Spring Edition 2022
“A Weekend At A Swim Meet”
by Charlie, 4th Grade
Hello there, my name is Charlie, and I admit that I am a very good swimmer. Wherever my family moves, I never stop swimming. Water brings me joy and happiness, it makes me whole and strong. Take me to the sea or in a pool and I am in my element. I was barely 3 years old when I took my first swim lesson. And, at that time, I already loved the water. Nothing can stop me from swimming!! To keep me challenged, my swim club organizes swim meets every month. The latest meet was a very important event. I had to shine! And so, the day of the meet started.
Wake up! It was 5:45am when I woke up. I did not sleep much because I was so stressed. It was still dark outside when I got dressed. My elder sister was already up, and ready to go. My whole family was coming to the meet, my parents are volunteering to be timers. My sister also competes, we share the same passion.
My mom was already in the kitchen, preparing breakfast for us. “Why do we have to eat a banana before every single swim meet?” protested my sister who was staring at her bowl. Honestly, I would have asked the same question. I don’t like bananas that much. “Because, you need energy for your races. Now eat up, we don’t have all day.” said mom, washing the dishes.
After breakfast, we rushed upstairs, brushed our teeth and prepared our swim equipment. Mom spent a lot of time in the kitchen preparing all the snacks. The car was loaded, the whole family was ready to hit the road! I started to get very nervous…
What??!! 40minutes drive! I never went so far just for a swim meet. I was so tired that I fell asleep in the car, and that helped to bring my stress level down. Dad turned on some soft music to calm us. When I woke up we were 3 minutes away from the pool.
“Welcome to Coronado girls!” said Dad, with a big smile on his face.
“It’s very busy.” mumbled my sister, still half asleep.
“Where do we enter the pool?” I asked, looking around.
“I think it’s over there!” said Dad, pointing at an open door where it was written: POOL DECK.
We took our chairs and blankets from the trunk and then headed to the pool. Like always, there was a check-in table where we wrote our events on our hands so that we don’t forget our races. Right after, we met the team under the club’s tent. Yes!!! My friend is there. Her name is Zoey and she’s 9 years old. I met her when I first came to the club. She’s a really good friend. “Hey Zoey, how are you? Are you ready for the swim meet?” I asked. “Ohhhh, hey Charlie. I’m good, thanks for asking. To be honest, I’m not ready for the swim meet.” she said in a low voice. Oh dear, Zoey is just as nervous as I am. It made me feel better.
We got interrupted by our coach. “Come on girls, we are doing dryland. Hurry up!” she said. We joined the rest of the team who were already starting to warm up. As soon as dryland ended, it was time to warm up in the pool. I noticed that swimming with my friends and sharing small talks reduced my stress a lot. A few minutes later, it was time for my first race: 100 freestyle. I feel comfortable with this stroke, so all I have to do is improve my time. And I did! What a relief! I had some free time before my next race, so I played Uno with my friends. Soon it was time for my next event: 100 Butterfly.
100 Butterfly is the hardest stroke; however, it is my favorite because I feel strong and fast. I had butterflies in my belly, this event made me so nervous. It was time to go, and I focused on finishing as fast as I could. And guess what!!?? I finished 4th place! I was so happy and relieved. My friends cheered for me the whole way and it gave me wings as well as strength to keep going. The final event was 200 IM.
This is a very hard race, not only very long, but you have to swim all 4 strokes. I was very tired when I stepped on the block, ready to dive. “Take your mark…. Beeeeep!” I gave everything I had left. My parents, my friends, and my sister were all cheering for me. I could even hear them under water! It made me giggle. The last 25 yards I gave more than I had in my tank. Although my legs and arms felt numb from the pain, it was the best race of all. My time improved, my coach was very happy, my parents proud and I was satisfied. Because you know, I swim every day to prepare for this.
It was time to go, saying bye to my friends, who also did a very good job. I felt light and happy despite being exhausted. My parents took us to an ice cream shop for a treat, I think it was well deserved. We also visited Coronado! It’s really beautiful! We went to the beach to play a little and have fun.
Every meet I have, I learn a bit more about myself and push harder. I love the feeling of speed, the water is my thing. Ok have to go now, time to make bubbles!!
“A Life Of Packing And Unpacking”
By Eva-Rose 6th Grade
Hi, my name is Eva-Rose and I’m 12 years old. My friend Céleste lives in Nice, France. My other friend Sariah lives in Maui, Hawai’i. My childhood friend Kayla lives in Vancouver, Canada. My friends Alaura and Luke live in Saint-Kitts. Believe it or not, my friend's address book keeps growing. Indeed, and as for now I am making new friends in San Diego, California where I just moved to a few months ago.
We were eating dinner when my dad announced that we were moving, again, and this time to San Diego, California. Yup, that’s my life: packing, unpacking. These past two years we lived in Nice. The metropole is located in the South of France along the Mediterranean Sea. Both my parents were born and raised in France. So, settling there was a great opportunity to understand their roots, the French culture and eat croissants every day! I loved to visit very old buildings, monuments or museums.
Anyway, after Daddy’s announcement, I was like “Oh my god, so cool!”
Shortly after, I started feeling sad about losing my friends, canceling our plans to ski for Christmas and most importantly leaving my Uncles, Aunties and Cousins behind (my whole family lives in France). My emotions were going up and down like a roller coaster. I had to face the unknown again. Where would we live? What school would I attend? Will I make friends? Will I be happy there?
Moving is fun yet hard. You need to build new friendships, getting adjusted to new lifestyles, cultures, climates. Farewells are the worst. I feel like a tree that gets unrooted every time. I spent my life between Singapore as a baby, Vancouver (Canada) where my sister and I were born, Saint-Kitts (an island in the Caribbean Sea), Maui (Hawai’i), Nice (France) and now soon San Diego, California. Out of all those places my favorite was Maui. Life in Maui was calm, easy, slow, with little overstimulation and being barefoot was a treat! The wild life was magic. I am talking about sea turtles, dolphins, humpback whales, manta rays, Nene geese to name a few. Nature was all around me, from the deep Hawaiian jungle to the top of the world, Haleakala!
Back to the move! The first step of our journey was to take a plane to London. And, oh my gosh, we had to wait 8 hours in the airport!! It was very long but we kept ourselves busy. We walked around the airport, sent cards to friends, ate, slept, played… I know you are going to say “Wow, incredible what else?”
Well… that’s it! Can’t do much in an airport. After those 8 hours we took an 11-hour plane to Vancouver. I was feeling happy staying a few days “Home”. And in winter, Vancouver is beautiful! There’s snow everywhere even if it’s very cold. We even had a white Christmas. I like to return to Vancouver in the middle of our moving life because it does reassure me. It is my Birthplace and the food is just the best!
We left snowy Vancouver shortly after New Year to arrive in warm and sunny California! What a change of scenery! We made it to our new home and are ready to settle. I think it’s really nice here. I have a good swim team, I homeschool with my mom and my sister, it’s much warmer, I am getting to know great friends, the beaches are stunning, and the Ocean is my playground.
San Diego is much different than the cities I used to live in. Distances are huge. To me, driving 30 min was a long trip, here in SoCal, it is considered very short! Cars by the way are huge compared to the car we owned in France; we called our past one “the Smurf Mobile”!
People are so friendly and helpful. There is this couple who offered to take a photograph of our family as we were struggling to take a selfie. The food scene is diverse and multicultural. I do enjoy the weather a lot. Chances are the sun will be shining every day.
So yes, maybe I am that tree that gets unrooted every time during a move, however, rest re-assured, my roots keep growing stronger! When I have a hard time falling asleep, I remind myself of the different places I have been, the people I miss, the adventures we shared as a family and all the new exciting memories to come! Some of the worries I had before the move are still not answered, but I know all will come with time.
I have a sister I can count on; awesome parents and I get to cultivate friendships in 4 corners of the world! I feel blessed to call this planet my home.
Romeo and Juliet: A Love Story?
“Romeo and Juliet” is a famous play by William Shakespeare about romance, or is it? The general consensus about the play is that it is about love, but that is wrong. The true nature of the play is drama, not romance, here is why. It is not actually very romantic, Romeo was madly in love with another girl at the beginning (Rosaline). In Act 1: Scene 1 Romeo tells Benvolio how heartsick he is that Rosaline does not want to be with him. Later, after staying up all night grasping the railing of the balcony of love with Juliet, Romeo goes to Father Lawrence, who notices he has been up all night and says:
44 God pardon sin! wast thou with Rosaline?
45 With Rosaline, my ghostly father? no;
46 I have forgot that name, and that name's woe.” (Shakespear 44-46)
Romeo is saying he has forgotten about Roseline already even though he was supposedly madly in love
with her. A few lines later, Friar Lawrence says:
65 Holy Saint Francis, what a change is here!
66 Is Rosaline, whom thou didst love so dear,
67 So soon forsaken? Young men's love then lies
68 Not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes.” (Shakespear 65-68)
This really shows that Romeo doesn't really love Juliet, he has just made himself believe he does when in reality it is a crush just like the one he had on Rosaline.
Not only is Romeo and Juliet not romantic because they are not actually in love, but it is also a tragedy. They both die because they are not very intelligent, which is not about love. They get married after just meeting each other. That is less “love at first sight” and more intelligent lacking behavior.
In Act 2: Scene 2, they decide to get married after only just meeting a few hours before:
142 Three words, dear Romeo, and good night indeed.
143 If that thy bent of love be honorable,
144 Thy purpose marriage, send me word tomorrow,
145 By one that I'll procure to come to thee,
146 Where and what time thou wilt perform the rite;
147 And all my fortunes at thy foot I'll lay
148 And follow thee my lord throughout the world.” (Shakespeare 142-148).
Imagine marrying a person you just met that night. You probably can not because it's possibly one of the most unintelligent things imaginable.
Since their love is so unintelligent, this play is much more of a drama than a romance. The play is dramatic. Their whole death fling thing is causing a lot of drama in the town. There is drama when Mercutio and Tybalt die, and drama when Romeo gets poisoned and Juliet stabs herself in the heart. All these dramatic events are not very romantic either. These points make a solid argument that Romeo and Juliet is not the love story it is made out to be but instead a renaissance soap opera. It is not romantic because Romeo dropped Rosaline in a second. They are asinine because they got married after just meeting, it is just a drama.