In the summer of 2001, while I was writing about The Bus and lots of other things at the student newspaper, Sam was in summer school writing about whatever prompt was on the board that day. He was 13. That’s often thought of as an awkward age, but for Sam it meant a new, level playing field with lots of kids.
I’ve kept many of his writing journals from summer school. (They called it Summer Club when he was in elementary school.) You can look back at other entries if you’ve missed them (Smart as a Fifth Grader, Confessions of a Second Grader and Writing Prompts — search on the category “language”). Some, especially from his younger days, are a real hoot.
As summer school began, he wrote on only the right side of the journal. When he ran out of pages, he went back to the beginning and wrote on the left side pages, so from page to page, the journal has this odd progression of dates that collapse in on each other. However, we’ll roll them out by week here and you can infer what the writing prompt may have been. (And P.S. we have never had bedbugs, so that sounds like a truly terrifying nightmare to me.)
June 12, 2001
If I were a T.V. character, I’d choose to be Pikachu. I like to watch Pokemon because it appears to be my favorite. Pikachu is a mouse Pokemon with electric power. The evolved form is Raichu. Pikachu and Raichu are both Electric Pokemon.
June 13, 2001
As the sound got closer, I peeked out from under my blanket to see what it was. It was bedbugs. Bedbugs are terrible, horrible, no good, very bad bugs. These (good for nothing) bugs will bite you when you are asleep, so be extremely careful. What I did was that I got out of bed at midnight.
June 14, 2001
What happens when the health inspector opens the refrigerator? He discovers the secret. The health inspector finds an antibiotic and takes it with him to his place. He was surprised to see it. He needed it so he can make people get well. The antibiotic will help people’s bodies fight the germs.
June 15, 2001
One of the ways the chicken tried to escape is by the scarecrow. They built the scarecrow and they started creeping away with it, but the dogs stood nearby studying the scarecrow. Suddenly, the chickens accidentally took a part of the scarecrow off and then the dogs started after them, ready to knock the chickens down. They knocked the chickens down and the head off the scarecrow.