The Things Carrie Carried
Grade 10 Language Arts
Mr. Anthony Cluver
April 29, 2011
The Things Carrie Carried
The things they carried were determined largely by their interests and the clubs and sports they participated in after school. Carrie was a devoted student and dancer. Apart from the loads of textbooks she carried to school, she always hung her pointe shoes around her neck. They were ordinary, worn out pointe shoes, a shade of baby pink that were easy on the eyes, and ribbons that secured the angles. They were pointe shoes that any other ballerina would have, yet they seemed to have the magical ability to greatly lighten the weight of the sky blue Polo Sport backpack she carried to school as she walked to her bus stop with high spirits. She was looking forward to dancing with her teammates after school in the school studio. Eight hours left until she took the dance floor.
A few bus stops later, Christine Zhao carried SAT practice books and textbooks on biology and medicine. She had traditional Chinese parents. Working hard in high school to them meant getting into a good college, preferably a school of medicine, and a brighter future.
Haley Weiss wasn’t exactly the smartest person ever, lucky for her, her family was well off – she didn’t have to worry too much about college. She took the easiest classes and only had to maintain a GPA that met the requirements needed to be on the cheer squad where she was captain. In her backpack – that looked like something you would carry to the beach – she carried her green and gold cheer uniform and pom poms. Her beach bag weighed two pounds tops, but inside it she carried the routines, troubles, hearts, responsibilities, and spirit of the entire cheer squad.
Sam Drazner was less fortunate – money wise. His only chance of getting into college was playing football as a quarterback. He was good; he completed his passes and won games. His football jacket, like his fellow teammates’, had Sam Drazner written across his chest, and he carried it on his shoulders with pride. It took a lot to be able to have that name on the Stevenson Patriots jacket, having that name on it meant high expectations from his parents, his coach, and his team.
They were teenagers, and as teenagers, they carried inside them a stream of emotions. They carried annoyance of having to learn things that seemed downright useless, stress from their parents to perform well, wants to rebel and throw away the rules set by society, worries about who they were and what their futures had in stock for them, confusions about feelings they had for each other, did they like someone because they really liked them or were they just hormones, doubts about whether or not they could actually trust anyone. Carrie kept all those feelings bottled in. She didn’t like talking about stuff like that. She’d rather have a good laugh. Those feelings were what powered her in her dancing. She looked down at her pointe shoes. One of them hung right over her heart, and for the moment everything was okay. She thought about the hours she would be able to dance after school. 6 hours left.
What they carried around campus depended on their schedule and where their classrooms were. Nick Rosembaum was one of the unlucky ones. His classes were spread all over campus. He’d have to constantly switch from the old building to the new one and back to the old one. He never had time to go to his locker to fetch his textbooks during recess so he had no choice but to carry all of them the whole day.
Carrie was fortunate enough to have most of her classes in the old building. She had third period science near her locker, so she could switch her morning books with her afternoon books before heading towards fourth period social studies, which was in the new building. She disliked social studies. She didn’t like having to remember the dates and years or looking in the past. She looked in the past, but she never wanted to, and that annoyed her the most. She looked at her pointe shoes again, surviving history would mean she was one period closer to dancing after school. Five hours left.
The standard locker carried the basic necessities for school survival: pencils, pens, 70 page notebooks, binders, and the usual school supplies. Some people felt the need to put an extra change of clothes, while others had first aid kits. Gym lockers didn’t differ that much. They mostly carried the gym uniforms and a pair of sneakers.
How they carried themselves differed from each person. Alexis Pendelton was popular. She was on the top of the food chain, and she walked confidently with her head held high. As she walked around campus, she’d receive a hello or a wave from someone every now and then.
Joshua Goldberg, he liked to stay low key, so he walked with stealth. He concentrated on where he was going and managed his time so that he wouldn’t be late to any of his classes. He’d rarely stop to chat next to anyone’s lockers.
Anna Rabinowitz was a very excited and jumpy person. She didn’t walk. She skipped. Enough said.
Carrie was a dancer, and so as she walked through the hallways, through the cafeteria, and in and out of the classrooms she maintained a fairly decent posture while dancing her routines in her head, the kind of posture needed when dancing ballet. Two hours left.
The things they carried home depended on what kind of teachers they had. Ms. Glickman was a grumpy person who liked giving out homework from the textbook. Having her as a teacher meant having to haul an algebra textbook home every day. Ms. Allen, on the other hand, considered the amount of stress the students put on their shoulders and growing spines, and gave either computer-based homework, worksheets, or fun projects to complete. Carrie usually carried her algebra textbook, other textbooks if there were tests or other homework, her binder with all her school papers, her pencil case, calculator, and personal belongings for a total of approximately 10 pounds. She didn’t mind the weight though; she just wanted to get to the school studio quickly. Five minutes left.
The types of bags they carried to and fro school told a lot about how seriously they took school. Those who thought of school as a place for socializing carried beach bags like the one Haley Weiss did. Those who studied as hard as Eric Zalewski couldn’t fit their textbooks in a regular backpack had to pull a carry-on luggage to school. Most, like Carrie, carried the usual backpacks you see every day in school. Carrie laid her ten pound, sky blue Polo Sport backpack next to the backpacks of her teammates. She went to change into her dance attire and put on her pointe shoes. It was finally time to dance.