Welcome to The Author’s Page, a showcase for student writing. Each new Page will feature writing samples from individual students representing one or more Middle School language arts classes. In this, our inaugural post, you will find examples of descriptive, creative, and expository essays. Enjoy your visit to . . .
I look out my window. The ocean is sparkling in the sun, like the most lustrous diamond. The water is as blue as a bluebird, the most magnificent of the flock. It’s more turquoise near the sand, then darkening the farther away you get – like a blue color wheel. The wind is pushing the waves toward the faraway shore – forcing to them to become bigger, and bigger, until they crash. The waves are continually colliding with the rocky seashore, crashing like there’s no tomorrow. They eat the sand, churning it up and transporting it somewhere new. The sun is reflected on the water, like looking in a mirror. Mixed up in the ocean are colorful shells, some broken, some not. Tiny grains of sand – rough when single, smooth when together. The water is warm, like taking a warm bubble bath without the bubbles. It’s bitter, like accidentally pouring vinegar in your coffee. It tastes like Halite, a sour rock. It’s bitter to the taste, yet unnoticeable to the touch. It smells humid. You can taste the tart ocean water in the air. The mist from the waves is rising above the water, every time it smashes upon the shoreline. It looks like a ghost – there, yet not there. It slips through your fingers. As you reach out to grab it in your hands, it disappears. Like playing hide-and-go-seek; you think you have it, but then it’s gone.
by Sabrina M. grade 7
I really enjoyed writing this post. It was fun picturing the ocean out of my window and writing about it. One of my favorite authors, Tamora Pierce, is a strong descriptive writer. Her books are fantasies, and they make you feel as if you were there along with the characters.
“My Unexpected Visitor” by Shelby W. grade 7
As the sirens wailed, we grabbed our flashlights and raced for the cellar. We had exactly one minute to corral our things and run for safety before the bomb hit. It scared everyone in town, that harsh loud noise that rings in your ears long after the drill has finished. My “family” and I waited in the cellar for two minutes after the drill stopped, just to make sure there were no follow up bombs. We later found out where the bomb struck – 6394 Maple Rose Lane, the address of my best friend’s house. Yes, this is my life. The worst luck EVER! This whole mess happened seven years ago. Now, I am eighteen.
Ever since Julie died, my life has been empty. Since I was three years old, I have been living with my “family”. I say “family”, because these terrible people kidnapped me at three and held me captive as their slave. But now I’m grown and I plan on fleeing from this town. I want to get away from my best friend’s death, my “family”, and my capture of many years ago.
I wake up the next morning at 5:00 A.M., only an hour before I usually do. I pack my things, which all fit into a small suitcase that I will carry with me on the journey to come. I make my bed and leave a note on it that says, “Went for groceries, back in an hour
An hour should be enough to get out of town. We live right near the border. I successfully sneak through the city, making it through unseen.
“What do I do now?” I whisper to myself. I walk another eight miles before seeing a blue road sign signaling toward a motel. I could stay there. $200, my whole life savings, should cover a few nights. “I need to get to shelter,” I thought to myself. “My family will probably be looking for me by now.” I casually walk into the lobby and make my way towards the man at the front desk. He gives me a card and wishes me a good night’s sleep. When I walk to the door and shove my key through the slot, the door opens by itself. You’ll never guess who was sitting on my bed…
A Response by Joey P. grade 8
“You are a prisoner in a concentration camp. A dying Nazi soldier asks for your forgiveness.
What would you do?”
In the early 1900s, Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany. Hitler’s main goal was to expand German territory and to exterminate all the Jews on the planet. As a result, six million Jews were killed during this horrible time, known as the Holocaust. For some people the Holocaust was simply an historical event. For others, the Holocaust was known as a turning point, and the world would say, “Never again.”
In the book The Sunflower, author Simon Wiesenthal faces one of the most stressful situations of his life. A dying Nazi soldier wants forgiveness for war crimes involving the murder of innocent Jewish men, women, and children. Wiesenthal listens to the confession and silently walks away. I am now in this situation. I am a prisoner in a concentration camp. A dying Nazi soldier asks me for my forgiveness. What should I do?
At least 1.1 million Jewish children were murdered during the Holocaust. If I was a kid in that time, I would not be able to express my feelings because the Nazi soldiers were horrible and terrifying. I am now taking Simon Wiesenthal’s spot. I have to make my decision. If I were in this situation, I would not forgive the Nazi soldier and just let him die.
I was born into a Jewish family and raised learning ancient Judaism, the Torah, and mitzvot. In elementary school, I was taught about the Holocaust. Every year I advance a grade, I learn and realize what really happened during this period. I have now reached the age where I am taught about how viciously the Jews were treated. In the Torah, there is a law that is called Pikuach Nefesh (saving a life). In Judaism, you are obligated to save another’s life if your life isn’t in danger as well. In Wiesenthal’s situation, we have a dying Nazi soldier asking for forgiveness. It isn’t stated exactly in the Torah what you should do if a dying Nazi soldier is asking for your forgiveness. Even though I am a kind and compassionate human being, I am one hundred percent positive I wouldn’t forgive any Nazi for what they did to my Jewish ancestors.
In the second half of The Sunflower, following Wiesenthal’s story, there is a symposium of 46 people who answer the question of Simon and the dying Nazi soldier. Of course I agree with the people who say he shouldn’t be forgiven, but all of the responses are very interesting. I was fascinated by Harold S. Kushner’s (Rabbi Laureate of Temple Israel in Natick, Massachusetts) response. He states: “If we feel that our past behavior was wrong, being forgiven means erasing that message, liberating ourselves from the idea that we are still who we used to be, and freeing ourselves to become a new person. To be forgiven is a miracle. It comes from God, and it comes when God chooses to grant it, not when we order it up…. God’s forgiveness is something that happens inside us, not inside God, freeing us from the shame of the past so that we can be different people, choosing and acting differently in the future.”
“To be forgiven is a miracle. It comes from God.” This quote means a lot more than what it says. In the Torah, it usually states how God is the one to forgive or not to forgive the person who has done something wrong. To be forgiven is a miracle, especially when you have killed Jewish men, women, and children. However, in saying this, I don’t think God would forgive the dying Nazi man.
Simon Wiesenthal was in a horrible position. We will never know what he really wanted to say. All he did was just walk away. I think he approached the situation the right way, because he couldn’t have forgiven the Nazi soldier for the brutalities against other Jews. The question of forgiveness has to be answered. Everything has an answer. But can you answer this: would you forgive the dying Nazi soldier – or not?