Featured

Whiskers

Coming home from Burger King, I trudged down the familiar back road that led to my apartment. It seemed like all of my luck abandoned me as soon as I graduated high school. I was late for rent. My boyfriend, who will go unnamed, dumped me over text. He dated someone else immediately after. I was just recently fired from my minimum wage job at a gas station. My parents were beyond disappointed with me for getting rejected from my dream college. I had made the quite idiotic decision of only applying to that college assuming I would be accepted. The only thing I cared about that day was going home and getting some extra sleep.

“Meeoow.”

I stopped in my tracks and looked around. I thought I heard a cat, but I didn’t see anything. Brushing it off, I continued walking forward.

“Meeow!”
Annoyed, I spun around again. Behind someone’s trash can sat a pretty, white kitten. She looked like a tiny cloud with her stubby legs and thick, long fur. It was slightly matted and dirty. Her bright amber eyes glimmered like the sun’s reflection on the ocean at twilight.

“Aww!” I cooed, kneeling down, trying not to get my jeans wet from the melted snow. She rubbed her pelt against my ankle, staring up at me with pleading eyes. I stroked her flea-bitten neck. Frowning, I picked her up gently and stuffed the tiny fluff-ball in my jacket. With my newfound motivation, I raced back home. I didn’t know how long this cat had been in the cold.

Finally, I was inside of my heated apartment. I set her down and she looked around curiously. I watched her adoringly, but inside I knew I couldn’t keep her. I was barely surviving myself. There was probably some rich family that would spoil her to death.

Loud meowing snapped me out of my thoughts. The cat was headbutting and kneading my leg. She seemed hungry, so I found a can of tuna in my fridge. She ate it quickly.

“I might as well name you while you’re living with me..” I hesitantly sighed. I looked at her flat face and long whiskers. As the uncreative person I was, I named her Whiskers.

The next few days came and went. I became emotionally attached to Whiskers. I scraped up all of the money I could get to buy cat food and a flea treatment for her. Luckily, my local veterinarian gave me a generous discount. I also applied for a job at Subway. Whiskers gave me motivation to keep going.

I was watching the local news. It was a boring day. I didn’t start work for one week.

Suddenly, my phone began ringing. I practically jumped out of my body. I grabbed my phone clumsily. The caller ID said “Julia”. I was confused. My best friend from high-school hasn’t spoken to me since the last week of school. I reluctantly answered the phone.

“Um, hello?” I said awkwardly. The only people I interacted with during the past month were the vet and fast food employees.

“Tyler!!” Julia exclaimed happily. “It’s been too long. I just found your number on my old phone.”

Startled, I replied, “Yeah, I guess so.” I smiled. We chatted for about fifteen minutes. She told me that she hasn’t applied for a college, and that she wanted to take a break for a year. I told her about Whiskers, and I confessed my feelings about my misfortunes during that month. She asked me if I wanted to meet her at The Bridgeport Coffeehouse. I told her I would call her back with my answer.

“I don’t think I should go. I’m not the best at social stuff. I mean, look at me. I’m talking to a cat.” I complained in stress.

Whiskers padded next to on my couch, slowly blinking at me with round fiery eyes, and purred. I stroked her head, and she curled up beside me as if to say, “You’re going to me okay.” I knew she didn’t understand anything, though. She still comforted me.

Smiling, I waited for a few moments, then picked up my phone and called Julia I told her that I would meet her at noon.

And so I did. The next day, I met Julia. We chatted away about funny and sad experiences, failures and achievements. Let’s just say I had a lot of failures. I mentioned about Whiskers, and Julia said that she wanted to see her. We agreed to meet again. And again.. We were getting really close.

Perhaps Whiskers did understand me. She was right. Everything was fine. Everything was.. actually pretty great. I almost completely forgot about my ex, and my parents contacted me again.

Finally Spring came. The weather improved, and so did my luck. I owe it all to Whiskers.

I started dating Julia. I applied for a different school I was still waiting for the letter. I was so nervous that I wouldn’t get in. Even if I didn’t things would be looking up.

 

“So Ty, she’s having a second kid.”

“Yeah, Josh wanted to be a little sister.” I was talking to my friend Michael on the phone.

It was 2023. Julie and I were married. We had one kid, expecting another, and two cats. One of which was Whiskers. I graduated, got a job, a nice house, and settled down. I’m still not as close as I’d like to be with my parents. I’m probably closer to my in-laws.

I recalled a funny conversation Juls and I had yesterday.

“Kitty!” Josh, our three year old son, pat Whiskers on her head. Our other cat, Jake, sat next to me and Julie on our couch. We smiled adoringly at them.

“Julia? You do know that none of this would be possible without her?” I asked her softly.

“Who, Whiskers?” She gave me an odd look.

“Yeah, I meant Whiskers.”

She squeezed my hand. “Well, yeah, but I’m still a dog person.”

By: Ollie, age 12, written September 2017

 

Featured

Welcome to Public Education

At the end of last school year, the administration of my district decided it would be in the best interest of the students to separate the reading and writing curriculum (a 90 minute course) into two separate 45 minute courses.  This came as a shock to me because I had to choose between my two favorite things: reading and writing.  Because reading and writing go hand-in-hand, to teach one without the other broke my heart.  So, I let my colleague decide; she picked reading, and therefore I was left with the intimidating task of preparing and implementing a writing curriculum for approximately 180 seventh graders.

Prior to this change in the curriculum, our district had already implemented three separate initiatives into our classrooms.  The first one was the Collins Writing program which was implemented to create a structure for teaching and grading writing across all content areas K-12.  This system is based on 5 types of writing.  The other two initiatives were the use of Learning Targets and Essential Questions.  Both of which must be posted in every classroom and referred to by every teacher at the beginning, middle, and end of each class session.

So amid the daunting task of designing a writing curriculum that not only covered our three main districtwide initiatives, but also addressed the PA Common Core standards, I found myself in my own land of uncertainty.  However, I had a clear focus on what I didn’t want to do.  My class would NOT be a course taught directly from a grammar book. Over the years, people have conducted too many research studies that have proved writing skills and grammar/conventions knowledge doesn’t improve when taught outside of the realms of students’ own writing.  I believe too often people separate grammar from writing, rather than seeing grammar as the conventional tools for writing (a great book about this idea is Tools, Not Rules Teaching Grammar in the Writing Classroom).

My biggest challenge was creating a course in which students could write, edit, and revise to improve their writing while, as the teacher, I had the time to read and provide support/feedback to all +/-180 students (all while still having a life/family outside of my classroom).  Our district Literacy Coach gave me a book that seemed to help create a guide for constructing a course that would fit my instruction, The Art of Teaching Writing.  Love it or hate it, the writing workshop model has been integral in helping me  create a curriculum that has fostered an atmosphere of learning in my classroom.

Obviously, I have modified the workshop to help it mesh with the initiatives set by my district, and the initiatives have actually complemented my workshop model.  The class itself is divided into three separate parts:  1.  The ten minute mini lesson, 2.  25 minutes of writing time, 3.  Ten minutes of share time and a Type 1 exit ticket.  To begin the school year smoothly, I developed a specific learning target in “kid language” for every PA common core standard I teach; then, I determined which targets would be taught during each nine weeks and decided to make each nine weeks a genre study (1st-Narrative, 2nd-Informative, 3rd-Argumentative, and 4th-Poetry/Research).  I organized these learning targets into the following 5 categories (modeling the Collins Writing program):  Content, Organization, Style, Conventions, and Reading (used as mentor texts for each unit).  Then, I created six specific essential questions for each nine weeks that connected to the genre and grammatical concepts covered in each unit. I took every single area and created a nine weeks packet for the students to use daily in my classroom.

On a daily basis, following the mini lesson, students write in the specific genre of the nine weeks.  As students finish writing pieces, they begin editing and revising for 3 Focus Correction Areas (FCAs) of their own choosing (these FCAs are the learning targets from within their nine weeks packets).  Then I read, provide feedback, and score their writings for only the FCAs.  Because each student turns in pieces as they finish, I am not bombarded with writings from 180 students at a time, and because most learning targets (FCAs) are repeated in multiple units, all students are given many opportunities throughout the year to focus and get a score on every learning target.  At the end of the nine weeks, there is one specific due date and that due date is for the Type 5 publication piece which is graded based on a rubric that incorporates all writing components taught during the nine weeks.

There are many more specifics to my course that I haven’t gone into great detail about; however, this blog was created to celebrate the works of my students.  If you would like more information about the course itself, please feel free to contact me, I’d love to help.

After having successfully finished the first nine weeks of this new curriculum, I have found that my students have become better writers who are more thoughtful about not only their content choices, but also their use and knowledge of grammar and mechanics within their writing.  This site celebrates the pieces of writing that, for whatever reason, have stood out to me.

Some of the works I will showcase will have errors in them.  I want to remain true to each student, so be aware that you are looking at stages of growth.  I will not be showcasing only my high achieving students.  This site will give you a glimpse of all of the beautiful personalities that make up my classroom and their unique/creative minds. I have also done my best to spot plagiarism, so please let me know if any of these posts have been taken from another source, and I will remove the post immediately.

 

 

 

Fight of the Century

It is the fight of the century, the superbowl of all fights, billions of dollars bet on this fight. Mcgregor ( a UFC fighter) against Mayweather ( a legendary boxer). All odds against me ( the UFC fighter).

It is June 1st,  2017 and I am training hard. Spending everyday in the gym. If I want to beat the legend, I will have to train very hard. I am 23-3-2 in MMA fighting and will hopefully be undefeated in boxing, making Mayweather 49 and 1 if I beat him. Nobody believes that I can beat the legend. I am here to prove them wrong.

During training I weighed myself. I am 5 foot 9, 153 pounds. One pound under the weight limit. I have a matte black maserati and a multi million dollar home so people would probably say that I have anything that I could ever want, but what they don’t know is that I need to pursue my dream of becoming a legend and the only way to do that is by beating the legend himself (Floyd Mayweather).

When it was the weigh in, I tried to get in the legends head. “I will bounce your head off the canvas” I said. I was trying to make him intimidated. As I knew it didn’t work. “You think your intimidating me” said Mayweather. “I am the greatest boxer of all time” he said to me. “Nothing can intimidate me” he continuously said. “Just wait, just wait” I said repetitively. He won’t be expecting me.

As it was now the day of the fight, I could feel the nerves in my stomach. Round one! The announcer boomed! Come out fast and punch hard, so you don’t have to go into the later rounds where he has the advantage, I thought to myself. 5th round! Boomed the announcer for the 5th time! I was starting to get nervous. I knew I couldn’t go into more rounds or I would for sure lose, I thought to myself. Mcgregor with the upper cut to the head, boomed the announcer! Mayweathers face dripping with blood, almost as if he was sweating blood. Round 6! I know I am getting fatigued and he is just getting better and better as the fight went on. I am thinking to myself, this is why he is a legend, he had a strategy coming into this fight and it was to take me into later rounds where he had the advantage, he has succeeded. He laid a blow right to my face, breaking my jaw, but I could not give up now. Thinking that in my head, I pounded him down to the ground, but him being a legend, he sure can take a hit. Round 10! It all happened so fast, he came out and wound back, laying a huge blow to my head. Within a blink of an eye, I’m laying on the canvas with a sharp agonizing pain in my head and I couldn’t get up, feeling very groggy. Knock out! Boomed the announcer! Mayweather wins! The crowd was going crazy. I did not do as good as I could have but as my dad used to say, “you are not who you are at your worst moment”.

Although I didn’t win, It counts as a win in my heart because I went into a boxing match that I have never done before and boxed the greatest boxer of all time, and took him into 10 rounds! Although I did not actually beat him, I’m still leaving this fight with 32.5 million dollars richer so I’m still proud, I mean who wouldn’t be with 32.5 million dollars.

By: Aiden, age 12

Sand Duels

116B.C.

I started guzzling down the milk, as cold as a freezer in Antarctica. I’m ”5’9” with brown hair, tan skin, and brown eyes. My name was Bon. I was also one of the strongest gladiators in Rome. I started to stretch and put my gladiators helmet on. Believe it or not I want to be free. I hate the Romans for killing my dearest brother. You’re probably wondering how I became a gladiator? Well this is my story on how I became a gladiator. I was an orphan. My parents we’re killed in a storm at sea. The sea storm was like none other. Lightning roared and beamed in all directions. Nobody expected it. My parents put me on a lifeboat without them, full of strangers. There wasn’t enough room on the boat, except for a small child, like I was. I was distraught, but couldn’t do anything. I wailed as my mom and dad left me, alone. I was forced to be sent to a orphanage, and this is what happened.

146B.C.

Sabo was my adopted brother, or my best friend. He had blond hair and brown eyes. He had curly hair miraculously for a blond. We’d been together ever since I was taken to the orphanage, at age 4. I’d loved him and he’d loved me, until that day. “Sabo don’t climb the house!” I sarcastically stated to him.

“But I wanna see the whole town Bon!” I knew Sabo was clearly toying with me. Sabo and I were both 11 years of age, but I still didn’t trust him climbing 5 feet. I watched as Sabo climbed up higher and higher to the rainbow stew of clouds, sun, and birds.

“Mum’s gonna yell at you Sabo. I don’t care though!” If he can climb it, I can climb it. I started on the base of the house. I stepped up on a sandstone brick. Its dust breezed off of my sandals. I went to grab something sturdy for support, but instead grabbed a pipe that Sabo held.  Were their pipes on the roof? Regardless, I latched onto the rusty pipe and Sabo pulled me up. I was a runt compared to Sabo’s muscle.

“There ya go!” Sabo giggled as I made my way up.

The view was amazing, except for one thing. “Sabo, what are those ships on the horizon?” It kind of gave me a bizarre feeling.

Sabo was quick to respond, perhaps he was fearful too. “I don’t know, looks to be 7 of them. Mum still isn’t back yet either. This is strange.”

I tried to be logical,”it might just be merchants trading goods. Lets just gaze at the clouds.” I thought this might calm the nerves of me, and Sabo.

“Yeah that might be a good idea. Let’s just forget about it.” Sabo said this as if all his worries would be taken away in sleep. Sabo and I started to cloud gaze, as we fell asleep on the roof of the structure. We had no idea what was to come.

116 B.C.

This fight was my final fight. This was my fight for freedom. The 2 gladiators next to me and I fight the beast Acnologia. Acnologia was a massive 8 foot beast of a lizard. This was gonna be a rough thorn patch to cross.

Chains rattled. Moss glistened on my neck. *Clang clang clang* The sound of metal against metal. I readied myself along with the 2 other gladiators next to me. One of these gladiators were more skilled than even I,” Nonius of the hidden blade. All of his armor was colored black and gray. The clothing was so thick, you couldn’t even tell if he was hiding a blade, or two, maybe even ten hidden blades! ”He was rank A, 93. I was rank A 92. The person standing to the right of me was Volcanus, a rank 89 B. He was 6’0. Blond with blue eyes. He had a iron chest piece, with ragged leather on the sides. You could tell there was a fire in his eyes, like a super volcano. His nickname was “Volcanus of the Molten Temper.” Nonius always had  blade, no matter what. Volcanus was known for always losing his temper in rage.

5 minutes had passed before the elevator came to a screeching halt. “Eh, so what’s your story governor?” Volcanus questioned me.

“ I’m the half demon killer, Bon.”

“It’s time we slay,” Nonius declared. Nonius took a step forward.

“We will become legends,” Volcanus followed up. Volcanus took a step forward.

“Let’s end our final fight with a bang,” I announced.

“Let’s go there, to freedom!” All of us shouted this. We all thrusted our blades forward. We charged for freedom.

I ran out in adrenaline, but immediately stopped in my tracks. A massive 6 yard tall beast approached all 3 of us. Its fangs flushed with saliva, as if it hadn’t been fed for weeks. Its blood thirsty eyes called out in rage. Claws longer than spears. The beast yelled out in a fit of fury. I felt a wave of terror trickle down my spine. He might´ve been thinking mmmm, a sweet, juicy, tender human. This is where, I die.

About a minute passed before Nonius made his move. It felt like I’d been standing there for hours. I tried to move, but it felt like elephants were tied to my legs.” Ar!” Nonius yelled as he leapt up and stabbed the beast in the eye. Blood oozed from Nonius’ blade. Nonius pulled out a second blade, a dagger. I watched as Volcans charged forward. Magma somehow gushed from his blade. He charged at the beast, only to be knocked back from the troubled monsters paw. I stared in awe as the beast flung Nonius off with ease. Both gladiators laid lifeless. They’re out. I had to save their lives. I’ll charge at the beast. I would’ve passed out from fear right there, if not for the courage that Sabo bestowed in me.

146 B.C.

*Clank Clank* “Bon! Bon! Wake up Bon!” Who was saying this?

Dazed I woke up. The person right there was Sabo. “Sabo? Whats happening? Why is there so much noise?” I heard crashes of sword on sword battle, and screams.

“We have to get out of here right now Bon! The Romans are attacking!” Sabo proceeded to yank me up out of my lying position. For a second I thought this was just a bad nightmare.

“Where do we go Sabo?” I was worried and scared. “And what about mum?”

“We can’t worry about her, we have to save our own skin.” Sabo spoke truth, we had to save ourselves, it’s what mum would want. “We have no time, jump off! Just make sure to roll ok.”

“Sabo I can’t, but I’ll try.” I was fearful of falling, but even more fearful of what the Romans would do if they caught me. I jumped, as Sabo did the same.

Luckily we both rolled, mine was more of a half roll, but i’ll take it. “Where we we go now Sabo?” I was lost.

Sabo knew what he was doing somehow. “Let’s go to the back of the island, we can escape from a dinghy and go out to sea. Let’s go Bon.”

Suddenly I heard the loud fire of a building collapsing not far behind us. The smoldering wreckage produced a factory of smoke. “BON!” Sabo shouted, “RUN LIKE HELL!” Sabo conducted this perfectly. I ran till my lungs would explode.

116 B.C.

I ran towards the beast, a red glow emitting from my eye. I jumped onto the head of the beast. Without a second thought, I widely jabbed my blade into the beast’s thick skull. I used every ounce of strength to steer the beast away from my two stunned comrades. “Arra!” I steered the beast away. *Crack crack crack* My vision faded. Pain engulfed my left arm. The beast had flipped me to the ground, arm first. All I heard was voices. The only two people that could be there we’re Volcanus and Nonius.

“Grab him Nonius!” This might’ve been Volcanus.

“Volcanus, that might kill you!” This was Nonius definitely.

“I don’t care you bloody moron, go!” I don’t know about this voice .

I opened my eyes for a split second before I drifted off to slumber. What I saw in that split second, was Volcanus’ hands separating from his body. Volcanus’ stubs of hands were dripping with red. I couldn’t do anything.

*Swoosh, Boom*

146 B.C.

We were running past the Romans and Greeks locked in combat. Screams, blood, violence, death. I’ll never forget this day as long as I live. Smoke evacuated into the air. My Sandals were beaten by my feet. I was out of breath. My legs and arms ached. My heart was bursting out of my chest. My lungs were collapsing on themselves. I couldn’t run anymore. The only thing that kept me running was fear and will power alone. Sabo appeared to be struggling too. I wanted to say something to him, but it would expend too much energy. I had to stop, I couldn’t keep this up. “Sabo, I have to stop.” I couldn’t go any farther.

“We’re only halfway there!” Sabo was serious. Then I heard footsteps heading towards us. “Quick in here,” Sabo whispered. He pulled me into an ally. We ducked down the alley.

“Sabo, there’s nothing but a single barrel,” I pointed out. “There’s not enough room for the both of us!”

“Hide in it Bon, I’ll be fine.” I knew he wouldn’t be fine, but Sabo was stubborn. I knew he wouldn’t change his mind. I walked in the dank alley over to the barrel. I went to climb in the barrel, but I was paralyzed by pure terror. Three Romans gladiators stood behind Sabo and I. “Stay back!” Sabo tried to be brave, but wasn’t. The gladiators looked extremely frightening and intimidating. All of them had big, strong, beefy muscles. They also were covered in armor from head to toe. It was astonishing they could move at all.

One of the enemy’s spoke. “Keep the weak ones that can’t fight back. Kill the strong ones.” I wondered to myself, did that include Sabo? The gladiator lifted his spear up, in a throwing position. A deathly intention in his eye. My eyes turned blank.

“S-s-Sa..bo?” I was so fearful for my brother. My eyes widened as there was movement from the spear. The gladiador chucked the spear through the air, like a plane cutting through the sky. Without thinking, I jump in front of Sabo. I’ll die but not he. I was fully prepared to die, until Sabo lugged me to the ground. “SABO NO!” It was too late. The spear went right through Sabo’s chest, catching flesh with it. Blood met the sand.

“Bon I, love you.” Sabo mumbled as he was jerked to the ground.

I ran quicker than I ever had to Sabo. “Sabo no, don’t die! You can’t die here! You’re too strong too!” Tears ran down mine, and Sabo’s faces. I held my dying in my arms as emotion fought inside me.

“Get the boy! Turn him into a gladiator! He can fight till he drops!” The gladiator shouted as two of his posse grabbed me by the arms.

“Bon,” Sabo choked out. “Live, and become,” Sabo spat a big clump of blood. “A great gladiator.” Sabo started to turn blank behind the eyes. “Also, I love y-,” Sabo turned blank behind the eyes completely.

“I LOVE TOO SABO! I LOVE YOU TOO.” I watched my adopted brother die right before my eyes. The gladiators that had Sabo’s blood on his hands dragged me away. This was too much for an 11 year old. I dropped into a deep abyss. It seemed like I would never wake up.

116 B.C.

I awoke in a house, or in a bed. Dazed I tried to gather my thoughts, what happened? Nonius had walked in, the rickety floor creaked as Nonius took each step. “Look, we’re free.” My face lit up with glee. Nonius went to speak again, “but Volcanus sadly didn’t make it.”

What once was an ecstatic expression swiftly turned to a rainy storm cloud “Volcanus?” I shut down, even though I knew Volcanus for 30 minutes.” I jolt of regret shot through my body. It was like lightning from a hurricane. “How did we escape?” I needed answers desperately.

Nonius’ face looked like he was plunging deep into his memory. “I watched as everyone retreated from the arena. Gas bombs were tossed into the arena, immediately after Volcanus perished. Gas rummaged through the arena, chasing me. I ran as long as I could, but got trapped in the poisonous vortex. Citizens got trapped in the gas as well. I watched as it knocked them out. I eventually succumbed to the gas, and here we are. I just woke up in that bed, five minutes ago.

I looked to the door which opened up slowly  A mysterious man walked into the room. The man was so mysterious, indulging, and intriguing. He was black, so black you could only see his outline. He had a reddish tint to him though. The weird thing about the man was his hands weren’t outlined. The figure crept to my bedside. He appeared to have red eyes like lava. Nonius tensed, but let go of his troubles. The outlined figure moved what seemed to be his mouth. “What will you gladiators do now?”

I questioned what I would do, but came to unanimous decision. “I’ll go work at a lumber mill, considering i’m already strong.”

“I’ll go too,” Nonius butted in. “I’m also fit, and good with blades.”

Everything seemed good and fixed, but I had one question to the man in reddish black. I had to quench my curiosity. “Who are you strange man?”

    The strange man readied the words he was prepared to talk. “Well, my identity is… Volcanus.”

By: Ethan, age 12

Hogwarts Fan Fiction

It was July 26, and Violet still didn’t get her letter. Violet was an 11 year old, barely over the height of 5 feet. She had long, brown, wavy hair and brilliant blue eyes. She had been sitting at the same window for a week, only leaving to sleep and eat.

“Don’t worry Violet,” said her mom. “Hogwarts would love to gain a wonderful witch like you,” she said. Violet smirked.

“I’ve told you this several times,” her mom started. “You’ve showing signs of magic ever since you were a baby,” she said. This didn’t make her feel any better.

“Look!” yelled her brother Quinton. He was a tall, skinny boy and is in his fourth year at Hogwarts.  A large, brown barn owl landed on the front porch. Then, an envelope, yellowing with age, shot through the mail slot on the door. Violet sprinted to the door. She picked up the envelope with great interest. Turning it over, Violet gasped , ¨Finally it is here!” she yelled. She read it over and over again.

¨We can go to Diagon Alley tomorrow to get your supplies.¨ said her mom.

¨ I wonder what house you will be sorted into?” asked Quinton. Quinton was a proud Hufflepuff. His room was a sea of black and yelllow flags, posters, shirts, and pants. He also did not want his little sister there with him.

¨I want to be in Ravenclaw!” exclaimed Violet. She already had a Ravenclaw poster in her room. Violet slept well last night, she dreamt of being sorted into Ravenclaw and being a prefect in her 5th year.

As usual, her alarm woke her at 8 in the morning. She was ecstatic because she was going to Diagon Alley today!

¨Can we please go to Ollivanderś wand shop please?” asked Violet.

¨Whatever you want,¨ smiled her dad.

They entered the Leaky Cauldron and went around the back. Her dad tapped on a series of bricks with his wand and Diagon Alley formed before them.

“Wow.” Violet gasped. She had only been here once before, and that was when Quinton got his Hogwarts letter.

They were already on their way to get her wand. She was most excited about getting her wand. She could picture it in her head, dark wood with a beautiful design on it.

“I wonder what core I’ll have,” she thought. “Unicorn, veela, dragon heartstring, who knows?” she thought. They turned the corner to Ollivander’s. All the shops looked almost the same, tall and dark with different color windows.

“Hello there young lady”, said a man with long graying hair, “Are you looking for a wand today?” he said. Violet smiled,

“Yes I am!” she replied.

“Alright,” started Ollivander, “Try this one, yew, 10 and one half inches, and dragon heartstring core.” he said

The second the wand touched her skin, stuff was flying everywhere. New wands that would soon find their owners, papers, and books. Ollivander waved his wand and everything went back into place.

“Alright, alright,” said Ollivander, “That’s not a good fit, try this one.” he then pulled out a longer box than the first. Violet felt bad for messing up his shop.

“Okay, let’s try this one, willow, 11 inches and unicorn hair core”. He said

This one was different, the second it touched her hand, she felt like she had all the power in the world. Violet smiled.

“Perfect!” exclaimed Ollivander, “You’ll be a great witch with this wand.” he said. Her parents paid (Violet didn’t want to know how much it was, surely a couple galleons) and they were on there way. Violet really wanted her own owl. Especially a snowy owl.

“We’ll see.” said her dad. They were nearing the pet shop. Violet could see the cats, toads, and owls. Only one owl stuck out to her. It was a brilliant snowy owl with dark brown eyes and a body as white as the snow.

“Please mom and dad please!” pleaded Violet.

“Okay, fine. But we are not taking care of it for you,” said her dad. “This is your responsibility.” he said. Violet wasn’t listening, she was already in the shop looking at all the animals. Before she could walk up to her favorite owl, a young boy walked up and snatched the cage. He looked oddly familiar. He had emerald green eyes and a lightning bolt scar.

“Harry Potter!” she thought. He was walking with what seemed to be a giant. Quinton noticed her staring,

“Yeah, that’s  Harry Potter,” he began, “He’s in your year. Best try to make friends with him,” he said, “Oh and that’s Hagrid, he’s half giant if your were wondering. He’s also the game keeper at Hogwarts.” he added. Violet nodded. She felt discourged, now there was no snowy owl left. She wondered around the store hoping to find a similar owl.

“Hey Violet!” yelled someone in the distance, “I found another one!” they yelled. It was Quinton. She headed to the back of the store. This owl, was the same if not prettier then the one Harry Potter just took. She snatched the cage before anybody else could.

Harry Potter and Hagrid were still at the checkout when they got there

“Beautiful owl yer’ got ter’.” said Hagrid.

“Thank you!” said Violet. Harry smiled at her, she smiled back.

“See you at Hogwarts!” said Harry.

“See you there!” Violet replied. “He seemed to be a nice kid, hopefully we will be in the same house and become friends.” she thought.

“Platform nine and three quarters,” she thought. “Do i really have to run through a wall?” The platform was between platforms 9 and 10. You would have to run through a huge brick wall to acess it.

“Okay, Quinton first,” yelled her dad. “Then, Violet you will go with your mom,” he said.

“See you there!” yelled Quinton. They ran at the wall and disappeared between platforms nine amd ten.

“Ready?” whispered her mom. Violet’s mom, unlike Violet had long blonde hair, was very thin and had emerald green eyes.

“Um… “ she began. “Sure?” she said.

“3,2,1 GO!” yelled her mom. So many things were going through Viloet’s head. What if the muggles see her? What if the barrier is sealed? She was an inch from the barrier and she couldn’t stop now. It felt like nothing as she passed through the barrier between platforms nine and ten.

The train was scarlet and black. Waiting for young witches and wizards to board her to go to another year at Hogwarts.

“Give the man your ticket honey.” said her dad. She handed the man her ticket and went back to her parents. She began to cry, wet tears falling down her cheecks. She has never been away from her parents for this long.

“We’ll miss you, Violet,” said her mom. “Go ahead, follow your brother.” said her mom. She reluctantly followed Quinton. All the compartments were packed. After searching for a while they finally found a compartment with only two people in it.

“Trevor!” yelled the boy in the compartment. He sprinted out of the compartment. A small green and yellow spotted toad hopped out of their compartment.

¨Oh hi there,” said the girl. ¨Sorry about that. Neville always loses his toad.” she said.

“Is it okay if we sit here?” asked Violet. She hoped she would say yes because there was no other place to sit.

“No, not at all, I’m Hermione Granger.” she said.

“Hi Hermione,” Violet began. “I’m Violet and this is my brother Quinton, nice to meet you” she said.

“Hey, Quinton!” yelled a boy outside of the door.

“See you Violet,” Quinton said quickly. “Nice to meet you Hermione” then, he went to catch up with his friend.

“So,” Hermione started. “Is this your first year at Hogwarts?” she asked.

“Yep, although my brother is in his fourth year.” she said.

“I am hoping to be in Ravenclaw!” exclaimed Hermione.

“Me too!” said Violet. “I’m most excited for charms class.” she said.

Just then a plump boy with short brown hair came into the compartment. It was Neville again.

“Hermione,” Neville began. “Can you please help me find Trevor, I just can’t find him!”

“Sure Neville! I’ll be right back Violet.” Violet smiled as they left. She decided to put on her robes.

¨Anything off the trolley dear?” said an old lady pushing a trolley full of sweets.

“I´ll a chocolate frog please.” she said. They were her favorite. She only liked them for the cards.

¨Albus Dumbledore!” she exclaimed. By this time, Hermione was back.

¨He’s headmaster!¨ said Hermione. ¨A really good one too from what I’ve heard!¨ she continued.

¨I think we´ll be arriving soon.” said Violet. She could see the massive, aged castle in the distance.

“Firs’ years, firs’ years over here!” yelled Hagrid over and over again. “Yer’ get ter’ take the boats this year! Firs’ years! Over here!” he yelled again. “Then, yer’ gonna get sorted in the Great Hall.” Violet had forgotten about sorting, this now made her very nervous.

“Sorted,” she said under her breathe.

“Alright, welcome back to Hogwarts!” shouted an aged women with lime green robes.
“Welcome back to our students and welcome to this years first year students! I’m Professor Mcgonagall and I’m happy to have all of you as students! Let’s get to sorting!” she said.

She read off a list of people’s names. They would make their way up to a circular wooden stool in front of every one in the Great Hall and Professor Mcgonagall would place an ancient looking hat on your head. Based in your personality, the hat would sort you into your house.

“Hermione Granger.” called Professor Mcgonagall. Hermione made her way up nervously to the stool. Professor Mcgonagall placed the hat on her head.

“Hmm…” said the sorting hat. “Great mind, very brave,” they started. “GRYFFINDOR!” yelled the hat. Cheers erupted from the Gryffindor table. The banner of scarlet and gold banner was waving above.

“Oh no!” thought Violet. “I hope I’m in Gryffindor now.” she thought desperately.

A couple names later, “Violet Scammander!” shouted Mcgonagall over the crowd. When the hat was placed on her head, it slipped right passed her eyes. She felt comfort now, she felt alone and no one could see her.

“Ready mind, creative… RAVENCLAW!” shouted the had. The hat was lifted from her eyes. Cheers erupted from the table. Unlike Gryffindor, the banner was blue and bronze. The banner was waving in the wind as if to welcome her to the table. She sat next to a girl, who also got sorted into Ravenclaw. She had long dark hair, hazel eyes and dark skin.

“Hi!” said the girl. “I’m Stella!”

“Hi Stella, I’m Violet!” she said. She had just sat down and had already made a friend.

“Maybe it will be a good year,” she thought. Then, the feast began, Violet stuffed herself with delicious turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, pumpkin juice, cauldron cakes, and basically everything else on the long, wide table. Her and Stella laughed and talked about their home lives and what they were looking forward to at Hogwarts this year. After a while Professor Mcgonagall yelled, “Alright! Follow the prefects to your dormitories!” yelled professor Mcgonagall.

“I’m so excited for this year!” thought Violet. “Hopefully I have some classes with Stella.” she thought. Then, she followed Stella and the other Ravenclaw students to the dormitories.

By: Mia, age 12