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English, Foreign Languages and English as a Second Language

Student Showcase

Preparations

John Pomykaj

I peek through the mini-blinds and see the headlights of my brother's vehicle turn into my driveway. As always, he is right on time, and a smile comes to my face when I see he has my cousin with him. We have done many things together in the past, tonight will be another page in our history as a trio. We have grown up together, and now, as adults, we share many of the same values. This is reflected in our actions towards one another. When they come into my house, they are each welcomed with a hug, a handshake, and a sincere, "How's it going, man?" Their friendship to me is irreplaceable, and throughout our lives together, we've relied on each other many times, and the strength of our camaraderie has always pulled us through.

Tonight, the focus is on a fishing trip that we've planned for quite some time. My brother, Charlie, goes out to his truck and returns with two poles and an enormous tackle box, filled with every lure known to man. Sammy and I rile him up by making sarcastic remarks about this tremendous amount of useless tackle he owns. Charlie does, however, have a section of his suitcase devoted to "Jitterbugs," a lure all of us have learned to love when it comes to night-time fishing. I have a particular favorite, a striped, black, medium-sized jitterbug, and I pull it from the handful of lures that I own. One of the two poles Charlie brought in needs to be re-lined, so I hold the line as Sammy reels it on to the spool. Meanwhile, Charlie is busy setting up his other pole and decides on a big, yellow, jointed jitterbug, leaving Sammy with a red and white, green sunfish style or the tiger-striped version of this ugly yet extremely successful lure.

The lure is large and awkward, and tying it on can be challenging. Tying the appropriate knot could make the difference between landing a beautiful fish or losing it. We all believe in the "fisherman's knot," one I spotted in a magazine many years ago and have used since. If this knot is tied correctly, it is the strongestconnection you can make between your line and the lure. Sammy never puts enough loops in his, so Charlie finishes up tying his own on and offers Sammy a hand. Sammy takes him up on his offer and sits back, watching carefully to see where he is making a mistake, so he won't let Charlie get over on him next time.

After tying on the lures, we get down to more serious business, making plans for the night's events. We all have various spots that we know will be good for our desire to catch our primary target, the elusive large-mouth bass. After considering many locations, we narrow our choices down to a place we've coined "Quaker Pond." Although we are fully aware of the fact that it is on private property, we know a well-organized and well-executed plan will provide the backbone for a successful journey. We discuss time of departure, and all agree that midnight is suitable. Furthermore, we discuss parking options and the most crucial part of the plan, successfully getting to the pond unnoticed. Back up plans for unexpected events are the finishing touches to our conversation, and we all go over the main plan together, to ensure synchronicity and to eliminate unnecessary and potentially confusing parts.

Once the ground work for our plan has been laid, we have some time to kill , and we do so by reminiscing. Charlie starts out with a story about bass fishing many years ago, and although Sammy and I were both there, we listen intently and remember with him. The story he tells flows smoothly into another story, this one more specifically involving him and Sammy, and how they found themselves in the middle of a thunderstorm out on the lake. He went on to say how with Sammy running the trolling motor and him rowing, they made it to shore in less time than I thought possible. I chirped up to tell a tale of deer hunting, and how without my knowledge of the property, the deer would've slipped right by, never giving Sammy the chance to bring down the trophy. The time ticked away with stories involving all of us in different situations, and how we were glad to have each other there, if only for a witness, ergo proof.

I glanced up at the clock, and Charlie nodded inagreement; it was time to move out. We all looked over our knots and checked them by giving them a tug. Breaking down our poles for easy transport signified the last step of preparation for the events to come. Charlie winked at me, as if to confirm that this would be yet another scene to add to the play of life that the three of us somehow had earned the role of main characters. The clock read 12:00am as we piled into my two-door and began the journey that we had so carefully planned, confident that if we had a choice of anyone to carry out those plans with, the members would remain the same.

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