I enjoy working with my students as they learn and practice English. This assignment challenged them to use past tense verbs and to describe favorite times.
- Lorna Doerr, who teaches English as a Second Language at Pau Wa Lu Middle School in Gardnerville
By Martin Rodriguez
I was in a room with a lot of people shouting, screaming and dancing. I was getting a headache from all of that screaming. I kind of felt like fainting because of all the shouting. My family screamed with joy from the top of their lungs and with anger because they lost the dancing contest. After that, we ate posole and viria. The viria smelled like the best juicy chiva chicken in the world. The posole tasted like corn. The food made me feel good. I touched the Jello and it wiggled. When I was done eating, I had some Jello. I was as full as if I just ate an elephant.
After all of that fun, we watched a movie and ate popcorn and mango. The mango tasted like it was the best mango in the world. This was special to me because my family and me were all cuddling on just one sofa.
After the movie, we danced. I swear my feet were killing me really bad. My legs felt like they got chopped off from all of that dancing. The dancing made me think that it would never end. We were all dancing the way we could. They were not showing off. After the dancing, we went to sleep. We had to separate people into one room and another. After all that, we went to sleep. I said to myself, this is the best Christmas memory ever.
n Martin, an eighth-grader, writes: "I am a basketball player and I am very cool and shy and I am very well-mannered and smart, but I talk a lot in my classes."
My Christmas at the fair with my family
By Yoani Montes
We went to the fair and we ate many foods. Also I went to see many animals like monkey, lion, tiger, horses and chickens. I saw big animals and played. My cousin was always with me, and we played in all the games, and she likes to eat too much and me too.
Then in the night we went to the dance and we danced and then I went to my house. We ate tamales and I drank cuachalala because that is my favorite drink in Mexico. It tasted like cinnamon.
Then we finished eating and we went outside. We built a fire and we sat around the fire. We told stories about things happening to everyone. Also we played tag with my cousins and my brothers. That was my best Christmas that I remember and I never forget it because it was a special day. We always have to celebrate with all my family and will feel better every year.
n Eighth-grader Yoani writes: "I like to listen to music, speak English and talk with my friends."
My most embarrassing Christmas memory ever
By Kellin Geovana Lopez Heredia
What was your most embarrassing Christmas memory ever? My most embarrassing Christmas ever was on December 2003.
I was carrying my dad's new blender that he had just bought. He was so happy with his new blender that he had left me in charge of it. My dad had parked his car on the other side of Waterloo and Highway 395 because there was a parade going on. It was a sunny day and I heard the crowd clapping. My dad couldn't cross the road to get to our house so he stayed on the other side of the road.
I was the last one to get out of the car because my mom and dad were already on the other side. When I noticed I had the blender in my arms, it felt really heavy. I was about to make a run for it so that I would get to the other side of the road. When suddenly I heard crush, creak, crack. A cold shiver had gone all over my body.
I looked down there it was - the blender broken in two halves. "Oh man," I swallowed very hard and told myself, "What am I going to do now?" I looked at my mom and dad. My dad was so mad that he was turning red. My mom was cracking up.
I suddenly heard everybody at the parade laughing. I looked around and they were laughing at me. When I saw them, I just got up and went home. I felt horrible. I felt like I wanted to burst into tears, but I just stayed quiet.
n Kellin, who is in eighth grade, writes: "I am a very quiet person who likes karate."
The past Christmas
By Jesus Duarte
My favorite uncle made a really good party and all my family went to the party. My aunt made tamales and my mom made enchiladas. It smelled like hot cheese.
All my cousins came to my grandfather's house and we played soccer and other games. This party passed in Mexico. Then we drank coffee and other beverages. I tasted the sugar and the sweet coffee. This happened in Christmas 2001 at 8:00. Everybody ate in the kitchen.
My cousin told me, "Can we play Nintendo?" I said "yes." When we finished Nintendo, we went back to play soccer with my cousins. The ball was hard and was full of air. Then all the people finished and went outside. Some people went home because it was 1:00. My little cousin wanted to sleep and one of my aunts had to go home then to go to sleep too.
n Jesus is in eighth grade: "I'm 13 years old and I like to play basketball."
Christmas in Mexico
By Eduardo Sarabia
One day in December of 2000, my family had a big party in Topia, Durango, and we were all happy hearing the Christmas songs. Then we ate Mexican enchiladas and tamales and they tasted great like cheese and hot salsa.
My cousins and I looked at the pretty tree. It was green and red with twinkling blue lights. The house smelled like enchiladas and tamales and hot chocolate.
Later that day, I wanted to see my Grandma Juanita. She was short, round and wrinkled. When I hugged her, she smelled like sweet perfume and she felt soft like soft hair. She squeezed me so hard. It was a special day and I will never forget it because I saw my grandma and my aunts that I didn't see for a long time. I think this was the best Christmas memory ever. I will never forget it.
n Eduardo, an eighth-grader, writes: "I am 15 years old and I like to play a lot of sports."
By Lorna Doerr
Christmas time has exciting secrets wrapped up in mysterious, intriguing packages. Four years ago, my husband and I used that holiday tradition to completely shock his parents.
We kept our first pregnancy a secret but by December, the excitement was too much for us. Our families had quit asking us about starting a family so we knew the news would be met with enthusiastic shouts.
We found a silver frame in the baby gift department and put an Ultrasound photo of our baby inside. Off it went in a post office photo mailer. Neither one of us could stop grinning as we imagined the opening! We were forced to wait four days.
Finally, the call came through. "I couldn't believe it and started crying and laughing all at the same time," exclaimed my mother-in-law. Pure joy made her voice twinkle. She carried that picture to the houses of family and friends to share the news. Our phone rang off the hook the rest of the week.
The memory that continues to make me smile is the surprise we wrapped and mailed to our family. Babies bring such joy and make wonderful Christmas presents!
n Lorna Doerr is the class's teacher.