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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Reading (01/25/07)

TITLE: Miss. Forchoon
By Mo
01/31/07


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“Yeah, I saw it in the paper,” said Lirienne. “Somehow it didn’t surprise me.”

Lirienne sat down at the kitchen table. Calls with Elma were never quick. She told her friend, “Yeah, we met her once, briefly. I didn’t like her attitude…”

“Really, there was something not quite right about her,” said Lirienne.

“But Someone was with me. It was a tough decision… I really struggled. But we made the right choice… Hold-on, that’s my other line,” said Lirienne. “Dallin must’ve forgotten something, again…”

*****

The previous winter Lirienne had checked out two schools with her son, Dallin. She thought she’d prefer the exclusive private school right in town, but she didn’t. It was ancient, smelly, and she didn’t care for the young woman who would’ve been Dallin’s teacher, Miss. Forchoon.

What was she thinking? Talk about a fashion don’t for the workplace, thought Lirienne. Miss. Forchoon’s chest was spilling out of her top, although she seemed oblivious to it. She teaches middle school boys. Hello…? And she’s wearing way too much make-up, thought Lirienne.

Lirienne might’ve overlooked those things if Miss. Forchoon had seemed very warm and welcoming. But she hadn’t.

When Lirienne explained Dallin’s special needs, Miss. Forchoon stifled a yawn and said, “I’ve seen it all before.” She had big dark circles underneath her eyes. Maybe she’s coming down with the flu, thought Lirienne. Or maybe she was out partying last night.

As Lirienne and Dallin left her classroom, Miss. Forchoon was holding a wad of tissues to her face, as if she had a bloody nose. Lirienne wondered, Was she snorting something up there last night? And then, Where on earth did that thought come from?

Lirienne thought Miss. Forchoon was too blasé about Dallin’s condition. Lirienne wanted the best for her only child. -- And that included extra attention and assistance. He still needs extra help, thought Lirienne. It’s what got him this far...

Dallin wasn’t like other kids. He couldn’t read faces or body language. He couldn’t read people; he had Asperger’s Syndrome. Years of therapy had taught him a lot. He was extremely bright in some areas and he functioned well enough at times. But he still had trouble, particularly in his relationships with others. Dallin needs an understanding and experienced teacher, sighed Lirienne.

But The Academy had an excellent math department. And Dallin was brilliant in math.

Lirienne fretted for days. She made lists of pluses and minuses… But Someone was nudging her away from The Academy, no matter how many pluses it had.

*****

Lirienne returned to Elma. “Just what I thought, Dallin forgot his lunch again. That’s the third time this week!”

“I know…” said Lirienne.

“They said she was caught using with some of the kids,” said Lirienne. “How could they not have known she had a record in another state? Shouldn’t a background check pick that up? They certainly picked up on it now…”

“Me too, I hope she goes into rehab,” said Lirienne. “Yeah, I heard that, too. They say it’s almost impossible to kick that one. It’s so addictive.”

“Right, those poor kids… They may be messed up for life. Those poor families… I can’t even imagine.” Lirienne shuddered. “I don’t even want to think about it.”

“I know. No way was it the kids who got her hooked again. She was their teacher,” said Lirienne.

“Uh-huh… Remember the old children’s librarian, Beatrix? Years ago I saw her at a party. I could tell she’d had a few too many. It just… I don’t know. It offended me. Ya just don’t like to see people who deal with kids in that kind of condition, ya know? Even if she didn’t do it intentionally; I just didn’t like it. It turned me off. I never took Dallin back to story time after that.”

“Yup… Exactly! They’re so impressionable,” said Lirienne. “And you know Dallin. He’s too honest. And he misses things… He’ll spend hours reading technical manuals, but he doesn’t read people well. He’s still so vulnerable… They all are, even if they don’t act like it.”

“Right, thank God I sent Dallin to Midtown Middle School instead. Private schools should do more for special needs kids. SPED kids can be smart, too. At least they have specialists in the public schools…” said Lirienne.

“The Academy was Dallin’s first choice you know,” said Lirienne. ”I’m so glad He helped me to read Miss. Forchoon right.”


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