Friday, February 5, 2010

Cooperstown: My Life-Changing Journey, By Keon

The year was 2007, and I had just received the most important phone call of my life. I had been called by the Carolina Braves baseball team with a message that the coaches wanted to meet with me on Sunday afternoon. I could not believe that they knew me, and I had so many questions racing through my mind. I yelled outside to my dad, and asked him if he had any idea how the coach knew me and he was just as puzzled as I was. We both stared at each other for a moment, and we both began to smile , because this must be something big that was about to happen. My dad decided to stop his work and “get on the horn”. My dad is a very confident man, and I knew he would get to the bottom of the matter in due time. Needless to say, in a matter of minutes, he had resolved the big mystery. I had been invited to go the The Little League World Series in Cooperstown, NY. After the shock wore off, my dad and I started “high-fiving” all over the the living room. I knew that this was going to be something great for me. I later found out that one of my baseball friends had told his coach about me, and his dad that I would be an asset to the team. I had seen the Carolina Braves play many times, but I had not seen D.J., my friend, in over a year. His dad finally called my dad, and the baseball play by play was started from that lengthy conversation. These two me were “baseball dads”, and they could stay on the phone forever. Mr. Reader, DJ’s dad, had confirmed that he was the person behind the mysterious call from the Carolina Braves.

I finally realized that I did have talent, and someone had noticed my game. I felt happy, and I was scared to death all at the same time. I had all these emotions building up inside me. I the coach and the rest of the team, and I was a new player that felt like I had to excel to earn my trip. I began hitting in my batting cage, and that is where I would stay for hours. The next thing to work on was pitching. He did not say that I would be used as a pitcher, but I knew to be ready for anything. I knew the game, and my dad had taught me great fundamentals, so why was I a nervous wreck? There was no need to worry about a thing, or so I kept telling myself. The big “try-out” day finally came. I took the field and did what I did best, my dad’s favorite quote. I was all over the field most of the afternoon. The coaches watched me field, hit, pitch, and throw. I knew I had done well, despite the hot weather. The nervous edge had worn off, and I was waiting to hear the day I needed to have my bags packed. Confidence had taken the place of all my fears.

Most of the parent’s were in a line to pay the money for their son’s trip to the World Series. My dad had already told me that we did not have the $800.00 fee that was required for me to go. He said, “if they want you bad enough, they will make a way”. My dad went to the money table, and the coach was already prepared. He said I was already taken care of, and not to worry about anything except spending money for me to bring with me. We rejoiced all the way home. I learned that day that dreams come true as long as you strive to be the best. Two days later, I was on the road with D.J. and his parents. My mom and Dad had to work, but I knew they could watch me live on the computer. I could see them bursting with pride.

My dad had worked with me since I was 6 years old. He was my coach and mentor, because we could not afford outside lessons. All the way to New York, I thought of my parent’s, the greatest people in my life. They had made many sacrifices to keep me involved in baseball, which can be a very costly sport. D. J.’s parents treated me like I was their own child, and I really knew this trip was meant to be. The park was bigger and better than anything I had seen on the website. The place was packed with people, and hundreds of wide-eyed baseball players like myself. I was so excited, because we were staying at the park, and the parent’s had to go to their hotels. We were grown-up now. The next few days consisted of pin-trading with the other teams, lots of eating, and winning some games. We placed 9th out of the 80 plus teams there, and I know my “fans” at home were so proud. I was proud of myself.

After returning home, I was able to think about my experience in New York. I had met so many people, and I saw so many new places. I called the coach of the Carolina Braves and thanked him for providing me a trip of a lifetime. He said,” I was proud to have you on my team, and you are a great ballplayer.” I was needed by the team, and I rose to the occasion. As I have learned in my 15 year life, a person’s attitude and heart will take you a long way in life. I learned that be strong, confident, and having good manners will take you a long way. I have no doubt that good things happen to good people. I have the tools for a good life.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

This I Believe, by Tyrone

This I Believe

I believe that men should have more awareness about abusive relationships. When men hit women, it makes women feel bad, but it makes them feel hurt and bad. I have a relative who was abused way back. It was so bad she got her finger shot off. That’s why I’m writing about the abuse of women by men and trying to make them stop the violence on their women.

I learned that men abuse their women because somebody might have messed them up when they were younger, or they might not have had a father in their life. The people who want healthy relationships should have trust and have respect. There are three types of abuse: physical, which involves slapping and hitting. Emotional, involves teasing and bullying. Sexual involves a relationship where you are forced to do something that you don’t want to do.

People can get help if they need help on their relationships. They can get help by going to a teen crisis center of some where else that will offer you counseling. There is a show called Maury that shows where you can get help. When I see that segment, I get mad because they shouldn’t treat there women like that in the first place. They should treat them like they want to be treated, not like dogs. If my family member is being abused, I am going to say something and go to the police to get some help.

The reason I feel so bad for these women is because they are getting hurt bad and they are not supposed to. They should be treated like human beings and like women. You may argue a lot, but you should not put your hands on your girlfriend. I learned from this essay that you should always love your women and not put your hands on them. Just talk to them if they are getting you mad and talk about the situation. So, I encourage all the men to not hit your women and women take up for your self and don’t let them hit you. And especially, get counseling!!!

This I Believe, by Maria

Has anyone you love ever died from cancer? I believe that the human body is a gift. When people are hurting themselves through actions that they chose to do, I question why they would do something that they know can harm them. My grandma died from cancer because she had been smoking since she was really young, maybe fifteen or sixteen.

About a year and a half ago my grandma was diagnosed with lung cancer. Within a few months of diagnoses, her body was completely taken over by cancer.

I hadn’t seen my grandma for at least two years and I didn’t think her cancer was as bad as it was. I had a lot of friends who smoked and my brother smoked so I was around it almost all of the time. I figured my grandma looked like them except with no hair since she was on chemotherapy. When I went to visit her, I barely recognized her. She looked terrible. She only weighed about 74 pounds. We could see her bones sticking out and it looked like her skin was hanging off of them. She was so weak that she couldn’t stand up without help and she barely ate anything. She couldn’t talk very well because it took to much energy out of her. I will never forget how she looked and how she sounded that day.

Five days after we left her house, my grandma, Shirley Ann Schmid, passed away. She had cancer for over a year and a half and even though her body was being eaten away with cancer, she was still smoking three to four packs of cigarettes a day.

It’s really hard to see people I love hurting themselves by doing something that could hurt them and possibly cause them to get cancer. I think smoking causes more harm to the human body than most people realize. After seeing how smoking affected my grandma and everyone who loved her, I truly believe that the human body is a gift. We should take care of it as best as we can and not do anything that we know can cause harm to us.

This I Believe, by Gerald

What do you believe in? Everyone believes in something different, whether it’s everyone should have flowers on there graves to people can wear hats in school. There are a load of things people believe in, I believe that everybody in the world has the same opportunity as everyone else. I hear people all the time talking about how they can't do it, they never had the chance or the opportunity to do anything, which is a big lie, because every single man and woman in America has the chance of a lifetime to do whatever it is they want to do.

Some people jump all over opportunity, and some people don’t jump on the opportunity. Then, they complain when they don’t get that same opportunity again. Opportunities don’t come around often, sometimes never at all. But, when you get the chance to do it, get on it and never stop. Yea, I know that people have problems, people might not have a lot of money, the biggest house, or live in the best community or whatever but the people that do had the same opportunity that you have and they made the best of it. That should be motivation for you to do it too.

An example of equal opportunity is when I had basketball tryouts, and I worked real hard over the summer working on my game doing drills and exercises like that,. This other guy who didn’t practice got cut because he wasn’t in shape and hadn't worked on his game. He told me that he didn’t have the chance that I did, I said, "Yes you did. We did the same drills, we did the same work outs, we did everything the same: you just didn’t seize the opportunity like I did to do your best." That’s what I’m talking about. You make the best of your chances.

The poorest kid in America could become the richest man ever if he puts his mind to it and takes all the opportunities he gets, and has a little patience. I’m going to make something of myself and take all the opportunities I get. That's what I believe in.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

This I Believe, by Kyle

I Believe Essay

I believe that everyone has a good side to them. Even though it is sometimes hard to see, it is there. Most people don’t believe this though. People can be really bad at times, and you could thing they’re the worst thing ever. But deep down, they’re often a good person. Sometimes people are faced with difficult situations where they might have had to make a bad decision, but that one bad decision doesn’t have to characterize them completely as a horrible person.

After Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, a lot of people were forced to steal and loot goods, but they were doing it for a valid reason. FEMA wouldn’t provide what was needed in this disastrous time so the people of New Orleans had to take the situation into their own hands. Many people might have stolen food in order to provide for their family, but that shouldn’t make them bad people.

I try not to be too judgmental towards people. Just because you make one mistake, you don’t have to be a horrible person. A lot of people do bad things, and I’m not saying they have good reasons for them. But, I really believe that everyone has had some good in them at some point in them. I don’t think it’s fair to just categorize everyone as a bad person without even knowing them. It seems really unfair, nobody likes being judged like that, so why do it?

This I Believe, by Dustin


I believe in friendship. A Friend is somebody who can talk to if you have problems, someone to hang out with and they make everyday better. Without friends, I don’t think the Earth would be a very good planet on which to live. Friends can help you even when family cant and they are with you until the end. It wouldn’t be a good life without them. When I’m upset, I can always count on my girlfriend, Elena, my best friend, Phil, or my friend Burgess to cheer me up; they’re they coolest people a man can ask for.

Friends usually tend to know more about you than anyone else because you are able to tell them things you wouldn’t feel comfortable telling anyone else. If people didn’t had friends, everyone would be stuck up, stubborn miserable people who are angry with one another. Some people are shy, and they have a very hard time making new friends. I was like that when I started school at OHS, but in time I got to know a lot of really cool people who I got along with. I tell the shy kids to just try talking to groups of individuals, and eventually, you will find the crowd you fit in with. This advice usually helps them. I have ended up being good friends with most of the people with whom I talked.

I met Phil at the beginning of the year through Elena. We became good friends. Now, I consider him to be one of my best friends. I’ve known Cameron and Vincent ever since middle school. I definitely consider them to be two of my best friends. They’re both very unique, and are both very awesome people who are fun to talk to. Friends are a great thing to have and without friendship, the world would be a terrible place where nobody would want to live; this is why I believe in friendship.

This I Believe, by Zavien

I Believe In Me

Have you ever been put down by people telling you that your not to going to get anywhere in life? I’ve been put down by lots of people in my life. Yet, do they know that putting me down is doing nothing but making me stronger in life? Sometimes you are the only person that you can trust over anybody else. That’s why I believe in me as a person.

Sometimes people put themselves down and, that’s why they never get anywhere in life. That’s the main reason why we have so many failures in this world. If you believe in yourself it shouldn’t matter what others say to you. Letting people just sit there and judge you can cause you not to have control over yourself. I’ve had times in my life where my teachers would tell me that they are more than positive that I was going to fail their class. Like always I proved them wrong. I can’t believe that teachers could say something like that. They are the ones who are supposed to encourage you when you are doing wrong.

I suspect that one of the reasons people tend to out me down before they get the chance to know who I am because I am a young black male. Statistics show that 90% of black males are either in jail or dead at 25 years old. That makes me feel that society is just setting us up to fail. That’s the main reason that I don’t believe in statistic. There are some black males out there who are 25 or older and are successful in life. Most people have others that inspire them, but I honestly inspire myself. So whenever someone puts you down in life don’t stress it. Just ignore it and believe in yourself and you will get far in life. I believe in me because I can do anything that I set my mind to regardless of statistics in the world. I trust myself as a whole to know that I can make it in life no matter what my race, religion, or age is. Believing in yourself will set a lot of goals, letting you have a good job, and getting you far in life. I believe in me.