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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Importance of Being Earnest (not about the play) (08/04/11)

TITLE: CLARISSA
By CrisC Ramirez
08/09/11


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The day was like any other day for Clarissa. The day was bright and sunny. The sky was a beautiful blue and the birds were singing a sweet song of Spring. Today was going to be a neat day in school. Clarissa’s class was going on a field trip to a pond. An actual pond! Clarissa’s third grade class had been studying the pond for two weeks in class, and had only been reading about the habitat. They were actually going to see one! Clarissa was irritated. “Shut up, birds!” as she slams her window shut. She sighs and realizes today was her field trip. She is still tired, her eyes are droopy from not getting enough sleep. She gets up to get dressed and ready. “I don’t know if I can do this,” she sighs.

She walks over to the kitchen and she sees her mother, Alice, with Dwayne.
“Hi sweetheart!” says her mom. As she pulls a cigarette from her mouth and a puff of smoke disappears in the air above the table. Dwayne was sitting there, “Good morning” he says. “Yeah” says Clarissa. “What!” says her mother. “You do not address our company like that young lady, do you hear me! Dwayne is our house guest!” Alice cuddles toward Dwayne and he pats her near the hip area as Clarissa watched. “Okay, Mom. I have a field trip today I think,” says Clarissa. “Oh really, where ya going?” says Alice. “I think a pond somewhere,” says Clarissa. “Oh, okay, honey, I will see you after school then. I’ll be waiting for you here when you get home,” says Alice. “Run along now! Good bye.”

Clarissa stumbles her way to the bus stop without eating breakfast. She hopes she can have breakfast when she gets to school. She always arrives late. Her Mom has lots of late company. Alice tells Clarissa that the house guests’ gets them lots of nice presents. There is music and loud talking going on in their small apartment. There’s nothing she can do about it. She doesn’t care about the nice presents, she just wants to sleep.

The bus ride seemed to take forever, but she finally arrives at school. Immediately, Clarissa finds her teacher. “Mrs. Smith, I am sleepy. Can I sleep for awhile.” Mrs. Smith has been teaching for years in this impoverished neighborhood, and has seen many cases similar to Clarissa’s. Her caring and soft persona has won many hearts and friendships with the children at Clarissa’s school. “Today is our field trip, Clarissa. We will be leaving in a little while. Have you eaten anything?” asks Mrs. Smith. “No ma’am”, says Clarissa. “My mom had company again”, she says as she yawns and rubs her eyes. “I see, let’s go get you a tray and get you ready”, says Mrs. Smith. “Thank you, Mrs. Smith.” Clarissa said with a warm voice and a smile on her face. She was excited about the trip now. “Mrs. Smith, you are my favorite teacher”, says Clarissa. “Well, thank you, Clarissa,” says Mrs. Smith as she sits with her at her desk sipping her coffee. “You are a very sweet and bright girl," she says with a smile.

The day seemed brighter now for Clarissa, and the birds were singing much more beautifully on this Spring day! She will actually get to see them at the pond!


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This article has been read 300 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/13/11
THIS IS A SAD STORY. IT'S AMAZING HOW MANY PARENTS MESS UP THEIR KIDS WITHOUT REALIZING IT.

I DID NOTICE YOU STARTED THE BEGINNING IN PAST TENSE THEN SWITCHED TO PRESENT THEN BACK AGAIN. ALSO MAKE SURE YOU START A NEW PARAGRAPH FOR EVERY TIME A DIFFERENT PERSON IS TALKING. EVEN THE ONE WORD QUOTE"WHAT?" SHOULD BE IN A PARAGRAPH BY ITSELF.

I REALLY ENJOYED THE ENDING AND THE MESSAGE IS ONE THAT NEEDS TO BE HEARD. KEEP WRITING, YOU HAVE GREAT IDEAS. (Sorry for I'm just too laZY TO RETYPE:)
Andrea Willard08/14/11
You've captured an ageless story of a mother who doesn't know how her behavior affects her child. It is Christ's own wish that traumas such as these end. You have brought to our attention a child's plight while developing a wonderful story around it. Keep writing!
darlene hight08/14/11
A nice reminder of the importance of touching lives with dignity and encouragement. Nicely written
marcella franseen 08/15/11
I want to believe there are a lot of teachers out there like Mrs. Smith. You have a knack for telling a story. As a beginner, there is a lot to think about-like where to put paragraphs, grammar, which person or tense to write in,etc. One of the things I do, is pick one of my favorite authors and dissect a couple pages, noting the above. It's like getting a private lesson.
Janice Fitzpatrick08/17/11
Such a heart piercing story as too many little lives have been broken because of parents poor choices and selfishness. I was so relieved to learn that the little girl had a caring teacher.Nicely written. Other than a few minor grammatical errors your characters and dialogue were believable. Keep on writing and I agree with Marcella. I need to read more myself and pay attention to the set up of sentences and paragraphs as I sometimes miss errors in my first drafts. God bless your heart touching piece!!