I would like to thank Mrs. Shannon Hicks, North Murray High School media specialist, for encouraging me to follow through with my dream for North Murray students to have a literary magazine. I would also like to thank Dr. Maria Bradley, Principal, for allowing me to pursue this project. To all the students and faculty who offered submissions and artwork for the magazine, I am eternally grateful; Mountain View would not even exist without you guys! To Morgan Epperson and Ashley DeSantiago, two of my seniors, thank you for helping with the magazine—especially Ashley, who spent many days after school helping to put the magazine together. Thanks to Eva Ramirez, Juan Patino, and Gabrielle Rodgers for submitting cover designs for the magazine, too; they were all really great! I want to especially thank Mr. David Redmond for helping me format the magazine for publication—I couldn’t have done it without your help. To all of the above and the students of North Murray High School, I dedicate this first issue of the Mountain View. Mrs. J. Dunn, April 2013
Table of Contents Poetry ........................................................................................................................................................ 1 School Cheer
Leslie Hicks & ESS .............. 2
The Genius Quitters
Justin Frazier ......................... 3
Stephen Tilson ...................... 5
A Time of Sadness
Jan Dunn ................................ 6
You‘ve Enchanted Me
Justin Butler .......................... 7
Justin Butler .......................... 8
Be Mine Again
Justin Butler ........................... 9
Justin Butler ......................... 10
Carrie Moorehead ............... 11
Jason Perdue ........................ 12
G.P. ....................................... 13
Long After I‘m Gone
Anonymous Author ............ 14
Jan Dunn .............................. 18
Jan Dunn .............................. 18
Prose ........................................................................................................................................................ 19 Envy
Brandon Freeman ................ 20
Anonymous Author ........... 21
Go To Sleep
Shelby Everette ................... 22
Was It Really Just a Dream?
Khrystina Morgan ............... 23
A New Change
Ashley DeSantiago ............. 25
J. Dunn.................................. 26
A Different Kind of Reward
J.D.D ..................................... 28
Artwork .............................................................................................................................................. 30-43
Allison Wilkes 1
A School Cheer Let’s cheer, cheer, cheer, For the Mountaineers! North, south, east, and west, North Murray is the very best! For the Mountaineer standing straight and proud, Let’s give a cheer that’s very loud! North Murray! North Murray! Yay, North Murray!
By Leslie Hicks and the self-contained ESS class
The Genius Quitters Festus wasn‘t like the rest of us, His world was not svelte, and thus he felt down. He fussed and he cussed, he argued with rust, His craving waking well-worn frowns. Every day, shades of gray, but minus titillations, Every eve, pet peeves, unworthy of domestications. He fretted and sweated, of issues not yet debited, Bored of the horde of oncoming dulcifications. ―Maladjusted, malfunctioning,‖ said the administration. ―Aloof, a goof,‖ said proprietors of education. ―Pill him and drill him, make him assemble… We‘ll wimble the cymbals of his creative thought trembles.‖ ―And then once he‘s learned to forego the absurd, Sequestered the jester in his mind to auto-adjourn, He‘ll learn to discern between what can and can‘t be, He‘ll learn to submit, to requite our philosophy.‖ Uncouth from his youth, eschewing skewed truth, He longed to be wrong, til his problems were gonged. But results they required, so sired data they did, Thus from dreary dates, and fact-driven doldrums he hid. Rallying reason, he retorted for the needy, Tired of the patterns, he trumped up a treaty. He called them to listen, to learn, and to change Prior prelects he proclaimed now deranged. ―All the knowledge I know resides in my pocket, On my mobile device, I can conceive how to unlock it. The knowledge you know, plus all your knowers you know, And all the thinkers who‘ve tinkered with thought I can show.‖ On computers and screens, the digital things, I queue up my queries and zing it does bring, A world of whos, and whats, whence and whens, And I see what I sought in a human-tech zen. You cringed at the cunning of calculators in class, You scoffed and you scorned til they kicked your scholastics. In the same tone you bemoaned, berated, belittled, You claimed these contraptions our cunning would whittle. 3
Yet decades are done, and dumb we did not, Math still milled on with progress not lost. But the war that you waged with such great wrath, Hast left the math for more subjects at last. I little long for mind-numbing numbers, Leave that for the buffoons and indeed for the bumblers. Teach me to build, to break, to fix and create, Teach me to teach, teach me to sate. Problems abound, around, up and down, Forward we forge ‗til new problems are found. Behind each new door, new hallways new locks, But nothing to know if nobody knocks. You‘ve lowered our learning to lag about standards, You suppressed what‘s sufficient for trophies and lanyards. You mangle with methods while minds mendicate freedom, Educators who elicit excitement, I dare say we need them, Prepare me for passions, dare me to dream, Teach me to use things which are not yet to be, Everything is exciting, everything is new… Just remember the words you knew before you knew how to do. So teach me the tools, tether me not, Together we‘ll take this world full of ‗whats‘, We‘ll invent, we‘ll make better, indeed we‘ll unfetter, And just might make genius out of the quitter. ----Justin Frazier
Shantel She was a life guard at the lake; she demonstrated to me how to save another person from drowning. Sometimes they panic she told me, and you have to fight them; you have to save yourself, too. But sometimes they‘ve just lost their bearings, and all they need is somebody to talk them in. She was the first in a new school to break the new boy‘s silence, and we sat on a hillside in the light of waning summer and talked of life: her brothers, my sister: Maybe they‘ll be friends someday, she said; Like us, I said, not daring hope: she smiled, Yes, like us. I would have died for her then, But two years passed: other friends found, I no longer needed her; she had never needed me. Her radiance and swimmer‘s strength placed her as far beyond me in high school‘s firmament as the sun from the airless moons of outer worlds. She lived in the glow of summer days in the beach tower, night campfire lighting new amusements, chemicals and couples, childish things put away. Perhaps she panicked, or just lost her bearings, and no one was there to talk her in the night she went into the lake and never returned from that place where she had saved others. I cannot know; my words to her go unanswered when I tell her that I should have been there, to return the favor she gave me on that hillside— the only reply is the memory of her smile behind a watery black veil and a deep and unbroken silence. Stephen Tilson 5
A Time of Sadness
A letter from home; Hospital bills; Long distance phone calls made often And then… Plane fare home. Black dresses and dark suits enter the car. Rain f a l l silently, unceasingly. Thoughts, questions, and memories flood your mind while Staring blankly at windshield wipers keeping time Back and forth; back and forth. A room dimly lit; Strong scented flowers overwhelm you as you enter the door. People come and go throughout the evening— Faces of those you know and Those you don‘t. Tears well up behind unseeing, frozen eyes; A large lump tightens and chokes you as you try to swallow. And then it‘s over. Home alone— Quiet darkness envelops you in a tender caress. The ice is broken; the river begins to flow S l o w l y In muffled sobs. ---- Jan Dunn
―You’ve Enchanted Me” Walking along I sing my song It‘s the first day I‘m on my way My mind is gray. I look left I look right And I cannot look away. I catch your gaze I look at the ground And my face turns red all around— You‘ve enchanted me. I can‘t stop thinking about that day When I caught you looking my way. I can‘t get you off my mind; Maybe if I give it time Maybe it will all be fine— You‘ve enchanted me You‘re my best friend; I can‘t wait to see you again. I‘ll do anything for you; I simply just adore you. You are the sun that gives me light; I‘ll love you with all my might You‘ve enchanted me.
“Please Stay” You are my light Even though we fight I still wanna kiss you at night. When we fight, I cry It just makes me wanna die. You are my baby…. Even though sometimes you hate me You are the one who creates me. You make me You date me You love me. When times are tough And we fall into the rough, We will get through Just me and you. Please stay— I don’t want to lose you I love you. Eva Ramirez
“Be Mine Again” The pain Is back again It makes my world rain. The rivers run thick with my tears From all these years I‘m drunk from the pain… Please save me— I‘m drowning. My heart is pounding; My love for you is astounding. I want you back again Please be mine again.
“I’m Broken” If only you could see the pain Within me is a continuous rain You left me shattered With the pitter patter Of my heart And I can‘t even muscle the energy to push start— I‘m broken. I savor your kiss But I know that it‘s amiss Our love came Your love waned My love stayed And you just played— I‘m broken. What is love? It just causes loss and shoves. I wish that I was a dove So I could just fly away. Maybe you‘ll see me streak across the sky Well, hell, for I might even get a ―Hi‖, But I know I‘ll just end up giving a sigh I‘m broken. I can‘t believe you left me for him And just stem Away from me. I feel lost at sea, But maybe that might just be the place to be A chance to fall A chance to end the pain once and for all— I‘m broken. Justin Butler 10
“Red” Red as an evening dress. It is good for them to get stressed. So far away from home Scared to death and all alone. Spread its wings and try to fly, Little did it know it was about to die. Down it spiraled to its death. It hit a branch and broke its neck. So tragic to watch it die. Oh, how it makes me want to cry. Your future is unknown. You never know when its your time to go. Live your life to the fullest. You never know when you‘ll bite the bullet.
Carrie Moorehead 9th grade
â€œSymbolic Redâ€? The color of red may symbolize death, When a creature on earth takes its last breath. The Scarlet Ibis was very unique, And Doodle, himself, was very weak. No one had faith that Doodle would survive, But he was very strong and stayed alive. Brother helped Doodle become really strong, They wanted to show his parents they were wrong. The Scarlet Ibis came from nowhere, And Doodle was the only one that really cared. In the end, it all came to death, Doodle and the Ibis took their last breath. Jason Perdue 9th grade
“Long After I’m Gone” Blood drips from my wrist It doesn‘t stop, and I start to Cry thinking of you and how Happy I was when I was Yours, and before I die I write ―I will love you always and forever Long after I‘m gone!‖ Anonymous Author
R A I N D R O P S Fall gently To the ground. Pit Pat; Pit Pat They hit upon the leaves Of the trees. Shh. Listen….. Listen to ―the sounds of silence‖.
Soft grays Purest white Fluffy cotton-ball clouds Move rapidly across the sky, As I, Sitting like ―the fool on the hill‖ Watch them go by— Wondering where they go.
“Seasons” Autumn— Leaves fall; Everything dies. Winter— Snow covers all; Nothing seems able to survive. Spring— Plants grow tall; All things are revived. Summer— Everyone has a ball; Earth is truly alive.
I wait— in the solitary stillness softly, silently Listening— straining and stretching my ears to hear the voice of God.
War, famine, death— We pray for peace while we still experiment with bombs. Sickness, poverty, sorrow— Pollution on every hand ―…Look what man has done to man.‖ As the world turns…it‘s getting worse ―The answer is Blowin‘ In the Wind‖ they say Why can‘t we catch it— Find a better way?
J. Dunn 18
I envy them. The freedom. The magic. The power they hold. They are every manâ€˜s greatest wants and deepest fears simultaneously. We gawk at them with awe and wonder, all the while working to obtain that which is truly unobtainable. We, as a race, can never truly accomplish what they have, or what they do every day. We can mechanically entrust ourselves with a poor version of its grace and come close to succeeding in that which is inevitably eternally lost on us. Yet is this such a bad occurrence? Will this not motivate us far beyond our previous dreams of years past? I see cause for possibilities without end, with this simple component as the singular effect creating a new world where dreams do come true. Sadness takes not the place of joy, but laughter of heartache, and smiles of tears. I envy them. Their freedom. Their magic. The simple power they hold above our heads. Yet as far out of reach as they may seem, they have long ago forgotten innovation and advancement, while we are just beginning. I Envy them-- the birds-- but in the end, it is we who shall be sought after. Brandon Freeman
The day looked cold and gray as she sat in her class looking out the window. No one could be seen walking on the path to and from the cafeteria. It looked so dull and lonely out there. Even the music on her mp3 player seemed to make the same atmosphere pervade her. But she wasn‘t sad or lonely—not really. In fact, she had a happy contentment about her today she couldn‘t explain. ―Today,‖ she thought, ―would be a perfect day for a walk in the rain without an umbrella.‖ It wasn‘t raining out, but in her mind she imagined torrents of rain falling down upon her as she walked along a country road—alone. Sometimes one just has to get away from it all and be alone. What better way than by taking a walk in the rain? The more she thought about it, she could almost feel the raindrops falling gently now around her. It was beautiful! She was walking along a country road now, the fields on either side were waving in the breeze to her as she passed by them. Taking a deep breath, she could smell hyacinths. Ummm…they smelled so fragrant; spring was finally coming!! A good feeling, a feeling of love and joy, swept over her. It was such a wonderful day in her mind. Birds were singing in the trees, and as she passed under the trees, she would look up to catch a glimpse of one. Sometimes she even whistled a ―bird‖ song back. How happy she felt. She looked at her watch. Suddenly the imaginary walk ended and reality once more settled around her. It was 10:35—the bell was about to ring for her next class, and then she had to go to work. Such a depressing thought after that beautiful daydream of a walk in the rain on a country road!! The bell rang and, sad to see the daydream end, she left for her next class. ---anonymous
Go to Sleep It wasn‘t supposed to be true. This was never supposed to have happened, yet it did. There was nothing I could have done to stop it either. She was gone. He was gone. They were all gone. Blood. Everything I looked at was bathed in blood. Why did it lead to this? Why did I act so irrational? They were trying to warn me of the danger. Now, they can‘t warn me of anything again. Their voices can‘t replace the ones I despise so much. I can never hug them on a summer‘s afternoon as we wait for supper. I didn‘t shed a tear, never even felt remorse for my actions, but I did feel something. A feeling conjured up from my unexplainable rage and the twitchy urge grazing my mind. I had committed a terrible act without regret, a sin that can never be forgotten. In contemplating silence, I stared down at my hands. Shaky, clean, yet they were not clean. My hands would forever be stained with the invisible ink that signed my soul away. When I stepped into this house and picked up my tool of choice, the contract was signed. It had been signed in innocent blood. What‘s that noise in the distance? Sirens? It seems someone has known my presence. Maybe I should leave, but it seems I cannot move. An unbearable force was passing on my chest. Long, slim arms wrapped over my chest from behind, squeezing the air from my lungs. This crushing, suffocating force that caused me pain was also the reason for my immobilization. My vision blurred. My heart rate slowed. Before I could take my final, agonizing breath, I heard a creaky voice whisper, ―Go to sleep.‖
Shelby Everette 10th grade
Was It Really Just a Dream? Claire Taylor found herself surrounded by trees in the deep, dark forest next to her house. She didn‘t remember getting there, but she was known to walk around in her sleep. This beautiful, blond headed, blue-eyed girl was one of a kind. She was the girl whom everyone came to for advice, who listened to her parents, and who was not the reckless type. Lately bad things had been going on all around her. Her dad had been in a terrible accident, and her brother had become deathly ill, but she told herself everything was fine. Suddenly, Claire heard a high-pitched scream coming from within the forest. She turned around and looked for the person the scream came from. She looked back at the forest entrance and ran, but with every step taken, the farther away the light was. She began to wonder what was happening when, without any warning, a hand came down to cover her mouth! ―Do not scream,‖ the stranger said. ―I will not hesitate to kill you.‖ When he felt her nod of understanding, he began dragging her deeper into the forest. Claire was scared out of her mind, but she knew she could do nothing to stop him. After what seemed like hours, they finally arrived at a strange, abandoned house. The windows were poorly boarded up, and the wrap -around porch had gaping holes everywhere. Claire did not know what he was going to do with her, and that was truly terrifying! ―What are you going to do to me?‖ Claire asked with a terrified expression. ―Shut your mouth,‖ was his angry reply. Claire whimpered softly, but she didn‘t say anything. The strange man pulled her roughly to the one and only seat in the middle of the room, and pushed her down on it. Once she was seated, he began to tie her hands and legs to the chair. By this time she was overcome with terror. She began to sob. If she were not in this situation, she might have found this man attractive with his blond hair, blue eyes, and athletic body. ―What do you want?‖ she practically screamed the words. ―For you to shut up!‖ Claire flinched, but nodded. She would not speak again. She just knew she would be killed if she wasn‘t quiet. Claire was absolutely terrified, but her thoughts were cut short by that same scream. The man walked downstairs and the screaming stopped. She struggled in her seat as he came back upstairs. ―Please, don‘t kill me,‖ she begged, with tears in her eyes. 23
―Oh, I don‘t plan on killing you…Yet.‖ Claire was scared out of her mind, and the next thing she saw took her distress to the next level. He pulled a knife on her, and the hot, searing pain woke her up screaming. ―Claire!‖ Her father yelled. ―What happened?‖ ―It‘s just a dream,‖ she replied. Then she looked down at her arm and screamed. On her arm was the long cut made by the stranger. Had it been real, or was it just a dream? She was afraid to find out. Claire knew that she would have someone with her at all times now. She did not want to die any time soon. Little did she know, this was only the beginning…. Khrystina Morgan
A New Change I look up at the tall buildings in a daze. What an amazing site New York City is! People hurrying to and from their jobs, tourists stopping by, snapping pictures with their cheap digital cameras of the buildings, the parks, and the people in general, people in business suits texting, emailing, talking on their cell phones too busy to notice their lives passing by them—too involved with technology. Snapped out of my thoughts, I heard someone beeping their car horn at me. BEEP! BEEP! ―Get out of my way, lady!‖ the taxi driver hollered at me. ―Crazy lady!‖ he kept yelling curses at me. I sheepishly stepped back onto the sidewalk I had not even realized I had stepped off. He drove away before both my feet had been securely on the sidewalk. How rude! I had been in such awe of the city that I forgot the people were rude here. The rumors were true. I was from always sunny California; people over there weren‘t exactly mean, and they weren‘t that nice either, but at least they weren‘t so rude. I shrugged off the sudden dip in my mood. I missed my hometown, yes, but this was a whole new start for me. I walked off in search of some much needed coffee. This cold weather was so different from what I was used to, but I loved the change. I snuggled more into my warm, black jacket as if I could bury myself in it. I walked and walked for what seemed like hours. ‗Great, I think I‘m lost,‘ I thought. The cold wind had quickened, and my hair was flying all over my face. After I had successfully managed to calm my hair down, something bright, orange, and wet hit my face. How embarrassing! I threw the paper to the ground and huffed. Sighing, I rubbed my hand over my face. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I finally saw what I had most been craving—COFFEE! Well, it was a coffee and music shop. I arrived there in record time, and as soon as I opened the door and the warm air hit my face, I instantly felt at home. I breathed in the aroma of good coffee…mmmm…how delicious. I made my way to the counter waiting to order, strumming my fingers patiently. I was looking over the menu trying to decide which to order when –―How may I help you?‖ a deep voice asked. I looked down into a pair of warm brown eyes. I smiled. I think I am going to like this change after all. Ashley DeSantiago ‗13
Growing up in Rhode Island made Christmas a time of year for me. Because of my childhood Christmas memories, it is still my favorite holiday of the year. When I was young, there was nearly always snow at Christmas time. That is one reason why I love Christmas, and the song ―White Christmas‖ is one that I wish for every year to come true. The second reason I love Christmas is the caroling we neighborhood children would do every Christmas Eve. The last reason why I love Christmas is all the house decorations and decorating the tree. I hope with these reasons, both from my childhood memories and experiences today, that I can persuade you to love Christmas as much as I do. It really is the greatest holiday, and I‘m sure when I‘m finished, you‘ll agree. I love snow, even now. When I was growing up in Rhode Island, there was nearly always snow at Christmas time. There is something about snow at Christmas that just seems to make it more special. The world is all peaceful and still and fresh. In my family, on Christmas night after having Christmas with their families, my grandmother‘s family would all come over to my grandparent‘s house for dessert and bring their presents. We could hear their feet CRUNCH up the walk to the front door, and knew they were there. Another great thing about having snow at Christmas was that one year when it snow six inches overnight on Christmas Eve, my mom let me walk over to my grandparent‘s house on Christmas morning. I was in 6th grade then, so I could cross the main road to get to their street by myself. It was so neat walking over there that Christmas. No one was out, not even in cars, so the road was very quiet like the ―sounds of silence‖ that the Simon and Garfunkle song talks about. A third thing about having snow at Christmas is that sometimes after dinner, my cousin Steve and I would be allowed to go out and play in the snow. My cousin and I would build these snow ―forts‖, and make a ton of snowballs. Then, when we had a good many made, we would start throwing them at each other, and have a really big snowball fight. Sometimes my aunt would come out and play with us. That was really fun because then we would gang up and throw our snowballs at her! After a couple hours, Nana would come to the door and call, ―You need to come in now before you get too cold.‖ So we would go in and play with our Christmas presents, and wait for the rest of the family to arrive that evening for dessert. Another thing that made Christmas a favorite and great holiday was the caroling. Our neighbor, Mr. Bourgaise, had horses, and every Christmas Eve he would hitch them up to a sleigh and take all the neighborhood children caroling. It was fun riding around the streets of my neighborhood in a sleigh, listening to the bells on the horses‘ harnesses jingle as they trotted along. Mr. B. would stop in front of each house, and we kids would get out, walk up the steps 26
and begin singing carols in the crisp, cold night air. We always had so much fun caroling on Christmas Eve. Who wouldn‘t have fun riding in a sleigh through snow-covered streets? After we got through caroling, Mr. Bourgaise would take us back to his house where his wife would have hot chocolate and cookies waiting for us kids. We would be soooo cold from being outside, and the hot chocolate was like a warm, soft cozy blanket warming us from the inside out. When we finished our hot chocolate and had thawed out some, Mr. B. would say, ―O.K. kids. Time to go home and get ready for Santa!‖; then he‘d take us all home in his sleigh. After being out in the cold night air, our parents had no trouble getting us to bed on Christmas Eve. We were tired! The last thing that makes Christmas the best holiday is the Christmas tree and all the house decorations. I love to look at the lights on the Christmas tree. Sometimes, when I was young, I‘d fall asleep by the lighted tree. As an adult, I still like to sit in the den with only the tree lights on, and look at the Christmas tree. My aunt always had to have a real tree every year, and I guess I am like her. When my daughter was small, we would go to a tree farm and cut down our own tree. It was a really exciting time. We would walk all over the place until we found just the right tree, then my husband would take the axe and Thwack—Thwack— Thwack—he‘d cut it down. Then we‘d take it home to decorate. My husband and I would string the lights, and my daughter, Laura, and I would put on the decorations. I had bought her a ―special‖ ornament every year since she was three, and would give it to her when we‘d start decorating. If I ever forgot, she‘d say, ―Mom, where‘s my special ornament?‖ She really enjoyed getting them. Today, her special ornaments and those students have given me over the years are about the only ornaments I put on the tree. Laura usually still comes over to help me decorate it. She puts her ornaments on, and we try to remember how old she was when she got each one (she‘s 25 now). Those ornaments are memories of times shared on Christmases past that help make the Christmas holiday the best! I also love decorating my home. I collected Santas and manger scenes for years, and I put them all over the house. I also put out other decorations, and put lighted garland around my front porch railings. I love putting out my decorations—it‘s so much fun!! Finally, decorating the house and Christmas tree is just one thing that makes Christmas a special time of year and the best holiday. But not only are decorations special, but also the carols we sing at Christmas. Christmas caroling is fun—especially if you can do it while riding in a sleigh with friends on a cold, crisp winter‘s night. I enjoyed it as a child, and even though I don‘t know anyone with a sleigh here in the South, I still enjoy caroling with my church at Christmastime. The last thing, and quite possibly the best part of Christmas is snow. Snow just seems to make Christmas, Christmas. It lends a peacefulness to the season that was meant to be. I hope my childhood memories and current experiences and traditions have persuaded you that Christmas is the very best holiday of the year. I truly believe it is—you should, too! J. Dunn
A Different Kind of Reward
―You hate me, don‘t you?‖ she demanded, in front of my first period Bible class. Calmly I set my lesson plans aside and looked the blond-headed ―rabble rouser‖ in the face. Tammy was my number one problem child and I worried about her. I could sense she was searching, and wanting to help her, tried to be as patient as I could. Sometimes it was hard. Because nothing seemed to work, I became discouraged. ―No, Tammy. As a matter of fact I like you very much. It‘s just that sitting there you create a disturbance almost every day; not for me alone, but also for those who would like to learn something.‖ Our eyes met for a moment. ―You think putting me here in front of you surrounded by all these quiet people will make me behave, don‘t you?‖ She smiled mischievously, and with a brazen look, glanced around at those near her. ―Well I‘ll make them talk too, you wait!‖ ―We‘ll see, Tammy. Now let‘s begin class,‖ I continued, avoiding any further discourse with her. Except for her proverbial late entrances (which compared to a couple weeks before, were much less chaotic), everything flowed along smoothly. Unable to arouse those around her from semi-lethargy, she soon grew tired of her new seat. One day she returned to the old one. ―Tammy, don‘t you sit over here now?‖ I pointed to the row of desks directly in front of me. ―I hate it over there, Ms. Deware. Please let me sit here again; I‘ll be quiet, I promise.‖ I cast her a rather doleful look. ―Honest I will. Please let me stay here.‖ I felt the heat wave as twenty-five pair of eyes bore down on me, watching how I‘d handle this new ‗Tammy situation‘. What to do, I thought. Another confrontation. It seemed we were always ‗doing battle‘ with the class as our audience. I shrugged reluctantly. ―O.K., Tammy, you may sit there the remainder of the semester on one condition. You must not disturb others around you, and be quiet.‖ She won that round, readily agreeing to comply with my wishes. Tammy never cared much about we what we were studying in class, acting bored with the whole idea of religion. She‘d sit at her desk figeting, trying to get others‘ attention away 28
from whatever we were doing. To begin class, I read from the book Faith Is most mornings. One morning, after class, she stopped by my desk to browse through it as I was talking to one of the other students. I turned around in time to see her putting it down. ―That‘s an interesting little book, isn‘t it?‖ ―Naw, it‘s dumb! I wish you‘d read something else.‖ She sauntered out the door to her next class. All my efforts to get through to her were constantly put down. I often became discouraged. Now, regardless of the nonchalant, disinterested reply, I was heartened to see her perusing my book. Maybe I was getting through, finally. About a week later, Tammy entered class all smiles—early!! ―Good morning, Tammy,‖ I said, as she stopped by my desk. ―Hold out your hand—I‘ve got something for you.‖ ―What is it?‖ Knowing Tammy, it could be anything from a harmless grasshopper to an ugly roach! ―It‘s big and green,‖ she replied. ―Hold out your hand and close your eyes.‖ With some trepidation I put forth my hand, closing my eyes tight. She dropped something round and paper-covered into my out-stretched hand. When I opened it to look, I saw a huge piece of green bubble gum! ―Thank you, Tammy.‖ My face beamed as I deposited the ‗gift‘ into my pocket. That piece of gum meant everything—it was as the sun moving out from behind dark clouds to me. I had finally succeeded in reaching her!! J.D.D.
Amber Griggs 35
Nancy Arevelo 37