A Sampler of Students' Writings


"It was a warm summer afternoon. I was playing in my backyard with my teddy bear and the bugs. I was waiting for my mother to call for me, to let me know it was time for supper. Then out of nowhere came this huge black dog.... All I could do was just sit there and not move a muscle. Before I knew it, the dog had grabbed me up by my diaper and was carrying me down the road...."

First Memory: Carol Higginbotham


"My first memory happened when I was three. It's not a happy one, but I guess it doesn't matter. We lived in a white house on a hill. From the highway you could only see the front. It wasn't glamorous, but it was home.

"The same thing repeated every day. Dad went to work. Mom would kiss him good-bye and then, off to the kitchen to fix breakfast. It was always the same routine.

"One day everything changed. The phone rang in the hall and my mother picked it up. I heard her say a couple of words and she began crying. I was a three-year-old thinking 'What! Mommy's crying!' I went through the doors of the living room to the hall and I noticed mom in the floor. She was crying so hard it seemed she couldn't breathe. She could speak only a couple of words between her breath, but the only words said were 'Everything's going to be okay.' I got up from my mother's lap and wanted her to stop crying. So I stood in front of her and began singing Happy Birthday. I chose that because I knew every time people sang it to me it put a smile on my face and I wanted to do the same thing for my mommy. When it was done she grabbed me and it seemed as if that hug never ended."

First Memory: Candy Fields


"One of my favorite memories happened when I was about three or four. I was running in the huge jungle in my back yard and came across this enormous, slimy, beady-eyed snake. I ran like the wind to get away. I jumped into the fortress-like house that I lived in and told my father. He was a giant, and he told me there wasn't anything to be afraid of."

First Memory: Josh Greer


"One of my 'experiences of the unknown' happened when I was small. I remember going into the backyard where the clothesline was. I looked into the field across the fencing. The entire sky was illuminated. It felt to me like the sky was falling. I don't know what the light was. I can't even distinguish if it was dream or reality...."

Experience of the Unknown: Jennifer Murphy


"I remember that when I was four years old, I had a close call.

"I saw the pool and took off running toward it. Before I jumped in I heard my mom holler at me. Too late. I jumped in and couldn't swim. I remember kicking and bobbing under the water trying to get out, realizing that something just wasn't right...."

First Memory: Robbie Norfleet


"Papaw was my best friend. Every time I went to his house I expected him to greet me by giving me a noogie and saying something like, 'There's Papaw's little Rascal.' It seemed like clockwork. Only this time, Papaw wasn't there to greet me. Papaw would always play hide-n-seek with me, so I began looking all over the house for Papaw. I even went out to the garage, and to the dog kennel where Papaw kept his hunting beagles, but I found no Papaw.

"I went back into the house to ask Mamaw where Papaw was. As I walked through the entry hall, I found a soiled spot on the carpet...."

First Memory: Ronnie Adams


"My house was always believed to be haunted. One dark and rainy night, I was sitting on the couch with my Grandma watching television. My sister was in her room listening to the radio and I guess doing homework. My mom was taking a shower.

"A friend called and asked if I could go watch a movie. I said sure, but I had to ask mom first. I looked down the dark hallway and saw mom come out of the bathroom and go into her bedroom. I ran into her room but nobody was there. The shower was still running. Who came out of the bathroom?"

Experience of the Unknown: Carol Higginbotham


"As far as I can remember, my first memory as a child was that I once put a whole container of Vaseline in my hair. I have no earthly idea of what made me do it. I can remember that I was wearing an ugly magenta color shirt...."

Experience of the Unknown: Jennifer Murphy


"The darkness is 'unknown' to me.

"When I turn off the lights and everything disappears except pure blackness, my imagination goes wild wondering what the darkness holds...."

Experience of the Unknown: Candy Fields


"There was a day a while back that I had to come to school about an hour early because my mom had gotten a job that required her to be there early. She dropped me off at school, and when I entered the building, it was really dark. The only lights on were in the office and lobby. I decided to walk around to pass away some time. When I walked by the library doors, one opened. I looked, and didn't see anyone around. The door stayed about two or three inches opened, then after a few minutes, it shut. I figured it could have been air blowing it, but I never felt a breeze coming from it. Then I was walking down a hallway and I saw someone walking toward me. I got closer and when I was right next to them, they turned into a wall."

Experience of the Unknown: Josh Greer


"I now know the impact death has upon people, and why it should always be respected...."

Experience of the Unknown: Robbie Norfleet


"A couple of weeks after my uncle died, I was driving down a country road in Burnside. What appeared to be a man dressed in white walked right out in front of my car. I slammed on the brakes but I ran right over him. There was NO IMPACT! There was no one laying in the road! This had to be my imagination or the ghost of my uncle. I don't know why this happened but it really scared me."

Experience of the Unknown: Ronnie Adams