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Tracie Skarbo was motivated to write by her father, who was her biggest supporter. “He was always behind me, rallying me on with my writing. I would always see him with a book in hand. He gave me a great appreciation for the written word, and the power and responsibility that writers have to shape those who read their words. He also taught me to respect nature and to value the beauty within it; my reflections on my environment are just an extension of this.” Skarbo was raised on Vancouver Island and is working on her next two books.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Stretching Further

Making the transition from Elementary School to Junior High was no easy time in my life; new kids, new rhythms, how would I fit in? 

There were so many changes to get used to, a new school, with a whole new system of learning.  Now I would have a different teacher for each subject taught and I would be responsible for finding the class and getting there on time instead of the usual one teacher one class routine.    

My friends and I had heard of many horror stories about what the older kids would do to us younger ones if they got the chance; stuffing kids in lockers, stealing clothes out of gym lockers, dumping cologne and baby powder over the unsuspecting new student.  We were warned by older brothers and sisters not to take directions from elder students seriously because they would send us on wild goose chases to make us late for class.  I learned pretty quickly to keep my eyes forward and my head down so to speak.

Once the school year started I found out it was not as bad as what we had all feared.  As I became familiar with my schedule and my teachers, even my nightmares about losing my combination to my locker and my way around the school subsided. 

I began to flourish in my new environment.  English, Art and Drama, helped me to channel my creative side, and gave me self confidence along the way, pushing me out of my shell as time wore on.  I even performed in a play in front of the parents and the school faculty and then the entire school in the gym, something I would never have considered before Junior High.

In English I had Mr. Dobson who inspired me with his classes; it was his teachings that fostered my love of literature.  The written work opened up my world to things beyond my wildest dreams.  Great authors of the past made me dreamy with thoughts of breaking through my ordinary mold and taking a risk on stretching myself into someone better, making me strive harder to accomplish my dreams.

I joined the teen crisis line as a counselor to youth in trouble, and became involved with getting recycling programs introduced in the school.

High School was more of the same, but with a different group of friends.  I joined the school newspaper, the photography club, and still had lots of time to get into mischief.  Looking back, it was a pretty good time once I got the hang of it.  Sure there were some mistakes here and there, things I might think about changing.  Perhaps not.  It is in the bad times where we learn the most about ourselves and what we are capable of.  We can’t appreciate the good times if we didn’t have to be challenged now and again.  Every sunset has a sunrise, but we wouldn’t know the difference if there was no darkness in between.


  1. After reading this I can't help thinking about how some experiences and transitions in life are universal. Teen angst is one of them.

    I was fortunate that many of the kids at my junior high were those I knew in elementary school, the transition there was not too bad except from moving from room to room for different classes. And I had some good classes, French and Instrumental Music were two of them. One of my Facebook pals went to the same elementary and junior high as I did!

  2. Who Am I... just the first thing that came to mind, glad somebody found themselves

  3. Thanks Marquis and Katley for coming by to have a gander, yes being a teen has it's rough patches.. but so do all pivotal moments in one's life. I am just hoping I learnt those lessons as well as I could have! :)