Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The English Class Journal

First, allow me to apologize for not posting last week. I had a terrific blog lined up -- this very one, in fact. Imagine my horror when I opened my laptop and discovered I had no Internet access. Yes, folks, it's true. There are areas in this very country where you can turn on a computer and read: No wireless networks available. Scary, huh? I visited the "Most Haunted House in America" last weekend and, believe me, it was nothing in comparison to my Friday morning fright.

Speaking of haunted houses, this week's guest blogger is the author of a genuine LDS ghost story! You'll have to follow the link to find it, but first read her story of the English Class Journal. It's pretty chilling too, albeit in an entirely different way.


by LizAnne Bayh

As we grow older, we forget how insecure and awkward teenage years can be! The summer before my sophomore year I attended music camp at a local university and met an adorable young man from my high school. I developed an immediate infatuation for the guy and carried this secret crush into the school year, even though Pete felt no attraction toward me.

Our sophomore English teacher required us to bring a spiral notebook in which to keep a journal. Mine was a generic type, nothing special. Mrs. Jones gave us the first eight minutes of class to record our thoughts and feelings, and of course I wrote about meeting Pete and seeing him at school, and how he ignored me, and how I wished he would ask me out, and . . . well you know, the typical wishes of a teenage girl.

One day I unwittingly left the notebook in my desk when I went to my next class. I didn’t miss it until one of Pete’s friends snickered as he passed me between classes. “So you you’ve got the hots for Pete, huh?”

Huh? I whirled to watch the boy disappear down the crowded hall.

The next day I heard from others of Pete’s friends, and from what they said I figured they had my English journal and it had become their favorite leisure reading. What creeps! And Pete must be a creep too, I consoled myself, since he had such jerks for friends. I tried to hate him, but truly couldn’t see past how wonderful he was. Even though, I felt humiliated. I wished I could transform into an ant and crawl under a rock to die, or change high schools, or drop out, but I couldn't manage the first and my parents wouldn’t go for the latter of those solutions.

On the third day I sat with friends on campus while frantically finishing my algebra homework when I noticed Pete leave his circle of friends and walk toward me. Oh, no! I thought as I turned to hide my face, hoping he wouldn’t see me, but too late. I was cornered.

He held out the notebook. “I’m sorry my friends read this and for all the embarrassment it has caused you. I hope we can still be friends.”

Surprised at the compassion in his voice, but still feeling hurt and humiliated, I agreed.

We were friends in an awkward sort of way after that. He never asked me out, but was always a gentleman and kind. To this day, when teenage girls overreact in what they see as a crisis, I try to give them leeway, for I remember how hard those years can be, and the pain caused from losing my English journal.
* * *

"Any house that lies empty for so many years
is apt to gather a few ghosts in its dust."

Read the first two chapters of LizAnne Bayh's delightful LDS ghost story Haunts Haven!


At 11/16/2007 3:04 PM, Blogger Anne Bradshaw said...

Teen years can be full of pitfalls (wonder if that's where the term "the pits" comes from?), and I do so empathize with this episode in your life, Kerry. I too had my share of embarrassing moments.

At 11/16/2007 7:37 PM, Blogger Cheri J. Crane said...

This is a good reminder for me to gather the journals I kept while in my youth and have a little bonfire moment. ;) Enjoyed the blog, LizAnne.

And Kerry, sympathies on the computer snafu. Always a good time, not!

At 11/17/2007 8:33 AM, Blogger Melanie Goldmund said...

Wow, how embarrassing, but you have to admit, it was a happy ending. What a gentleman Pete was! Wish I'd chosen a boy like that to have my crush on, back when I was younger.


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