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English I/II Pieces



by Tori Ratliff

On a warm, sunny, clear day on Payette Lake in the summer of 2011, I decided to try wakeboarding for the first time. I put my right foot in the boot, then my left, and hopped into chilly water. I leaned back and waited for the rope to come my way. Grabbing hold of the rope, bending my legs and looking forward, I waited for my dad to call out, "You ready?"

"Yeah!" I screamed fifteen feet ahead of me, and prepared for the expected jerk from the boat. Surprisingly, I got up for the first time! I took a deep breath and looked around at the scenery; it felt great standing up, unlike last year, when I did not even have enough strength to pull myself out of the water. Every time I tried, I fell forward or on my butt. I felt like a little weakling.

Cool, refreshing air blew into my face. As I cruised on the glass-like lake, I took my first move, which was going all the way to the left then back to the middle of the wake. I did not want that moment to end. But after a long time out having fun, I decided to switch my left foot to the back and my right to the front, which is called a "surface 180." It did not work out the way I planned, but falling did not stop me from wakeboarding. What stopped me was that after six turns, I did a jump on the wake and fell, face first.

After that day I have been doing bigger jumps and getting better on my wakeboard, never giving up" But soon I am going to flip in the air, with practice. I still remember my dad always saying, “Tori, you did great!"  He also says he is very proud of me. I will never forget the day I first got up on a wakeboard.


by Lilly Moyer

I take a deep breath and squeamishly slip through the glass doors of one of the spotless, towering skyscrapers that line many of the streets of New York. Pearl Studios, says the gleaming sign. I go up the breath-taking elevator ride to the twenty-first floor. There awaits my chance, but maybe my rejection. Walking into the cavernous room, I see dozens of kids my age, but they aren't talking to each other. Viewing each other as competition, they don't make conversation. The grim truth of the matter is, only one of us can succeed.

The shocking silence of the room leaves me pondering over how much noise my shoes can make as each one hits the floor. Thwack, Thwack, Thwack: my shoes echo with every step I take. The hallway seems a mile-and-a-half long. Everyone is staring at me so hard, I could melt into the floor just by the power of their glowering eyes. I sign in at the bottom of a long list of names, and go back to my seat, trying not to listen to the sound of every step.

Finally, after half an hour of self-conscious breathing, my name is called by a man in a suit. I am ushered into a room where two other girls wait. One is friendly, and I talk to her, making friends. Then she is called, and I sit there feeling the nervousness creep back into me like an invisible but poisonous gas.

After waiting endlessly, I am called into the auditioning room.and led up winding stairs to a tiny room with a video camera and another man with a suit. I can tell that the man has done this all day; he looks utterly inattentive. I look down and take out the script that could very well determine the rest of my life. I read my part with the man playing the other characters in the script, still impassive, like I have just wasted ten minutes of his life. After I have finished, he says, "O.K. Thank you, You're dismissed," in a very uninspiring tone, as if I were no more interesting than the turkey sandwich on his desk.

My mom is waiting in the cavernous room, shifting uncomfortably in her seat, as the other moms stare her down. Mom smiles at me, and we leave the hall. After we're out, Mom asks, "How was it?" I tell her it went all right, but the man seemed very bland. This was my first movie audition. However, I have auditioned for some other roles, so I know the drill. When you audition, they either call you or they don't bother telling you that you didn't make the cut. I didn't get called back, but it doesn't matter. Try and try again, and sometime, you will succeed.

Homemade Fun

by Hattie Geist

Shouts echo off bare mountains
into low valleys. Frigid air
whips past
as skaters glide
over bumps on imperfect ice.
Dogs bark, chasing sleds
sliding past eager on-lookers.
Breath comes in cold, white puffs
from smiling faces. More to do than
"sit inside the house and play Wii."
Locals unite a small-town
creating fun for neighborhood children.
Discouraging thoughts
of lack of snow
quickly pushed away.
Young and old come together:
homemade ice turns a boring day
into adventure.

Gilles de la Tourette

by Lilly Moyer

Ready, Ok!
One second cheering, the next cursing:
the epidemic spreads,
racing wild like fire on the rampant wind.
Spasms, facial tics, an unruly mouth
scattering to everyone on the teams.
Soon, the disease spreads
from girl to girl:
not the first time something like this has happened.

Salem witch trials, a mysterious case of hysterical laughter,
Cassandra and her ravings,
Tourette's syndrome in the Big Apple and the Tar Heel State.
Call it what you may,
something is spreading.
eating away everything.
has gone wrong?

Baking With Mimi

by Hattie Geist

Of my childhood memories, one of my favorites is baking with my grandma "Mimi". Rolls, brownies, and cakes were my favorite to make. Mimi never tired of my asking if we could "please bake something today." I would watch, fascinated, as she showed me how to get just the right amount of flour. Obediently, I would pour the contents of the measuring cup into the bowl. I always felt so grown-up and important when she would let me help.

When Mimi wasn't looking, I would sneak a finger into the bowl and lick off the batter. My grandpa sat at the table and timed on his watch to make sure we mixed the batter for the exact amount of time.

"Hold your horses," Mimi would say as I impatiently waited for the oven to ding, sweet smells filling up the kitchen. Mimi would show me how to make swirls in the frosting when we smoothed it over the tops of the cupcakes, and the sprinkles would leave dots of colors like specks of a rainbow in my hand. Then we would all sit around the glossy wooden table enjoying our creations, me wondering if I could have another one. I treasure these memories because now that Mimi has passed away, I miss her and these special moments.

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