The Best Christmas of Onasis Rodriguez

Posted December 25, 2016 & filed under Notebook, Student Writing.

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My best Christmas was two years ago because somebody my dad knew from work invited us to his apartment to celebrate. When my dad and I got to the apartment, we marveled that it was so pretty. All the decorations were nice because the guy my dad knew from work put a lot of effort into them. Decorations were all over the apartment. There were candles,  presents, lights, and lots of food. My dad and I sat on the sofa. We met some people at the party who we didn’t know, friends and relatives of our host. All of us ate chicken sandwiches and drank sodas. I couldn’t help staring at the tree and how it was decorated with lights, ornaments, a star on top, and especially, presents underneath.

When it was time to open the presents, everybody did, except me and my dad because our host didn’t get us any, and his guests didn’t know us. So you might think that I was sad. But here’s the best part of all: a lady at the party gave me a present. She went to her room and came back and gave me a present! I opened the present, and it was a shirt, and it fit, and I thanked her because she gave me a present. I didn’t know her, but she was nice to me. To tell the truth, I prefer a Wii or Xbox game for a gift rather than a shirt. My dad didn’t care about himself. He was happy that I got a present. My dad felt as good as I did.

When it was at 12 o’clock, it was time for my dad and me to go. When we got back home, my dad and I went to sleep. The next day I wore the shirt.

By Onasis Rodriguez, 8th Grade

 

This essay was written by a WITS student a number of years ago but remains a favorite. We thought we’d re-share it with you today.

Summer Writing Contest: Enter Today!

Posted July 11, 2013 & filed under Notebook.

FlyerNeed a summer project? Here is an announcement from Creative Communication, which sponsors writing contests three times a year for K-12 students:

Taylor Swift entered our contest when she was in the 5th grade and her entry was selected as a national Top Ten winner.  If you are a student and have a poem or essay you wrote in class, or want to write a new one, you won’t have the opportunity to be published or win a prize if you don’t enter. The next essay contest deadline is July 16, 2013 and the next poetry contest deadline is August 15, 2013. You can go to www.poeticpower.com for contest rules and to enter online.”

WITS Writer Featured in Best American Essays

Posted March 27, 2013 & filed under Notebook.

imagesMiah Arnold taught with Writers in the Schools (WITS) for over a decade in numerous settings, including at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.  Her beautiful essay, “You Owe Me,” chronicles her profound experiences working with children who come from all over the world to be treated at the hospital.

Her essay originally was published by the Michigan Quarterly Review and then chosen to be included in The Best American Essays 2012, edited by David Brooks.

Please visit Miah’s website to read her biography and find out more about her essays and award-winning novel Sweet Land of Bigamy.  Then, race to The Huffington Post blog to read former WITS writer Stacy Parker Le Melle’s interview, “When the Bigamist Is a Woman: Talking Love and Polygamy With Novelist Miah Arnold.” Enjoy!

Skirt! Sponsors WritingContest for Girls, Grades 5-8

Posted November 3, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

To celebrate the historic moment of a woman running for the White House, Skirt! wants to hear from girls in grades 5-8 about why they should be President and how they would make a difference in the world if they were elected. To produce your campaign package, be creative…design your own bumper sticker. Be thoughtful…explain your campaign issues.vote.jpg

Have fun with this project! Hillary Clinton’s campaign song is “You and I” by Celine Dion. What would yours be? Surprise the editors with your ideas and presentation. The top two entries will appear in the February 2008 issue of skirt! and will receive a gift package worth $250.

Submissions must be received no later than December 31, 2007, and must include your name, address, phone number, age, grade level, and school. You can mail your entry to: Skirt! 801 Texas Avenue, Houston, TX 77002, or email it to Dusty.

Beach Time

Posted September 24, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

beach.jpg I love going to the beach in Galveston. I like to walk in the sand. It feels like quicksand, like I’m sinking. Sometimes I bury my feet in the sand. The water is brownish and the waves aren’t very high. I walk out a little way, but not too far. Sometimes I think a crab is pinching my toe, but it isn’t. I hear the waves hitting the shore and people laughing. I love going to the beach.

by Tobi, age 8
Texas Children’s Hospital
[photo by Eschipul via Flickr]

Calabazas (Pumpkins)

Posted June 19, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

El hombre y la semilla

pumpkinseeds.jpgEl hombre siembra la semilla. La semilla le da el fruto, y con el fruto el hombre puede hacer dos cosas: comer y vender. Así vive el hombre; cuando come, se mantiene fuerte y saludable, y cuando vende, puede con el dinero darse gustos. Puede comprar cosas que lo hacen feliz, puede comprar ropas, comida para él y para sus animales. Puede comprar además semillas, abono, y tierra.

Con esa nueva tierra, el hombre puede cosechar y dejar a sus hijos una buena herencia. El hombre trabaja duro para ayudar a su familia. Siembra y cosecha todo el día hasta que llega la noche, después va a su casa y se da un baño de pies a cabeza, se limpia las uñas, y se sienta a la mesa para cenar. Lo que más le gusta es tomar café. Se levanta muy temprano, y antes de que cante el gallo, el hombre está en la cocina friendo un huevo y calentándose una taza de café fuerte. Luego cuenta las semillas que sembrará ese día, se viste y le da un beso en la frente a su mujer que todavía está durmiendo. La hija lo siente irse, y sale a despedirlo.

Todavía no amanece, y ya está el hombre sembrando semillas de calabaza. Esas calabazas darán de comer a su familia, servirán para hacer frituras y sopas y también para vender en el mercado.


The Man and the Seed (Translation)

The man plants the seed. The seed becomes the pulp. Then the man can either eat or sell the pulp. The man does both throughout his entire life. When the man eats the pulp, he keeps himself strong and healthy. When the man sells it, he can buy a lot of things with the money he earns. He can buy, for example, clothes and food. In addition, he can buy new seeds, fertilizers, and land. He can make himself as happy as any human on the earth can be.

The man works hard and takes care of the seeds all day long to help his family. After the sunset, he goes back to his house, takes a shower to relax, cleans his nails, and dines. Nothing is more enjoyable than drinking coffee, thinks the man. He wakes up very early, goes to the kitchen to fry an egg and heats a cup of very dark coffee. Then he counts the number of seeds he is going to harvest that day, puts on his clothes, and kisses his wife on her forehead while she is sleeping. His daughter hears the sound of the door and runs to say goodbye to her dad.

There is still the moon above the world when the man begins to work. He places the pumpkin seeds underground. The man will feed his family with those yellow pumpkins of the future. They will be used to prepare soups, to decorate the garden on Halloween, and to sell in the market.

by Alejandro, 6th grade
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