(Editor’s Note: The students were asked to describe a particular person, place or item. These papers have gone through multiple revisions with instructor Scott Bertelsen and student teacher Carlie Fritz. These descriptive essays as a way of encouraging students to express their thoughts and ideas for others to read. We hope you enjoy reading the essays.)
Every summer, my family goes to the Lake of the Ozarks. We always look forward to this part of the year because we see all my cousins. During the eight hour trip, we escape the boring cornfields of Forest City and experience the exciting sites outside our small town.
About two hours into the trip, we drove through Des Moines. The city was alive with the cars rushed by. The streets were filled with people like ants going to their daily jobs. We passed the Capitol building, and the outside was majestically illuminated with gold and silver.
The further south we headed, we observed more contrasts from northern Iowa; one small town on the edge of Iowa has a large amount of Amish families. They wore long black dresses and bonnets on their heads while the guys wore a white shirt and dress pants. For about 10 miles, we passed many horse-drawn buggies. I could hear the heavy clunking of the horses’ hooves on the hard ground as they entered the driveway of a house the size of a Hobbit hut.
We then passed a large sign that said, “Welcome to Missouri.” When we entered the state, we knew that fireworks shops would be coming soon. Not even three miles into the state, we passed bright orange and yellow colors buildings which contrasted to our dull brick buildings on main street. Giant windows enveloped the whole building. The enormous signs surrounded the sides of the roads, and told where the shops were at.
As we finally approached Osage Beach, there were fascinating cliffs that towered throughout our route. The raggedy edges of the cliffs were splotched with dull brown and grey. I knew we were only a couple miles away when we took a twisty exit towards the city. The white glistening lights of the city overwhelmed my family as we arrived to my uncle's house.
Therefore, the trip to the Ozarks with my family was unforgettable. Being in the car for eight hours, I experienced many thrilling items I would not see in Forest City.
Not many people enjoy doing laundry, but there are incredible things about it. There are the amazing smells that have the power to make any nose happy; the warmth of clothes is not only vigorous when coming out of the dryer, but also the feeling of wrapping your legs in a freshly cleaned pair of jeans is spectacular.
My mom buys these strong scented beads to put in the wash, and she chooses a different scent every time; sometimes it’s lavender and rarely is it the forest smelling ones. The smell of the lavender beads makes me smile because it reminds me of my grandma’s house.
Getting clothes out of the dryer is like getting a warm blanket in the hospital. I’m one to be cold all the time, and the feelings of something warm suddenly touching my skin heats me up right away. I feel as if I could lay in the pile of clean clothes all day. As I look back, I remembered a time I was lying on the living room floor, and my mother came in with a basket full of clothes. She dumped them on me, and my body was engulfed in the sensation of comfort.
When I put on fresh jeans, they fit perfectly to any curves compared to before being washed and dried. The more I wear them, the more faded they become. When they fade, they become as pale as an albino. As I continue to dry them, they get smaller and tend to fit better like a second pair of skin. Although the metal on jeans is hot when first coming out of the dryer, the feeling of clean jeans over rules the pain.
Therefore, doing my laundry is a fantastic experience. Smelling clothes fresh out of the dryer and feeling the warmth of them overwhelms a person. The wonderful feeling of heat when it touches skin once they are put on easily warms someone up.
"Free At Last"
On Fridays, at 3:20 pm, almost every student rushes to get out of school. It’s a joyful occasion. The smell of freedom is in the air. The sensation each kid gets knowing they are done with the week is indescribable. When 3:20 pm hits, every person is full of relief and is eager to get out of school.
Right when the bell rings at 3:20, all the students hustle noisily to their lockers. Click! click! is the sound the locks make when each student unlocks their locker. Another sound indicating the end of the day are the squeaky locker doors being opened, and massive, heavy books being shoved into a small metal space.
The sound of all the students talking in fruity voices fills our ears. They can be heard making plans for over the weekend, while whining and complaining about all the homework they have to finish. “Can you believe they gave us all that homework on the weekend? Don’t they know we have other things to do? UGH!” Even teachers are talking about what they plan on doing. Some decide on going to an event such as a football game or a basketball game while others may be staying home and spending time with friends.
Kids can be seen racing trying to get out of the suffocating atmosphere of the brick prison as fast as possible. Kids are shoving all their homework in their bags as they sprint out of the doors. Cars screech out of the parking lot as the free students race into the late afternoon sun.
Fridays at 3:20, during the school year, are a unique combination of sounds and sights. They are a time that every student anticipates all week. Every kid looks forward to that one special day of the week. Why can’t all days have the atmosphere of a Friday?
"The Hick State"
My oldest brother decided that he wanted to give up his repair man job and begin his new life on a ranch. He took a new position and began to live the country life on a ranch. Seeing this as a great family vacation to go see him, we took the opportunity and realized that the unique scenery of the world is absolutely indescribable.
As we begin our journey to the great Volunteer State, we quickly realize that the scenery is rapidly changing. We are no longer in a small town Northern Iowa. Starting out early, the massive hills of Southern Iowa are greatly comparable to the dusty dunes in Egypt, providing life, not only to us but also other minute critters. The hills housed fat cattle grazing that would soon become the steaks on our dinner plates. Tucked behind some of these majestic hills are thick forests playing hide-and-seek to the interstate running around them.
Crossing the Iowa border into Northern Missouri, the scenery is similar to parts of Southern Iowa. The trees are as glimmering as a dream girl. The lakes that we come across are like a sheet of thin glass laying peacefully, untouched by nature. The roads would slither around city to city. Though the time spent in Missouri was slim, we still had the opportunity to see those great aspects Mother Nature has provided us.
Beyond Missouri, we make our way into and through Illinois. Our views beyond the road were quite constricted by the mountain high cliffs. They seemed to be engulfing the street as if it was its food. At the edge of them would be treacherous drop offs that even a bird would be scared to toss themselves off of. By the time we made our way towards the Southern part of Illinois, the view started to open up, and we could breathe again. The trees begin to show themselves, and the view became much more gorgeous. Being towards the highest point of the state, we could see miles on miles onto many different crystal clear lakes. We made a quick pit stop at the Larue Pine Hills in Southern Illinois.
Past Missouri, we only had a little bit of drive left. The final state that we winded through to reach our destination was Kentucky. Once we reached the state, we realized that we were close to Tennessee due to the scenery starting to look more country like. Soon we began to see two story tall silos and quilted covered barns. Ground squirrels soon started to play Frogger across the highway. The deathly stench of the cattle in Kentucky made it feel as if our noses were bleeding. The smell of Iowa fields are like a sweet smelling cologne comparable to some of the feces filled fields that we had to go past in Kentucky.
As we pulled into the ranch that he was working at, it instantly stole our breaths. The horse ranch was being stared down by a monstrous rock cliff and a thick forest intertwined with many different horse trails. The twelve hour trip was much more indescribable than what we could’ve ever hoped for. Traveling to Tennessee was meant to be to reconnect with my brother, but ended up being an invitation to see what most would dream about. We were lucky enough to take a trip and have it be just the cherry on top to our great experience.