The announcement – Reader's young people's writing contest winner

Plus other pre-teen noteworthies in Reader's writing contest

Front row: Jan Peterson, Tanya Wann, R.J. Wenger; back row: Jason Ruiz, Holly Tran, Lana Jager, Jason Salmons
  • Front row: Jan Peterson, Tanya Wann, R.J. Wenger; back row: Jason Ruiz, Holly Tran, Lana Jager, Jason Salmons
  • Image by Robert Burroughs


  • Jason Salmons
  • Age 11
  • Santee Elementary School
  • Santee

Moments of glory, moments of embarrassment

Moments of glory, moments of embarrassment

There I was. Jason Salmons. Mr. Wonderful! Standing in front of the mirror getting ready for school. Yeah, I’m a pretty hot boy! I had just received the citizen of the month award. The progress report sent home by my teacher was perfect. I was captain of my class kickball team and sergeant of the crossguards. “I’ve got to be one of the greatest kids ever born,” I thought to myself as I combed my hair back and watched it feather perfectly into place. ‘‘Mom, how does my hair look?” I asked, already knowing the answer.

Some of the manuscripts

Some of the manuscripts

‘‘It looks beautiful darling. You’re a very wonderful, handsome boy.”

‘‘I know,” I thought to myself. ‘‘Thanks mom.” I said.

I grabbed my coat and backpack, went back to the mirror for one last look, smoothed a stray hair back into place and.smiled my most handsome smile, then set off for school thinking, “Here I come, you lucky people.”

It was a beautiful winter day in Santee, not a cloud in the sky and I whistled as I hopped over the fence into the school yard and walked up to room #23.

The bell rang and we all got in line to enter class. I looked over at Lisa and Michelle. They smiled and giggled. “They think I’m fantastic,”

I thought and I raised my head a little higher. We piled into the classroom and took our seats.

Then it happened!

The most embarrassing moment of my entire life!

One of the prettiest girls in the classroom announced to the whole world that “SHE WOULD NEVER KISS JASON SALMONS BECAUSE HIS LIPS WERE ALWAYS DRIPPING WET!”

I wanted to die at that very moment. I silently wished for a huge earthquake to open up the ground and swallow me. But no, I had to sit there and listen to everyone laugh at my blubbering, slobbering lips. I could feel my face get hot and knew that it was bright red. I had to resist the urge to reach up and wipe my lips dry. I wasn’t about to let them all see how those few horrible words embarrassed me and ruined my whole life!

All day long I could feel my lips. They felt huge and very, very wet! Whenever I thought that no one was watching I would quickly wipe my mouth off with the sleeve of my shirt. I wanted to put a bag over my head because I just knew that everyone was staring at my BIG, WET LIPS!

The day seemed to drag on forever but finally the bell rang and we were dismissed. I ran all the way home and headed straight for the bathroom mirror to get a good look at my horrible BIG WET LIPS! That’s where mom found me when she got home from work, in front of the bathroom mirror with a towel in my hand, waiting and watching for any wetness to appear which I attacked with the towel.

“Jason, what are you doing?” Mom asked.

“Mom, I’m deformed! I need to go to the doctor right away and find out what is wrong with my lips!” I said.

“What are you talking about?” she asked.

“My lips! My lips! One of the prettiest girls in the class said that she would never kiss my lips because they are always dripping wet. She said it in front of the whole class and now my life is ruined. No one is ever going to kiss me unless I get my lips fixed!”

Mom laughed, then she gave me a big hug. She said, “Nonsense Jason, you’re lips are just fine and they’re not all that wet. Besides, there are some girls who like wet lips.”

“Really?” I asked.

“Sure.” said Mom. “After all I kiss your father and his lips are just like yours and I certainly wouldn’t want to kiss dry crackly lips!”

“With that she gave me a big kiss and I realized that my lips weren’t so horrible after all.


  • Lana Jager
  • Age 11
  • Myron B. Green Elementary School
  • San Carlos

One brisk morning last October, my teacher, Mrs. Maland, announced that our school would be having an election. Members of the sixth grade could run for the position of Student Body President, or Vice President. Green School became alive with excitement and anticipation.

This election was especially exciting for me. Deanna Merino, my best friend, had decided to run for Vice-President. She asked me to be her campaign manager. I was thrilled to be a part of helping to achieve her goal.

Deanna and I worked together before school, at school, and after school for a week. We came up with two good speeches and a poster. As Deanna’s campaign manager, I felt I had a duty to represent her the best way I could. I supported Deanna in her quest because she had qualities I admired. She was tenacious, honest, trustworthy, and a loyal friend. I knew she could make a wonderful Vice-President, who would support the students at Green.

I was also an advantage for Deanna. I had attended Green since kindergarten. I knew many of the students and felt they trusted and believed in me and what I had to say. Deanna was a new student and known by few. It was up to me that my fellow students got to see Deanna in the same way that I did. Together we could be a great team.

As we worked, I could see and feel the progress we were making. I really felt like we were heading for the top.

The campaign was going well, before we knew it, the Primary Election was upon us. We were confident we would defeat the opponents. I stood before the student body and read the first of our carefully prepared speeches. I was nervous but my voice was steady, and my words were clear. I stepped back with hopes that I had been a success.

As I listened to Deanna speak, I could feel my palms dripping with sweat. I was proud of the job Deanna and I had done, and rightfully so. We made it to the final election, a run-off between Deanna Merino, and Michael Spector.

I was back to the old drawing board. We had to write two new speeches. This time we were a lot more nervous. To win this election we had to do a bigger and better job or we had no chance. The three days flew by. The next thing I knew, we were face to face with the entire school again. I felt hopeful yet at the same time nervous.

I looked out at a sea of faces, students, teachers, parents, the principal .The candidates and their campaign managers, were introduced two by two. Once again we read our speeches. I thought it would be easier this time. I was wrong, it was still scary.

All the speeches had been read, and the time for final ballots to be cast had arrived. The principal introduced the candidates one last time.

“As I call your name, will the candidates please stand,” said Dr. Voelker.

“Michael Spector.”

He stood and applause sounded.

“Deanna Merino.”

I can’t believe what I did at that moment. I stood up. I wanted to die. Every eye in the auditorium was on me. For a split second, you could have heard a pin drop. Then everyone started to laugh. I was horrified. I took my speech and covered my face.

I have been embarrassed many times in my short life. However, no other experience stands out in my mind like that one. I was a room full of people, I don't think anything could have been much worse.

  • Tanya Wann
  • Age 12
  • Jefferson Junior High School
  • Oceanside

4:30 a.m. my father and I packed up the car with tackle, fishing rods, hot coffee, and hopes for catching a few decent fish for supper. We decided on going to the same pond we always go to. It’s nice and quiet. Besides thats where the biggest fish in Sandiego lives. She has the nickname Old Nessi. That fish is the roughest, toughest, and biggest fish I ever saw, and everybody was out for her.

Well, we got to the pond around 5:00. We rented a boat and went out to the middle of the lake. I baited my hook and dipped it into the water. Immediatly I felt a slight tug on the line. Quickly I pulled up the line, but all that was on the end was a puny fish.

I rebaited my hook and put it back in the water. I waited at least an hour and still not even a nibble. “I suppose its going to be fashionably late”, I thought to myself. Then all of a sudden a strong tug pulled my line. A rush of excitement and hope for catching Nessi shot through me. I reeled in the line a little bit. The fish resisted and put up a fight. I gave the rod a mighty tug. The fish flew out of the water, silvery scales glistening in the light of the dawn. That moment I realized it was the elusive fish Nessi.

I had Nessi on my line. I couldn’t believe it. I reeled the in faster. In one mighty yank I pulled the fish out of the water and right on the deck of our boat. I was so happy. I actually caught the fish Nessi. She out smarted thousands of great fisherman but she couldn’t out smart me. Suddenly a strange feeling of pity fell over me a I looked at the great fish gasping for air at the bottom of our boat. I knew I shouldn't kill her.

I picked the fish up and slipped it back into the water. I watched as the fish to the saftey of the ponds depths.

I felt good about what I did for about a week. Then I wished I had that fish on my wall. Then maybe somebody besides my dad would believe I caught that fish


  • Ryan Wenger
  • Age 9
  • Jerabeck Elementary School,
  • San Diego

When I was four I loved a girl named Courtney Smith. One day I took her to church with me and said, “This is my friend, Courtney Smith. I am going to marry her.”

My mom and her mom were good friends. They would shop together at the University Towne Center and Courtney and I would come along. We would go by a shop with dresses. In the window there was always an ugly wedding dress. Courtney would always say, “That’s the dress I’m going to wear when I marry Ryan.”

I was in a swimming class with her. Whenever the coach would tell us to jump into the pool I would not cooperate. Courtney would put her hands on her hips and yell, “Ryan, get in the pool!!’’ And I would do it because I was going to marry her.

I was not embarrassed then because I didn’t realize anything.

But now she is in my fourth grade class and I’m embarrassed. I hope no one in my class ever finds out that I loved Courtney Smith.


  • Jason Ruiz
  • Age 12
  • Potter Junior High School
  • Fallbrook

On September 19, 1982 the greatest thing had happened to me. Something I will never forget for all of eternity.

It’s a sad fact, one I don’t like to talk about very much, but here it goes.

There are four people in my family, my mom, dad, brother and myself. My mom, brother and I had been Christians for about a week or two now and went to a church called Horizon Christian Fellowship. That’s where we met the Lord. We had been going for about a month when one night as we were walking out the door, my dad said that this was the last time we could go. So, my mom, that night, talked to one of the church counselors about it. He taught mom that the Bible says to honor and love your husband. Not to love and obey if he’s a Christian, but to love him period.

The next Sunday as we (my brother, mom and I) were getting ready to go to church, (my dad said we could go after all.) we prayed in mom’s bedroom, while dad was somewhere, I don’t quite remember where, that dad would soon become a Christian. We did this secretly every night cause dad didn’t like it one bit. Any way, as we were about to leave, something dreadful happened.

“I’ve changed my mind. You guys can’t go after all.” my dad said, as you can probably have guessed. My mom was about to say something when she suddenly stopped. Instead she said, “Okay honey, whatever you say.” Well, that made him very mad because he had said we couldn’t go to church just to put up a fight.

Later mom told Us that those were not her words. Those were the words of the Lord.

Do you remember when I said that every night we would pray for dad? Well, soon, all that praying had paid off!

It was a week befor the 19th of September of 82’ and while my dad was in the kitchen doing nothing, my brother (Jeff) and I went and sat on his lap. and we said, “Daddy, where are you the most happy?” and my dad replied, “Well, I’m happy were ever your happy kids.” and then, Jeff and I said, “Well, will you go to church with us next Sunday because that's where we’re the most happy!”

“Sure kids. I’ll go with you to church.” My dad would of done anything for us then, and he still will now, too. And although my mom and us knew he wouldn’t go, we were happy.

Sunday was only three days away. and mom asked him in the morning,

“Tonight is a bible study, and I was wondering if you would go with me.”

“Sure!” was his reply. That night, mom was all ready to go and she was waiting for dad to get home. But when he got home, he was....well as much as I would hate to say, he looked as if he had just smoked a joint. He had gotten high while he was gone and came and sat down in the kitchen eyeing my mom. She had this look in her eye. Finally my dad said,

“What?!! How do you expect me to go like this!” All my mom said to him was,

“How can you not go like that?” A few minutes later mom and dad were off to a home bible study.

When they got there, as my mom told me later, everyone knew he was high, but they acted as if they didn’t.

Horrraaayyy!!! Sunday morning had finally come. When we got up, we found dad in the kitchen again and asked, “Are you coming to church with us daddy? Hee, hy, are you?” “Hmmmm, lets see,” he said, “Well, I’ll tell you what. I’ll go tonight, O.K.?”

“Okay,” we told him. You see, my dad wanted to get as far away from God as possible. But of course, everyone knows you can’t get away from him period. He’ll love you know matter what!

Anyway, Sunday morning came and went, and when we got home, we knew that every minite, 5:30 P.M. would come closer and closer, every munite and every second.

Finally five-thirty had come - the moment of truth had arrived! My dad was mad - really mad, and when we (all four of us) were about to start up the car, it wouldn’t sart. So dad had to find someone who would boost the car for us and that made him even madder! So when we got to the church, it was passed five-thirty so we had missed prayer meeting so we had to wait until six. You see, at five-thirty, the doors open for about five minutes or so for people who got there in time. After that, the people inside prayed for thirty minutes and at six people would be let in again waiting outside for service. So, we waited for about twenty to twenty-five minutes and while we were outside, someone, I think it was my mom, started singing and other people who were waiting joined in happily. You could tell by looking at him that he was disgusted, (dad.)

Service came, and towards the end, our pastor, Mike Macintosh (I will always remember that name!) asked if there was anyone who wanted to change their live’s. And if there was anyone, to please come up to the front. Well anyway, we prayed, and while we were praying, mom later told us that she could feel the seat beside her “flip upward,” and she knew that dad had left! Well anyway, the first person that goes up, the people would always cheer and clap loudly, so when mom heard people cheering, she looked up to see who it was, and when she did, it was dad! Glory be, my own dad had turned and given one life for a better one! She escorted him down the aisle. Later, (I was still praying at this moment.) I would hear.the pastor saying, “Wow! I see tears and laughing, your husband just accepted the Lord tonight!” At that instant I knew it! Dad!!!!! I flew down the aisle to greet and congratulate him.

“I love you dad,” I said.

“I love you too son!” said my dad now very different!!!!!!!

Four Years Later

My dad is now pastoring sometimes at a small church. He is preaching in Spanish too! We live in a green house, and it’s beautiful! I thank God that he used Jeff, mom, and myself to bring dad to God. He has blessed us sooo much throughout the years.

Thank you God for giving me such a great and wonderful daddy-o!!


  • Holly Tran
  • Age 12
  • Wilson Junior High School,
  • San Diego

Have you ever tried to figure out words to say to your teacher in a way of explaining something and your teacher didn’t understand? Well, I have. My name is Holly Tran. I am going to tell you my embarrassing moment. Let’s start at the beginning of a story. When I was 9 1/2 years old, I went to Euclid School. The first day of school, I was shy and nervous about American schools. The counselor told me to go to room B-9 but I didn't understand what she was talking about, so she wrote it on the piece of paper.

When I found it I walked very slowly to the room. I gave the teacher a note from the office and she assigned me a seat between two American students. They kept asking me questions. I didn’t understand a single word they said.

Well, things got better after a while. About five or six weeks later, my teacher told us to write a report on any country we wanted. I was terrible at writing reports or letters because I didn’t understand verbs, pronouns, run-on sentences, or action verbs. So, I raised my hand to ask a question. I tried to ask her about the verbs, but all she said was, “I don’t understand what you are talking about.” The whole class was laughing at me and they said “The girl is dumb and she must come from the bottom of the ocean with dust in her mouth. She can’t explain because her mouth is full of dust.” I looked around the room and all the kids were cracking up.

I ran to the bathroom and cried for twenty minutes. Then, I walked to the room and felt totally embarrassing. I went straight to the teacher’s desk and asked if I could go to the office. She said yes. I went to the office and told the whole thing to the principal. She told me I needed some rest so she sent me home. That day my mother found a house, so we moved. I never, never went back to the school again.


  • Jan Peterson
  • Age 10
  • La Palorna Elementary School
  • Fallbrook

Who ever said kids have rights?. Ever since I was a baby, grown-ups have been running my life. They said when I ate, what I ate, what I wore and where I went. And I’ll tell you it was embarrassing. But the most embarrassing moment was when my Grandma took a picture of me in my bare nothings. She ambushed me on the way to the bathtub. And just my luck, the picture turned out. And what's worse she gave a copy to my mother. I’m sure they are saving that picture for blackmail purposes. They are going to spring it on me when I least expect it. Oh brother! I have a feeling my most embarrassing moment isn't over yet!.


  • Richard Micheli
  • Age 9
  • Anza Elementary School,
  • El Cajon

My moments of shining glory were when I got a orange belt in karate, when I built a model car out of wood and nails, when I saved a girl from drowning, when I learned to pop a wheelie on my bike, when I beat my dad at a tic tac toe game, when I learned how to ride a three-wheeler by my self, and when I hit the ball and almost got a home run.


  • Sara Berkowitz
  • Age 9
  • San Diego Jewish Academy,
  • El Cajon

I remember when I was four, living on Tuxedo St., The most embarrassing moment happened. Everyday, I went over to my parent’s friends’ house to play with their dog, Britain. It so happened that I was playing outside on their patio when I had to go to the bathroom and the only person in the house was their maid, Maria.

Maria couldn’t understand or speak English and their back door was locked. I was shouting for her to open the door but she was busy ironing and I didn’t know she could only understand Spanish. I couldn’t wait any longer so I went to the bathroom all over the patio and cried and went home through their gate. When I came back, I told the owner, Mrs. Wax, that Britain, the dog, had gone on their patio and the owner believed me and hit the dog! □


  • Nathan Baker
  • Age 10
  • Kennedy Elementary School,
  • San Diego

My most embarrassing incident in my life happened when I was being chased by the neighborhood bully. I ran into a supermarket to get away. I opened the door fast, he was still on my tail. I ran past the Fruit Loops. I sped across the toy section (That was hard to do). There was a sign that said “don’t run." I fell and my legs did the splits. People were around me staring. I felt like I broke my arm. My pants and shirt were still wet and I got in lots of trouble by my parents but I lost the bully.


  • Stacy Herrera
  • Age 11
  • Paul Ecke Central School
  • Encinitas

The most glimmering and shining moment I’ve ever had is when I helped save my dad’s life. I was awarded for it after.

I came home one day to find my dad having a heart attack on the kitchen floor. I ran to the phone and called an ambulance. I ran to check up on him. He was chocking and couldn’t breath. I gave him mouth-to-mouth resuscatation.

I didn’t know how to give it to him. But luckily I had my school health book in my bag. I went through all the steps real carefully. Before I knew it the doctors and ambulance were at my house.

Then we got to the hospital. They were rushing him through the emergency.

A couple of days later my dad was home and the doctor said if it wasn’t for me Dad would have never made it.

That night Dad was home safe, we had a celebration for dad & I. We had foods like cake, cassaroles, drinks, and soup. Later on they gave a beautiful toast dedicated to me.

That was my most shinning & glimmering moment in my life.

Best of all my dad was safe.


  • Shad Halsey
  • Age 10
  • W.D. Hall Elementary School,
  • El Cajon

Boy, was I heartbroken! It was a cool winter night in Bonita on Marmil Ave. My brother was having a Christmas party, and I decided to go. I was only eight. He was fourteen.

When the party started to get going, I met a girl named Julie. I fell in love. We danced. Before, I felt out of place, but now I felt better. She thought I was cute. But it turned out that she was my brother’s girlfriend. It broke my heart, and I started crying. It was so embarrassing!


  • Kajsa Graham
  • Age 9
  • Flora Vista Elementary School,
  • Encinitas

My name is Kajsa Graham. I go to Flora Vista school. When my teacher passed out a paper one day at the end of school the only thing I thought about was missing the bus again. My teacher's name is Mrs. Disney and she is very strict. When ever somebody does something wrong the whole class has to stay after school and do extra work, but as I looked at it I saw that it wasn’t extra school work, but a reader’s writing contest. It said to write about an embarrassing moment or your shining moment of glory. Well, I didn’t have any trouble thinking. It was simple. I would write about a truly embarrassing moment and tell about when my mom and dad had a big party. All our relatives were there. All twenty-one cousins and nine adults. There were also ten more adults that my mom and dad knew. The party hadn’t started yet because we were waiting for two people and it was getting really boring so my mom decided to brag about how good I was at my times tables. She asked me six times seven. That was a very easy times table but I had other things on my mind and I said forty one. Every one burst out laughing. I have never been so embarrassed in my life, but that wasn’t anything compared to what happened next. My brother Richard who is only in second grade came out and said the right answer and all the other times tables he could think of. Then everybody started asking him questions. My mom went out of the room and came back with a calculator and I knew what she was going to do. She told every one that Richard could do three digit times tables in his head in five seconds but no one believed her so she proved it. She asked him what 375 times 375 was and he just blurted out 140625 in only three seconds. Soon every one was asking him questions again. I couldn’t stand it. You might think that this isn't embarrassing but I sure do and I just can’t seem to make myself realize that living with a seven year old math genius is just plain tough.


  • Kimera Jenson
  • Age 11
  • Montgomery Junior High School
  • El Cajon

I was in the second grade. I was the best speller in the class. My teacher entered me in the school spelling bee.

I was so nervous. I walked past the office and into the auditorium.

Everyone was staring at me. I went on the stage and sat down.

About 10 minutes later I was standing up to the microphone. I spelled 15 words correctly. 2 people were left. My best friend and I.

I stood up to the microphone.

“His,” the principal said.

“His,” my voice quivered, “H-I-Z-Z, HIS.” The auditorium broke out with laughter. I sat down and put my head in between my knees.

And that was a truely embarrasing moment in my life.


  • Ercan Iscan
  • Age 12
  • Bonita Junior High School,
  • Bonita

I am sitting in the ceremonial hall of the royal palace. My hands and feet are tied. I have been convicted of mistreatment of my nephew.

The young peasant is about to be knighted to marry the princess. But wait. Something is terribly wrong. The king does not have his sword. How can a person be knighted without a sword?

That was the situation in my fifth grade play entitled “The Magic Cape”.

I have had a little bit of experience in acting. In the second grade I was the star of our play entitled “The Gingerbread Man”.

In that play the actors would move their mouths and the speakers behind a screen would be talking. It worked out pretty good. The second grade play was pretty easy because most of the time I would just repeat a series of actions over and over again. The whole production was a smashing success.

My fifth grade production was another story.

I am sitting with my hands and feet supposedly all tied up. The audience is watching intensely and my mind is going around -in circles. The knighting scene just would not be right without the sword.

Then it came to me. I remembered seeing the king put the sword backstage next to the door.

I decided to take action. As nervous as I was, I knew that I had to go through with it.

To stay in character, I was supposed to have been tied up, I hopped off the stage and looked for our stage director. She too was aware of the situation and was frantically searching for the sword.

I tried to tell her but she was too busy searching. I then knew that it was up to me.

I found the sword and took it in my hand. Hoping that I would not get in trouble for doing this, I took a deep breatl) and hopped back on stage. I hopped over to where the king was standing. I handed the sword to the king and hopped back to my seat.

The young peasant was knighted.

I knew I had helped. I had a big grin on my face.

The production went on until the end. We all took a bow. The curtain came down. Audience applauded.

On the way out I ran into my teacher and the principal. I was nervous. They told me that what I did was good thinking and great acting. I surely was relieved to hear that.

They also told me that the audience thought what I did was part of the script. We all had a good laugh over that one.

The show must go on, and it did.


  • Anna Nourbakhsh
  • Age 12
  • Potter Junior High School
  • Fallbrook

It was this year on June 14, 1986. I was the “Swinging Piper” of a play put on by my school, Vallecitos.

My part was just a few lines away. Then it came. I jumped on stage and gave it my all. Right before I was finished I had to sing a song. I thought I would embarrass myself, but I made it through the whole song. Everybody was applauding me. It was my shining moment of glory. I felt fantastic. I started throwing kisses. They started throwing flowers. So I jumped off stage and let them shake my hand. They told me they were honored. I told them I was pleased. Finally, my shining moment of glory had gone, but I was happy.


  • Chris Ontiveros
  • Age 11
  • Myron B. Green Elementary School
  • San Carlos

I remember when I had a crush on somebody and one of my friends went up to her and told them when I was there. I got so embarrassed.

I remember when I was playing soccer in front of a crowd and I went to take a goalkick. I tripped over the ball and everybody laughed at me. I was so embarrassed.

When I was playing my guitar in front of some people and I played the wrong chord and it sounded bad. I was so embarrassed.

I remember when I was saying a prayer and I said the wrong thing and everybody laughed at me. I was embarrassed.

Thank you for sharing my embarrassments.


  • Jackson Rutherford
  • Age 12
  • Conway Elementary School
  • Escondido

When I was in Poway, in second grade on 6/23/82 it was the last day of school and it was hot!!! So I decided to take a swim in Putts pond. So I took off my clothes and jumped in. It was icy. Then suddenly the biggest bully in the world came up.

A smile apeared on his face. Suddenly he cackled with laughter.

He was plagued with the vile belly laugh.

Suddenly he perceived my clothes in a rumple.

In five seconds I saw bubbles floating where my apparel was thrown.

He left.

I cried.

Slowly I relized my fate. I got out of the pond and ran from house to house.

Until the familiar home came in view.

When I did get home I was sure embarrassed!!!! □

Oh no, maybe I’ll die. Get sick fast! Get sick fast! Maybe it's canceled. Well no, but good thought.


  • Matt Miller
  • Age 12
  • Rancho Santa Fe School,
  • Rancho Santa Fe

Pushing and rolling, the swollen stream slid past my feet and disappeared around the bend. It took my ftill attention as I searched for the perfect place to catch my first trout. I was 10 and this was the first time I was included in the annual men’s fishing trip with my father and brother and several other older boys and their dads.

I was determined to be a success, to catch at least a reasonable sized fish, but there were so many hang ups! The bushes were a big problem, and the line tangles when you’ve never tried this before, and the water is cold and deep in some places. I proceeded to cast my line to the other side of the stream under the bank where all the trout usually live. My Dad announced that the water was not right at that spot for any large fish as it was not clear, and I had casted too many times there already. I did not agree.

I had found my place and I WAS going to catch a big one here! My Dad shook his head and moved on up stream. I knew what he was thinking, and he knew a lot about trout fishing, but I was now more determined than ever. Repeating this casting procedure for what seemed like forever, I suddenly felt a quick nip. As I felt this nip, I jerked up the rod, and sure enough, I had something wonderful on there. I kept pulling the rod up and reeling in so that I wouldn’t lose my first trout. Dad heard me and came running to watch. A few of the other men appeared also. Finally, I got that fish on the bank! It was a beauty, the biggest one caught all weekend! I felt like jumping up and down, and I wore a smile from ear to ear for the next two days. I now no longer felt like the youngest and the smallest, because now I was really a member of this special group. I didn’t know it at the time, but I think the rest of the men were as pleased as I was because they kept talking about it and telling everyone. To me, this was truly a shining moment of glory!


  • Namir Shaba
  • Age 8
  • Jamul Elementary School
  • Jamul

Not too long ago I was invited to the birthday party of my friend, Jarrett. He invited eight of us to go fishing to Chollas Lake. I got all my fishing equipment ready and I was looking forward to that because I enjoy fishing a lot.

On Saturday morning we all left with Jarrett’s parents to the lake. As soon as we got there we got out the fishing rods and worms. We ran to the lake to start our big day of fishing. Everyone casted their lines and waited for a long time. My friends and I saw a lot of tiny fish in the water, and were there for few hours but didn’t catch anything. We were tired and disappointed.

All of us moved to a different spot hoping that we would have better luck. Everybody casted their line. My friend Eric casted his fishing line and a few moments later he started screaming out of joy: “I caught a fish! I caught a fish”! I started screaming out of pain because the hook was stuck in my back. Eric thought that I was excited and happy for him. He was pulling his line to bring the fish out and saying “Boy this is a big and large sea bass it's so hard to pull it out.” In the middle of Eric’s excitment I started to scream out, “the hook is in my back, somebody get it out”! Finally my friend’s mother came to the rescue and took the hook out. Then she put medicine on the deep cut. Eric looked at me and was sorry for the accident but very disappointed that it wasn’t a fish. What a day it was. We all wanted to catch a fish but Eric caught me.


Robert Hopkins

Age 11 E.G. Garrison Elementary School, Oceanside___

When I was in First grade in Mrs. Miller’s class I was playing with an eraser and it got stuck in my nose. I tried to pick at it to get it out but my nose began to bleed. I-had to go to the nurses office. The nurse called my mom to come and get me. My mom came down to the school and took me to the doctor’s office. The doctor used a pair of tweezers to pull the eraser out. I was so embarrassed I didn’t go back to school. This truly was my most embarrasing moment. □


  • Reyes Delgado
  • Age 11
  • Bonita Vista Junior High School
  • Bonita

My most embarrassing moment. I was at base ball game with a lot of people, the game was tie 4-4. All of a suddcn a pop fly went to me. I din’t know what to do. I was waiting for the ball to come I did not see the ball. I came and it hit me on the head. I went crazy. I was looking for the ball and by the time I got the ball it was a horn run.

Everybody was laughing I got really embarrassed. During the whole game. Now i am a football fan.


  • Jeffrey Pollack
  • Age 9
  • San Diego Jewish Academy
  • San Carlos

Hi I’m nine. About six years ago, something happened to me that was really embarrassing and I’m going to tell you about it.

Whenever I went with my dad, I used to hang to his leg and never let go. One day, my dad took me to a bakery to get a cake and a bunch of other stuff like ice cream and I was standing next to him. Another man had the same pants as my dad and I came over to him and hung onto his leg. My dad saw me and came over and said, “what ar you doing? I said, “Dad!” And I got off the other man’s leg and I started crying and hung onto my dad’s leg and felt a whole lot better.


  • Colette Robitaille
  • Age 7
  • Del Mary Heights Elementary School
  • Del Mar

I had a shining moment when I met my new violin teacher last September. Her name is Vesna Groupman. She is a nice lady and she has lots of violins I knew she wanted to teach me to play my violin better. I sleep with my violin some times. I love the music I make with my violin.


  • Gautam Venkatesh
  • Age 9
  • Sundance Elementary School
  • Rancho Penasquitos

This is the moment I’ll never forget. I was playing baseball and it was the last inning. My team was winning 11-5. My coach was calling out the positions and when he called me up he said I was going to be the pitcher. I was a little scared and nervous because I wasn’t a good pitcher but I still liked being a pitcher.

Now I was on the mound. I pitched the first ball and it wasn’t a strike. I pitched the ball again. “Bow!” I heard the ball go right into the shortstop’s mitt.

“You're out!” The ump yelled. One out. That was a relief for me. The next batter was up. He was a short, chubby guy.

I saw the infield moving in and yelling, “easy out, easy out!” I pumped forward and whipped the ball right past him.

“Strike one!” The ump yelled. I pitched a slow one the next time and closed my eyes, I heard the bat hit the ball. When I opened my eyes, to my surprise the ball was in my mitt.

“You're out!” The ump yelled. I felt like laughing, but I saved it for after the game. Just one out away from the game.

I thought it would be easy, but oh, no! It was the best hitter on the team! I was real nervous on the inside but not on the outside.

This was it. I pumped forward and let go of the ball. “Strike one!” The ump yelled. I pitched the ball again. Another strike. One strike for the game. I was real nervous. I pitched a ball right over the plate and he didn’t swing at it. “Strike three.” The ump yelled. I jumped up and down and ran to our dugout to celebrate a victory over one of the best teams!


  • Cari Balfour
  • Age 10
  • Silver Gate Elementary School
  • Point Loma

At Silver Gate School, room 4, for one week we had teachers come in to teach writing and art. I always thought I wrote horrible stories. But when the teacher had us write one story I wrote two.

A few weeks later I got a green slip on my desk. I was the only one in the whole class that got one. What could it be? Am I doing poorly in school? It couldn’t be that, maybe my teacher wants to talk to my mom. Should I open it?

Yes, No, Yes, No, Yes Yes, I will! Oh my, the teachers that helped with the book, want me to read one of my poems. I can’t, maybe I’ll get a cold, chicken poxs, a fever, or maybe laryngitis!

All the rest of the week I kept saying I can’t do it, I know I can’t. Hopefully I'll get sick.

The Day of the Recital Oh no, maybe I'll die. Get sick fast! Get sick fast! Maybe tonight will never come. Maybe it’s cancelled. Well, no, but, good thought. Still how can they do this to nice, quiet, shy, little me?

Just Before the Recital 5:00, I better eat dinner. Oh no, I just found out my mouth’s deformed, I can’t recite. I think I have a cold. No use, I better go get dressed. Driving there my knees were shaking, my teeth chattering, my brain telling me I couldn’t do it.

Recital Time I’m sitting in the auditorium in fear away from my family (yet with someone I know.]. We are all at the Board of Education in San Diego, CA.

My palms are sweating. I'll probably trip on my way up to the stage. The microphone blasted out “And now Cari Balfour” Oh no, I almost fell out of my chair, but I managed to walk up to the stage. I then read my poem. At first, I feared that everyone would think it was dumb. I was done. It was great! The audience applauded. I felt much better, I had done well, they . liked it and most of all 1 didn’t faint at that poetry recital. Both my poems got published. It was a great moment for me! I was very proud of me. I’m sure I will never ever forget this poetry recital.


Quart Huynh

Age 12

Wangenheim Junior High School,

San Diego

The time my family and I suffered through months to come out of Vietnam and come to the United States. I was still on the fields of Vietnam the day I heard the Viet Cong talk about America. I told my mom what happened. She told me America is a land of freedom. A land where you can do things and not be kept from doing it.

Vietnam is not a place where freedom is given. I remember the time when the Viet Cong first came to Vietnam. That when trouble began.

My family and I owned and lived in a four-story building. One hundred people lived in the building. They were all our friends and relatives. There were at least 30 Viet Cong came to our house. They watched us what we ate. The Viet Cong would not let us eat meat because it was expensive. The only thing we got to eat was a little bit of vegetables. Every time we came home from the market they would look in the bag. They didn't let us buy meat.

The Viet Cong took everything we owned. The only thing that was left was a lot of money in the bank. The bank belonged to the Viet Cong.

They only gave us a certain amount every month. The Viet Cong lived in our house for 3 months. Our freedom began to diminish. The 3 months was tough and difficult for my family and me. I was always scared and frighten by what they did. The way they expressed the looks on their faces is frightening. I would sometimes cry at night, wishing that they would go away and never come back.

The time the Viet Cong took over Vietnam my family, I ran quickly to a river. There were many boats, but only one of them was for people to escape out of Vietnam. We escaped to Malaysia.

My family and I had to wait until the United States accepted us to come to America. We finally got accepted and set out to America.

My family and I came to America in 1979. The day I came to America was the day I saw happiness and freedom.


  • Susanna Garcia
  • Age 10
  • School unknown,
  • San Diego

The shining glory moment of my life is when my mom was going to have a baby. When my family and i where at the hospital a doctor came to the waiting room. He called the Garcia’s family. We went up to him then he told us that either my mom or the baby had died. We we’re all crying and then the doctor said do you want your mom or the baby. We said our mom. Because we need it her a lot. The doctor said OK I’ll try my best to make the both of them live. But if i can’t make both of them live. I’ll save your mom.... An hour later we saw our mom with the baby on her hand walking down the hall. Thank God they were both alive. And that was the shining moment of glory in my life.


  • Joey Davenport
  • Age 10
  • Cajon Park Elementary School
  • Santee

As I recall, it was a cold, wet Saturday morning in 1983. My soccer team the Eagles, were in the championship series.

I was the goalie that day. My team was undefeated in the regular season. It was the last half and we had oranges and cold water for a half time snack.

I happened to notice that the other goalie had his back turned to the ball. It was obvious that he was going to the bathroom. I knew that the bathroom was very far away and it was so cold that I wet my pants too.


  • Tahirah Carter
  • Age 11
  • Balboa Elementary School
  • National City

One day on a Tuesday me, my mom, and my two sisters (My one year old sister and my thirteen year sister) went to the movies we saw a movie, a movie nothing in common. A lady was sitting next to us. My little sister was trying to reach the lady's hair, she finally got a hold of it. My little sister pulled it and it came off in my little hand and we saw the lady’s real hair it was as sort as my little sister’s hair. My little sisters looked at the lady's wig and said MA MA MA. The lady snatched her wig out of my little sister's hand and found another seat.


  • Thu Vu
  • Age 12
  • Wangenheim Junior High School
  • La Jolla

On October 31, 1981, on arriving at San Diego airport, my family and I was greeted by relatives, or rather weird-looking relatives, dressed up in costumes. Our relatives had been living in San Diego since 1975 and had enjoyed living here.

On our way to their place, we were told why my relatives dressed the way they did. It was a day called Halloween. On Halloween people, old or young, dress up as they wish and go tricking-or-treating. We were also told about their job, their life, and the places they’ve visited. They said even though their daily labor is rough they’re happier than they are back home. In the U.S. they are freed to do what they want. They drove past places which I never knew to have existed. After a while we stopped in front of a beautifully built house covered with fresh, colorful flowers. We went inside it and found that the outside was somehow the same as the inside. The walls were covered with designated wallpapers, the dishes were neatly stacked, and the table top and the floor were carefully polished. It was then that I realize my family and I could make our life in the U.S. worth living. And imagine what it would be like to lead our own life instead of someone leading it for us. The freedom we’ll be getting is without any doubt wonderful. We will be able to go anywhere we want, do anything we like, and express how we feel. Our life in San Diego, California is the turning point or perhaps it’s the shining moment of glory in my life.


  • Ryan Dudek
  • Age 11
  • Flora Vista Elementary School
  • Encinitas

It was at a store. On a Sunday. About three years ago. At 3:00 in the day.

I went to a bakery and I saw a man he looked fake so I went and touched him. He looked at me and I ran fast.

When we got to the church, it was past five-thirty so we had missed prayer meeting so we had to wait until six. You see, at five-thirty, the doors open for about five minutes or so for people who got there in time. After that, the people inside prayed for thirty minutes and at six people would be let in again waiting outside for service. So, we waited for about twenty to twenty-five minutes and while we were outside, someone, I think it was my mom, started singing and other people who were waiting joined in happily. You could tell by looking at him that he was disgusted, (dad The next day, guess where I was, you guessed it, at school. The whole two weeks were miserable, but they stopped. There you have it, the most embarrassing moment of my life.


  • Christie Carter
  • Age 11
  • Silver Gate Elementary School,
  • Point Loma

One day while walking along the edge of the water on Imperial Beach, my friend Richard, who is always adventurous, stepped into what he thought was another part of the sand and started shrinking. He wasn't really shrinking and his voice sure didn’t shrink. He yelled, “Quicksand!” My next friend whose name is Marc carelessly jumped in to save Richard. Now there were two stuck in the grasping ooze. There was only three more kids to help. My next friend, Craig, carefully found his way and clutched onto Marc’s arm. He was slowly sinking but not as fast as the other guys. The bad thing about this quicksand was that the harder you strained to get out, the more stuck you got. Brian who’s probably the fastest runner in our elementary school (6th grade) went sprinting down the beach to get help. By the time he arrived with a teenager and friend we were all stuck in the mud and Richard was chest deep in the quicksand. Brian and the other two heaved and hoed until one by one we sssss... pop, came out. I was the last one to be pulled out and when I did everybody started laughing. I looked down and sure enough my pants were missing. Luckily there were no girls around!

I was so embarrassed that my face was as red as a over-ripe tomato.

After luckily getting my pants out of the mud and putting them on we thanked the teenagers and went out jumped into the sea. After getting dry, we walked back to my mom and pretended as if nothing had happened. Later, when my friends had gone home I told my mom and my dad what happened. My mom said, “No wonder there was mud in your pants."


  • Christine Loomer
  • Age 11
  • Chase Avenue Elementary School
  • El Cajon

It was the day before the speeches. When I decided to run for Vice President.

I did not have a speech. So I decided to give a speech without a written speech.

I walked in front of the room and began. This is what I said. Uh, uh, uh, uh, uh. Everybody laughed and laughed. I turned bright red and ran out of the room.


  • Amy Gramling
  • Age 9
  • Sundance Elementary School
  • Rancho Penasquitos

When I was at my soccer game I was thinking of me to make five goals. Five or one I just wanted a goal. I didn’t care if I got one goal. I was thinking of a goal in my head. I needed a goal so bad. I talked to myself.

In the game I ran hard and I was thinking hard. I was almost out of my mind, I was thinking so hard. Kelly Miller passed the ball to me, and I went to the goal and I made it! I had tears in coming from my eyes and my team came after me and my mom smiled at me she was happy to.

I got S1.00 for my goal. For my first one I got $5.00. Boy was I happy for me.


  • Kristina Trozzi
  • Age 8
  • Oak Hill Elementary School,
  • Oak Hill

My best day during this year of school was when I was chosen student counsel representative!

It was done on a secret ballot. There were four people to choose from. Their names were: Eric Kirchmer, Andy Peet, Wesley Haine and me Kristina Trozzi.

I was chosen representative, as you heard. Wesley Haine was chosen alternate.

We both have missed every meeting there has been, but we don’t mind!

Today there is one that we are not going to miss! I also hope we don’t miss amy more!


  • Justin Germani
  • Age 12
  • Myron B. Green Elementary School
  • San Carlos

It was Tuesday, exactly two months before the national martial ats festival. One of the things I’ve looked forward to for a long time. I was out of shape though, so I had to work hard since I was going to be in it.

On Wednesday I jogged six hours. I’m talkin’ six hours of sweat.

On Thursday I refreshed my memory on ancient Japanese weaponry.

Then on Friday I spent all day in Karate class with my sensei. In class I sparred or free fought, no contact of course. He taught me moves I thought were impossible. Finally at the end of I gained two pounds. I wasn’t just a thin skin anymore.

I was still pretty bad though. During weaponry I dropped my sword every thirty seconds. It was very frustrating and tedious but I kept my tenaciousness.

Monday came and I could actually do 4 pullups. I was still horrible but I was getting better.

Then on Tuesday my sensei said the class was going on a mountain trip to the Cuyamaca Mts.

We went and arrived there on Wednesday. It rained that night. Then on Thursday it was a regular workout with the class. Then later that night sensei woke me up and told me to get my gear on, warm up, and get ready to go outside for a practice. We jogged to the crest of the mountain. There was some sort of observatory up there.

We continued with our weapons practice. It was a miracle!

Somehow he improved my weaponry at least 75 percent.

Maybe it was the altitude.

After that we went and sat on a large rock. Suddenly he stood up and told me all he knew about the martial arts. “On the martial path don’t seek brutality. Seek and pursue a way that describes life.

"A long time ago, around two hundred years ago, the real masters fought like a smooth flowing stream. Letting its water flow over and around the rocks that stood in its way. All karatekas should symbolize themselves a the water of the stream. The they should symbolize the rocks as their opponents.

"One more thing I want you to remember. If you win, you win feel happy. But if you lose I don’t want to see you unhappy. If you lose, you learn two things. One, you’ve learned that you can’t always win, and two you can probably use what your opponent did later in life. So either way you’ve learned something.”

Then we had a race back to our cabin and I can’t believe I won. Another Monday came finally sensei said, “From here on we are going to study the art of ninjitsu. I’m not going to tell you why but you’ll need it in the festival.

Tuesday we studied breath control. Then weaponry, then sparring. Then Finally sensei told me that from now untill the end of this trip he was to show me how to escape, hide, just how to use stealthly combat. We studied for two weeks and face it, I learned a lot.

We went home on Sunday. I miss the mountain though.

Finally the day came. The day of the national martial arts festival. First came the archery. Then came the swordsmen. Then came the karate tournament. Time for me to rock and roll. My name was called. Before I went my sensei put his thumb up at me. I was then instructed to go to ring 8 right next to the audience. The First guy went easy. So did the second guy. But I still had three to go. The third came easy, the same for the fourth.

Finally the Fifth one and the last one ’till the second half of the festival whatever that was, sensei wouldn’t tell me.

It had begun. I heard the referee say, “Three point win, winner stays for second half. Now face me, bow, face each other, bow; begin. First he tripped me for a point. Then he tried again to trip me, but I was ready and jumped and tapped his back with a fist notifying the referee that I had struck a vital spot. He jumped in the air putting my guard high. Then he got down and tripped me again. The score was now 2 to 1 his favor. Then in my mind I remembered what sensei had said about all karatekas being a smooth flowing stream going over under and around rocks in its way.

It was then when I didn’t stay in one place. Instead I moved around letting my guard down. He again jumped in the air. But I crawled under him this time and this time I tripped him.

The crowd went crazy. I went deaf as the crowd roard. All my class team patted me on the back. Then my sensei came up and only teasing he said “Oh, Daniel-san vedy good!” Then everyone laughed. I was happy. All that training paid off. It was my moment. All my problems faded away. I was even happier when my oponent was happy for me. Then he came up to me and, I had to feel sorry for him, he said, “Woops.” Now that was my shining moment of pride, happiness, and glory, and here I leave you with hopefully a nice story. □


  • Matt Carter
  • Age 12
  • Conway Elementary School
  • Escondido

One day my mother and I went to look at a horse. It was for sale at the cost of $600. The lady who owned the horse told me I could ride and feed it for about two weeks until I came up with the money to pay for it.

As we were walking to the pasture to see the horse, the lady told me that the horse had a white line down his nose, white feet, and a reddish-brown body. She also mentioned that he was the biggest and strongest horse in the whole pasture.

A few days later, I went to the pasture where the horse stayed. I was still trying to decide on a name.

When I got to the pasture, I could not see him anywhere. In fact, I didn’t see any of the other horses. I searched everywhere except for over the big hill standing in the sunset. So instead of going all the way over it, I whistled loud and piercingly. Just then, I heard the trembling of hooves. It kept getting louder and louder. I looked behind me and right then, the trembling stopped. I turned back to look at the hill and there on the top of the horizon was my horse standing straight and still. The beautiful sunset in the background was shining through his long, golden mane and tail which were waving like fire in the wind. His reddish-brown body was standing strong and firm. It was the most beautiful sight that I have ever seen.

At that moment, I decided to name him Flame. That was my shining moment.


  • Gretchen Tallberg
  • Age 11
  • Meadowbrook Middle School
  • Rancho Bernardo

The most embarrassing incident that happened to me was when I sat up in one of the balconys at a movie theatre and pigged out on food and then I got sick. Everybody in the movie theatre heard me. They all started to look up at me. Then, one of the girls in the balcony, who was sitting next to me got sick also. After that everybody in the balcony started to gag. All this taco salad like stuff was on the floor. It stunk! Finally, the custodian came and cleaned it up. I watched the rest of the movie near the restrooms. And I have never watched a movie from a balcony again.


  • Tim Hsueh
  • Age 10
  • Del Mar Heights Elementary School
  • Del Mar

The most shining moment of glory in my life was in the Boys and Girls Club in Solana Beach at the karate tournament when the judge raised my hand and announced me the winner of the white belts. I had been taking karate for about six months. In the tournament I had sparred (fought) three people so far and I had beat every one of them. Now I had to spar the last person, a big guy about twelve years old. I started to spar him but he got two points on me. One more point and he would win. Soon we were tied because I punched him in the head and the stomach. Then he started to kick too hard so he got a warning. Then, at the last minute, he kicked me in the face! He got disqualified! Then the judge came to me and raised my hand and announced me the winner! I proved to my parents I wasn’t weak and skinny like they thought. I had never dreamed that I would win. This event was not just the most shining moment of glory in my life but also the most exciting and most sweatily.


  • Russ Gibson
  • Age 11
  • James Duke Elementary School,
  • Ramona

It was 1985 when my mom got involved in this four day workshop. One of the things she had to do was write a poem and read it in public.

One day she said, let's go to breakfast at the Old Telephone Company. When we got there it was crowded. While we were eating my mom got up on the table and read the poem. When I saw her get up on the table I got down under the table. I wished I could have disappeared. People stared and laughed. I was so embarrassed.


  • Yontii Fushman
  • Age 9
  • San Diego Jewish Academy
  • San Carlos

My most embarrassing moment was when I was in the 1986 Santee Parade. My karate school was in one of the divisions, and while we were demonstrating kicking and punching, I kicked, and my shoe went flying in the air, landing on the curb in front of the crowd. This was my most terribly embarrassing moment because half the people in the city were observing! No one hooted, but it was still very humiliating, since, I was supposed to be producing business for my instructor. For some reason, I found it amusing, but I don’t really care now because I will probably never see those people again in my life.


  • Champ Rhodes
  • Age 9
  • Sundance Elementary School
  • Rancho Penasquitos

I was listening to Mrs. King read a story called Casey and the Bat. I was real bored and tired. I yawned. It sounded like a cow. I couldn’t wait for recess. I began to play with my pencil. I closed my eyes as a sign of boredness. I felt like a feather floating in the air. I felt like listening was useless. I lightly leaned back in my chair. I went farther back. I was about to fall asleep and the next thing I knew, everybody was laughing. I had fallen back. I wasn't a dork. I laughed too.


  • Gabe Wallace
  • Age 9
  • Emroy Elementary School
  • San Diego



  • Trisha Tighe
  • Age 8
  • North Broadway Elementary School
  • Escondido

My most shining moment of glory is when I threw golf balls and chocolate chip ice cream at my little sister. She cried and cried and cried. After that I felt so good I had a big party I invited all my friends in my kindergarten class. We put whip cream on our hair. We ate hotdogs, hamburgers, chocolate cake. We drank chocolate shakes, Pepsis and rootbeer. The party went on and on until 8:00 clock at night. At ten minutes to 8:00 clock, we gave out prizes. When they got home they started laughing. Now that’s my shining moment of glory.


  • Abraham Carter
  • Age 11
  • Balboa Elementary School
  • National City

Well this was on Friday that my mom was going to go to Gemco store. Are you going to take a long time because I am going to take a bath for my party and she said yes I’m taking a long time. Then my mom left and I said ok good now I’m taking a bath. And I left the door unlocked and my mom brang my friends a lot of them and my cousins to and I came out of the bathroom, and I didn’t have no clothes only my socks and they yelled, surprise and I was very embarrassed they started to laugh and that was my birthday.


  • Amanda Delgado
  • Age 10
  • Tiffany Elementary School,
  • Chula Vista

I remember when I was only 8 years old and it was five days until Christmas. We went to Plaza Bonita to get our picture with Santa Claus. I guess my brother had just gotten over being sick because he started cough. Then I knew something was going to happen, and boy was I right.

My brother threw up! He was only five then boy was I embarrassed, not only that but he threw up on me and Santa Claus' feet. When we got our pictures book you could tell Santa didn’t want to have my brother to sit on his lap. I felt bad. I couldn't wait to get home, and get my brother changed because he stunk like a skunk. One of my jobs is to carry the clothes downstairs, and I had to carry my brother's clothes.

That was pretty embarrassing. Hopefully, in the future that won’t happen again. If it does, I won't say my brother or sister are related to me. If it ever happens to me, I will be prepared for it because I have seen and heard everything . I guess it's pretty embarrassing throwing up in front of 10,000 people.


  • Brandy Tompkins
  • Age 10
  • La Jolla Country Day School,
  • La Jolla

I was 4 years old and very shy in preschool. When my most embarrassing moment happened, I could have died. It was after recess when we had storytime. Our teacher would read us a story out of a book. That day she picked me to sit on her lap. But I forgot to ask the teacher if I could go to the bathroom. So I sat there trying to hold it in but it was very difficult for me. So then I just let it out (gross). I didn’t think she’d notice. When the story was over and the teacher was ready to get up I turned bright red. She stood up and saw what had happened. I about cried (I probably did.) The only thing is it’s funny that little kids think that adults won’t notice things like that.


Appearing in this issue are the winners of the preteen category of the 1986 Reader young people’s writing contest. Included are the first- and second-award winners, five honorable mentions, and several more stories that did not win awards but which we considered especially noteworthy. Last week’s Reader featured the seven winners in the teen category and other entries we felt were deserving of publication.

Young people were asked to write stories of unspecified length about either a truly embarrassing incident or a “moment of glory” that took place in San Diego County. The response was enormous; we received 3336 submissions, 1801 of which were written by teens and 1535 by preteens. Boys trailed girls by only a few hundred entries.

The difference between the preteens and teens is evident not only by the length of the stories but by the events they consider glorious or embarrassing. By far, the preteens wrote about their embarrassments, which included the usual bladder-control problems, loss of apparel, or shame at being different. Those stories concerning glorious moments almost invariably dealt with catching the elusive fish, scoring the winning goal, or hitting a home run. However, there were those stories that detailed life-or-death situations — a family’s choice between a mother’s life or death, a young girl’s description of her family’s escape from Vietnam — that spoke of the hard realities some children must face. In some cases, the glory was found in getting even or in vindication or in a newfound appreciation. We have edited none of the stories; they appear as we received them.

Special thanks are extended to the many teachers throughout San Diego County for their efforts in encouraging their students to participate in this competition. All the stories captivated us, and we sincerely thank every contributor.

Share / Tools

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • AddThis
  • Email

More from SDReader


Log in to comment

Skip Ad

Let’s Be Friends

Subscribe for local event alerts, concerts tickets, promotions and more from the San Diego Reader