Write from the Heart Essay Contest Winners!
Middle School Winners
We are so excited to announce the middle school winners of our 2nd annual essay contest.
Students in our annual classes submitted an essay of their choice, and one winner was chosen in each grade. Today, we are pleased to share the winning essays from 6th, 7th, and 8th grade!
6th Grade Winner
Isabella B., Pennsylvania
Deep Creek, Maryland is one of my all-time favorite places to visit! My grandparents own a vacation house there and we visit often as a family. It has six large bedrooms, a screened in deck and a large lawn. No matter what season it is, we always find something thrilling to do together! One of my favorite times to visit is in the beginning of December. As a family, we set up a fake Christmas tree and hang homemade ornaments and a long paper chain on the branches. The girls enjoy baking our traditional favorite cookies, which are Butterscotch Rice Krispy Treats and Rocky Road Fudge. During the fall, there are charity events such as the pumpkin race and an ice cream eating contest. At the pumpkin race, we buy a pumpkin and decorate it uniquely so that we can tell which one is ours as it floats down a man made white-water rafting course. The first pumpkin to make it to the end wins the grand prize. The ice cream eating contest is located at The Creamery, which is my favorite place to get ice cream at Deep Creek. A scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with whipped cream and sprinkles is placed in front of you. Without hands, we stick our faces in the ice cream and rapidly start eating! Lastly, in summer, we enjoy time in the lake. This year, my mom bought us a giant flamingo raft to use while swimming. Sometimes my Pappy will take the boat out and will let us go tubing off the back. I have made so many wonderful memories down at Deep Creek and I hope there are many more to come!
Honorable Mention—Jocelyn C., Texas “A Few Alarming Issues”
7th Grade Winner
Taylor R., New Jersey
Birds are amazing companions, but require a lot of care. Unless you are prepared for an unwanted alarm clock or a seed powered mess-maker, here are a few things to know before buying one. Birds are extremely intelligent creatures; most breeds can mimic human dialog or even be taught to free fly outside. Parrots can lower stress or learn tricks such as recall, turn around, and wave. If you are considering buying a bird for the first time, smaller birds are easier because their beaks don’t do as much damage as a bigger bird. Even my tiny Budgies really chew up any wood they find in the house; if a bird as small as my hand can chew up your picture frames, imagine what a larger bird could do! A few examples are Finches, Canaries, or Cockatiels. If you are a more experienced bird owner, some options are Lovebirds, Conures, and Caiques. As I mentioned before bigger birds do more damage so don’t leave your shoes in the middle of the room or your favorite purse on the chair. These birds are still small if compared to a Macaw or Cockatoo. But of course, owning a parrot is not all cupcakes and rainbows. Owning a bird means cleaning droppings off furniture and sweeping seeds or fruits/vegetables multiple times a day. Also, depending on what bird you get, their noise can be between 60 – 140 decibels. Imagine hearing a scream from two miles away; that’s how loud a Cockatoo is! If your bird gets sick, it can be hard finding an avian vet. Not many vets know how to treat birds; they mostly treat cats or dogs. The bare minimum of owning a bird requires constant interaction, a clean cage, water daily, and toys. A happy home makes a happy bird.
Honorable Mention—Rachana A., Texas “Honey Bees: Helpers of the World” (Composition 101B)
Honorable Mention—Kate G., Connecticut “Discovering the Connecticut Shoreline” (Composition 102)
8th Grade Winner
Samuel P., Connecticut
Our flock of Merino sheep are both very independent and self-sufficient, to a certain extent. The sheep forage for their own food in the pasture from when the grass starts to grow in the spring until after the first frost. This is often done for hours on end.
They have an intense schedule that demands that they eat for an hour or so and then, check back into the barn or the surrounding area. They lay down within a few feet of each other as if they are lumps on a pancake. Only an hour later they set forth to graze once more in a different spot. This routine repeats itself from dawn until dusk. They are easily herded with the tempting sound of grain rattling against a metal grain bowl.
Their ability to remain self-sufficient depends heavily on the weather throughout the year.
During the winter, they are completely dependent upon us to bring them food because all of the grass is dead and their sprouts are covered in thick layers of snow.
When there are heavy rains or storms they will quickly scurry into the barn for the entire day and need to be fed hay. However when there is light rain they like to keep grazing, especially during the summer when they are hot. If they are frightened while grazing by anything such as a wild animal, a stray dog, or even a branch falling they will quickly run away. If one is scared and bolts they will all follow suit even if they don’t know what made the first sheep run in the first place. They will run away from whatever scared them to another part of the pasture.
They are extremely fast. They often stay in groups and do not like to be alone.
In fact, if one of them is by themselves in a pen for any amount of time it will start to
become very agitated. Their company serves as a means to comfort each other and they feel safer when there are more of them In short, from watching the tendencies of our sheep I have deduced that they are very content to be self-sufficient and take care of each other.
Honorable Mention—Molly R., Virginia “My Motivator”