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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Write something in the YOUNG ADULT or TEEN genre (06/07/07)

TITLE: 25,000 Days
By c clemons


It was days like this that made Corrine’s job harder than usual. She arrived early at the school and went right to the principal’s office. Principal Bellamy was there waiting for her.

“Good morning Bev” Corrine said. She was on a first name basis with the high school principal because of her frequent visits there.

“How are you Corrine?” Principal Bellamy asked as she got up from her desk. She came around the desk and shook Corrine’s hand. “Let’s go down to the auditorium, everyone is there already.”

Corrine noticed the principal was looking tired this morning. “Are you okay Bev?”

“I’ll be okay, it’s just that you never get use to it is all” she replied.

“I don’t think you would be human or a good administrator if you did” said Corrine.

“Thanks” Bev said giving a weak smile.

The two walked silently down the hall to the auditorium. Principal Bellamy went in the double doors first and took the stage. The entire school had been assembled there already.

“Good morning everyone, I know that everyone is saddened by the news that one of our own was killed last night in an automobile accident. Randy Johnson was the brightest, most congenial young man this school has ever had the pleasure of knowing. I know a lot of you are hurt, angry and maybe even confused, and lately we have had these assemblies much too often. I would like to introduce our guest speaker Corrine Winter, she is a grief counselor and she would like a few words with you all this morning.”

Corrine took the mike and looked out at the sea of faces. Some of the students were openly crying and others looked like they were still in a state of shock. What she had read about Randy Johnson was that he was a seventeen-year-old senior and a friend to almost everyone in the school. He was an outgoing young man involved in a lot of activities both in school and out. Loved by all, these were always the tough ones.

Corrine began, “I read the other day that the average lifespan of man is 25,000 days. I thought that can’t be, doesn’t sound like a lot to me. After some simple math, it comes out to be about 68.5 years. I don’t believe that was the original plan, I believe that man was created to live a lot longer. So, I believe we have a responsibility for ourselves and for one another as we navigate this life.”

“The car that Randy was riding in had five people in it and no one was wearing a seat belt. The driver was believed to be drinking. Whether he was or not we don’t know at this time, what we do know is four kids are in the hospital and one is dead. I did the math for Randy; he was only on this earth approximately 6,205 days. When you break life down to days makes you put it in a new perspective. In that short time he did not see his prom, graduation or his first real job. I might think that 25,000 days is not a long time but today I wish that Randy would have had the opportunity to have seen those 25,000 days. The only message I have today for the student body is be vigilant. Vigilant for yourself and your friends, if you see someone drinking and going to drive stop them. Wear your seatbelt no matter if it is “uncool” it might increase your chances of reaching at least 25,000 days.”

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This article has been read 726 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jacquelyn Horne06/15/07
Good advice here. Presented well. I would have liked a little more consolation after the counseling. There seems to be more that needs to be said. Very good as far as it goes. And I liked the way the story was presented.
Joanne Sher 06/16/07
Great title. This is an important message for teens - I think, though, that you need more counseling, at least to start, in the speech. This did feel authentic.
Kristen Hester06/19/07
Good writing. This is a very important message. I like it. Nice job.
Clyde Blakely07/25/07
Good job with a good message. Congratulations on your placing. The story flowed well and you held my interest from start to finish. God bless and keep writing.