Wouldn't you think that after ten years of going to school you could have us start a year doing something other than writing about How I Spent my Summer Vacation?

Every September I'm trying to think of something I did that summer that I want to write about. Yeah. Every summer I go to the lake. We hit the arcade at the mall any time Mom goes shopping. Maybe we see a couple of movies. I sleep out with my buds a few times. And we wander around town in the middle of the night, moving for-sale signs to houses where people we don't like live, knocking on doors when everybody's asleep, leaving burning bags of dog crap on their steps so they come out and stomp on it, stuff like that. You know, stuff that's a blast and you ain't about to put into a story about How I Spent my Summer Vacation unless you got a death-wish. Which, you know, is why we didn't do any of that stuff this summer. Just so you know.

Now I'm a senior in high school. I'm old enough so that it's none of your business what I did last summer. I think teachers have us write about How I Spent my Summer Vacation so they can make their vacations last a couple of days longer.

Last year I swore I wasn't gonna do it anymore. I vowed it. I was gonna hand my paper in with one word on it. One word, in big, fat, capital letters




And then my Uncle Ed gets me the Honda CRF-250 to replace the jurassic Honda XR-75 he gave me for my birthday when I was twelve. The one I rode almost every day. The one I'd write about every year if my sixth-grade teacher hadn't threatened to turn me into the police after I wrote that we ride down the powerlines every day. Like they were her powerlines.

But I'm not gonna do that. I'm not gonna write NOTHING! on a piece a paper so I can hand it in and get it back with an F on it and a lecture about global warming or private property or being dangerous to kittens or some other pile of bull I'd expect from my grandma but not from anyone who still lives a real life. But I guess teachers don't live real lives, even if they get all summer off to try.

So I'm not gonna write "How I Spent my Summer Vacation." But I am gonna tell you how I spent my summer. Because I did something this summer, something that's more important than anything I'll do all year at school, something that I want to write about, that I want to tell people about. And that at least one teacher cares about, and proved it. My math teacher, Mr. Witham.

I know it, because when you teachers were reading on the beach, watching birds and going to craft fairs, he was at Pine Hill Park, watching the best motocrossers in the country race each other. If that's good enough for Mr. Witham, Ms. Gorman, it's good enough for you, too.

So buckle up your helmet, Ms. Gorman. Put on your seatbelt. And your gas mask, and your welding-goggles, and your snowsuit. I wouldn't want you to get hurt.

I went racing. I raced motocross. Motocross is only the most awesome racing in the universe. It’s as physical as football, as tough on your body as a triathalon and as dangerous as mountain-climbing. You race against your competition but also against the track. It’s hard. I love it.