School Project
January 2, 2013

Summer Vacation

One of my favorite family traditions is summer vacation. Every summer, my grandmother takes all of her grandchildren to her second home in New York. The house sits on a lake that is surrounded by mountains and trees. The car ride is only seven or eight hours long, but it feels like a century when all I see is the highway and trees for miles. It is usually much cooler there than at home, but that does not hinder us from having fun. I like swimming in the freezing cold water because it makes me feel like the invincible, Silver Surfer. I also enjoy kayaking and using the new paddle board. We spend most of our time outdoors, but occasionally everyone plays board games or cards together inside. I cherish this time away from home that I get to bond with my cousins and grandmother. It is our little place in paradise.
posted by jenareed @ Jan 2, 2013 | 0 comments | |

Color Guard

I bowed my head and stood as still as a statue in the middle of the floor. I breathed heavily as I waited for the music to play. I was already exhausted because I quickly performed the show before I went on. The hum of the audience became camouflaged when the song began. I burst into movement as I danced all over the floor and spun my rifle. My heart started to beat faster than a hummingbird’s heart and the smile on my face turned into a frown. I knew that the hardest part in my solo was coming up. I tossed my saber as high as the gym roof would allow. The gym must have been at least as tall as three giraffes, but in the matter of seconds, my saber landed safely in my hand and the crowd roared. My standing ovation at the end of the song made me feel like a god.
posted by jenareed @ Jan 2, 2013 | 0 comments | |


Christmastime is undeniably the most wonderful time of the year. I love mistletoes. I love having a break from school. I love going to a farm and picking out a Christmas tree. I love shopping for presents. I love taking pictures in the mall with Santa. I love baking a million different types of cookies. I love sipping hot chocolate like a fancy person. I love going to holiday parties. I love watching the Christmas movies on ABC Family. I love looking at Christmas lights. I love watching fireworks. I love listening to Christmas carols. I love the anticipation of having a blanket of snow cover the ground. I love being like a rooster and waking up at sunrise on Christmas morning. I love being with my family. I love gobbling down all of the good food. I love lying in bed like a couch potato the day after. I love the birth of Jesus Christ. I love everything about Christmas.

posted by jenareed @ Jan 2, 2013 | 0 comments | |

All-South Jersey Band

The South Jersey Band audition date had snuck up on me this year. I walked into the warm-up room and the voices of all of the instruments were ear-splitting. I set up near a few other clarinets because I have learned that the objective is to intimidate your opponents. After I played all my scales perfectly, I looked at the other clarinetist to challenge her. She accepted. SQUEAK! She obviously lost that match.
I auditioned in three different rooms to nine different judges’ backs and everything went smoothly. I waited at the computer all night to see the results as soon as they were posted. A friend that I auditioned with spoke solemnly into the phone, “Go online. The results are up...”
Her tone made me nervous. I felt like a cow in a beef factory. I scrolled down the page and found my name listed at the top. I was one of the hundreds of talented kids who auditioned that was accepted. I am very proud that I earned a chair in the band and cannot wait until the next audition.
posted by jenareed @ Jan 2, 2013 | 0 comments | |

Field Hockey

If I explained to people that my sport is rough and my teammates have bruises all over like Dalmatians, most people would assume that I played football. They are wrong. Field hockey is my sport. It is a dangerous sport and requires a lot of skill. Field hockey allows you to make really good friendships with your teammates because the sport relies all on teamwork.
The best feeling a field hockey player can get is when they make their first career goal. It makes you feel like you are on top of the world. I made my first goal during one of the first varsity games of the season. My whole team was jumping up and down like kangaroos and cheering because everyone was just really happy for me. Even though I was the person who ran the ball down to the goal cage, the entire team helped make the goal in some way. I love field hockey and my field hockey team.
posted by jenareed @ Jan 2, 2013 | 0 comments | |

High School

My heart was in my stomach as I walked up to my new school. A group of my older friends walked me to my first class, but the bell rang almost immediately. DING! DING! I unfortunately had to navigate by myself for the remainder of the day. Hallways looked like mosh pits, but I somehow managed to inch past the huge crowds of students. The classes before lunch flew by faster than summer vacation, but I was thankful. I could not wait to get to lunch and see all of my friends. Everyone exchanged stories about their day and gobbled up their food. My last class was a breeze and my first day of high school was over. All of the movies and books say that high school is a scary place, but it really was not that scary on my first day being a freshman.
posted by jenareed @ Jan 2, 2013 | 0 comments | |


High school has helped me distinguish real friends from the fake ones. It has helped me come out of my shell a lot more around new people and not be as shy as a snail. I have made so many new friendships with people and made my friendships stronger with others. I used to think that losing friends would be the end of the world, but if I lose them, then they were not real friends. I have a different connection with each end every one of my friends because everyone is different, but I like that. I know that I can rely on these people for even the smallest thing like a quick laugh. They are the peanut butter to my jelly. I am so thankful to be surrounded by these lovely people that I call friends.
posted by jenareed @ Jan 2, 2013 | 0 comments | |


Hair is more than just dead cells attached to the body. It is your identity. It is your personality. My dad’s hair is thick and stands up tall like when he is trying to show more masculinity. My mom’s hair is as straight as uncooked spaghetti. It always rests perfectly on her shoulders. She is a perfectionist. My sister’s hair, on the other hand, used to never cooperate. She would brush her hair a million times, but the knots never went away. My sister has recently opted to wear her hair in a bun to get rid of the stress of her hair because she has a lot of stress from college to worry about, instead. My hair is really long and straight. It loves to be curled, braided, crimped, and to try new things. I also enjoy adventures and trying new things.
posted by jenareed @ Jan 2, 2013 | 0 comments | |


My house brags to the others in surrounding streets. It is like Stuart from MTV saying, “Look what I can do!” and, “Look at what I just got!” He stands tall and white with a balcony overlooking passersby. My parents fell for his beauty like Prince Eric did for Ariel in The Little Mermaid. He has a driveway far too long for three cars. It connects to a three car garage that is filled with all of my family’s unwanted junk. It is constantly cold inside because he is too large to hold any warmth. He has a room full of decorated couches that nobody ever sits on and a dining room only used for certain holidays. He shelters a beautiful piano with an even more beautiful voice, but it is never heard simply because no one ever plays it. He is always shut tight to secure himself from the outside world.
My house admits that he is colossal, and I agree with him. My house may be larger than most families’ houses in the area, but it does not lack the safe feeling of a home. I have lived here my entire life and it is my safe haven to come home to after a bad day. I would not trade him for anything.

posted by jenareed @ Jan 2, 2013 | 0 comments | |

My Name

I love my name because it is unique and has a lot of history behind it. My first name comes from my father’s side of the family and my middle name is from my mother’s side. All of the girls in my father’s family have the name ‘Jean’ somewhere in their name to honor my grandmother. My parents decided to rearrange the letters, like in scrabble, to spell a completely different name. My name is Jena. It is not a typo. Whether I was born a boy or girl, my middle name was going to be Reed. Reed was the last name of my great-grandmother and her only son could not carry out the name because he had no children. Instead of the last name being forgotten like the Disney cartoon, Recess. My last name, of course, is from my dad’s side of the family. To me, Eckenroad is clever, sneaky, and strong. I used to not like my name because it was not as popular as Alyssa, Amanda, or Alexis, but throughout the years my views have changed. My name is perfect and I would not change it if I had the chance. I am Jena Reed Eckenroad.
posted by jenareed @ Jan 2, 2013 | 0 comments | |
Created: Jan 2, 2013

January, 2013
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