My Personal Narrative
by Jimmy Ziegler
Chapter 1: My Name
The smudgeless glass door swung wildly open and a cool breeze swept through the house. I, after having a thought the whole day of kindergarten, stormed inside. My mother, in the kitchen as always, was preparing dinner. Darting down the hallway, the door slamming violently shut behind me. As my mother whirled around I shouted “Jimmy is my real name, James is my nickname, right mom?”
It was not until later in life that I would have been able to understand my name completely. My name bestows generosity, responsibility and happiness unto whomever wears the name, such as myself. This name ties into many different aspects of my family. My Pop-Pop, giving me my first and last name, and my other grand father, who has been called Ga-Ga since I was born, he gave me my middle name. I am so lucky to have a name that can be traced back through generations.
My Pop-Pop Jim, who I sadly didn’t get to know very well, was a remarkable man. Even now I hear stories from my parents about what he was like, and the things he used to say. As I look into the old albums of photos, I always see him in one picture or another. Standing in his kitchen with dark brown oak cabinets, black and used appliances and a salmon shag rug, I can almost imagine what it would be like to be there with him and be able to talk to him. I have inherited his name, his house ( which is totally different now, might I add ) but not his corner of the kitchen.
Ilmars Ritins, he is a caring man from Latvia and also the source of my middle name. However, I call him Ga-Ga after not being able to say “grandfather” at a young age. Working for Boeing until the age of almost 80, he is the man that I associate myself the most with. I am happy that I am able to visit their house in Michigan. When I was little, he taught me how to drive their tractor. As the engine roared to a start and exhaust flattened the grass around the mower, our hands gripping the wheel, we were shaken to life. This is one of my earliest memories with him, and I’m glad we shared it.
James Ilmars Ziegler, my name, and a name that captures two lives in one.
Chapter 2: The Day I Was Born
Chapter 3: Storage Trunk
As the overhanging light flickered on, the space around me came to life. The old dank basement of my grandmother’s house wasn’t a sight to see, but the memories it contained were. Rifling through more than a dozen boxes, I was determined to find the perfect thing to write about in my English paper. Finally, after what seemed like an hour, I found it. I withdrew from the shelf a cardboard box labeled “Jen R.” Ritins had been my mothers maiden name, so I knew this was fairly old. After looking over it thoroughly, I realized that all of these plaques date back to her swimming career.
Plaque after plaque revealed that she was a great swimmer. From her earlier years I able to recover a number of things that she earned at her high school, Garnet Valley. I learned from talking to her about this that my mom was very committed to swimming. She woke up early in the morning and practiced everyday and then immediately after, she went to school. After school she swam some more then had to do her school work and get ready to do this cycle the next day. This regimen led her to do great things. My mother has one plaque dating back to P.I.A.A Championships and the District 1 Championships of 1984. She earned first place for her 100 Yard Butterfly and 100 Yard Free of her District 1 Championships. My mother also was a star swimmer at her college, University of Georgia.
While she attended The University of Georgia under a full scholarship, her swimming career flourished. She earned four awards from her years spent there. Some of them include her NCAA Division 1 awards. She earned three of these for her participation in them. Next, my mother had two SEC Second Place awards. These were for her 100 Yard Butterfly and 200 Yard Medley Relay. Later my mom went on to the Olympic trials. Although being as good as she was, she wasn't good enough and sadly, she didn't make it. This did not deter her from swimming though. Now as a favorite activity with friends and family, she still enjoys swimming to this day. She is a hardworking woman that puts her family before anything else. From her I can learn to always work hard and try to be better. For all of these reasons she is a very interesting, talented and loving person.
Chapter 4: My Personal Alphabet
A is for Anchored like an anchor I am very hard to change, (my mind) but also like an anchor I can be changed with some pressure
B is for Brisk, when I am doing something I tend not to want to drag it out
C is for Conscious, I am very aware of my surroundings (unlike Dan) can sometimes spot minute details too
D is for Discrete, I try not to be flamboyant, but rather keep to myself
E is for Elliptical, sometimes in writing and in conversations, it can be hard for me to get my point across
F is for Fluid, I made of about 65% water
G is for Gregarious, I tend to want to talk to people and interact
H is for Harmonious, I am very into music and things of that nature
I is for Idealistic, if I have an idea, I will stick to it until perfection or failure
J is for Joyous, I try to be a happy guy
K is for Kaleidoscopic, I can often be complex at times
L is for Lighthearted, I do not try to be very serious even in serious situations
M is for Monumental, I am six-foot-two and I'm proud
N is for Nautical, I often pilot boats in my Grandparents’ lake
O is for Off-beat, this is ironic because I usually have a good sense of the beat and can “tap my foot” easily
P is for Prestigious, being one of the older ones in my family, I'm often very prestigious
Q is for Quintessential, I try to be contained and not too emphatic
R is for Ruddy, like every human should, I have ruddy blood running through me
S is for Self-reliant, I can often only count on myself to get the job done
T is for Thunderous, I am often told I walk heavy by family members, and that I occasionally wake people up
U is for Upright, like my bipedal ancestors, I too am upright
V is for Valid, I don't try to be what I am not, instead I'm valid to my true self
W is for Worrisome, I can sometimes worry too much, this can pay off however
X is for Xanthous, being a freshman at PHS, I have to wear yellow, or xanthous attire
Y is for Youthful, I am 15 years young
Z is for Zealous, often when I am doing something I like, I can no let it go or put it down easily
Chapter 7: Ekphrasis
I am the thing
that makes people meet
You stand up from me
to catch a seat
Then a comes a bus
to take you away
Don’t worry about me
I’m here everyday
I may be weathered
worn and distressed
If you need a calm place
I’m your best guess
The world around me
spins fast and quick
As I sit here
I hope you won’t kick
As I have frail nails
that keep me together
And if you move too much
it won’t get better
So here I am
I’m letting you wait
For another person
until it gets late
So as my wood planks support your weight
please don’t sit on me, as you’ve just ate
Chapter 8: Color Your World
Green are the trees
that tower into the sky
making homes to the birds
that are just flying by
Green is the ground
that keeps the world tight
protecting the earth
with all it’s might
Green is the paper
that fuels our day
the substance that
keeps our society this way
This society that
once needed the trees
now cuts them down
and destroys their seeds
And what should happens
when green disappears?
We will be doomed
for the rest of our years
You see, green can be seen
way out from space
wouldn’t it be worth
saving this place?
Chapter 9: A Day in the Life
As he arose from his place of sleep, a hand came down hard on his alarm clock that read: “5:45.” The heavy footsteps of his trek to the bathroom could be heard through the dark, cool house one Monday morning. As the fluorescent light flickered on, he stood eye to eye with himself in the large mirror. It seemed as if his family was stirring now, as the hot steaming water cascaded out of the showerhead created a loud sound throughout the upstairs of his house. After what seemed like a few moments, his father's fists could be heard pounding on the door in an effort to progress the boy though his morning routines. He reluctantly pulled open the shower curtain and dried off his dark blond hair. With the towel wrapped tightly around his waist, he dashed to his bedroom, as he did not want to be in the frigid hallways longer that he had to. As he quickly put on his clothes he became concerned that he wouldn't be able to catch the bus in time. That morning the sun had been shining brighter than ever. As the boy hurriedly moved his glasses aside, he created a magnifying glass of sorts that when combined with the intensity of the sun’s rays pouring through the window, could be detrimental. As he got ready, he heaved his colossal school bag up to his desk chair, in an effort to pack up his papers for that day. The faint sound of his Pop-Tart being expelled from the toaster caught his ear, and being a hungry teenage boy, he fled his room with the objective of filling his stomach. However, he had not finished packing up his things and left one paper entitled “Prepositional Phrases” in the harsh, magnified sunlight. He was quite proud of his work on this paper, as the previous night he had stayed up in the dead of night to perfect it.
Out of time, and out of Pop-Tarts, he shoveled the last one down his throat. In that very instant, the alarming aroma of a burning substance entered his his nasal cavity, which appon brian interpretation of this such scent, he came to the conclusion that his paper for Mrs. Lobitzes 5th period class, involving prepositional phrases was currently on fire. Taking the final swig of his ice-cold milk, he dropped the glass to the table and clambered up the stairs. Rounding the corner, his eyes gravitated down his door and toward his feet, dawning only one white sock, to catch a glimpse of fiery smoke penetrating the threshold. In an adrenaline fueled instant, he dashed across the molten room, and dived for his paper. However, he undershot his reach leaving his hand a few inches away from the paper, and the sharp corner of his desk slamming into his head.
Sitting up attentively from his bed, he gasped for air. As his hands patted down his body, there was no evidence of ever being engulfed in flames. After realizing this terrific fact, he looked, straining his eyes in the dark, at his alarm clock which read: “5:45.” After this, he swiftly jumped from his place of sleep, and over to the window where he quickly pulled the shaded shut, preventing the sunlight from entering his room. From his position, he examined his homework. The answers on his “Prepositional Phrases” worksheet were clearly all wrong.
Chapter: A Year in Reading
This year has been an interesting year … in reading. I don’t quite know how to write this document as Mrs. Lobitz only laughed and said: “Love you.”, to the class. However, I have an idea. Here are some of the books I read this year:
Huge, by James W Fuerst
Realistic Fiction, ⅗ Stars
“You're not as big as you think you are”
Huge is a young boy who has anger issues. He has to track down who vandalized his grandmother's retirement home while also trying to get the girl of his dreams. This blows up in his face when he finds out that the girl vandalized the property and not his enemy who he thought it was.
Insomnia, by J.R Johansson
Paranormal, ⅗ Stars
"Her navy eyes met mine and i felt an instant surge of relief."
This book follows a boy who has to watch and experience other peoples' dreams instead of being able to sleep. He then meets a girl whos dreams are perfect and allow him to go to sleep in her dreams. She then gets freaked out because he has to look into her eyes every day, or else he will die.
The Body of Christopher Creed, by Carol Plum-Ucci
Mystery, ⅗ Stars
“Some people keep their lives from you, to protect you”
A teen is enthralled in the disappearance of a boy named Christopher Creed. While the boy is in boarding school he sends out a letter ( this book) to the people he suspects are the missing boy. He then goes on a quest to discover the truth behind the boys dissapearance.
Another Roadside Attraction, by Tom Robbins
Adventure, ⅘ Stars
“Some things are best left alone”
The book follows the spiritual Amanda Ziller. She and her husband open a roadside stand, but are soon contacted by their friend in Rome. Their friend has discovered the body of Jesus and is going to bring it back to their roadside stand.
Sharkman, by Steve Alten
Action, ⅗ Stars
"Conceived twice, birthed once, a dual existence condemned by my genes."
After a teen, Kwan, suffers a major accident that kills both of his parents and leaves his paralyzed from the waist down, he thrives to rebuild. After learning about a new shark cell experiment, he tries it, and it was not what he was expecting. He becomes a shark superhero that gets entangled with bigger plot twists throughout the book.
Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
Realistic/Historical Fiction, ⅘ Stars
"I didn't wanna, I didn't wanna hurt him."
Two unlike men, one with a sense of right and wrong, George, and one that has mental issues and is very strong, Lennie, have a friendship in the midst of a depression. While starting a new job the two meet many people including a pretty girl. Lennie being too powerful, hurts a lot of these people and ultimately is saved by his friend, George.