Student artists, authors show off work (video)
Speedos terrified him, but the thought of moving away from the Gulf of Mexico alarmed him even more.
When Alex Ferrell, 17, was 7 years old, his family moved to Victoria from Palacios in 2002.
As part of a St. Joseph High School journalism project, Ferrell shared his initial reservations on the big move through the publication of his first book, "Swimming Through Life."
Alex was one of 63 students who participated in the third annual Authors' Party and Art Show Extravaganza on Monday night.
Parents and teachers went through a buffet of stories chronicling a Russian toddler's adoption experience, ranch life in South Texas and trips to grandmother's house.
Landscape paintings and self-portraits by art teacher Ted Wise's students popped a burst of fresh color into the room.
Journalism teacher Nancy Peters said she started assigning her students a book publication project back in 1989 through an English class she was teaching at St. Joseph.
The students were assigned to tell a story through the publication of their very own glossy, hardcover book.
"It's a great way to get families talking," Peters said. "Written honesty helps families understand each other."
When Sue Ferrell and her family moved to Victoria, she said she had no idea her son had felt so alienated.
"They were so little," Ferrell said. "It was hard to tell."
In his book, Alex writes about his love of swimming bringing him closer to the "big city" environment of Victoria.
Although he's found a community in the city through school and being a part of the varsity swim team, Alex said he still aches for the open waters of the Gulf.
"It just feels like the most natural place for me to be," Alex said.
This summer, Alex will be a lifeguard for the second time.
After he graduates, the St. Joseph junior said he hopes to study petroleum engineering at either Texas A&M University or University of Texas at Austin.
But some day, Alex said he also hopes to swim in the Olympic Games.
"Swimming is probably the biggest part of my life right now," Alex said. "I think about it every day."