Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Against All Odds

Sarah Einhorn

Against all odds, the Macabbim were victorious with Hashem’s help. Meet four exceptional individuals who battle against all odds, yet know they will prevail... with Hashem’s help

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

 Mishpacha image

 

Making the Grade

Bassy Goldhirsch

Dear Mindy,

I just hung up with you. We were discussing Mrs. Glauber’s science assignment, Miri’s new hairstyle, and the fact that we only had ten minutes of recess today. But then you wanted to talk about one of the most important thing in a ninth grader’s life. Sleepaway camp. I quickly told you that I had an incoming call and forcefully pressed the end button. I threw the phone down on the sofa and hastily dried the tears that had escaped from my eyes.

Want to know why I was crying? Well, it’s a good question. Let me try to explain.

You’re right. Summer camp is my life; new friendships, bonfires, swimming, play, color war, and DMCs. I’ve been yearning for sleepaway camp since August 31 of last year. Camp is my first, middle, and last name. It’s where my personality explodes in a kaleidoscope of laughter and freedom. But this year, camp will be a nonexistent chapter in my life. Instead I’ll be subjected to the very same thing you’ll be getting a break from.

Yes. The decision is mine. To go to camp and enjoy myself, or stay in the city, in the sweltering heat, studying with a tutor. A decision that isn’t really a choice. A decision that will result in the success of my next few school years. Oh, I’ve seen it coming. The signs were there all along. There were whispered telephone conversations, pitying glances from teachers, and finally, a meeting with my parents and Mrs. Gruen.

So, what if I’m not the 100% student? Who cares if I got a 65 on most of my tests? Definitely not my classmates. But Mrs. Gruen, our principal, is concerned. She’s taking a personal interest so that I can improve. Isn’t that considerate? Remember how we always joked that she knows anything and everything? That her large, wired-framed spectacles are like laser beams that shine through each and every one of us? Well, now it’s my turn. There’s no way out.

She wants to see a boost in my grades, to see me reach my full potential. My potential? That happens in camp — during sports, hiking, and cheering during color war. It doesn’t happen in a classroom. But if I want to enter tenth grade, I’d better shape up.

 

I’m grappling with an internal struggle I know every teen is familiar with. The questions what will everyone think, what will everyone say swirl around in my head like a merry-go-round. Peer pressure is real. I want to belong. But this time it’s not about the latest styles and gadgets. So, you see, I can’t tell you why I’m not going to camp.

My mother and I worked out a schedule. There’s a spreadsheet hanging above my bed. Every day of the week is highlighted with a different color marker, each subject circled with a different color gel pen; it looks like an ad for a carnival. Oh, of course, we also added a trip to the ice cream store twice a week. I’ll even be able to choose my favorite flavor. Isn’t that exciting? I’m going to have a super summer. Don’t you wish you could stay in the city too? (Excerpted from Teen Pages, Issue 689)

Related Stories

Teen Fiction: Dumpin’ Doughnuts

Malky Cope

Dassy + doughnuts = no moderation. Once I started, there’d be no stopping. So, there was only one wa...

Health Myths, Busted

Ahuvah Sofer

Which facts about dieting are credible? Which ones are borderline myths? And which are downright non...

DMCs: Perfection

As told to Leah Greenburg

Her scary face was reserved for the privacy of our home and I took the silence pact, along with all ...

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


 
What Are We Supposed to Do?
Rabbi Moshe Grylak A tried-and-true remedy — and it shook the heavens
Badgered into Submission
Yonoson Rosenblum Avatars of political correctness in search of dissenters
Drinking Doubt Away
Eytan Kobre Meaning is indispensable for generating happiness
Checks and Balances III
Mishpacha Readers The conversation continues...
Memorable Melodies of Modzhitz
Rabbi Mordechai Besser The struggling survivors became kings in shul on Shabbos
A Whole Song and Dance
Rabbi Ron Yitzchak Eisenman One of those small acts that are giant leaps of chesed
Diamonds
Jacob L. Freedman MD "Each Jewish woman is a bas Melech, Dr. Freedman!"
Streamlined Service
Riki Goldstein "JewishMusic Stream is still about classic kosher music”
Perfect Harmony
Riki Goldstein "The arrangements literally changed the entire song"
Hang On to the Glow
Riki Goldstein Back to the warm camp Shabbos memories
Marking Miracles
Faigy Peritzman The miracles are there, but our eyes are blind to them
Going Against the Current
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Wise to deny our kids something all their friends have?
Clothed in Splendor
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz When dressing up is spiritual, not superficial
The Spokesman: Part IV
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer Every sentence tells a story; make yours well told