Memory Connections: Mirrors to the Past

29 Jun

George Bernard Shaw wrote, “You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul.” I asked the writers of the Memory Connections class at Westlake Hills Presbyterian Church to tell me about where and what they were from, to interpret paintings by Claude Monet, and to share those things they love and the things that make the world wonderful for them. In doing so, it was as if I were asking them to look into the mirror of the past and share their “reflections.” What they created with these works of art, however, are most definitely glimpses of their souls.

Tracey Lander-Garrett
Badgerdog Teaching Artist

Another Day

—Inspired by Claude Monet’s painting “The Road in Vetheuil in Winter”

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Greenery, snow slowly melts
Those who go outside are in garb
With the spring coming
Mountain rivers are coming down
Cold water in the streams
Families will start their daily chores.

Sigrid Clift

I Am From

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I am from a loving family with significant ties to Waco, Texas, Baptist religion, Baylor University, and conservative (Republican) politics. I was very privileged with financial support, educational support, and opportunities not given to many.

All these wonderful things came with strings attached. I was expected to behave according to strict rules and to accept religious doctrines without question.

After many journeys, I left the Baptist Church and aligned with the Democratic party. My parents were not pleased, but loved me anyway.

Bottom line: Love trumps politics and creeds. I try to follow this in my daily life. (“Sermonette for the day.”) I am my mother’s son.

Walter Boyd Spencer

To Set Sail or Not

—Inspired by Claude Monet’s painting “Entretat Rough Sea”

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I love the water. I love to sail!
And I love sailing in rough seas.
I think the boatmen are contemplating the rough sea
to decide whether to set sail or not. I would say no
the practiced, adult side of me would explain all the dangers
of going out into an obviously angry storm. However,
the romantic sailor in me would say, “Go for it!”
The adventure is worth the risk!
You will be so proud if you make it back to shore!
And think of the stories you will tell your children!
And the lesson you could teach them!
And the ones you should have taught them!
… If you get to see them again!

Carol Yacono

How I Enjoy Gardening

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How I enjoy gardening! Each spring, I plant my favorite seeds. These will germinate and grow into beautiful vegetables. In only a few months, there will be fresh vegetables growing in the bed behind our garage.

I will use my red wheelbarrow to start the process. First, I will till the soil in my bed, surrounded by a border of interesting pieces of limestone. Then I will add the rich moisture of humus and sprinkle with water daily.

Lastly, I plant the seeds for celery, lettuce, tomatoes. This bed is behind our garage and very easy to reach. What I now do is watch daily, water judiciously. Now I see sprouts. How lovely.

Susan Warren

Ode to a Banana

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I love the soft banana skin protecting
its tasty fruited and succulent fare.
it’s the taste of nourishment of a golden fruit
on picnics on the beach or hillsides at sundown.
I enjoy the fruit most often on road trips
in a basket filled with picnic fruits and a light wine
plus the gentle companionship of my wife
and friends on a nearby hillside.

Dan Odom

I Am From

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I am from Ironton, Ohio; Cincinnati, Ohio; St. Louis, Missouri; Waco, Texas; Middletown, Ohio; and Austin, Texas. I’m from a radio tuned to WLW Cincinnati. I am from clothes on the line and coal bins. I am from the two-story house at the top of a long hill, a large oak tree in the front yard and many friends and playmates. I am from a home that often smelled of wonderful food. I am from the screened in porch. I’m from a performing family, one professional (father), the rest of us rank amateurs. I’m from Ann, my sister. I’m from family foods as they were prepared in the South. I’m from “Only honesty is the correct way to live.” I’m from a Southern father and a Yankee mother. From kale and fried chicken. I’m from my father, a radio performer, who wrote a script each day for tomorrow’s show.

Lee Bland

I Am From

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I am from Houston, where I lived the longest, at least fifty years. Before that, I was from Minneapolis, Minnesota, and before that Chicago, and before that Waukegan, Illinois.

I’m from being born in a home with a basement.

Waukegan was a memorable place to be from. My 65th high school reunion is coming up.

Many friends are contacting me. It’s fun to go back in time to relive one’s youth. Ice trucks, coal deliveries, tarring the streets, riding streetcars, then buses.

I’m from smelling lilacs and eating apples and plums direct from the trees. I’m from playing hopscotch, Red Rovers, Russia, jumping rope. The coloring of maple trees, the bark of birch trees, snow with sleds and skates. I’m from igloos made in the backyard and burying treasure.

Betty Oertel

Wonderful World

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The things that make the world wonderful for me are my three children, my seven grandchildren, and my ten siblings and their families and my friends. We are a large Irish family so the shades of green and heather fill the days, from childhood to adulthood to life as a 75-year-old today. There has always been laughter and love shared over meals and numerous celebrations of life and death. Showing love in all places, being there for one another, helping, supporting, loving no matter what. Sharing daily ups and downs of a life lived with love, patience, and kindness. Always asking, “What can I do for you?” and then doing for them with a smile on my lips and a glint in my eye.

Patricia Kilbane

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Memory Connections: A World of Joy and Wonder

29 Jun

The idea of being “from” somewhere is as familiar as breathing, but we come from more than places—we are from the sum of our experiences, from the homes we lived in, the media and culture we’re immersed in, world events, the people we meet, the sunrises and sunsets we observe, and the trees and flowers we walk among. We carry images and words from great artists and interpret their meanings in ways that resonate with who we are at our deepest cores. These writers in our Memory Connections workshop—in telling their own stories, making up stories and poems based on paintings by Monet or Hopper, and recollecting those aspects of the world that fill them with joy and wonder—reveal deep feelings of gratitude for the world we live in, the one they come from, and those they imagine.

Tracey Lander-Garrett
Badgerdog Teaching Artist

I Am From

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I am from St. Louis, Missouri—baseball was the sport. My mother—who lived in Memphis, Tennessee, (200 miles from St. Louis)—watched the games on TV. The St. Louis Cardinals dominated the towns north and south of St. Louis. Baseball season is the longest of most sports, with spring training beginning March 1st and the World Series ending in October. Baseball was in our lives two-thirds of the year. Only late in the year and early the next—four months—were we without baseball.

The game is probably the most difficult to play. It requires catching, throwing, batting, running. On every pitch, the player must anticipate and respond. It’s thinking, anticipation, and reacting to the always-fluid and changing movements of the baseball as it’s thrown and hit. Even the sound of the baseball being hit by the bat gives some important information to be processed by your vision and hearing to determine how far the baseball will fly.

Edward Shelby

What a Day

—Inspired by Claude Monet’s painting “Entretat Rough Sea”

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What a day, the ocean is wild.
The fishermen are trying to decide
if they can take their boats out to sea.
They watch the ocean water hit hard
against the high rock walls. They look
through the open space in the rocks.
They see only the same waves
that are in front of them.
They look at their boats. They see
that they are old. They question
if the sails can be put in place.
Again, they have concern about whether
they will be safe if they take the boats
into the dangerous waters.
They decide not to put the boats
into the water. Better to be safe
than sorry.

Jerry Miller

El Paso (The Pass)

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Where I grew up, we did not have trees or grass, other than what was planted in people’s yards. But the sunsets over the mountains are always beautiful. I miss those sunsets. They are like rainbows—always a lot of color and shades. There is so much in the rocky mountains that run through El Paso (The Pass). They are large and majestic. When the sun sets, it’s a wonderful sight—the blending of colors: red, purple, yellow on a bright blue sky—one of my favorite sights.

Pat Joyce

The Black Trains

—Inspired by Claude Monet’s painting “The Gare Saint-Lazare: Arrival of a Train”

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I see the black trains coming and going.
I can see people working and going places.
There is a lot of steam from one of the trains.
There are a few trees on the left. It seems
fairly arid where the trains are.
The train track in the middle seems to snake out.
Two lanterns hang down from the trees on the left side.
I wish I were going on a train ride at this moment in time.
This train also seems to have two yellow lights in front.
One sits slightly above the other.

Heather de Loyo

I Grew Up

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I grew up in Sherman, Texas. I was born in Sherman and had sisters older and younger. My oldest sister would go to the Canteen with her friends to entertain the soldiers. My mother and dad let my sister and her friend bring several of the soldiers to our house to dance and eat.

Mother let us watch their dancing, and some of the soldiers would pick me and my sisters up and dance with us. That’s when I learned to dance. I have loved dance ever since.

As I grew older, I always remembered how much fun the boys had with us. So many of them later went overseas. We never saw them again.

At the time, I didn’t realize what they were there for. And as I got older, I remember all those boys fighting in the war. I know some didn’t come home.

Mary Russell

Spectacular Sunsets

Down By the River

If I were to pick a season that brought spectacular sunsets, it would be fall—along the coastal area of Southern California. The east winds, which lasted three to five days, blew in from the desert regions, hot and dry. The humidity was near zero—claiming victims of dust and pollen. But then came sunset: the most beautiful slow-motion picture. You gazed across the channel, some twenty miles away where the island of Santa Cruz lay. It is there where the sun dips into the ocean, causing the island to turn a deep purple-blue silhouette against the sky. That sky becomes a backdrop of brilliant yellow-orange—then, with time, as the sun sinks further down, it fades into pastels. So the blue of the sky fades into dusk, then night: out come the evening stars. And in turn, as the sky darkens to a deep blue, all the stars and some planets make their evening vigil—making each evening breathtaking, awe-inspiring.

Helen Haynes

The Great Artist

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I am touched by the sunrise and the sunset
at the beginning and end of the day.
The colors are brilliant and the clouds
are magnificent. There is an artistry
that can only be seen as divine, transcendent.
I imagine myself in the Space Station,
overwhelmed by the beauty that seems endless.
A multicolored sky: red, blue, white—
clouds are endless, and appear
to be painted by the Great Artist in the sky.
I love walking through fields of flowers:
bluebonnets, daisies, roses.
Skies, horizon, greens of the trees.
There is a freshness
in the late spring in this part of Texas,
birds singing in the evening.
I recall the words of E.E. Cummings:

i thank you God for this most amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes

Paul Visokay

Stars on an Autumn Evening

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I enjoy the autumn season of the year. It gives me a feeling of completion of the hot, muggy summer being replaced with cooler, dryer air. Living in Central Texas, we love the change in colors of Spanish oak trees and the falling of leaves in preparation for winter. I actually enjoy raking oak leaves in the fall. I feel autumn is the season to enjoy bounty and success.

Liking astronomy, the dryer air and lower humidity make the season much more amenable to using telescopes to look at planets close to our sun. I enjoy looking at the sky on a clear evening and picking out our sister planets that are part of the Milky Way. Remembering their distance from our sun is Challenge #1. Remembering their distance from earth is Challenge #2. I also enjoy looking for other solar systems beyond the Milky Way and guessing at their distances from Earth.

Manny Chavez

Tilling the Soil

—Inspired by Edward Hopper’s painting “Pennsylvania Coal Town”

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Tilling the soil
preparing the flower bed
on the side yard
The man works
to add some beauty
to his yard
His hands tightly grip
the tools of his labor

Arthur Mike McMahon

Brain Bending Wild Stories

23 Mar

Ms. Barrett’s class was a crazy group of writers who valued spontaneity, collaboration, and working together to come up with the most creative and brain-bendingly wild stories possible. Together, we practiced adding details with accordion sentences, wrote about conflict, characterization, and motivation, discovered the secret universes of our own fiction, and just generally had a blast! I know you’ll have a blast reading their work!

Emily Beyda
Badgerdog Teaching Artist

My Dance Recital

One day, it was my dance recital, and I had done so many graceful dances. Right before my funky dance, I got called out onto the stage. I felt nervous but happy. They said, “Greta Braafladt, come get your spotlight award!” on the mic. I felt like I was going to fly out of the room!

Greta Braafladt

The Silly Bakery

Bob wanted to play with Billy, so they did.

After a while, Stewart, Bob’s brother, asked, “Do you want to go to the bakery?”

So they did, two minutes later.

“Hi,” said Bob, “Can we get three Valentine’s Day cookies?”

But the evil worker said, “No, no, no, no. You cannot have anything, so get out, or else I will hit you with my spatula!”

Bob, Billy, and Stewart GOT HIT BY THE WORKER!

They lived happily after, but not the worker, though.

Noah Jade Castillesa

Dash’s Adventures

There was a cat named Dash, and he wanted an apple. But the people on the bus said, “No, no, no! We are not going to stop off to get some apples, okay?” the people said.

So the cat had a sad feeling. Then he went to the park so he could try to get an apple there. A little boy came up to him and said, “You are so cute, cat. Can I have you, please please?” And the little boy’s mom said, “No! You can’t take care of a cat. You are only eight years old.”

So the cat still did not get an apple, and he was so sad. He slept on the bench in the park, and when he woke up he found an apple there! And he lived happily ever after, the end.

Davianna Henry

The Adventures of Ice Cream Dog

My dog wants ice cream, but I said no. So my dog jumped on me, and my ice cream cone fell on his head. Splat! But then an alien started to chase him, and Amos saw him running. The alien is at his side, and they’re running together.

Jaelynn

The Hungry Alien

Once, there was a weird and ugly alien that was just flying around in space when he realized that he wanted to go to earth so he could get an epic full gold crown. But the alien loved to eat space food. Of course, there wasn’t any on earth. So he had to decide if he should go or not!

Trevor

Pennywise Goes to the Store

Pennywise was just walking in the sewer and he looked out the sewage drain and saw the licking eyeball store, but he saw a sign saying, “Store is closed for good!”

“NOOOOOO!” said Pennywise. He really wanted some licking eyeballs.

He angrily climbed out of the sewer and tried to run into the glass and break it, but it wouldn’t break. He tried over and over, until he saw the owner of the store.

Pennywise asked the owner to open up the store for Pennywise, but the owner said, “No.”

So Pennywise ate him. And he wasn’t even hungry!

Jaxon

The Fancy Croissant

Bob wanted a croissant, but he had no money! So he went to his job at the movie theater where he sold popcorn. He liked his job. He got his money and took it to the bank. Two days later he had about $300,000.50 in money, so he got the golden croissant for $300,000.50 and was happy.

Jett Katz

Trump’s Terrible Day

One day, Donald Trump was at Freddy’s Pizza as a night guard. He had to stay up to until 6:00 AM, but he fell asleep. One of the animatronics named Golden Frodo grabbed up. When Donald Trump woke up, he tried to get out of its grasp, but it did not work. The next day, Donald Trump was walking around town when he spotted Slendy Tubbie, then an animatronic. He ran up into his room and stayed in there until the door broke open. He got scared and hid in his bed, but they caught him and he never came back. Then a McDonald’s restaurant opened up—that was their next target. I might make this an animation, thanks for reading!

David Ezekiel Fuentes

A Creepy Mystery

Once someone saw someone. He said, “Eh, that’s weird!” Then he saw an ant that was big. It looked like it had a bomb. Then he noticed the bomb was ticking! But the person at the beginning was a Derp. The Derp wanted a pizza, but the pizza stores had a policy of no Derps. So the Derp robbed all the pizza stores.

Cayden Hernandez

Rover’s Revenge

Once, there was a puppy that liked ice cream. That is why he wore an ice cream cone on his head. His name was Rover. Rover had a very big sweet tooth, and all Rover wanted was a bone covered in icing. But the problem was the evil baker would smack him in his head with a spatula and break his ice cream cone, and poor little Rover couldn’t risk that. Then one day, Rover decided to try it out, so he went to the bakery and instead of the baker smacking him on the head, Rover ripped the spatula out of the baker’s hand and started smacking the baker in the head. And then he got the bone and he lived happily ever after.

Lyla Batha-Tipton

Marshmallow’s Mission

Once there was a cat named Marshmallow. He wanted to get a fishing rod, but he couldn’t because he didn’t have enough money. So he tried to steal it from a store but he got caught and he went to prison and he had to stay there for a hundred trillion years. He regretted his decision from that day on because it was horrible.

Bryce McManus

The Oval Head

One day, a guy was in the shower, and he saw a man with a head that looked like a sideways oval. The man had a long beard and a nose that looked like Squidward’s, and giant boots. Apparently, the guy, who was named Juan, had a disease, and when he saw a turkey, he would want to eat the whole thing. So, Juan saw the oval man and said, “I would never want to live with him…” But the man had turkey. So Juan chased the man into a secret room filled with turkey, and the man said, “You can have all of the turkey you want!” Juan wanted to escape, but he ended up living there forever!

Dash

My Amazing Day

I went to Universal. I saw a slide, and I went on it. It was amazing! It felt like a waterland. You see fake dinosaurs, and you are on a raft. It was fun. Suddenly, the raft stops! You go down a hole really fast, around two hundred miles an hour, and land in the water, and you see sky.

Grey

The Adventures of AJ

One day, a boy named AJ found a magical stone—if he touched it, he could turn into a giant. He wanted to save the world. He touched the stone, but someone started attacking him. So then he turned into a dragon and tried to burn the person who was attacking, but it didn’t work. So, AJ ran away, far away. But he still wanted to save the world. Then robots came to Planet Earth and started attacking and destroying everything. So, AJ flew down from the sky and lit all of the robots on fire. He destroyed all the robots, and soon everyone was safe and he was known as the dragon that saved the world.

AJ

The Kid Fights Back

So, there was this guy who always goes down a dark alleyway to get to school. But one day, a mean guy with a hook as a hand started chasing the kid. The kid lost the mean man, fortunately. Then the kid had an idea. He decided to get a monster fish. The problem was that one hundred was the kid’s most unluckiest number. So he got ninety-nine fish instead. The next day, the kid hid behind a bush with his big bag of monster fish he caught. After a while, he saw the mean man and… splat! The fish started biting the man. In the end, the mean dude apologized and never hurt the kid again.

Carly Maxwell

Kit the Cat

One day, there was a cat named Kit. She was a small cat. All she wanted was a bed, a fish on a plate, and catnip. They were going to be so good in her mouth. So she went to the store, and she was going into the store, but then the evil dog named Eagle Eye was scratching Kit, and Kit was getting a million baby tears. But then Eagle Eye said sorry, and Kit got what she wanted in the end. She did it back to the dog and ran away! “Victory is mine!” she said.

Shyla Trevino

The Deadly Breakfast

There was a man named Lil Mike, and he had a sidekick, Long Bob. They wanted to get a bone and eat it for dinner, but they couldn’t because they were trapped in a bowl that had lazers, and if you touched it you would explode and be eaten. During breakfast, they found some rocks and threw them at every later, and they escaped! They tried to eat the bone for dinner, but unfortunately they died choking on the moist bone.

Drake Farris

Bob Toy’s Terrible Day

Once upon a time, there was a boy named Bob Toy. He was walking with his phone and fell and turned into a monster and the spell lasted a month. So he ran home and now he never goes outside without getting a drink of anti-monster potion first.

Kerry

The Week That Went From Sad to Great!

One day I fell off my bunk bed, and I almost fractured my arm! I fell flat on my face, and the next thing I knew was that I was lying on my mom’s bed with a cast. The next day, I went to my dad’s house and found out that he had a new puppy named Keco.

Amanda

Excavating Stories from Our Minds

23 Mar

In Ms. Barrett’s fourth-grade class, we spent our time together digging for details that excavate stories from the images in our minds. Students explored their own expertise and backgrounds while learning the tools to research the unfamiliar and reach the endless possibilities of their imaginations. Folk music icon Woody Guthrie’s song “This Land Is Your Land” inspired us to tell our truest stories—those of the people we know and what they do. The work of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda roused stirring odes about people and pets we love, Twinkies, and even pasta. These young writers experimented with rhyme, similes, stanzas, and detailed descriptions to make their points. You will get a good laugh from Connor’s hilarious tale of “Gail the Snail.” You will find out what it’s like when future drivers are instructed to design their own dream cars. Most of all, I think you will truly enjoy reading and seeing these images written, and the magical pictures they cast in your mind’s eye.

Jena Kirkpatrick
Badgerdog Teaching Artist

The Car I Want

In my dream car, I want it to have the color red.
I want it to have all the food in the world.
I want it to have all the video game systems in the world.
I want it to have all the drinks in the world.
It has AutoDrive.
I want it to have protection all over it, so it doesn’t break.
I would travel all over the world.
If I don’t go all around the world,
I want to go with my friend, Austin, to half of the world.
We will play games and ride.

Cade Alderete

My Rainbow Colored Car

My dream car would be longer than a limo! My limo would be pink with gold sparkles because pink is my favorite color and because I love sparkles. Gold is another favorite color of mine, so the running boards on my limo would be gold with pink sparkles. And did you know my limo could turn into a truck? The color of my rims would be purple. Now let’s go inside the limo/truck. When you walk into my limo/truck there is a big, cute, fluffy, black rug covering up all of the floor. My limo would also be like a camper van, so you could live in it. The color of the seats would be rainbow, and one of the buttons in the front seat would make the limo/truck change colors to rainbow. My sister, Brynn, would live with me. Brynn and I would have bunk beds laid out across from each other. The bunk beds would be blue because that is Brynn’s favorite color. The bedspreads on the beds would have pink and purple zigzag lines on it. On the wall, next to both of the bunk beds, would be a TV. I love watching Full House, so I would have to have a TV. The thing that would be amazing is free Internet. On the walls, there would be black and white polka dots with sparkles. Did you know the bunk beds could turn in together to make a table, so you would have a place to eat? The table would be clear and it would have gold and silver sparkles on it.

Addison Bolen

My Mom

My mom is kind.
She looks like a woman with blonde and brown hair.
Her job is hair stylist.
She works at a hair salon.
Her favorite food is brisket tacos.
Her favorite colors are fuchsia, pink, and purple.
She likes to go to IHOP, Pizza Hut, and Golden Corral.
Her favorite clothes are dresses, pants, shorts, and shirts.
Her favorite shoes are Converse, sandals, and Tom’s.
Her favorite animals are puppies, cats, and wolves.
I think she is pretty.
She loves me and I love her.
I love my mom!

Evelyn C.

My Dream Car

My dream car would have some really comfy seats.
They would feel like a cloud.
The car would have a bed in it.
The color would be purple.
The inside would have a lot of space.
If you ask the car, it will give you ice cream.
You can make up your own flavors,
add your own decorations
and any kind of sweets.
The lights would be the color of a rainbow.
The color of the car would change every minute.
The car would also have a dance party.

Esther Garcia

The Black Sheep

My mother is very loyal to me. She tries her hardest to do what’s best for me. She usually always wears an old Alabama Crimson Tide hat. Back in our old state, Oregon, she worked at this bar called The Black Sheep. She worked almost every day, so she barely ever got sleep. Other than that, she is very funny. She often makes a play on words. She is very entertaining; she’s like the house clown. At her work, she makes a lot of friends and I usually get along with them. The person I got along with the most was named Taylor. Sometimes, Taylor would pick me up from school. One day, The Black Sheep wanted to make a change. They got rid of two of the oldest people and one of them was my mom.

Zach Halliday

Carty Party

My dream car would be mainly black with a blue streak coming across the middle. It would also have a pole to catch electricity. It would be powered by electricity with white parts that look like stars and glow in the dark. It’d be small, but big enough for six people. It’d have two black motorcycles with white, glow-in-the-dark stripes on the sides that people can ride. They can also split off the car with the push of a button, but they can’t go that far away because they are magnetically connected. It would also be able to have part of the front turn into a set of turntables. They are mainly black with a rainbow streak that continually changes color. They have cool speakers and a computer that has headphones. Also, it would have a microphone that’s connected to said features. It would have cool party lights that I could use any time I want. I would rarely let anyone in, and if I did, they’d usually be there to help me with the party settings that I forgot to mention. I’d use it 99 percent of the time for party-like/party/cool events that I am invited to (if you couldn’t tell already). Said parties would mainly be at night. Because. Reasons. Now I want to play Mario Cart for some odd reason… huh?

Abigail Hughes

The Mega Car

Vroom, vroom!
My car—pow!
It’s bad and black
And can go ten times faster than a Ferrari
It has a built-in robot to drive it
It has twenty-four seats and a hot tub on the roof
My car has a 3D printer that can print one thing
With the snap of my finger, it will activate disco lights
It has 5×5 foot TVs and one ten-foot one
It has tires that are thicker than a dog that spent one year in a hotdog factory
With the press of a box, the Mega Car will start to bounce
It can go anywhere, from the Earth’s core to another galaxy
It even has a toilet in the back
The seats are fluffy as a cloud and softer than velvet
The seats are also as bouncy as a trampoline
The fuel is nuclear waste
It’s waterproof and if you say fish
It will turn into a submarine

Alex J.

The Energy Car

My car is fifty feet tall and a street wide. It is jet black with fire red seats and everything important is water blue. The cool thing is that it comes with portable gas in a flameproof closet (actually, the whole car is flameproof and bulletproof). The inside has two really important buttons and a lot of other random buttons. The two important buttons are self-drive and auto-drive. See, the important thing is that… let’s say you tell your friend you will go this specific route for any reason with self-drive. You go that route, but auto-drive will take the main route, and that’s boring. The cool parts are: the rockets that can take you up to exactly 132,586,794 light years into space, a bedroom, a kitchen, a living room, a fully operating weapons system (for anything strange), a fully operating “camp-mode,” a fully operating transforming system, an elevator that can take you to Mars somehow. And the exhaust is cheese and (I saved the best for last)… a cup holder… with a voice lock… No!… ”Aw, man. K.” You can fit thirty-six people in the car and take them almost everywhere in the world. I was driving down a road with dead trees around it and suddenly… a Stegosaurus appeared! It destroyed everything around it, saying, “I am a Stegosaurus!” Then, I suddenly felt dizzy and saw a flash of light. I felt heat and I saw the car vaporizing.

Christian Lopez

Hotel

My dad’s name is Jerry.
His height is five-foot-three.
His name is my middle name.
He is a builder.
He made a hotel by IH-35.
He is also a bike builder.
He also has a lot of tattoos.
He has three kinds of tattoos on his head.
He has one in the middle of his head.
It is a Virgin Mary with roses on the sides.

Texas L.

New York Car

My dream car has spikey wheels.
My car is bright pink.
My rims are silver with glitter.
The seats are made out of fluffy, rainbow fabric.
In my car, there will be a caramel Frappuccino maker.
With the push of a button, it will make me the best drink ever!
I will go shopping with Esther and Daniela.
We will go to New York City.
It will give us more than one thousand phones.

Christiana M.

Mysteries

I woke up in an abandoned hospital.
I looked both ways.
The date was 2082.
Since the hospital was blown up, I climbed a wall.
I saw the future, but there was a portal.
I forgot Stacey came with me.
I saw her and I ran to her and said,
“Stacey! You saw the portal, right?”
“You’re strange,” Stacey said.
“So, let’s go into it,” I said.
“Okay,” Stacey said.
We looked and saw the date 1825.
It was a back-in-time portal.
We had to go back.

Drake M.

Llama Bus

My dream car is a double-decker bus without a roof on the top part and no seats on the roof, just grass. The color of the bus is yellow. The inside is bright orange. The bus is called the Llama Bus. On the Llama Bus there are stripes. The stripes are brown, but the llama is white. It does not use gas for fuel. It uses cheese. There is a button that changes the cheese kind. It can disguise itself as a giant llama. When it goes into disguise, corn comes out of the llama’s mouth. The coolest thing about it is that no one drives it. It also goes up to five light years a second. I would bring Connor and Christian and go into a black hole and see what’s inside. Inside the black hole are alpacas, mostly brown alpacas and the rest are white. There is no gravity and it also makes you feel weird because you are getting stretched out. When we come back, we will have a Stegosaurus, which will say, “I am Stegosaurus.”

Nevan Montgomery

My Ode to My Dog Harley

My dog, Harley, is funny.
When he plays with his bone, he grows very funny.
Harley is softer than a bunny.
Harley loves to sleep.
He never makes a peep.
Harley likes to go to the park slide.
We also like to play seek and hide.
He is tan and black.
He likes to run the track.
His favorite people are my uncle and me.

Camilla M.

Ode to Pasta

Oh, pasta! How can you be so delicious?
With those spices and sauces, you are a god of food, you know?
You are ancient. You came from China and transferred to Italy.
“Where Lambos are,” and transformed into paradise.
You fill me with joy and tranquility.
My tongue always wonders where you are and never stops thinking about you.

Sebastian Stevanon

My Sweet Dobie

Oh, how I love my dog Dobie!
How he stares in your eyes
The way he licks your face
I love Dobie like cotton candy
He is the light of my day like the sun in the sky
How he curls with you when he can give no more
Sweet brown of his fur
He gives you a kiss when you’re down
Like a puppy saving a duck in town

My dog is small and lazy
He sits on the couch like a tomato
He’s only six years old
But to me he’s a baby
Sometimes he goes too far
It’s like a piece of paper hitting you
But he is mostly nice and cute like a lion
My dog is my world
He is my sun in my day
He’s cute and could act like a good dog
But he won’t even listen sometimes
Dobie loves wearing a shirt
I make him hot when he’s cold
He is like a body lying in bed
I love Dobie like a god
He has fur like a bear
I can go home and give him a kiss

Essie Taylor

Ode to Twinkies

The sweet, pillowy cream
The spongy, light outside
To me, it is more valuable
Than gold

All the different flavors
Your golden color
Your plastic wrapper is so crinkly
For you I would give anything
I would give shoes for you
In my heart there is a place for you
I could swim in an ocean of Twinkies
You come in all those shapes and sizes
Deep fried, ice cream, packaged fresh
I could binge eat you for a lifetime

Jake Texeira

Gail the Snail

Once there was a snail
His name was Gail
He was male
He swallowed a nail
And he gave Dale the mail
He wanted to sail
But he was a fail
That’s why he was a giver of the mail
He lost his tail
When it started to hail
He went to his house and hid in a pail
But forgot to eat his kale
So he went to jail
And when he got home he found his tail

Connor Tipps

My Unicorn Car

I would love my car to be a unicorn car. It will be white with painted rainbow hairs on it and it will have a golden unicorn horn. My dream car will have lots of buttons. One will be for a chocolate fountain with a bowl of strawberries next to it. It will also have a cake-maker button where you can pick a flavor, frosting, and topping. My Unicorn Car will also have a unicorn Frappuccino button. There will also be a small stand of hot Cheetos. The hot Cheetos will be flaming hot Cheetos puffs, Takis, and flaming hot rings. My dream car’s light will be rainbow. My car will also have wings and be able to fly. My dream car’s seats will have unicorns. It will have a unicorn horn on the top of the seat. My dream car will be powered by my hand. My dream car will have a microwave and a touch screen. My dream car will also have rainbow wheels; it will have a freezer with ice cream, caramel apples, Hot Pockets, pizza rolls, and popsicles. I will take my family to a beautiful beach.

Daniela Villegas Garcia

Car

My dream car would be light, bright blue with windows the color of the ocean on the left, bright red on the right and bright purple in the middle. The inside seats would be red. The headlights would change color in rainbow order. On the inside there would be a large rainbow button with a capital “C” on it. It would spill out candy. Mostly Twix, Hershey’s and gum. There would be a blue button with a “P” that releases a pool with a diving board, water slide, and pads that you can swim on included. As well as an orange button with a “W” that releases a climbing wall and a cave. There would be a board touch screen that has all the other water controls. This car could fly, swim, climb, slide, drive. and go to outer space (as far as six million light years). There would be an autopilot and another touch screen that would change the shape of the car. The background of the touch screens would be blue and the words and pictures would be white. The touch screens would be floating, half hologram and half transparent. The last touch screen would paint murals on the car, depending on what I tell it to paint. It can even show moving pictures, films, and movies!

Alice Weber

Homework, Skateboards, Turtles and Elephants

22 Mar

The young writers in Ms. Williamson’s morning class always greeted the day with a smile. They were unfailingly generous of spirit, both when it came to sharing snacks and sharing stories. Over the course of our month together, we worked as a group to create wild fictional universes (full of animals doing surprising things), wacky people going on silly adventures, and even a few talking objects! These writers used their empathy to explore the world through their creative writing, and their stories reveal their kind-heartedness!

Emily Beyda
Badgerdog Teaching Artist 

The Story of Homework

I am homework,
I’m not second-grade homework
I’m not third-grade homework
We’re talking fourth-grade homework, people!

I’m supposed to be on your desk with a big, red A+
Stamped on my face like a big, beautiful bow!
But now I feel ignored and neglected because
Emma forgot me in her dirty backpack! Do you
Know what’s in there?!

A moldy sandwich from last week!
Stale crackers from a month ago!
A water bottle that’s been in there since
Who knows when!

And now, thanks to Emma, my best friends Pencil
And Eraser are avoiding me because they think
Emma thought I was so lame, she didn’t even have
A thought about looking at me!

That is why I am not on your desk with a
Bright, red A+

Yours truly,
Emma’s Homework

Emma Read

Zombie Takeover

Once a fish wanted to go underground to find a hidden shower, so he traveled in a robot dinosaur with water in it. When the fish got out, he dug. The robot dinosaur went with the fish. But when they found the hidden shower, the robot dinosaur ate the fish! Then the robot dinosaur turned on the shower, and his power went down forever.

Ten years later, the fish came back to life as a zombie and started a zombie war. So we turned the robot back on, but the fish bit the robot so he could turn into a zombie robot. Together, they ruled the world. Then the SWAT team came and hit them with sledgehammers and all their other weapons. The SWAT team won the war against the zombie robot, the fish, and all the other zombies.

John

The Most Dangerous Game

Once there was a girl who skated. One day, she wanted to take a break from skating and play a video game about a fish eating people. She went to GameStop to buy the game, but it was closed. She was so depressed. She did not know what to do, but then she had an idea. She would break in!

She got all the supplies and broke in. She looked for the game, but it was out of stock. She heard sirens and saw a cop car. The cop came in and arrested her. But… this cop was nice, and he let the girl play the game in jail.

Gavin

Basketball Man Meets the Special Elephant

Once there was a man whose dad had a special elephant. He was a strong man and a basketball player. But sadly his dad died that Friday, and someone took the elephant away from him. The basketball player went to get the elephant, but there was a shark guarding it. So he jumped in the tank and killed the shark with his bare hands and rescued his dad’s elephant.

Joseph

The Burn Bird

Once there was a little birdy who wanted an iPhone he could use to call the cool birds and ask them out for dates. But the Joker wanted the iPhone too, so he could use it to call his girlfriend Harley Quinn and ask her to rob a bank with him. The bird tried to get the phone, but he failed. Then the Joker roasted the birdy, and the birdy said, “No, you’re ugly!” and the Joker cried and ran away. The bird grabbed the iPhone and asked the cool birds out on a date. They said yes. The Joker never messed with birds ever again, and he is scared of birds for life now.

Diesel

The Ghost Mission

Once there was a weird person who wanted to see a ghost. So he set off on his journey to find a ghost. The old haunted house was where he went first. Then he saw a SWAT team member who said, “Stop doing crazy, stupid things!”

“Bah, who needs SWAT!” said the weird guy. With that, he ran away.

Just then, the SWAT team circled around him. “Freeze!” they said.

“Okay,” said the weird guy.

They put him in jail.

One night, when he was sleeping in jail, he saw a ghost. “Can you break me out of jail?” asked the weird guy.

The ghost frowned, and called his friend Pennywise. “You’ll float, too, you’ll float, too,” said Pennywise. With that, Pennywise slaughtered the weird guy and ate him for breakfast.

Eli Patel

The Ninja Dog

One day, there was a ninja who was part dog, part ninja. He wanted dog food because he was part dog, but there was a dangerous obstacle: a magic skateboard that kept him from the dog food. So he put a sticky bomb on it and exploded the magic skateboard and ate the dog food!

Jayden Martinez

The Adventures of Spider Boy

There was once a Spider Boy and two criminals, Mr. Bear and Cat Boy, who wanted to fight him. Spider Boy wanted to kill Mr. Bear and Cat Boy. But a turtle came, and he owned an Apple store. Spider Boy was distracted and went into the store to buy some apples. The turtle asked why he was getting so many apples. He told the turtle he was on a mission.

Erika Lopez

Sadness

It makes you cry
It brings you tears
Your chest feels heavy
Whenever it’s near

You don’t feel right
You think you’re sick
But you realize
It’s only a trick

You may feel down
And your heart will pound
But it’s your pain
Coming from your veins.

Piper Pombrio

The Crazy Skateboard

My character is a skateboard. The skateboard loved to go rolling around everywhere. So, one day, the skateboard got really sick from rolling around and he threw up (yuck!). After the skateboard threw up, he got really, really fat! The skateboard’s friends were skinny, so they all rolled around together, and he got skinny again after a month.

Amelia Ponce

My Soggy Day

In the morning, no one told me they’d made me cereal, so I had to eat soggy old cereal. Then I went to turn on my Xbox to play with Waylon, and we almost won a hundred-person match. We came in second place! We got mad, so we wanted to go skate, but it was raining so I couldn’t skate outside.

Nick

The Alien’s Skateboard Adventure

Once upon a time, there was a weird alien thing that wanted to skateboard. Its obstacle was that it was in jail, where skateboarding was not allowed. All it had was a hairpin and a screwdriver, and the alien used them both to unlock the lock and run to the spaceship, where it got its skateboard, ran to a skatepark, and skated for days.

Graves

Rocket League

A guy named Blocks was playing Rocket League with his friend Michael. They were playing Rocket League for eight hours. They were not tired, but then it was one a.m. and Blocks’s mom came to his room. Blocks ran to his bed and pretended that he was sleeping until his mom left. Blocks went back to his game and flipped over a ramp. Boom! The other team scored—game over. He was at level seven, and had won twenty-one games. Rocket League is like a race car soccer game. He had to get goals and get upgrades, and that was what it was.

Brianna 

Bonkbob’s Troubles

Bonkbob is stuck and he wants to break out so that he can get 500 dollars. He runs to people and fights them. He wins because he is powerful, and he flops down and sees that he is lost. But he finds a jetpack, and uses it to fly where he needs to go.

Aiden

The Ninja’s Quest

One day, there was a boy who was a foot high. He was really small. He wanted to become like the ninja he’d seen once. To do it, he had to climb a tree that had the legendary ninja suit in it, but guards were working to guard it. So he had to sneak in undetected. He went through the facility and got through. Then he saw the guards. So he took out the guards and climbed the tree and got the suit. He then became the best ninja in the land and saved people from bad guys.

Derrick

Batman vs. the Trampoline

Batman wanted a chest full of gold coins, gold bars, fancy jewels, and a king’s crown, but to get it he had to go down to the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, deep down to the freezing cold water. He had to go through a couple of obstacles. The obstacles were a trampoline, a skating area, and a Zumiez. Those were Batman’s favorite games! He couldn’t stop looking at them, so he went and played.

He played on the trampoline for seven hours, and went skating for eight hours, and after eight hours of skating he went to the Zumiez and bought lots and lots of clothes and went back on the trampoline for two hours and skating for one hour and forgot about the treasure chest and went home.

The next day, he remembered the chest and went back to search for it. This time, there was no obstacle, so he got the chest he wanted. But the chest had a big lock! So he could not get the treasure inside. So he brought the chest home with him.

Haylee Senior

The Deadly Seat

Bob the turtle wanted to go on the chair, but a bird swooped down and picked him up when Bob tried to sit on it. The turtle was never seen again.

Breylen

The Soccer Game

An elephant who was very fat had an obstacle—that was a banana fish eating another fish with big eyes. The elephant wanted to play soccer with two people and wanted another person to ride around on a rocket and be the referee. He wanted one of the people playing soccer with him to get taken away by the rocket. But the banana fish got in his way!

Waylon Jeter

 Three Trips

  1. I went to Florida and went to Sea World. There was a big roller coaster, but my dad does not like roller coasters, so it was just me, my sister, and my mom.
  2. I went to Puerto Rico, changing from a car to a boat along the way. It was awesome. I got to go to the beach.
  3. I went to Alaska. It was freezing, but there were amazing things to see. It was incredible. My whole family was there but we got sick.

Philip

The Secret Life of Lemon

Once there was a dog named Lemon. He was the best dog you could have, but he had secrets. He wanted to get to his secret lab and create something no one had seen before, but he had a problem.

His big dog house blocked his way, and every time he found a new way the yummy smell from his food brought him back to his house. But once, he threw his food in the trash and took a new secret way to his lab. He made something no one had ever seen before. He named it Frankenstein.

Ryan Moore

Billy Meets the Bird

Once there was a man named Billy, who was an astronaut. He was in space having fun until he met a girl who he thought was pretty. She had a pet bird that was huge. Billy had two cats who would fight over a chair. Billy accidentally bumped into the girl, and her bird thought Billy was trying to kill her, so the bird ate Billy! After that, the bird barfed and licked his lips.

Zayra

Beck Bites Back

Once there was a dog named Beck. He loved to play with his Xbox. One day, the dog was going to play with his Xbox, but in the middle of the night, a shark came and ate the Xbox. The dog knew this because the shark left a note just to make sure the dog knew. Beck was so sad about his Xbox, so he sent a letter to the shark, but the shark was so mean he didn’t write back.

Isabelle Baldwin

Strange Tales of Struggle and Triumph

21 Mar

The students in Ms. Williamson’s afternoon class took writing seriously. Always ready to offer a constructive comment, a suggestion for a plot twist, a question about descriptive language, or a reflection on motivation, these young writers created a supportive community where they felt free to riff on their favorite fictional worlds, break genre barriers, and dig deep into their creative selves. You’ll love reading the work created… maybe it’ll inspire you to create something of your own!

Emily Beyda
Badgerdog Teaching Artist

Wacky World

The weirdest day I ever had started yesterday morning. As I woke up, I could already tell that things were going to get wacky, because when I walked into my closet, all the clothes were in opposite spots! But as I examined the small room, I started to think that it was just a childish prank that my brother had pulled. I walked out of my closet giggling a little.

Suddenly, I stopped dead in my tracks. My shorts had turned from white to leopard print! As I turned around, I saw my dog with a green tie and pinwheel hat! I bolted out of my room, grabbed my backpack, and ran to school. As I arrived, I found the whole Boone Elementary School turned on its side!

Scared out of my wits, I ran to a nearby alley and tried to hide. After that, the police came up to me, grabbed me by my shoulders, and told me I was going to court! I arrived at the huge courtroom as the short judge walked in. He stared at me with prying eyes. All of a sudden, the judge raised a carrot and pointed it at me. He started asking weird questions, moving closer with every word.

Then I shot up in my bed, blinking and rubbing my eyes. It was just a dream? Could it be true? I looked at my dog, who was completely normal. I grabbed him around his neck and squeezed him until… I got hungry. I stepped out of bed and tripped. Something had rolled out under my foot. I looked back at the cone shaped item, and realized it was the same carrot that the judge had pointed at me!

Cora Mae B.

The Alien

I am an alien who wants a UFO. An Unidentified Flying Object. I want the UFO so I can grab planets and put them in another galaxy. But there is a monster guarding it, thinking it is an alien.

Vincent

Who Am I?

I am Aliyah and I have two siblings. My home is a one-story and it’s brown. My city is Austin and it has buildings. My state is Texas and it is big. My country is the U.S., and it has fifty states. My world is the earth, and it’s the only planet with living things. My universe has Jupiter and black holes. My beyond has everything you’d ever dream of, unicorns and… me!

Aliyah

Two Brothers

Jebidiah Kerman put on his new tuxedo and drove to his friend’s party. When he got there, he took off his top hat and walked away. A little while later, his head got cold, so he went to get his hat. He saw his evil twin Jebii take his hat and run away. Jebidiah blasted after him and tackled Jebii, punched him in the nose, and got his hat back. In the end, he drove away, leaving Jebii in the street.

Renny

The Fatal Basketball

One day, when a boy went down the hill, he was walking with a pencil. He was so sad until he saw a basketball, and he picked it up. His mom told him not to pick up stuff from the ground. He remembered that his mom would be furious if he picked it up. He was walking home until a happy jellyfish came up to him to stop him from getting hit by a car. His mom came and picked him up, and she was so so so joyful she had her son back. The next day… Boom! The house exploded, and he and his mom moved out of the house. Bam! They left. It started to rain and boom, crack, pop! The thunder boomed. At last, they were home in their new home.

Lily

Garden Games

There was once a man named No Limbs At All. I have no clue why, but he had eight arms and eight legs. His mission was to get the Golden Garden Award. One problem: Mr. Chubby Muscles, who was a stick man, had the universe’s supply of all the supplies that were required for successful gardening. The solution was simple: Steal some items from him, use the free pardon that he won in real life Monopoly, and win the award. Guess who had the award, and who was DQed?

David

The Hungry Narwal

The narwal wants to turn into a bird so he can fly over to the birdhouse so he can eat because when food goes in the water it gets soggy. But if he turns into a bird, he can’t fly because he is underwater! So the narwal finds a ship, and inside the ship he finds an air tank so he can breathe on land. So he grabs the tank and flops out of the water, all the way to the house.

Austin

The Puppy Princess

At the end of every day, the princess would turn into a puppy because the evil witch had put a curse on her. And the only way to break the curse was to take the witch and force the curse back on her. But there was a giant wall protecting the witch. So the princess broke the wall, and she was free!

Natalie

Penelope the Peacock

There was once a peacock named Penelope. She lived in space. She was a star peacock. She lived in the Milky Way. She was a gorgeous friend, a fun, funny, and amazing peacock. She was also rainbow. I know what you’re thinking: “But it’s boy peacocks who are colorful.” But this was a different universe.

One day, Penelope was taking a stroll on the shiny gold sidewalks of her town. All of a sudden, a tomato fell from the sky! That was just what she needed! She tried to walk over to it, but out of the blue, a dark, deep fog came rolling in.

“Where’s that tomato?” Penelope said. She looked and looked, but she just couldn’t see it. “Oh, no. What did I just step on?” Penelope looked down at her foot, and it was covered in tomato juice! Then the tomato juice started to grow. She got out by holding onto a passing car and moved to another world.

Syreeana 

The Hot Dog Adventure

Once upon a time, a princess who could turn into a dog woke up. After seeing that she couldn’t make a hot dog without having to boil precious water, she thought, “I really need a microwave!”

She decided to go on a quest. She called it The Quest for a Microwave. She knew her father wouldn’t let her go, so she snuck away in dog form. She eventually made it to the microwave store, where she asked, “What is the best microwave in the world?”

The cashier said, “The best microwave in the world is the golden microwave. It is so amazing, it can cook a hotdog in one millisecond!”

She kept going, and 500,000 days later she found it. Right before she could grab it, the guardian of the golden microwave woke up, and if you don’t know what that is, it is a giant dog with tentacles for a mouth. The princess defeated it, got the microwave, and made it back home before she was one hundred and fifty years old.

Lucas

The Strange Day

My day started off bad when I heard that someone who would be coming to my sleepover couldn’t spend the night. It was Vincent! But then the school shrunk to the size of a dollhouse and nobody knew why. It was scary! Then we went to normal size, and we got to go home and eat ice cream. But then aliens came down and stole my TV! So I had to use the one in the living room. But then I found a $30 Amazon gift card, and I was happy and the weirdness stopped.

Charlie

Naptime for Piggy

There was once a pig who had trouble sleeping. But winter was long, and he wanted to sleep through it. So one night, he set off to find a teddy bear. On the way, he met a bird. It was really mean. It started to peck the pig’s head, it was so annoying! Finally, the pig lost the bird and found a store. He went in, but they were all out of teddy bears. It was almost winter, and the bears had already gotten them for hibernation. Finally, he saw one. He grabbed it, and when he went home he finally got some good sleep.

Ben

From Bad to Good

My bad day started like this: My mom got into a wreck! I had to go to the hospital—it was the worst. The next day, a fly went in my eye. I was running in circles in my backyard. The next day, nothing was happening. Everything was starting to be so good. Then I noticed this wasn’t a bad day, this was a good lunch day, and I also found a twenty-dollar bill and a ten-dollar bill in the parking lot.

Gisella

What?

There was a dude named Jeff who wanted to get rid of the wings a witch named Mary gave him. So he traveled to a nice witch to get what he wanted. The nice witch was named Red R. He traveled all the way there, and he felt mixed emotions, like happy, sad, and mad, but when he got there the nice witch was gone, and he was getting sick and turning into a blue jay. But the witch came back with cocoa, and Jeff was super happy because Red R killed Mary, the mean witch, and Jeff’s wings were gone. But Jeff had another problem. He forgot how to get home. But Red R took Jeff home, and Jeff took his shoes off and he had lion feet! He also had ice cream hands, and they melted, so now he does not have hands. Mary is coming back to Boone soon! Look out! Boo! Ha ha ha!

Betty

Emotion

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Molly. She had a whole lot of friends, and she wanted a hot dog with boiled eggs. But she did not have enough money. She only had $2.30. But what stopped her from having the hot dog was that there was a strange thing, like a turtle, so she started getting really disgusted, crazy, and mean. She was mean because she loved her food and there was a turtle in front guarding it. And she was disgusted because the turtle again. And she was crazy because she thought her food was good. But apparently not.

Avah

King Gumball’s Challenge

Once upon a time there was a cute SpongeBob in a tuxedo. All he ever wanted was a happy human and dog. But he could not get these from the evil King Gumball. So one day, SpongeBob went to King Gumball and asked him for a happy dog and human. King Gumball said, “If you can solve this Rubik’s Cube in four seconds, you can have them.” SpongeBob solved the puzzle and got his happy dog and human!

Avery S.

The Tweeter

I am a birdy who tweets on the street. I wanted an iPhone 10, but there is a cow with with fire on its horns. One of the horns has a laser coming out of it, destroying the Sprint store, so I can’t go in and buy a phone.

What? Is there a person on there?

“The Boomers are here, hooray!” That’s Billy Bob Joe on the laser-fire-horns cow.

What the heck? Oh! I found the iPhone 10, yes! No! The cow turns his head, a laser hits my phone, and, “Nooooo! Dad! What are you doing piloting a plane?”

“Because I am a boss dad.”

“Can I have an iPhone 10, tweety please, Daddy?”

“Sure you can, when you are thirteen.”

“What? Dangit, I am twelve in three days. I am so close to getting an iPhone 10! Why, cruel world??”

Ethan

The Cat’s Revenge

One dark, cold night, I woke up to a loud noise. I went downstairs and peeked into the kitchen. There was the cat, talking on the phone! He had a cruel, evil look on his cute, fluffy face. He ran towards me and knocked me off my feet and viciously dragged me out the door. He put me on a glittery spaceship and sent me to Jupiter, and I was never seen again!

Emma

Red Balloon Boy: Let’s Throw a Party

Red Balloon Boy wanted revenge. Red Balloon Boy was animatronic. Everyone pushed him around, so he thought he should attack them. He couldn’t do it in the daytime, but at night he malfunctioned. He didn’t know what to do. He started to steal batteries from a flashlight so he could attack Freddy and take revenge on him for popping his favorite balloon.

Michael

Looking Back…

24 Jan

Inspiration originates for any writer in myriad ways, from objects to artwork, as well as prose and poetry that provide motivational examples. Writing also comes with a number of challenges, and one of the greatest, I think, is surpassing the dreaded “writer’s block.” These writers were not defined by this nor their own particular challenges—those of memory loss. Instead, they rose above them.

From personal histories to imagined vistas, these writers from the Memory Connections group at Baylor, Scott & White in Georgetown allowed me to guide them through a series of exercises in six classes that resulted in a small body of work, the best of which appears below. Their pieces leave room to pause, ponder, and appreciate before moving on to the next word or image. They’ll stay with you, so be prepared!

Tracey Lander-Garrett
Badgerdog Teaching Artist

Wheelbarrow

wheelbarrow

– inspired by William Carlos Williams’s “The Red Wheelbarrow”

Where have you
gone

I miss your
utility

for feeding
the hogs that

fed me
all year

Randy Russell

This Moment

shadows

I see a mother
with a little boy playing
in the blue and white pool.
There was a sound,
a yell of delight.
Later, they watched the sun
go down in darkness.

Mary Russell

Blue Skies

umbrellas

Just imagine
Blue and white clouds
Water splashing in the background
Clouds floating overhead
Umbrellas open and waving in the breeze
Salt in the air and sticky
Everything is beautiful!

Judy Rogers

Genealogy

crystalball

My expertise is genealogy

At this time
I am going through my family
from as long ago as the 1600s

I am writing—storytelling—
of these people

How to make a story
of a person?

Tell when
and where
she was born?

Describe where
she lived
how many
siblings she had
and who died

Show what
she did
and how she lived,
what she loved,
and who she loved

How she lived her life,
and how
and when
she died

Lynne Devin-Smith

Locket

locket.jpg

I have a little locket. It was worn by my grandmother and my mother. It has a dent in it, which was allegedly caused by my mother biting it. It was passed down to me by my mother. I never wore it much, as I was afraid I would lose it. It is now in my safe deposit box at our present bank location.

It’s just a simple little locket with very little monetary value. But it could never be replaced. It is a keepsake, a reminder of what and who was important to me in life… people and love.

It will be passed onto my daughter and then my only granddaughter. Perhaps it will be treasured by them… and passed onto many generations!

Beth Vogt

My Name

heather

My name is Heather. Heather is the small flowers you see on the hills of Scotland. They are usually purple. Isn’t that pretty?

My older brothers called me H-Bomb. I guess I was rather hyperactive. This name was mine until I was all grown up.

I think that they could have called me anything else and it would have been much better. Don’t you think?

My brothers had names like Charles and Fraser. How about that?

Heather de Loyo

What’s Possible

tennis

A sunny day calls for two or three
sets of tennis.

Without tennis balls, no sets
are possible.

The balls should be new to have
good bounces.

A tennis court and racket are necessary to hit
the ball and play the game.

Without a dry day, a good racket, and three balls,
no game is possible.

Jerry Miller

A Time Long Ago

Dance

I treasure the moments
of an evening long since gone

cherished because
of the memories it contains

laughter, merriment, sipping champagne,
dancing foxtrot, swing, waltz…

all the music of Glenn Miller,
Tommy Dorsey—Big Band sound—

embraced in the arms
of the young man I loved

these memories are sweet,
innocent, of a time long ago

that remains in my heart
for a lifetime.

Helen Haynes

Evolution

shell

As shells have evolved through time
immemorial, the complexity and
advancement of life can be seen
and appreciated.

Evolution of life is such an amazing
advancement in evidence and support
of complexity and beauty
of progression of life.

To think that life on our planet
is an example and proof that evolution
of life is very probable in other
planets, other solar systems, other galaxies.

Evolution of life is evidence that
life has existed before
and will exist
in the very far future.

Manny Chavez

The pieces above were written by participants in AGE of Central Texas’s Memory Connections Program, an evidence-informed program for people experiencing early-stage memory loss. The Badgerdog writing workshops provided for these groups were made possible by the generous support of St. David’s Community Foundation’s Health’s Angels.