Keelyn's A-Z Book

A is For Athletics

Athletics play a huge role in my life. They have been what has shaped my work ethic and taught me so many lessons. I’ve learned countless things about techniques and game strategies but more importantly I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve learned that I care a lot about my teammates, that they’re my family. I realized that I can be strong in times of great sadness or disappointment. I’ve learned that I can never give up hope regardless of the score board. I’ve also learned that I can’t see myself by my mistakes or other superficial things. I’ve also learned through athletics that you can’t let the fear of mistakes stop you from doing something great. The regret of not doing enough is ten times worse than the regret of working a hard, being fearless and making mistakes. Not only has athletics taught me life lessons about myself but about others. That I can’t see others by superficial things like mistakes or goals but instead by their heart, soul, drive and love for the game. I‘ve learned that sometimes people need to be encouraged rather than barked at. Over the past 10 years or so I’ve playing I’ve been taught countless things but the knowledge that I truly value isn’t necessarily how to shoot, pass and score but have been lessons that have helped me to excel in life.

Lots of people, sometimes teachers I feel don’t put much value on athletics. Yet I’ve learned more out on the field than I have in a classroom. Athletics have allowed for me an outlet to be myself and forget about the world around me. If I have a bad day I can block it out and go play lacrosse or soccer and have the best two hours of the day. I love everything that comes with sports, yes even the losses. Lacrosse and soccer is what I breathe, it’s what I life for. I work hard in school to get good grades not because I love school, but with athletics I work hard because honestly love doing so. Athletics will always play a major role in my life. Nurses when I am 90 won’t be able to keep me confined to my bed. I am going to be up kicking around a soccer ball or playing wall ball with my lacrosse stick. Athletics are important to me not just because of winning and scoring but because I truly enjoy each game, practice, sprint, tear and smile. I may forget the things I learn in the class room. Yet I l will never forget what I learned with a ball and some grass.

 

B is For Bulldog and Boxer

Bruce the bulldog is on the left, Kelli the boxer is on the right. Bruce is 3, Kelli is 5

This would be the last time I thought to myself, as I pulled the white dri-fit jersey on. The last time 16 and Winnacunnet would show across my chest. The last time playing on our field. The last time playing. The last time with this team, the last time in this locker room, the last time lacing up these cleats.I felt the sadness, nervousness and excitement grow and spread within. I bounced on the balls of my feet and cracked my knuckles.

We had all worked too hard for this. Too hard to come up short. Short, a loss. I shook that thought from my head. We have worked too hard, I thought to myself, I have worked too hard, to lose. I reflected back on when I had first walked in here, as a freshman. I smiled at the memories. They had all said we would get here, but never had I believed it. We were projected to finally break the dry spell. No girls soccer team had won since the 1980’s. It was all up to us, our year. And it still is.

I pulled on my socks and shorts and slipped in my shin guards. I pulled my hair up into a pony tail and pushed my headband up on my forehead. I smoothed out my ponytail feeling another wave of nervousness.  A knock on the door broke my thoughts. The team came streaming in, their nervousness and eagerness was displayed across their faces. “Ready?”
asked my two other co-captains in unison. “As I’ll ever be.” I responded.

I looked around and soaked up the last time I’d be with my teammates. I saw them fidget with their shin guards and hair. They were nervous, I could tell. I was nervous. But we were all excited as well, because we finally made it here. Made it to the championship. Not only did we make it here but we deserve to be here.

“Hey, alright listen up!” My voice broke the stale murmurs. “Gather up! Alright guys this, this is it. Everything we’ve ever worked for. Every game, every practice, every sprint, every tear. I’ve been here for 4 years. Three complete seasons. And they’ve all ended in the same sad story. Not today, not this season, not now.No one, NO ONE can walk onto our field, our home and take OUR game from us. Did you hear that, OUR game. This our game, our night, our field. Let’s prove that, prove it to everyone, even ourselves. There is nothing more important than tonight. Nothing. Let’s go out there, and leave everything we have on the field. Give it everything you’ve got. This it, it’s our moment, don’t ever forget that. Now let’s go! Warriors on 3. 1, 2, 3.”

“WARRIORS!”

We burst out of the locker room and out of the gym like actual warriors. The sun was bright and blinding but a cool breeze made it perfect for a game. The clacking of our cleats sounded like soldiers. We were ready for a battle. The music thumped as we warmed up and did our pre-game drills. We were like programmed robots, quick and focused. We were ready, this was 4 years in the making. I and my other co-captains were called over. We shook hands with the Exeter coach and their captains. Of course, this game was against our rival. My senior year season was going to go out with a bang. We won the toss and decided to have ball second half. I jogged back to my team in time for the announcements of the starters. We all lined up holding hands.

Energy pulsed through my veins like I had been struck by lightning. “This is it, this is it..” I repeated over and over. Excitement and anxiousness and nervousness ran rampant throughout me. It took all of me to stop myself from running onto the field or running away. The crackly intercom broke my thoughts. And now for your Winnacunnet Warriors, Number 16  Keelyn

C is for Championship 

McNamara. I soaked in every syllable and relished it as it’s own little infinity. For this would be the last time I hear my name over that cracky intercom. I sprinted out using the electricity within me as fuel. I slapped five with my coach, He whispered 3 words, “You’ve got this.” And that’s all I needed. I waited for my other teammates. Finally the 10 others were called and we all clasped hands one more time for the national anthem. My heart slowed and I felt the nervousness drain away. I focused on my breaths. In and out, slow and steady. Ice trickled through my veins and left me with the coolness of composure. I am ready.

After the anthem I took my spot up top. I bounced on my feet, ready. I was like a cobra ready to strike. I took one last deep breath, narrowed in on the ball and heard the noise so sharp and precise that it cut through the butter-like air. Game on.

I shot out like a jaguar, my prey was the ball, my team was my pride. We attacked like rabid animals. No mercy. We got the ball within seconds and I had the ball and my feet. Pass, sprint, receive ball, touch around, SHOT, ohhh wide. With the ball I was like lightning, fast, energetic and dangerous. On the outside I was wild yet on the inside I was cool and composed. Each touch, pass and shot perfect. Nothing but precision, like a machine. 20 minutes of missed shots came to the ultimate breakthrough. I received the ball on my right, turned and played my other striker through. She fought hard toward the goal, the defender pulling at her shirt as a last hope. Her foot hit the ball and it was launched into the back of the net.

My heart burst open with happiness and joy. A wave of relief washed over me. I sprinted toward my team huddled and jumped. Excitement fueled me, and carried us all back to our starting positions. “Next 5” I told my team, these next 5 minutes were critical. Exeter attacked with brute force, obviously very upset. Frustrations boiled over, whistles were blown, words were exchanged. But I kept that cool disposition. It got chippy aways out from the box. A sharp whistle was blown and a knot in my stomach clenched. I gritted my teeth, hoping my instincts were wrong.I watched as the ball was kicked and sailed through the air slipping past our goalies hands and just barely rolling into the back of our net.

I blocked out the noise and the fans I blocked out everything. I ran to my teammates.

“Do not give up, do not let this define us, do not put your heads down. There is nothing to be ashamed about. We’ve got 35 minutes left. Now is not the time to lose hope. Let’s go.”

The halftime whistle blew a few seconds after and we jogged it over. A few tips from the coach and more motivation from our other captains. Refueled, reenergized for our last ever half. Again the whistle blew and our team took off like thunder storm. Electric and tough. Strong and bright. Exeter matched us pretty well but we stayed in their half mostly the entire end but we couldn’t put it in the back of the net. The final whistle blew. My body moaned at the thought of another minute but my mind pushed myself to keep going. I prayed for strength.

“Girls this is it. You’ve got 10 minutes. Give it everything you have left.”

I started to jog back on the field but coach turned to me and spoke 8 words that echoed in my head. “Put it in the back of the net.” I nodded, I wasn’t stepping off the field until I did so.

I looked toward my other striker and nodded, this was it. The whistle blew and again we sprang and pounced on our prey. My muscles ached and screamed yet I ignored them. There was no time to be tired, there was no time to quit. I had worked too hard to get here. We got the ball back within a few minutes yet we lost possession quickly. We were all tired and I could see it. Exeter drove down the side and crossed a sickly beautiful ball in. Silently I prayed that it

wouldn’t end up in the back of the net. God must have heard my prayer because our keeper grabbed the ball right out of the air like a frog’s tongue to a fly.

I felt my legs ache and my lungs burn. This was it, I was running on fumes. This would be it. Our goalie punted it up field. All eyes on the spiraling ball. It landed with a satisfying trap of our mid field. A quick cut, and she passed it off to my partner striker. She drove the left side. The defense swarmed her like angry bees. She fought them off as long as she could then played a through ball to me. It was a foot race. I sprinted, my muscles working and straining. My lungs pulling in as much air. My head was clear and focused on one thing. The ball. I pumped my arms practically pushing myself. I got to the ball before the defender could. I had seconds before I was swarmed by the bees. I took a small perfect touch into the box. The scared and terrified goalie came barreling toward me as a last effort. I picked my head up spotted corner and kicked. The ball skipped over the line.

At that moment a dam within me broke. Joy, disbelief, pure true happiness rushed into me and throughout my body. Any ache was refreshed and replaced by the roaring waters of pure amazement. My mind wasn’t registering what had happened. But my body was. I leaped up and pumped by fists fueled by this new spirit. Me and my teammates rushed at each other like we hadn’t seen each other in years. We jumped on each other all connected with that spirit of champions. I was so beautifully overwhelmed. I couldn’t believe it. Tears filled within my eyes. Suddenly without me noticing I was lifted on the tops of my teammates shoulders. Nothing could describe the joy and amazement I was feeling. I was on top of the world. Every tear, bead of sweat, drop of blood, every sprint, touch, pass, shot, goal, mistake, was for now. Everything was worth it. Everything. I silently thanked God, feeling the greatest joy in life. I grinned and thought to myself, “We actually won. We are champions. This is my last time and it could not be better.”

 

D is for Death Letter

 

To whom it may concern,

I don’t know when you’ll be reading this or really who is reading this, all I know for sure is that I am no longer alive. That the world is no longer the same. I am deeply sorry for you, truly. No longer is your life blessed with my presence. Please I beg you not to mourn for me, mourn for yourself. You no longer have the gift of my humor, beauty and of course sarcasm. Truly, I am deeply sorry for your loss. So anyway I am here to give you a short overview of what I would like done. And just so you know I am watching and I am everywhere, so read carefully.

First. I would like to be cremated. Of course bury some of me in the ground. I started from dirt and of course I’d like to end as it, naturally, as any dead person would. I’d like to be buried next to my family. But not next to Liam, he’ll just bug be. Please put on my tombstone, here lies Keelyn McNamara the Superior Twin. But I’d also like my ashes to be spread in specific places. First on Wallis Sands beach in Rye. Where I spent my summers as well as Stratham Hill Park where I have spent hours with my dogs. Also on Knowles field in North Hampton, where I grew up playing soccer and on the Winnacunnet athletic fields. I recommend sneaking in after dark. Not sure how much they’ll love the whole idea but just play the sympathy card. With any left over ashes I will give you the privilege of keeping. Feel free to bring me out once and awhile.

Second, let’s address the funeral. I’d like it to be in a church with a minister that knew me. I’d like my Aunt Katie to do my main eulogy. Please play the song I Lived by OneRepublic (I feel it fits the mood) as well as Hello by Adelle (I’d like to say hello to all of you guys from of course the other side!) and Welcome to my Funeral by Lucas Graham. Please let the ceremony be cheerful and happy. A slide show may be a nice touch as well.I don’t need any tears, really I am good. Just celebrate my life, don’t cry over it. Have a good time. Sing, dance and of course celebrate. After the church service throw a big luncheon. Please supply my favorite foods. Pasta, raspberries, Nutella sandwiches, a big salad, chicken, baked potatoes, carrots and for dessert Banana cake and moose tracks ice cream. But absolutely no peas, tomatoes are allowed.

Lastly during the luncheon I would like everyone to go around the room and say one thing about how I  impacted them. I’d like to see how my life affected people. Don’t be afraid to cry and smile here. Please know that I will be attending the services and party so don’t get scared if for some reason the door opens unexpectedly or something falls off the table without anyone near it. It’s just me, still getting used to this whole no legs thing. I may be a little late too, Heaven’s pretty busy nowadays and there aren’t really any clocks. Hopefully this is detailed enough to give you a little help with planning possibly the most important celebration of life, mine. But I know it’ll be great. I wish you the best of luck with life without me but know that I am never gone. I am always in here *Touches heart* never forget that.Please carry out and continue my sarcasm, wit, humor and kindness. This is not goodbye just I’ll see you soon (hopefully not too soon though.) Peace Out!

-Keelyn McNamara

 

E is for (My) Earth

I’ve been a christian all my life and it’s been a huge part of my innerself. Over the last few years I’ve begun to really gravitate toward faith and become more comfortable with the whole idea. A huge part of me is my faith and religion. I wouldn’t be where I am today without it. These are some of my favorite bible verses that I have that connection to and that  have helped be and continue to do so when I am overwhelmed of facing trouble.

Proverbs 3:5

 

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding

 

I really have to continue to read this daily to solidify my faith and trust in God. I tend to worry a lot. About school and homework and life. This calms me down and strengthens my trust. I always tend to put more trust in what I see like how many assignments I have to do. I tend to trust my own judgements without relying on faith. This always brings me back to my faith and trust in God.

Psalms 100:5

 

For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.

 

I really just like this verse because it reminds me of how my blessings and successes and help will never run out. It also reassures me that good things in my life will always be coming. I like this verse because to me it’s like a celebration of blessings.

John 13:34

 

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.

 

I always try to live by this verse and it’s something that everyday I work on. I believe that the best way to practice christianity or any religion is to be as kind as possible. To be kind and generous to everyone, even if it’s hard. I constantly struggle with this but I always remind myself to live by it.  This is one verse that guides me daily and helps me in my journey to become a better person.

 

F is for Faith

 

G is for Gopro Water Photos

One of my biggest passions in life is photography. I really like water photography. I tend to gravitate toward taking pictures of the water, beaches, me surfing, paddle boarding or just swimming. Something about water and it’s movement intrigues me and pulls me toward it. I love to capture photos under, in and round water because I like to explore it’s “cool” qualities and explore unseen worlds. Yet cameras and water don’t mix, so how am I able to fulfill my passion? This is where my Gopro comes in. With my Gopro I am able to capture very essence of water. I can explore and plunder beneath it, I can capture my pleasure in it, I can also capture what’s around it. With my GoPro I am able to truly delve into my passion and see/explore one of the greatest interest in my life, water.

 

H is for Hopes

Hopes

I hope to make it to summer.

I hope to be full on ice cream and peace.

I hope to feel the warm summer sun on my back and in my heart.

I hope to make everlasting memories.

Yet one can only hope.

 

I hope to make it to college.

I hope to study, learn and live.

I hope to meet the people that will fill my life’s jigsaw puzzle.

I hope to create great things.

Yet one can only hope.

 

I hope to make onto a field.

I hope to shoot, score and win.

I hope to feel great joy and sadness surrounded by teammates.

I hope to make a name for myself.

Yet one can only hope.

 

I hope to make it in writing.

I hope to have my ideas and stories heard.

I hope to touch the hearts of millions all with my pen and soul.

I hope inspire the world.

Yet one can only hope

 

I hope to make it to a family.

I hope to feel never-ending love.

I hope to find myself in not only a house but a home.

I hope to share smiles.

Yet one can only hope

 

I hope to make it in life.

I hope to celebrate each moment.

I hope to enjoy life’s blessings and get through life’s challenges.

I hope to truly live my life.

Yet I will not just hope but I will do.

 

 

 

Samuel Bak interviewing for an Art teacher

Interviewer: So we’ve reviewed your application and decided to bring you in for an interview. We find it very interesting about your background. Could you tell us more?

 

Samuel Bak: Well, art has been with me ever since I was a boy in the Vilna, which is now in Lithuania. I had to flee my ghetto when I was a boy when my father was taken into a concentration camp. I fled to a Benedictine convent and that’s where I was first introduced to paint and drawing. The Nun’s showed me how to and took me under their wings.

 

Interviewer: Ahhh I see. Tell me more about art in your life.

 

Samuel Bak: Well when the jewish leaders of my ghetto sensed the end was near they gave me important documents called Pinkas and I doodled in the margins of the documents to satisfy my craving to draw.

 

Interviewer: Hmmmm, I am not going to lie that draws a red flag, I cannot permit a teacher doodling on important papers. Hmmm and doodling I thought you were an artist?

 

Samuel Bak: Oh I am an established artist, currently I have a gallery in Boston called the Pucker Gallery. I have held several exhibitions all over the world in famous universities, museums and galleries all around the world. I can assure you my doodling days are over.

 

Interviewer: There’s no need to brag Mr. Bak we know your an established artist. Okay please continue.

 

Samuel Bak: Well art has really helped me cope with my experiences enduring the holocaust. Painting has been my way of dealing with the atrocities I saw and had to go through. I’ve been able to use my artwork as a response to my miracle of survival. With paint I feel I’ve been able to talk and spread the world about that unspeakable time. Art has really helped me sort through what I went through at just a young age. It’s also helped me to teach others about the time as well.

 

Interviewer: Ahhh I see. What sort of things did you have to go through in your childhood if you don’t mind me asking?

 

Samuel Bak: Well when my ghetto was liquidated I was sent to HKP 256 which was the same camp my father was sent to. I was able to escape when a Aktion was held in the camp. Which is a mass killing of the children occurs. My mother hid me within the camp and she herself fled in the commotion. My father smuggled me out a few days later. He sadly did not get out with us, he died a few days before liberation of the camp.

 

 

I is for Interview with Samuel Bak

Interviewer: Oh I am sorry to hear. I heard earlier that you already have some background in teaching about the holocaust, please elaborate.

 

Samuel Bak: Well I have written a memoir that helps teachers teach their students about the holocaust. It’s a tough subject to touch upon but for me art is my way of talking about it.

 

Interviewer: Hmm you are aware that you're applying for a 1st grade art teacher position. There will be no sort of talk about the Holocaust to the students as you can understand would be inappropriate for that age. Now please go on a bit more about your artwork. How are you with finger paints?

 

Samuel Bak: Well my expertise is more in oil paint and canvas painting but I do have both an abstract and my current day expressive pieces. My artistic style changed in 1963-1964 from abstract to more expressive pieces.

 

Interviewer: Interesting…. Well Mr. Bak what do you feel you can bring to this art department?

 

Samuel Bak: I feel I can bring in new knowledge about the Holocaust and help others to learn, understand and grow from it and find hope within the history. I also feel that my artistic skills can help advance any student because like them I started young and it is still a part of my life. I also feel like I have the discipline to handle a class because I held a position in the Israeli military so I can discipline kids and be a strong leader. I also feel that I can teach my students not just about art but the world. I’ve moved to several different countries around Europe like Switzerland, Italy, France. You name it I’ve been there. Also I have been a part of multiple exhibitions all around the world so I feel with my artistic knowledge and experience I can really mature and advance this art department.


Interviewer: Ahhh yes, Mr. Bak do remember you are working with 1st graders. I am going to be honest with you I don’t feel like you're artistic skills are up to 1st grade level art par. I’ve seen your painting and although the are expressive I have not seen a single finger painting, or even a crayon. I also think your background and childhood may be too intense for 1st graders. So I am so sorry to have to deny you this job but please consider maybe a social studies teacher position. Thank You for coming.

J is for Job Application

K is for Keelyn



Keelyn

[Key-lin]

Personal Noun

  1. An Irish name, mainly used for females but could be for males.

  2. The name of a person who has a big heart, who cares for others and each day tries to be a better person.

  3. One who loves their family, friends and especially their pets, normally dogs.

  4. A name, normally used for a female who is extremely funny, witty and sarcasm. Be careful, sometimes her level of sarcasm is too high for you to understand.

  5. A teenage athlete and student who works hard on the field and in the classroom and is determined to succeed.

  6. An athlete who plays both lacrosse and soccer and who specializes in striker as well as attack and midfield.

  7. A name belonging to a person who values their friends and relationships and always brings light to others.

  8. A girl who loves writing,dogs and specially nutella.

  9. A name used for people who never give up, who always are looking to better themselves each day, who are selfless and kind but witty and love to have a good time.

  10. My Name.

 

L is for Lacrosse Stick

 

Think back to a hundred years ago. Imagine what it’d be like to live back in 1916, frozen food and crossword puzzles hadn’t even been invented. The main cause of death was pneumonia! Look how far we’ve come, from cars to iphones to new medications. Take a minute to think how much we’ve advanced in only a small amount of time. One century is only a wink in Earth’s timeline. We should be celebrating right? We should be proud, shouldn’t we? Wrong. We’ve advanced so much in so little time, yet there is a big problem. We’ve advanced far too fast. We as a country and as a world have been too focused on growing and advancing in technology and have not seen the problems that we’ve creating. We are far too focused on advancing our society than fixing the problems that we’ve created.

One of the biggest problems that we’ve created is the problem of global warming. We’ve been so focused on producing and manufacturing things, on driving, flying, clearing cutting that we’ve neglected to see it’s effects. All those activities release greenhouse gases like CO2. CO2 is a gas that when released in the atmosphere locks in the sun’s heat that radiates down on the Earth. Because of how much CO2 is in the atmosphere a ton of the sun’s heat is trapped within our Earth. This has increased the globes temperature, which may not sound like a huge problem if we get some warmer weather but it dramatically changes earth’s climate. Millions of habitats and animals will be affected which creates a ripple effect and will end up having drastic effects on our food, industry and even unknown factors. Also the warming will increase water levels. Thousands of coastal cities towns will be submerged. Normally the Earth is able to balance out the level of CO2 but by clear cutting forests for wood we not only are releasing CO2 but trees take out CO2 from the atmosphere. We’ve digging ourselves into a huge hole that sooner or later may be to high to climb out of.

Another huge problem that we've neglected is poverty and those who are less fortunate. Most of the world (not every part) is more focused on gain more wealth, producing and selling more goods and expanding their territory rather than try to help those who need it. Places all over the world like Mumbai, or even in the US house some of the worst slums in the world. Millions of people live in squalor while nearby cities, towns and citizens are more worried about making money, buying the newest computer or phone, obtaining new clothes and having the best home. We as a society are so focused on our own advancement that were forgetting those who have been left behind. 48 million people live in the US alone who don’t have a secure supply of food. This is just in the US alone. Yet the rest of the US lives with way too much food and has to throw away most of the food and scraps they buy. We have to catch the rest of our country and even the world up. And I am not just talking about iphones or cars but simply food and water.

I am not just talking about big problems but their are little problems too. Like have you noticed how many lifeless dead animals are on the side of the road? Shouldn’t we try to help save the thousands of animals instead of creating a new edition of a Ford truck. There are thousands of these problems everywhere. Look around! We as a society need to slow our role, and began to go back and fix the problems that we have already created. By going back we’ll actually be progressing ourselves farther than we would be by making more products or updating the iPhone 6s to the iPhone 7. We can solve these problems that we’ve created! All we have to do is simply care for the lives around us. Whether that life be one of a tree, animal or human. We all have to stop looking forward and look around. It's time for change, it's time to value important things like lives and it's time to make the world truly a better place.

 

M is for Message To Humanity

N is for Newspaper Article

May 5th 2016

New York Times

 

World Peace Finally Achieved!

By Jay Pseudonymous

Keelyn McNamara has done it again. Sharing her amazing talents with the world and bringing change. The world already knows McNamara as the astound teen author. Who captives everyone with her talent writing, inspiring stories and great voice. Now she’s back at it again yet using different tactics to bring people together. She has successfully brought the world together, and has officially achieved world peace. How is this possible? With multiple letters, essays and other literary works she’s convinced the countries of the world to sign an anti-war and free trade treaty. McNamara herself was surprised that countries like Russia, North Korea, Israel and even the US signed away their military as well as dropped all grudges. “It’s always been a dream of mine to live in a world where all citizens are comfortable and aren’t subject to violence.” Says McNamara. “I’ve always had what you may call a passion for peace. I just finally found an outlet in writing to display that passion.” McNamara tells New York Times. McNamara states that she’s been thinking of change for a long time. “We did so many projects in school about the injustice in the world and I was just so sick of it all. I wanted to stop this continuation of hatred from generation to generation. I wanted to start a spark of goodness.” And that’s just what she did. She will be awarded the Nobel Peace prize next month. Yet she isn’t done. “Do I think world peace has been achieved….That’s a tough one. With this treaty we’ve definitely made a huge step toward world peace but I, We aren’t done. There’s still hunger, poverty and governmental issues. But as I said I am not done. To achieve world peace were need an effort from everyone, not just a few people. World peace requires the world, it requires humans, animals everyone. It requires each of us to value one another and be motivated to make a change and to make the world truly a better place.”

 

  

O is for Off the Line

 

Off the Line

 

Hazy dusk.

Score lite bright.

Tied.

Minutes left.

Slipping away.

 

I stand positioned,

At the line.

Eyes locked,

Focused on,

The ball.

 

I am coiled,

Like a spring.

A hungry lion.

Ready,

To eat.

 

Muscles tense.

Eyes aflame.

One thought,

Get off the line,

Get the ball.

 

Whistles shrieks.

Ball flys.

Muscles lurch.

Spring flings.

Lion roars.

 

I am off the line.

P is for Paddleboarding

Click Anywhere in the space below For the Video

Q is For Quest to Ireland

Ding. “We have arrived in beautiful Dublin Ireland, currently it’s partly cloudy and a cool 55 degrees. Your luggage will be at carasel 6. Have a wonderful time and thank you for flying Aer Lingus.” I stretch my muscles after 6 and a half hours of flying as our plane glades along the runway ready to connect us to the Dublin Airport. I look out the window at my home for the next several months. “What have I done?” I think to myself as doubts fill my head. I shake them away and remember how excited I had been several hours before. The realization of how far away I was hits me hard. But I remember why I was here, to challenge myself and to complete my dream of exploring the land of my heritage. I took a deep breathe overwhelmed with excitement and nervousness. I star out the bright green rolling hills, probably filled with thousands of 4 leaf clovers. I smile at the thought.

I check my phone and turn on my wifi. A few notifications popped up. The cheerful encouragements from my mom and dad jolt a bit more confidence within me. “C’mon Keelyn.” My friend gets up to grab a spot in the line streaming out of the plane. I smile and remember that I am not totally alone on this quest. My best friend is here. Thankfulness expand in my chest as I follow her lead out of the plane. There’s definitely a temperature difference as I step out into the tunnel that connects to the main airport. The cool air feels great against my skin that has turned warm and stale from the plane ride. “This is gonna be awesome.” My friend calls back at me, I rush to catch up with her.

“We’re actually here, we’re so far away.” I say.

“I know I can’t believe it! What carasel did they say?” She questions.

“I pretty sure 6.”

We walk in awe within the airport. We walk in silence taking in everything with our eyes, ears and nose. The Irish accents overwhelm our ears, a huge smile spreads on my face. Secretly I hope to gain some of that accent in these next couple of months. The airport in itself isn’t anything extraordinary but just the simple act of being in another country's airport astonishes us. The hustle and bustle surrounds us. This is possibly the coolest and most breath taking experience and we haven’t even left the airport. All of my nervousness is pushed back by my amazement and interest.

We finally make it to carasel 6, it’s painted green and orange, I smile. We stand waiting with anxiety, ready to start this new quest. I check and double check the directions to my new home University College Dublin. “I wonder what the dorm will be like.” My friend questions.
“I don’t know, I am just excited to see it.”  The alarm on the carousel interrupts our conversation and we spend the next few minutes hunting for our only possessions in this place for the next few months. We finally find our bags and head out the airport sliding door. The air is cool and crisp. It smells sweet like dew and clover and fresh cut grass. I breathe in as much as fresh air as I can. It feels so good. It feels like I’m home yet I’ve never stepped foot in Ireland. I peer out and off in the distance I see the lush rolling green hills. The green of the grass is intensified  against the contrast of the cloudy gray sky. It looks like a painting. The scenery calms any nervousness and instead excites me for the next semester.

My friend waves over a cab and we load our luggage into the trunk. “Hello ladies, where to?” The taxi driver drawls in a deep Irish brogue that makes my smile widen. “University College Dublin, admissions office please.” I say confidently. Ready for this quest to truly begin. “Ahh alrighty, where you ladies from.” He drawls as we settling ourselves in the back. “We’re from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, we’re doing a semester abroad.” My friend explains.

“Well, welcome to Ireland, in my opinion the best country in the world.”

“It’s amazing already.” I gasp as I watch the rolling green hills, stone houses and churches and herds of sheep and farm off in the distance.

“You two ladies will have the time of your life here. Especially in the pubs and drinkin’ guinness.” He winks.

We chuckle and take in the beautiful scenery, completely culture shocked. “We’re not in the US any more.” I mention to me friend.

“Hey I am not complaining.”

We drive through the dublin streets, alive with people, beautiful stone buildings with windows filled with gorgeous flowers. I stare in awe at the beauty and amazement, I am already in love with this culture, this city, this place. I am too mesmerized to realize we’ve entered the campus and pulled into the admissions office. “Alright ladies, it’s been an honor to introduce you to Ireland, have a fantastic time.”

“Thank you.” My friend and I chorus. I step out and peerat the University and Ireland sprawling out in front of me. Let this quest begin.

 

R is for Reflection

Reflecting on my life so far, I have a lot of people to thank. I’d first like to thank the most important people in my life. The one’s that truly made my life what it is, my parents. Without them I truly wouldn’t be here. I never really realized how hard they work day in and day out. Each day they get up early to go to work so they can earn money and support my and my siblings demands. They may not love their jobs but each day no matter what they get up, with a simile, and carry on. They work incredibly hard for me and I wish there was some way to repay them and I am determined to find a way. Oh but just going to work doesn’t even scratch the surface of their commitment. If I ever forget something, a lunch box, a piece of sports equipment, anything they drop whatever they are doing to help me. They sacrifice their time, convenience and patience all for me. Even with homework, they may not know now what I am doing but they are always their to give encouragement and support. But most of all they make it their goal for me to be happy. I can not be upset for long because my parents immediately hone in on me even I am upset and are determined to break me of my despair. They truly are my biggest fans and my rock. My dad goes to almost every lacrosse game I have. My mom drives me literally to my heart's content at literally whatever time. They are my guardian angels and honestly I have no idea how I have been blessed to end up with both of them in my life. I love them more than anything and I am determined to thank them in anyway possible.

The second person I’d like to thank is my aunt. She is basically my second mom. Every single monday night she’s over my house making chicken, some type of potatoes and veggies. She makes a whole meal for all of us then proceeds to clean up and wash the kitchen. Every single week she does this, for 15 years. When I was little she’d even stay until I went to bed, helping me with my homework and reading me stories. She not only cooks but she adventures. She’s taken me and my sister on countless trips, up to the mountains, down to Rhode Island all over. She’s someone who’s always there for me. And I am so thankful to a have another parental figure in my life who is so selfless, kind, fun and just a blessing to have in my life. Words can not explain her role and presence in my life and I love her and all that she has done.

I also have to give some credit to my teachers. They push me farther than I ever thought I could go and most never gave up on me. I’d especially like to credit my 5th and 6th grade teachers. They were by far the best teachers I had ever had and really helped me to always push myself in academics and strive to be the best. But they also allowed me to enjoy school, enjoy learning. They were some of the first adults other than my parents that I could truly trust. They were honestly some of my closest friends and I really hope that they realize how important they were and still are to me and my life’s journey. I truly hope that they stay in my life for a long time.

Not only do I have to give my teacher credit But I have to get my coaches credit as well. the coaches that I've had over the past 15 years that I've been playing sports have truly made me into the player and the person that I am today. They've helped me learn so much about the game, myself and about life. They’ve pushed me past my breaking point and really helped me challenge myself. They not only have developed me as a player but as a person and I am grateful for all the time and effort that’ve given to me. I hope that someday I can be as impactful on a player as they were to me.

Lastly I’d like to thank the people in my life that have given me motivation. The people that said I couldn’t do this or I would never be good enough to do that. The one’s who didn’t believe in me. And I know that might sound crazy, but their non existent belief has increased my own belief. So for all those who were never quite so nice, who left me alone, who weren’t all the supportive or who didn’t believe in me thank you. Thank you for making me tougher. Thank you for increasing my motivation to be better. 

Thank you for helping me to treasure the truly important people in my life. Thank you for helping me to prove to you that I am worth so much more than that you see. Your disbelief, negativity only brought me closer to who I want to be and only helped me to become someone better. So even though you may not want to hear this thank you, you’ve actually helped.

 

 

 

 

I have so many more people that have played a huge role in my life. My friends that have never left my side and that have accepted me regardless of superficial things. My dogs that have licked my salty tears away. My brother and sister that have given me tough love and laughs. The list of thank yous goes on and on and on. I know this list will become even greater as I age. I am only 15 and yet the impact that others have had on me is huge. I’d also like to think that I have impacted them as well. As I reflect on my life and what I have done I realize that the people in my life are so much more important that my accomplishments. I realize that my life would not feel or be the same without all of these people. I am realizing each day that it’s not just the things you do it’s the people you do it with. I am forever grateful for this life I have and it would not be what it is today without all of these loved ones. I love my life, I mean that, and I know that’s a gift in an itself. I think my life is so great because of the people in it. And I am determined to continue on my life’s journey, through highschool, college, a job, a family not just focused on my destination but on the people that I am surrounded by.

 

S is For Scariest Moment

I can remember the feeling of summer in the air. The sky so blue, the clouds mere puffs, the sun was so warm and the grass, oh the grass had finally shed it’s hay color from the winter and was a vibrant green. I can remember the eagerness for summer imbedded in my stomach. It was so close I could taste it. It was a perfect day, a friday. The last Friday before school let out. And no 5th grader would spend it any other way, playing baseball in their neighbor's yard. Yet this was no wiffle ball. Each game was basically the world series and every player played like it. The sun and the competition showed hot down on that picture perfect field. My vivid imagination created a giant stadium with screaming fans around me. I sighed taking in the view I had created.

It was my turn to bat. Me and my team composed of only my younger cousin were down by one to our vicious rival (my sister and my neighbor.) The pressure of the world sat atop my shoulders yet I had ice in my veins. I snarled at the pitcher ready to crush it. I swung the bat a few times and got into my batting stance. Arms lock and loaded. I was ready. Or was I? The pitch was delivered and I swung with all my might as hard as possible. I made contact but it was a hard hit bouncer. Yet I was known for speed and knew I could run it out. I took off for first base like my life depended on it. I ran so hard and so fast only thinking of getting to the base. I could feel the ball being thrown towards my and I knew it would be a close call. With everything I had I slid or maybe even fell into first base. (I was not a baseball baller or softball player so the whole “you can’t slide into first” didn’t apply to me.) Anyway I knew the moment I tumbled into first something, something terrible had gone wrong. There was a weird sensation festering in my knee.

“OUT OUT OUT!” My neighbor called.

Thoughts of the game evaporated, the stadium clopased and I was left in the silence of the crowd.

“Ahhh guys,” I said with shaky voice. “I think I need stitches.” There just below the top of my knee was a deep, bloody gash, sprawling open. I was sent reeling. Quickly my teammate and rivals rushed over. They gasped in horror and ran away covering their eyes. “UGGH! Oh my gosh!”

“I am gonna go call mom.” My sister, pale and frightened just as much as I was. She bolted off.

“Micheal go get your mom.” My cousin pleaded and they both rushed to go get help. I was left alone with no one. I was shaking and my voice was nervous. I pleaded to god out loud for help. “OOOOOOooooo.” I wailed as I got more and more nervous. I quickly stole a peek at my knee to see if I was imagining how bad it was or not. My stomach dropped and my eyes confirmed my fear. The once green and lush grass that I had admired just minutes before was now covered in blood and I sat there strangled by fear. Finally Michael's mom came running out, she was nervous too. She looked at it with shock, “Oh my gosh!” That just added to my fear. I was gonna die, I hadn’t even finished 5th grade yet! “It’s going to be okay.” She said very unconfidently, which only really made it worse. I can blame her though, she was at least trying. She pressed damp wet towel on my leg and pressed down hard. I was terrified of blood loss so I asked, “Am I gonna pass out?”

“I don’t know honey, you might?”

Great….. Just great… “OOOooooo” I wailed. I stopped asking her questions, it was just adding to our fears. My sister came stumbling back. Mum’s coming. Of course my mom wasn’t home. Of course this happened when she wasn’t here. Thankfully though she was just up the street. Since I had stopped the whole question thing I decised wailing for my mom would comfort me. No tears were showing my fright but my words were. Yet as much as I yelled for my mom she didn’t come. We all just sat there trying to comfort ourselves and me. I calmed my 

breathing down enough just to create a little checklist. I made a little agreement with myself that once my mom would get here everything would be okay, I just had to wait until then.  I kept telling myself over and over again. It helped a little.

 

 

Finally after what seemed like a millennium and a half I saw the silver gleaming glorious car pass and pull into our driveway. She came jogging out.  With a calm and level voice she asked what happened. “I was running to first and I slipped/ kind of slide into first base but I think my knee caught on that rock over there.” I pointed to a slab of unseen rock. It was an iceberg in a sea of green, and I felt oddly like the titanic.

“It was bleeding pretty bad, but I think the gap closed when she extended her knee and with the cold compress.” Michael's mom added.

“Okay, It going to be okay,” this time I believed it. “Can I see it?”  I felt the pressure from my knee lessen, exposing my open gash.

“Okay yup, I think you may need to go to the ER.” My mom stated matter of factly, calm cool collected and kind. I was glad to have her with me. “Alright let’s get you up.”

“Sorry.”  I said, I felt bad that I had done this to her, scared her. For some reason I felt guilty.

“What for?” SHe laughed. “C’mon let’s get you up.” She hoisted me up and picked me up. I was amazed at her sudden strength. She was like wonder women. My rescuer. She carried me up the steep hill that led to our house. I almost thought that we both would fall over. But no we made it up the hill and she plopped me into the car. “Okay hang tight, keep the pressure on it. I am going to wait until dad get’s here just to really make sure you need to go.” My parents were great but they weren’t spending any extra money if they truly didn’t need to. I was given a blood red gatorade (appropriate for the situation.) My brother bounced in. “Can I see it? C’mon let me see.’’

“No you don’t want to see it.” My mom smirked.

“Is it that bad?” My eye’s bulged.

“No, no,” trying to calm me down but curb my older brother. “But it’s pretty gaping.”

I sat calmly, waiting for my dad to get home. His car sped into the driveway  with a woosh. He jumped out of the car and walked over. One look and that’s all it took. “Yup let’s go” he said. And with that he was behind the wheel. My mom crawled in the back and before I knew it we were zooming to the hospital. My eyes were heavy and I was emotionally exhausted. I closed my eyes and made that promise again. I’d be fine once I got into the hospital.

My dad drove like crazy, he was going 90 miles an hour if that. A lady yelled at him from her window but he was undeterred. We finally made it to the hospital. With a woosh I was picked up by my dad and carried. It was like one of those scenes in the movies where the little girl is barely alive in her father's arms and the dad’s rushing into the ER. Yet I was completely alive and well. Alive enough to see the horror on two passerbyers faces as they say my knee gaping open. Oops I guess my gaze fell off. We got into the waiting room and I was flung into a wheelchair and escorted into an office. They took my blood pressure and asked me (my parents)some questions. Finally I was wheeled into another more hospital room and plopped onto a bed. “Okay we have to sit tight for a little while until the doctors have time to see you. It’s not a super serious injury so you have to hang for a bit” My dad said. I was soothed that it wasn’t as bad as I thought my gapping knee had been.

I sat and collected myself while my dad stood strongly by my side…… and took photos of my knee, with each picture his face contorted and grew more grossed out. Thank dad! I made another promise to myself that once I saw the doctor everything would be okay. Finally after only a few short minutes I was escorted to another room. The doctor came in and wanted to know the whole story. So I told him about the baseball game and how i had sacrificed my body for my team and the score. He was impressed. He pulled out a few needles and told me it may sting a bit. He proceeded to shoot up my knee with some type of numbing agent. I didn’t feel anything until about 30 seconds after. My knee felt like it was on fire, being strung by a billion bees and bitten by poisonous snakes. Just a few more he assured me. After 6 shots he began his work with picking out the grass 

 

and rocks that were my gash. Yummy! Then finally he began to stitch it up. It felt as though he was flossing my skin. It was honestly the weirdest feeling. I looked away and tried to concentrate on the TV and not on my skin being sow together. 20 minutes later after a bit of a light nap, I was good to go. Well not really go but at least hobble. I got up to use the bathroom and my knee was stiff and numb. I limbed back in. “Yup 18 stitches did the trick, 12 on the outside and 6 on the inside.” The doctor called. Then he proceeded to tell me that my summer was over before it started. 

No swimming, running, jogging playing, basically no fun. Great. Although my head wasn’t really in it. I was still trying to process the whole ordeal.

 

My dad paid and signed some stuff and we slowly made our way out the way we came. My mind was swimming and sluggish. I was overwhelmed as any 5th grader might be who had just experienced probably the scariest moment of their life. I walked out of the ER perplexed and tired and scared still. But something caught my eye. A car parked in the entrance of the ER spelled out KEELY. “Hey look that’s my name!” I pointed. It was not a coincidence. It was a sign. I felt a little better pulling myself into the car. That I was finally, maybe okay.

 

 

 

T is for Thankful

 

Thankful

I am thankful for my life,

Without too much pain, saddness or strife.

I am thankful for each day and night,

To be able to see the sun shine so bright.

 

I am thankful to be healthy,

For this blessing I am truly wealthy.

I am thankful for my working heart and muscle,

Because of these on the field I can hustle.

 

I am thankful for my mom and dad,

Because of them I will never be sad.

I am thankful for my sister and brother,

I wouldn’t want to be annoyed by any other.

 

I am thankful for my warm and cozy house,

Even though it may also contain mouse.

I am even thankful to have a shared room,

I’ve shared space with my sister ever since the womb!

 

I am thankful to always have food,

Knowing that some are starving increases my gratitude.

I am thankful to have an abundance water,

For I know many people are thirsty and even hotter!

 

I am thankful to always have enough,

Even in a world that revolves around “stuff.”

It’s so important to realize your list of blessings goes on and on,

Because you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.

When I am on the field and I block every distraction out, when I just stop thinking and simply play. When I play with sheer fire, intensity and passion. When I am cool, calm and collected. And when I play with total confidence and belief in myself, I am unstoppable. Here is a picture that represents just that!

 

U is for Unstoppable

 

V is for (My) Views

Click below for the video (Yes it may be a blank space but trust me)  

W is for Wallis Sands Beach

Wallis Sands Beach

 

The gray beach cottage sits welcoming and inviting.

It’s peeling paint and squeaky doors hold memories centuries old.

It’s boards warped and rough from the sea salt air.

It’s apperance homely, yet it’s value is hidden within.

 

The beach stretches as far the eye can see, it’s own little infinity.

The bright sun blinds my eyes and yet makes the sea sparkle.

The sun rays dance off the water making it seem as if it’s made of jewels.

Ocean seems to be made of  Aquamarine, sapphire and Opal.

 

The sand warm from the early morning sun, just starting to heat up.

The thousands of soft grains shift and fall through my toes.

The ocean attacks the sand with thunderous crashes and white foam.

The breeze pulls back my hair and relaxes my already warm skin.

 

The other cottages outline the beach closing it off from the hussle of the world.

All is at peace and in balanced, untouched from rough hands of stress.

The beach calls me and pulls be in like the waves of the ocean.

This is peace, this where I should be, this is home.

Future X-ploration

Past X-ploration

X is for X-Plore

I am normally a home body but sometimes I push myself to X-Plore and to be X-treme! Here is my latest X-ploration to DC on a class trip. This pushed me to be adventurous and pulled me outside my comfort zone. It forced me to be strong against my homesickness. It helped me to learn and discover a bit of who I am as person and what I truly value. For My next X-ploration I would love to go to Ireland because I have Irish roots and I am drawn to their fun loving and culture, it really interests me. I am fascinated with their beautiful landscapes, castles, history and most importantly their people. I think that an X-ploration to Ireland would really push me outside my comfort zone since I would be going into a whole new country and help me to delve into my own family history and may help me to uncover a bit of myself. My X-ploration to Ireland would be challenging but would be X-tremely life changing.

Y is for Yard

 

Yard

 

The sea of green russells in the wind.

Creatures hop around that are winged.

The calm pond sits in peace.

Cat O'Nine tails sway their fleece.

The air warm with a cool breeze,

Shakes and moves the vibrant trees.

Cotton moves through the clear blue sky.

The hawk swoops and lets out an eerie cry.

Green Mallards land with feathers and a splash.

The squirrel quickly sees me and leaves in a dash.

The cooling green carpet soothes my feet.

The cars are silent on the street.

The piercing aqua pond beckons me and the frogs.

I watch as the painted turtles sun on logs.

Cool mud squishes between my toes.

Why it’s so peaceful here no one but me knows.

Here I don’t have to worry about a thing.

All I must do is breath in spring.

 

A huge part of my athletic ability is my speed. I feel that speed and sprinting and being fast is a talent and a gift that I have. I use this speed and zippiness to zip in and around on the soccer and lacrosse field. My zippiness allows me to be a threat on the field and be a strong competitor. When I can’t beat a competitor with skill I try to with my unique and zippy speed. 

 

Z is for Zippy

End Notes

B is for Bulldog and Boxer

Kelli (the boxer) and Bruce (the bulldog) are my dogs. They mean the world to me and I am so blessed to have them in my life. I think of them as angels because they are always there for me and always put a smile on my face. I love them so much and they are a huge part of my family. My life wouldn’t be complete without them. They make my day with their little nubbed tails, squishy faces, big smiles and huge hearts. They are a crucial part of my life and I couldn’t imagine life without them.

 

C is for Championship

This is a fictional personal narrative that I dream one day will come true and no longer be fiction. Soccer is one of my passions and I hope to one day win a championship with our Winnacunnet team.

 

L is for Lacrosse Stick

This image is my ultimate lacrosse stick! I love to play lacrosse and the stick is one of the most important pieces. The head and shaft are different and custom to each player and position. This stick that I created would be unique to my likes, playing style and position.

 

M is for Message to Humanity

This is just an essay that expresses my wishes and views on society and for society and how I think we can make the world a better place. I have kind of an obsession with making the world a better place for everyone so this essay really showed not just my views but my values.

 

P is for Paddle Boarding.

This is a slideshow that represents how much I love to paddle board and how it’s a huge hobby and passion of mine. When I paddleboard I forget what’s around mand the stress of life and I just feel relaxed and connected to the water. It’s my safe place

 

V is for (My) Views

As a photographer I love to to see things at different angles and new views. I love to admire new outlooks and views on everyday objects and places like a river or a town or a beach. I also find that I like to get different views on things in actual life like with world events or other thought provoking things. I love to gain new perspectives whether it be in life or within my life. This video is suppose to represent that.

 

W is for (my) World

This  piece  represents  the things, activities and places that make up me and my world. Each little icon or image represents a certain aspect. For example I play lacrosse, I drew a lacrosse stick or I love to water ski in the summer at my aunt’s lake house so I drew a water skier. This picture represents all the things that make up my life or “my world.”

 

Q is for Quest

This story is a suppose to be a fictional story about me traveling to Ireland. I dream of one day doing a semester abroad there. This story is suppose to capture my dream of traveling to Ireland as well as how I think I will feel once I first land.