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Youth Writing 2012

Middle School First Place - 127 Hours … Grounded in my Room By Jackson Melton

127 Hours … Grounded in my Room

By Jackson Melton


I should never have lost my temper with Anthony Byte. I’m sorry, I should probably introduce myself. I am Chris P. Bacon. Right now, I am grounded in my room for 127 hours. Yeah, like the movie, but I wouldn’t have to cut off my own arm to get out of this. I should probably tell you why I am grounded.

Why not start at the beginning? I was in Ms. Fay’s Honors Algebra class, when he walked in. Anthony Byte was the biggest bully ever in Giannorio High School history. He walked to the very back of the room and sat down in the chair closest to the back corner.

“Everybody, I want you to all meet Mr. Anthony Byte”, said Ms. Fay, “He just transferred here from Lawrence K. Folk High School.”

“I had to come here. I was expelled.” Said Anthony Bytes.

He wasn’t the most pleasant of people. After class was over, Ms. Fay asked me to show him to his locker. I took 3 steps out of the classroom, and I found myself pinned up against the lockers.

“Found it.” grunted Anthony. He slugged me, right in the chest. I was on the ground, gasping for breath. He was walking down the hall, when I got back up and screamed, “Hey, where are you going!?!”

He turned around and smiled. “I am not done with you!” I screamed. This brings me to my first tip:

Tip 1: Control your anger.

I won’t go into detail as to what happened next but I’ll put it like this, I found out what the inside of locker 47 looked like.

“Chris,” said my mother, “we need to talk.”

Thus my mother ruins my flashback. So now we go forward to present time, with me siting in my bedroom.

“What?” I said.

“You know why you are in trouble, don’t you?”


“I want you to go to school tomorrow and apologize to him.”

“Okay.” I answered.

She then left my room and closed the door behind her.

Where was I? Oh yeah, we never did get along. Every day when I walked down the hall, he would harass me. Eventually, I just couldn’t take it anymore. So, one day, when he came down the hall to harass me, I shouted down the hall, “Hey, here comes Mr. Byte Me!” The entire hall burst into laughter. He then came up to me and shoved me against the lockers.

“What did you say?” Anthony said, with a vicious snarl.

I then pushed him away and tried to punch him. Next thing I knew, we were on the ground, punching and screaming when Ms. Fay came by.

“Boys,” she shouted, “what are you doing?!?”

She had some of the students pull us apart. “I should have both of you expelled!” she said, obviously angry.

She looked straight at me “Chris, I thought you were better than this. Detention,” then she turned around to look at Anthony, “for both of you.”

“But, that’s not fair!” I shouted “He was harassing me!”

“I don’t care what he was doing, that is no way to act at school.” said Ms. Fay. This brings me to my second tip:

Tip 2: Never respond to bullying with violence.

 It was a slow day after that. Nobody would come near me in the hallways. Nobody sat next to me at lunch. I sat in the very back of the room at all of my classes. Then came detention, the cherry on the top of a great day (By the way that was sarcasm.) Anthony and I sat on opposite sides of the room, 2 hours of utter silence. But, the worst part was yet to come, the parent’s reaction.

“Son?” my father said, interrupting my flashback. Another good flashback ruined.

“Yeah?” I said.

My dad entered my room and sat down on my bed.

“Listen, I probably didn’t, ummm, react too, (cough), ummmm, well when you, uhhh…” my dad stuttered. Outside the door, I heard a cough.

“Mom?” I said. I then heard hurried footsteps in the hallway. “Mom?” No reaction.

“Listen, I just want to say that the only reason why I said what I said when you came home was because I care for your future.” my dad explained. “I just don’t want something like this to stop you from going to college or getting a job.”

“I understand, Dad.” I said.

“Okay, good because I was afraid this was going to turn into one of those really awkward conversations that are usually found in books or short stories that are completely irrelevant to the storyline and are only put in to take up space, but the author needs some kind of feel-good, happy-family that will not make it seem like a complete waste of words.” said my Dad.

“Yeah,” I said, “This wasn’t one of those conversations.”

He then smiled and left. This brings me to my third tip:

Tip 3: Your parents will always be there for you.


When I got home, I tried to sneak my way up into my room, hoping that they wouldn’t notice that I was home yet.

“Chris,” said my mother, “please come into the dining room.”

I trudged into the dining room. There was my mom and dad, sitting at the dining room table.

“We need to talk.” my dad said.

“There’s nothing to talk about,” I said, “just a little fight at school.”

“A ‘little fight at school’? Sure, that’s not a big deal at all.” said my dad sarcastically. Now you see where I get it from.

“Dad...” I started to say.

“No,” my dad interrupted, “I already know what happened. The school called me earlier today. You fought another student at school.”

“He was harassing me!” I screamed. Nobody understood what I was going through!

“That still isn’t the way you respond to something that irritates you. You don’t see me tackling IRS agents because we have expensive bills, do you?” said my dad.

“Well,” my mom said, “there was that one time…”

“Not helping.” said my dad.

I then turned around and started to go to my room.

 “And where do you think you are going?” said my mom.

“To my room.” I shot back, more disrespectfully than I had meant.

“Well, you’ll be up there for a while because you are grounded for the rest of the week.” she said, at the bottom of the staircase.

“Fine,” I screamed back, “I don’t have any friends at school anyways!!!” I stomped to my room and slammed the door. This brings me to my fourth tip: 

Tip 4: Respect adults, especially your parents.

       When in my room, I estimated exactly how long I would be grounded. It would be about 126 hours and 57 minutes. I just rounded it up to 127 hours.   

       Now here I am grounded for getting into a fight with Anthony Byte. I have a lot of things I need to apologize for. I need to apologize to Anthony, for my rude remarks, Ms. Fay, for disrespecting her, and my parents, for disrespecting them. This brings me to my fifth tip:

Tip 5: It’s never too late to apologize.

The next day, I walked up to Anthony Byte.

“Hey, Anthony.” I said.

He turned around and said sourly, “What do you want?” 

“I am sorry for calling you ‘Mr. Byte Me’ and for getting into a fight with you. I was just a little angry because of all the remarks you made about me for the past couple of weeks. I know now that that was not the right way to act in that kind of situation.”

He looked surprised from my apology. “Umm, apology accepted.” he said. I stuck out my hand and he shook it. From then on we were great friends.

Next, I went to apologize to Ms. Fay.

“Ms. Fay?” I said.

“Yes?” said Ms. Fay

“I just wanted to say that I am sorry for yelling at you in the hallway a couple of days ago. That wasn’t the appropriate way to respond in that type of situation. I was just under a lot of anger and stress at the time.”

“It’s quite alright.” said Ms. Fay

The rest of the school day went on normally from there except I had a new friend, Anthony Byte. At the end of the day, I went home and apologized to my parents.

“Mom, Dad, I’m sorry for disrespecting you and getting in trouble at school. I should never have gotten into a fight with Anthony Byte but you should know that now we have forgiven each other.” I said.

“It’s okay.” said my mom.

“I am glad to see that you to have forgiven each other.” said my dad. So now, everything was back to the way it was, and now I am no longer grounded for 127 hours.



High School Second Place - Inside Tips for Teens By Katie Guider

            Inside Tips for Teens

                              By: Katie Guider


           There are so many tips that I could give to teens. Everywhere from do not smoke to

always wear your seatbelt. When you get into your teenage years, you think it is the greatest

thing ever and it can be. But once your turn into your teen years, people think people expect

more. Like being more mature and working harder. So, sometimes a teen can seem like the most

 awesomeness thing ever. But always remember the expectations.


          To begin with never ever smoke or drink. You hear this from everyone, but it is because it is a very important thing to remember. When you smoke just once, you will get hooked and start an awful habit, and you will die. Plain and simple. Drinking is bad too. Especially, if your under 18. Drinking can make you do and say things that you normally would not do. Another reason to not smoke and drink is that you may lose a lot of friends, and may start associate with the wrong ones.


          Another tip for teens is that you ever are pressured to do something you don’t want to do,

don’t do it. Stand up for yourself and don’t let someone pressure you. For example, if someone

says “go steal that shirt” and you do, you are probably going to be the one that is going to be

caught. If your brought into questioning, you will be the one getting in trouble because you’re

the one that stole from the place. But pier pressure is one of the main reasons teens get in trouble.


      If you ever have anyone pier pressure you to do anything, go tell someone. Do not be afraid or embarrassed to tell a friends, parent, or teacher. Basically, don’t let anyone pressure you to do

something you don’t want to do.


           Also, always drive and ride with a seatbelt on. If you or your parents are ever in a car

accident and you do not have your seatbelt on, you can get seriously injured maybe even killed.

Short story, there was a girl who lived in my grandparents neighborhood. She was 18 years old.

 She was coming off the mountain and texting. Which I will explain later, but anyways flipped

her car. She was not wearing a seatbelt, therefore she was thrown out of the car and landed in

front of the vehicle. The car ran back over her and killed her instantly. I was a horrific scene. But the main point is, if she would have been wearing her seatbelt, she would have probably still been alive.


      Now, what I mentioned earlier, texting while driving. It is an awful, horrible thing to do.  So

many young people die every day because of texting and driving.  You may think that you can

text and drive, but the second you take your eyes off the road, anything could happen. So, please take a pledge to never text and drive.


     Another helpful tip for teens is never let anyone tell you you’re not beautiful.  NEVER let

anyone run over you or bully you.  If you are getting bullied, tell a teacher, parent, or just

someone.  Never ever let them get you down.  Also, never be a bully yourself. Bullies are people you basically feel like they have to make everyone else’s life like poop.  Always remember to not judge someone. “Never judge a book by its cover.”


     But most importantly, have fun.  You’re a teen, you have so many years ahead of work.  So

enjoy your youth while you can.  Go out and spend time with your friends, go to football games

 and dances.  Live your life to the fullest while you can.  But not wild, because you don’t want to get into trouble.


     I hope these tips are helpful for teens to know how to live and love their youth.  Remember

never let anyone get you down or bully you.  Never drink, smoke, or do drugs.  Never text while driving and always wear your seat belt.


High School First Place - Untitled by Ginny Morris


By Ginny Morris


I am surrounded by a sea of strangers- older strangers, to be exact. They don't look, dress, or act like me. I see guys with beards, girls wearing dresses, and couples making out in the corner. Where am I supposed to fit into this picture?

            You see, everyone already has their "group", but here I am walking the halls alone, clueless of the location of my five friends. Yes, I only have five friends. I am so pathetic.

            I mean, I feel so tiny and helpless.  All of them are staring at me. I knew I shouldn't have worn this shirt; my shoes don't even match! My feet are so ugly and fat. Does my hair look bad? Maybe I used too much hair-spray. Does my make-up look bad? I bet it looks stupid; I don't even wear eye-liner yet! I wonder if they can sense my fear. Yep, I bet that's it.

            Wait, where am I? This school is huge! How am I ever going to find room 180, my homeroom? I should probably ask a teacher.

            "Excuse me, where is room 180?" I say, feeling like an idiot.

            "Upstairs, to the right." the teacher retorts.

            "Thank you!" I say, sounding a little too desperate.

            I scurry through the crowds trying not to knock anyone over with all of my bags- four to be precise. It's insane to be carrying around four bags- my purse, over-the-shoulder beach inspired backpack, polka-dot lunchbox, and Nike bag for gym with clothes and shoes inside- but I have to. I never had this much stuff to carry last year...

            The stairs are a mad house. There are even more "groups" and couples here! I guess this must be the hangout spot, the place to be. Strange, for I have no desire to hang out at the stairs; I, on the other hand, wish I were back home, safe in bed, like I was yesterday.

            Yesterday was the last day of summer, my last day of freedom. In my house, summer is a treasured time, a glorious reprieve. There are no cares, worries, or stress; it is a peaceful bliss, unlike my current location: Pickens High School. Today, as you may have already guessed, is my first day of high school.

            I don't think freshman quite fit in. There are many differences between freshman and upper class-men. They can drive; we can not. They have jobs; we do not. Most of them have credit cards; most of us do not. They wear whatever they want; we, on the other hand, are still trying to figure out what exactly our "style" is. We follow the latest fad; they do not. They don't seem to care what others think, but we still do. They seem to know who they are and what they want to do with their life; we do not, or at least I don't. I think freshman try too hard to fit in, whereas upper class-men do not. How in the world are we supposed to fit in and survive in this dog-eat-dog society?

            I have finally reached the upper ninth grade wing! Wow, this hall is deserted. Where is everyone? Oh wait; I see a group of guys. Of course, they are upper class-men- sophomores, I think.

            "Oh look at the little freshman!" one moron taunts and slings his arm above my head. All of his buddies laugh hysterically.

            Idiots. There is no need to ridicule me; they were freshman once before too!

            Oh well, the morons are gone, so it's just me and the hall again. Oh room 180, where are you? The bell is going to ring any second now, and the last thing I need is a tardy. I read the room number on door to my left: room 176. Hallelujah! I must be close! Room 177. I peer into room 178 as I walk by. In it, are some familiar faces from middle school. What a relief to know that I am not alone in the mist of this madhouse! I walk past the faces, then past Room 179.

            At last, room 180 is in sight! My joy quickly fades into sorrow, for when I round the corner, through the door, I don't recognize a single person in my homeroom. As I take a seat, I search the room desperately for someone, anyone that I might possibly know. No-one. If I don't even know anybody in my homeroom, will I know anybody in my other four classes? I'm doomed. How am I ever going to make it through this day of torture? 

High School Third Place "Tips on Being a Teen" by Bailey Stewart

Hi. My name is Dana. I decided to start this blog so all teens could get advice from me and their peers. Just ask a question and we’ll answer.


1.     Some of my friends are starting to say unkind things about other people at school and I don’t feel comfortable with their words. What should I do without hurting their feelings or ending our friendship?


Your friends are probably going through a stage of jealousy and want to make them feel better about themselves. They are belittling other people to make them feel as if they’re above everyone else. You should make sure to say positive things about them and the people they’re making fun of. Eventually, they will get back to being their original selves.


2.     I see a lot of bullying going around in the school and I want to stop it, but I have no clue how. How can I help those who are being bullied and eventually stop bullying altogether?


Be sure to help comfort the students being bullied. You can offer to sit by them at lunch, or invite them over to study. In any case, be sure to tell a teacher or a trusted adult about the bully. Don’t worry about feeling like a tattle-tale because your actions are worth it.


3.     I’m new to the school and I don’t have any friends here yet. I feel awkward and out of place during class and don’t know what to do or who to hang out with. What should I do?


Be yourself. All you need to do is be nice and act normal. During class one day, you could ask a group if you can work with them, or at lunch as if you can sit with a certain table. Chances are they will say yes in either event. Once you become acquainted with everyone, it will be very easy to decide who your friends will be.


4.     I am being made fun of for all the acne I have and I have become very self-conscience about my appearance. I am embarrassed and don’t know how to be more outgoing. Please help!


First off, ask your mom or dad to buy you some acne face cream. It will help get rid of some of your current acne. You can also try washing your face every night to remove any dirt that might clog up your pores. If you want to be more outgoing, just be yourself and voice your opinions. I hope that helps.


5.     I am falling behind in my homework and need better preparation for tests and quizzes! I need major help!


What you need to do is make a plan. You need to organize your work so you can get it done on time and still have time to do other things. For example; if you have an assignment due on Friday in each class, you can do math on Monday, language arts on Tuesday, social studies on Wednesday, and science on Thursday. Each night, make time for your daily homework as well. And don’t forget to study at least 10 minutes each night, especially if you have a quiz or test coming up. 


6.     I am constantly losing my homework and not remembering to do it or bring it back to school. My grades have dropped from an A to a C! How can I start remembering and bring my grades back up?


To remember your homework, start by putting a reminder on your phone or iPod. You can put sticky notes on your bedroom door, alarm clock, backpack, or fridge.  Have a friend text you or have your mom or dad remind you the night before and in the morning before you go to school. Make sure you have a place where you mainly do your homework. That way, you will eventually get into the habit of putting your homework there so you won’t forget it. To raise your grade, ask your teachers for extra credit work and make sure you study for all your tests and quizzes.


7.     I can’t remember my locker combination. I always forget even after I’ve repeated it about a thousand times! How can I make remembering easier?


Try remembering each number of your combination as a date.  My combination last year was 1-33-15. It was easy for me to remember because my mom’s birthday is on the first (1) day on the month, my address number is 33 and my birthday is on the fourteenth day of the month, which is close to 15. Just try doing that and see if it helps.





    Hey, Dana here, I would like to thank everyone who helped on the blog and gave advice. I would also like to thank those who asked for advice. It has been a fun experience being able to help my peers in a new and creative way. I would like to mention that this website will soon be deleted, but a continued version of my blog can be found on  Once again, thank you to everyone who participated in making this great!