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 Lesson of the Day: How to Torture Diana
frequent_contributor

Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 7216
Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:41 pm

Lol, in one part of this I mention my guinea pig named Diana who died, so it's like "My name's Diana, and my beloved pet cavy named Diana died."

I've really got to rethink my penname sometime. :P

 

Also, the end of this might feel a bit choppy, but that's because originally there was a paragraph about how this connects with The Crucible in here... but to save you from the horrific boredom reading that would bring, I've taken the liberty of deleting it.

(And gack. For some reason it's making me write in the Centered format... grrrrr....)


Probably the worst thing that can happen within a group of peers is for one person to turn on another, and for no one to listen to the innocent one. There’s no way out of that situation, and it hurts really bad to be the one who is turned upon. When it happened to me, it made me feel helpless, and worthless, and eventually, I began believing all of the lies, too. I mean, my friends were saying them about me, so how couldn’t they be true? And that belief just made the pain even worse.

            It was back in sixth grade… not the best year for me. Both of my parents went away on business trips; Mom to Sweden, Dad to Germany. This meant that I was left with only one or the other home for a week or so at a time. I wasn’t really used to that. On top of that, my beloved guinea pig, Diana, was really sick, and my last gerbil, Chewy, was starting to get old. My great grandmother was unwell and moved up to Michigan from her house in Florida, and more. There was a lot going on for me.

            So, in turn, I was pretty stressed out. It didn’t help that all of my best friends were in other classes, leaving me with no one to hang out with the entire day, including at Lunch and recess. But, lucky for me, pretty quickly a girl new to the district, Erin (fake name, of course) befriended me, and began hanging around with me more and more. We partnered up in all of our classes, sat together at Lunch, played together at recess, and talked in the hallways. We spent every moment of school together. She was new, and so didn’t have many friends. All of my friends were in other classes. We were the perfect match.

            That is, until about January. At that point, one of the other friends we’d made was discovered to have attempted leaving a hateful note in my desk… only that it wasn’t her handwriting, and Erin was the first to know it was there. Of course, I didn’t jump to the conclusion that Erin had done it to try to break the rest of our group apart or anything, because she had never been anything but nice around us, but as time wore on and we began holding our own “court” during recess everyday to try to figure out who the culprit was, it became more and more evident that she had done it.

            For weeks, I suffered on the inside, torn apart at the idea of my best friend doing something that cruel and devious. When I finally brought it up, with pain in my voice, I asked Erin, “You know, I’ve always wondered… why did the handwriting on that one letter look so much like yours?”

            As I soon learned, that was the wrong question to ask. She immediately threw a sort of temper tantrum, and turned on me, shouting for the entire playground to hear, “Huh! I don’t know, Diana! Maybe it’s because you’re trying to frame it like I did it, so you can have all of our friends to yourself!”

            “What? Of course not!” I objected, but it was too late. Erin had that sort of persuasive power… she could make anyone believe anything she wanted to. Starting that very moment, she spent all of her time avoiding me and spreading awful rumors, telling the entire grade secrets I had sworn her never to share with anyone.

By the end of the week, she had built up her forces enough that she was willing to approach me again, and decided that it was quite entertaining to come at me every day at recess. She would have her new friends form a ring around me, shouting out snide remarks about how I was dressed, about my family, about the words I said, and my dreams. She would threaten me, and ridicule me, and get everyone to laugh at me. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get away, and none of the adults ever believed me, because she was super nice whenever one of the teachers came within earshot.

I cried myself to sleep every night, and wondered why, when I was already having enough trouble coping with life, fate just had to throw another awful thing on my plate.

But, even that wasn’t the worst of it. When the rest of the friends I had managed to make that year saw what was happening, and they heard the words Erin was saying about me, they began joining her side. At first, one or two joined the mob, and then I suddenly looked up and there wasn’t a friendly face left in the crowd. I was all alone in the cruelest world I had ever known: being below the bottom of the totem pole of the sixth grade class.

At one point, I tried getting my mom to talk to Erin, to try to get her to leave me alone, but she pulled the same act as she had with the teachers. Mom still believed what I was saying, but the fact that Erin was never mean around her meant that she couldn’t exactly reprimand her for her behavior.

Then, the next year, Erin tried being BFFs with me again. Over the summer, her fire had died out, leaving her with no one standing beside her, either. Everyone else was bored with torturing Diana, and had left to continue on with their regular lives. But I had lost all trust in her, and refused her offer of renewed friendship. Eighth grade, Erin moved districts again. Her mom explained to mine that she had trouble keeping friends, and so every couple years they moved to give her a new beginning. I was apparently one of the longest lasting friends she had ever had.

It’s hard to look at someone like Erin and think that she's anything but innocent, when in truth she was far from it. Sometimes I wonder what could have happened to make her the way she was. Others, I just let it go.


 

 

~Diana

"Don't declare defeat. Declare determination."




 Re: Lesson of the Day: How to Torture Diana
frequent_vsitor

Joined: Tue May 12, 2009 8:23 pm
Posts: 479
Wed Nov 18, 2009 8:39 pm
Awww... *sniffles* I feel so sad for you cavy!!1
 
Ok, now that I'm done comforting you. I am going to hurt that girl!!! How can she be so rude to this incredibly magnanimous (cool word) person?!? She's dead meat.
 
Victoria
 
Don't you dare call me Viki



 Re: Lesson of the Day: How to Torture Diana
regular_contributor

Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2009 11:56 am
Posts: 4314
Sun Nov 22, 2009 11:52 am
May I edit?
 
Red-Stuff I edited.
Blue-Notes you can delete in the final draft, but they were just notes to tell you why I edited a red part!
 
 


Probably the worst thing that can happen within a group of peers is for one person to turn on another, and for no one to listen to the innocent one. There’s no way out of that situation, and it's very painful (This is a little more discriptive!) to be the one who is turned upon. When it happened to me, it made me feel helpless, and worthless, and eventually, I began believing all of the lies, too. I mean, my friends were saying them about me, so how couldn’t they be true? And that belief just made the pain even worse.

            It was back in sixth grade… not the best year for me. Both of my parents went away on business trips; Mom to Sweden, Dad to Germany. This meant that I was left with only one or the other home for a week or so at a time. I wasn’t really used to that. On top of that, my beloved guinea pig, Diana, was really sick, and my last gerbil, Chewy, was starting to get old. My great grandmother was unwell and moved up to Michigan from her house in Florida, and more. There was a lot going on for me, and I had nobody to help me with it. (This kind of proves your lonliness in the first pararaph!)

            So, in turn, I was pretty stressed out. It didn’t help that all of my best friends were in other classes, leaving me with no one to hang out with the entire day, including at Lunch and recess. But, lucky for me, (Pretty Quickly was not needed here!) a girl new to the district, Erin (fake name, of course) befriended me, and began hanging around with me more and more. We partnered up in all of our classes, sat together at lunch , played together at recess, and talked in the hallways. We spent every moment of school together. She was new, and so didn’t have many friends. All of my friends were in other classes. We were the perfect match.

            That is, until about January. At that point, one of the other friends we’d made was discovered to have attempted leaving a hateful note in my desk… only that it wasn’t her handwriting, and Erin was the first to know it was there. Of course, I didn’t jump to the conclusion that Erin had done it to try to break the rest of our group apart or anything, because she had never been anything but nice around us, but as time wore on and we began holding our own “court” during recess everyday to try to figure out who the culprit was, it became more and more evident that she had done it.

            For weeks, I suffered on the inside, torn apart at the idea of my best friend doing something that cruel and devious. When I finally brought it up, with pain in my voice, I asked Erin, “You know, I’ve always wondered… why did the handwriting on that one letter look so much like yours?”

            As I soon learned, that was the wrong question to ask. She immediately threw a sort of temper tantrum, and turned on me, shouting for the entire playground to hear, “Huh! I don’t know, Diana! Maybe it’s because you’re trying to frame it like I did it, so you can have all of our friends to yourself!”

            “What? Of course not!” I objected, but it was too late. Erin had that sort of persuasive power… she could make anyone believe anything she wanted to. Starting that very moment, she spent all of her time avoiding me and spreading awful rumors, telling the entire grade secrets I had sworn her never to share with anyone.

By the end of the week, she had built up her forces enough that she was willing to approach me again, and decided that it was quite entertaining to come at me every day at recess. She would have her new friends form a ring around me, shouting out snide remarks about how I was dressed, about my family, about the words I said, and my dreams. She would threaten me, and ridicule me, and get everyone to laugh at me. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get away, and none of the adults ever believed me, because she was super nice whenever one of the teachers came within earshot.

I cried myself to sleep every night, and wondered why, when I was already having enough trouble coping with life, fate just had to throw another awful thing on my plate.

But, even that wasn’t the worst of it. When the rest of the friends I had managed to make that year saw what was happening, and they heard the words Erin was saying about me, they began joining her side. At first, one or two joined the mob, and then I suddenly looked up and there wasn’t a friendly face left in the crowd. I was all alone in the cruelest world I had ever known: being below the bottom of the totem pole of the sixth grade class.

At one point, I tried getting my mom to talk to Erin, to try to get her to leave me alone, but she pulled the same act as she had with the teachers. Mom still believed what I was saying, but the fact that Erin was never mean around her meant that she couldn’t exactly reprimand her for her behavior.

Then, the next year, Erin tried being BFFs with me again. Over the summer, her fire had died out, leaving her with no one standing beside her, either. Everyone else was bored with torturing Diana, and had left to continue on with their regular lives. But I had lost all trust in her, and refused her offer of renewed friendship. Eighth grade, Erin moved districts again. Her mom explained to mine that she had trouble keeping friends, and so every couple years they moved to give her a new beginning. I was apparently one of the longest lasting friends she had ever had.

It’s hard to look at someone like Erin and think that she's anything but innocent, when in truth she was far from it. Sometimes I wonder what could have happened to make her the way she was. Others, I just let it go.

Good work!

-Madison





 Re: Lesson of the Day: How to Torture Diana
contributor

Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 4:05 pm
Posts: 858
Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:21 pm
I loved it! Something like that happened to me in 5th grade.. you did a great job! PS I love the word magnanimous! It really describes Cavy



 Re: Lesson of the Day: How to Torture Diana
frequent_contributor

Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 7216
Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:07 pm
Aww, thanks guys! :) And magnanimous is totally going on my top ten list now!
 
 
 
~Diana
 
"I want someone to love me,
For who I am.
I want someone to need me,
Is that so bad?"
-- Who I Am by Nick Jonas and the Administration
 
PS.
It's also a really good way to describe you. :)



 Re: Lesson of the Day: How to Torture Diana
special_guest

Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2006 7:42 pm
Posts: 478
Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:59 pm
It never rains but it pours, doesn't it? I know what it's like to get to one more crisis and feel like something must actually be conspiring against you for things to get so nuts. Thanks for putting this into writing and sharing it with us. You do a good job of telling a story that stretches over several months without sacrificing either the broad perspective or the immediacy of the close-up narrative.

I have a few suggestions:

Try to find a more expressive way of saying how much betrayal hurts than "really bad." (If you want to keep that phrase, at least change 'bad' to 'badly' - you need an adverb there.)

Don't get too overzealous with the comma. Here's an example of what one passage might look like without a few of its commas: "...it made me feel helpless and worthless, and eventually I began believing all of the lies too."

I think the semicolon after "business trips" should be a comma or a colon.

Instead of leaving "I wasn't really used to that" as its own sentence, try tacking that thought onto the end of the last sentence: "...home for a week or so at a time, which I wasn't really used to."

The "so, in turn" isn't the best transition there - try something like "So it makes sense that I was pretty stressed out" or "As a result, I was pretty stressed out."

Don't capitalize 'lunch.'

Try using some more complex sentences (and I don't mean complicated sentences, I mean "complex sentences" in the grammatical sense: an independent clause and at least one dependent clause). Here's one place you could strengthen your sentence by making it complex: "She was new, and so didn’t have many friends" could be, "Since she was new, she didn't have many friends." (The "since she was new" is the dependent clause.)

Right after that, you don't need to say that all of your friends were in other classes, because you've already said that. I think I see that you're repeating it to explain why you and Erin were the perfect match, but maybe you could just refer to the absence of your friends in a few words as part of another sentence.

If you can, try to change the passive voice in "was discovered to have attempted" - that feels more cumbersome than it has to be. Did you and your friends discover her? Or the teacher? In any case, try putting the person who did the action in there: "We discovered that one of our other friends had attempted to leave a hateful note in my desk," or something like that. Also, the last sentence of that paragraph (it begins "of course") is in danger of being a run-on. Maybe you could break it into a few shorter sentences.

There might be a more expressive phrase than "super nice." Maybe you could describe how Erin acted, showing us rather than telling us. (You do do a good with the "show not tell" thing throughout the piece.)

At the end, there's a tense change that I think isn't necessary - Erin still *is* far from innocent, right? (as opposed to was)

The last sentence is kind of a weak ending for what's been a very strong piece. Try something like, "Other times, I just let it go and leave her in the past where she belongs" or another thought that brings some closure to the piece if not the mystery that is Erin. :)

Can't wait to read more! Good job.

Jessica



 Re: Lesson of the Day: How to Torture Diana
new

Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 4:31 am
Posts: 422
Wed Jul 16, 2014 6:47 pm

That happened to me last year; The girl is still at my school, but we don't see each other often. I'm in a new class, and the year after next I'll be away from her completely.

 

That sounded really hard for you, and believe me, I have emphathy.  




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