We Have WINNNERS!
Swoonie shout-outs to everyone who entered the SWOON & SHADOW HILLS contest last month. You guys rocked me and author Anastasia Hopcus with your tales summer and back-to-school moments. But we had to choose, and so we (painfully) did. Below, read the stories that won signed copies of SWOON & SHADOW HILLS...
THESE SUMMER STORIES WON SWOON!
When you school year-round, summers tend to bleed into the rest of the year. But this year was special. This year, I went on my first family vacation ever. I had been on vacation before, but it had always been with other people, friends, extended family, what have you. This summer though, in fact, only a few weeks ago, not only did I get to go on a vacation with my immediate family, I got to actually leave the country (something I've only done once before). The second week of September, I went on a Caribbean cruise with my mom, dad, and sister. Since we booked the cruise in mid 2009, we had been counting down to that week for quite a while. When it finally came around, we were all beyond ready for a break.
When we boarded the boat on Sunday, I was ready for my week off, and then, before we had even left the harbor, a waiter spilled a tray of pink drinks on my white shorts. I thought, it's okay, he'll give us our drinks for free and then I'll go to the room and change. So, that's what I did, or tried to do. When I got to my room, my luggage wasn't there yet. It didn't show up until 8 o'clock that night! The only thing I could think was that this was an omen. The rest of the trip would be awful. I'm so glad I was wrong. By the second day I had forgotten all about the sticky shorts. We went on to spend two days at see before docking in Montego Bay, Jamaica. In Jamaica we took a shuttle to Ocho Rios and climbed Dunns River Falls, this amazing waterfall in the jungle. It was one of the most exhilarating days of my life. The next day we were in Grand Cayman where we went snorkeling at the coral gardens and Barrier Reef and watched my dad and sister kiss sting rays at Sting Ray City Sand Bar. Our final day on land was spent in Cozumel, Mexico where we decided to just do the touristy thing and shop for souvenirs and go to a kitschy restaurant where everyone wore sombreros. We had one more day at sea and then we were back in Texas and none of us were ready to get off the boat. Over the course of the trip we had become fast friends with three waiters working in the dining room where we had dinner every night. Not only did I get to experience the different cultures of some of the islands in the Caribbean, I also got to learn about our new friends cultures, those of Peru, Latvia, and Indonesia. We all cried when we had to say goodbye, but I still get to talk to them every once in a while when they can access email. So this summer will bleed into fall, but I'll drag it out as long as possible.
This summer, I was going to spend my summer at Duke University doing their Creative Writing Workshop, but then I found out that they don't take teenagers with only one year of college. So, I didn't get to spend my summer to do that, I have to wait a whole year. Then, I went with my family to Myrtle Beach, and got yelled at the whole time by my sister and my friend who was suppose to be there for me ended up spending most of her time with my sister and ignoring me, so that was ruined. And then, I come home to my find my schedule for 10 grade has been posted for me to see. Earlier that year I had tried out for chorus and had gotten in Women's Chamber, which is the second highest choir and not many tenth graders get in it's mostly the upperclassmen, but that wasn't on my schedule, instead they had given me Physical Conditioning, which is weight lifting, and I am not a gym person. So, I spent the rest of my summer frustrated, scared that it wouldn't be fixed, annoyed at the idiots who can't seem to make a correct schedule, abd stressed that I had to email my couneslor a hundred times only to find out she can't do anything about it which makes no sense, and that I had to fill out a schedule change request form that may or may not happen. And to top it off, my schedule still wasn't right after that, I had to have 3 schedule changes before it was correct. No summer, is good if you find out you can't do something you were so excited about, that two people who are suppose to be close to you turn their backs on you, and that you can't enjoy you time off of school because your stressing over next year. I spent a whole summer bored and in tears.
THESE BACK-TO-SCHOOL STORIES WON SHADOW HILLS!
When I Was 13 I Went To School In Puerto Rico. The Kids There Were Jealous That I Spoke English And There Was One Girl Who Wanted To Copy My Paper In English Class. I Said No. It Was The First Day Of Ninth Grade And She Put A Giant Wad Of Gum In My Hair!! My Mom Took Me To The Salon To Get It Out. There Was Sooooo Much Gum They Cut My Hair Like Dorothy Hamilton!! And I Have Curly Hair.. So It Looked Even Shorter!! I Wanted To Crawl Under My Bed And Never Go Back!
My worst back to school memory happened last year. At our school, we have a program called Warrior Pride in which juniors and seniors lead the first day of school for the freshman after all other people go home. Last year, I was assigned to lead the freshmen through the ropes course outside. The ropes course was a series of obstacles the students needed to complete, walking across giant skis as a group, lifting classmates through an intricate web, team building things like that. A. The first day of school was HOT. B. Our Warrior Pride shirts were black. C. I had the group of the most unenthusiastic freshmen. D. I heard the phrase "that's what she said" every couple of minutes. Yes, it was a group of "those kids". No amount of my scolding could get them to be appropriate and no amount of cheering could get them to be excited about doing this. One of the activities involves a trust fall and, being the leader, I needed to give the example, trusting them to catch me. They dropped me. Twice. So on top of dripping sweat and being annoyed, my bum was now thoroughly bruised and I was ready to go home, and it wasn't even lunchtime yet. By the time lunch came, we were allowed to go inside, but had to sit and watch the freshmen eat and only after they were finished were we allowed to eat. So add hunger to my list of downfalls. Not a pleasant day, to say the least. Then I come to find out this group of unruly freshmen are the freshmen I will be teaching every month on Warrior Pride days. YAY ME! *note sarcasm*