My Favorite Sport by Donny

My Favorite sport is golf. I started golfing when I was 4 years old. When I started playing after a week or two I thought I wasn’t good because I did think I was getting better. My dad kept me practicing every day so I would improve. I usually play every day in the summer except for Mondays because our country club is closed then. In the summer I play with a few of my friends so we can get better for high school golf.

This summer I was voted one of the three best players for 18 and under at my Country club. Then, we three and the pro played in the pro-junior/ pro-am golf tournament. The golf tournament was played on the Gateway golf course. Bellerive, which was my team, won the lowest gross (lowest number of strokes) and the lowest score. The tournament was played as the best ball which is where you all agree which ball is the best to play and Bellerive, my team was 17 under.

When I grow up I want to be a professional golfer and play on the PGA. When I was 4 years old and hit my first golf ball I thought I was bad but my dad kept telling me to practice more and more to get better. So now I practice every time I can to get better at my favorite sport so that I will be able to accomplish my dream. The golf tournament I remember the most was walking up hole #18 to finish and it was so dark I couldn’t see the pin from 10 feet away so they had to tend the pin there were also at least 40 people on the green watching so I was really nervous. Fortunately, I made that last put to win for the Bellerive team. All of the years that I’ve been playing I have never had a hole in one and I can’t wait until my first one.

The best part about golf is seeing how far you can hit the ball but that is not what is important at all in the game of golf. What is really important is how accurate you are and playing smart golf. Accurate and smart golf is not trying to whack the ball over the lake to get it on the green, or to get the ball further, it is playing the ball safe and not making penalty strokes. I have learned and always heard this from my dad. I have never taken a private golf lesson and I can play my course under par. Just because I think I can under par my golf course does not mean that I will be able to walk into a tournament at any golf course and say it’s easy, because I do not know what the course will look like Since in the rules of golf you can only have 14 clubs in your golf bag I practice with more so I can take the ones that I do not hit well and put them away so I don’t use them. My favorite club is my driver because I can hit the ball 270 yards with all my practice. I also hit my hybrid, sand wedge, and irons really well. The hardest part of golf is putting. Putting is where you take a small stroke back and tap the ball or hit it medium. You do this because you are trying to get the ball in the hole or close to it. Putting is where most of your strokes come from. This is because if you putt two times which is the most you should have to put on every hole throughout 18 holes you automatically end up with 36 strokes for putts. This is why it is good to play smart golf so you don’t make a crazy shot and end up with more strokes. Jordan Spieth is the best golfer in the world right now, he has won 273 tournaments in his life. I hope that I will become a professional golfer in my life.


Taking One for the Team by Sanjay

I had just entered the Vetta building in Concord, thirty minutes before the start of the game of our season.  We were playing on the left field so I started walking in that general direction.  Our team has had a tough season, but not all terrible.  We had lost some close games, games we had no subs, or games where I was sure some of the other team’s players were older than us.  We also had some great games, shutting out the other team where in indoor it is really hard, games won in the last minute, or games where we just outplayed the other team.  This game though may have been our best game all year.

We were playing W.C. Saint Louis.  They were about our skill level.  Last time we played them was earlier this season.  We almost beat them, but they came back by scoring three goals last minute to win.  It was a devastating loss so now was our chance for redemption.

I was looking for my teammates and I found them warming up.  Only a few were there, but we started warming up.  While I was passing coach pulls me aside to talk about my position.

“Are we going to be missing any players today?” I ask as we are walking over to the bench which is confined in a small area.

“Only a couple…” Coach Bruce replied.  Unfortunately, the people we were missing were both midfielders so I was going to have to help out extra there.  “You will be playing left midfield, and be prepared to stay on the field for a while.”

“Okay,” I said.  I joined our team for our warm-up jog.  More of my team started to show up as there were approximately fifteen minutes until game.

As warm up ended, captains were called and the rest the team headed towards the bench.  After the coin toss, Nick started heading back.

“We have ball and are scoring on that goal,” Nick says as he points at the goal on the other side were the other team warmed up.  “We also need to redeem ourselves to end the season at 500.”

We all huddled up.  Nick always leads it.  “On three; one, two, three, FSC!” we said as a team.  Then the referee blew the whistle, so it was time for us to get on the field.  As I ran on the field, I could hear my teammates prepping us and the parents cheering for us.

The ref blew the whistle and the ball was kicked to me by Phillip and take the ball back.  I find Daniel at right defense and pass it back to him.  We keep the ball in our possession near our goal for a little time.

After keeping ball in our possession for a while, I receive the ball from Daniel.  I find Carter again.  He then takes the ball and dribbles up a little.  “I’m open,” Phillip says as he is open while next to one of the other defenders.  Carter passes it pass him so he can get the ball before the defender.  In the box Phillip shoots and just like that we are up 1-0.  Parents are already cheering for a goal when ten minutes haven’t even passed.

The ball is kicked off and the other team is quickly moving the ball around on our side of the field.  After some passes, a long shot is taken and it goes in.  1-1 is the score.

We kick off the ball and push onto the opponents half.  I receive the ball out of the air.  I look to move forward almost in the box, but quickly pass back to Alex.  He shoots from outside the box and misses, but Ben able to recover the ball shoots.  He scores to make the game 2-1 which is led by us.

The other team has the ball keeping it away from us.  Then I am subbed out which will possibly be one of my few breaks.  I quickly get off the field.  As I am getting my ice cold water, I hear cheering, but I hear it from the parents of the other team.  I look up and the other team is celebrating as they have tied the score at 2-2.

I am drinking my water while watching the game.  Sebastian gets the ball and dribbles into open area.  That allowed him to find Gabriel and give him an open pass.  He finds Nick who passes back to Gabriel getting the defender chasing everywhere.  Gabriel shoots and the ball barely gets by the goalies hands allowing us to take the lead again.  While we are celebrating, I take Sebastian off so I he can get a break.

As I came on, the man I was going to mark was subbed of for a guy who was probably a couple heads taller than me.  He was also their best player and the one who scored the winning goal the last time we played them.  I get the ball and pass it back to Daniel.  He attempts to pass it to Nick, but his pass is wide in my direction.  I chase the ball and my man follows me.  I get to the ball and so does the giant guarding me.  I turn and his leg attempting to get the ball trips me.  I am tangled up and pushed aside by him.  I land on the turf, knee first.  I am in pain while the ball is still in play.  I get a quick glimpse as the other team scores with a goal by my man.  I am in pain while Coach Bruce walks onto the field in this game which is tied at 3-3.

I had jammed my knee into the ground which made it hard to even walk.  It didn’t look painful, but it was.  I knew that because not everybody believed I was hurt, for example, Carter.  As I was helped off the field, he thought I flopped so he was laughing hysterically.  He would think that until I showed up to school the next day with my knee all bandaged up.

“Do you think you will be able to play at all?” coach asked.

“No,” I replied.

“Okay,” coach said.  “This is going to be tough.”

The whistle blew signaling half time.  Our players who were just on the field ran back to the bench.  After discussing game plan, we took the field defending the other goal.  I obviously sat on the bench.  The second half started slow and one of the other team’s players got injured.  While he was recovering, one of our midfielders was tired and asked coach for a break.

“Do you think I will be able to get a break,” I heard as I was listening to their conversation.

“I’m sorry, but I don’t think there is much we can do about it,” Coach said.

Knowing it would be hard, I had to take one for the team.  “I can play if I need to,” I interrupted.

“Are you sure Sanjay?” Coach asked.


I got on the field just before the ball was in play.  Luckily, my knee recovered a little so I could move more, but I wasn’t able to run at full speed.  The ball was passed to another player and passed back with the opponent’s possession.  I was having trouble keeping up with my man who was now in the box.  The ball was crossed and my man scored of the cross, and I wasn’t able to cover him.

I was subbed off because Coach though I wasn’t able to play.  Just then we scored again.  The parents were going crazy and I knew I was eventually going to ask coach.

“Coach Bruce,” I called.  He started to walk over.  “Do you think I will be able to play?”

“We’ll see,” he replied.

I was waiting on the bench when he called Sebastian off for me to come in.  I wasn’t part of many plays when I first came on.  Alex and Daniel were doing a great job at defense while keeping the ball away from the other team.  The other team was only able to get one shot which was stopped by our goalie Charlie who made a great save.

Then Charlie threw the ball to Carter who dribbled up.  Then he passed to Ben who kicked the ball right after past the defender to me which made the perfect chance to shoot.  I shot, but it went wide.  Luckily Ben was there to recover it once again.  He shot, but his shot went wide and bounced right to me.  I shot it right out of the air and went in.

I was so happy about my dramatic goal putting us up 5-4.  I hear my teammates telling me “good job” and “nice goal.”

I was taken out after that which was good because my leg was about to give out.  I was on the bench hydrating.  That would end up being my last time on the field.  I still knew that the game wasn’t totally over.

The other team still could come back.  The other team quickly pressured our goal after kicking off.  We played defense well, but there offense scared me with little time left.  The Charlie made another great save and was able to clear the ball out.  Gabriel got the ball and dribbled up.  He in Phillip made a one-two to get Gabriel in the box with an open shot.  He shot and got a great goal.  Most importantly, we were winning 6-4 which basically secured our victory with little time left.

After we won, everyone was congratulating us.  It was a great redemption and a great way to end the season.

The Memory That Will Last Forever By: Rebecca

I remember life the way it used to be. It was too good to be true when I was a little child. I faintly remember the good memories like going on many interesting trips and having enjoyable laughs with one another. One of those memorable trips occurred when I was eight, and my brother with blonde curled hair was ten years old, my family ventured to Costa Rica. Our plane was delayed for six hours, during our endless wait at the airport we tried to occupy our time. My family sat in the airport and played card games. My mom was always prepared, so she had things to keep us busy. Finally, our plane went to our first stop Dallas, and my parents were excited about the trip. My mom was going to see a host family she has known from years before, so she smiled when she talked about Costa Rica. However, she was angry when she thought about the long delays, too. My dad tried to calm my mom down while we ate dinner at the airport. All was good, or at least I thought it was.

I was too young to really notice the changes occurring between my parents. A few months later, I noticed my mom not smiling as much, and she was not as enthusiastic as usual. My mom and I were in the car going to practice one day, and I asked my mom, “Are you angry at dad?”

She paused and said hesitantly, “I am not sure, do you notice anything different?”

I thought about this question for a long time. Then, finally responded with, “Yes.”

She said, “Okay.” I was expecting more than just okay, because I knew something was wrong between my parents. They were not talking, and I kept noticing they were getting into fights. I thought this was normal because people told me all parents get in some arguments. When my parents were in the house they stayed in different rooms and tried to avoid one another. None of my friend’s parents were divorced, so the idea that my parents might separate never entered my mind.

It was a Friday, and my parent’s needed to go outside because they were having the biggest fight I had seen them have in my entire lifetime. I knew this argument was never going to be solved just because how they how loud they were. I could hear them outside my house! It sounded like someone had died. After this incident, everything started going downhill from there. While this event was occurring, my brother was staring at me not knowing what to do while we were inside my house. I was running around in circles screaming because I was so worried. When my parents come back in the house, they were so silent that I could hear a cricket chirp. My parents did not make eye contact with each other at all. My brother and I went to our rooms, and shortly after that I laid down on my bed and closed my eyes. Before I knew it, I was asleep and dreaming. The days came and went, and things were not at all the same with my family.

It was a Saturday morning in 2012, and my family was making a delicious breakfast at our house the smells were extremely present. We normally took our time eating and we discussed our plans for the weekend. My brother would have hockey practice, and I had a soccer game. That morning, it was a very quick meal, and my parents seemed distracted. Afterwards, my brother and I were clearing off the table. My dad and mom were at opposite ends of the rectangle shaped table and they called us both over.

“Come here we need to talk to you,” my dad’s tone of voice let me know that it serious. They looked very unpleased. I knew what they were going to say was not going to be good. For a minute I was hesitant to sit down, but I did anyway.

They started saying, “We love you both.” My mind was going crazy.

My parents continued, “We have not been getting along lately, and we would probably be happier, if we were not living together anymore. So we are going to get a divorce.”

I instantly fell off the chair with grief and became hysterical crying. I will never forget those words for the rest of my life. Divorce was a foreign word to me, back then. After hearing the word, I looked like a rag doll hanging on my chair. My mom rushed over to me to calm me down, but I did not want her to touch me. I began to run around in circles, distraught with the idea that my family was crumbling. I ran through the living room, into the kitchen, and then ended up in the basement. My mom followed me, but I wanted nothing to do with her at that time. My mom did not stay very long and eventually I went upstairs, but I was still upset. On the other hand, after this news my brother seemed completely unfazed, getting something to eat and going in his room. He did not seem to care at the time, but later we talked, and I knew it hurt him, too.

I was distraught for most of the day, and I kept crying for hours afterwards. I realized I had a soccer game that I needed to get to, and I had to make the decision on whether to go or not. I did not particularly want to go because I did not want people to ask me questions because they could clearly tell that I was upset. Staying at the house felt claustrophobic and the idea of kicking and punching a soccer ball sounded excellent. My dad offered to take me to the game. The car ride was tense and instead of looking at him, I stared out the window, watched the trees and all the perfect houses go by. My house used to be perfect, and in an instant it had all changed. At last, we arrived at the fresh cut grass soccer field. Interestingly during the game, I was on fire as I scored three goals!

With the news of my parents’ divorce, I thought my life would be over, and I realized everything was going to change. The life I had was never going to be the same. There would be no more family vacations together, and our holidays would be split between two households. Yikes! Who was I to live with…mom, dad, or both?

It has been three years since the moment that changed my life forever. Now, I live with both of my parents’ just on different days. But, I am always with my brother whomever house I am staying at that day, and through the divorce, if I did not have him I would have felt lost and alone. He and I have developed a better relationship through all of this. One small moment in one’s life can change it forever, yet one can find a way to make the best of it and persevere.



Why, Oh Why, Wydown Fortnightly??????????????? by Peter

It was night so terrifying that you won’t be able to read this story.  But you will have to try.  I was in my family room chilling with my friends Adam  and  Jordan.  I went to elementary school with these guys and I liked nothing better than hanging out with them on a Friday night.  Did I mention that Jordan didn’t even live in St. Louis at that time?  His family had to move to New York after 4th grade. On that fateful Friday night, he had flown to town to spend the weekend with me. So there I was, all set to go. Ready to have fun playing Wii, eating pizza and catching up with my friend who I hadn’t seen for a long time. Little did I know, this was about to become one of the most disastrous nights of my brief life.

My Mom walks into the room and tells me something that no one should EVER have to hear.  She announces, “Billy, I have signed you up for Wydown Fortnightly and tonight is the first dance.”  And then my world came crashing down when she told me to go upstairs and get on a suit and tie.  I wailed, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.”  But she stood her ground and I knew that she meant business.  There have been lots of times I knew that I could get out of things but this wasn’t one of those times.

I stomped up the stairs and was incredibly grumpy.  There, laid out on my parents’ bed were the snazzy clothes that I had to put on.  The “torture” outfit included: button down shirt, suit coat, khaki pants, tie-up leather shoes and a bow tie. One by one, I put everything on.  And I was grouchy about it all.  I wanted to make sure that my Mom knew that I was not happy about any of it. She wasn’t budging though.  Downstairs we went.  After the multiple failed attempts to tie the tie correctly, she finally did it correctly.  She had to watch YouTube videos many times before she got the hang of it.  My sadistic mother couldn’t stop when I got dressed, she had to keep up the torture by putting product in my hair.

Adam and Jordan were in the family room  doing what I wanted to do.  They happily got to continue with their plans.  But as true as friends would do, they encouraged me that everything was going to be OK.  Easy for them to say.  I had to go to a dance with a bunch of people who I didn’t know and they got to stay at my house while I was headed to my worst nightmare.

I reluctantly got in the car and we headed toward the dance.  The ride only took about ten minutes but I used every minute to try to figure a way to get out of going.  I kept begging not to go.  My Mom just kept driving.  I hoped for red lights or a giant tornado to destroy the place where the dance was going to be.  Apparently God wasn’t listening because we arrived safe and sound.

I went inside the church.  There was a hallway leading to a gathering area where kids from different schools had come together.  Apparently, their parents hated them, too. The director called boys and girls to lineup  on either side of the room and each person had to choose a partner. He told us how the first dance was going to happen.  I did what he told me to do. I did well but my partner struggled. After the first round of dancing was over, he taught us another dance variation.  Throughout the night, I felt proud of how I did.

Despite my negative thoughts about the evening, I had an OK time. I survived Wydown Fortnightly. They even had cookies and water. How can you not like cookies and water? I did something that I thought that I was going to hate. I pleased my mother. Thankfully after the dance, I got to go back to my house where good buddies were and enjoy their company.. Maybe, maybe, maybe someday I will look back and be glad that I did it……(I highly doubt it, though).

The Moving and Bullying By: Ross

About 6 years ago I moved to the house I live in now. When I moved I was a little nervous about meeting new people and fitting in. Before this house I lived in a very big house in 40 acres of land in Wild Wood St. Louis MO. This was a red brick house with a field next to it but all around the field was forest. I lived in that house for 5 years, and before that I lived in another house for 3 years. I don’t remember much about that earlier house. I have had a long experience of changing schools.

A big part of my life happened after I moved houses. This is when I went to reed school. I liked the school and I didn’t mind the teachers, it was just this one kid who I really didn’t like at all. This kid had bullied me for a long time, and even when I see him now he rolls his eyes at me. I don’t know why he does what he does or why he hates me but this is why I feel insecure whenever I go to a new school because of that. I am always nervous about meeting new people and going to new schools. People are usually nervous about going to new schools but I have had a hard past as for some of these kids have not.

If I could redo my life then I would. Part of all this is my fault because I was a little touchy back then but instead of bulling me they should have told me to stop and tried to help me instead. This is a little of topic but it has to do with the subject of me moving to a new house. I am very independent and I probably would have never been so independent if I never was so bullied. It is sad that it had happened to me.

Now I have been to 6 different schools but this school was the worst. First I went to Ladue early childhood center, then I went to Hope Montessori school, after that I went to Ridge Meadows Elementary school, after that I went to Reed School, then Rohan Woods School (which is the only school that I have graduated from), finally I go here to Whitfield so in all it was a lot of schools. Before I moved into the house I live in now I lived in my aunt’s house for a small time while I was moving. I also started school while I was in my aunt’s house. This school is probably one of my least favorite memories because while I was here I was bullied a lot. This was Reed Elementary school. I went to this school was after I moved.

My first day of school I didn’t know anyone except my twin sister. I was still back in first grade at the time so I was a little bit jittery because I was in a different area. Now I know at that time that I wasn’t. I think that I might have known one person or at least heard who he was and he was the bully. The reason I knew him is because he would always ride his bike to school. I also met him earlier on.

When I started school I rode my bike to school every day because it was close to my house and a few other kids in my neighborhood also rode their bikes to school. Going back to the bully, at first he was my friend. He another kid in my neighborhood and I played a game. The game would be like spy and it would go until night. I also went trick or treating with them.

Before all of this I lived in a big red brick house out in Wildwood, MO. Wildwood is near chesterfield. I had lived in that house for 5 years before I moved into the house that I live in now. I remember when I was touring the house that I live in now and thinking that this is a good house. I also remember when I had my first Halloween. I even remember when there was a fire in a nearby house from us but it wasn’t a bad fire. I remember when I had moved into the house and I was a little anxious about meeting new people. I didn’t know this at first but the bully at Reed School was actually a distant cousin of mine.

When I moved I was nervous because it was the first time that I could remember living in in a neighborhood. I didn’t want to leave my old house because I knew it so well but it was so far away from my family in Clayton and Ladue so we moved. I now like that I moved because I have had so many great memories here but I also had a lot of good memories there at that house. But moving was fun because I remember it very well now. I wish that I lived in that house still so I could have all the memories that I had there as well as all the memories that I have now.

I wish those times hadn’t ended because later that year he was a bully to me and the next year he and a group of kids were a bully to me. I have absolutely no clue why they were so mean to me. I don’t know what I did to make them bully me, I don’t know if it was because I acted or if it was the way I looked or even if it was because I wasn’t as smart as the other kids. I also think that it could that they were jealous of me because my family is a little wealthy. The main point is that they bullied me instead of helping me.

Moving to my new house was different because it had been so long since I had moved. Like I said I still wish that I could have stayed at my old house for a lot longer and had a lot of new memories but I still like all the good memories that I have had at the house that I am living in now because I never would have probably gone to the camps that I go to now, I would never had gotten the dog that I have now. There would probably would be some good things that could have happened to me such as my dog not dying at the time she did or all the bullying that happened to me but I learned from all the stuff that had happened to me and grew from it becoming the person I am. All the things that happened to me in the past six years would have never happened to me if I had just stayed at my old house.









Graduation by Amelia

The tense air was filled with mindless chatter. Everyone was running on plain adrenaline as they stood holding onto the few hours they had left in the classroom. Computers to sign up for the alumni program were scattered on clean, empty desks around the room. The whiteboard filled with messages and drawing in all colors from teachers, other students, and the current graduating class. I stood there anxious and shaking, with a fear produced smile on my face. Nervous fingers taped desks, and words powered by anticipation were constantly filling the silence. I felt surreal, like it was a dream. It was crazy to think “I am graduating today. I will not go to school here anymore.” I still hadn’t fully realized it, even after countless rehearsals, speech writing sessions, and choir practices. This was the day, May 30, 2014.

“Okay, line up in your order, we’re going to start walking now.” Mrs. Gray said, giving us a smile that had become the most comforting smile to me over the years.   I walked over to line up in my place, and could feel my heart thumping away. We walked a long way, through the hallways we had always been in, the places we knew better than our own houses. We finally came to the outdoor staircase we would go down to get into the back of the gym. “Oh gosh I’m so scared.” I said, shaking. “I know, me too.” My friend Gwen said, smiling at me and grabbing my hand. I squeezed her hand anxiously. We were all completely still and silent as we waited for our cue. Then we walked out to the back of the gym, facing the stage.

All the seats were full of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and more. They turned and pulled out cameras and phones to record us. The graduation music started playing, and the tense energy higher than ever. Two by two we were going to walk down the middle aisle to the stage. Then we would split sides and stand in front of our seats.   “The first pair went. Now the second…, third…, fourth…, gosh I’m nervous. I bet I’ll fall. I’ll be the one who falls. Oh no.” I thought.   Then before I realized it I was walking down the aisle with Gwen. I didn’t even think about what I saw doing, everything was blurry. I concentrated on not tripping on the stairs, and slowly made it to my seat. Thank goodness. The worst wasn’t over though.

The speeches started, and they went by alphabetical last name. I waited through speeches I had heard a million times already in practices, and tried not to look bored.   Finally I heard Mr. Falkner, the principal say “Amelia Clemers.”   I tensed and got up, getting encouragement from all the people I walked past on the stage. My legs were wobbly as I carefully made my way down the stairs and to the podium. There was a still silence with the only gentle scuffling sound of the papers underneath the microphone. My speech was already printed out and sitting there, just like I’d practiced. “It’s okay.” I thought. “No one’s really paying attention.” I started the speech, just like I had before, and for a while it was like I could see myself reading it. Like I was an observer to myself. It was one of the scariest and best experiences of my life. I wrote, edited, and recited a speech to my entire school, with all the parents and faculty there. This was pretty amazing for me, someone who didn’t even like to speak up in class, to be able to do it. I don’t want to sound conceited, but I was proud.

I walked back to my seat, after I finished and heard the applause. On my way back every person gave me a “Good job!” or some other compliment. I felt amazing, I had just faced one of my biggest fears. Adrenaline pumped through my veins, and I grinned like a crazy person, because I had just given the speech I had feared to give for years. Then they started giving out the certificates. One by one I watched my classmates go off the stage, and stand in front to receive their certificates. I saw their parents rush up to take a picture. Flash.   Then finally I heard “Amelia Clemers!”   I walked down off the stage hearing the applause. I smiled broadly, and got the certificate from my dad. He was giving it to me, because he was a member of the board for the school. He smiled proudly, wearing his best suit and the tie I’d picked out for him. I got the certificate and stopped for a picture.

Looking back at those pictures I see that my hair had fallen straight again from my mother’s attempts to curl it, and my dress looked like I was in the Victorian era, but it is still one of my favorite pictures. After everyone had finally gotten their certificates, we stood up, and the music played once again. We walked in pairs off of the stage, and down the aisle. As it came to my turn, I walked as gracefully as I could muster off the stage. I met up with Gwen at the front of the stage, and she grabbed my hand. We walked, and practically skipped down the aisle, grinning like crazy.

This taught me that I can do things that scare me. I had been scared of giving a graduation speech every year I went to graduation. I had always feared it, and hoped I wouldn’t have to do it. But I’m very glad I was made to do the speech. It was scarier than anything else I had ever done, because yes I had done presentations in front of the whole school, but nothing this long. I felt amazing getting my certificate, and celebrating with my class. After graduation there’s always a party for the families and the kids in the gym. There’s a cake with all of our names on it, and lots of pictures being taken. I felt so relived, almost giddy.   I remember the excited conversations, the happiness, the past being reminisced, the last pictures, last hugs, last words before you move on. I remember walking out that door, feeling relived, and sad for what I was leaving behind. My home, pretty much. The teachers who all knew me, the younger kids who I played with, the classrooms and places I played in for so much of my life. Also, my class. People who were going different ways, people who would become different people, just like I did. I learned to not fear the future as much, and to embrace my challenges.