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STUDENTS AND CAMPUS POLITICS. It has become one of the major subjects of discussion whether political activities of students are allowed.

Where fortune lies in the murky ominous caverns Pirates somberly waiting to call it their own.

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Life is a beautiful, precious gift from God. Each moment needs to be cherished, every day of our lives. I had been taught this in Sunday school and in my religion class at school. Yet, I suppose that I really never knew what it meant. My realization began in the summer of 1 My parents and my sister, Marissa, and I had returned from a vacation in Greece. It was a wonderful vacation. I got to see my Greek cousins whom I had never met before. As I look back on it now, what made the trip even more special was the fact that our entire family was all together.

When we returned home, Marissa and I looked forward to horse show in Pebble Beach. People from all over the country came to show their ponies and horses. There were many new boarders at the stable where we keep our ponies.

The people usually come for at least a month because the show is two and a half weeks long. Two sisters from Dallas, Texas, had come to our stable. They were here with their mom and dad. Marissa and I soon became friends with the Sechrest girls. They both were only children, born and raised on the east coast, they each had two daughters who loved to ride, and they each had parents who were in a nursing home. We enjoyed our time with the Sechrests. We rode our ponies every day together and we ate lunch together.

Edyn and Keller came to my house to spend the night a couple of times. We swam at the Beach Club all together and went out to dinner together.

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But time passed so quickly, and before we knew it, it was time for the Sechrests to go back home to Dallas. We promised to keep in touch. I promised to write and call them. My mom and Karyn also promised to keep in touch.


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I knew that my mom and Karyn had a special friendship. The Sechrests seemed like the perfect family and I was glad that I got to know them. I kept in touch with them as I had promised. My mom and Karyn talked on the phone from time to time. My mom said that Karyn was like having a sister. I knew that the Sechrests were going to return the following summer because they had already rented a home close to my home.

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I was excited that we would get to see them again. They had also planned to stay the entire summer. The week before Thanksgiving, it happened. My mom got a phone call from Karyn. My mom called to me and Marissa and said t hat she had just heard some very sad news from Karyn. She told us that Karyn was flying into San Francisco and then my mom began to cry. I was happy at the thought that I might get to see Edyn and Keller.

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Through her tears, my mom told us that Karyn had been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor and she was coming to San Francisco to talk with the best neurosurgeons who knew the most about this type of tumor. Karyn came and the doctors confirmed that she had a malignant tumor called a gleioblastoma. That was a big word for me to understand, but my mom told be that it is called this because it blasts or grows so quickly and that was what made it a terrible tumor.

Karyn ended up having surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. My mom talked with her often and said that Karyn had a lot of courage and a love for life. She was a pediatrician so I knew she loved children. Karyn was feeling a bit better and the family decided to come to Pebble Beach over the summer as planned.

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She looked good but became easily tired. We all were hopeful that she had come through the worst of it and was going to be healed. We visited and enjoyed playing with Edyn and Keller. My mom and Karyn visited often. I was happy because the Sechrests were talking about moving here from Dallas.

I would love to have their family here. It was one of the best summers of my life, but it ended too quickly. The Sechrests went home and we promised to talk on AOL and call each other. My mom and I talked with the Sechrests over Thanksgiving. Karyn was feeling stronger and was looking forward to the holidays. She said that she had always wanted to try glassblowing and she was doubly proud because she had made the trip alone. Sechrest said that her tumor had doubled in size in less than two weeks. Her entire left side became paralyzed as she was decorating the Christmas tree. Karyn had willed that her ashes be spread in Big Sur and Maui.

She said that she wanted her family to take a vacation to celebrate her life. This very special lady whom I had the honor of knowing taught me a lot about people and life. I was innocent, sheltered in a chrysalis, thinking that life will always be without loss. I picture Karyn being carried to heaven on the wings of a snow-white dove. In an age and time where having thick, curly hair, and being a perfect size two is the only way to be, it is not hard to fathom that there are many girls around the world with their eyes closed tightly, blinded by misconceptions.

They are wishing for smaller thighs, a bigger bust, and whiter teeth. Each day, they look in the mirror, hoping the freckles are gone and their eyes have miraculously turned from brown to green. Upon entering ninth grade, I felt bombarded by the ideas of physical perfection. High school was already scary, but it was even more frightening when I knew that my body did not belong.

I was not size 4, or for that matter, size I was, ultimately, depressed. My diet consisted of a breakfast drink in the morning, carrots for lunch, and a small bit of whatever my mother cooked in the evening. I was physically and mentally weak, but I loved the compliments. But these words only fueled my fire.

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If I were to stay pretty, I would have to continue to eat less and less. I looked great, but things were slowly going wrong, and people started to notice. One day, after a grueling two hours of water polo practice in which I had not been able to keep up with the rest of the team, one of my good friends approached me.

Inside, I broke down, knowing that I could not continue this way. I was pretty no matter what I weighed, no matter what my hair style, and no matter what anyone else said. I started to enjoy life more, to the point that I drank from the cups of excitement and joy daily; I started to gain weight once I started eating properly again, but that was all right. The fat on my body was almost nonexistent in my mind, because I knew that I was strong, and that my weight would not, and could not, stop me from doing anything.