I’m remembering 

sixth grade.
The year everything
changed
in my life.
I left my elementary
friends
with hoop earrings
and painted toenails
to go to school at
the downtown
Arts Academy.
Emily, my best friend
from the neighborhood,
was going there.
I went there for a day
to see how it was.
There were A and B days.
I walked around
with my elementary
school friend,
(who was now going
to the Arts Academy)
named Casey.
She had first period
English.
She sat at the front 
table and talked
with her friends.
The teacher started
class.
A smart aleck 
in the back of the 
classroom
said something 
to the teacher.
His group started
laughing.
I looked back.
One girl was wearing
a pink shirt,
with black nail polish
and converse.
She had red hair.
Another girl
wore green earrings
and a t-shirt
with a rainbow on it.
They were funny.
“See the girl 
in the pink t-shirt?”
Casey said.
“Yeah, what about her?”
“Her name is 
Emily Andrews.
She’s a brat.”
I looked at her group.
I had been listening
to them
since they came into
the class.
They were funny.
I walked around with
Casey
the rest of the day.
The school was 
really small.
Casey told me
there were only 
around 120 students.
The school went 
from 5th-8th grade.
I decided to go 
to the Arts Academy.
English, Hip-hop,
Math, and Art
were my A-days. 
I met Emily Andrews.
She swore a lot,
but she was funny.
Very witty.
I liked her. 
“You’re gonna sit 
with me 
at lunch, right?”
“Yeah, okay.”
I made friends
easily.
When I went to lunch,
all Emily’s friends
had band shirts
and converse.
Some girls
were even wearing
make up.
I met C.J. 
And Marcus.
And Sheperd.
And Willy.
And the brothers,
Max and Joey.
And Eliza.
They made me laugh,
and they made me
feel happy.
C.J. immediately 
started to call me
“Ploomer.”
That’s was everyone
called me.
Someone people
didn’t even know
my first name.
I was Ploomer.
At the Arts Academy,
I learned how to play
a million instruments.
Judson, the long-haired
hippy teacher, 
let me play the drums.
Chris, the theater teacher,
gave C.J. and I
the lead role 
for a short school play.
Things were great.
The talent show was
awesome.
Keahna played the drums
with the crazy
seventh graders 
who painted their faces
and jammed 
on the guitar.
That year,
I realized different things
about my personality.
I wasn’t hanging out
with girls
that intimidated me
or gossiped 
all the time.
I could be anyone 
who I wanted.
I realized that 
I could make a lot
of friends.
I knew everyone 
in the school.
My friends and I
put our hair 
up in pony tails
at the top of our head.
And everyone just
laughed.
Sheperd dressed up
as a girl 
at the Valentine’s dance
because his “plan”
was to make me 
jealous
and dance with my
“boyfriend”, 
Garrett.
Oh, Garrett.
The sweetest asian
I’ve ever known.
He bought me 
two teddy bears.
Chocolates on
Valentines day.
A necklace 
when he came back
from California.
Oh, and a necklace
from another 
vacation.
That year,
I realized that 
I didn’t have to follow
a bunch of girls 
to make my own 
friends.
That year,
I learned to
skateboard.
I skated all
the time
with Ambryn.
I learned that 
I could draw
pretty well.
And I could act.
I remember my mom
telling me that we
were moving.
I had to say goodbye
to Derek.
And Jensen.
And Emily.
Goodbye to 
the tree in the back
with the tire swing.
Goodbye to 
the honeysuckle bush.
The smell 
of Emily’s grandparent’s
house.
We stayed for 
a couple of months
at my cousin,
Ambryn’s
house. 
I took the bus 
home
every day.
I remember 
moving
into the new house.
I remember 
everything changed.
I was in the west-side.
The place where
the east-siders
made fun of. 
Sixth grade.
When everything
changed.
I remember 
the second day 
of seventh grade.
I got yelled at
by two teachers
because of the
giant hole
in my jeans.
Out of my whole life,
sixth grade 
was the most 
changing year.
If I go to Germany,
my life
will be so different.
Sometimes change 
is good.

4 Comments


  1. Sixth grade was my favorite year growing up. I swear there is something magical about that time in your life, or maybe its just the zits. That school sounded awesome…do you like your school now?

    Reply

  2. GO TO GERMANY and find a HOT GERMAN GUY. And I’ll go to France and find a hot french guy and it’ll be fun!

    Reply

  3. i hated sixth grade you were so liked and i was just emily. this made me sad though it seems like that was forever ago four years. did you see how everyone looked so little. especially dima, wow i can’t believe that was then so much has changed with everything. i can not even remember what i was like it is so different. i can not get over that. memory flash. oh and garret i am pretty sure i hated you for that. that was the year i tried so hard to be like everyone else. i had to shop at the pacsun store and had to listen to music i hated such as green day . thanks for that ploomer it made me look and see how far i have come since then. and by the way you are always welcome in my grandparents house any time.
    if you think about it we are almost sixteen. is that wierd to you at all?

    Reply

  4. Very weird, Emily. We used to talk about becoming sixteen and what kind of guys we would date. Just a couple more months… Eek!

    Reply

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