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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Gone Fishing (02/01/07)

TITLE: Career Day
By Jim Hutson


The little boy moved nervously in his seat, looking towards the closed door of the classroom and biting on his fingernails. It was close to time for Career Day to begin and he hadn't seen his father yet. He had promised to try to come, but the little boy understood that his job was an important one and often kept him away from home.

"Okay, class, let's put away our study books and clear our desks." the voice of Mrs. Clearmount cut through the silence, only quickly to be drowned out as desktops were opened and books plunked unceremoniously into the cavity underneath. "The fathers scheduled today are out in the hall. Let's get this done quickly!"

The little boy and his classmates quickly made the preparations to be ready for Career Day. Conversations erupted throughout the room as each discussed with their friends the exciting things their fathers did, little chests blooming out in pride as each tried to top the other.

"My dad is a cop!"

"Oh yeah, mine is a firefighter!"

On and on, the conversations grew louder and louder until Mrs. Clearmount raised her voice above the ruckus and shouted, "QUIET! We must remember our manners as we listen to our guests today! Johnny Meadows, you are the first presentation today. Please come forward and introduce your father."

The young man walked quickly to the front of the classroom and said in a loud voice, "I would like to introduce my dad. His name is John and he is a firefighter."

The door opened and in walked an older man in full firefighting gear. He smiled at the class and walked beside his son. "I'm John Meadows and I fight fires."

On and on throughout the day, children in Mrs. Clearmount's fifth grade class introduced their fathers to their classmates. Each father talked about what he did and showed the equipment that was so much a part of their jobs.

Finally, Mrs. Clearmount pointed to the little boy who had slumped in his chair a little more as everyone was called forward but him. "Jimmy, you will have the last presentation today. Would you come up and introduce your father to the class?"

Jimmy bounded up to the front of the class and waited in anticipation as his classmates quieted down and looked at him.

"I would like to introduce to you MY dad!" Jimmy turned to look towards the door. "He's a fisherman! My dad, Jim Sr."

You could hear the whispers of the class as disappointment carried about the room. A fisherman? How did that compare to a policeman or a firefighter? They had even heard from a dad who was in charge of ships in the US Navy. But a fisherman? They felt disappointed.

The door opened and in walked a man in a black shirt with a big symbol on the right breast pocket. He wore pants that had huge pockets on each side. But the thing that attracted the attention of the class as he walked over to stand beside his son was the gleaming badge that hung from his belt. It looked almost like the policeman's badge they had seen earlier.

"Hello, class. I'm James Hutson Sr. and I'm here today to talk about my job."

"I am a Chaplain. When people are in trouble, when they don't know where to go, or when they need someone who loves them unconditionally, I am there."

"I'm like a policeman, fireman, medic, and pastor all rolled into one. I seek out those who are lost and show them the way back to their Heavenly Father."

"I am a fisherman like Matthew, Andrew, Peter, and the rest."

Hands erupted around the room as the class was eager to learn of this new and unexpected description of a fisherman.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 02/09/07
Cute idea--chaplain as fisherman.

Just a thought--chidren of this age would probably think being a fisherman for a career was really cool...so I'm not sure why the little boy felt a bit embarrassed. And a classroom of 20-some students couldn't have ALL exiciting dads; surely some of them would have been accountants or office managers, etc.

I like the way you portrayed the little boy's POV and mixed emotions--nice job!