Katie Bryan

When you can’t run, you crawl. And when you can’t crawl, when you can’t do that… you find someone to carry you.

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  This is not a true story. I wrote it when I was in 5th grade for a short story writing contest and won. I was just looking back on some old things that I had written. Enjoy:



I was sitting in my room reading when my phone buzzed. Jodi had texted, hey can I come over?

I quickly responded, Sure! See you in five.

Five minutes later, I opened the door and Jodi barged in. She slipped out of her shoes and fell dramatically onto the couch. I sat down next to her.

“What do you want to do?”

“We could play scrabble?”

“Sounds good,” I said. I stood up and grabbed the falling apart scrabble box. We played for about 15 minutes when suddenly Jodi’s phone buzzed. She typed a sentence or two, then put her phone down and continued her turn.

“What was that?”

“Oh, nothing.”

“Alright,” I said.

We played four more turns when Jodi’s phone buzzed again. She picked up her phone while I finished my turn. I put my last tile down and then took five more tiles out of the bag. I looked up and heard Jodi chuckle. “What are you laughing about?”

“Oh, nothing,” she said again.

This was enough. I wanted to know what she was laughing about, and she was clearly trying to keep something from me. I tried to peek at her phone but she swiped it out of my reach. My face puffed up in anger. I looked at her and gave her my best scowl, but she just stared blankly. I stomped back to my chair, every step slow and hard. All of a sudden, my phone broke the awkward silence. BZZZ BZZZ. I reached into my pocket. My mom had texted me, Honey, remember that you have a violin lesson today! I decided to start laughing just to get Jodi back. I started chuckling and eventually turned it into a roar. Jodi stood up and said, “Hey, what are you laughing about?”

“Oh nothing,” I said, mocking her.

She gave me the glare of a lifetime. I looked up into her squinting eyes and smiled.

She straightened her back. “I have to go now,” she said in a very serious way. She swept her arm across the scrabble board and the tiles went everywhere. She flew out the door not even caring to close it behind her.

* * *

The summer went by so fast. Then it was time to go back to school. On the first day, I went to my locker and unpacked my stuff. When I was cramming my last binder into my locker Jodi came up behind me with a bunch of girls wearing way too much makeup. I waved to Jodi and tried to seem happy, but she looked me up and down like I was a child covered in mud. She shook her head and said, “Oh, hi,” and walked away.

At lunch, I grabbed my tray and went over to where Jodi and her friends were eating. I put my tray down, and they looked at me like I was totally unwelcomed. I smiled sheepishly and sat down. I pulled out my book and showed it to Jodi. I asked, “What book did you bring?”

“What book?”

“A book to read at lunch of course!”

She shook her head like she was disappointed in me and turned to talk to the girl on the other side of her. I slumped deeper into my chair, pulled out my book, and started to read. Suddenly, Jodi turned and looked at me. “Where are you from? Planet loser?” She chuckled and waited for my response

My heart was beating so loudly I thought it might explode. She glared at me and stood up from the table. “Why can’t you just be normal?” she said.

“Normal! Normal as in you. You think you’re normal?” I fired back. She just stared at me blankly. I lost eye contact with her and looked down at the people sitting at my table. They all looked at Jodi. I could tell none of them were on my side. I straightened my back and slowly brought my eyes up to look at her.

“You have changed a lot over the summer. You used to be my friend. You used to sit with me at lunch and read,” I said. “Now you are buying into what other people want you to be.”

“So what? I may have changed a little over the summer. Maybe I changed what I like to do and who I hang out with. That doesn’t mean that you should get angry with me. I didn’t do anything bad.”

“Actually you did. You said that I was from planet loser. If you think that it’s okay to go around and say things to people like that then I think you have changed too much over the summer. I don’t think I even want to be around you anymore,” I said.

“Ugh, Tracie can get so worked up sometimes,” Jodi said as she rolled her eyes and faced the girls at her table.

I grabbed my lunch tray rather violently and stomped out of the cafeteria. I went all the way to the girls’ locker room and closed the door. I sank to my knees. I felt like crying but no tears would come out. Suddenly before I could do anything else the door of the locker room opened. I gasped. There was a girl with dark brown hair all the way down her back. She sat down next to me and said, “Hi, I’m Eva. I saw what you did during lunch. I thought that was pretty awesome. I could never do that.” Then she pulled a book out from behind her back and said, ”I heard that you like to read.”

When I was in 5th grade, "my phone" was on the wall in my parents' basement, and it had a rotary dial.
Yours too, huh?
I used to read Agatha Christie at lunch in 5th and 6th grade.
I remember this story! I'm glad you kept it and shared it.
This was great to read! And 5th grade!

I have a story saved in my files that I wrote in high school, and it's not even remotely as well put together and written as this. Very realistic—and sweet.

I love this.
dialogue from my 2nd year french class:

--"what's the plural form of 'pluit'?"
--"it doesn't have one."
--"why doesn't it have one?"
--"well, I guess technically it kind of could be conjugated with plural endings - but you'd never use it because it's only ever used as an impersonal verb, which can only be singular."
--"what do you mean?"
--"people only ever say 'it is raining' - you'd never say 'they are raining'."
--"well, you could say 'the kings are reigning.'"
<<french teacher shakes her head and walks off without another word>>
CM Adams 2/4edited

I have always been a meat eater. Never really thought twice about it until this year. About two months ago I was sitting at lunch with a bunch of my friends who are not vegetarian- and someone brought up how their brother was becoming a vegetarian. I, of course, blurted out without thinking "I might become a vegetarian."

My friend said, "that sounds like something you would do."

They were right though...it does sound like something I would try. I thought about it for a really long time and did some research. I decided that I am going to try it. I have no idea what it is like. But, Starting New Years Eve I will be a pescatarian. 

You might wonder why a pescatarian?  Well, I would like to take this in steps and maybe once I cut out meat, I can later cut out fish. But this is the first step, and it's a big one. At the end of January-after eating no meat- I will reflect and see how I liked it. If it's not for me I won't keep doing it.

I have not yet told my parents about my thoughts on becoming a vegetarian. Until now...I guess

I don't think I will ever be a vegan though! I love my cheese!

12/28 '18 6 Comments
Okay, let's think this through.

Right now, during the course of a week, your dinners go something like this:
Slow-Cooker Chicken
Pork Chops
Turkey Burgers
Chipotle Steak Burrito
Shake and Bake Chicken
Grilled Hamburgers with mushrooms and cheese

And your breakfasts are:
Bacon, bacon, sausage, sausage, bacon, sausage, bacon.

There are tons and tons of options for different things to eat.
Thousands. Use the internet. The most eatingest people I know are on One Post Wonder. Maybe they'll have advice.

Why don't you make a list of, like, 4 dinner meals and 2 breakfast meals: ingredients and preparation steps, and we'll talk to Mom, then go shopping together and start to figure out how we'll make this work?

Robert Bryan 12/29 '18
Your comment makes what I have to say seem almost foolish. But, I still really want to try this. I think that we can make it work. Like you said I have other choices.
Katie Bryan 12/29 '18
Good for you. I think more people should run 'life experiments' like this to improve their lives or at least expand them. We fall too easily into well worn paths.

I'm not any kind of vegetarian, but one of my favorite meals is. In the interest of full disclosure, I _am_ a bachelor, and I think that shows through in this case.

I pick up a couple types of bags of mixed vegetables at the grocery store. Throw them in a pot with just enough water to keep them from quickly burning on the bottom. Add whatever spices I'm feeling that evening. Heat until everything is hot. Done.

It makes a lot of food, it's pretty healthy (as long as the aforementioned spices aren't a lot of salt), it's fast, it's easy, and it's really inexpensive.

Good luck! You'll have to let us know how the experience goes for you.
Matt Lichtenwalner 12/29 '18edited
That sounds yummy! Thanks for your support!
Katie Bryan 12/29 '18
I was thinking of doing the same, though I suspect my wife would not let me get away with it completely! Many of our meals are already vegetarian, it would not be that much of a stretch to switch to frutti di mare for the others.
Chris Herdt 12/29 '18
There's a wonderful book called, "The Jungle Effect." Part travelogue/world food adventure, part food science, it's written by a doctor who wanted to help her patients change their diets. She recalls an experience she had as a young physician working in (I think) the South American jungle, and then goes globe-hopping to find out what native diets look like in different parts of the world and what effects they have on the people who eat them. And then she brings all that home and tries to figure out how her patients can use and adapt that information for themselves.

One of the things the book made me realize is that we can "play the long game." Rather than dramatic shifts that more often fail and leave us no wiser than before, we can make small discrete changes over time, adding small new habits to our ways of eating, rather than trying to eliminate things or make sweeping changes.

In any case, I applaud your food adventure and look forward to hearing your thoughts at the end of January! And because you're young, you're also in the unique position of being able to play the long game really well. :)

Hello. I have started this blog... thing I am not really sure what it is, to talk to myself, pretty much, about life. Writing helps me get the muck out of my system. I am terrible with deadlines. I am a procrastinator. I want to see where this goes. Goodbye for now, 


11/21 '18 13 Comments
Read this and let me know if you have any questions:

I know some people on here and can make introductions, if you like.
Robert Bryan 11/22 '18
Oh, and this is a successful execution of the opening we were talking about:
Robert Bryan 11/22 '18
Hi Katie, welcome! I'm an old fart who sometimes posts here about whatever I'm currently doing or thinking about.
Anne Mollo 11/22 '18
Hello! Nice to meet you.
Katie Bryan 11/22 '18
Hi, Katie, welcome!
I look forward to your thoughts.
Hello! Enchanté (nice to meet you)!☺️
Katie Bryan 11/22 '18
How much French have you studied, Katie? I’m considering trying to study it with Duolingo.
I am taking French at school. I don't know that much, but I know enough for me to get by. I love Duolingo! It makes it very easy to learn French.
Katie Bryan 11/23 '18
Duolingo is great! My daughter Rose is working on German, and my son Cal is learning Italian. :)
Anne Mollo 11/23 '18
Hi Katie! I'm the chief cook, bottle washer and programmer around here.
Thomas Boutell 11/23 '18
Hi! It's nice to meet you! This community is SO nice!
Katie Bryan 11/23 '18
Hi, Katie!
Welcome aboard!

Writing has always helped me get the muck out of my system, too.

I'm sure you've figured out the system of locks here... which is to say, you can write things that anyone can see, only a small subsection of people you select can see, or only you can see. It's really nice having a place where I can write things for only me.

Nice to have you here!
this post sounds like one of your dad's!
CM Adams 12/13 '18