100 Awesome Things

Here is a space for Salt Creek teachers to demonstrate their awesome writing skills.


24 thoughts on “100 Awesome Things

  1. That First Sip

    “Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep!” bleats the alarm on my iPhone. Who on earth set it to go off at 5:30, anyway? In the morning, nonetheless. It’s still dark outside for goodness’ sake. Good thing I’ve memorized the location of the buttons to make it be quiet, because it’ll be a good 10-15 minutes before my eyes can focus on anything smaller than a Toyota. I don’t even need to turn on the lights; I can do this from memory: Bag of coffee out of the cupboard, beans into the grinder, a few long seconds of whirring, not too much or the coffee will be mud. Not too little or it’ll be too weak. Just right. Water on, wait for the whistle. Let the dog out and grab the paper. My eyes aren’t ready yet to read it but if something really important happened, I’ll be able to read the extra big headline. Slosh the boiling water over the grounds and wait. Wait. Yes, wait. How long? I don’t know. Until I can’t stand waiting any longer. Push the plunger, inhale and enjoy the roasty steam as it escapes the pot. Pour and enjoy. True or not, at this point in my morning I truly believe the day is going to be awesome. Awesome.

    • I read a few years ago that coffee gives you wrinkles and that was enough information for me to stop drinking it. It did not matter what was the source or who did the research, I just knew I did not want anything else to contribute to looking old. Lately, however, white hair pops amongst my very black Oriental hair. I begin to wonder what I can eliminate from my life to rid my head of these invaders. Alternative heavy metal music wakes me up at 5:46, btw!

  2. Opening up a packet of new pens
    by: Sylvia Echeverria

    Yes….there is nothing like walking into your favorite office supply store to purchase that new set of pens to assist you in writing your thoughts down, making your list of groceries, signing that check or simply doodling during a long and tedious meeting.

    You walk down the aisles searching for the aisle filled with nicely hung boxes with a myriad of colors and styles to satisfy anyone’s obsession for that perfect pen. You finally spot that very aisle and your eyes begin scanning up and down, side-to-side jumping with joy—the possibilities are endless.

    Your hand reaches out to that very first set of pens. It sends out an electrical surge up your arm as you quiver in the anticipation of what kind of pen it might be. There is nothing like a smooth ball point pen, medium point of course and a perfectly shaped grip that nestles your fingers in a soft and comfortable way….it’s like coming home.

    You continue your quest until you come across that special one that you know will fill your heart’s desire. You hold it close to your heart and walk down to the cashier to pay for your treasured find. You finally arrive home and are ready to open your brand new package. You quickly tear through the plastic cover and out pops three new pens. They are shiny and even have that special “new” aroma….like that “new” car smell.

    You pick one up and your fingers wrap themselves perfectly around the pen as if they were always meant to be there. You find a piece of paper to try out that new-found love and you carefully click the top of the pen as the tip of the pen gently peeks out ready to do its job. Finally, the moment you have been waiting for….the pen hits the paper and you smile with satisfaction as you realize that you have found that PERFECT pen that becomes an instrument to detail your inner most thoughts and desires….until you get tired of it and decide that you need a new one. 🙂


  3. Play Time
    by Dan Winters

    Play Time
    by Dan Winters

    It’s been a long day at school and everything is in a state of disarray and partial completion. You know you’re coming home to a second round of tasks and paperwork just to stay on top of things for the rest of the week. As you turn off the car and peer into the garage, the first sight you see is the face of your daughter who has one and only one question. Will you play with me, daddy?

    And you know that the time is coming that she will not be waiting at that door for you. She’d rather be texting her friends or – when she’s 25 years old – heading out to see her boyfriend, or gone to college, or any number of things except hanging out with her aging father.

    So despite the fact that you’re exhausted and overwhelmed and thinking about all the tasks that seemed so urgent a few minutes ago, you take her up on that offer and agree to play cards, where she inevitably cheats, or play catch, where she requires you to thrown the ball a certain way, or ride bikes, while she complains about the hills, or play Wii, where she loves those innocuous Mario brothers – and you’ll love every awesome minute of it.


    • As a reader you tend to draw yourself to those writers who choose topics that speak to your current life experiences. This was definitely one of those writing pieces that was able to do that.. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Sunday, Bloody Sunday.
    The roar of the crowd, the semblance of friends on your comfortable couch, the smell of charcoal burning in the distance, the idea that you stayed up the entire night before stressing out over who to play in your flex spot the night before. It is the unmistakable feeling that comes around each September and that you have been waiting for since the first weekend of February. It is the break from reality that you allow yourself to feel and that you embrace with friends who cherish those same feelings. It is the endless email banter back and forth and texting that allow you to transform from friends to frienemies. It is the daily reading of websites and blogs and the listening to talk radio every time you are in the car. It is the down low tips and shady deals. It is the lopsided trades and gamesmanship. It is the line-up tweaking, checking of injured reserve, playing matchups, watching the morning before podcasts, so you know how to strategize your team just so. It is the whistle blowing, kick off returning, hard hitting, blades of grass flying, leaving it all out on the field so that there can be no excuse. It is the screaming, cheering, standing on the edge of your seat excitement. It is celebration that comes when your hard work has paid off. It is the after game email to your opponent explaining why you are so good at what you do and that they should never play again. Then it is the preparation for the following week and doing it all over again.

  5. Treasures in the Laundry
    By Renee Jones

    It’s three o’clock in the morning and I’m wishing I would have started this project a little earlier in the day. My daughter has her water day tomorrow and needs her bathing suit…which I have found to be at the bottom of the laundry basket, starting to smell because it has been there since her last water day.

    Procrastination comes to mind as I was awakened at 1:00 am by thoughts going through my head that I had forgotten about the laundry. It was 2:00 am when I put the clothes in the dryer and while yes I could have left the dryer on and went back to bed to sift through in the early morning hours, I know the shirts drying alongside will be wrinkled by then.

    So now at 3:00 am only half awake I begin taking the laundry out. One piece of clothing after another I start pulling out when all of a sudden something falls onto the floor…something crumbled up…and for a moment I start to curse myself for not checking the pockets before I threw the clothes in the wash. As I start to unfold the paper I realize, it’s not the receipt for the hair clippers I need to return, or the check for the rent that was supposed to be sent yesterday…it’s a $20 dollar bill! And now…it’s my $20 dollar bill! $20 bucks for doing a load of laundry (even though it was at 1:00 in the morning)…ah….now I have some cash to get my iced cold caramel macchiato…AWESOME!

  6. The search

    A quick look at the buoys doesn’t show much swell for the weekend but that doesn’t matter. Just the anticipation of knowing that for once during the week life’s demands will fade away, if even for a few short hours, makes the weekly hunt just as special. Knowing that I will finally get MY time has turned from an obsessive ritual into a way of life.
    I load up the boards on the Malibu’s surf racks, get my morning coffee ready, kiss the kids and wife and the search for waves begins. The cool sand touches my bare feet as I walk down the path to the stairs and beach below. As the salty air stings my skin I throw on my leash, say a prayer and jump anxiously into the awaiting shore break.
    The next few hours are filled with smiling, laughing, and paddling for waves with a small group of people with whom I share a common bond. I feel like a kid again and for now this is all that matters. Faded are any thoughts of freeway traffic, family/ work responsibilities or any other daily mental distractions that so often overwhelm my mind. The only thing that matters now is making that drop down the wave in only a few feet of water.
    What makes this time so special is not the final goal, in this case the waves, but rather the emotions evoked during the process itself. These emotions become oddly addictive in the sense that they make me feel alive and part of something bigger than the latest Facebook post, Twitter Tweet , or dreadfully depressing news story. While these emotions might have me sometimes questioning my sanity, I find a strange solace in constantly challenging my mental and physical limits.
    The familiar clicking of the electric garage door whirring along the track doesn’t even register among my senses as I pull the car into the garage. I slowly open the door of the family room to the joyful faces of my little ones as my wife liberally applies sunblock to their pasty white faces in anticipation of a sunny day at the swimming pool. I realize the search is over but the quest for these feelings will always continue.

  7. A Good Day
    It’s a cool San Diego morning. I just kissed my beautiful wife and daughters good-by and wished them well. I hobble to my maroon chariot, throw in my overstuffed backpack and crutches. Off to another day at the Creek. Will there be a mob of angry parents at my door? Will that little red light of death be on my phone? Or, will there be Jordan playing wall ball and yelling “Good morning Mr. Kriss!” Maybe Mr. Kelly will swing by with some freshly squeezed coffee. I can’t think about these things now because I navigate through the myriad of traffic lights and massive flow of inattentive drivers.
    I get to the first light at H Street. The arrow is green and I don’t even have to speed up. One down. Brake lights ahead, but then go off and traffic glides right through, not one, but two more lights. I cautiously travel through a school zone carefully monitoring my speed, but the cost is clear. As I enter East Lake the cars before me veer off one by one until I am alone. I cruse right under the green light as others wait. 125 ahead with a plethora of illuminated time killers. I take a sip of coffee and prepare to be delayed, but NO! I sore under the ribbon of highway and up to Proctor Valley Road. I think to myself as I fly by, “Michele sits at this light every day.” Several more melt away as I am on a roll. Dare I get excited, “No plenty more to come.”
    I see Lane Rd. ahead. Lots of people live down there surly this will be the end. Yep it’s as red as a ripe apple on a cool fall day. I start to decelerate. I can’t believe my luck! That red eye in the sky flashes out and the green light of joy flashes on. I am through. Two more to go. I crews to the next, at least I can turn right on red, but wait! I have permission to glide through and there are no pedestrians. One to go and it is a green arrow. No quarter here. I travel on and see other fellow travelers patiently, or not, waiting their turn. I slow down and roll, when all of a sudden like arrow thrown down by Zeus himself we go. I pull into the spacious lot and there is still room in the back. I come to a gentle stop. I undo my belt. I sit back and take a sip or two of my java. It is going to be a good day. Bring on those parents. Bring on those last minute duties, and where the hell is Jordan.

  8. Friday at 2:46 is always an awesome day. It is a time for figuring out where Gavin or Tim and I could huddle the others for a happy hour drink. At times, it is my afternoon sketching tattoos with my modified friends or playing word games with my linguists or poet crowd. Regardless of what I do after wiping an errant tear (or was that a sarcastic sweat) from watching Dan’s last youtube of the day, Friday usually marks the end of another creative week of thinking and rethinking lessons and assessments. It is a time to wake up the mind and accept that no matter how deeply I wonder why, the third graders would still pick their noses in the middle of my lessons, they would still sneak in a chit and a chat during transitions, and hallelujah, they would always, and I mean always, forget what their objectives are as soon as Sylvia enters the room.
    Friday marks the day of the week I could head home and put aside that wheeled cart I fill daily with paper commuters and dashed hopes work would be done. It could rest at the back of my home office, abandoned with the other unfinished chants and help charts, awaiting to be wheeled again on the precious blacktop. Ahhhhhh, Friday. The day I sit on my rocking chair until 2 in the morning reading books not marked with red stars or blue dots. Oh yeah, in my black skull T shirt.

  9. It’s not the beeping of the alarm that awakes me from a blissful dream where tests are nonexistent and teachers rule the world, it’s the crowing of a young pullet who’s practicing his morning salute before the sun himself wakes for the day. It’s the echo that song produces that keeps me from returning to sleep in my warm and perfect bed. “The Lazy Song” comes on while my tea percolates in my best morning friend, the microwave, and my mind and body begin to agree that today is a great day to do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

  10. It’s packed. The rushing, the pleading, the arguing, the pleading again, is over. We’re in and the engine roars, even backfires, but we’re confident we’ll make it to our destination. Beside me he sits, arms stretched on either side of the big wheel and his concentration comforts me. Behind me they read and look out the windows, cradling a dog in their lap each. Behind them, all the gear to equal a weekend of fun. Two bikes with wicker baskets, colorful helmets, iPod speaker, and a cooler filled with light beer and juice boxes. My mind begins to trace all the steps it took to get to this moment and I realize I’ve forgotten the camera, dijon for the brats and butter for general use. But I’ve got my phone that has a camera, mayo and onions will do for the brats and olive oil in a box kept in the rig. Deep breath, we’re almost there. I announce that we’re getting close, mostly to stop the question, “Are we there yet?” I tell them to look out the windows, smell the salty air. He downshifts and we begin to slow. We see the parasurfers and the little blue huts. I jump out to help guide us into our spot and finally the engine is turned off. They jump out and run to the sand, leaving their flops at the edge of the asphalt. The faux grass is splayed out, bikes and cooler positioned on the side and chairs carried to the sand. We walk hand in hand, toes sinking into the warmth and sit, drink and watch our daughters be kids, real kids, not being told what to do or how to do anything…just them, sand and sun, which is now beginning it’s melting dissent. I know nothing could be more awesome then just that, just being where I am.

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