Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Awkward Moment When You Are Outsmarted By an Elementary School Student

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    It’s ironic. You wait all of your elementary and middle-school life to become a teenager and be “cool” and then the moment you get to high school, you realize that you’re back to the beginning again.
            I didn’t really know that I would be volunteering at the elementary school fun fair this Saturday. But my mother did, and that is how I ended up sitting at the cakewalk station, playing and pausing “Domino,” calling out the names of animals, and handing children (who dressed better than me) some random cakes.
            But there was this one kid who had a lot of tickets but really didn’t want to spend them.
            “Hi,” he said to me in the middle of one round.
            “Hi, can I help you?”
            “Yeah, you can.”
            “Alright then. Name it, kid.”
            “I want a cake.”
            “Well, if you want one guaranteed for four bucks, there’s a bake sale in the gym, but if you want a 1 in 10 chance of winning one for four tickets, I suggest you play this game.”
            “What if I just want one for free?”
            “Maybe your mother can get you one. I’m just the cake walk music player.”
            The boy seemed to ponder that for a little bit, and slump against the wall next to me, as if pouting. He stayed like this for about five rounds and watched each time as the same kids seemed to win. Don’t ask me why, but this girl in a plaid shirt always seemed to be on the right animal card at the right time.
            “Why does she always win?” he snapped after the plaid-shirt girl won her fifth cake.
            “I’m not sure, it’s not like I rig the cards or anything.”
            “Well then, let me pick the next card.”
            “Feel free.”
            So he picked the card. And it was the same card that plaid-shirt girl was on.
            At this point, he was totally convinced that the girl had the rigged the cards.
            “She shouldn’t be allowed to play this game,” he finally said.
            “Sorry, this isn’t Vegas. I can’t kick her out because she’s crazy lucky a lot.”
            After about an hour, the kid was long gone, I was running low on cakes, partly because plaid-shirt girl had won about half of them, so I put the game on hold and went to go get some more cakes.
            I came back literally 2 minutes later and I was missing two cakes. I didn’t really think much of it, and continued running the game.
            Thirty minutes later, my shift was done and I started walking towards the exit.
            And who do I see sitting at the door, eating the two cakes that had gone missing?
            The kid.
            I was just outsmarted by a child.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Awkward Moment When You Spend More Time Researching “How To Write an Essay” Than Actually Writing It

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      I have never been a natural writer. When I write, Shakespeare weeps, as if thinking, “How can I have the same birthday as this pathetic young lad?” Of course, he’d say that sentence in his confusing way, but ask me to translate that for you—it’d be a disaster.
            Because of this handicap, I usually end up taking longer than everybody else to write simple paragraphs.
            For example, a week ago, an essay was due for my English class. It was a pain and I actually was up until 1 am editing to make sure there was absolutely nothing that my teacher could take off points from.
            And then it hit me. 
            We were supposed to write an expository essay.
            And I actually had no idea what an expository essay was.
            Yes, this is what happens when you are up at 1 am proofreading your essay that is due in 6 hours.
            So I researched what an expository essay was and realized that I had written my essay… in the form of a narrative.
            Really, Sarah Cruz? A narrative? Come on, you could have made it a little bit easier, but no, you had to put your voice in the writing as well as some pointless anecdotes that your English teacher has no intentions of giving you points for.
            At this point in time, it was about 1:45 am and I was blindly looking for a 5-hour energy in my kitchen, only to realize that this was a house with four children and that the closest thing I would find to 5-hour energy was some tea in the cabinet.
            Total let down, but I took what I could get. I chugged down 2 mug-fulls of green tea and the burning of the hot water definitely woke me up.
            And I wrote that expository essay.
            In fact, I wrote 4 drafts in one hour, and had never felt so utterly accomplished. At 3 am, I did a final check-over, printed all 4 drafts and the final draft, stapled them together and passed out on my desk.
            At 6:45 am, my alarm clock rang and after muttering some nonsense and about 6 of the 7 swear words in one breath, I got up and went to school.
            I turned my essay in that day.
            My English teacher told me to rip off all the other drafts I had made. She only wanted the final draft.
            I have never wanted to yell at a teacher as much as I did at that moment. I should said something super dramatic like, “I put my sweat and tears… and blood… and chugged two hot mugs of tea at 2 in the morning for those four drafts and you only want my final draft?!”
            But I didn’t. Because I consider myself someone with a little bit of common sense.
            Lesson learned: Don’t bother proofreading your essays at 1 am. Just turn the one you have in.
            And that’s the story of my horrible writing day. I’m still waiting on that essay to be graded. I’m going for maybe… a C? Tops, definitely a C.
            Sometimes I really wonder why I joined the newspaper at my school.