1. Caitlin RabuckPeriod 1December 11, 2010Coming of Age Summer, Summer, Summer ! Outside its hot, hotter then it usually is here in Germany. Im sitting in my fourth grade classwith my friends and my teacher. All the windows are open to let in some of the great weather. Myteacher was one of those people that are pretty rare, the one that marries a tough, motorcycle rider withloads of tattoos. That was what she was like. She, though, had no tattoos, and I dont think she knewhow to ride a motorcycle either. That was Mrs. Hodges, the what I called “want-to-be.” Its a week before summer break and I am ready. My grandparents and I are going to Italy. Ithought this would be the best vacation ever; since I would be the only child going I would have all theattention. Ill admit it, Im an attention hog. I like the spotlight on me. Mrs. Hodges told everyone to get into a circle.(It took a bit until everyone finally gotthemselves organized because all of our desks were in the way, so we had class outside.) We sat in acircle in the grass. The weather was wonderful, it was sunny and warm. Summer was always myfavorite time of the year. Mrs. Hodges said, “Okay class, lets go around the circle and hear about each of your summerplans.” Looking around I could see everyone was just waiting to burst with what their plans were. Iwanted to know when it would be my turn, so I counted. I would be the eleventh person to share out ofthe twenty-four kids in class. Riley went first, only because he made a girl switch spots with him. Riley told the class, “Im going to Oklahoma. Im moving there and I cant wait. My favoritefootball team is there and I just love football so much. My dad said we can go to plenty of games andthat by the time I hit fifth grade Ill be as good as a NFL player.”
2. Rileys friends all worried about him moving, while other students told him he will never be asgood as a NFL player. I just sat there and thought about my plans and how they are better theneveryone else plans. Italy is a different country. Most of these kids havent been to a country other thanThe United States and Germany. Italy, its imprinted in my head and I cant wait until these kids aredone with telling their uninteresting summer plans. Meanwhile, a girl named Katie was going on about her plans. “Im going to visit my rich unclein California. He owns a motorcycle shop. He said I can help him with his work and give him goodideas for his designs.” Ill admit, Katies story sounded interesting, but not anywhere close to mine. Mrs. Hodges likedKaties story; I could tell. She kept asking what the company was called and all these questions aboutmotorcycles. Maybe Mrs. Hodges did know something about motorcycles. Okay, enough, I dont careabout that. When will it be my turn? I counted to see how many more students were left. Two morepeople were in front of me. I had zoned out everyone elses stories while thinking of mine. It wasJalens turn and that meant only one more person after him, then it would be my turn. I was about to goinsane. I decided to listen to Jalens story, because hes a funny and adventurous kid. Once he said hewent to Australia and played with crocodiles with Steve Irwin. Jalen said, “Im going to the best place in the world,” I gave a little giggle at that becausenothing beats my place. “ Im going to... drum roll please...” the class gave him a drum roll. “ Im goingto Italy. My parents are taking me to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Rome, the beach, and Venice. I canhunt for jellyfish and sharks. Thats what Im doing this summer.” Mrs. Hodges told Jalen, “That is a very exciting trip you have ahead of you there Jalen. Theresonly one problem: you cant hunt for jellyfish or sharks there.” Jalen blushed a little because he knew he got caught lying. I just sat there in shock. I had a sickfeeling in my stomach and no longer wanted to share. Alana was telling the class about her plans but Ijust sat there zoning her out. I started to tear up but didnt want anyone to know, so I put my head in my
3. hands as if I were sleeping. When it was my turn to talk I said, “I pass” and just kept sitting in myposition without moving a muscle. Mrs. Hodges told me to share at least something I want to do thissummer. I responded with the same answer, “I pass.” I am not sure what came into me but I just stoodup and told the teacher I had to go to the bathroom. Without waiting for her to reply I ran to the schooland went to the bathroom. I sat on the toilet, with the toilet seat down and my pants up. I began to cryand cry, I couldnt stop. My teacher had come in the bathroom, I guess she knew something was wrong. She probablytold the students to go play on the school playground until she got back. Mrs. Hodges said to me,“Caitlin, come out and talk to me please. Why didnt you share your story?” I hesitated to reply but then began while still sitting on the toilet, “Mrs. Hodges, my summerplans were so wonderful and terrific I thought everyone elses were boring. Im going to Italy you seeand when Jalen said he was also going to Italy and told the class what he was going to do there, I feltlike I was being a copycat. Going to Italy was supposed to be MY summer plans, not his. Mine, mine,mine. I was just so excited, but now I feel it makes no sense in telling my plans.” I had not heard Mrs. Hodges. I thought maybe she had left but then she began, “Caitlin justbecause Jalen has the same plans to go to Italy as you, doesnt mean your trip is ruined. You and himmight be in totally different parts of Italy and do different things. We all know that Jalen likes lying andmaking things up so I bet half of the things he said arent even true. Please come back out and tell theclass of your plans, no one will think you are a copycat.” I came out of the bathroom. Mrs. Hodges told me to wash my face of the tears and then to comeback outside. I felt so embarrassed to go back out in front of the class now. When I got out there theclass clapped for me and I felt a bit better. I decided to tell of my plans and not worry about not beingthe only one having that plan. I realized that Italy is not just my country this summer; plenty of peoplewill visit Italy this summer and I needed to accept that. I had been acting a little too conceded andneeded to change that. When I told my plans to the class I said, “ Well, my plans for this summer are
4. the same as Jalens plans. I am also going to Italy. Im going with my grandparents. I cant wait. I lovethe beach and cant wait to be able to swim in the salty water in Italy. Im sorry if you think Im copyingJalen, but a lot of people go to Italy for vacation and the fact that Jalen and I are both going there is justcoincidence.” After I was done speaking everyone clapped then moved on. When everyone was done we hadten minutes to play on the playground. I was surprised when my classmates came to me and said theydidnt think I was a copycat. They also said they were jealous that Jalen and I could go to Italy. The endof school bell rang. I went and got my backpack and walked home. Now, I dont need to worry aboutwhat other people think about me or whether they thought I was a copycat.