I really used to like to ride my skateboard down the hill in front of my house. One day, my friend Andre and I decided to take turns riding the skateboard on the slanted patio. It was Andre’s turn to ride down, and I rode the skateboard up the patio to him. I kneeled with one knee on the skateboard and used the other foot to push myself up. One brick on the patio stuck out about half an inch.
I said to myself, “It’s an easy jump.” I prepared to lift the front wheels of my skateboard, but I was too late. I flew off the skateboard and hit the ground really hard with my face. Instantly, my lips swelled up and I could taste the blood in my mouth. I was scared and asked Andre, “Are my teeth okay?”
He said I had chipped off both of my front teeth. We had to go to the dentist. The dentist took many X-rays to see if the teeth were fractured. I was lucky again; they were not. A few weeks late the dentist fixed the damage. My mom bit her lips and paid the bill. I don’t ride my skateboard much anymore.
Student Author: Joanne Johnson
Being a young ballet dancer, I had a dream of getting a solo or a main part in a ballet. My ballet instructor offered me a solo in the summer performance at the Fullerton College Theater. I was very exuberant about her decision. I practiced hard every day for two weeks. I rehearsed at my dance studio, under y teacher’s instruction.
On the day of the performance, I felt good physically and mentally, and I knew I was prepared to do well. Before the performance began, I stretched and reviewed my number on the stage. When I put on my makeup and costume, I felt nervous with anticipation.
As I stepped on the stage I had a new feeling. I would be dancing all alone for the first time. My number was called “Czech Sketches,” featuring music by Bedrich Smetana. Finally, it was my turn to go out and perform. I took a deep breath and closed my eyes, thinking about my dance. Then, I made my entrance with confident thoughts.
The stage was blacked out, so no one could see me entering. I stepped into the center of the stage and waited for the music to begin. Then, the gentle music started and the spotlight was on me. I did my dance steps and saw the audience before me. A smile was on my face, telling the audience I was enjoying this moment.
I soon, came to the most difficult step in the dance. I had rehearsed this particular step at the studio, because I had had trouble with it. But, without making any mistakes, I danced completely through the whole number. The music was flowing throughout my body, and with my arms lifting through the air, I danced gracefully. Toward the end of the dance, I did my last jump and took my final pose. After it was all completed, I took my bows. The applause made me really happy, and I felt superb for performing well.
I was proud of my first solo, and I hope I have an opportunity to do it again. I received many compliments and flowers from my friends and family after the show. Even my instructor said I did well. After the performance, I felt I had improved my dancing. Younger dancers now look up to me. I had climbed another step in my ballet training. This event was a very special memory that I’ll keep as my treasure.
Swimming the Pier
Student Author: Nathan Thompson
This summer in the Junior Lifeguards program, I participated in a very challenging and exciting event – swimming around the Huntington Beach Pier. Junior Lifeguards is a lifeguard training program for boys and girls 9-17 years old. The program consists of fun, challenging activities, such as two-miles runs, sand sprints, body surfing, First Aid, and simulated rescues, but the event that my friends and I anticipated the most was the pier swim. Mr. Morita, our instructor, explained how to take high steps when entering the water, to dive under the waves with your hands in front, and then to swim freestyle around the pier. This would be approximately a one-mile swim. To reassure some of the kids who were nervous, Mr. Morita told us that Safety Aides, who are graduated Junior Lifeguards, would be all around the pier with buoys on which swimmers could rest.
Finally, the day of the pier swim arrived. It was a cold day, and the water was even colder. Some of the kids were nervous, but I was not. We lined up at the starting line and when our instructor said, “Go!” we took off. I lifted my knees high to run through the water and then dove under the waves, so as not to get pushed back. When I first touched the water it was very cold and tasted salty and dirty, but I still swam. While we were swimming, people threw roses from the pier and cheered for us.
Mr. Morita was on his paddleboard saying, “Let’s go!” Finally, I reached the end of the pier, but I was only half done. A Safety Aide asked if I wanted to rest. Even though my arms hurt and I was out of breath, I shook my head to the Safety Aide and kept going. At last I felt the sand under my feet. I stood up and ran to the finish line. I felt numb and exhausted, as did everybody else.
I was happy with the amount of time it took me to swim the pier. During the rest of the summer, I improved each time we swam the pier. Swimming the pier was challenging, but each time I enjoyed it more as I improved. I impressed my friends with my amazing ability to swim the Huntington Pier.
I know dozens of kids who would do anything to have their own horse. So I guess I was lucky to get two horses for free at the beginning of July. Actually, Sasha and Taurus are ponies, but almost as big as horses. My father’s boss, Mr. Judd, gave them to me. “Just promise me one thing. Don’t ever separate the ponies,” he warned. “Sasha and Taurus had been together all their lives – 15 years.”
Mom and I promised, and the ponies were ours. They’re so gentle that they’re careful not to nip my fingers when they nibble grain from my hand. In the pasture Taurus rests his head on Sasha’s back.
One Friday night, about a month after I got them, I heard whinnying in the barnyard. Sasha was pacing furiously and snorting. Taurus was gone! A search of the fields showed that he had pushed open a gate. Mom and I called the sheriff. Then we drove around the roads nearby. There was no sign of Taurus anywhere.
All night long, poor Sasha kept up her loud whinnying. Her voice sounded frightened, but angry, too. “How dare he run away!” she seemed to neigh. The next morning the telephone rang. It was Mr. Judd asking, “Did you lose a fat brown pony?” Taurus had run back to his old home, over 20 miles away! Quickly we borrowed a horse trailer and drove over to Mr. Judd’s farm to get him.
When I led Taurus back into our barn, Sasha really let him have it! Her eyes got wide, and her lips curled back showing her big teeth. She let out a furious whinny, stamped her hoof, and butted the runaway. Taurus just stood there, looking ashamed and hanging his head. It was five minutes before she calmed down and let him put his head on her back.
“Just like people,” laughed Mom. But I realized it was true. Like people, animals have fear, anger, and other feelings. I also realized why Mr. Judd didn’t want the ponies separated. Sasha and Taurus love each other!