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Salinas Adult School Poetry & Story Competition

SAS Poetry reading

All Salinas Adult School students had the opportunity to participate in the school’s poetry and short story contest which featured writing categories such as Why I Like this School for beginning ESL students; My USA for Intermediate and Advanced ESL; and Life Lessons for students studying for high school completion or college preparation. 

SAS Poetry reading Students wrote impressive pieces especially considering they were written in English--their non-dominant language. Many of these students had never written any poems or stories in English before this competition. Some classes celebrated that achievement by having readings in their own classrooms by all students who participated in the contest.

On May 16, more than 80 students and school staff listened to unedited often personal writings of winners from various classes at our school wide poetry and short story reading. First and second place winners for each class level and a grand prize winner for poetry and one for short story read their winning pieces.

Audience members and writers alike enjoyed coffee and ethnic foods offered by the hosting class. Winners also received prizes to help them to continue studying toward their goals.

As our school also has evening classes, there was a smaller reading and celebration in the evening for winners who could not be present at the morning reading.

SAS Poetry Reading Students, faculty, and staff all supported this contest and the reading and showed all writers how important student learning is for everyone. It was a proud time for our school.





Grand Prize Poetry

Life is Hard  By John Carlo Abelon

Life is tough that’s what they say,

But they don’t know what it’s like every day

To wake up in the morning and go to school

Just so people can test you and prove you’re a fool


Then comes the pressure from your mom and dad

Who are so clearly disappointed that your grades are bad

You are punished and picked on for the rest of the year

Because you finally gave up on the future career


That was once so close, but is now so distant

However your teachers and parents are still insistent

It’s hard enough getting up and going to class 

Without the pressure and expectation that you have to pass


The worst part, however is not that you're a disappointment

It’s the permanent, never-ending embarrassment

Of always failing and coming last

Of never being good enough, your confidence dropping fast


Everyone else seems to be doing just fine

Their parents are all proud, unlike mine

Honestly i can’t think of a worse place than this

When in reality it’s made out to be somewhere we shouldn’t miss 


i won’t miss it.  i’ll be glad to leave

Five years wasted because failure is all i ever received.

i know it’s my fault and that I’m the one to blame

I gave up so early on because i was ashamed.


To my family, I’m failure and I’m failure to myself

Everyone’s high expectations only damage my health

If i ever have kids i will always try

To make sure the fear of failure is not the reason they ever cry


People need to understand schools are not that cool and fun as they say

Because some of us don’t fit in, although we wish we could.

Patricia Garcia reads her grand prize winning story "Being Brave" Grand Prize Story

Being Brave  By Patricia Garcia

Daniel, lived in Sun City, in a very long and crowded street full of kids, he was the most skilled kid of his age. With only thirteen years old, he had practiced all kind of games and sports. He used to be good on any new thing he tried, like bikes. Nobody in the street could make similar tricks or goes faster than Daniel. Since he was ten, he dreamed with riding a motorcycle, and he decided to save all his allowance and when he would be 18 years old, he was convinced on buying a moto like his uncle Bobby’s.

 Uncle Bobby was the brother of Daniel’s mother; he used to be the mailman in the neighborhood. He was a very shy but kind man. He had lost his family in an accident, since then, he never wanted to drive a car again. Every person that met him, knew that before he started in that job, he was scared to death thinking on riding a motorcycle, but with the time he really enjoyed it even let him forget and gave him some kind of relief. When he rode, he felt a great sensation of freedom, until the point to decide left his job to go travel for the world. From time to time, he just to stop at Daniel’s house to say hello to his family and share with them all type of amazing stories.

For Daniel, the visit to his uncle was the best thing that can happen, he waited for it the whole year. He always thought that probably with some luck, this time uncle Bobby could let him ride his motorcycle. Every time Uncle Bobby arrived, it was the same scene, as soon as his uncle stopped at the door, he was just getting off of his bike… and Daniel couldn’t wait and scream at him:

“Hello, uncle! Can I ride your motorcycle this time?”

“Daniel, Don’t you get tired asking the same? You already know my answer”

“Yeah, yeah…” Daniel disappointed whisper

Can I…? -He insist

Uncle Bobby always answered, “Ride a motorcycle, like other things in life, require one thing: be brave”.

“Uncle: I am not afraid of anything.”

Uncle Bobby went inside the house, and Daniel stayed in front of the motorcycle, he looked it convinced he was ready, he was sure that he was brave! So, he just got on it, he pulled the throttle and he could feel the motor’s roar, he pulled again and he drove out the house. 
Almost without realizing, he was already at the highway, Daniel had mixed emotions, the sensation it was indescribable, “Finally I am riding a motorcycle”- He cried.  He felt invincible, he sang aloud, at the same time he raised his voice, he went faster. The wind was blowing his hair, he felt powerful, he kept accelerating…he felt like everything disappear for a moment...

The silent and cold white walls bring back Daniel, he felt a lot of difficulties to move every single part of his body. He first tried to turn his head, then raised his arms, moved the point of his fingers, but the pain it was too intense.

When he finally opened his eyes, his uncle was in front of him, “Everything hurt me, except leg”- Daniel said.

His uncle look at him, and his eyes filled with tears, and he just could whisper: "Remember when I told you that for doing some things in life you just need be brave?"

The doctor entered the room, where Daniel and his uncle were, and he just said: "We are so sorry Daniel…we did everything but we couldn't save your leg…"

Daniel, raised his head hoping to find his leg, but his uncle stopped him and just say in Daniel’s ear: his uncle barely speak: “Being brave is not only, not being scared, be brave is about to have the courage to face consequences. “Daniel, I just can say, overcome today, it will make you stronger tomorrow,” said uncle Bobby.

Daniel just closed his eyes again, and he started to sing the same song, he was singing when he was riding the motorcycle...