Fall 2012: "Your Dream House" Literary Gems

Though not every participant can win the Fall 2012 writing contest, we'd like to share some excerpts that caught our eye.
Tammy Strobel

We received many powerful essays. Though not every participant can win the contest, we'd like to share some excerpts that caught our eye.

I will have a bay window that I can put small plants in as a greenhouse. The big plants will hang from the rafters. I won’t need to make a lot of money because living in this tiny house will be cheap. I will avoid stuff I don’t need like a lot of dressy clothes, power-sucking appliances like a microwave or refrigerator and a full-time job.
—Rain Morrell, grade 6, Kickapoo Homeschool Group, Ontario, Wisconsin


Have you ever needed to go to the restroom on an airplane? I love those toilets. If I could, I would install those in my house. They don’t even have that much water! I could even use the waste as compost for my garden!
—Tyler Nguyen, grade 6, Catlin Gabel School, Portland, Ore., who would choose to live in a big, old airplane


I’ve lived in a few homes in my lifetime, all of which were not the most lavish, but they were my homes. Thinking about this sparked something in me that made me realize that the size of your home doesn’t matter, but sharing it with the people you love creates all the difference.
—Neisha Freshley, grade 11, New Tech Academy at Wayne High School, Fort Wayne, IN


I refuse to separate art from myself, and incorporating it into my home would give me the opportunity to delve further into my work. With any luck, this set up would lead my friends and me into many late-night weekend discussions of our pieces of all media. I cannot imagine a happier life than one filled with good art and good people.
—Cokie Thompson, grade 11, Houston High, Germantown, TN


This low-level lighting system can create romantic vibes when I have a date to when I’m just laying on my couch thinking. The brightness contrast can have a major impact on people’s thoughts.
—Nick Tabakis, Sacramento City College, Elk Grove, CA


Unlike Dee Williams, I would not like to build a new house. My house should be able to tell stories, it should have a history. Every time I would enter my house, new thoughts about former occupants, about the daily routine they experienced there, would rise up in my mind. Of course, the house should not be shabby, but every hole in the wall, for instance, will remind me that there were generations living there before me, and that there will also be some after me.

—Melanie Burger, Pädagogische Hochschule Heidelberg, University of Education, Heidelberg, Deutschland

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