My Ugly Blue Poncho

Name a piece of clothing that you have found to be beneficial.

My old poncho is an absurdly bright shade of blue. It has the uncanny ability to turn anyone who wears it into a baggy, rather ridiculous-looking blob. This poncho holds a special place in my heart.

When my mom first gave it to me as I was entering eighth grade, I tried my hardest to refuse bringing the hideous thing to school. At her insistence that I not be left unprotected “in case it rains,” though, I stuffed the poncho into the bottom of my backpack and prayed I would never have any reason to use it. But one February day while I was in Latin class, disaster struck.

I was taking AP Latin at La Jolla High, although I officially went to Muirlands Middle School, because I had taken Latin privately for two years in elementary school and was ready for AP by eighth grade. The high school was close to Muirlands, so leaving Latin a bit early every day to walk up the hill to middle school was not a problem. Everything was fine - technically. The real difficulty lay in the fact that my AP Latin class was an extremely close-knit one, having had one teacher for all four years of Latin. It came as no surprise, then, that my classmates had never really accepted the “middle school kid” who had joined them a year earlier. Sure, they were...

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