Story Corner

Michael’s Diary

All Michael really wants for his birthday is to be himself.

Teaching Tolerance illustration icons bullying, standing, barbershop and notepad with flashlight
Michael hopes for one special gift on his birthday. Will he get it?


December 31

Sarah gave me this diary today for my birthday. She is my favorite sister. (She is my only sister, too.) Anyway, I am 10 years old. I go to school at Edison Elementary School. I am in the
fourth grade.


February 14

What’s on my mind today? Sewing! Again! And I want to start a blog. This would be my first post.

Michael’s Sweet Sweater Makeover!

Step 1: Find an old sweater. A solid color works best. (If you’re only 10, like me, you should probably ask your parents before you do this.) Step 2: Find some gold studs. You can get these at the craft store. They are small, gold metal squares (they come in other shapes, too) with four little spikes on the back. Step 3: Put the studs where you want them on your sweater. Use chalk to mark the spots. Step 4: Poke the studs through the sweater so that the little spikes go through to the other side. Use a butter knife or a nail file to bend the spikes over.


April 22

Today at school BJ said I swish when I walk. He called me gayboy. Chris and Benito laughed. But Serena and Delia took up for me. The three of us looked at the boys and said, “So?” And we swished our best swishes and walked away from them. We were laughing then. Even Chris laughed. But when I thought about it later, I felt sad. 


June 3

My swimsuit legs are so big and baggy that when I stand still with my feet together, it almost looks like a skirt. So I cut the sleeves and the neck out of a T-shirt. Then I stretched out the bottom enough to tie it in a knot at my hip. I like it.

I could do it better if I had a sewing machine (someday!).


August 1

Dad was going to take me to the barber shop today (like we do every year) to get my hair cut for school. My hair has been growing all summer. I can wear it pulled back in a ponytail or down in front so it covers my eyes a little. And I like it! I told him I didn’t want to cut my hair, and my face got all red and hot. I thought he would be mad. He looked at me funny, but then he said we could skip the haircut.  It was a great day!


August 15

I’m supposed to be sleeping, but I’m writing this under the covers—by flashlight. School starts tomorrow. I’m excited and nervous. But I’m ready! Here is my new motto: Let a smile be your style.


October 15

Teaching Tolerance illustration of representation of his nightmare

Nightmare! It was me in the dream, but I had a mustache! Then I grew a beard. Then hair was growing all over my body. I looked like a big, furry monster with brown hair. It was horrible. I woke up and felt all over my body to check for hair. Relief! There wasn’t any. That was a close one.



November 3

My birthday is next month. What I really want is a sewing machine. I think Dad wants me to want a new football. I already tried that. I played football and baseball and soccer. And I am good at them, but I don’t like them. Except maybe soccer. I do like soccer. Can’t I make clothes, too?


December 30

Teaching Tolerance illustration of box wrapped in birthday paper

Tomorrow is my birthday and the start of another year. If I get a football or a skateboard, I won’t cry. But I peeked in the closet today.  There is a box wrapped in birthday paper. It’s a big box and it’s heavy. I don’t think Dad would try to trick me. What I really think—and I hope, hope, hope I’m right—is that the box is the perfect size for a sewing machine.


December 31

Best Birthday Ever!  I got my SEWING MACHINE!!!! And Sarah gave me a cute, new sewing bag full of spools of thread, needles and a new pincushion. Today we are going to buy fabric.  I’m so happy. I can’t wait to start sewing!


Students and a teacher, with a blue tint overlay and the Teaching Tolerance Toolkit watermark

You'll find classroom resources for making student journals, as well as prompts that encourage students at all grade levels to express who they are through writing, in this toolkit.

View Toolkit
Illustration of person holding and looking at laptop.

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