people. After that Monica didn't talk to me for the rest of the year. We used to be best friends but we grew apart and didn't talk all because I lied in the second grade. A couple of years ago I went back to my elementary school to visit. I walked into to my second grade classroom and it felt so nostalgic. I waited there for Miss Youngblood so I could talk to her about what happened in the second grade just so we could laugh about it. I was upset to find out that she didn’t teach at the school anymore. I asked the teacher if she had her class do the Book Worm competition and she said “What is that” So I told her what it was and my experience with it and she thought it was a great idea and had her class do it. I really gained a sense of pride in my work. Everything I do now I give a hundred percent. This past year I competed in a World History Fair. This time the prize was a little bit more then an ice cream party I worked on my project for months. When it came time for the fair I was excited for everyone to see my hard work. The next day everyone


Troost 6 walked in to see who placed. I nervously walked up to my project to see if there was a ribbon on it. There wasn’t. Of course I was upset but I knew that I worked hard and didn't cheat. I was proud of my work. When I look back on the eighteen years Ive been alive I am thankful that I had an experience like the Book Worm Competition to teach me at a young age. So many people haven’t learned how to work hard. They do the minimal work and think they can just get by. I will always remember that year and my experience and work hard on everything I do.


Book Worm