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Fresh Voices

5 Middle School Fears That Didn’t Happen

On the first day of middle school I woke up jittery and nervous, I had a ton of worries:

(1) What if I forget my locker combination?


(2) What if I can’t find my locker?

And those negative thoughts churning through my brain weren’t even the worst!

(3) Where will I sit at lunch?

(4) Will the seventh and eighth graders give me a swirly?!

Turns out that the eighth graders just look down on us; they don’t want to make our lives miserable; most don’t even want to talk to sixth graders. Seventh graders are better; I am in a math class with about half seventh graders and they’re nice enough. As for the locker worry, only a few people got their locker on the first day, because we had to turn in forms before a locker was assigned. On the second day I opened my locker on my first try, and memorized my combination before 2:00pm!

Finding my locker also wasn’t a problem, it’s right next door to my core 3 class and it’s a top locker, so that was a bonus (the problem with the lower lockers is that you have to crouch down on your knees to get to them).

Okay, here is the craziest part of my middle school career so far, and something I never even thought of in advance, of or was worried about. On day one, THE POWER IN MY SCHOOL WENT OUT BECAUSE A VEHICLE RAN INTO THE POWER LINES!!!!! It was dark way past lunch and into my band class! So during lunch we all sat with our core 2 class (we were supposed to sit with core 3 but with the power outage that didn’t happen). And for the rest of the school year I sit with core 3 at lunch which has most of my friends. Whew!

P.S. Here is the 5th and final fear that I had: that the bus wouldn’t come. Sure enough, on the first day of school I waited and waited. No bus!* My dad had to drive me. So that fear did come true, but it wasn’t too bad because I made it to middle school on time, despite that one problem.

*Well, later my mom told it did finally come--super late--so technically that one did not happen either!

I’m a 6th grader in Stafford County. When I’m not in school, I enjoy reading, biking, playing ping-pong, hiking and jumping off cliffs (into pools of water). I also enjoy writing and have been writing short stories since I was four.

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Sofie’s Scoop: Benny Vitali’s

Hi, my name is Sofia Barbieri. I live in Spotsylvania, am thirteen, and attend 8th grade here. I am interested in a future as a journalist, particularly a food critic. A food critic is probably the best job ever. I mean, you get paid to eat at restaurants for free, and then get to say exactly how you feel about it. I have two brothers named Jack and Luke. Jack is eleven and Luke is nine.

While a few family friends were visiting recently, we decided to grab two pizzas at the famous Benny Vitali’s, Home of the Virginia Slice on Caroline Street in downtown Fredericksburg. We called in to order, but there was a three hour wait! It was almost seven and we were starving; we were not about to wait three hours. That night, we just made pasta instead.

The next evening, we ordered over the phone. Luckily, the wait was within reason. The restaurant is small and you order/pick up at the counter. I’ve seen the line stretching out the door on some days. It’s a tight space; the booths are usually all full. Despite the ripped and patched seats, which must be uncomfortable on bare thighs, it’s the kind of place to go if you want to be cool and trendy.

Benny VitalisSource: Benny Vitali's Facebook page

There are limited choices for toppings. The price of one whole pizza is $35, but you’re pretty much getting three normal size pizzas in one from Benny’s if you think about it. We picked up the pizzas and went home to eat them.
The pizzas were humongous, as promised. We bought two pies, a pepperoni and a veggie supreme (one of the August Specials). I had never tried veggie supreme, so while the other kids were eating pepperoni slices bigger than their heads, I was eating vegetable pizza. I have to say, it was a lot better than I expected. Both were a bit on the soggy side, but the veggie didn’t have as much grease as the pepperoni. To some people, the thought of vegetables (especially broccoli!) on pizza is revolting, including my brothers. But this pizza was broccoli-free, consisting of only green peppers, onions, olives, and mushrooms.

While the restaurant has limited topping options, has very long waits regularly, and is any claustrophobic person’s nightmare, the pizza is delicious. I strongly recommend the veggie supreme to anyone visiting this restaurant (if it’s available). I am looking forward to my next slice from Benny Vitali’s!

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Pouches' Community Corner

On August 17, three weeks after a routine pediatrician appointment for their then 4-month-old son, Levi, Liz and Angel Colon received news that no parent ever wants to hear: Levi’s liver wasn’t processing bile correctly, and he will very likely need a liver transplant—and time is of the essence.

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Read more about baby Levi and his family's fight for a new liver.