Best of Freshman Writing

Volume 17

Table of Contents

Christopher Young 

Bradley Neighoff 

Chelsea Hafner 

Chelsea Hartzman 

Madelyn Koch 

Kristy Offenback 

Cody Bressler 

Emily Brown 

Ebony Ford 

Steve Hamel 

Daniel MacIntosh 

Chris Watts 

Matt McClure 

Kyley Mickle 

Shatisha Diggs 

Taylor Bury 

Joanna Evans 

Alyssa Gradus 

Cindy MacIntosh 

Abbey Miklitsch

Lisa Morrison

Hailey Schuchart

John Ritenour

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Last updateded July 2, 2012.

Kristy Offenback
English 15
PSU – Berks

Love is Louder

They called her fat, fat ass, big nose, and pizza face. She was known as the “manchild.” They threw stuff at her. They told her they would rather go blind then look at her for one more day; oftentimes she went home crying. These bullies were ninth graders; they were considered young adults. We were all on the same bus; this girl—we will call her Peggy—sat in front, I sat in the middle, and they sat in the back. They would shout insults, throw things at the back of her head and laugh loudly. Nobody said anything; the bus driver just glared; kids pretended to see something interesting outside the window. Sometimes she would crouch in her seat as if she were trying to hide; as Milos Kosic says in How to Approach a Different Culture, “I put my head down and prayed really, really hard …” (28), hoping they would not see her.
    I watched and listened with wide eyes and a gaping mouth; coming from a private Christian school I was not used to this level of audacity. I had to hold back my angry words; I just could not believe someone could be so rude. I battled with myself but the selfish side won, saying if I were to do something then I would be the new object of their attention. I wish I had said something or at least reached out a helping hand, maybe sat next to her on the bus. If I had, or anybody had, maybe Peggy would still be here with us today.
    Peggy had a full head of brown springy curls that were cut short, kind of like an Afro. She had a face full of acne, and she was short and slightly on the heavier side. Now, a genuine human being would not have seen any of that; he or she would have seen the beautiful person that she was inside. Peggy was very sweet, kind and caring. Some people defined her as weird because she brought Yu-Gi-Oh cards to play with at lunch, she went “larping” (Live Action Role Play) on weekends, and most of her friends were gay.
    She would walk up to a group of people with a smile and say, “Hi! Can I sit here?” and usually she got ignored. It was easy to see that Peggy was really trying, as Kosic put it “I [she] felt an undeniable need to belong …”(28) The bullies could not acknowledge that Peggy brought color to this black and white world. She was different and they verbally attacked her for it. A few days after our ninth grade year ended, Peggy was found in her room unresponsive.
    Peggy taught me much. I am no longer going to sit there when I see someone being bullied; I will reach out my hand and be a friend. There is an excellent foundation called Love is Louder. Originally it was made in memory of all the gay teens who committed suicide because of people not accepting them. Initially the slogan was “Love is louder than bullying.” Today it can stand for anything, such as love is louder than the pressure to be perfect, or love is louder than hate, or whatever it means to you.

Works Cited

Kosic, Milos. “How to Approach a Different Culture.” America Now: Short Readings
     from Recent Periodicals
. Ed. Robert Atwan. 8th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s,
     2007: 28-31. Print.
Kristy Offenback's essay appears here with her express written permission and cannot be reproduced in any manner or fashion without her express written permission.