Writing 101: Your Voice Will Find You


You know, I realized something. Ever since I left my step-father and moved to Utah with my mom, I barely attended a single event. I used to be so active even when I was in Texas, I attended church every Sunday and even studied the bible. Then ever since I’ve moved to Utah, I’ve mostly just been cooped up at home. I don’t know what changed but now that I’m thinking back to the years I spent in California, I’m feeling nostalgic.

This leaves me nothing to write about for this prompt. That’s a conundrum, isn’t it? Well, if that’s the case, I am going to reflect on all the past events I’ve attended instead.

The summers before high school were the best. They were so different and were the few years when I actually spent my summers having fun, even in summer school. I was kept busy but it was the fun kind of busy.

Summer of ’02: The first summer in the U.S.

My mom went to the school district a couple times to petitioned that I repeat 5th grade since I never actually attended 5th grade. In the end, you can call it both successful and unsuccessful since I still never have attended 5th grade.

During all of that, I spent every weekday from eight until three at the tutoring center where my mom worked. She tutored me along with four other Chinese students in almost all things English (grammar, writing, vocabulary, etc). My mom encouraged (requested) me to make friends but as usual, I was unsuccessful. It didn’t matter because who wants to be friends with a bunch of stuck-up newcomers anyway.

Summer of ’03: Three-day Camp


I spent most of that summer reading and playing with the neighbors plus three days at a free camp, mostly catching up on some American traditions from gathering around tables watching movies to telling horror stories around a bonfire while toasting s’mores. Still, I didn’t make any friends. I didn’t want to anyway. My camp mates were a bunch of bullies. I didn’t need tutoring anymore. I was officially fluent in English and all I needed was a little bit of tutoring in American culture.

Summer of ’04: The Best Summer Yet!

That summer was the best summer yet. I spent most of the days at Scuba, a bible camp. We studied bible the fun way. At the camp, I was guided by the granddaughter of my step-father’s patient. My step-father was a care-giver for a family down in Anaheim, just a few freeway exits from Disneyland. His patient’s granddaughter was just a few years younger than me and she knew more about the bible than anyone I know.

Scuba was the most fun I’ve had ever. I made friends, sang, and got real messy with crafts. I even got to attend the Orange County Fair and won a stuff tiger! After all the fun ended, I spent the remaining weeks at home with my mom and friends from school who have become my new tutor buddies. We spent days at the various museums around the area and home, tutoring while spending part of the afternoon at the park, getting our free lunches.

After that year, it was like everything changed. College became my future before I even attend high school and life just suddenly became dull and strenuous. Everyday would be the same. School, tutoring, homework, and more school.

Summer of ’05: The Summer before High School and College

That year, not long after walking my middle school graduation ceremony, school was starting again. Summer school at the high school. I told my mom there was no reason for me to attend summer school. Even the administrative staffs at the school agreed. I wasn’t even a freshman. Still, I spent that summer doing lame math problems and reading below my level.

Then that following fall, I got into the honors program. Along with that, I spent my nights attending classes at the local community college. Strain, worse than before, was building in my parents’ relationship. My mother spent the nights shuttling me from college to home while my step-father spent his nights drinking and playing his guitar. It was the beginning of the chaotic life in Texas, even before we moved to Texas. Since then, my days had been filled with misery and stress and I never attended another fun event.

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