Student Model Print
Ninth-grader Samantha’s assignment for this essay was to write a series of vignettes, loosely modeled on the novel The House on Mango Street, about her own house, neighborhood, family, and friends.
The House on Medford Avenue
I have lived in three places in my entire life. The first home I remember living in was mis abuelos house. I lived in the upper flat of their duplex until I was three years old. My brother was fifteen years old, and my sister was six years old. I am the youngest in my small family. We moved out of that house because mi abuela and my mother were not getting along very well. They argued constantly, screaming so loudly that the neighbor’s windows started to shake. When we left, we only moved 20 blocks away. We moved into another duplex, but this time we stayed for one year. I saw a mouse rolling a ball of yarn through my room.
We moved to Medford Avenue when I was six years old. I vividly remember stepping out of our old Ford Taurus that was on the verge of dying at any moment and looking at my dream home in awe. It was beautiful like a flower just coming into bloom. I saw my Grandmother Vivian walk out of the amazing setting. It was another duplex. My new home was in the upper flat. My dreams slowly started to fade away like the steam floating off a cup of hot coffee. I was living with my grandmother, whom I had never really spoken to. I knew that I wasn’t going to be happy there. I discovered that that was an understatement.
My Niece Is Born!
My brother is exactly 11 years and 9 months older than me. He met my sister-in-law when I was about three years old. I have known her basically my whole life. My brother and my sister-in-law got married, and all of a sudden I had a new sister. Little did I know that just a short time later I would have a niece.
My brother told me the terrific news when I was only ten years of age. I was going to be an aunt. I spent eight grueling months preparing for the responsibility. I had a plan in my head about how great it was going to be. She was going to dress like me, and we were going to hang out at the mall together.
Then she was born, and all of my plans were gone. She was only a baby. The diapers, the vomit, the crying were all grating. A jackhammer of a headache banged in my head. How was I supposed to watch her and play video games at the same time? Too much responsibility for me. I was as cold as ice to her. I would not pick her up, and I would not change her diapers. I felt like a lump of coal. I decided to make it up to her when she was old enough to walk. I would take her everywhere with me, and I did. She is now my best friend, even though she is only five years old. I wouldn’t trade her for anything.
The Day My Grandmother Died . . . Or Maybe Four Days Later
My grandmother was sick for a long time. She lost her memory so gradually that it was like sand in an hourglass slowly slipping away. I can’t remember when she actually got sick, but I knew that I would have to grow up very quickly. We took care of her for a while, and then we had to admit her into a nursing home.
I went to see her two days before my trip to Washington, D.C. She did not know who I was, but she just smiled at me like she always did. They said that she was fine, that she was in perfect health. We left, and I went home to prepare for my trip. She died six days later. It was the day after my return home. We did not find out until about four days later.
Something was odd about that day. My mom picked me up early from school, and she looked very sad. In a joking way, I asked, "Who died?" I did not know that someone did. My mom took me to work, and I spent two hours trying to figure out what was wrong. My mom came in with an umbrella and asked me if I could walk home. Tears were in her eyes, and they looked as if they were going to explode like a dam overflowing with water. I said, “Sure,” and I started walking home. When I got home, my mom and dad told me to sit down in the living room. My dad said that Grandmother had expired. I couldn’t speak. All of my words were stolen. I cried endlessly, like a waterfall after the rain. I can’t remember much of that day. I remember calling my friend Chris and telling him that I was going to be okay. Then everything blacked out like the darkness of space and time.
My First Boyfriend . . . Sort Of
It all started on the first day of my horrible high school career. I remember walking through that big school on the gray, evil morning. I walked to my resource room and sat down right next to the guy who would turn my world upside down. I remember looking toward the window and seeing his spiking hair outline against the dreary horizon. He was looking at me. I knew that he must have been looking at a girl behind me or something. He couldn’t possibly be looking at me. Boy, was I wrong.
Fast forward to our first school dance. It was the weirdest dance I have ever been to. I knew only one person at the school, and she did not even show up. I walked into the loud, dark, cave-like room. I noticed his spiky hair and I decided to ask him if he saw a mutual friend of ours. I walked up to him quickly, avoiding any eye contact. “Have you seen Ashlie?” “Huh?” “I said have you seen Ashlie!” “Huh?!” His friend pushed his head into mine. I looked at him quickly and ran away with the speed of lightning. All night long his friends pushed him toward me. A random girl came up to me and snatched my hand like it was a purse full of new bills. She pulled me toward him and made us exchange phone numbers. That wasn’t the end.
The invention of the dreaded Crush can made all of it worse. He sent a Crush can to me. Now, this was a curse. Many girls liked him, and they practically threw themselves at him. Basically every girl in my phy ed class hated me. He sent me the highest Crush can there is—red . . . the color of fire . . . the color of love. After that everything was great . . . sort of. He sent me three balloons on my birthday. He acts like he is my boyfriend, but the problem is . . . he has never asked me out!
My Best Friend(s)
I have three best friends, and they are all very different. They have different tastes and personalities. They are all special in their own ways. My friend Megan is the strangest but the coolest person I know. She always finds ways to make me laugh, and she is always there for support. We have known each other since sixth grade, but we became best friends during the eighth grade. She helped me through a bunch of problems. I go to her with all of my guy problems . . . including the most recent problems. Without her, I would be lost.
My friend Catherine is the total opposite of Megan, but she is still as cool as a cucumber. She is Mormon, and she really believes in her religion. I respect her for that. She is always there when I need a shoulder to cry on. She is extremely nice, and she is as sweet as sugar. She is really cool to hang out with at the mall because we both have the same style in clothing. I have only known her for a year, but I feel like I have known her forever.
My friend Chris is my protector. He is like a big brother (but I am older than he is). He will intimidate anyone who decides to mess with me. I can talk to him about anything (and he doesn’t like most of it), and he will give the guy’s opinion on everything. He’s great to just hang with on a Saturday and play football or soccer with.
Without these people I would not have a home. Sure, I have shelter and a roof over my head, but that doesn’t make a home. My home is happiness and love. It is caring and sharing. It is dealing with the good times and the bad. Home is with the people I love. Home is in my heart.
The House on Medford Avenue by Thoughtful Learning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at k12.thoughtfullearning.com/studentmodels/house-medford-avenue.