Thursday, November 19, 2009

Extended Ending #4

by WahhBAM

August 4

i cant leave. i dont want to. new york will just be another place that will make a fool out of myself again. im sick and tired of being like this. the more i stay like this, ill just go insane. algernon’s gone. nobody loves me anymore. ive done terrible things to them. i said mean things to Dr. Strauss and all the other people that were my friends. they probably hate me now. theyre only pretending to be sorry for me because im dumb. im in love with miss kinnian. ive tried very hard to forget her. i seem to be forgetting everything like my intelligence, but not her. i want to go back. i want to go back to the beginning and start all over again.

August 10

ive been out in the streets all night, and ive just realized that im penniless. im a bum. im a person without any identification. im not going to get a job this way. i need help. i need a home. no, ill just sleep in the bushes. thatll save some money. i don’t want to go back yet. itll be too hard to face those people so soon. i need time. i wish i never agreed to do the experiment because now ive lost everything.

August 13

i miss my mom and dad. why they left me all alone in this world i never knew. i dont want to know. i hate them. i wish i met them so i could just kill them for giving birth to me, an unwanted child. im the most ungrateful creature in this world. yesterday i met this guy named Jimmy. he told me, “since your so sad and depressed, why dont u just commit sucide? its the best solution. Jump off a bridge!” ive been considering that, but im too scared to do it myself. someone else should commit my sucide for me.

August 21

i talked to a kitty yesterday. it was a silky black furred one. it talked back to me. isnt that so cool? ME. the only person in the world who can communicate with a kitty. i was walking down the street the other day, and i heard the stop sign and all these cars talking about me! they told me i had pretty eyes. im so thrilled. i cant wait to share this news to Jimmy, my new BFF. A spoon told me that its husband cheated on it. can you believe that? who would do such a thing?! its husband is one backstabbing two-faced spoon!

August 24

i had a really bad headache last night and i roamed around the streets while listening to the streetlights whispering to me. i bumped into a very pretty woman, and she told me her name was miss kinnian. she hugged me and told me how much she was worried about me. i dont know who she is, but it just feels good to know that someone still cares for me.

Perspectives #3: Another Version of Algernon's Point of View

by queen4aday

Feeding-Time 73 of Consciousness

The big people don’t know I’m a lot smarter than they think. I can undo the latch on my cage and I found some report (it said Study on The Effects of...something something BORING.) and learned to write using it. I also found a TYPE-MATIC (that’s what it says on the side) and if I run over it right I can type. It’s hard and I have to wait until night-time when all the big people leave (I think they’re called “humans”). The food is nasty, but the mazes I do are fun. The report says I’m racing someone named Charlie but I don’t see him (maybe he’s one of the big people) and that my name is Algernon, and I’m a white mouse. I like Algernon, because it has Ns and I like Ns. NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNnnnnnnnNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN

Progress Report – Feeding-Time 115 of Consciousness

I figured out how the big people communicate a while ago. It’s called talking and they make noises, like squeaks, but lower. The doctors, Strauss and Nemur (that’s who the report was by), talk a lot about how the other one is bad and just trying to...what are coat-tails? I looked and I don’t think they have tails.

I saw Charlie, and he told me we have to be presented to the International Psychological Convention in Chicago tomorrow. I realize he’s been talking to a lot, but before I didn’t understand. He said he isn’t writing about this in his progress reports, and I liked the term progress report, so now I’m going to use it.

Progress Report – June 16 (Charlie looked at my Progress Reports and explained what a date is.)

I met someone new today. She’s named Fay, and she’s crazy. However, I like her, because she’s nice too, and she thinks I should have a friend.

I have Charlie as a friend, but a mouse friend would be nice too. The only problem is that Charlie says I’m a lot smarter than other mice. Still, I do get lonely when Charlie’s away.

I wish I could go around like humans do, but Charlie says I shouldn’t leave the apartment.

Progress Report – June 21

I’m starting to dislike the maze. It’s just...too BORING. Sometimes I get really frustrated after them and thro myself against the walls of my cage afterward. I try to leave my Progress Reports out for Charlie to read, but I feel like he’s ignoring them.

Charlie has been something of a conundrum. He still refuses to refer to my level of intelligence in his reports, although with all the stuff he pours into them, it seems like this little anecdote. (It’s funny how my intelligence is an anecdote, even though it’s everything to me.)

I have a suspicion that, since his theories don’t make an allowance for my intelligence, in a quite vain (and rather ironic) attempt to preserve his right-ness, he refuses to acknowledge I exist as a person, not just a test animal.

I don’t think he’s my friend anymore.

july 10

its hard to type and i cant remember most of the words so ill try to make this short. im getting stupid and I feel sick. a while ago I bit someone. I don’t know who it is. I cant understand charlie very well now.

(There are no more “Progress Reports” from Algernon. This excerpt is from a complete group of papers that were found buried with some flowers next to Algernon’s grave.)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Perspectives #2: The Story from Miss Kinnian's Point of View

by Milkman

March 5, 1965

Dear diary,

In my night class for disabled adults, one stands out, partly because of his extreme disability, and partly because of his extreme motivation. His name is Charlie Gordon. He is mentally retarded. He is 37 years old. I find that so sad, and I really like him, which makes it sadder, because he is such a nice person. Dr. Strauss and Dr. Nemur are planning an operation, hopefully tripling the intelligence of a human permanently. They asked me to recommend one person from my night class, and I recommended Charlie. He was too “stupid” for them! Dr. Nemur did not want to use Charlie because they thought he was too far back for the experiment! That angered me greatly and I told him that Charlie had the greatest motivation I had ever seen, and that it would be a shame if they did not use him. They both said they would think about it.

March 8

Dear diary,

They will use Charlie! I was so excited when I heard. Dr. Strauss soon saw what I was saying, and managed to convince Dr. Nemur. They told Charlie and he was even more excited than me! When I was able to speak to him, I told him, “Charlie, you’re going to have a second chance. If you volunteer for this operation you might become smart. They don’t know if it will be permanent, but there’s a chance that it will be.Don’t be scared Charlie. You’ve done so much with so little. I think you deserve the operation most of all.” I don’t know if that was what made him accept, or if he would have anyway. It probably will be one of those many things that I will never know.After I talked to him, he seemed more determined, so maybe I did make a difference. On my way out, I saw him one last time walking briskly down a different hallway. Who knows what will happen? Maybe I just changed the entire fate of the whole world.

March 19

Dear diary,

I haven’t seen Charlie for a while since his operation. I have a feeling that he is growing frustrated and disappointed. I can see he has improved greatly, but he can’t. He hasn’t beaten Algernon yet and that is how he measures his intelligence: if he’s smart he’ll win, and if he’s dumb he’ll lose.
So he thinks of himself as dumb, like he was before the operation. That is not true! I see his spelling and vocabulary beginning to skyrocket, and his understanding of grammar is improving immensely.
Yesterday I went for a walk in the park, without my fiancĂ©. It was so peaceful and quiet. I would hear the occasional bird chirping, and sometimes a child talking to his mother. I stayed for about an hour, listening to the sounds of nature, and then I left and went back to the lab. I don’t usually go for walks in the park; it was just something I felt like doing to get away from the doctors and the research, the smell of the lab, and constant thoughts about Charlie. It was helpful. Maybe I will do it again.

April 21

Dear diary,

A lot has happened in the past few weeks. Charlie has been getting exponentially smarter, and today I ended the engagement with my fiancé after finding about him cheating on me! I am still literally trembling with rage and shock. How could he do this to me? We were going to get married so soon, and then this happened!
I will try not to think about it, and focus on the happy things in life. Charlie is now able to read over twice my speed, learning languages at an amazing rate, and has greatly surpassed me in use of words and writing of the English language. On top of that, his memory is superb! He was easily able to remember in detail all of Robinson Crusoe when I asked a casual question about it.
His mind may be very advanced, but it is still emotionally that of a small child. Recently, he realized that his “friends” at the factory were not really his friends. He became awfully upset, and still is not going into work at the factory. I hope he feels better. Now that I am single, I feel somewhat attracted to him…

April 28

Dear diary,

Charlie asked me out to dinner last night. I didn’t know what to say, but I eventually said yes (how could I refuse him?). Anyway, it was a nice dinner and we both enjoyed ourselves. I told him he was coming along so fast, that he’d leave me behind soon. The interesting thing is that he doesn’t perceive himself as smart, because he knows that there are so many things he does not know. That, to me, means he is already a genius: the first step is fully comprehending what you don’t know, not what you do. I only hope he stays smart permanently.

May 6

Dear diary,

Charlie and Algernon were presented to the WPA (World Psychological Association) today. It was a great success. Just thinking about how three months ago Charlie had an IQ of 68 and could barely speak well, let alone read and write, and now he is a complete genius brings tears to my eyes. It is such a great breakthrough!

July 25

Dear diary,

I can’t believe it. Charlie regressed. He is now in the state he was in before the operation. I don’t want to think about it. But there is nothing else to think about. How could God do this to a person? Make them smart then take it back. That’s like giving a blind man sight, then taking it away again. It’s so cruel. Why did this have to happen? I went to his door but he turned me away. He said he did not like me anymore. Maybe the sudden deterioration has clouded his emotions. Probably. I don’t feel like keeping a diary anymore. This is my last entry. Good bye.

Perspectives #1: The Story from Algernon's Point of View

by Da'Vine

march 7
today there was a lot of balding, big, and whisker less was much different than usual,there was like a whole extra ten of the mutant mice.a new mutant mouse came in and he looked really freaky. they put me in box with walls around it and one opening.i ran.then freaky man looked at something beyond the box. I got to the food.
weird freaky mutant said something.would he have said something about me.does he have a problem with me.i wonder if he will ever talk to is getting boring because i want to interact by listening.its calming to me. i like getting done with the path game so I can have food.

april 6
today the freaky mutant came again.he has made me so much calmer.when ever he leaves or i get to food before he looks at me he starts to talk to me.but something weird happened.the freaky mutant looked at me before I got to the food.after that he got all was pretty creepy.i didn’t know how to i just looked up and ate my food.i even heard him say"i beat him,i beat him!!!"
then i went back to the beginning to another path.when I was running I heard a huge bop that came from the ground.the next thing you know you see the creepy guy jump up.he sits down in the chair very excitedly.after that I kept going back to the beginning to start another path faster than ever.after a while the creepy mutant talked at me for a while.that made me calm for the nite.i slept well.

may 15
i was being taken out of the room in my cage.they put me in a big round uneven moving thing.when we passed the door there was a lot of other weird mutants.lots of big boxes.with really big mirrors attached to the out side.they looked really tall.
i kept asking myself a was “were am i.”i was really confused.the creepy looking mutant looked very different.i wonder wat happened.did he always look like I seeing things.any ways we stoped moveing.
we opened the box that was moving.then I got to see big box with mirrors on the outside even looked really big.we went through the was really scary.there was so many weird mutants.i couldn’t count.i nearly lost my little breath.or at least my breath is little to these big mutant mice.their breath is like a big tornado to me.
i went on a big ground with a sudden drop.but I was on the creepy mutants paw.we were in front of so many mutants.i figured that I should just go on my back so i don't black out.i tried it and it made me feel so much better.

may 23
I am feeling so unusual.i don’t know what is happening.i wonder if that is weird.i think I have an attitude now.the creepy mutant came in today.i think he is just visiting me.he does it some times.i think I am going to get really mad if he picks me up.i think I am going to bite him.well of course he picks me up.then I bite him.he was really surprised by it.then he put me down in my one messed with me for the rest of the day.

may 24
I feel like I am really not my self.i don’t know what to do.i never want to do the path any more.i don’t even want to look smart and pick the button that gives me food.i never want to do anything any more.they did something to my head a while ago.i think they did.but maybe something got changed.what will happen to me in time.what if I hurt myself.that isn’t going to help me.i am getting scared.what am I going to do.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Extended Ending #3

by Holmie

August 1 I arived in oakland today. Its a very nice town. I used the money from the operashun to ride the plane. While I was on the plane I tried to read the book I brought along but couldnt. I found a apartment in alameda but theres not much around here. I was near a airport so planes took of every day but not as often as in New York.

August 6 Today I got a job. I work in a factory again still as a janitor. Its right outside the airport but I learned its not a airport, its a Naval Air Station. I learned that many people life and work on it but they wont let me on even to look around. I thought it was mean how they let people live on it but I couldnt just walk around it to look at it.

I have new friends now at my new job. They like me just as much as Joe Carp and Frank Reilly. My new friends will stand up for me too no ones mean to me. Sometimes people laff at me but I don't know why no one ever said that they pulled a Charlie Gordon though. I think theyre going to like me more because they never new me as the “quiz kid” like that new guy back in New York.

August 10 There is a new adult nite school that I will be going to soon. The day isnt hard to remember because its the same as Miss Kinnian's. Boy do I miss her. Sometimes I never wish I left or that I could have talked to her before I left. I think that was a really bad idea.

August 11 Today I went to a party with my new friends. They all had alcohol but didn't make me have any. Im glad about that because my old friends made me have some and then made fun of me. The job is going well. My boss Ms. Mall is nice to me and pays me well she gave me money before I earned it so that I could get a house. I still don't have a car so I have to walk but it's not to far only a few blocks. She even stands up for me when someone tries to pull a joke. This makes me fell save and everyone is nice to me usually. Even more after she does that.

Extended Ending #2

by Superchick

Progress Report-My new life Dec.2

I at leist rember how two speil PROGRESS REPORT I no I speiled it wright becus I looked at al my old PROGRESS REPORTS . Evry one in a wile I look back and see how good I used to wright . Im not all the way dum ant I stil rember a fuw things . I went to live in californya . It don’t get much cold here . I miss miss.Kinnian and I miss Algernon . I somtims think about going to visit miss.Kinnian and Algernons grave but I don’t want to miss them when I have to come back . It wus hard to find a plase to stay and a plase to work . When I first got here a old man started to tell me where I shold live and were I shuld go to work . He was nice .

Progress Report-Dec.5

I keep firgeting what day it is . Today I have ben feeling som pains in my chest but I think its becus of the way I sleep . My head also hurts when my chest does two . I hope the pains go away becus its making me wory . I wonder If Algernon felt this pain .

Progress Report-Dec.7

I went to work today and I stil have the pains . I culdnt constentrait on anething . When I came home I stood stil just staring at my wall .

Progress Report-Dec.8

Last nite I had a dream about my parents . I think it was my parents . I think it was a dream . The only thing I rember wus that I wus running and I had ice cream . I triped and fell . The two people I think wus my parents piked me up and hugged me . Ther wus maybe more but I don’t rember . Today Im going for a walk and got lost . I sat on the bench and closed me eys to think for a little .

Progress Report-Dec 9

I don’t know how I got here but im in the hostpital . The nurse said that I have a cold . I don’t know why she said that becus I don’t feel cold . Did she mean cole . what is that .

Progress Report-Dec 10

I met the doctr todai and he sed he had something important to tell me that the nurs did not say . He sed I had sumthing wrong with ma . I told him there was no thing wrong with me and that im just dumb . He asked if I were afraid of dieing and I told him no and that I no it wus coming . He looked at me for a wile and started to look sad .

Progress Report-Dec 11

The doctor told me that he had bad news and that I had to have riscky operashun .

Im tired of operashuns . He told me that I might not wake up . I told him I would do it and that if I don’t wake up what wuld happen . He said I wuld die .

Progress Report-Dec .12

Im about to go to the operashun room . I hope I will wake up but if I don’t I know that I will go where algernon is going

Extended Ending #1

by 6tabdanger

Progress Report July 29

I’m lonly now. I reely miss Miss Kinnian. I miss her smile and the way she taut me. I miss racing with Algernon and feeding him. I’m happy to know that I’m away frum the harsh feelings. I’m gonna study hard to learn more agan. I have a new teacher now. Her name is Ms.Thaler. Hopefully I will learn as much as Miss Kinnian taut me. I gezz smart people are onli smart for a litle wile. I got on the rong trane and it took me to “Claremont Middle School”. At least I can spell “School” again.

Progress Report July 30

I woke up today and I got smarter! I was able to read and write correctly! Today was a fantastic day. I tried to read as much books I could so that I would remember what they were about. I re-read Einstein’s Theory of relativity and Cat in the Hat (just to see what it was like to have an imagination again.) I re-read my progress reports and made my own conclusion to Dr. Nemur and Dr. Strauss’s experiment. I found out that I was tricked into becoming smarter. When I beat Algernon I didn’t get smarter, he got dumber. Then he died. Could I be dying….slowly? I would like to stay alive to help people become more intelligent individuals.

Progress Report August 2

I woke up this morning and I fell very ill. I had major headaches and I vomited most of the time. I called the local hospital and was taken to Kaiser Hospital Emergency room. I was tired and my eyes were red. The doctors ran numerous tests on me. They came to the conclusion that I had two brain tumors. I am scarred of what’s going to happen next. My doctor name is Dr. Dangerfield. He is a nice fellow. He told me that it is crucial to get as much sleep as possible and drink lots of water. I am going to go to sleep now. Sorry Miss Kinnian…I have failed you.

Progress Report August 7


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Andy's Comic

Gnomie's comic

"Flowers for Algernon" projects

Our class just finished reading "Flowers for Algernon," a short story by Daniel Keyes. Over the next week, I'll be posting some of the projects the students completed. Enjoy!

- Ms. Thaler

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I am.

by EB

I am from apple pie and poached peaches. I am from the moon and the sun, from my brother’s evil laugh and the sweet soft chuckle of my sister-in-law.

I am from the bee’s buzz and the apple blossoms blooming in my backyard.

I am from skulls and schools. I’m from the love of my family and the soft sound of old rock-and-roll. I am from that’s not right and you always mess up.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I feel

by DeEpFlutE

I am from a place of despair where no-one is to care. I am from a place of low tolerance.

I feel like if I'm trapped in a never ending vortex and ther's no way out, no-one to help me. To fight

in what you believe in is to be tight, to break free from the cuffs of life is to be the person you want

to be. The waves of life that control me can no longer restrain or contain the beast inside of me. The dreams that drift along will soon come back and let men dream again.The pages of the book waiting to

waiting to spill the secrets that they hid from the people that They read, word to word story to story.

Ashes to ashes, our bodies will stay and decay , our souls will wonder in search of anothr misteovus

place to live a better life to be free and be the person you want to be not who you are told.But, that is

only what I feel.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


by LaeLae
















































Monday, September 21, 2009

Where I'm From

by Unknown

I am from chicken


And hamburgers

Simmering slowly on the stove

I am from the heat and the sun

Beating down on me from high in the sky

While I play sports

I am from pencils,


And crayons

All working together to make a story

I am from a backyard

With swings,


And a sandbox

Playing all day long

I am from the bright blue water

Pulling me in the ocean

While I swim in the shallow shore

Where am I from …

by SoAy96

I am from lots of plants and trees

I am from dogs walking down the street with their cheerful owners

And Priuses coming down the street quieter than a mouse

I am from a quiet home and a loud neighborhood

I am from nice neighbors and organic gardens

And I am from little kids running around like an army of ants

I am from the smell of home cooked meals that my grandma makes

And pollen from roses and tulips

I am from the sewer on the corner that stinks the street up everyday ewwwwwwwww!!!!

I am from the STOP sign on the corner

And the liquor store around the corner

I am from the Taco Bell up the street

And the big T.V that’s all ways on

I come from mommy and granny flushin’ the toilet every 10 min.

I come from the stove cutting on and off night and day

I am from soap and a big shower

And scented lotion

I come from a variety of FOOD FOOD FOOD FOOD!!!!

I come from magazines,

Ritz crackers,

And movies, I come from a pregnant mommy,

A funny grandpa, AND A LOUD ME!!!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


by Queen4aday

old houses



loud hip hop music


down the street


i cant hear it



the beat)

in a worn-



as i smell

my dad making

a new recipe


to be




by piles

of too many books



in the wind




under my feet)




the street

south branch


(the smell of books


but yet sour)

in the shade

we sit


or to?

I am from

by WY

I am from the big couches from the parking lot full of red cars and yellow flowers on the sides
I am from the new cars trees and big houses from the old houses and the fresh smells of the air
I am from where the trains seem to control the people


by WahhBAM

I am from the pencils that yell out the ugliness
This place is degrading, a stink
It’s no good, no use
There is no oxygen, just fear that cloud in the atmosphere
Our homes are our turtle shell
The man holding the gun is possessed by evil spirits
I am from the bullets that are the ghosts that tease us with death
I am from the footsteps of these murderers that walk through the icy night
I am from the music that quake the Earth’s soul, the flashy cars that zoom down the block
I am room the rocking chair that whines and aches on the hardwood floors for so many generations of old people have sat on it
I am from the books that itch from someone to flip their pages.
They invade the human’s mind and create wonderful illusions
The books are just like cigarettes
The words are the nicotine
You’re Lifeless, Empty, Lost without them

I am from

by MJ

I am from the orchids on my windowsill and the still-water
Pond in my back yard .I am from the delicate stars
Shimmering in the almost pitch dark sky. I am from
The dark shadows of the moon I am from the horrible joke
Of some thing that looks like a dog walling back-wards. I am from
The music that moves me. And the instructions my mom gives me that goes
in one ear and out the other. That were I am from

I am from

by MC

I am from the couch
Of watching TV or playing
My ‘Wii’

I am from my mama’s
Cooking to point
I can taste it.

I am from the markers and
Crayons in which I
Use to draw with.

I am from the loud noise’s
Of the streets to the quite
Noise’s of my house.
I am from my family, that they
Say the funniest things. So
That’s were I am from
And that’s were I am staying.

I am from.

by JC

I am from the assume bloom who fight and
And strugg and do some doom
I like to smell I like beat and also I to sneak
I like going to the 45th and market store that’s where all
Me desires like to explore.

I am from all the sheep and when I try to go to sleep I
Like to go to sleep I like to do damage before I beep
But before day is over I want to cry but I cant because
It’s over now and when I wake I brush my teeth ant the day
Over so I can go to sleep

I'm from da streets

by JH

I am from da streets
Where resisting to kill
Is an insult to all
I’m from east Oakland
Where da youngstas get hyphy
Drink & smoke until they pass out
I’m from hatred & luv
Good , bad, happy & sad
Of the past & present
I’m from the place
Where fried chicken
Is the most popular food in the family
& soul food comes through the actual soul
I’m from da place called the upper hell
da smell of burning flesh
Is da smell of burning drugs
This is where I’m from
& it’s the truth

I’m from the where you wish you could be

by Sage

I’m from where you have summer winter spring and fall.
Where everyone wants to have a ball
I am from where everyone is rolling down the streets.
And where nothing is never neat.

I’m from where you have trains.
Where in downtown people walk in different lanes.
I’m from where Malcolm X used to live
Where the city is one of my middle names.

Where 125th street is insane
Where the block parties are never lame
I am from where is defined by a series
Of boom and bust cycles
Where everyone misses Michael

All you hear are the kids saying What’s Good?
Where single moms do the best they could
You hear Boom! Almost every night
Because all kids want to do is fight

Where the Apollo is the African American soul
Harlem-gold and very bold

I am from

by IB

I am from a very boring house
where its very quiet and clean

i am from the house of the funny mother
whose always making me laugh

i am from the house by the loud trains
The trains are always loud but now im used to the loudness

I am from the house where nobody cooks, so i have to cook for myself

I am from

by The Hatter

I am from towering shelves of books that cast dark shadows in every room of my house, from jazz music seeping past the door of my mother’s study and from the crackle of yellowed pages turning in my father’s room.

I am from shiny black lockers and dull gray linoleum, from words sharp as knives being tossed around as if they mean nothing, and from the echo of basketballs hitting tarmac, from the clang of a metal hoop as some tall, unidentified figure scores a basket.

I am from bushy-tailed squirrels who scamper across tree branches, from the harsh crunch of shoes crushing dead leaves, from the brief zooms of passing cars and from the reassuring smell of freshly mown grass and the sweet scent coming from the rosebush outside my house.

I am from green eyes, dark hair, Hitchcock thrillers, go away please sweetie I’m trying to concentrate, music, I need some coffee RIGHT NOW, books, stop making fun of my accent, math, oh God I hope I don’t end up on the freeway, faculty meetings, come lay the table, I love you and goodnight.

I am from

by Mr.Jones

I am from where the people play their music loud
I am form where drug attic live

I see a lot of kids playing out side
I see kids playing football

I here people yelling and screaming
I here people shooting at night.

I live by pack and save
I live by game stop

I smell my mom cooking
I smell a lot garbage out side my house

I am from

by John

I am from a house of three in west Oakland ca.
I live with my mother and my little sister.
I have one little sister and three brothers.
I am a one of my brothers and to my one little sister.
I was born in Berkeley ca. but I was raised in east Oakland ca.
I am 14 years old.
My big brothers is 18 & 17 and my little brother Is 14 years old.
I went to Webster elementary school in east Oakland ca.
I moved from east Oakland when I was 7 years old then we moved to west Oakland and that’s when my little sister was born.

Deep Dark Hole

by LT

I am from a deep dark hole, in the middle of golden state.
People roam the streets with heavy fire power and the only sounds you can hear is people screaming in pain and agony. It smells like blood and gasoline, you see a noose hanging from each tree while blood is dripping from them.

Bodies blood brains everywhere boom!
Is what you hear as you travel deeper in my dark hole.

It’s a horrible place to be
it rains acid and sometimes even bodies
when heaven is filled up with too many of them.

People have made car dealerships named death ride and the other store is blood bath and beyond!!!!
The grocery store sells human heads and animal parts...
My house is made of animal bones and the doorbell has a man screaming when you ring it.
you smell burning bodies and hear people screaming for mercy
i open the door for you while im slaughtering a helpless infant

I am from

by CF

I am from a charm
On a shiny bracelet
Hanging from someone’s arm

I am from the sky were the
Stars shine so bright

I am from the kitchen
Where I drink milk and eat cereal

I am from Claremont
Middle school where I
Get a good education


I Am From

by CH

I am from basket
from basketball and bqq sauce

I am from the clean in the washroom
black,lightly it seeks through my eyes

I am from brand new hot chips thats hotter than hot sauce
that I smell hamburgers,.fried chicken
I smell people bqq in the neighborhood
and wish I can fly to it

I am from the a city where there is violence on every
corner none stop

I am from the smell of fresh and clean and organized
when people see me it has to be perfect.

I am from a family who want everything perfect.
Family sticks by your side like white on rice THAT WHERE I AM FROM!

I Am From

by Line Rider

I am from the radio at night
I am from the people who look outside the window
And who look at the rubble

I am from the scent of joy and the taste of food
When evil collides with good you get gray
And when planes collide with buildings, you get terrorism

I am from death, life and thoughts, and the cookie jar,
That is on the counter and the video games in the garage
And I am from the philosophers and comedians

I am from the uninteresting interests of interesting idiots
And I am from whites, blacks, dogs and cats
And I am from where I am from.

I am……Ajanai

By: NayNayBaybe

I am 4rm a family 0v 7
A m0m a dad 3 sistas and a br0tha
I am 4rm listening 2 my parents telling me 2 d0 gud in sk00l
2 having a lil sista invade my space

I am 4rm a m0tha dat c00kz eryday
2 a dad sat kax bak and watchz tv

I am 4rm a mama c00kin everyday
2 a dad dat kix bak an watchez tv
I am 4rma 3 bedr00m h0wse in east 0akland
2 a sk00l named Clarem0nt
I am 4rma sk00l dat haz many strange ppl
2 a h0wse wit my family…

Deep Thoughts

By SuperChick

I am from the hospital of Monterey where I took my first breath .
I am from Chinese and Hawaiian restaurants in the reserved section stuffing my face with everything on the menu.
I am from sitting quietly watching the little one scream , shout and stain the couch with his tears.
I am from the pond of frogs I released on my grandmas lawn.
I am from the loud cries and of growing up and deep regret for wishing him away.
I am from the blue skies and the soothing waves on the orange water during a sunset wishing to never abandon my thoughts.
I am from the constant wish to get up and move , to go adventure other places and to search what would really make me say “wow”.
That’s where in from and that’s where I hope I’ll stay !

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I am from

by PW

I am from Cheddar City,

Things I see, hear, and smell is not nice.

I am from police cars flying down the street.,

I am from rap music, street fights, wild party’s, police & ambulance sirens

I am from the Delesbore and Jones’

I am from a very large.

I am from mixed races

I am from the Creo, the German, the Black and the White.

I am from that big house on the left,

I am from brown tables, comfy beds, and my computer.

I am from my big brothers load music to my niece & nephew screaming,

I am from dogs barking and babies screaming down the streets,

I am from Cheddar City & it’s going to stay that way.

I am from

by AT

I am from a sport that is unknown

Im from a moving island that is a lot like the amazon

Hot dogs and whoppers is where I came from.

Skating is my favorite

the friends the style

the war and the believers

something u have to live to


im an individual and I will prevail

San Leandro

by DV

I Am FrOm ThE HoOd Of bAy FaIr WheRe KiDs AnD PeOpLe DiE. I Am FrOm ThE FaMiLY Of JoHnSoN ,TaYloR ,HaRrIs, VaUgHn. I Am ThE ScHoOl Of ClArEmOnT WheRe I SeE KiDs SmAlL AnD TaLl . WhErE SmElL FrEsH aIR AnD HeAr KiDs RuNnInG AnD PlAyInG. I Am FrOm tHE HoUsE in san leandro where I see rooms and brooms.WhErE I HeAr My FaMiLy VoIces.

The Best Place


Flowers bloom,
Angels groom right over my head
No more fighting,crying or tears shed
Imagine this place,then you will race, face to face
with this place.

I feel

by Pete

I am from a place of despair where no-one is to care. I am from a place of low tolerance.

I feel like I'm trapped in a never ending vortex and there's no way out, no-one to help me. To fight

in what you believe in is to be tight, to break free from the cuffs of life is to be the person you want

to be. The waves of life that control me can no longer restrain or contain the beast inside of me. The dreams that drift along will soon come back and let men dream again.The pages of the book waiting to

waiting to spill the secrets that they hid from the people that They read, word to word story to story.

Ashes to ashes, our bodies will stay and decay , our souls will wonder in search of another mischievous

place to live a better life to be free and be the person you want to be not who you are told.But, that is

only what I feel.


By Joe.Lason

A place I am from the ghetto , the sights I can see .

I see trash blowing across the side walk .I see fire burning .

I see bums begging for change .Things I hear screeching of the

bart train screeching loudly and annoying.

Things I smell sometimes I smell the awful smell of bums.

The nasty smell of dog manure. The disgusting smell of pee.

The sights I see in my house I can see the news

with awful reports of black people killing other black people

I hear loud RAP!!!!!!!! that these black people are always playing!!!!!

talking about killing and shooting people. I smell the wonderful fried chicken.

abandon & ready to go home

by NJ

I am from & I am in a place where no one

seems to care any more .

Broken heart passion & no feelings for you or no one

else for sure . Come on a journey come to my world

a place were I call home Oakland Ca , & its where I no

I belong ! & not to try to dis no other place .

But theres no where else like east Oakland Ca ,

& NO other face .

My Life

By SwaggaBlog

I am from a place where there
is no water near by. Things like
sounds,voices,music,etc. . . . is not
allowed. When I walk outside, I can
smell the fries, hamburgers,chicken nuggets,
onion rings and ice cream in Burger king during
lunch time. I can see stores being opened,
buildings being and much much more.

When Im at home, I can visualize the present
yesterday from the future today. I can hear the
songs that Micheal Jackson made in remembrance
of him and his life.
When I see my mom cooking, I can smell chicken,
I can see movies on one bookshelf, video games on
another bookshelf and books on the last bookshelf.

When I can visualize my family, the people in my family
reminds me of the actors in Tyler Perry's house of pain.
When I hear my cousins talking to my friends they use
slang words like: yb,blood,broskie,raw,ice,saucy,etc...
When I do something wrong I get yelled at then they
talk about things I can be a better person.
The names in my family reminds me of wonderful
people in this world.

When im at school I see people from thousands of different places
I always hear someone in trouble and much more
I see pizza and chicken and it smells wonderful
I learn lessons the hard way when I am at school for a kid in this life.


by MM

I am from Oakland, where our people fight for where they are from.
I am from the hood where gunshots are common.
I am from the enjoyment of barbecues at a neighborhood park.
I am from the smell of hot links, hot dogs, hamburger and other delicious food, which is a daily occurrence at my house.
I am from the openness of my apartment complex where there are people waiting to welcome you.
Where there are annual get togethers where we talk about movies, sports, and other types of things.
I am from the town where black men die on a daily basis.
I am from a family that thinks we need to SILENCE the VIOLENCE.
I am from a proud people with a wonderful heritage.

I am Cris Castillo

I am a mellow breeze,

Flowing through the fountain of youth.

I dip my toe into the water,

I went from a size 8 to a size 2

I am from the lonely star,

In the biggest of constellations.

I soar across space,

Searching for the right place.

I am the Latin fire,

With the desire to go higher.

I am from the land of Perfectionist,

Where “good” isn’t good enough

I am as big as the Beatles,

Brave, bold, and brilliantly sound at what I do.

I am from the algebra book,

Confusing but catches your attention,

And makes you look.

I’m easy to describe on the diamond.

And the type of person you’ll remember,

By watching me play once.

Black Lagoon

By DeEpFlutE

I am from the black lagoon in which it smells like the peace and independence
The lagoon in which diseases, speech, religion, and sexuality roam free
Steamy polluted air touches my skin during the day
I hear the horns of cars passing by during the day
I am from the groups of each Oakland and personality

I Am from the black lagoon……………………

I am from

by CorporalAfro

I am from
Dirt roads
Empty cans and bottles
The sweet musical chirps of birds
Interrupted by the revs of Toyotas
I am from
Breaded Chicken
Baby Teeth
Rusted trash cans
And tap water
I am from
Stale Popcorn
Loud clothes
And Puppy love
I am from
Births, Killing and then being born again
I am from broken windows
Leaking Pipes
Global Warming
I am from Crying Cattle
Bathing Babies
And Toasty Beds
I am from yesterday today and tomorrow
I was from Texas
I am now from the west
Of shiny places
And unfamiliar faces
Tall buildings
And honks of Cadillacs murky sewers
filled with rats
I am now from big bridges
And streetlights
And Billboards
Get this today!
It’s new
It’s Now
It’s pow
I am now from
Wobbly desks
And loose pages
Baby pistol
And big business
Hills and cable cars
and safe-keeping
I am now from California

Taco's Poem

by Taco123

I am from Oakland, where there are killings and lots of tacos

I am from where I don’t do my homework
And still get good grades

I am from where I eat tacos and burritos until I blow up

I am from hanging with girls and partying all night

I am from getting money and buying anything I want

I am from kissing my tacos before I eat them

Where I’m from

by Joey Bagadonuts

I’m from neighbors, grass and trees,
Swaying in the wind.
I’m from the constant roar of engines.
I’m from the scrumptious aroma
Of a BBQ down the block.
I’m from Broadway, people are always so busy.

I’m from snow cone syrup,
Sweet and tasty.
I’m from half a muffin,
Sitting lonely on the counter.
I’m from dinner, probably something good.
I’m from the stereo, playing softly in the background.

I’m from long hair,
Colorful eyes, greens and blues, I’m from R.H.I.P, rank has its privileges, says my family.
I’m from all of these things and I hope they last.

I Am From

by BCK

I am from the lonely street
With quiet voices
Amid the fresh air
I am from the house of dindin
And smells wafting through
from the kitchen

But I am also from
The swearing and fighting school
I am from the weed filled bathrooms
The smell lingers in your nose
I am from basketball at lunch
Football during PE
That is where
I am from

I am from

by Base

I am from east Oakland chilling in my room watching tv & eating snacks.

I am tacos,hamburgers,spicy chicken and a boy I am hungry can you turn down the smell!?.

I am from a back yard with a lot of kids I was sure that those little kids were my family.

I am from the Hammock

By Da’Vine

I am from the hammock
With a book in my hands
The feeling of motion sickness
Wanting to get my sleeping bag
Waiting so I can stop reading and hear
“Dinner's ready”

I am from the Cloehawk
Making the “boing" on the trampoline
From the chloe yelling at the TV
The apartment doors all down the hall
The smell of blackberries
And passionfruit

I Am From

by KJ

I am from home cooking on the holidays .

I am from barking dogs that never rest .

I am from cold winter nights and hot summer days .

I am from a family where nothing is kept a secret .

I am from good books I can’t put down .

I am from

by Yung Soup

cars that ride on 24” rims back home in Seattle.
Always hearing music blasting out there.
I like to hang out with my caseins and go to parties.
The neighborhood I grew up in is called south Seattle
out there it rain and snow when it snow
it's fun to be in
and when its sunny in Seattle
it's a great place to live and to go sight seeing
also I lived out there cause I was born there.
Thats where I am from and thats my favorite spot to be
and thats where I want to go back
and thats were u would want to see
if u go out there you would like the space needle.

Monday, September 14, 2009


BY: too.goofy





I am from the oak trees

by AK

I am from shady oak trees,where

one mans trash is another

ones treasure,and grandpas stinky feet

I am from heavenly fresh baked fish,

hungry man,falafel,and a empty dish.

The cafeteria lady glares an expression of

grief,smiles fakely and says,”chicken or beef.”

I am from almond eyes,black hair,

a gigantic dining table and a blue teddy bear.

A pointy diamond,antenna t.v. And spngebob

screaming on t.v.

if you ask me where im from, id know exactly

what to say. where cars never stop,girls gossip

all day.

I live where theres millions of smells,exotic,fresh,

stinky,expensive,burnt,and sweaty, moms cookies,

spoiled school milk,and grandmas spaghetti.

I know where im from and where im gonna be.

its the loud halls,squeaky chairs,and the shady oak trees.

I am from

by Ashley

I am from

How to be a good person

Black and brown hair

My mom dad sister brother cousin

Can you do me a favor

I am from

T.V computers pictures tables couches

Typing talking radios

I am from

Houses plants cars

Cars zooming past

Food from people cooking

I am from

Here there and every were

I am from

by Tavy

I am from riding skateboards

Going to school

Buying new shoes.

I am from fried chicken

Papaya salad

I am from fish

And now I’m hungry

I am from NO! You can't borrow money

You can't have the money I earn

You don’t deserve it

I’m not a bank

I am from asking, “how much does this cost”?

Trying new shoes

I need new shoes

I got those shoes

I am from thinking about traveling the world

Trying different types of food

Mmmm! That tastes good

That’s where I’m from

That’s where I want to be from.

scraper bike

by MH

I am from Oakland were people get smoke all the day

I am from the scraper bike world
where we scrape all the day
this how it goes down
im cruzing down my scraper bike
im cruzing down my scraper bike
my scraper bike got bars
I don’t need a car
im cruzing down my scraper bike
I got 26 inches on my scraper bike
im scraping down my scraper bike
I go hard
like a bully on mars
or I might just push you going 18 dummy doing the push you
im cruzing down my scraper bike
im cruzing down my scraper bike.

The shape of your face

by JL

A set of houses, cars, and blank faces, others rolling through with deep sound in tune with friends knocking.
The fresh smell in the morning of freshly watered grass, waking up to accurate clocking.
Day and night seeing family roam past mirrors in a reflective ricochet of people, music, and the succulent smell of cooking and shampoo with intelligence against the walls.

Everyday I hear the same sounds like an old event in a time machine running its course.
In a place with gates and doors hundreds run and roar,
and writing,
listening and debating.
Everything is clear to me, I can see your voice, I can hear the shape of your face, I can feel every breath of the environmental life, I can see.
I can see this page is can be only good.

I'm from Atlanta

by Prettygurldeija

I’m from Atlanta the home of getting crunk and going out and going out at night. I’m from the home of BBQ where ribs and hot links are good with BBQ sauce. I’m from music blasting and the base is very loud. I’m from flowers where the bees take the pollen.

I’m from TV’s where it tells you about life and important things in life. I’m from the park where people have birthday parties and hangout. I’m from my mom who fills me with joy and good thoughts and goals. I’m from the doctor who makes sure I’m not sick and don’t have any diseases. I’m from my room where it’s filled with body lotions and body spray.

I’m from exercising which keeps you healthy and fit.
I’m from food that has a lot of flavor. I’m from money that helps out with bills, child support, and school supplies. I’m from college that helps you get a good education and better careers. I’m from hair that smells good, and im from teachers who teaches you about education and good goals.

I Am

by KH

I am from my mom
The women who gave birth to me and have good goals for me to succeed.

I am from Oakland where people get active
And don’t care about nothing.
I am from the hot cooking grease where the chicken is crispy and good to eat.

I am from my granny
The women who took care of me and always told me, “you're going to make it” before she passed.
I am from Foodmax the place where I get milk, eggs cheese.

I am from god the man who created this earth.
I am from teachers who give me an education and say “Khaleeqa you could do it only if u put your mind to it, you could accomplish your goals.”

I am from the family who is very loud and like to stay by each other’s side like bread an butter

I am from the spark

by 6tabdanger

I am from the house of, “work first and play last” the words from my dad Tyrone Jamal Dangerfield…..

I am from the school of whistles, kids yelling and pencils falling….
I am from the place where hand sanitizer is Highly Recommended because
It’s filthy……

I am from the world of skateboarding, magazines, and
music….the world of skinny jeans and hats….

I am from the neighborhood of ice cream man bells, wind chimes,
And barking……

I am from the spark that makes your idea bright...the same
Spark that lights the dark so you can know your left from your right…
I am the song that the building refused!!!!!

I am.

by EB

I am.

I am from apple pie and poached peaches. I am from the moon and the sun, from my brother’s evil laugh and the sweet soft chuckle of my sister-in-law.

I am from the bee’s buzz and the apple blossoms blooming in my backyard.

I am from skulls and schools. I’m from the love of my family and the soft sound of old rock-and-roll. I am from that’s not right and you always mess up.

I hear a lot of yelling and kids playing basketball

by OA

I hear a lot of yelling and kids playing basketball
I smell pizza from the cafeteria
and in school I'm learning dialect
I smell food when my mama cooking
I smell shampoo when I'm washing my hair
around my house I see a lot of kids playing football with each other
I hear a lot of music around my house
I smell jack n' boxes
I make a lot of noise when I'm around my friends
We like to go to parties and chill at home

Where I'm From

by unknown

I am from chicken


And hamburgers

Simmering slowly on the stove

I am from the heat and the sun

Beating down on me from high in the sky

While I play sports

I am from pencils,


And crayons

All working together to make a story

I am from a backyard

With swings,


And a sandbox

Playing all day long

I am from the bright blue water

Pulling me in the ocean

While I swim in the shallow shore

I'm from the house of the new

English Language Arts Content Standards - Curriculum Frameworks (CA Dept of Education)

by Holmie

I'm from the house of the new

the house of the old

the shop up the street

the Donuts and Ribs

Burgers and fries

I am from the sound of sirens

to the sound of nothingness

I am from the civil war to World War two

The gun of the marines

to the Navy's dress

I am from the music of the south

and the music of the west

the games of war

to the games of sports

I'm from myself and you

him and her

we look laugh play

and have fun

we sit eat talk

and mess around

we walk yell

and act a fool

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Introduction to the Autobiographical Narratives

by Ms. Thaler

As one of my students writes, middle school is a lot like a roller coaster. While he was referring to the student experience, I can vouch for the fact that teaching in middle school has its ups, downs, and loop-de-loops as well. For me, this year has included many joys. I’ve seen students’ faces light up as they mastered a new vocabulary word or saw their own improvement as readers and writers. I’ve guided students who previously hadn’t had any classes together in collaborating successfully on projects. Meanwhile, I’ve gotten to know my bright and talented students during spirited class discussions, after-school conversations, and even a small group foray to see the premiere of Twilight. I celebrated my birthday at school, and was completely amazed by the outpouring of birthday wishes, cards, and even treats I received from my students.

My year has also included its share of sorrows. I’ve had to bid farewell to students I cared deeply about, who were leaving to attend other schools. I’ve seen my students endure many hardships, both in and out of school. And along with parents, other teachers, and community members, I’ve struggled to understand and cope with the upcoming budget cuts that will deeply affect the Claremont community.

Those are just some of my memories of this, my first year teaching at Claremont. The essays that follow describe, in their own words, experiences that my students have had over their middle school years that have taught them something, changed them in some fundamental way, or made them who they are today. Their experiences and voices are as diverse and unique as they are, and I feel honored to have been able to glimpse these snapshots of each of their roller coaster rides. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

My Story

by DW

August 28th, the first day of my first day of 6th grade at Claremont Middle
School, and I was kinda shy when I steped on campus. It was kinda different from
elementary, and when I got to my first class I was happy because I made a lot of
patnas and we had some good times that fist day at school. I wanted to go back to
school really bad because it was so fun. The next day I had gotten more confident to
talk to other people to make friends and luckily I had a lot of cousins that went
here in my first year at Claremont, so I had nothing to worry about, because they
had my back and I had theirs, because we were close like that. When I used to get
into fights they made sure I didn't get jumped. That's why I liked my first year in
middle school and I never wanted to leave Claremont.

The summer of '06, before 7th grade, was the best summer ever, because
that was the last months I spent with my uncle before he died on December 23,
2006. The day he died was one of the worst days of my life, because he was always
there for me all the time. Back then I really didn't have a Dad, so he was like a Dad
to me. When he died I was so sad and angry. I didn't get over that until my 8th grade
year, so that really messed up my life. Back then, when I would think about him I
felt like I just wanted to kill myself, because he was a dad, friend, and uncle to me.
I started getting worse in my classwork, and that's what really messed me up in my
7th grade year at Claremont.

Now I can think about my uncle and not get mad, because I know he's in a
better place, so I feel better about it. Now I'm in my last two weeks at Claremont. I
might not graduate from middle school. I learned that you should always think
about your class work before anything so you can graduate. I also learned that
getting over death takes time.

My Middle School Lifestyle

by KW

It all started in middle school in 6th grade. I have been changing a lot ever since I can remember. The people I hung with were bad. They skipped school, skipped class and even were disrespectful to their elders. I was getting so many bad grades, it wasn’t even pretty. I started skipping school in 7th grade. I was disrespectful to my teachers…I don’t know why but I was. When I was in 7th grade I was even worse, I was staying out late and was coming to school late. But when I got in 8th grade I couldn’t trust nobody. I had to keep to myself. I was starting to get good grades. I was in so much stuff this year because females were hating on me, but I got over that.

So now I’m trying to get these good grades because I’m stressing so much because all the stuff I’m going through outside of school and inside of school. It’s affecting me in school because of all the stress, but I just have to leave that alone. I have to focus in school more now cause I only have one more week to get this 2.0. I’m not trying to repeat this grade over. It’s not going to happen. And it’s like my teachers are failing me on purpose. But I don’t know. So now I’m in danger because I only have 1 more week until this marking period ends. So I’m counting on myself to get this done, and my teacher, Ms.Thaler, is too. So now I’m so mad because people keep talking mess about me and my sis but there’s nothing I could do about it, and if that really gets on my nerves then I’m going to have to do something about that, but I’m not going to even trip off that.

Now I only have one week left to bring up my grades. I’m starting to do pretty good on my work so my grades could come up. The only thing I have to do is do my math project, and I think that’s about it. I need to come to school on time and do all my work for my A day and B day classes. When I accomplish this I will really be proud of myself and I will be able to move on to high school.

From Friends to Fights

by YungAce

My life in middle school obviously starts in the sixth grade, but not at Claremont. It was at Sankofa. My first day was cool because that's when I met my first middle school friends. Troy and Hosea were their names. We were real cool and we found out we all like basketball. The end of the school year came along and it came to be that Sankofa was getting dropped to just an elementary school, so we all made a big choice to go to Claremont.

It was a new year for new beginnings and it started at Claremont Middle School. First me, Troy, and Hosea saw each other waiting in line for enrollment, but what I didn't tell you was two other dudes went to sixth grade with me, too: Leon and Alphonso. We ended up seeing them too, and Troy, Hosea, Leon, and Alphonso had another patna by the name of De'Markus. We all ended up having either most or all of our classes together, and that changed a lot of stuff about me. I became a comedian, in a way, but also I learned how life can be like real and fake people. Some of them started to act differently than they had before, and I saw that people are different around their friends. Also, I saw my cousin Mike Lusk and I met Kelman, Jeremiah, and my cousin Kyle. We all played on the seventh grade basketball team all last year. The only thing we did was go around having fun, messing with people and stuff. The end of the school year came and we went swimming, had water fights, the whole nine.

So now we have our 8th grade year. This year has been up and down, from friends to fights. I lost friends from moving away, and also from homicide, but when football and basketball season came it was their lives I dedicated it to. Although I had a great season in both sports I still had school and home to deal with. School was cool in the beginning but just because I did well I started to fall off. The end of the year is near and I messed up twice. I have one more chance to do good, and I have no other choice but to do good so I can finish my athletic career.

This has been my life story in middle school and it has been a bumpy ride. Hopefully from now on my school life will be way smoother.

Memorial Day Weekend

by nascar11

My four day weekend was really fun. Friday I went to my cousin's house. We went to the "Louisiana Chicken" on 38th Ave. That's the best food place in the 30's, almost. I got something new this time, the shrimp dinner: six pieces of shrimp and fries, with a suicide soda (mixed flavors). I always get that kind of soda though. That day was funny, my friend drank the rest of my soda and just like NuNu on ATL (the movie) I said "C you drank all my soda!” After that we had a water fight. That day my goal was to wet his face with water and ice!

Saturday I went back to my cousin’s house. We didn't really have anything planned until later that day, when we were going bowling. Earlier we just played outside with each other, ate, and then went to the T-Mobile store. I saw a bunch of phones that I liked. One really "different" one that looked like a digital camera but it was a phone, really cool. Later, like around 8:30pm, we went bowling, laugh out loud. How cute, everybody really thought they could beat me. We made bets, so as long as I live I will never be broke because someone always owes me.

Sunday I went back over there but only for like two hours. Before 5pm my sister came and got me and we headed to her house, well, my god mom’s house. Before we went home we went to the Concord mall, then to Forever 21. After that we went to Popeye’s, my first time ever going there. Mmh hmm it was good, I got the kids meal nuggets and my sister got "naked" chicken. We ate on the way to the house. When we got there we left right back out to meet my god mom at Target. We played around in there for a little while, then we went to the second greatest grocery store ever...Win.Co! My sister and I were "Jerkin'"(the dance), eating candy, having races, and everything. We headed home after about 30-45 minutes. Basically the whole night we were running in and out, but having fun. I went to bed at 1:05am, exactly.

9:20am Monday morning I woke up to a phone call from my cousin saying "Zaayyy...what are you doing." I said in a groggy tone, "Nothing, I'ma call you when I wake up." That lasted for about 37 seconds. From there on my Memorial Day begun. My god mom, two god sisters and I started the process of getting dressed. With packaged up meat we headed out to Oakland.

After we arrived and chilled at my grandma's for a couple hours, we started eating. Dirty rice, ribs, chicken, potato salad, and beans. Of course we had the desserts: banana pudding, seven up cake, and whatever we went to the store to buy. Anywho, Monday 5/25/09 was a really fun day. Oh yeah, and it was my brother's 18th birthday.

I think this whole weekend changed my life for the better. Well, at least opened my mind up more. It showed me I could always count and depend on family for anything, no matter if they get mad or not- especially now that I'm getting older. It showed me to not be shy in front of my female family members. Be myself, the real me!

The Pass of the Past!

by Sparkus

My middle school years have been weird, interesting, and crazy all in one. But one aspect changed the rest of my life. When I first got to middle school I wanted to be on the basketball team like hell! So I waited and waited for tryouts but they didn't come. I was hella mad. Finally, one day the basketball coach, Coach D, announced that he was going to hold tryouts. Tryout day came, I went, and I tried my best. ‘’But not hard enough’’ coach D said. ‘’You didn't pass the ball enough,’’ he told me. I didn't make the team, I was hella mad, and I almost gave up on basketball.

The next year I moved from my old house into a new one, so I transferred schools into Claremont; I was juiced that I was at a new school. I only got in trouble one time, but it was a real big mistake. I was on DHP and couldn't come back until after a court date. Then, in late November, I was able to come back right in time for basketball season. I went to tryouts where I met Coach Finch, excellent coach! I gave it my all and passed the ball more, and I made it too! I was so hella excited, I called my mom at lunch and told her about it. Everything was going great for the season, but at the end of the season we didn't come home with a championship. I was hella upset!

Then my house caught on fire, less than a week before school got out, so I had relocate again. So over the summer I had to move to a new house in east Oakland, but I still attended Claremont for my last year in middle school. I couldn’t wait to start school over again.The school year came real fast, I was ready for basketball season, but it seemed like it took forever to come. Finally the principal announced one day that tryouts would be held in the gym. I was so juiced! So I went to the tryouts that day and gave it my all. I felt greater than ever!

The next week coach Finch announced who was on the team, and I made it! I wasn’t starting because of my grades, but I still made it. My skills this year were better than last year’s. So I was very confident in myself that I would be able to start. In December was the Christmas tournament. I started and we won our first two games aginst Elmhurst and Bret Hart. Then we played in the championship and lost to Montera. It was very upsetting but we played our best, but they played better.

As my mom told me, sometimes you win some, and sometimes you lose some, but next time try harder then you did the first time. Since then every game I play I put everything I got into that game, whether I win or lose. I still try my best to win every game. My middle school experiences changed my life, since then everything I do, I try my best and and I’m determined to win. People often tell me that I’m good at almost everything I do, but I say I want to be the best at almost everything I do!!

My Florida Trip

by JW

When I first started playing football I thought it would be about just about winning. I play for the East Bay Warriors. We went undefeated this whole year and for that we got invited to play in a football tournament in Florida. We were going to be out there for about a week and a half. There were two teams that made it that played for East Bay Warriors: my team, the Wolf Pack, and the younger team, the Wolverines. This was a great experience for me because I hadn’t been on a plane ever in my life. (Well, one time I had, but it was when I was little and I don’t really remember so I don’t count it.) To get there we had to take a couple of planes. It was very fun because me and other friends were throwing napkins at people. Each plane ride took about 45 minutes, but the longest plane ride was five hours. After the plane ride we had to take a bus to the Disney resort. It took about 45 minutes to get there, by that time it was about 6:00 and it was starting to get dark. Out in Florida they are three hours ahead of us out here in California.
When I first got to the Disney resort we had to go in this tent and wait for the other buses to get there. I was in the first bus that got there, so my teammates and I were playing ping-pong in the tent. It took the other buses about an hour to get to the rendezvous spot in front of the resort. When the rest of the team got there we had to be put in groups. My group was my cousin Marjani, Six Footer, and Coach Troy. In Florida there are a lot of things to do, like the food court, arcade room, and a lot of pools. For me I couldn’t eat a lot like I wanted to because I’m an “Older lighter.” An older lighter is when you are over the age limit for a team, but your weight is accepted. I was disappointed because they had a lot of food I wanted to eat. The weight limit was 109, so I had to lose three pounds to be certified to play in the game. The good thing about it was we only had to weigh in one time, so once we made weight that time we were clear for all the games. I learned how to set a goal for myself (to make weight), and that changed my life.

Our third day there we had practice. We had to practice our plays and work on our football positions. For practice we also had to watch the other team’s films so we would know what we were going up against. We didn’t have a fully padded practice; we only had our jerseys and our East Bay shorts. We practiced for about two hours learning plays and working out. Everyone besides me and a couple of other players had to practice extra hard to lose a few pounds so we could be eligible to play. After all our practices the coaches give us an important speech about the game we were getting ready for.

The very next day we had our first game. I made weight that day so I was certified to play in the game. We had to play this team from Hawaii. They were bigger than all of us but not faster or smarter. Even though they were bigger than us we were not intimidated. All of my teammates were ready to win and blow them out.

We had to kick off first and our kicker is good, so he launched it about 80 yards. We rushed down the field and stopped them at the 35 yard line. We were on defense and we did not let them get the first down. We stopped them, so it was a turnover on downs. My team is dominant on offense so we ran them all around the field. They were too big and to sluggish to keep up with us. I scored and a bunch of other kids on my team scored and the game was eventually over.

After the game we went out to eat at this all-the-lobster-you-can-eat restaurant. I was so happy because I didn’t have to worry about my weight or anything. The next day we had to play this team from Seattle. This was the hardest game we ever played in our whole life. We played four whole quarters without scoring. Then we had to go into overtime and we still didn’t score. So we had to go into overtime again, and we finally scored! But then as soon as we scored, they scored, and that just dropped our spirits very low. So it was a tie game, both teams we both tired, and there were a few minutes on the clock. We held them down for a very long time but then they found a flaw in our defense and scored. The game was over and our team walked away in shame to our bus and on our way to the Disney Resort.

The rest of the stay there was so shameful because we had to think of our great loss, but we also had more time to talk to girls, get on roller coasters at Disneyworld, and buy new souvenirs to bring back to Oakland. I learned from this experience because that was my first time playing in a national championship and having a long plane ride with my good friends without having parent supervision. Playing with a championship team made me a better football player and a more independent and self-sufficient young man.

Over the Years

by sk8rboi

For me, middle school has been the most difficult situation I have had to overcome. During my 6th grade year, I moved to Walnut Creek. The reason my family had to move was because my mom and dad were getting a divorce and my mom couldn’t afford the house we were living in. So we decided to move to Walnut Creek to be closer to family.

At my old school, hardly anyone did anything right. Everyone was tardy to class, cutting, smoking all the time. Out of all the people I hung around, hardly anyone had good grades, so I fell into the trend of being tardy to almost every class and even skipping some days. The only thing that kept me on track there was skating. When my mom and brother and I moved to Walnut Creek, we stayed in my auntie’s two-bedroom apartment with her son because our place wasn’t done yet. This was all right because my cousin was my age, and he was the reason I was going to the school.
For the first few days at my new school, I was in shock. I had never seen so many white people in one place before. Right at the beginning of the year, I got into a fight in my P.E. class. Some girl tried to hit me with a hockey stick; I have no idea why. So then, being the smart boy that I am, I pushed her, and she went to the side to cry. I watched her boyfriend walk up to her, and I just knew I was going to get in trouble. Next thing you know, he was in my face, and I didn’t like that too much, so I knocked him out.

The same day I came back from suspension, I got into another altercation. I was walking to my first period class when someone bumped into me so hard I almost fell. Guess who it was? It was the guy’s friend. Now I was thinking to myself, I came to school to stay out of trouble, but it doesn’t seem to be working. When I got in the office, this time they were already talking about kicking me out of school, but they gave me one more chance to get it together.

My 7th grade year, I didn’t get into any fights. My only problem was my grades. I was sitting in class almost every day, not knowing what they were talking about. I felt like they were already on a college level, and it made me feel three years behind. I slowly got back to my old ways of being tardy and skipping class because I felt so out of place. There was one class I went to faithfully, and that was acting. Yes, because it was easy, but because of my teacher also. I guess I could say she made acting fun.

My main problem was English class. I failed the first three quarters of the course. If I didn’t pass the last quarter, I wouldn’t graduate the 7th grade on time. I had never failed a class in my life. I found out I failed the last quarter of English with about one week left in school. I don’t think I’ve ever been that mad before in my life. A few weeks after school ended, I took an English class in summer school so I could go to the next grade. I passed the class with an A, and boy, did it feel good.

Middle school was a big challenge for me, but it helped me to see all the things I needed to fix for the next level. I’m doing better in my 8th grade year- I’m not skipping school anymore, I don’t get in fights anymore, I do my work, and I’ve noticed some improvement in myself as an English student. I don’t know what the future holds for me… I’ll get there when I get there.

Middle School Years

by nonfiction

My first day of middle school in the 6th grade was scary! As soon as I stepped a foot on the Alvarado Middle school campus I was nervous. My mom and I went to the office of the school and sat there waiting for them to give me my schedule. While we were sitting there waiting, my heart felt as if it was going to jump out of my chest. Once they gave me my schedule it was time for my mom to leave, and after she left I felt alone and lost. It’s funny now, looking back on my sixth grade self.

The first class I had to go to was math. When I first walked in the classroom I felt like I didn’t belong. Everybody was staring at me like I was an alien from outer space, which made matters worse. When I sat down in my seat the teacher handed me a paper. I read the paper, and what do you know- it was a POP QUIZ!!! I was a little upset because here I am just coming out of summer vacation and a teacher gives me a pop quiz. I didn’t really remember anything on the paper so I felt I wasn’t going to do very well. Once that class was over I felt relieved and was ready to go to my next class, still feeling a little nervous.

The next class I had was pm core, a Language Arts and Social Studies class. Once that class was over I thought to myself that class was probably going to end up being my favorite class, because even though we did work, it was more relaxing.

After pm core we had lunch. During lunchtime I felt alone until I met up with my friends from the 4th and 5th grade. I was so happy when I saw them because they were people I knew and I no longer felt alone.

After lunchtime, the next class I had was art. When I walked in the art classroom I was excited because I liked to do art and couldn’t wait to start. My first day of art class we didn’t really do much and it was kind of boring. Art was my last class, and once it was over I met up with my friends again and we walked to the apartment complex where they lived and my mom worked, where I later lived. There we sat in the office for a minute and I told my mom about my first day of middle school.

Then we went to the park in the apartment complex. My friends introduced me to some other girls that went to Alvarado Middle School and lived in the apartment complex. One of the girls became my best friend later in the school year. My most memorable memories from the 6th grade are moving to Union City, going to my first dance, seeing my friends from the 4th and 5th grade, being on the step team at my school, our step performance, my best friend, and hanging out at the teen center with friends!

My 7th grade year at Claremont was fun. My cousin and I were excited because we finally went to the same school and lived next door to each other. The first day I was a little nervous, because once again I was going into a new school not knowing anyone besides my cousin, who was in a lower grade than I was. But as the school year went on I met new friends and experienced new things. My most memorable memories were meeting new people\friends, being on the honor roll with a grade point average of 3.25, doing my cell project that I made out of a cake, doing the math project that I made with a hanger, being in Avid, the field trips for Avid and being a farming intern.

Being a farming intern was super fun and knowing that you were going to get paid $250 made it even better and more exciting! Every day after school we would first do our homework and then begin farming. My favorite days were Thursdays, because we had a store in front of the school where we sold things we picked from our garden like parsley, tea, greens and seeds to grow things. Each day, we made at least $10-$15. Being a farming intern was also good for my speaking skills, because it taught us how to speak with others and persuade them to buy our products. When farming was over I was happy, but really sad at the same time. I was happy because I got paid and it was a great experience. I was sad because it was fun and I knew that I was going to miss everything. Once the 7th grade was over I felt sad, but I was excited because I was finally going to the 8th!

Before I went to the 8th grade I experienced something that was very different and a little scary. It was the first time I got strep throat. The night before I just washed my hair but I guess I made the mistake of going to bed with it wet, which I have done before. In the morning I was not feeling well at all, but I thought it was just a simple sore throat. So I thought everything was fine and went swimming with Shaliah (I was forced to go, hahaha).

The next few days I felt horrible. My throat felt as if it was swollen, I felt super dizzy, I had no appetite and my throat was hurting so bad that I couldn’t sleep and even cried. My mom gave me some medicine because we thought it wasn’t something I needed to go to the hospital. After about 30 minutes I began to break out into little bumps all over my neck and arms. The next morning my mom and I knew it wasn’t just a sore throat, so she took me to Children’s Hospital. We waited in the waiting room for like an hour, then finally we saw the doctor and he told us that I had a slight fever (101) and had strep throat. It took about a week and a half for me to get fully over it, but luckily I was over it before my family reunion.

There are a lot of memories from my 8th grade school year. My first is finally getting a grade point average of 3.86. The way I found out made it even more exciting. I got a letter inviting me to an award ceremony where they acknowledged all the African American students who earned a grade point average of 3.0 and higher. My second memory is playing on the Claremont girl’s basketball team. Playing on the basketball team was super fun! I was so nervous when we played our first game, but there was no need because we beat Piedmont. We won four games and lost three. My favorite game was when we played OMI and I scored 10 points! I even got a buzzer shot. The last game was really sad, because I loved playing in the basketball games. I was also happy though, because at least we won our last game.

My third memory from the 8th grade is having a boyfriend. I experienced things that were new, like kissing, hugging and falling in “love.” These experiences changed me though the 8th grade because now I know how it feels to have a boyfriend, I’m better at playing basketball (lay ups), I feel like I am more outgoing and I know how it feels to have strep throat. I am excited for high school but sad at the same time because I am going to miss certain things. Well, that’s all for now! =]

My Worst School Year Yet

by KW

In 6th grade I always got suspended, if I did do something and if I didn't. Since I got suspended so often, when I did come back to school I got suspended again, even though I hadn't done anything that time. Kind of like the boy who cried wolf. Even if I did get in trouble for something I didn't do, I wasn't gonna tell who did it. I knew no one would believe me- they would think I was just making something up so I wouldn't get in trouble.

You might find this amusing, but I spent more of my school year at home than I did at school. The good thing about it was I always got my work when I got suspended. I got suspended for throwing a few milk cartons over the fence, throwing rocks at cars, and getting into many fights. Once with one person, and about twice with another person. The second time I fought him I didn't get suspended, I just spent about the last 30 minutes of class in the office. When our English and history teacher left (or thats what he said- we all thought he got fired), we got two new teachers, Ms. Summerwill and Mr. Reese. The good part about that was they gave the class one assignment each day and we always got an A just for doing it I passed even after everything I did; I think I got lucky

In 7th grade I didn't do the same thing I did in 6th grade- I did way better. My grades improved and I didn't get suspended. I didn't always turn in my work or projects, but I did better than before. When I got home every day my mom would tell me I could do better, and I promised her I would and guess what, she thought I was lying. My classes were good, nothing wrong with them, just the work was the problem. The way the teachers taught kinda made the classes not that good. They never really taught you anything but the same thing over and over and over, and that kinda got me confused to the point were I felt like I didn't need to do the work anymore. Even though I kind of stopped my work, I still made it to the 8th grade.

Now, the time we've all been waiting for. 8th grade, my worst school year yet. All my grades were bad, I was always goofing around, and this year was the most important, too. You wouldn't believe me, and my mom doesn't believe me either, but I'm getting my grades up and I'm going to graduate. That makes me a bit happy.

Overall, my middle school years have been up and down. I've learned that I can't tell teachers how to teach their classes, because I'm just one person, and everyone needs something different in a class. I've also learned that it doesn't take that much effort to go home and do some homework, and it's worth it to get good grades. In high school, I'm going to do what I didn't do in 8th grade: my work.