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My Best Quality
A Waterways Project Publication Richard Spiegel Barbara Fisher co-directors Thomas Perry administrative assistant
Richard Organisciak, Superintendent Alternative, Adult and Continuing Education, Schools and Programs May, 2003 Funded by the Empire State Partnership, NYS Council on the Arts and Learn and Serve America
Susan Greco, principal NYC Vocational Training Center
Max Mendes, site teacher
You are the omega of my heart, the foundation of my conception of love. When I think of what a young man should be it’s you that I first think of. You will never fully understand how deeply my heart feels for you. I worry that we’ll grow apart and I’ll end up losing you.
Celestine Payne Omega
You bring me to climax without sex. And you do it all with regal grace. You are my heart in human form, an immortal friend I could never replace.
Ain’t nothing like the sight of you. My life is dark, but I see the light in you. I hope my goal of getting you is achievable. Receiving you would be the best thing that could ever happen, ‘cause when you’re close by I feel the magic working its wonders. You make me hot like Florida summers. This ain’t no game like ‘Super Mario Bros.’ My heart was scared by one of my loves when I was younger, but now I’m older, brushing stuff like that off my shoulder. You got me open. My pose is frozen when you move in a sexy motion. You mace me with your love potion. How I’m blinded by one of the finest Shorties I’ve seen in a while. Shorty, love your style Shorty, I love your smile.
Celestine Payne Ain’t Nothing Like the Sight of You
written March 2002
As the lines between reality and fantasy relate, as prisoners of life we often contemplate, where do we go after we pass away? Another park paradise of cold and hate? Or another dream of noncontrolling fate? The evil spirits that walk amongst my shadows can make me envision my own grave. Someone, somewhere, has plotted my death, and even I can’t take charge of my last breath. It hurts to be robbed of your soul and pride, knowing that one day you must die.
Celestine Payne Prisoners of Fate
I’m tired of hearing Masons saying God loves us. Or seeing money that says “In God we trust.” If He is truly perfect then why is death a must? I mourn so deep for my mom’s heart, but pain and suffering were destined from the start. So little time with so much to say. Give me an answer, someone. Why should I pray?
Sometimes life isn’t fair, ‘cause I cry and they stare. Teardrops fall with a hard and confusing glare.
Why is it that all good moments must come to an end? Why is it that enemies were once friends? Why must we say, “Amen,” to this life of struggle, entrapped in a demon’s body, my angel has a muzzle. Even though I’m confused and crazed I often think about the end of my days.
They could never understand what you set out to do, instead they chose to ridicule you. When you got weak they loved the sight of your dimming and flickering starlight. How could they understand what was so intricate? To be loved by so many, so intimate. They wanted to see your lifeless corpse. This way you could not alter the course of ignorance that they have set to make my people forget what they have done for much too long— to just forget and carry on. I had loved you forever because of who you are. And now I mourn my fallen star.
Celestine Payne Fallen Star
Today is filled with anger fueled with building hate scared of being outcast afraid of common fate. Today is built on tragedy which no one wants to face nightmares to humanity morally disgraced. Tonight is filled with rage violence in the air, children bred with ruthlessness because no one at home cares. Tonight I lay my head down but the pressure never stops gnawing at my sanity content when I am dropped. But, tomorrow I see change, a chance to build anew, on spiritual intent of heart and ideals based on truth. And, tomorrow I wake with a second wind and strong because of pride to know I fought with all my heart to keep me dream alive.
Celestine Payne And Tomorrow
I think my best quality is my ability to be a patient person. I can take a lot of stuff from people and still be calm. There are days that everything bugs me, but who do you know that doesn’t have one of those days? A lot of times my patience saved me from trouble that I really didn’t need. Not a lot of people are patient. So that is why it is my best quality.
The reasons why I’m in the VTC program are many, but I could just write a few down. In my regular high school I was not doing the right thing. I decided to get away from that school. I could progress on my own. I knew I was not going to graduate on time, so I decided to go for a program with job training. So when I finish, I will leave with my diploma and work experience. I’m in the VTC because I was chasing females like dogs chase their tails. I used to never really interest myself in school. This may be because I thought that school wasn’t helping. But I was wrong. Towards the end of my high school career I knew I dug myself a grave. And it’s my job to dig myself back out. That’s why I am here in the VTC.
Clara Reyes Why I’m In The VTC
I’m in the VTC to follow my goals. I’m here to get my GED, but that’s not the only reason. I’m also here to learn as much as I can. I want a lot for my life, and this is the start. So those are some of the reasons I’m in the VTC. I hope VTC can help me as much as I need to be helped. Lisa Rodriguez
I’m in the VTC program because I was kicked out of high school. I was kicked out because I never used to go to class. My guidance counselor told me about VTC. She told me it would be better for me to get my high school diploma with VTC.
Someone who has made a strong impression on me would be my mother, because she has taught me everything I know about life. And I am still learning from her. She has also made an impression on me because I have learned from her that even though you are going through hard times you have to keep on trying because eventually you will bounce back up. Jason Hayes
The person who has made a big impression on my is my father. Even though he doesn’t live with my sister or me, he still finds time to spend time with us. He has never neglected or forgotten about his children like other men do. He gets a lot of love and respect for that
I would do a lot of things as a parent differently from the way I was brought up. First, I would let my children have a little bit more freedom. I would let them hang with friends, go to parties, and basically live teenage life. I wouldn’t force them into a religion when they reach a certain age. I would give them a chance to grow up with their peers.
I think it is very important to set goals in life. If you don’t set goals then you won’t know what to do in the future. A goal that is very important to me is to pass the GED test. If I pass this test then I will be in better shape to become a pediatrician.
The thing I like best about NYC is being able to get around without an adult driving you. I also like how there is always something to do, because the city never sleeps.
Just this past Saturday I used self control. Some friends and I were at a party. We were walking around to see who was there. While we were walking I accidentally bumped into a girl. Before I could turn around and say sorry her friend swung on me and missed. My first impression was to swing back, but something in my head showed me all the consequences if I did. So I didn’t. After the party the girl got jumped.
Tyra Hedrington Five years from now I see myself hopefully graduated from a 4 year college. I see myself living independently with a good job in order to pay my bills. I won’t have any children, but I may have a boyfriend on the side. I’ll probably be doing a lot of sightseeing, visiting family members and going to plenty of clubs. I’ll be getting ready to go to medical school and settle down.
A hard time I got through was when my mother was sick and had to be hospitalized. This was a hard time for me because my father had to be at work. I had to take my sisters to and from school. Afterwards I would have to take them to my aunt’s house so that they could eat. The reason why this was a hard time for me was because this was a few years ago. I had to be responsible for my sisters while I was learning to be responsible for myself. My dream job is to be a pediatrician. When I was young I always had a thing for doctors. Their stethoscopes always interested me and I loved helping people get well. I also love working and being around children. So I figured the best way I could fulfill this was by putting them both together and it came out to be a pediatrician. I hope that one day I can live my dream and finally become a pediatrician.
My inner voice speaks to me in two different ways depending on what the situation is. When I am in a good mood and someone tries to argue or fight with me, my inner voice would calm me down. For example, two weeks ago, while at work, my boss came screaming at me. So my inner voice was telling me just keep cool and talk back softly in a friendly manner. So when he was done I started speaking and excusing myself from the problem he brought upon me. The second way is when I am in a bad mood or having a bad day. When one of these days happens to come along, my inner voice just tells me mean things and I always speak with a tough guy attitude. For instance, just last week a co-worker of mine tried to act tough with me on one of those bad days. All I did was tell him off and by that I mean I told him mean things. But later on I came back and apologized.
A time I used self-control was about two weeks ago while at work. One of my co-workers got kind of smart with me and started acting extremely out of proportion. What I did was tell him to chill out and walked away. Throughout the whole ordeal I was pretty calm. I never got out of my place. By this I mean I never stooped down to his level. I maintained my cool and did what was best for me and for my job.
If someone, if anyone, has made an impression on me in my young life, it would have to be my lovely mother. My mother has managed to make such an impression by leading me and my two siblings to a better life. By this I mean helping and pushing us to continue our education. With my mother’s advice and my own will I have decided to finish my high school education. Thus, making myself a smarter, brighter young man and making my beautiful mother happy to have a son like me. Everything I am today I owe to my mother. She has been there every step of the way. She has been more than a mother to me. By this I mean she also had to take on the role of being a father. It must be tough to bring up your kids without the love of a father, but I really don’t think it matters as long as you have a mother like mine.
There was a change in my life. It was hard because I stopped hanging out with my friends. They were doing things I never experienced. They were smoking, drinking and gambling. The people I knew for about 7 years I couldn’t hang out with. I changed my life around a lot. I’ve never smoked or drank. Imagine if I was still hanging out with them! William Ballard
My inner voice is calming. It’s relaxing and talks gently. It’s funny, but it’s a nice thing to have. My inner voice puts my schedule together and gives me different ideas about females.
A hard time I got through was when my grandfather passed away. It was in the middle of the school year when I was taking exams. Everyone in my family was sad for a while. It really hurt my mom and it affected me also. Things were difficult for us, but we took it a step at a time. William Ballard
It’s important to set goals. It puts your mind on paths to success. A goal is something to achieve like the ending line in a race. My goal is to pass the GED and go to college right afterwards. My goal is set and will be achieved.
There was one time in the eighth grade when I used self-control. I’ve used self-control many times, but this is one situation which I could never forget.
It was February 12, 1998, and I was on my way home from taking my graduation pictures. In an area where there weren’t many people two girls bumped me on my shoulder and then another girl came and punched me in my face. I was so mad I could spit fire. I wanted to kick her in her stomach. But instead I ran to some cops on bikes that were one block away.
My best quality is being able to present myself in a respectful way; and also to have respect for the people around me. I feel this is true because I was brought up to have respect for everyone. I feel respect is the most important part of someone’s personality. Without giving respect, you can’t get respect. My goal which is important to me is passing my GED. That’s really what I would like to accomplish first. Then I would like to attend John Jay College. Once I get there I would be on my way to being on the police force.