Life Academy Perspectives: Hobbies that Make Us Better

By David Ortiz, Sophomore

To listen to the audio: Rolling Motivations

 Rolling Motivations

 The wheels of my skateboard click-clack down the gum covered sidewalk, dodging the thick cracks and the occasional obstacle. My mind begins to rewind to the events of my day as I kick-push my board along. A simple trip to the store can become an everyday adventure for me on my skateboard. I love every blue knee-bruising minute of it. People may call me a demonic delinquent because I skate next to old people while they scream, “You rotten kid!” But it’s an art form that has kept me away from trouble and allowed me to be a kid in a city that isn’t very kid-friendly.

This journey started when I was only 9 years old. Already, I could vividly imagine the “hobbies” of most of my neighbors. They would post on a corner next to the flickering light of a lamppost selling drugs for hours on end. The pungent yet powerful aroma of marijuana filled the air as I was played outside with my older brother’s $25 Wal-Mart skateboard. I knew it was a life of crime that my neighbors were following, but I thought it was normal. Still, when I looked down at my board, I knew I had something much more fun going for me.

I went from riding the board on my butt to busting ollies over stairs all while realizing I was resisting following in my neighbor’s footsteps. Everyday this hobby of mine becomes a motivation for me no matter how painful it can be. Everyday on my skateboard I kick-push my way through the day, dodging the obstacles in my way. And just like life itself, I get up from the falls, and continue to my destination.

With a perspective, I’m David Ortiz-Alejandre.


By Raynetta Van, Sophomore

To listen to the audio:  Life Changes

Life Changes

My knees are bent, my arms are stretched out in front of me, and my weight is at the tip of my toes. The crowd in the stands is silent waiting for our next move. While the other team is getting ready to serve, I rearrange my shorts and pull my kneepads up. One of my teammates yells, “balls up, service receive”. I take a few deep breaths and release the butterflies I have within me. Whistle blows, the ball is coming in my direction, and beforecan think, I yell, “mine!” I bump the ball to the setter and she sets the ball to the outside hitter who spikes it to the other teams’ side.

While it might seem like this sport has nothing to do with life, volleyball has taught me a lot.

During my 9th grade year I wasn’t really trying my best. I gave up easily. I was always thinking negatively. It was because I didn’t have enough confidence to believe in myself.

So one day one of my current teachers told me that I should get into a sport. I thought about it for a few days. And I wanted to play something that I loved and that was volleyball. So here I am playing club volleyball for a great team.

Playing volleyball for Starlings has taught me “ETA”. Which stands for Effort, Teamwork, and Attitude. Learning those three things has taught me a lot.

The effort part has taught me to be resilient and try my best within school and volleyball. When you’re on that court for more than an hour and the other team is at game point, you are automatically going to put all your effort into the game even. Within school when its almost time for a new marking period I have learned to put all my effort into my work.

Teamwork has helped me work better with others. When you have 9 other girls on your team you want them to like you, and you want them to help you out with a drill that you’re not understanding, you have to find ways work well with everybody because we are each other best resources, within school I never like working with people I always like to be independent but that didn’t work when I started volleyball. I learned how to approach others so I could ask them for help. I wasn’t as skeptical anymore.  

My attitude has changed a lot since I started playing volleyball. I’m much more positive. When you have tournaments that last up to 8 hours you have to stay positive because when you start to think negative its going to show in the way you’re playing. Within school I was always having my head down and sometimes walking with my head down, but since I started playing volleyball I’ve learned to stay positive even when things get tough.

Although volleyball may seem like just a sport, for me it has become a way of life – a way to reach my full potential through improve effort, teamwork, and attitude.

With a perspective, I’m Raynetta Van

Edited by Yuvitza Rivera, Sophomore


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