Bay area students portrayed themselves in words and images for this month's ever-popular "I Am" theme.
MARY BRYANT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, TAMPA
A bud is . . .
a fist of knowledge
ready to open,
the world will
see greatness in,
wonder, a star
which fell from
(I wrote this metaphor because I think it is a perfect way to express what I feel like as a student, growing and learning as the days go by.)
Natalie Marshall, 8, third grade
ST. PAUL'S SCHOOL, CLEARWATER
Each night I lie in my bed,
Just before the next day begins,
I think about my dreams and aspirations,
I remember when I was little,
And I was told that I could achieve anything.
Each day I am given hope to satisfy
My dreams while continuing
To work my hardest and reach for the stars,
In hope of becoming someone truly special,
And most of all, developing into a good person.
I seek the desire to do better,
And to achieve my cherished dreams.
I want to make a difference in the world,
While I improve the lives of others.
Dreams are beautiful and inspiring,
They are my lullabies at night.
John Psaltis, 14, eighth grade
I was born in the middle of a huge snowstorm. My mom says that she was in labor for only eight minutes before I arrived; she was still wearing her ski jacket in the delivery room pictures. We moved to Florida when I was 3 years old. I still remember the drive; it was long and I watched a TV that Dad propped up between the seats of the car. I did not walk until I was almost 2 years old; my parents think it was because my older brother was always running everywhere, and I did not want to get trampled. I love being at my house in Michigan, where it is cool and I can sit outside on the dock all day with my cousins. I am afraid of spiders and snakes. I do not like being sick. It saddens me when I see people who are sad or having a difficult time. I love children and animals. I value friendship and am lucky to have a lot of friends. I am a very content person.
Cameron Kenny, 13, eighth grade
PERKINS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, ST. PETERSBURG
I am the girl with the dog, cat and rabbit down the street.
I am a note on the ledger line as I play the sweet strings of my violin.
I am the seaweed in the water as my hair floats in the stream of life.
I am a cup of sugar as I bake my way to heaven.
I am the child eating the words right out of the books.
I am a baby at home with a brother and sister who both look down at me like I'm a punching bag.
I am the kid in last place in the contest of neatness.
Sarah Hylton, 9, fourth grade
I am a boy who loves candy.
I am a very evil thing that gets on my sister's nerves.
I am a boy who has a lot of energy and loves to have parties.
I am a person who always has things to do when it is raining.
Muwakkil Hameed-Jones, 10, fourth grade
I am the kind of kid that gets an attitude quickly.
I am the kid who is sometimes ungrateful.
I am the kind of kid who can shine in the light.
I am a beautiful little girl who sometimes acts like a princess.
I am a kid who likes to argue with my brother a lot.
I am a kid who people like to take everywhere.
I am a sweet little girl who swims like a little mermaid.
Dekena Talbert, 10, fourth grade
SUNFLOWER PRIVATE SCHOOL, GULFPORT
I am talkative. I am a squealing parrot.
I am lazy. I am a fox sunbathing on a summer day.
I am beautiful. I am a tiger showing off her stripes.
I am fast. I am a horse galloping through hay piles.
I am an eater. I am a raccoon that digs through the trash.
I am sleepy. I am a cheetah, worn out from running.
But I am not tough.
Mikaela Liddic, 8, third grade
I am flexible. I am a lizard shedding its skin.
I am nervous. I am a dog having puppies.
I am gentle. I am a fish
swimming in the sea.
I am sneaky. I am a bat in the mist.
I am not ugly. I am not perfect, I am just me.
Thia Sandefur, 8, second grade
I am fast. I am a cougar running through the mountains.
I am rough. I am a hawk
swooping in on a bluefish.
I am a good swimmer. I am a shark jetting through the dark waters.
I am a predator, but I am not mean.
Trevor Benjamin, 9, third grade
I was born exactly 115 years after Frederic Auguste Bartholdi was granted a design patent for the Statue of Liberty. On my first birthday, instead of eating my cake, I smashed it all over my face. As I was growing up I was afraid of falling into the toilet. I like to watch The Price Is Right with my grandma. I pick oranges, grapefruit and tangerines for my grandma from trees in her back yard. I like to go to the movies with my friends. My interests in school are science, math and social studies. I also like to study astronomy and past American wars. I am afraid of spiders and cockroaches. When I am older I want to be an NFL player, astronomer or video game designer.
Justin Brown, 13, eighth grade
SEMINOLE HIGH SCHOOL
I am the kid who loves to go to peaceful beaches and listen to the soft wind and the gentle waves hitting the shore. The air so sweet and the gulls' magnificent voices; these are sounds of a symphony.
Ryan Brumfield, 15, ninth grade
LEALMAN AVENUE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, ST. PETERSBURG
Paint Me Like I Am
Why don't you paint me
like I am?
With brown freckles,
greenish-brown eyes, and
Paint me cool and strong and smart with twinkling eyes.
Paint me playing with
a skateboard at the park.
Paint me skinny and strong.
Paint me when I remember that I am the best that I can be and I'm not perfect.
Paint me without big ears
and a big head.
Paint me without people
yelling at me,
For I am somebody who can do wonderful things if I try.
Can't you hear it in my soul bursting out all the time?
Paint me dreaming of
becoming a professional
Myles Fischer, 10, fourth grade
MORNING STAR SCHOOL, PINELLAS PARK
Cars and motorcycles make me tick.
I love classic cars, especially since my grandma took me to my first car show. Every time I see an old classic on the road, it makes me stop and look. My favorites are a 1969 Impala, a 1954 Cadillac and a 1964 Corvette. I enjoy looking at all the different car books in bookstores. There is something about seeing a classic car: What is the story behind the car? Where has it been? Who were the owners? How was it taken care of? Is that the original paint job? I feel drawn to them. They somehow speak to me. Motorcycles are cool, too. My dad and I built one with some friends. We were featured in the magazine Born to Ride.
Tyler Culotta, 15, eighth grade
I like all kinds of fishing: deep sea, fly, off-shore, pier, gigging, cast netting, as well as some homemade ways of using a hook and piece of rope. I also like learning about all kinds of animals. When I grow up I want to be a marine photographer. I especially like Animal Planet and all of Steve Irwin's shows. I was very sad when he died.
My favorite colors are silver and gold. I love the outdoors but do not like tke the darkness of night. My dad told me that what is in the daylight is the same thing that is in the nighttime, but it is still scary for me. That is probably why I do not like spooky movies. What I do like are documentaries of animals, as well as survival stories.
Joshua Acebo, 13, seventh grade
PALM HARBOR ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
I am a skater dude. I love feeling the wind in my hair and the bugs in my teeth. My passion for skateboarding is immense, and I hope someday to go pro, like Tony Hawk.
When I am not occupying my time with skateboarding, I like to play sports. I also love to draw; I often draw pictures of me on my skateboard, doing tricks. My friends are very supportive of my skateboarding; they teach me new tricks and won't give up on me until I master them.
Jordan Renk, 11, fifth grade
I am a tiger ready to pounce on my prey.
I am a turtle making slow and steady progress.
I am a blade of grass gently blowing in the breeze.
I am a thought swirling inside others.
I am a mountain, big and headstrong.
I am the snow, gentle but harsh.
I am nature, ready to take on anything.
I am me.
Nathaniel Tenbrook, 11, fifth grade
BAY POINT MIDDLE SCHOOL, ST. PETERSBURG
My life is filled with all the emotions in one day. There is always talking and playing around. But there are problems in my life.
My day starts when I walk to school. My homework is hard, my school is hard, but I can still make it through the day.
Now I'm getting used to the school and my life, but something always goes wrong. But I make it through the good and bad to go again.
DeKevin Arscott, 12, seventh grade
I am a girl who knows where she is going in life,
one that is determined to
She may seem quiet and very
soft-spoken, also not too quick to state her opinion.
But inside her mind there are surprising thoughts
and dreams that no one knows of.
She is like the weather: She can be nice,
but she also has a mean side.
She is also like a snake,
not attacking unless she is really bothered.
Nathania Baptiste, 13, seventh grade
My determination is strong.
When I need something I think about how to get it.
I'm like a monkey with the jar of fruit in his hand, except that I have broken the jar.
When other people fail, I can't help but try to succeed.
I use my brain to overcome my obstacles.
The wood that fuels my burning determination is to prove the world wrong
on what I can and cannot do.
Jordan Nnabugwu, 12, seventh grade
I am Charlika
I am as sweet as a ripe
strawberry covered in creamy milk chocolate
The lover of math and expert in science
I am as quiet as a blooming sunflower on a warm summer day
The shyness in me isn't very hard to see
I may be shy but I am
I don't care what anyone thinks about me
I get my ways from the way I was raised
I am Charlika
Charlika Roney, 12, seventh grade