Fifty-fifth Chances

It’s far too easy to despair. Sometimes it’s easier to give up than to hold tightly to the dreams of what could be. If we don’t try, we won’t be disappointed. Because that girl with blonde hair and long legs is better at everything than me and that geeky-glasses boy is smarter, too. I don’t like sticking my neck out to try something that I know I could fail at. In class when the teacher asked a question, I wouldn’t...
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The Garden Muse, part 4.

Jackson glared out his bedroom window. The U-haul sat in the driveway ready to be loaded with his college stuff. He knew he should feel excited like all the statuses of his Facebook friends, but he didn’t. An English undergrad and then a masters in law seemed so dull and college doomed. Why was he going anyway? Because that’s what he always did. He always did what his mother wanted, ever since his father had gone. His eye fell on...
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Dream Job: Letter Writing

A long while back, someone asked me, “If you could do anything for a job, what would you do?” After carefully thought (because this is a serious question), I realized that I’d write letters. Handwritten notes are becoming a lost art. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been contacted by someone who couldn’t believe that I had mailed them a note. No one does that. I know. And it’s such a shame. I love the Internet, I do....
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The Garden Muse, part 3.

Jackson glanced at the golden tree in front of him. The leaves were almost a neon against the gray sky. His eyes flew back to the paper in front of him and his felt tipped pen skimmed across the page, adding the ridges of leaves. Wind tousled the browned leaves at his feet. After Yale, his mother had a plan B in Princeton. Somehow she had applied for him and the only time he needed to put a pen to...
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Global Links

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase before, “Eat your peas. There are starving children in…” I don’t think anyone likes that type of reasoning. I sure don’t. And yet, there’s a nugget of truth in there. The things we throw away without much thought could be the difference between life and death for some people. But, how can you get these items to the people that need them? Global Links is a Pittsburgh-based, internationally-minded organization focused on bringing medical relief...
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The Garden Muse, part 2.

“I don’t understand it.” Jackson’s mother gripped a letter between her two perfectly manicured hands—skin so soft it almost felt slimy. Of course, that was Jackson’s personal opinion. Jackson ignored her and poured himself a bowl of cereal. He hadn’t even set the box of Lucky Charms before his mother’s hawk hand swooped in and yanked the bowl from in front of him. “I don’t think so, mister. Lucky Charms are not an acceptable dinner. If you eat like that...
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Roommate Tips

Sharing living space with anyone is an adventure. I only shared space with my family until I graduated from high school, and my only roommate up to that point had been my younger sister. In those days, hand-to-hand combat was an acceptable form (not in my parents’ eyes) of figuring out our differences. But then, enter the college years. In four years of college, I had a total of 8 different roommates at different times and time lengths. Each roommate...
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The Garden Muse, part 1.

For February, I’ve decided to share with you a four-part story. It’s a simple story that I wrote to a friend in a letter two years ago so it probably could grow more. But I hope you enjoy this story! —- “Son, I’ve enrolled you at my prestigious alma mater.” Jackson’s mother clicked across the floor in her low-heeled black pumps. Jackson hated those shoes. They announced her leaving and her coming, which in retrospect occasionally had its up sides—like...
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London Dream Achieved!

When I was fourteen, my family traveled to the United Kingdom. We ate fish and chips. We explored castles. We stared at Big Ben. And I got my picture taken, sitting between the paws of a lion in Trafalgar Square. It was a wonderful experience, but if I went back, I’d make it all about the writers who were born and bred Londoners. Or perhaps, I’d just visit every famous author’s grave site or home. Spot blue plaques that share...
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Homeschooled and Awesome: How Homeschooling Prepared Me for the Real World

Homeschooling is not for everyone. I’ll be the first one to say that. I’ve met many people who’ve been awesome at the free-form of homeschooling, and I’ve met those that claimed to be homeschool drop-outs because they realized the strict structure of public or private school was what they needed. The goal is to get a quality education. I thought I might take a moment to share some life skills that I obtained by choosing homeschooling. I say “choose” there because I...
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