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“Farm Girl”, is an essay by Jessica Hemauer, who is trying to fit in with other kids at her school. She lives on a farm where she has her responsibilities before school and after school, and she is not able to participate in school functions or other activities that the other kids get to do. Her dream is to join basketball and other clubs because she feels that is the only way she will fit in with everyone else at school. Jessica wakes up at 5 with her sisters, Angie and Melissa and her brother, Nick so they can help their father with the morning chores on the farm. It does not matter what else is going on with the family they have to get up every morning and help with the chores. After they get up they have a routine of getting dressed and head down to the basement, where they keep their outside clothes, so they do not stick up the house. They put on their barn clothes and head out to the barn to help their father. Jessica has her chores and so does her brother and sisters.
Jessica has to help her sisters with sanitizing the milk machines, prepare the milk equipment and set up the station with towels and charts the cows that need medication. The other thing Jessica does, which is her favorite thing to do, is feed the newborn calves. She loves doing this job because she finally gets to take care of something that is not taking care of her. After she was done with that, all the kids help and clean out the pens and lay fresh straw down. Jessica does not like this job too much because it is the dirtiest job they have to do. She gets done with her morning chores about 7:30 and head back to the house to get ready for school. Once back in the basement they hang their farm clothes over a folding chair near the washing machine. As they head up the stairs, to get showers and get ready for school they can smell smoked bacon and cheese omelets being cooked. As she is running out the door yelling at the bus,” Wait!” she grabbed herself a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.
In school, the other kids are just rolling out of bed, and I have been up for hours. While other classmates are thinking of what shows to watch on TV, Jessica is thinking about all the chores she has to do when she gets home from school. Jessica has no social life except in school. Jessica would love to join a team or club after school, but with her chores she is not be able to go to practice like the other teammates. Being raised on a farm makes her feel difference from the other kids in her grade. Jessica feels left out and depressed because she cannot join in on conversations about what the kids are doing in school. “Hey, Carrie, how was basketball practice last night?” Susan asked. “It was terrible! Coach was in such a bad mood!” Carrie replied. “He made us run sprints for every shot we missed.
Kelly was missing all her shots last night. I am so sore today.”(Roen/Glau/Maid 2011 pg 85) Jessica would sit in silence, eating French fries, listening to her friends talking and laughing and waiting for the lunch period to end. In eighth grade, she wanted to play basketball, she pleaded with her parents and they finally gave in and said she could play. One of the conditions was that after practice, she had to come home and do all her chores and homework, and she agreed. She became a starting point guard. She finally starts to feel like part of a group. She never tells friends or teachers that she goes home every night and does chores on the farm because she did not want them to know she was different. In High School Jessica, is more involved with school. The farm has grown to two hundred cows.
In ninth grade, she continued to play basketball, and she kept up with her chores before and after school. After her ninth grade year, her father called a family meeting to inform them that he would like the farm to keep growing and that he needs more help than the family can provide. He told them that they no longer had to work on the farm anymore unless they wanted to. He wants his children more involved in school and to go off to college. So after that meeting, she joined homecoming club, auditions for musicals and plays and serves as president of student council and the class president. Since now, she is not working on the farm she goes and gets a waitressing job. Friends came up to her and asked her all the time how she manages her time so well. When at work she is always on time, never sick and does what she is told to do.
One night she sat down and started thinking about her life. She thought that joining clubs and doing activities would make her fit it, but it had not, she still felt left out. From an early age, she was taught how to manage her time wisely with school and chores. She then learned how to manage it with basketball involved. Working on the farm gave her a high tolerance for work. Her boss is always asking her for more hard working people like her. She simply tells him. ”Try hiring some farm girls.”(Roan/Glau/Maid 2011 Pg 86) Jessica learned at a very young age that working hard was not a bad thing. Yes she wanted to do more in school besides get an education. Her father also noticed that his children were suffering in the end with the expansion he was planning on doing. She was glad to have had the experience that her father gave her so when she got a job she knew how to work hard.
Writing for college, Writing for life, 2011, A writer’s share her experiences: Jessica Hemauer: Farm Girl Pages 83-87.