chase their dreams / 3
Local students show off their literary stuff
in Westmount schools Writing Competition.
Introduction by Wayne Larsen.
In what has become an annual tradition in Westmount schools, the McEntyre Writing Competition always attracts a wide variety of thoughtful and creative entries, and the 2015 edition was no exception.
Endowed by the late Peter McEntyre, mayor of Westmount from 1969 to 1971, the competition encourages young writers to express themselves on a designated topic, each designed to get the creative juices flowing. It is coordinated each year by the Westmount Public Library.
This year, “Chasing a Dream” was the topic assigned to students in grades 1 through 11.
While local newspapers have printed the names of the winners each year, space restrictions made it impossible to publish all of the winning essays. Now, for the first time, Westmount Magazine presents the full texts of the first-place entries in each grade category, as supplied by the Westmount Public Library.
Grade 6 — Annika Waschke of The Study
As I stirred the batter, flecks of flour splattered on my face. I put down my spoon and grabbed a towel to wipe my face. I poured the cupcake batter into the tins and waited patiently as they cooked in the oven. 15 minutes later, the oven timer went off and I grabbed the cupcakes out of the oven. HOT! Oops, forgot my oven mitts. Fortunately I have loads of firsthand experience at managing first degree burns.
After dinner I rush to the fridge and grab my cupcakes. When I turn around my parents and my two brothers, Aaron and Jacob, are patting their stomachs and saying they can’t possibly have dessert.
Aaron and Jacob turned towards me with a panicked look on their faces. Taking advantage of his gaping mouth, I quickly peeled a cupcake and shoved it into Jacob’s mouth. Shoot. He’s choking! I have to act fast! I dropped my cupcake tin and stood behind him. I pulled upwards and inwards on his upper abdomen. I’m a real pro at the Heimlich maneuver.
My dream is to one day become a master chef. Preferably junior. I have always wanted to see Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot and Christina Tosi’s smiling faces as they hand me my award. Sadly, I know that’s not going to happen anytime soon.
At this point, I’m not exactly the best baker in the world. For example, last week, Aaron got food poisoning from my crepe Suzettes. I made sure he was fine, plenty of fluids and rest.
My baking mishaps aren’t always my fault. Once, I left Aunt Jess in charge of letting the cupcakes cool and she thought I meant putting them outside. Everything would have been fine, if it wasn’t the middle of winter. My dad accidentally chipped his tooth and the edge was very jagged. I didn’t want him to hurt himself further, so I put some sugarless chewing gum on the jagged part, so that he wouldn’t cut himself on the lip of the inside of his mouth. Actually, that was still kind of my fault. I should have realized that when I was icing them.
One of the fringe benefits of my future career as a World’s Greatest Chef has been learning the many handy medical skills. The 911 operator and I are on a first name basis and the nurses and doctors in the emergency department at the hospital have taught me all kinds of cool stuff. I brought them in some cookies to show my appreciation. Sadly every single person in the ER seemed to be on a diet that day for some reason. I don’t know why, they all looked pretty fit to me…
Twenty years later, as I stepped on stage to accept my award for Canadian Gastroenterologist of the year, I stopped for a moment to think about how things had changed. Sometimes when you are chasing a dream, you find yourself running down a path you never imagined you would take.
I am now a respected world expert in food-related emergencies. But even my two year old niece knows better than to eat my homemade applesauce. And I really think it’s time that my brother Jacob put the “Blueberry Muffins of Epic Doom” episode behind him. I mean, it was one minor surgery, ten years ago.
When I got home, my family embraced me. My husband hugged me and told me how proud he was. Jacob kissed me and told me that it was worth all that hurling over the years. We all laughed and sat down on the couch. I sighed. I may not be a Master Chef, but I am definitely a Master Doctor.