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How I spent my summer vacation

August 7, 2006

Dear Journal,
First day at Pete Newell’s Big Man Camp. Everyone seems nice so far and the food is really good. At lunch, Pete Newell came by my table and welcomed us. Rashaad Singleton asked me if I was going to eat my banana. I said no and he took it. Later that afternoon we all went out on the courts and started our drills. Kiki Vandeweghe kept yelling at me. He’s so mean. I hope he gets nicer. Tonight before bed I sat with Kyle Visser and we talked about how pretty Hilary Duff is. I love camp!

August 8, 2006

Dear Journal,
This morning it was raining. During breakfast Adam Simons put an orange rind in his mouth and pretended to be a crazy character. It was funny! Once again being out on the courts was hard. Everyone is so much taller than me and Kiki Vandeweghe stopped practice twice to make fun of me. Everyone laughed. I waited till I was in the showers to cry, so no one would know the difference between my tears and water on my face. Kyle Visser said not to worry about him and gave me five. He’s my best camp friend!

August 9, 2006

Dear Journal,
This morning was our first group scrimmage. Everyone is so much taller than me! I only got in the game once and turned it over. Afterward, Pete Newell stopped me outside the arena and asked if I had really been invited to his camp because I am only 5’6″. At first I thought he was joking but I think he was serious. He’s kind of like my grandfather, who also has white hair. Kiki Vandeweghe came out of the arena next and told me I should go home. I showed him my letter of invitation and he said there must have been a mix-up.

At dinner, we had my favorite — mac and cheese! Then I tried to get everyone to do a camp singalong but everyone started laughing. I called home that night and mom told me they were just jealous of me. Kyle Visser stopped hanging around with me, I think he has a new friend. I am ready to go home.

August 10, 2006

Dear Journal,
Kiki Vandeweghe is sooooo mean! During the drills today he kept passing the ball to me and he was throwing it hard. I think he was trying to hurt me. Pete Newell was talking to some people in suits and I saw them pointing at me. Later, they wouldn’t let me into the mess hall for dinner because they said I wasn’t supposed to be there. I ate a granola bar on the steps outside and then went to the shower to cry. I hate camp!

August 11, 2006

Dear Journal,
Finally it is time to go home! Pete Newell was telling everyone how proud he was of them but I could barely hear it because I was listening through a screen door from outside in the back of the room, and Kiki Vandeweghe kept telling me to get off the premises before they called the police.

It was finally time to pack up but all of my stuff was already sitting out on the curb. When Kyle Visser walked by I shouted to him so I could get his email but he pretended not to hear me. As I waited for my mom to come pick me up, I reflected about all the friends I made this week at camp. I thought about the good times and the bad times, and finally decided I would give it a try again next year, and knew that by spending the week away from home I was now officially a Big Man. I must have been saying this out loud to myself because Pete Newell came over and told me that he didn’t ever want to see my face again. Just like my grandfather! I can’t wait till next year!

Article written by C.M. Tomlin