Faces of Rock

This was my second entry into the NCTE Achievement Awards in Writing competition. Every student was required to submit one piece of their “best” writing, which could be written in any form about any topic (mine can be found here), as well as a “themed” writing that answered a prompt issued by the NCTE. The prompt this year was, “imagine that you have been chosen to create your own Mount Rushmore. Who would you want to preserve and celebrate?”

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What You Remember

The following is a memoir that was selected to enter the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Achievement Award in Writing. I was one out of only two students in the entire junior class (of about 310 students) who were chosen to be submitted to the contest. There was no prompt or topic for this memoir. I worked with the head of the English department at my school to revise and edit my original draft into this finished product. Hope you enjoy!

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some sappy love poem

I’ve always been known as that quiet girl

but something in the way your eyes crinkle when you smile

makes me want to expend all my words, every syllable and sound I could ever summon,

just to see you show your crooked teeth in joy again.

Yet at the same time, just a glimpse of you leaves me

even more silent than I ever was before

and they say “tongue-tied,” but really the sight of you

rips my tongue to pieces and leaves me choking

on words I should’ve said.

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A Loss of Empathy

You asked me to be your


So I took that leap to

stop a blade, catch a bullet, save a life

And I tried to defy gravity

for a friend

who just need a little help.

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optimism is believing it can’t get any worse


today you are seventeen, and at one time 17 seemed so old

but you feel like sixteen still –

still a baby, a child, no bigger than you were the day you were born

and 18 is what seems so old now.

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A Sincere Apology

I’m sorry,

did you expect me to cry?

When you saw my scars and hid your surprise

did you want me to break and spill my soul

to a stranger with a doctorate and a receding hairline?

Not a chance.

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I met a girl who sparkled like silver

dancing amidst a great war of generations.

She slid smoothly across a battleground, leaving scorching trails of red flame behind her, and

my eyes were captivated, and my soul enraptured

by the way she passed, unscathed, through the chaos.

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