Honorable Mention Essays
Angel of the Battlefield
There have been many influential people throughout history, but I believe those who
have dedicated their lives to helping others make the greatest impact. Clara Barton is one of
these truly inspiring people, and it would be a very rewarding experience to have dinner with
her. She was a sincerely remarkable person, that is evident in her initial career choice, her
interest in civil rights, and her nickname, “Angel of the Battlefield.”
At just seventeen years old, Clara Barton became a teacher in Massachusetts, and a few
years later she opened her own school. After ten years of shaping young minds, Ms. Barton
decided to expand her own by attending a college in New York to pursue writing and
languages. I believe Clara Barton’s interests in education and teaching others to be very
impressive. I would like to ask her what it was like to be so influential at such a young age.
Working closely with Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton was dedicated to the rights of
women. Ms. Barton even became an activist for black civil rights and was an acquaintance of
Frederick Douglass. Her tolerance for everyone and beliefs in equality are two qualities I find
Clara Barton is probably best known for her involvement in the Civil War and for
organizing the Red Cross. Due to all her work aiding soldiers on the front she gained the
nickname “Angel of the Battlefield.” She continued her involvement in the Red Cross well into
her nineties; always putting others first, Clara Barton was a very magnanimous person. I
wonder if she found it difficult to be so selfless.
I believe Clara Barton was the embodiment of Ghandi’s words, “You must be the change
you wish to see in the world.”
Rogue River High School
Time Travel Trip Back to the Time of Babe Ruth
All I could feel was my atoms flying through time and space (and by the way that feels
really funny) and suddenly, I plopped head first on the ground in Yankee Stadium. I probably
landed head first because my atoms got assembled upside down. That usually happens when
I go on these time travels. Well, any way, I was in New York City, October 1, 1932, and was
about to watch the World Series when Babe Ruth hit his famous called shot.
I was about three hours early so nobody saw me. I walked outside the stadium and
bought some hot dogs. Actually 5 hot dogs for 50 cents because everything was a lot cheaper
back then. The players started arriving for practice and I think I even saw “The Babe”
himself! The Yankees started arriving before the opposing team, the Cubs, because the
Yankees were at home. I was watching practice when the clock struck 1:00, so I knew the
game was about to begin. The Cubs were up first and Babe was going to hit the home run in
the bottom of the fifth inning, so I was going to have to wait a while. This was the third game
of what would be a four game series. I knew it was going to be a four game series because
the Yankees swept the Cubs 4-0.
It was now the bottom of the first inning and pitcher Charlie Root was starting for the
Cubs. An hour went by and the Yankees were winning 4-1. It was now the bottom of the fifth
and Babe Ruth was up. “Strike!” yelled the umpire. “Ball!” “Ball!” “Strike!” This was it.
Babe pointed to the center field bleachers, Root the pitcher threw a fastball and Babe took a
heck of a swing…
The ball soared over the center field wall! It was a home run and the crowd went crazy!
I had just witnessed one of the most important events in baseball history. I stayed for the
rest of the game I awe. The Yankees ended up winning 7-5. As I was going back to present
day 2006, I thought, “he must be really, really good or just down right lucky.”
Griffin Creek Elementary School
The Time Machine
“I have a dream, I have a dream.” These words kept repeating in my mind. I just
learned about Martin Luther King, Jr. in Social Studies.
I got up and wandered outside. I walked on the field and saw an odd shaped shiny box!
As I walked in it, I saw a note that said, “This is a Time Machine. Please be careful of where
you go.” That was it, I was confused. I shut the door and I said the first thing that came to
my mind, Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Time Machine started to rock and shake. When it stopped, I opened the door, and
to my surprise I was in a crowd of people, when I looked up, standing in front of the Lincoln
Memorial was Martin Luther King Jr. He was giving his “I Have a Dream” speech.
When I turned around to go back into the Time Machine, it was not there! I started
pushing to the front of the crowd until I was only six feet from Martin Luther King Jr. He
looked in my eyes and said, “Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee! Let
freedom ring from every hill and mole hole of Mississippi. From every Mountain side, let
I heard a roaring applause, then I turned around and saw the Time Machine, I went in
and whispered Oak Grove. The Time Machine rocked and shook. Before I knew it, I was back
at Oak Grove.
I found a bench and sat down. I started to think about why I went to Martin Luther King
Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Then I thought, he changed the world, he helped people
become equal, not only did he have great courage, but also he gave his life to make people
understand his meaning. I made a promise to my self; I will never mistreat anyone ever.
Oak Grove Elementary School
My Favorite Character
I admire people who save other people’s lives. I chose Charlotte from Charlotte’s Web
because she saved a pig named Wilbur from a horrible death. The farmer was going to turn
Wilbur into bacon.
Charlotte is a very amazing spider. She saved Wilbur by weaving a beautiful web that
said things like “Some Pig” and “Terrific” and “Radiant.” Charlotte took a lot of energy out
from making those webs and risked her life to save Wilbur. Charlotte is very intelligent and
knows what to do in a bad situation. If I could ask her any question, I would ask how she felt
about saving Wilbur.
In my opinion, Charlotte is very amazing and smart. I would enjoy being in her shoes
for a day.
Oak Grove Elementary School
Once upon a night around ten or ten thirty
While I pondered, meek and ugly,
Over many poems, I loved Poe-
While my heart seemed to be gabbing,
Suddenly there came a tapping
As of someone rapping, rapping at the mansion door –
“Tis Mr. Poe,” I breathed, “tapping at my mansion door –
And the sulky, uncertain whispering of my pretty, purple curtains
Thrilled me – filled me with frightening feelings I never felt before.
So now, to the beating of my empty heart, I stood repeating,
“Tis Mr. Poe with a feast at my mansion door –
And I hope he arrives with the poems and stories I adore.”
Deep into the peep-hole peering,
Long I stood there, wondering, fearing,
Doubting dreaming dreams of my beloved Poe;
But the silence was unbroken
And the stillness gave no token,
And the only words there spoken were the concurred words, “Mr. Poe…”
Then I whispered and my soul repeated with an excited echo, “My lovely Poe.”
But Edgar mesmerizing my sad face into smiling
Straight back I ran to my chair
And pulled one out for Edgar Allan Poe;
There we sat in the purple velvet chairs
Laughing, chatting, having much to share.
Then he looked at me with his black, distant eyes
“I feel,” he croaked, “for you emphatically.
Having people hate you, telling horrible lies.
My experiences brought me far, you child. So will yours.”
Like that, he was gone
But left behind a special bond
And left behind my love for him and his poems.
Eagle Point High School
The character from a book that I admire is Lucy from The Lion, the Witch and the
Wardrobe. I like her because she is kind hearted, caring and happy.
If I were Lucy for one day I would try and make the whole world a better place by
helping others know that being peaceful makes everything better. Being kind puts people in
better moods. Just like Lucy was kind to Peter, Edmund and Susan, I would be like that to all
of my friends. I would make bad people act good by saying kind words to them. Some people
don’t trust themselves and I would tell them that they were very good and that they hall all
that they need inside themselves.
I would go over to where the war is and use the potion that Lucy had to help everyone
there to end the fighting. My goal would be to use the magic potion to bring peace to those
At school I would help my friends who had trouble with their work. I would help at
home by telling my family that I will always help them and help make them well when they
Sacred Heart Catholic School
Joan of Arc
A great warrior. A fearless leader. A 17 year old girl in a flashy suit of armor. Yes, it’s
Joan of Arc, and an event that I have eye witnessed.
She was in her room praying one day, and came out rambling in some voice in her head.
She said the voice told her to free the French from the English. I thought she had either lost
her marbles, or she was just going through a phase. I was wrong. She carried on about the
“heavenly voice,” and ended up talking to the king’s son about giving her an army. It seemed
highly unlikely that he would grant her an army, let alone talk to him. Once again, I was
wrong. She talked him into it, not only giving her an army that should be used for defense,
but also a suit of armor and a white banner. In a few days, Joan was off to rid Orleans of the
Now that I am back in the present, I did some research, and found out that there was a
great battle that Joan led, and won. After the war, there was a trial held, and afterwards, she
was burned at the stake. Even later there was another trial that proved her innocence.
Ironic, isn’t it?
Hanby Middle School
If I Were Stuart Little
If I could be any character from a book, I would be Stuart Little because he is helpful,
courageous and he is a gentleman.
My first reason why I would like to be Stuart Little is because he is helpful. I mean if
you were as small as him wouldn’t you be helpful. In the book he went down a drain to get
his mother’s ring. If I were him I would help the humans get to the hard to reach places.
That’s why I think he is helpful.
Another reason why I would like to be Stuart Little is because he is courageous. He
actually stood up to a cat and he is a mouse. He stood up for what was right. He saved a sick
bird by standing up to that cat. He saved a friend in need. That is why I say he is
My last and final reason I would like to be Stuart Little is because he is a gentleman. He
tries to stay lean no matter what he faces. He’s very kind and friendly. Now you know why I
would like to be Stuart Little.
Oak Grove Elementary School
If I Could be Fireheart
If I could be a character from any book, I would be Fireheart from the book Warriors. I would
be him because he is kind, energetic, and a great fighter.
Fireheart is very kind, generous, and he thinks of others. His is kind because he always
says “sorry” and “thank you” and he never says anything mean. He is generous because he
shares and lets over cats try things. He also thinks of other cats.
I also would like to be him because he is energetic. He always wakes up early in the
mornings. He also gives his best all the time.
Fireheart is a great fighter. He never gives up. He always fights his best for the clan,
even if it costs his life. He was born a house cat, but he still is one of the best warriors.
I think Fireheart is wonderful and special to me. He is a little like me. That is why I
would be Fireheart.
I didn’t know my great Grandpa that well. My whole family said he looked just like me.
Blue eyes, with dirty blonde hair. They even said he acted like me. I would love to get to
know him. That is why if I had a time machine I would travel back to when he was a teenager
just to get to know him better or to become his friend.
It was the 30’s when he was my age. Back when you could spend five cents for a movie and
still have change left over for a couple of hot dogs. My mom told me that, when my Grandpa
Claude was my age his parents abandoned him and Claude being the oldest had to look after
his younger siblings and he had to take care of them. To do that he had to be pretty tough.
If I could travel back in time I would actually try to help him out because, he had a hard
time and he couldn’t change the fact that his parents left him. I wish I was there to get to
know him because, he sounds like a great guy.
Hanby Middle School
Do you like your life? Well you would like Experanza’s because she had so many
adventures. Esperanza from Esperanza Rising interested me because of the kind of life she
lived and what she had to put up with.
I would like to be Esperanza because she was brave to face all the new challenges in her
life. The loss of her father was her hardship. At first, she was a snotty little princess, but at
the end she becomes really hard working and kind. Esperanza is a great role model to many
people, but especially me. She is Hispanic and so am I. It’s fun to find a role model who is
Esperanza is a great role model to me because she is really brave.
Oak Grove Elementary School
A woman as a King of England; no woman has ever been King. Elizabeth I would not marry,
instead she declared herself the Virgin Queen and swore never to have a man rule at her side.
She faced exile from her father as a child; imprisonment by her sister, Queen Mary, then as
Queen of England, she led her country through a war with the Spanish Armada and brought
England from poverty back to a wealthy economy. Elizabeth gave up her heart and her own
wants as a woman in order to be Queen and rule England to the best of her ability.
I believe that we can gain knowledge through our experiences and mistakes in history
and I now that Queen Elizabeth was a woman full of wisdom and advice that I would love to
hear. While sitting at that circular glass table, drinking coffee and talking like we were long
lost friends, I would ask her so many questions about how she carried the burdens as the King
of England. I would want to learn how she was able to listen to her heart and mind, but at the
same time have all her advisors disagree with what she thought was right. How was she able
to choose between the wants and needs of England and the love she held for a man named
Robert Dudley? If I could find the answers to only a few of my questions, then maybe some I
too will know how to become a great leader as Queen Elizabeth was and pursue my dream to
become an influential leader in the world.
Crater High School
Dinner with Darwin
I am fascinated with the controversy between faith and science and would be thrilled to
meet Charles Darwin. He is the father of the theory of evolution, a pioneer I the challenge of
creationism, and an outstanding writer.
I would initiate conversation by asking about the paradox of him attending Christ’s
College, University of Cambridge as a young adult, only to be chastised for his evolutionary
theory later in life. His wealthy family was loyal to the Unitarian Church, so I am curious what
his feelings were on the subject of religion. Did the lessons learned in Christian school give
him something to live by or only encourage his desire for evidence? I’d ask if he ever felt
guilty for disregarding the morals his parents attempted to instill in him, and whether any
feelings of remorse affected his works as an educational leader.
When the topic of his writings would arise, I’d fuel the discussion with a simple question:
How do you feel about your book The Origin of Species once being on the banned book list?
I doubt it would come as any surprise to him; at the time Darwin’s theories were irrational and
offensive in public opinion. I would be pleased to let him know his philosophies are taught in
today’s science books.
The most inspiring characteristic of Darwin was his dedication. Although he was
snubbed by society for being a heretic, he persevered in his cause and went on to publish
many debate-provoking pieces. I greatly admire his passion for knowledge and think it’s a
quality everyone should strive for. If nothing else, I would stress to him the significance of his
work in modern-day life.
Darwin’s timeless quote offers us direction today: “…every man must judge for himself
between conflicting vague probabilities.”
Rogue River High School
Back in Time to the Eiffel Tower
The smell of croissants filled the air; it was the year 1889 on March 31, the day the Eiffel
Tower was finished. The tower was reflecting the sun, giving it the appearance that it was
sparkling. This was one of the reasons that everyone loved the Eiffel Tower.
Thousands of people were waiting in line for a chance to see the incredible views that
awaited them. I stood in the crowd for at least two hours, when I looked up and there was
1,000 feet of pure beauty, and I was about to walk into it!
I clambered up the 38 flights of stairs. It was a relief to my feet that I took the last part
of the climb in the elevator. “Amazing!” I gasped. In front of me stretched hundreds of miles
of beautiful France. I could even see the top of Notre Dame Cathedral. It was the most
breath taking sight. I was on the tallest structure in the world.
I watched people leave. The sun was setting. “I should be walking down too.” It was
getting chilly. I turned to ask someone in my bad French what time it was:
“Quelle heure est-il?”
“C’est presqu 6 heures,” (it’s about 6 o’clock), they replied.
“Thank you…I mean, ‘Merci beaucoup!’” I blurted, slightly embarrassed.
I turned to leave but something still nagged at me, inside. Why did Monsieur Eiffel want
to build this tower? Why was it so important to him? In the last rays of the sun I saw the
Seine River below. Then it hit me: he wanted to share the beauty of France with all the world.
And this tower helped to make that possible.
I turned to again to leave, counting the steps on the way “701, 700, 699, 698…3, 2, 1.”
I pulled the time machine back out of my pocket and pushed the button. It was time to go
home to the year 2006.
Ashland Middle School
Did you ever wonder where Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy started? That would
be Walt Disney, a true kid at heart. That’s probably why I was so excited when I ran into him
at the toy store and he agreed to have lunch with me.
We walked into Bella Union and got a little booth in the corner. After we ordered our
food I started asking questions.
“So, where did you get your inspiration for Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy?” I
asked very curiously.
“Well,” he started, “it kind of came to me one day while I was just messing around on
paper. I thought, ‘Why not have a mouse, a dog, and a duck as best friends?’ So, I decided
to go with that idea and make it into a cartoon.”
“So, then, after you started making cartoons, when did you decide to make a theme
park.” I Asked, very eager to hear his reply.
“Well, it was years later. I figured that if my cartoons did well maybe if I made an
amusement park about them it would do just as well. I guess I was right,” he said chuckling.
“Did you design the rides?” I asked.
“I did most of them,” he said. “Then, when Disney Land, my them park, became more
famous, I hired engineers to help me. Even though I was 35, I felt like a little kid designing
those rides,” he said with a twinkle in his eye.
Just then I glanced up at the clock and realized I was supposed to have been home 30
minutes ago. I thanked him and very sadly said good bye. I couldn’t wait to get home and
tell my family that I had had lunch with Walt Disney, the greatest cartoonist.
Cascade Christian High School