Dia duit gach blagairí duit! Today was my last day of school! Unfortunately...it was also my 5th grade graduation. It's not that I'm not excited to go to middle school, because I am. It's just that watching other kids get awards you were so sure you would get--like "Most Artistic" or "Most Talented"--isn't that great for a 10 year old's self-esteem. Especially when that 10 year old wins the most embarrassing award of all...
I arrived in a room decorated with a few lonely balloons and wilting flowers. Most of the kids were already there, and looking as fancy as a 5th grader cares to: boys in button-up shirts, girls with cute dresses and headbands. So you can imagine my surprise when Kaya waltzed in, all decked out in a traditional Pow-Wow outfit, not at all concerned of letting everyone know that she wasn't from 2012.
"What are you doing?" I whispered to her. "Trying to give yourself away? Because it's working!" I motioned to a group of girls murmuring amongst themselves, glancing in Kaya's direction.
"Oh, cool it." Kaya shot back. "They're only whispering because I'm not wearing what THEY think is appropriate. There's no way they even believe in time travel."
When Josefina politely agreed with her, my mood starting going downhill. I was about to respond with a weak excuse for a comeback when Mam, my mom, bounced over and demanded a group picture.
That sure put our argument to an end. Mam has a way with making people smile, even when they're in the worst of moods. Every now and then I see bits of her in Josefina, which is good because Kaya and I may otherwise get a little foréigneach.
Shortly after our picture, the ceremony began. The teachers were handing out the awards in alphabetical order, which meant Kaya went first.
"Kaya'aton'my," our teacher began, "you are the winner of the title of..."
Nobody was surprised, not even Kaya. She seems to be amazing at every sport she tries, even though she hasn't heard of any of them. She can run faster than all of the boys in my school, and I bet she's stronger than they are, too. Every teacher says that she's "going places" with her athleticism. I wonder if they would still be saying that if they knew that she was only in 2012 temporarily?
Two boys followed Kaya, winning "Class Clown" and "Most Creative", and then it was my turn. As my teacher announced my name, I thought of all the possible awards I could receive. Maybe "Most Fluent in Two Languages" or "Most Likely to be a Millionaire"! I was completely caught off guard when my teacher said these words...:
"Most Improved"??? Of all awards, that's what I get? "Most Improved" is a teacher or coach's way of saying, "Well Saoirse, you sure did stink at the beginning of the year, but you're somewhat better now, so have an award!" I will admit that when I first moved here I was a little bit behind, but that's mainly because my school in New York was teaching different units. I don't think being told that the only memorable thing I did these past few months was improve is a fair punishment for that!
The one good thing that happened during that hour of watching other kids receive tábhachtach awards was seeing the smile on Josefina's face when she won...
..."Student of the Year"! The teachers gave her a bouquet of flowers and everything! What's even better is that her name gets to be added to a plack that hangs near the office so that kids can be jealous of her for years and years to come!
One thing I love about Josefina is that she never brags. After the ceremony ended, she congratulated Kaya and I endlessly, and told us over and over what amazing awards we had received. Well, she sure knows how to flatter someone, because I left the school in a better mood than when I walked in.