Aspen Times Weekly: In their own words | AspenTimes.com

Aspen Times Weekly: In their own words

Typewriter
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Editor’s Note: For the second year, Aspen Middle School sponsored an essay contest to honor Aspen’s long history of educating its youth. Below is the contest invitation and the winning essays.

On September 19, 1881, Aspen’s first school session began for our town’s children. Class was held in Judge Root’s log cabin on Main Street – across from the Catholic Church (Aspen: History of a Mining town 1879-1893 by Rohrbough).

That was 133 years ago.

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is
sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
–Ernest Hemingway

To celebrate Aspen and its history of high altitude education, the 7th and 8th grade classes are holding the 2nd Annual Writing Contest – Aspen 133 – for district employees and parents/guardians of children currently enrolled in the Aspen School District.

In honor of each year that Aspen has been educating our children, we invite you to submit an original story of exactly 133 words. All entries must be anonymous.

Papers will be judged by an incredibly talented group of 7th and 8th grade students. The top essays will be published in the Aspen Times.

The 7th and 8th Grade Language Arts and Reading Teams, Dana Berro, Chris Keleher, Adam Flatt and Hallie Harrison, invite you to show the students what you can wield with your pen.

FIRST PLACE

“Gensis 2 — Have We Learned Our Lesson Yet”

by Alan Bush

Our world was dying! It was our own fault. For decades, scientists had warned us that greenhouse gases would melt our glaciers, turning our planet into a burned up barren rock with a choking, poisonous atmosphere hot enough to melt lead, raining sulfuric acid. We ignored them. Our leaders bickered like young children, each trying to smear and blame the other. Their inability to work together and our unstoppable growth brought us annihilation.

Our space program was a few decades old. We could only send two to the new world, the third planet out from our star. We hoped life would evolve there and see how our planet had been destroyed and learn from our mistakes. That was why we sent Atam and Ev to Urth from our world, that we called Venus.

SECOND PLACE

“The Forgotten”

by Katherine Gleason

Dear World,

I am overlooked, and underused. In my younger days, I was indispensable. Now, I sit in a corner, forgotten and forlorn. Doesn’t anyone want to hear what I have to offer?

I’m not stylish or flashy; I gave up form for function a long time ago. I was a valued treasure, prized for my knowledge and durability, but not my speed. I’m certainly slower now, but isn’t the journey part of the experience?

I see people glance my way, and just as quickly look somewhere else. They are embarrassed to be caught staring at the artifact in the corner. Some smile apologetically before turning away, but everyone turns. Have I become obsolete within my own lifetime?

I am still useful, if only someone would give me a chance.

Sincerely,

Encyclopedia, Man

THIRD PLACE

“The Ace”

by Marion Garrett

The radiant sunshine sparkled. White, perfectly round, and textured, I patiently waited atop my perch just an inch off the ground. Lovely shades of green in the uniformed sea of bluntly cut blades dazzled all around. Soon the sharp blow would smack my side… it always did. Whack! The hit felt solid; nothing unsteady or unintentional.

All alone I soared through the air, whizzing like an arrow destined for its target. My life had purpose. A moment had never been more correct, on course, and right with the world. I was not slicing; I was not hooking, but steadfastly sailing toward the prized destination that seemed to be calling my name. A gallery of voices whispered with excitement and anticipation…

Finally, I plopped and rolled; right on target! My first hole-in-one!


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