Writing 20 - Cora Agatucci
Basic Writing I

StudentWriting WR 20StudentWriting
~webpublished with student permission~

Casey Bartlett, "The Break of Day" Jennifer Eurto, "Deer Camp"
Suzette Mandich, "Blowing Bubbles" 
Kathie Mollohan, "My Dog Mollie" Kathie Mollohan (2), "The Aftermath of the Skeleton Fire"
Shannon Price, "Fascination"
Lee Renfro, "Best Friends"
Shawn Rockie, "Holy Mountain"
Nate Weih [pseud. N8 Y]
, "Damn the Dams!!!!"

Casey Bartlett

The Break of Day

The crisp cold darkness of the pre-dawn moments just before sunrise is truly an amazing time.  Time stands still waiting for the warmth of the sun.  One's breath becomes an icy fog.  Then, the still of the morning is shattered by the cry of a bird in the trees, and the chorus of coyotes on the ridge.  The world's on hold waiting for the crimson colors to signal the start of another day of survival.  What will the day bring for its predators, and who will become their prey?  Only time will tell, and that time is suspended for just a few more seconds before the explosion of colors signals the sun to rise and warm the creatures of the woods once more, as it has since the beginning of time.

For my father Don Bartlett

Casey Bartlett, 2000

Suzette Mandich

Blowing Bubbles

When I was a child, one thing I loved to do was to chew gum and try to create the biggest bubbles I could.  I put two pieces of gum in my mouth.  as I chewed, I could smell the strong scent of cherries.  Grinding the bubble gum between my teeth, I slowly softened it to the perfect consistency.  Yet I still needed more gum, so in went three more pieces.  My hands were becoming sticky with each piece that I unwrapped.  Continuing to chew, my jaw became fatigued, so I knew I was ready to start.  I stretched the wad of gum with my tongue and began to blow.  The pink sphere began to take shape.  It started to touch my nose, chin and neck.  It grew over my eyes until the world took on a rosy color.  then finally, it popped.  I peeled the deflated bubble off my face and put it back in my mouth to start all over again.

Suzette Mandich, 2000

Kathie Mollohon

My Dog Mollie

Dachhunds are known to have pretty goofy personalities, and my Mollie is no exception. Mollie is a red Mini Dachshund, 3 1/2 years old, weighs only about eight pounds, and has the energy of a two-year-old toddler! One of Mollie's favorite pastimes is to burrow under things. She gets under pillows, under blankets, and under the couch when she knows she is in trouble. Mollie sleeps with me at night and she is, of course, under the covers right next to me. There have been times when I have actually caught her with her head on my pillow and her body under the covers. She loves to go back to bed after she had eaten in the morning, and more than once I have started to make the bed not realizing that the lump under the covers was actually her and not the blankets! Another goofy thing Mollie loves to do is to throw her blue and white squeaky ball up in the air from her mouth and then try to catch it. She also plays with her ball by squeezing it in her mouth and making it squeak. She then talks to her ball by making high-pitched cooing sounds. When Mollie is not under something or talking to her ball, you can find her in the backyard chasing after and barking at Robins. I have yet to figure out her fascination with Robins as opposed to other birds, but I assume she has her reasons. I honestly believe she thinks (do dogs really think?) that there is a chance she will eventually catch one. It is also my firm belief that Mollie doesn't realize that she is a dog. What is even scarier, though, is that there are times when I, too, forget the fact! Over the 3 1/2 years that I have known her, Mollie has become my constant little goofy companion, going just about everywhere with me. She definitely makes me laugh on a daily basis and is a bright spot in my day.

Kathie Mollohan, 1999

Lee Renfro

Best Friends

This little story is about a friend and me. Like pieces in a puzzle that need to be connected, we crossed paths, and the results of that meeting will serve me with memories that will last a lifetime. You see, this friend of mine was a dog I once had. Her name was Jip, oddly enough. She was nowhere close to being a "jip" from my point of view. To understand a little about her, she was a stock dog, although her bloodlines were drawn down from a Queensland blue heeler and an Australian kelpie. It's not enough to note that she was loyal beyond expectations. she put herself in harm's way on several occasions to keep me from being hurt. Just one example of this was when a big, two-thousand-pound-plus bull decided that I needed to be ironed out! Well, Jip had a different view on the matter. As she went to work, she bit the bull on the hind leg, causing him to whirl around again and again. With Jip keeping the bull busy, it offered me a chance to get some place safe. So I did, and got the hell out of the corral! Your first reaction might be, "Big Deal," or "So What!" Think about how David felt with Goliath towering over him. It is pure poetry to watch a fifty-pound dog take a two-thousand-pound bull to the point of near exhaustion. All of this was done in the name of undying love and devotion. I'll take this kind of friendship any day.

Lee Renfro, 1999

Nate Weih

Damn the Dams!!!

There is nothing quite like whitewater boating, especially kayaking. The thrill of going into zero gravity off of the point of no return on a waterfall, or crashing through class 3-4 waves and mega-holes, has no equal!! In a kayak you must work with the river; it's nothing like being in a big, stable raft. You can feel the river having a direct effect on your boat's surface features. You are literally "sitting" on the water's surface or being suspended by it (if you find yourself upside down). You can feel the current grab your bow and whip you around into the main flow as you cross eddy lines. The secret to running Whitewater is to work with the river, not against it. Finesse the water; don't fight it--you will lose! Even though there are many places that you can muscle your way around, the river has infinitely more power than you do. Eventually the river will be stronger than you, no matter how strong you are. The point I'm trying to make is that going heads up with a canyon carver is a sure way to get put into your place! Although it has its challenges, and its dangers and risks, whitewater kayaking delivers thrills and adrenaline rushes in great quantity and often in quick succession. And there's nothing more exhilarating and satisfying than getting to the pool below a tough, long class 4 rapid. I recommend whitewater boating to anyone who can do it safely and respectfully.

Nate Weih, 1999

Jennifer Eurto

Deer Camp

This is a place where the whole family gets together to camp and hunt every year. It's called Grizzly Mountain. It's located near Prineville, Oregon. It's very quiet and relaxing. I'm sitting here now in front of the fire. The flame is dancing and glowing bright. The sun is just peaking through the tree tops, smiling at me. The wind is gently blowing like a whisper; I can feel it softly brush my hair. I hear a stream nearby running and splashing as it makes it way through the rocks. The chipmunks are playing happily in a tree up ahead. The aroma of the pine trees soothes my senses. Deer Camp is really a great place to be.

Jennifer Eurto, 1999

Kathie Mollohan (2)

The Aftermath of the Skeleton Fire

On August 24, 1996, the Skeleton Fire burned and snaked its way through the Sundance Subdivision where I live. The aftermath of the horrendous firestorm and its destructive force became all too apparent to me the next day, as I returned to the area, along with my neighbors, and saw my memories in ashes. As we entered the subdivision, the only evidence that there had been a fire was the stench of smoke and the gray fog still hanging in the air; the bus rounded the first corner. Where once stood someone’s home, there was now only an empty plot of blackened land; however, on either side stood two houses untouched by the flames. The bus continued its way up the hill through more untouched land and rounded the second corner. Then I saw it. Where my own home once stood amid huge ponderosa pine and juniper trees, was now nothing but a black hole. The ground, still smoldering, had turned to a black powdery ash, and the trees were only black shadows of what they once were. As I walked up the driveway, I was staring at what once were two of my vehicles - now just pieces of burned and twisted metal. To my left where my home once stood, was only a blackened and cracked cement foundation. Down inside what was the crawl space of the house, was the black and twisted remains of my stove, refrigerator, washer, dryer, and hot water heater. As I looked farther to my left, I saw the only vertical part of my house still standing. It was the cinderblock wall that had acted as a passive solar heating system in the winter. It was then I realized everything I had ever owned was gone. My heart broke. However, three years have passed since that black day, and now my heart soars! Where once stood the burned remains of my home, now stands a new and beautiful two-story country style farmhouse. There are healthy shrubs and trees growing around the house with spaces of lush green grass. The natural vegetation is coming back; consequently, wild life is returning to the area. There are new coveys of quail, which had all but disappeared the first year after the fire. The squirrels and chipmunks are back, and yes, the birds are singing again. Even the huge ponderosa pine and juniper trees that have died have taken on a new character. They have begun to turn grayish white, and have become a study in nature’s own sculpting talents. I am still amazed that in such a short span of time, new life can spring forth from such destruction: that things can be quite different, yet they somehow remain the same.

Kathie Mollohan, 1999

Shannon Price


Candles are fascinating to me.  The flickering of the flame displays so many distinct shades of color.  Sitting on a shelf that lies extended from one side of my wall to the other is a round pewter saucer.  Inside the saucer is a cylinder-shaped object.  Intrigued, I carefully study the object.  As I watch its structure slowly fade, ivory-colored wax begins to drip.  Repeatedly dripping, the wax hardens before reaching the base.  The dish that holds this beautiful entity has a brushed finish design filled with remains from endless nights of candle burning.  dull pieces of the pewter are chipping away.  The powerful scent of vanilla is circulating in the air.  The intensity of its aroma reminds me of vanilla fields, and the sweet smell of vanilla beans.  There is something about the smell of vanilla that is thoroughly soothing to the senses.  I gaze off into space or perhaps another world as I study the heat-sensitive substance continue to puddle.  Mesmerized, I follow the shadow on the wall jumping higher and higher as the flames grow more vivid.  Candles express so many different feelings.  It is as if they portray their own personality.  They can be subtle and peaceful, then all of a sudden become extremely aggressive.  Candles are one of the most interesting and fascinating objects.

Shannon Price, 2000

Shawn Rockie

Holy Mountain

I witnessed the most spectacular sunset the other evening as I was driving home from work.  I pulled off to the side of the road at one of my favorite spots.  The sky was a navy blue facing down into a horizon of fire.  There was one wisp of a cloud hovering over the mountain like a golden halo.  The shimmering gold reflected off the river, blinding me for a moment.  Two jet streams ran parallel across the sky lit up like jack-o-lanterns on Halloween.  This was one of the most beautiful sunsets I had ever seen.

Shawn Rockie, 2000

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