• February 22, 2013
    Period 1 creates This I Believe podcasts

  • This I Believe

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  • I Believe in Hard Work by Victor V.

    I Believe…

                “If a man is called a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelopainted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and Earth will pause to say,here lived a great streets weeper who did his job well” (Martin Luther King,Jr.). No matter what the job or how hard the situation is, you should always give 100% every single time; only then you will see your true potential. A hardworker, diligent with high standards, can achieve anything.

                Working hard can achieve anything no matter how high or unreachable. Giving an honest effort every single time will take you anywhere. Setting high standards in every job, game, or school you come across will make you successful. It takesno talent to be hard working – somebody can’t wake up in the morning and expectto be the hardest worker in the world. The only way to feel that way is to bevery determined and persistent. 

                Although some people have it worse than others, especially those in poverty, just remember where you came from, what you’re working for, and how good it willfeel when you’re finally successful. Thinking like that will make you amillionaire in the making. You can’t think like that unless you clear your mindof everything that distracts you and instead develop a great mind set.

                Some people don’t believe that education is the foundation to someone’s success.Some people will drop of school and decide to work at a factory or fast foodrestaurant. You see that person bringing in tons of money and you want thesame. Don’t be as dumb as mud and drop out! Instead give school an honest effort and when you finally graduate college and you become a doctor or alawyer you will see that you’re making ten times if not more than that guy whodropped out of school. Never gamble your life on something that looks good atthat moment. If you ever get to that point in your life and decide to roll overand just quit without giving an effort; just remember this phrase “Never giveup” it’s so simple but it can help you get out of any slump.

                If somebody ever asks me if I believe working hard can make you successful? Iwould respond with absolutely. Being a Velazquez child is hard becauseeverybody is looking down on you to become successful. Most of my uncles, aunts, and cousins didn’t even finish high school. Being the second Velazquez to attend University puts some pressure on me, but I know if I’m persistent and never give up I know I will become successful. Lucrative and efficacious, I will be successful. Just remember the only force or person stopping you from becoming successful is yourself.

  • The Golden Rule by Logan H.

    The Golden Rule

    I get off the school bus one day in fifth grade and startwalking home. I open the front door and my father, a stern man, is on thephone. He hangs up and glares at me — he is pissed. I stand there, frozen.

               “You think you’re tough, huh?” he asks me, although I know it is a rhetoricalquestion so I don’t respond. Immediately I know what he is talking about. He isreferring to the incident that occurred at school today — the one in which Iridiculed a kid in my art class for his hideous drawing of Spider Man. Althoughmy picture of Peyton Manning looked like the work of a blind man drawing withhis non-dominant hand, I made the boy think I was Da Vinci himself.

               So my dad sits me down and begins his lecture — the same lecture he has givento my two older brothers, as well.

               He says to me, “Son, it is time you start to learn and appreciate the GoldenRule.”


               As he continued to elaborate on his complex definition, I decided to make myown interpretation: The Golden Rule means to treat others the way you wish tobe treated.

               Although I respected my father greatly, I neglected to listen to him, just like any kid inmy position would do. I truly did feel awful for how I had treated that poorkid and I did indeed stop making fun of him and others, but I still could notunderstand what my dad meant; what was it he wanted me to do?

               Then I entered the eighth grade and was placed in a class with the mosthorrific girl known to mankind. I had never met her before, but I soon learnedto strongly dislike her. She performed behaviors such as the oneI displayed in fifth grade on a daily basis, constantly degrading someone forthings that had no importance. She was a nightmare.

               One class period the teacher decides we need to work on the quadratic formula. The quadraticformula has no significance to this world and will not help me in any waythroughout my life, so I tune the little old lady out when she begins herlesson.

               Thirty minutes later she calls on me to come up to the board and solve theproblem. I stand in front of the board, clueless. I jot down some nonsense thatI happened to catch during her lecture, but none of it fits together. I looklike an idiot.

               Embarrassed, I return to my seat only to receive a note that was passed acrossthe room until it reached me. I open the folded note. It is from the devil girl— and it is not very delightful.

               At that very moment, I began to believe in the Golden Rule.

               After that, the next four years of my life whizzed by before I could blink.Even though it was brief to me, others will express their beliefs of how Imatured over the course of high school. They all have different explanations ofhow that occurred, but I know what it was.

               Kids hate to admit their parents are right — but my father is typicallyaccurate with his philosophies.


  • Happiness From Within

    I Believe, by Taylor E. - Listen here


     I have only had a select few people stay in my lifeconsistently, and I believe people are meant to come and go, but happinessshould remain. I refuse to go through this world searching for someone tobrighten up my day. Sure, I love a friendly smile and a laugh sharedwith my friends, but I will not let myself depend on others for happiness.

               I will stay up all night listening to you cry and I will drive around and giveyou advice, but I cannot help someone that doesn’t want to help themselves. Ihave seen you broken down and empty and I can’t help but wonder whereeverything has gone? “My family doesn’t love me anymore,” you cry as you drivedown the same crooked roads smoking that cigarette that you know you shouldn’tbe; I will not judge you. Instead I will tell you time and time again,“Who needs them?!” Why do you need your family, especially if they don’tcare? Tears running down my mother’s face, I get a sick feeling in mystomach and that lump in my throat so big that my head starts to spin. Wonderingwhere her family has gone, I see a beautiful woman that is broken down andempty. Glancing in the side mirror of the car, past all of the reflectionsof trees and empty roads, I see myself, a lost girl, wondering thesame exact thing; “Where is my family?”

               This last past year being my worst yet, I have promised myself that itwill remain the worst. Missing my mother, I decided to leave the newtown I was in and go back home; was that a mistake? Arriving I immediately feelout of place. Needing full-time care, we lived with my grandmother tohelp her. Developing dementia, the poor old woman had turned into a nightmare.Two days back home and I already wanted to leave. I had never witnessed so mucharguing and disagreement in my life, and it just made me wonder how two people,mother and daughter, could be so hateful to each other; it made me sick.

               After a month or so, my grandmother left her house and moved with myaunt in New Hampshire, what a relief. What I didn’t realize was that thearguing and tears was just an example of the hell I was about to endure.

               My mother has never been a motivated person, and with her depression of her“lost” family she had turned into an even less of a motivated person. Alwayssitting on the couch, caving it in, my mother would sob about how thingsweren’t right and how much her family had abandoned her. Though my motherwas unaware, she was doing the same exact thing to me.

               Although my grandmother was far away in New Hampshire, the harassingphone calls never stopped; it was like a war, a war between a family. Wewere being evicted; my grandmother wanted us out of her house. Being that mymother was unmotivated, she did nothing to help us get out of there. Oh,but Helen did. A few months after my grandmother had left, she decided if wewere not going to leave her house, she would make us leave. In no time ourwater was shut off, but for some reason my mother decided that wasn’t enough toget us out. My memory is faint, but I believe it took four months and aweek without electricity to still get us absolutely nowhere.

               Through this course of time my mother was constantly sobbing and saying thingsshe claims she didn’t mean. It is truly sad how some people let things affectthem to the point they are taking it out on the ones they should love- theirown children.

               Being the only one around, I had become the punching bag. Hearing words of “Youwere a mistake,” “I hate you,” “Kill yourself,” the memories play vividly likea terrible horror movie you just can’t stare away from, and I hate scarymovies. I certainly believed that nothing could be worse, I was living anightmare that I was afraid would never end.

               Growing sick of walking up and down the same road, shoving my back against mybathroom door frame while holding my tears in the creases of my hands, and allthe shouting that had become my only source of sound, I began to wonder why Iwas sad, and mentally beaten up inside. Although some may believe I had everyright to be sad, and maybe I did, I had myself, I was alive, and fortunateenough to have a roof over my head, even if there was no running water.

               I strongly believe that people should depend on themselves for happiness. Howcan you truly love yourself, or anyone else if you are not happy? Therewill be many, many people in life that will try and tear others down, but thatgives them no excuse to be upset. If given the chance, I wouldn’t changea thing about last year. I believe things happen for a reason, and I learnedand grew so tall from that experience that if it didn’t happened, I justwouldn’t be the same wise person I am today. I am thankful for the challenges Ihave endured, for I have developed into a strong human being. Company is nice,but it won’t be enjoyable until you have learned to love yourself. Happinessmust come from within, and with happiness, you can conquer anything…. 


  • by Anonymous, 2013


    The Forest of Fear

    Fearis a funny thing. Let’s take spiders for example, if you see a spider happens?You run for your life and scream your head off in the process.  Why is it that you are so afraid of spidersbut some people think they are adorable? I think that you can overcome any fear if you address it as a physicalthing and actually overcome it.

     My uncle has two farms in northernIndiana.  On one of these pieces of landthere is a small patch of cherry maple trees that we call the forest offears.  If you find that you are afraidof something be it a person or something like judgment or a disease.  Address the tree as the thing that you areafraid of and make sure that your mind is only set on what is causing youfear.  The first time I visited theforest I pulled out a post-it note and stuck it on the tree.  The note said “judgment” in very smallwriting.  The sun was about to set and Iwas completely alone and a mile away from my house. I had a decision to make,pull out a spotlight and begin cutting down my fear of other people judging me,or go home and be self-conscious for the rest of my life.  I decided that I was going to cut the treedown and began mindlessly swinging at the towering cherry tree.  Cutting down a tree is a barbaric task thattakes no thought at all which is perfect for thinking about why I care whatpeople think.  The physical activitydoesn’t help you overcome your fear; It is the time that you take to thinkabout your problems in the middle of the woods in complete silence. 

    “TIMBER!!!” I shoutedas the tree smashes to the ground.  Istart walking back to the house with throbbing hands, a sore back, and mostimportantly, a peaceful mind.  When Iwalk in the door and nobody was there. I had a text from my dad that Jerry hadto go to the hospital because he had a seizure, caused by his braincancer.  I rushed out the door and drovestraight to the hospital to see Jerry and comfort his daughters.  Jerry made it through that night and the nextday he told me to go back out to the forest. I complied and when I showed up to the patch of trees I saw a post-itnote on the biggest, thickest tree in the whole forest. I walked up to it andsquinted as it read “cancer (zack).” Without hesitation I began makingindentations in the enormous tree.  Ittook me a 47 hours of work to cut down this monster.  I went straight to the hospital to see him;they had drilled a hole in his head to relieve pressure.  I went up to him and showed him the picture Itook of the tree that had been mutilated and said “You don’t have to be afraidanymore I got it.”  He replied “That wasfor you, I did mine a while ago.” 

    Later, the nurse came in to takehim to his therapy session and said “Alright Mr. Lebo, we have to go now butdon’t worry you’re going to be alright.” He laughed and said, “Haha I’m notafraid.” and winked at me. I haven’t seen Jerry since then but he has just comeout of an induced coma and is in stable condition.  I feel that this story fully illustrates mypoint that and fear can be overcome if you work hard enough for it.

  • By Tiera Tucker


    Note: Tiera was in my English 12 A online course.
    Though she wrote this essay in Miss Wood's class, I feel proud of her and claim her as my own!
    ~ Mrs. Trinkle

    Have you ever hada best friend, someone to admire, look up to, and strive to be just like?Someone you would beg and plead to go everywhere with and would imitate theirevery move? Someone that you could always go to and they would be right therewilling to listen. My rock, my best friend, the one I admired – that was mybrother. Maybe your someone disappeared from your life completely without anotice or warning, just like my brother did. 

    My brother wastaken away from me when I was 11. As you can imagine, this was no sunny day. Eyeswatering, mind racing, I could not fathom the news. My brother was as smooth assilk sometimes but other times he was a ticking time bomb. He got into sometrouble that would land him in prison for the rest of his life. I was only 10but I knew that life in prison meant that I would never see my brother outsideof prison bars again. I did not know how to handle the news so I became angry,angry with everyone. I would constantly ask my mother questions that I knew hadno true answer. “Why would he do something like that knowing it would hurt meand hurt us?” I specifically remember telling my mother that my brother mustnot love me. He committed the crime; therefore, he chose to abandon me.  

    Dreadful andmiserably, the years went on as I had to live without having my brother around.He constantly wrote me letters, never giving up on me, but I would justthrow them away. I didn’t care to read his letters because after years ofignoring, I was extremely bitter. Becoming bitter was due to years of notforgiving but at the time, I did not want to forgive. I began to act out inschool and treat my mother in ways that she should never be treated. I knewthat I was wrong but I just wanted my brother to come back home, where I felthe needed to be.

    With an apologycomes forgiveness. The forgiveness was on my behalf. I was about 15 when Idecided to finally read one of his letters, hoping to find my apology. In thatletter, which I have held on to sacredly, he not only apologized but he pleadedfor me to respond. All of the answers and reassurance that I needed were rightin that two page letter.
                Although forgiveness willnever bring my brother back, it has definitely helped in building arelationship with him all over again. I could have continued to be angry,taking my anger out on everyone around me, but why? Who is that going to help?Finally realizing that it is not going to help me, I became a better person. Grudgesare simply not worth it, especially in the case of someone you love.  I decided to leave the past where it belongsand move on in my life, looking forward to my future. This has been a learninglesson that I will carry with me for years to come. I now comprehend thatforgiving someone not only relieves you of being bitter but takes away the painin your heart.

  • By Coralys Miranda, 2013



    My feet hardlytouched the ground as the scenery blurred by, wind blowing swiftly across myskin. My arms thrustback and forth at my sides while the beat of my heart sounded swiftly, lettingadrenaline pump through my veins. I breathed quickly and deeply, boundingforward with bursts of energy and a slight, growing ache in my abdomen. Leavingall worries behind me as I took stride by lengthening stride, letting myselffeel what’s only natural.

    I imagine thefeeling of escape. Escaping what makes me worry and leaving it all behind, yetit’s never truly left behind when I walk away from one worry into another. It’sas if I finish homework after a long day only to realize there’s a forgottenpile of work that is calling for my attention, needing to be done. Thepressures of what’s expected of you and goals in an unexpected future tend to add more suspense forwhat is to come. Worries cannot be avoided; the life we choose to live today isset before us by powers and societies we have no choice but to follow if wewant to live a long, successful life. We choose to accept those worries of whatwe are expected to be, and try to find who we are and what we are meant to bein the process. Bob Marley once sang, “Don’t worry about a thing, cause everylittle thing is gonna be alright.” I don’t want to let my worries define me,and, as Bob Marley has mentioned, every little thing will eventually bealright.

    Whenever I feelaggravated or angry, I want to do something instead of just letting itpass me by. It’s better to take a stand for what feels right than letting theopinions of others take over my life and overwhelm me. I feel as if as if I need to escape frommy own jumbled life and find out what kind of person I truly am; find how I canreact to change. When overwhelmed by my worries, I have the instinct to runaway from it all and let myself be set free; let myself take stride bylengthened stride to be set free and be liberated from everything else. Whetherit’s reading a good book to be immersed in another story, riding my bikethrough a winding path, or running for the sensation of freedom, it’sunderstandably better to take life step by step and when I become confident inwho I am, I will take my future in my own hands and run; let the beat of myheart sound proudly and let myself run to become who I am meant to be. Letmyself escape.

  • By Connor Brown, 2013

    SpeakingWithout Words


    There are times inmy life in which I find myself at a complete loss for words to match to myemotions; times in which I feel as though my feelings are so powerful thatthere are no words to do them justice. When I was a kid I used to spend longhours in the woods, desperately seeking a place in which my emotions couldexpress themselves without the hindrance of sentences, vocabulary andpunctuation. When I didn't have woods to lose myself in, I would often seekrefuge deep in the recesses of my mind, spending many long hours daydreaming,imagining, creating a fantastic landscape to mirror the vast span of myemotions.

    Of course, thatwas when I was much younger, but what about now? Now, when I no longer gowalking in the woods? Now, when I no longer spend hours daydreaming? Are thereany places left in this world where I can be completely myself? It was thisquestion that led me to discover my love of music.

    During the timethat I lived in New York, I also began singing in the school choir, and eventhough our choir wasn't very good I can still vaguely remember enjoying theinterplay between voices. In retrospect I realize that the choir as a whole wasrather mediocre, and I suppose that the subpar choral experience may have beenthe reason why my love for music remained on the back burner of my mind. Incontrast, when I moved to Indiana for my sophomore year of high school, I wasblown away by the choir program here; could there really be other kids whoappreciated the music as much as I did?

    The followingyear, having already begun to cultivate a natural affinity for music, Ienrolled in a class that taught the basics of piano and keyboarding, and fromthere my fondness of music exploded into a passion bordering on obsession.Unsatisfied with the simplicity of the pieces presented in the beginner's pianocourse, I began spending long hours on the family piano outside of school,immersing myself in chord progressions, sometimes even staying up until the weehours of the night. I soon found that I had a flair for composition, and withineight months of beginning that first piano course I began recording my pianocompositions and posting them online, to be viewed by anyone and everyone.

    Now, almost a yearafter that first composition, I have grown tremendously, both as a pianist andas a composer, and have posted over a dozen original compositions on YouTube, withmany more yet to record. Since I began composing music a year ago, I have foundthat many of the stressors in my life no longer impact me as much; myself-image is much more stable, and I no longer get bent out of shape by othersopinions of me - positive or negative. I know who I am.

    I am free.

  • Shacara Chrisp, 2013

    This one made me think and question my paradigm.
    I love when a student's writing does that to me.

    ~ Mrs. Trinkle
    Ibelieve not everybody has a story, or at least not a significant story. Societyhas its ways of making ‘examples’ of a person’s story. Like Oprah’s story, orBill Gates’s story. I used to dream that maybe one day I’ll be famous and beable to share my story during an interview and then it hit me. I don’t have astory. I can’t even piece one together. Stories to me are personal and arefilled with so much raw emotion and passion that reflect one's current self,yet I can’t think of my own.


    Icould go on rampage about being another statistic, a black kid raised without afather, or being the only black kid in an all-white class, but these aren'twhat made me who I am. Truthfully, I don’t know what made me who I am. I couldsay my surroundings, my friends, and myfamily, but I’m so different from them that it’s unrealistic to say they moldedto be the person I am today. Maybe I just don’t know who I am and that’s why I’mso confused. Better yet, perhaps I’m still writing my own story. I’ve had a few‘traumatic’ experiences but they didn’t affect me the way they should have. Ialways looked over them, not like they were normal, but as if they weren't myfault.


    Whatif that’s my story…