After reading The View From Saturday by E. L. Konigsburg, Spanish Fork Jr. High School 7th Grade Honors English students have the opportunity to take the “Julian Challenge” and make a difference. Here are some of the experiences they shared:
It was warm for the month of October, in fact, one could have thought it was the middle of June. For my brother, his friends, and I, it was the perfect opportunity to play a game of football.
Everything was going our way, my team was even winning, until my dad came out to the field near our house where our festivities took place and called, “Boys, I need you to go move Christmas decorations for an elderly woman in our neighborhood.”
I thought to myself, Why do I have to do this? but under my father's command, I listened, and we spent the afternoon helping our elderly neighbor.
When we were finished she said, “Thank you so much. Without you boys, I would never have been able to get all of my decorations up.” After this experience I felt more accomplished from doing service then I ever would playing football.
On the first day of school I was as excited as a kid on Christmas. I went to first, second, third, fourth, and fifth period. I had gotten stuck with second lunch. I was really scared because all the eighth and ninth graders eat in second lunch.
I got my food and sat down with some of the few people I knew. I saw another kid I knew from my ward.
“Come sit with us,” I said. His name is Ricky.
He said, “Thank you.”
We talked all lunch about a bunch of just random stuff. We talk in the hallways a lot about classes and schedules.
When I got home my mom told me that Ricky had told his mom I had invited him to sit with me. His mom said that in the three years Ricky had gone to the school, no one had invited him to sit with them. I found out Ricky never had many friends. He usually sat alone at lunch. My kind gesture made it so that he had someone to sit with. He had someone to talk to. She said that Ricky was really truly happy. His mom had started to cry.
After a particularly stressful day at my grandmother’s house, Grandma went to go relax for a bit in her room. I felt really bad for my grandma, and wanted to do something to make it up to her.
At first, I couldn’t think of anything to do. I don’t want to do anything too easy, quick, or done for her all the time anyway, I thought. I wanted to do something special.
I walked into the kitchen to grab a snack, when I noticed that the kitchen was an especially big mess. All over there were candy wrappers, dirty dishes, toys, crumbs, and sticky messes. I felt even worse for Grandma; she had to clean that up later. Then it hit me.
I could clean her kitchen! I’ve noticed how much time she spends washing dishes, cleaning up, wiping everything down, and then vacuuming.
I was just finishing up when I heard my grandma coming back down the stairs. I quickly put away the rag and greeted my exhausted grandmother.
She was shocked. “What is this?” she said, astounded. “This room is clean!”
“I cleaned it for you, Grandma!” I replied excitedly. She stood there for a minute, then wrapped me in a tight hug.
I was in the school tennis team, playing varsity. I was chosen to be one of the team captains. The chosen three captains have to make sure all of the junior varsities and varsities have rides.
Every Tuesday and Thursday we had a tennis match with another school. Every day we had a tennis match, I asked everyone on JV and varsity if they had rides to the matches.
Every single girl was important to our tennis team. If one wasn’t there, then someone else on the other team can’t, either. Asking my teammates if they had rides was almost the same as telling them that they were important to our team.
On the day we had our tennis tournament, I also made others feel like they were still important to the team.
When I knew that someone on my team, or someone I knew on another team, finished a match, I congratulated them on how well they did. Even if they lost, I told them that they at least tried their best. That’s all that counts.
Sometimes I would go and watch others play when I wasn’t. That way I would be able to tell them how well they did as they were playing. I was able to single things out.
Most of the time, just watching them play makes them feel important. The fact that I was there watching them instead of someone else helped. Every little thing in tennis can make you feel special.