Tag Archives: high school

Young Author Celebrates Learning Disabilities Month

The other day I posted a blog about being able to write a book in a week. Some people are born to write and I was one of them, but it wasn’t always apparent that I would be a writer. Before I had this ambitious dream to not go to college and be an author, I was a fifth grader reading at a third grade level.

I would like to say that I was horrible at everything. I loved loved loved learning, but when I was tested on a subject it seemed like I wasn’t learning at all. It bummed me out when I never had a sticker on my paper. My teachers, even in third grade, were asking for me to stay after to re think things. On projects I always got high marks because I had a creative mind. I was always looking for a way to take a project to the next level. I remember having a project on animals and I video taped an interview with a giraffe or my project on “Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William Mckinley and Me, Elizabeth” I made a quilt to show the stages of the book. My way of showing what I was learning was different from everyone else.

Different. I don’t think teachers were trained to have different kids in their class. I had teachers that were older and they were set in their ways. It was as if they didn’t see that kids could have different ways of going about things. I don’t know whether they didn’t have time to help or didn’t think the extra help would work. One of my teachers told my mom that I just need to work harder, but they didn’t understand that I was frustrated because I was giving them 110%.

Finally in fourth grade I had a younger teacher, who paid attention to detail. She saw that I was writing letters backwards and even forgetting whole words. Looking back I can remember one time when she asked me to write with her. I talked and she wrote everything I said. I had always been a great talker and I think she realized that I could talk well, but something was happening when I tried to write. She talked to my mom and I got tested. It makes me so happy that I’m almost in tears that she got me tested. Being tested was a turning point in my life.

They found that I had auditory processing disorder. My brain couldn’t process things like other people. I was getting the message, but when it came to spitting it back out on a test I couldn’t do it. Fifth grade was a learning year. I was placed in the special small classes and given many different ways to complete test. I absolutely loved the small classes. I really felt cared for in those classes. I was still a bit shy when asking questions about things I didn’t understand, but my confidence started to build.

My first A in math in fifth grade was one of the happiest moments for me and my mom. I was dancing around in the kitchen singing the I’ve got an A song. My butt was shaking. I didn’t care I was on top of the world. From that moment on I’ve always had the attitude that practicing and working hard I can do anything. I used to think that I was just horrible at everything, but I wasn’t. I just had different way of seeing things and finally I was being taught the way my brain needed.

I remember riding in the car with my mom and her explaining that I have a learning disability. She was explaining everything that was going to happen and the meetings I would have to attend with her. After she explained everything to me, I quickly told her that I don’t have a disability I have a difference. Learning disability to says that I have thing that’s disabling me from learning. No, I’m not limited on things I can learn. I only learn differently from everyone else. The Individual Education Plan or I.E.P that I got explained why I learned differently. I think this made my mom happy to know that I didn’t look down on myself.

By high school I was caught up to a normal reading and writing level. I still had trouble with a few things and I went into small classes for certain subjects. I was good with asking questions and making sure that my teachers taught in ways that I could understand. My counselor wasn’t the easiest person to talk to. To me, she was lazy. I would tell her that a teacher doesn’t pay me any attention and I needed extra help, but wasn’t receiving it. She would tell me to just put up with it. I skipped over talking to her. I went straight to my LD office and they would say this is what your IEP says and you aren’t receiving it, so we will get you into another class. I spoke up and got what I needed.

Aside from teachers there were also students in and outside of classes that seemed to look down on the LD program. I had many classmates see me alk into my small class room and say are you in a stupid class? why is your class so small? You know the small special classes are for stupid people? Then there were people in my own small classes that would say to people, we’re in small classes. we are stupid. I HATED THIS! Of course I stood up for the classes and I stood up for people in that class. We aren’t stupid. We learn differently and we learn at a different pace. We are learning the same thing as everyone else and we take the same standard state test. I don’t let people talk bad about a program that has helped me succeed.

The learning disabilities/ difference program helped me plan out my thoughts that I could see in my mind. The planning that I used for small projects when I was in elementary school helped me and continues to help me. I believe that the LD program turned me into the fast writer that I am today. I am a success story. I’m so grateful to all the teachers and parents that supported me and taught me to be a better me.

I’m always explaining to new kids in the program that they aren’t stupid. Don’t let anyone tell you that. You pay attention in your classes, you do your work and you will see that what these teachers in this program are teaching you will help you in the future. So many people are surprised with what happens after they are put into a program where teachers work with them and care for them individual.

Sometimes I think I should be a motivational speakers as well. (:

 

Ellie Grace

http://www.elliegracenation.weebly.com

http://www.voxacademyseries.com

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L.D. Kid

I am and always will be an L.D. student. L.D. stands for Learning Disability. I don’t like that label because it seems as if I am saying that I am disabled and cannot learn something. That is clearly not true. I can learn anything that a normal student can, but I have a different way to feed it into my mind and remember it. To me I have a learning difference.

Most people never know that I have a learning difference unless I talk about it. I am realizing now that I need to talk about it more because there are L.D. students out there that feel they won’t be able to ever get to the same place as the rest of the students at their school. I felt this way when I started out in fourth grade, but as the years went on things started to work so smoothly for me. I give so much credit to the L.D. program and the teachers who worked with me for my success with writing.

If you told me in fourth grade and any years before that I was going to be a published author by the time I was 18, I would have never believed you. Before I was in the system I was in normal classes and things were really hard to understand. Many of my teachers told my mom that I wasn’t working hard enough and that I pay attention fine in class, but I am not working hard enough in my work. My mom knew this wasn’t true. I loved all my teachers before fourth grade, but fourth grade was were I started to appreciate a teacher for what she really does. In fourth grade, my teacher noticed that something wasn’t right. She took the time to talk with me and try to figure out what I was trying to say. She realized that I was a lot smarter than I was putting down on paper. She also realized that I was writing numbers and letters backwards. When I look at how my writing used to be and all the mistakes, I think how didn’t any of my other teachers notice this? I am just thankful that she noticed. Fourth grade was the year things started to kick into high gear for me.

My teachers noticed that I had a lot of ideas and I was always talking about things, but I never wrote them down. They started helping me use organizers and plotting graphs to help me figure out my thoughts. Once I reached middle school I started to write more. I kept a few journals and I wrote many poems. I didn’t start writing long stories till the beginning of high school.

High school was when I started to crack out of my shell. I knew that reading and writing were my subjects. Grammar rules and punctuation weren’t strong and I know I still have a lot of work with that, but my writing was an illness. Through my late high school years I wrote all the time and I didn’t want to do anything, but write. My mind was realizing that my ideas could really come to life now that I knew how to write what I was thinking and seeing in my mind.

When I talk about my writing style people start to see that I am a visual learner and you start to see that writing is what I was supposed to do. I get ideas for writing a story every day and every situation is a good one for a story I might write sometime. My mind plays movies that are waiting to be told. Even in my dreams at night I have stories that want to be told. If I could write all day without my hands getting tired I would finish books in 3 days. I see the story from start to finish in my mind and all I have to do is write. Without the L.D. program I don’t think I would ever be able to make the connection I do with my mind to my pen.

Many people have learning differences, but I don’t think you are disabled. I don’t think you should ever think that you can’t become something because you learn differently. It made may be a struggle, but when you make it to your goal the finish line is so much sweeter.  The teachers in the L.D. system believe in you and you should believe in you too.

-Check out my book, The High School Stories by me, Ellie Grace on Amazon.com. There’s a  cute short story in there about learning disabilities (:

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You Can!

You can! What does this mean? It means exactly what it says. You can. You can do whatever you set your mind on. Some things aren’t accepted by the public and some are rather dangerous, so I would stay away from those, but anything else you can do and you should do.

I CAN BE A SUCCESSFUL YOUNG AUTHOR

As a young person that has finished high school and didn’t go to college it can be tough. Most people don’t understand how tough it’s been. I want to be a successful author. I know I can be successful I just have to keep working hard. Many people support my decision to follow my own path to become a writer, but it seems sometimes the path is lonely. I love writing. Writing is MY thang. I don’t want to be anything else if I can’t be writer. So, even when people think I sit at home all day and do nothing with my time, or even when people think that I probably won’t make it without having a degree, I push forward because in my mind I already see myself achieving my goal. I told my parents that I’d publish a book before I left high school and I did. I feel like I can always reach my goals. To some people they think I have set a really high goal for myself, but I don’t think it’s that far. I think I’ve ready started on the ladder of success.

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The Bomb

This is from my second book The High School Stories which is  collection of three short stories. This is the first chapter of the second story in the book called The Bomb.

Time 6:05

BEEP! BEEEP BEEEP! My alarm clock goes waking me out of my blessed sleep.  You know if it wasn’t for the ungodly hour at which we had to get up, for whatever, in the morning, or if wherever were going wasn’t hell on earth the alarm clock would be a blessing. Welp, too bad none of that’s true, so the alarm clock was still a demon. 

                I rolled over and shut my eyes, waiting for my father to come in like he usually does.  I looked at my clock 6:05 AM and I could hear my father coming in 5, 4,3,2,1. Here comes Johnny. No, my dad’s not named Johnny, but it’s just one of those sayings from a talk show.

                “Good morning son! It’s time for some fun!” my dad said, walking away with a big smile.

                “Yeah,”  I said, because that’s what my dad says everyday and it never proves anything.

                “Ahab!  Are you up? I have good feeling about today,” My mom said, walking passed my room.

                “A good feeling for who?” I asked, knowing she wouldn’t hear me anyway.

                So now, you’re like, “Whoa! Stop the train! Your name is Ahab?”

Yes, that’s my name. I know I’ve gotten crap from everybody about it.  My parents thought it would be a hoot to name their kid Ahab, but have him be the sweetest kid ever. They liked the irony of it.  Most people when they first meet me go, “oh are your parents Muslims?” 

That’s a no. My parents don’t go to church or anything, but they love God.  Both my mom and dad are black. I prefer not to use African American because 1)it’s a lot more to say and 2) I don’t give two craps about being political correct.

                I get out of bed and walk a couple feet down the hallway to my bathroom.  Being an only child I have certain places that are mine, all mine, and if I was to have a sibling it would be ruined by having to half everything.  No, I’m not a selfish bastard. I am just telling the truth. I like having my stuff and my areas.  You can probably also conclude I don’t like people touching all over my stuff. Anyways I took my shower and got dressed in the standard clothing I always wear. Black jeans with a white t-shirt. I put on my black socks and my black Adidas.  I went down the hallway to the kitchen where my parents were watching the news. I grabbed my backpack off the floor and slipped out of the house.

                I don’t like sitting down to eat in the mornings. I mean how can anything get processed at 6 in the morning. Really? My body isn’t ready to do much of anything till 9 at the earliest.  I walked down the street to the community cue bus stop and waited for the bus to come.  I don’t take a school bus to school because I’d rather not have the awkward moment where you have to choose between sitting next to this person or that person. The community bus gives a pleasant, less awkward and more mature way to ride to school.

          Time 7:10

                I arrived at school five minutes till 15 after 7. I go to a public school.  Public school were you are allowed to be yourself, but most people find themselves belonging to a certain clique which you can’t break the rules in or they kick you out.  I don’t belong to one clique I just dance around the edges of everything. Being black I should belong to the ghetto gangster kids, or the extreme opposite the nerds. I don’t belong to either. I am smart, but I am not that smart. I couldn’t fit in with the ghetto kids cause they’re always picking on me for liking white people music such as rock.  Of course I love hip hop, but I like other things. I am open individual, they on the other hand aren’t. I also don’t wear my pants all the way to my thighs, but I also don’t wear my clothes tight.  I usually avoid their looks and stares by trying not to walk by where they hang out. They always have to talk really loudly about things. Not that I would do anything if they came up to me to say anything. It’s just stupid, if you have something to say and it isn’t something totally stupid then I want to hear it.

                I went to my locker and up to my first class.

My first class is Geometry. Now math I don’t have a problem with.  I think it’s a necessary class that opens my mind to things I’ll need in the future. But do I seriously need four years of this? I know for a fact that I will not grow up to be a mathematician or a scientist that’s going to need all those formulas. It’s just not going to happen. If in the future I decide I actually want to be one of those things, which won’t happen, but if, isn’t that’s what college is for?

                My teacher is a really nice lady named Ms. Bell. She’s a younger teacher that’s pretty funny, so I enjoy being in her class. She is one of those teachers who says that,” I’m not doing this for my health” saying. I am pretty sure I’m not learning for my health either. Plus if we really wanted to go deep in the matter she is getting paid to do this and I am pretty sure that her pay check has some health care benefits in there too. So, she’s doing this more for her health than any student in this class.

                On this particular morning the class was buzzing about some major gossip.  It’s only 7:20 and there’s already gossip and I know your thinking only in high school, which is the same thing I was thinking.

Now, because I have all of about 2 and a half friends it’s hard to know all the details.  From what I could hear from the girl’s desk beside me there were men in dark black coats about 6 of them.  Then there were police man with dogs that came in and that means there is a bomb in the school. When she said the last part her whole table was in an up roar. This could possibly be true, but why the heck would we still be in school? Some people really don’t think their stories through.

                The announcements came on. We got up for the pledge of alliance. It’s weird because we pledge alliance like a cult or something. Everyone gets up like robots and says the same thing. That’s pretty cult like if you ask me. Not that I have ever been in a cult, but I’ve seen the movies. 

Anyways, I stand to be respectful. I always stand, but I don’t always say it. Some mornings I am just too tired to recite the cultish chant, but I always get up and put my hand over my heart. There are some people that want to stand out, so they sit with this mean look on their face while the pledge is being said. I understand that we are at war and that you want to silently protest the president’s decision and whatever else is in your head, but as much as this is a cult, it’s also suppose to be a nation coming together. I understand a person in the military not standing because that’s a real protest action, but you’re in high school nobody cares. They probably think you just have something wrong with your legs.

                The principal goes through all the normal announcements then he finally gets to all the good stuff and everyone is quiet.

                “I am sure you’ve all heard about the incident this morning and I would like to make a clear statement about what is going on.” He said coughing to clear his throat. “There was a serious bomb threat made against our school and the FBI was called in to do an intense search of the school. They did not find anything that looked to be out of order. The school is safe, so please don’t be alarmed. We haven’t found out who called the bomb threat, but we have a lead. If anyone has any information they would like to bring forward I’ll be in my office all day. Thank you.” The principal concluded.

                After the announcement the whole class was talking and even I turned to the dude next to me and asked if he could believe this. I wondered who could pull a prank like that. My first thought is my fellow seniors. Senior pranks are always pretty lame, but maybe they actually did something serious instead of putting a tire around the flag pole.

                A teacher came into see Ms. Bell. Sometimes it seems that teachers live for the students to have drama, so that they have something to talk about.

                “Did you hear that announcement?” One of the teachers from down the hall came in and said to Ms. Bell. Someone always has to say something like that. No, she didn’t hear it because in the last 5 minutes since you last saw her she became deaf. Why do people ask questions like these?

                “Yeah, I heard it.” Ms. Bell said back excitedly, obliviously ignoring the fact that this teacher thinks she had became deaf.

                “So, what do you think?” the other teacher said.

                “I don’t know. I am going to ask some of my students if they know anything. I am pretty sure it was just a hoax. Out of all the schools, ours is the one with a bomb? That’s too random to be true,” she said in disbelief.

                “I don’t know. Hopefully, John will send out an email for the teachers.”

                “Maybe, I’ll be on standby,” Ms. Bell said, obviously done talking to this other teacher.

                “Okay, well, let me know if you find anything out.” She said closing the door.

                Ms. Bell checked some things on her computer and then gave us the daily warm up to start working on.

As Ms. Bell came around to check homework and attendance, someone knocked on the door.  And of course there’s that awkward moment where people are close to the door, but they don’t open it. The first seconds are wasted because everyone thinks the door is unlocked, but it’s not. The second, third, and fourth seconds are wasted deciding which person is going to get the door. Someone says they’ve got it, and then you’re like “no, it’s fine I’ve got it,” but then the first person insists they’ve got it, but then you insist, but then neither of you get up to the door. Then, finally, someone gets to the door and opens it.

                The girl came in the room with one of those blue slips that everyone wants to get. Especially when you’re in a class that’s academic. Everyone watched her like we were on “The Price is Right” and any one of us could be the next lucky player. The girl gave the paper to Ms. Bell. Everyone was quiet and listened as the girl said that the principal would like to see “him” as soon as possible. Now everyone change their minds about this blue slip.

                “Ahab,” Ms. Bell said, holding out the slip. “It’s for you.”At this moment, I wanted to be stupid and say “Ahab who?” Or hope to God that someone else was named Ahab, but of course there’s only one Ahab in the whole school. “You might want to bring your things. I am not sure how long this is going to take.” I got up taking my things in my arms. I went up to front of the room to get the pass from Ms. Bell. The whole class watched me as I left. They knew like I knew that this might not be so good.

                I made my silent way to the principal’s office. I did what any other kid would do, brainstorm ideas for why I was being called down. I couldn’t think of anything, only that I was getting a citizenship award for being so nice and staying after to help my teachers. I couldn’t think of anything else.

                I reached the office and I gave the slip to the smiling secretary. She looked at it then looked at me with a stern face and pointed at a chair. I didn’t understand what I did to deserve the sudden change in attitude, but I had a feeling that I wasn’t in the principal’s office for a good reason. I sat down in a chair across from a girl that gave me a smile as I sat down.

Now girls can give a billion different faces, but this one was friendly and inviting. Though she didn’t seem like my type of girl. She looked like one of those girls that would spend ten hours in the mirror doing their hair and changing their clothes for one normal day of school. Yes, she was pretty, but I am sure she would have been even prettier without all that work. She also seemed like she was a clique type person. I don’t like clique people because they don’t have much of an open mind. I could feel that she was still staring at me, but I looked at the ground. I wasn’t embarrassed; I was just choosing my friends wisely.

                Mr. Burns, the principal, came out of his office and waved me to come in. I stepped in his office. There was another man in there with a full suit on. He gave me a mean stare as I entered the room.  Now, I didn’t know this man and I was pretty sure I hadn’t hurt him in a past life, so I didn’t understand the mean looks. It’s one thing to stare at me because I’m wearing a clown suit, but it’s another thing to stare at me just because you feel like it.

                “You can sit down.” Mr. Burns said pointing to a seat across from his desk. The other man and Mr. Burns went to the other side of the desk. Mr. Burns sat in his chair and the other man just stood aside of him.

 “Now,” he started after I sat down. “This is Detective Leo from the FBI. He would like to ask you some questions. Would that be alright?”

                “Yeah, of course it’s cool. What is this about?”

                “Nothing, just answer the questions and everything will be fine,” Mr. Burns said, folding his hands.

                “Ahab?” Det. Leo asked.

                “Yeah?” I answered.

                “Are you a Muslim?”

                “No.”

                “Are you in a gang?”

                “No.”

                “Then why are you wearing all black?”

                “I like black. It’s just a color I like to wear. I am not a real colorful person.”

                He nodded his head at me.  “Why did your parents name you Ahab?”

                “They thought it would be ironic to name a kid Ahab because Ahab is usually the bad guy, but they raised me to be sweet and innocent.”

                “And are you always innocent?”

                “Yeah,” I said, nodding my head. “I don’t get into any trouble.”

                “I know you heard about the bomb threat….”

                “What about it?”

                “We were wondering if you knew anything about that?”

                Now, I was officially pissed off.

“You think because I have a Muslim name, and I wear black clothes that I am the one calling a bomb threat? Do you know how wrong that is? Excuse me, Detective Leo, but I could assume that you’re a Catholic and a salesman with that outfit. But that’s probably not true. You’re supposed to be a Detective sir. You aren’t supposed to be assuming things.  I know nothing about this bomb threat and I would like to leave this office now,” I said, looking at both the man.

                Neither of them said anything for a while. They just looked at me shocked that I had said a thing like that. I am not completely stupid. I know when I am being hassled and that ain’t cool.

                “So, you may not have done it, but we need your help to figure out who did it.”

                “How am I going to figure out who did it? You called me down here in front of my whole class and they all think I did something wrong.”

                “You’ll have to say that I just wanted to talk to you about some scholarship things. And as for finding out who did it, you’re smart you’ll figure it out. Besides if you don’t figure this out it’s both our heads.” Mr. Burns said speaking up.

                “Yeah, okay, but I am not that smart,” I said, rubbing my head in disbelief.

                “If you need any help, son, you know where we are. You will have full access to the files,” Det. Leo said.

                “Unless you want a lawsuit then you won’t pressure a student into being an agent for you.” I said, still shaking my head.

I got up without saying anything to the two men and walked out. I didn’t slam the door, but I made a little more noise than a normal door close. I was angry as hell.

 The girl was still sitting outside when I came out. This time she looked more sad than happy. I wondered what had happened to her in the last five or so minutes.

I walked back into the hallway and I felt a light tap on the shoulder. I turned around and the girl was standing there smiling at me.

                “I know you didn’t do it,” she said, looking in my eyes. 

Time 6:05

BEEP! BEEEP BEEEP! My alarm clock goes waking me out of my blessed sleep.  You know if it wasn’t for the ungodly hour at which we had to get up, for whatever, in the morning, or if wherever were going wasn’t hell on earth the alarm clock would be a blessing. Welp, too bad none of that’s true, so the alarm clock was still a demon. 

                I rolled over and shut my eyes, waiting for my father to come in like he usually does.  I looked at my clock 6:05 AM and I could hear my father coming in 5, 4,3,2,1. Here comes Johnny. No, my dad’s not named Johnny, but it’s just one of those sayings from a talk show.

                “Good morning son! It’s time for some fun!” my dad said, walking away with a big smile.

                “Yeah,”  I said, because that’s what my dad says everyday and it never proves anything.

                “Ahab!  Are you up? I have good feeling about today,” My mom said, walking passed my room.

                “A good feeling for who?” I asked, knowing she wouldn’t hear me anyway.

                So now, you’re like, “Whoa! Stop the train! Your name is Ahab?”

Yes, that’s my name. I know I’ve gotten crap from everybody about it.  My parents thought it would be a hoot to name their kid Ahab, but have him be the sweetest kid ever. They liked the irony of it.  Most people when they first meet me go, “oh are your parents Muslims?” 

That’s a no. My parents don’t go to church or anything, but they love God.  Both my mom and dad are black. I prefer not to use African American because 1)it’s a lot more to say and 2) I don’t give two craps about being political correct.

                I get out of bed and walk a couple feet down the hallway to my bathroom.  Being an only child I have certain places that are mine, all mine, and if I was to have a sibling it would be ruined by having to half everything.  No, I’m not a selfish bastard. I am just telling the truth. I like having my stuff and my areas.  You can probably also conclude I don’t like people touching all over my stuff. Anyways I took my shower and got dressed in the standard clothing I always wear. Black jeans with a white t-shirt. I put on my black socks and my black Adidas.  I went down the hallway to the kitchen where my parents were watching the news. I grabbed my backpack off the floor and slipped out of the house.

                I don’t like sitting down to eat in the mornings. I mean how can anything get processed at 6 in the morning. Really? My body isn’t ready to do much of anything till 9 at the earliest.  I walked down the street to the community cue bus stop and waited for the bus to come.  I don’t take a school bus to school because I’d rather not have the awkward moment where you have to choose between sitting next to this person or that person. The community bus gives a pleasant, less awkward and more mature way to ride to school.

          Time 7:10

                I arrived at school five minutes till 15 after 7. I go to a public school.  Public school were you are allowed to be yourself, but most people find themselves belonging to a certain clique which you can’t break the rules in or they kick you out.  I don’t belong to one clique I just dance around the edges of everything. Being black I should belong to the ghetto gangster kids, or the extreme opposite the nerds. I don’t belong to either. I am smart, but I am not that smart. I couldn’t fit in with the ghetto kids cause they’re always picking on me for liking white people music such as rock.  Of course I love hip hop, but I like other things. I am open individual, they on the other hand aren’t. I also don’t wear my pants all the way to my thighs, but I also don’t wear my clothes tight.  I usually avoid their looks and stares by trying not to walk by where they hang out. They always have to talk really loudly about things. Not that I would do anything if they came up to me to say anything. It’s just stupid, if you have something to say and it isn’t something totally stupid then I want to hear it.

                I went to my locker and up to my first class.

My first class is Geometry. Now math I don’t have a problem with.  I think it’s a necessary class that opens my mind to things I’ll need in the future. But do I seriously need four years of this? I know for a fact that I will not grow up to be a mathematician or a scientist that’s going to need all those formulas. It’s just not going to happen. If in the future I decide I actually want to be one of those things, which won’t happen, but if, isn’t that’s what college is for?

                My teacher is a really nice lady named Ms. Bell. She’s a younger teacher that’s pretty funny, so I enjoy being in her class. She is one of those teachers who says that,” I’m not doing this for my health” saying. I am pretty sure I’m not learning for my health either. Plus if we really wanted to go deep in the matter she is getting paid to do this and I am pretty sure that her pay check has some health care benefits in there too. So, she’s doing this more for her health than any student in this class.

                On this particular morning the class was buzzing about some major gossip.  It’s only 7:20 and there’s already gossip and I know your thinking only in high school, which is the same thing I was thinking.

Now, because I have all of about 2 and a half friends it’s hard to know all the details.  From what I could hear from the girl’s desk beside me there were men in dark black coats about 6 of them.  Then there were police man with dogs that came in and that means there is a bomb in the school. When she said the last part her whole table was in an up roar. This could possibly be true, but why the heck would we still be in school? Some people really don’t think their stories through.

                The announcements came on. We got up for the pledge of alliance. It’s weird because we pledge alliance like a cult or something. Everyone gets up like robots and says the same thing. That’s pretty cult like if you ask me. Not that I have ever been in a cult, but I’ve seen the movies. 

Anyways, I stand to be respectful. I always stand, but I don’t always say it. Some mornings I am just too tired to recite the cultish chant, but I always get up and put my hand over my heart. There are some people that want to stand out, so they sit with this mean look on their face while the pledge is being said. I understand that we are at war and that you want to silently protest the president’s decision and whatever else is in your head, but as much as this is a cult, it’s also suppose to be a nation coming together. I understand a person in the military not standing because that’s a real protest action, but you’re in high school nobody cares. They probably think you just have something wrong with your legs.

                The principal goes through all the normal announcements then he finally gets to all the good stuff and everyone is quiet.

                “I am sure you’ve all heard about the incident this morning and I would like to make a clear statement about what is going on.” He said coughing to clear his throat. “There was a serious bomb threat made against our school and the FBI was called in to do an intense search of the school. They did not find anything that looked to be out of order. The school is safe, so please don’t be alarmed. We haven’t found out who called the bomb threat, but we have a lead. If anyone has any information they would like to bring forward I’ll be in my office all day. Thank you.” The principal concluded.

                After the announcement the whole class was talking and even I turned to the dude next to me and asked if he could believe this. I wondered who could pull a prank like that. My first thought is my fellow seniors. Senior pranks are always pretty lame, but maybe they actually did something serious instead of putting a tire around the flag pole.

                A teacher came into see Ms. Bell. Sometimes it seems that teachers live for the students to have drama, so that they have something to talk about.

                “Did you hear that announcement?” One of the teachers from down the hall came in and said to Ms. Bell. Someone always has to say something like that. No, she didn’t hear it because in the last 5 minutes since you last saw her she became deaf. Why do people ask questions like these?

                “Yeah, I heard it.” Ms. Bell said back excitedly, obliviously ignoring the fact that this teacher thinks she had became deaf.

                “So, what do you think?” the other teacher said.

                “I don’t know. I am going to ask some of my students if they know anything. I am pretty sure it was just a hoax. Out of all the schools, ours is the one with a bomb? That’s too random to be true,” she said in disbelief.

                “I don’t know. Hopefully, John will send out an email for the teachers.”

                “Maybe, I’ll be on standby,” Ms. Bell said, obviously done talking to this other teacher.

                “Okay, well, let me know if you find anything out.” She said closing the door.

                Ms. Bell checked some things on her computer and then gave us the daily warm up to start working on.

As Ms. Bell came around to check homework and attendance, someone knocked on the door.  And of course there’s that awkward moment where people are close to the door, but they don’t open it. The first seconds are wasted because everyone thinks the door is unlocked, but it’s not. The second, third, and fourth seconds are wasted deciding which person is going to get the door. Someone says they’ve got it, and then you’re like “no, it’s fine I’ve got it,” but then the first person insists they’ve got it, but then you insist, but then neither of you get up to the door. Then, finally, someone gets to the door and opens it.

                The girl came in the room with one of those blue slips that everyone wants to get. Especially when you’re in a class that’s academic. Everyone watched her like we were on “The Price is Right” and any one of us could be the next lucky player. The girl gave the paper to Ms. Bell. Everyone was quiet and listened as the girl said that the principal would like to see “him” as soon as possible. Now everyone change their minds about this blue slip.

                “Ahab,” Ms. Bell said, holding out the slip. “It’s for you.”At this moment, I wanted to be stupid and say “Ahab who?” Or hope to God that someone else was named Ahab, but of course there’s only one Ahab in the whole school. “You might want to bring your things. I am not sure how long this is going to take.” I got up taking my things in my arms. I went up to front of the room to get the pass from Ms. Bell. The whole class watched me as I left. They knew like I knew that this might not be so good.

                I made my silent way to the principal’s office. I did what any other kid would do, brainstorm ideas for why I was being called down. I couldn’t think of anything, only that I was getting a citizenship award for being so nice and staying after to help my teachers. I couldn’t think of anything else.

                I reached the office and I gave the slip to the smiling secretary. She looked at it then looked at me with a stern face and pointed at a chair. I didn’t understand what I did to deserve the sudden change in attitude, but I had a feeling that I wasn’t in the principal’s office for a good reason. I sat down in a chair across from a girl that gave me a smile as I sat down.

Now girls can give a billion different faces, but this one was friendly and inviting. Though she didn’t seem like my type of girl. She looked like one of those girls that would spend ten hours in the mirror doing their hair and changing their clothes for one normal day of school. Yes, she was pretty, but I am sure she would have been even prettier without all that work. She also seemed like she was a clique type person. I don’t like clique people because they don’t have much of an open mind. I could feel that she was still staring at me, but I looked at the ground. I wasn’t embarrassed; I was just choosing my friends wisely.

                Mr. Burns, the principal, came out of his office and waved me to come in. I stepped in his office. There was another man in there with a full suit on. He gave me a mean stare as I entered the room.  Now, I didn’t know this man and I was pretty sure I hadn’t hurt him in a past life, so I didn’t understand the mean looks. It’s one thing to stare at me because I’m wearing a clown suit, but it’s another thing to stare at me just because you feel like it.

                “You can sit down.” Mr. Burns said pointing to a seat across from his desk. The other man and Mr. Burns went to the other side of the desk. Mr. Burns sat in his chair and the other man just stood aside of him.

 “Now,” he started after I sat down. “This is Detective Leo from the FBI. He would like to ask you some questions. Would that be alright?”

                “Yeah, of course it’s cool. What is this about?”

                “Nothing, just answer the questions and everything will be fine,” Mr. Burns said, folding his hands.

                “Ahab?” Det. Leo asked.

                “Yeah?” I answered.

                “Are you a Muslim?”

                “No.”

                “Are you in a gang?”

                “No.”

                “Then why are you wearing all black?”

                “I like black. It’s just a color I like to wear. I am not a real colorful person.”

                He nodded his head at me.  “Why did your parents name you Ahab?”

                “They thought it would be ironic to name a kid Ahab because Ahab is usually the bad guy, but they raised me to be sweet and innocent.”

                “And are you always innocent?”

                “Yeah,” I said, nodding my head. “I don’t get into any trouble.”

                “I know you heard about the bomb threat….”

                “What about it?”

                “We were wondering if you knew anything about that?”

                Now, I was officially pissed off.

“You think because I have a Muslim name, and I wear black clothes that I am the one calling a bomb threat? Do you know how wrong that is? Excuse me, Detective Leo, but I could assume that you’re a Catholic and a salesman with that outfit. But that’s probably not true. You’re supposed to be a Detective sir. You aren’t supposed to be assuming things.  I know nothing about this bomb threat and I would like to leave this office now,” I said, looking at both the man.

                Neither of them said anything for a while. They just looked at me shocked that I had said a thing like that. I am not completely stupid. I know when I am being hassled and that ain’t cool.

                “So, you may not have done it, but we need your help to figure out who did it.”

                “How am I going to figure out who did it? You called me down here in front of my whole class and they all think I did something wrong.”

                “You’ll have to say that I just wanted to talk to you about some scholarship things. And as for finding out who did it, you’re smart you’ll figure it out. Besides if you don’t figure this out it’s both our heads.” Mr. Burns said speaking up.

                “Yeah, okay, but I am not that smart,” I said, rubbing my head in disbelief.

                “If you need any help, son, you know where we are. You will have full access to the files,” Det. Leo said.

                “Unless you want a lawsuit then you won’t pressure a student into being an agent for you.” I said, still shaking my head.

I got up without saying anything to the two men and walked out. I didn’t slam the door, but I made a little more noise than a normal door close. I was angry as hell.

 The girl was still sitting outside when I came out. This time she looked more sad than happy. I wondered what had happened to her in the last five or so minutes.

I walked back into the hallway and I felt a light tap on the shoulder. I turned around and the girl was standing there smiling at me.

                “I know you didn’t do it,” she said, looking in my eyes.

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Your Cause

Do you have a cause that you fight for? Are you really passionate for or against something? I ask what is your cause?

When I think about what causes I support my mind races a bit because I support many different campaigns. I show different love to each in a different way. I may give money, do a walk at the nation’s capital, I may right about it in a story. There are different ways to be invovled. There are also ways to show your support without getting to heavy like a wrist band, sticker or pin.

Lately I’ve been writing a lot about the education system here in America. I believe we need a lot of work on our education. I think we’re stuck on all the wrong things. In my book, The High School Stories I hit on a lot of the issues that I feel are wrong in the school system.

My newest book, The Designer which is due to come out later on this year. I hit on a lot of troubles that gay people have. I am not gay, but I have friends that express to me all the things they are limited  because of who they like to hook up with. I think people that make a big deal about gays having the same rights as straight people are ridiculous. I can’t see any reason why it would be a bad thing. It makes me so frustrated. Loving the LGBT community is another cause I am for.

So, what’s your cause? What are you fighting for?

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