Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones

Roger James Mercer

19, Rue Jeanty
HAITI (West Indies)

August 26,1931


Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones

Joplin, MO 64801

Dear Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones,

Hello Mrs. Jones. I hope all is well over there in the states. Im writing this letter to you to express my gratitude for the little act of kindness you privileged me with 16 years ago. I wanted personally to let you know how truly life changing your actions were and how it sculpted who I am today. Throughout this past 16 years I have accomplished many things but have also faced many tough times which have made me conscious of my true self. In my mind I still hear your words “Ain’t you got nobody home to tell you to wash your face?”. My parents are Hugh & Carrie Mercer, they separated during my toddler years. I was primarily raised by my grandmother Josephine, as both of my parents were unfit to raise a child. Two years after our encounter, grandma and I moved up to Cleveland and I found myself intrigued by the writings of Sandburg & Whitman. As I began to enter adulthood I’d often been distracted by these same writings, and soon found myself being ‘called’ to practice them.

I am now 32 and currently reside in the West Indies of Haiti. Teaching the village children works of poetry has become my passion, it seems as though I’ve accomplished my dreams. There is one adolescent in particular who’s seems to come to my class everyday. Actually, he reminds me of myself in a way, and this makes me think of you. All kids want is to feel like people are watching them, and you provided me with an opportunity of this. I believe that everyone deserves the chance to feel ‘watched’, which is why I’m so passionate about work each and everyday. I strive to provide an opportunity and often go out of my way to enable the children to feel as welcome and motivated as you once did to me. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you is something that you have taught me and I will continue to pass along.

Although most see talking to someone you’ve done wrong to is embarrassing or awkward, its the complete opposite in this scenario for me. In fact, I am honoured that I put myself in contact with you. We as a society come face to face with many challenges, but also positive situations. Some come into contact with God, through sin and prayer while others ignore this opportunity. You gave me the chance to realize that I sin and showed me that there is always a way to repent.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Roger James Mercer

An average day in  Port-au-Prince




How To Write A Literary Expository Essay

One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.” ― Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums. Writing an essay encompasses so much more than just copying and pasting. It involves structure and imagination. Some may choose to be in a galaxy all their own while others need only the luxury of home. Needless of what your comforts are every expository-literary essay can be so much more with the right tools. To construct a satisfactory essay be sure to encompass correct grammar, coherent, well-developed paragraphs and substantial details and examples.

Spelling and grammar are components that greatly enhance a correctly drafted, first-class, paragraph. Austin provided an example of a grammatically incorrect sentence, ‘Dixon didn’t remember that the cameras made a noise, which Navorski hear and decide not to go outside the doors or he could be in more trouble than before.’ This sentence illustrates a passive message simply due to the inclusion of Dixon’s name first. It can be modified to sound more definite and embellish a solid idea by the placement of Navorski name at the start. With minimal effort the broken sentence can be changed into a compound sentence including more than one subject or predicate connected by a conjunction. ‘Navorski hears the cameras and avoids temptation’ is a redevelopment of the previously broken into a compound structure. Installing helpful programs that detect grammatical and spelling errors is a key feature that can help make an essay great. If Connor’s sentence ‘Viktor waits at least 1 year to get it to, but he achieves his goal’ would have been put through a spell check program the error of creating a sentence which is connected by a conjunction, that is not a compound sentence would have been detected. This can make an essay easier to understand since there are no errors present to confuse the reader. This example that can be easily revised to sound exceptional, ‘Viktor waits at least one year to fulfil his goal, which is to leave the airport and get the last signature of the jazz musician.’ The sentence not only shows the writer has a favorable understanding of the english language but also demonstrates the implementation of grammatical programs. Dictionaries and thesaurus’ will not only enhance your essay but will demonstrate your ability to use a higher vocabulary. ‘When a character was faced with waiting in the airport some handled it good, while others didn’t’. The sentence above created by Austin, could be strengthened by changing the dull words with ones that are acceptable for a grade nine level. This sentence could be further elevated by using more crafty vocabulary. ‘When a character was confronted with a challenge of waiting in the airport, most handled it in a satisfactory way, while others didn’t cope with the challenge’. Altering your words will make them more complex in your essay which intensify your usage of better words in the future. If you want to exceed your previous self or class expectations of literary writing be sure to utilize the tools given to you such as thesauruses and dictionaries.

By having a well formulated paragraph you create a coherent flow yielding an outstanding provision. Professional essays or content is the key. To grasp every detail, it should not skip from one topic or idea to the next. Navorski had to go to customs but instead went and shaved. This is a poor sentence to use in a paragraph, it skipped from mentioning customs to stating that he was shaving. Although flow is a crucial criteria when producing structured sentences, to refrain from the use of the same word can be just as much. Taking the same word for continuous use is not a valuable habit to develop in any writing piece. When choosing your words use a variety to complete each sentence so selecting the same is not a high possibility. The formation of circle sentences like, because a Bulgarian man from Krakozhia named Victor Navorski was left to wait at NYC airport because he couldn’t enter the USA or go home because his country is in a military coup.  will be non-existent with definite understanding of your topic. Organizing these points is a habit that should be developed. A prolific conversion between your themes is a crucial maneuver. The ability to keep organized helps all your techniques advance in quality. Have a good opening and closing statement to receive organization. Quality will also advance if you specify not only the details in an essay, but in examples too. Specifying and having precise, distinct details will efficiently present your illustrations. As we saw in the Terminal nobody at the JFK airport could wait for anything. Who is the nobody and what is the anything, you always need an explanation. In order to make an efficient essay, formulated paragraphs, along with sentences, and flow throughout the piece is vital.

The formation of an acceptable literary expository essay starts with the inclusion of strong detailed sentences and appropriate examples.  Any well fabricated manuscript uses references to archetypes as an enhancer for detail. In Kale’s Terminal essay he uses the phrase ‘Frank was trying to get rid of Viktor out of the terminal for quite a while, 9 months to be exact. But Navorski wouldn’t take the bait. (Fisherman Joke Relates to the storyline of Dixon)’.  Here the author just states that the ‘fisherman joke’ relates to the story of Dixon. We have no concept of what the joke he is referring to is about and are provided with no background knowledge to contemplate how it is supposed to tie in. To improve the construction of this argument we can use hyperlinks to give background knowledge and be explicit in the course of how to correlate an explanation of the archetype with the topic. An example of a correctly used archetype can be found in Shae’s story. ‘Frank becomes so impatient to get this position that he is wishing for the death of his superior. The story of Faust tells about a man who makes a deal with the devil where he sells his soul in exchange for a life of pleasure and riches. This represents Frank’s life. He lusts for the power and wealth that comes with a bigger job but can’t wait for his time to come so sells his ‘soul’ and in essence becomes the devil himself, running hell. Hell is a place for the wicked, for murderers and terrorists.’ By connecting the ideas to Dixon character well providing the needed bit of history you heighten the detail and the archetype. Be sure to choose a fight that you believe in. Connor uses the following concept in his manuscript, ‘He tells the officer who takes him into the office.’ This particular sentence has very little description that can be related relevantly to the topic. A better option would be to stray into his reason for being in this situation. Such as ‘During his delay in the airport Viktor carries around a can of peanuts. He is taken to Thermin’s office to discuss the reasoning behind this.’  By mentioning the can of peanuts you open up the opportunity to weave in reputable ideas. For the greatest impact and to ensure the reader’s continued interest do not stray in implemented details. Be sure to be specific. This sentence drafted in Chelsey’s essay include an idea that leads the reader away from the point that you were trying to convey; ‘But in this movie Frank Dixon is the bad guy because he tries to make Viktor leave the airport so he didn’t have to deal with him and wait till he left to get his job part he wants to get from his boss’. By adding the extra ideas about Dixon’s job you draw attention away from the main point you were trying to make. Using a basic sentence to convey the point and a complex sentence to enhance the meaning would create a more effective essay. ‘Frank Dixon’s character is like that of the devil. One point in the movie shows Dixon lying to Viktor about the security to convince him to depart’. This sentence from Sierra’s essay does a tremendous job of capturing what needs to be said in the first thought. This allows the reader to easily follow the connection being made between the concepts. ‘Patience is important in how Viktor coped with all the waiting he had to in the airport and terminal

Writing an essay needs ‘outside the box thinking’. In order to produce a satisfying provision include proper spelling and grammar, substantial details, and coherency. Be sure to use a variety of tools at your writing disposal to ensure correct spelling and grammar. A major component to any thesis is examples and robust sentences with well-developed details to help boost the meaning of the article. Any piece must have the proper coherency to help advance and refine paragraphs to go along with your illustration.

Thank You Ma’am: Respond To The Story

Thank You Ma’am instruction page.


Langston Hughes conveys a meaningful message about society throughout the short story Thank You Ma’am, but he also creates a humorous effect as well. The first sentence she was a large woman with a large purse that has everything in it but a hammer and nails suggests that Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones is a large woman with a large purse. If taken literally this sentence can be very harsh, but with the theme of the story I believe that the intent of Hughes is not to demonstrate the negative connotation which comes with the word ‘large’, but simply make a laugh out of it. The word ‘large’ can be understood while studying the stereotypical image of a black woman in the 1920’s (the time period the story took place). Hughes uses many other sentences to demonstrate his ability to fabricate the aspects of  humour and happiness into his writing. The large woman simply turned around and kicked him right square in the blue-jeaned sitter this establishes the time frame the story is set in and also is entertaining for the premature audience. The name Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones is another indicator that Langston Hughes is adding the humours effect. The presence of four different last names under one English honorific suggests that Mrs. Jones is a strong willed woman and has had several encounters with men. It also in a more compassionate way suggests that she knows how tough it is to lack the presence of having someone love you, so she gives Roger the privilege of feeling like he’s loved for a little while.

Despite the light tone of Thank You Ma’am, a deeper more serious subject lyes. The detail included in the story, the boys weight and the weight of the purse combined caused him to loose his balance so, instead of taking off full blast as he had hoped, the boy fell on his back on the side walk, and his legs flew up suggests that Roger was a very skinny, light young man. I come to conclusion that he was lacking the amenity of an abundance of food.  Hughes uses a varay of sentences to convey a ‘deeper’ thought to his audience. Immediately following the sentence, Ain’t you got nobody home to tell you to wash your face?, the boy replies with no’m. This powerful reply suggests that he doesn’t have a loving caregiver. An idea that can go along side this is when he says I wanted a pair of blue suede shoes. The ‘blue suede shoes’ could be a way of Hughes trying to indirectly suggest that the boy wants the love and care that a mother and father bring. The short story describes that Roger sat in a place where he was visible by Mrs. Jones even though there were many other options of places to sit. I conclude that the boy did it to see if he could trust himself. Kids find pleasure in the feeling of being watched by others. Roger chooses to sit in a place where he was visible to Mrs. Jones simply because he wanted to feel included.

Yes, I believe the encounter with Mrs. Jones will be pivotal point in Rogers life. Pick up my pocketbook, boy, and give it here was the first moment it was clear Mrs. Jones was sent to help Roger instead of harm him. By telling the young man to pick up the thing he was doing wrong to get, demonstrated that Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones was going to damn sure make Roger correct his wronging (feel shame). The dominant lady then follows with now aren’t you ashamed of yourself. I pay special attention to the word ‘ashamed’. It is evident through discussion that in Rogers life he lacks a loving caregiver; someone to provide care and guide your life. Now that I think about it Roger probably didn’t have the privilege of having someone discipline him, however Mrs. Jones gives it a try, and I assume Roger is secretly grateful. Ain’t you got nobody home to tell you to wash your face?, while using this example an archetype can be developed. As Mrs. Jones asks this touchy question I relate her to John the baptist. When we get baptized our face is cleared, and our soul is replenished. After the ‘water cerimony’ (washing of Rogers face) he becomes ‘Jesus’. This is a very crucial idea to why this encounter had such a positive outcome. While preparing the below par meal for supper, Mrs. Jones also set the table. She set Roger up to learn responsibility. One of our recponcibilites as Christians is to practice the bible. The bible demonstrates that by setting the table you are beginning to prepare for salvation. This is much similar to how Mrs. Jones prepared Roger to re-boot his life and steer him in a desirable direction.

The world is full of many people. Some of these people can make a day and some can break a day. This is probably the most recent example of something nice a stranger has done for someone I know, and it happened to take place in Mexico this past Christmas. While eating lunch in the dinning area, a bee flew in threw the opened ‘mexican’ windows and was buzzing around. My attention was quickly drawn to the bee and its every move. All of a sudden it flew up to our table and stung Megan(a friend from beach volleyball) right in the finger. It apparently hurt really bad and she and I both started to panic. Us along with the other teens sitting at our table were not educated at how to take out the stinger of the bee from the targeted spot. Luckily to our advantage the man sitting at the table next to us realized what happened and rushed over and sucked the stinger out of Megan’s finger. After his act of kindness, we thanked him, and he also shared with us the procedure that should take place after getting stung by a bee(basically, take out the stinger and ice it).





The Terminal

Life is an eternal maze, a labyrinth containing blurry obstacles and time to bide. We live in a society where waiting is inevitable. Through out the film The Terminaldirected by Steven Spielberg, societies capability to wait is issued and the effects are presented. To say that it is possible going from one obstacle to another with out delay is like presuming all people who travel out of Canada are Canadians. Andrew Niccol the original story writer of the film describes Victor Navorski’s nature and cause of his waiting, other’s responses to life’s setbacks, and the positive and negative influence of waiting on society and the barriers it places as to things we can and can not do.

Victor Navorski’s can of peanuts represents entolment to his father and devotion and respect to the Christian beliefs. The presence of the planters can in the film symbolizes the cross. The peanut can is not only carried around, but itself carries adoration and a promise. This is much like Jesus while he carried the cross, not only was he carrying a object but this object symbolized devotion, love and a task sent by God his father which he was willing to fulfill.  Jesus sacrificed himself to free us from our sins and grant us with our greatest wish; eternal life. Victor is fulfilling the greatest wish of his father, a promise to get an autograph from Benny Golson, during this process he finds himself faced with having to sacrifice and uncover the flaws in society. As Victor pulls out the can for the first time he stares at it contently through the darkness of the room, a plane pulls up and flashes light through the thin glass barrier, which separates Navorski from America. While watching this scene I make relation to the start of a new journey, the exposure of another one of lives obstacles. Genesis 12: 1-2 says, Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.”  Navorski was a blessing and made a great impact on the minuet population he came into conflict with. Referring to the ‘goat incident’ when Navorski sacrificed his own well-being for the satisfaction of others showed he had compassion. The photocopied hand print witch was scattered among all the walls in the airport terminal was a symbol of this act of love.  Having been the left hand (the same side as the heart) it is clear that this is the message Niccol is trying to convey. He put his heart to the test and now it was up on the walls for everyone to see and admire. Who is our hero, our idol who shows never-ending compassion? Jesus put his heart to the test and is now up on ‘walls’ for everyone to see and admire. This such sacrificed showed the positive and loving traits that posses our Lord.  On the opposite note, the Devil shows the temptation and negative aspects of character. Navorski and Dixon can take the place of these two spiritual characters, with Navorski being a figurehead for God, and Dixon for the Devil. Victor tells Amelia “Maybe you see the man the way you want to see the man.” We all see the man we want to see; we also see the world we want to see.

Not only has the world and human nature been poisoned but Amelia has been also. Society seems great but if we un-peel the “wrapping” and look at the present it is really quite undesirable. Imagine going outside on your 16th birthday and seeing a large object (the size and shape of a vehicle) parked in your front yard. This gift has a turquoise blue sheet covering it and a large red bow placed on the top. You feel overjoyed at the majestic sight, but as soon as you get the chance to un wrap it you discover that the beautifully wrapped treasure isn’t as it seems. In front of you lies a rusted out Ford Taurus with a chipped paint job and cracked windows. Amelia is like this deceiving birthday present. On the outside we see a beautiful, successful, intelligent figure who seems capable of loving a man who is honorable. However taking a deeper look she is actually destroyed, ruthless, poisoned. “Like Napoleon I keep ingesting these poisons until soon it doesn’t hurt.”  Amelia ‘ingests’ these poisonous men until it doesn’t hurt. Why is this necessary when she has a loyal man capable of love right in front of her?  Amelia Jane Warren is on an escalator, which only goes up. Once she inhales a new substance, she inhales another. Due to her incapability to move backwards she is stuck in a labyrinth of time to bide. Society is separated into two; those who are capable of waiting and those who have to wait but are incapable.  The Only Thing Incapable Of Error by Charles R. Swindoll suggests that the only thing incapable of error is scripture. “Scripture brings us back to where it all started” he says. In Amelia and Navorski’s relationship it all started at a pay phone. Nowadays pay phones are a way of communication and in the old days of communication the scripture was the main information source. Although both are ways of communication, we can recognize how distorted society becomes because of ‘modern scripture’ and having to wait for news to be released.

When specific people or agencies in society choose to wait, the whole society goes into shock. Navorski was tempted by Dixon to escape the airport but soon discovered it was just a set up and choose to halt. I pay special attention to when the whole airport staff was watching on the big screen. It seemed as though time paused for a moment while attention was drawn to one harmless guy. In todays society we draw special attention to the small things and time seems to ‘freeze’ for issues, which do not really matter. When was the last time you paused to think about the homeless population or the water famines in Africa? “Who waits in a crack?” Dixon asks Navorski. Jesus waited in a crack during Easter, a crack that was covered by a bolder. In life we wait in cracks. Society is one giant crack, which contains individual cracks and those cracks containing cracks as well; we are constantly waiting. This can be referred to as the maze of life. The walls of the maze represent the boulders or the obstacles that challenge us. Humanity faces the struggle of not being able to wait. In a funny sort of way even when we are not waiting we still are. Gupta compensates ”go away” with the much nicer phrase ”do you have an appointment?”, knowing that human nature is to just forget about it if it doesn’t fit into their schedule. The term almost was also used in this film, “Welcome to the United States almost”.  There is always going to be an ‘almost’ weather its while your buying groceries or receiving your new born child from the hospital. At one point in the film Thermon explains to Navorski that all he can do is ‘shop’. We often try to alter out physical being so that we blend in with the rest of humanity. Matthew 10:30 says, “But even the hairs of your head are all numbered”. Humans ignore the bibles teachings of being unique because we cannot face the challenges that come with being different.

The way of dealing with societies inevitability to wait varies on the individual, the peers and the collective. The labyrinth of life is sought to continue forever, however society places an inference that it ends once we die. We think we escape the struggles life challenges us with. This cannot be true if heaven is for real.







Editor’s Desk: Sentence Structure

Through out the entire short story “borders” the author Thomas King uses a variety of simple, compound, complex, and parallel sentences. As a result of using a varay of sentence structures Thomas king keeps the readers captivated and expresses the story’s moral clearly.

Laetitia set off in search for a more exciting and adventurous life, a life her mother didn’t approve of. Thomas King uses a compound sentence to describe the last few moments the mother had with Laetitia “Mom reached out and pulled the strands of hair out of Laetitia’s eyes, and Laetitia let her”, while reading this sentence you can infer the two characters feelings without further description. The mother is becoming more accepting of her daughters departure and Laetitia is trying to comfort her mother in there last moments together, until Laetitia’s return. The author goes on to write another compound sentence, “Laetitia tucked her hair into her jacket and dragged her bag down the road to the brick building with the American flag flapping on a pole”. I pay special attention to when she tucks her hair into her jacket. A gene most first nations inherit is long, black hair. Could this be a way of hiding her identity and covering up her native heritage to eliminate cultural discrimination?

Before crossing the american border the family of 3 came across a small town named Coutts. It was described using the following parallel sentence “Coutts was on the Canadian side and consisted of the convenience store and a gas station, the museum that was closed and boarded up, and a motel.”

What is your citizenship? Such a simple question, but is it really? All of the border agents had trouble compromising with Laetitia’s mother. “Blackfoot” she would say, Laetitia’s mother had a strong devotion and attachment to her culture, and she wasn’t willing to state if she was American or Canadian. One of the border guards says, “Everyone who crosses our border has to declare their citizenship.”, a simple sentence which carries so much authority. The story continues with the following compound sentence “You tell me, and I wont put it down of the form.” Laetitia’s mother declaring her citizenship is not the problem, it’s not like she has anything to hide. The real problem lies with society and its ability to assimilate the small groups and divide the whole nation by only one border.

Mel is a character that played an important part in the allowance of Laetitia’s mother and brother to pass through the border. The first impression I conceived of Mel was that he was the kind of man who only cared about business. The compound sentence I judged his character on was “He laughed at that and told us that we should buy something or leave.”  As more of Mel’s personality was revealed the following simple sentence was used “Mel turned out to be friendly.” .


Borders: Respond To The Story

The way Thomas King uses the term boarders in this story is very complex. The term boarder can mean an abundunce of things and touches on your personal experience and frame of mind. What does this convoluted term mean? How does it effect your identity? Does it serve a purpose in life?

The expression ‘boarder’ Thomas King bases his narrative on can mean ‘labels’. Labels get placed on material objects in this world. They can vary in importance, for example names are labels. We are given a name and it to some extent ‘defines’ us. I think, does it really? How could it? Just like the label placed on a can of mushrooms, it generalizes whats in the can. However, does the term mushrooms actually tell us the ingredients or how its made?  A conclusion can be formed that a label is only an outline and that you shouldn’t make inferences about the content which it represents.  This is much like our national boarder, the boarder only outlines or separates the two large components, you shouldn’t make preconceived judgments about the other contents.

Thomas King goes on to write about how the boarder guards hound the mother for her citizenship, American or Canadian. The mother creates controversy as she declares she’s neither, that she’s blackfoot.  This is an example of a ‘boarder within a boarder’. This mediforical term suggests that there can be many little boarders within larger boarders. The national boarder separates Canadians from Americans, but what about the other boarders that make up these two countries? What about the Blackfoot. Todays society tends to assimilate the little boarders and generalize them into one. We cannot assume that the only ingredients in a can of mushrooms is the fungi alone. So why do we assume the nation is made out of only one people?

Is good ever good enough? These days we often don’t know how to deal with suffice and what an unnecessary amount of possessions is classified as. A reference to this controversial question in the story is when Laetitia says she wants to move to Salt Lake City because her town is ‘boring’. Laetitia feels that he quality of life isn’t ‘good enough’ even though the only reason she thinks different is because there is something better. There is always going to be something superior to good. A can of no name mushrooms is no different from a can of camels mushrooms, so why do we think the brand or label makes it better? Why is there always something better?

Thomas King states in a 1999 interview that “boarders are these very artificial and subjective barriers that we throw up around our lives in all sorts of different ways”. I most definitely agree with his statement, as a matter of fact everyone should.



A Sunrise On The Veld

Time takes possession of the mind,

My conscience is gone, gone to the innervation of exuberance,

Reality is tempered with, facts have no meaning,

All the great men of the world have been as I am now,

I am a flower in bloom, youthful and viable,

Temporary mind alteration, no perception of calm can reach me now,

There is nothing I can’t become, nothing I can’t do,

An undeniable instinct, but yet an instinct I control,

The world has to answer,

I no longer exist in this universe,

A four dimensional object, the first of my kind,

I belong to the world the world belongs to me,

I contain it,

I control it,


*** A poem based on:  A Sunrise On The Veld***




Turning Point

Last September my mom started to feel sick. The doctors weren’t sure what was happening, after many trips to the hospital they figured out that she was deprived of essential nutrients that full functioning bodes provide. About one month later the doctors still hadn’t found out what to do, my mom ended up having to go on short term disability. Through all this hospital commotion there was also hustle and bustle at home. With dance starting up again and volleyball at full swing the way my family collaborated made me cognizant of how well bonded we are. During this time of perturbation I often thought about how important family is and what it means to actively participate as a member of a family. The result of this event changed the way I viewed the importance of family and helped me discover how crucial loved ones are for leading a victorious life.

Write a Descriptive Paragraph

“You can only fail at what you don’t try’’ these are the words from someone who has surely impacted my life. Ken Hayman also known as ‘uncle ken’ is my mentor, supporter and favorite uncle. It is nearly impossible to describe any person in succinct words, in uncle Kens case it is impossible. He is so many things vivacious, compassionate, jovial, dependable.  From head to toe this kind man is unique. Greyish black hair covers his head almost like grass covers the ground, so dense and luscious. Thin armed glasses frame his hazel brown eyes and a dark colored mustache lines his upper lip. At first this stalky, tall man might look scary but after getting to know him you’ll uncover the genuine personality, which inhabits him.  I have made infinite memories with uncle Ken and will never forget the trips we have went on together including Mexico, the mountains, and the many roadies to the lake. Every time we see each other I don’t hold back the jokes I crack about him and his dog Roxy who he treats just like a human. In my mind the amount of time I spend with uncle and auntie can never be maximized, which is why I always reserve time in the summer to stay at their place. We watch movies, eat dinner at fancy restaurants and take shopping trips to west Ed. Do you have a supporter and motivator? I do his name is Ken Hayman.


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My body is serene but humanity seems hectic. I lay hushed in bed, listening to my parents bicker, it seems like second nature because it happens so often these days. My tear ducts fill as mom rants about the fact we are barely subsisting, living pay check to pay check. The air becomes calm as my parents head out to survive another day, well try to at least. Deliberately I unravel my pale white body from within my cotton sheets and clamber out of bed, wiping my eyes which are sore and raw from crying. My feet feel heavy as I saunter towards the kitchen. Past due bills fill the counter and unwashed dishes line the sink. ”looks like we are living in an abandoned shack” I say quietly to myself. The clock now reads 8:16, school starts in 34 minutes. Rummaging through the sparsely filled fridge I pull out a gala apple which is half bruised to munch on before the bus arrives. My hunger is rarely satisfied, in fact kids at school keep asking me if I’ve lost weight. I reply to this simple query with ‘yea I’ve been watching what I eat or yea I’ve been running lately’ to cover up the actual truth. The last thing I need is for my peers to bully or treat me different just because of issues at home. Noticing the time ,I scurry out the door and jog through the verdant ankle high grass towards the bus stop. The smell of morning fills the air, crisp and  stimulating. I inhale trying to free my corpse of  negative contagion. Moments later the large yellow machine pulls up and the double glass doors screech open. I climb the  five stairs which lead me to my seat, it some what resembled a chair you’d imagine to be in a horror movie, so tattered and smelly. Before I know it the bus makes its 1st stop, Archbishop Oleary High School. My school.

Surprisingly being stuck in this so-called ‘dungeon’ and attending advanced placement courses is the least of my worries. With troubles at home and drama between friends I’m not really sure what I should focus on. My definition of school is much different from most 17 year olds in grade 12. You may call it a waste of valuable time but to me its the complete opposite. A place of tranquility, a place to come and find peace, a place where I can be educated and escape the troubles of home life.

The bell rings and I head to my first block being careful not to let myself go.  Looking around at the bulletin boards displaying art kids created makes me tense up knowing that no matter how meager the project looks it will be taken home and cherished with one 9 letter word, ‘beautiful’.  I take a seat next to Becky my best friend and the only one who knows whats going on, whats actually happening. She brushes her golden blonde hair away from her face and possesses the ‘honey I’m here for you’ look along with the comforting smile I always look forward to. Mrs. Genova storms in and like always puts us to work “Your social justice and human rights assignment will be due for tomorrow class, along with the global wealth and power essay” Almost all the faces in the room turn blank and everyone starts panicking, nothing far from the norm. Of course I follow my peers demeanour and pretend the homework causes a great difficulty to my extra curricular life, even though its apparent I don’t have one.

At 2:36 my last class ends and I usually just walk home, but today Jack a boy from my physics class offered to take me. Jack and I have known each other for a few years but we’ve never been more than just friends. Ive always been the one to ‘friend zone’. Why would I want to be loved or love someone who’s just going to break my heart anyways? The moment I jumped into his rusted black dodge truck he greeted me with a warm smile which was perfected by two dimples on the sides of his cheeks. ‘Flawless’ I couldn’t help but think. We drove around for a bit until he finally said “Hey Mia, I’ve kinda been watching you for the last few weeks, I know that sounds creepy but I feel like somethings wrong. Do you wanna talk about it?”

Silence suddenly filled the air, my  throat started to narrow, mere seconds later I was hunched over sobbing. I just couldn’t hold it in any longer. “Sooner or later people were going to find out I muttered, I tried to put a brave face on and just deal with it but I can’t any longer. I need to find help” Jacks muscular arms wrap around me, such a comforting embrace. He carefully pulls back the strawberry blonde hair off of my face and rubs my eyes dry. “I may have an idea” he responds in a deep raspy voice.

I hear the exhaust pipe sputter as we jet down the main drag. Its like were in a rocket ship being blasted into space. Green bushy trees line the lane way and lush flowers are potted in front yards. His hazel brown eyes meet mine which are corral blue, such an  ideal gene I’ve inharited, as we both express how beautiful spring is. With the loud screech of the brakes we make a jolting stop in front of what looks to be a community centre. I look up and read the bold blue and yellow sign: A2J YOUTH MINISTRY

“Come on, why did you bring me here of all places?  The last thing I need is for everyone to see me.”

“These people are here to help. I remember last year about this time I was suffering from psychological pain. My counsellor recommended this youth group and it has really helped me. Just give it a try, you never know.”

*                       *                     *

I have now attended the Youth group for 8 weeks straight. The sessions are kept confidential and the advisors are sympathetic. Home life hasn’t really changed but when i’m feeling stressed I always pray:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change , the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen.




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