If only -- Amanda might have a job lined up for her. This is the essay she wrote for the culmination of her DARE rotation at school.
I kid -- with that kidding based firmly in truth -- but this is a perfect example of her descriptive and imaginative writing that made her Language Arts teacher gush with pride and encouragement at our conference (and which earned her an A+ on her report card!):
Imagine a perfect world: People saying no to things that are bad for them, avoiding addiction, not letting people pull them in. But, if adults keep smoking, with the smoke like vipers reaching out and giving horrible cancers, than it may be hard to have a world like that with adults and even children being tempted to do drugs every day.
Think of someone, anyone, standing on the side of the road with a police officer doing three tests to see if they have drunk before driving. They walk on a straight line and stand on one foot to test their balance and coordination, let the officers smell their breath or blow into a tube to see if their breath smells like alcohol. You may think “I’d never drink,” and most people do think that, but sadly, so many people do. Some try the drink at parties; others try because their parents do. Some even do it to be cool. Any way you do it, it’s still peer pressure. Friends are doing it. Cool kids are doing it. EVERYONE is doing it. It doesn’t matter who, it doesn’t even matter what IT is. It just matters if you’re doing it.
Suddenly, you smell something like burnt rubber. It’s coming from behind the school, and standing there is a kid about your age, someone who looks like your friend. The kid calls you over and you take a step forward, seeing that the kid smoking something is indeed your friend. In a hoarse voice she whispers “This is mary jane,” trying to look cool but coughing on the smoke. You wonder if this is the person that you giggled with at lunch just last week. She now has circles under her eyes and funny smelling breath. Then she asks you the deadly question. “Want some?” Your choice will change your life. You can say yes, break the law, smell bad and possibly die. Or you can say no, be a healthy person and walk away a slightly less popular person.
This DARE class taught me more than just not to do drugs, it also told me that I am in charge of myself, and I can choose if I want to be involved in “Doing Really Unflattering Gross Stuff” (DRUGS)**.
In my perfect world, no drugs would exist, “Mary Jane” would be destroyed “Ciggys” would be outlawed, and “shots” would be shot. In my perfect world everyone would be happy and healthy; all because they took DARE and didn’t do drugs.
**She made that acronym up. I thought it might have been something that they taught them, but no -- it's all her. When I read it to my mom on the phone, she said, "Did you write that, or did she?" I didn't even see it until she was typing it up -- it's all hers, colons, acronymns and all.
Isn't she wonderful?